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.

“HAMISH”


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.

MEET WILBUR


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.

Cyberclass fun.

June 10, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  13 Comments


Well the sun is shining here in Scotland, at last. We’ve had a lovely spell of weather for over a week now and today is no exception. I’m glad as I’ve got a day of annual leave today.


At last I have a little stitching to show. I’ve made a few starts this last week and this is one of them. I thought I’d try a design that had varied stitches to see if it helps the whole repetitive problem with my neck and shoulder.
It’s far removed from my normal choice but when I saw it on another stitcher’s blog I really liked it. It’s only a little start but I think I’ll enjoy the change.
I’ve ordered a stitcher’s seat frame to see if it might make a difference if I stitch two handed.


I took part in this lovely Victoria Sampler Victorian Pincushion cyberclass and really enjoyed being part of it. I’ve not accomplished much of the stitching yet but it was fun to be part of a live class all the way from Canada.
I’ve done a little knitting too – I’ve almost finished the boy bunny from the Little Cotton Rabbits pattern – all I need to do is sew the whole thing up.


Have you ever eaten Edinburgh Rock – this next photo reminded my husband of it – he said the colours were reminiscent of a box of Edinburgh Rock.


This is a photo of Matthew taken on Saturday evening before he headed out to his prom. He has now officially left school and is heading to college in August.


Thanks for stopping by today and for the helpful suggestions regarding my neck issues.


I’ll leave you with a photo of the girls sleeping, that’s when I get peace and quiet to craft:-)

Is it Spring yet?

May 29, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments


One minute it feels like Spring is here and then we take a step back into colder weather. Here in Scotland it’s been so cold for May and a week or so ago we had quite a bit of snow up north with roads closed.

I’m still not managing to stitch much at all even though I’ve given canvas work a try to see if it helps.


I made a new start on a cats banner for my kitchen wall but I’ve not managed to make much progress as my shoulder is still flaring up. I’m trying to do a little at a time to see if it helps. The canvas work was okay but I couldn’t get enthusiastic about it so it’s been consigned to the workbasket for the time being.


I’m still managing to knit a bit and I’m enjoying it which is all that matters. I finished this rabbit last night and I’m not sure where she will end up. I used a mix of patterns which in hindsight I think is a mistake.

I’m working on another rabbit by Little Cotton Rabbits – Julie has just released her rabbit girl and boy patterns and I’ve admired them for a while so I had to buy both to give them a try.
The patterns are very well written and easy to follow – I’ve got most of the boy knitted and I’m currently sewing him together – it’s the sewing up that takes most of the time and the skill. Getting the face right can be very tricky and needs patience.

Although the weather is still cool the garden has been showing a lot of new blossom. We have three magnolias and two of them are currently flowering.



The flowers in the top photo are really big whereas the one in the second photo are much smaller and more delicate.

The two “girls” are still causing mayhem on a daily basis. Rosa decided to strip some of the new wallpaper that has just gone up in the kitchen. Fortunately it’s only a small area which Alan will be able to fix easily.

I’ve updated by the image I use when I comment on other blogs and it now shows Poppy and Rosa together. It’s the first one below.


Back to back and no nonsense!

I’m thinking of trying to do a little over one piece to see if working much smaller would help – I’m not convinced that I’ll get anywhere with it as it’s not my favourite thing to do. I was going to try either 28 count Permin or 25 count Dublin linen. I thought that one of the round people from a Shepherd’s Bush stocking might be fun so I’m going to have a look and choose which one appeals the most. I have them all except the most recent one.

I’ve also spent some time re-teaching myself the basic crochet skills that I had learned almost two years ago. I’ve enjoyed it and want to keep going with it to see if I can reach a level of skill that I feel happy with.

I hope all is well in your part of the world, thanks for visiting and take care.