Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Yep, I've been so slow at getting my butt into gear this year that I never thought I'd get there but today I can breathe easy and begin to wind down!
The festive foods are all waiting in the fridges and larder, the presents are all wrapped, Mr. Turkey is defrosting and I think at long last, I can shout out I'M READY!

I haven't got all the sewing projects completed that I would have liked to but the bits that I have, I'll share with you now . . .

Another simple stitch and flip stocking with basic cream fabrics, looking quite boring at this stage!

Time to hunt the Christmas ribbons, trims and buttons out

and what a difference!

hanging up and all ready for Santa xxx

I stitched and showcased this little snowman back in January and he's been waiting patiently for a finish

so here he is, stitched up as another stocking

the green holly stitch is a programmed one from my sewing machine and I added the little Mill Hill beads as berries

This is a simple fabric panel 'The 12 Days of Christmas' which can be cut and used however you want

hmmm? no guessing as to what I chose

yep, more bunting but at least it's a change from the usual triangles

Christmas cookies for Santa and co.
(thanks to my gang of 3 for the mess and mayhem whilst making them!!!)

What a find!  Christmas bunny napkins for the table

but love the real thing better xxx

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and it's everything you wish it to be!  A lot of us, I know, have had sad times this year including the loss of our dear blogging friend Cathey, but I hope you can rejoice with the happy memories and not be sad, families are so precious and we should all make every second count that we share together xxx

Thank you for all your support and comments throughout the year.

love from Jane, Tilly and Oscar

Friday, 6 December 2013


So, December has arrived and the countdown is on! 

Having spent the last three Christmas's away in Florida and therefore being organised with present shopping, writing cards and running down the larder before going, I find myself at completely the opposite and quite behind so this coming weekend is full steam ahead. . . DH and I will be hitting the shops, the address book will be out and Mr.Turkey will be taking up residence in the freezer for the next couple of weeks!

Last weekend was a very special one for us ~ my twin boys decided a little while ago that they would like to be baptised at their regular church and dedicate their faith to God.  All my children were christened at 6 months but this is something an individual chooses for themselves and they have been preparing for it for the past few weeks with many meetings of reading, talking and listening. The church was crowded with nearly 200 people listening to their testimonies which were very moving and extremely emotional for me!  I am very proud of my sons (am I allowed to say that?) they are very much loved by their church friends and I know this commitment will be with them always through both the good and bad times, helping them to make the right decisions in their lives xxx

I expect you know the saying 'square eyes'?  

Oxford dictionary definition:
'square eyes' ~ noun ~ eyes supposedly affected by excessive television viewing

Well, I've just invented a new one:
'triangle eyes' ~ noun ~ eyes supposedly affected by excessive triangles to  make Christmas bunting!

72 individually cut triangles = 36 stitched double-sided triangles = 3 x 3 yards of bunting!

But there's a good reason for my now sudden urge to eat lots of Toblerone!

Each year my DH's company chooses a charity to support for 12 months and lots of fund-raising events take place to raise, obviously, money but also awareness of the need of continual support for these important organisations.

This year's was RMHC  . . .

Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent Charity which aims to provide free 'home away from home' accommodation at hospitals across the UK, enabling families to stay close to their sick child and maintain a degree of normal family life.
Many families travel far from home and spend several weeks or months to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children ~ a long time to be away or to divide a family.  And, for children facing a serious medical crisis, nothing seems scarier than not having mum and dad close by for love and support.
Ronald McDonald Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child ~ not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their heads at night to rest.
They believe that when a child is hospitalized the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed.
Their houses are more than a place to stay ~ they offer comfort, support, a safe environment where families can interact, share their experiences and know that they will always have a shoulder to cry on.

This year a new house was built in Camberwell and the main target was to furnish and decorate the house to look like a home especially at Christmas!  This week, DH's company have had the privilege of decorating the house with Christmas trees, decorations and providing gifts for the families.
I hope a little bunting will help bring some warmth and comfort and those people affected will find the strength they need to help them through.
I've added a link below if you want to take a look or feel you can help ~ they are selling a cute hand drawn Christmas card of a robin, maybe you're like me and still behind on shopping!

I managed to sort those pesky cute little snowmen out too ~ my fingers still haven't forgiven me for that horrible plastic canvas!

I kept it simple and just sewed them down a piece of blue ribbon

attached that to a small wire hanger

made some little blue felt hearts with a wooden button

added some white snowflake buttons

and 3 small bells at the bottom

And that's me done for now ~ quite a busy and emotional week.  Wish me luck tomorrow at the shops ~ I may be gone sometime!!!

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Can I mention the word 'Snowman' before December?
Our forecast snow last week never arrived, just more rain, so no building snowmen just yet ~ only with stitches!

When I look back at my labels in my sidebar I'm horrified to see I showed this trio back in 2010 and even then I had first started them 2 years previous, all I had left to do was the white crosses for the falling snow ~ I'm surprised they hadn't melted!

What can you do with a small circular stitch other turn it into a card?
I wasn't too keen on doing that so with the help of a small jar of Colman's Mustard I cut some circles into felt, added some stitched snowflakes and then warmed them up with a surrounding blanket stitch, it is still a pillow, although only lightly stuffed, but I'm happy with it :)

I don't feel quite as guilty with the next quartet as the first one of them was stitched and shown in a post back in January . . .

These snowmen are from an ornament kit called Cocoa Snowmen and are stitched on plastic canvas and should be a set of 6!  I say 'should' but oh dear I struggled with these ~ the more I went on the more my fingers got sorer and sorer from pushing the needle through the thickness of the plastic and I literally had tears in my eyes finishing the last one so decided 4 was enough.  I tried and tried to add french knots for the smiles on their faces but how do you do a french knot through 14ct plastic canvas?
  Thank goodness for Mill Hill beads!
I haven't decided quite what to do with them, my fingers haven't forgiven me yet, but maybe next post will be a Happy Dance for them.

One things it is never too early for . . .

and that's watching the sun rise over the sea.

We had a lovely weekend away in Bournemouth, very emotional after not seeing my DD for 3 months but lovely to all be a family again and spend time together.  This was the view from the balcony of our hotel room and although the weather was really really chilly it was so beautiful and peaceful ~ I really didn't want to come home!

But of course I had to and when there's a package waiting at the door addressed to Jane, Tilly and Oscar,  it's time to cheer up because I know there's going to be something very nice inside . . .

Dear Barb, one of my bestest, bestest blogging friends had sent me a belated birthday present, I tell her she's a naughty Barb but how can you tell someone off when they send the very thing you go weak at the knees at?
Cute overload ~ a gorgeous little bunny in summer dungarees and a reel of bunny ribbon ~ big smiles this end!  I love them and both are making their way to my 'Barb Shelf' as we speak, Oh you should see the goodies it now has on it and they all mean so much ~ thank you again Barb xxx
(I've sent you an email, hope you got it your end!)

Well that's me done for now.  I've read on several friends posts that they have completed their Christmas shopping and are set to go ~ I seriously need to get my butt into action ~ I've done nothing and Santa is patiently waiting for the required list!

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, 18 November 2013


I have a funny feeling at the moment that maybe I am invisible or my previous post showing my attempt at something different than cross stitch didn't go down too well?  To the few of you that did pop by and leave your kind words then many thanks ~ they mean a great deal to me and they give me encouragement to continue xxx

Not much going on in my little part of the world this past week, another birthday came and went and DH took me out for a nice lunch and a visit to a couple of lovely craft shops but the weather was dreadful, it was raining when I woke up and still doing the same when I went to bed, so much so even Mr. Postie didn't visit!
My DD couldn't get home from Uni for a visit but with her work load time is precious to her and I'm looking forward to this coming weekend when DH, DSs and I go and visit for a long weekend ~ I haven't seen her since 1st September and there are times when I find it so hard :( 
As you know I had my long awaited new sewing machine for my birthday gift but my boys wrapped up so extra goodies too . . .

Guess How Much I Love You 2014 Calendar, Woolly Gloves and a Calico Bunny which can be decorated however you like ~ fabric pens, buttons, ribbons, patches or clothes
~ Oh! I'm going to have fun with that :)

Oh, and one other birthday present ~ a lung infection and a rapid course of steroids for 1 week (that was a nice present from the Doctor wasn't it? he didn't even put a card with it!!!)

Our Weather forecast is predicting snow for much of the UK on Wednesday and tonight begins the start of plummeting temperatures so before the pictures of fluffy white stuff start, I thought I'd show this Happy Dance which I completed back in August . . .

Shepherds Bush ~ Baby Bug Ball

Beads and embellishments

Baby Bug #1 ~ a butterfly maybe?

Baby Bug #2 ~ Has to be a bee?

Baby Bug #3 ~ Not sure, perhaps another butterfly? But my favourite, how about you?

Oh dear, that's a 5th Happy Dance for the Shepherds Bush collection and as yet none of them framed!
(and ssssshhhh, there's another kit waiting in the Stash Box too!)

I thought I might just add one more picture . . .

I so love this one, and now DD is in her 2nd year at Uni and the boys are busy at College, get-togethers are few and far between ~ love them to bits xxx

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, 9 November 2013


Good afternoon blogging friends from a miserable and very wet England, Winter is most certainly on its way!
Thank you so much everyone for all your messages of 'Welcome Back' after my absence, I truly appreciate them and feel very happy to be back in our wonderful community again xxx

I've something freshly finished to show you . . .

This is my Angel Bear made from a Dandelion Designs pattern and finished literally 10 minutes ago before the quickly fading daylight disappears!

I've made him from soft cream fleece and felt with cotton fabric and wadding for his wings (not sure why I'm calling him a 'him', it just sounds right!) and I've used wooden buttons to attach his arms and legs.  I struggled with his muzzle and this is my 2nd attempt ~ the designer of these patterns insists that all  bears should have upturned lines for their mouths so they look happy but honestly mine looked like it had had one or two drinks and maybe popped a pill or two, it looked that wacky so, sorry, but although mine is a more subdued bear, he does look sane!

He's hanging from the kitchen cabinet door so you can see the fabric I used for his wings, it has little stars on it and they show up lovely with the light behind them.

I'm reckoning if he's an Angel Bear then he's full of love so I've added a felt heart just to remind him!

My other Angel Bears are stitched on plastic canvas and I think they were stitched about 5 years ago from a kit.  They make their annual appearance at Christmas and they've been attached to a wicker ring which usually hangs in the hallway with its festive 'Greetings' message.

Not much cross stitching to show at the moment, I'm so in love with my new sewing machine that that's what I'm doing in every spare minute I can find!  To now have a machine that quietly and happily stitches long with no weird groaning, no messy birds nests at the back of the fabric and one that doesn't pass out at the sight of fleece and wadding is absolute bliss :)

Our apple trees are now virtually bare in the garden and we had a wonderful healthy crop this year.  DS was clearing up some fallen ones last week and putting them on the compost heap and came across this . . .

WOW, this toadstool is some size and I'm convinced there must be a whole family of fairies living under it or with this dreadful wet weather there's probably some wildlife using it as a handy umbrella.

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


A big HELLO to anyone who might still be following me after rather a long absence!  I am sorry for disappearing but without going into long dreary details I have continued to battle with my health, felt very sorry for myself and at one time decided to give up my blog BUT brighter days have returned, I have been in hospital again and received positive news and after my lovely children nagging at me to return to blogging ... here I am!

So down to business, well blogging business anyway!  I have been treated to a new long-awaited friend and that is .... a new sewing machine!

This is the Janome MC5900 Quilters Companion and apart from making my cups of coffee it literally does everything!  I had resisted for so long but DH, so desperate I think to bring a smile back to my face, has treated me to an early birthday present and I'm absolutely loving it!  There are so many things to try on it but my main aim is to start quilting, starting from the basics and hopefully leading to free-motion quilting and also some design work.

I have kept my cross-stitching going too and have a couple of Happy Dances but will share those next time as I see, looking at the calendar, that tomorrow is Halloween and I have 2 finishes for this occasion to share . . .

Firstly, using my new machine I decided to make a Witch's Stocking . . .

Great fun to make and a good way of using all your scraps of fabric and embellishments, I think most of these fabrics you will have seen over the years in other finishes.  I used the stitch and flip method using some wadding as my base to give it a lovely soft finish and rather than a rounded Christmas stocking shape I made it thinner and more pointed in the foot.

Ric-rac, black ribbon, square & blackbird buttons, decorative machine stitching and pom pom trim

Pumpkin charm and hand-beaded 'BOO'

another charm, more ric-rac and one last button!

Fully lined with ribbon hanging loop

And there we are ~ all ready to be filled with treats (not too keen on the tricks) for any spooky callers tomorrow night!

And secondly some cross stitching  . . .

Ghoul Tidings by Plum Street Samplers

Those of you that know this design from this year's Just Cross Stitch Halloween edition will notice that I've not completed the whole design, main reason being I bought the magazine just as it was released when we were out in Florida in July, made a photocopy to work from and stitched most of it whilst out there, to return to England missing both the magazine and photocopy!  But Hey! I like it as it is, not too much black without the missing top part of the design and, of course, I turned it into a pillow, used what was left of my black pom pom trim and used ribbon and buttons for hanging!

I have so much more to share with you and that is a good reason to stick with my blogging and catch up with you all again.  I hope you are all well and have a wonderful Halloween xxx

Thanks for stopping by