Saturday, 17 February 2018

A very special Gifted Gorgeousness

Today is our daughter's birthday - we have just spent two lovely days with her in Cardiff. She is spending her birthday weekend in London with her boyfriend seeing a couple of shows and eating in nice places.

I always stitch something for her birthday - this year was another Newton's Law. As a youngster she loved blowing bubbles so when I saw this chart it was perfect. I loved stitching him, he seemed to come to life with every stitch.

Newton's Law
The finished gift was her very own sewing box, I lined the inside and added the essential sewing items. She isn't a cross titcher but did needlework at school and is a dab hand with a mending needle.

Inside the box
Matching cording to finish
The Essentials
Newton's Law sewing box 
I loved stitching this, I enjoyed making it up too and finding the pieces to go inside. Philly loved him too: he now lives in Wales :)

Newton's Law is my special Gifted Gorgeousness for February - thank you Jo for organising this each month. It's lovely to read everyone's gifts both sent and received. There is a list of blogs taking part on Jo's Blog Serendipitous Stitching - here's the link to the sign up page if you want to take part each month.

My other gift this month was for Barb, a lovely member of Needlecraft Haven who looks after The Parlour, our virtual stitching haven on a Wednesday night. It was a special birthday this year for Barb. I made her a Blackwork Bookmark using Weeks Dye Works Deep Sea thread.

Bookmark for Barb
Thank you for calling by to see my Gifted Gorgeousness gifts for February. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Secret Stitching Sweetheart & Friendship Exchange

Jo at Serendipitous Stitching has organised a Blog Hop for Valentine's Day - everyone taking part has sent Jo a photo of something they have stitched that is suitable for a friend on Valentine's Day.

Jo has sent everyone one of the photos to include in their blog post - but of course we don't know who's photo we have or who has ours. There is a list of all the participants on Jo's blog, the fun part is visiting all the blogs to see who has your photo.

This is the beautiful photo I received - if this is your beautiful work please reveal yourself by leaving a comment.

Secret Stitching Sweetheart 

Thank you Jo for all your hard work and another great Blog Hop - I'm off to see who has my photo !

Valentine's Day is also the opening day for Needlecraft Haven's Friendship Exchange. I really enjoy organising the exchanges - we are just a few but a very friendly few so a Friendship Exchange was the perfect choice.

Everyone has different stitching commitments and mojos so I decided to make the exchange open to everyone with the first part being to make, stitch or buy a friendship card. The other elements of the exchange were to find a freebie friendship chart online and print it off, include two threads relating to either the chart or the friendship theme and a small friendship gift.

My Friendship Exchange parcel travelled a very long way - just 20 miles up the motorway to Julie who I've been friends with for quite a few years. As well as online we occasionally meet for a coffee, always good fun but the time flies too fast.

I loved the Blue Ribbon Design sampler chart as soon as I saw it and as it only required four threads I popped them all in the parcel.

I included chocolate hearts and flower petals that are hand wash soap sheets and a organiser set that Julie can use for stitching/sewing projects or just general notes.

Friendship chart for Julie from Blue Ribbon Designs 
Happy Valentine's Day Julie 
My Friendship Exchange travelled a little further, it came from Deb in the United States of America. 

Deb sent a beautiful card, two skeins of ThreadWork variegated thread, hand dyed green 28ct fabric and a super chart from Casa Mia. However that was not all - Deb surprised me completely with a beautiful table runner themed on wine (my other hobby which you can read about here) - it is gorgeous and I feel very spoilt - thank you so much Deb.

Beautiful gifts from Deb
Stunning table runner from Deb 
Now it's time to own up - I opened my exchange parcel yesterday, not because I was impatient but because today we are travelling to Cardiff to see our daughter for her birthday. For a change we are taking the train not the car and so being as I had to be ready for a set time this morning I wrote my blog last night (it feels odd to be writing in the future) and saved it as a draft. This morning I just clicked published and hey presto here it is :-)

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day - with friends, with family and with loved ones 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Another bookmark and a bit of progress

This week's catch up is short as I haven't actually done much stitching. Friday night our friends came for dinner and it was so nice to feel back to normal after 10 months of upturned lifestyle. I love entertaining and was very pleased with how the table looked this time. 

Ready for our dinner guests
It was Justine's birthday last week and I stitched her a bookmark using Weeks Dye Works Begonia. I am really enjoying blackwork, it's very therapeutic
Bookmark for Justine
I have finished another gift but that is still secret for a few more days ssshhhhhh!

Wednesday night I joined the lovely ladies at Needlework Haven in The Parlour - it's our get together in cyber space each week hahaha. Sampler Bouquet is coming along nicely and I'm hoping to get a little more completed tonight or tomorrow as we're then away for a couple of days.  

Sampler Bouquet
That's all from me for now - thank you again for all the lovely messages last week when I was Blogger of the Week - what a lovely way to meet new bloggers, have you popped along to meet this week's Blogger?

Sunday, 4 February 2018

New month, new lifestyle

All change - my lovely DH retired on 30th January after 39 years as a metallurgist/engineer at Landrover.

I'm so proud of him, getting up at 4.45am every day, staying positive when ownership of the company changed (many times), always smiling at the dinner table no matter what work had been like that day, and providing  for our family giving us a good life and great home 😍

Now it's his time to enjoy himself, although typically he has come down with a heavy cold. To start this new phase of life in style I booked us a Winter Escape night away at Kilworth House Hotel - pop over to my wine, food and travel blog Aimetu's to read about it.

