Wednesday, 31 May 2017

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, 26 May 2017

Rai Rai from Stitch, Please!

This week's Blogger of the Week is another newer friend for me, although she has been blogging for a while now.  She also has the right to live in my two favourite countries so I am quite envious of her.  She is definitely one to follow if you love to see the progress on a BAP!  Please welcome Rachael AKA Rai Rai from



1. Please Introduce yourself - name, where you are from, family, pets, etc.

I'm Rachael.  I'm originally from New Zealand but I've been living in Canada since I was very young. I'm lucky enough to be a dual citizen, though.  I have a sister, who lives in the States and my dad lives an hour up the road.  I'm owned by two cats and a cockatoo.  


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

I've been doing small canvas work projects since I was very little, like 6 or 7, but when was about 13/14 my sister taught me how to cross stitch.  My first project was a huge horse barrel racing.  I made lots of mistakes but stuck with it.  And I was hooked!


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

I've been blogging for about 3 years. I was inspired by a friend of mine who started blogging her cards that she had designed and made.  Before that I hadn't realized blogging for crafts was even a thing.  So I created an account and tried my hand at it. 
There's no real story behind my blogs name, just a funny play on words. It used to be called Rai Rai's stitches, but the apostrophe kept showing up in code and it drove me a bit crazy, so I changed it.  


4. How would you describe your stitching style?  Are you a serial starter or rotator, OAAT, high organized or random?

I had always been a one project at a time, with the small exception of a marriage or pregnancy that I'd do a quick project for.  Mainly because I couldn't afford to be a serial starter.  I stitched Mirabilia for years, until I discovered HaED.   Even in the beginning when I was I was stitching stockings, I was still one project, until I started on a big project, Adrift, by Selina Fenech.  The gloomy colours got to me after a while and I had to change it up, so I started stitching an Annya Kai Owl design that was vibrant and bright and the antithesis of Adrift.  Now I always do two projects.  It keeps me from getting bored from any one project and just keeps me a little bit hungry for both designs. 

Annya Kai Owl

I'm a pretty organized stitcher.  I prefer to work in columns, but I don't have a hard and fast rule.  Sometimes I cross country and sometimes I park.  If I'm doing very heavy confetti, then I tend to park.  Otherwise I tend to cross country a column at a time, with a feathering effect, which is to say 12 stitches then 10 stitches. Then 12 stitches, alternating all the way down the column, to avoid lines.  But I like to have my threads all bought for a project and I use an app to keep me on track with inventory management.  I guess that makes me organized.  I assure you, this hyper organization does not extend beyond stitching. 


5.  Do you have a favourite designer?

It used to be Mirabilia and Lavender and Lace, but I could stitch a pattern to completion in 6 weeks to 2 months.  Then I discovered Heaven and Earth Designs.  Now THEY keep me busy.   I'd also like to try a Golden Kite design.  I'm drawn to faeries and dragons. I'm not sure why, because I don't tend to like fantasy movies or books, but faeries and dragons draw me.  




6. Which piece are you most proud of?

I think I would have to say Adrift. She's my biggest piece to date and I'm proud that I stuck with her and finished her. 
But usually the rule for me is my most recent finish is my favourite. 

Adrift, by Selina Fenech


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster? 

I was almost finished stitching a Mirabilia Angel of Spring and I left my stitching on the couch, and my cockatoo got a hold of it and chewed it to bits.   There was no salvaging it.  It was ruined.  Since then I have been disciplined at putting my work up at then end of the night. 


8.  Which new technique would you like to try? 

I would love to learn how to make lace, also stitch using ribbons.  If I could only put down my HaED long enough...


9.  Do you have a box of finished but not fully finished pieces?  Or is everything FFOD'd. 

I have a box of finished pieces, mainly because I can't afford to frame them all, but they are all fully completed.  



10.  Which of your projects most represents you?  

I can't really say any of them really represent me.  I can certainly see the evolution of my tastes from fuzzy animals and cartoons to angels to cats to faeries to dragons and other mythical creatures.  Mostly I'm drawn to colours and the feeling a piece invokes in me when I look at it.   Being now that I only start a new piece once a year or so, I'm very careful to only pick what I truly love.  

