4 seasons (2) Abi Barker (1) Africa (4) alien (3) alien bear (1) Amanda Butler (2) Amanda Gregory (4) Anchor (2) animals (70) Anne Mortimer (2) apple (1) Art Deco (2) baby (18) BAP (11) beach (8) big pictures (88) Bigyi (15) birds (8) birthday (5) blackwork (3) butterfly (11) cards (28) Carol Thornton (2) castle (3) cat (8) Celtic (13) chandelier (1) Chart of the Month (3) chessboard (1) Christmas (40) Claire Coxon (1) Clare Buswell (1) Clarice Cliff (1) classic cars (2) coast (3) coasters (3) commission stitch (7) cottage (7) cover kit (2) craft show (1) crochet (5) Cross Stitch Card Shop (5) cross stitch clock (3) Cross Stitch Collection (37) Cross Stitch Crazy (16) Cross Stitch Gold (32) Cross Stitcher (20) cuckoo clock (1) cupcakes (4) cushion (17) Da Vinci (8) daffodils (1) Debra Page (2) decorations (21) Despicable Me (1) Diane Machin (1) diet (3) Dimensions (1) DMC (3) doll`s house (4) Dream a Little Dream (4) Durene Jones (10) Easter (2) eggs (1) elephant (2) Elizabeth Almond (2) Emma Congdon (5) Etsy shop (14) Faby Reilly (1) Fathers` Day (3) feathers (1) Felicity Hall (5) Fiona Baker (6) Fizzy Moon (2) flower (35) free gift (12) freebie (12) fridge magnets (1) fruit (10) George (2) gift tags (6) giveaway (3) glasses case (3) Globe (2) Gloria (3) granny square (2) Gregory (20) HAED (2) Halloween (1) harbour (2) hare (1) Heaven and Earth Designs (1) hedgehog (1) heilan coo (1) Helz Cuppleditch (1) hippo (4) honeysuckle (1) hydrangea (1) India (3) Jane Prutton (2) Jenny Barton (4) Joanne Aston (1) Jody Rice (1) Kate Knight (3) Kellie (3) keyring (5) Kindle cover (3) kingfisher (1) kit (9) knitted socks (2) knitting (53) knotwork (11) koalas (1) La Scapigliata (8) lambs (1) Lesley Teare (4) Lion King (7) Little Dove Designs (1) Lucie Heaton (4) mandala (2) Margaret Sherry (1) Maria Diaz (35) Marilyn Barkhouse (1) Mark Rylance (1) Michael Powell (1) minion (1) model stitching (115) Moon Hare (1) Mothers` Day (10) Mr Bean (3) needle holder (1) new home cards (1) New Year (1) Olivia (3) ornaments (15) own design (25) Papi (1) pastel (27) penguins (1) perfume bottle (1) Permin (1) photo album (2) pigs (3) pincushion (2) plastic canvas (5) poppies (3) Poppy Benner (1) Porterfield (2) professions (5) pub sign (2) rabbit (3) Rapunzel (1) Rebecca Spencer (1) recipe books (6) retro (2) Rhona Norrie (1) Richard de Wolfe (1) Riverdrift House (5) roses (3) Rudolph (2) sampler (12) savanna (1) Save The Stitches (2) school (1) Scotland (4) Scottish (2) sea (1) sepia (10) sewing (28) Shakespeare (3) Shannon Wasilieff (2) sheep (1) shoes (1) Singer sewing machine (1) snowglobes (2) spring (6) Starry Night (1) still life (7) Stitcher`s Challenge (4) stocking (2) stork scissors (2) stuffed toy (23) summer (1) sunflowers (14) Susan Bates (3) Suzanne Gyseman (1) sweet pea (1) Tangled (1) tapestry (3) taxi (1) tea set (2) teachers (1) teddy (22) thank you cards (3) The World of Cross Stitching (16) thistle (1) tiger (1) Tiny Modernist (2) Tooth Fairy (3) Toy Story (1) transport (3) Twelfth Night (3) Twilleys of Stamford (5) typewriter (1) unicorn (1) Van Gogh (4) wedding (1) windows (2) winner (3) WOCS (17) wreath (1) yellow cab (1) Zweigart (2)

Monday, 12 December 2011

I`m back!

