Friday, November 30, 2007


All my obligation stitching for Christmas is finished, so I can relax - my ornament for the Crazy Exchange board exchange is in the mail, and now I just have to wrap the items for my family :o)

I've been reading a little about "Selfish Stitching" on blogs such as Stitch Bitch

I sort of like the idea, and was thinking about making that my theme for the year, and then I remembered that I'm in a birthday exchange, and a couple of other exchange groups, then there's my family (there's a significant anniversary this year), plus the sampler I've been commissioned to make for a wedding gift it's just not going to happen this year! I am not going to sign up for any round robins or major commitment with people I don't know, but I do enjoy giving (and receiving) stitchy stuff.

I'm going away for the weekend, but I'll be working - my best friend J has set up her own architectural practice, and needs a hand as she has so much work on! Hopefully, I will get a little stitching done in the evenings. It's a shame that the needlework shop there has closed down, but there is a yarn shop, I may get to drop in :o) The weather forecast for that part of the country isn't good though - snow is possible on the Pennines - and my friend has a real fire, so we may just stay in! When it's cold there - it's very cold!

The picture above (taken on a sunny day, and there aren't that many where I'm going) is pretty much the view from J's house - she's right on the river.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend, thank you for dropping by and commenting - I might be back on Monday with a finish, wouldn't that be good!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My niece and her afghan

My niece M is a very curious child - here she is investigating a squirrel, who appears to be glued to the tree...

This post is just an excuse to share this picture with you, because it makes me smile every time I see it. Even though you can't see her face, her posture is just ... her! She's not very tall, but very sturdy, and very confident :o)

As I'm posting about M, I'm going to take this opportunity to post a picture of the afghan I made for her when she was born. When I gave it to her parents, my BiL insisted it be stored away safely, as it was too good to give her- I can see his point, but I hope that she gets to use it sometime :o)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ready or Not - Lizzie*Kate

Thank you everyone for your comments, and welcome everyone to my blog! I do appreciate everyone who takes the time to drop by, and please feel free to say hi!

Susan - the Christmas Sampler is stitched with two strands of thread for the cross stitch and most of the back stitch. I think it looks delicate because the fabric is 28 count.

This is another little wallhanging finish. The design is a Snippet from Lizzie*Kate called Ready or Not - I remember it seemed to take a long time for a Lizzie*Kate design, as the stitching is quite solid on the Santa!

I'm going to be looking out the rest of my decorations later, as I need to find my Advent Calendar and fill it with chocolates :o)

I'm also going to the next town, which has a nice craft shop with a needlework section - I will only look, honest! LOL

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Sampler - Leisure Arts

Can you tell that this is my new favourite way of finishing medium size projects? I'm actually liking this more than I did, but I think I'm going to give it away - probably to my sister or niece. Teddy bears aren't really my thing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goals Review

It's now officially less than a month until Christmas. If I was a kid, I'd be excited. But I'm an adult, and I have a major uni assignment to be in before the end of term, presents to buy, cards to write ... at least with not working I don't have any excruciating works Christmas "Dos" to go to - being a non meat eater at these turkey fests is always depressing...

So, how am I doing with my stitching goals? Remarkably well, I think - pause while I polish halo and feel smug. I'm doing better at finishing than stitching, but that's good, as it means things are in a state to give or hang.

Ho Ho Ho Scissor Case - Lizzie*Kate - not yet started, but I think this will be an evening's work
Ornament for Parents - stitched, finished, and ready to wrap
Ornament for Niece - ditto
Ornament for Sister - stitched, am contemplating the finishing, as the first attempt looked horrible.
Ornament for Simone's Exchange - stitched, finished, mailed, received but not opened :o)
Ornament for Crazy Exchange Exchange - stitched, finished and ready to mail.
Christmas Bells - Janlynn - started, needs an afternoon/evening for completion.


