Thursday, 31 January 2008

Brisk and Breezy!

That's the weather I'm referring to and that's the only way to describe it: the recycling wheelie bins were tumbling like nine pins through the night, meaning unsquashed plastic pop bottles were rolling down the street in a bid for freedom and there are brightly coloured cardboard packets liberally decorating most gardens this morning. Earlier we had sudden bouts of torrential rain and hail that sent out the occasional lightning strike, now it's downpours of rain and hail that are interspersed with bright sunshine - yes, Mother Nature has got a right menopausal moody on today! LOL

Sorry to disappoint Mr Stick but I did have that delayed UFO Night stitching session last night and this is where I got to by the end of it:

Why is it that the last bit always seems to take aaages to get done? Oh well, only another one (or maybe two) more sessions to see the cross stitch complete then it'll be on to the backstitch.

Not sure how long that will take but I want to free up that frame for a new start! I've got the Ozark SAL taking up the frame that Karen sent me (thanks again!) and the other spare one has been reserved for the Amanda SAL which starts tomorrow - did think I'd got another spare but that must have been an hallucination or wishful thinking or something. >rolleyes<>

Not much longer and we'll be finding out what the Monthly Challenge for February will be - can't wait to find out which design we'll be stitching! There were 50 votes taken last time I looked!

We are supposed to be going for a wander down the High Street soon, as it's our local Market Day - we'll have to choose our moment and hopefully the weather will be kind and hold off long enough for us to get our shopping done and get back home without getting wet, although we'll definitely be getting a tad wind blown! All garden jobs are now on hold but at least I managed to get out there yesterday and fill the brown bin with conifer clippings, ready for it being emptied today.

Dawn: I might be planning on us getting some DIY jobs done - that doesn't necessarily mean that DH will extract his digit and do them. He needs a rocket up for motivation, so I don't think it would do any good to send him round to yours. LOL.

Anyway, DH needs to send an email to work before we can go shopping, so I'd better go. Hope you're all taking care, keeping safe and staying warm and thanks for visiting. :0)

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Wednesday's Wafflings

We had a nice meal out last night and sat in the pub nattering for a while afterwards, then decided to pop to Tesco to do a bit of shopping (it was just across the road). By the time we'd finished in there, driven home and put the bits of shopping away it was around 10pm and I was too tired for stitching, as planned, by then. So I was a bad lass and didn't stitch on ET but - before Mr Stick starts jumping up and down - I shall be making up for that today instead. :0)

As there's no update pic to show today thought I'd share pics of the other two charts that were in yesterday's Thread Bear package instead. I love the Irish Blessing on this - wouldn't it make a lovely New Home gift? This one was so cute and it'll make a brilliant Oestre picture, as well as being adaptable for a sweet New Baby picture for my bunny loving neighbours...... who just happen to be expecting their third baby in July (which I didn't know when I ordered this):
This uses GAST threads (or DMC). I don't have any GAST but, thanks to Jayne's Monthly Club, I do now have a respectable collection of Carrie's Creations, so does anyone know if there's a conversion list available somewhere online, please? TIA. :0)

DH has booked Thursday and Friday off work, in an effort to use up some of the time-in-lieu he built up over the summer/autumn - although so many men on that same project are now owed so much time off it's been decided some of the over-time worked will now be paid in actual money instead. We won't get excited though - by the time the tax man has done there won't be much left over! Not sure what the plans are yet but am hoping we'll get a few DIY jobs done in the house...... there's plenty on the list to choose from!

Nicola: the Dentist knows how I feel about going, so he puts me under sedation when the main work is done. He wasn't very careful last time though, as I woke up part way through treatment - it hasn't helped at all and why I got so wound up this time. :0( Maybe I should try the approach I once saw in a film on TV: grab him by a certain part of his anatomy while looking him straight in the eye and growling menacingly: Now, we're not going to hurt each other, are we? Seemed to work well in the film, anyway. ROFLMAO.

Thanks for all the lovely comments about the Memories piece - all credit to Jayne, her instructions are very clear and the design is such a treat to stitch.

Now I'm off to do that belated UFO Night stitching on ET before Julie sics Mr Stick on to me. ;0)

Hope all is good with you and that life is treating you well. :0)

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

A Mini Happy Dance......

as I finished Part 1 of the Memories SAL last night. Yay! Got to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed stitching this and can't wait for the next part. The fabric and threads are lovely to use and everything about it works so well. I also got my Thread Bear order this morning but, from the looks of the packaging, RM have been less than gentle with it. >:0( Luckily the contents were wrapped in tissue (and very prettily bound with a piece of gold ribbon), so the charts were protected from the tears the envelope received. Obviously RM haven't realised yet that stash packages are extra special and should be treated as precious objects and only handled by the gentlest of postal workers, preferably whilst wearing protective gloves. Yeah, right - and that squadron of flying pigs has just gone past again. LOL.
I've now got enough plastic floss bobbins to keep me busy winding my DMC threads for some time and here's two of the charts I got:
I'm a sucker for a cute snowman and the LHN designs are irresistible, so how could I not buy them? It would take someone with waaay more willpower than me! ;0)

Glad to say I'm feeling much better now. Had a quiet but enjoyable day at my DSis's on Sunday. On Monday I managed to do all of my usual house jobs without getting overly breathless (though deliberately paced myself) and had a good natter with my friend Alex in the late afternoon.

