About me

How time flies…………..in a couple of weeks we will be at the summer solstice………….mid summer’s day. We have had some beautiful weather here in Suffolk of late; although there has been some rain, the temperature has been warm so the crops are growing and for us dog walkers the cow parsley, nettles and grasses are making our walks somewhat more difficult at times. I do wonder what it is like to be Sandie, our Cairn, as she battles through the long grass with nothing but a continuous green tunnel before her. Both dogs are now getting older; Webs at 11 and Sandie now 10 so our really long walks are reduced in length. We still get quite a good early morning walk when the dogs are at their freshest, but later in the afternoon, a civilised stroll is all that is needed. Here they are enjoying the coolness of the water at our local ford…….I wish I had joined them!
Webs & Sandie

A hot summer's day


Well, here I am as a newly married woman of four weeks. It seems incredible to look back to my previous comments here last autumn  when Webs and I moved in with David and his dog, Sandie, as the time has absolutely flown by. Our wedding day, which we so enjoyed with both of our families, was blessed with warm, sunny weather.

The following week we stayed at a cottage near Aldburgh on the Suffolk coast with Webs and his now companion, Sandie. It was lovely to relax and go for long walks along the coast and visit the pretty towns like Snape, Walberswick, Orford and Woodbridge. Although I know the area, as I have lived in Suffolk for more than 20 years, it was lovely to actually spend time just relaxing and having the opportunity to explore this area further. We have both been extremely busy over the past months so it was  a great time  just being able to ‘catch up’ with ourselves.
Spring.....how lovely 002Daffoldils in Spring



Two views taken this morning of a farm pond, just outside our village. An absolute joy to see the beautiful array of yellow daffodils bobbing in the breeze. Thankfully our weather in the UK has made an incredible improvement over the past 6 weeks; almost summer weather on odd days. Let’s hope that we finally recover from the awful winter many of us have had to cope with. Till next time, Lx



Well, I’m now finally catching up with you all…………what a few weeks it has been. Our Greek island of Meganisi sounds a long time ago. Webs and I have finally moved from our lovely Suffolk cottage to…a large 1970’s bungalow………it does take some getting used to, but, a month on I am really enjoying it all. David, the new man in my life is fine and Webs, of course, isn’t ‘out done’ as he has the lovely Sandie seen below for company.

Sandy 001

It has been great to embark on my ‘new life’ with the thought that a new year is about to start and I find myself thinking how lucky I have been.

I’ll keep you up to date as the months go on as we are intending to convert a garage to a kitchen, dining/ living area…..for both dogs and us. There is also a super garden here, which is great. As some of you will no doubt realise I love being outside pottering, cutting back, cutting down, planting and generally getting dirty and muddy in the process. Because of the alterations much of the garden needs a complete overhaul, so for me, it is even more exciting.

I’m sorry that I still haven’t got my “charts for sale” up and running on the blog…………A new resolution and adventure for 2014. I’m slowly getting there.

If I don’t get the chance before the 25th, then I can only wish each of you a very happy seasonal greeting to my stitching friends all over the world.

Lesley on holiday - not all work!Just catching up with you all………..a bit later than I intended. As you can see from the photo I have been on holiday for two weeks on a very small Greek island. Absolute bliss. For once separated from the lovely Webs but he had Sandie, the small Cairn I have mentioned with him at the kennels. I know it isn’t ideal, but I have to say he always goes in without any problems and appears fine when I pick him up.

Well, the latest news now is that I am engaged —-WOW!

It was a complete surprise, for although I knew I was getting a ring for my birthday, I wasn’t expecting a proposal. It was easy to say ‘Yes’ as David is a great bloke. We were both widowed about 4 year’s ago so understand some of the trials of life that many of us have to go through. So now when we go for a walk there are two people and two dogs………good company all round.

