Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TAST Journal Page 2

I'm very pleased to share page 2 of the stitch journal, not long organized and into the folder, phew!!  Remember, I'm not aiming to have the most creatively stitched samples in the 'class', just a simple and tidy way to have stitches ready for taking along to sewing days [you never know when someone wants to learn.........].

Week 5 had us working herringbone.  I used a Finca #16 perlé thread, and overstitched a little cross [in Glisten Gloss metallic] where the herringbone did the little cross-over thing.  I like this all-over effect, and think this would make excellent trim for cuffs on a blouse, or even a plain feature at the top of a bag.  

We then moved on to chevron, which is one stitch that I've done over and over again.  It's one of the basic stitches used in smocking.  Again I was looking for an overall effect, and again found this quite pleasing.  The thread is DMC stranded [3 strands, and 1 strand for the fillings].  I dyed this thread myself using two Dylon cold water colours.  It's a really lovely thread for 'garden' embroidery.

Moving along to week 7 - an old favourite, detached chain or lazy daisy.  The thread is #8 perlé Minnamurra, dragged out of the box after years and years in exile!!  The little centre 'flowers' were formed with the tying part of the stitch extended quite a deal.  I often use the 'fan' formation along a seam if I'm doing some crazy patchwork, with added straight stitches and beads. 

Finally, plain old continuous chain stitch, which I have to say isn't one I like all that much.  I can't give any valid reason for that.  These threads were some more that had languished in the bottom of a thread box for a number of years.  I purchased them from Ken Smith, Brisbane, and have used them from time to time for bobbin work in free machine embroidery.  I've worked rows of chain, and interlaced, just rows of chain, and some chain with double weaving/running, which actually makes a great high relief outline stitch, something I think I will use in the future. 

I hope this set of four stitches will pass for my TAST effort, and hopefully I'll do something exciting for the next page.........  I'm also preparing fabrics for some small premmie baby quilts - in between mowing, garden duties, and ferrying hubby from one paddock to the next as he's trying to plant fodder grasses.

Thank you for always offering such wonderful support.  I have passed on the good wishes to my sister.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Not quite twins

Thankfully, I've finally managed a little needlework, in the form of knitting.  Our sewing group is trying to all pitch in and make some goodies for the premmie baby wards.  I've managed to knit two little beanies, both in 4ply pink acrylic [yet more of my niece's stash].  I still have heaps left on the 100gram ball, so I shall be trying out a few little bootee patterns soon.

This is a cute little pattern, and simply changing the size of the needles is sufficient to give one a variety of beanie sizes.  I also like to change the rib.  I'm pleased I purchased a few different polystyrene balls at one stage - they come in handy for photographic props..........LOL.......

I have also started 'hunting' for fabrics which I can use to make some little coverlets.  More to come soon I hope.

I'm very happy to announce that my sister's little grandson was born late last week - both mother and baby doing very well.  Now I can post away the little cardigans!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Horses AGAIN!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry, but I still don't have anything stitched to share.  Life has taken rather a busy turn 'outside' for me, and stitching has been put aside.  But, the weekend saw us at the local horse racing, sharing the sun and the fun with well over 1000 other would-be punters.  It was a great day, hot, but most enjoyable.  I am sure the organizers would be very pleased with the turn out.  We had some 'connections' [LOL] in the last race, but sadly, not a winner, and the wallet was a little worse for wear at the end of the day.  Never mind, life goes on.  The horse in the photograph above is owned by our son, his wife, her sister and husband.  His 'stable' name is Rambo.  

This was another shot taken in the mounting yard.  Our DIL was his 'strapper' for the day, and he is trained by her sister.  I felt a little sorry for the girls, as they had to stay with the horse in the stables for the whole day while we were all 'mingling'.   We did think he had the goods, but he'd drawn the very outside barrier.  Our son didn't give him much of a chance.  I suppose you can't win 'em all. 

And, of course, as most of you know, I'm always up for a little giggle, so could not resist taking this photo.  Thankfully I snapped them early in the day before the crowd became a shoulder to shoulder mass.   These guys obviously had decided they were not interested in winning the fashions of the field, and looked like they were ready for a good day out.  Most of the people were considerably better dressed I might add!!  Hope you get a chuckle of this.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Horse Yard

It's finally finished...................  Our son and DIL have just had the finishing touches added to the round horse yard we all built late last year.  I thought readers might like to see how it has scrubbed up!!  I think they [we] all did a fantastic job for 'bush carpenters'.  It wasn't easy as each rail angle had to be measured and cut fairly precisely prior to 'Dad' doing his thing with the welder.

The rubber matting around the lower half is to prevent injuries to horses' legs.  And, of course the sand is probably there to prevent our DIL if she happens to have a fall.............  She's a very accomplished horsewoman, but as we all know, working with animals is never easy.  They had a man with a little Bobcat machine spread the sand.

They are quite proud of it, a very sturdy yard indeed.  Now, all we need is for them to breed or buy another Black Caviar [one of Australia current front runners], and those galvanized posts/rails can be gold plated..........LOL...

Thanks for always showing so much interest in all aspects of my life. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Organization at last

It's taken me days and days to get my TAST2012 samples ready for public viewing........LOL.....  I posted about my folder here, so won't go into the details of the actual construction now.  For some time I've dallied trying to decide how to display the samples in a pleasing and useful way.  In the end, I've decided to go with strong card, A4 size, protected by re-useable sleeves.  I stitched my samples in such a way so they would fit four to a page.  I have the first four samples ready to share today - they have been glued in place.

Of course, I feel such a journal needs a title page, so here it is.  Yes, I know, nothing stitched and grand, just some lettering.  I do not want to become bogged down with this challenge.  If I were to use fabric pages, I would need to do a lot more sewing, possibly using two layers of fabric per page, and insert eyelets at the sides in order to attach said pages to the rings.

Hopefully the sample close-up will help viewers to see the stitching a little better.  I have decided to try each of them worked on evenweave, as I really have never done that with these type of stitches, ie I've always used them in a more free form manner.  I am quite pleased with the result.  Some of them seem to lend themselves well to being worked en masse, and form a very nice all over pattern, and the addition of a few other simple stitches has given them a lift.  I am actually seeing them in a totally different light.  I am not paying attention to colour co-ordination either, just choosing a thread at will each week, no rhyme or reason, just because - it's rather liberating to be honest.

If you are interested in the samples being worked by others, you can visit http://www.pintangle.com/journal/category/take-a-stitch-tuesday  and take yourself on a creative web hop.  There are some wonderful examples being worked, so creative, and inspiring.  I believe the TAST2012 challenge boasts in excess of 500 participants, so it has obviously caught the attention of many stitchers worldwide.  I can't believe tomorrow will be Week 7.  I won't be posting samples every week, only when I have a group of four ready to share, so please bear with me. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fantastic Friday

Okay, yes, I know today is Saturday, but yesterday I had a good day, and thought I'd share my reasons for this enthusiasm.  Goodness, I've found very little of it lately, so have to capture it while it lasts.  Yesterday I received a beautiful ATC from a friend and fellow blogger, Katherine, as well as a super handmade card.  The ATC is so lovely, thank you Katherine for your kindness.  If you have not seen Katherine's blog, please take a peek.  She is a very busy young woman, running a tight ship [her family life], working, and still managing to stitch, make preserves, have a garden, make soap.............I honestly can't keep up with her.

Continuing along with the fun, I managed a few bargains in town yesterday.  SHOES!!!!!!  Yes, SHOES!!!!!!!  I'd been seeing racks of discount shoes at one of the stores but hadn't had a moment to go in and have a snoop.  Well, I could have come home with lots more, but felt I should be a little realistic, and only have three to show..............LOL.......  The three pairs cost less than the cost of any one of them.  I do know the 'special' is genuine, as a little sad note is the imminent closure of the store - economic hard times and health problems.

I didn't like to have all the fun, and was armed with a 'sale' promotion for Mitre 10.  My husband likes a certain type of container for storage purposes outside - too many things he'd rather not have mice running over!!  Of course, he's a very organized person, as you can see by the tools all hanging neatly along the wall, the whiteboard with 'notes to self', so he will use the container wisely.  He was very happy that it came home with 40% off the marked price.  So now we both have something for Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hell hath no fury!!

I am sorry to yet again report major flooding in many parts of our State, and into Northern New South Wales [photo courtesy Courier Mail].  It seems that Mother Nature is not amused, and feels the need to give someone a serve.  At present the town of St George to the south west of us is watching and waiting.  Most of the townsfolk were evacuated early in the week, and it seems they will not be allowed home for a number of days.  The floodwater in these low lying floodplains takes days to arrive, stays up for days, and days to flow on down the system.  The towns of Roma and Mitchell to the north [of St George] are now cleaning up from their share of the water.  I feel sadness for these people.  Thankfully, despite our river eventually becoming 'their river', we have not had the flow of water, as the rain fell in different catchments.  We did, however, have an overnight fall in excess of 8 inches, which of course has now gone, and added to the woes further south west!!

I have not been stitching so much in the last week or so, as there is bookwork to be done, and I have been called upon at times to help outside [damaged fencing, straying cattle].  

Thank you all for the lovely comments on our wedding photo.  I do appreciate your continuing support.  I am hoping to get back to some serious stitching tomorrow. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Have a Laugh.............

............at me/us.  A friend has given me the courage to add this photograph.  I think I did mention that my hubby and I had an anniversary last month - 41 years, so I thought some readers might enjoy a little giggle at two kids setting out on life's journey.

I honestly don't know what ever possessed me to have long sleeves and a high collar for a January wedding in Queensland!!  It was a very hot day I do remember that.  It seems I had a penchant for bling way back then [the tiara].  I don't remember 'getting my own way' very much at all, but I do remember that my mother sanctioned the wearing of silver shoes.  She made my dress, of course, and the bridesmaids.  And, I have to tell you, the 'going away' outfit had long sleeves and a high collar as well...............what was I thinking!!!  I actually still wear sleeves and highish necklines.  I also remember being 'allowed' to have the wedding at 5.30pm, despite there being a number of dairy farmers who would be attending - cows must have had an early milking that day.

There are two things that make me ponder about days past when I see this.  Number one, you will see the tea cup.  Yes, our meal was served with tea or coffee, brought around by the ladies who catered.  They served it via those ginormous teapots.  Can you imagine that being allowed today???  One would have to go and do a TAFE course in tea serving, not to mention first aid, and......, well, it simply wouldn't be allowed.  By the way, nobody was scalded..................LOL.

I also remember that ash trays were part of the table settings and people were permitted to smoke, ie they did not have to slink off into the dull of night to do so.  Now, I do not smoke, never have, and do not judge those who do.  I am just making a statement about the way things have changed, public opinions, that sort of thing.  It seems there are more and more rules, and people don't seem to want to be responsible for themselves and the choices they make, be it avoiding smoke, alcohol, gambling.  Just a thought.

One final memory and I'm done with it.  We had 224 adults and 36 children at our wedding.  In those days you asked all of your relatives, aunts/uncles/cousins, whether you liked them or not...............LOL........   Weddings must have really been in vogue then, as the one we attended on our first anniversary was #14 for the year!!!!  I don't think I've been to 14 in the 40 years since.  Hope this brings a smile to some.