Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Well here we are at the end of another year-one that I would rather forget to be honest with you.
What with my mojo going awol and a few health problems that have surfaced I just want to start anew and hopefully turn things around.
I am hoping to finish off a lot of my UFO's in 2013(I say that every year) but I really do mean it this time.
So until I finish some of them off I am not going to buy anything new (you've heard that one before haven't you).
I haven't counted just how many UFO's I have but I would think it is over 12--I will let you know when I have checked them later on today.
No this is not a new years resolution-this is common sense taking over.
Anyway I want to wish everyone a happy new year and I hope that you achieve all that you set out to do in 2013.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas

 I won't be posting again before Christmas so I would  like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who drops by a wonderful Christmas and I hope that all your wishes come true and that the true spirit of Christmas surrounds you all.
I will be back soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Craft Group Christmas Party

Most people get to sit on Santa's knee but I had Santa sit on mine--lucky me.
Last Wednesday we had our Christmas party at the craft group that I run at our church.
I asked Stephen if he would like to play Santa and hand out the gifts seeing as he has a Santa suit that belongs to the church.
After we had eaten our meal I phoned him to come down and surprise the ladies and they were absolutely thrilled to see him.
Everyone knew who it was but he just played along and sang carols to them and  handed out the small gifts that I had wrapped up for them.

Everyone had a great time and now we will be having a break until late January.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God's Talking

When I was a little girl my mother gave me a Bible that had a lot of pictures in it-and there were a lot of pictures that had the suns rays shining through the trees in the forest and clouds in the sky.
These pictures usually had words underneath them that started with "And God said"--------
As a child whenever I saw the suns rays breaking through the trees and clouds I would always say "God's Talking".
And I still do even now.
In fact many of my friends now say it because they have heard me say it.
While we were on our cruise I woke up early one morning and went out onto the balcony  and lo and behold God was talking-telling me it was going to be a glorious day.
What a way to start a day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Napier --New Zealand

When we were on our cruise we stopped off at Napier which was destroyed in 1931 by a massive earthquake that leveled the city to the ground killing 162 people.
The city was rebuilt in 2 years and was built in the Art Deco style.
It is a beautiful city and the surrounding suburban areas are lovely and very clean.
If you want to read more about follow this link.
We went on a bus tour around the city and we had a very informative tour guide from the Art Deco Trust who really knew her job.
 On the way around the city I took some photos of some of the buildings-not because they were of any great interest-but mainly because I have a feature on my camera that will take the photo in what looks like a pencil drawing.



We also went to the old Napier Jail which was interesting to say the least--and again the tour guide knew her stuff.
Here is Stephen posing at several points around the jail.
Why they would need a detox centre is a bit amusing.

He has been going to the gym for the last 3 months but he doesn't do this sort of stuff there.

When we went to dinner that night we went to the Steakhouse.
Here is our lovely waiter posing with the pepper shaker over Stephens soup which was served in a Bread bowl that had a lid made from bread on it.

 And me ----I had finished my entree when Stephen took my photo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Akaroa New Zealand

On this trip around New Zealand we stopped at the port of Akaroa which is the port that has been replaced for Christchurch.
Since Christchurch had all their troubles with earthquakes the cruise ships now stop in the bay outside Akaroa and passengers are transported to shore by tender (small boats).
While this has been detrimental to Christchurch the small township of Akaroa is thriving on the tourist dollar.
We took a tour to a farm up in the hills which had amazing views and a history that was truly enthralling.
We were shuttled up in a couple of mini vans by people who were from surrounding properties and they told us about the land make-up and history of the area on the way.
The gentleman who owned the property and his wife (Murray and Sue) were the consummate hosts and Murray told us of the family history right back to his great great grandfather who was the first to settle on the land in his family.
We learned of the good times and the bad times and how they have survived to the point that not only Murray and Sue live on the property but their son and his family are there as well.
That makes seven generations in total.

                                              Murray and Sue in front of their house and garden

We saw a sheep shearing demonstration and it just so happened that one of our group had been a sheep shearer before when he had a property of his own(he was 77) so he gave us a demonstration.
It sure looked like hard work.

Then we went outside and were shown how the sheep dogs did their work and boy do they do their stuff well.
Murray gave his dog  a short quiet message and off he went like a rocket-down in the gully-up a very steep hill and rounded up the sheep and brought them back to where we were.
Truly amazing (well to me it was anyway)

We were then invited down to the house for morning tea.

                                          Isn't this a beautiful photo (I can see it as an embroidery

Scones with jam and cream--yummo.
That's Stephen's boof head in the top left hand corner.

