Monday, December 31, 2012

Ending where I started in 2012....

BBD’s Christmas Garden was my new start in January this year so it seems kind of appropriate that having talked about that in my first post of 2012 I’m going to talk about it in my last post of 2012.  Having finished it in May it then sat for weeks months (!!) before I finally left it in with the framer in October.  With everything else going on I sort of forgot about it (my framer can sometimes take a while) but come December I did begin to think it was about time it was home and hanging in my house.  Just over a week before Christmas I got the word that it was ready to be picked up and here it is…..

I love that I had this in time for Christmas and I’m thrilled with the job she did.

 At the same time as leaving Christmas Garden in I also left PSS Sergei.  That came home with me too…….

and is another one that I’m thrilled with.

While I’m not really into the whole making resolutions thing I do like to start a new project in January.  As you will know, I love having something to work on each month.  Well, I’m not sure whether I’ve bitten off more than I can chew but, this year this is the one that’s going to be my monthly stitching project…..

A Sampler Story by Brenda Keyes.  At 24 squares I’m thinking I can manage two squares a month and, with a bit of luck, I will have this one completed in December 2013.  I did think of just one square a month but the thought of it taking me two years seemed a lifetime!  I’ll see how I get on, if it starts to feel like that’s all I’m working on and I’ve no time for anything else I might need to rethink.

We did have a different Christmas this year but the good news is that a couple of days ago my mum changed hospitals and is now in one where she’ll spend the next few weeks having physiotherapy and help to get back on her feet.  My dad is having horrible nerve pain from the shingles but the rash itself has stopped spreading and isn’t looking so nasty.  Unfortunately he’s still not allowed to visit my mum.

Thank you for all the lovely comments you left last time about my PS stitchings.   In 2013 I’m hoping to stitch some of the BOAF santas and likely there will be some PS ones in the mix as well.    

Whatever your plans to see in 2013….enjoy.    DH and I will see in the New Year very quietly, hopefully we’ll manage to stay up to midnight!  Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2013 with lots of stitching going on!

Until next time……  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A little Prairie Schooler...

Hard to believe that Christmas Day is just around the corner.  It is quiet here this morning so I thought I’d grab the chance to do a quick post to wish everyone a lovely Christmas and share some stitching before Christmas rather than after it.

My plans for stitching more PS Santas took a back seat from August onwards but I did finish five in total and in time to have them out on display.

This is the fifth one that I put the final stitches into a week or two back.

In a comment on my last post Siobhan mentioned my PS Twelve Days of Christmas which I stitched through 2011. Last Christmas I had them displayed on a wreath (you can see it here if you want to take a look) but with everything else going on this year that didn’t happen and I just have them displayed in a bowl.

My mum had her hip replacement surgery on Thursday.  She has come through the surgery and the doctors are pleased with her progress but she will be in hospital over Christmas.  Meanwhile my poor dad has developed shingles and is miserable with it. That has meant that he hasn’t seen my mum in a week now and I know that the two of them are missing each other especially with my mum going through surgery. 

Our house is full again as our two sons and daughter arrived home at different times yesterday.  When DH and I got back last night it was lovely to walk into the house and have everyone here.  Christmas is going to be a little different for us this year but whether we sit down and eat turkey or not (we won’t be!) is of little consequence.  Far more important is spending time with loved ones.

Wishing each and every one of you a lovely Christmas in whatever way you spend it.
 Until next time……  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some more Christmas finishes....

Thanks everyone for your kind comments and emails after my last post.  I’m still doing a lot of miles in the car each week.  My mother was supposed to have her hip surgery on Nov 28th but a fire at the hospital the weekend before changed that.  There was water damage to some of the wards and theatres so a lot of the elective surgery was cancelled.  We are waiting to hear a new date, whether it will be before Christmas or not we don’t know, and the longer we don’t hear anything I’ve the feeling it will be January before it happens.

As to stitching?  Well, I’ve been doing bits and pieces here and there.  This one I actually had stitched months ago but hadn’t got round to finishing it.

