Monday, January 30, 2012

New stash

I had a little break from my sampler. As soon as I saw this kitty freebie on LynnB's blog I had to get it stitched up. Anyone who knows me, knows I love cats... especially black ones.

Freebie from www.happinessiscrosstitching.blogspot.com

I decided to stitch my cats names on the back to personalise it, and added a little love heart to give it a bit of colour.

I stitched my cats names on the back

Here are the little rascals themselves.

My favourite pics of my kitty crew :-)

The postie was good to me today... I got some new charts! I got Phebe's Forest by the City Stitcher and Snow White Sampler by Willow Hill Samplings. (I just noticed it's called Snow White... I'm sure the designer really meant Sleeping Beauty!!).

New charts

Anyway, I ordered these from Broomfields in Christchurch. I decided to spend some money with them (rather than ordering offshore) since Christchurch businesses need support in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that have continued since September 2010, and rock them on an almost daily basis! The charts arrived wrapped up and tied with a ribbon too, and arrived just a few days after ordering (love it!).

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Progress

I didn't make it back on Sunday as I intended with a progress photo - my walk caught up with me and boy was I tired! :-) I did get some stitching done though and progress is being made on my sampler.

More progress

Monday was a public holiday, so DH and I took a drive to the coast. The skies were blue, the water was warm (I paddled my feet in it) - but brrr, the wind was so cold. I think by the time summer truly arrives, it will be time for it to go again.

Here's a couple of photos from the drive. The island (Kapiti) in the bottom photo is a nature reserve. It is one of many islands in New Zealand that they try and keep pest-free, so the native species have a chance to flourish. I haven't been there, but hope to some day soon.

Looking towards the South Island

Kapiti Island

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

O hai!

I've been uploading photos to my online album tonight, so thought I would also stop in here and share some for those who have enjoyed my garden and New Zealand photos lately.

I'm really enjoying my wildflower gardens. Overall the look doesn't sit too well with me (it seems so 'messy') - but the individual flowers are stunning! There are still plenty of flowers which have not yet made an appearance, but that could be due to the lack of regular sunshine this summer. It seems to come in fits and spurts. Anyway, here's a wee summer garden mosaic.

My summer garden

Everyday from my kitchen and bedroom windows I can see Mt Climie. A week ago DH and I decided that Saturday (today) we would climb it. What fun! Even though it was two hours to get to the top and uphill all the way (the walk is described as strenuous), we knew we would get some great views that would make the huffing and puffing worth it.

From the top we could look out to the coast and see Mana Island on the Kapiti Coast (the smaller of the two islands which were in my recent post about the walk at Makara), Wellington city and harbour, and Lake Ferry in the Wairarapa. Unfortunately, the cloud rolled in (the day had started off without a cloud in the sky) and got a little hazy as it was warm so I couldn't capture those things well in photos, but it certainly gave us a birds eye view of a massive land area!

This is a photo looking over Whitemans Valley and Upper Hutt in the distance -

Mt Climie

This is my DH on the gliding ramp, and the furthest point you can access on the ridgeline. We sat here and had our lunch and took in the view.

Mt Climie

This is pretty Whiteman's Valley - a rural area with lots of farms and lifestyle blocks.

Mt Climie

Once you get to the summit you can walk along the ridgeline. Just when you think there are no more uphill bits, bam! You're hit with one. Still there would have been no point going to the top if we didn't go as far along as possible. The gliding ramp was at the top of the peak you can see on the right. The flora at the summit is quite different than lower down, as it is sub-alpine up there.

Mt Climie

Finally, I thought I would share a photo of my niece Phoebe and I. It had been a few weeks since I had seen her, so I bought her a book and dropped it in to her on my way home last night. She loves stories, and I ended up reading her three.

We had some great conversations yesterday. I thought I'd tell you about one, as for not even being three years old yet (she'll be 3 in April) she's a clever cookie.

She said to me "you've got your work shoes on". I'm like "yes, I had to go to work today". "Why?" she asked. "I had to go and earn some money". And quick as a flash she said "to buy me presents". LOL.

Me and the chatterbox

It is a 3 day weekend for us and it's supposed to rain for the next two days, so I hope to be back with a stitching update tomorrow. I'm still working on Growing Like a Tree and have made progress. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Still growing...

Lee is the winner of the Tending the Blooms chart. Lee, please email me your snail mail address (my email is in my profile) and I'll get it in the post for you this week.

