Monday, 30 November 2009

Cornflower Biscornu

November's Biscornu is the Cornflower Biscornu by Faby Reilly, or it would be if I had managed to finish it.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that whilst poppies are the flower of remembrance here in the UK cornflowers are the flowers of remembrance in France. Since I started following the Basket Of Biscornu SAL I knew that I wanted to do something with a remembrance theme for November, poppies on one side, cornflowers on the other maybe. I had a suitable poppy chart but not a cornflower one, so the hunt began. I searched and I searched, in the end I gave up and decided to do Faby's Poppy Biscornu for November.

Then I got an email from my Mum and attached was the chart for the Cornflower Biscornu, one of Faby's bespoke charts, it is done in the same style as the poppy biscornu so as to make a pair. I understand that this chart will be appearing in her catalogue in the future.

Having stitched 'Bluet' the French for cornflower in one over one, I take my hat of to those of you who do this on a regular basis, it's not for me. I under estimated how long the one over one would take which is why it is not finished.

Yesterday I took a break from doing the biscornu and made this

It's the WhimZi Feather Tree from Just Nan. The chart is a freebie here. I added some Krienik blending filament to the snowflakes to give them that extra sparkle!

So this week I intend to spend an hour each evening on the biscornu and the rest of the time on the Pale Blue Santa. I'm off to rescue him from the stash room as I've forgotten what he looks like!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Progress on White Nights

This week was the turn of White Nights on the rotation. In all truth I had been dreading it as I knew that I would have loads of Algerian Eyelets to do. Late on Friday night I finished what I had hoped to do this week. Not bad for only four evenings stitching, well that's what I think.

This is a close up of one of the corners. The picture is not wonderfully clear as the zoom on my camera is not able to cope.

Today finished my holiday stitching, which was started on the flight to Naples, and yes, I did get my metal needle through airport security without any fuss. As this is a Christmas gift, no pictures for now.

Next week on the rotation it should be the St Nicholas Tree Skirt, back to the festive stitching. However, I haven't done my biscornu for November yet, so the Pale Blue Santa will have to stay in the stash room for another week. Never fear, this project has not turned into a UFO, it will return at the start of December!

A few people commented on the bespoke frame for Simply Christmas. It was made by Poppy Kreations for this design. My not so local LNS, The Nimble Thimble, over 75 miles away, which specialises in American designs is able to get them. All of my Waxing Moon stuff has been framed in the bespoke frame suggested and it really sets them off.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Yoyo's Christmas Design SAL

I have signed up for Yoyo's new SAL here

It is called the Christmas Design SAL. All you have to do is pick a Christmas design, sign up on Yoyo's blog by December 1st and then send her a picture every month of your progress.

I have chosen to do this design

The kit is called Timless Elegance Ornaments and is from Dimensions (The Gold Collection). As per the SAL the aim is to spend one week a month on them.

Back to the rotation. So far this week progress on White Nights has been good. No pictures today but I will post my progress next time.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Totally Useless SAL

Back to a more conventional picture for this month.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Another festive finish!

I did it! Despite four hours in the classroom yesterday I finished the December calendar from Mill Hill. As I think I mentioned before, this really does sparkle.

December Calendar
The picture is not the best but it will have to do for now. On Friday Simply Christmas came back from the framers!

Simply Christmas
The bespoke frame really sets this one off. The presents sparkle and the bobble on Santa's hat is fluffy!

Next week on the rotation it is back to White Nights and the algerian eylets, joy!

Just a little reminder that, here in the UK

Christmas Countdown - Christmas Layouts

Thursday, 12 November 2009

O Christmas Tree!

Here is a picture of the December calendar so far.

December Calendar
The actual colour of the fabric is burgundy/red wine. The Christmas Tree is done in a very shiny, silky green ribbon which, unlike the Kreinik metallic ribbons, is a joy to stitch. With a bit of luck I might get it finished early next week.

This weekend it is 'back to school' for me. Now, I know I go to school five days a week, but this time the tables are being turned and I will be the pupil. I have decided to learn a new skill at 'The Railway' and begin signaling training on Saturday. Four hours in the classroom; I really will be experiencing things from the other side! They do say, however, that teachers make the worst pupils, probably because they know every disruptive behaviour in the book!

