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Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Christmas SAL weekend...

As most of you know the last weekend of the month is chosen for the Christmas Ornament SAL, I really liked the idea of this, as many of you do. As it will be great to 'be prepared' in advance, even in a small way, for Christmas, as it is such a busy time. I also like the idea that there is no pressure to join in every month, months you can, you do, and if you can't, no hard feelings :-)) Now, to let you know my secret ;-)...as I am so keen to have some stitched ornaments I have joined not one, but two ornament SAL's :-)) One is with a French lady Anne (Tempus Fugit) who had the bright idea herself, go take a look at what our French friends are doing :-)) The other is being ran by the ladies Nicki and AnneS who have this blog for it. I do propose (to myself at least) on some months, if I can, to actually stitch 2 ornaments...one for each SAL, however, for this month I have only got one done so it will be for both SAL's. I suppose it really doesn't matter and I love the idea that alot of us stitchers worldwide are doing the same sort of thing at roughly the same time. Our needles should be smoking with all going at once...lol...beware of the ozone and global warming my friends!!

Blackbird Designs 'Candy Cane Stocking'

Now to let you know what I have done...the above picture is my finish of Blackbird Designs 'Candy Cane Stocking' from the JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine 2003. I had none of the stated supplies and not much chance of getting the right ones quickly, so I improvised. I have used a pretty 'denim blue colour' cut of 32ct evenweave I had got from The Country Cross Stitcher in Woburn a few years ago. For the threads, I used a mixture to tone in with the blue fabric they are, DMC Linen Thread L3012 for the green, Carrie's Creations 'Garnet' for the red and ??? either Oatmeal or Straw Bonnet for the white by The Gentle Art or GAST. I will check tomorrow which one it was for sure.

The picture below is a close-up of the fabric and lace that I used for the finishing, both the fabric for the cuff of the stocking and the back of it are by Lene Bjerre. I only have small pieces of Lene Bjerre fabrics so I was delighted that I could use some on this and that it was big enough :-))


I had got this gorgeous length of cotton ribbon attached to the label of a pair of jeans I recently bought (yes, I liked the jeans as well...lol) and it was a perfect colour to go with this. To bring the colours together I decided to use 'couch stitch' to attach the ribbon using the green linen thread. I do not like the linen threads as it (mine) kept disintegrating but maybe it was with it going through a fabric and it goes all fuzzy and wierd when doing XXX's with it ? I was really pleased with how this looked and still had some of my ribbon left, so, I went on a hunt through my things...


I found a small 'Mill Hill' red heart that was a great colour match to the Garnet thread and have used that to attach the hanger. I also re-found this lovely heart charm I had, that I got from a Needlework show from one of my favourite stalls, they have a website now and are called 'Nostalgia' . They sell beautiful things and gorgeous French ribbons like I used on my Wabbit needlecase. Go take a look...I love it, all very pretty and feminine... but not yet, I will put the link at the bottom ;-)

Charms and Beads

I used some red beads I had to make a berry cluster at the top of the heart charm and to finish the hanger tails, you can also see the whole of the Lene Bjerre fabric I used for the reverse side. This was a tricky little thing to sew to get the foot part to be a nice shape, I did use my sewing machine for this and it was tough turning it the right way so the stitched part did not give way and fray...what a nightmare that would have been !! As you can see, it didn't and I am very pleased with the result both front and back .

Reverse of my Stocking

I did not have alot of time to stitch last week (when do I ever) but I did advance with my SAL on BD GOL this here is showing my Part 2. I have a got quite far with Part 3 over the last week and will show that when it is done. I am not sure if I will like the Blackbird on this for me. I do like the Smyrna's for his wings but I am not sure?? so, I may do something else in the garden, again it will depend on what time I have. You can go here to view the SAl album for this :)

Blackbird Designs 'Garden of Life' Part 2

Here is my last picture...as you all breath a sigh of relief...remember I said I had stitched something I was going to finish into a different finish for me? Well, this was the start...can you guess what it is? This is my first go of stitching 'in hand' on this piece, it feels very strange to do that. I still have all the back to do when I have done Part 3 of GOL. I'm being very good at the moment although I must say, I am itching for a change, me of little patience ;-)

What's this???

