Saturday, 1 December 2012

Tigermum's November WIPocalypse again!

This WIPocalypse seems to come round quicker than ever each month - or maybe it's just that I don't get as much done as I'd hoped each time?

My big finish has to be Egypt - no apologies for giving you the photo again!

Still haven't decided how to frame it though - I must take a trip to the local shops and see what looks right I think.

I also have ANOTHER finish - my frogs came and went quite rapidly without any visits from their froggy cousins either! I'm thinking of a nice vibrant colour frame for this one (once it's pressed!).

I took a few days to make a quick project for DH for Christmas. I can show it here because he never checks my blog! It's been a bit of a job to get it done without him seeing it! I've taken to stitching at the table in the dining room, with another project to hand so that I can swap if I hear him coming! He's always been a bit of a musician (with guitars, clarinets, mandolin, banjo, ukelele and piano keyboard around!) so I went for a music theme. It's called "All that jazz" and It's totally in black apart from a few gold stitches around the singer's dress.

My knitting also takes centre stage this month. I finished my wrist-warmers (and wore them on Monday when we went to London for the day).
I've now started another knitted project - a cabled shrug from a Lion Brand pattern. It's my first attempt using circular needles, and so far I have to say I feel very comfortable with them.
And my cross stitch concludes with the first picture of my cheetah. I showed the fabric on the frame in my last post - here are the first few stitches I've put in. It looks like it will be a slow progress on this one because there are so many pesky confetti type areas, but the finished project looks like it will be worth it. It also uses Madeira threads which is the first time I've sewn a project with them, and so far I'm impressed with their coverage and the fact that - unlike my experience recently with Anchor threads - they do not twist up so much either.

Well, if you're still here I hope you've enjoyed seeing my progress this month. I'm off to check out some of the other blogs and be inspired yet again.
'Til next time - take care and keep warm and dry (especially if you're in the cold or flooded parts of the UK)

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Morning all

Some of you may guess from my title that I have finally got something to shout about!!

Here was my Egypt piece on 4th November -

And here it is today - FINISHED!! Washed and pressed and ready for framing -

Now I just have to sort out a frame and stretch it square (you will notice the wonky lines which separate each section). That year was my 60th birthday in the November, so not only is it a souvenir of our fantastic trip, but also my birthday.

And on another upbeat note I've managed to finish one of the wrist-warmers I was knitting. I put it down in order to finish the embroidery, now I can get moving on the second one. I am quite happy with how it turned out, but there are a few changes I would make to the pattern if I was to knit another pair in this pattern again. And they are SOOOOO soft! The pattern said to knit 3 cables, but I decided to knit an extra one so that the lower edge comes higher up the wrist - then there's no gap when I wear a coat.

So what am I moving on to next?
Well I decided that while I'm prepping the fabric for my next BAP, I'll get a small one in. Some of you may recognise this kit, as it was discussed on a Yahoo group earlier this year. I'm going to do it as a gift for someone close to me as a Christmas gift!


I'm going to add the title - Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil when I finish it too.

And my BAP? - it's really time that I got going on that Baby Cheetah I got from Yiota's xstitch earlier this year. The fabric will be completely covered with stitches, so I've marked out the fabric from the kit with my fabric pen, which will help to make sure that I get all the stitches in the right place and (hopefully) not have too many visits from cousins of my froggy pals above!
Here's the fabric marked up, and here are the colours! All pretty similar eh?
Watch this space!!!

Finally I had to include a picture as it's Remembrance Day. This picture was posted on Facebook by a catalogue company - a cross stitched picture! 
We remember with gratitude all of the men and women who have given their lives to ensure that we are free to live in the countries we do in freedom. And our thoughts are with the families who have given their loved ones for their countries. 

Until next time - in thoughts of peace


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Quick link to a giveaway

Afternoon all
just a quick note to let you know about a fantastic giveaway on Heather's stitching Story

She has some Little House Needleworks to share - draw open until 12.11.12.

Talk soon

Friday, 26 October 2012

Tigermum's EARLY Wipocalypse update October

Evening everyone!

It's getting colder here, and with the news of price rises from our energy companies I've finally brought out the jumpers rather than turning the heating up a few degrees! Have to save the pennies now we're both officially pensioners you know!

What have I been up to? Well - read on -

Egypt - it's actually beginning to feel like I might get this one done by my self-imposed deadline of my birthday in November - TWO years after I started it. Here's the photo I took last night as I finished the mini hieroglyphs above the last two figures.

Now I just have the final hieroglyph band above them to do - so I'm looking to do that during the afternoons - before the light gets too bad each day.

I've started with some of the wool I bought at the show. I'm trying out a pattern for fingerless gloves - I followed blindly, and if I was to knit them again there are some changes I'd make to it. For a start I think the 4 garter stitches at either end of the row should be cut to 2 stitches. After the rib rows the pattern tells you to make 3 rows of garter stitch - why? It doesn't make sense to have that just below the cable pattern. But as long as I knit the second mitt the same as the first it won't really matter! But the wool is lovely and soft - it's called Sublime - a bamboo and pearls dk - something I haven't used before. It would be perfect for baby and toddler clothes too.

All the rest of the items I had on my original WIPocalypse list are still there - glaring at me as I type! But AFTER Egypt I'll pick one to get going on again. How are you doing with your UFO's?? Drop me a line and let me know?

Here's my contribution for Hallowe'en -
This is a Pocket Dragon figurine I collected a few years ago. They were produced by someone called Real Musgrave, but are no longer available. I think they are really cute!

Dinner calls - and I need to get settled in with those gloves for the evening!


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Nights are drawing in

Evening all!

Well, half way through October and although the days here have been quite bright (and even warm some days), those nights are beginning to get darker earlier. By the time I sit down to stitch in front of the tv, it's often difficult to see colour changes. I do have a daylight lamp, but that's upstairs on my sewing desk, which is where I also do my card-making. I suppose I could buy another, but it's an expense I don't really want right now.

Last weekend I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Alexandra Palace, London. My local needlecraft shop usually runs a coach trip down there on the Sunday. This year I left it late to go and ask about places, so when I went and asked - their coach was full. However they did have places on the coach which left from their Dovercourt shop, so I booked a place. This meant that I had to leave home at 7am, in order to drive there and park. Then walked to the shop for an 8am pickup. As the coach drove past my home I gave a sigh! The day was absolutely beautiful - brilliant sunshine all day, and I walked round in shirt-sleeves. I lived and worked in the area where Ally Pally is (as it's affectionately known). So I came out early and walked round for a while before getting back on the coach to come home. I got home at 6.30pm eventually and all I could do was eat and stretch out in front of the tv again! My feet ached so much - I'd forgotten how hard it can be just strolling round and spending money!

Here are the piles of goodies I came home with! This year I spent most on knitting wools, so maybe I will knit more in the evenings and do my stitching in the daytime. Being retired I can choose if I want to do housework or stitch. And I don't need to tell you that I live by the old motto "Cross Stitch for ever - Housework whenever!"

I was quite surprised how few companies who sell cross stitch were there. I went with a couple of patterns in mind that I would buy if I saw them - no-one had them! It seems that knitting stands had taken over the place - especially those selling luxury yarns. And I was severely tempted by the new 700 series of Bernina machines that were on display. If I win the lottery I know what I'll be buying!!

I've managed to put a few more stitches into egypt - have a look at what it looks like now!

The female figure is done apart from the backstitch. The male figure is almost half done, then there are just a couple of heiroglyphs above them and the final border above that. So still just about on target to finish for my birthday at the end of November.

Oh well, dinner calls - can't decide what to have tonight. I'll have to look in the fridge for inspiration!

Till the next time
Take care

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Back again - September Wipocalypse as well!

Hi everyone
I know I keep saying it - I've been missing in action recently - and I think I've finally worked out why! For the last few months I have had a series of doctor's appointments - nothing serious - but following a Health Check, they discovered I had High Blood Pressure. Over the last 3 months I have been on a series of tablets trying to find one which succeeds in bringing down the BP but which doesn't have other side effects! Over that time I have had swollen ankles and hands, a cough, a kind of skin rash - AND a feeling of lethargy!

Now I finally have it sorted - I'm on another different tablet and this time (touch wood) everything seems to be fine. I've had so much blood taken from me to test that it's okay, and last week I had to have an ECG - scary in a way as I've never had to have one done before! But all the tests came back positively fine, so I now have a 3 month trial of this prescription. All I can say is thank goodness over 60's get free prescription drugs here as it would be costing me a fortune by now! My doctor is off on her maternity leave next week, and she's happy to leave me in the care of their Practice Nurse, so - hopefully everything is back on track.

And now I don't feel so lethargic I'm picking up the stitching again on a regular basis.

So what have I been up to? Well I've decided to pull out the stops on Egypt. It will be 2 years in November since I started it, and I want it done by my birthday (which was when I started - on our Egyptian Nile cruise!)

Here is the original picture from the pack -

and here is where I am today -

I had done all the details of the centre panel and to the left of the mask before I lost my mojo - but since picking it up again I now have done the bottom border (you can just see it poking out from the frame), and I'm busy doing the 2 figures. So far I've managed to get in a couple of hours each day since I picked it up again, so toes crossed (I can't stitch with fingers crossed - silly!) I can get it done soon. 

We also had my DH's 65th birthday last week and had a friend over for a meal. She was widowed last December and it would have been her husband's birthday a few days before my husband's, so I was a bit dubious about asking her as I didn't want to bring up too many unhappy memories for her, but she was happy to come and a good evening was had by all I think. I even started baking again (something I hadn't done for quite a while). I made Sauerbraten and served it with homemade red cabbage, broccoli and potato scallops, followed by a cherry clafoutis and cream. Then I baked some scones, and a raspberry and white chocolate loaf cake. Needless to say there's nothing left so I can't show you pictures! 

I've also decided that I am going to try and sell my old Brother knitting machine. I just don't have time to get on with it these days. So I've gathered all the bits together - from the shed, the loft and the bedroom, cleaned it all up and sorted it out. I've advertised it on Gumtree, so if anyone in the UK knows someone who wants to start up - or is looking for a new machine, ask them to have a look. 

Now I had better get back to my "other duties"! I'm trying to organise my pdf cross stitch files via calibre - the programme I use for my Kindle books. It's been quite easy, but does take time away from sewing - so I limit myself to an hour a day on that! You know (I'm sure) how computers eat up the time you have available!

Til next time - love to everyone - and keep safe

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Long time - no show! And my WIPocalypse entry!

Hi again everyone! Do you have days go by (or weeks even) and then when you look back you can't remember where that time went? Well that's what life has been like recently!

My cross stitch took a back seat - and I still don't really know where my stitchy mojo is? I do a few bits now and then, but the idea of picking up and stitching for hours? No way!! Still I don't feel like doing any stitching - so what's the point of pushing myself? I know we all have times when we don't want to even look at a needle - mine usually involves repairs - but it feels good right now not be beating myself up about it.

My little grand-daughter's birthday was last week, (you may remember me mentioning how hard I was working for it). Her parents had the birthday party in a local children's play centre - with play equipment, ball park and food included. Two hours in total including the food. And of course all the presents were taken home to be opened AFTER the event - so I didn't get to see their faces when they opened my presents :((

Still - finally I can post about ALL the goodies I had made for her!

1. That quilt eventually got handed over. My daughter just sent a text with the word - AMAZING so I think they were delighted with it. As they're talking about putting Jess in a bed soon it couldn't have been better timewise!

2. My Wordle cross stitch picture.

3. I made 6 blank t-shirts into works of art!

Four of them had machine embroidered motifs on them and the other two had applique motifs sewn on. I cut the bits out using my Slice then sewed them onto the shirts. I didn't realise just how difficult it is to find blank t-shirts for kids these days - most of them appear to already have some form of decoration on the. If anyone knows of a good source of BLANK t-shirts - I'd love to know about it.

4. A Hungry caterpillar! Jess already has the book which she loves at bedtime - so I decided to make up her very own story sack to go with it. 

