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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Quilted Place Settings, Coffee, Sugar and Tea Mat, Valentine's Material for gift bags and Charlie Bears

This week I have been battling a heavy cold/flu with making up some table place settings for an order. I have to admit though it has been a struggle trying to cut the material, stitch up and turn out when your body is feeling like lead and your head is pounding.   It even felt at times when I was pulling the outside through after stitching the front and back material together that I was going to lose the battle. I just did not have the strength to pull the material through. I must be feeling weak when material is stronger than me!!  Now this order is complete I have another cushion order to start on for a forthcoming wedding in April and can't wait to get started on it.

Owl place settings for another happy customer

Bird place settings

Feeling thrifty, I even found up a remnant of material in my cupboard of a cow, sheep and pig material and have made a little mat to hold our tea, coffee and sugar jars....which have a cow, sheep and a pig on them which I purchased last year on holiday in Holmfirth. I also have some material left to make up a kettle mat for our kettle to stand on.

Our New mat which goes with the coffee, sugar and tea jars
This week I also had plans to go out and get some material for Valentine's Day, but due to being under the weather I finally managed to get out of the house yesterday and go shopping. I am going to make up some little favour bags filled with love hearts and chocolate hearts with a little backstitched message to sell both online and at a pop up shop.   I love the heart material I picked out with a red background and I managed to get it at a really good price. 

I must have been ill as I only walked out of the shop with this material, I usually end up walking out with loads of material.  That's one of my big weaknesses, buying more than I need.  But then,  I bet quite a lot of people who do read my blog have a cupboard that is heaving with material, cross stitches, wool etc., and  I defy anybody to deny this publicly in the comments box.  In fact, I think this cartoon sums up my long suffering husband when I go material shopping.

Whilst I am on the subject of weaknesses, apart from material and cross stitches I do have another one.   It started the year before last when I purchased my first Charlie Bear, Oakley, named after one of our looked after children from years ago whilst on holiday in Derbyshire.  Then last year, at the end of our holiday in Holmfirth, Steve surprised me when he purchased Inkspot.

Meet Oakley, 

and Inkspot
However, just after the New Year celebrations we took everyone down to London for a couple of days to visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and some of the London landmarks. 
Winter Wonderland, 

I love browsing around all the stalls

Me, Nicky (Steve's niece) and one of the cold police officers guarding Downing Street

The Cenotaph, in memory of all those killed in action serving our country

 In Harrods, Steve pushed the boat out by buying Minnie Mouse in the sales, reduced from £30 to £5 who sits in pride of place on our bed. 

  My biggest test, which I failed on was when we visited Hamleys - every child and adult's dream of a toy shop!!!  I so indecisive on which of the two Charlie Bears I loved to purchase, I ended up buying both of them.  So, Autumn and Bashful have joined the Wilson household and sit in the front room on my dad's armchair. If its not fabric and crafts its Charlie Bears!!!  However, I bet that I am not the only person who succumbs when they are faced with their shopping addictions?
Meet Autumn
and Bashful
On that note, me and the Charlie Bears say farewell for this blog post.

Thanks for reading!!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Back to blogging, Stitching news, Lefkara Lace

Happy New Year!!! It's been ages since my last post, 2014 has been and left with lots of memories and I have been so busy at home with building up Created with Stitches, fostering and holidays (was lucky to do quite a lot of travelling and meet some great people). Stitching orders have been constant with cushions for weddings, celebratory anniversary's and Birthdays as shown below with just a few cushions along with Craft Fayres and Pop up Shops.  A sample of the cushions made are shown below but more can be seen on my facebook page

Silver Wedding Anniversary
Wedding cushion stitched in gold
One of the many birthday cushions made

Even the place-mats I started to make have been popular. I am currently working on 2 sets of four place-mats and matching coasters for an order for a repeat customer who had 2 sets made up for Christmas and loved them. In November I finally took the plunge and opened my Etsy store, which can be found at  Whilst I haven't had orders from there yet, I have been getting many orders from repeat customers and Facebook orders and I have found word of mouth is spreading.

Holly place mats
Poinsettia place mats 
Out of all my stitching one of my new range of items towards the end of 2014 were my tea cup pin cushions. I use one myself for my stitching, especially when cross stitching and backstitching I can have a needle threaded all the time. I was lucky to find a set of 6 matching tea cups and saucers all in really good condition from a charity store and using a copy-write Scandinavian stitch pattern from Craft Seller magazine I stitched them in gold metallic snowflakes to match the teacups and saucers. Trouble is I have not had time yet to upload them onto Etsy for sale but they will be in due course. 2015, I have started to be busy with a cushion order received a few days ago for a 21st Birthday. It cannot be shown until the 26th January just in case it is seen by the recipient and has been sent to Wales where the Birthday girl lives. Already I have had more orders coming in for fothcoming weddings that are being planned for 2015. Whilst I have been busy with orders, I am also experimenting with ideas for Valentine's Day, and for Mother's Day on March 15th as here in England it is early than other countries.

My pin cushion cup and saucer bargain

One finished piece complete with pins
Last year also saw travels to various places, both here in England and abroad. April saw me and my daughter travelling to Sacramento in Northern California where we stayed with my friend Jackie and incorporated a road trip up Highway 1 to Mendocino where Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansbury was filmed. This April me and Victoria will be returning and the plan is to do a road trip to Tucson, Arizona with Jackie to visit her sister.
Our chariot
One of my favourite photos of Victoria just relaxing on one of our stops
It pays to stay on the right side of the law
However, California wasn't our only trip away last year. In the summer us Wilson's and our extended members of the household and my parents travelled up to Yorkshire to stay in the picturesque village of Holmfirth where we tackled Cardiac Hill – it was that steep, and we couldn't get our car out of 1st gear. Following that trip we hit the sunshine in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands where we had a friendly bird who visited our balcony every morning and got the chance to go underwater in a yellow submarine to see the marine life.

The view of Holmfirth from our bedroom window
The whole of us up in Yorkshire
The view of the beach side of Corralejo in Fuerteventura from the Bell Tower
Ben and Victoria - under the sea in the Yellow Submarine
Feeding time
Our visitor who greeted us every morning on our balcony
Finally in October both me and my husband took our son, Ben and daughter to Cyprus for our first family holiday in all the years we have been fostering. A great time was had and we were able to meet some very lovely people. We stayed in Paphos on the western side of Cyprus and saw some great sights such as Tomb of the Kings, the Mosaics at the Archaeological Park, and the lovely gold leaf mosaics at Kykkos Monastery in the Troodos Mountains. Also, I met and was shown how to embroider Lefkara Lacework, Cypriot embroidery from Eleni and see the fantastic silverwear created by her husband Andreas both traditions that have been handed down generation to generation on both sides of their families. Victoria purchased a lovely butterfly necklace and Andreas and Eleni's work can be found on Facebook at I even purchased some Lefkara Lace for my mum and for us which sits in pride of place on our coffee table in our front room.

The storm that greeted us on our arrival at Cyprus

One of the many fabulous mosaics at the Archaeological Park
Inside one of the Tombs at Tomb of the Kings
The entrance to Kykkos Monastery with their gold mosaics 

Victoria's butterfly necklace
Eleni at her shop in Nicosia
One of the ladies stitching at their shop doorway in the village of Lefkara
My treat purchased in Lefkara
However, this year will be not so far flung, although I have California booked and arranged we are staying in a cottage in Wales for 2 weeks in August – Welsh Lace. Steve and I have also discussed a long weekend for the two of us in Venice so fingers crossed.  As it stands both stitching and visiting places will be taking place in 2015 and it looks like I will have to do a separate page on our travels.  However the only travels I will be doing between now and the end of March will be either to my dining room where I use my sewing machine or to the craft store or the fabric store, both of which are bad for me as I always buy more than what I plan to and have been known to go missing for hours (according to my husband), does that affect anybody else?

Thanks for reading this mammoth blog post and any comments are appreciated xxx