Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mill Hill Buttons and Beads kit finished!

If you remember I began an SAL not so long ago to stitch one of the Mill Hill Buttons and Beads kits. A few of us joined in and a board was set up over at Needlecraft Haven. Well, here is the result of my efforts. I absolutely adore this. I really am amazed at how gorgeous this little kit was to make and finish. I have enjoyed every single stitch of it. I have tried my best to capture the sparkle and magic but the camera just doesn't do it justice. I have tried to take pictures of it from various angles so this is what I managed to snap. As you can see, I bought the frame for it and just went with the plain blue one but there are so many different frames to go with these designs.
The amount of beading was immense. I broke a beading needle and think I ripped a tiny part of the design at one point which you can't see so my big tip is that when you do the beads on this design, just thread one strand through the needle and then double the thread instead of trying to thread two strands through.
The beads were placed in all sorts of different ways; the hardest to place being the petite beads as you have to stitch through them twice. Quite tricky but doable.
I have really tried to capture the sparkle that the beads show. They are truly awesome in real life especially in the evening when you catch reflections of the lamp.
Framing it brought another little problem as there are no catches on the back of the frame to hold the design in place so my husband very kindly making taped it neatly down. Voila!
A lovely project and I would definitely do another.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I received an exchange!

Was very blessed to receive this beautiful exchange package from Michelle yesterday. Michelle moderated the spring exchange on HOE but unfortunately my partner disappeared and did not come through on her part. So I want to say a big thank you to Michelle who created this special exchange replacement for me. It is beautiful and perfectly stitched and finished and already in use! Superb extras too. Thank you so much. Xx

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back to school

Hello all! Just a quick one to say my laptop is in hospital for repairs (I'm typing this on my phone) and so won't have it for a couple of weeks. I've been busy making my giveaway gift for Cucki and will send it off at the weekend hopefully. I'll pop up some pictures once it has arrived at its destination!

I'm back at work now and summer seems such a long way away - a distant memory now. Here's a picture of my children on their first day back at school. My daughter started secondary school and she looks super smart! I'm actually teaching her now for 12 periods a week and it is working out great! So far so good.

I'll try and see if I can get my Cornwall pictures up as well in a separate post as I really want to keep a record of that holiday.

Bear with me until my laptop returns! Xxx

Friday, August 22, 2014

Drumroll please................

 The names were written.........
My special helper was employed..........
And the winner is Cucki!!! Yay well done Cucki. Please forward me your address details. I am off to think about a nice little something to send to you. Thanks to all who entered. I wish I could send you all something.
Meanwhile, I have finished my first block of Shores. I absolutely love how this is turning out.
I did have a slight dilemma with the face though. I don't particularly like faces on suns and so I ummed and ahhed a long time before deciding to just keep the face on. I think there is another block with the face on the sun as well.
I still need to do a Cornwall post and a London trip post as well now. I am off to visit my dear friend Tracy next week so I am sure to have some stitchy progress to show.
Till then friends, happy stitching and crafting.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And it's a finish!

Firstly, thank you all so much for the welcome back to stitchy blogland in my last post. I was truly moved to see lots of familiar faces and new ones too. It was nice to hear that others have been feeling the same way as me in regards to the blogging community. I hope I might have spurred some of you on a bit. I know you have definitely spurred me on. Thank you! Thank you to everyone who entered into my little giveaway as well. I am really looking forward to just blessing someone's day. If you haven't entered yet then there is still time. It is running until the 21st August and all you have to do is comment that you would like to be entered and tell me what your favourite colour and style of finishing is in this post here.
I have been hard at it on my pocketbook and finished the stitching on it on Sunday night and spend a long, lazy afternoon today finishing it off. So here's my BIG little finish. I really love how this has turned out.
Stitcher's pocketbook by Kirsten Edwards
Gift of Stitching online magazine
32 count Belfast Vintage Country Mocha
Rajmahal art silks as specified.
I hope you can see how shiny those threads are. It really was a joy to stitch and I have a few other pocketbooks from the same online magazine that I would like to do in the near future.
Now, I still need to do a Cornwall post and also I have been trying my hand at Hardanger so I thought I would show you my efforts on that line but that is for another post. So I will love you and leave. Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Thinking...... and a giveaway!!

