Are you stitching for the competition of the year?

Have you entered my competition yet for the chance to win £200 to spend on miniature needlepoint kits and charts?

Who has the most beautiful doll’s house full of mini stitching? Could it be you?

There is one prize of £200 in vouchers and two runner-up prizes of £20 in vouchers to be won. The closing date is 14th November 2016.

All you need to do is take photos of one of your existing doll’s house rooms full of stitching, or start stitching now to complete a room, to be in with a chance of winning!

Simply follow the rules as explained in full on my website, to have a chance at winning £200 of miniature needlepoint kits and charts.

Have a look at the Customers’ Stitching page of my website now, for lots of inspirational ideas. Dining rooms, drawing rooms, summer houses…..all kinds of rooms in miniature can have mini needlepoint added to them.

Bella group 540

This gives you an idea of what £200 of kits looks like (of course, the exact choice would be up to you – in this selection, there are 13 kits):

competition prize £200

The winning image and two runner-up images will be decided solely at my discretion, and the result announced on Friday 18th November 2016 on my website, in my email newsletter and on social media (including here, of course!). Winners will be notified personally by email. There is no time limit on when the vouchers have to be used by.

By entering the competition, you agree that any images submitted, whether they win or not, can be used in publicity both online and/or in printed magazines at my discretion (the stitcher’s first name or initials may be used in publicity, but not the full name or address).

Barbara-green-group-540

So, get those cameras out and have a go! It could be you who wins the £200 of kits and charts – but only if you enter the competition! (You’ve got to be in it to win it, as they say!)

Visit the website now to see the whole range that you can choose from to make your dream doll’s house room.

My workroom gets a makeover!

I work from home, and anyone who does as well will tell you that it is difficult to make the distinction  between ‘work’ and ‘non-work’ when you do that. I have lived in this house in the Peak District for over 16 years now, and the rest of the house has been decorated to be exactly how my husband and I both like it – kind of comfy!

But the workroom (much like a craft room, only it’s the place where I am supposed to be earning my living! – the place where I spend the majority of my day) was the last room to get decorated. It always seemed to come last in the list of priorities, somehow. But not any more!

We’d planned how to do it, ages ago, and even bought the paint and fabric for curtains. But that’s as far as it got.

After some ‘reminding’, my husband waited until I was away from home for a week, and then, while I was out of the way, he cleared out the workroom, painted the ceiling and walls, and laid the new carpet. When I returned, I was suitably stunned to see the transformation! Now that the curtains for in front of the shelving have been made, I have a beautiful workspace to make the kits and parcels in for my needlepoint kit business.

Here’s some ‘before and after’ photos:

Everything used to be stored in old cardboard boxes, box lids, old packaging – it was just so messy. The shelving over the radiator was from our old house, and although it’s a practical size and height, I didn’t like it being the first thing you looked at as you came into the room.

Room 1

So now, all of that shelving is hidden behind curtains (and what is on the shelves is in standardised cartons, too). The nifty shelf unit with all the little drawers in was made by my husband, Chris, after we had spent days trawling round the shops looking for something suitable. It seems that six foot high, 30-drawer shelf units aren’t needed by anyone else! Can’t think why…. This is where I store all the stock of doll’s house needlepoint kits that are very small. They are organised by type, at the bottom of the unit. Towards the top, I store the balls of Appleton’s wool that I use to make up the doll’s house carpet kits. Everything is labelled neatly, because that’s what I’m like  :-)

Room 5

This was where I kept the packaging materials for making up parcels, plus an overflow of some of the kit stock, plus the bulk Anchor stranded cotton cones.

Room 2

These are all tidily put away behind more curtains, now.

Room 6

This is the ‘space behind the door’. Hmm, a bit of a non-area, and such a mess!

Room 4

It is now my canvas-cutting area, parcel-making area and generally tidy space! The box on the floor with the padded fabric lid is a seat when I have visitors, and a storage bin for polystyrene packaging ‘lumps’ the rest of the time.

Room 7

Here is my desk, old cutting area, and storage for the doll’s house carpet kits above the desk.

Room 3

This is the same area once tidied up, with lighting installed under the deep shelving, so that I can actually see what I’m doing!

Room 8

I love this room now! It’s just great to work in!

Autumn Quakers 2: a slight problem….

I’ve been working away on this lovely sampler lately, which I started in April 2015. It’s called ‘Autumn Quakers’, and is a cross stitch sampler chart pack, by Rosewood Manor:

Autumn Quakers 4

It uses 12 shades of Valdani variegated thread in gorgeous Autumn shades. I bought this accessory pack direct from Rosewood Manor, which contains all the shades needed just for this project. The box measures about four inches square. Isn’t it cute?! I use one needle per colour, which is why each ball has a tapestry needle sticking out of it!

Autumn 8

I have just got to the point where I needed to add the date to the sampler. I had to amend the date from what was charted (2014) to 2015 (as I date my stitching from the year I start it, not the date I finish things – just to be awkward!). The chart shows the numbers like this:

Autumn 5

There is a set of numbers listed in the chart booklet at the side of the chart, to allow for alterations. However, I realised that the additional numbers are two squares taller than the ones on the chart!

Autumn 6

So, I have had to create my own ‘number five’ in the smaller font, and re-position some of the surrounding cross stitch motifs to make adequate space for the date.

Autumn 7

Other than that little glitch, I’m really pleased with how this is turning out  :-)

 

 

Victorian Purse project from Victoria Sampler…a bit of a saga!

I love making etui sets, and I also love anything designed by Thea Dueck, of Victoria Sampler in Canada. So when I came across this exquisite design for a Victorian Purse etui, I knew I had to have it!

Purse 1

I bought the chart pack (it only comes as a chart, not a kit) from Sew and So. I saw it on their website just before Christmas, but didn’t get round to buying it till a few weeks ago. It saves a lot on the shipping for me to buy it from within the UK, than buy it direct from Victoria Sampler, as the shipping would be pretty steep that way.

Then I started reseaching for the bits and pieces to make the etui itself. Usually, I have enough stuff in my stash not to have to buy the accessory packs that Victoria Sampler sell separately. I have enough threads to probably open my own shop…..but with this one, it just didn’t work out like that. The design calls for Perle 12 thread in a  lovely soft pink, and narrow silk ribbon, and tiny frosted pink beads….stuff that I just didn’t have. So, when I started tracking down online stockists for these things, the price started to add up (with shipping on top, from various suppliers). Then, as I was back on the Sew and So site, I happened to see that their stock of the accessory packs were 20% off. No contest, really.

The pack has lots of lovely threads and ribbons, in pink, green and cream shades, plus some Kreinik metallic braid, some beads, and some silk twist.

This is an image from the chart pack, showing the reverse side of the purse, and the interiors of the smalls:

Purse 2

The fabric was another matter. I *thought* I had something suitable, in a box in the loft….several sortings-out later, I had to admit that I’d imagined that. So, I ordered some Jobelan 28 count Dark Rose evenweave for the pink fabric. It was half price, as it was the last piece of a discontinued colour. The greeny-beige, though, was even more of a problem, as the fabric recommended in the chart pack has been discontinued by Zweigart already. In the end, I decided to use Zweigart’s Cashel linen, Platinum shade (which you can see in the top picture). It’s got a  slightly green tinge to it, so it should work OK with the thread and ribbon shades from the accessory pack.

Can’t wait to get started on this! Thea’s designs are always interesting to do – lots of little challenges, such as stitches I’ve not done before, and the projects are really innovative…..