Wednesday, February 14, 2018


This is my latest heart, inspired by a pin by Lilian Kok found on Pinterest  and the rose I knew came from my new book  by Giuliana Buonpadre "Herbarium"so I had the instructions how to stitch it .       I used perle 12  for the rose. and do want to find time to stitch more of these roses, and some of the other flowers in  the book of modern reticello embroidery.

As it is Valentines day I have also decided to share again a few of the hearts I have stitched in the past ..................................enjoy and have a happy Valentine's day.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


My next Italian embroidery that I finished was this piece of Casalguidi, the design was adapted from one in Effie Mitrofanis' book Casalguidi Style linen  Embroidery, it is an excellent book and she is an excellent tutor I have done workshops with her on this work on several occasions the first being in 1996.  Casalguidi is a traditional embroidery that lends itself well to modern interpretations.  My favourite piece is my dandelion pocket, which is showing its age ... stitched about 20 years ago.
The guild here started the Italian  embroidery collection last week and hopefully that will prompt me to finish my pieces to date I have shared only seven, two more are well on their way to be completed

Jan and family have arrived home from their holiday in the South Island and brought me a Dodoland kit for  a fantail. It took no time to make up and is on the table by my stitching  chair. It is really very lifelike for a cardboard model.
It is another cool damp day here ... great for stitching, and i hope by next time I post to share my adaption of linen and Stitches 2018 sampler.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome 2018 so much to look forward to......

Its New Years Day here, the year has come in damp and any rain will be welcomed by the farmers who are facing drought situation, for me it means a good day for stitching..... I was up early so I could log on to Linen and Threads to see what  the start of their new mystery sampler looks like, quite different from the 2017 one, which I am not quite finished but I just had to have a new start for the new year! will share when I am a little further on. What I can share is the last of my exchange gift, again I made  hearts.  These are a set of two as there were two piece of lace left from another project that were perfect in size and shape.
I have also heard from Annette in California that her gift has arrived, so another heart to share with you. This one is a needle book, stitched with a combination of hardanger, blackwork and surface embroidery stitched on 40 count permin linen.
The hardanger edge was inspired by something found ages ago on the internet, unfortunately I cant find it again to give credit to the designer.

 the blackwork  pattern is stitch in old gold silk and in this case forms a damask like pattern

and don't you just love it when a photo is upside down and nothing you do manages to turn it over.

I have enjoy the hearts so much and there are so many lovely designs out there so I have made my personal challenge for this year, ... hearts in as many different embroidery techniques as possible.

The guild here is stitching My Italian Love affair as their monthly projects, so I must  share with you  the rest of the pieces I stitched .. here is the Punto Antico piece. I love this work and over the years have stitch many pieces using this technique.... more to share when I have uploaded the photos.

To all who visit my blog, very best wishes for the new year, may it be blessed with many stitching hours.

Friday, December 1, 2017


I'm still in love with Italian embroideries, and am quite behind in sharing with you all, what I have stitched. Away back in May of this year the piece I stitched was Deruta Embroidery. This was a first for me and I loved it, so much so I also stitched another piece for a gift, which I forgot to photograph, however here is my challenge piece again a small coaster 10cm square.

 I found wonderfully clear information on stitching this technique on two blogs.Tutto Ricamo   found here and in the blog  archives  And yes I will be stitching this again as the Guild here has decided to do My Italian Love Affair challenge next year. I need to get some more photos so I can share with you what I stitched in the following months.

I don't usually share cooking ideas, but I was so thrilled with this effort,  I found the idea on Pinterest, just a photo with no instructions, it looked so easy to make and it was. Two boxes of frozen cream puffs a little icing and some chocolate leaves. Yes I made my own leaves, however next time will make smaller ones. I made this one for the Guild Christmas party and plan another one for the church Christmas Lunch this Sunday.
Today 1st December is the beginning of Summer here, and after a very wet, wet winter and spring the sunshine is very welcome. I hope there is some sunshine in your day too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I planned a theme of hearts for next year, then when deciding what to make for my exchange gift for the Embroiderer's Guild Christmas party I decided on ..... yes hearts. and from there many ideas came, so expect to see more. These first hearts were inspired by some tiny hearts I had made  a couple of years ago.
Inspired by some that I found on Pinterest I had made my own version using lace on felt for the background adding beads and jewellery findings for the decoration. This time after making the tiny hearts I mounted them on red silk and love the new idea even more.

