Thursday, November 15, 2012

Belated Halloweenie Finish and WIP

(Just turn your head to the side to look at this one - OK??)

Finished another Halloweenie Design - PS Knock Knock! - stitched on hand-dyed aida with dark brown DMC and some of the newer DMC variations

Then of course, having a whole lot of WIP sitting idle, I found one that needed a bit of attention.....
This is as far as I have made it so far.....

Bit of a Halloweenie theme....there are a few other Halloween charts that are calling me, but as it is a scant 6 weeks to Christmas, I REALLY should finish my Christmas Tablecloth section for 2010 !!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Something Wicked . . . . . .

Finally, a finish . . . .....
Patient followers will be aware that life has been somewhat disrupted these past 5 months . ... yes it has been that long.
I no longer obsessively stitch to avoid the stresses in my life, rather I stitch when I want to..... so there is no danger of churning out embarrasing amount of sheep or any such other topic as I did last year.
La-D-Da designs have always held that certain sort of fascination for me - especially the Halloween Designs.  

I fancied this one on my current favourite colour - fabric by Picture This Plus - swamp.....  The finished size is smaller than I envisaged, so I have enough left for another project another time. 

My very good friend Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe supplied the very special blue/purple overdyed floss, and I used more of her floss for the lettering and the socks. The spiders however, are good old DMC and kreinick sparkly .

It's too close to Halloween to have this framed in time, but I'll find a way to display it this year.

Watch this space . . . . .

Today's plans include updating all my blogs and then decorating my new office/sewing room space for Halloween

I've missed so many TUSAL and WIP-ocalyspe this year....  sigh... will try to catch up next post.
(I'll also have to find whereabouts I put the dancing penguins . . . .....and finish them off!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dancing Penguins taking shape.....

Hello, to my very patient readers.
From a couple of years ago, where I obsessively stitched and blogged, my life has had a vast turnaround in the past 3 months.  My stitching has slowed down, and I've not been taking as many photos, or indeed felt that I've had something to blog about.
I'm now mentally gearing up to Halloween.  I have the JCS Halloween special, and a couple of charts that need stitching - all I need now is the fabric and the time to stitch.
In the meantime, I've picked up an old WIP from the end of 2010 - Winter Row.
The dancing penguins are cute - and there will be several beads to attach.  If I paid attention to what I'm doing, there is no reason why this should not become a finished item within the next couple of weeks....

I'm waiting on some special fabric from Picture This Plus, to start 'Something Wicked' - my very good friend Nancy, sent me the bestest ever floss - a deep dark blue to purple.  I can't wait to start stitching that once the fabric arrives....

I will endeavour to post on a more regular basis....  now that the days are getting longer, I'll possibly be stitching more..   who knows what the coming weeks will hold?

Happy Stitching

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A return to normality - Stitching again.

I think my mojo may have returned.  Late this afternoon, this snowman was a mere head and shoulders.  I started him at the very end of 'The year of the Snowman', on Dec 31, 2010 and he has been languishing, waiting all through the Year of the Sheep.
Today, I really felt the urge to put needle through fabric and dragged this one out of the WIP pile.  Tomorrow, I might feel considerate enough to give him a nose.  I'm using a really coarse linen evenweave - no idea what it is or what the thread count is. (I'm not that much of a purist)
However, I am feeling better for stitching...
I have found my TUSAL Jar and will be adding a few fibres to that before posting a pic of the Jar in it's relocated space.

Oh joy and peace have returned.  My needles love me again!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Waving hello again - with a project in mind

Hello again friends,
I am slowly settling into my new life - however, have not picked up a needle and thread for almost a month.   I've put in only 2 hours of stitching and am getting itchy fingers - I can see Halloween quickly approaching and I know I need to get some projects started in order to make a spectacular display in what will be my sewing room.
I've looked and looked, but have yet to find my TUSAL jar - but then there has been nothing to add to it for 8 weeks
I've not even been able to contribute to WIPcalypse over the past 8 weeks.... sigh..

