Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Becoming Majestic

Sorry I've not been on here for ages, life just gets in the way sometimes! I've been steadily progressing with Peacock Majesty, and I'm now on the final quarter of cross stitch. I'm an annual leave this week, so I may even finish it soon! Here's a quick photo (sorry about the crumples):

I'm not sure what I'll pull out to work on next. I see some stash diving in my near future!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A fabulous summer of stitching

I can't believe how beautiful our summer has been so far. I've been in such a good mood. I have, inevitably, spent more time outside and ergo less time stitching, but I have been making great progress regardess. Plus the gorgeous weather means I could take some shots outside.

A few weeks ago I spent Sunday doing some actual finishing. I think I've shared all of the pieces on here in their happy dance but not yet finished state.  I've just realised they are all Blackbird Designs. First up is a group of pillows, the larger one is Summer Stars from A Stitcher's Journey, but stitched with floss I had to hand. The three smaller pillows are Small Tokens from My Heart is True. Really fun quick stitches :)

Next up is a piece - Bird in Hand - I finished ages ago, but wanted to finish as a flat fold. Having looked it up via the tags on here I've realised I finished it in July 2011! It took me ages to find the right backing fabric, and even longer to find the desire to actually finish it, but it has turned out just how it wanted, and I found the perfect braid in my stash to complete the project. I took several photos of it hanging off my rose arch, so please indulge me in a few photos...

I've also got two happy dances to share. First up is Raven's Roost and Curse of the Raven by The Gude Huswife and Carriage House Samplings respectively. It was a bit windy out, so I had to find some props to stop it blowing away (the Lille such ions were less fortunate).

Finally, this is Celtic Wreath by The Sunflower Seed, from the 2009 JCS ornaments magazine. I used 28ct fabric, and ran out of the Crescent Colours Bandana - which I bought ages ago and had little hope of matching a dye lot. Knowing I only needed three lengths of thread to finish I dug put the suggested DMC, used it in three different places, and I honestly cannot spot it. I was so delighted!

Since finishing these two pieces I've been working on Peacock Majesty again - I'll post a photo once I've completed the peacock, which is getting ever closer ;)

I hope everyone else is having a lovely summer, and finding some stitching time.  
Happy stitching folks x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tiny tombstones

I'm getting ever closer with my pair of tiny tombstones - The Curse of the Raven by Carriage House Samplings and The Raven's Roost by the Goode Huswife - I really can't wait to finish these. They have been great fun to stitch, and I love the echo fabric which is an off cut I bought (moderately) cheaply. If all goes well I'll have a happy dance before the weekend!

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Some old exchanges...

I've been meaning to post these for ages. Initially I needed to wait for them to arrive to their destinations around the world, but then I just kept forgetting. And just now I've had to look on three devices to find the photos that I took... Back in February!

Anyway, absolutely ages ago (in March 2011, eeeek!) Lindsay of Caring Stitcher ( won a giveaway on my blog. I stitched the piece up really quickly and then just never got round to finishing and posting it.  Mostly because I couldn't settle on backing fabric. It's Bluebirds Song by Blackbird Designs, finished into a cushion using the fabric it's sitting on.

For my more recent giveaway to celebrate my 300th post back in August last year, I stitched two versions of the same TW design, Greetings. The blue version went to Ana Christina ( in Brazil. The multicolour version went to Monique of Cross Stitch Ramblings ( in South Africa. It was fun sending the parcels out to two different continents :) the backing fabric is a remnant of fabulous Liberty fabric that I picked up cheap ages ago.

I'm beginning to get the hang of the blogger app on my iPad. I've FINALLY managed to set the picture size so they don't overlap with the menus on the side. But I can't remember how to code adding in a URL, and there isn't a quick button (that I can see). I'll get there eventually...

This weekend I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so am spending the days sat on the some doing very little. But a small amount of simple xs. I just can't not pick my current projects up!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Birds in the garden, birds in the house

It seems appropriate that I've finished Backbird Designs' Spring Song while all the birds have been scoffing seeds and fat balls (they are especially greedy this year!) at our feeding station and as the coal tits nesting next door and the many house sparrows in the area started to fledge. I really enjoyed this design, and the photo really doesn't do it justice. My only alteration was to add two extra rows of the blue 'training fabric' threads. I'm delighted with the result.

My latest new start is The Curse of the Raven by Carriage House Samplings. I'm stitching it in the suggested floss, but instead of the called for 40 count camofudge I'm using a piece of 28ct echo that I picked up in a sale. My plan is to stitch The Raven's Roost by the Goode Huswife on the same piece of fabric. Annoyingly only half my order of floss came in. And I placed the order in late April. After a quick call to the company I found out it was a delay from a US supplier when sending to the UK. I've just reordered with a different company, I hope the have the right colours in stock.

