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)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A Yo-Yo Day

After putting ET to one side yesterday, and not having found that ideal chart for the exchange card, I picked up my HAED Mother Earth piece last night after a looong break. The fine work is still a bit tiring on my eyes but I'd forgotten just how beautiful this piece is, so will be continuing with it for a little longer. No pic yet, as there hasn't been enough progress to make it worth taking one.

The chart hunt was successful today. Karen: I can't tell you what it's for because you said you didn't want me to say it.......... but it's seasonal and starts with a C and ends in s. ;0) LOL
My re-think was to go with a bit of a theme and the chart I've chosen fits in nicely with it. Not saying any more, so you'll just have to wait and see. Eheheh! Next job is to gather the fabric and threads together, then I can make a start.

The card theme continued in the afternoon when I finally got my papercrafting head on and made the wedding card for tomorrow.
The scan is awful: I've used cream pearlescent card, gold card, shiney gold peel-offs and amber coloured gems and it's much sparklier in real life. Hope they like it.

My DBro had a scan yesterday and he says the good news is........ he's not pregnant. LOL
He's been told there's no sign of anything nasty in his major organs etc, as far as they can see. Am still waiting to hear from him about the results of the other tests, so still got my fingers crossed.

The woman from the Crem got back to me today: it sounds like the Courier excuse wasn't quite true. What did happen is that someone at the suppliers, at some stage, managed to drop and damage the memorial plaque and whoever it was didn't bother to sort out a replacement for it. This has now been arranged and it should be ready and fitted in a weeks time - she'll phone me to confirm. I'm not stressing but admit I got a bit upset after hearing what had happened.

My DSis tells me that the cheque from Dad's bank has arrived, all as it should be and made out correctly. When that's cleared everything there will all be done and dusted so we can finally kiss them goodbye. Yay!

So with all that lot I feel like a flippin' yo-yo - up one minute, down the next, then up again........ you get the picture >roll eyes< I'm off to do some sanity saving: a bit of stitching. :0)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Another UFO Night, Another Update

Even though I've done extra stitching on ET this week I couldn't miss the regular UFO night, could I? Certainly not when I know Julie's Mr Stick is hovering and raring to go! LOL So this is where I left off last night: I think I'll be leaving her alone until next week now though - I don't want to overdo it and get fed-up with her.
There's also my stitched card exchange to sort out, as I don't want to leave things until the last minute and get into a panic. The good idea I had isn't going to plan so I've been dithering about what else to stitch, had a re-think, and decided on something else (can you see why I haven't signed up for exchanges before now?) I know what I want to stitch for my partner - it's just a matter of finding the right chart, so some serious hunting through downloads and web searching is going on here. Maybe I should have told Jane that my sign-up was for Christmas 2008, to give me a bit extra time. ;0) ROFL

I shall have to get my papercrafting head on soon as well: DH and I have been invited to a wedding evening do on Friday night, so I need to get a card made for the happy couple - friends of our DS from the amateur dramatic group, and he's the Best Man.
I haven't been to a party in years because of the agoraphobia and panic attacks I am getting over - it would be another step in the right direction, providing it's good news from DBro and I can actually make myself go. Fingers crossed!

DBro should get all of his test results tomorrow. Thanks to all for the well wishes - hoping they've worked for him. :0)

The chap from the Crem didn't phone me back yesterday....... no surprise there then, I'm getting quite used to this happening by now. I phoned today and got a very helpful woman at the other end: our parents memorial plaque seems to have gone a.w.o.l after being sent to the Courier for delivery back in September, so they'll be chasing it up tomorrow and getting back to me. You would think the Crem's admin staff should've realised something was amiss before now, without my needing to phone, but I won't stress over this: it's their problem, they can deal with it, and if the plaque can't be found they will be expected to supply another one a.s.a.p, sorting out between the three of them (Crem/Maker/Courier) as to who pays for it. Enough said.
Fingers crossed the cheque from the bank will turn up soon as well.......... and let's hope they make this one out correctly!

Right, I'm off to get some tea then set off on another web trawl for that elusive chart.
Hope everyone is having a good day, whatever you are up to. :0)

Monday, 22 October 2007

Monday Mutterings

OK not mutterings but a full blown moan - so don't say I didn't warn you in advance.

