Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone

Hi everyone, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a lovely New Year. I hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow and are able to spend time with their families. I also hope Santa will be kind to us all. Or as the Butcher told me yesterday, "Be Kind to Santa" LOL.

Well as you can see I am now in the home straight with Lois. I just have to finish the rose in the right hand corner. Do another butterfly over one next to it, finish the border and then work my Mum's name down the bottom. I decided to put my Mums full maiden name, where she was born in Sydney and also her date of birth. This is nearly all done over one. I have to do all the over ones during the day as I can see it better (must be getting old LOL).

So hopefully when I next post I will be finished as I will also be able to show your some work on Elizabeth Cox. Elizabeth is I think going to keep me occupied for a little while as there is a lot of speciality stitches in it. I also have to do some more work on Beatrix Potter seeing how I have joined the SAL for her. I have worked out if I do one large motif or 2 small motifs I will be on track with everybody else. Mine is half done.

Well again, have a Merry Christmas and I hope you all get to do some more stitching.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I took 2 photos of Elizabeth Welfare that I framed the other day. She is hanging in my Dining Room which comes off the Kitchen. I have a small wall that is covered in cork for some reason that I have never figured out and Elizabeth is hanging there. I was having trouble with the curtains letting in light and reflections so I have posted both photos. She does look lovely hanging there. Don't know how much longer the cork will be there.

I decided to take a break from blogging for a while. I seemed to be always on the computer and I was having trouble with my eyes so I restricted my self to just reading my emails occasionally.

Lois Minshall is coming along nicely. In fact I don't have that my much to do. I hopefullyt should finish her by the end of the month. I have to sit down and work out my mothers maiden name and DOB to put on her.

I decided to do the border which I always find a right pain. It is such a relief when it all joins up the right way.

This is my next project. It is called Elizabeth Cox from The Scarlet Letter. I first saw this one a few years ago when it was in the antique stage. When I saw the name I knew that if I could find it I would buy it as my Grandmother was a Cox. Also my Mum's middle name is Elizabeth. How knows, there could be a connection.

When I found that my second favourite needlework shop had imported to Australia, well what can I say. She is now MINE. This one though is going to be a right challenge. Not only does it have cross stitch, over one and two, but wait for it, it also has long and short stitch, satin stitch, French knots and stem stitch used as a filling stitch. I think this one will be a right challenge.

On the domestic front my son passed his driving test on the first go. He was also offered a job in Sydney which he has taken and now spends the week living with my Dad and Sister. He comes home on weekends.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Beautiful Roses

Aren't these beautiful. This is one of my favourite roses called Monsieur Tillier and it is a Tea Rose. I love old fashion roses and have quite a few in my garden (or my jungle as my DH calls it LOL). I have always loved this rose as it changes all the time. Currently it is this colour but as the season progresses it will be a darker pink. At the moment it looks as if it has been dipped into tea. Absolutely glorious.

The beautiful doily on my table was made by my dear Mother-in-Law. She was a very talented lady with a crochet hook. She passed away in 2000 and she made me some beautiful doilies that I cherish.

I have all these beautiful roses coming out at the moment. Last weekend was the 1st Anniversary of our Mum leaving us. I think all these roses are her way of saying that she is ok and happy. I know that she used to love this particular rose and my bush which is quite large is full of them at the moment.

Last weekend I picked a beautiful posy of all the beautiful spring flowers that I had in my garden. My Mum used to do the most beautiful floral work and used to enter in a lot of shows etc. with her arrangements. She taught me how to make posies a long time ago and I enjoy making them on special occasions. As Mum doesn't have a grave for us to visit, this is our way to letting her know that we are thinking of her. In fact I think of her every day. Sometimes I have some interesting conversations with her. One way of course LOL. If I ever got a reply though I think I would freak out.

Well, as you can see I haven't done that much on Lois. I have been busy doing some secret stitching with my friend Karen and also driving. One of my sons is going for his drivers licence in a few weeks. They have to have a certain number of hours recorded in a log book that they give them before they can go for their licence. My son has done the required number of hours and has booked his test. We are still going on little practice trips, so sometimes I am away for 2 hours at a time. Eats into my stitching time. God I hope he passes then I won't have to drop every thing every day to go and pick him up. So please cross your fingers for him.

