Tuesday, 6 November 2018

‘Jolly Happy Soul’ - finished!

So, here’s my ‘Frosty’ (real name, ‘Jolly Happy Soul’) cross-stitch all complete and made up into a little decorative cushion – it’s a Brenda Gervais design. The original was designed as a pincushion I think, but as mine is bigger, I’ll just call it a small cushion. And that’s because I’ve used 28-count linen, instead of the 40-count called for by the pattern ……….. eyes and all that!! Now I hope none of you are cruel enough to attempt a close-up of those cardinal birds, because I can tell you, some of that was guesswork, owing to the one strand of floss over one thread. Even in lovely bright daylight yesterday afternoon, I was struggling with seeing where the needle needed to go – so be kind to me and look through squinted eyes LOL

I just love the way the holly leaves look ……. they have a very vintage look!

To finish it off, I used a dull red colour seambinding ribbon that I was lucky to have plenty of – I didn’t have any white/ivory, but I think I like the red anyway. And on the back, I’ve used a piece of hand-dyed cotton velvet (hand dyed by me several years ago), which also matched in quite well. Depending on your screen, it may look rather bright, but that’s probably the afternoon light I’ve just taken the photos in, so it’s not as bright as it looks.

I’m very pleased with it – I hope you like it too!

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Jolly Happy Soul - progress so far!

So here I am lying in my sickbed after my knee op …….. Well okay, I’m not in a sickbed! I am, in fact, becoming quite the master of these here crutches – getting around (so far) pretty well on them.

And while I’m fairly well being waited on hand, foot and finger by my lovely sister-in-law, Ruth, I’ve been keeping myself entertained with my Frosty cross-stitch – actually the pattern is called ‘Jolly Happy Soul’ and it’s by Brenda Gervais. Seeing that I have little else to do (apart that is from all the exercises I MUST do each day) I’ve gotten on quite well.

I’m leaving the trickier parts until last – that being those tiny little cardinal birds, which are stitched with one strand of floss over one thread – can you just about see them on the pattern? Don’t know how I shall mange those. I have considered popping them in the post to the lovely Wendy, who is so clever, she works on 40-count linen (mine is 28-count), but she must have 20/20 vision I’ve decided. Wendy would sort those cardinals in no time! Don’t worry Wendy, I wouldn’t do that really, because then it wouldn’t be ‘all my own work’ ……….. such pride LOL    I shall have to make sure I do them in nice bright daylight and then I might stand a chance. I won’t worry about them though for a couple of days!

I do love the holly leaves; and when the red berries are added, it'll really 'pop'! Maybe I’ll have it done by the weekend!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Get the violins out please!!

So, in chronological order, the following photos show what I’ve been up to since the beginning of last weekend.

First, I finished off a set of underwear for my little Waldorf doll (now named Annie – thank you Vivi). This is part of the Facebook MAL I’m following with Astrid. And as it’s getting a bit chilly, I thought I’d better knit her a little bonnet too :0)

Then on Thursday, I went into hospital for my knee replacement surgery – see before and after photos. All sympathy very welcome as it’s still quite painful ……. Ouch! I was so brave ….. NOT!

(I've edited the last one a bit by the way, because I didn't think you'd want to see the bit of blood oozing through the plaster!)

As soon as I could show the Physiotherapists at the hospital that I could climb the stairs, I was discharged yesterday afternoon ….. they don’t waste any time I can tell you – plenty of other patients lined up for my bed.

The next image shows just some of the exercises I must endure at least a few times a day for the next 6 weeks or so – and I’d be a fool not to follow them. But I do HATE exercise!!

And so to reward myself for all that hard work, I have started my ‘Mr Frosty’ cross-stitch by Brenda Gervais. There’s not much to show I grant you. It didn’t help that I started with the Eggshell colour in a very dull electric light, but I’ve started it and will soon get on with it.

So, that's been my very exciting week!!

Friday, 19 October 2018

A little red car :0)

I get up to no good when I have a day off work:0)

Now don't ask me why, but I have a thing for rustic style metal cars (and other things); and I have long since wanted a red one ........... I'd actually like a red truck, but a car will do for now. I'm rubbish with cars, but think this is a Volkswagon??????? So, having been to the dentist first (ouch - had to have a filling re-filled and I'm such a baby!) I thought I deserved to treat myself. I called into a favourite garden centre and sadly ended up in their Christmas section - I don't 'do' Christmas early, honest! Thankfully, the Christmas tree can be removed, which I have, but maybe it'll come in when the season arrives.

So, there it is, my lovely red car!!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Ye Old Crow Sampler

I saw this cross-stitch made up on somebody's blog, or Instagram feed or Facebook ...... I really can't remember now, but I liked it a lot and decided it shouldn't be too taxing, as it's small and only one colour thread, so no chopping & changing threads constantly! Actually, I thought I'd seen it on Wendy's blog recently, but I can't see it there, so it must have been somebody else's idea I'm nicking!

Cheap too! The pattern comes together with the three small buttons needed and i only had to buy two skeins of Weeks Dye Works thread. Of course, it won't be ready for this Halloween, but hopefully next year. I'm doing what Wendy said I should do and prepping plenty of craft things ready for my recuperation period after my knee replacement operation .......... next Thursday - it's getting close now!!!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

.... and with a beanie hat!

I decided to knit my nameless Waldorf doll a beanie hat to match her hooded coat - I rather like it.

Any ideas anyone of a name? I was thinking of starting to name through the alphabet (for no particular reason), so maybe something with 'A'. All suggestions gratefully received :0)

EDIT: Well that didn't take long! Thanks to my lovely and talented friend Vivi (a brilliant card maker), my doll is now called Annie - and doesn't it suit her very well? Thank you Vivi :0) xx

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Easter Parade all made up:0)

Just a short post to show my lovely 'Easter Parade' cross-stitch made up into a small cushion. It is bigger than it's meant to be, but that's down to having done it on the 28-count linen instead of the 40-count. Fortunately, I had some of the same kind of olive green ribbon needed for the edging. I know I didn't have to do it exactly the same, but I like it.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Easter Parade

This post really is especially for Wendy – and I hope she doesn’t faint with shock!! :0)

Approximately four years ago, lovely Wendy sent me many wonderful gifts (see 18th May 2014 post here) including not only a complete cross-stitch kit (pattern, linen and the threads), but it came in an exquisite piece of Wendy’s own work; a cross-stitch pocket. Anyway, after about a year, I put needle to linen and managed probably about 50 stitches …… fully intending to continue with it at the time; however, you know how these things go. Who does not have many WIPs? I always say you’re not a true crafter if you don’t have a least six different projects on the go LOL

So life (and other crafting) got in the way until a few weeks ago when I had the chance of a few days away down in Devon; and I wanted something small to take with me. I thought of taking my new overlocker, but realised that was going a bit far – still haven’t tried it out yet! So my cross-stitch came to mind. And because it was a nice quiet relaxing few days in Devon, I got on quite well with it. And now, after a few more sessions of working on it, late yesterday afternoon (hence the bad light of the photos), I finally finished it. Tada!! So there you are Wendy – I bet you thought it was never to be seen again? The pattern (picture below) is called Easter Parade by Brenda Gervais and I loved it as soon as I saw it – my kind of thing you know :0)

All I have to do now is to make it up into a little cushion, so there will be further pictures – hopefully later in the week. I have some backing fabric and some of that lovely frilly ribbon all ready to go. The only difference from the original is that I did it on 28-count linen. The pattern requirements are to use 40-count – well you have to be joking LOL – I can just about manage 28-count, which Wendy was aware of, so she sent me the 28-count. It was white when it arrived, but I did a bit of coffee staining to make it a similar colour to that in the pattern.

So, after four long years, I say again a big ‘Thank You’ to my very kind and generous friend ……. and I’m sorry it took me so long. Wendy’s actually been badgering me recently about whether I’d yet started on the ‘Mr Frosty cross-stitch kit I bought myself recently (see earlier post), which I’ve bought to keep me entertained after my knee replacement operation on 25th October, but I didn’t want to tell Wendy what I was really working on :0)

Saturday, 29 September 2018

First ever Waldorf Doll :0)

Well, I finally made my very first ever Waldorf Doll :0)

I shall still be making bears; however increasingly, I can see the dolls pulling me in a different direction much of the time. Mind you, that will depend on whether I can get the hang of it and improve a lot.

