Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Special Day Today

Today Wednesday the 31st of March is Ebony's 10th Birthday.
Did she want a big party?--no.
Did she want expensive presents?--no.
So what did she want?
All she wanted was to have her "party"on the lawns of Parliament house with her family.
And what did we have to eat?--Macca's of course.
Here she is with her Dad and her Poppy with the Parliament House building in the background.
As usual I am not in the photo because I am the designated photographer in the family.

Tomorrow Ebony and her Dad are off to Sydney for the Easter weekend so that she can attend the Royal Sydney Easter Show for the first time.
We gave her money for her birthday so she could spend it at the show--that's what she wanted.
If only her Dad had been as easy to please when he was her age.

More Knotted Buttonhole Stitch

Here I have worked the stitch on my official sampler -------------

---and this one is on my new Crazy patchwork piece.

I will be adding more embellishing to this one at a later date.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TAST 2 Week 5 Knotted Buttonhole Stitch

Tast 2 Week 5 with Sharon B is a variation of Buttonhole stitch.
This time it is Knotted Buttonhole stitch.
These are my first attempts done on my sample fabric and then I will work on my official sampler.
The green line is how the original stitch looks.
The yellow line is done by slanting the upright stitches on a backward of forward angle and they are different lengths.
In the third row I have added a bead before I worked the knotted part of the stitch.

Now onto the main sampler.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ATC Birthday swaps

There are 5 people having birthdays in April in the ATC birthday swaps Group.
Two of the ATC's are off to Spain one to Crete one to the US and one to the UK.
I have been using up a lot of sample pieces that I have had in a container waiting to be used.
The pink one on the bottom row is made from a serviette.

It seems strange to be sending off ATC's and not getting any in return but come September I will be rewarded.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TAST Week 4 Portuguese Border Stitch

This week the stitch in Sharons TAST challenge is Portuguese Border Stitch.
Another unknown one to me.
I am beginning to realise that there are many stitches that I do not know.
Well I knew that before really but there are so many that I never would have known if it weren't for the TAST challenges.
If you would like to see how the stitch is worked just follow the link above.
I have used a thick silk thread that I purchased from the Thread Studio a few years ago and I can't remember the name of it--(but it may be Marrakesh by Colourstreams)

This is my practise sheet before I work the stitch on my sampler.
Again I have used a thick silk thread from The Thread Studio which I have had for years-------

This is my sampler so far after 4 weeks I am only doing a row of each stitch on it(except for last week that is) and it is 15 centimeters (6 Inches) wide.

I am early working my stitch this week as I have a few things that I have to get done later in the week and I thought that I would do this one first up as it looked quite interesting.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tast 2 Week 3

The new stitch for week three in the TAST challenge run by Sharon B over on Pintangle is Beaded Hedebo Edge.
This is another new stitch to me and I really like this one as well.
It is built on a foundation of uneven cross stitches (one cross is even and the second one is elongated) and the scallops are formed over the legs of the elongated crosses.
A bead is added between the scallops on the even crosses.

I decided not to dye my piece of linen because it would have inhibeted my choice of threads--well that's my excuse anyway.
I wonder what awaits us for week four.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Garden is Confused

We are now into the middle of March and by now my Ornamental Grape Vine (?? Botanical name unknown ) is usually turning a bright red and starting to drop its leaves everywhere.
When I was washing up the breakfast dishes this morning I noticed that said tree had some tiny new green leaves starting to shoot.
No wonder it is confused we are now getting temperatures again up in the high 20's Celcius.
Last week I had to get out a pullover now we are back into shorts.

This little leaf almost appears to be asking "is it safe to pop out".

Ahh this crazy weather.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St.Patrick's Day

Well in Australia it is St.Patrick's day already and I have lots of green to show you.
As you all know we have had a really dry couple of years in Canberra and I have shown you before how dry my back yard was -but recently we have had some good rainfalls and at last I can show you what my back garden should look like.
Lovely green grass and the trees are still green (but not for long as Autumn is upon us) but it is so beautiful at present.
And look at that lovely blue sky.

And if you look in the shrub in the centre of the photo below you can see one of my erosion bundles hanging there in the sunshine.
Not long to go (about 4 weeks) before we open them--I am getting impatient.

Oh and don't take any notice of the weeds in the area to the left of the bundle because I don't.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TAST 2 week 2 Knotted Loop Stitch

I have been doing a lot of dithering this week--shifting stuff around on my work desk--you know what I mean -unable to decide on what I was going to do and then I discover it is Sunday and I still hadn't done this weeks Tast stitch sample.
So at the time when I should have been going to bed I started stitching just in case I started dithering again tomorrow.
Anyway the stitch for week 2 is Knotted Loop stitch.
Another one that I hadn't heard of before but when I looked in several of my books there it was waiting to be discovered.
I rather like this stitch-simple to do and it can be varied so easily.
Eventually I intend to make a proper sampler like Sharon's--well not like Sharon's but using hers as an example but I still have to dye some fabric to use and that will be done on Tuesday I hope-weather permitting.

If you would like to check out Sharon's blog go here and discover a treasure trove of wonderful stitching.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What have I been doing?

I was given a huge amount of cotton patchwork fabrics late last year for the guild to either sell on the recycle table or use to make items for sale.
I decided to use it in the beginning to make things and have been busy making samples of small items that we can sell on the sales table at the annual exhibition in September.
The small bag can be used to put potpouri in or it can be a gift bag or even a bag to place jewelry in when you go on holidays.
The larger bag is a shoe bag(or as my daughter calls it a "shoe sleeper".
Both bags are lined in cotton--the embroidery is worked on a cotton/linen blend cream fabric and then stitched onto the check fabric by hand in running stitch.
I have to run these past the sub committee on Monday to see if they like them and then we need someone to step forward and make a few.
We are going to provide the fabrics needed to make each bag plus the threads etc.

The other ladies on the sub committee are making thing as well for us to use.
We have to design all the things ourselves so that we don't infringe copyright.
My daughter showed me one shoe bag that came with her fancy smansy expensive shoes that she has and I did measure the bag to get the right size and then I drew the S on the cream fabric and proceeded to embroider it.
I had made some lavender bags several years ago so I just continued to use the same shape as before.
I embroidered some simple flowers- mainly because I was too lazy to do too much work on them.
What do you think?
Will people buy them?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

ATC's for February and March

Here are the finished ATC's that I made from the inside of the envelopes.
I had some beautiful old lace flowers that I picked up from one of those places that sell vintage stuff.
I don't know how old it is -that's not the issue because I thought it was so pretty.
I decided to add a postage stamp onto each one to keep in with the envelope theme.
My husband had an old stamp album that he no longer wanted which had lots of butterfly stamps in it as well as these pretty story figures.
I am quite pleased with the result.

I hadn't posted the February ones that I had received mainly because I was waiting for the last one to arrive.
The top one is from Carole---the one on the left is from Ann and the one on the right is from Annie.

As you can see the theme was for hearts and each one is so different but oh so pretty.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Have You Ever Noticed-------------

----the colour inside of an envelope when you open your letters?
About 6 years ago I started noticing the different colours and patterns inside the envelopes and decided to collect them.
In the beginning they were only blue and there were maybe 6 or 7 different patterns.
Now I am amazed at the variety in colours and patterns that are around.
This month it was my turn to choose the theme for our small groups ATC swap and I felt it was time to use my envelopes.
The challenge for March is to make the background for the ATC's out of the inside of the envelopes.
When I checked my stash I found that I had 50 different designs/colours and I thought I would use a different colour for each ATC.
I cut 3 strips in each colourway in 3 different patterns and made the backgrounds--now I have to embellish them.

Here are a few of the black patterned ones--

These ones are lime green-----

and mauve-----

These are a dark blue but have photographed a bit lighter---

orange--grey--and aqua---

mid blue-------

and pale blue.

I have the stuff ready to embellish them and get them into the post next weel

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TAST 2 samples

The first stitch in the Tast 2 challenge from Sharon B is Diamond Stitch which is one that I had never heard of before.
I liked doing this stitch but had a few problems with the second row for a few minutes but then it all fell into place.
The first sample is on my Crazy quilt block and isn't finished completely as I want to add some beads to it at a later date when I do the beading bits.
If I add the beads now my threads will get hooked up in them when doing the next rows of stitches.
I think this would also look nice with a ribbon threaded underneath it.

The next lot of stitches are samples experimenting with different threads and fabrics.
The first one is Perle 5-- but I changed the width of the diamonds alternately.

And this one is on the same fabric but with perle 8 thread.

This one is the same Perle 8 thread but on a dress linen fabric.

It's so nice to be doing TAST again thanks Sharon.