Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good news

Just heard from my niece, Alice and she has got into medical school in Dunedin. This is the start of her dream. She has wanted to be a paediatric surgeon since she was in primary school. I am really pleased for her.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

Just a few days before Christmas and the weather has really deteriorated. It has been wet for several days so the farmers are celebrating as the drought season has been delayed for at least a while. It has been colder as well so time to catch up with all the watching on the tv and am nearly up to date with a number of programmes.

School has basically finished for me with just a few more things to do and then I am off until at least ten days before school starts. Hoping to get some time at the beach with mum and a few days away with Stephanie to Wellington. We are going to the European Masters exhibition at Te Papa so that will be neat. Not certain what else we shall do.

Christmas wishes to all friends that read this blog. I have had a wonderful 2010 although not all things have been completed. Heart of the cabin has stalled due to our travel to san Francisco and attendance at seminar. I have completed one piece from seminar and have most of my pages ready for my notebook but nothing to put it into yet. Linda’s piece walk on the wild side is still just sitting and am hoping to do some over the holidays to get at least the first canvas finished.

Beaded journal project was not a big success this year as I only completed three months with another three designed and not stitched. On the beading plus side I did complete three of Laura McCabe’s kits that I bought. I also designed three new decorations (Neptune’s series) and taught them. This last three months I have done another Christmas ball which my group of ladies did one night. This last weekend I have borrowed a couple from a friend of mum’s and am hoping to make them and then also make the patterns for them. I have made 12 of these decorations for gifts so that was a busy time. See them in previous posts.
This year I made my first ATC and did a swap. It was fun. As well I swapped a biscornu on the swap-bot network as well as a couple of other swaps.
A challenge has been presented to me for next year with the invitation to enter an ANZEG exhibition in October. I have a number of thoughts and this holidays will find me starting on at least one of them.
So to all friends I hope that you all have a wonderful season and that the weather good and bad does not deter your festive times.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More balls made this week.

This is the collection of balls that I have made for christmas gifts this year. It is a netted pattern with a loop fringe using some glass chips on the loops. Really fun to make.

These two I have completed this week. the silver and blue ball uses a variation of my neptunes wave ball that I taught and designed earlier this year. It was fun adapting it to a smaller ball and using the loop fringe.

School is over and all the students have left. Only the tidying up to do and cleaning out my office ready to start next year again. Training tomorrow on the new absence programme and then some work to do on documentation for next year so that the week before school starts won't be so pressured. Then off to the beach, christmas at mums and trip to wellington with best friend Stephanie.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

christmas balls

I have been focused on making christmas balls and here are the latest two. I made the green one for our embroidery guild party gift. The orange one is for my brother in honour of the SF Giants world series win.

Friday, September 10, 2010

March is finished.

PARIS - the most wonderful musical with great tunes. By an amazing Australian artist - Jon English.

I am really pleased that I have finished this piece. It was a real struggle trying to interpret my vision for the music into beads and stitch. The background is coloured with watercolour pencils and ironed to fix. I then applied a piece of chiffon which I then ruched onto the background fabric. Because I tried to leave the stitching area not ruched it was not even but it does show the movement I wanted as like marble.

I used a different bead for each section of the letter to symbolise the various parts of the Paris story. I was pleased that the coin worked well and looks vaguely like a roman helmet which was my aim.

now onto the next one - Maree - very alternative and wonderful music tastes so this next piece should be fun.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What I have been doing?

I have done of two of the three canvas's for seminar. The pictures are not great but I am quite pleased with how it has gone. The third canvas is on the frame ready to start this evening.

