Saturday, October 31, 2009


We started with a visit to Hollard Garden and also to the Farmers market that was being held there, where these delightful Scarecrow people took our attention..

We had all visited the Hollards gardens earlier in the year, but todays visit was really at the right time, The rhododendrons were in full bloom.

and every where you walked lovely burst of colour appears and not only the rhododendrons but the deciduous Azaleas were out standing

Joan and I were both busy with the camera. top photo is mine and the lovely view of the glowing orange azalea is her photo. And she also took this one of Paul and I, as I was getting a photo of the lovely soft apricot primulas. there were several other shades but the apricot really the ones that impressed me the most.

above the photo I was taken and here a close up shot by Joan.

Friday, October 30, 2009


My sister Joan and her husband Denis have arrived to spend a few days with us. It's to be a very special time, as for the first time since we were children we are having a joint birthday celebration, our birthdays are 10 days apart, and its made more special as we are celebrating Joan's 70th Birthday.

Its is also start of the Taranaki Rhododendron and Gardens Festival so we have both chosen places we would like to visit during the next few days..

We started the day with a visit to Tupare in New Plymouth as not only did we wish to visit the gardens, the house tour was a must on our list.Tupare was a private family house and garden established in 1932 and is now owned by the Taranaki Regional Council. it was amazing going through the house. built in the arts & craft style it is a Chapman-Taylor designed house. see for photos of the house.

The gardens are extensive and in parts the paths are quite steep, we only did part of the walks today, its a must for a return visit soon.
 I loved this display of deep blue Iris Siberica gainst the brick wall in part of the garden near the Gardeners cottage.

After that we visited two gardens each having chosen one, we chose small gardens that compared in size to our own, and each quite different.
"Thorveton"  a small secluded town garden was full of all the tiny delights I enjoyed and was beautifully layed out. In contrast the other garden we visited was a newly developed one on a small section and Joan was interested to see the use of textures and layouts as her own garden is quite a new one.
From there to Lake Mangamahoe for our picnic lunch. The sun came out but unfortunatly the clouds covered the view of the mountain, in the distance beyond the end of the Lake.

We then went on to visit Kings Garden on the way home.A large garden, beautifully set out with lovely paths that rambled through the garden. I specially wanted to see the yellow Candalebra Primulas growing beside the tiny stream. I  would love to have a stream in my garden and be able to grow them. In our garden we have made a bog corner and at this stage  two pink ones are growing well.

Joan and Denis admiring the primulas.

A corner in the King's Garden

Monday, October 26, 2009


The Hussif is finished.
I have named it for the Exhibition as "ROSES FOR RACHEL"
Red is her favourite colour and the outer material matches a piece I have done for her previously. The inside is decorated with Bullion Stitch Roses,
I think the bullion stitch roses were some of the earliest things I learnt to stitch, taught by my mother.

Here is a close up showing some of the pieces that go in the pockets...Floss Ring tab, Pin keep and Tape measure. All the material on the inside is silk.
And a close up of the top of the hussif, it all rolls up for easy carrying.
In my hurry to pack it up for delivery the last photo of the hussif rolled up did not come out well it looks a bit screwed up!!!!


Deadlines are looming for both pieces of work I am currently stitching, however I told myself a break in the garden would do me good this morning. Today was forcasted as a fine sunny day and we have not had many of these, so an opportunity not to be wasted as the garden is much in need of attention. Came inside several hours later I am sure the fresh air did me good and the time spent certainly did the garden a lot of good. Now it is back to the stitching.
I have nealy completed the piece for the Regional Exhibition, it is also to be Rachel's birthday present.She is turning 15, for friends who remember her over the years she is now tall and slim like her Uncle Barryn. It is a Hussif, which I know is something she really wanted.Rachel came in to see the nearly completed work and gave it her blessing with that lovely teenage word "COOl"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have now mounted Caitlin's sampler " Butterfly Summer" as a bellpull and  am very proud of her effort.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It was exciting to make a new friend (in England) who enjoys this embroidery. Wessex Stitchery was created by Mrs Margaret Foster of Bath, England early in the last century.Stitching her very distinctive embroideries she described her work " A Wessex needle..... asks for no suggestion for pattern or design on paper or material... it has lovely stitches of its own, by the use of which patterns will as it were, envole themselves....."

