Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Contemplating Bethlehem

May the peace and joy you find at this sacred time follow you through the new year and beyond.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Babette goes walk about

Missus H. told me I have a cousin in my new abode. When she went out I went to look for him. I met lots of lovely, friendly inhabitants but alas, no cousin :( Where he go to we don't know!!!!
Missus H. said she made the nativity set. She took a class with Grandma H. She said that the nativity set is about the birth of someone called Jesus. He is very important person to all Christians and many other peoples. The family is reading Luke and stories from Happy Tales to You Christmas book. I am learning a lot.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cross stitch exchange

I received this beautiful Christmas ornament from Lucy with the Exchange Heaven group. Very pretty.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas ornament exchange

A few weeks ago I participated in an exchange with the yahoo group I- Love- Cross -Stitch. I received this ornament from Gail that until I put it on our tree had been hanging up in our kitchen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Greetings from Babette :)

Look at my new residence. Isn't it just lovely. I have a cardinal living above me and a snowman beside me. I love the bells Missus H. lets me hang on to :) She told me not to eat the berries :(
A few days ago my new residence moved. Missus H. said she preferred it in the corner by the fireplace. I live on the 6th level and I hope I don't have to look down too far!!!!
Missus H. says I have to say "Hope you all have a Merry Christmas" .... whatever that is. Oh, she says it's a big, special holiday so to rejoice. I think I can do that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Here a stitch, there a stitch - part 5 Gypsy Garden Collection

I like looking at the photographs at
She also has a nice tutorial on how to make rick-rack flowers for those of you who have buckets of the stuff :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Something Christmasy

I'm in the middle of decorating our trees. I enjoy taking out the ornaments from their boxes and remembering times past. I made both of these. The red one was a motif taken from a Christmas stocking in the "A Merry Christmas in Cross-Stitch" by Better Homes and Gardens (1994) I made 12 as gifts for all our family members i.e. parents and siblings.
The log cabin one is tiny 2"x2" and was not originally intended as an ornament but I liked it so much I wanted to use it as one.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Regardless of why or when Thanksgiving started I love this day of being with family and rejoicing together. Usually we celebrate with my mother-in-law and whoever else drops by her house but this year we have opted to stay home. May each of you enjoy your day and have reason to rejoice in all the bounty the Lord provides.
(The photograph come courtesy of

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here a stitch, there a stitch - part 4 has a nice page of very basic stitches with drawings and directions.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here a stitch, there a stitch - part 3

Maya at has an interesting way of presenting her embroidery stitches - little book pages.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Stitching

This will probably be the last of my Christmas gift stitching for this year. It's a Dimension needlepoint kit I got on discount. I'm substituting 14 count Aida for the plastic canvas. There's three different kinds of floss/yarn.
The stitches being incorporated are Continental Stitch, Satin Stitch, Cut Tack Loops, Alternating Stitch and French Knots. I'm about 1/3rd the way through the middle snowman on the top row in the picture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Here a stitch, there a stitch - part 2

Needlecrafter has a nice way of presenting embroidery stitches. The section is called Stitch Dictionary and is literally that. Everything is divided up alphabetically with word definitions and in some instances a potted history. A little eyeglass takes you to a black and white drawing of how to do each stitch e.g. Chevron Stitch - A primary embroidery stitch worked from left to right along parallel lines. Rows of Chevron Stitch can be stacked to make an attractive border or filling.
So if you are on the go a lot and learning embroidery why not print out a stitch or two to take along with you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Here a stitch, there a stitch

When I am learning a new stitch or revisiting a familiar one I like to watch them being done.
One of the sites I enjoy going to is Mary Corbet's Needle N Thread. She has an excellent video library that takes you through very basic to more complex stitches.
The videos are short and easy to follow.
Currently Mary is doing some picture tutorial's at her blog for lettering which is interesting. How many of us want to do lettering in our Christmas projects but are not always sure what is the best way to go about doing that?
My dog is at the vet today getting her staples taken out. She was none too thrilled at me leaving her there but she really needs to get rid of the belly band. She was rolling in the dirt over the weekend and looks somewhat odd with long hair poking through some of the strips. She's also a bit whiffy and needs a bath :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blog of the week - Tatyana

What can I say I love, love, love Tatyana's stitching. This young lady from Moscow is very talented. Her projects are always so elegant and she presents them very well.
Tatyana is currently highlighting some of her Christmas projects. So far I really like the sheep and the snowflake tree.
If you have never been to her site you are in for a treat.

Friday, November 13, 2009

An interesting blog

I know some of you like working with felt and while I was trolling round "internet land" I came across a charming site.
Our dog had surgery recently and is doing well but I have not got much stitching done this week. Finished a couple more of the little wreaths and that's about it.
Looks like I need to get another background for my blog. When I checked in today my new one had disappeared. One of these days I really need to work out an interesting header. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
We've been getting a number of quotes over the past couple of weeks for windows and foundation work (sun room and porch) which have been quite time consuming. Next week we have a whole house check being done. We live in a 70's style ranch on a slope, which takes a bit of time to measure and provide estimates for.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Christmas ornaments

"Holly Tree Mini-Sampler" from "A Cross-Stitch Christmas - Gifts to Cherish" by Better Homes and Gardens.  2 strands DMC over one on 14 count Aida. I haven't decided yet whether I want to frame it or make it into a mini wall hanging.
I'm contemplating making another one in a different color-way.

I took "Snowman's Quaker Christmas" a freebie by Midnight Stitching and adapted it by omitting the snowman face, adding in 09 and the ribbon through the wreath. It was done with 3 strands over 18ct. but I think I will do the rest 2 strands.
"Peace, Joy. Love" A freebie design by Lizzie Kate.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival 9-16 October 2009

I've spent a good chunk of my time looking at the entries and stories over at Some of them had hand embroidery in them which was really nice to see.

Project wise I have not done much. I have started on a Christmas Sampler but y'all don't need to see a picture of a red outline and a little tree :)

My kids are now on Fall Break so I will not be blogging till they go back.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Dance - siggie blocks

I've mentioned in past posts that I am participating in a siggie block exchange at the Lady of Steeles Hand Embroidery group. The number of participants seems to have settled down (some dropped out) and we have to make 24 blocks. I finished up stitching all the celtic knots this week and now just have to add in my signature.
Each knot is approx. 5"x31/2" and took about 2 hours each to stitch. I made the blocks larger than required so I would have something to hold while I sewed and I will leave it up to each of the recipients to trim to whatever new size they want.
Now I am getting ready to make Christmas presents/exchanges and have picked out a few patterns from my collection of Christmas cross-stitch books. Most of the items will be small tree ornaments but I also found a few small samplers that I want to try.
Cirque Des Carreaux, poor thing, is languishing, pining away in my projects drawer. I will start back to it this week. Maybe I should set myself a deadline?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PIF Winners

My son drew the names last night and the winners are Micki, Pojeda and Jade. Congratulations ladies. Please send me your mailing addresses and then PIF away at your blogs :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Christmas ornament for fund raiser.

I've not been doing much hand stitching this week because I have a few quilting deadlines to meet but I did make this ornament for a fundraiser. We were sent a small version of the star pattern and had to enlarge it to 6". The only direction given was to do some hand stitching on it.
I used some of my white sparkly fabric, drew some squiggly lines, used white DMC floss to do back stitch and French Knots in the sequins. I was going to blanket stitch round the edges but I did not like how it was looking so left it "as is." I made the yo-yo and hand stitched it to the center. I like how it turned out but next time round I think I'll draw the star more rounded just because it will be easier to stuff it.
Speaking of fund-raisers go check out what is happening at Stitching For a Cure (click on angel in my sidebar). The big event is almost here and Donna has done an impressive job of getting everything organized.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pay It Forward

If you feel inclined to participate in the PIF fun this is all you have to do. Sign up at this posting. (I need at least three people.) If more sign up I will do a drawing.
If you are chosen you then have to do a PIF at your blog asking people to participate, and display the logo. You send a personally made item to three people from your event,within a year.
The three people I choose from this, or my other blog, posting will receive a gift made by moi by September 2010.

Exchange Heaven - Autumn wall hanging

This is the little wall hanging I made for the Autumn exchange at Exchange Heaven. Hopefully it has reached it's recipient by now.
The beads spell out autumn.
The cross stitch center is a pattern from DMC. I changed the colors and used regular DMC cotton instead of linen (which I don't have yet.)

Other updates - My newest project has proven to be awkward. I'm about to rip it out ..... again, and then it will be back in the "hopeful" pile. I'm going to concentrate on Cirque Des Carreaux and the LofS friendship blocks till they are finished. Most of this week has been spent doing quilt projects, some of which you can see at my other blog.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Babette visits - Wimpole Hall

There are animals at this lovely house that are SMALLER than me :) Missus H. said they are called snails. I wanted to swim in the Bath House but no water. Sadness.
A very old lady lived in this very big house for a very long time. Mrs. Elsie Bambridge. Her daddy wrote books - someone called Rudyard Kipling. Missus H. says I would enjoy reading his words.
There are scary monsters at this place. Big, big, big, with four legs, long, long, hair and huge horns. Maybe thems what makes the floorboards creak?

Where did We Begin? (an apology)

I'm having a bad reading/linking day.
For those of you linking to the Where Did We Begin? quilting stories from please go to
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about it's a whooooole lot of fun. You should participate :)

As for my weekly up-date. I've been finishing up swaps and sending them off. No photos till they arrive at the other end.

I am one of the three lucky recipients of a PIF from Elisa (link on my sidebar). I am thrilled to say the least. She does some fabulous stitching. Come back next Friday if you want to enter in my PIF :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A day to remember and reflect

And the winner is ..........

Carolyn NC.
Congratulations to you. Please contact me with your address and Babette will waddle on over to the post office to mail it to you :)
Carolyn has a nice blog and the saga of her dog and cat is hilarious.
Thanks to everyone else that participated.

Babette visits the Gower Peninsula

I got to visit the sea. Whoopee !!!!!!! Sadness, the tide was out :( But we had a mighty fine, looooooong walk. Missus H. carried me in her lunchbox so I would not scare the big, furry creatures with four legs !!!!!! I saw some distant relatives but it was too windy to climb down to visit (the seals) and Missus H. would have hard time climbing back up. It was very far down and I felt dizzy looking over the edge. Do you like my sitting place? Lovely view and good resting place for tired little me. I sat and sniffed the sea air while everyone else ate ice-cream. Little penguins don't like ice-cream and I had huuuuge piece of fish later.

Update on project for Exchange Heaven

Well the cross stitch section went just fine but the putting together of the original concept turned into a disaster. I was trying to make a book but I used the wrong glue and the cover is basically only fit for the trash can. Aaaaargh.
"Necessity (as I hear say) is the mother of invention" so idea #2 is almost completed and will probably go out in the mail sometime next week.
I've been super busy with some other things so was not able to do any more to Cirque Des Carreaux :( Having said that Christmas is coming so I started making a gift. It's biiiiiiiiig, but simple (I hope).

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Babette" on vacation

Missus H. let me travel on the plane with her which was good thing 'cause her luggage got searched and I might have scared the searching man.
All the humans went on a trip round a place called London while I slept in the hotel. Good thing too because I not like going up high and they went on something called The Eye and climbed into the Whispering Gallery and, and, and .........
I was soooo excited when I woke up and saw ROCKS. BIIIIIIIIIG rocks. I don't know how I got there but I had a comfy bed in Mrs H. lunchbox.
Mr. H had to hold on to me because it was windy and since I am just a little penguin I might have blowed away.
So this is Stonehenge and since no-one knows why these lovely rocks are sitting there I have a story for you.

Long, long time ago many penguins decided to build a model of main penguins. They slid lots of lovely rocks over the ice from faraway place and dug many holes with their beaks. After that they were too tired to add the heads and paint the bodies. The end.

Missus H. says I can make BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. She is doing teeny, tiny, giveaway at end of todays blog entries.
Missus H. what's a blog?

A proper finish - Garden Prince

I finally decided what I wanted to do with "Garden Prince" by Just Nan.
It is now another addition to my ever growing collection of door knob hangers. One of these years I need to get a bit more original and work out another way to display them !!!!!!!
So I used some of my bamboo batting to pad the layers, did a double row of machine stitching and yes, yet another frayed edge:) I have plans for the linen I pulled off and the left over beads.

Update on Cirque Des Carreaux and some other projects

Gollee the fabric holes are tiny. My own fault for wanting to do a mini version :)
Before I went on vacation I got all the background squares done. Now I am filling in.
3 sections got done this week.
I'm using DMC #320 for those areas I want to be green then I'll move onto another color after that.

I'm almost finished making my swap for the Exchange Heaven group Autumn/Halloween swap. All I will say is this. It involves leaves and raffia and does not say Boo :)

A small giveaway

Babette - Can I tell them? Can I tell them?
Mrs. H - Yes you may.

Babette - Christmas is coming and Mrs. H has lovely gift/kit to give to you. She says it is called "Candle Bougie" and if I grow another 3/4" I will be the same size at it !!!!!

Mrs. H can you tell the rest?

Leave a comment on this blog entry by Thursday or send me an e-mail. Next Friday I might let Babette announce the winner :) Make sure I have a way to contact you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Babette to Missus H

Babette - Missus H. when are we going to show the lovely people my holiday pictures?
Missus H. - Soon Babette, soon.
Babette - When is soon?
Missus H. - How about on Friday?
Babette - Why not today?
Missus H. - Because I have decided to only up-date on Fridays and there is a problem with some of the pictures.
Missus H. - Some of them did not turn out and some of them are fuzzy.
Babette - Oh Missus H. I don't mind fuzzy. I still want to let the lovely people know about my holiday.
Missus H. - Okay. Would you like a spot every Friday for the next few weeks?
Babette - Oooooooh, please and can I show them my friend Bert? (Much bouncing up and down and clapping of flippers.)
Missus H. - Maybe at the end.
Babette - Missus H. I like my new spot in your sewing room. Can I show people that as well?
Missus H. - Mmmmmmm. I'll have to think about that.
Babette - Sounds like I may have to wait for a while.
Missus H. - You got that right :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Project up date - signature blocks for Lady of Steeles

This is the project I took on vacation with me. The intent was to get all 26 done. I have 15 of the celtic knots finished and the rest are on hold till we get our new numbers sent to us. We have some people dropping out and the possibility of new ones being added.
I'll put my signature in the knots and then put the project to one side for a few weeks.
I'm in a mood to return to Cirque des Carreaux for the next week. Time to drag out the colors and see what matches my bedspread :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

One of my older projects

I stitched this a few years ago and gifted it to my parents. They have it hanging in their stair well so please excuse the darkness of the photo.
I took photographs of some other pieces while I was there and will share that with you in later posts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

With friendship and love

To all you sweet angels out there who lighten and brighten the lives of those in need.
I know a number of people locally, at a distance and on-line who have serious issues in their lives. I have been greatly impressed by the compassion extended toward them, so to all of you a gift of a rose breaking into full beauty.
This is my way of sharing the award that Micki extended to myself and some others. Hope you are okay with that Micki and that your current health issue will improve.