So this makes me wonder, where do people buy their stash from? I try to use UK sellers(avoiding the dangers of import tax and associated fees), but find many only have partial listings in their web sites, so it's hard to know if you've looked at all of the charts by certain designers. I used to use sewandso all the time, but find their range of charts don't really match my current tastes, and their over dyed floss is expensive. I've used Wye needlecraft, often in person if I'm in Bakewell, but less often by post (no idea why, and I always get the JCS ornies issue from them). I've been using Thread Bear recently, but have had a few supply issues (did I mention my entire Christmas present from Eddy, which he placed in November, didn't come in until the end of Jan - no presents under the tree for me, I was not impressed). So this time I'm trying The Patchwork Rabbit, where I have often browsed but rarely bought. I'd love to hear where other people shop!

I'm off work this week, so have been busy in the garden and just generally chillaxing. Today's rain has designated it a crafting day. So far I've browse the internet a lot, but at least I finally posted my happy dance. Time for lunch, then a good stash dive I think. Or maybe some finishing. Or...

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Beautiful birdie

I wanted a change from Peacock Majesty (NB: it is the TW petite, NOT the full peacock tapestry). So I decided to work on some Blackbird Designs pieces. After doing the simple Quaker pin cushion in my last post I decided to work on Spring's Song from the Mary Ann Blackburn booklet. I love that every tenth row, a length of thread is pulled put of the linen and replaced with blue, to mimic the 'training linen' in the original sampler. I decided to do this 8 times, not just 6 as in the model, so the pattern extends to the edge of the piece. It's been quite a quick stitch, and I kept forgetting to post pics. This is where I am up to, just the top border to go:

Sorry for the crumpled linen, I'm stitching this one in-hand!

I've also finished-finished Rose Garden (a while back, but failed to share), here's a quick photo. It's resting on the fabric I used for the backing.

I've just got back from an epic shopping trip to buy myself a new (slightly larger) ball gown. My friend Julia helped me pick one that's outside of my comfort zone but stunning. Can't wait for Friday now. Of course I'm now shattered so it's time to put my feet up, have a cuppa and do some stitching!

Happy stitching folks x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Night Happy Dance

I've been busy travelling with work again, hence the lack of posts. After the trip to Slovenia and Croatia I've been to a conference in York, a meeting in London, a PhD viva in Copenhagen and two conferences in Canada. Good job I love to travel!

I've been taking Peacock Majesty along as my travelling piece, but as you can imagine progress has been slow.  I have now finished the bottom half of the project though:

When I've been at home I've been focussing on Maria Sharrenberg's Night, which I finished just before the trips to Copenhagen and Calgary. I was so busy travelling I nearly forgot to happy dance!

I got back at 10pm Monday, delayed by 13 hours due to a cancelled flight. I did not expect to eat my dinner in Amtserdam on Monday! (London to Amsterdam to Leeds in neither logical nor fun, but it was that or spend the night at Heathrow).

I was back in work the following morning, but luckily the long day on Monday was a great way to get over the jet lag quickly! We get Friday, Monday and Tuesday off for Easter at the University. Friday I mostly slept, and Saturday I had a headache, but on Sunday I was sufficiently relaxed to start a new project - which I finished this morning. This is Summer Stars Pincushion from A Stitcher's Journey by Blackbird Designs. I substituted the pink from Woodrose to Antique Rose, as I didn't have the former in my stash. Caramel Corn was too close in colour to the fabric, so I switched that with Aged Pewter. I'm really pleased with the result. It's stitched on 30ct Sheep's Staw by R&R Reproductions.

I hope everyone is havinga lovely Easter break, and managed to find some stitching time :)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Travelling stitching

Last weekend I got back from a work trip in Croatia and Slovenia, and then set off again right away to a Wedding in Shropshire... Which means I've not had much R&R time of late, and this week I've been so shattered after work I haven't really stitched as much as usual.

I took Peacock Majesty on tour with me, and enjoyed working away on it during the flight to Ljubijana and again on the flight back from Zagreb. I did some more on Monday and Tuesday night this week, and I've completed the wall:

While I was away travelling I mised the early March TUSAL, so here is a very late picture. Most of the orts are from Peacock Majesty.

I had to go into work today too, but now I am free for the next 36 hours..  Time to settle down on the sofa and get some stitching done. I fancy a change in project, but nothing is calling out to me yet. I think. I can't settle because I've been so busy, but I am sure after a little WIP / stash diving I can find something suitable!

