Friday 30 August 2013


The endangered species collage is all finished. Such a mouthful that! I much prefer my own title for it. Endangered babies. 
I finished it off yesterday afternoon. All of the back stitching is done, I even couched on some whiskers.
It's such a sweet design, I love it.
I'll be putting it away with my fairy and may get it framed once we have our place in NZ.
Meanwhile, I had a go at the headless Santa last night.(Scroll down a bit) Poor Santa, no I didn't 'start' with his head, I've come in at the bottom near his feet. LOL
The lady who started him was concentrating on the main design, there is plenty of back ground to complete and a border, a very repetitive border with loads of back stitch. I don't want to be stuck doing that at the end, my plan is to get myself into a position to make in roads on that asap, then I'll peck away at it for a while before taking a break and going at some of the back ground.  So once I've made a noticeable difference, I'll post a picture. 
Stitching will be a little different for a few days! I picked up contact lenses today. I had a trial session last week, for just 10 minutes, then I had a quick lesson at getting them in and out this morning and was allowed to leave the office wearing them today. 
I'm really not sure about them. Everything seems a little blurred. In order to see the monitor I had to either sit so far away I couldn't reach to type, or wear my readers!!
I'm long sighted and usually wear my specs all day long, I use a magnifying glass to see my stitching and pop readers over the top of my specs for difficult text, (usually in the kitchen for reading silly coloured writing on silly coloured packaging. Plain old black and white is fine). In the two hours since I put these lenses in I've had to reach for my readers far too often! (Sigh) 
I'll stick with them for a while and see what happens. I have just over a week of daily lenses here. Wish me luck.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Two quilty posts, in less than 12 hours!

I challenged myself to have this cute little quilt completed before Tony got home. 
And I did it! :-)
I had the top all completed by mid morning.
I played about with various fabric ideas for the back, then settled on plain white.
I had the whole thing layered and quilted with gentle blue waves, just in time to stop for lunch.
After a quick sandwich and a trip to the shop for a little extra fabric for binding.
 I got the binding on in no time. I nick named that fabric 'sea urchin and anemone'.
I even managed to stitch my pretty butterfly label on before Tony got in from work.
Very soon it will be packaged up in brown paper and off to my new nephew. :-)
Back to cross stitching.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

A quilty fix.

5 inch charms, all laid out ready.
This one is for a baby boy. Not a single fluffy bunny or blue bear in sight though.
All pirates, whales and nautical things.
I'm off to put it together.
Wonder if I can get it finished today?

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Lots more.

I've been busy over the last few days with some not so crafty things. You know, housework and boring stuff like that. Tony and I also had a lovely day out with Janice and Mick yesterday watching the motorcycle racing. It was a lovely sunny day and today I have a very red nose! LOL Janice and I sneaked off during a break in the racing had a look at some shops, we were both very good, I bought nothing and Janice only bought one fat quarter and a cute wee birdie ornament. It's been great to be able to spend so much time with them. On their previous visits I've had to work and we've fitted in quick visits during my days off. 
I made these pretty crochet coasters some time ago, they were for my Pen Pal, more recently I made another similar set for Janice, I forgot to take their photo!
My beautiful batiks have gotten stuck at this point! They need pressing and another pair of strips sewing onto each side before I begin to put the blocks together.
I'm just having so much fun with my cross stitch at the moment, that it seems like everything else is being neglected.
I do need to find my quiltyness again though, my sister had a bit of a surprise the other day when her son Jacob Joseph arrived early! All 6lb 2oz of him arrived on her bathroom floor!
 My latest purchases may be a bit too girly!
What a shame..... I need to go shopping for some blues.
I should have gotten some yesterday when I was shopping with Janice.
And for those awaiting a cross stitch update, here it is. This is taking much longer to complete than I anticipated! I keep finding areas that I didn't back stitch. There is also quite a lot of colour changing in that little kitty cat, not to mention I made a mistake the other day, fortunately I only had to rip out about 6 stitches.
I'm itching for this one to be done now. I ready to move on, but I daren't take my attention away from this one again. It needs to be finished.
I'm off to apply Aloe to my nose, then it's time to stitch.

