"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Monday, October 31, 2005

Same photo on both blogs.

I had just completely a lengthy posting on Patra's Other Place, and decided to include a recent photo of the MOTH and myself to break up all the text. Picasa is up and running again after their temporary hiccup the other night, but I wasn't watching what I was doing, so this photo ended up on here instead. I put it on the other blog as I had intended, and was going to delete this one, but then I thought, what the heck? Not everybody reads Patra No.2, so I decided to leave it here, as I know how nice it is to see your blogger friends 'in the flesh'.

An old fashioned couple: Ken and Gina at the top of Mt Wellington, Hobart, Tasmania - June 2005.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Just finished this motif for the fourth round robin in my Xmas RR group. I miscalculated the amount of stitches for the word Australia under my name but I was too tired to care by the time I had finished all that back stitching!
Posted by Picasa

Small tin with vintage ladies.
Posted by Picasa

Tea box?
Posted by Picasa

Centrepiece embroidered in pastel shades.
Posted by Picasa

Picasa not working...

Darn it. I tried using Blogger instead, but couldn't get that to work either. Oh well, piccies will just have to wait. In the meantime, I may as well describe what I found in a little opshop tucked away in Diamond Creek, an outer suburb of Melbourne. They rarely have any linen of the sort that I collect, so I headed out the back of the shop to check out their huge range of books. Nothing there either, so I had a quick browse through their kitchen etc. paraphernalia. They seem to get a lot of tins for some reason, and I usually only give these a cursory glance. But today, I spotted three simply gorgeous 'vintage' style tins, and a dear little wooden box, about 10cm x 8 cm, with a hand painted lid featuring a teapot and teacup. It looks to be quite old, although the sceptical MOTH declared it was made to look old, but probably not old at all. I disagree, but whatever the truth, it is so charming, I had to have it, as well as the tins. I have scanned the box and the smallest tin, but the others are a bit bulky to go under the scanner's lid, so a description will have to suffice. The tin I scanned has three vintage lady paintings around the side. Then there is a Cadbury Cocoa tin with two reproductions of early adverts. on the side. Finally a very unusual box shaped tin with the Coca-Cola trademark, and three reproductions of early adverts for Coke. When I first spotted these, my first thought was to include one or more of them in my next vintage swap, but the more I look at them the more I like them, so I don't know if I can part with them now! I probably will, since the MOTH rolled his eyes when I showed him and sighed "Tins now, as well as linen..." :-(

MORE goodies!!

Another day of op shop finds and eBay arrivals! I received this lovely centrepiece from one of my favourite eBay sellers, a very generous lady who popped a little extra cloth in with this doiley. Possibly she felt it wasn't worth listing the cloth on eBay as it had two small holes in the middle, but she knows my tastes well enough to know that wouldn't worry me. It is a small (88cm) square supper cloth in whitework, beautifully stitched with some drawn threadwork as well. I haven't scanned it as whitework does not scan well enough to show the detail, so you will have to take my word for the beauty of this piece. I often find the stitching on white work is unbelievably perfect in comparison to much of my collection of the usual multi coloured stitching; I wonder if this is because it was more difficult to work with, therefore the embroiderer took more care than usual?
Getting back to the centrepiece pictured, I just had to bid for this item - the pastel colours are very subtle, and the stitching is exquisite as usual.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cork backed drink coaster.
Posted by Picasa

Unworked tapestry panel of floral motifs.
Posted by Picasa

Assisi wall hanging.
Posted by Picasa

I am a Happier Little Vegemite today..

For the benefit of my overseas readers, the term "a happy little Vegemite" is used by Aussies to express their satisfaction about something: "I am pleased about so-and-so". One reason I am happier is that we have finally got the outcome of Ken's medical tests - if you are interested in reading about that, pop over to Patra's Other Place and read all the sordid details, lol!
The other reason is my purchases yesterday at our local Savers Opportunity Store. I have scanned three of them, but the fourth item is too large, so a brief description will have to suffice. The photos here are of (1) my first authentic piece of Assisi work. It is a small scroll or wall hanging, complete with a piece of wood at either end. There are four motifs - two dark blue and two light blue. I am not sure what they are supposed to represent, but the stitching is excellent. This item was priced at A$1.49. I would give anything to know who made it, and when it was done. Very unusual and certainly a unique find at an op-shop. The next item is an uncut tapestry with twelve separate circular floral motifs. I can see all kinds of possibilities for these! I don't know why I put the third item on here - it is nothing to do with stitching! But it was one of my 'finds' so I thought I may as well include it. It is a drinks coaster, one of a boxed set of six, although there are only five in the box, which is probably why it ended up at the opshop for $1.99. I have bought about 8 sets of placemats and coasters from Savers over the last couple of years. I just love cork-backed placemats - they dress up a table so beautifully, as well as protect my cloths from hot or messy plates! I always have some on our kitchen table for daily use, and it doesn't take long for them to become shabby - NOT chic though! So I can afford to replace them at around $5 a box, instead of about $35 a box when they are new in the shops.
The fourth item I bought is a large linen tablecloth, for $3.99. I made an error of judgement with this one; I didn't take it off the hanger to see how big it is, and I assumed it would be smaller. It is one of those cloths which is plain except for a couple of bands of colour woven around the border. I had visions of using some of Pam's transfers to decorate it, but it is far too big for that purpose, so I might have to list it on eBay! There were a few more items in my buy-up, but I am not going to describe them here, as they are to be included in my next vintage swap package!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Useful information found on the net - where else!

Where else indeed, would one find information about how to store vintage textiles? From the Smithsonian Institute, no less. I know there are a number of ladies who read my blog because they share my love of old embroideries, so you might find this link useful. Hope this works..(crossing fingers): Smithsonian Institute, Textiles

A little card for the 60th Wedding Anniversary of one of my home care clients.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

Thursday's goodies...

My frequent auction wins on eBay really do make life worth living sometimes. Today three more packages arrived. The crinoline ladies tin is smaller than what I had expected, but it doesn't matter. I am not sure what I will do with it yet - maybe even just put it on display with other CL items now and then.
The little picture was used by the eBay seller as a notecard to thank me for bidding on her auction. I will probably include this in my next vintage swap, as I don't collect such cards, but I know many of you do.
The crinoline lady doiley is just delightful - very happy with this purchase, as the stitching is lovely. The brightly coloured embroidered mat was described as an Aztec design, and I concur with this, although historically it may not be an apt title, I don't know. But there are two mats with the same design, and I just love the brilliant colours and design. Again, don't know where I will use them at this moment, but they will certainly be out there somewhere soon!

This shows a small very old toffee tin, and a 'vintage' card that one of the ebay sellers included with my auction win. Now, what can I put in my new tin? It is too small for biscuits or cake, so I might even use it for toffees, as it was intended to all those years ago.
Posted by Picasa

Dear little sandwich tray doiley. Can't wait to have some girlfriends around to play "ladies" for afternoon tea, and put this doiley on my silver sandwich tray!
Posted by Picasa

I have twiddled knobs for 10 minutes, but cannot make this picture look as good as the actual item. The colours are even nicer than this shows.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Today's Pictures.

In today's mail I received another of the Christmas round robin samplers I have been working on. This one belongs to 'Suzie' in the USA, who plans to make mobiles from the motifs that are stitched by the girls in the RR. When I have added mine, I will scan this again. I also received another eBay item in the mail - a stunning embroidered apron with a crinoline lady. I managed to save an image from eBay onto my hard drive, but unfortunately it isn't saved as a JPEG format, so I can't load it onto Picasa to put onto my blog. I have been trying for nearly an hour, and have given up!
The other pic here is of a jam jar cover that has been in my handbag for a few months. It was my 'waiting room' project - the one that stayed in my bag, and was worked on whenever I was killing time in a doctors or hospital waiting room. I had hours to kill today whilst waiting for Ken at the hospital, so I was able to finish this off, and start another one as well! (See my report on Patra's Other Place for an update on Ken)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My next Xmas RR to stitch, for Suzie in USA.
Posted by Picasa

Jam jar cover. Stitched in hospital waiting rooms!
Posted by Picasa

Visitors: Please identify yourselves!

Suse over at Pea Soup, had a clever idea for her blog and it took off like the proverbial rocket. She noticed on her stats counter that she had people all over the world reading her blog, but not many of them left comments. So she issued a challenge to do so, and was swamped by the response! (Nicely swamped, I should say)
I have seen similar surprising statistics on my stats counter as well, so I am doing as Suse did, and calling my meeting to order: Please (pretty please?) leave a comment on this post so I can see who else is visiting Patra's Place. Those of you who are regular visitors are welcome to say hi as well, of course! Something for me to look forward to after a possibly traumatic day at the hospital while Ken has an angiogram...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Work in Progress.

One day when Sharon or Linda are able to spend a few minutes with me here, I would like their help in setting up another item on my sidebar. Many of the stitchers' blogs I visit have a column listing their works in progress, and I think this is such a neat idea. I have mine written in a notebook that I keep in a tapestry bag with my current WIPs, but I don't look at it very often, and when I do, I am either amazed at the amount of stitching I have completed this year, or shocked to find that I have forgotten to finish something that had a deadline of 2 weeks ago!
The cross stitch project in this picture is for a friend who turned 60 in March this year. I felt so bad about missing her birthday that I decided to stitch something other than just a card, and give it to her as a combined Birthday/Xmas gift. She likes a drop of red wine, so I think (hope) she will appreciate the sentiment: "Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're A Cabernet"!

This is a Donna Kooler design, titled "Age doesn't matter unless you're a Cabernet".
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14, 2005

Medical report update.

There is news about my MOTH at Patra's Other Place, if you want to know the latest.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Today's mail brought these:

A beautiful placemat/doiley from Ms Robyn. I sent a copy of a craft pattern to her, and included some pretty vintage style wrapping paper that I thought she might be able to use in her lovely collage projects. This doiley was to say thank you. Well, thank YOU Ms Robyn! I am so happy to add it to my collection of crinoline ladies, as I don't have one quite like it in my collection. It is almost redwork, but not strictly speaking, as the floss used is actually two colours very much alike.
The second item in my mail was my bi-monthly "Post Script" magazine from the Calligraphy Society of Victoria. The magazine is a glossy publication with interesting and educational articles and photos, and the envelopes are hand done by a group of members of the Society. I have been a member for a few years now, and have saved every envelope that I have received, as they are done by a different person each time, so the script is completely different on each envelope. They are all works of art in their own way, but this is one of the best ones I have ever had, so I decided it was worth featuring on my blog. If there are any expressions of interest, I will scan more and put them on from time to time, but from now on I'll put them on Patra's Other Place, along with my Yesterday's Ladies pictures - reminding everyone that I am TRYING to keep this blog for embroidery!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Doiley from Ms Robyn
Posted by Picasa

Envelope from the C.S.V.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

MyVintage Swap parcel arrived today!

Toni over at Vintage Swap organised a fun event recently. She invited people to let her know if they would be interested in swapping a surprise parcel of vintage items with someone else. When she got the names, she paired us all up, and out of all the people around the world who participated, I was paired up with another lady in Melbourne!! My partner Jo emailed me very quickly, and we discussed the possibility of meeting over a coffee, and conduct our swap 'in person'. It would have been great, but due to my chaotic days in recent weeks, we just couldn't work out a date, so we eventually decided to go ahead and post our parcels to each other. Dear old Australia Post came good, and Jo and I both received our parcels today!
I have put photos of my goodies here. We had emailed details of our hobbies etc to each other, so that helped in deciding what to send. Well, Jo could not have done any better if I had chosen these myself. Have a look at this apron - the stitching is utterly fantastic! I said to Jo it is right up there with my favourites now. I don't know if she made the little bag, but I love that too. The postcards are lovely, and the little pink pussycat is so cute!
Roll on Vintage Swaps!

Also from Jo - three vintage postcards and a dear little pink cat with adhesive backing. Any suggestions how I can use it? I thought I might apply it to a plain white tee-shirt that I have...
Posted by Picasa

A little bag from Jo, made by using part of a tablecloth or napkin, not sure. But it is just gorgeous, and I plan to use it to carry my current stitching projects around in!
Posted by Picasa

This is the apron I received as part of Toni's Vintage Swap. The stitching is sensational!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005

Here is my Gouldian Finch longstitch UFO. Maybe I should unpick all the white at the bottom and get it framed with no background stitching at all?
Posted by Picasa

Embroidered Blue Wren brooch. This arrived today in the mail (eBay of course) and I was absolutely bowled over. Can you believe the work in this?? This pic doesn't really do the real thing justice, as it is quite small, but simply perfect....and only $10.
Posted by Picasa

This Robin Redbreast is bigger than the two Aust. bird doilies I have just posted, and not quite as finely executed, but I think it is still worth a glance here.
Posted by Picasa

Gouldian Finch - another of my favourite items. This is so tiny, but so perfect, and the crochet edge around the doiley sets it off to perfection. How could anybody bear to part with this?
Posted by Picasa

Eastern Rosella - part of a small doiley that I treasure because of the exquisite stitching.
Posted by Picasa

Something different here. This is a set of placemats and napkins (top one is napkin) that I won on eBay. A stunning combination of blackwork, drawn threadwork and satin stitch. Simple but effective in black and green.
Posted by Picasa

This is a doiley that was given to me by a friend, who had a heap of old linen left to her. She didn't want it, so gave it to me. Most of it was either unfinished or unstarted, and this was unstarted, so I decided to keep it in my handbag and work on it whenever I am killing time somewhere; I have done most of it in hospitals and doctors waiting rooms!
Posted by Picasa

One of a set of six napkins that I found in an antique shop. By sheer coincidence, I have a matching tablecloth that I won on eBay, so you can imagine my delight when I discovered these!
Posted by Picasa

A slightly different technique of Assisi here, with the extra colours and stems of flowers in addition to the main design.
Posted by Picasa

Another Assisi centrepiece.
Posted by Picasa

This is a centrepiece, or large doiley, in the Assisi style of stitching.
Posted by Picasa

Some pix of my linen collection. Birds, Assisi, etc.

