latch-hooking progress

As you’ve seen from recent posts, I have been doing a little cross stitching, a little patchworking AND also a little latch-hooking lol. Here is what my rug looked like last week


And here’s what it looks like now, after finishing off the reds and orange at the bottom and making more progress on a front paw and the mouth.


Mme Chantilly update and the lost card

As usual, my evenings are spent cross-stitching in my comfy corner of the living room (arm chair right next to the radiator and cat on my lap lol) . . . averaging about 2 hours stitchng time per evening, here is the progress on my new Madame Chantilly project.

mme chantilly 02I am working to the right, so the second doll was slightly smaller . . . which meant I also had time to begin the row of little hearts which will continue all along the bottom.

Other photos to show you “the card that never arrived”

card MeganI stitched this for my daughter, who moved into her very own flat at the end of January but it got lost in the post.  Which meant, I had to sit down and stitch another one but didn’t want to do something identical (naively hoping that the first one might still show up) . . . so moved from pink to GREEN and simplified the border because I wanted to get it in the post quickly.

card lindaNo where near as pretty as the first, but at least this one arrived ^^

taking a leap into the unknown

I’ve taken several leaps into the unknown these past few days (and my knees are still a bit wobbly lol).  Yep, I’ve been doing some machine quilting AND have learned how to make my own binding (a big thank you to Avis for her wonderful support and clear instructions).

I always get very apprehensive when I finish off a cross stitch piece and this time has been no exception. I spent many weeks stitching “Alphabet Fun” by Bothy Threads, as you may well remember, and I was therefore scared stiff when it came to the machine sewing part because (with me, my heavy foot and wonky sewing) anything can happen.  As it is, things have gone incredibly well. I started off with a nice petrol blue Japanese fabric to make a “frame” – the blue picks out the blue in the design nicely, and since it’s for a little boy’s bedroom I thought it more suitable than any other colour.

For my first machine quilting, I didn’t try to be creative, and just did some simple zigzags on the blue, as well as stitching in the ditch around the cross stitch rectangle and some white hand stitches spotted about over the design to hold the aida nicely in place.  Had a little helper when it came to marking and trimming lol

helper 1

This afternoon I tackled the next stage. With help from Avis, I learned how to make my own binding and, most importantly, how to machine stitch it in place – yay!

binding1(oh my! is that my hand? looks like I could do with some hand cream and a manacure lol)

It’s not finished yet, which is why I’m not showing you an overall photo. I now need to hand stitch it to the back and sort out the “loops” to hang it since it is, after all, destined to be a wall-hanging. So stay tuned . . . more photos will be arriving soon.

Madame Chantilly “Polka Dots Matrioska” – the beginnings

After finishing my “Indian Maiden” I said I was going to have a break from autumnal colours and begin work on something quite “girlie” . . . thanks to Michèle who sent me her used copy of a Madame Chantilly chart.  Because there is a lot of white (or should I say DMC 5200) I decided to stitch on a dove-grey (or is it slate blue?) 18 count aida.

mme Chantilly

One of the thread sorters I got for my birthday is already coming in useful lol . . . and here is what my fabric looks like so far, with the most central of the 6 dolls.

Mme Chantilly 01

It’s quite stitch intensive actually, and although she only measures about 2 inches, she took me quite a few evenings.  I doubt very much that I’ll be able to manage a doll a week once I get to the two larger dolls . . . but we’ll see how it goes.


thank you Stéphanie, yvonne and my darling daughter

More post today (than you Lionel) aside from the phone bill . . .  it’s always so much fun to see REAL mail and wonder who is writing.

First enveloppe . . . I recognised the hand-writing, . . . was from my darling daughter, aka Lindashee. Couldn’t guess what she was writing to me about since we usually chat on skype and she texted me on my birthday . . . so ripped that open pretty quick lol to find a belated birthday card. Aahhhhhhhh, now isn’t that thoughtful?

from Linda

Next I opened a card from Stéphanie . . . who also send me a fun Breton bookmark for my collection

from stepâhine

and last, but by no means least . . . a very interesting enveloppe from Yvonne with instructions on how to OPEN it (which I carefully followed) . . . the enveloppe itself is the card -now that’s a pretty cool idea) and inside there were two little “things” that looked like match-stick packets at first lol.

from yvonne1

But no, they’re far too pretty to be match sticks . . . so what was inside?

from yvonne3

Ohhhh!!!!!! What a brilliant idea!  A little pin holder and a needle holder.  Brilliant!  Such a simple idea but how clever.  I think I’m going to “steal” that idea in the future . . . it really is a nifty idea for a gift.

thank you Michèle and Cathdragon

I’m still being spoiled rotten for my birthday hihi.

