Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A day late!

Ooops...I'm a day late in posting but I'm hoping that you'll forgive me when you find out why....please, please, please say you will!

I had planned to write this blog post yesterday after I had been to see the doctor about my knee. What I thought was going to be a quick visit turned into an all day session waiting for X-rays.....and what made it even more painful (not the knee, but the whole waiting thing) was that I hadn't picked up any stitching to take with me! I have a tin full of small freebie kits that are perfect for popping into your bag for just such occasions, but for some reason I didn't even think a bout taking one with me. Typical.....I could have finished about half of my stash while I was waiting!

So, onto what I did mange to stitch last week......

.....some more of the blue birds. I'm down to the bottom half of the design and onto the lettering so I feel as though I'm 'getting there'....although there's still loads to stitch on the main design and also all the border.

Feeling rather guilty, I picked up the cardinal design and added some more stitches to that....

......although I must confess that there weren't that many stitches added.The black fabric is stiff and hard and really not pleasant to work on, but it's such a pretty design! My original plan had been to wok on this one once a week, but as you can tell, that just hasn't happened!

I added another couple of rounds on my crochet blanket. It's hard to get a good picture of it....I really must take note on how other people photograph their blankets and see if I can get something a bit more interesting to show you :)

So that's all my progress for this weeks post. Thanks for popping by....and do please leave a comment....I love hearing from you!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Happily feeling blue!

I'm still staying positive about the blues in the Love Birds design......

...it's a bit boring but also quite easy to stitch....not too much concentration required....and it's nice to see it progress....maybe not as quickly as I would like! I keep seeing so many other designs that I would like to start.... no doubt you can relate to my plight :) 

Another few rounds were put into my crochet blanket.....

...it's hard to photograph it so that the pattern shows. It's really nice now that  it's getting bigger that the yarn colour change is taking place almost on each row now. This is another easy project to crochet and doesn't need too much concentration, so it's great to work on while watching the TV.... now that I've said that, I'll probably make a huge mistake and notice it and end up unraveling it all!

My starteritis seems to have  been cured....not sure if I'm coming down with finishing-it-off-itis as I do have a couple of finished finishes (if that makes sense!!!) Here's the little teddy stitching that I posted about a couple of weeks ago all finished and made into a card.....

And then there was another piece that I stitched wayyyyyy back before Christmas and was languishing at the bottom of my stitching basket......

...yay.....another finish....at least one person will be getting a stitched Christmas card this year :)

Who knows what other things might be finished off this week if the finishing-it-off-itis takes hold!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, February 5, 2018

The great thing about blogging!

I felt that this past week I hadn't really done very much stitching/crafting. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the week to do everything that you want to do (stitching and crafting) and what you feel has to be done (cooking and other pesky household chores) and what you should do (get to the gym and workout!) And here's where the beauty of blogging comes in......after taking pictures of my projects this week, I realize that I have, in fact, done quite a bit....ok, maybe not so much on the going to the gym part of it, but as the song says...two out of three ain't bad!

So, the starteritis from last week lingered over for a bit :)  I'm still not 100% cured.....

I bought this Janlyn cushion kit before Christmas (does that make it a bit better?) in the hopes of having it made in time to be a Christmas gift for my daughter and her fiance.......didn't happen! But it will make a lovely housewarming gift for them....I just have to add their names to the bottom. This was a fun kit if you fancy trying your hand at embroidery......

....the design is printed onto the fabric and you basically fill in the spaces .....

....my only 'complaint'  is that the black lines for the leaves aren't completely covered by the stitches.....this is just my OCD kicking in!

It was fun and definitely something I'd try again.....I did like the fact that you didn't have to concentrate too much as there's no counting involved.....makes it a great project for doing while watching the TV!

I also did some more rounds on my crochet blanket....

...these are taking longer and longer to do as you start in the middle and work out. The first few rounds seem to be really quick and now it's taking much longer....and will only get worse the bigger the blanket becomes!

