Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Summer fun

Thanks for all your comments on my last post, and your Christmas wishes. I hope everyone had a lovely day on the 25th.

Here is a PXT that my sister sent me of Phoebe and the ornament I stitched her hung on their tree. I think Phoebe looks pretty pleased with it.

My niece and her Christmas ornament :-)  I think she looks fairly pleased with it!

Summer is in full swing here in New Zealand. We have had about a week of blue sky days and high temperatures. It has been great. It reminds me of the Christmas/summer holidays we used to get when I was a kid.

Rain is forecast though, so we have been out and about making the most of it. On Christmas Eve DH and I went to a local garden tucked away in a pretty valley near where I live and took a leisurely stroll. Not far down the garden path you come to a little bridge with this gorgeous view of the river.

Efil Doog Gardens ~ Akatawara Valley, Upper Hutt

On Boxing Day we did a very Kiwi thing and went to the beach for a picnic and a swim. There is also an old rope swing on some nearby trees so we all relived our childhoods and had a swinging good time!

Kapiti Island from Waikanae Beach

My rabbit Tiggy got an early Christmas present this year - she got a friend! His name is Cola. He is friendly and so soft to the touch. I've had Tiggy since 2008 and have always hummed and hahhed about getting her a friend. But lately even my DH commented that Tiggy seemed bored and lonely (something I had noticed too). Well, that was enough to help me make up my mind 100%. If it doesn't work out (the first two meetings haven't gone well, but Tiggy enjoys having a neighbour) we'll try and find her a more suitable friend.

Cola

I've made quite a bit of progress on Fancey Blackett, and hope to have a finish to share with you in my next post.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Phoebe's Christmas ornament

Phoebe's annual Christmas ornament is all finished and ready to hang on her tree. In the end I stitched her Up on the Rooftop by The Floss Box.

Phoebe's 2011 Christmas ornament

I am very, very happy with how the ornament turned out (although not so happy with photos I've tried to take of it, this is the best of a bad bunch! :-))

Anyway, another quick drive by post. DH is shutting up our shop at midday (I'm already on holiday - my last day in the office was yesterday) and then my parents are taking us out for lunch, so I must tootle!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stitched with Love Christmas exchange

Here's a quick drive by post...

I can now reveal a recent Christmas exchange I participated in.

Here is a lovely ornament and goodies I received from Lisa in Australia. Thanks so much Lisa!

Gorgeous ornament from my Secret Santa in Australia

Exchange from my Secret Santa in Australia

I sent to Pirjo in Finland, here is what I sent her.

Xmas exchange for Pirjo in Finland

Xmas exchange for Pirjo in Finland

Carol asked for a Phoebe-fix, and I am only too happy to oblige (as I am often in need a Phoebe fix too!). This photo is hot off the press, taken just yesterday. Phoebe is now 2 years and 8 months old... my how time flies.

Phoebe

I gave up on Phoebe's Christmas ornament (I'm going to do that design next year), and have almost finished one that is just as cute and that has been a real pleasure to stitch. I will hopefully be back in a day or two to show you. If I don't make it, have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the holidays!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A stitchy post (at last!)

First up, I have to show you this lovely gift that Suzanne sent to me. It is Summer Stars by Blackbird Designs. Hasn't she stitched and finished it beautifully? Stitchers truly are some of the kindest people. Thank you again Suzanne!

Summer Stars pincushion by Blackbird Designs

Yikes, how did Christmas get to be a little over two weeks away? Here is my niece's Christmas ornament in progress. I am not sure why, but I am not loving it at all. I'm not sure if it's the colours or the fabric, but whatever it is I keep finding other things to do to avoid stitching on it. However, I will have to crack on so she can have it on her Christmas tree in advance of the 25th!

My niece's Christmas ornament in progress

While avoiding stitching on Santa, Tanya posted her Believe freebie. So I stitched that up in no time at all. I will make that into a tiny little ornament for my Christmas tree. (Thank you Tanya!)

Believe by the Sampler Girl

Lastly, there has been some progress on Fancey Blackett. I might get it finished up over the Christmas holidays, as I am having a couple of weeks off work (can't wait).

Fancey Blackett progress

I hope you are enjoying the run up to Christmas!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Out of office message

Currently enjoying summer (and festivities), be back soon.

