Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Crimbo Cards & UFO Update

I can now show you another of the Christmas cards I made as Sally has let me know it's arrived. I had fun making this one, so glad you liked it Sally. :0) I thought I'd share a pic of a card I received yesterday. This one was made by my friend Alex who is heavily into freestyle embroidery and being really creative with textiles and threads etc.
This looks much better IRL, very snowy and is so touchy-feely - one of many beautiful items she's made over the years. A love of needlework is one of many things we have in common.

As for my UFO: I've been a good girl this week and actually spent both Monday and Tuesday night stitching on ET and it's showing the benefit of it. Here's the update:
Although this Tuesday was the final UFO Night for this year I think I may still have the odd stitching session on it over the festive season. Meantime: thanks Julie, Mr Stick and my fellow UFO Nighters for keeping me going with this. :0)
My right knee was playing up again yesterday, making walking painful, so I had a nice quiet afternoon and evening with my feet up, watching Dawn Bibby on QVC (no spending, just enjoying seeing the samples and goodies) and some interesting documentaries whilst stitching. So I split the day into two stitching sessions, with the new start in the afternoon and UFO Night stitching in the evening.
The new start wasn't the freebie chart by GiGi or the Alchemy Humbug SAL or any of the others I mentioned: it was a cute little Mill Hill pin kit. It's of a Santa's head in cross stitch and beads and, instead of making it up into a pin (or brooch), I'm going to finish it as another ornie for my metal scrollwork tree. When I put the tree up on Monday and found the other ornies and put them on it looked awfully bare: I hadn't made nearly as many as I thought I had (or if I have I can't find them!), so decided to try and get a couple more made.
Hoping to get Santa finished tonight and start another one after - will put pics up when they're done. I'm so glad I invested in a Tacky Bob a while back though: it really does stop me from pinging beads and decorating the whole room with them! ;0)
BTW, if anyone happens to be trawling that well known auction site (UK branch) and finds any of the Mill Hill Christmas ornie or pin kits at reasonable prices PLEASE give me a shout and point me in the right direction. Likewise, if anyone has any for sale/trade please let me know. Thanks. I have several in my stash still to do but they won't all fill my tree, plus I love making them as they are so much fun. :0)
Panto rehearsals are now coming thick and fast for DS, so we barely see anything of him at the moment: it's straight in from work, washed, changed, a meal (if he's got time) then out to rehearsal and back some time around 10 - 10.30pm, then he catches up on emails and the like and has a meal if he didn't get one earlier. We may see him for an hour for a catch-up before we're off to bed - not that I'm complaining, as at least we know where he is and what he's getting up to. He's thriving on it and, so long as no one makes any last minute changes to what he has to do, he will do OK.
DH informs me he's hoping to have tomorrow off work so he can have a catch-up at home. Not exactly sure what that involves yet but hope it means he's going to finish off the kitchen cupboard so I can finally get my pots and pans back in there before cooking for the festive season starts. If you see and hear lots of fireworks going up and brass bands playing in this vicinity you'll know it's done at last and I'm celebrating. LOL ;0)
Julie: will try and do a pic of my broomstick Santa and get DH to upload it for me.
Have managed to get behind with every one's blogs again, so hope to have a catch up tonight and tomorrow.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Sunday Surprises

Well the first surprise is me Blogging on a Sunday. ;0)

A knock at the door late morning led to a BIG surprise: parcels being delivered by a man in a white van. Looks like RM are struggling to cope with all the Christmas mail and are having to resort to Sunday deliveries in ordinary vans...... not that I'm complaining: one of the four items that arrived was for me! Inside my package was a wrapped Christmas present and this beautifully stitched card from Helen:
The scanner has done its usual thing and made things look washed out: IRL the thread ranges from a dark blue, through to greens and with a little yellow in there and the stars and wording are sparkly rainbow coloured. It really is beautiful and I love it, so thank you again Helen. :0)
BTW, the gift has disappeared into the depths of my wardrobe to keep company with the other surprise gifts I've been lucky enough to receive this year - I'm hoping it's now a case of "out of sight, out of mind" in an effort to resist temptation. ;0)

My DSis had a day out with her friends today: they went to a big retail outlet near York, then followed it up with shopping in York itself. It sounds like they took advantage of quite a few sales, had a good shopping spree and came back with quite a haul from what she was telling me when I spoke to her on the phone earlier. That girl so knows how to have a good splurge. LOL

DH and I had a much less expensive day at home: we made a start on the ever-growing jobs list and he even managed to get the boxes of decorations out of the loft. >shock< We decided not to bother with the big tree this year, as we're not really in the mood for that, but my Santa on a broomstick will definitely be flying up the bannisters again after a fun debut last year. LOL

I haven't made the new start I planned on doing today. What with the jobs that we did, the preparations for our dinner (corn-fed roast chicken etc - yummy!) and chatting to my DSis on the phone the day just got away from me and now I'm too tired to concentrate. Hopefully I shall make the new start tomorrow: Alex isn't able to visit in the afternoon, due to having a Carol Concert to go to at school, so I shall have a bit more spare time on my hands than usual. I'm still undecided which project to go for so I guess I'll just have to see what mood I'm in then see what appeals the most........... or I could always flip a coin. LOL

Hope you have all had an enjoyable weekend and that the coming week is a good one. :0)

Saturday, 15 December 2007

A Small HD

Back in November Jayne ran a Beginners Hardanger SAL on the Stitch'n'Stash Forum and, me being me, I didn't get around to doing it then because I was busy doing other stuff. Suddenly feeling inspired last night I dug it out from under a pile of stitching magazines and made a start, finishing it off tonight.Once again the scanner has made it look dull: the stitches lay much better than this and the glitter thread wrapped around the wrapped bars really sparkles. Such a cute piece, it was a lot of fun to stitch, so thanks for designing the piece and running the SAL Jayne. :0) Not sure how I shall finish it yet: it's small enough to make a nice card but would also look good as a small ornie. Guess it'll go in the finishes drawer for a while, with the rest of the pieces that are waiting for me to make a decision on how to finish them. ;0)
I've now stitched hardanger pieces on 28ct and 22ct fabric and have to say that I prefer using the 28ct, as the stitches do seem to lay better on that.

DH booked Friday off work so he could get a few things done: like getting his hair cut, hoovering off the plate rack in the hall and similar boring but necessary stuff....... but he mainly seemed to get under my feet as I was trying to get my jobs done. I did get a bit of peace when he drove DS out to Epworth village in the evening: DS's works Christmas "Do" was at an Indian restaurant out there - DS didn't want to drive as he wanted to have a drink or two, so his Dad volunteered to take him and pick him up again afterwards. I finished the replacement card for the exchange and made a start on the hardanger bauble while they were gone whilst listening to one of those Ambience Music CD's - well, there was definitely nothing on the TV worth watching, was there.

DS shot off to a Panto rehearsal this morning and had a bit of Christmas shopping to do afterwards, so DH popped to the Post Office, then we went to a local garden centre for dinner. While we were there we had a look round: lots of pretty Christmas decorations but we came away with a nicely decorated pot for the garden instead. It's planted with two types of heather and what I think might be a cyclamen but as I know beggar all about most types of plants, don't quote me. Anyway: it's got dark reddish coloured leaves, so looks different and pretty and that's good enough to get into my garden. ;0) As we'd actually gone there to look for some of those metal hangers that hook over the top of your door so you can hang a wreath (or whatever) on and didn't find any we decided to go to the big garden centre out at Brigg to see if they'd got any. That place always has a big Christmas decorations display upstairs at this end of the year so is always well worth a look round. We got what we needed from there, paid and left as there were way too many mardy kids in there for it to be enjoyable, unfortunately. We did a couple of small errands after that, then decided we'd had enough and came home.

