Penguin Parade!

You all know by now that my friend Lin gave me her cross stitch stash a while ago. Well, these two little fellas were in that glorious bag of cross stitch goodies.

IMG_20160329_182349524They are made from kits by Permin of Copenhagen and the frames were included. Aren’t they cute? They didn’t take very long to stitch up, probably because I changed the pattern. I know what you are thinking. When will I ever just follow a pattern? Probably never, would be my answer. Their white tummies should be made from a loopy stitch but I didn’t like the effect when I tried it so I changed to cross stitch instead. The pictures have been gifted to my daughter. She loves penguins.

I hope you are finding time to craft this week 🙂

No words, just letters. H is for…

ABC Bears by Design Works



Next To Go Stage 1

Good morning everyone,

I’ve started my new SAL project and this time I’m stitching a design called Next To Go from the James Herriot Collection.

Kit As you can see, the picture is of a sheepdog handler and his two border collies who are waiting to take part in a sheepdog trial. They are “Next To Go”.

I’ve started in the centre on the trousers and it’s going very well so far.

Stage 1 This kit was given to me by my friend Lin who doesn’t think she will do any more cross stitch. You may recall that she also gave me her stash of cross stitch threads a while ago. I couldn’t wait to start this design because it’s a complete contrast to my last cross stitch project. The photo doesn’t do justice to the richness of the thread colours.

Do pop over to see what everyone else is up to today. You may need to allow for time differences as we live all over the world. Can you believe that Claire is doing a different project to me this time?

Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze

Our next update will be on 12th June. See you then!

No words, just letters. F is for…

ABC Bears by Design Works.



Kokeshi Friends Stage 7

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Little Miss Lilac on the Left. She is the penultimate doll in this design called Kokeshi Friends by Joan Elliott. Miss Lilac stitched up really quickly as she is quite petite compared to some of the other dolls. I would have had her finished a lot quicker if I hadn’t attached the wrong shade of pale peach floss to the thread holder. There I was merrily stitching away, radio on, sitting by the radiator. You can imagine the cosy scene. Then I realised Miss Lilac was rather tanned compared to the others! So much for focussing better this time. The right hand side of the project has now rolled around the frame so you’ll have to be patient and wait to see the full design when it is finished.Stage 7There’s only one doll left to stitch plus a few details, so the finish line is in sight. You will notice I’ve been very good by continuing to finish the backstitch as far as possible. I’ll consult with my cross-stitching guru Claire about the number of stages we have left. I suspect there’ll only be two (or will we make a run for the finish line, I wonder). Claire is sewing the same design as me and the other ladies in the SAL are all doing different projects.

Please click on the links below to visit everyone else’s blogs and see what they are all up to. Regular readers will notice a new stitcher in the group. Sue, who writes at From The Magpie’s Nest is joining the fun 🙂 Welcome aboard Sue! I’m really looking forward to seeing what you have chosen to stitch.

Claire, Gun, Carole, Jule, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Cathy, JessSue

If you are sitting reading this and thinking that you’d like to finish some of your ancient, or even recent, works in progress, why not join us? You can do so by sending me an email. The address is at the right hand side of this page.

Our next update will be on 10th April. See you then!

Kokeshi Friends Stage 6

Hi everyone,

Another three weeks have flown by and it’s time for an update on the SAL I’m taking part in. This time, the newbie is Miss Green on the left. I’ve also done as much back stitch as possible on the two dolls to the far left. I usually prefer to leave all the back stitch until last but I’m pleased I decided to do it as I go this time. It isn’t much fun backstitching in black thread around black crosses. I didn’t actually enjoy this stage as I was finding it hard to concentrate on the kimono. I miscounted and unpicked several times which is no fun on even weave fabric. Anyway, I can hopefully put the errors behind me. I must focus better from now on!

Stage 6There are only two dolls left to stitch, so probably a total of three more updates. The design is called Kokeshi Friends by Joan Elliott. Claire is sewing the same design as me and the other ladies are all doing different projects. Please click on the links below to visit their blogs and see what they are all up to.

Claire, Gun, Carole, Jule, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Cathy, Jess, Jacqui

Our next update will be on 20th March. See you then!

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?


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 🙂


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.


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.


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?

Kokeshi Friends Stage 3

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate it). It’s time to share an update of my Kokeshi Friends cross stitch designed by Joan Elliott. Claire is also stitching this design and the other ladies in the group are working on their own exciting projects, all equally gorgeous. I’m really enjoying stitching this one, even though it is on evenweave fabric.

Here’s where I’m up to now. The back stitch can wait.

Stage 3

Click on the other names below to see how everyone else is doing. Most of us are posting updates some time today but we all live in different time zones so you’ll need to allow for that.

Claire, Gun, Carole, Jule, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Cathy, Jess, Jacqui.

Our next update will be on the 17th January 2016. See you then 🙂

Framed at last!

Hi everyone,

At last I’ve put these cross stitch projects into the frames. I’m always happy to frame my own pieces and usually buy custom sized frames but this time the quote came in way over my budget. I decided on some cheap and cheerful frames, not a perfect fit, but they’ll get my needlework out of the drawer and onto the walls in time for Santa’s visit.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll recognise all the projects. First up is the most recently finished one, Quilt V by Whispered by the Wind, though you will remember that I changed the blocks so much that it barely resembles the original. I chose a white frame and border, and because it’s an off-the-peg size, it isn’t perfect but it’ll do until I save up.

This is the finished piece.


Here it is in the frame. Claire and I both stitched this one as part of a SAL group.

The next one is Cirque des Coeurs by Ink Circles. I think I only wrote one post about this one. It was completed while I was away on holiday in 2014. You can see lots of close up detail and watch it grow here. Claire gave me the idea for the thread choice and I love it! CIMG3397

I decided on a crisp white border and frame again. This time, it’s a perfect fit.


Finally, another Ink Circles one. It’s called Cirque des Cercles. I made it in the suggested thread on black evenweave.

Stage 12

I had originally chosen a black frame and border for this one but they sent me a white border by mistake. I was in two minds about sending it back but I think they must have known what I had in mind to frame. All black would have been too much I think. I’m very happy with the white and I’m pleased I thought about it and tried the piece in the frame before asking for a colour swap. I stitched this one as part of the SAL with Claire as well.

IMG_20151219_144404856I hope you get plenty of time to craft over the Christmas period whether you celebrate or not. I’ll be back next Sunday with an update on Kokeshi Friends 🙂

Avis x

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