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, December 29, 2014

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - Hosted by Jo

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give
~ George MacDonald ~

Umm, yes it would appear that I have signed up for yet another SAL!!

This one is hosted by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching.  Jo has come with a great idea for a SAL for 2015 and when I read about this on Kaye's blog the other day I just had to join in!

This Gifted Gorgeousness SAL is all about stitching and blogging - something that I can do, and something that I have promised myself I will do more of in 2015!  Jo's explanation of the SAL is:

"I am sure we have all benefited from the generosity of our fellow bloggers and here is your chance to show your appreciation for that generousness by doing what we do best - stitching and blogging about it!"

The rules are very simple and are listed below:

What is eligible for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL?
Any chart/kit which was given to you
Any chart/kit which you won in a giveaway
Any chart/kit which you bought using a voucher given to you/won by you
Anything stitched on fabric received in the above ways
Anything stitched with floss received in the above ways
Anything embellished or finished with items received in the above ways
Anything which is intended as a gift or prize for another person
Anything else you can somehow shoehorn with word "gift" into!

When do we post?
On the 15th of each month.  Because (a) there are plenty of end of months SALs already and (b) it is 2015 so we should remember the 15th!

So now that I have signed up for this new SAL, what am I going to stitch first?

Do you remember a post I did in June 2013 when Kaye came over to Perth for business and we met for lunch?  When we had lunch we swapped gifts and Kaye gave me these lovely charts (picture below) so for my first entry into the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL I am going to stitch one of these..... not sure which one yet - might have to do the old eenie meenie miney mo trick to choose!

Moutons de Saisons - printemps et été (L) & automne et hiver (R)
Tralala Collection
There is still time to sign up for this SAL - if you want to join in, click on the link to go to Jo's page and sign up and get ready to post on 15th January 2015!

Til next time, happy stitching
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 Craziness Abounds!

All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle
~ Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, 1851 ~

A few months ago I signed up for a crazy 2015 challenge.... Cross Stitch Crazy 2015 is a Facebook group that was set up "for stitchers who want to join the 2015 CrosstitchCrazy Event and for stitchers to just come and talk and share their work as they go along. You do not have to be doing the challenge to be in the group. The first 15 days in January we will start a new pattern, we then have the year to complete all 15 patterns we have chosen."

To make matters worse, or easier (not sure which), I have also joined a couple of other Facebook groups as well:

Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 2015 (DUCJC2015) - this group was set up after So-Cal Debbie passed away as a way to remember Debbie and her crazy stitching plans!  The plan is to start 31 or 59 projects.... (ie a project a day for January and/or February 2015)  Well, those numbers are probably a little bit too ambitious for me so I will be a watcher from the side on this one while I stitch on my 15 starts!!  But then again who knows I may find 31 projects to start in Jan, there are certainly more than that number on my stitching wish list! :o)

15 Miras 15 Days - now this group really calls to me... 15 Mira's to stitch.... how on earth will I do this one!  I do actually have a number of Mira's that I want to stitch, but I don't think I will get to do 15 Mira starts this year let alone 15 new Mira's in January....

So, as you can see I am trying to formulate a plan for my 2015 stitching...
15 starts in January.... 15 Mira's in January.... 31 starts in January....
Yes, I am crazy and no, I really don't think that I will get that many starts going for the whole year let alone in January and February!!  But I am going to give it a try anyway!

The one thing that will hold me back of course is not having enough fabric or threads (of course Hubby will say that I have more than enough of both!!), and time.....  there are never enough hours in my day!

