DAY 23 MESSING AROUND CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all happy and being creative. Creating is the one thing that is helping me cope with being in lockdown.

So, it’s already day 23 of my self-imposed messing around with art supplies challenge. I can’t believe how quickly April is whizzing by. I started working with a To-Do List but just couldn’t stick to the tasks on the list. So, I have graduated to doing whatever needs doing as and when needed. Today I planned on watering my outside plants if required, doing a bit of laundry, some cooking and of course some art journaling. One or two things might creep into the mix also.

So, for my art journaling effort today …..

Beach Hut

This is wallpaper beach hut. Simple. I used loads of pen dots to highlight the stencilled swirls. The dots are easy to produce and bring some interest to the piece. I’m not an art critic. I know nothing about art. My style seems to be turning a bit grungy nowadays. I seem to have stepped away from the accurate straight lines and perfect circles. I just mess around with anything I have at hand. And I post my efforts here just to show you that if I can do this anyone can.

It’s day 23. That means that I only have one week to go to be able to say that I met my challenge. I cannot believe that I’ve gone this far. In the beginning I wasn’t enjoying it but once I relaxed it became fun. I think I will carry on art journaling after the challenge is over but not as a challenge. I’m going to choose my next Pink Pig sketchbook which will be a larger format and I will start gathering ideas and papers to use etc. The next art journal might record something that happened on any given day.

Most of you who live in the UK will know that a new series of The Great British Sewing Bee started last evening. I stayed awake through most of the episode. While watching last night’s episode Sarah sent me this photo taken this time last year …..

Patrick Grant

You never know you’ll meet in Hobbycraft!!! I have no idea if there is a Patrick Grant promotional cardboard cut out this year. Either way he’s still much taller than me.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you’re all staying away from the madding crowd therefore staying safe. I’ll meet you all outside on our doorsteps this evening at 8pm clapping in appreciation for the NHS and various many other people who are keeping us all going safely. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

MESSING AROUND DAY 6

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in reasonable spirits. I’m discovering the best way to get thru this lockdown is keeping busy. So, this morning I did some of my charity work. It made me feel better and now I’m going to try to add tasks to my To-Do List everyday for the next. We’re told that the best thing to do is stick to some kind of realistic routine. So, let’s aim for that shall we. I wanted to go thru cupboards and get rid of whatever is surplus to requirement however, the tips are closed. So, there’s no use sifting thru stuff to decide whether we need it or not because we can’t get rid of it. That’s a job for another time, I guess.

After spending some time in my sewing room doing volunteer charity work, I went on to do a little messing around with some art supplies. Today’s effort is another little piece using cut up Mollie Makes magazine pages, water colour pencils and a little fine liner for a wee bit simple doodling. It was fun. My little house might even translate nicely into a fabric project. So, watch for that sometime soon.

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Tomorrow’s project might include a Brusho. I’m not sure how my journal book will take it so I think I’ll try it out on a piece of water colour paper and then sew it into my art journal using my sewing machine and some interesting thread perhaps. I may be getting a little too brave venturing into sewing coloured water colour paper into my journal but who knows, I may get a really good result. Anything it worth a try.

So, my friends, that’s my report for today. All is well in the sunshine at happy stitching manor. You can feel the warmth in the sun now. It’s very welcome indeed. So, whatever you may be doing, I hope you have a super cosy evening doing it. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

MESSING AROUND DAY 5

Hello my lovelies. For the benefit of those who have no idea what day this is and what they should be doing today; it’s Sunday April 5, 2020. It’s also Palm Sunday.

Life is so different these days. I can remember my name, which is a very good thing but I can’t work out what day it is most of the time. It doesn’t matter what I should be doing because nothing is on a time schedule currently.

I have made no sewing progress worth showing you. However, I am managing to keep up with my Messing Around Art Challenge. I didn’t post yesterday but here is my little bit of Messing Around for Day 4 ….

Messing Around Day 4

As you can see, I went back to Day 3’s effort and added some Lucie flowers and turned it into a two-page spread. I also prepped a couple more pages for today and tomorrow’s Messing Around art.

For today and tomorrow the art is produced by cutting up little bits of Mollie Makes magazine pages and making a simple picture. There’s also little doodling. You’ll notice I keep it quite naïve. Have a little peep at my sailboat …..

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Once again, I can go back in and add something I might decide needs to be added to these pages. You know, for all its simplicity, I am enjoying my little bit of cutting out and pasting, my little bit of shading with water colour pencils and naïve doodling. My simple art journal pages, when I look back on them, will remind of how I felt during this hopefully once in a lifetime lockdown. With all that’s going on all around us, I’m beginning to realise that expressing ourselves in whatever manner we choose is important during this crisis. As I post photos of my simple artwork, I feel like I’m telling you all my secrets. All the things I don’t want to share. However, I am hoping that this may inspire you to express yourself in whatever way you can during this difficult period. So, have a go. Give yourself permission to play at doing something you’ve never done before. You know all those supplies that you bought thinking you’d try out a new hobby? Well it’s time to pull those supplies out and use them. Remember that your first attempts may not be perfect but the more you do the better it gets. This is the perfect time to learn something new.

It’s been a quiet weekend. Sarah and I have been citizens by staying home away from any place where people might congregate. It’s ok for now but I do know one thing ….. once this crisis is over, I will never take a handshake, a hug or friendly human contact for granted ever.

So, that’s my report for the weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

CHALLENGE MESSING AROUND DAY 2

Hello my lovelies. I hope you are all safe and sound. This life is beginning to feel like the movie Groundhog Day. I think the trick is to build some kind of realistic routine that you can live with once our lockdown period ends. Something that resembles the kind of life we had before the lockdown but by eliminating the things we learn we no longer need; we can produce a fresh start. It’s worth a try.

I am trying to work out how to work my daily messing around art challenge into play every day this month. So, I sat down this afternoon and stared at my little Pink Pig sketchbook. Sarah and I bought a rather big batch of them some years ago and we’re still working our way through them.

Pink Pig 1

Pink Pg 2

I find a blank page rather daunting. So, I reached for a Mollie Makes magazine and ripped a page out and ripped that page into smaller segments and glued them down on the blank page. Then I added some Derwent Inktense water colour pencil around the paper to add a wee bit of shading and so on. This page is really simple and I may come back and add something else to it but for now this is what I’ve got. I’ve got a little inspiration for tomorrow’s page. My friend Joanna suggested I do an art journal. So that’s where the Pink Pig sketchbook comes in. I’m going to use only what I have at home as it’s a bit more difficult to get out and about to find little bits and pieces. As I sit here, I can remember bits that I have stuffed in a drawer across the room which be good to use in this art journal. Now I’m feeling a bit more enthusiastic about doing this messing around challenge. Who knows what inspiration I may produce for future quilt making projects by doing this? Sometimes you have to step away from what you love to push you forward.

Challenge Day 2

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Will you be going outside at 8pm to clap in support of the NHS? I may stand shoulder to should 2 metres apart from my neighbours and clap in solidarity. We’re all in this together. And if we do what’s asked of us, we will all save a life and be real heroes. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies,

Lucie x

ANGEL WATCHING OVER ME

Hello my lovelies. I decided to pop in today to let you all know that I’m fine. I’ve had a bad case of writer’s block but with all that’s happening in the world at the moment, I thought I’d pop in to see if I could somehow lift your spirits.

First of all, how ya all doing??? If you’re anything like me you’ll be staying away from the madding crowd. My Sarah and I have been practicing social distancing for the last week as advised by the government. I have only stepped out for essential food shopping and to collect meds. There has been no socialising except thru digital messaging and the rare phone call. I, of course, have plenty of UFOs to work on but with all that’s going on and things changing almost hourly, I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my projects. However, I’m sure that I will settle down into this quiet isolation period and get some stuff done. As well as my projects, I have loads of tidying to do in the garden. Sarah and I have been demolishing an old deck type patio which had become dangerous. With the help of a borrowed crowbar we lifted the whole thing and there is no more danger of breaking our necks. When things start taking a turn for the better, we will take the rubbish to the tip.

The bulk of the schools in the UK closed on Friday for the foreseeable future. We have no little kids in our household to worry about entertaining in a state of isolation for the months to come until the Covid-19 situation improves. We have only been under “house arrest” since last weekend and already I feel a little cabin fever creeping up. So, I can only imagine what the mommies are going to do with small kids for the next few months.

This whole situation seems surreal to me. It feels like we’re war against an invisible enemy. I have no family here in the UK. They live in Canada and I imagine that things must have a very similar feel there to how things are here. In all my years on earth I have never experienced what it’s like to be at war, not up close and in person anyway.

My only advice to all is have patience and be kind whenever you can. Find chores and projects to catch up on. And this may be the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest. Make plans for the future. This is the time to plan how to make your dreams come true.

Over the last few weeks, I have observed some interesting night skies …..

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And some lovely sunrises …..

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I have officially launched the gardening season …

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And look there seems to be an angel in my garden …

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I really enjoyed hanging out in the garden for a bit this morning. I dead headed the hydrangea after seeing that the leaves are sprouting. I did a wee bit of pruning and filled the garden waste bin.

So, tell me what have you been doing to keep busy this winter and during our time in isolation. Sometime after Christmas I finished knitting my purple pullover …..

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And a few days ago, I dragged out my hexagon project. I’m just working on squaring it up before I add a plain border to it …..

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I have been trying to make a plan of action for the next few weeks. My notebook is full of scribbles and lists …..

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And look another feather. There must be an angel watching over me for sure.

I don’t spend much time in my sewing room anymore. Most of my quilt making projects are of the slow stitching variety which work really well as armchair projects while watching some mindless TV in the evening. Having said that, when I do disappear into my sewing room my little Maisie joins me in her capacity as project manager. Maisie will soon be 14 years old. She has a number of physical ailments now but she’s hanging in there nonetheless. We treat her with care and kindness. She has been our devoted companion for such a long time she deserves to be treated like a princess.

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Today is Mother’s Day here in the UK today. Well I am very grateful that my daughter is with me today. So, to all the mothers who cannot spend some time with their children today due to isolation, I wish you a very happy day. Life is an adventure these days. I reckon isolation may be the very best thing we can do at the moment. Just view our isolation as saving lives. This is our way of helping the NHS. Who knows, we may all be heroes.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my news for this weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy day doing things you enjoy doing. Remember, this too shall pass.

Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching. It really does make things better.

 

Lucie x

AUTUMN AND WINTER TO-DOs

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the fresh autumn days. During my walk with Maisie in the mornings over the last couple of weeks, I crunched leaves under my feet and found one or two white feathers confirming that I’m on the right path to happiness.
So, let’s see. What have I been up to lately? Well I have been knitting up a little storm …..


This piece is going to be turned into a pullover or possibly a cardigan. I haven’t decided yet. Once I finish knitting up the back, I will make up my mind.

I have been attempting to work on a traditional patchwork technique called Cathedral Windows …..

I plan on turning this piece into a cushion. I dragged out a few red fabrics from my stash and cut them up and sewed them back together in a different order and so far, the piece looks like this. For this technique I used my sewing machine to piece the beginnings and now I’m adding the finishing touches by hand. I really do enjoy hand sewing. This is the perfect armchair project while watching some mindless TV shows. I will show you the finished project eventually. It might make a nice Christmas gift once it’s finished.

A few weeks back I pieced and machine quilted a quilt for a special occasion. I only showed you a small area of the quilt at the time. The quilt was a wedding present for a special couple. Well here is a better view of the quilt. I completely forgot to take a photo of the whole quilt before wrapping and gifting it. I received a message from the lovely Sheila asking if I could post a better view of the finished quilt, so I hope this does the trick.


With winter just around the corner not to mention Christmas in only 72 sleeps and we can expect short daylight hours and very dark nights, it’s important to find lots of things to add to our To-Do List to keep us busy indoors during the winter weather. Well I have a suggestion for all my readers who live in my neck of the woods. You may or may not know that the Knitting & Stitching Show event is taking place in Harrogate between November 28th and December 1st at the Harrogate Convention Centre. And the good folks who run and promote the event have offered me 5 pairs of tickets with which to run a free ticket giveaway. So, ladies and germs, here’s your opportunity to have a grand day out at a crafty show. To be in with a chance to win a pair of free tickets just post a comment. In the comment please tell me what your favourite craft is and in what county of England you live. Unfortunately, since the Knitting & Stitching Show is held here in the northeast of England, I will only enter the names of those who live in England. I shall be pulling the winners on October 27th and announcing the winners soon after. Good luck to everyone who is brave enough to enter my giveaway. If you’re wondering how to  comment, just scroll up to the title of the post and click on it and then scroll down to the bottom on the post and you’ll see the comment box. For more info about the show click on the picture below to be taken to the website.


So, my friends, I guess that’s my news for this weekend. I hope you’ve all been enjoying this glorious autumn. I look forward to seeing a few more pumpkins around over the next few weeks. And I’m going to carry on crunching thru the fallen leaves underfoot. I’m going to carry on adding events to my To-Do List to keep me busy thru the winter months. It’s important to always have something to look forward to especially during the dark cold months. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,
Let’s all keep on stitching because one quilting stitch at a time, life gets better and better.
Lucie x

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. It’s been absolutely the perfect day in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun was shining and the chores on my To-Do List practically did themselves. It was truly the perfect day.

I have been busy drawing new blocks for my next project. I searched my stash for the suitable fabrics and so I was ready to start prepping blocks. Here’s a little look at what I’ve been working on …..

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You may have guessed that the subject of my next project is the garden. I’m going to name this one How Does Your Garden Grow. I do like flowers and plants, so why not indulge myself in a subject that makes my heart happy.

Speaking of garden, I stepped out this morning to do a little tidying up first thing after taking Maisie for her morning stroll. I planned to stay out in the garden for about 20 minutes. Well 90 minutes later I was just putting my tools away. I did quite a lot of pruning and then because it was so nice out, I decided to plant my annual bedding plants. I’m not sure if we’ll be frost free but if the weatherman says that we should expect any kind of frost, I’ll cover my planter with garden fleece.

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At the moment there’s a very impressive flower in bloom in my garden. It’s a tree peony …..

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Isn’t this a gorgeous flower and the colour is exquisite?

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It’s a huge bloom but it doesn’t last very long. So, I step out into that area of the garden to have a look as often as I can. Perhaps tomorrow the petals might be found on the ground.

It’s been a brilliant weekend here. I got so much done. My energy levels are always better when the sun is shining. And you can see that the general mood is improved wherever you go.

I guess that’s my report for today. I am so pleased to finally be getting on with my new How Does Your Garden Grow. My favourite part of any new project is prepping the blocks. I’ve had a great time prepping a few blocks this afternoon. I suspect this project will move quickly because it’s a subject that’s close to my heart. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

PERMISSION TO PLAY DAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. I experienced beautiful sunshine today. The sun makes everything better. I ran errands and did mundane chores but best of all I gave myself permission to play.

In my quest to change things around to make life more interesting, I decided that I need to make more time to do the things I enjoy the most. I seemed to have spent many years doing things that I thought, as a woman, I should be doing. Well that way of thinking has been chucked out the window and a new way of life is taking over.

So, while I was working my way thru my To-Do List for today, I came to one task which was to try out the replacement foot control for my sewing machine which I bought a few days ago. My sewing machine was doing strange things and after studying the problem, I decided that it might very well be the foot control which was worn out. So, I plugged to new foot control in and tested it on a fabric test sandwich and so far it’s working well. While I was sitting at my sewing machine amongst the mess that is my sewing room at the moment, I decided to do a little more sewing. So, I dragged out some scraps from the fabrics I gathered for my new project and started to join them together. I didn’t worry too much about the ¼” seam allowance rule and I used up odd shapes and simply joined them all together. I must admit I did use a rotary cutter and a ruler to trim a few straight angles to make the adding on job easier. And needless to say, I pressed all the seams as I went along. This is what I produced …..

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Now these two crazy patchwork blocks will eventually be incorporated into my new project. Not only that, but while I was sitting happily sewing, I came up with another idea to use the smaller scraps which I produced while joining all the bigger scraps. These scraps along with a piece of iron on interfacing and a piece of netting will become something else which I may or may not incorporate into this new project but either way, I will enjoy trying to make this idea work.

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Isn’t it funny that when you use up your scraps your actually produce more scraps???? I have plenty of bigger scraps that I can turn into smaller scraps. I’m hoping that my simple fix for my beloved sewing machine that’s been doing funny things is exactly what it needed.

It’s rather nice stepping away from traditional quilt making. And I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste but I think exploring new techniques and avenues is good for the soul. This is how we develop new trends, colour schemes and unusual techniques. After all, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

So, I guess that my report for today. I have a rather busy week ahead of me. So, I might not have the chance to play again for a few days. However, you can bet that I will be itching to worm my way back into my sewing to have another play. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. For all my friends who are experiencing cold winter temperatures, stay warm and safe. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WEIRD AND WONKY COMING SOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a great Thursday. Even though we’re well into the new year now I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very healthy and prosperous 2019.

I’m back!!!!! I have been suffering from a chest infection since the beginning of the year. We all know that this is the time of year where all the germs are being passed around in closed quarters and producing epidemics. It seems I’m not the only one suffering. So, slowly but surely, I am rising from the ashes.

As you can imagine, I haven’t been doing much sewing; until today that is. My Sarah finished piecing and machine quilting a charity quilt a few days ago and I begged her to let me hand finish the binding on said quilt. What better way to kick off my new year sewing than finishing a charity quilt! I machined the binding onto the front side of the quilt …..

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And folded the binding to the back and hand finished it …..

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This quilt is one that Sarah pieced using orphaned blocks and various scraps. The photos don’t really do it justice. I begged Sarah to keep the quilt for us but to be honest we do have plenty of quilts which I made over the years not to mention the few UFOs which I haven’t finished yet. Quilts for Comfort will do this quilt justice. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what the quilt looks like finished. I love the straight stitch quilting. It gives the quilt a vintage look which and really suits the scrap fabric. Less really is more.

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Now that I have done that little bit of sewing, I am energised and inspired to carry on working on my hexagon quilt. These are the latest diamond shapes I pieced recently …..

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It’s been a quiet old year so far. I’m hoping to liven it up over the coming weeks. I have a few social engagements booked over the next few weeks. And I’m hoping to catch up with the task of painting and papering my hallway soon. I don’t make new year resolutions anymore. I just  compose To-Do Lists which I tick off as and when the jobs are done. I’m still on track to learn new techniques which will give my creative pieces a wonky naïve spin. I have my first project doodled out and some fabric pulled from my stash and scrap bin in readiness to get started. I took my sewing machine for it’s first spin of the year today and it’s working quite nicely. So now I need to gather my courage and get on with it.

I stepped out this morning to restock the fridge and cupboards. When we came out of the supermarket it was snowing. We ended up with a lovely dusting which needed to be brushed off the car. And because I live in the UK now but I will always be a Canadian at heart the snow made me so happy. I truly enjoyed the short ride home. And once we got home, I made sure to sit by the biggest window so I could watch the snow gently hit the ground.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. I find that I appreciate life so much more nowadays. I have time to sit and actually see what’s going on around me. I don’t miss the drama and I’m amazed how lovely it is not walking on eggshells anymore.

So, I guess that’s my first report of the year. I hope to post soon with some news about my wonky new (to me) techniques. My stash is just crying out to be used and replaced with more modern fabrics. It’s time I got weird and wonky. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Slow down and enjoy life. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching.

Lucie x

TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. Phew!!! It’s such a busy time of year. I feel like I’m trying to wrap up all the chores I wish I had done earlier before the last day of the year. Isn’t it funny how we become anxious about things that don’t really matter? I’ve had one or two chats with myself about such things that don’t matter of late. It’s very hard to reason with myself at times.

So, along with a few chores I’ve also had a little playtime in my sewing room. I embellished my hexagon wreath …..

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As you can see, I kept it simple. A couple of gold bells, a bit of raffia and some fake holly leaves and berries and Bob’s your uncle. I quite like my little wreath. It’s such a simple make which is the perfect evening armchair project for this time of year.

 A few weeks ago, I treated myself to a few long quarters of fabric to make a new notebook cover. Well the fabric sat onto of a pile for a while. I kept looking at it longingly trying to work out a plan of action. Today, I decided that it was time to piece said notebook cover. So, I found a blank notebook in amongst my stationery and pressed the fabric and started cutting it up. Once again or as usual, I kept the piecing simple and straight forward.

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I layered up the little quilt top and added some stitching using some of my much loved Aurifil thread. My Aurifil only comes out on special days to be used on special projects! I used some of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine. I don’t use fancy stitches very often but you’ll notice that I still kept it simple.

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I use this notebook every single day. I write my To-Do List in it. I draw chicken scratch diagrams for new ideas. I write notes regarding things that I don’t want to forget such as appointments and phone numbers. I generally go thru two notebooks a year. After today’s little sewing session, I ready for the new year ahead.

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Apart from buying fresh food, I’m ready for Christmas. My fairy lights are up and twinkling. My wee Christmas Tree is decorated. My scented candles are lit every evening. And the stockings are hung on the fireplace. The Christmas spirit has arrived at happy stitching manor, finally. The only thing that could possibly make me feel more festive is a dusting of snow of the big day.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you’re all enjoying the run up to the festive season. I notice the shops are getting busier and the traffic is pretty bad at times. Tis the season alright. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x