Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Free Chart: Mum Roses Bookmark

As it's the festive season I've got a little present for you, a Mum cross stitch bookmark with Roses. It makes a lovely gift, mum's in particular always appreciate something that you yourself have lovingly spent time making for them. Even better, This design can be stitched in a variety of different colours; I have made a pink one, yellow one and purple one for various people to give to their mum as a present. If you've never tried cross stitch before, you can find a tutorial here.

What do you think?

The finished bookmark is 2"x7" (5cm x 18cm) approx with the tassel as extra. It was stitched onto a 2" wide 14 count Aida band, available from a range of suppliers (I tend to use sew and so but there are plenty of others). I have used 2 strands of DMC threads for the stitching, and you will be pleased to know that only full cross stitches are used, making it perfect for beginners. Here's the chart in colour symbols.


Simply print out the chart and start stitching!

Happy Stitching

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Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday Finds: Christmas Ice

Brr.  This morning there was freezing fog, black ice, and frost. Now it's slightly warmer the ice has thawed, but it's raining cats and dogs. Nasty. I'm most definitely looking forward to spending a cosy night in, I may even light the gas fire for some extra warmth and cosiness.

The cold weather has, however, given me this week's theme, Christmas ice, so have a last peek at Christmas gifts and the pretty side of cold weather.

Shalotte's gorgeous necklace reminds me of an icicle. She has used vintage and handmade beads to create this stylish copper wired necklace, perfect for adding a little frosting.

If you're still looking for some Christmas decorations then head over to Aisling Designs for this bright bunting, with some cute snowmen friends.

This ice skating teddy bear couple Christmas card is absolutely adorable. I love the touch of sparkle and the fun and cute romance it encompasses. If you agree, then head over to Sunny Crystals for a better look.

This hand knitted beret by Spinning Streak reminds me of the slices of rock that you can get. I loved looking at them as a child, and have a few at home. The colours of this one are a perfect match for wintry weather too.

If it's icy items that take your fancy then head over to flying cheese toastie and take a look at this frosted glass fox sculpture. He looks cool as he struts his stuff, and would make an elegant gift for the man in your life.

Jack Frost's painting is so pretty, especially on a crisp winters morning. Be inspired to wrap up warm and venture out in the cold thanks to this beautiful Frozen Morning print by Purple face.

Happy Shopping!

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

WIP: Peak District Photo Conversion

About 6 weeks ago I finally finished converting this lovely photo, taken at Langsett river in the Peak District, into a cross stitch.

After lots of editing (to trim down the number of different colours to a meagre 44 colours) I finally ordered the 27 count (27 stitches per inch)  even weave and a lot of threads.

As you can see, I've got quite a lot of stitching ahead of me. I wanted a big embroidery project, and I've definitely got it. In the 6 weeks since starting the cross stitch I've only manage a small corner of the sky, completing approx 1/4 of the first page of 15! I have been busy with a few other projects (for Christmas presents, so you'll have to wait to see them). I'm looking forward to reaching the bank so I can start using some greens. Anyway, here's my progress so far, what do you think?

With all that in mind, to have any hope of finishing this by next Christmas I'd best get stitching...

Happy Stitching

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Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday Finds: Christmas Cheer

Christmas is a celebration, it's a time to be happy and joyous, and give happiness to one another. When it's cold and dark and rainy and miserable we need all the cheer and happiness we can get, why else did the Pagan's have a mid winter feast? We need something to look forward to and enjoy. Something to cheer us up, and there are plenty of lovely things to help us spread the Christmas Cheer!

Keep you're message simple with this beautiful card by Mee Mees Creations. I love the patterned background and the boldness of this card. It will definitely stand out amongst those winter scenes and Christmas pictures.

You won't miss this embroidery design by Crafty Jacky once it's sewn onto a Christmas outfit. It's perfect for anyone who likes to shout long and loud about the joys of Christmas, spreading merriness along the way.

Little Gem Girl have designed and made this cute little Christmas pendant, so if you like being a bit of a Christmas elf, it's perfect for you! Even better, She had a buy 3 get 1 free sale on, so head over and check out her other fantastic pendants!

You can't have Christmas cheer without a toast, and with these elegant hand painted champagne flutes by hand painted petals you will be finding every excuse to celebrate some Christmas cheer!

We all celebrate Christmas by giving gifts, but Christmas is the only time when those gifts are displayed prettily under the tree. Add some gorgeous vintage cheer with these beautiful gift tags by Anista Designs.

Make your Christmas gold star standard with this cute wooden star decoration by Sophies Cupboard. It will look perfect anywhere, on a tree, a wreath, or even a present! 

Happy Shopping!

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tutorial: Embroidered Birthday Card

A couple of weeks ago it struck me that one of my favourite things to read on other crafty blogs is the tutorials, and yet I have written none myself!  So, I've decided to give it a go, please let me know what you think of it!

