I don't have fireflies in my garden - which is a shame... only cats, bees, a dog and the odd dragonfly!! So please settle down with a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rose Garden Mandala Update

Hello again!

Now this really is a fly-by post..... I am being a wee bit naughty and taking 10 mins out at work while I scoff a sandwich and a cup of soup to put up a pic of where my Rose Garden is at as of 9.30pm last night (Sunday)

I am so pleased with this mandala.  I seriously can not believe how quick and easy it has been to stitch so far.  And, I am loving the colours!!
Tiny Rose Garden - Freebie
Chatelaine Designs - Martina Rosenberg
as at 9pm Sunday 29th April 2012
The picture is probably not the best - it was a quick iPhone pic as I was packing up for the night but I just wanted to show you how much I have done this last week.....

That is it for this very quick fly-by post.... see you all again soon when I will hopefully have a finished Rose Garden to show you!

Til next time, happy stitching.

Monday, April 23, 2012

IHSW April 2012 Update

Hello again!  Amazingly I actually have something to show for my IHSW update this month!

As I mentioned in my last post I started a new project on Friday.  This is a bit of break with what I have recently been stitching.  For the last year or so I have stitched cards and quilt squares with the odd pillow thrown in the mix, but generally all the designs have been cute, cats, or cute cats, or kids designs...

Now for something a bit different to the norm - dare I say a bit more grown up!!

Since I have started blog stalking I have been drooling over all of the beautiful designs that other very talented people stitch, especially those that stitch the Chatelaines.  These designs seem to sing to me when I see them and I have so often thought "one day".  I even went so far as to buy 2 mini's last year at the Craft Show, but still haven't got the courage up to start one....  What if I stuff it up - another UFO I do not want - that drawer is almost bursting as it is!

Well, that was up until last week!

Last Tuesday I was blog stalking and eventually wandered over to Martina Rosenberg's Chateleaine website - as you do - to see what was there.  You see I had remembered that she has small sized freebies on her website so went sticky beaking...  I have looked at these before but this time I thought - "what I am waiting for.... just pick one and do it!"  So I picked one, printed it off and immediately placed a web order with Colours Down Under for the speciality thread and beads that I knew I didn't have, and the rest they say is history!  The speciality thread and beads (along with other things I just had to buy - $1 charts!!!) arrived in the mail on Friday morning (fantastic service from Jo at Colours Down Under), I then went through my DMC threads and raided the fabric stash to see what evenweave fabric was lurking in there.... normally evenweave doesn't get much of a chance to come out and see the light with me, but I think it was very happy to come out and play as so far it is behaving very nicely!  I have no idea what it is except that it is 28 count... but it is cream and that was good enough for me!

Friday afternoon was spent kitting this little lovely up and luckily I was only missing 4 threads which I was able to pick up from Handcrafters House on Friday night.  Isn't it always the way - it doesn't matter how many threads you have there is almost always one that you have to buy for the next project!

The first couple of tentative stitches were done before I rushed out to meet Hubby for the Colour Workshop in Midland, and then it was full steam ahead on Saturday and Sunday afternoons - or when Oscar kitty let me stitch that is!

And this is the result - my first attempt at a Chatelaine!

Tiny Rose Garden - Freebie
Chatelaine Designs - Martina Rosenberg
This is an idea of what it should look like when finished...
Small but perfectly pretty in every way!
I know it's only little but I feel so grown up!  I think that this little design is a good stepping stone for me to come out of my comfort zone and try something different.  The speciality stitch in this design I can do and there is only a small amount of beading.  So if I can keep the momentum up and finish this I believe I will have gained the confidence to try one of the designs that I bought last year!

Don't worry I will still be doing all my other stitching.... after all I have cards to stitch for the Craftbubble Crazy for Kitties birthday exchange due in May and June; I have my next Cool Cats (Winter) to stitch and I have also signed up for the Summer Exchange for the MS Lovers Blog; and I have just signed up for the Christmas Card exchange on the Margaret Sherry Yahoo group.... so lots of stitching on the horizon - just as well because as we all know "Winter is Coming".

Sorry, this has turned out too be a bit long winded.... but that is my update for the April IHSW.  Yeah, a successful weekend of stitching.  If you want to see what everyone else has done over the weekend, drop in on Joyce's post on this month's IHSW and click on the list of links!  There is lots of visiting to be had!!

Til next time, happy stitching.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 21 April 2012 Update

Hello again!  It's Sunday morning and the sun is shining in our part of the world.  A very different day to yesterday when it was overcast, cold and miserable.  We even had rain yesterday afternoon - which I am not complaining about by the way - we always need the rain.  Can't believe how 24 hours can make such a difference in the weather!

This is going to be a very short and sweet ORT report mainly because I haven't done that much stitching over the last week or so.  Sort of lost my stitchy bug there for a bit after finishing my MS cats.  But the little stitchy bug has come back just in time for this weekend!