DS is out at The Little Theatre Club's Christmas party tonight so we've had a take away from our favourite curry house and have been chillin' in front of the TV since, giving me chance to finish the hardanger bauble and have a think about what to stitch next. The WDW Garnet thread - the one that was out of stock when I ordered those lovely JBW Designs Christmas charts from Sew and So - arrived this morning, so I may just go for a new start tomorrow. :0)

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment, it's much appreciated. Hope you all have a good weekend. :0)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Should Have...... Didn't

I should have been stitching on Egyptian Tablet on Tuesday night but didn't as I suddenly realised that Wednesday was the birthday of the little girl next door and I hadn't made a card for her. She's a bit special to us, as she was born just two days after my Mum passed away, and making a card for her is fast becoming a tradition. Out came my cardmaking goodies instead of ET and here are the results: A Dora the Explorer card for Evie. Then I made this rubber stamped and embossed card for our friend, Alex's birthday:
That holographic embossing powder gets everywhere - it looked like I'd been sprinkled with fairy dust by the time I'd done! Then I made two Christmas cards but I'm only showing you one, as the other is going to someone who reads my blog:
I'd meant to update my blog with those pics yesterday but I wasn't feeling too great, again: initially I couldn't decide if it was a mild allergic reaction to something I'd eaten/drunk or if my immune system was busy trying to fight something off. As it involves my sinus and stomach it could be either but the symptoms do seem to coincide with the times I have had a certain chocolate drink in the evenings, so I'm guessing it's a reaction to that and am leaving it alone for a while. I didn't have it last night and I'm fine today. Sorry, I never thought I'd say this but: no chocolate drink, no matter how tasty it is, is worth feeling that ropey for. Now you can all faint in shock. ;0)

I won't, however, be giving up the Chrsitmas hoard of Guylian choccies or the Mingles any time soon.......... not without a fight, anyway, and I warn you - I fight dirty. ;0) LOL

I received a package from Claire this week, containing not just the Faith Tree chart she had very kindly offered to send but surprises too: some lovely silver edged aida band (very festive, that edge really glitters) for my charity stitching and the sweetest little scissor fob for me. It's not only got a cute frog charm on the end but a tiny tinkling bell too. I love it and it's already attached to my scissors. If you're reading this: thanks again for your generosity Claire. :0)
As for the stitched Christmas Card exchange: it will be three weeks tomorrow that I posted off my package and it still hasn't arrived yet. The grumpy woman at the Post Office wasn't particularly sympathetic when DH asked about it yesterday and she won't do anything about it until the full three weeks are up. Meantime I've let the organiser and my partner know it looks like there may be a problem and that I've started stitching a replacement card to send, just in case - although the last posting date to the USA was back on the 10th, so there's no guarantees of her getting it in time for Christmas. Gutted for my partner - my first ever exchange as well. :0(

If I get chance over the weekend I shall have a very belated stitching session on ET, in the hopes of dodging a whack from Mr Stick - otherwise I'll stitch double time next week. :0)
As this end of the year holds some sad memories for a few of us: here are lots of (((((((((hugs))))))))) to all of you who need them at the moment. Peace to all.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

A HD and a Surprise

Look at what I finished last night. :0)As I have a few larger, longer term projects on the go at the moment it's good to have a finish for a change. As the walls of our house would fill up awfully fast if everything I stitched was framed I've decided this one should be finished as some type of ornie - if I can decide on what style of finish I'd like to achieve.......... and providing I can take the plunge at finally having a go, as my finishing skills currently rank at zero. My drawerful of stitched but unfinished items will attest to that. >rolleyes<

I had a lovely surprise in the post this morning from Dusty in the USA, a beautifully stitched hardanger ornie. The scan has made the red look really bright and the green quite dark when they are actually lovely traditional Christmas colours. It is gorgeous and is going on the special tree we bought last year: it's branches are of fancy scrolled metalwork and it revolves slowly, absolutely ideal for displaying handmade ornies. Am hoping DH is going to get it out of the loft for me one evening this week, so I can put it up and decorate it.

I'm glad to say I finally got around to writing my Christmas cards and letters on Saturday which took me all afternoon and some of the evening to complete. I'd been putting it off because I had to write the letters with news of this year - not an easy thing to do. Thankfully they're done now and in the post.

Another reason I was so distracted last week was because it was leading up to the 4th anniversary of my Mum's passing, which was yesterday - it's always an emotional time for us. We went to Doncaster on Sunday to spend the day with my DSis and we all went to the Crem to lay flowers and leave cards in the afternoon. I don't know if I got a bit chilled while I was there, or what, because yesterday I didn't feel too great: sinusitis, headache and my stomach felt awful, making me feel seriously nauseous. Unfortunately it meant I had to cancel Alex's usual Monday afternoon visit, as I had to take some tablets and go back to bed. Thankfully two tablets and a few hours sleep later and I felt much better and even went on to complete the little chickadee in the evening. I feel much better today, with normal service being resumed as soon as I'd eaten and had a coffee. :0)

Did I tell you that a few weeks back I signed up for the Ozark Mystery SAL at The Attic's Stitch'n'Stash Forum? Normally I don't sign up for mysteries because I always think: what if I hate the piece when it's done? I only ever stitch pieces I love, or know that the person I'm giving a piece to will love, and the thought of spending all that time and money on something that I can't stand the sight of when it's done just turns me cold. This one is an exception to the rule though: Debbie Draper is the designer. Every time I had a mosey over to her site for another looksee at her designs I was sunk and had to sign up. I was so glad I'd given in to temptation when Jayne announced she would be specially hand dying the fabric for the UK stitchers in the SAL - after receiving her lovely Count On Me fabrics, thanks to the monthly club I'm in, I can't wait to see what she produces for this. :0) The first pack will be despatched soon, for starting this in January 2008 - whoohoo! Anyone else taking part?

I think 2008 will be a bit busy, stitching wise, as I have signed up for both the Carol Tinson/Heirloom Embroidery Amanda SAL and Jayne's Memories SAL as well........ hope I actually manage to keep up with all of these! I shall look forward to seeing what everyone else's 2008 stitching plans are going to be.

Thank you again for visiting my Blog and for all the kind messages, they are greatly appreciated. :0)

Friday, 7 December 2007

Distracted

That's been me the latter end of this week, trying to get various things done but getting distracted and thus side-tracked on the way. Result: the week has got away from me, with no Blog update until now; no Christmas cards written, let alone sent and no cards made for the birthday's that are coming up this month.

Finally, here's this weeks update of Egyptian Tablet:
I stitched on it Tuesday and Wednesday night again. A bit disappointed, as I thought I'd achieve a bit more than that, but I guess any kind of progress is good.

Here's where I left off the Christmas Chick after the frog visit:
I haven't stitched since Wednesday night, just haven't been in the mood, but hope to get back into the swing tonight as it would be nice to finish the chickadee over the weekend, then maybe I can start the Jayne's Attic/Alchemy Humbug SAL next week. Yes, I know, it's already started but: better late than never. ;0)

The first thing to get me distracted this week is the solicitors re: the Land Registry procedure for Dad's house. Some jobsworth at the LR Office has decided they need a copy of our Mum's death certificate and proof that the house is worth what we stated. Fair enough on Mum's certificate: they need to have proof that Mum, whose name remained on the house deeds, is no longer here and we're not trying to screw her out of anything (as if we would!!!) but the house price? We took a couple of cuttings of equivalent type houses for sale in the same and next street to us and came up with the value that way, as suggested by our solicitor, for the Probate Office. The Probate Office were quite happy to accept that and probate went through without a problem............ so why isn't that good enough for the LR people??? They're both government offices, with (presumably) the PO being the more important, as that concerns the Tax Office trying to get more money out of you after you're dead, so why the hell don't they talk to one another??? Better still, why can't they get on the internet and check local house prices on there and save some time/hassle?
The solicitors secretary dared to tell my DSis that she would have to get the house valued: she told her no she wouldn't, as we were not going to incur any more costs - if the PO were happy to accept the valuation then the LR Office could damned well do the same! Our solicitor has since rang and apologised and DSis has sent them the DC and another newspaper clipping of a house for sale on the next street that is identical, plus in the same condition, and is actually going for less than the price we stated - bet we won't get anything knocked off the LR fees for that though! Here we were, thinking everything would be done and dusted before Christmas and it now looks like it won't be. >:-(

