Saturday, 31 March 2007

Quiltmaker Blues

I have done quite a bit on the The Quiltmaker over the last couple of days, however it doesnt look an awful lot. It was all blue as I was determined to make some sort of impression on the skirt this time round. I love this picture or a mother/grandmother teaching a child to stitch with her but the dark blues are so drab to actually stitch. She is now ready to go away and tomorrow I will get out Heirloom Christmas. Really looking forward to getting back to this as I enjoyed it so much last time round. I am also looking forward to finding out what the Absolute Mystery stitch is.

Just remember tomorrow morning is April Fools time and don't get caught out. Have fun.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Precious Friends

I found this on a friends blog and thought both the picture and the sentiment so lovely I was happy to carry this on. It is so true that our friends help to make us much stronger people and that their support helps to carry us through in our weaker moments.

Please copy the verse and photo for your blog and carry on the chain of friendship! Leave a comment so we can all follow the chain...

Holding Hands. This picture shows a line of little girls holding hands facing the immensity of ocean waves. Alone they might be washed away, but together they stand strong. Thank you for holding my hand somewhere along the way when I was facing a wave of my own. I hope you will reach for my hand when your own wave threatens.
All of us girls...
Old and young... Near and far...
Hold special memories of good times we've shared.
We've had our share of hard times when our friends were there to make us feel better.
We've shared...
our hearts...
our time...
our secrets...
our fears...
our hopes...
and our dreams...
Let us never break the chain of friends!I am thankful for precious moments... precious memories and precious friends...

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Serendipity Week 2

Finished my second week on Serendipity tonight. The picture looks a bit wonky but I think the fabric was not straight on my frame, it looks ok in real life.
I am hoping to stitch some of The Quiltmaker over the next couple of days and then I am really looking forward to getting to April and doing the next part of Heirloom Christmas.
I have also signed up today with the The Absolute Mystery group I have no idea what the mystery will be like but we have to wait for the 1st April to find out. Whatever its like it will have to fit round Heirloom Christmas as that is my main priority for April. Also I am getting nearer and nearer to the end of my rota and really getting exited about starting Barnabee. Sally and Julie both said it was a joy to stitch. All in all as the end of March approaches I feel that I have achieved quite a lot this year. Of course I would love more stitching time but for what I have I feel that I am doing far better than I did last year.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Not A Lot

I haven't managed a lot of stitching over the last few days. This weeks Serendipity is less than half done but will try and get done tomorrow. Though I shall probably not be home from work until after one and have to go out again for 3.o'clock to pick Oscar up from school. I will try and stitch when he is in bed tomorrow night.
Last night was UFO night and I am afraid not a lot of that got done this week either. Still as I am fond of telling myself 10 stitches means 10 less to do next time.

last weeks

this weeks

Monday, 26 March 2007

Charlotte WIP

I have been working on this one for the last couple of days, but unfortunately there has not been a lot of stitching time so I have not got a lot done. As I had sort of done the middle of this I had the choice of going up or down and thought I would go down and try and do the body bit first as it was the least interesting bit to stitch. Having said that I quiet enjoyed what stitching time I did get. She has however now gone back in the box as tomorrow is UFO day and Wednesday is Serendipity which I am really looking forward too.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

A Finished Church

The picture has been taken in a rush and its not even been pressed but I finished this about 11pm tonight and I am absolutely thrilled with it. It looks so much better in real life. As usual for me I made some alterations. Firstly because I have the set of 5 hardanger buildings I wanted to stitch them all on the same fabric, and of course the charts are for different sizes of fabric ranging from 25ct to 32ct. The windows in the church should have been in dmc with an added blending filament and I decided to use Marlitt threads as I thought there rather shiny finish would look more like glass. I searched everywhere for church bell charms that was not endowed with either holly or bows and could not find them so ended up just stitching some with gold thread. There is also supposed to be a red bow on the church door but I havent added this as I don't want it too look Christmassy. I am not sure yet but I may add some wee lavender or pink beads to make it look like a summery wreath on the door rather than a winter one. I think it needs something so any ideas would be welcome. I have no intentions of framing this until all the buildings are done so there is certainly no rush for a decision on that. At the moment I am just so pleased to have it finished and HDing all around the house. Off to bed in a minute but just had to share with you all first.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Church Windows

The large church window is now finished and I have made a start on the small church window, which hopefully will not take anywhere near as long. Just the bells to go then. I had hoped to finish the large church window the other day but had forgotton about the backstitch. It was a long job and I dont think it really made a deal of difference after all that. I am really looking forward to finishing this, the first in my set of five hardanger buildings.

