Christmas biscornu

Having arrived back in The Gambia this week, I’m beginning to get my breath back and turn my attention to crafty things again. I’m still beavering away at the tatting, but of course, I’m beginning to think about Christmas as well! For a Brit, the idea of Christmas when the temperature is in the 30s is a bit strange, and although Christmas is celebrated here, it’s not a huge festival. And there is nothing like the commercial frenzy that you get in the UK, and I daresay in other countries too. Last year I came back to Gambia in early December, and it was a huge relief to get away from the craziness (although I did make, wrap and deliver presents before I left).

However, last year I decided to open my Etsy shop, and at the moment I am focusing on selling cross-stitch patterns, which can be downloaded. Naturally, trying to post physical items would be impossible from The Gambia. I designed some little Christmas biscornu last year, and I’ve just reactivated the listings ready for this year. I love the quirkiness of biscornu, which are surprisingly simple to make, and don’t take too long either. They are perfect for little gifts, but they could be made into tree ornaments very simply by adding a length of ribbon.

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Handmade cards (mostly stitched)

Cross stitched card 01

Over the years I’ve given my friend and family a lots of hand-made gifts, and especially cards. I’ve given a lot of cross-stitched cards. Some of them were ‘freebies’ from cross stitch magazines that I used to get – I can’t afford them now as they are so expensive, but I always enjoyed making them.  My mum has kept everything I have ever given her, and since I haven’t got anything new to show you just now, I thought I would show you some of my old cards instead. Some of them are over fifteen years old, which you can probably tell if you look closely! The card above was a lovely little project, and I loved the free printed card that came with it.

 

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This cross stitched card of autumn leaves was given to my dad for his birthday.

Cross stitched card 03

This jolly seaside card reminded me of the summer holidays by the sae when I was a child.

Cross stitched card 04

This card was stitched on evenweave – almost the first time I had ever worked on evenweave.

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Another birthday card for my dad.

Needlepoint card

This lovely card used some different needlepoint stitches

Hardanger card

My very first attempt at hardanger, and I am still hooked!

Beadwork card

A beadwork card – I am still hooked on beadwork too.

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This Christmas card was made with folded fabric – rather like a tulip pattern.

Stamped mandala Christmas card

Stamped mandala Christmas card 02

I made over 70 of these mandala Christmas cards! I had to stamp three images for each card, then colour them, and cut sections of the design out rather like decoupage. I used sticky pads to lift the layers up, and added a little jewel in the centre. I started in October, and I loved doing them, but it did take a long time!

I’m sure there are a few more of my cards and gifts around, so I’ll see how many other I can find to show you. It would be great to see cards or gifts you’ve made.

My SAL is finished.

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I have finally managed to finish my SAL! This is the first SAL (stitch-a-long) I have taken part in, and I must admit there were times when I got a bit behind, but now I have finished it, and I am very pleased with the result. This SAL was organised by Avis at ‘Oh Sew Tempting‘, and it was released in six parts. When she had finished hers, Avis mounted it in a frame, and put a withdrawn thread border around it, which inspired me. I love withdrawn thread embroidery, and I haven’t done any for ages, so I decided to add my own border, as well as some pearl beads, and make my SAL into a mat. I’d forgotten how fiddly it is withdrawing the cut threads, and it took me a while to get back into the swing of it, but in the end (like riding a bike), it all came back to me. Here is a close-up view of the beads and border:

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I will definitely be taking part in another SAL, so I will keep a look-out to for another one! If you want to have a go at this pattern, you can find it here.

I have been a bit slow to update my blog this week, because I’ve been working hard on a couple of other projects, which I will share with you very soon. I hope you are all enjoying your stitching! 🙂