Sunday, 21 September 2014

I made a ball

Thank you to all those who gave ideas for baby gifts.   I have made a start and this patchwork ball is now complete.   One thing I have learnt is that pentagons are not as easy to sew as hexagons.   But this was all made from materials in my stash cupboard so that makes me happy and I hope the ball will make the baby and parents happy as well.
Now I am working exclusively on Ring O Roses and thought I would have had progress to show but unfortunately desire outran performance and I am in the process of reverse stitching yesterday's progress and the end result is a frustrating zero.   Only three more pages of the chart, four Dorset buttons, twenty buttonhole rings and a day of construction before the happy dance.
Only one more week of work and I can then start on my holiday list of things to do.   The list now covers one A4 sheet of paper so I am not lacking in chores;-)  I intend doing the spring cleaning, a small painting job on one of the windowsills  and my summer sewing -  all to be completed by the end of October.   But top of the list and not defined as a chore is to tidy through my stash cupboard.   I am excited about that and guess I will wake early on Saturday morning.
Tonight Hercule Poirot is to die (on our TV that is) and as the HD3BEM and I are both fans we will be watching that.   A change from the excessive political analysis which fills all other channels as we are the day after general elections here in New Zealand.   Some may be unhappy with the election results but I feel my vote counted and I prefer the colour blue (National Party) to red (Labour Party)!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Almost but not quite...

A wet weekend and diligent stitching has meant that The Mermaid's Chest is almost but not quite completed.   The lid and the base are done but not yet joined....but hopefully by the end of this week.
I am really pleased with this project but as I don't intend to actually use it I am not paying for the mother of pearl ruler, floss winders etc to put inside it.   Fortunately there is still sufficient space in my cabinet for this to find a home.
Here are some photos

I still need to make the cables that tie the lid on but here it is pinned temporarily in position

And a quick glimpse of the inside.

The hooks and eyes at each corner undo to make a flat "object" and needlework items can go in the pockets.   I added only too small silver fish to hang at each end and am on the look out for tiny tiny silver scissors to substitute for these gold ones.

There are still several items on the To Do List but currently I am writing a new list.  At the end of this month I finish up in my current job and am giving myself the gift of one month's 'holiday'  before I start looking for something else.   As I want to make good use of my time off I am writing two lists - one of all the sewing items I want to do in order to empty the fabric box.   Two pairs of trousers, a skirt, two dresses, summer pajamas and a jacket.   Also I have a Spring cleaning list.   Given that I have been working 42.5 hours per week at my current job I should be able to get everything on my list done when I am "working for myself".   Once my 'holiday' is over I am going to look for work with less hours and hopefully more congenial colleagues and surroundings so that stress will be less.   Does that sound like one dream too many??

Finally, Pamela nominated me for a One Lovely Blog Award
There are conditions attached to this - you must

* Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
Thank you Pamela.   I get so much inspiration from your amazing blog and have you to thank for the patchwork hexagons to which I am now officially addicted 

* Share 7 things about yourself.
As a child I had a whole year when I was ill and confined to bed.  Old fashioned remedies were tried, the most memorable of which was burning a Cresolene Lamp in my bedroom at night.   I have worn spectacles since I was five years old and my older brother once trod on a newly purchased pair so my father bought me metal frames thinking they would be unbreakable.  My maternal grandmother had bad arthritis and as a teenager I spent school holidays at her house doing spring cleaning.   She taught me to tat, crochet and to embroider.   My mother taught me to sew.   I still sew and do embroidery but rarely crochet or tat.   Unless it is a legal requirement I never use my middle name as I don't like it.    I do not like citrus fruit as I hate the smell left on my hands after peeling the skin.

* Nominate bloggers you admire.
I nominate two bloggers for this award
Jo at Serendipitous Stitching - she is always such a positive inspiration
Danielle at The Peacock's Feather -  it was Danielle's blog which first drew me into the blogging world both books and stitching.

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

And that is all from me today.
Have a good week.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A finish and a beginning

This week I finished off a Christmas ornament.   These letters are from the Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet and I decided on a hanging cube finish.   On the whole I am happy with this one.
Quite some time was spent on patchwork hexagons -  at least until I dug a hole in my finger and cut my hand to shreds pulling the stitching cotton.   At that point in time I decided a break was necessary and silk thread would be kinder to my hands so it was back to The Mermaid's Chest.   The lid is now completed - pearl bead anchors are done but I am not attempting my initial for the centre panel.   A scrolled M in beads??  No thank you!  
Next the 'outer' of the chest -  two D rings were stitched on and button feet.   Next are the buttonhole eyelets for the hooks and the cables.   Despite reading the instructions multiple times I still couldn't follow them and finally opted to do what I thought best.   It seems to be working so far.  
Tonight the plan is to tuft the base of the 'inner', do the necessary interfacing on that piece and cut skirtex panels to stiffen the sides of the chest.   The specified silver hooks and eyes don't look right so I will also dig into Great-Grandma's box and find some black hooks and eyes as they will fit in better.
Now the HD3QBEM and I are off for a short drive to a local park to enjoy the beautiful Spring day and absorb a few suns rays to help with our Vitamin D.
Before I close off though I need help from any readers.   I need ideas for stitched gifts for babies - not samplers!   What other ideas are there?  Can you help?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Multiplying Hexagons

