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Anu­radha Jain, New Delhi, In­dia Namaste, dear read­ers.

June is scorch­ing in Delhi, a dry re­lent­less heat, dur­ing which the only sen­si­ble thing to do is to stay in­side and stitch! But this month we can en­joy frangi­pani flow­ers, whose fra­grance per­fumes the long, sul­try nights.

Both my nan and my mum were skilled needle­women, and I learnt most of what I know from them. Re­cently, my daugh­ter has been try­ing her hand at stitch­ing too, so we’ve an em­broi­dery wall in our liv­ing room, which has work done by all four of us. Some of the pieces are very old, like a wind­mill em­broi­dered by my nan more than 50 years ago.

There is hardly any room any more in the house for pic­tures, es­pe­cially since my daugh­ter also paints, so I of­ten tweak the de­signs for use in other ways, like this cush­ion I made for my sis­ter-in-law from is­sue 239 of Cross Stitcher. I just couldn’t re­sist the adorable teapots! My cute teapot cush­ion 1 Our em­broi­dery wall 2 Anu is a hap­pily mar­ried mum of two, and lives with her fam­ily in New Delhi. She com­pleted her PhD in Ge­og­ra­phy af­ter her daugh­ter was born. She is a stay-at-home mum who, be­sides her free­lance work, loves to in­dulge in her pas­sion for all things cre­ative. Char­lotte Mc­Fall, Sh­effield, South York­shire, UK “June is bust­ing out all over. All over the meadow and the hill.” Sorry I re­ally need to stop watch­ing my favourite mu­si­cal when I’m meant to be writ­ing. But who can re­sist the gor­geous Gor­don MacRae?

June is a lit­tle hec­tic for us with both mine and my hubby’s birth­day and then Fa­ther’s Day. Most peo­ple, like us, are look­ing for­ward to the sum­mer hol­i­days, which is why I chose to share ‘Voy­age at Sea’, a Di­men­sions pe­tite kit stitched by my good friend Cari Cook.

Ships and those lovely sea­side pic­tures re­mind me of places I have been and places I want to see. As I write this it is a mere 10 days un­til we go to Rome, I can’t wait to see the Colos­seum and the Parthenon. If I get some re­ally good pic­tures I will turn them into a cross stitch pat­tern us­ing one of those postage cross stitch kits.

So far my stitch­ing has been go­ing slow af­ter hav­ing flu and do­ing my Mas­ter’s as­sign­ment and project pro­posal it feels like I haven’t had two min­utes to my­self. I’m look­ing for­ward to stitch­ing more in the sum­mer.

By the way, I love th­ese cute lit­tle owls stitched by my friend An­gela Baker, but she’s for­got­ten who did the kit so would ap­pre­ci­ate it if some­one knows they could tell me as I’d like to do them my­self! Voy­age At Sea, stitched by Cari 3 Any­one know where I can get this kit of cute owls? 4 Char­lotte writes as Misty Shaw, and pens ro­mance for My Weekly Pocket Nov­els and Mills and Boon. She was the win­ner of the Ca­rina Mills and Boon Christ­mas in July Com­pe­ti­tion.

Rachel Dove, Wake­field, West York­shire, UK

Here in York­shire, we have had some very un­sea­sonal weather this year so far. Snow days, and lots of them! Schools were closed, roads deemed un­safe, and milk and bread stock­piled in huge amounts, leav­ing noth­ing on the shelves of su­per­mar­kets and lo­cal shops. I swear, if us York­shire folk can’t have our tea and toast, we are not happy!

So with peo­ple snowed in and work and school can­celled, I have had a lot of lovely stitch­ing time mak­ing Christ­mas cards, and also qual­ity time with my chil­dren, which has been fun.

That got me think­ing, what is your favourite type of card to stitch? Are you al­ready stitch­ing Christ­mas cards, like me, or are you al­ready mak­ing cards for next year? If you were snowed in, would your card stack see you through the bad weather, or do you make them unique to each per­son? What­ever you are do­ing, I hope you are hav­ing as much fun mak­ing them as I am. A snow day was the perfect ex­cuse to stitch my free CrossStitcher card! 5 Rachel is mar­ried with two boys, writes for Mills & Boon, and is the win­ner of the Prima Flirty Fic­tion Com­pe­ti­tion. Lisa Thomas, Lake Michi­gan, USA As I am writ­ing this, we are re­ceiv­ing a whole lot of snow. Mother Na­ture is not co­op­er­at­ing. On the stitch­ing front, I’m re­ally hav­ing a hard time with mo­ti­va­tion to work on any of my projects. I find it is very hard for me to stitch when it is so dreary out­side. I am long­ing for some sun­light.

