Category Archives: Counted Stitchwork

Following the Ocean Theme

While we were away, I noticed the projects I’d picked up to bring had a bit of an oceanic theme going on as well:

Crochet Washcloth
The colours in this crocheted face washer matched the view nicely on that grey, blustery day 🙂

Mermaids of the Deep Blue
And then there were these mermaids. I put a few hours of stitching in – this is Mirabilia’s Mermaids of the Deep Blue. To be honest, I’m still in a little bit of shock that I actually cross-stitched. It’s been ages – I’d be willing to bet that most of my cross-stitch-y friends and readers have stopped following this blog, it’s been so long!

Blogtoberfest Day 6


The owner of this hand turns 2 in a week. Can you believe it?!

Oh how I wish I got the focus right in this shot – she was moving so fast I took what I could. It’s an almost great photograph

Anyway. The lovely biscornu in Niamh’s hand came to me two weeks ago. It’s from Christine, and it is a simply beautiful Pay-It-Forward gift. So sorry Christine that it’s taken me so long to let you know it arrived, and that I love it. So nicely finished – be proud of yourself!


PS. I upgraded my WordPress installation and now my smilies are all blah. I just noticed this now, will work on it tomorrow!

Hearts & Flowers

There’s no escaping it – excluding January, 2-oh-oh-8 has been a pretty lean year for me, crafting- and stitching-wise. I’m a bit bummed about that, but as usual, when I’m feeling a lot of stress about other things, I find the urge to create falls in a heap. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot more reading than usual (the highlight of which has been the very beautiful Girl with a Pearl Earring – how, oh how have I not read this before?) More recently, I’ve developed an unhealthy addiction to Packrat on Facebook (and I’m going to go ahead and blame Annette for that, even though I know she will protest!)

All has not been completely lost though. Way way waaay back in February, I did actually do a wee bit o’ cross-stitchin’ 🙂 Can’t for the life of me remember where this cute heart is from (DMC??), but it was a freebie chart, and I stitched it with a pretty pink hand dyed silk from Jo.


Then, in March, I became a joiner-in-er! I sidled into a Brown Owls meeting one night, had a bit of fun stitching up my name and Tweenie panels, decided that a room full of crafty strangers wasn’t quite as scary as I thought, and became a Seconder that very night. What is Brown Owls? Why it’s ‘Brownies’ for Crafters, of course :giggle: (or ‘my weird cult’, if you believe my sweet husband!) Bunches of crafty chicks sitting around the clubhouse drinking tea, eating bikkies, chatting, and learning and sharing bits of crafty goodness. All thanks to the Good Lady Pip.

I’ve been to another two meetings since – in April we played with hooks and yarn. After the crochet class, inspired by Lara’s collection of flowers, I came home and puzzled my way through a few online tutorials to create this bunch:


At last night’s meet we had a bit of a Mix-up – everyone brought in whatever they liked to work on, plus some Show & Tell. I was so worried I was going to be the daggiest crafter there – because it has always seemed to me that even in this atmosphere of crafty revival, cross-stitch is still stuck firmly in the ‘Nanna crafts’ category. But surprise! and yay! I wasn’t the only one who brought cross-stitch. I know… I worry about the silliest things 😳

Oh yes, and on the weekend, one of my red flowers made its way onto a last-minute handmade gift for my Mum for Mothers’ Day (makes me feel like I’m back in kindergarten… in a good way!)



But the thing that is making me happiest of all today is a small but significant breakthrough in the Finn situation. We’ll get there yet 🙂

Windows, Lights… Pillows?

‘Tis late. We’re not long back from ‘doing’ the Myer windows and the Boulevard lights – two Melbourne Christmas institutions if ever there were. With a stop off at Haigh’s on the way. Yum. Two happy but tired kids fell asleep on the way home. I thought I’d show you a couple of recent finished objects before I do the same.

This cushion:
Finn's Cushion

which is a long awaited finish (remember the work in progress?) from Finn. He finished it in time to show his teacher last week at his (sob! sniff!) last Kinder session.

The proud boy (since having a new camera – early gift from Mum, thanks Mum 🙂 – necessitated taking new playground shots of kids):

And a finish from me, which I probably shouldn’t really be showing off yet, since it’s still en route to the recipient:
Ornament Exchange 2007

This was for an ornament exchange on the Aus Xers yahoo group. I joined up before I realised what a slump in stitching I was about to experience. Blah. So I have to confess… I probably broke the rules a little bit. This stitched piece (a Drawn Thread freebie) was sitting in my ‘to be finished’ pile already(!) When I realised I had zero chance of getting something new stitched for the exchange, I picked this out and finished it up as a pillow ornament. Is that bad? Anyway, I’m not counting it as a finish for the year, but I do plan to restitch it for myself, because I think it’s really pretty. If I manage to kick myself in the butt after Christmas is over, I might just get it done before ’08!


As I confessed on Christine’s blog recently… when I set goals for myself (particularly publicly), inevitably, I succumb to some kind of weird reverse-psychology thing. Suddenly, whatever it is I have decided I should do, is the last thing I actually feel like doing. And so it was with the TW October stitchalong. I managed to scrape in a mere 7 hours of stitching for the whole month of October. Thankfully, that 7 hours was all on Storyteller, so all was not completely lost. Here are the before’n’afters:

Before Oct stitchalong

Aaaaand here:
After Oct stitchalong

So. Now you see Mssr. Cuthbert, my storyteller (the dragon is Claude. You know, like ‘Clawed’. I know. Sad. 😛 ).

And now ST is likely to return to the box from whence it came… hopefully not for all eternity!


Ahem. Sorry about the unscheduled broken-time. A stupid mistake – I was upgrading my WordPress installation and then went to bed without actually testing it properly, and hey, turns out I missed that teeny tiny .htaccess file that makes it all work. So Million Stitches was broken good and proper this last 24 hours. Never mind. We’re back in business now. And I have part two of the Smalls Exchange to show you. Here are the pretties which Christine stitched for me – an Ellen Maurer Stroh biscornu (beautiful beaded edge Christine 🙂 ) and fob:


Aren’t they gorgeous? You can see more images on Christine’s post, including a photograph of the extra goodies she sent me – a lovely handmade card, highlighters (staple of any stitcher’s toolkit!), doggie post-its which Finn very much fancies for himself, and the very beautiful Drawn Thread Cloister Garden kit. This is me on opening my gifties: 😆

Smalls Exchange


Many many years ago, when I was in my early teens, I was the recipient of a chain letter which promised a ten-fold return in new undies (aka knickers/panties/smalls, take your pick) – you simply had to send the letter on to several friends, purchase a new pair of undies and send them to the person at the top of the list. Haha. I think this was the only chain letter I ever actively participated in. Can’t remember how many pairs I received, but there were certainly a few.

Every time I think of the exchange I just took part in, it makes me think of the undies chain letter and giggle :giggle: But this was not that sort of exchange! It was the ‘open themed small exchange’ on the Rotation Stitchers’ BB. We were to stitch up any ‘small thing’ for our recipient. I stitched these Indigo Rose pretties for Jen Harper. Here is the back of the fob:

(click pics for embiggening 🙂 )

This is the first time I’ve stitched the spider’s web stitch, the first time I’ve beaded the edge of a fob, and the first time I’ve finished anything as a needlebook. I procrastinated a little bit on that last thing, but eventually got the fiddly little book done, and I love the results! Happily, Jen does too 🙂

Now… time to drum up some motivation to work on my TW Storyteller, seeing as I have ‘committed’ myself to the October TW stitchalong on The Wagon.

A Simple Life – New Friends – And Old

Finn, Niamh and I spent yesterday morning with Marita and her girls, and Marita’s sister in law and her boys. There was playing, snacking, and even (shock!) stitching. Not much of that, mind you, but I gave a little bit of love to my Wee Beasties dragonfly. It was such a lovely morning, company and weather-wise, that I was reluctant to leave, but Finn needed to go to kinder, and Niamh to bed, so we had to head off all too soon. Hanging out for the next time! Funny, just a few short months ago, I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have any crafty friends who also had kids of a similar age. I guess sometimes the universe takes notice 🙂

Then in the evening I spent a good long time on the phone to a close friend who I have been woeful at keeping in touch with these last few years (since I had babies and she went off to other parts of the world – if that sounds a touch green-eyed-monster-ish, it isn’t meant to!). She’s now back home(ish)… in Tasmania, and (surprise, Mel!) expecting her first baby in December. I’m so excited for her, and hoping to make plans to get there for a visit sometime in ’08.

Today’s pic is finally the promised photo of Elizabeth’s Designs A Simple Life. The grass at the bottom was kind of tricky – I didn’t want the variegation in the thread to come through in vertical or horizontal stripes, so I intentionally stitched ‘blocks’ of the grass at a time, trying to emulate dappled sunlight coming through the tree. Not quite sure it was 100% successful, but y’know, it looks okay, I think. And marks finish number 9 for 2007.

Stuff 1 & Stuff 2

(Aka a-very-boring-blog-post)

Stuff 1
My order arrived a few days back, and the bits I couldn’t remember were a couple of Elizabeth’s Designs charts: Red Door and Nature’s Alphabet. Nice! I saw Junette’s finished Nature’s Alphabet ages ago, and liked it then, but when I saw Carol’s finished fobs (here, here, here… and more…), I was completely sold. So pretty!

Stuff 2
It appears Niamh suddenly prefers bottle to boob at bedtime. I am simultaneously saddened yet relieved it wasn’t difficult. Only snuggly-in-bed-morning-feeds left now, and who knows how few of those to go 🙁

Show & Tell

With the exception of today, Melbourne put on a lovely show of weather this week. Yesterday afternoon, while Niamh was sleeping off a bad case of the grumpies (please let it be teething, oh please let it be teething – I can’t cope if she’s going into the tantrummy-twos already), Finn and I sat under this:

Finn (with liberal amounts of help) worked on this:
I worked on this:
(which incidentally I finished off tonight, but the photos I took were a bit on the crappy side, so I’ll have another try in some decent light over the weekend).

Later, I went along to this (you can spot me in one of the pics on the blog if you squint), and I stitched on this for a bit:

Fun fun. The design is an ’06 Christmas freebie by Hillary Lang, and there is a matching boy-elf, so I’ll be stitching the pigeon pair to make up as Christmas gift bags for the kiddos. Cute, huh?

Have a great weekend – we’re off up north to celebrate Fathers’ Day with multiple fathers!