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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Check this site: a quilt for Katrina's survivors.

I don't 'do' patchwork and quilting, but I certainly appreciate the work that goes into creating these works of art, and I have two small ones myself, done by dear friends just for me. An Australian quilter had the wonderful idea of creating a quilt to sell to raise funds for the American Red Cross, to help survivors of the Katrina hurricane. She invited well known patchwork artists to contribute a block each, which will be made up into one quilt and auctioned on eBay in the USA. If you click on this link, you will be able to see the blocks that have so far been submitted for this worthy project, as well as some extra ones that people can vote for as their favourite in that selection.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

60th Anniversary card.
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60th Anniversary card revised!

Some time ago, I posted a photo of a card I had stitched, showing a glass and bottle of champagne, with '60' on it. I had intended to give it to a couple who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next month. But the more I looked at it, the less I liked it - for that occasion, I mean. So I ended up giving it to my cousin for his 60th birthday (see Patra's Other Place) and stitching a more appropriate design for my elderly friends. What do you think - much more suitable for people in their eighties? I made a few slight changes to the original instructions, by using silver thread for the lattice in the window behind the swans, and using metallic thread for the heart between the birds. Hard to see it properly here, but it does look really pretty. I think Mrs S will be thrilled, as she used to do a lot of cross stitch herself when she was younger.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

My Opshop Peg Apron
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And this is the last bargain for the week!

I just can't resist popping into opshops, even if I was only there the week before. You never know what might come in during the week! I always drop into a busy little opshop in Diamond Creek after I have worked with my last Home Care client for the day on Friday each week, as she lives not far from the shop. It is a tiny shopfront and inside it is a HUGE mess. Well, I shouldn't say that because somebody who works there might read this and be offended. Shall I say a huge INTERESTING mess? There are two rooms full of clothes and stuff, then out the back is a larger room with furniture, books, tins, ornaments, you name it. So today I wandered in and headed to where the manchester is piled up on shelves, and found this cute Peg apron for $1.50. I have a very old plastic thing that has seen better days, and have been meaning to replace it, and now I'm glad I waited. This is one that is tied around the waist, with a huge pocket in the front to hold the pegs. Mind you, I have several other embroidered peg bags and aprons, but they are much older than this, and are part of my collection - definitely not for everyday use!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Peacock runner - forgot to include this one while I was on Picasa!

My $7 sampler...what a treasure!!
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Centrepiece with pansies. This pic doesn't do it justice; the colours are prettier than what it looks here.
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Centrepiece with mauve/violet flowers.
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Thursday, November 24, 2005

And now for today's loot...

First stop for the day is always the post office where I collect my mail. Today I received the last of the peacock embroideries that I had been buying from the USA via eBay. I was surprised to find this one is exactly the same pattern as the doilies I received a week or so ago - but this is just one long runner, with a peacock at each end, and the stitcher has chosen a different colour scheme. So I didn't mind having it twice!
I arrived at the office about 1 pm, collected my roster, and headed across the road to a Salvation Army Thrift shop that had caught my eye as I was parking the car. Didn't find anything there to interest me, so I hopped in my car and drove about 2 blocks up to the next opshop on my list. There were two in a row here. At the first one I found two exquisite centrepieces - on with mauve flowers and the other with pansies. $4 for the two of them.
Driving on a bit further I discovered a second hand shop (different to an opshop, which are usually there to support charities). This shop was huge, absolutely chockablock full of junk! An older lady of European descent sat at the counter near the front door, and didn't even look up when I walked in. After stumbling around for about 20 minutes, I decided that as interesting as it all was, there was nothing that I needed/wanted. As I approached the counter, the lady looked up and smiled, and as I smiled back, I spied something on a shelf behind her. She asked if there was something in particular I had been looking for, and I replied "old linen - and by the way, is that for sale?" She turned around to see what I was pointing at. "Oh yes, you can have that for...$7 - is that all right?" I could hardly contain myself. For $7 I got myself a genuine sampler. Not just a simple cross stitch sampler, but one with hardanger, beading, and other intricate stitching. It was stapled on to a piece of masonite, which I suppose has at least kept it from being crushed. I took it off to scan it here, but the scan doesn't do it justice.
I found a few more opshops down the road, but found nothing to excite me as much as the sampler. All you ladies in Melbourne who are opshop-addicts, drive the full length of High Street, from Separation Street to Murray Road - it has to be one of the best streets for Op shops in Melbourne!!

