Saturday, 28 March 2015

Just a brief catch up tonight as I have a nasty head cold and am in no state for stitching or blogging.
This week I have been making strawberries and after completing one Florentine Stitch band on the left hand side realised it was half the designated width.   How fortunate that this stitch does not require reversing and additions are easily made :-)   What a messy shot this is but you can see what I mean.
And the local supermarket had these mini daffodils on sale for Easter!   It's autumn here in New Zealand and the deciduous trees are shedding their leaves, the chestnut tree is loaded, the walnuts are ready for harvesting and the shop decides it's Spring??   Anyway, I am a sucker for these cute miniature daffodils and we will enjoy them indoors, then I shall plant them in the garden and in September we shall enjoy them again.
I'm off for a date with a lemon honey drink and a box of tissues.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Results are thin on the ground this week

Each day had been filled to the brim from 6am until I fall to sleep at 10pm but little stitching has been done!   The clientele of my new job populate my dreams and create restless nights so I waken feeling less than refreshed.   Oh the joys of a new job:-)   But this is the view from the car which I park only a short walk from the Court House where I work.  A view from the very North End of Auckland SuperCity.
However I did complete the grape panel of the Sampler Casket and am pleased with progress on this. A strawberry panel for the other end and then the very interesting lid panel are the only pieces left.
Last night I managed to stitch together the back and front of the Hardanger Christmas Tree and while out today bought ribbon to stitch over the join.   I will have to wait until much later this year to get the artificial holly and pine cones to place at the base although I will 'plant' it in its pot now.
Today was once again a full list of chores and at 6am this morning I was baking muffins having promised to contribute two dozen to an upcoming function at church.   Household cleaning, washing, a haircut, a trip to the library, grocery shopping and yet another trip to the yarn store for the HD3QBEM.   Yes!   She cogitated for a week and found the 20% off irresistible :-)
There are still the floors to wash and then I hope to finish a small hardanger scissor fob so may have more photos next time.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Oh dear oh dear

Today was once again filled with pre-scheduled chores but thrown awry by an unexpected doctor visit, blood test and a multiplicity of road works on almost every road travelled!
But the biggest spanner in the works was this.....
The HD3QBEM was shocked to find this sign on the wool shop window but delighted to see a 20% off sign on the wool shelves inside!   Her express intention was to buy only three balls of yarn to knit a garment for the new Great-Granddaughter, but who can resist a bargain, and somehow an extra eight balls of yarn came home with us.
My stitching took a side road this week too and I have been working on this.....
Great Niece Number One is already here and goes by the pretty name of Inara Calliope, but this band is to be stitched on a soft white towel for Great Niece Number Two who is to arrive next month and for whom a baby shower is planned next weekend.  Name as yet unknown hence this non-specific choice.   A sustained effort this evening should complete this gift and I can then return to the basket of grapes for my Sampler Casket.
Now I am back working full time there seem to be less minutes for stitching, reading and even the gym.   However the initial exhaustion of adjusting to a new workplace will surely fade and life may return to something close to normal.   I hope so!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The end of "The First Week"

This week has gone by in a flash of new experiences and extreme tiredness.   Each night I managed a few stitches before falling into bed exhausted and after a restless seven hours it was up to start again.
This morning, when I didn't have work,  I woke bright eyed and bushy tailed and quietly rose to begin the list of chores headed Saturday.   There is also a list in my notebook labelled Sunday and another labelled Next trip To Town.  Do I hear you ask why?   Well my work place is on a busy road flanked on both sides by vehicle sales yards and surrounded by various small depots servicing the automotive industry.   Across the road is a huge supermarket and diagonally opposite is a huge DIY Megastore.   So there is no interesting place to wander at lunchtime and no opportunity to do those minor chores like new watch battery, return books to library etc etc   However no shops around work means no spending money so there are hidden blessings:-)
Anyway, stitching progress for this week is a bowl of grapes for one end panel of my Sampler Casket.   The bowl is yet to be finished and I plan on completing those Queen Stitches tonight.   Either side is a panel of flowers.  The other end of the Casket has a Strawberry panel.   Once both ends are done I plan on a 'Hardanger Vacation' again as that stitching rotation seems to suit me.
Tomorrow the HD3QBEM and I are going to a fabric store out the west side of the city to look for some dress material for moi.   I'd like another jersey knit fabric wrap dress for work and as the weatherman tells us that Autumn is in the air it seems sensible to get prepared.
But tonight I am going to bed early and will read a book.   I stocked up again at the library today.
Good night.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

I'm an AO!

