Sunday, 30 April 2017

All About Blogger of the Week - Pinned Post - Scroll down for the interviews

As a long-time subscriber of the now defunct Cross Stitch Collection magazine, one of my favourite articles was their Blogger of the Month.  When the magazine ceased publication I decided it would be fun to continue the tradition but make it a weekly feature (more bloggers for your money!).

I started by inviting some of the followers of my blog to see if there was any interest in doing interviews and articles and this blog is the result!

If you would like to be interviewed and considered for a post on the blog, please email me at joanneperry179@gmail.com with a link to your blog.

I do hope you enjoy reading the posts and leave comments for the interviewee.  Hopefully it will inspire you to visit their blog and add a new blog to your Reader.

Just for fun, here's the full version of the design I "cut-up" for the header:


Designed by Elissa Hudson, stitched as a birth sampler for some friends.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Astrid from Dragon Stitches and Stuff

This week's Blogger of the Week is someone who has been a follower of mine (and vice versa) for many years now.  I fell in love with her photo of her youngest son dressed as a little dragon from the first time I saw him!  He's still there in her current header.



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.
I’m Astrid, married to DH almost 22 years. We have identical twin boys (our Gmen), 19 years old this month, and 10 year old Nathan. We have two spoiled Tonkinese cats, Ming and Maximus.
I was born in Wales, but we moved to the States when I was two. I live in Maryland, near Baltimore, but also close to Washington, DC.

My guys!

Max and Ming


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start? 

When I was 12 years old, we did a needlepoint project in school making ornaments. From there I taught myself cross stitch and liked that better. I took a break when having the boys, only stitching here and there. Now I can stitch whenever, but get easily distracted!


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title? 

I had to look that one up! This August it will be seven years. I guess I started because I wanted to show my stitching projects. Being Welsh, I especially love dragons, hence “Dragon Stitches”. I added “and Stuff” later since I was blogging about more than just stitching. My newest addition to the blog is being Thankful on Thursdays.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.? 

I USED to be an OAAT stitcher until I found the internet and blogs! Now I try to finish pieces if they’re small and the bigger ones I tend to rotate when I get tired of working on them. I’d like to think I’m organized, but I do stray.


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to? 

I like a variety of styles, but I’m not that fond of samplers. I love Margaret Sherry, especially the cats! I also love Nora Corbett’s fairies and mermaids. I’ve been working on her Emerald Mermaid, but got frustrated with her skin so I’m taking a break. And don’t forget the dragons!


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection? 

I would have to say my Trick or Treat Fairy by Nora Corbett. I finally had her framed by Jill Rensel at Rensel Studio last year and they made her even more beautiful! Whenever I finish my mermaid, she’ll be sent there too.

 She will be displayed year round!


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster? 

Nothing major, just trying to start a piece 3x’s and getting it wrong every time! I have yet to try again.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft? 

I’d like to try Hardanger one day and I definitely need to learn more finishing techniques. I can knit scarfs, but would like to learn how to crochet. I’ll include learning German, maybe even Welsh! Oh, and I’d love to learn how to play the piano.



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd?  What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them? 

I have a lovely German tin with plenty of pieces inside just waiting to be finished! Since most of my finished pieces have been framed, I’d say I like them framed. But the smaller pieces I stitch, I like to make into ornaments.

Patiently waiting to be finished.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"? 

Since most of the things I make are for someone else, I make what I think they would like. Otherwise – Halloween for me!


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything! 

As a little girl I wanted to be a “stewardess” aka flight attendant. Now as an adult it’s something I’m seriously thinking about it, I’m just not sure when!


12. Anything you would like to add? 

Many thanks to Jo for making blogging fun! I love that I’ve met so many stitching friends in the blogging world. The bad part… I’ve been so good about not adding more stash than I already have, but you all make it so hard!!!


To finish this week's post I'd like to add a link to what is probably my favourite non-stitching blog post - Astrid's Annual "I'm Not a Turkey" line-up.  Please visit this post and check out the previous years too!




