Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nutcrackers and WIP

I thought I'd put my collection of Nutcrackers on my blog for my Sister. She went to the Ballet on the weekend and enjoyed it as she had never seen it before. I have been slowly collection nutcrackers for a little while. I have a few more but these are my good ones. I always wish that when I went to Germany many many years ago that I had bought one in this little village that we went to. There were 2 shops selling just Christmas things that were really lovely. I bought a collection of small wooden ornaments that look lovely on a tree, but unfortunately I haven't enough room to put one up. I usually put these on our wood heater so the black thing that you can see in the background is the chimney. Unfortunately our fire doesn't have a mantle piece, which at this time of the year would be lovely, but thats another story.
This is my progress on Margaret Gibson. I am currently doing the biblical saying which is over one on 40ct. Takes a while to do.
I find that this saying is very hard to read as it just flows all together. In case you are wonder what it is, it is from Isiah 55 and is:-

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and
without price.

I think that these biblical sayings are part of the charm of antique samplers.

The last picture is another one from my collection of samplers. I did this one earlier in the year to replace the samplers that my son took with him when he moved out.

I'm sure you all know what this one is. It is worked on 32ct linen with just my favourite DMC threads.

Its still raining in the mountains and the last couple of days have been quite cool. A lot of my neighbours have had their log fires going. Crazy for Summer. By looking at the Weather Channel we still have a lot more rain coming for December. Hopefully all this rain is going into the dams down in Sydney. The Blue Mountains are a feeder source for one of the main dams.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another Golden Oldie and WIP

I have been very busy with things going along in my life. November and December are always busy for my family as not only with Christmas coming along we also have 3 birthdays to celebrate. Tomorrow is the last birthday that we have to celebrate for this year and then its Christmas and not long after Christmas my eldest son is getting married. I have a very busy time coming up.

Anyway,I thought I'd show you another "golden oldie". This is a Carriage House Samplings Sampler called "Mary Elizabeth Kingsford - 1764". She is stitched on 32ct linen. I love CHS's are they seem to appeal to me. I love the deer in this one.

This is my progress on Margaret Gibson. She is moving along nicely although I haven't had much time to move her along a bit faster. I love the colour scheme and I think she will be an absolute stunner when she is finished. I love working on fine linen.

We have had the most incredible few days in the Blue Mountains since last Friday. So much rain and the thunderstorms. My goodness, we have had a lot of both. On Friday afternoon and Saturday I think we could have filled all the dams in Sydney. I was going to do this yesterday morning but we had a thunderstorm around 10.30 a.m. and then a day of continual storms and blackouts so I couldn't post anything.

As I said on Saturday we had a day of continual heavy rain so I decided to get creative and make myself a new necklace. I had a collection of green and pink beads and I put together this one. I now know why these necklaces are so expensive as it took me nearly all day to do. I like jewellery that are in ropes and this one looks nice on.

I also have a collection of blue and gold beads that I am currently making this on. This is my progress so far. It is 4 strands wide at the moment and I have to work in another 2-4 strands. It depends on how thick it becomes. The one above is 6 strands. I think this one will look nice with jeans.

I would like to say thank you to all the lovely people who read my blog and also to the kind people who leave nice comments. They are all greatly appreciated and I love to read them. Thank You.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Travelling Trunk Show at Dragonfly Dreams

I thought I'd show you the beautiful basket of flowers I received last week from one of my sons future in-laws. The flowers are absolutely beautiful and contains roses, lillies and proteas. They sent them to me to let me know that they were thinking of me and also it was my birthday.

I went to visit my friend Karen and her shop Dragonfly Dreams this morning. She currently has a travelling trunk show from The Gift of Stitching.

I quite enjoy this unique magazine and look forward to each issue. Apparently these beautiful ornaments are in the next issue. There are some lovely things coming in it. All I can say is that its a great pity that I don't have enough room in my house for a Christmas tree. Although there are one or two that I might do when my next issue arrives.

This case contains a collection of my favourite projects out of the magazine. I have always thought that the magazine had lovely projects but its not until you actually see them that you realize how beautiful they really are. I love the needlework basket and the sampler needlebook.

If you travel up to Katoomba over the next few weeks call in at Dragonfly Dreams and have a look at them. They are quite amazing. I think they are up here for about 3 weeks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Token and Inspiration from Victoria.

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged over the last few days as our modem died and I had to wait for a replacement to be sent to us.

Well I finished the Token. She is quite beautiful. I am quite pleased with her and more importantly Karen is absolutely thrilled with it. Its currently away being framed so she will be displaying it in Dragonfly Dreams when it is returned to her.

