Monday, 11 December 2017

11th December 2017

Hi Blogger Friends,

As always thank you for those that took the time to read and or comment on last weeks posting.

This is what I have been up to over the last 7 days.


This project was started on the 3rd of January 2016 and after 266 hrs and 40 minutes I finally finished it on Saturday 9th December 2017. The  photos  are of the completed project which is really Orangutans by Jayne Netley Mayhew and the chart I used was from Cross Stitcher Magazine Issue 207 from December 2008 and a photo of my Simon with Simon.The fabric used was 28ct Lightning Strike Jobelan from Polstitches. I am more than pleased with my finish. I have learnt a great deal about working with shades of the same colour whilst doing this. My main advice to  myself if I should choose to do a similar project in the future is to work on it for say up to five days then take a break so that the lack of colour change does not become an issue for me but then keep it in my rotation so that it does not become a UFO.

Autumn Sampler
 Above is where I left it and below is the little I have managed to do this week

Lady Lilac
This has been used for the Frog Who Stole Christmas SAL challenge in The Ultimate Cross Stitch Group. The challenge asked for 700 stitches to be added over the last week I have added 846 below is my progress
Steady progress being made and I am hopeful that I will get a page finish on this during this challenge.

Stained Glass Bookmark
This is the final project I worked on and will now become my evening focus project so that I can get another finish in December below is where I have got to
So you can see it is coming along quite nicely

Books and TV

I finished reading Spindrift by Tamara McKinley and it was an ok read overall. One of the characters started to get on my nerves and I became less invested in the storyline because of this. I then started to read Mythos by Stephen Fry which is a retelling of Greek Mythology which I know very little about. What I have read so far has been very enjoyable, he has written it in a humorous manner which has had me chuckling on several occasions so far. I have put my reading of the Mitford Sisters book on hold for the time being because I collected 8 books from my library and although I get a five week loan due to Christmas and New Year and not the regular 3 week period, it will still be a challenge to complete them all by the 8th January 2018. I also only read a few more pages of  Before We Were Yours so cannot make any comments on the overall story yet. I have been tired at bedtime but will try and get some more of this one read in the next week I would like to finish it before Christmas as I would like to re-read Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher over the Christmas period.

The only interesting TV was the return of The Crown and I am well over half way through Series two. The production and the acting are still of the highest quality but so far on the whole I think I enjoyed season one more. I will be sad to see Claire Foy and Matt Smith depart but Olivia Colman taking on the role of the Queen is a safe pair of hands - I wonder is she will wear blue contact lenses. I also wonder if they are going to change the actors who have been playing the older staff and members of the royal family as most of the characters actors have been outstanding.

So that's it for another week, until next time

Happy Stitching

Lisa x

Monday, 4 December 2017

4th December 2017

Hi Blogger Friends,

As always thank you for all who took the time to read or comment on my post last week.

So what have I been up to over the last seven days.


So this is my focus project from now until it is finished and hopefully before the end of the year.
This is where I left it two weeks ago and below is my progress on it.

I am using this project for the Every Member Counts SAL  in The Ultimate Cross Stitch Group on Facebook. This months stitch count requirement is 3,595 I have added about a 1,000 stitches so far to Simon for this. As you are probably aware I want to complete this project in December. I am feeling quite optimistic that this will happen.

and I also worked on my Stained Glass bookmark
This is where it was last time and here it is now
So a little more added but not a great deal. I need to try and add a few stitches each day as this is another project I would like completed by the end of the year.

I also have joined several other SAL's in The Ultimate Cross Stitch Group - there regular monthly SAL that does not involve counting stitches and for this project this month I am working on Autumn Sampler until the 20th December and then Winter Sampler will come out on the 21st and I will work on that one from time to time during the winter period.
This was my last update photo on Autumn Sampler and below is after a couple more stitching sessions
And I am also taking part in the The Frog that Stole Christmas Advent and this is a stitch counting SAL very similar to Froggy Bingo which I did last month and really enjoyed. So far we should have stitched 350 stitches on our chosen projects I have actually stitched 480 stitches so far. The project for this is Lady Lilac by Artecy. Below is where I last left it and what I have added since

This challenge like advent runs until the 24th December and I am hoping that I will complete this current page at least in that time.