I have continued stitching on the BJP for March. I found a coin from Brazil which had a face that was good but slightly bigger than i wanted so it appears slightly large. I tried to use a brick stitch for the bezel which was not too bad but a bit uneven. I am filling in around with little picots using the delica and #15 beads. I will keep going with this today as the weather is really shocking and quite cold so I can sit in front of the TV and catch up with viewing.
Also since the last posting I have completed two more christmas decorations for sale so hoping that I will be able to do a couple more in the next week.
I am going to see Shrek 4 this afternoon with friends as a relief from being inside as well I watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show with friends who had never seen it. It was a great couple of hours and fun to see it again.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Square done

What a great weekend. Saturday was wet and horrible so a perfect day to stitch on Heart of a Cabin. Finished two logs so really pleased and also started on the third of my beaded journal pieces for this year. Here is the finished square for HOTC and the sixth one I have done. Had a letter from L Reinmiller to say that we should get our canvas this week so this will be all that will be done on this piece for the next few months as I need the stretcher bars.

The third BJP for me this year is my friend Kim from Melbourne, Australia. She introduced me to a wonderful piece of music in about 1992 – a musical written by Jon English called Paris. It is the story of Greeks and Trojans with the horse and Helen playing wonderful roles. I have not seen it performed but have seen several clips on YouTube of the various performances in Australia. The music is wonderful and this piece symbolises the longevity of the story – I have tried to get a stone like look in the letters but the warmth of the wooden horse. I have taken a small snap of the semi stitched piece so you can see it.
Sunday was also spent stitching with friends from the embroidery guild on our christmas raffle. We are stitching an advent calendar so it was making the 24 toys to hang on the calendar then our next meeting will have some of the last bits to do and Maree will have all the putting together. It will look fabulous I am sure and I will be making a couple of new toys to hang on my advent calendar. Currently I have a selection of about 30 to choose from so that is really neat.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Had a lazy weekend but still busy. Creative Stitchers met on Saturday and it was interesting to see the different classes from conferenc. The remainder of the weekend has seen progress on Heart of the Cabin. Finished one square and started the next which is now halfway there. I am pleased with myself and hoping to finish this one before our canvases arrive for seminar. I am still enjoying this project and I realise that it will be a long term project but that is fine. When the canvases arrive I will have to change projects as I need the stretcher bars.
Got the list for my class with Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren. It looks to be like lots of fun but concentrated time. I will have to do some of the preparation when we get to San Francisco as I am not able to buy the canvas here in NZ. Still it is not too much to get prepared.
Here also is a photo of the latest purchase – Geraldine has been around now for five weeks and is wonderful to drive. She has been named after one of the muppets from Fraggle Rock – definitely a girl car so could not be called Kermit (name suggested by friends at school). Mum and I took her to Hamilton recently and it was a great ride so really pleased with the purchase.

BJP progress is slow but moving. I have now got a letter to trace for the next one and will look at choosing beads over the next couple of days. This one will be mostly browns and I have some glass chips which I think might work. It was a challenge to trace my pattern but hoping that it will look great when stitched together.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

latest work

Decided that I needed to complete another square for Heart of the Cabin. Here it is nearly finished so that is a great event. 5/16 ths of this piece done. I really struggled with the shading as I found that six strands were too many so had to use four so the shading is a bit shorter.

This weekend has been busy with fighting off a cold and having too much to do at school to have the time off. After Tuesday I can relax a little bit when things will settle down.

Friday night Marilyn asked me to bake for a cake stall to assist Nathan – pharmacist at her work who will be attending the paraplegic world cycling champs in September. I made my best cakes and they were a failure so Saturday morning I made two others. The new recipe this month is butterfly cakes from Healthy Food Guide and also remade the mocha nut butterball cookies. I found this on the internet and they are great. Both worked well so that is two more recipes for my challenge. A recipe a month this year.
Here are the two pieces that I did finish over the holidays. They are from conference 2008 - Allie Snow class of textile art. Really enjoyed this and think this is what encouraged me to start with the BJP. These are my first two flower princesses. I have one more started and would like to perhaps make more for display in the next Art Society Exhibition.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Kit done

I see that I have this picture on twice but I am very excited by it. Now what to do with it - it is very heavy - too heavy for scissors and not certain how to attach it to my new bag for school but i will think on it.
looking forward to starting the next laura kit - think I will do the scissor case

Holidays are busy!

We are in the midst of our winter holiday so the weather started off not great but for the last week it has been fine days and minus temperatures overnight. Still a good excuse to sit in the conservatory and stitch.

Last weekend mum and I travelled to Hamilton to see the exhibitions for the ANZEG biannual conference. I was slightly disappointed in the number of entries particularly in the miniatures and members and hoped that many entries were not judged out of the competition. The variety of work in the junior members exhibition was phenomenal and I was really excited by our junior tutors news that next year our group may be moving into town and that will give me an opportunity once a month to share with them.

I purchased a couple of books – one on inchies and making backgrounds so I am inspired to rejoin swap-bot and see what’s going on. The other was the new one from Effie Mitrofanis, an Australian embroiderer, who I think has a wonderful way of combining colour, techniques and textiles to produce some exciting work.

I have also finished another cell phone dangle for my sister for Christmas and this made me finish the cube that I had nearly done. This was another kit by Laura McCabe and I have to say that they are the most delightful kits with plenty of seed beads so you can be a bit picky with them if you want.

the laura mccabe cube that i have finished. as usual I had to change something - the crystals in the corner - i did not like the colour of the ones provided so I used some of my own and will use the others in another piece.

March month is coming along for beaded journal project so this year has not been so successful with completing pieces but I have April’s mapped out in my book so that is good and I have mounted one piece already although I have to put a few more beads on the January piece to make it fit into the page opening.

School has been busy with things going on and I think there will be job changes for all in the offices at the moment so that will be an exciting time ahead. I have also been doing the advert so hopefully tomorrow I will have the last advertiser on board and that will be a great thing. This will be the first year that the cost to the school is less than half so that is good news. Jessica from our local paper is lovely to work with and she has lots of great ideas for layouts, etc which are exciting.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

more time is passing and I don't know where it is going.

Another fortnight has gone by and not much has been done. I have completed the cell phone fob kit for my mum for her birthday (done while in Auckland, where she was having her eyes operated on). Also I have been stitching some more on my Wessex Sampler as this has been easy to take away to several different functions, Opunake Mid-Winter Christmas (see photo below of the Christmas Fairy) and Wanganui sit and stitch. Also while waiting in the eye hospital I managed to stitch another saying. It is nearly finished and I am aiming to get it done this year.
Also this weekend I spent working on a knitting / sewing bag for mum. I made it from the scraps of a quilt that my sister made and fortunately there were enough bits. I have an extra piece which I am looking at making into a book cover for her. I have just the bias binding to sew around to cover all the seams and then sew on a couple of charms and get some handles and it is done. I will then make one for Marilyn but it will have to wait until she has more scraps.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finished work

Yeah! better late than never. I have finished the February page for my BJP (still to mount it in the book) and also finished Stephanie's present and given it to her. I will photo the BJP piece and post it later tonight or tomorrow (the zumba class and making cookies for morning tea tomorrow are tonight's treats).

front of Stephanie's needlebook - the printed image reminded me of Jane Austen (one of our shared favourite reads of all time).

The back of the needlebook. labelled and dated I was impressed with myself and also using the #15 beads to cover the tassel bead.
Both sides now! She was thrilled with it on Monday when I delivered it to her.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nearly finished

top corner of the front of the needlebook. This piece of lace was my colour inspiration along with the picture.

The back - colours are not as purple but more brownish. I really loved working with the different stitches.
I am very excited as I have nearly finished Stephanie's needlebook. I have loved doing this piece and hope that she gets many years of use from it. The inside pages are a fawn woollen material that I have buttonhole stitched and also used for the lining.