The weekend was OK, well as OK as it could be in the circumstances. Saturday we got my pots planted with bulbs and some winter bedding plants and did some general tidying up in the garden, as well as a few other jobs, and I got some more stitching on ET done in the evening.
Thanks for all the encouragement, here's how she looks now:
Sunday we had a trip over to Doncaster to my DSis's and went out for dinner. Afterwards we went to see our DBro to see how he was doing (coping: not a lot else you can do when you're in limbo, waiting for tests/results) and to fill in some more forms for Dad's bank (yes, more forms....) and DBro faxed them back for us. It was good to see Erin and Fin as well - every time we see them they've grown even more. :0)

Today is D-Day for my DBro, as he is having the camera investigation of his insides done. Fingers crossed all they find is healthy guts! I'm hoping he will feel up to phoning tonight.

It does seem like it's just one thing after another at the minute though, as I've had to phone Dad's bank and the Crematorium to chase things up today and neither of them helped my stress levels any. >:-(
Dad's bank haven't got a good track record with us as we've been through the complaints procedure with them once already, so I rang up today just to confirm that they'd received the faxed forms OK - yes, they'd got them alright but they didn't have any record of ever having received the Grant of Probate...... this is despite this same woman telling me a copy had been faxed through to her last time I phoned, which I reminded her of. After making it clear that, as far as I was concerned, we (the Executors) had already supplied everything that was required to various departments of their bank - including yet another copy of my Mum's death certificate as this hadn't been forwarded to the relevant departments back in 2003 - it was up to her to sort this latest mess out, as we had had enough. I left her sorting it out.
Then a phone call to the Crem in Doncaster to find out why we hadn't heard from them about the memorial plaque being ready, even though it's looooong past the 10 weeks wait they quoted. Only, I got the jobsworth at the other end, didn't I? Despite the fact that it's my parents plaque, the money has long gone from my sister's account and it was an enquiry as to non-contact from them the guy started quoting "Data Protection Act" and similar baloney at me because my sister sent the cheque and everything is addressed to her. As I told him, that was because the money for it went through her account - I was phoning because my DSis works and was unable to phone in the daytime when they are there, which is why it hadn't been chased up before now, and why she had asked me to do it on her behalf. It's a good job he got the message because I was about ready for tearing off somebody's head by this point.......

I've calmed down a bit now: the woman from the bank has phoned back and the "missing" Grant of Probate has miraculously re-appeared. The words: booze-up, brewery, organisation and lack of, spring to mind - I will be so glad when this cheque has arrived and we can finally kiss that damned bank goodbye!!!
A much nicer fella from the Crem has phoned back too: they've tried contacting the plaque makers but haven't been able to get hold of anyone. They'll be contacting them again to find out why there's been such a delay and will get back to me, hopefully tomorrow. There's only one place left on the monument and that's been reserved for our Mum and Dad's memorial plaque but I'll be a whole lot happier when it's actually in place.

My friend Alex came for her regular Monday visit this afternoon and we've had a coffee and a good natter, so I'm feeling a bit more chilled now........ amazing how putting the world to rights with a friend does you the power of good. A bit of stitching tonight and normal service will be resumed once again. ;0)

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Belated UFO Night Update

Glad to say that I managed to do a reasonable amount on my belated UFO night stitching. Here's the before pic: Here's where I left off last night:
It's coming along, slowly but surely.
Today started out a good day with a pink parcel and I knew I was feeling better when it was dived on and opened straightaway LOL. It contained the November Count On Me Fabric from Jayne's Attic: a very pretty lemony yellow, nicely wrapped with a curly ribbon and a sweet little flower attached. I love those little personal touches, they make pink parcel days extra special.
I've also had what I think is a good idea about what to stitch for my Christmas Card Exchange partner. I spent some of this morning looking through some of the downloaded charts I have on the computer, spotted one I liked and decided it was a bit basic by itself but it would be nice to develop it a little further........... but you're going to have to wait and see if it works out. I can't go spoiling the surprise for my partner now, can I? :0)
This afternoon brought some news that I'm trying not to worry about: my DBro phoned to tell me that he'd been to the GP's and he is being sent for some tests. This year has already been really difficult for us, so we hope it's just a minor health problem and that there's only positive news to come from this.
Some days it's only my stitching that keeps me sane.......... although I think DH and DS might argue that one.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

A Royal Wednesday

No, I haven't been visited by any of the Windsor family! LOL
Here's the update on Queen Guenevere who now has hands, a golden belt and rainbow sleeves.

Thanks for the tip about the Guttermann's Julie, I will have to remember that for next time a project calls for metallics or filaments.

Here's a scan of The Princess in a posh frame. Sorry it's so bad but DH hasn't been around to take a pic (problems at work keeping him late, again) and I couldn't wait to show it off.
The frame is actually a mirror finish in silver, very shiney, so Erin will be able to see herself in it, and the strips up the side are bands of Mother-of-Pearl. It's probably a bit overly sophisticated for a three year old but the other frame I liked, which had sparkly diamantes around the inner edge, hadn't got a deep enough rebate for the thickness of the mounted stitching. I think she'll like it though. Tuesday was UFO Night but I wasn't able to stitch at all, thanks to having a bad head and stomach. I knew I was feeling rough when the sight of a pink parcel on the doorstep didn't have me rushing to grab and open it >shock< I went back to bed. In the evening I felt too frazzled to concentrate and I didn't fancy a visit from the frogs, so left the stitching well alone.
I did open the pink parcel though: it was the Alchemy chart for the Stitch'n'Stash/Attic Humbug SAL - can't wait for that to start as it's such a lovely cute piece.

Thankfully I'm feeling much better today and, as it's been Craft Day on QVC, I've spent some of the afternoon vegging in front of that whilst stitching - perfect day or what? LOL Although the TSV and some of the Pergamano kits were mighty tempting I didn't succumb to anything.
I've also received my partners' details for the Stitched Christmas Card Exchange on S'n'S Forum. This will be my first ever exchange (I've always been too paranoid about my stitching to join in before) so I hope I get things right. Now all I've got to do is choose a design to stitch........ methinks it may take a while......... I keep changing my mind >roll eyes<.

Tonight was the Little Theatre Club's casting night for their panto Sleeping Beauty and DS has come in from that practically bouncing off the walls: he auditioned for and got the role of Eddie he wanted and it's a much bigger part than he's had in previous productions. It also involves some dancing, a singing duet (which he's apprehensive about) and a whole scene with his character talking to a glove puppet (well, it is a panto!). I am so looking forward to seeing him in that..... and to taking the mickey about his mate the glove puppet. ;0)
BTW Julie, getting him to go shopping is pretty easy as: 1) it means he gets a free feed and 2) he uses Dad's taxi service, so it doesn't cost him petrol. Guess that's his Yorkshire genes outing - his Grandad would be proud! LOL

Well I am off back to stitch on Egyptian Tablet so it'll be worth doing an update pic tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving comments, it's much appreciated.

Monday, 15 October 2007

A Good Weekend

Well the weekend was a good one and got off to a flying start with our meal out. We ended up going to a pub called The Jenny Wren out in a village called Susworth, on the river bank. We didn't see anything of the river - far too dark and cold out - but the meal was excellent and worth the drive. If you're ever out that way it's well worth a visit, as the pub is all olde worlde with lots of old wood beams, some of which have been carved, and the atmosphere was lovely. It was also like a flippin' Corus convention with four people DH knew from work also eating there. I tell you, we can't go anywhere: even at the theatre there were three fellas he works with in the audience and at least two in the cast!
Just for you Karen: we both had salmon with a creamy shrimp and chive dressing, served with boiled new potatoes (in their skins with butter on) and mange tout. Afterwards I had a floater coffee with Tia Maria and DH had a whisky one and a meringue served with lemon curd and mascapone - him a diabetic too! Tut! Tut!