I've ordered and received La-D-Dah's 'Something Wicked this way Comes', but being me, can see it stitched on some vibrant green evenweave, with some midnight blue/purple floss, instead of black on coffee - what do you think?
I'll do my best to get back to regular updates - and better photos....
I think, once I've discovered half the stitching I've brought with me - I should be able to hold another giveaway!

Monday, June 18, 2012

21 day challenge

Hi there...

I will be returning to blogging very soon - thank you for all your patience.

In the meantime ;  check out my latest blog - I've challenged myself to raise funds for homeless teens.....
21 hats in 21 days
in the meantime - i've given up CHOCOLATE for the same length of time.

If you feel so inclined - please check out the links and sponsor or donate to the cause.

thank you very much blogging friends

Friday, May 25, 2012

Under Construction . . . . . My life....

Hi All,

I've not posted for awhile, and will be offline until I get another computer.  I have made a radical re-structure of my life - which has resulted in a Separation from my Husband of 25years.
Please bear with me - I will return to blogland soonish.

Many Hugs
To those I owe fobs to - please be patient - I will get them out in the mail next week - I promise!!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A.N.Z.A.C. Day - April 25, 2012

At Dawn, in 1915, in April 1915, Troops from Australia and New Zealand landed on an improbable little beach in far off exotic Turkey. However, it was War-time and this improbable little beach was heavily defended by Turkish soldiers. After 8 months of carnage - the Allied troops withdrew and the name Gallipoli was forever entrenched in our combined Nations hearts and national image. The mateship, fighting spirit, sacrifice and bravery of the cream of our National Youth was forged into an unmistakable icon that will forever be known as ANZAC - our diggers. 

The original ANZAC's are long gone, but their spirit lives on. We honour all servicemen on this day - whatever conflict they were involved with.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's beginning to look a bit like a Xmas Tree Farm . . . . .

I admit it - this year I seem to have fallen into a complete heap when it comes to theme or any form of stitching discipline.  And I'm enjoying what I pick up!
I've been working in dribs & drabs (if I can push myself away from fb and words with friends - I find myself in a chair with needle & thread - imagine that!!) and the piece that has currently captured my attention is VS - Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm.   Until I picked it up at the very end of March, I had only stitched most of the very top scene.
I remember quite a dither I  had about replacing all the speciality floss with DMC or nearest affordable variations - and the help I received from members of the 123 message board.  Well I'm NOT using all the silks and speciality floss - I'm using what I can afford and some local over-dyed and I'm still very happy with my own results.  I don't have any perle floss in white, so I'm staying with B5200 and occasionally adding extra sparkle with Kreinik sparkly stuff.  I've decided to add all the beads at the last point, because I don't like catching beads in my hoop and dragging the fabric.

I thought I'd better post a progress pic, because the way I've been stitching this past few weeks, who knows what will be the next stitch that catches my eye.

Happy Stitching everybody!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Daylesford - TUSAL - WIPcalypse .....

Settle down now with a nice cup of tea (or beverage of your choice), this is going to be a L-O-N-G post ......

I've been off and about and really meaning to post for a couple of weeks, but just have not had the oomph!  Today is a public holiday and I am going to spend it with you.

First - Apologies to my blog winners of my fobs - I still have them here - waiting to be packaged and sent out to you.  Have you emailed me your snail mail address?  I seem to remember that I've only heard from a couple of you.

My head has been whirlwinding through with so many thoughts for the past month - I even forgot TUSAL time - and here it is, around to WIPcalypse again!
So here is my TUSAL for March - bit late - even has a wee bit of April in it.  It does not seem that it's growing much - at least this year there is more colour than white for sheep....speaking of sheep, yes that is a new addition to my flock.  It's harder to kick the obsession than I thought. This little sheepie was found on my weekend away  - I just couldn't resist him.

