Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Too busy to stitch much...

Yes would you believe that in the last week I've hardly touched my stitching. It's been absolute chaos here with the end of school christmas parties, normal swimming and karate lessons.

On Sunday my mum came over from Barnsley to babysit our 3 so DH and I could go to his works Christmas party. This year it was held in a hotel called Tankersley Manor which isn't far from us but heavy snow that day meant the drive took ages. I ended up abandoning my car at the side of the hotel with the help of DH & one of the catering staff helping push it to one side. Luckily the hotel had people out with shovels and grit just after. Luckily for us we were booked in for the night, a nice warm room and change of clothes later and we hit the bar. The party was fun and didn't finish til gone 1am (latest we've been up for years apart from the kids being ill or newborn LOL!) Only bad thing was that I finally caught the sickness bug that has been going round the school and clubs. The kids had all had it but it waited til we were away and I actually relaxed before it hit me. I didn't drink much so we knew it wasn't that but I was up all night ill. My dad drove over on Monday morning and drove us home in our car where I promptly went to bed, he returned for his car later in the day.

I did manage to finish DS2s Christmas biscornu. I used the ASAW SAL alternative design by Val from Friendly Stitchers DS2 loved the little reindeer so much he wanted him made into Rudolph for him...so here he is and now hangs on our tree.

The only other  stitching I finished this week was a square for Quilts for Breast Cancer  This time the chosen design was butterflies so instead of just 1 butterfly I decided to adapt a design from the New Stitches magazine and do 4 the same but slightly different...if you get my meaning LOL!  I'm pleased with how it's turned out so hopefully the recipiant will be as well.  I've charted another 2 squares for QFBC and will start stitching those after Boxing Day so I can post all 3 together.

Although I've not done much stitching I have done a bit of stash building :-)   I've bought some more cottons, plain and hand dyed.  Bought the chart Angel of Freedom by Lavender & Lace. Picked up a hardback copy of All Our Yesterdays book from a local bookstore who were having a clearout, some of the designs inside will be great for gifts for people I know. Also got a new scroll frame to go into my Lowery (only 3 days to go!) so I can start on my Darcy Photostitch. My dad has bought me a cross stitch book I've been wanting for a while after I borrowed it from our local library...they made me give it back; spoilsports!!

I've decided that I'm going to be more organised in 2010 with my stitching and make a list of all the projects I definitely want to do or finish. I'll list them all on the side of my blog and tell you which ones I'm hoping to do.  As you can see from the WIP SAL I've changed the picture to my ASAW now the Christmas SAL is finished. I've printed the charts off for week 51 and hope to do that this week then can you believe it...a year is gone and the last one will be due out.


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Finished and Framed

Just had to put this photo first, our daughter Darcy taken Sunday morning. She came into our room and decided to sneak to my side of the bed to check if I still had a stash of chocolate but her dad caught her.

Here finally is a photograph of the Margaret Sherry design "Photographer Cat" that I stitched for DH. Managed to finally find a frame I liked and best of all it's a stand-alone frame so doesn't have a fiddly back on it.

My Christmas SAL also came to a close after I'd stitched DD initials in the circles. Found this frame by accident while I was looking for something else. I would have preferred a purple border inside but they didn't have any the right size so white was the best choice. DD shouted "Pretty" when she saw it framed so that's all that counts, it's going to be hung in her bedroom after Christmas. Thank you Carole for a fantastic SAL.

In the last week I finally started my butterfly square for the Quilts for Breast Cancer group, I couldn't find a butterfly that I liked so have adapted a design from one of my magazines. Instead of just 1 butterfly there are 4, each slightly different although all in the same colours. It should be finished by the weekend. Another square I've been working on I've had to design as I couldn't find a chart of an old fashioned pitcher jug. Most of the chart is done it just needs a bit of 'tweaking' here and there then I can start stitching it.

