Friday 29 December 2017

2017 draws to a close

Well 2017 has certainly been an eventful year - here's a collage of my stitching, I was surprised at how many finishes I had.

I've two more gift photos to share - Postie arrived with two Christmas parcels from my friends overseas, a lovely surprise that extended our festivities - thank you.

Beautiful broach from Deb
Two gorgeous coasters from Cathy
I've just finished my final ornament for 2017 - it's my orts ornie. Every year I save my orts in a bon bon jar my MIL bought me many years ago - then between Christmas and New Year I stitch a final ornament and stuff it with my orts. This year I used a lovely DMC varigated thread I received from Gill for Christmas.

2017 orts
Used as my stuffing 
My 2017 Orts Ornie
Wishing all my stitching friends a very Happy New Year - let those needles fly in 2018 

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Christmas 2017

I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and are still enjoying the festivities today, St Stephen's Day. I had a lovely time with my family, it's always nice when we are all together.

Christmas is about giving and receiving - I love opening presents but the best bit is always seeing others faces when they open theirs or receiving a thank you message. I've had some lovely gifts this year from friends and family: thank you everyone x x

So many lovely gifts - thank you
Perfect Radley back-pack bag from my daughter
I have some very clever friends - superb handmade gifts 
Time to get our records out of the attic thanks to our son's gift
This year I stitched a Santa ornament for each of my stitching friends both here in he UK and overseas. I also made a few Christmas cards, both were great fun to make and I hope brought a smile to those who received.
Handmade Christmas cards
A few more I enjoyed making 
13 Santa's now residing around the world 
You can see Santa a little clearer on this
photo from my friend in the USA 

Last summer on Needlecraft Haven we had a Holiday Exchange where we kitted up a small Christmas design and sent it to our partner. We had to stitch up the kit received to complete the exchange. I always send a gift to my favourite weatherman on our tv and my exchange kit was just perfect to make into a coaster for him. I had a lovely message to say it had made him smile which is what a gift is for, so thank you Deb your Holiday Exchange gift gave me joy to stitch and passed a smile on.
Stitched for my favourite weatherman
Needlecraft Haven also has a Four Season's SAL each year when we stitch a design for each season as the month's progress. This year I stitched four small designs and made them into coasters. I have four friends who I meet quite often for a coffee and chat - we all worked together at school but have now all retired. I gave a coaster to each for Christmas so they now share the four season's between them.
Four Season's SAL - four coasters for four friends 
I've really enjoyed my 2017 gift stitching, I know I have quite a few gifts to do for 2018 as looking at my diary it's a busy year with birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. However my next gift stitching is to myself  each year between Christmas and New Year I stitch a small ornament and fill it with all the orts from the years stitching.

So I'm off to settle on the sofa to choose a design from this year's Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament magazine - season's greetings to you all x x x

Saturday 16 December 2017

Christmas Tree Festival 2017

We visited the church today to see all the trees - 60 real Christmas trees all decorated differently, so may clever themes. Here's a few of my favourite play on words:

The Pair Tree - everything was hung in pairs (but just one pair of scissors hee hee)

Trigonom-e-tree - card shapes decorated by the little ones at nursery

Local Dignitrees - this was the Parish Councils entry with plenty of photos

Knitivitry - this lady knits such gorgeous little ornaments every year

As you know I stitch ornaments for my tree every year and a few of my stitching friends very kindly send ornaments too. You can see them in my recent posts - thanks everyone.

This year my tree was Winter Wonderland and I really am delighted in how it looked amongst all the other amazing trees in church with lights everywhere. The smell in church is amazing as all 60 trees are real - all in all a wondrous Christmas sight.

The Nativity - donated by
Radford and Halbrooks Methodist Church
Three Wise Men - donated by
Radford and Halbrooks Methodist Church

Stars for our Dads added to the
Remembrance Tree

The Blue Planet Documentree
 - Phoebe 'n' Aubrey Oliver

Wedding Bells - Ansley Ringers
Knitivity - Maureen Webb
The Artery - Betty Gadsby
My tree with a superb model of our church
Looking towards the altar - such an amazing sight
 It is such a great event to be part of - the trees stay in place right through Christmas making the services extra special and being a superb addition to any winter wedding.

The money raised this year is going to church funds with 20% being donated to Nuneaton's main hospice - Mary Ann Evans. Huge cheers for everyone involved - thinking cps on for 2018 !

Friday 1 December 2017

Christmas is coming ...

...... and has arrived at St Lawrence's Church as all the trees are up and decorated. The church is open every weekend until Christmas, it's a stunning sight and a big part of my festive season.

Thank you to everyone who sent an ornament for this year's tree - Winter Wonderland. I have posted about some in previous posts however these arrived too, thank you Julie, Mary and Niki.

From Julie
From Mary
From Niki
Winter Wonderland
Close up 
Snowy look
 I have again made Hubby's advent calendar and again it's a bottle one. It's been tricky getting out to get 24 bottles but our son helped and thankfully I can now drive short distances. They all look very inviting wrapped up - cheers
Hubby's advent 
I've been spoilt this year, Hubby bought me the Yankee Candles advent calander - it smells gorgeous even without opening the windows. Today's tealight was Macaron Treats and should last 6 hours - it does smell good.

Yankee Candle advent calendar
Macaron Treats inside Number 1 
My candle shining brightly
Hubby was given an advent calendar at work - it's from a German company and is the cutest advent I've seen in ages. A log cabin with windows all round and inside Window One was a Lindt white chocolate ball safely held in a plastic mould. A brilliant product that I wish we had as advent calendars over here.
What a great idea
I hope you've all had lovely surprises behind your first window in your calendar. Enjoy December with all its fun times building up to Christmas, it isn't all about stress and shopping, there are many thing to enjoy as we move through the month to Christmas Day.