Naturally, I`m aware that I owe some kind of explanation, if not apology, for this long disappearance and I`ve got one: I`ve just been through the second of my twice-a-year bouts of reading-frenzy. So I spent the past 4-5 weeks methodically working my way through some 15-16 books and I only stopped when I reached the end of one particular bookshelf. Probably you have deducted by now that I don`t really do anything by half - DVD box sets, for example, must have been invented with me in mind; I simply can`t watch 40 minutes of something and then wait a week for the continuation of the story: I`d much rather sit in front of the telly for 48 hours non-stop and watch a year`s worth of episodes of a series.
Anyway, now that I`m back (to a massive relief of Husband and Son), I find I resurfaced just in time to sort out some Christmas prezzies. Naturally, kids came first:
I made a dozen Rudolph heads about two months ago, thinking that there are only 10 kids in Gregory`s class but then the actual number turned out to be 14.
After a wee bit of panicking, I started to make some snowmen, and when I got sick of that design, I made some Christmas puddings (since by this time Hubby, having seen the ones I`d finished, also ordered some for "himself").
All in all, by the end of last week I had enough to make these gift tags...
... which I attached to the (shop-bought, again this year, I`m ashamed to say...) festive lollies:

I also made an ornament which was supposed to be a scented sachet at the same time but I`m afraid even I, the person who put the blasted cinnamon sticks in it, cannot smell a thing so I had to resign to calling it just a simple ornament.

Unfortunately, I can`t share the pictures of one of my latest achievements with you just yet since it`s somebody`s Christmas prezzie, so for the now all I can say is that it was one of those moments when you see a pattern and you instantly know that it`d be perfect for somebody so I hope this person will like it too. On the other hand, while on the subject of prezzies, a couple of weeks ago I got some kits from Janet, a very lovely lady from our local stitching club, who always reminds me of my great-granny. She bought down these 3, probably American kits, saying that she`s not into cross stitch and she`d thought I might like them. And I did, of course. So much so that I started on the first one straight away and I finished it yesterday - which pleased me a lot since tomorrow night I can take it to the club and present Janet with it; I thought it`d be a nice way of repaying her for her kindness... I just hope she`ll like it and it won`t be a case of "Oh, great! Just when I finally got rid of them...!"

Last but not least I finally finished some of my pencil case projects so now all I have to do is add them to my Etsy shop - something I`m beginnig to dread because let me tell you, the past hour was a nightmare with this new Blogger layout: I can`t see the photos I`m attaching, only 4-line techno-blahblah, and I can only check things in the Preview but there, of course, you can`t change a blooming thing... AAAAARGGGGH!
I think this much technology was enough for one day... if you don`t hear from me for yet another 4 or 5 weeks, it`s because I`m still trying to recover from this! Oh, in which case:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

my starters for Etsy - and a pig...

I have spent the past week or so working on the lovely pieces of red and green 11HPI aida fabric that my Mum had bought for me. After a few trials and errors, like these:

I managed to find a snowflake pattern that only uses white thread (which looks much better than gold on this material) and is just the right size so that by the time I sew up an ornament, it`s neither too small nor too big for a tree decoration.

And if you`re curious what`s been happening elsewhere, in that parallel universe where holidays like Halloween or Christmas don`t count...? Well, I stitched a little pig!

Monday, 24 October 2011

autumn break

It`s been such a long time I last wrote here, I almost forgot how to do this (not that I was such an expert before...)! The reason for my silence is that my Mum was here for Gregory`s school break and we were busy doing all kinds of stuff - nothing spectacular, mostly just spending time together, enjoying one another`s company, although I have to tell you this: as of from 2 days ago, we too belong to that exclusive group of people that can claim to have seen the inside of the St Monans Windmill!!! Those of you who are reading this abroad, i.e. not in Scotland, I wouldn`t recommend to hike all the way here just for this tourist attraction, but those of you who are in the area: come and have a look, it`s well worth it for the view and the wee history lesson (if you always wanted to find out about 18th-19th century salt production, this is the place for you!).
I thought that with all the extra programs, I`d hardly have time to do anything crafty - how wrong could I be? Not only did I finish a batch of my Christmas decorations...

