Stage 4

Hello everyone,

It’s been a busy time for me recently but after my poor show in the last update I really put my head down this time. The design is called Getting Ready from a kit by Design Works. This is where I was up to last time.

Stage 3b 

Santa did bring me several crafty goodies for Christmas but I stuck to my task and completed another 1/12.

4a

There was very little backstitch detailing to do on this square. See if you can spot it. I’ve now completed 1/3 of this project.

4b

It’s hard to believe we’re now at the end of 2017. Where did this year go?

Please use the links below to see how we’re all progressing on our chosen SAL project. We live all over the world so please allow for time differences. Posting takes place every third Sunday local time.

Our next updates will be posted on the 21st January 2018.

Happy New Year!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, Timothy,

Heidi, Connie, Jackie

About the SAL

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by leaving a request in the comments below or sending me an email. The address is on the right of this page. I’ll send you a few simple rules to agree.

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Getting Ready – Stage 3b

Hello everyone,

Another three weeks have flown by and I’m afraid I’ve got very little progress to show you this time. I was full of good intentions but life got in the way. The design is from an artwork by Ronald West called Getting Ready and it’s a Design Works kit.

This is where I was up to last time. You’ll see that I just needed to finish the backstitch on the right hand section.

Stage 3

This is where I’m up to now. Only the backstitch completed this time but it does make a difference.

Stage 3b So now, 1/4 of the design is all finished. I’m hoping to get more done for our next update on New Years Eve but you never know because Christmas is coming and all that goes with it. If Santa doesn’t bring me any new toys I’ll maybe do a lot more stitching 🙂

Me and Claire are stitching the same kit but we’re doing different areas each time. Everyone else in the group is making something different. Please take a look at how they are progressing with their own chosen SAL project.  I promise you won’t be disappointed. We live all over the world so you may need to allow for time differences but we post local time, every third Sunday.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, Timothy,

Heidi, Connie, Jackie

Our next updates will be posted on the 31st December 2017. See you on New Year’s Eve!

About the SAL

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by leaving a request in the comments below or sending me an email. The address is on the right of this page. I’ll send you a few simple rules to agree.

Getting Ready – Stage 2

Hello everyone,

It’s time to show you an update on my SAL project today. The design is called Getting Ready by Ronald West and it’s a Design Works kit.

This is where I was up to last time. I’d completed 1/12.

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This time I started stitching to the left of the last section.

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I managed to finish another 1/12.

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Here it is with the backstitch completed.

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So that’s as far to the left as this one goes. One sixth complete. Next I need to work to the right and that will be the full width of the design done.

Me and Claire are stitching the same kit but we’re stitching different areas each time. Everyone else in the group is doing something different. Please take a look at how they are progressing with their own chosen SAL project.  I promise you won’t be disappointed. We live all over the world so you may need to allow for time differences but we post local time, every third Sunday.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, Timothy,

Heidi, Connie, Jackie

Our next updates will be posted on the  19th November 2017. See you then!

About the SAL

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by leaving a request in the comments below or sending me an email. The address is on the right of this page. I’ll send you a few simple rules to agree.

New England House – Winter etc.

Hello everyone,

Just a quickie to show you what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. It’s the fourth New England House by Bothy Threads. Their kits are a dream to stitch. I found working with the three different shades of white quite challenging but it was worth it.

First page done…1Second page…2Third…3Fourth…4… and finally, the backstitching and beads.5

I’m really pleased with how Winter has turned out. The photos don’t do it justice because the snow has a bit of icy sparkle and there’s beads in the door wreath and on the garlands.

I’ve really enjoyed stitching this set. Here are the others in case you missed them earlier.

This one is SpringSpringHe comes SummerSummer 5This is FallFall

They are all being gifted to my sister. She loved the first one so much that I simply had to complete the set. I was supposed to be stitching them, one for each year but I couldn’t help myself.

What next I wonder? Will I return to the ABC Bears or something completely different? Maybe I should get on with the SAL project first or something new from the stash. I love to start new projects. So much choice!

I Spy Something Beginning with S

Hmmm….something beginning with S? Can you find it?

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Sorry about the photo taken in poor electric light. Well, can you see him? You can now 🙂 Here he is sitting right at the top of my Christmas tree. It’s Santa and he flew all the way on his sleigh from Germany to be with us.