I'm also working on my A Stitch A Week with Friendly Stitchers, I've completed the centre panel and have last weeks square to stitch. Can't believe there are only a few weeks left of 2009, I notice it more with how many squares are left to stitch rather than a calender! Abi has designed a wonderful Band Sampler for next years FS SAL, I've already bought the material so just need to choose threads now.

Last week was soooo busy here. DS1 had his normal karate lesson on Wednesday & Thursday, then on Friday we were told that he needed to be there at 5pm for a full dress rehearsal for their Christmas Show that weekend. Argh! Not only did Peter have school but he was going to see a pantomime (cinderella) in Chesterfield that afternoon, the coach didn't arrive back at school until 4.50pm so it was a quick rush back to Sheffield Dragons, into his costume and off he went to practice. Luckily the Little Dragons could come out at just gone 6pm so I changed him into his party clothes as...yep you guessed it...he had a party to go to, one of the girls in his school was having a 6th birthday party at a nearby play centre. Our poor little man had been out from 8.30am til 9pm, he's only 5 so is used to being in bed by 7pm. Saturday he slept in a bit but that night it was back to Sheffield Dragons for his show, I went and videoed it but we didn't get back until 9.15pm after all the Little Dragons were presented with a certificate for taking part so he was in bed late again. Up late again on Sunday and this time DH & I went so he took some photographs...we brought Peter out at the halfway interval so he was in bed an hour earlier. Monday morning he had his school nativity concert...which was fabulous so big clap to Beighton Nursery Infant School for a wonderful show. It made the weeks of hearing him sing Rockin Robin and Rockin Around The Christmas Tree worth it. DH took some photographs but everytime he saw his dad with the camera he put his head down. We've only got DS2s nativity on Thursday and then it's quiet time again...I'll be glad of the rest and being able to spend a bit more time at home stitching rather than being a taxi!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Never Give Up Hope

Here is my Hope project all finished after staying up late to stitch on the last beads. Showed it to my daughter Darcy this morning and she said "Darcy's" so even at 23mths old she knows what she wants!  For anyone who hasn't seen the sister design Believe that I completed in November the designs are out of a book called "Bewitching Cross Stitch" by Joan Elliott. It's stitched on 28ct Sparkling Fairy Tale by Sparklies using normal DMC stranded cottons and Mill Hill Beads. I'm so pleased with how it's turned out :-)

I've also finally completed a Christmas ornament for my children. This is a snowman stitched on plastic canvas, bought it ages ago but only just finished it off. 

Also managed to complete a couple of small items for the kids and a silver snowman. Not quite sure what to do with the snowman though, card, frame or ornament?

This week I'm going to try and catch up on my SALs. I've only part 12 and Darcy's initials to go on my Christmas SAL then its completed. I've started the centre panel on my A Stitch A Week SAL, after that I'm a couple of squares behind but the postman has delivered my fairy charm for the centre of one of them. Hope you're all having lots of relaxing stitching time inbetween getting ready for the festivities. Take Care XX

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Stitching Progress

As regular visitors will by now have realised the photograph at the top has changed. It's now turned cold here in Yorkshire but 2 weeks ago DH, Darcy and myself went off to Bakewell for the morning. It was quite cold and windy but the sun was shining gloriously, even the threat of rain didn't happen until we got back to Sheffield. This photo is taken overlooking part of the Peak National Park, we just pulled into the side of the road so DH could hop out of the car with his camera. I'll bet the photos taken in winter with snow down would be fabulous...not volunteering to drive DH then!

I've finally caught up with my Christmas SAL, completed part 11 this lunchtime while daughter Darcy was having a nap and both sons were in school. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out even though I did change my mind twice on whether to put 2009 or Noel on it. As you can see in the end I decided on 2009 so that I can put Darcy's initials in the circles.

