Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas Hop 2019 - Day 20


Today is my day on Jo's advent calendar bloghop! If you haven't already visited her, pop over to see all the fun!! 

And, what a surprise, I haven't been able to stitch as fast as I thought I would!!!

I've been stitching this little free kit from CrossStitcher magazine every spare minute ...... and I still have more backstitching to do!! I don't know why but my photos look a little fuzzy to me, they were alright in "files", so, if you can't see them very well don't forget to double click on the photo and all should be much clearer!

The kit has a frame to make it into a Christmas Card, so I guess you could say this is my virtual Christmas Card to all my friends! (The binding you can see here is only temporary, to stop the edges fraying.)
CrossStitcher Issue 351

Despite the little tree being finished, it's still not FFO'd. I wasn't sure what to do with it really!
PM25 Christmas Tree by Anchor

But now I've decided ..... it will be an ornament. I'm going to add  ric rak, then make it up into a little cushion thingy that can hang from a tree. I am aiming to finish very soon as otherwise I shall probably lose track of it!

This year Jo asked us to talk about our favourite Christmas film. My favourite film of all time has already been mentioned and is "It's a Wonderful Life"! but there are so many I really love but I'm not sure of their names (what am I like?!?), but I do think Christmas isn't Christmas without seeing at least one version of "A Christmas Carol"!

Have fun, but remember the old saying "A moment on the lips, and a lifetime on the hips" ..... oops, tee hee, did I really just say that out loud type that out loud!?

Ha, ha!

As always, Jo, "Thank You so much for organising us!"

And here's wishing you all a "Very Happy Christmas, and a Happy New Year!"

Barbara xxx

Sunday, December 08, 2019

A Cross Stitch Small and Slow Sunday Stitching

Hi there stitching buddies!

I'm linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, 'cos finally I have a few hand stitching projects to work on.

Yay! I finished the first of my three “new to me” cross stitch projects. 

If you already follow me, you might remember?.... this is the one I told you that "took me over" ..... it was meant to be my travel stitching, 
but it's finished already!

Now I need to think how to FFO (fully finish off).
Pattern PM25 "Christmas Tree" by Anchor

But I have to say, with all the needle changes for the different colours it felt it took forever to stitch 
(probably three days) despite being such a tiny picture! Stitched on 14 count
 (14 stitches per inch).


Today I’m stitching a little more on this pattern from CrossStitcher - it’s the free gift from the magazine.

 I've found I really needed grid lines, 
but are you supposed to keep putting them in and pulling them out? Possibly not, but I don't want to get the grid threads caught in my cross stitching.

The pink binding is temporary while I stitch, so the rough edges of the fabric don’t catch and ruin my thread. The pink tab on the top helps me to pick up and stitch quicker ..... you know what it’s like 
when you can't easily tell which way up is!
From CrossStitcher Magazine issue 351


Just a couple of pictures while writing. My mum was saying how she missed the "Five on Friday" posts I used to do where I showed places DH and I had been walking, so just a couple of photos from a walk today:

This "little" guy was so happy sitting here that when we returned 30 minutes later he was still sitting in the same place! He obviously had plenty of grass to chew well within reach!

I know!! This is a bit funny, a veggie taking photos of cattle! But still, he does look cute!


Oh, and this was a delicious veggie meal we had last week at our favourite cafe. Not the clearest photo, I took it with the camera rather than phone and there wasn't really enough light.
Nut Roast with steamed Kale, roast parsnip and carrot,
with a special gravy, and finished with a salad of pea shoots

It was such a tasty meal we've ordered one to cook at home for our Christmas dinner. Just hope the train strikes are all finished so we can go and collect the order!


Even more hand stitching:

 When I was browsing on Pinterest last week I saw some teeny "Cocktail Napkins"!

Well, as I'm always thinking "Eco" and "Save the World" I thought this would be a good idea! 

I hate going into restaurants and being given paper napkins (often with each course) that get very little use and then go straight into landfill, so this is my very latest hand stitched "Squirrel" .....

using a small piece of Osnaburgh (6" x6") I'm now considering how to decorate!