Today we've had the dreaded trip back to the Dentist to have our temporary crowns taken off and the proper ones fitted. I nearly burst into tears when I saw the chair and had to make myself sit in it, doing breathing techniques while he was doing the work. When he'd done my legs were shaking so much I couldn't make it back to the waiting room, so had to sit in an ordinary chair in the treatment room while DH had his crown fitted. Needless to say, I didn't look but kept on with the breathing techniques until we could both leave. I was annoyed with myself afterwards for not saying anything about the last visit but just knew if I did I'd have made a total pratt of myself by bursting into tears. Guess what: I won't be going back there for a looooooong time, if ever.

Afterwards DH took us to the nearby garden centre for a warm drink, to give us both chance to settle down, which was a good idea. I settled down even more after he dropped me off at home because, with the weather being fine, I was able to spend a good twenty minutes or so pottering about doing jobs in the garden - always a calming influence and good for the soul. :0)

He also suggested we treat ourselves to a meal out in a local pub tonight, so that's what we'll be doing later. Don't worry Julie & Mr Stick, I haven't forgotten it's UFO Night. ;0)

Many thanks for all the lovely comments about Eliza's Pyn Pillow and the well wishes, they're greatly appreciated. Hope you're all having a good week. :0)

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Monthly Challenge Reveal

The reveal was today and it was brilliant to see everyone's interpretation of the piece: Eliza's Pyn Pillow, a freebie design by Ellen Chester from With My Needle. There was a rainbow of different fabric and thread colours and lots of different finishing techniques used - a real feast for the eyes. :0)
So now I can show you what I did with the design. Front: Back:
My first ever beaded pin cushion! The fabric is Silkweaver Solos 32ct Lugana (don't know the name, unlabelled) and the threads are Carrie's Creations: Sherbert for the alphabet; Multi Grain for the basket; Sea Kelp for the stem and leaves and Sunflower for the flowers. Apart from the satin stitch hearts, the front was stitched in 1 over 1 cross stitch (didn't read the instructions properly - Oops!) and the back motif in 2 over 2. Just wish I knew how to make the corners a bit less bulky without risk of the fabric fraying on the corners - guess practice will make perfect in the long run.
A BIG thank you to Karen and Julie for running the Challenge :0) I've now learnt a new finishing skill and realised that it's best to have an idea of what finishing technique to use before selecting threads and fabric, to make sure I've got the right colour of ribbons/beads or whatever for finishing. Have already put my vote in for next Months Challenge and we'll get to know the result and what we're stitching at the end of this month - can't wait!

Last night I tacked the fabric for the Ozark SAL onto the scroll frame, so that's all ready to go now. Didn't do any stitching at all, as I still felt out-of-sorts and very tired, with the temporary crown giving me some bother as well. No more tap-dancing elephant sounds from next door (a.k.a. those banging wheelie bins) so a better nights sleep was had, once I got off - which was after having to stir myself to go let the son and heir in after a night out with his LTC pals. The muppet had only gone out without his front door key! Tempting as it was to leave him and his rapidly chilling Chinese take-away on the door-step I just didn't have that level of cruelty in me. ;0)

Today is Brigg Farmers Market and DS shot off there with Alex bright and early. Fridge is now re-stocked with home-made cheeses, smoked fish and chicken and butter and the freezer with sausages, fresh fish, butty bacon and meats. Plus there's a bag of various organic veggies hanging in the workshop. Reckon DS has redeemed himself, don't you? ;0)

Today I'm wheezing like a set of old bellows so the weekend plans have had to be changed. Having a quiet day today and an early night tonight, dosing up with one of those Blackcurrant Lemsip Max drinks (good stuff that) and decided not to go to the M,B & S event tomorrow - don't think I could get round the hall once, let alone the usual mammoth trawl we have. Hopefully I'll feel a bit livelier in the morning, so we can go to my DSis's for the day instead, as we need to take over all the bits that DH got from the local Screwfix place for her that she'll be needing soon. She's already had a re-painting session in the little bedroom and re-done the filler round the window in there and her bedroom, as well as having a fella in to fix a leak in the roof for her - starting as she means to go on. LOL.

Thank you Nicola for the solution to the paragraph problem, it's much appreciated. Of course Blogger is behaving today, so I'll have to wait to try it out next time it glitches.

