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Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Two Week Cross Stitch Progress

I have finished two coasters since I last posted:

Think Spring

This is the top part of the Lizzie*Kate chart "Think Spring". I stitched it on a pearl fleck Aida which looks very pretty. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in the scan. The second coaster is a daffodil from the "Little Ones" range:


I am now stitching a lamb which completes the four spring theme coasters.

My main stitching project this week is HAED - "Tomboy":


This is what it looked like when I picked it up on Sunday. At the bottom of this page I will get to some ivy which is growing over the wall. I can't wait, although it is doubtful if I will get to it this week.

Last week I stitched on the "Pinn" kit "Japanese Beauty (Reading). This is where I got to when I packed it away:

Japanese Beauty

Next week I am adding to my rotation. I am sticking to every other week on "Tomboy" but the other weeks I am going to do a random rotation on four projects: L&L Celtic Autumn (my own colour conversion); Jill Oxton's Giraffe; Lizzie*Kate Winter Boxer as well as Japanese Beauty (Reading). These are the four main projects from my 101 Tasks in 1001 Days list.

A Favourite Quote:
"A mistake is simply another way of doing things."
Katharine Graham

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Over-dyed SBQ

My answer to the SBQ:
Do you or have you stitched with over-dyed threads? (Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Six Strand Sweets, etc.) If so, what is your opinion concerning them? If not, why not?

I have tried them but didn't think they were worth the extra cost. Also they don't suit my method of stitching. I use one strand folded in half and use the loop start. I find this much quicker and neater. Also I have been told that you are better not to wash the stitching once completed and I prefer to be able to wash items.

If I found a project that really would benefit from them I would try again.

I do like looking at them though - some of the colour variations are very pretty.

OK, as I am typing this I am gradually convincing myself that I should give them another try.
A Favourite Quote:
"Never test the depth of the water with both feet."

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Birthday Flip-it Completed

I have completed #69 off my 101 Tasks in 1001 Days list. The 'birthday' flip-it is now ready to be made into a quilt with all the other Lizzie*Kate monthly and holiday Flip-it's:

Birthday Flip-it

I was anxious when I started stitching it, but think it has turned out well. I adapted the 'Birthday Blessings' chart.

I also made good progress with the Pinn Japanese Lady at the weekend:

Japanese Lady

It will be good when she gets a head!

A Favourite Quote:
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."
Oscar Wilde

Thursday, 27 April 2006

101 Progress

Although I have only finished two things to cross off my 101 list I am working towards a few of the goals:

#4 I am going through a couple of magazines every evening before bed and removing charts that I like. I was managing up to ten a day, but now I am doing 'New Stitches' and there are a lot more designs I like so it is taking me longer to file them. I think when I have finished the 'New Stitches' ones I will have enough room on my bookcase and will cross it off the list although I will be continuing until I have gone through all my magazines.

#5 and 6 I have got the 'Readerware' software all ready to use and have made a start at entering both books and DVD's. I also got the Palm edition so I can import the lists onto my palm. I love the software so far and am looking forward to working on this.

#9 My peel off collection is sorted into sections such as Christmas pictures, Christmas wording, happy birthday (thanks mum!) and I have worked out how I am going to store them. I decided on an A4 presentation binder with clear plastic wallets. The wallets are going to be stapled down the centre which makes them the perfect size for peel off's. I can then keep four designs per wallet (two at the front and two at the back).

#17 I have done housework top to bottom, but would like to do it more thoroughly before I cross it off. At least if I keep up with it when I do a 'spring clean' it will be easier.

#18 I am using a different perfume each day and I am giving away any that I am not keen on or just don't suit me. I used to belong to a perfume club so have lots of mini bottles to get through.

#22 I have a couple of frames and mounts ordered and should have them in a week or so. My dad is helping me to do the framing. We are going to do a couple at a time until they are all done.

#24 and 25 I have A6 clear plastic boxes ready to sort the cards into. I haven't decided how to keep cards larger than A6 yet.

#26 I managed get my inbox clear near the start of begining this list and now I need to keep it that way until 19th June.

#48 I have done a facial in April, so only five more months to go.

#52 I have been searching for a mobile beauty therapist in this area but so far haven't managed to find one.

#56 I am watching an episode of Star Trek Enterprise with Richard every evening. We are onto the final series so this will be crossed off the list soon.

#61 I am listening to the Janet Evanovich 'Stephanie Plum' series (unabridged version) every evening as I stitch. I am currently in the middle of book five 'High Five'.

#62 I have stitched one 'Spring' coaster and chosen a chart for a 'Summer' one.

#64 I am currently stitching the Pinn Japanese lady.

#69 I have started stitching the 'birthday' design for my quilt.

#70 I have got the fabric ready for the quilt.

#80 I have done a couple 'random acts of kindness'.

#81 I have done a basic search to find a suitable charity job.

#80 I am reading a bit of the bible each evening. I am following a breakdown that I found online which takes exactly a year to complete the bible.

#100 I have asked to borrow a kite, which needs to be fixed before I can complete this one.

I am pleased with my progress so far especially as I have been busy work-wise. I am enjoying working through things. I am glad I started this and do recommend it!

A Favourite Quote:
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Birthday Flip-it

I charted a 'birthday' square to go with the Lizzie*Kate monthly and holiday Flip-its for the quilt I am making.

