Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A quick note

Just a very quick note today! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I've been enjoying all your Christmas posts, although things have been pretty busy around here so I haven't been doing much commenting.

Guess what . . . . I finished Calm Waters in time. Photos to come, but right now I better concentrate on the fact that I'm getting married. . . tomorrow!!

Happy Stitching and New Year


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the 21st Day: Stitchy Advent Calender

Today I'm joining in with Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching and her blog advent calender. . . isn't that a fun idea?! I'll be sharing a Christmas themed stitched piece of mine and some of our Christmas traditions with you. 

I stitched this cutie when I was about 15 I think! I can't remember the designer details off the top of my head (my stitching log/pattern folder is currently on the other side of the world), but I received the kit for Christmas when I was 9! I still remember stitching it vividly because it was the first time I'd worked with metallic thread. . what a battle. When I'd finished mum and I spent hours carefully ironing it and stretching it into the frame.

I'm from New Zealand, so Christmas for us is mid-summer. We have a big Christmas meal like everyone else of course, but it is usually with cold meat or a BBQ. In my family, we would start the day with Dad cooking a full english breakfast, before emptying our stockings and opening our bigger presents together. Then we would get dressed (nicely) and head out to join my Dad's family for Christmas lunch, playing sports together and eating and drinking. I distinctly remember one year when mum had put me in a beautiful dress, only for me to play too exuberantly and end up falling into my aunts fish pond! Later we would move on to my Mum's family for a more relaxed dinner (usually of lunch leftovers).

This year will be a little different for me, as it's my second Christmas in the UK/France with my fiance and his family. I love the Christmas season in France, for me it feels like something out of a fairytale with mulled wine, Christmas markets and parades that go on for hours with costumes and characters that look hundreds of years old. I also love the Christmas food here!

I hope where ever you are in the world you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by family and friends. Why not head over to Jo's to see what other stitchers have for their Christmas traditions?

That's all for now,


Monday, December 19, 2011

IHSW and Calm Waters Update!

This is my first ever International Hermit and Stitch Weekend! If you're visiting from there, then hi! I'm Sarah. I'm an early twenties stitcher from Christchurch, New Zealand although I'm currently country hopping between the UK, France and NZ on a fairly regular basis. I've been stitching since I was 8 years old and don't think I'll ever stop! Please feel free to leave a comment and say hi, I'm looking forward to visiting you all back. 

Some of you will know that I'm currently stitching furiously on Calm Waters by John Clayton to try and get it finished before the 29th of December, which just so happens to be my wedding day! It is a wedding present for hubby-to-be and myself. There isn't too much to go now, so I thought it was time for an update.

Unfortunately in terms of hermiting and stitching this weekend has been an utter failure! No fault of mine though. . . a simple hour and a half flight from France to the UK on Saturday morning turned into a 20 trip through France and Switzerland to catch a flight from Geneva after French airport staff went on strike. There was no stitching on Saturday at all, and only a little on Sunday! But I did manage to finish off one of the sand colours, put some branches into the tree and start on another sand colour. Any progress is good progress! 


I'm so close to finishing now that I don't want to give it all away, so I'm just showing you a few sneak peaks.

That's all for now, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. May you be blessed over this holiday season!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

My First Time

Joining in the fun at Julie's blog

My first time was when I was 8 years old (young I know!!). I was staying at a friends house, her mum was doing it all the time. She had even given my friend a chance to try it out for herself. While we were watching her brother's soccer game my friend asked if I wanted to try. I was hesitant at first, but she kept asking until I said ok, I'll give it a go. It only took a couple of tiny pokes until I was hooked! I didn't want to give it back! As soon as I got home from my friends I begged my mum to get me some supplies. She eventually gave in and we went and picked out my first kit together from the local place. While I was learning I was only allowed to do it once a week, for half an hour on a Sunday evening while we were watching The Zoo on TV. It was frustrating only being able to do it sometimes, but I persevered and got better and better each time I tried it. My whole family was very encouraging, my mum even got herself one to do with me, though to this day she still hasn't finished it! After what felt like months of Sunday evenings I finally put in the last little piece and it was done. I displayed this piece in my room until I went off to university and it's been carefully packed away so I can keep it forever! 
What, what did you guys think I was talking about?? I've been cross stitching now for about 13 years and although I sometimes left it for a little while, I've always come back to it. I think the longest I went without stitching was about 10 months, and I've had at least one piece on the go for about 4 years now. I was a lonely stitcher for a long time – I lost touch with the friend who introduced me to it when she moved away and didn't really meet another stitcher until I got to know my fiance's family, which has multiple stitchers (and joined blogland of course!). Nowdays I think I easily have enough ideas in the stitching pile to keep me going for the rest of my life and enough stitchy friends to keep me on track!

When was your first time? Maybe you'd like to share it with everyone else here

That's all for now, update on Calm Waters coming soon!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Card Finishes

So the other day I sat down and had an epic finishing session! After hours of carefully ironing and cutting and gluing I ended up with a pile of lovely Christmas cards to send out to friends and family. I'll show you one now, because I know it's going to someone who doesn't read the blog, but the rest will have to wait until after they've been received! 

Unfortunately for you this is probably the most boring of the lot and also has the least stitching! The stitched part of it took me less than 10 minutes. Most of the others are a bit more elaborate, but I still like this one for its simplicity.

The motifs and materials I used are all from an old issue of Cross Stitcher (UK) magazine – their 2010 Christmas issue. The motifs are now actually available online free here!

Just to finish off, here's a photo of the 'tasting platter' that I put together for fiance and I the other day. Apple, beautiful French cheese (we got it straight off the round from a market, so I can't tell you the exact type), French sausage (yes it's raw, and gorgeous that way) and savoury biscuits I made to go with it all. It was lovely!! 

Back to Calm Waters for me now. The race is on to get it finished before the wedding on the 29th like I promised myself . . . . I'm about 70% done, but we're sooo busy in the lead up to Christmas. Do you think I can do it?

That's all for now,


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chchchch Changes. . . .

This week I hit 50 followers!! Thank you everyone, I've really enjoyed getting to know some of you and I appreciate each and every one of your comments. I'm going to start planning a little celebratory giveaway I think, but it probably won't be for a little while yet what with the constant travel, getting married and Christmas! Can you hold on for a month or two? Hehe.

It's interesting how I started this blog as I tried to branch out from Cross stitch as a craft, but it keeps coming back to it. I've been thinking really hard about this and I think I have to face the (delightful) truth that this is really becoming a cross stitch blog! You'll still see my other crafting escapades on here, but I think I'm ready to delve a bit deeper into the cross stitchy bloggy community. So there might be a few little changes around here because of that! For me it's exciting. As most of my followers are cross stitchers, I hope it's exciting for you too!

I have been stitching, but like most of you it's Christmas stuff so I can't show you quite yet. Instead I thought I'd show you some photo's from the Christmas market that I went to today with fiance and some friends. It was in a little town nearby that looked like it came straight out of a storybook, with narrow streets, surrounded by cliffs on all sides and a little lake at one end! 

The yummy waffles Fiance and I had (Strawberry for me, Nutella for him)

Real live Reindeer!! 

And just some of the streets we were wandering along. The photo's really don't show just how beautiful it was.

That's all for now,