Karen: hope the creme egg helped to improve things - maybe I should try some chocolate therapy too. LOL

Thanks again for all the well wishes and kind comments about Memories. I hope you're all having a good day. :0)

Friday, 25 January 2008

Memories Update

Well I managed to mark the start point corner on the Ozark fabric last night but when it came to sewing said fabric onto the scroll frame I just couldn't drum up the enthusiasm, so left it to do another time. I was in the mood for more stitching on the Memories SAL though and completed the leaf stitch row and made a start on the satin stitch in the next one. It's nice to do but found that it does need some concentration with the counting. It's going to be lovely when completed and will be one of those designs to look at and think: did I really stitch that? :0)

Only one more day to go before it's the Monthly Challenge reveal! Can you tell I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has stitched? LOL

This morning I received a pinkie with the Pol's Georgian fabric for the Amanda SAL and am very pleased with the effect - the threads and embellishments look so well on it and it's going to be another piece I shall really enjoy. A BIG thank you to Jayne for suggesting this fabric. :0)

Maybe I should have called today's post Flat Friday, as that's just how I'm feeling right now. Thanks to a combination of our next door neighbours leaving something leant again the side wall of our house and the gusty winds we've been having we had to put up with regular banging against said house wall all through last night. As that wall makes up one side of our bedroom we got the full sound effect when we went to bed, so it took me ages to get off to sleep in the first place then the rest of the night I kept being rudely woken up by the louder bangs. Today I feel like a combination of death warmed over and something the cat dragged in. Yes, I am a right grumpy old bag when I don't get a decent night's sleep! DH had a nosey and it turns out that their flippin' wheelie bins were tipped back and leaning against our house. He made sure they got shifted this morning, as he squeezed round the fence into their garden and moved them himself and it's been blissful silence ever since. :0) He'll pop round to see the neighbours tonight to tell them what he's done and why and hopefully they'll be OK and not do that again. I definitely plan on having an early night tonight....... if I don't fall asleep after my tea! LOL

Weekend plans: the first Mind, Body & Spirit event of the year is being held in Grimsby at the Auditorium. Yay! Not sure what we are up to on Saturday but we'll be going to the event on Sunday and I plan on having some alternative treatments done (such as Reiki) as I'm also still feeling a bit run-down after the cold I had. Might have my tarot cards read as well. Looking forward to it. :0)

Thanks for stopping by and, whatever your plans are for this weekend, I hope it's a good one. :0)

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Party Animal

No, not me - the card that I made today for my nephew Finlay. The tiny card on the front has: Happy Birthday Party Animal written inside, in case anyone was wondering, as I thought it went well with the bug-eyed critturs in the dome stickers. LOL. The scan just doesn't show the sparkle in the glitter card or the crittur dome stickers I used.

Thought I'd share this with you as I can't yet put up a pic of the Monthly Challenge piece that I finally managed to finish last night. Do you know I changed my mind on the finishing technique three times! Talk about: I used to be indecisive but now I'm not sure! ;0) Am reasonably pleased with the end result and pics have been sent to Karen for the album - now really looking forward to the reveal on Saturday....... and what the next three choices are to vote on, for next month.
Due to completing the Challenge piece I didn't get around to putting the fabric for the Ozark SAL on to the frame yesterday, as planned, so hopefully that'll get done tonight. Same reason for there being no further progress on Memories either. As for the Amanda SAL: a check of my fabric stash revealed nothing that was really suitable to stitch this on so a shout to Jayne and a phone call later and there's a piece of Pol's linen on the way for this - Georgian, I think - so when that arrives I'll be all set to go. It's nice to be organised......... shame it doesn't happen that often. LOL.
Yup, it's ignoring the paragraphs again. Karen: help! How do I go about editing a page to insert paragraphs when it's playing up, please? I will need the idiot's guide! LOL.
Julie: Mistletoe is now officially classed as a UFO, so that's a candidate, as is Alchemy's Copper Beech and Heirloom Embroideries Love Is You. Spoilt for choice! LOL
Well the hungry mob has descended (all two of 'em) and need feeding, so I'd best shoot off. Thank you for the kind comments on ET, they'll help keep me going, and I hope you're all having a good day. :0)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

ET Go Home!

This particular ET (Egyptian Tablet) anyway because the end is in sight (cross stitch side of things, at least) and I'm fast approaching the "I'll be glad to see the back of it" stage that seems to kick in with some projects. Yes, I've enjoyed stitching the bulk of it and yes, it's going to look great when it's finished but it does seem to feel like it's taken ages to get to this point.
Anyway, here's the before: Here's where I got to after this weeks UFO Night stitching:
Today got off to a good start when the long-awaited pinkie containing the first Ozark Mystery SAL pack arrived on the doormat. It's my first ever Mystery and so far I am a very happy bunny because I love the colours and the border looks interesting. Hopefully I'll get the chance to work out the start place, mark it and get the fabric attached to the frame some time this afternoon so it'll be all ready to start when I've finished the first section of the Memories SAL. Oh, and done the final finishing on the Monthly Challenge piece, seeing as how the reveal is on Saturday. Methinks a bit more organisation is needed in this house!
Panic over re: my Thread Bear order. Got an email yesterday to let me know that the roller bars and one of the charts are currently out of stock. Arranged for the rest of the order to be sent, as it contains plastic floss bobbins that are desperately needed for my thread organisation drive - the other bits will follow when they arrive in stock. Must say the lady who emailed me seemed very nice. It also confirms what Jayne once said about me seeming to have this knack for ordering certain goodies that have just been sold out. LOL
Whilst a cold front seems to be moving across this area at the moment (it's getting bitter out again) the one that's been affecting me since Friday seems to be finally clearing off. Yay! Snotty nose has virtually gone, so I can breathe and eat at the same time without risk of choking on crumbs, glands no longer feel like they want to burst and I can taste/smell things again. Double Yay! I've celebrated by sorting out the clothes in the tumble dryer and setting off another load of washing. ;0) Thanks for all your well wishes, they've been very much appreciated. :0)
Sorry about the lines across the page: for some reason I can't get any paragraph breaks, even when I've hit the return key a couple of times. This seemed to be the quickest solution.
Thanks again for stopping by - hope you're all having a good stitchy week. :0)