Tonight I've finally started on the sister design to my Believe project, this one is called Hope. I'm sewing it on hand dyed 28ct called "Sparkling Fairy Tale" by Sparklies Luckily I bought this before they went to the Harrogate Show as certain members from Friendly Stitchers (Hello Mouse!) (we have reliably been informed) raided their stall LOL!

I've also managed to complete the 3rd part of my Christmas Wallhanging. Most of this was sewn while our eldest son Peter was in his karate class. He goes twice a week after school and each class is 45 minutes long, my dad usually has our younger son Luke with him as he gets bored waiting and daughter Darcy is with me but she loves sitting watching them practise on the CCTV. She's even picked up how to do the first Kata, she can't start lessons until she's 3 so heaven knows how much she'll be able to do in another years time after watching her brother! Must get moving on part 4 or I'll never get it sewn in time for this Christmas and there's only 3 weeks to go now. I did want to put baubles and trimmings on it but Peter said no after we'd read the story "The Little Christmas Tree"...who am I to argue with a 5yr old?!

Finally here is December's Calendar square, no December fairy yet as she's had to be put to one side while I caught up on my SALs and other projects that needed completing urgently.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Small Finish

This is a square I've just completed for my Quilts for Breast Cancer group. The design came from a set of 12 which all complete to form an afghan, I've never made the afghan just found the designs sat in my chart box. If anyone out there would like the set of 12 designs please email me
privately and I'll send them to you.

Today while I was sat in playgroup with daughter Darcy we had a delivery by Parcel Force. Not in they took it to our local post office where I collected it this afternoon......hurray its my Lowery Workstand from Sew and Sew. DH ordered it on Sunday night as my Christmas present. He says I can't have it until Christmas though...grrr! As payback his new flashgun arrived just after he left for work....its out of his Christmas money so I've let him test it just to make sure it works and now its back in its box until Christmas Day!!!

Thank you for all your comments, I do appreciate them and try to look at as many of your photos and blogs as I can.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Believe...and it shall be finished!

This week I finished a small project I'd been working on for our daughter Darcy titled "Believe". I've stitched it on a lovely 32ct hand dye called Summer Skies by Sparklies. I'm pleased with how it turned out and I have some more hand dye from Sparklies to do the sister design called "Hope"

I've also managed to complete one of my Christmas wall quilt squares, this one is just Merry Christmas. I've done a snowman, this one and have nearly finished a tree. The fourth one will either be a stocking or a present...I just can't decide at the minute.

I'm still not caught up on my Christmas SAL, have part 9 to do. I completed weeks 44 and 45 on my A Stitch A Week SAL which I'm pleased with (2 weeks behind on that now) I decided to do week 45s design of an umbrella for week 44 and instead of cross stitch I used some hand dyed thread and did pattern darning, for the raindrops I used beads. Week 45 fell on Remembrance Sunday so I stitched a poppy in remembrance of my grandad who served in the Navy during WW2.

What am I working on now....I'm halfway through a square for the QFBC then I want to catch up on my SALS before starting the Hope project. DH is buying me a Lowery frame for Christmas so when that arrives I'll be able to start on my photostitch properly...can't wait :-) and I've another 2 squares for QFBC so need to pick up so more fabric as I've the designs all picked out.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Return To The Sea

Last night I finally finished my Return To The Sea sampler. It's all backed in a co-ordinating fabric and has a little hook sewn into the top so it can hang in our bedroom. I really enjoyed sewing this and have 2 more of Tanya's charts on the literary theme.

Now I'm catching up on my Christmas SAL, I want to make the Karate Dog by Margaret Sherry in this months Cross Stitcher magazine for our eldest Peter, grid my monopoly project and that's not counting my Darcy photostitch. DH is off work next week so hopefully I can manage to get an hour during each day to stitch without any children.

Back to my needle I go.......

Friday, 6 November 2009

November Already

Can you believe we're in November already? Doesn't seem that long ago since DH and I took our eldest Peter for his first day at full time school. The weather has definitely changed, lots of rain in the past couple of weeks and the cold spell is now here.