More bookmarks for my collection thanks to Michèle

from Hélèneand lots of lovely surprises from Cathdragon . . . an overall photo first

from cath1two bookmarks, a “violet” soap and 2 violet sweeties PLUS the most gorgeous box made just for me with a trio of Russian cat-dolls ^^

A couple of zooms to see the box in more detail

from cath2

from cath3

more thank yous

I have some more thank yous to show you because of more plump enveloppes from generous blogging friends.

From Joce (who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person) a gorgeous stitched bookmark (for a BIG book lol) and a kit to make my own

from Joce

from Marie-Thérèse, who travels a great deal for work and for pleasure . . . some bookmarks from very far away

from Marie Thé1In this first photo, two from Dubai (the modern hotel and the camels), one from Ireland and one from Iceland.  And a whole pile of “publicity” bookmarks from closer to home

from Marie Thé2

From Monique la Bretonne – two more bookmarks from her region

from monique

And from quaquie . . . a Christmas themed hand-stitched bookmark and a thimble for my collection from Andorra

from quaquieSo a big thank you ladies.  I received a few other packages this morning but you’ll have to wait until I have had time to take photos and thank the ladies personally by email first.


latch-hooking is such fun ^^

You’ll remember that I treated myself to a latch hook kit and started last week.  Here’s what it looked like after a few hours

rug01bThis week I have been having internet problems . . . not sure if it’s a problem with the line or whether our router needs changing . . . have a technician coming on Monday to have a look. Anyway, since internet has been on and off all week (mainly off) I have been spending more time than usual doing crafty stuff (so there’s a silver lining to every cloud) and am pleased to say that I have managed several hooking sessions. So today my rug looks like this


I’m really enjoying seeing it grow, but I have to say, the packaging in the Vesaco kit isn’t the most practical. Pre-cut wool is not sorted by colours, but comes in mixed colour bundles. Now that, in itself, isn’t too much of a problem because there are only 11 colours in this design and it’s easy to distinguish between the different shades of grey or red. What I don’t like about the mixed bundles is . . . for the moment I’ve been using mainly reds and orange . . . so this means I’m having to delve into new bundles constantly because there’s only so much of each colour per bundle. Since I haven’t started on the browns or beiges yet, I have therefore had to find myself a box to store all the wools I haven’t used yet and waste a certain amount of time each session sorting out the colours I do need.

Not sure if all latch hook kits are packaged up the same way, but it would have been more logical to have single colour bundles, and would have made life so much easier.


This was a Christmas present, from eldest son and his girlfriend . . . they knew I had already read the Bartimaeus Trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand, Golem’s Eye, and Ptolomey’s Gate).  This novel, is another great adventure with Bartimaeus, but situated BEFORE that successful trilogy . . . taking us back to Jerusalem and King Solomon’s time.

So, if you read the other three . . . and even if you haven’t, I highly recommend this!  Action packed from start to finish, with the usual wise-cracks and antics of our favourite Djinni.  Full of magic, assassins, evil magicians and, of course, Bartimaeus ^^

SOLOMONIt’s in the “teenage fantasy” section in bookshops and libraries, but it’s excellent reading for adults too and has already been translated into several languages like the trilogy



and we have a happy dance ^^

Oh yes, I’m having a happy dance . . . which might explain the awful weather we’re getting . . . since it could be misconstrued by the Great Spirits as a rain dance lol. I have put finishing stitches and back stitch to my “Indian Maiden” yay.  I began in January and it took me 7 weeks to complete.

indian maiden07

indian maiden07a

This is one half of a Janlynn kit with a design by Roger W. Reinardy, discontinued now, and a kit which I bought about 10 years ago on ebay.

indian 01

Stitched on 14 count aida, my Indian Maiden measures 45cm x 13cm so she’s very majestic in stature.  I will soon be starting work on her companion, “Indian Brave” who is slightly taller BUT I’ve decided to take a break from autumnal colours for a few weeks and begin a different project.   This is it

mme Chantilly

This new start is thanks to Michèle (a forum stitching friend). She posted a photo of her stitching  on the forum, which I admired greatly . . . and she offered to send me the second-hand chart since she no longer needed it. So, thanks to Michèle’s generosity, I will soon be having great fun stitching this cute set of whimiscal Russian dolls.  My threads are all sorted, I just need to decide on my fabric . . . am thinking of using a grey-blue aida I have in my stash to because the white should really stand out well against it.