Friday, 14 April 2017

Ariadne from Greece

This week's Blogger is also taking part in my Easter Treasure Hunt blog hop so you'll see some great Easter themed stitching there this week.  I'd like to introduce another of our European bloggers who blogs in English just to make it easy for us!



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Hello everyone. I am Ariadne Skyrianidou from Greece. I am a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in a Primary State school in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. I am married to dear Themis and am the proud mum of a 21-year-old son Miltos from my first marriage. Sweet Barca, a stray dog we adopted four years ago is the other member of our family. I am a very active person. I am a member of the Teachers’ Association Drama Club and we mount plays for children, schools and charity. I also belong to a crafty group with which I really enjoy learning new techniques and make things for charity. I love reading, watching movies, collecting sea glass and have recently taken ceramics classes.




2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I have been stitching since I was a kid. My grandmother Ariadne taught me how to and I admit at first I didn’t really like sitting down and making all those stitches. But when I was pregnant to my son and positioned away from home as a teacher I met with Needlecraft and Cross Stitcher magazines and started stitching again. It was a revelation and haven’t stopped since.



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I have been blogging since January 2012. I must say I was more active at first. Nowadays I blog about once a month as if I am keeping a journal. I was inspired to have my own blog after following the blogs of Margie of Resurrection Fern, Geninne’s Art Blog, Sonia’s Cozy Memories blog and a couple more.I loved their art making and gorgeous photos and wanted to do the same. The name of my blog was a spontaneous choice because everywhere on the Internet I visited I used to mention my country next to my name so that people know I am from Greece. 




4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I definitely am a OAAT (One at a time) stitcher. I try to finish each piece I start and in between make smaller projects for exchanges but not too many. I usually concentrate on one thing. I am an eclectic stitcher and choose various different projects usually inspired by what other people stitch but I usually stitch things I already have in my basket. I stopped buying new things due to the financial crisis in Greece but I have friends who pass me on the things they don’t want to stitch or they find at thrift stores! I am lucky!


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I can’t say I have. I really like the designs of Lizzie Kate, Silver Creek Samplers, Prairie Schooler,Thea Gouverneur, Mirabilia,Little House Needleworks, Carriage House Samplings, The Little Stitcher, The Snowflower Diaries and more although I haven’t stitched many of their works yet. Still I like them!

Michael Powell


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

Now it has to be The Balinese Dancer by Thea Gouverneur which I recently finished after having it left unattended for ages. It was so difficult for me and had so many colours but I did it!

The Balinese Dancer by Thea Gouverneur


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I can’t say I have one. I am usually a disaster when trying to finish a piece.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
I wish I could learn how to finish my pieces in other ways than framing them. I tried making some pin cushions but it didn’t go very well. Lately I realised I love mounting cross stitched pieces on felt and make ornaments. I’d love to learn to crochet better than simple stitches and to embroider better.



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

As I mentioned earlier my projects wait to be framed and as custom framing is expensive I have a waiting list of to-be-framed pieces.The smaller projects I give away as gifts.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I think it is the collection of blue and white china frames I love this type of stitching that is stitching cups and teapots and china and want to make some more.


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

A secret isn’t a secret if you tell! LOL! And that’s a joke!
Ok to be serious I love stitching a little bit every evening in front of the TV while watching movies at the same time.It finishes my day in a relaxing happy way!


12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you Jo for starting this blog and keeping the Blogger of the Week feature of one of my most favourite magazines Cross stitch Collection alive!

