And there’s more… a Christmas Stocking for Joel.

22 12 2012

Yesterday, I had my first day of Annual Leave since the big trip in April earlier this year (you may recall that Joel and I travelled to Scotland, Iceland and England in a Whirlwind 3 week adventure).  Finding I had some time to myself, I decided to finally make a present for my lovely hubby.

Voila! I used Rachel’s tutorial to make him his own stocking!

2012-12-21 18.58.04

A stocking for Joel!

It turned out so well! I really like the dragon batik in the second row of green fabric from the top – it’s just so Joel!.

And here’s the back – the fabric is a border print from Michele Hill’s William Morris inspired fabric line.

2012-12-21 18.58.51

Back of the Stocking – I love this fabric (I guess it’s a testament to our love that I actually cut into it!)

And the verdict – He Loves it! YAY!  Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!





The big finale for 2012!

22 12 2012

I’ve started some annual leave and so it seems that I finally have some time to update my long fallow blog. And do I have some news for you – I finally finished the Coat of Arms Band Sampler! It was a total pleasure to stitch – even during those times when I thought I’d never get to the end. Finished on the 9th December 2012. Started sometime in November 2011 (I think! – Now I understand why I should update the blog – I’d have more of an idea about the time it took to do!)

Via Flickr:
Stitched on White Newcastle Linen (40ct) one thread over two with Vikki Clayton silks. I used: the Etherial Blues Series, Icicle Blues Series, Denim Blues Series and Mermaid Blues Series with two unknown varigated blues (also by VC just unlabled) to create the colour scheme.

Design is by Stickideen von der Wiehenburg.





Coat of Arms Sampler SAL progress.

4 06 2012

Well, hello again!
It’s been a while since I checked in here. I haven’t really been motivated to do much posting of late. I’ve been a bit low. Why? you might ask, I don’t really know. I’ve been living my frankly fabulous life – still have that full time job that I actually like, went on a wonderful holiday with Dr K and I have actually been stitching too. I have noticed my motivation flagging in some areas of my life – time at the gym is at an all time low, I’ve been getting headaches and have been feeling a little run down.

Blue Band Sampler full

Coat of Arms Band Sampler / Stickideen von der Weihenburg

Anyway enough of the mopey talk, the purpose of this post is to share some progress pictures of my Band Sampler Coat of Arms by Stickideen von der Weihenburg.  I’m still a little behind the pace of the SAL (the last page released was page 44) I am about 4 pages behind.  I have five more bands to go! Two more pictorial and three “ribbon” bands.

Blue band sampler detail

Coat of Arms Band Sampler – detail of recent work.

Honestly, I love this sampler. Even the row that I don’t like as much as the others (the variegated row above the unicorns).  I think that mistake will probably end up working out as the row is pretty much in the centre and will sort of bring the theme of many blues together… (or look like a massive fail – if I really end up hating it I can still pull it out).

I think I am turning into a one-at-a-time stitcher… I don’t know what that means for my massive pile of works in progress.  We’ll have to see.





WIPocalypse Check-in #2 and a small domestic disaster.

6 02 2012

Hello all,
Since we last communed I entered my study and trashed it looking for the WIP of Sampler Mystery II by Chatelaine Designs**. My last photo of it before it went into the Long Term WIP pile was archived here.  Since it is time for a WIPocalypse check-in post I’ve taken some progress photos to share today.  As you can see, some progress has been made… though honestly, the blue squiggly inner border was already 3/4 complete when I restarted work.

Chatelaine: Sampler Mystery II (in all its unironed glory)

This is a photo of the whole thing. It’s actually pretty big and I found it difficult to get a nice picture. It may have been easier if I had got the iron out (sometimes I just can’t do it, sorry).

Chatelaine: Sampler Mystery II

The flowers that bloomed over the weekend.

And here is a detail shot of the flowers I planted in stitches over the weekend. The gold border is very boring to stitch and I haven’t got anything sufficiently mindless to watch whilst stitching it at the moment. But, wait! Mythbusters is on tonight and I can work on it whilst Joel is watching.  Confession: I’m not all that into it, but will happily stitch whilst it’s on.  Please don’t ask about the physics principles demonstrated tonight because I was probably concentrating on threading my needle at the crucial moment (always the way and those metallic threads can be buggers to thread properly).

