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

(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 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

Monday 12 November 2012

Every day's a perfect gift of time for us to use

The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

This is where I am with Blue Ribbon, not as far as I had hoped as I had to unpick two days' work. Lining up the blocks is not easy !!!!

The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

I have edged the filet panels but have not cut the threads yet as I did not know if it was wise to do so until the end. I am concerned that as I like my fabric to be drum tight to work on this might exert too much strain on the edging for the cut threads to hold. Does anyone have any experience with filet panels and millennium frames that could offer advice.

The Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

I will be working on the motif section in between the speciality stitches next. 

Since starting Blue Ribbon I have had LOTS of emails asking if I would sell the book. Amazingly this book is listed on the internet for between $120 to $220. I was shown a great kindness by Michele when she gave me the book and I will be passing that kindness on when I have finished. I will have a giveaway for my followers only, not email subscribers.

SDW by The Scarlett Letter

 The SDW SAL is coming along and the first three pages are finished. I love the lion, he has such a cute tongue. It is surprising how much you can achieve just giving one day a week to a project.

I have been busy with baking this week, lots of the family's favourites but also a new recipe that was given to me by Nikki.

It is a cream cheese cake and I used a bundt tin. It was delicious, moist and had a lovely texture. I have added the recipe to my personal cookery book.

Nikki also provided me with a chocolate cake recipe which I have made this morning. It is still baking in the AGA so if successful I will post some photos next week.

It is said that things come in threes and that has been the case for me this week. I have been VERY lucky.

The first to arrive was a big parcel from Krista . It was filled with toys for Poppy and Blue.

Poppy looks dazed in this photo, she was heavily medicated at the time but she was still interested enough to get up and investigate. Boxers LOVE toys.

Krista also enclosed some blank notelets for me made from photographs that she had taken. They are so beautiful I will enjoy using them when corresponding with my friends.

Thank you Krista your kindness and generosity has once again touched me.

The next surprise was winning Elaine's giveaway. The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery.

The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery by Janice Vaine

It is a beautiful book jammed packed full of photographs, diagrams and well written instructions. I will get a lot of use out of this book so it has found a very good home with me.

The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery by Janice Vaine

I particularly like craft books when they are spiral bound, so much more practical for using whilst stitching.

Elaine is a gifted needle worker and is new to blogging. Her blog is well worth a visit.

As you know our son is having a baby at the end of December and my dearest friend and follower, Elizabeth gave me this gorgeous aran jumper she has knitted for the baby.

Elizabeth is an amazing knitter and makes wonderful cardigans and jumpers. She is staying with us for the next fortnight and is busy knitting another jumper for the baby.

I would like to introduce you to Blueberry a collared dove.

A few weeks ago Blueberry was found in our gardens being attacked by several crows. They had him pinned to the ground and were pulling out his tail feathers. The crows were shooed away and Blueberry was picked up and brought to the house. He had a nasty puncture wound under his wing, damage to his tail feathers and was traumatized.

He has now been nursed back to health by my friend Debbie and we "soft" released him on Saturday back into Trewoon's gardens. He still looks a bit "ruffled" but the rescue organisation that gave Debbie advice said the sooner he was released the better.

I was so pleased to see him on Sunday morning and again this morning. The doves feed next to my sun room and he was back with his partner feeding on the seed fallen from the small bird feeders. I am so happy that he found his partner.

Birds feeding photographed in the gardens of Trewoon, Poldhu Cove, Mullion

I have been remiss of late posting photographs of the birds in the garden. It is only recently that I have brought my cameras etc., out again.

Birds feeding photographed in the gardens of Trewoon, Poldhu Cove, Mullion

Competition has been fierce for pole position at the feeders.

Blue Tit photographed  in the gardens of Trewoon, Poldhu Cove, Mullion

I adore the expressions on this Blue Tit's face.

For anyone who is interested are running a 5% off voucher for anyone who signs up to their newsletter.

