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.
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.