IHWS December 2014 and a trip to Salzburg

Hello dear friends and followers,

it was IHWS this weekend again (if you are not familiar with it, just click on the icon on the right-hand bar) and I did some stitching, but what I definitely did not do is hermitting... lol!

DH and I had booked a weekend trip to Salzburg, which is a three hour train ride from Vienna. This of course gave me some time for stitching. Oh, Salzburg is a wonderful city and if you have never been there you should seriously think about going! Especially in Advent there is a certain magic to that place.

We were really lucky with the weather, on Friday and Saturday it was unusually warm and sunny for this time of the year (many Austrians are already complaining about the lack of snow for Christmas, but as I am not a winter person, it is all right with me) and we had the most wonderful time walking around the town. We headed up the Kapuzinerberg to a tiny old castle named Franziskus-Schloessl (Francis' castle). This means about half an hour of walking uphill and especially at the beginning it is really uphill, but it always is well worth the effort.

Francis' castle - just look at the gorgeous weather and DH in front of it ;-)
There are some wonderful Christmas markets in and around the city at this time of the year and so we took the bus to Hellbrunn palace, were they had put up lovely decorations.

And if you are looking for the perfect place to drink your Gluehwein (mulled wine in German), you have to go to the heart of the city, to Europe's oldest restaurant.

since 803
Stiftskeller St. Peter - St. Peter's Abbey's cellar
This is the entrance to the yard where you can spend the most romantic evening
The entrance to the cellar/restaurant itself
Just look at the old vault with the wonderful decoration
In the evening they have a brass quartet playing Christmas songs, which certainly adds to the athmospere. There would not have been a better and more romantic place to spend the 4th Advent weekend and if we had not been in Christmas mood before, we certainly were then!

But IHSW! Yes, I did some stitching on the train ride, so here are the two cover kits from previous issues of British cross stitch magazines I had started a while ago on Thursday evening when I popped them into my tiny suitcase:

Fizzy Moon Christmas card from The World of Cross Stitching

Lickle Ted Christmas card, likely from the same magazine
 And where I left them yesterday evening:

All this backstitch drove me nearly nuts, but it looks sooooo cute

Way to go, maybe for Christmas 2015?
 A merry Christmas to everyone of you who celebrates it and I hope to see you all soon again on my little blog!

Best wishes,


Santa Claus is coming to town

Hello dear friends and followers,

thank you for your lovely comments, it's always great to hear from you all out there.

I have been stitching a lot lately, because a friend of mine had ordered Christmas gifts for her two sons from me. I had stitched an owl cushion which I had offered for sale in late October at a little exhibition at a friend's place (she is a professional potter and makes the most lovely things). She really liked it and a few days later she texted me that she wanted to buy it and asked if I also could stitch another cushion for her second son with a fish on it. I browsed through my huge collection of cross stitch magazines and found just the perfect companion piece.

I finished sewing the fish cushion Tuesday night after a few weeks of heavy stitching and today I was on my way delivering the two cushions to her. So I was kind of playing Santa Claus (or the Christkind, who is responsible for delivering the presents here in Austria ;-) ).

It gives me a warm feeling to know that my handiwork will wait under the Christmas tree for those two boys instead of some plastic thing made in China. I am really happy to know that there are even some non-stitchers out there who appreciate the work of my hands and prefer it to mass-produced shop-bought gifts.

Here is the owl cushion I already introduced to you in an earlier post:

And here is the one with the colorful fish, that I think is perfect for a child's room:

It is from the August 2013 issue of "Cross Stitcher" stitched on 22 ct. fabric to make it the same size as the owl.

I will be off to Salzburg to visit the Christmas market this weekend and to enjoy all the stalls and the lovely atmosphere in this beautiful city. As it is a three hour train ride in each direction, I will surely get some stitching done, too. ;-)

Hope you all have a lovely Advent weekend!


Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer...

Hello dear friends and followers,

thank you all for stopping by and leaving such lovely comments, they make me very happy :-)

As Christmas is getting nearer, I brought out my big box of Christmas decorations and look what I found inside, it makes me smile every year again: Say hello to Rudolph!