Because of their shape, Hubby calls these my "rugby decorations". I made them using the smallest pieces of the scrap materials I`d bought a few weeks ago; I glued the fabric to some card, then cut out some oval shapes, perforated them along the edges, and finally, I sewed them together, 3 at a time, with embroidery floss. Unfortunately, although I took about 400 pictures, I still can`t show you the 3rd side of my rugby ball...

... I also made a prototype of a foam decoration I always wanted to try:

I`m still not sure about this... There`s quite a lot of work involved, and at the end of the day, you`ve got a foamy Xmas tree to show for it. But then again, just like my "rugby balls", this too is a non-breakable ornament, which is already a plus in our house (of course, you don`t know my son but if you have a bauble-chasing cat at home, you know what I`m talking about).

There was some cross stitching done over the past two weeks as well, naturally, but I can`t show these to you just yet because my Mum took them back with her to Hungary as presents and I don`t want to spoil anybody`s surprise. However, talking about surprises! After all these years it turned out that my Mum can embroider! To me it was such a shock as it`d be for you to find out, say, that your goldfish can play Chopin. (If your goldfish can play Chopin, try to think of a similarly shocking example instead). Anyway, as I recently found out, she`s learnt the basics as a little girl, she just always hated all kinds of fiddly jobs, hence she never took embroidery/knitting/crochet/cross stitch/etc. on as a hobby (which, by the way, makes her the odd-one-out in our family, where her gran, her mum (my gran), her sister, her niece, and now her daughter as well all do some kind of needlework). But I`m immensely proud to say that now she has joined the club too - of course, what wouldn`t she do for her grandson?

My Mum made this pumpkin Trick-or-Treat bag for Gregory, using satin stitch for the eyes/nose/mouth and blanket stitch to sew up the sides

She decorated the back of the bag with some chain-stitched lines, then finally added the patch I`d stitched (my only contribution, a cross-stitched letter "G" with complementary spider and cobwebs).
I know it`d probably never win first prize in a trick-or-treat-bag competition but Gregory loves it, especially the fact that nobody else in the world has a bag like this. Yesterday I saw the plastic equivalent in ASDA for 15 pence; sure, it would`ve been a lot faster and cheaper to buy one of those, but where`s the fun in that? Or the value? Why would you keep it after Halloween when you know that next year you can get something like this again for 15p? On the other hand, this lopsided wee bag with all its endearing mistakes will be an heirloom forever in our family - not only is it handmade but it was made by someone who`d rather climb Mount Everest than to pick up a sewing needle, yet she still stitched it for her grandson... Aren`t grannies amazing? If I can teach my son just this one thing, to appreciate that, I think I`ll have achieved something...

Monday, 10 October 2011

wee detour into knitting and bear-madness...

I know this blog is supposed to be about my cross stitch but with the wintry weather fast approaching, my son started to panic that his teddies are not so well-equipped for the coldest months. So last night I had to dig out my knitting needles and some wool to make a hat and scarf for Daddy Bigyi, Gregory`s 2nd favourite bear. Considering I haven`t knitted anything for about 2 years now, I have to say I surprised myself!