I am now currently working on Margaret Gibson from Scarlet Letter. She is beautiful. I love working on very fine linen and this satisfies this love. I haven't done that much but she is currently coming along nicely.
I have another love. I love making and designing jewelery for myself and my sister and future DIL. I saw this collection of jewelery in my favorite magazine, Victoria. (Welcome back I have missed you). When I saw this the creative juices started to flow as I have a very old medallion that belonged to my great uncle who died in 1916 in the battle of the Somme aged 20. I usually wear this on a gold chain on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. I is my way of remembering my Grandfathers brother.

I had a string of freshwater pearls that I had made into another necklace that I wasn't wearing so I converted it into the one below. I'm quite happy with it and I think I will get alot of wear out of it.
I thought I'd show you these 2 necklaces that are very special to me. I also love cameos. The large cameo belonged to my Mum and she gave it to me a few years ago. I love wearing it on the pearls as it reminds me of her. The smaller cameo was a present from my Sister. Both cameos came from Italy and I find that since I have added the pearls I wear them more often.
This one I have posted before. I made this as a 21st birthday present for my future DIL. It is very beautiful. It is made out of freshwater pearls, coin pearls, crystal hearts and silver findings.
I buy all my pearls and jewelery making supplies from my friend Karen's beautiful shop Dragonfly Dreams.

I'd like to say thank you to all the lovely people who leave their beautiful comments on my blog. You don't know how much they mean to me. Its nice to know that people are appreciating the things that you do. I hope that you all have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Charity and WIP

This sampler is called Charity and is another CrossN"Patch Sampler that I did a few years ago. Actually I have done this one twice. One of my SIL's has it. I have done about 5 of these samplers but this is the only one that I have. I love this because of all the different stitches in it. It is also the one that I learnt to do hardanger on.
I love the saying that this one has. "Random Acts of Kindness" and the Queen stitches among the word charity.
This is the progress on Karen's "The Token". It is now moving along and hopefully will be finished in the next few days. Its a pity that I have to do housework as I would definitely be finished. I think I only have one or two medium size motifs to finish along with a couple of small ones.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thank You

I would just like to say a big thank you for all the support and comfort that I have been receiving.

Its nice to know that I have so many friends around the world in the stitching fraternity. My Mum was very special to me. Over the years we have nearly lost her on a couple of occasions but she was a lady with very strong will power and got through a lot of illnesses that were thrown her way. She used to set her self goals such the Sydney Olympics or seeing my sons grow up. All of which she met. When I get upset I just tell myself that its ok, that she is no longer in any pain and is at peace. This is a great comfort for my family.

Also over the years when something like this happens to me I find that I turn to my needlework. Some of the work that I have already posted have special meaning to me.

Anyway, thank you all from the bottom of my heart - Sandra.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Goodbye Mum

I have posted this sampler before. It was the last one that I gave my Mum a few months ago for her birthday. Unfortunately for my family my Mum passed away just before 6 a.m. last Thursday morning. She had been very ill for a long time and was fighting her 4th bout of cancer. Although we knew that she was very ill and she would leave us soon when it actually happened it was a shock to all of us.

She had a terrible time from when she was admitted to a local private hospital on the Friday . She signed herself out on the Tuesday but we had to have her admitted to a public hospital on the Wednesday as my Dad and Sister couldn't lift her when she collapsed.

Thankfully for all of us that "The God's were Smiling on Her". From when the ambulance people came we met the most wonderful and caring people. She was admitted to Calvary Hospital which is a hospice on Wednesday afternoon and she had the most wonderful care from the nursing staff and Doctors. We think that she was so happy to be there that she decided that this was it and she left us.

I have been down with my Dad and Sister since Tuesday. Mum's funeral was yesterday and I came home last night to be with my DH and sons.

When I came home I had the most beautiful surprise. I love old fashion roses and everyone of them are currently in bloom along with poppies and other flowers. I have so many roses that I could supply a florist.

Also on the day that Mum passed away we had a lovely visit. My Mum used to love to feed the birds on her back veranda. Over the last couple of months she had been so ill and hadn't been able to feed them so that had stopped calling. On Thursday afternoon we were sitting around the dining table looking through the sliding doors when 2 Kookaburras came and landed on the veranda rail. They stayed with us for about and hour and a half and my husband and sons were feeding them. They allowed them to get right up close to them and I suppose that they could have touched them. My husband has a photo of them on this phone and if I can get it on the computer I will put it on my blog.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm in a bit of a reflective mood today as I await news from my sister in regards to my Mum who has been re-admitted to hospital this morning. Mum has lung cancer and for the last week or so has been on oxygen at home. This morning she couldn't put up with the pain in her back any longer and had to be admitted for stronger pain killing help.

I thought that I would show you my collection of girls. Some of these reminds me of my sister and my self. The above one is by Carriage House Samplings and is called "Sisters".

The next three are my French Doll collection. I did these a long time ago when I was expecting one of my sons and they are very important to me. They all hang in my bedroom and I love to look at them. The first one always reminds me of my sister and I when we were little. I was a flower girl when one of my Aunts was married and my Mum has a photo of my sister and I dressed in pink and blue dresses.
These two are worked on very fine linen. Possibly 40 or higher, I can't remember. They are both done over 2 with one strand of DMc thread.
This one was done on 32ct over 2 with 2 strands of thread.
The following ones are of a piece of needlework that is also from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine. I like this because it always reminds me of a American Primitive Painting. I also have the graph for the little boy who matches her but I have never got around to doing him.

I tried to take close ups of this one as it not only contains cross over 2 but also over 1 and other specialty stitches, such as satin stitch french notes, lazy daisy, eyelet stitch etc. I always love her eyes as they and her brooch are done over one.

Suzanne at Squazi and the Chicken has nominated me for a "You make me Smile Award. I am greatly humbled by this and it made my day when she told me. When my head clears and I am able to sit down and work out who make me smile I will publish a post. (Also I have trouble linking them).

Thank you for all the lovely people who have been visiting my blog and leaving lovely comments. I love to travel around the world via my blog. I used to travel around the world with my sister before I was married and I have been to some beautiful places. Unfortunately I haven't been to America (she has) but I love England and Europe especially France and Italy.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Update on WIP and more Parrots in Bird Feeder

This is my process on Karen's Long Dog Sampler "The Token". It is moving along nicely and hopefully it will be finished late next week. I think I have 3 half motifs on the edges and a few small things to do along with A Token of Love motif. It is stitched on 40 ct linen and when it is finished and framed Karen is going to hang it in her shop Dragonfly Dreams. I hope she likes it.

We have a lot of beautiful birds fly into our garden. On the weekend we had a visit from about 12 Galahs. I was lucky enough to be able to photograph two of them in the bird feeder. The rest were on the ground. Sally our dog unfortunately likes to chase them every now and then. But we have to be careful of our neighbors cat who comes and stalks them. Luckily for all of the birds the cat and dog are too slow.

The one on the bottom is a Sulpher Crested Cockatoo. Lots of people usually have them in a cage. Usually we have a couple fly in and visit us every day, although if we have to many of them we go and chase them as they are a bit destructive. They will come into a garden and cut the stems off the flowers like poppies etc. half way up a stalk. They are notorious for destroying wood work around houses. Wooden railings on verandas are a particular favourite. My parents had to get a new steel railing around their veranda because of them.
A lot of the larger parrots usually fly in flocks and we often see them among the trees eating gum nuts or fruit in our fruit trees.

Most of the parrots that we see in our garden are the crimson Rozella's and King Parrots, Galahs, Sulpher Crested Cockatoos, Yellow Winged Black Cockatoos, Major Mitchells, Lorikeets. We have a Bower Bird down the back of the garden and occasionally we see them but they are very shy. We also have Gang Gangs but you don't see them very often. They are also parrots and are very beautiful.are really lucky we get to see Gang Gangs.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Postman has been

I had a lovely surprise today. After I can back from rushing one of my sons up to the rural fire station for an urgent call out I discovered that the postman had been and left me a lovely surprise.

I had sent Joanie an old JCS magazine with the Virtue Sampler in it and she has sent me back 2 samplers that were on my wish list. They are both from Scarlet Letter. One is Margaret Gibson 1839 and the other is Marion Robertson 1834. They are both Scottish samplers and I have admired them both for a long time. She also sent me a couple of smaller charts which I quite like

After I settled down from all the excitement of rushing to catch fire engines which by the way turned out to be a false alarm. The fire was supposed to be somewhere near where I live, which at the time was a real worry. When I sat down with a cup of tea I had a real good look and thought how amazing they were. I don't know which one to do first although I am leaning towards Margaret Gibson for some reason.

I would just like to say to Joanie (I have sent her an e-mail) how thrilled and excited I am to receive her generous gift. I hope that she enjoys working on the True Virtue sampler as much as I did.

I thought I'd show you my small collection of Just Nan ornaments. I have made them into Christmas ornaments. I think I have another one to do somewhere. I think they are lovely. My favourite is the one with the fairy in the front.
My youngest son took this photo of the parrots in our plum tree the other day. The big beautiful one with the red and green feathers is a male King Parrot. The female is just plain green. They usually mate for life. The other one is a Crimson Rozella. We always have lots of parrots in our garden. I have a few fruit trees and they like getting amongst them although I have 2 cherry trees and we have to fight them to get a feed.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sampler from Sampler & Antique Needlework

This is a sampler that I did a few years ago. It is from Sampler & Antique Needlework Magazine from a few years ago.

