Monday, 28 January 2013

Opinions please

I am thinking of finishing The Key to my Heart as a cushion/pillow.  What do you think of something like this? What would you change?  Any other ideas? I have some thinner ricrac in the same colour and a length of leather thong that would work colourwise too.

Now obviously when I put it together, things will be straight and even but I couldn't get everything to lay flat.

The little buttons are great.  I got them from here. The customer service was great and whilst their prices aren't the cheapest around good customer service and cheap postage can make up for that.  I ordered the buttons and 2 pieces of Ric Rac and paid 28p postage.  That's not even the price of a second class stamp!

Sunday, 27 January 2013


And here we are for the first 2013 check in post. For those of you who don't know me...

I am Sharon, 43 and from Manchester, UK.  I am married to Colin and have 2 gorgeous kids - Rachael, 13 and Luke, 11.  We are also owned by 2 demented cats - Biskey and Smudge, who enjoy terrorising the Danios in their aquarium.  I work as a special needs teaching assistant in a primary school, mainly with year 3, 5 and 6 children.  (For US readers that is 7-8 year olds, 9-10 and 10-11 depending on where their birthdays fall.)
I have been stitching since 1995 and have too many WIP's and UFO's to mention here but they are on the right hand side of my sidebar if you want to take a look.  I would like to finish them all one day.  As you can see from the list I have a varied taste in size and style of things I like to stitch.  Among my favourite designers are Mirabilia, Lizzie Kate, LHN, CCN and Papillon Creations.
This year I have joined loads of organised SALs to try to give me the kick up the rear I need.  I am a butterfly much too often when it comes to stitching and with having so many lovely designs on the go tend to switch between them to frequently.  I am getting better though as I have put a rotation in place which I do mainly stick to.  So anyway, this year I am doing WIPocalypse (obviously!), Theme-a-licious, Turtle Trot and a LK 6 Fat Men SAL. Hopefully this will mean some good progress on lots of projects.  Further information can be seen on the pages at the top of my blog.  Turtle Trot has the 13 projects I intend to focus on this year.

On to stitching progress. I have worked on the following projects recently.  Firstly, I have worked a little on Confetti of Hardanger. I am working on the eyelets with a bit of blanket stitching round the outside of light relief.  I am finding these 2 stitches quite tedious so am only doing a little at a time.  I am looking forward to getting to the cutting and filling stitches.
Confetti of Hardanger - Abi Gurden
progress as of 27th January
Around the World is now only 3 parts behind.  I have finished part 6 and moved on to part 7.  I am really struggling with the maltese cross stitch.  I hate it and think it looks tatty.  I suspect that is down to me.  So far I have restitched it 4...yes FOUR times.  I tried it the way it should be 3 times first of all with the yellow thread wrapped around the metallic but it just looked awful.  I reversed the colours and it still looks awful!

Around The World - Papillon Creations
progress as of 27th January
This is a close up of part 6.  I found the stitches round the cutwork bit difficult until I realised what I was doing wrong...oops!
Part 6 of Around the World - Papillon Creations
 A little more progress has been made on Garden Tools, but not much!

Garden Tools - Fleur de Lys
progress on 27th January
 Cinderella is coming on nicely.  I really enjoy this project when I pick it up.  The fabric feels divine and the colours are so pretty.  I would like to do this for myself at some point and there is a beautiful pink conversion on Joan's facebook group.  Of course I may change my mind once I start adding all the back stitch.
Cinderella - Joan Elliott
progress as of 27th January
 And finally we have the first part of Santa's Village which I should be stitching on this weekend.  Sadly though, I can't put Cinderella away so it will have to wait for next weekend which should be a lot quieter than this week has been.
Santa's House - CCN
progress as of 27th January

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Update * update * update

Just a quick update...something important has happened!

(No Colin hasn't found a job.)  The missing DMC 321 has turned the kitchen...on the kitchen table.  How on earth did it get there?  Personally I blame either kids or cats :)

Thank you to everyone who has sent kind wishes for Colin's job hunting and for keeping him/us in your prayers.  There is still nothing happening jobwise so we are keeping fingers crossed and doing a lot of trawling of job sites and companies.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Theme-a-licious update

Here is the progress on my Jardin January so far.

I started off by getting in the mood and giving my 'Garden Tools' a little loving. It's actually stitching up really quickly (for me) now I am getting into it a little bit. It's stitched on 18ct aida which is definitely NOT my favourite fabric.
Garden Tools - Fleur de Lis
progress as of 13th January 2013
Next is Around the World which has had some attention, although not much as I was doing more frogging than stitching.  Really part 6 shouldn't take too long...unless you're me :(
Around the World - Papillon Creations
progress as of 13th January 2013
 And of course, where do you build a snowman?  In a garden!  So it still counts as jardin January.  This is the progress on my 6 Fat Men.
6 Fat Men - Lizzie Kate
progress as of 13th January 2013

Sunday, 13 January 2013

TUSAL, Turtle Trot, bad news and a mystery

Well the title is summing up this post quite nicely.