I used the Lizzie*Kate 'birthday' wording and 'cake' picture from the Snippet chart S26 'Birthday Blessings'. I removed one of the layers of cake and made the candle smaller so it would fit the space of a Flip-it. I am pleased with how it looks on the chart - hopefully it will stitch up OK! I am going to start it sometime this week and will post a picture when completed.

I was going to design a 'New Year' square instead but all the other Flip-its were just a single word such as 'Easter' so it wouldn't have matched. It was also easier as I already had the 'Birthday Blessings' chart.

This completes #68 on my 101 Tasks in 1001 Days list.

A Favourite Quote:
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa

Monday, 24 April 2006


I managed to finish page two of HAED - Tomboy at the weekend:


I also managed to finish the Lizzie*Kate 'Hello Spring' freebie for myself and turned it into a coaster (part of #62 on my 101 in 1001 list):

Spring Coaster

I stitched it onto some hand-dyed aida and changed the colour of the petals to make it a daisy (my favourite flower). It was charted as orange which would have clashed with my fabric. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I have got to book five 'High Five' of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series and are still enjoying them.

I spent ages this evening trying to get a countdown timer to work on my 101 Tasks in 1001 Days post but have given up and put it in my sidebar. It is Javascript and I think they don't work on the main blog page, as it works fine in the sidebar.

I am now going to do a bit of stitching before watching an episode of Star Trek Enterprise with Richard. My current stitching project is a 'Pinn' kit of a Japanese lady reading a book.

A Favourite Quote:
"Never think that you're not good enough yourself.
A man should never think that.
People will take you very much at your own reckoning."
Anthony Trollope

Thursday, 20 April 2006

101 Tasks in 1001 Days

Click here to see my Up-To-Date List

As seen on

Start Date: 15th April 2006
Deadline: 09th January 2009
Tasks completed: 4
Tasks Left: 97
  1. Get filing up to date
  2. Clear out old files
  3. Put Anchor threads into inventory (like DMC)
  4. Remove charts I like from stitching magazines - enough to be able to keep them neatly on the bookcase
  5. Catalogue DVD's
  6. Catalogue Books
  7. Sort A5 card
  8. Sort card blanks
  9. Sort out peel off's
  10. Back up PC
  11. Organise my wardrobe
  12. Get cards made for year ahead
  13. Find homes for all my hobby bits
  14. Find 12 new recipes
  15. Organise my recipe file
  16. Sort out plan so can get and keep up-to-date with things
  17. Thoroughly clean house
  18. Sort through perfumes and give away ones not keen on now
  19. Defrost freezer
  20. Do inventory of food in freezer
  21. Get bath fixed
  22. Frame all completed cross stitch
  23. Put wedding photos into memory album - Get advice
  24. Organise handmade cards given to me
  25. Organise handmade cards made by me until time to give out
  26. Keep inbox clear for 2 straight months
  27. Sort out organised 'home' for manicure things
  28. Put my videos onto DVD's
  29. Get accounts up to date
  30. Do candle inventory with comments about fragrance
  31. Do new up-to-date address book
  32. Organise my rubber stamps
  33. Sort out storage for seasonal bits
  34. Do inventory of my collections
  35. Do inventory of my jewellery
  36. Use or loose cleaning supplies
  37. Use or loose toiletries
  38. Get pictures hung on wall
  39. Design new look to lounge
  40. Plan garden
  41. Get all stock entered up-to-date
  42. Write book
  43. Write my CV
    Personal Care
  44. Loose weight - 1 stone
  45. Do Tae Bo once a week for 2 straight months
  46. Learn all the 'Total Fitness' exercises
  47. Do the 'Total Fitness' exercises 3 times a week for 2 straight months
  48. Do a facial once a month for 6 straight months
  49. Do a manicure once a week for 2 straight months
  50. Sort out airbrush nails kit and try out
  51. Have professional photo taken
  52. Find mobile beauty therapist
  53. Have a beauty treatment with above
  54. Have a week off
  55. Get pair of smart comfortable shoes
  56. Watch every episode of Star Trek Enterprise
  57. Watch every episode of Star Trek Voyager
  58. Watch every episode of Alias
  59. Watch every episode of Quantum Leap
  60. Listen to complete Diana Gabaldon 'Outlander' series (unabridged version)
  61. Listen to complete Janet Evanovich 'Stephanie Plum' series (unabridged version)
  62. Stitch 4 coasters for each season
  63. Finish stitching baby lion
  64. Finish stitching Japanese lady
  65. Finish stitching Celtic Autumn
  66. Finish stitching giraffe
  67. Finish stitching Winter boxer
  68. Design 'Birthday' chart for quilt
  69. Stitch 'Birthday' chart
  70. Make quilt of Lizzie*Kate Flip-it's
  71. Make some 'summer' bits for wooden tree
  72. Stitch/decorate 8 tops
  73. Make some candles - seasonal colour theme
  74. Dye some Aida
  75. Take some decent photos
  76. Get up-to-date photos of every family member
  77. Put above in album
  78. Make paper
  79. Get a healthy Aloe Vera plant and keep alive for duration of this exercise
  80. Do 10 random acts of kindness
  81. Get volunteer charity job
  82. Buy a meal for a homeless person
    Improving Mind
  83. Learn basics for all main religions
  84. Learn how to make Blinkies
  85. Study fashion through the ages
  86. Read 4 self-improvement books and try out ideas
  87. Read bible right through
  88. Learn how to meditate
  89. Work through home marketing course
  90. Try some food I've never eaten before
  91. Release a message in a bottle (or balloon)
  92. Go to garden centre
  93. Do something different than normal
  94. List cross stitch kits not going to stitch on personal website
  95. Make buttons for blog and set up with links
  96. Set up Blinkie web page
  97. Get a hot tub
  98. Dance in the rain
  99. Have a carpet picnic
  100. Fly a kite
  101. Swing on a swing

I am going to put a countdown timer in my side bar, I tried adding it to this post but it didn't show up. I will cross items off this list when I have completed something. I am also going to post my progress as I work through items.

