Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cross-Stitch, Crochet and Tea Shops

Blimey I've been busy since I last wrote!  It wasn't until I uploaded the photos from my phone that I realised just how much I've done in the last few weeks. 

I've been very busy stitching and hooking.  Last week I completed the floral wall hanging that I have been working on through the summer and I am delighted with it. 

Pattern from Cross Stitcher Home Style book
Progress via Instagram
I will frame it and hang it on the wall in my living room with my collection of vintage floral paintings - I think it will look good there.  I just need to find exactly the right frame, which so far is eluding me.  I am going to have to recycle an old one and keep my eyes peeled in the charity shops.  

I've started working on another piece of cross stitch - this one is from a Made in France embroidery book.   (A gorgeous series of books; I have three and love them all.)


A Scandi-style heart made of snowflakes, I chose this pattern because it is simple, delicate and pretty.  I have only worked on it a few nights now and it is nearing completion.  Its destiny is to be stuffed and dangle prettily somewhere in my home.  I plan to make a few and fill them with lavender to keep my yarn stash fresh and moth-free.

In between working on my rose cross-stitch I made this little wall-hanging for a lovely new friend.  


Erin is one of life's rays of sunshine and I'm so glad I met her.  She is always making beautiful things for people (and has made a couple of surprise gifts for me) so I wanted to make something in return to say thank you.  I was pleased with how it turned out and I'm going to make a few mis-matched ones for myself to decorate the landing when I get around to it.

Work on the cream and pink popcorn flower blanket is still underway.  


I have decided to intersperse the flower squares with plain cream grannies.  The flowers take quite a while to work up and use a lot of yarn.  Plain grannies can be knocked up in minutes and without any thought so the blanket is growing much more quickly than originally anticipated.  

As much as I'm loving the flowers, I think I also need something wintery to work on now that the days are getting cooler.  I've got a huge stash of gorgeous Rowan wool and some beautiful Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino so I'm going to start another blanket soon.  Nothing wrong with having a couple of projects on the go as long as they get finished, I reckon.

I am pleased to say that I haven't been a complete crafting hermit.  I've been out and about lots too.  I've visited London on a weekly basis - to meet friends, have dinner, drink tea/cocktails/champagne, eat cake, poke around haberdasheries, browse a craft fair, shop at Liberty and raid Anthropologie.  Exhausting but lush! 

Loch Fyne
Bill's
Camellia
We live just an hour's train journey from the centre of London.  Buying a railcard and booking tickets in advance means we can travel there very cheaply so we have vowed to make the most of it and really explore our capital.   I've always travelled regularly into London and could probably tell you in my sleep where all of my favourite shops are, and quite a few fancy restaurants too.  But now [I'm older] I'm more interested in tea shops, haberdasheries, markets, architecture and city parks so I've bought a few books to help me make the most of every single trip into town.  If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear. 

Love and stuff.

Nicki 

x

PS - Yay! I've reached the 300 follower mark! So chuffed and thank you for clicking the follow button, particularly during such a writing drought.  I will be hosting a giveaway soon to thank you for supporting me.  Please say hi if you're new, I'd love to hear from you. 

PPS - I do try to respond to everyone directly but sometimes it's difficult if you're a 'no reply' blogger.  So, I'm going to respond to all comments here, on my blog, now.  So if you ask a question, pop back in a day or two and I'll have replied.  Well, that's the plan and I'll do my very best.  :) x

46 comments:

  1. Beautiful work, congrats on completing it! It's great to see it's progress over the months.
    Your crochet is coming along wonderfully, it's a good idea to throw a few plain grannies in there, you will be snuggled under it before you know it! x

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    1. Thank you! I'm a bit too impatient to make a full popcorn flower blanket and I think the plain grannies make the flowers stand out even more x

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  2. I love your blog your pictures are always so pretty and I'm insanely jealous of your lofty craft area. Where do you buy/find your cross-stitch supplies and patterns?

    Josephine

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    1. Thank you and thanks for popping over to my blog. I think my husb and stepson are a bit jealous of the craft room too because they are always in here with me now!

      I get my cross stitch supplies either at Hobbycraft or on ebay. I love Cross Stitcher magazine, it has some gorgeous patterns in it and tells you which threads you need to complete a project. I'm working through the Cross Stitcher Home Style book at the moment - it has lots of lovely things in!

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  3. I love how instagram makes it so easy to chart the progress of projects. I haven't done a cross stitch project for ages, but I think now the nights are drawing in that I might have to find myself a project.

    It must be nice to live so close to London, I do love the Capital but I also love Cornwall so I guess we can't have it all.

    Lovely blog post and nice to see you back in 'Blogland'

    xx

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog - I love catching up on IG xxx

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  4. What beautiful cross stitch .... you are super-sonic!
    your london trips sounds so exciting and I can't wait to hear about future trips. We live about an hours train ride away too and have also got a railcard, we should really make better use of it, so it will be lovely to be picking up lots of tips from you, I really don't know our capital much at all.
    love jooles x

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    1. Thanks Jooles - I'll let you know about all the lovely places I find. I'm focusing mostly on tea/cake shops at the moment so I'll be especially kind and let you know which nice shops are near the cake places too! :) xx

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  5. Your pictures are gorgeous and are making me want to make / shop / eat...terrible! I really should make the most of London. We are a 30 minute tube ride to the capital, I think Christmas is going to be a good time to explore some more!

    Gemma xxx

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  6. Lovely post and you've done LOADS!!!! It all sounds so idyllic. While at mine, it's like an episode of Outnumbered, if you've ever watched it.
    Our new house has that kinda feel and now the kids are playing out the role.........
    Haven't been to London for a while and now you've made me want to go. I really fancy a mooch around.
    X xx

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    1. Gem, you wouldn't have it any other way!!! And Outnumbered is hilarious. I'd like to be a fly on the wall at your house. Haha!

      You always make me want to go to the seaside - it's funny how we perceive other people's lives from their blogs isn't it.
      I will be over at your blog soon!
      xxx

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  7. I'm loving your cross stitch Nicki - so very pretty! What sort of materials are you cross stitching onto? I particularly like the striped one you made for your friend.
    Victoria xx

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    1. Thank you! I prefer even weave as it gives the embroidery a much finer texture and love either the off-white or rustic linen varieties. Pure white fabric looks too harsh for the vintage-style cross stitch patterns I use. The stripy fabric is just a little piece of 100% cotton - I used soluble 14 count aida for that - it's fab stuff which means you can cross stitch onto any kind of fabric at all! xxx

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  8. I am just a tad jealous of the trips to Anthro...
    ...can I ask where you got the box of embroidery flosses from? I keep seeing them popping up on blogs...
    Nicky
    x

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    1. I had loads of flosses sitting in a big sewing box so I bought the plastic boxes separately - some from Amazon and one from Hobbycraft (I prefer the one from Amazon). They are only cheap and then I buy the plastic bobbins and (I'm a bit OCD) the pre-printed floss numbers as I only use DMC floss! Storing them in numerical order appeals to the control freak in me! :) x

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    2. What a brilliant idea! Before I read this I had no idea you could story thread this way! Maybe I'm a control freak too! Thanks Nicki and Nicky!

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  9. Your cross stitched flowers and pink and cream crocheted projects are absolutely beautiful!! Maybe someday I will be able to make something that pretty, if I keep practicing.

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    1. Of course you will! You could do it now, it's very easy - just time-consuming. x

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  10. I do wish I had the patience to cross-stitch - yours looks wonderful :)

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    1. Thank you - it's funny because I am not at all patient in all other areas of my life! x

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  11. Ahh Nicki what a lovely post! Loved just about everything in it and your cross stitches are droolworthy!! Must start one of my own once ive finished the CK freebie one! Xxx

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  12. I have that Made In France book too - isn't it lovely? I love the look of your cross-stitch. SO pretty!!