There is one pattern that I relate to, though, and that is The Favourite.  A little girl holding on to a monster, who she clearly loves.  Her defiant look, and the flower she has placed lovingly on one of its horns moves me.  I think most people (family mostly) view my cockatoo in this light.  She is a snarling, messy screaming baseboard destroyer who occasionally takes a chunk out of me, but I love her unconditionally.  So if I could use a future project, maybe that one?  


11.  Tell us a secret about you?

I'm ambidextrous.  Anything I can do with my left hand, I can do with my right.  I took to two handed stitching like a fish to water and can change up which hand is on top at random.  My husband is fascinated at this ability.  I can also write backwards with my left hand and forward with my right hand at the same time.  


12.   Anything you would like to add?

I guess I'll finish by saying Stitching is my meditation and my yoga.  It brings me profound peace and no matter what kind of stressful day I've had, I can always unwind with stitching.  And occasionally, a glass of red wine -yes, while I'm stitching.  For in the immortal words of Austin Powers, I too like to live dangerously. 

********************


Thanks Rai Rai, I am absolutely impressed by your Secret Power to write with both hands at the same time, backwards and forwards!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Tiff from Tiffstitches

This week's blogger is someone I "met" about two years ago although she has been blogging almost as long as I have.  As well as her stitching posts she also takes part in the Top 5 Tuesday Questions which are always fun to read.  Please welcome Tiff from



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

Hi, I’m Tiffstitch, born in a small town in Ontario, Canada near Michigan, USA. I have 3 siblings scattered throughout Canada and my parents and cousins, Grandma, aunts and uncles live in the same small town we all grew up in. Currently I’m in Vermont and live with DH and DD and a crazy cat named Max.



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

My roommate from first year undergrad taught me how to cross stitch. I’ve been stitching off and on since then (1995) with mostly on the last 7 or 8 years. My first project I didn’t realize you had to split the threads and I stitched with all 6 strands! My kit ran out and I had to buy more DMC and that’s how it all started. My first project was a 3”x 3” little kit, my next one was 8 x11!


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

I started blogging in 2012 I believe and had a different URL. That one kept getting spammed though, so I switched to Blogger and have had this current blog since August 2013. I was doing some hobby photography and my nick on that forum was Tiffpix, so I picked Tiffstitch for my cross-stitching.


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 don’t think I’ve ever really been a OAAT stitcher. Even when I mostly worked on one larger project, I still pulled out smaller projects to work on. I enjoy starting the most of any aspect of a project, so the Ultimate Challenges in honour of SoCal Debbie were a lot of fun. However, this did lead to a ponderous amount of WIPs that I hope to complete over the next few years. I think my oldest WIP is from at least 10 years ago now.  (See photo below of oldest WIP).  I’m trying a new rotation this year to be better organized. The first week of every month is BAP week, then SAL week, then WIP week, and 4th week and on is anything goes. It’s working out well so far.

Unfinished Basset Hound


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

There are so many great designers out there that I can’t choose one favourite. I enjoy the lettering projects from Lizzie Kate, the cute smalls from Durene Jones, and anything that piques my interest: dragons, realistic tigers, wolves are a few key interests.


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

This is close between Homeward Trail for my Grandma, that had a few different techniques and tons of satin DMC, and it took years to finish, and Tribal Basset. I didn’t start this until after we lost our beloved Otto in 2014 and it helped with the grieving process since I managed to adapt the pattern to fit his particular characteristics a little more.

Homeward Trail from Cross Stitch & Needlework

Tribal Basset


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

Hmm. Coke got spilled on the unicorn and not knowing better I cleaned it with bleach, then washed it out after the framer looked at me a little funny and refused to frame it until I washed it out. ;) It turned out okay and has lasted over 20 years, so it was a fortunate result. I spelled the name of DH’s cousin's beloved golden retriever incorrectly and had to fix it after it was framed, that wasn’t fun, but I got it done.

Mouski the retriever


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

I would like to try quilting. I think it would aid my fully finishing my cross stitch pieces, plus I have a lot of baby clothes I’d like to turn into quilts. I’ve heard it’s highly addictive with fabric stash, so I’m also a little afraid to get started as my cross stitch stash has far surpassed the SABLE levels. I live in hope that DD will like stitching too and will help me work through it :D


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 drawer full. I need to take more time to FF everything. I really enjoyed trying out the cube finishes from Jo’s easy tutorial.  I did that for 2 Xmas items this year and I think it went very well. There are a few others I have in mind for cube finishes too, and maybe that will happen this year.