 SB's Good Cheer Pin Cushion

It took me several attempts to do this ribbon and bead edging but, I got there in the end!  At one point I was thinking of attaching a chenille trim round the edge instead but a fruitless search through my stitching stash to find said chenille trim that I knew I had somewhere put paid to that idea.  So, I just had to knuckle down and get on with it!  I will say I felt like I was getting the hang of it by the end but I don’t know that I’d look forward to doing it again!

Next up is my finish of the freebie that was offered by Nikyscreations which you can find it here.

And finally, another PS Santa from the booklet Old World Santas II.  It’s been a while since I’ve managed to stitch one of these but I’m hoping to get one more done before Christmas.

 Stitched on 32ct Natural Light linen using suggested DMC

 And that’s about it for this time.  I hope all is well with you and yours.  Seems like Christmas is going to be here before we know it which, of course, leads me to say that I don’t know where this year has gone!  I’m starting to get itchy fingers to be working on a larger project.  With everything that has been going on these last months my stitching mojo hasn’t been around all that much but I think there’s going to be some stash diving coming up soon to see what calls my name.

Until next time……  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Some Christmas finishes

Little did I think that it would be the middle of November before I had the chance to blog again. Life here has been something of a rollercoaster and remains so.  My parents have both been in hospital, at different times, and my mother went from hospital to a nursing home where she’s staying until she can have her hip replacement surgery.  She does have a date for that, hopefully in about 10 days time (dependent on that thing of having to phone the morning of admission to check that a bed is available).  She was adjusting to being in a nursing home when my father was admitted to hospital with heart problems.  He had by-pass surgery 14 years ago but things are now starting to deteriorate.  It was decided to give him a pacemaker to try and regulate the heart so, at the age of 95, my father has had one fitted.  It’s early days but hopefully this will be of benefit to him.

I have no stitching to share, I have not picked up a needle in weeks as my days are mostly spent driving back and forth to see my parents, but what I do have are a couple of lovely finishes that Faye over at Carolina Stitcher did for me.   First up is BBD’s Crowning the Tree. I will freely admit to being totally intimidated by finishing anything in a stocking shape.  If I was attempting it? It wouldn’t look the slightest bit like a stocking by the time I was finished with it!  Faye, however, has done a wonderful job!

This I stitched on 32ct cream linen using a mix of the suggested threads.

Next, another lovely finish, LHN’s Joy and Peace.   Faye has used wool fabric for this one which works perfectly with it.

This one’s stitched using the suggested fabric (I think, sorry, can't remember, I have serious brain fog going on these days) and threads.

Faye, thanks for two great finishes, in amidst everything that’s been going on it was lovely to receive your envelope and know that I will have something new to hang this Christmas.

I’ve been on the computer very little so haven’t been visiting or commenting on any blogs and I am missing that.  Dear knows when I’ll get back to it but, I hope all is well with you and yours, and I look forward to getting caught up when I get the chance.

Until next time…..

Monday, October 1, 2012

Starting off October with a finish

The start of a new week and the start of a new month so I think it’s time I blogged!  I’m finding it hard to believe that we’ve reached October although with the way the leaves are rapidly changing colour now I don’t know why I’m surprised!

This time round I can report a finish!  Once I’d stitched the next block of PSS Halloween Hornbook Sampler I found that with being so close to it being finished that I couldn’t put it to one side for a few weeks but had to keep on stitching.  Here are the final two blocks

And here it is all finished!  I’d so much fun stitching this one.  I love stitching in the autumn colours although I can’t say that it extends to what I wear or how I would decorate in my house throughout the year but, there’s just something about the vibrancy of them that appeals to me.  Maybe it’s that last burst of colour before everything dies down for the winter.
 Stitched on 32ct Elne of Lynnyn Salamander using the suggested DMC conversion

Now to find a frame for this one.  Finding an actual hornbook frame here is next to impossible so I need to go looking to see what I can come up with.