A Favourite Quote:
"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are."
Malcolm S. Forbes

Visit My Current Entry!

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Another SBQ

My answer to the SBQ:
Do you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?

I sometimes stitch quilt squares for special projects which have deadlines. I prefer not to sign up for things with deadlines though as I don't like the pressure. I do sometimes set myself goals but if anything crops up and I don't make the deadline I am not letting anyone down. Cross stitch is stress relief for me. After a hectic day I love just switching off and stitching, if it were deadline-based stitching it wouldn't be as relaxing for me.
A Favourite Quote:
"How come there’s always so much month left at the end of the money?"

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Lion Finished

I had a great Easter weekend! I didn't realise how much I needed the break; I feel so much better because of it.

I managed to finish the Kustom Krafts baby lion!
Baby Lion

I didn't manage to finish page two of HAED Tomboy, but all being well should be able to this week.

I am currently up to the middle of book three 'Three to Get Deadly' of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. I am going to continue through the rest of the series. I didn't think I would enjoy them as much this time but I am.

A Favourite Quote:
"I wish I were a teddy bear - the older they get,
the more they’re worth…"

Thursday, 13 April 2006

Long Weekend

I am planning to have a stitching marathon from tonight until Monday evening. I have set some goals although I don't know how realistic they are; I will have to wait and see. They are to finish the Kustom Krafts baby lion and page two of HAED Tomboy; a lot of stitching. I am also going to have a Janet Evanovich 'Stephanie Plum' unabridged audio book marathon starting at book one 'One For The Money' while I am stitching. I wonder which book I will get to by Monday bedtime?

I will post progress photos of my stitching after the weekend.

My very short answer to the SBQ:
For those of you that stitch while riding in the car or on the train, how do you cope with the bumps and the motion? Do you have any tips for others?

I have never stitched outside of the house so don't have any tips. Really interesting answer - not!
A Favourite Quote:
"The only true gift is a portion of thyself…"

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Bit of History

As I was sorting through my stitching magazines I came across an article about DMC and thought it was interesting.
History of The DMC Coporation
DMC was founded in Mulhouse, France, in 1746 by Jean Dollfus. When his son, Daniel, married Anne-Marie Mieg and added her name to his, the company adopted the name Dollfus-Mieg et Compagnie to recognize Daniel's contributions. DMC began producing sewing and needlework threads in the mid-1800s and first manufactured embroidery floss in 1897. The first manufacturer ever to mercerize thread, DMC still double mercerizes its threads, which accounts for their strength, colorfastness and brilliance.
The article was in the USA magazine 'Just Cross Stitch'.

It is just a shame the threads cost so much in the UK - something I have never understood. It seems crazy that the trade price in the UK is dearer than the retail price in the USA.

A Favourite Quote:
"Chocolate: Proof that God loves me, and wants me to be happy!"

Monday, 10 April 2006

Another Cross Stitch Update and Meme

As promised yesterday here is a picture of last week's progress on HAED "Tomboy":
Tomboy back

I am now half-way through page 2. I hope to be able to finish page 2 next week. It would be good to be able to stitch a page in two weeks rather than the three weeks it took for page 1. I don't think I can keep this up though, but I should be able to save a week here and there bringing the completion date closer.

Here is what it should look like when finished:
HAED Tomboy

To give an idea of size the sky is six pages of cross stitch chart and I have done the width of two pages. It should keep me out of trouble for a while!

Today's stitching meme:
1. Do you stitch every day?

I usually manage to stitch every day, only the odd day I can't.

2. How many hours can you get in on a weekday? A weekend day?

Normally I stitch for between one and two hours on an evening and maybe an extra hour on a weekend day.

3. What do you do while stitching?

I listen to my iRiver (similar to an iPod) - usually unabridged audio books but sometimes music.

4. Do you ever stay up late stitching?

I used to, but recently I have changed my routine so don't.

5. What is the latest you have ever stayed up to stitch?

I think the latest I have stayed up stitching was 6am. I was tired the next day!
A Favourite Quote:
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Show Your Backs

Todays stitching meme:

1. Are your backs neat or messy?

I used to keep my backs really neat, taking ages to get them right, then I came to the conclusion that it was taking time on something that is never shown (until now). With so much to stitch and so little stitching time it wasn't worth it. I still make sure there are no knots and ends are finished off properly. Also I use the loop start which helps with neatness. Now though I do take the thread from one stitch to another when it is a block away instead of finishing off and restarting, unless it is going behind an area that is going to be left unstitched.