So here is my list for the first 15 starts for January 2015, not necessarily in stitching order and with only 2 Mira's on the list so far:
  1. Moutons de Saisons - printemps - Tralala Collection
  2. Moutons de Saisons - été - Tralala Collection
  3. Autumn Fab Fob - Lizzie Kate
  4. Tiny Tidings XV (I'm on the nice list) - Lizzie Kate
  5. Tiny Tidings XV (feliz navidad) - Lizzie Kate
  6. Tiny Tidings XV (feeling festive) - Lizzie Kate
  7. Tiny Tidings XV (joyeux noel) - Lizzie Kate
  8. Eek - Lizzie Kate
  9. Winter Witch - The Snowflower Diaries
  10. Merry Christmas Deer - The Little Stitcher
  11. Christmas Eve Couriers "Comet" - Nora Corbett
  12. Christmas Eve Couriers "Prancer" - Nora Corbett
  13. Koala - Carrol Nielson
  14. Spring Celebration: Ostara - The Primitive Hare
  15. Sneak Peek (Halloween) - The Trilogy
To help with the 31 starts for January, I have added in some WIP's (which is allowed by the rules of that group)
  1. "Jingles" Flip-It Series SAL - Lizzie Kate
  2. Faces of Joan Elliott SAL - Joan Elliott
  3. Chatelaine Mystery Mini II "C" - Martina Rosenberg
  4. MS Lovers Blog SAL #5 Spring Bouquet - Margaret Sherry
  5. "Witch and Friends" - Donna Giampa
Me thinks that the list above is a work in progress itself as I go through my very neglected stitching basket!

Wish me well, fast needles and heaps of stitching time!

I will be back to let you know how each start goes and then will attempt to keep you posted on a very regular basis!

Til next time, happy stitching,
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Friday, December 26, 2014

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL December update

Constant use will not wear ragged the fabric of friendship.
~ Dorothy Parker ~

Lizzie Kate "Jingles Flip-It"
Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL update - stitching with RitaAnnette and Nia

As promised, here is my last Lizzie Kate "Jingles" update for 2014.  My previous "Jingles" update was in October where I showed you my progress up to the end of September.  Seeing as that was some time ago now.... here is a reminder of where I was at the end of September 2014 - 5 blocks and the snow flakes completed:

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" as at 30 September 2014
Between September and December I managed to find some time to stitch a little bit more on this lovely design.  Another 2 blocks!  But they were small ones....

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" as at 26 December 2014
I did plan to have this design finished by Christmas 2014.... but now I guess I have heaps of time to finish it by Christmas 2015!!  There are only 5 more blocks to go so don't be at all surprised to see this back in my stitching rotation again in the next couple of months, after all the next block is sitting there staring at me every time I open my stitching basket!!

So that's it for my update on Jingles, so how about an a quick update on where the other girls are at with "Jingles":

Rita - finished!! pop on over to her blog and have a look at her beautiful finished "Jingles" - well done Rita! :o)

As for the other girls.... well, like me, they are are still stitching....
Annette - pop on over to Annette's blog for her latest update
Nia - pop on over to Nia's blog for her latest update

There you go, another "Jingles" update done and dusted!  See you next time.... til then....

happy stitching and jingling!!
Stitching Noni xx

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad

From our home to yours, we wish you all the best for the Festive Season

Merry Christmas

Noni, Hubby, Oscar, Felix, Mitzi xx

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ORT's, wherefore art thou?

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream ~

As another month, and indeed another year, draws to an end and the New Moon rises, I am reminded yet again of how remiss I have been with my blog posts this year.....

My last ORT report was back in September.... but then again given there probably hasn't been too many ORT's in the jar recently you weren't missing much!!

December's ORT report is the last for 2014 and luckily I have a full jar of ORT's to show off!  I did manage to get some stitching done over the last few weeks which is making up for my severe lack of stitching for most of this year.

December 2014 TUSAL
The ORT's on the top of the jar are from the Joan Elliott "Faces" SAL that I have been stitching this week, and just underneath are ORT's from Lizzie Kate's "Jingles".  I will have a "Jingles" update in the next couple of days for you.

As we are nearing the end of the year, it is obviously too late now to sign up for the 2014 event.... but I did read on Daffycat's blog today that she is planning to continue to host the TUSAL in 2015. So start collecting your ORT's and join in the fun next year!

The next ORT report will be the first one for 2015.  I will now empty my jar of 2014 ORT's and start collecting new ones ready to post on or around 20th January 2015.

New Moons - 2015
20th January
18th February
20th March
18th April
18th May
16th June
16th July
14th August
13th September
13th October
11th November
11th December

Til next time, happy stitching!
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

You know nothing Jon Snow!

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves
~ Edmund Hillary ~

Did you like my catchy title?  I couldn't think of anything overly witty to write as a title for this post.... saying "I'm back" seems a little bit silly given I have said that many times before and then I go MIA again.....  so when this comment from Game of Thrones came into my head I thought it might work.... Ygritte is constantly saying this to Jon, and I seem to always be saying I'm back... so my title is probably very fitting, don't you think?!?

My last post was back in October when I did the Around the World Blog Hop.... and I mentioned then that I was coming up to my 200th post.  Well this is it!  200 posts in 5 years..... I had planned to mark this very special post in some way.... but I just haven't got myself organised to have something ready for this post.  That special post will now have to wait for a couple of days (or weeks).  But hopefully you will think that it's worth waiting for!

So onto post 199 (a)....

So why have I been MIA so much this year?  Or maybe you hadn't actually noticed that I have been MIA???

I think I mentioned some time ago that work had been very hectic.... if I didn't, here's a quick synopsis, since April I have been doing 2 jobs and working 5 days a week.... I have limited energy reserves at the best of times with low iron levels and RA.... so doing these extra hours (I used to do 4 days a week) and having about 3 times the amount of stress in my work life there has really been no room in my head or spare energy for anything else - so no blogging, either posting or reading, and virtually no time for stitching!  I was also offered a promotion a few months ago which I original said no to.... but then my boss asked me again, and again.... so now I have said yes!!  Which means a busy time ahead, but the good thing is after the Christmas break I will only be doing 1 job again so I am hoping that 2015 will be much better for blogging!

Enough of my work update.... now onto my stitching update!

I have done some stitching this year and over the next few days I will show you my latest updates. The first one being my "Faces of Joan Elliott Mystery SAL"

When I last posted in October I had only just been stitching the border.

"Faces of Joan Elliott" Mystery SAL
designed by Joan Elliott
Status on 30th September 2014
Now the border is finished, the centre is done and I have finally managed to make a start on the first face.  We had a "SAL within a SAL" over the weekend so I got myself organised and stitching again on this lovely design.

I am now going to try and keep stitching this until the end of the year while I am on leave from work to see if I can make some head way and catch up with everyone else.  Joan has designed 4 faces for this SAL so far and the 5th face is due out in Jan.

Now before I go today, I have something else to show you.... a finish!!!

Over the last few months at work we have had a number of changes as we have moved from one section of the business into another section.  This means new systems and procedures to get my head around and as you can imagine, has added to the stress and work levels that I have been dealing with. The reason I mention this is because throughout this time I have been dealing with some lovely ladies that have helped me with all the changes.  One of these ladies (Helen) has become a friend and when she was in Perth recently I gave her a gift to say thank you for her help over the last few months.

'Christmas Ted" designed by Joan Elliott
Cross Stitch Card Shop (stitched in Jan 2012)

Now truth be told I actually stitched this little cutie back in Jan 2012..... I even managed to show him off in a post in his finished state in April 2012 but I had filed him away and he didn't see the light of day again until earlier this month when I found him again and popped him into a box lid!  In the box was a glass angel for Christmas.....

As I close off my post, I want to leave you with the thought that the Heavens gained another star today..

Til next time, happy stitching!
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow
~ Lin Yutang ~

My quote above is about travelling.... however this post isn't really about travelling in the true sense of the word.... but more about visiting blogs around the world!

And true to form -  I am late in posting my "Around the World Blog Hop" Post!  But I do have a reason/excuse - I was travelling over the weekend and forgot to prepare one before I went away.... oops!

I do hope that everyone who came to visit yesterday, when this post was supposed to appear, will come back and visit again soon.....

Anyway onto the blog hop post!

Kaye from Kitten Stitching invited me to be a part of this blog hop.   Kaye posted her blog post last week - if you would like to read what Kaye wrote please click on this link and be transported back in time.

This blog hop has been going around the world for a number of weeks/months and I have enjoyed reading everyone posts as they come up on my blog reading programs.  Now it is my turn to post and pass on the fun.... Although now that the time has come to pass the baton, I find that I could not pick just 3 blogs to promote so I have come up with another solution to this dilemma....  more at the end of the post.

As part of this blog hop there are four questions to answer.... while that doesn't seem like a lot, believe me a couple of them aren't easy!

So here goes:

1. What am I working on?
I am currently working on a number of items at the moment; some get more love than others... and I am not going to mention the WIP's that are very quickly becoming UFO's!!