I’ve decided to dip my toe in selling some of my charts.  I've added a link in my sidebar (I hope, I'm not even going to admit to how long it has taken me to actually work out how to add a page!!!!)  if you want to take a look.

Other than that, hope that October starts out well for everyone.  I noticed the Christmas stuff creeping into the shops last week. I know it's good to shop early for Christmas but September is a bit too early for me!!

Until next time……

Friday, September 14, 2012

Moving into autumn....

Hi everyone!  Well, somewhat in keeping with how my life is a bit all over the place these days I think it’s fair to say it’s followed into my stitching! A couple of small finishes to share for the very reason that I’m jumping from one project to another and not really settling on one particular thing.  As the days are getting shorter and we’re very definitely heading into autumn it brought this one to the top of my stitching pile…

Primitive Bettys freebie, Wicked - link to her freebie charts found here.  I stitched this on 32ct PTP Relic using DMC 310 and the fabric the little pillow is sitting on is what I used for the backing.

Then let’s jump to Christmas! I haven’t been doing much Christmas stitching, my PS Santas have sort of fallen by the wayside, but I have stitched this one….

LHN’s Joy and Peace stitched on 32ct ‘something’ out of my fabric stash using a mix of the suggested overdyeds and DMC.

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my finished BBD Peacock Pinkeep.  I did the drawing for the chart yesterday morning, got my DH to pick out the name, and having been to the post office this morning the chart is now on its way to.....

Lisa, I hope you enjoy stitching this one as much as I did!    

And that really is about it.  A ‘something and nothing’ blog post this time round.  You wouldn't think it but I am itching to start a larger project so hopefully next time I’ll have made a decision (do I really want to admit that I’ve started 3 or 4 larger ones but after a couple of days have set each of them to one side?!?!).  I do hope to stitch on PSS Halloween Hornbook Sampler this weekend and get the penultimate block finished - it's a cute one!!!

Hope all is well with you and yours.
Until next time…… 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

BBD Peacock Pinkeep

Hi everyone!  Thanks for all your lovely comments last time round.  Things are gradually settling down again and I’m gradually getting back into the swing of things here at home with just several trips each week to see my parents. 

Back in July I’d shared my start of BBD’s Peacock Pinkeep well, here it is a couple of months later and I can now share my finish!!  I had a change of heart about finishing this as a pinkeep and decided to finish it this way….

I’d it half completed before everything was put on hold but finally grabbed an afternoon last week and got it done.

Stitched on 28ct flax linen using DMC 730 & 3777

 My first attempt at finishing this way and maybe it was a good thing I was interrupted as it has meant that I took more time over the different stages and didn’t rush to get it done as I would have been tempted to do!

I received this chart from Sally over at Stitchyangel’s Treasures and would like to do as she did and send this chart on to someone else who’d like to stitch it.  So, if you’d like the chance to stitch this chart please let me know when you leave a comment.  All I ask is that you only add your name into the draw if you are interested in stitching this and that once you’ve stitched it you send the chart on its way again.  Closing date is next Wednesday, 12th September.

Until next time…..

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Counting Your Blessings.....

It’s been a while. Little did I know that within a couple of days of stitching La D Da’s Count Your Blessings as a quick stitch at the end of July it would be something that would be very close to my heart and something I would need to keep trying to remember to do.
 Stitched on 32ct LL Vintage Examplar & suggested threads

My mother came home from hospital a couple of days ago after spending almost a month there.  During that time I was doing a 120 mile round trip each day to keep an eye on my 95 year old father who was adamant that he could be on his own at home (overall he coped well) and for the two of us to visit my mother.  All very tiring and stressful. For now she is home and very frail but….she is home and happy to be there.  They are having support with nursing care coming in four times a day and we are just taking things one day at a time.

Next to no stitching went on the first couple of weeks. Never mind stitching for enjoyment it is also something I turn to when things aren’t so good. However, I was so tired when I’d get home in the evening that I basically turned into a couch potato in front of the tv and hadn’t the energy to pick up a needle. 