Here's my November calendar piece and the verse just sums up the weather here in Yorkshire.

To cheer us up here's a little November Flower Fairy

And last but definitely not least here's my progress on my latest project. Return to the Sea by The Sampler Girl. I've only the quote at the top to sew then I can finish it off. I'm thinking hand stitch the sides with co-ordinating thread, back it and make it into a wall hanging.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Christmas SAL

A while ago I signed up to do a Christmas SAL from a blog I read. Carole (whose blog it is) put the colours as either blue or multicoloured. I was going to do it in blue but then changed my mind after I decided to stitch it for my daughter Darcy.

Darcy had her first christmas last year but it didn't go well at all. First my grandad was in hospital (he died between Christmas and New Years), our youngest son Luke was very ill over the period and on Boxing Day I fell in the carpark of Sheffield Children's Hospital and broke my hand...didn't know this until 10days later when I finally went to Casualty to have it checked out! So poor Darcy didn't have the best time, I've decided that this year as she's nearly 2 we'll pull out all the stops for her.

This SAL i've done in shades of purple and in the circles am going to put her name and this years date. Then it can be hung up for her.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A Stitch A Week

Being confined to bed for the last 2 days by DH I've finally managed to finish week 42 of my A Stitch A Week SAL. Week 42 was a little mouse collecting berries, instead of blackberries (as they'd been week 41s subject) I decided red berries and did these in smyrna stitch. Week 43 completed today I loved as it was autumn leaves with acorns. My 2 young sons are loving autumn and running through the leaves, even DD voluntarily got out of her pram to run through the leaves last week in Clumber Park.

Still have the centre panel to do but I've all the silks out ready for it...wonder if DH will give me another day in bed? LOL!! Can't believe there's only another 9 weeks before this SAL is completed, really enjoying stitching this and working all the different stitches.

Thank you to everyone who takes time to read my blog and leave comments. I spend many hours reading other peoples blogs, I leave comments as much as I can and love looking at what everyone has been stitching.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

October Calendar

We're more than halfway through October and here I am only just putting my calendar square on...where has the time gone? The garden is a mass of leaves much to my boys delight and every day I wrap Darcy up just a little bit more...at least she keeps her hat on now that the boys are wearing theirs! I don't mind autumn so much as its great for walking (as long as its not windy..not fond of the wind) and it reminds me that soon I'll get lots of stitching time as it'll be too cold to be out for very long. Methinks this year I'll put a daylight lamp on my Xmas wish list for DH :-)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Small Finish

Well I think I'm finally on a roll with 3 finishes in a few weeks. This time it's a square for my Quilts for Breast Cancer group. The theme for this one was the beach and I chose this one as it's so bright and cheerful that it reminds me of summer...what little we had!

The design came from the book Cross Stitch By The Sea by Ursula Michael. First came across this book in our local library and loved it that much that I got my own copy so the library could finally have their own back.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Jane Austin Finish

After finally finishing my Oriental Longevity square I decided to stitch something for me. Literary Little #1 Mr Darcy by The Sampler Girl. DH laughed when he read it...said it was true, CHEEK!! LOL Stitched on 32ct Antique linen that I found in the bottom of my stash box then framed myself today after finding just the right frame, it will sit in our bedroom on the new dressing table when its here (very soon now..yippee as our wardrobe is falling to bits more each day). Unfortunately my camera and the lighting in our lounge hasn't helped the photograph, it looks wrinkled in the frame, its not, David Bailey I'm not!!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A Finish Finally!

Don't faint but I've actually finished my Oriental Square for my yahoo group QFBC.

Never thought I'd get this one done, its taken me a lot longer than I planned. It's done on 18ct white aida in 1 strand, did start it in 2 strands but looked too bulky for such a delicate flower design round the edges so unpicked and started again.

