Thursday, May 25, 2006

Home again

We are back home again, but will have to travel over to Christchurch again soon so I can have more tests done....what a hassle.
Had a little spend up on some ribbon and quilting FQs and that was it. Nothing very exciting, but every so often, I buy things to add to my collection of things that I will no doubt find a use for in the future. You know how it is....

SBQ - Specialty stitches

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This weeks question is:

What is your favorite specialty stitch? Which one is your least favorite? Why

I have to be difficult and say I love them all.  I find it fascinatinating to decorate fabric with embroidery.  I learnt how to embroider long before I did cross stitch. With all the over-dyed and variegated threads available it makes the specialty stitches even lovelier.  I always have my 'Embroidery Bible' close at hand....Mary Thoms's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. 

That was one of the reasons I started doing crazy actually embroider rather than just do cross stitch all my life:)  I also enjoy canvas work too and stumpwork.  I enjoy creating with thread!

My favourite stitches are Double Leviathan stitch, Lazy Daisies, Fern Stitch, Rhodes Stitch, Algerian Eye Stitch....there are too many. 

I think the only reason one wouldnt be a favourite is when there is lots of it and  it becomes tedioius to do on one picture.


Monday, May 22, 2006

What could I make this into?

This is the work in progress photo of a gift for a friend. I thought I would give a biscornu a go. I have seen so many lately and I think they are adorable. My friend does a lot of sewing, so she will appreciate the surprize. Sometimes I just get the urge to make something for someone, and this os one of those times. This is the front/top, and I have to decide what to put on the bottom. Choices, choices....this could start a bit of a craze. I love stitching small things.

I will be offline now for a few days, going to Christchurch for the hospital appointment. Plus I get to go shopping while Im there which is always a thrill. Its like stepping out of the woods into civilization. If anyone has seen the movie 'The Village', you might understand where I am coming from. Hopefully I might get some stitching done while I am there. And hopefully it wont be raining there, because it is bucketing down here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I will give these SBQs a go

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Thought I might as well jump on the bandwagon, and try to induce a bit more interest in my blog. It seems plenty of people stop by, but not many comment :)

So here is the question of the week...

Lately, it seems that many stitching bloggers have experienced a loss of their stitching mojo. Have you ever lost your stitching mojo? If so, how did you get it back and how long did it take?

When I first started stitching about 14 years ago, I was totally addicted. I would have a couple of projects on the go at any one time....and I would complete everything. Once I got 'Internet connected' I thought all my christmas's had come at once. I could browse for hours at all the wonderful patterns and threads available. I joined a couple of forums, then started to run my own. Then it happened....I lost it....I think I had stitching overload. I had stitched so many beautiful pictures and gifts, had a stash like you wouldnt believe, belonged to a local embroidery guild (who thought the things I had were out of this world, because I had got on the internet long before a lot of people I knew) but I lost interest...I was burnt out. Thanks goodness it didnt last long...6 months I think. I had to start small, so I got out a needlecase I had been working on, and I would do a couple of stitches, then put it down, in an area that I would always see it ( the dining room). Slowly I became interested and would pick it up regularly, my interest had returned especially when I finished that needlecase.

Sometimes I feel I could easily lose it again, so thats when I sit down and have a good look around online shops, online auctios (dangerous places) and other peoples websites and blogs. The blogs have provided the most inspiration for me, and I think I have more interest than ever before. I hope it lasts.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Scissor fob sent away

Yesterday I sent the scissor fob I stitched for my partner in the stitchNZ scissor fob exchange. I really hope she likes it. I used Needle Necessities Bavarian Grape, overdyed floss, so its a mixture of purple and blue colours. I used ribbon and beads for the 'cord' and 'tassel' just for a different effect from how I usually do things.

I brought my daughter a recorder yesterday...shes not learning it at school yet - my son is, and has his own recorder - but I wanted her to get a good head start. Previously she used to blow into her brothers recorder and just get the general screech. So I taught her 3 notes 'B, A & G' Teaching her how to blow softly...showing her at the same time on her brothers recorder really helped. She sat practising, and after 2 hours she could play 'Mary had a little lamb'. I had drawn out the notes and written the letters underneath. Of course my som was horrified that she had picked it up so quickly.

I bypassed the recorder at school because I was playing the viola, and then moved onto the oboe and clarinet. I think my daughter may have inherited some of my music talent...hopefully :) I still manage to churn out a few good tunes on the recorder, and can usually play a song I like after a couple of goes. I have been thinking of taking up music playing again and might go to a violin or even a tin whistle - but at this stage I am quite happy teaching the children.

It is foggy again...what a surprise, I thought if the fog lifts at lunch time I might go and have a hit round the golf course...blow out some cobwebs before my impending hospital visit next week.

Next week is one Im not looking forward too, the hospital visit I can take, the long drive over to Christchurch thrills me to bits but I will deal with it, but it will be the 10 year anniversary of my oldest sons death. Its hard to believe the time has gone so fast...but it still as fresh in my mind now as way back then. It will certainly be a day of reflection.

So off I go now to make some individual pizzas and other goodies for the childrens lunch boxes while I am away...keeps them happy :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Needleroll Progress

I hope everyone had a great mothers day. Mine was wonderful. My daughter made me a card and gave me some hairclips (she doesnt want them anymore), my son brought me a card but made me a cat poster, and my DH gave me a DVD of The Corrs Live at Lansdowne Road...which I absolutely love. He also ran around after me all day, letting me watch my DVD, and do a bit of stitching. He made me a yummy lunch then for dinner he made a yummy chicken vindaloo which we had with a bottle of bubbly. A really lovely day.

Despite all the relaxing time, I didnt do much stitching. It was the needleroll SAL weekend, so this is the small amount of progress I did on it.

It was an unusual weekend to say the least. There was a horrible accident just down the road where a car dropped of the road into the river (where I took that photo a couple of days ago on my bike ride) and a local girl lost her the mood of the town was very grim. That was on Thursday night and I never saw DH for around 16 hours + . On Friday night I did patrol again, and that was cold, chasing around after young guys doing wheelies then abandoning vehicles because they had flat tyres. DH had the weekend off (that was unusual LOL) On Saturday we had a Search & Rescue exercise happening, so there was an Iriquois helecopter thundering around all day, and people wandering around our yards searching for people. It was sunny on Saturday, and poured with rain on Sunday. Yesterday there was snow in the hills and it was bitterly cold...with a freezing frost. (I took my dog for a long walk in the bush behind Reefton to try and warm up). Today same freezing frost but a fog as well. Brrrrr.

I am mentally preparing myself to do some housework and then go to the school to a book fair, so I better sign off and get ready.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A little bit more added to my CQ bag

I did some stitching on my crazy quilt bag last night. Just adding a bit more to my trellis picture. This area is taking me a while because I add something, then I don't know what to add next. I would much rather take my time here, so the little garden doesn't end up looking a mess. I added foxgloves here...french knots...yuk.
I'm not sure where I will go from here.

I added some pohutukawas to one of the seams...I felt I needed a New Zealand flower or two added somewhere on the bag. I saw some fan stitches in my embroidery book, and thought...hmmm pohutukawas. Its good when a bit of inspiration strikes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A good day to be sure :)

Thank you for the best wishes for Harwood. She is fine, she got a clean bill of health from the 2 vets that came and visited me yesterday...she is growing old gracefully. I am so happy. While here the vets checked my dog...shes in good health and the other 2 cats...same with them. A great relief I can tell you.

Yesterday was a better day, still a bit of gloom and doom around the house, but seeing DH had the day off we went for a walk up to an old coal mine. It was a gorgeous area with lots of birds and we were joined by a fantail and a curious weka. Lots of wonderful rusty relics too and not just me :)

Here is an old coal trolley they used to run along railway tracks.

Yesterday I received 4 balls of Valdani variegated perle thread. I love the colours and will be great for canvas work. I am always drawn towards variegated can do so much with them.

When I went to the Online Needlework show a few weeks ago, I put my name in for a door prize...and guess what my name was drawn out of the hat. Couldn't believe it. I won a beautiful needlework kit from Carolyn Barrani's The Tapis-Tree. It arrived today. Its gorgeous. Its a kit to make a cushion...cream wool on cream fabric. I love that look. All I can say is wow...what a blessing to win something that will probably never be available here in New Zealand. Obviously not the sort of thing to stitch straight after gardening. LOL. And something not to have in a coal fired house :(

Heres a close up to show the cushion better....

Also in the post today I got a package from my friend Andie. She was my partner in the stitchNZ scissor fob exchange. Andie stitched for me the lovliest fob. I love the colours...gorgeous, shes very talented. The fabric is hand dyed mint green linen. I love it.

And she stitched our names on the back

Dear Andie also sent me 6 packets of Mill Hill and DMC beads. And I had none of them in my collection...amazing!!! These will be very handy for everything I do. And the sweetest card was sent that did make me smile. Thanks so much are a gem :)

So yesterday was good and today is even better.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I feel flat!!!

Well, the much hoped for transfer that my DH applied for wasnt to be. So we stay in this town till something else comes along. I have mixed feelings...I really wanted to move so I could start earning some real money again instead of this casual part time stuff I have to contend with. We will have been here a year next month. I can not get over how fast the time has gone. The previous town I lived in, I was well set up with my own businesses, and they were jobs I could work around the family. I havent been so sucessful here...I thought the gardening would have been a bit more fruitful. But no. Something may come along...the positive to come out of the negative, is now I have more time to set something up here...NOT!!!!
Trying to be cheery but it isnt working. We waited so long to hear about this job. Sorry Nic, I wont be a neighbour just yet :(

Tomorrow the vet is visiting me to check on my oldest cat..Harwood...she is 17 in September...and she is deaf and she is also starting to go blind. My oldest guy Scruffy died last year and he was 16 and blind. He was the biggest, most malest slob of a cat you could wish to meet. 5 years ago I had 9 cats...yes "every life deserves 9 cats" and slowly they have passed away. I lost 3 cats last year...that was hard. My best friend is a vet in Hamilton and when I was living there, I used to take my cats along to her teaching seminars as demonstration animals. During that time I can honestly say none of them had high temperatures LOL. I hope Harwood gets a clean bill of health tomorrow. Animals...where would we be without them. My other 2 cats Sid & Misty are fine...and Zoe my dog...well shes 12, a good age for a lab.

No stitching today....but I got out in the reserve over the road, and raked up most of the leaves to use as mulch on my vege garden over winter. People were stopping to ask if I got a job with the council...I wish...LOL!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Like I need more patterns - but.....

No I havent brought any more, but I found one of my old stitching diarys, and on the back pages I had all the patterns and kits I owned. A few years ago, I sold a lot of these because 1: I had far too many and would never stitch them all and 2: I needed the money.

I looked at the names of these patterns and most were well known and I could remember what they looked like. Some I had to look upon the internet to jog my memory. Of the ones I sold, some I wouldnt give the time of day for, but one I saw, made me regret my decision in selling it.

I only found one photo of it in someones webshot album, couldnt find it listed in any needlework shops. So I gather it is out of print. Now the pattern I am talking about is a Dimensions Chart & Charms called Seasons of the Heart by Charles Wysocki. I don't know why I sold is a really lovely picture.

How do I go about getting hold of this pattern again? I have contacted Dimensions about it and will see what they say. I guess I have to hope that some shop has it in a dusty back corner, just looking for a home.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Getting some fresh air

Another job I do is electrical meter reading, so when I got some reads to do at a little village called Blacks Point which is 4 ks away, I decided to bike out there. Its a lovely day, and it was neat just biking along hearing the native birds and getting back to nature. I thought I would share some photos of some of the houses and other areas of interest along the way. Blacks Point was an old gold mining town and up behind the town are lots of walks to old gold mines. I went up there one day and to get right round took me 5 hours. When I was in Blacks Point the other day, one of the old timers there, took me and showed me an old stamper battery that still works. Stamper batterys would crush the quartz rock and release the gold for processing. Fantastic stuff - totally run by water.

Blacks Point Museum

A lovely little house

No one lives here

This lovely one is for sale

Another house long since abandoned

The Inangahua River which runs between Reefton and Blacks Point

The Reefton Court House now an art gallery

Finally, here is Signs of Winter by Bent Creek that I won on auction. Fantastic auction it was too by the way LOL. I think its so adorable and I can't wait to stitch it.

