Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Stitch-alongs

Bleary-eyed finish

I’ve been stitching madly over the last two nights trying to meet the deadline for the monthly ornie challenge on XSers Yahoo Group – unfortunately I missed the deadline by 1 hour, but it still felt good to get another ornie finished.  I’ve been stitching until 12.30pm and 1.00am respectively the last two nights – the amount of stitching in those one was quite deceiving, especially all the backstitching!

April-ornie

“Checking It Twice” by Dragon Dreams, Inc
from 2007 Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine
stitched on 28ct hand-dyed Dried Thyme Jobelan
using DMC only (substituted RG Fuzzy Stuff with white DMC)
(sorry for the poor photo, but it was taken at 1.00am – the
colours look so much richer in real life!)

Next month I think I’ll start my ornie stitching much earlier to save the sleepless nights!  My May ornie choice is Spool Ornament by Sue Hillis Designs.

Christmas Ornaments, Finishes, Stitch-alongs

Small ornie finish

Still feeling like cr*p, so I took another day off work today to blob out … and managed to start and finish this ornie for this month’s SAL challenge on the XSers Yahoo group.

brittercup-poinsettia-1
Poinsettia by Brittercup Designs
from 2007 JCS Christmas Ornament magazine
Stitched on 28ct mystery linen
Substituted threads with those in my stash – used GAST Gold Leaf, Crescent Colours Cupid and Weeping Willow

The Nurofen I’ve been chewing every day has been doing wonders for my foot, if nothing else!  Probably helped by the fact I’ve been sat on my fat backside all day on my bed … 😉

Cross Stitch, Stitch-alongs

The week’s recap

Wow, what an amazing adventure last weekend was!!  I haven’t had time to sit at the laptop since returning home, but I had an absolute blast at the stitching get-together in Robertson – everyone was so lovely and chatty, and I got to see some exquisite stitched pieces both in Margaret’s home and show-and-tell from all those prolific stitchers!  It truly was a sheer joy, and I can’t wait until the next one rolls around!  I’ve been in a major stitching slump over the last two months, but after spending time chatting about stitching, and seeing so much finished stitching and WIP’s, when I got home I actually got my needle out and started stitching for an hour or two on Sunday night 😀

On arrival at the SAL I was extremely spoilt by Alison – she came bearing gifts of cans of L&P for me (aka liquid gold!!) … thanks again so much Alison, that was soooo sweet of you to think about me! {{hugs}} It was also really great to put a name to the face of Alison, and she had a wonderful wicked sense of humour, which is shared equally by Amanda – Amanda and I did a wee stitching trade a while ago, so it was nice to meet up in real life as well … and I think it’s going to be the start of many more get-togethers I hope. In fact, I hope I get to meet up with the entire group on a more regular basis!!

Margaret was the perfect hostess with the mostest – her home is like a needlework store full of stitched models – what a treat to spend the day there.  I’ve never seen so many exquisite stitched pieces on the walls in a home in all my life … and possibly won’t ever again!  I must’ve looked soooo attractive wandering around like a goldfish with my mouth gaping open in awe! 😉

Robyn and I actually started the day off really well by making a slight detour to Victoria House at Mittagong. I have to admit to not buying much, apart from two Christmassy charts for Mum from the sale basket … but it was lovely to see all the stitched models on the walls 🙂

Here are a couple of photos of our stitching group from Sunday – unfortunately the photo is missing two members who had popped up the road, but we managed to get most people in 🙂

sal-robertson-1

sal-robertson-3

sal-robertson-2

Next up is my small finish – this is what I started on Sunday night, and I put the final stitches in on Monday night – I can’t believe it took me so long to stitch it, I really HAVE lost my stitching mojo!! This is Lizzie*Kate’s Joy ornament from the 2007 JCS ornie magazine. This was for the February ornie challenge on the Yahoo xsers group.

lizziekate-joy

“Joy” by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on ‘mystery’ linen with the recommended
green threads, but the red and white were substituted threads

After finishing “Joy”, I started my ‘commitment’ stitching – one of the CA Wells projects for my April class. To be honest, in hindsight I wish I hadn’t signed up for this one, as the project really does nothing for me, so it’s been pretty low on the list for stitching … that also might be affecting my overall stitching motivation hmmm. Anyway, I’ve made a start now, so hopefully it will be easier to keep the motivation happening.

cawells-sailors-valentine-1

I do have some other goodies to post about, but I need to send emails of thanks to everyone involved before posting piccies … and my flatmate is calling me for dinner, so I’d better head off! I’ll try to post again on Sunday night, as I’m heading over to stay with Brenda and Nigel tomorrow night so may not have much free time.  Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to sit down tonight either, as I’ve been chatting to Mum on the phone for a while, then sitting having dinner with Lisa and her friend who’s flown up to stay here for the weekend with ‘us’ … 

What can I say?  Sydney is great!!!  Socially I’m fitting in and settling so much more quickly than I ever did when I first moved to Melbourne … Life is good! 😀

Cross Stitch, Finishes, Stitch-alongs

Bless being bunged-up with a head cold!

