Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

A bright sunny winter's day took me to Kirstenbosch on a lovely walk through the gardens.

The Kranz Aloes were looking splendid

and the bees were having a feast. There must have been about twenty buzzing around this clump of aloes.

I caught a glimpse of Teddy Bear Mountain along the way. It's a firm favourite among children on school outings and is remembered for years afterwards.  

I was pleased that those dinosaurs in the dinosaur garden were statues and not the real thing. Imagine coming across an animal of that size on your rambles.

I was headed up towards the Treetop Canopy Walk which is well camouflaged until you are right there.

The views of the gardens and surrounding mountains are wonderful.

I saw these flowers from way up on the walkway. They were the most delicate shades of pink.

Not long after my walk, the Hottentot's Holland Mountains off in the distance were tipped with a sprinkling of snow and winter had truly arrived here in Cape Town. The snow doesn't reach very far down the mountains but when it snows the temperature plummets and we know all about it.

But on this day the sky was clear and blue.

Making my way back to the car park I crossed the lawns, passed the pond and had a last glimpse of Teddy Bear Mountain. I was already planning my next visit.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Chicken Scratch and Australian Cross Stitch - the Russian Connection

A sudden spike in the number of visitors to my blog had me trying to work out where they all came from. On finding that they were being referred by a Russian website I was even more curious.

It turns out that there is a very good compilation of information together with photos of Chicken Scratch on this Russian website here. If, like me, you don't read Russian, Google Translate will give you a good idea of how the text reads. (The translation is not perfect and you may notice somewhere in the article that the literal translation is "chicken embroidery dash"!)

My gingham pincushions appear at the end of the article as a comparison between Chicken Scratch and Australian Cross Stitch and there is a comprehensive list of resources at the end which includes a direct link to my blog. Many thanks to the author of the article whose name I unfortunately have been unable to confirm.

Australian Cross Stitch pincushions
The difference between Chicken Scratch and Australian Cross Stitch? Although both are stitched on gingham, and both are embroidered with crosses, Australian Cross Stitch never has double cross stitches or running stitch. You can clearly see the double crosses and running stitches so characteristic of Chicken Scratch in the photo below. Find out more in my previous blog post here.

Chicken Scratch 
On the home front, it's real winter here in Cape Town with cold, damp, dismal days. I have been indoors hibernating and getting my new PC up and running the way I want it to. The next step is downloading Windows 10. I will also be teaching an embroidery course on Dresden Lace and Pulled Work soon. A damaged software disk has meant that I can't download my embroidery software for drawing up stitch diagrams. It's going to be a busy week at the keyboard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hedebo resource

If you are interested in trying some Hedebo embroidery and want a good starting point try visiting the Greve Museum's Hedebo site Hedebosyning here.  Although it is in Danish you can click on the right side of the landing page for the English version.

There is also a free pdf tutorial to follow here. Unfortunately the instructions for the tutorial are in Danish but the stitch diagrams are clear and fairly easy to follow. I'd love to hear from you if you do give it a try. Just leave a comment below.

My computer has been to the 'doctor' again but it is still not fixed. Its unreliable now as it freezes 5 or 6 times a day. Looks like it's on its last legs. I have been putting off making the decision that it is actually quite old and needs replacing. The thought of new software and moving everything over is daunting.

In the meantime, I can borrow a machine to keep in touch and I'll post a longer piece when I can access my files and photos again.

Till then, happy stitching!