Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Friends and A Dance

Do you like my new header? I received it earlier this month but was assured it was not a Christmas present and I was to open immediately - and when I did it was definitely a wow for me. It was made by my dear friend Ann but as I have made so many friends both through being here blogging and from the couple of chat rooms I belong too (Jaynes Attic Stitch and Stash and A Crafty Natter), I knew at once that I wanted it for my header. For me this is what blogging is all about - Friends.

Here is another stunning gift I received a couple of days ago and it was my prize for winning the Blogoversary draw on Dani's blog a while back. It is hanging on my living room wall at the moment, too nice to be hidden away on the tree. Dani chose this for me as I had admired it on her blog a while back. Isn't is beautiful and once again Thank You Dani.

Last but certainly not least in the Friends catagory is the picture of all the stitching stash I received at Christmas. The Fiskars Scissor Sharpeners and the Floss away bags were part of my present from my son and his wife but the rest are all from friends. I must make mention of the beautiful hand stitched items, needleroll from dear friend Terri, little box with hand stitched lid from our own Colly (Col's Creations) and new scissors with a lovely fob (that is a great match for the needleroll) from the lovely Rachael. I felt so very spoilt.
The dance of the title is for my happy dance as I finished "Off To Plough" yesterday. I will not be framing this one for a while as I have another two (First Post and On the Beat) to do and would also like to get a couple more of these too and I want to frame them all the same so they can hang as a group. I actually bought this as a kit but because I hate Aida and because the other two I had managed to get as "chart only" bargains I have not used anything from the kit. Its DMC threads which I have and I substituted the fabric for a 28 count DMC linen. I have enough to do them all but would not recommend this linen as I found it quite difficult to stitch on. It is far finer than any other linen I have used which meant that you could see through it and I found that this meant it was distracting to stitch on, though thankfully the holes are quite distinct which is a bit of a bonus on a Heritage Chart. I find that Heritage uses a lot of horizontal and verticle half stitches which while not difficult seem very time consuming but the results are really good. Where else on such a small chart would you get the movement that you can almost see in the horses and their leader. LOL just sitting here typing and I glanced at the picture and realised I have not added the long stitches lol. Still there are very few of them so for the now I will leave it. Oh well an almost HD. Also an almost HD though I do not think it will make it now is the Hardanger Tissue Box. I was feeling very content as I put the last stitch (or so I thought) in the body of the work - just the buttonhole stitching round the edge to do!!!! before I realised I had not done all the tiny algerian eyes. I have done three sets of them this afternoon but my eyes do not deal well with white on white so no stitching on this one tonight. So it will go away for a few days and come out to be my first finish for 2009 I hope. Tomorrow our little darling is coming to stay and spend the night so that he will be here when all the family arrive for dinner on New Years Day. This means that not much stitching will get done and also I really want to start on my Neighbourhood tomorrow, getting all the prep finished and maybe even making a start on the verse.
Oh I almost forgot that I was to tell you my plans for next years stitching. I am going to try to concentrate on I Still Do, Water Tiger and My Neighbourhood Village to start with. I know that with two new babies due (the Christmas Day one has decided its too cold to arrive yet) things may get a little side tracked. Also I will fit in some of my smaller and quicker projects I have been wanting to do for so long. I will continue working mainly with these three projects as and when I please up until my holidays (mid feb) and then will have a review again. I guess at the moment that means all my WIPs have become UFOs as there will certainly be a couple of months when they stay in their box in the dark - but I hope to draw these in a little at a time.
I have happily worked on a rota system for over 10 years and for me it worked - or it did until last year when for some reason I just felt as though I was getting nowhere fast and began to get rather despondant about the whole stitching thing. It was not doing the stitching but the projects themsleves that I was getting bogged down with. As soon as I started on something instead of relaxing and enjoying the stitching a niggly little worm in the back of my head was saying - get on with the next one this is taking too long - and so the thought came that it was time for a change. I am sure I will return to the rota but my problem is I like big projects and as I have now been working on at least one of them for 5 years it was getting out of hand. I could bring in a small project and complete it but instead of feeling the elation that once accompanied these HDs it was more a feeling of guilt for not getting on with the big projects - so as guilt and hobby are not two words I wish to put together - well time for a new approach and see how things go.
I want to take this opportunity for wishing you all a VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2009
and to thank you once again for visiting and reading my blog. Also to the many of you who I have over the last few years come to call Friend, thank you from the bottom of my heart - you are all treasures.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Some Bits To Show ....

.. at long last.

The secret stitching got done. Well almost done, I gave up on the last one, it was for my daughter but I can stitch it for her birthday in April when I hopefully will have more time.

One thing I can show if the ornament I stitched for Mum as it is now hanging on her tree.

I cannot remember where the chart was from now but i am sure it was a freebie I ran off back in the summer. I know I replaced one of the little green trees with a charm and I loved stitching this as it was a mixture of stitches, 1 over 2, 1 over 1 and speciality stitches, a real easy and fun stitch. I never thought to take a pic of the back but it was a dark green fabric with light green trees and holly and little penquines on it.

Last weekend was Hardanger day and we started a Tissue Box Cover, its a really pretty design and I have enjoyed stitching on it though it has had to go away for a short while because I want to get another small design finished and out the way too. Here is how far I have got with it so far. I just love the fact that hardanger grows so quickly.

I have another WIP but it is so close to being finished I thought that I would leave it and show you when its done. Depending on the amount of time I have to stitch I am hoping it will be done in the next few days. Its only a very small design but if I tell you its a Heritage design then you will guess at just how much work its taken. Thankfully I am now past all the quarter stitches and elongated horizontal and vertical half stitches and all that is left is 1 over 2 in nice plain crosses.

Over the Christmas holidays I am hoping to a) get the Heritage finished, b) finish preping my neighbourhood so that I will be ready to Start on the 31st and c) get some more done on the tissue box. Though with two new babies due, one Christmas Day and one New Years Eve, I may have to put things aside for the stitching I have planned for them.

I have made my stitchy plans for the start of the year but I will tell you more about those in my next post. For now I just want to



and last but not least -

may your frogs stay in their ponds.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Just a Quickie

I have been so so busy but thought I would just give a quick post to let you know that I am in the land of the living still.

I had a wonderful day yesterday when my friend Nicola came for a visit. We had a fun morning at my house and then went off to our friend Colly's for lunch. We ended up spending the rest of the day at Colly's laughing and joking and sharing stories. No stitching from any of us which considering the amount I still have to do before Christmas was naughty but nice (just like the cream cakes).

Tonight I have been to see my darling grandson in his school play and that was another non-stitchy but very enjoyable time.

As I have no stitching pictures I thought I would show you some flowers. Despite the frost and cold these are flowering outside my door and these pictures were taken yesterday.

Please accept my sincere apologies for not visiting blogs over the last few days. I know you are all beavering away at your stitching projects just like me and I will catch up as soon as I have my pressies finished.
Also thank you for visiting me and for taking the time as so many of you do to leave a little comment, it is really appreciated.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I'm Two Today...

..... or at least my blog is and here is the Birthday Bunny just to brighten the page up because I still have no pictures to share. The Hat shook up all the names of those lovely people who commented on my last blog and drew out a name

guess who won?................

Why it was Debby from Stitch Wizard. I am so pleased it was Debbie as she has been going through the mill a little lately with her health and I hope this will cheer her up and give her a great big smile. I shall be a little apprahensive stitching something for Debby as she does lovely stitching herself. Please email me with your address Debby (my email link is in my sidebar).

I am still beavering away at both the stitching and the card making as and when I can, though I did have my card making things spread all round my den floor so I thought I had better put them all away this afternoon. I am hoping the electrician will not have to take floorboards up but in the event I did not want to be just stuffing it away quickly and not knowing where things were.

On the MM&IRR front then I think I now have everything as I want it. Of course there may still be a little tweeking, in fact I am sure there will, especially with the landscaping. I am rather sparse of little creatures and critters and would like to fit more of those in but its not important at the moment and they can be added when found. I do feel I need some people and pets, I want it to be a happy and close neighbourhood where all my friends will want to come and live. I have the fabric ready and my friend Col has a overlock machine and she has kindly said she will run that along the top and bottom (there are selvedge down the sides). I do think this is going to be a major project and you all know I am desperately in need of a new major project (about as much as I am in need of a hole in my head) but nevertheless I am really excited about it. I do have a worry, it is a very minor one but I really would like to use some hand dyed threads. I know anchor and dmc both do washable ones but what i need is something far more subtle than those. More shading rather than varigated for walls and roofs etc. Although it is going to be a table cloth it is going to be (if it ever gets completed) more of a decorative than a useful item, so it will only need light washing and i am wondering if i use something like Caron threads they are going to be less likely to run than the cheaper ones to be had. If anyone has any advice or experience regarding washing of hand dyed threads I really would appreciate it.

