Friday, 15 May 2015

May Gifted Gorgeousness and Cake Bake

It's time to post Gifted Gorgeousness, a great SAL organised by the lovely Jo. GG is a chance to stitch anything that's for a gift or that we've received as a gift.

This month I have stitched the Victoria Sampler 'Friend's Count' bookmark for a friend who has a significant birthday early in May. I changed the text to her birthday. I was very pleased with it.

Birthday Bookmark
I have added a little more to Earth's Sampler and to my other gift piece but as that's a secret I can't share just yet. Here's my Primitive Needle progress.

Earth's Sampler
That's all my stitching for now - I haven't done much lately as I have been beading and baking. Here's a few more scissor fobs I've made - they are all gifts. 

Scissor fob gifts 
My baking is also 'gifted' as it has been for my Multiple Sclerosis Cake Bake - I posted about it last Saturday and the actual Cake Bake was yesterday. I have made 10 large cakes for orders so far - two more went out today, and I have 5 more to bake next week. 

I'm also offering LHN Baked Goods as a prize in an online raffle - thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far - the draw is 31st May. 


Chart prize for my online raffle
 Yesterday our house was buzzing with friends calling round for coffee and cake - such a lovely atmosphere and so nice to see everyone. I had made a Schokogugelhopf as the prize for a blackout game and had a small raffle too. I had baked quite a few cakes and my friend brought along some homemade flapjacks. 

Cake Bake Balloons
Gingerbread Ladies and Gentlemen
Raffle prizes
Schokogugelhopf for the blackout winner
A table full of cakes to enjoy 
  A HUGE thank you to all my friends who have ordered cakes and/or who came yesterday - the total raised so far is an AMAZING

£193.15



Saturday, 9 May 2015

Cake Bake 2015

Not a stitching post - it's Cake Bake time. Every year the Multiple Sclerosis Society have a fundraising Cake Bake day. I've done this a few times, mainly when I worked at school selling cakes to the staff at break and lunch time.

This year I'm hosting a Cake Bake at home on Thursday 14th May

Our house will be open 10am til 6pm for friends and neighbours to pop by for a cuppa and a piece of cake. I've been given some gifts too for a raffle and there was a blackout card game in the fundraising pack from the MS Society so I'm baking a Schokogugelhopf as the prize.

Schokogugelhopf
As well as making cakes for the day I've been taking orders for large cakes. These are for collection between 6th May and 20th May as I cannot bake them all at the same time as well as baking for the Cake Bake day. I've made three orders so far and have another 10 ordered :)

Coffee and Walnut Cake - order 1
Victoria Sponge Cake - order 2a
Chocolate Guinness Cake - order 2b
(wrapped in foil ready to go)
I love making cakes and people seem to like my baking so really this is a win-win day for everyone.

I am having to be careful though as my own MS symptoms have been playing up since January. I am struggling to walk outside the house and feel quite tired after doing just small things. Baking is good as I can mix the cake, sit for a rest whilst it's in the oven and decorate it later (or even the next day). If things don't improve I may need a course of meds but I keep hoping tomorrow will be better hee hee

I was given Little House Needleworks 'Baked Goods' as a gift a while ago and will have it our on display at my Cake Bake (even though it's a Christmas one)

Baked Goods
I've also set up a Just Giving page as I wanted to include my friends who live too far away to enjoy my baking. I'm offering the LHN chart as a prize - for every £1 donated I'll put your name into the draw and will pick the winner on 31st May.
Raffle prize on Just Giving
http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/Clare-HearndenCakeBake2015

I'm very humbled at my friend's generousity already - thank you x x 

Pour a coffee and cut a slice of cake on Thursday 14th May with me  - thanks for calling by :) 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Stitch from Stash April Report

We've been away for the weekend and I have just squeezed in my report. However there's not much to say as my needle seems to have been a little slow, hopefully it will speed up in May.

My budget carried forward from March is: £133.10

Month: April
Spent: £12.12
Earned: £8 

My budget carried forward to April is: £153.98

My spend was on a secret chart that I will not be able to share until the summer - however it is the prize in a competition I'm announcing on May 1st :)

My other stitching has been very slow, maybe because we've had Easter away at the caravan and also a weekend in France (you can read about it on my other blog - Aimetu's) Anyway here's my updates:

Earth's Sampler - The Primitive Needle. I'm really enjoying stitching on this, for some reason the photo looks pink but i'm stitching on 32ct Jobelan Ivory. The chart uses The Gentle Art threads but I have converted to DMC, some look ok but some look quite different, but I'm not changing as I am loving the design and it's great to stitch.

Earth's Sampler
I've been working on The Drawn Thread, December but have run out of 934. Of course my stash has 935 and 936 (some even two skeins) but no 934 so next tie I'm in town I'll have to pop into the art shop. I wish I had thought about it when I ordered my secret chart as I added some threads to the order and it would have been cheaper. It's not worth the postage for under 5 threads so I pop into town and pay a bit more. Saying that I managed to finish the walls :) 

December - The Drawn Thread
I've had three finishes to claim this month but I have yet to actually finish the up - once December is finished I'm have a make up day as I will have three Drawn Thread pieces and theses three ornaments. 

Joy is my first ornament for my church tree - my theme this year is Joy to the World, there's more information on my GFG post here. Thank you to those who have pledged stitching :) I earned £4 on this finish.

My first ornie for my church tree
I have stitched the last two Monthly Challenges on Needlecraft Haven, although again they are not made up. March was a Santa scene from Kissy Cross and April a cute snowman from Balades et Broderies. I earned £2 for each of these finishes.
March Monthly Challenge
April Monthly Challenge
I am hoping to have flying needles in May as I seem to have fallen a little behind. I haven't been keeping my stitching diary (on paper or online) up to date so this post took a little longer than I though it would. It's very easy to start the year full of enthusiasm with great plans and ideas but things waiver as the months go on, I notice this too on the two forums I host, Needlecraft Haven and Cuvée Reserve although there are many posts and sharing. 

Thanks for calling by to read my SFS15 April catch up - I hope you've all had a good April :) 

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.