Tuesday 29 December 2015


Rather than have a new start on Christmas Day as is traditional, I decided to revive an old Christmas Day start. This is Vixen by Nora Corbett which I started in 2013 - before and after! I only have the Whispa thread, beads and treasures to add. Could there be a finish before New Year?
(Sorry for the side on photo, I can't seem to change it on my phone.)
Vixen - Nora Corbett
Fabric - Crafty Kitten, Icicle

Friday 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

I can't believe I have been away from my blog for so long!  It was certainly never planned that way.


I hope you all have a wonderful day and receive all you need.

Saturday 30 May 2015

Archery again!

Well over the last few weeks, I have been all over the country at various archery competitions.  Some have gone better than others but the one thing they have in common is that I have thoroughly enjoyed them all.

I have even had a bit of success with them.  At one competition I was 9th but the highest scoring non West Midlands archer.  This meant I won the Open 1st place medal.  It felt a bit like a thanks for turning up prize though!  However, last week in Doncaster, I got 3rd place at the shoot I was attending.  It was a lovely club and there were only about 20 archers there, one of whom was an Olympian.  It was interesting watching him shoot and unsurprisingly he won the gents competition.

I don't have a competition for the next couple of weeks but after that I think I have at least one competition every weekend until the middle of October.

Friday 29 May 2015

Passifloral and fantastic framers

Last month was Colin's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary and as you are probably aware, I decided to stitch them something.  The design I chose was Patricia Ann Designs 'Honeysuckle Courtyard'.  I did change some of the colours to make it more golden.

As you can see from the photo above, it turned out beautifully with a few tweaks to it.

I then sent it off to Israel to Rachel (Passifloral) (with my heart in my mouth, it has to be said) to have it laced and a handpainted mount added.  I gave Rachel a free rein with it, other than telling her it was a 50th wedding anniversary gift and what the design was called.  She painted it in record time for me and had it back within 2 weeks.  Rachel had asked if I wanted a sneak peek but I decided to wait until it arrived back home to see it in all its glory.  Oh my word!!! It was worth the wait!!!  LOOK!

So then, it was a case of finding somewhere that could make me a frame to fit and in a fairly quick time too!  I found Picture Frames Express.  They are utterly amazing!  I ordered what I thought I wanted but did mention that I wasn't entirely sure about the measurements and if I had got it right. This lovely man (Mark), spent most of the morning emailing me - in all honesty he muct have been tearing his hair out at my dithering!  He was brilliant!!  Once that was all sorted and confirmed, the order was here within 2 days.  The frame was absolutely perfect, good quality and just what I wanted. It was so well packaged that even Royal Mail couldn't have broken it.  I honestly cannot recommend them highly enough and will definitely be using them next time I need a frame.  

So once framed, it was sent off to its new home and I am happy to report was immediately (literally) put on the wall in pride of place where absolutely no-one is EVER going to be able to miss seeing it!

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Giveaway winner - very belatedly!!!

The winner of the 'A Place we call home' as chosen by Rachael (who actually lifted her head out of her revision long enough to choose!) is....


So Kim, if you could send me your address and I will pop it in the post to you ASAP.

I'm sorry for the delay, but I have been so busy with archery competitions, work, kids and sorting things out round here that I haven't been stitching, blogging or doing much more than checking facebook.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Happy Dance Giveaway

I have finally had my 5th finish of the year and it is one that I have mixed feelings about.  I loved this design when I first saw it and felt that it summarised my marriage to Colin.  Clearly, he didn't and so that is why we are where we are today!  If you are a regular reader, you know what I mean, if not it doesn't matter!

So, that is the reason that I have decided to give away the finished stitching.  I am not going to finish it into anything, you win it as it is. If you would like to have it, please leave a comment telling me why and I will do a random.org thing on 21st April.

Good luck!!!

Sunday 29 March 2015

Archery competition today

Today was my first inter-club competition and surprisingly, especially for me, I was REALLY excited.  I got my new bow on Wednesday night but had only shot it a few times to practice with, so I had the dilemma of whether to use the club bow where I knew what my sight needed to be set to more or less or my new bow that I had absolutely no idea of where to set the sight.  After a long chat with my coach yesterday, he worked out some rough sight marks for me to start with so I could use my new bow!

Sadly, this morning dawned grey and miserable and VERY wet as predicted by the weather people. Typical! It's the one day they actually get it right!  We set up all the range and inside and had to wait about an hour or so for the starting time.  By then it was raining harder!

It then rained and rained and rained!  Then it stopped raining...yay!!!!!!