Then DH threw me off kilter yesterday morning when, on waking up, he announced that we'd got a Dentist visit at 4pm that day. Going to see the Dentist isn't my favourite way of spending my time and has, in the past, been responsible for setting me off with a panic attack, so this is how it works: when I've got a tooth problem I mention it to DH; DH then eventually gets around to making us an appointment, without telling me; DH is then supposed to give me a warning the day before the appointment, so I can make sure I will be presentable enough and, hopefully, in the right frame of mind for going and not giving me a chance to get overly wound-up about it. Well, I certainly didn't get chance for that!
I really hate walking into the place: that first waft of air, a combination of that medicated mouth wash and whatever else they use, just makes me want to retch. The procedure when we get there is: we are both called into the Dentist's room together (they know what I'm like); I get in the chair and have my check-up first, telling the chap what my problem is, he'll examine my teeth then tells me what needs doing and giving me the options for treatment, I pick one and remind him I want sedation; I then grab my stuff and leg-it out back to the waiting room as fast as I can, leaving DH to have his check-up; when he gets out we are given quotes for the treatment and I sign mine; I then leg-it outside, leaving DH to make the appointments for treatment and he keeps that all to himself until I need to know. Getting myself to go there on treatment days is a case of forcing myself to do it - once I'm there and the chap is getting me ready for the injection I know I'm going to be unconscious, so I'm not bothered and when I'm unconscious I don't care. :0) It's good stuff that injection: I highly recommend it! LOL

To cheer ourselves up after getting the quotes (we both need a big filling and crowns fitting, so that's the best part of £750 worth of treatment between us - faint!) we walked down to our local chip shop's Restaurant for a fish and chip tea. It's the first time we've been in there: nice atmosphere, pleasantly busy, friendly staff and very nice meal - although, if we go again, I'll be going for the small portion. My fish was so big I reckon it must have been on steroids!
Karen: ROFL at your magazine surfing. Luckily my DH just sits there contemplating - usually his navel - so I haven't tried that. Maybe we should get it introduced as a new Olympic sport and see if you could win us a gold medal. LOL :0) BTW, thank you for my card and watch out for the postie. ;0)
Sally: OK about the chart. Now you mention it, I think it was in one of the mags, though I can't remember which one for the life of me.
Julie: sorry, I'll try not to give too much information in future - hope the mental image wasn't too traumatising and you're now fully recovered. ROFL :0)
Thank you all for visiting and I hope you have a good weekend. :0)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Card Exchange and WIP Update

I am taking part in the Stitch'n'Stash/Jayne's Attic stitched Christmas card exchange and received my beautiful card from Hayley today. Isn't it lovely? The scan makes it look so flat and lifeless and it isn't - the hand dyed fabric and threads glow and the charm and snowflakes sparkle. I love it and, as I know that Hayley has had her hands full looking after her poorly baby just lately, it is doubly appreciated. If you're reading this: thanks again Hayley. :0)
Now I just wish my card would hurry up and arrive with my partner: it was posted air mail to the US back on the 23rd. Maybe I'm being a tad impatient but air mail is usually a lot quicker than this - I guess at this end of the year I should be allowing for all the staff parties in both postal services and customs at either end. ;0)

Here's an update on my WIP.

Well done all - looks like you all guessed in the end LOL. Yes, it's the Christmas Chickadee by Valerie Pfeiffer - one of the extra goodies that fell in my basket when I had a shop at Sew and So recently. This is now a bit further on, as I stitched on it again last night. I would have got a whole lot more done if it hadn't been for a visit from that darned frog! Three flippin' times I ended up pulling different bits out, thanks to those fractionals, and re-stitching them - I finally gave up in disgust and went to bed as I was obviously tired and not concentrating properly because of it. It's UFO night tonight so I shall be stitching on ET later - it'll give me a nights break from the chick which is probably a good thing........ by the time I'd ripped out for the third time the air had turned a horrible shade of blue and DH was thinking of fetching the gaffa tape. ;0)

Saturday we had dinner out at a local garden centre, called at a farm shop for some veggies, then came home to do a couple of small jobs before our big Tesco delivery turned up. Sorting that out and putting it all away took a while but now my cupboards, fridge and freezer are nicely re-stocked. We had fun and games paying for it though: we were talked into joining up to that VeriCard scheme, designed to make online fraud with your card more difficult for the scammers, which means you have to go through an online verification process, keying in a password that only you know............. simple, yes? Yeah, right: it is if you can remember the flippin' password. Could I? Nope. Could DH? Nope. So three tries later each and we were kicked off and given a message to ring up the help Centre...... except the HC line shuts at 8pm and we were doing this around 10pm. Luckily we hadn't registered the debit cards for the scheme and Tesco didn't delete the order so I was able to pay with mine. Needless to say we won't be registering the DC's any time soon. >rolleyes<

Sunday was a busy day: we went into town to do some shopping; next we popped to Screwfix to get the light fittings and bulbs my DSis needed and some new hinges for our downstairs loo seat; then on to Poundstretcher for some more bits and pieces and finally a quick trip into The Range. We managed to get a few final Christmas gifts, a few goodies and some of the home bits I needed that were on my non-Christmas list - I call that a good result. ;0) Later DH felt inspired and fitted the new hinges to the loo seat. A good job too, as using that loo got to be about as scary as one of those white knuckle rides: sit down and the seat would suddenly veer to one side and either your bum cheek would get pinched by the seat or be burnt by the radiator - if you were really unlucky you got to experience both, one after the other. As my proportions are, shall we say, somewhat generous in that area I generally ended up being really unlucky most of the time.

Monday I got all of my usual jobs done and had my regular coffee and a natter visit from Alex in the afternoon and stitched on the chubby chick in the evening. The other half of my Christmas pressie from DH arrived too: I ordered the Dawn Bibby DVD's from QVC last week, to save him the hassle of looking round for something - thoughtful, ain't I? ;0) LOL. I had hoped to update my Blog and catch up with everyone else's as well but didn't manage it, so will hopefully get that done today.

Hope you all had a good weekend and start to the week and thanks for visiting. :0)

Friday, 30 November 2007

A Thank You, a UFO and a WIP

I'd just like to say a big Thank You for all the supportive messages: you're all so thoughtful and kind and they mean a great deal. I believe that what a person sends out into the world comes back to them threefold - you are all due to receive many blessings for your kindness. Thank you. :0)
I lit candles and incense and said prayers yesterday and it was quite comforting. DSis tells me the funeral was well attended - Norma was much loved and they did her proud.

Now on to other things before I go getting upset again.
As you all know, due to having a brain lapse this week, UFO Tuesday ended up as UFO Wednesday instead, so here is the pic of the progress from my delayed UFO night stitching:
There's at least another two or three nights worth of background stitching left....... or four or five if I go really slow >wink<........ so the metallic is staying firmly attached to the thread sorter for a bit longer. :0)
As this is a DMC kit and I used the fabric supplied I must say I'm amazed at how little fabric is left around the edges of this piece for framing purposes. I don't remember previous DMC kits I've stitched being that mean with the size of fabric before and think it's a false economy on their part: it will make me think twice about buying another of their kits in future. I know I'm not the only stitcher to have commented on this recently, so do wonder how much custom they are losing because of this?

Here is a pic of progress on my latest WIP as well:

Can you guess what it is now? Helen: it's definitely not another ET - once will definitely be enough for that particular piece LOL. Clue: it's a festive design.

Speaking of festive designs, Ina posted a link on the S'n'S forum yesterday for a gorgeous freebie from Gigi, which can be found here. Isn't it gorgeous? In a pre-planning mode I recently bought my first couple of skeins of Rajmahal Art Silks (No 256 Hot Plum and No 379 Titian) mainly to see what they're like, with a view to kitting up ready to start the Wal D Champs piece Arabesque some time next year (intended as a Wedding Anniversary piece for our 25th in 2009). Jayne recommended trying the threads out first, as they can be difficult to use so........ guess what I intend trying them out on? Yes, I think that freebie from Gigi will be ideal, so many thanks to Gigi for being so generous. :0)

Well DH got back last night from the course in Manchester and promptly filled up the laundry basket with dirty washing >rolleyes<. He brought me back a pressie. While he was in Manchester he and a colleague had a bit of a wander one night, while waiting for a tram to turn up, and found a Bavarian Market that was being held there. It got a bit cold so they had a mug of mulled wine and a frankfurter or two to warm themselves up before catching the tram back to the hotel. Yup, you guessed it: my pressie was the freebie mug he'd had the mulled wine in. A remark about being so tight I could hear him squeaking when he walked and a comparison to a ducks watertight bottom was made. ROFL Good job he knows I'm joking. I also realise it could have been a whole lot worse........... he could have brought back a cold, greasy frankfurter instead!

Many thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a great weekend. :0)

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

In the Pink

because it was a pink parcel day yesterday and today. Yesterday's parcel was a surprise: a Christmas card and pressie from Jayne. I've put the pressie away in my wardrobe in an attempt to stop me peeking - I have very little will power when it comes to things like that, so I'm hoping out of sight, out of mind. Many thanks Jayne. :0)
Yesterday also saw the scroll frame that Karen sent, so I'd have two spare frames and be able to start both Tanglewood and Rosemarkie, finally arrive. Karen posted it to me a week ago last Saturday and we both thought it had gone a.w.o.l. but it looks like it just fancied an adventure and took the scenic route instead. Many thanks for your generosity Karen (((((hugs))))). I did make a new start but it wasn't either of the ones you sent the frame for >rolleyes< (more of that later). Today's pink parcel contained my Monthly Club goodies: another beautiful rainbow of Carrie's threads and another gorgeous opalescent fabric, a 32ct Lugana called Shimmering Ocean. Doesn't that fabric just shout mermaids at you? :0) I'm going to have to invest in more of the plastic bacon boxes I store the CC's in as the ones I have are now filled to overflowing - unless someone can suggest a much better storage system that isn't too bulky (storage space is limited).

Well, despite having read the reminder on the S'n'S forum from Julie and Mr Stick re: UFO night yesterday............ and despite saying I'd be stitching............ guess who actually forgot all about it and made that new start instead? Now you know why the motto beneath my name on the forum is: Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most. Those senior moments are happening more often and I'm only 46 - goodness knows what I'm gonna be like a few more years down the line! LOL. Actually, I'm putting it down to lack of sleep because, as usual when DH is away, I'm not sleeping too well - the bags under my eyes are now big enough to pack a holidays worth of clothes in and the dark circles make me look like a panda. ;0) Never mind - I shall sleep for England after he gets back.
Here's the new start:
Can you tell what it is yet?
I shall put the new start to one side and will make up for UFO night tonight and will post an update pic when I've done.

Thankfully there haven't been any more mouse corpses, rigid or otherwise, in the trap since Monday's nasty surprise and no signs of any calling cards anywhere else in the house. Yay! Pleased about that, as I really didn't fancy having to have another manic cleaning and disinfecting spree this close to the festive season.

As DH is away on this course (he wasn't able to drop out of it or come home a day early) and DS can't get the day off work I won't be able to attend Norma's funeral tomorrow. I rang my Uncle last week to explain and apologise and he was very understanding but I still feel awful about it, as I wanted to be there to pay my respects and give them some moral support, especially my Aunty who is taking it very hard.
It won't be the same as going to the funeral but I will have a quiet day tomorrow and at the time of the service will light candles and incense and have a small ceremony for her here.

Take care all. :0)

Monday, 26 November 2007

Blue Monday

No pics to show you today I'm afraid. After the cardmaking I wasn't in the right mood for a new start so I did a bit of stitching on ET on Saturday night instead but it's not enough to make it worth doing a pic for.
We were out at my DSis's yesterday, so no cards made and no stitching done...... but we did have dinner out, a good gossip, watched the latest Harry Potter DVD and she has now got a fully functioning wardrobe door once again. :0)
Today it's been house jobs and Alex's visit, plus seeing DH off before tea, making sure he'd packed everything he needed beforehand, as he's away on a course in Manchester for the next few days, so no crafting or stitching done yet.

No, that isn't why it's a blue Monday.

Guess what I found when I came down this morning? A flippin' rigid mouse corpse in the trap in the back room, that's what!!! >:0[
Fortunately we left the trap down and primed "just in case" and it looks like it's a good job we did. I glanced down at the trap, did a double-take, went for a closer look then said - in the best Victor Meldrew tradition - I don't believe it! Well, actually I said a whole lot more than that but I can't put it in print 'cos I'd get kicked off Blogger............ so now you know why it's been a blue Monday! ;0)

Problem is I don't know if this is the mate of the other little beggar we got, a lone scavenger or one of a new pair. Now, having searched high and low for the choccie bait and not finding it, the question is: did the mouse die happy getting a feed in before it triggered the trap or did the bait launch into orbit and I just haven't found it yet or did it come with a buddy, with the heartless little sucker leaving his/her mate to take the consequences while it cleared off with the choccie?
Just in case it's the latter the trap has been re-baited, primed and put back where it was and it won't be coming up again until summer......... or until DH extracts his digit and finally puts some fine mesh over the air bricks, whichever happens soonest.................... my bet is on summer. LOL

Thankfully there was no evidence of the mouse having been anywhere else in the house, unlike last time. I'm now really good at mouse poo hunting, verging on expert, and am wondering whether there'd be a commercial market for my expertise. ROFL

Thanks for all the lovely comments about my cards, they're much appreciated. Hope everyone's Monday morning was a whole lot less blue than mine. ;0)

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Christmas Card Crazy











Can't say as I'm overly sure how Blogger has done this to my pics but at least it's different! Despite all the new stash I haven't picked up a needle for a couple of days - this is what I've been doing instead.

The three cards to the right are Friday night's makes and the three above are today's makes, with the left one being made earlier in the week...... I decided to keep going as I seem to be on a roll with the cardmaking at the moment.
The flower ones and Santa are my favourites and the Santa one is for my nephew Finlay.
I've got a few more Christmas cards to make, as well as a couple of birthday cards, so am hoping that the inspiration keeps going over the next few days so I can get them all done........ that'll be another job out of the way then. :0) I won't have chance to do them tomorrow though, as we're going to my DSis's for the day: not sure what the plan is (going out somewhere or staying in) but I know she has a wardrobe door hanging off its hinges that's in urgent need of my DH's attention.
Today has been relatively quiet as we've stayed in all day: neither of us fancied tackling the pre-Christmas shopping crowds in town or the bitterly cold weather. I got on with the cardmaking and a few other things (like joining the Amanda SAL Yahoo group) while DH popped out to the local shops for a couple of bits he needed, then tackled some small DIY jobs. DS shot off first thing to the Farmers Market in Brigg: not just to stock us up on more local goodies but to also order the duck and other meats for Christmas, which he'll pick up at the market next month. Another job done. :0)
I plan on getting my big supermarket shop ordered tonight and delivered next week (I love hassle-free online shopping!) to stock up my cupboards and freezers, so that'll not only cross another job off the list but will take us one step closer to being ready for the festive season. Am I usually this organised? Nah........ I really don't know what's happening, especially as I usually belong firmly in the MOF Brigade (that's Miserable Old Farts, for the uninitiated) LOL. I guess it all acts as a distraction from recent events, so I'm not complaining.
Well I've got a curry about to turn up so I'd better go for now. Whatever you are all doing this weekend I hope you are having a good time...... and if it involves Christmas shopping, hope it's hassle-free. :0)

Friday, 23 November 2007

Wagons Roll!

No I haven't been watching one of those shonky cowboy films...... after another stash splurge earlier this week and signing up for Carol Tinson's Amanda SAL today, plus buying the chart and goodie pack for it, I think I'd better get me on that there stash wagon for a while, don't you?
Well I'd better enjoy these last goodies for a while and part of that enjoyment is in sharing, so......

First off: some Zweigart 28ct Flax Cashel Linen; JBW Designs French Country Pumpkin chart and the WDW Terra Cotta thread to stitch it.
Then three more JBW Designs Christmas charts. I ordered the WDW Garnet thread to stitch the Stocking and Reindeer but it's out of stock and is to follow. (Bummer: I wanted to start these now LOL).
I already have plenty of various WDW green threads, so will delve in my stash for something appropriate for the top three designs. There were more charts than this on the Sew and So site and I loved most of them, so thought I was being really good when only ordering these four! ;0)
Finally, being a big fan of the Valerie Pfeiffer birds (got quite a collection in my stash), how could I resist this little beauty?

Anyone like to take a guess at what my new start will be? No, I don't know yet either so maybe I should toss a coin....... LOL

Thanks for the responses re: the new Yahoo group. You've confirmed what I was thinking, so I won't be signing up. The email has now been despatched into cyberspace heaven (OK, I hit the delete button but it sounds so much nicer the other way).

Just for you Karen (LittleCat): this is what Egyptian Tablet should look like when it's completed: I am so looking forward to the backstitch highlighting in the DMC gold metallic thread....... NOT! I think Mr Stick may get plenty of bashing in when I reach that bit and Julie's arm is going to look like half of her has been on steroids. LOL

DH is popping home soon, so I'd better go and do something - can't have him thinking I've been sitting in front of the computer all day, can I? ;0) He'll be taking a batch of parcels, including the Christmas Card exchange one, to the PO for me, so it'll be good to have them on their way and hopefully beating the Christmas rush. Am I really this organised so soon? You can bet I've gone and forgotten something!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

UFO Update

Thought I'd better show the latest progress pic of Egyptian Tablet. I stitched a little on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as I'm doing little and often - my concentration levels are all over the place at the moment.