Christmas Ornament - Brightneedle - still dithering as to whether to make a pinkeep or a stuffed ornament. Am favouring the latter for speed.
Christmas Rose - Elizabeth's Designs - done
Dear Santa, I Can Explain - Lizzie*Kate - done
Ho Ho Ho - Lizzie*Kate - borders added, needs backing
Jingle Bell Time - SanMan Originals - done
Joy Ornament - Just Nan - done
Joy To The World - Lizzie*Kate - done
Jungle Room Plaque - Dimensions/Sunset - needs doing, and soon, as it's a Christmas giftie for my niece.
Merry Little Christmas - Bent Creek - done, although I might re-do it.
Noel - Homespun Elegance - just needs a hanger adding
Peace - The Victoria Sampler - done
Peace Joy Love - Lizzie*Kate - border added, needs backing for making into cushion cover
Ready or Not - Lizzie*Kate - done
Snow - Gail Bussi - done
Snowman Ornament - Bent Creek - done
Star Santa Ornament - Lavender Wings - done
Finishing - Winter Peace - Sisters and Best Friends - fabric for border chosen.

Advent Wallhanging - Needlecraft - not even looked at. Will go back in the pile for another year.
Christmas Sampler - Leisure Arts - done and made up into a padded wall hanging.
December Sampler Accent - Periwinkle Promises - not even looked at yet.
Hearts of Joy No. 2 - Charland Designs - the reason it was a UFO has now been resolved, so will start stitching it again soon.
O Christmas Tree - Prairie Schooler - about 50% complete.

I think that I won't add anything more to this until my finishing at least is done, and hopefully my UFOs will be interesting enough to stitch that I won't feel the need to anyway!

I'm going to amend my sidebar list now - it isn't quite as satisfying as scoring out a list written by hand though :o)

I would like to make some Christmas cards this year, but they are going to be papercraft. Me and glue - could be interesting...

Works in Progress

I frogged all the gold metallic out of Coeur ... gosh, it looks pathetic now! I will take a picture before I start again on this. The frogging took a while, as I'd anchored the threads down well in the first place! I think it will stitch back quite quickly, or at least I hope so!

After all that destruction, I was glad to get to work on another UFO that had been put aside merely because ... actually, I don't know why I laid this aside, although I suspect it was because I'd run out of one of the DMC colours it uses a lot of!

This is O Christmas Tree from the Christmas Samplers leaflet by Prairie Schooler - it's an old out of print one I got in a sale somewhere. I'm nearly half way through now, and I'm enjoying every stitch. The colours are muted and work very well together. The cardinals need their beaks on this shot!

Joy to the World - Lizzie*Kate

I stitched this before I really got into the sheep collecting side of my stash, so of course I had to get it made up for this year! The design is an old Lizzie*Kate freebie called "Joy to the World".

Again, it's a padded wall hanging and I think I might quilt this one around the inner edge of the border.

I do all my making up by hand, as I haven't really got the space to set up a sewing machine, so it can sometimes take a while, but I find it quite relaxing - as long as everything goes right!

I'd like to say a big "thank you" to all my readers and commenters - I've noticed a few more people dropping by. Welcome to you all, I appreciate your kind words and your interest in my little bit of the web!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Now You See It...

And shortly you won't.

This is a Charland design and I'm not very happy with how the metallic thread lies - it's Kreinik cord, and the stitches look horrible! Also, there wasn't enough included in the kit, and my LNS is having trouble getting hold of Kreinik since the UK distributor changed. So, today's task - when I've done some finishing - is to frog it all! Oh joy! I will restitch it in either Kreinik braid (which I have several spools of in my stash) or a DMC metallic,using plenty of Thread Heaven.

Where I've started the ribbon embroidery on the right hand side is also coming out.

Is it any wonder this was a UFO? :o)

Dear Santa, I Can Explain... - Lizzie*Kate

Not the greatest picture - padded wallhangings don't tend to want to lie flat!

This is another finish that has been languishing in my finished pile for several years - in my defence, I hardly went near my stitching in 2006 and for most of 2005 :o)

This was made up quite simply with a couple of remnants from my fabric stash - I didn't have enough of the holly print to go all the way round, and as I'm trying not to buy anything new, went with a matching plain fabric. I think now that the printed fabric all the way round might have been too much anyway.

There is wadding in the middle, and a calico backing, and I hope to get (or make) a wire hanger which I can peg this too with those cute mini clothes pegs.

Sally - I'm setting aside one day a week when I do some finishing, otherwise it just won't happen! It tends to be Sundays, as there's less distractions. I'm hoping that when the backlog is dealt with, my finishing day can go to one day per month, or that I will finish as I go!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Exchange from Virpi

The other package I received came from Virpi in Finland, and contained my first biscornu! I've been intrigued by these since I first saw them on people's blogs, and now I have one of my very own, and stitched in one of my favourite colours too! It is beautifully done, and very delicate looking. One the reverse, Virpi has stitched her initials, my name and the date. The gathering is done through the tiniest buttons I've ever seen, smaller even than the ones I've been using recently.

The rest of the package was great too - two tiny flexi hoops, which are just the right size for holding my fabric when I'm stitching scissor fobs, and four funky buttons which came in their own cute little bag.

Thank you for a great gift, Virpi!

Exchange from Amarins

I had a great mail day today! Not only did my Amazon order arrive, I had two little Jiffy bags turn up - I'll get to the other one in my next post, but first let's admire Amarins's handiwork!

Top of the picture is a card - you can't see clearly from the picture, but the rose is decoupage, and the border isn't drawn - it's stitched! The snowman in the left is wooden, and attached to a cute little felt bag with leather handles. The snowman on the right has been beautifully cross stitched on linen, and finished with a ribbon bow and hanger.

Thank you so much Amarins for a package of beautiful goodies!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thank you so much!

I'm not normally keen on the door bell going at 8.20am, but I was expecting a parcel from Amazon, so opened the door to the postie thinking that some books I'd ordered for my course had come. I looked at the box he held, and thought it was rather an odd shape for an Amazon package ... and that's because it wasn't from Amazon, it was from Michelle! I'd won the drawing on her Cozy Egg blog for an assortment of DMC floss, and this was it! I was rather taken aback, because it wasn't a small box... and it was stuffed with all this...

And all neatly numbered and put in floss away bags! I'm going to have such a great time kitting up projects for next year, confident that I'm unlikely to need to buy floss for a while :o)

Michelle, I'm .. well, overwhelmed isn't too strong a word to use about your generosity. I'd like to say a big thank you - you've really brightened my spirits up. I love the stitching community, everyone is so willing to share their expertise, their knowledge, their time - and their stash! :o)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Surprise Stash!

The post brought me a lovely surprise yesterday - I helped out my friend Vikki with some hay for her bug house, and in return, she sent me this sweet mini kit!

It's a landmark in her hometown, so when I stitch this - and look at it every time afterwards - I will be reminded of her :o)

Christmas Rose - Elizabeth's Designs

Ummm... the picture is a bit blurry, but never mind - the light quality today isn't great, I think snow is forecast!

This was another finish from the Chartswappers stitch along back in 2003. I was never particularly keen on this, but now it's made up I quite like it! I think the fabric I've chosen really sets it off.

I don't remember much about what I used to stitch it with, apart from the fact I dyed the fabric with strong coffee, and that it took several washes to get rid of the smell!

Santa - Knotted Pine NeedleArt

This is the ornament I've stitched for my niece Molly from this year's JCS Ornament Issue. I made some changes to the colours, using just colours I had in my stash.

It was a fun stitch and I really enjoyed it - I think Molly will like it! I'm not terribly happy with the tassel, but 18 month olds aren't harsh critics LOL

When I gave Molly the Santa ornament that I'd originally made for my gran, I asked her who it was. She smiled and confidently announced "Grandad!" I can see her point - here is a picture taken when she was six weeks old with my dad :o)

Design Details

Fabric: 28 count linen, stone
Threads: Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, DMC (charted for Weekes Dye Works & GAST)
Designer: Jamie Beam - Knotted Tree NeedleArt
Chart Details: Santa (c) 2007 Knotted Tree NeedleArt
Stitch Count: 59V x 56H
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch, Back Stitch, Rhodes Stitch
Threads Used: GAST Cherry Bark, Tarnished Gold, Cranberry, Peacock. DMC blanc, 310, 3722, 950. Cross stitch in two strands of floss.
Embellishments: Mill Hill Beads, ceramic star.
Modifications Made: Substituted fabric and used own choice of threads and beads.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thinking about next year's goals...

I know, I know! We've not even had Christmas yet!

