Monday 31 December 2012

A Winter Exchange New Shoes and Happy New Year

Today is the reveal day for the Needlecraft Haven Winter Exchange. Here is the beautiful little pillow I received from Jane (LHN's Blue House in Winter). Thank you Jane, it's gorgeous.
I stitched a free design from Couleurs d'Etoile for Kate and now I can't find a picture of it anywhere on my computer. Rats!
I've simply got to share this picture of my new shoes though.
Lace. Converse.
How amazing are these?
Incidentally it is ridiculously hard to take a good picture of your own foot, hence the awkward looking angle.

I know there was something else I meant to include in this post but for the moment it eludes me so it only remains for me to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Fifty shades of Earl Grey, Hot

My girls know me so well. Look what they got me for Christmas.
In the words of one of my three favourite Captains (the other two, naturally, being Cpts. Harkness and Sparrow)
"Make it so!"

And look here. Chocolate Penguins of Death!!!
Your argument is invalid.

I got some wonderful gifts and exchanges from various stitching friends as well.
My Advent Exchange Partner, who turned out to be Tina, sent me CCN's Beach Cottage together with the overdyed threads and fabric to complete it and all these other goodies.
In the VSCyberstitchers Christmas Exchange I received a box of delights from Blythe which contained a gorgeous stitched Partridge in a Pear Tree ornament as well as many assorted cuts of linen and evenweave, a bookmark kit, a whole host of threads, charms, and tools, and a fabulous t-shirt from the Monteray Bay Aquarium.

Clare sent me this fabulous Hardanger chart book and pearl threads.
Karan gave me three adorable little penguin ornaments
Barb sent me a wonderful craft book and Jo sent me a set of postcards based on Artwork from The Hobbit as a late birthday gift.
Thank you ladies, I feel genuinely blessed to have such thoughtful and generous friends.
 And here is something I made recently but couldn't show as it was for a Christmas Gift. A small purse made from and up-cycled embroidered traycloth and lined with a piece from a vintage pillowcase.

Sunday 23 December 2012

Festive bits and pieces

This is (probably) the last stitchy finish for the year, and the first one for ages that I don't have top keep under wraps until after Christmas. The design is Holiday Magick by Ink Circles, stitched in Silk 'n Colours ~ Dicken's Christmas on Sparklies ~ Barely Bronzed, and finished as a little hanging pillow,

and here we see Naomi's latest creation, a Biscuit Tree

I've received a couple more birthday gifts from stitching friends. The cut of raw linen and pretty Olde Willow threads are from Karan and the sweet little Snowdrop Pillow is from Sally.
Thank you ladies.
The latest few gifts in the Advent Exchange; kitten notelets, a pedicure brush and cranberry scented shower gel and body butter. There should also be a ceramic cupcake shaped tea light holder but it missed the photo shoot so I'll add it in in the next one.
I wish you all A Wonderful and Happy Christmas

Wednesday 19 December 2012

A Good Week for Post

I've had some wonderful surprises through the post lately. I was lucky enough to win this gorgeous project bag and pincushion in a giveaway on Sally's blog.
They are just beautiful Sally.
I received loads of wonderful gifts for my %*@#th birthday yesterday. Too many to bore you with them all but including these lovely things from fellow stitchers/bloggers. The Penguin Calendar from Barb (penguins!!!!!), Dragon Floss and ribbon from Clare and pretty scissors from Julie. Thank you ladies. I love them all.
Lots of interesting Christmas parcels arriving too, to be shaken, sniffed and prodded, but not opened early (I am very self-controlled these days), and here are some of the latest goodies from the Advent Exchange, fabric, threads, a bookmark, notepad, bag-charm kit, wash mitt and penguin socks.

Do you think people are starting to get the idea that I might just like penguins a teensy bit?

Maybe if I start putting on my blog that I'd like Colin Firth smothered in chocolate...

Monday 10 December 2012

A Bit More Advent

Still nothing I can show on the stitching or crafting front (you never know who might be reading here), but here are the next batch of gifts from my advent exchange parcel, days 5 to 10:-
A book - Mollie Makes Christmas
A pretty desk diary
A manicure set in a cupcake design case
A shower scrunchie
and three little tins of lip balm.
I don't know who the sender is yet, but whoever it is they have certainly sent me some lovely things.
The more eagle eyed and mathematically aware among you will have realised that there is a gift short in the picture.  There was also a sachet of Hot Chocolate mix but sadly it didn't last until the photoshoot...

Thursday 6 December 2012

Online Advent Calendar - Day 6

Two posts in two days? What is she thinking of?
Welcome to everyone who has come over from Jo's Online Advent Calendar (you see, that explains it)
The theme this year is "Stockings or Sacks?". We are very much a stocking household (Oo-er Missus, that sounds bad). Putting out a dirty big sack just seems a little presumptuous somehow. Note to Santa however, I have absolutely no objection to presents that are too large for a stocking or indeed to massive present overflow!
This one is mine.
It has penguins on it, of course it's mine!
And just in case that doesn't qualify as a stitchy Christmas Picture, here is a little cat ornament I made a few years ago

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Exchanges and Vintage Christmas Lovelies

I have quite a collection of vintage Christmas baubles and I'm always looking for new ways to display them, so I was delighted to find this lovely birdcage mirror (not actually vintage itself, but it has that look) to showcase some of my favourites. I do have plenty more so expect to be bored by further pictures when I get the rest of the decorations up.
As always, my living room wall looks battleship grey in the photo, but it is in fact a soft sage green.
This week I received this beautifully stitched ornament  from Kate in the exchange at Needlecraft Haven. Thank you Kate, I love it.
And here is the one I sent to Angi
And here are the first four days worth of gifts in my Advent Exchange parcel (also organised through Needlecraft Haven), a delicious Cadbury's chocolate advent calendar, a handbag mirror in the shape of a beautiful pink rose, a useful mini notepad with a lovely peacock design, and two skeins of Anchor thread.
I'll be back tomorrow as I'm the next up in Jo's online Advent calendar.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Early Christmas Flowers!

On the stitching and knitting front everything is a big secret at the moment (gifts and exchanges) so I can't show anything. Fortunately if you've been reading this blog for a while you may remember that at around this time every year our local florist  runs a festive workshop, so I do have some floral stuff to share:-
A table decoration with a funky wire collar. I'll have to replace the fresh flowers in this between now and Christmas of course but the basic arrangement should be OK.

A novel alternative to a wreath for the front door. This is made using a block of oasis and a small log fixed to a triangular backing board

And a hanging swag type decoration.  I have no idea why blogger has turned this on it's side, you are just going to have to lean your heads over!
The two outdoor ones are sitting in the garage at the moment, I don't feel right about putting them up in November.

Monday 19 November 2012

Spoilers Sweetie ~ Or How to Make River Song's Journal

I have no idea how my baby girl could possibly be 16 already, but 16 she was on Friday.
She is a complete Whovian (I simply can't imagine where she gets that from, can you?) so I decided to make her a journal like River's.
For those who are as sad discerning as us, and need to know how to be River, you will need:-
A small journal, preferably with a blue cover
Two sheets of Funky Foam, one blue and one navy
Double sided tape or glue
Navy blue shoe polish
A craft knife, a ruler and some kind of embossing tool (I used a knitting needle)

Using the front cover of your journal as a template cut a piece of the blue foam to fit it exactly.
From the navy foam cut 8 small squares. The size you will need will depend on the size of the journal you used, mine was an A6 journal and the squares were about 7/8", you need them the right size to fit two vertical columns of  4 squares down the front. Using your embossing tool mark an L shape in one corner of each square to give the effect of a 3D panel
Cut 8 corresponding "windows" in the cover piece (You might want to draft it out on paper first to make sure you have the spacing right). You are aiming for a nice snug fit so cut them just on the small side. As you can see I got one a bit wrong and one of my squares ended up a rectangle.
Fit the squares into the windows and emboss a long rectangle around each column of squares.
Stick the whole piece to the front of your journal. Finally rub a tiny bit of blue shoe polish on in places to distress it and make it look old.
Approach random strangers in the street, brandish the journal and ask " Where we are now?"

Linking up to Think Pink Sundays on Flamingo Toes.

Thursday 15 November 2012

My Army Grows...

my plan for world domination is almost complete. Bwa ha ha ha!
Or, to paraphrase Capt. Jack Harkness, "Three Lokis? I can't tell you what I'm thinking right now"

Friday 2 November 2012

A Challenge, a Tangent and a Future Project

This is my finish for the Needlecraft Haven October Challenge. The original design, by Carmela at Balades et Broderies  (found here) is square but I rearranged the elements to make a stocking shape. The album of challenge finishes is here.

Last week I was a little cryptic about a tangent I'd gone off on after stitching my zombie kitty. I made a comment about having "an army". Jo came nearest to guessing, getting the right movie, (Avengers Assemble) but the wrong character.

So now we have kittens and Loki (Tom Hiddlestone) seen here saying "I have an army"

Isn't that picture adorable? (the kittens are quite nice too)
So, if you cross Loki and kittens you get LoKitty.
The basic kitty is the same as Carolyn's original zombie design but I re-drafted him to add a cape and a horned helmet
And I really am going to have to stitch an army of these, this one has been claimed already.
Finally I just wanted to show you this little cabinet, which I found second hand. Not much to look at is it? I have big plans for it though. Watch this space as they say...

Oh and do remember to pop on over to Nancy's blog for another fantastic giveaway

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Hallowe'en Blog Hop

Hi there, and welcome if you have found this blog through Jo's Hallowe'en Blog Hop.
The letter you are looking for is 
The next blog on your list is This and That
Happy Hopping!

Sunday 28 October 2012

All he wants is a nice saucer of milk (and your brains)

As soon as Jo from Serendipitous Stitching showed me her stitched Zombie Kitty I knew I had to stitch one too.
Here he is. Pattern from Carolyn here
Isn't he just the sweetest little thing that ever tore you limb from limb? He is stitched using DMC Light Effects threads and is my first, (and probably last as I'm not too impressed with the effect) finish using a pre-made tuck pillow.
I told Jo I'd probably stitch an army of them, but I stopped at one because my army comment sent me thinking at a bit of a tangent. I'll be able to show the stitched results of that tangent in a few days. I wonder if any of you can guess before then...

Monday 22 October 2012

A spot of upcycling and a ghoulish little make

Our downstairs loo has been without a curtain since we moved in here eleven years ago. This state of affairs has officially gone on long enough. Don't get the wrong idea, it is obscured glass, there was no danger of frightening the neighbours but I was tired of it looking bare.
Behold! My lovely new window dressing, made from a vintage pillowcase (purchased from the excellent Rag Rescue) and a length of curtain wire. Honestly, it took me about 20 minutes, I don't know why I waited so long.

So, anyway, I was trawling around on Pinterest, (I know, I really, really shouldn't, but at least I was looking on the crafty boards not the geeky ones for a change), and I found something  certain young ladies would adore. Here is my version as modelled by Naomi.
A blood drip necklace.
Yes, you too can look as if you have had your throat cut, or had a little alone time with your vampire of choice.

Here are a few candidates. Mr Ian Somerhalder, Mr Alexander Skarsgaard and Mr Aiden Turner.
You're welcome.