The Ways of Love

August 23, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  1 Comment

What a miserable Monday morning it is with us – it’s rained all morning.


I hope you have all had a good weekend and that the weather with you is better than here in Scotland.

This week’s poem is a very well known one by Elizabeth Barrett Browning called –

“The Ways of Love”

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and the ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Poetry is something I’ve always enjoyed – my hope is that you too enjoy a literary snippet each Monday.

Talking of literary – I’ve recently taken a step back in time and I’m reading a Georgette Heyer novel “These Old Shades” – I’m loving it. If you’ve never read one of her many books then you should give it a go if you like historical fiction that is easy to read and fun.
I’ve read quite a few in the past but decided to go back to them and collect a few new ones along the way.


The little bear you can see to the left of the books is reading the first lines of the poem I’ve just shared with you.

Can I just say thank you to the people who’ve bought some of the items I’ve listed for sale recently.
I’m going to change the way I list things to give the total price including post and packing (in pounds and dollars). That way anyone who is interested doesn’t have to come back to me to check first. It will hopefully make things easier.

That’s it for today, as always, thanks for visiting. Please drop in again soon.

PS. A little pic of some stitching progress.

Scotland on a Saturday.

August 21, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  2 Comments

Once again thanks to everyone who has left me a comment or a message. You don’t know how much I appreciate it – it’s hard to know whether visitors enjoy stopping in or not so when someone takes time to leave a comment then it means a lot.
I’m finding it hard to “find my voice” as a blogger. I think it comes from the natural British reserve and added to that I’m quite a shy person so please bear with me till I become more accustomed to all of this.


Today in Scotland it’s warmish but quite windy. I was out in Edinburgh this morning and it was a bit overcast but pleasant just the same.

The photos I’d like to share with you this week were taken not far from where I live. The palace (the one above) the loch and the market cross were taken in a town called Linlithgow. It’s a popular place for tourists to visit and the palace was home to Mary Queen of Scots for a time.


The next photo was taken a little further east towards the firth of forth.  We often go for dinner to a restaurant on the water front and we took this picture last week.


We bought a new camera and used this to take this photo so we were able to sweep round and get both bridges in the same image. It’s called a “panoramic sweep” – not being well versed in photography at all this is all new to me.
Finally I’ve included a couple of photos of some new charts I received in the post yesterday and some magazines I bought over the last week.

Thanks again for stopping by, please drop in on Monday for poem of the week. Have a lovely weekend.

Stitching progress – or not!

August 19, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  5 Comments

I don’t seem to be making much progress on either of these designs at the moment. I think taking on two big projects at once is a bad idea as I tend to flit from one to the other.



The one with the letters is a combination of Drawn Thread and Carriage House Samplings, with one or two other little bits thrown in. Why do I decide to change things – life would be so much simpler if I just stitched or knitted the pattern as it comes.
I’ve started a new canvas work purse design as well – it’s very pretty colours – I’ll post a picture when I’ve made more progress and there’s something to show.

I’d like to offer a couple of things for sale today. With each chart/book I’d like to offer a free gift as well.
The first photo shows Shepherd’s Bush Halloween chart with the button set. It costs £5 (plus post and packing) and the Little Witch pack ( chart only) is free to keep the halloween theme going. SOLD

Next is a Blackbird Design book called “Peppermint and Holly”. It costs £5 (plus post and packing) and the pretty piece of Moda fabric is free with it. (Good for finishing and backing etc). SOLD.

It’s time to pick up my needles and do some knitting. I have been a knitter since I was a small girl but I’ve never learned how to crochet. I see so many lovely patterns for crochet these days – it makes me want to learn but I think it would be really difficult to teach myself. I’ve looked for classes locally but with no luck. Anyone got any tips on any books to buy that are good to use as a learning tool?

That’s it for today, thanks for dropping in. I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit, stop by soon.

Freshwater pearls – gift.

August 17, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  1 Comment

I can’t believe that the school holidays are almost over. Summer hasn’t really started here in Scotland. We had a lovely May and June and then when the schools stopped for summer the weather changed and has been miserable since.
My son goes back to school tomorrow – he’s fifteen and goes into what we call fourth year of secondary school.

Yesterday I spent my afternoon making this necklace for my sister. She has a special birthday coming up very soon (it ends with a zero) and I thought she might like this. It’s made from freshwater pearls in soft pastel shades and with silver findings.


I’ve been enjoying the start I’ve made to the fairisle scarf I posted about – I’ve changed the wool and also I’m not strictly following the colour choices but I’m pleased with it so far. The wool is a dream to knit with, it’s so soft (one of the reasons I chose it).

I’m loving working on the circular needle. It’s great only knitting with no purling in sight.

Finally for today – a fun little photo that I took recently when we were visiting a town in North Wales called Llandudno. We love to visit there every year and the sea front has lots of seagulls. Usually when you see the young ones they are almost fully grown with the different coloured feathers – however this little fellow was strolling around one of the hotels on the sea front.

Llandudno is a very traditional seaside town with a super long promenade.

That’s it for today, thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Needlework finishing.

August 16, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  1 Comment

Why is it that I can stitch happily on my needlework but when it comes to finishing I turn into a different person.
The photo below is an example of why this is the case. The little cube pincushion you see was supposed to be an amulet bag! Everything went wrong and in the end, I wondered why I stitched it in the first place. Am I the only needleworker out there who has these problems.


In the end I take the easy way out and choose most of my pieces as items that can be framed. The photo below is Humphrey – I’ve only shown part of him – he was a challenge to stitch, so much so that my husband had to step in and help. I find stitching with wool on canvas very tough on my hands and wrists and Humphry was hard going. We stitched him many years ago and I have never tired of seeing him every day.


This week’s poem is called Time is Short and I think if we are honest we can all see something of ourselves in the lines.

“Time is Short”

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die?
Cause you never had time
To call and say hi?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift…
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over. Anon.

That’s it for today, thanks for visiting – see you soon.

Scotland on a Saturday.

August 14, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  1 Comment

Welcome to the first ever Scotland on a Saturday. The idea for doing this came from visiting Mary Kathryn’s e handcrafts online where she does Rocky Mountain Wednesdays each week. I really enjoy seeing another part of the world in an informal setting and thought it might be nice to share a little bit of Scotland with you. From time to time I’ll probably share other parts of the UK as well.

Today’s photos are all taken in Edinburgh where the world famous Fringe/Festival is on at the moment. The city changes when the festival is on during August and becomes very busy and very cosmopolitan in feel.


Scott monument – set in Princes Street Gardens. You can climb the monument but it is very claustrophobic at the top.


St Andrew’s square. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.

Finally for today – a little bit of colour from my garden. I love orange and have had quite a few orange roses flowering this year.


PS Thanks for the comments and messages you’ve kindly been sending to me, they are very encouraging. Have a good weekend and stop by on Monday for poem of the week.

Shepherd’s Bush and Giveaway winner.

August 13, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  2 Comments

First I’d like to congratulate Tina S. for being the winner of my early giveaway. My son drew the numbers and yours was first out. Please get in touch with your details Tina and I’ll mail the package out to you straight away.

I love to stitch Shepherd’s Bush designs, I find them so calming and relaxing to work on.  I thought you might like to see a few of the little sheep that I have stitched most recently.



My son has claimed them for his room!

Finally for today, how do you stop a dog from licking an open wound (especially one that is coated in Manuka Honey).  Brandy was bitten earlier this year by a very large dog.  He had to have surgery and it seemed to heal but last week for some reason the wound popped open and started to leak a little poison.  The vet doesn’t want to perform surgery as he’s had several operations already this year so the hope is that the wound will heal naturally.  The problem is that I don’t want to put an Elizabethan collar on him so we are trying to find alternatives that work.

Finally, I hope you don’t mind me adding in a little poem that I saw and liked.

“When the tide of life turns against you,

And the current upsets your boat,

Don’t waste your tears on what might have been,

Just lie on your back and float.”

That’s all for today, I hope you can visit tomorrow for Scotland on a Saturday.

Beading is fun.

August 12, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  1 Comment

If you’ve never tried any form of beading then I would say give it a go – I did and I’ve loved it.  There is so much to learn and  so many places offer classes these days it’s easy to find help.

I’d like to share two of the techniques, I enjoy, with you today.  The first one is an example of simple beadweaving – it’s a scissors fob made with seed beads, sterling silver beads, black onyx, swarovski beads and a swarovski fish pendant.

The second is a necklace and ear-rings which are done with straightforward stringing techniques and some wire work.  They are made from Venetian daisy beads, a venetian pendant, sterling silver beads, seed beads and beautiful faceted black garnets.  The heart shaped clasp is sterling silver as are all findings.

I always use professional quality beading wire as it gives a much nicer drape. I hope you like them.

I’d like to offer these items for sale.

“Think Pink” scissors fob costs £5 or $7 (USD)

“Daisy, Daisy” necklace costs £15 or $20 (USD)

“Daisy, Daisy” ear-rings cost £7 or $10 (USD)

If you are interested in any of the items please contact me.

The Daisy necklace measures 17 inches long.

Please remember that entry to my early giveaway closes at twelve noon tomorrow. (UK time). I’d love to see more names being added.

Finally for today a little quote

“God never dreams

of blaming a daisy

for not being a daffodil.”

Thanks again.

August 11, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  No Comments

Thanks again everyone for the lovely messages and comments.  I love animals and of course think my two are just the best!

I would fill my home with cats, if I could, I am so soft when it comes to animals.  I just adore them all.

I was asked if I stitch outside in the garden (photo from yesterday).  The answer is no – I find that the sun annoys me when I try to do crafts outside and my hands get too hot as well.  I prefer to stitch sitting on my settee and to knit sitting in a more formal style of dining chair.

Lots of people have asked me about my stitched banner.  I designed it myself using two Cricket Collection charts as the basis.  One was the recent chart “Summer” and the other was an older chart which I used as inspiration for colour choices.  It was a lot of fun to do and I would quite like to stitch one using an autumn theme as well.

My friend in Chicago asked if I was going to do a book review from time to time.  I’m not sure that I’m qualified to do a review but I will share with you what I’m reading.

At present I’m just finishing “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.  Unfortunately, I haven’t enjoyed reading it.  I found it quite disjointed in style and just not to my taste.  When I choose a book, I like it to flow and be easy reading but not “trash”.

I’m not sure what I’m going to read next but I’ll share it with you as soon as I decide.

The same friend sent my husband and I this card recently (our 32nd anniversary) and I thought you might like to see it.  She goes to some classes for card making etc and has recently developed an interest in paper folding.  I think she made a lovely job of this and her comment inside made me smile (to a wonderful pair).

Finally for today, I’d like to answer the question that I’ve been asked which is whereabouts I live in Scotland.   We live around twenty miles west of Edinburgh which is a lovely city.  We visit it a lot and I will share some photos of the area with you over the next few posts.  The photo today was taken in the centre of Edinburgh looking south.

I live in a new town called Livingston.  I grew up in this area before it became a new town – it was very little village called Livingston Station and the new town was built around it.

Well that’s it for today, I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit and please pass my details onto any friends you think may enjoy visiting my blog.

Getting to know me.

August 10, 2010  |  Featured Posts  |  3 Comments

How lovely it has been to have received more messages and kind words from everyone. The stitching world is full of very generous people who are happy to share advice and help.

Mary Kathryn at e handcrafts online very kindly tweeted about my logo banner and Shay at the Stitching Post posted about my new blog.

Thank you to everyone who has left a comment. Now that I am a blogger, I feel guilty about all the blogs I have visited for a while now and never left a comment. I suppose you don’t realise how much it means to know that someone is reading what you write until you actually do it!

I’d like to share a few photos today of our pets. We have two pets, a fifteen year old Burmese cat called Duski and a nine year old poodle called Brandy. I took these photos of them earlier this afternoon.


Finally I’d like to offer some charts for sale. They are all in perfect condition (my home is non smoking). If you are interested please contact me with any questions about mailing etc.

The Blackbird Designs book “Tokens of Friendship” is £4 or $6 plus post and packing.

Tokens of Friendship is now SOLD.

That’s it for today everyone. I hope you enjoyed your visit.