IMG_20151229_133019202Santa was made by Annett, my blogging friend. She’s very clever and  kind. Annett’s lovely blog can be found here. She has clearly explained how she made twin Santas with great photos too. As you can see, Santa is feeling very at home here. He watches us watching TV and eating too much LOL. Thank you for the lovely surprise Annett. We’ll put him away in the Christmas decorations box when the holidays are over, ready for all of our future Christmasses 🙂

Santa’s little elves were also busy buying and making me crafty presents too. This bundle of gorgeousness arrived from my friend Claire who lives in France. Claire knows that I love hedgehogs, including the real one who lives in my garden. He doesn’t come out in the winter because he has a long sleep so this cross stitch will be a good substitute for him around here 🙂

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Claire also sent some lovely extra handmade tree decorations. I’ve got lots of Claire’s mini makes on my tree 🙂 There’s a new bookmark which is going to be used in the book below and also one of Claire’s latest triumphs, an elongated purse. She has made lots of coin purses for gifts this year but I don’t use a purse so she made me a deeper version. I’m going to store all of my spare bobbins inside. The fabrics both inside and out are gorgeous. There was also another bookmark for my OH which he won’t give up for the photo because he’s using it! We both say “Thank you!”.

My dear friend Lin sent me this loom. It’s a rather ingenious contraption. I’ll let you see what it makes when I’ve used it 🙂 In the meantime you can play at guessing what it does. Lin was very concerned that her gift was bashed to bits inside the parcel because it had arrived at her address in a sorry state. However, the contents were perfect so she needn’t have worried. I’m looking forward to trying it out very soon. The good thing was that my OH intercepted the post when the parcel arrived. He won’t allow me to even touch parcels addressed to me if he suspects they are gifts. I only want to have a squish so I can think about what MIGHT be inside LOL. Anyway, he squirrelled this one away so I couldn’t get my hands on it. Thank you Lin. I know I’ll have a lot of fun with this 🙂

IMG_20151229_133254955My daughter chose to buy something from my wish list. It was still a surprise because my wish list is always a work in progress. She knows how to keep me quiet 😉 Much appreciated.

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I’m already enjoying making the Loyal Union Sampler from another book that my sister bought me. You can follow my progress here, on my other blog (which is soon to be updated). The Farmer’s Wife sampler will follow LUS. Let me know what you think if you’ve already made this quilt.

Last but not least, my OH gave me another cross stitch chart by Ink Circles. I love this series. It should keep me out of trouble for a while. I have two cross stitch projects on the go at the moment which already breaks my own rule of only ever having one project of each craft discipline in progress at any one time. Cirque des Triangles is in a queue but not necessarily at the back.

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So, that’s my crafty Christmas and a jolly nice one it was too 🙂 Thank you everyone!

What’s your favourite crafty gift this year?

What did your mother used to tell you when you were younger?

My friend Izz over at Isabel’s Needleworks has just given me an idea…..

I mentioned to Izz that it’s been blowing a gale here in the north east of England for the last few days. She told me that her Mother used to tell her to put rocks in her pockets so she wouldn’t blow away in the wind LOL. Well, my Mother used to tell me not to pull a silly face in the wind because it would stay that way after the wind had gone. I was so afraid to pull silly faces in my early chidhood!

So, here is your challenge….

Leave a comment below to tell us all what your Mother or other female elder used to say to you, not necessarily about wind. Let’s all have a good old giggle at their Old Wives’ Tales. Please tell us the country that these sayings were used in so we can see how far around the world the same things were said.

Fun, fun, fun…..who’s going to be first?

Avis x

Chocolate Meringue Cakes

Do you like chocolate, meringue or cake? Look no further! YUM 🙂

Sun and Cake

An interview with the Great British Bake Off team that a friend posted on Facebook gave me a kick into the kitchen today. As Terri is writing an essay at my house I thought it would be nice to provide a sweet treat as well. I have often used recipes from Sue Lawrence’s Book of Baking and have found them to be absolutely fantastic. I adapted this recipe today and had an attempt at individual cakes rather than the standard sandwich cake. I made the mixtures for the Chocolate Lemon Meringue cake as usual, but added six Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments roughly chopped into chips. I also ran 15g short of cocoa and left out a little milk to compensate. I didn’t make the mixtures one after the other, but made the cake mix up to the point of adding the flour, then made the meringue and quickly finished off the cake.

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Partly Solved Mysteries

Posted on both blogs Oh Sew Tempting and Sewing Beside the Sea.

