Santa Christmas Decoration

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a lovely time if you celebrate Christmas. I finished stitching this Santa decoration just in time to add it to my Daughter’s Christmas presents but didn’t have time to share it here. This Santa is one of a set of six in a pack by Design Works. I’ll definitely be making the others when I get time. It’s nice to stitch on plastic canvas sometimes isn’t it? I struggled to decide on the colour of felt backing and ribbon but a couple of crafting friends offered advice and I went with their choices in the end.

IMG_20161215_143612286

Best wishes to all for the New Year. Hasn’t 2017 come around quickly?

Happy New Year!

That’s another year over and I hardly noticed. I’ve got a few finished projects for the yearly round up but not as many as in previous years, and I definitely haven’t posted here as often as I would have liked throughout 2015. I’ve even had to cheat! The cross stitched A, B and C below are all from a larger project which isn’t yet completed. Sometimes, life gets in the way of crafting.

Anyway, here’s a little collection from 2015. If you want to see the posts relating to the individual finished items, click the photos in the link here.

Finishes 2015

There is also a patchwork and quilting round up on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.

Thank you to everyone who supported my blog last year, whether you have been reading anonymously in the background or actively liking, commenting and emailing. I hope to be a lot more crafty throughout 2016.

Happy New Year 🙂

I Spy Something Beginning with S

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

IMG_20151212_190604868

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 🙂

IMG_20151229_133242044_HDR

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.

IMG_20151229_133336543_HDR

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.

IMG_20151229_133118572

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?

A Cardinal for Christmas

Hello everyone,

I’ve got a finish to show you that I’ve been working on for a while.

IMG_20151019_121023508My lovely friend Claire sent me this kit all the way from France. She’s so kind 🙂 I’ve had it for a while and I just fancied making something small for a change so it was the perfect choice. It’s actually quite stitch intensive but I found it so easy to pick up for just a few minutes here and there.

This is a fabulous quality kit. I highly recommend it (I’m not being sponsored for writing this) and when I see others in this series, I’m going to buy them. It comes with 14 count plastic canvas that has holes small enough to grip the thread. I was wary of trying plastic canvas, but for this type of project, I’m converted. Thank you again Claire 🙂 

IMG_20151019_121113030I was always intending to back it with felt and hang it in the tree with red satin ribbon. However, there are instructions in the pack for making a cord from some of the leftover thread if you prefer. Claire mentioned using fabric glue to attach the backing. I had intended to sew it on but Claire knows best when it comes to finishing. I opened a bottle of fabric glue that I’ve had for years. It sometimes amazes what I find in my craft drawer that I’ve never used. I always knew it would come in very handy one day 😉

What crafty item do you have that you have never used and how long have you it?

Time to fly!

Avis x

Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap Stage 2

Good morning everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the next stage in the Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap started on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.

The winner of the first stage, Carla, over at Granny Maud’s Girl, has made three chickens. Her winner gets to choose which one they would like to win. Here is her little brood taking the sun in Australia. If you would like to win a chicken there are a few simple rules to follow. Pop over and enter today!

ChickenRun1

Aren’t they cute? Granny Maud’s Girl has even provided a nice tutorial if you would like to make a chicken using the foundation paper piecing method.

Enjoy! Avis x

A new beginning….Motif #1

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all having a lovely day!

After finishing my ripple blanket last week, I decided to try some new patterns with the left over yarn. I haven’t done many different crochet stitches before, so the book I received as a Christmas gift is going to be put to good use. I spent a good couple of hours reading the introduction pages, something which I don’t usually do, and I found it full of good advice and instructions with photos. You can see the book in my previous post here.

Anyway, I have already finished a couple of motifs and this is my attempt at #1. There are 144 different motifs to try and I plan to make them all to improve my pattern reading and crochet skills. I have no plans regarding what to do with them all when I finish, and I imagine that will by quite a while from now as I don’t have very many yarn scraps really, especially lovely bright colours like those on my blanket.

Hopefully, you’ll like what you see. Look out for #2 coming soon!

CIMG3136

Last week I made another chicken which you can see on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea. I’ve also included a photo of my latest easy to make Christmas decoration. Yep, I’m well aware it is only February Winking smile Take a look at it and if you’d like me to put together a tutorial, just let me know. It’s never too early to start preparing for Christmas (so my friends say).

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my dear friend Teje who has just published a wonderful pattern for a crocheted scarf on Craftsy. The pattern is full of clear photographs to show you every step of the way, as well as having written instructions, and I can’t wait to make it myself! You can find out how to get the pattern from Teje’s post by clicking here. Here is a sneaky peek. You’ll have to go to Teje’s blog for lots more colourful photos and to find out who is modelling the scarf. I wonder…. Enjoy!

IMG_6000

Happy crafting!

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 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.

CIMG3057

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.

CIMG3056

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…..

CIMG3059

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

CIMG3058

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

Only 37 crafting days to Christmas….

I’ve been concentrating on making Christmas decorations again this week. I hope you are all ready to get into the festive spirit if you celebrate Christmas. If not, maybe you can think of more ways to use this cross-stitch idea from my friend Claire. They could be lovely little door hangers or lavender pouches with the words of your choice. Claire has charted her cross stitch designs for lots of different Christmas decorations in both English and French. You can download them free here. Please leave a comment on her blog if you decide to download them.

CIMG3036

The stars you can see in the background are featured on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting. I’ve given some instructions for making them too. They don’t take very long to make and it’s a great way of using up fabric scraps….and…. they don’t have to be Christmas stars. Why not experiment using different fabrics Smile

Have fun,

Avis x

Christmas is coming…Ho-ho-ho!

Hi everyone,

Yes, Christmas has started early this year Beside the Sea. In the past, I have been known to be still knee deep in preparations on Christmas Eve. In fact, one year I had to rush to get the tree up before midnight! I got it all decorated rather tastefully, in my opinion, then I stood back to admire….and the whole thing, lights and all, came crashing at my feet and some of the baubles bounced off my my forehead. Everyone else thought it was hilaaaaarious 😆 I was not amused Sad smile at the time.

However this year, something (or someone) has given me a gentle push in the right direction. If I want handmade goodies for the tree, I need to get started now.

CIMG2998

There are lots of FREE charts available for these little lovelies over at Claire’s blog. She has being working away like one of Santa’s Elves to share her lovely designs in English and French. You can choose from “silent night”, “jingle bells” and soooo many more. Why not make a full set? If you do decide to download a chart, please make sure you leave a comment to say a quick “Thank you”. I’m sure she would appreciate that.

All of the materials for the one above came from scraps left over from other projects. I even put a little padding behind the stitching to give it a bit of body. I’ll definitely be making more of these.

If you haven’t already popped in to my other blog Oh Sew Tempting, you might wish to take a look at some Christmas star decorations I made earlier this week. Here is a little taster.

CIMG2996

Have fun!

Avis x