Monday, 19 December 2011

Drumroll Please . . .

Hello everyone! I must apologise for the delay in revealing the recipients of the Birthday Stitch Surprise. I thought I'd have time to post on Friday morning, but what with packing and my final lecture, time ran away from me. I'm here now to announce the winners!
So, I took the names from each month and did separate little draws to find the winner of that particular month. Then, all of those who were unfortunately not picked in their first draw went into a second one for the months I had no names for, June and November. July, October and Decembers winners got the prize by default as they were lucky enough to have no others with the same birthday month.
I hope this all makes sense!
I did the drawing the old fashioned way, cut up pieces of paper and a bowl.


Don't worry if you can't see the above picture clearly, here is the definite list of the winners:

January - Michelle from Tales of a Stitching Mouse

February - Fiona from My Stitching Corner

March – Lesleyanne from Lesleyanne's Life of Stitches

April – Catherine from Bramblewood Stitches

May – Emma from EveningEmma

June – (separate drawing) Terri from DixieSampler

July – Teresa from Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

August – Peggy Lee from Kentucky Sampler

September – Cath from The Stitchin' Chicken

October – Elisa from Old Ragged Threads

November (separate drawing) – Lynn from Kearnel's Korner

December – Cindy from Clear Skies After the Storm

I hope Terri and Lynn are still happy to receive a parcel even though it is not in their birthday month. I thought a separate drawing would be the best and fairest way to make sure a parcel is sent out every month.
If you ladies could all send me an email to just outlining a few likes and dislikes, that would help me enormously. And don't forget your mailing addresses too!
Thank you so much to everyone who entered my little contest. I have reserved the names of those who unfortunately didn't win this time, but I'll know who to head to first for RAKs and such :)
So it will be Michelle who will receive her birthday parcel first. I can't wait to start putting it together!

In other news, my first weekend back at home has been great. I had a lovely meal with my family when I got back on Friday night, and then last night, I was taken out to dinner by my boyfriend's family. And I'm going out to eat tonight with my girl friends. Phew! You can tell it's Christmas time LOL
Best wishes to all,

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Thursday, 15 December 2011


Hello everyone. Just a quick post from me today to let you all know that the drawing for the Birthday Stitch Surprise is now CLOSED. I will be drawing names from a hat (or probably a bowl) and will post the results tomorrow morning.
Good luck to everyone who entered!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Winding Down

Hi everyone! I hope you've all had a brilliant start to the week. Although the title of this post suggests I'm winding down before Christmas, the truth is there is loads to do before I can relax and enjoy the festive season properly. I don't mind though, the work is very enjoyable, there's just quite a bit.
First of, thank you to all who have put their name in for the Birthday Stitch Surprise. There's still time to add your name to the drawing in this post here (scroll down or click the link).  I haven't got anyone yet for June or November, so maybe you could be the lucky one!
In other news, I've been spending time in the evenings working on Gingerbread House by Country Cottage Designs. Here's where I'm up to . . .

I really love working on this piece, it uses such bright and cheerful colours.
My meal in London last week was amazing. The restaurant was beautiful and the food was just the best. Then we went on a bit of a drive tour through the sights and saw Big Ben, The London Eye and Buckingham Palace, to name but a few. I celebrated with Lawrie on our own with a quiet meal in town, where for the first time, we could both have a glass of wine out. It was so very lovely.
Have a great week everyone. I go home for Christmas on Friday and I can't wait!
Best wishes,

PS Terri over at dixiesampler is having a brilliant giveaway. Check it out here!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Birthday Stitch Surprise!!

EDIT: The drawing is now closed and the winners will be announced on Friday :)

It seems the idea was popular so I have decided to go ahead with it :) Please enter a comment on this post only with your full birthday. No need for the year, just the month then date e.g September 23rd (my own birthday :P) just so I don't get confused with the numbers.

- You must be a follower to enter. After all, this is a competition where I want to treat my followers!
- There is no need to post about this on your blog, but it would be lovely if you would like to.
- If there is more than one entry for each month, I shall put all the names into a hat and draw one name.
- Entry closes next Thursday (15th) at midday (UK time) I shall put the list of each month with who will be receiving a gift on Friday.

I'd just like to point out if I may that these birthday parcels won't be spectacular. I'm planning on sending a few lovely pieces that I think the recipient will enjoy.

