Sunday, 11 March 2018

A finish and a new hobby

Hi there everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I have started my new job working as an admin in a foster care agency and I'm truly enjoying it so far. It can be busy, and there's a lot to read and learn about, but the people are so friendly and it's nice being in a job where I feel useful and like I'm making a difference. Sadly, I didn't get to go to Southampton last weekend - the snow meant my train was cancelled. I made the most of my time at home though, and seeing as it was wintry conditions, I felt inspired to work on my Christmas sampler. And it's finished! 

I've tucked it away for now, but I'm looking forward to getting it out again around November time and make it into a wall hanging to be displayed over the festive season. I'm quite proud of this piece, because I only used threads that I had in my stash. The only thing I had to buy for this project was the fabric. Everything else came from threads I had squirreled away after finishing kits, or odd Anchor threads that my sister had given me when she finished with cross stitching. It was a nice, cheap project, which is good to have every now and then to keep costs down!

I have started a new design that I did buy some new threads for, but only because I loved the colours used so much, I wanted an exact match. I've got a fair few stitches in, but haven't had a chance to take a pic yet. I'll be sure to get one up next week.

I've had a lovely weekend so far. We had Lawrence's mum come for a visit and yesterday afternoon, we went to a needle felting beginners class. I always enjoy craft, but I haven't tried very many of them, so it was nice to try a new skill. The class was in a gorgeous craft shop/work shop/tea room and was taught by a patient and kind teacher. There was only four of us learning, so we had time to each receive personal instruction as to where we were going wrong. We had a cup of tea half way through and it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I definitely felt I had a thorough understanding of the basics of needle felting by the time we finished. 

This is another cheap hobby to enjoy, because it only needs a little bit of equipment and you can find free designs on line. In the class, we each made a teddy bear. Mine is a bit wonky, but I'm very fond of him! 

Apart from cross stitching, what other crafts do you enjoy? I would love to hear all about them, it might give me an idea for the next class I could sign up to. I've got some chores to do now, but I can't wait to settle down with my stitching this evening.

Best wishes,

Sunday, 25 February 2018

A glimmer of Spring

I'm sitting in my living room to type this post and the sunlight is streaming in through the bay window. I have a beautiful bouquet in a duck egg-coloured vase that was gifted to me by a lovely friend. It could almost be Spring, if only it was't so cold outside! Still, that means plenty of time inside and stitching :)

I finally picked up my Christmas sampler for the first time in awhile. I only managed to add a couple of motifs, but I'm glad I spent some time on it. I think I'm just going to pick it up as and when I feel like throughout the year and definitely get it finished by November. There's not really much to do, but I can't find the perfect colour for the house in the centre of the design. I think I need to go to a craft store and take it with me and see if I can find a colour I love. Here it is at the moment:

The designer of this piece, Faye from Little Dove Designs, has just done another sampler in the latest issue of CrossStitcher - Spring Sampler. It's the first in a four part series and I love the look of them. I don't know whether to wait and collect all four designs, or kit it up right away. What would you do?

Speaking of CrossStitcher, they had a fab cover kit on this issue. It was a wooden pendant where you could select one of three designs to stitch on it. I normally tuck my cover kits away for another time, but I couldn't resist starting this one straight away and I finished it in one evening! I'm not sure what I would actually wear it with, but I do love the look of it.

It's been a good week for stitching, because I even had time to put some stitches in on Highland Walkies too. I love the colours in this piece, they're so cheerful. I think I'm going to pull this one out right after this post and spend the rest of Sunday working on it :)

I only have three more days working with District Nurses, then I'll be off on a long weekend to Southampton to visit friends, which I'm so looking forward to. It will be the perfect way to relax before starting my new job. 

I hope you're all enjoying a lovely weekend, and thank you so much for your kind comments on my last post. It's so important we look after ourselves, especially when times are tough.