And why is that good news.... well, because it is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend or IHSW for short!  I know that it is a bit late to remind you all about it today when the weekend is nearly over but better late than never.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get the chance to post a pic of what I have been stitching this weekend.  If you want to have a squizz at who signed up this month Joyce has a post where we have all signed on the dotted line!

So what have I been doing this weekend?  I kitted up a new project on Friday afternoon and managed to get in a couple of stitches before going out to meet Hubby at Handcrafters House in Midland for the Jinny Beyer Colour Workshop.  I did manage to get a couple of hours stitching in yesterday afternoon, but last night wasn't as successful - what with watching the first 2 episodes of series 2 of "The Game of Thrones" and a certain kitty who shall remain nameless deciding that mum's stitching was the perfect spot for a cuddle - not a lot of stitching was achieved!  Never mind there is still a whole Sunday afternoon to go yet :o)

Now for the all important TUSAL photo for this month.  As I mentioned Hubby and I went to a workshop on Friday night.  Jinny Beyer is currently here in Perth doing a couple of workshops and the one we specifically wanted to go to was her Colour Workshop.  We both enjoyed the evening and learnt heaps... I even had a light bulb moment about colour.  Who said you can't put one colour with another?  We bought the portable colour palette that Jinny has put together and this magic little tool is just amazing for working out how colours can go together.  So why am I rambling on about this... well this month's photo is taken with the colour palette!
TUSAL April 2012
Dragon, ORT's, Felix and Jinny Beyer's Colour Palette
Don't you just love those colours?  There is another wheel of colour underneath.  All up there are 150 fabric swatches in the wheel.  Hubby is so going to have fun with this - assuming Felix and I let him have it of course!!

Sorry, this is probably not the best TUSAL photo... Do you ever get those days when you know what you want to do but just can't get it to work the way you want to??

Well dear readers, that's it for another ORT report.  See you all again same time next month.... Pop on over to Daffycat's blog if you are interested in signing up or keeping in touch with what is going on with the 2012 TUSAL.

Til the next new moon on 20 May 2012, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!

New Moons - 2012
20 May
19 June
19 July
17 August
16 September
15 October
13 November
13 December

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Wishes and Chocolate Kisses

Happy Easter to you all!  I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday and have enjoyed the break.

Hubby and I stayed home this weekend except for the odd shopping trip to buy weekend supplies and a wedding present for my brother's big event next weekend.

We have spent the weekend at home with the furry babies, catching up on all the TV shows that have filled the IQ box over the last couple of months and crafting - me stitching kitty cats, hubby sewing up a quilt top.

I have finally finished the third cat for the MS Lovers Blog SAL #1 Culinary Cats. Yes, a big tick off my stitching list for 2012 - little happy dance happening here!!
Margaret Sherry Culinary Cat #3 - finished

MS Blog Lovers SAL #1 - Culinary Cats
Margaret Sherry design - Cross Stitcher issue 222
Remember this little package?

MS Lovers Blog Spring Exchange
Well, it has now arrived at it's destination in Italy so I can now reveal to you the contents....

No, cat wasn't included in the package! He just had to be in the photo!

Contents of the eggs in the basket

Back of the cushion
The design that I stitched was Margaret Sherry's "Make a Wish".  This design was featured in the Cross Stitcher issue 215, August 2009 and was actually the free gift kit.  I have had this sitting in my stash for the last couple of years thinking one day I'll stitch it... and the Spring Exchange was the perfect time to do it!  I stitched little beads in the centre of the flower rather than french knots to add a bit of sparkle!

Once stitched I made it into a small cushion - with hubby's help.  I sewed the front part but I got him to actually make the cushion as he is much better and quicker at cushions than me.  Thank you my dearest clever hubby :o)

The fabric I used was a panel from a range called "Peony Tales" by Betty Wang.  The main panel we used on the back and the side bars trimmed the front of the cushion.  It is so pretty and I still have about 1/2 of the fat quarter left - bonus!

So that's my latest stitching update for this week, however I do have something else to show you.  While playing on my blog today and going through my finishes I noticed that I hadn't shown you two finishes from last year and early this year.  How did I not do that.... no idea at all!!

So here they are!

Back in December I posted about the the MS Blog Lovers Christmas Exchange and I promised to reveal what I sent to my partner... but for some reason I forgot to post about it here after posting on the MS Lovers Blog.....  I found my design in the "Best of  Margaret Sherry" bookazine and then did a 3D image to complement the stitching.  Actually the truth be known I saw the image first that I wanted to do as a 3D card and then looked in the book for a matching design.  The 3D image came from the Margaret Sherry "Snow much Fun" CD that was a freebie with a craft magazine.  (I only bought the magazine for the CD!!)

