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

Friday, December 13, 2013


Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories
and love of kindred, and we are better
 throughout the year for having, in spirit,
become a child again at Christmas-time
~Laura Ingalls Wilder

This cheerful little owl was my messenger to reveal all to my secret friend, knowing Lyn likes Owls I thought he was a perfect messenger and fun to stitch. ( he is a free design found here you need to scroll down the page a wee way.)  I can now share with you what I stitched for an earlier secret friends challenge 'the theme was Pansies and it was a real challenge to stitch something that would not be a give away to who I was, so I kept to cross stitch which all our group do, My tiny pansy decorated a pin keep, and of course I could not show it on my blog till now as that would give the secret away.
The last stitching friends challenge was to stitch a tiny Christmas stocking for your exchange partner, I showed the one I stitched in an earlier posting, here is the one I received from Lyn hanging on my Christmas tree, the colours are just prefect to go with my tree theme thank you Lyn.
 I am designing a new Christmas bird this year but it will take a while till I have something to show, I found the disadvantage of living in a small town and limited craft shopping to be had, my sister is arriving from Napier today to visit but unfortunately I was not organised enough to have her shop for me before she left. I have a trip across there next year and with two very good Needlework shops think I need to start making my list now. meanwhile I found  Snowflower Diaries new design Winter Witch and just has to stitch it. Its a free design and really cute having started I know I will now have to stitch all four witches if you have not seen it yet,  you will find it here
 My tree is up and I will post photos of it later

Monday, December 9, 2013


Computer  as we all can find have minds of their own and mine is certainly not taking orders when it comes to sending my last pages in to Barbara for the Needlework Masters Monthly Stitch A Long all o0f a sudden it will not recognise  Barbara's email address so I am posting my last two pages now as proof that I have completed the year.

My November page has a  Needle painting of a bird of paradise flower we did grow these spectacular flowers when we lived in Cormandel with the warmer climate, the bright colour of the flower rather over shadows the small bronze beetle.

To finish the year, my December Page has a piece of Drawn Thread work  and a lovely silver metal thread beetle.
This has been a very enjoyable project, thank you Barbara for the Challenge, my journal is a really treasure and not something I would have thought of doing. I now wait to see what challenges may come up to stitch in 2014. meanwhile if you want to see everyone's journal pages visit .here

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our  wings have trouble remembering how to fly  
Author: unknown
I have nearly completed my first year flying solo, and life is only as good as you make it, but certainly friends help with this. Thank you all.

I can now share some of what I have been stitching, this is Stitching Friends challenge ... stitch a small Christmas stocking in the Christmas colours of your partner's choice and add a tiny gift inside.
 Heather's colours were blue, silver and glass. I found the chart on google so do not know the source, a lovely pattern to stitch and I have used 40 count permin linen, so it is quite small. the silver has been added as the holy and berries on the front and small silver stars hanging on the ribbons at the back, and there are glass beads on the points of the cuff, and there was just enough room inside to put a skein of silk thread.

I have also been busy covering some tape measures these had been requested by a friend and I was pleased to have something I could do for her in return for all those moments when she remembered me  with a phone call to ask how my day was going. The Robin is a new design I found, the rest are ones I have stitched before. Will have more to share once the postman has made some deliveries, meanwhile weather permitting its gardening in the morning and stitching in the afternoon....... so I am off to stitch now.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

I have had a very successful  Hermits Weekend, I hope everyone else taking part last weekend had a good weekend too. Here is my lavender cushion finished. It is stuffed with lavender, not the type of lavender shown in the photo but English lavender which has by the far the loveliest scent and retains it when its has been dried.
It is backed with a piece of Liberty fabric, chosen because it is a fine soft fabric  and is nice to handle. My sister takes a small lavender pillow with her when travelling and this new one will be waiting for her to collect when she visits me next month.
Today was good light for photographing and at last I took some photos of my October page for my Journal, yes I am running late with this. For this one I have a Pulled thread embroidery piece and the beetle has been appliqued
I am very pleased with my weekends stitching, two other small  items finished cannot be shown at this time however I will share them later. The first goes out in the post this week.
 It is now time for me to make a new list of Things to stitch.

Friday, November 15, 2013


 Here we are the third weekend in November which makes it hermit and stitch  time again. I know I can stitch anytime but the extra incentive it there when its a IHSW days. My plans for this weekend is to completed  the small Lavender pillow I am making for my sister Joan. She has chosen one of the box panels from Ellen Chester's Miss Trenner's Needlework Academy. I am stitching it on 35 count Charles craft linen which is softer than the permin linen I mostly use and have a piece of Liberty fabric for the backing. Here is the stage I am at now.-
 See you after the weekend hopefully all the stitching completed and made up.
 Happy stitching to all other hermits for this weekend.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


