Friday 19 July 2013

A Red Pixie!

Hello friends - I just wanted to do a quick post to let you see what I've been up to these past few days!

I know that many of you are familiar with Chrissie's blog, but for those of you who aren't - I would urge you to have a look here. Chrissie did a fantastic review recently on Caroline Zoob's beautiful book 'The Hand-Stitched Home', which really got me excited - so much so that I went out searching for the book, with success - only difference being mine is the paper-back copy - it has the same content but a different cover!

So, jump a couple of posts forward and Chrissie then showed some lovely work she'd been doing from the Doodle Stitching books by Aimee Ray! This time I thought I'd better hold the reins a bit tighter on my 'pocket money' but, lo and behold, just happened to be in a book shop - in the creativity end - and found the latest in the series, entitled 'Doodle Stitching Embroidery & Beyond! Well you know what comes next don't you! I couldn't resist, and it was so reasonably priced too!!!

So I've been quite busy trying out, what is for me, a new style of 'stitchery' and just loving it. It's so free and easy and relaxing - which is such a good thing I think! You want to see?

This is called Redwork Embroidery, simple and easy and been used decoratively for generations! I did so enjoy working on this one which is a sampler panel from the Doodles book. See the unworked panel below? I think Pixie and hedgehog friend are so cute sheltering from the rain! Maybe they're in Australia at the moment - we are having plenty of the wet stuff hammering down on us!

The blue teapot and friends are from Caroline Zoob's book, and this was the first that I 'tackled'. Very casual straight stitching!

And the leaves - certainly not perfect, with at least one of the French Knots having jumped around a bit - I swear I didn't put it there! But it was a good practice run before I get a bit more serious!
Looking more closely I can see that the thread has loosened up a bit on that knot - need a bit more practice then? Yes, I think so too!

On a completely different note - my spring onions have gone to seed, and obviously this little bee is loving it!

So there we have it for this time my lovely friends!
I hope that your week has been a good one and that you have some nice plans for the next couple of days or so!

Thank you so much for dropping by and for your lovely encouraging messages - I just love getting them! And special thanks to lovely Chrissie xo!

Joy xo

Monday 15 July 2013

A Hanging Tree!

Hello at last - gosh it seems to have taken forever to get around to working on a new post! I've been keeping in touch with most of you through my visits to your places, but couldn't seem to get around to doing my own little write-up!

I suppose you're wondering about  the title - 'A Hanging Tree' - what does that mean? The mind boggles! Well, it's about this strange looking example of mother nature doing her own thing! We spotted it whilst having a picnic by the Kalgan River, in the Albany vicinity - just yesterday in fact! This clever tree has grown out of the bank of the river - and look at that huge knobbly lump - poor thing is a bit disfigured isn't it! It must have survived for years!

I haven't been idle all this time - here's a little look at what's kept me out of mischief these past two - or is it nearly three - weeks! 
As you can see the hexes are multiplying but still a long way to go! I was enjoying the little circle I showed you last time - just hanging around on the dining table - but felt that something bigger was calling me, so I forge on with them ... ... ...

And in between times I made up a little bunting to hang in the bedroom of two sweet little girls who we are fortunate to have as neighbours - along with their lovely parents of course!
This pattern was in Simply Crochet, issue 4 on page 78, under the title Chunky Knits, but I did them in 8ply so they are quite dainty. It was a day when I just had to have some bright colour so - a little bit of bunting seemed to fit the bill; you know the feeling, I'm sure!

AND I took delivery of some gorgeous new yarn about two weeks ago! The elder of my two daughters - thank you lovely Tracy - bought me a gift voucher, for Mother's Day, to spend on yarn here - and yes, I know it's a few weeks since Mother's Day, but I had to resist the temptation for a while so that I could make progress with some of my UFO's! 
If your home is in Australia then I'm sure you will have heard of Bendigo Woollen Mills, and for those of you who are over the ocean and far away I will just mention that they do ship overseas. Anyway, BWM recently brought out a new yarn which they call Stellar, and it's 50% bamboo and 50% wool - such a beautiful easy to work with yarn - and although they do it in 8ply I thought I'd give the 12ply a try. The results have pleased me for it's such a cosy warming yarn for this time of year and being  thicker, it worked up very quickly too!
I think that the experience of playing around with little crochet projects has given me a bit of confidence regarding colour so I was quite happy to turn this self-coloured pattern into a stripy affair. Notice how adventurous I was in working the stripes for the back differently to those of the fronts! I really love this jacket/cardi! What do you think? Do you think I've become too bold and flashy?

I thought you might like another little peek at our little Pika - this time before and after her clip!
See? From grumpy looking to happy again! Don't we all enjoy a new hair-do!

Now I must say a few words about my new book - no I'm not doing a review on it for if you go here you'll find that the lovely Chrissie has already done so - in fact Chrissie's write-up is the reason why I bought the book: 'The Hand-Stitched Home' by Caroline Zoob - I was so thoroughly impressed with her review and the projects that she has already completed from it that I went off and bought a copy of it for myself. Such a wonderful book but although I don't quite have any completed projects to show you this time, it did start me thinking about a little embroidery thing that I did a few years ago - a good few years ago actually - for my dear Mum who has since passed over! It's a little cover for a telephone number notebook which I 'free-embroidered' on my sewing machine. Caroline Zoob doesn't necessarily cover this subject in her book, but her free style hand embroidery strongly reminded me of my little project. My Mum really loved dolphins, hence this theme! And inside the cover you can see MUM - but I don't claim to have free sewn that - my clever machine does the alphabet for me. Do you know, it's so long since I did this that I can't even remember how I did it. Just let's you see how much I've neglected my lovely machine! Shame on me! But I can't do everything at the one time can I - I'll get back it one of these days!

There is more regarding this little book cover that I'd like to share with you, my dear blogger friends, and it's very special! 
My Dad passed over two years or so ago, so 'things' had to be sorted out - hence the reason for me having this little gift back with me! I had looked at it a couple of times before today and was so pleased to have it, but then this morning when I decided to take a closer look at the little book, I had the most amazing surprise: Dad had started to use it himself and I found, tucked away inside the cover - $50! No, such an amount of money is not a lot these days, but it was like a present directly from heaven for me, and I really whooped with excitement  - I feel very emotional just telling you! I don't know how I didn't see it there before now! I will spend it on a lovely little keepsake I think - what would you do?

Now I will finish with a gorgeous flower - the name of which remains hidden from my knowledge, and wish you all a very happy week filled with all the activities you enjoy best!

Joy xo