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Monday, 27 January 2014

Stitch, bake, knit, read

Last time I said it was going to be reveal day for the January monthly challenge over at Needlecraft Haven, a free online design chosen by Christine for us to stitch and make up just as you like. Yesterday was that day and the gallery was opened for all to see.  A lot of ladies took part this month and they were all wonderful finishes too - well done ladies.

The design this month was by The Little Stitcher called 'The Sheep Day', a free chart from December 2013.

This is my version - I changed the sheep to DMC ecru instead of the charted white so they looked different to the snow, more of a dirty cream than pure white sheep!

DH has asked me to thank you all for your kinds words and thoughts regarding his health.   We've been to the hospital for some further tests and he has more to come before we get some answers so still we wait.  With that in mind, we have still been spending quiet time at home and not venturing far, but to be honest the weathers not been up to much so its been the best place to be.
Small simple things have been giving me pleasure this past week, here's what's on my camera from my quiet week. 
A lovely bunch of flowers from DD for us both, a just because I love you surprise.
A little stitching on Santa Village for the parlour SAL on Wednesday with Barb and the ladies at NH.  Christmas Tree Farm now has a house/shop from which to sell the little trees.....
Trying out a new recipe for No Knead Bread which I read about on Lucy's blog - Attic 24, mine turned out just fine and was lovely.....
A little update on Irish Garden, the UFO project.   A project that you stitch on sometime over each weekend and hopefully make lots of progress - or in my case, a little progress with all the fiddly counting.  The kitty is settled in the pink camelia border this week
Picking some homegrown winter vegetables for Sunday dinner.....
A little knitting when the brain doesn't want to concentrate on counting and stitching .....
A new start, the one I should have started 1st January but didn't.  Nature's Alphabet by Elizabeth Designs, a gift last Christmas from a stitching friend.  Again, I changed the beehives as I didn't like those charted.  Standard DMC thread on 28ct raw linen I've chosen, its nice to have the speciality stitches to add some interest to the design.
My progress last week ...
and the finished chart design...
Using up Christmas leftovers, the half jar of mincemeat that was in the fridge made into a batch of mince pies and some jam tarts for a little visitor that came to play.
Nothing very exciting to many, nothing wonderful or amazing, a week of normal family stuff just like it is for many of us.   I've also been reading.  A set of 6 books donated to the Book Borrowers just after Christmas.  They are only small books, but a fun read that has brought a smile to my face and laughter at some of the antics the folks get up to. I'll show you those next time as I've almost finished the final one.
I hope you have a lovely week and enjoy spending time with those you love and hold dear.
Happy stitching, knitting, crochet and crafting, blessings to you all.

Monday, 20 January 2014

What's that i spy... a UFO?

Good afternoon blog readers... brrrr it was chilly this morning when I awoke.  I could hear the sound of people going off to work but before they set out they had to scrape the windscreens of their cars, not a nice sound to wake up to I can tell you.  One look out of the window had me nearly hopping back into bed for the whole day.  What I did do though was go and make a cuppa and hop back in and sit for half an hour reading my book.... sheer pleasure on a Monday morning lol.

DH has been having some health issues recently that have given cause for concern, so we've been staying home relaxing quite a bit and that means I've had quite a bit of progress with projects and have a few pics to share with you. 

A couple of finishes ....

Part 4 finished off and then the final part 5 of the Positive Thinking SAL stitched up beautifully

so that makes a finish of that.  It's been a really nice project to stitch and the wording is so lovely.  I need to remember this when I have negative thoughts popping into my head.  I've seen so many out there in blogland, not sure how to finish mine yet so will wait a while and give it some thought, although I am leaning towards just framing it and hanging it on my wall.
The second little finish is a birthday gift for a friend I met whilst studying over 20 years ago.  She's not a crafter and loves to receive something handmade.  She's also a gardener and this little design from Elizabeth's Designs has been in my stash together will the others that came out in the series since 2005.  I've recently been looking for something and came across quite a few things that I had forgotten I had.

I made a little change to the charted design.  You can see from this close up of the chart that the bee skeps are stitched in horizontal satin stitch

but I decided that they looked to long a stitch and not very neat.  I made mine vertical satin stitch like I've seen on other designs and was very happy how they turned out.