All I've been working on, and not much stitching seems to have happened at all the past few weeks, has been this little quilted cat project.  It was a kit sent to me by somebody - at least I found it while rummaging around all my other WIP's for the last WIPcalypse post.  I dragged it out and started stitching on it at night - aida is so much more forgiving at night than linen.  I have a plan for finishing it off.  I just need to add my name to it and it's done......oh.. and the mouse needs an eye...drat!  The pattern called for 3 strands of floss for the stitching, more than I'm used to - and there was plenty of floss left - enough to stitch the chart again with only two threads though.  Anybody interested in the chart and leftover floss?  You know the drill - just make sure that your email address works so I can contact you.  

I did put a few stitches into Inspiration, but this really needs working on during daylight hours.  I just know that I'm going to enjoy the finished project - I always think that I'm going to get flustered changing the floss every 8 or so stitches, but it doesn't bother me as much as I think it will - it's quite relaxing....(except that I had to frog the outer border because I missed the double stitch in the middle of the top section.......)  I was therefore off by one stitch!!
and on to Daylesford .........
I have a very generous girlfriend - W- she gave me a weekend away to the Victorian Country Spa town of Daylesford last weekend.  I took the Friday off work and we set off at 9am - we were off to do some serious 'Picking'.  We are both collectors of vintage and antique wares and we were on a mission.
One full car...
no space for more
We went from Pakenham to Garfield - (beautiful morning tea), to Bunyip, to Koo Wee Rup, grabbed a quick bite for lunch; then realised that as the car was already full of stuff, we'd have to make a slight detour back to W's house to unload and free up the space for more 'picking'. (via the Pearcedale Op-Shop because I've never been there and that's where I found my new sheepie!)
I managed to lock W out of her house while we were there - fortunately she was able to eventually get back in, but for awhile, I thought the weekend was going to be off.  She eventually semi-forgave me and started to talk to me again by the time we got to Aunty's Other Place in Lang Lang for a browse.  Headed back down the highway to Wonthaggi, to collect H, because she, poor thing, could not get the time off work.  A quick cuppa while she grabbed her gear and we were off back on the road.  By now, all the oppies were closed, but we were on the freeway and not stopping by this stage.
(For all that they develop into carparks during the workday peak hour, they are so very convenient when travelling to the country for a girly weekend away. ) We lobbed into Daylesford at 8pm, our hosts greeting us by torchlight.  A guick fling of our bags into the rooms and off we went in search of our evening meal.

Anshumann Da Dhaba - a lovely Indian restaurant way up the top of the stairs greeted us - brilliant service.  We had Poppadums with some spicy red dip and some really nice green oil dip.  We picked  for our main meal,  Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka Masala, and I think it was Shahi Paneer - I'd show you a picture of what it all looked like, but I forgot to bring out the camera for that... here are the empty bowls instead.  A satisfying meal if the tabletop is anything to go by.....
Saturday Morning found us enjoying our complimentary Croissants for breakfast and investigating our home for the weekend - Elsewhere in Daylesford - I cannot recommend this place highly enough.  The accommodation is delightful, the gardens so restful and relaxing, it has it's own pond (with ducks) and the conservatory is a perfect place to rest and relax after a hard day's bargain hunting.  Our hosts live in their own home, just behind the greenery and we were never aware of their presence.  It was such a restful, rejuvenating weekend.

Yes, it DID taste as nice as
it looks ....
Of course, Saturday morning tea was at the Chocolate Shop in the main street.  I remembered my camera before tucking into my hot chocolate and lemon tart.  Oh delish!

More and more vintage shopping, both at the Mill Market and the Bazaar and anywhere in between.

Pate - minus the conserve
  Lunch was at Cliffy's - an organic eatery - W had some lovely duck pate while I tucked into a lamb pie (with the most delightful mint relish)  

We checked out the vintage shop up the road - I loved the re-purposing of broken glass in the doorstep.  Is it Ruby-Lin or Rubi-Lyn - I can't find the card (sorry - somebody help me!) - where I found such a delightful mish-mash of retro colours and textures.  By this time, both W & H were convinced I was completly mad, taking photos of cushions!!

We did the touristy thing and visited the Convent Gallery  - I'm not really into modern art, so it was a bit of a let-down - but I got some great autumn pictures in the garden.  Back to Elsewhere for a bit of down-time - where I did manage to put in just a little bit of stitching into Inspiration. 

 Once awake, we collected ourselves and tried to find our evening meal, but the Pub was doing a roaring trade, so we opted for the local Pizza Shop, where we watched the populace go by and I think I saw ghostie activity.  W & H are not into that sort of stuff, so I didn't make much of it at the time.

Another blissful night's sleep, before changing our clocks for daylight savings, then W & I dashed off to the Sunday Market for entertainment.  Three hours later we were back, packed up our bags, made our fond farewells to our hosts and tootled off down the road.  Lunch was at Creswick - the Lemon Tree Cafe - and what a lunch!  W & I each had the Ploughman's Sandwich - great value - it saw H suffering 'menu-envy' yet again.
Is it any wonder, after such a full weekend, that it's taken me a week to sort out my photos and post about it all?
Thank you so much to our B&B hosts, the city of Daylesford, all the people who cooked all my food, the shop owners and stall holders that all contributed to making such a wonderful weekend.  Many, many thanks to my girlfriends H & especially W, for making it possible.  I don't know how I'll pay you back, but I will.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Giveaway Winners, and belated Wipocalypse

It occurred to me that I have neglected to draw the winners of my Fob Giveaway - due nearly 3 weeks ago.  I have been absent from my blog for too long and today, decided to update them all.
This included drawing the winners of the giveaway.  It turned out that there were two people for each of 4 fobs - I decided the winner by asking my husband to flip a coin - and the winner would be decided by Heads or Tails.
He flipped the coin 4 times - and 4 times it landed 'Heads'.
Therefore, the winners are:
Fob 1 - Judy
Fob 2 - Sharon
Fob 3 - Cindy
Fob 4 - Miss Linda Lee
Fob 5 - Abbie
I'll be sending you all an email so that I may get your snail-mail address and send out your fob as soon as possible.
(Yes, Shebafudge - yours will ALSO be sent out - you've been so patient!)
Congratulations to the winners..
Part of my indecisiveness in posting has to do with throwing over my original decision to rotate my themes this year.
It lasted 6 weeks.
I am enamoured of the concept of finishing some of my languishing WIP's, which is part of the reason I joined Measi's WIPocalypse.  The most daunting task, was locating and identifying what I had as WIP's - it couldn't be that many - could it???  
I have somewhere near 30 WIP's - if I count quilts and stitcheries as well as my Cross Stitch projects - some date back as far as 2004
It will be a good thing to get some, if not most of these completed.
Therefore, I will try not to start any more new projects this year.  (Unless I find the right fabric for the mermaid, finish SOHRH and start CAHRH or HOHRH, or any number of charts that I found while scrambling through a workbasket looking for all my WIP's!!)

This is what I found in my main basket of WIP's
a - TOL friendship sampler - hard to see, but there are 3 alphabets and a lovely sentiment - I designed it for an online SAL in 2007  - you would think because I'd designed it, that I would have finished it. - evenweave
b - the second version of If Cats could talk - a pink cat this time - aida
c - My Soul is Fed - Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe - 18ct aida
d - English Floral Sampler - individual mottos taken from UK Cross Stitcher about 1995 - started in 2005 - linen
e - A halloween design from Carriage House Samplers - started Oct 2011 - aida
f - 'Tis a gift to be simple - Just Cross Stitch - april 2011 - aida
g - Some sheep sampler - bit worried - don't know where I've put the chart right at the moment - pink evenweave
h - Poppy picture - was intended to be a birthday gift in July 2010 - I love the picture, but hate the confetti stitching -  lovely evenweave
i - SOHRH - tea dyed aida
j - Amish gaden sampler - TIAG - linen
k - Bluebird Sampler - Bent Creek - the annoying thing is, that I've finished red-bird sampler - means I'll have to find the same fabric to stitch the other two to finish the series! - nice evenweave in a neutral colour
l - Inspiration by Rosewood Manor - started in 2009 I think.   I do enjoy stitching this, but for the near to confetti stitching - 8 stitches in this colour - 3 in that.  I think I will enjoy getting to the centre panel of this one. - stitched on pale, pale sage evenweave.