"I cannot count the number of times I have been strengthened by another woman's heartfelt hug, appreciative note, surprise gift or caring friends are an oasis with me encouraging me to go on. they are essential to my well being."  Dee Brestin.
 I give thanks for all the support I have had during this past year, thank you blogging friends for never giving up on me when I have not always managed to answer your comments I do appreciate your messages. And thanks too, to Heather who reads my blog and sends me email messages that always seem to arrive just when I need an uplift.
 My very dear friend Ann came down from Whitianga to teach a workshop in New Plymouth and managed to fit in a few days with me we fitted as much as possible in to the time we had together. lots of talking and sharing of ideas... stitching ones of course. She was here for my birthday and we went out for the day firstly to see the Embroidery Exhibition then to lunch a visit to a garden centre how I have missed  going to my favourite garden centre during the past  year but then for part of that time I was not very mobile. And we called too at the Christmas Shop, that was wonderland so much to see and enjoy, I continued my tradition of adding a bird to my collection  don't you love this little ball of fluff.
Another day we went to see the Floral art display at Holy Trinity Church here in Stratford the theme was the 23rd Psalm  I did not think to take a camera, the arrangements were superb. However my camera has bee busy and I have plenty to share.
 From another very special friend Annette of California Stitcher  came this delightful package and yes I managed to keep it tempting as it was and open it on my birthday.
The Parcel was in two parts, Annette had stitched for me Blackbird Designs Pumpkin Blossoms needlecase all beautifully finished with matching fabric and some very exciting threads inside the pocket. the second parcel was something for me to stitch. Shepherd's Bush Kit "My Mom's Garden"
I have just finished stitching "Strawberries so faire", I stitched it on 40 count permin  raw linen, which was a mistake as the fabric was to fine to work the closed herringbone stitch on the strawberries , they looked like a tangle of knotted threads, so I ended up stitching them in cross stitch,  another adjustment for the fine linen making the roll a smaller size I just made a felt roll at the end for a pincushion, with spider web ends.  Finishing touches of the ladybugs is something I always add to things for Rachel, this time I only had white ones but the looked good and she was delighted with it.
My other finish was the Stitching friends Challenge a petite Christmas stocking but I will have to wait a while to show this to you. I now have one more stitching project then I will need to turn my thoughts to Christmas gifts I know I should have been started on them before this.. Are you better organised than I am ?

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Although all days are equally long regardless of the season,
some days are long not only seasonally but by rewards they offer.”
Dejan Stojanovic
My other entry in   the Embroiderers Guilds Regional Exhibition "COLOUR OF THE SEASONS" which opened today was this needle roll which I had entered  in the needlework accessories section.  It was a really fun piece to design and stitch. Inspired by Just Nan's Lady Scarlet's Scissor Roll which being a limited edition was not available in New Zealand  and so I just had to design my own,  here is what I created .. Little Mouse explores the seasons. 
There is a Roll for pins at one end with a pocket for my scissors. 
I use Doctor Flannel for my needle page and  the weave is suitable for cross stitch and its fun to add a little stitching on it.
 I found the tiniest mouse button to go on top of the padded roll and if you look again at the top picture you will see I have a mouse bead on the fastener. This piece will later go to Caitlin but meanwhile its mine to enjoy and I certainly will as it won first prize in the Needlework Accessories section and $100. That I love!
 Recently I stitched another needleroll, it was designed by my very good friend Ann Brocas for the 2011 Coromandel guild retreat, I stitched it for a special birthday gift for Annette of California Stitcher and as I was running late getting it in the post I did not wait for good weather to get some photos. however if you visit Annette's blog here you can see what I stitched and yes I have a little extra touch on the flannel there too.
 The post also brought me a parcel, I was one of three to receive gifts from Gracie of   Needles, Pins and Dragonflies She was celebrating her bloganiversary.
a pumpkin pin cushion in Autumn colours some fun material  and Hardanger snowflake kit... that will be something Caitlin and I will stitch together, she is ready to learn something new, so thank you Gracie for your gift it will be enjoyed.
 We are almost at a new month so if I get busy and finish the construction of "Strawberries so faire "I can start a new project with the new month........ I have so many on my list of want to do.. oh where do I start......well that will be revealed next month
 happy stitching everyone.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Dare to dream for dreamers see tomorrow,
 dare to make a wish,
for wishing makes way for hope.
Ron Cristian
I really did hermit for the weekend, lots of progress. here is where I finished Strawberries so faire a month ago, sadly I had to frog the section across the bottom before I could start for the weekend.
 At the end of the weekend, I had completed all the stitching ready for construction and also had finished the last of my four Latvian coasters this needed the foursided stitch and the Danish picot edge.
The Latvian coaster are my entry for the "COLOURS OF THE SEASON" The Regional Embroidery guilds Exhibition that opens at the end of this week. I stitch four coasters one for each season , these were designed by my friend Ann Brocas and I just loved stitching them. Here is the full set with the colours I selected for them.
Spring- think of Daffodils-DMC 3852 3821 522 520
Summer- old roses-DMC 3835 3836 3011 3013
Autumn- Marigolds - DMC 3853 3854 838 3828

Winter cool crisp days.-DMC 931 932 645 647
Which one do you like best ? I will share my other entry in a later posting.
 Did other Hermits get plenty of stitching done during the weekend am off to check.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams.
Marie Curie
My home has lovely fragrances through out the rooms at present, all week I have been picking bunches of Daphne burkwoodii, this is my favourite Daphne and I have two large bushes  that allow me to pick many bunches to share with friends  giving me great pleasure. And I have a large bunch on the table near my chair sharing its sweet scent with me as I stitch.

I have also picked  for myself a bunch of lilac this year it has been badly beaten by the heavy winds and rain of the past week but that has not taken its sweet fragrance

 This time of the year has so many rewards and I am also enjoying a vase of Lily of the valley that I picked yesterday, as its fragrance is much softer I have put it in my bedroom and what a delight to enjoy when I enter the room.

This weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend and my plans are to finish the last of the four Latvian coasters I have been stitching, mount a piece of embroidery for myself...... it has been waiting for quite a while and to do some more stitching on Strawberries so faire, that's after I have done some frogging on that piece, it is so maddening  to find one is one stitch out!!!!!

Progress report at the end of the weekend. happy stitching to all other Hermits for the weekend.