Saturday, January 31, 2009

Little Ballerinas framed

I stitched Little Ballerinas last year and only recently had it framed. I wanted to give it to my niece for her birthday and today I was able to do that. Her birthday's not until next week but her mum wanted to have a family get together this weekend. As I thought would happen, my niece showed a small amount of enthusiasm over it, but her mother appreciated it and said it was gorgeous. I know my niece will love it more as she gets older. I got so much pleasure stitching this and it was such a joy to give it away as a gift.

CCN - Little Ballerinas. A gift for my niece.

Friday, January 30, 2009


As I mentioned I'm now working on Chocolat by the French designer Creations de Chrystelle. I started this the day after I finished French Heart. It's worked one over one, so is proving a bit of a challenge for me. I must admit though it's a lovely, delicate and detailed look using this method. Once I get past the cup it shouldn't be as awkward. I'm using 32ct Vintage Country Mocha linen and it needs only five different colours of DMC threads. I stitched the border on the 25th and the rest was done on the 26th January.

Latest update on Chocolat - 26 January 2009

It's still too hot here to even think about stitching at the moment. It reached 45.1 degrees (113.18 Fahrenheit) in Melbourne today, and the high 30s where I live. And here I was complaining that we weren't getting a Summer just a short while ago. :)

Anyway, I'm off to check out some of your blogs and see what you've all been doing while I've been out of touch. Be sure to check back because I'll be posting pictures of Little Ballerinas over the weekend, plus that exclusive kit I got in the mail. Bye for now!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back Online!!!

I'm back in touch with the world again! Yippee!!! I had the phone technicians at my home this morning and they were able to fix everything and get my phone line connected again. How relieved and excited I was. I went to work with the knowledge that I'd be able to get on the Internet tonight and get back to my blogging.

As I mentioned in my last post I was able to finish French Heart. I loved stitching this as there was plenty of different needlework techniques to keep the interest going. There was nothing too difficult as Shepherd's Bush instructions are easy to follow. The only problem I had was running out of the Old Lace thread. I seemed to have plenty of French Stucco left over so maybe the quantities were mixed up. I managed to find some more Old Lace in another kit I'd already finished and used that, so no major catastrophe.

Here's some photos of it finished.

DESIGNER ~ Shepherd's Bush
PATTERN ~ French Heart
STARTED ~ 6 January 2009
FINISHED ~ 24 January 2009
FABRIC ~ 32ct Italian Linen - Sienna
THREADS ~ Threadgatherer and Soie D'Alger Silk
EMBELLISHMENTS ~ Handmade clay shoe button and Goldenrod beads (included with kit)

I haven't been stitching my current WIP the last few days as we're going through the hottest heat wave in 100 years at the moment. Temperatures have reached over 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) the last few days and tomorrow's going to be no different. Even next week it's still going to be in the 30s (86 and above) all week. It's just so hot and my poor cats have no energy and they're just lying about on the floor. The air conditioner is going but gives little relief in these temperatures. We'll survive though.

In my upcoming posts I'll be able to show you my progress on Chocolat, a new exclusive kit to add to my stash, plus I've had Little Ballerinas framed for my niece. I'll be giving it to her this Saturday. The frame's nothing fancy but I'm pleased with how it's turned out.

I haven't had the time tonight, but I'll try to catch up with some blogs tomorrow night. Can't wait to see what you've all been up too!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm still here!

Hi all! Bet you've been wondering where I've been? It's a long story and no, I haven't had some tragic accident or anything horrible like that, so no need to worry there. I had some new fences erected last week at home and while this was being done the fencing guys have accidentally managed to cut my phone line! You could imagine the horror of it. My home phone is dead (luckily I have a mobile) and the worst of it is my Internet access is down because that also runs through my phone line. I found out today from my service provider that it may be another week before it's rectified. So here I am at my sister's place tonight, using her computer, so I could do a post on my blog to let you all know what was happening.