The competition should have been a Western which is 48 arrows at 60yds, 48 at 50yds.  I was to shoot the 'short' version of it which was the same number of arrows but at 50yds/40yds.  I couldn't get my sight down low enough to actually use it properly so spent the first half of the competition aiming for the top left hand corner of the boss (straw thing that the target is put on).

After a break for lunch, which was very tasty, we ventured out again to shoot the second half of the competition.  The rain had started again, although lightly and the wind had started to get up too. IT WAS COLD!  I was only shooting in a T shirt and a sweatshirty type thing as my coat is too bulky to wear and shoot, however I put in some good scores once I had got my sight sorted out.  The good news was...it stopped raining, the bad news was that it was now chucking it down with a howling gale (for non UK readers, chucking it down means that it was raining VERY, VERY heavily!  For my last arrow, the rain was nearly horizontal with the wind.  The field captain called us together and asked if we wanted to call it a National instead of a Western, which was less arrows and basically meant that we had finished!  Now, call me a numpty, but I would really have liked to have finished even in those conditions, just to see how close to last week's score I could get with the dramatic change in the weather.  I was a big chicken and didn't have the nerve to put my hand up and say so though!!!

Anyway, I have just got off the phone to my coach and he is really proud of me, as I am of myself, especially as some people either didn't come at all or gave up at one point or another apparently! 

Saturday 28 March 2015

Stitch from Stash

Budget carried forward from February  £46.51
March Budget  £25.00
Spent  £0.00
Earnt  £0.00

One of the benefits of having a birthday in March is that everything that I did get was birthday presents, so a good month in all!

Sunday 22 March 2015

Archery update

I have been having a lot of fun at archery lately. Dave (the coach) is amazing and has managed to finally get me shooting in a straight line!  He spent an hour (hour and a half?) a few weeks ago coaching no-one but me and something finally clicked.  For about 3 weeks after, every time I took a shot I could hear his voice telling me what to each time!

I went bow shopping on Friday but sadly the riser (handle of the bow) that I wanted was out of stock. They had it in orange, but I didn't want orange - I wanted blue!  So hopefully it will be in for Weds or Thurs.  Keep you fingers crossed for me!!

Next weekend, there is a competition against another club...only a friendly and Dave kept telling me I should shoot in it.  I kept laughing and telling him NO!  He persuaded me to come and shoot today at 50m and 40m to have a bit of a go and see how I got on with it.  So I did and I did ok!  I scored 525 in total.  I am now going to compete in the inter club competition next week - I must be mad!

I am really enjoying archery, although it annoys the hell out of 'someone' at home, never mind!

Thursday 5 March 2015

WIPocalypse - March

This month has seen brilliant progress on my WIPocalypse projects!  I have finished Honeysuckle Courtyard and am now working on A Place Like Home.  I also put a few stitches into Gardens of London too.

This month's question is:

If money - and time - were not limiters, what projects would be on your stitching bucket list?

I love it when a question is so easy to answer!  I would probably just get pretty much every one of the Chatelaine's and all the silks etc to stitch them with too. There are so many that I love and when I was planning on getting my first one, it was hugely difficult to decide which one to go for.

Sunday 1 March 2015

February review / March Goals

Well!  I only had 2 goals in February...and I met both of them!  (Ok...I'll just wait whilst you pick yourself up off the floor!)

  1. Make good progress on Honeysuckle Courtyard.  It's finished!!!!
  2. Stitch an ornie from JCS. I stitched a Hallowe'en ornie from the October 2014 issue.
So...onto the March goals.  Once again, I am going to be conservative, mainly because I will be buying my new archery equipment and suspect I will be putting in some extra practice.

  1. I want to stitch another ornie to keep up with the 12 ornies for the Cross Stitch Collection SAL. Who knows what season it will be though.
  2. Work on Chatelaine's 'Gardens of London' and hopefully finish the centre panel.
Hopefully these should be achievable!

Saturday 28 February 2015

February SfS update

Budget carried forward from January £18.50
February's budget £25.00
Spent £4.99 (CSC magazine)
Finishes Stitching Witch and Honeysuckle Courtyard Stitching Witch doesn't count as it's not more than 6 months old but Honeysuckle Courtyard does!  As a mix of speciality stitches and cross stitch I think it falls in the £8.00 category.

So carry forward to March is going to be £46.51

This month I have bought some fabrics as well but they have been put away for my birthday and so don't count. I never even got to open the packet!

Monday 23 February 2015

Cross Stitch Collection SAL - February progress

February's progress for the Cross Stitch Collection SAL was this really cute (and very quick to stitch!) design, which will be made up into an ornie in time for Hallowe'en.  This was in the October 2014 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine and is by Maria Warmke of The Stitcherhood.  I stitched it with a thick perle thread to make sure the black was a really solid stitch as I hate the way that 2 strands of DMC can sometimes be a bit thin with the coverage.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Archery (not stitching)

If you are looking for something stitchy to read, please move along...there is nothing stitchy here today.