2. Post a picture or two of your projects backsides.

How embarrasing! Do I really want to do this - oh well, this is a picture of the back of my current project HAED Tomboy:
Tomboy back

I will be posting a picture of the front tomorrow - the excitement, can you wait?
A Favourite Quote:
"When life gives you crumbs… make cookies"

Thursday, 6 April 2006

Fruitful Day

I managed to finish some jobs today so feel happier than yesterday. I also think I will be able to finish earlier so will hopefully get a bit more stitching done than I have been able to do so far this week. I am on an easy bit of Tomboy so should see good results tonight.

Todays stitching meme:
1. How many WIP's do you have?

I have started five projects, although I am focussing on two for now, HAED "Tomboy" (color) and Kustom Krafts "Baby Lion". I am also about to start a small project - Lizzie*Kate "Hello Spring" as I would like a spring coaster and think this will be ideal.

2. How many UFO's?

None - I made a point of finishing them all last year before starting anything new.

3. Do you prefer small, medium or large projects?

I like to do a mixture of sizes from napkin rings through to the Heaven and Earth Designs. I find doing smaller designs helps to keep me motivated for the large (and in the case of HAED extra large) projects.

4. Do you consider yourself a rotator or a OOAT'er?

I am a rotator, but at the moment I am concentrating on the two mentioned above (still rotating them every week). I used to stitch on one project at a time but find I need the change to keep motivated.

5. If all your projects were completed (magically) right now, what project(s) would you start next?

I would probably start another L&L (I am trying to stitch all the celtic ladies) and another HAED - not sure which one.

A Favourite Quote:
"The quality of life you experience will be directly related to the quality of the questions you ask."
... Dorothy Leeds

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

SBQ and Ramblings

First Today's SBQ:

Do you stitch "on the go?" (On the commute to and from work, during your lunch break, waiting for the kids, etc.) If so, do you have a specific "travel" project or do you just grab whatever you happen to be working on and take it with you?

I work from home so don't commute. I don't have a specific "travel" project as I rarely leave the house, but I usually have a small project set up to stitch so if I did need a project to take out I would grab that one. At the moment I have got Lizzie*Kate "Hello Spring" ready to stitch. My other WIP's would be too large to take out. Having my own business means I don't have regular hours, so my lunch break is just long enough to get something and eat it then back to work, no time for stitching.
Today has been a frustrating day. Everytime I went to do something I didn't have the one thing I needed to complete the task! Parcels didn't arrive that were supposed to, I was expecting some emails that never materialised etc. I have so many part-completed projects but nothing finished, at least when I do receive everything I should get a lot of things finished much quicker. There has also been a problem with WorldPay (who provide the payment option for the business), not having statements ready for customer payments.

I am going to get our evening meal (tea, dinner or whatever you call it) and then stitch and boy am I looking forward to it! Tomorrow is another day and hopefully everything will sort it self out then.

A Favourite Quote:
"Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records"
William A. Ward

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

100 Things About Me

Here is my attempt:
(in no particular order)
  1. I got married 6th June 2000
  2. I don't have any children
  3. I don't want children
  4. I am Godmother to three nephews
  5. I love my nephews as if they were my children
  6. My youngest nephew died from cancer at age 15
  7. I miss him
  8. I have one sister
  9. My sister is five years older than me
  10. My husband and sister are the same age
  11. I come from a close family
  12. I have a form of agoraphobia
  13. I am sensitive
  14. I lack confidence
  15. I am an Aquarian
  16. I have my own way of doing things
  17. I speak my own language
  18. I am not a morning person
  19. I am a night owl
  20. I wake up when it's time to go to bed
  21. I have trouble sleeping
  22. I suffer with depression
  23. I am addicted to cross stitch
  24. It keeps me (sort of) sane
  25. I love laughing
  26. I don't take myself too seriously
  27. I'm into Garfield (the comic strip)
  28. I think Tigger is cool
  29. I love unabridged audio books
  30. which I listen to while I stitch
  31. My favourite flower is a daisy
  32. My favourite colours are blue, red and yellow
  33. This does change depending on my mood
  34. I love Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate
  35. I am not keen on other chocolates
  36. My favourite films are romantic comedies
  37. I have trouble remembering things
  38. generally because I have a lot on my mind
  39. I love snowflakes
  40. I collect anything to do with snowflakes
  41. I am a Christian
  42. I am loyal
  43. I have never betrayed a trust
  44. I am very squeamish
  45. I hate all rodents
  46. I like things with happy endings
  47. I was born in the UK
  48. I have always lived in the UK
  49. I am easy going
  50. I love lions
  51. and tigers
  52. I am trying to lose weight
  53. I hate exercise
  54. I work hard
  55. I try to fit too much into a day
  56. I have my own business
  57. I used to teach beauty therapy
  58. I love Yankee candles
  59. I love Christmas
  60. I like things to be organised
  61. Spring is my favourite season
  62. I eat mainly vegetarian food
  63. occasionally I eat chicken
  64. I like helping others
  65. I believe in looking forward not back
  66. I am honest
  67. I enjoy watching Star Trek,
  68. Highlander
  69. and Quantum Leap
  70. I don't like watching much TV
  71. I like Scott Bakula
  72. and Adrian Paul
  73. I am female
  74. I don't like confrontation
  75. I love takeaways
  76. I do all the cooking
  77. I love planning
  78. I enjoy reading
  79. I prefer books in a series
  80. My favourite books are the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich,
  81. the Outlander (or Cross Stitch as it is in the UK) series by Diana Gabaldon
  82. and the Benni Harper series by Earlene Fowler
  83. I love trying new things
  84. I am blonde
  85. I like to smile
  86. Sapphires are my favourite jewel
  87. I do like amethysts (my birthstone) as well
  88. I love learning new things
  89. I am shy
  90. I have never smoked
  91. I would love to live near a beach
  92. I love weekends
  93. I have broken my nose once
  94. I haven't broken any other bones so far
  95. I hate giving up on things I have started
  96. I follow through on promises
  97. I love receiving presents
  98. I love giving presents
  99. I have a hormonal imbalance
  100. I enjoy learning about history
I was struggling to complete the 100, but made it!

A Favourite Quote:
"I have not failed.
I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Thomas Edison
(The inventor of the light bulb)

Monday, 3 April 2006

Cross Stitch Progress

I managed to finish page eight of the baby lion, only one page to go! This is what it looks like now:

Baby Lion 01st April

I am now back onto HAED "Tomboy" for this week. I am enjoying stitching this one.

Here is another stitching meme. I thought I would start at the beginning as I missed them and I think they are good ones.

1. How old were you when you started stitching?
I think I was 35 when I started stitching.

2. How many years have you been at it?
Around 6 years.

3. Self-taught or did someone teach you?
I taught myself the basics from a magazine and then gradually learnt more from the internet, books and magazines as well as experience. Also thinking things through and working out solutions.

4. What was your first project?
The first thing I stitched was a matching pair of napkin rings which can be seen here in my gallery

A Favourite Quote:
"Dear Lord, so far today I'm doing OK.
I haven't lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or self-indulgent.
I haven't whined, complained, cursed or eaten any chocolate.
But I'll be getting out of bed in a minute,
I think I'll really need your help then!"

Saturday, 1 April 2006

Snowdrops and Memes

I managed to finish the snowdrop coaster for my mum in time for her to collect yesterday. Here is a scan:
Snowdrop Coaster
She was very pleased and I have been told it has been put to use already. Snowdrops remind mum of her dad and bring back happy memories for her, so when I saw the chart I had to stitch it for her.

It was also my first attempt at "couching". I was anxious when I first realised it needed a different stitch than I have tried as I usually don't enjoy doing any stitching except cross stitch; but it turned out to be really easy and I enjoyed doing it. It was an effective stitch for the stem.

I have just come across Memes and thought I would start to answer some in my blog. Here is a stitching one:

1. Have you ever tried dying your fabrics for stitching?
Not yet.

2. If so, how did it go, if not would you like to someday?
It is something I would love to try, I have loads of white aida all ready waiting. I am currently trying to find the right type of dye as the one that was recommended to me "RIT" doesn't seem available in the UK. If someone has any suggestions please get in touch.

A Favourite Quote:
"I will honour Christmas in My Heart
and keep it there all year long"
by Charles Dickens

Friday, 31 March 2006

Withdrawal Symptoms

I finished the latest Diana Gabaldon book "A Breathe of Snow and Ashes". I listened to the audio unabridged version read by Davina Porter which was on 48 discs while I stitched on an evening. I have been listening to it for so long it seems strange not having it on when I stitch.

I enjoyed this book much more than the last one "The Fiery Cross", even though there were parts, especially towards the end, where it seemed like it had been edited to shorten it. Where Diana Gabaldon normally explains things in minute detail, this seemed to jump from one part to another missing out chunks which I personally would have preferred to be left in. I am happy however long a book is as long as it is entertaining and hasn't just been padded out to fill space. I think Davina Porter is an excellent narrator and really makes the book come alive.
A Favourite Quote:
"If today were a fish
I would throw it back"

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Yesterday's Fun

My sister and one of my nephews, Marcus, came here yesterday evening. It was lovely seeing them both as it has been ages since we have spent any time together. My husband took Marcus to play snooker and they both seemed to enjoy themselves. My sister and I stayed home and chatted and chatted... Well you get the idea. She has just started to cross stitch and it was lovely having someone to talk to about it. We also made a couple of cards (not cross stitched), although it was a bit of a rush at the end as it got so late. I really hope it isn't long and we can get together again!

We also started to plan out a quilt I would like made. I have never attempted anything like this before but have stitched the monthly Lizzie*Kate flip-its and five of the holiday flip-its and thought they would make a great quilt. We decided it really needed another holiday flip-it to even out so I am trying to think what to do. I don't want to stitch the 4th of July as I am not from the USA nor the St. Patrick's Day as I have no Irish connections, so I will need to design or alter another chart to fit. So far I have thought of either doing a birthday one (even though that isn't classed as a holiday) or New Year. Am I missing a UK holiday here? If you have any suggestions please let me know.

A Favourite Quote:
"Sometimes I wake up grumpy
and sometimes I let him sleep in!"

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Wish List

At last I have got around to setting up a wish list on my personal website. I have been wanting to sort it out since Christmas as I thought it would be good to have an ongoing list available. So if I am asked "what would you like?" I don't have to spend ages trying to remember what it was I saw months ago. I thought it would be easier to have pictures to view instead of just a list, OK so that is mainly so I can drool.

I am also planning to sort out charts and kits I will probably never get around to doing and adding them to my "for sale" page. Having my "wish list" set up will make it easier if anyone wants to do a swap. I just need to remember to keep them both updated!

A Favourite Quote:
"Take my advice ...
I'm not using it!"

