Friday, 15 September 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness for September

The day for Gifted Gorgeousness has rolled around again, Gifted Gorgeousness being the blog hop organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching where we show our gift related crafting.
Three things to show this month. First is the Holiday Exchange from Needlecraft Haven. This was an exchange in two parts. We selected and kitted up a small free chart to send to our partners earlier in the year, and for this part we reveal what we stitched from the gift we received.
I received a sweet little snowflake design from Dusty, and here is the ornament I stitched it up into.


Thank you Dusty, it was a fun stitch.
Second up is this bag I made for Naomi using a gorgeous remnant of sloth print fabric I got from the sale at Sugar Bowl Crafts


Thirdly a t-shirt upcycle, also for Naomi. I took this t-shirt


and added a faux leather corsetting detail at the neckline.


She made me cut her head off the picture because "I haven't done my eyebrows Mum"
I also made a project bag for Clare for her birthday but I totally forgot to get a picture before I sent it out!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Village Show

It was the annual village show last weekend, and I thought you might like to see some pictures.
Prize winning vegetables:-


Not that I can claim credit for any of those, other than the very tiny cherry tomatoes in the centre and a bundle of rhubarb
There were some lovely flowers as well (again none of these are mine)


We did rather better in the Art and Handicrafts section though, winning lots of classes between us as well as three Best in Shows


Mr Penguin, who I've shown on here before won Best in Show - Handicraft


and I got a 1st with this floral arrangement in the class called "Beachcombing"


Eloise got a second place with this life drawing:-


Naomi won the class for Celebration Cake


 and got 1st and 2nd with her pastels (you can see her winning one. of ballet shoes.in this picture)


The large watercolour painting of silver birch trees in mad colours is mine and took Best in Show - Art. I suppose I ought to buy a frame for it...



Monday, 21 August 2017

Embarrassingly Late Gifted Gorgeousness for August

What can I say? It's been a busy month. Anyway better late than never here is a Gifted Gorgeousness post for August (Gifted Gorgousness is organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching, and encourages us to show our gift related projects)
Two things to show this month.
This scrappy zip pouch; using a mixture of modern and vintage fabrics, including sari scraps, a vintage tray cloth, Liberty prints and a little bit of chicken scratch embroidery; which I made for Julie for her birthday


and the other side


And this towel that folds up into it's own bag, that I made for Eloise



Friday, 11 August 2017

The Tenuous Shoehorn 2017

Welcome to the Tenuous Shoehorn Linky Party. This is organised by Jo of Serenditpitous Stitching, and the idea is that you post some stitching that links, however tenuously, to the overall theme. This year the theme is "Loved Ones"
Now an awful lot of my stitching is done for other people, and anyone you would stitch for must be a loved one right?
So not tenuous at all really, which got me thinking not so much about which of my loved ones should feature as which bit of stitching might give the most interesting story.
One of the very first cross stitch pieces I ever stitched, having mostly done traditional embroidery before that, was stitched it as a gift for my Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jock.

Here is the story behind it. Aunt Jenny was my Dad's closest sibling, he was the baby of nine and she was the next oldest and pretty much his partner in crime.
Aunt Jen had no children of her own and always treated my sister and I as the daughters she never had. She was a very stylish and fashion conscious lady, and often took me shopping with her. It's probably where I get it from.
My Dad and Uncle Jock, on the other hand, used to take me to the football...

In this picture are my grandparents (who I never knew). The lady to the back of the group is my Aunt Bet, and the very tall man next to her is her husband (Grandad is holding their son), Aunt Jenny is the young woman at the front, and the handsome young chap on the left is my Dad (best guess he was about 17 or 18 when when this was taken)


Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jock ran a bakery and catering business in our village. I spent a lot of time there when I was growing up.


See I told you I spent a lot of time there.
I'm the very small one. The foreman is to the left and his wife is the one stopping me from wrecking a perfectly good photo opportunity by wandering off across the yard. The lady in the middle is another sibling, Aunt Sal, you can see how much she looked like her mother. You can just about make out the bread racks in the back of the picture.
I remember that their home was always kept really warm; my Uncle had grown so used to the heat from working in the bakehouse with three enormous ovens on the go (still coal-fired when I was very small, and the stokery was a really cosy place to hide out on a cold day), that he felt the cold very easily. They baked the best bread for miles around. I love the smell of yeast and baking bread and I still have a weakness for artisan bakeries (though of course they weren't called that back then).
One of my very early memories is of "helping" in the bakehouse by carefully placing a walnut into the icing on top of each of a long row of walnut cakes. I probably ate more walnuts than I placed, I've loved them ever since and the taste and smell of walnuts always takes me straight back there.
Anyway this is what I stitched for them, a stylised representation of one of their four shops.


As you can see it is stitched on aida, which really dates it, because I switched to linen and evenweave very early on, but this was way back in the eighties, before cross stitch was much of a "thing". If I recall correctly I adapted the design from one in Anna Burda magazine (I'm pretty sure it pre-dates most British Cross Stitch mags).
I featured chocolate eclairs in the design because they were my Dad's favourites (he always had one with his lunch on a Saturday), and a wedding cake, because they were Aunt Jen's province. She used to do the royal icing on the celebration cakes, and she was amazing at it, I could watch her for hours. I remember the cake she did for Sunderland football club when they won the cup, it was iced all in green and marked out as a football pitch (my Dad and Uncle helped her with that bit, she wasn't really a football person), and decorated with a little subbuteo team.
I could go on all day with memories but I'll leave it there. Looking forward to reading about everyone else's loved ones.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness July

Oops, a little late this month with Gifted Gorgeousness - the blog hop organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching where we show off our gifts and gift related projects.
I've got a couple of gift related projects and an exchange gift to show this month.
First up, I finished the little top-down cropped cardigan I was knitting for Eloise, which I showed you part done in the last GG post.


Secondly, also for Eloise, a cross stitched cuff.


Treble Points for this one. 1) I made it as a gift. 2) It was made using a cover gift from Cross Stitcher magazine. 3) The cover gift was very kindly gifted to me by Jo because I'd already used the one from my copy of the magazine.
And finally an exchange gift. This is an  exchange with a difference organised through Needlecraft Haven. The idea being your secret stitching partner sends you a chart and the materials to make it up and you find out who your partner was when everyone reveals their finished items in September.
This is the chart and materials pack I received. Isn't it adorable?


For obvious reasons I can't show the one I sent out.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Some Sweet Day...

...I'll make her mine, pretty flamingo
Who else here is old enough to remember that song?
It was love at first sight when I spotted this Michael Miller flamingo print fabric. Unfortunately by the time I spotted it, it was sold out pretty much everywhere.
I spent hours trawling the internet and eventually I managed to track down a scant metre remnant from a UK online shop, and another metre from a shop in Germany.
My mother, who was a genius at this kind of thing, could take a slab of fabric and a waist measurement, and by application of some form of arcane mathematics make a perfect pleated skirt without a pattern in about ten minutes flat, so I thought I'd see if the eldritch seamstress maths gene had passed down to me
I haven't quite got her knack for it, because it took me the best part of an afternoon, but all in all I'm pretty chuffed with how it came out.


I added a some white ric rac to the hem, because, obviously, a flamingo border print skirt isn't anywhere near kitschy enough on its own
Now all I need is some sunny weather to give me a chance to wear it

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness in June

It's time for June's Gifted Gorgeousness, the brainchild of Jo from Serendipitous Stitching, where we show off anything we can remotely shoehorn into the category of a gift.
I'm kicking off this month with this stitched bracelet.


Double GG points for this one as it was a cover gift with Cross Stitcher magazine, and I've stitched it for Naomi.
I swapped out the slightly loud colours in the original kit for a cooler palette of blues and turquoises with white, and left a few rows blank as I liked the effect of the "leather" showing through.
Second up, is this handbag I made from a vintage souvenir scarf depicting scenes of  Rome.


I'ts got the Colosseum on the other side.
This is another double pointer. Again it's a gift for Naomi; who is going to be living in Italy next academic year as part of her degree, and consequently needs an Italian handbag; and the pattern to make it came from a book which I received as a gift from Julie a couple of years ago.
And finally, just so you don't think Eloise is being left out on the handcrafted gift front, here is my progress on a cardigan I'm knitting for her.


The pattern is "Mizzen" from Classic Elite Yarns. It's a raglan sleeved cardigan knitted in one piece from the top down, the line of lacy holes you can see is one of the raglans forming.