About Me

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My name is Kaye and I am 56 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

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

New Prairie Schooler SAL is up and running....

.... although a bit slower than I would like but I have been busy with afternoon teas, a bad back, stitching I need to get finished and working full time!

So, if you have already signed up, don't worry, your name is written down in my little pink book and I will get around to adding you very soon plus of course, I still have the Americana SAL blog to set up as well.

If you want to check out the New PS SAL blog, please click here.

AND, watch this space tomorrow morning, as my SSF, Kim, and I have an exciting new joint venture to unveil....!!!!!

Oooh, have to sign off now or I will miss my train, 

Have a great day everyone,  

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A .... is for Afternoon Tea.

Today is my first post for The Alphabet Club (one day late, sorry Chiara and Jo).

What is the Alphabet Club, I hear you ask?  Well, it is the brainchild of Chiara from The Grey Tail and Jo from Serendipitous Stitching and is loosely based on the premise of the movie "The Breakfast Club" - you can see the button for The Alphabet Club on my right sidebar.

On the first Saturday of each month, members of the club have "detention" and have to post about something that will enlighten others about their culture (as blogland is so diverse).  Of course, there should be something stitchy in there, if possible. Each month will be a different letter of the alphabet - hence the club's name - and, of course, we are starting with "A".

You can read more about it all here.

So, here is my post for this month's detention. Unfortunately, it is not a stitchy post (does that mean I fail detention Chiara and Jo?) but is about one of my other passions - Baking!  So, here goes!

Yesterday, I hosted a small Afternoon Tea for the newly engaged son and his fiancee of my very dear friends, Linda and Terry.  I have known this young man since he was very little and he is a good friend of my DS1 and is actually one of DD's flatmates.  So, I wanted to do something a little special for him and his fiancee.

Hannah Dwyer's photo.
High Tea : 200 Delightful Recipes for Friends and Family - McGrath FoundationApart from the scones, everything I made was from this new recipe book: Lime curd tarts, Ginger and cherry cake, cheese twists and two types of scones: Herb and cheese and plain, served with two types of jam and cream.  It was all served with coffee and two types of tea: Madagascan Vanilla and Earl Grey.  I had so much fun getting out all of my fine china and my good tablecloth and so on.  It was a roaring success, if I say so myself!  (Sorry, we were so busy enjoying the food 
that we forgot to take photos of the people)

So, what is the history of Afternoon Tea?   Apparently: Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of "having that sinking feeling" during the late afternoon. At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o'clock in the evening. The solution for the Duchess was a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.Later friends were invited to join her in her rooms at  Woburn Abbey and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for "tea and a walking the fields." Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon. (from: http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/information/history-of-afternoon-tea/)
Here in
Australia, though, we often call it having a "cuppa in the Arvo" with Arvo being slang for Afternoon - we colonials, we just cannot get rid of our

convict origins, can we?  lol!

Well, that is it from me for now.  If you want to check out the other detainees - please go to this link here.

P.S. Sorry about the gaps in the post but blogger is playing up for me today.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Smalls SAL/Hallowe'en Ornie SAL update...

Well, here is my Smalls SAL update - a couple of days late, I am afraid!  As is often the case, my Smalls this month are related to my Hallowe'en stitching.  I am just scraping in for my July Hallowe'en ornie for the Haunted House theme but I am a day early for my August Hallowe'en ornie for the theme Black Cats, although my cats are not quite black but there is a ghost cat! lol!

July: 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.

August: Halloween Cats - freebie from Kreinik, which you can find here.

I am very pleased with my finishing on both of these cushions.  I think that maybe I am finally getting the hang of creating a nice finish.

TraderVic keeps asking me why there is so much stuff in my sewing room but, of course it is full of my stash so that I can always put my hand on the perfect fabbie or ribbons or buttons or beads for finishing.  For my haunted house I found some gorgeous reproduction fabric in different shades of lilac and the perfect ribbon - do you like the pretty little purple bow underneath the haunted house?

Furio approves....

I love the ghost kitty and do you see how Furio has snuck onto the top of the right column and Milo has crept underneath the ghost cat?

I finished it with little black cats on a ribbon.

And the bottom and backing fabric is black kitties on black!

For both of these designs I used overdyed 28 count fabric from my stash, plus various DMC and specialty threads which I chose myself.

Click on the wee ghostie below to check out what other people stitched for this month's Hallowe'en SAL.

... and you can check out everyone else's Smalls SAL update, here.

New SALs update:

I am so thrilled, I have had a wonderful response to my Christmas Ornie SAL blog, which you can check out here.
Also, I have had some good interest in my other two new SAL blog ideas: Americana and Prairie Schooler, which you can read about here if you are interested in joining.

