Blog Archives

Spring has sprung!

March 1, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  5 Comments

Well almost.

I am so happy to see the month of March.  Yesterday we had a lovely day with beautiful sunshine – not like February at all.

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post, each one gives me pleasure.   I love your little poems Irene, they always make me smile.

I’ve made a little progress on the SB piece, I probably would have made more but we’ve been caught up with sorting things out with Matthew for school and also I’ve been in major tidy mode for several days now.

Last week was parent’s evening and he is at that stage where he has to make subject choices for going into fifth year.   We’re trying to help and guide him but it’s not easy as he’s not made a final choice on the career he would like to follow.

This week’s poem was written by John Masefield and the thing I like about it is the contrast in the images that it brings to mind.


Quinquirene of Nineveh from distant Ophir

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory

And apes and peacocks

Sandalwood, cedarwood and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,

Dipping through the Tropics by the palm tree shores,

With a cargo of diamonds

Emeralds, amethysts,

Topazes, and cinnamon and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack

Butting through the Channel in the mad March days

With a cargo of Tyne coal

Road-rail and pig-lead

Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Thanks for visiting today.  I’m off to collect a couple of packets from our local sorting office and I’m hoping they are some stitching kits and charts that I am waiting for.  I relented and ordered more than I should have – I was being so good and not giving into temptation and then it all got too much for me – so much for willpower.

Take care all.

PS  In relation to the major tidy mode that I mentioned, I should be able to list some items for sale in my de-stash section later this week.

Spring – not quite.

February 22, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

Oh, how I long for Spring.

The thing I miss most at this time of year is colour.  Everything is dull and there is no sign of spring about where we live.  Our winter has been so severe the spring bulbs will be later I think.

My sister lives down south in England and everything blooms so much earlier with her.

Today’s poem is how I see winter at the moment.

“Cold February”

Winter is boring now

His news is cold, His hoary anecdotes

Too often told.

For his bad manners we

Made youth the excuse once

Now in his latter days

He’s just a  nuisance.

Another season stands

Ready to relieve him

He’s only to be gone

And we’d forgive him.

Even think kindly of him

Finding he’s left

A snowdrop morning

As a parting gift.

By Hal Summers

My stitching progress has been mixed this week.  I made a mistake and had to unpick an area where I had miscounted.  I think it’s coming on okay though and the colours seem to be working so far.

I haven’t done “what I’m reading” for ages so I thought I’d give you an update.

The book on the left is my current read (number five of  the set) and the one on the right is the last in the series of six.  I’ve read one to five already but I’ve been reading them again before moving onto the final one.  The whole series is called the Wilderness Saga and I’ve really enjoyed them.

I like when I find a set of books that I can enjoy one after the other. One of my all time favourites is the Poldark set of twelve by Winston Graham.

I know you will all have been checking out the new market releases, some of them look very nice indeed.  I’ve been tempted by one or two but like some other bloggers, not as many as I used to buy.  The magazines in the photo were my most recent buys.  I can’t believe I bought a gardening magazine – it’s unheard of for me.    The reason I bought it was for a couple of articles it had on snowdrops and hellebores – both of which I love.

Although I don’t embroider very often, I always enjoy the Australian magazine Inspirations.

Thanks for popping by today and thanks too for the comments you leave, they are always enjoyed and appreciated.

Take care and if you live in New Zealand my thoughts are with you.  This last few months seems to bring one disaster after another to parts of the world.

Baking day.

February 17, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments

I’m looking forward to leafing through this book later today. I read a review of it on another blog and it convinced me to buy it.
It looks as though it’s a worthwhile buy on the surface but I’ll reserve judgement.

I must confess that I’m not a fan of intarsia. I don’t mind colourwork when it is on the lines of fairisle – I find it quite enjoyable and easy to manage. Intarsia is another ball game, I can never get the tension right and gaping holes appear even though I follow the instructions.

I wasn’t working today as I had to stay home for an engineer to call and service our gas boiler so I took the chance to bake a gingerbread cake. I decided to try a new recipe – I lost my best recipe for ginger bread a while ago.
It was in an old Reader’s Digest book of healthy desserts and cakes and it was the most wonderful, moist ginger cake.

I think I gave the book to charity – I’m very guilty of giving things away and then going to use them a few months later.

I’m off tomorrow as well so I might find time to do a little beading, I seem to be unable to settle to any one thing lately and I’m feeling guilty about it.
I’ve managed a little progress on the SB design but not as much as I’d hoped to achieve.

I want to get as much done as possible before I get my hands on The Flood as I think I will want to make a start immediately.

Our weather has gone cold again and snow is forecast for the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by and for the comments you leave, I always enjoy it when they pop up. Take care, till next time.

