Saturday, September 17, 2016

Autumn update...

Hellooooo!!! It has been a while since I posted so I decided an update was in order. I was browsing through my blog this morning looking back at old posts and it gave me a mixture of pleasure and sadness. Good times and bad times have been recorded in my little blog and I feel sort of bad that I haven't posted updates as regularly as I used to. I remember when I first started blogging, there was a real community of stitchers and crafters out there all supporting one another. I don't know if it is just that life has become really busy or if it's just the onset of all different types of social media (I'm thinking Instagram, Facebook etc) but blogging seems to almost be out of fashion. However, upon re-reading my old posts I decided I just want to update this blog for me to look back on. There have been so many things I needed to and should have mentioned but haven't so feel free to scroll through as this will be a long post and quite picture heavy.

Stitching catch up

So  I thought I'd start with some stitching updates. I have been stitching!!! I fell in love with this Lizzie Kate design "At Our House" in the summer and I started it when we went to the log cabin in York for our summer break. It didn't take long to do and I really enjoyed stitching it. There are few colours but it is still quite effective. This is going in the "to get framed" pile.

Another little finish is this LHN design. It was a quick stitch to do and I used Victorian Motto thread to do it. I decided on a deep, rich navy instead of red for a change. Another one that is in my "to get framed" pile!

This is my latest new start "Unseen Things" by Lizzie Kate. I have however made a mistake on the colouring of the letters and so some of this needs to be unpicked. This started off as an SAL with my good friend Sue from Peakside Needleworks but she has finished hers since I had to stop due to a commission coming through. Really enjoying stitching this though.

 Here are some finishes that I think I forgot to post about. This LHN chart was gifted to me for my birthday by Lesley and so I thought it would be quite apt to begin it when I went for a visit to her house earlier this year. It was a pleasure to work and worked up really quickly. Thank you for a lovely gift and the warm welcome dearie.

Thought I would share this current update of Moira Blackburn's Three Things sampler. Love this and hope to get it finished soon.

And this is another wip I am currently working on, Beach Huts by Bothy Threads. An easy, blocky stitch. 

This is another finish - again LHN "School of Needlework". I wasn't sure if the fabric would be too dark and so I changed the thread to a slightly darker shade in the "School of Needlework" lettering to make sure it stood out. I am pleased with the result. I think I had a stash trawl in the earlier part of the year and found loads of fabric that I decided to kit up with the charts I had. I reckon I saved a pile of money! This was one of the fabrics. 

And this is Robin's Song LHN again!!! I forget how many of these designs I own! This is it framed.

And this was my biggest finish this year - Bygone Stitches "A Quaker Christmas". I loved stitching this and although it had been off the needles for quite some time, it was easy to get back into it. I would really like to do the second one perhaps in a rich purple colour to match.

This was a Dimension kit I bought my Dad and he stitched it up pretty quick. The detail is incredible. I am so proud of him. I think he is a better stitcher than me.

This is my daughter's stitching update. She started this ages ago then put it down but was inspired by my friend's daughter to get hers out again. I think she is doing really well on it. 

I thin she might have a further update actually. I will need to get a snap of it. 

Below are three ornies I stitched for last year's xmas ornie exchange I have at my house for my bestest stitching buddies, Tina, Tracy and Lesley and now Sue has joined in the fun. See how late I am in my postings and how much I have missed out. I don't even think I photographed the ones I received - how shameful is that? Anyway this one I made for Tracy I think. Correct me if I am wrong Tracy!

This one was for cat loving Lesley!

This was one for Tina! I added little jingles to the corners of all the ornies except this one which I popped on the centre of the star.

Now the reason I have shown these is because it is nearing the next xmas ornie exchange meet up which happens early in December and so I need to get myself organised as we have four ornies to stitch up now that Sue has joined in the fun. Basically, we have started a bit of a tradition where we stitch each other an ornament and then buy a chart from each others' wishlists and add some chocolate in the mix. It's great fun. We usually meet up on the Friday night for food then everyone piles round at mine on the Saturday for food and stitching and exchanging. I absolutely love it. It is so good to meet up with stitchy pals especially when we all live quite far away and I think we have all grown quite close. 

