I’ve been framed!

Hi everyone,

Well actually I haven’t been framed but my embroidery has. These finishes have been waiting in the wings for a while but I finally got around to ordering the frames and getting them on the wall this week.

First up, the Narrow Boat from Bothy Threads.

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I chose the same oak frame as I have for all of my finished pieces but this time I decided on a blue mount. If you want to see more photos of this work in progress, just search for “narrow boat” on this blog. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it Smile.

Next up is Pentecost 2 which was a free chart available on the Practical Blackwork web site. Look in my blackwork category if you want to watch this one grow. It is incredibly generous of Liadain to share her work. I stitched along with my friend Claire on this project. You can find her lovely blog by clicking here.

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It’s nice to finally have them both on the wall.

I hope you will also have time to finish a project this weekend Smile.

Avis x

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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

 

Getting ready for 2014!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been busy updating the “2013 Finishes” page above and I couldn’t believe how many projects I managed to complete this year, especially as it has been so busy here Beside the Sea. I’ve enjoyed making every single project as well as reading all of the lovely comments and emails from like minded people along the way. Your blogs have been very inspirational too, so I have many ideas stored up for future projects in 2014.

I hope you like the following gallery of my efforts this year. Some of the projects are from my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting. If you’d like to visit any of the posts relating to the pictures in the gallery, just go to the “2013 Finishes” page on either blog and then click on the photo.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have lots of exciting projects lined up for 2014 🙂 I seem to have lost my chocolates! Hmmmm…

Avis x

Happy dancing!

Hi everyone,

Yippee, it’s finally off the frame! This is the largest, most complex, and by far the most fun piece of blackwork I have stitched to date (my sixth). Full credit goes to Liadain at Practical Blackwork for charting the design named Pentecost 2. Clicking the link will take you to Liadain’s blog where she explains the inspiration behind the design. It is so generous of her to share the chart with us. Thank you Liadain!

I stitched with one strand of Anchor shade 1029 on 16 count aida. The finished piece is 18.25 inches square and it is actually perfectly square. The camera lens has slightly distorted the shape.

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I stitched along with Claire and you can see her version on her blog by clicking here. Claire created interest by introducing a second colour and the more I look at it, the more I keep finding secondary patterns. Hop over and see for yourself Smile

It was good to have a stitching partner in crime. Claire certainly kept me ticking along at a reasonable pace. You may remember that we both tackled the penultimate border (working from the centre outwards) in a slightly different way as we decided to change the chart in a few places. One advantage in doing so is that we each have a unique version. As far as we know, even Liadain hasn’t stitched this chart yet. So there may only be two versions of Pentecost 2 in the entire universe, unless you know otherwise Smile If you have stitched this design yourself, I would love to put a photo up here. Just email it to the address at the right of the page.

The next photos show the intricate details.

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What next? Well, Claire and I have been swapping ideas about the kind of things we like to stitch since well before we started Pentecost 2. She mentioned the Ink Circles designs and I showed them to my other half. He logged the name of the company in the “Prezzie Ideas” section of his brain. He’s very good at that! Guess what Santa brought me….

Correct! I now have the Cirque des Cercles chart which Claire has had in her rainy day stash for ages. Isn’t it wonderful when someone remembers what you’d wished for months ago…..he knows how to keep me occupied Smile

So our next project will be Cirque des Cercles which can be purchased via the Ink Circles web site. You are very welcome to stitch along with us if you wish. We are currently in the process of choosing fabrics and threads. I wonder whether I can be tempted away from my beloved purple this time…. Will I be stitching on black or white 16 count aida? I’d love to stitch on black and I’m going to try to sort out some lighting with a practice piece on royal blue aida this morning. If that works out well, I’m going to go for the black. Wish me luck!

There is a gallery of previously completed Cirque des Cercles here if you’d like to take a look. Any suggestions as to what thread I should choose would be gratefully received. Also, if you’ve already stitched this design, I’d love to hear from you.

That’s it for now,

Avis x

Happy holidays!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all having a happy holiday whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

It’s been a very busy time here Beside the Sea. I can announce that the blackwork project Pentecost 2 is finally finished BUT I can’t share a photo of the completed stitching just yet because Claire is also on the final straight and we agreed to publish our happy dance together. I’m sure you won’t have to wait too long to see it.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some links to the lovely crafters who sent me nice Christmas goodies in the post this year.

