Monday, January 30, 2012

Birthday Stash and Baking


My birthday order from 123 stitch arrived, yay! It wasn't a big order but I got a couple of things from my wishlist, so I am happy :) 

 
'The North Wind,' from Little House Needleworks, some Cream/Ivory Lugana (for when I get to stitching CCN April Showers) and 'Snowed In' from Lizzie Kate's 6 fat men series. I'm going to start collecting 6 fat men one at a time and then stitch them in the suggested layout as one big piece, which I just love! I seem to have a bit of a winter theme going on at the moment in my stitching. . .

This was also part of my birthday present. Apparently it has arrived, but I won't get it for a few more weeks because we got it sent to the easiest of our THREE current addresses. I'm looking forward to going through it soon.


Hubby got me something else stash related too this week. I can't show it to you though, because I'm not allowed to have it myself yet! It's going to be a reward for when I find a job in the town we're moving to at the start of March. I sent in my first application this week. . .fingers crossed!

I've been in a real baking mood this weekend, whipping up a batch a bread rolls, a massive batch of cookies and a stuffed bread. The recipes aren't mine, but of course I can give you the links.

Part of the Cookie Mountain. My favourite choc-chip cookie recipe is here, in this batch I substituted half sultanas for the choc-chips
Stuffed bread, adapted from this recipe (but using different fillings and a different dough hehe) 
Inside the stuffed loaf. Mmmmmm

I've had a bit of a follower jump this week (for me 5 is still a huge jump) so thank you and welcome ladies!

Before I go I have a bit of a question for you all. Well well over a month ago now I won a mystery giveaway on someone's blog . . . I gave them my French mailing address when asked, thinking that whatever they sent would arrive well in advance of when we left France. I never recieved anything and have never heard from the blogger again. We'll be leaving France soon and I'd hate to hurt someone by missing a parcel that they had lovingly sent because I didn't keep them updated or had given up on expecting anything. On the other hand I don't want to send an email saying effectively 'well, did you ever send anything?'!!! It sounds so rude and ungrateful! What do you think? 

That's all for now, hope you lovelies have a great week 

Sarah
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My late IHSW!




I was planning on doing this post yesterday, but unfortunately life stepped up and got in the way! It's still doing so today really, so you will have to forgive the hideous photography of my unironed pieces with hoop marks all over them . . . . yes I know, I'm commiting a cross-stitchers crime by using a hoop that's way to small for the piece. . . I'm still living out of a suitcase, so my 5 inch hoop is the only stretching object in my possession that's not currently 12000 miles away :D 

Anyway, I actually managed to get quite a lot of stitching done over the weekend! Here's my before and after shots on Bothy Threads Love Cats 1. I'm actually really enjoying this piece. The bright colour upon bright colour isn't really my thing, but the small blocks means lots of variety in stitching, so I'm not getting bored! 

Before
 
After

Over the weekend it was also my birthday and I got to enjoy a nice quiet day with the DH. We've both been really busy lately, so it was good to relax! Don't you just love my birthday cakes from the French bakery? 

 
DH also let me put in a wee order with 123 stitch, which I will show off when it arrives! (hopefully soon!)

Thank you all SO MUCH for all the lovely comments on my last post, it means so much to me. I've been enjoying going around all your! TUSAL's and IHSW's!

Much stitchy love,

Sarah

Monday, January 23, 2012

TUSAL January and Wedding Photos


First thing's first, here's my TUSAL for January, looking surprisingly empty! Guess that's a good thing, it means that there hasn't been much frogging going on this month! If you're wondering why I'm posting photos of an old canning jar full of random thread offcuts you can find out here

 
Now for the other item on the agenda – I've long been promising to share some wedding photos! I'm a bit wary of posting photos of myself and family where anyone can access them, so instead I'll share a few scenary photos here and near the end you will find several links to photos of us from the day which I'll probably only keep active for a week or so.

Remember this is only wedding number one! Because hubby and I are a bit of an international couple, we chose to have a small civil ceremony in the UK followed by a Church blessing in NZ later this year so that all our family can be involved. So that's why I'm not wearing a poofy white dress in these photos, it's still to come!

Our ceremony for this one was just at the registry office, with a reception at the local Castle, which has been converted into a hotel. 

 
The beautiful cake DH's sisters made for us

Table settings at the reception

Our reception room was still full of Christmas decorations, it was beautiful


The view from our room out over the village
DH and I all ringed up :-D

You can find a picture of dear hubby and I here, another here and one of me with my lovely parents here.

That's all for now, back tomorrow for an IHSW/birthday weekend update!

Sarah

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Finish of 2012, a new start and Paris!


Not much stitching going on here lately, as my parents landed for a week with us here in France, which meant a two day trip to Lyon, one night at home and then a 3 day trip to Paris (leaving poor DH behind for that one!). I did manage to get my first finish for 2012 out of the way though! 

Santa Close-Up, DMC Christmas Mini Kit
Completed with materials provided in kit

Good thing I had some white DMC on hand to finish off with, although when I emailed DMC to mention that there hadn't been enough in the kit they offered to send me some replacement, which is nice!

