Saturday, March 31, 2012

Summertime strawberries

Nothing says summer quite like some fresh strawberries...don't you agree? So, when I was asked to do a summertime jam jar cover project for Craftseller magazine, I just knew I had to have some strawberries in there somewhere! This was such a fun project to do, in fact I enjoyed it so much that I'm going to do it again, and you know that I very rarely do that. Anyway, let me show you the jam jar cover that I made. Here are some pictures I took before sending the finished article off to the editor....



Isn't that cute? And here's a close up of the stitching that's on the top...


And a close up of those strawberries, just waiting to be picked....



This picture shows how the magazine presented it...


Craftseller Issue 9
April 2012
Immediate Media Company Ltd

When I was asked to do this project, I did wonder who on earth actually still used jam jar covers....it's the sort of thing that reminds me of my Grandmother (she always had little crocheted covers on her jam, which was always home made, never store bought!) Still, who am I to question a commission?!! lol. Once I started making it, I fell totally in love with the concept, they are so cute and make even a store bought jam look fabulous. And so, of course, my little brain got to thinking (it does happen - occasionally!) how can I use this idea? Of course, I could make some homemade jam and give it to friends and neighbours, although I'm more likely just to go to the store and buy some jam! And then I had the 'light bulb' moment. A 'sold' sign just went up on the house at the bottom of our street - wouldn't this make a wonderful welcome to the neighbourhood type gift?  When the new neighbours move in, I'm going to give them a little basket filled with some crusty french rolls, the jam with it's cute little cover, a jam spoon and some coffee and tea sachets, maybe add a little teapot....ooh, I can't wait to put this together.  I'm going to make a welcome to the neighbourhood card to match too - I'll let you see it when it's done!. I'm sure Grandma would be proud!

Jam jar covers rock!!!
Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona


Monday, March 26, 2012

A brilliant postie day!

A great postie day for me, is when there are no bills hiding in the mail box! A brilliant postie day is when there are no bills and a lovely surprise sitting there, just for me. This is what was waiting in my mail box.....


A lovely surprise from Mouse. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If any of you don't know Mouse, you really must check out her wonderful blog. She always writes wonderful, witty posts and her stitching is to die for....she also has the cutest pup! Loads of reasons to pop over and pay her a visit - honestly, you won't be disappointed. Now you may be wondering why she sent me this gift. Well, it all happened because of a comment I left her about her stitching. I happened to mention that I loved the colour of her scissors that were in the picture she posted showing her stitching (her stitching was gorgeous too, btw!) Lo and behold she goes and buys me a pair of the scissors....how kind is that? So, a big thank you to Mouse for not only the scissors, but also for the package of paper blossoms. Stitchers truly are magnificent and generous people.

So, what have I been working on this past week? Well, not my geisha, I really am not enjoying stitching her at all. I was tempted to go and start something from my stash (I have a wonderful dolphin design that was calling to me!!) but I know that if I start another project I will NOT pick up the geisha again. So I'm trying to be good and do a little bit of her every week, hopefully there will be a bit of progress to show you next post.

I did finish one of my own designs. These designs will be released in time for Father's Day (June 17th) which will be here before you know it! So here he is, everyone's favourite....the penguin. This time they are all going to be wearing the popular football (or soccer, depending on where you live!) team colours. This one is wearing the Aston Villa team colours....


I stitched him on pale blue aida but it hasn't really shown up in the picture. He will be made into a card as I am still on my challenge to make at least one card per month....luckily, I've still got a few days left in March! Phew!



Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Procrastination!

Does anyone else suffer from this affliction? I'm so bad, I finish the cross stitching but put off actually finishing it into something! I have a pile of things needing finished. Even if I have an idea of what to make, I still procrastinate! So, after giving myself a good kick up the you-know-what, I finally picked up the finished  Dieter's Prayer stitching and made it into a hanging.....


And it wasn't difficult to make either! I'm hoping that seeing this on my kitchen wall every day, will encourage me to go to the fruit bowl instead of raiding the biscuit tin, after all it's almost swimsuit time...yikes!

Here are some close-ups of the stitching..




Yes, chocolate really does make everything better....as if you needed me to tell you that!! lol

The chart for this design can be found at www.TangledThreadsOnline.com along with more of my designs.

And since it's new moon time again, here's my ort jar picture for this month...


For anyone who doesn't know about the ort jar and the TUSAL, please head over to Daffycat's blog where you can read all about it and sign up if you wish!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Sunday, March 18, 2012

An award!

A huge thank you to Caitlin who gave me this award!


Here are all the details about the Liebster Blog award:

Liebster is a German word, meaning favorite, dearest or beloved, and the Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other, newer bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help the new(er)bies gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
4. Share five random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

So, that sounds easy enough....except how do you pick only five blogs? I have hundreds of blogs on my reading list and I've never really paid much attention to how many followers there are on my favourite blogs - what a surprise! So that did make it a bit more difficult. Here are my five picks in a totally random order. (Some of my favourites had already been given this award so I tried to give it to others - seems only fair, right?)

Lynn from  Kearnels Korner

Ann from Doll's Musings

Lori from Hippywitch Crafts

Fiona from My Stitching corner

Rebekah from  The Stitching Frog

And now I have to tell you five random facts about myself - yikes, that's the hard part! Where to begin?

1. I'm hopeless at telling right from left....never ever ask me to give you driving directions!
2. I love Zumba.
3. I'm a fourth degree black belt in Taekwon Do - but you may already know that as I think I've said it before!
4. I'm terrified of snakes (even on TV!)
5. I have a very low heart rate (although it's probably not that low since I'm not terribly fit anymore!) Student doctors would do a double take until they read my medical notes!

So that's the not-so-amazing facts about me!

A big thank-you to Caitlin for giving me this award. Please check out the blogs listed above as you will find some amazing stitchers and crafters.

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona


Friday, March 16, 2012

Happiness is an empty biscuit tin!


The biscuit tin is empty....yippee! No, I'm not on a diet, and I did like  the biscuits that were in the tin, the reason I'm so happy it's empty is this......


The tin is the perfect size for holding all my bits and bobs for whatever project I'm working on! The stitch bows fit in perfectly, and I never lose my needle as its stuck to my magnet which is attached to my tin - no more pierced feet (or bottoms) as someone finds my lost needle! lol

I have some progress to show you on the geisha, although there's not as much as I would have liked, as I'm still having those dratted headaches. Here's where she is now...




So, it's just a quick post today as I'm heading off to fit in a Zumba class before going to pick up my daughter and her friend from college as they start their spring break. Number One Son went back to college yesterday, even though they don't start classes till next week! No, he's not fitting in more study time (chance would be a fine thing!!) he's off to see the college ice hockey championships....way more important than spending time with his old mum! lol

Until next time...happy stitching!
Rhona

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet little kitty card

Do you remember this little cutie?



It's been a while since I stitched him and made him into a card, but finally I can show it to you...



The card was for my daughter, and since she sometimes pops on here to see what her old mum has been up to, I couldn't post it until after her birthday! (Happy Birthday, Titch!)


Here's some close up pictures of the details...





The Happy Birthday 'thingy' (I haven't a clue what to call it!) was actually made from this....


...the label from a pair of jeans! I just changed the string to the thread that was left over from the kit, gave it a couple of coats of pink paint and added  a stick-on greeting! Easy-peasy!!!

I'm really pleased with the way the card turned out. I'm not usually one for stitching the same design twice, but I'm certainly going to keep this chart as it was fun to stitch and who knows, I may just stitch it again!

Thanks to everyone for the get well wishes, much appreciated!

Until next time...happy stitching.
Rhona

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Some 'secret' stitching.

I haven't managed to get any stitching done since my last post as I have been suffering from the most awful headaches (that should probably be singular because it feels like it's been one long continuous headache that hasn't gone away!) Needless to say, I haven't managed to get any stitching, designing, blog reading etc done. I find the new word verification hard enough as it is, but with a headache....forget it!!

Luckily for me, I do have some 'secret' stitching to show you. This was a design that I was asked to do for Craftseller magazine and of course I can't show you it, or even talk about it, until the magazine has been published.

