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 Privรฉ
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.

Monday 8 January 2018

January's off to a good start

I hope you 2018 has started well - it is certainly going to be a very different year for us as Hubby is retiring at the end of January. He's worked for Landrover for 39 years and has decided to leave work early and join me in retirement - he's 56 :-)

It is so nice that all our years of careful planning, not over stretching have paid off and we can now enjoy our time a little earlier than expected. We've plenty of plan including a few holidays and a new car :-)

I have also had a good start to 2018 - at my first Ankle Class of the year I have been promoted to just a walking stick - whoo hoo. I was using just one crutch but it was cumbersome and I was leaning to that side so physio has moved me up. I'm also progressing in class and am now able to complete more of the exercises set so here's hoping things start moving a little faster.

Stitching wise I have been working on my Sampler Bouquet - it's going in our bedroom. I'm trying to get it stitched quickly so it can be framed and put up as the walls are a little bare as yet.

The next panel completed
I have quite a few gifts to stitch in 2018, as well as birthdays (some special) there's a wedding too. The first of this year's gifts was a bookmark for my friend Gill, it's always tricky for Postie as her birthday is at the very start of January, but he made it :-)

I stitched Gill a blackwork bookmark using Weeks Dye Works whiskey, I'm so pleased with how the variegation worked out.

I have Needlecraft Haven's monthly challenge to do and another birthday is approaching fast so I best get stitching. Here's to a stitch filled 2018.