Thursday, February 27, 2014


I mentioned not long ago that the trip to the UK had caused the demise of my pincushion. Needless to say the first project upon the return of my sewing machine was making myself a new one.

I'm not one for super-fancy pincushions. I want one, simple pincushion that holds my pins. So no complicated shapes here! I made this one a little smaller than my last one (which was the first thing I ever made on my own sewing machine, almost 4 years ago) and fancied it up with some very simple patchwork - my last one was literally just a fabric square.

The fabric is leftover charms from my quilt, the buttons salvaged from the retired pincushion! So an almost completely from stash project. I did have to buy some stuffing (or rather a cushion from IKEA which I cut open rather ruthlessly).

It's already seeing good use. Yay for practical projects!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuscany post IHSW update :-)

I finished the cross stitch!! It was my quiet aim for the IHSW to get the cross stitch finished on Tuscany so I could move onto the back stitch, and I did it! Just in time too. I put in the final stitches in the last 5 minutes of a TV program I was watching with hubby at 10pm on Sunday evening.

Here's the completed top section. I'll show off the whole thing once I've finished the back stitching and given the piece a much needed wash! But my mind is already off planning the next project and the finishing for this one. . . . I had planned for this piece to perhaps be a present for a friend, but when husband saw the completed stitching he immediately claimed it for our stairwell, so I guess it's staying with us!

Hope your IHSW's were just as successful!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Currently Monday #2

Finally have this piece hanging on our wall, only two years since I stitched it!

Time and Place // 2.28 pm, stretched out on the bed with laptop (I can see this may become a habit)

Eating and Drinking // Peanut butter on toast, because that's how I roll :-D

Reading // Still plowing through Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, by Max Hastings. Feeling in the mood for something fluffy and light though, so watch this space.

Watching // Catching up on missed Christmas specials of Jonathan Creek in preparation for the new series starting this week (Decent TV - one of the benefits of living in the UK)

Listening // to the hum of the washing machine. Which is rather boring, but at least I know I'm on top of the washing

Making // Cross stitch and quilt continue to feel the love, but I also made myself a new pincushion (photos coming).

Blogging // This week I shared an update on my cross stitch WIP, John Clayton's Tuscany. On the book blog I reviewed The Virgin and the Whale, by Carl Nixon and asked for recommendations for WWI related reading.

Hating // Muscle pain from stepping up my exercise regieme this week. I know it's worth it in the end, but jelly legs are not fun!

Loving // Having my craft supplies in nice transparent plastic boxes from IKEA that stack nicely into the wardrobe, rather than literally all over the spare room floor.

Anticipating // A weekend away to celebrate my sister-in-laws birthday :-) There's nothing better than hopping into the car on a Friday afternoon for a weekend trip.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tuscany Pre-IHSW Update

Last night my Tuscany WIP came out of the snaps very briefly, so I took a couple of extremely bad photos to share (it was laaaaattte at night folks). I've made more progress than I thought! Shows how quickly things move along if you just put in a couple of stitches every day.

The colours in these photos aren't very accurate at all, but you get the general idea! I'll be working on this piece over the weekend for the IHSW hosted over at Random Ramblings. If I get a good go at it, I might even be able to get the cross stitch part of this piece finished (fingers crossed).

Happy hermit weekend, fellow stitchers!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Currently Monday #1

In an effort to get my but into gear and blog more regularly this year, I thought I'd try out something new. So this is (hopefully) the first of many Currently Monday's where I just do I quick round up of what's going on each week for me.

Re-ironing many many bits of quilt that got squished in transit

Time and Place // 12.25pm, stretched out on the bed with laptop!

Eating and Drinking // Leftover quiche + orange juice

Reading // Since it's 2014 and all I've embarked on a small project to get some WWI related reads in this year, so I've just started Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, by Max Hastings. Also working my way through the Graceling Realm trilogy, by Kristin Cashore. Really enjoying the unique concept (a world where some people are 'graced' with extreme ability in a single human trait or idea eg: swimming, fearlessness)

Watching // The winter Olympics! The UK has really good TV coverage, though it's (understandably) completely biased towards their athletes, so I'm kinda missing seeing the Kiwis.

Listening // I've just discovered the trio London Grammar. Their singer has such a haunting voice!

Making //My quilt and cross stitch in progress have both been getting a bit of love this week. I've also been relishing having an oven that actually bakes properly again, celebrating with banana bread + dark chocolate and date cookies.

Blogging // This week I shared my feelings on having our NZ stuff back with us (yay!). Over on my book blog I announced the results of the quarterly Classics Club spin and shared some thoughts on the little known classic Daddy-Long-Legs.

Hating // Applying for jobs. Writing cover letters is the worst!

Loving // The Bible study I'm doing on the Women of Christmas (Elizabeth, Mary, Anna). So comforting and uplifting.

Anticipating // An IKEA trip for crafty storage stuff (plus half a dozen other useful IKEA things)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feels like Home

Our boxes from New Zealand made it to the UK last week. Which means I've been reunited with my craft stash! Currently it's spread out literally all over the spare bedroom floor, because I have nothing to put it in. Need to get some plastic boxes or some such. Do any of you UK crafters have any recommendations? I've been looking at Argos etc, but everything seems either to small/flimsy or EXPENSIVE. . . . .  so at the moment in piles on the floor it remains (it's a floor storage system. . . only Kiwi's of a certain age will get that joke).

The only casualty of the shift was my pincushion/pins. The pins rusted in the humidity of crossing the equator, leaving lovely rust stains all over my pincushion. I'm not to upset. . . it's a nice test of how my sewing machine has fared, making a new one. And I'm grateful that everything I WAS worried about came through absolutely fine. .  the vases, the framed paintings and embroidery. Yay! It feels so much more like home to be surrounded by our things again. Plus I can do some craft other than cross stitch (not that I'm complaining about cross stitch, but sometimes ones fingers itch to do something else).

Just so this isn't a photoless post, here's the view from our lounge window earlier this week. The weather has been absolutely atrocious here in the UK and hubby and I feel blessed that we have escaped the major flooding that has been going on further south. In the meantime, it's a good thing I love rain, and the snow spiced things up a bit!

Hopefully I'll be back soon with an update on 'Tuscany' . . . there's been lots of progress, I just keep forgetting to take a photo when it's out of the snaps.