Thursday, 16 April 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness April

I am really enjoying taking part in Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - it's surprising how many items are stitched as gifts or are a result of a gift to me. I think I've begun to look for more gifts to do since joining the SAL :)

I stitch on a rotation which I find helps me stitch far more than doing one project at a time, and importantly I seem to get things done for easier deadlines too. At the moment my main stitching is my Drawn Thread December - this is the final one in the series and I'm stitching on this at the weekends. Is it a Gift? Well yes I guess so, it is a gift to the house as the finished pieces are displayed for their month on our mantle, and it will be a gift to me to be finally finished :-) Here's my progress so far:
The Drawn Thread - December
Earth's Sampler from The Primitive Needle is my Tuesday piece and it's growing well. I was so lucky to win Gillie's Gift - it's a lovely piece which I'm stitching on 32ct Jobelan in ivory. I'm not sure why the photo looks pinky, must be the shadowing.

Earth's Sampler - The Primitive Needle
I have a few secret gifts to stitch for later this year - I cannot say much about them as both are for people who read my blog however I will show the start of my first piece. I'm not going to share the design name but I'm sure you'll see it's a Lizzie Kate design. It will stay hidden now until complete and has been given :)
A secret gift 
That's all my stitching for GG15 for April - but I must just share a few gifts of nature. The birds are becoming so tame they visit the garden even when we're sitting outside or pottering round doing the flowers and weeding. Can you see the robin? He comes really close and looks straight at me :)

Can you see him?
He's under the bird table - but popped out just after the photo
was taken and came right over to  eat from the little pot
 I also had a blackbird call by whilst I was having a coffee break - he kept hiding behind the pots but always had a beady eye on me.
Espresso coffee enjoyed in my favourite cup
Blackbird caught calling by
We're off to France tomorrow for the weekend. We're going with two other couples, all meeting at the services on the A2 and travelling together from there. It will be a wine, beer, food shopping weekend along with visits to a Montreuil sur Mer which is a ramparted town and the inspiration for Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. Not surprisingly one of my favourite places.

It will be a bit of a celebration too as one couple's wedding anniversary is Friday, the other on Saturday - what a co-incidence. We'll also be raising a glass to my Dad on Saturday - I cannot believe three years has gone by, I miss him so much every day. Because we're away I visited the church yesterday, it's so peaceful there and a chance meeting of the warden has seen me enrolled again to do the piano corner for the Flower Festival in August, seems that piano now has my name on it :)

For Dad xx 
And on the theme of church I have a little Gift request - every year the church also holds a Christmas Tree Festival. The building is filled with 60 real trees, each one sponsored by groups or individuals and decorated on a theme. Last year I did Miss-Tree with girlie themed ornaments; shoes, handbags, perfume, clothes. I have some angel lights too which looked very effective.

2014 Tree Festival - Miss Tree
This year my theme is 'Joy to the World' and my gift request is to ask if anyone would like to stitch a small ornament on the theme of joy to be added to my tree. It would be amazing if some of the joy ornaments came from around the world - a true 'Joy to the World'

If you'd like to make and send an ornament please email me aimetu.clare@googlemail.com for details - thank you :)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

April Sunshine

We had a lovely weekend at the caravan over Easter; our daughter drove up from Cardiff and joined us for a few days. It's hard to believe she was 12 when we first had the caravan and now she is driving herself up. I took my Easter branch (it's from my Grandma's hazelnut tree) and our hanging eggs. With our cards (we had a beautiful handmade one from Barb), daffodils and tree the caravan looked very decorative.
All our Easter decorations
Our beautiful card from Barb
I snapped a few scenic views from the car - they are only on my phone and I snap lots as we drive a long but some turn out surprisingly well. I didn't even know there was a pigeon.

Cader Idris caught in sunlight
Trees against a clear blue sky
Dovey estuary on the way home
Dovey river and a pigeon
 My iphone's camera is quite good really, and because it has an instant shutter I don't get the shake or so much blurring as I do with a camera. I took a few on our walk along the seafront.

Beautiful beach
On the lookout
Welsh flag, slate and hills
Certainly a sunny day 
I managed a little stitching too - as it was the weekend I worked on The Drawn Thread December and on Monday I did a little more on The Primitive Needle's Earth's Sampler. I also started this month's challenge from Needlecraft Haven but that has to stay secret for now.

The Drawn Thread - December
The Primitive Needle - Earth's Sampler
Since coming home I have added the snowflakes to one of my Santa Houses - I couldn't stay on the Parlour long this week but hopefully next week I'll have one house fully 'snowed'.

It's started to snow !
Thanks for calling by - I hope you had a lovely Easter too. It will be Gifted Gorgeousness next time, see you again soon.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April's Here


April has arrived and with it the rain - we've had some rough weather the last few days with quite high winds. I have been wanting to get some gardening done but not yet, hopefully today.

We're away for Easter so I like to wish everyone a Happy Easter.

