Monday 5 December 2022

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

Welcome to Day 5 of the Advent Calendat blog Hop. Hosted by Jo at, we need to share a winter or Christmas stitch, and answer the question... What's For Afters?

This one is a previous SAL piece for both me and my BFF. I have yet to figure out how to mount it.  
But I do still rather like it, and it will form part of my decorating this year, along with two plastic canvas finishes. 

So - what's for Afters?

Here, I have many memories of childhood,  where 'afters' was a first a sherry Trifle for pudding,  served immediately after Xmas dinner, and then a whole other buffet of both sweet and savoury offerings at the early evening,  shared with my maternal grandparents.

These days, as a family,  our Xmas meal is at the evening slot, so we occasionally actually go for 'Pudding for Dinner', also known as 'Eating dessert first'.  The content of this varies, but is often a Baileys flavoured special dessert from a local supermarket, or sweet mince pies with Baileys double cream.

It's varied though, some years we're too full of breakfast or chocolate to bother with dessert.

Merry Christmas to you all, Blogpeeps!

Thursday 1 December 2022

BFF RAL- a partial finish (ish)...?

There are stages of 'finishing ' in this craft world of ours aren't there?

Tonight a Xmas project reached Stage 1 Finish .. ie all cross stitch done (the Eagle eyed among you will note that means with the exception of the eyes... I don't like being Watched by my stitches whilst I'm backstitching, so I tend to leave the eyes to the latest possible point!).

Stage 2 will be backstitch complete,  and finally Stage 3 frame chosen and item framed.  But that is yet to come for this fella.

Check out my BFFs progress here

Thursday 24 November 2022

BFF SAL 10 - FFO Reindeer

Yassssss!!  Finally completed.  Have to admit I was nervous around the cutting edges, but it went OK.

Have opted to make sure he's displayed face on, as I had zero energy left to think up creative solutions for hiding the back of his antlers- but let's be honest nobody looks at reindeer butts anyway,  do they?

And flash photography doesn't do the thread any favours, it's not as see-through as the images suggest.

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 16 November 2022

BFF SAL 10 - deer oh deer

Well, the cross stitch and backstitch part is finished.  All that remains is assembly.  And there I paused for the night, for fear that I accidentally remove feet or antlers.   I know that I don't really want to follow the process for cutting around the antlers,  but I suspect I may have no other choice. Going to practice with some paper first I think.  So here he is, awaiting my next steps.

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 9 November 2022

BFF SAL 10... halfway to somewhere ??

.. not paradise.  Loving the fact that am nearly done with my reindeer,  but liking him less as it goes along somehow, maybe that will change once the backstitch is completed?  Still has a dog in a reindeer costume look about him somehow!

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Sooooo close... BFF SAL 10

Oh, so close to completion of the cross stitch part now for me. I make it 35 stitches to go in the second antler (although my menopausal brain keeps helpfully supplying the word Horns instead...much hilarity ensued in trying to correct it and only making things worse)

My BFF thinks he looks like the dog from the Grinch dressed up as a reindeer.   I hope that wears off!!

Check out my BFFs update here

Monday 31 October 2022

Halloween 🎃 Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2022

Muhaha... it's time, once again for the  Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop, hosted as ever by Jo over at  Collect your letter and Hop along to the next blog at the end of my post.  Start with Jo if you want to begin at the beginning or know more about the Hop.

I had a real desire to start something new for Halloween this year.  This little piece is a freebie from Durene Jones on her Facebook page.   And it's my first proper evenweave piece since the baby afghan my BFF and I worked for my son, who is now 16!!  And definitely the smallest holes for me thus far, on 32 count hand-dyed Murano fabric in shade Byzantium, from Chromatic Alchemy.  It's only a small piece, but I believe it may grow to something bigger as the years go on.

Your letter to collect is P, and your next visit is to

Happy Halloween Hopping!

Wednesday 26 October 2022

A break with the normal- BFF QAL

My BFFs cross stitch is on a time out after a tricky week last week,  so tonight there were quilts.  And it was quite nice just to plod along with no pattern. 

Check out my BFFs update

Wednesday 19 October 2022

BFF SAL- still a squashed dog

I think he'll only start looking like a reindeer when I stitch his antlers.   Had fun filling in red and light brown tonight, I think the antlers might be the last thing to stitch as they'll make me think about decisions of assembly.   And I don't wanna!!

My BFF had an 'interesting' night with her stitch too.... I'll let her tell you that tale though...

Wednesday 12 October 2022

BFF SAL 10 - one shade

Not fifty shades of grey, but one shade of brown.  I was determined the stitches were going in the right holes this week,  so I played safe!!

Without his antlers, he looks like a squashed dog right now.  I'm still debating construction options,  but there is a while to go before I need to worry properly,  so I shan't!

Check out my BFFs progress here

Wednesday 5 October 2022

BFF SAL 10 - Not exactly sleighing it

Tonight the Stitching kept fighting back. Twice I managed to entirely lose my place.  At least I managed a little progress eventually. 

Jo correctly guessed last week,  this will be a reindeer bauble in a cone shape.  The pattern calls for some patient cutting at the end, right now I am somewhat inclined to ignore that and work with the cone!

Check out my BFFs update here

Thursday 29 September 2022

BFF SAL 10 (yes really)

Yes it's definitely the 10th. And I know it's not the same item this time,  but enough of a theme and similar size to count as one.

Lots of dotting about in a variety of shades for me.  Still hard to see the finished item in the progress so far.

Check out my BFFs update here for a lighter shade of pale.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

BFF SAL 10 (I think). So Much Brown!

Felt like I was struggling this week,  weird how much enthusiasm can wax and wane throughout a project.

Little bits of dark red in there just to break up the browns a bit.  Still no sign of it looking like the item it will become though teehee.

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 7 September 2022

An FFO and a sort-of-SAL

This week I finished my mini stitch from last week,  it's not a post box, it's an electric guitar!

This little kit was from Mouseloft, just a random Amazon purchase to have a musical stitch.

And then tonight we began BFF SAL?10? - Technically not quite a SAL as we are working on different items,  but on a theme and on the same kind of fabric.   Got to be even harder to guess what this one is!  Am torn between an owl wing or a superhero Cape at the moment,  and I know what it's going to hahaha 😆. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 31 August 2022

The Bear's Essentials... and a teeny new start - BFF RAL

Yippee,  the Bear is finished!
I've enjoyed this little cover kit, even if some bits are more Unique than they ought to be. I'd expected the random fur to be annoying,  it was easier than the clothing backstitch. 

So time left over and guilt made me pull out a new start as I didn't have the energy for a bigger project tonight. Can you tell what it's going to be yet?  It looks clear to me but my BFF thinks otherwise,  so any guesses?

Check out my BFFs update here

Thursday 25 August 2022

An FFO, a cosy companion and a bear - BFF RAL night

Firstly,  the FFO... well, I say FFO, it's framed and hung on the wall.  But it went up there without being stitched into position and has a slight misalignment... so it will get fixed at some point in the future,  but as there's only me looking at it then it's not currently stressing me enough to rush into that.

This week I had a fancy for quilting, so I did another 12 inch square of my current WIP quilt.  Forgot to take a photo before I removed it from the hoop, so here it is keeping my knees warm instead.  It's a nice cosy hobby for autumnal weather. 

And finally,  a bit more progress on the little bear cover kit. Looks like he's wearing a Maharajah's slippers,  or some awesome running blades for a Paralympic champion. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Thursday 18 August 2022

BFF RAL 2, a finish and more bear

YAY!  Kimono is finished!!  The cornucopia is using a single strand of 783 along with a blue Kreinik blending filament.  Much less stressful than the metallic gold to work with.  The medallion at the top uses a strand of medium pink with the same blending as I thought it weird to have it the same colour as the cornucopia. 

And I even had a little time left for teddy who got the beginningsof his trousers.

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 10 August 2022

BFF RAL (random along)

We're still between ideas for a joint project,  so more random stitches this week.  This week I have been working on the kimono from my Joan Elliot Oriental book.

That bottom cornucopia shape holding the flowers calls for metallic gold as per the border, I'm not convinced as it's very scratchy. Still trying to decide on what to replace it with though.  

I should manage to finish the cross stitch this week and get started on the backstitch.

Check out what my BFF worked on and how it is progressing here

Monday 8 August 2022

Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count - Summer Blog Hop 2022

Welcome to the Hop, hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching

Let me tell you about my Stitching Friend today and see if you can guess who she is. 

My Friend lives in the Southwestern US state of Arizona.  My geography is abysmal,  I had to look up where it was before posting as I have always thought Arizona was in the southeast!!