Of course, not pictured, is my Christmas Tablecloth, or the Arabian Nights Quilt - or theYear of the Sheepie wallhanging, or my Pinetree quilt.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beaded Fob Giveaway - and a SOHRH block finish!

Here we go, Hot off the needle - SHORES OF HAWK RUN HOLLOW - Block 1As this weekend was hot, hot, hot - it suited me to sit in front of a fan, mindlessly stitching away at all the blue in the waves - just like colouring in.  No need to worry about changing the colour of the floss in the needle, just fill in all that blank space between the top of the waves and the border.

Now I get to move onto the next square - a block of fish - first I need to stitch the border - then I'll see about whether or not I feel like substituting colours.  I'm using DMC and feel comfortable about changing colours around to suit myeslf.  I've already re-charted block 8, the tombstone block, so that the wording refers to an ancestor lost at sea in 1875.
As you can see - I've shamelessly thrown away my plans for weekly rotations.  It didn't feel right.  However, I might just call 2012 the year of the WIP's because I'm feeling inspired to finish of a few projects that have been neglected by my slight obsession of snowmen and sheep.  Better getting the pile reduced, than creating more.

Now - I feel it's time for a competition.  I spent some time yesterday, playing with beads and wish to offer these scissor fobs to my bestest blogging buddies.  
Pick your favourite - and leave a message
1 - blue fob with carved shell - could be used as a floss winder as well.
2 - green/brown fob with wood & stone beads
3 - black/white bead fob with silver & crystal accents
4 - green/amber fob with tail
5 - blue fob with carved shell - I purposely used this bead so a length of floss could be attached through the hole.

These will all be sent out - one fob per winner.  In the event of a tie - names will go into the bowl of destiny to decide a winner.
I'll draw the winners next Saturday - March 3   

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Finish for the Year !!!! If Cats could Talk ...

Hot off the needle - If Cats could Talk ...

Stitched using Nancy's lovely hand-dyed threads (see her latest giveaway by clicking here .)

  I was lucky to receive this from the 123stitch site wish list early in the year and as such, will be passing on the chart in a givaway later this year as I do plan to stitch this design at least another two times this year.

I did change the colours, mainly because I have an orange cat.  I did not have the charm called for on the chart - oh yes... the pattern is 'Designs by Lisa', so added a spare bead.  I'll have to think about how to frame it, as the bead means it will have to have some spacers on a frame - or I'll frame it with fabric and call it a wall-hanging.  I want this one on my wall.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Daffycat: A Fat Tuesday ORT Report

It's Daffycat: A Fat Tuesday ORT Report

Time for T.U.S.A.L - and a near purr-fect WIP....

Here it is, midway through the week - and it's been so long since I've posted (last weekend was bizarrely busy doing not much!).  Here is my TUSAL jar for February - lots and lots of orts - it does look like I've been stitching.  There are bits of floss there from my Arabian Nights quilt, Shores of Hawk Run Hollow and more importantly, If Cats could talk.....  

I sort of fell off my rotation this month, I just could not get into stitching Christmas last week.  I'm due to pick up SOHRH today, but if you look at my current WIP, I am so close to finish the Cat.  I just need to stitch the whiskers and the collar, then I'm done

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A flurry of finishes for my gadgets

I tend to use an open basket, rather than a handbag.  I hate rummaging in the bottom of it when my mobile rings.  I hate that my camera is rustling around without protection now that my GPS is back in it's own bag.  I've been worried that I'll lose my USB sticks with family history photos, cross-stitch patterns/photos and family photos.
Tonight, after dinner - I had a fit of inspiration.
I started with the USB caddy, using the basic idea from the teabag caddy.  It seems to work fine, although I'll test it in the morning and tomorrow I might hand-sew a flap to hold them in.
I then thought that my mobile needed a bag, with a long cord that I can tie to the handles of my basket and reel in my phone when it rings.  I used a little stitch from 2009 that needed a finish, creating a pocket for odds & bods.
Last in the line of stuff to finish, was using a snowman finish from 2010, to whip up a lined camera bag to protect my camera.
A satisfying evening with my sewing machine.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Arrrrr - Matees.. Prepare to place your Mug, HERE!