Darcy has been ill for the last few weeks, thought it had gone after the first set of antibiotics but within a few days of her finishing the course it came back. Dr said it obviously needed a longer course than normally given so gave her some more, on day 3 of the 2nd set and she's doing fantastic.......AND I got some sleep last night :-) So tonight I sat down after all the kids went to bed at 7pm and was determined to finish it off with the gold stitching round the top and the ying yang symbol.

Think I'll work on my ASAW sal as I'm nearly caught up before starting my next square for QFBC. This time its a beach themed one so my new book "Cross Stitch By The Sea" has come in handy.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A small finish

I've been working hard on my oriental square for the Quilts for Breast Cancer group which is taking a lot longer than I thought. Just for a break for a couple of nights I decided to do a quick Christmas design I found on the internet, here is a photo of how it turned out.

I really enjoyed making it as it was a change from my cross stitch project. Its sewn on some fine cotton material I found in my quilting box, as it was so fine I put a backing on to give it some thickness for ease of sewing. Think I may do another couple of these in Christmassy themes then turn them into a mini wall hanging that can come out every year with the decorations.

I recently took part in a stitching exchange with the Friendly Stitchers group I belong to. The aim was to make something that could be hung in your partners stitching place. I was paired with Abi and this is what she made for me: In the parcel was the lovely mermaid hanging, a Sun Sea & Stitching designed by Abi and a Country Cottage chart with the hand dyed threads to make it with.I love anything to do with the sea, coast so these were just right for me. Thank you Abi, I love them X

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Karate Boo

This morning our eldest son Peter (AKA Boo) was in his first karate competition which was held as part of the Woodhouse Fun Day in our village. Woodhouse is a suburb of Sheffield city but still has its little village feel with a town square and local shops so every year we hold a summer fun day and also a winter festival where the local Woodhouse band perform christmas carols.

These are some of the photos of my little Peter doing his stuff. Master Terry is stood behind him keeping an eye on his Little Dragons. Terry runs Woodhouse Dragon, their Team Elite have some of the British Karate Championship members. http://www.woodhouse-dragon.com/ The little boy behind in the blue and red jacket is youngest son Luke, who clapped like mad when his brother finished. I'm the one peaking round from behind Terry so I could see my son 'do his stuff!' My nan is sat inbetween us cheering her great grandson on.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Darcy playing Elizabeth Bennett

DH took a photo of our 19mth old DD in the garden this afternoon. As soon as I saw it she reminded me of Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice played by Jennifer Ehle.

What do you think? She was named after Mr Darcy; DH wouldn't agree to Elizabeth or Jane so I had to sneak Darcy in! I think the ringlets down the side of her face complete the look...although it would help more if he'd cleaned her face after her Oreo biscuit before taking her photo..MEN! LOL

Sheffield from the air!

Sheffield has its own Big Wheel for a while. Its at the end of one of our main town centre shopping areas. Looks huge inbetween both the historic and the new buildings and towers over everything. The scenes from the top are amazing, showing quite a bit of Sheffield but obviously not all of it.

These are a few pictures that DH took through the tinted glass of Sheffields wheel.

One view from the top showing one side of the city into the distance.

Looking up into the newly refurbished Barkers Pool area. The red metal is where the old cinema used to be, it closed down years ago and now houses shops such as Mothercare and Early Learning Centre.

Showing another view over Sheffield. We are the 4th largest city in England and are the only city that incorporates some of the National Park into its borders. Over 61% of our city is greenspace and we have more trees per person than any other European city. (Not in our back garden though as DH & I both hate gardening!!)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Quick Applique Project

As I searched through my boxes of stash (both cross stitch and quilting) I found a pattern that I'd had for years but not yet done. All the equipment was inside the bag ready, it just needed cutting out and putting together. You can't really tell from the picture but its got beads, buttons, bows, french knots, blanket stitch, stem stitch and cross stitch on it.