We had a minor domestic disaster this weekend. This Christmas I bought a rather expensive but simply amazing smelling candle by Diptyque (it was a special edition Christmas candle scented like a pine tree).  This particular candle has been rather a household chore as well as a pleasure to smell because unfortunately I dropped it on our tiled floor just after Christmas – the clean up after this incident was rather traumatizing (I also got the wax on my favourite silk skirt) but we got through it (the skirt survived!!)

Loving this candle so much I actually ordered a second one for next year which I have packed away safely.  But what to do with the other, broken one? It was suggested by a family member who will not be outed on this blog that it would be ok to light it (but not display the poor shattered remains).  So, the other night, I was feeling the love and pulled the candle out and lit it before we retired to bed.  Just as I was drifting off to sleep I pulled myself out of the bed and went over to blow it out to be greeted by the sight below… arrrrgh.

A Minor Disaster Domesticus

And of course there was a puddle of wax on the carpet by the dresser.  I’ve scraped off all the wax from our dresser which thankfully did not leave any marks in the wood and did the same for the carpet. The bedroom has a lovely scent of pine about it at the moment!!  I still have to lift the wax out of the carpet with the iron and some paper towels but that will happen another day (hey, if I’m not ironing WIPs – I’m not ironing the carpet!!)

Well, another rather wordy update from me.  Sorry about that.  It does kind of help to share the domestic disasters (I get to see the funny side of them this way).

**The Theme-a-licious theme for February is Fangirl Febrary and I’m stitching my favourite designer (scientifically selected) Chatelaine.





Garden Gate Sampler finished and a Theme-a-licious update

31 01 2012

Hello all, I said I would finish it on Australia Day and I managed it! Huzzah!

The Prairie Schooler Garden Gate Sampler

I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  :)

And, with that finish, I recommitted to working on my blue band sampler and have a little progress to show off…

Coat of Arms Band Sampler - Stickideen von der Wiehenburg

As you might be able to see I ran into a little problem stitching on the large light blue band pictured in the centre- I ran out of thread with 127 stitches to go! Can’t see it? – The last plant pot thingy is missing a flourish, lucky for me a lady on the HDF board offered me some thread from the same dyelot. Stitchers are the loveliest people!

I picked a nice variegated thread for the next band – which I have now started along with the band below it (just wanted to see how the colours read together).  I’m not completely in love the variegate right now but I’ve put it on probation and will see how it pans out.  I really like the darker colour below so that is staying.

Regarding the Theme-a-licious SAL – Jardin January was a big success for me – I began and finished The Garden Gate Sampler.  Next month is Fangirl February – this is according to Heather,  an opportunity to:

Send a Valentine to your favorite designer…or at least work on his or her designs for the month!

I took the list I posted in January of all my current WIPs and totaled up the count for each designer.  Chatelaine was no 1 in the list followed by Mirabilia, Stickideen von der Wiehenburg, Bent Creek, Theresa Wenzler and Lizzie Kate.  Isn’t it funny but my heart sank at the idea of spending too much time with my Chatelaine WIPs. However, I will do it!! I will pick up Sampler Mystery Two from where-ever I stashed it away – it may take some finding! In order to perhaps see a finish in February, I will also be picking up Flora McSample by Lizzie Kate this is a very small piece, that I just keep putting down because it is on 28ct fabric – which means I have to use two strands of thread (something to which I have become a bit adverse) – the same could be said of the Chatelaine, but it has the advantage of being mostly silks (ahhhh, silks) and on a slightly tighter 32 count fabric and it has peacocks!

Dr K has pointed out of course that totaling up my WIP designers was probably not the best way to identify my favourite designer as really, it is at best a indicator of the designers capable of inducing me to start but not finish a piece (a conclusion I was rapidly approaching on my own).  I should re-catalogue my charts and kits to get a better sense of who my real favourite is (not a chance – there’s more than a thousand at the last count and that is time I could be spending stitching!) OR I could count my finished pieces that I have stashed around the house – this is actually more do-able as most are in a basket un-framed (I have a bit of a phobia of getting the framing choices wrong – this is utterly silly, I know). I might do this during February just for fun.

Well everyone, this has turned out to be rather a long post, sorry about that! When I fired up the wordpress editor I didn’t think I had that much to say!!  Wishing you all a very productive February.