This is the purse I use for carrying my money every time I go to a Christmas market and as there are lots of them in our area, especially in Vienna, he often is on duty during late November and December. I stitched him three years ago, the design is from an issue of a British cross stitch magazine. He has not only a cheerful front, but also a very cute back:

I have no "new" stitching to show you, as I worked on an exchange piece which I cannot show you yet.

But as the gallery is now online, let me show you what I received from my lovely exchange partner Kay in the Autumn/Fall exchange at Stitch, Create, Exchange:

Thank you so much, Kay, the little witch pillow is soooo lovely!
For my partner Ellen I stitched a freebie that seemed to have been stitched all over this autumn, I saw it on many of your wonderful blogs, but only after I downloaded it :-)

San-Man originals "Just a little autumn"

I changed a few colors and took extra care to design a nice back from some material I had in my stash.

I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving if you celebrate it and a good start into advent.

Happy stitching,


IHSW November 2014

Hello dear friends and followers,

it was a grey and rainy weekend, the best excuse to do some hermitting and stitching! I started a new project on Friday and finished it on Sunday evening, here is the finished stitching:

Dimensions Tis the Season Ornament

What you see in the background is the fabric I used for finishing, I bought it at a show in London last year in November. When you see something you like, better just buy it, it will come in handy at some time later! :-)

Yesterday I did the finishing of this and it's sister ornament "Have a merry Christmas", also by Dimensions.

I will offer them for sale at an early Christmas market I'll do with two crafty friends of mine (one is a professional potter and the other one makes jewelry) on Thursday. These ornaments turned out so pretty that I hope nobody will buy them, because I would like to see them on our own tree this Christmas. ;-)

Thank you for your lovely comments, which are much appreciated, I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Happy stitching,


Goodies by post

Hello dear friends and followers,

I have done some stitching lately, but most of it is for an exchange, which means that this project is still to be kept a secret.

To show you some stitching, I browsed through pictures of projects I made before I started this blog. Here is one I really enjoyed stitching:

I made this for the housewarming party of friends and the absolutely loved it. This is no wonder, as I put a lot of different cookies in it, too. ;-) It is a design I took from an older issue of the Stoney Creek Magazine. I love their designs a lot and have many of them on my to-stitch list.

I received a wonderful package from Lisa recently. She had a giveaway on her blog and I was lucky enough to be the proud winner. Since she is a lovely and very generous lady, she also added some extra goodies for me. I felt really spoiled, thank you so much, Lisa!

Giveaway from Lisa

The weather here is very October-like. We are having a lot of fog every day, but yesterday it lifted and the sun came out. Believe it or not, it got warm enough to work in the garden in a T-shirt and take a nap in the sun, lying in the grass. The color of the leaves is extremely pretty this year, much brighter than usual.

Yesterday in our garden

There still are a few wild flowers in bloom.
I hope you all have a wonderful autumn with lots of time for your stitching. Have you started some Christmas projects yet?

Greetings from Austria,


Giving thanks

Hello dear friends and followers,

it already is autumn and so it is the time to give thanks for this year's harvest. Two weeks ago we spent a lovely weekend at the Lake Neusiedl in the south east of our country. We had invited my BFF and her partner to a fancy dinner and stayed overnight in the rooms the restaurant rents. After a few glasses of wine from that corner of Austria we were glad that we just had to cross the yard to reach our accommodation. :-) Just look at the dessert DH had, they call it "Lady Gaga" and is the finest mousse au chocolat.

On Sunday we had a lovely breakfast and then headed off to the church to attend the Thanksgiving Mass. Is is a tradition to have some wine, beer and food afterwards in the form of a "Frühschoppen", so they had put up wooden tables and banks in front of the church, a band was playing traditional music and everybody had a good time.

DH and myself in in front of the harvest crown

How lovely they had decorated the trailer, which was pulled by a tractor.
Friends of ours run a farm on which they produce the most wonderful organic food. They told us that this year's potatoes grew extremely big and I said that I love those big ones for cooking jacket potatoes. Two days later they delivered a sack full of giant and funny shaped potatoes to our doorstep. Have a look at this one, it shows with how much love they grow their vegetables. :-)

I also managed to get some stitching done and today finished framing my Halloween piece, I am quite satisfied with how it turned out.

