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,
Bekca
xxx

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 SewandSo.com. 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,

Bekca
xxx

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,

Bekca
xxx

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,

Bekca
xxx

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,

Bekca
xxx

Sunday, 12 November 2017

First finish for awhile

I'm determined to be more consistent with my stitchy posts, even if it's just for me as a way to document my progress with all my projects. I've certainly made good progress recently, as I've got a finish to share! Yes, Sewing Machine is all finished up . . .



I did originally start this piece in mind of keeping it for me and using it to decorate my stitching corner, but I think it would actually be better suited to my mum. She loves quilting and purple is her favourite colour, which really pops in the little flowers. I keep sending my finished pieces to my mum and now she's got quite the collection on the wall - I hope she's not sick of them yet!!

I did get a new cover kit with the latest issue of CrossStitcher and I've made an excellent start on that. It's an ouch weekend for me at the moment, which means painkillers, hot water bottle and plenty of stitching time. I actually think I'll get this one finished in the next couple of days and I've already got someone in mind to send it off to. 


I've started having thoughts about my stitching plans for next year. I think I'm going to do one big stash shop at the start of the year (hopefully with vouchers that I've asked for for Christmas) and then try to use what I've got for the rest of the year. We're currently trying to save up for a house and a big holiday, so I need to save all the pennies I can.

Lastly, in health news, I've finally got a date and I will be having surgery this year. I'm nervous, of course, but I know it's for the best and will hopefully provide some relief from my endo pains. Recovery time means stitching time, so I'm going to kit up some projects whilst I'm feeling well so I can pick them up after surgery. 

I hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend. I'm off out for coffee with a friend in a bit, then Lawrence and I will be cooking a Sunday Roast for dinner tonight - can't wait!

Best wishes to all,

Bekca
xxx

Thursday, 2 November 2017

November already!

Goodness me! Where does the time go? I've been meaning to take stitchy progress photos for the last couple of weeks and never quite getting round to it until today. As always, there has been a fair amount going on.

I didn't take to my new job well at all. The office was slow, poorly managed and the work was not as rewarding as I hoped. I was going into work each day feeling useless and out of place and it was really starting to get me down. Luckily, I was able to organise a transfer back to my District Nurses team, so I can safely return to my old job on Monday! I'm so pleased I've managed to erase my mistake by stepping back into my old role. It's only a temporary solution, but I'm far happier already.

Still no surgery date, so it's the same old story with my endo flare ups, my good days and my bad days. I now have two water bottles - one for home and one for work, both are extremely necessary! 

I haven't been the best with blogging, but I have been getting my stitches in. I was very kindly gifted with a subscription to CrossStitcher magazine for my birthday and as soon as the first one arrived through the door, I got started on the free kit. I've just got to add the french knot eyes to Scandi Santa and then onto the finishing.



I think it's a neat little decoration idea. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to keep him for my tree or give him another home. I guess it depends on how neat my finishing is!!

I've also been working on my two WIPs, which are coming along nicely. I think I will get Sewing Machine finished this month, as soon as I get my hands on the last thread I need. I thought I ordered everything I needed to complete it, but I seem to be one thread colour missing. A quick trip to my LNS will soon sort that out. So here is Sewing Machine . . .



And here is Cook's Measurements . . .



The next CrossStitcher mag is due in the next week or so, so I'll have another cute kit to work on, I'm sure. I don't think I'll be doing much festive stitching this year, maybe a card or two. I better get cracking!

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx