Tuesday 18 December 2012

The Blue Ribbon Sampler is Finished. HURRAY !!!

The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood was finished on Sunday afternoon. HURRAY !!!

The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

I did change the filet panels. 36ct turned out not to be a problem with cutting the threads but the floss I had was far too bulky to do the ghost stitching so I substituted beads and changed the design slightly. The needle weaving was great fun.

Here are the final corrections

Page 84 6th border second flower from the left stitch as other flowers. Error in dmc 3822.

Page 86 3rd border middle flower set of leaves missing to the right.

Page 86 7th border stitch middle flower as the 1st and 3rd error on the tips also stitch the leaves on the middle vine/stem to match the other two, error on the right hand side.

There were a few other corrections which I managed to lose on my ipad notes. So sorry.

Do not let the charting errors put you off stitching this stunning sampler. My advice would be to study each border before you stitch it and you will spot the small corrections needed. I would recommend that you tack out the positioning of the three centre panels before you stitch the speciailty stitches as there is no room for "winging" a counting error.

I have been itching to start Dona Dorotea by The Scarlet Letter. I am stitching her on Lakeside Linen vintage meadow rue 36ct with AVAS threads.

Dona Dorotea - The Scarlet Letter

My other project SDW, another TSL project is progressing well. It is surprising how much you can achieve just having one stitching session per week.

Although I could not stitch her this weekend as Santa came to visit together with many of our family. Nineteen all told !!

We had an early "Christmas" for my MIL and her family travelled down from Wales for the weekend. We were quite a house full. 

Thea and Rhys my SDD's two boys were so excited that Santa was coming early, we put out food for the reindeer and cake for Santa before going to bed. They were up bright and early and great fun was had watching their delight as they opened their presents from us. 

It is a grandparent's privilege to spoil their grandchildren.

Theo and Rhys did the draw for The Scarlet Letter Year first monthly prize and Leona in Australia won 10 AVAS threads of her choice. Well done Leona. 

As my MIL is not well enough to sit at a table we had a buffet style meal which was a success. Too much food as usual but all delicious. We had to put most of it out on the worktops.

We had a lovely present as well on the weekend. The painting of Millie, Blue and Poppy was delivered by the artist David Sandell. We are so pleased, he has captured the spirit of each of my babies. I miss Millie so much.

I will be taking this and BRS to the framers this week.

I received  a surprise in the post yesterday from Gracie of needles pins and dragonflies. A beautiful hand made humming bird. Isn't it adorable.

Over the years I have collected quite a few little feathered birds for Christmas decorations and I place them amongst the greenery of my garlands.

Thank you Gracie for this perfect gift, it will remind each Christmas time of your generosity and kindness of heart.

I am very busy at the moment designing the layout and interior design of a new cottage "By The Seashore". This cottage was originally the stables/garage with coachman/driver's accommodation. Lots of wooden beams and stone walls and amazing views.

By The Seashore, Trewoon, Poldhu Cove

The kitchen has been planned and ordered. I have chosen solid oak free standing units with back granite worktops. A custom made oak island in cream not the blue shown and a stunning custom made double plate rack again in oak.

I have gone for a black retro Smeg fridge freezer and a large retro black range cooker. I must be mad having  another Smeg fridge, the parts are so expensive and the customer service poor but they look so good.

I have designed both the shower room and the bathroom and am ordering everything today. I have gone for a huge shower for the ground floor bedroom ensuite, I love the space when showering. On the first floor there is a very spacious bedroom with a quirky beamed ceiling. In the ensuite bathroom  I have chosen this free standing bath. When you have been out walking the coast paths its good to relax and soak in a hot bath. 

I am choosing the bedroom furniture today. I have always envisaged a big brass bedstead in this  room. I want our visitors to be able to lie in bed enjoying the view of the cove and sea.

The baby's due date in getting ever closer and I want to share with you a cape that I have knitted.

My DS, Chris had an identical one when he was a baby and I was so pleased when I found the vintage pattern on ebay.

As this may be my last post before Christmas I wanted to wish you all a season of blessings.

May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you all through the Year.

Nicola xxx

Saturday 8 December 2012

The 8th Day of Advent

Good Morning dear "pin" pals and welcome to the 8th day of the Advent Calendar Blog Hop. 

A BIG THANK YOU to Jo of serendipitousstitching for arranging the blog hop, Jo's events are always great fun to participate in.

I would like to share with you a favourite festive piece

Snowflakes - LHNs

It is dear to me as on the 24th December many years ago Ray and I got married at the Snowflake Inn in Stowe, Vermont on a skiing holiday.

December is the month that I like to use my Gingerbread House etui and it sits next to my sewing chair. 

Gingerbread House Etui - Victoria Sampler

It is such a festive design.

Gingerbread House Etui - Victoria Sampler

The theme for this year's Blog Hop is "Stocking, Sack or Something else". Here at Trewoon we place our presents under the tree.

Not many there yet as I still haven't started my wrapping.

We have two trees and this year there should be quite a few goodies under them as we have nineteen coming to celebrate Christmas.

It is going to be a very special Christmas for us as I have my first grandchild due to be born on New Year's Eve.

Earlier this year I made a christening gown.

Christening Gown

The sleeves were very fiddly.

I added some pearls to the bottom scallop and sleeves.

I loved these little buttons, so sweet.

I have been very busy these last two weeks with Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the challenge. The nicest things in life are always better when shared. 

We are now at 120 + participants (!!!) If you would like to join in please email me but it is essential that you include your email address. We have many who have contacted us that have been no reply bloggers and we have been unable to sign them up. (if you have asked to joined and haven't had a response this could be the reason, please email again)

Marsha Parker, the amazing and very talented designer of The Scarlet Letter is participating with the challenge and will be regularly contributing to the blog with sneak previews of new designs and will be answering questions.

You can imagine my excitement as Marsha is one of my heroes.

The Blue Ribbon Sampler - Olwyn Horwood

Despite being behind schedule I am very nearly there with BRS. The dreaded filet panels are looming. I think that I will only be working on them when my eyes and brain are fresh. It is the 36ct that is making me nervous of cutting the threads  I have bought some new hardanger scissors as mine have had a lot of use.

SDW Sampler - The Scarlet Letter

The SDW sampler that I am stitching one day per week as a SAL with Michele, Elaine, Krista, Shannon and Robyn is great fun and I really enjoying the inter action between us. Thank you my stitching sisters for making this a memorable and loved sampler.

Last weekend was my MIL's birthday and we had family visit with us to celebrate her birthday. On the day they were due to arrive I tore around the house making sure that everything was perfect for their arrival and then I popped out to the supermarket to pick up a few odds and ends.

When I returned home this is what greeted me.

Ray's boat had come out of the water for the winter and he decided to wash his mooring ropes in my clean sink !!!!

He told me that he thought that I would be pleased as he hadn't used the guest bathroom.

Why he couldn't of used the boot room sink I do not know. Don't you just love them.

I may have the last laugh though as he went through a whole bottle of washing up liquid so he might find that he starts to "foam" when the boat goes back in the water in April. 

A warm welcome to my new followers, if you have a blog and I haven't signed up to follow please let me know so that I can do so.

Thank you for visiting and I wish you and your families a merry Christmas, a joyous Hanukkah, a happy Kwanzaa, no matter how you celebrate may it be filled with love, laughter and good food and company.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx

Thursday 29 November 2012

Monthly Draw Prize List

I had hoped to have a photo of my progress on The Blue Ribbon Sampler but Blogger will not let me upload any stating that I am out of space. I have read of the same problem on a few blogs in the past week.

What can I do?

We are just  a week into my Scarlet Letter Year and we already have nearly 70 participants. If you would like to join in the fun there is plenty of time, just post a comment on this post and I will contact you.

If you have asked to join and you haven't received your invitation to contribute then it has either gone astray or you are a no reply blogger. We currently have 5 no reply bloggers that we have been unable to track down an email address for. Please contact me with your email address at nicola.parkman@gmail.com

(Just  quick note that in addition to becoming a contributor it is important that you also become a follower so that each new post goes into your reader).

I have listed the monthly draw prizes for the challenge tonight on Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year blog.

They are:-


My favourite silk is Au Ver a Soie and I am giving away 10 skeins  The first name out of the hat on December 15th can choose the colours.


Hopefully this month there will be lots of stitching but just in case you have not purchased your chart the first name out can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

The prize for the second name drawn has been sponsored by Elaine of emilyscupboard and is for one of my favourite charts 

Jane Atkinson

Thank you Elaine for your generosity. Elaine has recently started her blog and it is well worth a visit.


February is my birth month and I wanted this prize to be one that is special to me. Pride of place next to my sewing chair sits my spool caddy.

Hyers wood Spool Caddy

Richard stopped taking orders for his custom made sewing furniture in September but has very kindly agreed to make another one for me with a scarlet cushion (of course!).

MARCH 2013

We may be seeing some finishes in our gallery this month so it is the perfect time to start another sampler.

The name drawn can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

Dorothy Walpole

Dorothy has been a very popular sampler to stitch, what will you be choosing?

APRIL 2013

By April we will have had our silks, fabric and chart so it is time for me to share with you my favourite embroidery scissors.
Sajou Mother of Pearl style scissors
I hope that the winner this month will enjoy using them as much as I do.

MAY 2013

Time for another Scarlet Letter Chart of your choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

The weather here in the UK will hopefully be starting to warm up and my husband should be setting off on his round the UK boating trip.

Seventeen Sailors

A perfect month for me to stitch Seventen Sailors to commemorate his voyage. What will you choose?

JUNE 2013

I like collecting sewing etuis and boxes, the moment I saw this I wanted it.

DMC Home Forever Sewing Box

If you are the name drawn how will you customise the panels?

JULY 2013

We will now be roughly half way through the challenge and I hope that the gallery will be filling up and another perfect opportunity to start a sampler.

The name drawn can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

It will be summer here in the UK and my son's flock of sheep will hopefully be as plump as these.

Grazing Sheep


By now I hope to have completed one or two samplers and will be needing to replenish my silks so I am giving away another 10 skeins.  

English Transitional Sampler

I will probably be starting the English Transitional sampler which has the most vibrant colours. 


Time for some reading, my favourite magazine is Sampler and Antique Needlework quarterly

I am sure that many, if not most, already read or subscribe to SANQ so the name drawn will win a year's subscription to start at a date of your choice no later than September 2014. 


In the UK autumn will be well and truly here and the evenings starting to draw in. I like nothing more than to light the fire and settle down for an evening's stitching.

The name drawn can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

AW 1662
AW would make an ideal winter's project.


I have been hearing for some time about the gorgeous silks available from hand-dyedfibers.com and I would very much like to try them. 

The name drawn will receive a $50 gift voucher so that they too can try Vicki's silk threads.


Our gallery should have lots of finishes in it now.

Will you be fed up of stitching yet? I am sure you won't be so let's have another Scarlet Letter Chart and  full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter of your choice.

Just as well Marsha has so many designs to choose from.

Jane Stott

Maybe Jane Stott, a Pennsylvania Christmas Sampler would be a festive choice. I haven't seen her stitched before.


Our last monthly draw so a special one. 

If you are a follower of my blog Stitching by a Cornish Seashore you will know I LOVE my Millennium Frame so the drawn name will receive a standard frame


As a thank you for participating and completing a sampler(s) with me and making my Scarlet Year special the first two names drawn will received a $50 voucher.

One has very generously been sponsored by Marsha and the other by my husband Ray.

The next five names will each receive a Scarlet Letter chart of their choice subject to availability.

Hopefully I will be able to post properly again as soon as I have sorted out this storage problem.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx

Thursday 22 November 2012

Whoops !!!

Please ignore my previous post if it shows up in your reader.