Finally, Veronica (my Mum) thanks you all for the wonderful comments on her fob to me, she can't believe it and you have all made her week as you do mine. Here is the link to Nostalgia...hide your purse before looking...lol ;-)

Enjoy your week everyone and I will 'see' you again soon.

P.S. Edits were to make sure the links worked ;-)

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

A Little Treasure

I got this surprise gift from my Mum (Veronica) today ...isn't it lovely :-)) From a design by Lorri Birmingham's Fob series, it has a tiny crystal on each corner of the stitched area.

This is the first time my Mum has done a NR type of finish with the pulled thread area for the ribbon to go through and her first try at making her own cording. You would never know to look at it as it is so neat and perfectly finished even the back has our initials and the year is stitched 1/1 (very neatly may I add). The flower inside the heart was an addition of her own :))

I certainly will treasure this ..... by the way Su...watch out for your fob arriving from Mum in the near future...she's on a roll...!

Fob from my Mum

Hope you are having a nice day!! Mine has been great today, nothing like a stitchy gift to get it off to a good start, is there! Better go now and carry on with Part 2 GOL, it's all Eva's fault I haven't got it finished...lol ;-)

Monday, 12 February 2007


I have shamelessly pinched this from Su's blog ;-)

You scored as Albus Dumbledore. You are very wise, observant, and analyctical. You have a very "well-organized" mind, which makes you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get angered easily, its rare of you to ever act out of temper. You are constantly seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving because of it. You're easy to please and a great person to learn from.

Albus Dumbledore


Remus Lupin


Luna Lovegood


Hermione Granger


Sirius Black


Oliver Wood


Ron Weasley


Lord Voldemort


Neville Longbottom


Harry Potter


Percy Weasley


Severus Snape


Bellatrix Lestrange


Draco Malfoy


Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, 8 February 2007

My Valentine exchange to Paula

STOP!!! Before you maybe rush ahead to take a look at the stitched piece I would like to say a few words...Last year whilst visiting Nataliejo's blog I saw she had on two occasions stitched and finished little Shepherds Bush hearts. There is no real need for me to say... I absolutely fell in love with them (as I do all her exquisite needlework:) When I got Paula's name for this Valentine exchange from the SBEBB I was so excited on two counts... ;-) I know Paula is a BIG Shepherds Bush fan so much so she has even been to the Retreat there at the end of last year!! The other reason is with this being a Valentine exchange... here was my opportunity to stitch and finish a SB heart in the same style. I asked Natalie if she would mind me doing the same style of finish..... :-)))

So..... here we have below my version of the heart with the tassel finish. I used an old (1990) Shepherds Bush chart 'Father Yule' for the design, this is called 'Warm Hearts'. I stitched it on 40ct ivory with one strand. I used the stated colours but did make a couple of changes to the design to make it a bit more my own.

Heart Valentine Exchange to Paula

It had a section of writing that I did not want to put on. Instead of that, I decided to use one of my favourite pulled thread stitches and I added the line in underneath that section. Other than that it is as charted. This picture is closer so you can see the pulled work which is the cream on cream.

Pulled Work

I had decisions, decisions over the colour for the cording and tassel, first I did try ecru cording with a pink tassel as the contrast. I felt for the colours of the stitching it looked a little bit bland as it is quite pale. Then I re-made some more cording in the DMC 316 pink and a tassel in the ecru, this I was happy with as it brought the colours together and made it look alot richer :-))) I have finished the cording at the bottom of the tassel with a large pearl bead that I had. You can see this in the following picture below...

Cording, Tassel and Pearl bead

I have really enjoyed making this so cheers Natalie for the inspiration and I am really pleased Paula is so happy with it :-))) Another coincidence lol...it was Paula who stitched for me on the Needlework Smalls exchange, the redwork items a few postings below.

