About Me

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My name is Kaye and I am 57 years old. I love to cross stitch and quilt, especially with my kittens, Furio and Milo "helping" me. I also love to read, I have a passion for history and I have been cooking since I was about 12 - move over Junior Masterchef! So, this blog, which started out as a cross stitch blog sometimes morphs into a reading journal or a history lesson (sorry, I used to be a secondary teacher before I became a publisher) or a post about my cooking mojo. Whatever it is, this blog is alway about me, my family and my life here in Eaglemont, Victoria. I have been happily married for over 30 years to the most wonderful man and we are blessed with three beautiful grown up children.

My fellow stitching kittens

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Book Review: The Queen's Gambit

Hi lovely bloggers, 

Not much time for blogging lately but, I have had time to listen to a great Tudor novel on Audible (when I go for my walk on my way home from work).

It is the first in a trilogy about "forgotten" Tudors.  This first one is about Katherine Parr, Henry Viii's sixth wife.  Here is the publisher's blurb about the novel:

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived: This is the story of the one who survived. 

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. Instead, she attracts the amorous attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and rely on her wits and the help of her loyal servant Dot to survive the treacherous pitfalls of life as Henry’s queen. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

And here is  a link to a review in The Guardian and to Elizabeth Fremantle's website.

As I said, I actually listened to the novel on Audible, and I enjoyed the narration immensely.  If you are into "talking" books, then I can highly recommend "reading" it in that way.

I intend to download the 2nd and 3rd novels in the trilogy to listen to whilst I am away on our trip.  The second novel is about Lady Jane Grey's two sisters (who survive her execution) and the third is set in Elizabeth II's court, towards the end of her reign.  Both sound really good and are read by the same narrator as the first, whom I really enjoyed listening to.

Anyway, enough from me for now.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, 

hugs, Kaye

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Alphabet Club Post: "D" is for .....

....."Downunder".... I am not sure how many of you know this but Australia is often called the land Downunder because when you look at a globe of the world, where are we?  A big island sitting by its ownsome in the middle of the ocean!


Now, why is this?  Because, of course, the first mapmakers came from the northern hemisphere and they put North at the top.

Well, you know, this doesn't have to be so.  If you have ever been to the Map room at the Vatican Museum, you may have seen the maps which place Rome as the centre of the map and everything else is seen in relation to Rome.  In 2006, we brought this map of Sicily home for my DFIL from the Vatican map room and if you know Sicily, you will see that it is "upside" down.  That is because it is the view from Rome, which is North of Sicily.

But why should Australia be Downunder?  Why can't we be on top?  No reason at all, really!

I used to go to university with a guy who didn't believe that Australia was Downunder, so much so that he created this map and self-published it in 1979 - it is still being sold today.

See, Australia is in its rightful place!

This is the spiel about it on the website:

 Unique downunder viewpoint with cheeky Aussie humor. This map was created by Stuart McArthur of Melbourne, Australia. He drew his first South-Up map when he was 12 years old (1970). His geography teacher told him to re-do his assignment with the "correct" way up if he wanted to pass. Three years later he was an exchange student in Japan. He was taunted by his exchange student-friends from the USA for coming from "the bottom of the world." It was then, at age 15, he resolved to one day publish a map with Australia at the top. Six years later, while at Melbourne University, he produced the world's first "modern" south up map and launched it on Australia day in 1979. It has sold over 350,000 copies to date.

... and just to finish off, you may have heard of this famous Australian song by the iconic Australian band, Men at Work.

Here are the lyrics:

"Down Under"

Travelling in a fried-out Kombi
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said:

"Do you come from a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscle
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
And he said:

"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover."

Lying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, "Are you trying to tempt me?
Because I come from the land of plenty."
And he said:

"Oh! Do you come from a land down under (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover."

So, hopefully I have now educated you about the meaning of the word Downunder!

Just to finish with some stitching, here is the very sweet "D is for Darning" stitched for me by my dear friend, Kim.  Pretty, isn't she?

P.S. Sorry that this post is late but I have been so sick for nearly a week now - tonsilitis and the flu - double whammy!  So, no blogging, very little stitching, just a lot of sleeping, reading cosy crime on my kindle and watching bad TV!

Take care of yourselves,

hugs, Kaye xoxox

P.S. If you would like to join in the fun of "The Alphabet Club", pop over to Chiara's blog (The Grey Tail) to see what all the fun is about and link up your post for the Letter "D".

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Hallowe'en Blog Hop....

... every Hallowe'en the redoubtable Jo from Serendipitous Stitching hosts a fun and fabulously Spooky Hallowe'en Blog Hop.