The four main projects I have sitting in the stitching drawer at the moment are:

I have linked each project to the most recent post in case you wish to have a look at the why and wherefore's of each one.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't think that my work does differ from anyone else's stitching specifically.... but I do think that we all add a bit of ourselves to everything we stitch.  Although maybe my work does differ to some other stitching in one particular way - my furry friends have lovely speciality thread/fur that they like to add to my stitching!  So I guess that is my uniqueness - only I have Oscar, Felix and Mitzi fur added to my projects!!

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I started stitching nearly 30 years ago.... but over the years I have been a bit hit and miss with my stitching progress.  Stitching became a more serious hobby for me about 5 years ago and blogging about my stitching seemed to be a natural extension to this.  Blogging is a way to keep a journal of my stitching and who I stitched for or why I stitched a particular design.  I don't know if I would say that I am particularly creative with either hobby... but it is fun and it's nice to have a creative outlet for that side of the brain!

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Umm.... does it work??  To be honest I would like to be more creative than I am... I often lament the number of hours in a day that appear to have disappeared too quickly and I haven't stitched or blogged!  But that is life and we all have to live our lives as best we can!  I try not to wish too hard to have more hours in the day for stitching or blogging as someone may hear me and then I may not like the response!!

With regards to stitching well, I stitch whatever tickles my fancy.... I do have a number of favourite designers and you can probably see from my blog who they are.... although I love other designers that I haven't dared started stitching a design of yet!  That is next year's plan....

The creative process for blogging.... oh my goodness.... you don't want to know what goes on in my head sometimes!  The number of times I have these great ideas for a post... and then when it comes time to sit down at the laptop and type, the ideas just dry up!  So there is no creative process happening there at all!  It is all very hit and miss, just like my stitching!  My first blog post was in October 2010 and four years later I find that I have posted 198 times.... this one is post 199!

Now we come to the part where I have fallen down yet again.... nomination time!  When Kaye asked me to take part I very nearly didn't because I didn't want to try and choose just 3 blogs... it is just too hard!

So, I decided to mention some blogs which aren't actually taking part in the Around the World Blog Hop, but they are blogs that I enjoy reading, have a great laugh at/with, and/or find inspiration from. So here goes....

Lumivalko ja Ruusupuna - I first "met" Maija through an exchange that Parsley arranged a couple of years ago when I first started blogging.  This was my very first Blog exchange and Maija was my partner - we have common interests in stitching and our love of cats!

Spinster Stitcher - I just love reading about Coni's life and her stitching (when she gets around to doing some), and the antics of her wonderful life companion Master Stewey Angus Willowswamp!

Red Brolly - now I don't do any other type of embroidery other than cross stitch and I certainly don't sew or quilt... but I just love this fun blog/website.  The designs and ideas are fantastic and the icing on the cake.... they're Australian!!

Mary Corbet's Needle 'N Thread - this website/blog is a great source of tips and tricks and inspiration.  Again it's not cross stitch, but more of a collection of general embroidery info... but wow, some of the stitching is just so gorgeous!  It is most definitely worth a look at!

I know by not nominating a new destination in the blog hop that the trip has sort of stopped with me.... but I have an idea.... if you wish to join in the fun of the Around the World Blog Hop, let me know when you comment and I will do another post in a couple of days letting people know to go and visit your blog next Monday!  How's that for a plan?

I do hope that you have enjoyed reading my latest ramble... and ramble it does appear to be!  See what happens when I let myself go and just type!

So until next time, happy stitching and happy blogging!

Stitching Noni xx

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hallowe'en SAL Update

There aren't enough days in the weekend
~ Rod Schmidt ~

Hi there!  I know I have been very re-miss with my monthly updates for the Hallowe'en Ornie 2014 SAL Blog.... that's because I haven't really been doing any Halloween stitching lately!  I sort of got stuck in May when my job changed and I went back to working 5 days a week - less time at home to stitch translated to less stitching being done!!

But today I do actually have a Halloween styled WIP to show you all!  My last update on the Halloween SAL blog was back in April with the cute little Owl I stitched on plastic canvas.

May was a bit tricky because I couldn't find a monster that I liked enough to stitch.... so I moved on and started to look around to see what I could stitch for June & July.....