Tunnel Gully mosaic

(This post is for those who have emailed me saying to share more pics of New Zealand. The next post will be a stitchy one!)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A river runs through it

The great thing about living in New Zealand is that it is not unusual to have some stunning scenery or an entire beach all to yourself.

Tonight was a glorious evening, so I took my camera out when DH and I went for a walk. We wandered alongside the river... we enjoyed the odd assortment of flowers growing wild on the riverbank (daisies, buttercups, sweetpeas, foxgloves, periwinkles), watching the river current swirl in strange directions (helped by this mornings torrential downpour) and throwing rocks in the river to see who could make the biggest splash (some kids never grow up). And the absolute best bit was that we didn't see another soul for the hour or so we were out.

River walk mosaic... I'm a bit obsessed with mosaics!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's flowering in my garden right now...

I am currently working on a Christmas exchange, so as I can't share a stitching update I thought I would pop in and show you what is flowering in my garden right now.

We have foxgloves, aquilegias, hydrangeas, bottlebrush, periwinkles, marigolds, carpet roses, lavender and honeysuckle. I love this time of year.

My garden today

What's flowering in yours right now?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Finally some progress to show you

Last week I coffee dyed some fabric. I did it with a new start in mind. Can you guess what it is from this photo?...

Fancey Blackett by Pineberry Lane WIP

If you guessed Fancey Blackett by Pineberry Lane, you'd be right!

Fancey Blackett by Pineberry Lane WIP

I really enjoyed the coffee dyeing process, it was a bit of an adventure not quite knowing how it was going to turn out. My DH was quite intrigued as to why I was making a large bowl of coffee and then baking my fabric in the oven. lol He did like the end result though and it's subtly mottled affect.

I haven't quite finished Weeds Make Haste yet, I'll have to tear myself away from Fancey Blackett at some stage to get it done. The chart is in the post to Sally. Hopefully it doesn't take the long way to England, like a recent letter to my Great Aunt in Canterbury - she told me it went via Brunei Darussalam!

Weeds Make Haste by Shakespeares Peddler WIP

So, what are you stitching on this week?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spring garden

Last night was the first evening in quite some time where I've sat down for a few hours and stitched. It was bliss! I've been doing lots of overtime lately, so there hasn't been much time for stitching or relaxing :-(

So due to lack of stitching photos, I thought I'd share a little spring garden mosaic. I am really loving our little garden at the moment. We have sown hundreds of wild flower seeds in two of our gardens... oh my, I can't wait to see what pops up. (I hope the end result matches my floral daydreams!).

My creation

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

And the winner

of the Weeds Make Haste chart is... Sally. So, Sally if you could please email me your snail mail address I'll get the chart in the post to you in the next week or two. (My email address is in my profile).

Unfortunately, no stitchy photos this post as I've been very busy lately, and not much time (or inclination) for stitching. So I'll leave you with this photo of one of our new hydrangeas which we bought this morning. I think they are such a stunning colour and love the contrast with our blue pots.

Love our new hydrangeas in the blue pots

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday!

Wow, the weeks are whipping by and it's Friday yet again!

I've made a little progress on Weeds Make Haste, so thought I'd share a photo.

Weeds progress

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by lately and left a comment, including some newbies. It's always nice to hear from people out there and discover new blogs in the process. So... in honour of old and new readers I thought I'd have a little giveaway. If you'd like to win the Weeds Make Haste chart, leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a winner soon (it might encourage me to stitch faster!). :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It would be great

if you could pop over to see Heather and offer some kind words.

I will be back with a stitching update soon, but for now I'll leave you with some spring eye-candy. :-)

Spring mosaic

Hope your week is off to a great start.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weeds make haste

I am loving the thread colours in Weeds Make Haste (by Shakespeare's Peddler). They're just so rich and visually pleasing. Is anyone out there stitching this design? I haven't seen it on any other blogs yet.

Weeds Make Haste WIP

Spring has sprung around these parts. Now only if we had some consistent days of sunshine, that would be very, very nice! It is supposed to rain this weekend... boo!

Spring mosaic

I hope the weekend brings you sunshine and stitching time!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Flower power

Yay, my new stash arrived a few days ago. Here is what I am starting tonight - Weeds Make Haste by Shakespeares Peddler.

