Saturday 25 April 2020

Smalls SAL - April

This is my first month of joining in Mary's great blog sharing idea - it's all about small stitching, any little project you have stitched, it doesn't have to be fully finished (that's Rachel's blog sharing on the 10th of every month).

Here's the full details about Small SAL 2020 - thank you Mary.

This month I have stitched two more Lizzie Kate Flip It's that Justine gave me. Apologies Justine I forgot to include them in GG this month. They are looking great, I might move the right hand designs to the left a little when I stitch the next ones. They will all be finished I individually and I just think the right margin looks a bit narrow. I have yet to decide how to finish them; with not being able to go out I haven't got the curtain yet so I'm focusing on getting them all stitched.

Lizzie Kate March
Lizzie Kate April
All four so far

As you saw in my Gifted Gorgeousness April  post I have received some flowers for my church tree. Life for us all was very different when I posted Could you help me make a bouquet? I'm so grateful to everyone offering to stitch a flower, the tree this year will be quite poignant for us all.

I have stitched two more flower heads. I like these designs, there are two more in the set and I might then restitch them in different colours. I have DMC's colour chart so I should be able to sort out three or four colours in the same dye set.

Looking at my Lizzie Kate months and my flowers I'll be doing a lot of finishing later in the year ... with us having to stay at home I might make a start on some sooner.


I have some news to share but first I want to say a HUGE thank you for all the kind messages and cards you have sent me, they have been such a help.

I also want to thank everyone who donated to our Dry January - it raised over £1600 for Cancer Research and my hospital's Breast Care Unit.

It has been a long, bumpy, twisty, scary and at times very dark road that I know others have travelled but sincerely hope no-one else does. I know I am not yet at the end of the road but my Breast Care Doctor rang yesterday with the results of my lumpectomy operation at the start of this month.

They got it all 😍😍😍 it's gone !

I have to talk with my Oncologist on Monday as there will be some more treatment so the road is still long but not so bumpy and a little straighter with the sun shining.

I am starting to feel like myself again, I still have no hair (I did try my wig yesterday but it irritates too much, it might be ok once my hair begins to grow) and I'm still quite tired but my daily walk in the garden is certainly helping.

Yesterday from our garden, with Hubby and our grown up son (hiding from the camera), we had a video link up with our daughter and her partner in Cardiff - pink champagne for everyone - it was so so nice, a moment we have all been hoping for 😍

Family Celebration 

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness - April

It's Gifted Gorgeousness time - on the 15th of each month we share our latest gifts. Any gift given or received and any item made using fabric, threads, buttons, ribbon, chart, backing fabric that has been gifted is also allowed in our GG posts. 

This great idea is hosted each month by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching,  if you visit her blog you'll find the links to everyone's Gifted Gorgeousness posts. 

Thank you so much for all the offers to stitch a flower for my church tree. When I put up my 'Could you help me make a bouquet' post I did not expect such a response. Although initially because of my diagnosis of breast cancer, with all of our lives becoming very different due to this awful virus I think the bouquet of flowers will be very special for us all.

Thank you Julie for this beautiful poppy, the first flower to arrive. It's lovely and perfect for the tree, thank you for your kindness.

Julie's poppy
Thank you Gill for your two flowers, a real surprise when I opened your envelope. A different poppy and a super sunflower, I think just the flower heads are so striking, thank you for your kindness.

Gill's poppy
Gill's sunflower
As well as sending two flowers Gill also sent a cute handmade card and  a stunning bookmark. It's such an intricate design, I love the way it develops as the stitching progresses up the bookmark. I am reading a little more than usual, I only tend to read on holiday, so I'll be making good use of my beautiful surprise gift.
Gill's card and gorgeous bookmark
My next gift is not stitching but I have to share. Last May I didn't have any stitching for my Gifted Gorgeousness May post but I had been baking as Hubby and I did a surprise 80th birthday for my Mum. Long story ... but ... we were taking Mum and Keith out for a meal in March as a joint Mother's Day/his birthday gift. However we couldn't go because of the virus restrictions and neither could we go shopping for gifts. I had no idea what to do when I suddenly had the thought of a jigsaw!

They both enjoy jigsaws but I wanted to make it a personal gift so I looked back at the photos from the Afternoon Tea and found one of both of them. I used an online service to have it made into a jigsaw for them ... they loved it. When I spoke to Mum yesterday she said they used the ribbon in the middle (it had a balloon floating from it higher than the photo) as a centre line, she did Keith's photo and he did her photo. They will do it again sometime in the future and do themselves so still a new puzzle. Although an alternative it turned out to be a great gift!

