Sunday, 31 January 2016

A bit of cross stitch and crochet and scrapbooking...

Hello Everyone!
Hope you're all doing well:)
Over here all my furbabies are back to good health again, thankfully!
As you can see I've removed all the Xmas decorations from the blogg - finally - and added a new header  (with much needed help from my sister). However, I'm still playing around with the colours etc so please bear with me for a while until I make up my mind on this very complicated matter LOL.
This week I picked up Festive Flurry again, and this is how far I had gotten before this week:

Tonight I've gotten this far!

I've finished almost all the colourful buildings, and now I'm left with some of the more boring areas like the snow and the bottom of the snowglobe. Still, I'm very excited about this project and I hope I can finish it soon; can't wait to put it up on my wall!
I've also finished the stitching part of my January Christmas ornament for the Christmas Ornie SAL ...
Designed by Lesley Teare from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 170
...which I feel quite proud of actually since I didn't get around to stitching the ornaments for November and December... I hope to do better this year and I'm off to a good start. However, I will save the finishing touches for later on in the year and do them all at once.
I've also gotten my crochet mojo back and started on a blanket inspired by the wonderful Lucie in Attic 24 . I have so many balls of different yarns laying around so I thought I'd start a leftover-yarn-blanket in order to lessen my stash. Good idea, right?!

Of course I had to do some form of colour coordination, and once I had started it looked so good...and I just had to buy some more balls of coordinating yarn LOL! It's supposed to be a leftover-yarn project, not a new yarn project...! I'm sure you've never done ANYTHING like this yourselves??? I know this is probably going to be a forever project, but I'm enjoying it and that's what counts, right?!

Lastly, I just HAVE to show you the beautiful handmade 'blogging' journal my sister has made for me:

I just can't wait to fill its beautiful pages...
...with lots of ideas for my three blogs...
 ...and all the other things that makes me treasure...

...being part of this wonderful blogosphere!
Thank you all for brightening up my life <3


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Three little houses...

Hello Everyone!

This week did not turn out as I had planned... I had such stitching mojo last Saturday, and I thought I'd spend the whole week stitching and writing several posts to show you all how well I had done lol!

Instead I spent most of the week feeling utterly exhausted which meant I lost my stitching mojo, which meant that I didn't stitch anywhere as much as I had planned. And then when I started to feel a bit better on Friday and planned to start a long stitching weekend, my youngest furbaby - who has several health issues (like his mummy) - started to feel very poorly instead.

So of course I couldn't focus on my stitching, and even though my poor darling is doing better now, I'm still feeling distracted by my concern fo him and worry that he'll get worse again. Sadly I've had to take him to the vet more times in four years than the other two furbabies together...

This means that I've only stitched a bit here and there, and to help my mojo I decided to pick a new small project  that I fell in love with when I saw it online. It's these cute little cottages designed by Maria Diaz from Cross Stitcher issue 297.

I finally managed to get hold of a back issue online so I picked out suitable threads and fabric from my own stash since I didn't have the exact ones used in the magazine.
This is the first cottage I stitched:

I used white beads as snowflakes and red and gold beads in the Christmas tree instead of French knots. As you can see the white thread doesn't show very well, so on the next cottage I decided to use white satin thread, as well as add a few more white beads:

As you can see the satin thread didn't work perfectly either, so for the third and final cottage I decided to use another fabric, and then I added some more white cross stitches to increase the overall snowy effect.

This cottage turned into my favorit of the three, but I'm sure they all will look very sweet once I get around to finish them... It's quite possible I'll stitch these again soon since they are so cute and so much fun to stitch as well as fast to finish:))

Tomorrow I'm taking all the dogs to get their yearly booster shots and then I hope things can quieten down for all of us so I can relax and get some serious stitching done. As it is right now I can only focus on doing small projects, in between checking up on my furbabies and worrying about them and trying to catch up on very boring housework that I ignored when I felt under the weather...

So let's all keep our fingers crossed that I'll be able to write another post soon showing off all my progress this coming week lol.

Happy Stitching!


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Second Finish (!) this weekend!

Hello Everyone!

Thank you very much for all your lovely comments on the previous post! Every single comment is greatly appreciated and makes my heart sing:))

Despite feeling a bit under the weather today - so frustrating! - I managed another Finish (before I fell asleep exhausted on the sofa in the afternoon...)! It's the Gingerbread House Sampler!
Here it is in all its sparkly glory:

Freebie chart from Cross Stitch Crazy
I am sooo pleased with this finish, and I can't wait to find a nice, simple golden frame for it! You know when stitchers say that 'they enjoyed every single stitch', right?! Well, I always think to myself that that simply cannot be true; there must be parts of a design that is a bit boring... However, with this particular project - and for the very first time - I must admit to saying that I enjoyed every single stitch on this sampler LOL!
It was soo wonderful to stitch on the sparkly fabric, and I loved the little motifs and the happy colours - I just loved it all! In fact, I'm almost sad that it is finished lol.