It's very windy in the mountains today. There is a total fire ban up here and in Sydney. I believe it is going to get up to 38 degrees later in the day. I have to go to Penrith this afternoon so I'm sure the heat will get me. Anyway, tomorrow it is supposed to be raining so hopefully it will cool down.

Well I hope you all have a lovely week end and if you celebrate Halloween, I hope you have a lovely time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I'm sorry that I have had a big gap in blogging, but as usual life gets in the way. Since my last post I really haven't done that much on Lois, but I am starting to get into the swing of her.

One of the reasons I couldn't post is because my youngest son ended up in hospital for 3 days with Pneumonia. Unfortunately for him it was the start of the school holidays so he hasn't missed any school LOL. He is going ok. He has been on 2 courses of anti biotics and has to have another chest X-Ray in another 2 weeks to see if it has cleared up.

So this is my current progress on Lois. I still think she is beautiful. There have been a lot of over ones. Some of you have asked if I have trouble doing it and also if I do cross stitch or tent stitch when I do it. I actually do cross stitch. I also find I can do it easier during the day. I do have a magnifier, but usually during the day all I need is my glasses. I must admit though that doing over 1 is much easier on 32ct than on 40 ct.

I have also made a couple of necklaces while I have been absent without leave LOL. Jewellery wise there are 2 things that I really love. That is pearls and cameos. (I have already posted a photo of 2 cameo pearl necklaces that I love last year).

The first one is a string of Lapis Lupis that my parents gave me as a birthday present a long time ago. The same with the cameo. One day I was sitting looking at them, thinking now that would work if I put them together. Anyway I think it works ok and everytime that I wear it I always get admiring comments.

The third one is a Wedgewood pendant that I bought on my first trip to England when I was young, rich and single. (Now I am married and poor LOL). It was originally on a silver chain and I never wore it so it is now on pearls and I also wear it quite alot.

Now the middle one is very special. On one of my trips to the Medici Chapel in Florence there was an old lady who was supposed to be 80 years old. She was a minaturist and was painting a small portion of the figures that were on the ceiling on a small piece of ivory, which was quite amazing. She was also selling minature portraits. They are also painted on ivory and can be worn as a brooch or as a pendant. I fell in love with them and bought this one. I used to wear it as a brooch for a long time, but I decided to turn it into a necklace. This is the result.

I was told that the original was supposed to be painted by Michelangelo. She is supposed to be one of his girlfriends, but I think they were pulling my leg LOL. Anyway I don't care who painted the original as I have always loved wearing her.

If you love reading Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters, can I recommend Elizabeth Gaskell to you. What a writer. She is brilliant. Some of these books I have had for a lot of years and they were on my "to read" list. I started reading Cranford which is a collection of stories that the BBC have made into one of their brilliant series.

The second book I started reading was Ruth. What a brilliant book. I started reading it while my son was in hospital and couldn't put it down. (Luckily he was sleeping a lot at the time LOL). I am now reading Mary Barton. Both Mary and Ruth help you understand life in the early 19th century.

Elizabeth Gaskell was the wife and also daughter of a Minister (funny how Jane Austen and also the Bronte's fathers were all ministers). After a great tragedy in her life with the loss of her baby son she started writing. She started writing about things she knew a lot about re life in Manchester and also the unfairness of the way women were treated.

She became friends with Charles Dickens and wrote stories for his magazine and she also became really good friends with Charlotte Bronte. She was asked by the Bronte family to write Charlotte's biography.

If you would like to read any of her books and have trouble finding some of them trying looking in second hand book shops. That is where I found some of my harder to find books.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick Update on Lois

This is just a quick update on Lois. Isn't she beautiful. I'm stitching her on 40ct and as you can see there is a lot of over one in it. I find that its better for me if I do this during the day.

I love the colour scheme of this sampler. Besides the verse in this photo the rose bud is also worked over one.

It's amazing when you are tired and work on a sampler (which is something I really mustn't do). When I started working on the wave pattern above the verse I had either the pattern or the colour upside down and you guessed it. I misread one of the symbols. Anyway to cut a long story short. The wave pattern should be blue with the same symbol facing the other way and it ended up being worked in grey. I decided that I quite liked the grey so I kept it there (or in other words, I couldn't be bothered undoing it LOL Shhhh).

Yesterday, I decided to have what I call a "bliss" day, where I would sit and watch the second part of a DVD that I had been enjoying and that I would also sit and stitch. I watched my second DVD of "Wives and Daughters" and happily stitched the bell flower over one. It was 3 hours of pure heaven. I didn't have to go and pick anybody up and take them anywhere.

Well I better go and do some of the dreaded housework. My eldest son and Daughter-in-Law are coming to spend the night so I had better get on and do some work. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Looks like we are here. Spring is here. I have forget-me-nots everywhere and my blue bells are starting to open. Heaven.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Dance Time

I finished Elizabeth last week, but wanted to wait till I had visited my Dad for Father's Day to take a few photo's of "The GG Grandmothers". I had the photo's on the computer but lost them when our computer crashed. Silly me also deleted the photos off the camera. Darn.

Elizabeth is my GGG Grandmother on my Mum's side of the family. Her daughter was Lois Kimber below. I decided to do this series of samplers with family names on them for my Mum. She was quite ill at the time and unfortunately spent most of her time sitting in her beautiful bedroom. Mum had a few of my samplers around the walls of her bedroom and they were all greatly admired by one and all. Lois was above her bed.

Lois's daughter was Jane Stevenson and she was my beloved Great Grandmother. Unfortunately for me her daughter my Grandmother passed away a few months before I was born on my Mum's birthday from Breast Cancer. So my G Grandmother was a huge influence in my life. I think I got my love of England and all things English from her. I remember I used to spend a lot of time with her as my Mum was quite ill when I was young. My G Grandmother taught me to knit and I think I also got my love of needlework from her.

Unfortunately, the sampler is only a small one as I wanted to give it to my Mum for Mother's Day and I didn't have time to do a large one befitting someone so important in my live. Anyway, my Mum loved both of them appreciated all the work that went into them.

I just have to find a beautiful sampler now to dedicate to my Grandmother Annie.

With Beatrix I have finished another 2 motifs and started a third. I think this will be a sampler that comes out every now and then.

I have started working on Lois Minshall which is really beautiful. I wanted to start this as I want to dedicate it to my Mum and as the 1st anniversary of her passing is coming up next month the time to do it is now.

The say on Lois is -

A Mother's Love, how dear the name,
What bliss unfolds it sacred power
Then ever may its fairest flame,
Illume my evry given hour.

To all my friends that I have made in the US I just want to say that you are all in my thoughts on the anniversary of this terrible day. I remember waking up the next morning and hearing about this tragedy. We hastily turned the TV on and the whole household sat in shocked disbelief at what was happening.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The End is Near

Well, as you can see Elizabeth is nearly finished. I just need to do one more motif and then it is "happy dance time". The motif that I have to do is the same as the one on the other side. I scrolled down my blog to find out when I started this sampler. Looks like I started it in the middle of June, so it has taken me around two and a half months to complete. Not bad.

I thought that I had better finish Beatrix Potter before I start on another sampler. I am around half way with it. I had better get back into the swing of stitching over one again. I don't mind doing that as I find the samplers are much finer and there's always the hanging room factor LOL.

I had a great time in book shops recently. I love classic novels and I found these ones that I have been after. I used to have The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, but my eldest son loved his books. When he moved out before he got married they all went with him and I am trying to get my youngest son to read them. I also found one of Alexander Dumas's books that I didn't know about. It is called "The Last Cavalier" and is a lost book that was found in the National Library in Paris around 2005.

The other two books are by Elizabeth Gaskell. I have always loved "Wife's and Daughters" and have been looking out for North and South and Cranford for quite awhile. My local book shop which is a really good independent book shop had them on my weekend visit, so I bought them. Now I just have to find time to sit down and enjoy them. What with samplers, blogging and the dreaded housework, it will take me awhile to get through them all. Oh and I still have a lot of Charles Dickens books to read as well. What is a girl to do.

