Wednesday 28 December 2011

Christmas Stash Goodness

Did Santa bring you all everything you wanted then? Apparently I must have been "A Good Girl", as I received some wonderful knitting and stitching gifts from family and friends. The girls gave me these two wickedly subversive knitting books (Dominknitrix and Punk Knits),  ~ complete with a dayglo pink post it note detailing which items they'd like me to knit for them first!!!

Clare sent me a Thornton's chocolate reindeer (yum) and a pair of  matched hand dyed perle and stranded cotton threads in a beautiful blue and aqua colour combo, perfect for some colourful Hardanger. Sorry about the dodgy photo but I was trying to include the twig reindeer Eloise made, and he kept falling over everytime I went to take the picture. Clare also sent me a  lovely crochet booklet for my Birthday.

Karan sent me this fabulous assortment of purple silks, and an adorable gingerbread penguin. I shall have to put my thinking cap on to figure out what to do with them (well, not the penguin, I pretty much know what to do with him already)
I got a fat quarter of cream evenweave as my final gift in the Needlecraft Haven advent exchange, 

and Pat (no blog as far as I am aware) sent me this super gift in the VSCyberstitchers Christmas Exchange, a Sweetheart Tree kit for the sweetest little holly biscornu, a set of DMC variegated threads and a simply gorgeous angel statuette/ornament, who may just stay on my mantelpiece all year round.
Thank you everyone, I feel thoroughly spoiled.
Back soon with an update on the Travelling Pattern and all the crafty things I've been getting up to lately...

Saturday 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

I'd just like to take a moment to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas
and look at that, actual berries, on the holly from my garden. It's only taken it ten years!

Thursday 22 December 2011

A TARDIS, advent and half a summerhouse

That's right, I have half a summerhouse, and yes, I do realise it's the middle of winter, but we've been waiting ages for it to be delivered.
Hopefully the roof will go on in the next couple of days, then we can do something about the desolate swamp in front of it. It used to be a lawn once.
By summer it is going to be lovely (she said hopefully)

Here are my most recent gifts in the secret advent exchange on Needlecraft Haven
I received a gingerbread cookies scented candle, a handy notebook, a diary for next year,  two propelling pencils, a mini flexi light which will be ideal to clip to my embroidery frame, and some adorable giraffe slipper socks. 
I'm enjoying this exchange so much.
And finally a TARDIS.

Because I am weak.

And sad.

And a geek.

And I saw it and had to have it.

You can just see the top edge of the Golden Snitch ornament in the bottom of the picture, and the dalek one at the top, and I have decided that the brass one with the stag is definitely Harry's Patronus. There is even a matching doe on the other side of the tree for Severus and Lily. I might just have the world's nerdiest tree. 
Anyone know where I can buy a glass Millenium Falcon?

Friday 16 December 2011

Yet another ornament

Surely this must be the last one for this Christmas...

This one is Joy of the Snowflake by Little by Little, from this year's JCS Ornament Edition. I changed the colours around (brown snowflakes just weren't working for me), and went with this lime and orange combo and trimmed it with lime pompoms, which I thought went well with the retro feel of the piece.
And here are my next four gifts from the Advent Exchange, a winter berry scented tealight,  a cosy fleece scarf in a soft lilac colour, a bath mitt and a lemongrass scented candle. 
I hope the person I sent to is enjoying her gifts as much as I am enjoying mine

Monday 12 December 2011

Advent Days 9-12 and a Challenge

Here are gifts 9-12 from my Advent Exchange, a hand towel with a stitchable band for personalisation, a set of handy highlighter pens for marking off charts, knitting patterns etc (if the girls don't pinch them), a packet of assorted emery boards and some lovely hand cream and body scrub. This exchange is so much fun.
I can show the ornament I sent to Melanie in the Gift of Stitching exchange now, I killed two birds with one stone and used the design from the Nov/Dec Challenge on Needlecraft Haven so I couldn't show it until Reveal Day which was yesterday.
Our challenge was either of these two designs from Log Cabin Needlework. I chose the Noel design and stitched it in WDW and Thread Gatherer threads, it is finished with a flamboyant bow that started life on a box of Thornton's, and is backed with the vintage fabric shown (Rag Rescue again). I really love this one and may have to stitch it again for myself.
The album is here and shows what a difference thread choices can make to a design.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Invasion of the daleks and an advent exchange