After seeing some Assisi work on another blog, and putting a pic on here of one of my tablecloths worked in the Assisi style, I vaguely remembered having some more of this style of stitching in my collection. So tonight being Friday - always a relaxed kind of evening here, with no early starts tomorrow, I decided to hunt these pieces out of the collection and scan them. But typical of me, once I get into my collection (Linda and Sharlee can visualise me I am sure!), I just get lost in the whole lot, admiring everything all over again...So I extracted a few other items as well as the Assisi work, and decided to put them all on just for fun - with apologies to those of you on dial-up!
Each item will have its own description, but there is one in particular that I would like my dear friend Pam K to have a look at, and comment on if she would be so kind. Of course, I will welcome anybody else's feedback as well, as I am really stuck for ideas on finishing this UFO. It is a long stitch picture of a trio of Gouldian Finches (an Aussie native bird), which I have completed except for the background. The design was printed on the canvas, and the cottons were provided with the kit, but the instructions don't say anything about what to do with the background. I figured the only colour appropriate would be white, so you can see where I have started to fill in the bottom section in a kind of satin stitch. I also did a bit of half cross stitch between two of the birds on the right, but decided it was too time consuming. Any clues would be greatly appreciated! Apart from that, I hope you enjoy seeing some more of my collection.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Gingerbread Man for Xmas Round Robin.
Posted by Picasa

Here are two sets of the transfers I received from the USA recently. I asked Pam if she could find any crinoline ladies, and this is what she found. I can't wait to stitch some of them!
Posted by Picasa

Tray cloth. Sadly it is too big for the scanner so this is only about half of it. The embroidered message is Good Morning, and the teapot is made up of a second piece of linen on top of the first, where you can slip a napkin in place.
Posted by Picasa

Sandwich tray doiley to match the tea cosie.
Posted by Picasa

Top section of embroidered tea cosie.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A happy day makes a nice change!

Isn't it strange how you can plan a weekend, and it turns out quite differently? We didn't really have much planned this weekend, although I wanted to visit a Quilt Show at our local community centre. It was only there for the weekend, and I had been phoning my stitching friends, but without much luck - they either didn't answer their phone, or they had other arrangements. My friend H around the corner had told me about the exhibition a couple of weeks ago and indicated she would like to go. So I called her this morning and she happily agreed to come with me. Neither of us have ever done quilting or patchwork, but we greatly appreciate the work that goes into it, so we thoroughly enjoyed our stroll through all the vibrant colours and fantastic designs. A cup of tea followed, then back home.
It was about 1 pm, and I asked the MOTH what he was going to do for the rest of this fine sunny day and he muttered something about mowing the lawns. Well, I wasn't going to sit around and watch that all arvo, so I decided to collect an ebay win from a lady who lives about half an hour's drive away. I called her to make sure she was home, which she was - then on the way over, I stopped to fill up with gas ($1.25 a litre - bleah. While I was there, I got a cash advance to pay for my ebay wins and a few groceries on my way home. When I arrived at the house, C was just putting some cups of tea out on the front porch for herself and her husband, and she asked if I would like to join them, so I accepted. We chatted for a while, then C took me inside to complete our transaction. She happened to mention that she had a cupboard full of linen and of course my eyes glazed over, so she got it all out to show me. The money I had withdrawn for groceries soon went on other things, which she was happy to sell me outside of eBay (she hadn't list them yet), so we were both pleased with our transactions.
All in all, a very pleasant Sunday - both morning and afternoon. Here are two of the items I purchased from C - a teacosy and matching doiley, and a traycloth. I also bought three aprons from her, but they are too big for the scanner, so they will have to wait until I can get some photos of them. As well as those two items, I have included a pic of my Gingerbread Man, for the Xmas Round Robin I was working on. Finished that tonight, so it will be on its way to the USA in a few days. Finally, a pic of two of the Aunt Martha Transfer sets that Pam K. sent me. I will scan the rest of them eventually, but for tonight, I think I have enough to make Patra's Place interesting!