Monday, 1 February 2016

Welcome to February ...

.... so here is January :)

Round in Circles SAL - January 
This is the beautiful design from Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles SAL. I really enjoyed stitching it although as yet I am not sure about finishing it, or the following ones. February is out today, I have a few other bits of stitching to do but I can't wait ti start it.

January's other stitching is still secret as yet; my Needlecraft Haven monthly challenge piece is stitched but not finished and I'm not sure what I'm doing with it - I know what I want to do but can't find quite what I am looking for :(

I'm busy finishing a biscornu for our Meet Up exchange, again with the ladies from Needlecraft Haven, I have a gift to share later this month for Gifted Gorgeousness and I have yet to start the lovely January piece from The Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL.

I have however been busy crafting with Hubby - well sort of - we've been doing a 4D jigsaw of London. It's been great fun. The first layer was a jigsaw depicting London in 1666.

London 1666
 It was a little harder doing the next layer - the river stayed the same but this layer was foam pieces and showed London in 2012. The big black bits are where the buildings fit on the next stage. It is quite detailed with lots of buildings detailed.

London 2012
 And finally we added the buildings in time order (hence 4D) - it was very interesting to see which building was built when and how quickly some areas were developed. The Globe Theatre  (Shakespeare's theatre in London)was quite funny as we had to put it in 1599, take it out when it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London 1666 and put it back in when it was rebuilt in 1997

London with all it's buildings
It's hard to see from overhead as the light bounces off the puzzle, so I took a photo looking up river from the O2 Arena towards Westminster. 

Buildings looking up the Thames 
I have now completed  Route 3 of Clare's Challenge 50 - for those who don't know I am walking the route of the London Marathon in stages - you can read about our adventures on my blog Clare's Challenge 50. 

We have found out so much about London on the way  - this jigsaw covers most of our route and it was interesting to see the latest section in 1666, then 2012 both on the jigsaw and then in person when walking.
We would be walking through fields in 1666
We walked up Evelyn Street and then Lower Street
(straight up the dark road) 
I have not done any stitching this weekend either as we've been in Cardiff with our daughter - we visited Cardiff Bay marina, what a lovely area. Thee are a few photos in my wine/travel blog Aimetu's, the marina and our lovely meal out.

Wishing you all a great start to February, happy stitching x x

Friday, 22 January 2016

Earth Sampler Giveaway winner is ....

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last two posts - Mum was very touched by all you kind comments about her work, thank you.

I have framed Earth Sampler and I love it. I bought the frame online and although the mount was supposed to be 7 x 7 (which would have fitted) it was slightly smaller so I popped to our local framers and got a coloured mount cut with a slightly larger aperture.

Earth Sampler framed 
In my 'Ready Steady Go' post I offered the Earth Sampler chart as a giveaway - entry was by adding a smiley face to your comment and 6 lovely ladies added a face (or two) to their replies. I popped everyone's name on a piece of paper and drew out the winner .....

six lovely ladies
ready on a plate
(25th Anniversary gift from Mum)
and the winner is ...
Huge congratulations Maggee - please email me your details and I'll pop the chart in the post on Monday

I have been stitching but you'll need to pop by again as I can't reveal anything just yet - hee hee  I am hoping to start Round in Circles this weekend after I have finished stitching the Valentine's Biscornu for the Meet Up Exchange with the ladies at Needlecraft Haven.

Tomorrow I am doing the third part of Clare's Challenge 50 - have a peep at Challenge Blog to see where we're going.

Happy stitching everyone x x

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness January 2016

Although I have just updated my blog I do have a  post for Gifted Gorgeousness which is hosted by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. 

My gift this month is one given to me by my very talented Mum. She has made lace, tatting, crochet, knitting, dress making, decoupage, card making and machine embroidery but her biggest hobby is quilting, mainly by hand but charity pieces she finishes on the machine.

Mum has made us many quilts, especially for our caravan on chilly nights. She very kindly made us a Christmas quilt for our conservatory sofa as when the house is decorated the usual quilt looks a bit out of place. Mum has recently had an operation on her hand but she still managed to finish and machine quilt this lovely quilt and cushion for us.

Our beautiful Christmas quilt and cushion

I'm busy making a birthday gift that I'll share next month. I do have a giveaway which is a type of gift - please visit my previous post to see how to enter. 

I've a few items for sale too if anyone is interested - they are listed in my For Sale page

Wishing you all a busy needle month, happy stitching x 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Ready, steady, go

As I said in my first 2016 post I have joined Mabel Figworthy's Round In Circles SAL. I can do hardanger but am self taught so I want to have a go at doing it properly. That being said I have treated myself to new needles - a packet of each size needed.

I was such a lucky lady at Christmas to receive a beautiful beaded needlecase made by Lindsay and from herself, Julie, Angi and Gill. It's now the keeper of my old but much loved needles which I'll still be using in my other projects. Quite a few years ago Moll, a lovely lady from Norway, stitched me a beautiful needlecase and I am using this for my new needles. I am using a side per needle number so I know which size is which.

My new needles, beautiful beaded case for my old
favourites and needlecase for my new ones
Size 22 on the first page
Size 24 on the left and size 26 on the right
Size 28 on the last page
Quite organised aren't I - I hope it lasts. Although I bought new needles and the lovely Mel is no longer doing Stitch from Stash, I do want to use up more of my thread and fabric again this year. I have plenty of white perle but did struggle to find matching light and dark in sizes 5 and 8. I have chosen a dark pink (part used skein) and a light pink in perle 5 and a varigated pink in perle 8 - hopefully it will look ok. I'm working on 22 count hardanger in white.

