Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Well I'm slowly getting more done on the blackwork it's starting to take shape nicely now will have to wait until this evening now before I can do anymore today as this thing called work is getting in the way lol.

But once I'm home I can hopefully get a few more hours in on it and get line finished I can safely say the piece will be going to Spain their is no hope I will be anywhere near finished before my holiday so it will be packed away in my hand luggage for the trip and will have to pack my frame in my suitcase

Hoping I can pick up some nice blackwork books while I'm over there so will be looking round book shops and any antique stores I come across for something a little bit different
Have a great day everyone
Dean ;-)xxx

Gold plated needles

When I first read about gold plated needles I thought it was just another money making scheme to get us to part with yet more cash for our hobby.

But I recently got one in a blackwork kit I brought on the Internet and I have to say it really does make a difference to the way that you saw I know this will sound odd but it does seem to make the way you sew a lot smoother.

My local store thought I had lost my mind when I went in and asked for gold plated needles I guess it's not an everyday request especially here in Blackpool lol the assistant wanted to know if I'd won the lotto so had to resort to the internet again there are a number of sites that stock them if your not already using them that is.

There not as expensive as you would think a couple of pounds which really is a small price to pay for the difference it will make to your sewing it's all I would ever use now

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Late night

Was up until one a.m this morning working on my blackwork lol thankfully I'm off work for a few days that's the trouble with it once you start it is very difficult to put it down.

This looks like it's going to be a very nice piece the pattern I'm working on (the picture from yesterday's blog) is stunning and looks very affective but it's a very large piece of the work can't see that I will be finished before my holiday so looks like it will be coming to Spain with me cant wait to be back under the Mediterranean sun

Monday, 29 August 2011

New piece of blackwork

Well I've started the new piece of blackwork it's a traditional sampler piece and quite a large one to so lots of work involved I really do love this kind of embroidery like to see it taking shape as I'm working it and I never fail to be impressed with how stunning the finished work is it makes all the hours that go into it so worth while I think I can safely say blackwork is my passion as I'm never happier than when I'm working on a piece like this.if you haven't tried blackwork give it ago while the patterns may look complicated once you are into your stride it is really a very simple form of needlework and one I think looks fantastic many people I know that enjoy embroidery are put off by it because of the fact it looks so labour intensive but it really is worth the time for the end result and their are some great books on the Market to help you on your way well have a great day
Dean;-) xxx

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Well I've been given my new project my friend has shown someone a picture of my last blackwork project and she wants one to lol

Explained I can't do another as that one was a gift for a family member so we spent 2 hours going over my books until she found something she liked seems like I'm typecast into my blackwork lol I really don't mind I love doing it far more so than anything else but didn't expect to be doing another piece so soon

I've put my art deco cross stitch in my sewing box guess I'll have to pick her up some other time no idea when the blackwork is quite labour intensive may have to start designing my own pieces soon people seem to like them lol
Dean;-) xx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A request

Well looks like my art deco lady will have to go into my sewing box for a while a friend has asked me to do a piece for someone's birthday I don't seem to be having much luck of late at been able to get anything done for myself but I have plenty of time.

Does anyone else have the same problem? There always seems to be something someone else wants doing when it comes to embroidery lol for me part of giving a gift like this comes from knowing that the person who is giving it to you has taken the time to make you something may just be me lol I'm a bit soft like that but couldn't say no she's a friend and the person it's for loves arts and crafts So guess it's going to a good home well hope you all have a great day

Thursday, 25 August 2011


Well I am underway now and after today will have more spare time hopefully to get stuck in to my cross stitch after doing my blackwork it seems a little bit odd having to mess around with different kinds of floss and it's taking some getting used to lol

While this piece is nice wish I had picked a sampler which is what I really enjoy doing but I was looking for a change and that's what I've got this piece has a lot of three 3/4 stitches in it and my biggest bug bare French knots which to be honest I'm hopeless at lol plenty of practice need before I get to that part I think failing that I will cheat and find someone that can do them lol the piece is for me so it doesn't really matter to much well have a great day guys
Dean;-) xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Well as you can see my completed work has returned from been framed think the simple black frame was the right choice for this piece.

My new cross stitch project has been started but it took me a while to get myself organised with the floss so only managed to do a little think it's going to take me a while to complete but should be enjoyable hopefully, I can see it been packed and coming on holiday to Spain with me what a fantastic way to relax on the balcony with tapas , wine and a stunning view of the Mediterranean sea what more can anyone ask for
Dean;-) xxx

Getting started

My cross stitch had arrived yesterday when I got home from work so I can make a start this evening been a while since I have done any cross stitch as I have been working on a lot of blackwork projects so I am really excited over it.

My first task this evening will be to sort out the floss into envelopes and mark them up with the floss number and chart symbol I seem to be able to work better that way lol than from the hole punched card that comes with the kit I find them a bit of a nightmare as the floss is forever getting tangled and I seem to spend more time trying to find out what colour I should be using than I do sewing that and the fact the card only ever has a number on it not the symbol which is what I'm working on from the pattern so I like to get organised lol guess we all have our own way of working and that's the way that works for me lol

Once I've done that I can get underway this piece is on 18 count Aida I normally like to work on 14 or 16 count as the stitches are slightly larger but I'll give it ago lol here's what she should look like then she's finished

Dean ;)

Monday, 22 August 2011


Well got an email yesterday to say my order had been dispatched it should be with me today or tomorrow at the latest which is good news as this coming weekend is a bank holiday here in the uk so I will have plenty of time to get started on the project.

I have added a few extra days holiday from work onto the bank holiday weekend so I will finish on Friday and don't have to go back to work until Thursday so five days off which I'm really looking forward to.

If you haven't checked out the sawandso website take a look at they dispatch world wide and the choice of items is endless I have not had any problems with the service and it very speedy if like me your very limited on places you can buy kits and materials for your embroidery it's a great reliable site that you can trust I would recommend it.

Have a great day and happy sewing
Dean;-) xx

Time to give in

Well I surrender lol this piece has at the moment got the better of me and I'm spending more time swearing at it than doing it (shameful) I'm not enjoying it so time to put it down and leave it well alone for a while.

So as a back up I have ordered a lovely art deco lady in cross stitch from sewandso today not told the other half lol but have to have something to work on and to be honest I'm fancying doing some more cross stitch so its given me a good excuse to spend some more money on my hobby

Dean ;)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Totally confused

Well I hate to admit defeat but this new piece has me totally confused it is like no other piece of blackwork I have ever done the stitches are crazy and all over the place the pattern looks simple enough to follow but don't seem to make any sense.

I have worked some very intricate pieces before and never had problems like this I'm really disappointed not at the money it cost but I was so looking forward to working this piece but at the moment it really seems to have got the better of me mat try again later failing that it's back to the drawing board :-(

Dean ;)

Saturday, 20 August 2011


Well my blackwork arrived by post on Friday morning fantastic service really pleased

I have just started the piece ( The sewing lady ) it is blackwork but not in the way I am used to working it so it's very different and it seems very odd to me but I will keep at it and see how things go

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The sewing lady

Morning everyone,

Well I am hoping my blackwork piece arrives today or tomorrow from sewandso in time for the weekend as at the minute I am left without a project and wasn't able to sew last night which was very odd.

I was on the sight again last night and have seen a number of charts that I really fancy getting that should keep me busy for a while but will wait to order them until this fourth-coming piece is well underway bit I'm itching to get started on it lol.

Also all been well my blackwork band sampler that I completed is due to come back from the framers today hopefully !! And I am very excited to see how the fully completed framed piece is going to look as it is a gift for someone's birthday i will of course let you see the finished product when I get it so all it all if things go to plan it should be a good weekend for me and I will be able to start my new project tomorrow have a great day.

