Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 30 November 2020

November roundup


I have not purchased any yarn this month, I have plenty in my stash and I have projects in mind, I have my cross stitch out, but again I have enough in my stash to not require anything. I did have 1 order for glass, I have been making tree decorations. Very little spent in the garden.

Our heating is on timed, and we are not using it too much in the day, we do not have a central fire in our sitting room, so if it is cold we have to turn on the household heating. We spend more time in our sunny office each morning, it's always warm in there. 

Food shopping is much the same, still expensive, we have purchased our Christmas Turkey crown and a big joint of beef, both are in the freezer, which is full, most of the Christmas treats are got, we are expected to be at our daughters on Christmas eve for a sleep over, we are providing the Christmas dinner. 

No waste this month again, we make enough veg soups and keep my worms fed with the peelings, they provide the best compost, which I use each spring. We are fully using our new fruit and veg shop, we do not use any of their paper-bags,  and we have started taking our own containers for dried items. Purchasing other things online has left us with more packaging, but so far most of it is cardboard and therefore can be recycled. 

The best news is we have planning permission for our pergola, which stated no appeal allowed, very pleasing for both of us, no doubt there will be more from the neighbours, sadly we heard the mother has passed away in our local hospital. Just the daughter living there, we wait for the next chapter, at the moment the mother's dog is howling through out the day we will do nothing about it out of respect. 

Saturday 28 November 2020

As November ends

Not what I wanted to see when turning on my computer, the system did not fix itself and our 'computer expert' thinks its the hard drive, so he will work on it, to see if he can retrieve my data, but it's going to cost, now I'm blogging on my phone, my ipad is not so easy to blog from. 
 I have put the decorations up, I've never done this in November before, but I do feel the house looks more inviting, I have also been using candles most evenings. Youngest daughter got me a lovely Christmas spicy candle, which I am loving. 

We are looking forward to having a few more local shops open in our village next week, we don't need to go into town. 
With the new rules we have a pleasing change, the rules state any family with a disabled child under 5 years can form a support with 1 other family, so daughter has chosen us, so we will be able to see daughter, Will and George in our home, I'm pleased to be able to give support. 
Our plans are to stay home as much as we can, so we can go to daughters home for Christmas, her MIL is away, so it will just be 2 families. I don't see the next 4 weeks as a trial, it's given us time to keep safe, stay away from the virus and keep well for mixing families.
November has rushed by, we are daily doing as much as we can, we walk every dry day, we both enjoy a stroll in our local park, there is nothing to do in the garden, but I do wander around it most days. 
I'm not doing much craft, I do hope to finish a project for George and pack away my sewing machine, I seem able to sit and do nothing for the last couple of afternoons. I have watched a couple episodes of The Crown, I'm not sure if I am comfortable watching this series, I still feel strongly about how Lady Di was treated, and being a drama, how they tell the story, the Internet is full of articles from the show and opinions.

Thursday 26 November 2020

Torchon O Christmas Tree

Back in mid November, I decided it was time to bring this project back out, it had been in my WIP box for a couple of years, I still had all the threads stored with the design, so it was just a case of stitching it again, in hope to be able to have it finished and on show this Christmas season.

As promised to myself, this bigger bird was the last part I stitched, the shades and colours bring these birds alive as I stitched them, the designer has made wonderful images. 
In another add on, I decided I would like the snow to shine, so I used some sliver sewing machine thread, which I separated, and stitched at random, I'm pleased it just give the snow a lift. I'm not sure if you can see it, but it does glimmer in daylight. 
The pin in my fabric shows where I left the needle before it was packed away, the needle left a rust mark, I thought it would far enough away to not matter, but my decision to make a cushion, needed a bigger square area and the rust spot was a problem.
So a plan was needed, I simply stitched the flying bird over the mark and to balance the look, I stitched the same flying bird on the other side, so now this is finished. It was stitched on 28 count evenweave, using 1 strand of DMC thread. 
It took very little time to make a new cushion inner and the cover with the tartan fabric I had in my stash, I think it goes well, originally I was going to use plain red, but then I saw the fabric in my stash and knew it would suit. I did want an edging on this cushion, so when our local shop reopens next week I will find a nice braid to stitch around the seams. I did pop a cotton lining behind my stitching to help it keep it's shape.
End of the story, not quiet, I cut all the bits out, decided to make the bottom differently so when I stitch it together I'm stitching on 2 layers of cotton, so lay it out, then I hemmed the lower small flap popped it back in and stitched around twice, turned it the right way and yes, its wrong, I have left it, trying to unpick 2 rows of matching stitching from my stitching canvas would not go well. So there we are, its finished, not right but it's done.