I've completed the Christmas Exchange card and got everything parcelled up today, ready to go off to my partner. I shall reveal all once I know it's been received. :0)
While I'd got the gift wrap etc out I also wrapped and parcelled the hand knitted cravat/scarves I bought from Jenny, as they've got to travel up to DH's nieces in Glasgow.
I made the mistake of browsing the Sew and So site on Tuesday. Initially it was just as a distraction, as I was feeling pretty low, but it turned into a shop when I spotted some gorgeous JBW Designs charts. The French Country range are so sweet, resistance was low and I was unable to resist them. Hopefully they'll get here tomorrow. Don't think I'd better do any more browsing of any sites for a while or it might get really expensive.
Sorry Julie, I will have to disappoint you: DS tells me that no one took a camera out with them last Saturday night, so there aren't any pics of him dressed as a pimp. The outfit was: black shoes, black Thai silk shirt, a black cane with silver handle (plastic) , a wide brimmed velvety hat, velvety trousers and a long coat as well - the hat trousers and coat being bright orange with zebra trim. Think of some of the Gangsta Rap "singers" and you'll get the general idea. He took all the gear and got ready at his mates house, so I didn't get to see him all dressed up..... unfortunately. ;0)
BTW, I've had an invite to join a Yahoo group called xstitchfreebiefinder which says it's taking over from where Sue's group left off. Does anyone know anything about this group? I wasn't ever a member of the other group, so don't know how they've got my email address or who the invite is from, so - erring on the side of caution - would appreciate any further information before I contemplate joining. Thanks. :0)

Thank You

Thank You for the kind comments over Norma's passing, they mean a lot.
The funeral is next Thursday.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Blessed Release

My DSis phoned around 8am to let me know that Norma passed away early this morning, in Doncaster Royal Infirmary as the hospice were unable to take her in. She slipped away peacefully, in her sleep, with my cousin and their son by her side.
She was 42 years old on Sunday - no age at all.
Rest in Peace Norma. xxx

Monday, 19 November 2007

Monday Again

Where are the days going to? They seem to be flying past at the moment.

Friday was a day of jobs and stitching.

Saturday was my DH's birthday and he said he didn't mind taking me over to the new stitching show at Doncaster Racecourse Exhibition Centre but I didn't think it was fair to drag him round that, so decided not to bother. He put my new wall pot up on the front wall of the house instead and I told him it was a strange way to spend a birthday but he said he'd rather get on and do something. I think the fact he's on the downhill slope after 50 may be why he wasn't so keen on any fuss or celebrations. We had a quiet night in with an Indian takeaway while DS was out on the razzle round town on his belated birthday bash - a fancy dress night and he went dressed as a Pimp, of all things (where did I go wrong with that child? ;0) ). If I can get my hands on some photos I shall post a pic. :0)

Sunday I took one look at the wild, wet and windy weather and decided I couldn't face going out, not even to a stitch show. DH wasn't feeling too great and kept sneezing, so we stayed in the warm: the boiler just needed a tweak of the water tap to bring it back up to pressure the other day, so it's working fine now. We did a few jobs and I had another stitching session - not only did I complete the design for the card exchange but also finished it into a card. Yay! Unfortunately I can't post a pic until after the exchange has been completed, so here are pics of the two papercraft Christmas cards I made yesterday instead:
Hopefully that will help put me in the right mood to make the rest but..........

I got a phone call from my DSis Sunday evening: my cousin's wife had been rushed into hospital a little earlier. She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and a brain tumour secondary (and further patches in her bones and neck and who knows where else) just two weeks after my Dad's funeral service: up until then she was being treated for vertigo!!! It's suspected that the brain tumour secondary burst last night. When the paramedics arrived they resuscitated her. OK, I know that's their job but come on, for goodness sake: the poor woman is riddled with cancer and has already gone through hell and they bring her back to brain damage and further pain and suffering....... I feel it would have been so much kinder to leave her be and let her cross over to the Otherworld. My cousin and two of his brothers went to the hospital with her. I haven't heard anything else since. I lit a candle for them all last night and would be grateful for prayers and blessings for Norma and her family, thank you.

Today is another wet and miserable day and I'm doing my regular jobs, as Alex is due for a visit later. What a lifeline her visit will be today.

I've got behind with Blog visits but hope to catch up in the next day or so. Sally: I've bought from HollieStitch on several occasions and have always found them to give a fast and efficient service, so am happy to recommend them. :0)

Hope you all had a good weekend and the weather is better where you are.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

On A Cold And Frosty Morning

It seems our central heating boiler lost pressure some time during the early hours, due to the hard frost we've had, and didn't come on to warm up the house before we got up this morning. It was definitely a tad nipply, as my DS calls it (charming child) . :0)
The frost had also claimed a victim outside: a poor cyclist seems to have come a cropper on the crossroads and had to be taken off in the back of an ambulance, all before 8a.m. Hope he/she is OK. What a way to start the day!

Anyway, as promised here's the latest UFO Tuesday and Wednesday night progress on EgyptianTablet:
As you can see I've been stitching on the opposite side to last time and that's not the edge of the border on the left corner either, there's some more to stitch there yet. Not complaining though, as I'm quite enjoying this at the moment. I actually fancied carrying on with it tonight but decided I'd better concentrate on my Christmas card for the exchange instead - I suddenly realised that the posting date is fast approaching and I'd better extract my digit if it's to be finished in time.

That Christmas card is turning into a bit of a saga. The sparkly fabric, although Christmassy enough, just wasn't working with the design so this afternoon I went for a root round in my stash for a more suitable fabric. As it was all piled together in a crate this led to me finally sorting through it all and arranging it into the 4-drawer plastic storage unit I bought some weeks ago: top drawer is all 28ct; next down is for 32ct and miscellaneous linens; next down is all different aida, hardanger fabrics and banding and the bottom drawer is for cloth items that can be stitched on. By the end of that I was a little surprised, as it made me realise I'd got way more fabric than I thought........... but don't tell anybody I said that, especially not DH. ;0)
The upshot of all that was that (as well as getting nicely organised fabrics and backache) I came away with a lovely piece of Jayne's Count On Me fabric that I reckon will look much better and restarted the design on that tonight. It's certainly helping my eyes working on a darker, non-sparkly fabric, it's definitely standing out more and I'm much happier with the result. It's my first exchange so I want it to be just right.
So that's no new start for me yet, no matter how much Tanglewood, Rosemarkie and that empty scroll frame calls to me. (BTW, Karen: have emailed you, hope you got it OK.)
I also got busy on the HollieStitch site today as well. I started by ordering some goodies intended as pressies but somehow three charts just fell in the basket as well........... isn't it weird how that just happens? ;0) I couldn't resist Pelin Tezer's Labyrinth and Romance and the Wal d' Champs Arabesque designs. I have plans to make Arabesque into a 25th Wedding Anniversary piece for DH and I - we've got two years to go, so there should be plenty of time to plan and stitch it (she says, tongue in cheek). As for the PT charts - I just love her monochrome pieces and had to add these to my collection.
As for that stash wagon, well all I can say is: what wagon? ROFL.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering: the Chocolate Button cake is very nice. LOL :0)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

A Happy Birthday Day

It's a Happy Birthday for my DS Matthew - he's 22 years old today. Where has all the time gone? Nope....... not going to think about that one, it gets too depressing. ;0) I was going to post a baby pic of him but they're all packed away in the loft at the moment, so he'll be glad that's saved him the embarrassment. LOL
I asked DH to get a small cake on his way home tonight, as it's become a bit of a tradition that we have one of those Cadbury's Chocolate Gateau cakes with a candle on the top. Only DH couldn't find one so guess what he's brought home instead: a rather large (11" x 7") Cadbury Buttons cake. DH is diabetic so can only have a small piece........... guess me and DS will be having an awful lot of cake for the rest of the week, unless I can get him to take some round to his friends or something. Hhhhmmm - maybe not. :0)

It felt like it was my birthday today too, as the Carrie's threads arrived this morning. Here are the threads (Twinkle and Blueberry Pie) and fabric (Pol's Sky High) I'm using for the Long Dog Sampler Rosemarkie piece.

The Blueberry Pie thread has come out very dark but it's actually a really lush mix of purples with a hint of blue. I owe Jayne a big thank you for suggesting the thread colours - they're gorgeous and it's going to be a real pleasureto stitch this.
The other pic is of the Carrie's Tanglewood pack with the fabric I'll be using: Pol's Heirloom 32ct Belfast linen, another of Jayne's suggestions. Now all I've got to do is decide which goes on the frame. Karen: I'm not sure what size frame I'd need but I'm trying not to give in and get another one. I already have on the go: HAED Mother Earth, Egyptian Tablet and Loopylou's Mistletoe (SAL piece I fell behind with) on large frames; plus Alchemy's Copper Beech, my Christmas Card exchange piece and Heirloom's Love Is You on smaller frames. I think 7 pieces will be enough to keep me busy and out of mischief. :0)

I also had a nice parcel from Jenny, a fellow member of the Stitch'n'Stash Forum, that had the 4 hand knitted cravat style scarves, in eyelash wool, I ordered from her recently. I bought 2 bright pink ones as Christmas presents for DH's nieces, a chocolate brown one as a stocking filler for my DSis and another for me, to go with my winter coat. They are great, I love mine and hope the girls and DSis will like theirs too. If you read this: thanks again Jenny. :0)

I had a surprise visit from my DBro this afternoon, as he'd been working out this way and decided to call in for a coffee and a natter on his way home. He's doing OK, looks brighter and is feeling much better in himself now he knows his health issues are being sorted out. He's looking forward to having a couple of weekends away with his family, as they're taking their tourer to Chatsworth for the final sessions of the year. Bbbbbrrrrrr, they're hardier souls than us, as ours has already been bedded down for the winter.

BTW, I did stitch on ET last night (just in case Mr Stick was limbering up) but I want to do more tonight so won't post a pic until tomorrow.

Well I'd better go and hunt out some cake candles ready for DS getting back from the theatre.

Thanks to all for taking the time to visit and for the kind comments. :0)

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Birthday Card Blitz

Stitching on the Christmas card for the exchange is coming on, as I made it a priority last night. Have to say that I'm disappointed with it as the material I chose, although pretty and sparkly, is too light and the design isn't standing out as it should. I shall complete it but won't be sending it and will just have to stitch it again on a darker material. Oh well, you live and learn. >sigh<>No, not the H word, I did some of that yesterday - I meant the fun stuff.

Today is UFO Tuesday so guess what I'll be doing later? Eheheh. :0) Will post an update later in the week. Meantime it suddenly dawned on me that it was DS's birthday tomorrow and DH's on Saturday, so I got my cardmaking goodies out and had a play this afternoon. This one is for DS: as well as having roles and doing sound and lighting with the LTC productions he also helps out with set building, so I came up with this theme. This one is for DH. He enjoys an occasional tipple of the amber nectar, so I made an appropriate card. ;0)
The scanner has done it's usual trick and made these look quite flat - they are more dimensional, as I've used 3-D embellishments and dome stickers, and they also sparkle much more IRL. I should make a start on my Christmas cards soon........... but am not in the mood just now and have too many other things I need to get done first.

Jayne rang me today: her Carrie's thread order has arrived which means the threads for Tanglewood and Rosemarkie will be on their way to me shortly. WhoooooHoooo! One problem though: I only have one scroll frame available for use, so which do I start first? Decisions, decisions!

DS went to a rehearsal last night and found out that he now has two songs to sing in the panto. He was not a happy bunny, as singing isn't his strong point, but realises he doesn't have much choice. It should be easy enough to learn though: it's Abba's Take a Chance. Roll on performance week is all I can say, am so looking forward to it. :0)

As for the hypnotherapy/Past Life Regression Julie: I've always fancied trying this but there's a niggle I have about it and that's what if I find out I was a Nazi Death Camp guard, or something equally appalling, in a previous life? I asked the therapist that question and she said you have to ask yourself what lessons did you learn from that life and realise that you don't have to repeat the same mistakes or ever do anything like that again. Fair enough, but you still have to live with knowing that. As you can tell I'm split: yes, I'd like to go ahead and do this but am not sure I'm ready to deal with any possible negative experiences, so keep hesitating. My usual decisive self. >rolleyes< Watch this space.....

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Family Friday and Weekend Wanderings

No stitching done since Thursday so no updates I'm afraid. I have some good excuses though:

On Friday we had a day out visiting DH's Dad and Step-Mum over in Derbyshire. His Dad is 84 and had been poorly recently with what the GP thinks was a bacterial infection (the blood tests they did were pretty inconclusive). Poor man was knocked off his feet and stayed in bed for days and that's so not like him at all, as he's usually very active and everyone who meets him thinks he's in his 60's.......... wish I was wearing as well! LOL As we were quite concerned about him we went for a visit - pleased to say that he was looking quite well again and seems to be almost back to his old self. We had a good day, catching up with all the family news.

Saturday DS and Alex had a trip over to the Lincolnshire Showground to the final Mind, Body and Spirit event of the year. Meantime DH got on with that flippin' kitchen cupboard while I did some of the dreaded H word. That cupboard seems to be turning into another of DH's long drawn out DIY sagas: why do something in a couple of days if you can make it last for a couple of weeks? This happens with every DIY job - it's why the house still isn't completed even though we've lived here for over 22 years. If anyone knows of a good odd job man who is happy to tackle any DIY job, no matter how big or small, in my area please send him round - I have enough jobs here to give him a full-time job/income for quite some time.
Saturday night we packed a bag and went over to my DSis's to stay over. Our Aunty and Uncle from Barnsley came over for a couple of hours visit as well, so we had a good natter with them.

Sunday the three of us went to the Mind, Body and Spirit Show at the Lincolnshire Showground. I love these events: lots of alternative therapies and treatments, Pagan stalls, Tarot readings, jewellery and all kinds of other interesting and needful things. :0) We solved the "What do you want for Christmas?" problem as I spotted some nice silver/amber goodies there that DSis and DH bought for me and we bought a lovely silver, marcasite and amethyst pendant for my DSis, to go with one of Mums' rings that she wears.
We didn't have any therapies or treatments this time - it was just too busy and humming to relax to anything like that - but DSis had a lotion made up by an aromatherapist specially for her, for her swollen feet, and I bought some Australian bush essentials organic/natural creams to help with dry skin patches.
I also came away with a leaflet from a female hypnotherapist in Lincoln who does Past Life Regressions - something I have been thinking about undergoing for some time. Anyone else done this?
When we got back home later that night DS had had his bonfire and fireworks with his friends, a pre-birthday celebration - amazingly enough he had even tidied up!

An enjoyable weekend all round - hope everyone else had the same. :0)

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Stash, Stash, Glorious Stash!

Big apologies to Sally and Karen: somehow I managed to delete your last comments instead of publishing them. Good job you couldn't hear what I said after that mistake........ it definitely wasn't Doh! ;0)

Today has been a great stash day with the arrival of two pink parcels. The first one opened was my monthly clubs from Jayne's Attic which was another rainbow of Carrie's Creations and a piece of Sugar Maple Fabrics called Quicksilver, a gorgeous opalescent that begs to have a snowman design stitched on it. One of the Carrie's is called Halloween which made me smile, as I think it'll go lovely with the Black Ash fabric I got earlier. I've already chosen and printed out the freebie design I want to stitch, which is called Coeur Halloween and it can be found here.

The second package contained a surprise for my exchange partner (don't think she reads my Blog but didn't want to risk spoiling the surprise, so didn't put it in the pic) and some other goodies that just happened to fall in the basket as I was ordering the gift. ;0)
There's the beautiful Scented Rose Tree Ornament chart by Polstitches - now who could resist it? Then a piece of Pol's Pearl fabric that I wanted to try and a skein of Camphor Laurel Kaalund Silk yarn to add to my collection. Not a bad haul.

Tuesday night was UFO Night and I didn't manage to do any stitching then but made up for it last night and got on with the background area from the point of the collar downwards. This is where I got to:

Tonight I made a start on the stitched card for the Christmas exchange and will concentrate on that the next day or so. It will need some concentration too, as I'm stitching it 2 over 1 on 27ct opalescent - hope my eyes cope OK.

