April 08, 2006

Catching up - WIP's of Seed Sampler

Sunday morning here in England has been really pleasant - not too cold, bright and blue and all the daffodils are absolutely at their best, swaying gently in the breeze. I have a few really pretty pansies in pots on our patio that seem to have burst into life in only a few days. Their purples and pink/lemons are a wonderful complement to the Spring bulbs. Of course, the Spring heralds the start of a gardener's hard work .... since last weekend, the grass is really showing signs of growth. I am going to hold out until Easter before I even think about taking out the lawn mower... once the grass gets its first hair-cut, it suddenly says to itself "aaaahh it must be Spring, I can start growing like mad!!!" - so, like a baby, I will try to let it 'sleep in' for just a while longer!!

Here is the first WIP of my Seed Sampler which I began on Monday 3rd April. As you can see from the photo from the Chart, it is the first signs of being a Columbine - there is a fair amount of back-stitching, including the Words at the top of the "seed packet", but I will wait until I finish the section before I do that ... my original thought was to do all the back-stitching at the end, but this design is one that can be done in sections because each part is a mini-picture in its own right.

I managed approximately 10 hours' stitching - not as much as I wanted, but I have only been able to stitch some mornings before work. My evenings have been 100% into studying, although on Wednesday I was sooo tempted to do some more after work, as it was really starting to look like an Orchid so my motivation levels were up :-) Today I managed to sew the little terracotta square on the right, which will have the geranium pot inside. I love the way each square of the design links into the next one, as it will be nice to change colours from all the creams, yellows, lilacs and purples I have used all week.

Once I have completed this section, I will move downwards to the flowers called bleeding hearts which are mainly pink and red colours - there is some cream and turquoise in the background, so some different colours to "play" with. There are 4 main sections to this work, with some extra bits round the edges, so I think I will be stitching for some time to come!!

DH did not buy me an Easter egg by the way - I did not really want one this year as his parents always buy us chocolate so I thought it would be nice to have something to pamper myself. So I asked for some of my favourite handcream (Crabtree and Evelyn) - its for gardeners, which I guess is quite suitable as I am stitching a sampler with a gardening theme LOL! We went to see his Mum and Dad yesterday and yes .... we got lots of choccies (a big egg, and some Green and Blacks organic chocolate selection box). Yum yum!!

Hope everyone has had a wonderful time and enjoyed the break from work!

April 07, 2006

Treasures in the Post

Yippeee the postie delivered stash for me today! My Freebie gift arrived from Cross Stitch Collection - its the Tiger I mentioned in my previous blog entry. Its a style that Maria Diaz could have designed, but I am not sure if she works for Anchor ... anyway, its gorgeous!

Not sure when I can start stitching it, but I'm just pleased I managed to get it as the Freebie gift, because I ordered it the day before the offer expired (they were giving away a craft bag in April, but I did not need one of those).

The second envelope I received contained the square of velvet from Sue Hawkins at Olympia (working next to Jane Greenoff's stand) which is the backing for my canvas Heart kit. I make a start on it over the long weekend coming up as it looks really interesting - lots of different stitches, so it should be a challenge.

Well that's all for now, folks - I'm just heading off to bed now as its 9.45 pm and I was up at the crack of dawn this morning as I had an early meeting at work. Sleep well all those in this time-zone :-)

April 05, 2006

A Quick Blog before the Day Begins!

Just a few quick words before the day begins! It was such a tonic to read everyone's comments - thanks for dropping by - makes me realise there is life away from an MSc, LOL !

The problem with writing up about an event way past the date is that you tend to forget the finer details .... yes, San, you reminded me that I did enjoy my "chin-wag" with Maria so much I stopped thinking of our rumbling tummies, oops. I certainly surprised us by having a "good-stash-day" that day, not unlike the Allie-Pally event where you came away with armfuls of exciting bags etc! I was tempted to buy both those hearts (the large one I bought was decorated with hearts'-ease and the smaller one with pansies), but figured I have got quite a lot of kits piling up and want to get some of them finished first. Maybe I will ask DH to buy it for me for our wedding anniversary in June - it would be quite appropriate being a heart!

Aah, Isabelle, you reminded me of Skyscape which we both ended up buying - mine is unfortunately still in its sellophane wrapper - but nil desperandum, I have big plans for stitching it over the summer! You definitely beat me on that race as I know you stitched your kit yonks ago! I am looking forward to the beading as I have only beaded on small freeby kits, which isnt quite the same... and you have started rather an interesting debate about Evenweave versus Aida :-) I must say I recently started using evenweave, having been an Aida girl for many a year and I have to say .... I really love the effect of sewing on evenweave and linens (anything where its stitched over 2 threads) and now find that Aida just isnt the job for me!

But I think I will have to remain a "closet Aida stitcher" - like many of the comments I have read on the subject, us Cross-stitchers are ace at recycling and not wasting, so I will have to make something out of all that 14 count :-)

Donna, I am pleased that I have introduced you to the delights of Moira Blackburn - I just love her samplers. Similar to Brenda Keyes, she uses authentic styles and colours which are based on designs she has seen in museums or as part of her own collection. She does have a website where you can feast your eyes! http://www.emlis.com/blackburn.htm There are some great books on there - I am tempted with the Millers Guide on how to Compare and Value Samplers - Millers are, of course the experts in Antiques of all kinds.

Well, its time to start my day's work now, so with my cappucchino in hand (caffeine definitely gets me through the day!) I will bid you all a happy day and will meet again soon either at my blog or yours :-)