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