Monday, 29 April 2013

Pick Me Up

It's Monday. It's a busy day in the lab at work, and generally, things are all a bit down at the moment. I have a classic case of Monday Morning blues, and I'm hoping the chocolate and some amusing and positive thinking cross stitches will help dissipate the blue into a happy colour. Maybe yellow, Yellow always seems like a bold, bright, sunny summery happy colour. What's your happy colour?

By Needle Nosy on Etsy.

On Deviant Art. For Similar Items go to Snarky Little Stitcher on Etsy

Pattern available from

Pattern available from andwabisabi on Etsy
 Well after consuming my chocolate, and giggling at some funny cross stitches and smiling at some cheerful ones, I'm definitely feeling better, and a lot less blue. I hope you are too!

Keep Smiling!

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday Finds: Summer Sun

As April draws to a close and May begins to encroach upon us (hopefully) bringing sun and warmth, it's time for a wardrobe re-vamp and some summer sun-loving accessories! Last weekend the glorious warm weather encouraged me to go shopping, and I bought a new summer skirt, and some flat summer peep toe shoes, so I've already made a start. I still need some sunglasses, and a few other summery bits and pieces, (new dress anyone?) so today I've been browsing Etsy for ideas and inspiration.

WOW! What a lot of choice there is, so many colours, styles sizes and shapes are available in a huge range of summer goodies, from sunglasses to cocktail glasses, and sun hats to shoes! Here is a tiny, tiny glimpse of the many gorgeous summary specials, but take my word for it, head over to Etsy and have a browse yourself!

Summer should be all about colour, and these Retro rainbow Sunglasses are perfect for oozing coolness when you're out and about, or just chilling on the beach. Retro and Me even sell these in a choice of colours! perfect for coordinating with your favourite clothes!

Rosie Ann Shop keep the Retro theme going with this cute little summer dress. I love the vibrant colours, the luscious lilac really makes the electric blue stand out. You won't go un noticed in this beautiful summer dress, don't forget to check out her other ones too!  

Lilac is one of my favourite colours, so it's no surprise that this beautiful felt brooch by Lupin caught my eye. It makes the perfect summer accessory for your favourite dress, jacket, or bag. Have a browse of her other felt accessories while you're at it to be super ready for the summer.

 These flower shoes for a little girl are absolutely adorable. They will make any girl feel like a little  fairy princess, and will look astoundingly cute with a pretty summer dress. Head over to Lushbebe for these and other beautiful shoes for little girls

I love the simplicity of this crocheted hat by Magic Doll.  The neutral colours ensure this hat will go with anything, weather you are strolling along the surf or negotiating the shops. The attention to deal showcases real talent.

Happy Browsing!

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Happy St Georges Day

It's 23rd of April, St Georges Day (the Patron Saint of England). The sun is shining, the sky blue, and the breeze is warm. Flowers are blooming, shrubs and trees are covered in buds, the birds are chirping, and Spring is finally here! Hip Hip Hooray! So, as a little celebration and a thought for St George, I have found some lovely St George celebratory cross stitch kits! How awesome are they? I should probably stop looking for cross stitch kits, as my wish list grows much faster than I can stitch...

St George and the Dragon

St George & the Dragon
St George & the Dragon

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday Finds: Wedding Invitations

I'm off to visit my sister Jessica and her fiancé Danny this weekend, (in fact, it is quite likely that I am either on a train heading there, or busily chatting away whit them already) I really enjoying seeing my sister, she's just under 2 years younger than me and we've always been pretty close, she is definitely a good friend and not just my younger sibling.

As she's getting married in November, this weekend will include a fair amount of wedding planning, gossiping, and all round wedding and girly fun. However, one of things we're hoping to accomplish is to decide what wedding invitations to make. Both of us enjoy cross stitch - (in fact she's making some cross stitch wedding favours, but more about that later) and we've both made cards in the past, so it's only natural to make the wedding invitations ourselves. (Besides, it's another good excuse to craft and gossip over a bottle of wine, right?) While this weekend is all about making a mock up and working out how and what to make, I figured the first place to start was by having a browse at what's out there for ideas and inspiration, and I've no doubt that my sister and her fiancé have done some of the same. It made sense to begin my browsing on Etsy as all invitations on there are made by people, not machines, and are much more unique and interesting than standard shop bought invitations, so here are a few favourites.

The lovebirds are really cute yet also manage to be very chic, with a funky vintage style to them. Crafty Pagan can also customise the design to your colour theme (the listing has a useful colour chart) and also sells many other gorgeous wedding stationary.

