“Live Simply” – a finish and a new start

Live simply finished

I’m having a happy dance with a lovely bright piece of stitching.  “Live simply” a Dimensions kit that I snapped up on the sewandso January sale for just over £2.  I can never resist a bright project, and at that price, well . . .

This piece has been stitched with a small patchwork project in mind . . . more on that when I get round to it.

In the meantime, a finish means I was allowed to rummage in my stash drawer in search of a new start.  I’ve gone for something completely different.

Victorian house

Another Dimensions kit: “Victorian Charm”.  This kit was a gift from N and 2nd second son, for Christmas 2015, so it’s been sitting my in stash drawer a while.  I’m a little apprehensive about it.  I have more than 20 years of cross stitching under my belt, so I’m not worried about the details, heaps of colour changes, blending of threads and backstitch . . . it’s the fabric I’m apprehensive about.  Kit comes with 18 count dark navy aida and my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.  Then again, if I don’t tackle it now, then it’ll sit in the drawer for even longer!  I did contemplate swapping for a lighter aida, but then the night sky won’t be as effective.  So, nevermind about the dark navy . . . I’ll just have to be methodical, and take things slowly.  By my estimation, this could keep me busy probably all through the Spring and the Summer!

SAL update #2 Cirque des Triangles


An update on the previous photo which looked like this

CdesT stage 01

Lighting for top photo isn’t brilliant, but you get the general idea.  This is how “Cirque des Triangles” looks for this SAL update.  Fabric is still forest green and thread is a lot more orange & vivid than it looks.  This design is by Tracey Horner for Ink Circles.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other ladies are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine and we’ve just been joined by Mary Margaret.

And stop by, if you can, on April 2nd for our next update.

“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!

a very sorry swatch

I’ve been persevering with my crochet hook and, despite the following photo, am feeling rather pleased with myself.  Ready to cringe, all you crocheters lol?

sorry swatch

Yes, I know it’s a very sorry looking piece of work . . . .  Like many beginners (from what I’ve seen) I found it very difficult to work out what stitch I’m supposed to hook each time I begin a new row (as is evident from the sides) but . . . I was pleased because I have (more or less) understood the basic repeat stitch.  I used a thicker yarn for this practice piece so that it would grow faster and make it easier for me to see what I was doing. However the mottled effect of the yarn didn’t help.  T therefore nipped out afterwards and bought myself a cheap ball of a solid colour for future practice. 

However that then raised another problem.  The solid colour is a 50% acrylic 50% wool and requires a 7mm hook.  That largest I have is 6mm.


Things started off very wonky on the sides again, until I thought to use a marker.  Can you see it? and can you see the difference?  Once I began using that, just to mark the first stitch on each row, my edges started to look more even.

Feeling very pleased with myself, I then went looking at a few more videos on youtube and found Bella Coco . . . who has several tutorials for left-handers. 

I jumped in both feet first to tackle a granny square


Starting with my thicker cheap yarn . . . but giving up and moving to a 100% acrylic (part of a huge pack I bought to knit myself a cardie, that never got knitted).  I’m beginning to get the hang of things, although I’m still adding or subtracting stitches along the way unintentionally. 

Undeterred, I will be trying this granny square a few more times, using my stitch markers, in the hopes I’ll have something that looks more like a square.  And once I’ve mastered that, I’ll be tackling “magic circles”.   Born a natural optimist, I believe things can only get better.   I even treated myself to a new book Rire.

Zoomi 01

zoomi 02

Yep, can’t crochet properly yet, but I bought a new book.  That’s typical me.  Full of lovely amigurumi patterns, for different experience levels.  This is the first in the Zoomigurumi series.  Number 6 has just been published.  I plan on buying them all.

Oh, and a last photo . . . I also treated myself to a new lamp!  My old lamp didn’t really survive the last house move and being knocked over several times by cats.  It was holding together with extra strong sticky tape but I couldn’t move the flexible lamp bit properly to direct it in the right direction.  Now I have a brand new, bright shiney lamp


In purple (of course!) and it makes cross stitch sessions much easier on the eyes.

SAL update: Cirque des Triangles #1

cdest ready

For this SAL update, both Avis and I have begun a brand new project . . . an Ink Circles design by Tracey Horner:  Cirque des Triangles (hereafter to be called CdesT).  This will be the second “Cirque” we tackle together since we stitched Cirque des Cercles in 2014 and had lots of fun with that.  Nice thing about Ink Circles designs, is that you can really get creative with fabric and thread.

I’m stitching on a Forest Green 25 count Lugana evenweave, using 2 strands of Threadworx “Wild¨Poppies” (1072).  Threadworx skeins come in 25m lengths, which explains why there are only 4 skeins in the photo.  Should be more than enough.

Anyway, enough chat . . . here’s my progress for stage 1.

CdesT stage 01

We’ve started top left (after some careful measuring of fabric) and it’s plain sailing so far.

Don’t forget to pop over and see what other ladies in the SAL are working on.

Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other ladies are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda and Catherine.

And please do come back to check out progress on 12th March.

“statement flowers” happy dance

statement finished

I am having a very bright happy dance here . . . with “Statement Flowers”, a kit by DMC.  This kit was a total impulse buy, last year.  I’m not really a flowery girl, but these bright, bold colours caught my eye and I knew it would be a fun project to stitch.  It was. 

statement finished 02

All those purples, greens and turquoise blues are right up my street.  I loved working on this, and I love the finished result.  So vibrant!

My little brain is already thinking about how to do the proper finish for this design . . . I’ve got an idea . . . now to see if I can make it work.

In the meantime, one finish, meant a new start . . .

live simply

Yup, another flower, but it’s the bright blues and greens that caught my eye for this design.  Plus, I bought it in sewandso’s January sales, so it was an absolute bargain price.  I already know how this design is going to be finished off, but I won’t let on for the moment.

red, black & silver grey

I’m going to have to think of a name for this project soon . . . can’t keep calling it “red, black & grey”.  That’s just totally lacking in imagination.

Jane progress 02

Blocks have been sashed . . . and my initial plan of having 2 outer borders has been scrapped.  This is how the top is so far.  And how it’s going to remain.

Jane progress

Actually looks better the other way

Jane progress 03

I am really pleased with it.  The black sashing has helped tone down the bright reds a little . . . but there’s not a great deal of silver grey, so binding will be grey.

I now have to pace myself, and start the process of quilting.  Will probably tackle it a block a day and not put my back under too much stress.  I am hoping to get this finished and posted to England in time for my sister’s birthday (20th Feb), but if I see I am unable to meet the deadline, I won’t push for it.