Thanks for looking at my blog and all comments are appreciated

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Been doing some reading and searching

Fine Cell Work

Recently, I read an interesting article in one of our newspapers over here in on how needlework is helping prisoners serving long sentences.  A social enterprise and charity called Fine Cell Work sees volunteers going into prisons and teaching prisoner’s to make intricate needlepoint, quilts, cushions and wall hangings.    There were mixed views on the comments made with regards to the article, especially as the work advertised was on the pricy side, however when putting it into context, the amount of time we put into each completed cross stitch or other needlecrafts, along with the materials would we not be making a justified costing.  The full article can be found on  

Being a firm believer that cross stitching helps us to become more relaxed and calmer, this must have a positive influence in helping to rehabilitate some prisoners, many of whom have come from backgrounds of abuse and violence in the home, family criminality, substance abuse problems and even living arrangements and experiences of care.  To see some of the work advertised, check out   Furthermore check out some quotes made by cross stitchers on the therapeutic aspects of cross stitch on

The continuing copyright debate

Over here in England, I have been a regular reader of Craftseller magazine, especially since starting my cushions.  This magazine provides various craft ideas to make and sell which are copyright free for crafters, and with the copyright debate that has been occurring over the past couple of months on various cross stitching groups this month’s edition provided a guide to copyright clarity. 

Steve Wright, who wrote the article explained lifespan terms, trademarks, ways of infringing and using big name fabrics.  For example, its finite lifespan varies from country to country.  Copyright over here in England is protected up to 70 years following the death of the creator, Steve’s example uses quotes and images of Oscar Wilde which can be freely quoted by a crafter.    On the other hand, using his Marilyn Monroe example, anything to do with her cannot be used.

In addition to this, during the summer there was a lot of debate with regards to the use of the Olympic rings and the Union Jack for the 60th Diamond Jubilee for the Queen and the Olympics held over here in the UK.  Whilst the Olympic rings are classed as a trademark, the Union Jack is classified as being in the public domain and can be freely used. 
Finally, with regards to infringement, using my cushions as an example, all the designs are created by me personally, if they are recreated by somebody else, using a recognisable version, that counts as infringement.
Steve did include loads of other examples, however he also included these sites for copyright queries:

1.  The UK Copyright Service:
2. Official UK copyright Information Service:
3. Pick up loads of helpful advice on intellectual property for the creative industries:
4. Copyright issues for card makers and rubber stampers:  Or
further advice can be obtained at:
5. UK Handmade offers copyright issues surround upcycling:

Stitching news

In the past couple of weeks I have frozen in the cold winds with the kids and Steve whilst we went away in the motorhome, however I did take my cross stitch with me and managed to complete some more.  I also have 7 cushion orders to complete, 1 for a baby due any day now, 1 for a Christmas present for somebody and 5 for a local brewery who wants hops made for the corners in place of the flowers I put on so that will take a bit of research and work. 

I finally did it!!

Last Saturday I finally did it and collected my degree at my graduation ceremony.  The only downside was that I could only take 2 guests with me, so Ben and Victoria attended with me.  Steve stayed at home with all the rest of the kids in the house.  The ceremony was lovely but it was freezing cold with hail outside from time to time.

Thanks for looking and hope you enjoyed this installment xxxx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The family has grown, Meari's surprise & WIP todate

Now we are 8!!!

Since my last blog, things over here in the Wilson household have become extremely busy.  We celebrated Anabel’s 18th birthday in the house and there was a party going on.  One good thing was that it was not as crowded as at her 16th birthday 60 people were invited, this time there was only about 15-20 people.  When I think to all the parties we have held, such as our wedding where we had 26 people sit down in the front room on long tables, and 80 people that night, Anabel’s 16th, her 18th and many, many more life is never dull here.  

Me and the Birthday girl. 

The party in full swing

The morning after the night before, Anabel was in full swing cooking breakfast for everyone

We have also recently expanded from 6 people in the house to 8 following two more young people placed with us and I have to admit it feels like the Walton’s at times all sitting around the dinner table at night, working out logistics on who is using the bathroom both upstairs and down, working out showers etc and the school runs to 3 different schools in 3 different towns.  This has also been harder as Steve has been ill and unable to drive until now.  This Saturday is also going to be busy as I will be attending my graduation at Norwich Cathedral.  Whilst I am looking forward to it I am also slightly nervous and Ben and Victoria will be accompanying me as I can only take 2 guests with me.