Here is another picture of it that I took when it laid on my lap - all the colours of the threads and the fabric are much more accurate here:)

I wish I could do a Happy Dance but today I think I have to settle for a Happy Clap:)

Now I just hope I feel more like myself tomorrow so I can carry on stitching without an headache or without falling asleep...

Happy Stitching Everyone!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Stitchy Saturday with a Happy Dance!

Hello Everyone!

Today has been a perfect day in my life; lots of stitching and lots of sports on the telly!
Yesterday I started stitching on a cute little blackwork heart and I showed my progress on the Friday Frolics SAL . Today I finished it and I'm very pleased with it:)

From Cross Stitch Crazy issue 203
Designer: Lesley Teare
 I used some bright freebie threads from an old issue of Cross Stitcher and it was a really fun stitch! I enjoy doing blackwork, and I especially enjoy the speed with which a blackwork project grows lol:) And using other colours except for black is really fun; I'm thinking of doing some blackwork in bright pink och a bright orange:)

Today I also dug out an UFO that has been in my to-finish pile for a couple of years. It's from a set of four Stitchers' sayings by Rhona Norrie, and I have already stitched one of them:

Cross Stitch Crazy issue 165
The second one that became a UFO was almost finished. I just had a tiny bit of backstitch left and a bunch of french knots to do, but for some reason I didn't finish it... And then the amount of french knots I had left to do put me off...well, you can imagine what happened. Other exciting projects came along and one more project ended up on the UFO pile...
But I came across it again during the week and I realised that now that I'm becoming comfortable with beads, I could actually replace the french knots with beads and then I would have a UFO-finish! So today I looked through my beads, and whilst the original chart had french knots in a pale blue colour, I really wanted to go for beads that would pop against the fabric and the rest of the design. Therefore I picked yellow beads...

...and this is how it turned out:) Bright and colourful:) And I can do a Happy Dance! Yay!

I'm in such a cross stitching mood right now; if I can just sit and stitch with a needle in my hand everything's alright in my world:)

Hope you've all found some time for stitching this weekend!


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Christmas gifts made and received...and snow!

Hello Everyone!

I'm very sad to say that this week I have not had time to stitch anything yet, since I have had to sort out my place after Christmas... Packing up all the Christmas stuff, bringing the boxes down to the cellar, removing all the left-over pine tree needles from my beautiful Xmas tree that now resides on my balcony, washing all my Xmas cushion covers etc etc...

Not much fun but VERY necessary! I'm just about finished now though, so I can't wait to pick up a needle again:) I have continued to go through cross stitching magazines though and looking for gift ideas, and I've done some sorting out of my projects to make sure I only have the very up-to-date projects close at hand and the others tucked away for now. I also plan go to through all my stitching freebies to see which ones I KNOW I'll never stitch, and therefore can use the fabric pieces etc for other things.

Since I don't have any stitching progress to show you this time, I thought I take this opportunity to show you some more homemade gifts from this past Xmas.

My sister made this wonderful picture for me:)

I also received this beautiful decoration from my sister...

...and this picture too:) Ring any bells???

My mum stitched this bookmark for me on 16-count aida... well as this little cute needlebook:)

I made decorated jars for every female in my family with their stitched initial
on the lid.

For my aunts I decorated towels...

...with their first name.

I made this little cushion for my sister...

...and decorated this teatowel with a band of strawberries. 14 strawberries to
be exact...!

I made these little key fobs for my sister and BIL. The dog looks just like
one furbaby they have:)
Now, that just about wraps up a wonderful Christmas 2015. Now we're in the middle of a lot of snow and very cold temperatures over here in Sweden (minus 16 degrees Celcius), so I'll leave you all with some snowy pics...

 Happy Stitching Everyone!


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Festive Flurry, a cottage and realizations...

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for your comments on my previous post!
As you might have guessed, the topic of that post meant a lot to me and I'm glad you enjoyed reading it:) As my dear sister pointed out, Grandma Mary would have turned 100 years old today if she'd been alive, so I hope she has a lovely birthday up in heaven and that she has access to internet and a cross stitch project in her lap LOL!