Image result for happy easter

I've been busy working on quite a few projects - kitting up three, one of which is a secret but two that I can share. I was very lucky to win Gillie's Gift on Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness blog. It's The Primitive Needle's Earth Sampler which I loved as soon as I saw it. I'm stitching it on 32ct Jobelan Ivory and have made a small start already.
The Primitive Needle - Earth Sampler

My small start
I am now on my final The Drawn Thread Monthly piece - these have taken me far longer than I thought because I kept getting distracted on other pieces. That's one reason why I started my rotation again for 2015 as I keep up with all my projects. Anyway I have started December and am stitching it at weekends with encouragement from Julie and Mr Stick - the UFO guardians at Needlecraft Haven.

December start
I've been beading again and made another three small scissor fobs - these have been made for friends birthdays, a small token gift which has the added benefit as it really helps me with my fine motor movement in my right hand. My MS has been annoying me for the last 8 weeks but my hand is numb all the time. If it wasn't for my eyes watching what I do I would not be able to craft, stitching and beading help keep my hand supple and the nerve messages open - I'd be lost without my crafting hobbies.
Scissor fobs for my friends' birthdays 
I have also finished my first 'Joy' ornament for my church tree. My theme for this year is Joy to the World so I'll be stitching lots of joy themed ornaments. I've found quite a few in my JCS Christmas Magazines but this one was from Just Cross Stitch October 2007. I'm going to stitch them all then get the sewing machine out and have a mass finishing day !!

Ornie 1 - Joy to the World
I have started the snow on my Santa's Village. Now I have a few houses in a row I'm doing the snow and then will cover them over whilst I stitch some more. I am using white for the snow on some bits of the houses but not for the snow flakes or the snow on the ground as it doesn't really show up, maybe because I'm stitching over one and it's not heavy enough. anyway here's my first bit of snow.

It's starting to snow
As we're away for Easter we saw Hubby's family last weekend and I'll see my Mum today - we've given up on exchanging commercial eggs as there is more recycling than chocolate. Now our children are grown up and as yet have no children of their own the Easter Bunny no longer visits our house. I have made a Simnel Cake for our parents, along with a few mini eggs. We do exchange cards which I love to see on the mantle at Easter. I'll be taking my Easter twig and our hanging eggs to put up whilst we're away.
Simnel Cake and homemade eggs 
Easter blessing to you and your families - thank you for calling by, don't eat too much chocolate.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Stitch from Stash March 2015

Month 3 of Mel's great Stitch from Stash - I love doing this although this year I will have to buy a few charts as they are specific ones I do hot have in my stash but more about that as the year progresses.

My budget carried forward from February is: £84.10

Month: March
Spent: £zero
Earned: £24 

My budget carried forward to April is: £133.10

It's nice to 'earn' money from stitching - it's just a shame it's virtual money. As I don't work I am extra careful with my hobby spending although Hubby is a darling I do try to use things I already have which is why I love Mel's SFS.

As always if you are a follower of my blog you may have seen a few of these photos before, sorry. Anyway here are my finishes that have 'earned' extra stash money. 

Gazette 94 free online design
This was January's Monthly Challenge set by Christine, one of Needlecraft Haven's lovely members. I was late in completing this so have claimed it this month. I earned £4 on this finish.

Luli free online design
And this was Christine's choice for our February Challenge - again I was late stitching so am claiming it this month. I haven't even started March's Challenge yet so that will be next month. I earned £2 on this finish.

At one of the Needlecraft Haven Meet Up's I received a lovely coaster kit in my goodie bag from Angi. It was Victorian Posy by Rainbow Gallery and Angi included a printout of the free chart, fabric and a coaster for finishing. Instead of using black (it was a blackwork project) I used DMC 122 variegated green. It turned out really well - there's a photo in my previous blog here. I earned £2 on this finish.

This year on Needlecraft Haven I decided to host a Four Season's SAL instead of as an exchange. There's three months to stitch the season, January, February and March was Spring. I decided to stitch Jardin Prive's freebie for spring - a beautiful tree and I'll be doing her other trees for the following seasons. I found a lovely frame in Asda, perfect size and square !! I earned £8 on this finish

Jardin Prive Spring
My final piece for Stitch from Stash is my November project from The Drawn Thread. I have finally stitched it so will now move onto December, the last in the series. I will then have October, November and December to make up and all my mantle pieces will be done. I earned £8 on this finish.
November - The Drawn Thread
So quite a productive month all told. I don't have many urgent projects to do now, I have Santa's Village to work on but I'm changing a bit of that so it's being a bit tricky at the moment. I have the challenges to catch up and do and I have not even started my 12 church pieces for the tree at Christmas, but nothing to worry about time wise which is a nice feeling. 

Away from stitching we have just opened our caravan for the season - this is probably the last year we will have it as now it is just Hubby and I we would like to spend our weekends (and money) on visiting new places. It's our 9th season at the caravan and we still love it but times change. It was a beautiful weekend,although I was unwell on Saturday we did manage a walk along the sea front with a pause for a hot chocolate whilst sitting and looking out to sea.
 
