Sunday, 4 April 2021

Spring crochet and a butterfly

Out walking around Greenock yesterday I saw my first butterfly of the year.  It was such a lovely day and it seemed to be enjoying the sunshine, drying off its wings.

Finished my green crochet blanket a few weeks ago.  Love the spring colours.

Bright and cheery.

Happy Easter to you all.

Love, Liz

Sunday, 7 March 2021

February finishes

 I wee bit late in posting, but I managed to finish two stitchy projects in February.

The first was the cute Checkerboard Bunny which was a free pattern from Waxing Moon Designs.  You can find many of their free charts here.  Is'nt he cute!

I also finished this Autumn Saltbox by Plum Street Samplers.  Love the colours in this one and I think I have just the frame which will finish it off.

Also thought you might like to see my progress on Waxing Moon Designs Spring Houses.  Enjoying stitching this.

My cross stitching has been very much interrupted by my current obsession for crochet granny squares!  But I'd love to get the Spring Houses finished before the end of this month (fingers crossed)!

Love, Liz

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Messy vintage!

It's a bit messy in there!  My china cabinet is overdue for a tidy up!

Just a little glimpse of vintage china cabinet number one - yes, I have another one.  Number two is a bit tidier!  I just love looking at all this vintage beauty.

Perhaps I'll tidy it another day!

Love, Liz

Monday, 15 February 2021

Some stitching progress

I've been neglecting my cross stitch recently because I've been so engrossed in books and crochet!  However, yesterday I decided to get on with my Spring Houses cross stitch.

The pattern is by Waxing Moon Designs  - they have lots of patterns of seasonal houses (and other things too).  I've also stitched two of their Christmas houses.

Not joining the grass up yet, going to wait and decide whether to put some flowers between the houses.  I'll decide when I've completed the third house.

Love, Liz

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Step back in time

If you are looking for some great reads for the weekend, then look no further than these two fabulous books.  

I've just finished Heartstone by C J Sansom - the fifth book in the Shardlake series - and it was brilliant!  Set in Tudor England of 1545 it follows the adventure of lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak as they try to solve several cases.  Henry VIII's warship the Mary Rose is fabulously described as Shardlake's enquiries lead him to Portsmouth.  In my opinion Heartstone is the best of the series, so far.

Another great book is The Haunting of Thores-Cross by Karen Perkins.  Described as a Yorkshire ghost story it it set in modern times but also takes us back to a small village in North Yorkshire in the 1770s.  I could not put this book down!  I won't tell you anything about the story and spoil it, but I loved it. (If you like Barbara Erskine books then I think you'll enjoy this.)

I'm sure I wrote down this author's name after reading a recommendation on someone's blog.  I'm sorry that I can't remember whose, but thank you for recommending this wonderful book.

I've already got the next Shardlake book - Lamentation - ready to start this weekend.  I'm really trying to pace myself and not read too quickly as there's only one more after this one!  I'm also going to get another of Karen Perkins books.  So please - keep blogging book recommendations.  I'm sure we all have a wee bit more time to read at the moment and it's great to have a few book in reserve.

Love, Liz

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

A gaggle of grannies!

Not sure if that is the collective term for crochet granny squares, but it will do for this post.  There's a photograph in there of my paternal Grandmother - she's the one to blame - she taught me to crochet!

You can also see my crochet hook - she gave me it when I was learning and I've used it ever since.  I think of her when I pick it up.  She must have had amazing patience to teach me to crochet.  We visited every Sunday and I can remember her saying, "Right Lisbeth, lets see if you can remember how we do this."

I finished my blue blanket and gave it an edge of bright red.  Love it!

I've been making different sizes of squares from all my odd bits of yarn.  Don't have enough of any one colour to edge the squares yet.  I'll have to wait till the shops re-open to see what colour I want to use and buy some yarn.  I don't mind, I'm enjoying just sitting doing some crochet.  Also using up my yarn stash - really pleased at how much it has reduced!

While one of my Grannies taught me to crochet, I blame my maternal Grandmother for my love of vintage china!  I would help her clean her display cabinet when I was young.  You can see a photograph of her and her china cabinet in a previous post here.

Stay safe and well my blogging friends!

Love, Liz

Friday, 5 February 2021

Make your own journal stickers

I decided that it would be great to have some more relevant stickers for my Needlework Book of Days - so I decided to make my own.

I took some photographs from my blog, Shortbread & Ginger, reduced them in size and added them to a A4 page in Publisher (you could use Word).  I made some of them into shapes like hearts and circles and added these too.  I choose photographs of my knitting, cross stitch, vintage china, flowers - all sorts of things!

I got some special sticker paper which can be used with inkjet printers and printed the page I had made.  (My first page didn't fully load because I forgot to change paper type to special on the printer!  But I got enough to start with.)  I sat and cut them out while watching tv - didn't take long and actually quite satisfying!

