Tag Archives: cute

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!


holi holi holiday

30 Aug

Oh hi there! Sorry once again for the lack of postings over the last week. My excuse is once again camping related, I have been away with my family for the bank holiday weekend and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Also a massive HELLOand welcome to the lovely new followers, I hope you find some good stuff within this blog and feel able to comment and enjoy it.

camping montage… chilli. deflated air bed. morning snuggles with the puppy. pimped out land-rover. underage drinking. devon’s crazy roads.

Camping this bank holiday weekend with pretty much every single member of the Bridewell family was just what I needed before starting my new job full-time next Monday. One last hurrah of the summer holidays. It wasn’t without its mishaps (we seemed to be cursed around airbeds.. that’s two deflated on us within 3 weeks!) and taking 10-week old Gracie provided much laughter along with the occasional accident (thanks for peeing on Dave’s side of the bed and not mine Gracie!). We stayed at a campsite (Langston Manor) on Dartmoor in Devon where we used to go a lot when I was a child and I think there were about 17 people in our party- made for lots of excitement and funny memories.

national trust cotehele house and mill

Most of the weekend was taking up visiting national trust places. Husband and I are members (thanks to a gift membership from the in-laws) and love the fact that we can visit all these lovely historic places with amazing gardens for free. The first place we visited on a slightly soggy day was Cotehele house and mill. We enjoyed the art gallery and the beautiful garden and I enjoyed posing for photos with my gorgeous cousins!

another camping montage… my parents slept in tent on a roof. gracie being a good girl. camping fry ups are THE BEST. enjoying desserts in the campsite pub. gracie enjoying husbands pants- whatever floats your boat missy!

In between national trust visits we enjoyed the camping life. I actually really love camping food cooked on a little camping stove- I find it tastes much yummier than normal food, then again I’m normally wet, cold and very hungry by the time I eat it! The campsite has a lovely pub and games room which we enjoyed hanging out in and Gracie was making friends with everyone she met to the point that when she weed on the pub floor no one got angry at all!!

national trust buckland abbey

Our second national trust visit was to a place called Buckland Abbey. It used to be a monastery before King Henry VIII dissolved it during his reign. It was later bought by Sir Francis Drake (check out my learning skills!). I’ll remember it for the dressing up as Tudors and prancing around like loonies… it was a good morning well spent!

walking to an ancient wood with the puppy… in a bag!

After visiting Buckland Abbey the weather took a turn for the worse but that didn’t spoil our plans to visit an ancient wood on Dartmoor. Wistman’s Wood is special because it is so old yet the oak trees are not much taller than a man because the wind has prevented them from growing properly. They are covered in moss and lichen and that makes it a naturally beautiful place to visit. We had to walk about 2 miles from the car park over the moor which was going to prove difficult for little Gracie so my daddy put her in a rucksack and carried her the whole way! She was such a good girl and looked very content the whole time.

I always find camping really enjoyable (even if I end up with sleep deprivation at the end- thanks mr owl who kept me up with his twit twooing!) and with a massive group of family and friends it really makes for a great holiday! We’ve decided that August bank holiday weekend will become our annual camp out. Here’s to next year and what it will bring!


puppy update…

21 Aug

gorgeous Gracie (photo taken by my sister)

Just wanted to give a quick mention to this lovely little lady. You may have read about her here or seen all the #GracieB photos floating around on Instagram.

She came home earlier than expected so my parents have had her for about a week now. There was a bit of whimpering the first couple of nights but now she is settled and very happy in her new home. She is growing fast! I’m being kept in the loop via various photos and text messages and facebook posts but cannot wait to give her a cuddle when I next go back to the family home- that’s this Friday so not too long to wait! Expect an almost hideous amount of ridiculously cute photos then!!!


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.


one sunny sunday…

22 Jul

As you begin to read this blog post I would encourage you to play this video in the background. Very appropriate I feel.

Yesterday, when the sun was shining (FINALLY!) and I was at home with my family for the weekend, I got to meet someone very, very special indeed.

Let me introduce you to Gracie…


I may be ever-so-slighty biased but isn’t she the most adorably cute, perfectly formed, gorgeously beautiful puppy in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD??!!!

When she grows up (which will all happen too quickly I’m sure!) she will be a golden retriever and the first dog my parents have ever had. At the moment she lives with her mummy (Molly) in a beautiful house in the Wiltshire countryside but in a month or so she moves in with my mummy, daddy and little sister and becomes a fully fledged member of the Bridewell household.

my sister and I with Gracie’s brothers

I’m sad I won’t be living with her full-time but maybe that means I get the best bits… a family dog without all the chewing and pooping and hairy furniture.

husband + puppies = CUTE!

Husband and I had such fun playing with Gracie and her three brothers yesterday afternoon. Gracie is definitely the most inquisitive and active of the lot. Good on you girlie! She give my hand a good (and very tickley) chew and made me giggle multiple times.

just look at that face!

Expect to see her gorgeous face popping up from time to time on FamilyFordham. We can’t wait to get to know her and watch her grow.

Love you Gracie B!


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!)

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