I have done it again.... so please with what I stitched for my friend Ann that I rushed it off to the post before I took a photo. It was for our Stitching friends exchange... and I thought I had found the perfect design to stitch for Ann, when in a conversation I learnt that she had found the same design and was stitching it not only for her exchange partner but also for herself. The challenge for this exchange was a flatfold with a Christmas tree design on it and I had chosen JBW Designs "Christmas Motif Sampler".... the search was then on for another design to stitch and it was quite a while before I found just the right one. I decided on "Joyeux Noel" found on http://www.mingiustitch.com/. and by then I was running late hence the rush to the post. ( Ann has promised to send me a photo after the Christmas rush.
This is not the first time I have done this with a gift for Ann, I did the same thing when I sent her a birthday gift this year, however I did get the opportunity to take some photos later and will share them with you now.
The construction idea for the needle book was inspired by one seen on.Danybrod's blog and I used the peacock cross stitch pattern from a bag I did in a CA Wells workshop some years ago. The lovely Peacock pin is from the Just Nan's collection. I have plans to use this idea again.
And I have received some delightful gifts and surprises. Firstly from Joan, my exchange partner in our "Stitching Friends" flat fold exchange. The challenge was a flat fold showing a stitched Christmas tree.
Joan had stitched one of JBW Designs Sampler Trees, and what I love along with her very neat stitching is the very tiny stars decorating the tree, the finish is just perfect.
Next to arrive was a packet from America. Thank you Annie (of Annie Bebop's Coloring Book Blog)
for such a lovely surprise, although its summer here snowmen are always welcome and if I look outside there is still a little snow on the mountain but with warm weather is could disappear soon.
Here are close ups of the decoration and the card. don't you just love the teddy bear, I do
Last night Naomi from "Stitching Friends Group" popped in with a surprise gift and when opened it was this tiny angel, she is so tiny and has such a lovely stitch hair do ...the photo does not truly show her off.
I can see me making some of these next year. Thank you Naomi for this tiny treasure..
This mornings mail brought a parcel from Argentina and my EMS Forum exchange partner.along with the card letter and the Jolly Santa was a small bag of sweets.... I wondered when the parcel arrived why It had be opened by the MAF inspectors, they must have gotten a smile when the saw what was inside.... it passed inspection and made it to me. thank you Laurita.
And now its my turn to give away a Christmas gift. We had a fun draw here with my writing down the names of the friends who left comments to my last post and folding them up and tossing them on the floor and asking Paul to pick one up.................................................the lucky person is Laurie who is also the newest member of my Followers on my blog. Laurie please contact me with name and address so I can pop your parcel in the post.
This is the lovely collection of threads from my shopping in Auckland, they are hand dyed Chameleon Threads from South Africa. I bought mostly Perle 12 with a few stranded cotton and some Perle 8. The photo does not show the lovely subtle shading in the skeins.
I have been using them for my Christmas project, this year I designed a project for the younger girls (8 & 9 yr olds) in our Junior Embroiderers Group, a simple Christmas stocking (7cm high) using back stitch and chain stitches with beads, ribbon and braid. Here on the left is Darrian's stocking, when their stocking is finished I add the tiny Teddy Bear for them. It worked out so well I made some using the Perle 12 threads and a slight variation in the stitch size.
Don't you like this line up....most will be posted out tomorrow however one will go in a draw for my blog friends, so leave a comment between now and December 8th and it could be on its way to you.
The month started out so busy and I am not sure where the days went, in the middle of all this Paul gave me a new computor... its wonderful with wide screen and does not chug along like my old one. I must not complain it had served me well for 7 years but was getting slower and slower.
The change over however has not been smooth I am having it get use to a different programme and at present all my files are still on the old one and I am slowly changing them over. Barryn came home for a weekend and spent most of his time getting me conected again to the internet and trying to get my scanner to work on the new computor, sadly that does not seem possible. I wont bore you with all my frustrations!
