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Sunday, 22 April 2012

A week away, Leibster Award and the best laid plans of mice and men

A Week Away
Its been two weeks now since my blog was updated, and I have missed updating it and catching up with blogs from fellow bloggers. Also I had no stitching and no internet, apart from what access I had on my mobile phone and trying to catch up on emails with it was slow and laborious.  For the first week, we all went away in the motorhome which everybody enjoyed.....especially our dog Evie.   However, unlike previous weeks where we had warm sunny weather, it had turned cold and wet again.  Leaving Steve to get the heating working, whilst I got the water heater to work, we kept hitting problems.  After half an hour of Steve moaning and groaning about he wanted to take said motorhome to the nearest garage dealer and trade it in, I realised MY mistake.......I had forgotten to put the gas on!  After that it was a warm and cosy inside along with lovely hot water from the tap.  The only downside when we returned was the amount of washing I had to get through which still meant no stitching.
Leibster Award
After my last post I was so thrilled to find I had been nominated for a Leibster Blog Award by Debbie at and from Linda M at  Searching the internet I discovered that the aim of the Liebster Blog is to recognise exceptional up-and-coming blogs for those with 200 or fewer followers.  However, what makes it special is the recognition a fellow blogger has given your blog.
When receiving this award there are four conditions:
1 – Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to pass on the award.
2 – Show thanks to the blogger who passed on the award by linking back to them.
3 – Post the award on your blog, list five bloggers you are giving the award to with their site links and leave a comment so they are aware.
4 – Share five random pieces about yourself that people do not know about you.
I would like to say a big thank you to Debbie and Linda for this recognition, both are fellow stitchers and their stitching is exceptional and well worth a look.
Fellow bloggers to nominate
Five Random things about me
1 – I was a single parent to my son, until I met and married Steve.
2 – I am left handed, yet throw things with my right.
3 – I learnt French for two years in evening school before studying for my Social Work degree.
4 – I love watching who dunnit murder mysteries.
5 – I still live in the same street I was born (apart from a year living on a holiday camp with Steve and 6 months in rented the next road).
The best laid plans of mice and men...
Often go awry.  After a final completion of my cushion for our friend Michelle who got a promotion at work, I started on another design for a new baby with the plans to printing off the design and starting the stitching last night......until we had a missing young person, or a person who needed to be returned to us after saying he was staying at premises which had been deemed as inappropriate.  After a several hour standoff where it was constant telephone calls to and from the local authority and police, the said young person returned home (accompanied by the local police) at about 2 am this morning.  So, my plans to get the next one stitched up was scuppered due to all the telephone calls to his local authority and the police.  Unfortunately this not only resulted in a very late or early morning, and being woken early by a 6 year old staying with us, it also meant writing up a report for the social worker today, along with the inevitable telephone calls tomorrow with the new working week.   Oh well, I suppose there is always next weekend.  
The final piece

One good thing (if it could be thought of as good)  was it gave me time to have a look at a book I borrowed from our local library which shows how to stitch over 200 decorative stitches including embroidery and needlepoint.   For any body who is interested its called Stitch Step-by-Step by Maggi Gordon and Ellie Vance and I will add a book review page on my blog of it. 

Finally, with regards to my current WIP, it is continuing slowly.  After completing all of the black stitching on page 4 of the chart its now confetti time which takes the longest.

On this note I bid all my readers old and new happy stitching.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Copyright, Upcycling, Junior crafting and Easter madness

Since my last post, things have been really busy here in the Wilson household.  It’s been a struggle to keep up with the various emails from stitching groups and from friends.  One topic that has caught my attention however, has been the debate around copyright infringement.
The original article, written by Nicole at Northern Expressions Needlework (, discussed the perils designers face with regards to designs being copied and passed on to other stitchers.  Nevertheless, a debate has been sparked between Nicole and Laurylyan from Perles de Soies ( 
In response to both blogs, I have to agree with Nicole.  If it was not for designer’s we stitcher’s would not have the opportunity to spend our time enjoying the pursuit we do.  Yes, some stitchers can be creative and enjoy designing, then again, for stitchers like myself who do not have the time or the creativity to design our own patterns or charts this can become detrimental to our hobby.  More and more designers will stop designing due to the copyright infringement of their designs.  Nonetheless, this topic, I feel, will continue to rumble on for the time being with many mixed views.
My cushions, momentarily, have come to a halt whilst I await more material to stitch my designs on.  After searching online I found a good site here in the UK where I was able to purchase aida on a roll at a very competitive price.  The company, Superstitcher can be found at and ships to the UK and rest of the world with competitive shipping rates. 
Although this part is not upcycling, whilst waiting for my delivery I have spent a happy hours trawling around the local car boot sales purchasing curtains to use for material.  By purchasing cheap but making sure the quality of the stock I have brought is good this has helped my start-up overheads.  If anybody is interested in crafting by upcycling materials one good blog to follow is ( which provides different crafting ideas on a daily basis

Some of my car booty curtain stash

Some of the material already cut into my templates
My best purchase however, had to be my beads which were on two hair bands which I got for 40 pence and the pink and blue lacing I got for £3.00 for the two and the voile for 50 pence each. 

It was amazing how many beads were on here and totall unique

Some of my other car booty haul
 I have managed to make one cushion with some of the material I purchased for mine and Natalie’s sewing day.  Whilst I have often cross stitched wedding samplers for other people, I never got round to doing one for Steve and me.  So I decided to spend some time making one for Steve and myself to commemorate our wedding; albeit almost 12 years ago.   Another cushion which is work in progress is for a friend of ours who recently got promoted at work. 

At last, apart from our marriage certificate, something to remind us of our small but lovely special day

Current cushion in progress

I also picked up a few more items for other cushions, especially for births.  The amount of different charms etc available now provides a wider range.

In regards to my cross stitch of the kids, that is slowly progressing. 

Unfortunately I had been experiencing bad earache, which made stitching and going online impossible.  However, after a couple of weeks of being in pain and miserable I found out that the bad was not earache that was causing my misery.....but toothache!!! Thursday was spent plucking up the courage to get an emergency appointment at the dentist and having a back tooth painfully extracted. 
Whilst I can tolerate most things, when it comes to the dentist I must be the biggest wimp going and had to have Steve with me for moral support, yes even at 40 years old my husband had to come in with me.  All I can say is I am glad he supports me in whatever I do or end up having to do.
Junior Crafting
Crafting has also extended onto our youngest daughter Victoria.  Whilst my step-daughter is quite crafty, Victoria has discovered card making and spent a happy afternoon making an Easter card for her sister Natalie.  At the moment she is not sure about progressing into cross stitch, especially as she was finding sewing at school a trial, especially when it came to threading her needle......however she enjoyed a mini lesson on the sewing machine.
Victoria busy at work

Victoria with her finished piece

Easter Madness
The Easter holidays are now upon us and the first week of the kids being off school have passed.  Yesterday Steve and I went to collect the motorhome from storage to prepare for our first trip out this year this weekend.  It’s typical, recently we have experienced warm sunny weather and just as we start to prepare for our first outing.....the weather has changed big time!!!!  Hopefully the kids and our Labrador Evie will enjoy being away from home but I foresee yet another week of no internet or stitching, however I am sure I will survive it after the past couple of weeks.

Evie sunning herself whilst away in Wales

Finally, I wish everyone a Happy Easter and happy stitching.