Sunday, 19 March 2017

Upcycling

A few years ago I made an old watch box into a sewing box to take on holiday. I love it so much I actually use it everyday and unfortunately the lid broke: this is my box as it was, I lined the inside too and made a small jar for orts, using the lid as a pin cushion.

A free design from Blue Ribbon Designs
Inside lined with sewing themed fabric
I have another watch box so thought I'd take the old one apart and fit the pieces to my new box .... but of course it's a different size !!

I didn't want to throw away my sampler so I carefully cut it out and it just fitted into a coaster - perfect for my coffee cup when I put it on the mantle (nearest place to the left side of my sofa)

Upcycled - my new coaster 
So I needed to make my new box into a sewing box. I lined the lid and added my beautiful Angel from Gill. The orts jar fits perfectly, in fact with it being slightly bigger I can fit my Thread Heaven in too.
My new box with it's lid lined and Gill's Angel 
This time I used a Brittercup Design chart I had in my stash
I also used spare threads I've had for ages from kits.
I have lots of thread left over from kits I did a while ago so I looked through as decided on a colour theme. I just need to order the button to go between the two leaves at the bottom of the design. I didn't expect to be stitching this or making a new box but I have enjoyed it.

I've stitched another ornament for my Winter Wonderland - it's a Little House Needleworks designs but without the border; Seven Pines

Ornament 4 for my Winter Wonderland tree
 I have stitched a few other things but at the moment they are under wraps. I have a few special pieces to stitch for this year so quite often I'll have to just give hints on my blog, sorry, but with my church stitching and the happenings at Needlecraft Haven there will be plenty to share.

This morning I have planted up a few spring flowers. Our garden is north facing so gets very little sun until late February/early March - I had to move my bulb pots to the top of the garden as the flowers were not appearing. Now they have had direct sun for a few weeks they are starting to bloom. It's very satisfying to put out spring flowers, get rid of the final dead leaves and general spruce the garden up for the new season to bloom.

Canterbury Bells, Primroses and Violas 
Violas, Pansies and Primroses
 I hope your gardens are beginning to bloom and your stitching is progressing too. Thank you for calling by :)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

How I made my needlecase

The needlecase exchange for Needlecraft Haven members at our autumn meet up was great fun. I have not made a needlecase for a long time and decided to make a stiffened one.

It took me a few days as I was quite nervous: I did a bit then left it a while before doing another bit. After stitching the design I mounted it on card (no wadding), glued the edges down, stitched lace around the edge and stitched the ribbon for tieing.

First stage of my needlecase 
I couldn't find any cording the right size or colour so using some crochet thread I made my own and attached it around the edge of the lace and down the centre fold.

Added cording 
For the inside I cut two pieces of cream felt - one to cover the back and one to be the inner to hold the needles and pins.

Felt pieces
To hold the felt down I used blanket stitch around the large piece of felt, stitching mainly to the lace. For the inner felt I used daisy chain stitch down the centre to hold it in place and added the pins and needles.

Felt stitched in place
I love how this turned out, it was a good idea to take my time and do it in stages. My needlecase was for Gill, she loves it too.

Finished needlecase for Gill

My Exchange parcel for Gill with card and choccies 

It's always fun to arrange the meet ups for Needlecraft Haven, although it's getting harder to think of themes and ideas for the exchange.

 I love the meet up days, our next meet up is April 22nd, again in Nuneaton - our theme is 'My Favourite Place' but as yet I have no idea what to stitch for the exchange.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Needlecase Exchange

Today is opening day for the Needlecase Exchange organised at the Needlecraft Haven autumn meet up. As your saw in my post last week my parcel has been sitting here waiting for today.

We organise the exchange at the meet up and no-one knows who is stitching for who. My partner has not yet posted about the needlecase I sent her so for now I'm just showing the needlecase I received....

.... and what a beautiful needlecase it is - thank you so much Justine

The front of my needlecase 
The gorgeous inside - I love the pins 
The back of my needlecase
Justine sent a beautiful card and included a 'large' bar of my favourite chocolate, I'm happy to share but my Hubby is not keen on dark chocolate :)

My needlecase, card and chocolate
As today is March 1st I've changed our mantle, quite plain at the moment but as the month progresses it will have a few changes. The dragon is only out for today as it is also St David's Day - the patron saint of Wales, a reason for the daffodils on our side board too. My winter tree (Jardin Prive) has been put away and spring is now in it's place and the candles are now orange.

March Mantle
March sideboard
Jardin Prive Spring
 All in all quite a day for the start of a new month. I'll share the needlecase I sent to my partner in my next post, in the meantime I'll enjoy one of the Welsh cakes I made to celebrate St David's Day.

Freshly baked welsh cakes 




Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February Challenge

Amazingly it's the last day of February, another month that has flown by. As it's month end it was time to reveal our Monthly Christmas Challenge pieces on Needlecraft Haven. We have a new design everyone month, chosen by one of our members Christine. It's always a free online chart on the theme of Christmas, the idea being by the festive season we have twelve new ornaments.

This month's design was by Luli and is called Fairisle Hearts, two beautful designs. We could stitch one or both, I did both but in blue and white as they will make great fill in ornaments for my Winter Wonderland Tree at church. I'm hoping to stitch two a month, using perforated paper they didn't really take long so it should be easy to do.

My blue and white Fairisle Hearts 
I've also stitched another ornament for my church tree, again it's from Just Cross Stitch Christmas Magazine 2009. Another small one so again quick to stitch. I'll be have a mass make up day later in the year - it's easier to store them unfinished too.

There should have been a sheep button where I have stitched the house but as it was nearly £5 I stitched the house instead - it seemed a waste of money when it's for the church tree, I'd rather add the money to church funds.

Starry Starry Night - Elizabeth's Designs
My needle has certainly been flying these first tow months of 2017 - I've stitched 13 pieces and finished 6 of them, the most I've started a year with ever I think. You can see the full list on my 2017 finished page at the top of my blog.

Now all my Round in Circles pieces are done and we had a sunny day I washed them all and hung them our to 'drip dry'. They did look great all in a row, as you can see we don't get full sun in the winter in our garden. They've dried lovely and hopefully in March I can make a start on my finishing plans.
All in a row
Halloween has been and gone but we're still celebrating. In early November Hubby and I were shopping in Waitrose and spotted an amaryllis bulb on offer at 90p - yes just 90p. The reason was it was encased in an orange wax with a Halloween face. The box said it didn't need water or soil, just put in a light dry place and it would flower. It didn't do anything up to Christmas and we nearly threw it away but decided to leave it to see - and look what has grown !!

Beautiful amaryllis for 90p 
In it's Halloween wax holder
As it's March first tomorrow I'll be back again as it's Opening Day for Needlecraft Haven's Meet Up exchange, lots of ornament/display in the house and it's St Davids Day - see you tomorrow !!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Anticipation

It's nearly the end of February, a 'lovely' month but with the change brings new things. Today I had a parcel arrive !

Today's arrival from Postie
I have to keep it safe as it's my Meet Up Exchange from Needlecraft Haven's last get together in November - you can read about our day HERE.

We always arrange an exchange at the meet up, this time it was to stitch a needlecase for our partner (who is secret as we chose sealed envelopes). Mine has been sent so hopefully my partner has received her's too. Opening Day is 1st March so not long to wait.

I have been Happy Dancing too as I have completed my final Round In Circles piece. I think I know what I will be doing with them but I need a little free time to plan it properly - they also need a wash each as some have crease lines in and having been over a year since some were stitched I'd like to freshen them up. I did change this one slightly as I couldn't get the charted centre to sit properly.

December - Round in Circles
I have also stitched another design for my church tree. I am really liking the blue background for these winter scenes. I have found my next two charts as well when I was looking for something else, one's a small tree scene and the other a snowman. This one (and the others) is from Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazines 2009.

Comfort and Joy - Gentle Pursuit Designs
We have storm Doris here in the UK - the wind is certainly strong here in the Midlands and I know it has hit most of the country. I hope everyone stays safe.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Valentine's Day

Valentine's is a special day for Hubby and me as we got engaged on February 14th 1986. We always send each other cards and although we say no presents my lovely Hubby always surprises me - this year is no exception.

But before I share our Valentine's Day it was also exchange opening day for the Valentine's Exchange on Needlecraft Haven. This year it was a non-stitching exchange, we had to buy our partner a pair of pink or red socks with hearts or flowers design, a card and two skeins of thread to match the socks.

I used my orts jar to pick the partner details - it's always a fun thing to do when organising an exchange. I put everyone's name on apiece of paper and also on my list - starting at the top of my list I picked a paper and whoever's name was on was that persons partner.

Needlecraft Haven members taking part in
our Valentine's Exchange
Folded in my orts jar ready to be picked
 My partner was Mary and I bought a lovely pair of socks with love birds on and pink hearts. Unfortunately I knocked a cup of coffee over and of course it went over the socks; so they became mine and I bought Mary another pair. I was going to buy the same again but spotted a lovely pair covered in roses.

There was no requirement to stitch anything but I did stitch Mary a card, just a simple one and included a few choccies as 2017 has been a tough start.

My Valentine's gifts for Mary 
My parcel arrived in time for Receiving Day - we've started doing this, it's about a week before Opening Day and hopefully ensures everyone has their parcel. I knew who my partner was as I had organised the names but it is always exciting to open a parcel.

Inside was a lovely wooden card from Julie - I had not seen one of these before, they are very effective. The socks are beautiful but had me rolling around in laughter - they are the love bird socks I spilled coffee on - just perfect, thank you Julie.

My Valentine's gift from Julie 
I haven't baked anything for Hubby this year as I went to M&S and bought one of their £20 meal deals - starter, main, side, dessert, wine and chocolate !!

We always have a bottle of our favourite champagne on Valentine's Day so I also bought some nibbles to go with it. The table is laid so now Hubby is home we can sit down, enjoy the bubbly, enjoy our cards and Valentine's decorations I always put out and later on enjoy our M&S meal.

Our side board with our Valentine's cards 
Valentine's Mantle
Table's ready 
M & S meal deal
Nicolas Feuillatte our favourite champagne
And finally we'll be having coffee and the M& S chocolate hearts - coffee served in the tiny espresso cups we bought in Athens on our Honeymoon and the chocolates are served on the beautiful lace plate my Mum made us for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.



The metallic couple is actually a wine holder I bought Hubby for our 25th Anniversary - yesterday he surprised me with a new edition - it's just perfect, I'm a very lucky lady.


I hope everyone had a very happy Valentine's Day x x x  

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Anniversary gift

Our friends had a party the other Saturday to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary. As a little keep sake I stitched this sampler for them.

25th Anniversary gift for Debbie & Carl
I have two exchanges that I have stitched for but as yet cannot share, although as one is for Valentine's Day it won't be long before I can.

I have been catching up on my Round in Circles SAL from 2016. I didn't get chance to complete October, November or December but have managed to complete the first two and I'm working on December so they will soon be all done. I have stitched them all in the same colours, at the start of 2016 I wasn't really sure about how to finish them but I think I have now decided. I'll see how my idea looks once all twelve are stitched.

October - Round in Circles
November - Round in Circles
Wishing everyone a happy Valentine's Day full of friendship and love x x