There is the very slightest outside edge of a possibility that I might be a teensy bit of a geek...
Here is what I made yesterday.
I drew him on plain cotton fabric with a black sharpie (still getting that slight bleed problem), then couched the mini string of Christmas lights down and stretched him over mountboard.

He is now sitting in the tree practising his extermination techniques on unsuspecting ornaments whilst waiting for the Dr Who Christmas Special.

Meanwhile I've been opening my gifts in the Needlecraft Haven Advent Exchange. So far I have received a handy mending kit, some snuggly stripey socks, a mobile phone usb adaptor set (very useful), pot pourri, a handbag keyring, hair clamps, two skeins of yummy thread and a lovely photo frame, and I'm feeling rather spoiled, so a huge thank you to my secret benefactor.

and I couldn't resist the temptation to include my selection of vintage baubles somewhere in this post.

Monday 5 December 2011

The Travelling Pattern, Another Ornament and a Golden Snitch

I've been lucky enough to be chosen as the next stitcher for the Travelling Pattern. I'm hoping to get it stitched up before Christmas, so watch this space...
In the meantime I've finished up another ornament. This one is from this year's Christmas Ornament Issue of The Gift of Stitching magazine. Those little reindeer just crack me up.
And then she went on Pinterest again... 
Don't all groan at once!
This time I found this tutorial from Tiny Apartment Crafts, for making a Harry Potter Golden Snitch ornament, and in no time flat I was up to my eyes in glue and glitter.
The original tutorial mentioned some problems getting the wings to stick to the bauble, so instead of making them individually, and sticking them on I made the pair from a continuous piece of wire with a little circular loop between them, then when they were dry I popped the ferule off the top of the bauble, dropped the loop over the neck and stuck the ferule back on. Clear as mud? I should have taken a picture halfway through. Anyway here it is, my very own Golden Snitch.
Off now to try and clean the holographic glitter off my keyboard!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Ornaments, apples and hooky

And here we are in December! Hi to anyone who has come over here via the Advent Calender on Jo's Blog. A Christmassy post for you all.

The Needlecraft Haven Ornament Exchange finished last week. Here is the ornament I sent to Mary (no blog as far as I am aware)
This is He's a Flake by LHN, stitched on  hand dyed linen from The Crafty Kitten, and backed with the vintage fabric shown, which I bought from Rag Rescue (well worth a visit), and finished with a few pompom "snowballs".

And here is the one I recieved from Barb. Thank you Barb, I totally love it, it is so pretty and delicate and stitched entirely over 1.
It also came wrapped up in the Christmas fabric it is sitting on, which was very thoughtful.

I've also taken part in an ornament exchange via The Gift of Stitching, here is the beautiful ornament I received from Melanie (Don't know of any blog for Melanie either). It looks like a real vintage glass ornament doesn't it? 
Thank you Melanie, its just lovely.
I can't show you the one I sent to Melanie because I used the Monthly Challenge design and it's not reveal day yet, I'll bore you with that one later ;D.

And what about the apples and hooky I hear you ask. Well ta da!
A snuggly little apple cosy a la Mollie Makes.
I've wanted to make one of these since the fabulous Mollie Makes was first launched, and Eloise has been desperate for a cosy to keep her poor neglected little apple safe and warm on it's perilous journey into college.  I mean the girl has literally been pining for an apple cosy. 
If you've been following this blog for a while you'll know that crochet is something I struggle with but last week I bit the bullet and had a go and just like Eliza Doolittle "By George, I think she's got it!"
OK so attempt one was more like a grapefruit cosy, but, 
Look. At. That.
Can you tell I'm excited?
I suspect I may have found a new addiction. Ho Hum.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Another Day, Another Wreath

Or, I Must Stop Looking On Pinterest. Maybe I should write that out a hundred times, but then I'd probably look on Pinterest for an idea for something to do with a sheet of handwriting...
Anyway I saw all these lovely wool and felt wreaths on there so obviously I had to have a go. 
This one was easy. Doesn't even merit a tutorial, just a few instructions.
Get a polystyrene wreath base and wrap it in wool (allow yourself plenty of time it takes about a zillion times longer than you think) securing the ends with a dab of glue. 
Add some spiral felt roses and leaves, a few diamante florist's pins and ta-da! 
This one is for indoors, I don't think it would stand up too well to our Cornish weather.
I've made some bits of jewellery too, but they are for gifts so I can't post pictures on here yet

Sunday 20 November 2011

Wreathed in smiles!

I'm smiling because I got the most wonderful surprise in the post last week. Barb sent me this gorgeous stained glass penguin that her husband had made. I believe I may have mentioned once or twice that I love penguins.
The label says that his name is Percy and that he will hang in my window and watch out for Killer Whales. I don't suppose he is likely to spot any, but he's probably quite glad about that.
Thank you Barb, I adore him!
I have sent out two stitched ornaments this week, and received a very beautiful one myself, but as these are exchanges I can't show any pictures yet. Watch this space.
I can show these though. You can blame Pinterest for inspiring my recent flurry of creativity.
I am loving my new bracelet, made from a vintage tape measure I bought from Rag Rescue.  I dangled a little key from the toggle for a steampunk/chatelaine sort of look. It is incredibly hard to use your left hand to take a picture of your right hand! My fingers really aren't freakishly short and stubby, its a perspective thing. Honest.
And here is a Christmas Wreath (Aha! Now you see the clever pun in the post title) made from three packs of cheap baubles from Asda  (and a handful of teeny silver ones from the local florists), a wire coat hanger, and a lot of hot glue.
Not convinced I should have included the two larger glittery silver ones one either side. I think my snowman maybe singing falsetto this year...

Friday 11 November 2011

A catch up post

I've been very busy crafting lately and I've got lots of makes to show today. First up is my finish for the monthly Challenge at Needlecraft Haven. We chose this design from The Primitive Hare. The album is here
Of course I made a few changes because, well when do I not? Finished as a large hanging ornament. I know it is probably meant to be for Hallowe'en but it has just kind of stayed up...
Next, the girls decided they wanted me to decorate some plimsolls for them. These are just done with Sharpie markers on plain white shoes. If anyone has any idea how to stop the slight bleeding you get when you do this I'd be very grateful.
Eloise had comic book heroes on one foot and villains on the other.
Naomi decided she wanted hers inspired by the Manga story and movie "Deathnote"

After that I bought some mini aluminium buckets and modpodged vintage labels from The Graphics Fairy onto them. 
I put button bouquets into the smaller ones, I'll use the larger ones for packaging Christmas Presents.

Everything was going swimmingly and then I discovered Pinterest. Oh dear. You could drown in the number of amazing craft ideas you can find on there. I was very taken with this idea from Flamingo Toes for upcycling old jumpers to make stylish and cosy headwraps. You know me, I'm a see it, have to do it right away sort of girl, so I dashed straight down to the charity shop and bought a couple of old jumpers, and here are the results (also a scratch on my face where the machine needle snapped whilst trying to go through three layers of jumper and flew up and hit me, but I don't have a picture of that!)
Right, back off to Pinterest to decide what I'm making next...

Linking this post to Brag Monday at the Graphics Fairy

Saturday 29 October 2011

My kids are NOT weird

I keep telling myself that. 
I came home a couple of days ago to find this giant game of Space Invaders all over my patio doors. 
How totally awesome is that? 
We won't mention the large lego model of a skull that appeared on the mantelpiece, or the bottle garden graveyard in the kitchen. No, we'll just pretend that is the perfectly rational behaviour of perfectly well adjusted teenagers...

I've been doing a bit of making myself. Some teeny tiny button bouquets (the buckets are thimbles). These now have chains added to make them into pendants.

The cuttlebug attacked last year's Christmas cards, and now I have some new ones for this year
And here we see Eloise in her new spats that she asked me to knit for her. I wouldn't have worn them over boots myself, seems to defeat the object. 
No, not weird at all!

Tuesday 18 October 2011


I numbered your comments and popped over to and the random number generator picked Julie.
Congratulations Julie! Keep an eye out for the postie :)

Sunday 9 October 2011

Apples and Pears and a Giveaway

So, the latest issue of Mollie Makes plopped through the letter box last week, and on the front cover were these wonderful cuddly toy fabric apples and pears, well I just had to make some of those so I had a rummage through my fabric scrap bag.
Result: Lots of greens - bright greens, muted greens, soft greens, vintage greens, more green fabric, in fact, than you could shake a stick at. Not so much with the reds. All my red scraps were Christmas fabrics. Now I'm definitely planning some lovely Christmas apples, but I needed Autumn apples right now!
Fast forward to Thursday. I'm passing my local knitting and fabric shop on the way home from work, and spot my friend inside, so I pop in for a natter, thinking I can pick up a fat quarter of a nice red print while I'm there.
Oh no, not so simple, instead I find myself buying an entire Jelly Roll. Honestly, I have no idea how these things happen...

Well, now that I've got my lovely Jelly Roll it'd be a pity to waste it right? Yes, that's what I thought, so this is what I've spent the last couple of days making.
Now, I'm not one of life's natural quilters, so I'm not showing you the reverse side, but I'm pretty chuffed with it.
Oh, and I've hit the hundred followers mark, so I'm thinking "Giveaway".
I'll make a cuddly pear (more green fabric than red, remember) for the winner, and perhaps include some other bits and pieces too.
No fancy hoops to jump through to enter, just join as a follower (or already be one) and comment on this post. I'll draw a winner next Sunday.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Definitely a bit on the autumn side

Last week it was summer, this week its not, almost like someone got up on Monday morning and remembered to turn the autumn switch on.
See, autumn :-

I've been busy doing autumnal things like pickling beetroot and making sloe gin and blackberry jam. One of the jars of sloe gin has had a slight leakage issue in the garage. Smells like a brewery in there!
Craftwise I've been doing a bit of knitting, here is a little jumper I knitted for a friends baby grandson, and making felt Christmassy things inspired by the book in my previous post. Pictures of those to follow.
Up to 98 followers now, I feel a bit of a giveaway coming on when I reach 100...

Friday 23 September 2011

A stash happy post

I haven't done too much stitching the last few weeks, in fact I was beginning to think about filing a missing persons report for my mojo, but my inner squirrel has been merrily aquiring stash ready for the winter, and every post seems to bring more exciting goodies.
Exciting postal delivery #1
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a gift certifciate on Missy's blog. The certificate was for Down Sunshine Lane, a shop I'd never used before, but will definitely be using again, they have a great range of stock, and fast and friendly service. Here are some of the goodies I got :-
Live Laugh Love by La D Da. I'm not normally a huge fan of quaker style designs, but this one definitely called to me.
A huge bundle of threads, the ones pulled to the left are for the La D Da.
And a couple of round finishing forms. I Haven't ever tried these before but I figure it's got to be easier/neater than messing around with cardboard circles, and they will come in handy with...

Exciting postal delivery #2
The 2011 JCS Ornament Edition. The only problem is deciding which ones to stitch first. Its nearly October already you know.
And on the subject of stitching for Christmas...
Exciting postal delivery #3
Fa la la la Felt
If anyone heard me squealing out loud with delight recently, this book is entirely the reason why.
Here are just a couple of my favourite projects from it:

Thursday 1 September 2011

Another Haitus

This one at the hands of TalkTalk, who apparently don't ListenListen. As you may know, my mother in law has been staying with us for a while as she was between houses, having moved out of her old house before her new flat was available. Anyway a couple of weeks ago she contacted TalkTalk to disconnect her old phone and set up a new line in the new flat. Obviously she called from our house and therefore from our number. Next morning I get up - no internet, half an hour later we realise no phone either, so we ring TalkTalk from a mobile.
Yes, you've guessed it, at some point they must have asked MIL what number she was calling from and she'd quoted ours so; on the authority of someone whose account wasn't registered at our address, and whose account was for a totally different phone number and area code, and who doesn't even share our surname; they disconnected our phone!

We were on the phone to them for nearly two $*&#! hours. The conversation went something like this:-
Them: How can we help?
Us: Our phone's been disconnected
Them: You asked us to disconnect it
Us: No we didn't, you've made a mistake. Can you reconnect us?
Them: You need to order a new line, it will take 7-10 days
Us: We don't want a new line, we want our line back
Them: Oh I can't do that, that number is no longer available. You will need a new number. I'll transfer you to Dept X.
several minutes of annoying music
Them: How can we help?
Us: Our phone's been disconnected
Them: You asked us to disconnect it
Us: No we didn't, you've made a mistake. Can you reconnect us?
Them: You need to order a new line, it will take 7-10 days
Us: We don't want a new line, we want our line back
Them: Oh I can't do that, that number is no longer available. You will need a new number. I'll transfer you to Dept Y.
several minutes of annoying music
Them: How can we help?
Us: Our phone's been disconnected
Them: You asked us to disconnect it
Us: No we didn't, you've made a mistake. Can you reconnect us?
Them: You need to order a new line, it will take 7-10 days
Us: We don't want a new line, we want our line back
Them: Oh I can't do that, that number is no longer available. You will need a new number. I'll transfer you to Dept Z.
several minutes of annoying music
and so on and on and on. They were adamant it was impossible to reconnect us to our existing number, it was "gone" and couldn't be retrieved. We were not very happy as you can imagine. At one point I actually threw the mobile across the room (at a pile of fluffy cushions, I'm not completely barking mad).
Anyway to cut a long story short, we are now with Orange.  They got us reconnected, got us our old number back (perfectly possible, you just have to contact BT, I suspect talkTalk employees are not permitted to say anything to you which would send you to a competitor), they did it quicly, easily and efficiently, and we even got faster broadband into the bargain. Orange are lovely. Yay Orange.

Anyway having been offline for a while I've got hopelessly behind on blog reading so please don't think I've been ignoring you.

On a stitching note, last Sunday was reveal day for the Monthly Challenge at Needlcraft Haven. We stitched this pretty little design of a bluebird with cherries from Le Chalet Des Perelles. Mine is stitched in Anchor threads on a hand dyed fabric from The Crafty Kitten, with a fairly boring sort of a finish as a little stuffed ornament. The album went up a bit late (see paragraph 1 above), but it is available here.

Back to work on Monday, here's hoping Autumn will be a bit less eventful than summer turned out to be.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Long time no blog...

Did you miss me? No, thought not. The summer seems to have mostly escaped me, I'm not sure where it went.
Since I last posted I've been busy dealing with various family issues that I won't bore you with, we've been away on holiday, had our silver wedding anniversary, and I've just not found the time to blog, so this is a bit of a a catch up post.
Lets start with the holiday. We went to the Lake District and stayed near Windermere.
The scenery was stunning and I could post pictures for hours, but I'll stick to just a couple. This is is Blea Tarn.

And here we see the mist rolling atmospherically over the hills (ie the weather was a bit iffy at times).
This is part of a large standing stone circle that dates back to Druidic times.

On a crafty note, when I got home from holiday I found this stunning pillow waiting for me as an exchange gift from Donna (no blog that I am aware of). It is completely gorgeous and almost all stitched over 1.

And here is a little project I made following a tutorial I found here via The Graphics Fairy. One slightly boring old plant pot transformed; by the miracle of a squirt of mod podge and a French typography image from The Graphics Fairy; into a little bit of vintage chic