I am now going to crawl into my bed as I will need to be up early for the electrician tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that my house does not end up like a bomb site.

Hugs to all who need them and thank you once again for visiting.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Saturday, 22 November 2008

It's That Time Of Year..

When no one has much to show. I did to a little more of EMS Rose and I did start to do some knitting but suddenly I realised how near Christmas it was. Very few pressies, three stitched cards and that was about my limit so I have been busy stitching and card making in the little time I have had for these things.

I have not been too good recently, one dose of sinisitis after another and glands going up and down like yoyo's till in the end I could take no more and decided to make a doctors appointment. It's just a virus and we cannot treat a virus - I knew what to expect but I was beginning to worry in case it was not just a virus. The doctor could not have been nicer, my glands were at there very best on the day of the visit (I mean they were mega painful and very swollen). Doc admitted they were a mess and that both my throat and ears were very red and irritated looking - however she could find no sign of infection at all. She said there clearly was infection somewhere to cause the reddness, swelling and pain so decided as they may be an underlying cause of something entirely different she would give me a course of penicillian. Five days on and I feel so much better the swelling has gone, the sinusitis seems to have settled down and there is just a small amount of tenderness rather than pain in the gland area of my throat.

To top that on Tuesday I had a small op to remove a wart thing from my side. The op went well but the bleeding wouldn't stop so I came home well padded and had to go back the following day for another inspection and the dressing changed. I was told I must not wear a bra for a week until it had started to heel so I have felt a bit self consious about going anywhere this week. I should have been going to visit with my friend Colly on Wednesday but she cancelled as she was not feeling well and as I too had not been feeling well it was a relief really, even though I had been praying I would feel well as I always enjoy my days with Colly. As it turned out I would not have had much time with her anyway as I was between the doctor and the nurse for what seemed like most of the morning.

By Thursday luckily I was feeling both the benefits of the Penicillian and the bleeding had eased so we did not have to cancel the Harrogate show. I just chose a nice big baggy jumper and hoped no one would notice I had joined the "burn your bra brigade". I started off by driving but Shiona took over when it was getting a bit much for me. We had a lovely day. She saw a Dimensions kit which she fell in love with (Sandcastle Dreams) and as Mum had given me some money so I could get her something for Christmas I bought it for her - though I have told her Granny will have to send it away to Santa lol. We also got a couple of cheap kits each which we bought for the linen and the threads rather than the design, some fabric and some card making bits and bobs. I also bought myself a new pair of scissors to take to Mums as her so called needlework scissors get used for anything else that happens to need a pair of scissors. Oz cutting out, a broken nail, some string to tie a plant up - you name it and the same scissors do it all. Before taking them I will make a nice big fob to tie of them preferably with a warning about the consequences of using them for anything else (which could be murder lol).

Friday we had the Electrician come to put in a new Mother Board and he has found some problems which mean we are going to have to have the house partially rewired. Not cheap and can be a lot of mess (he has promised that he will try and keep this to a minumum but just what that means is anyones guess). This is just what we need before Christmas but at the end of the day we cannot put it off as it is potentially dangerous. At the end of the day our house is 40 years old and lots of sockets etc have been added since it was built. Even a big extension on the back which apparently has its electrics just running off the exsisting supply chain. I am just crossing everything that all the floorboards do not have to come up. Oh well such is life and as long as no one gets hurt we will cope.

I have my second blogoversary coming up on the 26th November. I would like to make a small gift for someone as a thankyou for visiting my blog and having the patients to read all my ramblings each time. Especially like now when there isnt even a pretty picture to look at.
If you leave me a comment on this blog I will draw a name out of The Hat on the 26th and will stitch a little something especially for you.

In the mean time I hope you are all having a wonderful stitchy weekend.

may your frogs stay in their ponds.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

28 today

Sure they were the numbers lol. Happy birthday Mum hope you had a wonderful day.

This is the card I made for her it was an adaptation of the Brooke Publishing freebie for Breast Cancer but as soon as I saw the one that Elisa had stitched I just knew that was what I wanted to do for Mum. I made a card and then cut a piece of cardboard the same size, covered it with light wadding, laced the stitching over it and stuck it to the front of the ready made card.

Its nice to have another finish so close to the last one, even if it was only tiny.

Chiloe is having a blog giveaway if anyone would like to take part then please give her a visit.

May your frogs stay in their ponds


I have been tagged by Becca to write 6 things about myself. I am then supposed to tag 6 more people. Well I hate these things so all I will do is write the things about me and then say if you would like to tell us 6 things about yourself please feel free to do so.

1. I have more stash than I will ever be able to use but that doesnt stop me wanting more (sure you will all associate with that one lol)

2. I married a very dear friend and even though next year we will celebrate 40 years of marriage he is still my best friend.

3. I have always been known by my middle name.

4. My son was born on the shortest day of the year and my grandson was born on the longest day of the year.

5. I have always enjoyed designing my own bits and pieces and next year I hope to launch my own site with a few of the designs I have done.

6. I hate talking about personal things which is why I always have such a job with these things.

May your frogs stay in their ponds

Monday, 10 November 2008

Roses and Rambles

Well I have had another HD but like so many people at this time of year I cannot share. Mind this one I will be able to share in a day or two but I have other things in the pipeline (or in the hoop may be a better description) which will remain secret for a couple of months. There will be so many pretty pics floating about after the fat man has been to visit.

My SS (secret stitching) is rather hard on the old eyes so it is being saved for the day light hours which seem to be few and far between. I know the shortest day is fast approaching - how can I forget it is my sons birthday and for me was one of the longest days of my life lol - but thats another story. The last few days here have just been so dark that we hardly seem to have seen any daylight at all some days. Mind I did spend most of the weekend in bed with the dreaded flu bug. More of a really severe cold and an attack of sinusitis combined mostly gone now though i still keep getting sneezing attacks. I think this is the third time that I have had these symptoms recently and I just seem to recover and its back again. Whilst I was working I was considered to be in a vulnerable situation and was given the flu jab each year. This year for the first time I have not had one and I am wondering if this it the cause. Maybe with having a jab each year I have failed to build up a natural immunity.

On the stitching that I can share I decided to make EMS Rose Sampler my priority for this week and here is a picture of my progress thus far. I am working across between sections 7, 8 and 9. I know it might be easier to do one page at a time but I am enjoying doing it this way so shall continue to do so. I would like to get this section finished before I put it away.

I have come to the sad conclusion that Heirloom Christmas is not going to be finished in time for this years celebrations. It is not that I could not get it done but I cannot see the point in rushing to finish it when I know it will not get framed in time. My framer usually asks that you allow about 6 weeks near Christmas as its always a busy time for him and therefore I think its better to leave it and finish it after Christmas having it all ready in good time for next year. Also I do feel that I need more practise with the ribbon roses and I do not have the time for playing about with that at the moment. Oh well I am sure it will be worth waiting for.

I need to get my SS done and then with those out of the way I have three smaller Christmas projects that I would love to do all of which I can either frame myself or do as large pinkeep finishes. I rather like these large pinkeep type finishes - can you tell LOL.

On the decorating front I am afraid we still do not have anything on the walls. My DH kept to his end of the bargain and the ceiling is painted, all the gloss work is done and all the doors have been done in Satinwood. We have the paper but unfortunately my other half only tackles the pasting when it comes to that part of the job. I am the one who actually sticks it on the walls and the only think I was capable of sticking at the weekend was myself under the covers, so we still have that to do and to make it even more fun we have Oz this weekend so I cannot see a lot getting done then.

Well my dearest is telling me that its after midnight and hes bought me a nice hot drink up to bed so I better shift my butt and go get ready to join him.

Thank you for all your lovely comment and for taking the time to visit and read my rambles.

Hugs to all those who need them

May your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I Have A Happy, Happy, Happy, Dance.......

Oh yes it's a happy dance for me and I am really happy with the results. I just finished it tonight and the picture has just been taken so its not in the best light by any means.