Blog giveaway

On my last blog I announced the winner of my very first giveaway who was Meari.  Now Meari has received her prize I can now show it off as I wanted her to see it first.  Congratulations Meari and thank you for your email to say you received it and that you love it.

Like a painting on canvas, material comes alive in stitches

Another baby cushion

Another baby arrived recently and I was asked to make another baby cushion for Imogen who arrived into this world on September 26th.  I am now waiting for a baby boy to arrive as I want to see what it comes out like in blue (hint hint)!!

Welcome to the world Imogen

Update on my WIP
I have also been working on my current WIP and am getting on with the dreaded wallpaper.  This is slow progress but now we are easing down by getting into routines etc, I am hoping to get more motivated on it.  I wish I could show more progress, however as Steve often says, Rome wasn't build in one day' and once it is done, I will be so pleased with it.
The space is slowly being filled in

Current situation on my progress
On this note, all I can say is thank you for looking and your comments left not only keep me motivated but are extremely appreciated xx

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Time has flown by and the blog giveaway winner is....

Time has a habit of going faster than planned.  Everything I had intended to do since my last blog has gone out of the window, due to yet again, the same young person going missing once again.  This Tuesday will see us moving her on to another placement where the main disruption within her life will not be around and she has the potential to turn her life around.  Life would be so much simpler if we could just move the whole house to another location as she is not a bad person, but we cannot help her to move her life forward where we live which is a shame as we will all miss her.

I have been busy though, continuing with my cross stitch, when time has allowed, and whilst not much has been done on it every little bit of time stitching it helps and I do notice a difference, especially when looking back at earlier blogs.
Slow progress

Cushion wise, at the moment I am currently completing a Christmas present, with the wording A horse is an angel without wings, all I have to do is the horse shoes at the bottom and the shadowing and then its complete,  along with one for Steve for his birthday on Tuesday....why do I set myself such short deadlines.   An order came through for a baby girl cushion via a message on facebook, although I am debating on using the Monday’s child rhyme on the bottom as the baby was born on a Wednesday and I do not think Wednesday’s child is full of woe on the bottom will be appropriate. 

A horse is an angel without wings
This leads onto the news I also have a cushion in progress for the lucky winner of my giveaway.  The lucky winner pulled out of the bag by our Anabel is Meari, so congratulations Meari, I do not want to show it on here as I would like it to be a surprise for you.  If you could email your address to the cushion will be winging its way across the pond to you in the next week and I hope you will like the finished piece.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Back from the wilderness

After a six week break I have finally returned to blogging again.  Since the summer holidays we have had Steve’s daughter in hospital for a major operation, a great-niece born into the family and lots of work with a teenager who likes to go missing and a house in uproar.  However, things are changing.  This weekend saw 2 of our looked after children having contact with their families so Steve and I were able to take advantage of the situation and have a night away in a hotel, whilst my mother kept an eye on the other 3 at home.  Just that one night away completely recharged our batteries whilst having some quality time to together, which we are going to have to do more often.  The last time we were able to do this was February last year and then 5 years prior to that.  To top it all, the 3rd series of Downton Abbey has started and I love that program, makes Sunday television something to look forward to!!!

A new arrival

On August 27th we welcomed the safe arrival of Angelina Danielle into the family weighing 6 lb 10.5 ozs, the next generation on my side of the family.  This also meant getting into stitching mode again, with another cushion to celebrate her birth ordered. 

The proud parents Linzie and Dan

Angelina Danielle Bessey
My latest cushion creation

Celebrating the birth of Nabucco
Due to the success of cushion orders, this also spurred me on to create a page on Facebook to advertise the cushions already made.  The Facebook page is called Nabucco – Personalised Stitches and is building future orders and likes from friends, so take a look and let me know what you think. 
Now life is slowly returning to ‘normality’ (whatever that is) I have another baby cushion to make and 5 cushions for a local brewery with other baby orders on the go and am already planning other creations.  However, I would not have started any of this without the support and encouragement from everyone who did my initial survey back in March and all the great comments I have received on my blog on my cushions.  So, I am going to do my first giveaway of a cushion to a lucky reader.  The draw will take place on Sunday September 30th at 12 noon GMT and a cushion will be made and sent to the lucky winner.  To enter please leave a comment on my blog.

