Monday, 29 October 2012

Arrrgggghhhh! Technology!!!!!

Hi folks!
Just a quick post to let you know I am aware of the lack of visual candy on my posts - or in other words I had a major disagreement with technology & all the photos have disappeared from all my posts :( I will try & get them all back on as soon as possible, please bear with me... Hope your day went better!!!

A trio of birthday cards

Hello there!
Today I am popping in to share some birthday cards with you. Amongst all the seasonal stitching & Christmas preparations this month has been filled with it was quite nice to have a break & make birthday cards! The first one was designed for a dear Aunt who loves ladybugs & it started with the little silver charm here in the corner... can you see the tiny ladybug hanging off the leaf?
In rooting through my stamps I found these little ladybugs with an Ed the hedgehog & it went from there! I had fun practising color blending with the Promarkers to give Ed a more 3D appearance, I'm no way as good as the ones you see in the magazines but I'm getting better! I finished the card off with papers, ribbon, & candis from my stash...
Then during the holidays my daughter asked me to make two cards for friends of hers. One of things that has changed as the children have grown up has been the friends thing. When they were all little I knew all their friends, the parents/ rest of the family, etc. and while some of their friends from these days are still here, people move, change schools, and the circles they hang out in also shift as they get older. The end result being I really don't know much about some of their friends at all! So I had little to go on for these two cards. I got a little bit of help from my daughter... "Oh he's planning to go into catering & likes baking" was my brief for this one...
"She likes funky bright things" was all I got for the next one!
 Sometimes I think my son & his friends have it right "we don't do cards, that way you can spend it all on the present" !!! It certainly is easier ;-)
Thank you for all your lovely comments on the last post, I do love hearing from you! Ladybird fairy is on hold for a few days as I have some Halloween stitching I'm hoping to get finished in the next couple of days, so all being well I will be back in a few days to share that with you. Enjoy your week!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Autumn stitching part two

Hello there!
I hope you have been having a lovely week? It has been a busy one here, the young folks returned to school after the October holidays - a sure sign that the month is nearly over. The weather has been varied with some cold & frosty mornings & one very murky foggy one, but this morning the sun is shining & the colors are glowing in the garden in a most inviting way! 
Today I have some more stitching to share with you. I finally got around to making a pin cushion for myself (this will save me using the front of my jumper to park my needle! Anyone else do that too?) I used another of the free patterns from here and recolored it with DMC stranded cotton & Color Variations threads from my stash. Here is Little Dragon helping hold it up for you to see both sides...
I stitched it on dark cream 16 count aida, added a silver charm from my stash & backed it with some fircone fabric I couldn't resist at the little quilting shop the other day :-) 


While I was at it I decided it was about time to make a scissor keep. I tend to put my scissors on the arm of the chair while I stitch & twice recently I have had to have help rescuing my scissors from inside the couch! Whoops! Hubbie suggested maybe I should just get used to putting them someplace else? but old habits die hard so this seemed like a better solution ;-) I found a cute free pattern from this website but decided on a few changes. The listed colors were a bit too pale for me so I swapped them out for more vibrant autumn shades and I picked some biscuit brown colored 28 count evenweave fabric from my stash to stitch it on instead of the suggested 36 count fabric. I have never tried stitching on 36 count & really didn't fancy it much, plus I think these colors all work well together...
Most of the pattern is whole cross stitch but there are some eyelet stitches worked in yellow around the edges...
I have been thinking about stitching some designs containing a mix of embroidery stitches instead of just  the cross stitch & was pleased with how this first experiment turned out. I have a feeling I will be trying a few more of the free downloads from this site in the future - maybe I need a new needlecase to complete my stitchy trio? In the meantime I'm really enjoying using both the pin cushion & being able to find my scissors no matter what!!!
Just before I go here is an update on the Ladybird Fairy WIP...
I am still loving her graceful lines & hope to be able to spend a little more time on her over the next couple of weeks. Thank you for visiting with me and thank you to all those who leave comments when they do, I love reading them! I hope you have a lovely weekend however you are spending it & hope to be back early next week with some card making...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Autumn stitching part one

Hello there & welcome!
At a time when many of us are fully submerged in Christmas crafting today I want to share something a little more seasonal with you. Now don't get me wrong, I love the opportunity for playing with metallic threads, beads, & such for added sparkle & all the festive colors that the Christmas season brings, but sometimes I feel like we are in such a hurry to reach December that we  miss out on the richness that Autumn has to offer. On all but the greyest days a look outside the window reveals a glorious palette mixed to perfection by Mother Nature - burnt oranges, reds, yellows, browns, and greens - a total feast for the color addicts amongst us! So amongst all the Christmassy tasks that have to be attended to at this stage of the year I wanted to find a little time to fit in some stitching celebrating the glory of the current season.
A hunt on the internet brought up some gorgeous wee projects, one of which looked perfect for a friend with an October birthday. This particular pattern can be found here (keep scrolling down as the selection of free downloads is quite large!) it called for speciality threads but I just substituted with threads from my stash. This is a side view...
I found the backing fabric really hard to capture accurately with the camera! I tried a lot of different settings & then played with the editing software & this is the best I could come up with :/
I used a mushroomy colored 16 count aida for the stitched front, bronzy brown ribbon saved off a present many moons ago, two colors of Mill Hill beads, & two silver charms from my stash to finish it off...
Then I got out my stamps & Promarkers & came up with a birthday card to accompany it. Rather than continuing the autumn theme I based this on some of my friends' favorite flowers - my young folks said it was "very her" when they saw it!
In other news, I finally finished hand quilting my daughter's Winnie the Pooh quilt yesterday - YAY! ** Happy Dance **  Now I just have to sort out binding the edges & she can have it to snuggle under, as we have had frost several nights this week this will be kind of a timely finish! Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed your visit & have a lovely weekend :-)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

October holidays

Hello hello!
I hope this finds you well & enjoying autumn? Last week Hubbie and the young folks were home on their holidays. At this stage of final year of school the holidays don't resemble anything like the school holidays of their younger years - between school work & part time jobs they don't have much more free time than in term time. So this time with one young person at work & the other studying in her room Hubbie & I decided to take the dog out to enjoy the autumn sunshine in some local woods...

The next dry days were spent working in the garden. Here in the UK it has been a terrible year for veg all round, so I don't feel too dispirited about our poor results. We also have the benefit of previous years of experience to know that it is not down to something we have done wrong, it is just the effects of the bad weather. We are lucky that for us homegrown veg is a plus not a necessity, from two packets of seed this was the ENTIRE carrot harvest....
Rather pathetic! But at least it was totally carrot fly free... We have had so little sunshine that the tomatoes are only just starting to ripen - these are the first ones from the greenhouse along with the last two courgettes...
Now the nights are getting colder we needed space in the greenhouse for some of the tender plants that don't like our winters. We figured there was little chance of getting much more out of the cucumber plants in there so took them out & so these are the last three cucumbers for this year...
Not very big, as you can see the teaspoon next to them :/ They were a new variety I was trialling this year but I don't think it has been a fair year for judging so I might end up growing this variety again next year. The one odd thing we did notice with them was that they were prickly! Where you can see each little bump there was a short white sharp prickle like a cactus. They came off easily with a scrub in the sink but if one stuck you before that you sure knew about it!
I also decided it was time to call it quits on the beetroot. They are not getting any bigger now so I lifted them, boiled the ones that were worth keeping, & sliced them ready for the pickle jar. The rich beetrooty smell invaded the kitchen whilst I worked & reinforced the autumnal feel to the day.
Again the harvest was meagre this year, but we will have a few homegrown pickled beetroot to enjoy at Christmas...
On a brighter side the autumn fruiting raspberries have got off to a great start :) We had these ones with cinnamon waffles - yum yum!
Another bright morning saw us shirking more garden chores & heading for a different patch of woodland in search of autumn colors...


 Doggie was happy to come adventuring with us, we haven't been to these particular woods in well over a year so there were lots of new smells for her!
The richest colors were to be found at the far side of the woods where the farmland starts again...
 Then it was back into the woods on the path back to the car...

Another plus with these woods is their proximity to a little quilting shop, so we had to stop by there after our walk :) I bought three small fabric bundles, one of which I plan to use for making a Christmas present next week.
The wetter days were also productive, but I will save that for the next post...
I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful month whatever the weather brings!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Monthly Makes - September

Hello there and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in Canada! 
Another month has sped by so lets have a quick look at September's makes...
September brought a birthday card, an anniversary card, and the first Christmas cards.
I decided to tackle some sewing projects from the Far Too Long pile this month; the pillowcases were finished, the quilt is still ongoing.
I had an ami request for a little seal and started two new cross stitch projects, Ladybird fairy & a Christmas stocking. Oh, and I also managed to get the third quarter of the Big Blanket finished! So a very busy month yet again!
October is always super busy here and this year is not proving any exception so far, I will have lots to share with you over the coming weeks...
Thank you for dropping by, I hope you have a lovely week!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Stitchy things

Hello there and welcome! 
Just a quick post today to share a few recent stitchy projects with you (I really MUST get on with some card making today!). First off  here's a card I made for one of my daughter's friends (no prizes for guessing which letter her name starts with!)...
This little chap was quick & fun to stitch & apparently went down a storm with the birthday girl :)
I have made a slow start to the Christmas cards this year, but here are the first three completed...


After a burst of inspiration at the end of August/ start of September I am really not feeling the Christmas spirit now - not good! If possible I prefer to make things when I'm "feeling" it as I think it tends to better results - anyone else feel this way?  Oh well I'm sure it will come eventually & in the meantime I have LOTS of other projects on the go including the Ladybird Fairy. Here is a progress pic of her after two weeks of stitching...
I am so looking forward to the next section with all the reds & golden yellows of her skirt :)
Well I think maybe another cup of coffee might get me moving in the right direction this morning... thank you for dropping by, I hope you have a lovely & productive day!