I've turned it into a mini wall-hanging which now hangs in our bedroom. I'm pleased with how its turned out to say I completed it in a day.

Managed to wrestle my Amish quilted pillow from my son Luke to wash it today. Made this when I went to a 1 day course at our local Hobbycraft (unfortunately they've stopped doing them now). It was all hand stitched and then my mum found some dark green material and made it into a pillowcase for me. My son Luke, who is 3, says it is his pillow and isn't impressed when I take it for washing but its getting a lot of wear and tear now.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A Finish at last

Yes, don't faint but my Upsy Daisy UFO is finally finished. Stayed up a bit later last night to put the finishing stitches in round the eyes. I was going to make it into a cushion for our daughter Darcy but DH wants it framed, don't think it'll be long before that happens as DH wants it on her wall. She laughed this morning when I showed it to her and shouted "Daisy" (sat in her highchair and with a mouthfull of toast!)

Big THANK YOU to Sue for lending me her Upsy Daisy chart (promise I'll bring it you back now LOL) after sitting chatting for years at our local playgroup and another baby later we discover that we both love cross stitch! You're a star sweetie X

Now I can catch up on my ASAW and finish the oriental square I'm working on for QFBC. Don't you just love a finish!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Thank you for all your votes on which Darcy to send for charting. It seems Purple Darcy was the overwhelming favourite. The photograph has been printed and duly sent off for charting so I'll let you know when I start to kit up for it. Can't believe how long its been since I last wrote, the weeks have just flown past trying to keep 3 children amused during the summer holidays. Today we're all going swimming with my dad (so he and the children will be asleep at lunchtime LOL)

We were on holiday for a week in August, where I did hope to get more stitching done as I'd taken Darcys Upsy Daisy WIP with me. Didn't do as much as I'd hoped as we were out everyday with the children BUT I'm pleased to say I've nearly done her. It seems in my experience that the simplest designs take longer to sew than the complicated ones.

While we were away I called into a charity shop to see if I could find something to read while sat on the beach. Managed to get a Lee Child book that I'd missed but also (and more importantly for me!) picked up more stash. A lady had been having a clearout and taken in a pile of linen and silks. The linens which usually retail at £5 plus I got for £1.50 each and apart from two of them having a small square cut out of the bottom corner all 7 pieces were new still in their packaging. They were all big pieces as well. I got three 32ct and 4 28ct as well as a green metallic DMC skein and another purple skein which were 40p each. DH was outside the shop with the kids so didn't know until I came out, think he's learnt not to argue now as he just sighed - LOL

My ASAW is coming along great. Just before we went away I managed to complete weeks 27 & 28 which are the side panels. Still a few weeks behind but am totally concentrating on Upsy Daisy at the minute. DH picked the colour for the flowers in the side panels, he liked indigo with gold centres (he's getting into this sampler now!)

Been busy getting the material ready for starting Darcy's quilt as well. Decided to do a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. She'll be made out of Darcy's old clothes that I've kept so it'll be full of memories for me when its on her bed. Definitely be something I have to work on when the kids are out though!

Only 2 weeks to go before Darcy starts nursery now. I'll take her in on the Friday and stay with her for 2hrs to settle her in then the week after on Thursday 10th Sept she'll be there from 9-12.30 once a week. Oooohh ME TIME! I'll use the 3hrs to work just on one project every week, haven't decided to wait until the photostitch is done or start the Bothy Threads Noah's Ark cut thru as I've just ordered some lovely hand dyed 32ct linen for it. Probably go for Noah's Ark as the boys keep asking about it.

This week I've to start my square for the Quilts for Breast Cancer. Its an oriental piece, a lovely simple design but looks fabulous. Had it kitted for a couple of weeks but need to get started so I can post it off. There are 4 in the set and like them so much that I've also kitted up the other 3 to do for myself! I've also started my Friendly Stitchers exchange....not going to post a picture of what I'm sewing though otherwise it won't be a surprise LOL!