I spend some time with Oscar my four year old grandson, teaching him to stitch this afternoon. We are using plastic canvas and the full six strands of thread and he has a no 22 needle. He got on quite well, he seems fine at coming up from the back of the work but gets very muddled about where to go back in at the front, I was expecting it to be the other way round, lol thats how much Granny knows. As I was trying to teach him to keep his crosses all going the same way it was actually easier to turn his work upside down to make the return journey. We did two rows and then Grandpa came home and he lost interest in stitching lol. Still we hopefully will get another go tomorrow.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Serendipity and Better Solutions

This is my first part of the 9 part Serendipity Chart freebie from Papillon Creations. I am using Dinky Dyes floss in Gum Leaves, Cloudy Skies and Wild Cherry. I loved the blue and the green but they are very similar shadings and felt I wanted something much brighter to contrast with them, as I haven't got a lot of DD floss I was a little limited in my choice but think the pink does the job nicely and I am please with the result.

Work on my church window was slow earlier today but late this afternoon my Thread Heaven suddenly disappeared, even though I had used it only minutes earlier lol. I couldnt be bothered to search for it so went and got a piece of wet tissue and ran down the thread as I had heard this method could be used on silk. Wow the improvement was noticable immediately, thread sliding through fabric far easier and not tangling at all. So despite finding my Thread Heaven again this is what I have been using, and I have got on so much quicker. I am hoping to get the large window done tonight.

Also want to thank everyone who leaves messages on my blog. Its nice to know you are reading my blog and I hope enjoying it, and when I have an off day it really bucks me up.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Stitching Again

I had a very slow start this afternoon, but by this evening I was back in the swing of things and enjoying my stitching again - thank goodness.

I got a fair bit more done and thankfully have almost finished the 823 colour. Feel like I've been stitching in navy forever.

I havent finished my church window yet but I am going to persevere and get it done before I move on to anything else as this will be hardanger church done and another finish, well got to add some bells too as I cannot find any bell charms that are just right.
Tomorrow I am going to be joining Sally in doing Serendipity which is a free design from Papillon Creations. This is in 9 parts but so far we only have 6 parts. I have been wanting to do this for a while, but when I saw Sally was going to stitch it I asked if I might join her, thankfully she said yes. Thanks Sally. Though Sally has already done two parts already, I am hoping just to get one part done each week, still plenty of time with not having all the charts yet anyway. I thought this might just give me the kick in the butt I was needing to get my stitching bug back, that and the fear of Mr Stick if I didn't do my UFO lol. So tomorrow Serendipity and then Thursday I shall return to my church window.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Answer for Mo

I am still not back in a stitching mode, I have been doing a little of my church window, but its nowhere near done and I know it would normally have only been a couple of days stitching. I am getting on well with catalouging my charts. Most of the normal charts are now listed and I am doing well with the ones in the magazines too. Thought I would have a rest and catch up on blogs, etc.

I only had one question and that was from Mo who wanted to know where abouts in Glasgow I lived. It was in Ibrox, almost opposite Bellahouston Park, which I looked over from my bedroom window. I still remember it as my Gran lived there until I was in my teens. When the children were younger I took them to show them where I had lived, and what a shock. What had been a nice area was almost a slum and there was a motorway running right across Paisley Road so there was no way I could get to take them over to the park.

I will hopefully find my stitching bug before tomorrow, ufo day, hopefully it will be the nudge I need to get me back into it.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Getting things organised

I haven't really been in the mood for stitching for the last few days. I did a little (and I mean a little) on "Bless Our Home" and then it went in the box. Since then I have had "Hardanger Christmas Church" out. I am doing the church window at the moment but its slow progress as I havent really stuck at it.
I have not been idle though as I thought that while the stitch bug had deserted me (not for long I hope) I would tackle another job I have been promising to do for the last 12 months. First I listed my hardanger and speciality stitch charts and kits. Then I listed all my cross stitch charts and kits. It has certainly convinced me that I should not be thinking of buying any more charts for a very long time lol. The next job I have made a good start on but will probably remain an ongoing job for a very long time. I have set up a data base and I am slowly going through each cross stitch magazine I have listing all the charts, there designers, where they are in the mag, the size, what stitches they use and if beads/charms are used. I have then added a keyword section where i can note if they are suitable for card, quilt square, sampler etc and things they contain like snowman, flower, animals, scene, nostalgia etc etc. The idea is that when it is complete (lol if ever) instead of searching every magazine I own to find a chart i was sure I had seen, I will be able to type in a keyword or words and will get a list of the relevant charts. I will also know exactly which magazine they are in and even which page they are on. Some years ago I actually saw a package you could buy and type all these sort of details into and it was an astronomical cost for what it was, after all you had to do all the work inputting the information. I am just using plain old Access but I am sure it will do the same job.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Blue Day and I've Been Tagged

Its been a blue day. The only colour I have stitched with today has been 823 Navy Blue and I think I shall be seeing it in my sleep tonight.
I do seem to have got quite a bit done though so I am quite pleased.

Also I have been tagged by Claire today.
I have to tell you 5 things about myself, then you can ask questions of which I must answer 5 of them here in my blog, and then I have to tag 5 more people.

Firstly 5 things about me...