Season's Greeting to you all x x 

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Winter Wonderland and a 'hug'

I have stitched together my ornaments for my Winter Wonderland tree at Ansley Church Tree Festival. I would have liked a few more but these will have to do as I have other bits that need stitching.

I have twelve completed ornaments - all on blue backgrounds with blue fabric backing and blue ribbon. I'm going to use pale blue or white tinsel and will hopefully be able to find some white snowflakes ornaments too. I will have twelve baubles too, just finishing off the last four.

I still need to find something to put on the top of my tree - I have a silver star but it would look better with a snowflake, I'm sure I will find one.

I've had some lovely ornaments sent for my tree too - thank you. The latest one to arrive was from Gill, it's beautiful, just right for my tree.

Ornament for my Winter Wonderland Tree
We have many exchanges and SALs at Needlecraft Haven - mostly stitching and just now many of us are finding life is getting in the way so I organised an 'Autumn Hug' exchange that involved no stitching.

Our Autumn Hugs were made up of:
          • stitch, make or buy a card
          • include a few skeins of thread
          • include a pamper treat
          • include a munching treat
Yesterday was Opening Day and I received a lovely parcel from Gill, full of hugs that were perfect for me. Gill sent a pair of fluffy socks, foot soak crystals, foot lotion, glittery nail varnish,  Lindt chocolates, Watercolours thread, a beautiful heart ornament and a beautiful homemade card
 - thank you Gill.

My Autumn Hug from Gill
 I sent a Hug to Mary which included speciality threads, Twirl, Maltesers Teasers, Wine Gums, Foot Mask and body lotion - it was great fun putting together a parcel of treats.

My Hug for Mary
I best get on and finish my baubles now as we are putting the trees up at the end of November.
Happy All Saints Day to you all 

Monday 9 October 2017

WIP with Strictly

Every year at Needlecraft Haven we have a SAL coinciding with Strictly Come Dancing. It has to be a WIP or UFO and we stitch along each weekend with the show and results show and if possible during It Takes Two in the week.

Whilst Tess, Claudia and Zoe are hosting on our tv screens this section of Needlecraft Haven is hosted by Julie. Our Strictly stitching is also welcome in The Parlour each week with Barb - it is so lovely having the different activities on Needlecraft Haven hosting our members.

A few years ago I started Jardin Prive's Sampler Bouquet but I only stitched as far as the border - this is how it looked when I got it out again.

Sampler Bouquet - I hadn't done much 
I've been stitching most times Strictly is on and am really pleased with how much I have managed to finish.
Week 2
Week 3
I have also finished a few more bits for my church tree - time is running out so I must focus on this for a while. We're decorating the trees at the end of November which will soon be here.

Four more baubles

Just a small one 
Autumn is coming, I love the colours of this season but I'm not so keen on the cold weather coming. Our next exchange is a little different......  more of that next time !

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Birthday thank you

I haven't blogged since mid August - partly because we've been in France. If you want to keep up with our travels you can read about our adventures on Aimetu's

We came home Saturday 9th in time to help a good friend celebrate her 50th birthday. Julie stitched me a lovely saying for my 50th, she kindly gave me the chart which was from a magazine  and I stiched it for my friend - she loved it, thanks Julie.

The next day, Sunday, was my birthday. Our daughter came home for the weekend, our son booked the day off work so we were able to go out for a family meal; a rare occasion these days. Our daughter's boyfriend joined us and later in the day our sons best mate called by so quite a house full.

I had a lovely day, meal out, afternoon at home with my family watching the rugby followed by an evening of monopoly. Time spent together doing simple things often make the best memories.

I had some lovely gifts, thank you to everyone. My Hubby has unfortunately always told me I cannot have my dream car - a 2CV - and if I did it would be divorce. However whilst on holiday we found my dream car and he did buy it for me .... but no divorce as he will not be riding in it, it has a different passenger !
2CV with a bottle of my favourite wine 
Lovely handmade cards from
Gill and Angi
My lovely gifts - thank you everyone
Project bag from Christine - one side
Project bag from Christine - other side
My mobility is improving and the day after my birthday my daughter drove me to my physio appointment. To be honest I was a little disappointed as I wasn't given much more advice, just do exercise a couple of times a week. Being involved in elite sport my daughter thought it very poor, even allowing for me not being in the sport world.

I now have an exercise plan (3 different sets per day; morning, lunch and evening) and after just one week there is so much improvement - I just need to perk myself up now after being in the house for 6 months. 

The next big step is to drive again - however my feet are less swollen and I did manage to get my heeled shoes on - only sitting on the bed but they were on my feet - a huge boost. One day I'll be walking in them again. 

Footwear progression over 6 months 
Whilst we were away the Holiday Exchange gallery opened at Needlecraft Haven - it is so much easier to upload photos now the forum is on tapatalk. Anyway this exchange was to choose an online free chart, print it off and send it to your partner with fabric and threads to do the project. 

Once your parcel arrived we had to stitch the project and finish it in any way we wanted. I received a lovely chart - Snowman in the Window by Homespun Collectibles with 28ct Mountain Blue fabric and the relevant DMC thread. My parcel was from Mary - thank you he's lovely.  

Snowman in the Window 
I sent to Deb and chose Coeur de Noel by Passione Ricama with 28ct evenweave fabric and DMC threads. Deb stitched it into a beautiful heart shaped ornament. 

Coeur de Noel
It's been a busy September and looks like being a busy October as I have my 'Winter Wonderland' stitching to get finished for my church tree - Christmas will soon be here !!