Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just for Anna

Anna asked me to explain why I've decided to design under the name "Linden Bee".  It's nothing to do with Linden Labs or Second Life, that's the first point I should make :o) Linden comes from the name of the flats I live in, and is also used for lime trees - the non fruit bearing ones, and of course 'limey' is a nickname used for a Brit. Which I am. :o)

Bee is also a nickname, but one which came to me via my OH. The URL for this blog contains the full version - which is Beebarf. OH, being Canadian, called me honey a lot in the early days, until I pointed out I didn't really like it, as I think honey tastes vile, and is in effect bee puke. And it turned out that OH and his brother used to call honey 'beebarf' and so the name got applied to me LOL! Of course, the symbolism of bees appeals too. And it was easy to incorporate one into my logo.

So there we go :o)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Email addresses needed

I've had lots of nice comments and requests for my newest charts - thank you!

Unfortunately, a number of ladies did not leave an email address and their Blogger profiles are not set to be visible. So


please leave another comment in the relevant post with an email address otherwise I can't get a chart to you :o(

January Biscornu - Linden Bee Designs

Design: January Biscornu - freebie design available here
Designer: Linden Bee Designs (i.e. me!)
Threads: DMC in three shades of blue
Fabric: 14 count aida

"January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow..."

I've adapted my own design here too - firstly by stitching it on white, and secondly by removing the inner border on the reverse. I just can't leave things alone, can I? But that's what I like about stitching - designs are only suggestions! 

This was quite simply finished with a whipstitch in the medium blue shade, and 4mm white "pearl" beads in the centre, as the design is quite busy as it stands.

If anyone would like a copy of the chart, follow the link above and leave a comment!

January Scissor Fob - Linden Bee Designs



Design: January Scissor Fob - freebie design available here
Designer: Linden Bee Designs (i.e. me!)
Threads: DMC in three shades of blue

Fabric: 14 count aida

"January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow..."

This design comes from the first of my series of biscornu with matching fobs for 2010 - now there's an ambitious statement - and despite it not being in my favourite colours, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was originally charted for dark blue fabric - as I've previous discussed!

I was thinking of finishing it with a beaded edge, but I didn't have anything suitable in my stash (the horror!) and so it has a basic whipstitched finish. I did find a snowflake charm in my stash though, and used that in place of a tassel.

I love the charms - they come in a set of six, three different designs, and are heavyweight. And cheap! £0.99 from the remaindered bookshop or the 99p store. There's lots of different styles of design too, so I've stocked up, because you never know with 99p stores when things are going to go out of stock...- that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

If you would like a copy of the chart, leave a comment on the link page.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Biscornu and Fob - Free Cross Stitch Chart!

Biscornu Front

 Biscornu Back

Scissor Fob (with my initial - chart given for yours!)

The chart uses only three shades of DMC, and I've given options for a "bright" and an "antique" colourway. I will be starting work on my own shortly, so hopefully will have a picture to share soon! The fob design can be personalised with your initial.

If you would like a copy of the chart, please comment below and leave an email address unless yours is visible in your blog profile. Some people ask for charts but I have no way of getting them to them :o( Charts are sent in PDF format.

If you do stitch this design, I'd love to see the finished article - and there will be a prize for any I show on my blog!

If you feel so inclined, a donation to the MS Trust for this chart would be appreciated. Pennies will do - and you can make payment via the link in my sidebar or by clicking here

There is no obligation to make a donation - you will be sent the chart whether or not you choose to make a donation, as I appreciate that some people are not in a financial position to do so.