As for other stuff: I had a chat with my DBro yesterday. He's had the camera procedure done and it turned out they decided to have a looksee both ends. DBro told them he hoped they were doing his throat first, which had the team laughing and assuring him they used different cameras for each procedure (he is so like our Dad, a chip off the old block). The upshot of this is that they found some scarring, redness and possible infection in his duodenum? (where the stomach meets the bowel) and his stomach acid is too strong. They took a scrape to send for testing and he goes for the results next Friday. Meantime he's on a course of anti-biotics and antacids which they feel should sort out his problems. BIG relief all round. :0)

DH and I have had a couple of garden tidying sessions in the last couple of days. The lawn has had what should be the final cut of the year and DH gave the mower a good clean off and oiling before putting it away. The kitchen shelf is just about done but the cupboard needs another coat of paint, or so I've been told, so I won't be having that sort out and putting things back just yet.

DS's rehearsals for the panto are going OK and he's learning his lines well. He recently bought himself a replica of Frodo's sword Sting (LOTR) from that well known auction site and the panto Prince is going to borrow it to wear on stage. It should look pretty impressive - I'll find out when we go to see the panto.

Thanks again to all who take the time to visit - hope you're all having a good week.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Weekend Update and More......

I haven't disappeared off the face of the planet, I just haven't had much time to myself for Blogging these last few days. Time for a catch up on news now........ so I recommend making yourself a cup of tea/coffee and putting your feet up before starting. ;0)

Saturday DH got on with the shelf for the kitchen cupboard while I pottered with house and garden jobs plus keeping him well supplied with copious cups of tea.
I also got out all of my DMC threads and found all the ones needed to stitch the Christmas card for the exchange I'm in - that's a first, as usually I need to buy at least 1 skein for a new project.
Seeing the disorganisation of the 3 separate bags (a mix of whole and partial skeins), 3 floss boxes (2 of which are only partially filled) and the bag of empty plastic bobbins waiting to be filled gave me a guilt trip. Sorting this little lot is a job I've threatened to get around to many, many times and haven't. So I made a start Saturday night, instead of stitching.

Sunday we went over to my DSis's in Doncaster. We had dinner out, then visited the Crem to see our Mum and Dad's new memorial plaque on the monument and lay flowers for them. The plaque is lovely - they would be proud. :0)
We went for a drive round afterwards and ended up at Bawtry Caravans. We got a few bits we needed for our tourer but spent most of the time in the gift shop and cafe. DSis bought a lovely little angel ornament to tie in the branches of the blue spruce tree that is close to where our parents ashes are at the Crem - we'll do that on our next visit.
DH and I couldn't resist a decorative filigree metal fire screen that has small hoops attached to the back that hold glass tealight holders - it looks lovely on our hearth and it can be "dressed" with ornaments for the festive season.
In the evening we went to the memorial service for Dad and all those who had passed away this last year in the parish of St Peter's Church. It was well attended and we realised why when all the names were read out: we couldn't believe how many there were.
We all had the opportunity to go to the front and leave a lighted candle, in memory of our loved ones, on the marble steps in front of the altar area. When we were seated again they switched most of the lights off for a few minutes silence and the effect of all those little tealights plus the pillar candles on the altar was lovely, almost magical. I found it moving but not upsetting and was glad we'd attended.
Many thanks for the kind thoughts over this, they were much appreciated and did help. :0)

DH has got this week off as a holiday. We had originally planned to go away but decided against it, as it's an ideal opportunity for us to get some of the outstanding DIY jobs done that got backed up while he was so busy at work over the summer.
Monday he continued with the shelf while I did my usual house jobs, ready for Alex's regular Monday visit, as well as keeping the cuppas flowing. BTW, what is it with men, DIY jobs and tea? Is tea to men what oil is to a car: forget to put it in and the whole thing seizes up? LOL
No stitching on Monday night but I did do some more thread winding and sorting. That goes well until I get a knot in it *@!!#**!....... I told DH that's why it's called cross stitch. ;0)

Tuesday got off to a good start with a pink parcel containing the Sassy's Black Ash fabric bargain from Jayne that I got for some Halloween ornament stitching for next year.
We decided to go out and about today, so went to the Kirton Lindsey garden centre for dinner (their tuna cheese melt baguettes are yummy!). We had a look round afterwards and came away with a heavy duty garden sack, a bag full of ordinary tea lights and two boxes of scented ones, a couple of Christmas gifts (for MIL and FIL) and a small birthday gift for DS........ I call that a good haul. We didn't find what we'd actually gone looking for: a decorative but useful bird bath for the garden, so we set off to Brigg garden centre.
No luck there either, despite there being lots more choice, but we did get: a nice decorative wall pot for the front of the house and a beautiful deep red cyclamen plant to go in it; a mini scrapbook wedding kit, and a couple of pocket tags to go with, which I'll make up for DS's friends who married last month; I treated myself to a book (Witch Child by Celia Rees) and a Heritage cross stitch kit called Night Watchman - I love owls and at a tenner off it was a real bargain. ;0)
Part of today's haul:

I shall, hopefully, do a UFO Night update and have a catch up day with everyone's Blogs tomorrow (Wednesday).
DH plans to get the shelf finished - hope so, because we'll then be able to sort out all the stuff we took out of there, Freecycle what we don't want/need any more, and re-organise what's left as it's put back......... there's something very satisfying about getting things like this sorted then crossing that job off the list. :0)

Friday, 2 November 2007

Funny Friday

I failed to make a start on the hardanger SAL last night, though it wasn't for lack of trying. For smaller projects I like to use Siesta bar frames and have quite a few different lengths to mix and match, as appropriate, for each project. I thought I had two lots of 5" bars but haven't and didn't have anything else suitable for holding the fabric taut while I stitch......... guess that'll mean having a bit of a shop on the SewandSo website then. It'll be hard work but I'll force myself to do it. LOL ;0)

My DBro was working out this way today so popped in for a coffee and a natter. He brought the forms we need to sign for registering Dad's house with the Land Registry and signing it over to our DSis. This is just part of the legal things we've had to do since Dad passed away but it's the last one and it's on the final stretch now - once these forms are back with the solicitor and she's done her bit the house will legally become DSis's. It'll be a relief when it's done and it'll also mean that DSis will then feel she can go ahead with some of the plans she has.
DBro also confirmed that his tests came back fine and there was no sign of any cancer markers in his blood - I felt like having a party when he said that. :0) He still has to go for the camera procedure (I thought he'd already had it but it was the scan he had done) because the other results haven't explained a couple of his ongoing symptoms - the GP wants to make sure he hasn't got a blockage anywhere that might be causing them. At least he's being very thorough.

I'm not sure what the plans are for tomorrow but Sunday we're visiting DSis and going to the Crem and the memorial service, so I'll have a catch-up session with blogs next week.

Hope you all have a good weekend and here's a little something to start it with a smile, courtesy of the local Entertainment magazine:

SPECIAL CLASSES FOR MEN

Class 1: How to Fill Up the Ice Cube Trays.
Step by Step, with Slide Presentation. Meets 4 weeks, Monday & Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00pm.

Class 2: The Toilet Paper Roll. Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks, Saturdays 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3: Is It Possible to Urinate Using the Technique of Lifting the Seat and Avoiding the Floor/Walls and Nearby Bathtub?
Group Practice. Meets 4 weeks, Saturdays 10:00pm for 2 hours.

Class 4: Fundamental Differences Between the Laundry Basket and the Floor.
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00pm for 3 weeks.

Class 5: After Dinner Dishes. Can They Levitate and Fly Into the Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday & Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00pm.

Class 6: Loss of Identity - Losing the Remote to Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups. Meets 4 weeks, Friday & Sunday 7:00pm.

Class 7: Learning How to Find Things - Starting with looking in the right place instead of turning the house upside down while screaming.
Open Forum. Monday at 8:00pm, 2 hours.

Class 8: Health Watch - Bringing her flowers is not harmful to her health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes. Three nights: Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00pm for 2 hours.

Class 9: Real Men Ask for Directions When Lost.
Real Life Testimonials. Tuesdays at 6:00pm, location to be determined.

Class 10: Is it genetically impossible to sit quietly while she parallel parks?
Driving Simulations. 4 weeks, Saturdays at noon, 2 hours.

Class 11: Learning to Live - Basic Differences Between Mother & Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing. Location and times to be announced.

Class 12: How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion. Relaxation Exercises, Meditation & Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours, beginning at 7:00pm.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

A Belated UFO Night Update


I stitched again on Tuesday UFO Night but, as it was Samhain, left posting until today. Egyptian Tablet is really showing the benefits of all this added attention as I've finally finished the jewelled collar section, and get to move on to the background next. Despite that being all dull colours I'm actually looking forward to it, as much of it is in half cross stitch which means it tends to grow quickly.
This week I also received another small pink parcel which contained the materials pack for the Stitch'n'Stash beginners hardanger SAL. The threads Jayne sent are a lovely coppery colour - so me - and the SAL begins today, so I think I will probably stitch that tonight. Thanks to previous SALs on there, making a hardanger bookmark and Christmas Trees, I'm not a beginner at this anymore but I do enjoy joining in as they are a lot of fun.
I'd better fess up as well: Jayne was having a clear out of some hand dyed fabric at a bargain price and I succumbed and ordered a piece. I couldn't help it as there was a lovely piece called Black Ash, just perfect for Halloween designs, and it just kept shouting "Buy me! Buy me!" ........ I never was one to resist a bargain, so I did. So, OK, it's too late for this year but I'm definitely prepared for next year now, aren't I? ;0) LOL
So how many trick or treaters knocked at your door last night? We had four lots, a total of nine children, and most of those were escorted by much older siblings/parents and they'd made a real effort to dress up. It was a pleasure to see them enjoying themselves and, as they were also very polite, it was fun doling out the goodies to them all.
Many thanks for all the lovely comments about my parents photo, you are very kind folk.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Samhain Blessings

Samhain (Halloween) is the time of the year when we remember those loved ones who have crossed over to the Otherworld. As a Pagan I grieve for those lost loved ones but also remember that this is just a part of the great cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Over the years there have been many members of my extended family, friends and neighbours who have made the crossing from this life to the next and today I remember and honour them all, especially my Mum and Dad:This pic was taken on a day trip to the seaside, when they were both in good health, and is one of my favourites and is how I always want to remember them.


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Lookit What I Got!

Today got off to a good start as well: not only was it sunny again, so I could get a load of washing out under the carport and spend some time in the garden, I also got a pink parcel! Inside was some lovely Polstitches Heirloom 32ct linen, which is intended for the Ink Circles Tanglewood design in last months JCS magazine, and this:Feet up with a coffee, for a full-on enjoyment experience, and a nice loooong browse later I was feeling pretty chilled and the To Do List had grown somewhat. There are some lovely ornaments in there so it would be difficult to choose an absolute favourite but, for sheer smile factor, the Charland Designs Tipsy Tree is a must stitch for me.
So what's your must stitch item?

The craft theme has continued through the day: I sat down with my stitching (UFO Tuesday, so it's back to ET again) to watch Dawn Bibby's regular two hour slot on QVC and realised there were some extra sessions today. It's amazing what you can get done and out of the way, ready for the next craft session starting. There have been some nice goodies but I haven't bought anything - I mainly watch to see the different techniques/trends and to see the samples they show to gain ideas.
Tonight I shall be on my lonesome for a while as DH has a School Governor's meeting and DS is at Alex's for their regular Dungeons and Dragons session - that's me in charge of the TV remote control then. There's another Most Haunted Live tonight (Dawn: it's on Living TV, if that helps), so I know what I'm going to be doing later. ;0)
Thanks for visiting and all the comments and I hope you're all having a good day too. :0)

Monday, 29 October 2007

Sunny Monday and Mother Earth

What a lovely bright and sunny day it's been so far today, almost like a Spring day, so it seems quite appropriate for an update pic of my HAED Mother Earth piece. Am quite pleased as I've virtually completed page 6, the dark tree area on the left. There are some blank spaces in the rainbow but that's because I can't make out which colour should be used, as an X has been used that is only slightly thicker than another X used for a different colour. Apart from the confetti, this is the biggest bugbear with this chart: there are just too many similar symbols used and even with the use of a magnifying glass it can be difficult to tell them apart. I think I've done OK identifying the others so far but the X's have me beaten, so I shall have to go and join the HAED BB and ask for help.
I do love this piece though - it's a work of heart.

Many thanks for all the offers of help with charts for the Christmas Exchange - stitchers really are a wonderful group of people. It's OK now though, thanks, as I've found what I wanted. Now all I need to do is get on with the actual stitching......

I almost forgot: at the weekend I also signed up for a forthcoming SAL at Jayne's Attic Stitch'n'Stash Forum. It's a beautiful mixed stitch piece called Memories that Jayne herself has designed. I am so looking forward to this: a combination of mixed stitches, beads, hand dyed fabrics and threads - it is stunning. WTG Jayne!

One way and another, it's proving to be a pleasing Monday.
The lady from the Crem phoned earlier: the replacement memorial plaque has been made and was delivered and fitted today. :0)
It's good timing, as the church who supplied the lay preacher to take Dad's funeral service is holding a memorial service next Sunday and have asked if we wish to take part. They hold this every November for the families of all those they have taken funeral services for during the year. Although I shall be remembering and honouring departed loved ones at Samhain (Halloween) in my own way I do think this is a nice idea too. We'll be going over and taking DSis to visit the Crem in the afternoon, to lay flowers, then on to the service in the evening.

I haven't been able to speak to my DBro yet but my DSis has and she said his results were good. :0)

Not sure if it's down to the weather making me think of Spring but I've motored on and got quite a few of the H-word jobs done and out of the way this morning, so it's left this afternoon free for fun stuff.
Alex will be coming for her regular Monday coffee and chat session soon, so I'd better get on. Unfortunately the wild herb, mushroom and garlic stuffing we had yesterday has got a bit of a dog breath thing going: teeth brushing hasn't helped and a hunt for mints has come up empty-handed. Not that I'm bothered........ I found some After Eights at the back of a cupboard so I guess they'll just have to do instead, won't they? LOL
And there's another session of Most Haunted Live on tonight. Yay! :0)

Fun and Frolics and Chillin'

Well DS's duties as Best Man on Friday seemed to have gone down well and he didn't do a bad job, by all accounts. The well thought out and considered speach he wrote (OK, what he threw together the night before) got chucked to one side and he ad-libbed his way through and it went down well - so wish I'd been a fly on the wall for that! :0)
The evening do was OK - nice to see DS having fun (so that's what he gets up to when he goes out!). The bride, groom and bridesmaids (her two DD's of 15 & 17 from a previous relationship) looked lovely and so happy, it was a pleasure to see them all together. There were an awful lot of people there that I didn't know but I coped OK, although I wasn't keen when DH kept popping off to take photos, leaving me on my tod......... though a couple of Tia Maria and Cokes later and it didn't bother me quite so much. ;0)
What did bother me was the disco - it was so LOUD. Why do DJ's think you can only have a good time if the music is played at top volume? It was generally good stuff he was playing but it doesn't help the conversation any when you have to shout to make yourself heard. Yep, I now realise that it's official: at only 46 years old I am now a fully fledged member of the Old Farts Brigade. ROFL
No pics yet: DH has to take the film to be processed, as he did the old David Bailey bit and used his Pentax rather than the Digicam.


Saturday started off steady for us. No hangovers, we're just not used to late night partying these days and it had been a long week for both of us: work was hectic for DH and the emotional rollercoaster days had taken their toll on me. We had a quiet day pottering round the house doing jobs, watched a bit of TV and I got some stitching done.
There was no rest for the wicked though: DS was up bright and early and went off to Brigg Farmers Market with Alex. He came back in the afternoon suitably laden with all kinds of lovely food. That was followed up by a quiet afternoon and evening in: curry from our local takeaway and Spiderman III DVD plus more stitching on Mother Earth. Oh, and the first night of a five-day special Most Haunted Halloween Live. Yay!

Sunday was another quiet day. DS painted out a kitchen cupboard for me while I got on with preparing the veggies for the dinner. DH was supposed to be making a new shelf to go in the cupboard but he only seemed to get as far as hunting out some Contiplas for it - those repeats of Poirot seemed to distract him an awful lot and it didn't help when he almost got called in to work (luckily he helped the fella fix things via directions over the phone).
Dinner was boiled beef, carrots, leeks (all from the farmers market), mashed and roast potatoes (local farm shop), gravy and wild mushroom, herb and garlic stuffing (farm shop). Good job I forgot the Yorkshire puds - we were stuffed full as it was!
DS disappeared off to Alex's house for a session of Dungeons and Dragons - quiet evening for us, with another night of Most Haunted Live plus more stitching on Mother Earth (see next post for an update pic).

Hectic or quiet, hope you all had a good weekend. :0)