Today, I want to tell you about my archery.

I signed up for a beginner's course for archery around the start of October.  I chose archery as I had tried it on the year 6 residential trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. In all honesty, I am totally rubbish at it, BUT I thoroughly enjoy it so I don't care!  Thursday nights are coaching nights and I keep looking at Dave's (the coach) head to see if there is any sign that he has been banging it on a brick wall!!! Seriously!  I am THAT bad!  Last Thursday, he had me change how I was shooting and he kept telling me that I was improving (glad he thinks so as half the time I can't see it!)

Today I went to shoot and all I could hear was this little voice in my head telling me what to do (Dave is now a 'virtual' devil on my shoulder!) and I kept practising and practising...when suddenly...this happened...(even if it's blurry!)

I was shooting 6 arrows at first but I broke the nock on one so was one short.  It's a rubbish photo but what it shows is all 5 arrows in the gold...some are 9's but 1 is a 10.  It is the first time I have got ALL the arrows in the gold at the same time.

Then later on, also for the first time ever...I shot the X out of the centre of the target!  So I am really hoping that something is cliking now and that I am starting to improve.  In a couple of weeks time, I am having a trip over to Leeds to buy my first bow and the rest of the equipment I 'need'. 

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!

Sunday 15 February 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness and Turtle Trot

All I have worked on this month, and not very often as is seen by the pathetic progress I have made.
I have been trying to find a backstitch alphabet that will work with the design to personalise it for them.  I'm finding it quite tricky though as it only wants to be 4 stitches high and I don't want anything too fancy or too plain.  Let me know if you have any ideas?

On the way back into the house after archery today, I noticed how many flowers were already out in the garden.  We have daffodils showing a bit of colour too but not enough to make it worth a photo.

Can you see the little bee on this next one?

Tuesday 10 February 2015

January reveiw / February goals

January goals
  • A new project every day...yikes!  Some of these will be WIP's...well more UFO's so they will seem like new projects anyway :)  FAIL - I got really fed up of keep getting a new project (or a different project) out every day and quit the challenge.  As one commenter told me, Debbie would have been the first to remind me that stitching is supposed to be fun.
  • Stitch Holmsey Hare for January. FAIL - I want a nice piece of fabric for this one and as yet haven't found it.
  • Make good progress on Honeysuckle Courtyard as Colin's parents 50th is in April (at least 4 bands).  WOOHOO - one that I actually managed to do! 
  • Not spend any of my SfS budget. FAIL - but in fairness, if I had bought the JCS ornie issue last year when I thought I had, I wouldn't have spent a penny :)

February goals
  • Make good progress on Honeysuckle Courtyard.  It would be nice to pretty much finish it off if possible so that I can send it off to be framed.
  • Stitch an ornie from JCS.
I'm not going to have too many goals as I do want to focus Honeysuckle Courtyard.

Sunday 8 February 2015

WIPocalypse - February update

There has been very little stitching going on in the last month what with college applications and interviews, archery, school stuff (both mine at work and the kids).  In fact, the only thing that I have worked on is Honeysuckle Courtyard.  I am doing this for my soon-to-be-ex-husband's parents for their 50th wedding anninversary.

Note the cute little needleminder that Justine sent me recently.  I've never had one before and am loving it!  So is my daughter actually, she doesn't keep getting stabbed by me needles in the arm of the sofa now!!

The topic this month is 'How do you overcome the feeling that you are in a rut with a particular project?'   Well, I hate to say it, but if you know me you will know the answer to this already!  I tend not to.  I tend to move onto a new project although I always intend to go back to it eventually.  My worst habit is not unpicking mistakes straight away which always makes it harder to go back to it.  I did try stitching a length or two of threads in 'unloved' projects once, but it didn't work for long!  I am looking forward to hearing the answers to this question for a bit of inspiration!

Monday 26 January 2015

SfS January 2015

January report
Spent - £8.50 (2014's JCS Ornie issue - can't believe I didn't get this!)
Finish - January freebie by Lynn B, from here which fits into the 30x30 category - earning £2

Budget £25.00
Spent £8.50
Earned £2.00

carried forward £18.50

This is really cute and I have February printed off and ready to stitch.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness and DSDUCJFC for the last week!

Oh dear!  Late for my very first Gifted Gorgeousness...oops.

Some of these have already been seen as part of the DSDUCJFC projects that were up for stitching. Firstly, Honeysuckle Courtyard (already seen).

Spring - San Man (again already seen)

...and that is it as far as Gifted Gorgeousness goes.  Sorry Jo!