Mum and Keith's jigsaw
Mum has just sent me a photo of it finished.

Jigsaw completed 
My final piece for GG this month is stitching, it's my Easter ornament for Needlecraft Haven's Easter Exchange (you may have seen it in my previous post for Easter). This year we went hi-tech and had a virtual exchange as it is difficult for us to get to a Post Office just now. We all stitched our ornament and on Easter Sunday we posted a photo on the forum but did not say who our ornament is for.

Later this year when restrictions are lifted we'll be making up our exchange parcels and sending to our partners. It will be such a surprise to see which of the beautiful ornaments we received, they are all so lovely.

I chose a Jardin Prive design for my ornament, as soon as I saw it I knew it was just what I was looking for. I found some lovely lace edging in my stash and although it took ages to stitch onto the ornament I love the effect it gives.

Easter bunnies
Lace edging
I usually have a few gifts on the go, little things for friend's birthdays but this year with not going out (we have been completely at home for over four weeks now) I have not made so many. It doesn't seem to be a year for special birthdays either but I do have a wedding anniversary piece to do and our good friends will be grandparents in a few months (I don't start baby stitching until the little one is here).

I do hope everyone is doing ok and having whatever support they need through these unusual and challenging times .... stay well, stay safe x x

Sunday 12 April 2020

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all, I hope you have been able to call or video call your loved ones to spread Easter blessings.

It's a very different time here as there is no visit from our daughter, no big family dinner (just the three of us), no sharing of chocolate eggs (just one each which we added to our online shopping delivery) and no exchange parcel to open from Needlecraft Haven.

We have all stitched our ornaments but due to restrictions we are unable to post out our parcels.... so we are having a virtual exchange. We have all posted a photo on Needlecraft Haven of the ornament we have stitched but have not said who it is for. When life returns to how it used to be we'll be posting our exchange parcels ... it will be a great surprise to discover which one of the ornaments arrives.

I chose a Jardin Prive design for my ornament, as soon as I saw it I knew it was just what I was looking for. I found some lovely lace edging in my stash and although it took ages to stitch on I love the effect it gives.

As we cannot post our ornaments or receive the one stitched for us we have all agreed we can display them over the Easter weekend and then wrap them up awaiting postal time.

Each year I put up a branch from my Grandmother's twisted hazelnut tree. It was transplanted to our house when we moved here in 1985 on the understanding that we took good care of it. My grandparents have long since passed away but for many years the tree stood proud in out front garden ....

... however the tree grew too big, and as our family grew up so did the need for additional parking and the tree was removed. It was a very sad day, I couldn't watch but I did keep a branch which, as I said, is used every year for my Easter display.

My other ornaments are out on display too, mainly received from previous exchanges. Our neighbour surprised us the other day with a beautiful bunch of daffodils to cheer me up; the larger bunch of flowers is from my lovely Hubby.

Our daughter and boyfriend made us a cork ring ornament for Christmas. We love it, such a lovely idea with our family name in. I have removed the Christmas ribbons (safely tucked away for this year) and added some Easter decorations. I'll be changing the additional bits for different occasions, it's nice to have it hanging more than just for Christmas.

It's a difficult time for us all just now, we have to make the most of what we have. I am not to ho anywhere, even for exercise, so I have been strolling in our garden. As you can see in this photo taken from our bedroom window it isn't very big ...

... but with a little imagination it turns into the grand estate of Maison Hearnden. Take a stroll with me at Aimetu's to read about my latest travels.

Wishing you all a happy Easter 

Friday 10 April 2020

Easter Blog Hop and FFG for April

As our Easter weekend begins it's time for Jo's annual Easter Blog Hop. I love taking part in Jo's hopping, it's a great way to visit everyone's blog and say hello to friends, old and new. You need to follow the links to each blog, making a note of each letter as you go ... it will reveal a mystery phrase.

Jo asked us all to show something Easter or Spring themed that we have stitched. My photo is from 2007, I cannot believe it was so long ago. It was a mail art exchange in which we also made an Easter card ... I posted mine overseas, those lambs are so cute aren't they.

The next blog you need to hop to is but before you go you'll need my letter too ... I wonder what this year's mystery phrase will be.

You can find the links to everyone's blog at Serendipitous Stitching, thanks Jo for organising another great hop, especially now in these uncertain times.


As it's the 10th of the month it is also Fully Finished Gallery hosted by Rachel.

I have just one finished item this month, well I actually have two but you will have to pop back Sunday to see the other one as it is for an exchange.