I think this little shed was part of one of the earlier buildings--it now houses doves (I think that is what they were).

Thank you Murray and Sue for a most memorable morning that we will always remember with much fondness.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Our Lounge Room is all Decked Out

Princess Anorexia has been decked out in all her finest again.
This year it is purple and gold-my favourite colour scheme.
I haven't put any lights on the tree this year because last year we forgot to turn them on each night.
Unlike you people on the other side of the world from us it doesn't get dark here until around 9.30pm because we are in our summer and it is also daylight savings as well.
 So I thought I would just save myself the bother of taking them down after Christmas.

 Underneath the tree is our Nativity Scene-----------

I also thought that I would show you my collection of angels-some I have made the other were bought.
The white ceramic ones-----

The wire and silver ones

The two fluffy ones were a kit from the dollar shop about 7 years ago and the one in the middle was a gift from my daughter along time ago.

The one on the left was purchased in The Hague when my daughter was working there about 8 years ago.
I purchased the middle one at a craft market about 10 years ago and the green one is made from sequin waste and I got it around the same time.

And this trio were made by me probably 12-14 years ago.

They all surface every year and sit or hang around the lounge room.
I do have more but I didn't want to bore you to death.
So that's it for now------------

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Home again

Here I am home again after another fabulous holiday.
We had great weather except for one day which isn't bad on a 14 day holiday.
I slept and slept for the first 2 days so I must have been in need of a break.
Not many photos at present but after I edit them I will show you a few.
I met up with Carole Brungar in Wellington and we spent a fabulous day together.
We walked and talked and shopped and ate and generally had a great time together.
My knees were so sore by the time I went to bed that night I was sure I would need knee replacements when I got home.
We exchanged gifts and it was amazing that we gave each other similar things-which just goes to show how we bloggers really do get to know each other and become friends.
Not a great photo but it is the best that I can do.

Blogger is giving me the "irits" today  he's probably upset with me for not posting earlier so I will try again tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's That Time of the Year Again---

 Yes it is holiday time and we are off on another two week cruise again.
We are heading off around New Zealand again but we are going in a different direction this time.
We decided to do this cruise again even though we did it two years ago after all it is all about the cruise isn't it.
No cooking and cleaning--just resting and relaxing and we will do tours at the ports that we didn't do last time.
I am meeting up with Carole Brungar  (of Madness and Mess)in Wellington for a day of fun---there goes her diet down the drain. :-(((
I have been so busy over the last month and I just can't wait to get going---bring it on.
Only one more sleep  :-)))

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our little girl is growing up--------

-------too fast.
Ebony was here last night and I took a photo of her as she was leaving to go back home.
I am amazed each week when I see her how much she has grown in the last week--and she loves all the nice clothes and fashionable stuff.
Thank goodness her Aunty Susan goes shopping with her because I would still have her in frilly pink dresses and white socks.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A little bit more------

I have added to a few more squares on the canvas and I am addicted.
I can't put it down---well I can but it keeps calling me back.
I have decided to take it out of the wooden frame which it was in as I found it to heavy for me to handle.
My little fat hands were aching from trying to hold it up
 We had marked the canvas out into 4 squares which meant that I was able to cut the squares out and sew each one into a piece of calico and then hoop them up into a lighter round frame.
I have added to three more squares--the top right corner is done in Raised Chain Band and I used a hand dyed silk ribbon--the second row left side is a metal "thing" to which I have added fat Bullion knots and some French Knots and the third row on the left side is a variation on Cashmere stitch worked in two different threads.

I have added a bit more to this row mainly in Wheatsheaf Stitch and various threads.


I hope you enjoy looking at these and I am sorry that you can't enlarge them but I don't know how to fix the problem.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two days of Wonderful Stitching

The weekend workshop is over and I am exhausted but it was well worth it.
 I have learned so much in these 2 days and I don't have a lot to show for it-but what I do have I am really pleased with.
This pile of colourful little grub like things are Raised Chain Bands-the thread is called gimp and it is quite thick.


The top square is called Cross Hound's Tooth and was worked over diagonal stitches again worked in the Gimp thread.
The bottom square is several rows of Blanket Stitch  and the bottom 2 rows have been wrapped with Chenille thread.                       

Today we worked on a different section and did Wheatsheaf stitch and  Cushion Stitch.
I have used Silk thread-Perle 3and 5 cotton and a hand dyed Cotton a Broder thread.

Here you can see where I have added a Wheatsheaf stitch between the two rows of Raised Chain Band-
Added beads over the Chenille thread on the bottom left.
The next section across is stitched in Running Stitch in Gimp then it was laced with gold thread which is hard to see in the photo.
In the right hand corner there are giant Bullion Knots (24 wraps with 6 strands of cotton) and two rectangle Mother of Pearl buttons which have French Knots in the holes. 