I have used loads from my stash this year, I have one other small project almost completed, I will post next time, it's fun to be able to look and use what I already have. I have pulled out another cross stitch WIP to work on, but I won't being doing it day and night, I am heading back to my knitting needles and the jackets for Will and George. 

I am still using my sewing machine, the simple project I was making for George has grown, it will be finished by Sunday, I just hope it looks as good as I see it in my mind. 

Tuesday 24 November 2020


Totally completed, I made a small cushion, I like the green tape it balances the look and brings the green stitching out, I wanted to make it bigger, but I did not want the red material on the front. I kept to the limited colour pallet, to allow the stitched design to be the star. I did not stuff it full and large, again I am looking for a softer feel. 

 At some point we are hoping to meet for coffee, then I can gift it to our friend and sign teacher. For the past few years, we have signed The 12 days of Christmas together, as soon as Jo put this on her blog, I knew who I would make this for. 

The joy of doing cross stitch again is brilliant, with so much time at home, a craft which is time consuming has helped. I had the green tape and red fabric in my stash and the wadding. 

I am getting loads of stitching done and hope to finish my Christmas tree this week, I will make it into a full size cushion for my chair, I have already found the backing fabric from my Christmas fabric stash, thank heavens for stash's. 

Monday 23 November 2020


I have worked on this loads to get it done, I decided to do the banner before finishing the bottom branches, and in only my world would I decide to to more than the design calls for, whilst on a time limit. I have decided to stitch the background on the banner white, in the design it's not done, but I want it to stand out. One very good point is the rust mark left by the needle sitting in my work for years is outside of the area which will show once it us made up, I can't say how pleased I am. 
The banner is simple easy counts and filling in, which is done much quicker, the right side is finished, and only one large branch to finish, with a bird sat on it on the left. There is a larger bird sitting on the banner which I am saving to last, I love creating the birds on this project. 
Sunday it was George's birthday, mummy and daddy made it very special for him, Will was very excited all day, loads of balloons and a birthday tea and cake, I was sad for most of the day, it's hard to miss their birthdays when they live so close. 
We did see George and Will for an hour on Friday, daughter had to do some work for PortsmouthDS charity, which was loads of driving to deliver items, daddy was working in the office, so we stepped in for childminding duties, we savoured every moment with both boys. Will informed us he could not sleep over because Boris would not let him, but we did promise a sleep over when Boris says we can. 

Sunday hubby was out all morning until early afternoon, I had my sewing machine out, I did not get everything finished, but I got a few gifts done, photo's next time. I hope to do more sewing this afternoon. 

I have been very busy, loads of things are done and I'm up to date on loads, but I don't feel as great as I should, like so many I am struggling. We are well, warm and have food and things to do, we are both happy and comfortable with each other company, but we are bored. Even with the list of Christmas tasks, which I am getting through quite well, so much is missing, this year, we will not drive to Somerset in December to see family, my brother is not coming here for Christmas, our plans to be at our daughters on Christmas Eve are unsure, I am a planner and the uncertainty is my undoing. 


Friday 20 November 2020

Another lockdown week

I purchased this book 4 years ago, with youngest daughter, we thought it would be fun, I still use it everyday.
This strange year, my comments are really rather different, keeping in contact with friends is still vital, as is contact with family, the biggest lesson learnt from Covid is we are social, we need contact of others. 
I had the most beautiful yarn arrive this week, I ordered and paid for it in June, it's the colours of a Robin, not normally my colours, but the shades are stunning, I won't be making socks with this, I think a shawl will be best use. 
I have redone the G for George's Christmas tree decoration, it has fused much better, the large glass disc were purchased at different times, and the newer disc is different from the original. I popped it in the microwave for 8 minutes, then added another 2 mins and then did an extra 2 mins. I have more glass fusion tree ornaments to make, these take time, as once I have used the kiln to make an ornament, I have to wait until the kiln is completely cold before using again, so I can only use once a day.
I would never have picked this book up, but it was sent from our local library, and it's was the most enjoyable book, Harold is 65 and just retired, settling down to a simple life when a letter arrives, if you can, please read this book, I loved it. This being my 72nd book read this year. 
I plan a sewing day this weekend, I need to make 12 days of Christmas into a finished ornament for my friend and sign teacher. I also have a couple of other things to make, nothing big, fun things to do and a special homemade gift for George. 

I have done more knitting to Will's jacket, I am now waiting for measurements from mummy and also buttons to arrive and I have just finished reading a truly lovely book. 

My cakes are being fed brandy, daughters only has one feed as Will loves cake, so I will cover with marzipan soon. I have coloured icings to make the decoration, but as yet I've not decided what to pop on top. 

Daughter, Will and George are now free to go out again, all are still well, as is Wills little friend from nursery, mummy found it hard having to keep Will in, he's an active 3 year old, back to pre-school next week, we miss the fun of their visits and Will's constant cries of I'm hungry.

I am trying to keep busy, it's hard being in winter lockdown, I have plenty to do, but no true inspiration or energy, I do spend loads of time reading or sat on here, but often I get bored being 'online'

Can I say I'm fed-up with all the bloody Black Friday deals on offer, I thought it was the last Friday in November not the whole month, and no I have purchased nothing. 


Wednesday 18 November 2020


Hubby was unimpressed with the dogwood plant I ordered online, it's planted under the frame, so we popped out for some shopping and went into our local garden center, he is happy with this much bigger plant, hopefully in time these will hide most of the water butt. 
The Olive tree is doing well in it's new place, we did not lose any of the Olives when we moved it, here is can get as big as it wants. 
You can see the Olives growing in size, plus lots of new Olives forming, we have never had a crop from this tree before, not sure what we can do with the Olives, will have to check online if they can be used. 
Christmas cards are done, most of these are left over from previous years, I always make the extra bases, just incase we need more, so it's a really quick and simple make this year. The only new deign is the Snowflake blue cards. 
All my time is stitching, I am so enjoying seeing this come to life, I am working on the right side to get it finished, I do find time each afternoon to stitch and often time in the evenings, my focus is getting it done by early December.
I am pleased to have so many crafts to do, it fills the hours in each day, we miss seeing daughter, Will and George, at least 3 times each week.  Hubby has filled his time sorting his new motorbike, adding a few things and of course giving it a good clean and polish, he is also a book worm and does most of the cooking, he enjoys being in the kitchen and I enjoy everything he produces. 

We have been out in the garden, hubby picked up all the leaves which had blown into the garden, I did some planting, I got 2 pots of Sweet Williams for 50p each and they are in my raised bed. I mainly walk around checking on new plants and cutting back things as they go over. My side bed is a bit empty, but I don't mind so much, it's just too small to have colour the whole of the year. Having dry weather helps, being able to be outside, walking in our park and to the village shops, being able to say hello to neighbours as walk by, as always it's the small things which make us smile. 

Monday 16 November 2020

Christmas cards

I've been playing with cards, I prefer the blue card design, I do love snowflakes, this is just the start, I do like to make the base the same, and then add different homemade toppers so no two cards match. The red card is not good enough to use, I made a few slip ups which render the card scruffy.
Last year, I purchased this book of scrapbook papers at half price on a weekend where the site had a limited postage charge, I also purchased more coloured card, they are not Christmas papers, but they can be used for Christmas cards. So even with the postage added on, these were still a great bargain. 
I also found these cards, made in 2010, I added a round sticker over the date, each card has inserts inside, in 2010 I had Christmas decoupage on the front, Some of the card have from Portchester instead of The Jones's.

I make less cards each year, back in 2010 when the printed cards were made, I would make over 100 cards, so the bulk we made the same, these days I will make about 50. I still purchase cards for special people, I have already got them for this year. I will still make a few special ones, my sister loves a hand made card, so I always make one just for her. I have everything I require in my stash, Die cutters, adhesive, lots of peel offs, the inserts I print as needed, I have saved templates on my computer.  

It's just a case of settling down and thinking until a design comes together. I like to post my cards in early December, so now is a perfect time to get them done. 


Sunday 15 November 2020

Much the same

My back fence beside my greenhouse is now looking good, the winter Jasmine is full of tiny yellow flowers, my big tub, which I redid last month is looking healthy. The top small photo is a pot I made years ago, it sits by the greenhouse door, just Ivy and a black grass, I love Ivy but will only ever keep it in pots.
Loads of spring shoots in my pots, all new bulbs this year, I'm not worried as this happens most years. The ground photo is my Peony, I've never seen new shoots at this time of the year. The plants are confused, we have a few really cold days and then a few mild days, this has been our normal November weather for the past few years, 
I still have Begonias in flower, this plant is the best looking, they are beginning to fade, I won't remove the corns over winter, they survive in my garden in these raise chimneys. It is good to look out and see flowers in the garden. 
I slept really badly on Thursday night, so Friday was a slow lazy day, I knew stitching was out for the day, so I choose this book, it's not a style I normally read, it took time to get into the book, it's a good read, 466 pages. 
I am stitching on this most days, I have done all the tree trunk, there is a banner at the bottom which I am going to stitch with the French Christmas greeting. There is a much bigger bird on the banner which I am looking forward to stitching. 
I have loads of bigger branches to do and some more birds, no more baskets, can you see I'm half way through a bird house, this design just keeps giving.

It's been a nothing to do few days, the weekend is wet and windy, so even if we are allowed to go out, it's staying in weather. I have pulled out my card making things, I have loads in my stash, and should be able to make what I need without any extra cost. 

Even with my crafting boredom is creeping in, I'm not crawling up the walls yet, I am counting down the days, wishing the next 2 weeks fly by. 

Hubby made a marmalade cake on Friday, so we are having one slice each every morning with our coffee,  Friday night we had chunky fishfingers and chips for tea, it was bliss. Saturday he made pizza bases, so pizza for tea, we ensure we have the toppings in, keeping packs of meats in the freezer. Today we are having a roast lunch, being home so much means we get more roast than other years.

Nothing much else to say, Daughter, SIL and boys are all well, no signs of any Covid19 symptoms, which is pleasing, another Grandson had his birthday, 6 years old, how quickly they grow, how much we are missing. 

Friday 13 November 2020

Filling my time

I am pleased with my progress on this project, I am ensuring a couple hours stitching each day, I really would like to be able to use this in December. On the plus side, it is a joy to stitch, normally I get a bit crazy with so many different shades, often only a handful of stitches each colour, but the design pulls together with every bird, basket, apple and decoration. I have made a few counting errors on the tree, but it's so easy to make right, so far no unpicking. 
My dogwood plant arrived, it's really small, but healthy and I can wait for it to grow, it's already planted, it had a great root ball which filled the pot. I am still picking up leaves, most of them have dropped from my acer, and loads blow into the garden. I am still managing time outside on dry days, I do check my greenhouse each day and hubby fills the bird feeders most days. 