This tutorial will show you how to make an embroidered card, similar to this one. The card below is A6 size, and uses a blue ready folded card with a cut down smaller piece of pink card, onto which the design is hand embroidered.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Materials needed: card and envelope.
Extra piece of card (cut down to approx 2cm smaller than the front of the card)
Embroidery threads
Tracing paper (optional)
glue (or double sided sticky tape

Step1:  Draw out your design. Practise it first on scrap paper until you are happy with it, then trace over the design using the tracing paper. Transfer the design onto the reverse of the small piece of card, ensuring that the design is transferred in reverse (the writing must be backwards). Alternatively free - hand draw the design onto the reverse of the smaller piece of card, but make sure that the lettering is all backwards. (This is the method I used). Your reverse of the small card should look like this.

Step2: Carefully embroider the design onto the card. The pattern is on the reverse side (opposite to normal embroidery, so that the pencil marks don't show up on the front of the card.) I used 3 strands of DMC embroidery thread for the flower, and 2 strands for the message. I used backstitch for the words, flower and leaf outline, Stem stitch for the flower stem and satin stitch for the flower centre. Note: be careful that the stitches aren't too small, as this could cause the card to tear. My backstitch were approx 1/2 cm in length on average. It also helps to stab the next hole required through from the reverse of the card, rather than the front of the card to ensure that the design is followed accurately. Please be very careful when stabbing the needle through the card, it is best to have some padding e.g a cutting board, behind it to prevent creasing the paper, or stabbing yourself with the needle. Once finished, the reverse will look something like this.


Step3:  Work out how you would like to position your design onto the per-folded card, (I did mine at a straight angle, but you could do yours at a diagonal to make the card look more jaunty). The apply glue or double sided sticky tape to the reverse of your design (I used double sided sticky tape as it's quicker), If using glue, I recommend a clear drying one, such as PVA. Hold above the card and slowly lower it into place. Press down to ensure it is firmly attached and allow to dry. Ta da! Finished!

Once you've given it a go once, then have a go at other designs and images!

Good Luck!

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Friday, 30 November 2012

Friday Finds : Christmas Food!

I can't believe how quickly this year has gone, how is it the last day in November already? Only 3 more weeks at work til Christmas! Yay!

When I was little I would get excited about Santa coming and seeing what gifts he would bring, and what my parents gave me. We didn't have loads but I always loved what I got. the best presents were the ones Dad made for me and my sister. One year he made us a dolls house, which was awesome, and another year he made us a playhouse for the garden. That wins easily as the best Christmas present ever, it even had windows that opened and a folding table inside! We had hours of fun.

Now I'm older I still get excited about Christmas, but for different reasons. I love seeing my family and spending time with them. It doesn't matter what we do (which generally isn't much) but it's always lovely. And of course, Christmas dinner! My mum makes a delicious roast, and at Christmas with all the trimmings and followed by Christmas pudding and loads of yummy foods I can't help but stuff myself full. Thinking about my mum's awesome cooking has decided my theme for this week, Christmas food!

I love this tea cosy by Twin K Knits. It's so cute and seasonal. when it's cold out a cup of hot tea is a fantastic way of keeping warm, with a fancy tea cosy you'll never be without a cuppa!

Gingerbread men are fun to make, decorate and eat. Show off your love for them with these adorable earrings by Sweet Venom Jewels.

The UK Christmas Store have got it spot on with their cushion cover. I will most definitely be following the instructions and pictures!

Ok, so I'm being a bit naughty by sneaking in one of my own designs, but hey, I love Christmas puddings so much I couldn't resist!

To give the gift of making head over to Jane Crick for this fabulous tea towel, which is also a kit to make your own cute Ginger bread man doll! (I can't resist mentioning her name either, as my middle name is Jane and I'm from a village in the midlands called Crick!)

For a last little slice of sweetness then take a look at this tasty piece of Christmas cake by Tea By Design. If it weren't for the earring hooks they'd look like real Christmas cake!

Happy Shopping!

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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Stackable Beads!

About 2 weeks ago I received a lovely stash of plastic stackable beads from nosnowsupplies. They come in all shapes and sizes, and looked fabulous on their own. Check out her Etsy Shop for a browse of these fantastic flower beads.

I couldn't wait to start working with them, so I got busy stacking them and discovering all sorts of contrasting flower stacks, complimentary flower beads. I used different amounts of beads too; some looked great as just two types of stackable flower beads together, and some looked fantastic with four or even five different beads stacked together. Then you can lay them out to give you an idea of a finished design, such as a necklace.