Monday, 27 March 2006

Weekly Update

I have finished page one of HAED - "Tomboy"

Tomboy 25th March

This is sky with one row of the wall. I do prefer the PB10 Petite Treasure Braid to the Kreinik. As well as being easier to stitch with it gave better coverage. The Petite Treasure Braid didn't scan properly so it doesn't show in the picture unfortunately. I also managed to grid the second page ready for next week.

I am now stitching on the Kustom Krafts baby lion. I am hoping to finish page 8 this week, but there is still a lot to do and I have one evening less to stitch so I'll see if I can manage.

Also I have started stitching a snowdrop coaster for my mum and I am aiming to finish that this week. I will post a scan when complete.

A Favourite Quote:
Curiosity killed the cat,
I'm glad I’m not a cat!

Friday, 24 March 2006

Protection of an Angel

This is my latest finished cross stitch. I stitched it for my sister who is going through a difficult patch. I have made it into a coaster for her.

Angel Coaster

It is stitched onto gold fleck fabric which has a lovely sparkle although this doesn't show up in the scan. The halo and the edges of the wings are stitched with PB03 gold Petite Treasure Braid and the cloud is edged with silver Cristallina thread; again the effect doesn't really show in the scan.

A Favourite Quote:
"Good Morning is a contradiction in terms"

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Long Day

I am working late tonight as I am about to send a newsletter out for HandsOnHobbies (it can be viewed here). It is going to be a long day; it is a good thing I enjoy my work! Today I managed to get some new products entered into the shop and got more sample cards into the gallery. So I am pleased with my progress.

I don't know what time I will get finished this evening but I am hoping to be able to get some stitching in. I am on the last column of page 1 of HAED "Tomboy" and would like to complete it today.

A Favourite Quote:
"Everyone brings joy to this house…
Some when they enter,
Others when they leave."

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Slice of Lemon

When I was going through some "Beautiful Stitches" magazines yesterday evening I came across this interesting fact about lemons:

"No one really knows where the first lemon tree flowered, but they were growing in Spain and North Africa by the year 1200. Quite foreign to our shores for many years, a lemon was produced as a delicacy at Anne Boleyn’s coronation. It cost six silver pennies!"

It is interesting to me as we have a lemon theme in our kitchen, well if you call three cross stitched pictures of lemons and some coasters shaped as lemons a "theme".

Here are photos of the three pictures I have cross stitched:

If Life Throws You Lemons
Jill Oxton Lemons

I have tried a couple of times to grow a lemon tree but haven't been successful yet; I hope one day to manage though.

A Favourite Quote:
"Humankind has not woven the web of life; we are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves."
Chief Seattle

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Moving Forward

I managed to get so much done today; more than I thought I could. So although tired I am pleased with what has been achieved.

Workwise I managed to get a number of the new products entered as well as improving the descriptions for the Francoise Read Clear Magic Stamps. I also sorted out images for some sample cards made with the clear stamps and set up a gallery online for them. I have also written a newsletter ready to be sent out later this week. All of that was as well as my usual day-to-day work.

Personally I managed to get some tidying and some much needed housework done - the dust bunnies were getting so large I could probably dress them up for Easter. I am now ready to sit and stitch for an hour or so - I am so looking forward to it!

A Favourite Quote:
"To err is human - and to blame it on a computer is even more so."
... Robert Orben

Monday, 20 March 2006

Cross Stitch Update

This is my progress on the Kustom Krafts "Baby Lion" as of 19th March, when I packed it away to rotate to my next project.

Baby Lion 19th March

I rotated to HAED "Tomboy" yesterday evening. I am on an easy patch and after all the isolated stitches with the "Baby Lion" it was a welcome relief.

The one thing I didn't enjoy with "Tomboy" yesterday was stitching with the Kreinik thread. This design seems to use a lot of it so I have decided to use PB10 Petite Treasure Braid instead. I will have to re-do some but it should be easier to stitch with and I think it will look better.

A Favourite Quote:
"If I stitch fast does it count as an aerobic exercise?"

Sunday, 19 March 2006

Joy Of Cross Stitch

As I was sat quietly stitching I started thinking of the thrill of seeing a picture develop before my eyes; one created by me. Each stitch one more piece in the jigsaw, on its own just a coloured blob but together with all the other stitches a picture.

Cross stitch means so much to me. I have always wanted to be able to create something but not having artistic capabilities didn't think I could, well except a mess and that doesn't count. With cross stitch it is easy to create something good enough to adorn a wall in your home. If you can count and see (which certainly helps) you can cross stitch. I have even heard of a lady stitching who is blind, I am not sure how she does it but she does (with a bit of help) which I think of in awe. Cross stitch is like anything else if you have the interest and willingness to learn something new you can do it!

A Favourite Quote:
"I can do anything I think I can"

Saturday, 18 March 2006

Pat On The Back

Today I received an email from a customer giving me high praise; it made my day. It's lovely receiving feedback like this and makes all the hard work even more worthwhile.

One evening left on the "baby lion" cross stitch before rotating back to "Tomboy". I had hoped to get half of page 8 stitched this week, but it doesn't look like I will be able to; having so many isolated stitches really slowed me down. I am feeling very tired today so am not sure how much I will end up getting done, but I will be doing some. I will take a progress picture after today.

