Monday, 20 October 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to take part in the Around The World Blog Hop by Frances, whose blog is a recent discovery for me, and after a little deliberation I agreed to have a go! It'll probably be the most boring post as there are much more interesting, prolific stitchers than me out there but I will give it a go!

1. What am I working on?

Well anyone who has read my blog since the beginning will know that I stitch on several things over a week. This way I don't get bored stitching on tne same thing and it means I can have a bigger design and some smaller ones to stitch on.  At the moment I'm stitching on the Cottage Garden Samplings My Garden Journal series, which I absolutely love,   the Country Cottage Needleworks Frosty Forest series, Tralala Tricotine, Barbara Ana Designs Wicked Since, HAED QS Spirit of Winter Robin, Silver Creek Samplers Garden Bliss and Christmas ornaments. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm not really sure that it does differ from others. Not sure how to answer this one lol!

3. Why do I create what I do?

It's funny because I was never any good at any form of needlework at school. I worked with a lady who did cross stitch and she showed me magazines she had bought. I just loved the look of it and the  thought of seeing something grow as I stitched really appealed to me. So off I went to the shop nearby and I bought myself a kit that was on sale. I nearly died when I got home and opened it up to see this blank piece of aida, a chart and a bundle of threads!  However I started and here I am 23 years later still stitching. My tastes have changed over the years but I still love spending an evening with needle, thread and fabric in hand creating something I can keep or give as a gift. It has helped me through bereavement,  depression and all the things life throws at us from time to time.  It makes me happy, keeps me sane, stops my mind going into overdrive when I'm feeling low and has also brought some great friends into my life who I would never have met without stitching. Plus I feel like I am good at something ( maybe nkt the finishing as I do struggle with that! ) which for someone with very little confidence is a wonderful thing!

4. How does my creating process work?

As we are allowed to interpret / make changes to these questions I'm going to make this one how do I choose what I buy to stitch?! Obviously I have certain designers that are my favourites but there are still some designs that I maybe don't like  by them. If you know me well you'll know I love sheep, Winter and snowmen so a design with any of those themes is usually a big hit with me but there are still designs with those themes that I just don't like. Of course there may be a design that just calls to me or is an instant hit as soon as I see it. I do tend to make a wish list with designs that I love and if they are still there a few months later then I know that they are a must buy for me. I have made mistakes too often buying something straight away then regretting it later and, of course,  Stitch From Stash has been great for making me think very carefully about what I add to my stash!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my answers and that it all makes sense!

Of course the idea of this hop is to nominate others to take part so please look out for Justine's Around The World Blog Hop on the 27th October! Justine has a lovely blog and stitches a wonderful array of pieces.

I'll be back later in the week with some WIPs,  maybe a finish and my Shepherd's Bush Rosy Egg that I stitched God only knows when and finally got made up! I did it a couple of weeks ago but keep forgetting to take a photo!

Also please pop along to my Facebook friend Nicole's blog which she is resurrecting.  She is currently having a contest :).

Until next time.

With much love.

Sally xxx

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Little Wicked Stitching!

Hello everyone. First of all I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who commented last time and for all your good wishes for my back. Thankfully it is much easier now and I'm managing to move about much better now. I just have to be careful how I bend etc as I'm so scared it will happen again. It's just feeling a little fragile and I can well do without the hassle of not being able to do things!

This week Barb and I started a new SAL. You may remember me mentioning we had decided to do a Halloween SAL over the next year and Barb just happened to mention she'd ordered some things from Creative Poppy so that she had plenty of Halloween bits to stitch! I had been looking at something to stitch for one of my private Christmas ornament exchanges and, after Barb had mentioned it, Barbara Ana Designs Wicked Since just happened to fall into my basket and with the instant gratification of a download it was on my PC and printed in no time! So here's my start.

I am stitching it on Colour Cascade Fabrics Silver Springs using the suggested threads.

Barb and I are also SAling on Christmas ornaments for exchanges starting this evening but, of course, I won't be showing those until later in the year!

My other SAL with Barb is coming along well and she is trying to get caught up after her few false starts. Thankfully it has been third time lucky for her :) So here's where I'm at on Tricotine. Look I have a sheep!

No stitching on HAED Mini Jolly Old Fellow this week as Gill and I aren't having a crafting morning this week. Hopefully we'll be back to it next week. I have, however, been SALing with my surrogate sis, Lisa, as usual on our  HAEDs. Here's my progress on QS Spirit of Winter. I seemed to do really well on this on Saturday.

I didn't manage to get Garden Bliss finished this week but I think it should be done either next week or the week after. Then I'm starting the CCN monthly cottages :)

The roof is finally on Bluebird Cabin which is a good job as look there is more snow!

Final bit of stitching is from Sunday evening and on July's Delphinium :) I was going to start putting my finished ones in the book I bought to mount them in but I decided to wait until I've finished them all.

Towards the end of September I entered a competition with DMC for the chance to win £50 worth of DMC threads. I could not believe when , on Monday, I received an email telling me I was the lucky winner! Today postie brought me an envelope packed with 53 DMC threads! Yay for me! They will keep me going for a long time! 

More good news! I think Monday was a good day. My DH and I noticed that the card shop on the retail site where Abi works was advertising for temporary staff so I got an application form for Jess. She took it in just before 1 pm on Monday, by 2 pm they were ringing her to go for an interview and by 3.20 pm she was ringing me to tell me she'd got a job! Like I say it is only temporary but at least it'll give her some experience. She has no idea what her hours will be as it's a zero hours contract ( which I don't like but a job is a job and she can still look for something more permanent ) but she starts early November with an induction and she's also in the following day. Abi is still loving her job and getting on really well.

That's all my news for now. I'll be back Monday, hopefully, as I'm taking part in the around the world blog hop. 

Take care everyone.

Until next time.

With much love.

Sally xxx


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Travelling Pattern Winner Plus Some Stitching

I am sure you're all itching to know who the next stitcher of the travelling pattern is but I'm going to leave announcing it until later in my post!

I had hoped to have my interpretation of the travelling pattern all sewn up but, unfortunately,  I hurt my lower back on Monday whilst getting ready to leave Gill's after helping her out at her open day. Something as simple as bending to zip my boot up left me in pain and discomfort.  So much so that when I set off to walk home I knew I wouldn't make it so thankfully Gill said I could stay until my DH got home from work and could pick me up. I haven't set foot outside the house since until day when  I very slowly and carefully walked round the corner to the PO. I am relieved to say that I have been able to get comfortable to stitch or knit with breaks to move about or I'd have been climbing the walls with boredom!

I can't show everything I have been stitching as one is a gift and I'm just hoping I can get it finished off soon as it needs to be in the post in the next week really. However I can show my WIPs.

I am hoping that poor Barb has finally had some luck with Tra La La Tricotine. I am sure she must be cursing me now for buying this design for us but it is just so lovely. Here is where I am.

Lisa and I are continuing our SAL of our HAED Christmas designs. I managed to get a good bit done on my lovely robin. I wonder if I can aim to have him finished by Christmas 2015?!

Speaking of HAEDs I made a little more progress on Mini Jolly Old Fellow. I sat for a while yesterday as though Gill and I were having our crafting morning and decided to fill in some of Father Christmas' hat. I am really enjoying stitching on this again and would love a page finish before the end of the year.

I have been house building on Frosty Forest. Need to get a move on as the snow has started to fall a little and those bluebirds are going to need shelter! Lol! Oh dear I am losing the plot!


Meanwhile on July's Delphinium the lemonade is chilled and ready to drink :)

Final WIP is Garden Bliss which is coming along so beautifully even though I say so myself. Not much more to do now.

I saw on Vickie's blog a while ago that she had shown her top 5 ornaments from the JCS Christmas ornament issue. So I have decided to show mine. I have to say I am a little disappointed in it this year although there are still several I would like to stitch and it won't stop me buying it again next year. 

So, in no particular order, these are my top 5.

Little House Needleworks Snowy Days

Country Garden Stitchery Snowflake Frost

Blue Ribbon Designs A Woodland Wish

New York Dreamer Merry Christmas

Nikyscreations Faith

Are any of these in your top 5? There are others that narrowly missed out!