Friday 23 August 2013

Stitchy update

To anyone waiting for a quilty update, I'm really sorry, but I'm loving my cross stitch at the moment.
If you look back a couple of posts, you'll see that I've completed all the back stitch in the seal and the tiger, it only took 6-7 hours! LOL Worth every stitch though.
Since I pulled it back out I have also completed the panda and most of it's back stitch. The other little cat, a cheetah I think has progressed since I took this photo yesterday. The result of a sleepless night. I plan to do more of him today, with a nap in there somewhere.
I've had a few questions recently about my move to NZ.
What can I say?
We're waiting for my husbands employer to announce his redundancy. As he is the IT manager he gave a guarantee that he would stay until the end. (Besides, we want/need the redundancy payout!) The department is down to just two people now and the other chap is actively seeking work, he has a new baby and must be in stable employment. At the last staff meeting the remaining dozen staff sat around one table and were told the target for final closure is the end of November. But that is only a target, we can't book our flights yet, they may run over!
So the upshot is, I can't give you a date.
Someone else also asked if I would change the name of my blog once we had moved.
I will always be Manx. LOL
So I will keep the Manxgirl title, but I may add a sub heading.
Something about being abroad or going down under. I'll see what comes up, when the time (Eventually) comes.
Meanwhile I do have a few hoops to jump through. We are busy compiling paperwork that proves our 11 year relationship. My son and I have to have medical exams, produce a Criminal records check and complete a huge form each, in order to apply for our residency visas. 
Right, cuppa tea and some needle time.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Lots of things.

Firstly I can show off some secret stitching. Remember a couple of weeks ago I was busy with secret stuff? I was busy making these armchair caddys. One for my penpal in Murray bridge Australia, and the other for another Australian! Janice of course.
They were fun to make. 
I also used up some left over blocks from the string quilt to make pot holders.
 I forgot to take a picture of it, but a little while ago I came across some fabric with classic motorcycles on it, I just had to buy some of that for Janice and her husband Mick.
Janice has also been busy stitching away in secret! 
Look at the beautiful bag she made for me. I love it!
And it's blue. :-)
Here's a closer peep at the lovely stitched panel.
Thank you Janice.
I have used it already, it was the perfect size for a quick trip to the shop yesterday.
Did I say that my endangered babies cross stitch was my very last WIP?
Look what I came across while I was stash diving!
 I'm not sure if it qualifies as a Work in progress, a UFO, or a PHD.
I acquired this poor headless Santa from a lady who had become too ill to cross stitch. It was originally a kit, I got most of it. One very grubby UFO, a rather battered but still usable chart and the model picture, but alas no threads. Now, I know there had been a house fire, so maybe that accounts for the grubbiness and lack of threads. Fortunately the thread list had survived on the back of the chart, good old DMC, so that's not a problem. The UFO however....
I gave it a good soak and even scrubbed it in places, it looks so much better. There are however still s few marks.  Two hoop halos. One rusty needle stain and a mysterious liquid stain. Looking at the chart and the model I think/hope that most of the marks will be covered by stitches, so I'm going to make this my next stitch. It will be a nice memory of a wonderful lady.
The Endangered babies have progressed rather nicely. I got quite a bit done the other day, the panda is almost complete, then closer inspection of the chart and the model picture revealed that I had a lot more back stitch to do than I realised. I hadn't completed it on the tiger and hadn't even started to back stitch the seal! 6-7 hours later and I'm all up to date with that and can go back to getting the panda completed.
Janice called just a short time ago, she and Mick are up north today and invited me to spend some time with them, that will be wonderful. :-)

Tuesday 20 August 2013

A finish and a new/old start.