Monday, 21 January 2008

Monday - Memories

Well, despite the miserable weather and yukky cold, the weekend wasn't too bad - a chill out with some stitching was a good prescription and I highly recommend it to anyone else who is feeling a bit off. :0) Here's where I got to on the Memories SAL: Isn't that just so pretty? The leaf stitch was a bit tricky at first but that was entirely my own fault, as I kept getting distracted by the Alien V Predator film (bit gorey but I love it when a strong female character gets into kick ass mode - I so wanna be like her! LOL). Am enjoying working on the Pol's Linen and am glad I chose this fabric for the latest L*K designs........ think they'll be high on the list of New Starts for this year (and I haven't done last years yet!).
Hopefully I'll be able to carry on with this tonight.

DH had a trip out to Screwfix yesterday afternoon and was in seventh heaven afterwards. Not only did he come back with the bits he was getting for my DSis but he also got a new drill and circular saw for himself, so that's his birthday and Christmas money all spent. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting everything out of it's boxes, checking it out by giving them a whirr or two and reading up on the instruction booklets. When DS got back there was a bit of a Show & Tell session. When I pointed out that they were behaving just like a stashaholic (naming no names) who has just opened a package from their favourite online store they just looked blank and couldn't equate the two. LOL

DS obviously needed a chill out after his day out and all the Ooh'ing and Aaah'ing over the Man Toys so when the Alien movie finished he put the Over the Hedge DVD on - one of those animated crittur movies from DreamWorks. Finally had to stop stitching when that was on as I was laughing too much to concentrate. I love the demented squirrel character called Hammy: imagine a talking squirrel on a severe caffeine hype and speed and you'll get the general idea. LOL. It was a good way to round off the weekend. :0)

Alex is due for her regular Monday visit soon, so I've got some of the dreaded H'word out of the way. Going at a much slower pace to usual, due to the regular nose-blowing stops. Having tried out a couple of different types of tissues I can tell you that, whilst the anti-viral properties of a certain type of tissue may be a good idea, they are next to useless in the absorbency department. On the other hand a well-known brand of so-called Men's Tissues may not have any anti-viral or nose soothing properties but are excellent for copious nose blowing absorbency. The rate this household is getting through them at the moment (DS has it too and the third empty box in a week has just gone into the recycling bin) I just wish we had shares in the company! LOL

The parcel from Thread Bear hasn't arrived yet. :0( I suppose the ongoing delays in the postal system and flooding have added a delay factor in. Fingers crossed it arrives soon, as I could really do with the scroll bars, as the ones I'm using for Memories are barely wide enough........ plus I'm desperate to get my hot little hands on the charts that just happened to fall into the basket as I was ordering the bars. ;0)

Thanks for stopping by - hope you've all had a good weekend and that the weeks has got off to a good start for you all. :0)

Sunday, 20 January 2008


Yes, I finally managed to finish both the stitching on the Monthly Challenge piece and make a start on the Memories SAL yesterday. Whooohooo! The snuggle under the fleecy blanket warmed my bones through and I suddenly felt like getting on with some stitching.
Glad this cold has helped me be more productive in areas other than the one that is producing a mountain of snotty tissues that I seem to be slowly disappearing under at the minute! >rolleyes<
No pics of those yet as I can't show the Challenge piece until the 26th and still need to do the finishing now anyway and there's not enough of the SAL done to make it worthwhile posting a pic yet - but if I get enough done today will post one tomorrow. I really like the colours of the SAL and am so glad I changed my mind about the fabric - the linen colour is better and it's lovely to work on.

I enjoyed the cheesey film I watched yesterday too. It was one of those cheap budget disaster "We're all gonna die!" type things that seem to be one of many that's on at the moment (wonder if they're hinting at something we don't know about? LOL). Totally untaxing on the brain - just what was needed. A little more culture was developed in the evening as we watched the first two parts of Sense and Sensibility on BBC 4......... now I do love a good costume drama from the Beeb and DH loves the excuse for a snooze! LOL Enjoyed it but Sorry: once you've seen Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy it rather spoils you - no other fella looks as good in breeches. ;0)

Speaking of culture: DS is now getting involved in a production of Canterbury Tales (modern version, I think, judging by the book he's brough home). This time he's going to be backstage as Stage Manager and it will be very good experience for him, as they are hiring a professional Director.

Right, can't think of anything else to waffle about and my comfy armchair and the Memories SAL is calling.

Thanks for all the kind comments - cold is grotty but it is only a cold and I should be feeling like my old self again in a day or two. Take care all and (((((hugs))))) for anyone who is feeling under the weather.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Snuffly Saturday

No pic of Memories yet as I still haven't made a start! I got side-tracked on Thursday and then we went out for our meal. It's the first time DH and I have been in the restaurant (DS has been a couple of times with friends) and it was lovely: they made a big fuss of us and we were given a complimentary after dinner drink. It was lovely to sit and chat and take our time over the meal - usually DS eats and runs because he's got something on - and not have to do the washing-up after! LOL. By the time we'd walked home, via a trip into Tesco Express for a few bits, and put them away it was around 10pm. I was shattered and had an early night.

