Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Haven't stopped smiling

It is not often I stitch something for myself as I tend to only stitch something that I know has a place or use. I don't stitch something just because I like the design, it has to have a purpose.

However a few years ago I fell in love with Jardin Privé's Sampler au Bouquet which is a design in three parts. Each design can be stitched as an individual piece or together to make a long sampler.

I decided to stitch it as one and at the time I thought it would make a great hanging in our static caravan holiday home in Wales. I started stitching it in 2011 and as it was not my main stitching focus piece my progress was slow.

My stitching was very slow and had stitched all the edge and the first blue flower when a few years later Hubby and I decided we were not using the caravan much now our children were grown up - Sampler au Bouquet was put away as it had no purpose. 

At the end of last year I had an idea, I knew the perfect place for Sampler au Bouquet - in our newly decorated bedroom which has a colour scheme of red and cream and had blankbwall space!

You may know that I host an online forum for crafting, mainly stitching but other crafts too. Needlecraft Haven is a special place to me; our small group of core members are all super ladies. Needlecraft Haven is open to everyone and free to join. The last couple of years has held troubled times for quite a few of us, I personnally know that stitching and chatting is a great comfort and love our forum.

Needlecraft Haven has a Parlour, a place where we meet (online) to stitch together. It is a virtual place that is so cosy with a real fire, cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee and sometimes a glass of something special. There is always something going on in our special room:

  • Each Wednesday Barb opens up and she encourages us to work on our latest piece. 
  • Every year Julie is there at the weekend when Strictly Come Dancing is on, she keeps us up to date with who is doing which dance to which piece of music and encourages us to work on our UFOs or WIPs. 
  • Last summer I opened up every night that the World Cup football was on for members to sit and stitch while their DHs were tv watching. 

It was stitching with members of Needlecraft Haven that encouraged me to work on my Sampler au Bouquet. I was so so pleased to finish it earlier this year, and now it is framed and hanging on the wall in our bedroom - it looks perfect, I am so so pleased with it. The light is not good in the bedroom I took the photo in the conservatory.
Sampler au Bouquet I
Sampler au Bouquet II

Sampler au Bouquet III

Huge huge thanks to the NH ladies that encouraged me to keep stitching; your friendship and shared interest means so much to me - thank you.

Sampler au Bouquet 

Sunday, 16 September 2018

September Gifted Gorgeousness

My previous post included my lovely birthday gifts from Julie and Christine but as it's Gifted Gorgeousness time I'll add them to this post too.

Thank you Julie and Christine
I also received this beautiful stitched pocket from Deb,  it arrived from overseas just a few days after my birthday and was quite a surprise.

Thank you Deb
Perfect for my travels 
I have nothing else to add this month for Gifted Gorgeousness. I am as always stitching gifts but as yet they cannot be shared. I have stitched so many this year: eight friends have had significant birthdays and there's a few still to stitch as well as a wedding gift. I've been busy too stitching bookmarks for stitchy friends' birthdays and it will soon be Christmas ... good job my needle is flying.

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by the lovely Jo from Serendipitous Stitching. On the fifteenth of each month we post about gifts sent or received and link our post on Jo's blog page. Thanks Jo for hosting this each month, it's lovely to see everyone's blog posts.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Holiday and Birthday Thanks

As always I must say a huge THANK YOU to my lovely Hubby. He has just treated me, our son and our daughter to a villa holiday in Portugal. A family celebration for his retirement, made extra special as it was just before my birthday and it was the first time in 10 years we had all been away together just us.

None of us had visited Portugal before or had a villa holiday so there was excitement all round. The villa was amazing, absolutely huge with three outside seating areas. We had booked one with more bedrooms than we needed so everyone had a double room and their own bathroom - we didn't use the bedrooms downstairs !

It was a lovely week of enjoying the sun, private pool, bbqs and trips out. I'll be writing soon in my Aimetu's blog specifically about a vineyard we visited which belongs to Cliff Richard, and the Portuguese restaurant where we had a fab meal on our last night. These are a few photos of our villa.

We came home Sunday and unfortunately had to make a slight detour to take our son to see his girlfriend in hospital as she was taken ill while we were away. She is back home now and seems better, such a shame after her brave skydive last month.

Our daughter stayed until Monday for my birthday. I had some lovely gifts and cards from my family, we had a fairly quite day but we'd had plenty of celebrations in Portugal.

