cats, “Yarn Cats” and some surprise mail

cats August

Couldn’t resist sharing this photo with you of a peaceful moment . . . that’s Ducky to the left, and Abby to the right (our brother & sister act) having a cuddly snooze in one of their favourite spots.  Aww, don’t they look cute?

Unlike this trio who have got themselves in a right tangle.

yarn cats finished

This is “Yarn Cats”, a kit by Design Works that I snapped up in the xmas sales on sewandso last year.  A nice little stitching project, even though I didn’t much enjoy all the backstitch at the end.  Anyway, a small happy dance going on with that . . . and thinking cap on already to actually make this into something rather than just stuffing it in a drawer.

from Kate

And not only was I happy dancing because of a finished xstitch . . . I was also prancing around with glee because I received some surprise mail (ie I had another unbirthday).  This little stash from Kate of by the babbling brooke.  A lovely hand-made “tag” with some pretty yoyo flowers; a bookmark cross stitch kit, and a quilting pattern. A big thank you to Kate!

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“Live Simply” update and merci to La Pie Kikou

You may be thinking, after recent posts, that I’ve suddenly given up on cross stitch, and am totally absorbed with my crochet hook.  You would be wrong lol.  I’m still busy cross stitching, with my feet up, in the evening.  It’s my favourite activity for the evening, when I follow whatever is on TV and keep my hands busy. 

live simply 02

I’m still working on “Live Simply” which is a kit by Dimensions that I picked up at a bargain price in sewandso’s January sales.  Last time, it looked like this.

live simply

A few more evenings and it should be finished.

I have a thank you to share with you today as well.  A big thank you to La Pie Kikou.  La Pie is a French blogging friend who dabbles in many many needlecrafts, and her “finishing” is always remarkable.  I was very lucky to receive one of her creations . . . as a belated birthday gift

from La Pie01

An embroidered “carnet” plus some fabric for patchwork and a DMC chart & threads to stitch some kokeshi dolls.

from La Pie 02

You undo the pink ribbon and it opens out

from La Pie 04

from La Pie 03

from La Pie 05

There are teeny tiny seed beads on the front too . . . it’s so pretty!

more birthday surprises

The postie brought me some belated birthday surprises the other day . . . I don’t mind that they were late, it was just lovely to know that friends had thought of me.

All the way from Australia, from Debbie and her MOTH

from debbierose

The most gorgeous piece of fabric in rich chocolate browns, along with a purple ribbon . . . a coaster, and some tea.  Debbie actually used the fabric to wrap everything, and it looked much prettier before I undid and then tried to do up again lol.

And from Yvonne (in France), who doesn’t have a blog

from yvonne

A book to inspire me for my new crochet crafting, and a lovely selection of tiny flowers and butterflies that Yvonne made.

IMGP2505

I’ve put a 1€ coin in amongst them so you can see just how tiny and delicate some of them are.  A big thank you ladies.  It was quite exciting opening parcels and discovering all these goodies inside!

F2F2 – from Sweden and USA

More lovely blocks arrived for the F2F2 swap organised by Kate

My colour inspiration, as you know is this

Claire

Which means, some gorgeous bright blocks arrived for me to play with. 

From Sue, in the USA

from Sue x3

lots of very rich blues, greens and orange.

from Sue 01

from Sue 02

from Sue 03

And from Gun, in Sweden, some equally bright, and gorgeous floral fabrics

IMGP2473

from Gun 01

from Gun 02

from Gun 03

Thank you so much, Sue and Gun, your blocks are spot on!  I’m still keeping an eye open for the postie as there are four more sets on their way. 

happy birthday to me

Yup, I’m an Aquarius . . . a February baby . . . and I suddenly grew one year older the other day.  Kept things very low key, in the hopes that the extra year wouldn’t creep up, but it did.

Photos to show you the goodies I received on my special day . . . (with old Doris doing some modelling for me).

from Megan

My daughter, Lindashee, sent me a very warm fleece jacket and . . . a  CD:  “1000 Forms of Fear” by Sia which didn’t get in the photo below because it’s sitting on my computer desk

from Megan 02

So, a CD and 2 pretty fabrics . . . and yes, some Heinz Beanz and corned beef lol.  Can’t get Heinz Beanz in France and I do love them. 

A lovely squishy parcel from Avis too . . .

from Avis

containing a lovely purple fleece sweater (again modelled by Doris) and

blocks from Avis

some lovely bright 12” blocks!  Now Avis isn’t officially signed up for the F2F2 swap, although she did take part in the first F2F swap . . . and she decided to make me three blocks in my colourway . . . for me to add to the blocks I’ll be receiving for the swap.

You’ll remember that my colour inspiration is

Claire

Avis saw some yellow in there too, with the orange plumage going from rich orange to a lighter shade

Avis 01

Avis 02

Avis 03

So, one very spoiled birthday girl here ^^

Oh and . . . I have an un-birthday gift to share with you . . .

from Helen

A gorgeous hand-made card from Helen along with 2 hand-crafted bookmarks: one from China and the other from Madagascar. 

A big thank you to Lindashee, Avis and Helen for all these lovely goodies!

F2F2 – my turn!

We are now in the 9th and final month of the F2F2 block swap, organised by Kate . . . it’s February (at last) and it’s now my turn to be on the receiving end – yay!

I have had great fun making, and sending blocks to ladies in their different colourways . . . it’s been a wonderful motivator, to learn to tackle new block patterns and to use colours I wouldn’t usually choose to sew with.

My colour inspiration photo for this swap was

Claire

Colourful lorikeets:  and I asked for bright blue, orange and green on a white background.

I received the first 2 sets of blocks from ladies in France . . . along with some lovely gifts too.

blocks from Sandra

These are the blocks made by Sandra (who doesn’t have a blog) and she sent me a lovely little purple felt pin-keep.

A zoom on blocks which are all square, it’s my photography which isn’t spot on.

Sandra 01

Sandra 03

Sandra 02

And from Lynn

blockas from Lynn

an overall view of blocks, plus some extra goodies . . . a lovely card printed with a photo of one of Lynn’s kittens, two bookmarks (one in patchwork, the other in crochet) and a cross stitch kit!

Now for a zoom of those lovely blocks

Lynn 01

Lynn 02

Lynn 03

Aren’t they all lovely?  And how exciting it is, to finally be on the receiving end.  Thank you ladies, and please stay tuned for the the next blocks to arrive.

happy un-birthdays in January

I will be celebrating friends’ un-birthdays throughout 2017, just as I did during 2016 and 2015 . . . I enjoy sending out little surprise gifts, and friends enjoy receiving them.  So why stop?  I do need to find time to make a few small gifts though, as I’m relying on some items made last year, to start the new year.

Three cross stitching ladies received a little un-birthday surprise in January . . . (pretty much the same, sorry for lack of imagination).

for ambre

for Virginie, aka ambre, a mini DMC kit and fabric cat coaster.

for Joce

for Joce73

for Stephnanie

and for Stéphanie.  Yep, I bought a few of the same kit in our local bargain basement store . . . design isn’t brilliant, but it’ll be a quick project to stitch up.

I also have some thank yous

from Michele

A big “merci” to Michèle, for these bookmarks.

from Stephanie

a “merci” to Stéphanie who sent a huge pile of bookmarks plus a belated xmas card and ATC.

from Wisher

and a big thank you to Angela, aka Wisher, for these gorgeous fabrics and fabric appliqué transfers.