Monday, January 16, 2017


I am in the early stages of preparing a series of new class projects. For now I am just playing with ideas and thoughts - a bit of feet up, relax and just stitch before the real work begins.

One of the projects that are taking shape is going to be including dragonflies.
Since I don't have a garden full of dragonflies, I spent a couple of fabulous hours on Pinterest looking at dragonfly illustrations, admiring some amazingly beautiful drawings.

I made two 'collage' pages of pictures, just to have next to me while I started drawing. I don't ever copy anything, they kind of just sit next to me, like a little security blanket that I can glance at if I need to.  One thing is knowing I want a dragonfly, or two, or three... another is to arrange them into some kind of design, but that too is coming together nicely.
There are still a lot of decisions to be made...fabric (colour and fibre?), threads (silk or cotton??), and of course colours?.. these little critters can be any colour I want, which is both exciting and a little bit scary. That aside...

... I just felt like stitching. I am not sure about the orange/pink, I like the wing, and I most certainly will not be stitching on ivory. The satin stitch body and shaded wings worked as I had hoped - this project is for a beginner class on satin stitch and long & short stitch (soft shading) so I need small(ish) simple shapes, with no tricky curves or flowing stitch directions to get around.

Have a lovely, stitchy week,
Anna X

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Drifting on the breeze...

Summer has finally arrived properly. Each morning a spend I spend a bit of time in the garden, watering, pulling a few weeds, watering, picking veggies, watering....

It is busy in the vineyard also. We have had such a wet spring, the vines are going mad, so I have replaced my walks with tending the vines for a bit with farmer John most days. I had been neglecting my garden for a while, and had almost forgotten how much I enjoy pottering around, getting from fresh air, dirt on my hands and watching things grow. After lunch it is usually too warm to do much outside..

Leather hat mid 16th century, Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Milan.
Copyright Martina a Martin Hribovi © 2006
Putting other stitching, kits, class projects aside I have enjoyed getting back to my floating man.
I had been pondering for some time just what kind of hat he would like; bowler, fedora, beanie, base ball cap, straw hat....???  'Strolling' around Pinterest, I came across this beautiful hat above. Isn't it just brilliant? I love the little brim and the decorative joining of the panels.
.. so my floating man got a hat....

... not as extravagant as the beautiful old hat but more like a straw-hat-come-beanie kind of hat. The ribs are created by whipping (I felt dreadful poking the needle through his head to place the foundation stitches) and a very long bullion knot for the brim.

He also got a face.. dreamily drifting on soft, fluffy cloud. I wonder what he is dreaming about ???

Below the hills grew, later summer hills and trees sprouted. I like stitching hills - filling curved shapes with patterns and stitches. Perhaps I will do a picture of the hills from the view of our house...

I finished the scarf.. row after row of blanket stitches, I stitched it onto a fine count even-weave linen. (I should have taken photos, sorry) and the unravelled the linen to remove the scarf. It worked a treat, so I am sure to be using that method again.

And then....

Drifting on the Breeze
...he is finished. Quietly floating along on the wind, while the earth passes beneath... no rush, just taking the time it takes. I wonder where he is going..?

Anna x

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy Shiny New Year

Hello all, I hope you have all enjoyed a lovely and peaceful festive season with family and loved ones. I certainly did. 

Both our boys and their girlfriends were home for dinner on Christmas Eve  which is always a really special night to me. As much as I miss having little children around at Christmas time, it is so nice to sit around the table, enjoying the company, conversation and a some good laughs with your grown-up and (for the most part) civilised  kids.
The advantage of celebrating Christmas Eve is that we get to have a bit of a sleep-in on Christmas day, before enjoying a BBQ lunch with extended family on a scorching, almost 40 degree (104F) day! No other excuses needed for a cool drink or two.

I could tell you that I have no idea where December went, but that would not be true. I know exactly where it went – I was super busy. When I stopped being busy, I went to Thailand to teach for a week - oh, how I love these trips. Always lots of fun being with my sweet Thai friends. Getting back, just before Christmas, I got busy catching up on all the ‘stuff’ around the house and garden that I had not had time to do while I was busy…. I am pretty sure you all know that feeling of ‘catching up’.
So a deep breath and few days of recharging my batteries have been warmly welcomed. The feeling of getting out of bed in the morning and doing what I felt like doing, no 'must does' in sight, have been just wonderful and much needed.

So here I am, kind of having caught my breath and kind of (almost) all tidy and sorted, ready to dive into this shiny New Year.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope 2017 will be a wonderful, bright and peaceful year.

Anna x