The finish I can share is another card for the craft fair at scouts whenever that may be. It's another cover kit that I do not have the chart for ... it was tricky working out the colours as some were very similar. It was also tricky doing the bristly part of the design as it was two different colours to make each thread.

As a result of all my stitching my orts jar is filling up. At the end of each year I stitch a Christmas ornament and stuff it with the year's orts ... this may be a bumper year!

Good Friday blessings to you all, stay safe! 

Saturday 4 April 2020

Let the People Choose - Modern Samplers

I am really enjoying being part of Jo's Let the People Choose each month, I only joined this year and it isn't always easy to find relevant pieces but it is making me look back at my previous projects bringing great memories. It's more than just a blog post, thanks Jo.

This month it's Modern Samplers .... so what is modern and what is a sampler.

The dictionary definition of modern is 'relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past'

Wikipedia's definition of a sampler is

 'a needlework sampler is a piece of embroidery or cross-stitching
produced as a 'specimen of achievement', demonstration or a test 
of skill in needlework. It often includes the alphabet, figures, motifs, decorativeborders and sometimes the name of the person who embroidered it and the date'

I have stitched many pieces that I would say were samplers but using the definitions above they are more like saying or quotes. Having spent a very enjoyable time looking through my photos I have decided these two projects are the ones to share this month.

Mum's project bag for her 80th birthday
Last year was my Mum's 80th and she was away on a cruise for her actual birthday. Mum is a crafter too, mainly quilting but tasting, crocheting, card making and other small crafts.

This beautiful design is Scissors and Bobbins from Jardin Prive, I stitched the main design for the project bag and then used parts of the design to make a scissor pouch, needlecase and a tape measure. Due to flight and cruise restrictions I couldn't include scissors so I included a Clover cutter and used a cotton reel to hold it.

My step-dad hid it in his case, Mum was very surprised to receive it on her birthday at sea mid way between England and Canada.

Sampler aux Bouquets - Jardin Prive
I am so pleased with this piece, it hangs in our bedroom.  I started it quite a few years ago but it got left unfinished for a while. I picked it up again in 2018 and finally finished it.

It's a three part design, you can stitch each part as a separate piece or stitch as one large design. I absolutely love it, it makes me smile every morning as I sit in bed with my coffee looking straight at it.

Both my pieces are from Jardin Prive, there are so many beautiful samplers and I am so tempted to do others but I do have another one of her designs finished and waiting to be framed .... my first task once the restrictions are over.

Stay safe everyone x x

Thursday 2 April 2020

I'm home

Morning all ..... I'm home 🙂

I won't lie yesterday was not the nicest days I've had. 8.30am at Coventry Hospital for a pre-op procedure (you don't want to know and I'm not telling 🤫) followed by an operation at Nuneaton in Day Theatre and finally home 7.30pm 😔

I'm feeling ok, bit washed out but the scar is in a less restrictive place so a bit easier than last time. It's a pj day as that is easier to check my dressings but not a sofa day as I'm hoping to enjoy a coffee outside as the sun is shining.

I am still self isolating, as are Nick and Michael; my follow ups will be by phone but I have a scheduled hospital appointment later in April, this of course may change. So now it's a time to get stronger, get the last bits of drugs out my body, calm my mind and hope the op results are good.

I cannot thank the NHS staff enough: my consultant, the Breast Care nurses, the radiographers, the theatre staff, the recovery team and everyone who works behind the scenes to keep it all going. Focus on the news is the virus but the NHS is still looking after other patients, certainly less in numbers and I think soon this will change. Patient wise we were very small in number, usually one in one but we were spaced apart and I only saw three other patients, I was the only one in theatre recovery whereas before the bays have been full.

All staff were protected for my safety and theirs, face masks on everyone, one dedicated nurse per patient, constant hand washing, changing gloves and aprons (why I think there is a shortage, they get through so many so quickly) and sanitising everything. One nurse is now off three days ... her priority is the ease her hands, they were red raw from the constant washing, hand gel, glove routine .... it really is dedication 😍

Thank you so much for all your messages, it's been a long, troublesome road that happened out the blue and hit us all. Your kindness has really helped, thank you 😘😘😘

Our son Michael has stayed home too, great cooking ... he's thinking of making pretzels next 😘 With technology help Philippa have been chatting online, she lives in Cardiff with her partner Michael, it's hard being separated but it's good to video call so we do see each other 😘😘

HUGE thank you to my amazing hubby Nick, I could not have got through this without him both at hospital visits, at home looking after me and supporting me emotionally .... I know yesterday was a long day for both of us 😍

Hopefully the news will be good when I next see my consultant and the next steps will be a little easier, thank you everyone, stay safe x xx