Saturday, 30 June 2018

Blog #70 - Christmas is Coming

Wednesday,  20 December 2017
In addition to the Sampler exhibition,
also set up a "mini" Christmas display
in one of the rooms in what will one day be my new Needlework Gallery.
When setting up the Christmas display
I realised that I had only stitched two new Christmas designs
during the past year:

Both  -  JBW Designs
Design Title:  Tidings of Joy
Design Code:  JBW 311
Price:  $21.50

Design Title:  French Country  -  Santa
Design Code:  JBW 310
Price:  $17.50

In addition to being able to purchase the lovely little design above,
the little hornbooks are also available -
Description:  JBW Hornbook
Design Code:  KELM:HORN
Price:  $27.50
Pictured below are the finished pieces -
Tidings of Joy
French Country - Santa
(Note:  This design stitched over one fabric thread)

This revelation inspired me to stitch some new designs for Christmas 2018
and so began stitching some tiny stockings - also designed by JBW Designs.
Design Title:  Petite French Stockings
Design Code:  JBW 270
Price:  $15.00
But - as per usual - I opted for different fabric and thread colourings
to those of the original design.
Another task I have been doing this month is advising of our new email address,
due to Vodafone deciding to no longer provide an email service.

What a headache!  And such a mammoth task!!
I wish I could charge Vodafone for the hours it has taken to do this.
Plus - the change has meant all our current letterheads,
thank you notes, gift vouchers, business cards, brochures, etc.
now have an incorrect email address on them.
And too, all my printed needlework designs.
A very costly exercise to replace everything.
Once again I wish I could charge these expenses to Vodafone!
Another disruption caused with the change of email address
is that EVERY page of my website had the incorrect email address on it.
Hundreds of pages.
Thus, I enlisted the help of my granddaughter once college had finished for the year
to create a single page with all our current contact details on it,
delete the old address/contact details from every page
and then link every page to the new contact page.
A great help - and she was happy with the pocket money.
Another impact of the email change
is that I have to change all the "masters" of EVERY needlework design
& create a new pdf file for each one for printing.
As yet done any of this work.
Here are new email addresses:
Enough of my woes.
On a happier note, this is a very special time of year  -  Christmas.
Sincerely wishing you a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.
May this time be filled with happy memories and blessed with all good things.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Blog #69 - More Exhbition Photos ....

Tuesday,  5 December 2017

As advised in my last blog, here are photos of other pieces of needlework
that were displayed during the 'Letters of the Alphabet' exhibition
held over three weekends in the month of November.
Below are some of Gigi's designs - Les Bells Lettres de Gigi.
In this series, in the centre of each design is a letter
and dotted all around this letter are the same letter
in various sizes and styles of script, plus motifs
that have been used in needlework piece throughout the centuries
dotted around and amongst the different sized and styled letters.
Really gorgeous!
All designs for the letters (excepting: Q,  U,  W,  X,  Y  and  Z)
are available from the Needlework Gallery.
$36.50  each
Joy Hurford  -  Havelock North
Mary Dixon  -  Hastings
Andrea Darroch  -  Taradale
Note:  Both of these pieces have been stitched over one fabric thread!

Margo McLennon  -  Hastings
Sharon Gordon  -  Napier
Sharon is also stitching her letter design over one fabric thread
The other series of needlework pieces on display were our 2016 Mystery Sampler project -
Family Quaker Sampler.
It was amazing to see the difference in each of the samplers
due to the choices made by the needleworker -
fabric colour, thread colour, choice of motifs
and choice as to whether to stitch just initials of family members or their full names.
The original design  (stitched over one fabric thread)

Lesley Johnston  -  Waipukurau
Robyn Phillips  -  Hastings
Dorothy Bell  -  Havelock North
                                  Joy Hurford  -  Havelock North
Maryann Kingston  -  Waipawa

Janet Jones - Hastings
The Family Quaker Sampler design is available for purchase -
Design Title :  Family Quaker Sampler
Design Code:  BARB::WL004
Design Price:  $50.00

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed looking at all these beautiful pieces of needlework.
If you would like to see more pieces that were on display during the exhibition
these can be seen at  -


Friday, 8 June 2018

Blog #68 - Holiday Stitching & Letters of the Alphabet Exhibition

Friday,  2 December 2018

Summary of content:

Recently finished some alphabet letters.
Design charts & instructions as yet have not been written:
E   =  Excellence
B  =  Blessed
S  =  Sincerity
J  =  Joyful
F  =  Faithful
R  =  Respectful
Other letters almost finished:
G  =  Gentleness
H  =  Honesty
Keith had a 'smashing' experience
as he was lining the underside of the verandah.
A piece of timber slipped off the scaffolding
and crashed through the window pane of the door into the Needlework Gallery.

On Saturday, the 11th of November
opened the
Letters of the Alphabet
Sampler Exhibition
Proceeds were donated to the
Hamlin Fistulas Hospitals Trust
located in Ethiopia.
This amazing hospital performs reconstructive surgery for women
with fistula problems caused by prolonged childbirth labour
or an obstructed labour.
Reginald Hamlin - a Napier man - and his Australian wife
pioneered this surgery and established the hospital many years ago.
To follow are just a few of the samplers that were on display.
Linda Graham  -  Christchurch
"Around The World"
Designer  -  Rosewood Manor 
Joy Hurford  -  Havelock North
Simple Gifts  -  JOY
Designer  -  Praiseworthy Stitches
Marann Kingston  -  Waipawa
Simple Gifts  -  LOVE
Designer  -  Praiseworthy Stitches
Sharon Gordon  -  Napier
Sweet Adeline  1873
Designer  -  GigiR