Best wishes,


Sunday, 18 February 2018

All change for February

Hello my friends, I hope this post finds you well. I've been having a busy time of late, as always! We've merged two district nursing teams as part of a cost cutting exercise, but sadly, the result has been that many staff have left. That means more work divided by less people and it's been a bit of a strain to say the least. However, I'm coming to the end of my contract with the District Nurses, so I only have to do my best for the next two weeks. I have another job lined up to start in March, I'm going to be a placement administrator for a foster care company. It looks like a difficult, challenging job, but I'm ready for it. It looks like it could be truly rewarding too.

When life gets a bit much, I always like to concentrate on looking after myself. That way, I can fire on all cylinders and get as much done as I can. For me, that involves sleeping plenty, eating right and always making time for cross stitching. I've made some good progress on Highland Walkies. It's a lot of block stitching, which makes it a good project for the evenings. Lawrie bought me a clip on lamp for Christmas too, so I use that a lot for good sight. Here's where I'm up to on my latest project:

I'm only working on one piece at the moment, which is unusual for me, I normally have at least two on the go! My Christmas chart hasn't seen the light of day since January, I still can't decide if I want to power through and finish it, or wait until November when I start to feel the festive spirit again. What would you do? 

I hope you've had a marvellous weekend and you should never feel bad about taking a little time out for yourself :)

Best wishes,

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Organisation and a new kit

I've had quite a busy week, with no much time for stitching unfortunately. But I did have a lovely time last Sunday with all of my DMC threads. I finally got round to getting them all out and putting them away again in numerical order. I'm lucky to have quite the collection of DMC, but it was making it more difficult to find the ones I needed! I'm glad they're all organised now for easy access. They list the threads required in Cross Stitcher magazine in numerical order, so it should make kitting up projects a lot easier.

I have just started on my new kit that I bought with my Christmas voucher for It's called Highland Walkies from Bothy Threads. It was on my wish list for a long time so I was so pleased I got to purchase it. However, I was a little disappointed when I opened it because the threads were just draped over the thread holder, not secured, so the threads were in danger of mixing up. I spent most of the time when I opened the kit sorting the threads and only got a few stitches in. I'm sure I'll have a progress picture for next time. 

I've still got my Christmas sampler on the go. I thought about packing it away until next December, but I don't like leaving a project unfinished. Besides, if I finish it soon, it will definitely be ready to display next Christmas. I've got a couple of new projects on the bench, but I'm going to finish some before I make another new start.

I hope you're staying warm. It's been very bitterly cold in Bristol lately, I'm very glad for tea and stitching!

Best wishes,


Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Fresh New Year

Hello friends and Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for being so patient with me during my little break from blogging over the holiday season. 

I'm glad to report that my surgery was successful. The surgeon found endometriosis, but it was mild and they were able to remove it through key hole surgery. I have three little scars that I'm sure will be almost invisible in the not too distant future. I got to come home the same day as the operation, which I was really grateful for, it's much more comfortable being in your own bed. I was very slow and a bit weak in the days following, but my recovery has gone well, and I went back to work at the beginning of January. During my recovery time, I got to do plenty of stitching, which was a wonderful distraction to my swollen tummy. 

I've been really enjoying editing the magazine projects to suit my own tastes. I've been working on two pieces lately, one wintery and one Christmas themed. The first one is adapted from card designs by Durene Jones in Issue 326 of CrossStitcher. I liked the modern designs, but not the orange pallette, so I whipped out my thread boxes and started making my own combinations! This one just needs a little more backstitching and it will be complete. Do you think it's too big to be an ornament? The characters remind me of us, so it would be nice to have it up on the tree.

My other project is definitely too big for an ornament! This is Christmas is Coming from Little Dove Designs that was in Issue 324 of CrossStitcher. This was my big project I was working on during recovery, as it was an easy stitch on 14ct ice blue aida and block colours, with very little backstitching. I'm choosing my own colours again for this one, which has meant I could add little bits of metallic here and there for extra Christmas glitz. I've still got quite a few components left to add to this piece, and then I've got to make my mind up about adding the border or not.

