The theme is PINK.

February 20, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

For some reason my photos today seem to have a pink theme running through them.

Pink isn’t really my favourite colour but I do like pink flowers.

We visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, very briefly, on Saturday and I took the next photo whilst I was there. I don’t know what the tree is but I liked the way the buds are just opening.

I’ve been doing a bit more stitching since my last post but still not as much as usual. My shoulder and neck are still giving me problems so I’m trying to be very careful not to overdo things. I made the little bird that I mentioned and I think it turned out okay given how poor my sewing skills are.

I stitched it all by hand as I’m not good with a sewing machine. I can manage basic patchwork and curtain making on a sewing machine but as soon as the project requires any finesse then I’m beat. Things that seem simple and look so easy to do, suddenly become a sewing disaster in my hands.
I enjoyed working on it and would like to make quite a few others with different types of fabric and finish. The only problem is that I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to find time for all the reading and crafting that I would like to accomplish.

Just when I think that I’ve cat-proofed everything this pair seem to find more mischief to get up to. If only they were like this all the time!

I’ll leave you today with a couple of other pink flower photos and a quote that I read this week.

“A flower is an entire world and a leaf is a ray of enlightenment.” Inscription in the garden of the Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an, China.

Thanks for popping in today, take care and enjoy the rest of your week.


February 11, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  10 Comments

………………………brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

Or perhaps not – we’ve had such a mix of weather recently. Today is sunny, cold and dry but we’ve had quite a few flurries of snow lately.

I love a splash of colour at this time of year so I bought this little rose for the reception desk where I work.

Since my last post I’ve not been doing much in the way of stitching as I’ve been suffering from a “popping” right shoulder which is painful as is my neck.
I’ve tried to do a major adjustment on the way I stitch and how I sit to see if it will help ease the problem. I’m trying to stitch “in hand” to see if it helps and so far so good. Holding the fabric in hand has it’s drawbacks though and it will take me a while to adjust.

I’ve also changed the type of fabric I work with as the stiff Permin linen isn’t so easy to handle without a frame. This rabbit is one of a pair that I want to stitch for my kitchen wall. We’re currently painting the walls and I think they would look good on the new colour we’ve chosen.

Continuing with the rabbit theme in my knitting – I’ve been working on several trial bunnies – I wouldn’t like to tell you how many I’ve started and discarded. I’m happy now with what I’m working on and hope to knit three over the next few weeks.

The one above will be dressed but the ones below won’t. They are a trial mix of bunny and bear patterns that I haven’t reached a decision on yet.

They are worked from mohair/silk knitted double. I enjoy working with this yarn and love the depth of colour the mohair gives.

Unless this pair are sleeping, craft of any kind is a trial. No matter whether it’s knitting, stitching or sewing they run off with everything that isn’t tied down.
Not that I mind really, I love having them running round causing chaos and wouldn’t change them as they are so entertaining.

Today I’m on holiday which has been lovely. I’ve spent the morning working on a little three dimensional bird – if it works out okay then I’ll hopefully be able to share some photos next time. Till then…….take care and thanks for stopping by.


January 12, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

…………… brings the snow,

Makes our feet and fingers glow.

I have always loved the rhythmic flow of this poem written by Sara Coleridge.

Our weather is set to turn wintry over the next day or so and stay this way all week. I just hope it’s not too harsh.

Not that it matters to this little one who is an indoor cat alongside her big sister.

I’ve not got any stitching or knitting photos today, I’ve been in the doldrums this last week and have been doing lots of trial pieces for a teddy and for a new Scarlet Letter start. I should have some photos next post.

We were shopping in Edinburgh this morning and I noticed this cherry blossom starting to appear – you would normally expect to see it in March, at the earliest, but since January has been mild for us it’s showing early.

It was a lovely morning so the city was busy, I took this next photo as I liked the way the light was catching the tree.

This week I bought a new poetry book produced a few years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and this morning I happened to notice this sign on a building that we often pass when in the city.

It’s strange that I had never noticed it before now having passed it over and over again. I wonder if buying the book made me see it.

I decided to have a go at having an orchid again – I’ve been reluctant to bring any flowers or plants home since Rosa joined us as she chews everything in sight.

