getting ready for Christmas and trying something new

As my regular readers know, I try to stitch on some small projects throughout the year so that I have a little stash of Xmas decorations ready by the end of the year.  I also like to make use of FREEs that are generously offered on the internet, and am always ready to try something new ^^

That little intro to say that I’ve bought a new pair of pinking shears, and finished off a few small designs I stitched this Spring.  Design is by Clarelis


And then I stitched another blackwork freebie by Wyrd Byrd


One version in red, and one in black . . . because I wanted to try something she suggested on her blog.


She suggested using colouring pencils to colour in parts of the design, so I decided to give it a go.  I think it looks very pretty and makes the design really come to life.  What do you think?


“Cirque des Cercles”–stage 11

Needle has been flying but there’s also been some frogging along the way, as I completed stage 11 of the the “Cirque des Cercles” design I’m stitching along with Avis of Sewing Beside the Sea.

stage 11

Am wondering if I’m going to have enough thread left to stitch the last and final stage . . . fingers crossed ^^

Don’t forget to nip over and see what our friends, in other parts of the world are stitching. Gun of Rutigt . . . Jule of From the Boudoir and Kate of Tall Tales From Chiconia.

latest news and more blackwork

Latest news to share with you today is that our house sale went through yesterday ^^  We did the return trip in the same day, arriving at the house to do the meter readings with the new owners, then went together to the solicitor’s for signing of contracts.  So one last photo of the house where we spent the last 13 years.


Last weeks had been a little stressful, but in the end, it all worked out.  We now have to be patient for the next stage – the buying.  Three months to go. 

Aside from that excellent news, I have a little stitching to show you.  Another free design found on the internet. 


This is called “Doily” and is a design by Jeanne Dansby.  You can find it, and other designs on her blog Byrd’s Nest.  I have already printed out several of her designs and there are even more on her website WyrdByrd’s Nest.  I really do suggest you take a look because she offers some wonderful blackwork designs just waiting to be stitched.

up early for the flea market

I was up at the crack of dawn on Sunday (in fact, hours before the crack of dawn) to go to a huge flea market on the outskirts of Lyon.  It’s called “Les Puces du Canal” and takes place every Sunday.  My brother-in-law is a regular visitor, and my husband had already been with him a few times. Yesterday I decided to tag along to see what I was missing.

There was a bit of everything including lots of second hand, good quality furniture.  Didn’t look too closely, as we have to wait until the end of the year and our next move before we start buying furniture. BUT it gave us lots of ideas.  We’ll probably go back and look for some bargains in the new year.

What I did find yesterday though


some English paperbacks on a secondhand book stall. 1€ per book, so I picked up a nice selection for some bedtime reading.

After the flea market, we then headed out into the countryside, to a village carboot sale.  My husband, who has a thing for porcelaine/china/ceramics . . . found this


35cm in diameter, in the most gorgeous vibrant colours.


And I bought something totally silly. 


These little figurines are called Funkeys.  It’s a PC game. The bigger one is a “hub” and you’re supposed to plug him into the computer, then place the little figures in the hub and they allow you to visit different parts of the game.  A sort of Pokemon environment, I imagine.  I have the CDRom too, but unfortunately my computer doesn’t have the right configuration to allow me to actually play.  I’m not really bothered though – I just thought they were cute ^^ and have them all standing on top of my computer desk.

Oh, and before I forget . . . since we know we won’t be moving again until the end of November, I took a very brave step, and have begun letting the cats outside!  They’ve been cooped up for 2 months, and it wasn’t being fair on them to continue keeping them indoors because they are used to a certain amount of freedom. So, although I hate to see them wander off, I have started letting them out.



Here’s the proof ^^  Le Bleu enjoying some fresh air, and Gandalf, on the window ledge.  Merlin was already on walkabout by the time I thought to take any photos. 

They spent their first couple of outings staying very close to home, but are already getting more adventurous and going farther afield.  It “scares” me in a way, but then again I know they are all used to traffic, people, dogs, etc . . . they’re cats, so they have an inbuilt survival instinct, and I have to trust them to stay away from danger and not wander too far.

Only 48 hours to go before the final signing and sale of our house.  There have been a few minor hitches along the way, so fingers crossed that nothing else crops up.

a day out and a little finish

The sun has been shining and the skies are blue – perfect weather for a day out in Lyon.  My daughter, aka Lindashee, is studying 3D Animation in Lyon, and has just finished a 2 month work-placement, which means she now has a few weeks holiday before term starts again.  We decided to meet up for lunch . . . so off to Lyon I headed, with my 12 year old niece for a girls’ day out. 



There I am, with the sun in my eyes ^^

And here are mother and daughter, standing in “la place Bellecour”, which is the part of Lyon where Lindashee’s Art college is located.  Behind us, in the distance, you can see the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière and the Metallic Tower of Fourvière.


Didn’t get up to much. A little window shopping, some walking around, lunch and then yummy icecream. 

Back home in our temporary cosy flat, I’ve been busy stitching . . . and making the most of a couple of free charts found on the internet. 

Here is what I’ve just finished.


Design found HERE.

I stitched on plain old 14 count white aida, using black for the cat, and one of my favourite Threadworx colours: “Mosaic” for the blackwork.  I changed the blackwork slightly on the top right. Chart calls for French knots or beads but I avoid French knots wherever possible and I can’t remember where I’ve put my seed beads ^^

Tomorrow I’m going to begin another free blackwork design. So stay tuned and I’ll share that with you as soon as it’s done.

“I love fantasy fiction”–a new free

Hello folks.  Today I can show you (at long last) the third design in a free bookmark series.  Many thanks to Lindashee, who charted the dragon’s head for me ^^

You can mess around with colours as I have done – ideal for using up all those leftover bits of threads in your stash.

Oops, just noticed, I forgot the white French knot in dragon’s eye when stitching the French version – never mind ^^


You can download the chart here I love fantasy fiction

thank you Laura and Annie

I may have had to say goodbye to my English students when we moved house at the end of June, but I have been keeping in touch via email (with some of them at least) and was very touched to receive some surprise mail through the post too.

Laura sent me some cross stitch goodies


two magazines, 12 skeins and a book with monochrome designs.  The Christmas themed magazines will be great for choosing some small designs to stitch up for tree decorations. Threads ALWAYS come in handy, and there is a design in the monochrome book that has caught my fancy ^^


but I probably won’t stitch in white.

I also learned something new about one of students, Annie . . . I knew she knitted when she found the time, but I didn’t realise she was also into card-making!  She made and sent a lovely card


I love the colours, and I really love the inside, where the leaves are sort of 3D, standing out from the background


So a big thank you to Annie and Laura ^^