The "dinger" has rung on my timer so I am off to get the cakes out of the AGA.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx

Sunday 4 November 2012

Dull November brings the blast, Then the leaves are whirling fast

Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

I am really pleased with progress on this sampler and adore the colours. I like stitching borders and it has occurred to me that it has been a long time since I have done so, curiously my last series of projects Victoria Samplers Alphabets, Scarlett Letters' Ann Medd, And They Sinned & Dutch Beauty do not have borders. I am certainly making up for that lack now.

I hope to finish the bottom of the third panel tonight and I will then be moving onto the specialty stitches and filet panels. I have a problem with the filet panels as I have been unable to source the required coton a broder 16 and 25 in a suitable colour in the UK. I have never stitched with this type of medium before so I am a bit stumped for alternatives. Can anyone help with advice.

I am finding lots of little errors but it is not taking way my enjoyment.


I thought that it may be useful to others to have  list of further corrections I have found whilst stitching Blue Ribbon. I may have misinterpreted the charts so please make our own mind up when working this sampler. I have an official 4 page list of other corrections for anyone who wants a copy

Page 58 in addition to the correction  already noted, on the fourth border the second flower bud has three stitches missing.

Page 60 satin stitch border to the left stitches omitted from the chart near start of fourth border

Page 60 fifth border, third flower vine from right, stitch missing, stitch same as all other vines.

Page 61 fourth band omit last two stitches at the end of the vine to balance with left end.

Page 62 second band first two vines on left stitch as the others, add one stitch on the right hand side end of vine to balance, there is room with the border.

Page 62 third band middle upper flower vine omit double row, should be same as the rest of the band.

Page 62 fifth band omit two stitches on base of first flower to match second and third flower.

I will update this list as I go.

SDW Sampler - Scarlett Letter

I am really enjoying the SDW Sampler SAL and am very pleased with progress after two Saturdays spent stitching. It has been great fun sharing this project with a fantastic group of pin pals. We have all had some trouble with the blackwork panel at the top. The thread has not been laying well on the 36ct. I have bought some AVS Paris which does lay better but I am going to leave the panel until the end.

I have been pondering about changing this panel completely and am torn between stitching true to the original or personalising my sampler.

I have been admiring some samplers on Scarlett Letter's web site which incorporate  cutwork and drawn thread work and have an urge to do the same on SDW.  I dont' have to decide for sometime yet!

Back in the summer I purchased two books:-

This is a very useful book with good instructions and diagrams. For anyone interested in drawn thread work this is well worth putting on your Christmas list. I bought the book directly from Luzine the author and she was delightful to deal with.

I also treated myself to:-

The work and linens featured took me back to my Noona's home in Italy. There are some really  gifted needlewomen who create such amazing heirlooms.

The week has passed very quickly, we had good news from the ophthalmologist on Thursday with Poppy's eye and then late on Friday afternoon she hurt her cruciate ligament again! Our vets are marvellous and they have kept in touch over the weekend. She spent yesterday medicated with painkillers and anti inflammatories asleep on the sofa in front of the fire. She is able to weight bear on the leg today but is still in a lot of pain. I think that a decision will be made tomorrow or Tuesday if they have to operate. They already have recent scans of the leg and I hope that with rest in may improve. Poppy is having an awful year.

It has been a mixed week weather wise.

Trewoon, Poldhu Cove, Mullion 

We have had some very interesting cloud formations. Lots of strong winds, hailstones, vertical rain but then we have also had crisp sunny days.

We took advantage of one to pop over to the boat to check the ropes after the winds.

Mylor Marina Falmouth

It could have been a summer's days.

Mylor Matina Falmouth

My DH walking down the ramp onto the pontoons.

Mylor Matina Falmouth

There was a super little sports car parked up on the jetty.

When I started writing this post the rain was coming down horizontally being driven in by the strong wind off the sea, now the sun is out and beams of light are falling across the desk. I think I will take Blue for a run around the gardens before the next rain starts. I will have to creep out so that Poppy doesn't spot us.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx