A collection of embroidery related stuff


Here is a picture of the set up I did for my daughter’s room with store fittings I got from a large retail shop which closed down. My girl got half the wall & I got this half:


I love to have my things organised, although another large selection of embroidery supplies are in another bedroom.

From the last post here is an update on the Home Sweet Home project:

The rose tree side is complete & the roof is stitched (there are two sides to the roof, but the look identical – lucky!) I have started the orange tree side, and completed the tree itself, so a bit more work on that, then there is still the base and one smaller side of the house. Then assembly. Maybe by Christmas??

I have also been involved with local community theatre and directed a play! As a thank you  to other members I made some little monogram stitchings to pop on top of tins of candy:


I was inspired by Mary Corbet’s website & her articles on voided monograms. I also got to play with some of my newly acquired silk threads.

And then there has been a little beading, Trish Hewitt popped down to Oamaru again & taught a small group of us to make a little humbug, which fits nicely on my scissors. Then because I’m just too speedy, we also got to make a couple of Christmas decorations.


Sorry about the foggy photo – sometimes my phone camera is a bit special (or perhaps that is the operator?!)

Somewhere in between I also finished this little beauty, and gave it back to it’s owner, who started it, but didn’t quite finish it. I think she may have got disgruntled at the precision of counted work – which while beautiful, is one of those very unforgiving techniques, one mistake at the start can turn hours of work being redone.

I also hemmed it and am pleased – while it is not perfect, it is still the best hemming I have ever done.



Messy Mind

The renovation has been done – just waiting on official paperwork, but we love our new master bedroom and en-suite. Now that we are moved in, we have moved our girls around and have most things re-organised. There are still plenty of boxes in the garage, but they just may be the things we don’t really need.

My after school class is done and the display is in the shop window:


My next step with this, will be to gather the kits up again, sort out their bags & for those who haven’t finished, make sure they have good instructions and enough materials to complete.

Since this big job is mostly done, it was time for my stuff again. I completed another side of the Home Sweet Home.

20160719_081748_001_resizedI’m really struggling with motivation to get this project done, but I rewarded myself with some fun with mustaches & silver thread.

20160713_162136_resizedI turned these into brooches and I will make another two. Then I will have them to sell at our Victorian Fete stall in November. I’m thinking of possibly doing some top hats as well, although it’s not coming together in my head as nicely as I would like. While I ponder that, I am getting on with another side of the house:

20160719_081707_resizedI’m also working on the roof at the same time, and once I have done this side, my next will be the base. I’m having some thread issues with this side however, so I will do what I can with the threads I have and then sort out the others. Maybe I’ll even do a bit of stitching on the rest of the sides, and then I can get put some threads away.



Most of the kits I have created are for people who have done very little, if any stitching. Over the last 8 weeks I have been teaching primary school children for an hour after school. Most of these kids have never used a needle. They have been learning different stitches to create a Knight sewing kit.

I had to adapt my old Knight, to accomodate the scissors which were sourced by my mum, which was actually a lucky thing as I changed the kit so used #5 perle thread, which is definitely easier than stranded for first time stitchers. So I recreated to this:

So I got funding, budgeted for 20 kids, was told there might be 30 and ended up with 27 on the first day! Chaos ensued, but stitching has been done.

The classes are very relaxed and most of the children are working a bit at a time with it, which is great!

Along the way, I substituted the French knots for beads. 

Each week, I sort through all the kits, work out where the kids are at and most importantly what their next step is. Next week will be the last week, there are a handful which will finish completely, but they have all done great work, and I’ll be able to put a display together.

April Update

Gold twists

thank you for continuing to read my posts and if there is anything you would like me to touch on, please comment.

Our build is coming along, taking a bit longer than expected, however that is the nature of building according to Kevin McCloud & he knows! This weekend we have our ANZAC day (Monday – remembrance day), which will mean dawn parades for our 3 girls, and us. Although it would be lovely to spend this time stitching, I believe jibbing ceilings & walls in the lounge will happen, not to mention the jib stopping, painting and everything else we can do to get this project finished. I am looking forward to all that being done, so we can then get carpet down, and move in.