This pattern is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. Items made from this pattern may be sold on a small scale basis such as on Etsy or at craft sales. Sales for charity are positively encouraged! This pattern and the text and photos contained within, may not be copied or reproduced for any purpose other than personal use. Please direct people to this blog rather than forwarding the pattern, thank you! Copyright 2010 N M Wray

Saturday, January 23, 2010

News, Update and Replies to Comments

Exciting news first! I've just found out I'm going to be the 21st stitcher in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pattern! Carol has emailed me to say the pattern's coming to visit, so I'll be sure to update and keep you eyes out for when I offer it on my blog! This is a lesson in perseverance - I've been following the pattern for ages... and it's lead to me discovering a number of blogs I wouldn't have otherwise found, so it's all good! I think I might change the pink dress though ... oh, and if you haven't discovered Carol's charts yet, go check them out ... I'll wait ;o)

Lovely, aren't they? I'm only holding off buying them until I get some more of my UFOs finished, but at least that number is smaller thanks to my ruthless "Finish or Fling" decisions. Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions, they are appreciated, and those people who've offered to take pieces from me, they will be in the post over the next week or so. A lot of people have said how much they are enjoying this ...and don't worry, there's more to come!

I'd like to say "thank you" to everyone who has  made a donation to the MS Trust via my Justgiving page. I've had a lovely email from the Trust thanking *me* - but it isn't really me, it's you guys! I set a target of £100 for the year, and I'm nearly a third of the way there already - which is amazing considering it's only January, and that there have been other demands on our money, such as the disaster in Haiti. It's thanks to donations like yours that new treatments are being developed - just this week, the news was that oral meds are on their way, so that the prospect of daily injections (which have some yukky side effects) could be a thing of the past.

I've been busy with a lot of Uni work, so haven't really been stitching, but I am nearly done with my version of the January Biscornu and Fob. Despite designing it for a dark blue fabric, mine is stitched on white, as my navy aida seems to have disappeared - I have a sneaking suspicion it went to my friend H. (Miss Shine) when she came and took some stash off my hands! (hmm... wonder if that's it in that last post of her's...) Anyway, my plans for today include finishing and making these up, so hopefully there will be pictures tomorrow!

Knitting wise, I've been making a head start on the Innocent Smoothie hats, as the Colonnade shawl is needing to be frogged back three rows - ggrrr! And I'm in a bit of a dither, because I'm not sure why I chose this colour - grey and black near my face don't do anything for me, especially in winter - so I don't know whether just to frog the lot and to use the yarn for something for The Hermit - well, it would match his beard :o) And the two pairs of socks on the needles are going nowhere either ... :o(

Thanks must go too to everyone who is leaving comments - they are all appreciated!

Heidi - get out those PS charts and join us on the PS ABC Stitching Bee - you know you want to!

Riona - yes, blackwork is usually worked on white or cream linen, but my big samplers were on cream, and my little obsessive self didn't like the white based one hanging near it, so I tea dyed it ... hence the fate of this one! If I remember, I'll post a picture of the wall where they are hanging ...

Blu - I think there's an eagle in the D block of the PS ABC because it fits with the patriotic theme. I'd be a bit scared if there was an Eagle with the Embroiderer in the E block ... they're big! :o)

And if anyone is waiting for a chart - I will be mailing them out later this weekend. I had another Uni deadline on Friday, and was a bit tied up - fortuntely, my "Finish or Fling" posts were all pre-written and scheduled in - love that feature! If you don't have your chart by Sunday, please check that you've left an email address either in the comment or that it's accessible from your profile!

Right, I think that's all the news that's fit to print - you really don't want a blow-by-blow account of the cold I've got - so I hope you have a happy weekend, everyone, and happy stitching!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Friendship Sampler

I think I started this when I first moved back to Sheffield. I'm not sure why - it's so not my style! It's from a book by Gail Bussi, which I no longer even own. And no, I didn't take a working copy...

I can see there's definitely a pattern to my UFOs - they seem to have accumulated at a time when my life was very unsettled, and I wasn't online, so I didn't have the support from the online stitching community I have now. It's very motivating for me to set goals and to share progress - there are very few UFOs from about 2002 onwards ... so I have made progress in my life ;o)

  • Can't think of any, apart from getting it crossed off the list!

