Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Stitching my heart out

Hello -  How are things in your neck of the woods?   What a wonderful couple of days I've had - I'm making the most of all the rain we've been having and have been stitching my heart out.  Finally - it has been such a long time - the last stitches went into Leanne's Stitching Round the Block piece, here is a little sneak peek.  This is going back to Leanne and she is going to stitch her own Round Three.  Don't you love her colours? (Hi Leanne, it will go in post probably Friday when I go into town)  Now Raewyn, it's on to your gorgeous piece.............
And another long neglected project, A Gardener's Journal by Anni Downs.  I have completed some more stitcheries, but in my usual haphazard way, none of the blocks have all the stitcheries needed done, so no more piecing yet!  I believe the SAL deadline is March, when the girls are starting the next project, so better get my butt moving on this one too.  The new SAL project Chookyblue is organising looks tempting too .......
There have also been a few stitches into Virtues Sampler by LHN, below is a headless girl and a tree missing a branch, but progress all the same. Last time I photographed this, I think she had a head, but there was a very sad case of unpicking and restitching of the dress required. I hate it when that happens.
Believe it or not, there has even been a little stitching on some Butterfly Garden miniblocks, no pics yet though.   I think all this WIP stitching is to ease my guilt over signing up to stitch Vignette, the lovely new Mystery Block Quilt by Leanne Beasley. But really, how could I turn down starting a gorgeous new quilt of Leanne's when I already have two others of hers started??  Thankfully, I'm still waiting on the fabrics and threads ordered before Christmas, so that'll give me some time to work on a few other long suffering WIP's!

There's a brand new blog, Vignette in Stitches, for all those keen on stitching projects from Leanne's gorgeous new mag 'Vignette'.  Pop on over there and see what some of the girls have done already!  Thanks Perri for starting the blog and also to Ms Farmyard Crafts for tempting me into starting *another* project!  Didn't need much persuading though, did I?  Maree from Farmyard Crafts and I have something in common -  a very long list of WIP's - at least mine would be long if I finally finish making it.  AWIP list of WIP's! lol 
I think I really do need help - when I told her that she suggested I start something else! LOL

Can't thank you enough for the lovely comments about my SSCS and 6 Things swap goodies, I really appreciate you stopping by and reading and/or sharing your thoughts with me.  

Till next time, happy stitching to you ...........  Nicky

Monday, 27 December 2010

Exchange goodies sent by me

I thought I had better share some pics of the parcels I sent out for the two exchanges I participated in recently. First up, for Chookyblue's SSCS exchange I sent my gift to Alison/Cardygirl. I showed a pic of the ornament a couple of posts ago, and here is the main gift. This is Peace and Plenty, designed by Leanne Beasley. It is one I have wanted to stitch for a long time, and when I was sneaking around Cardygirls blog 'researching' I noticed she said her favourite colour was red, so I decided this was just the thing for her. I finished it onto a canvas(my first attempt at this, so please excuse all those staples on the back Alison).

Overall pretty pleased with the final result.

This is the handmade part of my gift to Pat for the 6 Things swap organised by Maree.  Pat doesn't have a blog I don't think, but is a member of the Club Quilt Narromine group, and boy oh boy she is very productive! Pat makes the most wonderful quilts, bags, runners, and lots more, so pop on over to their blog and check her work out. 
Something for the craft room was this little thread box, with a Lizzie Kate chart, the required threads, some buttons and some Thread Heaven(I love this stuff).
And I forgot to photograph the other bits and pieces - OOPS!  But they were, some fragrant soap, some Ferrero Rocher choccies, a book of scenic pics of NZ taken from the air, and a gingerbread house Christmas decoration.  I hope that Pat enjoys the goodies - I sure enjoyed gathering the bits and pieces for her parcel.

Well that is the end of swaps for the year for me - now I need to focus on Stitching Round the Block for Leanne. Raewyn and Janis...............and A Gardeners Journal..........and Butterfly Garden ..and Virtues Sampler .............and..............................well, you get the idea. lol

Exchange Spoils ......

 Not only did Christmas morning mean lots of lovely gifts from family, but I got to open my two exchange gifts received recently.  First up was the 6 Things exchange organised by Maree.  My swap was sent by Barbara/Aunty Bee, and it was stunning.  Don't you love this bag, designed by one of my fave designers Rosalie Quinlan, aren't the colours gorgeous. 
 And look at all the other goodies, beautiful scented soap, scorched almonds, the lovely needle case I opened when it all arrived, christmas crafty magazines, a cross stitch book and a stunning Heaven and Earth Designs chart.
These are not for the faint hearted!  Look closely at the stitch count - I kid you not - 351 x 495, and I think I counted over 90 different thread colours used!  Maybe it won't be finished before next Christmas. LOL
Thanks so much Barbara for all these goodies, you made my day!  And thanks to Maree for organising this fun swap for us all to enjoy.

