Sunday, 24 February 2013

Lovely Things in the Mail, a Challenge and an Experiment in Upcycling

I had two lovely packages in the mail this week, the first was this pair of beautiful silver coral and turquoise earrings which I was lucky enough to win in the Grow your Blog Party draw on Sharon's blog. Thank you Sharon, they are just stunning, and so me.
The second parcel came from Katherine, and contained these fabulous vintage feedsack fabrics. I am really going to have fun with these, they're gorgeous.
If that wasn't enough however, Katherine generously included this chart that she designed some years ago, long before she knew that I lived within a stone's throw of some of the places mentioned in the design. Just wow Katherine! I love it.
It's reveal day for the Needlecraft Haven Monthly Challenge. This month we stitched this design from Threadwork Primitives. I changed mine up a little bit by substituting a few speciality stitches, and finished it as a small pillow. I thought it looked a bit plain so I fastened one of my collection of vintage brooches to it to jazz it up a bit. I like the effect so much I think it might end up being used to store/display some of them in my bedroom.  I changed the date to 1813 and the initials to EB and FD as well.Five bonus litterati points to anyone who can tell why without scrolling down to the clue at the end of the post.
As for the experiment in upcycling, here is a second hand tablecloth I picked up recently.
And here it is again as a skirt. The jury is out on this one. I really like it, and think it looks pretty and summery, David thinks it still looks like a tablecloth, and Naomi's reaction was "No Mum, just no!". I'd appreciate honest opinions here, don't worry about hurting my feelings, as you can see the family don't!
And finally the clue I mentioned
As if I needed any excuse to put up a picture of Colin Firth in a wet shirt.

PS Go the The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe for a great giveaway

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's Day Bits and Pieces

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm taking part in Jo's Valentine's Day Blog Hop. Here is the secret stitchy virtual valentine photo I received.. Isn't it sweet? If you go to Jo's blog you'll find a list of all the participants. Wonder who got my photo...
I also took place in an actual Secret Valentine's Exchange via Needlecraft Haven. Look at the gorgeous little stitched ornament and all the other wonderful goodies I received. Thank you so much to my exchange partner
And here is the wool felt crazy patchwork heart I sent out. I made it using a pattern and fabrics from Madeleine Millington. This was so much fun to make, and I had enough of the fabric left to make another one at a later date.
It doesn't show in the picture but it is actually about 6" across.
I forgot to get a snap of the other items I sent with it, some cute buttons and braid and some heart shaped solid hand balm.

And finally, as soon as I saw this little Valentine's Stocking from Plum Street Samplers I knew I had to stitch it (you can find the pattern here), I changed the colours up a bit and used a delicious variegated red thread ~ Ruby Slippers from Crescent Colours. The fabric it's sitting on is the one I used to back it.
I've got one more Valentine's finish, but I can't show it yet as it's the Monthly Challenge.
Off now to check out the other participants in the blog hop!

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Small Ornament Finish

You know how it is when you read the JCS Ornament Edition. Some of the designs go straight onto your "must stitch" list, some your brain files away for possible future reference, and some you just go "Meh" but then you see them later stitched up on someone else's blog and it's like you're looking at them for the first time?
Well I was reading Dani's blog a couple of weeks back and I had just one of those epiphany moments. Wow! What was this wonderful ornament design? Surely not one from the 2012 Ornie Edition? But it was, and it was stunning.
OK Peace Pin Button by Jeanette Douglas. Move directly to the top of the stitching rotation. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.
And here is my version. It's a tiny little thing so I made it a bit more flamboyant by adding a fabric yo yo made from turquoise organza to the back. DH says it looks like a prize rosette from a sports day but what does he know? (I'm in no position to contradict him since I never won a prize rosette at sports day)

Friday, 1 February 2013

Theme-a-licious finish, progress and a winner

I've decided to join in with Heather's theme-a-licious monthly themes. 
Just an excuse to post a picture of The Doctor on my blog really. 

Anyway January's theme was "Jardin January" in which we were to work on any piece with gardens or flowers. This piece doesn't have any flowers as such but it does have berries which means there must have been flowers at some point right? This is "Holly Sampler Pouch" by Threadwork Primitives, stitched using the recommended silks. It's a little different in size to the one on the pattern cover due to a bit of a close call on the fabric size. It's a hanging pocket, the idea is to put cards or sprigs of greenery in it. I had hoped to have it finished for Christmas (hence last years's date on it) but that didn't happen. Never mind, it's ready for next year.
This picture shows my lack of progress on Scarlet Letter's Elizabeth Burrows. I've really struggled to get into the rhythm of stitching these crosses over three fabric threads. Yes, sad but true, the woman with the PhD can't count to three.
And finally the winner of the Grow Your Blog Party Giveaway, that's why you are all reading this anyway.
I put the numbers of the comments into the random number generator and it gave me back the number
(drum roll please)
which was Cathy Pavlovich
Congratulations Cathy, if you send me your address I'll get your prize in the post as soon as possible.