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September 2011
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November 2011

A double digit birthday

Gracie in tree

You're my helper, my entertainment, my sunshine, my friend.

Happy 10th birthday little pumpkin.

Love, Mama xoxo

Party crasher
Skull piñata

Gracie made her own piñata this year, a painted skull, it was fantastic. See more images from her weekend celebration on her blog here.

The children have been off school all week for half-term break, so we celebrated G's birthday early – normally her birthday falls during the break. She's none too pleased to go to school on her birthday today so I coaxed her into going with boxes of cakes to share with her classmates. The celebration continues.

Happy Monday and happy Halloween to you!

Jx

 

 


Mistletoe kisses, another pattern finished

Robins&mistletoe
Mistletoe Kisses pattern stitched on a linen tea towel

I finished stitching up this pattern using a loose lazy daisy stitch for the leaves and a small stem stitch for the branch. I'm not a fan of the stem stitch but I liked the way the smaller stitch length worked for this. The mistletoe stems are backstitch and the birds are split stitch, and of course, French knots for the berries. Appliqué is used for the red breasts and I toyed with filling in the birds but honestly I'm on a mission for finishing things at the moment, I also think it lends itself more to a vintage feel by not filling.

Mitsletoe-Robins

To receive this new pattern go to the Embroidery & Appliqué page here. It is available on a donation basis as all patterns on this page now are. I think I might have forgotten to say in my previous post that there is no minimum donation and also that Gracie will receive all the donations on patterns she has drawn.

In other news, this week is busy as I prepare for G's birthday and also the children are home for their half-term break but I'm hoping to squeeze in a day in the city to visit Jill. I also received a surprise package from Kay, thank you Kay – I really needed that chocolate treat this week and it's already gone. Also thank you Pam, everyone needs a cheerleader and friend like you.
And most importantly, if you know Sonia, she's had very sad news, you may want to send a message her way. 

Have a lovely week.

Jx


A new pattern and more on the way

Partridge-on-spool

This is one of the many branch, twiggy things that has crossed my desk in the last couple of weeks. A festive little offering – I even have it out before the new year (patting myself on the back here). And now I'm slapping my hand because it's four in the morning as I finish this. It will take me at least a week to recover from getting so carried away into the very wee hours.

Partridge-in-snow
Partridge in snow

There's no question what, or who inspired this one. If you visit here often you'll know partridges are one of my favourite birds. They are so humorous, and friendly, sidling up to my window and pecking on it to say hello, but it has to be said they're a little stupid too. If a car drives up behind them they try and outrun it, seemingly forgetting that they have wings and can fly. 

This new pattern is part of a three page tutorial and pattern for large and small ornaments (small 1.75" ornament pictured). It marks the beginning of a new way of offering my embroidery and appliqué patterns. I'm now offering all patterns on a donation Pattern-samplebasis. In order to allow myself the many hours it takes to create each one, I'll ask for a voluntary donation for patterns in the future, but there are still dozens of tutorials here on NM that are free.

If I go way back to the beginning, I've given out hundreds of patterns, which I have loved doing, but accepting donations from now on might enable me time to tackle my giant binder full of sketches waiting to become patterns. At the moment I really do have to justify time spent.

I've had mixed feelings about the whole donation thing, I have never even accepted advertising here on NM so I may move them to a different site in the future. I'll think on it more after some sleep....

This new pattern can be found here along with several others – two more are coming soon.

Small hair pin picAnd to see another new twiggy tutorial go to Whip-Up today where I show how I'm using them to tame unruly hair. It's a real privilege to be guest blogging on one of my all time favourite sites. Thanks Kathreen, you're a star!


Snowed in

If you were to stop by hoping to sit down for a chat and a cup of tea first you'd have to find me. I suggest lifting up the piles of things littering my tables. Current projects are so diverse you'd have to dig through twigs and branches, felt and roving, clay and wire, doilies and spools and the ever present embroidery floss and linen.

And why is it when my brain is the most full with multiple deadlines looming new ideas come flooding in?! Am I the only one this happens to?

This week I did not manage to get the new pattern posted and I lost one of my favourite shoes, just one - probably in a parking lot, don't ask. On the upside our weather has been lovely, lots of annoying "to dos" have been tackled and I'm looking forward to a visit from my lovely sis. Oh, and I designed a second holiday pattern. All in all a brilliant week.

Hope yours was brilliant too. Happy weekend!

Jx

PS, get well quick Auntie M, we love you!


Snowed in


I'll get there

Play day
Woodland peg fairy

There were so many things on my to-do list to be finished by the end of this week but as we all know stuff sometimes gets in the way. No need to bore you with a list of stuff.

Sometimes it's best to throw my hands up and sit down to a pile of scraps with daughter and her friend. Making hats with beech tree seed pods, dresses of muslin and painted on faces made us smile. It's been too long since we pulled out our box of peg people parts, we'll have to visit that box more often.

Christmas pattern preview
New pattern sometime soon

One of those to-do list items was this new pattern. Clearly not finished as I thought it might be, but playtime with little G sometimes must shoot to the top of the list, I'm sure you'd all agree :)

Thinking of friends whose families are struggling with illnesses right now, you know who you are and that I send my love.

Also, I forgot to say thanks for sharing your favourite childhood book memories, it was really fun to read them.

Happy weekend,

Jx


Found things and painted leaves

Painting leaves

Today we're back to autumn temperatures and it felt right to bring back these very liquid colour leaves from my walk this morning. Autumn leaves are perfect for watercolours.

In the garden today

Finding pretty things on my walk is fun.

 Daughter's pockets

Finding the contents of my daughter's pockets in the washing machine, more funny than fun.

Braided necklace-bracelet

And wearing a pretty AdjustaBraid necklace as a bracelet, very fun. They're available here in this pretty online shop :)

The sun has gone away today so photos are going a little dark and grey :(

Thank you very much for the birthday wishes. I started out celebrating by sharing hot chocolate in bed with my two babes and the rest of my day was just as special.

Happy Tuesday!

Jx

PS, New holiday stitching pattern coming later this week.