Drawer of Shame


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

I think I’d have to say my Ink Circles Reflections of Canada. I’m stitching it on fabric from an LNS near my old hometown, it has lots of bits of Canadiana, including large hockey sticks(!), and it has a repeating pattern. I do much better when I have routine vs. change or spontaneity, so repeats are a good thing.

Ink Circles Reflections of Canada


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

DD’s current favourite joke is “There were 2 muffins in the oven. One says ‘Wow, it’s getting hot in here.’ The other muffin says ‘Ah! A talking muffin!’


12. Anything you would like to add?

I love reading all your blogs and cheering on your stitching triumphs and commiserating with the inevitable frogging. It’s really nice being part of the community. Happy Stitching!






Friday, 12 May 2017

Vickie from A Stitcher's Story

A special Blogger of the Week for all Poodle fans!  I am sure that her followers will be able to guess who it is from the colour of this font too.  We have been followers of each other's blogs for many years and she is a keen participant in my various blog hops too.  This week I'd like you to welcome Vickie (also Mabel, Henry and Murphy) from


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

Hi, I am Vickie, a stitcher from Wisconsin, USA. I will be married 25 years this year and we have three adult children. We have two toy poodles, Mabel and Henry, and a miniature poodle named Murphy.



2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?
 I began stitching at the age of 12. My mom gave me an aida kit with a cat that has it's head stuck in a fish bowl, stating "Some things in life are harder to get into than out of." My mom still has this framed piece.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?
I have been blogging for 5 years now. I was inspired to start mainly by Carol of Stitching Dreams.


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 am pretty much a OOAAT who is mostly organized. ?


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?
I really like Hands On Design and I adore A Mon Ami Pierre.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?
I am most proud of Theotokos. I stitched this in 2014 with wools. This is the first project I beaded.




7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
Since I cannot think of one, I must not have one?


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
I plan to do punch needle. I even have two books and all the supplies. I have just not made the time to do it.


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?

Sigh. Yes. I now have a small pile of about 5 finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces. I used to be very good about always finishing after stitching each time. Used to.....  If I am stitching a tiny piece, which I usually am, I love to just finish the piece into a flat pinkeep type finish and pop it into my cubby shelf.

You can see Vickie's cubby for May on this blog post - May Cubby


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?
I have quite a few pieces stitched up with poodles on them. I think anything with a poodle on it represents me quite well. And if it is pink AND had poodles, well Hip Hip Hooray!



11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!
I am not so sure it is a secret, but I have not shared this with anyone on the blog. I have been trying to learn conversational Russian. I stress the word trying!!! I took four years of German in high school and that was much easier. And that wasn't easy! First of all, I was younger and secondly I think Russian is just plain hard to pick up. I am not even attempting to write it or read it. Brian and I belong to a Russian Orthodox church for several years now. We English speaking only Americans are definitely in the minority in our church. Almost all of our friends speak English, yes. I still think it is very nice to know how to say Good Morning, thank you, please, Good bye, Hi, and such in Russian. Especially to my Babushka friends. 



Thank you Vickie, I followed your example and will finish this post with a vintage image from this website - Free Vintage Art





Friday, 5 May 2017

Stitching Noni from Fireflies & Cats in the Garden

We're going Down Under for this week's Blogger of the Week, so watch her FlossTube video first and then you can read the post in the right accent!  The very lovely, very colourful Stitching Noni from



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

My name is Leonie (aka Stitching Noni). I live in Australia... born and bred Aussie… with English, Irish, Scottish and German heritage. All of my closest relatives are Australian born, however it is only 3-4 generations back on my Mum’s side to the German and Irish born ancestors, and about the same on Dad’s side (English & Scottish). I am married (both of us are second time rounders…), no children to call my own but my husband has two grown up sons from his first marriage. We have 2 cats (British Blue boys) and 1 dog (a Blenheim King Charles Cavalier princess).




