Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Theme-a-licious update: Jardin January

Alas, the end of January is nigh. Living in Australia means we only have one more month of Summer until it's my favourite season - Autumn (and from the 1st of March too)! Jardin January was a perfect them for me as anyone who knows me know I love my garden.

Thank you to the creative and inspiring Heather who has come up with the Theme-a-licious SAL.

I have worked on Birds of a Feather, School House Sampler. Well, as you can see I have spent about 45 mins on it.  Better than nothing I guess.

My Marjolein Bastin English Garden Sampler is always a focus of mine. I hope you aren't bored with it! It fitted so perfectly with this month's theme.  It seems I have sent all of January trying to finish this part of the sampler. After last night's stitching of the basket edge I can see that the end is nigh with this picture.  Then I think it is pumpkins...

I love my garden so it has been a total pleasure to work on this theme.

Toddler Tom was enjoying some time with my knitting needles today which I have been sadly neglecting... I love the second shot.

"No I don't want a photo Mum!"

Thanks for dropping in to visit my garden....
                                                                      Jan x

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tiaras and Star Stacks...

I stitched little crowns and tiaras onto a bookmark.  The designs came from the Cross Stitcher magazine.

Having a toddler again means.......play doh. Tom is obsessed by it.  He is constantly getting it out of the cupboard, using his teeth to open the lids (where did he learn this from?) and spending ages poking and prodding it.  Luckily he doens't eat it which surprises me as he tries to eat sand, suncream and the list goes on (you don't want to know)! The two of us made these "star stacks" together which I think are very pretty.

Just when I find an online photo editing program I love (Picnik) I find out it's closing. No!!! Can you recommend any websites I should explore now so I can make my photos prettier?

Thanks for stopping by my garden...

                                                            Jan x

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Stitchy bracelet...

It's just Toddler Tom and Moi pottering at home this weekend.The house is so quiet...except for the pitter patter of Tom's feet as he runs into his big brother and sister's bedrooms that he is not allowed in.  Plenty of stitching time I say rubbing my hands together (in between nappies and picking up toddler toys). My husband has taken my camera and my usual laptop is not working so there are reduced piccies today sorry.

My lovely, no-blog friend Rachael (waving madly), introduced me to the cross stitch book Sweet Treats.  Both she and I have drooled over this little bracelet design the last few times we have shared morning tea. And now I have stitched it! You definately have to whip this one up Rachael. I think I will turn it into a lid cover for a jewellery box.

Although enjoying the quiet I am acutely aware of how lucky I am to have such a warm, loving husband and three healthy and happy children.  I went to bed with tears in my eyes while reading a blog written by a local mother, Lisa who has just lost her husband. This is on top of losing a child four months ago.  My heart is bleeding for her. You are in my thoughts Lisa xxx.

Thanks to my lovely blogging friends who enrich my life so much...

                                                                                                      Jan x

Monday, January 23, 2012

More acronyms for you: TUSAL and IHSW updates...

For the first time  I signed up for the IHSW (International Hermit & Stitch Weekend).  Thanks to the wonderful Joyse at Random Ramblings for hosting! I had fun knowing that I was stitching with fellow bloggers.
What did my needles achieve over the weekend?

More stitching on the MB English garden sampler....this scene seems to be taking forever though! I also worked on my HAED ("Love") so I'll take a photo of that for my next post.

A simple flower from the devine cross stitch book called Sweet Treats.  I will make this into a cute lolly bag...

I finished appliqueing a block for my  Lynette Anderson's quilt...now to backstitch it.

Last but not least is my TUSAL Totally Useless Stitch-A-long jar hosted by the lovely It's Daffycat.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Two starts...

My needles have been running hot over the last few days starting new projects. I'm having my own little Crazy January Challenge.

I have started the Christmas House. A big wave to Jo who can't think of a clever name from Serendipitous Stitching who sent the pattern to me. I have been inspired to start it (even though it's nowhere near Christmas) as I have two fellow Aussie bloggers,Kaye and Kathy, on the list for this travelling pattern next. I am not using the required threads (as not sure what brand they are) so just going my own DMC interpretation of the colours from the photo.

I have begun the School House Sample from Birds of a Feather. I thought I would struggle with the dark linen but I'm coping with it well.

Thanks for dropping into my garden...
                                                           Jan x

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Theme-a-licious update...

I have joined up a few blog SALS in 2012 - "Theme-a-licious" being one of them. Check out this link to read all about this SAL.What could be easier for me this month with the theme being "Jardin January". 

Fellow bloggers doing the Crazy January Challenge (you know who you are) have inspired me to start a new (and hopefully quick) project which I have had in my stash for a year.  It is called "School House Sampler" by Birds of a Feather. I have it kitted up and raring to go. The vase of flowers makes it fit perfectly in with the January theme don't you think? No doubt it will an interesting experience stitching on the almost black linen which came with the pattern.  I will have to use my day light me thinks.

My MJ project fits in perfectly with Jardin January also which I have been plugging away at. I have nearly completed another componenet - finches on rocks near a basket of holly . If you can tell that is a going to be a basket of holly you are doing well.

Here are the themes from Theme-a-licious and my ideas for the rest of the year:
Jardin January
The holidays were a little stressful...let's relax in a nice garden. Work on any piece with flowers or gardens.  That's easy - Marjolein Bastin English Garden sampler and BOF School House Sampler

Fangirl February
Send a Valentine to your favorite designer...or at least work on his or her designs for the month!
Oooh... I am bit partial to Prairie School designs especially the alphabet series. I think my credit card might be having a workout here. But which letter to start - the deer or rabbit?

March Madness
Stitch or knit on something different every day...it's madness...of the funnest possible kind.
By this month I will have quite a few WIPs especially after January and February so this will definately be possible.

Amazon April
Dip your needle into the vast swath of fabric dedicated to your BIGGEST projects!
My HAED project will get a workout this month.

May Memories
Remember when you took that class? Or decided to commemorate that event? And then abandoned your poor WIP? Take a stroll down memory lane by working on it again.
Not sure I have anything that fits into this theme.

Jumanji June
Is it a jungle out there in your stash? Give some love to the projects with animals or birds.
I have a half finished Noah's Ark cross stitch someone gave me so I think I'll have to work on this as hopefully by then the MB sampler will be finito!

Jolly July
It's a jolly holiday with your WIPs...you can concentrate on Christmas designs, ornaments, or even pick a different holiday to render in stitchy goodness.
I want to stitch my DH a Shepherds Bush stocking so well will all have them by Christmas 2012. This will be the month.

Altius August
Embrace the Olympic motto--Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger)--by elevating your mind. It's the perfect time to learn something new! Or maybe achieve some goals...
Probably achieving goals will be my plan for my Birthday month.

September Smalls
We all love gadgets, and none better than the teensy tools and holders we make ourselves. Let's stitch some smalls--needlebooks, fobs, biscornus, scissors keeps, pincushions--or knit some teensy things--amigurumi, jewelry, sachets....
I don't really do smalls (except for school fetes) but I'm sure I could manage something.

Obligation October
Wow, the holidays are only a couple months away! Avoid that last-minute crunch and work on some gifts now.
Great idea. Maybe some teacher presents for the end of year.

Nail It November
What's lying around that's so close to being finished you can't stand it anymore? Get to it and finish it!
Let's hope this month won't be finishing MB sampler but there's a strong possiblity this will be the month to finish it. It always takes longer to finish something than one imagines.

Delightful December
The holidays are a time for relaxing...at least, that's the theory! No stress here...work on whatever you want and enjoy!
It will be remarkable if anything is achieved in December if it's as crazy as last December was!

Thanks for stopping by my garden....
                                                     Jan x

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quilting progress...

Last year quilting took a sidestep as I rediscovered my love for cross stitch. I have vowed to work on my quilts this year at my fortnightly craft sessions with three friends so at least my quilting WIPS progress. And yes, I have a few quilting WIPS.

Well here is progress on Lynette Anderson's Scandinavian Christmas quilt.  I put little eyes on the birds in Block 1 and nearly finished the needlepoint on block 2. And yes that is cross stitch you see bordering Block 1. There is plenty of it bordering each of the four blocks!!!

Thanks for stopping by my garden...
                                                    Jan x

Monday, January 9, 2012

threadgarden WIPocalypse: the first update

I have just returned from a family beach holiday staying in shack (an Aussie term for a holiday house) at a seaside village called Orford in Tasmania. The shack was straight out of an Enid Blyton novel - well-loved furniture, wooden kitchen cupboards, handmade quilts and linoleum floors.  It's smell transported me back to Grandma's home long gone now. It demanded RELAXATION so I didn't resist. Don't you just love Summer holidays?

Stitching was part of my holiday plan so I am delighted to report that I have "WIPocalypsed" my Marjolein Bastin English Garden sampler during the break away. I only have about 1/4 left.  Phew!Check out this WIPocalypse link here if you don't know what I am talking about.  This SAL has become HUGE! I am excited to be taking part in it.

Well I have another project to add to my WIPocalypse list. I received a surprise in the post all the way from the UK to little old Tasmania. It is the Christmas House pattern by Bucilla. Jo from Serendipitous Stitching so generously sent me the pattern when I admired a photo of her completed project on her Advent Calendar post.  I have to start on it soon as it seems it will become a travelling pattern and move from me to Kaye (*waving madly*).

Thanks for stopping by my garden...
                                     Jan x

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 was the year of...

2011 was the year...I rejuvenated my blog. It has been a fun, thought provoking and amazing link with fellow bloggers (especially in the stitching community). I have also found soooo much more to stitch. Just when I thought I had enough stitching I keep finding new patterns and new designers to stitch thanks to you guys!  I am forever holding myself back from my credit card.

2011 was the year...of the Marjolein Bastin cross stitch need I say more.

2011 was the year...of my veggie patch.  I have well and truly halved the weekly vegetable bill with my little patch. It has been more than I ever hoped for. I get a little tug at my heart strings when I see my children forage among it to each a fresh snow pea or pull up a carrot.

2011 was the year ...Tom turned into a toddler.  Tom has been a constant source of entertainment in our house for the kids, hubby and I. He has given me eyes in the back of my head I never knew were there. Every moment he is awake I am wondering "what is he up to now?" But I relish his large grins, cheeky dimples and infectious giggle.

2011 was the year...my older children matured into beautiful beings.  I am so proud of their hard work at school, their lovely friendships they have created and their kind nature as a loving sibling to Tom.

2011 was the year....of Bob. A cute bundle of fluff to love.

Happy 2012 to all! Thank you so much for dropping on by during 2011.