Friday I woke up feeling a bit off and sniffly which made me decide not to make a new start, as I couldn't concentrate. I continued stitching on the Monthly Challenge piece instead and made good progress: stitched all of the front, bar the heart, and made a start on a backing piece by stitching the border, which is needed if I do the finish I want to try. I've "personalised" the piece a little by stitching it all in cross stitch, instead of using tent stitch for the flowers and basketweave stitch for the basket. I'll fess up to that being accidental: I failed to read the instructions properly, due to feeling off, but like the result.......... it's also that fine it would be a right royal pain to frog so it's being left well alone!

By bedtime last night I'd got a full-on cold. Result: lousy night and am feeling right out-of-sorts with myself today. Snuggling up under the fleecy blanket while watching old films on TV is about as energetic as it's going to get today. :0(

The package from Thread Bear hasn't arrived yet. One of the items I ordered was a new set of longer length no-stitch roller bars - the sort that have three plastic "clips" each side to secure fabric to the bar - as I wanted to use them so I could chop and change between projects on that particular frame without too much hassle. Had hoped to be sorted for the weekend but it looks like RM are on a go-slow - hope it turns up Monday.

Thanks for the link Dawn, that worked a treat. Not ordered the cream yet but I will be doing some time next week. :0)

Julie: I can't remember who's blog the Thread Bear link was on - if DH spots it on the CC statement I'm blaming everybody. ;0) Mini's are a great first car to learn to drive in: proper "seat of your pants" stuff and so much fun! Hope your DD's test went well.

Well that fleecy blanket is calling, so I'm off. Thanks for stopping by, and for all the nice comments about Mother Earth - hope you all have a good weekend. :0)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Mother Earth

Well I didn't make the anticipated start on Jayne's Memories SAL last night so there aren't any progress pics of that to show today. :0( No idea what happened: the evening just seemed to get away from me and then I felt really tired, which made me realise starting a new project would only end up being a great invitation for that flippin' frog to make a visit, so opted to leave it well alone until today.

Have decided to share some other pics instead. :0) Anyone remember what my HAED Mother Earth project looks like? Just in case it's a dim and distant memory (well, it has been a while) here's the last progress pic I posted: I got all enthusiastic about Her again on the lead up to and during the festive season and made Her my focus piece. I didn't complete a whole page as I wanted to, due to a page being a whole lot bigger and involving a whole lot more stitching than I remembered, but did achieve quite a bit. Here's where I left off at the end of December:
It'll be a while before She comes out again due to the three SAL's and Monthly Challenge pieces I signed up for but, once I get into a routine with those and have my magnifier/light combi, am hoping it won't be too long.

Well, with all this rain we're still having the bit of Mother Earth we live on is decidedly wet and soggy right now. The worms have been coming up through every crack in the paving in my garden and just laying out full stretch - if they could speak they'd probably be gasping: Save me! Save me! I reckon the poor little blighters should opt not to wait for evolution to give them a helping hand in the gills department but go straight for full scuba diving gear instead...... something we're all going to need if this keeps up. >rolleyes<

Julie: I am seriously impressed with your car knowledge. Respect! Said car had its MOT re-test this morning and passed - the bill for that is minimal compared to what it would've been if the garage had done the work. DH and DS are very happy bunnies.
Cars are on my mind because this week I spotted a little black Mini in a drive about 5 or 6 doors up from us and it looks like it's got a For Sale sign in the window....... if ever this flippin' rain stops DH and I will be having a little wander that way for a nosey. :0)

Dawn: I keep trying to have a look at the Fatquarters website but all I keep getting is a web hosting thing come up instead. :0( Any ideas?
I didn't let that stop me though: I spotted someone's link to the Thread Bear site and went for a nosey there instead. Oh, now I remember: that's part of the reason why last night disappeared on me...... they have some rather nice goodies on there and I thought I'd died and gone to Devon! ;0) LOL Let's just say that it wasn't as expensive as it could have been, especially once I realised their WDW threads are a fair bit cheaper than where I usually get them from.
I'd better go and make a start on Memories: we're going out to our local curry house for a meal later which means a couple of hours less time for stitching tonight.
Many thanks to all that take the time to visit and leave comments, it's very much appreciated - it's niceto know that I'm not just blethering away into the ether. :0)

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Update Time

Another UFO Night has been and gone so it's time for another update pic. This is the progress made: That's all of the light grey half cross stitch background bit fully completed and a start made on infilling the patterned areas. I had planned on having another session on this today but have realised, since going on the Stitch'n'Stash Forum this afternoon, that it's the start of Jayne's Memories SAL tonight......... so guess what I will be doing instead! LOL

Earlier in the week I'd had a good look at the fabric for the Memories SAL. I'd opted for the Pol's Heirloom evenweave but when I got a piece of the Heirloom linen (for the latest L*K designs) and compared the two I was a bit taken aback at the difference and soon wished I'd gone for the linen choice that Jayne's original piece was stitched on. A phone call from Jayne later and a piece of the linen was on it's way and arrived yesterday. Note to self: when the designer of a piece clearly states that there's a difference between the fabric used and the alternative and said alternative will give a different look to the finished piece - don't go for the alternative! >rolleyes< Now all set to go with the linen and the evenweave has gone in my stash - it will come in useful for another project somewhere down the line.

I still haven't sorted the fabric for Carol's Amanda SAL but there's still time to get around to doing that - a Forum member called Kathy from the US is very kindly keeping a countdown that gives us all a reminder of how long there is left to get organised. :0)

There's a delay on receiving the Ozark Mystery SAL, which Jayne has kept us informed about, but that won't be starting for a while yet - there's a spare frame ready and waiting to go, so I don't need to do anything else until it's arrived.

The Challenge piece is proving to be that: the 1 over 1 stitching is playing havoc with my eyes. I've got the border and lettering up to T completed so far. One magnifier/light combi desperately needed now, so am going to step up the research for that. Someone did tell me there was a place in Grimsby that sells all kind of hobbyist lighting which is generally at a cheaper cost than you pay in specialist stitching shops.......... only I didn't write it down at the time and now can't remember for the life of me what it's called or whereabouts it is. If I could we'd be having a trip over there on Saturday. Meantime, I've still got a scroll frame going spare, the one that Karen very kindly sent, and Tanglewood and Rosemarkie waiting in the wings. To make another new start, or not to make another new start - that is the question. What do you all reckon? LOL

DH did some more work on the Mini last night. He muttered something about "rubber boot" and "nipping up" when I asked what he was doing. Any ideas what he was on about? Nah, me neither. It involved setting up a light (so he could see) and taking a wheel off and banging about for a bit, then it all went quiet but he was still beavering away out there. The outcome: he got wet and cold for a second time this week but didn't moan (so he must have enjoyed himself again) and the Mini is back on the road again. It must be OK because he and DS gave it a run out to Tesco and back afterwards - with a bit of shopping done while they were down there - and nothing fell off. DS has been to work and back in it today and it's still OK and they're muttering something about MOT and re-test, so it must be sorted. As you can tell cars innards don't mean a lot to me. All that concerns me about them is: if it's got four wheels attached at the four corners, you put fuel in it, switch it on and it goes it'll do fine, thank you. ;0)

One of the results of the Tesco trip was a partly filleted duck which is currently in the oven and roasting. As it and the veggies are just about done I am now off to go serve up and eat it.

Hope that no one is suffering from the horrible flooding due to the bad weather and that you're all having a good day/week so far. :0)

Monday, 14 January 2008

Miserable Monday

No, I'm not referring to me........ it's the weather, which is totally mucky at the moment. How much rain have we had? Too flippin' much: there's a paddling pool in my front drive again and the lawn is so waterlogged the poor worms are gonna need resuscitating if they don't develop gills soon! What with that and the cold, gusty wind I'm far from tempted to go out in it - but what a great excuse to stop in and stitch, eh? ;0)

Here's one of the things I got up to on Saturday whilst DH worked on the Mini: A birthday card for my DSis. Her birthday isn't until the 28th but I wanted to make sure she had her goodies in plenty of time, so made the card and wrapped the pressies and took them with us when we went to visit yesterday. We had a good day but we didn't get back until late, so I didn't make it onto the computer at all. DH did a couple of electrical jobs for her while we went through all the paperwork generated by the legal stuff we've sorted since our Dad passed away and got it all organised, filed and put away. That's every single thing finally finished and the difference in my DSis is great to see. :0)

DH got the new handbrake & bulb fitted to the Mini on Saturday. There wasn't much difference between him and one of those ice sculptures by the time he'd done and it took him a while to defrost but he'd obviously enjoyed himself because he didn't moan once. Julie: we know all about subframes - DH once owned a Mini that seemed to eat them! DS's baby is now back on the road - hope your DD's B/F's baby is too. :0) As well as keeping DH supplied with tea and doing a few jobs I finally made a start on the Challenge piece stitching. Boy, is 1 over 1 on 32ct fine! Am currently doing some research into light/magnifier combinations so I shall be aiming to buy one very soon. Am a little disappointed with one choice of thread I'm using, as a couple of sections of the colourway doesn't show as well on the fabric as I'd have liked it to, but the overall effect is very pretty and is spot on for the look I wanted. BTW, thanks for the offer of help with ideas Karen - I shall probably take you up on it at some stage during these Challenges.

As promised, here are some pics of the lovely gifts I received for Christmas. The purpley Old Willow threads were from Jayne, accompanied by some Rocky Road Choccie that is now looong gone (wow, is that stuff MMMMMMmmmmmmmm!!! Never thought I'd ever say this but it was even better than Thornton's Alpini choccies!). The WDW threads and Mill Hill beads were from Elaine H:
There were some Pol's threads and a lovely pewter charm inside this wonderful hand embroidered bag which were all from Helen I've put a lovely scented soap inside the bag and hung it on the wardrobe door handle in my bedroom, so it smells just as good as it looks. :0)
Thank you again for my lovely gifts ladies - it really is very kind of you and very much appreciated. :0)

My PenPal Maggie, who I started writing to when I responded to her appeal for some charts in one of the cross stitch magazines more years ago than I care to think about, sent me these lovely goodies:

The one that's in the middle at the bottom of the page is a must stitch for my niece Erin.
I haven't stitched any of the Flower Fairies before, so this one will be a first for me. :0)

Thanks Dawn for the website address re: the Udder cream with aloe vera. I shall be checking that out soon.......... if it gets expensive I know who to blame. LOL ;0)

DS is going out tonight to an "all you can eat" Chinese Buffet at a local restaurant for a friends' birthday. His idea of heaven, methinks, but I keep telling him that it shouldn't be seen as a challenge. LOL. Quiet night in for us oldies with, hopefully, DH putting the boxes of decorations back up in the loft out of the way. I reckon I'll get a bit more stitching done at some stage.

Hope you've all had a good weekend and an easy start to the week. :0)

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Goodies Galore

Well 2008 has definitely started off in Stash Heaven as two more packages arrived this morning: a pinkie and a funky blue one. The pinkie contained the Pol's 32ct Heirloom Linen I ordered from Jayne: that's for the new Lizzie*Kate Double Flip's designs - yes, I caved in as soon as I saw these and signed up for the lot (no, I haven't got any willpower at all, in case you were wondering LOL). With the sentiments they contain they were a must have. The blue package contained the lovely goodies for Carol Tinson's Amanda SAL: Lovely colours, aren't they? It wasn't until I opened the pack that I remembered I still need to sort some fabric for this, so will be checking out my stash later in the hopes of having something suitable. Or maybe it'll be a case of Jayne to the rescue again! LOL ;0)

I've realised that, with not posting over the festive season, I haven't shared the pics for my first ever exchange yet: the Christmas Card exchange on Stitch'n'Stash. My partner was Dusty in the USA and here's the first card I sent:
You may recognise this, as it's part of a freebie design from the Lavender & Lace site. The first time around I started it on a piece of opalescent fabric but it didn't stand out at all, so that was ditched and I started again with this: stitched 1 over 1 on a piece of Jayne's Count On Me fabric called Cranberry Milkshake. It's attached to a silver metallic card with star-shaped brads and the thinking behind that was so Dusty had the option of taking it off the card and turning it into an ornie, if she wanted, and being able to re-use the other bits. That card was in the package that I thought had been lost, so I had a mad panic then set to and made another card and sent it:
This is one of my favourite designs (I think I got it as a card kit from Readicut many moons ago, but don't quote me) and I've stitched it a few times over the years and will, one day, stitch it for myself and make it into an ornie. This time I just attached the stitching to the card by small glue dots in the corners so Dusty could make it into an ornie if she wanted to. This second card arrived first and in a very short time, so that was a relief, then the original finally turned up (on Christmas Eve, I think), so that was an even bigger relief! Glad to say that Dusty liked both of the cards and her gifts. I learnt that it's a mistake to mark an airmail package Fragile, especially at Christmas, as it severely delays it through both the UK and US postal systems >rolleyes<

Not sure If I've mentioned I'm taking part in the Stitch'n'Stash/Attic Monthly Challenge which is being co-ordinated by Julie and Karen. The three freebie designs chosen for this month's Challenge were voted on and the one that got the most votes was Eliza's Pyn Pillow a really pretty design from With My Needle. Chart has been duly printed out and fabric and threads chosen (I chose the fabric, DS helped with the thread colours) and I've an idea on a really basic finishing technique to try - as some have already completed theirs I'd better extract my digit and get on with the stitching, especially as it's 1 over 1. I've hardly any confidence with colours and none at all when it comes to finishing techniques, so the thinking behind joining in with this is that it will help me gain some so I will hopefully start to tackle some of the drawer full of finishes I've got that are waiting to be finished off into something.

My DS is on his final day of the Panto run today, with a total of three performances to do. Shattered would be an understatement. DH drove him to the theatre this morning, via Tesco Express so he could stock up on Iso-wotsit drinks and goodies to keep himself going, for a 10a.m. start. As you aren't allowed to take pics or video the performances I thought I'd share the pic from the programme: My DS is the one sat down next to the Panto Dame. Unfortunately you don't get to see much of the tights, so sorry to disappoint you Julie. ;0)

DH drove him there so his Mini could stay here. It failed it's MOT yesterday so DH is changing a bulb in one of the lights and the handbrake cable in an effort to save him some cash - well, it was going to cost £60 before they'd even started doing anything and just what DS didn't need so soon after Christmas. DH had Mini's all through his student days and early working life (I've heard some of the stories - definitely a mis-spent youth!) , so knows them from top to bottom, and (if the truth be told) probably much prefers working on that than doing the DIY jobs in the house. ;0) I'm keeping him topped up with tea - much needed on a day like this.