I’ve positioned it in our lounge window as the door to this room is closed overnight and then again when we are at work. So far so good.

Thanks for stopping by today and for your lovely comments. Take care and stay warm.

In with the new.

January 2, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  14 Comments

I hope everyone has had a good start to 2013 so far. I find this time of year for me is a time to look forward – I never look back over the last year as many people like to do.
I also don’t set goals for the year, I like to set goals for each week/month instead. I find it easier to achieve what I want to do if I do it this way.

Tomorrow is back to work for me so today is the last day of leave and I’m trying to make the most of it. I’ve been tidying a sorting again as two naughty little cats have found new ways to find craft materials. It’s hard keeping up with the two of them and … as you can see …….

……………………… being naughty is so exhausting.

I’ve managed a bit of stitching and knitting amidst the rush of this time of year. On the knitting front I’ve started so many things and abandoned them that I’ve lost count. Last night I made a start on a rabbit – the leg in the photo below is the only piece belonging to him – the others are being consigned to the bin.

I’m learning as I go with knitted toys, you wouldn’t believe how many pitfalls there are – at least for me anyway. The green ort catcher is a very neat idea and is made by Lantern Moon – it’s great for carrying around as it folds back into shape so readily.

I got some new stitching books for Christmas and this was one of them. I already have the two sampler books previously released by Needleprint so it made sense to have the third one as well (at least that’s my excuse).

Feller Collection

I’ve had several false starts with the sampler I’m stitching first for the challenge. Choosing fabric is the thing I find difficult – it’s got to be just right on so many fronts. The colour, the size and the feel are so important if I’m going to spend a lot of time working on it. Also taking into consideration where the finished piece is going to hang is important too. I have settled on 35 count Permin linen using one strand of AVAS. It’s stitching up better than I expected as I’m not usually a fan of stitching with one strand. I will be putting it on a frame later today.

If you know the sampler you’ll notice that I’m not starting at the top end. I’m missing out a huge section and I’m only stitching the bottom half. I’m not a fan of stitching alphabets and when I first started it I found I wasn’t enjoying it so decided to modify.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Brandy taken today. He turned twelve in December and still behaves like a pup.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013, thanks for popping in today and for your recent comments. Till next time, take care.

Rush, rush, rush.

December 22, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

It’s that time of year where everyone is in a rush – whether it’s shopping, cooking, baking or wrapping – people get in a frenzy.
In some ways I’m always glad when things return to normal but in others it can be a special time of year.

Stitching and knitting have taken a back seat this month but I did receive two lovely gifts in the mail.
The first one is a beautifully made ornament which Margaret from New Zealand sent to me along with a very neat diary. Margaret does an amazing array of needlework, she’s what I call a true needlewoman.

It’s hanging in a safe place that two little furry friends can’t get to.
The second gift was from Melissa over at Words and Blooms. I know already what I’m going to use the chenille trim for – I love the natural warm colours.

It’s been a busy month all round with work, shopping, preparing and several appointments that had to be attended. I tried to keep up with the stitching I wanted to make the most progress with but failed miserably.
I’m now on holiday till next Thursday so I’m hoping to make a little inroads – I’d like to at least begin my Scarlet Letter sampler for the Stitcher’s Challenge. I’ve got the threads ready and I’ve done a few test pieces but I’m not happy with the fabric yet. Hopefully today I’ll choose something I’m happy with. I find it difficult to do this as I don’t like stitching large pieces on soft handle fabric, I prefer starchy fabric like Permin linen.

Thanks for taking time to stop by for a visit, I hope that wherever you are you find peace and harmony and enjoy a wonderful holiday season. Take care.


December rush.

December 10, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

My husband drives around a lot with his work and he noticed this pair at the side of a country road. They are such stunning birds.

It’s that time of year again where each day goes by in a flash and I never seem to have enough time to achieve what I need to. The only cards I’ve written are the overseas ones and I’ve still got some presents to buy and to wrap. Stitching and knitting are sometimes a good way to de-stress, at least that’s my excuse.
I’ve been working steadily on the Scissors Stand – I mentioned that I’m changing the design on each side to do birds for each season. You can see from this photo that I’ve managed to complete summer and winter. I made a brief start on spring last night.

It’s fun to work on but a little fiddly too.
I’ve not made much headway with my banner as I unpicked a whole letter as it just didn’t look right at all.
I’ve also been busy with my choices for the Stitcher’s Challenge that I mentioned in my last post.

These are my three choices to begin with (says she ambitiously). I’m not sure which one I’ll start with but it’s fun choosing.
I also mentioned that I’ve had a recent splurge with stash acquisition – it’s such fun having lovely things arrive through the door.

This lovely box is a gift and was hand made by Barry Horton in France. It’s a limited edition as the box top is made of reclaimed wood and copper from HMS Victory.

This little kit and chart are from the Cheswick Company. I couldn’t resist the lovely velveteen rabbit sitting on the velvet pincushions. It looks easy enough for even me to tackle (I hope).

More kits by Acufactum, I won’t be stitching two of the kits as they come, I’ll be stitching elements from them instead.

Finally this gorgeous bear called out to be knitted post haste. I love the soft shabby look of the yarn so I am going to knit it exactly as it comes without substituting anything.

I should be writing cards instead of writing this post but I wanted to stop by and say hello to everyone. I hope the weather is being kind to you so far this winter (unless you live in Australia or New Zealand). We’ve had lots of frost and ice and some snow as well.
I’ll leave you with a photo of a constant visitor to our garden of late.

Winter visitor.

Thanks for dropping by and thanks too for your lovely comments. Take care.

Stitching and stashing.

November 23, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

I’ve managed to make a little banner progress this week. I’m still enjoying this stitch, it’s fun to choose what to do with each letter.

Do you ever go through spells of having to acquire stash? I know that I do and recently I had one of those spells. Below you can see some of the things I ordered and I’m still waiting on some items to arrive from overseas.

The book you can see is long out of print and I was lucky enough to see it up for sale on the Needleprint blog. It looks good for designing band samplers etc.
The flame stitch etui is a chart that’s long out of print too, I found it on a vintage website. The colours drew me to the design.

I bought the heart kit to stitch as a wedding gift and the threads are for a chart that I’ve wanted to do for a while now but hadn’t got round to ordering the threads from Germany.

I bought this scissors stand design as it really appealed to me. I think it’s quite a clever design but I have changed the actual stitching to suit me. I’m going to stitch a different seasonal bird design on each pocket.
The hummingbirds are fun to work on as they are such pretty colours.

My two little friends are still causing chaos.

I’m just about to go and do a complete rethink of how I store my knitting and needlework as they keep getting into it and running of with wool, thread, charts etc. I’ve moved it, I’ve put it in bags and up high but nothing seems to deter them. All the pretty storage baskets and boxes I normally use are a sure fire target for them.
I’m not sure how I’m going to achieve something that will work as I don’t want to resort to plastic containers.

I hope Thanksgiving Day went well for those of you who celebrated it yesterday. Thanks for popping in today and for your lovely comments too. Take care till next time.

PS If you are the type of person who enjoys joining in stitching challenges then Nicola over at Stitching by a Cornish Sea Shore has just started one that might appeal to sampler lovers. I’ve decided to join which is a first for me. You can find a link to her blog in my sidebar.

Caught in the act.

November 12, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

It wasn't me.

Do I look guilty?

I suppose that would be YES.

This is one of Rosa’s many favourite things to do – each one being naughtier than the last.

Progress on the stitching front has been slow as I ended up being unwell for the second half of last week.  I took a cold type virus that was particularly nasty and was off work for two days with it.  I suppose it’s one of the drawbacks of working on a busy reception in a health centre.   There are three large doctor’s practice receptions and we are all in the same area so it’s hard to avoid the germs that come through the door.

I managed to make a start on a small sewing case and I made some progress on my new banner.   It’s a fun piece to work on.

I’ve been changing around my needlework storage etc and constantly wonder about how other stitchers store their bits and pieces.   Every time I organise my fabric I promise myself that it will stay tidy but it never does.  As soon as I go looking for a new piece to start a project, I seem to upset the order of things.  I suppose it stems from the fact that I am never happy with my first fabric choice.

I’ve ordered a traveling stitcher’s project keeper to try using this for one of my current projects.  My main problem at the moment is a kitten and a young cat who think everything is fair game.  If I leave anything for just a moment it disappears across the floor with Poppy, Rosa and Brandy close behind.

Although I’ve got two designs ongoing just now, I’m tempted to begin another bargello piece.   I have a pattern for an etui which I haven’t stitched and I think it’s because I don’t like the thread colours used.  I saw a lovely mix of colours on another pattern so I think I’ll try to change them to suit.  I know I shouldn’t start yet another project but I find the bargello work so relaxing to do that I can pick it up when I don’t feel like stitching anything else.

Thanks for popping in today and also for your recent comments, I do appreciate each and every one.  Have a lovely week wherever you are.

PS  If you want to follow my blog then all you have to do is click the icon at the top right of the screen.

Mother Nature

October 30, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

I often go on about Mother Nature and the beautiful world we live in but I think that today many thousands of people will not share that view.  I just hope that this dreadful storm passes over quickly – I can’t imagine how frightening it must be to sit and wait for this to happen knowing that your home may be destroyed.

My craft progress has been very slow of late.  It’s not that I’ve been sitting idle, it’s just that I keep chopping and changing.

I was going to stitch a sewing case which was a mix of techniques but once I got started it didn’t inspire me at all.  I then changed to another design which I couldn’t get enthusiastic about either.  I’ve now decided to adapt a Shepherd’s Bush design.  I’m hoping for third time lucky.

I then started my new blog header based on a Mary Engelbreit alphabet.  I loved the crispness of the design and the colours but I decided that the letters were all too similar.

The next photo shows the blog header design that I finally decided upon.  It’s from a mix of charts by Acufactum and I’m happy with my choice.  The little lady you can see was a bit fiddly to stitch as the designer goes in for a lot of partial stitches but fun all the same.  The letters look less fiddly and I will adapt them to suit what I’m happier with.

The apple pincushion came all the way from Australia and will travel all the way to the States as a gift.  It’s for a lady who I write to who is in her nineties and she loves to stitch and quilt so I know she will make good use of the pincushion.

I’ve been knitting a little but not as much – I just wish I hadn’t wasted so much time to-ing and fro-ing.  My time has also been taken up with caring for little Rosa who had surgery last week as it was time to have her spayed.  I was also busy planning things for Matthew’s 18th birthday which was on Saturday.  He had a lovely weekend of celebrations with family and friends. (Please ignore the walls in the photo, we’re currently stripping wallpaper in the kitchen).

Thanks for stopping by to visit and for your lovely comments – I love the connection that blogging brings.  Stay safe wherever you are.

PS.  All the photos in my blog are “clickable”.

Sweet nothings.

October 8, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

It’s been another eventful week with our pets yet again.  Poor Rosa was very unwell mid-week and had to be hospitalised overnight at the vet.  She took an acute urinary infection which laid her very low.  The general feeling is that the flu virus has reduced her immunity and an infection was the result.  She and Poppy are both fine at the moment but I’m not counting any chickens yet.


When the two of them settle like this then I can get on with a little knitting or stitching.

I’ve been wanting to finish a little rabbit for ages now but it’s the type of knitting that you have to be in the right frame of mind to do.

She is “Lily” bunny from the pattern by Susan of “Mary Jane’s Tearoom”.  Susan produces the loveliest of patterns for knitted toys.  They have so much detail in them and she has such an eye for choosing the perfect colours.

I finished this little piece of bargello last week and have since made it up into a small pincushion.  It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be but that’s okay as it’s only really for parking my needle whilst stitching.

I’m hoping to make a start on a stitcher’s sewing case tomorrow or the next day depending on if the chart arrives.  I’d also like to stitch a new blog header using Mary Engelbreit type colours.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Brandy who obviously decided that he didn’t want to be left out of the vet visits.  He swallowed a marble that the cats knocked on the floor and had to be rushed to the emergency vet to get an injection to make him sick.  If it had travelled out of his stomach then he would have needed surgery.

I’ll leave you on that note, till next time.  Have a great week and take care.