Saturday, December 5, 2015

Mill Hill Christmas Ornies

I have been on quite a roll during November and have managed to finished a number of lovely Mill Hill Christmas ornaments which have been waiting to be stitched for far too long.  It certainly is a good feeling to have finally finished another batch in time to decorate for Christmas. Really love the musical instruments and I have put small magnets on the backs and these will decorate the fridge.   I especially love the Polar Bear too and now that I have photographed it I can see it needs a little more fussy cutting.  It was nearly bedtime and little Ruby had decided it was play time - time to jump over the bed then hide underneath. The eyes say it all.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

October Smalls SAL 2015

It is a good feeling to have a couple more Mill Hill Christmas ornaments from the "wonder" cupboard finally finished.  Looking back to the time when I was working full time there was 'cash to splash' on embroidery and many purchases seemed to be made with the thought of retirement and the idea of having plenty of time for stitching to help fill in the days. (How wrong was I thinking I wouldn't know what to do to fill in the time). Thethought seemed to be "one day I will get to do that" and therefore the 'one day cupboard' of goodies grew.  This magic one day cupboard has been renamed in recent times to the 'wonder cupboard' as I think to myself 'I wonder why I purchased that' or 'I wonder why I originally liked that??'  However there are still quite a few items that I will get to stitch - probably enough to see me through with the hope that the eyes and hands keeping working well - maybe it will be a wonder if I get to stitch them all  !!!!!At least between all the other stitching it is a good feeling to know some progress is being made and I am enjoying making sure I have something small to post each month.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

September Christmas Ornie

Well just getting in on time with my Smalls SAL for September - a lovely Christmas Jewels Charmed Ornament by Mill Hill. This one has been waiting to be stitched for some time and was a fairly quick stitch.  Loved the name 'Ruby Forest' but hope my little Burmese Ruby doesn't want to play with it.
The photograph is the best I could do inside today as the weather here has been terrible.
After a very long, cold winter the last few days have felt like spring has been forgotten and summer has arrived instead with temperatures in the mid 30's, very strong, hot winds and lots of bush fires - some of these are still out of control tonight.
With the cool change late this afternoon the temperature did a great dive so tomorrow back to only 17 degrees. People say that if you don't like Melbourne's weather just wait a few hours and it can be quite different. Certainly the case today.
Managed to finish stitching the patchwork bag in the photo. The material had been in the stash for some time just waiting for the right project. Has worked out to be a good size for carrying around the latest stitching project. 
September was a special month - birthday celebrations (see photo of Miss Ruby checking out my lovely flowers received from a special friend), Australian Ballet - wonderful performance of Sleeping Beauty and a great concert by Joan Baez. I have been a fan for years and unable to see her perform on the previous two occasions when she visited but this time I wasn't going to miss out.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Be True

I love the Little House Needleworks designs and when I saw this one I immediately remembered this saying that was quoted to me by my manager a number of years ago. It is a quick little project with rather special meaning.

 I have always believed that we should stick to our principles, not assimilate, and that we should do what we believe. It is certainly beautifully phrased, and invokes ideas with positive connotations: truth, self-ownership, individuality. The quote is from Hamlet -  This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!  It was Polonius's last piece of advice to his son Laertes, who is in a hurry to get on the next boat to Paris, where he'll be safe from his father's long-winded speeches  !!

I did change a couple of the colours and didn't work the single row of white crosses around the border as I am not sure of the finish though I feel that it will  most likely be one to add to the pin cushion collection.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Christmas in July Small SAL

Well I promised myself that I would make sure this post was written a little earlier than last months and at least I had a Christmas ornament finished in time.  The pattern by Little House Needleworks is called 'All Dolled Up' and it really was fun to stitch. I did a buttonhole stitch edge and added the twisted cord to the top only so it can hang over a door knob at Christmas.  Knitting still seems to take up more of my spare time than stitching at the moment and I continue to try and finish some of the UFO's that were started too long ago to remember the actual start date.

Our annual Craft and Quilt Fair was held in Melbourne the other week and it was disappointing to find that so many of the retailers who sold needlework supplies were not attending. I had designed and knitted a "Welcome Baby" kit for the shop which was released at the show. A very easy and fun knitting project using an interesting sock yarn therefore very little designing needed. The kit included a hat, mittens and teddy. As it has been such a cold winter this year the scarves and wraps have certainly been well used and I keep finding more patterns to add to the list of 'want to make'.  If only we didn't have to sleep -  I could really use those extra hours each day.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Better late than never

I haven't posted for ages and will probably be too late for the June Small SAL as it is already July but will try to do better next month. Of late I have been holding more knitting needles than sewing needles in my hand but at least something did (almost completely) get finished. Random Thoughts by The Drawn Thread just needs the charms to be sewn on. I didn't like a couple of the stitched areas and because I wanted to change them it had been sitting in the UFO drawer for far too long but eventually made the top of the priority list and I am glad that I changed the areas that I was not happy with.
I have enjoyed knitting the two small shawls and they are being well used with so many cold days lately.  Small shawls seem so popular and I keep finding more of these patterns which I would like to knit.  The other knitting has been the baby shoes and boots. They have been selling so well at the shop and I keep getting asked to knit more.   All good fun.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

SAL March Finishes

March really did seem to fly by so quickly but the cooler weather resulted in some productive knitting. As we will be downsizing in the future (hopefully sooner rather than later as we have already been waiting for nearly 3 years for a townhouse to become available where we would like to live) there is a need to finish off UFO's that have been stored away for far too long. I know some of these items will be passed on as fund raising items as I no longer have a need for them or my taste has changed since stitching them. I have also done a lot of knitting of children's beadies for a local worthwhile cause. This is one way of reducing the wool stash and using up even small lengths of yarn. The first 15 in the photo have been delivered and it is quite easy to produce one hat a day so I am hopeful that the stash will soon be back to an acceptable size very soon. Mrs. Waddelow's Huswif is a design by Ellen Chester of 'With My Needle'. It was fun to stitch and had been sitting for sometime waiting to be made up - not my favourite job. The scissor fob is a design by Little House Needleworks but I feel it is too large and would much rather a smaller fob. Hope everyone enjoys a happy Easter with warmer days in the north as Spring arrives and lovely autumn days and cooler nights in the southern hemisphere.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Smalls SAL 2015 February completions

I feel February has turned out to be another productive month for me and another month where I can class it as 'moving on'. In my need to downsize I have been looking at items and really questioning myself. Two unfinished quilts have now been turned into over 30 small quilts to donate to the Sudden Infants Deaths group. Much as I like the individual applique blocks and the feathered heart quilt blocks, I decided even if they were to be made into queen size quilts I no longer felt they would suit where we will be moving to. The photos of the smalls I finished this month are sitting on a hardanger mat that had been half worked for far too long. The smalls are all the accessories to go with the French Birdcage. This was a class I took with a great teacher Christine Bishop when I attended Beating Around the Bush in Adelaide, South Australia last. The actual birdcage panels are stitched but need to be put together - the most difficult part. During the month I was lucky enough to attend a two day class at the Victorian Embroiderers Guild with Yvette Stanton in Sardinian Knotted Embroidery. Yvette was a great teacher and her new book on this type of embroidery is excellent. Although the mat is quite small there is still several hours of week involved.Maybe this will become my item for March.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

What has been finished in January

So pleased to have completed so many projects this month. For me January is a time of catch up and being out of my usual routine because of the summer break (and if the weather is hot) I really enjoy this extra home time. It is very satisfying to look back over the last few weeks I see what has been achieved apart from the tidy and cleaning out of cupboards!! As we will be moving to a townhouse in the future I am now being very strict when asking myself the question 'do I really need this'. So many times I have kept items because of the memories attached to them. I now take photos of the item and find that way I can let things go. For my Smalls SAL 2015 I can say that I completed three new items. Sophie's Pin cushion was turned into a project bag as the design just went so well with some fabric I had. I did change the zig zag border as I felt the black was too heavy. The next item was a canvaswork scissor keeper designed by Sue Hawkins. Love all her designs and these are the colours I really love. The third item was another scissor keeper worked in cream and a Needle Necessities Overdyed Pearl Thread. My own design - very simple stitches so no designing skill involved.
The second photo is showing other items completed this year. I always have a small 'carry with me' project in my bag - something small, easy on the eyes to stitch, not a lot of changes of thread - it is my emergency kit if I am waiting somewhere with time to spare. The problem is these small items get stitched and then put aside to do the finishing off later but later never seems to come. I got a bit of a shock to find so many of these so decided they had to take some priority on my 'to do list'. Happy to say this resulted in the following being completed - 9 canvaswork strawberries, 2 silk strawberries, 10 canvaswork reindeers and a one cross stitch tiny bonbon. Have I set myself a pace for the rest of the year ??? - not sure but really hope to complete quite a few more UFO's in the cupboard and will be trying hard to use up from the stash and not buy more

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I got quite a shock to see that people have still been viewing my blog when it is so long ago that I write on it. I always enjoyed reading other peoples blogs so felt it was time I got back into recording some of the things I enjoy. I guess a new year a new start. It is always good to look forward to a new year with high hopes of what can be achieved but also good to look back. So 2014 highlights - yes I achieved something that I had always wanted to do - I attended the Beating Around the Bush festival of embroidery in Adelaide with two friends. The classes with Betsy Morgan and Christine Bishop were superb and the projects though large will certainly get finished. The Japanese beading class with Margaret Lee was also interesting and again a project that will take some time before it is finished. I also really took a big step outside my comfort zone and have been involved in a volunteer position as a role player at the Police Academy. This is something I would never have dreamed I would be doing but the more I am involved the more I enjoy it. The recruits are in the 19th week of their 33 week course and the role I play can be so varied from being a drug dealer, a petty thief etc or a role in family violence. Stitching really seemed to be a bit hit and miss with no huge projects completed but I guess a lot of knitting took its place plus I did catch up on a lot of reading - a total of over 50 books for the year. So my promise to myself is to try to be a better blogger and take photos of interest and post them to my blog.