Tag Archives: crafting

Have yourself a very cross-stitched Christmas

20 Dec

Oh my goodness, time is whizzing by! It’s 5 sleeps ’til Christmas 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited about this years festive activities.

The husband and I are hoping to enjoy 2 weeks of home cooked goodness, his parents first, then mine, in a Christmas period that promises to be the most relaxing ever! I love Christmas, I love playing ‘teeth’ and ‘tip it’ with family, I love stuffing my face with all manner of waistband increasing treats, I love the St. Francis Christmas Eve candlelight service, I love singing the descant parts of Christmas carols really badly with my sister and I LOVE crafting lots of Christmassy goodness!

Christmas crafting is officially the best thing. Starting months before the big event it is sure to get me in the mood for the big day!

For this post I want to share with you how I have cross-stitched my Christmas: from candle bands to chutney labels, cake bunting to cards, I’ve somehow managed to incorporate cross stitch into every corner of Christmas this year (maybe not to my husbands delight!)
Have a gander, I hope that it may inspire you to pick up your needle and thread and have a go yourself. I have taken a lot of the patterns and inspiration from CrossStitcher magazine and have given the issue number where the pattern is from for all you fellow readers but have included links to The Making Spot website where you can also buy individual patterns if this is easier for some of you.


Our small flat is simply brimming with cross-stitched decorations. I love them because they are handmade and can hopefully last for years and years, maybe even become traditions and things I can show my children and grand children one day. Here’s what we’ve got this year…

cross stitched christmas robin

One cheeky little fella! The perfect quick stitch on plastic canvas to make a gorgeous decoration for any plant, we’ve spruced up Herbert the pot plant with ours. Pattern from Crossstitcher issue 258 (also available here).

cross stitched christmas wreath

A front door wreath that won’t be ready until next Christmas as I still have two more designs to add but this is how it’s looking so far! Using amazing patterns from issue 258 (available here), some plastic canvas and a £5 plain wreath from Wilko’s I’ve come up with a wreath I’m proud of and can’t wait to display next year (my favourites the gingerbread man… so freaking cute!)

crossstitcher star garland

A star garland hanging in the kitchen made using the free kit with CrossStitcher issue 257. Not sure how you can get your hands on this now but this free kit was amazing and had everything you needed to make this beautiful garland.

christmas cross stitch candle bands

And some candle bands, small motifs stitched in brown thread on a cream aida band (to match the colours of our living room!) to be wrapped around pillar candles. The top reindeer pattern was taken from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher and the bottom NOEL pattern was my own invention. These were a delight to stitch, so quick and easy!


cross stitched christmas jumpers

I literally squealed when I saw this amazing little jumpers in CrossStitcher issue 260 …. Literally. I also put down my needle on a big project and started these straight away. I just KNEW they had to be a part of my Christmas. These are going to be hung on string with little wooden pegs and attached to bamboo skewers before placing on Nigella’s spiced cake, the perfect Christmas cake bunting, jumpers on a washing line! (This is all happening this weekend, check my instagram for finished results!).

onion chutney labels

Another food-related Christmas cross-stitch is this one I am in the process of finishing. I am using some gorgeous veg motifs from CrossStitcher issue 257 (available here) to make labels for homemade chutney. These will be little gifts to our nearest and dearest and I’m hoping to get them all bottled and labelled this weekend… yes I know, lastminute.com!


christmas cards

These Christmas cards were a joining of minds from the husband and myself. I did the cross-stitching and he made them look super trendy! I stitched two bauble patterns from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher. These gorgeous white and red motifs were the first stitch of the season and I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. (The pattern for one of them is available for free here).
The husband then scanned my two cross-stitches and used photoshop to shrink them and create a lovely patterned paper with the two designs. We then cut the paper into strips and attached a strip onto brown card to create our Christmas cards. Simple, easy and homemade with a modern twist.

cross stitched heart gift christmas

I couldn’t do Christmas without making presents for people. When money is tight cross-stitched gifts are an excellent solution. I love how personalised you can make them, choosing the right pattern for your recipient and filling each stitch with love. I made this heart-shaped design for some special people to hang in their living room (really, really hoping they don’t read this before Christmas day now!!). The pattern is from an excellent book ‘Made In France’ (available here) and I love how it’s subtly christmassy, great for the season but also can be left up all year. My father-in-law makes frames so he provided the white rustic frame to finish it off. I love giving gifts like this.