That brings me to the reason why I need to sort myself out for this exchange sooner rather than later. I am not sure if I mentioned but I have started to do a little commission stitching for some of the Cross Stitch magazines here in the UK. My first one was in this month's edition of Cross Stitch Collection and so now I am free to show you what I did!

There's my stitching! I have done about 5 commissions so far but they take time before they are published. Anyway, this was a proud moment for me. They do take up quite a bit of my time and everything I am working on has to stop until the commission is finished so I don't miss the deadline. I enjoy it though and it's always a nice surprise to get a commission through the post and not know what you will be getting. So this is why I really need to start thinking about those ornaments now and not leave it until the last minute in case a commission comes through unexpectedly.

Well, summer came and went so quickly this year. I didn't do very much. We had a quick trip to the log cabin and I also went to visit Tracy ad it was a gorgeous day so we headed straight for the beach. It was nice to get away for a couple of days and stitch my heart out without distractions of cooking, cleaning and washing!

So the new term came around and my little girl is now in year 9 and my boy in year 4! I always like to take a snap of them both together on their first day of school so here they are for the record.

Crochet News

One of my colleagues at work is expecting her second baby and so I decided to make a V-stitch baby blanket for her. I think this was inspired by Helen Phillips and her crochet work. I chose lots of pretty colours and used white to go in between. It is not yet finished and I will need to do a nice border around the edge but hope to get that finished soon. I really love the effect and the V stitch is so easy to do. 

In other crochet news, I have done a little more on the autumn inspired blanket that I started last year but I really need to get going on this again as it is just taking too long and just want it finished. This is where I am up to with it. I am hoping to do a couple more rows on it this month. 


I wanted to set myself some goals, like I used to do, in order to help me be a bit more focused on getting some wips finished. With the commission stitching, it has made it a bit harder to keep to any set goals so instead of doing monthly goals I think I will set some goals that are achievable before the end of the year or by December at least which, actually, is only a couple of months away. So here are my goals:

1. Finish Beach Huts kit by Bothy Threads
2. Stitch up and finish 4 xmas ornies for the exchange.
3. Correct and finish LK Things Unseen
4. Finish Baby blanket
5. Complete 2 more rows of hexies on my Autumn blanket
6. Add another row onto Snowflake blanket which was started ages ago. 

Bible Journaling

A new thing for me is the creative Bible journaling that I have been inspired to do by various blogs and Instagram pics. I got this Bible called Inspire Bible in the summer and its main aim is to help peole explore their creative side when reading and meditating on the word of God. 

Is has a beautiful cover and inside it has a wide margin which you can write or draw in. There are lots of scriptures and doodles that have been drawn for you to colour in and use as a way to start creating for yourself. 

I bought some Crayola Twistables and some gel pens and then I expanded by getting some Koi Watercolours and Faber Castell Indian ink felt tips as they don't leak through as much. I was very tentative at first and wasn't sure how I felt about using so much colour over the Bible but then I realised that it is for creative use and I use other Bibles for other studies so I am learning to be okay with this, I thought I'd share a few pics of inside my Inspire Bible. I am no artist and some of it is trial and error but I am learning to take a few risks and be more creative. I have been posting all of these on my Instagram account so apologies if you have seen them there first.

I hope to do many more pages.You can see how I have taken the initial doodle and then continued in my own way.  As you can see, I have been quite taken by the watercolours. I think this is my favourite medium for creating journaling It doesn't bleed through. It leaves your page a little crinkly but I actually like this. It gives it a kind of used feel to it.I have found it a very relaxing way to approach and meditate on God's word and it has been a great encouragement to me. 

As you can see I have been kept fairly busy and now I have started back at work, even busier. I am hoping to do another post soon but thank you if you have managed to stay with me to the end of this post. I will probably remember a ton of stuff I should have posted but forgot once I press publish but that's life! Thanks for taking the time to read and give me lovely, supportive comments. I appreciate each and every one. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

To Thine own Self be True?

Well well well!!! It didn't quite work out doing a once a month post since the last time I posted was April. I'm very sorry if anyone has been worried or anxious about my whereabouts. Life took a twist and a very unexpected turn and it has made me re-think a lot of things. 

The first thing to happen was my friend sadly passed away. She was only 44 years old and left behind a husband and 3 children. She had been a sufferer of MS for a number of years but things took a turn in February when she was diagnosed with a rare but life-threatening disease called PML. It was the only case in the north west of England it was so rare. Anyway she lost her fight on 13th June and the worst thing for me was not being able to see her to say goodbye. I wasn't able to put things right where there was wrong. I wasn't able to reconcile with her to say sorry for the wrongs done by me and forgive for the wrongs done by her. It has made me think a lot about the people in my life and those who are no longer in my life. It has made me think of all my regrets and time lost. It has also challenged my faith and where I have walked in the flesh and not in the Spirit for so long. Would I be ready to go and meet Jesus if my time was up today? Time we can never get back. 

RIP Karen

And this brings me to my title, To Thine Own Self Be True. I guess this blog has always been my creative blog where I have showcased my handiwork over the years and I have deliberately left out anything to do with my faith generally speaking as I felt it might offend someone or cause division, or create a nasty feeling. However, as the years are ticking away, I feel more than ever that I have to be true to who I am and  if people don't like it then that is their concern and not mine. We preach this quote time and time again about being true to yourself, about being who you are and yet, here am I hiding my little light under a great, big bushel! 

So I want to unashamedly come out of the closet and say today that I am a follower of Jesus. I do believe he died for my sins and I do believe there is only one way to God and that is through faith in his Son. It's not by works so no -one can boast and there will be eternal punishment for those who reject God's free gift in this lifetime. Some of these things are difficult to say and I know that I will be pitied or laughed to scorn but even so.... I do believe the days are at hand and the true church needs to be called back to repentance and do the things Jesus told us to do which is to go and preach the gospel to the whole world. The church has been sailing for too long on the Love Boat and need to get back to its mission of reaching the lost. I'm not going to be using this blog as a preach-box but if anyone would like to know more about my faith then please get in touch via email. I'm happy to chat. And for those that do need a wake up call.......

So, where does that leave me? Am I still crafting, stitching, crocheting? Yes. But I think I need to spend less time on it than I actually do. Will I still post up my crafty bits and bobs? Yes of course! In fact, we have just spent the better half of this morning putting up my samplers after decorating. I am pretty pleased with how they all look. It is a very large wall. There is the option of going up the stairs but I don't really want to do that due to health and safety!

I have also had a new start - a LK one. Picture isn't great but you can get the idea:

But mostly I have been working on some commission work I have been doing for some cross stitch magazines. This has been fun but time consuming. 

I had a sort through of some wool: from this:

to this - a little colour play:

And there have been lots of inspiring posts but there are too many wonderful things to make and not enough time in the world!

I have been away, out and about and generally pottering.

 I have work to prep for for when I go back to school and a house to tidy and kids to entertain. So much going on. I hope that helps a little by way of letting you know where I have been and what I have been up to. I will try my best to do a more recent post with updates instead of leaving it so long. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Once a month....

It appears my postings are rapidly becoming monthly postings which, I suppose, is better than no postings at all! Life is full and busy and I am quite content with that. I do my best to fit in stitching where I can and so I am pleased to announce two finishes this week! 

The first is My Sheep Hear My Voice by LHN stitched in the given threads on Lambswool linen. 

This was a delight to stitch and it only took me about a week to complete it. I actually enjoyed the Lambswool linen too as much as I have moaned in the past about Permin fabrics being too scratchy. I guess I will stitch on anything. 

Last night I had a very happy celebration as I finally put in the last stitch of Quaker Christmas by Bygone Stitches. This was one of my new year Crazies from 2012! I hadn't stitched on this in such a long time so I started back on it last year and it really came together quite quickly once I set my mind to it. I used Threadworx thread in Wine Castle Red and a green one which i can't remember the name of. The gold is the called for one Olde Gold I think. The fabric is 36ct Vintage Light Exampler by LL which has a gorgeous orangy hue to it. 

So what to stitch next????? I could start something new as I have kitted up a whole load of charts using fabric from my stash. Or, I could be very good and get on with some long outstanding wips. I think I would like to finish the Moira Blackburn one and the Multiplication sampler I started as another Crazy 2012. I will let you know. Happy stitching all.