The thing is, I have my parent's Ruby Wedding Anniversary on 27 January, so I need to stitch something for that ... which is the same day as my best friend's 39th birthday :o) Then I have the Wedding Sampler my sister has asked me to stitch for her sister in law which will need to be done by early March to allow time for framing ... before that, there's Valentine's Day, and I usually stitch something my partner Hermit (not his real name, BTW!). Then I have several monthly or seasonal series in my stash I'd like to work on as I've decided to decorate my rather bland kitchen with them ... and I'd like to continue getting some of my finished pieces made up... and my UFOs finished, or passed onto to someone who might finish them ...

And it's not as if I'll have the same amount of free time in the New Year, as I'll be starting my new job ... which I'm really excited about, but it's going to cut into my stitching and reading time somewhat :o)

I think I need a plan. I'm good at plans ... LOL

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Star Santa - Lavender Wings

This is a little peek at the ornament I stitched for the exchange run by Simone. I haven't taken a picture of all the goodies I sent too as I don't want to completely spoil the surprise on the off chance that the recipient reads my blog :o)

The design is from Lavendar Wings, from an old edition of the JCS Ornament Issue, but I made some modifications - I omitted the stars in the background, and added beads for the berries. The background fabric is actually a pale blue, it looks a bit washed out in the picture!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jingle Bell Time - SanMan Originals

This was going to be my ornament for the Crazy Exchange, but I see my partner has updated her likes and dislikes, and she doesn't like red, or green :o( I do have another ornament I can make up though, which is mainly blues and pinks so the situation is saved, and I get to keep this cutie! :o)

The chart was a SanMan freebie given to the messageboard subscribers - I've kind of dropped out of sight on SanMan lately, I unsubscribed from the newsletter from an old address and can't get re-subscribed with a new one. The chart was part of "12 days of Christmas" and I was going to stitch each one between Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night that year. This was the only one I actually completed, because mt grandmother died on Christmas Day. I thought that makingthis up might bring back sad memories, but it didn't. I can't wait for my little niece to spot this - I'm sure she'll want to play with it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Crazy Exchange - To Judith

This is the exchange I stitched for Judith - it's another one of my hardanger fobs, and to this package I added a needleroll chart, some threads and a little notebook with a stitched cover.

Finishing Kick

I did quite a bit of finishing up yesterday, but today is so dark and dismal here I haven't been able to take photographs.

Most of what I made up were little wallhangings, and I've been looking at the wire hangers for them. However, it will cost about £3 each for them, and I'm wondering how difficult it would be to make my own with some old wire hangers and a pair of pliers... something to investigate!

I think I'm a bit Christmassed-out at the moment as well, so perhaps just for the next day or two I might make something that isn't red, green and gold!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crazy Exchange - To Virpi

This is the scissor fob/ornament I sent to Virpi. It was stitched using Anchor Multicolours Perle in a hardanger style design, although there wasn't any cutting involved! I finished it using the "Drawn Thread" method, and hid the seams with ricrac braid. The tassel is made from threads pulled from the leftover fabric. I added some DMC threads, a couple of buttons and a couple of heart charms - I never really know how much to add, but I try not to go over the top due to postal charges!

Friday, November 16, 2007


When you have to frog out stitches, do you reuse that thread or do you
start over with a new strand?

It depends how much I have frogged - if it's only a few stitches, and the thread looks in good condition, I will reuse it, especially if it's a specialty thread or an unidentifiable thread from a kit and I'm worried about running out.

I don't tend to reuse thread if I've frogged more than a dozen stitches, or if it's a metallic thread, as the wear on the thread can make the restitched area look shoddy.

Winter ABCs - Lizzie*Kate

Okay, with all the goals I have in my to do list, I probably shouldn't have started this, but I was feeling rebellious - plus I needed an easy stitch as my travel project!

This was pretty easy to do - although there is a counting error in there :o) I like the fact that the mitten was charted as an alternative to using the button. I think I will eventually get the buttons for this set of charts and frog the motifs, but that's a plan for another time!

I made a couple of changes to colours, and used the gold for the baubles on the tree rather than white, just to make them stand out more.

This is going to be framed in frames similar to those I've done the (original) Flip Its in.