Champagne to celebrate opening up for 2015 
The beautiful Cambrian Coast
Sunny Sunday
I hope you've all had a great March in our Stitch from Stash 2015 challenge - thank you for calling by, happy stitching x x

Monday, 16 March 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness March 2015

It's month three of Jo's SAL, Gifted Gorgeousness. I'm really enjoying taking part, all the details are on her blog post here.

It was Mother's Day here in the UK yesterday - I hope everyone had a lovely day with those you love and you shared memories of Mum's who in the past loved you. Philly came home from Uni for the weekend and we had a buffet lunch for the Grandmas.

My first gift this month are these cakes for my Mum and MIL - it's the first time I used my alphabet cutter for the icing.

Mother's Day cakes
Stitching wise you may have seen these 'gifts' already - I find some parts of the SAL tricky because if I'm stitching a gift I can't share the progress and I like to post once I can as well as posting for GG15 - so quietness then double posting hahaha

Gift for Philly's 21st birthday
A kit gifted to my by Angi at a Needlecraft Haven Meet Up
Victorian Posy by Rainbow Gallery
Valentine's card for Deb (Sweet Feet Exchange)
 I stitched the hearts on perforated paper and backed them with felt, they are detachable from the card to make an ornament. It took Postie 4 weeks to deliver my parcel to Deb in USA, a little late for Valentine's Day, I'm just glad it arrived.

I was so lucky to win Gillie's Primitive Hare Gifted Giveaway - as soon as the chart arrives I'll be kitting it up and making a start - because it's a gift to me I will be able to share the progress - I'll probably add it as my Thursday stitching on my rotation plan - thanks Gillie x

Happy stitching everyone - thanks for calling by :)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Catch Up

I've been so busy stitching gifts that I had fallen behind with Needlecraft Haven's Monthly Christmas Challenge. NH member Christine chooses a freebie online design for us each month which we stitch and finish but keep secret. All photos are sent to Christine who opens a Gallery at the end of each month. Because I'm late I can reveal mine, although I have sent Christine the photos for the galleries too.
Challenge 1 from Gazette 94
Challenge 2 from Luli
And being as it's only 5th of March I may get this month's challenge stitched in time.

I have also finished a little freebie kit I was given - my memory is not good but I think it was in one of the goody bags at a Needlecraft Haven Meet Up - and I think the goody bag was from Angi.

It's a lovely design by Rainbow Gallery called Victorian Posy Blackwork. I used the 14ct ecru that was in the kit and DMC 122 which is a lovely variegated green. Although the chart said one strand because I used a colour instead of black I used two - I'm really pleased with it.

Victorian Posy by Rainbow Gallery
I've been working on my November The Drawn Thread and Santa's Village but more on those next time. I have been baking again - I made a batch of Welsh Cakes. It was so easy with my new mixer, so much so I'm going to try scones next :)

Welsh Cakes
Thanks for calling by, and for the lovely comments that have been left on my posts :)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

St David's Day

The 1st March is St David's Day - the patron saint of Wales. His emblems are daffodils and leeks, so I have a jug of daffodils on the sideboard and we've leeks with dinner. Being a Welsh celebration most people have lamb but we're having chicken - although I might make a few Welsh Cakes after watching the rugby on tv.
St David's Day daffodils
and as it's a new month it's time to change my Drawn Thread mantle piece. I love having these to change each month, they are gorgeous designs.

The Drawn Thread - March
This morning Hubby and I took a walk around Bosworth Battle Field - I have felt unwell since Wednesday and the fresh air helped although now I'm having a sofa afternoon. I have a feeling my MS has flared up after all the excitement of our daughter's birthday, a few more days rest should have my arms and legs back to normal.

Bosworth Battle Field is where King Richard III lost his crown to Henry Tudor. King Richard's remains were discovered in Leicester a few years ago and this year he will have a reburial at Leicester Cathedral. The website has so much detail, in, there's lots happening - we are very excited as my step-dad Keith has been invited to be at the Cathedral on 26th March for the reburial - even more exciting as it's Keith's birthday. The burial procession is going all around the villages near us on Sunday 22nd March.

King Richard III - http://kingrichardinleicester.com

After 4 weeks my exchange gift to Deb in USA has finally arrived. This was for Needlecraft Haven Sweet Feet Valentine's Exchange. The exchange was to stitch a card, send a pair of socks with threads to match. I was so pleased with my card - I stitched the hearts on perforated paper and hung them in the card opening so Deb could detach them and use as an ornament. I was so sad when they hadn't arrived and was just about to stitch again when they were delivered.

My Valentine's card for Deb
Sweet Feet Valentine's Exchange for Deb
 Wishing you all a very happy St David's Day - spring is on it's way, thank you for calling by x x x