My old friend has recently had his eyelid sewn shut so that he could regain his license after having double vision due to an inoperable, benign, eye tumour.  Being a man's man, his inability to drive, had a massive impact on his social life, let alone the demands of his job, being a Community Services Training Counsellor.  
I quipped that he would have to invest in a large stock of frilly white shirts, and get a parrot as a pet - and that he would always be my own personal Pirate.
Of course, with his birthday coming up - I felt he would appreciate this whimsical mug-mat.  I know that he will not be offended, but will accept it with the friendship and love that it is given.
I've not picked up any cross-stitch this week... might have to remedy that, tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIPocalypse Update - February 2012

I've nothing else to show for a over a week of non-posting, but my progress on my week 1 rotation Cat Project.  If I were not to stitch anything else, I feel that I would have this finished by the end of week 2.  But - I must be true to my rotation - at least this month around.
I'm leaning towards throwing all rotation to the wind and merely stitching on ALL my WIP's as I fancy them - after all - I don't have to stitch just Cats or Christmas or Santas or Hawk Run Hollow - one week at a time, may be somewhat limiting.
I might insist on one week of Christmas though - otherwise I think I may not have anything left to show for Christmas unless I keep that happening.
I might have a sit down this weekend, and lay out all my WIP's and figure out just where I head from here.

Don't you just love the sheepie fabric to the right of the cat??  Shebafudge found it for me - It's so cute - thank you!  I'm going to use it on one of my special sheepie stitching to finish it off.

On a completely different thread here - calling all Daylesford, Victoria bloggers . . . . . 
I'm off for a weekend away at the end of March - anything you can recommend to see while I'm there?  Sunday Market? Patchwork shop?  Good food shop?  Art Gallery?  Places of interest?
Anybody interested in meeting up?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I've got the 'I Dream of Jeannie' theme running through my head.......

..........  go on, admit it.  Now you do too ......

Da-dum, da-da--dah-dum, Da-dum, da-da--dah-dum, Da-dum, da-da--dah-dum, Dum - Bom-de-bom-bom!

I have managed at some point during the past few days, to get every male member of this household unconsciously humming this to....  (evil plot working....good!)

Jeannie (that's going to be her name now - regardless) was fun to stitch.  I started with the pale pink and fuscia outline and then went wild.  I added turquoise armbands and lazy daisy border embroidery.  I'm glad her hair worked well - a good coverage using satin stitch.  You can barely tell, but her bustier has fringie bits on it and she has gold bangles, anklets, and waistband.  There is a bead on her headband and her gold necklace has a purple bead.  She even has toe rings!!!

(Would you believe - The Bangles "Walk like an Egyptian" is playing in the background as I type this !!)

I thought her pantaloons required sparkle, so added pale, pale blue beads, and also adding them to her waistband.  Gold beads set the tambourine off perfectly.  I knew that I had to set her down, otherwise I could have gone overboard with decorations.  Now I'm moving onto another quick stitchery before I start Week 1 - Cats again on Wednesday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You are the window through which you must see the world - George Bernard Shaw

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)

I have just finished this square - the background fabric looks different in each photo, but that's all to do with the time of day - sunshine works so much better than electric lighting.  I had so much fun putting the beads on this one - it looks just like it did in my head.

One more square down........

Monday, January 23, 2012

Simple Sunburst with sparkle. . . . .

Post and dash ......

2nd square for my Arabian Nights quilt.
This sunburst is only about 3" in diameter - it's not big, but the beads should sparkle in the sunshine.