Barca helping with the stitching!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Leonore from Needle, Pen and Sword

This week's Blogger of the Week comes from Germany but blogs in English, luckily for me who did not pass O level German!  Please welcome the lovely Leonore from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Hi, I'm Leonore - I live in southern Germany, together with my boyfriend Felix. I'm working at university in the Computer Science department, hoping to earn my PhD in a few years.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

We did a little stitching in elementary school (I think it was a tote bag) and I really liked it, so I asked my grandma (who always supported my in my crafty endeavors - she also taught me how to crochet when I was maybe five) to get me some supplies and my next project was a little mat in printed cross stitch. Then I got a book about counted cross stitch and started to teach myself, and since then I've been stitching on and of, but I only 'really' got into it was one of my main hobbies in 2013.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I've been blogging since December 2013. 2013 was the year I first discovered that there was more to stitching than flowers and the few Vervaco kits I could sometimes buy around here - when I discovered stitching shops and groups on the internet, and people making their own patterns. I joined the Stitching Pirates (http://stitchingpirates.deviantart.com/) group on deviantArt, and my now-friends Carla (http://alaskawolfpack.blogspot.de/) and Nancy (http://thewindisfair.blogspot.de/) were just getting ready to start their '2014: The Year of the Magnificent Teresa Wentzler' SAL. I had not heard of Teresa before, but a few minutes of research later (I did look at her work a lot more than a few minutes, but that was all it took for me to fall in love!) I knew I needed to get in on that, so I started gathering supplies and started my blog.
It took my quite a while to find a name I liked, actually - I remember trying a few that were taken, although I can't remember what they were - and I wanted a name that reflected more of me than just my passion for crafting. So we have all the tools of my trades - Needles (for all kinds of crafts), Pens (for Writing/Reading) and Swords (for all the things Fantasy).


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I'd love to have an organized rotation or even stitch OAAT, but I never stick to either of those for very long, so I guess I'd have to say I'm mostly random and also highly deadline-oriented - I tend to pick up way to many gift projects, so I'm almost always on some mad dash to get something finished on time!


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

As with all of my hobbies, there are way too many things I like - so many awesome designers and designs out there! I love fantasy designs, but also samplers and monthly series, and for designers there are just sooo many...but if I had to pick three, I guess those would be Teresa Wentzler (although I haven't stitched many of her designs yet, but I love almost all of them, and she is the one that got me 'seriously' into stitching in the first place), Jody Ellis from Unconventional X Stitch (she does awesome, and a little unconventional, full coverage designs, and I have three of hers on the go right now) and Joan Elliott (again, I have not stitched a lot of hers, but she has so many beautiful designs that speak to me).


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I guess as with many stitchers, the finish I am most proud of is my first full-sized Teresa Wentzler finish: Angel of Frost. This was more towards the beginning of my stitching 'career', in 2014, and does go all out with tons of blended threads, 1over1, specialty stitches and heavy beading, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It was also my (or our, as I usually can count on Felix' help with stuff like this) first attempt on more elaborate framing, using matting and a stick on mat, but It's still a bit crooked so I'd really like to reframe it eventually.

Angel of Frost


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

My worst disaster and every stitcher's nightmare happened only recently - I managed to hold my fabric vertically instead of horizontally when starting my big Fire & Ember project, and only realized after a good couple of pages that I wouldn't be able to fit the whole design on there! Thankfully, it's a full coverage design, so I was (or still am, as the fixing is not finished just yet) to cut the fabric from the bottom, re-attach it to the side, and just stitch over the seam, and it's turning out quite okay.

Fire and Ember 


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I love trying new techniques and there are so many I'd love to attempt! To name just a few, there is blackwork, hardanger and Sashiko. I'd also like to do a lot more with beads, like 3D work and incorporating them into crochet and knitting, AND I have almost no experience with finishing other than framing, so there's a lot to try out as well!


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I do have a box of FNFF-pieces, both recent stuff and things from further back, when I didn't really care about anything but the actually stitching. For many of my newer projects, I do have a plan, but not yet the skills (or, not enough confidence in my skills) to actually finish them. So far, I've only done framing, but there are only so many walls you can put stuff on!