Current work in progress
With all that has been happening here in the Wilson household, I have still had time to continue with my WIP.  After spending time dealing with missing kids, and everything else that has been occurring I forgot how relaxing I find cross stitch and I now feel more motivated and ready to challenge anything.  I have to admit, this is a big project, and I have bitten off more than I can chew, but slowly and steadily the wallpaper background is coming on with the dreaded confetti stitches.  My aim each night is to do at least 100 stitches and watch it grow.   Considering the baby will be 12 on Saturday, I think I need to knuckle down and get it completed.

Slowly coming on, but the baby is a few days short of her 12th birthday!!!

On that note, it's great to be back stitching and blogging again !!!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

One holiday down and continuing with the stitching

Well it has been a couple of weeks since I updated my blog, and I have to admit I have been feeling guilty over it.
We spent the last couple of weeks away on holiday in the motorhome, the first of 3 trips away this summer and I have to admit we all enjoyed it.  The weather was also an advantage giving us the opportunity to have water fights, which at first I was not involved in, however after Steve told the kids to get me, with him hiding behind the car it was a case of walking into the camp shop dripping wet and buying the biggest water gun they had and then getting my revenge.  They say revenge is best served cold, and boy the water was!!!!!
Steve and Victoria discussing tactics

Benjamin (above) Victoria with the two crabs caught on Cromer Pier

This Wednesday sees us travelling again to another site for 10 nights and we are hoping that things go well again, both weather wise and enjoyment wise.

I did manage to continue with my cross stitch whilst away, the satellite system in the motorhome was playing up, so we spent a few nights getting Olympic fever in the club house with my stitching in progress.  I have to admit though I did take the big cross stitch and whilst I managed to complete page 4, albeit leaving a corner free so I can put my initials and date of completion at the end in this did cause a bit of a stir from some people over the complexity over it.  Now I am completing page 1 and I dislike this page as the wallpaper we inherited from the previous owners was stripy and this is causing a lot of confetti stitches.  However, each night I was able to complete 100 stitches in 10 x 10 block squares.
Finally one corner completed

and now to complete the dreaded wallpaper

More Cushions to make

Victoria asked me to make her friend a cushion for her birthday yesterday after we traipsed around town unsuccessfully to find something for her.   So on our return home from town I spent last night designing and stitching and managed to complete the cushion this afternoon. I just hope that Cerys likes it when Victoria goes round there tomorrow for her birthday sleepover.  When our kids were younger it was so much easier to buy a birthday present for their friends, but now, especially for 11 and 12 year old girls... I am at a total loss.

I have also been given another 3 baby orders a wedding order and 2 present orders which will mean that I will be busy on the long weekend’s home.  Friends have started putting up flyers for me and orders are escalating.  This is getting as exciting for me and it feels as though orders are speeding up as quickly as the British athletes are collecting gold medals in the Olympics, especially with the limited time at home this month, whilst I can take my cross stitch away with me.......I draw the line at taking my sewing machine away with me.

Hopefully, though my main progess to show when I return from this next holiday away will be my current work in progress. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Another project completed

I finally completed my latest project, this time its for our local vicar who is moving from this parish in early August to another parish with his family after 15 years.  One change I made was to use varigated threads which surprisingly were cheaper than DMC or Anchor threads.  Compared to their £ 0.90 I only paid £ 0.30 per skein.  I also changed the design of the corner flowers after playing around with material however, stitching them onto the cushion at the end was more frustrating than on previous ones.   Only trouble is the family leaves when we are away, so the cushion is hidden away at my parent's home, so I am taking a risk putting it on here at the moment.  
The top part after playing around with the varigated threads
The dreaded shields and boat that is on the church sign outside
The finished piece
Really pleased how the flowers turned out on this one
The back view
This time I went a bit adventurous on the hem
I have also been surfing the net to find cheaper and different material.  One difficulty I have found is whilst materials are cheaper, you never know what you are going to receive and what the quality is like, the other option is buying locally and paying more money.  One place I did find for material, who actually provides free samples is so I have some samples on order and am waiting to see whether I can save some money and have a decent purchase.  Whilst our local shops, all 2 of them have a good selection, to get a more wider choice the nearest place is in Norwich 26 miles away and I never seem to get the time to go there.  My DH, Steve says that I have an expensive hobby, my argument is that whilst I am stitching I keeping busy and not raiding the cupboards and picking on food, especially chocolate.