I like the Rhode Island style samplers. I have posted the above sampler before. This one is from Treasures in Needlework and is called "The American Sampler". It is one of my favourite samplers.

I have another graph of a Rhode Island style sampler and it is called "The Wisdom Sampler". It saw it quite a few years ago as a kit and it is only recently that I have been able to get it. It is on my "to do list". There is just something about them that I really like.

Have you checked out the new Needleprint website. All I can say is that it is beautiful. The website to check it out if you haven't is

Today in the mountains we are having extreme fire weather again. Its very windy, the humidity is dropping and the temperature is rising. All the Rural Fire Stations all over the State are on standby. On Wednesday we had one of these days and we ended up with a few fires. One was at Wentworth Falls not far away from here. It was started by 2 - 11 year boys playing with matches. They are in BIG trouble. It was in the bush but a lot of houses were in danger. I suppose thats what happens when you have children on school holidays and with not much to do.

Its amazing the fire season is only 6 days old and already we have had quite a lot of serious fires. One poor person has lost his house up at Port Stephens and a lot of sheds etc. have been lost also.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Christmas Decorations

These are some of my Christmas decorations that I have made and collected over the years. I love angels, sheep and Father Christmas's. The angel and Rudolf are from The Stitcher. The sheep us from JCS Christmas Ornaments from a few years ago. (I'm too lazy to go and check which issues,

And the Santa's are both from an old issue of The Stitcher.
I love both of these one is fat and the other is skinny. I usually put these out at Christmas with my growing Nutcracker Collection. Unfortunately my house is not that large and where I used to put my Christmas Tree my husband has put the computer. I'll have to get a small tree so that I can put it up on my coffee table. I usually try to decorate the house with other things. But I have to admit that I do miss my tree. Last year I made a couple of ornaments to put away for "whenever" but one of sons kept asking me for them to give away to people as presents. I had these beautiful red angels with lavender inside that he gave away. I'll have to make myself some more before Christmas this year.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Christmas Stockings

I thought that you might like to see my collection of Christmas Stockings. Each one of my sons has one. They are all from a magazine that I used to buy many years ago and I bought it for a long time. It was called Cross Stitch and Country Craft. I haven't seen it in my local newsagents for many years so I don't know if it is still published. I have actually done four stockings but I gave one away. It had a musical theme and also had gold and silver threads worked into it. Its a pity that I never took a photo of it.

This one has a bedroom theme. There are certain things in each room that I love. I love the clown doll on the bed. His hair is all French knots, along with the strings of cranberries, popcorn and cinnamon sticks .
On this one I love the rug on the floor which looks like a proper braided rug, the shaker boxes near the fire and the teddy bear. This one is the lounge room.
Now this one looks like either the library or the office. Santa has just come back from a hard nights work and is exhausted. The things I like in this one are the goose, the train set, car and the night sky.
All three stockings that I have are stockings that you really have to stop and examine. They all have things in them that are interesting and have things that make an interesting room. I love hanging them on my fire place at Christmas.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Current WIP and Views From Where I Live

This is my current WIP. I am doing "The Token" by Long Dog Samplers for my friend Karen's beautiful shop called "Dragonfly Dreams". She wants it for a "shop model". I am working it on 40ct. These two photos are near to where I live. The first one is the famous "Three Sisters". They are in a World Heritage Area and tourist come from all over the world to see them and the other photo. These photos were taken at 6.45 a.m. this morning at Echo Point Lookout. There was a little bit of mist in the Jamieson Valley below. Unfortunately they weren't looking so blue at the time just eerie . The reason they are called the Blue Mountains is because there are millions of eucalyptus trees down there. The trees emit a haze from the eucalyptus oil and when you look into the distance the mountains appear to be blue. It is also called the Blue Mountains National Park and it is quite large.

This photo is just to the right of The Three Sisters. In the distance you can see on top of the first mountain an old ruin. On top of the mountain if you click onto the photo you can see what looks like a ruin. It is called "The Ruin Castle" and I think it used to me a coal mine. All around the Blue Mountains there are lots of coal mines. Some of which are very old. I think this one is a deserted one and is used today by walkers who love to explore the many bush tracks down below in the Valley. I will try on another day to take a photo so you can see the blue mountains. Down below are nearly every type of animal that you associate Australia for e.g. kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and the most beautiful collection birds, e.g. parrots lyre birds etc.. When you stand up on the lookout on the top you can hear the most beautiful bird songs down below. Sometimes on weekends when there are a lot of tourists around there is an Aboriginal man who comes and plays his didgeridoo . It is pure magic.