My next lot of hearts are quite different, Jan had requested five small items all the same, some of these are for folk who received decorations I made last year, to see those ones  again the  link

The first one is finished and the rest not far behind.

I need to sort out and upload some more photos so I can share with you more of my Italian
 be back again soon.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


A new month and a new decade for me....  I started the month by celebrating my  80th Birthday, all my family were able to be present which added to the occasion, I was also spoilt with lovely flowers........

 From Jan and family,  a lovely bouquet of  lilies and rose, which I had the pleasure of arranging , the florist had included a good range of foliage and with a few extras from the garden I was able to make this beautiful arrangement.

The card with the other flowers said...... from your little man and family. and came with this beautiful arrangement, gladiola, lilies,roses,  carnations, orchids and bells of Ireland .The photo does not show that the roses here were soft mauve.

  And I have updated my profile photo with this one taken when the family took me out to dinner at Mountain House.                                                      I will be back shortly with some embroidery to share. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Part 2- EARTH, SEA and SKY

I grew up by the sea many hours spent exploring the rock pools, and the quote I found for this etui was  The sea once it casts its net holds you in its spell of wonder forever "          ( Jacque Cousteau)  
 I have a little dried sea horse that I  first got over 50 years ago and it was the inspiration for this etui, 
 Maree found me a perfect fabric, hand dyed linen, it reminded me of the colours of a stormy sea.The linen is darker than the photos show and goes well with the pieces of Paua shell that I have used..

 finding the small sea horse charms at the Bead Hold here in Stratford was just perfect. Both the Sea horse and fish were embroidered  then added to the background.

opening it the quote is now shown, I wanted it to look like it was an old message rescued from a bottle thrown in the sea

and fully open it is ready for use

and Sky........

I wanted to photography this piece against the sky but that did not prove to be easy!! although there was a lovely blue sky with just a few clouds but in a built up area to find a patch of sky.

so inside shots it was.............

Another hand dyed linen for the last etui, blue with the suggestion of clouds, the bird again was embroidered first then added and the little backstitch birds were from a chart I drew up some years ago and have used many times

The quote "O birds of beauty, the sky is your home  just spread your wings and fly high" (unknown)  is seen before the etui if fully opened.

These pieces took much longer than I expected to do but I have enjoyed them from the planning though the stitching to the finish,  This photo was taken before the final finish, the first scissor fob I made was to thick when the etui was closed so when the shops opened on the monday I bought two more bird charms like those I had on the cords and used them. then it was time to meet the deadline and deliver my pieces.

I hope you have enjoyed my sharing of the photos.


Thank you to those who have contacted me re my absence,  first it was computer problems I don't find the I pad works well for blogging, , winter and I seems to live were the warmth is, and time slips by with plenty of procrastinating too!  I know excuses, excuses!!

But I have been stitching and have just completed a project that has been in the planning for about a year. It started under the title of the Daisy Chain Project but when I learnt that this years Taranaki-Mamatatu-Wanganui Regional Exhibition  theme was "Earth Sea and Sky"my project grew from one item to three.  Three notebook etuis, small in size, intended to be suitable to take with one in a handbag or when traveling, closed they are each 9.5 cm by 7cm and each tells part of my story, the exhibition opened last Saturday so I can now share with you .
 I have named my pieces-
  "My Favourite things from Earth, Sea and Sky"

 "Daisies, ye flowers of lowly birth, embroiderers of the carpet earth."   this quote from a poem by John Clare (1793-1864) I have used  many times with embroidered pieces and it was the inspiration for my piece, along with memories of a cloth my grandmother Caroline Haworth (1873-1949) had stitched.  Caroline won prizes for her embroidery as a child, and four generations of needlewomen followed her.

I'm not sure when she embroidered the cloth, the linen quality looks pre-war, and my sister now has it. The design does have four crinoline ladies sitting in the daisies. not shown in the photo and a plain crocheted edge unlike most of her other cloths which had quite fancy edging, I think the plain edge really suits this piece the border is so rich in stitching.

The cover of my etui has the daisies on both the front and the back stitched in a similar style to the border on the cloth,  and opens to show  the daisy flowers in my  style of embroidery, 

then opens out fully when in use, a pocket on the left holds a packet of needles and the scissor pocket is on the right. and I have stitch the quote across the top above the flannel for pins and needles.

I have uploaded photos of I think this will get the second etui but will keep them for my posting as this will become photo heavy if I continue.   part 2 coming soon