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

I really started stitching back in the early-80’s (I was in my early 20’s).... I had seen a new magazine in the newsagent (Family Circle) and it had some stitching article in it and an advert to buy some cross stitch kits. My Mum used to sew all of our clothes when we were younger but didn’t do embroidery – she did knit on the odd occasion though. My Mum’s Mum used to dabble in surface embroidery (she stitched on doilies and tablecloths) and I had seen her stitching occasionally when I was little but I never stitched with her. I did do a little bit of chicken scratch embroidery in high school during the sewing classes but my true introduction to stitching was when I bought the kits from the magazines. They are stamped cross stitch on linen… and I still have them! I finished stitching the tablecloth and an apron from the kits, but in true form I have never turned them into a finished piece!! I did sew the lavender pin cushion up and I still have it somewhere in my sewing basket! After that I saw some other kits in another mail order catalogue but didn’t really do a lot of stitching back then. I got back into stitching in the early 90’s when I left the Pilbara and moved to Perth and I found a couple of needlecraft shops that I could visit and buy books/charts from. I took a break for a couple of years (2003-2005) and then started up again, but it has really only been in the last 5-10 years that I have been particularly serious about my stitching.




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

My first post was on 31 October 2010. It was short and sweet... I had spent all day setting up my blog and wanted to post something! I was inspired to start by seeing other crafty/stitcher bloggers posting and realised that I too can do this! Also one of the girls I worked with had a scrap-booking blog and she had been telling me that I was a girls blouse if I didn’t get out there and blog about my stitching!! My second post was a stitching post later that same day with pictures of the first (and only) round robin that I had been stitching on.

There is sort of a story behind my blog title... I was struggling with deciding what to call my blog – everyone that I had started to follow had these cool blog names and given that I am not very creative in that way I was really struggling to come up with a cool, memorable title! On the day that finally got the nerve up to go online I was watching a movie called “Fireflies in the Garden“.... I loved the title of that movie (and it was such a sweet movie as well) – so I added “cats” to the title (I have cats in the garden but no fireflies) and so a name was born! :o)


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 used to be a one at a time stitcher... but I would get bored easily and put it down. Then I wouldn’t stitch for ages until I got the urge to stitch again and I would pick that WIP up and stitch on it again. Over the years I have realised that I am a serial starter and I shouldn’t feel guilty about that! I just need variety in my life :o).... I try to be organised and plan what I am going to stitch on each month... but plans go awry very quickly as I am also very easily side tracked by other pretties! I do try to get finishes along the way and often I will stitch on something until it’s finished... but I try not to be too/overly organised in my stitching plans as I have to be organised in my work life and sometimes I need randomness to prevail in my stitching to keep me sane!


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

I have a number of favourite designers these days... and over the years I have found my style changing! I used to stitch a lot of small cute designers but now as I see more and more different designers in the big stitchy world I do like to occasionally try some of them on for size (so to speak!). My absolute favourites are Nora Corbett, Lizzie Kate, Joan Elliott and Margaret Sherry (although I will admit to be going off Margaret Sherry lately.. too many of her designs appear to be re-hashed repeats of previous designs....) Durene Jones is a favourite as well, but now I am finding that I also want to stitch Plum Street Samplers, Prairie Schooler, Long Dog Samplers, Blackbird Designs, Satsuma Street.... and the list is growing! I think that might mean that I am beginning to become an eclectic stitcher!


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

I don’t know to be honest.... I stitched a wedding sampler for my sister over 20 years ago (it was a Linda Gillum) design and was the biggest design I had completed (probably still is!) I was very proud to finish that one. I have other finishes that I am proud of – i.e. designs I have stitched and finished for exchanges but I can’t really put my finger on any one in particular. My latest finish is Prancer by Nora Corbett. I am very proud of this one as it is my first Nora Corbett finish! :o)


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I don’t think I have had a stitching disaster yet... and fingers crossed I don’t ever have a bad one! So far I have managed to avoid having tea or coffee or red wine spilt on my stitching... I have had more than a few moments where the frog has appeared but nothing that hasn’t been fixable! I am not going to tempt fate by saying anything else on this subject!


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

One day I would like to learn to do hardanger... I love the finishes that I have seen but somehow I don’t think I will ever have the patience or the nerve to do it! I also love looking at goldwork embroidery but again I don’t think I will ever do it... Cross stitch with the odd speciality stitch thrown in is good enough for me at the moment :o)


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?

Yes... I do have a couple of boxes and a folder with un-finished finished pieces in them... I don’t really have a favourite way of finishing which is probably why I have so many finished pieces waiting to be finally finished! I am one of those people that love to stitch but not finally finish... I do love flat folds and cushions – which is generally how I finish when I get around to doing it!