I have been eyeing off a design in the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue for quite some time... and I decided to stitch it this year.  Of course, me being me... I took ages to get organised to start... but my train of thought for this design went along the lines of:

May - monsters: nope, no monsters
June - free choice: yep, design is my choice!
July - pumpkins: excellent, this design has a pumpkin
August - ghosts: oops, no ghosts in my free choice design....
September - black cats: yep, there are black cats - 3 actually!

Yippee, my free choice design covers off three out five months.  So while I am still behind in this SAL, my free choice designs does sort of help me get back on track... all I have to do is finish it before the end of the year!!!

So here it is... my latest Halloween WIP:

"Witch and Friends"
Designed by Donna Giampa
As I mentioned earlier, this design was published in the 2013 JCS Halloween magazine.  You can see the finished version of the design on the front cover of the magazine below:

Next month's theme is "Trick or Treaters".  I have found a design for this one... but so far I haven't managed to start stitching October's theme.... but that's ok, after all the month has only just begun!!!

Hallowe'en Ornie SAL
2014 Themes
October - Trick or Treaters
November - Bugs, insects or spiders
December - Free choice

Still to stitch:
May - Monsters
August - Ghosts

Well, that it for another stitching update.  Can't promise you what I will have to show you in my next post... it will be a bit of a lucky dip I think...

Til next time, happy stitching!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL September update

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free
~ Michelangelo ~

Lizzie Kate "Jingles Flip-It"
Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL update - stitching with RitaAnnette and Nia

I know it is now October... but finally I have parked my backside in front of the laptop and prepared my September "Jingles" update.

The last time I posted an update this is what "Jingles" looked like:

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" as at 28 August 2014
and this is what "Jingles" looks like  now:

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" as at 30 September 2014
Another block done!  Plus the extra border bit!  Which means that I am nearly half way through the blocks now, but I think I can safely say this won't be finished before Christmas this year...  Oh well, there is always next year!

I know I say this every time I post my "Jingles" update, but I really do love stitching on this design. The charts are all so sweet and so very easy to stitch.  Now I just have to make some time to stitch the next block... easier said than done these days!

Rita has posted her update for August and September already, so pop over and say Hi!  And while you're visiting, don't forget to drop in and say Hi to Annette and Nia too!  Hopefully they will have updates to show us very soon too!

So til the end of October when I should have some more "Jingles" to show you....

happy stitching and jingling!!
Stitching Noni xx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SAL's will be my downfall....

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that
~ Lauren Bacall ~

I have a confession to make....

I think I am addicted to SAL's.... that's assuming you can be addicted to SAL's! Or am I just a serial starter?  Of course that one goes without saying.... which means I now have 2 confessions to make.... I am addicted to SAL's and I am a serial starter!!

As you know from previous posts, I am already involved in a number of SAL's this year... some more active than others on my part!!

The Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL is still happening and I will have an update in the next couple of days for that one.  My other semi-active SAL is the "Hallowe'en Ornie 2014 Blog" SAL.  I am behind in that one, but I have actually started stitching a larger design that covers off 2 or 3 months so that sort gets me back on target with that one.  Again an update is due for that SAL in the next couple of days - so stay tuned!

My poor old Margaret Sherry SAL's have fallen a bit by the wayside recently.... but hopefully I will resurrect them again soon as I do miss the MS kitty!

So, shall I show you what SAL I have joined and started stitching now??  My latest SAL is a Facebook SAL group, and is one of many FB SAL groups that I follow and aspire to eventually start stitching!  (Notice I said "eventually"....)

The weekend just gone was a SAL challenge within a SAL challenge for the group, and it was a good reason/excuse for me to start stitching on this new mystery SAL!  Not that I really need an excuse to start something new....

Let me introduce to you my new start:

This is a mystery SAL, so as yet we don't know what the final piece will look like... but each of the boxes will have a face designed by Joan Elliott.  I just adore Joan's designs so I couldn't resist starting this one....

Faces of Joan Elliott Mystery SAL
Designer: Joan Elliott

Joan has released 3 faces so far.... but I am behind most of the other stitchers, so I can only show you the beginning of the borders.  The next post will have the borders finished and the flowers added, and then I will be able to start on the 3 faces!  Who knows I may be able to catch up before the next face gets released in another month or so!

