Sunday, December 31, 2006
We took our visitors out for the afternoon yesterday, and luckily caught the only bit of sunshine we've seen this summer. We came across this lovely English garden (my favourite style of garden) at Kaitoke Country Gardens.
There was plenty of other pretty scenery, unusual plants and sights to see. Locals might be interested to know that it is free to wander the gardens.
The evening was topped off with a BBQ (more eating!), and this fiery sunset - courtesy of the smoke and ash in the atmosphere from the Australian bushfires. Stay safe if you are reading this from across the Tasman.
I see a lot of bloggers are listing their goals for next year. Mine are, once again, very simple - stitch and enjoy. Although, I am going to add one more for 2007 - count more regularly and more carefully - I've done way too much frogging in recent months.
Finally, I'd like to wish everyone all the best for 2007.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I've had a great week with a couple of Christmas dos, my Mum's 60th, an awesome Christmas bonus (which will pay for our flights to Australia next year), and I found the elusive DMC 115!! Yay.
Here's a WIP of 'Lavender Hill' by Little House Needleworks. I'm stitching it on 32 count 'Rose Petals' hand-dyed fabric from Countrystitch. The photo doesn't do the fabric justice, it's very pretty.
I've dabbled in scrapbooking in the past (I'd made a whole 2 pages!), but I think the bug may have finally got me. My younger sister and I have had a scrapbooking weekend this weekend, and I made four pages (here's one below).
My sister has enough scrapbooking stash to start a shop and she doesn't mind sharing. I have a bit of stash too, so I think I've definitely got a new hobby for 2007.
The writing has been blurred out beneath the photo, it just has my Grandad's full name and army number. There are some more photos in myWebshots (in the album titled 'Other Crafts' for anyone who is interesting in scrapbooking.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Tonight there is a surprise BBQ for her with some of her older and newer friends. It will be quite a day, considering she thinks she is only out with Dad for a bit and then to what she thinks is just a family BBQ!
Here she is as a sweet wee tot...
Hope you're all having a good week.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Oh and here was a card that I stitched my Dad for his 65th. It didn't turn out special enough to make into a card, so not wanting to waste the time I'd put into it, I slapped it on the CD cover which holds the movie I made him. (Thanks for the well wishes for my Dad, he's recovering well).
Not long until Christmas now. I am sooo looking forward to the time off work!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Things are still busy, and not allowing for much stitching time. Dad has been in hospital, Tess is overnighting at the vets tonight :0( , we've had new ceilings installed (hence the dust storm title of this post, what a lot of cleaning up OH and I have been doing), we've also been tidying up the garden now we've got some good weather (yay!). Oh yeah, and then there's Mum's birthday and Christmas preparations... now summer is here I'm starting to get a bit excited about Xmas.
Last week one of my workmates surprised me with this bunch of roses (a crap photo, they don't do these beauties justice) - just to thank me for my help. Wow, I'm still quite astounded and touched.
Thanks for the comments on my last post. I laughed at Karen's comment 'Look at that hair'... yup, glad I didn't inherit those curls! LOL.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Here's a little ditty I emailed him -
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
You've just turned sixty-five-vvv
But, don't look a day over twenty-two!
We've got him an iPod Nano and iTrip so he can listen to music in his Jaguar, without having a car stereo installed.
I would say I'm looking forward to getting back to my stitching, but Mum turns 60 on 19 Dec so I think I'll do her a presentation too! (At least now I'm experienced there shouldn't be too many more hissy-fits! LOL).
I'm glad some of you enjoyed the links to the squillions of cross stitch freebies.
Hope everyone is stitching up a storm! I'm off to my Dad's party in a few minutes, so have a good weekend everyone.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The view from the lounge window earlier this evening... (miserable).
Looking for the good in all things, at least all this rain is making my flowers grow!
And has helped me get my stitching mojo back. I can tell I've not done much stitching lately, as I had to put this down earlier due to an achey arm and hand.
All this rain means the cats are going a bit stir crazy too. It's a bit like having three baby elephants running around the house. Here's Tess taking a breather earlier...
I was hoping when I got home from work yesterday that my magazines I bought off TradeMe would NOT be there, because it was pouring. I was a little disappointed to find the slightly soggy envelope in the letterbox. BUT... the seller had kindly wrapped them in plastic inside the envelope so there was no damage to the magazines. Yay!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Instead, here's another cat photo. This is Giggsy when he was 8 weeks old. He and Meg were such loveable little terrors. Oh the stories I could tell about ripped wallpaper, curtain climbing, curtain rails being pulled from walls and shredded toilet rolls. We used to live in a very old house with lovely wooden floors, and it was always so delightful to hear the padding of furry cat feet chasing one another around. They're still very loveable, but much calmer now (phew!).
