Saturday, 30 November 2013

Generous stitchers

Sometimes, someone does something so lovely for you that it just totally overwhelms you.  This is one of those times.  A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely email from Annette of  She had seen my blog post about my top 5 designs in this year's JCS ornie issue and how I loved the Gingerbread Cupcake design but no desire to spend a fortune kitting up the design.  Annette asked me if I would still like to stitch it as she had kitted it up for me...I lovely is that?  Annette then told me she had especially dyed some fabric for me too.  I was (still am) completely overwhelmed by her kindness and generosity.   

Anyway, fast forward to yesterday and the arrival of the package.  When I opened it up look what 'fell' out. All of this!!!!  Annette had even cut batting and card for me to make it up and included some lovely extras. That hot chocolate you can see is yummy!  I'm going to see if we have it over here when I go shopping.  

As you can see there are 2 packages at the back.  The green one I have had to be really good and give to Colin as it's for Christmas.  The one on the left, Annette had written in the card that I could open it now. Well look what was in it!

How gorgeous is that little needle book?  It is so adorable and all the fabrics are lovely.

Thank you so much Annette.  I am so blessed that you thought of me and the package you put together for me is so lovely. 

Oh...and by the way...I have started stitching it :)

Friday, 29 November 2013

Stable, Harrogate, giveaways

Well I didn't get the job, no surprises there.  Apparently my classroom activity was really good which I am really pleased with and the only reason the other lady got it over me was because she related more to the academy ethos than I did.  Thank you for your support, thoughts and prayers though, they were much appreciated.

Now Linda, sit down because the shock may be too much for you!  I have worked on my Cut Thru Stable!! I have restitched the bottom bit of the door/wall that I had 'reverse stitched' and I think I did a bit of the top half of the door too.

Last weekend, I went to the Harrogate stitching and knitting show.  I was disappointed that there wasn't more cross stitch stands there but I still managed to find something to buy.  Sadly most of it has been put away by Colin for Christmas :(  I was allowed to keep the quilting fabrics that I got from the Stitchwitch.  I could have spent a fortune there but had certain designs in mind to finish off so stuck with appropriate things for them.

Sewitall had some nice cuts of fabric so I picked up some brown evenweave as I always struggle to find nice browns.  There is some sparkly white aida, some blue and a gorgeous pink/blue mottled sparkly aida.

Then I discovered this stand.  Oh my word...they were gorgeous!  I had a hard time deciding which one to go for.  In the end I settled on Starry Night in gold and red.  I have made a start but have done something wrong and one bit has come undone.  I think I must have passed the needle back through a bead the wrong way.  Trouble is being a newbie to it, I don't know whether it is a repairable error or whether I need to unbead back to the mistake and redo it.  Google, here I

I have been SO lucky recently with winning various giveaways.  First up is a surprise giveaway from Jan over at  I was a little worried about this one in case it tied in with Jo's Halloween blog hop answer of Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog.  Thankfully it was far, far nicer than that! Firstly it was beautifully wrapped up. 

And on peeling back the pretty paper.  This what was revealed.  That geranium rose soap smells absolutely divine!  It's far to nice to put on the sink and let people use but I suppose I will have to...  The rubbish photo doesn't show the chart very well which is Up Up and Away.  Jan also gave me all the speciality threads to stitch it up with.  Last but not least was some cute little rock sweets, they were divine and if anyone EVER wants to send me some more, feel free :) 

I also won a giveaway from Susan of Acorn House Designs.  She sent me the rather gorgeous poinsetta to make up the design from JSC ornament edition.  Guess what I am doing this weekend?

Thank you ladies for such lovely packages and for offering the giveaways.  I am thrilled with them both.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Classroom assessment

Got there in plenty of time, feeling very calm!  Had to have a tour of the school with some Year 6's which was good fun as I got to get their opinion of the school. I then met the class teacher of the Year 3/4 class who gave me a brief run down of her literacy lesson.  I was to be brought in at some point during this to just take over from the teacher and continue with the lesson.  15 minutes before that, I was given her planning to look over so I knew what was going on!  It went really well and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! The interview is at 10 am on Thursday.  That's the scary bit but at least they have seen me looking and acting normally!  Thanks for all the good wishes that have been sent, please keep me in your thoughts on Thursday.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Photos from Friday

So first up is Shirlee's lovely New Testament that she sent me which has a lovely leather cover.  Thanks again Shirlee, I love it!

Then is my update on Henry VIII.  There is bit more added to his 'fur' on the right hand side.

Finally, the lovely fabric I ordered from Sparklies.  The one on the left will be used with Do not Disturb and looks great.  The photo is overly bright from the flash so is a little darker in real life.  Pumpkin Patch is a gorgeous colour.  I will be ordering a big piece now I have seen it in the flesh as I would like to do Blue Ribbon's Halloween Countdown Calendar next year.  I have the chart but have never found the 'right' fabric for it.

Friday, 15 November 2013


...don't you hate it when you take photos and then can't get them to load up for some reason?  I took lots today for this blog post and the camera won't upload to the laptop.  I've put the battery on charge in case that was the problem, I don't think it was but it was the easiest and cheapest remedy to try.

So news without photos I'm afraid!

I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Shirlee's blog recently and a gorgeous little New Testament arrived today.  It is leather bound and I have to admit that I keep sniffing it (love the smell of leather!) It arrived from across the pond in record time - obviously 'someone' knew I was in need of divine inspiration :)  It is gorgeous, thank you Shirlee!  (There would be a photo here, except there isn't!)

I did a little bit of stitching on Henry VIII on Tuesday but haven't got round to showing it.  (Insert photo here).

I got my order of gorgeous Sparklies fabrics today.  Black Dahlia and Pumpkin Patch quilting fabrics and Pumpkin Patch and Leo in 28ct lugana (insert photo here).  Also Kate offered a draw for tickets to the Dublin and Harrogate Stitching shows.  I was really lucky and won a ticket to Harrogate.  So I will be going next Saturday!!  Lucky me :)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

News for today...

Remember that job application I filled in a week or so ago?  I got an email tonight inviting me to go for a classroom based assessment on Tuesday.  If successful at that, I go for an interview on Thursday.  Yikes! Trouble is with feeling a bit low at the moment, I'm not sure which is worse, going for an interview or staying where I am.  I turn into a babbling wreck at interviews and lose the ability to string a coherent sentence together.  Sadly, this is no exaggeration!  My last 2 schools have employed me as with the first one I was a volunteer and they knew what I was capable of and this one was because the Head was the deputy at my old school, so again she knew what I could do.

So prayers and good thoughts would be very welcome at the moment.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Richard II

I have just got back from the cinema after an evening with Rachael.  We watched a live stream of Richard II being performed by RSC with David Tennant in the lead role.  It was absolutely fantastic and I never thought I would enjoy Shakespeare that much.  We were totally hooked from about 2 minutes in, right until the end! We have tickets to see the play live at The Barbican in London in January and I really, truly can't wait!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Just Cross Stitch - the top 5

Jan of Thread Garden fame has recently posted her top 5 designs from this year's edition of Just Cross Stitch ornament issue.  So here is my top 5...

5.  Pickle Barrel Designs - Peace on Earth
4. Plum Pudding Needleare - Let it Snow
3. Acorn House Designs - Poinsettia
2. Angel Stitching - Be Jolly
1. The Victoria Sampler - Gingerbread Cupcake

Sadly the chances of me stitching the Gingerbread cupcake are next to none as it will be fairly expensive for all the embellishments considering it is just a Christmas decoration.

There are several more that I like except they have something 'wrong' with them that puts me off.  For example I love Rosewood Manor's Peace Bird except for the colours.  I keep thinking it would be lovely stitched as a little robin sitting on a holly branch.  I do love the twigs used to frame it, fab idea.  I won't bore you with all my little moans about what I would have to change to make designs stitchable for me though :)

So what's your top 5 stitches for the issue?

