Monday, 5 December 2016

Advent Calendar Day 5

Hello and welcome to Day 5 of our advent calendar, hosted by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching.

Let's open the door shall we?

This is an ornament I stitched a couple of year ago, which I don't think I've shared before. It was my first ever Christmas ornament and it has graced our tree ever since!

Snow Birds by Country Cottage Needleworks

Jo always sets us a question and this year's is to share our treasured Christmas decorations. My parents never really decorated much for Christmas - a small artificial tree with multicoloured decorations which was typical of many UK homes in the 1970s. The fashion now is for several trees, different themes and decoration throughout the home.

We only have room for one tree however, this one...



Some handmade and some shop-bought. Here's a closeup of three of my favourites.


Made by DS1 (snowman), DS2 (star) and a joint effort for the star on top of the tree!

I hope you all have a peaceful and happy Christmas.

Justine
Thursday, 1 December 2016

Gifts from Kim and a couple of "real" finishes

Happy Advent! I can't believe I haven't posted at all in November. Mostly because I have been working on a secret Christmas stitch for someone who reads my blog so I haven't had anything to show.

I had a happy mail day last week! As many of you will know, Kim of Wisdom with Needle and Thread has been celebrating her 60th birthday all year by sending out 60 RAKs to stitching friends all over the world. I was surprised and honoured to be counted amongst her friends and would like to share with you what I received from Kim...


The most beautiful stitched ornament, a gorgeous piece of Moda fabric (hanging at the back), a sweet Mill Hill beaded mitten kit, some DMC and last but not least the card on the left which is a print of a painting done by Kim in oil on porcelain, entitled "Ziva". Isn't she beautiful?

The stitched piece has very special meaning for me and matches perfectly an ornament I purchased from Kim a couple of years ago when she had an etsy shop.  Here they are together...


Thank you Kim for your generous gifts and happy birthday once again!

In the middle of November I met up with the lovely ladies from Needlecraft Haven which inspired me to finish-finish something for the show and tell table! First up was this Durene Jones chart which I stitched in October...


Here's the reverse, I just love this fabric...


And this Lizzie*Kate stitch, again finished in October...


Two very simple finishes but I was pleased with how they turned out.

Well I'd better get back to my Christmas stitching! Hope you are all getting ready for Christmas, and I'll be back next week with a door for you to open on Jo's Advent Blog Hop.

Until next time

Justine
Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halloween Blog Hop

Hello everyone and welcome to the spooky Halloween blog hop hosted by our very own Head Witch Jo!

Shock horror I have actually finished something to show you today!  Here are some little ornaments I have been stitching for my sons this year.


Halloween ornaments by Durene Jones
From World of Cross Stitching magazine issue 233
Stitched on 16 count antique white aida
with recommended DMC and Light Effects threads

Short and sweet from me this year, here's your letter...


(Photo courtesy of Clipart)

Now hop along to Melinda's blog Family Business for your next letter!



THIS WAY Ha ha ha! Happy Halloween!
Friday, 21 October 2016

Lots of finishes!

I've been busy for the past few weeks and have completed quite a few projects, including some new starts and a couple of WIPs, so I've got lots to show you today.

My friend Mii Stitch and I had a little cross stitch retreat at the beginning of October.  We rented a cottage and stitched to our hearts' content!  I started 3 projects - finished one while we were there and the other two the day after we came home.

Do Not Disturb by Durene Jones
(from Cross Stitcher magazine)
Stitched on 16 count Stormy Sea aida from Sew It All
with DMC threads
Started 8 October 2016, finished 9 October 2016

Halloween Owl by Durene Jones
(from WOCS magazine)
Stitched on 16 count antique white aida
with DMC threads
Started 7 October 2016, finished 10 October 2016

Is It Too Late to be Good? by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 16 count Cafe au Lait aida from Sew it All
with DMC threads
Started 9 October 2016, finished 10 October 2016


Thank you Mii for enabling all these new starts and finishes!

