Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Another finish

Finished stitching Meow Spoken here - the Stitchy Kitty freebie I started a couple of days ago. Will take a photo when I decide how to display it and it is all finished.

A few people in my stitchNZ yahoo group decided they would like to be part of a scissor fob exchange. Partners have been allocated and dates for final mailing etc. I have decided what fob I will stitch for my partner and it shouldn't take too long. Its great to be part of an exchange again.

Once more it is pouring with rain here, but we are not flooding like parts of Otago are at the moment. I have put a couple of DVDs out for the children to watch, I am going to make a big pot of soup and then sit down and stitch for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brought some stash




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Yesterday I took pity on some of the ever growing moths and let them out of my purse.  I went over to Greymouth and wandered around the shops in the pouring rain, while DH was in the dentist having 2 teeth extracted (hehe).  As I stood in the needlecraft shop watching water drip down one of the walls, and thinking this was about as miserable as home, a light came on and I thought to myself instead of feeling down, put the cruddy weather to my advantage.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out, lots of rain means lots of stitching time in front of the fire :)  So to celebrate this brainwave, and also to stop the looks from passerbys - as my purse looks like a pregnant cat (impatient moths) - I brought a few things.  Nothing too exciting....5 reels of ribbon (on sale) and 4 skeins of variegated perle thread.  The 2 FQs of quilting fabric were from a previous purchase, and will be used to make flat folds and various other finishes.


 





 ANZAC Day - LEST WE FORGET

Saturday, April 22, 2006

How did this get into my rotation???


Image hosting by Photobucket Proof of stitching last night.  Just a little freebie from Stitchy Kitty, to pass the time.  It sort of fell into my rotation unintentionally.  Really don't know how it got there.  Just appeared LOL.



Nancy asked a question about my Rainbow Gem ornaments.   They are canvas work, but I am doing them on aida.  The edge stars are double straight crosses...A X sitting on top of a +.  The side stitches are satin stitches and the woven areas are like doing that craft that was popular years ago where you wind threads around nails to make patterns.  Can't think of the name.  The pattern I am using is at the Rainbow Gallery site under Needlework freebies.

Friday, April 21, 2006

What happens to cats when children are bored!!!

It is the school holidays here and my daughter is very bored. She got sick of the dolls and started to hassle one of the cats. Poor Sid. The first photo shows Princess Sid and the next is Santa Sid, which is more fitting for his gender.





And the culprit...butter wouldn't melt would it :)




I have been trying all day to upload those photos...I don't think Photobucket is working right.

Despite having lots of time on my hands, I have not done a lot of stitching. Trying to amuse the bored children and doing my accounts has kept me busy. Hopefully will get the stitching out tonight...fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Extra for today

EBAY....This is one of those avenues I don't want to venture down...just too tempting. I dont have a credit card which helps, and I havent discovered the joys of paypal yet (probably a blessing). Anyhow when I did have a small venture (just window shopping), I happen to spot a couple of things I might be tempted to get (DH can help me out here with purchasing things)...and gasp...horror...gulp...one of my stitching allies has put a bid on them. Because I am of high moral standards (LOL), I couldnt possibly bid against her. You know who I mean...hunter of needlerolls at the moment......not looking at anyone from Australia in particular :) It made me start thinking, I wonder how many people out there actually start bidding against each other. Its happened to me on our New Zealand Ebay equivalent called TradeMe, a couple of times. Of course I didnt know the other peoples user names till way down the track. The online auctions can bring lots of joy (hunting down the big bargain), a less fattening substitute to chocolate, some guilty feelings when the cursor slips on the 'buy now' button, and disapointment when you lose an auction for a much wanted 'treasure'. And to get the resulting wins in the mail is such fun.

An extra note to my earlier post is....yes Nic, those are highlander colours...I am so proud of my daughter for choosing them (they would have been my 2nd choice for an ornament for myself (my ornament is actually also my favourite Ford colours). GO OTAGO!!!!! (For those that don't know what the heck I am on about...The highlanders are one of our great New Zealand regional rugby teams).