Saturday DS joined us and we had a family shopping day: Dunhelm so DS could buy a duvet.......... yes, it was a replacement for the one he spilled the bucket of sick over as that wouldn't fit in the washer and would've cost too much to have dry cleaned (not that I'd want to inflict that on any one!) A costly mistake he won't forget in a hurry........ mainly because I'll keep reminding him of it >:0) I also managed to get a frame for The Princess and one of those large frames with a mount board that has various sizes/shapes of apertures for photos, so I can display all my family pics together.
Next was a trip to a local retail park so DS could buy a Christmas gift for a friends older daughter (Bindeez kit - looks fun but he wouldn't let me have a play!). We popped to another store and I got one of those plastic four-drawer storage units so I can finally start organising some of my craft stash - I did have it in mind for my fabrics and the like but my cardmaking stuff would also benefit from some organisation, so not sure which to do first....... maybe I should have bought two and saved myself the dilemma!
We finished with a trip to the Pink Pig organic farm and coffee shop. Well, after all that hard work shopping and everything we'd earned a warm drink and a sticky, hadn't we? LOL We came away from there with a beef joint and veggies for Sunday's dinner.
No stitching that night but I did frame The Princess (pic later).

Sunday was a jobs day for me and DH. We were busy for much of the day but I'm still not quite sure what we actually achieved as there doesn't seem to be much evidence for it >roll eyes<
Sunday evening we watched the 300 DVD DS had bought: King Leonidis/Spartans/bloodfest just about sums it up (the action was pretty amazing to watch, if you switched off from all the gore - I'd watch it again, especially as there was a lot of skimpily clad male talent definitely worth giving a second and third look to. LOL) .
DS and I played our favourite game of spot the actor/music, i.e: Ooh, he played Faramir in LOTR; I recognise that voice but who the heck is he? (for the ones hidden under all the prosthetics); Now that sounds just like that bit out of such and such a film........ well, you get the gist of it. DS and I feel it enhances our enjoyment of the film.....DH feels we should shut up and let him watch the ruddy thing in peace. ;0) ROFL
I finally picked up a needle after the DVD finished (well, I wasn't going to risk missing any of that male talent - Ooops, I mean making a mistake on my stitching - was I?). All I managed was the outline of Guenevere's hands plus the outline and infill of her belt but that belt is in gold thread and it's awful stuff to use as it keeps unravelling as I stitch, so the little I did took an age.
I will post an update pic when there's something worth doing an update on.

Hope everyone had a fun-filled, or at least an enjoyable, weekend. :0)

Friday, 12 October 2007

A New Start and New Stash

Not much to share yesterday as I was busy with house jobs and gardening. The front garden has benefited by having another couple of hours spent on it, clipping dead growth and weeding - I knew I'd got some nice plants in there somewhere and it was good to find them again. ;0)

As a reward for all that industry I made a new start last night. Was it one of the two Christmas designs I mentioned in my last post? Nope! Was it one of the Halloween designs? Nope! It wasn't a seasonal design or even a cross stitch piece but something totally different: a blackwork kit I found when rootling round in my stash boxes yesterday afternoon. Here's a pic of last nights progress :
She is called Queen Guenevere and is by Holbein Embroideries. It's a bit different from the other (charted) blackwork I've done, as you first have to trace the outline onto the fabric using a transferable red paper. I must say I'm not overly impressed with this method because, despite being very careful, the paper shed slightly across other areas of the fabric leaving it looking like it's had some rose wine sprinkled on it (not that I'd ever be daft enough to ruin fabric & thread by doing such a thing.............. or waste good wine, for that matter!). It does say it comes off - I sure hope so!
The instructions are a tad basic, as in: just picturing certain areas and with only a small piece of pattern to follow, so I guess it assumes only experienced stitchers will want to stitch it........ which is why, over the years, I've had this out of my stash box on several occasions and put it straight back in again. Guess maybe I'm up for a challenge at the minute! LOL

Today started nicely too: my grumpy postie is back delivering mail again (not complaining: a grumpy postie is waaay better than no postie/mail at all) and the HAED charts I bought from Sally arrived first thing. Am I a very happy bunny. Thanks Sally. :0)
So which two did I succumb to? They are White Magic Storykeep by Jessica Galbreth and Victorian Angel Quick Stitch by Meredith Dillman. Although I have several HAED charts these are the first Storykeep and QS chart additions to my stash.
I guess I really must invest in that light/magnifier very soon to give my eyes a chance at coping!
Plus I really should go join the HAED forum at some point. Although I've been avoiding doing so in an act of desperation...... if I don't go over there I won't see any of those gorgeous charts that the members are stitching (or accidentally stray onto the main site), then I won't be tempted to add any more to my stash.
The theory seemed good but it's just not worked......... has it Sally? ROFL ;0)

I'm hoping tonight will be a good night too, as DH is taking me out to a local pub for a meal - no special occasion. DS will be out babysitting our friends' kids so we'll be on our own and I don't fancy cooking.
OK, I'll hold my hands up: I overdid the gardening bit, am aching all over, and was so shattered last night I kinda forgot to get some meat out of the freezer for tonights tea. By the time DH got in from a works "leaving do" he wasn't up for remembering much of anything either. LOL
Not sure where we're going yet but there are plenty of eating places in and around the town to choose from.

Thank you to those who drop by and for taking the time to leave a comment: it sure is good to know that I'm not always rambling away to myself. Hope you all have a good weekend. :0)

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

A WhooooHoooo Wednesday!

Why? Well, for a starter, it's stopped raining and there's some sunshine so I've been able to go out and do some garden jobs today - that always puts me in a good mood. :0)
Then Sally emailed to say that she's posted the HAED charts that I bought from her - OK, so they'll probably take an age to get here, thanks to the postal strike backlog, but it's still new stash on the way!
I've also now got a working scanner (and printer) again. DH swapped them round for me so I can get at the scanner better and it makes scanning pieces on frames a whole lot easier! So now that's working again here's an update on my UFO Tuesday piece, Egyptian Tablet.

Yes, I've finally completed that horrible multi-coloured wig/hair band - that's worth a big WhooHoo and Happy Dance all of its own, believe me! LOL. Mind you, there's still the backstitch on the collar to tackle: on the collar it's worked in DMC metallic thread - I'm so looking forward to that.......... not!

I had planned to make a new start after completing The Princess but that doesn't seem to have happened yet - I've wanted to keep going with ET, so have gone with the flow.
If I change my mind: Happy Holidays is all kitted to go, as is M Designs Hope tree but, as it will soon be Samhain (Halloween), I rather fancy stitching an appropriate piece for that: Passione Ricamo has some really nice freebies here and here and there's a lovely one at Whispered by the Wind and yet another lovely offering from Black Swan Designs via the Needle Delights web site, to name just a few....... spoilt for choice here and struggling to decide! >roll eyes<

In answer to Helen: sorry, my Ink Circles Blackstone Fantasy Garden hasn't made it into my Webshots album yet. It's too big to fit on the scanner and I'm not that hot with the digicam (I've no idea how to upload pics from it to the PC) and DH has been too busy to do it for me. I've got a couple more larger pieces that haven't yet made it into my Webshots either, so when he's got time I'll get him to do them all in one session and have a mass update.
Can't wait to see your progress on BFG. :0)

Well the chap from my local Freecycle group turned up and took the cake decorating items yesterday but there don't appear to be any takers for the other bits I listed. I'm not fussed though as, right on cue, the British Heart Foundation have left a donations bag, so they'll go in that, along with some clothes I've sorted....... and anything else that gets sorted between now and collection on Friday morning. Don't you just love it when the Universe works in your favour like that? LOL :0)
That's me off for a cupboard trawl. Whatever you're all getting up to, hope you're having fun. :0)

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Torrential Tuesday

The weather has been appalling so far: torrential rain for much of the night and morning - we've got a paddling pool in the front garden again and the poor flowers are drooping under the weight of the rain drops on them. It's stopped now but it's so dank, cold and dreary it makes you want to curl up under a fleecy blanket and hibernate....... methinks those hedgehogs have the right idea! As I've got a bit of a cold and my throat is painful (flare up of an old problem) I may just succumb to a fleecy blanket snuggle this afternoon.

I'm still minus a scanner and printer but do have all my previously scanned pics on this computer now, so thought I'd share one of my blackwork Renaissance Angel. I love this piece, which is a Mary Hickmott design from an issue of her New Stitches magazine, and it was an absolute delight to stitch (although, strictly speaking, it should probably be called navy blue work LOL). I have plans to finish it as a wall hanging when I find a suitable fabric for it....... and finally tamed my flippin' sewing machine. That has a nasty habit of galloping off at top speed at the slightest touch of the pedal, scaring me half to death and giving me palpitations in the process, so I tend to avoid it........ which means I have a drawerful of pieces awaiting finishing >roll eyes< and I will get around to them one day.
Just watch out for that low flying squadron of pigs ;0)

I'm once again having fun re-homing stuff via my local Freecycle group.
The mouse hunt and clean-up meant I delved in areas that haven't been delved in for some time and it unearthed a few bits that are now surplus to requirements - well, if I've lived without them for this long, then chances are I can permanently do without them, can't I?
One person's clutter is definitely another one's treasure as just about everything I've ever posted on there has had a taker. Today's offerings are: some cake decorating items; some cutters and some vacuum cleaner bags.
A result already: there's a chap calling for the cake decorating items some time today.
If you're in urgent need of a de-clutter and are desperate to get stuff off your hands, then I can highly recommend using your local Freecycle group. :0)

As today is UFO Tuesday on the Stitch'n'Stash Forum (boy, does that seem to come round quick!) I'll be stitching on Egyptian Tablet again today. This is starting to show the benefit of having some extra time spent on it these last few days and is coming on nicely. DH says he'll be sorting out my scanner and printer tonight, so a pic should be forthcoming soon. Hurray!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Culture, Computers & Crafts

Culture: DH and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the theatre on Friday night.
As Sweeney Todd is a Victorian melodrama some audience participation was expected: the hero's/heroine were clapped & hurrah'd and Sweeney Todd the villain was well and truly boo'd and hissed at. The kids in a pantomime audience would've been given a good run for their money by us lot - it was fun! :0)
The lady who collapsed during the first night performance did have a mini-stroke. She has been lucky: this seems to have been a warning for her and she's also had it diagnosed before her condition has had chance to deteriorate to a really serious level. Fingers crossed with the right treatment/dietary advice she'll be OK and it's hoped she'll feel fit enough to take up her part as Granny Ogg in the next Pratchett production - no one else could do it as well!

Computers: The tinkerings at the weekend didn't go quite to plan. DH got the new system up and running OK but had problems trying to get the important stuff on it, like bookmarked sites, old emails, my address book and my emailed charts etc etc. He eventually worked out how to transfer them but I'm still minus a working scanner and printer, all the scanned pics of my stitching and cards I've ever done (so no pics at all until that's sorted) and all those downloaded charts that'll come in useful some time and took me years to accumulate >sob< Guess what he'll be doing in the evenings this week? ;0)
I'm not complaining though: this new system is a darned sight quicker than the old one (dizzyingly so at times) and has more memory.......... room for even more downloaded cross stitch freebie charts that'll come in useful one day LOL.

Crafts: We were out Friday night and much of Saturday (another garden centre trip with an added organic farm shop visit), so I didn't get any stitching done then, but I did stitch on Sunday night while watching Bruce Willis's 16 Blocks DVD. Yup, all those channels and still absolutely nothing on TV worth watching, was there?
Julie and Mr Stick will be pleased to know that the project that got my attention last night was Egyptian Tablet........ yes, I actually wanted to stitch on it :-o Although I'm not stitching the hair band, so that's probably helped LOL. As soon as I have a working scanner again I will post progress pics.
Thanks to Sally I shall soon be the proud owner of two more HAED charts but I'm not saying which ones until they've arrived, just to keep the suspense going a bit ;0)
Thanks for the opportunity to add these to my stash Sally. :0)

I think I'm now officially in SABLE mode.....

Friday, 5 October 2007

Frustrating Friday

Frustrating because I still can't take a scan of my UFO to show as I've still got PC problems, so here's the last pic I took of my HAED Mother Earth piece instead.

We got back from DSis's at a reasonable time and DH did have a go with my PC: he swapped all the relevant hardware, only to find that my keyboard wouldn't go with that....... something about plugs/adaptors and something with a funny name that I can't remember for the life of me.
Yes, you could hear an audible Whooooooossssshhh! as it all went over the top of my head.
The search in the loft for the keyboard that did go with it didn't find it (there's that blackhole called "safe place" doing it's thing again!), so back came all the old hardware and setting up of my old PC with DH getting grumpier by the minute. Then he banged his head on the table that my PC stands on........... boy, can that man cuss when he sets his mind to it! :-0
After that, and yesterday's busy day, I think he was glad to get back to work this morning.

Yesterdays trip to the solicitor was a pleasant surprise: it shouldn't take too many more weeks for all the legal stuff to be completed plus it turns out it should only cost an arm or a leg and not both, so it won't be as expensive as we thought. Julie: in the interests of continuing my stitching I'm keeping the arm LOL. :0)
After leaving there we all went to a local cafe for a full English (mighty tasty it was too), then did a little shopping, then went straight from town to my aunt and uncle's for a visit, then on to a garden centre for a shop (making time for a cuppa and a sticky bun, of course), then back to DSis's to do some jobs for her.......... so now you see why DH was so keen to go back to work.

The production of Sweeney Todd seems to be going OK, apart from most of the cast surviving on cough linctus, cold remedies, throat pastilles and the like to keep them going - they all seem to be succumbing to whatever lergy is going round. DS says backstage it's more like a Chemist's shop than a theatre.
The lady who collapsed is still in hospital having tests: lots of rumours circulating but the most reliable one seems to be that she is being sent to Grimsby hospital for an MRI, as they're wondering if she may have had a mini-stroke. Fingers crossed it isn't and there's only good news.
DH and I go to see the production tonight, so he's under strict instructions not to be late. I'll be making a quick tea soon and I've already got my outfit ready, including the shoes and jewellery to go with. It's a 7.30pm start so I like to be organised.

Hope you all have a good weekend, whatever you do. :0)

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Wednesday Wanderings

Last night was UFO night and I stitched some more on Egyptian Tablet but am unable to post any pics at the moment - I've had strict instructions from DH not to scan or do anything with pics until he's finished sorting the PC for me. He was late home from work last night so only had chance to do all the disc back ups, which took longer than he thought. He won't get chance to look at it tonight, as we are going over to my DSis's in Doncaster, but I will make sure we are back reasonable on Thursday so he can sort it, otherwise it won't get done until the weekend and I can't wait that long!

Tonight's trip to Doncaster is so we can go to the solictor's first thing tomorrow. Since my Dad passed away in April we've sorted all the legal things out but had a slight hiccup when it came to the house: as it's never changed hands since Mum and Dad bought it in the late 1950's it's never been registered, so we can't sign it over to DSis yet.
Thinking it would be pretty straightforward off my fingers trotted to the Land Registry web site which, though mainly for use by solicitors and professional conveyancers, claims it can be used by the lay person. >Snort< I beg to differ: I couldn't find what information and forms were needed and the legal jargon gave me a headache. Stuff that says I and DSis and DBro agreed, so off we are going to the solicitor - no idea how much this will cost (an arm and a leg probably ;0) )but it'll be worth it to have the hassle taken away and know it's being done properly. We'll all breathe a sigh of relief when it's completed.

DS's first night performance went OK, despite it being made a little traumatic by one of the group members passing out in the wings! Luckily someone realised what was happening and caught her on the way down and one of the cast members is a nurse and gave First Aid and stayed with her until she was taken off in an ambulance. She's being kept in hospital for a day or so for tests but hopefully will be back with the backstage crew organising the props before too much longer. Luckily the audience were totally unaware of the off-stage drama, helped by the ambulance arriving minus sirens blaring and the paramedics coming and taking her out via the backstage door. This am dram stuff certainly has its moments!
No review in the local newspaper yet..... but if this performance is anything like the last one (Terry Pratchett's Maskerade, in which the above passed out member played a brilliant Granny Ogg) we'll thoroughly enjoy it when we go to see it on Friday night. :0)

Many thanks to those who visit, and take time to comment, it's much appreciated.... and many give me a right laugh (I've stopped drinking coffee when I check - it gets too messy). Thanks and hope you're all having a good week.

Right, I'm off to go pack our overnight bag...... I'll be Blogging a.s.a.p. after I get back and will hopefully be able to scan/post pics again by Friday, when I'll do updates of this weeks UFO stitching.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A Pink Parcel Day

I love those pink parcels from Jayne, don't you? This one contained a rainbow of Carrie's Creation threads and a wonderfully sparkly piece of Polstitches Opalescent Silver Lining. I know exactly what I'll be using the Pols for but you'll have to wait and see. :0) I thought I'd also show you the floss toss for my Long Dog Sampler piece Rosemarkie. This is another Polstitches fabric, Sky High, with more CC's: Blueberry Pie and Twinkle. I knew I wanted to use this fabric for the piece but wasn't sure on thread colours - luckily Jayne came to the rescue and I just love the combination.
Hope the pics have come out OK - I can't tell at the moment as the graphics card on my PC is slowly dying and any pics seem to give it a severe bilious do (and me.... what it's doing to some of the colours is really vile).
I'm gutted the old girl is starting to give up the ghost as she's served me well over the years, especially as I know exactly what I'm doing with the systems that run on her, but I guess all good things must come to an end at some stage. :0( DH has been going to get around to sorting out an upgraded system for me for about two years now so it looks like it's definitely going to happen like now. Windows XP here I come....

DS went out tonight looking a little pale and edgy....... absolutely nothing to do with booze this time, thankfully. ;0) He's involved in a local amateur dramatic group called the Little Theatre Club and has got a couple of small roles in their latest production: Sweeney Todd The Barber. It's the first performance tonight and he was a bit nervy, so I hope all is going well. We've got tickets and are going to see it on Friday night.

Tonight is UFO night and because of cooking tea, sorting yet another load of washing (goodness knows what the next electric bill will be like!) and now blogging I haven't, as yet, put a single stitch in Egyptian Tablet. Guess I'd better get going before Julie and Mr Stick show up......

Monday, 1 October 2007

Not So Manic Monday

As promised, here's the pic of the small piece I stitched over the weekend between mouse hunts and cleaning bouts. It's a Bucilla kit, designed by Bonnie Smith Disotell, and came complete with the wood frame. I used some self-adhesive backing board to mount the piece and it slotted nicely into it. I'll be sending it, along with some other items, to my MIL to sell at her fundraising event for Treetops Hospice in Derbyshire - it's something that's dear to all our hearts as they gave a lot of help and support to my SIL Helen. As I mentioned it yesterday (and Blogger is playing today) I thought I'd post a pic of the Carol Tinson Love Is You design. If I remember rightly, this was a Limited Edition piece available just before St Valentine's Day. It's stitched 1 over 1 on 28ct Zweigart Lambswool Linen with Kaalund Silk Poinsettia and V. Clayton Heart Wood:It fell by the wayside when my eyes struggled with the fine stitching, then life got in the way, but I picked it up again last week. I'd forgotten how nicely this stitched up and just how lush those silk threads are, so more progress should be made soon. :0)

Though I'm continuing with the laundry and have done another three loads (where did all that bedding and all those towels come from?!) today hasn't been quite as manic as the last few days, I'm glad to say. Most of the cleaning is sorted and it's been another mouse free day - yippee! For Karen: you don't have to especially go and buy a jar of Nutella (not unless you really want to ;0) ) - raisins, a little peanut butter or a small piece of choccie are also effective trap bait (don't bother with cheese, they really don't fancy that). Hope you get the little beggar. >:0)

For those that were wondering: the son and heir has had a bit of a headache today (sinus pressure he tells me) otherwise he's fine. Helen: as soon as he mentioned "bug" I got the whiff of a particular farmyard odour in the air. ;0) Luckily nights like that rarely happen, but I do live in hope that he grows out of the boozy Saturday nights out stage before there's any permanent damage done to his liver.

I've been a bit achey today and am not sure if that's down to all the bending, carrying and furniture moving over the past few days or if I've OD'd on the fumes from all those cleaning products >roll eyes<. I had a lovely phone call with Jayne from Jayne's Attic mid-morning - it's always a pleasure to chat. If you're reading this: thanks for the laughs Jayne........ and for the excuse for a sit down. ;0)

If Royal Mail are on form some new goodies should be with me tomorrow and, as I'll be as excited as a three year old at their own birthday party, will more than likely post a pic so you can all share. :0)