After a couple of lovely Spring days it has turned cold and it is also raining. We need the rain but I could do without the cold.

I hope that everyone has a lovely week and weekend. Next time I post Elizabeth should be finished.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2 Lovely Awards

I have received 2 lovely Awards - Brillante Weblog and also I Love Your Blog Award from MJ at Sampler Stitcher.

Thank you so much for the awards. I really appreciate being given these awards. It is really nice to know that other people appreciate the work that you do.

I have to nominate some people whose blogs that I enjoy reading and who also inspire me. The trouble for me is that I do not know who to pick. Everybody whose blogs that are on the right hand side of my blog do that, so I nominate all of you lovely ladies.

I am currently having a hair pulling time putting this post together. I wanted to put the award below up with the other one but this stupid computer won't do it. My computer expert (13 year old) is too busy chatting away to his mate to come and help me. This is what I call an AHHHH moment.

Now back to normality, thank you again I really appreciate it. Last year when I started blogging I never thought that I would met such lovely ladies from all over the world and also that they liked my work.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Strawberries Are Very Addictive

Over the weekend I made something that I have always liked and have always wanted to have a go at making. I made myself some strawberry pincushions and I found them quite addictive. I made 8. 4 of them have emery powder and the other four have just wadding. 2 are covered with golden beads and the rest are just covered with 3 running stitches. I think they are lovely.

I found the pattern a long time ago on the Martha Stewart website. I hope the link works.

Some of them have different shaped tops as I felt like being a bit different. They are so easy to make. All of mine are made by hand. In other words I didn't use the sewing machine.

As you can see Kitty is now called Elizabeth Welfare, 1806, Sussex. Elizabeth was my GGG Grandmother and she continues my collection of samplers dedicated to my Grandmothers. When I finish her I will group the other 2 samplers that I have done so you can see them.

I really haven't done that much as I haven't been feeling very well over the last week. I have one of those backs that if I sneeze the wrong way I end up in agony. The past week was one of those occasions. I haven't done much stitching or been on the computer for long as I couldn't sit for long periods were I was comfortable.

My Hestera Harmer pattern arrived on Friday, so she is all kitted up and ready to go. I have worked out that I have around 7 large samplers that I have kitted up that I want to do. I don't know where I am going to put them. Maybe I will have to buy a bigger house LOL. Don't tell my DH.

Over the last few weeks I have met another lovely lady in blogland. Her name is Joan and her blog is called My Place...My Little Place?

If you have a few moments to spare, please stop by and welcome her to blog land.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kitty Update

This an update on Kitty. I decided to travel down to the bottom and do that before I do the other side. Kitty still looks lovely and I am enjoying working on her. The right hand side is a mirror image of the left hand side. I have decided to call her Elizabeth, so she will soon be known as Elizabeth Welfare, Sussex, 1806.

I have 2 pages of my book to go, so hopefully I will finish her in 2-3 weeks. Below is a close up of the bottom section.

My DH is suffering from a serious sprained wrist (just joking). I have ordered Hestera Harmer from America and I hope it will come sometime this week. I'm still pretty sure that I am related to her which I find quite interesting. It was one of those charts that I just had to have.

On the medical front, I spent a few hours up at the local hospital with my youngest son. He was doing swimming for sport, (now don't laugh). He was swimming along happily with his eyes closed and crashed into the wall of the pool and broke his nose, damaged his cheek bones and ended up with mild concussion. Thankfully it could have been worse and now besides having a sore nose and a slight headache, he is ok. The Doctors at the hospital wanted to know if he was training for the Olympics. One of his brothers wasn't at all sympathetic and told him that he was always calling "Big Nose" from "The Life of Brian" for years.

It's been very cold in the mountains over the last few days. We woke up this morning with a light dusting of snow everywhere. It started to snow yesterday afternoon. My DH was playing golf in it. But the sun has come out so hopefully it will start to warm up soon.

Well that's all for now. Thank you for dropping by and for leaving your lovely comments. It is really lovely to think that someone appreciates your work.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hestera Harmer 1843 Sampler

Last Night I downloaded The Attic's Newsletter and their "Sampler of the Month" and there is a photo of this most beautiful sampler above. It is called Hestera Harmer 1843 by Queenstown Sampler Designs and when I read the name I thought to myself, "That's interesting", as I have a GGG Grandmother whose maiden name was Ann Harmer. Then when I read that she came from Sussex, I thought now "that is really interesting" and I think that somewhere along the line I am related to Hestera.

I know that Hestera's parents were John and Jane Harmer and that my Ann's parents were William and Mary Harmer. I have previously discovered that all the Harmer's on the Sussex line all go back to the mid 15th century to a John Harmer. I think that Hestera and my Ann are related. I haven't found out if they are cousins or Aunt or Neice yet, but I am following this story with interest.

I can see that I will have to do a bit of arm twisting to see if I can send to America to purchase this truly beautiful chart to add to my collection. All I can say is that I have fallen in love with this beautiful sampler.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I was going to post these last week, but with one thing and another I never got there. These are a few of the lovely things that my Sister bought back from her trip OS. From Paris she bought me a beautiful pair of earrings. From Venice she bought me a gondola charm (which I just noticed you can't see) for one of my Pandora bracelets. While in London she went to the Cath Kidston shop and bought me one of her book bags in a beautiful blue print.

This is the gondola charm amongst my collection of charms. I really love my Pandora bracelets. The only trouble is when I wear them on the same wrist, after awhile my wrist starts to ache. I know, I know what you are thinking "Why wear them both on the same wrist?" It's just sometimes I like to wear them together. Not all the time though. LOL.

Aren't these earrings pretty? They have little blue flowers up the top that look like Forget-me-Nots and also each earring has a small blue stone on the top. They are silver with a enamel wash over the silver. Very pretty.

As I have previously told you she went to an exhibition in Paris on Marie-Antoinette. She bought me the above Pill Box and Ruler. She thought that I may be able to put them into my sewing box. She has also bought me a few other things which I will receive for my for the rest of the family.

Last Friday was my Mum's 78th birthday. My Dad, Sister and I decided that because Mum doesn't have a grave at the present time and we can't go and visit her there on her birthday, that we would each buy a bunch of beautiful flowers each and place them in our homes, as we feel that she is around us all. My Mum truly loved flowers and had the most beautiful (still does) gardens.

When I saw the above sampler called Lois Minshall 1832 from Threads of Gold I mentioned to my friend Joanie from Joanie's World that I had seen this beautiful sampler and that I would love to do with my Mum's name on it. It turned out that Joanie had the graph and kindly sent it to me. Thank you I really love this sampler. I have kitted it up and I am planning to start working her probably after I finish Kitty Biggs.

Talking of Kitty Biggs this is my progress. I really haven't done that much since my last post. I haven't been feeling too well over the last week with some sort of virus . Also with the very cold weather we have been having I have discovered that I have been having trouble holding the needle with one of my fingers. It has the dreaded Arthritis in it. It's something that I am unfortunately full of. I think I'm starting to take over from my Mum as she used to have a lot of problems with it. I think I need to move to a warmer climate. Don't tell my DH. He would have the For Sale sign out the front quicker than you could say "Goodness, it's cold!". LOL.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blogging Award

Suzanne at Squazi and the Chicken and my friend Joanie from Joanie's World have nominated me for a Kreativ Award.

It is really lovely to be nominated and to know that what you do is enjoyed and appreciated by other people.

According to the rules I have to nominate and link my blog with 5 other blogs that I enjoy visiting. The problem I have is I can't seem to pick 5 as I enjoy visiting all the cross stitch blogs that I have listed on the right hand side of my blog. All of you ladies are so talented.

I asked my 13 year old DS if he could put the award on my blog for me but unfortunately he doesn't know how to do it. I think I will have to try an older DS. Unfortunately he lives in Sydney, so I think I am up a creek without a paddle.