We are going over to my DSis's tomorrow for the day - if I get back in reasonable time I shall try and post on here, as I've still got a couple of gift pictures to share and may yet change my mind and post an update pic of Mother Earth. DH has taken a pic of my Santa on a broomstick, so hope to share that pic soon too - see, I haven't forgotten! :0)

Thanks again for taking time to visit and leave comments. Hope you are all having a good weekend, despite the iffy weather. :0)

Friday, 11 January 2008

First 2008 UFO Update & More

UFO Night began again this Tuesday but, thanks to a dental appointment involving treatment under sedation, I couldn't stitch then, so did a little on Monday and Wednesday nights instead to make up for it. Here's the progress made:

More work along the bottom section and a little on the far right too - growing slowly but surely. I didn't pick it up at all over the festive season as I concentrated on my HAED Mother Earth piece instead, managing to complete between a third to a half of a page of stitching: no pic yet, as I'd really like to complete the whole page before posting an update.

I received some lovely pink parcels from Jayne this week. One had my regular Monthly Club rainbow of Carrie's threads, another had the new Carrie's colours, which are rather nice, and a third contained the goodies for Jayne's Memories SAL piece:

I thought the colours were rather nice when I saw the design on the Forum but they're even better IRL. The SAL starts soon (16th?) and I can't wait - with these lovely colours it'll be a real pleasure to stitch this piece.

So, what else have I been up to? Well, the Land Registry has finally completed the registration on Dad's house and transferred the Deeds to my DSis, so that's the end of what has been a rather stressful and long-winded set of legal processes we've had to go through since my Dad passed away last April. It's a relief to know it's finally over and that everything has been done as Dad wanted it. My DSis has her independence and can now go ahead with her plans for the future.

The kitchen cupboard still hasn't been completed, so no fireworks yet......... except for the ruddy great rocket that will be needed to motivate DH! ;0) Although he did finally get round to tackling the loose/dodgy floorboards in the back room downstairs (currently my computer and storage room which may well become the intended dining room one day - she says, fingers and everything else crossed). Mind you, after I tripped over an uneven slab and had a fall in the front garden last week and going off on one about that (when I'd recovered from the shock and treated the scrapes - he's been promising we'd have that resurfaced for the last four/five years at least) I almost fell again when the dodgy floorboards cockled under me just a few days later - so he didn't get much option about sorting them. It's only taken a few years for him to get round to doing them. >rolleyes<

I was honoured to have been nominated for the Stitch'n'Stash/Attic UFO Night Stitcher of the Year 2007 and absolutely gobsmacked when Julie told me I'd received the most votes! A BIG thank you once again to those who took the time to vote, to Jayne (without her there'd be no forum) and to Julie & Mr Stick, who's dedication keeps so many stitchers noses to the grindstone each Tuesday night. :0) I received a lovely surprise package in the post: a card, a certificate, the UFO Night Cup (which I will stitch a piece to put in and have earmarked for my friends little girl, who is starting to use big cups), some Fererro Rocher (now long gone LOL), a bunch of artificial roses and a Mr Stick calendar. The calendar has LS Lowry pics and Mr Stick made Julie mark every single UFO Night, just so I won't miss them - that made me laugh. ROFL. UFO Nights in 2008 are going to be really busy for Mr Stick: the regulars are there and lots more stitchers have joined us, so there are plenty of folks for him to wave his stick at. :0) There's such a different range of UFO's - I shall enjoy wayching them all develop each week.

It's Sleeping Beauty Panto week this week and DS has been coming home each night buzzing from the performance. It's had a good write up in the local paper. DH and I went to see it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it: lots of shouting "It's over there", Boo'ing the bad witch and cheering the good Fairy etc etc and singing along to Daisy, Daisy at the end when Daisy the Cook (Panto Dame) got herself a man. It was almost a Full House and there were lots of Junior School age kids in, who really got into the swing of things and gave it a good - and noisy - atmosphere. DS is obviously enjoying his role and gets the kids shouting their heads off for him. LOL. Shame we're not allowed to take pics: he has to wear tights and I'd love to have a pic of that for future use/bribery. Eheheh ;0)

The Dentist visit didn't go well. Let's just say that, when I go back to have the crown fitted, I shall be letting him know I don't enjoy coming round from the sedation mid-way through treatment and that I remember everything that was said and done and am not happy about it. >:-( Another outcome of that visit was finding out my blood pressure was on the high side, borderline on being refused sedation, and he recommended I go see my GP for a check-up. Great: dentist and GP in the same month - oh, joy of joys! Hope it's just a blip but I guess this last year or so has taken its toll plus various family members on Dad's side of the family, including him, had or do have high blood pressure, so it's best to be safe. As my DSis says: most families leave nice things like heirloom paintings and pottery and lots of money and suchlike for family members when they go - ours leaves more of those manky family genes. ROFL.

I shall just have to see if I can get stash on the NHS, rather than meds, as stitching has been proved to have a beneficial effect on such conditions. Do you think they'd go for it? :0)

Oops ..... And a Happy 2008!

Sorry, I hadn't realised it was quite that long since I last Blogged! DH was on holiday over Christmas and New Year and we were busy, which meant I didn't have as much time to myself as usual, so I'm afraid my Blog suffered as a result and I sort of got out of the habit. Hopefully I shall make up for it now. :0)

I hope you all had a very good festive season and thank you to those who sent cards and gifts, which were very much appreciated (hope to post pics in the next few days, in a belated catch-up session).
Here's wishing that 2008 will be a happy, healthy and peaceful year for all. Brightest of Blessings. :0)