I wanted to get started on CCN's April Showers, which I've been wanting to do FOR MONTHS, but was holding off on until I finished Calm Waters. I finally get it out, all excited and oops. . . the piece of fabric that I had packed to stitch it on wasn't big enough. So it had to go back into the bag and will have to wait a little longer :( Unfortunately our budget doesn't really stretch to stashy purchases right now, though it is my birthday on Saturday . . . hmmm!

Fortunately just after Christmas I was passed a Bothy Threads kit by my dear MIL that she had received over the holidays, as she felt she already had too much on the WIP/to-stitch list. It's Love Cats 1 and quite a sweet picture! Only just to small for Becky's BAP challenge!


I knew almost as soon as I saw it who it would go to when it was finished and as it's her birthday in February, I guess now is as good a time as any to get started on it. I'll show off my progress after IHSW this weekend.

I'll finish up by showing you some of my pictures from Paris. It was beautiful, but a little surreal because you're so used to seeing it in movies that it feels like you're in one! 

The Eiffel Tower, of course
 
Invalides, where Napolean in buried
The Arc de Triomph
Shakespeare and Company Bookshop, I've been wanting to visit this place  almost my whole life!

(Wedding photos are still coming friends, probably in my next post). Oh and I must mention, when I came back from Paris I had a lovely card in the mail with some thread from Bekca at the Stitching Lion. Thank you Bekca! It was a lovely surprise and the first mail I've recieved of my own here in France

That's all for now,

Sarah

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Belated New Years Post


It's a bit after New Years, but hey, it's still in the first week right? Last year I only had three crafty resolutions:

  1. Learn to Crochet. Done and dusted!! I've done plenty of practice blocks and two proper crochet projects this year, with plenty more in the pipeline. I love it, it's so much quicker for me than knitting.
  2. To complete a longstitch. Done, see it here. It was a fun project and there's a few more in my stash that I've been given as gifts, just waiting for the right moment to come along
  3. To learn how to machine sew properly. This is still a work in progress I think, but I am definitely getting somewhere and I'm not afraid of the machine anymore like I was last year. It's like learning to drive a car, you have to learn to control it and not let it control you! I'll continue to work on this one this year I think.

This year I think my Crafty New Years Resolutions reflect the change in direction my bloggy/crafty life is taking at the moment . . . back to my first love, cross stitch.

So my 2012 Crafty resolutions are

  1. Cross stitch more! When I looked at my list of finishes for the year I realised how little cross stitching I'd actually done for most of the year . . .
  2. Participate in a bloggy exchange. This might have to be later in the year when I'm a bit more settled in one location and hopefully employment, but I'd love to join in!
  3. Crochet a full sized blanket or make a quilt. I feel like I'm ready for a big, challenging project!
  4. Try some other forms of embroidery. I managed longstitch last year, I'd love to jump into some other types.
  5. Read 50 books! I got to 42 last year, when I did so much reading for class the most of the time I didn't feel like reading for pleasure. So maybe with no class reading this year I can get another 8?

I also have a wee list of patterns I'd love to stitch this year

  1. April Showers – CCN
  2. Follow the Light – Cosmic Handmade freebie
  3. Chilly's Gift – Stitchy Kitty freebie
  4. Winter Sampler – marikabel freebie
  5. Tuscany – John Clayton
These are all stash patterns or freebies, as who knows how I'll go for new patterns this year! My only other plans are to stitch something for my parents spare room and join in with Becky's BAPchallenge. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for that one yet, I thought Tuscany would be big enough but apparently not! Anyone have any ideas? I'm also joining in with Daffycat's TUSAL this year, yay!

Just so this isn't a pictureless post, I thought I'd throw in this lovely photo of my half completed Santa Close-up. Half completed because the kit only included about two-thirds of the required white thread. Don't you hate it when that happens? Twice in a row for me now. Thankfully I think I have some white DMC here in France with me, just need to have a scrummage through! It does put you off working from kits though.


That's all for now, Happy New Years and Happy Stitching to you all,

Sarah

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Calm Waters and a new start


Hello! I'm back, as a married lady, getting used to a new name and a new ring on my finger. Things have been pretty hectic since the wedding (we didn't have a honeymoon, the day after the wedding we were entertaining guests and two days later we were heading back to France) and my head is full of things to share. Instead of blurting it all out in one ginormous post you can expect me back here soon with a bit of a late New Years post and hopefully a wedding post for all of you begging for photos! Today I thought I'd finally show you Calm Waters. 


 


It's been left with my lovely Mother-in-law for now, as it needs a careful wash after being dragged through three countries and smushed into a tiny hoop, since I didn't have space to bring a big one with me. I'm looking forward to getting it framed when we are back in NZ!

I didn't take any other stitching supplies with me to the UK, so it's a good thing I got a few treats in my Christmas stocking from mum and dad, because by New Years Eve my fingers were itching again. This is a DMC Christmas Mini, Santa Close-up. Almost half done already. . .



Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed New Year with friends and family

That's all for now,

Sarah