SAL “Tiny Treasures #12 and a happy dance!

It’s a happy dance post today, with photos of my blackwork project finished – yay!

This design “Tiny Treasures” by Elizabeth Almond (Blackwork Journey) is a free downloadable chart, and available in either a square or rectangular version.  Avis and I both stitched the rectangular version.  Drum roll please . . .

I’ll be finishing this up as either a wall hanging or table runner – something to bring out each year at Christmas time.  For the time-being, it’s folded in a drawer, and I’ll choose suitable fabrics later in the year to do the patchwork finish.

In the meantime, I had a rummage in my xstitch drawer, and have chosen this as my next SAL project.

It’s a full coverage design on 16 count aida, with 42 different colours . . . should keep me out of mischief for quite a while!

Here is the full list of link to other SAL members.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJ,


and we’ll be back again on 2nd May.


a bit of this & that

We’re back in lockdown again in this part of the world, which doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the husband and myself as we hardly go anywhere these days.  We’re happy to find things to keep us busy at home, and with Spring in the air, the husband is spending more time outside watching things grow.  He’s also been doing a bit of weeding and general tidying up, as well as supervising a worksite in our veggie garden (more on that another time).  While tidying up in the garden, he noticed an old plant pot he’d been meaning to repair but hadn’t.

I don’t know why, but the husband has a “thing” for crockery, china, and pottery.  A few years ago, there was a proper clear-out in the house opposite. Owner, very old lady, had died aged 96+, and her nephew was in charge of emptying the house so it could be sold.  The nephew was literally loading up the trailer to take most things to the local tip, when my husband spotted an old plant pot and asked if he could have it.  One thing less to take to the tip!  Said plant pot was just a very plain old thing and had probably been sitting outside for 60 years or so.  On arrival in our garden, it promptly got knocked over, by our very exuberant dog, and there it stayed for a few years, with broken pieces gathered together in a pile.

But no more!

The husband did his first attempt at “kintsugi” and plant pot has been replanted (with something or other) and is back out in the garden where, I hope, the dog isn’t going to knock it over a second time!

Gardening has never been my thing so, while I do spend some time outdoors each day, seeing to hens, walking the dog, and getting my daily dose of vitamin D, I prefer to keep busy indoors.  After a month of just lying around, my zodiac blocks have finally been sandwiched, pinned and are ready to be quilted.

Part of the reason for procrastination was: I couldn’t decide on what backing fabric to use.  I didn’t have anything suitable in blue in my stash, and I couldn’t find anything that caught my eye when browsing my favourite on-line fabric shops.  However, I did have a very sizeable piece of a plain “milky coffee” brown in my stash.  Not the obvious colour choice but it almost matches one of the browns in the xstitch designs, so I’ve gone with it.  Next job – decide how I’m going to quilt.  And also decide whether to make 4 additional blocks in same colours (without xstitch centre) to make this a 4 x 4 quilt, or to keep it as a 3 x 4 (or 4 x 3).

I have also been doing a bit of needlecrafting, and a small amount of patchworking (to be revealed on ScrapHappy day!) but my evenings have been spent diamond painting.  Have just finished my fourth diamond painting.  The husband doesn’t like this one but I do, obviously, or I wouldn’t have bought it.  Incidentally, bought on eb@y for 7.88€ including p&p.  Chinese seller, but dispatched from France so it arrived very quickly.

It looks really effective, from a distance, and reminds me very much of our cat, Le Bleu.  That will have to wait for non-essential shops to reopen for me to buy a frame.  In the meantime, I’ll be beginning work on a very big diamond painting project.

This is what the printed canvas looks like.  A very long, thin design which will finish up 24cm x 74cm.  I bought this one on eb@y also.  Cost, only 10.52€, including p&p, and I certainly feel I got my money’s worth here!




dream catcher happy dance – yay!

I’m happy dancing here, after putting the final stitches & backstitch to “Make your dreams come true” (Letistitch kit ref: Leti 945).

Last time I showed you progress thus far

And, for the happy dance.

It’s always difficult to take a decent photo indoors, with glass, but you get the general idea.  Framed in a 30cm x 40cm white wooden frame, with cream aperture cardboard.  This will now be stored in a safe place until 1st May, when I’ll be gifting it to a young neighbour for her 11th birthday.

dream catcher progress

Steady progress over the past week on my current cross stitch project.  This is “Let your dreams come true” by Letistitch.  I just love feathers, and birds!  Anyway, 10 days ago, I was here.

And now, while I still have to add backstitch to make details pop, here is progress thus far.

Two new birds and several more feathers taking shape!  I’m well on track to getting this finished and framed in time for a birthday, early May.

slow progress on dreamcatcher

It’s slow progress on my current cross stitch project of the moment.  Allowing myself to be distracted with other things, and I really do need to work on this piece a bit more, if I hope to have it finished before 1st May.

Here’s where I was on 9th Feb

And where I am now, more than 1 month later.