I forgot to mention this piece last night on my comment. There are two pieces - the larger piece, and the narrower band at the bottom of the picture. I couldn't figure out what it was, but Linda suggested because there are two of the bands, it may have been meant for a blouse. I won't be making it into anything; for me it is simply a fine example of unusual stitching.
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This is the centrepiece I picked up yesterday for about $3, I think. It has the tiger lily motif at each end.
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This is part of the large doiley my home care lady gave me yesterday, with the sweet robin redbreast on a branch of blossom.
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Lots of 'eye candy' - with apologies to those on dial-up!

I do not often have a week like this, where I have so much luck at op-shops. Today (Thursday) I had to go to Northcote (about a half hour drive from home) on a work-related matter, so once that was dealt with, I had the afternoon free to do as I liked. I always carry my Treasure Hunter's Guide in the car, so I checked it to see if there were any interesting spots over that side of town. Well! Did I strike gold!! So I have quite a number of pictures to post here. But first, I will post the items I described in last night's post. After I do that, I will write another comment about today's finds, and then more photos. All aboard!!

A profitable Op shopping day..

For me, anyway. I spent Wednesday afternoon with Linda and Sharon, going out for lunch before Christmas swamps everyone. Sharon directed us to a small suburban shopping centre which had more craft and secondhand shops in one area than anywhere else I have been! The other two were much more disciplined than me, but I did enjoy myself. Unfortunately I ran out of money and had to borrow $10 from Sharon in order to purchase 10 copies of an English cross stitch magazine at one opshop. But it was fun to browse through them when we got home, and plan what we will stitch...dream on, Gina..
As well as the magazines, I found a doiley with tiger lilies on it, a small cloth with roses in cross stitch, and at the craft (patchwork) shop I found a Semco traced linen kit of teacups, and a Leisure Arts cross stitch chart that I had been unsuccessfully bidding for on eBay in the past. As if I need any more kits and charts, but it is nice to have a choice. All right, MANY choices! My latest acquisitions are soaking in Napisan right now, so as soon as they are pressed I will scan them and post here.
That reminds me - I came by another doiley today, that is also soaking in the tub. One of my home care ladies had it on her table when I arrived this morning. She said "I was cleaning out the linen cupboard and was going to throw this out, it is so old and tatty now, but I thought you might like it". I did like it - very much. Yes, it is old (this lady has been married 60 years), the crocheted edge is coming adrift, and there is a small hole worn in the linen. But her embroidered robin redbreast is so beautifully done, it will be a lovely addition to my collection.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Picassa is working again, so here are two more pics.

When Picassa is working properly, I do prefer them, despite having learnt how to post photos via Blogger. So here are two more pictures. One is of the fridge magnet that I posted the other day when I hadn't quite finished it, but I finished it off today with a blue border, and put the magnetic strips on the back, which unfortunately, show up in the photo! Still, I think it is nice, and I hope my swap friend will like it.
The crinoline lady is one of a pair of the same design, on large white linen squares. If they were oblong, I would have said they are pillowshams, but as they are square, they are more likely to be antimacassars...sorry if that is spelled incorrectly, but most of you reading this will know what I am talking about! These were auctioned twice on eBay before I bid for them. I saw them the first time around, and the photo didn't look crash hot, so I didn't bother bidding. The next time they were listed, they were at a lower price, and the photo was a bit better, but obviously still not good enough for the other C/Lady lovers out there, as I was the only bidder. I am sure if the seller had scanned them like I have here, she would have sold them for a lot more, as they are really lovely.

One of a pair of Crinoline ladies won on eBay for a bargain price!
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Revised photo - finished article with border.
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Saturday, November 19, 2005


Hooray!!! Finally finished this sampler at 2 am this morning, keeping Ken company while he watched an old John Wayne movie on DVD. You can't really tell by looking at the picture, but I used some of Pam's metallic thread in the word 'Cabernet'. I used one strand of metallic and one of DMC and it looks great. Hell to work with though, even with the help of Thread Heaven!
Now I have figured out how to post pictures here using Blogger, Picasa can jump in the proverbial lake. They have been offline for the last few days, and there are a lot of very unhappy people out there, going by their online forum.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fridge magnet for MSN group Xmas exchange.
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Fridge magnet and Xmas card - MSN group Xmas exchange.
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Teacosy - before ironing!
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

A busy and productive week!

Ken's enforced retirement has not disrupted my schedule of things to do and people to see! Fortunately, he is not the kind of person to sit around and mope; he has been in touch with some of his friends, and been out riding his motorcycle with one mate, who lives around the corner and is also retired, and into bikes. So I have been mostly free to get on with my usual activities. Yesterday I went to the Melbourne Museum to meet some eBay friends, and view the collection of crinoline lady china belonging to LeeAnn. She had about 400 pieces on display, and said she has about 900 altogether in her collection. She also has some embroidered linen to go with her china, but that wasn't visible under all the china, so I couldn't see if any of it was the same as mine! Her collection is sensational; I didn't ask, but it must be worth a fortune, I'm sure. She has bought a lot of it from England, where the design originated, and she doesn't buy reproductions - only original old pieces. I took some photos, but didn't finish the film, so I can't put any on here right now.
After we had drooled over LeeAnn's collection for a while, we showed off PharLap to Liz and Bee who had flown down from Sydney, and they were very impressed. Wonder if Maykeby Diva will end up there with PharLap one day? Then we went to the Museum cafe for some lunch and chat, and from there we drove to one of Melbourne's busy shopping strips (Sydney Road for those of you who live here). We visited three opshops but didn't have much luck, although I did find this teacosy for 90 cents. I guess I should have waited until I washed and pressed it before scanning it to put on here!
Yesterday's mail brought some goodies: the peacock doiley is one of three (all the same) from the USA. I am continually fascinated by the ways each different person interprets the colours of a peacock in their embroidery. Some pick up on the actual colours of the peacock feathers, while others are quite bizarre, but I love them all. The other two items - Christmas card and fridge magnet - are from a lady also in the USA. We are in an MSN group of cross stitchers and we exchange gifts at Christmas, although this year it is more like a non-secret Santa! We are not exchanging gifts with each other; we have been given the name of someone else to send to. So my project for another lady in this group is the "Good Morning" fridge magnet shown here. I still have to finish off the edges and attach the magnetic backing, but the design is finished.
Today I took delivery of a tallboy in which I plan to store my linen. I have been shopping around for about a month, taking measurements and prices, and finally decided on one early this week. I really thought it would hold everything, but as soon as it was placed in the room where I keep my linen, I realised it was not going to be anywhere near big enough...I managed to pack everything in it, but some drawers are squashed tight, and I wanted to avoid doing that. Ken looked on knowingly and said "I could have told you that wouldn't be big enough for all your stuff". I replied "So I am going to have to cull it, aren't I?" to which he just snorted!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Round robins and UFOs.

Been busy this week, with not much time to post on my blogs. The coming week looks just as busy, with a family get-to-gether at our place tomorrow (Sunday) with a dozen or more people expected. Work all day Monday, and on Tuesday morning. In the afternoon I will be visiting a new Do Care client for the first time. Wednesday will find me at the Melbourne Museum with friends from eBay, looking at the Crinoline Lady collection. Not sure what is on Thursday, but there is something scratched in the diary...and back to work on Friday.
In my spare moments, I have heaps of stitching to be done - mostly with deadlines at the end of November or early December! So I may not be posting here every day. But here are some pictures to add colour to Patra's Place: Melissa's Round Robin is the last one I have to stitch on, before my own Robin 'comes home'. All five girls in this group are very excited about this RR, as it has gone so well. Nobody has dropped out, or lost anything, the postal service has worked exceptionally well between USA, Germany and Australia, and we look like finishing ahead of the scheduled time. For some of the girls, it was the first RR they have participated in, so they are eager to get another one going next year. I have been nominated to organise it, so I am hoping the same five girls will participate, as they have proved themselves so reliable.
The crinoline lady pattern is stamped on a child-size calico apron. This was ex eBay, and did not cost much at all, much to my surprise - these items are usually snapped up by one of several regular eBayers who like to stitch vintage patterns and fabrics. I like to think that because it is relatively small and uncomplicated, I will whip it up in an hour or so...yeah, pigs might fly too - backwards..