Dean;-) xxxx

Shopping online

Just come across a fantastic site for all things embroidery this site has everything you will ever need kits, charts, fabric,needles and from just about every distributor of the prices are very good and I've found things on this site I never thought I would be able to get.

I have placed an order for a piece of blackwork that I have been looking for , for sometime now I never dreamt I would come across it let alone on a site that was based in the uk.

This website is a treasure chest if you are into embroidery you really can find anything no matter what your interest or enjoy sewing will give you some feedback on the speed of the service and the goods I receive can't believe I'm this excited over a website lol
Have a great day
Dean ;-) xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Still waiting

Still waiting for my completed piece of blackwork to come back from the picture framers I am very keen to see what the total finished piece is going to be like it was taken in on Saturday so hopefully should be due back anytime soon.

Think I'm going to head off to the local embroidery shop on Thursday see if I can pick myself up a cross stitch project to work on only down side is it takes me hours to decide lol and to be honest her stock is as old as the hills but it's the only place in town you can get anything like that so it's make do and mend failing that I may end up trolling though my mountain of books I have until I find something that takes my fancy
Dean ;-) xxxx

Black sampler

Work is progressing on the sampler should look really affective once it's finished and I've found a home for it on the stair way which is out of the sunlight if we every get any here lol didn't manage to get as much work done on it last night as I was hoping but will attempt to get some done this evening would really like it finished for the weekend that will give me a good two days to get my new project underway have a great day wherever you are
Dean ;-)xxx

Monday, 15 August 2011

Still going

Had great weekend and have managed to get plenty done on my cross stitch/ blackwork sampler at this rate I should be finished in three or four days and ready to move onto my next project.

I'm not sure what I want to do yet I was fancying doing more cross stitch as it's been a while since I did a full project but I've so enjoyed my blackwork it's difficult to make up my mind lol and as at the minute I have nothing that needs to be done for anyone else in the way of gifts or events I'm pretty much free to do what takes my fancy either way I need to be thinking about it or I will be left without a project all together and if I don't have something to work on my other half's life will not be a happy one lol.
Have a great day all
Dean:-) xx

Saturday, 13 August 2011


Hi guys
Been so busy today just got round to writing my blog I have been to take my completed blackwork to the art shop to be framed it's going to cost £19.00 and I've chosen a simple black frame to off set the work it should look stunning when I get it back

Still working on my unfinished sampler and getting a fair bit done hopefully by the time the weekend is out I will be almost finished and ready to start something new just didn't want to leave this one laying around any longer so it could be another trip to the art centre very soon have a great day

Dean ;) xx

Friday, 12 August 2011

Cross stitch project

Have had a good couple of days been able to work on my project as I have had the house to myself the last couple of nights and again tonight

It has become somewhat of a comfort been able to come home from a stressful day at work and been able to relax with my needlework and the hours fly by once you start to loose yourself in what you are doing.

A friend at work has told me of a craft shop that is local to me that has a good stock of cross stitch so weather permitting I will go and take a look tomorrow and see if there is anything that catches my eye to start when I have completed this piece.

But is only open three days a week I always like to keep a back up just in case I get finished sooner than I had planned or at the very least I can pick up some Aida and floss and design my own piece will take some pics of the place to share lol have a great day all
Dean ;-)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cross stitch

Seems a little bit odd now working on this black cross stitch sampler on my last project I was only working with one strand of floss as the blackwork needed to look very fine

So working with two as odd as it may sound seems very strange and is taking some getting use to I would really like to complete this piece as soon as I can so I can start something new

I was ask yesterday by a friend on the hand embroidery network if I only ever did blackwork the answer to which is no I love cross stitch it was what got me started on this fantastic hobby and it would be nice to do a colourful cross stitch project in the near future.

The problem is there are so few good arts and crafts shops left around let alone ones that stock a good choice of kits it is so sad as it's clear so many of us find pleasure in our hobby getting the basics to do any kind of project is becoming a problem where I live and I can see it's only a matter of time before I have to start ordering what I need off the Internet .

Have a great day all and happy stitching Dean ;-) xx

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Well work is now fully completed on my band sampler stayed up until after midnight last night to put the finishing touches to it and get it washed and ready to be framed.

I can now move on to my incomplete sampler that I found in my sewing boxes before their is still a fair bit of work left to do on that before I can move on to anything new and it would seem a shame not to finish it I'm hoping just a few weeks before I begin a new project I have a few things in mind I will see how the cross stitch goes in this before making my decision .

But have to be honest I have really enjoyed working on the last piece and found it very rewarding I'm kind of sad it's been given as a gift lol but know the person who will be receiving it will appreciate all the love , hard work and many hours that has gone into making it

Monday, 8 August 2011

Found an unfinished project

I've been so wrapped up in this blackwork project with it been a gift and having to work to a time scale that I had completely forgotten about a project I had started and put away to continue at a later date.

This lovely counted cross stitch and blackwork mix sampler which I will need to complete before I can start anything else lol came across it in one of my many sewing boxes that will teach me the importance of labelling don't know how a managed to forget such a nice piece

Dean ;-) xx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Almost finished

Well this project is almost finished so I'm starting to look round for another to begin work on I just have a little more sewing to complete on it before I'm totally happy.

Then hopefully I can take it to the art shop and get it framed I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the detail lol .

This piece has been a bit of a mix and match from different books but I have seen a piece in a Lesley Wilkins book that has taken my eye so may well give that a go next I will post pictures again of my current project when it's fully complete and framed so you can see the finished project and will be boring you all with the new one from the start lol

Dean ;) xxx

Blackwork project

Well I met my goal that I set myself on Friday and managed to complete my panels yesterday helped along by the fact I had the house to myself so I was able to spend my evening curled up on the sofa working away with little Georgie Llasa apso by my side.

The only distraction I had were my two cats Sox and Georgia who thought it would be great fun to sit by my sewing table attempting to run off with my floss the minute my eye was back to the embroidery lol I wish I was that easily amused.

All in all it was a very relaxing evening been able to sew and the animals playing it was very homely only to be topped this morning to wake to the smell of fresh baking bread cooking in the bread machine I had set last night to be ready for breakfast.

It goes to show that while we live in a fast pace world where everything is so often crazy their is some truth in the old saying the simple things in life really are the best

Have a great day everyone

Dean ;) xxxx

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Picture of current work

Dean ;)

Work continues

Had a giant push on my project last night and almost finished the main panels so I will hopefully be posting a picture later this evening but have to do my weekend bits and pieces so once I've finished that I can get back to my blackwork my other half is working late tonight so it's just me the pets and my needlework pure bliss xx

Dean ;)

Friday, 5 August 2011


Well it's Friday everyone last day of my working week at the day centre today which means I have the weekend to work on my project.

I've set myself a goal that I would like to finish the two remaining panels that are left to complete on the main body of my band sampler anything else will be a bonus I can't tell you how many hours I have worked on this but I've really enjoyed it and am already thinking about my next project.

As this piece is a gift I'm going to have it professionally framed at my local art shop to make sure the finish is perfect.

As I've enjoyed working so much on this piece my next project will also be traditional blackwork but I'd like to do something for myself to have around the house and enjoy I think.

Have a great day and I will post a picture once I have completed the panels.

Dean ;)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Time to sew

Had a lovely evening last night managed to get time to spend doing some work on my current project which is a blackwork band sampler it's my first attempt at blackwork and I have become totally hooked on it.

It is so rewarding and I must admit I do like the the fact I'm not having to deal with an endless amount of different cottons lol I have even been asked be my manager at work to run a needle work group at the day centre I work at as a support worker for elderly people and I'm very pleased to say it's going down a storm.

Although some of the old dears seem to be finding it difficult or should I say odd that it's the only male member on the staff team is running the group lol when they ask the girls why they aren't running the group you can see the look of horror when the reply is because Dean is the only one that knows how to sew how times have changed over the last 40 years lol.

Hope you all have a great day!!!

Dean ;)

Waiting for new books

I'm slowly getting on with my project which is taking shape nicely and I'm very pleased with how it's looking but I'm currently waiting for my new books to arrive from amazon if anyone has them and can give me any feed back on them that would be really helpful I've ordered two
blackwork books the first is Blackwork Embroidery by
Elisabeth Geddes, Moyra McNeill and the other is The New Anchor Book of Blackwork Embroidery Stitches: Techniques and Designs by
Jill Cater Nixon, Book Anchor, Anchor... I've also ordered something that looked really interesting and fun which is Embroidered Effects: Projects and Patterns to Inspire Your Stitching (Sublime Stitching) (Spiral-bound)
Jenny Hart .

It seems to be getting very difficult to find good books on blackwork at the moment I'm off to Spain in 8 weeks time so I'm hoping I can find a little treasure in some book shops there that you can't pick up anywhere else fingers crossed have a great day everyone and I will be reviewing the new books once I have them
Dean xx

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Great day to stay home

Hi everyone well I'm just sat here with a nice cup of coffee the weather here at the moment is awful and all I can hear is the ticking of the clock and the rain outside and all I can think is that it's a great day to stay home and work on my blackwork project .

It always makes me really cosy on days like this to be able to pick up my embroidery forget what's going on in this mad world and lose myself in my hobby there is nothing like it I know it may sound mad but it's almost like been taken back in time when I'm working on a piece I forget everything else and within minutes I'm relaxed and all I can see is what I'm creating.

But sadly looks like I'm going to have to brave the rain and head out to work lol I can hopefully get a few hours work done on my project tonight happy times.

Have a great day everyone
Dean :-)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Some helpful books reviewed

Hi everyone thought I'd review a few of the books I have that have either given me ideas or have projects to complete in them most books have really useful tips in them which are great for beginners or more skilled hobbyist

Jane Greenoff's cross stitch antique samplers great book has over 30 designs and and projects to follow and plenty of useful advise and tips from a history of samplers to framing your completed work and a very helpful stitch library this was the first book I owned and it was her design i used to complete my first sampler it's available on amazon, and any good bookstore

This was the first ever cross stitch I did lol as you can see it's far from perfect but as it was what got me hooked on this fantastic hobby I've kept it.

Jane Greenoff's 100 cross stitch patterns to mix and match what I really love about this book is the layout it's done in a ring binder style which comes in really handy when you are working to your own designs it covers Borders,motifs and alphabet styles with a whole range of topics you can create just about any sampler you what for any event or occasion from this book it really is a star buy and is ideal for anyone just starting out with their hobby again this is stocked on amazon and

Jan Eaton's 1000 cross stitch motifs is packed with very easy to follow charts , tips and techniques and is great for beginners or anyone looking for a few new ideas it has everything you want to design your own sampler and it's a nice handy size if your planing on taking your project out anywhere with you good little buy and handy to have if you want to do something quick.

Lesley Wilkins beginners guide to blackwork this is what got me hooked on the royal cousin of cross stitch this book tells you everything you need to know about this form of embroidery from it's background onwards it packed full of projects techniques and filler pattens which is great the only downside to this book is some of the sampler pattens are very small and not that easy to follow without the aid of magnification but that's just a small problem the fillers are clear and easy to follow great buy.This book is available on amazon and

Traditional blackwork samplers by Lesley Wilkins this book is a little more in-depth than the beginners guide to blackwork and the projects in it are fantastic and I'm pleased to say that unlike the beginners book they are clear and easy to follow it is focused more on actual samplers for you to complete other than filler patterns but there is plenty to keep you going it's also great for picking up ideas if you are planning your own sampler design highly recommeded available on amazon and