Thursday, 15 November 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness November

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching on the 15th of every month. It's a great way to share details of gifts you have sent or gifts you have received.

This month I have only one piece to share as my other stitching has been for Needlecraft Haven's Christmas Exchange, always fun to be part of as it's the exchange neatly everyone joins.

My gift this month was for a friend who turned 50 a few days ago. She loves Minions so this was perfect and appreciated.

It's been a mixed month for me so far. November is when all the wine events are on ready for the festive season. Hubby and I visited Love Wine in Birmingham last week which was great fun. You can read about it over on Aimetu's - wine, food and travel. This coming weekend we're in London for Waitrose Wine Fair, another fun event.

Unfortunately my Dad's cousin is in hospital, she's a great lady in her 80s who is just getting old. As soon as home care is in place she can be discharged. I have been to see her in hospital but I'm finding bit very hard as she is on the ward where my Dad passed away.

We had more sad news this week, Hubby's aunt has passed away. We'll be travelling to Bristol next week for her funeral. She was a lovely lady who always sent him a birthday card, even in recent years as he health deteriated.

I have been pushing the GP to find why my ankle constantly hurts. I know it was quite an injury with three breaks and the dislocation but it was over 18 months ago. Everyone has been saying it takes time but pain all the time, worsening when walking, is really getting me down.

Last Sunday I saw an orthopaedic consultant at the hospital. A new x-ray was taken and revealed the pin heads on both sides of my ankle are protruding slightly which could be irritating my tendon causing the pain and restriction. It was a good feeling for someone medical to finally see and say that there was something out of place and I wasn't just being a moaning patient.

So another operation, probably in the New Year, to remove all the metal work as my bones have healed completely. Not such traumatic surgery this time with a much quicker recovery time. I'm not looking forward to the op but by summer I hope to be walking better, further and be back in sandals and shoes.

All in all a very mixed month, apologies for all the text. Thank you for calling by, it means a lot and certainly helps x x

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Belated Halloween Exchange

Needlecraft Haven's Halloween Exchange was great fun with gorgeous ornaments stitched by all. My partner to send to was Christine and when I saw the black cat by Durene Jones in Just Cross Stitch Halloween magazine 2018 I knew it was perfect.

For my birthday in September Christine had kindly given me some Pumpkin Patch hand dyed fabric from Sparklies - perfect for her cat!

I struggled to find a Halloween card but our visit to a National Trust property on our way home from holiday had the perfect one.

Lacock card and Spooky Cat ornament 
Unfortunately my exchange parcel did not arrive in time for Halloween and as we have been away for the weekend I didn't receive it until yesterday. Dusty stitched me a lovely ornament with button eyes and a spider charm. She also sent a great card, Halloween kitchen towel and a butterfly threader - thank you Dusty.
Halloween ornament from Dusty
My Halloween Exchange parcel
 I have a few more gifts to stitch for this month and next and Needlecraft Haven's Christmas Ornament Exchange to do so I will only be able to share these photos as the relevant dates occur. I will however soon be posting about my tree at church - this year I have not stitched ornaments but they are still crafty .... all will be revealed soon!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop

Spooky time πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»

Jo from Serendipitous Stitching  has organised another fun hop around our blogs to see our Spooky stitching, find some Spooky letters and jump to the next Spooky blog 😱

Once you have discovered the Spooky Phrase hop over to Jo's blog and leave it in a comment for a chance to win a prize 😈

My Halloween stitching is all from a few years ago as I haven't done much lately, although this year I have for Needlecraft Haven Halloween Exchange. I can share the photos for that tomorrow after I know my partner has opened hers and hopefully mine arrives as it's not here yet :-)

2013 Exchange
2008 Exchange
Stitched for Michael
Stitched for Philippa

They are all stitched on perforated card, I quite like using it as it for ornaments when stitching characters. I backed both designs with felt, the tricky bit is always the cutting around. 

Here's my Spooky letter for Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop

Now you have my letter it's time to spread your bat wings or witches cape and fly over to 

As you know I love to change my mantle and sideboard for various times of year, Halloween is no exception although now our children are grown ups my decorations are mainly my candle holders and ornaments on a more autumn theme than being spooky. I have a few mini pumpkins this year too which I'll be baking soon.

Happy Halloween to you all -I hope you have fun with plenty of treats.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Coffee Koozie's holiday snaps

A very quick post to share Coffee Koozie's holiday snaps - very successful although it was quite a surprise at how the cups vary in diameter.

McDonald's pitstop on our journey
Day out with the National Trust
Besides the seaside, besides the sea
Coffee Koozie now lives in my handbag and will be with me on all my travels, so more holiday snaps soon!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness October

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching on the 15th of every month. It's a great way to share details of gifts you have sent or gifts you have received.

This is a short post from me as we are on holiday on the south coast of England- a last minute decision as the river cruise we should be on was cancelled due to low water levels. We've decided on a quiet week just enjoying reading, sewing, wandering around. We are doing the river cruise in December now with the added bonus of seeing the Christmas markets.

My GG this month is the wedding sampler I made for our friends' youngest daughter. They look gorgeous together, we had a lovely time at their reception.

Wedding Sampler
The happy couple 
As always my current stitching is gifts or exchanges so there will not be much stitching to share this month .... but Koozie is here on holiday too so look out for his adventures next blog πŸ˜‰

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Quilting - my first time

My Mum makes quilts, amazing quilts for family and friends and for many years she has been making quilts for Project Linus. In 2015 these two of her quilts were chosen to be in Ailsa Craig Quilt Festival in Canada. Mum was quite nervous about them being posted overseas but they arrived safely, were admired by many visitors and arrived safely back here in the UK.

Quilting is not something I have been tempted to do but when reading Barbara's blog post A DrEAmi Finish! Coffee Koozie I knew I had to have a go. I always find takeaway coffee cups difficult to hold; the Coffee Koozie was the perfect answer.

I'd be lying if I understood all of Barbara's post as not being in the quilting world I did not understand all the 'names' but I did manage to find the link to Patty's blog Elm Street Quilts and her post 'A cosy cup of tea'.

This lead me to The Jolly Jabber blog from The Fat Quarter Shop with great instructions along with a link to a downloadable pattern.

Pattern printed, instructions downloaded, sewing machine brought downstairs, a free afternoon ..... just needed to find some fabric! And I had it - added recently to my stash from Aldi (yes really).

Taking a deep breathe I started my first ever quilting project -

Fabric and tools ready
Lovely fabric from Aldi - free pattern too (I might be tempted)
Squares cut, backing cut, wadding cut 
Squares stitched onto the wadding 
Stitched and trimmed, ends to be sewn in
Turned out ok
My final piece - Coffee Koozie 
I really enjoyed making this - I was so nervous but so pleased with how the squares quilted together. The pattern calls for top stitching around the edge; I know Barbara has trouble with this on her machine and as my machine was not happy with this either I have left that bit off. I could hand stitch round but I'm quite happy with the edging as it is.

My finished Coffee Koozie
We are off on our first river cruise soon and I am definitely packing my Coffee Koozie. I'm sure it will be very handy at the airport, on the plane and in the cities we visit - I'll try to remember to take a photo of it's travels.

Thank you Barbara, Patty and The Fat Quarter Shop for inspiring me to have a go at quilting!

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Haven't stopped smiling

It is not often I stitch something for myself as I tend to only stitch something that I know has a place or use. I don't stitch something just because I like the design, it has to have a purpose.

However a few years ago I fell in love with Jardin PrivΓ©'s Sampler au Bouquet which is a design in three parts. Each design can be stitched as an individual piece or together to make a long sampler.

I decided to stitch it as one and at the time I thought it would make a great hanging in our static caravan holiday home in Wales. I started stitching it in 2011 and as it was not my main stitching focus piece my progress was slow.

My stitching was very slow and had stitched all the edge and the first blue flower when a few years later Hubby and I decided we were not using the caravan much now our children were grown up - Sampler au Bouquet was put away as it had no purpose. 

At the end of last year I had an idea, I knew the perfect place for Sampler au Bouquet - in our newly decorated bedroom which has a colour scheme of red and cream and had blankbwall space!

You may know that I host an online forum for crafting, mainly stitching but other crafts too. Needlecraft Haven is a special place to me; our small group of core members are all super ladies. Needlecraft Haven is open to everyone and free to join. The last couple of years has held troubled times for quite a few of us, I personnally know that stitching and chatting is a great comfort and love our forum.

Needlecraft Haven has a Parlour, a place where we meet (online) to stitch together. It is a virtual place that is so cosy with a real fire, cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee and sometimes a glass of something special. There is always something going on in our special room:

  • Each Wednesday Barb opens up and she encourages us to work on our latest piece. 
  • Every year Julie is there at the weekend when Strictly Come Dancing is on, she keeps us up to date with who is doing which dance to which piece of music and encourages us to work on our UFOs or WIPs. 
  • Last summer I opened up every night that the World Cup football was on for members to sit and stitch while their DHs were tv watching. 

It was stitching with members of Needlecraft Haven that encouraged me to work on my Sampler au Bouquet. I was so so pleased to finish it earlier this year, and now it is framed and hanging on the wall in our bedroom - it looks perfect, I am so so pleased with it. The light is not good in the bedroom I took the photo in the conservatory.
Sampler au Bouquet I
Sampler au Bouquet II

Sampler au Bouquet III

Huge huge thanks to the NH ladies that encouraged me to keep stitching; your friendship and shared interest means so much to me - thank you.

Sampler au Bouquet