So there you have it. The Fordham Christmas in cross stitched fashion. I hope this post has given you some inspiration towards making Christmas 2013 a cross stitched one!

Merry Christmas to you all!



p.s you may realise that this blog has become a little neglected as of late..! I have now moved mainly over to Instagram where I photo blog my crafting and baking exploits. My username is emilyfordham and I have a lovely little community of fellow crafters over there. Come join us in sharing pure crafting goodness!


photo book 13/9

15 Sep

This week in pictures:

a gift from the in-laws, looking forward to making jam soon/heart shaped scones for a perfect summer day/bought some amazing buttons/picnic time!/happy birthday Sophie Francisco/I love this graffiti wall in Brockley/origami star for our 1 year anniversary- paper/pretty anniversary flowers/more stars… making the bed look pretty/boyzzzz and curry/trying new things- these dumplings were amazing!!/finished the project for our bathroom, trip to ikea needed now to buy frames!

Instagram: emilyfordham


little life update

6 Sep

Hello lovely blog readers!! I just wanted to check in and say a little bit about what’s going on in FamilyFordham world at the moment. It’s all quite exciting and it’s what’s been keeping me very busy and very happy these last couple of weeks.

I began my new job on Monday as a teaching assistant in a lovely primary school. I do eventually want to become a class teacher but need some school experience and to settle my life down in terms of money before carrying on with further training. The first few days have been hectic and rather exhausting but brilliant at the same time! Yesterday a kid ate their wobbly tooth… That made for a very entertaining lunchtime!

Dave (aka husband!) is enjoying his new part time job as an administrator for a local church. He feels settled now and it fits in perfectly with his guitar teaching which he gets back into once the school term is in swing. It’s going to be so great to get into a life pattern, having our weekends free and making the most of our time together. Working and studying last year meant I worked 6 days a week and it never felt like I had a moment spare so this new way of living is very much welcomed!

I’ve been relishing the return of the Great British Bake Off (as you can probably see from earlier posts!) and have enjoyed pushing myself to attempt some of the technical challenges they set for contestants. I made the plaited loaf a few weeks ago and Mary Berry’s treacle tart this week! Friends and family are enjoying this new baking push!


I’ve also been enjoying some new cross stitch projects including my first commission (exciting!), a piece for our bathroom (you can see the beginnings of it in the picture above) and preparing for a crafty cross stitch Christmas.

I love having a blog on which to document my crafting and baking and life in general. Thank you to all who read and enjoy, it makes it that extra bit special!


every cross stitchers dream

14 Aug

I got a letter printed in CrossStitcher Magazine!! I’ve only ever written in to one other magazine (my Dr Who obsession in my teenage years produced letters in not 1, but 3 different issues of Dr Who Magazine- I was such a little Dr Who geek!) and decided to email the team at CrossStitcher on a whim with a picture of my ‘deer cousin’ card. Imagine my excitement when I got an email back asking for my address and confirming it would be published!

Looking forward to receiving my free £20 worth of threads as a prize through my door very soon and already dreaming of all the wonderful things I can make with them!

The issue (256) is out in newsstands currently and is of usual top-notch standard! £3.99 for LOADS of amazing charts, ideas and inspirations and a free pair of embroidery scissors… worth every penny.


moustache cross stitch pattern

17 Jul

I like to fulfil my promises and so here, as previously mentioned on this blog post, are my cross stitch moustache patterns.

Use as you wish. I made a card for the husband using the bigger sized one and present tags using the smaller one. I stitched onto 14 count plastic canvas but you could use aida or evenweave or even waste canvas to put these cuties onto anything. Just in case it isn’t that obvious a whole coloured-in square represents a whole stitch, a half coloured-in square represents a half stitch, and obviously you can choose any colour you like. I went for black but you could always do red (for a ginger friend maybe?!) or brown or blonde-y colours. Get experimenting!

Excuse the quality and style of the image, I did this on MSPaint (yes I know… Retro!) I’m looking for some sort of program to make proper cross stitch patterns with but until then this will have to do. It’s not a biggy, after all there is no school like the old school!

How will you use the moustache patterns? I’d love to hear about/see what you do with them!


a home-made happy birthday

13 Jul

Happy Birthday Husband!! 24 this week! I love a good birthday! I wanted to go all out for this one, his first in our marriage, so I put together a moustache themed surprise (don’t ask me why I went for moustaches.. I have no idea, but it just seemed kinda cute, manly and on-trend!). We had to celebrate at midnight (due to a ridiculously early morning) so whilst husband was out during the evening I had fun crafting and baking.

I made the ‘Dave’ bunting using some brown paper card and printing off the letters and moustaches on white paper before sticking them with good ol’ pritt stick. I hole punched the flags and then threaded them on some string. I wrapped up all his presents in blue polka dot paper and stuck on the moustache tags I made (more on those later).

Husbands favourite cake is red velvet with cream cheese icing so I couldn’t let him have a birthday without some red velvet cupcakes! I used this Hummingbird Bakery recipe for the sponge and the icing/frosting and then used a spare un-iced cake and crumbled up the sponge to sprinkle on the top.   After seeing cake bunting popping up in various places (I am Magpie was one of the first) I decided to have a go at creating my own to help the cakes match into my moustache theme. Using the same brown card as the bunting I cut out little triangles and drew the letters and mini moustaches on them with a thick black pen. I then secured these to some string (using the pritt stick again!) before sticking the string to some wooden skewers (I used BBQ skewers and cut them down to a smaller size). I love the final result, it was so cheap and simple yet really fun!

The final part of husbands moustache birthday extravaganza came in the form of some cross-stitched creations. I created my own moustache cross-stitch chart  in two different sizes  (I may post these on here very soon so keep an eye out if you want them!) which I then stitched using black thread onto plastic canvas. I made a card (see this post) with the larger one and two gift tags with the smaller ones.

I had so much fun making all this stuff and can’t wait to do it again sometime!

Happy Birthday Husband. You deserve the best of the best and I hope you enjoyed your little birthday surprise.


(p.s. If anyone wants more details/a proper tutorial on how to make any of this stuff please let me know, I’d love to help!)

how to never need to buy birthday cards again…

12 Jun

cross-stitch… that is the answer. Learn how to do it and you’ll never need to buy a card again. Ever. For some excellent tips on the basics of cross-stitching and a guide to getting started I point you now in the direction of my dear friend Sophie Brown. Her post is so perfect I don’t need to do one! Hopefully together we can inspire you to pick up a needle and thread and begin your cross-stitch journey. Just think of all the wonderful personalised cards you can make, filled with lots of love and thought and home-made-ness.

Once you’ve decided that cross-stitch is your new hobby/love/passion/obsession (it quickly will become one!) and that you want to make your loved ones cards of all varieties than your first step is to purchase some blank card and envelopes. Husband and I had loads of brown paper card left over from DIY-ing our wedding stationary (invitations and thank you cards) so I’ve used those which you can purchase here (cards above made on ‘ribbed brown’ variety). Or just try online/ebay/hobbycraft/local craft stores to find whatever coloured/patterned card you fancy.

In terms of making a cross-stitched card I have two methods- fabric based and plastic based. The four at the top of this post are what I call plastic based. For these ones I pick a particular small motif/character/design that I think will work and stitch it onto plastic canvas. I purchase this from Sew and So (an excellent online cross-stitch shop which has literally everything you need and for cheap!) and it’s £1.50 a sheet. I can get about 8-15 motifs suitable for cards from one sheet (depending on the size). Most of my inspiration comes from CrossStitcher magazine- I got a subscription too it as a birthday present and it has amazing charts and ideas which I love to use. Once I’ve finished stitching the design I have chosen I carefully cut it out leaving a small border. This is the nerve-wracking part but if you take it slow and steady all should be fine! I love using plastic canvas because it is sturdy and doesn’t fray and gives a kind of solidity to your designs. I secure my finished bits to the card using double sided sticky tabs which I purchase off ebay. I then like to annotate my card with a white gel pen but that’s personal preference!

The second method I use is to stitch on fabric (aida) instead of plastic. There’s less cutting out in this one and it enables you to cross stitch words and phrases which is primarily why I use it. These two patterns above are my own designs and I want to inspire you all to have a go at making your own too! It’s so simple. I print off graph paper from the internet and use a pencil to draft ideas. For the letters CrossStitcher magazine give you an alphabet chart each issue or you could try searching online. Get creative with designing you own little logos and emblems, practice makes perfect and you can rub out any mistakes remember! Once I’ve finished a design I then either cut away the card and fix the aida onto it (like a frame- see ‘ring on it’ design) or fray the edges of the aida and just stick that straight onto the card (see ‘thank you’ design).

So there you have it… the FamilyFordham guide to cross stitched card making. Easy, cheap, fun and full of love.


(p.s. if you need any extra help/tips/links to make your own cards just comment below and let me know!)

%d bloggers like this: