Wednesday, 3 February 2016

It's A Wrap!

I am having a huge happy dance and it deserves a post all of its own! Without further ado here is.....

Heaven and Earth Designs QS Spirit of Winter Robin ( artwork by Ciro Marchetti )

25 count Magic Guide fabric


Started 10th February 2013

Finished 2nd February 2016.

I will admit to feeling rather emotional when the last stitch went in as it a very special piece and means a lot to me. For those of you who are new to my blog I stitched this as a memory piece for my Dad who passed away in January 2013 and in stitching it it helped me through a very sad, difficult time. Of course without Michele of HAEDs wonderful charting and getting this released for me it wouldn't have been possible so thank you so much Michele and also very special hugs and thanks to my surrogate sis Lisa for gifting me the chart.

I'll be back another time to show some WIPs.

However I would like to show the latest little member of our family.

Meet little ( although not so little! ) Freddie the budgie!

Until next time.

With much love.

Sally xxxx

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

First Two Finishes of 2016

It has been a rather chilly past week here in the UK but it is so much better than the mild, rainy weather we have had. I have been so fed up of that and it looks like we're going to be returning to that at the weekend. Yuck! Unfortunately we didn't get any snow here on the coast where as other areas of the country did and I was very disappointed!

So, as the title of my post suggests, I have had my first two finishes of 2016. The first one was started last year but nevertheless it is still a finish this year.

Shepherd's Bush Shepherd's Fold Goodness and Grace ( as kitted)

I forgot to add the buttons but I'll do that and show it again once I've got it all made up. I am enjoying these fold pieces and am so glad I finally decided to sign up. I'll be starting Cherish Life tomorrow :)

Barb, Chris and I started our JCS ornaments SAL and I finished mine on Monday. Barb thought that mine was Legacy Designs Give Love For Christmas but it isn't! It is......

The Snowflower Diaries Pure Love

40 count sand linen


Mistakes were made! I forgot I was using GAST for the leaves and stems so some of them are stitched with DMC! Duh!! Anyway they look OK so I am not ripping it out. I have decided on my February ornament but it's a secret so Barb can guess what it is but I will say it's from the 2015 mag again. Barb I think yours might be Little House Needleworks Snowy Days.

Last weekend I wanted to get plenty done on my lovely Robin but I just wasn't feeling it somehow and didn't get as much as I would have liked done. I'm hoping to make better progress as I'd love it finished for 10th February as that would have been my Dad's 87th birthday and 3 years since I started this piece.

Wednesdays are parlour nights although I didn't sign in last week so I must remember this week. I'm making slow but steady progress on CCN Countdown to Christmas. I'm enjoying this one and it's a nice easy one to do.

Last week I decided that I really needed to make the effort and get my Anniversaries of the Heart piece out again. I made a start on Evergreen Lane a bit ago then put it away but now it is back out again and I will, hopefully, stick with it until the whole piece is complete. 

The Heaven and Earth Designs group on Facebook is running another challenge and this time it is 100 stitches a week over 10 weeks but they have to be done in 10 x 10  blocks diagonally. At first I wasn't going to join but then I thought if I get Mini Jolly Old Fellow out it'll get a little done on him and depending on what the rest of the challenges are over the year I can maybe get a couple of pages finished! So on Sunday for a couple of hours I stitched on him and got 400 stitches done. It was easy because there are only a few colour changes in the background!

This Friday Barb and I will be getting on with our sheep SAL and we are starting Sweet Violet by With Thy Needle and Thread. I have sorted my fabric so just need to do my threads then I'll be ready to go. I think I'll be using a mixture of the recommended threads and DMC as I know I only have a few of the recommended ones. 

I am so sorry that I haven't visited your blogs yet but every time I think I'll do that something comes up and I don't get there. So, fingers crossed, I might just get to a few this afternoon once I've exercised. 

Thank you visiting me and for all your lovely comments and I will, hopefully, be popping by to visit you later today :) Thank you for your good wishes for Abi. 

Until next time.

With much love.

Sally xxx

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Three Weeks Later!

Yep 3 weeks since my last blog post! How did that happen? Where did the last 3 weeks go?! I quite simply do not know. One minute it was a week before Christmas Day and next think I know we're a week into 2016!

We had a very quiet Christmas but we enjoyed it. It's just nice to relax and spend time as a family without them worrying about work. Abi has been finding work stressful and has been anxious and down about a few things which all stems from her losing little Meeko at the beginning of December.  I worry so much about her and wish I could just wave a magic wand. So having a few days with no work was nice for her and Jess had a week off which was even better!We spent time playing video games, colouring and playing Doctor Who Monopoly which was one of Jess' Christmas presents!  We all received some lovely gifts and I will show what I received from stitchy friends and some stash from my DH's auntie.

First of all Barb gave me this sweet fabric and beautiful trims.

Lisa gave me this gorgeous fabric which will come in very handy for my Christmas stitching this year.

Michelle gave me this lovely chart, kit, crocheted tree and candy cane. ( candy cane not in the photo!)

Finally June gave me this gorgeous ornament and felt snowflake.

Thank you so much ladies. I feel well and truly spoilt.

However that was not all as on Thursday I received a package from my dear friend Barb. She had sent me more gifts for my birthday. A beautiful sheep scarf, a scented sachet ( spot the snowman! ) and a sweet hand made by Barb sheep pincushion.  Thank you so much Barb. I have had my scarf on today :).

I feel so blessed to have such lovely friends.

This is the lovely kit that my DH gave to his auntie to wrap up for me for Christmas.  To be honest I had telephoned The Nimble Thimble, ordered it myself and given it to my DH when it arrived! I am looking forward to stitching this!

You may remember just a few weeks ago I was giving away the CCN cottages of the month and Judith won them. Imagine my surprise when I received a package from The Netherlands and these were inside!

A lovely thank you for the charts. Thank you so much Judith.

So what I have been up to stitching wise? Well, surprise,  surprise I didn't stitch for 3 days over Christmas.  I know it's amazing it?! It is so rarely heard of for me. Lol! I did manage to have 2 finishes before though.

The first one was this little beauty.

Little House Needleworks Be Merry

32 count fabric

DMC & Classic Colorworks

Of course it needs finishing up but I haven't had any enthusiasm for getting my sewing machine out.

This one needs finishing too! This is the December SAL I did with Chris.

Little House Needleworks The Florist

30 count Northern Cross linen


I'm already looking forward to our next December SAL! Not that I want the year to go fast as it goes fast enough!

I think my lovely Robin will be finished soon. Page 7 went very quickly so I have made a start on page 8 :). I am so looking forward to finishing this and getting it framed.

Of course New Year's Day is traditionally new start day and this one was no exception.  I decided on Country Cottage Needleworks Countdown to Christmas.  I'm using Classic Colorworks, GAST and DMC on 32 count natural Belfast linen that I bought from Harrogate when I was there.

Barb, Chris and I have started a new SAL this year and that is ornaments from the JCS ornament magazines. Chris has already finished hers! We choose whatever design we want. This is mine from the 2015 issue. Can you guess what it is?

I haven't managed to stitch on my Shepherd's Fold piece for a couple of weeks but I have made up for it by stitching on it 2 evenings this week. It is looking so pretty. Oooh typing of the Shepherd's Fold I haven't shown the box! As you already know I could not justify spending $150, or whatever it is in £s, for the Shaker box so I bought a paper mache one. Well I finally plucked up the courage to cover it and finish it. It is far from perfect but I am quite happy with it. I have the finished fob in it, as you can see, with some shiny new scissors ( shhhh don't tell Abi as she says I can't have anymore! ).

I am going to be making some changes this year and one of those is that I am going to have to cut right back on sending birthday gifts to stitching friends. I said this last year then found it hard to stop but this year I am definitely going to have to. I will still be sending one or two, just not as many. I do feel bad but postage is getting silly. So please don't think any less of me. Of course the other thing concerns my stashing! I've been doing a lot of thinking and came to the conclusion that buying charts then getting them through the post makes me feel better, gives me something to look forward to but then I feel guilty and it makes me feel bad when I already have enough. So this year I am going to try much harder to stop doing this. I have so many beautiful charts in my stash and I could probably not buy for a couple years if I could just put my mind to it and stop this mindset of getting stash to make me happy and feel better. It sounds so very sad and silly doesn't it? There are a few charts I'd like to buy through the year so I'm going to allow myself one for every 10 finishes and that is that! 

Now no first blog post of the new year can go without a review of the previous year's stitching! Lol! Last year I had 66 finishes which I am very pleased with. I took part in SALs with Barb, Lisa and Chris and those will continue this year. Barb and I are doing a sheep SAL as well as the ornament one. Chris is joining us with the ornaments and we'll be doing our usual December SAL :). Lisa and I will be continuing our HAED SAL. I have not made up my mind what I'll be stitching once the Robin is finished but it will be one of my HAED UFOs :). So here's to a stitch filled 2016!

That is all from me for now. I'm not going to promise to blog more often because I just don't seem to do it but we'll see! Lol!

Until next time.

With much love,

Sally xxx

Friday, 18 December 2015

Ornament Exchange With Chris, My Birthday and Stitching!

I'm so sorry but this is going to be a rather picture heavy post!

Last Friday I hopped on the bus and went through to Hull to see my friend Chris. It was so lovely to get a day out to see a dear friend. We chatted and stitched, drank tea and had some lunch. I really enjoyed my day with her and it was over too soon. We do a private ornament exchange every December and here is what I stitched for Chris.

Little House Needleworks This Is My Joy

Classic Colorworks Belle Soie Fox Red

For Chris.

I am very happy to say that Chris loved it :)

This is what Chris stitched for me.It is a Lizzie Kate from a few years ago and I love it! It is so beautifully stitched and finished and I have it hanging with a few other ornaments above my fire in the dining room.

I look forward to us having another day stitching and chatting soon.

