The holidays are over and some stitching

Christmas and the New Year Holidays are over.  Anticipated for so long, but gone in the blink of an eye!  It seems only yesterday that hoards of mini-Santas were rushing past my front door on their way to the school Christmas Party, but that was more than two weeks ago and today the village school reopened its doors for the Spring Term.  Yes, I did say spring and, though the weather has turned much colder with frosty mornings and clear blue skies, if I carefully move the frozen leaves away in my garden borders, I can already see fat green spikes of spring bulbs beginning to push their way through the frozen earth.

Earlier this week I took the Christmas decorations down, “helped” by little Freddie who insisted on moving them from one box to the other – and adding in a few of his toys too.  I thought I’d retrieved them all, but when I was tidying his bedroom after he’d gone home, I discovered that we have only five woodland skittles – there are supposed to be six!  I don’t think I’ll open my boxes now though, his favourite rabbit and hedgehog ones are sitting safely on his shelf, I think it’s the frog that’s turned not into a prince, but into a Christmas decoration instead!  Everywhere looked rather bare and dusty once the decorations were down, so I took the opportunity to dust and rearrange my dresser, finishing it off with a lovely vase of tulips ….


From Tesco!  They were offering two bunches for the price of one, so it would’ve been rude not to indulge!!  I’ve been busy stitching too, and completed this little bear last week …

Rosie has suggested that it’s time I revised my “How to Stitch Fur” guide, so I thought I should take the opportunity of a few days break over Christmas to practise my technique.  There are just three shades of brown in the bear’s fur – the rib is chain stitch and the pompom on the hat (possibly my favourite part) is ghiordian (or turkey) knot stitch.  I love its fluffiness ….

This design won’t be in the magazine – the January issue was published last week – and I’m already working on the February edition.  So I’m not sure whether to save it for a future collection or publish it as an individual pattern only.  One design that will be in the February magazine however is my Lovebirds Hoop …

Lovebirds Hoop

Which I finished yesterday.  The birds’ feathers are stitched in a very similar way to fur, as indeed is the heart – I had forgotten how much I enjoyed shading with floss and have really enjoyed revisiting this technique…

Lovebirds Hoop

Hope you like it!  There aren’t any difficult stitches – just straight stitch, back stitch, long and short stitch and stem stitch, it’s the shading that makes it interesting I think and there will be lots of photos in the pattern.


Aw, thanks so much Heather. I would like to do a bear each month, but I’m not at all sure I have enough time and I’d hate to begin and then disappoint people. I’m still uncertain what to do with him for the moment. xx


Hello Helen,

Wishing you and Ben and Miss.Daisy a Very Happy New Year.

The little January bear pattern is beautiful – will you be doing one for each month, do you think?

Diana. xx


Thank you Diana, and the same to you. I would like to say yes to a bear each month, but I am reluctant to commit as I’m not at all sure I have the time to follow through and don’t want to disappoint. I’m still uncertain what to do with him. xx

Patricia Evans

I do hope you will publish your January Bear pattern, Helen, even though I will have to live to be 200 to make all of your patterns!


I’m not quite sure yet Patricia – haha, don’t think either of us will live to 200!! xx


I am new to your blog and am enjoying the wonderful designs. I especially like the “January” bear with his cap. Have you released the design as a pattern or a kit? I don’t mind if he is the only month you do… he’s too cute to miss! Thank you.


Hi Rhonda, and welcome – it’s lovely that you’re here. No I’m sorry I haven’t released the bear as a kit, but I do hope you enjoy stitching him all the same xx


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