I'm missing my blogging and finding out what everyone is doing, so I hope you're all creating wonderful projects out there. I can happily say that I've finished French Heart. It was so enjoyable and I'm so pleased with how it's finished up. I've been taking progress photos so when I'm back online properly I'll post some pics for you to see.

I've now started on one of my French designs called 'Chocolat'. It's done using one over one which I'm amazed I'm even attempting. It's driving me up the wall in some parts but I'm persevering with it. I've been asking myself 'what were you thinking' when deciding to go with the over one, but since it's not a big piece I thought I'd rise to the challenge.

Thanks for your comments lately and I'm sorry to have stopped midway through my progress on French Heart. I was so enjoying keeping you up to date with it. I just wanted to drop by to let you know I was ok and hopefully I'll be back in a week or so. I've been suffering withdrawal symptoms with the lack of Internet access and I'm looking forward to catching up with you when I return. Have fun with what you're working on and be sure I'll be back again soon!

Happy stitching everyone and take care!

Monday, January 19, 2009

An angel appears

Here's my latest progress after I got some stitching in yesterday.

French Heart - 18 January 2009

I'm gradually getting there bit by bit. The angel has made an appearance, along with some roses, flowers, and a few smaller borders. There's so many interesting sections for the eye to feast upon with this design.

I've changed the template of my blog AGAIN! Don't know how long I'll keep this one. I guess until something better comes along. :)

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you've enjoyed the stay. You're welcome anytime!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New stash to show

As mentioned in my last post I received some new stash in the mail the other day. It was my order from The Silver Needle's New Year's Eve sale.

Most things arrived, with the odd item out of stock which I'll have to try to order next time. Mum wanted me to get some things for her as well. Here's a pic of our order...

Silver Needle NYE Order - arrived 15 January 2009

From that, this is what I got...

BENT CREEK ~ Big Zipper Kit #7 Enjoy
SHEPHERD'S BUSH ~ Queen Sheep and Glad Tidings Kits
HILLSIDE SAMPLINGS ~ Folk Art Hornbook Kit
SHEPHERD'S BUSH ~ Jolly Green Jute Bag Kit
COUNTRY COTTAGE NEEDLEWORKS ~ Sweet Treats #3, 4, 5, & 6 Threadpacks

I also got the Kelmscott Love Scissors which I've seen a number of people have, and think they're cute. I missed out on the SB Glad Tidings Fob Kit and Bent Creek Big Zipper #6 Kit (The Tire Swing). These I'll try to get again next time.

The Folk Art Hornbook I've wanted for ages, so I'm happy to have finally got it. I've now got all series in the CCN Sweet Treats. Just need some fabric for that one which I haven't decided what colour yet. And I can't do an order without including at least one SB item. :) They are still my favourite designers and I adore their kits. Queen Sheep is so cute that I couldn't resist adding it to my stash. Glad Tidings is one of their new Christmas kits, and Jolly is a pre-made jute bag kit which you just stitch the design on the front.

I'm laughing at some of your comments lately where I seem to be recruiting a few new Shepherd's Bush fans. I should be getting commission from them! Honestly though, I'm just so happy to let people know how wonderful their things are. I do love their new 2009 Scissor Fob. This you have to order direct from SB. Might just have to do an order with them one day!

Hope you've enjoyed seeing what new things I've added to my stash. I know it's exciting to see what you all get. Hope you have a great weekend and keep stitching those adorable projects.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A rose by name

I'm still going strong with French Heart and loving it. Last night I did a little more including over one with the word 'rose'. Other stitches done were Padded Scotch Stitch underneath, and to the left another border in a Hen's Foot stitch. I'm really enjoying all the different stitches in this design. Some I have done before and others are new to me.

French Heart - 15 January 2009

I think Shepherd's Bush kits are fantastic as they include everything needed to complete the design. No hunting around shops or the Internet to find the right thread or fabric required, it's all ready to go. They also include the cutest thread card to hold all the threads for the pattern your working on. It's only made of thin cardboard but it has printed on top a motif with their popular designs - moon, stars, flower, sheep, and heart. Underneath this is their name and to finish it off it's cut into the shape of a heart. There's usually ample holes for all your thread colours, and somehow makes your kit feel complete. Even their smaller kits include this thread card. The only thing that changes with each kit is the colour of the motif on the card.

