Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Finished…..just in time for Christmas!

Yayyyy…my little cardinal decoration is all stitched up and finished as a wall hanging just in time for Christmas….

Isn’t it adorable? I love the heart hanger and those little bells are just too cute!

Kit details-
Mini banners by Dimensions
Stitched on 14 count aida
Finished size approx. 13cm x 25cm

I searched on-line for some more designs in this mini banners series, but unfortunately couldn’t find any. I did manage to find some other wonderful designs that I would love to stitch. Guess it’s too late to ask Santa for them….so...... I’ll just have to treat myself!!! Heehee!

Hope you all have a wonderful festive season.

Until next time…happy stitching!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Almost finished!

Here's the progress that I've made on my cardinal design....

....I'm almost done, just finishing off the back stitching and the french knots!

Those pesky marks from the hoop should be banished when the iron makes its appearance. I would normally wash my stitching when it's finished, but with all that deep red, I'm really reluctant to wash it in case I end up with pink fabric! Let's hope that the iron alone can vanquish the hoop marks.

For anyone who's tried to stitch while traveling, you'll know how awkward it is to pull a length of thread from a skein, cut it, and then try to separate it into however many strands you need for your stitching. This was one of my dilemmas for having my stitching stuff organized when I went on holiday. Stitching in the confines of an airplane is not an easy task. Luckily for me, I came across a rather nifty idea on Pinterest. Click here to go to the original post.

Unfortunately I can't show you the inside of this little thread holder as my camera batteries have just died, so now you HAVE to go to the original post!!! :) Anyhoo, it's a cute and easy to make project. It works quite well as long as you have the threads cut to the size you like and already separated into single strands. I'm not sure if this is the best method of storing threads for stitching on the go, so if you have any other methods/ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Trusting in the postal services!

I've got my fingers firmly crossed that both the US and the UK postal services will be able to deliver my little niece her appliqued stocking in time for her to hang it up for Santa visiting. Being that she's not even one year old yet, I doubt if it will bother her too much if the postal services fail! Heehee!

Here's her stocking, it's the third (and last) stocking that I have made this year...

Phew, I'm glad there's no more sequins and beads to be stitched....those beading needles are such a pain to thread!

With all the felt applique that I have been doing over the last few weeks, I have been experiencing serious cross stitch withdrawal symptoms! So, while I was on holiday I bought a small kit to stitch. I started working on this while I was in Scotland and now that I am back home and have finished the last of the stockings, I can now finish of this festive hanging...

The kit contains a decorative hanger and some small jingly bells. I'm looking forward to being able to get some more stitching done....and maybe have a finish before the end of the year.

And speaking of festive stitching, here's some of my designs that are in this months Card Shop magazine...

Cross Stitch Card Shop Issue 93
Immediate Media Co.

...unfortunately there's no way that I'll have enough time to stitch any of them for this year's cards....ah well, there's always next year!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Phew!!! I'm back!

Sorry for the sudden and unannounced absence. As usual all plans are tossed to the wind when life starts throwing you lemons!

My plan had been to write a couple of blog posts and let blogger do it's magic by scheduling them to appear while I was away on holiday. Then the lemons started to appear leaving me with only the Thursday morning to write the posts...and since we didn't leave till lunch time, it seemed quite do-able. So I was up bright and early on Thursday morning, all ready to do the last of the packing and write these blog posts. A quick check of the weather and emails and all was well.......until I looked at the airport departure boards to discover that the one and only flight to be cancelled from out local airport was , yeah you've guessed it...the one we needed to be able to catch the international flight. So, all hell broke loose as we tried figure out the quickest way to get to Newark airport. To cut a long story short we ended up catching several trains and making it just in the nick of time to board our plane. And that dear friends, is why there were no scheduled posts.

Anyway, we had a fantastic time. We spent a week with family in Scotland. I gave my niece the two stockings for her little boys. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera the day I gave her the stockings. I'm sure she'll send me a picture of the two kiddos with their stockings nearer to Christmas.I was still working on the second one in my last post, but here it is completed....

And here's both of them together...