In my last post I mentioned I had been doing a lot of thinking about this little blog of mine. I realise that I have not blogged very much at all this year - or last year looking at it. Life got in the way. About a week or two ago, however, I began looking through my stitching stash. This was the result of meeting up with a bunch of great girls over at Nimble Thimble last month. We met, we talked, we stitched and back bounced my long absent stitching mojo. So if you don't mind, I will be dedicating this post to stitching.
Where was I? Yes, so after the meet up, I decided to have a raid through my stitching stash and a happy hour or two was spend browsing through stash I had built up over the last few years. Plenty of beautiful charts that I had made plans to stitch but never did. Some were kitted. Some were not. Charts from Blackbird Designs, La-D-Da, Little House Needleworks, Carriage House, Heartstring Samplery, Exampler Dames..... and on and on. But what was more heart-warming and more lovely than any of those beautiful charts, more warming than a mug of cocoa, more special than waking up on Christmas morning (if this was indeed possible) was a bunch of cards I found. These cards were sent to me by stitchers who I had exchanged with in the past. These cards were not just signed, "love X," but were written with heartfelt messages and kindness. It brought tears to my eyes. I have all my exchanges and hand made gifts in a glass cabinet in my stitching room. They are all there. Biscornus, flat folds, scissor fobs, pin keeps, cubes, cushions, stitching wallets.... so many beautiful items. I remembered the joy of stitching up these exchanges and the anticipation of hearing they had arrived safely and also waiting for my surprise to arrive. I remember winning the Cross Stitcher's Lottery one year - right after I had had my second baby and how exciting to get so many gifts in the post! I began to carefully look and fondle those prizes and exchanges and really had a moment - an epiphany. It struck me that crochet is very much a selfish hobby and as lovely as it is, I have never felt that same sense of community I once had with the stitching exchanges and lovely stitching bloggers.
You guys have stuck with me over the years, through good times and through some incredibly hard times. Some of you have still continued to read and comment on my posts even when it seemed I would never stitch again, when it seemed I had turned my back on stitching and "ran offed" with Mr Crochet. Words can't really express how I have been feeling. I think one of the reasons my posts became fewer was that I became so disheartened when Webshots changed and I lost all my pictures from all my posts. This was a terrible blow and I did begin to try and find the pictures and repost some of them but I only got back to 2011 and so need to try and do a bit more. Sometimes though it is hard to remember which blogger sent which gift and when, there were so many of them.
I long to get back that sense of community once again and some of you will notice that I have been visiting your blogs and commenting. It has been fun to reconnect (virtually) with some of you again and so I want to say a big thank you to all my stitching friends - old and new and as a thank you I am hosting a little giveaway. I am going to make something for one special blogger. I haven't decided on what it will be yet - it will depend on who wins. It will be a surprise. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite colour is and what your favourite types of finishes are and in a couple of weeks I will pull a name out of the hat. Old and new friends are welcome to join and if you let people know on your blog then I will give you an extra chance. Just make sure to let me know in a separate comment that you have posted about it on your blog. The aim of this giveaway is for me to give back and to recreate some of that excitement I once felt when I did giveaways. It is to share the love of stitching and to hopefully make some new stitching buddies along the way. So in honour of my late brother's birthday, I will pick a name out on August 21st.
Okay, back to the return of my mojo. My dear stitching friend Tracy and I decided that in order to restart our mojo we would begin to SAL every Monday or Tuesday night once a week. This did me the world of good and I started a project that I had kitted up for some time. It is the All Things Counted English Silk Sampler Pocketbook by Kirsten Edwards from the Gift of Stitching magazine. I am so close to finishing this and then all I have to do is make it up which doesn't look too difficult. The Rajmahal art silks are a joy to work with. I thought they would be a nightmare but they are not. The are soft and hardly knot up at all. The effect is stunning. Very shiny and smooth. There are a number of speciality stitches in this so hope you can see them in the pictures. Some of the pictures taken in the evening show up the sheen better so I have included some evening pics too:
Whilst in Cornwall, I decided that it would be very apt for me to have a new start and so I began Shores of HRH. I know that many of you have completed this design already and I have had this kitted up with the 40 count Lakeside linen ready to go for years but the 40 count frightened me to be honest. It was only whilst at the Nimble Thimble meet up that my good friend Tina showed me her Mighty Bright Vusion clip on magnifier and light. What a difference this little gadget makes! I got mine from here and I am never looking back. Look! You can see what a difference the magnifier makes. It takes a bit of getting used to but absolutely brilliant.
I thought I would never be able to stitch on such fine count fabric as my eyes are getting a little blurry when I hold things close up these days. So here is my start on Shores. I am using DMCs and a little NPI. There was a little lighthouse in view from our window in Cornwall so this design is quite special to me. It reminds me of one of the best seaside holidays I have been on but more about that in another post.
Another thing that has inspired me is that I noticed someone posted on their blog about Youtube vlogs so I went off to have a peek. Some that I have subscribed to are Mrs Milkybar Kid, Stitching Mae, The Lovely Array amongst others. I have been really inspired by these girls and their stunning projects. Their stash hauls make me feel so much better as well! So go and have a look and be enabled. I was even thinking maybe I could do one myself? Hmmm... thinking about it. What are your thoughts?
Oh on another exciting note, Tracy and I are going to be doing a Christmas Stitch a long on one of the Mill Hill buttons and beads designs. This one to be exact.
Winter Wonderland
There are loads in the series and so I have set it up as a SAL on the Needlecraft Haven board to see if anyone would care to join us? You would all be welcome whether you are in the UK or overseas. It is a free forum and very friendly too. I am Craftylucyloo on there. I have seen these designs made up in real life and they are exquisite. The beads are so sparkly and I think the little kits are a bargain as you get everything in them including the beads, threads, perforated paper etc. You can even purchase the matching frames so that you can just pop in your finished piece so a lot cheaper than going to get them framed. I thought these would be cute to do for Christmas so this is an open invitation to anyone who would like to join us.
I think I am going to hunker down and try to get some of my wips finished this summer.  Elisabeth Lillie is still sitting in my bag waiting to be finished. Quaker Christmas is also looking sad and neglected as is Helen Bell's multiplication sampler. Therefore, I am hereby dedicating myself to posting more frequently and having you friends to be accountable to! If that is okay with you guys?
Don't forget about my giveaway and please do mention it so we can try and recreate that spirit of giving in this community once more.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Good Morning Cornwall!!