Today I moved some of the photos onto this computor. The roses I am sharing with you were here in the garden and I have no idea of the name, it has a most heavenly perfume. I took these photos this morning to check on transfering them to a new programme, that at least went smoothly.
We have had a few days away in Auckland and yes I managed a visit to an embroidery shop I wanted to stock up on some special threads. I will share them with you soon and tell you of what I have been stitching.
Good to be back again.
I just had to share with you Sarah Lee's Little House, she is the youngest of the group of young embroiderers I teach every week in an after school group out at a country school and she is the first in the group to finish this project.
The door was stitched first as a practise in running stitches, and it can be opened to see who is living there, (there is a princess)
Then the door frame and windows which were counted satin stitch . After that came the fun of adding all the extra bits including a tree at the back to cover the join of the canvas and finally the base was glued on, and the roof made with fabric glued to card, that can be lifted off so things can be stored inside.
We were thrilled when Sarah Lee won both the Judges choice and Viewers choice for the crafts at the school resent Calf and Pet Day
Autumn was the theme for a bookmark exchange on EMS Forum. and I received this lovely one from Terri in USA. It is almosr too nice to use, meanwhile it sits by my computor so I can enjoy it.
I send my bookmark to England and had a lot of fun stitching a design that I adapted from http://www.leschroniquesdefrimousse.com/ I think her little elf designs are really cute and it was quite simple to change this one into a bookmark. The design is called "L'automne arrive..." and can be found on the web site, on the left side under the heading Les Lutins.
I picked another another bunch of tiny violets this morning, this deep pink one is flowering really well this year however I don't know its name.......below is "Greyfriars Bobby" a wonderful gray- mauve shade and a special favourite and it is even more grey mauve in the real thing..
Others I have and know by name are Suffolk Lady a soft mauve and Lancashire Lad a true purple, these three are from The Kerry Carman violet collection. I enjoy having tiny posies of violets on my kitchen window sill, beside some special pieces of china. This tiny cup and saucer belonged to my sister's tea set that our mother played with as a child, only a few pieces are left and I treasure these piece Joan shared with me. It is tiny, the cup is only 3cm high.
The little jug that insists on being at the bottom of my posting and not where I want it is "Victorian Violets" from the Englands Countryside Collection by Hammersley China also sit on the window sill with its sugar bowl. Do you know the violet "Freckles" ? white with what looks like ink spots on the petals? I noticed that after a long effort to get it to grow, it has this year seeded freely, specially up against the stepping stones in one part of the path, and from the look of the buds there will be a good showing of blooms shortly. Violets have a wonderfully long flowering season as long as they are picked frequently, and once the weather warms up the summer flowering ones will mke their appearance. For my embroidery friends, here is a chart of pink violets for a card or book mark,
My recommended colours are DMC 3687 pink; 3688 light pink; 743 gold; 3346 green; 3364 light green.
If you wish to stitch this design as dark purple violets use 550 purple; and 552 light purple.
Two dear friends have been to visit, we share 5 days together here at the cottage, the weather was decidedly wintery but that did not matter as we sat by the fire and stitched and chatted,and shared what we had been working on. Ann and I bounced ideas off one another.. I am now quite inspired.
One of the things we did was stitch together some of my little pin cushions for the sales table at the coming Coromandel Guild Exhibition, these were a shared project with each of us doing different parts.We made six for the guild then one each for ourselves. mine is the unfinished one in the photo however all the parts are here ready so it will not take long to put together once the stitching finished.
Since their visit I have managed to finish one of My Bride's Tree pieces. I have been slipping well behind. Must admit I have not done my July piece yet, meanwhile here is my piece for August , a rose to represent beauty in the home. I had a couple of false starts, the first rose I wanted to stitch was going to be far to big......I am mounting them all on the same size cardboard circles, next I tried this chart as a red rose and it looked like a blob!! Having changed it to pink I am reasonably happy with it. The chart is a very old danish one by Clara Weaver that I have had in my collection for many years. Stitched on 40 count Permin linen with one strand of DMC thread over 2 fabric threads.