Moonbeam is finished! Forgive the lines and creases in the fabric, I didn't wash and press her yet.
Janice asked me last night if I would frame her now, or wait till we get to NZ? I think the latter. 
I'll try to remember to post pics once it's done.
A finish means a new start right?
Not this time, I pulled out my only WIP. There really is only a little of this one left to do. 
Endangered Species Collage was designed by Candamar Designs. 
It was in my stash for many years before I even started it. Looking back at the photo record, I'm fairly sure I started it back in April or May 2008. 5 Years is a long time for me to keep a WIP around!
I'm excited to get it finished though, cause that means a brand new start. A pristine chart and a blank piece of fabric. The only question is, what? Something old? Something new? Something kitted? I feel a little stash diving is in my near future.

Sunday 18 August 2013


No strip tease today, but I do have a quick cross stitch update.
It's almost complete, there is a bit of filling in to do at the bottom of the wing and a little moon to put in between the layers of wing. The picture is clicky if you want a closer look.
I spent nearly all day with her yesterday, while it rained and rained.
I frogged out a load of beads from the middle of her wing, they just didn't seem to sit right, they just felt wrong. I tried a couple of different coloured threads as a substitute and settled on the second, I feel much happier with things the way they are now.
I got together with Janice and her hubby on Wednesday. That was fun, we had a walk around a local garden and a wander along the prom and the breakwater, before I cooked dinner for them here. It was great to meet up with them again. They will be here again this evening for a Sunday roast, along with some other guests. I have a few jobs to do to prepare for that, but maybe I'll get time to stitch some more too. :-)

Friday 16 August 2013

Strip Tease

Got your attention?
As I said, I've been playing with a fabric roll of Batiks.
The instructions said to sew the strips together.
So here's a quick strip Tease!
Strip set one.
 Strip set two.
Strip set three.
But what will they become?
Well I've been busy sub cutting them, so maybe I'll begin putting them back together into something new, very soon.
My lovely cross stitch fairy is coming along slowly. There are some very pretty sparkly threads in her wings. I might show a pic next time.
Tease over, I'm off to stitch.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Christmas Stockings.

Minnie Cooper and I were busy again on Sunday. We had great fun making up some Christmas stockings. These two little cuties were made string style with some scraps of Christmassy fabrics. They were fun to make, but the tops were a little bit fiddly, I think if I do any more of them, I'd enlarge the pattern a little. 
I also had fun quilting this lovely. Minnie Cooper behaved impeccably, as I used a variegated golden thread to follow the outlines of Santa and the gifts. 
It's not really clear here, but Rudolph has a real bell sewn on to his collar and I also added some scraps of ribbon to the gifts and tied little bows. At 30 ish inches tall, it's going to take some filling!
I'll be making more stockings as I have the other half of this panel to play with and my Hunney has bought me some others to play with. When I'm done making stockings for everyone else, he says I have to make one for me! And he will fill it.
My cross stitch hasn't moved at all since the last photo update! But I'm all set to spend time with her today, so that will change. There is lots of sparkle in her wings. 
Upstairs in the play room, Minnie Cooper and I opened up a fabric roll of Batiks. I also added some batik off cuts cause I didn't have 1.5 rolls of strips!  I carefully followed the instructions and made a bunch of 'strip sets', I was having sew much fun, the afternoon just flew by and dinner was late! 
So I'll be up there later with my iron and my camera.
I'm off to stitch.

Sunday 11 August 2013


Tony and I were invited out to dinner with some friends last night. As we were dining at their home, it's polite to take a little something along. We selected two wines, one red and one white. Both Kiwi!
Then before we left, my new little machine, Minnie Cooper, got a quick work out as she helped me to put together these two little gift bags.
Our hostess was blown away, she admitted to not having a crafty bone in her body and was amazed by the little baggies.
We had a very pleasant evening and enjoyed a wonderful meal. 
I'll be playing some more today, I found a pretty Christmas stocking pattern a few weeks ago.........