The large beads at the bottom are flexible, which is great as it makes them so easy to use. The smaller beads are hard which gives them more structure, and holds all the flowers in place together really well. They're really easy to stack and stay in place, so you can easily keep re-designing until you're completely happy with the finished effect. There's definitely no worries about making something and then realising that actually, it doesn't look that great, or the colours don't work together with this system. And I've defiantly made items I've not liked once I've finished making them, I'm sure we all have and it's such a waste of time.
I've used some felt to make leaves for some of the jewellery, and I've added some round beads for flower centres.
I've had a go at making a few things, what do you think?
Christmas Flower Brooch available on Etsy here
White and Orange Flower Ring
Black Flower Pendant available on Etsy here.
Flower Hairclips available on Etsy here.
Now that I've started, I can't wait to keep going with the rest of the beads! I've got ideas for some dangly earrings, a couple of necklaces and some more brooches! If you want to try your hand then head over to nosnowsupplies on Etsy and check out all of the beads available, you'll be surprised how many different colours and styles there is!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Last Monday I launched my first ever Giveaway as I reached a massive 505 follows on Facebook! Whoop! (I now have an even more massive 508!). Thank you very much to all of my facebook likes, and to those who entered my Giveaway! I used the random number generator to pick a winner, and the winner was no 3!

So Congratulations to Catherine who choose these lovely ladybird earrings!

The other entrants aren't empty handed though, They all have been given a 20% off code for my Etsy Shop!

Please leave me you're email address, or email your address to and I will send these in the post for you. (I do also have other colours available, please check out my Etsy listing to have a peek and let me know which variations you would like!

Congratulations and Thanks!

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Friday, 23 November 2012

Friday Finds: Monsters!

Monsters have featured in everyone's life at some point, whether it was hiding under your bed, or scary eyes staring at you out of the dark. It may have been the boogieman, a werewolf, or just something scary. My sister (and me, though I pretended not to be) were both scared of being at the back when out walking, especially in forests in case a wolf or bear jumped out and got us (We were quite young, firstly there's no wild wolves or bears in most of the UK (I think they're trying to introduce wolves to parts of Scotland) and secondly, they would definitely have heard us coming, and would probably have ran away!).

Then there's cute monsters, especially with films such as Monsters Inc, making them fun and friendly, and a bit cool. They don't have to be scary, they are just the unknown. Which leads nicely on to today's selection of fantastic items, but no need to be scared, these are cute monsters!

Kids will love the cute monster decorating this notepad by Crafty Mushroom Cards. Who am I kidding, us big kids will love it too! It's simple, bold and bright. With a furry body and stalk eyes, what more does this monster need?!

Mythillogical's cute devil felted brooch manages to be sinister in a cute way, with it's searing orange eyes. It's pretty quirky, and is obviously happy to be seen,. judging from his grin!

It's cold and dark, and most definitely time to wrap up warm. Jarg0n's funky monster eye hat looks warm and cosy, and will inject some fun to a cold night. Check out the other colours available too!

If you're in charge of any little monsters give them a smile when they're not quite right with these cute monster stamps from Fishcakes. Caution: They may be wrong on purpose just to get a funny stamp!

If you're handy with a crochet hook then head over to larissas custom shop to try your hand making these monster eye slippers. If I knew how to crochet I would be doing just that. In fact, maybe I'll start to learn...

I like a good cookie, and my boyfriend is quite a fan, so much so that I tease him about being a cookie monster. If you're one too then take a closer look at these cute earrings from Merus Handmade Haven.

Happy Shopping

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Subversive Cross Stitch

Subversive Cross stitch is becoming ever more popular and widespread. It's cool, and quirky, it can be funny and a bit rude. It ranges from bad puns and geeky jokes to the more obvious naked lady's and swear words. It's a bit of fun and it's something a bit different, helping to drag cross stitch from the more traditional stitches to something more modern and steam punk.

Some of it I like, some of it I don't. Some of it is just too rude for me, (I'm really not a fan of swearing). The type that appeals to me most are the funny, cheeky, and humorous ones. The geeky ones (especially science, being one myself) and groan inducing bad jokes and puns. Cheeky fun appeals to me.

Most of my cross stitch is small things, jewellery, keyrings, bookmarks and cards, but I have recently started trying my hand at producing samplers. My first one (Home Sweet Home) is very much in the traditional style, and even looks a bit vintage when stitched onto natural coloured fabric in muted colours, rather than the retro brights available today.

I like it, but it's not particularly exciting. I fancied trying something a bit different, something a bit cooler, funkier, and definitely more modern. It didn't take much thought ( thanks to my reputation of smacking friends bums quite a lot) to come up with this effort, available here on my Etsy Shop.
What do you think?
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Monday, 19 November 2012


Hooray! I've reached over 500 likes (505 to be exact) on Facebook. As a result, I'd like to offer all of my fans a chance to enter a giveaway competition! You even get a choice of the  cross stitched earrings and rings below, Just leave a comment below with your choice and your email address, so I can notify the winner!

The winner will be drawn next Monday (the 26th November) so you have plenty of time to choose!

Option 2: Red Ladybird Earrings
Option 1: Silver Heart Earrings


Option 3: Gold Anchor Ring

Option 5: Santa Hat Earrings
Option 4: Cupcake Ring

Thanks for entering, and good luck!

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