Last Saturday was my birthday and I just had a quiet day. It was grocery shopping in the morning then Abi wanted to visit a local to us garden centre and we had a look round the Christmas displays. They always do such fantastic displays and have lots of lovely Christmas decorations for sale. When we got home I got Jess' Doctor Who scarf out and finished knitting that. We did go out for a meal on Sunday evening though :). Anyway I received some gorgeous cards and gifts from both my family and my stitchy friends and I'll show the ones from my stitchy friends. Thank you all so much for making me feel so special. Love and hugs to you all. I will let the pictures do the talking but there are a few themes going here lol!  :)

From Chris

From Gill.

From Clare.

From Lisa.

From Karan.

From June.

From Christine.

From Lainey.

From Michelle.

From Lesleyanne

From Julie.

As I said in my last post I received a gift voucher for The Patchwork Rabbit from Barb and this is what I bought with it.

I went a little bit over, as I wanted to get what I didn't have to stitch the chart, so I also added this chart as well! I will get the others as and when Karla gets them back in stock!

Karla also included this beautiful needleminder with this note. Isn't that so sweet?!

I am so blessed to have such lovely friends who remember me on my birthday. I don't express my feelings very well but I appreciate your friendships so much and love everything. 

Chris and I have been stitching away on our December SAL. I had already started mine and Chris started hers when I visited her. I've stitched more on mine since then as I am really enjoying it.

I started the last CCN ornament and just stitched the red on the dress. I hope Barb has managed to start hers too.

I also got Fa La La made up.

This is how I made up my finish for the Mani Di Donna contest on Facebook. This is on the way to a friend for her Christmas tree :).

I was hoping to get the page finished on my robin but I didn't make it so we'll see what happens this weekend!

Goodness and Growing is growing slowly! I want to try and get the box done over the weekend but it depends on what else I have to do!

Oooh I better show Jess' Doctor Who scarf too! Not a great photo as I took it with my tab!

I am so behind with blog reading yet again but will try to get caught up over the weekend. I doubt I will be blogging again before Christmas so I'd like to wish you all A very Happy Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Stash and Stitch filled 2016.

With much love.

Sally xxx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ornament Exchange With Barb

Barb and I decided to do another private ornament exchange this year. We decided on a Monday post out and Royal Mail did very well and delivered both on Tuesday! This is what I stitched for Barb.

Shepherd's Bush Joy to Ewe

18 count Natural linen


Ornament for Barb.

I am very happy to say that Barb loves it :) 

Here is what Barb stitched for me. She knows me oh so well and I actually have this in my stash to stitch lol! Isn't it gorgeous. So beautifully stitched and finished. Look at the sweet Christmas card too!

Here is a better photo of it.

Look what Barb commissioned her DH, Martin, to make for me. I can't get a decent photo of it but as you can see there is a sweet little Robin inside the cage :) Thank you so much Barb and Martin. I love both my ornament and my Robin. 

It is my birthday on Saturday and I have been receiving some cards and gifts through the post and by hand which I have put away. Barb surprised me with a gift voucher for The Patchwork Rabbit a few days early which I will enjoy spending. I'm going to wait until next week to spend it :) 

A week ago today we lost a precious pet who was a huge part of our family. Abi's wee hamster Meeko passed away at the grand hamster age of 2 1/2. She is absolutely heartbroken and we all miss him so much. He was such a sweet little thing and a wonderful character who gave so much love and was loved very much by all of us. He has left a huge hole in our hearts.

A lot of stitching has been going on but one bit I can't show as it is a gift. I have had a couple of finishes and two new starts though!

Country Cottage Needleworks Fa La La

32 count Natural opalescent linen


Barb did not quite get hers finished but we will soon be ready to start the last ornament of the series which is Be Merry.

My other finish is this one. It is a Facebook contest by Mani Di Donna and I need to get it made up very soon. Not sure how I'm going to do it yet!

Mani Di Donna Christmas 2015

40 count Pearl Grey linen

Carrie's Creations and DMC Variations

I forgot to take a photo of one of my new starts which is the December SAL that Chris and I are doing. It is Little House Needleworks The Florist. I am going to visit Chris tomorrow and we're going to do some stitching together so will take a photo next time! I'm looking forward to seeing her as it's ages since we last got together.

My other new start is the third part of the Shepherd's Bush Shepherd's Fold Goodness and Grace.

This one is just so pretty. I plan on getting started with the box covering as I bought some fabric off Ebay after deciding the one I bought a few weeks just wasn't right! 

My lovely Robin didn't get quite as much attention over the weekend as it was the Doctor Who finale on Saturday night and I had to concentrate on that lol! Nearly there with this page though and hoping to have it finished by the end of the month then I'll just have 3 partial pages to go!

Oooh I almost forgot the CCN cottages charts! There were just 2 people showed an interest as many of you are trying to get your stash down, which I totally understand, so the winner of the charts is Judith at The Fairy Stitcher! Judith please email me your address and I'll get them on the post to you. My email is in my profile.

That is all from me for now but before I go I'd just like to say how awful the floods and storms have been and my heart goes out to all those affected by them especially in Cumbria.

Take care everyone.

Until next time.

With much love.

Sally xxx