Christmas Advent Calender

I saw this design in a magazine and wanted to make one for my cousin’s little girl. I showed it to my brother’s girlfriend and she started making one for her relative so we raced each other to finish.


It wasn’t easy to find the right material and it would help if the magazine gave you some idea of how to put it all together. Luckily my Mum is a dab hand at sewing so we both left her to sew the designs together and we just made the patches.

I over sewed the ends of the stitching to top it from fraying as I didn’t want it to unravel. I also added a 25th day at the very top, big enough to put in 3 mini chocolate figures as I like a 25 day advent calendar. I had a mixture of sweets in the pockets and she loved it. Her Mum and Dad wanted their own versions and were very jealous!

If you want to make your own advent calendar you can find the design in Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine November 2015.


Ice Skates Winter Design

I saw this design in a magazine and really wanted to make a start on it whilst I was on holiday last year as I knew you needed bright light for working on black Aida. I happened to have a piece of Aida big enough from a kit I have yet to start of a cat on a book shelf so I just borrowed it from there.

I changed a couple of the colours from the original design to lessen the amount of green as I don’t like green but I think I should have stuck to the original.


I need to find a frame for it so I can hang it this winter now it is finished. I might just use some pieces of wood painted white and some string to make it look more like a blackboard. The colours in the photo don’t really do it justice, it is darker than the camera seems to have picked up.

You can find the design if you want to make it yourself in The World of Cross Stitching Magazine Issue 222.


Special Design For My Nan

I have been working on pulling together a design for my Nan for a little while now. I kept seeing cute elements in various magazines and I wanted to pull them all together to make a really special design.

My Nan has Alzheimer’s and as such her memory is falling very quickly. She doesn’t remember where we have been and doesn’t always know who we are so I started with putting us all on the design. From the top left is my Mum, Me, My Sister and Brother with my Nan and Grandad in the middle.

Then I wanted to do the travel tags of all the places we had been together on holidays. New York was a special one as they took me there for my 21st birthday.

Then we got to the point where she started to give up eating and drinking so I added in some encouragement as I had read in the Dementia book that was good.

Next I saw some London designs and thought it needed a touch of her home town. She used to travel on buses and trains all the time but doesn’t get about as much anymore.

Lastly I added a strip of flowers to give it a touch of colour and outdoors about it.



I was pretty happy with the way it all came out in the end. I tried hard to get the spacing equal but it was my nemesis yet again!

I have put together a list of the magazines where I got the elements from in case anyone wants to use them in their own work:

Samplers Cross Stitch Favourites Spring 2016 – People

Cross Stitcher Magazine June 2016 – Travel Tags

Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine August 2016 – Lettering

Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine October 2015 – London Roundel and Bus

Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine July 2016 – Flowers

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.┬áIt 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…