Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Thinking...... and a giveaway!!

 
 
In my last post I mentioned I had been doing a lot of thinking about this little blog of mine. I realise that I have not blogged very much at all this year - or last year looking at it. Life got in the way. About a week or two ago, however, I began looking through my stitching stash. This was the result of meeting up with a bunch of great girls over at Nimble Thimble last month. We met, we talked, we stitched and back bounced my long absent stitching mojo. So if you don't mind, I will be dedicating this post to stitching.
 
Where was I? Yes, so after the meet up, I decided to have a raid through my stitching stash and a happy hour or two was spend browsing through stash I had built up over the last few years. Plenty of beautiful charts that I had made plans to stitch but never did. Some were kitted. Some were not. Charts from Blackbird Designs, La-D-Da, Little House Needleworks, Carriage House, Heartstring Samplery, Exampler Dames..... and on and on. But what was more heart-warming and more lovely than any of those beautiful charts, more warming than a mug of cocoa, more special than waking up on Christmas morning (if this was indeed possible) was a bunch of cards I found. These cards were sent to me by stitchers who I had exchanged with in the past. These cards were not just signed, "love X," but were written with heartfelt messages and kindness. It brought tears to my eyes. I have all my exchanges and hand made gifts in a glass cabinet in my stitching room. They are all there. Biscornus, flat folds, scissor fobs, pin keeps, cubes, cushions, stitching wallets.... so many beautiful items. I remembered the joy of stitching up these exchanges and the anticipation of hearing they had arrived safely and also waiting for my surprise to arrive. I remember winning the Cross Stitcher's Lottery one year - right after I had had my second baby and how exciting to get so many gifts in the post! I began to carefully look and fondle those prizes and exchanges and really had a moment - an epiphany. It struck me that crochet is very much a selfish hobby and as lovely as it is, I have never felt that same sense of community I once had with the stitching exchanges and lovely stitching bloggers.
 
You guys have stuck with me over the years, through good times and through some incredibly hard times. Some of you have still continued to read and comment on my posts even when it seemed I would never stitch again, when it seemed I had turned my back on stitching and "ran offed" with Mr Crochet. Words can't really express how I have been feeling. I think one of the reasons my posts became fewer was that I became so disheartened when Webshots changed and I lost all my pictures from all my posts. This was a terrible blow and I did begin to try and find the pictures and repost some of them but I only got back to 2011 and so need to try and do a bit more. Sometimes though it is hard to remember which blogger sent which gift and when, there were so many of them.
 
I long to get back that sense of community once again and some of you will notice that I have been visiting your blogs and commenting. It has been fun to reconnect (virtually) with some of you again and so I want to say a big thank you to all my stitching friends - old and new and as a thank you I am hosting a little giveaway. I am going to make something for one special blogger. I haven't decided on what it will be yet - it will depend on who wins. It will be a surprise. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite colour is and what your favourite types of finishes are and in a couple of weeks I will pull a name out of the hat. Old and new friends are welcome to join and if you let people know on your blog then I will give you an extra chance. Just make sure to let me know in a separate comment that you have posted about it on your blog. The aim of this giveaway is for me to give back and to recreate some of that excitement I once felt when I did giveaways. It is to share the love of stitching and to hopefully make some new stitching buddies along the way. So in honour of my late brother's birthday, I will pick a name out on August 21st.
 
Okay, back to the return of my mojo. My dear stitching friend Tracy and I decided that in order to restart our mojo we would begin to SAL every Monday or Tuesday night once a week. This did me the world of good and I started a project that I had kitted up for some time. It is the All Things Counted English Silk Sampler Pocketbook by Kirsten Edwards from the Gift of Stitching magazine. I am so close to finishing this and then all I have to do is make it up which doesn't look too difficult. The Rajmahal art silks are a joy to work with. I thought they would be a nightmare but they are not. The are soft and hardly knot up at all. The effect is stunning. Very shiny and smooth. There are a number of speciality stitches in this so hope you can see them in the pictures. Some of the pictures taken in the evening show up the sheen better so I have included some evening pics too:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whilst in Cornwall, I decided that it would be very apt for me to have a new start and so I began Shores of HRH. I know that many of you have completed this design already and I have had this kitted up with the 40 count Lakeside linen ready to go for years but the 40 count frightened me to be honest. It was only whilst at the Nimble Thimble meet up that my good friend Tina showed me her Mighty Bright Vusion clip on magnifier and light. What a difference this little gadget makes! I got mine from here and I am never looking back. Look! You can see what a difference the magnifier makes. It takes a bit of getting used to but absolutely brilliant.
 
 
I thought I would never be able to stitch on such fine count fabric as my eyes are getting a little blurry when I hold things close up these days. So here is my start on Shores. I am using DMCs and a little NPI. There was a little lighthouse in view from our window in Cornwall so this design is quite special to me. It reminds me of one of the best seaside holidays I have been on but more about that in another post.
 
 
 
Another thing that has inspired me is that I noticed someone posted on their blog about Youtube vlogs so I went off to have a peek. Some that I have subscribed to are Mrs Milkybar Kid, Stitching Mae, The Lovely Array amongst others. I have been really inspired by these girls and their stunning projects. Their stash hauls make me feel so much better as well! So go and have a look and be enabled. I was even thinking maybe I could do one myself? Hmmm... thinking about it. What are your thoughts?
 
Oh on another exciting note, Tracy and I are going to be doing a Christmas Stitch a long on one of the Mill Hill buttons and beads designs. This one to be exact.
Winter Wonderland
 
There are loads in the series and so I have set it up as a SAL on the Needlecraft Haven board to see if anyone would care to join us? You would all be welcome whether you are in the UK or overseas. It is a free forum and very friendly too. I am Craftylucyloo on there. I have seen these designs made up in real life and they are exquisite. The beads are so sparkly and I think the little kits are a bargain as you get everything in them including the beads, threads, perforated paper etc. You can even purchase the matching frames so that you can just pop in your finished piece so a lot cheaper than going to get them framed. I thought these would be cute to do for Christmas so this is an open invitation to anyone who would like to join us.
 
I think I am going to hunker down and try to get some of my wips finished this summer.  Elisabeth Lillie is still sitting in my bag waiting to be finished. Quaker Christmas is also looking sad and neglected as is Helen Bell's multiplication sampler. Therefore, I am hereby dedicating myself to posting more frequently and having you friends to be accountable to! If that is okay with you guys?
 
Don't forget about my giveaway and please do mention it so we can try and recreate that spirit of giving in this community once more.
 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

59 comments:

Nicola said...

It,s great to see you stitching and blogging again Hazel. Those little Mill Hill kits are really lovely, I've been contemplating stitching one myself, great for Christmas ornaments. Looking forward to reading more blog posts from you.

Mii Stitch said...

Wonderful post :)
Favourite colours at the moment (yes, I keep changing!) are fuschia & teal any finish!!
I'm also giving a chart away on my blog... that is if your stitching mojo can take it :D
Have a lovely day x

Deanne J said...

So glad you've found your stitching and blogging mojo. I've recently found mine again after a year or so.

I'd love to be entered in your draw, my favorite colour is purple and I love all kinds of finishes.

Natasha said...

Hazel, I think we all go through those periods. I know I sure did I even sold off many of my prized charts. But after taking some time away I came back with a freshness and a new desire to stitch.

Those WIPs are looking great I LOVE that satin stitched heart, so pretty!!!

Clare - Aimetu said...

It's lovely to see you blogging and stitching again Hazel - I have all my exchange/gift cards in a box and it is lovely to re-read them and remember the gifts sent and received.

The SAL looks great - not sure if I'll be joining in yet though, I have featured it on Needlecraft Haven - I'm looking forward to seeing your update posts and of course posts about your other stitching too.

Vickie said...

Yay! Welcome, welcome back Hazel. I have missed you, truly. Thank you for your recent comments and encouragement during these times for me.
I would love to be included in your giveaway please. I LOVE pink! ;) I would enjoy any finish of yours I am sure.
Your new Mill Hill project is truly adorable.
Love all that pink stitching you are doing too. ♥

Melody said...

I am very happy to read that you have your stitching mojo back! Your projects are lovely. I love Shores of HRH. It is one of my favorite finishes I have done.

Lynn said...

Welcome back Hazel, it is a pleasure to see that you are stitching again but I do love seeing your crochet too!
It was lovely to read how you loved blogging and receiving those special gifts, it almost made my eyes water!
You don't need to put my name in the giveaway as I have already received some of your beautiful stitching so best to give someone else a chance.
Have a lovely happy stitching day!

Lynn B

Catherine said...

