Friday, 26 February 2016

End of February catch up

I realised I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks - it looks like 2016 is passing as quickly as 2015 did!

We're off to Cardiff in about 15 minutes so this is a very quick update for the end of the month. We're staying with our lovely daughter and tonight we're all going to see Wales v France in the 6 Nations rugby international tournament at the Millennium Principality Stadium. We're very lucky that she has invited us along - she works for Welsh rugby.

I have completed February's Round in Circles - I did miscount but it's turned out ok. I'm still not sure what I want to do with them all but I'll continue in pink for all 12 and decide at then end.

The photo is quite odd - I've stitched on white. I use my phone to take photos as even with an anti shake on my camera I still only manage to take blurred photos. Having said that I think my phone camera is past it's best so apologies to all.

I started the beautiful Joyful World SAL - a little late but I had other stuff to stitch and I had to order a new piece of fabric. I really enjoy doing this but when it came to stitching the white it didn't look right, in fact you couldn't see it. I tried using a light shade of other colours but nothing worked so I have ordered a new piece of fabric in a darker colour, hopefully this time it will be ok.

This fabric is actually cream 
My new fabric is light taupe so fingers crossed
I completed the 4th part of my Challenge walk last Saturday - you can catch up with the route on my blog Clare's Challenge 50 (and see a bit of London)

And if you are interested in my wine and travel blog that has a post about the latest wine tasting with our scouting friends - you can read about it at Aimetu's 

Time to hit the road - sorry again for a rushed post and terrible photos !! Have a good weekend everyone x x

Monday, 15 February 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness February update

Two posts in two days - wow that's busy for me. I hope you managed to read my Valentine's Post and saw the beautiful biscornu Gill sent me for the Needlecraft Haven exchange - it was a gift but I included it in yesterdays post.

Today is Gifted Gorgeousness Day - a wonderful SAL set up by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  On the 15th of each month we share any gifts we have received or sent. It's so lovely to see everyone's work and also the kindness and thoughtfulness that goes hand in hand with our hobbies.

I have just one item to share this month - a little more next as some gifts have not yet been received.

I stitched this Owl bookmark for my friend who turned 50 last month. We were at school together and keep in touch although we don't see each other very often.

Owl bookmark 
I stitched him on plastic canvas and backed him with felt. It was a chart from Cross Stitcher magazine issue 262.

Thank you for calling by so soon after your last visit - happy GG day x x

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A Heartful Day - SSS Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day everyone x x x 

This year I'm taking part in Jo's Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop. This beautiful heart was stitched by my SSS partner - please leave a comment if this is your amazing work, it's beautiful.

If you pop along to Jo's blog, Serentipitous Stitching, you'll find the links to all the bloggers taking part in this Valentine's Blog Hop - thank you Jo for organising such a great event.

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop
It's exchange time on Needlecraft Haven but just for the ladies who met last autumn at the Nuneaton Get Together. An exchange is arranged every meet up between the members attending - everyone writes their details on a card and usually answers three questions on a theme but this time no questions were needed as the theme chosen was Valentines and the object to be stitched a biscornu.

Everyone then chooses a card to see who they will be stitching for and this time I stitched for Gill. I found this heart design online and decided to stitch a small biscornu (pin cushion size). I used a variegated thread that I had in my stash but that had lost it's tag, although I think it is DMC. I added a few beads to the edging and on the top.

There was no requirement to add anything else to the parcel but as Opening Day was today I decided to add a little something - a packet of Love Hearts and a heart hand warmer.

Top of my biscornu for Gill
Underside of my biscornu
My Valentine's parcel for Gill 
I opened my parcel this morning and it's from .... Gill - amazing out of five random picks we got each other :) Gill's biscornu is beautiful, she's made a lovely card too and included some chocolate hearts - a lovely Valentine's parcel, thank you Gill.

Top of Gill's biscornu
Underneath of Gill's biscornu
My lovely Valentine exchange from Gill
Hubby and I always celebrate Valentine's Day as we got engaged on 14th February 1986 - 30 years ago today :) We don't buy expensive gifts anymore but I did get Hubby his favourite chocolate and a little novelty gift. He surprised me with a mini chocolate cake decorated with a beautiful icing rose and yesterday gave me a dozen red roses - I'm a very lucky lady in many many ways :)

Our Valentine's Mantle
My beautiful roses
Wishing everyone a very happy Valentine's Day, may it be filled with love and friendship - enjoy Blog Hopping x x

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Flurry of finishes

I've had great fun this weekend finishing four pieces - I am not very good at finishing as my hands find it very fiddly so I tend to leave things until I have to finish them :-/

Anyway this weekend I have finished four items !! but I can only share two as the others are for an exchange and a SAL which is revealed next month.

