Saturday, April 19, 2014


Easter greetings everyone and although Easter Eggs belong to Easter Sunday as they represent new life I thought I would share with you now what I have been doing in the past few days. It is some time since I had my icing tubes out and many years since I last decorated eggs like these ones. it has been fun to dust off some old skills. I have done different colours for each member of the family. Caitlin's favourite colour of purple proved hard to mix and with my eye problem these roses looked more grey than mauve hence she has pink ones as well. Here is the basket ready to deliver tomorrow
I have done six eggs in all the pretty pink one going to a Church Auction earlier in the week and yes there is one for me too.

Stitching, yes I have been busy but nothing I can share at the moment, Stitching Friend's Challenge of an embroidered Strawberry is one of the projects I am enjoying and in fact I have got carried away and made several, unfortunately most of the group visit my blog from time to time so I will have to wait till one is posted out before I share. Meanwhile it is IHSW this weekend so I am about to dust off The Wool gatherer and get stitching, nothing was done last month as I was away here is the piece when I worked on it last, hope to have lots of progress by the end os the weekend the weather is wet and I will enjoy being by the fire stitching.
Happy Easter and happy stitching everyone.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


..................Love of the present, interwoven with memories of the past and dreams of the future............

This photo of Jan taken many years ago is a favourite one of mine  for it tells a story to me of a young girl  who loved ballet and dancing,  but never to be a star pupil, but her special moment came when she wrote a ballet story for a competition and won, her prize was  two tickets to see the Tchaikovsky Ballet Company perform. Later her story was produced as a ballet by her ballet teacher  and she danced the leading role.
 All mother's hold treasured memories of their children, Jan now many years later has just celebrated her 48th Birthday and so I have 48 years of special memories.
Last year I asked my family to each chose something they would like me to stitch for them- something they might treasure, Jan's was the last of these pieces to be stitched and she chose the Needle roll from With My needle design Miss Trenner's needlework Academy.

I changed one word  making it daughter instead of teacher  It was a lovely piece to stitch, I used 35 count Charles craft  linen and stitched with the recommended DMC colours, and have used Doctor Flannel on the inside.  Had fun stitching the little rabbits at night as the thread looked decidedly green to me but knew I was using the right number, next morning in the daylight they had changed to light brown.!

My trip across to Napier to stay with my sister and her husband was so I could attend the class with Ellen Chester of With My Needle, I went across by bus on the Tuesday and had a couple of quiet days before the class which I knew would be a long day the class being from 9am-5pm. Sherelyn of Heirlooms organised the class and she did everything just perfectly it was more than a class it was a special event. Held at the Mission Estate Winery, how appropriate we were stitching Ellen's design Fruits of the Vine. The class was held upstairs in the library and we came down to the restaurant on the front lawn for our lunch and dined in style. Visit  Ellen's blog and you will see the photos she took during the class. The day after the class I made some progress on the needle roll  but there has been no time to stitch on this piece since then.
 On the Sunday following the class we went on to Tauranga, this was the only wet day during my time away. I stayed with Olwen and Bill till the Friday and these were days catching up with each other , out to lunch one day and a brows in some special shops. a little shopping! a day visit with the Tauranga Guild and here again was meeting up with some very old friends, including Doreen who was one of the first members of the Tokoroa Embroiderers Guild when that Guild was formed in about 1982. Some of the guild memebers are stitching  my mystery sampler and the white work one, one lady brought her work for me to see the progress.
 Another day we went for a drive to Makatu  Beach and enjoyed fish and chips for lunch, The lovely warm weather meant that we could sit out side for breakfast each morning  and by the time I returned home the weather here had that cooler Autumn feel to it.

 I notice the number of followers to my blog have jumped up- welcome to everyone, I hope you will find something of interest from time to time in my postings.
The quote at the top of this posting comes from a gift Jan shared with me sometime ago,  I finish with the full quote 
The Love between a mother and daughter is a bond
of the strongest kind. it is the love of the present,
interwoven with memories of the past
 and dreams of the future.
It is the wanting of only the best for each other
and wanting to help anytime there is a need.
It is making time for each other to be together
and knowing just what to do and say.
It is an unconditional, forever kind of love.

Monday, March 24, 2014



I arrived home on Friday after a 8 hour bus trip and in time to register for IHSW, my project for the weekend was to start and stitch as much as possible of  the needle roll from With My needles  design- Miss Trenner's Needlework Academy. I have previously stitched  one of the box panels from this set  and made it into a lavender cushion for my sister.

This time I am stitching for my daughter Jan's birthday gift, and the needle roll was her choice, here is my progress after the weekend.

I'm off to continue stitching her birthday is this week, back soon to share news of my trip and '
Ellen Chester's class in Napier.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Nothing beautiful in this world is ever lost,
All things beloved live on in our hearts....forever
I love needle work accessories and having recently decide to  put into use the violet set stitched 20 years ago   The violet set was designed and stitched for a book that was published in 1995, I was allocated 8 pages  and although that sounds a lot by the time one includes charts, photos and instructions it did limit what the set could be made up of,
Here are the original set, I have replaced the silk tassels that were looking a little tatty , added some trims to the needle book and made a new scissor fob. then I decided to make all the extra pieces  I would love to have, and made them to match, of course there was a retractable tape measure, ruled out  for the first set as I could only include items that one could be sure anyone anywhere could get so there was a small bag with a tape measure rolled up inside it, this I am now using filled with lavender to keep my work nicely scented. 

 Some of the new pieces have included a pin whimsy, notebook and pencil, the note book cover is quite old and has been recycled with a new design on the front and the pencil has a beaded fob intended for a pair of scissors that Annette in USA sent me and its just the most perfect colour match. a small pin cushion in a walnut shell, a tiny orts box that folds up flat when not in use and a floss ring tag. Annette from made me a lovely big zipped  pouch to carry needle work in, it was a fun project sending her the material I was using and a piece of my embroidery, and  some weeks later this lovely piece came back to me.
 More stitching and help from another embroiderer friend and I now have a stitcher's tray to match,  This piece was made up with my embroidery by Diane of Didi's beaded goodies I love the finish Diane gets with her trays they are really neat and flat and have pelmet Vilene inside so that they are washable. She also made another one for me recently which I sent to Annette as a thank you for making my pouch, you can see that one on her blog

I have not quite finished I can think of a couple more items that would be useful to have meanwhile here is the collection at this point of time..

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Last weekend was International Hemet's Stitch Weekend and I did manage stitching on two pieces of embroidery, as one is still under wraps I will share that at a later date Meanwhile here is my progress on the piece I selected to be stitched on these weekends , Shepherds Bush the Wool Gatherer. But first the point at which I stopped stitching last month
And here is my progress for the weekend, I am getting use to stitching the soft colours relying very much on the DMC numbering  and have at this point only changed one colour to the next deeper shade. Had fun however buying beads, I an working on 40 count so that I can stitch in one thread of floss and needed smaller beads went off to my local shop ( small and limited stock) had the numbers of the ones I thought would be best thanks to Mill Hill colour charts on line but of course what I wanted was not there I had to get help from another customer to confirm what I had now selected was green as it is really difficult  working out between greens and blues. But I am thankful that is my only problem as it is a small one.

I am also counting down till I go across to Napier for a very exciting event. Ellen Chester from With my Needle is coming to New Zealand and teaching her wonderful design Fruits of the Vine and I am doing the workshop. I have not done any workshops for some years now and have always said it would need to be something very special to tempt me and this I think is extra special share more later in the month as I am staying with my sister then she is taking me on to Tauranga to stay with a very old girlfriend, old in the number of years we have known one another, we worked together in the same florist shop  for a year in 1954 and have remained friends ever since and yes she is also an embroiderer. 
 I hope all other Hermits had a great weekend of stitching


Tuesday, February 4, 2014


 I have a give away for Valentines Day on my other blog, other side of the Mountain   It started to share the embroidered clips that I  showed, but now it growing and I have finished two red rose clips and added a tape measure.

 I love needlework accessories and do enjoy stitching these small items so I promise there will be something else added to the collection before February the 14th when I will do the draw. If you would like to be included pop over to the other side of the mountain here and leave a message.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Today, just take time to smell the roses,
enjoy those little things………………….Bernard Kelvin Clive

I have been stitching violets for myself and pink roses for Annette of California Stitcher, Annette has been kindly making for me another of her fab pouches, this time to match my violet collection of needlework accessories. The embroidery on my piece is done and it is now gone to a friend to be made up, very necessary as I have a hate relationship with my sewing machine and I am defeated when I cannot do all a project by hand stitching. The pink roses are to match the toblerone set I sent to Annette for Christmas.
I have also been stitching some embroidered clips to keep balls of perle thread tidy, very easy to make and also ideal for gifts for friends I have put the" how to" make them information on my other blog other side of the mountain and have announced a give away to mark Valentines day over there  Leave a message there if you are interested in going in the draw ( not on this blog)



Monday, January 20, 2014


“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” Molière

My weekend was frustrating, how I will need patience in the months ahead. I started my stitching for IHSW with a lot of enthusiasm, I had previously some time ago sorted all the threads that came in the kit, carded them and wrote both the number and the symbol on the card, which I knew would be a help because as the cataract  has developed I knew I was at the stage where distinguishing between certain shades was a problem .  I am still fortunate that seeing and stitching on the fine linen is no problem but my downfall came after I had stitch an area to find I could not tell the difference in the threads I had just stitched, these soft and some what beautiful muted shades had all blended into one. I have also found it impossible to stitch soft toning's at night so that will limit a little what I stitch and when. However all is not lost, I can still stitch and I made a fresh start changing some of the colours a little....................... here is my small progress for the weekend on The Wool Gatherer by Shepherd's Bush .when next month's Hermit weekend comes around I will be better prepare to cope and enjoy..