Next up was the much anticipated SSCS organised by Chookyblue.  My swap came all the way from Maricarmen in Argentina.  I had already opened this lovely little ornament when my parcel arrived, isn't it sweet.
This handpainted Christmas card is beautiful - in soft colours on something like vellum I think.  I love it!
 And here is the little quilt Maricarmen made for me - in pretty Christmas colours.  Thanks so much Maricarmen for adding another lovely surprise to my Christmas Day. And of course a big thanks to Chookyblue for organising this fabulous swap.
I'll be back later in the day with some pics of the goodies I sent out for these two swaps.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful too, and that Santa was good to you too!

Be back soon, Nicky

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Wishes .........

Merry Christmas
  Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season,
I hope you have a relaxing break and spend some quality
time with those you love.

I want to take this chance to thank everyone who finds themselves here, for reading, commenting, following,  and for some of the lovely friendships that are growing through comments, emails, exchanges and stitching together. 

While this year has sent some trials our way here on the farm, we are finishing 2010 on a positive note, with some great weather, healthy stock and a better forecast for returns for the current season.

It has been a fabulous first blogging year for me, I never could have imagined how much your friendship and the shared interest of stitching and all things crafty and/or Kiwi, would mean to me.  The inspiration and encouragement from other bloggers and stitchers all around the world is incredible, and I feel privileged to be reading about and seeing what is going on in your world too.

  So thankyou for your support through the tough times and for helping to celebrate the good times, and I am looking forward to what 2011 will bring. 

  I am going to spend some time reflecting on this year and thinking about what I want to achieve in 2011.

What are your dreams for 2011? 

Take care and Merry Christmas, Nicky

PS: I'll see you after Christmas with news of some swap parcels which are tempting me under the Christmas tree right now!  I promise I won't peep. lol

Friday, 17 December 2010

Fabulous Friday ..........

It feels like I haven't been here much lately......... so heres a bit of a catchup on the last couple of weeks.  My SSCS gift arrived with Cardygirl/Alison earlier in the month.  Here is a pic of the ornie I finished up for her. 
In breaking news my own SSCS gift from Maricarmen arrived in this mornings mail all the way from Argentina.  Excitement plus in my house right now!  However my camera battery is dead, so I will take some pics tonight when I get home from work.  My ornament is so cute and is on the tree already.  Thank you Maricarmen, I can't wait till Christmas Day now!  Thanks again Chookyblue for organising this brilliant swap!
And I also forgot to show a pic of my 6 Things swap which was sent off to the land of Oz.  This was the swap organised by Maree.

And then there was Queenstown.  We had a wonderful weekend with good friends who also have two girls the same age as ours.  Lots of boating and swimming, too much eating, but most of all lots of relaxing.  This is the view from the beautiful house we stayed in looking towards the town.

Down at the lake shore - yes, it was as cold as it looks in that water!
Hubbie about to take off on the "Mojo" behind the boat..... 
.........and still on after several circuits.  The general consensus was that the water was far too cold for skiing.
(Thanks A & S for a wonderful weekend)

Tonight is Friday Night Sew-In, and I've missed the last couple, so I'm really looking forward to this one.  I think I will get some more done on my Stiching Round the Block for Leanne and Raewyn.  Leannes is almost done, and Raewyns piece has arrived from Leanne late last week.  Why not head on over to Heidi's and sign up for some sewing time tonight??

I hope you've had a great week and that your Christmas plans are coming together for you. Thanks so much for stopping by today - I'll be back tomorrow with some FNSI progress and some pics of my SSCS parcel and ornie.

                                         Have a great day............Nicky

Friday, 10 December 2010

Exciting mail .....

Look what the mailman brought to me yesterday!  How exciting, my 6 Things swap organised by Maree has arrived.  My gifts are from Barbara, and they look very intriguing.  I have opened the one shown on top and found the cutest needlebook(something for the craftroom).  How did Barbara know that I adore paisley fabric??!?  I love it, thank you so much Barbara.  She even included a gift for each of the girls, who unlike their mother have placed their unopened gifts under the Christmas tree .  But I have put my other gifts under the tree and we'll see if they make it till Christmas.  Probably won't, patience is not my strong point!  Obviously I have Barbaras address on the parcel, but I can't find an email or blog address for Barbara to say thanks.  So if you happen to be reading this Barbara, please pretty please send me an email(on my sidebar) so I can thank you directly. 

Isn't this needlecase so cute...thank you Barbara!

My own 6 things swap was a bit late being sent, after Customs opening my SSCS parcel to Alison I have done a little more research about what I can and can't send to Oz, so hopefully my parcel will arrive to it's recipient next week.

Finally for today, these two cookies in a jar were last minute teacher gifts delivered by the girls to school today.  The inspiration for these cookie jars came from Shabby Art Boutique, where there have been lots of fab Christmas ideas recently.  This is the actual cookie jar link.  My very good intentions to stitch them a small gift have just not happened in the mad rush of the last few weeks.

Today is the last day of school for the year and I am so pleased, everyone is tired and crabby and ready for a break.  Life has been so crazy for the last few months, I keep thinking next week will be better, but it doesn't work out that way. lol   However, I am hoping that *next* week will finally be a little quieter.  I went to town and did most of my Christmas shopping yesterday, a big day, but great to have it done, since my helpers will be tagging along behind me after today.

