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MrsPaul (Scotland)
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Size 24 Cross Stitch Needles(6)
Size 24 Cross Stitch Needles(6)
Offered by Barnyarns
Price: £1.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality needles for beautiful stitchery results - needles matter!, 24 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Size 24 Cross Stitch Needles(6)
Very pleased with these. I use this size for stitching on 10-14ct plastic canvas and on 14-18ct Aida cloth. I don't use any other needle because these are so reliable. The shafts are smooth, the tips part Aida cloth easily for lovely stitches, and the eyes accept tapestry wool without 'fuzzing'. You really can tell a difference when using lesser quality materials, and the needles used in stitchery are every bit as much a factor as the wools, silks, and cottons in creating beautiful pieces that become heirloom quality.

John James needles have a good reputation for strength and being less prone to rusting than a lot of the 'budget' needles available today - some of mine are over 30 years old! Treat yourself to those lovely silver needle cases to keep your needles going as long as mine - the cases are relatively inexpensive, are elegant, and keep your needles sorted by size for years.

While sadly these needles are no longer made in England, they are made to John James standards and I highly recommend all the lines for any sort of hand stitching from mending/hemming to fine needlework. A stitcher just feels he/she is stitching something special (even if it's humble darning!) if stitching with a John James needle! Hopefully one day John James will bring the milling of these fab needles back to England but it is great the company insists on maintaining their standards by inspecting and packing these here at home!


Plastic Canvas Stitch Dictionary
Plastic Canvas Stitch Dictionary
by Leisure Arts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Stitches can also be used for cloth needlework - win-win!, 24 Oct 2014
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What's not to love about this book if you're at all interested in plastic canvas needlework?!

Plastic canvas stitching has come a long ways from the late 80s when I first became interested in it. Back then I would never have thought something as humble as a bit of vinyl weave could be used to create a lovely bedside rug (Meg Evans book 'Plastic Canvaswork Projects For Your Home') or clever and attractive storage boxes!

The layout of this book is a little different than a lot of the Leisure Arts craft books in that it has a real table of contents and excellent index, but also has the usual Leisure Arts crisp photos and well drawn illustrations to demonstrate over 100 stitches in alphabetical order, and are very easy to follow. It's slightly larger than A4 paper with a good thick card binding, easy-read well sized font on thick glossy paper and will be in my reference library for years as the stitches can also be used for cloth needlework. I do have an excellent hardcover embroidery stitch dictionary but it's over 700 pages and this 41 page book is going to be far easier to use whilst mid-project:)

The book also includes five projects (all on 7 count mesh) to practice several of the stitches: tissue box cover, simple doorstop (fits a brick 7 1/2"x3 1/2"x2 1/8"), bell-pull sampler, eyeglass case, and four different coasters.

This book is a great companion to 'Teach Yourself Plastic Canvas' and I'm very grateful to a previous reviewer here who said this first - her review is why I bought both books at the same time and I'm really pleased with both purchases.


Plastic Canvaswork: Projects for Your Home
Plastic Canvaswork: Projects for Your Home
by Meg Evans
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Great lay-out and great projects!, 23 Oct 2014
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I had no idea there were so many ways to use plastic canvas - this book is chock-a-block with fab projects! Boxes and chests of drawers, tissue covers, mirror and other frames, even a seat cover and gorgeous floor rug! Cosies for eggs, teapots, and mugs, table-mats, a mantle clock (!!), doorstop, and lampshades, this author sets out step-by-step instructions for them all.

The projects are a great mix of 7 and 10 mesh projects using wools, cotton, and ribbon to create a very wide range of useful home decor. The book was published in 1999 yet none of the designs are 'dated' - any would compliment any style home or make well appreciated gifts.

The lay-out in this book is frankly far superior to her previous offering (which I own, and like), with good drawings and photographs adding to the relatively easy to follow text. Glad I bought this!


Embroidery Floss Thread Box - Large
Embroidery Floss Thread Box - Large
Offered by Pebbles Gems
Price: £5.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased - good quality and fit for purpose, 21 Oct 2014
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Perfect size to hold dozens of embroidery thread wound bobbins - using these boxes (I have about six now) keeps my threads organised by maker - type (metallic, variegated, pearl, cotton, etc) - and shade, and makes finding just the right thread very easy. The boxes stack, too, which makes this a space saver.

