A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Sunken Treasures #7

Not only finished – but framed too. I amaze myself sometimes 😉

NaturalBowFramedI used another one of my bargain charity shop frames. That one cost the grand sum of 50p. It’s framed using the same method as the last one.

I need more frames now. I have several, but none are the right size or shape for the projects that need to go in them. I have now made a note of all the project sizes, and will take that with me next time I go trawling for bargains.



Sunken Treasures #6

It’s finished! Hooray. And it didn’t take long at all.


I’m really pleased with it, although I did find that the invisible thread used for the beading was like trying to stitch with candy floss.

A few close-ups. Click on one for the gallery.

One of the new charity shop frames could do nicely for this so it might even get put up on the wall soon.


Sunken Treasures #5

I’ve managed to get some more done to this, although I’m still not getting much stitching time as Sammie seems to have decided that nap-time is for wimps. Sigh.

She did let me have a couple of hours last night though so I managed to get a few more rows done.

SunkenTreasures13 SunkenTreasures14The stitches in this part are Rice stitch, Nipped crosses, Quarter eyelets and Eyelets. Plus cross stitch and back stitch, of course. I think this bit will look great once I’ve got the beads in there.

This is what it looks like now.

SunkenTreasures12I’m hoping to get that corner section finished off this week and then try to do the beading when Sammie and Stephen go for their naps.

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Flower Sampler Book – July update

It’s a good job that I’d already made a substantial start on this page as I lost most of the week to a migraine. I did manage to finish it though and I’m very pleased with it.


The little cottage has lots of teeny French knots in the vines snaking over its walls and windows. I had no problems with them at all. Hooray! I think I’ve definitely cracked it.

I love the trees. It’s a simple pattern on them but looks really effective.


My favourite part, and the best bit of the whole project so far, was the teeny band sampler. I loved doing this so much. I had to keep stopping to admire it and have a quiet squeee to myself. It’s so pretty! The hand dyed thread is a silk and was pure joy to use. So soft and such beautiful shades. I loved the different stitches used too. Nothing that I hadn’t done before but they were combined so nicely. I feel the need to do more band samplers now that I’ve had a taste of one.


This used Algerian Eyelets, Rice stitch, Satin stitch, Couching, Rhodes stitch, Queen stitch, Bullion knots and Four sided stitch. Plus some variations on Cross stitch.

Next month I’ll be doing the page with the Blackwork which’ll be fun as that’s something that I haven’t tried before. I’m looking forward to it, especially as it’s such a pretty design.

For now I’ve started on the first part of the LHN Mystery SAL. So far I’m loving it.


Around the World in 80 stitches – part 9

I loved this section. There were plenty of new stitches for me to try, all of which I enjoyed doing and I love that this part isn’t quite as full as the others so that the beautiful centre section is shown off to its best. It’s going to look gorgeous with the beads added at the end. This is a bit of a photo heavy post, as there are lots of close-ups of all the different stitches. Firstly, the completed part nine.

09Complete030213At the top and bottom the group of stitches is the same, but done slightly differently to accommodate the shape of the section. I really like how adaptable the stitches are in all these different shapes. The green is Chinese stitch, which was one of the new ones and one that I thought was very easy to do. The pink is Ray stitch, which is used a lot in this design, but can be done in so many variations so it seems a good one to make use of. The bronze-looking stitch is a trio of Lazy Daisys in an overdye that shades to pink.

09ChineseStitchThis one is Crown stitch and another one that I hadn’t come across before. It’ll have four beads in the centre eventually. I enjoyed doing this one and again it was a nice easy one. I like the effect.

09CrownStitchThe Clematis square is yet another completely new one and was done in four steps using two colours. I think it’s a really pretty stitch and it was quite simple to do. It’s surrounded by more Lazy Daisys in the green.

09ClematisSquareThe centre is my favourite part of this section. I absolutely love it. There’s a lot going on in there and I really enjoyed stitching it. The metallic in the very centre is a Smyrna Cross. Around that are Rice stitches in two strands and around those are Chinese Rice stitches in three strands. Both of the Rice stitches are in the same blue overdyed thread. The four paler blue bars are Persian stitch. They took a bit more concentration for the counting but were easy enough. Finally the green squares are Bokhara couching. They took a lot of concentration but they’re one of my favourite stitches in this section. I love the way they look. Both the Persian stitch and the Bokhara Couching were new ones for me.

09CentreAs I haven’t posted a photo of the full piece for a few months, I gave it a quick introduction to the iron earlier so I could get a slightly better shot of it. It’s getting quite large now so it’s trickier to get a good photo on my small desk but this one isn’t too bad.

09FullPieceBack to the start of my rotation now, which means Around the World in 80 days. Unless I sneak in February’s Song of the Weather, that is. It’s printed off, and it’s calling to me…

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A few firsts

A while back I found these Victoria Sampler kits online and bought the first two to start with. I bought mine from SewandSo of course, but the site linked to has more info on them. I planned to maybe do all sixty of them if I liked the first two. Yes, I did say sixty. They’re only small, about 3 inches square. Each one teaches a new stitch or technique. The idea is to do them in order as later ones will use some of the stitches taught in the earlier ones. The early ones are quite simple but later on you learn Blackwork and Hardanger, which I’m quite keen to have a go at once I work my way up to it.

Quite a few are going to be Christmas themed and can be used to make cards or ornaments plus they give other suggestions for their use. Several are themed to other occasions and plenty of them are floral or just pretty. Of course, they’ve been sitting in my cupboard waiting patiently for me to get around to paying them some attention but on Friday night I found a spare hour to start the first one and it got worked on Saturday and finished off on Sunday morning. So, why firsts? Well, apart from being my first Victoria Sampler kit, it contains several items that I hadn’t used before, on top of the new stitch.

1. Kreinik #4 braid in metallic gold

Wow, this stuff is gorgeous. I’ve used DMC metallics before but this is so much more co-operative to stitch with. It’s like sewing with liquid metal. It catches the light so beautifully too. As you tilt it you see reds, blues and blacks in it. Gorgeous!

2. DMC #8 Perle cotton
This is thicker than the thread normally used for cross stitch and had a lovely sheen to it. I rather liked it. It was used for the Holly berries and the big red Rice stitches.

3. Caron Wildflowers
There were two colours of this in the kit. One was green overdyed with a very subtle variegation, used for the leaves and the Rice stitches. The other was red/green with a very obvious variegation used for the checkerboard bands. It was quite fluffy and again I rather liked using it. It was a nice contrast to the DMC in the Rice stitches.

4. Rice stitch
The object of the exercise was to learn to do this stitch. It’s the one in the green border and the green corners, and also the red corners, although as the red corners are done just in one thread you can’t really tell that it’s Rice stitch and not normal Cross stitch unless you look really closely. It’s done by doing one large cross and then using another thread, in the case of the green ones, to do smaller legs over them. I think it looks very effective.

I enjoyed stitching this and thought the kit contents and instructions were excellent. I’m looking forward to doing the next one and if that’s as good, I’ll definitely be getting more. I’m not quite sure how I’ll be displaying them yet but I have a vague idea about putting them all in a mini book to make a library of stitches. We’ll see.