Not Much Stitching At All


Despite the rain and a relaxing weekend, I never got much stitching done. I spent a lot of time sorting through all the freebies I have saved on my computer, printing out the ones I decided I wanted to keep. I got out the large folder I keep my freebies in and I will go through that at sometime. I have lots of lovely freebies there, but some I know I just wont stitch.

I did a bit on the 2nd Christmas Ornament (Rainbow Gem) This one is in gold and blue...picked out by my daughter. These colours show up better than the green and purple of the first ornament. By tonight I will be putting this away and moving onto the next thing in my rotation.

I also looked at quilting fabrics to use as backing fabrics for flat-folds and other finishing ideas. Lots of places to surf in and out of on the web. I actually purchased a few...got the moths in my purse excited. So when they arrive, I will take a photo and post it here.

Thanks to all the people who have been visiting my blog and leaving comments - they are great!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter

Its Good Friday today and not much stitching has been done. I started on my next Gem Christmas ornament last night...hopefully I will get a bit of stitching done tonight.

My son is spending the night at a friends and when I dropped his gear off this morning, I got the royal tour of the farm...including pet possums and butting goat!!!
The house will be slightly quieter tonight. The rest of us went out to an Easter Egg Hunt in the Lewis Pass, using a GPS to find the eggs. Its one of our hobbies called geocaching - sort of like orienteering. So I have had my share of easter eggs, yummy!! I also found a big chocolate rabbit, much to my daughters disgust. I am making Hot Cross Buns tonight, so I can't wait to smell them cooking.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Easter break.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

First Christmas Ornament Finished (Rainbow Gem)

One of my stitching resolutions for this year has come to fruition. I have finished an ornament and it is only April. Generally I start stitching my ornaments in December. This past Christmas my ornament went up on the tree on January 5th, and the tree came down the day after. So I decided to space out stitching ornaments through-out the year, and that way, if I accumulate some more to stitch for people, these can be done in December LOL.

I have included a photo of the back, so you can see how the ornament was finished. Please don't look too closely at the tassle and cord, I have never been very good at making these and mine never look as polished as some other stitchers finished projects do.








The colours havent come up as well as I hoped in the photo. The gakky carpet underneath never helped, but it is a cloudy day and I never seem to get accurate colours. The threads used were DMC metallic 5289 (purple) and 5269 (green)
and DMC rayon 30471 (chartreuse), there was a rayon purple thrown in too. I have to say that using metallics and rayons isnt the flashest, but the finished results are lovely. Thanks goodness for DMC Light Effects replacing the metallics. So much easier to use, and lots more colours. I am starting to collect these :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Rain, rain and more rain!!!!!!

I think I have forgotten to mention how much it rains in the small town we live in. Other New Zealanders will know about the rainfall on the West Coast (wet coast) of the South Island. After having an almost rainfree summer here in Reefton, we have had nonstop rain for almost 2 weeks. This has benefits...great gardens, lots of greeness and plenty of stitching time. The downfall of course is getting totally soaked every time you go outside and planning to do things only to have the plans spoilt because of the weather. Its the bane of my life at the moment, me being a gardener and all, after living in the dryest part of New Zealand for 5 years then coming to the wettest. Oh well........

Today I went on a school trip with 2 classes of age 11-13 hormone raging children all crammed in a bus for an hour each way, to the Polytech in Greymouth, to show the children career options for the future. Not a bad trip really. One of the other parent helpers took her quilting project and stitched away in the bus. She was so relaxed. All I thought about was my stitching, but I would of had my needle going in all directions on the bumpy road.

Anyway as far as stitching goes, I didnt do anymore on my needleroll yesterday...watched a DVD last night instead and got some more done on my rainbow gem. I am using metallic threads and rayons. Probably the 2 worst thread types to use but they are both so shiney. I have just scanned this picture, so it hasnt shown the shine. (And some of the stitches dont look right - they look quite wonky in fact). The end photo will show it, if of course it is a sunny day....thats a laugh.

