Monday, December 30, 2013

Bye Christmas Welcome 2014

 I had a very nice Christmas and hope everyone else did too. Here I am telling Santa exactly what 's on my list. This wasn't taken last week, last year or even this century. Must have been last century sometime. I'm sure I got everything I wanted, I usually did. My mother made my dress and I am wearing a hand knitted cardigan but don't know who knitted it.
 Christmas day my family were here and Santa obligingly came past in his hovercraft. We all rushed out to wave and cheer but he didn't stop.
 Very tall grandsons cleaned some of my ceiling fans for me while they were visiting. Thank you grandsons.
Charlotte is the lump under the quilt on the left, she is not keen on too many visitors at once/
Went to the Boxing day sales, I think there is only one shop in Sydney that sell Royal items. I couldn't resist this Royal Doulton couple. They were reduced in price (well a little bit) so had to have them.
While I was in Sydney I took a short train journey out to the suburb I grew up in. It's changed a lot as there is a large Mosque nearby and it is now very multicultural which means the shops are much more interesting.
Pictured above is the old public toilets, closed for good now but the building look cared for. If Martin and Lucy from 'Homes Under the Hammer' UK saw it I'm sure the building would be auctioned off and turned into a desirable residence. Right at the station and shops. This has been done to closed public toilets in the UK so might happen here.
Just so I don't get too relaxed after Christmas this happened again. A bit like those old puzzles, spot the thing that doesn't belong. There was a battle and I won. Enough said.
          HAPPY 2014 to All

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Christmas

Charlotte would like to wish all friends near and far A Very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Charlotte is also reminding everyone that she will celebrate her 19th birthday in February. She hopes for a telegram from the Queen but I have warned her she might have to wait for her 20th birthday for that.
I will keep the Palace up to date on all Charlotte's birthdays from now on.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Terea Gil Cross Stitch Update and More Excitement

 I've been working hard on my Queen cross stitch and now there is some colour it has become a bit easier to stitch as I don't lose my place so much. Still so much to do, I can't sit back and admire my work yet but progress is being made. Thanks to Lucy at threadedneedle I now have all the beads I need.
Interesting doiley for my collection. This is from the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. The visit of the Queen in 1954 then the Olympic games in 1956 really got Australia noticed and all needlewomen kept very busy.
 Much excitement today, first my latest Rosemary McLeod book was delivered. Almost 500 pages of exciting old needlework, patterns, old adds from long ago magazines all amazing stuff. Ruth from Britsamplers (though she hasn't posted for a while) alerted me to the new book. My copy came from New Zealand, Rosemary is a Kiwi, the book is just published and I couldn't find it here.
 One of the adds in the book from a 1938 magazine. Was tempted to take the advice offered till I remembered if I drink Gin I can't sew. So much to look at in this book.
Friend K told me about a neighbour of hers who collects wall vases and got me an invite to see her collection. I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in to B's house. The most wonderful collection, my photos don't do it justice. These are vases mostly from the 1950's all English or Australian made. Clever B has had false walls made so nails can be hammered in without damaging the walls. Unlike my collections which will one day pull the walls down.
 More vases, B also had pretty embroideries, brooches and bags. I will be going back again as I'm sure I missed some things. I still haven't shown all the vases.
 B. had a cabinet full of gold china.
 And a cabinet of green depression glass. The whole house was full of collections all so very pretty AND dust free.
Then B. came to my house to admire my collection which is not as well organised as hers. Charlotte quickly took up a position ready to be admired. Charlotte could you please explain away some of the cat hairs covering my collection?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tie One on Day- An Apron

