Sunday, 11 June 2023


Easter was early April this year.  I decided to make a mincemeat cake and decorate it as a Simnel cake, because I had plenty of homemade mincemeat leftover from Christmas.

There were also chocolate bunny biscuits.
I found a rabbit tealight holder and needle-felted a ball to turn it into a pincushion for some of my decorative pins.
We went to RHS Wisley for our annual viewing of the cherry blossom.

The days had finally turned warmer and the spring flowers multiplied in our garden.
The lawn had its first cut of the season.

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Sewing and Sowing! March 2023

I started March by fully finishing some cross stitch pieces.
Both of these Mini Bouquet designs are by Jeanette Douglas and I have made them into lavender sachets.
Next up to be finished was Snowy Chalk Full by Hands On Design.  This chart was gifted to me by my lovely friend Nicola of Bumble Stitches.
I stitched it 1 over 2 on 32 count linen in my Eva Faith colour way Blackboard,
using mostly the called for colours.

I bought this small blackboard & easel from Hobbycraft to mount the design on.
First I stuck a piece of batting onto some mount board.
Then I laced the linen onto the board using sewing thread doubled.
I lace the longer sides first, then the top and bottom, tucking the corners in neatly and all the while checking that the design is straight and placed centrally.
I plan to glue magnets to the back of the board to attach the piece to the blackboard.  That way I can use the blackboard for other designs too.  I will also add some decoration using a separate magnet.
I also fully finished a second Christmas decoration.  This is Jingle all the Way by Heartstring Samplery, stitched 2 over 2 on 32 count Burgundy Murano.  Colours from stash are DMC 310 with Anchor 218 and 890.
I cut two pieces of mount board to the size I required and a larger piece of cotton fabric for the back.
I cut several layers of wadding in different sizes
and stacked them between the boards and fabrics to create a domed shape.
I used running stitch around the fabric.
Then placed the board and layers of wadding onto the wrong side of the fabric 
and gathered it tightly around the board.
Lace in place and repeat for the cross-stitched piece.
I attached velvet ribbon to the inside of the back.
Then matching the two pieces to each other,
I sewed them together.

Finally I worked out the spacing for the gold bells
and stitched the bells on with gold seed beads between them.  I started with a gold metallic thread,
but soon changed it as it was not easy to use.

I finished stitching the Winter Seasons of the Heart by Brenda Gervais.  I am stitching this as part of the #seasonalsal and completed it in time to start the Spring design on the spring equinox.  I am using Eva Faith on Etsy (me!) 40 count linen in Acorn for all four of these designs.
I'm using most of the called for colours, stitching 1 over 2.  The only changes I have made to Winter are the addition of Gentle Arts Garden Gate for the windows and small tree trunk, DMC Blanc for all the white, DMC 310 for the snowman's hat and buttons and I have swapped the greens & reds around.  I didn't use the colour Olive.
I am not using the cardboard season names, but have charted each one in cross-stitch.
During Nashville Market, I bought some of the new releases.  Mostly Stacy Nash Designs.

I started the Spring Chickens Pinkeep, which is bigger than I expected! :)
During March I finally finished and blocked my Oddments Cowl by Helen of Curious Handmade.  I made mine a little wider and longer to match the Land of Sweets Cowl, also by Helen, as it is my most worn cowl.  I weighed each yarn mini and repeated the colours in reverse order.
We had an unusual visitor to the garden.  I think he had his eye on the neighbour's pond, which luckily is netted!
The daffodils and hyacinths looked lovely in the March garden.

I ordered new dahlia tubers from Sarah Raven

and planted them in pots in the greenhouse.
I also sowed lots of flower and vegetable seeds.
Tomato, chilli and basil are seeded in pots kept indoors until it is warmer.