Shepherd's Bush Thread Card - included with every kit

Just thought I'd entice your appetite a little and let you know that I have received some new stash in the mail. I'll let you hang on for my next post to find out what I got!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I promised to show you... latest pictures of where I got up to with French Heart last night.

French Heart - 13 January 2009

I worked on what they call the 'house' area. Simple stitching with only cross and back stitching required. The only other feature was a Satin Stitch below the house. There's some more beading to be placed. One in the centre of the flower in the house, and others on the flower vine at the bottom. Below this, where the space is, the shoe button will eventually be placed.

This design has certainly been a bit more challenging but not what I would call difficult. I'm far from there yet but I'm looking forward to seeing it finished. Not that I've had enough of it though, as I'm enjoying working on it. I'm just eager to see the end result. Myself, along with you all, will just have to be patient. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A warm glow

No new progress to show as I didn't work on French Heart last night. What I did do was take some photos of my current progress in the late afternoon glow before the sun went down. I think it's a nice look with the warm light.

I got some more stitching in tonight though, hence the late post, but will take some photos tomorrow and show you then. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Latest progress

Just a quick post tonight to show you where I got to on French Heart last night. No one over one to do which was good!

French Heart - 11 January 2009

The border on the right is called Hungarian, and the one at the top is Triplet. Both very easy to do. There's yellow beads to go on the purple bud vine but I will wait til last to put those on as I stitch with a hoop.

Hungarian and Triplet stitching

I may have a break from stitching tonight. We'll see...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A little more stitching

The next installment in my progress probably doesn't appear to be much, but there was more intricate work with one over one (wording and small heart) as well as a bit of frogging with the sheep. This all took more time than usual.

French Heart - 10 January 2009

What I enjoyed was the criss cross border beside the sheep. This is done in Old Lace thread and it's called a Woven Cross. Quite an easy stitch but you do have to concentrate.

The one over one stitching is always a challenge, especially when you do it at night! The wording was OK but the little heart above the word 'heart' wasn't my favourite to do. It was mostly done in the palest rose colour and was hard to see once you'd stitched it. The other colours, which created a flower, had to be placed inside it and was tough on the old eyes to find where they went. :) All of it was done in a Half Cross. Anyway, I managed to get it completed and then thought that was enough for the night. So that's where I left it.

Mum and Dad are dropping by today so I'll be able to show Mum what I've been stitching lately. I know she'll be interested in seeing French Heart. It's one she'd like to do one day too!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Florentine Border

Florentine Border on French Heart
I'm quite enjoying French Heart and have been stitching most nights this week on it. I'm yet to get into the cross stitching side of it as so far I've been doing different forms of needlework. It's a nice change. I love how the range of techniques can look quite hard to do, and yet they're not.

So last night I finished the inside border which is a combination of Smyrna Crosses in the corners and a Tall Cross Variation in between. The tall crosses are stitched using the gorgeous Old Lace silk from Thread Gatherer. The other thread used in both borders is called French Stucco also by Thread Gatherer.

French Heart - 9 January 2009

I was also able to get started on the inside design with a Florentine Border in a combination of blues. This is done with a Satin Stitch in pale blue, and Backstitching with the darker blue.

The night before I managed to start on the inner border and got about half of it done.

8 January 2009

Doing these types of designs makes me realise why I like Shepherd's Bush so much.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Outer border done

Got some stitching done last night, and I'm in the mood to get some more in tonight! A lot of progress was made as I was able to get the entire outer border completed on French Heart. Next I'll start on the inner border.

