Thursday, March 26, 2009

My swap to Naomi

Here are the stitched gifts for Naomi in Hungary. Its a pin keep and a fob. I used the design from Annabellia from her blog entry here. I changed the colours to match Naomi's favourite (orange). The braid around the pin keep is handmade by me using the Japanese craft of Kumihimo.

Thank you Nina for making this a fun swap!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Swap from Nina's Group

You must agree I have been very lucky this week, 3 gorgeous swaps! Here is the 3rd one, its a beautiful surprise from Barbara
Where do I start, the whole process of opening and discovering this swap was a delight! It was all wrapped so beautifully. Hand made pins, great card and a mystery laced gift.....

And then WOW! it was a needle roll and a fob, exquisitely made. Spoiled! yep! Thank you Barbi, you are such a wonderful stitcher and swap partner!

I think you will agree with me that this is very beautifully stitched and finished!

I would also liked to thank Nina for arranging this swap group and keeping this so well organized!

Mail art #6

The mail art I stitched for Valerie arrived! What a relief! It is always an anxious period before they arrive. This was a chart I found at Sew and so , called Vintage Postcard Pair by Janlynn. I really liked the stamps on it, fun right? The designer was Sandy Orton, a favourite of mine. I have stitched many designs she has created and have more in my stash, dying to stitch them too. In this mail art I tried a new technique for closing the envelope, I punched this button (from memories eyelet) and used a cord to wrap around it.

Mail art #9

Yippee! I received another mail art ! Isn't it lovely! and again quilted type, I really like these!This was with an exchange arranged in Mail art Friends using freebies. This beautiful envelope was stitched by Aw in Malaysia, she included hand dyed threads by her in my favourite colour!
Thank you Aw!
I also really liked the chart she added in her envelope, a wonderful chart perfect for future mail art.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

mail art #8

I am so happy today! The post man brought another mail art from Valerie. This beautiful mail art is stitched with a design from L'R de rien. I also liked the fact that there was fabric used on the outside, I would love to use this technique on one of my mail art projects. Valerie kindly included a hand dyed thread by Jessica Burr called mint chocolate ( yum) and silky ribbons. I am so pleased she become my partner in this swap, Thank you Valerie!!!!!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Learning Japanese

I have been trying to learn Japanese, and finding immensely rewarding. I just love this language, its obviously different from French and Spanish and this difference is what really spurned me on to try to learn Nihongo. In pronunciation its not too far off Greek so that helped a lot. However in Athens most language schools teach Chinese, so I had to resort to my own research in books and the Internet. Here are what I found very helpful:

  • First I found these books and site, both the books and the site helped me with learning the hiragana and katagana, its as far as I have progressed up to this point book 3 begins with the Kanji. The books are beautifully organised and simply explained to understand the use of the language and grammar. How to write the kana and exercises to practice what you have learned.The site offers sound files that correspond to the lessons in the books, Quizzes and videos. There is also a forum to chat with other learners or ask questions from the teachers.

  • Another of my favorite learning tools is my DS Japanese coach.

  • Another way to test and improve your Japanese reading and spelling is this site

  • For kanji I recommend these books, however if you know any other ones please leave a comment.
  • I also found youtube a great place for videos on learning the language and of course livestation to tune into Japanese TV
  • For the sounds of the Japanese language I also liked earworms, it has key phrases that you could use as a tourist in Japan, not the best way to learn as its just paraphrasing but without a teacher around to ask questions on how they sound it helped me at the very beginning.
  • is another site that I just found through google

I would love to hear a feedback from any of you that are studying the same language and any input on what you are using to learn it.

PS. Thank you to Winifred for recommending iTunes

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mail art sign up....

I have just discovered mail art and have fallen in love with it!


I would like to get some partners to join me with 5 exchanges for the period of January - May , if you would like to have a go, leave a comment on this entry, the first five to leave a comment will be my partners for this first round.

Mail art for this swap can be with any kind of fabric and cross stitch design, free imagination and fun are the key to this swap.

Here is a list of links with mail art photos to give an idea of what mail art is....

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