#31 My love affair with Bothy Threads…

It was around a similar time last year I completed my first Bothy Threads cross stitch kit and I’ll admit I fell in love.*

Over the years I’ve had my love affairs with many designers and cross stitch kit specialists – namely Anchor, DMC, Tatty Teddy, Beatrix Potter, Dimensions to name few – but Bothy Threads have to be one of my all time favourites.

Each design is so distinctly Bothy. The colours are stunning, the skeins and canvas are of great quality, the finished result is a joy for the eyes and the ears (because of all the compliments) and don’t even get me started on the delicious little beads and accessories!

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This is the first and only Bothy Threads design I’ve completed – a baby sampler for a couple that, for one reason or another, haven’t been lucky enough to receive this on the birth of their child. So instead I’ve kept it for myself until the right little cherub comes along.

The playful composition and adorable animals make it the perfect ‘welcome to the world‘ wall art gift.

Since completing the above, I’ve treated myself to this…

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And Santa my sister was kind enough to leave me the below in my stocking…

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This brings me to the point of this post: *drumroll* new Bothy Thread designs!

Perfect fairytale-inspired cross stitch kits that feature some much-beloved childhood story time characters. And there’s a twist, for a distinctly adult edge to the pieces, each design is in silhouette, is to be completed on multicoloured canvas and has a certain dark quality . I love them all.

My favourites are Alice in Wonderland & the slightly more sinister Hansel & Gretel.

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Copyright 2015 bothythreads.com

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Copyright 2015 bothythreads.com

I especially love the personality of the Cheshire Cat and intricate detail of spider web respectively.

Now, if our friends would stop having babies…I can actually get my hands on these beauties!

J x

*To be clear, this blog has not been endorsed by Bothy Threads and is merely a blog of admiration

#30 A little less conversation a little more cross stitch please…

I’ve just realised something!” I said to Mr XStitch the other evening.

“What?” was his X-box-induced-dazed reply.

“I’m really slow at cross stitching… I’ve just finished the little free project in this magazine that should take approximately 4 hours and it’s taken me nearly 7!”

Sensing I was on the verge of a haberdashery episode he paused his generic action-shooter-role-play-magic-wizard-soldier-dragon-monster game, put down his controller and turned to give me his full attention.

“Well, you do watch TV when you’re cross stitching, which can be distracting…

“And you like to make sure the back is really neat…

“And you take your pride and time with each stitch…

“So it’s little wonder you take longer to finish,” he excused.

“Hmmm…” was my less-than-convinced response.

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For you newbies to Life’s Complicated So Cross Stitch, you may not have read my recent post (#23) about my recent love affair with cross stitch magazines (up to three subscriptions and counting).

To cut a long blog short, I’m hooked.

imageInitially I struggled to find a down side to my glossy friends, but I’ve cracked it: the ‘approximate stitching time’ guide. This number sitting in its colourful little bubble has made me realise something about my stitching self, something I don’t like: how slow I actually am at cross stitching!

My conversation with Mr Xstitch got me thinking. I have two options – either I lock myself in a room away from Desperate Housewives, Mr XStitch, the Bengal bundle of fluff and my glossy friends in a bid to get on with the two WIPs I currently have on my tension hoops and the many more in waiting OR…

I carry on as I have been and remember that I love my hobby as it is, despite the judgement guide.

By my maths seven hours is approximately four anyway…

J x

#29 Who needs an Oscar?

download (1)I’m blog blushing right now as I tell you I’ve graciously accepted My Time Stitching’s nomination for a Versatile Blogger Award.

My sincere thanks to Ginny, who’s a loyal Life’s Complicated, So Cross Stitch follower, for bringing this lovely award to my attention and bestowing it upon my little online home.

When I started the blog last year I didn’t realise what potential it had to make me part of such a lovely creative community and it’s for this reason I posted this blog and stuck to the rules.

Find out who I nominated and the facts I revealed about myself here!

J x

#28 Sewing, Stitching & Hobbycrafts event

Today was a special Saturday spent at the Sewing, Stitching and Hobbycrafts event in Manchester.

Exhibitors and enthusiasts alike came together to share hints, tips, demos and bargains in a bid to inspire the next wave of creative endeavours and new generation of crafters.

As you might expect I was most excited to see the cross stitch exhibitors. And they didn’t disappoint. My favourites included Black Sheep Wools, Craft Lines of Essex and Trudy Anne Designs.

I came away with a bounty of card making supplies and cross stitch plethora (the Bengal bundle of fluff I already owned!)

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The two Christmas designs are by Ursula Marshall, a designer I’ve not come across before but will definitely be looking into. All her pieces were fantastic and drew inspiration from words, phrases and sayings to create a pictorial image. Trudy Anne Designs were exhibiting these patterns (£6.25 each) among others that required beads and other embellishments. Again something I think to be a little different but incredibly effective.

If you’re on the look out for new haberdashery trends, I think lettering and embellishments will continue to rise in popularity in 2015.

The shells and starfish pattern is one I’ve had my eye on for a while. It was only £12.99 so I decided to treat myself to the detailed Dimensions kit.

I also picked up a couple of card & envelope packs, well, because a crafter can never have enough.

I took a few photographs when navigating myself through the crowds:

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And if this wasn’t great enough – there was a cake convention next door. Mr Xstitch was now fully onboard with the day.

The best aspect to this side of the event was a cake decorating competition. It blows my mind just how talented people can be in this world. Take a look at these beauties…

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If you’re interested in attending this event or one similar, I’ve very much recommend the trip.

Get those creative craft juices flowing…

J x

 

#27 Putting a name to the afghan

Penelope.

Penelope is here.

Perfect little Penelope finally being here means I need to get my skates on and finish her afghan blanket.

After a long-weekend of pins-and-needles cross stitching, I’m pleased to say the blanket is over half way to being complete.

A few more power sessions and it’ll be ready to meet its new owner.

The progress:

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Knowing I’m finishing this blanket for the little beauty is all the drive I need to see this project over the finish line.

Pictures of perfect Penelope to follow.

J x