Sunday 31 December 2023

Happy New Year

Wishing all my friends in blogland a healthy and happy new year.

2024 is waiting to be filled with memories so lets get filling πŸ₯³

Today is also a birthday day... Needlecraft Haven is 13 years old today. A very special place filled with true friendship.

Happy Birthday Needlecraft Haven πŸ₯³



Friday 29 December 2023

December Smalls

Mary at Mary's Thread is the lovely host of the Smalls SAL. On the last Friday of the month we share our small stitching items that we have completed but not necessarily fully finished. 

Mary has decided to hand the reins over so in 2024 Rachel will be hosting the Smalls SAL each month. 

Thank you Mary, your monthly SAL has been such a help over the years with my church ornaments, I wish you busy needles in 2024.

I have decided I am going to try and get sorted with my bits and bobs stored in various bags and boxes. Some need making up, some need the stitching completing and others just need doing.

My first small falls in the last category, it's a plastic canvas kit that has been in my stash for ages. I'm not a fan of kits because it takes me so long to sort the coloured threads and decide which is which. 

Anyway this little kit is stitched, I quite enjoyed seeing the partridge coming to life as I fid the back stitch. 


My other two smalls are also on plastic canvas, I'm trying to use it up as I seem to have quite a bit in my stash. 

They are two Father Christmases that I found the charts for in my folders of saved magazine pages. I'm not sure about the blue one, it's hard to see the tree he is holding but I'm sure they will find a use once completed. 



I'm hoping to make them all up soon so they can be included in Rachel's Fully Finished Objects blog post on the 10th of January, it will be a good start to the new year.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year 🎊


Monday 18 December 2023

Advent Calendar Blog Hop - take two

It's my turn again in the annual Advent Calendar Blog Hop organised by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. Sadly this year Jo didn't have enough bloggers sign up so she has been doing extra days, I offered to do another so here's my Advent Calendar Blog Hop take two!

If you visit Jo's blog you can follow the Advent Blog each day and read everyone's Santa stories. I have already shared mine on day 14 so this time my story is about Father Christmas' gifts.

When I was young my stocking always had an apple, orange and small bag of nuts in. They were always at the very bottom hee hee

Our son who is a sound sleeper would never sleep the night before his birthday or Christmas. Father Christmas has had to revisit his room as sometimes he was still awake at 2am. He would always wake up early too (5am was late for him) so he was allowed to open one present before we all got up when stockings were brought into our room and our bed soon buried in ripped wrapping paper. 

As we all know Father Christmas is a very clever person, the top gift on our son's stocking was always a book which kept him quiet until proper morning.

I have already shared my Christmas exchange stitching and my other Christmas stitching is still a surprise so I'll show again the ornament I made our daughter and new husband for their tree this year, and the one I made in 2019 for their first Christmas together.





Hubby and I have had coughs/colds for a month now. It meant I couldn't visit my Mum  when she was in hospital and have only called by once since she's been home. Mum has LPD and is on permanent oxygen. On Friday Hubby and I decided to not go out for his birthday (21st) or join in the parties at the scout HQ this coming weekend so it would be safer for Mum to come to us for Christmas dinner. We haven't really been out anyway as we have both felt unwell. 

Yesterday DH tested positive for Covid, I was negative. We've both had the latest vaccinations and DH doesn't feel too unwell, mainly cold like symptoms. Unless we are both negative from Saturday our Christmas will be delayed .... oh well, just another blip in our lives, fingers crossed it all works out ok. 


Friday 15 December 2023

Gifted Gorgeousness in December

 


Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted each month by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. GG, on the 15th of each month, is when we share our latest gifts. These can be gifts given or received, or any item made using fabric, threads, buttons, ribbon, chart, backing fabric that has been gifted. If you visit Jo's blog you'll find the links to everyone's Gifted Gorgeousness posts.

This is the final GG of 2023, thank you Jo for hosting this super blog sharing every month. 

My first and most important GG is from Jo herself, throughout the year she gifts to all of us her time .... time to organise Blog Hops for us all to enjoy. It was my turn yesterday to be part of this year's Advent Hop, it was a pleasure to join in, thank you Jo for all you do and give to us all. 

