Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

Now that 2014 is behind us I thought it would be a good time to celebrate another year of crafting. It’s been a busy year for me and I have had several periods of sheer exhaustion this year. However, when I looked back over the crafty projects that I’d finished in 2014 I was quite surprised I’d managed to complete so many. Some are bigger and more challenging than others but they were all equally enjoyable to do. Some were done in tandem with my special blogging friend Claire who has motivated me to continue making and doing throughout the year.

2014 Marked the “hatching” of the Chicken Run on my other blog and the beginning of a larger SAL group. Many more personal goals have also been achieved. It’s been a bumper, busy year in so many respects for me but the crafting has kept me going. Sewing has forced me take a break, however small, from life’s challenges that can catch us off guard.

Thanks to all of you who have liked, commented, emailed and read my posts last year. It’s been so wonderful to have you on board!

Here are some photos of completed projects from 2014. If you want to read the original posts click here and then click on the photo of the project you want to read about.

Sewing beside the sea 2014 Collage

Here’s to an amazingly crafty New Year for all of us!

Avis x


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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…..


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


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

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.


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.


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.


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


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