Thursday, 28 July 2011

Another finish!

Evening all.
I finally sat down and worked through the Beatrix Potter sampler for my granddaughter. I hated it by the time I finished all that backstitch. Not all of it is placed as acurately as in the pattern, but you're not going to tell - are you?
We're going to see them all on Saturday, so I'll be able to take it with us, along with all the bits I've sewn for Jess. As I said before I'm not investing in framing it! Let the other Grandma do that! It was her choice of picture, so she can do the rest! (Am I a rotten Grandma for saying that?) I made a special label to go on the back of the frame which says "Chosen by Grandma Jenny and stitched by Grandma Sandie". My daughter can put it on the back of the framed picture when it's done.

Having washed and pressed it, I sat down and sorted through all my threads and now I'm ready to start on the second side of my christmas stocking. Got the fabric and threads out, and I must get going on it if I'm to make that deadline too! My special threads - DMC linens, metallic threads, Kreinik and other bits of Anchor etc have benefitted from a tidy-up (I normally stitch in DMC). I've put them all together in one drawer of my cabinet and those which I haven't started yet are sorted and wrapped in bags.

Yesterday we sat down with some friends and sorted out a joint holiday in 2012! We're off on a cruise to China, with a land tour included too! It's one of the last countries on my "Before I die" list, so I'm really pleased! But I'll post more about that later - it's a bit too soon to go on about that one! But after our friend's diagnosis with cancer, Mike and I have decided that we'll go out adventuring while we can.

I spent yesterday evening organising the books on my e-reader. There are so many books out there I want to read; I still read "real" books from the library, but I seem to be borrowing more non-fiction or cd's from my local library rather than books. If they're on my reader I can read them when I want to, not when the library supplies it - often with a time limit because someone else is waiting for it!

Better go - the stocking calls!
Take care

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I'm cooking with gas!!

Evening all!

I've been really motoring in the last few days with my crafty bits!

My best friend's daughter had her baby on the 18th. Luckily my sampler was finished, just waiting the details, so today I bought a simple frame and finished it off myself. May I introduce Max.
I'm really pleased with it - hope the family like it too! I've also knitted one of my favourite soft toys - a blanket bunny (Pattern came from Lion Brand where they have a crochet version too I think). It's knitted with one ball of a chenille type yarn, so is really quick to make.

Next I've just made a dress from a onesie for Jessica. I saw a picture on a blog (can't remember which one - OOPS!), and got some FREE lace from another blog giveaway (WholePort). I added a fat quarter of fabric, a small bit of narrow ribbon and a 9-12 month onesie I bought from a local supermarket. I really like this!
And looking forward to Jessica's first birthday in August I've finished her birthday card. I bought a zebra rocker card kit from Kanban at a recent show and cut out a picture of Jess to pop on it. Again I hope her mum likes it - I know Jess is a bit young to appreciate it, but I hope my daughter will keep it for her to see when she's a bit bigger.
I also made some party invites for her mum to send out to her friends - I've posted those and forgotten to take a photo before I sent them - so maybe I'll get an invite in the post - in which case I'll post it then!

Anyway - dinner time calls - then a bit more work on Beatrix Potter. I THINK I might be able to get it finished before Jess's birthday now as it's the main one I'm concentrating on.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A New Kit

I've just received a new kit in the post. I decided that I wanted an animal kit to act as a souvenir for our South Africa trip, and as we spent half a day at a cheetah park, that seemed the ideal animal. Here's one of my pictures from that day.

I found a lovely kit on this site - Yiota's cross stitch and today it arrived. This is what it should look like when finished!

The kit package came first class post - and was in a hard-backed envelope so that it didn't get squashed. There is a copy of the photo on the front page, quite small, but it does give you a reference. The two A3 pages of the pattern are printed on good quality paper - it looks like an original not a photocopy, so the print is very clear. The Madeira threads supplied come on quite substantial card bobbins, all with the shade number printed on each. (The pattern does give DMC shade numbers as well as the Madeira ones).

The only fabric option is Aida 14ct. When I asked a question about a choice of fabric I was told that currently in order to keep costs down, Aida is the only fabric option. There is also a needle in the kit, but it comes in the fabric - so make sure you open the pack and take it out if you don't intend to stitch it straight away otherwise it might mark the fabric.
When you look on their site, there is an option to purchase only the pattern which can be downloaded at a lower cost too. So if you prefer to stitch on other fabric choices, maybe that would be the better option? All in all it looks a good value for money kit, but it will have to be put to one side until I get my Potter sampler finished at least!

On Yiotas' site they do offer overseas postage, so their kits are available world-wide if you want to give them a try. And they also have a selecton of freebies so that you can try out some of their patterns. Those freebies are sent to you in an email, and if you have a problem downloading any, a return email will alert them to any issues, and it wil be sent separately.

I'll keep you all informed when I start it and how I get on.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Life throws you a curve ball

Today we met up with some friends for lunch who we haven't seen since February. When we phoned to make the arrangements to meet up, we discovered that the husband (who is four years younger than me) has been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. It has spread too far to be operable, so he is having to have chemo to try and manage it. I have been complaining about my ankle not healing after spraining it in Edinburgh, I now realise how little I have to complain about - LIFE SUCKS SOMETIMES!! Although he has lost two stone in weight in the last six weeks, he is actually looking quite well after his first chemo session, so we just have to hope and pray for him.

I completed the Somebunny sampler - as much as I'm going to do anyway. All I need now is the baby! Then I can finish it off!
I also completed another dress for next time we see Jessica - refashioned from a smocked dress which Erika didn't like. I had a scrappy bit of the cream fabric left over from a blouse I made for myself, and finished it off with a daisy which I'd bought in Munich last year.
And now I'm furiously trying to stitch the Beatrix Potter sampler so that I can pass it over. It's not something that I would have chosen myself to stitch, so I'll be glad when it's out of the way.
Hope your weekend has been productive and I look forward to chatting to you all again soon. XX Sandie

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A month gone by? Surely not?

So much has been going on since the last post I don't know where to begin!

Having just got back from South Africa, we were looking round for something like a short city break to fit in before our holiday in September. We started to look at a few days in Dublin, but then we spotted a Northern Europe cruise going cheap - leaving on 8th June for 10 days. We visited Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Edinburgh and Le Havre before sailing back to Dover. The ship - Costa Magica - would probably not be one we'd choose to go on again, but for a last-minute price it was good. The only snag was while walking down Princes Street in Edinburgh I managed to fall into a pot-hole and sprained my ankle! I had to hobble to the nearest chemists (with my husband's help) where I bought a support bandage. Needless to say it put a bit of a dampener on the proceedings; and it's still swollen and sore when I walk on it for too long.

I've been quite busy though on the creative front. But I haven't got round to the photos yet - so I'll post them in a couple of days.

I've almost finished the Somebunny birth sampler - which is just as well as the baby is due within the next 2 weeks. I've decided to do just two corners in the border which will leave room for the baby's details in the other 2 corners.
I took the Potter sampler on the cruise, so I was able to do quite a bit - this will become the main focus of my sewing once the birth sampler is finished. I want to try and finish it for Jessica's birthday in August.
I've been doing a few more pages for Jessica's first year scrapbook to give to her parents on her birthday.
Some of those clothes that my daughter gave me to refashion for Jessica have been altered and I've been scouring the Internet for baby sized patterns which I can download. Here's a pinafore top and shorts which I made.

The latest pattern I found is how to make a dress out of a cheap onesie, so I'm trying those next, along with some bunting that can be hung out of their window for her birthday party!
Anyway I'd better sign off for now - Got to go and hunt up the camera so I can take some pics to show you all.