Simple Stitches

It’s easier, I find, to discover simple,  good, recipes than simple, pretty, cross stitch patterns.

This, I consider a crying shame in my current time-poor life. Same goes for the crochet, although that’s more because my tired brain can’t quite cope with the concentration required for my monster projects. I’m hoping this will change shortly.

However, and for which I will be very grateful because my April is full of birthdays, a recent edition of CrossStitcher held within its pages simple, but effective, birthday card designs.


There was another design similar to this, but a smidgeon smaller with the words ‘With Love’ picked out. I have a strong suspicion that these designs will be my go-to birthday card patterns. Especially since they only took an hour or two each.

Have you any favourite simple cross-stitch designs? Where did you find them?

Scrapbooking Cross-Stitch

I collect notebooks. I like paper and the idea that this new notebook will have a purpose. It will be home to my next Big Idea.

Whenever I go into Hobbycraft, I look at the scrapbooks and I think about getting one. Only, I don’t really understand what scrapbooking is all about. It looks like making a book of collages, or gathering pictures and things for inspiration. I’m not much of a one for collage and if I found my bits and bobs for inspiration and stuck them down, my brain would probably think the job was done and move onto something else. So I’ve looked at the pretty scrapbooks and moved on, unable to justify getting one.

And then, while packing up for a move, I realised how many little cross-stitch projects I had. Doing nothing. Like the Mouseloft kits. Once complete, I don’t always know what to do with them, so they get put away and forgotten about.

So I joined a couple of dots.


From the beginning

The first page of my cross-stitch scrapbook, with the hedgehog which started my cross-stitch habit. The swallow was supposed to become a brooch but since it’s been a couple of years and I still haven’t stuck the pin on, it’s probably safe to say that won’t happen…

This year, my cross-stitch plans involve filling my scrapbook.

Stop. Start. Give Up. Try Again.

I’ve been working on the writing malarkey for many years. You know how successful writers often say that they filled exercise books as children, scribbling down their first stories in a childish hand with a big, fat crayon?

In a way that’s me. I have notebooks filled with plans and first lines. Ideas.

But what I find more interesting are the documents on my laptop. The stories I liked enough to begin to type. And then which I abandoned for various reasons. Probably mostly because my characters had run out of steam.

I read an article in a writing magazine a month or so ago which suggested that, in order to move forward with one’s writing career, one needed to go back and bin all those old ideas which never went anywhere. Only then, with a completely clean slate, can one free up the clutter in the mind to start afresh.

I’m not sure about this. It’s true a tidy work-space can lead to productivity. But when it comes to writing, anything can provide a trigger, and reading through old, unfinished works can spark an idea and breathe new life into the original. Sometimes what’s required for an idea to be complete is a maturity that perhaps wasn’t there the first time. A difference of perspective. That, and I’m a hoarder.

One day, maybe, I’ll admit that nothing’s ever going to happen and I shall purge my folder of barely-started stories. But not yet.

A Quick Flash


Why is it that as soon as I get a decent idea for a story, I can no longer write?

I had a thought for my story, a flash of inspiration as it were. I made a note of it. Scribbled it down quick before it flashed away again. It had me enthused. It’s a new idea, and I haven’t had any of those in a while.

But now I have no inclination to actually write it in.