My first shareable finish is our monthly challenge piece on Needlecraft Haven. One of our lovely members, Christine, chooses a Christmas freebie each month for us to stitch. I didn't keep up last year so have extra to do this year. I did stitch January's choice on time but didn't finish it before the end of the month. Although it is Christmas I wanted to use it for something else and haven't quite found what I'm looking for but I have now finished it ready.

Challenge 1-16 - design by Aliolka
My other finish is one for our home - I bought this kit a while ago in the Sew and So sale as I just loved the birds. It uses Anchor thread and although the colours are lovely it does twist more than DMC. I used some of my bird ribbon to finish it off - whilst it is a Christmas ribbon it matches the love birds perfectly.

Love birds 
I am very pleased to have at last found out how to tie a bow - I can hear your puzzlement but with my silly hands I find it very difficult to twist and pull a bow. However with watching the many tutorials on You Tube I have managed to find a way to tie one without having to grasp the ribbon to pull. They lie nice and flat too.

I'm so pleased to finally be able to tie them I've added on to my February box finish that sits on the mantle - this is a design by The Drawn Thread and I'll probably be adding a bow to each month.

February - The Drawn Thread
I can now share the article on my stitching in February's issue of Cross Stitch Collection. I was chosen as Blogger of the Month - an honour for sure.

I've just realised, as reading my post to check before posting, that it's all about birds !! Did you do the RSPB Bird Watch (UK) - we did and I've sent my results off. I wonder if the mild winter will show different results. I can't believe I have a daffodil in full bloom already.

Thanks for popping by, I hope your Valentine stitching is going well :-)

Monday, 1 February 2016

Welcome to February ...

.... so here is January :)

Round in Circles SAL - January 
This is the beautiful design from Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles SAL. I really enjoyed stitching it although as yet I am not sure about finishing it, or the following ones. February is out today, I have a few other bits of stitching to do but I can't wait ti start it.

January's other stitching is still secret as yet; my Needlecraft Haven monthly challenge piece is stitched but not finished and I'm not sure what I'm doing with it - I know what I want to do but can't find quite what I am looking for :(

I'm busy finishing a biscornu for our Meet Up exchange, again with the ladies from Needlecraft Haven, I have a gift to share later this month for Gifted Gorgeousness and I have yet to start the lovely January piece from The Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL.

I have however been busy crafting with Hubby - well sort of - we've been doing a 4D jigsaw of London. It's been great fun. The first layer was a jigsaw depicting London in 1666.

London 1666
 It was a little harder doing the next layer - the river stayed the same but this layer was foam pieces and showed London in 2012. The big black bits are where the buildings fit on the next stage. It is quite detailed with lots of buildings detailed.

London 2012
 And finally we added the buildings in time order (hence 4D) - it was very interesting to see which building was built when and how quickly some areas were developed. The Globe Theatre  (Shakespeare's theatre in London)was quite funny as we had to put it in 1599, take it out when it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London 1666 and put it back in when it was rebuilt in 1997

London with all it's buildings
It's hard to see from overhead as the light bounces off the puzzle, so I took a photo looking up river from the O2 Arena towards Westminster. 

Buildings looking up the Thames 
I have now completed  Route 3 of Clare's Challenge 50 - for those who don't know I am walking the route of the London Marathon in stages - you can read about our adventures on my blog Clare's Challenge 50. 

We have found out so much about London on the way  - this jigsaw covers most of our route and it was interesting to see the latest section in 1666, then 2012 both on the jigsaw and then in person when walking.
We would be walking through fields in 1666
We walked up Evelyn Street and then Lower Street
(straight up the dark road) 
I have not done any stitching this weekend either as we've been in Cardiff with our daughter - we visited Cardiff Bay marina, what a lovely area. Thee are a few photos in my wine/travel blog Aimetu's, the marina and our lovely meal out.

Wishing you all a great start to February, happy stitching x x