This posting is specially for my english friend, but I hope others will enjoy seeing some Wessex stitchery. I have work from two NZ friends as well as one of my early designs to share , this is Ann's lovely bag, I did this class with her  but have to confess I have not yet finished my bag. She has design a new bag and will be teaching it at the NZ Embroiderers Conference in 2010.

This is an earlier piece from Joycelyn, after learning Wessex at an Arahina Retreat , she has now designed and stitched many pieces, also has taught Wessex to many people.I have seen photos of her latest design is very exciting but under wraps at present. .Hopefully when she has taught it I will be able to show it.

This Pin Cushion was one of the earlier pieces I did. I think the most popular of my designs was the Wessex Mystery Sampler in 8 parts, one a month is was a little like a SAL.

My pin cushion  was stitched on 28 count linen 15 x 15 cm  Stitches used are back stitch, Fly stitch Straght stitch and eyelets. The centre is  long tailed chain stitches forming an eyelet. I used 3 shades of blue and 1 of pink, however work in colours of your own choice. one square of the graph =  one thread of the fabric.
Stitch section B first, backstitching over 2 threads, in 2 shades of blue and 1 of pink changing colour at random. Row 1 must have 9 stitches on each side, miss 1 fabric thread row two has 10 stitches and row 3 has 11.
Section C is stitched in Navy blue as charted and followed by four more rows of backstitching. (D)
On the outer edge the sides have 4 rows of fly stitches in different shades.
The centre is Long tailed chain stitch. start at the corner one thread in from the back stitching . and stitch with the long tail going into the centre. leave 2 threads between each stitch.
The eyelets in the corner are worked the first one over 6 threads and the second over 4.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Every morning Paul has been looking out the bedroom window and telling me the lilac is flowering.... he has been saying this since the first few buds appeared. It really is flowering now and with bad weather threatening I have had a good reason to pick myself a bunch. The scent is heavenly when you walk in the room.

 After a very very  slow start this year it has  developed into a nice shrub.and rewarded us with a fine showing of flowers.
 I have fond memories of lilacs growing in both my mother and grandmother's gardens. At Granny Haworth's it was a big bush by the gate, later flowering in the South Island, it would be in bloom in November when we went up for visits.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Here is Caitlin putting in the last stitch on her sampler "Butterfly Summer".  The sampler now has all the stitching finished and  measures 10cm x 35cm.  It will be mounted as a bell pull with a brass hanger at the top and a tassel at the bottom.
 I will post a photo at a later date when it is mounted.
 It took an extra day to complete, unfortunatly I did not get as much stitched as I had hoped for, so I am still on the same border.


22 rows and 20 different stitches, Caitlin now has just the top and bottom parts of her sampler to go.
I am making slow progress, have nealy finished the band I have been working on.
We are settling in by the fire for another days stitching.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


12 year old Grand daughter, Caitlin and I are have a stitch-a-long for the next two days. we are both working on samplers and our deadlines to finish are coming close.
" Butterfly Summer" is Caitlin's sampler and she had designed it herself.
Here is her progress at this stage we will show what she gets done in the two days later.
I can't show my sampler. " Stitches for my Sister" as it is Joan's birthday present but promise to show it once she has been given it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This is the exchange piece I sent to Canada for the challenge Scissor fob in Fall/Autumn colours. I have just heard that it has arrived safely.
I received one with a delightful small brown squirrel and an acorn on it from an embroiderer in France.


I have received the most exciting packet in the mail from Australia, my stitch group's challenge was to make a pin keeper on the theme of the alphabet.  Esther has stitched one for me on 40 count permin linen and stitched over 1 thread with one strand of DMC cotton.  It is truly exquisite, a real treasure, unfortunatly the photo does not show how neatly it was put together, and the quote on the back is- What is this life if so full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.