Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Quaker, Tokens and Trifles

Quaker Christmas Exchange

I’ve heard from my very good friend Carol that she’s received the ornament that I sent, and likes it as much as I did … I really didn’t want to let this one leave home, so I’m definitely going to have to repeat stitch this one for myself.  I was really really nervous with the finishing of this one, but I just bit the bullet and stopped thinking it and just ‘did it’.  I just had enough thread in the skein to make some skinny cord and attach all the way around the ornie – and the end result is that it’s given me a bit of my finishing confidence back again, and hopefully that means that I’ll continue to push the envelope and tackle some more of those finishing jobs that I’ve been putting to one side because of losing confidence in myself!  Anyway, here’s the ornie in all it’s finished glory (the finishing isn’t perfect, but I’m still very pleased with it!):

Tokens & Trifles-Quaker Stocking
“Quaker Stocking” freebie by Tokens and Trifles
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Limestone
with Carrie’s Creation thread in Plymouth Red (stitching & cording)
(The chart is still available HERE)

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Exchanges

I managed to clean out my PO Box this week, and had a wonderfully exquisite surprise hiding in there! I received my Christmas Quaker ornie from Gabriele this week (my first ever HoE exchange), and I totally ADORE it 😀 How could I not, Gabriele was very clever and stitched it in my absolutely favourite colour … blue. This one is too beautiful to just be displayed at Christmas, so this one will be on display the entire year round 😀

Thanks Gabi, for a really wonderful exchange 😀

Christmas Quaker Exchange received April 2011

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Needlerolls, Photo Hunt, PhotoHunt, Travel - New Zealand

Photo Hunt – Stripes (9 October)

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The theme on 9 October was ”Stripes” and here are some stripes on the skirts of a Maori cultural group in Rotorua, New Zealand.  The Maori name for the skirt is “piupiu”, and it is a traditional item of clothing made from flax leaves.  I love the swishing sound it makes when it swirls and the dried flax hit each other.  If you want to see some traditional piupiu, you can find some here on the Te Papa Museum website.

ROT-Maori Cultural group_0002

And in keeping with trying to find stitching/needlework examples of the weekly themes, here is the unmade needleroll that I stitched for an exchange years ago – it was a self-made design by using some elements from other designs and making some parts up … I was quite pleased with the end result.

Melanies Exchange for Paula

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Home & Family TO BE FIXED, Stash

Quick post of goodies…

Just a really quick post, as my laptop appears to still be temperamental and it still keeps shutting itself down – it definitely hates Photoshop Elements, so I’ve just used the Microsoft editing software to crop these piccies and adjust the lighting slightly.  Anyway, fingers crossed that they upload OK …

Just before I left Sydney, I checked my PO Box one final time and lo and behold it contained the most exquisite parcel full of stitchy goodness.  Michelle really outdid herself this time for our Autumn Exchange (a private exchange hosted by BeckySC) – inside the parcel was the most gorgeous needlebook and flosstag … seriously, the stitching and finishing leave mine for dead!  The needlebook is stitched entirely over-one (that’s awe-inspiring in itself in my eyes!), and both the flosstag and needlebook are finished absolutely perfectly.  I love, love, love my exchange gifts and will treasure them always!  I managed to quickly snap a picture or two before I flew out so I could try and share when I arrived here:



I had a 3am wake-up call so I could get up and ready to be at the airport at 4am … then kicked myself when I remembered that the staff travel counter doesn’t actually get manned until 5pm (mutter mutter) … but at 6am I was safely ensconced in my business class seat with a glass of champagne in hand … my holidays were officially christened and underway 😀

I arrived into Auckland at lunchtime yesterday to miserable rainy weather … but after talking Mum and Dad to death for an hour Mum and I took over Dad’s car (my old car that I used to have) and we went shopping.  First up was a trip to The Ribbon Rose, my new favourite stitching store in Auckland – it has the BEST selection of threads of any store I’ve seen.  I was organised and brought with me a list of threads I need for upcoming pumpkin stitching, and managed to get all threads barring one which they’d sold out of … don’t you just love these autumny colours?

2010 10 01_4406

Then we headed back home to Manukau Shopping Centre and straight into Farmers store – I love their ‘plus size’ range by Wild Child, which are a funkier style of clothing to the normal fuddy-duddy styles you can find in plus size stores – and they usually have a great fit for me with their jeans range etc.  They’re usually my first port of call when I arrive home, and yesterday I managed to find a new pair of black pants for work (which I’ve just decided to go back and buy another two pairs so I can throw out my old ones that have been worn pretty much for 6 years now!!), and three different tops.  I most definitely helped to boost the economy in Auckland yesterday … and manaaged to do the bulk of my shopping before the GST (Goods & Services Tax) went up overnight 😀

Today is my parents 50th wedding anniversary – Dad’s already grumbling about going out, and that he won’t be drinking because he doesn’t like to drink and eat (don’t ask!! – sigh) … but regardless, I’ve offered to drive so they can both relax and enjoy themselves, plus then I can drive an old family friend home again afterwards.  Whether or not Dad’s looking forward to it, Mum and I definitely are … we’re going to a high-end smorgasbord restaurant, with our closest family friends (who are actually family as far as we’re concerned, just not with the same blood lines) – it should be a nice night out 😀

Tomorrow we’re thinking of heading out to The Embroiderer if they’ve got the JCS Christmas ornie magazine in stock, otherwise it will be a day spent cutting out fabrics to make some clothes for moi, and going through my fabric stash here for some more fabric to take home with me … then I will no doubt have to do my annual penance of throwing out items from my old stuff in storage, then perhaps I may just get some time to sit and stitch, ‘cos so far I haven’t put a single stitch into fabric!

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Great Pumpkin Challenge 2010, Humbug, JBW Designs, Just Nan, pillows, Stitching Smalls

Autumn Exchange

This month I took part in a private Autumn Exchange, and Lisa V was my ‘victim’ for some autumn goodies. I just heard from Lisa that my little parcel has arrived safe and sound on the other side of the country, so I can now share my finishes. As this was a no-extras exchange, my little postal box to Lisa contained two items … the little humbug REALLY wanted to stay home here with me, so I’ll just have to restitch this one for myself I think 😀

<JBW Designs-A Very Merry Autumn
“A Very Merry Autumn” by JBW Designs
stitched on 28ct Antique Ivory Cashel linen
with Crescent Colours threads

Just Nan-Hootzi Humbug
“Hootzi Humbug” by Just Nan
stitched on 28ct Antique Ivory Cashel linen
with recommended DMC threads and Delica beads

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Home & Family TO BE FIXED

Still around

I have some big deadlines coming at work that have just been dropped on me that I now need to do before I go on leave … along with the fact that our team has been told we need to help out the other half of the team with their day-to-day duties because they’re swamped and not coping … this is really funny seeing as I’d just walked out of a meeting with my own boss and she’d just raised concerns that I wouldn’t be able to get through my own workload before I go on leave!  Oh well, I see some massive working days coming over the next two weeks, so not much stitching is going to get done I guess, except for the weekends when I’ll just be sat on my bottom and stitching like mad. 

Oh well, 2 weeks from today and I’ll be on 3 weeks holiday … with absolutely nothing planned yet (apart from my ticket home to NZ) … yippee.  Not sure how many days we’ll stay in NZ, but then we’ll probably come back to Oz (Mum and I) and have a wee holiday somewhere nice.  Mum was keen to go to Adelaide for a quick visit, and we also wouldn’t mind either going back up to Cairns/Port Douglas once again, or drive down the coast and stay at a place which right now the name escapes me!  I’d rather not stay at home in our flat much during the visit, hence the idea of tripping away somewhere nice, which also gives me a true break before going back to work again 😀

A GP visit this week to get a whole raft of blood tests done – mind you my 3 weeks leave will probably do a whole lot more for my mental and physical health than anything else 😛  I’ve already started thinking about what stitching to take with me, and so far have the list narrowed down to about 6 months worth of stitching time hahaha.

Then the other day at Spotlight I came home with these:

I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet, so I figured with all the tutorials available these days with online videos I should finally give it a go and cross one thing off my bucket list.  So into my shopping basket went an el cheapo set of crochet hooks to try out, along with a ball of 8 ply wool and 8 ply cotton blend … when I bought them I had no idea what to make, so I just grabbed wool/cotton that I like the colour of and was relatively cheap!