Well I have kept you guessing long enough so I'd better announce the next stitcher of the travelling pattern. I lazily used a random organiser to do the picking for me lol!

There were 10 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

Nic
Stitching Noni
Ellen
Beauty Bonnet
Erin
Pam in IL
Kathy A
Jhm
Lindsay
RuthB
Timestamp: 2014-10-09 11:52:15 UTC

Congratulations Nic! Please email me with your name and address and I'll get it in the post ASAP.  My email is in my profile :). If you weren't lucky this time follow it to Nic's blog and try again over there!

Well that's it for me for this time.  The weather is getting cooler so guess I'd better get a move on with Jess' poncho. I'm 20 cm off finishing the first strip but with it being chunky yarn it grows very quickly.

Take care everyone.

Until next time.

With much love

Sally xxxxx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Travelling Pattern Is Ready To Go!

Get your pompoms out and happy dance with me! The travelling pattern is done so ready to go on to the next stitcher!

Here is my version.

Little House Needleworks Summer Garden

32 count Crafty Kitten Fantasy Wings second

Carrie's Creations, Crescent Colours, DMC Variations

I changed all the threads except for one and I really like now it turned out.

So if you would like to be the next stitcher of this travelling pattern please say so in your comment. Open to all who have a blog. If you know someone who might be interested who doesn't read my blog then please send them my way. I'll pick a winner next week.

Last week the lovely Lainey had a birthday . I had planned what I was going to stitch for her but still managed to be late getting it in the post to her. Here is what I made for her. I'm not 100% happy as I struggled to get ribbons that would match.


Lamb Alphabet from World of Cross Stitching

Vintage Country Green linen

DMC

Birthday gift for Lainey.

I also included a sheep needleminder from No More Needles ( if you're on Facebook have a look for the page. It is my surrogate sis Lisa ).

I'm very happy to say that Lainey loves it :)

I've been beavering away on my WIPs although as you can see from this photo HAED QS Spirit of Winter Robin is going slow! I'm SALing with Lisa and she is the one keeping me going with it.

Another HAED has come out to play this week as Gill and I decided that we'd get our Gelsinger Santas out again this month and stitch on them through until Christmas. We will stitch on these when we have our crafting mornings.

I'm getting on very well with Garden Bliss. It looks prettier with every stitch! A few more weeks and it might be done :).

I am getting back into Frosty Forest now. I hadn't said anything but I'd got a bit fed up of it although I love all the blocks. Anyway I started building Bluebird Cabin and am now feeling much better about it! It's funny how a slight change can make all the difference.

My delphiniums are growing nicely on July's Delphinium.  Love these colours. They look so pretty. I'm so bad as no sooner have I started one of these I'm desperate to finish and start the next one! I've seen WIP of both the August one and October one and wish I was stitching those lol!

Final WIP which I adore is Tra La LaTricotine.  I just love every single thing about this and of course there will be a sheep on it soon! Poor Barb has had problems with hers and is now on her 3rd start :(.


I had some super post yesterday as my Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazine arrived and also the last year's Halloween special. I have been following Dani's WIP and finish on Instagram of Silver Creek Samplers Happy Halloween from that mag and loved it. By the way if you're on Instagram please feel free to follow me using the link in my sidebar :). I haven't had a proper look at the ornament mag yet. A quick glance left me deflated after the excitement of it arriving but I usually feel like that until I've had a proper look!

My tickets for Harrogate arrived the other day so reality has set in that I'm actually going! Time to start that list I think!

That's all for now. Thank you for continuing to visit me and leave me such lovely comments. I appreciate them all. It seems to have been a little quiet of late on the blogging world.

Take care everyone.

With much love.