Septembers piece is all but started...... hope it will not take too long and I can share it with you.
I have just finished making a needle folder for Caitlin, it has this blackberry fabric on the outside and little mice stitched on the pages inside. When it is first opened up there is a page with her new scissors in their place
opening it further reveals 4 pockets for packets of needles
and flannel for spare pins and needles.
I am finishing an 'orts bag' in the blackberry fabric .
To follow at a later date- a pin keep and a floss ring tag.... more mice.
Tail note( not foot note!)
I found again the original card that inspired these cross stitch designs.
The sun is shining and I braved the cold wind for a quick walk round the garden and I found clumps of little mice ....... Little mouse plant Arisarum proboscideum comes up in the spring with lovely clumps of fresh green leaves and its only when you part these you find the flowers, the tiny mice.
It is a fasinating plant, a woodland native of Italy and Spain, and one gardening book describes the flowers as like the long tails of mice diving for cover.
It appears to like the climate here, I was given a few of the tiny tubers some years ago which we grew in the rockery in our Coromandel Garden and when we moved brought some with us to find it was already in the garden. Like all mice it seems to multiply well !!! And now there are several clumps in different parts of the garden
I have been stitching a really enjoyable project, having decided that part of Caitlin's birthday present would be a container for storing beads for her embroidery, I just had to stitch a panel for the top, and settled on the little mice collecting blackberries from the booklet "Harvest mice" by Christine Sewell.
These delightful mice designs were adapted from an original painting by Cecilia Rowan, and I have adapted the cross stitch charts to suit my need. I have stitched some of these mice some years ago but had forgotten what a delightful stitching project they were. Here is Caitlin's bead container, the fabric behind is what I plan to use for a hussif for Caitlin at a much later date.
And a close up of one of the mice.
Its her birthday today and the parcel went round all wrapped in pink tissue with silver ribbon and two little stuck on butterflies, opening it was very slow as she wanted to keep all the trimings and the present well received. Having really enjoyed stitching the mice so much I have started another project with them stitched on it which I will show you when its finished, meanwhile this is one of the little mice stitched for the second piece..
I think we all complain we don't take good photos ! This one was taken of Aida and myself at the workshop at conference. I have received a collection of photos taken in the class by Sheryl and thought I would share some of them These show every ones work at the end of the third day of stitching................................
.................and show too the lovely colours of the hand dyed linen of the Jane Van Keulen kits that were used. For my part as tutor it was very pleasing to see how much everyone achieved in the three days, I have since heard of one finished mat and look forward to seeing photos of some of them when completed.
For new visitors to my blog, here is the mat everyone was stitching.
As this was my last workshop I would be teaching I had some little extras for everyone. These include cardboard needle tweets to hold the needles given out with the kits, Paul cut floss ring tags and cards for their threads, these they got on the first day of the workshop. Next day after a remind of the story of the Tailor of Gloucester and advise not too go home and stitch late into the night there was a tiny mouse for everyone. And at the end of the workshop a reward .... flower with a chocolate kiss in the centre.
Don't you love little mouse, he is just one and a quarter inches tall.
Its not truly a yellow daphne, although that is one of the common names given to the lovely shrub, Edgeworthia papyrifera, it is also known as Chinese Paper Bush. This year the weather has been kind to our bush and it is making a lovely display by the letterbox. So often when it flowers the weather is wet and it destroys these lovely blooms.
My thoughts are running to design and I would like to stitch something using these flowers as my design, the hardest part will possibly be finding the right colours in threads, nature has her own colour pallet and DMC does not always provide a match. I have gotten as far as tea dying a piece of linen for the background. It might take a while but I promise to show the result when it is finished.
Here is the close up I will use for my design, taken inside the colour are not quite as deep as they should be the outdoor shots are better colourwise..