I had some lovely cards and gifts from friends too, thank you to everyone. Some are still arriving today so my birthday has been extended. Just for fun our daughter bought me a caterpillar cake, of course I had the first slice hee hee.

Roses and bouquet from my Hubby and lillies from my friend
Shopper and notelets from Julie and fabric
with buttons from Christine - thank you 

After all the excitement it's a quiet few weeks although I am finally having a scan on my ankle on Saturday and we're off to watch Wasps v Tigers rugby game Sunday 🏈

Saturday, 1 September 2018

A new month with gifts to share

I couldn't post these up in August for two main reasons; firstly they are gifts and some had not yet been received and secondly we had a fabulous holiday exploring the Champagne region in France. If you'd like to read about our travels please visit Aimetu's - wine, food and travel.

The first gift was for our friend's daughter, she turned 30 mid August so I stitched this little coaster for her and managed to add 30 and her initial.

Sarah's coaster 
My second gift was for our daughter who lives in Cardiff. I saw this chart and fell in love with both the character and quotation. She has just moved, which always has its issues and working with the rugby boys life is never dull!

She loved it and it looks great on her side table in her new flat. 

I love this - so cute 
My final gift was for our son's girlfriend who yesterday did a Skydive to raise money for Alzheimer's, she has raised over £650 - her donation page is Just Giving CharlySomething   

There is a video on Youtube too of her Skydive - something I could never do, such a challenge - well done Charly !! This is the link to the film - Charly's Skydive

Charly's coaster
We're off on our travels again, this time to Portugal with our son and daughter, first holiday together in 10 years - I'm really looking forward to a week in the sun with my family. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

August Gifted Gorgeousness

A very quick post as we are on holiday in France but here is the Needlecraft Haven Summer Exchange I sent to Deb.

I loved the design (sorry I don't have the details here) and stitched it over one so if Deb wants to it will fit in a coaster.

I sent a couple of English recipes as Deb lives in America and may not know them. The treats I sent were lip balm, hand cream and some sweets I enjoyed when younger.

Before we left I received a lovely gift in the post from Justine - Lizzie Kate set of 12 months Flip Its - thank you so much Justine

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted each montb by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. Jo puts up a link page on the 15th of each month so we can add a link to our blog posts that have items linked to 'gifts', that can be gifts from or to ourselves. It's great fun reading everyones posts.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Summer Exchange

Although small in members Needlecraft Haven is just that, a haven for us to chat with friends and share our hobby.

We have monthly stitching challenges, a SAL covering the whole year and occasional exchanges.

This year's Summer Exchange was a little different, here's what it was all about:

  • Make a stitched card based on the theme of summer
  • Include a simple summer cooking recipe
  • Include a summer treat
My partner was Deb and although I know she has received her parcel she was on holiday for Opening Day so I'm not going to share the card and goodies I sent her until I know she is home and has opened her parcel.

Can however share the gifts Deb sent to me - a beautiful card, two great recipes and a wonderful ornament that I will be hanging in the garden when the sun shines - thank you Deb  
My Summer Exchange from Deb
Stitched card
Summer gift
We're off to France and of course my priority packing was my stitching, both pieces are gifts so I can't share but once home I'm going to frame my Sampler Bouquet - I can't wait to do that although it's a little daunting.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Drawn Thread - a little change

A few years ago I stitched the beautiful Drawn Thread series Calendar Covers and finished them to stand on an easel on our mantle. This is my August piece.

I decided I no longer liked the easel so when I ordered the frame for my Sampler Bouquet (I'll be framing that when we return from our hols) I ordered a frame for these too.

It took all afternoon to undo the mattress finishes, quite tricky in places but they all came apart and I think look ok.

I am strengthening each with heavy iron on interfacing. I only had enough to do 5 but hopefully my Sew and So order will arrive today so I can finish the others.

Each month I can then change them in the frame - I do this with my Jardin Privè four seasons. My Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter Trees are all cut to frame size and backed with the heavy weight interfacing. Here's my Winter Tree in the frame.

The frame I ordered was the same style but without the ornate top as that would make it too high on the mantle. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I think too that now my pieces are under glass they will keep better as being out for a whole month each time they needed wiping over with a damp cloth before storing away, always a worry.

I'll try to remember to add a photo of each month as I change them but here's my August finish.

I have a few gifts to share for Gifted Gorgeousness this month but I may be late posting as we're off to France with friends to visit the Champagne Region.