Gareth Aug 2013Hi everyone. I hope yo are enjoying our summer weather which most of us have been able to enjoy of late. I have spent a super week with my 5 year old grandson, Gareth, and as you can see the lovely Webs isn’t far away. He was like a shadow, always just behind Gareth, following him everywhere. The photo is in a friend’s garden where my Grandson was able to try out riding – at very low speed – a mobility scooter. Absolutely fabulous. It taught Gareth spatial awareness, confidence, having to concentrate and he loved it. My friend built an obstacle ‘run’ of sticks so that Gareth had to learn to weave through them and reverse as well as manoeuvre through narrow widths. I think, that although Gareth has already had a lovely week away in Italy, his best memories may well be learning to ride this scooter.
By the way, just in case some of you are worried, Web’s is carrying a soft toy that looks like a very realistic pheasant. This toy has a ‘growl’ sound that can be made by squeezing it….Neither I can make the sound or Webs, but its rightful owner- my friend’s Cairn- gets wonderful noises from it. I think Cairns must have a very strong grip (bite). As you know Labradors have quite the opposite.

Still working on holiday!I have just had a super week’s holiday in West Sussex, a county very dear to me as I spent many happy years there and my eldest son was born at Chichester hospital. I have to say that Suffolk, where I now live, is much quieter and possibly has a slightly drier climate, but I still miss the rolling hills and wooded areas and easy access to the coast. It is many years since I have been back and one forgets that trees, hedges keep growing! I had quite a lot difficulty in finding my way round the village of Lodsworth to find a previous home but still managed to find the wood where I used to walk with another of my Labradors, Sadie, but Webs enjoyed the new smells and the exercise before travelling on to Pagham for my week’s stay. As you can see in the photo, not all rest as I had some paintings to work on, but still a lovely, quiet interlude for us both.

Webs with buttercups 008 The weather finally improved for a few days last week and this sunny picture taken of Webs and the wonderful field of yellow buttercups makes me smile. It is a proper meadow as all through the next few months there will be a constant change in the type of wild flowers that I will see. The rabbits dive for cover on our early morning walk but Webs doesn’t bother about them now, he knows they disappear too quickly. We quite often come back this way in the afternoon after a longer walk, so it is lovely to see how the scenery changes in a different light, but with sun on the field the buttercups couldn’t look more glorious. I’ll have to take some close ups of the flowers I see as the months progress with an update, as a meadow like this is a rare beauty these days.

Web's on holiday
GOLD Toile de Jouy Design - SimulationGreat friendsWe are now into May which I think is such a lovely month; bright, fresh foliage, bulbs that start the colours off in our gardens and the birds all busy looking after their fledglings.
It has been a very busy time of late designing for the magazines I work for, but Webs and I managed to have a week away in East Sussex and thankfully the weather was kind to us. It wasn’t exactly shorts and tee shirt climate but still dry and relatively warm, certainly good enough for lovely walks across the downs and by the sea.

We stayed at a lovely cottage in East Dean that takes dogs so Webs was as excited as me to wander round new areas. Whilst there I met up with a friend Angela and her dog, Meg, who is a gorgeous, friendly Westie…..Webs really enjoyed the company as well and we all had a lovely walk through a nature reserve which took us out to the edge of the sea. A great pub lunch later satisfied the hunger pangs after our long walk. Angela and I go back to the days of working with DMC – 25 year’s ago. I was a designer for them for both needlepoint and cross stitch kits and Angela stitched many of these designs. She now works for the magazines that I design for, so quite often my charts are stitched by her which is always a plus for me as we get a chance to talk about the work.

The Toile de Jouy design at the top, was one of my designs recently stitched by Angela. It was shown in Gold magazine, issue 101. I’m really pleased with how it has worked out as I have been a fan of this style of design for many years and I think it is especially beautiful for displaying in a bedroom, as the subtle blend of colours creates a calm and relaxing mood.

My work area

Hard at work at my computer. February has been a really very busy month , which is great , but, and I’m sure many will agree, how to spread one’s time sensibly so that one gets the best out of a day…not always easy. As you can see in the picture there are two musical instruments; the beautiful double bass belongs to my youngest son who is an accomplished musician and the piano, which we can both play, now an aged darling. That one I’m no too sure about though, as these instruments have their day and this piano is getting past its prime. I’m hoping it will keep going just long enough for me to make my dream come true………..
Playing the piano again has become a challenge for me, as two years ago I decided that I needed a new direction and was in need of something to stretch myself. I decided to try and get my Grade 8 piano exam. If I say that my last music exam was for my Grade 5 at the age of eleven it appeared quite daunting. My music teacher is fabulous and now two year’s later I’m working at Grade 7 pieces with the hope of taking the exam later this year. Still quite a way to go but I’m so enjoying the challenge, especially when the goal seemed really rather unrealistic.