I was lucky enough to receive a Sew and So voucher for Christmas and I stocked up on some lovely stash, I'll have to post the picture next time. I got a couple of kits too, one of which I think will be my next project. It will be a lovely introduction to Spring :)

I hope you've all had a wonderful start to the year and had plenty of stitching time this weekend. 

Best wishes,


Monday, 4 December 2017

Stitching through the Winter

Hi all, I hope this post finds you well. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying my stitching lately. Even when I'm not putting needle to thread, I'm reading magazines or browsing blogs or eyeing up my next stitchy purchase. It's lovely to be fully immersed in a hobby once more. 

I've got another card finish to share. This one is a birthday card for my grandmother, who doesn't own a computer, so no risk of her seeing it before the big day! I used a design from an old magazine from my stores, then picked the colours as I went along from my box of leftovers. I'm glad I'm not the only one who keeps leftover threads - they're so handy for small projects like this. 

I finished Love Cats fairly quickly. It was all block colour then a bit of back stitching so it was a nice quick one. I'm thinking of adding her wedding date and gifting this to my sister. Just got to find the perfect frame first!

And I have a new start to share. I don't think this one will take me too long at all. It's Time for Tea by Country Cottage Needlework and I've subbed a couple of the threads for ones I already had. I'm definitely a budget stitcher! 

That's it from me this time. Only two weeks to go until surgery, then there will be no stopping my needle :) I've started kitting up a few things so it will be nice and easy for me to pick things up during my respite time. And then it will be Christmas! I've sent some SewAndSo links to Lawrence so hopefully Stitchy Santa will leave something for me under the tree!! 

Best wishes,


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Projects aplenty

Hi all, I hope you're well. I've been having a strong week this week. I'm enjoying work again and really feel like I'm making a difference. It's the best feeling to feel so content. I've been really into my stitching lately, even browsing the Sew and So website in my lunch break to seek out new projects! I had a lovely time going through my stash earlier this week and surprise surprise, I've got a lot more fabric than I thought I did :)

I've got a finish to share with you first. I'm lucky enough to have a subscription to CrossStitcher magazine and I'm trying to complete each of the cover kits in the same month as the magazine. So here is the card cover kit, Driving Home for Christmas, from the November issue all finished up . . .

This was a nice quick stitch actually, but I really like the effect, especially with the card board button. I've got some one in mind to send it too, alongside a festive parcel of goodies. I found another kit that I had misplaced in my stash for a pin cushion design. I think I'm going to get this one finished before the end of the year too, so I'm all up to date with my cover kits. 

I'm afraid I've made no progress on Cook's Notes lately. The back stitched letters are charted in such a way that I keep having to split aida blocks and really concentrate on it, so it's not one I can just pick up to do a few stitches in to unwind after work. I think it might become my weekend project, and during the week I will work on my latest new start, Love Cats by Brittercup Designs . . .

As I said, I went stash diving this week and unearthed so many lovely threads and fabrics that I haven't had a chance to use. I think I'm definitely to be able to stitch from stash for most of 2018! I'm using a mixture of beautiful variegated threads for this design and I think the finished look will be excellent. It's just whole stitches and a bit of back stitch, so I don't think it will take me that long to get it finished up. Then it will be on to the next project!

Are you doing much festive stitching? I'm thinking of whipping up a few cards with some of my scrappy pieces and odd and ends of threads. It's amazing what you can create with off cuts. Do you save your leftover threads from kits to make cards? It's a habit I got into when I didn't have much of a budget for stitching :)

I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful weekend. We had friends over for dinner last night and today we're off out with Lawrence's family to enjoy a Sunday lunch. I'm sure there will be stitching time this evening, after the baking and the laundry first!

Best wishes,