Left half of Melissa's round robin. My stitching will go in the space beneath the cardinal.
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Right half of Melissa's Xmas round robin
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Child's unworked calico apron.
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Next year's stitching goals.

Danielle over at A Peacocks Feather has posted some comments about her stitching goals for 2006. She has two blogs - one for what she stitches, and the other (Works In Progress) for the books she reads. The amount of reading and stitching she accomplishes simply floors me! But it got me thinking; I have seen a lot of these lists on the sidebars of other blogs, so I might have a go myself. I have promised myself (and certain other people in my family) for the last three years, that I would finish a particular UFO, but every year, I have got caught up in exchanges, round robins, and stitching gifts and cards for friends. Maybe if I publicly declare my goals for 2006, I will be duty bound to actually achieve them...time will tell.
I made a handwritten list of what I have stitched this year, and I am always surprised to see just how much I have done. But still none of my long term UFOs have been touched. Shall I put some of them on a separate list on my sidebar? Nah, the sidebar would run off the bottom of the screen. But I just said SOME of them. What would I start with, out of about 200 items? Oh, correction needed there - they are not all UFOs. Most are SINS.
For some reason, the link to A Peacocks Feather doesn't work for me. If you can't log into it either, just go to Works In Progress and find Danielle's link to her other blogs on her sidebar.

Monday, November 07, 2005

..or my three Owlets. Do you think any of these have a chance of winning a prize?
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...or my Black Kitty on a treasure hunt...
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Stitched for Ken's 60th Birthday
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Whittlesea Agricultural Show, country Victoria.

Whittlesea is actually an outer suburb of Melbourne, about half an hour's drive from where we live. They have a Show every year around this time; it's like most agricultural shows - farm animals, rides for the kids, showbags, junk food and best of all (for me!) a crafts pavilion which includes quilting and embroidery, cake decorating, baking, china painting, scrapbooking, etc. etc. I know a lady who usually wins several prizes for her knitting and embroidery, and I have been saying for years to Ken "Let's go to the Whittlesea Show this year". So, this year - we did. It was a hot day, and the showgrounds are dusty, but we had a good time. MOTH likes to pretend he is a farmer, and strolls around looking knowledgeably at farm machinery and livestock. I trailed after him, until I got too hot, then I insisted we find the craft pavilion. It was his turn to be bored! The standard of most of the work was very good, but Ken said "Why don't you enter this show next year - your work is just as good as any of this". So, I just might. I could put the above piece in - of a Tiger Moth plane...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

In complete contrast to the peacock runner, I was bowled over (delighted!) when I unpacked this cloth. Linda, wait until you see it - possibly similar to one that you have? Not on gingham - the purple cloth has white lines woven into it, and the Chicken Scratch is stitched into those lines, leaving nothing at all showing on the reverse. This is a supper cloth, and an amazing feat of perfect stitching.
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This is the doiley I paid 50c for at The Brotherhood Opshop. Simple, but pretty, and the crochet edging provides a perfect finish to it.
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Scanning, scanning, scanning...!

The title of the post says it all - I have been busy scanning lots of goodies this evening. Some embroidered items for this blog, and some other nice piccies for Patra's Other Place.
Thank you all for your encouraging messages regarding Ken. I will be posting some more on Patra's Other Place in a minute.

Friday, November 04, 2005

More pictures soon..

I found a lovely little sandwich tray doiley today for 50c at the local Brotherhood opshop. And I received two eBay wins in the mail yesterday. I haven't had the chance to scan them yet, and at half past midnight, I am too tired to do it now, so it will have to wait until the weekend. It's been a depressing day and I am just not in the mood.