She is currently recovering from multiple surgeries so doesn't get quite as much opportunity to stitch as she would like, I think.  Despite this, she's making great progress (by hand too) on a Cathedral Windows friendship quilt, supported by her dog Murphy.

As she's a quilter, I thought I'd share this bed runner, which grew out of a larger  project my BFF helped me to design, which may still be underway for many years to come!

And for a focus on friendship,  how about this one?

The words spoke to me of who, and what my BFF, is to me. And my BFF, who is not a woman of great emotional displays in general, was very touched by both dragon and sentiment.

The writing (which is the reason I knew my BFF wouldn't make it for herself) was much easier than I expected.  The dragon itself was an easy stitch, but it was one of those items for which the back stitch required coming up and down in holes which were not there, it was ironically my most difficult backstitch

And in case you haven't already guessed, my Friend for the Hop is Grace at

Hop over there to continue your journey around our Blog Hop. 

Thursday 4 August 2022

BFF RAL - Bear with us

A 'bear'y good night's work on our own random projects. Mine looks as though he was hit by a snowball here. Coming along nicely though.

Also added a few stitches to my 'Happiness' piece from an Aldi kit. But no photos for that one.

Just good to get together for the natter. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Thursday 28 July 2022

BFF SAL 9 - Ta-Da!

This has been a massive stitch, I believe it may be the biggest piece I've done actually. 

It made for an interesting SAL, as our approach was so different. 

I have to admit that I'm very chuffed with the overall result.  Now to find a suitable frame,  as square ones are harder to come by. (Edit to add I now have a frame but just need the combination of available time and energy to do the job).

Skype night this week was a welcome chance to catch up after a few weeks off.  

As my BFF has alluded to, the right 'next piece' has yet to show itself,  we have a couple of potential things but neither of them feel like something we wanted to stitch together right now. 

And as we make our own rules,  we will give ourselves permission to work on whatever we feel like,  as was our way back when we met in person for 'Cfarties'.

So this is mine this week,  from a simple cover kit. I'd had a grand plan for starting my Halloween piece,  but couldn't decide on a fabric so it's also on my To Be Done later pile.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness July linkup

Wow, it's the 15th again already? (Technically past that now as I began the post yesterday)

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, we share crafts and crafty gifts made or received.  Once you've finished here, hop there to see who else is participating. 

This month is the turn of one my 'spare hobbies', every now and again I get a desire for more than my usual crafts. Watercolour painting is one such.

I got this book for Xmas a couple of years back,  I like the artists style. 

This part of my own attempt at recreating this one, of the castle in one of my spiritual homes nearby.  Can you tell which castle it is?

I'm reasonably happy as it feels more solid than some former attempts, although good tree work still eludes me right now, hence you only getting to see part of my painting yet. 

But it also leads me to the point of my ramblings too, that sometimes the greatest gift is actually having the time pursue our hobbies.  Since moving home over a year ago,  I've had so much more time to stitch, and knit, and crochet, and paint.  And on our holidays I've been enjoying taking my time to sketch some of the scenes as well as taking photographs.

Enjoy hopping around the linkup.

Friday 8 July 2022

BFF SAL 9 - t minus 650... and counting

A solo post this week, as my poor BFF succumbed after all this time and caught the Covid Lurgy. 

On the home straight now, I have precisely 650 stitches of purple left to go.  I've been alternating between side and bottom of the picture, so there looks like less work than has actually gone into it!!

And then it will be time to go frame hunting. A little part of me is tempted to finish as a cushion, but I still think I'd prefer to see it safely on the wall where nothing can be spilled on it!

And then onwards, to BFF SAL 10 in a couple of weeks time, as I have some family commitments next week. 

Wednesday 29 June 2022

BFF SAL 9 - bits of both

Have had a week with very little stitching time, sooooo much extra time at work and too tired after all of that to be inclined to sew.

Tonight's session was somewhat curtailed, with Teenager Drama over a last minute decision to go to the prom in 2 days time.  So any stitching done I count as a bonus!  But always good to share time with my BFF, regardless of craft achievement or lack thereof. 

Worked a little bit of each border, side and bottom. 

Check out my BFF's update on here when she's ready. 

Wednesday 22 June 2022

BFF SAL 9, round the bend and across the border

Finally went round the bend this week.  Gold border completion, yay!!

And on Skype tonight, a little bit of progress on the final outer border.  Strange how unsquare the pattern looks before you fill in the edges! 

Check out my BFF's update here

Saturday 18 June 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness June link up

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted as ever by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching

We share a few things about gifts received or given, related to our crafts.  

I've only stitched on the BFF SAL this month as time has been limited, so I thought I'd share a gift from a few years past, from my BFF. 

Meet my ORT Baubles. 

They get filled up with the bits and pieces of thread, or occasionally labels, or even fabric offcuts. 

I see in each of them a history of my crafting life through the times.  Last year I added a few bits of fabric from quilting, and a lot of wool from crochet.  This year has been largely cross stitch so many thread offcuts. 

Is it just that I don't want to keep visiting the bin as often? Yeah maybe a little bit of that too, but it's fun to do and hurts nobody so I will be happy with that. 

I think I have 4 more to fill, feels like it's almost time to start the next one! 

Check out Jo's page for a list of all the participants this month. 

Wednesday 15 June 2022

BFF SAL 9 - Nearly almost almost

It's been 2 weeks since our last session as we were out with our son for Important Teenagers Things last week.  Last week I stitched a lot of border, most of it yellow!  This week not so much, as I have been busy with work and coding challenges for a job application. 

But all in all, happy with progress by the end of the day. This week coming, I will finish the yellow and continue with the final outer border.

Check out my BFF's update on here

Wednesday 1 June 2022

BFF SAL 9 - Honest, truly I do

Stitch on this between times... Really truly.

Actually feels like a bit of progress this week, the top yellow border is complete. 

And lots of additional work on the outer border. 

Comparing with last week and this... 

I shall have to be satisfied with that. 

Conversation topics were many and varied, from Jubilee Breakfasts, Britain's Got Talent, to Decapitated Bunnies. I'll let my BFF explain that one hahaha!!

Check out my BFF's update here

Wednesday 25 May 2022

BFF SAL 9 The Never Ending Story

Oh dear, the 'sameyness' has hit big style with this set of borders.   And whilst I am glad that I have a couple of options to stitch on by starting the outer body too, oh boy I wish I had not added it.

The yellow border was tonight's focus, a bit more on the side and a stretch along the top to feel like I'd made any progress.  I prefer the stitching on the side, but it honestly never feels like I've made progress for the amount of thread consumed! 

I know it's all going to be worth it in the end but I long for the fun of the tree again! 

Check out my BFF's update on here

Monday 16 May 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness May link up

It's time for Gifted Gorgeousness again, how did that happen already??

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted as ever by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  We are tasked with sharing our stitching on gifts, or with gifted fabric, or any combination of these things. 

My share this month, you've already seen a little bit of on my earlier post Adventures in Evenweave

But the reason it still fits here, is that I received the lovely book it came from from my BFF on our joint Xmas/Birthday real world meet up. 

There are SO many gorgeous patterns in here, I'm very excited to be starting on one of them. 

Here's the my abandoned evenweave version alongside for size comparison. It's about the size of one sleeve!

I'm looking forward to stitching a few designs from this book, I think it was one of my favourite pressies.   It didn't make me laugh quite as much as this one though. I'm getting through a lot of 550 on the SAL. 

Wednesday 11 May 2022

The Road To Somewhere - BFF SAL 9 and other stuff

It's been a weird old week this one.  I think I've finally reached exhaustion point with the borders on the SAL.  On the plus side I have a choice of borders and corners to be working with, on the negative side then it resulted in a feeling of incompleteness everywhere.

A good friend of mine was successful in getting promoted at work, for a job which I chickened out of applying for. I have been living 'in my own head' way too much lately, I think, doubting my capabilities with work and real life skills. Oddly this comes along at a time when my crafty confidence is higher than usual. However, I'm guessing that some of that annoyance with myself spilled over into my stitching tonight, as I just couldn't get properly motivated on the SAL.  My BFF has her own tales to tell on the SAL side of things, so I'll let her update you later here.  Progress so far, mostly on Monday all in one long session after a muchness of grass cutting. 

So I dropped off the SAL and worked a little on my latest small piece, I'm working the kimono on a random piece of 14 count leftover fabric.  It wouldn't leave me alone, so I just had to start it. 

Remembering as I go along just why I don't love metallic thread... This tendency to split and pull. But as there's only a little bit of it in the pattern, I'm going to persevere as I think it will be worth it.