High School and the Summer Holidays

This past week has also seen our daugher leave Primary school and she will be starting High school tomorrow and my son will be beginning his final year there.   Whilst she is looking forward to going, she does have mixed feelings and it seems to be the end of an era.  However,  we just have this one more week and then the kids finish school for the summer holidays.   I just hope the relentless rain we are getting eases off for at least the next 6 weeks with just a light shower at night especially as we will be away for the majority of the time.  One thing is certain though, whilst we are away I won't be stitching cushions as much so I am at the minute so I will not be spending money on my pastime, not unless I see any kits or charts!!!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Another week away, all change in the household and another order

Firstly, thank you for all the comments made on my father’s day cushion, my dad loves it and it is sitting in pride of place on the top of their sofa as he dare not use it as a cushion.  I could not reply to each one as usual as we were away in the motorhome and whilst I can use my mobile phone, it is quicker on the laptop to type.

Before I went away, I did complete another cushion, for Victoria's birthday.  At the minute I have not stuffed it with an inner cushion as I can hide it away easier from her prying eyes.

Our trip away did come with surprises, especially at the end and both our own two children were away from us during the week at some stage.  Ben, our son had work experience, so he stayed for the weekend and then stayed with my parents during the week, and on the Wednesday, Victoria went to Belgium with her school around the war graves and to the Menin Gate in Ypres for a two day visit.  She did enjoy it and it was quite enjoyable to hear the young people were respectful when paying their respects to those who have fought for our countries, especially during the evening Last Post ceremony that is held there each evening. 
But we did not return home without some drama affecting us.   Our youngest looked after child came down with spots on the Friday night, which at first we thought was due to heat rash.  However, on the Saturday after getting an emergency appointment with the local doctor it was confirmed he had come down with Chicken Pox.  Whilst our own two had already suffered Chicken Pox our two other young people had not and were very wary and cautious.  Luckily, no more outbreaks in the household have developed.  The other issue was our washing machine, which after the 6th load it started to spew out washing powder mid load, luckily it is still working.
My poor sick washing machine
This week I thought I would be lucky to continue with my stitching, but one of our young people moved into independence on Tuesday and most of Tuesday and Wednesday was spent repainting the bedroom and sourcing new bedding and beds as these were needed.  In fact, we’ve been so busy, it was not until yesterday we remembered today is our 12th wedding anniversary, so for both Steve and myself, it was a last minute dash down town to get each other a card and small gift each.   And finally, whilst everybody here are looking forward to the end of the school term, our   youngest daughter is looking forward to her last week at Primary school.   Whilst I have been writing this blog we have also been designing a scented cushion to make for both her teachers.  Victoria's orders and my quick work on getting the design made up of what she wants.

So today, I have spent my wedding anniversary starting my next cushion project, on behalf of my mum for our local vicar.  He and his family are leaving to go to another parish after 15 years.   The hardest part was the shields and boat symbol on the church to design but hopefully, this will turn out ok when I stitch it.
The completed design
A close up of the dreaded shields and boat

The actual sign at the church
By tonight, when I go to bed, it will be stitched or almost stitched up ready for me to get the material and whizz up a cushion on the sewing machine.  For the stitching I purchased some different threads to use other than the DMC that I usually purchase, so it will be interesting to see how the final result turns out.  My mother chose the brown threads to go with his furniture.
The new threads

Will be strange to think my youngest will be starting high school in September, and our son will be in his final year there.  Victoria is going to spend the last week of the current school term at high school with Ben to get used to the change.   So, I now know my place for the next week......stitching and less time on the internet. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Belated Father's Day present

 This past week and a half, I have been off the internet, and guiltily hiding away at home away from my dad each time he has come up to the house to walk our dog, Evie.  I do extend a big apology to those who sent me comments on my blog which I only now got around to publishing.  The reason????    Father’s Day last Sunday!!!

A couple of years ago my dad was diagnosed with diabetes, so each Christmas and Birthday have given us a dilemma...what to get him.    At Christmas Steve and I arranged with the kids to buy an empty basket and fill it up with diabetes foods, shower gels, dvd and a small bottle of whiskey slipped in.  So, why do I get the ideas late into the day, leaving me with little time of the perfect present for him, that is sugar free, not tasteless and not the usual presents we seem to purchase because we cannot think of anything else.

