Monday, 29 August 2011

A Very Special Giveaway

I mentioned in my last post that I had recently been gifted some wonderful digital scrapbooking software from MyMemories. I've been a having a play with it and it's fab! Just look at these wonderful layouts made by very talented scrappers . . .

MyMemories is offering another download of their wonderful Version 2 software to the winner of this giveaway. The winner will receive My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software, worth $39.97, absolutely FREE! Plus you get a $10 voucher to spend on extra additions in the MyMemories store.
This is the perfect giveaway for anyone who enjoys scrapbooking or papercraft to expand their knowledge. Or for anyone looking to start a new hobby without any expensive start up costs. To be in with a chance of winning this unique and lovely price, just leave a comment below.
1) You must be a follower
2) To gain an extra entry, post a blog or a link on your own page to this post.
3) For ANOTHER extra entry, add a link to your comment showing your favourite page from the MyMemories gallery.
4) Only available to American and Canadian followers. Sorry! 

The competition will close Monday 5th of September and the winner shall be posted the day after. Good luck to all entrants!!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cosy and Colourful

Evening all. I've settling down to a nice evening of blog reading after a long day at work. It was my penultimate weekend actually, I'll be saying goodbye to my job next weekend. I'll sort of be sad to see it go, I enjoyed working at the supermarket and the pay was decent. But I know I'm moving on to a much more exciting chapter in my life!
I did as I normally did after coming in from work, turning on the oven to make food as soon as possible then dashing upstairs to through on something, anything more comfortable than my uniform. Out comes the baggy t-shirts, stretchy leggings, fluffy blankets and oh so comforting slippers. I only work one full day a week as a student in summer, so I know I don't have it bad. But it is so nice to come home and enjoy things that you like to do, rather than being on your feet and serving customers. I always like to take my make-up off when I get home, ram on a big, oversized jumper and watch a few comedy programmes - anyone else loving Miranda at the moment? She is one funny lady! Do you have any after-work habits? What would be the perfect evening in for you?

I've been playing around recently with the digital scrapbooking software the lovely ladies at sent me to experiment with and see what I thought. And to be honest, it's fab! I'm not naturally creative, which is one reason I like cross stitch so much. You can just follow a chart and still end up with a gorgeous design. Digital scrapbooking has allowed me to experiment without being worried that it will turn out rubbish. These are two of my first pages, pretty plain, but I'm just discovering all the lovely additions and embellishments you can add.

Girls - I feel I need to explain that these pictures were taken during a "who-can-pull-the-stupidest-face" competition, I don't just have odd looking friends :)

Night Out! - On this page, I added some ric-rac and a ribbon all with a simple colour scheme. The pics are from a joyful night out in Bournemouth in the summer. I am loving playing around with this new software.

MyMemories gifted me with their My Memories Suite V2 for free, and they're offering the same to one of my readers! Check back on Monday for the full giveaway details.
I hope you've all got a lovely weekend planned, what's left of it anyway. I'm planning a swimming trip in the morning and then an afternoon of craft I think. Whatever takes my fancy :)
Best wishes,

Thursday, 25 August 2011

I'm Baaaaack!

Hello everyone! I've returned from my wonderful holiday in the Lake District. I had the best time and wished we could have stayed longer. I've got a few pictures to share from my trip but no stitchy update this time. The next post will feature a few craft buys from my trip and where I'm up to on my stitching. It's coming soon, as well as other exciting developments - stay tuned!!

Here's the view from our bedroom window at the cottage which I think sums up Eden Valley (the part of the Lake District in which we were staying) very well. Very lush and green with plenty of farm buildings and dry stone walls. And sheep! There's sheep as far as the eye can see.

Me and my boyfriend were staying in a self-catering apartment so the first thing we did after unpacking was pop to the local shop for some supplies. I say local, the nearest place to buy food was in Penrith, 10 miles away! We were both tired after the six hour journey, so opted for a night in with a movie and an early night.
On Sunday, we went on a hunt for Sunday Lunch. The first couple of pubs we went into were very disappointing, the staff in both refused to recognise us at all and I think that's rude. I personally think good customer service is the making of a restaurant. We had to travel into town again and I was thinking we were sure to end up in KFC when I spotted a sign for a carvery. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a lovely, friendly waitress who took our order and explained how it all worked. She was just what I was looking for after being treated so rudely in the previous pubs.
The meal was delicious, veggies cooked to perfection, the beef was so tender and I was so hungry after our trek to find a decent place, I had mash potato and roast potato! Here's my lovely plate of food and guess what . . .

. . . I ate the entire thing!

A highlight of our trip was renting a boat out on Ullswater lake, a very picturesque area. My grandad had very kindly given me some holiday money so we used a bit to rent a nice, shiny motorboat. We weren't going to mess around with a rowing boat! After a wonderful lunch in a quaint tea garden (all I did on this trip was eat), we walked down to the lake and got in our boat. I was cheeky and asked the vendor to take our picture, it turned out to be quite a nice photo :)

I cannot tell you how lovely it was out on the open water, with the breeze whipping through us. We were lucky with the weather, but it was never warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. I had never been out on a lake before and I simply loved the experience.
Here's a couple of shots I took when we were on board . . .

I loved the Lake District, it was a wonderful first holiday for me and my boyfriend. The travelling was long, but we stopped for a picnic on both journeys and had plenty of sweets in the car - see, more eating!
Here's one last picture that I took out of the window when we were leaving and it turned out to be a pretty good picture, in my opinion :) 

I've just caught up with my blog reading and you certainly have all been busy. I hope to get in a bit more stitching time before I leave for Uni, but there is certainly quite a lot to do before then. Packing being the biggest of these tasks!
Best wishes to all,

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

The News We've All Been Waiting For. . .

Well, at least I've been waiting for it. I had a very nervous wait at school this morning to collect my envelope containing my results. I have never felt so sick and so nervous in my life. My stomach was doing back flips. I went into an empty room, took a deep breath and opened that dreaded envelope. And here's what I got:
Drama - A
English Literature - B
History - D

The History result was a bit of a shock, but it doesn't really matter because I got in to the University of Winchester!!!!!!!!! :D:D:D I am so very happy. It was a bit touch and go because the D surprised me so I didn't know if I had done enough to get in. Then I raced to my tutor's room, who was logged onto the university system and said my place was confirmed. I cannot convey the joy I felt. I did work really hard for my grades and I'm so happy that I get to go to Uni in September!
My parents got me a bottle of champagne, some cards and £20 for doing so well. I might save that for a bit of stash just before I go to Uni that will hopefully last me till Christmas! My boyfriend got me a card and some of my favourite chocolate fudge. My grandad gave me some money as well, to go towards my holiday. It was so lovely to receive all of these thoughtful gifts.
Speaking of my holiday, I leave tomorrow for the Lake District. I hope I find some hidden craft/haberdashery shops up there, I'll of course show any gems I find. I'm taking my stitching with me too, so expect a progress pic late next week.
I'm so glad I get to go on this holiday relaxed and knowing that I've got a definite place at Winchester come September. I couldn't be more pleased!! :)
I hope you are all well and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to when I return. Best wishes to all.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Scrapbooking and Stash

Hello everyone! I hope you are all well. I've got quite a bit to share this post, so settle on down :)
First of all, thank you so much for all of your lovely and kind comments on my last post. I'm going to agree with the general consensus and write about all types of crafts (and maybe other things) that I like. This blog will now feature other crafts, as well as the wonderful cross stitch. However, for those with a real love of scrapbooking, I've set up a profile on It's a wonderful website showcasing talent from all over the world, as well as beginners like me. You can find my profile here.
 So, where else to start posts about scrapbooking than with my very first scrapbook page. It's called "Wild" and is displaying some of the mementos I collected from my trip to South Africa, way back in 2004. I like using scrapbooking as a way to keep all the tickets, coins and other such things we collect on travels. And to decorate photographs too.

In stitchy news now, I've recently added to my stash. Not by much mind, but I'm still all excited about it nonetheless. First up, I bought the last three threads I needed to go with this LHN design, Mississippi Riverboat. I hope to start this one very soon.
Next up is two ebay wins that I was extremely lucky with. I paid £1.06 for one and just 99p for the other! Every so often, you can find great bargains on ebay. This is Gingerbread Cottage by CCN (one that was on my wishlist) and Autumn Bird by Heart in Hand.

Also, my Prairie Schooler chart arrived for the upcoming exchange on the Rotating Designer Exchange blog. I hope my partner likes the design I've chosen!
I haven't done that much stitching so far this week. My boyfriend just came back from a two week trip to Thailand so I've been spending lots of time with him. Here's where I'm up to on All Things Bright . . .

I'm really enjoying this piece and I'm thinking of turning it into a long cushion when it's all finished. What do you think? Any ideas for this oblong shaped finish?
Results day is only two days to go now - eeep! I'll be sure to post my results on the day, just to let you all know :)
I hope you've had a great start to the week,

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Another Question . . .

