Saturday, 31 May 2008

Normal Service.....

has just about been resumed, I'm glad to say. :0)

DH and I had the trip to the Mind, Body and Spirit event at the Lincolnshire Showground today. We went a little later than planned, getting there just after 2pm. The late arrival meant I didn't have time to have my tarot cards read - or have any Reiki - but we did have a good wander round, soaking up the atmosphere, spent a little money, listened to some great toe-tapping live folk music (the chap also played a digeridoo) and watched medium Simon Goodfellow give messages to people from their departed loved ones. He's quite a funny bloke and there were a few laughs in there. I almost got a message. LOL He pointed me out as the lady in the green dress (yes - I actually wore a dress and not my habitual trousers!) but Henry or Harold didn't ring a bell and even less so was the name Nettie.......... turned out the message was for a lady on the opposite side of the room who was wearing a green top. After receiving messages from my Dad when we saw Ian Lawman at the Pink Pig I really wasn't expecting one again so soon, so didn't mind when it wasn't for me, but I'd so hoped that my SIL Helen would come through for my DH. Never mind, maybe another time - then let him say he doesn't really believe in it. LOL

We left when it all ended (5pm), bought an icecream apiece from the van in the car park and sat eating it near our car whilst the remaining people left. The weather was lovely and we were parked near a tree, close to open fields and away from most of the other cars, so it tempted us to linger a while and enjoy the quiet. We then had a nice, steady drive home and sat out in the garden having a cold drink afterwards, still buzzing from the great atmosphere at the event. :0)

We came away with a nice little haul: more Mother's Fragrance incense sticks and some special Isis incense (to be used on a burner); a couple of CD's; a herbal tea infusion (Menopause mix, so guess who that's for LOL); a bar of Olive Oil soap; a book on Dreams; a couple of embroidered velvet bags for my Rune and Angel cards; a Moon-gazing hare ornament (been looking for one of these for a while - now sitting on the hearth in the living room); leaflets galore for similar forthcoming events and various therapies and the following A4 poster:

It made me laugh out loud when I first read it - it's a great attitude to have to life and is something I fully intend on doing. LMAO

It's been a quiet evening for me, sharing my time between the computer and TV (too tired to risk picking up a needle), whilst DH popped along to show his face at an evening wedding "do". One of the Italian chaps who has been over here regularly to work on the Disaster Five project has married a local lass, so DH felt like helping them celebrate. :0)

Well that's about it for now as I need my bed, especially as we have another outing planned for tomorrow.

Thank you for the well wishes. Now whatever you're all doing this weekend I hope it's fun. :0)

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Post Holiday Blues?

I seem to be having a bout of something like them at the moment, despite just having had a good Bank Holiday weekend. You know what I mean: you feel generally out of sorts with yourself and everything around you, everything seems like too much trouble, so you just can't be bothered, and your stitching mojo keeps wanting to pack it's bags and go off on a holiday all on its own. Not helped by the weather which is either warm and humid, so it feels like you're breathing treacle, or it's raining so I can't get outdoors to try and alleviate my mood. I learnt some time ago that it's best just to go with the flow when I feel like this, doing what I fancy doing when the mood strikes, as fighting it just leads to a deeper low that takes much longer to get over. Thankfully the worst of it seems to be passing now. :0)

Before the intermittent mojo really took hold I finished Part 5 of the Ozark SAL:
I made a couple of changes: the two motifs were different on the chart but I prefer things like that to be symmetrical so stitched them both the same and the numbers were supposed to be the same colour as the alphabet but I thought it would look a little heavy like that, so stitched it in the same colour as the motifs. The lighter areas of that thread get a little lost on the fabric but I like it anyway.

I got a couple of pinkies this week too, which helped to lift my mood.
There's the Twisted Oaks/Dinky Dyes Breast Cancer Needle Nanny (will be thinking of SIL Helen when I stitch that) and my regular Monthly Clubs of Carries threads and Sassy's fabric. So many lovely colours! I quite fancy stitching a single thread project using Plymouth Red, it's such a lush colour. :0)

So what else have I been up to?
Stitching-wise: about two threads worth on Night Watchman before giving it up as a lost cause for now. A little more progress on Cleo (update another time) but I've started on the 1 over 1 Petit Point face, so it's best done a little at a time. I did have a total block on the Monthly Challenge piece, despite having the fabric and thread all sorted, ready to go - thankfully that lifted last night and I made a start (sorry, no pics until Reveal Day later this month). I actually feel like sitting and stitching that again now, so will be off to do more when I've finished here.
Memories and For Amanda are still waiting in the wings but I've had a block on those as well - I will get round to them eventually!
Tuesday UFO Night I just couldn't decide on a new UFO, was really fed-up with myself and not fancying touching anything "new", so stitched a little on Cleo instead. I reckon normal service will be resumed next week, so please be gentle with me Mr Stick! LOL

As for the Bank Holiday weekend: Saturday was Brigg Farmers Market and DS went with Alex to do some shopping. Meantime, DH and I did some house and garden jobs. I raked up a lot of dried and strimmed grass - that didn't help things, as I set off my back and was seriously aching for a couple of days afterwards. Despite that DH and I had a trip to my DSis's on Sunday, with dinner at The Servery then on to Strikes Garden centre afterwards. DSis bought more compost, some willow trellis and a few plants for a couple of pots she'd forgotten about - we spent some time in her garden when we got back, putting in the new plants and doing some tidying up (I did everything very carefully!). Monday DS and DH worked on the Mini, so I took things easy and completed the Ozark SAL section in between doing a couple of jobs - Alex didn't come round, as she was visiting her parents. Tuesday DS was back at work but DH was still off (the steelworks always have an extra day for this BH, not sure why), so we had a trip out to the garden centre at Kirton after dinner. We are on a hunt for a small weeping willow tree: normal ones can grow up to 25 feet, which is way too big for our garden, but you can get smaller ones that have been grafted onto smaller trunks - the bulk of these seem to grow to around 6ft but we want one to grow to around 7 - 8ft, as our garden is big enough to take it. Not found one yet but there are several more garden centres to try, so we're not giving up just yet. :0)
DH went back at work Wednesday so I was busy catching up on jobs that needed doing. Thursday Alex came for a visit, bringing Grace with her. It was good to have a catch up on news and see Grace, who has grown quite a bit since last time I saw her, and her speech and imagination have developed a heck of a lot too. I'd forgotten how much hard work kids of that age can be...... and how entertaining they are too. It was an absolute delight to hear her yell out my DS's name when he got in from work: she was so excited she couldn't stand still and launched herself at him as soon as he stepped through the door - my 22 year old DS just seemed to melt as soon as he saw her. Grace is his god-daughter and it's obvious they adore each other. :0)

Today I've already got most of my jobs out of the way so am planning some afternoon stitching for a change, with a blog catch-up later (yes, I've got behind again!) - that's if I don't get distracted by the new book I'm currently reading. Yes, I am definitely feeling brighter, as up until today I couldn't even be bothered to pick a new book......... not me at all, as I love reading.

Weekend plans: continue with the great willow tree hunt LOL; there's a car show event somewhere around town that will have a couple of motorhomes on display, so we'll be popping along to that for a nosey at those and there's also a Mind, Body and Spirit event on at Lincolnshire Showground - a touch of Reiki and a nosey round the crystal and Pagan stalls will do me a power of good. :0)

Hope all in the UK had a great BH weekend and that all of you enjoy this coming weekend. Thank you for visiting. :0)

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Christmas In May????

The planned start on the next part of the Ozark SAL didn't happen on Wednesday night. No, I didn't give in and stick with Cleo either. A new start then? Nope.......... as it was such lovely weather DH and I had some time out in the garden, doing some weeding and general tidying up, after our evening meal had settled - all that fresh air (well, as fresh as it gets round here) and work did for us, so we had an early night instead. Must have gone sound off too because there wasn't a peep out of us until the alarm went off this morning........ wouldn't say either of us exactly leapt out of bed, eager to start the new day, either. LOL

The result of that is (apart from the aching muscles): no stitching update pics to share.
It hasn't been a totally craft-free zone though, because the cardmaking bug bit this afternoon. After seeing the lovely stitched Christmas cards and ornie on Mylene's blog it made me feel all festive, so I decided to be well organised and start my cards early too. Thanks for the inspiration Mylene. :0)

When DS had the tidy up (sorry Karen: I reckon it's a one-off event,a mental aberration, so no chance of you loaning him. LOL) he unearthed the snowman toppers I used on the first two cards:

I'd forgotten all about those, so it was nice to "find" them again and put them to good use. :0)

Next up was this quick and easy card:I made another three after these but will post the pics of them another time. I figure if I continue to make at least a couple of cards a month there should be plenty to send out by the time the festive season gets here. I'll probably also be well Christmassed out by then too! LMAO

I've now decided on which two designs to stitch for the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge and have the charts printed out ready to go. (Thanks again for posting the other links Karen). I know what fabric and threads I'm using on the first piece - just need to decide on the other. If the Ozark SAL still isn't shouting loudly enough tomorrow I reckon I'll start the first Challenge piece instead. Sorry folks....... won't be able to share these until Reveal Day, which I think is now the 23 June.

I've managed to do a reasonable amount of blog reading since being home but there are still a few more I need to visit - I will get there soon, I promise. Oh, for a few more hours in the day! ;0)

Thank you for taking the time to visit and especially for the kind comments - they are all greatly appreciated. :0)

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Another UFO Night Success

Last night was Tuesday UFO Night over at the JA/S&S Forum. Yes, Julie, I was good and left Cleo alone and stitched on my UFO instead....... so Mr Stick's services won't be needed. LOL
I was so close to a finish but had to call it a day around midnight when my eyes had finally had enough of the 1 over 1. I'm no quitter though, not when a Happy Dance is calling loudly, so when I'd finished my lunch I picked it up and carried on until it was finally completed.

The details, for those who need to know: the piece is called Love Is You and was a Limited Edition design by Carol Tinson of Heirloom Embroideries, issued for Valentine's 2007 via her forum. Fabric is Permin (Wichelt) 28ct Lambswool Linen and the silk threads I used are: VC Heart Wood and Kaalund Poinsettia. All stitched 1 over 1. It was started back in February 2007 - not my longest ever UFO piece but it is good to get it completed and have one less guilt trip in my workbasket to deal with. ;0)

Many thanks to Julie and Mr Stick and all the girls for all the encouragement. The group sure is on a roll for finishes at the moment - I think this is one of three completed this week!
I shall be back next Tuesday with yet another UFO....... not sure which one yet, will decide that on the night.

As there's no other stitchy pics here are the ones of the swans. Momma swan on the nest:

Not sure if this was pre or post hatching - guess if it was post hatching DH would have been fending off Poppa swan before he could get the camera out. LOL

Here's the proud Momma and her three babies:

Up on the bank there's a Mallard drake to the left and Canada Geese in the background - Poppa swan regularly gave them hell. LOL The Geese were about the noisiest things there - no traffic noise, no blaring stereo systems, no emergency services sirens blaring, no Friday/Saturday night drunks shouting and using the gate post as a urinal........... nothing. Sheer Bliss! :0)

The proud parents with babies: Notice Poppa swan swimming towards us? He may have had a limp but he sure could move fast when he thought Momma and babies were under threat. He reckoned my cousin got too close one day and was across the water and up the bank, hissing and snapping like a demented thing, before my cousin realised what was happening. We didn't hang around when we saw him swimming in our direction: we took the final shot of the view of Lincoln Cathedral and walked back to the cabin, leaving them in peace.

Helen: the cabins (or Lodge's, as they call them) are great. They are big enough that we all said we could quite fancy living in them! They are also extremely well kept, equipped and clean and Katie and Tim (owners) are lovely - any problems and they are only too happy to help. We can also highly recommend the breakfast and summer baskets they've started doing this year: mostly locally produced farm foods in them (the salmon and asparagus quiche was huge and very tasty!). Can recommend some good eating places too. Let me know if you want any more info. :0)

Tonight's stitching plans: I might just start the next part of the Ozark SAL....... if Cleo doesn't shout too loud. ;0) I also have to decide soon on which of the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge pieces I want to stitch and pull the fabric and threads for it. Due to the technical glitches the votes were lost, so it's been decided the best thing is to let us choose whichever one (or two!) of the freebies we want to stitch. We've also been given extra time for completion, due to everything being in limbo while the forum was down......... so if I really knuckle down I could conceivably stitch and make up two items (one for me and one as a gift). All pics will be posted in the album and I'm really looking forward to viewing that, especially as there's going to be even more variety than usual. :0)