My brainwave was to complete one of my work in progress, which had been tucked away for 4 years,  3 labrador puppies chewing an old boot.....on the Thursday before Father’s Day. 

What the end result was going to be
On Friday, I sat hidden away in my bedroom from 9.30 am until 10 pm with a few breaks in between.   I heard my dad come into the house to take Evie out for a walk and when he telephoned me on my mobile phone I had to switch the television off and guiltily pretend that I was out.
and how much had been stitched so far
Saturday, Steve and I usually take the kids out for dinner, its our one day a week we don't cook and I sat in the pub with my cross stitch, stitching like crazy.  I did get on well, but as we had one young person sleeping out with friends, one at his family home for contact, I had a vodka or two.  Trouble was, I then had a telephone call from my brother to say he was celebrating his divorce at our local pub that night, so the stitching went out of the window and I joined him with a few of us getting through 4 bottles of champagne to celebrate his new found freedom.
Sunday, I did eventually get on with the cross stitch, albeit towards the end of the day when I felt I would be able to concentrate.  I felt guilty when I just gave my dad a card, saying that his present would be with him later and regretted going out the previous night.
After stitching from Monday, today, I finally managed to complete all the stitching and backstitch at 4 pm, and whilst Steve cooked dinner, I cut my template out and started stitching on the machine.  9 pm tonight I was able to take the finished article down to him as my parents are going away tomorrow for the weekend and he loves it.

The end result

I am so glad with the final piece!!!

So, now I have 5 months to plan for his birthday and 6 months for Christmas.....although, what’s the betting that I yet again leave it until the last minute!!!!!!

As for my other work in progress, that has taken a back seat, although we are going away again in the motorhome on Saturday, for a week’s holiday (free holiday I won) it will be coming with me and whilst the kids are at school during the day I will be relaxing and stitching.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Back from a week away....but still managed to do some stitching!

Our neighbours on one side of the field
The past week we took the kids and the dog away due to the half-term school holidays in the motorhome and had a great time.  The campsite we stayed on were holding Jubilee celebrations for the Queen’s 60 year anniversary at being on the throne, however most of the time the boys were out playing football in the football court, so we didn't see much of them. 

and on the other side of the field
It was also really full of tents, caravans, motorhomes and the weather was not too bad until the last day when the winds got up really high and our motorhome was rocking in the wind.  Due to the high winds we ended up having to take down our awning as we were concerned that it was going to uproot and blow into the side of the motorhome. 

Our home for the week

Whilst we were there, we met up with another couple we know, and also had Steve's step-daughter come to visit for the day.  She had the best of both worlds as she had us to see and also George and Molly, with their dog Fly.   She did find the over head cab at the front a bit rock when she went to have a nap, although her and Victoria enjoyed sitting up there to get a bit of peace and quiet from the boys.

However, we had to admit we were fortunate compared to flooding and high winds in Wales over the weekend especially in this camp site where the pitched caravans and cars will be completely ruined as shown on this photo. 

Evie waiting for one of her many walks
Evie had a great time with all the walks, however this backfired on us at night as she did nothing but snore loudly. The kids enjoyed walking around the ruins of the old castle in the next field and there were a couple of good pubs in the vicinity.

At the roman ruins

The kids wanted a photo of how the wall had moved

I did manage to complete some more of my cross stitch and have been battling on with the confetti stitches. I am beginning to get to the end of the current page I am on.  My aim is to get the rest of Ben and Natalie into the picture as soon as possible....and then its the dreaded wallpaper to do in the background. 

Yesterday and today it was good to see the wind and rain subside and the sun come out.  On our arrival home, our rhododendron bush    my mother purchased for our first wedding anniversary has flowered.  The standing joke as been what was going to last longer, the bush or our marriage. Bearing in mind I am not green fingered and neither is Steve and whilst we have had our ups and downs, both bush and marriage are still going strong.  Next month we will be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary.
Steve also surprised me yesterday when we went into town, after we had arrived home with a huge bunch of flowers.  It certainly made up for the five loads of washing I had which had culminated from our stay away.
And finally, at home, its exam fever for the kids.  One has AS levels exams, one has GCSE exams and another has mock GCSE exams.   Trouble is for the boys it’s also coincided with the Euros 2012 and to them (and Steve) everything stops for football, even exam revision. 

However on the plus side,  I suppose this gives me a great opportunity to let everything stop for cross stitching.