The 1st December each year is Opening Day for our Christmas Exchange at Needlecraft Haven. This year my ornament was from Mary, a beautiful snowman with matching backing fabric. Mary also stitched me a lovely robin card which I hope I can turn into an ornament to put on our tree next year.




My ornament made it's way to Christine, I too stitched a snowman. I just couldn't resist his smiley face and robin friend.


I haven't yet visited church to see all the trees as Hubby and I have been under the weather with the nasty cold bug going round. We are hoping to visit Sunday so I will post about it soon. 

This is my White Tree, first put up in 2019 which was our daughter and then boyfriend's first Christmas. It seemed perfect to show it again for this year following their wedding in the summer, I added six hardanger hearts and the beautiful hardanger ornament that DJ sent. 



My final Gifted Gorgeousness in 2023 really surprised me and brought a massive smile to my face. As well as my ornament and card Mary sent a gift direct from 123stitch. I have looked at these many many times but have never ordered one as it needed to come from the USA.

I am beyond excited to have a book dedicated to my stitching, 2024 will be a very exciting year of stitching and I might be a little better at scheduling my finishing and blogging (I am always up late the night before a gift needs posting or giving). Thank you so so much Mary.


Thank you everyone for a lovely year in blogland. I've loved seeing everyone's wips, ufos and finishes and I look forward to seeing more in 2024.

I'll leave you with my best gift of the year: my family all together at our daughter's wedding, a gift to be treasured 😍



Thursday 14 December 2023

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

It's my turn in the annual Advent Calendar Blog Hop organised by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. If you visit Jo's blog you can follow the Advent Blog each day and read everyone's Santa stories, this year the theme.

As a youngster my Grandparents always took me to the Co-op to see Father Christmas and when our children were younger we took them too. Sadly it's been many years since they had a Father Christmas Grotto in fact the store is now closed and the area being redeveloped. 

I remember one year when our children were young we had to enter a small room made out like a sleigh. We all sat tight as the 'sleigh' bumped along and moving pictures on the wall gave the impression of us travelling to the North Pole. At the end of our journey the front of the sleigh opened to reveal Father Christmas in his Grotto ... all the children squealed with delight. One of the TV adverts this year is exactly this ... timeless.

We don't have a chimney so Father Christmas used to land on the roof and click his fingers to appear in the house, but only if no-one was peeping πŸ˜‚ A traditional glass of sherry and mince pie was always left out for Father Christmas along with a carrot for Rudolph, I'm not sure if the other reindeer ever got any!

My Christmas stitchy photo is the Christmas ornament I have just made for Christine for the Needlecraft Haven Christmas Exchange which we opened on 1st December. 


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday 10 December 2023

Fully Finished in December

 


Rachel, Ten Hour Stitcher, is the lovely host of Fully Finished Objects, it's been a super year of sharing and seeing everyone's finishes. It really is a super chance for us to show and tell about the crafty items we have completely finished and I'm looking forward to all the FFO's in 2024.

Thanks Rachel, your FFO prompt each month really helps me finish my projects instead of them still in my project folders and I do love seeing all the lovely projects that others have stitched. 

My final FFO of 2023 is not stitching but is stitchy related, although in some ways it isn't fully finished. 

Many years ago my Mum gifted me a beautiful DMC box that had previously been a display box for threads in a haberdashery shop. Sadly it lives under my dressing table and I haven't really used it.


I have decided to change that and have now lined each drawer, of course the paper I had wasn't the same size so it took some clever cutting ... the lined drawers are my FFO as I have been meaning to do this for many many years. So my project has not been sitting in a drawer ... it is the drawer πŸ˜‚


One reason I have never used the drawers is because the skeins are slightly short and slide around. I bought some stitch bows for a project but I'm not keen on them, where do you put spare thread! However they are perfect size for a full skein so I am slowly buying a few at a time and putting my spare threads on them in the drawers. 


I am sure there will be space in the lower drawers for my speciality threads although I won't be using the stitch bows but hopefully they will be ok. 

Thanks again Rachel for a great year of Fully Finished Objects.