He had so many cards and a lovely book of messages - he'll certainly be missed. Some lovely gifts from work too.I had a wine glass engraved for him and gave him a particular bottle of wine he's been wanting to try for a while.

Life will certainly be different having him home all day - so long as he doesn't interrupt my stitching we'll be fine πŸ˜†

I have been working on finishing more than stitching this week - a gift I'm putting together for a special lady. So far so good πŸ˜‰

I have also managed to pick up the needle on my Sampler Bouquet and have now nearly stitched the next panel - not far off half way now.

DH has had his tools out already and Angel Blessings looks great in the kitchen. I persuaded him to put the Year Sampler on the conservatory panel (using adhesive fixings) - just need to convince him the other two need something now πŸ˜‰

Finally I have a HUGE thank you for Jo at Serendipitous Stitching for featuring me as Blogger of the Week

Jo you are so kind and thoughtful, your work in blogger land with SALs, Hops and many other activities is really appreciated - thank you 😍

Sunday, 28 January 2018

January's last two

To round off January, which has been quite a productive month for me, I have two finishes to share.

Christine, one of the members of Needlecraft Haven, kindly runs our Monthly Challenge. At the start of the month she posts up a freebie chart she has found online for us all to stitch.

Previously the chart each month has been Christmas themed so by December we have already stitched 11 ornaments. This year Christine is alternating the theme: Christmas one month, general the next, Christmas the third and so on throughout the year.

We can use any thread, fabric and finishing but cannot show our finished item. Instead we send a photo to Christine and the  last Sunday of the month she reveals the Gallery showing all our variation finishes.

As January's Gallery has been revealed today I can share my finish for this month. I stitched it on 14ct navy Aida using DMC B5200, 666 and 779. I also used DMC S800 and 35200 to add a bit of shine. The design was from La Contessa.

My other finish is a bookmark for my friend Mary. Luckily I noticed in time she would be with her family for her birthday so sent her card and gift there. I quite enjoy doing blackwork using Weeks Dye Works, the variations are more obvious in some colours but it's lovely thread to use. I used Deep Sea for Mary's bookmark.

Hubby's sister is over from US to visit his/her mum for a few days. He took Thursday off so we could take them out for afternoon tea. As MIL lives near Daventry we looked for somewhere nearby and found Whilton Locks Garden Centre. It was a lovely little place, the cafe had views across the fields and the canal marina was just across the road (although too cold for us to walk around)

Our afternoon tea was lovely: choice of sandwiches, a selection of cakes and scone with jam & cream. It was served on a large wooden board with refillable tea and coffee - very nice.

I'm hoping this week to do some more on my Bouquet Sampler as I haven't done any for a few weeks. I hope you've all had a productive first month of 2018 and it continues into the second.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

An old favourite

One of the activities on Needlecraft Haven (a crafting forum I host for members to chat about stitching, knitting, crochet, beading, in fact any craft really) is our Reading Challenge. Each December I ask for volunteers to nominate our reading books over the coming year. This year 4 members volunteered so over the year we'll each choice a book three times ....

.... for me that's good news as selecting one book would have been tricky for me, I'm so pleased to be able to choose three!

This year's theme is childhood favourites, any book you loved reading as a child. As these will be re-read books we are reviewing the books in the same month (usually we review a month later to allow everyone time to read).

January was my choice and one book I loved when younger was Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I love the descriptiveness in his writing, you can picture the river bank, Mr Badger, Mole, Ratty and of course mischievous Toad. The characteristics of each animal is so apt for their role in the story, and although he causes quite a bit of trouble you can't help but chuckle at Toad's antics.

I have really enjoy reading this again, it brought back many memories of my childhood bedroom lying on my bed reading, there is certainly more to a book than just the story inside.

Over the last week I've had two lovely finishes, both gifts so I cannot share just yet but I can share the starting photo of one. The start of each year is busy for me as many of my friends and family members have early birthdays, and of course Easter will be early this year too, although I only stitch for exchanges at Easter.

It's an exciting week for us as not only is it Hubby's last full week at work, he retires next Tuesday, but his sister is over from America. That said he's on holiday Thursday as we're all going out for afternoon tea, so this will be a short working week - life will be very different, we are both very excited.

I hope you've all had a productive January with all your crafting.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Finally framed

Back in 2012 I took part in a Round Robin with Julie, Lynn, Tina, and Dusty. I chose Angel Blessings from Cross Stitch Gold which was my Secret Santa gift at work. As it was a large piece I just asked everyone to stitch as much as they wanted and I finished it off when it came home, it was a lovely piece to work on.

Initially I was going to make it into a table cloth and I have pulled some of the thread to make a Drawn Thread edging - however I changed my mind as the beautiful design would have been covered if used on a table.

So I have decided to frame it - really glad I did as I love it.

Angel Blessings
I also decided to finally frame a design I stitched many years ago. It's a design by Chris who used to run Aion and was a subscribers chart in one of the cross stitch magazines, I think over four issues.

I loved the garden design and how the year progressed, it was fun to stitch too but as with many things was left in the drawer. I have no idea where I will be hanging it though hee hee.

Yearly Sampler

I have manged to get quite a bit more finished on my Sampler Bouquet - it helps being able to be in the Parlour on a Wednesday night with the Needlecraft Haven ladies, although this week I have a scout meeting.
Sampler Bouquet - Jardin PrivΓ©
This year I have quite a few gifts to stitch; Gill's bookmark in my previous post was my first and I've nearly finished the second. I need to get the third and fourth done too as the occasions will soon be here.

I hope your 2018 stitching is going well - enjoy.