The WDW threads for the large trees and smaller ones and the little brass charm came with the chart, but I decided to add a little bee button from my own stash to the bottom fabric on the finished little pillow.
Wednesday SAL start ....
I'm still joining in with the Wednesday SAL at NH with Barb and the ladies in the parlour.  This week saw the start of another Santa Village design from CCN.  I got 6 stitched last year and number 7 is Christmas Tree Farm.  I'm hoping to get the last 6 stitched this year and all made up for Christmas 2014.
I spy a UFO  ...
A couple of years ago I made the decision to finish everything I had in my basket.  It worked well that year and lots did get completed.  A HAED design was left in there, and that, as regular readers will know, has now left the building and resides with a stitcher who offered to give it a good home and finish it.  The only other thing that got left was Irish Garden by Liz Turner Diehl

I checked on my blog and the last time it was stitched on was a post 10th May 2010  **hangs head in shame** oh dear and there was me saying it was only 2 years ago.....oooops!

This is where I left it after only working on it for a short time.

and here it is after some time on it this weekend.  Four trellis panels added, some backstitch to the top left corner and another little cat has come to play.

Will it get completed this year?  We will have to see.  I really do like the design.  It's just all the fiddle faddle stuff like half and quarter stitches and silly backstitch to them that joins them all up and there will be lots of speciality stitching in the outer borders.  You just can't watch tv and stitch on this one, it has to have your total attention and yet it looks so simple when you see a pic of it.  I admire those who stitch on the Chatelaine's this one is just like them... complicated!
I've also stitched and finished the January challenge that Christine organises over at NH.  This year the challenge has been combined with Christmas ornaments so we will all have 12 lovely ornaments at the end of the year.  Next weekend is reveal day for this one, so i'll show you that next time.
Thanks for stopping by, it's always a pleasure to see you here, thanks for taking time to comment and leave me a little note.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

First finish - exchange finish

My first finish this year was of course the exchange piece, the one I forgot had to be posted and received ready to open Friday 10th January.

My little teaser from the last post got you all thinking.  I can show you what it is this time, but I think i'll keep you waiting a little till I've told you all about it.

The exchange was organised by Clare at the meet up in November - yes, I know I had ages to get it organised and sorted in plenty of time.  I did find a nice chart and plan what I wanted to stitch, but with other things it got forgotten till the last minute..... we've all done it.

We were all given a little card and had to write our name/address inside and were asked 3 questions to put down the answers for.

The cards were collected, mixed up and everyone then chose a card. It meant that there was no 'host' for this exchange.  Nobody knew who they have received until yesterdays opening day, a totally secret exchange - such fun!

Lisa (no blog) was who I stitched for.

We were to stitch a saying and make some kind of ornament that could be displayed the whole year bearing in mind the answers in the little card.

Lisa's three answers when I opened her card were .....

1.Purple - yes, I added purple pins to my finish

2.Home - I chose a design for a new home card from this book, it was a lovely saying.

3.Food - I decided to back if with this wonderful fabric design, cakes and chocolate, yummy!

I think I fulfilled all three answers.

Ok, you've waited long enough, I better show you what I actually stitched and sent to Lisa.  A pinkeep, trimmed with white ribbon and the purple pins.

and here it is on the wooden stand I sent to display it, that also went in the parcel.
I must admit, I had a hard job sealing the envelope and letting this one go, it really did turn out nice and I was so pleased to get it posted to arrive in plenty of time for opening day.
Jane picked the card I filled in and she sent me this perfect saying for me.

I do try to stitch only on these days lol.

She included a beautiful card telling me all about the design and the threads she had used.

It was the first time Jane had made this type of finish, it looks perfect to me.  Thank you so much Jane, I have them displayed on my mantelpiece.

I hope you are all safe and well, especially those who are having adverse weather conditions, be they snow overseas, high temps in Australia or the floods here in the UK.  Mother nature is certainly giving us something to think about for the start of the new year.

Take care all, {{hugs}} to the poorly folks, I know a few who are suffering with certain ailments right now.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Final finish and new start

Happy New Year to you all.......

Final finish for 2013 was CCN Vintage Christmas, i just had to get this completed before the end of the year it's so pretty and different.

Plans for January that I'd been thinking about haven't gone to plan right before the new year started ..... I'd somehow not thought about an exchange needing to be stitched and sent out to arrive for 8th January 2014 and had been happily stitching away on Vintage for the whole of December .... ooops.
This finish does make it 31 stitched ones for last year, my favourite of course being Shores of Hawk Run Hollow - the biggie finish.  31 knitted ones (that includes 15 little Christmas stockings and then 3 crochet finishes.  Not too bad a year considering i also read 54 books.  Let's hope next year is as productive.
So you see, i am now stitching madly on said exchange, it is a new start for the new year, but not the one i thought i would be doing.  You'll have to wait to see the prepared new start later in the month as i have now decided that i'll perhaps be organised enough to start that on the Chinese new year instead lol.
Here's the exchange already to begin ....

and a little snippet to tease you as i can't show you the design till its been received.

OK, better sign off and crack on with it if it's going to be finished and sent on time ...

Happy stitching and crafting everyone