Abide Thy Heart Shaker Box
Designer: Merry Cox
Fabric and Floss: 36ct sandstone linen, Soie Crystal silks threads
Designer : CA Wells
Fabric and Floss: 36ct antique white linen , NPI silk threads
My sampler wall
Designer: Darlene O'Steen
Fabric and Floss: 36ct linen, Au Ver A Soie silk threads
Today is the first day of the rest of my life - my first day of retirement! After 30 years of working in a law office It's now 'my time' so I decided to start my blog and share my life with you. I am new at 'blogging', despite my numerous visits to various blogs in the past, so, if this blog seems very basic, please bear with me and I will try and make it more interesting as I go along.
So ... where shall I start? I suppose by telling you a little something about myself. I have been married to Ken for 43 years; I have two children and six grandchildren whose ages range from 7 to 18 years. I live in a very small seaside town on the south east coast of the UK - on a clear day we can see France over the channel!
I have been stitching for over 30 years. So how did I start to stitch? To cut a longish story short it started with my daughters attendance at a local dance school. Each year the school would put on an annual show and also enter competitions for which she needed costumes. One year she was doing a Czech national dance and the description of the costume she would need stated "... and a heavily embroidered headsquare". Oh dear, my heart sank, I had no idea where to start. OK - I took a deep breath and reached for the sky blue fabric I had used for the skirt, ironed on a transfer, brought some DMC threads in emerald green, black and white to match the braid I had purchased for the bands around the bottom of the skirt and I was off - albeit very apprehensively. I found I was enjoying it - so little by little, stitch by stitch until I had finished. Oh wow it was beautiful and I was extremely pleased with the finished result. She didn't win the competition but her costume looked good and I thought she danced well - not that I was biased of course! Unfortunately I have no pictures of my first effort - maybe a good thing as maybe it wasn't stitched as well as I remember it to be :-)
So ... that was it, I was hooked and for a while I stuck to traditional embroidery until a couple of years later I discovered cross stitch. I went from basic cross stitch pictures, to cross stitch samplers to multi-stitch samplers and then, in 1998, I went along to a CA Wells' class in London. The project was the Peacock Needlecase and I was very pleased with my finished piece. Since that time I have attended more of CA's classes and even went to Cape Cod for a couple of them. Since then I have enjoyed making 'smalls' and I am sure I will continue to do so. My favourite project is the Pyramid Etui - I think it really has that 'wow' factor. I also like Merry Cox projects and Darlene O'Steen's wonderful samplers.
When my first grandchild was born I, of course, stitched a birth sampler for her and have done so for each of my grandchildren in turn. I also stitched a picture for each of them every Christmas until I found I was spending my precious stitching time on large picture projects so one year I made tiny stitched stockings and backed them with felt. I filled them with tiny gifts of chocolate, candy canes etc and a tiny teddy poked his head out of the top. The following year I made my first ornaments. A little Christmas mouse holding gifts, dragging a tree or draped in baubles adorned the fronts and on the back I stitched each child's name and the year. Since then it has become a tradition where I hand out the ornaments and then they hang them on their respective trees. Sometimes I use a ready charted design, sometimes I use a part of a design altered to suit and even some I have designed myself - a Noel cube with a jingle bell inside, a 3-sided ornament etc. The youngest asked me a couple of years ago "Nan, are you 'knitting' us ornaments for the tree again this year?" She now knows the difference between 'knitting' and 'stitching'.
This Christmas I joined my first exchange group and designed a piece called 'Holly Noel'. I have now joined a scissor fob exchange and have made a fob called 'Strawberry Humbug'.
My eldest grand-daughter also likes to stitch. She started at 4 years old with 6ct Binca fabric, some skeins of coloured wools and a very large needle. She stitched a square of cross stitches and her initial K in the middle. She progressed from thereon to pictures and eventually at 12 years old she joined me at her first CA class. As we entered the room I overheard one of the ladies say "Oh no, someone has brought a child along". At the end of the class this same lady came over to me and said how wonderful it was to see a child of her age sit and stitch along with us and how well behaved she was. We also did ornament exchanges at the class and one lady received Kirby's ornament two years running and she was absolutely thrilled. She came along with me for the next few years until she discovered boys!! She still stitches and is hoping to go into fashion and design in the future. 2 of the other 3 grand-daughters like to stitch and I have provided them each in turn with a filled sewing box.
Well if you are reading this you have survived my first attempt at blogging and maybe you will come back and visit with me again? And now I am off to stitch some more. I am due to have more hand surgery sometime soon so I need to stitch as much as I can before then.
A Happy New Year to you
Labels: CA Wells, Darlene O'Steen, Deal, Merry Cox