And I can now show you what I teased you with last week....my sewing machine project.....yes, I'm still actually on speaking terms with my machine....we didn't fall out!!!!

This project was aimed at  making something useful and also using up some of the fabric stash that I have acquired .....

 .... a soup bowl cozy! 

You can find the instructions and pattern here. Now the site has it listed under their Fast Fridays section.....now I have to be honest here and do the full disclosure thing...it wasn't fast for me. Perhaps it's because  I made it on a Sunday.....maybe Sundays are named Slow Sundays...... I'm sure it's all about the name and  has absolutely nothing to do with my lack of sewing skills!  So, is it perfect....absolutely not! Do I love it....absolutely yes!

So not only can you use it for keeping your hands from burning on your soup bowl, but you can use it for storing your stitchy paraphernalia  .....

 ....and did you notice  that it's also reversible as well as super cute? Time to start busting out the fabric stash to make some more!!! 

Yeah, definitely seeing a black and white theme going on here. Wouldn't they make a great gift....just make one of these then add a bowl and a fancy soup mix....perfect as a get-well gift or even a (dare I say it this early in the year?) Christmas gift.

And as for cross stitching.....I did that too! Not much, but those bluebirds haven't been entirely  neglected...

So a big thank you to blogger for making me realize that I have indeed been a busy little bee last week! Let's hope this week is as productive.

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, January 29, 2018

Starteritis :)

I seem to be suffering from starteritis.....you know....that condition where you just have to start something new! I think I caught it from reading blogs....yes....it's contagious! Be warned.

I did manage to get  a bit more of the bluebirds stitched before the starteritis kicked in...

Not great progress, but any progress is better than none.

Then the starteritis began....the colours in the yarn were just screaming my name so I just had to buy it....you understand, don't you?!!!! I then found the perfect pattern for this yarn....

The crochet pattern is an easy one to do while watching TV etc....not too much concentration required! The pattern can be found here. I'm using a different yarn than the one the pattern calls for but it's very similar. This one is called 'blue blaze'.

And then the starteritis took hold.....I decided to start the free kit from one of the cross stitch magazines....

....my excuse was that you always need to have a supply of cards on hand! This little bear is perfect for  giving for so many different occasions....and it's a quick stitch, so a winner all round.

I also started  a project that had me using .......make sure you're sitting down for this as it may be a bit of a shock.....the sewing machine!!!! I sure have a bad case of starteritis! Yes, I used my sewing machine.....and I survived! I don't have a picture to show you just yet as it doesn't look like much at the moment, but I promise to reveal all once it's completed. 

I'm hoping that the next round of things to catch is finishing-it-of-itis :) If you do have that bug.....please feel free to send it my way!

Until next time....happy stitching!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bluebirds and frogs....what a combination!

With it being wet and miserable outside, I think the frogs decided to move in with me so they could stay nice and warm.....let's hope they decide to move out quickly as I've had enough of them!

Don't you just hate when you make a mistake and then have to unpick all that work that you've spent all evening doing.....and to make matters worse for me, not only did I unpick it all, but then I stitched a whole section using the wrong colour.....more unpicking! I knew these blue threads would be a pain! So although I have been working diligently on this design, there's not much progress to show...

....here's where I am now...

I'm hoping that the frogs have finally got the message that they're not welcome and that they've  moved out!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blue birds

The blue threads are still on the go.....I'm still managing to use them without pulling my hair out.....well, not yet anyway!

This is where I was last week on the bluebird design...

....and this is my progress as of today....

We now have a Mrs Blue Bird! I feel like I have really progressed this week....and it feels good!

I also managed to get loads done on the crochet shark. My daughter was supposed to bring over some black yarn she had at her house so that I didn't have to go and buy a whole ball just for a few little bits on the shark...the eyes and gills.....but guess what she forgot to bring....yup, the one thing I needed! So here's my not-so-little shark (minus eyes and gills!)...