Off and on I continue to join hexagons together and when I "measured" up on top of the blanket box I was very happy to see that I am near the end.  
The dark 'holes' you can see in this shot are gaps that need filling, then one more such row, the edge and the backing.   Yes!   The end is in sight.   Wanting a Granny's Quilt effect means I have been trying to be random.   What an oxymoron that is!   Random happens and is not created.   However I am pleased with progress so far -  indeed I am now officially addicted and until Saturday when I have more time, The Mermaid's Chest has been laid aside and I am patching.
The HD3QBEM has some new toys after a visit to the Low Vision Specialist and can once again read large print books and her Bible, do her crosswords and sudoku and keep up to date on the Royal news in her weekly magazine - all with the aid of her fancy German magnifier.  
And for her knitting, a fancy neck slung frame with a built in light so now she can thread needles (darning needles with wool you understand) and pick up the occasional dropped stitch.   We are both very happy and grateful to the German engineers at Zeiss.   And as an aside, we will take out shares in the Electricity company ;-)   All the lights on in our room at night would make any good ecologist cringe!
Have a good evening everyone.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Snow in Spring #2

Late last night I finished this and have to say I am very pleased with it.   A kind reader of my blog sent me two of these Tim Holtz fob watches so I am currently scouring my stash to see what I can put in the second one.   I love the sparkle of the DMC thread I used for the snow on this one and it will go on my tree even though Christmas is in mid summer here.
Today I took the HD3QBEM to a large local park to enjoy their Spring flowers.  
Along with ever so many of the locals we also happened upon Alice in Wonderland (complete with her flamingo croquet stick) and the White Rabbit (who was riding a unicycle).   All the little children - and me - were completely agog to see that Alice and the Rabbit were real ;-)
This avenue of 120 year old Oak trees is closed to all but foot traffic every Spring so that we can all enjoy the bluebells, snowdrops and daffodils.  But I think I exhausted the HD3QBEM as she has been dozing off since.   Dinner time now so I am off to wake her up.
Tonight I shall study the construction details for The Mermaids Chest and hopefully make a start on that although Hercule Poirot may prove a distraction too many.
Ah, it has been a great weekend -  what a pity tomorrow is Monday.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Done and part done

Spring flowers from my garden.
This morning I went to Fabric-A-Brac for the first time.   Anticipating a massive selection of fabrics to tempt me beyond endurance I gaily sallied forth, found a car park way up the top of a steep hill and eagerly bounded down.   My what a crowd!   Round and round and round I went looking at the selection of goods available.   Wallet had obviously listened well to my stern instructions and didn't even open her mouth!   So I climbed back up the steep hill, empty handed but happy to have been a part of this and who knows maybe my raffle ticket will come out tops and I will win the hand quilted bed cover??
Today we have half a happy dance;-) The Fabric Bomb bag is completed.  This is what I received and how I used (or not used them)
2 one yard pieces of Japanese Yukata fabric - the inside and outside of the bag
2 cotton fat quarters -  the kimono and part of the obi
1 small piece Japanese silk -  part of the obi
1 vintage whitework handkerchief -  the white neck of the lady
1 packet John James Twin point needles - uh uh
Petite Frosty Rays -  all of these threads were braided together for the obidome
DMC Perle cotton #3 colour 798
DMC Perle cotton #5 colour 334
Needle Necessities Spring II colour 358
Quilters Yardage Card -  uh uh 
2 Star Buttons -  the hair decoration
One yard of lace trim - uh uh
3 pieces ribbon -  the sky stripes
Mill Hill Beads colour 62034 -  the sky stripes
Embroiderers Guild of America Charm -  I'm keeping this for myself!!
Please excuse the dark photograph,  it's the best I can do this time of night.   I added the handles from stash.   What do you think?   I have done a happy dance.
Another Christmas ornament is finished and tonight I hope to construct this into a flat padded ornament tonight.   I was impressed that my LNS had the necessary small gold star.   I like this cute ornament..
And now I must go and undo the mistakes in the HD3QBEM's knitting.   She has some necessary mending out for me to do too.   Oops -  another busy night!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Snow in Spring

Just showing off tonight.
My miniature daffodils are flowering beautifully at my front gate.   Photos are deceptive - these are only about 12 cm high.
And this snow bedecked house needs a tree, a night sky and some foreground before being set in a Tim Holtz Pocket Watch.    This is on 40 count linen with DMC floss - the white snow is a sparkly floss , DMC from a give away I think.
I'm off to do that now.