Sunday, 31 May 2009

Happy Birthday Big Ben!

For the tourists flocking to London there's no shortage of famous sights at which to aim their cameras. The been-there, done-that, got-the T-shirt shot every visitor to London wants is a picture of the most famous clock in the world - the Palace of Westminster Clock Tower - aka Big Ben. I'm no exception. During our trip to London in 2006, I must have snapped off at least 200 frames of the tower.

The name Big Ben is often used to describe the tower, the clock and the bell but the name was first given to the Great Bell. 1859 was the beginning for all three elements when the Clock Tower was completed, the Great Clock started on 31 May and the Great Bell’s chimes were heard for the first time on 11 July.

So, of course, one day I would like to stitch the attractive collage of London landmarks created by Thea Gouverneur (pictured above). I've just got to rob a bank first ... (which will make entry into the UK impossible, but that's another story).

Happy Birthday Big Ben!

and happiness & laughter to one and all,


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Lettres à mon Chat - Update No. 1

Holiday stitching

Lettres à mon Chat
by Isabelle Vautier
Fabric: Antique White Lugana 28 count
Threads: Anchor 1036 & 1355

Friday, 22 May 2009

Where is Johnny Depp when you need him?

Greetings from Paihia in the Bay Of Islands, New Zealand.

I'm expecting a pirate ship to come around the headlands at any moment!

The MOTH & I have decamped from Brisbane, Australia, for two glorious weeks in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, and we are having a marvelous time. The seafood chowder is wonderful, the New Zealand wines very quaffable, and (because the weather closes in to a cosy 10C each afternoon) I've had time for lots of stitching!

Wish you were here!

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


P.S. Monday, 26th May. Good gracious me! There I was minding my own business, sipping rum with The MOTH in the local pub and waiting for my dinner to be served when who should walk in but a gang of pirates. I kid you not - if only I had had my camera with me - I didn't see faces, but my oh my that butt looked incredibly familiar, not to mention sexy. LOL

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

100 Projects

As you know, last week I went to visit Janine, and while I was there I saw some of her projects on the go. This week, I've been dreaming big. I have all the projects I own out on my dining room table to get a feel for what I have on hand. A few of these projects are already on the go from last year, but as you know, I don't usually do more than one thing at once. I don't actually OWN all of the possible choices laid out below (my stash supply is quite modest compared to many people). Most projects are still in the formulation (pie in the sky) stage. The * indicates what projects I have started.

I'm nowhere near 100 projects, but at almost 50 in the scheme of the dream, I probably won't have time during my life to finish 100 projects of the size that I like to do. As time goes by, I'm going to update this entry and add more * on the list.

  1. *The Rose Garden

  2. *A Quaker Christmas

  3. *Letters à Mon Chat (Isabelle Vautier)

  4. Five Simple Rules for Happiness (Glendon Place)

  5. Time Out

  6. *Midnight Enchanter (James Himsworth)

  7. Scarlet Ribands (future SAL with Paula)

  8. Santa Sampler

  9. Maidens of the Seasons I & II (Mirabilia)

  10. Blackbeard’s Mermaid (I refuse to call her Bluebeard's Mermaid - Nora got the stories mixed up!)

  11. Mermaid of Atlantis

  12. Mermaids of the Deep Blue

  13. *The Seasonal Chair - SAL with Margaret & Berta

  14. Albero Dei Capricci - Tree of Knowledge

  15. Settlers’ Cottage

  16. *Grand Marquoir - SAL with Paula & Claire

  17. *Joan of Arc - from Gift Of Stitching

  18. *Collecting Shells from By the Sea Series

  19. *Rosa (Marilyn Robertson)

  20. Lola (Marilyn Robertson)

  21. *Medieval Lady I (Joan Elliott)

  22. Medieval Lady II (Joan Elliott)

  23. Medieval Lady III (Joan Elliott)

  24. Wedding Sampler (TW)

  25. The Castle (TW)

  26. A Chatelaine Mandala (probably MTM)

  27. Snowmen (as yet undefined)

  28. A Flower Wreath of some sort (as yet undefined)

  29. Something with the Eiffel Tower on it (as yet undefined)

  30. Several Christmas Projects (as yet undefined)

  31. Any Charles Wysocki cat - I've got Frederick hanging in my 'library' already (another not yet determined - I was gifted the full set some years ago)

  32. Any number of Mirabilia projects if the pattern ink doesn't wear out from my drooling over them while I read them before I start!

  33. Winnie the Pooh (any will do)

  34. Another Lizzie Kate project (as yet undetermined)

  35. Probably another Dimensions kit that attracts my eye when the spirit is somewhat too weak to resist.

  36. Any one of my Kats by Kelly projects collected over the years

  37. Teddy bears and other birth samplers for future grandchildren.

  38. French Flower Shop (current UFO)

  39. Rose Sampler (former online SAL by EMS)

  40. BOINK project (ink Circles)

  41. a few other Australian themed projects

  42. Love with a Capital L (again)

  43. Any wedding or baby sampler needed for the royal family

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Saturday, 9 May 2009

Colours Down Under

Hi everyone.

Happy Mothers Day to all those who celebrate.

I've been very quiet this last week on the blog and comment side because The MOTH took me to Perth, Western Australia for 5 days of romance & stash shopping. How cool is he? The weekend of my birthday, I suggested that we take the May Day long weekend and go somewhere, & the next thing I knew he had booked us both on a flight clear across Australia so that we could have the getaway and he could still get to his Perth office on Tuesday morning (long live frequent flyer points!).

Needless to say, we had a great time together. Almost but not quite better still, when I kissed Paul goodbye for him to go to his office on Tuesday morning, I climbed the train and went to spend one of the best days of my stitching life with Janine Smith, proprietor of Colours Down Under, the most diverse cross stitch supply store I have ever yet visited worldwide (I kid you not), and the lady with the most wonderful personal stash & WIP collection that I have ever seen!

Janine was a true inspiration. She talked and talked & I listened and learned. At one stage I wished I could have filmed the visit just so that I could share some of the marvelous moments. I will never forget her sitting in 'The Blue Room' (which, by the way is yellow walled and covered with blue and white china & cross stitching) talking about Teresa Wentzler and her use of colours in her art. I was in awe of Janine just as she was in awe of Teresa!

Needless to say, my stash supply shelves have three more fat quarters & 4 new charts (not to mention the week before's efforts). I've also been encouraged to rotate a few WIPs rather than stick with my 'work-on-one project' plan. As Janine said: "What's finishing got to do with it? It's also about the joy of stitching, Felicity."

The above piece by Teresa Wentzler has been on my shelf ready to go for a while, but just last week I decided that it wouldn't 'fit' my house style-wise. Thanks to Janine & her fine example hanging on her wall, I'm dragging mine out again and am going to stitch it because I like it and because it celebrates the something special between me and The MOTH.

I've also started to grid a few pieces of fabric. I've got just one start to replace the mermaid at this stage: Rosa, an adaptation of a work by Marilyn Robertson. Also, I'm using the aida that came with the kit, but Janine taught me that it's OK to start again if the stitcher changes her mind.

In a week's time, we are off to New Zealand for a fortnight. If anyone on the north island wants a visit or can recommend some stash shopping (cross stitch or knitting) please let me know.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,