Saturday, 26 December 2009

Pre-Christmas High & a Post Christmas Low

The week prior to the Christmas week my DH was home for a little holiday before Christmas. We had a fun time and took Aurelia horse riding. She was lead around on a horse for 10 minutes, but she was a real natural moving around quite comfortably with the horse.


We also went for a picnic and a little walk down to the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. I took Amelie in the backpack with me and my DH walked with Aurelia. As you can see from the photo, the steps are quite steep, but she happily walked down and back up on her own.


Aurelia and I spent some time during the week before Christmas baking. We made some clove and almond shortbread, espresso shortbread, cranberry and almond cantucci and a Christmas fruit cake. These were for my parents as a Christmas gift. They have so many things, we just didn't know what to buy them, so we thought a whole bunch of baked goods would go down a treat and they did!


Next my Little House Needlework RR has returned. I would like to thank all the wonderful ladies who stitched on my piece and made it look so beautiful. So a big thank you goes to Nicki, who organised the RR, Cathy, Melissa, Joan, Julianne, Joanne and Debbie (even though she was too sick to finish). Here is a photo of how the RR returned to me, it looks great doesn't it!


Nicki had my RR for a little while and as an apology sent me all this wonderful stash. It was completely unnecessary as I knew that my RR was in safe hands, but I really do appreciate it as the fabric, threads, ribbon and pattern are all items that I can really use.


This year I took the opportunity to shop at the Black Friday sales and with the great bargains going, couldn't resist the opportunity to enhance my stash. Similar to Kathy, I have a "naughty clicky finger" as well. This is what I purchased at the first ONS. Lots of Carriage House Samplings and Birds Of A Feather designs and lots of Weeks Dye Works threads and Gentle Arts threads to build my collection. Oh and how can I forget the 2009 JCS ornament issue.


I made a visit to the local quilting store and stocked up on some great backing fabrics. My favourite piece I found was this great piece released for the anniversary of the moon landing, with which I am going to make something for Aurelia.


Finally I made a visit to the local chain store craft store and stocked up on some gingham fabric which I have plans for next year, some ribbon and scrapbooking card which has been put to great use making ribbon holders.


I had seen on Tempus Fugit blog these great ribbon and lace holders which she had covered in fabric. I downloaded the template from Sarah's blog and I gave it a go and found mine were a complete disaster. Instead I decided to use the scrapbooking card to line a thick piece of card on both sides. The card is acid free and doesn't rub off onto fabric and is perfect for the job. It certainly makes it much easier to store lots of ribbon and looks quite pretty. Maybe one day when I have a little more patience and time I will give the fabric ones a go again.


Here are a few photos of the girls on Christmas day and the yummy dessert I prepared for my Mum's lunch, it's a Choc-Cherry Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake.


You are probably wondering the post Christmas low? For almost a week I had my in-laws visiting. It was a busy five days of running around, keeping up with the household chores, feeding the children and entertaining and feeding the guests. I was so busy preparing meals and cleaning up after everyone each day, that this week I have no energy left. The kids have had their routines completely disrupted and have gone silly and are driving me nuts. I feel drained and unenthusiastic. I think I need to buy some more stash and do lots of stitching.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Merry Christmas

As this will be my last post before Christmas, I would like to thank all the wonderful people who read my blog. I would especially like to thank those people who leave comments. These comments have been inspiring, thoughtful and comforting and I look forward to reading them. Thank you all, you are great friends.

I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas. I hope that all your wishes for Christmas come true and that you can spend the day with the people that you love.

I have plenty to share after Christmas so keep an eye out for the next post!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Last Of The Secret Stitching

I haven't heard from everyone about the PIFs I sent, but I hope that they have been received and that everyone has just been a little too busy. I know I am at this time of the year. This is the design I sent to Heather. Yes, you may have seen it before, but this time I stitched and finished it as a gift.


Design: Bee Hive
Designer: Elizabeth's Designs
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen - Vintage Country Mocha
Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Thread
Finish: Pinkeep

Finally, I heard from Peg (no blog) that she had received the blogaversary gift I stitched for her. It took some time to get finished, don't know why, I think things just happened. The important thing is that it is completed and in Peg possession.


Design: A Stitcher's Journey Fob Two
Designer: Lody Steward (Gift Of Stitching Magazine, Issue 35 December 2008)
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Linen - White
Threads: DMC
Finish: Scissor Fob

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

More Stitching To Show

I read on Klaudia's blog that she had received the PIF I sent her. This is another design I enjoyed stitching. I made some colour changes as I had used DMC thread and the conversion saw the flowers a not so nice orange colour. I found the cutest little chicken fabric that I just couldn't resist using as the backing.

Design: Life's A Stitch
Designer: Lizzie Kate

Fabric: 32ct Belfast Linen - Dirty Linen
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep

I also heard from Ellen (no blog) that she had received the ornament I stitched for her for the Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange. I decided to go the traditional Prairie Schooler finish on the ornament and I really like how it turned out.


Design: Prairie Schooler Santa
Designer: The Prairie Schooler
(Gift Of Stitching Magazine, Issue 34 November 2008)
Fabric: 32ct Jobelan - Sage
Thread: DMC
Finish: Christmas Ornament

Saturday, 5 December 2009

At Long Last Some Secret Stitching

I would like to say thank you to all the people who left words of encouragement and advise about my chore planner it was just what I needed. It has been four weeks now and I think everything seems to have settled into a great routine. The children can make as much mess as they like where their toys are as long as they don't drag toys over the rest of the house. This leaves them with the entire lounge room and entryway for their mess. I have more quality time to spend with the girls and more stitching time (except when DH is home and then everything seems to get out of hand!). I feel much happier about my home and I don't get into a panic when visitors arrive unannounced.

The year is coming to a close and I have finished all my stitching commitments. This means a little more me stitching, I have done very little of it this year. To celebrate, this is the first item I stitched. It's a little needlebook, which has been completely hand finished. I feel so good about it. Not only did I make something useful, but I followed the instructions and found they were quite easy to understand. I tried some new skills (nun's stitch and buttonhole stitch) and they were not as scary as I thought. I used a handmade antique bead for the closure.


Design: Acorn Sampler Sewing Case - Needlebook
Designer: With My Needle
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen- Ecru
Threads: DMC
Finish: Needlebook

Next is the ornament I stitched for Marie for the Friends Through Thread ornament exchange. This was a new finish for me, as I have never made anything that wasn't square of rectangular. By lacing it by hand, I found that it wasn't as hard as I first thought.


Design: Christmas Poinsettia Topiary
Designer: Praiseworthy Stitches (Gift of Stitching Magazine, Issue 34 November 2008)
Fabric: 36ct Edinburgh linen - Cream
Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Threads
Finish: Christmas Ornament

This is the PIF I stitched for Kathy. I haven't heard from her yet, but she should have received it by now as it only takes two days at the most by post from my location to hers. I finished this little ornament with a beaded trim on the bottom, it just seemed to need a little something else.


Design: Red Winged Blackbird
Designer: Bent Creek
Fabric: 28ct Belfast linen - Putty
Threads: DMC
Finish: Ornament

Finally, I would like to say that I have one more place available for a PIF. If you would like to participate and receive one of my hand stitched items, please leave a comment indicating your interest. If you would like to know more about the PIF check out this post.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Ornaments Received

Yesterday, the most gorgeous little ornament arrived from Cathy for the Friends Through Thread ornament exchange. Cathy has stitched a little Santa by Homespun Elegance and I think it is a very appropriate design for a stitcher. Now who doesn't want linen, floss and time to stitch. I only wish Santa would bring all those things for me. OK, OK just the linen and the floss!


Thank you Cathy, your stitching and finishing is impeccable as always. I really love the tiny little braid you used around the edge of the design.


Today I received this cute ornament from Kathy for the Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange. I love the Prairie Schooler Santa and so I am really pleased to have received this one. I love how Kathy has finished this one off. Thank you Kathy for this wonderful ornament.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Thank You!

I would like to extend my thanks to each and everyone of the kind and loving people who left so many wonderful messages of comfort and support. I have made so many exceptional friends through blogging and I treasure every one. So thank you one and all from the bottom of my heart.

The Winner Is...





Aurelia drew a name out of the Altoid tin for The Earth Sampler chart

Congratulations Kajsa!

Kajsa if you could please send me your postal address via the email button on my sidebar, I will get the Earth Sampler chart into the mail for you this week.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Giveaway


Don't forget, tomorrow I will be drawing a name to receive the chart Earth Sampler by The Primitive Needle. Make sure that you leave a comment on this post only saying that you would like to be entered into the draw.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Earth Sampler

First I would like to say thank you to all the lovely people who sent me emails of condolences for the passing of my grandmother. I think I have sent all of you an email of thanks. My family and myself appreciate all the sentiments and that your thoughts and prayers were with us during this time.


Well, well, well! My missing threads finally came in and I was able to finish the last few numbers of Earth Sampler. I was on such a role and then I ran out of WDW Charcoal. It took several weeks for my order to come in and then I somehow lost my enthusiasm to finish. The other night I decided enough was enough and I pulled that baby out of the basket and finished it, yeah!!


Design: Earth Sampler
Designer: The Primitive Needle
Fabric: 40ct Natural linen by SewItAll
Thread: Gentle Arts and Weeks Dye Works


I received this chart from Karen when she had a giveaway on her blog. Now I would like to do the same here. If you would like to go into the draw for the chart "Earth Sampler" by The Primitive Needle, just leave a comment indicating that you would like to be entered in the draw. I will be drawing a name on the 21st November.