I can't wait to get started on this!!
Best wishes everyone, and good luck!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Finish, A Treat, An Idea

Hello fellow bloggers! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Wednesday is my day off from lectures, so I'm catching up with reading, wrapping a few more presents, and hopefully finding time for stitching too.
I have my first Christmas ornament to share! It's only a little one, but I could not be more pleased with how it turned out . . .

Christmas Greetings
Carol @iStitch
32ct Vintage Beige Evenweave
DMC and Duchess Threads

This is my first time finishing an ornament with a hanger and I really like it, especially with the red ribbon attachment.
Don't you just love Christmas backing fabric?

I've already got my next ornament waiting and ready to be stitched up. Hopefully I'll get needle into fabric sometime this afternoon.
So now on to the treat part of my title. Yesterday after lessons, I met up with my mum in Winchester. We had a wander round the shops and visited the Christmas market. It was so very pretty, with the ice rink in the ground of the cathedral and all the lit up stalls and huts. The only downside was that everything seemed so expensive. I only found some fudge for Lawrie, and a gingerbread man for me! Mum didn't manage to find much either, so she suggested we return to the shops in search of goodies to treat ourselves with. She found a gorgeous glasses case in Cath Kidston, and just before heading to dinner, we went to the Fabric Shop . . .
I had been looking at these for awhile. I don't own many pairs of scissors and it always annoys me when I have to hunt for a pair. So, as a treat from my lovely mother, I came home with these beauties . . .

These are my first pair of stork scissors and I think they are so very pretty. I can't wait to use them.
As I can never resist ribbon, I got this lovely length with the change . . .

How cute is this! I know exactly what design it will be good for, stay tuned.

Thank you to those who commented on my query about stitching challenges. I've had a thought about it, and I don't think I'm going to enter the Crazy Stitching Challenge. The truth is, I don't own 15 projects that I'd like to start, and I'd rather pick and choose throughout the year.
However . . .
I do have an idea that I'd like to try out, hence the final part of the title. I'd really like to give back to the stitching community as I have been treated to many gorgeous packages and parcels throughout this year. I'd like to send out a few parcels of myself, to treat my fellow bloggers at the perfect occasion. So . . .
Introducing the Birthday Stitch Surprise!
The idea is that whoever would like lets me know when their birthday is, I'll do a drawing so I have a list of twelve names for each month in the year. In that month, I shall send a package of stitching goodies and probably a stitched piece to the birthday girl! Does this sound like a good idea to you? I just wondered what my lovely followers thought before I made it official. Any comments would be gratefully appreciated!
Speaking of my lovely followers, I've nearly got 100 of them - my goodness! I can't believe so many of you care about this student and her stitching. Thank you so much. I love stitching, blogging and being part of this community and you make that happen, thank you again.
I hope you're all enjoying a lovely Wednesday,
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Sunday, 4 December 2011

A Query

Hello blogging community, I have a question for you, if you would be so kind.
I was just wondering if there were any challenges planned for early next year? I know at the beginning of this year we had the Crazy January challenge, and was wondering if there was anything of the sort happening next year?
As we all do around this time, I've been thinking about things I want to stitch up and such, and was possibly think of doing my own Crazy 15, but is there anything formal I can join up to?
Thank you very much for your thoughts on this :)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Being Creative

Hello everyone, I hope you've all had a wonderful week and are ready to enjoy a relaxing weekend. More on my weekend later.
First up, I got time this week to finally have a play on my new sewing machine. I was successful in setting up the machine on my first try, so that was a bonus. Then I started stitching, and that didn't go too . . .
Here is my first attempt, and yes, it has three holes for stuffing, whoops . . .

I'm in two minds whether to rescue this design and sew it again, or keep it as is as a memento of my first stitching on my own machine. We'll have to wait and see.
I was not deterred and picked up another design and tried again. This time it went much better. I am a big believer in making mistakes in order to learn and I think that's very true in stitching. So, here's my second attempt, a lovely plump pillow!

There's a pin at the top because I am in desperate need of advice - how do I sew the final seam shut? Any hints and tips would be very much appreciated from this novice stitcher.
I'm hoping to get some time next week to finish one of my Lizzie Kate pieces, but I want to wait until I'll got a good chunk of time because I don't want to rush them. I'm determined to get them finished as pillows before Christmas though!
In other stitchy news, I've got a new start to share. I've started County Cottage Designs, Gingerbread House and I'm loving it! Haven't got too far along yet, but I really love the pink colours in the middle of the house. I'm hoping to get this one finished and in a frame before Christmas too.

Lawrie is coming down tomorrow for a visit and on Sunday, we're heading to the Vintage Market. I went last month it was on and found this beauty . . .

I'm using it as a shopping basket at the moment, but when I head home for the holidays, I'm going to put all my stitched Christmas decorations in it to put in my room. How very festive!
Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend,


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Happy Dances!

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been away so long. As we're getting closer to the end of the first semester, all of the assignments and projects are coming to a close. I got so busy, I didn't even have time to blog read, let alone stitch. I'm looking forward to catching up with what everyone has been up to :)
On Friday, I had my scriptwriting presentation where my group presented to a "producer" our idea for a comedy series. The first feedback the examiner gave us was; "I am immensely impressed." I was overjoyed that our hard work all through the week. This was the reason I couldn't fit in as much stitching time, but sometimes that's the sacrifice you got to take to make the grade LOL
I spent the weekend with Lawrence and got to attend the surprise party his friends were throwing him. A good time was had by all. His birthday is actually next week, and we're going out with his family to a posh restaurant in London - I am very much looking forward to that!
So, onto the part of the post you actually want to read, my happy dances! I have two to share today, well, one and a half really. I finally put the seed beads onto All Things Bright so this can officially go on the "finishing" pile . . .

This week is quiet for work so I've had a lovely time putting in some stitches into Merry Friends. I finished it tonight, here it is! . . .

I added a little heart charm I said that reads "Made With Love."
I don't have any lessons or lectures on Thursday afternoon so I'm planning on spending some quality time with my sewing machine. I bought it to use and so far, it's been stuck in its box, time to change that I think.
I have missed blog reading and can't wait to see what everyone has been stitching. Why not tell me something that's happened to you in the past week in your comment? I would love to be nosey :)
Best wishes,

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Finish! . . . Well, Sort Of

Good morning to everyone on this slightly cloudy Winchester morning! I have been stitching away like a busy little bee over the weekend and I have a "sort of" finish to share. It's All Things Bright from Lizzie Kate . . .

I say a "sort of" finish because the watermelon still needs to have little black seed beads attached to it, but mine are at home. It's going to wait till my next visit back, which hopefully won't be too long away. I'm pleased to have got this piece finished as much as I can though, it means I can fully concentrate on my Christmas stitching.
It also gives me a chance to try out my brand new sewing machine! I thought as the design features motifs from an American summer, I'd pair it with one of my favourite English motifs - strawberries! Isn't this just a lovely backing fabric?

So I'm thinking it won't be too long before I can get the bead on this piece, have a go on my sewing machine and have a new long pillow for my bed. I'll let you know how it goes.
In other stitchy news, I've also been doing a little bit on Merry Friends. This piece is great to do in the evenings because it's mostly block colours and lots of them. Here's where I'm up to so far . . .

I'd like to get this one finished as soon as possible too, hopefully in time for this Christmas but who knows. It is a fun stitch so I don't see why not :)
My parents came down for a shopping trip last week and boy did I get spoilt! One of my best purchases was this new recipe book, a bargain at only £8 ($12.74). I've been reading it and picking out so many recipes that I can't wait to try.

The first one was these Carrot Cake Cupcakes - aren't they adorable? It's my housemate's birthday coming up and she asked if I could make her a carrot cake. I thought these cupcakes were so much cuter and easier to store in a student house. I really enjoyed making them, as I have never made anything of the sort before.

They were yummy and my housemates all agreed that I should do more baking. I'm very happily going to oblige.
Apologies for this extra long post, I just found I had a lot to say. Last thing before I head off to class, I managed to get some hours back at the supermarket I was at before heading to Uni. The money is going to come in so handy and I really enjoy working in the store at Christmas time, it's so very festive.
Have a wonderful week,

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Merry Stitching

Hello everyone, I hope you've all had a brilliant start to the week. I've been stitching away on Merry Friends, and it's coming along a treat!