Woken by stunning sunset views this morning! 

How blessed am I? 

I've been doing a LOT of thinking recently and will be back very soon with a proper update. 
Love you lots xxxxxxx

Saturday, June 07, 2014

About Kitchens...

I think I may have mentioned in my last post about life being so incredibly busy right now. This last month has been no exception. Work, children, husband, birthdays, church and conferences have all woven into my time and crafting has had to take a little back seater although I have done a couple a things and started a new blanket.
One thing that has happened since my last post is that we now have a new kitchen. Before it was kind of falling apart and in the seven years we have lived in this house, we have never done anything with it so we felt it was time to give it a much needed face lift.
Handles were falling off cupboard doors and doors were falling off drawers. It really was getting a tad old and desperate. Although you can't see it in the pictures, these two rooms were separated by a rather 1980's arched wall. We got rid of the joining wall and made it into one room which has made it much brighter and more spacious. New cupboards and cooker and fridge and floor...
It looks a little cold and unlived in at the moment and that is due to it not being quite finished yet. All we need now are some tiles and blinds and a spot of colour. A few accessories wouldn't go amiss either but we will have to wait for some funds to build up again before we can get anything else.
We had a nightmare with the cooker. I desperately wanted a Rangemaster but getting one proved difficult. We ordered and paid for one only to be told a week later that it was going to take a good couple of weeks for it to get to us (problem with the manufacturer we were told). We had been without a cooker for four weeks when it finally arrived only to be dropped and broken on the way in! So another week ensued although, to be fair, the place we bought it from did provide us with a temporary cooker while we waited.
So today was the day it finally arrived. My lovely new cooker. So desperate was I to try it out, I baked a cake. I love baking but one of the things I got fed up of was that every time I baked a cake, it burnt on the top and never done quite right in the middle. Or, it would burn on one side and be lovely and golden on the other. This would never do! I think the old oven we had had really had its day.
I went with a recipe from Lucy's blog. The Lemon Drizzle.
In it went...
Ahhh look at that. Lovely, clean, brand-spanking new oven!
A bit longer.......
Ta da!!! A perfectly, golden, risen beauty!!! Mmmmmm. It tastes so light and airy and completely lemony. First bake out of the new oven... very impressive!
New oven you are my new best friend!!!
Thanks for listening to me drone on about this topic so very close to my heart. I promise you a crafty post is on its way but for now, here's a little sneak peak....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The One I Nearly Forgot..

Well here we are - a second post in less than a week! What is the world coming to?
Happy Easter everyone! We have been celebrating the weekend at our wonderful Church and making a toilet roll resurrection! The little peeps loved this activity although I found it hard and humbling to put Jesus on the cross at 12pm Good Friday. They were excited to put him in the tomb at 3pm and even more excited to roll the stone away this morning! Yay!! Jesus is alive. He is a good God.
Yesterday we headed for the beach which is over an hours drive from us at Formby. What a stunningly beautiful day. Here are a couple of snaps.
I realised that there was a blanket I finished a while back which I completely forgot to photograph and post up. How could I forget it. It is one of the most beautiful blankets I have made so far in terms of colour and simplicity. Obviously, I love all my blankets. Uh huh - every single one has its own character and feel and has a story all of its own. This one was inspired by a picture on Pinterest. This one I think it was. I adored the colour sequence and wondered if I might be able to find some similar colours here in the UK. You may remember the post I began it.  Well, here she is in her finished glory!
I really think I could make her a few rounds longer but I had kind of had enough by this point although I have left off the edging as 1) It looks pretty enough as it is and 2) I can always add later rounds. Hope you enjoy the pics!
It really is the most snuggly blanket ever. It really is a wool eater blanket though so be warned!
I think I cracked it. Don't you?