  • No longer have the chart!
  • Not my style
  • Worked on aida

So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict - Fling!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Floral Sampler (Blackwork)

 I've tried to find a picture of the kit online, but it seems to be discontinued. Anyway, this is a blackwork sampler that looks a bit like an Elizabethan knot garden in layout. For someone who doesn't like doing back stitch on their cross stitch work, I'm quite fond of doing blackwork, and have done two *big* samplers and a couple of smaller ones.

  • I really like the design
  • No colour changes!
  • Will fit on with my collection of other samplers

  • Quite a lot of work to do on it
  • Needs a lot of concentration

So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Finish. Will probably end up dying the fabric with tea afterwards, as the white is a little dazzling.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prairie Schooler SAL Update

I'm still working on this - not much, to be honest, because I'm working on my own freebie January Biscornu and Fob - and I had to take a break to do a bit of re-design ...

So far, I've been lucky - my borders have matched up first time on each block - hope this continues!

Slow progress... the colours on these pictures aren't great because of the artificial light - the low energy fluorescents give a very yellow cast...

This next picture shows the first change I've made - the eagle is now a Golden Eagle, and not a Bald Eagle. Apart from the fact that in the UK, we don't have Bald Eagles, I'm afraid I can't take them seriously - too much Muppet Show when I was young! Basically, I've swapped the colour of the eagle and the arrow - so this block with have less 3371 than most of the other blocks, but I don't think it will throw the balance off too much.

The other amendments I'm going to make are to put a Scottish flag in the box, and a Lion Rampant in the shield - these are all charted out, just need to be worked now!

Finish or Fling? - Hardwick Hall

"Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall..." - another UFO from teh last Millennium. Oops! I'm not sure why this became a UFO, although it was probably due to the vast expanses (to me at the time) of the same colour. If I was to pick it up now, having done a number of big projects, it probably wouldn't be an issue...

Hardwick Hall is of course the home of the famous Bess of Hardwick, and was one of the places Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. If you are a fan of historic needlework, there are some amazing examples of stuff worked by Bess and Mary ... and if you can't get to Derbyshire, some more are in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. My dad lived in a local village, and often played in the grounds of the Hall. The building was given to the nation, and thence to the National Trust in lieu of death duties when the Duke of Devonshire (owner of Chatsworth) died. Personally, I'd have got rid of Chatsworth and kept Hardwick, but then again, it is one of my favourite buildings in the world. My dad feels the same way, so this could be a nice gift for him if I finish it?


  • Love the building
  • I know my dad would appreciate this as a gift

  • Miles of backstitching to do
  • Would need a custom frame job
  • Quite a lot of work needed
So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Finish. But only because it's for my dad!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby

Well, I'm snuffling with a cold here, and it's horrible stitching and sneezing - methinks I'll need to wash my current WIPs ... so I've been doing some more reading. This one was Nick Hornby's newest, Juliet, Naked.

Product Description (from Amazon)
Nick Hornby returns to his roots - music and messy relationships - in this funny and touching new novel which thoughtfully and sympathetically looks at how lives can be wasted but how they are never beyond redemption. Annie lives in a dull town on England's bleak east coast and is in a relationship with Duncan which mirrors the place; Tucker was once a brilliant songwriter and performer, who's gone into seclusion in rural America - or at least that's what his fans think. Duncan is obsessed with Tucker's work, to the point of derangement, and when Annie dares to go public on her dislike of his latest album, there are quite unexpected, life-changing consequences for all three. Nick Hornby uses this intriguing canvas to explore why it is we so often let the early promise of relationships, ambition and indeed life evaporate. And he comes to some surprisingly optimistic conclusions.

Another Hornby book where the men are always slightly inadequate - and the women who settle for that. And what's wrong with that? It's certainly a better book than his last three, and there were some laugh out loud moments - Gooleness, where Annie and Duncan live is so lacking in culture "it didn't even have a Waterstone's" - yes, I definitely know places like that ...

