Sunday 6 October 2013

Storytelling Sunday - a little owl x

Hello and happy Sunday to you all. As it is the first Sunday in October, that means it is Storytelling Sunday a monthly meme begun by my friend Sian. Each month we share a tale of something precious to us. If you want to find out more then pop on over to Sian's blog where you can read her story and those of the many international contributors.

This month I thought I would share one of my hobbies, one which I have done a fair bit of but primarily for other people. And it all began one Christmas morning many years ago.

When we were little Santa came to give us presents in a sock, now socks are all well and good but over the years Santa moved onto a big pillowcase and an even bigger Santa sack. No matter where we were for Christmas, Santa always managed to find us and provide many an excited hour of fun discovering the many small items in our sacks. One year Santa brought me a very tiny package. Inside was a small piece of linene, some coloured thread and a needle, a chart and a wooden square shape with the centre cut out. This was a mini cross stitch kit. Over the years as a child, I had made a couple of embroidered mats at school, which my parents still have, but I had never done something so tiny or so intricate. I had never done counted cross stitch before and the tiny squate of fabric made me quite nervous. However I followed the instructions and completed the little design, which looked like this..............

I left in my fingers so you see the size

The next year I had one of a Christmas candle. From here I progessed to a larger kit with my initial ''J'' and I still have this framed in my flat. However, 25 years ago, my cross stitch became even more invovled when I devised a cunning plan for a very special gift. This gift was a 25th wedding anniversary sampler for my parents. At the time I had never made anything on so large scale but I wanted to make them something precious. I found a basic cross stitch sampler kit but only used the frame of the design and then added my own pieces. Back in the late 1980s Jo Verso was the most well know cross stitch designers and I used some her books to make my design. I also spent hours in the loval library drawing a Merchant Naval cap badge as my dad had been in the Merchant Navy when my parent's were courting, indeed one of the stories my dad tells is of walking around with holes in his shoes so he could save up to buy my mum her engagement ring.

So here is the final piece which hangs in my parent's dining room...............

the final product

yes my parent's will have been married 50 years next March. The spanner 
and sewing paraphanalia represent my parent's professions and the music is the wedding march.

the top design

the church looking bulding is Glastonbury Tor which you can see from my parent's home and the money represented my sister's then job

the Merchant Navy cap badge

the flaggon and apples are for the local cider production as are the shoes 
because Clark's shoes were made here. The baby is for my 
then job as a Special Care baby nurse.

I still dabble in cross stitch from time to time and have been making a angel for ages. Hoever, my main love now is scrapbooking as you well know. I hope you have enjoyed my story and look forward to seeing you soon.


  1. Jo, that is amazing, what a wonderful gift. And so intricate, it is absolutely beautiful.

  2. It's stunning! I loved reading about all the things you have included on it. I have some of those Jo Verso books too and I went through a phase of making wedding anniversary cards for my friends from one of the designs. I loved the whole process of copying out the bits I wanted onto graph paper and putting it all together. Love it!

    as a complete aside: Santa fills pillowcases in this house too

  3. Beautiful , beautiful work - precious indeed. I used to do cross stitch too - but now struggle to see well enough these days. I love the stories you linked to the stitching in the sampler - and adore the tiny first cross stitch owl - enchanting! J x

  4. Jo the sampler is beautiful. I remember Jo Verso she is greatly missed. I have books of hers and I adore counted cross stitch, although I need a strong magnifier these days and a daylight bulb to have any hope of stitching correctly.

  5. Oh Jo this is gorgeous - and such a precious. I did a bit of counted cross stitch back in the early 90s but never anything as complicated as this.

  6. What a beautiful must still mean so much to your parents!
    Alison xx

  7. Wow! What a beautiful gift - you are extremely talented and I am sure your parents were thrilled with it.

  8. This is stunning Jo. I remember Jo Verso's books well as my Mum had them all :)

  9. I love your first little owl....isn't it funny how we have come full circle....and owls are really back on trend again.

  10. A lovely story and a fantastic sampler x

  11. What a lovely gift, I love how you made up your own design for it.

  12. I love this cross stitch Jo, all of the details and stories it tells are so precious! I tried cross stitch for the first time this summer and found it relaxing and fun :) x

  13. I love hearing about people's early craft projects. I did counted cross stitch and embroidery as a child. I do plan to blog the embroidery projects before the year is over.

  14. The owl is a cutie. And I admire your patience and precision to do counted cross-stitch. I only attempt printed patterns.


Hello and thank you so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to read the comments I receive and to meet new friends. I try and reply to comments on friend's blogs as much as possible. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and look forward to seeing you here again soon. Love Jo xxx