‘Cos it meant taking an extra day off work today so I put the final stitches into Bordeaux.  Thanks to my SAL buddy Carol for getting me started on this journey … it’s been a fun ride, and it looks great all finished (photos in no way do it justice at all).  It’s quite a long piece, with the stitching measuring 19cm wide by 49cm long.

bordeaux sampler

Bordeaux Sampler by Sampler Cove
Stitched on 36ct white Edinborough linen
with recommended threads (Vikki Clayton silks)

Cross Stitch, Stitch-alongs, Works in Progress

Back on the wine … Bordeaux, that is!

I feel as though my stitching mojo has disappeared … I think I got so burnt out just focusing on the CA Wells projects and ignoring everything else that it’s affected my motivation on the whole where stitching’s concerned. This week I’m on overnight shifts, and the first night is always the worst as you’ve almost been up for 24 hours by the time you get home.  To make things worse I only slept for 5 hours today as well, so my energy levels are pretty minimal today.

What to do with myself?  I know I should have been working on my CA Wells pieces, but to be honest my heart just wasn’t in it … instead I dragged out my Bordeaux Sampler and put a few stitches into it, so I’m almost at the same place as Carol – I’ve really missed stitching this over the last few weeks, and it felt really good to sit down and work on it again for a few hours.  Just a few more over-one grapes left to go and I’m finished with this band … but I think I’ll start the next band and do a few grapes at the start of each session so I don’t get too fed up with it.  And I think it’s important for me to get back into stitching on this each week … to make me feel more ‘normal’.

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Stitch-alongs

Christmas Ornie SAL

This month I cheated a wee bit – instead of stitching a new ornie from scratch, I pulled out a half-finished one and put the final stitches into it.  I can now say I’ve set a new record for myself for the smallest piece stitched!  The ornie used a Just Nan charm frame, which I didn’t have, so right from the start I thought about stitching the middle part on a separate piece of fabric but using a Nun’s stitch around the sides and attaching it at the end.  Last night I stitched the wee over-one section and did the Nun’s stitch tonight before putting it all together.  Now it’s headed for the finishing pile with the rest of the ornies 🙂 


“A Little Joy” by Just Nan, Inc
from 2002 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue
stitched on 28ct Mushroom Meran, and 32ct Flax Belfast
using recommended threads and beads

Here’s a couple of photos using Mum’s hand as a model, and a packet of Piecemaker needles, to show just how tiny this little centre piece is.  I was originally giving this one away to an online stitching buddy, but I have to say I don’t think I’ll face doing that over-one section again, so I think now I’m going to be keeping this one for myself! 😉

The other stitching news is that I FINALLY finished off my Peace needleroll ornament into a needleroll – but I forgot to take piccies, so I’ll have to do that later.  It’s been pinned together for so long just waiting to have the seam stitched, I’m surprised the pins haven’t gone rusty! LOL.

Nothing else to report, really – I’m partly through my Etui stitching, but not entirely happy with my colour choices, as they seem a lot paler with just a couple of strands … I need to replace my Soie Cristale blue with something a tiny bit deeper, so tomorrow we’re hoping to drop into Bustle & Bows in Surrey Hills to check out their silk selection – ideally I’d like something similar in colour to Needle Necessities 101 floss (or just slightly darker), so fingers crossed we can find something.  It means there’ll be a bit of frogging to do, though, as I’ve almost completed 3 of the little pyramid triangles (apart from the edges, as I’m still waiting for the threads to arrive from Hand Dyed Fibers).  I won’t bother showing you a piccie until I’ve got all the colours to hand and I’ve got at least one piece totally stitched.

Rightio, off back to the TV where I’m pretty sure Mum has just fallen asleep … I think I’m going to have to start taping her favourite TV programmes for her – every night we’ve watched CSI ‘cos she loves it, she’s fallen asleep halfway through!  She’s a worry!!