Being a forty something living with a person who can be obsessive, this book probably resonated more with me than it would with people who live busier or more glamorous lives ;o) And the sadness that overlaid the book was that wistful sadness that comes with the eternal optimism that things will get better ... which appeals to the Pollyanna in me...

My only criticism is about one of the sub plots - I can see it working in a film version, but describing Northern Soul moves on paper didn't really work.

Finish or Fling? - Hearts of Joy No 2

This little sampler by Charland has seen more frogging than stitching. First of all, the ribbon embroidery wasn't making me happy - it just wasn't neat enough. I suppose I was expecting too much for a first attempt ... and then I ran out of the gold metallic, and coldn't get more, so that got frogged and is being reworked in new gold ... and don't get me started on the Queen Stitches ...

So, let's sit in judgement:

  • It's a Christmas design but doesn't look overly Christmassy.
  • Love the fabric
  • Will learn a new technique

  • Frustrating to work some of the stitches
  • Won't fit in with my general Christmas style

So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Finish. Even if it kills me. It will be character forming.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Heavenly Cherubs

This was a kit I bought and started at least elevent years ago, because I found it in a remaindered bookshop i the small Sussex town I was living in at the time.

Early on, I made a counting mistake, and hence I put it away. Sporadically, I take it out and think about stitching it, as I like the black humour of it - these famous cherubs are from a bigger Michelangelo design and are actually leaning on a coffin. And I live opposite a firm of undertakers (funeral director).

I love the slightly cheesed off expressions too...

  • Like the design - even if it is cherubs.

  • Lots of work
  • Will need to frog or fudge
  • On aida
So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Fling, but again, I will keep the chart and restart at some point on evenweave. I might even do it over one...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Giotto's Hand - Iain Pears

As well as crafting, my other main passion is reading. I used to review on my Livejournal every book I read, didn't do it last year, and have just begun again. As I know a lot of my stitching bloggy friends are also readers, I thought I would post the reviews here too. I'm quite active on a number of book sites (including Bookcrossing, Bookmooch, ReadItSwapIt and GreenMetropolis) and I'm happy to give out my IDs if you drop me an email.

Product Description (from Amazon)

Witty and clever art history-mystery featuring Jonathan Argyll, from the author of the bestselling masterpiece 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'. General Bottando of Rome's Art Theft Squad is in trouble: his theory that a single master criminal, dubbed 'Giotto', is behind a string of major art thefts has aroused the scorn of his arch enemy and rival, the bureaucrat Corrado Argan. He needs a result, and the confession of a dying woman may just provide the vital clue. In pursuit of the elusive Giotto, Bottando's colleague, Flavia di Stefano, sets off hotfoot for Florence, and English art dealer Jonathan Argyll is dispatched to London and then on to rural Norfolk -- only to discover a body and a mystery which could lead to the greatest art find of his career!

This was an enjoyable and amusing "whodunnit" which harked back to the Golden Age of crime novels, with its setting in a Miss Marple-ish village where the local Lady of the Manor opens the Village Fete and the villagers are all related to one another...

Looking at Bookcrossing, I have read this book before, but I couldn't remember it ... so it's not an amazing book, but it is one that adequately passes the time. I realised the perpetrator quite early one, because they appear in a later book in this series, which I do remember ... I think!

Finish or Fling? - The Pyramids

As I've done a total of about four rows, you can't really help me make a judgement, so here's a picture of what the final design will look like:

This is another relatively new start. I bought the kit in a charity shop, I think a store had donated all their stock as I picked up other stuff at the same time. I don't normally do figurative or pictorial cross stitch - well, not these days - but I had a superb trip to Egypt once, and this included a visit to the Pyramids. Although I didn't ride on a camel there, I did go on a camel safari when I got to Aswan - and loved it. I like camels, and I don't think they are anymore smell or snotty than the average cow. Although riding them, you are a long way off the ground!