Hopefully tomorrow morning I will be able to up date my blog with photo's of the lovely things my Sister bought back for me. I tried to do it this morning but I had trouble finding where 13 yo DS had put the plug for the camera. Anyway that is a long story for another time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book with Pattern for Kitty Biggs

Louise wanted to know the name of the book that I am working Kitty Biggs from. It is a book called Australian Needlework - Cross Stitch, Counted Thread and Canvaswork - series Editor Jennifer Sanders. It is published by Lothian Publishing Company P/L and was published in 1993. I don't know if it is still available as I have had mine for a long time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kitty a/a Elizabeth

Just thought I'd let you know that I am still here and I haven't fallen off my perch yet LOL. This is my slow progress on Kitty Biggs also known as Elizabeth Welfare. I really haven't done that much over the last couple of weeks, but she is slowly moving along.

She is really quite pretty as she is stitched mainly in golds and turquoise shades. Along with the cross stitch there is also a lot of satin stitch which really moves it along quite fast. I love the border as the flowers have satin stitch surrounded by cross stitch.

I have been quite busy over the last few weeks. My Dad came up for a few days while my sister was away and we went for a couple of lovely drives. On one of the days my DH took the day off work and we went for a drive out to Bathurst. It happened to be a day were we had snow, so my Dad was excited to see it. We didn't have much in Katoomba, but there was a lot in the pine forests on the way to Bathurst. The snow looked quite beautiful among all the trees. Unfortunately I forgot the camera.

On the next day Dad and one of my sons and i went for a trip down to Richmond, where my Dad's family originally came from. We went on a gravestone search looking for my GGG Grandparents and we had a lot of success. I knew where they were buried in Richmond and I had tried to find these graves at the beginning of the year when I went to a funeral where these particular graves are. Unfortunately after a quick look in the rain, my DH and I gave up and decided that we would come back another day. It is seemed the appropriate place to go for a drive while Dad was here. He was the one who found them and it made his day.

this house in Richmond is where my Dad's G Grandparents lived and it was also where they started the family business. A business that went for over 100 years until my Dad and Uncle had to retire early.

In the travels with my Sister, she comes home on Thursday after a lovely time in Paris, Venice and England. I believe she is having trouble closing her suitcase LOL. I wonder what goodies she is bringing home. I hope to travel down to see her and my Dad on the weekend, so I will let you know. I know a couple of the things she has bought and I know that they are lovely.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Computer is Back

After a lot more drama we now have our computer back and I can start putting photos on my blog again. It's good to have it back.

While I have been without this particular computer I have been busy working on a few samplers. I seem to have 3 of them on the go. It's something that I don''t usually like to do as I usually do one at a time, but what the heck I now have 3. The one above is the one the keep talking to me, telling me that she wanted to be done. Her name is Kitty Bigg and she is from a book that I have on Australian samplers. But they think in the book that she was actually worked in England. The original is in a Museum in Sydney. She is quite pretty as she is in the golden tones with hints of turquoise throughout. I am doing her on 40ct Antique White. Below is a photo of the original.

One thing with her though is that it is pretty certain that she is going to have a name change. Her name is probably going to be Elizabeth Welfare who was my GGG Grandmother on my Mum's side. She will continue the tradition that I started with a couple of my samplers that I did for my Mum being named after Grandmothers.

This is my progress on Sarah Moon. Sarah was one of those samplers that I fell in love with when I first saw her. My only problem with her is that I wish that I was doing her on 40ct instead of 32ct. 40ct wasn't available when I first started doing her.
This is my progress on Beatrix Potter. Another sampler that I fell in love with. Beatrix is over one on 32ct. Unfortunately I haven't touched her for a couple of weeks.

Well my Sister has had a lovely timee in Paris. She celebrated her birthday by spending up BIG. Can't wait to see what she has bought.

She rang me on Saturday all excited to tell me that she had gone to the Marie Antoinette Exhibition and got caught in this LONG line waiting to go in. Everyone was grumbling about having to stand around when she suddenly saw a small group of people going through. A lot of the people were complaining about how come these people got to push in in front of them all.

When she looked at the woman she knew why. It turned out to be Queen Margarite of Denmark and her husband Prince Heinrich with a small party. It was one Queen visiting another Queen. Anyway, it made my Sisters day.

Today, she flies over to England for a few days before flying to Venice for a week. Some people have it rough.