Thursday, September 08, 2016

Strawberry House

After we moved house in January life threw a few lemons my way, and I didn't stitch for quite a few months.

The first thing I stitched when I got my mojo back was Strawberry House by Tanya at the Scarlett House.  I think this is quite possibly my favourite design ever.  I just love the design and the thread colours.  I had put it off for ages because I didn't have the exact fabric called for or anything similar (such a silly attitude!).  I eventually decided a piece of WDW Cocoa fabric would be just fine.

When I won the generous gift voucher on Sharon's blog back in May the main acquisition was the fabric, threads and chart for La D Da's  Honeysuckle Birth Sampler.  Although I stitched a couple of things for Annabelle before she was born, I never got around to a birth sampler.  It was a pretty quick stitch, but has been languishing unfinished for a little while as I have yet to decide on the lettering for this piece.  Unfortunately, I don't like what is charted and I want to fit her full name in the middle portion not just her first and second names.  (I've just spotted I missed a honeysuckle flower on the vine!).

Annabelle has become very interested in my crafting lately.  "What are you making me today?" she asked yesterday as I was rifling through my crafty drawers.  Then this morning she asked "Are you needle-ing me a hat?".  lol.   Her and I started making her a scrapbook yesterday - she really enjoyed rummaging through my supplies and spreading them all over the floor.

At the end of July we said goodbye to my bunny Milly.  Obviously I was sad, but I believe she was probably old in bunny years as she went blind with cataracts soon after I got her (here she was the first day I adopted her from animal rescue).  I had her for a little over two and a half years.

My other bunny Cola is getting on in years, I've had him for about four and a half years and he was also a rescue bunny (so real age unknown).  He will have to make do with our company as, as much as I love bunnies I don't plan on getting anymore.  However, I may take him to see my Mum's bunnies on occasion for something different.

It is a miserable, cold day here with lots of hail and sleet.  Parts of the country have been really battered by storms and snow.  Winter is giving us a final farewell, as it gives way to spring.  Wahoo!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

National Parks Birthday Club

Thanks for the warm welcome back to blogging everyone!

This weekend I managed to finish up part 1 of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's National Parks Birthday Club.  Part 2 will be released at the end of September.  It will be interesting to learn about US national parks.  New Zealand has many too, my favourites being Fiordland (awe-inspiring/jaw dropping/out of this world beautiful in my view) and Tongariro (a few hours north of where I live, with a couple of active volcanoes).

Some of you might recall that last year we moved house and totally made a big mistake in doing so.  In January this year we moved back to our old neighbourhood.  One of the things that attracted us to our current house is it's lovely large garden, which even has it's own stream. It is a great time of year to see what is popping up in the  garden.  Fortunately the previous owners liked spring bulbs and there are many, many yet to bloom.   I can't wait!

We also have some unique garden visitors, including this endangered New Zealand falcon (Karearea). Annabelle and I were home alone one day and there were a lot of banging and crashing noises.  I could not understand what was going on at all.  We went outside and found a white dove which we sat and talked to for a while, before noticing the falcon in the tree watching all of us.  We had interrupted the falcon chasing its lunch!  First things first I got the camera (as you do!), then I rang my husband to see what he thought I should do - either let nature take its course or save the dove from becoming lunch - however before I told him the whole story the dove flew off with the falcon in hot pursuit.  I don't know how it ended.  Maybe that's a good thing!

Back soon with part 2 of the local sampler history.  I am glad that some of you commented that you enjoyed part 1!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Local sampler history - part 1

Earlier in the year I purchased  'New Zealand's Historic Samplers' by Vivien Caughley .  I had borrowed the book from the library several times, so figured I must quite like it so I may as well just buy my own copy.  :-)

I was surprised that there were so many samplers stitched in New Zealand.  The few samplers I have seen in person all have their origins overseas.

As I was reading the book one sampler in particular caught my eye because it was fairly local to me. It was stitched by a young girl called Jane Tonks (age 8).  Unfortunately, she died aged 22 in 1867 and is buried in Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington.

I am quite familiar with the cemetery, as it forms part of the botanical gardens which Annabelle and I frequent.  I particularly like to visit the cemetery at this time of year because I love to see the spring bulbs blooming amongst the historic graves.

Anyway, back in March Annabelle and I headed out on a little mission to see if we could find the grave of Jane Tonks.  We had to veer off the main path a little but eventually found her headstone.

Unfortunately, the headstone does not mark the grave of Jane Tonks.  Her remains were disinterred from her original resting place in the 1960s to make way for the construction of the motorway.  Jane's remains now lie on the other side of the motorway in another part of the cemetery, along with the graves of many others.

A little while later I was again reading the book and found an even more local to me connection.  I will save that for the next post.