Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Quick Question to all my Stitching Friends....

Just a quick question to all my lovely stitching readers. As you know, I live in the UK and I used to order some of my stitching stash from a couple of places in the US which have now stopped business. I am looking for some online shops in the US that are good to deal with, have a good range of charts, fabric and threads and have a good shipping rate to the UK. Some people are lucky enough to have good, local shops but unfortunately, I am not one of them. If anyone can recommend one please let me know.

Thank you!

P.S. I have been out of the Stash loop for a while, hence why I am asking ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

To Jesus

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭23-24‬ KJV)

Jesus gives us the gift of Justification through grace and grace alone. This is why I celebrate Christmas. 

Thank you Lord for your precious gift that brings freedom and forgiveness from sin which gives me peace in my heart and a strength that never fails to get me through the hardest of times. Thank you Lord that no matter what I have done I can come before the throne of grace and find help from Father. Thank you Lord that you came from glory to this rotten world to save me from all my flaws and wretchedness; to bring healing both physical and emotional; to make provision for me financially and in every other need I have. Thank you Lord that you love me and care about every single detail of my life and that there is nothing too small for you to care about. Thank you Lord for your promise to never leave me or forsake me and thank you that you have showed yourself to me as a real friend and not a myth or a story. Thank you for the gift of faith that you put in my heart many years ago. 

Merry Christmas everyone. I pray you find true peace this Christmastime. 


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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas crafts with kids and looking forward to 2015

The Christmas season is well under way at our house. We broke up a week earlier than most schools in the area and I really needed that break. To be honest, I have been very ill this last term on and off and even now, after having a full week off, I am still full of a head cold and sinus trouble. My face is in a lot of pain. So I haven't actually wanted to do very much other than stay in and hunker down in my own home.

A few days ago, knowing the kiddos were getting a little bit stir crazy, I set them off doing some Christmas crafts using this book that I had purchased a year or two ago.

We made paper chains...

And snowflakes....
these were a bit trickier..

And I was very proud of my wee man who spent hours on making stuff. 

I still need to write cards and do a bit of baking but truth be told I'm really not in the mood this year. I'm just plain old worn out! 

So I thought I'd start looking ahead to next year and begin to make some goals. I failed miserably the last few years at making and sticking to my goals so thought I'd try a different approach. I have seen a lot of people doing the stitch from stash thing which looks good but I think I need to be even more stricter than that with my finances. So I'm not sure. I had thought about having a kind of finishing pot so that every time it finished something I would pay myself a certain amount and put it in the pot so to speak. Then after I have a few finishes under my belt I can treat myself to something new. 

I have a few charts already kitted up in my stash that are waiting to be started. One of which I have just started as a bit of a Christmas treat. It is Heartstring's Samplery The Stars are Brightly Shining. 

I have done quite a bit on it already and looking forward to squeezing in another finish before the end of the year. 

I am loving working on this which uses GAST threads and is stitched on 32 count desert sand. 

I have also recently finished CCN ornie number 3 and now awaiting for the next one. It seems to be taking forever for these designs to get over here. 

I have decided to stitch them all up first and then "finish" them off into ornies. I hate the finishing bit. 

The other project I have started is another ripple blanket which is a gift for my sister for her birthday but I literally only have about 6 weeks to do it in so I need to get this done quickly. The colours are turning out quite pretty although I wasn't so sure at first. 

I hope she likes it. She might not, truth be told, but at least I can say I have tried to make my peace.

So stitching plans for 2015?

I desperately need to finish Elisabeth Lillie.
I must finish Lizzie Kate ABC Christmas
I must make some considerable progress on A Quaker Christmas
It would be nice to get at least 2 or 3 blocks done on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
I should really get going on A Most Noble Pursuit
Helen Bell's multiplication sampler has been sitting far too long 
and these are just WIPs

I won't mention the Just Nan, the HEADS and the Yiota design. 

I would like to start more - like I said I do have some ready kitted up to start but I do need to get some of these BAPs finished first. I think looking at how much I have to do on them, I should start with Elisabeth Lillie and get her finished up. Also the Lizzie Kate one won't take long, I'm sure. 

This is going to be my year of finishes! 
Watch this space. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Week before Christmas post.

I want to thank you all so much for your heartfelt condolences on the loss of my beautiful girl. I miss her so much. 