 Before the weekend I finished stitching The Bee Keeper another Shepherd's bush design, this Kit came to me  from Annette at Christmas time  and I stitched with it Tending the Blooms one that I had previously stitched some time ago,  not yet mounted I think they will make a nice pair of floss ring tags

 I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend's stitching look forward to visiting blogs to see.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Each day is a piece of embroidery
On one side are all the beautiful patterns of life
On the other side are all the tangles and knots
We choose each day which side of the embroidery to live on

..............and I am having a new beginning for International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, the first weekend for the year will be this coming weekend and I have decided to select one piece and stitch it on these weekends only, what will it be ? Finally decided to stitch the Wool Gatherer by Shepherds Bush I did start it some years ago but this time I will stitch it on my favourite 40 count permin linen using DMC  threads as given in the kit. Progress report at the end of the weekend.

I have just finished stitching all four of the little witches by Maja at  The Snowflower Diaries these are freebies and can be found here  they are delightful designs and I must admit the spring witch with the rabbit on her broomstick is my favourite one. I made them up into a cube to hold paper, which may go off with Rachel when she leaves for the new year at varsity, at present she is gathering uop all the things she will need for first year of flatting.

Happy stitching to all  hermits this weekend

Thursday, January 2, 2014


 A new year is unfolding--like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within. -Unknown
The new year unfolded here with a day that presented all weathers from sunshine to rain and thunder, and so with a good day to be inside it gave me time to think about stitching in 2014.
Any one wishing to know how to cover a retractable tape measure will find the here's how on my other blog Other side of the mountain link here 
This little one with violets is the newest addition to my needle work accessories set. Quite some years ago I was asked to write the cross stitch section for the book  Exploring Embroidery that was publish in 1995, how long ago that seems. I was asked to design a set of needlework accessories and chose violets as they come in several shades adding to the versatility of the design, the one problem that arose with this project was the limited space for the layout, charts  and instructions  The photo below is what finally made up the set and this photo was taken before the set was sent off to the editor.
For many years I kept the set as new in a box now I have decided to use it and add to it the items I was unable to do at the time because of lack of space. The original tape measure was not a retractable on as these it was considered at the time not plentiful enough for others to find and so the little bag above holds the tape measure, I have now filled this with lavender to give fragrance to my stitching.
I cannot share the charts for this set because of copyright but I will add the charts for the newer piece that I plan to add.
Threads used  for the purple violets were DMC 550.552.742.3346,3347.                                   alternate colours Blue violets 333/340   Pink violets3687/3688 and yellow violets.743/744
The eyes of violets are filled with dreams
 More about my dreams and plans for 2014 later meanwhile I wish all readers of my blog a happy new year may your dreams come true in 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. -
Oprah Winfrey

There are some things I want to share before the year closes , firstly from Ann I received this lovely Christmas ornament stitched in colours that she knew would be perfect for my Christmas tree. the tree is still up I am enjoying it and keeping to tradition, leaving it there till the 12th night.

Also to share with you, the Toblerone needle case set I made, and all credit for this must be given to Lynn B of Happiness is cross-stitch blog not only did she show the beautiful set she made but she has a three part tutorial on how to make it.  I love needlework accessories and always looking for new ideas, making this was sheer pleasure and I have plans to make at least one more, it makes a lovely gift or even something special for yourself. Check it out for your self here

Following a request to share how I make the covered retractable tape measures I have opened again my other blog..... other side of the mountain and shortly will post a here's how for the tape measures there. here is the link for the blog.  I need some better weather with good light to take my photos. Our weather at present is quite miserable, and certainly not suitable for the much needed  gardening however that means it is good stitching weather and I have been stitching the four little witches free designs from The Snowflower Diaries I am now on the last one so will be able to show them in the new year. I think Spring Witch is my favourite.
I have not made a list of things to stitch in the new year but have given myself a theme.....Because I can.... which means anything that takes my fancy! And for that I am waiting the arrival in the post of my first chart, I plan to stitch  Little house Needlework's Calendar Girls. But now it's back to finishing Winter Witch.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful
~Norman Vincent Peale 
There is always something magic about a Christmas tree, decorating the tree sets the scene for the holiday time. My tree had many white birds sitting on its branches and with a new cat this year I wondered how safe they would be! During the time we had our previous cat Tippy, it was impossible to put up a tree, he thought it was provided for him to climb and those decoration made to be taken off and used as play things. Once the tree appear this week Tabitha took one look at it and has decided to avoid the living room and thus not have to look at the tree. Her new spot to curl up on is my computer chair.
And now the first parcels have appeared under the tree, thank you Annette of California Stitcher for all these parcels and I promise I will wait till Christmas to open them 

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks