Wednesday, 5 January 2022

2020 & 2021 are behind us now, here's to better 2022

Well my dear friends, it's been too long since I've put anything up here, as I mainly now work though Facebook, but find I still need to catch up some here. This is a long post.

2020 and 2021 were certainly years with ups and downs, unfortunately more downs than ups, but we have to move on. 2020 we lost a few very close friends and our beloved Beagle Miss Rosey. She had a good life with us I feel, and at the ripe old age of 15, that dreaded Cancer took her too soon. It also took 3 wonderful humans that year, that I miss everyday. Thankfully I can say we did not loose any family or friends to COVID, unlike many others around the world. 

We started our year 2020 on the road in Victoria, happily awaiting the arrival of our son and his wife from America to tour the Great Ocean Road. We did, and as we were saying our goodbyes, airports around the world were closing down. They made it home by a couple of days.

Michael and I continued to travel around Victoria, as we had house sits organised, but as the days progressed it became increasing apparent our travels were going to come to a halt. In fact they did, and as we had our house sits cancel and caravan parks and free camping areas closing down we only had one choice and that was go back to Sydney, Michael went back to work and wait it out. Unlike many people, financially for us, a good option. We have now been in Sydney since Easter 2020. We will finally be back on the road in a fortnight, COVID permitting.

Our trip back to Sydney we passed through the areas that were devastated by the Bush fires of late 2019-early 2020. The growth on the trees were just coming back, the ground scorched and black.  It is so hard to imagine the lost to the wildlife in the area, not only the lost of homes and unfortunately some humans.

This time in Sydney we were hoping to see some more of the sights, but kept in lock-down, didn't really help things. We finally got out and about (with some restrictions) but were not allowed to travel too far from home.  
We manage to get a couple of house sits back to back at Razorback in July (the ones with Goats and dog and the other with a Cow, her calf and chickens), that took us through to December. Thankfully keeping us away from all the COVID drama's. August 2020 as I mentioned we lost our beautiful Miss Rosey. One of the families that we house sit for at Razorback graciously allowed us to bury our beloved pet on their land.
October we went to Canberra to visit Michael's Niece and meet up with his brother too. We took the bikes, and had fun riding around Lake Burley Griffin. For my early birthday present this year Michael upgraded my e-bike. As I had done nearly 5000 klm on the other one, the battery was starting to give us a little grief. My new bike is wonderful, has three power settings, as well as a walk assist. It can give me up to 120klm of battery life on the lower setting, and also had 9 gears and super good disc brakes. It also has an adjustable seat, which is it's best feature as far as I'm concerned. And before you ask, yes, I do still pedal, it's pedal-assist, not fully electric and no throttle.  I sold my old one to a man in the Van park.

For the month of October-November we house sat again for our now friends at Razorback. I did a couple of more classes with Jane Nicholas whilst there too. (I will do a separate post for all my embroidery). We did some more rides down along the Wollongong bike paths as well as closer to Razorback at Camden. We stayed at Razorback until early December, when we did a short trip up to see Michael's family and spend a long weekend with them, whilst there we had a Video chat with our son in the States for his birthday, and were given the happy news we were finally going to be Grand Parents. Our little angel was due in July 2021. Even though the home owners were back from their trekking they allowed us to stay until we left for holidays.

We spent Christmas at Milton Showgrounds and explored the area around, taking in from Ulladulla, down to Batesman Bay.We got the drone out and took some photographs and movies of the area. This shot is of our van, all by itself. We stayed at Milton until after the new year. 
Early January 2021 we moved back to Razorback to do one more week for our friends, then moved back to the caravan park at Miranda. Michael bought himself a Stand up Paddle board (SUP), for his birthday in February. 
March we did a week up on the central coast, where Michael went diving and tried out his SUP, we had lovely weather thankfully and got some great rides in. 
We then spent a couple of weeks down at Wollongong, just to get away from the Sydney area. 
April, we caught up with Michael's cousins and we also did a day trip over to Manly and a sail up the Parramatta river returning to Miranda by train. It was a great day out, and the last for several months. Restrictions kept as close to the park. I was busy making baby things and attending a couple of classes with Jane Nicholas. Here is a blanket I embroidered for our little one, at this stage we didn't know if baby was a he or a she. (secretly I was hoping for a she).
Here we stayed until May, when out of the blue we got another house sit, back at Razorback. Not the same family we usually sat for, but their friends. They had a massive home and we looked after 4 dogs, 2 small and 2 big, many ducks, geese, chickens and roosters. The home had amazing views from the Blue Mountains down to the southern highlands.

This photo shows our home (on wheels) next to their home.
We stayed here for a couple of weeks before going back to the one with the Goats and dogs. As you know COVID hit the world hard, and the Delta variant certainly showed its ugly head here in Australia. New South Wales went into a lock-down from mid June through to late September. Thankfully our home owners got away for their 3 month holiday through western NSW SA, NT and QLD, before arriving home late September.
July bought us a wonderful surprise, our beautiful new little granddaughter, Eliza Christine White, was born 31st July, 2021. She was 8lb 31/2 oz. 19.5 inches long and dark blue eyes. To say that we are over the moon at the arrival of this little one is an understatement.

So during our time in lock-down, Michael had many days off work due to COVID as nobody was allowed to go to work, so we did odd jobs around the house
and I did loads of sewing and creating for our new little Angel. Here is her mobile and Name door hanger I made her. I also made several bits of clothing for her, 
I also made her several other items, one being her Christmas Ornament for her first Christmas, of course had to be Australian, so I made her a Koala.