1. Although I have always been called Helen it is really my middle name, my first name being Margaret.

2. My Dad was a Scot and I lived in Glasgow until I was 4 years old. I was born prematurely in Derby while my Mum was down visiting her family and was 6 weeks old when we went back to Scotland.

3. I used to be a Guide leader

4. I would love to be able to sing. I love singing but am told that I am tone deaf and cannot hold a tune lol.

5. I am not in the least athletic so I am very proud of the fact that a couple of years ago I raised nearly £300 for the blind by abseiling down the Newton Tower at Trent University.

The five people I am going to tag are, Julie, Jane F, Edda, Mo and Chris.

I will look forward to your questions lol.

Monday, 12 March 2007

There are Fairies At The Bottom Of My Garden

I have really enjoyed the last few days stitching on this project. It is such fun to stitch, with lots of beads - I have added a few but most I am leaving until the end, and lots of twinkly threads, though I think I have added lots more of those too.. It was originally from The Cross Stitcher magazine, but me being me, lol there are lots of alterations and additions.

The original picture did have dragonflies and ladybirds, but my garden has lots of birds and snails too so I added them. I have also added a wee mouse as we have one of those that lives in the greenhouse. I really think I should add some frogs but not sure about them yet, dont really know where to hide them lol.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Oh What A Day

I finally managed to finish the top of Loopylou's "Secret Garden". I spent most of yesterday trying to get the hang of the flower infill, and I can tell you it took a lot of self control for this not to end up in the bin or on the fire. I don't think Ive ever cursed anything as much as I did them damn flowers. Im still not completely happy about them but I just can't be bothered to try anymore. They have been done, undone, redone and undone again countless times. I am definitely glad to be putting this back in the box this time.

Last night we had a visit from my son and dil and a very subdued Oscar. He had been riding on a scooter at school when he had an accident and hit his eye against the handlebars. Ouch poor wee mite I felt so sorry for him, but I am sure he would have been the hero of the playground when he got to school today. If the picture taken last night is anything to go by he will have a real shiner to boast about today.

Tomorrow will see "Fairies At the Bottom of My Garden" come out of the box. Thank goodness this is a fun and relaxing one to stitch, so frog take note and please keep away for the next few days.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Stash & Blue Skies

Julie said that stitching on my Celtic Spring would brighten things up after all my grey skies. How right she was it was a real joy stitching on it this week and as if to mirror my mood the sky outside was a beautiful blue too.

This afternoon I got back home after working this morning and shopping with my Mum this afternoon to find Mr Postie had bought my stash from the USA. I ordered from Needlecraft Corner on Julie's advise and they were really helpful. Must admit I was a little nervous about this order as I have never ordered from abroad before but if my first experience is anything to go by I won't hesitate again.

I got the rest of the threads I needed for Taj Mahal and the charms for Barnabee. The arrival of the charms means that Barnabee is all kitted up now (well have to find the fabric but I have plenty of that in stock).

I have been drooling over the beautiful Caron threads I am sure you will admit the colours are just gorgeous.

Just have to get the beads for Taj from the European Cross Stitch site now and that will be all kitted up to.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Grey Skies

I have been busy for the last couple of days stitching on Gracious Era. I wasn't looking forward to getting this one out again but I actually didnt find it as bad as I was expecting. I decided to concentrate on the sky which is very bitty bobby and I have made quite a lot of progress though it hardly shows on the photo.

The weather has been wet, wet and more wet and we even have frogs in the front garden now. My water feature is still in its casing waiting for the rain to stop long enough to get the pathing etc sorted out and the wiring put in (probably in the reverse order) but nature has given me a different kind of water feature and my so called garden is just a lake at the moment. So it has been grey skies both inside and out for me over the last two days.

Tomorrow is UFO day, is it my imagination or is Julie speeding up the week so that it comes round quicker than normal. Oh well guess it will just help me finish my Celtic Spring quicker.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Spring Has Sprung

I have just finished Spring on my Just Nan "4 Wishes" Sampler. Maybe because I havent been too well recently or what I don't know but this has been a pig and I have spent as much time frogging as I have stitching. The results are lovely though but I am quite happy to put it away for this time.

Now to Dimensions "Gracious Era". I love the picture but hate stitching this one but will try and stick with it for a couple of days.

On the bright side I got my kit up a freebie from Polly on Friday. She had sent me "Waiting for Spring" by Elizabeth designs and had also enclosed a chart for a bookmark she though I might like. Its lovely and its called Fluttering Sampler bookmark by Stitching The Night Away. I also got some linen threads, some Dragon floss and some lovely evenweave fabric. Thanks Polly.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

The Gingerbread Man

It was World Book Day today and at my Grandsons school they were all invited to dress as a character from their favourite story. Lots and lots of Tinkerbells, Snow Whites etc and for the boys mainly pirates or willy wonker. Oscar won first prize as the Gingerbread man, though I am afraid my picture is rather dark. He was watched by a doting Granny (me) and an equally doting Great Granny (my mum) as Mummy and Daddy were both unable to attend.