I bought the September issue of Cross Stitch Collection yesterday (my interest is stash shopping never subsides) - there are some fab designs in it - a Lion Cub by Pollyana Pickering, Earth Goddess and Part 2 of a very large design called 'Summer Ball' (it reminds me of Pride & Prejudice). I was going out to get the magazine with Part 1 in it today, but it was (surprisingly!!! - not) pouring with rain. Tomorrow I'll go armed with a jacket and a brolly!
Speaking of magazines - Ali if you are reading this, I have left a message on your last post re the JCS Ornaments magazine.
Speaking of more magazines :0) LOL - I don't often purchase items on TradeMe (like Ebay), but when I saw this auction had very little interest I put in a bid and got these magazines for just $5 (that's roughly about US$2.50 or GBP 1.50)! I love a bargain.
Has anyone else not received their Rainbow Club from Countrystitch this month? Just curious.
Finally, thank you for all your get well wishes for my Dad. One of the veins they put into his heart when he had his bypass has become completely blocked due to scar tissue. I'm not yet sure what they intend doing to fix the problem.
Hope you have all had a good week, and have an even better weekend! :0)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Who me, naughty? Never! (Tess looking surprised on hearing "you've been a naughty cat").
I apologise for my lack of updates, but the only stitching I've been doing this week is of the reverse kind. I wasn't happy with how my Woodland Santa design was coming along, so I've spent several nights (boredom has prevented it being a one nighter) ripping it out so I can start again. The fabric is 32 count, and I was stitching with two threads... so I will restart using a single strand.
I'm worried about my Dad at present. He had a heart bypass a few years ago, but has been having angina pains so has to go in for an angiogram and angioplasty this week. He's been suffering with a few minor ailments lately too, and came to a BBQ at our place tonight and couldn't eat because of major toothache (the dentist can't find the problem). Not good all round. He's retiring next year, so here's hoping a more relaxed lifestyle will be beneficial to his health.
On to cheerier topics, here's Giggsy in his favourite spot - OH's beanbag. I have a tiger striped one, and the cats won't touch it. LOL
And here's OH imitating wee Meg...
Hope you're having a good weekend!
Friday, November 03, 2006
We had planned to be out in our front garden tonight cleaning up (OH ripped out the front garden last weekend), but the skip we ordered for this weekend didn't show up. Oh well... guess I'll have to take it easy then! :0)
Here's a couple of photos I took earlier this evening... the violas are newish and growing in a pot. I bought violas and pansies in shades of orange and purple for a certain Northern Ireland Prodestant fellow I know.
The alstroemeria are one thing which hasn't been ripped out since we moved in two years ago. They flower for most of the year, and are always very abundant.
Here's the big fella who was hanging out with me in the garden while I took a few snaps. If he's looking a little forlorn it's because he was in a very nasty fight earlier in the week, which required some urgent veterinary attention. He's getting better though.
Oh well, I'm off to soak up the last few rays of the day and then I think I'll get my stitching out. Have a fantastic weekend!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Now for the sinister man bit... a friend at work was telling me that the other day while she was at work her house alarm went off. Her neighbour rang the police during all the noise to report a sinister looking man in the window. Apparently loads of police turned up and cordoned off surrounding streets. Guess who it turned out to be standing in her window? Sir Anthony Hopkins!! The neighbour had looked in and seen her World's Fastest Indian poster! D'oh!!
I bought the ingredients to make
Anne's apricot slice tonight. I might just go and make it now, I've been hankering for it ever since I saw the photo and recipe!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I have finished stitching The Mermaid Inn. I even washed it and ironed it before taking a photo. As usual, you can click the photo for a clearer view.
I'm back working on Damask Roses, although it's not really honking my hooter. Maybe I'll start something new...
Friday, October 20, 2006
5 Wierd Things
1) Nobody is allowed to look at my photos until they are in photo albums. While it annoys people eager to see my snaps, I really dislike fingerprints on photos.
2) I've been engaged for five years. We were six weeks away from getting married in 2002 when somebody (naming no names - but it wasn't me LOL) got homesick and had to go home for a bit! It's never been rescheduled.