I had a fourth project packed up for the retreat which didn't get started, so as soon as I finished the others I stitched this one... (The snowman just needs some buttons for his chest)


Snowman '10 by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 16 count Tin aida with sparkles
from Sew it All
with DMC threads
Started 10 October 2016, finished 15 October 2016


After all those new starts I was longing to tick something else off my WIP list.  So I went back to this one and am proud to say it is now finished!  I really fell out of love with it in the middle of stitching it but it grew very quickly as it's on 14 count (which I never stitch on now) and maybe one day it will make it out onto display.

Family Band Sampler by Riverdrift House
Stitched on 14 count white aida with included threads
Started 1 January 2014, finished 19 October 2016


I then picked up another project that I'd started for a friend earlier this year and had another finish yesterday...

Let's Party by Imaginatings
Stitched on 16 count Margarita aida by Sew It All
with DMC threads
Started 19 March 2016, finished 20 October 2016

I love the name of the aida colour, so appropriate for this design!

And finally, I started and finished another of the Lizzie*Kate Twelve Blessings that I planned to stitch one a month throughout the year and have on display this Christmas.  Sadly I've only stitched five of them but they do stitch up quickly so you never know!

Charity (Twelve Blessings) by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 16 count Cloud Brown aida by Sew it All
with DMC threads
Started 19 October 2016, finished 20 October 2016

My next project is another one from the WIP list.  I'm hoping to reduce it by two by the end of the year.

Thanks for reading!

Justine



Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Solo September update

Hello everyone

Better late than never, here's my update for Solo September. This was my own SAL where I and many other stitchers pledged to stitch on just one project for a whole month. I am planning a round-up post in a couple of days but thought I had better share my own progress with you.

I had a new start on 1 September, a Dimensions kit entitled Sheltered which was chosen by younger son. And it now looks like this!


I haven't been able to put this down and will be continuing for at least the remainder of this week, until the tiger cub's face is finished.

Thanks to everyone who joined me for Solo September - stay tuned for a round-up in the next few days.

Justine
Saturday, 17 September 2016

Jo's Big Birthday Blog Hop!

Our dear friend Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is celebrating a big birthday today.  Many happy returns Jo!  In her own unique style, she is marking the day with a blog hop with a difference.  If you head over to Jo's blog, you will see a list of the blogs taking part.  Reading the blogs in order will give you a history of Jo's life so far!

You can read here about this year in Jo's life...


In 1984 Jo was 18 years old.  She was studying 'A' levels in the Sixth Form at school, having passed 'AO' level Maths in the summer.  She continued to work after school and on Saturdays in a fruit and veg shop in town.  Her hobbies were listening to rock music, going to the local rock club and going to concerts with her friends.  She also continued to work on the drama productions at school with the Dracula Spectacular being the highlight of the Sixth Form.

I was 12 years old in 1984 and just starting to really listen to music.  Unlike Jo however, I liked pop music and especially the Top 40 chart on the radio every Sunday evening.  This was the year I was given my first record player, with a turntable that skipped if anyone walked near to it!

1984 was a great year for pop music - though in researching this post I found that Black Lace's Agadoo was the 6th best selling record of the year, so maybe not.

Some of my personal favourites from this year would have been Howard Jones' "What is Love?" (the first single I bought), Prince's "When Doves Cry" and "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell.  But seeing as Jo was a rock fan, I've chosen this one for you to enjoy...

Jump by Van Halen

This was also the year that the original Ghostbusters film was released, and of course who could forget the Christmas number 1 for that year...


Jo I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I wish you many happy years of stitching and blogging ahead!





Justine
Thursday, 15 September 2016

Solo September is halfway through!

Solo September is my own SAL where we stitch on just one project for a whole month.  This month I'm joined by 19 other stitchers who are all making good progress on their chosen project (I hope!)  Please see this post for more details and links to the blogs of those who are joining in.

My chosen project for Solo September was a new start on September 1st.  This is what it will look like when finished...

Sheltered by Dimensions

And here is my progress halfway through the month...


I am stitching the big tiger's leg, to the right of the baby tiger in the model picture.  You may be able to tell that I've finished the leg and am now stitching the foot.

I knew September would be a busy month but I was hoping for a bit more progress.  The good news is though that I love stitching this one.  It's really relaxing and as I prefer to stitch cross-country, I am stitching colour by colour and watching the shading come together is very satisfying!

A big cheer to everyone else who is solo stitching this month - good luck and hope you are making better progress than me!

Until next time

Justine