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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.
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 hello everyone, I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying the last few days before the festive season begins.
I am now on leave for two weeks (hurrah!) and tomorrow we go to Wales to stay with Ellie at Powis Castle where I shall be pretending that I am at a grand house party as in Downtown Abbey and we shall be eating lots of lovely food and going for walks in the grounds.
I had a little housewarming party last night with some of my lovely Marsden friends which was very nice and am off out this evening to another party with some old friends so am feeling very sociable and relaxed.
Am planning lots of lovely stitching over the next 2 weeks, I have one last Xmas ornie to finish then am going to start on my Winter exchange piece. I am going to Spain for a week over New Year so will be sitting on my terrace stitching in the sunshine hopefully!
I was very excited on Friday as I took my ornaments up to The Loft Creative Hub at Standedge. I have a little display for sale there this weekend and have the dates for their craft fairs next year so am going to be working on a new range of things.
As I am joining as a designer/ maker I can have my own table to display goods for sale permanently so I am going to make some stock for that in Jan with all my lovely vintage finds.
It is my 300th post as well so I thought I would show you some of my latest fabric purchases just to celebrate my five years of blogging and fabric love!
These are beautiful fabrics that come from Justine at Simply Solids, Justine is local to me, I did meet her a couple of years ago at knitting group and have followed her blog, Sew Justine Sew , ever since and on a recent post I noticed that she has started a fabric retail business .
The first set I ordered were all these beautiful tea and tea-cup themed fabrics, I actually have 9 fabrics in total, 3 pale print, 3 darker print and 3 with tea cups on them. Not sure what I will make with them yet – tea cosies is the obvious thing but shall try to think up some other ideas as well.
I have also joined her monthly fabric club – the Sew Solids Crew as I have now started getting quite a stash of prints but often lack coordinating fabrics to go with them.
For £11 a month I get a set of 6 ft quarters delivered all in different shades of one colour, December’s delivery is purple – look at all this loveliness!
I will be back to the blog early Jan so I do hope you all have a lovely time over Xmas and New Year – a very happy festive season to you all and thanks as always 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
There were some really beautiful things on our recent trip to Italy so I thought I would do a post just about all the pretty textiles.
First of all some lace and stitched household items in a little shop in the very pretty village of Bellagio.Some of this lace comes from Venice, from the island of Burano.
Then we went to the town of Como which had a wonderful market and there was this stall with so many beautiful Swiss textiles, the Italian Lakes are very near the Swiss border and there was all sorts of beautiful table linen and little curtains for hanging at your chalet window.
I spent ages trying to decide what to buy (Jake got very bored at this point!) but ended up getting this beautiful table runner which I will use at Xmas.
I have a number of stitched red and white Xmas ornies with similar themes such as this one below so I thought the runner would look good on the lounge coffee table.
We visited a few (!) churches during the week and since it was Easter there were some icons on display including this one from a church in Mennagio with some gorgeous goldwork.
We also bought some lovely pasta, polenta and spices from a little deli in the same village – on the walls there were these large-scale kitchen cross stitch motifs which were beautifully framed.
Apologies that the picture is not very good, the light and the glare made it difficult to take nice pics but there were about 10 of these collections in the shop which must have taken such a long time.
On our day trip to Milan I came across a fab shop full of cross stitch and embroidery supplies and bought 3 sets of embroidery transfers, there are lots of different designs here including about 20 alphabets and very good value at only 3 euros per pack.
And from a little gift shop in Como not textiles but this cute display of table napkins which are another little addiction of mine, I was very good and didn’t buy any (have a few in stock already) but aren’t they so cute!
I do hope you are having a lovely weekend. I was supposed to be at a re-enactment event this weekend but have got a poorly back again so instead I am having a very nice relaxing weekend stitching and knitting and watching DVDs. Very blissful and the weather is sunny which is so nice to see after all our torrential rain.
I am currently working on the large cross stitch of the Chinese Emperor but am going to start another Spring ornie for me in the meantime as that is a long haul project and I want a quick finish inbetween.
Thanks for visiting and do have a very good week ahead.
As you may remember last year I was a bit disappointed with the look of my tree, it had lots of mass-produced shop bought baubles and very little that was unique so I have worked very hard this year and am proud to say that this year every single thing on it is either hand-made or a special ornie bought at places like Disneyland, visits or craft fairs so all have lovely memories attached to them.Here is the lovely tree with some close up pics of some of my special things.
I have also made some new baubles for the mantelpiece to go with the tree skirt I made last year and moved the other set to the hallway where they co-ordinate with the little trees and hanging from last year.
I had a lovely time last weekend with my very good friend Kerry, we went to the Xmas Fair and special event at Tatton Hall, where we go each June for a re-enactment event. That takes place at the Tudor Old Hall but we had never visited the later manor house so went for a lovely day out. The craft fair was very nice, I bought some ornies (surprise!) and this very cute little Xmas cake shaped like an Xmas pud.It goes very well with my knitted Xmas pud that I bought from the WI craft stall a couple of weeks ago.
The manor house was gorgeous, the theme was a Venetian Christmas and they had the whole house decorated with trees, displays and baubles, it was heaven for an ornie addict like me.No pics were allowed as usual in historic properties so you will just have to imagine the loveliness, there were lots of ornies based round peacock feathers in purples and turquoises.
We walked around listening to the chamber orchestras they had playing imagining ourselves to be guests at a Downton Abbey style house party and bought some lovely spiced mead and quince chutney for our forthcoming Xmas buffet this week.I also bought a couple more packets of beautiful paper napkins, one Xmas themed (which now makes about 5 sets of Xmas napkins!) As well as the Xmas fabric addiction I have a slight napkin addition – especially Xmas ones, well at least they do get used up!
I have ordered a gourmet smoked cheese hamper from a friend, Martin, who has his own business supplying fine foods so we are looking forward to some very nice food this week. We are having pretend Xmas dinner on Tues and my brother and partner round on Weds for a buffet. Ellie is home for the holidays and today we have been making gingerbread – very festive!
The winner of my blogaversary giveaway was Thimbleanna - I am posting her ornies tomorrow, they may just make it to the USA in time for Xmas but at least they will keep till next year if not!
I do hope that all your preparation for the festive season is going well.
See you all soon and thank you very much for visiting.
I am at the moment lying on my sofa all cuddled up next to the radiator sipping mulled wine while writing this post. I am revelling in being very warm and toasty as I have been out all day in the very, very wet and cold – having a lovely time but in very inclement weather! I really need some new boots as my winter ones seem to have a leak so will be shopping for new waterproof ones later this week.
I have been out for most of the day at Honley, one of our local villages, where our WI group had a stall to raise funds . Here we are looking a little bit cold (I am in the middle in my superwarm coat!) and here is our lovely stall – you may recognise some of my Xmas stuff on the table there. We did very well despite the weather so thank to everyone who came and bought from us.
After that I went to one of the local Honley churches where they were having a Christmas tree festival. I have never been to one of these before but it is a fab idea, especially for Christmas decoration addicts like me. The idea is that local groups decorate trees in any way they like and there were about 40 different trees in this beautiful church, complete with a Santa’s grotto, cafe and arts and crafts for the kids. It was a wonderful display and a great fundraiser at £1 entrance – well worth it. I only got a few useable pics as the light was poor but it looked amazing.
Then I went on to the Festival of Light in town with lots of wonderful light displays and entertainment and some very welcome mulled cider and wine.Camera had run out of battery by this time so here is one of the Facebook pics.
All in all a very festive day. I am having a very festive lead up to Xmas this year as am visiting two more Christmas fairs over the next two weekends. I do love this time of year, I adore all the decorations everywhere and can’t wait to put all mine up next week.
I am still making lots of stuff – some for selling at work and some in preparation for next year. I would like to do more Craft Fairs next year so thought if I start now I will have enough stock for more and might even get around to selling some on Etsy or Folksy as well.I have also started on the new Scandinavian style ones but have not had chance to take pics yet.
Well I hope that you have a very lovely week ahead and don’t forget to go and comment on my blogaversay post if you want to enter the giveaway for ornies.
Thanks for visiting
Hello there, hope you are all well and happy and in fine Xmas crafting mode!
Ellie and I have had a lovely week, she came home on Weds and we hit the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show where more wonderful fabric was acquired plus some fab buttons, more of that later.
Today we have been at my second Xmas Craft Fair at Oakwell Hall -a beautiful 17th century house and country park near me. Pics of the hall can be found in my posts here and here, today I was in the barn selling my wares and we had a lovely day.
We sold lots of the hearts and some stockings and baubles. not many gift bags (which sold really well last year which was why I made more this year) but had a really nice time chatting to people and it was very nice spreading the Xmas ornie love.
One gentleman was very kind, he bought one of my baubles saying he always bought something special every year for his tree and he said how lucky I was to be able to be creative which I heartily agree with.
I think anyone can do it given the space to and I think like most things it increases with practise. Most of what I do is unplanned, I spread all my fabrics and ribbon around me and just combine things until I am happy with the result.
Here are some pics of my stall, apologies the light was not very good.
Now for the fabric – I have been looking at lots of home mags and ornies in the shops and have noticed the Scandinavian style ornies are very popular so am going to extend my range for next year. I do mainly make very traditional ornies in traditional red, green and gold but have previously made silver, blue and purple as commissions but I do really like the simpler style ornies - I just really struggle with the idea of minimalism! It is the medieval re-enactor in me where everything has to be OTT but I am hoping I can restrain myself here.
I have bought beautiful red, white and silver prints with Xmas motifs on.
And snowflake fabric to back red felt hearts which I will decorate with snowflake buttons – complete with coordinating ribbon.
I have also stayed true to my roots and bought this additional Makower fabric to go with the stocking prints I already have.
And some lovely ribbons!
Then there are the buttons. I have been to button heaven – most of these were from the Stitch Witch’s stand and they are gorgeous, they are made by Dress It Up and can be found under the Accessories link on her website - just look at all this Xmas buttoness!
My button box is looking fab (and very full – note to self need more button storage!)
Thankfully did not sell all the stock as need some of the hearts as my Xmas ornie for special friends this year (if you are one of them please act surprised when I give it to you!) Also have a WI craft fair next weekend and have promised to take some to work so still have supplies to do that as am now severely running out of time – can we just put Xmas back a week to give me a little more stitching time?
No seriously want it just where it is - we are off to Disneyland Paris for Xmas and we are getting very excited now as it is less than a month and we have been looking at the programme of events there (a lot of princess things for Ellie) and booking our festive dining and we are really looking forward to seeing Mickey and the gang (and Santa of course!).
So will return next week with more craft fair updates – in the meantime hope that you have a very lovely time and thanks for visiting.
Hello, hope that you are all well and happy.
I have been busy taking pics of all the things that I have made for the Craft Fair the weekend after next so thought that I would share them all with you. Have probably about 60 things to sell in total which I think is a good amount and all apart from the baubles are my very own designs so I am even more pleased with those!
First up come the patchwork hearts – have about 20 of these and I love them, any that don’t sell are going on the tree!
Then the little stockings – similar to the hearts but these are not patchwork – same fabric in different colourways back and front.
Next we have gift bags – three varieties of these, firstly the nine patch version
The fronts are all the same, the backs all different fabrics.
Then some bags using a Makower label fabric that I have had in my stash for quite a while.
And lastly this bag set that uses fabric that I have carbon dated (ie. looked back at my blog!) to being in my stash for 4 years! And there is still more where this came from.
Then there are my old faves the baubles – designs taken from Sue Schofield’s, ‘Decorations to Dazzle’ ,available from Springwood House Designs. Buy this book – have fun and impress your friends just as I have been doing for the last four years. And she is such a lovely woman and has all sorts of other ideas as well as baubles, she is a Christmas ornie genius!
We have one with some cute reindeer buttons on.
And some made with the angel fabric that Kerry gave me last week.These have little gold cross charms on the sides you can’t see in the pic.
And a set of gold ones – again partly from fabric donated by Kerry – stitching friends are the best kinds aren’t they? Love these as I have been able to use up cute snowflake buttons bought in May at the Malvern Quilt Show.
The really good thing is that if none of this sells I will just have a very pretty house and tree this year!