This past week though I’ve set aside a little bit of time each morning and have managed to finish the next block of PSS Halloween Hornbook Sampler.

I  have also changed the ghost to a light grey which now shows up much more clearly on the fabric.

Through all the craziness of the past few weeks I celebrated a birthday (to be honest it pretty much passed in a blur!!!) and received this wonderful package of goodies from my dear friend Carol.

As many of us know, Carol does the most wonderful over one stitching and when I unwrapped everything and saw what she had sent well, I just loved it. 

The Sheepish Designs chart she included is one I have always regretted not adding to my stash when it was easily available, plus some lovely autumn fabrics and buttons.  What a lovely package and it made my day in so many ways when things were quite tough.  Thank you Carol!  If you aren’t familiar with her blog do drop by Stitching Dreams and see all her wonderful finishes and what a special person she is.

Thank you to those who dropped me an email to see if things were okay.  I’m totally out of the loop as regards visiting and commenting on blogs but would hope to be on here a little more from now on.  While I will still need to go to see my parents it won’t be every day so I’m hoping to get a little more on track with what was ‘normal life’ before this happened.

Hope all is well with you and yours.
Until next time…… 

Friday, July 20, 2012

One of those this, that & the other posts ........

Hi everyone! Thanks for all your lovely comments on my finished Sergei and the little bee pillow.  I’m planning a trip to the framer soon and Mr Sergei will be coming along with me as well as a couple of other pieces.

Another month, another block on PSS Halloween Hornbook Sampler ........  

I still need to change the ghost in the 4th block. I will get to that, in fact, I’m going to say that I will have that done by next month’s progress report.  I think if I put that out there then there’s a better chance of me actually getting it re-stitched!

I’ve finished the top part of BBD’s Peacock Pinkeep and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I’ve started on the alphabet band but have made so little progress with that that I didn’t bother to take a picture yet.

My stitching mojo seems to be returning for PS Santas.  There’s been a deathly silence about those on here the last few months because, well, I haven’t stitched any and haven’t felt like stitching any!  I totally fell by the wayside but decided not to stress myself over them and just wait for the notion to come back.  .Seems that the notion is returning…...
from  PS Olde World Santas II on 32ct Natural Light & suggested DMC
I’m thinking of using this fabric as the backing - now just to finish finish it!!

Hope all is well with you and yours.  We’ve woken up this morning to a little bit of blue sky and the sun trying to shine – a rare occurrence this summer in this part of the world!!  Another weekend almost here – whatever you have planned….enjoy!

Until next time ……..   

Monday, July 9, 2012

Birds & bees

Hi everyone!  I hope Monday morning is treating you well.  A finish to report this time round….PSS Sergei.  Loved this one, loved the strong colours, loved Sergei himself and it was a fun stitch.  Stitched on 32ct cream Belfast linen and I used the DMC alternatives which I was more than happy with.

 (oops, should have trimed the edges before I took the picture!!)

 A while back (read that as ages ago!) I won BBD’s Peacock Pinkeep in a giveaway Sally over at Stitchyangel’s Treasures was having.  The one condition of entering the giveaway was that I stitched the chart and, when I was done, that I would pass the chart on with the same conditions.  Well, I’ve finally got my act together and have started this one.  Actually, it’s my second attempt, having started it with my first choice of fabric and threads I wasn’t that happy with how it was turning out.  So, another dive around in my fabric stash and threads and I’m happier this time round.   I’ve gone in a completely different direction to the colours suggested and I’m using good old DMC.  Given that I’ll be attempting the finishing on this one, I wanted something that could cope with likely being ironed within an inch of its life and being mangled by my attempts to put it together and still end up looking okay (hopefully!!).  Silks and hand-dyed fabric were not going to be a good match for that! 

 Using 28ct flax linen and DMC 730 & 3777
One other small finish to share.  A quick stitch, Ewe & Eye & Friends Bee Hive Scissor Companion.  I thought it would look cute as a little pillow so spent some time with my sewing machine and this is the result! Another one to add to my small bee collection.   