At the moment I am stitching Max's Moon, and though I love the picture so much, its a little tedious on black, and I always find the Cross My Heart charts a little taxing too. All the colours of the cats are in various shades of grey which doesnt help the situation. But I will persevere, because it is definately one picture I want up on my wall.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

How was this done?

Totally not stitch or garden related, but I was emailed this today, and I think its fantastic. I passed it on to people on my email address book, and thought I would add it to my blog as well. Does anyone know how its done. I mean how did the person who worked this out, work it out in the first place.

Here it is....

Here is a math problem for you:

1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head)
2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT YOUR AREA CODE)
3. Multiply by 80
4. Add 1
5. Multiply by 250
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250
9. Divide number by 2

Do you recognize the answer?

Obviously I have nothing more important going through the grey matter this morning!!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I have eaten my words

The fog has lifted...what a glorious day it has turned out to be LOL.

Have take the same photos as earlier but in the sun. people are started to move around now, so the town looks a bit more alive :)

The stitching can wait till tonight now...I'm off to take my dog for a walk, while the footpaths are visable.

What a great day for stitching

FOG!!!! in all directions and its getting heavier. Reminds me of growing up in the Waikato. The fire is cranked up and I have decided today is a stitching day. I took a few photos standing in the middle of my street and every direction looks the same. We are surrounded by hills but they have disappeared. I don't think they will reappear today just quietly.

This is a photo of Reefton from the hills behind our house. Much nicer on a sunny day.

I have just been wondering where everyone is. Lives must be busy. If you do visit my blog please leave a comment so I know you have called in.

I thought I would show you a picture of my Thomas Kinkade & collection (a mixture of kits and patterns. The only one not there is Light of peace which is one of my UFOs...also included in the photo are my other big kits...labradors and various big cats. One day I will stitch all these...wall space may be the problem here. But in the meantime its nice to throw them on the floor and look at them.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Productive Weekend

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Its good to get things finished.  As you can see this is how I finished the Stitchy Kitty freebie.  I am really pleased with I have to find somwhere to hang it.  But its great there are a variety of ways of finishing small pictures, and with all the lovely quilting fabrics available, well, what can I say.

I also started and finished the scissor fob for the scissor fob exchange I am running on my stitchNZ group.  I have given everyone a month, but I had itchy fingers and just had to get it done, while I had inspiration.  I can't post a picture until near the end of May.

Other than that, not a lot has happened in my neck of the woods.  On Saturday I performed a full scale search for my dog around town., she is 12 and starting to get cataracts, which worrys me with crossing roads etc, she also gets arthritis, but she must go to the river.  As labradors do.  I thought she may have followed my son on his paper round, but he got back and hadnt seen her.  I had been to the river, to the back of the hotels and cafes (food smells are a magnet), to the old miners hut because they make scones over the open fire which is another drawcard for hungry hounds.  No one had seen her.  My son went off and found her at the police station, I think shed done her rounds and would wait there for one of the family to pick her up.  I dont know how she got out....this house is like Fort Knox with gates and fences...I think the main gate had been left open, and Zoe made her escape.  Poor old girl, shes young at heart but forgets her limitations...she was a bit sore the next day.

Saturday night I was up late doing Community Patrol which I organise,  While doing general observations my partner thought I was nodding off, so he took me down to the cafe (closed) owned by another patroller and got me a coffee, I think he wanted one more than I did.  (To be honest I wasnt mentally prepared to deal with things that a bit bored)  I wasnt rostered on that night, but someone else pulled out, and as I couldnt be bothered tracking down anyone at such late notice, I did it.  I could have been sitting in the warmth stitching preferably.

Went for a drive yesterday around the West Coast in the was good to see.  We did a bit of geo-caching and driving down roads, just to see where they went LOL. Which is a lot of fun for miss junior, who constantly needs to know why we are going down 'this road' when it looked just like the last. I'm glad we did that yesterday, because this morning it is really foggy, and looks like more rain.

School went back today, the kids couldn't get out the door quick enough.  So I have the house to myself again. Very quiet.