3) I don't like to deviate from plans. I can get quite huffy if my plans don't go as planned.
4) My Dad used to call me 'Rumbletum'.
5) From a very early age (I was probably about 7 or 8) I was interested in Princess Diana. I used to joke that she was my real mother. Now if she appears on the telly or in a magazine, everyone says to me 'there's Mummy'. Even my own Mother!
1) Welcome Home - Dave Dobbyn
2) Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls
3) Superstar - Jamelia
4) You're Beautiful - James Blunt
5) High - James Blunt
6) Speed of Sound - Coldplay
7) this is sad, but I love the song from the 100% Pure New Zealand ad (although I think they've changed their campaign now)
It's a long weekend here this weekend (yipeee)... when Labour weekend arrives it always seems like summer is just around the corner. Here's hoping I get lots of stitching in (although our front garden is about to be ripped out, so I might have to help OH with that! LOL)
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sorry if you've checked back over the past week and found no updates (I'm a naughty blogger), but I've been working on 'The Mermaid Inn' and have found it hard to put down. Progress pic below.
The Mermaid Inn is an old (and I really mean old, it was REBUILT in 1420!) pub, situated in Rye, West Sussex. I've visited it on a number of occasions, and was able to pick up this kit in England when I was there on my recent trip. It is such a tiny pub... I'm 5ft7" tall and have to watch my head on the door frame and you'd be lucky to fit 20-30 people inside I reckon.
Come Christmas I'll be rid of nasty embroidery hoop marks (hopefully forever!), Santa is bringing me some Q-snaps. I'm really looking forward to trying them out.
What's better than stash? Free stash, of course! One of my sisters was having a clear out and has passed on a bag of evenweave fabrics for me. I'm sure I'll put them to good use in the future!
Margaret has tagged me. I have to state five things which are wierd about myself or my pets. Hmmm... I'll have to think about this one and get back to you... :0) If you can think of five wierd things about yourself or your pet, then consider yourself tagged!
Monday, October 09, 2006
OH must think he's engaged to an ever-increasing stashaholic, here's my latest monthly installment from Countrystitch. It's called 'Hokey Pokey'. I've been hoping for some more neutral colours, and this is just perfect.
I haven't posted any cat pics lately, so here's one I took a few minutes ago of my big fella 'Giggsy'. He's like so many large male cats... a real softy!
As usual, you can click on the photos for clearer shots (I'll work it out one day!).
Hope your week is off to a flying start...
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
While OH is a very generous gift-giver himself, he doesn't like receiving them. But surely I've hit the nail on the present-head this time!??
Image courtesy of
Whale Watch Kaikoura
Also planned is a trip to a winery (he lurvves wine) and some relaxing.
There's a fantastic stash shop in Picton called 'The Looking Glass' which I might have to raid while we wait for the ferry home. LOL. (Honest, there was no alternate agenda here!!... does anyone believe me?).
As for stitching... would you believe with all that new stash, I'm actually working on Damask Roses and feeling really motivated with this piece... so I'm sticking with it for now. Will post a progress pic soon.
We get high speed internet this weekend, so if I disappear for a while it's probably just high speed teething problems!
Saturday, September 30, 2006
As usual, you can click the photo for a clearer view.
In my haul I have -
Town Square CD
Dancing In the Moonlight - The Stitcher's Habit
Winter Fobs - Heart In Hand
Pretty In Pink - Brightneedle
Garden Party - Brightneedle
Ladybugs and Bumblebees - Country Cottage Needleworks
M'Lady's Strawberries - Little House Needleworks
Moon and Stars - Little House Needleworks
Lavender Hill - Little House Needleworks
Watermelon (with 5 Crescent Colour threads) - Little House Needleworks
Bunny - The Littles - Bent Creek (with beads)
Dance of the Bumblebee - Bent Creek (with charm)
Whale House - Bent Creek (with snapper)
Spring Bird - Heart In Hand
Summer Bird - Heart In Hand
Autumn Bird - Heart In Hand
Winter Bird - Heart In Hand
Valentine Bird - Heart In Hand
Harvest Thyme - Plum Pudding NeedleArt (a freebie)
I think I have plenty to keep me going for a while... but as they say, when it comes to stash 'need' has nothing to do with it! :-)
Thursday, September 28, 2006
On to happier thoughts ('cos hey it's nearly Friday, again!)... I've finished four pieces of stitching this week. They were all abandoned pieces, so there was varying amounts of stitching to finish off on each of them. I even did the couched mice tails on The Drawn Thread's 'Cat's Meow'. They're not perfect... and I don't care!! (I do really, but I have to get over it! LOL).
I can't share photos until my new laptop is sorted out, as I don't have the ability to change photo sizes on this beast yet. I would borrow OH's but he is busy working on trying to create me a database for my cross stitching stuff (bless him!).
Well, after being sold a faulty Toshiba, then getting it replaced with another faulty Toshiba (someone forgot to install the modem, duh) OH paid a little extra and got me an Acer - and it is ace! I haven't had a minutes bother with this one, and it has extra features (DVD writer, more memory etc)... so now I am really thrilled to bits.
Will write again over the weekend, with photos!
Monday, September 25, 2006
No definite dates yet (I'll wait and see if there is any interest first), but sign up will probably end early October, your partner's details will be sent out shortly after and the mailing date will be mid-November. I can either create an online album to host photos of the cards, or people can post them on their blogs (or both!).
If you are keen feel free to email me your details (I'll need your name, blog address and snail mail address). If I receive any responses I'll decide on dates and post more definite exchange details here on my blog in the next few days.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Thanks for all your recent comments, and especially to Carol for her offer of locating US magazines. Stitchers are a seriously generous and thoughtful bunch. :-) Thanks Carol!
Lisa - I'm really surprised that there were no copies of the JCS Xmas Ornies mag left at Magnetix. There were 3 or 4 when I bought mine at Thursday lunchtime. I am wondering if you may have missed seeing them (as I nearly did), as they were in the front row of the shelf above where all the stitching magazines usually are. If you're not likely to be in there this week, I can always go in to see if I can get you a copy (my email is in my profile).
I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!
Friday, September 22, 2006
Roll on Christmas... (not too fast mind you, this year is going fast enough as it is!)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I'm going to spend time this week working on some small WIPs which I rescued from my stash drawers over the weekend. Some were thrown into the 'too hard basket' (for e.g. the Drawn Thread's 'Cat's Meow' which just has the couched mice tails to do) and some appear to have been abandoned for no good reason. I think some time and patience could see a few of them finished.
OH bought me my Christmas present on Saturday - not only that but I was allowed it then too. Wipppeee... I'm now the owner of a Toshiba laptop! Unfortunately, it emits a very annoying dial-tone type noise from the screen which varies in intensity depending on the angle of the screen. I am quite easily annoyed by noises, but even OH agrees it's excessive and annoying. So this one may go back to the shop for a replacement yet. Boo! I don't want to have to plug myself into my iPod every time I want to surf the net. LOL It was a fantastic pressie, and even though OH probably thinks I'm ungrateful with all the complaining about the noises it makes and how frustrating it is - I do love it.
We're getting high-speed internet installed on 7 October, which I'm ever so excited about. Goodbye dial-up, no thanks broadband... high speed here I come!
Monday, September 11, 2006
My finger then caught sight of this chart on TradeMe (like Ebay) going for just $2, and gave that a wee click too.
At JEMS in Canterbury while paying for my English stash, the lady said to me "you're going to be busy". Hmmm... if only she knew. LOL. Still if she runs a stash shop she probably does know!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I've been stitching away on Ladye of the Castle this week, it's coming along nicely. It's great to have the time to stitch again. I'm looking forward to finishing it though, because I really want to make a start on two kits I bought overseas of places in England which have special meaning to me (The Weavers in Canterbury, Kent and The Mermaid Inn in Rye, East Sussex). Although, we had a little spend today and bought new curtains for the three downstairs bedrooms so I guess I'll be spending a fair bit of time hanging those over the next week or so. I have Mum on standby in case it all goes pear-shaped.
I have posted a photo or two (OK, there's actually nearly 50!) of our trip in my Webshots album, feel free to have a browse. I think you just need to click on the little photo below and it will take you directly to my album.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Monday, September 04, 2006
I've been back in New Zealand since Thursday... my body clock is beginning to work it's way around to New Zealand time (so hopefully I'll stop waking at 4 in the morning LOL). So far I'm still happy living in the after-glow of my holiday and haven't succumbed to post-holiday blues like OH.
I've been looking through my 700 or so holiday photos and I just didn't know which ones to share, so here are a couple of randomly chosen shots.
This is the resort we stayed at in Cyprus. I loved Cyprus... we arrived just as a red sun set in a dusty sky - what a welcome! Cyprus was hot like I've never felt hot before - but they had great shopping, great entertainment, great food, great people, great weather...