Both images were then layered onto a Christmas candy stripe paper and placed onto a gold card which I had already covered with a vintage Christmas paper.  The label also came from the CD collection.  The final step was to add some lovely shiny red rub-ons which I put in the bottom corner.

 MS Lovers Blog Exchange Christmas 2011 card for Nia

Now for the other finish that I forgot to show you!  This was a freebie that came with one of my magazines and I stitched this in January.  It is a little Christmas card designed by Joan Elliott.  So cute.. and just what I needed to stitch one weekend as a fill in.  Can't believe that I didn't tell you all about it though!!
Joan Elliott Christmas Card - Cross Stitch Card Shop
After a marathon posting effort I think you are now all up to date with my stitching exploits!  I am now stitching another small Margaret Sherry design that came as a freebie with the last Cross Stitch Card Shop magazine and then I will be starting my second kitty for the MS Blog Lovers SAL #3.  Hopefully I will remember to show them to you when they're finished!!

I will now say bye bye and sign off.  I hope that you all have had a safe and happy Easter.

Til next time, happy stitching.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Liebster Award

Hello!  Guess what?  I have been nominated for the Liebster Award - not once but twice!

I have been meaning all week to post about my nomination by Mary Joan (Mary Joan Stitching) for the award but just didn't manage to find the time until today.... and now I have had an email from Threadbear (Once Upon a Cross Stitch) to say that she has also nominated my blog for the Award!

Thank you both so much for the nomination and for the lovely words that you have written about my blog.  It is lovely to know that people enjoy reading what I post, even if I haven't been posting very much over the last couple of months - I am still here and it's great to know that people are still reading my ramblings!  Thank you :o)
So what is the Liebster Award?

If you aren't familiar with the Liebster, which means 'favourite' in German, it is a way for bloggers to help each other out by spreading the word about their blogs.  As part of the Liebster tradition it is passed along to 5 bloggers that have motivated and inspired you.  To accept the award you must -
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.
2. Post the award to your blog. 
3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value. 
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.
5. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don't know about you. 

I have been thinking about the 5 blogs that I wish to nominate and this isn't as easy as it sounds.  To choose only 5 out of all of the blogs that I read/follow is difficult, but is made easier by that fact that the blog has to have less than 200 followers.  So here goes....

1. Mark's Quilts - ok, this one is actually hubby's quilting blog but I am still nominating this blog.  Hubby starting blogging before me and if he hadn't started to blog then I probably wouldn't have either!  I know that hubby doesn't often update his blog but when he does he has the loveliest of quilts and cushions to show.  Unfortunately life often gets in the way of his quilting but when he does get some quilting done it is lovely to behold.

2. Lumivalko ja Ruusunpuna - Maija has a beautiful blog.  While she writes in her own language for the most part she does gives us a translation of what she has written about, but often you don't need the words as her lovely pictures tell the story!

3. Kitten Stitching - Kaye's blog is a delight to read.  She is currently on holidays in the USA and I have really enjoyed reading her travel diary while she has been away.

4. Fee le point - Valerie (Valma) is a new addition to my reading.  We "met" via the MS Lovers Blog and Nia's blog a couple of months ago.  Valerie won the Christmas competition that Nia was running and she sent me part of the prize - a lovely snowglobe because I love snowglobes!  I just adore all the clever ideas that Valerie has for finishing her stitching.

5. Stitches and Cats, Oh My - Robin has a lovely blog.  I love seeing her gorgeous stitching and the pics of her cats.... well how can I go past a blog that has cats :o)

Ok, so that's five blogs nominated as per the award instructions, however I would like to now nominate every blog on my reading list!  The stitching that I see on all the blogs I read is so amazing.  Some of the designs that other stitchers do are mind blogging and I can only dream of being a stitcher in their league, and the speed of some of you is unbelievable!  I also follow a number of quilting blogs and other types of craft, as I find that inspiration can come from all sorts of places and I do get inspired by all the blogs that I read in one way or another!

Now part 2 of the Award instructions is to tell you 5 things about myself - so where do I start?

1. I love English TV shows - murder mysteries (old and new), period dramas, comedies - I could just keep on going but I must think of something else to tell you!

2. I love food but pasta is my favourite - oh and so are desserts, and pastries and cream and jam donuts!

3. I love thunderstorms.  Lightning is just the best skyshow!

4. I adore watching movies with those wonderful old style actors and actresses - Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Clark Cable, Humphrey Bogart - but my all time favourite is Katherine Hepburn.

5. One of my all time favourite books is "These Old Shades" by Georgetta Heyer.  I love reading and read lots of different genres - mystery, historical novels, science fiction and fanstasy, the odd chick lit., even the occasional autobiography..  "These Old Shades" is probably the first "grown up" book that I read when I stopped reading Nancy Drew and the Chalet School books!  I have re-read this book many times since.  Don't ask me why but I just love reading it!

So that's it girls and boys!  A little bit more about me...

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Till next time, happy stitching