Monday, January 16, 2017

Something old and something new!

Sooo...the tea sampler is finished, now do I complete one of my UFO's or do I start something new? Mmmm....decisions, decisions.

What if I do guilt  and satisfaction....what could be better! Teehee.

So here's my (start!) of completing the UFO's. Here's the before picture of good old Max the cat....

....just waiting on the back stitching to complete him. And here 's how he looks now...

The top panel of Max (there's three altogether) is back stitched and looking good.

And as for the satisfaction of a new start? Well this little design was added to my on-line cart while Christmas idea how that happened..... I blame Santa's elves for getting the order mixed up :)

It's another lighthouse know how I love anything to do with the beach and lighthouses! This one is stitching up extremely quickly. The sky is made up of only half stitches so I feel like I accomplished so much in just one week. The bottom part of the design has mostly full cross stitches so won't be completed quite so quickly. My plan is to do another panel of Max before I do any more of the lighthouse design.....and since I really want to work on the lighthouse, Max will be done! 

And here's a fun crochet project my daughter and I did for Christmas gifts for two Viking lovers in our family....

The pattern for the helmets can be found here. We found that the hats were a bit too large so we adapted the pattern a bit so that they fit better. They were fun to make and I have to say they were a HUGE hit on Christmas eve....well worth the effort.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, January 9, 2017


So....the tea sampler is finally finished! All the back stitch border.....which wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.... was, in fact, quite therapeutic! (I think that's the first time I have ever said that about back stitching!!!) 

So here's each block...


...and if you're counting, you'll realize that there's one missing! I didn't take a picture of the finished purple cup 'Rooibos'....oops!(That was the one that I unpicked and changed the colours) 

And here it is in all its glory...

Doesn't it look wonderful!? I'm really pleased with how this turned looks even better than it does on the picture on the kit.

So here's the details and my thoughts of the kit as I know several readers were looking for the kit.

The kit is by Design Works . 
Number JAS-047 #2596
Design by Krista Hamrick
Finished size 12' x 15" stitched on 14 count aida.


- Large black and white chart.
- Clear instructions.
- Nice bright vibrant colours.
- DMC numbers were listed ( but didn't quite match, but helped when trying to figure out what thread was what colour...see cons)


- I thought the fabric was a little too short...I prefer the fabric to be 2 or 3 inches larger than the design (For large designs like this, smaller ones  don't need quite so much!)
- Threads did not come pre-sorted. Trying to figure out which was gold, brown and rust etc was a bit tricky.
- I ran out of black thread....luckily black is one that you don't have to match, so it wasn't really a problem!
- the picture on the front of the kit looks like a computer generated simulation....a picture of the finished stitching would have been so much better....might also improve sales?!!!

Anyway...I loved stitching this piece and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Now I just have to get it framed and give it to my Dad!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year....and may 2017 be the year of your dreams!

I have to say a huge thank you (and also apologize) to the wonderful, and very talented Helen Philipps who had an amazing giveaway on her blog which I won! If you have never checked out Helen's blog, you really are missing a treat.....just click here to be transported to crafting paradise! 

I have been a fan of Helen's work for such a long time and have a couple of her books.....and now, I'm proud to say, I now have something created by her own fair hands!

Here is what she sent me.....

....of course it was all wrapped up in tissue paper and bubble wrap :)

A beautiful Cath Kidstone mug.....

 ...and Holly the rabbit...

 ....which none of the pictures can do her any justice....she's adorable!

There were also some chocolate  and candy cane goodies which didn't last long enough for me to take some pictures....can't think why!!!!

The reason I have to apologize to Helen, is that I took longer to post about her beautiful prize than I had intended. The weather here has been dull and overcast with lots of snow and I just couldn't get good pictures of her didn't help that I have come down with the sniffles....first cold of 2017....what a great start to the new year! Anyway, Helen always has the most amazing photographs on her blog, so if you want to see Holly the rabbit looking prettier than my pictures make her, click here.

So Holly is keeping me company while I work on some new designs...

...and the mug is perfect for using one of my Christmas presents from my daughter....

 ..... cute and practical tea infuser .....yes, it's a mana-tea! :)

I truly seem to have an obsession with tea cups. mugs....and, of course, tea themed cross stitch.....

...the last block is completed!  But you'll have to wait till next week to see the whole sampler! I'm such a tease....heehee.

So once again a big thank you to Helen, for her generosity....and all her wonderful carfting inspiration that she shares with us. Please do go and check out her me, you'll not be disappointed!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Advent Calendar Blog Hop!

Welcome to day 17 of the Advent Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Jo from Serendipitousstitching

So the lovely Jo gave everyone taking part a question to answer...

