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