If though all goes according to plan and the stock whizzes off the table I still have all the stuff I have done for me. This year apart from a baby gift and a couple of exchanges all of my cross stitch work has been ornies for me and this is my collection so far.
I did want to do one a month so that I had 12 more for the tree this year, there are only 9 in the bowl but I sent one off to my last exchange partner with her autumn exchange, have this week finished another and have a just completed WIP that needs stuffing and backing. So that does make 12 done but only 11 still in the country so will have to get cracking to get that final one done before the tree goes up in 3 weeks!
Here is a pic of the finish for this week.
This may well be one of the smallest ornies ever made – here it is next to my thumb.
I think it is 28 count fabric and it was very quick to stitch – if at times a bit of a challenge to see! Another one of the JBW Designs stockings.
Hope that you are well on your way with all your seasonal preparations. I do love the run up to Christmas, I have been buying nice food and as usual most of my pressies have been bought for ages so I can concentrate on the serious stuff of decorating the house and doing bits of baking with the kids.
We are going to be away for Christmas this year again which will be very exciting as we are going to Disneyland Paris – as regular readers know we are huge Disney fans and this will be our 5th visit to the Paris one (over the last 14 years) and are very much looking forward to spending the time in the Magic Kingdom with Mickey and co – have just been looking at all the lovely shows and parades that are on and getting very excited! We are very lucky people!
Anyway I will leave you with my best wishes for your preparations for the festive season and will see you all again next week with a report on how the Craft Fair went – wish me luck!
Thanks for visiting.
Hello there, I hope that you are all well and happy.
I have had a very nice week of stitchy craftyness finishing off lots of the things I started last week. Have realised I forgot to take pics of all the lovely gift bags that I have stitched before I packed everything in the bag for the Craft Fair (doh!) so I will have to get them out and do a photo shoot when we have some light.
My week has been rounded off with an excellent weekend with my lovely friend Kerry (from the re-enactment group) who came to stay for the express purpose of having an ornie making weekend and we have had a wonderful time. She arrived with lots of lovely fabric and ribbons for me as she has been decluttering her stash and gave me all sorts of great stuff.
Kerry spent the time designing and making her own set of beautiful tree ornies, 3 of which are pictured below. It was very nice to work with her as our styles are very different, she is a lot more minimalist than I am in terms of what she wanted as her house is very different to mine in terms of colour schemes and decor.
It is not obvious from the pic below but her fabric has a very subtle swirl in it which looks lovely with her tree design. She is very precise in her work and has great attention to detail. The medieval costume she makes is wonderful, she hand beads everything and searches out jewels and embellishments for her headdresses then paints them to get them all to match.
So we have had a very, very nice time drinking tea, crafting, catching up and watching a film last night (X Men First Class, excellent movie – second time I have seen it but first for Kerry, well worth watching though sadly only 20 seconds of Hugh Jackman in it which I had forgotten!) I also taught Kerry to cross stitch and she made a start on a little ornie while watching the film. It was a very happy evening, it is lovely to have friends who are into the same things that I am!
The stock for the Craft Fair in 2 weeks time is looking good, was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have time to make enough due to the general busyness of everything else but should have about 50 items in total. I have gift bags, gift stockings (small to hang on the tree for gifts of money), stocking ornies, heart ornies, baubles and pine cones and a few of the patchwork tree kits that I didn’t sell last year (if I can remember where I filed them!).
I have once again take a very organic approach to the design process which consists of getting my stash of fabric out and just seeing what I like, what goes with what and then going with the flow. I find that works better for me than planning everything in advance as then I end up with some really good combinations of fabrics.I also find that buying fabric over the years means that you have the joy of ‘rediscovering’ it later on at the bottom of the stash. I have finally used up some fabric I have had for at least 4 years in one of my bag sets and am very pleased with the results.
And as always anything that doesn’t sell can be used for the Craft Fair the following week for the Women’s Institute or be kept by me.There were many moments this afternoon when I said, ‘oh this one is too pretty to sell, I need to keep it’ , so if they don’t sell I won’t be too sad.
It was also very useful having Kerry as a second opinion on which fabrics went together and we designed some gorgeous baubles together this afternoon which I will take pics of when it is light ( tis dark at around 3.30 pm round here these days!).I am particularly keen on the top left bauble in this pic below, using some of this year’s Makower ‘Joyful’ fabric obtained from the Malvern Quilt Show earlier in the year.
All in all a lovely week, I do hope that you have been having similar fun in what you have been doing this week and have a very nice week ahead. I have graduation this week which is one of my favourite times of the year when I will be donning the gown and mortar board to celebrate the success of all of my lovely students from last year. It is a very special day for me as well as for them when I hear more about their new jobs and get to meet some of their families as well and I love it!
Also cannot believe that sometime next year I will get to attend Ellie’s graduation ceremony, it does not seem possible that she will be finishing 3 years at Uni next year. She is currently undertaking her third year placement at the National Trust Tudor house in Worcester she worked at last year , The Greyfriars, and finding out more about the last owner who was an avid textile collector. She has access to her archives of research which sounds amazing.
So have a lovely time until next week, thanks as always for visiting.
As regular readers will know I like a glass or two of red wine and on my recent trip to Spain had a lovely day out with Mum which involved my favourite tipple.We went on a coach trip up into the mountains, we have been on quite a few trips with various companies over the last few years and they are an excellent way of seeing the country if like Mum and I you don’t drive, or like most people you doubt your ability to navigate your way up scary, winding mountain roads into unfamiliar villages!
The coach driver did an excellent job as there were lots of very tight turns and long drops and we had a lovely day. The first place we visited was a little village up in the mountains above Alicante called Polop where they have the most amazing village fountain which has about 100 water jets coming out of the walls in the square where people used to go to take the water. This pic shows just a few of these jets but they carry on all around the square.
Then we went up and up passing beautiful olive and almond tree groves right to the top of the mountains where I took these pics -
It was so beautiful – my pics do not really do it justice and it doesn’t look like the Spain you imagine at all – more like being in the Lake District or in Switzerland but you still have the wonderful blue sky and sea down below and it is so wonderful!
We then went back down the other side of the valley and stopped at a bodega for a little wine tasting (and buying!). Bodegas are where you can buy locally produced wine, all the wine sold here came from the valley and it operates as a co-operative supporting local vineyards. So not only could you taste and buy lovely (and very, very cheap wine) you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting the local economy – how good can it get!
The smell when you entered the bodega was amazing! All that lovely wine and you could just sample any that you wanted – heaven!
There were wine tasting tables with carafes of all the varieties.
Then we went further down the valley for a lovely lunch then a stop off at one of the little coastal towns for a paddle and a coffee on the way home, it’s a tough life but someone has to do it and I will be that brave volunteer!
I have loads more Spain pics to show you but will post again with those from our visit to Elche as there was a very lovely market and some fab architecture which need their own post before this one gets too long!
Two of the things I adore about Spain are the sunsets and sunrises and the beach. I cycled down the beach a couple of times and took lots and lots of arty shots of my favourite bit where the walkway goes through the dunes and this is one of my favourite views. I just love the colours and the light – and this pic was taken on the 25th Oct!
I have posted one of my sunset pics in the last Scavenger Hunt but the following evening there was the most beautiful pink sky while I was sitting on my terrace.
And then there was this lovely sunrise one morning – apologies as the pic is a bit fuzzy but hopefully you can get an idea of how amazing the colours were.
It really is food for the soul seeing all that amazing natural beauty and it makes me very happy!
I have been having a great time since I have been back as well, a very nice week at work, my students are very lovely and I am really enjoying this year. I had a free weekend which was good as Christmas is fast approaching and I have two craft fairs to do so I was very busy making stock this weekend. I made lots of little Xmas stocking ornies to complement my Xmas hearts – below are pics of three ornies with picture details of the charms I have used.
I have also finished my latest wrist warmers, very useful now the Yorkshire temperature has dropped so much and winter is very much upon us!They will be very useful in the office when it gets so cold you cannot feel your fingers!
Will see you again at the weekend when I will have more Spain pics plus some more Xmas crafting finished.Have a lovely week and thanks very much for visiting.