Friday, 12 August 2016

Behind and in front

I have finally finished my Joyful World .... no not September but February!!

I am so behind with this piece but hopefully it will catch up as the year goes on - it will probably be my holiday stitching for our trips away starting with this coming weekend in Wales.

My fabric is 27 count Linda light taupe stitched over one with DMC thread.

Joyful World - February

So that's my behind - my in front has left me quite overwhelmed. It's not a stitching piece but my regular blog readers, both here and Aimetu's, will know I set myself a Challenge last year on my 50th birthday.

I set up a blog just for this challenge - Clare's Challenge 50. You'll need a cuppa if you pop over as there's quite a lot of photos.

I have nearly finished so that's not my 'in front' - it's my fundraising target !!

Initially I didn't set a target as any money raised was a bonus, the Challenge is a personal one. As donations came in I decided to set £1000 as a goal ..... and last weekend my target was not only reached but has now raised even more !!!

Thank to everyone who has helped me reach this amazing amount

Thank you to everyone who has donated - my final 'leg' is on my 51st birthday - 10th September !!

Thanks for popping by 😘

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

An exchange and a SAL

Monday was Opening Day for one of Needlecraft Haven's exchanges. Twice a year members meet up in Nuneaton and at these get togethers we randomly choice our partner and decide on the item to stitch.

At our April event we chose to stitch a coaster on the theme of our partner's birthday month; flower, gemstone, weather, wording; anything really. Everyone wrote their name and address on a postcard along with their birthday month and favourite chocolate, the cards are shuffled and held so no detail can be seen and we each pick one to find out who our partner is.

I picked Gill's card and her birthday is in January. I know Gill likes flowers and as carnations are the flower for January I stitched this lovely design by Ellen Maurer-Stroh. It was a free design from her Flower of the Month series.

As Gill had put buttons for her chocolate choice I included two little bags of treats.

Carnation coaster for Gill
Exchange goodies (Gill's photo)
Julie picked my postcard and has stitched me a beautiful coaster, my parcel also contained a bag of my favourite chocolates; Revels. I'm not showing my coaster from Julie just yet as I'm saving it for a special and very appropriate post.

My other stitching is also for a Needlecraft Haven activity - Four Season's SAL. Throughout the year we have three months to stitch any design for a season with the Gallery opening in the final month.

Spring - 1st January to 30th March - Gallery 1st March.

Summer - 1st April to 29th JuneGallery 1st June.

Autumn - 1st July to 29th SeptemberGallery 1st September.

Winter - 1st October to 30th DecemberGallery 1st December.

It is now time to stitch autumn but I had not quite finished summer. It was all stitched but not made up so the other evening before even looking at threads for my autumn piece I sat and made up my summer mini pillow.
Four Season SAL - summer 
I'm making all my seasons into mini pillows so I can display each one at the appropriate time of year. Now I have finished summer I can put spring away.

Four Season's SAL - spring
Thanks for calling by - I hope you've enjoyed reading my bit of stitching news. I have added a little more to my travel blog about the two cities we visited in France this summer - pop along to Aimetu's if you'd like to see the photos.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Catching up

It's been over a month since my last blog post, nearly two actually. My stitching had definitely slowed down and most of June we were away in France.

We had an amazing time, you can catch up on all my travel news at Aimetu's. This is Hubby and I in the car waiting to board the ferry on our first day.

Since returning I have been stitching :-) I have completed the exchange gift for Needlecraft Haven but I cannot share that just yet.

But I can share my finishes for Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles SAL - the SAL gallery is here.

I really enjoyed stitching these three, a few new stitches and techniques; I'm still not sure how I'll be finishing them though.

Round 4 - April 
Round 5 - May
Round 6 - June
Round 7's chart is up but I want to finish my summer piece for Needlecraft Haven't Four Season's SAL first. Hopefully by the end of July I will have caught up with most of my stitching and reading everyone's blog - so sorry for missing your news.

Happy stitching everyone x x

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Cake and birthday gift

May 20th was this year's Cake Bake for the MS Society. I always host a coffee and cake day at home and bake large cakes to order. I bake up to three cakes a day as that's manageable with lots of sitting down whilst each one bakes.

This year my cakes to order were:

  • Victoria Sponge with jam and buttercream
  • Coffee and Walnut with buttercream topping
  • Chocolate Guinness Cake
  • Carrot Cake with cream cheese topping
  • Ginger Cake

I'm not sure which was my favourite to eat, maybe the ginger as it was a new recipe and turned out so moist and very moreish.

Thanks to my lovely friends and family who ordered cake and came on the day for a coffee, piece of cake and a chat. The total raised this year was £250 - thank you :) 

Coffee and Cake Day table 
I managed to blow up and tie the balloons - haha
Schokogugelhopf - the prize on the black out game 
It was a lovely day - it's always nice when friends pop round for a cuppa so it was even nicer when many friends all came at the same time.

My stitching has been quite slow lately, my hands are not holding things so well and they are at times beginning to be quite painful in my bones. I see my specialist in August and there are a few things I need to ask about as over the last year I have noticed certain symptoms becoming worse. I do push myself - Clare's Challenge 50 is certainly becoming quite difficult - but I'm not one to stop doing things .... I'm sure he is going to tell me I should :( 

Anyway I have very few finishes lately and am way way behind with SALs and Challenges. I have however managed to stitch and make up a gift for my Mum who's birthday it is today. Mum is an avid crafter, her current main hobbies are quilting and machine embroidery but she has done lacemaking, applique, tatting, knitting, crochet, beading, and many many more. 

I saw this project is the February issue of Cross Stitch Collection. I don't buy magazines usually but as I was featured in this issue I did buy a copy hee hee. It was good to see a chart to use too. 

I was very slow stitching it and I found it quite tricky to finish but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and Mum loved it. 

Mum's birthday gift 
A friend at the club asked me to stitch a coaster for her, it was quite simple and didn't take too long. It's a chart I've used many times for various gifts. 

Coaster for a friend
We had some very exciting news yesterday, our oldest neice and her boyfriend got engaged. They are actually in the air flying to the UK from their home in USA as I type this, with Hubby's sister, her husband and their other daughter. The five of them are spending a few days in London before all Hubby's family meet up on Sunday for a meal to celebrate his Mum's 80th and now our neice's engagement too - quite a celebration. 

We are off on holiday most of June so I doubt I'll be posting much, although you won't miss me as I have been a very slow poster of late hee hee. I have my stitching to take and I really really hope I can get quite a lot done - thanks for calling by to red my news :) 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

May catch up

My needle is still slow - I have many things I wish to do but it's true my needle is slow ... well my hand really.

MS affects people different was and for me it's mainly fatigue although the last 18months my legs have been getting worse. The surface of my palms has been numb for a number of years but I'm noticing my right hand is aching and does not seem to want to move as freely - hence the slowness in stitching

I can still do loads of stuff and I have just three parts of my Challenge walk left - Clare's Challenge 50  Yesterday I jet washed the patio which may seem odd that I can do that but honestly I just stood still and waved a stick up and down slowly across each slab, easier than walking but much much more messy !!

Anyway enough about me and more about my little bit of stitching - I've changed the mantle for May, it's a baking theme as I have a charity Cake Bake for MS on 19th 🍰

Baking theme for May
I have done some stitching - I finished one of the monthly challenges on Needlecraft Haven but I have yet to make it up.

I am working on a birthday gift so can't show much. Unfortunately Mr Frog arrived - partly my fault as I decided to stitch the pattern on the back instead of leaving it plain but I has completed quite a bit before I realised I hadn't reversed it 😞

The new piece stitched the
right way round 
Hopefully I will get more done, especially finish the birthday gift.

Apologies for being behind with blog reading - I do like to read everyone's news and hopefully will be visiting soon.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Reflective Day

I didn't have a Gifted Gorgeousness post this month as my stitching has all been catch up - but I may have something next month ;)

Just a short post from me - reflecting on my Dad who passed away 4 years ago today. It seems like yesterday and feels like eternity. Barb stitched a lovely ornament for me which I display every year on our mantle along with the ceramic candle holder shed and a gardener figurine, which although actually my grandfathers reminds me of both men. The candle will stay lit all day.

For Dad
Beautiful ornament from Barb
Today and on Dad's birthday we usually go out and have scampi & chips with a glass of rose wine, his favourite meal when out. He also enjoyed going to the wine tastings with us, his favourite being at Birmingham museum where we were greeted with a  glass of champagne - he thought the whole evening 'very posh'.

By coincidence we are gong to a wine tasting tonight at The Ballroom, City Halls, Leicester - although there will be no scampi & chips I'm sure Dad would approve as it will be a 'posh' event :)

Ron Mellor 1926 - 2012  super Dad, Grandpop, Scouter and friend - loved and missed by us all 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

April's progress

Just a little update as I have a couple of finishes to share - firstly March's Round in Circles. Unfortunately Ilke's mum passed away and so understandingly March and early April so a slight pause in Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles Hardanger Stitch-along - however I finished my March piece and am looking forward to starting April's when Ilke is ready - there are times when life, love and family are more important than stitching.

March - Round in Circles SAL
I have also finished Jardin Prive's Autumn Tree which means my Four Season's SAL 2015 with Needlecraft Haven is now complete - a little late but it's done. It means now I can change the design in my frame for each season. I do need to iron and back my autumn tree with interfacing to stiffen it so it looks a little bumpy in the photo but I wanted to show it in the frame.

You can find the charts on Jardin Prive's free charts page.

Autumn Tree
My trees for all seasons 
My stitching plans for April are to catch up on the Monthly Christmas Challenge on Needlecraft Haven - I need to stitch last months and this month's free chart has been revealed.

I love running Needlecraft Haven - it is a members only forum so if you'd like to apply for membership this is the link Needlecraft Haven link.

If you've applied for membership please check your Yuku inbox as I have recently authorised quite a few accounts but not yet seen those members on the forum.

Thank you for calling by and good luck with all your April crafting.