Sally xxx

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A New SAL With Barb Plus September Stitch From Stash

I don't know about you all but I do love a new start especially when that new start is a SAL with a friend.  Even though Barb is a long, long way from me we settle down a few times a week to virtually stitch together. As you know we finished our Friday night SAL of The 12 Days of Christmas so last Friday our new SAL started. This is Tra La La Tricotine. I'm stitching mine on 32 count white evenweave using Atalie Threads and DMC. Love it so far. I'm afraid the girl is legless at the moment. I had stitched her face minus rosey cheeks and eyes and she looked rather like an alien which freaked me out a little! Lol. So the legs had to wait in favour of the rest of her face and her hair! I already have plans how to finish this when I've stitched it but think I will need some help and guidance lol!


I had another new start on Sunday. This time July's Delphinium. I would love to try and get well on with these now but I know they won't be finished by the end of the year. I like to try and have everything finished so I can start anew but it won't happen as I still have too many to do on these and Frosty Forest.

Typing of Frosty Forest last night in the parlour with the ladies over at Needlecraft Haven I finished Snowy Friends and made a small start on Bluebird Cottage.  Who knew what looked like a little bit of snow that I had left to do on Snowy Friends could take so long to do!

I'm making good progress on LHN Summer Garden which is the travelling pattern. I'm hoping that I might have it finished next week so keep an eye out if you are interested in being the next stitcher :).


Garden Bliss is going well. I'm now on to the garden bit at the bottom. I love how this looks and can't wait to have it hung in my home.

A little bit of progress was made on my robin. Not a massive amount but as anyone who stitches HAEDs will know they don't grow very fast!

I did some making up on Sunday. I used finishing forms to finish My Big Toe Designs Always in my Heart which I stitched late last year from the JCS 2011 Christmas ornament issue. I am delighted with how it turned out. The ribbon, bow and heart were on a greetings card I had saved.

Stitch From Stash report time now.  Unfortunately I had a spend this month. Not only did I spend my full £15 budget but I also spent £8.15 of my balance from last month. *sigh*. Now I'm feeling pretty peeved with myself!  So that leaves me with a balance of £49.75. So what did I buy?  These!

I have been looking for the Tim Hotlz pocket watch fobs since I first saw people using them to mount stitching in. Every time I found somewhere in the UK who stocks them they were out of stock and never got them back in. To buy them in the States meant about $9.50 shipping making them expensive. Anyway I was looking on Patchwork Rabbit and saw that Karla had them on her sneak peak page. Knowing that they are likely to be popular once people know she has them I ordered 2 along with the Blue Bunting chart and the fabric. The good thing is I paid with pennies I had saved from sales from charts I'd finished with but I still have to declare it for Stitch from Stash. I don't know how I'm going to go on for the next month as I may need some fabric as Barb and I are going to start stitching Halloween stuff when we've finished Tricotine. I may have to look at Ebay and see if I can find some bargains! Hopefully I can keep this up for the rest of the year though but leave November as my free month for when I go to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show and I'll also have to buy the chart  Chris and I are going to be stitching for our December  SAL. It's certainly getting harder as the year goes on and I'm using fabric up!

Typing of Chris I had a lovely day at her house on Friday.  Lots of chatting and a bit of stitching and a look round a couple of crafting shops. I was very jealous as she had started stitching the Hands on Design piece from the last Just Cross Stitch mag. I want to do that sometime! I wish there were more evenings in a week lol!

Oooh I almost forgot! Jess was saying she really wanted a poncho for winter so I said I'd knit her one if we could find a pattern she liked. She eventually found one so I asked my friend Gill if she could order it for me along with the yarn. It arrived last week, I started it at the weekend and here is where I'm at after my crafting morning this morning with Gill.

It's knitted in 2 strips then sewn together. The yarn is Sirdar Softspun Chunky and it is beautiful. It has a lovely sheen to it.

Before I forget there wasn't much interest for the Just Nan chart I was giving away but the winner is Christine. Christine I'll get it in the post ASAP.


Thank you to all those who congratulated Abi on finding a job. She did 6 hours last week and this week has done 12 as one of the girls is on holiday.  She's waiting to hear her shifts for next week. She is loving it. I have seen a change in her since she started. She smiles much more and seems so much happier. Not having a job had got her down. Hopefully Jess will find something soon as well. There seemed to be a few advertised all at once and now nothing! 

That's all from me for now.  Thank you for visiting and for all your lovely comments. I must get around to visiting you all very soon.

