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


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)