Blog Archives

Crocus Time

March 31, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

I was determined to fit in a post before March reached an end – this month has been a bit of a blur for me as I’ve spent most of it going backwards and forwards to hospital to visit my mum.
She fell at the start of the month and has been in hospital for four weeks. She’s getting home today so things should hopefully get back to being a bit more normal.

Stitching progress has been virtually non existent………….

…….and knitting progress, not much better…………….

I’m sorry I’ve not been visiting or commenting on blogs either and I must say I’ve missed it.
I mentioned in my last post about a sampler I had ordered from Australia. I tried to take a photo of the chart cover but it’s not a good image so I took a close up of part of it instead.
I’m not planning on stitching the whole thing, just parts of it.

I’ll keep this short today as I have to rush off to collect my mum from hospital. I’ll leave you with a few photos of Poppy as well as a ladybird which I had great difficulty in photographing.

…….after so much naughtiness, I need to relax…….

Thanks for stopping by and take care wherever you are.

Garden visitor.

February 24, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  20 Comments

I love dramatic flowers with deep rich colours and these ticked the box for me.

I’m still enjoying my new camera lens but haven’t taken the time to read either of the books I bought to help.

I’ve been knitting and stitching steadily of late and must say I’m enjoying it. I’m coping with the stitching as long as I don’t overdo things. Lets just say, I’m trying to be sensible so that my shoulder doesn’t get too irritated again.

This Lizzie Kate piece is a fun design to work on and I’ve made a little progress on it. I’ve been tempted by a couple of the new market releases, I’ll post pics of them when they arrive from America along with another sampler design that I ordered from Australia.

I finished putting this pair together at the weekend. I always put off doing the head and face to last as it’s so fiddly. It’s not easy to get the expressions just right and I can end up having several attempts before I’m happy.

The mouse didn’t quite end up the way it should have. I started the chosen pattern and wasn’t happy at all so made some changes to the shaping and finishing.

The title of today’s post was in reference to this little one who has been visiting today. I’m not really a fan of the grey squirrel but they do have a little of the cute factor and this one decided to pose happily for his/her photo shoot.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope all is well in your part of the world. Take care.

PS All my photos are clickable and if you want to follow my blog all you need to do is click the link (little dot with two lines radiating from it) at the top right hand side of the main page.

Saturday and shopping.

February 1, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  17 Comments

Saturday for me is a day for fun shopping. Not grocery or everyday items but fun things like books and crafts and sometimes clothes. I’ve always gone shopping on a Saturday morning, for me it’s almost a ritual and this morning was no different.
We headed into Edinburgh where I had fun spending time in my favourite wool shop McArees. I’m fortunate to be able to shop in either their Edinburgh or their Stirling store where they have a lovely selection of wools and books.

This is where I bought the wool for Hamish, I finished putting him together last night.


This morning I bought the wool to knit this cute mouse……………..

I’m going to knit him as a gift for a little one in our family. I love finding a pattern, choosing the wool and anticipating sitting down to begin.
The pattern is in a book that is written in German but fortunately the patterns are mostly in chart form. If you knit at all you’ll know how useful Ravelry is for finding almost anything you want to know in the knitting and crochet world. This is where I found this mouse featured on another knitter’s finished items.

I’ve managed to make a small start on the Lizzie Kate piece Living With Charm and also I’ve restarted The Flock by Sam Sarah. I have changed my fabric choice to cream but I’m going to keep to my original thread choices.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Poppy trying to stay awake this afternoon.

Thanks for popping in today, I hope the weather in your part of the world is being kind. I know that some places have had a tough time with extremes of weather this winter.

Teddy Bear Love

January 11, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  14 Comments

Happy 2014 to everyone, this year has got off to a stormy start here in the UK and I feel so sorry for the thousands of people who are struggling with flooding.
It’s good to be starting afresh in a new year,though, and I feel the same way about crafting – it’s a new year and some new starts.

I’m still knitting little animals and finished “Minerva” last week. She’s looks fine but didn’t come out quite the way I had hoped. Knitting toys is a hit or a miss for me at times.

I’ve picked out two projects that I want to start in cross stitch.
The first one is number one of the Little Sheep Virtues – I know I’m a year late in starting but I just took a notion.
The next piece is one that I’ve had sitting for a long, long time and I’m considering stitching it as part of a wedding gift.

It’s the LK “Living with Charm” series but I call it “Words To Live By”.
It’s always appealed to me and now seems the time to have a go. Although it’s quite long, there’s not really a lot of stitching involved in each part (that’s my theory anyway).

I was lucky enough to win a book about Elizabethan Embroidery on the Scarlet Letter Challenge site. I’ve always loved the bold colours and designs used by the Elizabethans so was delighted to win this book.

I’ve always loved teddy bears (doesn’t everyone) but I can’t seem to find a knitting pattern for a teddy bear that appeals to me so I’ve decided to have a go at sewing one instead.
I’m not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination but I picked a beginners kit designed by a UK bear artist. It looks fairly straightforward but there’s no guarantees when it comes to sewing and me!

I’m off to choose some fabric for both of my new starts. I have the threads already but choosing fabric is always hard for me and I often end up starting a project several times before I’m happy.
I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of a blackbird that came to visit this week.

Thanks for stopping by today, take care.

Great Tapestry of Scotland.

December 17, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

I’ve recently bought a new macro lens for my camera and I’m trying to get to grips with it with varying degrees of success.

It seems to be a hit or a miss at the moment, I need time to sit and do some reading on the subject but that never seems to happen these days.
Am I alone in thinking that Christmas is racing towards us at high speed?

I’ve not stitched at all these last few weeks but mainly because of time constraints caused by having too much to do.
I have done some knitting as it’s so easy to pick up and put down. I finished Fred the Fox but wouldn’t knit another one using the same pattern.

Our weather has been very mixed of late, we’ve had a lot of stormy weather with extremely high winds. They’re due to return this week again – at least it’s not snow. We have quite a mix of birds visiting our garden at the moment and I spotted this lovely pair of collared doves at the weekend. They always come to visit together.

In case you’re wondering about my title choice for today. You may have read about The Great Tapestry of Scotland which was initiated by the author Alexander McCall Smith. It’s now complete and is one of the largest tapestries in the world. It hung in the Scottish Parliament to begin with and is now touring various venues – I think the intention is for it to travel abroad to various other countries.

I’ve not seen the tapestry itself but when I was shopping in Stirling on Saturday I noticed two books on the subject. The one above shows all the panels which were stitched by ladies all over Scotland. It also details the history behind each panel so it’s, in part, a history book too. The other one I bought gives the background to the tapestry.

I was recently lucky enough to win this book………..

………….it was offered in a giveaway on Nicola’s Scarlet Letter blog. I enjoy anything related to Bargello so I was delighted to be a winner.

I’ll leave you today with Poppy and Rosa “squirrel watching” this afternoon.

Thanks for popping in to visit, take care.

Edinburgh on St Andrew’s Day.

November 30, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

We spent this morning in Edinburgh and I took some photos as it was a lovely sunny day here.

In the lead up to Christmas, Edinburgh hosts a German style Christmas market within Princes Street Gardens and this year they have added a fun fair in St Andrew’s Square.
I took some photos of a ride they have erected alongside the more run of the mill fun fair rides – it never ceases to amaze me what people do for fun. Have a look at the photos and you’ll see what I mean.
I’ve put them in sequence so that you can see how high the ride actually goes. Bear in mind, the buildings in the square are pretty tall to begin with.

Edinburgh was very busy as you would expect at this time of year. No matter how often I shop there (most weekends) I never tire of it.

I’ve still been busy knitting and finished this little one last night. I’m currently knitting a fox which is coming together quite nicely – better than I expected.

Little Red

I’ve also done a tiny amount of stitching – the desire to stitch is gradually returning and I’ve decided to only tackle small designs to see if my shoulder and neck can cope with it.

I have worked on this little sheep which has still be be finished along with the next two, one of which I stitched to include with a birthday card.

Only two days late!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed whilst reading this post but I now have a second gallery which I can add photos to. If you click on any photo in either Gallery you can sequence through the photos by clicking the arrow. I’m hoping to keep both galleries more seasonal and up to date.

I’ll leave you with a photo of a swan that I took later this morning when visiting my favourite baker’s shop in another part of the city.

Words of Wisdom!

Thanks for popping in for a visit, take care and enjoy your weekend wherever you are.

Long Absence

October 16, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

Staying away for such a long time was unintentional – I really don’t know why creating a new post has taken me so long.
I think one of the reasons is that I haven’t stitched at all for months.

Instead I’ve been doing this…………

I’m sorry the photo is not good quality but the light is awful. It’s getting dark so early today as it’s raining.

I’ve been doing a little knitting instead of stitching but even so I’ve not got much to show for the last couple of months. I think that taking care of my mum sometimes takes more of my time than I realise.
Added to that I’ve been settling my son into college life. He’s very fortunate to be able to study at a local Rural College where he is doing a course in Horticulture and Garden Design.
Here he is with his dad and Brandy……….

My Three Boys

We went to Wales and The Lakes in early August and although the weather wasn’t perfect it was okay and lovely to get away for a break.

I’m hoping that I feel inclined to stitch sometime soon – I’ve still been popping into stitcher’s blogs but not quite as often as usual. I’m keep thinking that all your lovely work might inspire me to pick up a needle again – this is the longest break I’ve ever had and I suppose I’m worried that I may never go back to it.

I’ll leave you today with the girls relaxing – they still continue to wreak havoc with anything remotely crafty and entertain us on a daily basis. Take care.

Full of good intentions.

July 31, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

I had intended to do a holiday update a few days after I returned from our recent trip but here we are several weeks on and I’m just getting to it.
We had a lovely break and the weather was amazingly hot – I can’t remember ever having such hot weather whilst on holiday in the UK.
We started in North Wales near Llandudno………..

………it’s a traditional seaside town with a very long promenade which stretches from the Big Orme at one end and the Little Orme at the other…………….

It’s one of our favourite destinations and we’re heading back there next month.

Whilst in Wales we visited Bodnant Gardens – they are in a beautiful setting overlooking the mountains…………

with this lovely house set in the gardens……….

……….a gorgeous Lily Terrace………..

………there were dozens of dragonflies flying over the lily pond..

….and just on the level below there was a model shoot in progress….I felt sorry for the young model as it was unbearably hot and he was having to stand there endlessly….there was a young man to the left making smoke and trying to get it to blow towards the photo set………

When we left Wales we headed to the Peak District and stayed near Bakewell on a site alongside Chatsworth House. When you stay at this club site you are given access to the Estate and can walk in the grounds. It’s very beautiful…………

……we saw young ladies playing cricket………..

…………..this lovely pair out for their evening stroll……

…….and spent a day in Bakewell which is very quaint (it even has a lovely needlework shop called Wye Needlecraft)…..

When we left the Peak District to head back north we stopped for a couple of days at the Lake District, another of our favourite stops that we’re going back to next month.

I took lots of knitting and needlework with me but did very little because of the heat.
I’ve set aside my recent projects to stitch this design by Little House Needleworks and I’m really enjoying it………

…….it’s a bit crushed looking as a certain cat ran off with it and a certain dog took it from her and had to be bribed to give it up!
I’m determined to work on it till it’s finished so I’ve not been doing much knitting at all and I’ve only crocheted a little of the baby blanket – not enough to share.

I’ll leave you today with a few flower photos from Bodnant – the range of flowers was amazing and so pretty……

I hope all is well in your part of the world, thanks for dropping in today…………….Rosa says a sleepy goodbye………

Is it really summer?

July 3, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

Can it really be Summer already – we had no Spring to speak of so it feels as though part of the year is missing. I know that parts of the States are in the midst of a heatwave with devastating consequences so I shouldn’t complain about our poor summer weather.

We’re due to head off this weekend in our caravan. North Wales is our first stop and then on to Chatsworth followed by the Lake District on the way back up. I’m really looking forward to the break and hopefully will manage a little stitching and knitting while I’m away.

I’ve worked a little on the CEC Love design, it’s a very relaxing piece to work on.

Unlike Butterfly Garden which needs more concentration with the counting of stitches. It’s a lovely piece but you have to be in the right frame of mind to work on it.

I bought this Lowery Workstand to see if I could stitch with a frame holding my work. I can’t say that I found it helpful and have ended up using the stand in a completely different way. When I try to work “in hand” I find it hard to keep checking my chart as I have nowhere to balance it.

I found that by using the clamp part of the workstand it makes an excellent chart holder which is so easy to see and use. I know it’s not the reason I bought it but at least I’m using it and it’s not lying in a cupboard.

I’ve been doing a little crochet too……………

There’s a new baby due in the family in November and I wanted to knit or crochet a blanket. As it’s going to be a boy I didn’t want to do Granny Squares so thought I’d teach myself how to do a very simple half treble crochet stitch instead. It’s crocheted from around ten different colours which should keep me interested as I go along.

I’ve treated myself to a couple of new Offhand Designs products – they arrived today so I’ve had fun opening the box from Purlescence. I chose both the bag and the clutch as they have the strongest of closures. I thought they might be good for keeping out naughty little paws and claws. Having checked them out I think they would be nigh on impossible to get into without fingers and thumbs – I hope!

Finally I’ll leave you with a photo of a lovely surprise that arrived in the post a few weeks ago. It’s a beautifully stitched and finished piece by Margaret over at Sampler of Stitches – if you drop into her blog you will see beautiful needlework. Margaret sent it to me as a thank you, for something, along with two skeins of overdyed silks which was so kind of her.

I hope you’re finding time to relax and enjoy the summer wherever you are in the world.

The Drawn Thread

June 18, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  16 Comments

I love seeing these huge poppies in June every year. They are there for such a brief time but I do so enjoy them.

As you’ll note from my next two photos, I’ve managed a little stitching. I’ve been trying lots of options since my last post regarding stitching frames etc. I can honestly say that I’m not really any further forward. I wish I could say otherwise but I’m still having issues.

This Drawn Thread piece has been in a frame, out of a frame, in a larger frame and back to a smaller frame. I tried the seat frame and couldn’t get to grips with it at all. I’ve gone back to working in hand but don’t know what to do with the excess fabric.

CEC Love

I would love to know how stitchers hold the fabric when working “in hand”. The excess fabric seems to get in my way and I’ve tried several ways of holding it but nothing seems right. At the moment I’m back to using Siesta bars but I’m still getting pain as a result. Any advice at all would be welcome.

I’ve not done much actual knitting but I spent yesterday afternoon putting this little fellow together.

I had sewn a lot of the pieces up as I went along but I still had the actual putting together to do.

I always put off this part of the process as it can go wrong so easily. I managed to get this one to come together reasonably well which I think is, in part, due to the great way that the designer has written her pattern.

I can honestly say that the pattern was a treat to follow and I’m now ready to start the girl bunny.


I will most likely sell him for charity – unless I’ve knitted a toy as a gift I usually do this and add the money to our charity donations at work.

Thanks for popping by today and for the lovely comments you leave.