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I had to think a while on this one, because I'm usually 'boring' in the sense that I like to stick to the patterns, and only occasionally switch out colours or alter designs. What I do like to do, though, is to play with hand dyed or just multi-colour floss - I like to not stitch in the usual stripes, but rather in diagonals, or circles, or stars...here are two projects I had a LOT of fun playing around on: The first on is Spring Bunnies by Pattern Bird on Etsy, stitched with two colours of Jodyri floss and a few odd ends and beads from my stash

Spring Bunnies by Pattern Bird

And the other on is Ink Circles 'Turtles all the Way Down' stitched with Jodyri's 'Feathered Friends' pack - I used a different 'direction' of stitching on each one of those turtles!

Turtles all the Way Down

11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I really wanted my secret to be that I LOVE bad jokes, but of course, when I really want to think of one, I can't...so I'll confess something different: After just three years of serious stitching and stashing (one and a half of that on the Stitch from Stash budget as well!) I might have already accumulated more patterns and kits than I can ever handle...but shhh, don't tell Felix...he can keep believing I'll always need some more stash!


12. Anything you would like to add?


I'd like to thank our lovely host Jo for both this Blogger of the Week projects and all the other Blog Hops and events she's organizing. Blogging is fun, but it would not be half as fun without that huge network of stitchers and crafters all over the world, and I believe without her, I'd be a lot less well connected and miss out on so much fun!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Pinky the Pink from Deviant Art

A special treat for the first day of the month.  I plan to feature a stitcher from another medium - either Instagram, FlossTube, Facebook or in this case - Deviant Art.  If you've never heard of Deviant Art, don't panic, it just means Alternative, although there is so X-rated stuff there, there is also a lot of Fantasy, Sci-fi and general geekery from all forms of art including Cross Stitch.

So please welcome our first Non-Blogger of the Month!



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

I’m Ashley Mae, often and better known as Pinky, originally from California but living in Arizona since 2005. I have a very large extended family but my immediate consists of my mom, Mary, and my brother, Arthur. I have just one pet anymore, a small black rescue cat named Abby Dax. When I’m not cross-stitching directly I’m drawing up cross-stitch patterns, beading, or working on my seamstress training. This past year I’ve been the Artisan Crafts Community Volunteer for DeviantArt.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I started stitching when I was really young, I used to know the exact timeframe but now all I can vaguely say is around 5th grade, so 10 or 11 years old. I started when Mom handed me one of those really simple kits to teach the craft to keep my hands busy and have something to focus on when I got really spun up and upset. I think it had just three colors: purple, yellow, and black. The end result was meant to be a flower with backstitching. About five minutes in I knotted my thread and away it went into the trash! I never did finish the flower, but the second round was a yellow cat face and that I did get through.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

My formal “blog” is more like the journal feature on DeviantArt. Starting there was in 2005, so my inspiration to join it is hardly conducive to where it’s ended up; I originally joined because DA had entire galleries devoted to desktop backgrounds and messenger icons. I did try blogging for a little while with a BlogSpot page, which was encouraged by my other stitching friends, but I couldn’t keep up with it on a regular basis. My DeviantArt name, pinkythepink, doesn’t have a much deeper story beyond that my nickname is Pinky and naturally were I to be knighted I would be “the pink“. Likewise, my Blogger name “Make it Pink” is named after my Etsy store.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, an OAAT (one at a time), highly organized, random and eclectic, etc.?

I’d say I’m a mix between rotation and highly organized. I have different work stations around the house so depending on where I’m sitting determines the project I’m working on. So I might have a large pattern to draw on the computer in my room, a small something to stitch in the living room, a large piece in the game room, and a small carry-round project for my travel box.


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

There’s a time I would have said “No! Of course not!“ because there was a time when I hardly even looked twice at people’s names. Now, even when I look at names it’s difficult for me to remember them, so for me to take the continuous effort to remember a name really shows how much I like them. The top of the list are Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books and Nora Corbett of Mirabilia. If you know either designer you’ll know exactly why I’m so drawn to both of them: dresses! I love stitching dresses and both of them do it so extremely well. While I wouldn’t say it’s the reason for preferring them over others, both do tend to use a lot of embellishments like beads and Kreinik that add such an amazing extra detail to the finished piece.