This isn't the lace I'm going to use, I was just testing to see if it was suitable. I think the napkin needs brightening up, but not too much as I do plan to use, and wash it plenty, and it might not last too long if it gets stained! So, its not meant to be a heirloom piece!
And, of course, I want this finished NOW! Tee hee!

Must go now, lots of you to visit, and I want to carry on with some of this stitching!

I do hope you'll come back to visit on 20th ..... when I'll be joining in with Jo's On line Advent Calendar. Why not pop over to see what is happening so far HERE.

Hope you are having fun, stitching, too!

Barbara xxx

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching

(may add to this list later)

Saturday, December 07, 2019

WIPocolypse - 2019 and a couple of finishes!!

Hello dear friends!

Oh dear, since my last WIPocolpse post I keep missing the link up date. And I've been dying to show you a few things I've been making. I haven't finished much from the list this year and I'll have to try harder next year!

WIPocolpse is an easygoing SAL to help us with some of those projects we want to finish before the end of the world (see my list at the end of the post), for more info about WIPocolpse go HERE.

This is the main cross stitch project I’m trying to finish, and this was where I was up to last time:

since then I've worked on .....
..... worked on the header band, adding more turquoise
and stitched lots of little motif's in the borders
I have taken my cross stitch along to my handicraft group a couple of times but somehow something always stops me actually stitching it! Like last time I forgot to take the threads along!!!! I found some thread in the cupboards there but when I got home I found the colour I'd used wasn't the same as the one I'd intended using, so I'll have to frog it!

I finally made some shoes for my doll Izzy (shoe pattern from Ann Woods)

Izzy says she would like a bag next! Funnily enough I've been wanting to make one for ages! (She'll have to wait a little though, but don't tell Izzy, tee hee!)


One more reason why I haven't kept up with my cross stitch is that I keep finding books I just can't put down!!!!

First of all I'd just finished reading "Tombstone" by C J Sansom (I just love his books, they whisk you back in time and tell you all about an era you never knew about, well, I didn't anyway! ..... this one is set in 1549) and then I was at a loss as to what to read! 

I'd ordered my next book by Anne Perry from the library but I had to wait almost two months before the book became available!!!! In the meantime I was scouring the donated books at my local train station (books which have been donated for charity). We buy them for a £1 or two and the money goes to a cancer charity.


First was: "A Noise Downstairs" by Linwood Barclay ..... I thought it would be good as I'd read other books by him, and I wasn't disappointed! It kept me guessing to the end.


Then, after reading the flyleaf, I couldn't resist reading this book either:

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena 

"Why would you run scared from a happy home?

You're waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work.
You're making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day.

That's the last thing you remember.

You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there.
They tell you that you were in an accident; you 
lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous
part of town.

The police suspect you were up to no good. But your
husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend is not
so sure. And even you don't know what to believe ...."

One of the reviews said "hard to put down" and I think this must be the first book I've ever read in two days! It wasn't my usual choice of book but I found I really wanted to find out whatever had happened!!!


I ordered the next book on line as I'd already been introduced to this character by Vickie of  "A Stitcher's Story". This is the first of a series of books about Maisie.

"Maisie Dobbs" by Jacqueline Winspear

Which was introduced as:
 "The "British counterpart" to "Alexander McCall Smith's 
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by The Associated Press.

The story starts in England in 1929 as Maisie 
has just opened her own detective agency.

but I don't want to spoil the story, so you'll have to get the book to read more, tee hee!


I've been working on some new projects too. Last year I bought wool to make a hat, but I couldn't find a pattern I liked. I eventually found one and here is my "finished" hat.

This was my main reason for posting btw!

(might make a bobble for it) ..... for details of the pattern visit me on Ravely as "Knittybarbo".

This is how the bobble from the pattern looks, but I'm not sure it's what I want! I might make an  ordinary style bobble ..... what do you think?  But then, what size do I make it?

I've just finished making a door stop. Pattern from Mollie Makes. There were a couple of little niggles with the instructions - the measurement for the handle wasn't long enough and I had to add fabric at either end. The zip too really needs a little fabric at either end before attaching to bag to "sit" nicely when finished, but even so it looks quite nice.
Doorstop -
Tee hee, it doesn't live on the window sill!

Oooh, I'm a little bit excited ...... I've joined Instagram this week! I know, I said I never would, but have you noticed they are more or less forcing you to if you want to actually look around over there?!! So, I've taken the plunge and slipped in, tee hee! You'll find me as "Flashinscissors". I haven't a clue  how it works yet, so don't be surprised nothing is happening so far!! No photos yet! But I'll be trying to find all my friends there!

I aim to be back very soon with some more Christmas things, but you know how it is, it's so busy this time of year!

Barbara xxx

Anyhow, this is the list of projects I really, really want to finish, but each one is waiting for it's own reasons!

Updated WIP list:

Progress - blue ink
Other projects rediscovered since original list - orange
Finished - purple

Cross Stitch:
  1. Camper Van - started last year -  finished 2019.
  2. Bee needle case - started last year - still needs FFO.
  3. Etoilé thread sampler - framing.
  4. Easter cross stitch piece - framing.
  5. Polka Dot Lady quilt - finishing.
  6. "Stitches" - unfinished.
  7. Night time - finishing.
  8. Tatty Teddy - back stitching and framing.
  1. Polka Dot lady
  2. Dormouse
  3. Laundry day
  4. Name badge - finished 2019
  5. Plus two others - block painting
Other Miscellaneous Projects:
  1. Goldwork picture
  2. Stitch sampler bag
  3. Crewel Work - needs framing
  4. Luna 
  5. Izzy (doll) - who wants a bag and maybe a hat !!?!!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Gifted Gorgeousness and Christmassy things

Hello my friends,

It's lovely to have you visiting me today!

This cold damp day it's nice to be indoors thinking about Christmassy things!

Again this year I'm going to join Jo of Serendipitous Stitching and some cross stitch friends for Jo's Advent Calendar post. This is one where we all write posts about our Christmas stitching and then share them via Jo's blog on a date that she allots. Pop over to Jo's to see exactly how the Advent Calendar Blog Post worked last year! (This is my post! HERE)

Anyhow, I'm getting ahead of myself, it's been a while since I joined in with Gifted Gorgeousness (GG) because I haven't had any cross stitch to share ..... but all that has changed now, and I have some new kits I'm threading up ready to start !

I'm joining GG today with these surprise gifts I received. Some lovely fat quarters and, in the background Osnaburg - one of my favourite fabrics. Osnaburg is not a long-lasting fabric but it's really nice for embroidery,

and the lovely magnetic needle keeper is from my friend, Grace.


Because this post would be soo short otherwise I'd like to mention a couple of other things while I am here ..... do you remember my lace, tee hee, HERE, how could you forget? Well, here are a few photos of my latest piece in progress ..... or should I say "when I had just finished and was about to pull all the pins out"!
I had finished before the bobbins
gathered together like this, tee hee!
I'm really excited how great this lace looks!
It was such fun pulling all those pins out!!
So, I've made two leaves and the red piece
will eventually be a flower.

(Oh, and since starting this post I was gifted a "new" lace making cushion which needed a cover before I could make more lace, so I made one yesterday, but that's a tale for next time.)

And here are my latest cross stitch purchases:

Three Christmassy kits ..... second hand, and a bargain!
I had to enlarge patterns and wash the folded fabric ready to use.
I have made a start, but no more pictures as yet!

Actually I started one of them a couple of days ago, and now its almost finished - this was meant to be my travel stitching ..... but it just took me over!!!!

Do pop over to Jo's blog to read more about Gifted Gorgeousness and to see what everyone else has stitched!

Keeping with the Christmas theme ..... I've just seen that Selma of Eclectic Home Life is returning to blogging once again this year with her latest Norwegian Christmas countdown!

HERE is a link to one of Selma's fabulous recipe posts - there are lots!!

Hugs and smiles,
Barbara xxx

Thank you for visiting, I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

WIP - Lace making

I’ve only blogged once before about my lace HERE, around the time I first started blogging, and every so often I’ve been thinking that I must get back to lace making!

This Sunday I spent a little time winding bobbins, then during the week I took the kit along to my handicraft group. Luckily there are a few ladies there who are very experienced lace makers, and purely by chance, two of them were sitting at the same table as me, so I was able to ask for a little assistance.

My latest piece is teeeny tiny! I thought small would be more encouraging you see! Unfortunately my instructions had said 12” of cotton per bobbin which I read literally, but bobbins are wound in pairs ..... so I spent a little while rewinding the bobbins I’d prepared on Sunday evening with 24” pieces of cotton between each pair!

Pinterest knows everything doesn’t it, and it somehow knew I was working on lace and fortuitously sent me a pin to this lovely lady’s blog where she clearly shows how to wind a bobbin.

Needless to say, I am now one of her faithful followers, although I can only dream of aspiring to making lace like hers.

Thanks to Pinterest I also found a tutorial showing how to start lacing HERE.

Lace making

It took rather a long time to make this tiny leaf, and I’m sure it isn’t perfect by any means, but I’m so happy to have made it this far!

I spent approximately 2 hours to make half a leaf, and then most of the evening to finish ..... plus the time it took to unravel almost half the leaf to rectify the mistake I spotted a half way down!

I don’t mind really, especially as now I will be able to work another leaf at home, on my own, from start to finish. I’m so glad I had a go, and now I’m thinking of continuing while the method is fresh in my mind. The leaf was one pattern of about nine in the lace kit, but some look a bit too complicated for a mere beginner like me!

Will any of you admit to having lace projects hiding in your deepest cupboards ..... just waiting for you to dig them out and finish them?????

Thank you so much for visiting, and, as always, I really look forward to reading your comments!

Barbara xxx

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Teeny Cushion Cover - Finished!

Hi there,

On my last post I showed you the start of my Teeny Cushion, and Yay! here it is, finished!!!

This was a little project using some of the scraps I'd been gifted and only two colours from my stash.

I was inspired by Patty of Elm Street Quilts who showed us the cushion she had made - HERE. On her wonderful blog!

Do you remember last time I showed you a photo of the plan, with the back  and front almost finished?
Top of picture is my pattern,
Middle -  reverse pieces,
and bottom is the main cover pre-quilting

Patty quilted hers using straight lines, but I'm not confident enough to do the same so I've quilted mine in sections using echo quilting.

You can probably see this best on the back:
I had a go at swirley lines but no Free Motion Quilting!

All stitched together! The two cushion opening on the back overlaps by about an inch - another time I'd overlap more, say, at least, an inch again on each piece.

To make a cushion, I used my original pattern piece (without the seam allowance), so that when it is filled it fits inside the cover.
Waiting for me to stitch the gap closed.

And it does fit very nicely, but for some reason it isn't in the cushion cover in this photo, but it was for the picture at the top of this post?!? What am I like!

But, Yay! that's another finish!!! All good, eh!

Just spotted a lovely new project today! 
Patty has been showing how to hand piece and quilt Pumpkins 
Next time I hope to have a finished crochet project to show.
I'm making a hat, hopefully! 
I've made a start ..... you can see a photo on my Ravelry page, under "Projects" ..... 
I'm there as "Knittybarbo"

But for now, I must go!

Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Barbara xx

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Cactus Bag - Finished! and a couple of "Squirrels"

Hello my friends,

First of all, thank you all for your kind comments wishing me well with my back troubles ....... all much appreciated, and just to let you know I'm a lot better at the moment and I am now able to catch up on lost sleep.

I haven't wanted to look at a computer screen because my eyes have been so tired and as soon as I do look they want to close, and I'm asleep again! 


We had a little sunshine the other day, so I popped into the garden with my newly finished cactus bag (from my last post), and had my own little photo shoot session .....

If any photos look a little blurred
 just click on the photo to see them a little clearer.
Just right for carrying my crochet projects!
Have I mentioned? I've been crocheting this year, and I've actually finished a couple of things!!! A teeny Back Pack (pink and green), a Scottie Dog and, not quite finished, a camper van. It's been fun, and I seem to have acquired bought quite a few balls of cotton, so there are likely to be a few more crocheted projects in future.