I was playing around with a little surprise and published in error but stay tuned for the proper post with a few more goodies in the next ten days.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx

Monday 19 November 2012

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship

Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

Not so much progress this week as I had hoped. For some reason I have been very tired in the evenings and I haven't put the hours in. Very little was achieved at all  on Sunday as we spent most of the day going back and forth to the nursing home as my MIL had a fall on Saturday evening and a suspected mild stroke. I didn't even get the chance to watch Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday.

Thankfully it only takes us literally two minutes to get there.

Add caption

The centre motifs are completed, they are arranged so that the sampler can be hung either way up. I was very tempted to stitch them all one way as I cannot imagine changing the way I hang the sampler but on reflection I thought that it was a nice quirky touch, making it very different to my other samplers.

I have been thinking about where I shall hang her when finished. The colours suit my drawing room as both the sampler and the room are in varying shades of greens, pinks and mauves.

The trouble will be finding a space on the walls. It will be a shame to break up the art collection that we have in this room.

This little nook off the main room is a favourite spot of ours to sit quietly either watching the waves and passing ships, reading or day dreaming. It is very easy when sat here to drift off.

SDW by Scarlet Letter

Our SAL is progressing nicely and my enjoyment of stitching this piece has been greatly enhanced by the friendship of the other ladies. I look forward to picking up SDW every weekend. Previously I had not been able to stitch more than one project at a time but the SAL has changed that.

I read a very interesting post this week on a blog that I follow ( I am so sorry but I cannot remember which one) that had a link to a review of needles by the Scarlet Quince. It was very interesting, normally I use John James gold plated 28 & 26 but I do like the needles that come with The Scarlet Letter kits but don't know what make they are.

Do you have a favourite brand of needle?

I have had several emails asking what frame I use to stitch on. Over the years I have bought several different sorts and have had lots of problems with getting the tension right. I like my fabric to be drum tight including the sides. I tried lacing the sides but it was a nuisance and time consuming re-lacing as I moved down the fabric. I bought "suspender" like straps for the sides but again I did not find that I had the right tension.

Then I read Mary Corbett's review of the Millennium Frame and the follow up review.

I also watched this video. What you see is really how easy it is to set up.

I cannot praise the frame enough.

Last week I posted a photo of the jumper (pullover sweater) that Elizabeth knitted for my expected grandson, this week Elizabeth gave me another gorgeous jumper she had knitted. Aren't they beautiful.

Thank you Elizabeth for your kindness and generosity. Friendship is certainly a work of heart.

I have baked nearly every day this week. After the success of Nikki's cream cake recipe she very kindly shared with me one of her family's favourite bakes, an extremely chocolately (is that a proper word) cake made using ice cold water. OMG it was amazing. I made two and took one to my friend and when I returned home this was all that was left. I wonder who ate half(!!) the cake.

I also made another two cakes with the cream cake recipe again one for a friend as a thank you for a favour.

Fresh out the oven this morning were some chocolate chip and toffee muffins. They won't last long and Blue is guarding them to make sure that he gets some too.

November is the month of both Blue and Poppy's birthdays and I like to give them something special. Here is a good recipe that is easy to slice up and share with other doggy friends at a birthday party.

300g (11oz) minced lamb
200g (7oz) flour
50g (2oz) oats
50g (2oz) ground sunflower seeds
100g (4oz) cottage cheese
2 eggs beaten.

To decorate:-

150g (5oz) low fat cream cheese
100g (4oz) Cheddar cheese slices cut into small squares
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F/gas 4)
Lightly grease a 20cm (8") round cake tin.

Stir the minced lamb, egg, oats, ground sunflowers, cottage cheese into a bowl and mix well together.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for approx 45 minutes, leave to cool for a few minutes then place on a rack to cool completely.

"Ice" the top of the cake with the cream cheese and use the cheese squares to decorate, sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

We are off now to visit my MIL. When you know someone who is unwell it brings home that fact that good health is the greatest gift. Thankfully Ray and I have each other to share the responsibility of her care this makes us realise that contentment is the greatest  wealth and faithfulness the best relationship.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx