Tuesday, 28 December 2010

La - D - dah

Is that the correct spelling? Anyway - you know who I mean!

This is a freebie by the above aforesaid aforementioned which I completed just - JUST - before Christmas.

So - you're toddling along, doing the last minute things, making a list, checking it twice and then leaving it at home, when you get a text message from your much loved nephew.

He explains how he would really, really like a piece of sewing for his girlfriend, but don't worry about anything too elaborate, just something like his mum and I have hanging from door handles everywhere.

Oh bother!!!

I didn't want to let him down so the wrapping of gifts, the buying of food, the cleaning of house is abandoned whilst I search through hundreds of charts to find something appropriate and more crucially, do-able, in the time.

His girlfriend, is, like him, a journalist - haha - a wordsmith I thought. Letters = words = sentences = news features = Victoria.
I'll choose an alphabet.


So this is the one I chose. It is stitched over one using HDF Be-grimed for the black and a WDW for the bronze.
It is finished as a hanger (as requested!). It has tiny black beads as an edging and a plain black fabric as backing. The ribbon, which you can't see in this really very poor photo, is a narrow black and bronze stripe.

Toby later explained how they had decided to spend only a small amount of money on each other this year, but were allowed to call in favours from others.

Mmmm - might try that myself next year!!!

I also completed and had framed the Red Cardinal 'Tis the Season' from the BBD Joyeux Noel booklet for my mother. I missed out the words to make it more displayable all year and added some extra snowflakes to fill in the gap. I loved it. My mother - not so much!!! I tried to take a picture, but the glass reflected back and it was too poor to show here.

Can fingers have Tourette's Syndrome? I think mine have. This would gave been totally unreadable had I not made a real effort to correct it. ( ir cirect if!!)

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and we can now look forward to what I hope will be a healthy and happy New Year.

Irene xxx
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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Blackbird Design Exchange Round 6

When you received your JCS magazine Ornament edition this year, did you seek out a particular designer, or did you browse all the pages?

Well - I always look for Blackbird Design's contribution and this year it was this lovely thing. Is the flower a poinsettia do you think?

Anyway - this was my choice to stitch for the Blackbird Design Exchange Round 6. It is Christmassy with it's colours, but would work throughout the year too, I think. I mostly used the recommended threads and chose to stitch it one over one.

I made it up into a little needle case for Barbara (I always put too many 'a's into her name!) at Mainely Stitching.

I stitched a little herringbone line for the spine and finished the edge with ruby red beads. There is a cream border and date on the front too and a couple of motifs but they have almost disappeared in this photo.

Inside I lined it with a small red check print and chose a green wool needle page. The whole thing is only a couple of inches square. The needle case ties with a red silk ribbon with a couple of beads to make it a bit more weighty.

OK. And fancy too!

I really liked this project when it was finished and I'm glad to say that Barbara seems to like it too.


Thanks for visiting,
Irene xxx
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Monday, 13 December 2010

Some stitching at last!

This is a small ornament I completed recently - it was actually the one I was searching for when I found the prayer in my previous posting. It is a freebie by Drawn Thread called 'Home for the Holidays' It is stitched over one on a 28 count linen from some I had already. I used the threads as listed which were mostly Weeks Dye Works. It is finished in twinkly iridescent beads which are really not doing their twinkly stuff here!

The beads around the border of the house (not in the edging) are stitched around with a Broad Diagonal Stitch which was charted. I did it, although I didn't think it would show much, but actually it does and I like it.

I stitched a second one like this but finished by doing the Broad Diagonal Stitch in red - mmmm not so good! I tried to frog it but the whole piece is so tiny that I couldn't get the red staining out, so in the end I just re-stitched in red. I think it takes the sparkle from the beads somehow.

Both ornaments are backed with motifs from a large piece of fabric I bought when I was in Fobbles in Cumbria in the Autumn. I am pretty sure it is a BBD fabric and has lots of different snowmen and winter trees and little crows which I thought would be really useful for backing ornaments. And so it has proved to be!

It is about now that the panic sets in for me! I have in previous years finished an ornament for special friends and would like to continue with this - but hey - when am I going to do them all? Do you, like me, wish you really had completed an ornament every month as you said you would, so that now your only problem would be which to send to who?

I have just about finished the piece I am stitching for my mum from the Joyeaux Noel (BBD) booklet called 'Tis the season'. This is GOOD thing, because I need to have it framed yet!

And then maybe I can do a couple of ornies.

Or I could do Snow Garden for my sister which is kitted and ready to go but is a sizeable project at this time of year?

Or I could write my Christmas cards?

Or find a tree?

Or find the decorations?

Or have another cup of coffee?

The latter I think!

Have a good day,

Irene xxx

Edit - I have just heard that Barbara received my gift in the Blackbird Design Round 6 so I will show pictures later this week. If you would like a preview - pop over to her blog http://mainelystitching.wordpress.com

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Friday, 10 December 2010

So true!

I found this little prayer on another blog quite a while ago and it made me smile. I found it again among my pictures whilst searching in vain for the photographs of two ornaments I finished recently, so instead of the sewing I thought I would share this in the hope it will brighten your day too.

Irene xxx
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Monday, 6 December 2010

And milk comes frozen home in pails - almost

Now, I really like Picasa as a place to store and edit my photos. It's fairly simple to use, even for a klutz like me, and I can manage simple editing. However, I have only ever been able to download one photo at a time to my blog.

Until now!!!!!

Today I did what I should gave done a long time ago and actually looked at the tips for using Picasa and now - as many photos as I want! Itsa kinda magic!


So the FIRST (!) photo is of my lovely setter Meghan in the snow. I haven't shown her for a while, but she's still here keeping me company, being my friend.
And the SECOND photo is of frozen milk.

So worth waiting for eh?

Some of my American friends who pass by this way may not know that here in England, one of our old traditions is to have a milkman. Yep - we have a man (or woman) who gets up at some godforsaken hour in the morning to deliver our milk to our doorstep. We just open the door and there it is, fresh milk in a glass bottle, just as ordered.

It could also be cream, or fresh orange juice. That's pretty special isn't it, but not something I take for granted. It is so easy now to pick up plastic cartons of milk from the supermarket that many people do just that and have abandoned their friendly milkman. Not me. I like to have my milk this way. And my milkman has ploughed on through all this freezing cold, (its -4 now at 12-30 in the afternoon) and has never missed a day.

But the milk can freeze outside as you can see from my photo. The little red stripey tops have popped off and we have this little volcano of frozen milk erupting from the neck of the bottle.

By the way, not only do I help keep a man and the local dairy in work, but its green too - well not green milk obviously - but the bottles are washed, left on the step for the milkman to collect on his round and they are then re-used.

Thanks for reading through this far. The experiment worked - 2 photos on one blog.

Mission accomplished.

Irene xxx
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Friday, 3 December 2010

BBD Exchange

I interrupt my normal if somewhat erratic service to bring you news. My exchange gift from the Blackbird Design Exchange group arrived yesterday, and isn't it pretty?

My partner, and until the gift arrives, you don't know who your partner is, was Laura who lives in Mexico. Isn't it amazing that with modern technology you can connect with people you have never met, but who have a common interest, so easily?

Laura sent me this lovely and incidentally, my first, scissor keep. The design is called Summer Iris and is stitched using DMC
threads on Monaco 28 count antique white linen. It is backed with a blue fabric with tiny leaves and flowers which are not very clear here, and finished with a lovely ivory braid.

Nice eh?

By the way, the scissor keep was wrapped in a clear cellophane packet and tied with a lovely blue and gold organza bow. I tried to take a picture of this too, but the light kept reflecting off the paper so I am unable to show it.

Thank you so much Laura. It was so exciting to open the package and I was not disappointed.

Isn't it fun to receive packages full of goodiness?

Irene xxx

PS I forgot to tell you, if you want to see more of Laura's work, her website is http://puntadasmagicasdepebble57.blogspot.com

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Thursday, 2 December 2010

1831 Pin Keep

I had a finishing session on Saturday. It was snowy and cold and treacherous outside so I just had to resign myself to staying in and sewing.

Some days life is preeetty hard!

So, one of the things I finished is the Good Huswife 1831 Pin Keep (Pyn Keepe?) above. It is a mixture of threads, mostly Vikki Clayton and is stitched over one on a 28 count fabric which is acually a mid-ecru colour, although it looks a bit white here. It has an edging of tiny bronze beads. I didn't photograph the back, but it is the same fabric with the single tree and bird and 2010 stitched underneath.

I also finished my piece for the Blackbird Design Exchange group. I can't show it here yet, but I really liked it so I hope the recipient does too. It was one of those that I kept picking up and thinking, 'I must do one like this for me'. I probably won't though!!!

So the snow.

Well, kinda boring now isn't it?

Fun at first, exciting, run to the door and look, let the dog gambol in it, watch it melt on your outstretched hand, take snowy pics with a view to using them as Christmas cards - all that - at first - but now its just white and slippy and freezing and is like the final guest at the party who just doesn't know when its time to leave.

The photo on my previous blog is very strange isn't it? That mist wasn't visible to the eye, it only showed up on the photo. Good job it wasn't Halloween then!

Thanks for stopping by

Irene xxx
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