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Hello and happy weekend!

I know we have one every week but still get stupidly excited about the prospect of the weekend, a whole two days just to do nice stuff.

I love getting up early on the weekends and just pottering around with the prospect of some knitting, stitching, a walk or some baking ahead of me!

I am planning some experimental baking this weekend as I am trying to be gluten free due to a few health problems so I have downloaded some nice looking recipes and will see what the results taste like.

I have some sad stitching news to report as for the first time ever one of my exchange pieces has gone astray :-( I have been doing exchanges for about 6 years and this is the first time a parcel has not got there.

I kept waiting and hoping but it was sent in Oct and has not arrived in the US. Possibly it got mixed up with some seasonal post and may turn up but in the meantime I am going to stitch another piece for the recipient.

Autumn Exchange

This is what it looked like, I can’t find the actual pattern at the moment to tell you the name of it but it was part of a freebie from this gorgeous Italian cross stitcher’s site – she is called La Comtesse & le point decroix and she has really pretty designs on the site.

Hope you are all having a lovely winter weekend and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone and a very special welcome to all my new followers, I have been getting lots of notifications recently about people now following me and am very honoured, hope you enjoy all the future posts.

I have just got back from a brilliant trip to Florence and am sorting out my many pictures of medieval art and churches for a mega post.

I have had a lovely day today so I thought that I would share some of it with you – when I first moved here I promise to post pictures of my lovely surroundings in all seasons so here we have the early summer collection.

I love walking round here and particularly the walks up the valley with the reservoirs but the scenery has just got better as the rhododendrons are now in bloom! I love rhododendrons and they have only just started to come out so the walks will be even better for the next couple of months!

I am so lucky – all this is just about half an hour walk from my house! And there were baby geese on the reservoir today, have not seen them before.

Rhod walk June

Rhod walk June 2

Rhod walk June 3

Rhod walk June 4

Rhod walk June 5

Got back from holiday to find this very lovely Spring Exchange piece from Stephanie at Blue Star Stitcher, my latest partner in the Seasonal Exchange blog. This is a Prairie Schooler piece in an egg-shaped finish with really lovely beading. The backing fabric is really pretty as well. Thanks Stephanie it goes really well in my kitchen where I am currently displaying all my Spring exchange ornies.

Spring Exchange rec'd

Spring Exchange rec'd 2

Will be back soon with the Florence pics.

Thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

I am having a rare weekend at home indulging in some domestic bliss.

As I type this I am eating my lunch – the very tasty Olive and Chilli Sourdough bread in the picture below that I made this morning with dried olives from my friend Martin and Suzie’s Cowley’s Fine Foods  accompanied by some delicious cheese from the local deli Radish.

Olive Sourdough

The recipe is by Jo Wheatley and is from the Sainsbury’s magazine a couple of months ago.

I have been doing a little gardening – thankfully my lovely new house has virtually nothing to do in that respect but I have just been tidying up the pots and later I will continue making a medieval cloak for my friend Luke.

Embroidery wise I am working on a christening present for Alice, my cousin’s daughter at the moment.All will be revealed when it is finished!

Mum and I will be going to Plymouth for the christening next weekend as they have very kindly asked me to be a godmother which is very lovely!

The recipient of my Spring Exchange through the Seasonal Exchange Blog , Stephanie , has now got her gift so I can post pics of it.

Spring Exchange

Spring Exchange 2

This pincushion is from the Blackbird Designs,  ‘ A Stitcher’s Journey’,  book and it is stitched on evenweave with Silk Mill thread. The charm is one I picked up at one of the knitting and stitching shows but you can get similar ones from Sitch Direct.

I backed it with some of the lovely fabric from my lovely friends Helen and Lucy at Material Goods and added a little pocket for scissors or an unpicker.

Well must be getting on with the sewing , hope you are having domestic fun as well, take care and thanks for visiting!

Hello everyone

Well the snow has almost gone here in Yorkshire apart from bits on the hills, we have Spring flowers appearing and have had a couple of warm days recently so we are all feeling very happy!

One of my favourite parts of the China Nationalities Museum that I visited while in Beijing was the exhibition of needlework, this sign outside perfectly captures how I, (and it would seem the museum organisers), feel about stitching!

China Nationalities Museum Sign

There were themed displays of footwear (including the very sad lotus feet shoes for bound feet), bags, headwear and gifts – these little embroidered tokens of love and affection are called henbao.

China Nationalities Museum Henbao

China Nationalities Museum Boots

China Nationalities Museum Lotus feet shoes

I was interested to see cross stitch and patchwork in the bags as well as the more traditional Chinese silk embroidery.

China Nationalities Museum Cross Stitch bag

China Nationalities Museum Cross Stitch bag 2

China Nationalities Museum Cross Stitch bag 3

China Nationalities Museum Patchwork bag

There was also a section devoted to needlework tools – anyone remember these pincushions at the top of the photo?

My Nana had one when I was little (as well as the tomato one with the strawberry emery attached).

China Nationalities Museum Pincushion

In another part of the museum there were some displays of traditional Miao people costume, with beautiful silver headdresses and embroidered robes.

Each strand of the skirt is a separate piece joined with silver beads.

China Nationalities Museum Miao

China Nationalities Museum Miao 2

China Nationalities Museum Miao 3

China Nationalities Museum Miao 4

I have had a busy week craft wise, have finished and posted my Spring ornament for the Seasonal Exchange, part made two bags out of recycled denim and pillowcases and been to two knitting groups (though more drinking coffee and wine was done than actual knitting – as usual!)

And next week the season starts again! They joy of seeing all my re-enactment friends and camping and campfires and BBQs – I shall be so happy :-)

I must get around to putting up the events page for this year but next weekend we are at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire - on Sat and Sun celebrating the victory of St George over the evil Dragon Knight! Please come and join us if you can.

Take care and thank you for visiting.

Hello there

Hope this finds you all well and happy. I have had a lovely time away in Spain with my Mum and have got some fab pics to post of the Easter celebrations there which I will sort for tomorrow.

It has been a wonderfully sunny day today, I have two loads of washing dried on my line and this is in Yorkshire! It is a miracle.

We still have piles of unmelted snow though where we cleared the paths and the road, particularly on my side of the street as this does not get as much sun. It might be gone by May!

Hope this lovely weather continues as I have my first re-enactment event in 2 weeks time and my first camping weekend in 3 weeks – yippee!!!

It seems appropriate to post a picture of the Winter ornament that I made for the Seasonal Exchange  group since the theme of this piece was snowflakes.

The design is a combination of a tree from the Cross Stitch mag from last year that I have made into a tree ornament for me and some snowflakes from the lovely Snow Poem design, once again stitched with Silk Mill thread. This piece is now with Lisa in Australia.

Winter Exchange snow cushion

I am now stitching the Spring Exchange piece and also have been working on some new stock for my stall at Standedge, I found a cute pillow case today in my local charity shop so have been transforming that and some old jeans into a little handbag.

Will post again later this weekend, thanks for visiting.

Well I have finally got my stall at Standedge Loft Space  and my membership as a designer maker. Am very pleased as I have wanted to sell things for a while and also it is a great way of supporting a local craft centre. My little stall looks very cute and I have got some nice feedback already.

Standedge craft stall

Standedge loft

Standedge membership

Standedge stall

It is a lovely space and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time there, especially over the summer.

There was a craft market this weekend and I bought this lovely fabric from my new friend Helen from my local knitting group. I am making a quilt for a friend’s baby and have used some of this fabric to add to my stash for that.

Material goods fabric

She and her friend Lucy run a fabric store called Material Goods in the next village – here is their card and link to their online store.

Material goods card

I have also been out for  a few walks over the weekend – there is still a bit of snow up on the hills and lots of sheep!

Feb snowy walks

Feb walk reservoir

Feb walk sheep

Feb walk snow path

I got my Winter Exchange this week from Kathy - isn’t it lovely – as soon as my partner has got hers I can post the stitching that I have done.

Winter Exchange Biscornu

I am planning lots of lovely walks this week as I am on holiday! There will be lots of crafting too and some nice nights out catching up with friends. Ellie has been here for all of last week and Jake is here this week so I am being very social!

Thanks very much for visiting.

Hello there

Hope you are all well and happy, thank you for your lovely comments on my new things.

I have been busy this weekend adding to the stock as I have made a couple of new items, these are phone covers. The top one I am going to keep as I made a bit of an error with the lining ;-(

Phone cover 3

Phone cover 2

Phone cover 1

The crochet on that one is from a large piece which contains about 30 of these flower motifs – I used some of a similar design and different colour last year to make a handbag which I blogged about here. So I have plenty more to make other items.

The other phone case used one of  the smaller motifs from the tablecloth that I have used for the hearts and the Kindle cover I made. I think I have got about 6 items out of that tablecloth already and still have loads of motifs left.

I acquired a new tablecloth this weekend, this one is cross stitched so I am looking forward to making some bigger items from that – I am thinking maybe toilet bags.

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 1

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 2

I am feeling very well at the moment – touch wood my dodgy back is behaving itself and I went on a really lovely strenuous walk yesterday literally to the top of my little world. It was a glorious day, very blustery and still icy as you can see from the foliage pictures below.

Binn Moor walk 1

Binn Moor walk 2

Binn Moor walk 3

Binn Moor walk 4

Binn Moor walk 5

It was wonderful to be up so high looking down on the reservoirs.My house is just at the bottom right of this view.

I have just finished a stitch for the Winter Exchange - more will be revealed when it has reached its destination and nearly finished another version of the variegated wool hat. Have so many lovely projects I would like to do next don’t know where to start :-)

Right am off and now for a wander and when I come back more crafting – what a lovely life!

Thanks for visiting.

Tis the season to be stitching!

Hope you are all having a lovely Autumn week. I have had a very nice relaxing few days and have spent lots of time this weekend working on my latest batch of ornaments ready for my craft fairs coming up at the end of December.

I have also been on more wonderful walks as the weather has been very good so am feeling very mellow and happy ;-) Here is a pic of the autumn colours at one of my local reservoirs.

Butterley - autumn colours

It has been wonderful to have a craft room with everything in one place so that I can just get out all my buttons, fabric and ribbons and have spent a lot of time this week just playing around with different combinations of things to develop some new designs.

Here is one of my new ones – the tree motif is from a ribbon I bought some years ago and is printed onto the organza. I cut them out and stitched them onto the gold silk.Each ornie has a different xmas fabric for the backing as well. In real life the tree is much more gold as the pale organza does not show as much.

Gold tree ornie 2012

I have also made another set of the little patchwork hearts that I made last year as those sold very well and are great for using up scraps from other ornament making.

Small xmas hearts 2012

I have lots of other things in production that are more Scandinavian in design, I love the traditional red, green and gold but know a lot of people like the simpler designs so will be working on those this week.

I can also finally show you my Autumn exchanges from this round of the Seasonal Exchange blog.

I got this lovely ornament from Sarah in the USA a week ago, isn’t it beautiful, just my taste with its Elizabethan motif and the most delicate beading all around the edges. The colour goes so well with my new kitchen where my bowl of Autumn exchanges are displayed. Thank you Sarah it is lovely!

Autumn exchange 2012 2

Autumn exchange 2012 1

I sent off my exchange before I went to China but couldn’t find the pics I took of it till now! I stitched this piece from my Blackbird Designs book ‘A Stitcher’s Journey’ for Jayne also in the USA. It is finished as a pincushion and backed with some purple velvet.

Autumn exchange 2012 my piece

I really enjoyed this stitching and have been doing another Blackbird Designs piece as an xmas gift.

I managed to resist going to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Fair this year due to having bought lots of fabric in Worcester and wanting to use the time to make something from my stash but have treated myself to some online retail therapy and ordered some charms and buttons for ornament making which I will share when the arrive!

Hope that you have had a fun and productive week, thanks for visiting.

Oh the joy of having nothing to do apart from sit and watch movies and stitch!

I was contemplating doing some gardening (which I did not want to do as it was boring lawns) but it being a Bank Holiday weekend it has been pouring down along with thunder and lightning so I have the whole afternoon to do as I please!

I am still working on the hand quilting of the throw, this will be a long job but a very pleasurable one. I decided to hand quilt some of the flower motifs from each of the patterned squares with metallic thread rather than just outlining the squares and it is looking really good.

I am still not very confident with my machine skills for doing any other type of quilting – I look at Crazy Mom Quilts  with envy. One of my targets for this winter (in my new craft room!) will be to get better at this.I think I will make some little art quilts for the walls to practise.

My Summer Exchange piece has arrived at last in the USA so I can reveal it to you. This was organised once again through the Seasonal Exchange  blog and was sent to Sarah who does not yet have a blog herself.

Strawberries always remind me of summer so I stitched part of an Elizabethan knot garden design from a book I have had for a while, ‘Elizabethan Cross Stitch’ by Barbara Hammett. It is a beautiful book with loads of lovely designs.

Elizabethan Cross Stitch

Once again it is stitched with Silk Mill  threads. I made it into a pincushion with plain green evenweave for the backing and I have put a little strawberry charm from my stash on the back and a couple of beads from my Xmas ornie making stash on the front in the middle.The strawberries also have seed beads on them.

Summer Exchange by me - front

 

Summer Exchange by me - back

 

Am off to see Ellie tomorrow so lots more stitching time on the train – what a lovely life!

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

Hello there

Hope you are all well and happy. I have just got back from another weekend in a field and am busy today sorting, washing (and drying!) bits of kit and tents.

We have had a lovely time at the Midlands Living History Festival  and as befits a British summer managed to get sunburnt and soaked in the same weekend!Here is a picture of one very soaked and grass-covered medieval boot, off to dry out.

Midfest - boot

Generally though the weather was very good and we had two BBQs and bacon butties for breakfast in the sun both days – I love camping!

We are nearly at the end of the re-enactment season with only 2 more events to go which makes me very sad. I am seriously considering joining another group as well so I can have more fun in a field next year. I may do a different period so I can do some other types of embroidery!

This event was multi period so we got to watch a brilliant dark age battle on both days with lots of Vikings and Saxons from groups such as Vikings of Middle England. The battle was very good – scary to watch as they fight with no helmets and very little armour unlike our medieval guys. The pic below shows them at an earlier event and is one I ‘borrowed’ from the BBC website.

Midfest - vikings

Unfortunately I have managed to break my camera (I am lethal with cameras!) and my spare one would not work either so I have no other pics to show you. It will have to be taken to the menders this week as I am lost without it.

I have got a couple more from last weekend – taken by my lovely friend Wendy who was being our official photographer for the weekend. This one was taken from the top of Ashby Castle tower and shows the camp with our activities. I am bottom right helping with the knighting of the kids after their sword training.

Ashby - show

This is a brilliant shot of the tournament on the Sunday with me in my nun’s costume on the left.The boys’ armour and costumes look great – even in the rain!

Ashby - tourney

I have got a quiet couple of weeks work wise and a weekend at home now so am going to be doing lots of sewing.

Have just made my lovely friend Kerry a chaperon (but forgot to take a picture of it before the camera broke) and have just sent off my Summer Exchange piece so will upload pics of that when it has been delivered.

Still working on a stitched baby gift and might just get around to making that new peasant dress that I have been promising myself for the last few years. I have also treated myself to some Blackbird Designs patterns after seeing so many lovely ones on the Seasonal Exchange blog  so am waiting for those to arrive.

The one compensation about Autumn and Winter is lots of time to stitch as I seem to have done so little just recently. Also I am really looking forward to the start of the new term as I will be going to China with work again twice before Christmas – how exciting!

Take care and have a relaxing week whatever you are doing. Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

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