Finally for stitching my other ATC has been received and this is it
I am currently working on December's ATC the themes being Christmas and Toys. I have completed the stitching for the Christmas one and am about halfway done on the Toys one. I am going to get that completed and them made up into the ATC and posted by the end of this week. As always I will post here when I know the recipients have received them.

I am not sure if I mentioned last time that I purchased for £26.50 from Long Dog Samplers 9 charts. A bargain in my mind. They are called  the First Uncensored Cross Stitch Kollection 2017

I also decided to get my granny stripe blanket completed. I started this project in February 2014 and nearly four years later I have finally finished it Ta - da

I am really pleased with how this has turned out my tension looks quite neat and for that I am happy.  I now have two ongoing crochet projects and am going to endeavour to get those completed over the next year.


I continued reading The Kitchen House  by Kathleen Grissom and finished it I thought it was a good book and would certainly read other books by the author.

 I abandoned my reading of Someone to Hold not because I wasn't enjoying it but my need for a Regency romance after reading two such books close together had waned. So I will likely get it from the library again in the New Year when I am in need for some light relief.

And I finally finished listening to The Angel Tree by Lucinda Riley which was very enjoyable. Some of the characters really got under my skin and I think that is a good sign that you are engaged with the story.

Since finishing them I have started to read a book called Spindrift by Tamara McKinley which starts in Australia where the main character a grandmother wants to go back to the Isle of Skye which was her childhood home. It is set in the early part of the 20th Century with flashbacks to her childhood in the 19th Century. It is classed as a romance but I am 50% in and I would actually call it a historical family drama more than a romance but I am enjoying it. And I am liking the relationship of the Grandmother, Daughter and Granddaughter who have all embarked on the trip back to Scotland.

At bedtime I have started reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate I am only 8% in and it hasn't got to the gist of the story yet, but what I have read I have enjoyed it is just a shame I have been quite tired at bedtime so have not managed to read as much as I would like. And in non fiction I am reading The Six : The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson which is as it says about this very fascinating family of mainly girls who grew up in the early part of the 20th Century and lived extraordinary lives. This is the second biography I have read about them some years back I read one by Mary S. Lovell which was very good. I am hoping this one will be equally engaging. I am also slowly working through The Year of Living Danishly, this book is told month by month and I am up to June. It is an interesting read and I will get this completed before the end of the year.

So that is it for this week, until next week

Happy Stitching

Lisa x

Monday, 27 November 2017

27th November 2017

Hi Blogger Friends,

Thank you to all who read and or commented on last weeks blog post, it is appreciated.

So in the last week I did the following:-

Prairie Schooler Alphabet

I finished working on Letter Q on Tuesday morning. This letter took me 20hrs and 50 minutes over 14 days. The project is now going away until January when I will complete the remaining 9 letters in 2018. Below is where I left letter Q last week and then a close up of the finish and finally a project to date photo.
This is stitched on 20 ct Rustico Aida using 2 strands of floss

I worked on two other projects this week my Dimensions Victorian Ornament No 1 which was here last time I worked on it
and here it is now
I finished stitching it and I am really pleased with the result. I will fully finish this once I have stitched the other 5 in the kit so that they all look roughly the same.

I also dug out couple of angel ornaments that I actually stitched about 10 years ago but had not fully finished. They were designed by Jo Verso. I now have a bakers dozen of new ornaments for my tree this year.
There are also a yellow and green angel to do which I may try and get done before Christmas. The dangly bit for those has been stitched it is just the two other angels that need doing.

I also felt like working on a sampler so I pulled out Hannah Coates 1848 from Hands Across the Sea Samplers. Here is where I left it
and below is where it is now. This project is being stitched on 36ct Light Sand Zweigart Linen using 2 strands of floss over 2 threads. 
The next reproduction sampler I do will definitely be done on 40ct 1 over 2 as it just looks neater for me. I am pleased with the progress I made I am about half way done on the first page of twelve.

I also finished my ATC's the first one Flowers is here
but I cannot show you the other one until I know the recipient has received it. I posted them the same day and yet four days after posting no news as to whether the second person has received theirs. I do hope so and that it hasn't got lost in the post.


I finished re-reading Rebecca and it was just a brilliant as the previous couple of times that I have read it. I also finished The Cottingley Secret, which I enjoyed very much but knowing quite a bit about the story I think my expectations were higher than they should have been. It was still a four star read and I preferred the chapters that were set in 1917 - early 1920's to the current day storyline in the book, but Hazel Gaynor has become one of my go to authors as soon as I know she has a book out I want to read it.

I also started reading The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom -but am only a little way into this, but I do need to get a shift on with it as it is due back at the library this coming week.

I also started reading the second book in the Westcott series by Mary Balogh - this one is called Someone to Hold.

The  only other thing  this week was my daughters graduation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral. She finished University back in June getting a BSc in Geography with Natural Hazards with a 2:1 grading.

The photos from top to bottom are Hannah in Coventry Old Cathedral ruins, Hannah and her Dad, Inside Coventry Cathedral (new) and two photos of the stunning stained glass and then finally Simon and Me, and it was very cold that is why I am sort of scrunched up.  It was a lovely day and we are very proud of Hannah and all she has achieved.

So that's it for this week until next time.

Happy Stitching and Reading

Lisa x

Monday, 20 November 2017

20th November 2017

Hi Blogger Friends,

As always I would like to thank all that read and or commented on my last weeks posting.

So here is what I did in the last seven days a shorter post today as I only worked on four projects that I can show.

Prairie Schooler
This is where it was left last week and below is the progress I made
This will be completed this coming week.


This is where I got to last week and I completed my Every Member Counts challenge and continued working on him Monday to Friday evening and here is where I got to
Once I completed the Every Member Counts sal I stopped working on this for this week.


I continued working on Janlynn's Autumn Sampler for the The Ultimate Froggy Bingo which ended on Saturday 18th November
The photo shows my starting point for the challenge and my progress 20 days later. I am really happy with what I achieved and really enjoyed the challenge, it was a lot of fun.

IHSW - International Hermit and Stitch Weekend

I have joined the group on Facebook although it has been running in the Blogosphere for many years. This ran from the 17th to 19th November and I chose to work on Siren and the Shipwreck for this so it helps with my Mervember as well. Below is where I left it last time and then my progress
As you can see from the second photo I spent some time reverse stitching as I had stitched a green which should have been dark blue the symbols for these colours are the reverse of each other. There is another symbol pair which are the reverse as well so I am going to have to pay careful attention when stitching on this project, but I am happy with the little progress I have made.

I had one small start mid week as I was feeling fed up and that was Angelina one of the Angel Trilogy from Mill Hill that I purchased last month
This will go into my Christmas Stitching from the 24th - 26th at least every month.

This week I totted up all my WIP's I have 106 and I think in 2018 the challenge has to be to get this down at least below 100 with a view to eventually having no more than about 10. I know I will never be someone who has no other projects started but 10 is a manageable number. I am possibly going to abandon some of the 106 but on reflection I decided I would give them all one last chance as I must have liked them to have started them. If when I work on them again I do not either like or enjoy the stitching then they will be abandoned. Watch this space as I will put here the projects that slip off the list if not finished by me. And for any that are interested I have an album containing my wips on Facebook.


I continued listening to The Angel Tree and I am really enjoying that, hoping to finish listening this week.  I finished reading three books this week two were Regency romances the Mary Balogh that I mentioned last time very enjoyable (and I now have books two and three in this series from the library) and a Julia Quinn book called The Girl with the Make Believe Husband which was a lot of fun. I did not realise it was book two in a series so will have to track down book one, but I think they are standalone stories featuring a set of characters so it should not bother me too much (I don't normally like reading out of order). The light Regency romances were just what I needed to get my reading bug back. I also finished a book called The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond. I suppose its a psychological thriller. I only gave it 3.5 stars on Goodreads, it was a page turner but the theme of the plot just left such a nasty taste in my mouth that I had to dock .5 off my rating because it was good read but I would not want to revisit it. I also got about 40 more pages of War and Peace read - this will be finished by the end of the year.


I have been continuing watching the usual suspects so Outlander, Lucifer, The Apprentice , Strictly and Special Victims Unit and two new shows Love, Lies and Records which is a drama set in a registry office and the first episode was so upsetting really sad, but there was humour and drama as well and yesterday I caught up on The White Princess which is the sequel to The White Queen following Elizabeth of York and Henry VII marriage. It still has the mothers Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort as characters and interesting they are to. Now this show on its credits states that certain aspects have been altered for dramatic purposes and I am pleased about that as I am  not certain how much of the drama is accurate. That said I will continue watching it as I love a period drama.

So that is that for this week I will leave you with this photo of  a rainbow that I caught as I looked out of my bedroom window the other day
Until next week

Happy Stitching and Reading

Lisa  x

Monday, 13 November 2017

13th November 2017

Hi Blogger Friends,

Thank you to all who read and /or commented on last weeks posting. This is what I have been up to in the last week.

Prairie Schooler Alphabet

This is where I left it last week
 and here it is now

 This is where I left it
and this is how far I got. I have been using this one for my Every Member Counts Sal in  The Ultimate Cross Stitch Group and I  have just over 300 stitches to go to complete this challenge, so should do that in the coming week.

Viennese Waltz
 This is where I left it last Saturday
and here it is now. Slowly completing the design but as I keep telling myself any progress is better than none.

Strawberry Thief

 This is where it was left last Sunday
Not a great deal of progress but part of the section I had stitched last week I had to unpick and re do as it was off by one stitch which is very annoying. I will continue up this right hand side next week with a view to reaching the inner border join.


Froggy Bingo - The Ultimate Cross Stitch Group
 This is where I left this project last week and here it is now
I am really happy with the progress I have made on this project by doing this SAL.

 This is where I left it last week and by doing around 50 stitches a day here it is now

Lest We Forget

This SAL ran from Friday to Sunday in The Ultimate Cross Stitch Group to acknowledge Remembrance/Veteran's Day which I know are on this weekend in the UK, Canada and the US. I chose to work on Summer Ball and below is where I left it last time I stitched on it
and here is where I got to after a few hours stitching over this weekend
I am pleased with the progress.

I did not work on Siren and the Shipwreck which is for Mervember in Mira Mira on the Wall group but will try and do some on it this week. I did have one session on my ATC's but I do have until the end of the month to get those done so I am not panicking yet.


I continued reading Someone to Love by Mary Balogh and I am still enjoying it I will finish that book this week. I also read from both Rebecca and The Cottingley Fairies at bedtime depending on what my eyes could tolerate. Generally if I am very tired I read from the Kindle. I also started reading the non fiction book The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. I have had this on my Kindle since before my daughter went to Denmark for nine months two years ago and it was only I heard it mentioned on a Book Tube video and I thought well I don't have a non fiction read at the  moment so why not. I also managed to read about 40 pages of War and Peace, now this book I made great strides with during July only to lose my momentum when I was about 75% through the book. It is now a goal to get it finished before the end of the year. I did not listen to any of the audio book The Angel Tree by Lucinda Riley this week and I must rectify that so that I don't forget what has happened in the story so far.

Finally I have not been feeling too bright for about the last month and most days have been a struggle. Well last week I went back to the doctors to discuss my blood test results and it turns out I am quite anaemic and also have low B12 so I am now on supplements of both. I am only three days in and so far I am not seeing any improvement in my energy levels but I am hoping that within two weeks I should notice the difference - or at least I hope so. I struggle to get to 10 pm at night which is the time we retire to bed. It also does not help that I am wide awake come 5.30 am. So I am hoping my energy levels do improve in the near future and I feel able to do more, everything is an effort at the moment. Anyway that is enough of my woes.

So until next week

Happy Stitching

Lisa x

11th December 2017

Hi Blogger Friends, As always thank you for those that took the time to read and or comment on last weeks posting. This is what I have b...