My finished and framed Stoney Creek design.
I wish you all a lovely autumn with lots of stitching time.


Owls in autumn

Hello dear friends and followers,

I have not posted for quite a while, but now finally I have some finishes to show you. I am not the quickest of stitchers...

Due to the rainy weather here in Austria I managed to finish the owl cushion I have been working on during the last months, and here is the result:

It is a design from an old issue of The World of Cross Stitching and I have wanted to stitch this for years. Doesn't it sit pretty on my hubby's armchair?

We had a rather cold and wet August here and today it is raining cats and dogs. Perfect conditions for stitching, don't you think? I started my autumn stitching early and I am currently stitching my first ever Halloween project. We do not celebrate Halloween, but there are so many striking designs around for that season that I just had to give it a try.

It is a design from the latest Stoney Creek Magazine and I am stitching it on the fabric recommended, which is a striking hand-dyed 16 ct. aida. I am planning to put it into a black frame.

Well, back to needle and thread now, I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.



IHSW May 2014

Hello dear friends and followers,

we've had a really rainy weekend here in Austria. Some parts of the country have experienced severe floods during the last days, I hope everyone will be ok soon again. I live quite near the Danube, luckily this river doesn't carry as much water as one year ago, when our area was hit by floods, too.

But there is also one positive effect this weather has: It is the perfect excuse for stitching! :-) So I busied myself with needle and thread and here is what I did over the weekend.
This is where I started on Friday

A finish by Saturday midnight: LHN Little Sheep Virtues "Peace"

I even managed to start a new project, any guesses?
But I did not only stitch, yesterday afternoon we were invited to a friend's birthday party. As we had all been asked to bring something to eat or drink, I heated on the oven in the morning and made these:
Bagels still are something rather exotic in Austria and when people see them for the first time they usually ask whether they are sweet or salty. But so far I haven't met anyone who didn't like them once they've had one. :-) I feel that cooking and baking also are among the right things to do when the weather is dull.

This afternoon the rain finally ended and the sun came out - what a wonderful sight! Sunshine never fails to make me happy.

I wish you all a lot of sunshine and a very happy week!


At our house

Hello dear friends and followers,

when I started this blog, I also started to stitch some house rules. I finally finished them and hung them at the inside of our front door, so that everybody can see them when they are leaving or entering the house (and closing the door behind them ;-) ).

Here is what my finished piece looks like:

Lizzie*Kate - At our house
I really enjoyed stitching this piece with all the hand-dyed threads that came with it and the words truly appeal to me.

On Monday I finished a piece for an exchange, which I am not able to show yet, but will take to the post office tomorrow. The theme is "Summer" and I think I stitched a very nice design for my partner...

The weather will be cold, windy and rainy most of the weekend, so this is going to be a stitchy one :-)
Maybe I will have a new finish to share with you next week.

Happy stitching, everyone!


Long, long time ago....

I started this blog and now I caught myself not having blogged for month! This ought to be changed. Now. Immediately!

So what have I been up to? From 24th January to 10th February I have spent the holiday of my lifetime visiting a lot of animals in a faraway land, for example this one:

DH and I have been on our a little bit belated honeymoon to Uganda, where we spent fabulous 2.5 weeks exploring the country and its wildlife. Seeing gorillas in their natural habitat was an unforgettable experience, but there was so much more to see than this. We fell in love with the whole country and its people.

So no wonder I have not gotten much stitching done this year until now, but I can show you one piece I finished for Christmas as a present for my BFF.

Lizzie Kate - Perfectly kept house
She moved into her newly built house with her partner and I thought that a reminder to take the housework easy could be of help. ;-) It now has pride of place in her hall, which of course makes me very happy.

This winter has been a very warm one and now it looks like spring is already around the corner. DH and I took a stroll in the woods alongside the Danube on Sunday and we found the unmissable sign that winter will soon be over:

Snowdrops! They are not all out yet, but when they are it almost looks like a white carpet underneath the trees. It was nice to see some fresh green, because everything still is rather brown and grey, at least this is what it looks like to us after our holidays in the African sun.

I hope you all are keeping well out there and I promise to keep in touch more regularly in the future. :-)

Have a wonderful week!