Thursday, 7 April 2016

At Last!

Well it's been a while since my last post but I am happy to say that I've been stitching up a storm. Well on some things at least lol. I also have a few charts for sale above on the for sale page if anyone is interested please do have a look :)

I am even more happy to say that I have finally finished this!


Country Cottage Needleworks Countdown to Christmas

32 count fabric

Suggested threads.


This was my New Year's start on the 1st January and I finally finished it yesterday.  I have to say the longer I stitched it the more I didn't like it and mistakes were made as some of the French knots are the wrong colour!  Maybe it's a good job it won't be on display until 1st December then I may have fallen back in love with it again!

Another finish was my March ornament for the SAL with Barb and Chris and Lisa may be joining us too :). I don't know if Barb has guessed what it is but I'll tell her now!

Hands on Design Plenty ( from the 2015 ornament mag )

Unknown fabric.

DMC.

Of course April is here which means another ornament. This one is from 2007. Any ideas Barb?! I'm not sure of the fabric colour and the picture doesn't show it very well.

Do you remember my Arsenic and Old Lace afghan that I was knitting? Guess what?! I've finished it!! Yay! I can't tell you how happy I was to get it all finished up! It's been along time in the making with me putting it away for a year but it's done and on my bed. The photo isn't great as I couldn't get it all in.

I have cast on an aran jumper now but forgot to take a photo!

I was making good progress on HAED SK Dragons History andam about halfway down page 2.


However I'm not sure I'll get much done on it over the next few weeks as there's a new challenge started on the Official Heaven and Earth Designs Facebook group and I'm taking part in that. You may remember that the last one was to stitch 10  10 x 10 blocks diagonally and I stitched on Mini Jolly Old Fellow. Well that one was pretty easy but this one is going to take some doing as this challenge is stitching a FULL PAGE of between 7,300 and 7,600 stitches,  cross country stitching one colour at a time over 10 weeks! Yes I did say a full page! Well let me tell you it's a long time since I completed a page on a HAED in that time frame lol! As I'm not near the next page on SK Dragons History I decided to do Mini Jolly Old Fellow. I haven't finished page one yet ( nearly there ) so I've gone down and started page 4. Here is my progress on that page since Saturday and the progress on the first page since my last post. I'm very happy so far with my progress! That is 12 colours on page 4!

Oooh I have finished AotH Evergreen Lane except for  finishing the personalisation and started Elizabeth Jane:).


Final stitching ( seen as I forgot to take a photo of tne SB fold piece ) is our sheepy SAL. Poor Barb scrapped hers and restarted it. Here's my progress. Still a fair bit to do yet!

A few weeks ago DH and I went to see Heather Small in concert and he took the following day off work in case we were late home. The concert was brilliant and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Anyway the following day we had decided to drive up to Pickering in North Yorkshire as the Flying Scotsman was on the North York Moors Railway. Abi came with us and we had a lovely day out.  It was such an honour to see the Flying Scotsman. We then went for a drive round and ended up on the North York Moors . Such a beautiful place to be! I took a few photos.









That's it from me for today. I hope to catch up with you all soon. Thank you for visiting me and for all your lovely  comments.

With much love,

Sally xxxxxx

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I am Still Here!

I know it's been a while since I last blogged! I try so hard to make the effort but it just doesn't seem to be happening but I guess if I blog every now and then to keep my hand in I won't lose the bug all together.  I most certainly don't want to use Instagram ( although I am on there but hardly ever use it! ) as it seems so impersonal and I have always loved the blogging platform and made many lovely stitchy friends since I started a few years ago. There was a point a few days ago where I thought I'd just give up but I don't want to so you won't be getting rid of me lol!

First of all I just want to say a massive thank you for all your good wishes for Abi. All her bloods came back normal which is good but also a little frustrating when she has been ill on and off for so long and lost weight. She gets so down and suffers with anxiety which doesn't help either. Anyway she seems to be picking up a little now and is slowly eating better so fingers crossed she is turning a corner. The doctor thinks she has picked up a winter bug that has taken some getting rid of and that she will pick up again over time. She has started coming to craft group with me ( she taught herself to crochet a while ago ) when she's not working so she's seeing different people.

So what have I been up to stitching wise. Well my fourth Shepherd's Fold piece, Cherish Life, was finished and I finally finished making it up yesterday. It is far from perfect but I love it. The wool inside is supposed to have a herringbone stitch down the middle but my brain wouldn't engage so I didn't do it!




So the fifth piece, Fear Not, was started . This one will be a needleroll. I look at these pieces and think oh that won't take long! Haha! They take longer than you think but then again I do only stitch one evening a week on them.

I finished the stitching on my February ornament and waited for March to come around to start another.

Blue Ribbon Designs Snowmates

40 count Sand linen

DMC

I'll get this one and my January one made up soon. The craft knife that I used for cutting card disappeared and even though I turned the house upside down it didn't turn up! DH was sorting the boot of the car out and found it in there! We'd put Christmas wreaths on our parents graves early in December and taken the knife to cut string to tie them on with!

Last night I made a start on my March ornament.  Any ideas what it is Barb?! It is from the 2015 mag.