This is Cottage Dreams by Judy Dixon. Started on the 1st July and finished 5th November. I have not been stitching on this for 4 months, if you follow my blog you will know that I am (or was) a rotation stitcher. These days I am more of a flitter stitcher lol. There are a few small changes. I was not happy with the Pearsall Silk and changed that for a Caron Waterlillies and I also changed the Gloriana silk called for (Gloriana Green Gables a lovely thread but it did not show on my fabric) was changed for another Caron Waterlillies thread. I cannot remember the thread colours and they are downstairs so if you are interested let me know and I will look them up for you. The other changes were with the beads changing the cream beads called for to tiny pink pearls. I kept to the gold ones called for but drastically reduced the amount there was supposed to be. I like a little bling but felt that it would have been too OTT for me with all those beads. I want to finish this one in a large pinkeep for my bedroom which is awaiting redecoration so just for the now it will be tucked away and will be finished at a later date.

I have almost finished the first of my secret stitching - though i have a few other bits I would like to do if its possible, we will have to see. I have not decided what is coming out next. I want to spend the weekend on some of my secret bits and then I next week I will make a decision on what is to be next. I have my eye on a few things in my wip file so you will have to wait and see.

I do have one more update but I keep forgetting to take a picture of it. I bought Ink Circles, Blackwork Fantasy Garden back from Mums last week. The "knot garden" is now completed and it is just the blackwork flowers to do. I did try doing a bit of the blackwork at Mums but notice I have made a couple of very minor mistakes as I find it difficult to concentrate . Mum would be good and sit quitely while I stitched to allow me concentration time but to be fair I go to keep her company and asking her to be quite while I stitch is hardly doing that. Instead I have taken the Silhouette Sampler over. I am about half way done on this one anyway, its not big, and it doesnt take much concentration so think that is an ideal project. I do not really get much stitching time anyway sometimes half an hour, sometimes less than 5 minutes but its nice to just keep some there for when I do get the chance and Mum enjoys seeing things grow.

Right I am now off to bed but I did want to share my HD before I went.

Goodnight all and sweet dreams.

May your frogs stay in their ponds

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Heart Warming

Yesterday I had two lovely gifts in the post.

First my dear friend Karan from "Karan's Craft Corner" has just finished stitching this beautiful Heartwarmer Bell Pull. I was full of admiration for this piece from the minute I saw the first little snowman appear and Karan kindly forwarded the chart on to me when she finished. She said the chart was a nightmare to follow and I can well understand why having seen the chart. The three snowmen are on three seperare little charts and there there is a square chart with the 4 spacers in it. Apart from telling you there is 4 fabric threads between each chart there is no indication as to placing and each of the snowmen charts are slightly different sizes. Luckily I have a cross stitch program on my computer so i spent a couple of hours on my computer working out the placements and I am all set (AND ITCHING LOL) now to start on this project. Unfortunately I have a few other things that must come first - sob sob.

Secondly Jacqui from Smoking Needles, kindly sent me two 100g balls of lovely BabySoft double knitting wool for my charity knitting.

I have done a little stitching - just two corners on my Cottage Dreams, not enough for a picture yet unfortunately. I won't be stitching tonight either as we are - being completely mad - off to a Barn Dance in a tent. LOL my dear friend Jen (no blog) was 60 yesterday and she is having the dance in a marquee on her lawn, but it is freezing out this evening and pouring with rain. Yes I have my thermals and lots of layers ready to put on before we go.

We are up to our elbows in decorating at the moment but tomorrow Sky are showing the local Derby match between Derby and Nottingham Forest, my kids and grandson being Forest supporters and Keith being a Derby supporter they are all going to watch together over at Davids house so that means I will have about three hours of uninterupted stitching time. I am hoping I may get the first of my secret projects out of the way while I have peace.

I hope to be back with some stitchy pic updates in a day or two. In the meantime I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and at least some of you are getting to stitch. LOL unfortunately this is the time of year when everyone is busy but no piccies for the blogs as there is so many secrets.

Thank you as always for all your lovely comments and a big welcome to the new visitors to my blog - I have had three new blogs to go check out this week, it's been great fun though I have seen even more things to tempt me.


May your frogs stay in their ponds

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Seeing Red

Five more small motifs on this side so I am really pleased with my progress. Having said that I am now seeing red red and more red and need a rest so I have put that away for a while and bought out Cottage Dreams. I chose the next one as I thought it would be nice to have a change from cross stitch but still wanted something fairly easy. Its lovely to really be enjoying my stitching again, and tomorrow I will also be able to get back to my secret stitching as Ozzie has now returned home. I love having him but when he is here then he occupies my time and stitching takes second place.