Cross Stitch, Gifts TO BE FIXED, Stitch-alongs

Wonderful birthday today

Today was officially my birthday (the 16th), and I had a very very restful day … it was spent unexpectedly stitching with Mum, watching DVD’s and just generally relaxing – I now only have 15 beads left to go on part 1 of my Stitching Leporello … I was so hoping to have it finished today, but I ran out of time before we had to sprint out the door.  I have to say those little pieces are very deceiving – it’s taken me forever to finish that one square, but I did enjoy having a spot of selfish birthday stitching 😉

This afternoon we drove into Camberwell early to clear the PO Box of its contents, and do a bit of shopping to kill time before dinner at Cafe Platia (my favourite Greek & Mediterranean restaurant).  I bought about 12 big packets of chocolate bars (individual little Mars bars, Snickers, Malteser bags, Bounties etc) and took them into work for my work colleagues … they thought it was crazy me going into work on my annual leave just to bring them in choccies for my birthday when I’m not even there to share them, but I couldn’t wait until my return in a week and a half!  Fraze was almost in the dog-box when he rocked up to dinner well over an hour late, but he redeemed himself by bringing me a birthday card 😉  Mum and I shared a bottle of Yellow sparkling wine, and we stocked up at Dan Murphy’s for a day in tomorrow … with another two bottles of wine for me, and a “slab” of Victoria Bitter beer for Mum haha 😀

During the week I received some gorgeous birthday gifties from Katrina and KarenV – my sincere apologies to you both for the delay in posting my gift piccies … I meant to do it yesterday, then realised the piccies I’d taken weren’t very clear against the blue of the sofa, so I re-did them today against my turquoise pashmina.  I also received another beautiful gift from Nicki this afternoon, but the light is shocking in my flat in the evenings so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to take a piccie.

The first piccie I have to share is of my gorgeous pillow from Katrina … it’s in the most scrummy blue colours, and I just adore the little tassels at the corners!  I feel very honoured to have this beautiful gift, it’s just sooooo lovely!  And to top it off Katrina also sent me a home-made birthday card too, which is just awesome 😀  I love everything Katrina, and feel very spoilt … and how perfect are those colours for me?  Yep, they’re definitely Annie colours! 😀 

Next up is a beautiful pillow from KarenV … it’s quite funny because I’d just sent Katrina an email asking if she would be willing to offer a tutorial in making one of these little flanged pillows for the new finishing blog, ‘cos I’d love to make one myself (and Katrina is the Queen of Pillows, not just Needlerolls!) – and here I have one in the flesh!  The first thing I did was to be nosey to work out how they’re made, and I think I finally have it worked out 🙂  I just adore the fabric and threads used (it’s my all-time favourite Anchor variegated thread), and the design is just so “me” 😀  I adore my little pillow, but to top it off Karen also sent one of the charts off my wishlist, Grandma’s Stitching Accessories, which I can’t wait to stitch (I’m already thinking about silk threads I can substitute for the Dinky Dyes ones) … but there was an added little extra that I truly LOVE – a little ducky keyring!!  How gorgeous and perfect is that??  I’ve been looking for years for a nice duck keyring, and now I have one.  I love everything, Karen, thanks again so much 😀 

I also have a couple of stitching updates for the week – it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve shown my progress of the Macaw SAL with Carina … I can finally show some actual progress after this week’s stitching on Wednesday – it’s even starting to look like something more than a blob!  It’ll be a long long time before this one is finished though!

Next up is my progress on the Bordeaux Sampler – I did my stitching earlier in the week, and there’s not a great deal to show for it … I unpicked the errors I’d made in the previous band and restitched the leaves in green – probably no point showing a piccie, as it looks no different than last week really … aside from band 3’s leaves, I just added a bit more of the green grapevine ‘stems’ on the left-hand side.  Hopefully next week will show more progress on this one.  Carol has now almost caught me up … I told her it wouldn’t be too long before she’s overtaking me on this one, but she thought I was joking haha.

I was hoping to show my Leporello finish today, but that’ll have to wait until tomorrow now after I’ve attached those last 15 beads – then I can also unveil Nicki’s beautiful gift as well.  For now, though, I’m going to check out Healesville Sanctuary online, and see if it’s close enough to Lake Emerald to visit both in one day … as that’s possibly in the pipeline for tomorrow, if I can get out of bed early enough … especially seeing as it’s midnight already! 😉

Cross Stitch, PhotoHunt, Stitch-alongs, Works in Progress

PhotoHunt – Gross, & Bordeaux Update


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It’s that time of the week again … well, almost … seeing as I’m starting night shifts tonight, and I have to get up to do a house inspection at lunchtime tomorrow, I didn’t think I’d be much in the mood for posting tomorrow … so here’s this week’s contribution to the Photo Hunt Saturday. The topic is “Gross”, and I was stuck a bit for choices yet again … but I thought these grasshoppers being on sale at the bird market in Hong Kong was quite gross, so I couldn’t resist taking a photo! (Hopefully I’ve linked it OK so you can click on it for a slightly bigger piccie.)

I also managed to get a couple of stitches into the Bordeaux Sampler today while I watched my Dodgeball DVD for the umpteenth time … I still crack up every time they start throwing the wrenches and dodging cars 😉 Next up is my Macaw SAL – I want to at least get an hour into this piece, because I know my eyes won’t handle the over-one stitching once I start my night shifts … Anyway, here’s my pitiful progress on Bordeaux for the week (the only difference from last week is the bottom row of long-arm XS and the backstitched vines for the 2nd lot of Rhodes grapes):

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Stitch-alongs

Christmas Ornie SAL

I finally put the last stitches into my Christmas ornie for this month’s SAL – I’m sorry to say for my recipient’s sake the bullion stitches aren’t exactly fantastic, but hopefully she won’t look too closely! 😉  I know I had a few of you stumped with the actual design, but I can finally reveal the details … I just have to find something to place in the ‘blank heart’ as I don’t have the button called for, then it’s ready to be officially ‘finished’ and sent off on it’s way … (I’ve removed the recipient’s initials for secrecy’s sake)


Christmas 2000 Sampler by Douglas Designs
from the 2000 JCS Christmas Ornie issue
using recommended threads, on a mystery 28ct linen

I also finally put the finishing touches into an ornie that Mum stitched for me – she just had the french knots left to do, and very kindly left me to do them, as she knows just how much I adore doing french knots! 😉  It’s supposed to have JABC star buttons, but I don’t have any left, and I think it looks just fine without it.  Thanks Mum, it looks just lovely! 😀


Rejoice by Lizzie*Kate
from the 2004 JCS Christmas Ornie issue
using 14ct red aida and recommended threads

Christmas Ornaments, Cross Stitch, Stitch-alongs

CA Wells in Melbourne

I sent an email off to the Perth organiser this morning to find out whether any spots are available for the CA Wells classes over there in April … fingers crossed.  (I’d managed to get the wrong contact person previously, so hopefully it’s not too late.)

But there’s also a possibility of her coming to Melbourne for an additional class in April, date to be advised, if there is enough interest.  Georgie is organising this, so if you’re in the area and you’re interested, drop her a quick line and let her know – apparently we need 20 people in total to sign up so it can go ahead, and at this stage there are still a huge 16 spots left to fill.  It would definitely be a wonderful opportunity 🙂

Now, something else I’ve been thinking about for a wee while now … I want to try my hand at Cartonnage … for those of you who’ve never heard of it before, there is one blog that is the ‘ultimate’ reference for Cartonnage … Cartonnage et Compagnie!!  Some of the pieces presented are just magnificent – you definitely have to check out the archives to see some of the amazing projects.  The main thing I personally want to make is something that holds all of my Kreinik metallic threads … something like a bigger version of the teabag holder in this blog here, with little individual compartments.  At the moment I’ve been using my little Ikea drawers, but it’s a pain when you buy a new colour and have to rearrange every single row just to add one little spool into the mix!  Actually what would probably work is to have internal segments inside my longer Ikea drawer, which would allow me to utilise the entire space of the drawer, as well as the flexibility to add new colours as they’re needed (although these days there aren’t that many I still need!), as well as keeping most of my stitching stash in one place.

I’d also love to make a proper teabag holder (a bigger version), as at the moment I’m using my old stitching floss box that I no longer use, and it would be much better for the tea if it was closed in with a lid … perhaps that will be a challenge for 2008! 😉

And if that wasn’t enough, check out this gorgeous sewing caddy … just gorgeous! 😀

And on that note, I’m off to bed!  I still felt a bit squiffy earlier today, but tonight I feel a fair bit better, so I’m hoping to get to work tomorrow … It was supposed to be my weekend off, but I swapped with someone to help them out so they could get the day off, and I’ll be taking Tuesday off instead – just in time to start my overnight shifts yuk!  I didn’t quite get my Christmas ornie finished this weekend for the SAL, but I might try and add a few more stitches into it tomorrow night before the weekend is over …