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 !!

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Joy to the World

It's that time of year when we all get festive with tinsel, lights, snowmen and santas everywhere. Our family church has a tree festival every year and I always decorate one of them. It's not only a great fundraising event for the church but a way of bringing people together as many families meet up to visit. The church hall serves coffee, tea and mince pies and if often full of people exchanging cards and gifts as they enjoy their refreshments after visiting the trees. 

I have done many themes but always cross stitched. Last year I repeated a theme from 2009 - Miss Tree - as it's a shame not to see the ornaments again. This year however I have stitched a new theme - Joy to the World. 

This idea began when Mary gave me the beautiful 'Joy to the World' chart from Lizzy Kate. It was lovely to stitch and I filled it with my 2013 orts. It seemed quite fitting to have a tree spreading joy everywhere. 
Lizzie Kate - Joy to the World
Actually the tree has been spreading joy much further than our church, in fact it's spread joy for most of 2015 and all over the world as my lovely stitching friends have also stitched ornaments. It has certainly brought me joy when the Postie has arrived. 

As you can see they really are from all over the world - here is everyone's beautiful work
 thank you :) 

From Sally in Yorkshire
From Dusty in America
From Julie in Leicestershire
From Leonie in Australia
From Nadine in France
From Sally in Somerset
From Jo in Suffolk
I have to apologise from Jo as I realised I have tot taken an individual photo of her ornament so had to crop the photo I took of the sent ornaments all together - it's beautiful and this photo does not give it justice. When I go to church next I 'll take a new one, sorry Jo. 

All the gifted ornaments
(apart from Dusty's which arrived yesterday,
they'll go on the tree on Saturday)
I stitched quite a few too - it was a heavy stitching year for me as I had five important events to stitch for. My own stitching certainly suffered and I would have liked to have completed a few more Joy ornaments but I'm very pleased with the ones I did do. 

My ornaments
The tree looks lovely, I chose the same spot in the choir stalls as my Grandfather sang in the choir. I did wonder if it looked a little bare and might take a bit more tinsel up although the other tree decorating ladies said that may hide the ornaments so maybe not.

Joy to the World
Top of my tree
Ornaments from all over the world
As always there are many themes, I have not seen them all yet but am helping with refreshments on Saturday so I'll have a good look then. I did see Maureen's knitted trees as she was putting here's up the same time as me, they are beautiful as always.

Maureen's snowman tree
Maureen's soup dragon on her Clanger tree
Thanks you again to everyone who stitched and sent an ornament, the tree looks great as does the church. The smell is also amazing especially if you go first thing when the church first opens. It's also lovely to visit at night when it's dark outside and all the tree lights shine. 

A really magical place at this time of year - St Laurence's Parish Church 

Saturday 14 November 2015

Fantastic Day

It was Needlecraft Haven Autumn Meet Up here in Nuneaton today but before I share my photos I must add three pictures for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL hosted by Jo.

Each year I take part in The Christmas Tree Festival at my family church, my tree theme this year is 'Joy to the World' and I have received these beautiful ornaments from fellow stitchers - thanks you so much they will look amazing on my tree.

From Julie 
From Sally G
From Sally W
And so to today's great meet up - five of us from Needlecraft Haven meet at our Scout Headquarters. Angi and Gill came from Peterborough by train, Lindsay drove down from Cheshire and Julie's hubby brought her over from Leicester. It was so nice to sit and chat all day with a little stitching and so much laughter.

We always have a book exchange - it's a random choice and this time we played a little dice game. We each had a book (they are all wrapped so we don't know what is in them or who's book is who's) and took it in turn to roll the dice. We passed the books to our left the number o times on the dice - it worked ish, we were too busy laughing as we seemed to keep ending up with the same book - eventually we had a book that wasn't ours and eagerly unwrapped our new reads.

Book Exchange
My new books
 My exchange book was Tangled Lives by Hilary Boyd and was from Julie. I have read her first book Thursdays in the Park and as I just finished a book I'll be starting this tonight. My other book was one from Lindsay - last meet up I picked Lindsay's book and this is the enxt one in the series, she kindly brought it along for me.

We also have a goody bag exchange - this time the theme was numbers. I always make cakes and put a raffle ticket under a cake and the other ticket half under a bag. We chose a cake and have the bag that corresponds to the ticket underneath. I decorated the cakes with numbers - they were chocolate beetroot cakes, yummy.
Number cakes
Goody Bags
The beautiful items in my Goody Bag from
Lindsay - her theme was number 3 
I picked Lindsay's bag and she had themed it on the number 3. In it was a set of 3 cutters, three hand creams, 3 notebooks, three pens, 3 metres of ribbon, DMC using number 3, 93g of Roses and three beautiful stamps.

I chose number 4 for my theme and wrapped my gifts with little messages on each - Julie won my bag and had great fun opening the parcels - this time we took it in turn to open or Goody Bags so we could all see who had what and how the gifts related to the chosen number. We had bags for number 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 - no repeats :) 

My wrapped gifts on the theme of Number 4
The goodies inside the parcels 
Every meet up we hold a raffle to raise funds to keep Needlecraft Haven ad free - some lovely prizes donated and we will have enough to get rid of those pesky ads for a while.

Great raffle prizes
There was some great stitching on show - amazing work from just four stitchers. I do enjoy seeing what everyone has been doing, although we chat about our craft online it's is so so nice to see the work in person.
Lindsay's show table
Angi and Gill's show table
Julie's show table
I've had a fantastic day - thank you Angi, Gill, Julie and Lindsay for making it such fun, see you all next spring :)