I can’t believe how quickly this year is disappearing and that it is almost Christmas! I am so behind with everything this year. Normally I have done most of my present shopping by now. This year I haven’t even started! With 4 grandchildren to buy for, not to mention anyone else, I really need to get my act together and get spending. The problem with living in this beautiful rural seaside area is we are a long way ( an hour’s drive) from any decent shopping centres, and I do not like buying everything online. So I think this week I need to take myself off in the car for a day. Being a crafter I am of course making some presents. I inherited a knitting machine this month to add to my growing collection of sewing machines! So some christmas jumpers will definitely be appearing. Yes my sewing machine collection has grown, adding an immaculate and pretty hand crank New Home machine that I ‘rescued’ from a local second hand shop. It is a solid metal beast and will sew through anything! It also has a lovely floral scrolled faceplate.New Home 131

I will be sewing some gifts too of course.

The Embroidery Crazy website has been updated with some new designs this month, and the usual two free downloads. I was pleased with this pretty lace butterfly I have added. LaceButterfly2

There are also some musical note designs and this cute children’s reindeer design.

CuteReindeerToday I have sixteen small Christmas cakes, that I am going to hopefully sell, to ice and decorate so I had better get busy!

 

 

 

 

 

Okay so I have been very bad and not written my blog for weeks. I have been super busy and just haven’t managed to get round to it. Poor excuse, I know! My website has been updated with some very cute seasonal designs that will especially appeal to children or anyone who is a child at heart! I love the Christmas penguin in particular. Isn’t it adorable?CuteAtChristmas

It would look gorgeous on a baby outfit. There is a winter penguin design too, and a sweet little bear.WinterTime CuteLittleBear

I seem to have gone overboard on the ‘cute’ factor this month!! The free machine embroidery downloads are this pretty Christmas tree, ChristmasTree2and a sporty skiing design.

I have been busy sewing presents for family and grandchildren. I am very pleased with my attempt to make a teepee for my two little grandsons. I appliqued each panel with an American Indian symbol before joining it together. My husband was quite impressed at the finished result. I hope they like it! I will take some photos when they play in it.

I escaped to the beach for a walk a few days ago and spotted these Brent geese foraging on the shoreline. There were about 30 of them altogether. They are not very big and we often so hundreds of them on a field near our house! seaside geese (1352 x 970)They have lovely dark heads and I rather like them.

This will be a very busy few weeks as our first large craft fair is being held in 3 weeks time! There seems so much to do still. It is a 2 day fair so we need to have plenty to sell, just in case! My poor embroidery machine has been busy every day and I feel like I work in a sewing workshop. I’ve made lots of these little Christmas stockings which will hang on a tree.

Meanwhile I haven’t much time to spend blogging or creating new designs for my website. I have updated the website for November though and there are 5 new designs. I like this peace dove, it would make a lovely card.This  Chrysanthemum design is a pretty autumnal flower, which would look good on clothing.

This Christmas candle is pretty with the flame stitched in metallic gold.

Our free machine embroidery downloads are a robin and a purple snowflake.

I can’t post without adding some photos so here are a few recent ones I’ve taken. On a recent walk into town this couple of seagulls on the sea wall were brave enough to let me take this photo.

Our winter visitors, the little Turnstones are much in evidence around the beaches and on the sea walls as we walk. I snapped these ones walking to the pier to go bowling.

As the weather worsens the boats on the Backwaters are disappearing. But I did use the zoom on my new camera to spot this little pirate ship out of my bedroom window!

I wouldn’t have seen the Jolly Roger without a zoom lens. As you can see we get lots of little yachts too on the Walton Backwaters on sunny weekends. I hope they made it safely past the Pirates!

Our summer is nearly over here in East Anglia but we are having a late burst of sunshine, which is great news after the rather dismal summer we have had. I am pleased as I have a lovely new camera to try out. Unfortunately I was the victim of theft a few weeks ago when my family were down to stay with the grandchildren. I had my bag stolen on the beach, along with my everyday camera. I have a large Canon DSLR but it is too heavy to carry all the time, so as any photography addict does, I keep a smaller camera in my bag so that I don’t miss those unforeseen moments.

I chose the Canon SX40HS as my new portable camera because, living where we do, a superzoom camera is ideal. I take lots of nature shots, plus boats and beach shots, where a long lens helps get close to what I want to photograph. It is not a pocket camera, but it’s light enough and will fit in the large bags I tend to favour. I have been trying it out this week and I am very happy with the image quality, which I knew choosing Canon, would be good. The lens is great and I still get nice clear images even using the full 35x zoom. I think I have made a good choice.

I took this shot of a heron on the backwaters the other afternoon.

Heron on Walton-On-The-Naze backwaters.

It was quite far off so I used the zoom right out. I thought it worked well.

The backwaters is a boating haven.

Boats on Walton backwaters

There is a lovely old ruin of a boatshed on the Mere.

Boatshed ruin.

I quite like that it has been left as it adds character to the area.

I went on the pier to photograph the sunset last night and the sky was really quite unusual. There was what seemed to be a small piece of rrainbow in the sky, although it had been a very sunny sunny day with no rain at all. The clouds were also all kinds of shapes so it looked really pretty. This is one of my photos. The little piece of rainbow is on the left.

Unusual sunset

The seagulls were resting on the side of the pier and I liked this photo as the seagull is lit by the sunset so that he stands out from the background.

Seagull at sunset.

This morning I was up at sunrise. This is my favourite photograph from then.

Sunrise lighting breakwater

I have been busy updating my website too. http://www.embroiderycrazy.co.uk/shop/ This month we have an autumn leaf and a fox machine embroidery design free to download. I have also added several home designs, including this one which would be good for stitching on the back of a patchwork quilt. I added a blackberry and a falling leaves design for autumn and this pretty heart which would make a perfect addition to a Christmas make for a loved one. I will be very busy sewing for the next few months as, along with many craft addicts at this time of year, my husband and I have booked tables at a large Christmas craft fair. He will be selling his fabulous Photo Art and I am selling bags and other fabric gifts, many of them machine embroidered of course!

I didn’t realise how much I had missed my embroidery machine until I got it back. Now it is working as I want it to once again I have been busy stitching out the designs I had digitised, and planning new ones. The website is now updated with the latest new designs I have test stitched. I really like this Indian culture inspired Mehndi hand design.
The Little Garden design is very pretty and would look lovely on any home items or even stitched onto clothing.

This new home design would make a really nice present for a wedding if it was framed, or it would also make lovely cushion covers. There is also a flying goose design and one with a butterfly and moths. The new free machine embroidery downloads on the website for August are a dolphin and a pink rose.

Now August is sorted I need to start thinking about Autumn and even Christmas designs! I think I need more hours in my day.

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Happy New Year to all readers. 2011 was a year of mixed fortunes for our family, with some very good events and for one family member a very bad end to the year. For myself I have managed to be in considerable discomfort by having what seems to be a slipped disc in my back and then compounding this by falling down the stairs from top to bottom while staying with my daughter on Christmas Day!! Luckily there was no serious damage done but I have some very large bruises which are taking some time to heal and it definitely didn’t do my back any good. I am waiting for a physiotherapy appointment to come through. Meanwhile sewing is difficult as I can’t sit down for very long or do any bending, stretching etc! So I do hope you have had a better start to 2012 than I have and that it proves to be a happy and successful year for you. At the moment I will settle for a return to normal physical health!!

I am slowly working on new designs for the website. My machine is stitching out a Valentine’s design as I write. One of these will be a free design for January so it can be used to make a gift for a loved one. I also have an Irish poem which I framed for a friend for Christmas, as he was so thrilled with it I decided to put it on the website. It would make a lovely St. Patricks Day present for an Irish friend or family member.

 

It is such a busy time of year I have slightly neglected the blogging side of things! I did a huge amount of normal sewing leading up to a craft fair which I did last week. The fair went quite well and I got a very good reaction to the things I’d made, selling out of some of them. I was pleased with the response. Family issues have taken up a lot of our time and so it is once again time to sort the free embroidery downloads for another month! Where does the time go?

Our free designs for December will be a snowman and a classic holly design. They will appear very soon. I have also designed a collection of cute winter animals which will be lovely for children’s clothing or to cheer up any winter makes. They should be available for sale next week.

I went for a walk on the beach the other evening as the sun was setting and took a photo which I turned into this watercolour style photo.

It’s fun to play around with photos, I used Corel Painter and I quite like this!