Today I have some finishes to show you. I have finally crocheted the last rounds on the edge of the Cosy blanket. I have much enjoyed working away on this - one reason being that the pattern was all laid out for me and I didn't have to think about it very much. When it came to the last round of colours, I was indeed worried that I might not have enough yarn to do the edging so I left off the stripes of gold, claret, copper and meadow and also left the petrol till the last row. I still did not have quite enough of the copper or the gold but fortunately I did have some in my stash of wool upstairs so I could finish it off. It is very big and very long and I love it and I can't believe I am giving it away!!! My husband says it is the nicest one I have done to date. Cheeky beep. I think all my blankets have been lovely in their own way. 

Some other changes I made were to the corners. Instead of the stated 2trb - ch2 - 2trb I did 3 2 3. I am always so worried that my edges will curl so wanted to do as much as I could to prevent this. 

Here it is!!

This last one showing the corners. 

My mum had asked me to make her some potholders a while ago. She showed me a magazine with a pattern in it but I forgot to take the pattern with me! I decided to search for some on Pinterest and found this blog which links to some great ones. I made 3 and they were all pretty easy to make. I have wrapped these up now and she will get them for Christmas. I hope she likes them. I still don't really get what they are to be used for?? Anyone any ideas? 

My lovely friends, Tina, Lesley and Tracy came round last weekend for a little stitchy retreat at my house and Tina and I did an ornament exchange. Here is the one she stitched for me:

I love it! Thank you Tina.

Now, I completely forgot to take a picture of the one I made for her so Tina has kindly sent me a picture but it is a little blurred but you will know it as soon as you see it. It is from one of the JCS ornie mags and I think it is CCN or LHN. 

I also stitched one for Tracy too. Here it is. 

It is by Niky's creations I think from this years JCS ornie magazine. I changed the colours to suit.

Tracy has stitched me something too but she said it isn't an ornament so I am waiting until Christmas day to open it. 

I also received this lovely stitched card from Kim from the RAK group. Thank you sweet Kim it is lovely. 

I thought I would also show you some little snippets of Christmas around our home. I think it looks really lovely this year as I have gone for the traditional red theme. 

One of the things I also bought this year was some wintry themed bedding. It is this set...

... and no that is not my bedroom - wish it was!!!!!!

I have decided that I am going to try and make a snowflake runner to go at the bottom of it. I found this design (you can also find a video tutorial on You Tube) and bought some aran weight wool in sparkly white (Caron party) and red Stylecraft also in aran. Here is my attempt! They are quite a decent size too. I really think they will look lovely but whether I will actually get it done in time for this year is another matter. 

So that's all from me for today. I think that's enough. I am exhausted!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Goodbye sweet Misty

I am heartbroken. There is no other word for it. Today, I had to put my beloved Ragdoll cat down. She was only 5 years of age. She had gradually stopped eating and after blood tests were done it was discovered she had kidney disease. I have spend the last day, holding her in my arms and watching her life slowly ebb away. It has been the hardest couple of days in my life. She was like a family member and I loved her so much. She was the most beautiful thing with beautiful, soft fur and the bluest eyes. She was gentle natured and never did anything nasty. I am so very sad today.

April 2009 - December 2014
Precious girl

Below is from this week...

Below is from a few years ago. She looked much brighter then.

These are from this week. Poor girl. She had lost all her strength. :(

Love you Misty. Beautiful girl.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Slow Sunday...

Today I decided to take it easy. I have had a very busy week, culminating in an even busier weekend and so today it was time to ReeeeLaaaax. My husband went out of town to a guitar show and I decided to stay home and get the shopping done and just take it easy.
This time of year is always busy. On Friday, it was my daughter's 12th birthday. Yes 12!! Can you believe it? I think she was about 3 or 4 when I started this blog. And boy has she grown. We took her and her four school friends bowling and then to Frankie n Bennies - usual hob. She wanted an Ikea bookcase for her birthday and lots of books and so that is what she got. We did get her a few other bits and pieces too. I also made her something which was last minute and I nearly broke my wrist doing it as it was on a 10mm hook. I have the "during" picture but no after picture just yet. You will have to wait to see the finished product in my next post. All I can say though is that it has something to do with the Hunger Games.

So after the big rush of birthday madness, Saturday arrived and with it the annual School Christmas fair. As some of you may know, a couple of us teachers have been running an after school club for the kiddos to try and teach them some new skills. We teach them crochet and cross stitch - last term then made Biscornu. This term we have been doing a bit of Decopage. But it all costs money. So, it was up to me and Mrs B to try and raise some funds at the school fair. We dressed our tables up as best we could - Thank you Pinterest! and we managed to get a few sales and raised just over £30. Not a lot but every pound helps. I thought you may like to see a few pictures....
Blurry pic of my DD helping out behind the stall!

My lovely little coffee cup cosies with hand made buttons.

My pencil pots - I used Tesco value lemon curd - 22p Bargain then threw out the curd.

My granny tissue box covers. Pattern can be found here but I adapted mine slightly. Also some of the cross stitch key rings the kids made in after school club.

Bobbles galore! These were the best sellers.

Star and tree ornaments. These sold quite well as well.

All sorts of bits and pieces. It was a fun day and I loved the feeling of being part of the community. Our school is like a big, extended family.
After the fair, we surprised the kids with a trip to see the mew film Paddington. I absolutely loved it. Great British film with a wonderful, Christmassy feel to it. I really recommend it if you have kids and even if you don't! It was so nice to hear all the young people in the audience laughing along at the humour.
So this is me. signing off till another quiet day when I can get my head together a bit. Now you can see why I needed a day of rest. I have managed to catch up with the Cosy CAL and now I am on part 5 which makes me very happy. Oh so happy. The colours are so therapeutic.  
Have a lovely week everyone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Giveaway that never arrived :(

A couple of months ago I felt very moved to do a giveaway. It had been a while since I had done one and it was my way of saying thank you to this lovely blogging community for the years of friendship and support that many of you had given me.
The lovely Cucki had won it and so I set about choosing a design I thought she would like and thinking of small trinkets to go with it. So you can imagine how my heart dropped when I had sent it off only to discover that there had been a post office strike in South Africa and poor Cucki did not receive the pretty gift I made her. :( :( :( :( I was completely devastated and held off until now to show what I had made - just in case that little gift appeared and spoiled her surprise.
But no - I think it has gone for good. And so, I have decided that I will show and tell what I made anyway. I am so sorry for you Cucki but this is what you should have got :( :( :(

It is a Barbara Ana design called Fall Biscornu. Cucki had said she loved fall colours so I tried to match the design to her likes.

These are a few extras I put into the package. Again, I tried to match everything to a fall theme.


A last look! I am so sorry this did not get to you Cucki. I am very sad.
So you can imagine what with the last exchange I was involved in with the certain person not coming though on her part and then this happening... I have lost the heart for exchanging and giveaways at the moment. Hopefully, in the new year, I might get back the big and offer another one out.
And just for an update, here is my Cosy CAL update:

Oh the colours!!! They are so vibrant and I have to say that I am enjoying every single row. They remind me of a Moroccan Bazaar. My husband thinks this is for him and keeps wrapping himself up in it. Errrr... don't think so mister. This one is for keeps methinks.
Other news is that I have managed to tick off a couple of things from the list of to-dos but there are things that now need adding on.
My dd has developed an interest in The Hunger Games and has decided that I need to make her a Katniss Cowl. Well, I have seen several here (too complicated) and here (tad too expensive?) but have decided on a slightly different design which you can see here. I have had a look at the pattern and think I can do it. I can do FPDC and BPDC but I might get myself a bit stuck on row 7 but I will deal with that when I get to it.
I have also decided that I want to try and make my sisters (I have 2) a blanket each. I have decided on two of Lucy's lovely ripple blankets as it means I don't have to think about patterns and colours. The Cottage one and the Coast one.  But, and here's the but, one of my sisters has fallen out with me and I am not even sure she will appreciate a blanket. I mean, what if she throws it away? or hides it in a cupboard? or just doesn't receive it from me? Hmmmmm. I am umming and ahhing over this. On one hand I thought it would make a nice peace offering but on the other.... pah! I don't know. What do you think?
Well that's all from me for this week. I really REALLY need to get some ornies finished for Christmas gifts and I also want to make sure I am ready to go for the next stage of the CAL at the weekend.
Hope you are all fine and dandy.