Hi everyone,

Last week I posted about two mystery objects that I’d found when going through my late Aunt Edith’s crafting goodies. I asked for your suggestions for their uses and promised to reveal the answers to you this week. The original post is here if you want to see more photos.

I already knew what this object was used for.

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It’s a tool for making proggy mats. Proggy, or clippy mats, as we call them in the North East of England were made from wool or strips of fabric, reclaimed from worn out clothes. My maternal Grandmother, who died before I was born, was apparently an expert clippy mat maker. I wish I could have met her because I’m told she was an amazing craftswoman who could turn her hands to many different crafts.

Here is a link to some modern proggy mats on Pinterest.

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When the tool is pushed against the rug backing, the “proggy bit”, which is loaded with wool or fabric strip, pushes through. When the tool is pulled away from the rug, the internal spring makes the “proggy bit” retract back inside the metal tube.

This is the original box.

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And the instructions.

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So now you know what it is for Smile.

Now, the second mystery object is still a mystery in my opinion.

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Several readers thought it might be a hinge. There were also other ideas. I think they mean the type of hinge that stops a drop down lid from dropping too far. For example on a writing bureau or upwards on the lid of a chest. I’m not convinced it is a hinge as it doesn’t straighten so I’m still open to suggestions on that one. I just don’t understand why this would have been stored with Aunt Edith’s crafty things if it is a hinge.

So, sorry I don’t have an answer to Mystery number 2 but I hope you enjoy looking at the proggy mats anyway Smile.

Avis x

Please help me solve this mystery!

Hello again,

I have something different for you this time, two little mysteries to solve. I know the answer to the first one already but the second one has me baffled. You are welcome to give suggestions to both and I’ll reveal the answer to at least  number one next week. OK here we go…

Mystery Number One

Do you know what this is used for?

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Here is a view of the end.

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It’s been well used in my family but not by me and it’s for a certain kind of craft. The handle is made of rubber and it is quite heavy for its size. No more clues!

Mystery number two

I have no idea what this is and I don’t even know whether it is for some kind of crafting purpose but it was in a bag of crafting goodies left by my late Aunt Edith.

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It opens up to the end stopper this way.

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It can also be turned in the opposite direction to the end stopper like this.

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It is flat and made entirely of metal and has no sharp edges. It is about 4 inches long when folded.

Is it for crafting? I have no idea. I won’t reply to your comments until I reveal the answer to number 1 as I don’t want to give the game away. I would really love to find out what number 2 is for.

Happy Solving,

Avis x

I’ve been thoroughly spoiled!

Hello again!

Just popping back in again to show you some crafty birthday goodies from my birthday last week.

My lovely sister bought some things from my crafty “wish list” which will come in very handy indeed. I’ve been drooling over these for years!!

Some Bali Pops in the Brown Sugar colourway. There’s lots of lovely teals and bronzes in this pack. I have so many ideas as to what I want to make with these, it’s making my head hurt.

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She also bought sock wool, two balls of this one by Regia. It’s got lots of mossy greens and yellows and is incredibly soft and fine. Yummy!

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I’ve already got the other ball on the needles 😉 I’m knitting this free pattern from Ravelry which I tried and enjoyed last year. You can see my first pair here if you are interested.

Also, Claire from Claire93 sent me a parcel full of individually wrapped prezzies. Isn’t this the cutest biscornu you ever did see? It’s TINY! A lot of work has gone into this!

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She also made a card….perfect 🙂 I love blackwork and the threads and design are beautiful.

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Next up, some crafty supplies to add to my stash. Claire also included a leaflet with some cross stitch charts that are a perfect size for these keyrings.

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At some point I mentioned to her that I don’t have zips. I do now 🙂

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Purple fabric….I love these marbly prints.

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Last but not least, a thread organiser.

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These are made by a French lady who has a lovely blog here.

My OH has also provided the yarn for my next crocheted blanket. He knows I love colour and he also knows what I hope to do with it…..and he approves! You’ll have to wait and see what I come up with 😀

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So, a HUGE thank you each to my sister, my friend Claire and my OH who puts up with all of my crafting mess around the house…. or is he just keeping me busy….. or quiet…… or both 😆

I don’t think I’ll need to be going to the crafty shops for a while!

Aren’t birthdays fun? I’ve been thoroughly spoiled!

Happy crafting everyone 🙂

Avis x