I find it incredibly difficult to stitch for the little boys in my life, mostly because my stitching magazines tend to feature cute, anthropomorphic animals, flowers and things that are generally more often associated with girls. (Yes, I am aware that boys can like cute things and flowers just as girls can be into superheroes, cars and dinosaurs, but quite frankly most of my friends’ children are boys and they are into stereotypically boyish things, while the one little girl I stitch for is perfectly happy with fairies and cute critters. I’m not about to make something up just to prove how open-minded I am am!).
Occasionally, a cross stitch magazine does include a “stitching for boys theme”, but they’re few and far between. So when I ordered a cross stitch book entitled “Babies & Children” I was over the moon to discover it contained entire pages of dinosaurs, rockets and planes. Between that and my magazines, I was able to stitch up quite the collection for all the boys’ birthdays I needed to cater for within a 27 day period in August and September! (All my friends’ little boys seem to have their birthdays close together as well…). Here are some of the boyish birthday cards I stitched up this year.
I meant to post more this week – and also actually respond to my comments – but then work got busy and I was tired. Blah, excuses. Anyway, I thought I would at least pop in briefly to write some Friday letters.
Dear weather. So I see you decided to give up on summer right before the weekend. How kind of you! (Me, sarcastic? Nevah!)
Dear whatever bit my little toe in the night. My toe? Seriously? Now wearing shoes makes it itchy and swell up. And I can’t exactly walk around in sandals right now (see previous letter). I guess leaving the hose is not in my immediate future…
Dear godson. I hope you had a wonderful 4th(!!) birthday. Sorry your gift was late!
Dear sister. Congratulations on your engagement! We will celebrate when I see you next.
Dear weekend. You’re almost here! I can’t wait to catch up on some sleep after getting next to none last weekend!
That’s all for now. The church bells just told me it’s 1 p.m. and therefore time to get back to work… 4 hours to go!
Is there any point in doing a Friday letters post when I just did a catch up post for the entire month of August yesterday? Could I possibly have anything left in my life to write letters to? Well, yes I could actually! Here they are:
Dear Switzerland. On Tuesday, I saw Lebkuchen in my local supermarket. On Tuesday it was still August! I know I’ve been stitching Christmas designs, but that’s no excuse for you to get the Christmas biscuits out. Just no, okay?
Dear little brother. I hope you had a fantastic 10th birthday yesterday. (Also, how is it you’re in double figures now?! Aargh, I feel old!)
Dear weather. If you could just stay like this for a week or two that would be fine. Warm but not OMG I’m actually going to die at any minute hot works just fine for me.
Dear autumn. I don’t need you short, miserable days and rain yet, but I am excited about all the autumn products that are starting to appear in the supermarkets. The return of pumpkin season? YES PLEASE!
Dear pumpkins. Speaking of your arrival in shops, why must you be so hard to cut? I would eat you every single day if only you weren’t so much work to prepare!
See, I told you I still had stuff to say? That’s enough for now though. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Umm, I know I say this every month, but how is it time for another What’s New With You link up? It’s September guys! September!! We’re officially in the final quarter of 2016! Waaaahh!! Okay… and breath…
Here’s what I got up to in August:
Reading. Actually, I already told you what I read in August (see my reading challenge check ins here and here), but I’m including this category anyway to say that Brave New World marked my 100th book read from the BBC Big Read list. Sadly I had read most of those before starting my 35 before 35 challenge so I still have 98 books to read, but still!
Watching. Pete’s Dragon! Not the new film, sadly. I bought the 1970s version on DVD a while ago and we decided to watch it one night. It’s a lot cheesier than I remembered, but still good.
Listening to. Alice Isn’t Dead, a new(ish) podcast by one of the writer’s of Welcome to Night Vale. Jan doesn’t want me to continue with Night Vale without him – although he currently has no interest in actually continuing with it – so I started listening to Alice Isn’t Dead on the recommendation of my friend K (the same person who originally introduced me to Night Vale!) and now I love it! So that’s what I’m listening to while cross stitching these days.
Swimming. In the Rhine! We’ve been three times this year (it was mega hot last week) and so far I haven’t drowned. I feel a bit like I’m tempting fate 😉 Everyone here swims in the Rhine and there are even special waterproof bags to put your clothes in called Wickelfisch (which means wrap fish or wind fish because you fold down or “wind” the edge seven times to close it). When they’re closed, they fill with air and you can use them to float down the river – although you do need to be able to swim as well to avoid obstacles and – most importantly – actually get out! Don’t go in the water if you need to rely on the bag to keep you afloat!
Celebrating. My birthday! I am now 33, which means I officially only have 2 years to complete my 35 before 35 list. Gulp! K came down for my birthday and we spent the day in Germany before having cocktails in the evening then took our portable barbecue down to the river on the Sunday and had a barbecue with the two whole acquaintances (can’t even say friends yet!) I’ve managed to make in over a year in Basel. It was a pretty nice way to start my 33rd year.
