Sunday, April 28, 2013


“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.”
Lee Maynard     
Oh,  there is that Autumn feel here in Stratford, the days are cooler and I am enjoying a fire in the evening but as yet there is not much show of the richness of Autumn, however last week I went across to Napier to visit my sister Joan and Denis and we went in search of Autumn's lovely glow.
We left Napier and drove north to Gisborne, the first day was quite damp but on the way up we managed to dodge the showers and stop for a walk in Holts Forrest. I had not known that the forest was there and we had a delightful walk  through the tall trees.

By the time we reached Gisborne the showers had cleared and although it was late in the day I could not resist a photo of Captain Cook's statue,  the light was all wrong  (and I knew I would not get back again)  however he makes a great silhouette

The second day we were blessed with fine mild weather and most of the day was spent at Eastwood Hills the National Arboretum which was the reason for our trip-    to visit there in search of autumn colours. As we walked round the paths there was truly the feel of Autumn
And although everyone told us the colours would peak in about a week we found plenty to enjoy as these photos can testify .

and I really did enjoy finding the little cyclamen growing in the grass under the trees. I have two large groups of these in my garden, they hold special memories for me of visits to the Christchurch Botanical Gardens with my mother and finding them growing in the rock gardens there. A holiday in Christchurch always meant a visit together to this part of the gardens. They are such tiny blooms compared with the larger house cyclamen we had in the florist shop where I worked. At Home here they are still in bloom.
The sun is shining this morning and I am off to enjoy its warmth. Have a happy Day

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I found a little beetle; so that Beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day ...
from 'Forgiven' by A.A. Milne.
Thinking of beetles I remembered A.A. Milne had written a poem about a beetle it was fun looking for it and reading it again brought back many memories.   It is in the book  Now we are six Do you know it? It goes on to say that nanny let the beetle out! Well I am sure my beetles are not going to run away. And in answer to emails about stitching the beetles, they can be found in a book too, Jane Nicholas' book of Beetles. Jane is an Australian tutor who frequently teaches in New Zealand and I have been fortunate some years ago to do some workshops with her, here is a link to Jane's web site she sells kits  for the beetles but you need the book for the instructions. The book is still in print.

As you can see I love stitching beetles, they really do not take very long and I can come up with a variety depending on the metal threads I have on hand, The coloured metal thread I frequently use is Cadi thread check by Colour Streams, I hope  to add to my collection of threads when I go to Napier next week as J J's stock it in small  packs a short length for $3.00 which allows me to buy several colours at a time.


The beetle heads are leather, and the lovely raised look is because the bodies are padded with felt first. For silver beetle below, the elytra (covering for the wings)  I have used passing thread to outline, Annette has sent me some of the new DMC memory thread and I am looking forward to using it for this part of the beetle. here I have filled with bright check chips.


  This beetle has detached wings  the wings and head have been made with layer fabric. Wings like these are another place where I think in future I will be able to use the memory thread and yes it comes in silver and gold as well as a wide range of colours, and these each match a DMC floss which is great for couching.

,......... and here is my favourite beetle. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way.  Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.
Marsha Petrie Sue

Yes here we are at the start of a new month, and it too is a new beginning.  Here is my journal page for April. I have used the  Deerfield Embroidery piece which I had shown earlier on my blog when I completed it,  I had chosen to stitch it because it went with the colouring of the canvas work piece I wanted to use. The canvas work is a piece from the past. I am trying to use one piece from the collection of sample pieces I have and stitching a new piece to go with it and also a different coloured beetle each time.
This time it is a little silver beetle 
I am stitching the pages for my Journal for the Needlework Masters Monthly SAL Challenge
Having made a Journal cover each month the challenge is to add a page showing two different embroidery techniques. It is great seeing what everyone who is taking part has done each month.
 If you have missed seeing everyone's pages to date the link is here Then click on the month at the top to take you to the pages. Now to decide what I will do on the next page.