Wednesday, 28 February 2018

All About Blogger of the Week - Pinned Post - Scroll down for the interviews

As a long-time subscriber of the now defunct Cross Stitch Collection magazine, one of my favourite articles was their Blogger of the Month.  When the magazine ceased publication I decided it would be fun to continue the tradition but make it a weekly feature (more bloggers for your money!).

I started by inviting some of the followers of my blog to see if there was any interest in doing interviews and articles and this blog is the result!

If you would like to be interviewed and considered for a post on the blog, please email me at joanneperry179@gmail.com with a link to your blog.

I do hope you enjoy reading the posts and leave comments for the interviewee.  Hopefully it will inspire you to visit their blog and add a new blog to your Reader.

Just for fun, here's the full version of the design I "cut-up" for the header:


Designed by Elissa Hudson, stitched as a birth sampler for some friends.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Mary from Stitching Friends Forever

The subject of this week's Blogger of the Week will come as no surprise to regular followers of this blog.  Another fabulous finisher and keen commenter, Mary is the other half of the dynamic duo known as





1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

I’m Mary and I reside in the beautiful Hudson Valley area of New York.  I’m married with no children, 2 horses, one crazy dog and one very sweet cat.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I have dabbled in Needle Arts since 3rd grade when my mother taught me to knit and sew. As a young wife in my early 20’s I wanted to decorate my apartment so I took up crewel work, stitched colonial knotwork pillows and embroidery.  I stitched this tablecloth for my mother in my early 20’s and it is now passed down to me. Many memorable dinners were shared over this tablecloth and it is now a treasured possession.

Candle banner from our very first post!

Christmas 2012, RJ gifted me this sweet framed “Good Friend” in French.  It was her first counted cross stitch after a long absence from stitching. I was so impressed with her meticulous stitching and intrigued that you do not follow a stamped pattern.  Fast forward to Summer of 2013, I had fallen off a ladder and needed to occupy my time as I was confined to bed for a few weeks.  With RJ’s encouragement, I tried counted cross stitch and was hooked!

  
RJ’s gift to me that started my cross stitch obsession.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you and RJ to start a joint blog?

RJ and I both have a love of French Country decorating and we met on an on-line decorating board. Our first shared interest was decorating, then stamping and ultimately, we both became obsessed with cross stitching.

One of the reasons we started the blog was to motivate ourselves to finish our stitched pieces and hopefully to inspire others to take up the hobby.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I’m pretty much of an OAAT stitcher and only recently started to rotate projects.


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

Over the past few years we have discovered so many talented designers and the designer that speaks to me is Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I am most proud of Valentine Sampler by Brenda Gervais, as it was my first attempt at stitching on 40 count linen, a major accomplishment for myself. As it was a gift for RJ, and my finishing skills are lacking, I had Faye from Carolina Stitcher blog finish it for me.




7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I have had several stitching disasters of late but this one was the worst.  I had searched high and low to purchase Blessings be Thine by Blackbird Designs to stitch for RJ. When I could not find the pattern I decided to stitch it by following a photo I found online. I spent many hours IFO the computer deciphering the pattern and stitching. One day I noticed a small spot on the stitch and tried to hand wash it out, disaster struck!

I chalk it up to bad karma for following a photo to stitch.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I hope that some day I will enjoy the process of finishing my stitching and I would like to incorporate embroidery stitches and become more creative in my finishing.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I love to stitch but dread finishing so I certainly have a box of UFO’s!  Most of my finishes have been little pillow ornaments but one of our blog goals is to show a variety of ways to use cross stitch in decorating.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

One of my favorite stitches this year was a whimsical stitch called Pumpkin Hollow by Fanci That.




11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I take my dog for long walks in the woods each day and I always hope that I will run into a bear on my hikes.  I am bear crazy!!


12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you Jo for inviting Stitching Friends Forever to participate in Blogger of the Week.  RJ and I are truly honored!  We are so blessed to have met so many new stitching friends through our little blog.  Most rewarding has been sharing this adventure with my dearest friend RJ. 