I've joined our local library scheme, and collected these books, they ask what books you like and then select books for you, I am hoping I can find some good reads out the these. I just turned up at the door, they passed books to me, quick and simple, I have left them for 3 days before reading, just in case. I know there is one book I won't read, I don't like the author, but the rest looks good. 
I managed to make the tree decoration for George, I'm pleased with the colours, but the glass bits have not melted as much as I wanted, I did it the same as Will's, and I don't know why it's not as fused as I wanted. I think I will make another, this one is not smooth to touch. 
Our house is just too clean and tidy, we are missing Will, George and mummy, but we are sticking to the rules, in hope we get a family Christmas. Great news on the breakthrough for the vaccine, our hope is it continues to keep within all the safety guides. Maybe by next winter we can have this virus under more control and find ourselves all back together. All of this week has been home, I did manage to get my 2nd Christmas cake baked, at one point we could not get fresh eggs. 

Will's best friend at nursery has tested positive for covid19, Will is Ok, mummy spent most of Wednesday checking what they could and could not do, regardless they have decided to spent the next 14 days at home. Daddy has been working from home most of the year, we are keeping everything crossed they all stay well.  We have not seen them this month so are not affected. 

We did a Asda home delivery shop, just a few things we required, but we also got the Turkey crown and a big joint of beef (on a special deal price), all ready for Christmas dinner, we are hopeful we will be at our daughters, we will provide the dinner, hubby is happy now they are in our freezer. Purchasing things early we are hoping will take us out of the mad rush in December, we hope to sit it out this year. This is something we do every year, we have time to get things done and enjoy the weeks before Christmas, I know not everyone can do this, but in this strange year we are doing what we can to keep ourselves feeling safe. Our new fruit and veg shop is a hit, it's first weeks trading has been busy, we loved being able to buy just what we required and take our own bags and containers. 

Now the garden season has finished I have started doing my nails again, for 2 weeks I have cut and shaped them short, I have very weak nails so it's important I do this, I am now using varnish again, I have loads of lovely colours, and will be playing with design soon. 


Wednesday 11 November 2020

Finish and WIP

12 days of Christmas is done
Stitched on DMC, Monaco, 28 cwt, using 1 strand of DMC silks. 
The design for day 11, 
11 pipers piping, I have changed, I am pleased with the way it looks now, 11 notes look good and I had space for my name and the date. 
This is my next project, I love this design, it came as a kit, but the fabric shown here is loose weave, so I am using a finer tighter weave, which means it will be smaller. I have never decided if I was going to stitch the banner in the designers form or change the wordings. 
This is where I left it, almost half the length, but not half way through, as the lower branches are bigger and more stitches.
I left the needle in the fabric, so I have rust marks, will have to decide once this section is done, how to hide them, I have a flying bird in the design, so I could stitch another to hide these marks. I might just get away with doing nothing, and the rust marks being outside of design area, I normally always remove needles from my work, but this was left on the frame, with the intention to stitch it to the finish. This is again on 28cwt, DMC evenweave, with 1 strand of DMC silks.

 Firstly a huge shout out to Jo, she suggest we all stitch along together this design, I picked it up with the thoughts, I had everything I need, give it a go, nothing to lose. But it's just what I need, so much time at home, stitching eats up time, I do find it's easier to stitch for gifts, as I still own loads of finished stitching, each rolled in my work basket, not used. The Christmas tree is for me and I will use it every year, I think I may make a big cushion, but that might change, I do like framed Christmas stitching, but not sure if I can get it done this year.

The joy of finding cross stitch again, in these strange times is immense,  I happily sit and stitch for hours, watching a design appear on the fabric.

I own loads of fabric and enough silks (Floss) for me to make almost anything. I have purchased designs, my tasted does not change, so I can stitch away for a few years, hubby many years ago purchased this sewing chest, which is full of colourful joy. I do feel confident this stitching can be finished this year. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails