Thursday, April 28, 2011

Decisions, decisions!

Not much stitching going on this week – guess I must have tired out the magic gold needle!

I have been working on some designs for Tangled Threads and some other designs for publication in magazines, so unfortunately there’s not much to show you – sorry!

On to the thistles.

Here are the pictures in the order they were stitched.

Now you may be wondering what colour the fourth thistle will be….so am I!!!
My daughter suggested that the thistle for one particular girl should be a crazy colour such as bright orange or lime green, as she is going to be a fashion major and is really ‘different’!
I can’t decide if I want to do something crazy like that or not. I like the idea that it would match her personality, but am worried that it would turn out looking kind of stupid. Is she going to look back on it in a few years time (that’s assuming that the girls keep them that long!) and think ‘what the heck?’ or will she laugh and think ‘that was so me!’  Let me know what you think!

 I’m leaning towards making them in to door hangers so I will let you know the success (or failure!) of my door hanger making attempts. I keep looking at all the wonderful finishes I see posted on people’s blogs and I have to admit to being rather intimidated by all the talent that’s out there. If you have any suggestions for finishing tutorials, please let me know which blogs or sites you recommend, I would love to check them out.

Until next time…happy stitching!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Thistle number three!

Oh my goodness, I think I must have found a magic needle, as thistle number three is already finished (despite my stitching disaster on Friday).

The picture of the thistle didn’t really come out terribly well. I honestly took dozens of pictures but none of them were terribly sharp, so this is the best of a bad bunch!

The lilac thread colour doesn’t look exact either, but it was DMC 552, 554 and 153.

I think this one may be my favourite!

So the good news is that my daughter’s surgery was a success! The bone graft from six months ago had taken and the surgeon was able to take the little bolts out and the first metal base was put in place. This was the second attempt at a bone graft and she was rather nervous (to say the least) as during the last surgery to harvest the bone, she had woken up during the middle of the operation and was rather traumatized by it all. Thankfully everything went smoothly this time, and even though I know that the doctors and nurses are very unlikely to read this, I have to thank them for their kindness and the care they took to make sure both my daughter and I were both comfortable about the whole procedure. Now we just have to wait another four to six months to see how the metal base fixes with the bone and then she should have only two more surgeries to go!

So, you may be wondering what the stitching disaster was on Friday. Well, as you may remember I had intended to do some stitching while my daughter had her surgery. So I had packed a bag with everything I would need, threads, fabric, the magic needle, the chart and some scissors – what more does a stitcher need? Well in my case ……the specs! So there I am, sitting in the waiting room and the only magazines there are Golfers Weekly, AARP, and Sports Illustrated. Not exactly inspiring.  Ever the optimist, or maybe just plain delusional, I convinced myself that I could manage to stitch just fine without those darn glasses. After about ten minutes of trying to thread the needle (when did the eye become so small?) I then had to struggle to get the needle through the tiny holes of the fabric. I did a few stitches and then gave up, deciding that I could at least pretend to read the book I had brought.

Until next time…happy stitching!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Turbo charged needle!

I have baskets and boxes in all shapes and sizes that are home to my cross stitching stash. If you ask me what’s in each of these containers I would not be able to tell you although I do know that I couldn’t live without it, whatever it is!
Anyway, while ‘rediscovering’ some of these goodies, I came across a gold needle that was ‘put away safely’ a long, long time ago. So long ago, that I had forgotten all about it and assumed it was one of those needles that makes a successful bid for freedom and is never seen again. Since my last packet of needles was awful – bent, sharp, broke easily etc, this needle was greeted with much joy. Well I am soooooo glad I found this needle, honestly, I think it’s turbo charged. This is what the super team of me and the gold needle achieved since my last post.

Yes, thistle number two is complete!

And yes, I enjoyed this one as much as the first one. I have to say that stitching the same design twice is something I don’t think I have ever done before. So to be stitching the same design a third and a fourth time is something I don’t think will ever happen again.

I was showing my daughter the designs and told her that I was giving them to the girls (see previous post for story) to take to college, and I was so delighted when she asked me to stitch one for her. It had been my plan to stitch one for her all along, but it was lovely to think that she wanted  me to stitch her one.

I’m hoping to make a start on the third thistle tomorrow while my daughter has  surgery on her jaw. This will be surgery number four. Not sure if I will be able to concentrate on the stitching as the last surgery didn’t go to plan. Hopefully this time it will be a success. I will make sure I take the turbo charged needle with me and I will let you know how the surgery and the stitching went.

Until next time…happy stitching!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Monday!

Another weekend gone and not as much stitching done as I had hoped/planned to get done, but that’s life!

I was delighted to see that I have a few more followers, so thank you to those people who pop on and become followers…much appreciated!

And now on to the stitching, which is more than likely why you are here! So there has been some progress on the Mighty Samurai. The peacock, suddenly, is almost stitched! When did that happen? Maybe I did get more stitching done over the weekend than I had first thought.

And now for the Scottish Thistles.

The first one is complete! I have to say this was a joy to stitch, although maybe by the time I’m on number four, I will have changed my opinion!

I’m thinking that since I have four to do that I might just change the colour of the thistle so that each one is slightly different. One could be more of a pink colour, another more lilac and the last one maybe more of a heather colour. I shall experiment and see what they look like. That’s the thing I love about cross stitch – you can change just one colour of thread and give a design a completely different look.

Well that’s all my stitchy news for today, thanks for stopping by.  Please do leave a comment...even if you only want to say 'hi', you have no idea how much that makes my day!

Until next time…happy stitching!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Scottish Thistles

I meet for coffee/lunch about once a month with three wonderful women I am fortunate to call friends. We are all very different but the thing we have in common is that we all have daughters the same age, who are all at the same high school. The girls all know one another and are friends but they are not ‘best buddies’, if that makes sense! So our coffee mornings are spent taking about all the joys and woes of being mums to teenage girls, dealing with the problems of school grades, boyfriends and  break-ups, the girls and their make-up, getting the girls to activities on time, the usual stuff!. This year we have also been dealing with where the girls will be going to college. Since they are all moving away from home I thought it would be nice to stitch them something they could take with them to college. I wanted to stitch something that had a bit of significance behind it, not just something frivolous. I came across a wonderful Joan Elliott design from her book Cross Stitch Greeting Cards. I guess the fact that I am Scottish kind of drew me to the thistle design in the first place, but the words had me sold! “Protection, strength and deep-rooted ideals will be passed on to the recipient of this card” just what these young girls will need when moving away from home for the first time. I have started stitching the first one as you can see…

Now just three more to do (I have to do one for my own daughter too!!)

Now, as a side note, you may be wondering how a lowly weed became the national flower of Scotland. Well the story goes that an invading band of Vikings, intent on conquering the Scots landed at night and were creeping up on a sleeping party of Scots warriors when one of the attackers trod barefoot on a  thistle  His cries of pain raised the alarm and awoke the Scots who duly defeated the Vikings. (Of course!!!)The plant became known as the Guardian Thistle and was adopted as the emblem of Scotland during the reign of Alexander III (1249 - 1286)  And that, my dear blog friends, end the history lesson for today!!

So, I'm not sure how I will finish off the stitching, I could make it in to a card but maybe a trinket pot would be more useful for the girls. The design is quite small only 2 ¾ inches square, so if you have any ideas of what I can turn these into for three college bound teenagers I would love to hear them!

Until next time…happy stitching


Monday, April 11, 2011

The Tale of the Thread.

Yes!!!! It finally arrived. For those of you who have been following the tale of the Dusty Purple thread, I have to say that I was very impressed with Dimensions as they sent out some more of the dusty purple thread that I needed to finish part of the Samurai’s garment. Although I only needed about two, twelve inch strands, Dimensions very kindly sent me this….

at no charge.  What great service! Now you might be wondering why I don’t have a picture to show you of the Samurai’s completed garment, and it’s not because I haven’t done any stitching. The reason there is no picture, is that I have to blend the dusty purple with some dark purple….and guess what I have run out of? Yup, you guessed it, the dark purple! I’m sure the stitching gods are sitting up wherever it is they sit and are having a good old chuckle at me! So as much as I am tempted to write to Dimensions and beg for some dark purple thread, I think I might wait till I have done all the stitching just in case I run out of yet another colour. I really don’t think I could write to them three times, even twice is a bit embarrassing! You have no idea how happy I will be when this Samurai is finished! Well, on second thoughts, we’re all stitchers so you probably do!

Thanks to everyone who was brave enough to take up the challenge to post a picture on their blog and show the back of their stitching. I think I will try to look out one of my earlier pieces and show the back of it so you can see all the tangled threads I often ended up with!

Until next time…happy stitching!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

How Brave Are You?

Someone once asked me if I was brave enough to show the back of my stitching. At that point I hadn’t been stitching long and was certainly not brave enough. Until that point I had only ever concerned myself with what it looked like from the front, and then what a surprise, and disappointment, the back was! (Yes, that’s partly where the blog name came from!) Over the years I have realized that the back can be almost as neat as the front. Since I haven’t done much stitching on the Mighty Samurai, and any progress pictures would be like those ‘spot the ten differences’ pictures you sometimes get in magazines,  I thought I would challenge you to (I know this sounds rude!) show your backside!!!

Here’s the backside of my Samurai.

Certainly neater than my first few stitching projects, and definitely not as many tangled threads as there used to be either!

So, are you up for the challenge?  This is purely for fun, there are no prizes…are you brave enough to post a picture on your blog of the back of your stitching?

Until next time…happy stitching!


Monday, April 4, 2011


Here we have this month's collection in the ort jar -  with a distinct lack of 'Dusty Purple'! lol

Here it is from another angle. Lots of lovely colours!

Hope everyone else was successful at filling their ort jar this month!

Until next time...happy stitching