For my Turtle Trot update for January - please have a look at the page dedicated to it.  There is not a lot of progress.

First off we have my first ever TUSAL post.  It is causing great hilarity between Rachael, Luke and Colin.  They are rolling around at the mention of a TUSAL pot and the fact that I intend to gather my orts for a year rather than throw them in the bin next to me.  Just out of interest, how do you pronounce it?  In our house, it has become 'mum's toosall pot'.

As there wasn't a lot in it, I have done a shot looking down on it from above.  The blue is from frogging Cinderella, which was one stitch too far to the right.  The green/red is from the start of Santa's House which you can see on the left of the photo.

This brings me nicely on to the mystery.  I had a skein of DMC321 sat next to me.  It was a nice full skein and actually it wasn't DMC321 it was the smelly threads equivalent of it (and out of interest, I think it smells more like cherries than strawberry).  It has vanished...completely and utterly vanished.  How on earth does a whole skein of thread just get up and walk off?  I can't find it anywhere, the kids can't find it anywhere, it is a complete mystery.

And finally, the bad news, which a few people already know.  Colin (my hubby for new visitors), is being made redundant.  He was told about it before Christmas but only had his 'official' meeting on Tuesday. His finishing date will be 5th March so he has a reasonable amount of time to find another job.  Sadly medical underwriting jobs are not as common round here as they used to be so it could be hard for him to find something.  Please keep him (and us) in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, 7 January 2013

ignore this post

Apparently this is what I have to do to 'claim' my blog on bloglovin'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, 5 January 2013

WIPocalypse truth

I saw this on facebook and it really tickled me.  And talking of facebook, if anyone wants to add me please feel free.  I'm Sharon Stevens and my profile pic is of a fuchsia cross stitch.  There's probably a really easy way to do it but I don't know what!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Nicola's 'tuffet'

Borrowed from Nicola's blog as I forgot to take a photo before sending .
Thanks Nicola!
This is the little tuffet/biscornu I chose for Nicola when she won my giveaway.  In the information she gave me she said she liked The Victoria Sampler, the colour red, speciality stitches and hearts.  I found this on The Victoria Sampler in the freebie section.  I chose colours and kept my fingers crossed - I think they work together.  The only change I had to make was where the red beads are should have have been a bullion knot which I had never done before and when I tried they looked more the start of a bird's nest. I really enjoyed stitching this and I'm so glad that Nicola liked it.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Round up of 2012, 2013 goals

Well WIPocalypse didn't happen, we didn't all die...what a relief!

Thanks to the wonderful WIPocalypse I actually finished 8 designs that may otherwise still be languishing in my WIP/UFO box.  The one I really wanted done, got done - Cut Thru Garden Shed so that was good news.

I didn't start too many new projects that didn't get finished - also good news.

So for 2013 I am taking part in the following:

  • Turtle Trot SAL
  • 6 Fat Men/Snow Belles SAL (haven't got the Snow Belles yet)
  • TUSAL (and my glass is all ready to go)
  • WIPocalypse
  • Theme-a-licious
So between them all I should stay on track - fingers crossed.

I also got the Santa's village series on autoship from The Patchwork Rabbit for Christmas so I want to keep up with that.  I have ordered a lovely piece of Chocolate Milk 28ct jobelan from Steph's Fabbys to stitch it on and am just waiting for that to arrive.  If you have never tried either company, I really would recommend them both.

The designs I am planning on focussing on for WIPocalypse and adding in to my Theme-a-licious months are the following.  3 of them a technically obligation stitches in so much as they will have a new home to go to when they are finished.  
  1. Cinderella - Joan Elliott
  2. Henry VIII and his 6 wives - DMC
  3. Friends are like Angels - Lizzie Kate
  4. Horse Racing - John Clayton
  5. Garden Tools - Anchor
  6. Around the World - Papillon Creations
  7. Confetti of Hardanger - Abi Gurden
  8. Maggie the Messmaker - Dimensions Gold Collection
  9. Honeysuckle Court - Patricia Ann Designs
  10. 6 Fat Men - Lizzie Kate
  11. Football Cushion - Sheena Rogers
  12. Tatty Teddy Bookmark - Anchor
  13. She sells seashells - Country Cottage Needleworks
I would also like to be able to send birthday cards, maybe a small gift to people I have met through blogging.  Or maybe be able to RAK someone who is having a tough time of it during the year.  If you would be open to possibly receiving something from me (so far no one has said 'OMG, what did you send me that for?) then could you email me with your name, address, date of birth, any real likes/dislikes, and anything else you think is relevant.  I promise I am not some mad psycho who will stalk you and I will not sell your details to any third party organisations - or whatever it is companies always put when you sign up with  My email is in my profile but just in case of any problems, it is sharonjstevens at msn dot com - with the usual changes of at and dot.