The included bobbins are the same ones available separately in smaller quantities so I'm really happy about that being part of the offer I ordered - the colour chart wasn't part of the offer I chose so I can't comment on it. The bobbins work great with my winder - which fits neatly into the longer compartment (see the product photo). The longer compartment also has room for my embroidery scissors AND a packet of needles, so it's a good sized compartment for supplies.

The other compartments hold quite a few wound bobbins. I'd give a number but it will vary depending on what's been wound, how tightly a stitcher packs the compartment, and how many metres are in the skein wound onto the bobbin. I tend to use 8 metre cotton skeins and can comfortably fit up to 10 bobbins per compartment - 7-8 per makes it easier see and pull a bobbin, though.

I'm very happy with this and will probably buy at least a few more after Christmas. I use these for sewing machine feet and small habby (buttons, poppers, etc), too - these aren't just for embroidery threads:)


Embroidery Thread Winder
Embroidery Thread Winder
Offered by Barnyarns
Price: £2.61

5.0 out of 5 stars So simple - works great - what's not to LOVE?!, 21 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Embroidery Thread Winder
Sooooooooo easy to use! I can't understand any of the reviews downrating this very useful stitcher's friend - simply align the hole in the bobbin to the hole in the holder slot next to the winder handle, slip the device down on the side of the embroidery thread organiser box, and wind away! The winder device can be used by left or right handed stitchers, too, so this really is a win-win device.

One of my organiser boxes doesn't have the thicker walls my other one does so when using that box to wind I simply use a small bit of the packaging cardboard as a shim - it's not rocket science and works a treat.

I love that I can wind like the Furies to 'get 'er done' or take my time and enjoy a nice pot of tea whilst organising my threads - takes me right back to my Gran's sitting room and first lessons in stitching. Either way my threads are tangle free when I use this device - I wouldn't be without it! I got the blue one with this order and like it better than the beige one I thought I'd be receiving to replace my 25+yo one that finally gave it up a few weeks ago. It looks and feels just like the 25+yo one, too, so here's to another 25 years:)


50 Embroidery Thread Bobbins Paper
50 Embroidery Thread Bobbins Paper
Offered by The Quilted Bear Ltd
Price: £1.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Not as thick as these used to be but still good!, 21 Oct 2014
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This review is from: 50 Embroidery Thread Bobbins Paper
I really like these paper bobbins - with a permanent marker to maker-number label each bobbin so it's easy to organise for quick retrieval when beginning a stitching project. I have the winder too - slip the winder on the edge of the thread storage box, insert the bobbin into the slot on the winder, and enjoy a peaceful afternoon or evening winding embroidery threads!

These are a little thinner than the old paper ones were - hence the 4*s instead of a full five. I do find I have to be a little more careful whilst handling but these are still better than trying to cut my own if I can find the right thickness cardboard my husband hasn't tossed in the kindling basket! I also like the pre-cut thread slots at each side. Not sure the hole punched is worth the trouble - I don't see these holding up well in a ring system, frankly, and I keep my threads in the dust free thread organisers.

I'll be buying these again - I love embroidery and do all forms of it from surface to plastic canvas (14 mesh which is best done in embroidery threads instead of yarns and wools) so I always have about ten skeins looking for a bobbin!


Deluxe Nutrition 200mg Caffeine Tablets Resealable Pouch - Pack of 200
Deluxe Nutrition 200mg Caffeine Tablets Resealable Pouch - Pack of 200
Price: £10.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Great coffee substitute - great for jet lag too, 21 Oct 2014
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I don't drink coffee but my beloved morning English Breakfast Tea just doesn't pack the same 'wake-me-up' as one of these tabs. I never take more than one at a time, and rarely more than one a day - these do have a bit of a jolt to them!

I like that the maker puts clear health cautions on the front of the sturdy resealable bag, and doesn't make wild claims about the efficacy of caffeine tablets - these MAY suppress an appetite in the recommended dose, and these MAY boost energy levels but nothing about this product PROMISES to do so.

My personal experience with these is that one wakes me up, an occasional one in the afternoon knocks the afternoon lag for six, and if I take another in the evening, lol, I'm awake all night - and a bit jittery! I have used three the first day or two after a long-haul flight but otherwise I stick to one a day, tops. I have noticed a bit of an appetite suppression with these which I see as an added bonus frankly.

YMMV - I have friends who say they haven't had the same results and only use this whilst trekking where a coffee maker is just one more thing to carry in the rucksack, or doing long-hauls - the resealable bag travels very nicely!


Plastic Canvaswork
Plastic Canvaswork
by Meg Evans
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure this is for total beginners but still worth buying for future stitching, 21 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Plastic Canvaswork (Hardcover)
I gave this a 4* review because while the charts are fairly easy to suss the construction/assembly instructions require a little more advanced beginner to intermediate crafting skill, and are a little confusing even to this experienced crafter. Otherwise I'm very happy with this book and am looking forward to the arrival of her other plastic canvas book.

There are some very practical items to make up from this book with most done in 7 mesh and three done in 10 mesh. Projects in 7 mesh are: tissue box cover, jewellery box, basket, picture frame, manicure box, plant holder, waste paper bin, notepad holder, egg cosies and basket, table-mat, napkin rings, coasters, a festive table runner, tree decorations, Advent calendar, and a travel satchel for baby items. The ten count mesh items are: playing card tray (for two decks, shown on cover in blues and ecru), spectacle case, and bookmarks in three designs.

The designs are very 'mid-90s' retro - but also somehow Art Deco, too. The spec case is especially lovely in a floral (iris, I think) and the instructions call for a fabric lining - I'm not going to change a thing about this one! However, the box shown on the book cover (the double playing cards box) will be changed to colours that match my lounge. Colour changes are simple to make on any of the designs in this book.

Glad I bought this and will be working my way through most if not all of the projects.


2 Sheets Plastic Canvas 10 Count 10" x 13.5" Cross Stitch Craft
2 Sheets Plastic Canvas 10 Count 10" x 13.5" Cross Stitch Craft

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality - will be ordering a lot more of this!, 20 Oct 2014
Top quality plastic canvas 10-mesh - my sheets arrived folded but the mild fold pressed out easily with a tea towel between the iron set on high steam and I'm ready to start stitching up Christmas decorations! I'll be ordering again in larger quantities now I've got these two sheets in hand - this mesh is the perfect size for finally stitching a frustration-free Christmas village display.

Nice and thick but also nice and flexible - I'll be able to make jointed Father Christmas, elves, ballerinas, and teddy bear ornaments easily as the mesh isn't so stiff it would be difficult to handle, yet the mesh has enough stiffness to stand up to hours of the grandchildren making these 'dance' without tearing. Perfect stocking fillers to keep young hands busy until time to open the bigger gifts:)


Teach Yourself Plastic Canvas
Teach Yourself Plastic Canvas
by Inc. Leisure Arts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect first steps/refresher into plastic canvas stitching!, 20 Oct 2014
Packs all the information a beginner (or returning stitcher like myself) needs to create beautiful and useful items with a bit of yarn and some plastic mesh. The layout is fab - the booklet (slightly bigger than A4 paper, good sturdy binding and thick paper pages+the added bonus of a 7 mesh and 10 mesh template at the back!) walks stitchers through the steps from selecting the correct mesh for the desired project to creating the items.

Everything a would-be plastic canvas stitcher needs is here in 13 well written, easy to follow lessons: selecting mesh, yarn, and needles, preparing the mesh, threading the needles and handling the yarns, several stitches taught alphabetically (so a good reference for future projects!) and techniques, reading and understanding charts and project instructions, joining and washing pieces, 8 different coaster charts and the box to hold the finished coasters - all using the beautiful stitches taught in the previous lesson, and closes with the encouragement to design projects using the easy-copy 7 and 10 mesh templates at the back of the booklet.

Text, charts, and photos are all large and very easy to read. I bought this as a refresher as it's been 20+years since I tried plastic canvas and am really pleased with the purchase. I'm looking forward to many pleasant hours over winter enjoying my latest stitching hobby:)


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