Thursday 8 August 2013

Cross stitch update and another new toy!

A birthday gift, from me, to me. You know I said my clicky finger had been busy the other day? I was told to expect delivery on Wednesday.....
Today is Wednesday and the postie has been! What could possibly be nestled in all that polystyrene?
I hate polystyrene, it sets my teeth on edge! Ugh, awful stuff.
Well I gritted my teeth, cause there was no one home to help and I wasn't waiting.
 Look, my new toy.
Yes I know, that's four sewing machines I own now, but that's ok, isn't it?
I wanted something a little more portable and this one is pretty lightweight, but unfortunately she doesn't have a handle. 
I didn't play just yet, I wanted to show off first. :-)
I'll have a quick go as soon as I'm done here, then I have to catch the bus through to my brothers house.
A very quick update on my cross stitch.
Here she is, just her wings and a little back stitch left to complete.
I'm getting pretty excited, she is almost complete. :-)
Right I'm off to play.

Tuesday 6 August 2013


I finally have some sewing other than my cross stitch, that I am able to share!
I made a cute little bag for my penpal! I've had the outside of this floating around for a couple of years, It started out as something else entirely, but that didn't work, I've played around with a few ideas, but nothing seemed quite right until today. Last night I had the idea that I would turn it into a bag.
So this afternoon I've put the idea in motion, nothing too flash just a basic quick lining with a pocket and some handles, then I've closed the two together quilt style with a binding strip. I just need to hand sew the binding closed, then fill it with goodies and mail it to my pal.
My clicky finger got busy the other day and I spent some money. Tut tut!
One item I'm assured will be delivered on Wednesday!! Hmmm, maybe I should have asked what time. LOL The other items are coming across the wet stuff from the USA so they will get here when they do.
The island is counting down the days until the next motorcycle invasion Manx Grand Prix week is imminent, which means that Janice will be here very soon too! One week today.
Right, I have to go do stuff.

Saturday 3 August 2013

Got a new toy....

And also some new books. I've come across Eleanor Burns before, in fact I have another of her books up on my shelf, but I had never seen any of her videos! Oh my, I know that she is not to every ones taste, but she was just what I needed. On a miserable, grey, wet, wild and windy day she brought a ray of sunshine. I'm sure the purists among you will be crying out Nooooo! Don't do it, but I really do like her simplified methods of doing things. Even the history lessons were interesting. I waited impatiently for this book to arrive, over a week! To find it is written almost exactly as the sunny effusive commentary in the videos was, wonderful. Eleanor's enthusiasm for her craft came over even in print. Me thinks I'll be playing in my sewing room very soon.
Another new book arrived much quicker. I enjoyed looking through it. It promotes a quilt as you go technique which I have used before, sadly the patterns for the tops/bottoms were not as varied as I hoped. I may have fun with it one day.
Now then about my new toy. It is toy sized, but it is a working sewing machine! It looks tiny sat here next to Jenny Janome. There is a charity shop just on the corner of the street. (This town is full of them) And I first spotted this little girl when I dropped some items in two weeks ago, she whispered to me then, but I brushed it off. She has continued to whisper, each and every time I pass the shop. Then the other day, she had moved to the window! I vowed that if she was still there next time I passed by, she would become mine.Well today it has finally stopped raining after 4 days and  I had to go out to get milk,  she was still there, so on the way home I popped in a bought her for the princely sum of five whole pounds!
Meet Poppet. Look, she even has her original box.
 I've had a play and she does need a little bit of attention, her upper tension is a little tight and I suspect someones daddy or brother has been fiddling with her internals. I shall set my engineer onto her and see what he can do.  Look she even has a tiny little presser foot!
She does have a mains inlet, but no power cables, but the box says they were not included, she runs perfectly well on 4 AA batteries. The accessories were all with her. Sadly no instruction booklet, though there is no mention of one on her box, so maybe there never was one.