This extremely elegant lace design is the creation of the talented Betsy Button. Each one is hand stitched so make sure you leave plenty of time, but the sophisticated beauty of these invitations will more than make the wait worthwhile.

A Dollop of Inspiration are behind this colourful butterfly design. The invitation opens like a blooming flower. The pink, lilac and blue shades compliment each other in a lovely way to finish this beautiful design for a spring wedding.

 This design had to be featured because the names are those of my sister and her fiancé! What a coincidence! The unusual jam jar design is very rustic, and this would be the perfect invitation for a simple, rustic wedding. The faded colours also add a touch of vintage to this invitation by Aesthetic Journeys.

Invites Couture are the shop to browse for a super luxurious extremely memorable way to present your wedding invitation. This silk wedding invitation box is embellished with a crystal and pearl brooch, and has several slots inside for the invitations. It is customisable to any colour.

Happy browsing!

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

You Shall go to the Ball

Me, Libby and Sarah
I went to a Charity Ball on Saturday at Kenwood Hall which was loads of fun, and a really good excuse to get all glammed up. I dug out my fanciest dress and even curled my hair for the occasion, after all when you don't get all glammed up that often it's good to completely go for it! What do you think?

My friends looked gorgeous in their pretty dresses, we all had a bit of sparkle too, which is essential for any ball!

We had a yummy 2 course buffet dinner, followed by a disco (The Macarena is only ever played at Disco's, which is a shame because I do enjoy dancing to it!) and finally a taxi home for us sleepy heads!

Ball's of course, have been around for years; what stately home doesn't have a ball room? But I remember my first time hearing about balls, and it wasn't my sixth form ball, or year 11 Prom. It was the fairy tale Cinderella, whose Fairy godmother transformed her ragged dress to one of jaw dropping beauty, a pumpkin to a classy coach, and rats to elegant horses. I am a fair fan of fairy tales. I have several fairy tale compilation books, and one day I'd love to have lots of fairy tale cross stitches or embroideries, (not Disney ones though, I prefer the traditional ones best). Here are the Cinderella cross stitch charts that are on my short list (wish list).

SeeSallySew  Cinderella 'Stroke of Midnight'

HAED Cinderella's Coach

123 Stitch Cinderella

I figured I'd best make some more progress on my 2 current Work In progresses' (WIP), Shh Now and my Peak District Photo Conversion before I get started on my fairy tale collection wish list!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Friday Finds: New Sheets

Firstly I must apologise for this post being a day late. I had a really busy day at work as my colleague was off so I didn't have time to write it in my lunch break, as I normally would, and my internet at home was playing up. Boo. I hope it was worth the wait!

About a month ago I treated myself to new bed sheets. My old ones were fine, they were pretty, only a couple of years old, and my favourite colour (purple). However, since breaking up with my boyfriend earlier in the year I've been sleeping in the same room, with the same sheets (he moved into the spare room while we sell the house). he's not in my bedroom anymore, but his presence was. After all, we bought those sheets together. I'd go to bed alone in our sheets, (which is something I did regularly before the split, as he runs a pub) so it was almost like he hadn't gone.

Then I read a blog post by The Penguin Theory who mentioned redecorating/ rearranging your bedroom. It reminded me of a friends advice in the early days after the breakup, (she changed her sheets, curtains and a rug after a long term relationship ended) and it encouraged me to do the same. I am now the proud over of 1 set of white with pink blossom and another pale green with brown/grey branches and flowers bed sheets, neither of which I would have bought previously. I moved some small things around a bit (the furniture is too big to move) and the bedroom became mine. 

So it's good to replace your bedding every once in a while, but a relationship break up isn't the only reason to do it. You may just fancy a change, or want a bit of luxury in the bedroom, or spice things up, make a room lighter and brighter, and anything else you can think of. So, here are some lovely bed sheets from Etsy to help inspire you to do just that!

Cloud Hunter have created this beautiful shabby chic rosette covered white duvet cover. It is the perfect way to add some feminine frills to your bedroom.

I love the blue and green tie dye effect sheets by jbddyeworx. They are bold and bright, and makes your bed fun and funky. This duvet set in particular makes me think of a pre- teen boys cool and colourful room.

For a contempory bedroom head over to Urban Accent Home to get a closer look at this simple but beautiful hand painted duvet cover. As it's hand painted it is unique, but you can also customise it to make it even more special, just for you!

If your bedroom is lacking in luxury look no further than this beautiful damask bedding from BH Décor. If you fancy a change from the bold turquoise covering, you can turn it over to an ivory covering instead, making it 2 duvet's in 1! Fabulous!

