Birthday Cards

A friend of mine mentioned some of her friends might be interested in unique designs, so I thought birthday cards would be a good way of show casing this. I had two special September birthday’s coming up and some ideas of designs for birthday cards so I thought I would give it a go.

The first was for my very special friend who was turning 25. I could see his name written in balloons tied to a table weight so I tried to recreate it as best as I could in stitching.


I don’t think I did too bad a job! I need to think more about spacing out the design to make it look better. I really like the colour scheme, I think it works well together. Maybe I need to work a bit more on getting the shaping of the balloons more uniform. But all in all I was pretty happy with the design.

Then it was on to my cousin’s little girl who turned 5 this week. My first attempt was to create a cupcake with a silver 5 candle coming out the top and a sign saying off to school. But I couldn’t for the life of me make the design for a cupcake to look like a cupcake. I didn’t want to cheat and look in a magazine as I wanted it to be all my own work. So onto idea number 2!

Whilst walking in the park a little while ago I had a vision of seeing the letters falling down a slide and as she is still young I thought I would give it a try. I also wanted to incorporate the fact she is starting school somehow.


It wasn’t easy to recreate a slide and figure out how to set the lettering. I could draw it easily in bubble letters on a piece of paper but translating that into stitching was hard. I had a look at her new school colours online but couldn’t see any mention of a book bag but went with it anyway.

It was funny picking her up from school and seeing her coming out with her yellow trimmed in brown book bag. I wished again, I had spaced it a bit better as it sort of looks disjointed. I’m pretty happy with the way the slide came out, although getting the stairs to look right was tough. I think it needed the stretch of grass to set it off nicely.

Both were very happy with their designs. I was happy, pretty much, with what I made although I would like to be able to make them look a bit more professional. All in all I don’t think they were bad first attempts at stitching birthday cards.


Ideas For Designs…

I was walking around where I live the other day and decided to take in a circuit of the park. The children’s play area was deserted so I went to have a look at toys.

The slide and the tractor climbing frame drew my attention straight away and I took some photos on my phone of the shapes.

On the walk back I was buzzing full of ideas of how I could use different types of lettering to work with these shapes.

I came home, took out a drawing pad and started to pencil out the designs I was playing over in my head to make them into something a little more rounded so that I didn’t forget them.

It was quite exciting taking something so simple and using it to spark the imagination.

I want to try to master the art of getting the design in 3D as I’m not great at drawing. In the past stitching the design then working it out from there and drawing it up after has helped so I could try that.

I’m thinking that some of the ideas I had would work well as a birthday card and one was more for a name sampler as it would be too big for a card I felt.

I brought a pack of blank cards and envelopes in one of the pound shops so I have everything I need to start working out the designs.

My aim when I have a couple finished is to photograph them and send them into the magazine I entered the competition with as they had asked to see more of my work.

Who knows, they might like what I create and decide to feature it in the magazine again. That would be nice!

Zoe by Anchor


I chose this kit even though it is really for children because of the name. My sister is called Zoe and her boyfriend is a Sheffield Wednesday fan. As Wednesday’s mascot is an owl they have a lot of owl related decorations in their flat so I thought this would be a cute addition as a birthday card.

My brother and sister don’t share in the love of cross stitch and have made no bones about what their reaction would be to any crafted gifts I might make for them.

As such I am in the process of making a Sheffield Wednesday coloured version of this design so that I can get the pair framed and give it to them as a Christmas present for the flat.

They’ll hate it but I will get some amusement out of winding them up so I think its worth some of my time.

I might decide not to be so mean and just make them into their birthday cards for next year. I have until next May to finish his then!

It is a cute little design and I think young people interested in starting out with cross stitch would find this fun to make…


I Love London by the Historical Sampler Company…


When I first got back into cross stitch this was one of four kits that I brought in varying difficulties.

As a Londoner I love everything to do with London and I really enjoyed stitching this design. It was destined to be framed but as yet hasn’t found a place on the walls.

