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!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Latest Mandala & IHSW Stitching Update

Hello!  How is everyone this fine Saturday?  Actually, fine is not the word around here today... dark, grey, a little bit wet and a little bit wintery... yes, winter is coming!  Finally...  The sun was out earlier this morning but now the cloud and rain has arrived, and with the cloud and rain the temperature has dropped!  But that's ok, gives me an excuse to get out the trackie daks and a long sleeved top and snuggle down and do some stitching!

So what's been going on around here lately... not a lot stitching unfortunately! The week just gone was a short working week for Hubby and I - only 3 days.  But oh my goodness, those 3 days were so busy for me.  Most days I didn't know if I was Arthur or Martha but by the time I finally left on Wednesday night I did feel a bit happier about the paper-shuffle that has been going on on my desk....  Being knackered each night after work meant no energy for stitching unfortunately!

So why was it a short week... well, Thursday was a public holiday all around Australia for ANZAC day and Friday is my normal day off... so there it was a 4 day weekend on the horizon and lots of stitching to be getting on with.  Luckily hubby's office decided to close on Friday so he has also had a 4 day weekend.  Bliss....  ANZAC day is a very special day here in Australia, and it is a day to take time out for reflection on the bravery of our soldiers over the years and those that are serving today.  It is also my sister's birthday!

With 4 days off I had planned to do lots of stitching - but so far not a stitch has been entered in any of my WIP's.  Thursday was one of those days where I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do and I ended up starting on a bit of a tidy up in my part of the craft room.  Well, that didn't last long.... I sort of got stuck on going through my magazines and sorting out of the charts that I had previously saved from the other magazines.  I now have all my Margaret Sherry and Joan Elliott designs in their own folder.  This is something that I have been planning on doing for ages.... so it feels good to have finally got that job done.  But as for all the other charts... well, they are all sitting in a pile in the cupboard waiting to get sorted.  Might be one of those rainy day jobs.....

Yesterday was a day out... we decided to take a trip up to IKEA to have a wander about as we wanted to get some more boxes for my craft stuff and also to look at some other bits and pieces that we want to use in the craft room for storage.  Just as well we went... hubby won one of the vouchers that they were giving away.... the voucher pretty much covered all the new storage boxes we bought!!  Bonus :o)

And now we come today...  still no stitching done...  but the plan is to finish this post and then snuggle up with Mitzi and start stitching.  I have a couple of pixie parcels to do this weekend and I thought I would try and stitch a couple of small cards to send, and then it is onto my Mandala.

Last weekend was IHSW and I did manage to get some stitching in.  Stupidly I forgot to take a photo on Friday of my Mandala before the weekend started, but never mind it's more important to show you where I finished the weekend, than where I started!!

WIP Photo "Mini Mandala II - A" Chatelaine
27 April 2013

Close up of centre section

Close up of bottom section
Isn't it amazing how the colours have started to come out now that the centre is stitched?  I don't normally stitch with variegated threads, but seeing how pretty they look when used like this I think I will be very happy to use them again.

Now all I need to do is finish off the last of the beading and then this mandala is done and I can move onto the next one.

I have to put my hand up here and admit that I made a tiny mistake the other day.... the Rhodes stitches in the small part of the border where all going the wrong way... I didn't realise this until I went to do the beading although I must admit I did think it was strange that the Rhodes covered up the cross stitch when I was first stitching them...  So a frogging I went and a re-stitching of the Rhodes and we were back on track again!

Well that's it for this quick update.  It's time to now put the laptop away and take out the needles and start up the stitching mojo!

Til next time, happy stitching everyone
Hugs xx

Sunday, April 14, 2013

TUSAL April 2013

Hello!  Here we are again... TUSAL time!  The new moon was actually 10th April, but I didn't get around to taking a photo until today.

Seeing as Easter was at the end of March/beginning of April, I thought I would take the photo with my little Easter Bunny... unfortunately we ate the lovely gold Lindt bunny that I was thinking of using for the photo, so I had to use a bunny stand in!  Gold Lindt bunnies don't last too long in this house!!

TUSAL April 2013
You probably can't see all the ORT's in the jar too well, but this month there is lots of gold ORT's in the jar from my Chatelaine "Mini Mandala II - A", and not a lot from poor old "Puppy Love".

WIP Photo "Mini Mandala II - A" Chatelaine
14 April 2013
I am now on the home stretch with this design... Last night I started on the Jessica stitches.  I have never attempted a Jessica stitch before and I'm still not sure if I got it right... but well, now there are 2 down and a whole lot more to go!  I guess by the time I have finished this design I should have a handle on them....

Well dear readers, that's it for another ORT report.  If you are interested in keeping in touch with what is going on with the 2013 TUSAL pop on over to Daffycat's blog and join in the fun.  The next new moon is on 10 May so let's see how many more ORT's drop into the jar between now and then.

Til next time, happy stitching!

New Moons - 2013

10 May
8 June
8 July
6 August
5 September
5 October
3 November
3 December

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Postie's been knocking on the door!

Hello!  Yeah, it's Saturday!!  Last week seems to have been such a long week... and I only worked 3 days!!  It's the Public Holidays that do it... I get so used to having a few days off and just relaxing and stitching and when it comes to going back to work after a break, every bone and joint in my body rebels and says NO!!  I am so knackered today... I feel like I have to go and have a Nana nap!  But I won't, as doing that eats into my Saturday afternoon stitching! Nap, Stitch - stitching wins hands down!

Well as you have probably guessed from the title I must have been visited by the postie this week... and yes, I was - not once, but twice!

The first package to arrive came from Rita in Portugal.

Gift from Rita
Rita sent me a lovely handmade card, some postcards with pictures of Portugal and some lovely embellishments   Rita sent me the card and pretties as a thank you for the exchange package I sent her as part of the MS Lovers Blog Winter Exchange.  Such a lovely surprise - Thank you Rita, I adore everything that you sent :o)

The second package came all the way from Judith in Germany.

Easter Exchange from Judith
Close up of the gorgeous bunny pillow
This gorgeous package from Judith is for the MS Lovers Blog Easter Exchange.  The pillow is delightful.  I love the design - in fact I nearly stitched it myself for the Exchange but changed my mind at the last minute.  Also in the package is a book of cute Easter German cross stitch designs, a thread holder, a cute little bunny bag with some lovely embellishments and some choccies.  Aren't they all so lovely.  Thank you Judith, this is a lovely exchange gift.

As yet I can't show you what I sent to Lentochka as part of the exchange as I haven't heard yet if it has arrived safely in Russia.  Hopefully we will hear soon of it's arrival and all will be revealed.

So now that makes two packages that I have sent that I am still waiting to show off to you - a pixie parcel to Eleana and my Easter Exchange to Lentochka.  Fingers crossed we will hear any day now that they have arrived and all will be revealed :o)

Before I go I have to tell you about an Exhibition that I went to a couple of weeks ago with one of the girls from work.  It was at the WA Museum and was just the thing for a lunchtime walk.  The exhibition was 200 years of wedding dresses!  Now what girl doesn't want to go and see some wedding dresses?

The image that was used for the advertising is a drawing of the Vivienne Westwood designed wedding dress for Dita Von Teese's wedding to Marilyn Manson... and that dress was in the exhibition.

Web image
Another dress in the exhibition was this Norman Hartnell designed wedding dress with a 3.6 metre train, worn by socialite Margaret Whigham in 1933. Apparently on the wedding day traffic came to a standstill as people crowded to catch a glimpse of the bride and her nine attendants.  At the exhibition they even had an old newsreel of the wedding.  It is an amazing dress in real life.  Imagine walking with 3.6 metres of fabric trailing along behind you!

Web image

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photographs of these amazing wedding dresses, so I have had to search the internet for images and advertising to show you some of these beautiful dresses.  While I was looking for the images I discovered a link to the ABC News story which does show a number of the dresses from the exhibition.  It is amazing how the styles have changed over the last 200 years.  This is also shown in the pictures that were on show of local weddings of Perth people over the years.  Such a wonderful way to spend a lunch break.

Think that is just about all for this post.  It is almost time to do my April TUSAL update so I will be back again in the next few days with a stitching update on my Mystery Garden and Puppy Love.  Both are coming along quite nicely.

So until next time, happy stitching!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April... surely not....

Wow, can you believe it - it is April already... and as it's the first day of April how many April Fool's jokes have you seen so far today?  I am sure that there will be some good ones out there somewhere!

I hope everyone had a nice Easter.  We have had a very quiet long weekend... lots of crafting and relaxing... and not a lot else!  Both of us have really needed to just have the time to veg out.  Hubby has been doing some very nice machine embroidery squares and I have been stitching, while Mitzi and the kitties sleep the day away.  The most activity we have had is taking Mitzi out for a walk each morning and trying out her new extended lead.  She loves it - 8m of freedom!!  As yet we haven't taught her to walk off the lead... suspect that she would become very easily distracted and take off... so the new long lead is just what she needs in the park.

Yesterday while I was stitching, Mitzi was as usual lying beside me snoring... then she moved to the other end of the couch and disappeared.  I thought that she had got off the couch but no... she had buried herself in amongst her cushions.

Somewhere in amongst the cushions there is a puppy!!
As I mentioned in my last post I have been stitching the Margaret Sherry "Puppy Love" ... which I am still stitching - no further update though - will leave that for the next post.  While I have been stitching this and the other MS designs for my secret stitching I have been thinking about starting my next Chatelaine.  Have had very itchy fingers for starting one of these!  On Sunday I decided to give in to the urge and started one.  Not a big one - just a little wee one to whet the appetite - CHAT 038 Mini Mandalas II.

photo of A, B & C
I have started the first one in the group of 3 mandalas and I am really enjoying it so far.  I purchased all the correct threads and beads from the European Crosstitch Company as I thought I would I give these different silks ago for the Chatelaines.  So far so good... I have been a good girl and been using Thread Heaven and it does seem to make the threads glide through the fabric.  Might have to use it with my DMC threads as well.  No twisting and knots... love it!!  Once I have stitched these three I will take the plunge and do a larger one.

So do you want to see a photo of where I am at so far?  Of course you do...

WIP Photo - Mini Mandala A
1 April 2013
After a week of stitching I am really pleased with my progress so far.  I will stitch on this some more today and then switch back to "Puppy Love" during the week.

That's it for now... hopefully I will be back again on Friday with an update on both projects.

Have a wonderful Monday and week, til next time, happy stitching