I have been work­ing on an an­niver­sary gift for my hus­band. I have de­cided to work on a wed­ding sam­pler that I never seem to have time to do. The theme of our re­la­tion­ship has been snow­men. A snow­man and snow woman was the first card I ever gave him. I fi­nally found a larger de­sign and have mod­i­fied it to fit my needs. It was ac­tu­ally a pic­ture of a mother and daugh­ter snow­men. The size dif­fer­ence was a perfect dif­fer­ence for my hus­band and me. He is over a foot taller than I am so the com­bi­na­tion worked. This project is mov­ing along slowly since I’m try­ing to make this a sur­prise! Do you want to stitch a snow­man? 6 Lisa is mar­ried to a dairy farmer and has three chil­dren. She lives close to the beaches of Lake Michi­gan, USA. Joy Snouf­fer, Hager­stown, Mary­land, USA Happy Fa­ther’s Day to all my friends here in the US!

I’d also like to wish a very Happy 51st birth­day to my hand­some hubby, Todd! In­stead of stitch­ing a gift this year, I plan to fi­nally frame a clip­per ship that I cross stitched for him about 20 years ago. I guess it’s about time!

June is a lovely month for cross stitch­ing in west­ern Mary­land. The sun is shin­ing, birds singing, flow­ers bloom­ing, and warm breezes through the trees make my fin­gers itch to stitch

some­thing filled with blos­soms and lovely colours. I might stitch up an In­de­pen­dence Day door-hang­ing, or maybe a lit­tle some­thing with a sea­side theme. On sec­ond thought, I might start on Christ­mas or­na­ments! You never know what might strike my fancy!

My favourite stitch­ing spot is in a corner of the liv­ing room. I’ve set up a cozy lit­tle desk and chair, my Ot­tLite floor lamp, and sup­plies for my cur­rent stitchy project. I’ll stitch away while sip­ping iced tea and watch­ing Law & Or­der re-runs.

An­other fun spot for stitch­ing is be­side the pool. Al­though I’m not much of a swim­mer, I look for­ward to stitch­ing while my fam­ily frol­ics. As soon as the wa­ter warms up a bit, my grand­son (10 months) will take his first-ever dip in the pool (along­side Momma and Daddy, of course)! His big sis­ter (age 2) has her lit­tle swim­suit and life jacket ready and can’t wait to jump in!

What­ever and wher­ever you choose to stitch, I wish you fun, sunny days, and many won­der­ful sum­mer mem­o­ries! My Jeep and Jam stitch­ing 7 & 8 The fin­ished clip­per – fi­nally years later – it is ready to be framed! 9 Joy is mar­ried, a home­maker with two grand­chil­dren. She lives at the foot of moun­tains west of Bal­ti­more. Gior­dana Grossi, Parma, Italy All of my friends know that I love hand­made stuff. Be­sides cross stitch, my other hob­bies are jew­ellery, sew­ing and poly­mer clay. Ob­vi­ously when one of my col­leagues asked me to go to an ex­hi­bi­tion of agri­cul­tural modelling, I was very cu­ri­ous. It was the first time for me, even if this kind of fair is usual here be­cause the link be­tween the city and the coun­try­side is very strong, in fact Parma is fa­mous all over the world for its food prod­ucts, for ex­am­ple Parme­san ham and cheese.

The fair was very in­ter­est­ing. There were many dio­ra­mas show­ing ru­ral scenes, mod­els of trac­tor in the fields, coun­try houses and farm­yards. My friend pre­sented a sta­ble with lights and mov­ing parts. The in­ter­est­ing fact is that his dio­rama is made with ev­ery­day ob­jects, so the elas­tic of un­der­wear be­came a con­veyer belt in the sta­ble. If you cut a straw in pieces you have many roof tiles and the leaves of the wis­te­ria are made of em­broi­dery threads. It was very funny try­ing to guess ev­ery hid­den ob­ject he used, and I learned many of his se­crets. His work was very real­is­tic and he won the first prize for the best dio­rama. The dio­ra­mas on dis­play 10 11 & 12 Gior­dana is a 39-year-old bus driver, and lives with her hus­band and her cat Mur­phy in Parma, Italy. She learned to stitch from her mother when she was a lit­tle girl. You can fol­low her on­line at www.in­sta­gram. com/gior­dana_­grossi.

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