Sunday, 23 June 2019

New Starts

It is going to be a week of new starts!  We've just had our dining room decorated and I decided to have a white room with one feature wall in a lovely greeny-bluey colour.  The wall is directly opposite the window, so gets a lot of light.  My welsh dresser that used to be in the kitchen has had a new coat of paint and is now in the dining room.

I am so looking forward to "dressing" the dresser.  I'm going to have to look through all my gorgeous vintage china which I'd packed away while all the changes were taking place.  It will be a tough job deciding what to put on show, but I can't wait to see all my pretties again!

Another new start will be a cross stitch.  I saw this thread (DMC 4522) and the colours just reminded me of a Scottish hillside in autumn - purple, green, brown - gorgeous!  Got an idea in mind for this.  I'll show you when I get started.

Something to start reading.  A kind friend gave me this fabulous magazine all about Outlander.  It is full of fabulous photographs of the filming locations, actors, costumes etc and lots of articles about Scotland and Outlander.  Can't wait to get reading this.  It is a DC Thomson publication in connection with The Scots Magazine,

Three new starts - the perfect way to spend a weekend. 

Love, Liz

Monday, 17 June 2019

My Scottish cross stitch

I am so impressed by all the fabulous patriotic American cross stitch charts there are out there.  So I decided that I wanted something Scottish for myself.  None of the Scottish cross stitch patterns I've seen really appealed to me - so there was only one thing for it - I decided to design my own!

Started small with this little pillow with just Scotland and a thistle on it.  I backed it up with some tartan fabric.

Put it together with my vintage Scotland map and this little vintage piper lady doll - isn't she cute?

I've loads of ideas for more Scottish and hometown cross stitch patterns.  If I was fully finishing this one again I would add some tartan to the front - think it is a bit squashed looking. Never mind - we live and learn.

Dolly looks a wee bit startled in this picture - perhaps she's afraid of heights!

Love, Liz

Monday, 10 June 2019

The Big Key

I finished this Christmas cross stitch and made it into a little pillow.  Sewing machine gave up on me as I was making it!  I remember buying it in the 70s, so it has been a good and faithful servant.

I liked the key in the pattern, so I photographed it beside our "big key" - we actually still use it to lock our door from the inside.  It would be a bit heavy to carry around in my handbag!

Picture from pattern.
When I finished the cross stitch I looked at the picture on the pattern to see if I had missed anything out and spotted what I thought was my mistake.  If you look at my version, you'll see that Santa's sack starts at the reindeer's back, but in the picture on the front of the pattern it starts higher up.  I had almost begun to unpick the stitches, but fortunately decided to look at the chart - which shows it exactly as I had stitched it.

The pattern is Through the Woods by Barbara Ana Designs.  I loved stitching it and I think the colours are gorgeous.

Love, Liz

Monday, 3 June 2019

Big Little Fat Books

I absolutely adore the illustrations in these little books.  They belonged to my children when they were young.  Then my grandchildren enjoy them.

They are 'My Big Little Fat Books'  by Brimax and published in 1985.  The illustrator was Ann Ricketts.

They were great to read with the children because they were so simple and the illustrations so cute.

Now they live with some of the toys in the Lego Room - my grandsons' favourite place when they visit.

Disclaimer:  I hope no books have taken offence to any of the words used in this post.  Big, Fat and Little are all used in the books' titles and were not meant in a derogatory way!  Phew!

Love, Liz

Saturday, 1 June 2019


Temptation ... who was that song by ... remember it from the 80s?  Just checked it out - Heaven 17 from 1983.  Can you believe it was that long ago!  (You are going to have that song playing in your head all day now!  Ha ha!)

I'm about to start a new cross stitch "Through the Woods" from Barbara Ana Designs.  I love the old fashioned look to it.

When I opened up the package to get the chart - look what was inside!  A lovely page of other Barbara Ana designs!!!!!


Still haven't started stitching because I'm too busy looking at all these wonderful designs.  So many that I would love to stitch.  Look at that gorgeous little lady with the apron.

New mantra -

I will not buy any new patterns 'till I've stitched the ones I've got!
I will not buy any new patterns 'till I've stitched the ones I've got!
I will not buy any new patterns 'till I've stitched the ones I've got!

Oh well, we'll see how long that lasts!

Love, Liz

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Home of a Needleworker

I really loved stitching this piece.  I stitched it on 16 count ivory Aida using DMC threads.

Home of a Needleworker by Little House Needleworks.  I got the pattern in the UK from The Patchwork Rabbit.

There was just something very satisfying about this pattern.  Even the borders weren't as bad as I thought they would be, in fact they stitched up pretty quickly.

Now I just have to find a nice way of displaying it - my usual problem!

Love, Liz

Friday, 24 May 2019

My vintage linen stash

I didn't realise I had so much vintage linen!

I was clearing out my fabric stash so that I knew exactly what I had which would be useful for finishing off my cross stitch projects when I came across all my vintage linen mixed amongst it!

Over the years I just picked up pretty little bits and pieces as I came across them.  It is a bit of a shock to see them all together.

I picked out some of the prettiest to show you today.  Many of these will have been hand embroidered.

I love them all and it is actually quite nice to see them all piled up together.

Happy Friday.

Love, Liz

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Autumn already?

Of course it's not autumn (unless of course you are in Australia) - "Autumn in the Village" is the name of my latest cross stitch finish.  The pattern is by Vinniey P S Tan for Cottage Garden Samplings.

I love stitching houses, so this was perfect for me.

I used DMC threads but changed the colour in the numbers down the side, thought the beige would look to insipid on the fabric I had chosen (18 count rustico aida in oatmeal).  Think I did the right thing.

Love it!  Now just have to decide how to frame it ... hmmmm!

Best bit about finishing a project is that I can now decide which of my other lovely new patterns I can make a start on!!!!!  Yeah!!!!

Had any new starts or finishes this week?

Love, Liz

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Castle on the coast

Had a wonderful day out on Thursday.  We went down the coast to Ayr, but stopped off at Portencross, a place I had never been before.  It is only a small hamlet, but has a beautiful little castle perched right on the shores of the Firth of Clyde.

It was the perfect day for a visit.  The sun was shining and the waters of the tiny harbour were calm and clear.

Portencross Castle was closed when we visited, (check out Portencross Castle website for opening times), but just wandering around outside was very atmospheric. 

The red sandstone looks fantastic in this light.  You can see the weathering caused by the salt air and sea spray.

The Friends of Portencross Castle have a fabulous website where you can find out all about the history of the castle and the ongoing work to keep it accessible to the public.  What a great job groups of people like this do for their local history and environment.  They have lots of photographs of the interior of the castle too.

You can read the fascinating history of the castle here.  It really was a very romantic spot ... in the sunshine!  Although if the weather was different, I can imagine the atmosphere would be a whole lot different!

We then travelled on to Ayr and wandered around the shops and had a lovely meal out before returning home.  A great day out.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Love, Liz

Monday, 13 May 2019

Those were the days my friend

I was rummaging through my old FAB 208 Annual from 1971 for a nostalgia hit!  Oh boy - isn't it amazing to look back - seems like a whole different world.

Love these photographs of Tony Blackburn "at home".  Look at that living room unit - my Mum had one of those.  In fact we had one when we were first married - I thought I was so trendy!

The kitchen - wow to the floral canisters! 

Another page features some of those who were famous at the time.  Doesn't Sandie Shaw look gorgeous in that photo!

Ah well, that was a fun break, but now - back to the cross stitch!

Love, Liz

Friday, 10 May 2019

Tidying up - a little!

I've been looking for something to keep all my cross stitch patterns and bits and pieces in and I found this gorgeous thing!  It looks a bit like one of those old fashioned contraptions which you put on the back of your front door to stop letters falling on the floor.  It is ideal for my purposes.

It also fits in with the decor in my living room, so I can have it on display.  All the stuff that's in it was previously in a pile - very messy looking!  With this I can find what I'm looking for easily.

So, it keeps my Cross Country Stitching magazines from the 90s, my "thread that I'm not using at the moment" box and my shiny new patterns.  Had to add a little ceramic heart to brighten it (and me) up a little!

I got it at Dunelm Mill, they had a letter rack to go with it - tempted, but this is enough for now.

Hope you are having a great Friday.  I plan to get some stitching done this afternoon - all being well.

Love, Liz