Design Details

Fabric: 14 count aida, cream
Threads: Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, Minnamurra Threads (charted for Weeks Dye Works)
Designer: Linda Ebright - Lizzie*Kate
Chart Details: Winter ABCs - Lizzie*Kate Snippet #S33 (c) 2001
Stitch Count: 40H x 67V
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch
Threads Used: Minnamurra 250, GAST Forest Glade, Nutmeg, Buckeye Scarlet, Brandy. Cross stitch in two strands of floss.
Embellishments: None.
Modifications Made: Substituted fabric and used own choice of threads. Omitted white stitches and used gold instead.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Checking It Twice - Dragon Dreams

This is the ornament I have stitched for my parent's tree this year. Ma pointed it out in the current JCS ornament issue as one she liked when we were choosing an ornament for Molly, so I've made this as a surprise!.

There's quite a bit of stitching in this, but it was fairly straightforward. There is an error in the chart, but an email to Jennifer at Dragon Dreams sorted that out very quickly - thanks Jennifer!

I made a couple of changes to the design as charted - I used Wisper instead of Fuzzy Stuff for the "fur" simply because that was what I had to hand. Ditto the fabric choice - alarmingly, when tightening the fabric on my hoop, it tore. I've never had that happen before! And it's good aida - from Zweigart. Fortunately, I was using a hoop that could contain the whole design, so it did leave me with enough margin for making up the ornament - just! The other change I made was substituting beads for the red stitches in the border and holly wreath - I love beads for things like that!

The ornament is backed with felt, and I didn't add cord around the edges as I thought it would look a bit too fussy. I hope my parents like it!

Design Details

Fabric: 14 count aida, airforce blue
Threads: DMC stranded cotton and Rainbow Gallery Wisper
Designer: Jennifer Aikman Smith - Dragon Dreams
Chart Details: Checking It Twice - JCS Ornament Issue 2007
Stitch Count: 49V x 49H
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch, Backstitch
Threads Used: DMC blanc, 223, 224, 319, 368, 369, 415, 498, 712, 738, 739, 814, 815, 3371. Rainbow Gallery Wisper in White. Cross stitch in two strands of floss.
Embellishments: Mill Hill Beads.
Modifications Made: Substituted fabric and used Wisper thread not Fuzzy Stuff. Used beads for berries in border and on wreath.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Peace - Victoria Sampler

I'm not terribly happy with the finishing on this, I'm tempted to take it apart and try to make it circular - what do you think?

The design is based on "Trust is a Virtue" which appeared in a JCS Ornament issue - I changed the wording, and the background colour of the fabric.

Joy Ornament - Just Nan

Another project from my finishing box! Again, this was stitched as part of a SAL on Chartswappers. I stitched it about 4 years ago, so I can't remember all the changes I made - I do remember working on it during one of my early MS flare ups, and not being able to feel my fingers! It made the over one section interesting...

That little over one section was supposed to go in a charm frame - not at £7.50 it wasn't, so I carefully folded the fabric and stitched a little bag shape which then got a blanket stitch trim all the way round in gold metallic to look like a frame - I think it worked quite well.

I was planning to give this away in an ornament exchange, but I like it so much better now it's finished and made up that I'm going to keep it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Merry Little Christmas - Bent Creek

I've posted a picture here, but this project is unlikely to stay looking like this, as I'm not happy with my finishing and stuffing - it looks a little lopsided to me, so I'm going to unpick all the cord and re-stitch. This is a visual reminder to me so I know not what to do - and perhaps it will reassure other people that what you see on my blog is often the result of several attempts LOL!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Wishes Stocking - Thistle Threads

This is the ornament I've stitched for my sister - it's safe posting a picture, as she's not really into computers! She's very proud of the fact that for the first time ever this year, she's ordered something online...

Anyway, when looking through the ornament issue to pick an ornie for Molly (my niece) she mentioned in passing she liked this one, so ... it's quite appropriate, given our Scottish heritage, although I have to say I've never seen a tartan quite like this one! I omitted the pale yellow stitches in order to let the background fabric show through, and I must say I like the effect - it makes it look more textured and woven, I feel.

I'm going to back it with some bright pink felt and make it into a hanging ornament. I might pop something small inside too.

Design Details

Fabric: 16 count damask aida, antique white
Threads: DMC stranded cotton and Kreinik metallic threads
Designer: Tricia Wilson Nguyen - Thistle Threads
Chart Details: Christmas Wishes Stocking - JCS Ornament Issue 2007
Stitch Count: 59V x 48H
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch, Backstitch
Threads Used: DMC 150, 246, 166, 3852. Kreinik #4 Braid in 002HL. Cross stitch in two strands over two.
Embellishments: None.
Modifications Made: Substituted #4 Braid for DMC 712. Omitted DMC 727 and let background fabric show. Stitched on fabric, not a perforated paper stocking.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Sampler - Leisure Arts

This got dragged out of the UFO pile and finished! Yay! I had to re-do the date - it said 2001, although I have a feeling I started this even earlier LOL!

