My name is Kaye and I am 58 years old. Unbelievably to me, at my age, I have now just embarked upon my third career - as a History Education Consultant! 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 and now a consultant) 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.
I must begin this month's update with an apology to a dear bloggy buddy, Sharmayne from Country Fragrance, as last GG post I forgot to post about the wonderful exchange gifts she sent me for the Initial Heart Swap, which is run by dear Cheryll every year. But first, in case you do not know what I am talking about ...
Gifted Gorgeousness (or GG) is a SAL run by the wonderful SAL Mama, Jo from Serendipitous Stitching. Basically, on the 15th of each month, we post about anything which is stitchy gift-related that we have been up to that month. Anyway, dear Sharmayne sent me the most gorgeous journal cover, some jelly beans and a sweet crocheted heart.
In turn, I sent her a little pillow, with the year and her initial on it, a bear tin and some chocolates.
With a cat postcard, of course!
Great swap, Sharmayne, thank you so much, I love my new journal.
Next, I have a languishing WIP, which I stitched on for Friday Frolics a week or so back ....
Fabric: 28 ct Willow (I think that is what it is called.)
Floss: Suggested DMC threads
The true colour of the fabric is closer in the second pic. I must say it looks much prettier in real life
The last time I stitched on this piece was in August 2015! So sorry, Jo, I could not believe that so much time had gone by before I touched it again but now it is definitely back in my rotation (which seems to get bigger by the day - lol!)
Next up is a sweet Easter stitch all finished for a friend.
Spring Celebrations design by The Primitive Hare. It is a freebie which you can find here.
... and this is another FFO for a friend from my Book Club (the stitching was completed in September 2015)
Lastly, I have started on this gorgeous nutcracker Christmas design, kindly gifted to me by the delightful Melinda from Family Business.
It is a really sweet design from an old magazine and features five different nutcrackers standing to attention all in a row, with an alphabet above and surrounded by a candy cane and heart border - just adorable - all in time-honoured Christmas colours.
Thank you so much, dear Melinda.
Well, that is all my GG for this month.
Please check out this link for all the wonderful work of the other GGers!
Was she going to let a little thing like the closing of a magazine, Cross Stitch Collection Magazine stop her from enjoying her favourite section, Blogger of the Month?
NO, SHE WASN'T!
So, we now have a new blog on the block - Blogger of the Week - run by the overbrimming-with-talent dear Jo herself.
She has sent some questionnaires out to various bloggers and the blog will feature one interview per week.
Jo, really wants to feature both old and new bloggers, so please do contact her via the new blog if you would like to be included.
The first Blogger is already being featured. So, please click on the link below to see who it is (and, who knows, I may be lucky enough to be featured one day soon - lol!)
On another note, I would like to congratulate Jo for being a runner up at the British Craft Awards.
She is such a wonderful blogger and stitcher and is definitely one of my greatest inspirations in both fields as well as having become one of my very bestest online friends (maybe one day we will get to meet in person, Jo). So, I am absolutely thrilled that she has received some well-deserved recognition.
.... again involved a little bit of creative timing because, as seems to be the case so often and was indeed again this Friday, I was quite busy. A very good excuse this time - I spent ALL day helping my sister move house! So, once more I fudged a little and started my FF on Thursday and then snatched a little bit of time on Friday evening once I had settled myself in my comfy stitching chair with a heat pack for my back (sore from all that bending and lifting and unpacking boxes) and a cat to cuddle. But first, in case you do not know what I am talking about ... Kitten Stitching and the Friday Frolics (or FF) is a SAL blog run by me to help us work our way through some of our WIPs and UFOs, each Friday.
Friday Night with Friends or (FNwF) is a monthly SAL, run by another wonderful SAL Mama, Cheryll, from Gone Stitchin' again to help us get some of our stitching goals accomplished. If you would like to see everyone else's stitching for the various SALs, please click on the following links: FNwF Friday Frolics Firstly, I worked on finishing this sweet Spring Celebrations design by The Primitive Hare. It is a freebie which you can find here. I found a scrap of overdyed fabbie and just managed to squeeze the design on it but I changed all of the colours to hopefully create a very sweet, very pastel, springlike feel.