I have huge stitching mojo for Growing Like a Tree at the moment, and have progressed quite a bit since last weekend ~ so while I'm here, here is a pic...

Progress @ 15 January 2012

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Rainy days (and a small giveaway)

It has rained heavily all day today. Not a great way to end your summer holidays... but it has allowed me some stitching time. So I thought I would drop in with a bit of progress.

Growing Like a Tree - a bit more progress

I have meant to ask in my last two blog posts if anyone is interested in the chart for Tending the Blooms. (I think there is probably enough thread left over to stitch it again too). If more than one person is interested, I'll do a draw. Just leave a comment on this post.

Tending the Blooms

Have a great week!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Growing Like a Tree

I decided to pick up my Growing Like a Tree WIP. I got a few stitches in last night. Here is where it is at...

Growing Like a Tree progress (a Moira Blackburn sampler)

The fabric is actually Antique Ivory, and not white/grey as it appears in this photo.

My wildflower garden has thrown up a few more beauties. This time some pink and purple cornflowers. It seems that the 'high country meadow' mix is what is flowering at the moment. Hopefully the others (a bee mix, delphiniums etc) will flower as summer progresses.

Wildflower garden

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Finish no. 3 for 2012

It is Tending the Blooms by Shepherds Bush. This was gifted to me from Cheryl last year in a Christmas exchange.

I picked it up last night and finished it off. I decided to ignore the frogs in this design (fault of the stitcher, not the designer) and left them in there.

Tending the Blooms by Shepherds Bush

I am back at work next week, so stitching progress will go back to normal (i.e. slow).

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Weeds Make Haste

Yay, I now have my second finish for 2012. It is Weeds Make Haste by Shakespeares Peddler. I love how this one turned out.

Weeds Make Haste finish (Shakespeares Peddler)

I am not quite sure what I will stitch next. I think some new stash is in order, but in the meantime I might pick another WIP/UFO and aim for finish no. 3 of 2012.

Yesterday marked the last day of my DH's Christmas/summer holidays so we decided to do something we both love to do. We climbed the hill at Makara to take in the view. It is quite a climb, but the views from the top make it very worthwhile.

You start off by walking around the coast. That in itself is a pleasant walk with some lovely scenery...

Makara

Then it is uphill through farmland and long grass, and along some dirt paths with not much separating you from a long downhill fall at times.

Makara

Once you near the top you have to climb over a stile. Then we usually walk a little further uphill to the highest of the three World War II gun emplacements. There we like to sit and dangle our feet over the edge, catch our breath, have a drink and admire the views.

Looking north in the distance are Mana and Kapiti Islands (you can just see them on the horizon, one in front of the other).

Makara looking towards Mana and Kapiti Islands

Looking south is the aptly named South Island. There really isn't much distance between the North and South Islands. You can also see one of the gun emplacements. They were never used, as New Zealand was never invaded. However, it always pays to be prepared :-) DH and I sat there for about an hour taking in the view and chatting. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Gun emplacement at Makara, with the South Island in the distance

I caught one of our nocturnal garden visitors on camera the other night, so thought I would share. It is a possum. Unfortunately, they are a pest in New Zealand (they come from Australia originally) - but are quite nice creatures in their own right (cute and intelligent).

My Mum had one in her garden years ago which used to hang upside down and eat the seed out of one of her bird feeders. It was funny to watch.

Our night time visitor (a possum)

I think I'll go through my stash now and see if I can find something that takes my fancy. Hope you're having a great week and getting lots of stitching in.

Monday, January 02, 2012

New year ta-dah!

I aimed to finish Fancey Blackett on New Year's Eve, but our guests stayed much later than anticipated. So, instead, I had my first finish of 2012 on New Year's Day.

Fancey Blackett finish (Pineberry Lane)

In 2012 my aim is to 'finish finish' my stitching as I go along. So today DH and I went out and found a suitable frame for Fancey Blackett. I am going to try framing it myself (probably with a little help from my Mum who has framed a few of her own cross stitches). I will let you know how I get on.

The frame Fancey Blackett is going in

The weather has finally cleared up after a few days of rain. Look what I found flowering in my wildflower garden - a pretty little corn flower. It is fun seeing what pops up. It is also fun thinking about what I'll do differently next year.

My first cornflower in my wildflower garden.  So pretty

I hope 2012 is off to a great start for you! I'll be back soon with another finish, as 'Weeds Make Haste' is very close to being done.