And just to prove that the weird madness that urges one to knit for a teddy bear runs deep in my family, here`s the ensemble my Gran made for Bigyi this summer:

The main thing is that now both Bigyis are kitted out for the winter, so I can get back to my stitching; at the moment I`m working on some Rudolph heads (there`s something so cheerful about his red nose, I just love it!) but, again, I have several orders from Gregory for some Halloween stuff, so as usual, I`m busy, busy, BUSY - and all this in the school break!!!
By the way, just a quick note regarding these two bears: Gregory got the "smaller" one when he was about 4 months old, and the other one, "Daddy Bigyi" about a year later, as a replacement toy in case the "real" Bigyi ever got lost. The reason why poor Bigyi is only half the size of the other one is that she (or he, it`s still undecided) has been washed considerably more often than Daddy Bigyi who, as a consequence, retained his original chubbiness, whereas Bigyi is no more now than an empty-bellied sack. But all this is of no consequence, she`s a bona fide member of our family, Gregory wouldn`t go anywhere without her (hence the warm winter clothes too). Also, we have a shortcut on our Desktop to , dedicated to all the photos that IKEA`s Blund Bear enthusiasts around the world posted - Gregory would easily sit in front of the computer for an hour, looking at these pictures, laughing his head off every time "another Bigyi" appears on the beach or on top of a skycraper (bless!). And if I`m honest, it`s kind of a relief to me as well that there are other idiots out there just like me...!
Here`s a wee selection of our pics (again, nothing to do with cross stitch but they`re such fun!!!):

Bigyi as Secret Santa

Enjoying a bit of football...

...but equally captivated by a good book.

The local bobby, working hard...

... so that he can spend the weekend with some well-earned relaxation, only working on his tan.

And, of course, we have other bears as well, and sometimes they need to be washed too!


Friday, 7 October 2011

Gregory`s Christmas gifts

No, it`s not about what the Wee Man will get from Santa - as far as that`s concerned, even though I`m pretty sure he wouldn`t read my blog (Gregory, not Santa!), I still wouldn`t leave such tell-tale traces since we still "believe" in these traditional things... By the way, the wobbly tooth fell out yesterday morning and it`s been lying on Gregory`s table for the past two days; I had to promise not to go near it, lest I`d feel tempted to pass it on to the Tooth Fairy. As far as Santa`s concerned, Gregory almost considers him as a family member: they`re in a more or less daily correspondence since whenever he sees a toy he likes in a shop or in the telly, he draws a picture of it on his Santa-list (a system I can only encourage!). He`s been writing this mile-long list since last Christmas, I`ve had to collect an album`s worth of letters so far, which I`m to post nearer the time, thus securing all the toys we simply cannot live without ("But really, Mummy, honest...!").
At the same time, he`s aware that Christmas is a time when we, people give presents to one another, showing our love and appreciation - actually, being a non-religious family, this is, in fact, what we celebrate at Yuletide: the joy of being with our loved ones and the happiness we can give them with our little presents is more or less an added bonus. In this spirit, every year I try to make a little something for Gregory`s wee classmates too, so he can spread the joy and excitement we all feel around this time of the year.
When he first started nursery, I was really on top of my game: not only did I stitch personalised Christmas tags for each and every child in his group...

...but also decided to surprise them with some home-made Scottish tablet, which I spent ages wrapping individually in all the colourful cellophane I`d saved from a 1kg box of Quality Street (which I`d all had to eat beforehand, self-sacrificing as I am...).

Last year, however, when Gregory was in Primary 1, I was a wee bit lazier, I have to admit: this time I didn`t make my own sweetie but used candy canes I`d bought in a shop instead.

However, let me just say in my defence that last year, in Gregory`s old school there were 24 kids in his class so that meant quite a lot of stitching... and quite a lot of card-signing for the Wee Man who`d learnt to write just weeks earlier! I`m just that wee bit relieved (for both of us!) that this year he only has 10 classmates...

Thursday, 6 October 2011


I`ve been on a diet for about 6 weeks now - nothing drastic, you know, I don`t aim to be a Size Zero (couldn`t be even if I wanted to, anyway), I just got fed up with being too big for all my clothes, and I thought it`d be nice if when I went somewhere, my boobs would actually get there before my tummy. I don`t know how much weight I`ve lost (since we haven`t managed to replace the battery in our bathroom scales since 2008) but the diet must be working because I can squeeze myself in my old jeans again, even though it`s not a comfortable fit just yet.
Anyway, the whole malarkey reminded me of an old project idea that I abandoned in favour of the Christmas decorations: I have some plastic canvas left and strips of magnet too, so I`m going to make some "thinspirational" fridge magnets - although, to be quite honest, I never really understood the logic behind putting motivational reminders on your food-hiding places; in my opinion, if you want to lose weight, just don`t go near your fridge, or even better, try to forget that you own one. Anyway, apparently a lot of women find these "deterrants" helpful and luckily, I found loads of motifs in Issue 77 of Cross Stitch Crazy (from October 2005, the same issue that has Wordsworth, the cat in it which I stitched for my Gran`s recipe book). There`s a bit of everything here, from the "traditional" fridge-with-chain-and-padlock design to fitness guru claiming that "no pain, no gain", but my favourites are the funny ones, like "Dieting`s no piece of cake!", with a slice of cake crossed out under the caption, or another one with a lady standing on the scales, saying "I`m in shape: ROUND is a shape!" So next time I have a minute (ha!), I`m going to start these. In the meantime, don`t worry, I`m not leaving you without a picture: here`s one of a card I made a wee while ago - back when the caption embodied my whole attitude towards diet... but that was before I stopped smoking and ballooned up twice my original size. I`m telling you, I can`t wait to see this double-chin go!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Here`s today`s crop: two snowglobes that I intended to finish for the festival but never got round to do it. Still, better late than never, right? And anyway, I`m well in time for Christmas, aren`t I?

designs by Durene Jones, WOCS 182

I wish it was a bit warmer, though... I`m not sure this howling wind whistling around the conservatory is the ideal soundtrack for working on snowy, Christmassy scenes... I think my next project will be something to do with sunflowers - I adore sunflowers, just looking at them always fills me with warmth and happy memories of summers past... And in the meantime, I`ll head for the kitchen to get myself a hug-in-a-mug!

`Sunflowers`, WOCS 141

Monday, 3 October 2011

Celtic chessboard - finished!

There isn`t much to add to the title - especially, since I very unprofessionally forgot to document exactly when I started to stitch this, so I have no idea how long it took: I`d say roughly 3 weeks but I really don`t know... According to the magazine, it`s a 100-hour project, so let`s go by their calculations.

Cross Stitcher Issue 152 (October 2004)

The main thing is that it`s done, framed and dusted, and - not because I made it but simply thanks to the design - it`s STUNNING! For the first (well, umpteenth...) time in my life I sooooo wish I knew how to play chess!!!

"baby feet" photo album

This story started almost a year ago. That`s when I found this cute motif in Issue 209 of Cross Stitcher and, naturally, I had to stitch it straight away (NB: although I didn`t know why I was stitching it at the time, I instinctively chose the blue design of the three, despite the fact that I liked the pink and sepia versions too. Must be a "son`s mother" thing...).

Cross Stitcher Issue 209

I think I had a vague idea at the time that I would turn it into a card; however, by the time I finished I`d realised that it`d be too big for a card and I didn`t want to "waste it", you know what I mean. So anyway, I figured it`d look much better on the front cover of a photo album - I envisaged a nice, white album, about 30x30 cm, with these baby feet in the middle. And that`s when my search started...
Unfortunately, I couldn`t find what I had in mind anywhere - until one fine day last week, that is, when I walked into this charity shop in Cupar where this album was smiling at me:

There was a white ribbon on the spine as well which I took off before taking this photo.

I couldn`t describe my happiness: although it wasn`t white, at least I finally found a photo album that had this boyish theme going on with the baby-blue gingham cover. And while I had no idea who "junior j" was, I felt pretty confident that my patch would cover the name, leaving only the "baby album" part visible.
So chuffed as I could be, I bought the album - only to discover the next day that I must have put it on some of the (maybe damp?) fabrics I also acquired the same day, for my lovely album that I spent months looking for had dozens of strawberry spots on its back, like a poor victim of some mysterious album-pox:

I was devastated! However, after a few minutes of wondering, "why these things always happen to me", I realised the futility of this excercise, and promptly asked hubby to take me to St Andrews where - and I`m not surprised if you see a pattern emerging here - in one of the charity shops I found a lovely pale blue baby blanket. I brought it home, cut it up and turned it into a book-cover which I sewed on the album, so now it looks like this:

Instead of the white shoelace-imitation, I put a piece of baby-blue ribbon in the holes and it`s done. A nice, padded photo album for a wee baby boy. I`m quite pleased with the result - what do you think?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

mystery solved

Just a quick update so as to relieve your tension (?): as it turns out, Kellie Castle is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - something as a local resident for some 4 or 5 years I should have known... but obviously didn`t. Anyway, after a long debate with myself this morning re: whether I should go back to bed after the school run for another wee hour (I don`t know what`s wrong with me these days, I can hardly open my eyes in the morning, must be this long-awaited summer that finally arrived at Scotland just before Halloween), so anyhoo, I eventually made a compromise with myself: instead of going back to bed, I decided on a cup of nice, strong tea - just to discover that we ran out of milk. So I thought, if I have to go out anyway, I might as well get petrol, drop the coasters at Kellie and visit my friend Elmarie in Colinsburgh, so that`s what I did. And guess what awaited me on the doorstep when I got back: my latest issue of Cross Stitch Crazy! Hurray! Even more patterns for Christmas decorations! And the extra gift this month is a wee booklet of 8 more "snowglobe" designs that could be very nicely matched with the other 8 I already have - actually, I made these at the beginning of this year and gave them to my friend Orsi in Budapest when I went home to visit in April. She was so happy with them that basically she`s been waiting for Christmas since springtime just so that she can finally hang them on her tree. Bless her, she doesn`t even have to wait much longer - would you believe it`s only 3 measly months away?! Thank goodness, may I add, for Gregory`s been writing his Santa list since 26 December 2010 and I don`t think poor Santa has much more capacity...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I`m a very happy bunny today - I have finished the remaining 8 coasters! Don`t get me wrong, it`s not that I didn`t like the design (it is mine, after all) but as I pointed it out last night at the Club - which, as I have since found out, DOES have a name: Stitches (a thousand apologies, Karen!) - so anyway, as I was saying last night, to me the most alluring aspect of cross stitching is the zillion different designs I see in my stitchy books and magazines, and if I`m honest, I don`t really like doing the same pattern twice. And then I find myself working on the same design for 3 days, producing coasters like a conveyor belt... Long story short, I`m glad they`re finally finished.

In fact, I was so glad that headache or no headache, I wrapped them in cellophane...

... and jumped straight in my car to go to the castle before it`s time to pick Gregory up from school. Of course, I`d have been even MORE glad if I have actually FOUND someone there!  I just got home after a nice wee drive in the country and I still don`t know what`s going on because my friend, Lynda, who works in their tearoom, is not answering her mobile... I`m thinking, she`s either in a staff meeting and that`s why the doors were closed too - or something worthy of the attention of Agents Mulder and Scully has happened. I`ll try to find out later, plus I also need to know whether I`d find somebody there tomorrow - I don`t want these coasters to sit on my shelf for too long, after all: that`s not why I`ve been rushing to finish them for the past 3 days, neglecting my chessboard and all...
I have to go in a minute to pick up the Wee Man but first I`d like to share with you some very important information:
1. the new Listerine Zero is, indeed, more friendly to my mouth than the original one: it doesn`t seem to scrape the lining off my tongue and my eyes don`t want to pop out every time I rinse my mouth, so it`s a very pleasant experience.
2. I have also learnt this week that if you boil an egg for roughly 40 minutes (due to important stitching), it tends to explode and cover every available surface in your kitchen - a very unpleasant experience!

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Finally, something positive! I took the wee castle-coaster to Kellie yesterday and they liked it! Super! Of course, this doesn`t mean an instant order of 400 pieces but for me the main thing is that they didn`t turn me down without even looking at it - on the contrary, they were very supportive (as they are towards all kinds of local produce, be it cheese, honey, soap or embroidery) and I am to take some more coasters back next week to see if they`d sell in the Gift Shop. I kind of have to hurry since the Castle`s only open for about another month, then they`ll be closed until 1 April 2012.
Well, I started to write this yesterday but since then a whole weekend has happened, with rainstorm and sunshine, shed building and painting in the garden, fishing on the beach, cooking, cleaning... and stitching, of course. On Saturday I woke up at 4.30 (yeah, I know...) because I had a brainwave re: my mother-in-law`s birthday present. A couple of weeks ago I`ve very sneakily found out that she`d lost her shopping trolley coin (you know, the one you keep on your keyring so that when the chap in desperate need of a cart approaches you in the ASDA carpark, brandishing a £1 coin in his hand, you blushingly have to refuse him, saying that you`ve got one of these "thingies" in your trolley... By the way, what`s with the new system that now you have to "pay" for the smaller trolley? I can`t believe that fewer people used to bring these back, so I`d rather say it`s a quite blatant attempt to get you spend more in their shop since the bigger trolley you can still get for free), anyway, so Nana lost her shopping trolley coin. And would you believe it, I had one in my stash, and a girly one at that, with a wee silver butterfly on it. So I made this for her keyring:

I don`t know why I always lavish her with all this pink girly stuff - probably as the mother of my one and only son, whenever I see a really feminine design in one of my magazines, I subconsciously store it for an occasion for Nana. Anyway, so this is what she got for her 76th, along with some lilac (again, why?) bath salts and a card - cross stitched, of course. I made this wee cushion-thing for her keyring so that she would instantly find the coin in her bag when she got to the shop but she decided to rather put it in Purse #2 (I think she`s got three, I`m not sure, but there seems to be one for notes, one for coins, one for her bus pass and God knows what else...) and then we went to Lidl where she promptly wanted to try out her new coin - which doesn`t work! I don`t know why, it must be the wrong size or something but the main thing is: it`s useless! As you can imagine, first I was extremely upset because this is not how I imagined this... but then I tried to console myself with the thought that (again, thanks to cross stitch) at least she`s got a present that will last, long after she soaked in her lovely-smelling bath and chucked this useless butterfly-coin in the bin.
Oh, I almost forgot: I got so excited the other day when I saw that someone other than my closest family and friends is following this blog! So welcome, creativethinker, I`m glad you`ve found something among my ramblings that piqued your interest. And that also reminds me that the other day I never wrote any more extensively about my new friend, Linda, a very lovely lady who moved here roughly at the same time as us but we`d never met until last weekend when we sat next to each other for two days at the Arts Festival. As an experienced aromatherapist, she makes her own bath products, soaps and other smellies from essential oils - but these are just one third of her "stock" because for some strange combinatory reason she also sells pet food and Christmas stockings. I think she must know something so I decided to seriously consider branching out myself in the future. There are so many things I could do... just tonight, for example, I saw some designs for cross stitched bracelets... and why not? So jewellery making, here I come!
Oh, what an imbecile I am, I almost forgot to mention the biggest story of the weekend! On Friday I raided the charity shops in Cupar and found some lovely pieces of scrap fabric which I can turn into anything, from Christmas decorations to cushions to book binders... really, the list is endless! And now the best bit: in another charity shop I found 30 new (well, new to me...) cross stitch magazines! I`m happy as Larry (who`s this Larry, by the way?) and every spare minute I had this weekend, I spent flicking through my new stash - an amazing wealth of designs I`ve acquired, I can tell you! Just to name one, I have wee Christmas stocking designs, about 2" in height, and MATCHING PAIRS, i.e. mirror images so I can make little Xmas decorations that will look great from both sides, as opposed to "nice front, felt back" which, by the way, also has its merits but these`ll be extra-special.
OK, I can feel I`m getting a bit carried away, approaching a territory that only the really hardcore cross-stitcher among you would understand so I`d better go - but before I do, there`s just one more thing I`d like to share with you... Gregory`s got a wardrobe! Yippie! Finally we got round to buying him one so we don`t have to keep his clothes on these poles you see in department stores (I know, we`re terrible parents but may I just add: in our old house we had built-in wardrobes). Oh, and he`s also got a wobbly tooth which he simply can`t leave alone, which is fine until he starts shoving it back and forth with his finger while I suddenly feel light-headed. Plus he`s already preparing for battle because after the Tooth Fairy has already taken 4 of his teeth, he says that when this one comes out, he`ll definitely keep it - and the Tooth Fairy can keep her money, thank you very much. I think this fight will be a tough one but if and when the tooth falls out, I`ll faithfully report, I promise. And before you`d say, "Too much blah-blah, not enough pictures", here`s one of the Tooth Fairy "container" I made for Gregory:

Again, I apologise for the quality of the photo (I`m still not familiar with hubby`s camera but the good news is that yesterday I found one on Ebay that`s identical to my old one that was unfortunately "sat upon" so hopefully, within a few days I`ll be able to take better pictures again). So it`s a wee leather bag that was on an old keyring nobody ever used and I attached it to this square cardboard that fits in the frame I also had in my stash. And the poem reads, "In this pocket you will find/a teensy, tiny tooth of mine./So while I sleep,/where dreams are made,/let`s see if we/can make a trade." I wonder what we`ll find in the wee bag next time...

Friday, 23 September 2011


I know I haven`t written anything for ages - truth is, I feel a bit deflated these days. Not only because the creative frenzy of the past 3-4 weeks is over (and what a result I had at the festival! Details in a minute...) but also because I had a nasty surprise yesterday. You know, the backstabbing type, where somebody says something to you one day and three days later does the very opposite - I don`t have the time (I`m about to go to Kellie Castle AT LAST with my wee coaster!) or the inclination to go into details, suffice it to say that I feel slightly betrayed and I HATE this feeling! Plus the weather`s dismal - my friend Nessie (who, for some reason, started to sign her messages as Nessi so maybe I should follow her example as well), so Nessi from Australia is telling me that due to the coming spring, she spends more and more time in her garden... whereas I spend more and more of my time putting the heating on and preparing more Christmas decorations. Brrrr!
Well, actually, this last bit is not strictly true: I have so many great ideas for Christmas decorations and I can`t wait to get started but I can`t, unfortunately, for being disciplined as I am, I don`t want to start a new project until I finish what I already started. And here is the one in question:

 As you can see, the Celtic knotwork is already done, and silly me, I thought that "filling in the blanks" with black will be the easy part! Well, it is in a way because at least I don`t have to follow a pattern but IT TAKES ABSOLUTELY AGES! I thought I`d be finished by now... oh, and when the frame is done, I still have to finish the black squares which at the moment look like an intricate trellis as opposed to the visibly divided black squares of a chessboard. So, all in all, there`s still a lot more to do and all the while I`m eager to start on my wee Christmas stockings!
Anyway, gotta go now, my new friend Linda is almost here - darn, I completely forgot to write about her, the Festival, the whole weekend, everything! Nevermind, I`ll make up for it next time...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

update - Lion king finished!!!

Yay!!! I`ve done it! The saga which started exactly 3 weeks and 17620 stitches ago, has finally ended this morning when I stitched the last whisker on my lion! Here he is:

It`s beautiful, isn`t it? And I had the perfect frame for it, too:

So that`s that, now I can concentrate on the Celtic chessboard I also started a few days ago - I won`t attach a picture here just yet, let it be a surprise. On the other hand, I`ve got some pics of the other wee stuff I`ve been making during the past week, in between lion stitching sessions:

5 Sets of Matching Greeting Card + Bookmark + Gift Tag

My Valentine-themed toiletry bags still need some finishing touches but the Christmas decorations are ready to go - I`m especially pleased with the 3 snow "globes" (=stars), I think they turned out rather cute. And now, back to work because I really, REALLY want to finish this chessboard before the Festival. Wish me luck!