Once I had finished this piece, I was too tired to go rootling around in my Girl's Nest for an old WIP, so I settled for a more recent one, one that I am finding very soothing to stitch.
Design: Do more of what makes you happy
Designer: Abbey Rose Designs
Fabric: 32ct Grey-spotted
Floss: Mixture of suggested and own choice over-dyed threads
For many Australian it is "our" constellation and it figures prominently in our National Flag and is considered a symbol of freedom from tyranny in the Eureka Flag (but, of course, many other countries also claim it in their flags).
As you can see the flag (which was the result of a competition held at Federation in 1901 - when Australia became a nation and no longer several colonies), is quite symbolic. In the top left corner there is the Union Jack (our nod to our roots as a British colony and (STILL!) being part of the Commonwealth), under that is the Commonwealth or Federation Star (which represents the seven states/territories) and then to the right "Our" Southern Cross.
The Eureka Flag
"The Eureka Flag is thought to have been designed by a Canadian gold miner by the name of "Lieutenant" Ross during the Eureka Stockade uprising in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1854.
According to Frank Cayley′s book Flag of Stars the flag′s five stars represent the Southern Cross and the white cross joining the stars represents unity in defiance. The blue background is believed to represent the blue shirts worn by many of the diggers, rather than represent the sky as is commonly thought.
The flag above is considered to be the Eureka Flag (a number of variants seem to have existed), as it is the design of the flag torn down at the stockade by Police Constable John King on the morning of the miners′ uprising - Sunday, 3 December 1854. The torn and tattered remains of this flag is kept at the Ballarat Fine Art Museum.
The "Eureka Stockade" uprising was essentially a short-lived revolt by gold miners against petty officialdom and harassment by a corrupt Police force, who would often ask miners to show their gold digging licences several times a day. The miners also objected to the high cost of the licences."
The Eureka flag has no official standing as such but is still in use today by various groups as a symbol of standing up for your rights.
... and who knew but the Mighty Murray River even has its own set of flags, featuring the Southern Cross ....
"The Murray River Flag is flown from paddle steamers and other vessels in the Australian States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia that ply the waters of the Murray-Darling river system. Little is known about the flag's early history but it may have originated as far back as 1850 when the formation of the Murray River League was announced. R. W. Beddome, founder of the League, enthused "Up with the Murray flag."No fragments of the original Murray River Flag are known to exist and three variants have passed down to the present day."
Upper Murray River
Lower Murray River
Combined Murray River
Anyway, that is all from me for the Letter T but let me explain what The Alphabet Club is all about ....
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/could be something stitchy in there, if possible (although I seemed to have moved right away from that premise as the months have gone by, instead focusing on boring you all with quirky facts about Australia - lol!)
Each month will be a different letter of the alphabet - hence the club's name - and, of course, we started with "A" and now we are up to "T".
This is a very sweet Freebie design from Designs by Gloria and Pat on the Candy Cane Stitchers Group on FB, just scroll down to October 18 (although you do need to be a member of the group, I think, to see all of the pics.
I stitched it on 28 ct Ivory linen, using my own choice of floss.
I used an unknown Blue fabbie and mixed up all of the floss choices, plus I added a silver snowflake charm, courtesy of my dear friend, Sue. I may still, if I can find suitable ones, add small black buttons for his eyes.
... and I am very happy to say it is a FFO as well. I used on old frame I found when cleaning out my parent's house (I now have a box full of them) and I intend to rotate each month through it once I have them all stitched. There was supposed to be a ground hog in the top left corner but he just looked like a blob to me, so I left him out and replaced him with the lace border and added the heart bell. I am really happy with how February turned out. Stitched on 28ct overdyed linen with my own choice of floss.
#4 A Spot of Winter
This is my "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL" SAL, which I am doing with dear Jo.
The design is part of a series by The Drawn Thread. Stitched on 28 ct blue Lugana with my own choice of threads and the beads are also a design choice that I made - again, pretty pleased with how this turned out. Now, onto Spring!
#5, #6 and #7
Days 1, 2 and 5 of The Twelve Days of Christmas by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (stitched for the January and February themes on the Christmas Ornie SAL blog).
Where the piece is up to altogether, and as you can see I have finished Day 5 as well.