Everything Jane Austen Challenge - #1 completed

During our 3 weeks in Britain we had the opportunity to visit a number of castles, stately homes and manors courtesy of our Royal Oak Foundation family membership pass.
Two of the houses we visited are featured in "Pride and Prejudice" -Sudbury Hall and Lyme Park. Both were used to re-create parts of Pemberley, Lyme Park for the exterior and lake, Sudbury for interiors.
We also drove round Bath where Jane Austen lived for a while but could not find a parking spot to stop and walk.
We bought two books about the filming of Jane Austen novels for TV and movies and should be finished with them soon. Very interesting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We are back from our vacation

We had a fabulous time in Britain. "Babette" got in on some of the pictures and hopefully they have turned out okay. I'll post them later.

We visited a couple of stately homes featured in "Pride and Prejudice" and saw the exhibit of costumes for "The Duchess". I should have an overview of week 3 of our visit posted to our family blog sometime today or tomorrow.

I was able to get some hand embroidery done. I took the blocks for the Lady of Steeles signature block exchange and got about 12 done.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Prep time and travel

I'll be spending the next few days preparing for us leaving on vacation and maybe getting some stitching done.

While we are gone, and if we can access decent internet, we will blog about our vacation at our family blog.

So for now I bid you farewell and I'll be back sometime in August.

Happy stitching and creating.
Carol H.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Look who's decided to tag along to Britain as quality control inspector for my sewing project. It's baby penguin from the recent pincushion swap. She's going to make sure I do my chain stitching properly and finish all 26 blocks for the LofSHE "siggie block" exchange. We shall see how that "OC" goal develops :)
Baby penguin needs a name. Maybe we will get inspired while we are on our travels or maybe one of you can suggest something. I'm thinking she may need an outfit to protect her from the sun :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Juliet's project - an update

Juliet has been concentrating on the blue ribbon at the bottom. She has finals, in addition to work, this week so I'm not sure how much she will get done over the next few days.

Cirque des Carreaux - an update

I've opted for a much smaller version i.e. 28 count, 1 strand DMC #3712, 1 over 1 on Monaco (evenweave) cloth. It's approx 9"x7".
My "OC" goal over the past few days was to have all the main background "blocks" sewn by last night and I almost made it. I just have 3 left to do on the left hand side. It reminds me of the Argyll pattern you find on sweaters.
The finished project is intended for our bedroom so I am planning on picking up a couple of colors from our bedspread for the rest of the design.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge

I'm doing some sampler research and ran across an interesting challenge that just started on the 1st July and runs for 6 months. Click on Miss Austin link on my sidebar and it will take you to how to do what and when to do etc. For those of you who like prizes there are some of those too :) Thanks Stephanie for coming up with the idea.

So here is my 6 item list (which is NOT all book/DVD related).

1. Visit a Jane Austen related site while vacationing in England. (We were already planning this before I found the challenge because DD #1 is a huuuuuge fan.)
2. Purchase "Jane Austen's Sewing Box" and do a project from it.
3. Do a drawing of an outfit from the Regency time period.
4. Watch Pride & Prejudice DVD ( my hubby requested we do the 2 hour one)
5. read a JA related book or novel.
6. find a blog of someone who has completed a Jane Austen sampler.

If I have time I would like to stitch a small JA sampler or design one.

I've finished one. Woohoo.
6. I found a blog (or two) :)
It is a lovely little sampler hope you all enjoy looking at it.
and another more recent finish can be found at
You have got to see what she plans on doing with her JA wall :)

And just "for fun" - I for one did not know that there are official JASNA chapters in the US.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just call me the village idiot :)

A mystery package from Malaysia showed up at my house a while ago and for the life of me I could not work out what it was for. An adorable baby penguin that had obviously been hand made, along with some ribbon, buttons and a little note book. I think I looked through every group I belong to and checked almost every swap I am participating in to no avail.

Today it dawned on me try looking in the pincushion swap site and lo and behold there was Diah's blog - and there was the penguin (which I might add I had read about previously) - so needless to say I feel like the village idiot.