That's one small stitchery closer to the end of the quilt......  hehehe

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back to this bloggy theme : Stitching.... WIP & TUSAL

 After a few posts relating to family history and a re-jig to update my blog - it's well past time to get back to the reason for this blog.
I didn't post pics last weekend for whatever reason, but here is a catchup for all my WIP to date.

WIP - JAN 22
Week 2 of my theme stitching was, Christmas - and of course, getting my tablecloth up to date is my first priority.  This square should have been stitched by Christmas 2011 - as it symbolises 2010 - the year my Dad came to share Christmas here at my home.  Who else should I symbolise my Dad with, but Santa.  I found this Santa design in a Jill Oxton magazine and it fits perfectly into the square.  I'm enjoying the stitching of it, knowing I'm getting it done at last, but it is an annoying stitch all the same, with three shades of light grey and white in the beard.  The subtle shading will be worth it in the long run, but it's an intense stitch.  I changed the glasses from black to gold, but I might outline them in some way to define them better.  Never mind, I won't be stitching it for a couple of weeks.  I'll work myself back into the right mood to stitch it.

Week 3 of my year's theme was Cottages.  A very loose name for and excuse to stitch Shores of Hawk Run Hollow.  I've coveted this series for some time, and as luck would have it, a lovely friend offered me the chart and her partially started project on aida, using DMC.  She ended up stitching it using speciality fibres on evenweave.and had no use for the chart and was happy to pass her started project to me.   I received this project and the lighthouse, partial border, sun outline and wording had been stitched.  I stitched the rest this week.  Had I managed to find my DMC 927 in time, I possibly would have finished the square in the week.
(The more observant of you may have also noticed a single stitchery sheepie nestling on the left of my WIP pic. This was a small stitchery that was started near the end of the year, but covered over and forgotten until this morning.  If I add it to the list, that makes 106 sheep.)

Week 4 of this year's theme was WIP, but I'm winging it, as I had an urge to start a new quilting project.  Yes Chris - I said QUILTING PROJECT !!  
I appear to have crossed to the dark side.  Just to make it interesting, there is NO pattern, but I'm following in my mind, an idea I had at least 3 years ago - This will be an Arabian Nights quilted wall hanging.  Today, I drew out all the pictures, prepared the cotton to do the stitchery panels, and drew and stitched one small square.  It's a teaser.  At least stitchery can be packed into a small parcel and travel to work with me.  It is a long term project, I can see it in my mind's eye - visualise purples and golds and aquamarines and beads and spangles and velvets and silks.

Finally, here is my offering for this month's TUSAL.  Three weeks into the year, and I've made a substantial start.  Sitting with it is my first cat mascot.  I wonder how many cat icons I will collect this year?  I still have a display table full of sheep - not sure where to distribute them.  There are lots and lots of colours already - I've made a more colourful start to this year than all the white sheep stitched last year. 

I hope to soon be able to resist yelling 'Sheepie!' at the top of my lungs every time I drive past sheep in a paddock.  Obsessions are hard to overcome  - grin.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Updated Blog - take 2 - Thank you!

Thank you all for your comments.  Tonight I've played again with the background, removing the right hand kittycats (I do so like them)
I also shwooshed up the darkness of the basic font.  
I agree that the header was a bit out of focus, but I think I've fixed that again.
Tomorrow, I'll look at posting a pic of my stitching !!!!

I've revamped my blog and I value your opinion

Well, I faffed about this morning and I think it's worked.
How is it looking at your end?  Are the font's OK?  Would you prefer less curly letters?  What about the colours - and the background?  Not too distracting?  I tried to get the background the right size - but it may show as tiled on some systems.  I did have fun last night playing with the graphics programme to create the background and header.
Those who know me, know that they have to drag me away once I start 'colouring in', because I get all enthused about new gadgets and colours and effects.  I try to remember that 'less is more', but it's so hard because I want to add more and more and more.....
There is no 'bad' comment - it's all constructive.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh dear - I've done it again .......