Travelling. To Bad Säckingen on my birthday (see above!). We had a lovely day, but you’ll have to wait to read all about it… my travel posts are still stuck in June 😉 I also went to Luxembourg for a wedding at the beginning of the month (should that also be under celebrating?)
Cross stitching. Birthday cards galore! Why do all the children I know seem to have birthdays in August and September? Also Christmas cards. I know, I know… in August! Please don’t hate me – it’s the only way I can actually get them all done in time!
Buying. Surprisingly only a few books this month. Actually what I’ve mostly been buying is birthday presents for the recipients of the aforementioned cards.
Failing. Miserably at adulting… specifically at maintaining standards of cleanliness. Let’s just say it involved hot weather and some organic waste that I failed to take away in time. Trust me, you do not want any more details than that… (I am a disgusting person and to prove that I haven’t learned my lesson, yesterday I had to deal with a potato that had rotted in the potato container. Oh well, it’s not like I actually wanted to eat lunch or anything…)
Aaaand on that note I shall leave you. I can’t think of anything special I ate or drank in August. What have you been doing lately?
Check out the link up to see what everyone else did in August.
As you may or may not remember, I went to England at the beginning of January. The reason for the trip was my sister’s 30th birthday! It’s not every day your younger sister turns 30, so I decided to give her a special gift. I had a photo of her dog as a puppy converted to a cross stitch pattern and then stitched it for her. I started it last June and finished it literally on her birthday, 7th January 2016! Stupidly, I forgot to take a photo of the finished article, so I only have one of my sister and her boyfriend holding it after I gave it to her. I’ve cropped the photo so you can’t see the people in it (which is a shame because the smiles of joy say it all!). So, I present to you, Loki:
This is the biggest project I’ve ever done (over 1000 stitches, mostly in shades of gray!) and I’m extremely proud of it. My sister’s reaction was exactly what I had hoped for – I actually have a video of her literally jumping up and down with joy!
By the way, the extra fifth hand holding the bottom corner is my brother’s… neither of them has an extra arm! (Pity… I’m sure we all wish we did at times!)
Good morning! Today is Friday the 13th, which is my favourite date! I’m not sure why – maybe because everyone else hates it? In fact, I was just lamenting to Jan last night that I won’t get to have a Friday the 13th birthday for aaaages! It should have been next year. but I am to be foiled by the stupid leap year. Gah! He then suggested that I could celebrate my 32-and-a-quarter birthday today 😉 I wouldn’t though. Or would I…?
Dear birds. We still haven’t bought you a feeder. I’m so sorry! But at least it’s currently still unusually warm and you are hopefully able to find food elsewhere.
Dear scales. Finally the number you’re showing me is lower! Not as low as I would like, but we can’t have everything. At least I’m now back below my highest ever weight!
Dear vegetables. Healthy eating would be so much easier if you were as addictive as cheese!
Dear readers. I’m sorry I’m making you wait so long for the reveal of my cross stitch guessing game. I didn’t expect it to take so long to finish!
Dear self. When the DHL man makes a comment that there’s “always something for you” it’s probably time to stop ordering random stuff from the Internet!
Dear Jan’s mum, my cousin and my first cousin once removed (that’s you, Anna!). Happy birthday to all of you for tomorrow! Apparently 14th November is a popular date to be born 😉
Right, that’s all from me. I do actually have to work you know 😉 Have a good Friday and a fabulous weekend!
Quite a few children in my life have had birthdays recently – including my godson and my brother – so I decided to make use of some of the various alphabets that have featured in my magazines and make them all cards with their first initial on them. Here’s a small gallery of what I made (click the pictures to see bigger versions). For most of them, I took a close up photo of the stitched image and one of the full card… except the last one where I for some reason only took one of the finished article?!
Apologies for any blurriness – apparently I still don’t know how to use my camera.
You may have noticed that there are two Ts. Just to make things extra confusing they both have the same name! And their birthdays are just 17 days apart. They were born in different years though – one was 2 at the end of August and the second, my gorgeous godson, turned 3 on 13th September.
My favourite is the T monster, but the cheeky monkeys are pretty cool too 🙂
I just realised that I haven’t actually uploaded any of my cross stitching so far this year. Not that I’ve done much, what with the move and everything,but I did manage to make a few cards. Unfortunately I have a habit of forgetting to take photos before I send the cards so there are at least three missing, but here are the ones I did remember to photograph! For each one, I’ve included a picture of the full card and a close up shot of the actual stitching.
First of all, a birhday card for a friend’s little girl whose birthday was at the beginning of February. A fairly simple one to stitch, but I thought it was incredibly cute.
Next, a Mother’s Day cardI stitched for my mum. I decided the little girl looked like me. Please take note of all the French knots – there were loads of them and I hate French knots! With this one I didn’t actually take a picture of the completed card for some reason.
I’ve made two New Home cards so far this year, but only took a photo of one of them. Both were of bird houses, but in slightly different styles. Here’s the one I did remember to take a photo of.
Finally, my most recent piece of stitching – a card for the wedding I attended at the weekend. Try to ignore the weird pink splodges! I had to block out the names to protect the innocent!
Next up will be a birthday card for my godson, then I think I’ll need to get started on Christmas cards based on how long they took me last year!
Would you appreciate being given a cross stitch card, or would you just throw it away?
Which of these cards is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
What with first my sister then a friend moving house, a penpal giving birth to a baby girl (yes, I have penpals) and my godson’s 2nd birthday coming up in September, I ended up stitching a few cross stitch cards over the summer. Obviously I took photos of all my stitching (wellll… apparantly not all, see next paragraph), and where better to save them for posterity than on my blog? 😉
For my sister’s new home card, I choose a bird house design that had appeared in a collection of “spring stitches” in one of my magazines. Not very imaginative (is it just me or do loads of new home cards feature bird houses?), but cute. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have taken a photo of it… and if I did it’s gone now! In my attempt to figure out why there was no photo of this card anywhere, I managed to accidently delete all the folders on my camera’s memory card… 2 days before I was due to fly to Taiwan!! When a friend moved home a few weeks later, it occurred to me that a beehive would also make an excellent theme for a new home card! I knew I’d seen bees somewhere in one of my magazines, so I went on a search through some back issues, and was soon rewarded. This little beehive is actually part of a larger sampler that I don’t like very much – too old fashioned for my tastes! But this little picture alone is cute, and the perfect size for a card!
In June, a penpal in Germany gave birth to a baby girl. I knew she was having a girl in advance, so I stitched most of the card then spent the rest of the month waiting to find out the name. A birth announcement card was waiting for me when I returned from Vienna, so I was able to quickly finish the card and get it sent off along with the gift I had bought. I’ve blurred out the name on the photo because I don’t like to share the names of other people’s babies on my blog… even if there is zero chance of you ever working out who she is!
Finally, having failed to find a nice birthday card for my godson in the shops (where are all the decent kids’ birthday cards?!), I decided to stitch my own. It took me a looong time to find an image in my magazines that was suitable for a small boy… sooo many fairies and cutsie mice! But I eventually decided on a skateboarding tortoise. I haven’t actually turned this one into a card yet (that will happen when I get back from Taiwan – tomorrow, in case anyone is wondering. Assuming no Icelandic volcanoes have erupted since I sheduled this post!), but here’s a photo of the cross stitch itself:
And that’s what I’ve been stitching for other people this summer. I also mentioned in my latest photo an hour post that I’m working on something for my kitchen. I still have one more thing to stitch for that (I have a frame with four gaps), then all four little pictures will be up on the blog, so look out for that!
After the debacle that was my attempt to post on my birthday (I hit publosh and the computer just sat there going “posting…” for half an hour, which is when I got mad and gave up!), I’ve managed to find a way back to the old publishing screen, so hopefully this post will actually appear on my screen! In case anyone else is having trouble, it appears going via dashboard takes you to the plain text publishing page instead of that new fangled one that probably requires all sorts of things this computer doesn’t have! Anyway, on with the letters…
Dear boyfriend. As much as I will miss you when you’re away, I’m actually looking forward to having a whole weekend to myself. My plan is to sleep, read a lot and eat crappy meals that require no chopping of vegetables. And as for next week… eaten before 8 pm and getting a few early nights? Sounds like a plan to me! Then, in just over a week, I get to see you in Taiwan and have you all to myself for an entire 6 days! Yay.
Dear weather. Would you please make up your mind! I’m sick of either dressing in trousers because it looks like rain then coming home from work desperate to change into a dress because I’m so hot or heading out in a skirt because the weather looks fine only to get absolutely soaked and have to sit around in wet clothes all day!
Dear WordPress. Please stop fixing things that aren’t broken! The old way of publishing posts worked just fine! I am aware that most of the reason I can’t use the old system is because this computer is terrible (and hasn’t had any updates done to it for over a year), but that’s not the point! We can’t all have the latest technology and there’s no need to fiddle with things all the time!
Dear computer. I know most of your problems are Jan’s fault for neglecting you (and there’s nothing I can do about it as I don’t have an admin password!), but if you don’t stop doing things like refusing to publish blogposts, freezing when I go on certain websites and taking centuries to upload photos to anywhere (WordPress, Twitter, Facebook), I will not be responsible for my actions!
Dear friends/family. Thank you for all the lovely cards/gifts/messages for my birthday. I loved everything and I am so thankful to everyone who thought of me.
That’s all for this week. Slightly moany, I’m afraid. I’ll try to do better next time 😉 In the meantime, I’m scheduling this post, so hopefully it will actually publish!