Hope all is well with you and yours and if you are dealing with the extremes of heat in parts of the US I hope that the weather breaks soon.

Until next time…….

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.....

Hi everyone!  Yes, one of those ‘little bit’ posts.  A little bit of progress to share but there really hasn’t been a whole lot of stitching going on around here.

A little bit more on PSS Halloween Hornbook Sampler and here’s the next block completed (I still need to change the ghost to a stronger white!). 

The whole time I was stitching this I was thinking it was a peacock but now I’ve started to doubt myself and I’m wondering if it’s a turkey….what do you think? I enjoyed this block. Loved the strong colours (seems like I’m in the mood for stitching stronger colours these days) and, given that I’ve completely fallen by the wayside with monthly Christmas stitching, I’m glad that I’m still on track with this one.

Then, a little bit more on PSS Sergei.  Sergei is such a handsome chap, isn’t he?  I’m loving stitching this one, I’m just being dead slow and stop about it.  Hopefully next time round if he isn’t a finish he’ll be very close to one. 

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my finished Quaker Blackbird and your continued visits.  One of my favourite times of the year at the moment…..Wimbledon and lots and lots of tennis to watch…….given that I like to have my stitching in hand while I watch I’m hoping that that means lots and lots of stitching!

Until next time……

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stitching & other things.....

Hi everyone!  Let’s start off the week with a blog post.  These past few weeks I’m doing that thing of jumping from one thing to another but never really settling to anything.  It’s not just happening in my stitching life, I think I can say I can apply it to all aspects of my life!!!! Do you ever go through that?  I’m hoping that I can be slightly more focused this week!!!   It’s not really ‘me’ so it’s not sitting comfortably with me that I’m all over the place.

Not too much stitching has been done this last week. My daughter was home for four days with the plan of finding ‘the dress’ for her wedding next year.  This was the first major shopping expedition with appointments booked in several bridal shops each day.  Overall it was fun but it did have its moments.  We found that the people who were lovely on the phone when she was booking the appointment turned out to be lovely when we met them while the ones who she didn’t get a great impression of on the phone, were not great when we turned up at the shop either.  One woman was one of those people who you really wonder why they are doing that job because it’s definitely not a natural fit for their personality!!!  Won’t be recommending that shop to anyone!   My daughter went back to England yesterday.  No definite decision on a dress yet but a couple of possibilities.

I do have a small finish to share….
 Little by Little Quaker Blackbird on 32ct LL vintage light examplar using the suggested DMC

I did change the final shape to a rectangle and added a couple of small motifs at the top. I definitely would like to finish this one as a hornbook so I’m on the look-out for something that will work.

Then, in keeping with my frame of mind at the moment, before I had finished Quaker Blackbird I started something else.  Plum Street Samplers Sergei.  This one I’m stitching on some cream 32ct Belfast linen from my stash with a mix of the overdyeds and the suggested DMC alternatives.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures that my BIL took recently.  My SIL took early retirement and one of gifts she was given was a helicopter trip round the north coast of Northern Ireland.   Given how miserable our weather has been lately (rain, rain and more rain) by a sheer fluke the day she had booked was a lovely one.  This is Portstewart, the small seaside resort that my husband and his siblings grew up in and where we often stayed during school holidays when our children were growing up.

Can you see the small dots on the beach? This is one of the beaches here where the cars are allowed on to the beach. 

An aerial view of the town itself.

And another one of the beach looking towards Castlerock, Benone Strand and then the hills of Donegal.  All pictures are clickable if you want a closer look.

Until next time……

Friday, June 1, 2012

A start, a finish & a continuation....

Hi everyone!  Thank you for all the lovely comments that you left when I shared my finished Christmas Garden last time round. I really do appreciate them and you certainly know how to make a girl feel good about her stitching! 

There I was all excited about finishing CG and looking forward to picking a new project.  Wouldn’t you know, I couldn’t decide what to work on next! I flip-flopped between one thing and another.  There is a larger project calling my name but when it came to the bit I just couldn’t seem to settle to it.  So, instead of that, I've been stitching a couple of smaller pieces that have been on my 'to stitch' list.