I know I bought the chart book when there wasn't a lot of choice in the UK, so this isn't really "me" these days, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I've started making it into a little wall hanging - I may very well offer it up as a prize on this blog to celebrate Christmas.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The White Cat - Bent Creek

I don't normally like cats, even (especially!) cross stitch ones, but for this, I make an exception! I just love his expression, and the colours of the flowers. Once more, my button pack provided the flower centres - I'm wondering just how many projects I can use the same buttons on! LOL

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lamb - Shepherd's Bush

I like Shepherd's Bush designs, but I don't like the pricey sets of buttons they use! This design was worked on 14 count aida instead of 10 count Tula, so the recommended buttons might have looked a little odd. However, my multi pack came to the rescue yet again and I think they work well, even though I didn't have the buttons when the piece was stitched a couple of years ago! The design is worked in DMC and not overdyes either. It doesn't look much like the cover picture on the chart, but hey, I like it! An advantage of the smaller scale is that it is going to fit in a standard size frame, so will be cheap to finish. To do more framing is going to be my New Year's Resolution, as hopefully by then I will have done a lot of my finishing, too!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I spent yesterday evening finishing up a pile of ornaments - until I ran out of stuffing! I've had the bag of stuffing for years, never seeming to make much of a dent in it, but now I've set myself targets with my finishing, the bag has been emptied in a matter of weeks! Oh well, it's an excuse to go to my LNS before the gales and rain sets in - it's hard to believe they are on the way, it's so crisp and sunny at the moment.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Time to Celebrate

I don't often post about my life here - only if a piece of stitching triggers a memory, or there's something interesting to add, but I'm so excited, I've got to share!

I have a new job! And it's the job I really, really, really wanted!

I am shortly to be taking up a position as Marketing and Development Manager for a theatre company who specialise in in-school performances and workshops.

I had an interview yesterday, I had to write a press release and marketing plan for their next production - all about Bess of Hardwick, my adolescent heroine!! One of the guys interviewing me had written the play, so we had a good geeky chat about Bess and Hardwick Hall :o) It's Fate, or karma, or something - it means I'm going to be involved in events around the 400th anniversary of Bess's death at Hardwick, amongst other things, plus I'm going into a brand new role so I can really make it my own! I'm going to be able to use my marketing skills in a field I'm really interested in, rather than in selling consumer goods. Involvement in the arts has radically changed my life, for the better, so I want to spread that around :o)

And best of all - it's 16 hours a week so I still have plenty of time for my studies and other things, including stitching :o)

Oh - the offices are in an old Coroner's court, so are quite funky in an odd kind of way. It's a really nice space, I think I'm going to love it! My Dad was a frequent visitor back when they were functional (he was in the police) - he's pleased they've kept some of the features - although the Bench and witness box are gone...

EduCATed - Bent Creek - Exchange to Karen

Now I know that she's received it, I can post about my return exchange to Karen from CrazyExchange! In fact, I've used her picture as it's so much better than mine :o)

Karen said she liked Bent Creek, so I made up EduCATed into a little pillow for her. He's not sitting on as many books as the chart says, but I wanted to keep a pillow like proportion. The postcard in the picture is of the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield, and I also added some threads, buttons and a fridge magnet.

I really enjoyed this exchange, and I'm looking forward to many more!

Winter Needleroll - Heart In Hand

Here are my little snowmen, all made up and waiting for snow!

When This You See - Cathy Bussi

This was probably the oldest thing in my "to make up" pile - if you look closely, you can see that the date on it is 1996! LOL!

The design was in an old edition of Cross Stitch Collection, but I changed all the colours - the original was either yellow and green, or pink and purple, I can't remember which!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Buzz - Bent Creek

This has actually been finished for a while, but I re-visited it to replace the original buttons I'd used. When I first made this, I used ordinary shirt buttons - they didn't look bad but they weren't quite right. So, once I had buttons of the right size and colour, they got replaced. And yet I say I'm not a perfectionist LOL!

