November 08, 2008

New Blog!

Hi Crafters,

Just to let you know I have started a new blog which I have called The Crafty Squirrel.

You can find me at

Bye for now
Alison xx

December 18, 2007


Hi XS Blogger Friends throughout the World:

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas Season
Keep on blogging and stitching in 2008!!

With happiness and peace to you and your's
Alison xxxxx

December 12, 2007

Christmas Makes!

Hi everyone

As promised, today's posting includes a couple of 'makes' that I have been working on for Christmas. The stocking cost me about 30 pence / 65 c (probably would have cost £2 in the shops!) and the table decoration was about £5 / $10.50 - just goes to show that making-your-own is not only more original and special, its so much cheaper too :-)

The red squirrel was a prized find in Hobbycraft in early November and I found the hedgehog a couple of weeks later so thought they would be an unusual Christmas centre-piece with the scented candle and glittery pinecones that I found under the tree on the other side of the lane, when I went for a walk in the late summer.
Will do a more detailed update with additional photos shortly
Hope everyone is having fun in the lead-up to Christmas and the holidays ahead
PS - San, I hope you get my cards, but let me know if you don't and I will send another couple in time before you leave for Lille on 20th!
Alison xxx

December 04, 2007

Some acknowledgements


Just an addendum to my latest blog entry, in alphabetical order:

Felicity: Thanks for your wonderful, 'blissful' newsy letter and Christmas card which arrived safely today. It was great to read all the latest from you and I am busily writing a reply which I will post with your Christmas card tomorrow, so stand-by your mailbox, girl LOL ;-D

Isabelle: Please may I have your postal address so I can send your Christmas card? Malheureusement, I did not receive your gift that you mentioned you posted around end Sept Booo Hoooo :-((( Sadly, that's the main problem with notre courier de l'escargot, I'm afraid to say xx

Margaret: Hopefully you will receive an envelope from me this week as the post office said that it would take 5 - 7 working days and I sent it last Wednesday ..... here's to a X-Stitch Round Robin for 2008 - I'm determined this time :-)) Maybe the Margaret Sherry Advent Calendar that we planned last year, if you still fancy that, or else another of your choosing.

Nela: Mil gracias por tus comentarios en mi blog y espero visitar el tuyo este fin de semana para ponerme al dia con todos tus proyectos de XS. Ojala que el sol brille aca en Maracaibo - que aqui en Inglaterra hace un dia gris, con nubes hasta la cabeza, y lluvia lluvia lluvia, :-((

San: Hopefully you will have received my cards for you and DBF and another for Maman with my love. I sent the cards by internal post last week. Will hopefully be able to set a date to visit Chez San this side of Christmas when I am at the Stevenage site - around Friday week I think ... The cushion on your website is awesome, by the way!

December 03, 2007

Christmas Makes!

Hi Everyone!

Since I arrived back from Philadelphia about 2 weeks ago, I have been getting into the swing of Christmas. When I was over there, I could tell that our American friends take their Christmas celebrations seriously, with the shopping malls fit to burst with people, at the beginning of November, undoubtedly getting ready for Thanksgiving as well! Unfortunately, despite looking for craft shops, there were none in the malls that I visited - I think the majority of crafting is now available over the internet, so most individual craft stores must be struggling to compete (or else are moving to majority web trading, to save money on rents).

In UK, we seem to be moving away from traditional green Christmas trees (of the artificial variety) with different colour trends such as black, chocolate brown, white and copper colours being most evident this year. I found a very unusual but attractive colour combination, teal green and black! There are lots of purple and bronze baubles and decorations in the shops which compliment it really well. I have added a photograph from the shop's website, because my photo didn't show the teal green off particularly well - its probably not that clear from this photo either! I also treated myself to a multi-function light string, which has 5 different settings on, from fade and constant, to graduated and flashing! Should keep me amused :-)

As well as buying the tree, I did most of my Christmas shopping as well, and spent the weekend wrapping up presents and writing labels. Most weekends in December I will be doing the rounds to family and friends so I thought it would be best to "bite the bullet" and get it all done at the start of the month rather than having to spread it out over the month - as I am bound to forget it, if it isn't on my list!

I have been making a Christmas Candle table decoration (I will add a photo tomorrow as I have nearly finished it) - with a squirrel and hedgehog with some pine-cones on a hessian covered board. In all, it has only cost me £5 because I had most of the materials and just bought the two animals from Hobby Craft

Happy Crafting! xxx

November 04, 2007

New Era, New Look!


Well, I decided to choose a new theme for my blog, its called Tequilla. It has unfortunately wiped out all my links to my fave blogs, so I will remediate as soon as possible, as I have a list of those I linked to. I just had this impulse to give my blog a "whole new look" LOL! It is like having a new hairstyle, or giving your house a make-over, a way of marking the beginning of a new era.

If you would like me to link to your blog, feel free to let me know and I will add you.

I heard from my tutor about 10 days ago that I had passed my MSc with a Distinction. It has not sunk in yet, so I haven't exactly celebrated passing, but I do feel relieved that all the stress from the last year has been lifted. As you know, recent times have been very challenging, so there are a lot of things that have an 'unreal' quality about them. Maybe that is life, just when we think we have got it all 'sussed' and life is mapped out for us, then something happens to 'warn' us not to take people or situations for granted.

I am writing this blog entry sitting in a hotel room in Philadelphia, would you believe! I travelled over here yesterday arriving at 3.15pm local time, so I am still feeling a bit jet-lagged. My watch tells me it is 6.45 pm (which is local US East-coast time) but my laptop clock (which is set to UK GMT) is telling me it is nearly midnight - hence that is how my body feels!

I had a free day today (Sunday) looking round Philly and taking in the sights - I am a bit of a culture-vulture and enjoy the local heritage of the places I visit. The Liberty Bell (see image above) is really beautiful and an icon for all who seek and struggle for equality and fair-minded liberalism. As you can see, it has a big crack in the side, which is apparently due to the fact that, like many bells made in the 18th century, the Liberty Bell was made of a mixture of metals, which made it vulnerable to crack when in use. It is no longer rung and is exhibited free of charge in down-town Philadelphia (in the Market Street/6th area of the city). If you get the opportunity, I can recommend a visit, you won't be disappointed. You can even buy your own miniature version (which does ring :-) from the Visitor Centre. Handy for requesting breakfast in bed or afternoon tea, LOL :-D

Tomorrow (Monday) is the start of a busy week as I have meetings in our Philadephia and King of Prussia offices. I will have the pleasure of meeting with people I have only been able to deal with by telephone until now, so it will really be good to put faces-to-names, as they say!

Since I finished my studies in September, I have regrettably had precious-little time to do cross-stitch, and only a couple of hours here and there to make a couple of cards for friends whose birthdays fell in recent weeks. I am just waiting to get this next week's business trip out of the way (which I have been preparing for) and then I think that work will calm down in the lead up to Thanksgiving in US and Christmas generally. I am planning to take around 3 weeks off over Christmas, so its time to max-out on the stitching, yeahhhhhhhhh!!!!

Well, that's about all for now, take care everyone and look forward to visiting your blogs more, now that I have some spare time to enjoy my freedom!!

Warmest wishes
Alison xxxx

June 05, 2007

My Latest News

Hello there, Crafters!

NB - don't be confused by the date of this entry - I have made it today, 20/Aug, however I think I must have started the entry back in June and edited that entry, so it must have kept the same date - shame on me, how long it has take me but please forgive me, I have an excuse ....

It has been ages since I posted on my blog. I have been hard at work on my MSc Dissertation all these months, and I can hardly believe how fast the summer has flown by. Before we know it, the nights are drawing in and its like autumn, but as you probably know if you are in North Europe, the summer has been rather non-existent this year :-(

I only have 17 days to go until I have to hand in my project to my University, two paper copies and an electronic copy to be posted onto their secure website. Then my summer can begin LOL.

It has been awful not being able to stitch - I can't really concentrate on anything at the moment, just getting the Dissertation finished off, all 13,000 words of it!

I also started my new job in mid-July (at the same company, doing something similar to what I was doing before, but more interesting ... and a bit more money - not a prerequisite for happiness .... but it does help with the Crafting habit LOL!!!!).

I do hope that you are all well. So much has been happening out there in the world. Dear Isabelle and Sebastien are now Husband and Wife - many congratulations - San is shortly moving house - and so on. Facebook and other "social networking" sites seem to have sprung up as if from nowhere, in only the past couple of months (or maybe publicity has increased!). I have been visiting people's blogs very briefly from time to time to "keep in touch", vowing to myself that as soon as I have finished my work I will get back on the Blog Trail and post comments (it takes me time, because I like to read all the postings and then comment specifically on things of interest). Its lovely having something nice to look forward to, so in 17 days' time I will be able to indulge in my favourite pastimes - stitching and blogging!

Watch this space!

Thanks for your patience and friendship,
Much love
Alison xx