I’ll keep you informed as to how I get on………..!

Just an update on the gorgeous Webs…………now 9 years old. He is beginning to plod and I spend quite a lot of time waiting for him to catch me up on our walks. Not too bad in summer but with the weather in the Uk of late I’m not always too happy.

…….. a lonely snowman, looking for love, desperate to please his snowwoman…….Suffolk snowman I took this photo of the snowman yesterday whilst on a walk with Webs…………..isn’t he gorgeous!

Webs looking cute! Webs as lovely as ever………Typical retriever, always has to have something in his mouth. In this instance it is a rat! I hasten to add a soft toy one. He has had this for 4 years – a gift from my youngest son. It is still ….albeit, a bit grubby at times, still intact. It is the first thing he grabs in the morning when I come down to greet him and if I get visitors. BUT, did you notice the pink dinosaur on his collar………a gift from my 4 year old grandson. I thought, ‘hey’, this must show the feminine side of Webs………..it is a talking point with the other dog walkers, and Webs doesn’t mind.

Take care…….happy times. L


This photo was taken two years ago and the snow lasted rather a long time. We have just had quite a covering of the white stuff over the past 24 hours so I’m now wondering what the next few weeks will bring. It is lovely, but it can cause chaos. I’m so lucky to still have a shop in our village and…… with a post office. It is the hub of the village news and we are very lucky to have it. It is on one of our walks and when the word ‘shop’is spoken that is all that is needed for Webs to know the way……..he does by the way a get a biscuit for sitting quietly outside…….I think you are realising he isn’t stupid and food rules!

I have lived in Suffolk for 20 years and now have a large black Labrador for company to go for long walks with in the beautiful countryside. I like to spend my time walking or gardening as this is a favourite hobby of mine and with a large plot to tend it is just as well. London or Cambridge are cities I visit as often as I can and I love to travel. I have a degree in Printed and Woven Textiles and as well as teaching art I have worked as a freelance designer for many years for the retail trade and card companies. For the past twenty years I have concentrated on designs for the needlework market but I now work mainly for the cross stitch market, providing designs and charts for most of the needlework magazines.

I love this time of the year when the first hint of Autumn appears. Walking Webs first thing on a clear, frosty morning is wonderful and although I may groan at times being out at 7am,  on mornings like this I am so pleased to have a dog to walk. There is another photo of him sitting by my swing that my boys put up for me earlier this year – see the ‘Home’ section. It hangs from a beautiful large willow tree in the garden that is planted next to a small stream that runs through the middle section of my plot. A lovely place to sit and watch the dragonflies on a sunny day. I thought perhaps – if you are  doggie person, you might like the view of Webs 8 year’s ago…………rather a cute puppy – probably the size of his head now.


56 comments on “About me

  1. CareyAnne Yager says:

    I am a fan of Cross Stitch Gold magazine and have seen many of your designs. I have become quite a fan of your work and look forward to seeing more! I love your Lab, they are wonderful animals!
    CareyAnne Yager, Phoenix, AZ

  2. Vanessa Mellor says:

    Hi Lesley, I’m currently stitching a Bothy Thread cross stitch kit of yours called Dawn, I’m stitching this for my Auntie who is very special to me, I started it last Feb/march on the hope I’d have it completed for May 2012, but it ended up getting put away as I had an accident so I started stitching motif pictures for cards etc. Anyway I’ve recently started it again. One day last week as I was so much enjoying stitching this pattern, I decided to search for more patterns of yours for my next conquest, to my delight I found that this particular pattern is 1 of 2, the other being Dusk. I’ve searched and searched and tonight finally found one, which hopefully be with me next week. So now I have the pair to complete before May 10th. Will you be creating anymore fabulous fantasy angels/fairies in the future, not only do I love the design, but the colours work so well together. Thank you for giving me many happy hours of stitching. Ill send you a photo of my finished projects, that’s if you don’t mind. Thanks again. Nessa

    • Hi Nessa, thanks for all of your helpful suggestions about the black work chart of the angel. Debbie is now sorted but it makes me think I should design another blackwork lady for the summer…….could be in fresh, bright colours?! It certainly doesn’t have to be black. Very pleased that you found the kit for the Dusk fairy as Bothy Threads will be concentrating on the flower designs and the country lass style designs of mine this year so no more fairies for the present. However I may design some for the mags – I’ll see.

