Here's a picture to illustrate how I feel about the love and friendship we share online:
I will be having a small giveaway to celebrate my lovely followers. There will be something stitched, some cotton fabric (I have found a great shop that sells lovely fabric for backing ornies and want to share), maybe a cover kit or chart booklet from a magazine, some threads, buttons, ribbons, that sort of thing.
I've been trying to think of a good way to do the Giveaway, I do like to make you work for your prizes and it makes for fun reading too. Then this morning I finally finished updating my Happy Dance Blog. This has been a massive WIP in itself as I've been stitching for 20 years now. I have added photos of every single piece I have and an entry for those I don't have photos of. I have put exact dates where known and estimated when unsure.
One thing is clear - babies hamper your stitching! Pre-baby I was averaging double figure finishes per year despite working 6 days a week. For 2009 (Small Boy's birth year) I managed 2. Since the discovery of the internet output has quadrupled!! Although to be fair, most of it is cards and small projects, freebie challenges and the like.
One of the entries I most enjoyed putting together was the Millennium Sampler. Produced as a kit to celebrate the Year 2000 my Mum and I redesigned it between us. I stitched a tree in the centre featuring my parents' and grandparents' surnames and mine (as it was at the time). The outer squares I stitched as charted but around the middle there were several names of famous people who have made a great contribution to life in the last Millennium. So why were there so few women? Is that why it is known as His-story not Her-story or Our-story? So Mum and I put our own list together. We tried for a local flavour where possible, hence the inclusion of Constable and Cavell, a mixture of male and female, people from all walks of life (art, science, exploration, politics etc). I also wanted the four House names from my Primary School to be included (Hillary, Drake, Scott and Columbus) and we wanted people that helped the poor as well as the rich.
Here's our final list with links to relevant websites -
Cavell (Edith) - nurse born in Norfolk, executed during WWI for saving many lives, both Allied and German.
Hillary (Sir Edmund) - mountaineer/explorer, first person to reach the summit of Mt Everest, my "House" at Primary School
Earhart (Amelia) - aviation pioneer, first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
Elgar (Edward) - composer, best known for Pomp and Circumstance
Sharman (Helen) - first Briton in Space (Interview here)
Drake (Francis) - English sea captain in the time of Elizabeth I, one of the "Houses" at my Primary School
Fry (Elizabeth) - Quaker and prison reformer
Dickens (Charles) - Victorian author and social critic
Curie (Marie) - physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize Winner, see also the Cancer Care Charity named for her.
Chanel (Gabrielle "Coco") - fashion designer
Pankhurst (Emmeline) - leader of the Suffragette movement which won the right for women to vote
Jenner (Edward) - physician and pioneer of vaccination
Bronte (Anne, Emily and Charlotte) - 19th century authors
Scott (Captain Robert) - Royal Navy officer and explorer, known as Scott of the Antarctic, one of the "Houses" at my Primary School.
The fourth "House" at Primary School was Columbus (Christopher) and he was already featured in the main squares so I didn't add him to the middle design.
Finally, the more eagle-eyed of you may spot gaps in the more recent blog entries on the Happy Dance blog, that's because I don't show pieces that are gifts or prizes until the recipient had seen them first.