First up, another block completed on PSS Halloween Hornbook Sampler.  I may change the colour of the ghost (I’m assuming it’s a ghost!) to actual white as I’m not totally convinced that it pops off the fabric enough.  Going to do a few more blocks and then see if I still feel the same way.  In this pic it definitely doesn't 'pop' off the fabric, it does look slightly better in real life!!! The block for June I’m really looking forward too!  It’s one of my favourites in the whole piece.

 Being stitched on 32ct Elne of Lyynyn Salamander using suggested DMC conversion from the Belle Soie silks

Next up, a small finish to report.  Way back in February Linda of Keeper of the Crowes shared her February Word Play finish and when I’d commented on how much I loved it she very kindly offered to send me the chart so I could stitch it myself.  Well, of course, I was deeply involved in Christmas Garden when the chart arrived so there was no February finish of this one by me.    It’s all good to go for next Feb though (and gives me lots of time to actually finish it into a pillow!!!). Thank you Linda for being so generous in sending this one on to me.
 With Thy Needle & Thread Feb Word Play stitched on 32ct vintage country mocha with a mix of the suggested overdyeds and DMC

Then there is this one, another small start, Little by Little’s Quaker Blackbird.

This one I’m stitching on 32ct LL vintage light examplar using the suggested DMC threads. Hopefully a finish next time I blog!

Have a good weekend everyone!  Can you believe we’re into June?!?!?!
Until next time …….. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Christmas Garden - it's a finish!

Want to come do a happy dance with me?!?!?!  Guess who put the final stitches in BBD’s Christmas Garden earlier today….
 BBD's Christmas Garden
Stitched on 32ct LL light examplar
Using suggested CC & GA colours
I loved working on this one....
 Loved the colours.....
 Loved the motifs...... (oh yes, a whole lot of love going on with this one!!!)
 I made this one personal to my own family with our five sets of initials.

With thanks to Katrina for her generosity in sharing her alphabet idea.  I never did see myself stitching the original wording in the bottom section and loved the idea of an alphabet.

Can you guess that I’m going through that bittersweet feeling of being happy to have finished but a little sad that I won’t be stitching on it any more.  I guess some stash diving is coming up (and that is always fun!).  There are a couple of charts calling my name but I still have to make a decision.

Until next time……

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Christmas Garden & something completely different....

The start of a new month and a little more on Christmas Garden to report….

I love these final two motifs.  I think I’d have to say they were my favourites.  They just seem to go so well together.

As you can see I’m now to decision time…..what to stitch in the bottom section.  Anyone guess what it might be?!?!?!  The wording, Christmas Garden, or an alphabet?  Many of you know how much of an alphabet lover I am so this one isn’t going to be too hard to guess! Yes, I’m planning on going down the alphabet route (with thanks to Katrina – if you haven’t seen Katrina’s gorgeous Christmas Garden finish check it out here).

Something else many of you know is my love/hate relationship with the sewing machine.  But, every so often I take the notion and pull it out.  A couple of weeks ago I bought a little kit and it’s been sitting there calling my name.  Over the weekend I put it together.  It wasn’t without incident, I made many basic errors both in the cutting out and putting together but I did come up with something that sort of looked like how it should! I was so taken with the fact that I actually managed to put it together that I decided to try again with some of my own fabric and here it is…..

Now, don’t look too closely.  While I didn’t make as many mistakes second time round it still is far from perfect (lessons definitely needed in how to stitch round a curve!) but, given how low I rate my ability on the sewing machine… turned out okay!

Hope all is well with you and yours.  Our younger son will be home this weekend for a couple of days and we’re looking forward to seeing him.  He hasn’t been home since Christmas, which seems a long time ago now. 

Thanks as always for your lovely comments and encouragement.  With a bit of luck, next time I post it will be to say I’ve finished Christmas Garden!  Then it’ll be decisions, decisions on what to start next.

Until next time……