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

Wow, what a question! I have no idea to be honest with you… given how much I love stitching witches (or Halloween even though I don’t celebrate it) maybe I am a closet witch! A good witch of course…. :o) or maybe I am just a little kitty…

Margeret Sherry


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

I am not sure what secret I can tell you…. But here is something that I know that you won’t/don’t know about me…. When I was 17 years old I entered the Lions Miss Personality Quest. I was the youngest contestant ever at the time (I had to wait til I turned 17 in the Oct of that year to be officially allowed to enter which didn’t give me a whole of lot time to fund raise in the end!). I actually made it to the Grand Final which was televised. I didn’t win… but it was one of the most exciting and scariest things I have been involved in. I never expected to get to the finals let alone the grand final… and being on stage in front of a huge ballroom full of people and knowing it was also live on TV at the same time…. Oh boy! But I survived… and it only took me another 36 years to be in front of a camera again when I started doing Flosstube videos!! :o)


12. Anything you would like to add?

I would like say thanks to Jo for setting up the Blogger of the Week blog…. It is a great idea and a wonderful way to find out just a little bit more about our blogging stitchers – some new and some old to us all :o)

I also would like to thank Jo for all of the hard work she puts into her blog and the events that she runs from it…. I don’t know where she gets the energy to do it all! But she is a real inspiration!

And also a big thank you to all the stitchers (and bloggers) that share their stitching and thoughts – it is wonderful to be a part of the stitching community. Stitchers are the only ones who really understand how it is that we “need” to stitch each day and if we don’t we will go slightly insane… Stitchers are also probably the only ones that understand the need to have that design in their stash that we will probably never ever stitch in our lifetime but we still have to have it within our reach!

And finally, I would like to thank all the designers out there in the stitching universe that give something of themselves every time they design something wonderful for us to stitch and make our own. Without them we wouldn’t have this wonderful hobby/past time keeping us sane!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Katie AKA Jeremiah's Mom

This week's Blogger of the Week does have a name as well as her identity as Mom!  Her blog is a great mixture of stitching and travelling as they "out-of-home school".  I've certainly learned a lot since I started following her.

Please welcome:



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

Hello. My name is Katie. I'm a stay at home mother. I'm lucky enough to be happily married to my soul mate Fred. Our son is soon to be 19 named Jeremiah. He has a physical disability called Cerebral Palsy that affects his legs and makes him not be able to walk without assistance and only for short distances. I'm very close with my mom and we own a house together. Right now I have one dog named Izzy. She is a jack russell beagle mix and I love her dearly. I've always been a dog person and my dream is to have a fenced in yard and 7 dogs haha. We live in Indiana. I have my whole life. I love traveling though and we enjoy traveling as much as we can. Jeremiah has been home schooled most of his life so we museum, zoo, fort, and aquarium hop around the United States.



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

I've always been crafty. My mom even owned her own craft business for most my life from teenager on. I always seemed to be doing something. When I went to the local store (like Hobby Lobby) I noticed the section with counted cross stitch was huge. There was a dragon design so I thought I should try it. I was in high school. I enjoyed it alot but it didn't catch up till after my son was born. Stitching gave me something to do while I was sitting with him. I always need something to do with my hands. Stitching was perfect. So I've been doing it pretty much everyday for his whole life, now 19 years.


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

I started my first blog in October 2004. I switched to a different one and then back to blogger in 2007. I belonged to a lot of Yahoo stitching groups. I saw other blogs and thought it would be fun. I always wanted to journal but writing was so boring. Typing was perfect. So blogging was the perfect fit. When Jeremiah was at public school all the kids called me Jeremiah's Mom. It was honor to be called his mom. So what better blog name. My idea was to write it like I'm writing a letter to a stitching friend. I found a company that makes paperback books out of your blog. So at the end of each year I get my blog printed out. I love looking back and seeing what I stitched. Where we traveled.


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 a firm believer of it's my hobby and I should enjoy it. So I do whatever I want when I want to. If I want to work on this one. I will. If I want to start something. I do. I notice I tend to work on stuff for 3 days and then switch to something else. Sometimes. LOL So I guess the answer is I'm random definitely.


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

Hm. This seems to change doesn't it. Right now I love monthly seasonal type stuff. But I also love animals. Fantasy like dragons and fairies. My mom LOVES beach stuff and our house has a lot of beach stuff so I tend to do a lot of beach/ocean stitching. Designs I enjoy are Erica Michaels, Stoney Creek, Hands on Designs, Heaven and Earth, and anything else I love the pattern it seems haha.


