Monday, August 29, 2011

Rabbits in a field...

Thank you so much for your photography tips. There's nothing like asking the experts - you!!!

Spring is nearly sprung in Tasmania. Literally, my tulips are blooming almost a month earlier than usual. I've been in the Spring mood so have gone back to the Spring side of my English cross stitch and finished the pretty daffodil and started stitching two cute bunnies.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Your craft photography tips...

Help me out! I am no photography expert. Capturing homemade treasures in photos is not easy. If I zoom too much my cross stitching blurs. If I photograph on a flat surface flooring appears in the photos. How do I best photograph a quilt? Should I use props to enhance my photos? Should I buy a better quality camera? So many questions but so far I can find little advice on the internet to aid me.

Some of you have the most beautiful blog photos. How do you do it? Do you have any special tips you can pass on to a blogger like me?

Thank you for visiting,
Jan x

Monday, August 22, 2011

Progress on all fronts...

Thanks blogging friends for my birthday wishes. With b'day money I bought myself pattern treats: The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow and Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings and my first Christmas ornament pattern "Bringing Home the Tree" by Little House Needleworks. I have had alot of finishes lately so I deserve to start something new don't I? One can never have too many WIPs. I will purchase the linens I need and then can start one of the HRH patterns. Now to the hard question. Which one should I start first?

Progress continues on the Marjolein Bastin English widelife sampler. I finished stitching a yellow finch over the weekend. I've nearly finished the scrubbing brush it is sitting on. On the pattern the word "BEATLE" is stitched onto the side of the brush. I'm not sure why it is that word though. Is that a common brand for a brush in England? Maybe someone can enlighten me. If not, I think I will leave it off.
I haven't been blogging since Wednesday as Toddler Tom has had an awful virus. Finally he's starting to improve today. It was a joy to watch him playing on our deck this morning. I am so relieved after such a worrying weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My daughter thinks outside the square...

Today is the 20th anniversary of my 21st birthday. I was woken to excited children and hubby! My DD 12 showed her creativity once again. She dotted the cakeboard with split forget-me-not flowers. How sweet is that! Her creativity blows me away sometimes! She also had handmade and flavoured the chocolates on top of it too. Secretly she had bought the August Angel pictured from a newsagent near her dance school. My 10 yo DS showered me in hugs so I feel loved. My life has turned out to be everything I dreamed it would 20 years ago.

My darling sister sent me this cute lantern. It's my second one so now I have to say I'm collecting them. What do you collect?

Monday, August 15, 2011

English and Aussie gardens...

Three ladybirds and the tail of a pretty bird have appeared on my Marjolein Bastin English garden sampler. I have finished the watering can, sparrow and basket of strawberries.
Let me ask you a question dear fellow cross stitch devotees. How do you keep track of the pattern on a large chart? I'm finding it particularly tricky on this sampler to keep my eye on exactly where I am particularly in the larger areas of cross stitch. The pattern is printed in black and white only so I think this makes it trickier. I have been using a sticky note under where I am up to but that is thwart with problems.
From an English garden to Aussie one:

As you have probably read I moved house late last year. My new house is in a bushy area with garden stipulations using native Australian plants. I'm finding it an exciting challenge planting in this new style as I have always been an "English style" gardener through and through.

I have kept an area of my garden for my English and edible plants but I have designated a large area to native plants. I'm trying to love the natives but their less vibrant green and smaller flowers make them less lovable. I guess foliage planting is the key! On the plus side the presence of plenty of bird varieties (Wattlebirds, honeyeaters and fairy wrens etc) make this garden style worth persisting with.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ta da!

I was head down and tail up all weekend finishing this quilt at my weekend retreat with three beautiful girlfriends. Well, except for the drinking wine, eating gourmet meals, reading mags - you get the picture! And yes, I did have fun. It was perfect weather for sewing - pouring with rain.

This delightfully girly, scrappy quilt is a "Leanne's House Block of the Month quilt" designed by the brilliant Aussie quilter Leanne Beasley ( It is hand quilted with pearl cotton thread which I found was so much easier and quicker than the usual method.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekend retreat...

I am doing a happy dance here as I have had so many finishes in the last 2 weeks. The shabby linen quilt, Tom's Shepherd's Bush Christmas stocking, Sophie's Rose cross stitch, and the feather cross stitch. I am also about to sew the binding onto a Leanne Beasley quilt so it should be done by the end of the weekend too. Woo hoo! Doesn't it make me feel good! And I am going away tonight on a craft weekend with 3x friends. I cannot wait to stitch with a glass of wine and nibbles on hand. I will also have a bed to myself and no toddler to wake me at night (or kitten) so I sure will sleep well!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scandinavian Xmas...

I have nearly finished stitching block 1 of the Scandinavian Christmas quilt by Lynette Anderson. Aren't the animals cute? The cross stitch effect around the outside is really pretty too. I have only the eyes left to put on the reindeer and birds. A friend has used black beads for the birds' eyes so I'm going to do that. Next up is to sew together some churndash blocks which will border it . I should get it finished at a craft retreat this weekend lucky me!