Not a lot else to tell you at the moment so I will not ramble on for the sake of it but say goodnight and have a lovely weekend one and all.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A Blonde (or Senior) Moment

Well that is my excuse for the completely idiotic mistake I made in my last post. Thank you Chiloe for pointing out the Staci's blog is Snippets and Stash and not as I said Stuff with Things which is actually Marita's blog. My only excuse being that I had just been reading Marita's blog before coming on line and it was obviously still on my mind.

Anyway I would like to apologise to both ladies for mixing them up and to thank Chiloe for so kindly pointing out my mistake.


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

My Dying Win And Other Things.

First to reply to a couple of comments on my last post - the little things I used for the concealed hangings are just normal paper fastners - yes the little things with a split pin at the back like your kids made cardboard clocks with.

The title - lol my dying win was just that. Recently Staci from Stuff With Things told us about dying threads and had a draw to win a couple of white and a couple of ecru threads to try dying threads ourself. I was lucky enough to be chosen and my threads arrived the other day, and here are the results. The top two I dyed with coffee and the bottom two i dyed with a tomatoe that was going soft in the fridge. I just squeezed the juice from the tomato on to the threads and left them to dry then gave them a good wash afterwards before drying and winding. I was thrilled with the results of both these dyes. The last one was an ecru thread I had spare and I was in the mood to play then but the results for this were far more subdued than I had expected. What did I use - beetroot juice. It was very vivid until I washed it when it virtually disappeared, it never does that if it lands on a tablecloth or down one of my tops. I put the beetroot juice on cold and was told afterwards i may have had better results if i had boiled it first so might try that when i open my next sleeve of fresh beetroot. After all the results are barely noticable now so I might as well try a redye at some time.

Lastly because the secret stitching I am doing is on 32 count opalescent (and it seems smaller than that) I cannot stitch it at night so I got out I Still Do a couple of nights back and I am pleased to have now finished the corner motif I had been working on. I am enjoying this so with my "Little of What You Fancy" theme for the moment I am going to stick at it.

Thank you all for taking the time to visit me and for leaving comments when you can.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

This & That...

Sunday Night I had intended starting one of my small secret stitches but unfortunately the chart was small too and my tired old eyes need it big so I had to wait until hubby could get it enlarged for me. Instead I decided to finish the bottom on Heirloom Christmas, but by the end of the evening I hated what I had done, it looked to my mind untidy and overly fussy. Whether I was fussing on this when I went to bed I dont know but I just could not settle so ended up getting back out of bed and frogging what I had spent the evening stitching. I then decided that as I am a plain simple girl and thats the way I like things to just do the bottom section with plain woven bars, I was so much more content with the results. As that was the last of the main stitching I had been going to move back to the top and start adding the embellishments but unfortunately Monday morning I ended up feeling like something that had been kicked by a donkey. Yes having been up stitching all night I was tired but it was more than that. Every bone ached, my throat was swollen and sore and I ended up spending most of the day asleep. You would think after that then I would be awake all night again but no I slept for England and didn't wake until just after 9 this morning.

My throat has certainly gone down though its still a little sore and i definitely do not ache like I did. I was not really in a stitchy mood though so I have had a fun day, making cards (which I cannot show) and finishing off both winter whites (above) and the Friendship sampler Ann made me a while back. I did them both with the large pinkeep type finish which I must admit I am rather fond of.

I am rather pleased with this one. I tried to show you how I do the back for hanging but its not shown up very well. Maybe if you click it you will see better. I like this concealed way of hanging them.
Well hubby got my chart sorted out for me so I am going to sort the threads out and make a start on that tonight. Once that and another little item are stitched then I will definitely be back to Heirloom Christmas, I can't wait to start on embellishing it now, though what the ribbon roses will turn out like is anyones guess despite doing lots of practice ones.
Thank you for all the lovely comments on Winter Whites and I am glad the instructions for the pin head start were helpful. I struggled with this a little at the start but once you get into it then its just so easy, saves on thread and helps the back of your work look neater too.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Sunday, 19 October 2008


You all know what its like, you appear to be almost done but those last few stitches take days, there is always more than you anticipate. So when I sat down this afternoon to do a bit of stitching I did not expect to finish today but here it is done. The last few stitches went in just before four o'clock so I am feeling well pleased with myself. I even remembered to put my initials on it. The only down side is that although its quite warm today its very overcast which does not make for wonderful photography. Apart from the fact I used my own colour scheme and I added some little reddish pinky beads at the bottom for the berries this one is stitched just as the designer intended.

I have really enjoyed stitching this and I liked the fabric I was stitching on. Hopefully there is enough left to stitch CCN Forest Snowfall too as it would be nice to do them both on the same fabric. A couple of people asked about the fabric but I cannot tell what sort it is. I bought it at the Harrogate show last year from the fabric stall there (the one where you buy so many pieces for £10.00 or something) and I know if the same stall is there this year I will be getting more.

I have a couple of small but secret bits I want to do next and then we will see. At the moment I have my eye on doing some more to Heirloom Christmas but I am not going to tie myself down to anything.

Thank you for all the lovely comments you have left, you have all been so encouraging, and I do so appreciate you taking the time not only to read my ramblings but to leave a comment.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Pictures of Egypt

For those of you have been patiently waiting for my pictures of Egypt, a small selection of them can now be found here. There are only numbers under the photos but if you play them as a slide show or double click on each photo you will see that most have there destination written on them. Hope you enjoy.

LHN is still progressing nicely. We have had friends over to dinner tonight and have been in the garden most of the day, so not much stitching has taken place but the alphabet is now finished so I feel that I am on the homeward trail with this one, and feel sure I will stick with it to the end now. It would make a lovely weekend if I could get it done tomorrow but we will see, I do not want to rush the last bit and end up with having the frogs jumping out the pond in great big leaps.

The new header picture was taken about 5.30 on our last morning. We opened the curtains in our cabin and this was the view that met us. It was so lovely watching the balloons rising up to meet our final Egyptian sunrise.

Fingers crossed that there might be a stitching picture to share with you either tomorrow or Monday. Thank you once again for all your lovely comments and I hope you are all having a wonderful weeking.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Friday, 17 October 2008

Are You Bored?

I do hope not because I am still enjoying stitching on this little design. This picture turned out better than the last as you can see the individual snowflakes this time though the colour of the fabric was probably more true on the last photo. I have not forgotten the snow on the tree by the way I just fancied having a go at stitching the letters which I have not done in plain white but in Dinky Dyes Mother of Pearl silk. Angela asked "I've never worked out how if they are in the middle of an otherwise unstitched part of the fabric how you stop them coming undone without creating knots." I do not find this a problem but then I usually start with a pin head stitch then make my cross and put two tiny stitches in the back and cut the thread. I have never had any problems with doing individual stitches this way. Also once you get the hang of using a pin head stitch, which is incidentally a very strong starting stitch, it is so much quicker and easier and far less wasteful than starting with a waste knot and though I sometimes use a loop start to begin this is not possible when using varigated and hand dyed threads. When I first started doing this I left a little "tail" which was cut off afterwards, but now i just pull the thread to almost the end so there is nothing there to cut off later.

Well Keith is home, he finishes at lunch time on a Friday, so I am off to have a chat and a coffee with him whilst we decide what the afternoon plan is.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Winter Whites update.

I have now completed the top section of Winter Whites and as I am still enjoying it I am going to stick with this for the time being. The hardest bit is not even visible as it was all the little individual stitches needed for the snowflakes but they are all finished now thank goodness.

Thats all for now - though I would like to thank everyone for the lovely comments and to say to both Nicola and Lynn if you are reading this - say hello LOL - that will be enough honest.

Hugs to you all

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Great Day & Lots of Goodies

Yesterday was the Derby meet up of the Crafty Natter group. I really looked forward to this as I had never been to a meet up before and I was not disappointed. It was great fun and I met lots of nice people that I hope to meet again soon. Lots and lots of laughter and fun, two pieces of Tammy's chocolate fudge cake (extra yummy I can assure you) and lots and lots of goodies.

I was very good and only spent £15 but I think you will agree I got good value.

I also did 2 swaps and got these two lovely charts

There was a lovely little chart for each and everyone of us from Colly as a memento of the day.

