Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Christmas stitching

We had a great trip, and arrived home safely on Monday. The run up to Christmas at Paul and Margaret's was a little stressful, as Paul's demetia is getting worse (dramatically so in the last month or so), but at least we could help Margaret out. We didn't have chance to give her much of a break though, which was a shame. Hopefully next time.

On Christmas day we had lunch with Paul and Margaret (and even managed to do some washing up, even though the planned departure (on M's orders) was between eating lunch and washing up - we sneakily helped out while M sorted out puddings). We arrived at my parent's just as they were having after lunch coffee and mints - they'd had so much to eat they skipped proper dessert! The afternoon was spent playing games (Carcassonne was my favourite, and I have to add that I woun't recommend the Eggheads game, it was dull).

Father Christmas was very kind to us (especially given I'd had clothes from Margaret when we went shopping in November - which I wore on Christmas day - and mum and dad gave us both money towards the car...). I did especially well on the stash front - Ed got me a the TW Peacock Majesty kit and the chart for Legends of the Spellcasters as well as and 3 lace bobbins (I'll share a photo of those later). Michelle and Julian got me Pommeganates and Pears by Jeanette Douglas, complete with the fibre pack - I'd seen it on Dani's blog when she completed it and fell in love, so made a request!

My mum bought me an anchor winnie the pooh kit called Pooh and Eeyore (3rd one down on the page I've linked to) - I'll have to change the fabbie though - Anchor designed backstitch on Aida is a nightmare - I know Lindsay agrees! Mum also put a random assortment of DMC, Weeks and Crescent colours in my stocking, along with a pair of stork scissors.

While I was away I worked on Peacock Firescreen (no photo sorry), and since I've been back I've been working on Phoenix (not photographed that either). I was hoping for a 2008 finish on the xs at least, but the transition from grey flames to red phoenix is proving very slow going!! Oh well, I'll earmark it for my first finish of 2009!

But now Christmas has passed I can share some ornament finishes:

JBW designs Christmas Keepsakes II 'Reindeer' for Michelle and Julian. Stitched on a scrap of fabbie in Weeks and Crescent Colours.

2 motifs from 'A New Beginning' stitched on unidentifed leftover fabbie in Weeks, for my mum (green) and Margaret ('noel').

Snowflake freebie from the Floss Box, on leftover fabbie, in variagted DMC. For Jane, Keith and Molly Emma.

Another snowflake by the Floss Box. I stitched this in silk (can't remember what - I did it in the summer) and Mill Hill Beads. I think I sent it to my German penfriend Bianca, but to be honest I can't remember now... too many parcels. Maybe all the chocolate has eaten my brain???

Another Floss Box freebie. Well sort of. I had a tiny rectangular piece of fabbie left over, and took 2 of the snowflakes from 'like stars quietly falling', which filled the space perfectly. This one was for us, and is now on our tree!

Yet another Floss box freebie snowflake - can you tell I love them?? - I gave this one to Ed in his stocking. I did another for him, but seem to have forgotten to take a photo.

I saw this ornie on Gio's blog, and she kindly sent me the link to the pattern - thanks Gio! It's a freebie by the Drawn Thread called First Snow. I had the perfect piece of grey linen, and most of the right weeks colours in my stash, although some is done in DMC. This was my first piece with smyrna crosses on (the snowfalkes). I finished stitching it the week before Christmas, but didn't get chance to make it into an ornament yet.

JBW designs Christmas Keepsakes II 'mini motif tree' stitched on a scrap of fabbie in Weeks and Crescent Colours. I sent this to Sally for the UK stitchers BB exchange.

Finally I need to thank Karoline for the ornie she sent me for the UKBB exchange - I wasn't sure who'd made it for me (photo in previous post).

Gosh, that was a long post. I need to start thinking about my sum-up for 2008 - after all that ornament stitching I've lost track of how many things I've finished this year - and plans for 2009. I'd also like to make a new start tomorrow, but I'm not sure what... Right, of to do some stash diving...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, we are about to set off on our round-the-country Christmas travels to see our families, so I won't be blogging for a while. In the meantime here are some photos to get you in the festive spirit!