I stitched this design on aida band which I tea dyed prior to stitching. I think it's such a nice design I might break my own rule and re-stitch it - probably on a bigger count so I can either frame it or make it into a pillow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Schoolhouse Needleroll - Shepherd's Bush

Firstly, a quick thank you to each and every one of you who leaves comments - they are all appreciated! If you haven't done so already, do think about signing up for my first round of "Pay It Forwards" - there's a spot left!

This is my schoolhouse needleroll finally made up after all the anguish of the red colour running - it doesn't look too bad although really close inspection will still show a pink tinge around the apples! I couldn't find a small enough bell charm for the schoolhouse, so it is silent for now. However, I think it's quite appropriate - I was reading a local history booklet about the history of my primary school, and it mentioned there that our school bell was stolen one night - I'd forgotten that! It was a bit of a nine day wonder in the village - it was a very small place! - and instead of being called in from break and lunch by the bell, the teachers had to use whistles. It just wasn't the same!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Peace Needleroll - Jeannette Douglas Designs

This was stitched as part of a Chartswappers stitch a long - I changed the colours to specifically go with the fabric I had chosen and I was lucky enough last week to find the perfect matching ribbon at my LNS - it's pinky mauve chiffon with an irridescent shimmer!

Merry Mooseness - Something in Common

I stitched this several years ago as part of the Chartswappers (now defunct Yahoo group) SAL and hadn't really known what to do with it. However, it has ben brought to my attention my brother in law is a little obsessed with moose (and llamas, strangely) so I've made this into an ornament for him!

This has been stitched over one on 22 count hardanger fabric, which is about as small as I will go these days for over one stitching!

Tartan Thistles - Textile Heritage

When I finished this, I was unsure about making it into the needlebook sugessted by the kit manufacturers. In the end, I opted for the much simpler pincushion, and I'm pleased with the result.

Robin on Egg - Bent Creek

This is an old Bent Creek freebie which was stitched for me in a Round Robin. I wasn't terribly excited at the time, and it languished on the fabric for a while - I'd hoped the designs would make a cushion, but they didn't really work together, so I cut it into the constituent pieces.

Since making this up into a little pillow, I've grown very fond of this perky chap, and I'm glad he isn't too Christmassy, so I can display him all year round!

Groundhog Day - Bent Creek

I had a bit of a making up spree last weekend as I recovered from a nasty stomach virus, and this is one of my mini pillows I made - I restricted myself to pillows and needlerolls as I though cutting board for pinkeeps would take too much space on my bed! :o)

I think the groundhog looks sweet - it reminds me of my guinea pigs :o)

Bee Treat - The Trilogy

This has been languishing for a year or so on my "finished but not quite pile" as I was waiting to get some bee charms of a suitable size. Once I had them, it was the work of ...ooh...minutes... to get this finally to the framing stage - and I have even framed it in a lovely frame bought in a charity shop :o)

I can't find the chart at the moment, so design details will be put in later!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pot Pourri Sachets - DMC

There are actually four little bags in the kit, but I did two of each design. The kit came with pot pourri, but as it was so old (an eBay purchase) it had lost mos tof its scent, and what was left wasn't particularly nice, so I ditched it! These are currently stuffed with fibrefill and in my smalls basket, but I think I will get some dried lavender for them. But it's finding lavender since Culpeppers closed! You'd think in a large city, someone somewhere would sell it, but I can't find any!

The heart shapes were pre-finished, and despite the designs having beads and metallic threads, they stitched up pretty speedily. I think they look quite funky, although I don't think cross stitch is ever going to be cutting edge trendy...

If anyone would like the chart, do say so in the comments box.

Design Details

Fabric: 28 count linen, antique white
Threads: DMC stranded cotton and metallic threads
Designer: not credited
Chart Details: Pot Pourri Sachets K4302 - DMC (discontinued kit)
Stitch Count: various - heart is 27H x 27V
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch
Threads Used: DMC 704, 718, 792, 959, 3812, 3843, 3845, 3852, 5283, 5284. Cross stitch in two strands over two.
Embellishments: Cerise metallic beads.
Modifications Made: None.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Acorn Scissor Case - Lizzie*Kate

I love this little scissors case - it's so cheerful and warm looking! I forgive it for being a pain to stitch - stitching over one on a pre-finished item isn't fun, let me tell you! I don't really like stitching over one these days anyway, and having to manipulate the fabric around to get to where you wanted to put in the needle - erk!