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

This is my most proud definitely. Teresa Wentzler's freebie Stretch. It was the first Teresa Wentzler piece I did and the last now haha. Too many color blends, quarter stitches, and crazy amount of backstitching. I completed this before I started better record keeping so it was before 2005. I didn't know to sign the date. I wish I knew better.



This one I'm very proud of too. It's my first finished HAED. It's called Pirate Dragon. I finished it in 2011. Even though it's a "quicky" it took me forever haha. I was so proud to finish a HAED.



This Crescent Moon Dragon from Joan Elliott is another one I'm very proud of. I completed it in 2010. The 3 of these dragons hang proudly in my living room. Love them so much.


I could talk about the pieces I'm proud of for days though so onto the next question.


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I was at a stitching gathering with a local group. We were all stitching together and my stitching bag was sitting beside me. A lady brought a full cup of tea into the room and accidentally dumped the ENTIRE cup into my bag. Luckily I had everything in ziplock bags and protected. But my heart skipped a beat that's for sure.


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

I love speciality stitches. I need to try more of them. I have a HUGE pile of things that need sewing done to them. I love decorative pillows finishes. I got into a fight with my sewing machine a few months ago and haven't tried again. I really hope I can figure it out again. I've done it before so I should be able to.


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?

Yes, I have a large amount that need finished. I love the idea of making several of them into decorative pillows. Like this year I'm doing these monthly Pine Mountain Designs. I would like to keep the whole year in a basket and then display the current month on my seasonal display area. I have a local framing shop that is a LNS that does a fantastic job for a great price. So if it's an extra special piece I will get it framed there.


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

All of them. I wouldn't do them if they didn't. I'm a free spirit and love all things I stitch.


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

My life motto is No matter how bad it is...it could always be worse. It's got me through so many things. Even on the really bad days I know it would be worse.


12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you Jo for hosting this awesome blogger of the week. It's so much fun to see who's behind the screen of the other wonderful blogs out there. Thanks for allowing me to participate.








Friday, 21 April 2017

Astrid from Dragon Stitches and Stuff

This week's Blogger of the Week is someone who has been a follower of mine (and vice versa) for many years now.  I fell in love with her photo of her youngest son dressed as a little dragon from the first time I saw him!  He's still there in her current header.



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.
I’m Astrid, married to DH almost 22 years. We have identical twin boys (our Gmen), 19 years old this month, and 10 year old Nathan. We have two spoiled Tonkinese cats, Ming and Maximus.
I was born in Wales, but we moved to the States when I was two. I live in Maryland, near Baltimore, but also close to Washington, DC.

My guys!

Max and Ming


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

When I was 12 years old, we did a needlepoint project in school making ornaments. From there I taught myself cross stitch and liked that better. I took a break when having the boys, only stitching here and there. Now I can stitch whenever, but get easily distracted!


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

I had to look that one up! This August it will be seven years. I guess I started because I wanted to show my stitching projects. Being Welsh, I especially love dragons, hence “Dragon Stitches”. I added “and Stuff” later since I was blogging about more than just stitching. My newest addition to the blog is being Thankful on Thursdays.


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 USED to be an OAAT stitcher until I found the internet and blogs! Now I try to finish pieces if they’re small and the bigger ones I tend to rotate when I get tired of working on them. I’d like to think I’m organized, but I do stray.


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

I like a variety of styles, but I’m not that fond of samplers. I love Margaret Sherry, especially the cats! I also love Nora Corbett’s fairies and mermaids. I’ve been working on her Emerald Mermaid, but got frustrated with her skin so I’m taking a break. And don’t forget the dragons!


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

I would have to say my Trick or Treat Fairy by Nora Corbett. I finally had her framed by Jill Rensel at Rensel Studio last year and they made her even more beautiful! Whenever I finish my mermaid, she’ll be sent there too.

 She will be displayed year round!


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster? 

Nothing major, just trying to start a piece 3x’s and getting it wrong every time! I have yet to try again.


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

I’d like to try Hardanger one day and I definitely need to learn more finishing techniques. I can knit scarfs, but would like to learn how to crochet. I’ll include learning German, maybe even Welsh! Oh, and I’d love to learn how to play the piano.