PS: I actually have 3 Chatelaine finishes – Strawberry Shaker Box (and the fob, haven’t done the rest of the “toys”), Japanese Octagon Box and the Grape Threadkeeper – somehow I felt it was necessary to point out that out.

PPS: Dr K is in the kitchen cooking dinner and burbling on about metrics for measuring my exact favourite – one possible measure – the number of stitches completed to number of charts held (I’m afraid I’ve already forgotten his other suggestions).  I do love being married to a man of science.





The January Ort Report.

26 01 2012

Hello friends,

Well, it’s very early on Australia Day and Dr K and I have very few plans other than to sit in our respective cubbies and do what we both like best. Him: programming or gaming (be it EVEonline, Uncharted, Skyrim). Me, watching DVDs (still have some Christmas gifts to watch) and hopefully finishing the Garden Gate Sampler. I’ll share my progress on that in a little bit, but first – the new moon has well and truly passed which means I am overdue sharing my Totally Useless Stitch-along (TUSAL) update, this is the fun stitch-along where bloggers share a photo of the Old Ragged Threads (ORTS) they’ve collected during the previous month.  I’ve been collecting them in this cute little storage caddy I bought at a department store kitchen department, not having any empty jars to hand.  I quite like the square shape (it also has a lid, which is being used as a coaster at the moment).

January 2012

You can see that all of the threads have come from The Garden Gate Sampler.  Sadly, not one stitch has gone into my beautiful blue band sampler.  This must be rectified next month – I am now 5 pages behind the action again. (I can catch up – I started work when page 10 was released, and I have no intention of letting this become a UFO).  I know why this has happened – I’m due to change blues again and this is always fraught with indecision and second guessing.  Once I commit to a blue I’ll stitch again happily.  I guess I should be happy that I am only working with one colour on this piece – imagine the pain of choosing from the full spectrum!

Racing towards the end - Garden Gate Sampler / The Prairie Schooler

And here’s a quick and frankly quite awful photo of where I left the Garden Gate Sampler after this weekend’s magnificent effort. I feel a happy dance coming on…

Till next time friends!





Theme-a-licious check-in: Jardin January

16 01 2012

Well, here we are again with a little update on The Garden Gate Sampler by The Prairie Schooler (from book no.45 OOP).  I’m a little late making my Theme-a-licious check-in post as I have family visiting and they are taking up much of my time, not so much that I haven’t had time to obsessively stitch on The Garden Gate.  I think I sat down on Sunday with the intention of finishing the numbers and maybe the words, but once in the chair I had to finish the gazebo and add the flower motive to the right as well.  I had the last week of the Colbert Report and Daily Show to catch up on so I was in hogs heaven (my visitors were in a similar state playing with my nieces and nephews over in North Perth).  I think I am about a third of the way done on this piece now.  They look so small – but there is a lot of stitching!  To recap, this is on 40ct raw linen with the charted DMCs.

Garden Gate Sampler - Prairie Schooler

Garden Gate Sampler - The Prairie Schooler

With the visitors in tow, we went to see Tintin on Saturday – I’m always a bit leery of films made from my childhood favourites (look what they did to Asterix) but this was a pretty faithful reproduction and we all enjoyed it very much. We saw the non 3d version – I think that was just what they were showing at the time though I have to admit I was relieved I didn’t have to slip the silly glasses over my own.

The lovely Dr K and I are busy preparing a travel plan to go to Iceland, Scotland and England (maybe Paris if I am lucky and go on my own) in March / April.  Joel is wanting to attend the EVE online fan fest 22-24 March in Iceland (it’s an online computer game event) so I am going along to see what there is to see.  The Sisters of Eve (wives/partners) are hosting a day tour on the 23rd where I’ll get to go horse-riding, caving and ride around on a quad bike (I admit these are not things I’d do if left to myself, but might be fun for one day – or should I just take my portable OTT light and stitch? –  the date is also my birthday)  We also thought it would be nice to see Edinburgh and Glasgow (I’ve never been that far north in the UK).  We pretty much have to go to England as most of my relatives are in Essex (Southend on Sea, Rochford and Romford) –  my little branch of the family emigrated to Australia in 1982 when I was 8 years old.  Joel does not want to go to Paris at all, so I’d have to make that little pilgrimage on my own – I have already been once, but would love to see it again and Sacre Coeur which I missed last time around.

Well friends I’m going to leave it here, till we next meet.








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