Decorations - do you have a favourite decoration
you must have on display every year,
maybe an heirloom, one the children made
 or something with a special story behind it?

That's an easy question.....yes I do! But not just one  favourite decoration....several! When my children were growing up we started a tradition that they could choose and buy an ornament for the tree. Every year they would get some money and we would walk into town and go to a certain shop and there they could buy any ornament that they liked. They had to go to the cash register themselves and hand over their cash (usually the  lofty sum of £1....and in those days it was a paper note!) We would then go for hot chocolate and walk  back home. I still remember their faces as their chubby little hands held onto the bag that held their treasured ornaments. Even to this day, every Christmas these decorations hold so many memories and they each discuss which one belongs to who....and why oh why do we have two of the same one? (Of course, I cannot remember the reason why!) I would never trade these cheap and tacky ornaments for anything....I LOVE them :)

My daughter loves the tradition even although we couldn't carry on doing it when we moved to the US. Years later, when she was traveling in Europe she brought back a hand made wooden ornament from Austria for me so that we could keep the tradition sweet! Here's the one she picked for me...

Hopefully it's a tradition that they might carry on with their own children one day. And yes.... I admit it, I'm a sentimental old fool :)

As for Christmas stitching.....well I seem to be working on Christmas stitching all year round! As many of you know, I design cross stitch charts so that means starting thinking about Christmas designs very early in the year! So if I'm not thinking of Christmas stitching, I'm designing Christmas stitching....and by the time that's all over with, it's time to start my own Christmas stitching. Which is why I am often singing Christmas carols in the middle of summer!!!

Here's one Christmas piece that I stitched a few years ago.....

And one of my own designs that I just completed a few months ago, but still has to be finished...

Finishing is definitely not my strength, as you have probably gathered by now if you are a regular reader :)

Please pop over to Jo's blog and check out all those taking part in the blog hop. A big thank you, of course, for Jo for organizing this.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas/Yule/winter season....whatever you celebrate.

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, December 12, 2016


So the little yellow Darjeeling tea block is now completed......

....and looking good! (Even if I say so myself!!!)

The next block has been started....but.... a couple of problems already...

Problem number one.....I have run out of the dark brown colour of the tea :(  Don't you just hate when that happens?  So, the kit gives you DMC equivalents of the threads.....but.....the colour isn't the same as the thread in the, do I email the company and wait for some replacement threads or do I unpick the dark brown and re-stitch it with the thread in my stash....mmmm, can't decide what to do.

Problem number two.....the dark purple seems to be just a bit too dark for my liking. So, do I do some more unpicking and swap a lighter shade in or do I just trust that it will look ok once the back stitching is completed? Mmmmm, what to do? 

On to some good news....I finally got round to making a card with the little birdie stitching.......remember the aperture had been cut upside down......


This little cutie will be winging it's way over to my son in California! Don't think this little fella will be needing his scarf over there :) Wish I could hand deliver it.

So, I have some decisions to make  with the tea sampler....lets hope I decide wisely, and don't regret my decisions! If you hear any muttering and moaning, it's likely to be me complaining about all the unpicking!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Almost a finished block!

Well I didn't manage to complete a tea block this week. I guess it was bound to happen.....I think I probably exhausted that turbo charged needle of mine!

The block is almost completed....

...another couple of evenings and the back stitching will be finished. 

And I realized that I haven't posted a picture of how the whole sampler look so here it is....

 ...of course, it's a bit wrinkled as I am one of those people who takes their stitching off the frame to do the back stitch and I have to crumple the fabric to be able to hold kind of un-does all the good work of having it on a fame while stitching! Rest assured it will be washed and ironed once it's all finished.

I also managed to (finally!) make some cards with some old stitching.....

....nothing too fancy but cute and perfect for some last minute birthday cards for a set of twins. Now that the paper crafting stuff is out I guess I should make an effort to get some more cards made....I do have *one or two* pieces of stitching waiting to be finished. 

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Another tea block....

 ....this time, it's green tea.  Not my favourite fact, if truth be told,  I can't stand green tea but it does looks good in cross stitch! 

I now only have three more blocks to do then the sampler is complete! Who would have guessed that I (probably the world's slowest stitcher) could complete a sampler this quickly! Hope I haven't jinxed myself by saying that :)

Not only did I complete the tea block, but I started one of the little free kits that comes with the World of Cross Stitching magazine.  I love these little kits as they are  quite quick to stitch and come with a pre-printed card and envelope......nice and easy.....usually!  

But this time...... looks like someone was having a bad day when they cut the aperture for the card!  

Guess I'll have to get out the card blanks and do some paper crafting....after the stitching is completed, of course!!!

Hope you're having a better day then whoever did the card aperture!

Until next time....happy stitching!