The body was made with circles of fabric, which I lightly stuffed and then joined with velcro - so she can made him as long or as short as she likes! A friend gave me some fabric which had some of the "food" which the caterpillar eats - so again I lightly stuffed those. Then with all the other things I cut out felt shapes, embroidered their name on the front, stuffed and finally made 2 bags - one for the "food" and another for her to put everything into! It was fabulous - even if I say so myself!

5. A Knitted zip-up jacket.

Right - off to play computers! DH has been digitizing old photos and it's down to me to sort it out into something resembling order, otherwise he won't be able to find them again! He's spent most of the afternoon running them through a scanner onto an SD card - now I've got that fun job!

Take care everyone - til next time

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Just a quickie...

to let everyone know I'm still alive!

But I've been busy working on bits and pieces for my Granddaughter's second birthday. Now that her mum is back online, I'll have to be more careful what I post, so I'll have to put up the photos of her gifts AFTER her birthday! Those that are up - well I'll just have to cross my fingers!

I've been busy on the ebook front too, as two friends have just bought Kindles and I've been helping them get to grips with getting books on them etc. And we finally took delivery of a new PC so I've been spending more time setting things up.

Anyway, if you can wait for about 10 days I'll get photos up, and we can celebrate Jessica's birthday again!

Remember I told you that my son-in-law had been made redundant? Well he's got a new job working in the same field for Sony Entertainment Corp, based in Cambridge. And they've used his redundancy cash to sort out their finances, so they're really happy at present.

We were going to try and get away on holiday in September, but having bought that new PC we decided not to. So we're treating ourselves to another cruise in Feb 2013. We're going back to Hawaii - sun, sea and a relaxing time.

Until next time
take care

Saturday, 21 July 2012


I know, I's been ages since I wrote, but life just seems to get in the way sometimes! Even though we've nothing specific going on, I just don't seem to get round to computers lately! Or maybe it's the fact that I've been avoiding my PC!

Over the last few weeks our desktop has been getting progressively slower! So recently we've been investigating a new PC. Local shops have produced one machine, but our son-in-law has suggested that we try to look at custom-built machines. So I've been trawling through local phonebooks and come up with a short-list of companies. Now I've just got to sit back and wait for their quotes after I emailed them a minimum specification list. Watch this space!

On the sewing front - what have I been up to?

Well I swapped some of my patterns from my Items for sale or swap list. Shelley wanted some patterns and in exchange - I got the Tree Frog Trio by Dimensions! Can't wait to get going on it now! Why don't you have a look and see if there's anything you want there?

Tarrah! A new project - and it's FINISHED!
I used a Wordle programme and then converted it in my Ursa WinStitch programme to come up with a cross stitch chart. I've stretched it over a canvas frame and stapled it taut. Then to finish it off I've glued bright orange ric-rac braid around the edges. It's another item for Jessica's second birthday.

Got to go now - only a short note today, but now I've got to finish the knitted jacket as another item for Jess. Then I'm planing to make a fabric "Hungry Caterpillar" - it might get done in time for her birthday or it might not! Watch this space eh?

Take care everyone. I'll try and be a bit more regular next time!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Cross stitch software

Just a quick post to update you today! (After so many weeks of silence - two posts in a week!)

A couple of weeks ago I "found" my cross stitch software, which I last used about 4 years ago. I contacted the company (Ursa Software) and discovered how to update it. So I have spent a few days familiarising myself with it, and playing with various small designs. As I found minor niggles I contacted the support line and have been amazed to receive answers within half an hour at one point! (Mind you when I contacted them, they did say that they recognised my name!)

Yesterday I was playing with importing a Wordle design. (Google it if you haven't tried it). I wanted to make a quick design out of it, so I imported the picture, and started playing with colours. In the space of a couple of hours it crashed several times, so I emailed support last night, and this morning I have a reply and a solution! How good is that?

I have to say I have no affiliation to this company, but if you are in the market for a cross stitch generation programme - give them a look. They even have a Mac version. Ursa Software rocks! I'll post some pics of what the screen looks like soon.

I even managed to copy my mandala pattern into it, and have played around with reversing the motifs, as well as the assissi type versions I was thinking about. So maybe I'll get round to stitching those too as I now have the patterns ready to go.

Have a quiet Sunday and talk soon

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Tigermum's WIPocalypse June update

Hi all
been a while I know, been dragging my heels here about updating as there seemed to be so little progress!

Anyway now I can knock off another finished project! My Mandala is not only finished, but sewn into a cushion and now sits proudly on my sofa! And I had a lovely email from one reader who wanted info about it!
 Here's the mandala finished!

And here's my cushion. The fabric is the remains of the blue I used for Jessica's Christmas Stocking! Never throw scraps away!

And here's Egypt. The backstitch is still bugging me, but this side just has the outlining of the hieroglyphs to finish before I can move over to the other side.

I've been knitting too - a jacket for Jess in a very easy cable twist pattern. As my camera has run out of batteries, I'll have to post that next time. But I have done the back and one front. So not far to go now.

My son-in-law has just been made redundant from his job. He is was a graphic designer for a computer on-line gaming company in Cambridge. Not sure just how easy it will be for him to find another job like that in the area; but he's hoping to get ANY job to get some money coming in, and then take his time to lok for something suitable - but in these days - who can tell? So if any of you have room in your prayer lists, please send hopeful thoughts his way - Tony might appreciate any help he can get.

Last weekend we had the long Bank Holiday for Jubilee celebrations. Did we do anything? No!! Did our neighbours? No!! Our courtyard has 11 houses. There are 2 houses let out to students, and most of the rest are elderly (like us! 60+ years). For the Silver Jubilee we were all young families together and went out, kids playing and parents sitting chatting and eating together. It's a sad reflection of today's society that apart from one or two of them, we don't even know the names of our neighbours. Mind you with the way the weather turned out it was probably just as well we didn't have anything planned! The weekend before (when the Bank Holiday should have been) was brilliant weather-wise; move it to the following week to fit with the extra day for the Queen's Jubilee (and subsequently the school's half-term holiday week) - and it pours with rain - go figure!

We're off on a week's holiday from 23rd June. Going to Seefeld in Austria for a relaxing week (we hope). Have to decide yet what sewing to take with me!

Best wishes and happy stitching

Saturday, 19 May 2012

New page added

Just a quick note to let you know that I've added new pages to my blog. If you click on "Items for sale or swap" it will take you to a list of things I no longer want. I'm currently advertising only a few charts but that may change as I go through my cupboards! Email me at tiger.doyle at (removing at and replacing it with @) or by leaving a comment on that page. Leave a contact email if it doesn't appear in your profile and I'll happily allow you the pleasure of adding to your stash!

I've also added a list of charts I'm looking for - some are newer, some are VERY old! But even if you haven't any of them to trade DMC threads or even speciality threads are always an option!

Take care

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Tigermum's WIPocalypse update for May - a bit late!

Hi everyone - it's been a while I know, but I finally got my stitchy mojo under control in the last couple of days. Previously I've had a few weeks where I could see these bright coloured floss skeins peeking out at me - but could I be bothered to pick them up? No way!
So my stitchy progress has been less than I would have hoped. :((

Egypt has had a few more stitches put into it. I am REALLY bored with this at the moment, so it hasn't had the loving care and attention put into it that I would have liked. Anyway - here is my progress - almost 2/3rds done I suppose...

My Mandala/motif is also 3/4 done - only this time I've run out of the required thread. As I haven't been to town in the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to get more, so here's the progress...
As you can see I also forgot to release the hoop when I put it away, so hopefully when I refresh it with a quick wash afterwards it should all look better! Still like the design, but think that when I make the next one I'll turn the motif 180 degrees so that the wider end is in the centre. It will just make the second one a bit different. I've got some of the pale blue fabric left that I used to make Jess's Christmas stocking, so I think that I'll use that to make this into a cushion when it's finished.

My BIG finish is my quilt. Not only is it all put together, but I've done all the quilting. I've even washed it all and made a matching pillowcase! I put the wadding on and the back (I used an old duvet cover to make sure it was soft), then decided that the quilt needed another colour to edge it before I turned the cream from the back over to make the binding. So I took DH on a trip to a local Craft Centre and bought another piece of brown fabric which I used. (DH wasn't too upset to accompany me as there is a guitar shop in the same centre!) So finally - HERE IS THE FINISHED QUILT!!
Full quilt

Top half

Bottom half

Last two panels with my cross stitched Rose Fairy

For the first time in years I have had a series of doctor's appointments to attend. I went for a "Health Check" when invited, only to discover that I'm not as healthy as I thought! I have both High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure, and have been sent for blood tests for Glucose levels too. Unfortunately when I went on Friday, my GP hadn't told me that I should have fasted for 10 hours before having them done, so I had to go home, and will have to go again on Monday to get it done. As both cholesterol and blood pressure are only marginally high, with a bit of diet change I should be able to get it under control... we'll just have to wait and see.

Hope everyone had a good Mother's Day on the other side of the pond? I'm going to sit in front of the TV in  half an hour to watch Hawaii Five-O and dream of being back in Hawaii instead of cold Britain!

Take care

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Tigermum's April WIPocalypse postings

Afternoon everyone.
I have to admit that all in all things have been a bit quiet on the cross stitch front this month. Other things have taken priority!

Over Easter my DD and her family came to see us for the day. It was the first time we'd seen them since before our cruise, and I have to say I've really missed them (even though I enjoyed the holiday). We bought Jess a chocolate bunny - she's really got into chocolate this year! (This photo's taken in a local supermarket cafe on a different day).

When they'd left I started again on the quilt for her birthday - I'd put it away to make it a total surprise for my DD too. I've got most of the body of the quilt done (after a chat with my BF who's a quilter). I didn't have much fabric left, so I decided (we decided) to make a border of small blocks. If I can find some more fabric I want to make it a bit bigger so that it can be used on a "grown-up" bed when she's bigger, but as it stands it's almost toddler bed size. I've found an old quilt cover in cream which had a stain on the front, so I'm going to cut that up for the backing. Here's a picture of it hanging on the front of my wardrobe.

As to the rest of my work this month - I've done a tiny bit on the mandala and a bit more on Egypt. One of these days I'll get to the second side of Egypt and that might spur me on to finish it! (Do you think??)

(Apologies - not very good photos there!)

What else have I been up to? Well, I've decided to cut down the vine which covers the pergola in our back garden, so that's been chopped near the root so that it doesn't grow any more and I'm gradually cutting it back. Last year I made some grape juice from it, but it was so sour - not like the previous years'. And because I left quite a few bunches on the vine we were completely over-run with thrushes who cleared them in a couple of days. It was like a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds"!! Then I have to clear the fallen leaves away from the patio, so this year I decided that I need an evergreen climber to replace it. Once it's all removed I shall take a trip to the local garden centre to see what's around. Anyone have any experience with climbing plants?? Today I have blisters on my fingers from cutting through the thick stems, so a couple of days rest is planned.

Just bought a program from Create and Craft called Serif Craft Artist. It seems a really good paper-crafting CD, but I need to do a bit of housekeeping (AKA clean-up) on the laptop before I install it. Yet another thing that I need another pair of hands for!

Must go - dinner calls!

Monday, 2 April 2012


Finally got another finish this year! After struggling with the choice between sewing and gardening over the last few days of good weather here (joke - no contest really!), I had to show you my finished Rose Fairy!

I'm really pleased with the way it's come out - the original pattern was made for Aida, so contained a lot of fractional stitches. I had to leave them out (as I stitched it 1 x 1 on 28 count), but it doesn't seem to have made too much difference to the overall piece. The only alteration I made (apart from those fractionals) was to do all of the backstitch in the wings in E316 - gives it a bit of added sparkle.

I decided to add the dedication here. While I was researching Flower Fairies on the web I found a copy of the Rose Fairy poem, and also a Flower Fairy Code. "Always try to be Cheerful, Neat, Polite, Friendly, Generous, Honest, Kind, Humourous, Keep secrets and Work hard". Sounds like a good wish for a child's future. So I think I'll try and incorporate both (somehow) into the reverse of the quilt. Any ideas on that would be appreciated.

Gotta go now - I think I need a glass of wine to celebrate!