Blue Monday and off to see Jeffery Deaver

It’s been a while since I contributed to the weekly Blue Monday photo meme … seeing as there’s no stitching happening over here, I figure I might as well try and post ‘something’! Here is my choice for this week’s Blue Monday – a blue-filled boat at Niagara Falls, Canada.

IMG_0011

And here’s a crafty item for Blue Monday 🙂

Morning Glory pinkeep 1

Blue Monday

Blue Monday certainly doesn’t reflect my mood today, as I am nowhere near ‘blue’ … today I’m off to my very first book launch by one of my favourite authors, Jeffery Deaver. After reading The Bone Collector I was hooked by his twisted tales of crime, and he’s now been commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write the latest James Bond novel (Carte Blanche) – while my heart will always remain with his Lincoln Rhyme series, perhaps it’s time to branch out and try something new … and what better way to do it than to have a lovely lunch and drinks, then pick up a copy and have it signed … in fact I think perhaps I should call into a book store on the way and pick up a copy of The Bone Collector and ask for that one to be signed, seeing as it was my first Jeffery Deaver experience 🙂

Great Pumpkin Challenge 2010

BeckySC has offered a challenge to post as many Pumpkin finishes as we can until 25 November as part of her Great Pumpkin Challenge 2010.  While I may not be able to contribute too many by the cut-off date, I’ve already kitted up a dozen or so potential designs to take with me on holidays, so I should hopefully get at least another couple of small ones completed by then.  And it’s a great motivation to get some Autumn and Halloween stitching done (Halloween stitching would seriously have to be my all-time favourite theme to stitch, if I had to choose one).  I have loads and loads of designs that include pumpkins, so this is a really fun challenge to participate in 🙂

While I’m not stitching pumpkins yet, though, I did find a Halloween stitch from earlier in the year that contains a wee pumpkin, so I decided to sit and finish it into a pinkeep today so I add another “finish” into the challenge. Don’t you just love the “Boo!” ribbon?  We found this at a local craft show last year 😀  Unfortunately, I only own one Halloween fabric which is really crappy, so I haven’t shared the backing fabric with you … I really, REALLY need to order some Halloween fabrics from the USA, so I can do some more finishing!  Plus I really need to turn some pinheads lime green! 😉

LizzieKate-Hocus Pocus

And now it’s time to get back to catching up on TV viewing while I potter around and do housework … and start packing for my upcoming holiday 😀

A very productive start to the weekend

During the week I managed a little more stitching on Lizzie*Kate’s Boo Club – I’m definitely much happier with the project with the border on it.  I’ve now halted progression as I can’t find (so what’s new these days???) the little while buttons I bought weeks ago for it.  As soon as I find the little buttons I’ll pick it up again.  I’m being difficult to myself and wanting to finish-finish each section as I roll it up the scrollbars … yes, I can be quirky and pedantic when I have my heart set on something!  So this has been deleted to the corner basket while I continue my search for the little white buttons 😉

LizzieKate-Boo Club 22Apr10

This weekend is a long weekend for us in Sydney (and most of Australia) – and with Katie gone all weekend, I’ve had my heart set on doing some finishing this weekend while I’m free to make as much mess as I want and be able to concentrate on what I’m doing, and so far those plans have come to fruition. 

On Friday night I managed to finally finish 10 Christmas ornies that Mum had stitched for me – these have been in various states of finishing for the last few weeks, and it’s really lovely to see them finally finished 😀

PS Santas 1

PS Santas 2

PS Santas 3

Xmas ornies 1 Xmas ornies 2

I also managed to finally finish-finish my Blueberries by LHN into a pinkeep – this has actually been finished for a couple of months now, but I was never happy with the trim I used – finally I decided to rip it apart and used a plain ribbon that matched the thread colours instead … while it’s a lot plainer than the fancy trim I originally used, I’m much happier with it now 🙂

LHN-Blueberries pinkeep

Yesterday pretty much my entire day was spent doing this …

… doing hemstitching on 4 x Shepherd’s Bush needlerolls (and the rest of the finishing). I really hate doing hemstitching because my left hand cramps up when I’m holding onto the fabric – I enjoy doing the stitching itself, though, as you get into quite a good rhythm once you’ve done the first few stitches … I just hate having to hold it in hand and having to de-cramp my hand every 10 stitches!  Anyway, at least I have another 4 items out of the finishing box. I’ll add the photos to a separate post as this one is quite picture-heavy already!

Gifties received

I heard from Becky today that the Postman worked overtime over the weekend, and my little gifties arrived safe and sound.  I’ve had the stitching done on these for 3 whole years (!!!) – the pinkeep has been sitting around finished ever since then, waiting for it’s companion needlebook to be finished.  As soon as they became a matching pair officially (finally!!!), they were parcelled up and sent over to the US to their new Mum.  Becky has a lovely photo on her blog, but here are a couple more from before they were made up into their finished versions (and these show the colours much more accurately):

As you can see, I had all intentions of getting them both finished the year they were stitched, so they still have 2007 stitched on the ‘backsides’ 😉  I have to agree I really love the little backstitched bees, but for the life of me I can’t remember which design I borrowed them from!  And here’s the finished duo together all finished, just before packaging them up:

A spot of finishing

This has been sitting in my finishing for a couple of years – awaiting the back to be personalised … I managed to finally do the personalisation before Christmas when I was housesitting across the other side of Sydney, but I then misplaced the backing board which was already cut out with batting attached.  Finally today all the pieces came together … literally … and I put the finishing touches to my pinkeep for a stitching pal that I haven’t seen for quite some time.  The name has been removed to keep the surprise, but hopefully it will be in the mail some time soon 🙂

This is a freebie angel by Lavender and Lace, stitched on 32ct Waterlily linen by Wichelt.

Final finishes for the day

It’s been a very productive day, finishing-wise – I’ve really enjoyed getting a few pieces into a finished state, and look forward to having a few more days like it in upcoming weeks.  Following are the final pieces (except for one ornie which is still drying, after gluing the cording on – I’ll take a photo over the weekend when I can):

First up are a couple more Christmas ornies finished off:

Christmas Peace ornie

Fill With Love ornie

Then another wee pinkeep:

Morning Glory pinkeep 1

Morning Glory pinkeep 2

Morning Glory pinkeep 3

And finally my first attempt at a tin topper – this is FAR from perfect, and there are many things I’d do differently next time, but it’s OK for a first attempt I guess.  It was supposed to be a gift for someone, but I’m not entirely sure it’s good enough for that … I’ll have to think that over, I think … In any case, I need to find my magnetic strips to add to the inside lid, but they have so far eluded me today!  I do like the little ‘bow’ on the front of the lid, made from two loops of velvet ribbon 🙂

Tin Topper 3

Tin Topper 2

Another finish-finish

Oh my goodness, I’ve had this piece of stitching sitting around for years and years … it was a Mill Hill kit that I bought back in the days when I used to stitch on Aida (shows you how long ago that was!) – it was also the first attempt I ever made at beading.  Unfortunately the silver beads have discoloured somewhat, and there were grubby marks on the sides of the fabric from when I used to use a hoop that would never come out … I decided today to finally make something out of it and opted for a pinkeep.  Who would’ve known such a scruffy piece of stitching would look so beautiful made up??!  I was pleasantly surprised with the result – and knew that lovely ribbon trip would come in handy one day! 😀

Here are a few piccies of the resulting piece – I love this one!! 😀

MH pinkeep 1

MH pinkeep 2

MH pinkeep 3

MH pinkeep 4

MH pinkeep 5

MH pinkeep 6

Napier/Hastings … part 1

We had a lovely drive to Napier/Hastings in the Hawkes Bay.  It normally takes 5-6 hours driving time from Auckland (not including stops along the way), and the weather was great for driving.  We drove via Matamata to Taupo, where we had a wee break and a wee wander – and just a general “wee” at Taupo’s “Super Loo” ;P

Lake TaupoView from the shores of Lake Taupo

After we had a cake and coffee at a Robert Harris Cafe, we called up my good pal Katrina to let her know we were on our way to visit … I’ve been very lucky in that every blogger I’ve met to date has been truly lovely, and Katrina is no exception – she’s one of the loveliest ladies you could meet!  When I was flying over to NZ I’d already decided it would be nice to get away for a couple of nights to have a mini-break, and Mum agreed it was a good idea – I’d already decided where I wanted to go … Napier to visit the gannet colony again, and double bonus because Katrina is just a short hop further south, and I really wanted to catch up with her again (you may remember we met for the first time in Melbourne a while ago now) 🙂

As we were driving into Napier, we came across Whitebay Lavender Farm on the main road into Napier, and I just had to stop and take a photo or two … I just loved all the rows of lavender growing – just beautiful 🙂

Lavender farmWhitebay Lavender Farm

Unfortunately it took us a while to find a motel in Hastings, but once we found a nice one (Omahu Motor Lodge – we can definitely recommend it) we grabbed the keys and high-tailed it back into the car without unpacking so we could not waste any more time before visiting Katrina.  We also had a lovely treat in store, as we had an additional guest visitor of Kath!  What a lovely surprise … and yet another lovely blogger!  Hopefully we’ll see Kath gracing our shores across the ditch for an Aussie get-together … the sofa bed’s always free for you, Kath and Katrina – you’re welcome any time! 

Katrina Anne Kath and baby HannahKatrina, me, Kath and Hannah

As well as catching up with my stitching pals, we did of course get to meet in person the lovely Glenn, and the adorable Hannah … who was immediately monopolised by the Dragon haha.  We also got to see some of Katrina’s beautiful stitching in real life, and Kath’s latest Christmas tree creation which is gorgeous (check out her blog to see a photo).  Thanks again ladies for a lovely visit – I’m just sorry I wasn’t as lively and chatty as normal due to a bit of over-tiredness … let’s just say we didn’t take any rocking to sleep when we got back to the motel – a quick bite to eat and we were both out like a light!

While I was visiting Katrina I gave her a Christmas ornie that I’d managed to finish just in time before travelling, as well as a very belated birthday present (I’m just dreadful at meeting my commitments of late hmmm).  Katrina’s photos are much better than mine, so feel free to wander over and have a gander.

Ornie for Katrina

Pinkeep for Katrina

I was also spoilt by receiving an ornie made by Katrina – I’d drooled over these when I saw them on her blog recently, not knowing I was going to be one of the recipients.  As with all my hand-made gifts, I’ll treasure this one dearly, and may even leave this one out year-round – thanks so much Katrina, I love it! Unfortunately, though, I just realised I haven’t taken a photo yet – I’ll remedy that as soon as I finish my unpacking and will add to a later post! 😀