  • Lovely clear Heritage Stitchcraft chart
  • Happy memories
  • Evenweave fabric
  • Sunshiny yellows - love working that with those colours

  • A long way to work on this
  • Heritage's fractional stitches
So - Finish or fling?

Verdict: Finish. Although it may not be this year!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Mouse About the House

These cute little designs came from another very old issue of Needlecraft magazine - at one point, it was about the only source of designs available to me, apart from the books of Jo Verso and Brenda Keyes. I'm not sure why I chose to start them, as at the time, I didn't know any small people, and they are really a design for children.

There are a set of four designs in total, and I've stitched two and a bit.

  • Simple to stitch
  • Not a huge amount of stitching to do
  • Very cute

  • How would I finish them?
  • On aida.
  • Don't know who to give them to.

So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Finish, and then I'll give away the finished blocks. Does anyone know a charity that will accept small blocks like these? I think they are only 6 inches square max, and probably smaller.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

I completely forgot about my 500th Post Giveaway! I'm sorry! There wasn't a huge entry to this - perhaps because I posted on Christmas Eve, and probably people had better things to do than read blogs!

Anyway, I put the names in a software program called "The Hat" and out popped this winner:

Congratulations Diane! Email your address to nicDOTwrayATgmailDOTcom and I will get it in the post to you!

Finish or Fling? - Turquoise Pillow

For some reason the colours on this haven't come out accurately - the dark turquoise is more of a green, in my opinion. Again, another scrap bag quilted block made with a mixture of cotton and polycotton fabrics. I was making it for my gran, for her small bedroom, and she then completely redecorated it and changed the colour scheme - for the first time in umpteen years, I may add - so I abandoned this.

Very little needed to do to finish the block

Would need to make it up into something
Not great stitching on it
Have no decor with which it would fit, apart from - possibly - the bathroom

So: Finish or fling?

Verdict: I think I will fling this. Does anyone want to rescue it? - happy to mail it and the plain green fabric to anyone who asks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January Biscornu & Fob: Snow - Free Cross Stitch Chart!

I had an idea - because of the popularity of my Christmas series - of making a monthly series of ornaments. But of course, creativity doesn't always come on demand, and my proposed "Bride's Tree" series, which I'd mentioned in emails to a couple of people just wasn't really working.

So, as I was doodling around, I've actually started a series of monthly Biscornu, and this is the first one. England is covered in a blanket of snow and ice at the moment so it's fairly easy to see where the inspiration came for this one!

January brings the snow, 
Makes our feet and fingers glow.


The chart uses only three shades of DMC - 931, 932 and 3753. I will be starting work on my own today, so hopefully will have a picture to share soon!

Edited to add: And there's a matching fob with this design too, included in the chart pack!

If you would like a copy of the chart, please comment below and leave an email address unless yours is visible in your blog profile. Some people ask for charts but I have no way of getting them to them :o( Charts are sent in PDF format.

If you do stitch this design, I'd love to see the finished article - and there will be a prize for any I show on my blog!

If you feel so inclined, a donation to the MS Trust for this chart would be appreciated. Pennies will do - and you can make payment via the link in my sidebar or by clicking here

There is no obligation to make a donation - you will be sent the chart whether or not you choose to make a donation, as I appreciate that some people are not in a financial position to do so.

This pattern is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. Items made from this pattern may be sold on a small scale basis such as on Etsy or at craft sales. Sales for charity are positively encouraged! This pattern and the text and photos contained within, may not be copied or reproduced for any purpose other than personal use. Please direct people to this blog rather than forwarding the pattern, thank you! Copyright 2010 N M Wray

Finish or Fling? - She Gathers

This is probably one of my newest stitching UFOs, as I started it in 2009.  The design is She Gathers, by 4 My Boys. I understand that the designer is no longer producing, which is a shame, as she's done some nice things.

