Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten!!!!

Woohoo!! I am in the top 10 finalists for the Feeling Stitchy Covered in Stitches embroidery contest!!! Sorry I don't seem to be able to add a link at the moment! I loved this competition because I really pushed myself to finish. The kids would come over and see where I was up to and they were very encouraging! Feeling Stitchy is such a great site and when I entered their contest last year I had only just got into embroidery....and now I'm hooked. Thank you to anyone who may have voted for me, just being in the top 10 is fantastic! Voting closes today so I can't wait to see who wins. My favourites are the Invisible Mountain by SpidersPaw and also Superman by Huzzah and Fancy Pants...but they were all fantastic and it is really interesting and inspiring to see what other people do and how they do it. I have been away from home since the competition closed so I can't wait to get back and add some more colour to the background of Tintin. I added a few more pics that I took with my phone to my Flickr page and I'm also doing this post on my phone so excuse any mistakes please!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I have been working on

Oh my goodness, time has slipped away again, but this time it's because I was working on an embroidery for the Feeling Stitchy Covered in Stitches contest.  I embroidered a lot.  A lot of stitches.  Till late at night.  It was such good experience both in terms of embroidery and also self discovery!  I unpicked many stitches many times, deliberated on colours and made several trips to the shops for more cottons. I looked up different kinds of stitches and their history in books.  I read about Tintin and the author Herge.  He was only 24 when he wrote the first story.

I panicked half way through when I realised the calico was just going to pucker more and more.  I got some great tips from Mary Corbet of Needle'n Thread http://www.needlenthread.com/ for this problem.  I realised I could see a big project through and also realised I am a very slow embroiderer!  I also am not very adventurous and stuck to mainly three types of stitches:  satin, chain and back stitch.  The shark sub is all backstitch just going round and round and round till it met up in the middle.  So many stitches in that shark!! and a sore finger and wrist afterwards.

I needed lots of cups of tea, coffee and chocolate to finish and stayed up last night till 1.30 am having left too much to do with not enough time to do it (of course).  The whole embroidery is the same size as a Tintin book (which by the way is overdue at my library now!)  I chose Tintin because I love the books so much and I always have since I was much younger.  My sister bought me nearly the whole set about 11 years ago.  I love the illustrations and the colours and the stories.  Captain Haddock is my favourite character (blistering barnacles).

I used some watercolour in the background and also a bit of coloured pencil around the title.  There are so many more stitches I would like to add but I just ran out of time, and I would also like to add more blue watercolour so it is more like the book.  Maybe now it is entered I can play around with it a bit more.  I'm not sure if I will make it into anything yet.

The kids all love it and you can see they like to touch it and feel the stitches, and I love that too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stay in Bed Sunday

Today is Stay in Bed Sunday so I am staying in bed.  So far so good, though it is only lunchtime.  This is to raise awareness for people suffering from mitochondrial disease and to help them find a cure.  It sounds like a terrible disease and one that I had not been aware of, till recently. 
I am reading The Island of Lost Maps - a True Story of Cartographic Crime, by Miles Harvey.  I love old maps, with their strange symbols and beautiful colours.  Place names have a way of taking you off into your imagination, conjuring up strange sights and mysterious adventures. 

I have also started an embroidery for the Feeling Stitchy Embroidery competition and have so far unpicked what I have done at least twenty times!!  My lettering needs lots of practise!  Anyway, I shall plod along with it, it's all good fun!

I hope you are having a lazy Sunday too.  The rainy weather here is perfect for it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I am feeling very happy this evening.  My pufferfish embroidery was posted by Carina on the Feeling Stitchy blog http://www.feelingstitchy.com/ which is one of my most favourite places.  They have a great competition going at the moment too.  Embroider a book cover.  I am definitely going to have a go! Anyway I got fish cocktails for dinner just to celebrate haha. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A lovely book and another fish

I must be the laziest blogger ever.  I have tried but failed to even post something once every month.  I love looking at other people's blogs, especially the one's that are up to date.  Aaargh.  I have been away, is that a good excuse?  Probably not.  What about I have five grandchildren?  No?  I have been sewing and painting?  Hmmmmmm, maybe.

I recently borrowed a book from the library called The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Wild-Snail-Eating.  It was such a lovely book to read and very calming.  It's about the author and how she is bedridden with a mysterious illness.  A friend brings her a snail in a small pot plant.  Watching the snail is about all she can muster the strength for.  She comes to learn a lot about her little snail friend and the book has lots of lovely quotes in it.   One of my favourites is this:

Think not of the amount to be accomplished, the difficulties to be overcome, or the end to be attained, but set earnestly at the little task at your elbow, letting that be sufficient for the day. - Sir William Osler (1849-1919)

The little task at my elbow recently has been another fish embroidery, this time in orange.  I've finally finished it and put it on my flickr page.  I drew this one from a book I bought second hand years ago because I loved the pictures in it, Sea Fishes of Southern Australia, and it is based on a fish called a white-barred boxfish, also known as the Humpty-Dumpty!  I've painted this shaped fish a couple of times now.  I drew it on calico and lightly tinted it with watercolour, and then stitched it.

Humpty Dumpty

Friday, July 15, 2011

A present for a friend

This is a 3" hoop I did for a friend's birthday.  The saying is from a little book found in an Op Shop, but I no longer have it so I cannot tell you who wrote it, unfortunately.  The picture is one of my watercolours from a little while ago.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The calming effect of embroidery

I started this a while back, drawing it first from a watercolour painting

Two friends of the Sea

   I did for the kids,then stitching it onto the calico over a couple of days.  I found it very meditative and calming, the stitches are easy and it doesn't really matter if it goes wrong, you just pull it out and start again.

So if I am feeling a bit anxious or stressy, then I am finding that embroidering and crocheting are really good for me.  Plus the embroidery colours are so bright and happy they make me feel happier just looking at them.  For this one though, I wanted it to look more like an illustration so I stuck to black.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lots of embroidery hooping...

I am sort of addicted to embroidering stuff on hoops at the moment, just small hoops...3" and 4" sizes.  I've got lots of little designs in my head and on paper.  Just little things I've drawn or painted before.  Some things I've made for a birthday, there is something for a granddaughter, something for a niece and some are just experimenting.

This long weekend has been the perfect weather to stay in and do craft.  I realised recently that not many days pass without picking up some embroidery or some crochet (still doing little bags, just finished one with some lining even!) and if I need a change I can always do some watercolour painting.  

I have lots of bits of pretty material that I want to sew into cute things and sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed because there are so many things I want to do.  Maybe I need to be more organised.  Or maybe I just need to go with the flow and do what I can or what I feel like on the day. 

I just have to be careful I don't sit in one position for too long because I think this cold rainy weather is bringing out the aches just a bit too much for my liking! To think that I went for a swim in the sea a bit over a week ago!  Here are some photos :

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunsets and skies seen this Autumn

"No matter where you go there you are".  I don't know whether I am a town mouse or a country mouse and spend time in both places.  I love each one.  These are some photos from both.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More things I have been making

I am addicted to crochet at the moment so when I ran out of wool for the granny squares, and couldn't get to the shop to get more, I found some string at the $2 shop, and made a little bag.  It is so relaxing and then you end up with something at the end!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Broken Laptop

My laptop broke but it was good because I did more painting and less internetting!
This one I've sent to my cousin in England.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Some embroidery I did over the Christmas period...the owl I drew from a piece of jewellery in a magazine and the hoop is only 3" wide. I still have to finish off the back of it and I found a really good tutorial here:

The bird is going to be the cover for an A5 size journal and so is the reindeer.


These clouds were reaching way up into the sky. There are such pretty colours in the sunsets at this time of the year.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adventures and paintings

My younger sister took herself off overseas again to New York and before she went I did some bookmarks for her to take along, one for her and one for each of her daughters. I am going to try and keep up with my watercolour painting and also my drawing as I don't do enough of it and I really do love it.  Anyway, this is how they turned out...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stuff I have been making

Yoga pants I made for baby (daughter's - due soon!) from the book 'Meet Me at Mikes' by Pip whose  blog is fantastic and crafty and warm and friendly and can be found here:  

The pants were so quick to make and the book's photos are lovely.  I had to wait a couple of weeks to borrow it from the library because it is so popular.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another new year ready to whizz by in the blink of an eye

I don't know how people manage to look after a family, work, create beautiful crafty creations and produce lovely imaginative art and keep up a blog all at the same time!!  How do they do it?  I certainly can't.  So Christmas and New Year have come and gone and we are half way through January.  Aaarrgh.

A marble bag made from calico for my grandson.  Drawn with Pitt artist pen in brown.