And I've just noticed that I've chopped off his fin in the picture! He measures about 22 inches long. When I picked up the book (Crocheted Sea Creatures by Vanessa Mooncie)  in the craft store, I had assumed that the creatures would be quite small - probably about half the size that they are.....I really should read things more carefully before I buy them....although I  still would have bought the book anyway! Hopefully I'll have the eyes etc completed by the next post :)

Since I don't have much to show you today, I thought I'd give you a little glimpse of what I'm working on....of course, it's top secret and I can't tell you what it is until it's published....but suffice to say, I'm having fun and am  doing something that's quite different from what I normally do.....it still involves threads and fabrics.....

....just not the fabric that usually work with!

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, January 8, 2018

My first finish of 2018!

Let's hope it's the first of many for this year! So here it is, the dragon stitching for my daughters professor.....

The chart is called Tales of Wonder and is designed by Jennifer L. Aikman-Smith. The chart can be found free hereI changed the lettering from the original chart and also the dragon that was on the bottom - I wanted a larger dragon, so I used one of the other free charts that were available by this designer.

Now I just have to find some bell pull hardware (not as easy as I had thought!) and then it's completely done and ready to gift....what a great feeling.

I manged to spend one evening stitching on the blue birds design...

Not an awful lot of progress (I was watching the ice hockey on the TV at the same time) but at least it's not gathering dust.....yet! Those blues are beginning to get to me ;)

And as if I don't have enough stitching to be getting on with without starting something new, I started a new crochet project! I just couldn't help myself.....

My hubby got me a crochet book for Christmas and the projects in it are just so darn cute! The book is called Crocheted Sea Creatures by Vanessa Mooncie. I've started on the shark as I thought that might be a bit one of the easier projects to tackle. There's a cute puffer fish that I wanted to do, but the instructions seemed a bit complicated and I wanted something a bit easier to build my confidence!  I'm excited to pick up the crochet hook and get more done on this shark. Let's hope it doesn't prove too difficult for me to finish.

Anyway, that's all I have to share with you today, thanks for stopping by.

Until next time....happy stitching!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a year filled with joy....whatever joy you desire, be it good health, exotic travels, more time with family, etc....but most of all joy from stitching.

This year I have decided to only have one New Year resolution as I'm not the best at sticking to my resolutions....anyone else like that? This year, my New Year resolution is to do more of what brings me happiness. I figured it's vague enough that anything could fit into that statement and I'm likely to keep that resolution all year long! 

So what have I been working on over the Christmas period? Well, first of all I managed to get the felt stocking completed.....and in time for Christmas! Yay me!!!

The sequins really sparkle but you can't tell from the pictures.  Santa's beard was made up of several layers each embroidered and sequined before being attached...

His mustache, eyebrows, cheeks and hat are all stuffed as well as being sequined and embroidered...

The hardest part was embroidering the name on the top. The last stockings that I made were done on pale or white felt and I was able to use one of those disappearing ink pens to write the name so that I had a guide while stitching. This time nothing would show up on the dark green felt, so I just had to stitch and hope for the best! I didn't manage to get the stocking lined, so that's a project to do before Christmas 2018....what's the betting that I leave it to the last minute? :)

I also managed to get a few stitches into the little birds kit....yes, lots of blue....I think after this, I'll be looking for designs that don't have any blue in them at all! 

Another new start was this design that was just perfect for my daughter who wanted something to give to one of her professors that she has kept in touch with. This professor teaches a class called Storytelling and Cultures. I was looking for something to stitch and came across this chart in my stash....

It was perfect for this wonderful lady. 

The designer is Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams Inc. Unfortunately she has taken quite a few of her free designs off the website due to illegal copying and sharing of her charts....a problem that many designers face. As much as I love Facebook, Pinterest and the like, there are just so many illegal copies of charts being shared that it's hard to see how long designers will be able to stay in business. The good news is that you can still find many free dragon charts on the Dragon Dreams Inc Facebook page.