Our (little) Christmas tree:

'Herbert' by Hand in Heart and a Snowflake from the floss box (some of my Christmas stitching that I can share!):

Christmas shopping in Lincoln (it was getting dark..):

Lindsay recieved the ornie I sent for my birthday giveaway, her photo is better than mine so click here to see it!

Finally, here is a photo of the last exchange I recieved from the UK stitchers BB. I'm not certain who sent it, but it is beautiful:

Marry Christmas everyone!!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

And the winner is...

I did the b'day stitching gift draw on Monday, but didn't have time to post. I pulled Lindsay's name out of the 'hat' (i.e. a heap of screwed up bits of paper on my desk), so I will be sending her a small gift later this week (when I've finished it!!! It made me laugh that is was Lindsay as she's the only online stitching friend I've actually met and I won something on her blog a while back too!

I never did my goals at the beginning of the month (tut tut), so here they are. November goals:

1) stitch ornies for TWCOE, presents and (hopefully) my tree too... yes
2) continue with FT, especially on Mondays only once. Not brilliant really...
3) make progress on Phoenix a little
4) pick up Las Vegas again... yes, but didn't do much
5) don't go too mad at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show - there's only so much stitching time in one lifetime... I did quite well really.
I also started Barbara Thompson's Peacock firescreen (photo to follow, I hope)

December goals:
1) stitch more ornies
2) stitch whatever I feel like, as it's nearly Christmas :)

Monday, 8 December 2008


I had a fantastic weekend and birthday - thank you for the good wishes! On Friday night we went to Birmingham to stay with Eddy's parents, on Saturday we went to the Christmas Lace Maker's fair (and I was pretty good, all things considered) - but more on that later. After I'd spent up we went into the centre of Solihull, and had a lovely lunch out, just about finished our Christmas shopping (this is a record for me), then went back for tea. In the evening we watched The Princess Bride, which Eddy got me on DVD. The picture was AMAZING, as was the sound, which just goes to show how worn out my video version is!! I'm not sure Paul followed the film, but then he doesn't follow much these days...

Anyway, last week I received two wonderful ornies as part of the TWCOE, and having finally taken pictures I can share them here:

Ornie from Terry, she also sent me some chocolate (not eaten it yet!!)

Ornie from Paula

Both ornies are stunning, I can't wait to decorate the house and put them up!

Penny and Karin have now received the ornies I sent to them, so I can now share photos:

This is a motif from Abbey Lane Design's 'A new beginning', stitched in Crescent Colours 'Razzleberry' - fast becoming my favourite floss - on a scrap of 32ct linen left over from L&L's Celtic Christmas, sent to Karin.

TW's Father Christmas Ornament, stitched in DMC on left over Quaker Cloth from Fantasy Triptych, sent to Penny.

I included a skein of Weeks Dye Works 'Noel' and a bar of dairy milk with each. The Fabbies I used as backgrounds for these photos are the ones I used for backing them.

I've really enjoyed the TWCOE exchange again this year - it's so fun to stitch for another stitcher, and to send and receive parcels around the world. I think I'll be doing this again next year!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Birthday Giveaway

It's the season for giving and receiving presents - especially for us, as we both have December birthdays!

Mine is on Saturday, and to celebrate I decided to do a blog giveaway... So if you'd like a lovely stitched suprise, hopefully in time for Christmas, reply to this post before midnight on Sunday. It doesn't matter if you've never left a comment - the more the merrier!!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Harrogate stash haul, new car

It's a week since I last posted??? Wow, time has flown past!

I'll start with sharing my stash haul from Harrogate Knitting and Stitching:

Hand in Heart - Herbert
JBW designs - Christmas keepsakes II, A very Merry Christmas
Little House Needleworks - Holly & Berries, Wool needlebook and fob, Blossoms & Blackbirds
Michael Powell - Mini Greek Island 9

assorted weeks, GAST and crescent colours. I spent way too much on these...