I'm stitching on this in the evenings, but I'm going to look for a smaller project to work on before I head out for lectures and things. I'm thinking Redwork pieces - we shall see what I find.
The fireworks display I went to at the weekend was amazing! There was a torchlit procession from the main town to the bonfire sight, which was really quite a spectacle. And then the fireworks lasted for ages and were very impressive. And it was free! Me and my housemates did make a donation though, who wouldn't after seeing such a beautiful display?
I've made Jumbles biscuits this morning to take to the cinema later on, after a fairly intense Drama lecture. Oh the joys of being a student LOL
Have a wonderful week,

Friday, 4 November 2011

How Exciting!!

At last, that wonderful week has arrived where I finally had enough money in my bank for my sewing machine! A real bonus was that when I went to reserve it online, it had a third off so it was only £39.99 ($64). It feels a bit like I was rewarded for saving up for it so carefully :)
Anyway, I headed into town after script writing class and paid for it, then lugged it back up to my house - it was quite a trek, I can tell you.

So I finally have a sewing machine of my very own. Those that have been long term readers of my blog know that I have wanted one for awhile. Now I can do all the finishing I want, whenever I want.

Although it is an Argos own brand machine and nothing swanky, it's very sturdy and had very good reviews. I'm sure it will be perfect for a beginner like me.
One snag, I don't have anything to sew! All of my finished cross stitched pieces are at home, tucked away in a drawer. So I'm afraid my lovely new machine will have to wait until I finish something here at Uni before it can be used. Ah well, at least I've got one - at last!
I'm heading off to the Winchester Fireworks Parade tomorrow evening, then me and my housemates are having hotdogs and cider afters. Lawrence is coming down too! I hope you all have a  wonderful weekend too,

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Hello Christmas!

Don't you just hate it when life cuts into your stitching time? Just as I was getting ready to start my Christmas stitching, a hefty Drama essay comes flying my way. It's not too bad really, it's only 1,500 words. And I've got plenty of time to stitch during relaxing evenings.
I've finally decided on my first ornament for the Christmas Ornament Challenge; it's Lizzie Kate's Merry Friends. Here's my small progress so far . . .

Whilst stitching on this, I plan to continue on my other Lizzie Kate piece as well as complete smaller Christmas designs, like the redwork snowflakes I have my eye on. November is going to be full of stitching for me!
I enjoyed a wonderful trip out shopping today with one of my housemates. We had lunch in Cafe Monde, one of my favourite places in Winchester and the most perfect place to go to lunch if you ever happen to visit. I had a chicken and BBQ sauce panini and it was the best. Didn't buy much, but my mum is coming to visit next week for a shopping trip.
I had a wonderful time at home, thanks to those who asked. I was well and truly spoilt with a big chicken and salad dinner, and then chocolate cake for pudding - yum yum! It felt very strange being back in my own bed actually, and I was actually a novelty to have cereal in front of the TV on a sofa. How surreal.
I would very much like to get back into my cooking soon. I absolutely love proper home cooked food, like stews and pies, but often a quick stir fry is just so much more practical. I'll have to mix it up a bit. Do you have any recipes that I should try? I would love to hear your suggestions.
I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful week,

Friday, 28 October 2011

So Close

Hello everyone, happy Friday! How are we all? The weather seems to have turned much colder in Winchester recently, time to find the big woolen scarves and mittens I think.
I've found some time this week to put a few stitches in All Things Bright and it's coming along a treat.

I'm on the home stretch on this design now and I can't wait to finish it into a long pillow, I've picked the fabric out and everything. I'm taking this one with me when I go home today so I should have some relaxing time with my stitching.
I'm so looking forward to visiting home. My mum says she's already prepared a slap up tea with all my favourites - isn't she the best? And my sister is going to be at home too, so it will be very lovely to catch up with her.
After I return from my weekend at home, it will be time to start the Christmas Ornament Challenge! Who else is really quite excited about this? I've already started collecting patterns that I know I want to stitch. Needles will be poised and ready on November the first I think. This is a great way to practice on my new sewing machine too. I haven't got it quite yet, but I'm thinking I'll have it either this week or next, very excited about that too.
What are you up to at the weekend? I hope you have fun whatever you do :)
Best wishes,

Friday, 21 October 2011

A Christmas Finish

Good morning everyone, I hope you've all had a wonderful week. I'm very happy that it's Friday for two reasons. Firstly, that's means I've got my Scriptwriting lesson today which I thoroughly enjoy and secondly, one of my best friends is coming to visit me tomorrow for a shopping trip and I'm very much looking forward to it :) Do you have any lovely plans for the weekend? Apart from stitching of course!

I finished my Heart in Hand bird! I'm so very pleased with it. I changed most of the colours to fit with what I had in my stash, but I still think it looks pretty good. It is a bit of a squeeze on the fabric, but I think I'll still be able to finish it how I want. It will definitely be ready for Christmas.

Who else is joining BeckySC's Christmas Ornament Challenge? I for one am very excited about it. I wanted to stitch lots of ornaments this year anyway, so this is a perfect excuse to finish lots of them and gain a chance to win a Gift Certificate! I've already been through the freebie patterns I've got to see if I can find designs to stitch. Might have to pick up some patterns next time I visit home, my room at Uni is just too small to fit all my cross stitching stuff!
Since the challenge doesn't begin until November 1st, I'm spending my stitchy hours till then trying to finish All Things Bright. I managed to get in a few stitches last night and I might squeeze in a few more before class. I really do love this design and I would love to get it on my to-be-finished pile very soon. My plan is to do mostly stitching whilst I'm away at Uni and then do the actual finishing at home where I have the majority of my supplies.

In other news, I'm saving up for a sewing machine! I've wanted one for so long so I'm saving a bit each week so I can get my very own, brand new sewing machine :) And then they'll be no stopping me making ornaments!
Have a wonderful weekend,
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Monday, 17 October 2011

A Milestone!

Good morning everyone, I hope you're all enjoying a brilliant start to the week so far.
I thought it was apt that I started my 100th post (I know, 100! How great is that?) with a stitchy picture. I've been speeding through my Heart in Hand ornament, it should definitely be finished for this year . . .

In other news, I have decided that November is going to be my month for giving back to the blogging community. I'm thinking giveaways, random prize draws and lots and lots of stitching! Plus, I am so very close to reaching 100 followers and surely that deserves a big giveaway? I'm keeping up with my Uni work no problem, so I've got plenty of extra time to plan lots of stitching goodies for you all. Check back often for more details :) I know we're only half way through October, but it's good to be prepared don't you think?
No baking to show this time, I've got my very first assignment due in this week so I'm really concentrating on that. Might be time to sneak in some quick cupcakes by the end of the week though, we'll have to see.
So, it's off to Fictional Writing class for me, how are you spending your Monday? Something fun I hope :)
Best wishes,
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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Autumn Has Begun

Hello everyone! First and foremost, I must tell you that I have a new email address. I'm having problems with my Outlook Express, so all stitchy-related emails will now be sent to this one: It should be on my profile too. If you have any questions or comments about my blog, or just want to say hello, feel free to send an email :)
After some serious stitching time, I finally finished my first exchange piece. Hurrah! I really hope my partner likes it. But now that leaves me free from obligation stitching to work on whatever I fancy. Now, Sarah over at Kiwi Gets Crafty had the genius idea of stitching up a Christmas ornament for each year her and her partner are together. After asking Sarah's permission to see if it was ok to be a copycat, I'm also doing the project. For mine and Lawrence's first ornament, I've chosen Heart in Hand's Christmas Bird . . .

I love this series of birds, I'm currently collecting the others. I can definitely get this piece done in time for Christmas. I'm still working on All Things Bright too, but haven't got any progress to show I'm afraid.
In other news, I've been elected "Baker of the Block" by my housemates :) They're all making a donation each week and I'm baking something for everyone to share. This week, I had a go at making my very own cookies! They were very yummy, although perhaps more like biscuits than cookies. I might try a different recipe next time as this one used so much chocolate, it seemed like more chocolate than cookies. At least they went down well with my housemates.

I just love seeing all the autumnal photos on other blogs out there, I do so love this season. I took my camera out with me in hope of snapping some of my own, but it seems autumn hasn't quite arrived fully yet. Most of the leaves are still fairly green, but I did get a couple of pictures.

On my walk home from town, I stopped at a signpost that directed another route to Uni that I hadn't used before. I took a chance and look where I ended up!

It's the old army barracks in Peninsula Square that have now been converted into museums and housing. I sat for awhile, just admiring the view of the large fountain and all the pruned shrubs. It really was a lovely place to sit and relax, I'm sure I will return. Isn't it funny the places you discover when you're not really looking for them? It really makes sense of the phrase "Those who wander aren't always lost."
I hope you're all having a lovely week,
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