Friday, 9 February 2018

RJ from Stitching Friends Forever

This week we have half a Blogger of the Week with the second half next week!  The dynamic duo burst upon the blogging scene less than a year ago but have won many loyal followers by a combination of gorgeous stitching, great finishing and simply commenting on all our blogs on a regular basis.  Please welcome RJ, the first half of the duo from




1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Hi my name is RJ and I live in sunny Florida.   I married my college sweetheart who was a pilot in the Air Force.   We spent 30 years moving around the country during our 17 moves.  We also got great opportunities to see a lot of Europe and Australia.  It was a great experience that I miss now that we are retired.   We have one grown son who lives in Texas.   He stayed there for college while we had four new assignments and decided to make it his forever home.  We go out to the Lone Star state as much as we can.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I learned to stitch from another Air Force wife when I was in my late twenties.   I stitched on and off for the next 30 years.  We had some assignments that had great cross stitch stores and then others that did not have one single store of any kind.   About five years ago I decided to make Noah’s Ark for a baby shower and realized how much I missed stitching.   I found that now there are so many online sources and so many outstanding charts to choose from that there will never be a lull in my stitching again.



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you and Mary to start a joint blog?

Right after making Noah’s Ark, I started looking for more charts to stitch.   I found adorable Christmas ornaments by Little House Needleworks and started to mail them to Mary to see how she liked them.  She loved them too.   That is when I taught her to cross stitch through the internet.   I mailed her a ton of supplies and she was off and running.  Before long she was stitching on linen which she said she would never be able to do.   From there, we both started finding blogs and they looked like so much fun.   But both of us were kind of afraid to start one even though we really wanted to.   One night I said “Why don’t we do one together”?  She said yes and that is how Stitching Friends Forever got its start.   It’s harder than it looks organizing two people but it’s also double the fun when it all comes together.  




4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

For the most part I would call myself an OAAT.   I like to be organized and plan ahead.  


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

This is a hard question because I like so many designers but I can’t resist With thy Needle and Thread patterns.  My pocket book knows this even better than me.    I also got to visit Shepherd’s Bush two years ago and was amazed at their talent.   I just tackled my first larger kit of theirs and am totally hooked on their designs and all I’m learning about new embroidery stitches.

December Word Play by With thy Needle and Thread


Shepherd Bush design



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

The stitch I am most proud of and my very favorite is 'Tis the Season by Blackbird Designs.   I fell in love with the beautiful red cardinal and the French writing.   But a life circumstance that happened to me during the time I was stitching gave it exceptional meaning and a special place in my heart.   It is only stitched so far but will be finished later this year for a blog post.


'Tis the Season by Blackbird Designs



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

My worst disaster is the typical - a diet coke was spilled on it.   We were leaving a base for a new assignment and would be staying with friends the last few days later in the week.   I wanted to make them a nice farewell gift.   I bought a chart about where you live.   I totally charted it to fit the description of San Antonio and it was looking really good when the accident happened.   Another friend was visiting with her little boy who knocked over the drink so I didn’t want to make a big deal of it while they were there.   So it just sat with the stain.   When they left, I rushed it to the sink and laid it in sudsy warm water.   It was before overdyed threads so it did not run.   Much to my surprise the coke stain all came out and the gift was saved.




8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I would love to learn how to do cording and as many embroidered stitches as I can to vary my finishes.   And, I’ve promised myself this year I will learn how to do a flat finish.  




9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have a box of about 100 or so stitches that have not been finished.   It is one of the main reasons I wanted to do a blog to push me to finish my stitches.   Only problem is I keep starting new stitches for the blog.  I really like to find new ways to finish stitches as I have little wall space.   The first week of our blog we do a post on new finishes and this is my favorite week.    We have done things like pinafores, sewing machine covers and candle banners among others.


Sunflower House pinafore by Plum Street Samplers


This is my Happy Place by The Scarlett House sewing machine cover


Spring Day candle banner by Heart in Hand



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I love patriotic stitches and because of our 30 years in the Air Force they probably most represent me.


Glory by Shepherd Bush

Brave Hearts framed by Little House Needleworks

Home is Where the Air Force Sends You
with parts taken from Brave Hearts and the rest by me



11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

Lately a lot of people have asked Mary what is RJ’s real name.    I have not been called this in 25 years but my real name is Roberta Jean.  I had been called Roe, Rob, Bert, Berta and Bertie and really did not like any of them and then one day my husband said “How about RJ”?   We were about to move to a  new base and he began to introduce me as RJ and it has stuck.   It sounds funny when friends we knew earlier in our life call me Roberta now.  


12. Anything you would like to add?

I would thank Jo so much for asking us to be bloggers of the week.  It a honor to be considered.   But more than that, I want to thank Jo for all the help she gave us when we were starting out.  She taught me how to do our blog roll and also taught us how to not be no reply bloggers.   She is a great teacher and I think could instruct anyone anything about blogging.  For two novices like Mary and me we truly appreciated such expert help and friendship. 

Thank you RJ!  It's a pleasure to help.







Friday, 2 February 2018

Clare from Aimetu's Stitching

I first met this week's Blogger of the Week on the Needlecraft Haven Forum which she runs.  Before I had my blog I belonged to a number of cross stitch forums and discovered blogging from the signatures of the contributors there.  She runs the forum online and organises meet-ups and exchanges in real life too so there is always plenty to see on her blog.  One of my favourites activities is her themed Christmas Tree for her local church which I have sent in an ornament for the last two years.  Looking forward to this year's theme!  Please welcome Clare from:



1. Please introduce yourself.

I'm Clare, known online as Aimetu which is a made up name from the French words for 'friend/like' and 'you/your'.  I live in the Midlands with my Hubby and grown up son, we've lived here over 30 years.  Our grown up daughter lives in Wales which is beginning to feel like a second home.  Life was quite difficult in 2017 as I had an accident and broke my left ankle in three places and my right foot.  I am still not 100% mobile but everything is improving.  Life for us in 2018 will be changing as at the end of January as Hubby is retiring, we are looking forward to days out, holidays and just being able to chill a little.

Wedding gift for Niece and Husband


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I have been stitching since I was in my late teens; I'm not sure how or why I started.  My Grandmother was very crafty, her main hobby was flower arranging.  My Mum loves crafts too, her main hobby is quilting but she has made lace, tatting, knits, does machine embroidery and card making.  Her quilts have been shown in international exhibitions.

Mum's Birthday


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?

I have two blogs; Aimetu's (about my travels and our wine tasting hobby) and Aimetu's Stitching (about my crafts).  I started my crafting blog on 30th March 2008 so this year is my 10th birthday. Why did I start blogging?  I have been involved with online forums for a while and for the last 7 years have hosted Needlecaft Haven - blogging seemed a great way of keeping an online diary in one place about my main crafts whilst the forums have many sections.



4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I stitch for purpose, usually gifts.  It is rare for me to stitch for myself.  I love exchanges and in the past have enjoyed Round Robins.  I stitch in the Four Seasons SAL on Needlecraft Haven and try to complete the Monthly Challenge.  I do enjoy gift stitching, it's fun to source a chart for a particular person and occasion, always enjoyable to stitch any piece and then there is the added pleasure of seeing the gift received.

Four Seasons SAL


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I don't have a particular designer; Lizzie Kate, Jardin Prive and Sue Hillis are designers I go to first and I do enjoy stitching Mable Figworthy hardanger designs.

Lizzie*Kate - Promise Me


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

That's a tricky one, the biggest piece I stitched was the Millennium Sampler, it took me 18 months and came on many holidays so I have memories of where each square was stitched.  I stitched The Quiltmaker for my Mum's 65th birthday which was a challenge as there is so much blue in the skirt. It was pure pleasure to stitch a sampler for my daughter's graduation and tricky work keeping my Hubby's family tree secret.

Lavender & Lace - The Quiltmaker


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I remember once stitching on a piece of hardanger in the garden and paused to enjoy a cup of coffee ... and spilt it on my work.  I wouldn't wash out so after the piece was finished I dyed it in coffee - not quite the finish I wanted but it looked ok.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I am always trying to think of new things to use my stitching so finishing ideas are always good.  The use of my hands is limited as I have Multiple Sclerosis so really stitching, card making, baking and sewing is enough for me, I can manage a little beading but knitting or crochet are impossible as I do not have the dexterity in my fingers.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I do have a few pieces unfinished, I'm not sure if they will ever get done.  I also have quite a few stitched pieces that have not been made into anything.  I have recently finally framed a Round Robin piece from 2012 and a year sampler I stitched over 10 years ago.  I should finally finish the others too.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I guess the table cloth in my very first blog as it is a mix of stitching and hardanger. I took time to plot this so the sayings faced everyone around the table.  All the sayings mean something to me; I love to see it on the table.



11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

No secrets, no jokes, I'm just me and some would say that is more than enough !!








Friday, 26 January 2018

Carla from Alaska Wolf Pack

This week's Blogger of the Week and I bonded over a love of Teresa Wenztler's designs a good few years back.  I have followed her blog and her FlossTube channel from the frozen wastes of Alaska to the Tiny House living in Colorado.  If you watch her videos, you will read this interview in her voice which is always fun to do!   Please welcome Carla from


and



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

My name is Carla.  To state where I’m from would take all day as I’ve been from all over the United States and Canada.  Originally, I’m from New Mexico.  I’ve spent most of my life in Alaska (35 years) and just recently moved from Alaska to Colorado and now live in a 36ft 5th Wheel RV in my second son’s backyard.  I know that sounds “off”, but really it’s quite wonderful.  I own the RV so essentially I own my home.  I am the proud mother of 4 incredible people; two boys and two girls.  They are all adults and have their lives, but strangely they all still want me around!



2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?


I have been stitching for about 30 years now.  When I was 8 months pregnant with my second son, his father decided we were going to move back to his hometown of Manistique, Michigan.  This is located in the U.P. (Upper Penninsula) between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  Once there I realized I had nothing to do and found myself wandering around downtown.  There was a Ben Franklin’s Store there so I went in.  It was similar to an olde timey General Store and was really fun to wander around in.  I came across the “craft” section and noticed some cross stitch kits and thought I would try making one of them for the new baby.  Please don’t choke when you view the picture...it was Barney and Friends.  All the rage back in the day.  When I got home I set to work on this little kit without reading directions or knowing how to do anything….because why read directions or learn anything?  It ended up being horrible, but I did finish it and showed it to my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law who both looked on in horror and amusement.  I was gently told what I had done wrong and to this day can still hear their voices any time I want to “cheat”.  They taught me how to start a thread (knots are unacceptable) and advised me that all stitches should go the same direction (not however you want them to).

  


Even though that first bit of stitching was horrible, I WAS HOOKED.  I was fortunate enough to have two experienced stitchers at hand to tell me what to do and how to do it and I am forever grateful to them for teaching me so gently...I can still see Jane’s face...the struggle she had not to laugh at me could have caused an aneurysm!


Thank you Ben Franklin’s and thank you Jane and Joann for showing me the way.



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?


I had started my blog August 30, 2009.  The original name was Sceal Teach which means Story House.  I wanted to write the stories about my cross stitching and crafting because I felt that each project I worked on had a story behind it.  That still holds true today.  I love a good story and it occured to me that some of my cross stitch pieces had some great stories behind them.  No one really read my blog for a really long time so I didn’t really post very often, and I wasn’t sure how to write the stories.


After a few years went by I found other bloggers who blogged about cross stitch, knitting, crochet and quilting...our main staples of the crafting world!  That’s when my blog started getting noticed.  It was strange going from no one reading what I wrote to getting over 1,000 hits per month.  I had found a way to write my stories and strangely people liked them.


A few years ago I decided to change the name of my blog to Alaska Wolfpack.  When I did this, I ended up losing most of my followers because I did it wrong.  I still haven’t managed to get my followers back up to where they were.  I wasn’t very smart about how to change my blog name and how to notify everyone of the name change.

I changed the name because my business was going to be called Alaska Wolfpack and I had some serious personal reasons for the change.  Even though I don’t live in Alaska anymore, the name will stay the same.  I love the name and it represents myself, my siblings and my children.  We ARE a wolfpack.



4. How would you describe your stitching style?  Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?


When I first started stitching I was one at a time.  I did it this way for YEARS.  When my desire to stitch ALL THE THINGS really ramped up, I had too many starts, UFOs, WIPs, and I had to buy ALL THE THINGS.  I think this really became an issue when I finally found groups, and met more stitchers around the world who introduced me to EVERYTHING.

When you are a solitary stitcher it’s easier to stitch one thing at a time.  When you become part of a community...well we ALL know where that leads us!  The excitement of stitching everything and showing it off to others who appreciate what you have accomplished is wonderful.

I have tried rotations, finish the WIPs, and various other ideas over the last few years and have finally settled on a small rotation.  This actually worked in 2017 and I believe it will continue to work throughout 2018.



5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?


My all time favorite designer is Teresa Wentzler.  Her patterns are works of art that make a stitcher better at stitching.


Honestly, I like everything.  I think I have stitched every kind of pattern so I’m not really stuck on any one particular style or design.  I do go through phases.  One month I’m all about Sampler patterns, another month I need something pretty and bold and another month I want cute and simple and so on.  It’s safe to say I’m drawn to cross stitch in general!



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I couldn’t really narrow it down to just a few.  This is a difficult question for me because I love everything I’ve ever stitched.  I supposed I’m most proud of stitching the pieces I lost interest in or had serious emotional issues attached to them. 


Two examples would be Peter Pumpkin and Butterfly Vignette.


Peter Pumpkin I absolutely LOVED!  It was pure joy to stitch and so fun I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it every single day.  