Lace Making:
Lace Guild - Harrogate K&S fair bobbin, 2008 membership bobbin, 'Introduction to Milanese lace' by Pat Read (booklet)

Monkey Buttons - double star strippy pattern (I need to improve before I attempt this)

Spellbound Bead Co - Marina necklace kit (in black) - something new to try!!! (present from Margaret)

Best of all, Margaret bought me a Needle Needs 'Millenium' embroidery frame, with 2 sets of top and bottom bars (22" and 18"??? can't remember and I haven't measured them) - which I love. I think I'll be phasing out my scroll frames....

Margaret bought - a knitting book, 4 huge balls of wool (400g - that's not a typo, each one is bigger than my head!!), a kit to knit a toy camel, a beading kit to make snowflakes and a book on lucet brai making.

The best part of the show, for me, was being able to buy my first ever Michael Powell kit directly from Michael (and have a quick chat about his art work too), and to meet Raymond Honeyman who designs for Ehrman tapestries. I've nver done any tapestry, but his desogns were so wonderful I feel yet another craft coming on... it's great to meet a designer and be so amazed by their (previously unheard of to me) work and feel the need to start somehting new! Sadly I have spent far too much of late on crafts to even consider ordering a kit from Ehrman...

Did I mention it's the Solihull Christmas Lace fair on Saturday. As this falls on my birthday I clearly have to attend and spend copious amounts of money. I've ordered a Richard Gravestock workbox to pick up, just hope my credit card can stand the pounding...

On the theme of credit card pounding, my little fiesta is termianlly ill. A wheel bearing has been going for ages, and now the clutch is sliding, and about to go. Given the car is worth very little, these repairs aren't cheap, and there are a whole host of other 'minor' problems - front windscreen demister only works on the passenger side, setting 3 on the air blowing system doesn't work at all, the rear demister doesn't work, the rear windscreen wiper only works when it wants to, the boot (trunk) leaks water when it rains (I have a bag in there to catch it), the boot doesn't always unlock, the light on the dashboard only works if I hit the dashborad, and now soemtimes cuts out while I'm driving - and possibly other stuff I've forgotten - we've decided to retire it. As of Thursday I will be the proud owner of a 6-month old silver fiesta (zetec climate 1.4 diesel for car nerds). Everything will work, and it has a front heated wondscreen, so lengthy de-icing will be a thing of the past.I just hope the clutch in the old car lasts til Thursday, and that I don't have a snow-related driving disaster... I also need to master drivning a diesel in low gears - I've never stalled so much as I did on the test drive!! I'll run it in driving down to Birmingham for the lace fair.. (yes, this purchase will severely restrict my spending power at the fair, and for the nest 2 years..)

Right, I'll go now. Ornie stitching has taken over my life, and I need to finish Herbert...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Harrogate Knitting and Stitching

Margaret and Paul came to stay this weekend, mostly so Margaret and I could go to the knitting and stitching show in Harrogate. On Saturday we got up promptly and left for Harrogate just after 9. After a short wait to get in the car park we parked and headed to the International Centre, arriving just after the doors opened at 10. The show was fantastic, as always. I'll probably share our purchases in a later post, but I have to confess we spent a fair amount! (but not as much on our recent shopping trip in Solihul!!).

We decided to head to the back of the halls and work towards the front, in an attempt to avoid the crowds. Lots of stalls caught out eyes - for me there was the cross stitching and lace making, Margret is a knitter, and between us we've had a go at many of the other crafts! As always, I drooled over the wonderful quilting patterns and fabrics (especially at Monkey Buttons), but showed a great deal of restraint as I've not used the stuff I bought last year yet! The Spellbound beading stall caught our eyes - and our wallets - so there's a new craft on the horizon! We drooled over knitting patterns, wools (loved the Wensleydale sheep stall, complete with cushion made from unprocessed shaggy wool!), embroidery kits of all types, braidmaking, oh, and the workbenches and storage furniture were amazing - once we buy a house (mansion??) big enough for a large sewing room....

We saw some great displays too - these really caught my eyes:

It's a crocheted coral reef, which is constantly evolving, to highlight the plight of coral reefs and the creatures who live on them. (Apologies for the poor photos - I left my camera at home, so took these with my not-so-high-tech phone!!). We stopped off at the Lace Guild stall and had a chat with Phyllis (my Sheffield mum and lace teacher - Margaret hadn't met her before, which seemed odd!), then we met Sonia and Pam (from the stitch and bitch group) for lunch, where we showed off our purchases and discovered we were doing better than them for stall visiting - we'd managed 1.5 halls out of 4, they'd just completed 1!! I've still not had chance to ask Sonia what they bought in the afternoon as we didn't see them again all day. We dashed back, and managed another 1.5 halls before needing another break. We stopped for coffee in the Royal Hall:

We were amazed that we might have missed such a stunning theatre the previous year - until we saw the display saying it had only reopened in April, after years of refurbishment. Well that expains it! We watched a fun Millinery fashion show while we drank our coffee - amazed at the skill of the students studying at local colleges - then hit the stalls again for one final fling. We only just managed to get through all 4 halls, then had a final mad dash back to a few places for last minute puchases and leaflet collecting before heading home for a well deserved break, and takeaway curry for tea!

More later...

Friday, 14 November 2008

Ornie stitching

I'm still here, still stitching, but as I'm focussing on ornies for exchanges and gifts I can't post any photos..yet! So far I've finished 3 and started my 4th - not bad at all!

Last weekend Ed and I went to Birmingham to see his parents. His Dad has vasular dementia (he's only 65), so we try and visit frequently to help as much as we can - usually I take Margaret out somewhere and Ed does something with Paul. Last weekend M and I hit the shops - having 2 sons she isn't used to epic, slow, girly shopping trips, so I've had to teach her. She's doing very well, and now understands that a nice lunch, plus at least one trip to a coffee shop, are an essential part of the day. As is browsing and having a laugh - the goal is to have fun, not just buy things (although that helps). She's learning well! We didn't do as well as last time, when we came home with a new TV, video/DVD recorder, iron, clothes etc etc. But we did pretty well, making a good start with Christmas shopping (very early for me), and getting lots of clothes and shoes. To be honest I've not had such a good clothes shop since I was a lot younger and a lot smaller - I'm very fussy and won't buy anything that doesn't fit well - difficult as a rather curvy size 20/22 (UK size)... clearly fat people shouldn't have waists... Anyway, I digress - we hit Monsoon (my favourite shop) where the clothes are beautiful, well made, FIT ME, and, erm, cost a fortune. We got there at 4.45 and paid just after they shut at 5.30... I bought jeans, a skirt, 2 blouses and a cardy... and I'd already got another cardy and some pjamas earlier on in the day! Luckily M decided she'd make a contribution, as my Christmas present. She did well too, getting new shoes, a jumper and some undies. We also got some books, and treated ourselves to Lush bath bombs. It was great fun.

A while ago I got Benjamin Bunny Birth Sampler framed, and gave it to Helene for Amelie, but I didn't share a photo. Here is is:

Sunday, 2 November 2008

What a difference a month makes...

...thanks to everyone over on the wagon for their encouragement and support during TW October - as anyone reading my (very few) posts this month will know, I took the opportunity to focus on Fantasy Triptych, and as of yesterday, I have finished the castle (complete with bs), all of the xs on the rocks, and done a fair amount of the trees - probably abut 1/4 of the infamous green! So here's a photo:

This month I also did a little more on Dracolair's Phoenix:

It's stitched on Stitches and Spice 28ct cashel 'tundra', which I really love.

All of this means that I met my two goals for October, particularly the goal of 'impressive progress' on FT - well, I am impressed!!

So, it being November now, I need to set goals:

1) stitch ornies for TWCOE, presents and (hopefully) my tree too...
2) continue with FT, especially on Mondays
3) make progress on Phoenix
4) pick up Las Vegas again...
5) don't go too mad at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show - there's only so much stitching time in one lifetime...

And speaking of shows, I never mentioned the Pudsey 'not just lace' show, which was 2 weeks ago. Most of our S**** & B**** group came along, even though not everone makes lace, and we met up with Phyllis. I was very proud that I didn't spend the most money (Sonia now owns a lovely Richard Gravestock workbox. If that means nothing to you then wait until December...). I did buy some lovely new bobbins (as I really don't own enough...):

I especially love the Phoenix one - had to buy it in honour of my current WIP! I also got 4 Gravestock bobbins, after all these will become rare objects once Richard retires in December (like workboxes...).

Best of all, I signed up for a lace weekend with Christine Springett (it's full, but I'm on the reserve list) and had a lovely chat with Stuart Johnson (it's worrying when a bobbin maker who you only see at fairs while buying bobbins greets you like an old friend - but I do like his bobbins best - his are the unspangled - ie non-beaded - bobbins at the top of the picture. The photo doesn't do them justice, and their best feature is that they feel wonderful...).

Monday, 13 October 2008

A mini happy dance

No, i've not finished a project, but I have finished the xs of the castle in fantasy triptych! I think I'll get cracking with the bs before I move on to tackle trees and rocks...

Sorry the photo isn't great - it's 11.45pm here, and not especially bright!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Stitching photos to share

It has been far too long since I added any photos. I blame to start of term - my students are taking up most of my time, and I'd FAR rather be stitching than surfing the web and blogging in my downtime (when it's limited). Anyway, that does mean I've done a fair amout of stitching!

I never showed any photos of my September startitis pieces, so here they are:

Dracolair's Phoenix - I did get about 50% of the stitching done in September. I thihk this one is a stunner. The fabric is by Stitches and Spice, and is very close in colour to the yellows, but I LOVE it anyway.

Las Vegas, designed by me (ie photo dropped into a cross stitch chart creating program). Not sure how this will turn out. It's stitched over 1 on black. Am I crazy.....

I also started Eyore's Problem, but I've not made any progress since the last photo.

This is Fantasy Triptych at the beginning of the month. I've done quite a bit more, but don't have a more recent photo... maybe I'll post one later...

Thursday, 2 October 2008

October goals

just a quick post today, as I'm pretty busy!

My September goals were:

1) work on FT - yes!
2) start Dracolair's Phoenix (already have done), and get 50% done - yes, probably have about half xs complete now
3) start an obligation piece - either Postman Pat birth sampler or Las Vegas wedding sampler. - started Las Vegas (twice, due to an error with fabric size initially!!)
4) start Barbara Thompson's Peacock - no, but I did find it...
5) start something else. - I also started 'Eyore's problem', which Eddy picked for me from my stash.

So I did quite well for 'September startitis'. I do have photos of them all, but don't have my camera with me. I promise to upload them soon...

October goals:
Well it's TW October on the wagon, so I'll be focusing on fantasy triptych. I also want to continue making progress on Phoenix. So I'll try and stick to them as much as possible this month, and make some impressive progress (hopefully)!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

September starts

well, I've been pretty busy of late, but most of it has been fun!!

Ed and I took a week off work. We didn't go away, just stayed at home. We did several jobs that had been waiting for a while, went blackberry-ing (is that a word) - I couldn't stitch much that day beacuse my hands were purple, but Eddy's were worse:

We then made a VERY thick and sticky blackberry jam (our first ever attempt - clearly overcooked, but tastes brilliant). We ate lots from our garden too. The best was peas and artichokes. The peas were Bird's Eye, but the artichokes, onion and dill were all home grown. We worked out the artichokes would have cost us £10 in a supermarket. I hope the plants last the winter...

We went to Leeds to the Royal Armouries to see the weapons in films exhibition. We were both a bit spoddy in the LOTR section which was amazing. Reminded me why I wanted to be a costume designer as a teenager (I even looked into it for Uni until I realised that I'm crafty, not creative and imaginative). We also bough curtain poles, which ended up costing a fortune because I'm fussy, and I even made the 3 curtains (hall window, landing window and front door). Now I just need the poles we ordered to arrive and a free weekend to hang them.