Fabric and thread ready to go 
I have another finish too - that's three this month already. A while ago I was luckily chosen by Gillie for her giveaway - Earth Sampler by The Primitive Needle. I started it then paused a while as other stuff needed doing. Anyway I picked it up this weekend to stitch along with the members of Needlework Haven to do some UFO work and I've finished it :) I'm just waiting for the frame to arrive now to finish it completely.

Chart from Gillie's giveaway
My finished stitching (it's on white although looks blue)
I'm going to return the gesture and offer the chart as a giveaway - please put a 'smiley face' (just the symbols will be fine if you can't do the little image) along with your comment and I'll include you in the draw which will take place on Friday 22nd January - if you are new to my blog through hearing about the giveaway I hope you've enjoyed reading and that you'll visit again soon.

Finally something special - I'm (and my blog) the feature in February's Cross Stitch Collection magazine - you'll see me on page five :) I'm not sharing a photo of the page as it's unfair on the magazine publishers and with many online sources magazines have a difficult selling job - I will say they are getting expensive though. Anyway I will be sharing the page sometime soon - I was very honoured to be chosen, it certainly made me smile.

It is with sadness that as I write this blog the news has broken that Alan Rickman has passed away, aged 69, from cancer. Sad news just a few days ago as well that David Bowie had also passed away. Both people who have been part of my life in different ways and who's talent will be missed but who have left great memories behind for us all to share. I have a particular soft spot for Professor Snape.

Thank you for calling by, I hope your 2016 stitching and crafting has begun with a flourish, happy stitching.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

2016 - a good start

A new year begins and as with most people is full enthusiasm, plans and projects. My new year is no different: my enthusiasm for stitching has returned: I have many plans and quite a few on going projects :-)

I've started the year with two great finishes - I've been stitching my Jardin Privé Winter Tree for the Four Seasons SAL 2015. I stitched in as a UFO with Needlecraft Haven - every weekend our lovely member Julie and her helpful friend Mr Stick encourages us to work on our UFO projects. I'm so pleased to have finished this, my next UFO will be the Autumn Tree from the same series.

Winter Tree - Jardin Privé
My other finish is a Christmas ornament - another freebie, this time from Lizzie Kate. Every year end I stitch an ornament and fill it with all my orts from the year. I didn't think I had many so chose a small design - all I'll say is it's well stuffed!!

I collect my orts in my little pot in my needlebox and when it's full move them to my bon bon jar. I think this year I'll check how full it is before choosing my design.

My bon bon jar filled with my 2015 orts 
And here's my ornament - for the first time I did a gathered edging, stitching it in the seam instead of adding it to the edge afterwards. It's taken most of the afternoon to gather and stitch but I am really pleased with it.

My Christmas ornament filled with my 2015 orts
I have a couple of other pieces on the go including this month's Challenge on Needlecraft Haven. I have also joined a mystery SAL - Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles.

It's Hardanger SAL and whilst I can do Hardanger and have designed a few pieces of my own I am self taught and have decided to approach this SAL as a beginner taking care to follow each step exactly. So much so I have ordered new needles in all required sizes so I can use the right one for the right thread - something I don't always do :-/

I hope you have all had a good start to 2016, wishing you all a great stitching year :-)

I noticed this morning that I had missed attaching the charm I had - too busy doing the gathering :-) I've managed to add it on :-) 

Charm added 

Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 in stitches

It was a special year of stitching for me with my family and friends having many special moments.

Our beautiful daughter celebrated her 21st birthday
Philly graduated with a first degree in
Sport Management
Our lovely friends had a civil ceremony in 2008 and with a change
in our law could finally get married in 2015 
Another wedding to celebrate with Kat and Steven
A retirement gift for my friend Kay loves cooking and growing many herbs
Alison's 50th birthday 
Louise's 50th birthday 
Christmas Tree Festival theme 2015
Joy ornaments for my tree 
 It's been an amazing year of stitching gifts with some quite tight finishes. I hope your 2015 was full of fantastic finishes and 2016 is filled with many more.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Festive thanks to all

Thank you to my family and friends for making Christmas 2015 a very special time. 

We always have the snowmen candles on our cake - they have been there for over ten years. They are never lit though as it doesn't seem right to melt them :) 

This year I baked a square cake and used the tree cutter Lindsay gave me in my Meet Up Goodie Bag :) 

Some of my beautiful gifts; gorgeous threads, fabric, perfume, notelets, mug, a bespoke key ring and a beautiful kit. 

Thank you Maggie, Barb, Brenda, Christine, Angi & Gill

I also received some very special gifts - thank you, I was very touched by everyone's kindness. 

Beautiful wine stoppers from Barb and her clever Hubby
Stocking from Cathy from across the sea
Beautiful ornament from my American friend Dusty
Such kind words from Julie
An amazing Christmas Pudding from Lindsay
A special gift from Niki

And a very special gift made by Lindsay and sent from my very special friends at Needlecraft Haven; thank you so much Lindsay, Julie, Angi and Gill

Wishing you all a very happy NEW YEAR with many happy moments in 2016 !!