Monday, 25 January 2021

12 Days of Christmas and a bit of snow

This year I'm doing the 12 Days of Christmas SAL with the ladies at Needlecraft Haven. We are stitching any design but we don't share our progress or finishes until the 25th of the relevant month. 

25th January - Day 1 - A Partridge in a Pear Tree

25th February - Day 2 -  Two Turtle Doves

25th March - Day 3 - Three French Hens 

25th April - Day 4 - Four Calling Birds

25th May - Day 5 - Five Gold Rings

25th June - Day 6 - Six Geese a-Laying

25th July - Day 7 - Seven Swans a-Swimming

25th August - Day 8 - Eight Maids a-Milking

25th September - Day 9 - Nine Ladies Dancing

25th October - Day 10 - Ten Lords a-Leaping

25th November - Day 11 - Eleven Pipers Piping

25th December - Day 12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming 

We are not sharing our photos on social media until the 25th so our SAL has a mini reveal every month. I am also taking part in a Facebook SAL hosted by Jo and Christmas Ornie SAL blog hosted by Kaye but I'll be posting after the Needlecraft Haven relevant date - it does make it exciting, different to posting as soon as something is done. 

Anyway I'm doing Jardin Prive's design and Plum Street Samplers design. As yet I have only stitched the Jardin Prive one, it isn't finished and the photo is a little dark.

We've had snow here, it fell most of yesterday and is still there today. I'm still building up my strength and was nervy about going out but it is so pretty. Hubby found out the wellies and we went for a 20 minute stroll, keeping to flat paths and avoiding crossing roads as they are packed ice. It was so refreshing and we made it back with no slips or wet bottoms ! 

It was nice to get home and sit in the conservatory looking out at the garden. Our Sam Toft cushion is so true especially with a marshmallow hot chocolate.

Stay safe everyone, keep warm and dry.

Friday, 15 January 2021

January's Gifted Gorgeousness


Hooray hooray the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching is hosting Gifted Gorgeousness again in 2021. She started this super idea in 2015, it's great to see everyone's gifts, sent and received. Gifted Gorgeousness covers so many things - here's Jo's guidelines:

  • Any chart/kit which was given to you
  • Any chart/kit which you won in a giveaway
  • Any chart/kit which you bought using a voucher given to you/won by you
  • Anything stitched on fabric received in the above ways
  • Anything stitched with floss received in the above ways
  • Anything embellished or finished with items received in the above ways
  • Anything which is intended as a gift or prize for another person
  • Anything else you can somehow shoehorn with word "gift" into!

Today is the 15th so it's time to share my GG. I couldn't wait until mid January to thank my friends for their Christmas gifts so I have already blogged about them - you can read about them on my previous post Christmas Thank You

There is however one gift I have not shared as the post from US took ages. My super friend Cathy has woven this beautiful scarf for me, it is so soft and so so neat. I have not done any weaving but I am very very tempted; thank you Cathy.

I did quite a few gifts for Christmas, some were catch ups that I just couldn't do last year. The first two were for my favourite TV weatherman, we chat through Twitter and over the years have become good friends although we've never met. It all started with him being on the TV every time we went on holiday but never when we were at home. Anyway he has two lovely girls and each Christmas I send them something for Christmas. 

This year I used the Summer Challenge on Needlecraft Haven as my ornaments - a lovely design from Aliolka 

Last year our niece and her husband who live in the US finally had the adoption papers through for their little girl Blake. I stitched a name plaque for her which they have hung in her bedroom. It felt a little odd to be stitching for our great niece - great aunts conjure an image of old ladies smelling of lavender hee hee

My second gift also went the the US to our other niece. She got married in 2020, not quite the wedding they had planned as many things were changed due to Covid restrictions but they did tie the knot: wishing them a 'happy ever after'

My next gift also travelled to another country - Wales! I stitched this for our daughter's partner's family. This was another Challenge with Needlecraft Haven, this time the Winter Challenge, a lovely design from La Contesse & Le Point de Croix The full design is Joy but I used just the centre O. 