I have recently been inspired by

1. A colouring-in book – I’ve always thought of embroidery as colouring in with thread.

2. The national Bernina Colour Postbag challenge, this year is “Go for Green”. in my brain I have been playing with the idea of our national birds & using negative spaces. I’m not sure how much I can put on here about that though. I am using one of Hazel Blomkamp’s books for a lot of the stitching.

3. The Goldwork Guild are having a challenge this year too, with template. I like this very much and have already sketched out ideas, placement. Checked on my supplies & have now just got my hands on a few more supplies:

Gold threads

the twists were a bit larger than I hoped, however when I stretched them they look more along what I was after. At some point I can see I am going to have a lot of fun with these babies! (each pot has 1m of twist – 2 x 50cm pieces)

Gold twists

I am VERY excited about this project, but still have to actually become a member of the Guild, although I did also join their Facebook page.

Since Wanaka I have also made two books, using the two techniques taught there, and I finished off a tiny beaded box – photo will come.

My other great news, which will add to my busyness very soon, is I got the funding to teach 20 primary aged children at an after-school group. I will be teaching them the Knight Hussif. I have to do a little re-designing as my kind mother sourced some affordable scissors, however they are a lot bigger than the knight was designed for.

Wanaka and renovating

We are renovating, adding on a new master bedroom and ensuite, so our three (2 teenagers & 1 approaching) will have their own bathroom and will no longer have to squish themselves and their personalities into one tiny room. Yah!

In the meantime, my craft room/sunroom/howcananyoneactuallycallthisa’room’ has gone. My supplies are scattered throughout the house and the garage. Most are in the garage, but there are other supplies in the top of wardrobes, under beds, and in the current bedroom. I tried to keep what I would need in our bedroom, and have had mostly success.

and so, due to not being able to start anything new, I finishes projects! Hurrah! The Poppy which I can not show you is done! My Golden Sun is done, and now available in kits.

And I went off to the Wanaka Embroidery school and made books. With success. Then I came home, made another one, and made half of an over sized book, which will become a book for my designs… Soonish.

Of course I did some shopping in Wanaka…. Stash pic:

I’m going to try to continue my tradition of purchasing one new wooden tool per year, this year was a stiletto punch, last year I got a thimble, and the year before was a cord winder.

There were a few purchases of “ohhh that it pretty/cool, I’m sure I’ll find a use for it”



Recently I have purchased a few books. Firstly I was directed to Hazel Blomkamp’s  books by Mary Corbet. While I had seen her books on Crewel work, these two caught my eye & I think I can use many ideas in them.

Both books are of exceptional value when it comes to quantity of content and indeed quality. Clear instructions are in both although the needle weaving book also has photos of the worked technique. At this point, and I have really only flicked through them, they seem exceptional value for money.

Next up is a book I asked a friend to purchase for me, as payment for some work I did for him. It only arrived today and already I am in love!

Firstly this book is beautiful. The images are magic, bright, interesting, stunning. Then the information inside is phenomenal. Before getting my hands on this I thought I knew a bit about goldwork… I know nothing. I feel like John Snow. Yet it does not make me feel like a beginner or incompetent, more like the small window into goldwork that was my knowledge has expanded to French doors, opening onto a goldwork balcony. Oh, and I’ve barely started it.

In other news, I have completed 3 classes with my penguin Hussif & have taught 6 ladies. I also have sold a few of my heart kits, some of my Hardanger kits & have put in my funding application to be able to teach the Knight Hussif to some local school children. Fingers crossed.

Recently I have found delight in helping fellow stitchers with queries. No question too silly. One of favourite things about embroidery is that there is always something to learn.

Where am I? 

I’m Wow! Since my last post, only just after Xmas, although I now realise that was almost a month ago, I have been busy busy busy!

Firstly Xmas and New Year holiday stitching…. I made a dress for my daughter, several little “goodie bags”, started and finished the second cushion cover and started a Ukrainian white work piece. Pictures?

Sorry, none of the dress, or my friends cushion cover,  but here are my bags… Well some of them.

As cute as they are, I sold 4… Two of them were sold to family members, my daughter set the price at $5 per bag.

The Ukrainian piece I started as my travel embroidery piece, on the ferry to Wellington. We took the whole family, driving from Oamaru, stayed the night at Leithfield beach, and then on to the ferry at Picton. We stayed in Raumati Beach at my friend’s house, so I could give her the cushion covers.

While in Wellington we went to the Gallipoli exhibitions at Te Papa and the National War Museum. Both were excellent, and well worth seeing. We visited friends in Palmerston North and I got to spend a morning with my embroiderers guild and reunite with many friends. Then we were back off south again, this time staying just north of Christchurch, in Waipara at what I like to call a medieval camp. It’s actually called Cantherbury Faire, and it is amazing! My daughter spends the whole week there, but the rest of us only stayed a couple of days. There I had the opportunity to teach 14 children my Knight Hussif and I had a table at my first market. I sold a few kits, including both of the golden hearts, and I was approached by the head of their embroidery guild.

I also bought the best pair of scissors and a small sharpening stone. (The skittles are just there for scale, and cause they are yummy). These scissors are great for cutting out felt!

We got back to Oamaru last Sunday with a mountain of washing and rain! Rain and more rain! Finally it cleared on Thursday and we got the washing done!

This morning I taught my original penguin Hussif as part of the Waitaki sustainable school. The two ladies I had enjoyed it and nearly finished their Penguins in the three hours we had. I am teaching this class next Saturday as well and have one person signed up for it 😀 also the Otago Daily Times man came and took some pictures of us 😀 so we will be in the paper!

Now, I have done up more heart kits and am trying to decide on the right picture for the cover.

Happy Holidays!

I love our summer Christmas, but that is probably because it’s what I’m used to.

Our day started peacefully with just myself & my man preparing, no rush. At 12:30pm the first of our family arrived, and in an hour we were a party of 11, all in our back yard, enjoying drinks and a barbecue lunch. Heaps of food as per normal. Between courses we opened presents, here is a pashmina my MIL gave me.

By 7pm we had peace restored and I was in bed by 8:30pm!

Boxing Day consisted of more great weather and a trip to the shops so our girls could spend their Xmas money. I nabbed this book :

And am now 50 pages into it. Fantastic amount of information on NZ stitching. Having such a short history, means the chances of sourcing existing work a bit easier compared to other countries. I loved finding out that Captain James Cook’s wife stitched NZ on a map before any European woman set foot here.

And I finished the first of two cushion covers for my friend.

Today is another glorious sunny day, which I will hopefully spend doing a little reading, a little sewing, and a little tidying of my craft room.

Busy busy

Starting with my unfinished piece from my last post, the cushion cover for my friend is coming together, only a few more threads to go.

Of course, I am nearly useless at only working on one project at a time, and so I have finished my frugal golden heart.

Why frugal? I want to create a design that people could have a go at the techniques of goldwork, without the huge price tag. So, I used PVC instead of leather, braid instead of purl purl, and cotton a broder instead of silk. I priced this up today and I can sell the first 10 of these kits for only $15 (NZ)!

Also for some Christmas cheer I made these

A mini goldwork kit stitched

This week I have stitched the moon goldwork design I had. The final kit will be a bit different. To keep costs down I will only have one highlight gold option and I might make the “stars” around the moon in the smaller check.

This one I have turned into a little bag & filled with sweets for the person who gave me the goldwork supplies. I think I will include a second piece of velvet in kits for those who want to make it a bag. It’s ok, but I think it is looking a little squished as a bag on its own. 

  I had some trouble with finishing. Sigh.

In other news I have done a bit on my friends cushion…

I might be about a quarter of the way round (possibly a bit optimistic), but it’s coming together & no finishing on these babies! Yah!

Also, today I did some sewing… With a machine, gah! I hate dress making! It is for my daughter & fortunately she is now old enough to do the more boring parts – cutting out the pattern, pinning it, cutting it out and zigzagging all the edges.  Still, I need to buy a zip before we can go any further on that medieval wonder!