Thursday, January 31, 2013

In need of a finish!

Don't you just sometimes crave the satisfaction of completing a piece? It's the end of January and I have nothing to show for this month. Of course, reading all your wonderful blogs and seeing some fantastic finishes, just makes this need  to complete something (anything!) even greater. So, to avoid  feelings of total inadequacy I've made up my mind to do some small pieces in between my rotations of Simple Treasures and the  pain in the you-know-what erm, I mean the delightful Geisha (that I'm blaming for all those grey hairs that suddenly are appearing!)

So here's the little piece I'm working on....

.... Seraphina mouse. She's from an old kit that was free with Cross Stitcher magazine many, many years ago. The kit came with 16 count aida and was an adorable size, but this time I stitched it on a piece of 14 count aida that I had in my stash. The photo doesn't pick up the colour terribly well as the aida is a strange shade....neither blue nor grey. Anyway, it will make a cute card or ornie.....I haven't decided what it will be as of yet! I think I might try to do one piece of Christmas stitching every month so that I'll not have the usual mad rush towards the end of the year...well, that's the theory anyway. Anyone else working on Christmas stitching?

Hopefully I'll be able to show you my first finish of the year soon. 

There's still time to enter my giveaway go and warm up that needle and get those stop watches out!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Just for fun…. (giveaway)

Here’s a bit of fun for a snowy Monday afternoon. 

If you look at the clock on your computer and wait for one whole minute to pass, it seems quite a long time  doesn’t it? (Go on…try it!)

So here’s the million dollar cross stitch question… many stitches can you do in one minute? Five? Ten? Twelve? I was quite surprised at what the average number is….and I’m not going to tell you, well not just yet anyway! 

So here’s my challenge to you -  see how many of those little X’s you can do in one minute then come back and leave a comment here telling me how many you managed. And to make it a bit more fun, I will email the chart for this design to the person (or persons) who stitch the same number of stitches per minute as I do.

I’ll announce the winner  and what the average number of stitches is, one week from today Monday 4th February2013.

Have fun…and set those stop-watches!!!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slower than slow!

I call myself the Queen of Slow Stitchers and although the title is self appointed, it's truly well deserved. I've been working on my Geisha all this week and I feel like I have nothing to show! I even went back and looked at the last picture I had taken of it and I was hard pressed to find any progress. It's so disheartening. Anyway, this is where I am with it now....

Doesn't look any different, does it? This one is fast becoming one of those projects that ends up in the back of a cupboard unloved and unwanted. Please feel free to lecture me on how I shouldn't give up on it.....a good kick up the you-know-what is probably required!

Anyway, here's a new crochet project that I started that I know I'll not give up on. This was a free pattern from red heart yarns and you can see it here. I decided to change the colours from the very pale colours they used as I have two grey cats who just love to lie on anything that they shouldn't! So here are the colours that I chose...

The pattern called for four plain colours, but I decided to substitute one of the colours for this variegated one as I thought the colours were gorgeous.

Mmmm, all my favourite colours in one ball! Here's a close-up of how the stitch looks when done...

My daughter decided to do the same pattern and she chose purples and pinks to use on her throw. And to prove my point about the cat sitting on anything they're not supposed to, here's the proof...

She knows a pretty blanket when she sees one! 

Crocheting with four strands on wool and a rather large hook means that this grows quite quickly and certainly keeps you warm with that laying over your lap as you's been rather nice working on this during the arctic blast we are experiencing just now. Too bad cross stitching doesn't keep me warm....maybe there would be more progress to show on my geisha!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Cross stitching at school

I want to share with you some wonderful stitching that some seven and eight year olds did just before Christmas.

I was contacted by a stitcher who asked if I could design some simple cross stitch charts for her to take in to  her daughter's school where she volunteers her time helping the children. She had spoken to the teacher and suggested that the children do some simple cross stitching that could then  be made in to Christmas cards.  I was only too happy to help out....especially when she requested a penguin chart!

Here are the results....

I think we have some budding stitchers there! 

I'd like to say a big thank you to Jo for giving up her time to help these children every week and for introducing them to our wonderful hobby of cross stitching.

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Can chores become fun?

Oh yes! But only if you have a fun chore cube. 

"What's that?" I hear you say, well, it's one of these....

World of Cross Stitching Issue 198
Immediate Media Co

How cute is that?  Each side contains a cross stitched chore such as 'set the table', 'feed the pets', 'dust the room', as well as 'your choice' and 'Mum's choice'. I designed a set of eight different design chores to give a bit flexibility for the chores, after all, not every family has a pet etc. 

I loved this idea and I was thrilled when Ruth, the editor of The World of Cross Stitching, wanted to use it in the magazine. (I'm so glad that their technical team did all the work as I don't think my sewing skills extend to making such a neat cube!) Anyway, It's the perfect size for little hands to hold and I'm sure that with this cube, young children will be more then willing to help out with chores around the house.

Now I just have to think of a chore cube design that would work for teenagers....or maybe one for husbands!!!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Simple Treasures back stitching

 Just a quick update on my progress with Simple Treasures stitching.  I took everyones advice and started doing the back stitching even though I haven’t finished all the stitching….breaking the cardinal rule of cross stitching (naughty me!) Anyway, I think it looks great and doing the back stitching like this does two things –

         1. Makes it easier to follow the chart
         2. Motivates me to keep going

oh....and another reason (you can tell maths was never my strong point, can't you?!!)

               3. I don’t have to slave over all the back stitching when the cross stitching is done!

Now I just need to find more hours in the day to get this design completed!

Until next time…happy stitching!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

My first TUSAL of the year

Ooooh, I'm late posting my TUSAL.  I hope this being late isn't a trend for the year! 

Not much to show in the ort jar....

....can you see them? 

Yup, that's how little stitching I have done since before Christmas. I don't think my ort jar has ever been this pathetic! 

This flu has really knocked me for six and I just don't have any energy to do anything....even to sit and stitch, which is sooooo not like me! Anyway, I've got cough bottles and vitamin C, so hopefully my energy will return and I can get caught up with everything.

Stay warm and healthy.

Until next time...happy stitching!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

 Well, it’s the end of the first week of the new year and I’m just getting round to my first blog post….not the best start for the new year – at least things can only get better!

I’m joining in again with Daffycat’s  TUSAL, ( Totally Useless Stitch Along). One of the easiest things to join in for any stitcher. For those of you who don’t know about the TUSAL, all you need to do is to keep all your thread snippets (orts) and store them in a small jar or container then at the new moon (or as close to it as you remember!) post a picture of your jar. There are no prizes for having the most (or least) threads in the jar, but it does keep you motivated to keep stitching! (No-one wants to see a picture of an empty ort jar! :) ) Details of the TUSAL and how to sign up can be found here. Even if you don't fancy joining in with the TUSAL, Daffycat's blog is also a great read!

I have a couple of Thank You’s to mention too. First of all a big thank you to Nancy  who was having the most generous Christmas giveaway. I won this chart from her…

 And just as an FYI....Nancy's blog is also another fab read!

And another thank you to Michelle  who had a  giveaway on her blog (more great reading!) and I won the magnifying glasses! 

And with these two prizes I’ve no excuse for not getting any Christmas ornaments finished on time this year!!!

Until next time…happy stitching!