So thanks Diah it all got here safely :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New starts and finishes

Last night I started Cirque Des Carreaux. I was originally going to do it in one color but I may switch to two or three to highlight another pattern embedded in the design. Looks like it is going to be a fun piece to stitch.

I also started Antique Roses and Strawberries BUT I do not like the fabric that came with the kit so I'm going to rip it out and start over with something different.

"Garden Prince" is finished stitching wise and just has to be made into something. The design was done for the 1999 Nashville Show and did not have a picture with it. When I did some research I found a really lovely picture of it as a small box. Turns out the design is one of Just Nan's older ones that is difficult to find so I will be holding on to the pattern. At some point I may try it in different colors.

Rose Splendor and Porlock Down are almost finished. I need to have them done before we leave for our vacation as they are going to be gifts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Hog Heaven"

I went to the library with our two youngest yesterday and checked out the most fabulous, yummy, creative needlework book. It's called "Needlework Masterpieces from Winterthur" by Hollis Greer Minor. It's been around for a while but I've been reading my way through some other sections of the building :)

I love the basic introduction to Winterthur, the du Pont family and basic embroidery. Makes you want to research in more depth. I want to try making the brick cover :)

Guess I'll have to put a trip to Delaware on my "to visit" list and the book on my "to buy" list.

The other book I checked out (to help me teach my youngest daughter) is "Cross-stitch For The First Time" by Donna Kooler. The featured designers are Barbara Baatz, Emie Bishop, Janelle Giese, Linda Gillum, Sandy Orton, Tina & Teri Richards, and Nancy Rossi. Love the projects and how the to do sections are broken down into easy follow along "how to ..." chapters

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"I Love Snowmen" - finished at last :)

It only took a few minutes to sew each ornament together. I think the frayed edge is becoming one of my "marks" given the number of projects I've finished off this way. The rest of the pictures are on my side bar under Stitching Finishes 2009.

Juliet's project - an update.

Juliet has been working on her project every day either before heading out to work or after she gets home. She is currently working on the cat at the top and the blue ribbon at the bottom.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pincushion Summer Swap 09

Martine in the Netherlands has received the package I sent her and is happy.

Her blog address is if you want to visit her site to learn more about her. If you scroll down a bit you can see the blocks she is making for the Civil War Dairy Quilt. They look lovely.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stitching issues

So for the first time I'm having problems with sweaty palms and needles rapidly losing their finish. I don't know if I'm heading into menopause and my body chemistry is changing again or if it is the heat and humidity :)

The humidity is turning my brain to mush, even with A/C, so no stitching has happened recently. I'm sooooo close to having 3 projects finished. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

If anyone has any solutions please feel free to tell me. I want to stitch.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mini sampler

My very first mini sampler is now designed and finished. I made it into a mini pillow. I enjoyed the process and am looking forward to doing some more.
It was stitched on 28 ct. evenweave using cross stitch over 2 an 1, running stitch and weave through. At the corners are bronze seed beads. The alphabet was one of many freebies that can be found on-line. Floss colors - DMC 319 green, 300 brown, and Designs for Needles orange. The finished piece measures 51/2"x 61/2".

Angel of Mercy I

Mel recently had a giveaway on her blog at and I decided "what the heck, I'll enter it." I got on e-mail on Friday letting me know I had won ..... Lavender & Lace "Angel of Mercy" pattern.
Needless to say now that I am passed the initial shock I am delighted and looking forward to stitching my very first L&L. Go visit her blog and see what she is currently stitching ..... "Skull duggery" abounds :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pincushion Summer Swap 09

My pincushion pillow is finished. Woohoo :)
It measures 71/2"x51/2" and can be used as a pincushion or a decorative pillow. I adapted the May 2006/2007 freebie pattern from Ink Circles for the Celtic knot.
The background for the first picture is a major hint to what time period the recipient is interested in !!!!!
So 1 swap finished 3 to go but for now dear people I am off to do something else. All this 28 count stitching can make a girl's eyes cross waaaay too much :)