It’s a lovely design, but some of the colour shades are very similar so I’m having a little trouble.  There’s been a slight miscount along the way too, between feathers, which I’m not going to frog (since I can’t for the life of me work out where the mistake happened) but will work my way around and, hopefully, it won’t notice once backstitch detail is added.


a couple of cards

I was in need of a couple of cards earlier this month, and my little stash of shop-bought cards was looking very meagre so what to do?  Rifle through pages of past issues of cross stitch magazines in search of something quick and fun to stitch!   I found what I needed in the March 2012 issue of “Cross Stitcher” magazine.  Designs by Jane Prutton.

Magazine info said each design would take approximately 6 hours to stitch.  I reckoned I could find the time, and I did.  First one stitched was this cute tortoise for a neighbour’s birthday on 10th February.  She has two tortoise, so this design was perfect.  I made mine slightly brighter than the magazine version, fringed my aida and stuck to a green chequered card with 4 pretty flowers to finish it off.

Then I set to work on a second design, again, choosing my own colours.

Stitching this wise little owl and finishing on a stripey blue card with some blue rick rack, and getting it in the post in time for my sister’s birthday on 20th.

Both were well-received, and I realise I ought to find time in my crafting week to get ahead with a few more cards . . . because there are more birthdays in the family next month!

Zodiac WIP

Days seem to be whizzing by this month  and I realise I forgot to show you progress with my zodiac patchwork.

This is how far I am. Blocks not laid out in any particular order, just as proof that I got around to sewing all twelve.  Next job will be to add an outer border to each as I’ve decided I’m going to QAYG with these blocks.  I spent far too many hours on the cross stitched centres to want to ruin things by attempting to quilt all in one go.  One block at a time will make it more maneageable.  In the meantime, I’ve managed to stick my nose down a couple of new rabbit holes . . . which means precious crafting time has been wasted watching videos on-line “researching” new crafting ideas.  If things go to plan, I’ll tell you about those in due course!

WIPs in progress

I’ve been making progress on two different projects these past few days. One is my current xstitch WIP which has evolved from


I need good lighting to stitch on this because some of the colours look very similar, but it’s looking very pretty so far.

That’s my evening occupation.  During the daytime, I’ve had a few sessions in my sewing room with Juki, making progress with my current Zodiac quilt (cross stitch squares, design by Vervaco).

After prepping all my patches the other day, I sewed them together to make the rows of 3.  And assembled my first block, to see how it looks.

I’m happy with that!  So, another 11 blocks to assemble, and while doing that, I’ll be thinking about what to do for the next stage.

do you remember this?

Do you remember this xstitch project?

The complete set of 12 zodiac signs (kit – Vervaco) that I stitched from 2015 – 2016, completing the set of 12 in June 2016.  The kit contained all 12 charts, but  14 count aida & threads to stitch just one design.  I therefore chose to stitch on 20 count aida, and chose my own blues & browns.  Each design finished at 9cm x 9cm and I put these away in a drawer, knowing that one day I would set to work on finishing them in a patchwork.

The time has come (only 4 and a half years later!).

I have trimmed the aida squares down to the required size, and spent 2 very pleasant afternoons in my sewing room preparing fabrics for my blocks.

This is the block I’ll be making, and the zodiac squares will be the central patch of each.  Fingers crossed everything comes together nicely!

totally unnecessary

The other day I owned up to having done some on-line retail therapy . . . today I have to own up to having done some more retail therapy, that was totally unnecessary!

There was I, in Lidl, with my mask and big shopping trolley, while the husband checked the shopping list for all the essentials we were out to buy (the usual UHT milk, coffee, salted butter, loo roll, washing-up liquid etc) and I, of course, couldn’t resist wandering into their non-essential aisles, where I found

No, I’m not planning on knitting socks, despite what those labels show!  Couldn’t resist this yarn though!  It’s a cotton, acrylic, polyamide mix, each pack contains 2 x 100g and it was 5.99€ per pack.  To be knit on quite a small needle, I’m thinking: doll clothes!!!  And while rifling through the yarn, I also found the last pack of bamboo circular needles in the shop.  No, I don’t plan on knitting anything in super duper chunky either, but these were 2 sizes missing from my circular needle stash and for 1.99€ I wasn’t going to leave them in the shop!  And final item: a packet of 2 bodkin type needles – always useful.

And, because I’m rather pleased with cross stitch progress . . . here’s a photo I posted last week, of the start on a new cross stitch kit.

Things have progressed since.

I’m actually stitching this with one of neighbours’ children in mind.  You’ve heard me mention Cléo before – one of the girls who lives directly opposite.  Her birthday is in May.  She’ll be 11 this coming birthday.   Last year, you may remember,  the husband and I concocted a magical homemade present, with a hand-crafted magic wand, authenticity certificate in a velvet pouch.

This year I plan on stitching the dream catcher project and gifting that, framed.  That’s giving myself a dead-line but it’s do-able.