What are your weekend plans? Hope they are fun and relaxing. 

Happy stitching folks xx

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Introducing Herbert Junior...

In the run up to Christmas I was a bit rubbish at posting, and I forgot to post a happy dance. In actual fact I completely forgot I'd stitched the piece until I found it in a bag while tidying up last night! This is Herbert by Hand on Heart, I actually stitched him years ago and gave him away as a present. Herbert Junior is MINE...

This also means I managed to forget to include him in my stitchy finishes for 2013 (I THINK he was done before the new year). Oops. He is stitched an a scrap of silk weaver Lugana fabric, but I can't remember what it's called, but I used all the flosses suggested on the chart. The fabric isn't quite as purply as the photo suggests.

This week has been hugely busy so I've not sat and stitched much, but I have finished the bottom section of the tail on peacock majesty and started on the wall.

I have friends staying this weekend, so I don't think I'll get as much done as usual - I'll be out having fun! 

Happy stitching folks x

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Peacock Majesty

I started this piece while on a work trip to South Africa 18 months ago, and never got past the background on the right side. Once I finished Rose Garden I felt like a TW so I picked it up again. In just over a week I've almost completed the tail - and I love the colours.

In the week I ordered some new fabric, so I can start a Blackbird Designs - probably one of the two smaller charts in Mary Ann Blackburn, but I've not decided which yet. I bought all the threads while in the US last April, so I SHOULD be good to go...

Right now I'm waiting for Sonia so we can go to a Sheffield Lacemakers working day - I'm taking Wisteria, and I'd like to get round the first corner today.

Hope everyone else is having a fun, stitchy weekend xxx

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Happy Dancing

Last weekend I finished and washed Gaelic Banner, and I pressed it in the week. I wanted to wait to take a photo until I could use natural light, and here it is:

Edited to add: Terri of Rosy Stitches rightly asked who the designer of Gaelic Banner is - it's a Dracolair design.

If you remember I was worried that it had been stretched out of shape on my scroll frame, but washing it allowed it to spring back - so much so that I needed to take out and then tighten the long stitches outlining the tip of the sword. I am really chuffed with this piece, and thrilled to bits that it's my first happy dance of 2014.

Once I finished it I felt like a complete change, and a quick stitch - digging through my stash I decided on Rose Garden by Blackbird Designs - all stitched in the lovely muted pink 'Jakey Brown'. I decided to use my mum's initials and date on this piece, and I hope to finish finish it tomorrow (along with a few other things - my finishing pile is rather huge!). It's stitched on a piece of us identified hand dyed fabric - I did finally check the thread count, and it's 38 count. No wonder some late evenings my eyes found it difficult!

This weekend I have very little planned. I need to pop into town as two books I ordered have come into the book store - I've decided to re-read the musketeers saga, after starting to watch the (frankly OK but not fabulous) BBC adaptation of the three musketeers. I was amazed to realise that I don't own a copy of Twenty Years After or Louise de la Valliere. But I will by this evening!

Other than that all I have planned is stitching in front of the TV - probably a mixture of rugby, the Winter Olympics and some Scandi-noir. I hope you all have a fun weekend planned.

Happy stitching folks xx

Sunday, 2 February 2014

New Toys...

This week has been extremely busy, but is has also involved a few new toys :)

First of all, my Christmas present from Eddy finally arrived ( he ordered from Thread Bear at the start of December, but I think he must have missed their before Christmas order from America). Anyway, my late Christmas present included A Stitcher's Journey, Christmas Garden and Buttons and Pins by Blackbird Designs, Celtic Summer by Lavender and Lace and 1814 Butterfly Collection by Carriage House Samplimgs. I was delighted with my present, even if it was a little late!!

Last Sunday Steff offered some old Country Cross Stitch magazines for sale over the TW Facebook group - I snapped up 4 magazines, with a total of 10 TW charts - she posted them in Australia on Monday and they made it to Yorkshire on Saturday! I can't believe how quickly they got here and I am very happy with these new additions to my stash.

Then I made a major new purchase. I'm writing this on my new iPad Air :) I'm busy kidding myself this was a necessary expenditure for work (and it will certainly be very useful), but I'm loving using it to surf the web and blog while sat on the sofa! I also bought a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard (for work), and a pretty case I picked up in the Sales...

I took this photo quickly last night using my iPhone, sorry it's so rubbish! The others are all taken with my iPad - it's starting to get dark now, so I'm quite chuffed with the quality.