6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I did a pattern conversion of some art by Glasmond of DeviantArt, a piece of fanart from one of my most favorite video game series: Zelda. Our original deal was that I could make and sell the pattern, and if I was up for it to stitch it for her to hang in her shop. Well, almost a year after I had finished the pattern I finished the stitching and I was just so ridiculously attached to the 262 hours I’d put into it and the characters and the sparkles and the beads… well… Glasmond agreed to let me keep it. Ahhh, that relief! Of everything I’ve done, “Between Day and Night” is easily the top of my pride list.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

It isn’t really a stitching disaster, per se, and more of a personal one, but it comes in the form of trying to make gifts. Stitching is something I’m good at and something I love; it’s relatively cheap (in terms of materials, not really in labor) and is much more personal than just going out to buy something from the store, wrapping it, and calling it a day. That all said, my stitching disasters come in the form of putting a lot of time, effort, love, and so on into a piece, only for the recipient to not really be as impressed as I was hoping, or worse to not like it at all.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I’d really like to figure out Hardanger embroidery. I see it incorporated into some cross-stitching pieces, especially on fancy biscornus, and every time I’ve looked at it my mind just does a little dial tone and I set it aside for another day.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have a massive stack of pieces that are done, ironed, photo’d, scanned, and clean… and just sit there. Part of this is my “For Sale” folders, which are purposefully not finish-finished because I leave it to the customer to get them framed or what have. The other stack are pieces I intend to keep for myself. Some of these are meant to be framed when I have the money to do it, like Glasmonds “Between Day and Night”, others like the Mill Hill cupcakes would be a bit silly to put under glass and I’m just not sure how I want to finish them or where they would be put on display.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

Mirabilia’s “Dressmaker’s Daughter”. When I read the question I thought I might think about it longer, but no! It was an obvious answer! While my mother personally isn’t a dressmaker I do come from a long line of seamstresses on both sides of my family and it just fits in with everything I love and do so well. It’s dresses, my favorite topic, it has the seasonal theme, it has beads on it, it has sparkles on it, I added a self-made quote and even signed my name into the fabric… to look at this piece is really to give a nutshell about how I like to present myself.


"A dressmaker's job is always needed, season barren or season seeded"


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

If I could somehow grow two more fully functioning arms so that I could cross-stitch and play video games at the same time I totally would.


12. Anything you would like to add?


Be patient. Many cross-stitchers are familiar with this already: a project won’t magically complete itself, and sometimes all you can fit is a mere hour a week. Be patient for the results that your hard work will bring, use the time to relax and enjoy it, and love what you do.


*************************************

I do hope that you enjoyed meeting Pinky and will venture over to her DA page to find out more about her work.  If you are a non-blogger, or know one, please email me if you would like to be featured in future months.

Friday, 31 March 2017

DJ from Tickled Pink in Stitches

A very warm welcome to this week's Blogger, DJ who blogs at the intriguingly named





1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.


My name is Deb Powers (AKA DJ because there are just too many Debs out there) and I live in Maryland, USA.   I’m originally from New York state near the Canadian border. I am happily married for 32 years and have one son.  We also have a cat named Thomas.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I’ve been stitching half a century (as my husband would so happily point out). Both my Grandmothers were needleworkers, one working in a dress factory who could tat, crochet, knit and quilt. The other owned a needlework business and could crochet, knit, quilt, and various different types of stitching (Swedish darning, hairpin lace, etc). She sold her creations from her home. I completed my first sampler which was a stamped cross stitch when I was 7. I went on to learn embroidery by stitching on stamped dresser scarves. Both of them lived far away so when we went to visit them they would take the time to teach me to stitch.