  • Recently started it, so I still like it
  • Still in fact kitted up, so can just pick it up and go

  • None that I can think of

so - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Finish. And I think this would make another lovely 'travelling sisterhood' pattern... so watch this space...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Floral Sampler

This was a Wedding Sampler I made for a colleague back in 1996. Their wedding was in February, and that was the month I ended up hospitalised. I didn't go back to work for more than six months. And my colleague had moved on by the time I got back. I wonder how the couple got on?

It would be possible to frog and restitch, but the fabric has got stained at some point in storage - I've not idea what with.

  • Would only need to stitch initials
  • Quite like the design - I stitched another version in a different colour way for my gran, and of course, I have that now.

  • Hate the colours - I'm not a pastel person.
  • Damaged fabric
  • Already have a version of it
So - Finish or Fling?

Verdict: Fling. Definitely fling! Of course, if anyone has initials KD or is a "K&D" couple, they could try and rescue it?

Prairie Schooler SAL

I've not had a lot of time for stitching over the last few days as I've had work and Uni stuff piling up. This is where I'm at with D is for Drum, the next letter I'm working on for the Prairie Schooler ABC SAL. I have to confess this is my least favourite of the designs. It's just so very American and flag wavingly patriotic, and I'm not. I wish designers would realise that they sell to international markets ... Anyway, I have been working with my design software and have come up with some amendments. The flag is going to be a Scottish saltire, the drum will have a Lion Rampant in the shield (and that took some doing!) and the Bald Eagle will change species and become a Golden Eagle.

Finish or Fling? - Come Home For Love

This comes from the first JCS Ornament Issue I bought. And at the time, The Hermit was living in Canada and I was in the UK. And I thought it would be nice to stitch this for him. And then I got to know the full scale of his antipathy to Christmas :o) So this got put to one side, and it's been sitting getting a bit scruffy ever since.

  • would be fairly quick to finish, as it's an ornament
  • has nice sentimental memories
  • like the colour scheme, it's not all that Christmassy

  • on aida
  • The Hermit might still realise it's a Christmas ornament!

so - Finish or Fling?

I think I'll finish this.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Christmas Patchwork

This is probably another project from my time on the South Coast - I was unhappy and I think it showed in my lack of stick-to-it-ness with projects. I had plans for a lap quilt size project from a selection of scraps, but like the Advent Calendar, the fabrics I've used already are a mix of cotton and polycotton, and there is one block finished and one block cut out.

  • Cheerful
  • Uses fabric scraps

  • Bad fabric choices
  • Lot of work if I stick to my original plan
  • The Hermit hates Christmas, and another big project hanging around could tip him over the edge!

So - finish or fling?

Verdict: finish, but only these two squares. I might make them into something small, like potholders or a couple of scissor pouches.

Finish or Fling? - Country Companions Wedding Sampler

This is another UFO inherited from my mum's friend. I've never touched it as I have even fewer friends getting married than having babies! I think the last wedding I went to was my sister's, five - or is it six? no, seven. OMG - years ago.

  • Not a lot to do
  • Would make a nice gift

  • No one to give it to
  • Lot of backstitch to do
  • On aida
  • I don't really do cute
  • No idea where the chart is

Finish or fling?

Verdict: if anyone would like this as a wedding sampler for a couple they know, I will finish it for them - providing I can find the chart! Otherwise, it will be flung!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Alphabet Sampler - Long Pillow Finish

This little piece of stitching came from a free cover kit from Needlecraft magazine, sometime in the late 1990s. I think - as was almost ubiquitious with these kits - it was made up into a card. I stitched it and gave it to my gran one birthday. As with everything I stitched for her, she kept it, and when she died five years ago, all these little pieces came back to me. Unfortunately, the card had been damaged, so I carefully took it off the mount - the margins were teeny tiny, as you can see - and kept it in my finishing box.

I didn't really know what to do with it - it wouldn't have made a pinkeep, for example - and the usual "four borders of fabric" pincushion seemed a little, well dull. And then, I remembered all those long pinpillows I'd seen on other people's blogs, and I knew that it would be a perfect finish for this! So off to my fabric stash I went...

I am not exaggerating when I say it probably took me as long to choose a fabric as it did to make the pillow - and I stitch everything by hand! Part of the problem is that rusts, purples and plums are my favourite colours. So I have a lot of fabric in those particular shades. And I really did want to use something from my stash - the reason why I was making this up was because I was snowed in, and couldn't get to the quilt shop which is normally only a 20 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride away down the hill. The hill being the problem...

In the end, I settled on this slightly distressed looking check, which reminded me a lot of a pinafore dress I used to have as a child.

The ribbon also came from my stash, and was originally a charity shop find. Again, it took a while to go through my box of trims to find something I was really happy with. Fortunately, when I showed it to The Hermit, his first comment was about how the ribbon sets it all off nicely so it's probably okay ;o)

This was the first of the finishing I need to do for The Year of the UFO, but I will have to stop for a few days as I have a heap of Uni work to do!

Happy Dance! - A is for Anchor

Design: A is for Anchor (from A*B*C) 
Designer: Prairie Schooler 
Threads: DMC as charted  
Fabric: 28 count evenweave, cream 
Stitches: Half cross stitch

I started this on the 28th of December, and finished it on the 5th of  January, as I wanted to stitch my New Year's Day pieces too. Again, this was mostly worked whilst listening to the coverage of the cricket in South Africa - cross stitch and cricket go very well together!

This is how it grew:


And this is how the first row completed looks:

Apologies for the dark pictures - we have grey skies because of all the snow we're getting.

I didn't make any changes to this. Although I may go back and work two of the letters in the compass rose in a different colour, as N and W are my initials :o)

D is for Drum is taking slightly longer to work, as I'm doing a bit of a re-design - the flag and shield motif are being changed to designs more appropriate for someone who is not American, and the eagle is changing species too!

Finish or Fling? - Christmas Ornaments (Felt)

This is a set of eight ornaments from a Bucilla Kit. I've completed two, and they've been displayed each Christmas for years now. Because I bought this kit in (blimey) 1997 when I worked in a small South Coast town called Havant for a while. It wasn't totally a happy time and I ended up back 'up North' with my parents. So it wasn't all bad in the end...

Anyway, I don't think I'm harbouring unhappy associations with this - I had to look on Google maps to remember the name of the town! - so:

  • Different technique to my normal stuff
  • Very cute
  • Can work on one ornament at a time
  • Have others completed

  • Very fiddly to do, lots of beads and sequins
  • The Hermit hates Christmas stuff
So, finish or fling?

Verdict: finish.

Finish or Fling? - Christmas Ornament

I know I started this when I was working in my last full time, permanent job. So 2004 or 2005, and I've done the odd little bit since. Although I like the colours, I don't like working with the metallic floss - and I'm not totally happy with how the French knots look.

  • Not a lot of work to do
  • Would look great in the basket in my bathroom

  • Working with metallic floss - and aida
  • There's a ring mark which I'm not sure will come out, which will limit finishing options
So, finish or fling? This is going to be a close run thing...

Verdict: finish

Friday, January 08, 2010

Finish or Fling? - Chatsworth

This UFO isn't even one of mine - I think my mum was given it by a friend, and somehow I've ended up with it. In my defence, it is only a recent acquisition. So, do I adopt it and finish it? Or should I pass it on again?

  • The local connection - Chatsworth is only about 10 miles away and as a family we often used to go and picnic or walk in the grounds
  • Would go with my Derbyshire map project

  • No personal connection to the project
  • Stitched on aida
  • Lot of work to do
  • No picture of the finished design (and I can't find one online)

This is a picture of Chatsworth House. It is thought that Chatsworth was the basis for Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, and indeed, was featured in the Keira Knightley film version.

So - do I Finish or Fling?

I think, on balance, I will fling this, but keep the chart in case I feel a burning need to do it at some point in the future.