A Favourite Quote:
"I'd like mornings better if they started later"

Friday, 17 March 2006

To Do or Not To Do

Various time management books advise writing out a 'to do' list and prioritising it. So this is what I did and was raring to get started this morning. It worked for about five minutes before going out the window! What are you supposed to do when your shop has a run on certain items and sells out, and you know people are waiting for things? Also what happens when a number of deliveries are made that arrive quicker than usual - so are not planned for and then need checking? Well I am not sure what the 'experts' say you should do (haven't got to that bit in the book yet), but I sorted out an order (of course I had to look into ordering some new products at the same time) and then checked through each parcel which took longer than it should as there were so many new items that just had to be looked at. I can't wait to have a play with everything - or should that be doing 'consumer research', as it all looks brilliant!

Well I did get some things done from my original 'to do' list so that was good, right?

I think next week's 'to do' list has written itself: get new stock entered into the online shop!

A Favourite Quote:
"My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Gone!"

Thursday, 16 March 2006

The Joy of Computers!

I love my computer I really do. They are a brilliant invention and I don't know how I managed before getting one, but why do they decide to close down (and with no warning) when you are in the middle of some important work? I know I didn't ask it to shut! Also I print loads of addresses on envelopes, but why when I am using a special envelope that is the correct size for the card and I only have the one, does it jam in the printer? I have printed similar envelopes with no problem so why did it single out the particular envelope that was important to look good? I think I need to go stitch!

A Favourite Quote:
"There is only one satisfying way to boot a computer."
... J. H. Goldfuss

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Duplicate Charts

I realised last night as I started going through a different title of magazine how many charts are duplicated in the various stitching magazines. At first I thought it was déjà vu! I am sure I am going to end up with multiple copies of designs that I like, though I suppose as long as I don't end up stitching them twice it is OK.

I am making slow progress with the Kustom Krafts Baby Lion this week. I am stitching a patch with a lot of isolated stitches, although I think tonight I will be getting on to a bit with a larger patch of colour which I am looking forward to. I prefer it when I can see progress in a short time. I find it frustrating when I have been stitching an hour and can't see any difference.

A Favourite Quote:
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Just take one step at a time"

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Changed Thoughts

I was getting stressed out by my growing 'To Do' list when I remembered something I had read awhile back. It was simply to change the way you think about things. It is your thoughts that govern how you feel about something not the thing itself. I tried it and it worked. I immediately felt better, the stress just slipped away and I started to get excited about the jobs ahead.

A Favourite Quote:
"I Know All About Stressed…
It’s Desserts Spelled Backwards!"

Monday, 13 March 2006

"Tomboy" Update

I have uploaded a progress picture of "Tomboy" to my gallery. It is just a blob of sky at the moment and as stated yesterday will be the same but larger for the next six pages. I should be able to finish this first page next week when I rotate back to it and then will remove the grid lines. I am gridding page by page so it isn't so overwhelming or time consuming.

I am so glad I started gridding my fabric as it makes it much easier to stitch and it helps to stop mistakes. I use Coats Cristallina Metallic Thread in purple to outline each page and pink to grid each 10 x 10 block. The method I use is over 5 holes and then under 5 as I like the half way point of each block marked. Metallic thread is best for gridding as it can be left in while stitching as it resists the needle piercing it. It is very easy to remove once the stitching is complete. I tried gridding with regular sewing thread and got into such a mess I almost gave up all together.

A Favourite Quote:
"The Dress Is By Ralph Lauren…
The Body by Chocolate Chip!"

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Cross Stitch Plan

I decided as part of my ongoing 'get organised' campaign to work out a five year cross stitch plan. I decided on five years when I worked out that the Heaven and Earth 'Tomboy' chart I am stitching is going to take four years and two months if I continue at the same speed and working on it every other week. I can vary my rotation without going off my plan if I get bored of only stitching on two pieces at a time. I put the plan in the sidebar of this blog to monitor my progress.

I am enjoying stitching on 'Tomboy' but it is going to be difficult to keep myself motivated as there are ten pages of background before I get to the main section and that is only the top of her head! It is page 15 before really focussing on her. In fact the first six pages are all sky! I will have to keep telling myself how stunning it will look when eventually finished.

Today I am going to spend around an hour finishing a block of 'Tomboy', filling in the gaps where I have gone cross-country - or whatever the saying is. Then I am rotating to a week stitching on the Kustom Krafts baby lion.

A Favourite Quote:
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves,
for they shall never cease to be amused."

Saturday, 11 March 2006

Determined Daffodil

Looking out the window at our garden today it got me thinking. Nature teaches us lessons if only we take notice. There was one mini (technical term there - as you can tell I am not a gardener) daffodil that has pushed its way through everything to bloom. Although it is small, all the cold weather and snow that we have experienced hasn't defeated it; instead it stands straight and as tall as it can spreading its own cheerfulness for all to see.

I didn’t do any stitching yesterday and ended up not being able to sleep. OK one instance isn’t enough to make it a scientific fact, but as far as I’m concerned I think they are linked. So to be able to sleep I have to stitch, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The fact I stayed up till 2am finishing off a card gallery for HandsOnHobbies and my brain was buzzing doesn’t come into it. If you want to check out my handiwork go to
It still needs more cards (loads more), but it is set up ready.

A Favourite Quote:
"Life is a cycle always in motion.
If good times have moved on,
So will times of trouble."
(Indian Proverb)

Friday, 10 March 2006

Rolling Snowball

This has been a crazy week! It started off busy on Monday and gradually day by day has been building steam. By this evening I am ready to curl in a ball and hibernate. It has been like a snowball starting small getting larger until it is too big to push any further. I just need to turn it into a snowman and have some fun.

When I was going through magazines yesterday evening I came across an interesting article on Mrs Beeton, most remembered for the 'Book of Household Management' - yes, if I stopped reading the magazines I would actually get through a lot more. I always thought she was an older lady and as the article suggested a 'matronly figure'. It turns out this is completely wrong as she tragically died at only 28 years old, only eight years after getting married. She was apparently a 'handsome young woman with boundless energy and great talent'. She only started her writing career after she got married. It was her husband who published her books as he had his own publishing company until it faced disaster during the collapse of a bank in 1866. He died young as well and only lived 12 years longer than his wife.

A Favourite Quote:
From a Garfield cartoon
"If 11 donuts stick together it counts as one, right?"

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Good Progress

I made good progress with the stitching magazines last night; I am planning to continue a bit more this evening. At first it was difficult to decide if I should keep certain charts or not (what if my tastes changed in the years to come) but in the end it was getting easier (there are not enough hours in a day for me to ever be able to stitch them all).

It seemed strange ripping pages out as I have always been taught that it is wrong to ruin books. Then again magazines are not books even if I have treated them as such.

I hope to get another hour stitching on "Tomboy" tonight and finish column four of page one.

A Favourite Quote:
"I’m Doing the Laundry Today…
What Colour Do You Want Your Underwear To Be?"

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Time to Organise

I collect stitching magazines and have for a few years. It has got to the point where there isn't enough space to store them properly. Also when I want to stitch something I can never find the magazine that I saw the chart in so I end up stitching something else instead. So I have made the decision to go through each magazine and take out any chart that I am or could be interested in stitching at some point. The pages are going to be stored in clear plastic wallets in presentation binders. To save space I am putting all the pages relating to two charts in one wallet with the colour picture of each showing front and back. I am putting the magazine name, issue number and date as well as the page numbers that have been removed on a slip at the front of the wallet. Eventually I will make a list of all the designs so I can find them easily when wanted. Time allowing I will scan each colour picture and make an album of designs to make it easier still. That is the theory anyway! Considering the number of magazines I have and the limited time I am going to be spending on the task (well I have to stitch everyday don't I?) it is going to take years. I want to keep it fun as that is really the point of stitching so I am not going to put a time limit on it, well only to keep ahead of new magazines that arrive so I don't have to store them in a pile on the floor.

Tonight I am aiming to spend an hour or so stitching on "Tomboy" and listening to "A Breathe of Snow and Ashes" audio book, watching an episode of Star Trek Enterprise with my husband and then going through a few more magazines. Bliss! It has been a long busy day and I am looking forward to the time relaxing, if I can keep awake long enough that is.

A Favourite Quote:
Our Family is Like Fudge:
Very Sweet... with a few nuts."

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Then there was light!

I have been struggling with the light in the lounge where I stitch for quite awhile. It became more of a problem when I started stitching the Heaven and Earth designs as they are so large and the light from my usual lamp didn't shine in the right place. Problem solved, I am now a proud owner of an 'Ultimate Daylight Lamp'. It is fantastic as I can wheel it to where I need, it has a strong clamp and a very good magnifier attached and the most important thing is the light is brilliant. It looks good in the lounge as well and the attachments come off if we need it to look like a regular lamp. My husband likes it as well, so I am one happy bunny!

A Favourite Quote:
A House is built of Walls and Beams
A Home is built of Love and Dreams

Monday, 6 March 2006

Busy Day

I have been struggling today as I have been busy work wise and have come down with a bug. It is just a cold but it is making me feel rough with streaming eyes, runny nose and a bad headache. I still managed to get through a lot of work but I could have got through a lot more if I didn't have this cold. I am determind not to give into it though and will continue working and stitching in the evening, if I can see the holes in the fabric that is.

I made good progress on HAED - Tomboy last night and finished the third column of page one. Listening to an audio book really helped me as I was so engrossed in it that my stitching seemed to speed up. Luckily mistakes weren't made.

I'm listening to the audio book "A Breathe of Snow and Ashes" by Diana Gabaldon. It is the full unabridged version with Davina Porter as narrator. I am really enjoying it (so far). Her last book "The Fiery Cross" was a disappointment to me and I wondered if the series had run its course. Maybe I just needed to have a break as I had listened straight through from book one, but I had been hooked on them. Addicted to them and cross stitch is there any hope for me!

A Favourite Quote:
"I Consolidated All My Bills…
I Put Them Altogether In A Drawer!"

Sunday, 5 March 2006

First Day!

This is my first attempt at blogging. I loved the idea and hope I have enough things to say!

I am spending a bit of time trying to figure out how it all works and get my blog set up and then I am going to stitch.

My current stitching project is Heaven and Earth's Tomboy (Color), I have only spent one week on it so far. My husband bought the chart for my birthday and this is his favourite picture as well. I love the idea that I am stitching something he will enjoy looking at. Although I don't know how long it will take to finish as it has 36 pages. This is largest picture I have attempted so far.

The other picture I am stitching at the moment is Kustom Krafts Baby Lion. I finished page 7 last night. This chart has 9 pages.

I decided to rotate just two cross stitch projects for now and will see how I get on with that.

My progress so far on both these projects as well as my completed cross stitch pictures can be seen at:

A Favourite Quote:
"I've got enough money to last me the rest of my life...
Unless I want to buy something."