Monday, 23 February 2015


I have always been someone who gets inspiration for my crafting from others, I am always more productive if people around me are creating wonderful designs and since joining the blogging community at the beginning of the year I have been inspired by photos that others have posted on their blogs.

Firstly I would like to thank Carol from Stitching Dreams - for years I spent all my spare time doing cross stitch embroidery but completely lost my stitching mojo after my Dad passed away almost four years ago. Carol stitches the most gorgeous Christmas ornament designs and she described how one of the ornaments she had stitched had special meaning for her. The design included a cardinal which made her feel close to her father who passed away last year.  This resonated with me and I suddenly had a strong yearning to stitch a robin. My Dad was an avid gardener and over the years he made friends with several robins who became very tame as they watched him digging the garden and even feeding out of his hand. Without further ado I gathered the materials needed, found the design that I was looking for - it needed to be an authentic looking robin and I knew I had the perfect design, I just needed to search through hundreds of charts to find it!  

I really enjoyed stitching this design and thinking of my Dad while I was stitching it and hopefully my stitching mojo is here to stay so thank you so much Carol for giving me the kickstart I needed to get back into my stitching. Here is the completed design ready to hang on my tree next Christmas.

This design came from an old copy of New Stitches magazine

Having made a renewed start to my stitching I hope to become productive once again - I have far too much stash tucked away not to stitch again for another four years! I think I will start off with small designs until I get back into it the flow - I am sure my Christmas tree could do with a few more ornaments next year. This is just a very small and varied sample of designs I have stitched in the past.

Secondly on reading Cathy's blog (The House With The Blue Door) I was inspired to crochet a mandala - there were lots of these being crocheted all over  Blogland last year for Attic24's Yarndale exhibition but being busy with other projects I didn't get around to making any then. However seeing Cathy's lovely Spring inspired design I decided it was about time I had a go. These are surprisingly addictive and after making a visit to my local Yarn shop and selecting some lovely cotton yarn I came home and starting crocheting and ended up hooking three of these creations. Thank you Cathy for providing the inspiration for me to try out something new.

Little Spring Mandala (
Petals and Puffs Mandala (
Magical Mandala (

Having had a bit of fun this last week with some new creations I need to get back to finishing off some of the projects that have been put on hold. I think I will be banned from buying any new yarn/stitching materials until I have used up some of my huge stash and finishing off things that I have abandoned taken a temporary rest from.

One more bit of crafty related news - I have been asked by my local yarn store to teach a crochet class, really looking forward to this challenge.


  1. Hello Jan

    I love your cross stitch makes, they are just beautiful. I can just imagine your little robin sitting on your Christmas tree, and what a lovely reminder of your late Dad.

    Beautiful colours for your mandala's.

    So pleased to hear you are going to teach crochet classes.


  2. Oh, your little robin is so darling, Jan! And a perfect way to remember your father. I'm glad I could provide you with some inspiration... (And I so wish our American robins were as cute as your British counterparts :)

    And I love seeing the photos of your past stitching--I especially like the Victoria Sampler (?) piece in the middle right--just gorgeous.

    Have fun at the crocheting class--I'm sure you'll be a great teacher! Wish I was there to learn :)

  3. Hi Jan, I've just been catching up with blogs after a busy couple of evenings and was delighted to read yours and see that you had mentioned me - how very kind! Your mandalas are gorgeous - I especially like the little spring mandala. The seasonal colours are so very delicate and pretty. I must say you are a very talented needlewoman indeed. I can't imagine how long it must have taken you to make some of those amazing cross-stitched designs. I've only ever made quite little ones and I know that they can take longer than I think they will. Your little robin is beautiful, so very sweet and neatly made, and so often company for the gardener - I'm sure your dad would have been very touched. I wish you many happy hours of cross-stitching and crochet, and I'm sure that you'll be a brilliant teacher :)
    Cathy x

  4. Wow! So much cross-stitching, and so many beautiful pictures! They must be a real joy to have hanging in your home. I do like your robin, he's lovely. Some people say that seeing a robin is a sign that loved ones who aren't around any more are thinking of you, so it's a very appropriate way to remember your Dad. Good luck with your crochet class, I'm sure you're going to be an excellent teacher xx

  5. Hi Jan, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award if you want play along, but don't feel that you have to! :-) xx

  6. Hello Jan, your cross stitch creations are stunningly beautiful. How I admire your needle skills. I don't think I could ever make anything like that. I'm so happy to hear that you are beginning to do this craft again. I hope you have a great weekend.