French Heart - 7 January 2009

It's my youngest cat's birthday today also. She's turned two! Here's a picture of her in my bathroom sitting on a bath towel. She's got into the habit lately of pulling it down off the towel rail and getting cosy on it. :)

Charlotte - two today

Now I'm off, as I want to have some tea then get onto French Heart. Until the next update... happy stitching!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A start on French Heart

I was at work today and since we're not so busy at the moment, my mind kept wandering off to thoughts about beginning French Heart. It's becoming a habit lately, thinking about my needlework while at work. :) So of course I couldn't wait to get home to make a start on it. I thought I'd begin with the border and didn't think it would take too long to get into it. Wrong! It looks a simple border, and it is, but it's not a very quick one to do. I ended up finishing the bottom row only. I wanted to make sure I did the right number of stitches, so I counted over a few times just to be sure. It's such a beautiful design though and those colours are very soft.

SB French Heart - started 6 January 2009

It's going to be a lovely design to do during our Summer here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2008 Finishes

My 2008 finishes
LHN ~ Colonial Dry Goods
SB ~ Dashing
LHN ~ My Needle's Work (top right)
SB ~ Adore
CCN ~ The Tea Room
SB ~ Santa's Fill
SB ~ Wishing Sheep
SB ~ Green Snowman
SB ~ Snowy Morn
CCN ~ Little Ballerinas (bottom right)

These are all the finishes I had last year. I started out the year wanting to do more stitching and pay more attention to my blogging, and I think I've achieved both. This is the most finishes I have ever had over a year's period. The year before (2007) I only managed to do one! That's when I thought I'd better get my act together and put a bit more effort into my needlework.

I also wanted to concentrate on my blog more which had started off pretty slowly. I didn't even know whether many people were looking at it. So I started prowling around other people's blogs and discovered some wonderful, and creative stitchers out there. This made me want to comment about their achievements, and in doing so, made them aware I was in blog land too. Now I'm getting some lovely comments which encourages me even more.

I started my blog back in March 2005, and only posting a small number of times each year. Last year though my total posts came to 160! A pretty good effort, but it only reflects the enjoyment I'm getting through my blogging - both mine and others. Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. Thank you also for those who have inspired me through their blogs.

Now onto my next project. I've pretty well decided it's going to be French Heart. It's one I've had for a number of years, but it's funny how all of a sudden you'll want to do it. That's where I like to do what 'calls' for me because I know I'll enjoy it.

I took some photos after I got home from work tonight in the warm glow of the late sun. I couldn't wait to show them to you. Don't those threads look yummy? The fabric is an Italian Linen called Sienna, in a cream tone. It's slightly thicker than your normal Belfast Linen. I think it will be nice to work with for a change.

Thread colours of French Heart
Well, I'm off to have a look at some blogs now. Til next time ~ happy stitching!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First finish for 2009!

Yippee!!! I managed to get Life And Liberty finished last night. All that was needed were the buttons to be added this morning. This done, I'm able to you show some pictures of it.

DESIGNER ~ Shepherd's Bush
PATTERN ~ Life And Liberty
STARTED ~ 26 December 2008
FINISHED ~ 4 January 2009
FABRIC ~ 32ct Antique Ivory
THREADS ~ Au Ver a Soie, Gloriana, Thread Gatherer, and Soie Belle
BUTTONS ~ Just Another Button Company

As you know, I absolutely loved doing this. The size was good for me as it wasn't a huge piece, but big enough to feel as though you've accomplished something. The variegated threads worked well. The greens were lovely (Thread Gatherer - Golden Moss and Williamsburg Green), and the other colours were all so yummy. I enjoy working with silks, and using the recommended one thread at a time gives it that delicate look. And don't you love those buttons? They really add that extra something to Shepherd's Bush designs.
What's next, I hear you ask? I'm am spoilt for choice and sometimes that can be a good or a bad thing. There's so many I would like to do. I usually go with what is calling for me. Sometimes I'll get the urge for a design while I'm still stitching one, then other times I'm not sure what I'll do until after I've completed it. Since I loved Life And Liberty so much, I've had French Heart in mind. Then I wasn't sure because it's a bit similar with the scattered pictures. Maybe I should go for something different. I'll have to go and fondle my stash to get the vibe. Whatever I choose I know it will go at a slower pace because I'm back at work tomorrow, and that means less stitching time. :(