Thursday, January 28, 2010

Glorious Sunshine!

It is the most gloriously sunny hot day today - this is what I'm seeing from my balcony - not a bad view really!
I should be in the garden this afternoon - have been attacking the front garden for the last couple of days - though I think ''wilderness'' is a more appropriate description for that part of the garden! I'm not sure you can really even see where I have been but I have discovered some of the healthiest specimens of thistles that I've ever seen! Prize winning numbers they were! It's a little too hot right now, though, so may go back to it later this afternoon.

Last night I finished block four of Vero's mystery quilt - it was such fun to stitch and I really really love it!
And today the postie brought me some of these...
...gorgeous new buttons from Theodora Cleave. I think I will have a little play with a couple of them tonight. Postie has brought me some very nice little parcels lately.

Isn't this the most amazing colour - these little lobelia are pretty hardy to survive in this planter as I often forget to water them - it doesn't seem to worry them though.
I think I've just been talked into taking someone over to Signal Hill for a few downhill runs! I suppose it's a way to avoid the ''wilderness'' for a little longer and I don't really mind driving up and down the hill half a dozen times as it's good ''thinking'' time - many a project has been sorted out in my head on that road!
So, I'm off to drive Mr Jake!
Happy stitching

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stacy Nash Primitives

Look what arrived in my mailbox yesterday! While I was away last week I spent some time surfing the net, looking for gorgeous cross-stitch designers - Stacy Nash was one of the first I found and now her patterns have arrived. You should have seen me opening the box - oh so carefully - not!!! I couldn't wait to get it open to see the goodies - this picture does not do them justice - they are divine.
These are just a few - more on my website. Also, gorgeous little books of her designs, though these aren't quite on the website yet (!). Maybe later today (or tomorrow...)
I don't know about you but I love patterns and books that are beautifully presented - these little books have an opaque type of cover that is fastened with a ribbon. Probably sounds silly, but somehow it just seems that little bit more special undoing the ribbon and opening the pages - makes you think ''what secret treasures await''. And treasures there are!

I haven't done any cross stitch for such a long time, but over the past few months I've been seeing some incredibly beautiful work on the web and other blogs and it has sparked the old desire to cross stitch again. I even got out the linen a couple of weeks back and played around with an idea that's been floating around ''upstairs'' for a little while. I'll give you a peek soon (if it works!).
Off now to maybe finish block four of Vero's mystery quilt - it's very cute.
Happy stitching

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This afternoon I am supposed to be doing something else - but I absolutely loathe doing that ''something else'' so I have become the master of ''let's see what else we can do instead and delay it just a little longer''. And I remembered! I haven't been here since getting back from our little holiday - the perfect excuse not to do the other thing! We had a fabulous time. As soon as the last guest had left we hit the road for Alexandra - I swear that there is something in the air up that way that makes you relax - once you hit Roxburgh, it just seems to happen - breathe it in and holiday mode takes over. We always stop in Roxburgh for coffee (and a little something from the bakery!) - there's a special little spot round the back of the township overlooking the river where we ''do'' morning tea (though in this case it was more like lunch!) Then, of course, there are multiple stops at the roadside fruit stalls - to load up with cherries, plums and apricots. By the time we got to Alex we were ready for a walk/bike in the hills.

Even though the wild thyme was well past it's best, the smell of it was still heavenly. And meandering around these hills on a warm day was bliss.
The second day we walked part of the river track and met this little fellow along the way. He was just a baby I think, and I'm not entirely sure how he got to be where we found him. Eventually he scurried under a large rocky overhang, away from us and the sun, no doubt, and I am hoping that his mother found him. He was so cute.
We stopped at this point, before heading back, and the utter peace and stillness was incredible. Only the birds singing in the background.

One thing that drives Jake nuts when we are out walking is that I am forever stopping to take pictures of wildflowers - can't understand why this annoys him, though! They are gorgeous - this is a favourite.

Stitching on holiday was not as productive as I had hoped - blame it on the motel lighting! So all I managed was to finish these, from a project that has been in the basket for a while now...

