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...