Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Yep, a strange combination!

So, here's a question for you ~ How often do you get 9 solid hours of 'ME' time when the only thing you can really do is CROSS STITCH?

Answer ~ whilst flying over The Atlantic of course!

We left England last Friday for our Christmas vacation here again in Florida (11th time and now definitely our 2nd home!) and over the past few years although I've always packed my needle supplies in the suitcases for the tight security reasons, this year I took a deep breath and thought 'Well, I'll try, if they remove the needle, so be it!' and Hey Presto ~ my innocent face got my trusty needle through security and a leisurely 9 hours stitching produced my last Happy Dance of 2011 . . .

Charmed Flakes 'Deck the Hall' by Hinzeit
stitched on 28-ct Jobelan Bay Leaf with suggested DMC threads

I was struggling with this one a couple of months back, I didn't like the heaviness of the required backstitching or solid line underneath the snowmen so decided to omit both, change the wording at the bottom to the lighter shade used for the snowmen's 'twig' arms and I'm really happy with the finished design! :)  I have the silver snowflake charms to add when I get back home and decide on a finish ~ for now I've put these 3 little fellows in the fridge so they don't melt before I get back home!!!

Temperatures here in Orlando have been a very nice high 70 degrees and are, from today, rising to the low 80's and are a welcome relief from the dull, gloomy days back in England.  Christmas is very pretty out here and the villas are decorated beautifully, the life out here is very laid-back, very clean and very friendly.


Yesterday we drove out to my favourite needlework shop ~  Needleorts ~ and on DH's orders, I took my Christmas stocking and with very little difficulty managed to FILL IT!  Ooooooh, a child in a candy store would have been hard put to have a bigger smile on their face at the end of it!

In case you're wondering ~ my 2 best friends are happy and warm staying with the lovely lady who's the nurse at our Vets ~ our house-minders are not really bunny people and I know they'll be spoilt-rotten where they are ~ miss them sooooooo much :(

I haven't had much time to blog read but will catch up as soon as I can and if I don't post again before the 25th . . .
May it be peaceful, joyful, warm and full of love

Monday, 12 December 2011


Do you remember my disappointment with my last Pine Mountain Designs kit?
The fabric included in the kit was completely different from the one they had both pictured and advertised resulting in the threads having no impact whatsoever WELL this is the kit I chose as a goodwill gesture from Pine Mountain who responded very quickly and very kindly . . .

'Home for Christmas'

These sweet little kits stitch up so quickly so I'm pleased I can say it's finished and I can declare another Happy Dance for 2011 . . .

As I said before they always remind me of wrapped sweets waiting to be opened, the ribbons at the end are always so pretty once they're tied into bows
In case you were wondering ~ the holly around the pillow IS real and comes from our Holly Tree in the back garden, normally the berries come too early and it's just the leaves by Christmas but nature having a law of its own this is what we have this year . . .

Both the birds and the squirrels love this tree and it's just outside our bedroom window so dawn is pretty noisy round here!

I've had a good weekend getting all the Christmas bits & pieces done so feel a little more relaxed now!  I hope everyone else is up-to-date too and enjoying the countdown?

Thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


The South of England has its 1st covering of frost this morning and although it's so, so pretty that also means that the big day is fast approaching and I'm so behind on everything that I shall skip the subject straight away and instead share my new stitching addiction Happy Dance with you . . .

These were the ingredients . . .

32 count 'Country Grain' Linen, Au Ver a Soie and Mori Silk Threads and 5 button embellishments

and this is what those magic ingredients produced . . .

'The Stockings' by Shepherds Bush

Gorgeous subtle colouring and just love those cozy patterned socks!

3 stockings and a rather unusual funky Christmas tree with a present waiting at the bottom (hope it's another Shepherds Bush kit for me ~ Santa, I have been very good really, OK the housework is screaming at me and my Christmas preparations are zero BUT!)

Herringbone and Satin Stitch

I just can't make up my mind how to finish this one or my previous post ~ Red Snowman?  I don't really want to frame them behind glass and not sure if that would work with all the button embellishments either?  You all know how I'm a dedicated pillow finisher but with these lovely silk threads which could never be cleaned if they were handled too often ~ ummmmmmm! any ideas?

I'm keeping tuned in with all the lovely seasonal stitching you creative blogging friends are producing and everything is really fabulous and very inspirational ~ it's such a wonderful time of the year for cross-stitching :)

Thanks for stopping by
x x x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Hi blogging friends, I hope Wednesday 23rd November finds you happy and well and not in too much of a panic as the countdown now only says 32 days until Christmas . . . . what! 32 days . . . . I'm panicing!!!

My tease of only 1 photo in my last post of my latest stitch didn't seem to ring any bells to many of you yet I was sure the Cranberry Bog would give it away!
Here's a few more clues . . .

A funky stripey hat

Frosted Auburn flowers, Smyrna crosses and Eyelet stitches

A cute carrot button nose

2 sets of stripey legs!

Right that's enough clues!  Share a Happy Dance with me and enjoy . . . .

'Red Snowman' by Shepherd's Bush

Oh! just yummy, yummy to stitch, everything you need in one kit with lovely soft silk threads, gorgeous fabric and button embellishment.  My first attempt at one of their kits and I couldn't put it down from start to finish and what's more . . . . . there's a purple, green and blue snowman in kit form too . . .  mmmmmmm, wonder what's going on my Christmas Wish List to Santa!

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, 14 November 2011


I have to start this post with yet another very big thank you to my lovely blogging friends who left me messages of good wishes and support on my recent 24 hours of blood pressure excitement, delights, TORTURE!  I am so pleased to report that although the night was certainly one to remember! the results were good and have put my mind at rest ~ the thought that now I have to endure this 24hr agony once every 12 months does not appeal too much but it's so worth it when the results can be downloaded the very next day and told to me immediately!

Stitchy news ~ a small finish with a few hiccups along the way . . .

I ordered this Pine Mountain kit in an on-line Sale recently and thought it was really cute but when it arrived the stitching fabric was completely different?  The material described on the front picture description is not what is shown in the photograph ~ naughty Pine Mountain!  As it is already pre-sewn and I did not have anything that remotely resembled what the picture showed, I stuck with it but a couple of the threads supplied just didn't show up so I have had to change the colour choices . . .

I contacted Pine Mountain and have to say they have been really fast in their response telling me that the fabric shown is no longer available so it has been substituted with another and for my disappointment they have let me choose another kit which they will send on to me at no cost.  I am disappointed that it hasn't turned out as I hoped but I cannot fault Pine Mountain for their fantastic response!

It does look pretty doesn't it ~ it reminds me of a hand-wrapped candy waiting to be opened!

I wonder if any of you know what this next project is?

I'm wondering if I say it's stitched with silk threads 1 over 2 on Cranberry Bog 32-count linen whether it will give it away but this designer is a first for me and I'm loving it!

Only problem is ~ this little rascal is shedding fur at the moment and boy! do they show up on red linen!

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Today has been staring at me on the Calendar for the past couple of weeks and I've been sooooo looking forward to it ~ NOT!
  A fun-filled 24 hours attached to a blood pressure monitor which tortures my left arm every 15 minutes by squeezing it to death to take a reading with the thrill of knowing that tonight it will extend to every 30 minutes and go on the whole night long ~ umm! not much sleep I'm guessing!
Good job the next instalment of the Virginia Andrews 'Flowers in the Attic' novel is sitting by my bed (Book 4) ~ although as they are all such tear-jerkers it probably won't help!!!

So whilst I've spent this morning full of indulgent self-pity, Mr. Postie delivered an unexpected package on the doormat . . . .

My dear blogging friend Lesleyanne sent me a birthday parcel.  Lesleyanne and I chat often through email and I am so pleased to have met her through Blogging and I guess I must have said my birthday was fast approaching and just look at what she sent especially for me . . .

Oh! it's just gorgeous ~ bunnies and strawberries in my favourite shades of colour and backed with red gingham fabric ~ PERFECT!
The design is LHN 'Strawberries' and Lesleyanne has stitched it on 28~count Mushroom fabric with Crescent Colours floss.
I'm truly touched Lesleyanne by your kindness, it means so much to me and from my miserable start to the day ~ look at me now . . .

Wish me luck tonight ~ what a strange coincidence DH has a big important business dinner tonight and as it won't finish until the early hours has decided to stay overnight in the Big City ~ he'll miss out on all the excitement!!!

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Last week I received a surprise email from Yiota asking me if I would like to choose and then review one of her many counted cross stitch kits ~ I was really chuffed to be asked and as I've come to a halt with my snowmen stitch I yelled a big 'YES PLEASE!'

Her on-line shop is extensive and includes Victorian inspired designs, popular fine art designs and many other categories such as fantasy, fairies, animals, flowers and much much more and the kit prices are very competitive.
After narrowing my choice down to 3, I finally decided on . . .

The Tree of Life by Klimt

I love this design and know the original painting by Gustav Klimt ~ this is the centre portion of the original painting but is reproduced very accurately.  I let Yiota know my choice and the following day . . . there it sat on the doormat in a sturdy secure envelope clearly marked 'Do Not Bend'.

The kit is extremely well put together . . .

 the chart is presented in black and white on 2 x A3 sheets of good quality paper

 the 14-count Aida fabric (the only choice of fabric but you do have the option of purchasing or downloading the charts rather than full kits) is quite soft and supple and not the hard, course material I remember from the past and the threads are Maderia threads and come pre-wound on bobbins each marked with their shade code (DMC alternatives are listed!).

So, what next . . . . well, start stitching of course . . .

I'm loving it, something different from my recent stitches and I love the curls and patterns of the tree branches.  I find I'm stitching it really randomly as the colour changes are frequent and as soon as I start one curl I'm tempted by another so I'm hopping all over the chart!

So far so good ~ my only criticism is that the thread numbers and symbols only appear in a horizontal line at the bottom of only one of the charts, to make life a little easier I have written them out in a vertical list form on the second part of the chart and also drawn the symbols on the labels on the thread bobbins ~ nothing major but helpful to me!

Go take a look yourself and see all her lovely designs, there are lots of Christmas options and the Victorian snowy street scenes are gorgeous.  You can find Yiota at

Thanks for stopping by

Sunday, 30 October 2011



Please note ~ Nobunny was hurt or distressed during the making of this post and are currently in full sleeping mode after consuming a large reward of carrots & watercress for their perfect posing!!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Happy Thursday everyone!
It's Half-Term here and as normal the weather is pants!!!
DS's are busy revising German for a forthcoming test next week and DD is writing her personal statement for University applications so a little time for me and this was my quick and easy stitch for this week . . .

'How-lo-ween' freebie by Cherrywood Designs
stitched on 28count 'Shades of Autumn' evenweave with Mascara Weeks Dye Works

Pillow finish (no surprise there!) with Halloween Witch fabric, ric rac and bronze beads

I'm fully absorbed by a 5-book series by Virginia Andrews at the moment.
I read the first one ~ Flowers in the Attic ~ many years ago but never read the following four ~ I'm hooked and by sitting up to 1am last night have nearly finished book three.
The library are ordering them in for me as and when I'm ready for them and they've just rung to say book four is there ready and waiting so guess where I'm off to and who will be burning the midnight oil again tonight?

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Hi everyone ~ hope you're having a lovely relaxing stitchy weekend?

Thank you for all your comments on my last post concerning 'Fa' and 'La' (aka Snowmen)  and whether to backstitch or not!  It seems that most of you have no particular preference and like both with or without ~ mmmmmm? now what do I do? Well, put it to one side and leave them alone for a while whilst I put my mind to something else ~ hope they don't melt!

Missing needles and pins!  Drives me mad and always a worry that one of the bunnies will try and eat one so how about this solution . . .

Toby Tortoise

Isn't he cute?  I found the pattern on line and he knitted up really quickly, a little longer to put him together but love him!

The pattern had instructions for his shell to be knitting in 2 colour plain stripes but I thought this DK wool would be great as it knits as a fairlisle pattern as you go . . .

even his underside looks good . . .

and best of all ~ if he trys to escape he won't go very quickly!

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, 17 October 2011


Just a quickie . . .
My intentions of building the final snowman of 'Deck the Halls' just didn't happen this weekend and after picking it up this afternoon I've decided I'm not sure if I like the backstitching or not around 'Fa' and 'La'!
So I've unpicked 'Fa' and left 'La' so you can tell me what you think, I just feel the snowman should look soft against the fabric and not have a harsh line around them, perhaps I'm just going la-la!!!

Other insignifant news . . .  I set fire to my oven Friday night and although repairable the part will not be with us until end of this week ~ good job we have a microwave and I've failed my blood pressure test yet again and now have to be fitted with a 24hour monitor to find out what's going on ~ I did tell the doctor about the oven and the indecision on building snowmen but looks like the diabetes is the culprit - dam diabetes!

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, 15 October 2011

'MUM! WE'RE GOING' . . . .

Thank you to everyone who responded to my last Post and has sent me back pieces of my missing mojo!!!
I think I'm basically just a bit down in the dumps at the moment with too many worrying things going on around me but that doesn't make a good post to read does it?  so here goes with my progress on 'Deck The Halls' snowman trio and it's really coming on rather well . . .

As you can see I'm still missing the final 'La' but will make a start on that this evening and then it will just need the wording underneath so a Happy Dance in sight I think!

Last weekend was the Knitting & Stitching Show at The Alexandra Place in London and not having been before I had been counting the days down on the calendar and itching to get there and have a nosy!
My mojo and self-esteem on a bit of a downer I went to bed the night before and thought I just can't be bothered and I get so fed up that I don't have any stitchy friends to go with, I'll go next time!

Well, that was until DS (aka Twin II) woke me up and said 'Mum, WE'RE going, get yourself ready, our train leaves in 1 hour and we're take a picnic!'
Bless him, how could I refuse?

The Palace and park grounds were beautiful (annoyingly I forgot to take my camera with me) but the goodies inside were even more beautiful and in the 4 hours we spent there we only got round half of the exhibitors!
'Hand-dyed' was the order of the day for me ~ when you have no needlecraft shop in existence around you and you have to order on-line the whole time, it's so difficult to choose hand-dyed fabrics and threads so this really was heaven for me . . . .  OK I'm rambling . . . . here's the stash . . . . 

100gsm hand-dyed cotton thread

Hand-dyed 28-count fabrics in Midnight ~ the one on the left is Brittney with silver flecks and the one on the right is Lugana ~ it's amazing how different the same dye looks on two different fabrics!

More hand-dyed sample pieces ~ perfect size for small ornaments

Hand-dyed felt squares in Autumn shades, 2 rustic FQs and ric-rac

Christmas Fat Quarters ~ I think the brown heart one will go well with the snowmen I'm stitching?

And because DS insisted ~ Augustus the Tortoise who comes as a kit and has rather a lot of buttons to sew on his shell when finished!!!

So all in all a lovely, lovely day and all down to my kind and very caring DS.
Thank you DS, I know it was a hard choice ~ needlecraft or football (not!) and we could count the number of men who were there on one hand and you were so outnumbered that we were even using the Men's Toilets BUT it was a special day for me and I've marked it on next year's calendar already so you don't forget !!!! xxx

Sunny days here in the UK but very chilly . . . 
Guess it's okay when you can snuggle up like this!

Thanks for stopping by ~ enjoy your weekend
x x x