I have recently discovered some wonderful scrapbooking blogs and would like to post more about my scrapbooking on this blog. But I wondered if my followers would prefer it to stay stitching related and then I could simply set up a new blog to talk exclusively about scrapbooking. Although this blog will always be mainly cross stitching (it's my favourite hobby after all!), I would like to post more about scrapbooking adventures.
What do you think? As my followers, it's up to you what you would like to read on my blog. Leave this blog to stitchy matters and set up a new, different blog? Or integrate the two crafts together?
Any advice, thoughts or comments would be very much appreciated!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Progress and Pacing

Hello everyone. I've had a fairly busy week meeting up with friends and attempting a summer clean in my very messy bedroom. I have found the time to stitch though (always!) and here's my progress on my lovely LK . . .

I really love the colours in this piece and I'm really enjoying stitching on it. I've also been putting in stitches in other smaller project. This is Peace Tree by Rose Krizan, a freebie I found somewhere. I'm stitching it 1 over 1 in only DMC 115.

This is a really sweet little design that has to be done in the daytime, not like the block colour of the LK that can be stitched in the evenings on front of the TV. This is my first piece over one and I'm not finding it too bad. I might find more small pieces to do like this.
In other stitchy news, I've got new stash coming from all over the place. I found some stunning bargains on ebay that should be finding their way to me soon, as well as a couple of things from 123stitch. I've got some Prairie Schooler designs coming soon, ready for the upcoming Rotating Designer exchange that I am taking part in - it's very exciting!
And in non-related stitchy news, results day is less than a week away - this is the reason for the "pacing" in my title. It's all I can think about. I'm so very nervous about it, I can't let myself think about it late at night or I won't sleep. Although it is comforting to know that this time next week, I'll finally know my results. They decide whether or not I go to my chosen Uni in September, I just hope I've done enough.
I hope you are all enjoying a lovely summer filled with stitching,

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Monday, 8 August 2011

A New Summer Project

Hi all! I know there's a lot of bloggers out there that have been suffering with some very hot weather recently. Even the UK got hit with a blast of good weather. The sunshine filled, blue sky days are always appreciated though, it makes a nice change to the cloudy skies we normally get. Stay cool my friends!
In stitching news, I have a new start to share. This pattern, All Things Bright and Beautiful by Lizzie Kate was part of the wonderful package of stitching goodies Terri sent me. I have finally managed to make a start, after completing a couple of other project first to make room. Here's my progress so far . . .


And a little close up pic of what I've done . . .

I am so enjoying this design all ready. I'm stitching it on 32ct Belfast Linen in Vintage Beige with all the recommended DMC threads, although I might swap a few round if they don't quite suit. This is what I'll be stitching on today as part of the LK SAL from the Lizzie Kate Lovers blog.
My first exchange is starting soon and I can't wait to begin! I've been eyeing up Prairie Schooler patterns that I like the look of, and you know other bits and pieces will just fall into my cart when I order them :)
It's less than two weeks to go till results day and I'm already nervous. I think I've done enough to get into my chosen Uni, but you never can really tell. I'll make sure I post about how I do!
I hope you're all enjoying a gorgeous summer with lots of strawberries, ice cream and stitching.
Best wishes,

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Thank You

I cannot thank you all enough for the lovely and heartfelt comments that were left on my last blog post. It was so nice to hear people were thinking of me, and when I showed them to my mother, (it was her aunt who passed) it prompted a watery smile from her. There isn't enough gratitude in the world to thank you all enough for that smile. You are all so kind and thoughtful.

In much lighter news, I have a finish to show you! We're just getting back to normal in the house now so I've had more time for stitching. Now here is Charizard in all his glory . . . (sorry for the slightly dark picture!)

This piece will be finished as a pin pillow for my boyfriend who is a big Pokemon fan. I'm going into town next week to get some special fire fabric for the backing material.
In other stitchy news, I will soon be making a start on the L*K design, All Things Bright and Beautiful, recently gifted to me by Terri. I will be stitching on this more often than the once a week LK SAL over at the Lizzie Kate Lovers blog, but I will post my progress on there every Tuesday. I've also joined my first exchange, which I am so excited about! The first designer chosen for the exchange is Prairie Schooler, and since I don't have any PS designs already, I was going to wait to see who my partner is and purchase a design that would suit them best. Is this the normal way to do exchanging? I thought it would be nice to get a design that they would appreciate. I would very much like to hear your comments on how you go about choosing an exchange piece to stitch.
I got awfully sun burnt on a recent trip away, so I've had to spend a lot of time indoors or in the shade, even though the weather has been so nice. I hope it continues, even though trying to sleep on these hot, sticky nights is not easy. I hope you're having fun whatever weather you've got.
Happy stitching to all,