And last but certainly not least was a wonderful Goody Bag from Hayley.

Missing from the picture of my lovely goodies was a big tube of Maltesers. These just happen to be hubbies favourites so as soon as he saw them they were lost - though I know he will share them - LOL more than his life is worth not too.
On the stitching front I have not got a lot done but I have made some progress on LHN Winter Whites and as I am enjoying this at the moment I am going to stick with it.

I hope everyone else has enjoyed their weekend as much as I have.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A Little of What You Fancy Does You Good.

I picked up Gigi the other morning only to realise that the whole of the left side needs to be frogged before I can start again. Why I did not see this before I do not know. Anyway I threw it on one side in utter disgust and then just could not seem to settle to stitch so ended up on the computer doing some more to the design for my Neighbourhood.

At the moment stitching time is very limited and with three SALs and UFO day that only leaves 3 days for the rota the result of which is i am trying to work on too many things in too little time and getting nowhere which is leaving me feeling really frustrated. So I have decided to follow the old phrase of "A little of what you fancy" and just stitch on whatever takes my mood at the time. Apart from my own designs which I am trying to complete and photograph for the website my son is designing for me I will not make any new starts but will probably work with the smaller things in my rota or those that have not too much to be done on them and try and get some finishes. I think that the fact it has been so long since I had a finish is not helping either as it all adds to that getting nowhere feeling.

Having said no new starts there will be one very small one at the weekend as I am going to the Crafty Natter meet up in Derby and Colly of Cols Creations is going to be doing the prettiest little tin topper as a class, so I just have to take part.

Hope to have some pictures for you soon.

May your frogs stay in your ponds.

A Little of What You Fancy Does You Good.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Sun & Stitches

It seems such a long time ago since I came here to write my blog. We had the most wonderful holiday in Egypt - the hottest holiday I have ever experienced. Although we have been to Egypt a couple of times before it has been to the Red Sea area and the heat down by the Nile was so much more intensive which was lovely in the shade but a bit too powerful when you were out looking at temples etc. I have changed my header picture so you can see the two largest of the Pyramids which were fantastic. Keith went down inside one of the Pyramids but I chickened out of that experience as I know it would be much to claustrophobic to me. We had two very hectic days in Cairo before flying down to Luxor to join our cruise. Lots and lots to see but my favourite had to be the temple at Philae Island. We are still sorting out photographs but once they are sorted I will put some in my webshots album for anyone who would like to see them. I know Karan will be looking forward to that bit and one or two others have said they would like to look but they will be tucked out the way so I will not bore anyone who is not interested.

I did some stitching whilst on holiday and got approximately half of my Shadows sampler done.

I also made a start on LHN Winter Whites but I have not really made enough progress on that to show any picture yet.

Unfortunately since getting home I have hardly had the chance to touch a needle.

Thursday I had a lovely day at my Mums as my cousin from Ontario, Canada was visiting his parents and he came to spend the afternoon with us. Its four years since I last saw him and its lovely to catch up in person.

We have had Oscar for the weekend and I have still not finished all my holiday washing, but hopefully sometime next week I am going to be back stitching with great vigour. My "mojo" is jumping up and down with excitement but I just need to find some ME time, either that or go on holiday again - now there's a good idea though I think I have something like 18 or 19 weeks for that pleasure to arrive again.

This morning i went to the Fabric Guild in Leicester - ooh I spent far too much LOL and this afternoon we popped into Derby where I got a lovely book called Countryside Views in Cross Stitch from The Works. It has a lovely little row of cottages which will be just perfect for my Neighbourhood. I had finished designing it but I have one bit I am not happy with and this little group of cottages will replace that bit nicely. Once I have sorted that out I will just need to order my fabric and grid it up and I will be all ready for the New Year start. I am going to use mainly DMC threads though I would quite like to use some varied threads for certain parts but I will have to see how that works out. As I intend doing my neighbourhood on a small tablecloth then whatever I use is going to need to be washable which rather rules out the hand dyed ones which is a shame.

I think next week if I can get some stitching time I really must use it playing catch up with my two monthly SALs as I am so far behind with them at the moment and with the neighbourhood looming for next year I would like to be finishing them on time.

I hope you have all done lots of stitching while I have been away and I am looking forward to catching up with all those blogs during the next week to two.

May your frogs stay in their ponds