So,  a big thank you to all who visited here and left comments in 2017 ...... fingers crossed that 2018 is a great and productive crafty year!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas spent with those you love....and (of course)some stitching!

Until next time..


Monday, December 18, 2017

Stocking progress...and some new starts!

With Christmas day fast approaching, I'm desperately trying to find time to get in some sneaky, secret stitching....which really is not easy at all! Here's where I was last time I posted on my  Santa stocking secret stitching...

....and here's where I am now.....

There's still some hair to do along with some holly and berries to stitch and applique. I still have to embroider the name, attach the front of the stocking to the back and then make and attach the lining! All in  a week....I can see that I'll be burning the midnight oil to get this done in time and without the recipient seeing it!

So, while said person is around and I can't work on the stocking, I decided that maybe it was time to pull out this gorgeous kit that I got from my hubby a few Christmases ago......

......I absolutely love the design (and the fact that my hubby picked a cross stitch kit as a gift for me!), but I HATE stitching on black fabric.....which is why I have been putting it off for so long. Even with some white fabric on my lap so that I can see the holes in the aida, I still detest working on dark fabric......don't get me wrong, I love the finished result but I hate working with black or navy aida. So, with this in mind, I'm going to take it slow and only work on this design one night per week so that I don't end up having this project become a UFO.

So the other nights of the week (when I couldn't work on the stocking!) I have been working on this little kit...

This was one of those last minute grabs that I did in my local Wal-mart, so that I would have something to stitch when we were back in the UK for my father-in-laws funeral. As it happened, I didn't get time to stitch so have just started it. It's a cute little design with a sweet saying, which is probably too small to see on the photo, but it says 'Loved you yesterday, love you still. Always have, always will.' I wasn't too sure about buying it as I didn't love it, but it was the only one on the shelf that I would have stitched, the rest didn't appeal to me at all and I really wanted to have something to work on in the evenings while in the UK.  It was marked at $8 but when I got to the check-out it rang up as $3.50....what a deal! As you can see it's all blues, so i have a feeling that by the end of this design I'm going to be fed-up of stitching with blue threads!

I'm off to see if I can get a few stitches put in the Santa stocking before everyone else gets home from work.

Until next time....happy stitching!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Jo's Advent Calendar blog hop....and an apology!

Again I'm having to start a blog post with an apology.  I had signed up for Jo's Advent calendar blog hop and then with everything that's been happening in the family and two trips back to the UK, I had completely forgotten all about it.  So, my deepest apologies to Jo for messing up her plans and to all the other participants and readers, I apologies to you too.

Sooooo........Jo's question was 'How do you spend boxing day?' Boxing day isn't something that's celebrated here in the US, but being true Brits, we confuse our American friends by talking about it and bemoaning the fact that you don't get another day off work! When we lived in the UK it was a day spent with my side of the family as we had spend Christmas day with my hubby's family.  Today, we spend Boxing day quietly, eating the left-overs from Christmas dinner and usually playing board games. I love the fact that my grown up children love to play board games. We often go for a long walk (which seems to be another typically British tradition!) and we are lucky enough to have a nature preserve very close to where we live, so if the weather is good and there isn't tons of snow, a good long walk is also something that we  typically do (it also means that you can then eat the last of the Christmas trifle guilt-free!) I also like to get some stitching done too....what's a day without stitching?

Since I don't have any pictures of our boxing day traditions, I thought I would just share some of my Christmas stitching from previous years (lots of pictures as I'm feeling guilty for missing my date!)....

....and now that I have seen some of these old pics, I really want to go and stitch some of these little gems again!

For more of the advent Blog-hop please visit Jo's blog here.....you might find some new blogging friends to follow!

So, apologies once again for throwing a spanner in the works for Jo's carefully laid out plans.  Wishing you all the joys of this wonderful season, no matter how you celebrate!

Until next time....happy stitching!