Barb and I have also been stitching away on our sheep SAL but we are not really feeling it with this one. I'm going to persevere with it though as it will be lovely when it's done. Violet is now complete and she has her sheep by her side. Now she just needs her flowers to water.

Gill and I have been trying to get back to our craft mornings recently and we've managed two so far! I have picked up HAED Mini Jolly Old Fellow to stitch when we have our mornings and I also stitched this on Sunday ( Mothers Day here ) as I was on my own. I've filled in all the squares from when I did the challenge on the HAED Facebook page. I can't wait to get to Father Christmas although it will slow me up a lot then!

The first page of HAED Dragons History was finished a couple of weeks ago and I made a start on page 2. I can't wait to get further down the page as the top of the dragon will appear!

I went through all my HAED charts last week writing order numbers on the front pages and if they were RAKs, birthday gifts and who they were from or I'd bought them myself. Bad idea as I wanted to start so many of them! Of course I'm not going to as I don't want to get snowed under again like I have in the past as that is when they end up getting put away for ages. The times I've said I'll keep going until one is finished and ended up putting it away is ridiculous!

I have stitched a few extra times on CCN Countdown to Christmas to try and get more done. I love it but I'm a little fed up of it now but don't want to put it away for fear I'll never finish it! I still have quite a lot to do but hopefully those little motifs in the boxes won't take too long!

Oooh I am so excited as I have almost finished AotH Evergreen Lane! I just have to fill bits around the border and add the personalisation but I'm not sure how I'm doing that yet. So just one more block to go and the bonus bit! I wonder if I can get it finished by mid year!

Have any of you seen anything that you like from Nashville Market? I don't think I've seen everything but nothing has really jumped out at me which is good! I'm not buying anyway as I haven't finished 10 things yet and I'm trying not to buy on impulse when I allow myself to buy as that is not good!

As I mentioned earlier it was Mothers Day here in the UK on Sunday. My girls gave me some lovely card and pressies. Jess bought me the Harry Potter colouring book. She says mistakes were made as she didn't realise there were snakes in it lol! She'll be colouring those pages for me! Abi bought me the book and the choccies which look too nice to eat.

A couple of weeks ago I decided I'd had enough of my hair style. I loved it when I had it cut for my 50th birthday but it wasn't how it was then having had to change hairdressers when ours left. So I messaged my current hairdresser and told her I wanted a change, took in some pics to show her and off I went last Wednesday feeling rather nervous!  If you look at my profile photo that's me just after I'd had it done. Of course I can't get it like that  no matter how hard I try lol but I love it.

Time for me to get some photos uploaded and publish this! Thank you for reading and for all the lovely comments you leave me. You have no idea how much they are appreciated.

With much love.

Sally xxxxx

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Back From The Framers

First of all I just want to say thank you for all your wonderful comments on my robin finish. I truly appreciate each and every single comment. After some messing about getting the piece washed and dried I finally got it into the framers and picked it up yesterday. My framer has done a fantastic job and if he ever retires I don't know what I will do! I have been trusting him with my stitching for many years now. So here is my lovely robin framed!

I am so pleased with how it looks. I was going for a red mount but he suggested this one as he thought anything else would take your eye away from the robin and I think he is right. I can't get a brilliant photo I'm afraid.

It was my dear friend Barb's birthday this week and I stitched this sweet design for her and framed one of my very own sheep photos!

Shepherd's Bush Friendsheep ( free chart with purchase of button)

Vintage Country Mocha Linen

DMC

Birthday gift for Barb.

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

Of course after finishing my robin I had the problem of which HAED to pick up next. There was Guardian, Mini The Forgotten, Mini Jolly Old Fellow and SK A Dragon's History. After much deliberation I decided on the SK as it's only 4 pages and I was well down the first page when I put it away I don't know how long ago! I've stitched 2 weekends on it and manged about 20 or so rows. Mini The Forgotten may well be restarted at some point as I hate the metallic!

I forgot to show my new start a few weeks ago on the next Shepherd's Fold piece. This one is Cherish Life and it is just so pretty. 

Typing of the Shepherd's Fold here is my finished Goodness and Grace.

Oooh also my finished up Be Merry! This one was finished towards the end of 2015 but I didn't get it made up to put on my tree.

Barb and I still stitching on our SALs. This is my progress on my ornament. Barb I think you'll guess pretty quickly what this one is!

We made a start of With Thy Needle and Thread Sweet Violet for our sheep SAL. I had to change the colour for her dress as it didn't show up. Unfortunately she is headless, armless and legless at the moment!

I am finally getting going again on Anniversaries of the Heart and Evergreen Lane. The frog came to visit but I managed to restitch what had to come out. Phew!

Finally my progress on Countdown to Christmas. 

That's all my news for now but before I go could I please ask for some good thought for Abi. She is waiting for results of blood tests to come back. She went to the doctors last week as she's been feeling unwell, not eating very well and has lost 3/4 of a stone since Christmas. She seems to picking up a bad throat every other week and keeps feeling sick. It's such a worry and I just hope something will show and they can give her something to make her well again. 

I'll be catching up on blogs soon. 

Until next time.

With much love

Sally xxxx

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

DMC

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

DMC & GAST.

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

DMC

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