We are heading away after school with friends for a couple of nights to Queenstown.  It will be great to unwind with a glass of wine(or two) and some R & R by the lake.

Thanks for stopping by today, and for the kind and thoughtful comments you leave, I love reading them, I am woefully behind in my blog reading, but will catch up on everyone when we're back next week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I'll catch you next week .................. Nicky

Thursday, 25 November 2010

In Mourning

We mourn the loss of  29 men at Pike River Mine.
Please say a prayer for them, and the loved ones they leave behind.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Home again

Well, it's lovely to be home again, we have had a fabulous few days in the big smoke of Wellington.  Lots of things to do - including a tour of Parliament and the Beehive, we weren't allowed to take photos inside but it is amazing, well worth a visit for Kiwis and overseas visitors alike.

The view from our hotel room, down into the Bolton Street Memorial Park and Chapel.  This was the site of the city cemetery until about the 1890's.  It's a beautiful little spot, but a lot of sad headstones to read, I shed a tear over a family of five children who died over a period of three weeks, presumably from a disease we are now so fortunate to be able to vaccinate our babies for.  This park is at the very bottom of the Wellington Botanical Gardens which we spent a wonderful afternoon walking through.

We started up here, after a trip on the Cable Car from Lambton Quay to Kelburn.

then ventured down through the gardens, stopping of course to try out the Flying Fox in the playground.
For me the highlight was the stunning rose garden..............
while my hubby was quite taken with these sculptures of NZ natives made from fencing wire!
and the girls had fun watching the ducks and ducklings under the water fountain.
Wellington Zoo - where feeding the giraffes was popular.....
It was a lovely few days away, the main reason for going was to select our rams for next breeding season from the stud they are bred on.  That involved a day trip up to Wairarapa and a chance to see some new countryside.  There was some lovely shopping to be done in Masterton, so I did my best! A couple of things can now be crossed off the Christmas pressie list, thank goodness.

And as the deadline girl that I am, I am posting today - the last possible day - my SSCS gift to some unsuspecting recipient out there.  Actually they will be suspecting something will arrive in the mail - but they won't know what it is until CHRISTMAS DAY!!  Here it was all wrapped and ready to go.............
I do so hope that the recipient gets as much pleasure from this Secret Santa gift, as I got from making it.
If you're participating in Chookyblues SSCS exchange - don't forget - it's time to mail!   Tehe, I can sound all righteous about it now that I've finally got mine away. lol

Thanks for visiting today, I hope you are having a fabulous day!  I'm off to check out the couple of hundred posts waiting for me in Google Reader - catch you soon........ Nicky

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Where it all began ......... very first 'big' cross stitch.
I went to a stitching party-plan night in 1992, where a  lady was selling charts, fabrics and threads.  I was armed with Dad's chequebook(I was still at high school), blank cheque signed, and I bought all the bits I needed for this picture.  The only cross-stitch I had stitched prior to this was a tiny little kit of an Amish child that my aunt had given me, and I was hooked!  I only wish Dad was so keen to let me loose with his cheque book now. lol
I will apologise now for the quality of pics, I've found it pretty hard to get decent pics of the framed ones with glass in front, so please excuse my poor efforts.  This deer was given to my hubby(before we were married) for a Christmas gift.
Still stitching on Aida here........... I still have a fascination with the Amish way of life and fell in love with this one, loved stitching the quilt blocks in the corner.
I *heart* Hugs and Teddy Bears was stitched while expecting our first baby - I wanted something that would suit boy or girl!  By now I had discovered the joy of linen!
This is a Teresa Wentzler design - I think it's called Floral Bellpull.
These pansies and violets are still one of my favourite finishes, I love the colours and of course pansies are my favourite flower.

This little scissor keep was finished up quite a few years ago.

These littlies have all been finished up this year and I have shared on my blog already.  Blogging motivates you to *finish* things!

Shepherds Bush are one of my all time favourite designers. I also have quite a few of their pieces stitched waiting for framing, but that would be another whole post!

And one of my more recent favourite designers are Little House Needleworks and Country Cottage Needleworks, who have such simple, pretty designs that are lovely to stitch - I think no back stitch has a lot to do with that.  Years ago most designs had heaps of back stitch which when you've spent so many hours on the fun stuff is the most depressing job around!  A little like stitching the binding on a quilt down, but it takes a lot longer. lol.  Thank goodness not so many do now.
This one is still to be framed(and ironed by the look of it)
Lizzie Kate Christmas Spirit series also needs framed, perhaps that should be a goal before December!
 And then finally one of my many, many, Works in Progress(very slow or non-existent progress), there are far too many of these to picture here, so this is just one, Numbers by Cross-Eyed Cricket, stitched with one thread over one.  This is an old photo, it is actually quite a bit closer than this to finished now. Watch this space...........

It has been interesting to go back and see how my tastes have changed over the years, so thanks for the motivation to get this display together.  You can head over to Chookyblue's to check out her cross stitch and for a blog list of the other ladies who are displaying their cross stitch this weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by, I'm off now to check out the other cross stitch displays...........Nicky 
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