Add to that something even more strange, that I’m hankering to knit a washcloth/dishcloth!  Yeah, Mum, don’t faint over THAT one!!!  Mum will attest to the fact that I get really bored really quickly with knitting – I can do basic knitting stitches, and can generally follow a pattern (and even finished a jersey/jumper once!), but I get halfway through the first ball of wool to knit a scarf and I’m bored to death … and Mum ends up pulling it all out and starting from scratch and knitting it for me (bless you Mum for all the knitting you’ve done for me over the years!).  Anyway, this in itself was enough to send me to the GP – because obviously my mental health really is suffering … I mean, ME, with an urge for KNITTING … I mean, COME ON! 😛

Of course when I DO eventually get keen and try to knit my first washcloth, I have a whole heap of potential patterns on the wishlist to look at and decide from … God bless the internet!  The only thing is I gave all my knitting needles away to Mum so I might have to borrow some back again!  Mum would be horrified, but I do use the washcloth that Missy sent me years ago, and just love it – and it does feel nice to use things that have been made 🙂

Hopefully in a few days time I will be able to share my latest finishes – but I can’t show them until they’re received, as they’re from my Autumn Exchange.  It won’t be long before they’ve arrived, though, so I should be able to post piccies in a few days I hope … in the meantime I’ll leave a little teaser …

Cross Stitch, Edfu, Exchanges, Freebies, Nadi, Photo Hunt, PhotoHunt, pincushions, scissor fobs, Stitching Smalls, Travel - Egypt, Travel - Fiji

NZ Exchange

I have absolutely nothing to show stitching WIP-wise this week, as I’ve been clocking some mental hours at work, with a few 12 hour days.  My new all-time record was a 16 1/2 hour day yesterday – 12 of them in the office, then I came home and did the remainder at home, finishing at 1.30am this morning.  I still have enough work to keep me going for one more entire day, but I thought I’d take a break for a bit – although I have a major deadline looming, so I have to do it over the weekend to get it finished in time for review on Tuesday morning (it’s a long weekend here in Sydney this weekend).

Seeing as I don’t have any WIP updates, I thought I’d go ahead and post the exchange I posted off last week.  I haven’t heard that it’s arrived, but it should be there by now 🙂

You will remember that I shared the ‘back sides” last week, well here are the fronts.  I was very sad to see these ones leave home … I think I just may have to repeat this exchange all for myself – love, love, love the colours – I just hope my recipient likes it too!

Exchange for StitchNZ

StitchNZ Exchange scissor fob

Freebie from My Aunt’s Attic
Stitched on 32ct white Belfast linen
with DMC 4030 thread
(homemade tassel & cord also in DMC 4030 thread)

StitchNZ Exchange pincushion

Freebie by Le Petit Monde de Vavi
Stitched on 32ct white Belfast linen
with DMC 4030 thread

And seeing as I have nothing else to share today, I’ll end with this week’s Photo Hunt, as I ran out of pre-published posts last week and have to think of this one from scratch.  Alas, no future themes are out yet either, so I guess next week’s will be from scratch too…


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This week’s theme is ”Public” and I went with the following dictionary definition:

“Definition:Open to common or general use; as, a public road; a public house.”

In saying that, here are my choices for this week … Here I am waiting for a bus at the public bus depot in Nadi … during a flood (and no, I have no expectation that a bus will really arrive!).

Nadi bus depot flooded

Or perhaps a public road at Edfu markets, Egypt…

Edfu Markets 1

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Hardanger, Just Nan, Periwinkle Promises, pillows, pincushions, scissor fobs, Stitching Smalls, Works in Progress

Exchanges, WIPs and Finishes

In my overflowing mailbox this week I received an exquisite exchange from Elaine in NZ (this was an exchange hosted by the StitchNZ Yahoo Group).  I’m absolutely thrilled with this exchange – I really adore hardanger, although I still haven’t kicked myself in the pants enough to get back into it myself again … and this one is just gorgeous!  Elaine made it into a stitching pocket so I can hold my needlework tools and supplies – and sent along a matching wee pincushion (so gorgeous!) and packet of needles.  I’ve taken loads of photos so you can share in the beautiful stitching detail of this piece – while photos never do stitching real justice, I’m sure you can imagine that the finished piece is even more exquisite!  Thanks Elaine for a wonderful exchange! 😀

StitchNZ exchange 3

StitchNZ exchange 6

StitchNZ Exchange from Elaine July 2010

StitchNZ Exchange from Elaine July 2010

My exchange piece unfortunately left a little bit late (actually a whole week late, ahem!) … thanks to not being able to get to the Post Office.  As I’m pretty positive the recipient doesn’t read my blog, but perhaps I’d better play it safe and not post details about it yet … I’ll tempt you with a photo of the ‘backside’ in the meantime, and will post more when it’s received 🙂


What’s next???  Oh yes, yesterday I sat in the lounge with Katie watching Dark Angel DVDs, and doing a teeny bit of finishing – I managed to get the Christmas Ornament tutorial photos completed (very basic ornie) which also means one more ornament off the finishing pile, my Just Nan Ladybug Santa is now in its little Whimzi frame, and I completed the Periwinkle Promises January Sampler Accent into its little pillow, complete with little corner tassels (I ran out of silk for the backing fabric/joining, but luckily had a skein or two in my stash that I was grab to finish this one off).

Christmas Cheer Ornament finished

Just Nan-Ladybug Santa framed

Periwinkle Promises-January Sampler Accent finished


As for my WIPs themselves, I’ve done very very little stitching over the last week or so – I managed to put a handful of beads into Chatelaine’s Egyptian Garden Mandala (3 nights of beading and I’m still not even halfway finished the one band of beads – the row on the edge of the lotus flowers) – it doesn’t help that the beads don’t sit nicely with that poxy fabric that I’m using, so I’m having to squeeze the beads in and offset them every 6 or 7 beads:

EGM 23Jul10

Then yesterday I managed to complete some more of the border of the Quaker Huswif, and am now working on the bottom quaker band.  Once this section is finished, I’ll be flipping the design upside down and unrolling the scrollbars to work on the final two sections at the other end – I think at this point in time I’m pretty much sitting on the halfway mark of this piece 🙂

Quaker Huswif 24Jul10

And that’s pretty much it for now … not sure what I’ll be stitching on this week, if anything … I’ve got some big deadlines at work over the next fortnight, so I may be putting in some longer hours, which means less mental/physical energy for stitching …

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Finishes, Mirabilia, scissor pockets, scissors, Stitching Smalls, The Cat's Whiskers, Works in Progress

Weekly Update

Another week has gone by, and not much stitching has been completed in that time – the only thing I’ve been working on this week has been my Halloween Fairy with a few more stitches put in Mon-Thu this week.  I’ve made OK progress on this one, but it’ll be a few weeks yet before she’s finished (not just stitching-wise, but I realised I’m missing two Kreinik braids which I’ve had to order and wait because they’re out of stock – I had a store credit to use up with Needle in a Haystack, so I decided to put it to good use with my braids).  I have to admit I’m enjoying stitching her with her decent sized blocks of colour 🙂

The only other news is that my Scissor Pocket Exchange arrived safely at its destination during the week, and thankfully Lillie likes it, which is the important thing 🙂  It was supposed to be a no-extras exchange (love those exchanges), but I couldn’t resist adding a little pair of scissors that I’d bought at the last craft fair we went to, which I used as my basis to choose a thread from my stash to match.  I didn’t think to take a photo of the inside flap, where I stitched both our initials, so I’ve borrowed one of Lillie’s photos (hope she doesn’t mind).

The Cat's Whiskers-Alyssum 2007 Ltd Ed Scissor Pocket exchange
“Alyssum 2007 Ltd Ed Scissor Pocket” by The Cat’s Whiskers
stitched on 32ct Bo-Beep Pink Belfast linen
with Needle Necessities thread 196

The Cat's Whiskers-Alyssum 2007 Ltd Ed Scissor Pocket exchange

Rightio, time to head off and do something – I need to kit up a Lizzie*Kate Welcome Baby sampler for a colleague’s new daughter, and find a Halloween cape in the depths of the garage for an upcoming fancy dress party for Katie, as well as head out to a shopping mall to actually find a top to wear tonight!

Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Works in Progress

Scissor Pocket exchange received

And oh boy, what an exquisite exchange piece it is!!  I was absolutely gobsmacked when I opened my little parcel at the post office this morning – inside was the most gorgeous stitched and finished scissor pocket ever!  This is a design I have lusted after for years now, and have attempted to buy a few times, but I’ve never managed to get hold of it … well now I don’t have to, as I have an awesome finished piece instead!  I honestly did get a bit choked up when I opened up the box, as it was so amazingly perfect for me.  Thank you Michelle from the bottom of my heart – I will truly treasure this always! 😀

My apologies for the piccies, but it’s almost midnight in a wintry Sydney and I couldn’t wait to publish them 🙂




The only other photo I have is my latest minimal progress on Halloween Fairy – but this pales in comparison to my awesome new scissor pocket!