As time past and the restrictions were finally being eased, in time for my 60th Birthday. Unfortunately it became a bitter sweet affair, as Christopher's Father-in-law, Grand father to our little Eliza, died suddenly. Making it very hard to celebrate. it was quiet a shock to all of us, and now I still struggle to believe this wonderful man will not get to see his little one grow up, be there to teach her life skills that he has to his children, who are all wonderful human beings, RIP Christian Thorikl Host.
We did get to have a few people celebrate with us, at the home with the view.  The night before the party, we had a horrific hail storm. It was like snow. We got a little bit of damage, mainly the side channels above the little doors you see on this side. The Decals also have some pitting, and so do the skylights on the roof. Not as bad as some, that said, it was horrifying.
The next day was my party, a love warm day, and a lovely evening to follow. During the afternoon we walked up to the top of the property where they have a flag pole and had a look around. It was a lovely celebration in the end.

October also saw our little Eliza christened.

We moved on the following weekend, (November) down to Wollongong, unfortunately the weather had not been kind, and it was cold and horrible whilst we were that close to the beach. We had two more house sits for the year, starting on the 11th December, taking us through to the 9th January, 2022.
I've managed to make a few more items for Eliza, her Christmas Stocking and an embroidered jumper set. The jumper set was made by friends (I don't crochet or knit very well), and then using the wool left over from her blanket I embroidered the flowers on her outfit.

Here she is in her outfit. Just too cute.
So I will leave it here, told ya it was a long post. But to add, we hope to be traveling to Tasmania on the 5th February, and hopefully to the States in July, in time for our little one's first birthday, (here's hoping).

I will end with a couple of my favourite photographs of our little one, just because I can.Eliza's rocking horse, made by her great uncle.
Thank heavens for Video Chat's, they have been our one saving grace.
Eliza's first snow....

Happy New year

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Up coming course on creating my Stumpwork and Goldwork Beetles


Have you ever wanted to create my Stumpwork Beetles. Now is your chance, I am creating an online video course so that you can see how to create these wonderful little creatures, in both Stumpwork and Goldwork techniques.

Topics covered will be all the stitches needed to create them, as well as techniques, creating the wings, body and suggestions on where to mount them.

The types of wing embellishment covered will be Beading, Long and Short stitch, or combining both. Goldwork techniques on embellishing them, couching fancy threads and wires to wings, using various techniques, including brick stitch, padding and chipping just to name a few.

Body creation, different types of legs and antennae. As well as putting it all together.

Suggestions on how to display your creations once create will also be offered.  Watch the video for a little more info.

Email me to be put on the registration list, and further info will be sent to you in the new year regarding where to register.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Stumpwork Class with Jane Nicolas

 One of the items I had on my bucket list was to attend a class with Embroider Jane Nicolas. I was on the waiting list to do her class at BATB this year, but due to COVID, it was cancelled. Jane rescheduled it at her home town and I was able to attend, was I over the moon.

Her class didn't disappoint and I got to embroider with a friend too. Here is my finished worked and some close ups.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Version 3 - Arlene's Crafts Embroidery App - In the App Store

Hello all dear people,

Keeping you up to date, the version 3 of the Embroidery App is live in the App store. If you have a purchased copy it will update to a purchased version automatically, if not, please let me know.

I have also been working on the next three Apps, Stumpwork, Goldwork, and Crazy Quilting.

Here are two of the three Icons for the new apps. I hope they don't take me as long to create as the Silk Ribbon Embroidery one.

The links for the Embroidery App - Version 3 and the Silk Ribbon Embroidery App, are on the side of this blog.

Any problems, please let us know.  Just remember they are for Apple iPhone, iPads and iPods.


Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Silk Ribbon Embroidery App has been released

After 4 years in the making, many many hours of coding, creating, photographing, writing and stitching, Testing it is finally finished.
Available in the app store, just search for Silk and you will find it.

Happy stitching.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

A new App and an update

Hi All,

Sorry I haven't been on here for a while, but have been busy trekking the Victorian country side, and working on the new Silk Ribbon Embroidery App.  They are currently being tested and hopefully will be released in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space, or on the Facebook page and we are now on instragram.

The Update to the embroidery App - Version 3 will have 2 new projects, 9 new stitches and new useful Tips. We will also be introducing you to a new technique, Blackwork, this is a wonderful little project to create a unique needle case.

 The new Silk Ribbon Embroidery App will introduce you to the wonderful craft that will help you create some wonderful projects. The projects are also available in the Etsy Shop.  The new app will have a small cost, but everything within the App is FREE. 8 projects - 6 mini projects and 2 more complex like this stunning embroidered bookmark. The App will also show you how to dye your own ribbon, threads and fabric to create the same delicate colours.

 Within the App is a project to make one of these hearts, the rest are available in the Etsy store.
 Here are two of the mini projects, these delicate and stunning Fuchsia's and 
 A basket full of rambling roses. 
There are many stitches, and useful tips for you to explore and some embroidery stitches to help you complete the projects.  Watch this space for the release date.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Christmas Stitching

When I was looking for ideas for people for my 12 Days of Christmas Wall Hanging, I came across the wonderful Larrisa's creations. Her Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament series were just perfect for what I wanted. You can see her blog here.

As an added bonus I have a link on her blog for creating and selling the faces. I may consider making the odd one or two for commissions if asked. 

As you all know I love creating Christmas ornaments for my family and friends for Christmas, so I've been busy the last couple of months creating quiet a few.  I've added a few alterations to suit the person they are gifted too, adding initials, dates, and special accessories.  (picture heavy).

What I do enjoy about creating them is that it's my first time working with wool blend felt. So much better than using acrylic felt.

I've also been creating little ginger bread houses to hold little Christmas gifts from my friends.