So until I have more of my "Faces of JE" to show you, I will say bye for now.... see you again soon when I come back with more SAL updates!

Til next time, happy stitching!
Hugs xx

Stitching Noni

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TUSAL September 2014

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering
~ Steven Wright ~

The quote above quite accurately describes my state of mind lately.... no clear focus on anything!  I keep thinking of all these things that I need to do, but still nothing gets done!!  Oh well, at least the new moon appears every month without any help from me!

September's TUSAL report does actually have some colours to show.... I have been stitching on "Jingles" and my Hallowe'en Ornie 2014 Blog piece, so there is a mixture of Christmas and Halloween colours on top of the jar this month.

TUSAL September 2014
I must admit I was struggling to think of something exciting for my TUSAL photo this month.... see told you I have no focus... my mind keeps wandering!  While looking around for the perfect companion to my ORT's, I spotted the Wandering Buddha sitting on our shelf of reflection!  Maybe he will help me focus on my stitching for the rest of the year and the next few TUSAL photos will be overflowing with ORT's!

That's it for yet another short ORT report.  As we are nearing the end of the year, it may be a little late to sign up for the 2014 event.... but if you would like to sign up anyway and join in the fun for what is left of the year, then pop on over to Daffycat's blog and start collecting your ORT's!  And if you don't want to join in with the ORT collecting, you will still find links to some great blogs that you can read to while away the hours!!

The next 2014 ORT report will be ready for publication on or around 23rd October 2014.

New Moons - 2014
23rd October
22nd November
21st December

Til next time happy stitching!

"Bee" happy and keep stitching!
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL August update

We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream
~ Robert Coles ~

Lizzie Kate "Jingles Flip-It"
Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL update - stitching with RitaAnnette and Nia

I suppose you thought I had forgotten all about my "Jingles" SAL with the girls.... well, I am here today to let you know that "Jingles" is on the move again.

The last time I posted this is what "Jingles" looked like:

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" as at 2 June 2014
and this is what "Jingles" looks like  now:

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" as at 28 August 2014
I haven't quite managed to catch up to where I should be at this stage of the game, but I am getting there!  I love stitching on this design - it is so much fun and I am really looking forward to picking it up again in September.

Don't forget to pop over and check out Nia, Rita and Annette's SAL updates for the month.  Til the end of September when I have some more "Jingles" to show you....

happy stitching and jingling!!
Stitching Noni xx

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Honeybees and Lavender

The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee, 
a clover, anytime, to him, is aristocracy
~ Emily Dickinson ~

My own Lavender and Bees
Bees and Lavender would have to be two of my favourites things.  When I started typing this post I was going to include a web image of some bees and lavender.... but then I realised that all I had to do was go outside and take a photo!  But as with all great plans, the wind and bees decided not to co-operate.  But I did manage to get a photo of a bee on my pink ruffled lavender eventually!

Now why do I post about bees and lavender do I hear you ask?  Well, this post was inspired by my musings as to what to stitch for the exchange that Heather (Heather's Stitching Story) had arranged.  As previously mentioned, I was late sending the exchange package to CJ.  Partly this was because I was very time poor when trying to get organised for this exchange, but the other issue was that I couldn't think of what to stitch! Until I decided upon a theme of "Bees and Lavender".

Then everything fell into place.....

Firstly I went straight to the Snowflower Diaries Blog and downloaded the "Lavender Girl" design that I had had my eye on to stitch for quite some time.  Once stitched I turned the lavender girl into a pretty little hanger.

"Lavender Girl"
Designer: Maja, Snowflower Diaries
Stitched July 2014
So that was the Lavender stitch.... now for the bee stitch!  I remembered that I had downloaded a freebie sometime ago which had a beehive and bees as the design, and from memory I thought that it should be a quick stitch.  The other great thing about this design was that it had some different types of stitches instead of just cross stitch, so a great way to spread my stitching wings and try something different.

Honey Pin Cushion
Designer: Keepsake Stitches
Stitched July 2014
The "Honey Pin Cushion" is a freebie from the Keepsake Stitches website.  I loved this design and it was so simple to put together as a little cushion.  Of course it was only after I have put it together that I realised that I had stuffed up my bee on the back.... it should have been yellow and black... not yellow and blue! Goodness know what I was thinking when I stitched that!  But hey, every masterpiece has to have a deliberate mistake, doesn't it!!!

So that was the stitching side done, now all I had to do was find some extras....

Exchange gift sent to CJ
July 2014
As you can see from the photo above, I also sent CJ some lavender inspired gifts - a lavender scented candle in a tin, 2015 diary with lavender fields on the front cover, lavender coloured beads, pen, notebook and sticky notes that are sort of lavender coloured!  I hope that she liked the gift... and more importantly that it arrived safe and sound!

I did find a third design to stitch but, as I was almost three weeks late sending my package off, I decided not to include this one in the package... which meant that I didn't have to rush and I could take my time and really enjoy the stitching of the cupcake.... I just fell in love with this cupcake as soon as I saw it - it was one of those "I have to stitch this now" moments!!

"Honeybees Cupcake"
Designer: Durene Jones
This sweet little design was published in the World of Cross Stitching magazine issue 216.  They have a regular feature called "Cupcake of the Month" designed by Durene Jones.  Some of the cupcakes are really sweet but this is the first one that I just had to stitch right there and then!  Not sure yet how I will finally "finish" this sweet cupcake but I will certainly show you when it is finally all done.

So that's it for Honeybees and Lavender - two of my favourite things!!  It's now time for me to buzz off and leave you in peace to smell the lavender....

Til next time, happy stitching
Stitching Noni xx

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TUSAL August 2014

The young moon has fed
Her exhausted horn
With the sunset's fire.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~

Wow, can you believe it.... a TUSAL post from me!!! The last one was way back in May....  although I did take a photo for July but just didn't get around to posting anything!  So does this mean that I have been stitching if I have some ORT's to show... Oh yeah!

So here she is - my TUSAL jar with some very pretty ORT's and a very happy little gardening "Daffodil Day" teddy.  "Daffodil Day" is the Cancer Council of Australia's big country-wide fundraising event.  It is held every year and besides selling Daffodils to raise funds for cancer research and support for cancer patients, each year there are all sorts of other merchandise to buy.  This year they had some gardening teddies and I just could not resist the charms of this little fellow!

TUSAL August 2014
In the ORT's jar this month (and previous months since my last post) are the colours of my exchange gifts, a pretty little Durene Jones cupcake from WOCS that I just had to stitch, Jingles and on top of the jar, my latest Halloween stitch - photos of all to follow in future posts.... after all I have to keep you wanting more!! LOL!

That's it for this very short ORT report.  If you would like to sign up and join in the fun for what is left of this year, then pop on over to Daffycat's blog and leave a comment saying that you're in and start collecting your ORT's!  And if you don't want to join in with the ORT collecting, you will still find links to some great blogs that you can read to while away the hours!!

The next 2014 ORT report will be ready for publication on or around 23rd September 2014.  Hopefully I will now be back on track with more regular posts and stitching!

New Moons - 2014
23rd September
23rd October
22nd November
21st December

Til next time happy stitching!

"Bee" happy and keep stitching!
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Monday, August 25, 2014

From South Africa to Australia

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give
~ George MacDonald ~

Sometime ago I signed up to an exchange the Heather from Heather's Stitching Story was running.  Now I must hang my head in shame at this point because I was almost a month late sending to my partner.... and looking at the tracking website she still doesn't appear to have received the package a month after I posted - the package seems to have arrived in the USA and stopped dead.... fingers crossed it isn't held up too much longer with Customs and the postal service and it is delivered to CJ very soon.....

But I digress - again!

My post today is to show you what I received from my partner in the exchange - Theoria from "My Little Corner of Cyberspace".

Theoria hails from South Africa and she sent me these gorgeous hand-stitched gifts, as well as some chocolates (Lindt... my favourite - they lasted long enough to take the photo!!), some needles, scissors, bookmark, buttons and charms (cute), a notebook and some lovely trim which wrapped the whole package up, and the cutest doggie cross stitch kit!

Thank you Theoria, I just love everything you sent.  The photo doesn't show how pretty the stitched items are - they are just lovely!

I will be back again soon to show you what I sent to CJ and also update you on some other stitching that I am currently doing now that my stitching bug is finally coming home to settle again!!