Weeds Make Haste by Shakespeares Peddler... a new project

I made myself finish a few things before I started my new project. So here is Just Nan's Summer humbug.

Summer humbug by Just Nan (just needs to be made into a humbug now)

Scream Girls by Just Nan.

Scream Girls by Just Nan

And Bloom a freebie by Lizzie Kate.

Bloom by Lizzie Kate

The photos are rather washed out by the flash, so I'll share more pics when they are in their final finished form.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Scream Girls

Thanks for all your comments on my posts about recent unusual weather! :-) It is back to normal now, although we still have a little snow lying about in the shadier spots of our garden. Hard to believe now that this time last week we had to abandon our car and walk part way home.

Anyway, I thought I'd pop in with a stitching post (albeit it's a little sparse) so you don't think that has turned into a meterological blog!

Lately I have been in the mood to stitch, but nothing in my stash was calling to me. Do you ever get that annoying feeling? So, I have some stash on order ('Weeds Make Haste' by Shakespeares Peddler and the new 'Santa Claus is coming to town' by Lizzie Kate ~ to stitch for Phoebe for Christmas).

In the meantime I pulled out 'Scream Girls' - a Just Nan design. It shouldn't take long to finish up.

Just Nan's Scream Girls WIP

I hope your week is frog-free! Have a good one.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Woah, somebody hit the STOP button on the snow machine please...

It is really bad here, and it is still snowing like it has never snowed before...

What the HELL is going on?  lol

Hmmm... a light dusting of snow

It's supposed to last another day or two yet. They say it is a once in a lifetime storm... I sure hope so, I don't like it now it's heavy snow and all the problems it is causing. It sure is pretty though...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The MetService didn't get it wrong...

we have lots of snow! (Lots for us anyway, as mentioned in my earlier post we don't usually get any snow).

Before we messed up the snow!

It's warm indoors tonight, not so warm outside though

DH isn't too fussed on the snow, being from Northern Ireland he has seen it all before. He was watching a movie, so I decided to go out and make a snowman. But before I could even get started he was out there gloved up, hat and coat on rolling the first snow for a snowman for me. I left him to it and took photos instead.

Snowmen... lol

Sultanas for eyes, bark for a nose, twigs for arms and a hanging basket for a hat!

There was a lot of activity in our small street, you could hear the laughs of children big and small. Us included!

Chuffed with his creation

Looks like a cockatoo if you ask me!

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pretty scenery, but no stitching

DH and I have been away for a few days. As so many of you seem to enjoy a few photos of New Zealand now and then, I thought I'd share a mosaic of photos I've taken over the last few days for your viewing pleasure! :-)

We drove north to Taupo (where we stayed) through Tongariro National Park, and spent most of our time in Rotorua (an area with a lot of geothermal activity). We were pretty lucky with the weather, as you can probably tell from the photos.

Taupo, Rotorua and Tongariro National Park

My DH did a bungy jump while we were away. Are there any stitchers out there who have done a bungy? It is not something I could ever do.

This weekend there is a chance of snow again. However, after seeing a lot of sunshine over the past few days I am reminded of what I really prefer!

Thanks for all your comments on my last post. It's always lovely to get comments from readers old and new! Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, August 08, 2011

You're not going to believe this....

I finished a finish straight away! Well almost, I just have to find a pretty button for my biscornu (but other than that it's all done!). The design is a freebie from Tournicoton. I've had it printed for years, and was recently looking for a new start and this one caught my eye as I was flipping through my pile of charts. Isn't it pretty?

Biscornu (just have to find a pretty button for the centre)

Biscornu (just have to find a pretty button for the centre)

I was unwell at home recently when some funny white stuff fell from the sky. I could not believe my eyes. The hills around here get snowed on in the wintertime, but generally our climate is too warm for snow. But snow it did off and on for most of the day, and some of it even lay on the ground for a while. So pretty... I wish it would do this every winter!

Wowsers, a lot of snow for Upper Hutt!

The weekend that followed was a real cracker, with Spring-like sunshine and warmer temperatures. So DH and I got out around the Wellington coast and made the most of it. This view is of Wellington Harbour looking towards the Hutt Valley and Soames Island.

Wellington harbour on a beautiful mid-winter day (to think it was snowing a few days back!)

