Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Now I have discovered some of these neat things to stitch, I have just designed  and stitched a small zigouioui, the design has a wreath of flowers made with closter blocks, chain stitch leaves and  beads.
 I stitched this one with red flowers as a christmas decoration.

It could be stitched with pastel shades for the flowers and fill with lavender for a gift or made as a pincushion not a hanging.

 The design area is 124 threads by 124 threads and any  count thread fabric could be used.
Back stitch round the design area first. The graph shows one section, turn it to repeat the other parts.


closter blocks and eyelets

chain stitches leaves


back stitch stems

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I took part in a recently in another  EMS Cross Stitch Forum exchange.
The subject this time was a bookmark to be stitched in purple blackwork,
Black work is one technique I have enjoyed stitching over the years.
I taped Ivy leaves to paper then scanned them to make my design.
My bookmark was sent out to an embroiderer in Singapore. Stitching the exchanges is fun as they are always small pieces and I enjoy the challenge of designing something new for each one.
Today I received a lovely packet in the mail from Romania which included two bookmarks in it so I have been quite spoilt. I think the bookmark with the tulip on it is my favourite, the design is quite elegant. It appears to be stitched on fine linen about 40 count. The little flower is an aida band ( and wont sit where I want it on this posting at present!!!!!!! will try and move it around again later)
These came from the same embroiderer I had sent my red pendibulle to a few months earlier.
Through the exchanges one makes friends all round the world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I think of spring colours as the lovely yellows of daffodils, primroses, and crocuses mixed with purples iris, violets hyacinths and more crocuses, however one corner of the garden at present is glowing with bright red flowers.

The Kaka Beak  (Clianthus puniceus) has been really superb  this year, this lovely NZ native is virually extint in its natural state, but fortunatly is grown in many gardens.  We planted this one about 5 years ago and it is now 10 feet tall and much wider.
Named for the Kaka, a NZ Native parrot, quite a big bird with a large hooked bill. If anyone overseas wants to see this parrot  there are some lovely photos among the birds on this site.

One of the first cross stitch designs  that I had published many years ago was a border of kaka beak flowers, this new pattern I have posted would be suitable for a bookmark. the colours are 3 shades of red DMC 666 light red; 304 mid-red; 815 dark red;  and two greens 472 light green; 937 dark green. Outline the flowers in 815.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We brought the name "Groatieburn" to the small cottage we purchased in  Stratford in 2001.
 To our home in Coromandel, we had given this name and Paul had a lovely swing sign made with the name and the small bird, the waxeye on it.( see my entry for July 6th) which we had brought with us when we made the move.

 The original name "Groatieburn" my Great grandfather had given to his home built in the 1870's in Ashburton in NZ. Donald Williamson was of Scotish origin (Caithness)and the "groat" I took it being the small 4d coin and that the property took all he had down to the last small coin to purchase it, the "burn" in his case a forks of the Ashbuton River. Today's Groatieburn, our cottage was built about 20 years later.
 Visitors to the cottage come through the gate from the drive and in spring are greeted by the lovely fragrances, first of Daphne bholua,  followed by daphne ordora 'rubra' and 'alba' and still to come Daphne burkwoodii, but missing this year has been the gentle fragrance of the Australian bush,Boronia megastigma.

Our bush faded out during the last year, although short lived they are well worth growing for their fragrances. We now have a new plant waiting for the weather to lift and to be abled to be planted.

 I have meanwhile picked sprigs of the lovely scented blooms from it and placed them around the house, near my computor and by my stitching chair. Boronia flowers keep their scent long after they have been dried.