Now on to present topics:)

I have done some more stitching on Festive Flurry, and I'm enjoying the process again. This is where I'm at now:

I'm really happy with my progress! Unfortunately I got sidetracked during the week, or I would have gotten even further...
Why is it that even though I have a pile of projects to stitch and to finish, a glimpse in an old cross stitch magazine had me diving through my threads and my fabric and before I knew it I just had to start stitching a small snowy cottage?! It just doesn't make sense, does it?! I've started to realise that it is quite often that we stitchers just don't make sense, do we?! And as if that wasn't enough, the 'small' design I picked had soooo much backstitch it felt like I was backstitching every single square... The magazine stated the stitching time to be 'a few hours'; it turned into a few DAYS for me.

From Cross Stitch Crazy issue 79
Designer: Debra Page

I thought I had finally finished it tonight, but when I took the picture I realised that I still hadn't backstitched the door...! Like I said, A FEW DAYS! Still, the cottage is very cute and I am tempted to stitch another one in the series. However, I'm going to wait a few days - at least - and I'll try to pick another cottage with less backstitching!

I've been thinking a lot about how to plan my stitching this year. I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions, but last year's stitching taught me a few things, especially about Xmas gift stitching! I started stitching the Christmas gifts way too late - obviously, since I only started in July LOL! That clearly wasn't early enough if I want to stitch gifts for all my family, so this year I am going to start just about NOW. Also, I realised that for me - slow stitcher, only aida, limited finishing knowledge/courage, limited resources - only certain kinds of charts are suitable for gift-making. Too elaborate charts tend to take WAAAY too long and put me off somewhere along the way. They also cost more to make as I have to buy more threads. And don't make me start on the backstitch!! I don't have a problem in general when it comes to backstitch, but it can take a LOONG time to do and therefore charts for gifts (with a set finishing date) shouldn't have too much backstitch - soo, no cottages as gifts LOL:) And I want to stitch charts with a limited amount of colours; saving both time on starts and stops as well as saving money on threads.

Of course, all these things do NOT apply to my own cross stitching projects; just so you know lol.

So, since it was so frustrating to not have time to finish all my stitched gifts for last Christmas, and having come to some realizations about my own limitations, I am now plowing through all my cross stitch magazines - maybe about a 100-150 magazines - for suitable charts for this upcoming Christmas. I'm also looking for ways to turn them into usable gifts - I don't want to bombard my family with only cushions and pictures...! I then plan to make a start and  do some sort of VERY loose form of rotation all througout the year between my own projects and my gift projects.

What do you think?? Does that sound like a sensible plan?
Time will tell, I guess.

Happy Stitching Everyone,


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Memories of Grandma Mary's stitching!

Hello Everyone!
I come from a family of crafters. My maternal grandmother made fur coats and in her spare time she used to knit and cross stitch. As she is now near to her 90s, she can 'only' manage long stitch these days. My late grandpa painted pictures and enjoyed making things. My dad has always been very handy with wood and amongst other things basically built a whole large family boat! As you may already know, my mum also enjoys lots of crafts. She's very good at lace-making, and have throughout the years crocheted numerous granny square blankets and knitted lots of different things. Both my great grandma and grandpa on my mother's side used to cross stitch and made big tapestries:) So, when I think about it, lots of creative talants and inspiration!
However, being a cross stitcher myself (as well as a knitter, sewer and crocheter of course) I must say that my paternal grandma Mary's accomplishements are extra-special to me.
Grandma Mary and Grandpa Axel
Sadly she is no longer with us, but the memories of her are still vivid in my mind, as is all her crafty accomplishments! Amongst other things, she made the most beautifully knitted jumpers with amazing motives in multiple colours; things I could only dream of knitting. And she cooked yummy sunday dinners with meat from elk/moose:)) But what I mostly remember about her is all her cross stitch projects, and how she used to sit on her old sofa with huge charts on the table in front of her, and a large piece of fabric in her lap:) Looking back it really grieves me that I really never took opportunity to sit with her and learn from her. At the time I was only a teenager who found cross stitch quite boring - it took sooo much time to stitch something! - and I preferred to sew clothes and knit jumpers and crochet doilies.
I do remember some things she did when she stitched though. I remember that she used to stitch gridlines so it is thanks to her that I save lots of time using gridlines when I stitch. She also used to mark off her charts as she stitched, but to me it looked messy and I don't do that. Having gridlines always helps me to keep my place on the charts anyway, so I have never felt the need to mark my charts.
I actually has one small black and white chart that she used once, and I can see how she has marked off all the squares as she stitched...
It feels amazing that she has used this chart herself maybe 40 years ago..! I quite like motive too so maybe I'll stitch it myself one day, although grandma has made it a bit difficult for me to see the symbols lol. On the front of the chart are lots and lots of small holes which I assume is from her doing her marking with a very sharp
This is a very small chart for being my grandma though! She really liked to stitch huge designs, and the most impressive picture she cross stitched MUST be this HUGE picture of old-time Stockholm...
Yes I know the picture is huge, and it deserves to be!