Plus, watch this space for a new idea coming from me and my SSF, Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Oh no! I have had two more ideas .....

.... I am sure you remember that a few weeks ago I had an idea - an idea to start a Christmas Ornie Blog.  Well, I have been very pleased by the response to this, lots of lovely bloggers have decided to join in the fun at the Christmas Ornie SAL 2015 blog.  (By the way, it is not too late to join this SAL blog, if you wish - just leave me a comment letting me know).

Now, I love these sort of blogs, you have all month to stitch a little something on a theme.  I find that it really focuses me and makes me so much more productive each month with my craft.

So ..... I was thinking.... and thinking .... and thinking .... and I came up with the idea for two more SAL blogs.  Oh no!  Or maybe Oh Yes!

Idea Number One:  An Americana SAL.....

I love what I call Americana stitching or what is sometimes called by U.S. stitchers Patriotic stitching.  We just do not seem to have that same sort of genre of designs here in Australia.  I think my love of Americana began when I studied American history in Year 11, I still remember my textbook was called "From sea to shining sea".  Let's see, that would be forty years ago now - lol!  I learnt about the seven colonies, then the thirteen colonies and on it went - fascinating.

So, I found that I am drawn to stitching American designs, like Liberty Lane below:

Idea Number Two:  A Prairie Schooler SAL.....

I am sure that most of you have heard the sad news for us that Prairie Schooler is closing down:

cross stitch counted needlepoint pattern design

An era is ending, but I know that so many of us love Pamela and Nancy's designs and have lots of them in our stash.  Surely enough to get us through a few more years of stitching  - lol!

So, the idea with both of these SALs is that once a month (whenever we feel like it), we post our progress on our Americana and Prairie Schooler projects on the SAL blogs.

If you are interested in joining either or both of these SAL blogs, please just comment on this post and let me know - I only need one other person for each SAL to get going.  They will be relaxed SALs, I promise but should be lots of fun!

I am hoping that you all think that these ideas are "OH YES" - please come join me!


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Xmas in July Gifts which I made and sent....

.... to three, hopefully, happy bloggers.  Here are all of my parcels piled together ready to post.

Now, this is what I sent to either Lyn or Michelle (sorry, silly me forgot to take note before I posted these two parcels). Update: to Michelle.

I sent these three gifts to Julie from Jewells and yes, she loved them - luckily for me, blue is her favourite colour!  (Coincidentally, Julie sent all those lovely gifts to me, I posted about last post for the swap)

.... and these three gifts were sent to either Lyn or Michelle.  Update: Lyn.

I hope that they loved them as much as I do - I love every minute of the making, stitching and finishing.

Thanks Cheryll for being an awesome swap mama - you can check out what other people received if you go here.


Monday, 27 July 2015

Christmas in July Swap.....

..... Each year for the past few years, I have taken part in two Christmas in July swaps, an Aussie one run by Cheryll from Gone Stitchin' and an international one run by Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread.

I have sent off all three sets of my gifts (pics in my next post) and I have received the two Aussie swap parcels (and opened them) and I am just waiting for the overseas one to come - it will be a lovely surprise when it does come.

So, without further adieu, here are my lovely gifts  (I can tell you, I have been wonderfully spoilt!):

The single parcel at the back is from Julie and the three at the front are from Ilene.

So, I opened Ilene's first:
See the gorgeous ornaments she used as tags?

The first parcel from Ilene contained this gorgeous stitched table topper and some yummy heart chocolates in a sweet heart tin (if TraderVic is lucky, I may share some with him - lol!)

Furio approves!

Inside the next parcel were some lovely Christmassy handtowels - just perfect for my kitchen.

The third parcel had two lovely wall hangings - a christmas tree and a snow man.  Thank you so much, Ilene - lovely gifts.

So, then Furio had to help me open Julie's large parcel. Imagine my surprise when I found it was full of lots and lots of goodies!

Gorgeous button present tags, a little friendship book and some christmas ribbons.

A cute reindeer.

A christmassy thread catcher (or chocolate bowl) plus an apple and rhubarb scented candle (now how did she know I had been making apple and rhubarb compote yesterday?).

More Christmas ribbon.

A christmas apron - perfect!

oooh, what is inside this tin?

Some crocheted wash clothes and...

... some cat salt and pepper shakers, oh, I love them, Julie.

They are perfect with my little dutch girl and boy and my thimbles (and can you see Henry Viii) lurking in the background?).

Julie and Ilene, I cannot thank you enough for your lovely gifts, I feel so spoilt - I just love them all.

hugs to everyone,