Monday, 24 September 2007

Even More Secret Stitching Revealed!

Willeke let me know that she safely received the second of my PIF Promises last week. Leena inspired me to try a heart-shaped pinkeep, so with the help of her instructions here, I was able to finish this Tournicoton freebie called 'Coeur Printemps' as a heart pinkeep - my very first heart-shaped one! Leena's instructions were excellent, and her tip about the tracing paper was inspired. I painted the pins to match with nail varnish to match the threads, and Willeke tells me she is delighted with it, so I think that can be chalked up as a success! I also stitched Willeke a small biscornu scissor fob, this one a freebie design from Periphaeria Designs. Can you tell that Willeke likes hearts??!

Front view and back view of Willeke's PIF: Tournicoton freebie 'Coeur Printemps' stitched on 36-count Lakeside Vintage Exemplar using Carrie's Creations, DMC and Crescent Colours threads, finished as heart-shaped pinkeep. Periphaeria Designs freebie 'Ring o' Hearts' stitched on 36-count Lakeside Linens Vintage Exemplar using Carrie's Creation thread and finished as a small scissor fob biscornu. Please ignore dusty windowsill!!

Phew - that's now most of my recent secret stitching revealed, only a little more to go...

I also had some time this weekend to devote to Orlaith's stocking, and have even managed to stitch the first 1/3 of it as I had tasked myself to do - hurrah! Next month's 1/3 is the Santa which covers the main part of the sock - I'm looking forward to stitching it, as it means that Christmas is not far off! That said, I was horrified to find selection boxes (translation for non-Europeans - large boxes of chocolate put together by the major chocolate manufacturers and featuring their best selling chocolate bars, only available at Christmas and often decorated (the boxes, not the chocolate) with santas, mistletoe, holly, reindeer, etc) in the shops 10 days ago. The kids have barely gone back to school, and already there is Christmas gear coming into the shops??? At least in Canada (and I presume in America too) you get Hallowe'en and Thanksgiving before you really get stuck into Christmas!

Happy stitching all and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 21 September 2007

My First Crazy Exchange!

I was in a horrendous mood last night, trudging home in the near-dark after a day of dealing with obstreperous clients. But there's nothing like a surprise package on the doorstep to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step! The package was from Marne, from the Crazy Exchange (of which more below), and I was thrilled to be opening my very first exchange! Marne sent me a beautifully made quilt in blacks and reds and whites which is going to be a perfect centrepiece for the coffe table which H and I are going to be buying imminently (once we find the right one, of course...). She also sent along some stitching extras, some finishing fabric, and a notebook cover. She also sent along some wonderful stickers from Seattle, where she lives, and they really made me smile - having grown up not far away on Vancouver Island in south-western BC, the depictions of rain, Indian wood carvings, orcas and ferries all powerfully reminded me of home. Thank you Marne for such a lovely gift, I do so love it!!

The rules of the Crazy Exchange now stipulate that I have 30 days to post something I've made for Marne back to her. As well, she signed up for one of my PIF Promises, so she's now got two gifts coming from me, so I'll have to get my thinking cap on...

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for dropping by. Happy stitching!

Monday, 17 September 2007

My First Stocking

I spent this weekend doing quite a bit of secret stitching (it gets boring, me telling you that doesn't ?!). I'm hoping to get it in the post today, so hopefully there will be photos revealed soon...

I also started my very first stocking! I'm hoping a September start will be in time for our niece's birthday, which is the week before Christmas. I don't think that H's side of the family know about my blog, so think it's entirely safe to post pictures here. I've chosen a Shepherd's Bush stocking, called 'Robert's Stocking' because it has a nice big jolly santa, and some reindeer, which feels quite festive. I'm stitching it on 20-count raw linen and using DMC Perle #5 threads. It's certainly easy to see after much recent stitching on 36-count fabric! I feel I'm going to be in at the deep end with the finishing, but I'm hoping a few in-depth conversations with my very talented sewer-mum will set me on the right path. At least it will give me an opportunity to use my new sewing machine :) Here is my start (I've started at the very bottom, as it was the widest part of the design).

Hope you all had wonderfull weekends, and are feeling fully recharged for the week ahead!

Happy stitching!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Secret Stitching 2 Revealed

In the midst of work craziness and long bouts of secret stitching, I was delighted to get an email from Mindi letting me know that the PIF gift which I posted to her last week had safely arrived. She is very pleased with it, which is great! I really enjoyed stitching the pinkeep and tiny biscornu fob for her. Now only a few more bouts of secret stitching this month, and I'll be visiting the post office again - hurrah! Mindi took some lovely photos, including some of the extras, so pop along to her blog if you are interested.

Pinkeep: design taken from Examplar Dames 'Peace'
stitched on 32ct Country Stitch Kiwi Illusions 'Acorn'
fibres: Crescent Colours 'Joshua Tree' and Stitches and Spice ' Wintered Marble'

Reverse of pinkeep, and front of scissor fob, materials as listed above

Same portion of design, stitched over 1 for the fob

Happy stitching and have a wonderful weekend! Spare a thought for me, achingly creaking through my first hockey match of the season tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Busy busy busy

Hi all - things have been a bit frantic these past couple of weeks, so any time I've had to stitch, I've mainly been doing secret stitching in a (possibly vain) effort to finish my 'gift'-type goals this month - the other goals may have to be postponed. So bear with me, and hopefully the paper storm will soon pass, and I can get back to stitching and posting like normal! One final flurry may see me through....

Happy stitching and thanks for dropping by!

Monday, 10 September 2007

To the Lighthouse

Wow. What a fantastic weekend we've had!! The lighthouse was absolutely brilliant - only about 30 minutes' drive from Cardiff, but in deepest, darkest middle of nowhere (or the edge of nowhere perhaps, given that were were on the coast!), with only a few locals, a cracking pub, plenty of cows, and even more sheep. We had such a wonderful time - went on lots of walks, went out for dinner, watched some of the rugby world cup (including the nearly infamous game where the nearly excellent Canadian side nearly upset a nearly poor Wales side, but didn't). We just had a most fabulous, relaxing time! So as you can imagine, not much in the way of a stitching update, although I did get a few hours in on Spanish Wine last Thursday, and I'll post an update photo at the bottom.

As an aside, I think I've just realised exactly how much stitching I've tasked myself with this month. I'm rather quaking in my boots. If I were wearing boots, or had legs which were given to trembling.

Me posing outside our cottage door, with the old lighthouse tower in the background

The new, fully automatic lighthouse, just 200m away

View up the Welsh coastline

Happy stitching all, and thank you as always for stopping by!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Secret Stitching 1 Revealed

Leena received the small birthday present I sent to her earlier this week - her birthday isn't until tomorrow, but who would have guessed that Royal Mail would get the parcel there in only one day?? So here is the secret photo - Leena has some lovely photos on her blog as well, so have a look there if you're interested.

And - wonderful news about the tube strike: it's been called off! I would have made it home on time yesterday, if only I didn't have to work late, and if only an earlier train to Reading hadn't broken down, causing half-hour delays in its wake...the joys of commuting. Are there any? Oh yes, I remember why I do it when I walk outside my door and see the big field there :)
And further wonderful news - I think all your hopeful thoughts for our weekend away have borne fruit - not only have I found somewhere coastal and secluded for us this weekend, but I've also found somewhere completely unique: we're staying in a lighthouse for two nights right on the coast in Wales!! I'm SO looking forward to this :) I may not have time for stitching, and I don't think we'll have any internet access, so I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will post some photos of our lighthouse next week.
Happy stitching and thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Finally Some Pictures!

Finally, something to show you! I'm trying to vaguely stick to my rota, so Tuesday is Awake the Dawning Day - I've now finished all the vines around the house, along with the eyelets, flowers and grapes. I didn't quite manage to finish the first bird before my eyes fluttered in fatigue on the couch last night, so this is where I've got to (sorry for the crooked photo):

We're in the middle of a tube strike in London - which is making my commute to work much longer. Instead of a 15-minute journey on the tube, I am now faced with queueing (that's the polite way of saying, elbows out and barging) for a bus, or else walking for 45 minutes from Paddington station to my work. Yesterday, I elected the bus option, and discovered that it also takes 45 minutes, and you have the added bonus of being squashed in like a sardine as the bus meanders slowly from one bus stop to the next. Today, I walked.
The hunt for a place to stay at the weekend is not going well - the only place I've found that agreed that they did have some rooms also (thankfully) let me know that they had a wedding booked for the weekend, and that it was likely to be a rowdy one. So, the search goes on...
Happy stitching all and thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

More Secret Stitching and a Treat for Me!

I've been doing lots of secret stitching and finishing - one went in the post yesterday, and another hopefully tomorrow or the next day. So not much to show you about what I've been working on - soon though!

I've had some wonderful news from H, who has promised to take me away for the weekend this weekend. Excellent! I even get to choose where we go (and plan the trip and book it - yes, you will guess who is the organised one in this family). So I'm thinking coast, rocky not beachy, quiet... a bit like home I think :) Maybe Wales or north Cornwall...

Anyway, I've got to get busy searching for the perfect B&B, so happy stitching and hopefully I'll have some photos quite soon!