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!)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blog needs an upgrade.... need to baaa-nish the sheepies and cat-ch up with kitties

Here we are, 4 days into the New Year, and my blog still looks like sheep!!!
I do have a reasonable excuse.  
New Year's Day, my laptop leapt from the tabletop - crashing itself to the floor with gusto - committing techno-cide.  I swear that I heard it screaming as it fell - or was that me???  Either way, it is now slightly broken and for the time being, Hubby has re-configured his old computer for my use until I can retrieve the laptop hard-drive - which will have all my photos which had that morning been emptied from my camera - Yes - I know to backup my stuff on usb and cd and stuff......just hadn't - ok????
I also don't have any of my cross-stitch charts or programmes - sigh.
I also managed to drop my mobile phone into the doorwell of my car as I was closing it on Christmas Eve - resulting in a banana shaped phone with no screen.
In any case, it will be this weekend when I hope to play with graphics again to Cattify my blog.  Please bear with me until I figure out how to do it again....