Til next time, happy stitching!
Hugs, Stitching Noni xx

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Normal Service will be resumed..... what is normal service?

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, 
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read 
and all the friends I want to see
~ John Burroughs ~

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!
Of course that is assuming that anything I do can be considered as normal!!!

As you may have noticed, I haven't been around much lately..... but things are starting to look better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to my working days which, fingers crossed, will mean I can start doing "normal" things again!  I have so missed my regular stitching and blogging over the last 4 months - I even turned down a promotion at work just so I can get back to my normal state of mind instead of being in a permanent state of confusion and exhaustion!

I have been slowing getting back into doing a little bit of stitching over the last couple of weeks so I can even show you some stitching progress and finishes in my next post.  I have even managed to stitch on "Jingles" which will make Annette and Rita smile!  I am probably way behind the girls but there is still a few months of the year left for me to catch up!

My Halloween Ornie SAL progress is dismal to say the least...... My last update was for April, which means I completely missed May, June and July.  But I can report that I have started a new Halloween stitch for August which if I am creative with will cover me for a couple of months of themes, but it won't quite catch me up on this SAL!  Oh well.... as the quote above says each day is just too short!!!

Now seeing as how this is supposed to be a short and sweet "please don't forget me" style post... I had better sign off and get back to work!!

Til next time when I will have some stitching pics for you to drool over... happy stitching!

Happy Stitching..... and may the frog pass you by!
Stitching Noni xx

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Catch up time!

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~ William Wordsworth, 1806 ~

I just realised that I have been very remiss in not showing you a couple of snaps....

1. Remember The Snowflower Diaries "Spring Witch" that I stitched for the March theme of the Hallo'ween SAL Blog?  I haven't showed you what I did with this little cutie.  So here she is all finished:

The Snowflower Diaries - Spring Witch
finished as a gift for Valérie 
When I was stitching my little Spring Witch I had a plan in mind as to what to do with her right from the start. Except as per usual, my timing was rubbish and I was very late in finishing and sending it off.

The original plan was to send her to Valérie (fée le point) for her birthday in March.  But time just ran away with me and it was April and well past Valérie's birthday before I got myself organised and sent off the little witch on her adventure to France.

2. The second thing that I have been very remiss in telling you about is a lovely gift from Kaye (Kitten Stitching) that I received a few weeks ago.

Giveaway Gift from Kaye
The package included 2 lovely pieces of fabric (a pretty yellow one and gorgeous floral one); a nail file that looks like a ruler (dual purpose!); a lovely charm and the most wonderful embroidery book.  A really lovely surprise from Kaye - can't wait to find just the right thing to use the fabric for and the book is a lovely addition to my craft bookcase :o)  Thank you Kaye, and I am so sorry that I have been so slack in showing off your lovely gift.

Well that's it for this post - I think I am now up to date with all my news.... So til the next time when I will hopefully have some stitching to show, take care and happy stitching!

Hugs xx
Stitching Noni

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL May Update

Really I don't dislike to cook, but what you cook is eaten so quickly.  
When you sew, you have something that will last to show for your efforts
~ Elizabeth Travis Johnson ~

Lizzie Kate "Jingles Flip-It"
Lizzie Kate "Jingles" SAL update - stitching with RitaAnnette and Nia

If you read my last post yesterday you would be almost right in thinking that I haven't gotten very far with "Jingles" since that last update... so shall we see just how far I am with this fun design?

So this was where I was up to last time I showed you Jingles on 4th May 2014.....

Lizzie Kate - "Jingles" as at 3/5/2014
and this is where I am at as of today (well 2 June 2014 actually):

Lizzie Kate - "Jingles" as at 2/6/2014
So what do think?  Pretty good progress for the month or what??  I am pretty pleased at where I am after only stitching on this for a couple of months.

I was hoping that by taking the photo outside in the sun that you would see the pretty sparkle in the fabric but it doesn't quite show up... but believe me it is there!

"Jingles" is now put away as I need to get my big fat stitching backside moving on an exchange piece that I am supposed to send off by the end of June.  Of course that means I have to stay away from my iPad and "Farmville 2"!!

Til next time, happy stitching and jingling!!
Stitching Noni xx