Butterflies

When I was young, I used to like collecting caterpillars and mullion leaves and keeping them in old ice cream tubs with netting over the top until they turned into butterflies (cabbage whites, I think most of them were). I think I was trying to watch for the exact moment when the butterfly hatched from the chrysalis, but I don’t remember ever managing that.

I’ve always liked the theory that butterflies were originally flutterbyes, but that metathesis caused people to call them butterflies. The OED, source of all linguistic knowledge, seems to think not. The Old English was buttorfleoge, for which they have a reference from c.1000. Shame. I prefer to call them flutterbyes; makes more sense.

Butterfly

I haven’t done much cross-stitch so far this year; I think this may even be my first, though I have also started a Celtic dragon-knot. The yellow butterfly was a Mouseloft Stitchlet, and the blue one a sticker of the colour-it-yourself variety. These stickers are encouraging me to be more creative with both my scrapbook and my journal-organiser.

Down the Rabbit Hole

When I was growing up, my local shop for crafting supplies was a fabric factory shop. It was, and still is, an Aladdin’s cave of all things fabric-y, with a supply of wools and yarns for good measure. I grew up in sheep-country, where the local economy in years gone by was built on wool. I loved going to this factory shop, and I’ve built quite a stash from my trips over the years.

BUT. As might be deduced, it caters to a select handful of crafts: to quilters and dressmakers, to embroiderers and cross-stitchers, to knitters and crocheters. All things fabric and yarn, in fact.

Now, I’m generally fine with this; I am primarily a cross-stitcher, with occasional crocheting and dress-making thrown in.

Leaving home, though, meant that I had to find a new supplier for my crafting needs. And so I found Hobbycraft.

 

Hobbycraft, if you don’t know it, is less an Aladdin’s cave, more a rabbit-warren of crafts. Chances are, you will find what you need, and then, getting lost on your way to pay, you will find other things. Things which glitter and sparkle, which call to your crafter’s heart, sing out a siren’s song, and you will find yourself walking out with a whole new craft to start.

Me, I have started dabbling with papercrafts; with scrapbooking, in particular. I’ve cross-stitched a few cards in the past (it’s a nice way to use up small kits and patterns), but otherwise stayed out of the paper aisles. I mean, I’ve always like notebooks (love Paperchase!), but otherwise paper doesn’t inspire me like fabrics and threads.

Until earlier this year, when I got myself a scrapbook to do something with those small cross-stitch kits which come free with the magazines. I wasn’t turning them into whatever they were suppose to be; I was just stitching them and tucking them, out of sight, into a Projects Drawer. Which is a bit of a waste, when you think about it.

And now, when I go into Hobbycraft, I find myself wandering the papercraft aisles, looking at the pretty papers and the stickers and the sparkly pens. I’ve even started looking at scrapbook kits on eBay.

I can resist, sometimes. I mean, I have other projects, and not enough time to spend on another craft, but oh the paper’s so pretty, and it wouldn’t take all that long, would it? It’s just arranging things artfully and sticking them down, right? And it’s not like I’ll be worrying about Proper Layouts – mine’s just for my cross-stitching.

 

Stitching in Springtime

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The beginning of April has brought with it sunnier, more optimistic weather. I’ve seen humble bumbles and many many ladybirds and the flowers are making their presence seen.

I don’t blame the kitty for trying to hide in the daffodils. Now is the time for sunshine and daisies and enjoying the weather and looking forward to summer.

The only problem, I find, is that the longer evenings make me feel like I should be doing something other than curling up on my sofa, cross-stitch or crochet in hand, not being outside in the evening sun…

 

Red Dragon

With St David’s Day just gone, it seemed an appropriate moment to finish this little Mouseloft pattern I began, oh, months ago.

I like dragons. I feel they are often misunderstood. Mostly, the poor things are villains of the story, being killed by so-called heroes or having their carefully guarded treasures stolen. All they want is to look after their gold, is that too much to ask? Admittedly it’s often ill-gotten gold, but even so. They’re keeping it safe. For everyone. As long as everyone leaves them alone to their gold.

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Now just leave this one to look after her egg.

Evening Projects

Sometimes in the middle of a big project, you need a break. To complete a little project, just to remind yourself that yes, you can finish a pattern.

I find that Mouseloft cross stitch kits fit the bill very nicely. Mostly because I also tend to find them adorable. Like this baby elephant.

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The wonderful thing about these kits is they can usually be completed in a couple of hours, detailing and all.

Penguins Christmas Shopping

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A little retail therapy solves everything. I’m looking forward to getting a little time to stock up on my Stitchery stash. I’m also looking forward to stitching non-festive scenes and items. I’ve been making little lists of projects from my magazines. I’ll be glad to get a room of my own to call my Stitchery and to settle in with my needle and threads.

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Clearly they’ve gone shopping for each other’s presents. And lots of fish. I’m impressed neither looks very stressed. Must be getting it done early, before the rush hits.

Snowbunny

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It feels a bit weird to be stitching such a wintry scene while the sun shines warmly outside. It’s also quite weird considering Christmas so far in advance now that I’m out of the sort of Retail which begins its Christmas campaign now.

However, needs must and all that.

I counted up my patches when I popped this one into my “Current Projects” box. When I’ve done my next one, which is my last Mouseloft kit, I’ll have eighteen. Which means I need to hunt around for another six. I already have a plan for a big patch for the twenty-fifth one for Christmas Day.

But I think after my next one I might have a little break from Christmas kits and have a go at some of the quite pretty ones I’ve found in my various magazines. Mark and I are going to be moving soon, and I’m going to get stuck in with decorative items. And setting me up in a little Stitchery-office of my very own.