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

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Stash empire building ...

... yes, I am at it again!  I just cannot help myself but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do when she sees some lovely crafty things!!!!!

On Saturday, the little Eaglemont Village where I live had its first monthly Saturday market for the year - it is just a small craft market but well worth a visit.

So, I bought these gorgeous chutneys and Quince jam from one stall ...

... and then I went back and bought a jar of Raspberry and plum jam, too (I am a sucker for homemade jams).

From another stall I bought these great quilting fabrics ...

I think that they will be perfect for finishing my Smalls as cushions and pincushions. I especially love the carrot fabbies and the strawberry fabbies and altogether they only cost me $8.00.

Then, today, I had to go into the city for a meeting with the publishing house that I am doing some freelance work for (more work = more stash! lol!), so I went in a little early so that I could visit the gorgeous vintage haberdashery shop, 


... it is full of so much crafty goodness but I managed to sort of restrain myself to just buying this ...

... an antique pincushion design, just right for using up some of my civil war stash ...

... a vintage French seed packet needle keep - you embroider the flower panel - they had so many designs it was so hard to make a choice but I finally did.

... and lastly some gorgeous Spanish floss packs - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter colourways - I can't wait to use these!  I am going to start with stitching with them on the Vintage French seed packet above.

... and to finish up, here is a cute Furio pic.  This is on Anzac Day, when the family came over for lunch (that is my dear nephew on the left), we were sitting there having lunch and TraderVic left the table to go get something and when we looked up, there was Furio sitting in his place - what a wag!

Well, that is all from me for now, 


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Today was a good day ...

... as these are the things I did today:

1. Worked hard at the 8.30 Aquaerobics class;
2. Spent an hour and a half stitching the binding on a quilt for a friend (this is a gift that has been a long time coming and I will tell the story on my May Gifted Gorgeousness post) with Furio trying to "help" - the deadline for getting the binding finished is the 18th May, which at this stage I am confident of meeting;
3. Knitted several rows of the baby blanket I am knitting for the son and daughter-in-law of a dear friend for their bundle of joy who is due to grace this Earth in early August - plenty of time to meet this deadline (although I want to stitch a Noddy design for the new baby, too);
4. Made roast pumpkin soup (sort of used this recipe) and my very favourite new thing to bake - focaccia rolls;
5. Tonight I am going to stitch on my Mystery SAL, "Wherefore Art thou" by Nora Corbett for Tudor Tuesday.

... and of course, here are some pics of most of this (but certainly not me at Aquaerobics!)

What more could you ask from life than to be creating a beautiful quilt for a friend with a kitty cat snuggling on your lap?

This is double knitted (ie two strands of wool and will be ombre - moving from dark blue to pale lilac)

 ... and here is Furio guarding the house against that devious devil of a  sweet little dog next door!

So, yes, a very good day.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Impresso.. ...

My dear bloggy friend, Cath from Cath@Home and Bits 'n Bobs recently put me onto this cool App for my smartphone - Impresso.

Basically, it allows you to take one of your photos and turn it into an Impressionist painting!

Do you want to see?

So this ...

becomes this....

and this ...

becomes this...

and this...

 becomes this ....

and, lastly, this ....

 becomes this....

As you can see, it does work well on landscapes (and not well at all on cross stitch finishes, I can tell you!).

The App was not expensive, about $4 or $5 dollars (AUD) but worth it for the fun I am having with it.

P.S. Do you like my yellow roses?  They are loving the Indian Summer which we are having.

P.S. Mini asked why I called it an Indian summer - so here is a definition:

"Indian summer is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather that sometimes occurs in Autumn"
"Although the exact origins of the term are uncertain,it was perhaps so-called because it was first noted in regions inhabited by Native Americans (incorrectly labelled "Indians"), or because the Native Americans first described it to Europeans, or it had been based on the warm and hazy conditions in autumn when native Americans hunted.
In the UK, observers knew of the American usage from the mid-19th century onwards, and The Indian Summer of a Forsyte is the metaphorical title of the 1918 second volume of The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy."

Not sure how it made its way to Australia!

P.P.S. Using this App makes me feel like an artist, which is nice, as I cannot draw for peanuts!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

April Smalls SAL update....

Oh, I have a couple of very happy dances for you this month for the Smalls SAL... ...

First up is Henry Viii...

Historic Royal Palaces Kit (gifted to me my by the gorgeous Jo)
28 ct Willow linen
Own choice of floss and beads
Finish #11 for DUCJFC2016

Secondly, is my Christmas Ornament for April - the horse from Nordic Holiday... ...

I used these two gorgeous Sajou cotton floss and stitched it on 28ct white linen.

This fulfills three other SALs as well -

                                              and is, of course, another finish for  DUCJFC2016.

Then, lastly for the Americana SAL, I have now finished five states for "America, Land that We Love" which is the American Sampler by Jean Farish which I am currently stitching for the SAL blog.   The blocks for each state are quite small - on 29 by 29 stitches - so I am counting each one as a Smalls SAL finish.

So, in all I have had a very successful Smalls SAL month, I think (it helps being semi-retired - so much more time for stitching and planning for projects - lol!)

Remember, if you want to check out what everyone else has been up to for the Smalls SAL, please click on the link.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

I think....

... I am starting a mushroom farm on my front lawn!  lol!

'Nuff said!


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness_ April update....

"Oh dear, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date"

Yes, another late post for Gifted Gorgeousness (although better than March, as I never made it last month!). If you click on the link, the lovely Jo will fill you in as to what GG is all about.

I have three GG items this month.

1.  These lovely counting pins which the most Vibrant and Vivacious Vickie made just for me as a RAK.  Aren't they darling?  

Thank you so much, Vickie, they have been in constant use since their arrival.  They were accompanied by this very sweet "V" card.

2. As I was blog prowling several weeks ago, I saw a very sweet Noddy design on Marvellous Margaret's blog.  She kindly has gifted me the design.

Thank you so much, too, Margaret, I have some young friends who are expecting their first child later this year, so I think that Noddy is going to make an appearance very soon.

Update:  Penny from Larkspur Lane has made me realise that not all of my readers may know who Noddy is!  

Growing up in Australia in the 1960s, life was still very "English" and all middle class children read Enid Blyton stories avidly:  Noddy, The Faraway Tree and the Famous Five to name but a few.

As I was doing this internet search, I discovered that there is even an Enid Blyton Society.

Now, I have to address the elephant in the room re poor Enid, as while she was beloved by generations of oblivious children, educators, other authors and the BBC slammed her books as being racist, xenophobic and simplistic - you can read all about it here.  I am not denying that this is so  - I can see that now as an adult - but I must admit as a child I never saw it and I have grown up to become a very fair and tolerant adult.  So go figure!

Who else read Enid Blyton whilst young and what do you think?

3. The Sensational Serendipitous Jo, knowing my fetish for everything Tudor, several months ago gifted me with this great Henry Viii design.  It is now finished - yay!  Happy Dance around the house.

Now I just need to find a sweet square frame for him.

Thank you, Jo, for feeding my Tudor passion.

Well, that is my GG for this month.

If you want to see what the other GGers got up to, please click here.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Monday, 18 April 2016

April IHSW report....

As promised in my last blog post, The Tale of the Three Hatboxes, , I did keep stitching on the next motif on the Danish bell pull found in the bottom Hatbox for IHSW.

So, here it is, one more motif finished....

Just to clarify, IHSW is International Hermit & Stitch Weekend and is hosted by the lovely Joyce - you can read all about it here and link up here.  This is a weekend where stitchers from all around the world try to stitch like mad, all together so to speak. 

Always a fun weekend.

Well, that is all for me for today - I am nursing myself today, just getting over a shocking cold, so taking it easy.


Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Tale of Three Hatboxes ....

or The Shame of Kaye......

This week for Friday Frolics and FNSI, I thought that I should investigate my three hatboxes - I knew that I had some crafty projects in them but what they actually were, was anyone's guess!

These hatboxes sit as a stack at the top of the spiral staircase which leads to my bedroom.  I think that I have had them somewhere between 25 and 30 years - in the mid-80s these were all the rage as decorating items.
Of course, where they sit means that I pass them by several times a day but do I ever look in them?  No, not really, not until yesterday, that is.

So, do you want to see what I found?

I am sure that you do, as it was a treasure trove of UFOs - to my great shame (and delight, too).

So, the top Hatbox....

contained Flying Geese quilt blocks...

Oh, my goodness - looks at these gorgeous flying geese blocks for a quilt I was making many moons ago - there are quite a few of them, I actually think I have made all of the blocks - I just need to sew the sashing, put it all together and then I would have a quilt top!  
Okay, another project for my semi-retirment.

The Middle Hatbox.....

Hmm! Some patchwork fabbie but what is hiding underneath it?  Oh no, another half completed quilt top!

Oh, my goodness, I can see lots of patchwork and quilting happening for me in the near future!

Bottom Hatbox......
This is the largest hatbox and had the biggest amount of bounty UFOs.

Oooh, Goodie, the patterns for the two quilts above - phew!

But below these patterns is a wealth of UFOs!
(unfortunately some of them seem to have their patterns missing - probably carefully stored hiding someplace special)


(no pattern)

(no pattern)


(no pattern)

(no pattern and I have absolutely no idea what this could be!)

(no pattern)

This is all finished - just needs to be made into a pillow.

Here it is all ironed - it is so pretty - why on earth did I not finish it at the time?

 But the piece de resistance is this unfinished bell pull, which shows significant places in Denmark (now, the coincidence if this is that only the other day I recorded a movie on Foxtel to watch later, "A Royal affair", which was about the Danish royal family in the 1770s - so naturally I stitched on the bell pull whilst watching the film yesterday).


... so some progress has been made ...

I will keep stitching on it tomorrow as well and report back after IHSW.

So, that is my Tale of the Three Hatboxes or The Shame of Kaye but whichever title, lots of Friday Frolics projects for me to work on in the upcoming weeks.

So, that is all from me for now,

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