Robyn Holt  -  Napier
English Cottage
Designer  -  Teresa Wentzler

Annette Webb  -  Hastings
The Orford Sampler
Designer  -  Barberry Row
More exhibition photos in my next blog 
To read the complete blog, choose Blog #68

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Blog #67 - Massa, Italy

Summary of content:

A village up in the hills above Massa
Front door to Giulia & Mario's summer house built in 1604
Farewell to Giulia
Some of Giulia's exquisite dolls
To read the complete blog, choose Blog #67

Blog #66 - Baveno & Lake Maggoire, Italy

Summary of content:

Beautiful Baveno accommodation
Fascinating St. Giulio's Isle
Beautiful island garden & home
Gorgeous guest cottage at Giulia's - Massa
To read the complete blog, choose Blog #66 -

Blog #65 - Fili Senza Tempo - Italy - September 2017

Summary of content:

The needlework show venue :
Castello di Levizzano Ragone
My exhibition site
Other needlework designers exhibition sites.
This is Niky's site -
Lake Maggoire with Niky

To read the complete blog : visit my website and choose, Blog #65 -

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Blog #64 - Preparations for Fili Senza Tempo

Saturday, 2 September 2017

I leave for Italy tomorrow!   What's not done now - won't get done!!

For the last couple of weeks
I’ve been creating kits
for my design,
"Hem Your Blessings Poche” -
that is, choosing various
coloured linens
and cutting the fabric
to the size required,
choosing appropriate
Silk Pearl
overdyed) thread colours
for the linen fabric colour,
choosing the appropriate
Coton Perle #12 thread
for the colour
of the linen fabric
special silk thread colour

and winding ball after ball of the Perle cotton onto cards,

 and then choosing & cutting colour co-ordinated printed cotton fabrics
to be used for creating the internal pockets & bias binding edge of the pouch. 
And finally, folding all items neatly and tying all together
and placing everything into cellophane bags.  

In all, created just over 30 packs.
Below is a pic of some of these finished packs in blue/green tonings.

And too, a pic of fabrics and threads being prepared for ‘Josephine’s Fob’ packs.


Time is marching on  -  and so will have to leave off
and continue this when I get back home.
Saturday, 30 September -

Arrived back in NZ from Italy on Wednesday, the 20th of September.
But will go back to Sunday, the 3rd of September. 
This is the date that I flew from Napier to Auckland, a few hours layover
(as I don’t like to be rushed) and then I left New Zealand -
flying Emirates from Auckland to Dubai (17 hours).
Ah - so lovely

to put my feet up
after all the
busyness of preparations
and packing,
enjoy a complimentary
glass of champagne
& a delicious dinner
(more champagne)
and a peaceful sleep.

A layover of 5½ hours at Dubai and then a 6½ hour flight to Bologna, Italy

to be met by a chauffeur provided by Emirates
and taken to my hotel located in the centre of the city.

A long tiring trip.

During the flight when I wasn’t sleeping,
(and at other spare times during my time away)
stitched alphabet letters.
Stitching of this series is taking longer than I had anticipated. 

I guess it is because each design is so similar
(it’s not so must fun stitching a design over and over) -  and so many to do!

I wasn’t able to stay at the same hotel
as the one Elizabeth & I
had previously stayed at
due to it being renovated,
but stayed at a sister hotel
just a couple of streets away from it
and the central city square - Piazza Maggiore. 

Wandered to a little restaurant in the square 
for dinner that evening. 

Next morning I explored the city on foot
(retracing my 2015 steps).
Wandered up and down all the shopping streets  -
found the absolutely fabulous fabric shop that Elizabeth & I had found last time

(Valli : all Italian manufactured fabrics over 100 Euros a metre),

revisited the ancient communal city water well,
twin towers (built by two families competing against one another,
one tower having to be stopped due to its lean) 

and revisited the town hall which houses
the most glorious pieces of needlework, lace & art. 
The photos of the needlework and lace pictured below
I actually took on my last trip in 2015.

It wasn’t until this trip that I saw the sign - no photography! 


 On my walking tour I discovered what is behind 
those beautiful big doors of the buildings.

A marbled entrance / lobby,

from which stairs and walkways lead

to all living apartments for lots of families

and these apartments

surround an enclosed  garden.


In the photo you can see the garden through the grilled gate.
Really lovely.

 After lunch I toured the city via the ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ bus
sitting next to two husband and wife couples from Hamilton!
Small world, isn’t it?! 

At 3pm, Flavio (the driver of a private tour company) picked me up from my hotel
and drove me to my next hotel, Hotel Guerro, at Castelvetro di Modena
which is about a 45 minute drive from Bologna. 
On arrival discovered they only served breakfasts at the hotel
and there were no eating places nearby. 
After the receptionist and I struggled to understand one another
-  neither of us spoke each others language -
managed to ascertain that all restaurants
were across the road at the top of the hill
in the old walled town that could be seen in the distance.
And so - off I went, wondering all the time, “Am I going in the right direction?”
I went across the road and then across the bridge,

round the corner,
down the street for quite some ways,
past the gift shop  (which was closed by this time)
round that corner,
up the hilly street,

past lots of houses,
and more houses,
to the first set of steps.
Up the steps,
across the road,
up more steps,
past the carpark
(no cars allowed in the town),
up the residential street,

to a small square and tiny quaint cobblestone streets
in which there were several restaurants.
Chose one that served a delicious pasta with a glass of red wine.
By the time I had finished my meal it was very dark.
A little bit unnerving walking back to the hotel on my own.
At least it was down, down, down and not up, up up!
More next time   .....