I did quite a bit of stitching and started 2 projects, Dracolair's Phoenix and a Winnie the Pooh called 'Eyore's Problem' - it's the Pooh sticks story. I made Eddy pick somehting from my stash (I'm stash only stitching for a while because of the curtain poles), and that piece was his choice.

I just saw a fun 'where have you been' map thing on Sara's blog, here are my travels:

It took me ages to work out where Alaska was on the US map. My biggest problem with the states is I tend to end up in the same place. I've been to Missouri 3 times. Twiced to visit Phil and Amanda, which is very cool, but why did I have to have a conference there too???? Hopefully next year I'll be able to add Chicago - I don't think O'Hare really counts... Of course I'll try and visit Phil and Amanda again too :) I should add that Phil and Amanda have just got the Pooh calendar I stitched for Jack framed and it looks brilliant!

I'm clearly a northern European traveller, but I'm impressed by the lack of gaps... The island in the med confused me, until I realised it was highlighted as part of France... My Geography knowledge is dreadful!

I'm back at work now, term starts on Monday and we meet the students tomorrow. Of course I'm not ready. I worked until 8pm tonight. One day I'll learn...

The wonderful world of Julie and Mikko

Just to rub in the rather poor map coverage I have in my previous post, I have now (finally!!) found the link to Julie and Mikko's travel blog.
Jealous?? Me???

I've known Julie since I was about 5. She moved to Finland with Mikko a few years ago and they's just set out around the world.... luckily thay packed their unique senses of humour.

Bon Voyage!!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

September goals (a little late this time)

July recap - I wanted to work (and finish if possible):

1) Assisi knot garden
2) Benjamin Bunny
3) wild fairy light
4) Necessities sampler

I actually worked on them all, and finished them all (WFL on the 1 Sept), as part of the Stitching Olympics on the wagon. Amazingly I came joint third in the 'rotation relay', and a 'bronze medal' is on its way to me as we speak... It was such a fun event, and it really focussed my stitching last month.

I also said that Mondays I'd work on FT, and on Thursdays I wanted to make progress with my lace - I woeked on FT every Monday, but only picked up my lace once, due to manic stitching marathon and a hectic few weeks at work.

My September goals are:

1) work on FT
2) start Dracolair's Phoenix (already have done), and get 50% done
3) start an obligation piece - either Postman Pat birth sampler or Las Vegas wedding sampler.
4) start Barbara Thompson's Peacock
5) start somehting else.

Yup, I'm taking part in September startitis on the wagon!!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

More hapy dancing...

I *just* managed to finish Wild Fairy Light for the Stitching Olympics on Monday night - although I was stitching well past bed time to be able to do it!

She's a Who Knew!?! design, and is stitched on PTP's 'Fresco' cashel linen. I substituted the required Gentle Arts thread with Crescent Colours' Razzleberry. IT took me a while to track down the required 'confetti fuschia' krenik blending filament for the wings, but I think it was worth the effort.

Lat night I finished Peacocks and Dragons (William Morris DMC) bookmark. I used left over thread from Assisi knot garden, and antique white quaker cloth - the edge of the piece I used for FT.

So, as of last night I have got only 1 WIP - count 'em, 1!!!! (Lindsay may realise that's slightly directed at her - I'm not sure if I'm scared or jealous that she's got 49 WIPs!!!). Tonight I'm stash diving, at which point I can set my Septmeber goals.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Another Happy Dance

Wow, for once I'm really coming through with my stitching goals - I just put in the last few stitches in Assisi Knot Garden.

I'm off to London for the weekend to see my sister (and lots of museums I think), so I don't think I'll get lots of stitching done. The annoying thing is that Wild Fairy Light is on a frame, so I can't take it on the train with me. So I've dug out a few small pieces to take with me - and yes, that does include new starts! Maybe I'll get a few lengths into WFL before I leave, or when I get back on Sunday (but that will be around midnight). I really wanted to finish it in August...

A Happy week

Well, this week I have lots to be happy about!!

First, thank you to Lindsay (Caring Stitcher) for giving me this award:

It's the first time I've ever had a blog award, and it really made me smile! Thank you Lindsay!

I now need to nominate 7 blogs, here are the rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on their Blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other Blogs.
4. Put the links to those Blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the Blogs of those you've nominated.

It's taken me a while to think about who to nominate, especially as some of my favourite blogs already seem to have been awarded this! So, in no particular order, I nominate:


My other favourtie blog is Dani's - she inspied me to join needle and thread BB and to start a blog, so is definitely at the top of my list. She's already had this award twice now though....

I also have a happy dance to share with you:

It took me a while to finish, as I'd forgotten Amelie's birthweight! Helene, Guy and Amelie are in France, so they took a while to answer my text! I can't wait to give this to them when they return.

We had a great weekend last weekend, and started to crop our veggies:

Everything we ate over the weened had something home grown in - mostly onions, but Ed made a brilliant leek and mushroom tart, using our leeks, and I baked berry miuffins, with a combination of bought blueberries, bought blackberries, and grown blackberries. Yum! We also used our own herbs a lot. We don't have enough room to be self sufficient, but it's great fun growing, and more importantly eating, your own veggies!!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Stitching Olympics 2008

After setting my goals for August I read about the 2008 Stitching Olympics on the wagon - and decided it would be great fun to join in the fun! I'm entering 2 'events' - 'sprint', in which I complete as many projects as possible (and therefore meet my August goals) and 'rotation relay', making sure I work on EVERYTHING i have started. I'm doing quite well for me, but no where near as good as the competition!!

Anyway, I thought I'd share some progress pictures. I've already completed a full rotation, and am working through my second run, here is where I'm at for Wild Fairy Light, Fantasy Triptych and Assisi knot garden:

I'll save an update pic for Benjamin Bunny, as I think I'll finish him tonight...

Monday, 18 August 2008

Necessities Sampler Happy Dance

Well I've been really busy with work recently, so I've not had much opportunity to blog, but I have done a little stitching. I entered the 'Stitching Olympics' on the wagon, but I don't think I stand a chance of winning! It's a great incentive to get focussed with my stitching time.

I finished Little House Needleworks' Necessities Sampler over the weekend. I had to fudge a bit due to a counting error, but I think it looks OK.

Melissa - the Benjamin Bunny sampler was in a magazine - Cross Stitch Crazy I think. I've slightly adapted it for personalisation.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

August goals & stitching update

Oooops, looks like I forgot to post goals for July on my blog. Luckily I did post them on Needle and Thread, so here's a recap:

July Goals

1) work on Assisi knot garden
2) work on wild fairy light
3) work on Benjamin Bunny Birth sampler birth
~I'd like to complete one of these pieces~

4) work on Fantasy Triptych on Mondays
5) Milanese lace on Thursdays

Well I worked on everything except Wild Fairy Light during July, but I didn't finish anything. But given I have quite a few pieces close to finishing, my goal for August is to try and finish as many pieces as possible! Those which are up for contention are:

1) Assisi knot garden
2) Benjamin Bunny
3) wild fairy light
4) Necessities sampler (I started this as part of the Little House Needleworks BB SAL)

On Mondays I'll work on FT, and on Thursdays I want to make progress with my lace.

I've already made progress with my finishing many projects goal. I finished this small piece which has been in my handbag as an emergency piece for months - I started it when we stayed with Phyllis sometime last year... I just can't remember why we stayed with her, or when that was!!

It's a Victoria and Albert/DMC kit, but I can't remember the name. I picked it up in a sale somewhere. It's for a pin cushion, but I've not decided if that's what I'll do with it. I'm not keen on the provided backing fabric, so I'll probably change it.

When I finsihed it I picked up Benjamin Bunny again. I've been working on it on and off for most of July. Here's a picture of where I'm up to:

Not far to go now - I expect a couple more good stitchy evenings and I'll be done. I need to figure out the wording though...

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Getting close...

I did less stitching on Sunday than I hoped - I had a laundry disaster and needed to buy nre trousers (I think the old ones were just old, but when they came out of the washer they were, well, indecent..). So I had a mad, but successful M&S dash.

I got to stitching late afternoon, and made great progress with Benjamin. I've just got one bunny to go, and then all the BS. Why didn't I do the BS as I went along????

Last night I actually participated in the TW SAL, here's a pic of Fantasy Triptych. Amazingly I did all of that top rectangle of wall on the left in one night - about 2.5 hours total. This really flies when I actually stitch on it :lol

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Stitchy weekend

Well, it's rained so muich this week that even though it's been sunny this weekend we can't get out in the garden - the lawn is so waterlogged that we'd trash it if we started weeding, and it's still to wet to cut the grass. I really dislike clay soils... So we decided to have a lazy weekend - so spent yesterday watching DVD's, cooking, and of course I did lots of stitching. I've even got back into Benjamin Bunny, and made lots of prrogress, just 2 more bunnies and a hanky to go, then I'll be onto the BS. I wn't share a pic now, because a) hopefully I'll get lots done today and will share one later and b) I've not taken a photo yet :)

Ruth, just for you, here's a pic of the lunch/tea (I didn't post it before as I had too many photos to upload)

I tried to upload some more holiday pics, but Blogger isn't my friend today....

Did I mention my holiday stash purchases? I found a craft shop that was having a clearnace sale on xs supplies, it was moving in the knitting direction. While this general trend towards knitting really vexes me, I did get some bargains: a Art Nouveau florals chart by DMC, 2 hardanger booklets, TW's Chestnut rocking Horse (all for £1 each - bargain!!) and TW's In a Garden kit for £5. But best of all were the beads. On a shelf there was a basket full of beads, mostly Mill Hill, but some other brands too, with a label '4 for £1'. So I thought, hmm, good opportunity to get a good lot of stash for very little money, and started to rummage. Ed came over to help, and we decided to dig out 1 pack of each Mill Hill seed bead, which meant sorting through the basket. This took a LOT longer than expected, as the basket was almost TARDIS-like in proportions, but Ed vaiantly helped by checking I'd not picjked out any duplicates (it was raining heavily so this was a cunning way of staying dry too). So, when I counted up the non-duplicates there were 88 packes. I thought about going through them again but rationalised that a) they were a bargain 2) maybe the shop keeper thought I was bonkers c) Ed was probably quite bored by now and d) I@d only paid for 2 hours parking, I bought the lot. I've not had change to catalogue and sort them yet though...

Thursday, 10 July 2008

I'm back!

We had a lovely holiday in Cornwall, and (for the most part) the weather was brilliant. Over the next few days I'll share some pictures, but I thought I'd start with a stitching update. I took Benjamin Bunny with me - as he's an obligation piece with a pressing deadline I though he needed to progress the most. While on holiday I finished Benjamin on the top left, stitched the lavendar on the left and made a start on the red hanky (top right). We got back late on Sunday, but took Monday and Tiesday off work too, hoping to be able to garden - but the weather wasn't great, so I did a fair bit of stitching, this is where I got to last night:

One of my favourite days on holiday was when we visited St Michael's mount:

We had to travel there and back by boat, as the tide was in, but I got a shot of the causeway snaking along under the sea:

The boatman on the way over clearly had a sense of humour, as his fare list shows:

He even pulled a live lobser out of a bucket to show a girl sat opposite us - she was petrified (her mum didn't fare much better). He suggested it was his pet, but I suspect it was really his tea

The castle was fun - it's still lived in (I'd LOVE to live in a castle... just imagine...). We spied someone's roller blades and a skateboard at one point!! But the highlight was the gardens. The climate in Cornwall is so different to Yorkshire, and some of the plants were realy exotic, here are a small sample of my garden photos (I took loads!):