A few weeks ago I had read on Cheryl's blog that she was trying the Motivated Mums, chore planner. Now, I am terrible at getting my chores done and sometimes the house is quite disgraceful. So I downloaded the last few months of the year planner and I am giving it a trial to see how I go. I started on Sunday, and so far it seems to be working. The house is cleaner than ever before, but I have two whinging, whining children who seem to know when I need to get work done and are on a mission to make the house as messy as possible. The two follow me around wanting to be picked up and carried about, they pull things from the shelves and cupboards and spread them throughout the house. I love my kids to bits, but they can be so trying at times. Some chores take a long time, especially with three bathrooms in the house and with two kids, some chores need to be done a little more often than the planner suggests, but so far so good. The only things I can't seem to get done are the Sunday "Pamper Yourself" and the daily "Quiet Time". Oh well, can't win them all!

Lizzie Kate Exchange

I received my Lizzie Kate Exchange piece from Susan the other day. She stitched two cute Christmas pillows. Aurelia took one look at them, cuddled them and said "one for Amelie and one for me". These two pillows now reside in their respective rooms. Thank you Susan, both of these pillows are great and so well made, we all love them.


Now my exchange person should have received her Lizzie Kate piece by now, but I haven't heard anything from her. I don't think she reads my blog, so I think it's safe to show what I stitched.


Design: Summer ABC's
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 28ct Lugana - Mushroom
Thread: DMC
Finish: Hanging Pillow

Monday, 2 November 2009

Much Loved


Sadly on Thursday my beautiful and kind Grandmother very suddenly and unexpectantly passed away. She was found collapsed in her home. I feel very sad for my father and his brother and sisters as both of their parents have passed away. I also feel sad for my girls because they won't get to really know their grandmother.

I have been thinking about her and trying to recall memories of spending time with her. They all seem to revolve around food and eating. She was the most amazing cook and would put on wonderful lunches and dinners for everyone. I fondly remember in the middle of winter standing at the stove, stirring the polenta for dinner. The wood stove going for both warmth and cooking. I also remember her spending many hours teaching me how to knit and do tapestries. She would also very patiently listen to me practice my piano lessons on her piano.

I remember my grandmother taking me shopping, to the zoo, to the city and to the local Italian clubs on a Sunday for lunch. I have so many great memories of long driving holidays to see relatives interstate, picnics on cold misty days in the Blue Mountains, picking chestnuts and the yummy food served at each and every gathering.

My Grandmother was so proud of her family. She had seven grandchildren, saw four of them get married and had two great-grand daughters. My Grandmother was the kindest, most loving, selfless person I have ever met. I know that she is in heaven at my Grandfather's side smiling down on us and watching over us.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Where does the time go?

Everyday has been so busy for me, I wake up, feed the kids, tidy their mess and before I know it, it's lunch time. So I feed the kids, tidy their mess and then it's time for preparing dinner. I feed the kids, tidy their mess, shower them and put them to bed. (Do you see a pattern!) This leaves me with so little stitching time. I usually stitch in the evening before bed, so I have only an hour or so at the moment.

We have also been having the brick dividing wall between our kitchen and lounge room rendered. The guys did a fantastic job and considering the floor was carpeted on the lounge room side, they hardly left a mark on the floor. What has been left is right next to the wall and will be easily vacuumed up once the wall has dried enough for the vacuum nozzle to touch the wall. Our house renovations are coming to an end, our ensuite should be done early next year, which will leave us with a little painting and then the new timber floors go down.


So this is all I have achieved recently. I have completed stitching my section of Deb's Emblem Of Love RR. She has chosen the loveliest pink linen and beautiful silks.


I also stitched this little piece for Terry for the Hooked On Exchanging Halloween exchange. It's a little portion of the Prairie Schooler Design "When Witches Go Riding". I have finished it into a long hanging pillow with a beaded border. I have to apologise to Terry as a few days after I posted the exchange, I realised I forgot to backstitch the pumpkin's teeth and the cat's whiskers. I still think it looks good though.



Design: When Witches Go Riding Book No. 148 (Top border portion only)
Designer: The Prairie Schooler
Fabric: 32ct Belfast linen - sand
Thread: DMC
Finish: Beaded hanging pillow



We had a very busy weekend this weekend past. On Saturday we had a look at some timber floors and decking. The prices vary incredibly, so we are now awaiting someone to come and measure everything up for us and give us a quote. We had to drive all the way into the city, so we thought it was a great opportunity to have an impromptu picnic by the water. A little fish and chips and a rug and we had two very happy girls.


On Sunday we celebrated my Dad's birthday by having a family Yum Cha lunch. We had a great time and as you can see by the photos, Amelie thought it was fantastic. She had a try of almost everything and enjoyed it all. While we were dining, a thunderstorm blew over and we had to try and make our way through the Sydney streets with a pram, one umbrella and torrential rain. My DH and I were soaked and not too happy, the girls, who were on the pram and under the umbrella thought it was the best time ever. I suppose that's kids for you.