I really don't know how people manage to blog nearly everyday??? This must be a record for me:) I am going now to get on with my SAL on BD 'GOL'. I will be back before long, have a great weekend everyone and once again THANK-YOU very much for all of your visits to my blog that you take the time to do :-))

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

My 'Needlework Small' Exchange to Veronica

No, your eyes are not tricking you...look again ;-) it is different.....really!! I have seen today on the SBEBB that the Needlework 'Smalls' that I stitched have arrived :)) I am having very co-incidental exchanges at the moment as the name I was given for my secret partner was Veronica, who I stitched for on the Winter Quaker exchange. Now I really didn't mind this as I knew straight away what to stitch for her. Knowing she loves Quaker designs and the fact the two exchanges were very close together, I decided to stitch a little more of the collection and to do it in the same colours of course... so she has a little set of 'smalls' :)

This- as a reminder, is the set by Ellen Chester 'With My Needle' from the JCS Christmas ornie magazines over a few different years. I did everything pretty much exactly the same for the stitching and finishing as I had done for the pocket. The only addditon was the small silk ribbon bows which have not come out quite the right shade on my pictures but which do tone in very well IRL :)) The striped fabric you can just see on these pictures is what I used for the lining.

The Scissor Pocket and tiny Fob

For the back of the scissor pocket I stitched the same as the Needleworkers pocket for the personalisation, I did also personalise the back of the fob in each corner... Sorry I forgot to turn that around for its picture! The fob was a little fiddley but ever so cute thing to do, as it is actually quite tiny to get a neat finish but I managed well. It is made as per the finishing instructions in the JCS magazine with the weight inside 2 pieces of batting. I included that as an extra to go with the scissor pocket along with the fabric, linen and threads etc I used, so Veronica can complete the set for herself. :)

The Back of the Scissor Pocket

Veronica has said she is 'thrilled' to have received them and was so excited she could hardly stand it which made me laugh. If you would like to re-visit her blog go here.

Now we wait for the Valentine one .......................

Back soon ;-)

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Valentine Exchange from Katrina

When I saw that this Valentine exchange was on the BB as one that was on offer for 2007, I simply couldn't resist signing up as I love hearts/heart shapes :)) So today, I have received the Valentine Exchange that Katrina has sent to me, from the SBEBB and it is gorgeous and quite perfect for me. I am not sure if you remember but Katrina had my name for the Xmas Ornie exchange. So, it was a lovely surprise to me that she had my name again and I am certainly not complaining :-)) What you can see below is the Heart Treat Bag by designers Shepherds Bush (one of my very favourite designers) that Katrina has stitched for me. It is on a lovely shade of pink linen...very soft and has the wonderful muted colours that us Shepherds Bush fans love so much :-) The heart has little beads dotted around on it, the back has been personalised with our initials. Inside the bag I had some extra treats which are also very nice and all coordinating to the stitched piece :-) It came wrapped very prettily with pink tissue paper and a chiffon ribbon that had hearts onit. I love all the attention to detail that has been put into the package. So now, I will let you look at the details of this pretty bag.....

This next picture shows the hemmed edge stitch (which I have never done yet and really must have a go) along with the pulled thread area that the ribbon is threaded through. I have a particular liking for these bits of the bag as I have not done that either yet so can only look at it both in awe. Now... I am really wanting to have a try myself but what I really need are many pairs of arms and hands (or a maid) to do all I have on my mental list ;-)

Thank-you so much once again Katrina for putting together such a nice exchange for me, I love it all :-)))

Hopefully, fingers crossed, my sent exchanges will arrive at their destinations soon and I can share them also, good job I can keep a secret :-)

Hope your day/night where-ever you are - is a nice one :)

Back soon!

Monday, 5 February 2007

Stitching 'Smalls' Exchange Received and a gift...

I have received my Needlework 'Smalls' from Paula today in this exchange from SBEBB, I am very lucky and got two items from her which are a Pinkeep and a tiny fob to match :-) and was spoilt with some nice extra goodies that Paula also enclosed in her package to me.

The lovely pinkeep and a matching fob are stitched with a variegated red and teamed with bright red pins and cording. The lining for the reverse is a bright red silk (I love silk) and Paula's finish is so neat.

The Front of the Pinkeep and Fob from Paula

It also has an ingenious idea of a magnet on the back of the pinkeep to put needles on which you can see in this picture below. I am not sure of the colour red used for the stitching or who the design is by but Paula might put the details on her blog:) Thank-you again Paula so much... I love it and you have got my week off to a great start :)

The back showing the clever magnet part

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Now to move on to the beautiful gift I have received from my DD who is 8...she has been having her first tries on the Sewing Machine whilst at her Grans (Gran is more patient than me!). When she came home, this is what had been made for me... all by herself :))) My DD had the idea, chose the fabrics a green wool felt with 'Children of Light' as the contrast, cut it out with two types of scissors, both layers, threaded the machine herself, then sewed it all on her own (with supervision from my Mum). She has even sewn the real Swarovski crystal button to it herself with a press-stud on the other side. You go girl...lol...pinching your Grans best buttons for your Mum...lol. I bet I don't have to tell you... as you will already have guessed ;-) that this is, of course, a case for me to keep my tape-measure in...so how about that!!! I bet you are all wanting one now as she has done it so very well with nearly perfectly straight lines!! My DD is going to update her little blog with this and something else she has done in the next day or two... if she can squeeze that into her busy life :-)

My gift - Tape Measure Case

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Thank-you all again for taking the time to visit my blog, have a great start to the week and I will be back soon as my exchange pieces should have arrived/start arriving this week to my secret partners ;-)

Friday, 2 February 2007

SAL Garden of Life Part 1

At the moment I don't really have alot of photos to show as I have been busy working on my SAL and exchange finishing. I have now done some more on this SAL piece since these pictures, it is Blackbird Designs 'Garden of Life' a Loose Feathers chart. This SAL is with Eva and 20 other ladies from around the world, my Mum (Veronica) and sister (Su) are both doing this as well :)) It started on 10th January, Eva has divided the design into 6 sections, each to be done over a 2 week period... so my picture shows mine with the first section done which I was well on time with...infact I was early :-)))

We have an album which we are all putting our pictures to chart the progress which can be found here

I did get the recommended 30ct Alabaster linen and had made a start on that, doing this 1/1 but really didn't like the feel of it (the linen) ...you know when something makes you cringe, it was rough and scratchy!! Then I tried my 40ct Vintage Bittersweet but decided against that as I'm not sure if I would want a pinkish (cos my cut is very pink toned ) picture on my wall, should I decide to frame it. So, I am using something I have had in my stash for ages (years) to stitch this on...a 32ct hand-dyed linen with the colour aptly called 'Spring Glow' from Dyeing4U, it is a Lugana linen which I have never ever stitched on before but I like how the stitches are looking and love the feel of the fabric. As I thought it would take me ages to catch up after my 2 false starts, I decided to go with the 2/2 option but infact it does stitch up pretty quickly :-)

I have shown this close-up to show the 'Smyrna Stitches' I have used for the flower blossoms on the trees, I just fancied to have them stand out a bit more and to give a little bit more interest to stitching it.

Onto my other stitching... I have finished and sent my exchange pieces for the 'Stitching Smalls' and 'Valentine' for the SBEBB which hopefully won't take too long to arrive and I can share the pictures soon :-) I have stitched myself a small thing and have the back to do then the finishing, for this I am going to try something new for me in the way I finish it :) I have stitched a tiny Birthday gift for my Mum... which shame on me I have not had time to do the finish yet and her Birthday was yesterday! I did however give her this book and the tiny Knitting Needles to go with it as one of her gifts. It is a lovely book with lots of patterns in it... but good luck to anybody with those knitting needles as they are like 2 strips of wire not even 1mm thick and you use embroidery thread as the yarn !! I have got some new stash which has arrived so when I stop gazing at it all I might get something else stitched ;-)

Thats about it for now, I will be back soon when my exchanges arrive and I have done my other finishing :-))

Have a great weekend and 'Thank-You' so much for the comments you have all left and 'Hello' to my new visitors it is so nice to see you here :-))

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