Then I added a couple to my Book of Days!  Perfect.  You could do this with family photographs and all sorts of pictures to add to any journal, diary, planner or calendar.  Using sticker paper (I got mine from Amazon) saves you having to find glue and means that you can have lots saved for adding when required.  I also made a "hidden" paperclip with a cute little bird picture.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Love, Liz

Sunday, 31 January 2021

It's the little things!

Isn't it funny that sometimes it is the little things that bring back the best memories?  This little piece of ceramic, just over an inch high, brings back some lovely summer memories for me.  I keep it on my kitchen shelf so that I can see it every day.

It reminds me of a happy summer day with my husband and grandsons.  Walking along the beach, looking for "treasure" and paddling in the salty water.  Building sandcastles and making channels for the sea water to make a moat.  Having a picnic with those two happy, excited little boys - and finding this among the rocks on the beach.  Such a wonderful day.  I didn't take any photographs, but I don't need them - I have this tiny piece of ceramic "treasure" which brings it all back to me.  Such a wonderful day.

I think it is probably a fragment of a Holloway's Ointment jar.  I found an advertisement for Holloway's ointment in an old newspaper.  Sounds like wonderful stuff, doesn't it!  Thomas Holloway was a really interesting man and you can read a great article about him at Chertsey Museum's website here.  

Hope you have some little bits and pieces that bring back happy memories for you too.

Love, Liz

Friday, 29 January 2021

Spring houses

I'm working on this gorgeous cross stitch pattern - Spring Houses by Waxing Moon Designs.  (You can purchase and download their wonderful patterns from their website by clicking the link above.)  I've just about finished the first of the three houses in this set.

I'm going to stitch all three in a row - like a little avenue of pretty, bright houses.  Hope I get my spacing right!

Using all DMC threads - just love the bright, cheery colours.  They make me happy to think that spring is just around the corner.

Hope everyone is doing well and coping with whatever social restrictions are in place where you live.  I really miss having coffee and chats with friends.  But I'm very lucky to have you - my lovely bloggy friends to interact with and I love reading what you've been up to in these trying times.  Stay safe and well and keep blogging!

Love, Liz

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Nearly finished

I've been getting on well with my new crochet blanket.  I love making all the granny squares and just adding random colours together.  It doesn't seem to matter - personally I think they look great together.

I'm just sewing in the last few squares and then I'll do a border around the whole thing.  Hopefully I'll have it finished by the end of the month.

I just love adding a bit of colour to what, weather wise, is a very dull week here in Greenock.

Stay well, stay safe and keep crafting and blogging my friends!

Love, Liz

Monday, 25 January 2021

Burns Night

Tonight in Scotland and across the world Burns Night will be celebrated.  Robert Burns (1759-1796) is Scotland's national poet.  Perhaps one of his most famous works is "Auld Lang Syne" traditionally sung at the new year.  Last year I stitched a quote from this song and finally got around to making it into a little pillow.  (It was a free chart from Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery here.)

My hometown of Greenock has a particular connection to Robert Burns.  He was due to leave from here to take up a job as an overseer on a plantation in Jamaica.  His sweetheart Mary Campbell, or Highland Mary as she is now known was to travel with him.  Unfortunately her brother was unwell so she stopped off in Greenock to look after him.  He recovered, but Mary died and was buried in Greenock.  There is a monument to her in Greenock Cemetery.  You can read more about her in a post in my local history blog - The Greenockian (click on link).

I'm sure there will be lots of virtual Burns Suppers taking place over the next few weeks.  These suppers follow a very traditional pattern of food and entertainment.  You can read more about them here.

Love, Liz

Friday, 22 January 2021

Keeping track

I don't know about you, but the days just seem to be flying by, even although we are in strict lockdown! With all the days being mostly the same - no meet ups with friends, days out or other events to mark the passing of time, I'm having trouble remember what day it is, nevermind what the date is!  So when I saw this - The Needlework Enthusiast's 2021 Book of Days by Needlework Press last year, I thought that it would be just the thing for me to keep track of the days and what stitching I've been doing.

It is a beautiful book.  Each month is spread across two pages and there's lots of room for filling in what's been accomplished each day.  I decided that I would include my crochet and knitting along with my cross stitch in the book.

I've decorated January with some pretty washi tape, stickers and stamps - got this idea from fellow stitchers on Instagram and Facebook.  Just makes it look pretty.  For each month there are also some lovely old drawings and some sayings from old needlework samplers - so inspiring.

I got my book in December on a pre-order from Patchwork Rabbit.  I checked recently and it seems to be out of stock there at the moment.  (But go visit and check out their cross stitch patterns, threads and fabrics!)

So - hopefully, I'll be better organised (haaa - highly unlikely!) and able to see what projects I've need to work on.  By the way - the background crochet is my progress on my new granny square blanket.  Thank you all so much for the lovely comments and encouraging words on my last post.  I don't have any friends who craft, so it is great to "talk" to others who enjoy crafting as much as I do.  Thank you!

Stay well, stay safe and keep blogging, my friends!

Love, Liz