Closer to home for my next gift but again a gift I didn't manage to do last year. Our good friends became Grandparents for the first time last summer. I was a bit sneaky in asking questions about the nursery decor and was delighted to discover it was an owl theme as I knew I had the perfect design in an old magazine. 

Our Christmas was different to usual; it was just me, Hubby, our son who lives at home with us and our daughter and her partner who came to stay for a few days. As they live in Wales it was not really following the guidelines for them to travel and they did stay for more that the one day allowed. However they have been extra careful all year, they both work from home and only go out for shopping or a walk. They have done this so they were safe to come home anytime last year if I needed them or they were safe to visit his family with his elderly gran. It was certainly a time we all needed. 

Every year we give the 'kids' a tub of chocolates but as our daughter is dairy free I stitched a label for her own chocolate tin. For her birthday last year I had made a similar tin for her cake decorating things - it's in my GG for February

My final piece for the first GG of 2021 is a piece I stitched just after Christmas. One of my stitchy friends has a birthday very early in January and I do always worry about the post delivering a gift in time. I found this table top small mat in my stash and stitched this pretty pansy design from Stitched Modern.

I have a few more gifts that I am stitching so I'm already building my GG for February, thanks Jo for hosting this great blog sharing event.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Fully Finished Objects in Janaury

Rachel, Ten Hour Stitcher, is hosting Fully Finished Objects again this year for us to show and tell about the crafty items we have completely finished. FFO was a great incentive to me last year as I often stitch something and leave it ages before I actually make it up. That's mainly because I don't enjoy that part of stitching and I feel my finishing is not that great. 

My first finish is Mill Hill Winter Holiday; this was a gift from Justine as part of the Needlecraft Haven Christmas Exchange, there's more about it in my GG December post. 

I don't often do beaded designs but I really enjoyed doing this. It's a while since I worked on perforated paper and I really liked the neatness of it, I think I have some in my stash so I might do some more later in the year. 

There was so much thread left over in this kit, I did double check I was using the correct number of threads. I split the left over lengths into three colours and plaited them together to use as the hanging. 

Thank you Justine - it looked lovely on our Christmas tree and is safely packed away with our other ornaments ready for Christmas 2021.

My other finish is my Orts Ornament. At the end of each year I stitch an ornament and stuff it with the orts from that year's stitching. I have a beautiful bonbon jar my mother-in-law bought me many years ago from a charity shop we spotted when we were on holiday. I save my orts in a small pot in my sewing box and then put them in the bonbon jar when full, you can see the groups of colours as I have done each project.

The chart I used for last year's ornament was a free design that was a SAL in December from Brenda Gervais at With Thy Needle and Thread on Facebook. Merry and Minty is a great design, it actually has a deep border at the bottom but I decided it would be too big for the amount of orts I had. I used some of the beads left over from my Mill Hill kit for the lights.

This year I have taken time to plan and think about my projects and how they will fit in with my posts for FFO, GG, WIPocalypse and Smalls SAL. Last year I just lived day by day so this year I need to be back to my organised self. It also gives me things to look forward to and plan for, very much needed as we are living in restricted times.

Thank you Rachel for doing FFO in 2021 - let's hope we all have many finishes.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

WIPocalypse - My 2021 Plans


I have read and enjoyed the WIPocalypse posts from everyone over the last year but didn't join in as I thought it was more about finishing old projects and I tend to stitch one item at a time.

I popped over to Mel's blog at Measi's Musings where I was delighted to read ...

This will be a Stitch-a-Long (SAL) for fun, not a contest.  Everyone stitches at a different pace, on different sized projects, with different goals and concepts of accomplishment, so a standard set of one-size-fits-all rules simply won’t work.  So whether you’re a one-at-a-time stitcher or an insane rotationer like me,  gather up the UFOs and WIPs on which you’d love to make good progress (or finish) and join us!

..... so here I am making my first WIPocalypse post 🙂

For anyone new to my blog I'm Clare, known online as Aimetu which means 'your friend' in French. I live in the centre of England with my super Hubby and our grown up son. I love travelling (when allowed), especially to South Wales to visit our daughter and her partner, and I do have second blog about wine, food and travel. I have been stitching for over 25 years, my main projects tend to be gifts for family and friends, and ornaments for my tree at the annual church Christmas festival. 