First up is Angela from Pretty Little Things in a Box who sent me a gorgeous handmade pincushion in traditional Christmas colours with a cute metallic snowflake. I love Angela’s blog. There is such a variety of projects to sew and reading Angela’s posts always gives me lots of inspiration and smiles.

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Thank you so much Angela! I really appreciate your kind thoughts all the way from Singapore. I’m going to add a little ribbon hanger to one corner and use it as a Christmas tree decoration every year Smile 

Next, this card arrived from my dear friend Teje in Crete. Teje’s blog was one of the first I followed when I started my other blog almost two years ago.

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I love this card! It will soon be in a frame on my wall. If you hop over to Teje’s blog you will see that she has also had a very busy Christmas making all of the lovely things for her Advent Calendar. Teje brings lots of sunshine into her reader’s lives and if you like dogs and cats you will be amazed to hear that her dog Nero can write! Thank you for all of your support and kind wishes over the last two years Teje Smile

Last but not least, thank you to Claire, my great friend who lives in France. She sent me a package which had to be left unopened until Santa Claus had visited Winking smile 

Look at these beautiful handmade tree decorations…..

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…..and a hand embroidered blackwork coaster in my favourite colour.

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There is no way I could put a cup of tea on this! It is now hanging on the wall in my sewing room so I can see it as I sew at the machine. Also, thank you so much for keeping me occupied over the last few months with the blackwork Stitch Alongs and especially on our Pentecost 2 project Smile

Claire is another one of those generous crafters who loves to share her ideas and some of her own lovely cross stitch designs are free to download on her blog Claire93. If you would prefer to read her French blog you can find it here.

I am now so far behind in reading your blogs and I haven’t posted on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting for ages! My aim over the next few evenings is to catch up on what you have all been doing.

See you soon and best wishes for 2014!

Avis x

An Update on the blackwork!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and that you have had much more time to craft than me recently.

It his been a bit busy here Beside the Sea but I have been chivvied along by Claire to finish our next agreed stage of the Pentecost 2 blackwork. Mine is still on the frame so nobody, including me, has seen the full project yet.

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Pop over to Claire’s blog to see her version of this beautiful design. She hasn’t stitched on a frame so you can even get a sneaky peek of the whole design so far. You can find the free chart at Practical Blackwork. How generous is that? We independently made changes to the latest stage because there were some errors in the chart. I’m not surprised at all about this because it is so detailed. This means we have unique versions as we both decided to stitch this border in different ways. It appears we are probably the only two people on the planet who are mad enough to tackle a project of this size. We believe the person who charted the design, based on an altar cloth, hasn’t stitched it herself yet LOL. I know she will enjoy it very much when she does.

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There isn’t a mark on the cloth above, just an interesting addition from the sun Smile

So that’s it from me for now. I’ll be back as soon as I can!

Avis x

Still growing!

Happy Sunday everyone,

I’d like to show you some progress on Pentecost 2, a blackwork design charted by Liadain at Practical blackwork. Clicking the link will take you to Liadain’s blog where she explains the inspiration behind the design. It is so generous of her to share the chart with us.

As you know, I’m stitching along with Claire. We are up to the same part of the stitching and you can see her gorgeous progress here. I’m really pleased to be stitching along with someone who keeps up a reasonable pace, even though I’m the one who is always playing catch-up, sorry Claire!

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As you can see, it is no longer possible to show you the full extent of my progress due to having the fabric attached to my scrolling frame. I won’t be removing it until all the stitching is complete. So we’ll all have to wait for the big reveal, including me.

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The next corner border is very stitch intensive and the daylight here at this time of year is very poor for fine work. I’m absolutely loving stitching this design. I hope you like it too Smile

I wish you all a wonderful crafty week ahead,

Avis x

Blackwork update!

Hello everyone,

Just popping in to share my progress on the blackwork that I’m stitching along with Claire. Click here to visit her blog and see her gorgeous version of the same design. Judging by the overall area that we have stitched so far, I reckon we have just about one third finished. However, the next borders look very stitch intensive so we’ll still be sewing for quite some time yet. Will we finish before 2014, I wonder? The free chart for this design is available here. The web site http://www.practicalblackwork.com is well worth a visit for inspiration.

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This is the last time I will be able to show you the design in full. From now on, the embroidery will be wound further around my frame. You’ll have to wait until the end when I take it off the frame and so will I Smile. However, I’ll continue to post regular progress updates. It’s such a joy to stitch.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Avis x

I’m really enjoying this!

Hi everyone! Happy sunny weekend from Beside the Sea.

I’ve had a lovely time stitching more of Pentecost 2 from http://www.practicalblackwork.com. You will remember that I am sewing along with Claire over at Claire93. We agreed to finish the swirls before posting an update so here is my stitching so far. I’m just beginning to stitch the bottom right corner so there’s a tiny clue as to what is coming next. If you want to see the complete design click here and scroll down.

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Claire has chosen to add an extra dash of colour and it looks really lovely. You can see her version here. We have found a few errors in the chart so the emails have been flying back and forth across the sea to enable us to decide how we are going to stitch certain parts of the design. It’s lovely to have a stitching buddy to help keep me on course and motivated to finish this large project Smile.

Just in case you haven’t already seen it, I also have another quilting finish to share with you from my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.

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Later today, I’ll be finishing a cardigan which my Mum has started to knit. She doesn’t enjoy stitching up or knitting the neck and button bands so she has passed it on to me…..not that I like doing those bits either Winking smile.

Time to give a “Shout out” for my daughter who has decided to restart her photography blog. It’s all far too technical for me but I’ve included a button on the right if you’d like to see what she is up to with her new toys.

Have fun with your crafty projects this week!

Avis x

 

A lovely surprise and two odd socks!

Hi everyone!

I just have to share my lovely surprise with you all this morning. I had an email from my friend Claire over at Claire93 to say she’d sent me something in the post and was worried it may have gone missing. WELL….it hasn’t! My little parcel was sitting on the doorstep, having just arrived YEY!!! Apparently, as Lewis Carroll penned, it is my un-birthday today 🙂

Here’s what I have 🙂

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A long quarter of gorgeous quality quilting fabric, ideal for stripping 🙂 I already have ideas as to what it might become. Here’s a close up.

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A card from Paris showing a picture of an amazing glass structure. I have to to see that one day! If you have followed my quilting blog Oh Sew Tempting you will know that I’m mad about maths. I love maths and anything remotely mathematical so the glass pyramid, which I now know is outside the Louvre, really appeals to me 🙂 Here is a clearer picture courtesy of http://www.betanews.com.

There’s also a fab blackwork bookmark which is made from Claire’s test piece for the Pentecost blackwork from http://www.practicalblackwork.com that we are sewing together. This is now in my work diary, which for some reason has no ribbon page keeper like they usually do. Scroll down if you want to see the design we are stitching.

So thank you so much Claire! Isn’t it lovely when you get a complete surprise? I think so. I’m feeling very smiley today 😀

I can also share a half finish today. I have completed one knitted sock of a pair 🙂

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If you have read my previous posts you will know that this is the first time I have knitted anything on four needles. I went boldly on, remembering my Mother knitting on four needles when I was small. It couldn’t be that difficult could it?? Well, should I just say, it was fiddly, VERY fiddly! However, it wouldn’t have been quite so fiddly if I’d had the brains to take a look on Youtube to see it it SHOULD be done. I realised, after I got past the heel and onto the foot part of the sock that I had been knitting on four needles INSIDE OUT!!! Honestly, what a numpty. I realised completely by accident after having turned the knitting right side out to have a look at what I’d done so far. I forgot to turn it back inside out again and continued to knit. For some reason, which took me a while to figure out, I could all of a sudden knit much faster. So, in future, I might not be such a clever clogs and have a look to see how things should be done first.  My adventure into knitting on four needles worked well in the end. I can feel a few more pairs of socks coming on but maybe I should finish this pair first 😉

And just as I type, an email has popped in from Witchylin, one of my regular readers, with a photo of her newly finished sock. At least we have a pair between us LOL.

She has kindly given me permission to share her photo with you.

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I immediately got back to her and asked what brand of wool she’d used as I love the speckly bits. It turns out we are using the same Opal brand wool which can be found at The Woolly Brew in Scotland. My daughter bought my wool from this company as a present and Witchylin has just been back to them this morning to order more. She’s got the knitting bug too! So we are two happy customers and I think the lovely ladies at The Woolly Brew deserve a “Shout out”. If you like yarn, go and take a browse. They have something for everyone 🙂

Now, I’m off to make lunch. I can’t wait for the weekend when there is going to be some serious crafting going on here Beside the Sea 🙂

Avis x