I was asked to do a 'Home Sweet Home' sampler, and here it is.....



The strong bright reds in the lettering and the border,  are not the colours I would normally use and  in fact, I had designed it using lilac blues. The editor requested the colour change, which meant that the colour of the flowers had to change too. Part way through stitching it, I wasn't sure if the colours I had picked were going to work....not a good feeling!

This is the way it looked before the back stitching...


Thankfully, I stuck with it and once the back stitching was done it looked so much better!


Here's the stitching all framed and with the magazine.




I have another sweet project in next months Craftseller magazine, but until then I have to keep 'mum'!! lol

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time...happy stitching!
Rhona


Monday, March 5, 2012

Frogs and superstitions

So the frogs invaded over the weekend! My plan to get lots more done on the Geisha didn't work out...there's almost less to show of her today than there was last week!

This is where she was last time I showed you....


And this is her today....


You can see at the top where I had to unpick. I had miscounted and left four rows instead of five. Grrr! That's what happens when you watch tv while stitching! Most of the colours came out without any problem but the red has left that noticeable mark on the fabric, but I'm sure it will not be seen when re-stitched - with the correct colour in the correct place!

The love that I was beginning to feel for this design is now starting to wane again! Poor unloved Geisha!

So that was the tale of the frogs, but what of the superstitions?

Everyone tells me how superstitious a nation Scotland is, but I never really thought so until my daughter got a book of superstitions from the library. Flicking through it, I found myself nodding in agreement about lots of the articles and thinking things like "Oh, I remember my Granny doing that....oh, wait a minute, I do that too!". You know the type of thing like throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill it, not putting new shoes on the table etc. Well I came across some superstitions about scissors which I thought were very interesting, since as stitchers, scissors are something we can't do without!  So here are  the 'highlights'....
  • Scissors have protective powers since they are made from steel.
  • Always exchange a small coin in exchange when receiving scissors from a friend, otherwise the friendship will be severed. (In Scotland it has to be a silver coin)
  • If the coin is refused, bad luck will follow.
  • It is bad luck to drop a pair of scissors (that would probably explain the visit from the frogs!!!) especially if they are picked up by the person who dropped them.
  • Scissors should not be used on New Year's day
  • If the scissors fall point downwards then a death will follow.
  • A pair of scissors opened in the form of a cross and laid over the doorstep would prevent entry from witches (wonder if it would stop frogs?!!)
Anyway, I thought they were quite amusing, hope you did too!

Until next time...happy stitching!
Rhona

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snowfalls and beach scenes!

Finally Mother Nature realized that it was winter and decided to give us our first significant snow fall of the year. I can't believe we managed to get to the very end of February before having to break out the snow shovels! I'm not complaining, mind you, as my poor hubby had surgery on his shoulder last year and is unable to use the snow blower and I'm just not strong enough to maneuver the beast of a thing (snow blower, not hubby!!! lol)

This was the scene from my kitchen door yesterday....


The patio is sheltered by the back of the house and doesn't get as much snow, so it doesn't look too deep in this picture.

The kids in the neighborhood were all happy today as it kept snowing throughout the night and they  got their first 'snow day' of the year (no school as the roads are too bad for the school buses.)

I'm hoping that  the boor birdies can find some food and water....


This is what it was like last year in January, so we really can't complain!



Anyway, enough of the snow, after all this is a stitchy blog!

So, no progress to report on the Geisha, but I do intend to work on her over the weekend. I'll give you a progress reprt on Monday.

The beach scene that I showed you on Monday is now complete!!



This is a set of three beach scenes which will be a wonderful antidote to all the snow!

After showing you the picture on Monday, I did change the turquoise colour to a slightly paler shade which works so much better. It looks quite bright on the photo but isn't quite so vibrant in real life. So now I just have to decide how to finish this one, bearing in mind there are two other designs in the set.

So for me, it's the perfect day to stay inside and stitch!

Hoping you are keeping warm and safe wherever you may be.

Happy stitching!
Rhona