...and I did another of Barb's little cat stitcheries - still have one more to go to make up the set of four.
So.... this has delayed the dreaded task quite nicely - but I don't think I should delay it any longer or I'll get into trouble. Need to go calculate and file my GST return!
Happy stitching (I wish I was!)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

''Stitching Time''

Took the afternoon off, today. There's been a lot of cleaning and breakfasts going on over the last couple of weeks and I needed a little ''stitching'' time. And add to that a trip to A & E last weekend, and tending the wounded, for good measure. (A & E? sure you can guess - involves a bike, rocks and luckily just one finger but a surprising number of stitches for such a little pinkie!) Yeah - I needed this afternoon!

So, I finished off this little sweetie. You know how some things you make you just absolutely love them - well, this is one of them for me. It's a gorgeous little pincushion pattern of Brenda Ryan's - there's also a daisy design in the same pattern that I'm only half way through but this is the finished hollyhock one.

I added the feather stitch down the seams cos I love the way it looks.

And I've used Pams Cottage Garden Threads - aren't they so gorgeous.

Speaking of Pam's threads - she has just released another 34 new colours! I think I've died and gone to heaven! They arrived yesterday and I have been oogling them ever since - I'll pop them on the website soon, I promise.

This is my little "Days in Provence" quilt - all finished. The quilt is a design of Jackie Nicholls ( and it's another one of those ''I really love this'' things!

I quilted really simply around each block- was wanting the ''naive'' look and decided that chunky stitches using perle thread would work. Then got a little carried away on the outside border and quilted it around and around, in quarter inch lines (not perfect quarter inches though - eyeballed it all the way!) It's given the border a sort of scrunched effect and that's what I really like - sort of a vintagey look.
Had another little delivery this week which was fun - a lovely range of fabrics called Wild Thyme - the most gorgeous shades of pinks and green. Do I have plans for this - definitely!

We're off for a few days holiday next week - will be walking amongst the real wild thyme - so hoping for some lovely sunny days and balmy evenings. And I get to choose a new little project to take with me - my holiday stitching project!
I've narrowed it down to about 4 - so might have to flip a coin a few times to make the final decision.
Happy stitching

Friday, January 1, 2010

Two thousand and ten!

You know what - doesn't seem all that long ago that we celebrated the year two thousand? And now it's ten years later - hmmm.... I don't know about you, but one heck of a lot has happened in the last ten years - wonder what the next decade will hold? I don't ''do'' resolutions, but I did spend a little quiet time, just thinking about the past year and making a few plans for the coming one. There's a few things I would like to achieve. Did you celebrate the New Year in style? Very belatedly Jake and I wandered down to the Octagon, enjoyed the bands, and then were treated to an amazing fireworks display. And today, we went walking. Jake wanted to show me one of his biking tracks - said it was a goodie to walk up as you got great views. He was right - it was ''UP" (for a long long way!) but you did get great views so it was worth it. What I thought would be a quiet stroll turned into nearly a 5 hour epic, mind you I did dawdle a little to take some pics. This is a view along the way....

... and this is from the top but you don't see so much from there as it's flat. It was pretty amazing being up there though, with not a soul around for miles. We sat among the tussocks to shelter a little from the roaring norwester, ate cake (what's life without cake!) and drank lots of water.

I absolutely love the way new fern fronds look and can't stop myself from taking far too many pictures of them.

Christmas was a very happy family affair this year - all of us managed to get together for Christmas dinner - what a racket!!! This is what I gave friends for Christmas this year - I used Marg Low's gorgeous covered coathanger pattern, and made them up in Tanya Whelan fabrics. Cute ay!

And this is Christmas night - glorious sunset over Geraldine.

Boxing Day saw us walking again - a big long walk up Orari Gorge in the morning...

...and another long one along the Waihi River in the afternoon.
I know this is a ''bitsy'' blog - it's what I've been up to over the past week - but there has been some stitching in amongst the walking and Christmas and New Years things as well - a Brenda Ryan sweetie, some more of the Gingham Girls and block 3 of Vero's Mystery Quilt (that's been a challenge to put it mildly). I'll do a show and tell in a few days when a couple of them are hopefully finished. Now I'm off to have cake for supper - fresh Banana cake - my favourite!
Happy New Year
and lots of stitching