So good to see your post! My posting has been very sporadic as well and very little stitching ~ due to my boys schedules and my new work schedule. You have inspired me and I will go diving to see what I have in progress!
I like so many colors, depending on my mood and the day ~ but I usually avoid really bright colors.

Carol said...

Really enjoyed this post, Hazel--you've really captured what the spirit of the stitching/blogging community means to most of us. I keep all my little cards from gifts, giveaways, and exchanges, too. It still amazes me how stitching has connected people all around the world...

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Time is so precious--there is never enough time to do all the things we want to do and leave enough time to meet expectations by others.

Your stitching is beautiful! Sometimes taking a break is necessary to find our mojo.

Cole said...

Such a fun post Hazel! Shores is on my one day list, along with a couple of the other HRH charts... purchased, but not yet kitted. I hope you have fun with it!

My favorite color is green, and maybe with a little splash of pink :)

Cole said...

I've also added a link to my blog :)

Barb said...

Nice post. Your SAL piece is beautiful. I also love the shores piece. Glad to see your mojo is back and you are blogging again.

Melissa said...

Hazel, I am so glad you are getting your stitching mojo back and in a big way! I love that pocketbook you are stitching - quite beautiful!

The blog world has changed, IMHO. When I started there was a stitching community using blogs. Now it seems a lot of people have moved onto FB, Instagram etc.

I don't know what my favourite colour is as I like so many and I'm surrounded by colours these days! I will pick blue for a change. As to finish I always like getting the stand up fold pinkeep (sorry that's probably not the proper name). Thanks!

I hope your stitching mojo continues to blossom. (Mine is in hibernation at the moment!)

Tracy said...

I love your post hun so inspiring you have really helped me the last few weeks to find my love of stitching and to get back into the stitching community.

I'm up for a little giveaway ;) my fav colour is blue or purple (as you prob already guessed) and my fav finish mmm...def a little cushion of some description.

Happy Stitching and ban the crochet, we're back :)

Kate said...

Glad your mojo has returned, Love the GoS piece - the silks look fabulous. Happy SAL'ing!

Nicola said...

Should have said that I would like to be entered for your giveaway. My favourite colours are purples and yellows, and any finish would be fine. Thanks Hazel

Marlene Jones said...

When blogs go silent, we wait and hope you come back. Life has a habit of taking over, but our love of stitching always come back. It's great to catch up you again. With regards to your giveaway, I would love to br entered, my fav colour is purple, but I do love the surprise of your fav colours.

Angela P said...

I just got my stitching/blogging mojo back again too :) So nice to see your have yours back too!

The discovery of vlogs really helped me too, I have thought can I do that too? But I'm camera shy so not sure yet.

Your project with all the different stitches is lovely and so is Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I need to purchase a magnifer/lamp too but I've got my eye on the Mighty Bright floor model.

Please enter me in your giveaway, thank you :)

Angela P said...

I meant to add I love blue (any shade) and I love all finishes.

Brenda A said...

Welcome back! I'm sure once you start stitching again your desire to do more will increase exponentially! :)

faith76 said...

Happy stitching :-) My favourite colour is Red and I like any finish xxx

cucki said...

Aww super sweet projects..I love them so much..
My fav color us brown and all the fall colors and I love pin keep and needle books so much and scissor fobs too :)
Sweet hugs x

Kay said...

Stitching mojos come and go but stash lasts forever. So glad you have found your mojo again and had a happy time looking through your stash. I enjoy looking at mine even knowing most will never get done because of the amount. I would love to take part in your giveaway, and my favourie colour is duck egg blue and I particularly like soft pillow finishes to be put in a bowl or with ribbons to hang. x

Julie said...

A lovely project you've been working on. My SofHRH now hangs above my brothers desk, it went to live with him!
Happy stitching and reconnecting with old friends. X

Margaret said...

Wow, I love your WIPs! So beautiful! The Gift of Stitching piece is wonderful! As for my favorite color, it really depends. For samplers, it's red. But any bright colors will do. lol! Love pincushions. :D Glad you've gotten your mojo back!

Tina said...

Fab blogpost Hazel,love your stitchers wallet,the satin stitch looks great.
Yes ban crochet lol miss our sampler wall chats.

I need to restart my shores too,look forward to seeing your wips.

Would love a chance to win a stitched pillow or pin keep in red xxxx

Jackie said...

Welcome back! So glad to see your mojo is coming back around. You're working on some great project. I have Shores in progress too though it's been a while since I've worked on it. I'm slowly working my way back to my hobbies/interests. I'm not getting tons done but I'm doing a little bit of everything. I think the lack of mojo hits us all eventually.

Love red! Love most colors actually but red is a particular fav!

valerie said...

So glad to see you posting and stitching Hazel! It's so hard to make time for hobbies when life gets hectic. I stitch very little compared to before and miss exchanges and such. It does bring you closer to the stitching community. I would love a change at your draw. I pick Purple and any finish works for me. Your GoS project is stunning and I love your Shores start.

Blu said...

Welcome back! It's great to see you stitching and blogging again.

My favourite colour is blue and my favourite finishes are biscornus and flat ornaments :)

VeggieMummy said...

Fantastic post and I can't get over your work - it's so neat and beautiful. I would love to be entered in your giveaway - my favourite colour is duck egg blue and any finish would be lovely, I'm sure. Thank you and it's good to have you back. x

Annette-California said...

WOW your pocketbook is remarkable - so beautiful! I am so very very very thrilled that you are blogging again. And of course to see your stitching just makes me smile:))))
I too have Shores of HRH and have not started it yet... I think it time I pull it out. Right after I finish my doll project! I would love to be entered for your giveaway. I will post on my blog this week a link to your giveaway too. I adore many colors honestly. Pink,reds and love Autumn colors.
I have to admit that there are so many older charts that are so gorgeous and Shores is one of them. Any item hand stitched by you would be a treasure. I also have really enjoyed all your crocheting you've been doing - for the record:) Those wonderful blankets and granny squares are stunning. love Annette

Christine said...

Hi Hazel, glad you enjoyed your holiday in Cornwall and that you have "rediscovered" stitching.
The sampler looks stunning in the Rajmahal threads.
The SAL sounds good, but I can't even keep up with the monthly ornament challenge so I may have to sit it out.
I'd love to have a chance in your giveaway. My favourite colour is teal, and I've got a bit of a soft spot for biscornus

Shirlee said...

What a lovely post! I enjoyed reading all your musings : ) I love those Mill Hill kits & bought several of them on sale last year. I tried going to the SAL link you provided but it seems I have to sign up to even see the group? Thank you for posting about the little magnifier/light ... it sounds like something I might be able to use while traveling! Hope so : ) And your stitching is beautiful, by the way : )

Shirlee said...

Lol! I forgot to sign up for your giveaway! My favorite color ... hmmmm. Blue or purple probably : ) Favorite finish ... pin cushion or ornament : )

Marsha said...

So glad you are back! Your silk piece is gorgeous. I love the sheen. My favorite color is blue.

Lindsay said...

It's lovely to see you blogging again Hazel and it was fab to see you at Nimble Thimble.

I've had one of those lights for a few years now and love it but it doesn't come out to play often. I bought it mostly for the light when I'm out and about but no doubt I'l need the magnifier in years to come

I stitched the Mill Hill one a couple of years ago (bought at NT at a meet up!) and loved it but don't have anymore in my stash to do.

Favourite colour is either purple, red or a bright cheerful rainbow depending on my mood and I don't really have a favourite finish.

Sara said...

Very glad you're stitching and blogging again. I've been bad about both most of the year and am trying to get back in the habit before the twins are born so hopefully I can keep it up when they get here. I'm glad you liked the silks, I've seen them in my LNS but not tried them yet.

I'd love to enter your giveaway. I don't really have a favorite color but I do like the softer blue/green/purples and any finish by you would be much appreciated.

EvalinaMaria said...

Oh Hazel, your stitching is absolutely lovely! I would love to be entered in your draw ♥

Virpi said...

I would like to participate. My favorite colour is green and finishing box, pouch or bag - something practical...

denise said...

i"m new. i juset found your blog. myfave color is red and finish is pillows. denise Happy Stitching!!!

LindataxPA said...

Welcome back to the world of x's and blog-a-sphere. I too have neglected my blog and am thinking of a kick-start. Love the idea of a SAL with your friend, I may need to borrow that plan.

My favorite color is willow green. And my favorite finish....a little stand up.

Love your start on Shores (I am partial to lighthouses). Thanks for the tip on the magnifier/light.

Take care of yourself.

Urszula said...

Hi Hazel and great to see you around again. I will be joining you on the SAL as I have started this design, just not finished it.

Favourite colours - autumn hues :)

stitchersanon said...

A lovely post. I will pass on the giveaway if that is ok: postage to Ireland is not the cheapest but I did want to say Im glad you decided to stay. Glad you got your stitching mojo back as well as your blogging mojo.

CJ said...

I am so happy to have found your blog. I love to cross stitch and I treasure all the friends I have in the on-line community. Terrific post.

Andrea said...

So glad you have found your stitching mojo again. Your stitching is beautiful, it would be such a shame to waste those talents.
I'm the other way on 40ct, I now have to take my glasses off to see it better!
Please enter me in your giveaway. I'm not really sure what my favourite colour is ... ornaments or small pillows are favourite finishes at the moment.

Andrea said...

Just been to write something up on my blog for your giveaway.

CalamityJr said...

What a thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Your stitching is lovely; I'm really looking forward to seeing the finish. Your giveaway is intriguing. My favorite color is subject to change periodically, but right now it's purple. Can't wait to see what you have in mind!

Brigitte said...

Oh Hazel, welcome back into the blogging world and welcome back to stitching. I have always loved reading your posts wether they were about stitching or about crocheting.

Browsing through my stash is always a lot of fun for me, too. It's so wonderful to rediscover all those long forgotten charts and kitted projects and when doing this I feel the urge to start on at least ten projects at the same time, lol.

Your resurfaced with two beautiful projects. I can't wait to see them grow on your blog. I alos kept all the cards from exchnages I had with stitchers all over the world. And although I don't do exchanges any lobger due to various reasons I still feel that through blogging I am linked with many stitchers worldwide. And that's a great feeling.

Nikki said...

What a lovely blog you have and your stitching is beautiful. Yes, life does get in the way sometimes. My blog has suffered too. My favorite colors are pinks and greens, and I love little needle books or pin keeps. I will be following your blog.

Nikki

Jan Gartlan said...

Such a lovely blog post. The cross stitch community is such a friendly place. I have just finished the Shores of Hawk Run Hollow block 1. Please enter me in your draw. Happy stitching!
dandjgartlan@bigpond.com

stitcherw said...

Wow, the silk sampler is lovely, the silks are giving it such a pretty sheen. Your start on Shores is looking great too, it always amazes me the difference good light and magnification can make on being able to stitch on higher counts (or on stitching items were the floss is very similar to the fabric color in places). Glad that you've found something that works so well for you, I'll enjoy watching it grow. Welcome back to stitchy bug land :) Sue

Marilyn said...

I would love to enter.
My favorite color is Teal, and I love pinkeeps/pincushion finishes.
Thank you for the chance.
I love reading your blog and also seeing all of your pretty crochet finishes too.
Marilyn

Hazel D said...

Hi Hazel, I've just found your blog and really enjoyed reading your posts and looking at your lovely photos. Your latest finish is stunning and I agree the sheen on the silks is wonderful.

I have been a stitcher for decades but I'm new to blogging.
http://stitchwitchhazel.blogspot.co.uk/

I agree with what you say about the stitching community. I have lots of items around my home which were gifts, exchanges, RAKs and SALs and I treasure everyone of them.

I also recently discovered vlogs on You Tube and the 3 people you mentioned are 3 I follow plus a few more. I'm going to be joining in MrsMilkyBarKid's Mirabilia SAL which starts in January.

Anyway, enough rambling - I would love to participate in your draw. My favourite colours are lavenders and blues and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you stitch for the lucky winner.

andamento said...

I'd love to have something stitched for me, seeing as I can't do it myself! Not sure I qualify though, being one of those crocheting people. Anyway, glad to see you're up and running again, the amount of work you manage to complete always amazes me.

andamento said...

I'd love to have something stitched for me, seeing as I can't do it myself! Not sure I qualify though, being one of those crocheting people. Anyway, glad to see you're up and running again, the amount of work you manage to complete always amazes me.

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello there,
I have been quietly reading your blog for a while, although I haven't been able to comment until recently.
I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better now - I know only too well how hard things can be sometimes.
I would love to be entered in your draw - anything would be a delight to recieve.
Take care, and enjoy each day.
Love from
Lynda.

Riccardo Vasquez said...

Awesome post, Thanks for attractive stitching. My preferred color is red and green, but your choice color is fantastic.
Christmas Ornaments