Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Bledhen Nowyth Da
Wishing you all the best in 2014

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas Presents - Part 1 The Thank Yous

I just wanted to share some of my lovely Christmas presents from stitchy friends
From Barb, this beautiful glass tree, made by her husband
From Julie, this delicate crocheted angel (and some chocolates which didn't survive long enough to be photographed)

From Clare, a set of scented sachets (you'll have to take my word for the gorgeous scent) and a skein of hand dyed floss in a lovely rich autumnal gold mix

From the Needlework Haven Advent Exchange, a Northern Expressions chart from my wish list- Twisted Band Sampler - perfect for me because I am, after all, pretty twisted - together with a cut of evenweave and a card of Christmas ribbon. My Exchange partner turned out to be Becs. Thank you Becs, I've loved everything you've chosen for me in this exchange.
And from the VSCyberstitchers Christmas exchange, this pack of goodies from Susan, including an adorable stitched ornament with a teddy wearing a Union Flag onesie and bunny slippers, a magazine, chocolates, needles, silk threads, and much more.
Thank you to each and every one of you.
Coming up in part 2, the things I made for other people (mostly the girls) and couldn't show before Christmas...

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Katniss Cowl and Assorted Gifts

After watching Catching Fire, Naomi admired Katniss' sense of style, so when I was pointed in the direction of a pattern to knit her District 12 cowl (thanks Jo), I immediately set about making her one. The pattern is available from Lion Brand here. I knit it in a sort of camouflage green rather than the original grey shade. Here we see Naomi channelling her inner Mockingjay.
I've been lucky enough to receive lots of gifts this week.
The prize I won in Jo's Hallowe'en Blog Hop. A fantastic sugar skull treat bag (complete with treat), and some rather wonderful gothic fabric, half of which has already been turned into a tablet sleeve for Naomi.

Birthday gifts from my wonderful friends
A desk diary with a gorgeous felted cover from Barb
A book on upcycling vintage scarves, complete with kitten pattered scarf from Julie
A pack of mixed ribbons, trims and finishing bits from Karan
A handbag mirror from Sally, cross stitch kit from Clare, and ceramic heart and glass penguin ornaments from Shirley
And my family didn't forget me either, I got the 3D extended blu-ray of An Unexpected Journey, a scarf and earrings, nail varnish, a cuddly penguin and a jar of chilli jam (I've got a real weakness for that stuff)
The last few days worth of gifts in the Needlcraft haven Advent exchange included all of these goodies
as well as this amazing stitched (over 1) TARDIS ornament. It says "A Merry Wibbly Wobbly Christmas Timey Wimey" on the back!!! 
I also got this the other day, a Christmas gift from one of the children at school. How adorable is this?
Thank you to all of you. Feeling rather spoiled now...
In case I don't manage to blog again before the big day I'd like to wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.


Monday, 16 December 2013

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to those of you who are visiting for the first time as part of the Advent Calendar Blog Hop organised by Jo of  Serendipitous Stitching
My stitched piece is adapted from a free design by The Sampler Girl
This is also my finish for The Needlecraft Haven Monthly Challenge. My version is stitched in Carrie's Creations threads in Luna, Wine and Koala Claw. I changed it a little from the original, adding a couple of little snowflakes around the text and hearts between the snowflakes to carry the colours through the design a bit more. I also changed the three large snowflakes. I freely admit that this is more symptomatic of my problems than of any issue with the original design, but I looked at those snowflakes and I came over all Darth.

So I made mine symmetrical
Anyway back to the blog hop. Jo asked that we share a little about our Christmas food traditions. Ours are all very standard I'm afraid, turkey, Christmas pud etc, but we do always have baked brie for tea on Christmas Eve, which I make like this:-
Lightly oil an oven-proof dish with olive oil, chop a nice big bit of fresh Cornish Brie (of course you don't have to use Cornish Brie, but don't use the cheapy processed kind it doesn't melt properly) into largish wedges as required to fit the dish. Over the top scatter crushed peppercorns, some sprigs of thyme, a clove of garlic, roughly chopped, and some thick strips of zest pared from a lemon. Don't be too precious about chopping things up small, you're going for rustic here. Drizzle a little more olive oil on the top and bake at 180 for about ten minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately with lots of warm crusty bread to dip into the meted cheese. I usually put out some sticks of carrot, cucumber and pepper as well so I can at least pretend it's a healthy meal!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Gifts, Ornaments and Decorations

It is reveal day for the Needlecraft Haven Ornament Excahnge, so I can now tell you that the gorgeous Santa ornament in the previous post was stitched for me by Barb. Thank you Barb. I love it.
And here is the ornament I sent to Angi. The design is Heartstruck Quakers by Midnight Stitching, the chart for which was very kindly gifted to me by Dani. I love how this came out and really must stitch one for myself now.
Also at Needlecraft Haven the Advent Exchange is in full swing. Here are my latest lovely gifts - scented sachets, 3 skeins of Dragon Floss, and a bath balistic. There was a chocolate snowman too but he didn't make the photoshoot. I can't think where he's got to ;)
It was Sally's birthday this week, and I made her this ornament, from a design by Whimsy and Wit, using a hand dyed floss from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe (check the link out by the way, Nancy has some fabulously generous giveaways running)
I also sent out the prize from my Blogoversary draw. The winner was Barb and I made her this little purse using a piece of antique French toile. To give an idea of scale, the balls on the clasp are about the size of Maltesers. Look a bit like them too. Probably don't taste as good.
And finally, also for Barb, who worried that the driftwood tree I showed the other day was my only one, a few more of my decorations this year.
Some of my vintage baubles. 
The mantelpiece, looking very cool and frosty this year, 
and the new tree. See how many geeky things you can spot. There may even be a prize.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

It's That Time of Year Again

You know the one, where you spend ages making stuff and then you can't show it on your blog in case the wrong person sees it.
So, nothing to see here. Nope. Nada. Move right along.
Well OK, I can show you these. These are the first ten days worth of gifts in my advent exchange parcel. The exchange was organised via Needlecraft Haven and it is anonymous so I don't know who to thank, but I have received some fabulous goodies so far.
Some lovely scented candles, soap, a gorgeous recycled sari notebook, a Christmas tea towel, some chocolates, Christmas beads and buttons, a felted coin purse, a silk covered box with a lid for mounting embroidery and a felt gift bag for embellishing
And here is my little beachy corner having made itself all Christmassy. I'd love to say I made the driftwood tree myself but it would be a lie. I've been trying to collect suitable driftwood all year after I saw some of these last Christmas, but I didn't have enough, so when someone was selling these at the Church Fete I snapped one up. I love it so much. I'm half tempted to leave it out all year.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Tale of Three Ornaments

First up the exquisite stitched ornament I received in the Needlecraft Haven Ornament Exchange.
Thank you to my as yet un-revealed partner. I absolutely love this.
Secondly, whilst shopping in The Range I spotted this wooden heart plaque.
I loved the concept, wasn't too keen on the finish quality, so I brought it home and gave it a makeover. Here it is on the front door.
Long time readers may notice that we have at last painted the front door. Yes it is the same colour as before. No he still won't let me put a laminated Police Phone Box sign in one of the windows.
And finally, Naomi and I saw some book page ornaments at a craft fair and bought one. We speculated as to what the book used might be. Naomi hoped it was Fifty Shades of Grey, but inspection of some of the names visible in the text suggested it was in fact The Girl With he Dragon Tattoo.
So here it is, looks innocent doesn't it?
Until we came to hang it on the tree and noticed this.
Yes that does say exactly what it looks like it says.
I really don't know what to say...

PS. Check out The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe for a great giveaway

Monday, 25 November 2013

Exterminate!

Look what has found it's way into my possession. I couldn't resist him when I found him on the BBC webshop, sold singly rather than as part of a terrifyingly expensive set as in previous years. A Merry Festive Dalek Caan. Isn't he just fabulous!
"I flew into the wild and fire. I danced and died a thousand times"

He was still ever so slightly expensive, (coughs sheepishly) but I am weak.
And some ornaments I've made:-
A felt penguin ornament to go with the felt deer from this post
And two heart shaped angel ornaments with rolled paper roses, something a little different for me, and the jury is still out on this one. These are simple wooden hearts with the pictures glued on and glittered at the edges. The two angel images, and vintage sheet music image used for the roses on the darker coloured one came from The Graphics Fairy. The roses on the lighter coloured one are made from a vintage book page, which, with hindsight, works better as it's double sided.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Iron Man Has a Friend and We Have a Winner

I figured Snowballing Iron Man  (see this post) might be a bit lonely on the Geekmas Tree, so I've made him a friend/opponent.
Meet Snowballing Captain America.
Not my favourite Avenger, I prefer my heroes a little flawed, (who am I trying to kid, lets face it I prefer villains).
This will be the last of The Avengers baubles as sadly the Hawkeye figure came armed with a bow which made him too tall to fit inside, not that I'm going to let a tiny detail like that get in the way of me posting a gratuitous picture of him on my blog.
Ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr Jeremy Renner:-
Similarly Thor  was too tall with Mjolnir, Hulk was just too, well hulky and I didn't even see a Black Widow figure, so a two-way snowball fight between Iron Man and Captain America it is. Who do you think will win? My money's on Iron Man
Anyway that's not what you kept reading for. You want to know who won the 200 follower giveaway. I used the random number generator, which told me that the winner was comment no 4, which was Barb. Congratulations Barb! I've already got your address, so I'll be making and sending you a little something. Don't hold your breath though, it might not be this side of Christmas!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Giveaways!

Three to be precise. Two I've been lucky enough to win, and one I'm giving to celebrate having broken the 200 followers barrier.
My first win was this fantastic little sewing necessaire from Nancy at The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
and here it is opened up to show the hand dyed floss, cluny lace and wool felt inside, all in my favourite blue, natural and tan colour combination. The little wool felt pouch contains buttons and charms. I just love it! Go and check out Nancy's blog if you haven't already, she often has the most generous giveaways going on.
My second win was Lia's birthday giveaway at Lia's Handmades. My prize was a gift certificate to a wonderful Etsy fabric shop - Tactile Fabrics, and these are the fabrics I chose.
How wonderful are these?
Thank you Nancy and Lia. I never fail to be amazed by the generosity of fellow bloggers.
Anyway, without further ado, I propose a little giveaway of my own. I can't show any pictures as I aim to make a little something especially for the winner. (I also don't promise you'll get it this side of Christmas but I'll do my best).  If you are a regular reader of this blog you'll know I'm all about geekiness, stitching and upcycling, so the prize will reflect one or more of those things.
If you want a chance to win you need to be a follower and to leave a comment on this post saying how you found me and whether you'd like me to make you something geeky, something stitchy, something upcycled, or any combination of the three. I'll leave this open for a fortnight and choose a winner on Nov 17th. Good Luck!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Hallowe'en Blog Hop

Welcome to the Hallowe'en Blog Hop
I made these little felt sugar skulls following this tutorial at Manitas de Gato 

Your letter is 

and your next stop is Cabbages and Kings

Have Fun!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Cover Kits, Ornaments and Challenges

Cover Kits. Not usually that great if I'm honest. Scratchy aida, mis-shapen beads, too short threads. These are NOT a few of my favourite things.
I especially don't like it when a  magazine gives as its free gift a "Chart Book" filled solely with charts that have been in the magazine before. All well and good for the one off purchaser, but a bit of a slap in the face for those of us who subscribe.
Sometimes magazines get it right however.
This was a cover kit on Cross Stitcher recently. It's not easy to tell from the picture but that is a perforated wooden blank. It was great fun to stitch on, and the finished effect is lovely. I did bondaweb a bit of felt on the back to cover all the ends, but otherwise it is as it came with the magazine. It even had a carbine hook to use it as a keyring, but given the rough handling my keys get I missed that off and hung it from one of my kitchen cabinets instead. I can always use the keyring piece for something else.
I find more often than not that I cannibalise the cover kits and use the various parts in different projects. Like I did with the card kit that came with this month's issue. I used the card blank to mount my challenge piece for the Monthly Challenge at Needlecraft Haven. This month the design was this one from Homespun elegance. It's stitched on the aida (ick) that came with the card kit using oddments of thread. I missed off the candy cane part of the design and added a couple of star shaped buttons I had lying around, punched the card and added a ribbon to make a gift tag.

The kit also had some tiny bows and bells in it, and I borrowed a couple of them for this project. This is a felt Bambi ornament based on a design in the newest edition of Mollie Makes.
I just adore the retro feel of this one. Makes me want to have a Babycham. Well not really because I hate the stuff, but you know what I mean...
Oh, and I see that I am at 199 followers. When I hit 200 I'll have a giveaway.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Jelly Roll Race Completed, Challenge Finished Late and a Little Bit of Geekery Achieved

I've finished my Jelly Roll Race Quilt and it's all ready to take up to Eloise at half term. It took longer to do this part than it did to make up the quilt top! The backing is an old duvet cover cut up and the binding is purchased black and white polka dot bias binding.
I've also finished my September Challenge Piece for the Needlecraft Haven Monthly Challenge ~ one day before October's is due! Think I might be late with my October Finish too.
The challenge for September was a reindeer design from Kissy Cross. I stitched this one pretty much as given in the chart (colours weren't specified) except that I substituted two small star shaped buttons for the two button shaped stitched motifs in the design. I finished it as a small runner, to fit the top of the bookcase in the hall. Look! Stripy ric rac! Half of Truro probably heard my squeal of delight when I found that! The other finishes are in the album here
And finally, something for my Geekmas tree. This has the official Naomi seal of approval and has been pronounced "Cool".

If you want to make your own little festive Snowballing Ironman bauble you will need:
an open glass ornament (I got mine from Queen of Crafts)
a small amount of cotton wool
a few sequins
some tiny white pompoms
a 2" tall Ironman figure (or another superhero of your choice)
strong craft glue

First glue a little cotton wool into the bottom of your bauble to make a snowy base. My bauble has a flat bottom which made this easy. If yours is completely spherical you'll need to use something more solid to make a platform to stand your figure on

Glue a tiny pompom into Ironman's hand, and when this has set, put a generous amount of glue on his feet, wiggle him into place and hold him in position until he has stuck.

Finally glue the sequins and remaining pompoms in a pile at his feet as ammunition.

Linked up to Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes (button in side bar)

Now, I've got the rest of the pack of baubles left, so I need to decide what else would look good in them. Any ideas?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A Minimalist Joker Cushion and a Gift

So, the Harley cushion I made for Eloise last week was feeling a bit lonely without her Mr J to snuggle up to on the sofa...
Presenting the Joker Cushion!
Quite easy actually, I drafted it out on paper first but it is just a triangle and two trapezoidal shapes pieced together, the flower and bow were made separately and stitched on at the end.

I was lucky enough to win a prize in Kerry's blogoversary giveaway, and she made me this gorgeous bracelet in my favourite teal blue colour with little charms to represent all my interests, there are buttons, a sewing machine, stitching stuff,, knitting, a watering can, a little book and two teeny tiny penguins!
Check out the fabulous matching penguin earrings too. Thanks Kerry, I love them.