    Sarahxx

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    1. Thank you! Yes the book is gorgeous. Such simple but stylish patterns and all monochrome so super-quick to stitch. Love it.xx

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  13. I have to agree with Gem - your life sounds divine! Shopping trips, stitching...heavenly. The only stitching I've managed lately is name labels in school uniforms :-)

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    1. Aw, I do only blog about the good bits but I do realise I am lucky to have so many good bits, too. I sometimes (only sometimes!) wish I had children to do sewing and baking for - my stepson enjoys me fussing over him when he comes to stay although I do tell him it's because it's a novely having a youth around the place. Ha! x

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  14. You have been busy Nicki! I love your cross-stitch, I've ben keeping a close eye on this embroidery on instagram :)
    Jessie, xo

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    1. Which Jess are you on IG?? I didn't realise you were on there! Speak up so I can follow you back (if I'm not already!) XX

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  15. Oh this post makes me want to drag out my cross stitching supplies again! You have lots of pretty projects on the go - love the crochet flowers and grannies. Enjoy your weekend!
    Lynne

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    1. Thanks Lynne! Go for it, drag them out and squeeze in a few minutes of stitching every night. It's good for the soul! x

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  16. Wow! I love all of your makes, especially the cross stitch. Beautiful. Sue x

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    1. Thank you!! And thanks for popping over here and leaving a comment x

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  17. Your popcorn flower blanket is going to look lovely! I'm making a waterlily blanket at the moment - but am doing more plain solid grannies than flower squares, as the flowers took too long!

    I love the look of the Scandi heart so far - really pretty.

    Maria x

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    1. Ooh I must pop over to your blog and see your waterlily blanket - it sounds divine! xx

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  18. I love seeing updates from your blog :)

    I love the striped pink fabric and flower cross stitch. I might give something like that a go at some point, for a present.

    x

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  19. Hi Nicki,I loved catching up with all of your latest goings on :) Your cross stitch s are so beautiful.
    Loving the something pretties, its going to be so beautiful in that design and with those colours, I'm totally addicted THANKS to you,hun,I cant stop now...
    Take care,Xxxxlove julieX

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  20. Hello! I tagged you at the end of my latest post. No pressure to keep it going, just wanted to let you know :)
    http://lilyloveslola.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/questions-tag.html

    x

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  21. You do make me want to pick up my cross stitch again!!! Beautiful work....and I just love the color of your blanket so soft and pretty, I am wanting to make that too, however I have a few projects that need to be started and finished by Christmas......arhhhh.
    xo Sandi

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  22. You have some lovely on the go and completed projects! It has inspired me to continue with mine (I have just moved house so have been other wise engaged)! I love the floral wall hanging and the snowflake heart - so pretty! Good luck with the crochet blanket, it's going to look stunning :) x

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  23. Just catching up here :D That first cross stitch is gorgeous Nicki, really pretty, and I'm loving the idea of the Scandi heart lavender bags, in fact so much I might pinch it :D

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  24. Thought of you today when I was sorting out books to review for my blog. I've got a fab new cross-stitch book that I reckon you'd love. It's called Stitch With Love. I love it!

    Sarahx

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  25. Love this post! can I just say that I am very hungry now I've just seen that burger! yummy! hope you have a good weekend!

    Sarah-Jayne xx
    bella--blonde.blogspot.com

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  26. Hi, I've been following your blog for a while, I think it appeals to those of us who are 'homebirds' too.(Btw, Emma is my absolute fave book and I adore the film-
    I think they got the characters spot on, especially Ewan McGregor as the foppish Frank Churchill!)

    I love your crochet work, I'm a basic knitter and have been meaning to start a course to learn both knitting and crochet properly, I've been putting it off but after seeing this post, i'm feeling inspired!

    How did you learn?

    earthtomum.blogspot.co.uk

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