I don't have fireflies in my garden - which is a shame... only cats, bees, a dog and the odd dragonfly!! So please settle down with a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meet and Greet Stitcher's Blog Hop - I am a winner....

Remember back on 20 March 2015 I posted my entry to the "Meet and Greet Stitcher's around the world" Blog Hop that was organised by Mdm Samm?  Well of course I wasn't the only one who posted that day and some of the ladies even had a giveaway (as do I).

One of the giveaways that I entered was on Elizabeth Coughlin's blog.  Elizabeth designs gorgeous wool applique patterns as well as redwork embroidery.  Pop over and have a look - she sells her patterns via Etsy and Craftsy.

The giveaway was the choice of one of Elizabeth's lovely patterns... and I was one of 2 winners!  It was a hard decision what to choose as I haven't done any wool applique or redwork before - both are needlework techniques that I would eventually like to do.

So what did I choose....
Photo from Elizabeth Coughlin Etsy store
Isn't this just the prettiest table runner?  I think this cutie might just have to be started next time I have a couple of days off work!

Now for those that might be interested, today is the last day of my giveaway so that means this is the last chance for you to enter!  Once the midnight bell tolls for the last time in the world on 31st March 2015, the chance will be gone forever!

If you want to enter my giveaway, you will have to go to my "Meet and Greet" blog post - Link is here - be a follower and leave a comment. The winner will be announced on Friday 3rd April 2015.

Til next time, happy stitching!
Hugs xx

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Owl o Ween - Finished!


So here we are one day short of the end of March.... and I have a finish to show you - just in time for me to say that I managed to finish something this month!

This sweet little Halloween Owl was one of my Crazy January starts (Day 15) and it was also my March choice for the "Owls and Ravens/Crow" theme of the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL blog.

This sweet Halloween style owl was designed by "Needle Bling Designs" and I stitched him on "Rocky Creek Canyon" 32ct Belfast from Stitches and Spice.

The chart is a freebie that is located on their website, but I originally found the freebie via the Pumpkin Seed Stitchers" FB group.

I haven't decided what to do with him yet... he would make a nice little cushion for a Halloween display I think... but that thought is for another day!

Next month's theme is "Tombstones" and as yet I haven't decided whether to stitch on "Dancing in the Moonlight" again and use the tombstones in that WIP as my April stitching... or whether to look for another design.  So stay tuned!

Til next time, happy stitching
Hugs xx

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge

Oh no, what have I let myself in for now.....

I was attempting to catch up on my blog reading the other day when I came across Linda's (Stitching with my Furbabies) post on the "Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge", and this new adventure seemed to way too tempting to ignore...

So what is the Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge: (below are some words that I "borrowed" from the A to Z blog signup page)

"The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day. 

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE"

I am still planning what my 26 posts will be... but I do have a basic idea of what I will be posting about.... my WIP's and any other new stitching pieces that I may start during April.  I thought that this challenge would be the perfect vehicle to make sure that I stitch on all my Crazy January pieces over the next month and just as importantly post regularly, and who knows my post on 7th April, which is "F" Day, may be a "Finish" post......

Now if you are interested in joining in all the fun.... why not sign up before the end of March and start planning your A to Z posts!  Link to sign up page is here: A to Z blog signup page. When I looked this morning there were now 1,418 blogs listed!

I have set up a page on my blog to keep track of all the posts... the link to the page is here.

Til next time, happy stitching
Hugs xx

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

IHSW Check In... better late than never!

This is a very quick fly by post as I am very late in telling you about my weekend stitching!

So without further ado, here is my little stitching update for my "Numb Bum" weekend or IHSW as it is formally called (ie last weekend's stitching)!

I stitched on one piece last weekend and only managed to stitch on Saturday and Sunday for a couple of hours each day but I did make some headway on my chosen WIP.

Remember I said that I was going to be stitching on my Jean Farish "Deer and Grapes Mystery SAL" piece - this is what it looked like before the weekend:

and it now looks like this as of Monday evening:

I managed to finish the other bit of the top half of the border and then started on the first of the top row of flowers.

Overall I am reasonably pleased with my stitching effort for the weekend.  I would have liked to be a bit further ahead but never mind it will appear back in my rotation again very soon.

For those that don't know the IHSW is held on the third Friday to Sunday every month.  Joyce from Random Ramblings will post a couple of days before the weekend so you can sign up and then you stitch as much as you can on the weekend and then on Monday (or Tuesday... or Wednesday) you post pics of what you did... all very easy really!

Thanks it for now, will be back again soon with some more wonderful stitching highlights... or something like that anyway!