This little girl isn’t too bad for a first attempt, but I see lots to improve on. The eyes could be a bit bigger; and the hair!! Well, what about that hair ………. it’s a big ball of frizz! It’s a crocheted wig cap using a brushable mohair wool and designed for this purpose. And to be fair to myself, others who make this type of wig for their dolls do end up with a bit of frizz, but mine seems so much worse somehow – as I say, much to learn yet. These dolls are very time intensive (more so than the bears) and there is a very particular method to constructing the face, so you have to take your time.

My inspiration are ladies such as Jenny at Little Jenny Wren Dolls, Astrid at LittleDoll House, Fabio at Fig and Me and Anouk at Mon Pilou – check out their totally gorgeous dolls!!

I made my doll as part of a Facebook MAL (make along!) run by Astrid (above), who runs occasional ‘makes’ based on her two 13-inch and 18-inch Waldorf style dolls, including clothes for them. A very talented lady! My little girl is dressed in Halloween theme clothing seeing as that’s the next season to celebrate. The hooded coat is also one of Astrid’s.

Here are a few more photos; and I hope I won’t offend anyone with a bit of nakedness, but I want to show you her cute little belly button and bum as well :0)

I’m not expecting any great compliments, because as I said earlier, she’s not in any way perfect (compared to ladies mentioned above anyway), but as a first attempt, I think she’s turned out not too bad. I just wanted to showcase her for the record.

For anyone not familiar with Waldorf Dolls, they originate from a principal of education called Steiner – developed by Rudolf Steiner around 1919. Its approach endeavours to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in a holistic way; promoting their imagination through creative play. A traditional Waldorf doll is made of natural materials, generally filled with pure wool stuffing and the hair and clothing materials are also made from natural fibres. The dolls face is intentionally simple in order to allow the child to use its imagination. By giving the doll a face with little or no particular expression, the child will give the doll a personality through imaginative play. These days however, the original doll has been developed by very talented people into a craft and create beautiful dolls with beautiful faces (which is what I want to do!).

There are Steiner schools all over the globe.

Thursday, 26 July 2018


I'm going to have to mention the 'C' word ...... so sorry!!

Having been inspired by Wendy, who does one or two cross-stitches now and again - LOL, she is a prolific cross-stitcher! I've just bought myself this little Brenda Gervais cross-stitch kit called 'Frosty' with such lovely prim kind of colour threads. It doesn't look to have a massive amount of stitches, so I hope to achieve a finish!

In a couple of months, I shall be having knee replacement surgery on my left knee, which 'sadly' (LOL) then will be followed by about six weeks off work ............ however will I cope! Anyway, with any luck, I might just manage to complete this in time for Christmas while I recover! Check up on me though please, because I know what I'm like and the promises I make to myself !!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018


I really am rubbish at choosing names for my bears - what a name for a Panda :0)

Anyway, Harold it is! And instead of the traditional black and white, Harold is a lovely chocolate brown and off-white combination. The fabric is Helmbold 20mm pile Mohair. The paw pads are made from Faux Nubuck.

Harold is 5-way cotter jointed. He stands 12½ inches/32cms top to toe and 10 inches/26cms sitting and has the fabric ‘Handmade at Bilberry Lane’ label and the metal ‘BL’ pin at the back. Can you also just see the little white tail? He is filled with the usual firm fibre fill and steel shot for weight - has black glass eyes, and is shaded around the eyes with powder pan pastel.

Harold is finished off with a lovely lime green ribbon around his neck. I hope you like him!

Harold can be adopted for £70, plus shipping and packaging

UK - £10 tracked and signed

Europe - £15, tracked and insured

Worldwide - £22, tracked and insured

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Another completed quilt!

I've finally finished my Summertime Delight quilt and I love it! The colours are so refreshing and summery. Although I finished the patchwork top around Christmas time, it was a while before I had it quilted and then I just had to complete it with the binding. This was bought as a 'Block of the Month' from Totally Patched; and what I loved most of all, is that everything comes pre-cut with the instructions. The pre-cutting is what takes so long and is usually what puts me off. As soon as the monthly block arrives, you can sit down and start to sew! And I was very strict with myself, because I know it doesn't take long to lag behind with BOMs - it was completed on time over 10 months.

I was even very good and labelled it!

I know it's way, way too hot at the moment, but it'll be lovely come the colder weather!