Heres a progress shot...



This looks nothing like the photo of the ornament that goes with the instructions on on the Rainbow Gallery site. I don't know what I have done wrong or right. I have made changes to the pattern, and I like how it have turned out, so I am happy. The middle diamond is the front, and I have made it, so the vertical lines around the diamond will be folded to the back and make the 'back' of the diamond. So it will be like a little scissor fob, then I will stuff it and make a cord and tassle. It will be clearer when I show you a finished picture.

I love greens and purples together. They sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. The third colour is orange. A lot of florists use these 3 colours in arrangements and it looks quite stunning.

So I have picked this ornament as my one for the year. (I do an ornament for myself, DH and the 2 children each year).

Ive sent an email to my stitchNZ yahoo group to see if anyone would be interested in doing a scissor fob exchange. I will see how many takers there are. We've done a few exchanges over the years...Christmas ornaments mainly, a fob excahnge and spring goodie bag exchange too. We also had a couple of birthday exchanges which were fun. Just sending threads for each birthday.

See the rain is good...it has encouraged me to be more stitchful :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Needleroll Update

Last night I made good progress on my Shepherds Bush violet needleroll. I had started it a couple of years ago, so when the SAL was mentioned I thought it would be a good opportunity to join in and get my needlerolls stitched.
Here is the first update picture....


The other people involved in the SAL are Katrina, Andrea, Anne, Lisa and Dot.

I have also managed to do quite a bit on my Rainbow Gem ornament, might just post a photo when that is finished.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Needleroll SAL

I need to modify my rotation slightly now. I will be adding the Needleroll SAL, which will take place the 2nd weekend of each month. Thats this weekend..

So

ROTATION:
1: Max's Moon
2: Pukeko Sunset
3: CQ Bag
4: Rainbow Gem #1

Needleroll SAL: (2nd weekend of each month)
Violet Roll by Shepherds Bush (Is actually a UFO)

Hopefully I will be able to add a list of the other stitchers doing this SAL, so I can keep up with their progress too.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Now I have been tempted...

Well that does it. I have looked and been tempted. What am I talking about you might ask??? Well........Its one of the Martina Weber designs. I have liked it for ages and forgot about it till I started looking at peoples blogs. You are all to blame!!! I have always liked Watergarden. I was looking at the Chatelaine site and the EuropeanXS site, which led me to the EZboard forum, from there I found the dreaded pattern and fabric viewer. But going there helped me make my final choice...because I am weak and I waivered off the track. Ok, I liked Watergarden, then I saw Alhambra Garden. I actually liked the way you could see more fabric in the background of Alhambra. But after playing with fabric colours I decided to stick with my first choice and mentally noted that Watergarden is the one for me. (I forgot to mention about the other 2 patterns I saw...but I was confused enough as it was, without confusing you all) So now I am trying to toss up to buy or not to buy.

First reasoning factor... Its so gorgeous.

Other reasoning factors were....
1: the design is smaller than some of the others (weak excuse)
2: it uses lots of DMC (I have tonnes of these to use up)
3: my DH has used Paypal and my birthday is in about 4 months and sometimes he needs help with ideas (actually the weakest excuse...because if I want something I will just get it)

But reasoning factors get shot down in flames, because they come from the heart and guess what....my head says NO I need another project just like I need a hole in the thing.

Hmmmm....maybe I should set a goal for myself...finish a certain amount of UFOs and maybe next year I could get it. That seems reasonable. Just like saving for a new car or holiday . I will see what happens. In the meantime, I have downloaded a few of the mandala freebies. Perhaps I will slip one of those in this year, and see if I like stitching it.... YEAH RIGHT!!!!!

Did I mention that my weakness has led me to change my rotation and start stitching something new. Well I just changed one thing. And have gone out of order somewhat.

So this is what I decided on March 26

ROTATION:
1: Max's Moon
2: Pukeko Sunset
3: CQ Bag
4: Admidst The Poinsettias

The change is No.4. Scrap Admidst the Poinsettias.

