birthdays & unbirthdays in February

There was a fair amount of secret crafting and gift giving for birthdays & an unbirthday in February . . . in chronological order . . .

bags galore05

These two bags, which I made and showed you in January, went to their new homes.  The one on the left to our neighbour, Brigitte, who celebrated her 70th birthday on 10th February.  And the one on the right was sent as an unbirthday gift to Karine.

for Avis 03

For my good friend, Avis, who is an Aquarian, like myself . . . I made a needlebook and a matching scissor fob, stitching a design by Elizabeth Almond.  My little stitched gifts were sent with the pair of Eiffel Tower scissors and a vintage wooden bobbin (thank you to the husband for sanding & staining).

for Avis 01

for Avis 02

And last, but by no means least, . . . my sister is also a February baby, although she’s a Pisces.  To her, I sent 2 jars of locally produced honey plus

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One of the tote bags I made in January AND

biscornu 01

a biscornu & matching scissor fob, with pretty pair of scissors & wooden bobbin (again, thank you to the husband for sanding & staining lol).

biscornu 03 (2)

biscornu 03

biscornu 04

This blackwork design is my own (can be found on my “free chupin’s xstitch” page) although I did alter it somewhat when stitching these pieces.

While I did buy in the scissors, to gift, and also bought in some plain wooden bobbins,  all the stitching/sewing was done using supplies from my stash.

DMC biscornu happy dance

The other day, I showed you a photo of a lovely surprise gift from Wisher, who held a giveaway on her blog Pretty Little Things in a Box, and I was lucky enough to win.  Prize was a DMC biscornu kit and a pair of embroidery scissors.

I wasted no time in making a start on this little project. I do love a biscornu and it had been ages since I made one.

biscornu1

I didn’t have quite enough of the pink (for star) to stitch that symbol both front & back, so I subsituted on one side for a slightly darker pink.  And I decided not to use the red thread, but swapped for a very pale baby pink, to keep the design very bright.

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I also decided not to use the pale pink button that came with the kit . . . and used 2 tiny green ones instead.  Typical me, making a few changes along the way Rire

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So a happy dance with this lovely little biscornu and another thank you to Wisher. 

review of 2014

A very happy new year to you all.  I hope that 2015 will be a good one for you and wish you health, happiness and plenty of time for crafting ^^

It’s a stitcher’s tradition to start the year with a new project, but I’m breaking with tradition this year. I will no doubt be starting some new projects very soon, but not today.  Instead, I decided to do a review of 2014 in photos.

I have grouped pics together so as not to make this too photo-intensive.  First up . . . a medley of free designs by Lindashee that I stitched throughout the year.  You can find all of these designs on Lindashee’s blog. Her “four seasons” and a series of 9 little critters.

PicMonkey Collage lindashee

I also spent quite a few hours working on patchwork projects this year, with several sets of place mats and some bags ^^

PicMonkey Collage patch

And of course, more cross stitch, including some finishings of projects that were stitched in 2013 but only finished off in 2014 and some knitting.

PicMonkey Collage xst

I think “the plan” for 2015 will be to combine more cross stitch and patchwork – possibly more cushion covers over the coming year and most definitely some wall-hanging finishes.

are you sitting comfortably?

because animals here are all snuggled up in the warm!  It doesn’t often happen that animals are all indoors at the same time, so I got the camera out. Apologies for bad quality of photos – we live in a country where we have wooden shutters on the windows and I didn’t open them because I didn’t want to disturb all my sleeping beauties.

Downstairs I have Le Bleu sort of scrunched up between a cushion and a dog, on the couch, but he seems comfortable enough (apologies also for the dreadful couch throw lol – it’s on the reverse side this week so a bit “ouch” on the eyes)

sitting 01

The rear end, belongs to Blackjack – yes, I know that dogs this size shouldn’t be on furniture, but you try telling him that!

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He’s not even asleep, I think he’s just meditating. 

Meanwhile, upstairs . . . a good excuse for not making the bed this morning. I woke up to find Le Bleu, Merlin and Gandalf all snuggled up . . . but after my shower, they’ve been playing musical chairs because with Le Bleu downstairs, Willow has taken his place.

sitting 03

I’ll just let sleeping animals lie and worry about the housework later on today ^^

I’m making the most of this article to do a hotch-potch of various subjects . . . because my crafting plans are somewhat varied at the moment.

First of all – I’m preparing Christmas 2014 already . . . taking part in a SAL on a French forum where we’re planning on stitching a small freebie design once a month. For January we stitched a little blackwork tree by Carmela. Mine isn’t quite finished as it needs an iron and a little button star sewn on top – I’ll get round to that soon.

carmela

I’m also stitching Lindashee’s Winter heart.  It’s very stitch intensive and has taken quite a few hours to get to this stage

winter heart

I do love the effect of the lighter green around the edges though so it was well worth the time spent. All I need do now is decide on my threads for the bauble bits and twinkles. I’ll probably add seed beads or blending filament as I go for some extra sparkle ^^

While on the subject of Christmas – yes, I know it’s been and gone already but at patchwork club we had a little tombola for Secret Santa yesterday.  Here’s what I received

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a set of 6 glass coasters with an opening in the back to slip in a photo (or maybe a small xstitch piece design?). 

And here’s what I gave

secret santa

A jar of our homemade blackberry jelly, a little notebook, two pieces of fabric and the biscornu I made using Avis blackwork design.

I asked if you were sitting comfortably at the beginning because this post isn’t over yet lol.

A photo to show you fabric and threads for a new start.

CdesC before start

This is for a new SAL I’ll be stitching along with Avis (on her second blog: Sewing Beside the Sea  and Isabel. Avis and I will be stitching Ink Circles “Cirque des Cercles” and Isabel is going to be stitching something completely different. The idea of our informal SAL is to motivate each other and post photos of our updates.  My choice of fabric and thread is a 25 count Lugana “Dark Green” and “Wild Poppies” by Threadworx.  I’ll be placing my first stitches this afternoon ^^

And last photos to show another little idea that has been buzzing in my brain.  Knitting.  I haven’t done much in the past but I already have a couple of leftovers in yarn . . . so decided to knit up some squares – the plan being to assemble squares and make a patchwork knitted throw ^^.  It’s going to take me forever but I don’t have a problem with that.  I began with some leftover yarn from a scarf I knitted my daughter several years ago.

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a lovely soft bubbly black, white & blues.  I knitted up two 5” squares

squares1

and still had some yarn left.  Avis gave me a wonderful tip because I was unsure if I would have enough to get a third square done. She suggested I weigh a knitted square, and then weigh the little ball of leftover yarn – so simple, why didn’t I think of it?  Result of weighing – squares weigh 12g and leftover ball only weighs 9g . . . so I know I don’t have enough to get a third square. Nevermind – I’m sure I’ll find something else to do with it.

Right, that’s all for now folks. Sorry if I’ve given you a numb bum . . . I just had so much to share and didn’t want to do several posts ^^

out with the old, in with the new

Hello everyone!  It’s January 1st so, I’ll begin by wishing everyone a very happy New Year. May 2014 be filled with quality time to spend with family, friends and as much crafting as possible ^^

I very rarely check out the stats on my blog, but I did happen to notice that my last post was the 999th . . . which means that THIS is my 1000th post.  Seems rather appropriate to be posting it on the first day of the New year Sourire

Last night I was busy finishing off a small project – and managed to sew on buttons just before midnight. So I ended the year with a happy dance, and this cute little biscornu

celtic knot biscornu

celtic knot biscornu2

I stitched on 20 count “lilac” aida, using Anchor 1375 and a free Ink Circles chart.

Today, I began the year with a new project . . . another free design of a cupcake. 

SAL cupcake janvier

This is one of twelve cupcake designs by Lorraine Clarke which is available on CyberStitchers.  I will be stitching the complete set of 12 along with some friends on a xstitch forum. My idea will simply be to stitch one each month on small pieces of fabric, so that I can then turn them into cards or other little gifts throughout the year.  I stitched this on my 20 count aida too – as you can see, it has turned out really tiny – about the size of a 1 euro coin ^^

While I had the camera out, I also took a few photos of more surprises I received over the festive season.  From a friend Valou – a basket of dried fruits

from val xmas 2013

from val 1 xmas 2013

From zazimuth some bookmarks and a lovely felt decoration for the tree

from zazimuth xmas 2013

and from Flo

from Flo xmas 2013

Christmas exchange

I took part in a Christmas exchange on a French forum Bonheur Point de Croix – rules of the game, to send a parcel with crafting supplies (but within a 10 euros budget) and an optional hand-made gift. It was organised as a “chain” so I sent to Edwige and received from Lilubelle.

Here is what I sent to Edwige: a box (a recycled chocolate box) with a Laladoll by  d’Isabelle Vautier stitched and glued with varnish glue to the lid.

exchange edwige1

exchange edwige2

inside  – some blue marbled evenweave, a skein of Threadworx, and some blue mother-of-pearl buttons.

exchange edwige3

Here is what I received from Lilubelle

from lilubelle

a very colourful fabric for future patchworkings, an embroidery kit, loads of lovely charms (that I can’t take close-up of with my camera) and the most gorgeous blackwork biscornu. 

Mystery Blackwork SAL finished

Today Avis published part 6 of her Mystery Blackwork SAL . . . it’s been great fun stitching together these past 6 weeks and seeing all the different versions

SAL Claire06

but I can now let you into a little secret . . . I stitched the design not once but TWICE ^^

SAL claire06a

and the reason why?   because it’s been ages since I made a biscornu ^^

I had added a few Mill Hill gold beads to the blackwork as I stitched and decided to add even more during the assembly part.  The result is

biscornu1

biscornu2

 

15 sided biscornu happy dance

I am having so many happy dances this month, it’s no wonder it’s been snowing ^^

Today I come to share photos, this Christmas Eve, of my blackwork 15 sided biscornu that I have just finished stuffing. I still need to find a couple of nice buttons to add the final touch, but for now, here is my little masterpiece. I stitched on an ivory coloured aida with gold flecks running through, using DMC 315. The design is by Anita (Stitch Creations). 

15-sided biscornu only 3 squares to go

Title says it all – only 3 more squares to stitch for my biscornu which should make it a happy dance before Christmas.  Here are my 12 blackwork squares so far all neatly lined up. Am really pleased I chose to stitch this on lurex aida because it’s an easy stitch and so nice and shimmery.

And second photo of a little gift I stitched and sent to a forum member. She’s just given birth to a healthy baby girl called Coraline (obviously)