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Did you know that every year, 2.3 million children die because they don’t get enough of the right food?

In recent years, millions of children have been saved from preventable diseases by the world taking action. But despite major progress, hunger is still the root cause of a third of all child deaths.

We all know, and are experiencing the rises in food prices. It feels bad to us, but try to imagine just how bad it must be if you are one of the world’s poorest people? How hard must it be?

Our Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced that he will lead the way in the Race Against Hunger. Save the Children want him to use his G8 presidency in 2013 to set ambitious plans to tackle hunger and save millions of children’s lives. 

Do you support this? Sign the petition here . Thanks to Save the Children for the facts and for coordinating the petition.

Crafters who have want to be part of the solution, not the problem, have been working hard to get hunger towards the top of the G8 summit agenda. They have been doing this by joining the Craftivist Collective Jigsaw Project. Crafters are invited to make a jigsaw piece with embroidered with a provocative message to support Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign.

The project will create an art installation using all the jigsaw pieces to raise awareness of the issues of world hunger and injustice. It will be displayed in London initially then the plan is to for it to be displayed at the G8 to raise awareness and show how the craft community wants the government to use it’s power.

If you want to join in, you can find jigsaw piece templates, a story to reflect on and suggested phrases here.

All over the country craftivists are organising stitch ins to help publicise the cause. When I found out through Jelly that Roo from Little Stitch Blog was organising one in Reading, I had to take part. We were very lucky that jigsaw pieces had already been cut out and we were provided with a pretty tin full of embroidery thread to use.

My embroidery after a long day at work wasn’t anyway near as well stitched as other people’s, and as I started small, I had to continue small, but it seemed appropriate for the phrase I chose:

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The lighting wasn’t great, which made threading a needle and taking a photo difficult!

All together we made all of these:

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There were some more experienced embroiderers there! I will share better photos if someone posts them…

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, helping to make a difference piece by piece. Many thanks to Roo for organising!

Christmas Time…

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas! We’ve had a busy one, offset with days in bed ill beforehand, then my little sister’s wedding and of course all the Christmas prep. We have eaten far too much and drunk even more!

My parents were very impressed with and happy with their present. Here it is leaning on their fireplace in their lounge:

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I was a bit too busy to take a photo of the finished stained glass before wrapping it up for them, so I’m afraid this is the best I’ve got! Hopefully they will put it up somewhere and I’ll take a photo of it in situ and will share it with you then.

My parents have been asking me for years what I want for Christmas. I only asked for something little originally as it is an expensive time with my sister’s wedding, but got told to let them know about something bigger. Well, this is what I got:

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Hobbycraft had it on offer a while ago (£15 off!) so I passed the details on. I had to explain to everyone there what it is, but I am quite excited about playing with it properly when at home.

What did you get? Anything crafty?

My parents no longer live where I grew up. They not only live in a different house, but a different town, well, county even! When they downsized and moved they got rid of a lot of stuff, but they did keep some bits. This is on the wall in their spare room:

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My parents started collecting blue and white china in the 90s. I did this sampler for my Mum’s birthday in 1994. It used to live in the dining room in our old house, but as their spare room has a blue theme they put it up in the spare room when they moved. I now wake up and see this every morning when staying with them. It’s quite a simple piece, but reasonably impressive and fits well with their likes. I think this will be my oldest make I will ever show you as I was only 14 when I made it. I hope you like it!

Printable Cross Stitch Cards

Those of you who follow me on twitter or like me on Facebook will have seen me share the link to some printable cross stitch wrapping paper.

Today I turned some of it into Christmas cards.

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This let it snow card was really easy. I wish the ribbon colours were inverted though.

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This took longer as you can tell! I crossed stitched a reindeer matching the paper and placed it in the middle 🙂

Advent Day Four

When you have a long, busy day at work it is nice to have something to look forward to when you get home. My advent swap is definitely providing that at the moment!

Tonight I opened a parcel containing this:

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This card is very festive and looks relatively quick and easy to stitch as it is whole stitches only with no back stitch. I might be able to fit this in before Christmas. Thanks Justine!

I have had my fingers crossed that Justine received today’s gift safely. I wrapped it in quite a lot of bubble wrap, but it is quite fragile, so I have been worrying! I hope she likes this:

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Yes, it’s a teacup pincushion! (If you want to make your own see my tutorial). Justine told me months ago that one of her favourite colours is blue, but she likes most colours. The cup has a blue pattern, and the fabric is more multicoloured with flowers that go with the pattern on the cup/saucer. I really hope it got to Justine safely!

A sort out and a surprise!

Unlike some of you lucky people out there, I don’t have a dedicated craft room. I have made it clear to Mr M that I want one, but there just isn’t the space in this house and apart from the lack of craft room, this house suits us well. I have crafty bits in the lounge, dining room, hall and little bedroom. We intend to get the dining room replastered then decorated, so it needs emptying (which would please Mr M a lot!).

Our box room was stuffed to the rafters, apart from on top of the single spare bed. We actually refer to this room as “Jess’s room” as our older cat thinks it is her room. The idea is that my crafty bits all move to this room. The only place they could go was on an IKEA bookshelf that I bought when at uni, but that was full, so a clear out was in order. I was ruthless with books – after all if I haven’t used a book since uni then I’ll get rid of it in preference to keep crafty things that I use regularly. I also had a vast collection of secondary level school books on Science and Chemistry in particular. Again ruthlessness was needed and I disposed of anything I can’t remember using recently. In an ideal world I’d keep it all, but life isn’t like that (and Mr M is definitely not a hoarder!).

I texted the photo below to Mr M to show him that I’d almost filled a shopping trolley with things (mainly books) that I was getting rid of. I couldn’t park outside the Oxfam Bookshop so commandered a shopping trolley to save time!

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After a trip to the charity shops, I decided that if I was going to sort out the shelves, I should attack the top shelf too. I hope I’m not the only one who has a shelf that is full to the ceiling with all sorts of things. To be honest, whilst I could see my shredder and a drawer set with stationery in, I had no idea what else was up there. I had flung up bags for life in the past and really don’t know what was in them. I took a deep breath and got them down. I now have a bin bag full of bits that will be of no use to others (and I haven’t used for a while) and a big plastic bag that I’m going to take to a charity shop tomorrow. I also found this and didn’t have the heart to throw it out:

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I’d forgotten that I had made this. I did the embroidery (it’s giant cross stitch) during either my third or fourth year at uni. I lived in the same house for two years so can’t date it more than that, but I do remember sewing it in my room. I took the finished embroidery back to my parents at one point and my lovely Mum put a back on it complete with a zip. Maybe one day when I have a craft room I’ll have this on a chair in it!

Oh Christmas Tree…

I wish I had lots of time when I could sit down and spend lots of time making Christmas cards, without real life getting in the way. Unfortunately, like many people out there I have a full-time job and a variety of other things that get in the way of crafting. If I am to handmake all my cards this year I had to start early (which I have) and I can’t make the design too complicated.

Last weekend I figured out a simple cross stitch snowflake, which I made into a few cards. This weekend I came up with a simple tree design:

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This is quicker to stitch than the snowflake, and like the snowflake it is stitched using whole stitches only. It looks way better stitched than my hand drawn design!

I stitched a few of these trees yesterday, and today turned them into a Christmas card:

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I used ribbon from Sew and So in Bath to make the border. This is probably my quickest stitched card this year!

Simple Cross Stitch Snowflake

After spending a long time making my Snowflake Christmas Card, I decided I needed something a bit more simple if I was going to make all of my Christmas cards this year. I like the idea of at least cross stitching some of them!

After looking at some patterns and finding nothing quick and simple, I got out some squared paper…

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It’s really easy with whole stitches only and no backstitch. This simple motif could be used for lots of things! It would be great for gift tags or you could use more than one for things like cards.

I decided to stick to the Scandinavian colours of red and white as I personally like them. I bought some cheap duchess stranded cotton for my Christmas decorations last year and decided to use some of this stash up. As duchess stranded cotton is quite thin I used three strands.

This is my favourite out of the two cards I’ve stitched this weekend:

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This is actually on a plain white card blank, but I trimmed red paper to fit the front. The ribbon was bought from Sew and So in Bath.

Inside I used one of my hobbycraft 99p stamps:

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For the other card I stitched the snowflakes in a row:

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I used the rest of my red paper to back the stitching before putting it on the front of another blank white card. I used a different hobbycraft 99p stamp for the middle of this one:

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I can knock these out much quicker (and in poorer light!) than my snowflake card.

I keep thinking of ways to use this motif. You might well see it again!