Anyway, I think it turned out nicely in the end, and this will be on my scissors now until mid December!

If anyone would like the chart, just say so in the comments box!

Design Details

Fabric: 28 count linen, cream
Threads: Various over dyed threads
Designer: Linda Ebright
Chart Details: Acorn Scissors Case - Lizzie*Kate (c) 2004 (discontinued kit)
Stitch Count: 34H x 20V
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch
Threads Used: Gentle Arts Sampler Threads: Maple Syrup, Nutmeg, unknown bit of purple, Burnt Orange. Minnamurra: 250. The Dye Is Cast: Pumpkin Patch. Weekes Dye Works: Pistachio Nut. Cross stitch in two strands over two.
Embellishments: Two small round buttons, brass acorn charm.
Modifications Made: Own choice of threads.

Crazy Exchange

I have finally got round to posting a picture of the super exchange Karen from Crazy Exchange made for me.

Isn't it lovely? Sheep are one of my favourite things and the stitching and finishing is lovely! Karen also added some cheery bits and pieces - I especially like the peg with the flower on, it's ideal for keeping little charts together!

Karen's return exchange is in the mail - I will post a pic when it arrives.

This is a picture of the item I made for Amarins - I wasn't totally happy with how the fob turned out once made up, so that's part of the reason why I've been doing a lot of finishing this week, to get back into it. I also send a little notebook, which I'd stitched, and a couple of ribbon roses, and rose charms - yes, it was all on a theme!

Fall Into Autumn

This called out to me to be stitched when I was rummaging through my thread stash for autumny colours, so I sat and stitched it up - it worked up pretty quickly, and I just used some of my Anchor collection to do so.

The button came in a pack from my LNS - although she is mainly doing scrapbooking at the moment, until the wheel of fashion turns. It is so nice having all the basic DMC colours five minutes walk away, because isn't it always the way that the colour you run out of is the one you don't have a duplicate of? LOL
Design Details

Fabric: 14 count aida, cream
Threads: Anchor stranded cotton
Designer: Erica Michaels for Rainbow Gallery
Chart Details: Fall Into Autumn - The Rainbow Gallery (c) 2003
Stitch Count: 55H x 58V
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch, Back Stitch
Threads Used: Anchor 326, 671, 1305, 268, 341, 78, 890, one unknown, . Cross stitch in two strands.
Embellishments: Leaf Button
Modifications Made: Own choice of threads.

September Sampler Accent - Periwinkle Promises

I have most of the months of the year in this series, and each one has the same pleasures - and pitfalls.

Firstly - the pleasures. The instructions are excellent, very comprehensive and new stitches are clearly diagrammed. There's plenty of thread included in the kit. The jury is still out on whether stitching with silk is any better than plain old cotton - I don't really think so, but it is nice to work with for a change. Once the outer borders are done, the project grows rapidly, especially if - like me - you substitute regular cross stitch in for the Smyrna stitches!

The pitfalls - the amount of fabric is so measly that I can't put it in a hoop big enough to work the whole border on at once. Another 1.5" all round would solve that!

There's a lot of bands of double back stitch in these little pieces, which is fine although a little monotonous at times, but the dividing bands do grow so much quicker than that border. I hate the borders on these things - I do it first to anchor the design, but it is the thing that puts me off doing more than one in a row!

This will be made into a pillow for my smalls basket.

Design Details

Fabric: 29 count Glenshee linen, natural
Threads: Soie d'Alger silk
Designer: Barbara L Rakosnik, Periwinkle Promises
Kit Details: September Sampler Accent - Periwinkle Promises (c) 1998
Stitch Count: 47H x 59V
Stitches Used: Cross Stitch, Running Stitch, Double Back Stitch, Back Stitch, Mosaic Stitch, Smyrna Stitch, Straighht Stitch,
Threads Used: Soie D'Alger in 4144, 4624, 4623, 4622, F13, 1835, 1846. Cross stitch in one strands.
Embellishments: Cream Mill Hill beads
Modifications Made: None. Many smyrna stitches subsitituted by cross stitches