...that now hangs on the wall at my dad's place. Can you imagine the amount of hours she must have spent on it?! Even though she was a fast stitcher, it still must have taken her at least 1000 hours!
Now that I really have gotten into cross stitch myself, and know how much time it takes and how much work goes into it, this project just baffles and amazes me no end! And HOW I wish I now could have had the chance to sit down with her and learn the 'tricks of the trade' from a Master! Just watching her stitch would have been amazing...!

Anyhow, the REAL reason I'm writing this post is because I want to show you a VERY special Christmas gift I received this past Xmas from my sister:)
My sister is another amazing crafter in our family! She does just about anything - except for cross stitch - and in the last couple of years she has learnt how to quilt, and she has made amazing quilts for everyone:) So when I remembered that I had a bag in the cellar filled with 24 cross stitched pictures of national flowers/greenery that grandma Mary stitched over 30 years ago, I asked my sister if she thought she could combine her quilting skills with grandma's cross stitching and create new stunning things like cushions that we could use in our everyday life, instead of the precious cross stitched pictures just being in my cellar year after year.

Luckily my sister though that was an excellent idea and she spent the autumn creating gorgeous cushions out of grandma Mary's cross stitches, and on Christmas Eve I received my very own beautiful cushion! I had the advantage at one stage to choose my favorite flowers out of the many grandma stitched and they looked amazing all together:

Some close-ups...


My dad also got a beautiful cushion from my sister (and his mum), and my mum got a small cushion too... 
 ...from her daughter (and former mother-in-law). My sister also sent cushions to my aunt and my cousin and I am sure we will all treasure our beautiful cushions, and the best of all is that grandma Mary's work is displayed beautifully and enjoyed by us all in our everyday lives!

Lastly I just have to share with you a funny - and a bit sad - story from grandma Mary's last years. She developed Alzheimer as she got older but that didn't stop her from enjoying her crafts to the best of her ability. And that became even more obvious when my mum received all of grandma Mary's craft things after she passed away. You see, amongst Mary's things my mum found about six cross stitched starts of the same picture!!! She must have started on the project, then forgotten that she has started on it, so then she would make a new start on the same project again ... over and over again...! I just don't know whether to laugh or cry about it! Talk about the project that never ends:)) I guess what really matters was that she could enjoy doing what she had always done!
Unfortunately it is quite a big project, and not at all my style...otherwise I'd be tempted to finish it just to enjoy the feeling of working on the same project that my grandma started. Maybe in some years' time I'll feel like finishing one of them; we certainly have enough versions to go around LOL.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Birthday gift and a cute stitching companion:)

Hello Everyone!
Happy New Year to you all and hope that your next year will be filled with stitches:)
I have been spending time with my Festive Flurry, but I can feel my attention starting to waver from this one, especially when I have to stitch browns and oranges - not my favorit colours. Therefore I definitely think before and after pictures might be appropriate right now and boost my inspiration:)
So this was progress before the New Year...
...and now I'm here...

Actually, I have done pretty well so far:) It really helps me to see a before and after shoot on my projects, especially those days when it feels like I'm getting nowhere with my projects...!

Today was my mum's birthday, so I wrapped up my gift in this gorgeous crafty wrapping paper...

...I found in my favourite craft shop. Isn't it wonderful? Perfect for homemade gifts:)
So what did I make for my mum? Well I made her a cushion with a crafty theme...

...and I love how it turned out:) Here's a close-up of the cross stitched section:
The design is from Cross Stitcher issue 287 and the designer is Lucie Heaton. I changed the thread colours quite a bit in order to be able to use some of my own stash of threads and use even more bright colours since my mum favours bright colours. The original chart was meant as a picture where you could attach real buttons and saftey pins for added texture, but since this was going to be a cushion I added those things by stitching them instead:)

Remember I told you I had TWO projects I wanted to make a start on?? Well, now I have started to prepare the aida fabric for that next project by stitching gridlines, so in a day or two I should be able to make another start:)) But I am determined to continue with the other two favorite projects too; I know that it suits me to have several fun projects on the go so I can switch between them depending on my mood:)

Finally I just have to share a super cute pic of my smallest furbaby who always keeps me company on the sofa while I stitch:)

He likes to snuggle down in the nearest cosy blanket and distract me with his cuteness lol!
In case you can't tell, he's a mix between Chihuahua, Dashound and Beagle; the devotion of a Chihuahua, the body and fierceness of a Dashound and the colouring of a Beagle!!!

Happy Stitching Everyone!