Monday, 3 December 2012


Wow! it has been ages since my last update & loads has happened.
Short version: went to Mary Poppins in Auckland, traveling with a great friend, catching up with great friends along the way & having a magical time!
Moved to Oamaru, where I have things spread between my Mothers & my boyfriend's homes - at least I know where my craft stuff is!
Celebrated my Birthday & now we prepare for Xmas. Oh and I did start a new job, well, kind of 2 new jobs really... one for the government with regular hours although only part time & the other in my mothers shop, where I do her books & help in the shop from time to time.

Most importantly I have been stitching. Firstly something I had been talking about for a few months now:

I call these "Spanky Hankys" just in case you can't read the words on the hanky.

I have also been working on my sisters Xmas pressie, but cant post pics til after the giving & some Xmas cards, which I should also take pics of to share.

Oh, and for my birthday my darling mother gave me several embroidery items mostly around the Crewel theme, as this is what I'd like to try my hand at next & some Elizabethan embroidery books.

I really need to finish off my Xmas cards next & then do some more work on my little house, but without my own set space for stitching, I feel a bit out of sorts... I'll get there though.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Pause for now

stitching has taken a short pause.

I'm moving. In 18 days. to the other island. in 18 days.
Fortunately I finish my current job in 3 days. then I have 2 weeks, but in the middle, I have a friend staying & she, my daughter & I are traveling to Auckland (8 hour drive) to see Mary Poppins. We will take a few days to do so, visiting people along the way. But at this point I'm not sure where I will fit any stitching in.
Let alone time to update the blog... maybe Wednesday?

Just know I haven't forgotten you!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Done n Dusted

I did something with one of the pieces of 'fabric' we made the other month - yah!
in other news, my Mum is booking me into 2 classes for next year already :) one is a day in Dunedin with Alison Cole doing some gold work & the other class will be at her guild... or soon to be my new guild! Oh in case you missed the memo - I'm moving to Oamaru in December :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sometimes the hardest choice is making one

a minor detour to my project was had, but this only took me 3 days & then was posted off to the person who is putting loads of these together to create a larger display? I think, I dont really know the whole story, but happy to be distracted by something little that took very little brain effort (compared to my other project).
then back into the main project... the thimble holder - although I have only done the outside parts, there is still the lid lining to be done, but that has to be done on different materials & I haven't chosen that yet, so it will just have to wait.
Here are the top and base:

here is what the sides will be:

 And to give you an idea of size, here is the 3 pieces together
So now I have to decide the next pieces to do: Needlebook, Spool holder, or Tape Measure holder... I'm just not ready to face the Beaded thread counter or the Thread Cutter cover - yikes! Don't even think about the actual box!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Crash! & other things I now know a little about

Today my daughter & I took part in what I will call a class (although others called it a 'play day') with the ladies from Creative Craft Supplies.
I'm calling it a class, as I had very little idea what I was going to be doing & even if I would like it, but I would learn a LOT!
So from 9:30am until about 3pm, I learnt through play. no games as such, but much messing around with colour, paint sticks, dye, paints, fibers, stencils & more! I'm still not 100% what to call what I have achieved, and I have a couple of ideas of what to do with these, but not sure I will want more... unless it was for a particular project (cause that's just how I am)

Firstly we fused a couple of pieces of 'crash', painted them with a colour we don't like, added a stencil with molding paste, painted that with the opposite colour on the colour wheel & near the end we got to add paints - using 'Shiva' sticks, dyes. Mod podge was used to seal some layers, other layers were sealed by ironing.
Then we did it all over again, but were allowed to choose our own colours. (whew!) here are my two results:
I really liked the leaves with the plum & cyclamen colours I like, but it took a lot of work to be even ok with (what was) Orange piece.

Next was taking 2 pieces of vliesofix & painted those, then we used some abaca paper & put a stencil on one & the other had words printed on it. ironed these together & modpodged to seal & then added dyes, and Shiva Sticks until we were happy. and I was.

I will probably stitch onto some of these and/or use them for book covers, not completely sure yet. My daughter had a great time & I think she would LOVE to do more of this... however I simply see that to do so would involve owning too many supplies, I simply would never use up - which kind of drives me nuts.
What would YOU do with these?

PS - I now have a thumb that kind of looks like a Smurf has turned into the incredible Hulk :)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

The Grande 2012 Project

Here is my result of a kit designed by Jane van Keulen to celebrate the ANZEG conference in Christchurch:
I'm not sure yet what I will do with it, I think it will make a nice book cover perhaps.

So now it there has been enough procrastination & as I have no more UFOs in my stash, it was time to start the Home Sweet Home workbox. gulp. I got this book for Xmas from my mother (yah Mum!)

After much fretting over threads - so many listed in the book & brands I had never heard of. I have settled down, using threads I already own & working it out. Starting with the very small scissor keep:

The blue lines are my Frixion pen which, will disappear when I iron the back :)

next I did the Bee emery block:
To give you an idea on size, here is one side with my thimble:
I struggled with proportions of things on this one, I still dont think the flowers are large enough, but redoing something 4 times is enough.
Due to the size, this is becoming a daylight hours only project, so weekend work for me. Next up I am going to do the Rose pincushion, then I will actually put those 3 items together.

I will get on to actually doing the house itself... eventually.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Christchurch projects completed

My Punto Antico project is complete :)

While I was at it I also put together this cute little angel I purchased at the Merchant's mall

It is filled with emery sand to sharpen needles. Not something I have thought of needing to do previously, however that is probably due to primarily using blunt tapestry needles.

Now I have started the kit which was part of our goodie bag at conference, I am finding that if I am feeling a bit tired after work, a little stitching seems to wake me up again :)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Embroidery Conference & Class

A couple of weekends ago, I ventured south to Christchurch for the ANZEG Conference, which happens every two years. I was the delegate for my guild and it was a real treat to see & be part of some of the most talented stitches in NZ. Each guild put together a display & here are a few examples:

 the Wairoa guild won best display, my favourite was the colour wheel. The pic with the red items in it is my Mum's guild - North Otago, you will simply have to excuse my lack of photography skills.

There were a couple of meetings & some interesting speakers. we also went to the exhibition, which I recommend everyone checking out - at the Buddist Temple on Riccarton road. Free entry & amazing embroidered works of art!

Then Monday & Tuesday I took my class in Punto Antico with Trish Hughes. Trish is a great tutor - generously teaching us all sorts of extra tricks as well as the technique we signed up for. Here is what I had completed on the first day:

And this is what I have done now. I had a few days off, but the 3 hour ferry ride allowed me the time to get stuck in again.

Here is close up of the centre & the edge. I still have to complete all around the edges with Tailor Button hole & have a close look at what I am supposed to do for the centre.

 Once all the stitching is done, it will need a wash & a press & then I chop around the edge - actually looking forward to that part!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Winning Biscournu

This year we have two Presidents Challenges & the first was a biscouru which I completed from a kit my Mum let me have from her collection. She also taught me how to do the long armed cross to nicely join the two pieces & ensured that it was stuffed appropriately - thanks Mum!

With the presidents challenge guild members are encouraged to complete an item & then we all bring them to a meeting and vote on which one we like the best. voting is anonymous & entries are generally anonymous also - so no popularity contest really, although fairly casual.
Anyway, judging is in & here is the winning entry:

Mine :) and the prize: a voucher for Nancy's Embroidery shop yah!!!!

Now if you wish to see this in Real life as well as the other entries - please head along to the Embroidery Conference from the 7th of July in Christchurch at St Bedes. You can check out all the amazing work the guilds around NZ do. I am really looking forward to this.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

My Mums test piece

Recently I have been working on a piece which my mother is teaching next year at the Wanaka Embroidery School, so if you like it you can have a go there :)
As she has only taught to her local guild members I offered to test her written instructions - at the moment I am good at this task as I am still learning a lot, yet am pretty good (if I do say so myself) at reading & learning stitches. I have also timed each step so she can ensure enough is taught.

This is inspired from a pattern she purchased in Canada & has adapted:

it has been a bit tricky choosing the right threads for each piece, but all part of the learning curve & ensuring I had enough thread for the parts I choose. There were a couple of times where I found the incorrect way to do one stitch several times.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Sample Book Complete

all done, all put together, ready to give... after I show it off to people :)

We had a work day in Upper Hutt yesterday, I love the way these work days always have a table of things that the local guild ladies donate & sell very cheaply. I got a piece of linen 90cm x 75cm in green - pretty cool, thought I would be able to use it for my class when I go to conference, asked the lady there what count she thought it was & she said to measure an inch is the length of some part of her finger, which she then counted the threads - 30 - yah, I'd been having a hard time finding any 30count, so then at the other stalls I bought the threads required to match... all set!
Until this morning, when I started to tack out the required griding, I remeasured - with a tape measure - & it's a 38count... grrrrrr. Luckily I realised that my Mum had given me some 30 count (& had the count written in pencil on the hem) for making my house, but there is a lot of material there & I think I might even use some of the green on that... maybe.
So now I need to buy more threads to match this correct fabric.

Next project I think will be the project for my Mum, testing her instructions.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Sampler update

I have completed all the cross stitching required for the sampler & got a better photo of the last page I put on here:

Next each page has been backed with a piece of thick interfacing & then I mitered the corners & tacked the excess linen to the interfacing. with this done I have joined two pages together using long armed cross.
At this point I realise how tiny these pages are!
My next step will to purchase some suitable ribbon to bind the pages together.

While I am finishing things, I made a tassel & finished my chair:
Now, soon I hope you will be seeing the next lot of projects, which include one unfinished sampler for friends, a piece which I am testing the instructions on for my Mum, the Home Sweet Home project & not to mention a few baby gift things. I really should get onto those baby gifts, or at least plan what I am going to do there!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ukrainian Finished

Hurrah! :
I did have to re-hem what I had completed last week, but after much brain work I finally got the corners mitred :)

Now I have washed it & am waiting for it to dry for a final pressing. I'm very happy with the finished table runner.

Just in case I hadn't mentioned the details: this was done on 25 count linen, with 8 & 12 cotton perle. any questions please ask.

Saturday, 5 May 2012


Progress is being made - the sampler has one more page done & only one to go - one with not as much stitching required as the rest :)

I have completed the corners & done some hemming on my Ukrainian, but I am just going to have to suck it up & mitre the corners myself:
I had a wonderful holiday south, July is the Christchurch Embroiderer's conference, which I am really looking forward to. I'll be learning Punto Antico & then having a few days in Hanmer - only 9 weeks away.