Monday, 11 November 2013


And here he little Santa.  He's a cutie!  Now to make him up.  Although actually I think I might wait until I have got a few of them to do and have a big making up day.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Day 2 of Rachael's room

Well Day 2 of the Great British Room Makeover saw a trip to Warrington to visit Ikea there for the bits that were out of stock in Ashton.  Rachael was still in need of a chest of drawers, a mirror and some pink storage boxes.  It didn't open until 11am so I spent the morning making up the drawer and cupboard units for the storage unit from yesterday.  They were very easy to do and look really smart.  They have a high gloss finish to them that I suspect will need polishing every day or two but it's Rachael's room so that is her job!  As you can see the cardboard box was removed!

When I came back I assembled her book case which was picked up yesterday.  It was dead easy to put together and is very sturdy.  It comes with a strap to attach it to the wall but we are going to wait until Rachael has got her new bed to see if she is happy with where all the furniture is.

Then it was the turn of the back of her desk.  The white board on the right is magnetic which may be useful to her.  At least she can fill it with fridge magnets!

And finally, the chest of drawers.  It weighs an absolute TON!  I have no idea how I managed to lift it into the car.  Whilst I was getting it off the shelf in the store, I was aware of a man standing watching me.  When I had finished struggling with this huge box he said 'I waited to see if you needed a hand.'  I smiled sweetly at him - what was going through my mind CANNOT be repeated on this blog!  Not sure why he didn't just come and grab one end for me. Perhaps he wanted me to drop it on my foot :)

I have finished Santa but will post a picture tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Rachael's bedroom

No stitching so far today.  Today was the day the carpet was being fitted in Rachael's room and we could finally get her new furniture and get all her junk things out of our bedroom and Luke's room.  The day started well with a visit to Ikea.  We arrived at 9.20am only to find Ikea didn't open until 10.00am...grrrr.  Never mind, Sainsbury's was next door so we went for our breakfast instead.  After munching my way through toast, scrambled egg, mushroom and a bit of bacon (Rachael had a sausage and bacon sandwich) we went back to Ikea and picked up the first lot of furniture.  After a fight with the back seats of the car, we were loaded up and raced back home.  Carpet fitted and hoovered, we started assembling.  I have to say that the instructions were absolutely fantastic and we soon had Rachael's desk assembled.  I told Rachael she was to help and she probably made up 2/3's of it on her own with me overseeing it.  I explained to her that if she learns now she won't need to have a bloke around to do it for her when she is older.

Our second trip to Ikea was for a huge bookcase, extra shelves and 2 drawer units for the storage unit, oh and 2 doors for the storage unit too.

So this shot is of most of her room as it is at the moment.  She has to wait until 20th November for her new bed to arrive and we have already sold her old one so she is on a mattress on the floor for a couple of weeks.

This is the bedside table we got.  It has lovely deep drawers in which will be a bonus for all the bits and bobs she has accumulated.  The jelly babies are for hypo treatment when she has had enough of glucose tablets!

Below is the shelving unit that Rachael put together single handedly.  I'm very proud of her doing it by herself and I suppose it shows how clear the instructions were.  Not sure what is in the cardboard box but she can get that shifted tomorrow...or else!

And finally...the desk that we started with.  The chair was out of stock so she has her old chair for now but I am going to the Warrington Ikea tomorrow to get the chair, a large chest of drawers and some storage boxes. 

Friday, 8 November 2013


I have very almost finished Santa.  Just a little bit to do tomorrow and he's done!!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

According to facebook

According to a friend's facebook post, it is 7 Wednesday's until Christmas.  It got me thinking that maybe I ought to get on with a bit of Christmas stitching if I am going to have any new ornaments.  A few weeks ago Colin bought me 6 little kits from Hobbycraft and I would like to get them all stitched for the tree this year.

I made a start on the Father Christmas design but there isn't enough progress to make it worth posting a photo!  It's a bit of a red blob :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Well I was trying to do this but have nothing worth posting tonight.

I am in the middle of filling in a job application form and about the only thing they don't want is my inside leg measurement!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bonfire Night

No stitching tonight as it is Bonfire Night.  We had our 2 small boxes of fireworks and 2 small packs of rockets (BOGOF at Sainsbury's) and thoroughly enjoyed oohing and aahing at them.  It's quite nice actually that the children (12 and 14) still enjoy them as they are only a cheap box.  We went to an organised display last year and didn't enjoy it nearly as much as standing in our back yard doing our own.  With football training and Girl's Brigade, we had a box before and a box when everyone got back so it feels like an evening of them.

Don't forget to sign up for the travelling pattern and/or competition if you would like to.  If you would just like to stitch the pattern, that's fine.  You don't have to enter the competition!!  Comment on this post if you would like to join in the fun!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Mary's Sampler - part 5

I would love to say that I am up to date but sadly I still have part 6 to stitch.  Here is progress so far...

Also Colin told me to treat myself last night.  I have been toying with this one for months and months after watching Debbie and Linda SAL together.  Finally I capitulated and bought it.  Thanks ladies ;)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Cross Stitcher at work, do not disturb!

Do Not Disturb!

Well, I pulled a load of threads and got hubby and Rachael to decide what colour to put with the purply thread.  They came up with GAST's Red Grape.  I think it looks ok.

So there you are, 6 hours and...finished!

What a quick design this was to do!

Now I had this idea whilst I was stitching it.  Tell me what you think.

  1. It is a design about cross stitching and leaving us to get on with it.
  2. It would look great on loads of different fabrics.
  3. It would look great in lots of different colours.
  4. It would probably look great with some form of personalising - beads, buttons, sparkles or whatever.
So I thought it might make a travelling pattern.  Then my brain continued working and thought...what about a little competition?  People could work on it with a time limit of 2 weeks, send the chart to the next person and a photo to me.  This time next year, I will put up a gallery of all the photos received a winner/favourite can be voted for by...well whoever wants to vote.  What do you think?  If enough people are interested and feel a 2 week turnaround would be ok, there could be around 15 to 20 designs to vote for allowing for the various postal services taking their time to deliver!

I was thinking maybe a £10 or $15 voucher/gift certificate to a favourite store could be the prize unless anyone has any other ideas?  So if you are interested in a fun competition and a travelling pattern, leave a comment on here.  

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Cross Stitcher at Work

I was feeling a little cheesed off the other day and thought that maybe a new start would cheer me up a bit. So after a fondle of fabric and thread, I came up with a small design that even I could finish before Christmas!   The chosen design was a Forever in my Heart piece that I have had in my stash for about 10 years - Cross Stitcher at Work.

I started stitching on Halloween whilst watching Monster House with Luke and Colin.  Then stitched for about another hour until bedtime.  When I stopped, I held it up to show Colin who was greatly amused by what I had stitched so far.  See photo for explanation!  This was done purely by chance.  I had decided that the 'h' was a good place to start the next line so I didn't miscount, then I did the 'er' and then worked backwards from there.
Forever in my Heart - Do Not Disturb
I did another half an hour yesterday morning and reckon that the whole design will have taken me 6 hours give or take by the time it is finished (and I'm a slow stitcher!)  But I have a crisis!  I can't settle on a thread to complete the 'Do not disturb' bit.  I thought I had but when I looked in better light, it really didn't work!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Drac in the Box

Just in case you didn't see my updated blog hop post is Drac in all his glory.  I think he looks pretty good even though I do say so myself.

So without further ado...may I present Drac in the Box by Acorn House Designs from this year's JCS Halloween issue.

He was stitched on pewter grey 28ct jobelan with the recommended DMC threads and used a few beads!