I'm working on a third one for my other little niece (I'm just a glutton for punishment!!) I had wanted to do a one that was a bit more girlie, but the store didn't have a great selection. I was going to order one on-line, but surprisingly they were more expensive on-line! So, because of the cost and the fact that delivery would take approximately a week (and I'm rapidly running out of time), I decided just to do the one with the three snowman again. So I'm busy working on that so that I can get it posted off to her in time for Christmas. I'm just hoping that the Christmas mail doesn't take too long!

Anyway, after our week in Scotland, it was off to Prague to visit our daughter, Eirinn. And now I understand why she doesn't want to come home....it's such a beautiful city. She marched us everywhere so that we could see as much of the city as possible. We walked so much that I had to have my boots re-heeled!

Here's some pics of our trip...

At the John Lennon wall.

 The cathedral in Prague castle.

And now you'll have to tilt your head to the left as for some strange reason, blogger is not showing the next couple of pics the right way up!

The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town square...

Close up of the clock...

Eirinn and me at the top of the tower...

Charles Bridge and Prague castle at night...

Definitely a city worth visiting and I'd love to go again....just have to save up more pennies!

So now I have to get back to the normal routine and catch up with all my blog reading.... it may take me a while!

Thanks for visiting.

Until next time...happy stitching!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

TUSAL and other twitterings!

You'll have to forgive the rather squint TUSAL picture... it look more like the leaning tower of orts!

Heehee!! At least there are some threads in the jar this month, so no complaints from me. 

I have been busy working away on getting the second of the Christmas stockings completed before I head over the pond and visit with family and friends. (More on that later!) Here's my progress on the second stocking...

I'm only about half way through this stocking so I can see me spending the next few nights, burning the midnight oil so that I can get it finished before I leave for the UK.

Soooo, on to my trip! Yes, I'm heading back to the UK...again! It seems really strange to be heading back home twice in one year...especially as this will only be my third trip home in over a decade. The main reason for the trip is that my daughter is studying in the Czech Republic this semester and if you need a good excuse to visit a country, seeing your daughter seemed to be a good one....so, Prague here I come! It seemed a bit daft to go all the way to the Czech Republic and not visit home (you have to change flights in London, so why not change in Scotland...a few days later!), so it's a week in Scotland then over to Prague...can't wait. Just got to get packed now....and finish those stockings!

And speaking of stockings, here's another one!!!! Yes, I'm having plenty of practice with stockings this year. 

Craftseller magazine Issue 30
Immediate media Co.

This was one I made for this months Craftseller magazine. I hope they send the model back in time for Christmas.  Here's a pic of the inside of the stocking....yes, I battled with the sewing machine to make a lining too. I WILL eventually master the sewing machine...eventually!

...and the matching tag...

So, I guess all there is for me to do now is get that snowman stocking finished...and get the suitcase packed!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Who am I to complain?!!!

Woohoo....all the beads and sequins are sewn on the Christmas stocking! Don't you just love it when the end of your project is in sight? All I have to do is finish joining the front and the back of the stocking together. 

There are still some large quilters pins holding it together till the blanket stitching is completed. I'm also going to make a lining for the stocking and have bought some white snowflake patterned fabric for this. 

Here's a close up of one of the little snowmen...

....so cute!

Luckily for me, last years kits came with an excess of beads and sequins which I had, in true stitcher's stash hoarding instinct, kept in a little glass jar. This year, I was three sequins short....yes THREE sequins short! THREE!!!! 

As I was stitching this stocking I kept thinking that it wasn't as sparkly as the ones I did last year, but thought that it was probably my memory playing tricks on me....you know the old looking back with rose tinted spectacles and all that. Anyway, when I opened the jar with the old sequins....I was right, they were far more sparkly!The old ones had an iridescent sheen which sparkled  more. I guess it was the manufacturer cutting costs, but it makes a huge difference to the finished project. For the next two stockings on my list I think I'll just buy a packet of sequins rather than use the plain white ones supplied.

So my fingers survived the beads and sequins. I did buy a thimble but found it rather cumbersome and decided that I could work quicker without it. And the reason that I will never complain again about beading a simple Christmas stocking is this......

....can you imagine the hours of  work that this costume took?  ...and the weight of it all?!!! Hats of to the this stitcher (and to all those involved in the making of Downton Abbey!)

Until next time...happy stitching!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Love birds!

Finally I can show you some stitching I did a while ago....

These little love birds were designed and stitched for Craftseller magazine, issue 27. I've had to keep them under wraps until the magazine was published. 

This is how I finished the stitching off...

...and with no back stitching, it's a relatively quick and simple project. Wouldn't this be a cute engagement or wedding gift with the happy couples names added? 

Mmmm...who do I know that's getting married....?!!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Never say never!!

Foolish me....I said I'd NEVER to it again....but I did! Yup, I said I never wanted to see another sequin again, but here I am knee deep in sequins...again! When will I learn? Heehee.

Those of you who have been following my little blog for a while may remember my moaning about stitching sequins last year when I made some Christmas stockings for my daughter and her college room-mates. The pictures of the stockings can be found here if you want to see them. Anyway, with some new family members I decided to make some  stockings for my new niece and nephews. 

So there I am, standing in the store trying to decide which kits to buy and the little voice in my head is reminding me about how much agony I went though with those tiny beading needles piercing my finger every time I added sequins and beads....ah, if only I had listened. 

So with an already slightly raw and painful finger, here's where the first stocking is at...

...with plenty more sequins to attach! I can tell that I'll soon be on a hunt for a thimble! :)

Until next time...happy stitching!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

TUSAL and WIP progress.

Oooh, my ort jar looks quite full this month, but I have to confess that it's because I forgot to photograph it last month and therefore didn't empty it! 

I have been adding to it this month by going back to working on my Simple Treasures design. This is where it was the last time I showed a picture of it...

.....and here's my progress...

Still lots to do,  but it's definitely getting there....and since I'm more than half way through the design, I find myself thinking about all the new designs I'd like to start working on (note that I used the plural of the word there....too many great designs out there just to be thinking of one project!) But first off, I really should get cracking with some Christmas stitching....anyone else late at starting their Christmas stitching?

Here's a picture of one of my little garden visitors who keeps me entertained with all his antics in trying to accumulate a stash of food for the winter months... 

....I don't think the birds are very fond of him though....

Until next time...happy stitching!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

This post is in honour of a very special blogger.....Cathey, who blogs as Pumpkin. For anyone who hasn't been to Cathey's blog, please do check it out. I am not eloquent enough to tell you her story, but suffice to say, she's one hell of a courageous person.

Cathey, you leave me humbled when I read of all that you are going through. I wish you and your family health and happiness.

The wonderful Sharon, aka Daffycat, came up with a plan to honour Cathey and show her the love and support of the stitchy community by posting pics of pumpkins as today is Cathey blogging anniversary. I had intended to stitch a little pumpkin, but you all know how good my intentions are, and that the results don't always match the initial thought. So, if you were thinking that I hadn't stitched the pumpkin, you would be correct...so, here's the nest best thing...

...a chart so everyone can stitch a pumpkin for Cathey!

The colours used are as follows.
Dk orange - DMC 921
Orange - DMC 721
Yellow - DMC 727
DK Yellow - DMC 726
Green - DMC 988

These are just my suggestions for thread colours, please feel free to use whatever colours of thread you have in your stash!

So a big thank you goes out to Sharon for organizing this event. 

And to Cathey, please take strength form all the love that is being showered on you today and every day from your fellow stitchers and bloggers.

Until next time...happy stitching.


Monday, September 16, 2013

No longer the Queen!

Heehee...I'm no longer the Queen of Procrastination! Bet that came as a shock to you, didn't it?!!! Well after my last post when I wrote that I was the Queen of Procrastination, I decided that it was nothing to be proud of,  and decided to do something about it....like actually finishing something off. So before I did anything else, I finished off my stitching into the bookmark! Shock! Horror!!!  I did it.....and it looks great...

...and it wasn't too difficult or time consuming either. So the title of Queen of Procrastination is up for grabs....any takers?

A few weeks ago I had a email from Nia double checking my address (she was the winner of my chart giveaway) and I assumed that she was just going to send a little thank-you note. But look what arrived...

The instructions were to remove the ribbon to reveal the secret message...

How adorable is that?!! And to make it even better...Nia made it herself! What a very talented lady! Thank you so much Nia...I love it. You can check out the very talented Nia's blog here.

I hate that it's the end of summer, the only good thing about the fact that it's getting dark earlier and earlier is that we can get more stitching done. Here's  a project that's next in my to-do pile...

World Of Cross Stitching Issue 207
Immediate Media co.

...yes, I'm going to be stitching one (or more) of my own designs!  And since I'm no longer the Queen of Procrastination I might even have them finished for Halloween!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Phew!!! I made it....

....I had enough fabric to complete my bookmark! What a relief!

I finally put the last bit of back stitching on to the design and my Heilan Coos look great!

 I just have to make it in to the actual bookmark now....and that part might take me a while! I always seem to be the queen of procrastination when it comes to finishing off  my stitching into the final item.

Here's a close-up....

...isn't that the cutest face? And I love the thistles too. 

In case anyone is interested the kit is called Heiland Coos and is made by Textile Heritage.... but best of all, (well, in my opinion anyway!) the kits are made in Scotland!

And finally here's a quick look at this month's (or maybe last month's) Crazy magazine with my school designs.....

Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 180
Immediate Media Co

Back to school already...where did the summer go? Yup, we'll be talking Christmas designs soon! ;)

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, September 2, 2013


.....or recycling....or trash to treasure....or whatever the correct term is! Basically, I broke a necklace and was about to throw it in the bin (after hunting down all the tiny beads that scattered for miles!) when it dawned on me that it would make a rather nice scissor-keep! So with a few snips of the scissors, this is what I ended up with...

And the little clasp on the necklace is perfect for attaching to the scissors...

No more lost scissors...I hope! 

One of my all-time favourite design commissions was published in this month's (or maybe last month, depending on where you are in the world and how efficient the postal service is!! lol) World Of Cross Stitching magazine.....

Here's a close up of the actual stitching, with thanks to Pippa (AKA Cross Stitch Gal) who did the stitching and who emailed me the pictures.

I loved designing this and was delighted to see how beautifully it stitched up. Not sure how delighted Pippa was with having to do so many French knots with metallic threads, but I think it's safe to say that it was worth the effort!

Also in the same issue of World of Cross Stitching was my Music Design Library...

World of Cross Stitching Issue 206
Immediate Media Company

...no french knots in metallics for these designs!

And now I'm of to get some more stitching done on my Highland cow....now that I know I'll not lose my scissors! :)

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, August 26, 2013

I should have bought a Lottery ticket!

I really should have bought a lottery ticket while I was on holiday as I was so lucky.....I came home to two packages from fellow bloggers! 

The first package was from Jenni at TapestryMoon . Jenni is a fellow designer who can turn her hand at almost anything! She was giving away some gorgeous fabrics that she had decorated....told you, she can do anything! Here's what I won from Jenni...

...and then she very generously made this one, just for me!

I'm not sure what I'll make with these, but I'm thinking maybe a wall hanging or a cushion....watch this space! Thanks Jenni, I love them.

Second package, which really brightened up a rainy and miserable Monday morning came from Helen at Stitchy Dragon Creates. You really should pop over and see Helen's work....it's amazing, she can do so many different crafts...and all of them brilliantly! Anyway, she was having a giveaway of an issue of Cross Stitch Gold, and these magazines are like gold dust here, so I was delighted to find that I was the winner. Not only did Helen send me the magazine, but she also added some other goodies to the package! Thanks Helen, you are so generous! Here's what was in the package...

I can't wait to get started using those Christmas stamps....if I start now, maybe the weeks leading up to Christmas won't be my usual last minute panic!!!

So you can see why I should have bought a lottery ticket! ;)

I have managed to get some stitching done this week, I almost have 'heilan coo' number 2 completed!

So cute!!!

A quick update on The Pink Scarf Project (button link on the side for complete details). The summer update has been posted, and there are some fantastic scarves to see, click here, to go directly to the early summer update. My scarf and card have been photographed and the setting is just gorgeous! Please check out the project and if you can join in too, that would be fantastic! Thank you.

Anyway, I'm off to stick the kettle on for a cuppa while I read my new magazine!

Until next time...happy stitching!