Friday, 29 November 2019

Blog #79  -   Happy Events & Some Progress

Thursday,  17 January 2019

Now over half of my favourite month in a year has passed!  The days and weeks are flying by far too quickly.

To continue on from my last blog, this one relates more happenings in the months of November and December of last year.  During these months enjoyed some lovely family moments.

The first of these was the Hospice Holly Trail in the middle of November - three days when folk can wander through selected Hawkes Bay homes that have been decorated with majestic floral and Christmas displays and wander through their magnificent gardens.

My lovely cousin’s wife, Merrill, one of her daughters, Anita and her daughter, Daisy from Upper Hutt joined Melissa (daughter), Madison (granddaughter) and myself on this trail. 

We had the most wonderful time together!  Lots of happy chatter whilst enjoying all the awesome venues. 

Group pic shows Madison, Melissa, Merrill, Anita, myself and Daisy

In fact, we had SO much fun and such a great time, that we’ve planned another weekend together with another of Merrill’s daughters and granddaughters (who hadn’t been able to join us as they were busy becoming a grandmother and mothers).  We’re all going to stay together at a house in Martinborough and thus attend the Martinborough Fair over the first weekend in March.  We are all looking forward to that time!

Towards the end of November I travelled to Upper Hutt for a few days to stay with Merrill and Kevin as I had to visit a Wellington wholesale supplier and purchase products for my planned Christmas exhibition in July 2019.

Whilst there also met up one day with primary school friends - Jocelyn, Marie & Yvonne.  Yvonne was visiting from Australia.

Once again lots of chatter and, of course, lots of happy and hilarious memories shared.  We truly did have great childhood days.

December was a busy month with all the end-of-year functions.  The first Sunday of the month was the ‘shared’ lunch at our home for all the NATTER day girls, another day Melissa and I went out for lunch together to celebrate her birthday and for two days Melissa and I were at Iona College on three separate occasions as it was Madison’s last year  - Leavers Chapel Service : Carol Service (Madison taking a part) & Prize Giving Service. 

As per last year, Madison again won the cup for Business Excellence. 

WHOOPS!  I forgot to take a photo!!  The pic to the right is last years photo.
She won the leadership cup that year as well as the business one.

Madison is now working to save funds for her two next ventures -  April she goes to Fiji as one of the leaders of a group of 50 students who are attending a leadership training course and in September she has been accepted to study business/economics at the Christian “Youth With A Mission” organisation situated in Colorado, USA.  She studies for three months and then she, the other students and the tutors travel to a third world country for three months to set up a business for those in that county for them to continue to operate and therefore earn income for themselves.  Not sure of Madison’s plans on her return to NZ.

Christmas was at our home this year.  Keith and I enjoyed listening to the happy laughter of the family as they watched old videos of when they were babies and growing up.

Over the last few months Keith has been working towards finishing the interior of the new Needlework Gallery. 

As a reminder, here are a few pics of when it began being built and it’s progress -

Rooms are now all painted and wallpapered and in a few days time the electrician is coming to connect up all the special lighting and on the 30th of this month the carpet layers arrive to lay the carpet in the gallery display rooms, the storeroom, the design, charts & threads storage room and my office.

I’m not looking forward to moving all the stock from the storage rooms and disconnecting all the computers, printers, etc., dismantling my office and moving all the office furniture to other parts of the house.

As for stitching, I have been working on my ‘challenge’ piece that I wrote about in my last blog.  It’s progressing well. 

I’m ‘on track’ for getting it finished by the end of January. Pictured below is how it is looking to date 

As for the alphabet series - I haven’t forgotten that many of you are patiently waiting for the chart and instructions for your requested letter or letters.

I have finished stitching the front and back of the letter ‘K’ and I’ve made the letter ‘P’ into an ornamental.

So too, made the letters, ‘G’  :  ‘H’  :  ‘L’  and   ‘M’  into ornamentals. 

I now have to photograph them for the covers of the designs and write all the instructions for each of them.

In the meantime, below are pics of how the letters ‘K’ and ‘P’ look at the moment -

Note:  One can choose to work the letters in other colour combinations

Alternative colour choices are listed in the instructions
                                                       Antique Mauve             Brethren Blue
                                                      Antique Pink                 Clear Pink
                                                      Blue                              Dusky Pink
                                                     Purple                           Pink
                                                                   Blue Violet

That’s all for this note.

I sincerely hope you too have had some precious family times
over Christmas and the New Year.

Till next time, enjoy your family and your quiet stitching times.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Blog #78  -   A Needlework Challenge and more  

Thursday,  10 January 2019

A third of my favourite month in a year has almost passed.  January is “my” month when I feel like I can rest, relax and indulge in doing things that I like to do rather than what has to be done.  As per tradition I received a couple of jigsaw puzzles - my Christmas gift from Keith - and I spent all day Boxing Day and part of the next day and all day New Years Day making them.  These are pictured below -

Actually, there were two puzzles in the Wasjig puzzle box - the one pictured above and another which is also a street party scene to celebrate the Queen’s Coronation but this time a ‘current day’ version.

Just as the one above, to create this second puzzle one has to use their imagination as there is no finished picture provided for either of the puzzles. 

I really enjoy not knowing beforehand what the finished picture is to be as the process involves the piecing together of colours  - 
and as you know, colour is a passion of mine. 

Not sure which day I will do this second puzzle.  Possibly the 30th of this month as that is the date of our 48th wedding anniversary.

 Of course, January is also the month when I love to stitch as often as possible without feeling guilty in the least.  Some days I will stitch all day whilst watching DVD’s of lovely old TV classic series such as ‘The House of Elliot’, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ or the Catherine Cookson or Jane Austin novels.

On the 1st of January my lovely Belgium friend, Gigi of GigiR wrote the following on Facebook -

“To be true to our tradition of starting a sampler on January 1st
and to be blessed all through the year,
if it is finished by the end of the month”

I was challenged and took up that challenge! 

I immediately began (despite having more than several unfinished pieces) stitching one of Gigi’s designs  -  Ann Gould 1821.

I have to confess that I already had the fabric cut and the threads gathered up for this piece in my needlework cupboard as it was a design that I had planned to stitch one day.  Confession - I currently have another ten projects in that cupboard with all the fabric and threads set aside that I’d like to stitch one day!

This is the progress as at a couple of days ago - a week into the monthly challenge.

Lost a couple of stitching days due to having to prepare - cleaning windows, polishing brass, oiling furniture, vacuuming & washing floors, tidying gardens and baking & preparing food - for the visit of the local Model A car club for them to tour the Needlework Gallery, house and gardens and enjoy some morning tea, on Sunday the 6th.  29 visitors. 

 We were blessed with the most glorious day.  Here are a few pics -

First of November last year was the date for the release of the final part of our Mystery Sampler project - Thirty Anniversary Stitches.

Pictured below is the original piece and a piece worked by one of the participants  -  Lynley of Masterton.

Thank you for sharing your lovely work, Lynley.

Since writing my last blog in November I have made some more progress on my alphabet series.
Each of the letters (backs and fronts) - H,  L,  & M - have been attached to padded cardboard, and stitched together and are awaiting their cords to be attached to cover over the joining seams.  When this task has been completed, they will become finished ornamentals.

As for the letters ‘B’ and ‘R’ - finished photographing and writing the instructions for these.
The designs arrived from my printer a few days ago and are now available for purchase.

DMC thread colours used to stitch the letters are:
‘B’  -  3041  :  3042  :  3740  (Antique Mauve)  with  3011  &  Ecru
‘R’  -  340  :  341  :  3746  (Blue Violet)  with 3011  &  Ecru

However, one can choose to work the letters in other colour combinations. 

Alternative colour choices are listed in the instructions.

The first Friday in November I was preparing to open the Needlework Gallery when I heard a car in the driveway some time before opening time and I thought to myself, “My goodness, they’re early”, but it wasn’t a customer.  It was our granddaughter, Madison saying, “I’ve come to help you for the day Nanny”.  She was off school due to sitting exams.  When I quizzed her about studying, her reply was, “I’m SO over it, Nanny!” which made me think of myself at her age.  I’d finished the 6th form and had been working for a year.  With kids having to stay another year at school do they really get a better education than we did?!

Consequently she has since come and helped me whenever she could, thus helping to catch up on a lot of neglected bookwork. 

I have so appreciated her invaluable help.  And her company. 

She also re-charted many of ‘The Little Kit Company’ designs that needed to be installed into my needlework design programme whilst I changed the layout or rewrote the accompanying instructions. 

Together we have renewed the following designs in the Bookmark series -

And again, together we have renewed the following designs -

During the months of November and December there were a lot of happy, memorable events, but as this blog is already of some length, will bring this one to a close and write another in a week or so.

I sincerely hope you have been able to spend some time with a needle in your hand over these lovely January holiday days.

The love of needlework is certainly a wonderful gift to have been given.

Bye for now.