Now all I have to do is fill in all the other squares with lots of interesting stitches.
We leave on another cruise on the 20th for 14 days so guess what I will be taking with me :-}}
And here is a photo of Effie with little old me getting a bit of special attention.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting Ready for a Workshop

Last Sunday I spent the afternoon doing the homework in preparation for a workshop I am taking with Effie Mitrofanis from the NSW Embroiderers Guild.
The class is on Creative Canvaswork which I have wanted to do for ages but it has terrified me because I struggle with any embroidery that I have to work in squares.
Now-- I can count to four as well as the next person but put a needle and thread in my hand and give me some fabric that needs to be worked in lots of four and my fingers take on a mind of their own.
I don't know what it is but I spend more time reverse stitching than I do going forward.
Anyway I am going to do this class if it kills me.
I have done a class with Effie before back in 2005 and I found her to be a very good teacher so I reckon if anyone can help me conquer this problem it will be her.
We will be working on a piece of 30cm square 14 count canvas which we had to paint gold and also paint two smaller pieces 12cm square that we had to stitch onto calico to use as our doodle cloths (Effies words).
Here I have stitched and laced the painted canvas onto the frame.

I have chosen a colour theme from some fabric- ribbons and threads that I dyed several years ago in a jar using Procion dyes.
It is strange when you see the difference in the colour between the silks and the cottons seeing as they all came out of the same dye bath so I am going to use them on the canvas together.
I have added other threads to the collection to give it a lift (I hope).
This is a piece of silk fabric---

And here are the other items.
I still have to get together the beads and other bits to go with it.
I think this should look very nice when it is finished.

The class is on the weekend of the 10th and 11th on November---bring it on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Visitor and more Exhibition photo's

This week I had a visit from Robin M from Queensland with her husband and sister---it is always nice to meet up with blog friends and especially ones who have become very good friends.
Robin and I have met on 3 other occasions because her son and his wife live in Canberra so we get together whenever they come down to visit him.
Below I have some more photos from the exhibition mainly from the challenge.
One of my Guild friends Evelyn noticed on my blog that I didn't have anymore so she e-mailed me to say she had some and sent them to me.
These are the ones that I chose--the first one is Evelyn's who dressed a Barbie doll in the blue-white and gold colours--now there is an outfit that Barbie never had before.


Next is a selection where you can again see Barbie plus a cake which had the threads stitched in writing on the top and also twined around the bottom.

This is the other end of the table and there is another cake and a doll plus several Cross Stitch pictures.

I thought this one was clever because it is a replica of our ACT flag with the number 50 on either side of the sheild.
On the official flag there is a black swan on the left side and a white swan on the right side which has been replaced here by the 50.
The shield normally has crossed swords at the top-a medieval castle in the centre and a rose at the bottom.
The person who did this has used the stork scissors in place of the crossed swords-and 3 white thimbles represent the Medieval castle and the rose has been embroidered at the bottom.
The blue section on the left has the Southern Cross embroidered in white.
Very clever indeed.


This one is a bouquet of flowers which are heads of wheat and Bluebells.
The scissors are used here to depict cutting the ribbon which is forming the bow around the flowers.

This one created a great deal of interest.
I am not sure if you will be able to read what is embroidered on it as I said before sometimes you can enlarge them and  sometimes you can't.
Along the top it says "My 50 years of stitching"---and on the hands it says "with these hands".
Down the bottom left hand side it says "Mondays-create-chat and cuppa" which means that we meet on Mondays to create ou embroideries and we chat and have a cuppa.
On the bottom right side is a birthday cake and in the centre at the bottom it says "ACT Embroiderers Guild 1962-2012"
Above the fingers on the right hand are embroidered the numbers 60's-70's-80's-90's-2000.
There are lots of charms and flowers and the scissors are there as well.
I do not know how long this took to finish but I imagine it was a lot of hours.

Here is another section containing small art quilts all using different techniques.

And I had to show you these dolls-these were in the general exhibition.
It was titled "Teddy Bears Picnic"
Now I can hear all you dyed in the wool guild members all around the world saying "but they aren't embroidered".
True--- but if you look at what they are standing on---an embroidered blanket/rug.
These dolls are no more than 15cm tall-their clothes are all hand crochet including nickers and each has a bag and a hand made teddy bear.
How could they not be included-they are perfect.

I hope that you have enjoyed these photo's and I hope you are impressed with the talents of our members.