On to DSDUCJFC.  For some reason, I just can't drag the photos into the right order...they are just not playing ball!  So, the second photo down is last Sunday's project - Chatelaine's Gardens of London.  I forgot the before photo but I have done the dark green bit in the top right corner.  

Monday - Thursday became Lizzie Kate days as the fabric and charts were already out.  I stitched the 'br' of February, then the January partial border, followed by the partial April border and finally the August partial border.

Friday and Saturday were Santa's Village days.  I stitched the red in the border for Poinsettia House and then a couple of the bars to start the one after that.  I did carry on and finish the rest of the red from Friday's first though to save miscounting on Saturday.

Today, I have done a bit of Cut Thru Haberdasher's but as I am hoping to do a bit more tonight I won't take a photo just yet. I have made a decision though about the January/February Challenge.  I am finding it really hard to keep up with it as can be seen by the really miserly progress on any of them.  So...I am going to leave all the projects in the box they are currently in and just stitch on them as the year progresses.

I still want to honour Debbie's memory and have decided that the way I can do this is to start the kit that I much admired on her blog as she stitched it and that she encouraged me to buy.  In fact, she even sourced it for me as it was OOP/discontinued.  The design is, 'Universal Unity' by Dimensions.

Sunday 11 January 2015

Turtle Trot...hmmm

Well there is not a lot to see on Turtle Trot pieces this month. I have worked on some of my TT pieces but as they are forming part of my DSDUCJFC none of them have seen much progress.

Halloween Town Mystery SAL - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

Henry VIII and his wives - DMC

Ye Olde Chocolate Shoppe - LHN

Honeysuckle Courtyard - Patricia Ann Designs

Saturday 10 January 2015

DSDUCJFC - days 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

Well...you can tell that normal service has been resumed and the school holidays are over.  No time for blogging and not much more for stitching.

I had a mock maths exam on Wednesday so I have had to revise for that this week as well.  There's no rest for the wicked!

So on Monday (aka day 5), Rachael had chosen from the box. She picked Henry VIII and his wives. Here is the before and after photos.

As you can see, a bit of brown, a bit of red to the left hand side and that's it!

Then, it was Luke's turn to choose from the box for Day 6.  He picked LHN's Ye Olde Chocolate Shoppe which was WIP.  Here is the before...

...and here is the after!  A couple of lengths of threads down the left hand side...so much more exciting that the little black blob you got to see a few days ago...lol.

Luke's choice for Day 7 was Lizzie Kate's Santa which is stitched on some random fabric from my stash.  It is one of my new starts so no 'before' photo.

Day 8 and I chose Halloween Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  I had stitched Part 1 and 2 but as the SAL is long since finished I won't worry about stitching the other 2 parts as parts but will just stitch it as I feel like.

I started the pink border which will have Halloween Town stitched in it eventually.  So...not a lot!

On the 9th day of Debbie's Challenge, my stash box gave to me...LHN's Party Cakes.  As this was also a new start, there really isn't a lot to see.  

Monday 5 January 2015

Wipocalypse 2015

WIPocalypse Button

I have signed up for this again this year and hope to make it further through the year than I have previously.  The projects I am going to choose for WIPocalypse this year are ones that I would REALLY like to finish this year.  In no particular order, they are:

  1. Honeysuckle Courtyard - Patricia Ann Designs
  2. Gardens of London - Chatelaine
  3. Oh Christmas Tree - All Through the Night
  4. A Place we Call Home - CCN 
  5. Halloween Town SAL - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
So that should be enough to get me started!

I would like to make some serious progress on projects this year and be a lot less flittery fluttery with what I stitch.  I think racing to finish Debbie's unicorn last year showed that actually I don't stitch quite as slowly as I thought I did and that when I make an effort to work on just one project I can actually record a decent amount of progress.

Honeysuckle Courtyard

A Place we Call Home

Halloween Town SAL

Gardens of London

Oh Christmas Tree

This is where I am on all my projects at the moment.  Hopefully there will be some progress on each of them this month. 

I think that people probably know about me but if you don't and there is anything you want to, just ask!


I asked Rachael to choose from the box to see what I worked on today.  She narrowed it down to 2 different designs so I told her that I would stitch one for Day 4 and stitch the other on Day 5.  This means that yesterday I worked on Honeysuckle Courtyard.

So here is the design...sorry about the flash in the corner!

This is where I was before I started stitching.

And this is where I left off last night.  I am going to work on this later on today as well as I want to finish that band off and maybe make a start on the big one.  It has a little bumblebee button in the middle but I was wondering about changing it to a gold/brass 50 as it is for their 50th anniversary. Would anyone have any idea where I can get one from though?  I haven't got a clue where to look!