Poetry and progress.

February 9, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  5 Comments

I’ve made a little progress on the SB design. I’m enjoying the different stitches for a change as things seem to move along more quickly. The only thing slowing me down is that when I modify a design and change colours, I always take ages to make my choices.

This little card was sent to me by a friend in Chicago and it was made by another friend in Chicago who introduced us to each other. I think it’s really pretty. My friend, who made the card, enjoys going to card making classes.

(I’m still looking for a local class to go to where I can learn how to crochet.)

Today’s poem is called “My Heart Leaps Up” and was written by William Wordsworth.

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky
So was it when life began
So is it now I am a man
So be it when I grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father of the Man
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Thanks for popping in today and take care.

Lovely people.

February 5, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  5 Comments

At risk of sounding trite, the one thing I’ve so enjoyed about blogging is the connection with lovely people.
Thanks for the really kind comments, they are very much appreciated.

As well as the online connection through comments, I’ve made a lovely new friend who lives in the UK – it’s so nice to communicate with a fellow stitcher and crafter and if I hadn’t started a blog this wouldn’t have happened.

Yesterday I made a necklace for a lady who I know through work. She retires this month and I wanted to give her something to mark this event. I speak to her a lot on the phone but don’t really see her face to face so I wasn’t sure what colours she would like. I just had to go on what appealed to me so I hope she likes it.

We spent this morning in Edinburgh and I picked up some wool to use for the paw pads on the bear that I am knitting. It’s about a third of the way knitted and I’ve ordered some joints and stuffing online. I’ve never jointed a bear before so it’s going to be interesting!

I didn’t get time to stitch last night or the night before so I’ve only made a little progress on the replacement design I started. It’s going to be a combination of Shepherd’s Bush Thoughtful Heart and French Heart.

I have been looking at some of the new designs that are being released later this month and there is one so far that I find extremely appealing. It’s the new Plum Street Samplers “The Flood” – it looks very big but I love it.
I’ve not been buying as many new designs of late as I’ve been spending money on other crafts but this is a definite.

I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend and that the weather settles down all over. We’ve had gale force winds this week but nothing like the dreadful conditions that Queensland had to face yet again. I’m just hoping that the snow that hit the States doesn’t find it’s way over here – it quite often does.

Thanks for dropping in today, I’m off to knit a little of ted.

Feeling blue!

February 2, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  5 Comments

The title of today’s post says it all.

Do you ever start a design and the fabric just doesn’t work for you? Well, since last week, I’ve started a design so often that all I now want to do with it is shut it in a drawer forever.
I was really looking forward to stitching this piece but nothing seemed to work – I changed count, I changed colour, I stitched over one, I stitched over two and still couldn’t get it to work for me.

I decided not to waste any more time on it (it was going to be a wedding gift) and I’m going to stitch a design that I’ve already done as a gift in the past.

I made a start last night and should have some progress to show in a few days.

I’m also in the middle of knitting a new teddy pattern with wool that I’ve never used before so I don’t know what the end result will be. It’s in bits just now so I decided not to show any photos.

I envy all you bloggers out there who make wonderful stitching progress all the time. It’s great to see the beautiful needlework and the lovely finishing – reading blogs can be so inspiring.

Till next time, take care.

Bloomin’ Late.

January 24, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  3 Comments

The title says it all – late blooming Christmas Rose, I’m late in posting as I’ve been busy with other things and a needlework package which is late in arriving.
Why is it that the chart you are desperately waiting for takes ages to come and yet mail you don’t really want arrives promptly?

I’ve managed to finish my canvas piece and now onto the dreaded putting it together to form a semblance of a pouch.

This week’s poem is by E V Rieu.

“The Paintbox”

Cobalt and umber and ultramarine
Ivory black and emerald green –
What shall I paint to give pleasure to you?
Paint for me somebody utterly new.

I have painted you tigers in crimson and white
The colours were good and you painted a-right
I have painted the cook and a camel in blue
And a panther in purple. You painted them true.

Now mix me a colour that nobody knows
And paint me a country where nobody goes
And put in it people a little like you
Watching a unicorn drinking the dew.

I love colour in all it’s forms and recently have developed a liking for orange. I bought these roses at the weekend and I love the depth of orange in them.

The orchid below was given to my mum last Monday – it was her 86th birthday.

Finally for today, I bought some knitting bits and pieces at the weekend and enjoyed flicking through the new Rowan magazine. I don’t really knit garments as such but I like to keep up with what’s new each season.

Our weather has at last improved and after seven weeks of snow we’re finally back to normal. I just hope that the main part of our winter is over. I notice that America seems to be getting hit in places and that Australia is set for more floods. I hope not as the cleaning up after what hit already will take such a long time.
I have a little theory that all the weird and wonderful things that are happening all over the world have something to do with the scientists in Switzerland recreating the big bang (in a small way) with their “collider”. I think that if you interfere with the natural balance of the world then there will be consequences. I don’t know what everyone else thinks.

Anyway, thanks for dropping in today. I hope you have a good week.

The Infinite Rose.

January 13, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  3 Comments

Today’s post is a little flower crazy. Read on and see what I mean!

I’d like to share a poem with you written by Harold Feinstein a photographer.


A rose is a rose.
It is also an invitation to enter into the heart of hearts.
Has it not always been an expression of love?
How many ways do I love you?
Come closer! Gaze into my petals.
You may know me, but there is more,
Wander among my colours,
Take a deep breath, Stay awhile,
This is the beginning of forever.

I took delivery of a lovely book of flower photography today. I had been given a token for Christmas and decided to use it on this.

At last I’ve made a start to something new. Not what I thought I was going to stitch but the notion took me to pull out a kit I’ve had sitting for a while now. It’s called “Pansies and Violas” – I’ve not made much progress but I’ve enjoyed the change.

Continuing the flower theme, I bought a couple of orchids on Monday – one is for me and the other is part of a birthday gift.

I loved the dotty pattern on this orchid, it looks as though someone has thrown the colour at the petals.
I never used to be as fond of flowers, it’s very much a recent thing but I’m enjoying this new found pleasure.
As always, thanks for stopping by and thanks too for the comments (especially to you Irene for the fun poem you left, it made me smile).


January 7, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments

I bought some flowers before Christmas and I added some lovely pussy willow to them. The pussy willow has lasted all this time and the catkins are opening out – I do love the feel and look of catkins, they are so soft and pretty.

I haven’t shared a poem with you for a while so I chose one today that reminds me of a lady I have worked with. She learned this at school and can still recite the whole poem word for word. I hope you like it.

“Abou Ben Adhem”

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The vision raised it’s head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one” said Abou. “Nay, not so.”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still and said, “I pray thee, then
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”
The angel wrote and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Adhem’s name led all the rest.
by Leigh Hunt

I received a lovely package today, I love the work of Julie Arkell – if you’ve seen the ads for “Loop” knitting shop then you’ll have seen her work.
The mohair yarn is a first for me as I’ve never knitted with this particular one before. In the past I’ve knitted with Rowan Kidsilk Haze (doubled) – I find the colours have a saturated, jewel like quality that appeals to me.

This week has been a stop, start week for crafting. I worked too long on this canvas a few nights ago and then couldn’t do anything the following two nights as I had tweaked my neck and shoulder. I think it was working on the pansy in the middle that did it as you are going through the same canvas hole repeatedly at times. I’ll have to try to limit how much I do but I get carried away and want to get on more quickly. I’m sure you can all relate to that.

I hope you’ve all had a good first week of 2011. Snow is forecast for this weekend but I’m hoping it won’t come to much. We’re planning a visit to Edinburgh tomorrow morning to meet with friends for coffee so fingers crossed the snow stays away.
Take care and have a lovely weekend.

A day early.

January 4, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  1 Comment


I’m a day early in posting the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas but tomorrow I will be back to work and probably won’t have time.

Seven Swans A Swimming

Eight Maids A Milking

Nine Ladies Dancing

Ten Lords A Leaping

Eleven Pipers Piping

Twelve Drummers Drumming

Now that the festive season is well and truly over, I’m hoping that things may return to some sense of normality.
I didn’t start a new piece of work on January 1st as I usually do. I am so determined to finish the canvas piece that I’m working on that I didn’t give in to temptation. I feel like I’m in the doldrums with my cross stitch just now.
I have some lovely designs sitting waiting to be started and I can’t get enthusiastic at all – don’t ask me why.
The only design that is pulling me towards it at the moment is Alpha Sampler by Sheepish Designs. I’d quite like to stitch it with Soie D’Alger silks instead of Needlepoint Inc as I have quite a large selection but it takes time to do a conversion and I think that’s why I’ve not made a start yet.

However, I did make a start on a knitted gift and it’s been a disaster. It was a Lucky Pig holding a four leaf clover called a Gluckschwein but it just didn’t look right at all so I’ve given up on it and I’m going to knit something completely different instead. I think my choice of wool was all wrong.

I bought my first orchid of the year and I’m loving it. I love the “dotty” look of the flowers – I constantly marvel at what nature gives us.

Thanks for stopping by and all the good wishes and comments, I always appreciate them.
PS. My thoughts are with any Australian readers, the floods looking totally devastating.