Please bear with me.  I've pushed a few buttons I don't think I should have, and seem to have changed the look of my blog unintentionally.
I am playing with pictures and should have a new background within a couple of days - I just have to read up a bit more so I know which are the RIGHT buttons to press, BEFORE I press them !!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Family Group Photo - Thirty Years on...

Same Family - here is a family group shot - taken in 1939 or 1940
Right at the back, in the middle - is my Grandfather - still with his moustache.  The little boy in short pants in the front row is my Dad.   The couple in the middle are my Great Grand Parents and I think the occasion is their Golden Wedding Anniversary.  The woman in the back row, with the striped blouse and white collar is my Grandmother, and it is her parents.  I'll have to wait for an answer from my sister (The Oracle), to identify all the others. (apart from my three aunts - I know them....)

Further evidence on the previous photo - Thank you to those who offered information - The guess now is that the photo was taken in the summer of 1905 - the year after my Grandfather's Father died.  This would explain the black ribbons on all the hats.
The slouch hat on the knee of the lower left gentleman, may indicate he is the relation who fought in the Boer War.  UK forces wore the slouch hat in the later part of the Boer War, which by then had been adopted by the Aussie & NZ forces.  This gentleman is believed to be Kit, who later emigrated to NZ.

Any further Family History information, may be posted on another blog I'm thinking of setting up - to deal purely with Family History research.....As I'm off work next week, I may have time to set it all up - and re-arrange my graphics....

Well, after scanning 70 photos tonight - it's time for sleep.
Tomorrow starts week 3 of my stitching rotation - Cottages - and I have Shores of Hawk Run hollow patiently waiting for me....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Family History - where are all the names??

I spent last night scanning a few photos borrowed from my Aunt Jean. - One of my favourites is this one, I'm guessing is a family grouping of about 25 young people - taken in Auchencairn, Scotland.  My grandfather, Thomas John, is the young man in the middle row, dark jacket and heavy 'tash.  He emigrated to Australia in 1911, when he was 34 (I have a copy of his Passenger Contract Ticket  too) - my first guess was this was taken in 1911 or thereabouts, but the young man in the photo is certainly younger than that - could this be taken in 1900 - a celebration of the new year?  I'll have to research into the costumes a bit more....
By the look of the young man top right with another spectacular 'tash - this is a family grouping  -  I just wish there were some names on the back !!!!   

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 - Week 1 WIP - Cat & Christmas

Here we are, well and truly into the first month of 2012 - I've completed my first week of stitching - deciding that my weeks will run to date order (1-7), not day order (Monday to Sunday)
Consequently, at midnight Saturday,7th January, I put down my Cat project.  I picked up my Christmas Tablecloth - which is in itself, a WIP, as I never finished it in time for Christmas 2011.
As I have joined in with Measi's WIPocalypse - I hope to this year, keep a regular WIP photo journey.  Even my TUSAL jar has started collecting orts for 2012.
I really feel that this year is up and running!
I've changed my profile pic to reflect my kitty stitching for the year, but will not change my blog background for a week or so yet.  I'm working on new graphics and hope that at least one of my sons will assist me! (Yes, John, take that as a HINT!)

My stitching so far : Week 1 - Cats.  : If cats could talk - (Designs by Lisa) - stitched on aida, using one of Nancy's lovely hand-dyed floss - I really think this looks like the colour of my kitty, Pyro.  Despite currently looking like a long, skinny orange vase, the cat shape IS evident.
As for Christmas Stitching - Week 2 - I picked up my Christmas Tablecloth - I'm stitching a Santa - adapted from a Jill Oxton pattern to symbolise my Dad who spent Christmas 2010 at our Christmas Table.  I will endeavour to have the design to symbolise 2011 stitched before Christmas 2012 !!!  I will, I will !!!!
My Christmas tablecloth fabric is a 7'x5' piece of Charles Craft Aida.  I am stitching one panel each year to symbolise the Christmas before. (after all, how can I symbolise the day until it happens??)

I will try to post more than once per week - It depends entirely upon whether or not I kill more technology (ie: break this computer!)