About Me

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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.

My fellow stitching kittens

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Long, long weekend wrap up including FNSI..

I have been very lucky to have had a very long weekend this Australia Day weekend - four whole days of fun, friends, exercise and, of course, stitching!  Do you want to hear what I have been up to? I hope so, because I am about to tell you!!! lol!

Day 1, Friday, 25th Jan - FNSI:
  1. Water aerobics in the morning
  2. Lunch with TraderVic at the Tassal restaurant at their Salmon shop in Kew, where we had the best salmon fish and chips that you could imagine. (Tassal are a company from Tasmania who breed beautiful Atlanitc salmon for the Australian market).  If you live in Melbourne and get a chance to go there for lunch I can highly recommend it.
  3. Then off to do some Stitchy shopping (mainly at my LNS, Lazy Daisy although I did pick up a frame at a local gift shop). Here are some pics of my Stash Empire Building:
I am going to be part of a Joan Elliott Round Robin later this year.  So, I am trying to get organised for it so I picked up some JE designs - I have decided that my theme is going to be Fairies and Angels.

Then I really lashed out and bought these Sajou scissors which I have had my eye on for a while (they have been marked down in the shop for months now and every time I went I would drool over them and now they are all mine!  They are so beautiful and have a lovely, precision cutting blade.

Some fabbie for my stash - this is 28 count Meadow Mist (although the pic does not do it justice). I did buy some 28 ct Mocha Lugana, too, but I must have missed taking a pic of it.

Various threads for various projects:

A needle threader for those nights when my eyes are tired and that darn hole is invisible!

Birdhouse Alphabet by Little House Needleworks (which I finished last night but pics further on in the post) which I started stitching for FNSI.

Some more new lovely patterns from LHN and JBW - and aha! - there is that Mocha Lugana!

... and, of course some needles as I have a pathological fear of running out of them so I buy at least two packets every time I go to my LNS.

4.    FNSI - Well, I started on Birdhouse Alphabet - using some overdyed fabbie I already had in my stash, my new scissors and this lovely Belle Soie silk which came in the kit.  Now, I have never stitched with this silk before and it is absolutely wonderful to stitch with.  I think that I am going to have to buy some more in other colours for my stash.

 ... and this is what I accomplished in one afternoon - I was pretty pleased with this progress for FNSI.

I did this whilst watching one of my all-time favourite movies "Shenandoah".

I just love Jimmy Stewart and his six sons!

 ... and this final scene when "the boy" finally makes it home, always makes me cry...

5. Off to dinner with DS1 and TraderVic and then we went to see the new Tarantino movie "Django unchained".  It was good, very Tarantino but very violent - I had to cover my eyes quite a few times in the movie because there was just so much blood!

Day 2, Saturday, 26th January - Australia Day:

1. Up early and off to Carnegie to do Deep Water Aerobics with DS2.  Now, I have never done deep water before and I am here to tell you it is HARD!  Of course, it didn't help that I had forgotten to take my inhaler with me ( I don't know whether I have mentioned that lately I am having a lot of trouble breathing - my inhaler has been working overtime.  The air quality has not been great in Melbourne lately because of the bushfires, etc.).  The class was taken by a lovely young Russian lady who in her charming accent kept exhorting us to "Keep Going", "Turn around and go back again" (another 25 metres doing an impossible exercise) and "Keep Moving".  I can tell you, I have had spaghetti arms and legs and have been absolutely exhausted ever since - must have done me some good then!

2. DS2 and I then had a lovely lunch together - so good to catch up - and did a little bit of shopping (I needed to buy a birthday present for a friend). Once I arrived home again - it was straight to my stitching chair and I stitched away on Birdhouse Alphabet some more.

3. Saturday night, TraderVic and I caught up with some friends at a dinner party held at one of their houses.  Now, Robyn is a retired Home Economics teacher so I can tell you - the meal was magnificent.  For example, her dessert comprised a whole poached white peach (poached in champagne) with a rose jelly and a vanilla bean panna cotta.  Delicious!  The conversation was sparkling as well 

Day 3, Sunday, 27th January

  1. Sunday morning it was off to brunch for the aforementioned friend's birthday.  Now, you have met Heather and Franca before as they are the ladies I go to the St Kilda sea baths with every few months.  We had brunch at the Fairfield Boat house and Tea Gardens.  We had a lovely time down by the Yarra River.

2. That afternoon I went home and stitched and stitched and stitched until I finished Birdhouse Alphabet:

What a Happy Dance I had!  All around the house!

Day 4,  Monday, 28th January (Australia Day Public Holiday):

More Happy Dances on Monday:

I framed Spring Heart, which is going to my secret exchange partner in the Initial Heart Swap, so I can't show you the finished piece but here are some tantalising glimpses:

I also chose some fabric to use with Birdhouse Alphabet to make it into a cushion:

Fabric for the front of the cushion:

Backing fabbie:

Then I got really productive and made four, count them four!, needle books.

I have never made them before and while they are not perfect I am really pleased with these, my first attempt.

So, in all a very satisfying and productive long, long weekend.


P.S. Don't forget to enter my Mystery Giveaways, closes Feb 1st, you need to comment on my Grow your Blog Party post to be in the draw.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Tough Mudder!

DS2 survived Tough Mudder!  It is basically a 20km obstacle course which people complete in teams.  The idea is that you help each other cope with each obstacle rather than being totally competitive.

Here is some information from the Tough Mudder website:

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 18-20 km obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. As the leading company in the booming obstacle course industry, Tough Mudder has already challenged half a million inspiring participants worldwide. But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days.

The obstacles have names like:

  • Arctic enema (having to submerge yourself in a skip full of ice)
  • Berlin Walls (climbing over sheer high walls)
  • Boa Constrictor (bellying your way through pipes)
  • Electric eel (swimming/wading through electrically charged water)
  • Braveheart Charge (self explanatory)
If you want to see some photos or read more about them, click here.

This is DS2's team before the event (he is No, 3534, fourth from the right, his lovely GF is first on the right).  Lovely white singlets, aren't they?

... and this is his singlet after Tough Mudder (he is first on the right).  He has done a lovely dye job!

 ... and here he is, home safe and sound with his Tough Mudder t-shirt on.  Very tired but very proud of himself (apparently he felt so good after the 20 km, four hour event that he jogged 4 km back to the house he was staying in on Phillip Island afterwards - ah, youth is a wonderful thing!)

I am a proud mum (but relieved that there were no injuries).

Just one last thing, please enter my Mystery Giveaways, closes Feb 1st, you need to comment on my Grow your Blog Party post to be in the draw.

Love to you all, 


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Today's the day! For a party and a Mystery Giveaway!

For the Grow Your Own Blog party! 

Welcome to all of the party goers - I hope that you enjoy visiting everyone's blog.  Please follow the link above to see who is partying with me.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I will tell you a few things about myself that is not on my header above:

  1. I have been on blogger about 18 months or so and I am absolutely hooked!  I have made so many good online cross stitchy friends who have enriched my life immensely.  Thank you!
  2. My dear online friend Ginny, started me on this blogging journey when we "met" when I was searching for a Henry VIII Cross stitch pattern.  Funnily enough, Ginny doesn't blog all that much anymore but we still keep in touch on FB - Thank you, Ginny.
  3. Now, talking about Henry VIII - I am mad for the Tudors, so I have several Tudor WIPs plus some I am planning to do - so watch this space!

4. Basically, I am a passionate historian and luckily for me, that is what my job is now.  I work as a publisher of History books for a large educational publisher here in Australia.  It is a great job and I love it - although working full time does cut into my stitching time!
5. As well as stitching, I read a lot - last year I read 120 novels.  This year I plan to read 150.  You can see what I am reading on my Shelfari shelf on the sidebar of my blog, if you like.
6. This year I am trying to be more organised with my stitching.  I am involved in a number of SALs and PIFs and one exchange so far.  I find that I am one of those people who the busier they are usuallythe more they can achieve!  

Now, I thought that you might like to see the most recent picture of me:

Lastly, I promised you a mystery Giveaway for reading this post.  Well, the mystery is that I have not yet decided what the Gifts will be!  Yes, I said Gifts.  That is because I am going to have two Giveaways: one for Australian bloggy friends and one for Overseas bloggy friends.  So, here are the rules:
  1. You must be a follower of this blog - new or old, it does not matter.
  2. You must comment on THIS POST only, telling me that you would like to be entered in the Giveaway.
  3. In your comment, please tell me if you are an Aussie or Overseas bloggy friend and please include your email address and your blog address.
  4. The Giveaway closes on Feb 1st, winners' names will be drawn on Feb 2nd.
So, thanks for visiting, enjoy the Blog Party and good luck for the Giveaway.


Friday, 18 January 2013

You are invited...

.... to the  Grow Your Own Blog party! 

It's on tomorrow - so come back then and check out my blog and visit all or some of the other party goers.  It should be a blast! 


P.S. Thank you to all the lovely bloggers who comment on my posts - I love to have you visit and I do try to reply to your comments but sometimes I fall behind in my replies - so please forgive me and know that I appreciate each and every one of you.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Lots of stitch progress on lots of projects...

I have been rather a busy bee stitching around my rotation.  Do you want to see what I have been up to?

Before and After photos of The Faerie Queene (Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year SAL project)

 A New Year Start (I began this on our Mulwala trip) - Autumn in New York by Primrose Needleworks.

For my Christmas Ornie SAL, I decided not to go with my first choice when I saw this quartet of nutcrackers.  I am stitching the Soldier for this month's Christmas Ornie.

I am doing a Heart swap for Valentine's day (organised by the lovely Cheryll) - here is a sneak peek.  Lovely colours but I don't think that these photos give too much away!

Lastly, still stitching the Travelling Pattern - Summer Garden - whilst on the train to work - here are my Before and After photos - as you can see, a lot of progress is happening here.

What are you all up to?

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