      I would love to see the finished projects Nessa – I do so hope you manage the deadline!! I know how that feels!! Lx

  3. Lonita Ann Bennett says:

    I too am a fan of Cross Stitch Gold. My daughter Michelle and I were in our local Barnes and Noble Bookseller and I picked up the latest copy – to Michelle’s complete delight, your design “Mr. Tumnus” was included in this issue! She is a HUGE fan of The Chronicles of Narnia and made certain we did not leave the store without this issue!! Have you designed any of the other scenes from these books? I would certainly be interested!!

    Can’t wait to start this project! Thanks so much.

    • Thank you for your comment Lonita and to hear, like me, that your daughter loves The Chronicles of Narnia. Hannah Bellis at Gold (another fan) made the suggestion to me so I was delighted to try and capture the image of Lucy with Mr Tumnus. I hope you enjoy stitching the picture. Lx

      PS: I’ll let you know if I design any more pictures from the stories.

  4. Vivian says:

    Hi Lesley: I was wondering who distributes your designs in Canada? I’ve just opened a shop here and a customer has asked about one of your designs, but I can’t find a distributor.

  5. Hollie Christopher says:

    Hi Lesley
    I love your designs and was wondering whether you had any objections to me selling my stitched pieces when finished. It would only be a couple of each design and the money I would be receiving would just about cover costs with a little extra for time spent stitching. I know some designers are happy for me to do this and there are one or two that aren’t so i was wondering whether this is something you are happy for me to do.

    I hope to hear from you soon

    • Hello Hollie
      Firstly, many thanks for asking permission to be able sell your stitched pieces of my original designs. I don’t have a probelem with this as long as it is NOT on a commercial bases and that only one or two of each design stitched by you will be sold.

      The sale of Kits based on my designs will not be tolerated unless by prior arrangement with me.

      Happy stiching Hollie, perhaps you can send pictures through of some of my designs that you have worked on? I thought that a gallery addition could be a good idea as an additional section on the blog.

      Lesley x

  6. Hollie Christopher says:

    Hi Lesley
    Thank you so much for that, it would only be one or two of each design that would be sold. I will definitely send you photos of your finished designs.

    I am looking forward to stitching many more of your designs.


  7. Jolene says:

    I’ve recently found your web site to be a new inspiration. I’m a nurse by career but I find cross stitching therapeutic and keeps my eyes trained and fingers nimble. I was hoping to find your pattern on a Narnia cross stitch you did some time ago, but have yet to come across it. I fell in love with it when someone had it on ebay!!! You have some beautiful patterns I’d love to make, but I need to finish the ones I’ve already started!! Thanks for the lovely work you do!!! Jolene

    • Hi Jolene, I know the feeling when one has a few stitching pieces on the go. Thanks so much for your lovely comments it really does help me to know that my designs are liked and people enjoy stitching them. If you get round to finding the time for the Narnia design then please let me know and I’ll sort the chart out for you,

      • Jolene says:

        It was Mr. Tumnus holding a yellow umbrella over him and Lucy; she was in a red dress and a green sweater. In the background on the right there’s a lamp post and trees with snow behind them. There’s a yellow glow on the ground from the lamp post. I think it came from a magazine. I didn’t get much more information but I did save the picture just in case I needed to refer to it. I really appreciate your help; Thank you!!!!

  8. Lynn Derrick says:

    Hi Lesley. Could you please tell me where I can get the “All Aboard, Noah’s Ark” Kit please?
    Thank you.

  9. Zlatina says:


    I just wanted to say that I am a fan of your work, I like your style. Thank you for this blog and the opportunity to get to know you better. And thank you for the free designs too. Wishing you all the best!