Take care everyone.

With much love.

Sally xxxx


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Travelling Pattern, A Giveaway Win Plus Some Finishes ( Picture Heavy! )

Well here we are well into September and this is my first blog post of the month.  So much for getting back to at least one post a week!

Anyway, without further ado, I had a comment on my last post from Justine telling me I had her first blogoversary giveaway. I was so excited but felt awful as when I looked at her blog it was almost a week since she'd posted and due to me not looking at any blogs I hadn't seen it. Postie brought a package yesterday and this is what I found inside. All so beautifully wrapped that I hardly dare disturb it! Inside was this beautifully stitched and finished cushion. As I told Justine when I emailed her this is just so me. I absolutely love the colours and the design. Also inside was The Nebby Needle chart True Friend with some GAST threads and a gorgeous birdhouse needleminder. You may remember that I stitched the True Friend design for my dear friend Chris' birthday so I'm looking forward to being able to stitch it for myself as I love the words on it. Thank you so much Justine for a beautiful package.





Also this week I received this lovely package from Dani in Canada. I won the travelling pattern from her and she also sent me some of my favourite needles and a beautiful fob / ornament. Also see the fabric?  The fob was wrapped in that and I reckon I will use it to back Summer Garden with when I've stitched it. Thank you so much Dani!


Here is my start on it. I'm using Craft Kitten 32 count Fantasy Wings linen ( a second that I bought from the Crafty Kitten Facebook page last year ) and I'm choosing colours as I go along. So far I've used Carrie's Creations Hot Pink and Mistletoe.  So look out for when I've finished this as it'll be travelling again. 

Since  my last post I've had a finish or four!  Firstly this one.

Carriage House Samplings Emma's Alphabet Sampler ( from JCS June 2005 )

40 count Cream Gander Linen

DMC

As you can see it is actually finished properly and I am so pleased with how it looks. I had a vision of how I wanted it and it's close!

Next one is this beauty.

Just Nan Marching Orders

Silkweaver Solo 28 count

DMC & Supplied Soie D'Alger Lady in Red

I would like to pass the chart for this on now so if you'd like it please say so in your comment and I'll pick a winner next week :).

Finish no. 3 also made up with the other 3 that needed to made up.

The Little Stitcher 12 Days of Christmas Day 12

32 count Vintage Country Mocha Linen

DMC

Thank you so much Barb for SALing with me on these. Barb and I will be starting a new SAL tomorrow and it will be Tra La La Tricotine :).

The  booklet for the 12 Days of Christmas is now for sale so please email me ( email in my profile ) if you are interested. SOLD

Final finish ( phew ! ) is this one.

Cottage Garden Samplings My Garden Journal June's Honeysuckle

40 count Pearl Grey linen

DMC

I'm all ready to start July's Delphinium on Sunday. Just have to cut my fabric.

Lisa and I are continuing our HAED SAL and although I'm struggling a little with getting used to it and thinking about still having 6 more pages to go is driving me mad I am enjoying it. I do feel better knowing that the last 3 pages are only small!

Frosty Forest is now coming out on Wednesdays in the parlour over at Needlecraft Haven so last night I tried desperately to get Frosty Friends finished but it didn't quite happen. Not to worry though as it will next week!

And I almost forgot Garden Bliss! How could I forget this!


I have some brilliant news this post! Abi has got a job! Yay! Both her and Jess applied for 3 jobs last week. Unfortunately Jess has not been successful as yet  but Abi desperately wanted to work at one of these places and told the lady when she went for the application form that she had been hoping a job would come up as she really likes it in there. To cut a bit of a long story short she had an interview on Monday and was offered it straight away. We are so pleased as she's been looking for over a year. She had her first shift today, which she enjoyed, and she'll be working 6 hours a week for now.

I'll be hopping on a bus tomorrow to go see Chris which I'm really looking forward to. I need to get some stitching sorted to take with me!

That's all my news for now. I'll be back with a stitch from stash report next week and the stash I very naughtily purchased but I'm still in!

Take care everyone.

With much love

Sally xxxx