Tuesday 31 December 2013


What do you do with your TUSAL pot and ORTs at the end of the year?  That was the discussion in our house this afternoon.  Colin first of all said use it to stuff something with.  Rachael then said why not make something with them.

So that's what I did.  I found a funky alphabet and a scrap of aida.  Then stitched up this...

...then I took my ORTs and stuffed them in the ornie.  Which was then sewn up and frayed round the edge to produce...


On the back is a small backstitched 2013.  The whole thing probably took me an hour and a half to make. So what did you do with your ORT's at the end of the year?

Vixen (or the chopped in half reindeer)

Just in case you were still having visions of poor Vixen having been chopped in half with blood spurting out, here is an updated progress photo.  (No animals were harmed in the making of this piece...lol.)

I'm amazed at how quickly I am making progress on this one and also how small it is.  I didn't realise they are so tiny as most Mirabilia's/Nora Corbett's are fairly big.  I am stitching it on Crafty Kitten 16ct 'Icicle' aida which is proving to be a lovely fabric to stitch on.

Monday 30 December 2013

SAL's for 2014

2013 saw me joining up for several SAL's which did inspire me for the first few months until I got bogged down with my university module.  So hoping that at least the same will happen again, I am going to sign up for the following SAL's.

WIPocalypse 2014

wipocalypse button

Just Nan SAL 2014


This is run by Zeb and you can sign up here
I have borrowed the rules from Zeb - saves me making spelling mistakes or getting it wrong :)

Each month you stitch a Just Nan design. It can be big, it can be small, but it must be Just Nan. It’s ok if you’ve got a piece that you’re stretching out over several months too. At the end of the month post on your blog photos of your progress (or completed stitching) and a write up. Once you’ve done that come along to this site, find the latest SAL blog post by me (post date!), and comment that you’ve updated. Then, check out what other members have done, and enjoy in the Just Nan goodness.

Themes below are shamelessly stolen from here, which is where you can go to register your interest as well :) Heather is very kindly allowing us to send ideas for the mystery themes although Jo wants one where we all send our stitching to her...hmmm...no sure of that one!!

Jardin January
The holidays were a little stressful...let's relax in a nice garden. Work on any piece with flowers or gardens.

It's a Mystery...for now!

March Madness
Work on something different every day...it's madness...of the funnest possible kind.

It's a Mystery...for now!

Menagerie May
Is it a zoo in your stack of WIPs? How many projects can you find that include animals or birds?

It's a Mystery...for now!

Jubilee July
It's time to celebrate! What are you celebrating this year? Stitch on your holiday-related projects, OR find some WIPs you know you'll never finish and set them free.

It's a Mystery...for now!

Supersize September
Dip your needle into the vast swath of fabric dedicated to your BIGGEST projects!

It's a Mystery...for now!

No-Xs November
What can you make without making an X?? Blackwork, hardanger, embroidery, needlelace, and the list goes on! Don't panic...you can even backstitch for the month!

It's a Mystery...for now!

Stitch From Stash

A year of stitching from stash with a £15 budget per month.  Hop over to Mel's blog Epic Stitching for more details and to sign up by 2nd January.

Turtle Trot 2014

I am going to shamelessly steal the rules from Bap Attack which is where you need to go to sign up.  
1. You must have a blog, because you'll be posting links to it. If you don't have a blog, you can still work on those old projects, lol. You just won't be eligible for the contest.
2. Pick 10 unfinished projects (why not 14 for 2014? I can't cope with where this will end up - 43 projects in 2043? Yikes)
3. Take a picture of them and make a blog post by the 10th of January.
4. Each month, by the 10th, post whatever progress pics you have.

Sunday 29 December 2013

Turtle Trot pieces for 2014

There are some pieces that I really want to get stitched this year - I'm sure I said that last year too.
  1. Progress must be made on Chatelaine's Roses of Paris.  I love this one so far and would love to see some serious progress on it this year.
  2. The piece I have been asked to stitch for my cousin.  I want Cinderella finished and sent.
  3. Santa's Village - I have all the charts, threads and buttons so would like to stitch them all this year ready for next Christmas.
  4. Honeysuckle Courtyard which is a gift for my parents-in-law Golden anniversary but this will also be one of my Crazy January Challenge starts.
  5. Positive Thinking SAL.  I have positioned part 2 slightly wrongly which has resulted in a loss of mojo with the project.
  6. Henry VIII and his 6 wives.  This is a Tuesday SAL on Facebook with Kaye.
  7. Cut Thru Stable - Bothy Threads.  Monday night SAL with Linda and Debbie.
  8. Mary's Sampler or it could end up a UFO and there is no reason for it to.
  9. Papillon Creations Around the World SAL.  I am so far behind on this one but it is really pretty and deserves to be stitched.
  10. CCN - A Place We Call Home.  Lovely design and it stitches up quickly and would be lovely if it actually got finished...lol.
Progress on the pieces as of December 2013.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Crazy January Challenge

Well I mentioned the Crazy January Challenge a couple of times in my last blog post.  This year I have succumbed to the idea of it.  The new projects I am going to start in January (in no particular order) are:
  1. Home of a Needleworker - LHN
  2. Halloween House - Ursula Michaels
  3. A Very Merry Christmas - JBW designs
  4. Touching the Autumn Sky - Mirabilia
  5. Everyone Brings Joy - Waxing Moon Designs
  6. Penguin Parade - Mary Hickmott
  7. Santa and the Mouse - HAED (yeah right!)
  8. Behind the Gate - Blue Ribbon Designs
  9. High Hopes - Just Nan
  10. Footprints - Praying Hands
  11. Oh Christmas Tree - All Through the Night
  12. Moonlight Magic - Durene Jones (Cross Stitch Gold magazine)
  13. Snow Queen - Joan Elliott (Cross Stitch Collection magazine) Halloween design - Pickle Barrel Designs (Snow Queen is huge and I have enough large projects at the moment!
  14. Faerie Spring Fling - Nora Corbett
  15. Rosa - India Grace Designs
This is not necessarily the order they will be started in but the 15 designs that will be started for the first 15 days of January.  Should be fun!!

Some of these don't have photos at the moment but I will add them later :)

Friday 27 December 2013

Christmas Stash

I was SO lucky with the wonderful Christmas presents I received this year.  As well as some stamps, perfume, CD's and chocolate I got some great stash - and not all of it was bought by me to put away!

First off some lovely fabrics I picked up at Harrogate a few weeks ago.  Pumpkin Patch is for doing the Halloween countdown calendar which will be a Crazy January Challenge piece this year.  The others all have plans too but I can't remember which design off the top of my head and the list is upstairs.

Then there are some lovely Crafty Kitten fabrics too.  All of those have plans except for the linen which I just wanted to see what it is like as I'm not good with linen!

Another piece of Sparklies which was missed out in the first photo.  IT IS GORGEOUS!

The Nutmeg Company and Mill Hill kits were picked up by me in Harrogate.  The reindeer were a total surprise and I was thrilled to receive them.  They are something that I have wanted for a long time but apparently they were only on my abcstitch.com wishlist and not my sewandso.co.uk wishlist. I was showing Colin a photo of them on facebook the other day so he picked 2 of them up for me.

2 lovely pieces of backing fabric from Sparklies too - even if it is upside down!

Another kit for my Crazy January Challenge starts.  I saw this in person at Harrogate and it is SO pretty. The chart looks horrendously complicated but Vickie has already taught me how to do the knots to make the flowers and said if I need help to email/message her.  She may regret that...

I also received another Cut Thru to add to my collection.  This one is North Pole House and is so cute.  This may well be the one I start when I finish my stable!

I know it looks like there is a huge amount of things here but with our families living so far away, they send money and we pick up what we would like labelling it from them.  

Finally, when Annette sent me all the bits for making my Gingerbread Cupcake, she also sent me a package to put under the tree.  I was really good and only opened it on Christmas Day.  Inside were a load of gorgeous goodies.  Look at this lot!  2 really pretty backing fabrics, a piece of stripy evenweave and some pretty threads.  I had to add the gift tag which was made by Annette too and is lovely!  Thank you Annette for such a lovely and generous package of goodies.

We had a lovely Christmas Day.  Both children and Colin were thrilled with their gifts but the highlight of the day was Colin's Christmas dinner.  He was adamant it wouldn't be huge...hahahaha.  
So this our Christmas table all set ready, with Luke looking like an alcoholic with his wine glass.  Rachael declined having orange squash in a wine glass.

Colin's dinner - no he didn't finish it all.

Luke's dinner - somehow he did finish it all, and was the first to finish too.  He loves his veg so had plenty of it!

Rachael's dinner - she managed all of hers too.  Heavens knows where she put it all!

My dinner - no chance!  You could probably have fed someone else with what I left!

Not sure as to why I was looking so miserable here.  Obviously just an unlucky moment with the camera!  Dinner this year was particularly delicious, even with there being way to much.  I'm so lucky that Colin is such a good cook!!

I hope you had an amazing Christmas too.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Don't you just love kids?

Last year I had a new start from one of my Christmas presents. This year it was a toss up between the two reindeer designs.  After consulting Colin, Vixen was decided upon. This is my progress so far.  Sadly Rachael took a look at it and said "Don't get offended, but it looks like someone has chopped it in half and that's the blood spurting out."  Thanks Rachael!
Sorry the photo is on its side, I am using my phone and can't work out how to turn it around.

Shirlee's quilts

I have mentioned a few times about the quilts that Shirlee made for Rachael and Luke a few years ago.  Jo asked if there was a link to them anywhere.

The top 2 photos are of Luke's quilts and the bottom 2 are Rachael's.  The photos were taken on our bed so I could get the whole quilt in easier.  Although I always knew they appreciated all the work that has gone into the quilts, even I was surprised just how much they both treasure them.  Just getting them off the bed to wash now and again is a job and a half!