Thursday, January 29, 2015


A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer     
 it sings because it has a song
Maya Angelou.

A very special bird has arrived, the first page for my book,  Lyn has stitched it for me inspired by "Canterbury Garden Bird" 1970 by Don Binney ( NZ Artist) also special for it was many many years ago in Canterbury that Lyn and I met. The embroidery technique she has used is Colbert Embroidery, Lyn has also set our group a challenge in this work later in the year.

 My last page has been posted out so will share as soon as I know it has arrived, and now I have a special bird page to stitch to send overseas and the challenge will be that it is not a New Zealand bird, it is always easier to stitch birds I know. I will be stitching the Chickadee  and as part of my research I have been watching Lesley the bird nerd's videos of these delightful small birds on You Tube.
Thank you to all who left comments on my last post I have read and enjoyed them  no replies yet as I am still trying to work my way round the new set up on my computer that lists them all one email  I did intend to be better this year at replying to comments, don't give up on me yet.

This past week has been spent playing with fabric, and yes having lots of fun for all the details of what I have been doing visit my other blog other side of the mountain Now I am off to sort out fabric and threads for some serious stitching.

Monday, January 19, 2015



Margaret Sherry time the challenge was to stitch a tiny page for a book with the theme Christmas, and I knew the fabric for the book was deep red with gold on it, Ann plans to have the folding book on display each year when she puts out her Christmas decoration, I note she had pinned this Margaret Sherry design (on the left) on one of her boards in pinterest , too big for the small space we have to stitch in  for these small pages of 5 x7 cm (2 x 2 3/4 inches) it did however  set me looking to see what I could find. and this tiny mouse was perfect, however with no chart I decided I would also
use  it as inspiration for another piece of needle painting. besides birds I had done rabbits a couple of times before using this form of stitching but this is my first mouse. it was a very enjoyable piece to stitch. here is the result., I would love to have added some padding behind him specially his face but as it is to go on a book page I guess it is already more than thick enough.

Just had a phone call to say mouse has arrived and Ann is delighted with him, so now I can post and share with you..... i am now working on the fourth and last page.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Sometimes, simply by sitting, the soul collects wisdom 

- Zen Proverb

Lyn's theme for her book  is "Owls", my research on google images found several photos of a little owl  here a just two of them don't you love the owl with his eyes shut.............................

...................... however I did stitch it with eyes open, 

In answer to questions, yes I stitch the piece first on calico, I use a double layer of fabric to take the weight of all the stitches, trying to lay my stitches just as the feathers would be, so working bottom to the top.A single thread in a very fine crewel needle, lots of small stitches and several shades of  thread. 

Then I cut it out a leaving a small seam allowance, next from the back I cut away the underneath layer of calico as close as I can to the stitching, this takes away some of the bulk.  The seam allowance is turned in and tacked to hold it into place ready to mount it onto the backing fabric, in this case it is count thread linen this is a very tiny piece 5 x 7 cm and I wanted the owl to feature so I did not stitch the branch he was standing on instead I have coloured a small section with a water colour pencil,


When stitching him in place, it is easy to hide those stitches among what is already stitched,  finishing touches his claws and the small leaves were added last.

Little owl is much enlarged in this photo however it does give you an idea of the stitching
and as I have just had a phone call from Lyn to say the embroidery has arrived I can now share it on my blog. I have really enjoyed stitching this piece and now its on to the next one

Monday, January 12, 2015


The voice of the sea speaks to the Soul
-Kate Chopin.

 I have sent off the first challenge page for one of my friend's in the Stitching group, and now that i know it has arrived I can share with you.   It  is for Joan who chose a Sea theme for her book and the colours DMC   340,  517.  791.  807.  3765,  3847 I used all but one of the suggested shades.  The little sea horse was made using the slip method where it is stitched on one piece of fabric and then mounted on another. I use this method a lot specially for birds as if the one I am stitching does not turn out quite to my liking I can discard it with out spoiling the piece.

 This piece which is on the wall above my computer, and was the first time I had stitched using this method.  It was stitched many years ago and I have favoured this method many times since.

and here you can see the individual birds

 Yesterday I posted out the next page I had stitched so hope to be able to share it later in the week, it is my aim to get all the pages stitched and sent out this month. Of course half the pleasure is looking for the inspiration before I start to stitch.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to 

put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity

 and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” 

It is New Years Day here, I am not going to look back over the past year, like all years it had its ups and downs, I am setting my sights firmly on the future.   Thank you to all my blogging friends for all your support in 2014, you are all very special people.

Stitching Friends group is starting the year with a new challenge a small folded fabric book, we have each decided on a theme for our books, shared the colours our fabric will be and now its time to start the stitching, we are to stitch our own cover piece and then each of us will stitch one page each for the rest of the group's books. These books are quite tiny so will not take much time to stitch a page. Part of the fun I think is, looking for the right thing to stitch for each one of my four friends. I have the first one ready to post out after the holiday weekend but cannot share it at this stage but what I can share with you is what I have stitched for my book, the book itself is still in the construction stage. The theme I chose is Birds and for the cover I have stitched a favourite Maree Garstang design of a yellow breasted tit. shown here with one I had stitched a couple of years ago, I have changed the green threads used to match better with my fabric.

And for the back cover I have stitched a small book plate and used a tiny fantail from Ann Brocas' Coromandel Needleroll chart.We have a couple of months to complete our stitched pieces and post them off so it will be a while before the book will be finished.

 My New Year wish for all my friends is 
 May 2015 have many hours of stitching pleasure