Last but not least is this sexy pin up girl silhouette bed cover. Add some cheeky raunchiness in a simple and classy way with this bold design by Duvet Cover. Don't worry if she's a bit too much for you, the other designs available include elephants, the Eiffel Tower, and even an airplane!  

Happy sleeping!

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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Project Tutorial: Bicycle Card

I made this embroidered metallic blue bike card for my dad's birthday. As it is a blank card is suitable to be used for any occasion, such as Fathers Day, Birthdays, or even a Congratulations card! You could easily use different colours to customise it.  What do you think? It's easy to do, and you could easily use this method to create your own designs too.
You will need
Embroidery threads (I used DMC 310 black and some metallic blue thread)
Even weave (I used 28 count)
Card (I used a pre-folded card that was 6"x4")
Spare Card for the border
Clear drying glue e.g. PVA or double sided tape.
First of all, you can print this chart out to the size you require for your card. I used a bike length of 10cm. (alternatively you can draw your own. TIP: use pencil first so you can rub it out if you go wrong before drawing over it in a black pen)
The next step is easy. Place the even weave over your design. You should be able to see the outline of the bike. Using a fabric pen if you have one, (or a pencil if you don't) carefully trace the design onto the even weave, making sure you don't move the design.
Now it's time to get stitching! Stitch over the lines of the design beginning with the bicycle frame. I used 2 strands of black thread and 3 strands of metallic blue thread (because it was quite thin, 2 strands of normal embroidery cotton will be fine).
Handles: Satin Stitch
Seat: Padded Satin Stitch
Frame: Satin Stitch
Wheels: Chain Stitch
To give the card a nice finish, I then trimmed down some spare card to 5.5" x3.5" to give a border around the frame, and then cut out an aperture size of 5"x3".
Now you're ready to assemble your card.
First, trim down your bike design to 5.5" x 3.5", being careful to ensure that the bike is central, so it will fit in the card border without any overhanging. (You may need to trim it slightly smaller due to the fabric stretching) Ensure there is an overlap of even weave and card. Carefully glue the bicycle design to the green card using either a clear drying glue or double sided sticky tape, and leave to dry.
Once dry, carefully glue the bike and border to the card, ensuring it is centrally positioned. It should look something like this once completed!
Alternatives: Use a smaller design/ larger card and place the design at an angle.
Add embellishments in the form of ribbons, bows, buttons, sequins, e.t.c.
Happy Stitching!
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Friday, 5 April 2013

Friday Finds: Wales

This post theme was requested of me before Easter by my lovely half Welsh friend (who I think sometimes forgets that's she's half English too). I've written an Union Jack Friday Finds previously, so why not a Welsh one too, after all, there is plenty of Welsh blood around (I'm pretty sure everyone I know has a Welsh grandma or something. We're all mongrels in the UK really, especially if you keep going back through our history).

Besides, Wales is a beautiful country. I have spent several holidays and weekends away there in my 26years, staying in Pembrokeshire, Bangor, Aberystwyth and Snowdonia to include but a few. So, it seems right to feature items from/ for such a beautiful country.

The Welsh flag seems to be the right place to start the search, and it wasn't long before I discovered these fabulous cuff links by Urban Eye. These will make the perfect gift for the Welsh Man in your life, and if he isn't Welsh they can customise these to the country of your choice!

There is a certain appeal about real slate place mats, coasters and cheeseboards. I would love to have some of my own, (and will one day). If you're like me and the understand elegance and class makes you excited, then head over to Identilase for a wide choice of Welsh slate. This cheeseboard is engraved with CAWS, which is Welsh for... you've guessed it, Cheese! They also have a website

Cathryn Weatherhead is the lady who created this bold and beautiful traveller's map of Wales. Whether you're an adventurer, a camper, or an explorer this funky Welsh map will not only remind you of your Welsh experiences, it'll have you going back for more!
Another one for the boys (although I don't know why tankards are just for boys, I am a Real Ale drinker and would love one of my own) is this fabulous stainless steel tankard. Makers Celtic Studio have covered plenty of bases here with the Welsh dragon design. Check out their other Welsh and Celtic items too! 

If, like me, you go  on holiday and then later on realise that you didn't buy that lovely 'insert souvenir here' that you saw because the shop wasn't open/you were heading out/e.t.c then worry no more. This beautiful original watercolour by Pamela Jones Art Studio  is one of several designs that will bring back fond memories of a lovely sunny walk in Wales (it doesn't rain all the time).

Happy browsing!

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