I have been busy stitching - I finished Gaelic Banner last weekend, but it needs washing and pressing before I share it. I decided I wanted to do a quick project, so started Rose Garden by Blackbird Designs. This is where I am up to so far:

I can't remember what fabric this is (unlabelled from stash), but it is a very fine count!

Finally I forgot to post the TUSAL on Thursday, so here are my orts. Lots of green and gold from Gaelic Banner, and some pink on top from Rose Garden.

I think that's it for now. I hope the iPad will mean that I blog a bit more - it's certainly more fun than using my laptop. I've read a few blogs and have started commenting again - it's lovely to see what everyone else is up to!

Happy stitching folks xxx

2013 in stitches

Once again I've had an erratic year in terms of blogging, but I have made steady progress with my stitching. These were my 2013 happy dances (I THINK this is all of them, but my blogging / photography means I might not have recorded/remembered all of them):

Cross Stitch Projects:
Fruit bell pull - Teresa Wentzler
Eeyore's problem - Designer stitches
Summer / autumn / winter - Blackbird Designs
Conchiti Drummer - NP Designs
Wool Needlebook - Little House Needleworks
Tatty Teddy 'A New Baby' - Anchor
My Heart is True pincushion - Nicoletta Farraruto and Blackbird Designs

Quilts Projects:
9-patch quilt
Strip the willow

Lace Projects:
Bedfordshire Rose Leaves

Knitting Projects:
'Leafy' headband by Happy Living
Green cardigan

At the start of 2013 I had the following WIPS:

*Eeyore's problem
*Gaelic banner
*Fruit Bell Pull
*Peacock Majesty
*A New Baby (Tatty Teddy)

*Green cardigan
*Crochet scarf

*Milanese lace
*Bedfordshire rose leaves

So how did I do with my goals? Last year I wanted to:
1) Finish A New Baby YES
2) Finish Gaelic Banner NOT QUITE!
3) Finish Night NO
4) Work on all of my other xs WIPs YES
5) Finish the green cardigan YES, APART FROM BLOCKING IT
6) Finish the crochet scarf NOPE
7) Finish Bedfordshire rose leaves YES
8) Start Wisteria lace edging YES
9) Make a quilt YES
~ and, as always ~
10) Stitch lots, on what I want, and enjoy it!! OF COURSE :)

This year I am starting with the following WIPS:
*Gaelic Banner
*Peacock Majesty

*Grey Cardigan

*Wisteria Lace
*Milanese Lace

*Jigsaw Quilt

I THINK that's it....

In 2014 I'd like to:

1) Finish Gaelic Banner
2) Finish Night
3) Finish Peacock Majesty
4) Start a big Blackbird Designs
5) Finish the grey cardigan
6) Finish the crochet scarf
7) Work on Wisteria lace edging
9) Finish Jigsaw Quilt top
~ and, as always ~
10) Stitch lots, on what I want, and enjoy it!! OF COURSE :)

Monday, 27 January 2014

I'm in love...

...with Mr Bones by SamSarah. I've been looking (somewhat half heartedly - or at least not very seriously) for a skeleton (that I liked, I am quite fussy) to cross stitch for years now. HOW DID I MISS THIS DESIGN FROM 2008???? I've just been over to Arthemise's blog, where I saw Mr Bones all stitched up (there is a picture in THIS post). He is truly awesome. Sadly I cannot find the magazine for sale. Pondering if it's worth paying for the Just Cross Stitch Collection 2001 to 2010 CD / DVD.... It's only $50... Hmmm, that might be a bit much to pay for a single little skeleton.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Feeling sleepy...

I've woken up feeling really sleepy. Which may be apt given one of my current projects - night by Maria von Sharrenberg. This is my Nottingham piece (which means I don't stitch on her very often), and it recently travelled to my parents house and got some love there. 

I'm still working on Gaelic banner - I've just got the BS on the griffin to go - there's a happy dance due very, very soon!

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Wow, I really have fallen out of the habit of blogging - I hope I still have some followers!

Back in October I promised to share a photo of Eeyore's problem - well here it is:

Since then I have been working on Gaelic Banner - I started the BS before Christmas. I took this photo on the 2nd Jan, but have done a bit more BS since - I have 2 pages of BS to go - this will be my first HD for 2014, hopefully next weekend??

I took a final photo of my ORT jar before emptying it on the 2nd (when we got back from seeing friends and family), and it now contains a small layer of green and gold from the banner!

I've not started anything new yet - I just really want to get GB finished! I'll do a yearly round up this week (well hopefully - I really don't want to get out of the habit of blogging again).

Happy New Year everyone, I hope it is stitchy-tastic!