With the colder weather lately (we get lots of frosts at this time of year) Tiggy has been living indoors. Here's a cute photo I took of her and Tess larking about. Tess was more interested in attacking the salad than paying any attention to Tiggy.

Tiggy and Tess

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rainy days

I decided to have a break from my Moira Blackburn sampler, and pulled out my Just Nan summer humbug. I hope to get this finished up soon. The weather is supposed to be bad this weekend (and so far it is) so it's perfect stitching weather!

Just Nan summer humbug... getting this one finished up

While I had my camera out Giggsy decided he wanted to say 'Hi', so here he is...

Hey!!

Rainy Day Crafter recently gave me a stylish blogger award. Thanks so much! She's a very talented crafter, into cross stitch, jewellery making and crochet. You should pay her a visit!

As part of the award I have to list 7 things about myself -

1. DH and I bought our first house in 2004. We have moved about a bit and have now finally found 'home' in our fourth house (which is good, because moving is such a hassle!)

2. I work at a law firm, and my DH and I have a flooring business with my BIL, SIL and a friend

3. I was overseas in 2006 and due to come home via the USA, around the time they uncovered the plots to blow up trans-atlantic flights. Needless to say, I was greatly worried... and blimmin' annoyed I couldn't buy duty free perfume because of it. lol

4. I actually have three nephews and two nieces. They are all gorgeous. I don't feature them much (if at all) on my blog as they are all (except Phoebe) in their teens now. I also feature Phoebe a lot less, as I am more concerned about privacy these days

5. The jewellers ruined my new eternity ring when they re-sized it for me (so, sorry - no photo yet Gabi and Siobhan). They are going to replace it with a brand new one

6. I lost 15 kilos with Weight Watchers last year. I have been maintaining this year, but am going to amp it up and try and lose 5 more kilos. I feel the cold a lot more now.

7. I have lots of big dreams - a couple of them are: I want to walk the Tongariro crossing and the Milford Track - which are both areas of extraordinary natural beauty here in New Zealand and I want to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda (how cool would that be!).

The other part of the award is that I have to nominate 15 other bloggers. I love all of the blogs I read, so if you want to list seven things about yourself let me know and I'll come to your blog and read. It's good to know more about the non-stitching side of blogger friends.

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Another stitchy post!

Sandra let me know she has received my exchange for her. This is a Little House Needleworks chart which was in an old issue of the Gift of Stitching. I went for a more basic finish with this pillow as I was having sewing machine issues. (A change of needle seemed to help things along though).

Exchange for Sandra in Wales

I am feeling very spoilt today. My DH bought me a beautiful eternity ring for my upcoming birthday. He told me he had been thinking about it for a while and had been doing a bit of research about when to get them etc. I love that so much thought has gone into it. So we went out and I managed to find a diamond and emerald dazzler in the first store we visited. I'll be wearing it on the opposite hand to my wedding and engagement rings, as my engagement ring was bought in an antique shop in Northern Ireland and is quite an unusual shape - so hard to get rings that sit up against it nicely.

For those of you who want to share - do you wear an eternity ring? If so, how long had you been married when you got yours and what prompted your DH to get it at that time (anniversary? first baby)? And is it a traditional eternity ring consisting of a continuous line of diamonds - or non-traditional like mine?

It's a little chilly here again, so the fire is going well and I'm about to get my stitching out. Enjoy whatever you are doing this weekend.

Happy Canada day and happy 4th of July to my Canadian and American friends!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Lovely jubbly...

Today my exchange from Ann
arrived. Ann knitted me this gorgeous little zippered pouch, and made a beautiful scissor fob. What a gorgeous colour explosion at this dreary time of year (it's winter down here in the southern hemisphere).

Knitted pouch, scissor fob and card from Ann in Scotland.

I think my gorgeous quilted needlebook from Sandra deserved a bit more air time. Just her second attempt at making one. Amazing! I think she might have tapped into a hidden talent - what do you think? Here is a closer look...

A better look at the quilted needlebook Sandra in Wales made for me.  Isn't it awesome?!

And as mentioned in my last post, I have been cracking on with my Moira Blackburn sampler. I am so loving this at the moment.

More progress on my Moira Blackburn sampler

Well, it's Friday again... have a great weekend folks!