 Yesterday 27th Nov. was Tie One on Day in America and with my large apron collection I thought I would wear an apron to my craft meeting. After much thought I decided on my Mae West apron. The apron was admired but somehow I don't think the day is going to catch on here in Australia. I will try again next year but some members were a bit puzzled by it all.
 Another part of the day is to cook something and give it to someone who needs cheering up. Cook! Me!
I went to the supermarket! and took this little feast along for morning tea. Not much craft is done at this craft group but we do like to drink tea , laugh and gossip.  The apron day is always the day before Thanksgiving in America and was started by EllynAnne Geisel who has written a book about aprons.
 I took this apron along for show and tell because it is in the book by Rosemary McLeod.
 Three of my favourite books. The top one is The Gentle Arts, 200 Years of Australian Women's Domestic and Decorative Arts. Although the making and collecting of aprons is popular in America the are mostly fabric ones. With a couple of exceptions I only collect hand embroidered aprons. Gina in Melbourne is the only person I know who has a larger apron collection than mine.
 Featured in the book Thrift to Fantasy is this beautiful hooked wool rug made by Lucy May Dunbar in Auckland NZ. Based on a wedding portrait of the Queen and Philip on their wedding day in 1947.
Mrs Dunbar's family loaned the rug to Auckland War Memorial Museum in 1954 and it has only been displayed once, in 2003. If the rug is displayed a second time I will be there. Rug measures 1905x1254 mm.
I have the pattern for this little sampler, knew I would never get around to stitching it so was pleased when I was able to buy one completed.
Now the HUGE??? excitement of apron day I will get back to my stitching challenge.
Happy Thanksgiving America XX

Sunday, November 24, 2013

George V Child's Tea Set and Lots More

 A child's tea set from the Coronation of George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Still in the original box. An amazing find on eBay in the U.K  and I love having it an my collection.
 Finished decorating my latest doll house, this one has a more Royal theme. I used some of my precious coronation wallpaper and I made the curtains and bedspread from Charles and Diana wedding fabric from 1981. A William and Kate engagement picture hangs on the wall.
 The rest of the house is furnished from the doll house I sent to the op shop. I only have space for 3 houses, the stairs make a good display unit for my small collection of Limoges miniatures.
 All these papers are 12th scale doll house size papers bought on eBay and scattered around various rooms.
Update on chairs. No law states my chairs must all match so I covered 2 to match the curtains and 2 with London fabric I bought from the Cath Kidston shop at Covent Garden some years ago. I only bought half a metre so have at last found a use for it.
 I bought this pillowcase a few weeks ago thinking it was perfect for me. Charlotte thinks it was meant for her. After a long battle we have agreed to share. Charlotte is having her turn.
The first stitches are in my Teresa Gil challenge, I couldn't wait till next year. Lots of half stitches back stitching and beading to be done.
The beads and more hard to find threads I bought from Lucy at who has been a great help. I still have 3 lots of beads on order

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

George V Charles Diana Samplers and Queen Curtains

 I think I bought this stamped and waiting to be embroidered sampler from America about 2 years ago. I have just finished and framed it. I made an educated? guess and decided it was meant for the Silver Jubilee of George V. I printed on calico with the help of my computer the picture of George V. It covers up a maple leaf so the sampler probably originated in Canada. Sorry Canada you missed your chance and the maple leaf has gone. The frame is from my favourite frame shop, the local Salvation Army op. shop.
 A beautiful Charles and Diana tapestry, a recent ebay purchase it has lots of interesting stitches, I was the only bidder so it was a bargain. Has everyone forgotten Charles and Diana? Not me.
 Another ebay bargain, I'm sure there are lots more C&d samplers out there waiting to join my collection.
 Was feeling my house is still not Royal enough. Example, boring dusty curtains hanging limply for at least 10 years.
 Boring matching chair. Well I made the curtains and covered the chairs so only myself to blame.
 Now look what I found in Spotlight. Fabric that looks like British 16p stamps with the Queen's head. I bought what was left on the roll, only 4.5 meters but enough for my plans. Old curtains in the bin and new ones hanging in no time at all. My ladder issues were forgotten as I nimbly leapt up and down the ladder and didn't fall off once.
Four chairs covered to match curtains, easy to do with my staple gun.
This makes my house even more ROYAL and will keep me happy for a little while.
Now, if only Charlotte would let me have a Corgi.
I will have another talk with Charlotte when she wakes from her 12 hour power nap.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Teresa Gil and My Cross Stitch Challenge