Not so for Butterfly Vignette.  I despised it and wanted to throw it away every time I thought of touching it.


Of course, when I look at the framed piece I actually like it more and am proud I finished it, but it still is a constant reminder of a period in my life I wish had never happened.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?


This question makes me laugh!  I immediately remember EPIC FAIL (the name of the posted picture).  It was a speed stitch competition that Jody with Unconventional Cross Stitch had put on back in 2009 where she would release one section of the pattern every week and the first to finish wins.


I made a serious error when I started and during that time I was using a scroll frame so wasn’t paying attention to positioning.  I knew the fabric was large enough for the full pattern…..



…..but as you can see I started in the wrong spot.  I was so disappointed!  I could have won that contest hands down, but I made a serious error in spatial judgement.  Sadness!


I did re-stitch this pattern and my brother promptly claimed it as his.  I still have this in a box, hidden from view...away from the world...sadness!



8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?


Hardanger.  I have never done this particular type of stitching and the joy on stitcher’s faces when they finish something really has me wanting to give it a try.


Also, I’m currently trying different ways of finishing projects.  You can only make so many pillows or wall hangings!



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces?  Or is everything FFO'd?  What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?


Oh yes, but thankfully there are only five finished things in that box waiting to be finished off.  I don’t really have a favorite way of finishing anything.  I usually wait until my mind figures out a way it should be finished.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?


This question has me feeling a little soulless.  I know many stitchers have a favorite thing, but I really don’t have anything in particular that represents me.  I love everything I stitch, so I suppose everything I stitch is a representation of me.



11. Tell us a secret about yourself.  Or a joke.  About anything!


From the immortal Chef Ramsey:


Q:  Why did the chicken cross the road?
A:  BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T COOK IT ALL THE WAY!!



12. Anything you would like to add?


“In order to reach a goal you have never achieved you have to do things you have never before done.”


I found that quote somewhere and that’s what helped me achieve all the goals I had for 2017.  My dream of living a tiny house lifestyle has been achieved and now I need a new goal for 2018!



Thanks Carla for your great answers.  If anyone who follows Carla can think of an answer for Q 10 for her, maybe they could leave a comment!






Friday, 19 January 2018

Kim from Wisdom with Needle & Thread

I met this week's Blogger of the Week via Kaye who was talking about the beautiful work her friend did.  I went over and was bowled away by the things she was showing.  She has a wonderful generous spirit and while most people celebrate milestone Birthdays with a long gift list, she did 60 RAKs that year and sent the most beautiful and exquisite gifts out to people in the blogosphere.  Not just stitched items but hand painted china pieces too.  The timing of her feature is quite serendipitous as she recently hurt her hand and can't craft.  Hopefully this will cheer her up!  Please welcome Kim from




1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Greetings! Kim McCool here. I want to thank Jo for thinking of me and inviting me to participate in the “Blogger of the Week”. I live in the middle of the USA in the state of Iowa. My husband and I live on a small farm. He’s the groundskeeper, I’m the house help <G>. We have an upper garden, a lower garden, orchard, greenhouse, 25+ acres of tillable land, the other 25 are woods. DH and I have lived here for 20 years and have worked to create an environment for wildlife. On any given day we see deer, fox, coyotes, turkey, hummingbirds, and a multitude of other birds throughout the seasons. We’ve even had a pair of mountain goats (YEP, mountain goats) show up in our front yard. Our farm overlooks the Mississippi River Valley and in the winter we see the majestic bald eagles flying overhead or perching in our trees.
I have a daughter (34) and a grandson (3) living in Atlanta. DD is a professor at Georgia State University. My step son, wife and three children live in Michigan (over 10 hour drive) and a step daughter lives across the river from us. All are great kids and we love seeing them all whenever their busy schedules allow.
Of course, I can’t go without mentioning our two schnauzers - Emma (my lap dog) is a 5 pound teacup Schnauzer and our 85 pound GIANT Schnauzer, Bella (DH’s “REAL dog <g>). Don’t know what we’d do without them.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I started stitching when I was in fourth grade when I was 9 years old….so I’ve been stitching for over 52 years (COUGH!). My parents and I lived out in the country , my closest playmate was 5 miles away, so Mom needed to keep my busy. A good friend owned a knitting shop (I learned to knit from her, too). In the shop was a canvas of a ladybug - the hole count was probably 3 holes to the inch - it was HUGE. That was my very first project and I immediately fell in love with the process.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started my blog in 2013 with the encouragement of LynnB of Happiness is Crosstitching.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

An interesting factoid - I’M A OAAT eater….so I guess that’s spilled over into my stitching style. Yep - definitely a OAAT stitcher.


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I love classic things - Little House Needleworks and pretty much anything to do with horses, dogs, Tudor-related themes, romance - I’m a romantic at heart.



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

This is a difficult question to answer. I can look at each piece and it brings back memories of when I stitched it - both happy and bittersweet. The best way I can answer this question is each piece is a reflection of me. Currently I’m attempting to go through our home, documenting each piece in a notebook for my DD so she will know the story behind them. When I’m no longer here, she will be able to look at the stories and, maybe, feel me there sharing each tale.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

The worst one was knitting a miniature (1:12) scale sweater. I was ¾ of the way done, knitting along, oblivious to the world around me. Suddenly Bella, our Giant Schnauzer, EXPLODED - barking at aliens who were invading the house. (NOTE: There were no aliens to be found). I was so startled, most of the stitches came off the needles….I haven’t had the inclination to start one again.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I’ve been learning to sculpt, sculpting fairies, mermaids and wee little ones with polymer clay. I’d like to try my hand at sculpting horses next.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces?

Oh yes…..about a dozen of them - stitched and begging to be finished into something.


10. What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

It depends on the project. Sometimes they’re made to hang on door or drawer handles, some are pillows, some standalone, some framed.


11. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

My “me” project is the needlepoint footstool with panels from the Cluny Tapestry.




12. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I love Sci-Fy. I’m a huge fan of Dr. Who, Star Trek, Fringe, Eureka, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, etc. BUT……..I’ve never seen, nor read, any of the Harry Potter stories.



You can see all the 60 RAKs on this page here - Wisdom with Needle and Thread - 60-RAKs





Friday, 12 January 2018

Carin from Stitches by Carin

This week's Blogger of the Week is a multi-crafter and a great enabler!  She always takes beautiful photos and has tempted me to stitch designs I would not otherwise have noticed.  She lives in the Netherlands and blogs in both Dutch and English which is a relief as Dutch is yet another language I do not speak!  She is an avid reader too, so if you want a book recommendation do pop over and read her latest reviews.  Please welcome Carin from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

I’m Carin, 55 years and I’m from the Netherlands.  I’m married and I have a son (33) and daughter (31).  We also have a Jack Russell terrier who sometimes listen to the name Bowy.


Little House Needleworks - Home of a Needleworker (Too!)


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I learned it myself when I was about 19 years young, so I’m stitching for more than 35 years now.  I saw a cross stitch kit in a local shop and bought it.  I read the description that was in the kit and just started.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started in 2009 with my blog.  The reason was that I wanted a place where I could post pictures of my work.  I named it Stitches by Carin, because there are many kind of stitches I do, such as cross stitches, quilt stitches, knitted stitches and crochet stitches.

Little House Needleworks - Gingerbread Trio


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I work on many things at the same time. Most are small pieces, such as ornaments or pincushions and they are finished real fast.

Little House Needleworks - Seasons Greetings


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

My favorite designer is Little House Needleworks.  I think 90% of my work are made with patterns from this designer.



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I’m most proud of all my Christmas ornaments.  I made the 2010, 2011 and 2012 ornament series by LHN and every year they are hanging in our Christmas tree and we all enjoy them.  Each year I’m on the look out to see if LHN has new ornament patterns, because there is still room in the tree.


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

That still has to come ;-)


8. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I still have a few pieces that I need to fully finish, but most things are done.  My favorite way to finish things is making ornaments or pincushions.  I display them in my cubby organizer, in baskets, on trays etc.



9. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I think that would be the advent animals which I just finished.  They are colorful and positively  funny.  I love colors, love animals and I always try to see the positive things in people.
Brooke's Books - Advent Animals freebies


10. Anything you would like to add?

The thing I want to say is, keep positive and think of the things you CAN do, instead of looking at thing you CAN’T do.  This motto helped me a lot one year ago, when I had my TIA and my right arm went out completely.
For a brief moment there was that thought: What if ...? But right after that thought, I was looking for solutions, just in case ;-)  That same evening I was knitting in the hospital, as good or bad as I could, but I did get some stitches done and knitting helped me a lot during the months after my TIA and it helped with my motor skills.
I couldn't do any cross stitching and quilting for almost three-quarters of a year, but I never have thought on giving up.  I kept on practicing and since a few weeks ago I can do cross stitching and quilting again.