You need to follow the letters from blog to blog to spell out a Spooky Saying to win the prize.

So, here goes, my letter is:


... and you need to hop over to Needles, Pins and Dragonflies to find out the next letter.

Lastly, I cannot leave you without some Hallowe'en eye candy.  Here is one of my favourite Hallowe'en finishes:

Haunted House from the Side Panel of  "Halloween Days sewing basket" by Simona Bussiglieri of Mani Di Donna on page 89 from JCS Halloween Ornament Magazine 2015.

Have a great Hallowe'en everyone, 
TraderVic and I are off with some friends to Beechworth for a couple of days of R&R and then Monday night we are going with DD1 to see the fabulous Fleetwood Mac - so exciting!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

October Smalls SAL report.....

Hello my dear fellow stitchers, as you will see, I have a few Smalls to show you this month:

First up is Liberty Starburst by Summer House Stitche works, this was stitched as part of my Americana SAL blog.

Now, I did make one change, if you look at the original pattern:

you can see that there is a piece of blue felt blanket stitched in the centre - well, do you think I could find that piece of blue felt when I was ready for it?  No way, Jose!  Nowhere to be seen, so I improvised:

... and made up my own centre, which I am actually really happy with.  I hope that you all like it, too.

Now, of course, as soon as I wasn't looking for it, I found it! lol!

Now, I have offered this pattern as a Giveaway on the American SAL blog and if you follow this link, you can find out who won!

Next, we have my Friday Frolics SAL/ FNSI/Prairie Schooler SAL finish from this post (love to double or triple dip! lol!)

Day 11 of PS's Santa's 12 Days of Christmas

I especially love Mr Fox in the bottom right hand corner.  Plus I have finished Day 12, as well, so now the set is complete:

... and lastly, I finished two Hallowe'en pieces:

Moon and Cider Apple Cider
Needlework Press
28 ct overdyed fabric
Floss: as per designer

My second Hallowe'en stitch is "Bump in the Night".  Again, when I saw this cute row of tipsy houses, I just knew that I had to stitch this one, too!

Bump in the Night
Tempting Tangles Designs
JCS Hallowe'en Ornie Mag 2015
28 ct overdyed blue fabric
Floss: I chose my own overdyed threads from my stash

I must admit that I am thrilled with both of these finished pieces - each have their own special brand of spookiness.

So, there you go, a very productive month of stitching.

If you want to see how everyone else went with their Smalls this month, you can check them out here:  Stitching Lotus


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

I did it!

I finally finished my Santa's 12 Days of Christmas!

Now, the earliest post I can find on this blog, Kitten Stitching, which features Santa's 12 Days of Christmas is on May 21, 2012 but I suspect that I started the SAL a few months before that - so this project has taken me over three and a half years to complete.  I must admit there were (quite) a few times where I lost interest, lost faith in my ability to finish but I overcame those times and here we are:

 I just need to decide now how to Finish each one - any suggestions?

Now, as I am pretty certain that I won't be tackling this project again in a hurry, I want to gift my lightly-used design booklets (three of them, with all twelve designs) to one of you lovely stitchers.

But, I am going to make you work for it!  Ha! Ha!

You have to decide which of the 12 days is my favourite - which may be hard as I do love them all but there is one which I particularly love!

So, please leave a comment with your guess either on this post or on the corresponding post on the Prairie Schooler SAL blog and on Monday, 9th November, I will draw a winner from the correct guesses.

Have a great day, everyone, 


P.S. Love to Linda who started me on this journey.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Americana Freezer ....

See what I have in my freezer now?

 After a quick trip to the supermarket today, I found these Yum Yums!

I can't wait for dessert time!


Tuesday, 20 October 2015


... well, for IHSW, I thought that I should continue on with my PS 12 Days of Santa as I am finally getting so near to finishing the series.  Yay!

So, here is Day 12 so far....

... here are some of the lovely roses from my garden (I had a play around with the special effects on the Aviary app on my iphone to get the photo looking like this).

I hope that you all had a great IHSW, 

I don't think that dear Joyce has put up the October link yet but check out her blog anyway, 


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Triple Dipping....

Well, I am pleased to announce that as part of: Friday Frolics, FNSI  and for my Prairie Schooler SAL;  last night, I finally managed to finish Day 11 of Santa's 12 Days of Christmas.  Woo Hoo!

I especially love Mr Fox in the bottom right hand corner.

On to Day 12 now for IHSW, very excited, nearly there!

Have a great weekend,