I was meaning to carry on with my cross stitch Cocoa Sampler, but one thing leads to another, and I found myself chasing a metaphorical squirrel! Which fits in nicely with Sandra's meme: DrEAMi "Drop Everything And Make it" Pop over to Sandra's blog HERE to see what I'm talking about. There's lots of lovely patchwork to see. The meme is held at the end of each month. 

 I am saying this is a "possible" Squirrel because it such a small one! Which is why I'm a little embarrassed  to add it to the party, but I'm just saying this has been my squirrel this month! Tee hee!

(Sorry Astrid, if you are looking in, I will have some cross stitching here soon!)

Soooo ..... to get back to the story, I have this new bed ..... with a remote control which will assist me to sit up or lay down in bed ....

after a few days of using the bed I realised my fingers were hurting. At first I didn't realise why. Then it suddenly came to me that the plastic cased remote control was so slippery that I was gripping it  tightly most of the night. I was worried I might drop the controls and not be able to raise or lower the bed should I need to.

Soooo, I decided the remote needed a cosy 
to stop it slipping from my hand .....

therefore the "squirrel" making commenced!

I had a bag of scraps my sister gave me and my idea was to use pieces from those scraps, which worked quite well and I only needed to add a small piece of plain pink to them. It's lined with some of that non slip plastic to stop the controls slipping out ..... but, with hindsight, I don't think that was really necessary! I stitched down either side by hand ..... tricky stitching through the non slip plastic, but do-able. The handle was Osnaburg again, my favourite fabric.

The patchwork went together very quickly. I started at lunch time and I wanted to have it done ready to use that night. I did finish it the same day ...... but don't ask what time it was ...... well into the wee small hours (which wasn't really a good idea in the circumstances).

The patchwork pieces were stitched onto cotton wadding,
ends folded in, and hand stitched together along the edges

As you can see I added a handle, but really it's in the wrong place ..... so, when I've finished the next squirrel I'll be taking the handle off and moving it to to the bottom RH side (of the pink pieces) which should be much more convenient!

Anyhow, the cover does the job and the controls haven't slipped off the bed once! Yay!!
So I'm sleeping much better now!


 I'm already working on my next project. A little cushion cover (and I do mean little, it's approximately 9.5" x 8.25") which I just had to make after seeing the cushion Patty made over on her blog: Elm Street Quilts (HERE)

My colours are a little pale, but they match the remote cover, as it will be a cushion for the bed.

I think my draft pattern (on the right of the photo) actually looks better than the finished cushion, but maybe the quilting will pull it together better. 

See you soon. Happy Stitching!!!

Barbara xxx

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Friendly Challenge 116 - Cactus

Belatedly I am showing you my Cactus project:
I had hoped I would have this finished for the Friendly Challenge ..... but unfortunately I have had problems with my back, and been unable to sleep very much, meaning I was unable to work on my stitching or spend time at the computer writing this post. 

I had intended writing another one of my tutorials!! Tee hee! but I'm sure you all know how to make a bag by now! I used lots of different stitches and had wanted to list them all ..... but as it is painful to sit for too long I am trying to keep this short (you ought to see a long post!! tee hee!)

My fabric is Osnaburg, lined with cotton wadding because it is a nice combination for embroidery ..... you can hide cotton ends in the wadding easily! The only down-side is that Osnaburg frays terribly. When I have more time I would normally hem stitch the edges before starting.

Osnaburg is what they call a utility fabric, useful for tea towels, serviettes and the like. It is also very good for embroidery ..... because of its open weave.
Reverse of work - finishing stitches in cotton wadding

Not quite finished! Just need to stitch the lining in place, complete one handle, then stitch both handles in position.

I had hoped to join the Friendly Challenge No 116 being held at El Taller de L'Ana.

Perhaps you will come along with me to see what other friends have made for the day!

Apologies for being late Ana! I kept thinking I would finish in time .....

Barbara xx