I don't have much of my stitching hanging as pictures, just three, although I do have a few items on the mantle and sideboard but there isn't actually much of my work on display. I like to know what a piece is for before stitching it .... a gift, an exchange, a seasonal piece ... so I have just a couple of UFO pieces that are at the very bottom of a drawer somewhere. 

This first post for WIPocalypse is about setting goals for 2021 - I like to be organised but most of last year I wasn't organised at all due to my health. This year I am hoping to be and I have already set my calender for various regular blog posts to join in with others and for the first time I have joined groups on Facebook including for WIPocalypse. 

I have planned my projects (even kitted some up), hopefully I will complete them even if some are a bit delayed. Here's a list of my projects for 2021: 

•  12 days of Christmas - Jardin Prive (this may be a whole piece or 12 individuals)

•  12 days of Christmas - Plum Street Samplers (individual pieces)

•  JCS Challenge - 12 Christmas ornaments

•  Seasonal Challenges with Needlecraft Haven - 2 projects per season

•  Exchanges with Needlecraft Haven - usually about 4 a year

•  12 gifts - obviously I can't reveal details

•  Lizzie Kate Flip Its - I have stitched up to October so need to stitch November and December and make them up.

Bouquet of Flowers - finish flowers received after the tree was finished for 2020 and stitch a few more 

I am looking forward to posting my progress and hopefully finishes and I'm looking forward to reading about everyone else's projects, I know some stitchers have quite big designs they are working on. 

Happy stitching everyone 🙂

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

2020 Stitching Review

I cannot believe I stitched 63 items in 2020, especially with all my health issues. In the last few months I have enjoyed stitching some special gifts which I will share in January's GG. 

I do have a page for each year for my list of finishes, you can find it at the top of my blog - this is a copy of my 2020 list. It only shows items I stitched, it doesn't include my card making or finishing the flowers.

  1. Orts Ornie 2019
  2. Night Temperature Quilt 
  3. Day Temperature Quilt
  4. 3 cover kit cards
  5. Tatty Ted for DD's birthday
  6. StNA Block 1
  7. Pansy flower head
  8. Lily flower head
  9. StNa Block 2
  10. Flip It January
  11. Flip It February 
  12. 5 cover kits
  13. Winter Challenge cat
  14. Penguin card
  15. StNA Block 3
  16. Clematis pink flower head 
  17. Camelia flower head 
  18. Flip It March
  19. Flip It April
  20. Easter Exchange 
  21. Lilac flower head 
  22. StNA Block 4
  23. Clematis lilac flower head 
  24. Rose flower head 
  25. Flower cover kit 
  26. Cupcake birthday card
  27. Popcorn birthday card 
  28. StNA Block 5
  29. Pansy yellow flower head
  30. Pink lily flower head
  31. StNA Block 6
  32. StNA Block 7
  33. Flip It May
  34. Flip It June
  35. Flip It July
  36. Flip It August
  37. StNA Block 8
  38. M & P Christmas gifts
  39. Flip It September 
  40. Michael's 30th birthday gift
  41. Jade's birthday gift
  42. StNA Block 9
  43. StNA Block 10
  44. Yellow rose flower head
  45. Halloween Exchange
  46. Scissor fob for Mary
  47. Scissor fob for Julie
  48. Scissor fob for Gill
  49. Blake name ornament 
  50. Happily Ever After ornament 
  51. Christmas Ornament Exchange
  52. StNA Block 11
  53. StNA Block 12
  54. Two Christmas ornaments
  55. Foxes ornament 
  56. Rose ornament
  57. Name gift - Rory
  58. Winter Challenge Robin 
  59. Durene Jones Merry Christmas 
  60. Chocolate gift
  61. Mill Hill Winter Garden
  62. October Flip It 
  63. Birthday gift

I have enjoyed all my stitching, especially the Stitching the Night Away SAL as I knew I'd be giving the blocks to my friends - there's more details in my last blog post here 

But my favourite stitching and finishing is the Bouquet of Flowers. I was overwhelmed with the flowers I received and with the world changing Bouquet of Flowers became a symbol for us all ..... caring, sharing, kindness, love and friendship.