Here's a beautiful Oranguatan at the Singapore Zoo. (This one's for you Steve Irwin "the Crocodile Hunter" who sadly died today).
This is the house OH and I spontaneously purchased in Rye, Sussex (oh did I mention, in our dreams!?!!).
Here's a rare photo of me with my eyes open, on the beautiful Antrim coast in Northern Ireland.
I will add some more photos to my Webshots album over the weekend. If anyone is interested I will post a link once done.
Unfortunately, I didn't do any stitching on holiday - but I did raid JEMs in Canterbury, and picked up a few magazines on my travels too - so I was thinking about stitching, if nothing else.
I have briefly looked at a few blogs, it looks like there's been lots of stitching and blogging going on - I have a lot to catch up with!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Thanks for all the comments on my last post. I'm well over the flu now, thank goodness. We have a lot of travelling ahead of us so I'm glad I got it when I did, and not this week! Jane asked where I'm off to on my trip - first stop is balmy, tropical Singapore. OH and I are very fond of Singapore, so we're looking forward to the return visit. We're then off to England and Northern Ireland to catch up with friends and family. We also have a 7 night stay in Cyprus, and a few days down in the Republic of Ireland. Then back to work for a rest, methinks! :0)
It was my birthday yesterday... boy they come around quick these days! OH gave me a 1GB memory card for my digital camera. I'll be able to get about 400 photos on it - very cool. I also got lots of other lovely pressies including garden vouchers, a panini maker, some money (which I'll use after the trip for some stash, of course!), clothing, chocolates, chocolate truffles (yum!), an ornamental tile to hang on the wall etc. Very spoilt.
Well, I hope you'll all be stitching your hearts out while I'm away so I have lots to read and comment on when I get back. Take care everyone!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I think I've been stung on TradeMe (like Ebay). I sent a lady a cross stitch chart before she paid for it, and now she's not communicating and not paying (she's had the chart a month). She paid promptly for a previous auction, which was what probably lulled me into a false sense of security. I even suggested she send it back if payment was a problem. Still no response. There's a lesson in this for any stitcher trying to destash - DON'T be trusting (put your business head on). Unfortunately, not everyone out there is as nice and well-meaning as our fellow bloggers. Sad but true.
I'll get over it though... and fast - 'cos I'm off on holiday in just over a week. Wippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Here's the photo from the Countrystitch website. It is far more subtle and pretty than this in real life.
Kim asked about where the Ladye of the Castle sampler comes from. It can be found in the June 2006 issue of Just Cross Stitch.
Friday, July 07, 2006
It's been a wet and wild week in Wellington with lots of rain, land slips and traffic chaos. The worst of the rain is over, but they're still struggling to keep the hillsides up. Oh well, it's been great stitching weather and I've made some good progress on Damask Roses.
I pulled out my threads and fabric last night to see what I needed to stitch this cute 'Ladye of the Castle' sampler. To my surprise all I needed was three skeins of thread, which I promptly bought today. I am not sure when I'll start it, but it's good to know I've got everything on hand to get going when the mood takes me. I did notice one annoying thing about this sampler though - it is missing two letters of the alphabet. I guess it is probably some historical thing but it's enough to annoy this modern girl. LOL.
Hi Tara - Thanks for your comments. The stitched piece in my 8 June post is my own adaptation of the 'Summer' sampler in Jo Verso's book 'Cross Stitch Year'. I had to leave out a number of other pretty bands out so it would fit the size requirement for the exchange.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I don't think Meg has made an appearance on my blog for some months, so here she is enjoying today's mid-Winter sunshine in her favourite spot on the fence (it's great for bird and lizard watching!). I can't remember if I mentioned that Meg has joined the elitist club... she's now a gold star cat door user too. Giggsy shows no interest and runs away if he thinks he's going to be shoved through it. LOL.
Meg's shadow is usually found lurking in the garden beneath... yup, it's Tess! As you can see she's getting quite chubby, which we'll have to work on fixing later in the year. Her growing physique has lead to her latest nickname - Bubble! She's got a very petite frame but a very round middle... it's like someone has pumped her up with a bike pump.
OH went to bed early-ish last night (so he could get up at 3am to watch football), so I watched one of my favourite movies (Shall We Dance) and stitched until after midnight. It was great and I made some good progress on Damask Roses. Thanks for your comments on the last WIP update :-)
Hope you're all having a great stitchy weekend.