Saturday 2 December 2023

Let the People Choose - December

 


After quite a long absence I'm rejoining in with Jo's fun blog idea for the first Saturday of the month. Jo at Serendipitous Stitching asks for theme suggestions which are then voted on by members of IHSW Group on Facebook. The favourite choices are the themes for that month's post ... it's chocolate for December 🀩

Surprisingly I don't have much chocolate stitching but I do add a chocolate treat in the Needlecraft Haven exchanges, here's a selection of exchanges I have sent from exchanges across the years.

Our daughter is dairy intolerant so for a previous Christmas I put together her own chocolate jar filled with Moo free chocolates. 


Yesterday was the first of December and advent calendar time. Every year I put together a treat advent for my Hubby, previously beer but he always says he can't drink it all. So this year (and because I couldn't go secret shopping for anything large or heavy) I have put together a chocolate advent, each day one of his favourites (4 varieties in total). I found the perfect little basket too.



It's been great fun joining in Let the People Choose. Next month the theme is Designer of 2024 ... I'll have to get thinking, I wonder if that's future planning designer or favourite past πŸ€”

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Gifted Gorgeousness in November

The 15th of each month means it's Gifted Gorgeousness time, the time each month when we share our latest gifts. These can be gifts given or received, or any item made using fabric, threads, buttons, ribbon, chart, backing fabric that has been gifted.

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 Jo for hosting another year of GG, it's great fun posting and reading and keeps me visiting blogland! 

At the end of October I took part in the Needlecraft Haven Autumn Exchange. It's always fun taking part in our exchanges even though we are only a few. My beautiful ornament was stitched by Julie, it is now hanging at the top of my ornament tree, it looks lovely, thank you Julie. 


Although the exchange did not require additional items Julie also included some love threads and ribbon in my parcel. They were all wrapped in tissue paper with the leaves as decorations. I managed to save the leaves, they make a perfect addition to my autumn dish.



My Autumn Exchange parcel travelled across country to Gill. I stitched an autumn heart of leaves with all the colour changes, it was quite a tricky stitch but I love the effect. I included a few cosy treats, warming hot chocolate and a bar of caramelised hazelnut chocolate. 


These next two GG items go back quite a few years. My Black Labrador picture was the start of two overseas friendships. We had a beautiful black lab so I bought the chart to stitch, only to find it only had one half of the chart. I put a message on the 123stitch forum and two lovely ladies, one in Canada the other in the US, replied that they had the chart and sent over a copy. That was over 25 years ago and we have been pen friends ever since, and since the pandemic we have enjoyed a few video calls.


My Millennium sampler chart was a gift from my Hubby in 1999 and took me 18 months to complete. It came on all our holidays, I have fond memories of stitching on the ferry boat on the way to Norway. As with the Black Labrador picture it has been in our attic for many years but now we have turned our smallest bedroom into the 'Snug' they are both hanging on our walls again.


My final gift is a very special one. When our daughter and then boyfriend moved into their first home I stitched them a 'first' ornament which is in my 2019 post. I have just realised that was the year I first did the White Tree at church so it's very apt that I'm doing that theme again this year as it is their first year as Mr & Mrs. 

To mark this special Christmas I stitched this gorgeous ornament from Cross Stitcher magazine although I did change the hat and scarf colour to red (it was originally blue). The backing fabric was also a gift, some fabric I gave to my Mum from the above mentioned holiday to Norway and because she is no longer using her fabrics she has given me any she had left ... more memories, more connections, isn't life amazing at times. 


It's the time of year for gifts and I have finally sorted my stitching 'to do' list. I'm looking forward to stitching them but mostly giving ... the best part of Christmas. It doesn't have to be anything big, it can be a simple as a hug, a phone call or just time but giving is the best thing you gift. 

Enjoy your season preparations, happy giving! 

Friday 10 November 2023

Fully Finished in November

Rachel, Ten Hour Stitcher, is the lovely host of Fully Finished Objects. It's a super chance for us to show and tell about the crafty items we have completely finished.

I have made some hardanger hearts to add to this year's tree which is a rehanging of the White Tree. 


I will be announcing next year's tree in January, I need to check but I think it's a big one next year.

Thanks for calling by, your comments really mean a lot.