Talking of school. Today we had a visiting author, of the famous variety. When I shook his hand it was almost pulverised, and it was the one I stitch with! This was a very hush, hush visit with no publicity. When you see the next picture you might understand why.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Poppies and cornflowers, the British and French flowers of remembrance, growing at The British and Commonwealth memorial comemorating the Missing of the First World War at Thiepval in France.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The first Christmas finish of 2009!

The stitching Saturday at my Mum's paid off. I made good progress on Simply Christmas, and was able to finish it yesterday.

Simply Christmas
This was stitched on 28ct lambswool Belfast Linen with the suggested threads. The variegated thread for the lettering is Noel from Weeks Dye Works.

Also stitched on lambswool, but this time 32ct, is Mary Wigham. She had been put to one side during October to make way for Spooky Stitching. So yesterday, after completing Simply Christmas, and it being Sunday, she was back in the rotation. I managed about half a day on her.

Mary Wigham
Simply Christmas was a birthday gift from my Mum and Dad, along with a number of other stitchy items. I could not resist showing you the birthday gift from my sister.

You can understand why she did not trust such a fantastic gift to the post! Thanks Sis it's beautiful! If you are interested in scrap booking and paper craft then check out her blog here.

For my birthday my Mum and Dad also gave my the final month in the Mill Hill 2003 Calendar Series, December, which I am off to start now. As you would expect it is a Christmas theme. Should I stop the rotation, not that it has restarted, and stitch only festive stuff between now and December 25? Tempting indeed. Maybe I'll wait 'till December itself.

Happy stitching, festive or otherwise.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Not much to show

As far as stitching goes this has not been a good week. Well it's not really been a week, in reality only Tuesday evening, as last night was spent making the Christmas cake and Monday evening was spent doing this blog! So, for what it's worth here is my stitching so far this week.

This is Simply Christmas from Waxing Moon Designs and was a birthday gift from my Mum. Before we went away I stitched a little more on Open House which is now entering in to the rotation.

This weekend is a Railway Weekend so I am going for a stitchy Saturday at my Mum's. Fingers crossed I have more to show next week!

Off to put a few more stitches into Santa!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Purple is the new black?

If not the new black, purple is most definitely the 'on trend' colour this autumn, at least in Naples which is where The Other Half and me have been for the last week. Almost every clothes shop in Naples had windows full of purple stuff. The shade doesn't seem to matter anything from pale lilac to aubergine will do.

So what did we do? Well, our first impressions of Naples were NOT good. Bill Bryson in one of his books described Liverpool, a place where I lived for many years, as the city where a festival of litter had occurred. In Naples, never mind festival, it was a full on Mardi Gras. Litter was everywhere, piles of it, and the graffiti, well don't get me started, needless to say unsprayed walls were a rarity!

This was before we got to the hotel, which made 'Fawlty Towers' look like 'The Dorchester', Easyjet will be getting some feedback on their website about this one I can tell you! On the positive side the staff were friendly and it was clean.

So to restore our belief that Italy truly is a beautiful country, on our first full day, we got out of Naples and took a train ride to Sorrento.

Belief restored!

We also visited Pompei. We spent all day there, you cannot do it justice in two hours.

Next Vesuvius, which was steaming away nicely.

Sticking to the theme of volcanoes we also visited Il Vulcano Solfatara. This is found just north of Naples in a town called Pozzuoli, in an volcanic region known as the Phlegrean Fields. I cannot describe the smell, hydrogen sulphide, the strongest I have ever smelt, and remember I teach science!

Here are some other pictures. As you can see the weather was fantastic, we were walking round in summer stuff and the Italians had coats and scarves on!

In the end we quite liked Naples. It is chaotic, some areas are not good to be in, but you can say that about most cities, and crossing the road is an experience. We found some really nice places to eat and on our first night, by chance, we found the bar in Naples, The Caffe Gambrinus.

We used the DK Eyewitness Travel guide to Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Without it seven nights in Naples would have been a big mistake. My advice; buy a good guide book, do not stay a hotel near the Piazza Garibaldi(Station), choose one that is more than three stars and watch out for scooters, honestly, they drive straight at you but after a bit you face them out and they swerve to avoid you rather than the other way round!