Today was my first at the new job.   I am officially an Administration Officer =AO and feel exhausted with so much to remember and so many new experiences.  Besides which Probation Services have a completely different clientele and at times I felt rather out of my depth.   The other staff are very supportive.  I was taken on a visit to the Police Cells and tomorrow accompany a probation officer on offender visits.   This is merely part of the orientation and will not be a part of my actual daily work.   Still, all is good and I am sure that in time I will feel more at home and have more energy at the end of a day.  
Five months of "time off" was great but it is back to work now and I fear that stitching progress may slow down :-(
After finishing the panel for the Sampler Casket I felt the need for hardanger so stash provided linen and thread.  
The piece is now full of "skeletons" waiting for the next break in Casket Stitching when they will be finished.   Amazing that a smallish piece of linen can fit a pochette (bottom left), a tassel (top left), a biscornu (to be stitched on the two tacked out squares either side of the hardanger triangle ), three berlingot (in drawn thread - one done and two only tacked out ) and a needlebook and liner (bottom right).
The Christmas Tree is laced and nearly all the ingredients for completion are sourced so I am ready to go.   The ribbons for the base and a clipping of fake holly may have to wait until nearer Christmas as they aren't in shops at present.   Photo to follow.
Today is Girls Day in Japan and with impeccable timing my friend Sonoko sent me a package containing appropriate goodies.   What's more, the courier brought the package just before I left for work so I was able to wonder all day what the contents would be.   Tonight I have opened up and taken photos to share.   Thank you very very much Sonoko.
Chocolates -  special Girls Day chocolates!!!



I have shared with the HD3QBEM - a consolation for her first day on her own!
Also a cute box shaped like a Japanese sandal and filled with sweets and some other items I neglected to photograph.
And very necessary Ohinasama dolls.   I will keep these carefully to display each year.
Wasn't this a wonderful surprise.   I have had a good day.


Friday, 20 February 2015

I've been making a ball and ....

The time has flown by so quickly this week.   But I have had a profitable time getting lots of jobs crossed off my list before I start my new job on 3 March.  
Today I made a ball and although the fabric scraps limited the size of the pentagons this wasn't quite as fiddly to stitch together as I had thought it might be.   The colours go well together don't they (wink wink to Little Sister!)
I have also tried out, fairly successfully,  a flap for a hardanger pocket.   The pocket is not quite wide enough for what I want so I will get out the graph paper and extend the chart as I quite like the pattern of this one.   As I want to use up the rest of the linen, I won't be making up the pocket until I have stitched the tassel, the needlecase and the bookmark on the remaining piece of this linen.
I'm thinking that a "flapped pocket" in cream lined with ruby red may be just right for my planned ruby wedding gift.  We shall see.
My hardanger Christmas tree is coming along.  It is now officially confirmed that I am no great fan of cross stitch and hardanger, nor roses (or are they supposed to be holly berries?)and cream, but this is turning out reasonably well.   I will have to visit my local DIY store to see what they can provide by way of a base for this to stand in as the pattern says a wooden candlestick!   Goodness gracious.   Who has wooden candlesticks nowadays?!   This is not the Victorian era!   I'm thinking a cream ceramic planter pot and a painted wooden dowel.
Hopefully the roses will all be finished tonight and I will attempt to decipher the instructions for the hardanger.

Yesterday the HD3QBEM and I went into the City and bought a new merino winter sweater for her.   Yes!   In 26 degrees celsius heat we bought merino!!!   It never ceases to amaze me that end of season sales happen in January and the Autumn and Winter fashions come into the shops in February. Who feels like trying on woolen garments in that kind of heat?   The HD3QBEM is delighted with her new sweater and I approve of the lovely pink so we are both happy.
Tomorrow is Embroiderers Guild and I am looking forward to seeing what others have been working on over the summer break.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

City Tour, Casket Progress, Hardanger etc

Today, the HD3QBEM and I went on a bus trip.   The red CityLink bus is actually designed for shoppers and commuters but for us it was a City Tour.   We enjoyed ourselves on this outing - beautiful weather and  a chance to see places we don't normally have reason to visit.   We have now ridden the orange OuterCircle line, the red CityLink line, our normal blue Metro line and there is only the lime green InnerLink left to conquer.
I planted some Verbena for a touch of instant colour but as we are still having very dry weather I use the watering can every day to ensure their survival.   My next lot of runner beans are starting to climb and the eggplants are starting to flower.  Summer has been so dry this year that my garden hasn't been as fruitful as usual.
This week I finally completed the hand sewn hem on my dress.  Now there are only three pieces of fabric left in my stash box for a skirt, a jacket and trousers.   Skirt first I think but not for a week or two yet as there are too many other things-to-do!
The front panel of the casket is now complete.  I made a trip to my LNS for the requisite #5 Japan metallic gold and obediently stitched the gate, hated it, unpicked it, stitched it in DMC 3820, hated it, unpicked it and finally settled on one strand of DMC 413 which now looks like a wrought iron gate.
So the back and front panels are now complete and it feels like progress.   Note, the shadows behind are the hardanger mat on which the finished piece is sitting.
But I am taking a break for a piece of hardanger.   Yes! That itch has not yet gone away and this Cross N Patch Christmas Tree is calling to me.   I think the cream and rose garlands looks lovely and can probably survive cross stitch if mixed with hardanger like this.  I have the linen and threads in stash so away we go and while I stitch I will try and think of what I can use for the base/stand.
Have a good evening everyone.