    • Hi Zlatina, I’m really trying with the blog as I find it great to communicate with fellow stitchers………everyone is so nice. The feedback is useful to me as a designer and artist and with my work I find it a fairly isolated existence so being able to communicate with others is very satisfying. The blog is still ‘trying at times’ and I still make mistakes in setting up the charts and the details, but I think I’m getting there…..slowly! Thanks so much for getting in touch.

  10. soknitsome says:

    I always enjoy when your designs appear in Cross Stitch Collection. I love the floral bouquets – especially those in jugs and mugs and pretty vases.

  11. Gabriele says:

    Hi, I am looking for either chart or kit of “kitchen dresser”, that is now no longer available to purchase,and I looked everywhere…I hope you don’t mind my asking if could please help me find it? I’d appreciate it very much….kindest regards Gabriele

    • Hi Gabriele, I have made a note of your request…………I’ll get back to you next week as I think there may be a problem with me allowing the design to go out to you – I need to check this first, Lesley

  12. Jenny Austin says:

    Hi Lesley, I have just found your website and had to say how much my sister and I love your designs. Your use of colour is magical and the designs are always so meticulously crafted and clean looking. I have just purchased The Cross Stitch Collection and the Autumn Wren is definitely on my next to do list. Thanks for all the pleasure you give us

    • Hi Jenny, welcome to my blog…………..I still find the blog difficult at times , but it is a learning curve so quite enjoyable. I have just gone on to Twiitter…a glutton for punishment maybe!
      I have really enjoyed working on this particular bird series for CSC and the designs have been very popular. It is lovely to hear back from stitchers as it gives me a sense of pleasure as I have tried my best with my work and to know that there are people out there that appreciate it is lovely.
      Happy stitching to you and your sister, Lx

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Lesley!
    Congratulations on Your engagement!!!!! I wish You all the best in the future!
    And hope that You will still give us the most beautifull Flowers and other cross stitch chart very soon! I understand what You mean to live alone, when Your Dear Husband or Fiancé has passed away and You must “get back to Life” again but now You are alone…
    My Fiancé died in lung cancer and it go very quickly – only 4 months, it was chock for all of us, but now I can say: that is Life and we cannot do anything about it…

    Congratulations again!!!

    Have a Lovely afternoon!

    Best wishes from lucky stitcher and the biggest fun of You as the best Designer in the World!

  14. Anita Meekins says:

    Hi Lesley,
    I have been looking for a cross stitch pattern you designed. It’s a Wizard of Oz design ( I think its called “There’s No Place Like Home”?) Can you tell me where I can find this pattern? Possibly in a magazine or one of your books?
    Thanks for any information you can give me….

  15. Anne says:

    Hello Lesley,
    Firstly, I love your designs. They are really so unique and beautiful.
    I hope you can help me find a particular pattern, it’s called Art Nouveau Lady Roses and Butterfly. I would appreciate it if you can tell me where I can find it.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Firstly Anne, my apologies for not replying earlier. If you have kept up to date with my blog you will know I have just moved house…a fraught time is all I can say. I had a look today but I can’t find it at present. Leave it with me as it is on my system but I can’t remember what the title is. Lx

  16. Zlatina says:

    Congratulations on your engagement! I wish you health and happiness!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Lesley!
    Thank You so much for all Your magnific and beautifull designs You have give us this year!
    I wish and allready wait for a new beautifull designs for next year!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Best wishes from

    • Hello Elizabeth, I have really loved working on all of the designs this past year, it has been a real joy designing…..I’m very lucky to be able to call this ‘work’……….A very happy Christmas to you and I hope you will get as much pleasure with all the new pieces that are ready to be produced by the magazines in 2014.

      Lesley x

      • Elizabeth says:

        Hello Lesley! I am a subscriber of Cross Stitch Gold, Cross Stitch Collection and The World of Cross Stitching, and even buy Cross Stitcher and Cross Stitch Crazy – and I love many of fantastic designs I have see there! From XS Gold 108 I love Your new series with bold flowers, and as soon as I can I will stitch the Rhododendrons chart as a Picture! But I want to ask You: in next issue of XS Gold (109) I could see it come Stunning chart of Hollyhocks in Bright reds. How many of these Bright flowers You will have in this series?? I love them as much as I love all the Flowers You have at Bothy Threads too!

        Happy a New Design Year!
        from stitcher who enjoy so much all Your designs…

      • Hi Elizabeth, a very happy new Year to you. I’m pleased to hear that you like the rhododendron blooms in GOLD. As you know Bothy Threads have flower kits of mine showing flowers in a similar style but I will be selling charts on line here soon so I wanted to add a collection of glorious sprays of brightly coloured blooms that I can show. I have to wait six months before I can add the designs that have been used in the mags, but once up and running there should be a growing collection for you all to choose from.

        Yes, the hollyhocks will be in issue 109 and to follow a gorgeous bright group of sunflowers for issue 110………….I hope the editor, Medina will want more as the year progresses, but I’ll have to wait and see.

        Happy stitching, I’m SO pleased you like this one,

  18. Anne says:

    Hello again Lesley,

    Just wanted to wish you a heartwarming holiday! Warmest wishes for a very merry Christmas and and have a very happy New Year. May you enjoy good health in the coming year!!!

    God bless …

  19. Desiree says:

    Dear Lesley, to be honest I do have a complaint about the pattern of the Rhododendrons in CSGold 108. The colourkey is incomplete. I find 3 symbols {turned letter S} for 818 and 2 other colours, as they have a yellow or pink background. Besides that there must be a colour mentioned for the yellow without a symbol in it. And the print is horrible. It goes completely out of grid.
    I think you should take a look yourself.

    • Hello Desiree, thanks for your query on the rhododendron chart. I have spoken to the senior technical advisor at the magazine, and like me, she can’t see anything wrong with it. She will be able to have a better look at it in greater detail on Tuesday. One question for you is have you downloaded the digital version as there can, at times be a few problems with this method? If you can get back to me on this it would be good as this will help me in sorting out the problem.
      Looking forward to hearing from you,

  20. Margit Benn says:

    How do I get hold of the chart for the chaffinch from Cross Stitch Collection 223?
    I live in South Africa and we always get the magazine a few months later and the back copies are sold out!

  21. Lesley

    I would like to stitch some of your smaller designs to make cards and free projects with magazines for the charity that my daughter works for, Royal London Society for the Blind based in Sevenoaks, Kent, so that they can be sold for fundraising at events that they hold.

    I shall only be stitching one of each.

    Would you give me your permission please.

    Caroline McCullough

    • Thank you so much for asking for permission to stitch the cards and free projects for your charity. I hope they prove popular for the Royal London Society for the Blind. A very good cause Caroline,

  22. CheryFay says:

    Hi Lesley
    You do such pretty cross stitch designs. I’m a amazed at them. I recently see a photo of the bird clock cross stitch. It was in a cross stitch group I am. Wow how beautiful. I’ve looking around to find the pattern but not having much luck. Is there a way I’d be able to get that pattern. I have tried to find the past issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine but again not much luck. I so do want to get the pattern to make. It is superb.


    • I know I have replied to you earlier Cheryl, but for anyone else looking for the design, then just to say the charts for the actual birds are on my blog. They aren’t in the same format as the clock design that was in CRAZY magazine but they will make a great bird sampler. Lx

  23. Cheryl, you should have had a separate email from me with a few more details. Please contact me again, if this hasn’t arrived…….L

  24. Rasa says:

    Lesley, I saw a picture of your lovely afghan, Glorious Garden Blooms, can you share the magazine name that published this pattern? I can see it was done in installments, can you tell me which ones? Thanks, Rasa

    • Hello Rasa, good question! The designs were done in 2008 so they aren’t available now. So,you will be pleased to hear that they will become part of my charts for sale when my new website is up and running….probably sometime in May. So keep in touch with the blog and I’ll get all the charts ready as soon as possible,

  25. ing liono says:

    Hi Lesley,it’s nice to know you. Love to read about your life

  26. Cindy says:

    I am interested the the Feathered Owl Counted Cross Stitch in Isssue #200. Two owls in a tree.
    Is it possible to still get this design.

    • Hi Cindy, you are the first person to know that my new website is up and running! You will find the two baby owls on my SHOP. They come as pdf files to download, I hope you will enjoy stitching it, Lx

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