We did it! Join us next time….

Hi everyone,

Guess what day it is today…….it’s Happy Dance day!

At last we have a Happy Dance, me and Claire that is Smile. We’ve now finished Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles. When we decided this was to be our next SAL project, there was a little doubt in my mind about whether we would ever finish it. However, it looks much more complicated than it really is and it turned out to be the perfect SAL project.


Stage 12

Me and Claire will be revealing our new SAL project next Sunday (28th) and we’ll also be keeping to our three weekly postings from now, along with Gun in Sweden, Jule in Germany and Kate in Australia who are all stitching along on their own lovely projects. Don’t forget to pop along to their blogs to see their progress so far. Just click on their names above. We are all posting some time today Smile.

If anyone else would like to join the SAL, maybe to finish a WIP or to start something new, just drop me an email and then all you need to do is post an update every three weeks on the same day as us, linking to the rest of the group and show some progress. It can be as little or as much progress as you wish but it must be some progress Winking smile. If you don’t have a blog but would love to join in, I’ll happily post a photo of your progress with my updates if you wish. My email address is at the right hand side of this page. You all know you have a project that doesn’t deserve to be left unfinished at the bottom of a drawer. It doesn’t even have to be cross stitch so you have absolutely no excuses. This is the way to get something finished. Go for it!

Now I’m off to choose threads for the next SAL and hopefully there’ll be lots of emails from all of you wanting to join in Smile.

Have a lovely day!

Avis x


Someone has a birthday!

Hi everyone,

It’s my daughter’s birthday today so I just had to stitch a card for her. She loves to play the ukulele so that’s what I decided to stitch.


I had to be a bit sneaky, going up to her room and taking photos of her ukulele while she was out at work, and then yesterday, stitching it while she was at home. I honestly don’t know how she didn’t find me sewing this. Every time I heard her footsteps I was pretending to be stitching something else until she went away again Smile.

I did find some inspiration from various images on the internet for a pattern but I couldn’t use them because I wanted a good likeness to my daughter’s ukulele. Thankfully, I had just the right thread colours in my stash. Some of the tuning pegs were facing different directions, I needed the correct number of frets, had to copy how the neck was attached and I also added some metallic threads for where the strings are wound around the pegs at the top. I lightly padded behind the stitching panel with some polyester wadding.

This is how it turned out.


She really likes it so I’m very happy about that Smile. It’s always nice to give something handmade. If you want a free copy of my chart, just send me an email. The address is on the right of this page. You could then make your own little changes here and there to make it like your own ukulele.

I’ve also been making a zipper pouch. There is a link to the tutorial and more photos on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.


I hope you are all finding more time to craft than I am at the moment. I’m still far too busy for my liking.

Sewing Beside the Sea | All things made with my needle and thread

Update: Sandie from Tigermum’s Creative Corner has sent me photos of her fantastic card which she made from my chart. Isn’t it fantastic? She used DMC 4128 thread to acheive the wood grain effect.


Here are her husband’s ukuleles. You can see why Sandie needed the correct thread now.

24 (1)

Avis x

Cirque des Coeurs

Hello and Happy Sunday to all of you lovely stitchers out there!

It’s a glorious sunny day here today. The holiday is almost over and it’s time to show you what I was sewing while I was away. I didn’t intend to stitch this project initially. I had planned to sew something completely different but that didn’t work out.  Cirque des Coeurs from Ink Circles was, however, already on my “must buy” list to follow on from the other Ink circles design called Cirque des Cercles that I’ve been doing as part of a SAL with Claire.

I’m going to show you the entire completion of the project in one post and hopefully you won’t get bored. It’s a good design to split up into manageable chunks.


The thread I used is called Morning Meadows by Threadworx which I bought from Sew and So. It was recommended by Claire and comes in large skeins. This one has shades of mauve, purple and green. It’s lovely to work with too.


It isn’t easy to find Ink Circles charts in the UK but my OH found The Crafty Kitten web site at Christmas when he bought me the Cirque des Cercles chart. I have to say that Dawn from The Crafty Kitten saved me from having no project to do on holiday because she pulled out all the stops to get the chart to me in time for me going away. I rang her on a Saturday afternoon, not expecting anyone to answer the phone and I received the chart the following Monday, the day which we’d planned to travel. Amazing service! Thank you to Dawn for going the extra mile Smile. For me to be without my needle and thread on holiday is unthinkable. I’m so pleased she could help. What a relief it was for my OH to find the parcel at the door before we left. Lucky for him, he wasn’t going to end up being dragged around every craft shop I could find, while on holiday, in my search for something to keep me quiet occupied.


I love all of the curves and secondary shapes on this design. This close up shows the lovely thread colours.


This next stage reminds me of part of the profile of an old sewing machine. Even when I’m on holiday, I dream about my mean green sewing machine Smile. Can you see the little duck and a snail?


Another close up…


Now, the bottom right hand section is filled in. Time to scroll the frame and finish the top.


I started with the outline of the hearts. You could almost forget that the design is full of hearts until you look more closely.


Here it is, finished Smile. I really enjoyed stitching this design. Now, I just need to put it in a frame and get it up on the wall.


I was going to save revealing this project for a while but WordPress have just informed me that Sewing Beside the Sea is one year old today. That was a surprise to me as I thought this blog was much older than that. I must be mixing it up with my other blog Oh Sew Tempting. Maybe it is something to do with me getting old too!

I hope you are enjoying crafting today Smile.

Avis x

Lighting up the night sky

Good afternoon everyone,

It’s being raining here for the last few days, not exactly what we’d expect here at the end of May. So what better way to spend an afternoon than to stitch a card for a friend who hasn’t been feeling 100% lately.


My friend loves lighthouses. She’s interested in their history and visits them whenever she can. I wonder how many she has climbed so far. I actually live very close to a lighthouse and the view you get from the top of it is truly amazing! As long as they don’t test the fog horn while you are up there, it can be very pleasant Winking smile.

Anyway, I knew I had a cross stitch chart for a lighthouse somewhere in my stash. This one is by Michael Powell. You can find more of his designs here if you are interested.

Thanks to the Royal Mail, my friend received her card this morning even though I only posted it yesterday. She wasted no time putting it in a gorgeous frame Smile. I couldn’t have chosen better myself.


Get well soon, dear friend!

Avis x

The first finish of 2014!

Hi everyone,

My daughter really does know what I like. She brought me this wool all the way from Stowe, Vermont, USA. As you can see in the photo, the yarn is from an alpaca. Her name is Nessun Dorma and she lives at Sugarbush Alpacas in Stowe. Isn’t it wonderful how we can trace the origin of such wonderful natural products these days, even down to the individual animal that it came from?


I knitted a neck warmer using this free pattern on Ravelry and added some vintage leather look buttons from my stash. This has to be the warmest and softest wool I have ever used. It’s gorgeous! Just what I need to keep out the chilly winter 🙂


My crocheted ripple blanket is progressing nicely and I’ve almost got one motif completed in the Cirque des Cercles cross stitch SAL that I’m doing with Claire and Izz. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for a photo update on those.

Last but not least, don’t forget to take part in the Chicken Run over at my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting. You have to agree to do something fun to be eligible to enter so hop across and see what it’s all about before it’s too late!

Thank you for all your lovely comments. Have a wonderful weekend Smile

Avis x

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