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 lovely German tin with plenty of pieces inside just waiting to be finished! Since most of my finished pieces have been framed, I’d say I like them framed. But the smaller pieces I stitch, I like to make into ornaments.

Patiently waiting to be finished.


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

Since most of the things I make are for someone else, I make what I think they would like. Otherwise – Halloween for me!


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

As a little girl I wanted to be a “stewardess” aka flight attendant. Now as an adult it’s something I’m seriously thinking about it, I’m just not sure when!


12. Anything you would like to add? 

Many thanks to Jo for making blogging fun! I love that I’ve met so many stitching friends in the blogging world. The bad part… I’ve been so good about not adding more stash than I already have, but you all make it so hard!!!


To finish this week's post I'd like to add a link to what is probably my favourite non-stitching blog post - Astrid's Annual "I'm Not a Turkey" line-up.  Please visit this post and check out the previous years too!




Friday, 14 April 2017

Ariadne from Greece

This week's Blogger is also taking part in my Easter Treasure Hunt blog hop so you'll see some great Easter themed stitching there this week.  I'd like to introduce another of our European bloggers who blogs in English just to make it easy for us!



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

Hello everyone. I am Ariadne Skyrianidou from Greece. I am a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in a Primary State school in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. I am married to dear Themis and am the proud mum of a 21-year-old son Miltos from my first marriage. Sweet Barca, a stray dog we adopted four years ago is the other member of our family. I am a very active person. I am a member of the Teachers’ Association Drama Club and we mount plays for children, schools and charity. I also belong to a crafty group with which I really enjoy learning new techniques and make things for charity. I love reading, watching movies, collecting sea glass and have recently taken ceramics classes.




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

I have been stitching since I was a kid. My grandmother Ariadne taught me how to and I admit at first I didn’t really like sitting down and making all those stitches. But when I was pregnant to my son and positioned away from home as a teacher I met with Needlecraft and Cross Stitcher magazines and started stitching again. It was a revelation and haven’t stopped since.



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

I have been blogging since January 2012. I must say I was more active at first. Nowadays I blog about once a month as if I am keeping a journal. I was inspired to have my own blog after following the blogs of Margie of Resurrection Fern, Geninne’s Art Blog, Sonia’s Cozy Memories blog and a couple more.I loved their art making and gorgeous photos and wanted to do the same. The name of my blog was a spontaneous choice because everywhere on the Internet I visited I used to mention my country next to my name so that people know I am from Greece. 




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 definitely am a OAAT (One at a time) stitcher. I try to finish each piece I start and in between make smaller projects for exchanges but not too many. I usually concentrate on one thing. I am an eclectic stitcher and choose various different projects usually inspired by what other people stitch but I usually stitch things I already have in my basket. I stopped buying new things due to the financial crisis in Greece but I have friends who pass me on the things they don’t want to stitch or they find at thrift stores! I am lucky!


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

I can’t say I have. I really like the designs of Lizzie Kate, Silver Creek Samplers, Prairie Schooler,Thea Gouverneur, Mirabilia,Little House Needleworks, Carriage House Samplings, The Little Stitcher, The Snowflower Diaries and more although I haven’t stitched many of their works yet. Still I like them!

Michael Powell


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

Now it has to be The Balinese Dancer by Thea Gouverneur which I recently finished after having it left unattended for ages. It was so difficult for me and had so many colours but I did it!

The Balinese Dancer by Thea Gouverneur


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I can’t say I have one. I am usually a disaster when trying to finish a piece.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
I wish I could learn how to finish my pieces in other ways than framing them. I tried making some pin cushions but it didn’t go very well. Lately I realised I love mounting cross stitched pieces on felt and make ornaments. I’d love to learn to crochet better than simple stitches and to embroider better.



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?

As I mentioned earlier my projects wait to be framed and as custom framing is expensive I have a waiting list of to-be-framed pieces.The smaller projects I give away as gifts.


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

I think it is the collection of blue and white china frames I love this type of stitching that is stitching cups and teapots and china and want to make some more.


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

A secret isn’t a secret if you tell! LOL! And that’s a joke!
Ok to be serious I love stitching a little bit every evening in front of the TV while watching movies at the same time.It finishes my day in a relaxing happy way!


12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you Jo for starting this blog and keeping the Blogger of the Week feature of one of my most favourite magazines Cross stitch Collection alive!

Barca helping with the stitching!