Monday, 31 October 2011


This weekend, a friend and I went to the Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model live show at the Excel centre in East London. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it sold itself as a great girls day out. There were various tickets available, but at £49, I thought that VIP was a little too much to fork out so instead we opted for the Premium tickets for £28. This included a ticket to the live catwalk show. There was also a £20 ticket for entry and a seat further back in the show or £12.50 just for the shopping and no catwalk show.

I have to say I found the whole day out a bit disappointing. Having been to Excel a few times before and knowing how big it is, I was sad that the actual shopping area took up so little room, and I think this made it feel like it wasn't worth the ticket price. There were a lot of makeover stands to get your hair or nails done, but these had big queues and quite a lot of the same things appeared multiple times and not the variety that I would have liked.

The live catwalk show was really impressive, and it was good to see the girls from this year's show put on such a great display and to demonstrate why they were in the show, and they all looked truly stunning in real life. The male dancers (mostly topless) and live music made it more of a spectacle, and I thought this redeemed the day out a little.

But overall, I have paid a lot less money to go to much better shows than this - I don't think I'll be returning next year.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pass it on...

I'm lucky enough that my grandma was very crafty. She always had a project on the go, whether that was sewing, knitting squares for blankets, or I remember her over a number of years making lots and lots of these cute knitted dolls for charity and every time we would visit her she would show us the latest doll she had made. Such an amazing lady.

Sadly, she is no longer with us, but the last time my parents came to visit, they brought with them a couple of her unfinished stitching projects. So now I have decided to finish those off before I start on my other backlog.

First up is a piece of floral tapestry. It comes with instructions for making it up into either a cushion or a framed piece. It's quite cute but I'm finding it hard work to pull the wool through and not as enjoyable as cross stitch. Still, it is only small, so I shall crack on with it and get it finished. I like the idea that I am finishing off the couple of things that she started, it has a nice feel to it.

When I look at some of the photos of samplers from generations ago, I am amazed that children so young could produce such detailed, disciplined and neat work, and I think that it is a shame that this has been lost on our younger generations. But I hope that some day I can pass my skills down to another member of my family for them to learn.

I'm not anywhere near as neat as my grandma was, but she had years more practice than I did. But I'm proud to say that I'm getting there.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Finish - Beyond the Garden Gate

Woohoo!!! I am so pleased, I managed to finish this one in a little over 2 months, it's great to have my stitching mojo back and to be excited by working on pieces. I think it looks quite sweet, and although I think it would make a quite nice cushion, it's more likely to be framed for someone.

What's not so great is how carried away I got at the Knitting and Stitching show. Whoops! Within about 5 minutes, I'd bought some halloween related charts, but I know, they won't be done in time for this year, so they will have to wait until out of season. A bit further round, I saw some other lovely things I wanted to try, and further still and there was the Jane Greenoff stand. So many beautiful samplers hanging on the wall and Jane herself was there, who convinced me to join the Cross Stitch Guild. I also bought a lovely floral book to stitch and a blackwork house sampler. Since I wanted to extend my skills a little and to try some blackwork, and I've also been keen to try a sampler, this seemed like a great combination.

I also splashed out on a colourful green and purple tile that I thought was pretty and a bit different and a few HAED charts and kits. Terrible, I know, but having seen many of the blogs I follow who are working on HAED charts, it was just too hard to resist and they had one hanging up that I absolutely had to have. I have a sneaky feeling this is how the addiction to HAED starts. Even though I'm sure each one is at least a 2 year project! I guess I won't be needing to go to the show for about another 10 years! Pictures to follow as I start and progress... yes I will be better with the stitching updates.