Til next time, happy stitching!
Hugs xx

Saturday, March 21, 2015

TUSAL March 2015

It's TUSAL time again....  another new moon - another month has disappeared before our very eyes!

As you know I have actually been stitching over the last month, and as you will now see the ORT's have been growing again!

But this month we have a slight change!  Gone is the old Maccona coffee jar that I have been using for years...

Today I have a new ORT's holder... but which one of these three is it?

Here they are... in the little suitcase....

The suitcase and the pretty blue box in the background are from the Body Shop.  They were full of yummy Body Shop things, but I didn't buy them for what was in them... I had eyes only for the containers!! ♥

This weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW) and for my weekend stitching I want to try and stitch on my Jean Farish Deer and Grapes SAL.

Here it is already to go... right where I left off last time!  The pretty paws needle minder and scissor fob are going to keep me company while I am stitching today!

So that's it for this post.... I will be back again in the next couple of days to show you what I have been stitching on over the last week or so... so stay tuned!

Til then, happy stitching!

If you don't know (or haven't heard) about the 2015 TUSAL, Daffycat is again hosting the fun Totally Useless SAL (TUSAL).  Essentially we stitch and save our ORT's (Old Raggety Threads) and every New Moon those of us participating in the TUSAL post a picture of our ORT's jar, and then leave little msgs for Daffycat on her blog to show that we have been stitching and have posted our wonderful pics.  Please head over to her sign up page and join in the fun!

New Moons - 2015
18th April
18th May
16th June
16th July
14th August
13th September
13th October
11th November
11th December

Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet and Greet Stitchers from around the world.....

When I read that Mdm Samm from Sew We Stitch was organising a "Meet & Greet Stitchers from around the world" blog hop I just had to join in!

The idea behind the blog hop is to celebrate the first day of Spring in North America and to get stitchers from all around the world to come together and highlight their top 3-5 most beautiful projects (be them big or small) and they can be anything... cross stitch, appliqué or embroidery, or a combination of all three!

Do you know how hard it is to pick 3-5 projects to highlight?  Well, I found it hard to do....  one of the problems I had was that I give away most of my stitching so I wasn't able to re-take photos for this blog hop... but I have managed to pull together a couple of things to showcase today!  These are more five of my favourites rather than five of my most beautiful... although I think beautiful and favourite go hand in hand, don't you?

So here we go....

1. 50th Anniversary Sampler

Regular readers of my Blog may remember that I stitched this sampler to celebrate my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary in February 2014.  My original post is here - on that post I do have some close ups of the sampler including one of the crystal that I added above the swans.  Swans are lifetime companions and mates which makes them a perfect addition to a sampler celebrating a life together. The designer is Joan Elliott and it was originally published in The World of Cross Stitching Magazine (issue 129).

2. Baby Boy Gift

I stitched this delightful little Aussie koala for a blogging friend to celebrate the birth of her baby boy last year.  He went all the way to Portugal!  This was my first attempt at making a flat fold finish... The original post with more pics is here.  I just adore this little fellow! The designer, Carrol Nielsen, is Australian and if you visit her website you will see some of the most delightful designs to stitch.  I am currently stitching another one of her koalas as part of my Crazy January challenge.

3. Honey Pin Cushion

The "Honey Pin Cushion" is a freebie from the Keepsake Stitches website.  I loved this design and it was so simple to put together as a little cushion.  Last year I took part in an exchange and I decided to stitch a theme - Lavender and Bees!  This was the bee component of my stitching.  Sadly I never heard from the lady that received that package so I don't know if she liked it....  I think I may just have to stitch it again....  If you want to see what I stitched for the Lavender part of the exchange, the link to my post about this exchange is here.

4. Hang in There

I stitched this adorable kitten for my husband a few years ago when he was going through a bit of a tough time.  Kitty used to be sitting in the craft room but now that Hubby has moved into the new home office that we have set up in our two front bedrooms, kitty has also moved home!  He now sits in Hubby's office where he can inspire Hubby every day to just "Hang in There"! ♥♥♥
I don't think that Kitty has ever been shown on my blog...  this was a Jiffy kit from Dimensions and the designer is Katherine Neprud.

5. Light The Way

I had to add this little darling to my list of favourites!  "Light the Way" is a freebie from the Gloria and Pat website.  She/he is just so cute!  I have always had a soft spot for the "Precious Moments" designs.  I stitched this one back in 2011 for the charity organisation "Quilts 4 Kids".  My original post about this cutie is here. Sadly the website no longer exists for the Australian charity so I can't show you the finished quilt that was presented to the young girl.

So that's it.... five of my favourite pieces of stitching.  I hope that you have enjoyed a small sample of some of my stitching.

Now for the fun bit.... I am going to do a giveaway to celebrate the blog hop.... it is actually Autumn here in Australia but I will play the game and pretend it is Spring for one day!

The giveaway prize is:

- Shepherd's Bush chart leaflet - Scatter Eggs (looks very like Spring!)
- A bunch of threads...
- and anything else I can think of to pop into the parcel!

Shepherd's Bush "Scatter Eggs" pic from Shepherd's Bush website
To enter my giveaway there really isn't too many rules....

1.  Please comment on this post and let me know which one of my favourite pieces is your favourite
2.  Be a follower of my blog - it would be lovely if you could please sign up as follower (if you aren't already) by using the Google Friends Tab on my side - I can't track new followers otherwise!

Giveaway closes on 31st March 2015.  I will announce the winner (drawn randomly by comment number) on Friday 3rd April 2015.

Good luck everyone!

Now if you would like to continue the Blog Hop and meet some lovely stitchers from around the world - drop into Madame Samm's blog and start your journey... link is here to the "Meet and Greet Stitchers from around the world"

Enjoy the Spring blog hop around the world and I will see you all again soon.

Til next time, Happy Stitching!
Hugs xx

Monday, March 16, 2015

Last Week's Stitching Progress.....

Who wants to see some more Crazy January Challenges updates?

I have managed to stitch on some more of my Crazy January WIP's over the last week.... having some many WIP's is certainly making sure that I don't get bored!

"You are so Loved" - The Snowflower Diaries
Stitched on 32ct Belfast Linen "Fairy Tale" 

I started this on Day 26... and the last pic you saw it looked like this:

I had to frog out most of what I stitched last time as I had started the words in the wrong place!  It now looks like this.....

"Autumn Fab Fob" - Lizzie Kate
Stitched on 28 ct Pumpkin Spice Jazlyn 

I started this on Day 4... it looked like this when I left it

and now it looks like this...  As I mentioned in my January post I was going to re-stitched the ray stitches above the word "Autumn" - which I did.  I found a variegated yellow and orange in my thread stash and replaced them.

"Happy Owl O Ween" - Needle Bling Designs
Stitched on 32ct Belfast Linen "Rocky Creek Canyon" 

I started this sweet Owl on Day 15 of the Challenge, and you last saw him on 4th March.

Since then I have managed to stitch on him a little bit more.  I am planning on getting him finished by the end of the month as he is my March design on the Halloween 2015 SAL Blog.

"Koala" - Carrol Nielsen
Stitched on 32ct Belfast Linen "Olive Grove" 

My cute little Koala was started on Day 6 of the January Challenge.  This is part of a larger design but I am only stitching the second Koala.

I haven't managed to do much more but there was been a small amount of progress on this little cutie!

"Mouton de Saisons - Printemps" - Tralala Collection
Stitched on 28ct Cashel Linen "Fairy Forest"

This gorgeous design was started on Day 8 and I also managed to stitch on "Printemps" in February. This is what the delightful little sheep looked liked when I last posted....

Yesterday I picked up this sweet little sheep again and this is where I left him... one finished sheep!

"Christmas Eve Couriers: Comet" - Nora Corbett
Stitched on 32ct Opal Belfast Linen "Arabian Nights"

Last but not least.... Comet!  I started Comet on Day 5 and left him looking like this.....

I haven't managed to stitch on Comet as much as Prancer recently, but at least there has been some progress this month.

Well, that's it for this update.  So far I have managed to make some progress on quite a few of my January challenges.  I need to finish the Happy Owl O Ween before the end of the month so I will spend some time this week on that design before stitching on another of the WIP's.

Til next time, Happy Stitching!

Hugs xx

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL 2015 - Update #3

It is now the middle of March which means it is time for an update on my "Gifted Gorgeousness SAL 2015" (GG SAL) stitching.  I am only posting pics of the designs that I have stitched on since my last GG SAL update.

Lizzie Kate - Tiny Tidings 
Giveaway win from Kay's Random World - link to Kay's original giveaway post here and link to my post about the giveaway win is here

Tiny Tidings XV - Lizzie Kate
Lizzie Kate's Tiny Tidings XV - "Feeling Festive"

Lizzie Kate's Tiny Tidings XV - "Joyeux Noel"

Moutons de Saisons "Printemps et ete" - Collection Tralala
Gift from Kaye from Kitten Stitching.  The original post of when Kaye gave me these charts is here.

Tralala Collection - Mouton de Saisons
Moutons de Saisons "Printemps"

Halloween Limited Edition Charts - Lizzie Kate
Giveaway win from Carolyn (Taking One Stitch at a Time) - link to my post about the giveaway win is here
Halloween Limited Edition Charts - Lizzie Kate
Lizzie Kate - Autumn Fab Fob

So there we are... a little bit of progress on my GG SAL choices.  More to come next month!

Til next time, Happy Stitching!
Hugs xx

If you're not sure what this particular SAL is all about.... Jo from Serendipitous Stitching hosts this SAL - the link to my post late last year about the SAL is here.... but essentially this SAL is about stitching charts/kits or using fabrics & threads that we have received as gifts, won in giveaways or anything that is intended be a gift or giveaway prize... or anything else that you can loosely use the word "gift" for!!  If you wish to sign up for this SAL, click on the button below or the button on my sidebar and you will be re-directed to Jo's blog.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Look what I found hiding in a pillow case...

I don't know about you but I have a number of WIP's that I started many moons ago - really I think I should now be calling them UFO's!

Some of these WIP's/UFO's I had completely forgotten about until now.... Long story short....
Hubby works from home so we decided to renovate and re-organised 2 of our spare bedrooms for him to use for his office and meeting space - this have been done over the last couple of months.  So last weekend when we started to sort through all the old "stuff" that had been in the bedrooms and was sitting in the lounge during the reno's, I came across an old pillow case that had a number of scroll frames wrapped up in it.... and on the scroll frames were a number of WIP's (now UFO's) that I had started way back in the dim dark ages (late 1990's or early 2000's), which I had put away for various reasons and never picked up again..... as often happens when you move house and change lives!

Now I don't yet know which ones of these I will actually stitch on again, but I thought I would show you them all anyway and bow my head in shame!

1. Country Companions - Emily
This design was published in the UK Needlecraft magazine back in March 1998.  Not sure when I started this but it was probably in 1998 or 1999.  I don't even remember why I stopped stitching on this one...

As you can see I do have quite a way to go... but she is very cute so maybe I will pick her up again soon and try and finish her.  I think from memory that I may have started stitching her when my niece Emily was born.... Maybe I should finish it for her 21st birthday in 3 years time!

2. To Love and To Cherish
This design I started stitching for my brother just after he got married - it was going to be an Anniversary gift for them... but I didn't get very far with it as all the white and cream was so frustrating so I put it away.  Then a couple of years or so after they got married they split up.... so maybe the universe was telling me something when I was struggling with the stitching on this one!!

Unfortunately this lovely design I think will be confined to the "never to be finished" pile....

3. Jingle Bell Joy
What can I can say about this one?  It was almost finished when I stopped stitching on it... The design comes from an old Stoney Creek Cross Stitch Collection magazine.  1996 was the year of the magazine but I don't remember when I started it - about 2001 I think.  I was stitching this for a friend's baby as a Christmas gift (now here comes the change of life bit!) however, when I split from my first husband I no longer saw those "so-called" friends, so "Jingle Bell Joy" was bundled up and put away!  I think I might put this back into my stitching rotation at some point as it is such a sweet design...

Once Teddy is done this would make a lovely wall hanging for Christmas... I don't think I will attempt to turn it into a stocking - the old sewing skills aren't that good!!

4. Beatrix Potter - Storybook Sampler
I love Beatrix Potter!  When I first saw this design I just had to stitch it... I started stitching this for the same family as the UFO above... and for the same reason I stopped stitching it...

One day I will get back to this one as I just love those cute characters.

5. World Maps - Egypt
The map of Egypt.... Egypt is right at the top of my bucket list of places to visit!  I love most things Egyptian and just had to stitch this when I saw the design advertised in a magazine.  This is stitched on evenweave and I suspect (may be wrong) that this was my first step away from Aida....

One day I think I will go back to this one... I only stopped stitching on it when I bundled up all my stitching at the end of my previous life!

6. The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt
Another Egyptian design.... this one was in the UK Cross Stitcher magazine back in June 2001, and I am pretty sure I would have started stitching this around the same time as the map of Egypt above.

I don't really know if I will finish this one...it sort of doesn't do much for me any more.... but then again who knows I might decide to give it another go!

7. "Night" - Maria van Scharrenburg
I have both of these designs in my stash pile - "Night" and "Day" by Maria van Scharrenburg.  I started this one about 8 years ago (I think) and was doing really well.... but as with most designs that have too much white or cream I get bored and put them away when the lack of colour starts to annoy me!  I also found that this one was hard to stitch on as the scroll frame stand that I have it on was giving me terrible back and shoulder pain.... no excuse I know!

I probably should get back to this design - both Day and Night are so gorgeous and would look lovely all finished...

Ok... confession time is now over!  Next post will be all about the active WIP's that I have on the go!

Til then, happy stitching!
Hugs xx