Month 2 of the 2010BJP will also be posted at the weekend after I photograph it and then onto month 3.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beading and other things

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything and I have completed a decoration for a class. It is called sparkling ruffles and we had to amend the pattern quite a bit to make it fit our balls. I had three ladies do it at the weekend and they all enjoyed it immensely as this is the first netting stitch that they have done. I was most impressed with them all.
I have finished the stitching on Stephanie’s birthday present so now it is embellishment time and then to the making up stage. It has turned out much better than I thought and I have used quite different colours. The inside will be a wool material as this is great for parking needles. Hopefully this weekend will see that project on the completion table as Stephanie is coming home the following weekend for the long weekend.

Heart of the cabin has stalled but I can report that mum is continuing on hers and has completed square three so is onto her sixth square. I will get the needle book out of the way and then hopefully some stitched this weekend as the weather looks like being not great again.
Beaded Journal project – February is coming along and I have to visit Maree to get the next part drawn on. It should also be finished over the next weeks and then only three months behind. I think I will do something less esoteric for the next month.


Friday, May 14, 2010

A Long week

It has been a long week and it feels like there have been three Wednesdays, two Thursdays and not enough Friday already. I have stitched this week mostly on my friend Stephanie’s needle book cover so it is nearly finished. Just the last area to stitch and then to embellish and make up. I think I will hand stitch it together using some ultra suede for the inside in a pale green colour or else beige felt.

Mum and I have received notice that we have our classes for Columbus in September so that is exciting and I am looking forward to receiving the needs list or the stitching supplies. There is some pre stitching for both pieces I think. this is the four day class which mum and I are both doing so I am very excited.

Beaded journal project is going very slowly with February about half done and march thought about but nothing in print yet. I am hoping to get to some of that this weekend and also to spend time trying to make up bead kits for a class next week. Think I need a four day weekend.

Guild meeting was this week so I think that threw me out of sync. We had the national president with us for the night Margaret Erskine so that was really nice and no-one took a picture. We are having a workshop next weekend at my place as well.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Christmas decorations abound

A really short post this week as not much exciting but photos of all the christmas decorations that we have made over april. I also have made one for a friend who is having a birthday this week and one for a member of our staff who is leaving.

mums trial using an opaque green pearl bead.

Honeycomb variation #1
Honeycomb variation #2 I loved this one better but my class ladies prefer the first version.
My trial with traditional red and green.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The holidays are over!!

The holidays are finished and its back to school tomorrow. Mum and I had four/five days at the beach and we made four beaded decorations from some of our books. I also managed to complete another block for heart of the Cabin.
I spent one day last week making a bag with my friend Sonia and have half made another one for mum for her birthday. I will make another one later in the year for my sister Marilyn, once she has finished her quilt and I can have the scraps.
School was busy over the holidays with a reunion of ex-pupils, and the school rugby team playing against three other schools in a tournament as well as a visiting team. It was great to see the students in our hall and nice to see the finals played in good weather.
We had some warm days and then have had a couple of light falls of snow on the mountain but it has not stayed. The weather has been really great for the holiday breaks but look wet for this week.
Had a great morning today as was on Skype with friends from England who were in Rotoract with me in the 80's. it was really neat to see them all as I havent seen most of them for at least 15 years.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Month 2 started.

Month 2 -February - David was 17 and one of his favourite bands is Bullets from my Valentine. I have taken the really neat V and stitching this piece. He is away on outward bound camp at the moment for three weeks so hoping to get it finished before he returns.

I am currently using silver galvanised delicas to outline the v and then will picot an edge and other things. I am sorry that the picture is sideways at the moment but the next will be better.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

another square half done

Heart of the cabin
another sqaure is done and block 6 is half done. I have completed the fourth log this week and with easter on the horizon am hoping to complete the block and also block 3 this weekend.

here is the half of block 6. the rust colours look really great so I am pleased and we are using threads as we go as do not have all the recommended threads. Some are difficult to get here so we are substituting mostly for silks etc.

I went to our regional embroidery retreat last weekend and this was a piece of completed work that caught my eye. i love the free ness of it and also the colours. perhaps i can complete it in beads. the big circle in the centre is a covered marmite lid so about 2 1/2 inchies across. quite a large piece

these are the cards we made at the weekend. Mine is not that flash but this one i really loved for its simplicity.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

another square completed

This week has been a very busy week with my goddaughters 21st birthday last weekend and a public holiday. On tuesday we had the announcement of our new principal, so that was very exciting and took up a lot of my time.

I have completed another square on heart of the cabin. That makes three complete and two started. only 13 to go. I am really pleased with this one as it has been a real struggle to get the right kind of threads - we have made lots of substitutions but that is okay we are still getting the colour values right. Mum has completed nearly four squares so she is ahead of me.

I have half done the first month for BJP and will take a picture to post later. It looks good but very simple.

Life has been really busy with most of this weekend I was at WOMAD and it was great fun, i have 3 great cd's of music to listen to now - jazz, irish and arabic. wonderful mix of things although I only went to two of the three days as I have too much to do at home.

Monday, March 1, 2010

concert was great - bjp started.

The concert on Saturday was great and we had really excellent seats - 6 rows from the front.

I spent sunday afternoon with Maree getting the BJP underway and the first two months are started. Bead selection for January is going on at the moment and I think it will be a very mono bead palette I only have a couple in the right colour.
Night class last night we made our beaded dream catchers and they look spectacular except I could not find the bangles for them to go on. Still we have stitched the start of them and we will be able to complete another one at our next meeting.
I have nearly finished block 3 of heart of the cabin so I will post a picture this weekend I hope.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Biscornu done and posted and no photo

i have posted my biscornu to Doreen in Canada today and forgot to photograph it so I am hoping she will send me a photo when she gets it.
I have finished another beaded christmas cracker and also a chicken humbug but no BJP stitching yet as I am trying to get Heart of a Cabin done.
busy week this week with a meeting on every night until friday and then saturday night we are going to see Sir Cliff Richard at the Bowl of Brooklands - most awesome outdoor concert venue in the World.
Sunday I was teaching a beaded dream catcher class but not enough have signed up so it will be cancelled and my night class members will do it on monday nights. that is great as sunday i can spend the day getting the kits made up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Biscornu nearly done!

On swap-bot this month I signed up for a swap with a red biscornu. I stitched a lovely little one using aida and a varigated thread then had an accident with dye so I space dyed the fabric and restitched part of it. I have sewn it up now so it needs its corner decorations and then to be posted. yeah for me getting it done before the deadline of 27 feb. I will post a photo after that as I am pleased with it.
Watching the winter olympics has been a popular pasttime over the weekend so the stitching did not get done but nearly finished another log on block 5 of heart of the cabin.

On a more exciting note mum and I have chosen our classes for Colombus and in two weeks we will be able to book them and hopefully get our choices. I had three classes that I wanted to do on a more teachers side of things but two of them were on the same two days. I have decided to do a four day class with mum and then we are both having a day off and a two day class - different for each of us. It will be exciting to do this.

BJP is very slow and this week is the starting week I think so get a move on is my instruction to self. Hoping to have finished January by the weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February starts with excitment

Excitement this month.

Karen getting ready to ride off from Stratford on the next leg of the cycle race.

The last weekend of January saw mum, dad and I meeting Karen and Phil as they were doing the round the mountain cycle race. I then went up to New Plymouth to have dinner and drinks with them. Managed to see more cousins, Graeme and also Mike Sandle (who had come to pick up Graeme). It was a really nice evening and got sprung by the Assistant Principal, drinking in the main street.

Sunday then saw mum and I off with Gemma and Denise to the final of the provincial 20/20 cricket match. We met Karen and Phil there so it was a battle of the provinces - Central District Stags (our team) vs. the Auckland Aces (boo). It was a very exciting first half with a good score posted by our boys and a number of sixes into the terraces at Pukekura Park. The weather was not the best but at least I think we have converted Gemma to cricket.

Susan and I in the Kitchen.

Sunday night I had visitors from Florida for two nights. Susan and Art Rochlin are visiting NZ and she found me on the beaded journal project. It was really exciting to meet someone who beads in a creative way. Susan and I spent Sunday night looking at all her pictures and then going through my room looking at my beaded pages, goddess dolls and various pieces of embroidery that I have around. It was loads of fun.
Monday night Susan cooked a wonderful meal for us and we invited my mum and dad as well. Dad and Art talked the night away and it was difficult to get them separated. The only unfortunate thing was that the mountain did not appear at all and the weather was not a treat for visitors. This week it has been much better.

The school week has been busy and lots of things happening and it looks as if our roll could be increased. The weekend has been busy – I have finished two books and done my design page for creative stitchers next weekend. Have to paint the backgrounds for the BJP then I can start.

Monday, January 25, 2010

activities this week.

This week has been a bit difficult as I got to school on Monday to be told that a member of my night class had died. She had just over 12 months with cancer but finally went to peace on Sunday 17 Jan. her funeral on Thursday was very emotional affair with her family and a huge turnout.

Our embroidery this month is bargello and the workshop at my place was attended by a small but dedicated group. I completed the decoration below which uses the pine tree pattern. I have used a rainbow gallery rayon thread and carefully chosen the variation to give the illusion of the trees. Was most impresses and Mary showed me a new method of finishing which makes a nice decoration.

Heart of a cabin is coming along and I have found that some of the threads are too thick on the 22 count canvas so altering the threads to use #8 perle and less strands. Also because getting the anchor threads is sometimes difficult I have been substituting them slightly. Mum is further ahead with being on the 3rd block. I am hoping to finish block two this week and even get onto block three.

My embellished canvas piece is coming along but I have not really stitched any since I returned from Auckland. Having an internal debate about the colours so will see what happens to this. May remove some of the plain thread and use the variegated that I have self dyed some years ago.

School starts in earnest this week with two days of power cuts so that will be fun with all the reenrolments happening. Alice and David did okay but Alice was not pleased with her results overall. Used my slow cooker for the first time and it was okay. Was concerned all day about it being on but will get used to it I am sure.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Inspiration Sorted

Just a short post today to say that I will be asking friends, colleagues and even acquaintances about their favourite song or words from a song to use as the inspiration for the pages this year. I have had a late start with being away and having visitors so have only emailed the first friend today.
I purchased a special visual diary which I am going to use to put all these pages in and so will be able to keep them together. Last year's journal pages will be mounted onto a wall hanging so needing to complete that as well. The size will be kept at 10 cm by 7.5 cm either portrait or landscape orientation depending on the theme of the piece.
Yesterday I walked to Onehunga and stopped at a patchwork shop. I purchased a book on maiking fabric backgrounds and embellishments so will use this to make some of the backgrounds for me to use.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Thoughts for 2010 BJP

I have finally decided. I will ask 12 different people if they can give me their favourite song, words, poem and use that as my inspiration for each page.
For January I will use my friend kim hopefully she will reply with her favourite and for February I have already got David's faves so the first two months are sorted.
Off to auckland and hoping to use this time for some design ideas so will take pens and pencil as well.
Size has been decided as 4inch by 3 inch as maximum and I am going to mount them in a book which I purchased earlier this week.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Decorations for Christmas

Two aprons named for Aaron and Nadine's wedding on Saturday. I thought I was not going to get them in time but Marilyn had them. They are done and I can deliver them to her tomorrow so that is out of the way.

Finished three decorations for friends in Australia for xmas and sent them on their way today with Neil. He has departed for a few days in Christchurch and I will be off to Auckland for visits as well. The purple ball is my sample one so the girls from night class can see what I am doing.