I have changed that for Jean Hilton's Rainbow Gem #1 from the Rainbow Gallery site.

So the revised rotation is:

ROTATION:
1: Max's Moon
2: Pukeko Sunset
3: CQ Bag
4: Rainbow Gem #1

Whether or not I can stick to that is another story. I am also thinking of joining in with a needleroll SAL with Katrina I have a couple of needlerolls in my stash to do. So that could be good incentive. It starts this weekend I think.

Thank goodness we have a hobby we love so much...and we can chop and change as much as we like. It makes stitching all the more fun :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reminiscing

Over the last couple of days 2 things have crossed my mind. Firstly finding a good retail oulet of needlework supplies from overseas, to get some of the stash that other bloggers are blessed with...purchased or gifted. I guess it is a matter of going through the sites I know and weighing up the freight costs etc. I think I have been sitting in a stash desert for too long now. I need to expand. Of course this wont help my UFO status...but who cares...life is too short...and everyone is entitled to happiness LOL I get depressed...I see those gorgeous Martina Weber designs...oh I can't cope!!!!

Anyhow, the 2nd thing I was thinking about was, when I first started going online and the groups I was part of. One of the earliest was Xstitch Buddies, and I signed up for the UFO group. The UFO I was stitching (which is still a UFO) is still listed on the site. I met a lot of good friends on that group (cyberly speaking). I don't even know if the group still exists. Another group I was part of was Cross Stitch Pals. From there I advanced and started up a yahoo group called stitchAid. A few of the people from Xstitch buddies joined. Now I just run stitchNZ which is a New Zealand Yahoo stitching group.
There are some people that I really got on well with, that I thought I might list here, and if anyone knows them, they could let me know.

Sue Drury (Kinkell) from Australia
Candi Blackstone Arkansas USA
Katie Althouse Tennessee USA

These ladies were avid stitchers. It would be neat to know that they are still stitching. Maybe they have blogs. I wonder if they ever think about me!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

What is a Pukeko?

After putting up a couple of progress photos of my Pukeko Sunset (and there will be more) I wondered if when people from around the world read my blog (one can only hope) – if they would wonder themselves, what sort of bird a Pukeko was.
So description time: (I can see the yawns starting!!!!)

PUKEKO (swamphen) Porphyrio Porphyrio Melanotus (other swamphens also available in Australia and other Southern Hemisphere countries LOL)
Pukekos are found throughout New Zealand in swampy areas, river banks and open scrub wetlands. They are about 51cm tall and slender. The head and wings are black, the body is a beautiful blue colour and the beak and legs are red. They run quite fast, fly in a really ungainly manner. They like to live in groups and the groups are very territorial. They are a game bird but are protected in some areas. The chicks are black and very cute in an ugly kind of a way. If something scares the group the babies will lie down and pretend to be dead, whilst the adults run around making lots of noise, trying to divert the attention of the predator.
On one of the farms I lived on, my cats used to stalk the pukekos. One of them brought a baby home, so I took it back in a plastic container and got attacked by the mother for my trouble. Very comical birds all the same.

New Zealand is a special place with the native birds we have. A lot of them are highly endangered. Pukekos are not. I used to work for the Department of Conservation at the breeding centre of one of New Zealands most critically endangered birds. The black stilt or Kaki. (There were only about 70 when I was there a couple of years ago) We don’t have any native animals, only the bat and some lizards and frogs. We do however have a lot of introduced predators like ferrets, possums, wild cats and other small animals. Because many of our birds are ground dwellers they fall prey to these various animals.

Eeek I have started rambling on about one of my loves - sorry. Just wanted to give a description of the pukeko for those that make have been wondering.

Better mention a bit of stitching I guess...my rotation is coming along well. Hopefully I wont become bored with it, but at this stage I can’t see that happening. Changing projects every 10 hours is actually making me want to stitch more...because I can't wait to change to the next thing :)