I recently brought a new London design from a craft fair with some of the modern buildings being represented so that will be a nice project to complete too. Although I might not be able to use them both in the same room!

I mostly stuck to the original design but as I don’t like green I changed a little bit to avoid it. I still think it came out pretty well…


Live, Laugh, Love by the Historical Sampler Company

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When I started getting back into cross stitch it was because I was suffering from depression and I needed a hobby to distract my mind. Cross stitch fitted in with that perfectly as I could focus on counting the stitches and seeing something I was making with my own hands coming together.

At the time I picked this design as a reminder of the good things in life and stitching it really helped me. I’ve seen this phrase in so many different cross stitch designs but the colour really drew me to this one.

I liked the design around the edge but at the time I found counting out the spacing for the letters a little tricky as I hadn’t worked with full blocks of stitching before in this way.

I really like the finished product…


Bargain Book…


I was searching for a birthday present on The Book People website and I always look around in the sale for books I might like for myself. I found this book from Dorothy Wood for less than £2 so I thought I would have a look.

There are some nice patterns inside although I would say quite a few are not to my taste. However, I did find inspiration in some of the designs and there are some interesting pages of advice which made it a worthwhile purchase.

I like the Indian Mobile, although I probably wouldn’t make a mobile but rather stitch the elephant and peacock designs and hang them on my peg ribbon.

I left my peg ribbon up from last Christmas, I use it to peg my cards onto it but I thought I would use it throughout the year to hold small cross stitch designs that I like. The idea being I could keep changing and adding to them as the seasons and my inspiration allows.

I started with some cross stitched Christmas themed decorations and it looked nice but since then sadly all I’ve found is design inspiration with no time to make any of them. I will get round to it one day and if not I can always pin my Christmas ones up again in a few months!

Current Projects…

Ok so lets see. I get so scatter brained at times with all my current projects, as shiny new magazines appear with exciting designs that are perfect for something coming up, I end up getting side tracked.

I currently have to finish a crochet needle bag for my Mum and the ‘Birdcage’ art deco design. They were both supposed to be Mother’s Day presents (which was in March) so I’m only a little bit past that deadline! She has seen both works in progress so she knows they are almost there. I’m about half way through on the needle bag and I’m finishing the accentuation on the woman and need to finish the birdcage for the art deco design.

I’m also working on a winter scene of the Houses of Parliament, which if I’m honest I started years ago and it got put on hold until I completed a Mr Men A-Z, a winter chalk board design and an advent calendar. I’m finishing the bottom half of the design off now. I realised that somewhere along the lines when I was more inexperienced, I managed to make a couple of errors and although the design will look fine in the end it is taking more time to complete.

That brings me to my most recent starter. I couldn’t think what to get my Nan for her birthday so I decided to buy a frame and knock up a design following something I had seen in a magazine. The pattern is for a house with people in the doors and windows. As I started it on the 18th June and her birthday is the 23rd June I knew I wouldn’t complete the house so I put one of each family member in the corner and stitched my Nan and Grandad in the middle. Only I had to change 4 of the plans to look more like us. I now have most of the people complete, just finishing Grandad and then I have to work out how to fill the rest of the space. I’m thinking travel tags from places she has been and flowers to brighten it up.

As she has Alzheimer’s Dementia I wanted to help her remember us, she hasn’t forgotten us yet but she gets a bit confused with names. I thought having this in front of her might help. I did buy her a small present to open on the day and I hope to have the design finished for when I see her this weekend. Fingers crossed! I’ll post a picture when I am done.

I think that is pretty much everything I’m currently working on. I’ve made a pact with myself that I won’t start anything new until I have finished what I’m working on so I can start a fresh.

I brought a sewing machine bag in Hobby Craft to organise all my magazines and cross stitch kits that I have in my wardrobe so hopefully that will help to organise me a bit. I know I have quite a few freebie kits from magazines and a few that I have brought in the sales that are waiting for me. Together with post it marked designs in numerous magazines so I know I’m not going to get bored anytime soon!

I can’t be the only one who is disorganised with their stitching and flits about between designs!