 This is my cross stitch challenge for 2014. This stunning design by Teresa Gil of the Queen in her Coronation robes. I am a very experienced cross stitcher but not an expert so this design will really test me. I have set aside the whole of next year for this challenge, anything else not finished by 31st Dec. will be added to the UFO stash.
 Teresa was featured in Majesty Magazine and when I first read about it I knew I wanted to stitch this designs so was thrilled when I saw the chart for sale.
 The chart is large and clear, there is a lot of backstitching, beads, sparkly threads, some petit point for the face and of course the dreaded french knot. I am having more french knot lessons this week and will be an expert when this heirloom is finished. There are lots of threads involved and I use the small plastic lunch bag method to keep them tidy and labelled. I am stitching on 14ct aida to save my sanity though I know it would look better on linen or evenweave which I think Teresa used. Teresa lives in Spain but I know she is only an email away if/when I strike trouble with my sampler.
Almost finished this easy to stitch Riverdrift sampler for Prince George. Then I have another knitted crown tea cosy to finish then I will be able to start my challenge. I love the little Prince George bear in the photo.
 This is a One Off design that was easy to stitch and is already on my wall.
 This is a little baby carriage charm meant for a Pandora bracelet. I don't have a suitable bracelet but I do have this necklace sent as a bonus gift by a generous ebay seller. I added the cats and now the little carriage.
It says Royal Bay 2013 on one side and a gold crown is featured on the other.
The Queen and three future king - love it - wish I had space to frame it and put on my wall. Sadly all available wall space must be for embroidered samplers only.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Help Needed to Overcome Too Polite Gene

 Walking out of the shops into the car park today and pushing my trolley loaded with cat food I was accosted by tall, polite, handsome young man with good teeth. He said he would walk me to my car. I thought he was a security guard as he had a yellow safety jacket and badge and perhaps an arrest was being made in the car park as has happened before. We arrived at my car and he proceeded to clean half of my back window- yes, only half. He was a salesman selling cleaning products at an exorbitant rate and I fell for it, mainly because he said it would clean my shower like magic. It doesn't. I meekly handed over lots of $$$$$$$ arrived home and realised once again I have been too polite.
 Story #2 I was sitting in the train in a near empty carriage when polite young man walks up and asks for 50 cents to ring his Gran. I obliged and thought what a sweet young man.....Then I heard him talking to a mate on his mobile phone. But I did laugh at my self for falling for that one.

Story #3 I was accosted by this man - or it might have been his not so handsome brother- in a shopping centre car park and he asked for $20 for petrol as he needed it to get home. I looked stunned so he added that he had his wife, baby and dog in the car. I did manage to turn down this request then I felt guilty later in case he did have a dog in the car.
 Story #4 I fell for this salesman's patter at the markets. He said you only use one part to 20 parts water and it will clean everything. I haven't used it yet, I shared some with a friend, that's why the bottle looks half empty.
I told Charlotte all my sad stories and as I am too gullible to go out alone could she come shopping with me in future. Of course she needs a sleep while she thinks about it. I have sworn her to silence about the amount of $$$$ I spent on todays  too politeness.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bushfire Update

 This morning I woke to smoke haze and the awful smell of burning. I should be able to see the mountains opposite but all I can see is thick bushfire smoke. The birds you can see in front and in the distance are all black swans
 I now have the smoke that covered Sydney yesterday. You can see by the woman's hair how windy it was.
 Aren't people wonderful, this is at Lake Macquarie yesterday (not my lake) north of Sydney and people were out in small boats rescuing wildlife that tried to swim away from the fires. This is a wallaby being rescued.
 Yesterday's headline, now over 300 homes have been lost, mostly in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
 Today's headline.
 Some local pics from the Illawarra Mercury. The top pic shows a fire plane at Coomaditchie Lagoon near my house and smoke over Lake Illawarra. Bottom pic. is a slightly singed but safe cockatoo.
A pet dog safe and sound. I worry about all the wildlife and pets that couldn't be rescued.                      With the exception of the top photo which I took this morning from my verandah all the photos are from the Telegraph or the Illawarra Mercury.