3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I’ve been blogging since February 2009. I joined a few Yahoo groups back then and a few of the ladies encouraged me to begin blogging to show my work. I have always loved writing and needlework, so I thought it would be a fun way to connect with other stitchers. I like to laugh and share puns and bad jokes. Years before I started my blog, I had an email address that began with tickled pink, so that’s where my blog title came from.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Oh my goodness...I guess you could say a little of most of the above. When I first started stitching I was a OAAT. Then I married a military guy and we began moving around. I would lose my stitching (more times than I can count) so would start something else, then later would find the first one so I became a serial starter. Then we would move to another state/country and I would find different styles of stitching so I became very eclectic as I would become enamoured with the local style. I have Southwest designs, French designs, Quakers, large Dimensions kits, Oriental designs, I tend to buy patterns that speak to me. I’ve learned recently to be more selective. I will look at something for several months before I decide to buy. I wish I were highly organised, but truth be told, I’m totally random in how I stitch. With so many started at the moment, I decide on the day which one I will stitch though I have a list I would like to accomplish this year.

5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I tend to go in phases. For a while I enjoyed stitching Quakers and Stickideen von der Wiehenburg was my favorite designer. I love Plum Street Samplers, I think I’m drawn to her color combinations and the Christian themes she sometimes uses. I enjoy Little House Needleworks because of her Christian themes as well. They are usually fun and quick stitches, but I like more involved pieces too, ones that look like paintings when you are finished. My Big Toe is also a favorite.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

It’s hard to pick just one, but I guess I would have to say the needlework casket I finished a short time ago. I had to restart one of the panels because the count was too small. I learned a lot of new stitches which is always a challenge for me, and it was something I hoped to stitch and finish within a year. I added a few things and personalized it somewhat to represent our families.  







7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I was participating in a SAL through Wiehenburg yahoo group a while back. I started stitching over one on 36 ct. I was near the end of a rather large Quaker piece with only three motifs left to go, and I made a mistake quite a way into a large motif. I will have to frog quite a bit of over one work. It’s been sitting waiting for several years now...and is on my list to finish this year...stay tuned...LOL



8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

When I was little my Grandmother had a crazy quilt. She started by using unusual fabrics she would find here and there. Bits of dresses that were worn out, leftover fabric after she reupholstered a piece of furniture, etc. There was all kinds of beautiful fabric, all different shapes, and lovely different stitches in different threads holding it all together. I don’t know what ever happened to that quilt, but I would study it for hours looking at all the lovely stitching. I would love to make something like that of my own. I’m sure there were many memories stitching into that quilt. I like to learn new stitches, I think it would be a labor of love.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have a HUGE box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces. Some are small, some are large, some are even too large to frame! I used to work in a frame shop and at one time had all my extras framed, but I no longer work there, so things get placed in this box. Special ones I finish I will fully finish them by either framing, or I have a couple of techniques I use. I can make them into a hanging ornament, or a flat fold. I’ve made biscornus, they are fun to finish. I’ve also made stand up cubes. The small pieces I tend to place in my china cabinet. The rest I hang on walls and rotate with the seasons. Since I was a framer, my favorite way to finish is framing, but it is expensive!!


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I stitched one a while back, that hasn’t been fully finished. I think the verse on it represents me the most. It’s called Noble, Right, Pure by Abbey Rose Designs.



11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I secretly consider myself a box-a-holic bag lady. My husband hates to shop with me because I tend to browse the container aisle, and the bag aisle. I think my addiction is because I want to be organized and I think if I have a place to put stuff I will be able to find things when I need them. This hasn’t been the case though...sometimes I think I spend more time looking for things than actually stitching. It’s my secret dream to be organized one day. I have all the tools I need to be organized...when the desire strikes...LOL I just recently visited Las Vegas and I think I found a home made just for me...



12. Anything you would like to add?

Stitching has always had a special meaning for me. It’s a way to be creative and express feelings and keep memories, but it’s also a way to leave a legacy. I hope that future generations will enjoy my creations as much as I cherish those that were passed on to me. I also hope that the gifts I have given over the years will express to those I love that they were thought of, and prayed for and that they hold a special place in my heart.


Friday, 24 March 2017

Mouse from Tales of a Stitching Mouse

This week's Blogger of the Week is another long-time online friend I've been following since the beginning of my blogging days, known to all as Mouse from


1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Mouse, married to DH for 28 years and counting, 2 DD’s and of course Master Bentley all living in the mouse house in Sunny South Yorkshire ..lol

Sunny Yorkshire

2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

Hmmmm hard question about the age of 6/7 did my first piece on binca and then rediscovered it again about 16 ish soooo a long time ago shhhhh

3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I have always been known as mouse and I stitch and tell tales and the rest is history .. think been blogging now for .... pootle off to check blog ;) ....24/02/2010 eeeekkk just missed my 7 year blogaversary ....


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Hmmmm my style is definitely a serial starter but I flit from one start to another depending on my what shall I stitch on today mood ... if something is near finishing I will often concentrate on that first ... especially if it an exchange peice or a RAK for someone.

A gift for our hostess, Jo!

5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

Favourite designers are LHN, L*K , Silver Creek Samplers, Samplers, Prim, basically a huge range of what I like to stitch ....also like speciality stitches too

Melicent Turner by LHN

6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

Gosh this is a hard one .. I think it has to be the one I designed and there were 52 people stitching on it and one lady won first prize in a WI competition .....:)

We need to see a photo of this one Mouse!

Click here for photo!


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

Finding out that a wedding piece I was working on for a friend had been ruined from the metal stems on the flowers in the bouquet ... never got restarted

8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

Would love to try a flat fold not been brave enough yet ..lol and to do more creative patchwork too

9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

Sshhhh have you been looking in my craft room? .. I am trying to work my way through them .. often make them into wee pillows or frame or bell pulls depending on the size of the piece.

Craft room at the Mouse House.

10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

Everything I have stitched has got a part of me in it .. I try to choose what I know the person would love to receive and think of them when finishing it off too.

A little bit of Mouse in every gift

11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I have a blog ... don’t think there isn‘t much peeps don’t know about me ..lol ..

12. Anything you would like to add?

Apart from my stitching , quilting , crafting (can’t knit..lol) I love taking photos of everything and anything as my memory keepers and one day I will get round to scrapbooking the best ones.




Friday, 17 March 2017

Lesley from Lesley's Stitching Diary

Please welcome our third Blogger of the Week, the lovely Lesley from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.


Hello.

My name is Lesley. I live in the North West of England, in rural Cheshire with my husband of nearly thirty four years. We have two adult sons and two gorgeous grandsons aged twelve and seven.

2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I have been stitching since May 1994.
I fell into stitching rather than making a conscious decision to start.
I went to a local Craft barn with a friend out of curiosity and a small cross stitch kit caught my eye because the little flowers were stitched in my favourite colour palette, purple.
The kit contained a small card and envelope so I decided to stitch it for our younger son's teacher as a good bye gift. He was seven and moving out of her class to the juniors.
I made the rookie mistake of using six strands in the first few stitches, a lesson learned early on.
I was amazed it looked like the illustration on the kit when I had finished.
Buoyed by my success I returned to the Craft Barn and purchased a design by Sylvia Clarke, a Nasturtiums flower tile. It was colourful and I liked the border pattern. At this point I had no idea about fabric, threads or back stitch (fortunately there was no back stitch ) I loved stitching it and that was the start of my cross stitching adventures.


Nasturtium Flower Tile designer Sylvia Clarke


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start. Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started my blog in March 2011. It was, if I remember correctly, called Home Is Where The Heart Is. I was going to blog about all sorts of things but I started to use it more and more for my stitching so I changed the name to Lesley's Stitching Diary. I have since started again after a Picasa Photo disaster in late 2012 in which I deleted nearly all my photos from my blog!
I had been reading and following a few blogs for a couple of years before I set up my own blog. I can remember the delight of finding cross stitching bloggers from other parts of the world. It was like opening a door and finding treasure. I loved the different styles and finishes and reading about what other stitchers like to stitch. It was great because none of my friends are crafty and up until then I was literally on my own in my passion for the crosses.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?


I was originally a 'one at a time' stitcher until I joined a stitching forum in 2009 and signed up for a few exchanges which meant I had two projects on the go at times.
I have decided that I am most comfortable if I have no more than four projects on the go at one time. I tried a rota a couple of times and failed to keep to it. I like to be organised.


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I like a lot of different styles but a few designers come to mind immediately

I like Ursula Michael's Word designs. They are fun, easy to stitch and personalise.
The simplicity of Little House Needleworks and Country Cottage Needleworks designs appeals to me.
I like the small Prairie Schooler designs. Brittercup designs is another.

I like Barbara Ana's Hallowe'en designs and a new-to-me designer,  Deborah Dick of Tempting Tangles designs.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

That would have to be White Lightning by Dimensions Gold. I stitched it for our younger son as a gift to mark his graduation in 2008. I started it in 2008 and it took two years of stitching to finish and one year out. The design has a 3D effect achieved by some of the stitches being four, five and six strands. I have never gridded any of my work and on this occasion I was fortunate that it all matched up, especially as I kept stopping and starting the project.


White Lightning. A Dimensions Gold kit. Original picture by John Seerey -Lester


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I had another Dimensions Gold design in 2002 called Magic In Motion. The subject was a colourful Wizard on black aida. I persevered with the fabric because I loved the Wizard. About a third of the way through I realised the fabric was in the wrong orientation and my Wizard would have no robes where his legs were. There was nothing I could do, the thought of frogging so much gave me nightmares. I gave the chart to someone who was willing to do the thread conversion and was going to use the chart.
A few years ago I tried to find Magic In Motion but it had been discontinued, then I saw a chart for sale on eBay, it was in pretty good condition .It is now in my stash, I have my fabric (not black) and I have done a thread conversion, so one day my Wizard will be stitched.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I have already taken the bull by the horns and started knitting. I completed two pattered blankets last year. I have nearly completed a scarf with various stitches incorporated into it, and knitted on circular needles, a first for me.
I am itching to start my first pair of socks. I am going to try the circular needle method and the double pointed needles method.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have framed quite a lot of my pieces because they are too big to make into small ornaments. I have stitched quite a few as gifts.
As the years have gone by I find I enjoy the process of stitching more than the finishing. I do have a few not fully finished pieces and no idea what to finish them into. However, when I stitch my Christmas ornaments for the family later this year I will be fully finishing them.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

It is hard to pick a project that represents me because I have cross stitched a lot of different designers' styles.
I also love hardanger stitching so, after some thought and a look in my stitching folders on my computer I would have to go with a piece I stitched for our elder son and his wife in 2013 for their wedding card. I designed it as I stitched and I love just seeing where the design takes me using the techniques I have learned. There is a small amount of cross stitch in the design too.


Wedding Card


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I am a collector and drinker of tea. I love my cuppa or brew as we say here. I have quite an array of different teas, loose leaf are my favourite. I am lucky that younger son and his fiance travel a lot. They have brought tea from Vietnam, Japan, Canada and Austria as well as gifts of tea from Fortnum and Mason. I love Chai tea and Lapsang Souchong. My latest gift was Russian Caravan tea which is delicate in taste. I have them all to myself when our sons are not around (they also like different teas) because my husband is a coffee drinker:)

12. Anything you would like to add?

I like to stitch on 14 and 16 count aida because it is easy on my eyes, although I will use 28 and 32 count if it is absolutely necessary and of course hardanger fabrics. Apart from the purple spectrum I like oranges which is one reason I am drawn to Hallowe'en designs.


Thanks to Jo of Serendipitous Stitching for putting the questions and for you coming to read them.