I'm quite an organised person and for some of 2020 I was a little lost which I found quite unsettling; I have spent today planning my 2021 projects and adding blogging dates to my calendar. For the first time I have joined a couple of groups on Facebook and will also be doing WIPocalypse - I'm not 100% sure I have it right but I will be posting about my 2021 plans on 2nd January. 

Thank you for all the kind messages and cards, you all really really helped me. Huge thank you to everyone who stitched a flower, there is still time to do one for next year. 

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021, enjoy stitching your projects and stay safe x x 

🎉🎉 Happy New Year 🎉🎉

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Stitching the Night Away SAL

This year with Needlecraft Haven I have been doing Stitching the Night Away quilting blocks. They were a free SAL in 2019, the charts are available here

We stitched a block a month, no deadlines just a Gallery for each block. It was lovely to stitch each one in a time that fitted in with my other projects. 

Here's my 12 blocks, the light in some photos was not very good so apologies

Block 5 was stitched left handed as I broke my right humerus ball in May. It took ages to do but kept me occupied whilst bone mending. They look lovely all together, I love all the designs. I used mainly Anchor thread that I had in my stash, I prefer DMC but these colours are lovely.

I knew straight away what I wanted to do with the finished blocks, in fact I decided back in January when we started stitching. The ladies at Needlecraft Haven have been amazing friends for many years and I have two special friends overseas. I decided to make the blocks into coasters and send one to each of my friends.

I printed a message and all my friends' names to use for the back. They went travelling around the world with a message to be opened on Christmas Day ... Postie did get a little delayed and I think one is still travelling. I kept Block 5 for myself as it's quite special. 

Thank you to Loretta at Stitching the Night Away for a set of superb designs. I hope my coasters brought a smile to my friends in these difficult days .... friendship is a gift we can safely give and receive ... stay safe everyone x 

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Christmas thank you

I hope you have all enjoyed the festive days with those you love; in person, by video call or by phone. It has been a very different time for us all and celebrations have been different this year. 

For me the most important celebration is that I am here to enjoy it all, a year ago today was my first operation and the start of a very difficult 2020. 

My first and biggest Christmas thank you is to all my online friends. The messages, the flowers everyone stitched, reading everyone's news kept my spirits up and really helped me day by day ..... thank you all so so much x x 

It seems a long wait until mid January for Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness to say thank to my friends for their gifts so I've posted today

A huge thank you to my good friend Julie who herself has had a very difficult year. She has knitted me these super socks which are perfect for in my walking boots. My aim in 2021 is to build my strength up by walking everyday. The choccies will be saved a while as we have quite a few sweet things to munch on. I quite like mint Matchmakers on cold frosty nights with a hot chocolate - thank you so much Julie.

This beautiful needlecase was made for me by Christine. She is so talented, doing many crafts including this year lots of dress making. Christine is a member of Needlecraft Haven and organises our Seasonal Challenges and Christmas Exchange. Thank you Christine, this will make a perfect travelling case.

I have been friends with Brenda for over 20 years, we met through 123stitch message board when I was searching for a chart. She lives in Canada, I'm in the UK and over the years we have exchanged letters, emails and this year had our first video call. I have a full set of DMC threads, this is mainly thanks to Brenda who sends over the colours I need. Thank you Brenda for again topping up my floss box. 

Gill, another member of Needlecraft Haven, sent these great socks. I love the design with the cute deer and toadstools. The thread colours are lovely, very autumnal, I'll look at my plans for 2021 stitching and see if I can use it. Thank you so much Gill.

Thank you Mary for the super ornament which is already hanging on our tree. Marybis also a of Needlecraft Haven and a fellow blogger, she takes part in all our activities and over time we've swapped exchanges many times, always great fun. Thanks again Mary.

My final Christmas thank you is to my super Hubby. He's been absolutely amazing all year taking me to all the hospital appointments and treatments and looking after me at home. He surprised us all with gifts at the Christmas table with sweatshirts personalised for us all - Team Hearnden !

I am so so lucky, in so many ways - thank you everyone 🙂