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Halloween Trick or TreatBlog Hop

  πŸŽƒπŸ¦‡πŸ‘»πŸ•Έ Happy Halloween πŸ•ΈπŸ‘»πŸ¦‡πŸŽƒ

It's that time of year when we celebrate anything spooky, All Hallow's Eve is a celebration of the dead the day before All Saint's Day when we celebrate all who did good. Nowadays it's a chance to dress up and decorate our homes with ghosts, spiders, ghouls and most importantly pumpkins. 

I don't carve a pumpkin now our children are grown up but I do decorate the lounge with my Halloween ornaments, although some are more harvest/autumn than Halloween. 

Halloween also means it's Blog Hop time thanks to the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. You need to collect a letter from each blog to reveal a Mystery Phrase. Pop over to Jo's blog to see the list of bloggers who have a spooky letter ....

..... my letter is 


Jo asked us all to include a photo of something we have stitched for Halloween. My stitching is my October from Drawn Thread's calendar series. I stitched them many years ago and finished them as box ornaments. A few years ago I took them apart and changed them into flat pieces of fabric backed with interfacing, I change them in my frame each month. 


Keep my letter safe and follow the Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2021 by visiting 

http://astridxstitching.blogspot.com

I'll leave you with my decorations including my new leaf dish filled with Chinese lanterns from my garden.





Have a super Halloween be that enjoying a film, dressing up, pumpkin carving or just eating treats (no-one likes a trick), have fun being spooky πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸ¦‡

Friday 27 October 2023

October Smalls

Mary at Mary's Thread is the lovely host of the Smalls SAL. On the last Friday of the month we share our small stitching items that we have completed but not necessarily fully finished. 

Thank you Mary for hosting this great SAL, it's a super way to see everyone's little stitching and to remind me to share my stitching.

I have been working on six hardanger hearts for this year's tree at church. I am reshowing The White Tree from 2019 with these added hearts for our family as it's a wedding year. I also have a beautiful hardanger ornament to add from DJ, details in my GG April post.



I will add white ribbon hangers to them all and decorate the tree with white tinsel and white lights. I'll be sharing the photos in December.

My other small was not made by me but another crafty creature. I'm not a fan of spiders, especially when they visit my home, but I do admire their work in their own environment. This morning it was a little bit foggy which highlighted the delicate web on my bird hanger, such beautiful crafting.

It's Halloween next week, my decorations are up, I'll share them on Tuesday πŸŽƒ

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Gifted Gorgeousness in October

The 15th of each month means it's Gifted Gorgeousness time, the time each month when we share our latest gifts. These can be gifts given or received, or any item made using fabric, threads, buttons, ribbon, chart, backing fabric that has been gifted.

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 Jo for hosting another year of GG, it's great fun posting and reading and keeps me visiting blogland! 

My stitched gifts this month have been seen in my Fully Finished Objects post but it's always good to look again. They are the coaster mat I stitched for Hubby's aunt who turned 90 in September and the six Christmas ornaments I sent to Catherine for the Ronald McDonald House. 



I received some lovely charts and threads for my birthday from my good friend Gill. I'm hoping to stitch them next year along with some other long awaited projects. 


I had a lovely birthday, early September, with a little trip away to see Kynren show in Yorkshire. It was just after the wedding so felt like the celebrations went on for many days. September has been quite busy in lots of ways so our holiday in Turkey last week was perfect to relax and recharge, and is why I'm late posting. 

The hotel reception manager has been so good to us over the 9 years we have been going, again this year she sorted perfect rooms for us and our friends. It's her birthday in October so I stitched a coaster for her, she was delighted and amazed at the stitches. 



My final few photos are not stitchy gifts, they are the best gift you can receive.... memories! 

The official wedding photos have arrived, here's a couple of my favourites.

When I first saw my beautiful daughter in her dress

Hubby's turn to see our little girl all grown up

A very proud Dad

My handsome son, my escort into the wedding

Hubby, me, our son and his girlfriend 

Mr and Mrs Lang

The confetti was dried roses from our and local friends' gardens

Hubby's speech

Cake cutting time

Philippa had a second dress for the evening

What an amazing dayπŸŽ‰