Thanks for stopping by. Wherever you are: hope the weather is being kind and you're having a great day. :0)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Some Holiday Snaps

As promised, here are some of the pics we took on holiday.
This is the view of the fishing pond we saw, through the patio doors of our log cabin, whenever we sat on the sofa:Look closely and you'll see a fishing brolly to the right. That guy was there, in the same spot, every day from first thing after an early breakfast until gone tea time - he must have had an enormous bladder because all the time we were there we never saw him once go back to his cabin for a loo break! LOL

The view from the back of the fishing pond, looking back at the cabins:

Our uncle, aunt and cousin were in the one on the right, us in the one next to it. The two cabins on the left were newly built over the winter.

At the back of the fishing pond is an embankment, built to act as a wind break as it's open fields for miles over the other side. This is the view across the fields from the top of it:
Look closely and you might just see Lincoln Cathedral in the distance. It dominates the whole area, so you can see why they chose to build there.

Here are the coot family, having an outing on the fishing pond:

The little fella at the back was always lagging behind - not sure if that was because he was just slower or if he was trying to make out he was braver than the others. He's got a beady eye on DH though.......... so maybe he was just posing for the camera! LOL

We heard the owls screeching and hooting on several nights but didn't manage to see any of them this time around. The foxes were also heard but not seen, though leftovers from their rabbit meals were dotted about in various places. The hares proved just as elusive - the crops in the fields were much higher than last year and they were keeping their heads well down........ DSis saw them twice, I only spotted them once. Badgers had moved in since last year and had created a sett in one of the embankments: lots of paw prints and some scat but they proved to be elusive too. Plenty of varied birdlife around and there were just too many rabbits to count! Oh, and one day, when we were driving back to the cabins (down a single track lane) what we think was a red deer fawn popped out from the hedgerow and trotted down the lane in front of us for several yards before disappearing into the hedgerow on the other side. It was a wonderful moment - once we'd got over the shock of almost turning it into a speed bump! LOL :0)

We love going on holiday with family but I've suggested to DH that it might be nice if just the two of us went back for a week, or long weekend, at some point. It would be nice to have another chill out but this time doing things at our pace - taking more time to sit and watch the bird and animal life and doing a little walking around the area to see if we can spot more. He likes the idea, especially as he gets a bonus of an extra week's holiday this year.

More pics another time of the swans and cygnets........ I've got to go chop an onion and fry some lamb mince for tea etc etc. Plus it's UFO Night tonight, so I've got to leave off Cleopatra and pick up Love Is You or Julie and Mr Stick will have something to say about it. ;0)

Thanks again for stopping by..... and I will be having a catch up with your blogs very soon. :0)

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Wanderer Has Returned!

I am now officially back from my holiday and in catch-up mode after a whole week without a computer. Yes, you read that right........ a whole week! *Faint*

We arrived home on Saturday but, in an effort to extend the holiday a little longer, called in at Brigg Garden Centre for dinner first.................... well...... actually, it was more to do with trying to avoid the inevitable laundry session and not wanting to see the state of the house after DS was home alone for a week.
Actually we got a shock when we did go home.......... he'd had the week off, due to it being Show Week (he was Stage Manager for Canterbury Tales), and in the daytime had actually been sorting things out and having a tidy up! That's no wrecked house due to wild parties, no dirty dish mountain in the sink, no overflowing rubbish bins and no smelly out-of-date food in the fridge - instead there was a heap of stuff moved from the back room (some to the hospice charity shop, some found homes elsewhere in the house/workshop/shed, some unwanted/useless stuff binned) and my craft things, which were being temporarily homed in the living room, had been transferred into the cleared space in the back room. I walked into the living room and nearly ran out, thinking I'd gone into the wrong house! LOL So impressed - I told DH we should go away more often if this is the result. LMAO.

I was going to post a couple of holiday pics of the cute coot babies and cygnets that were swimming on the fishing pond where we stayed (they hatched out while we were there) but the digicam managed to hide in the back of the car and has gone to work with DH. I'll bore you with those pics later in the week instead. ;0)

You've probably already seen this on Julie's Blog by now but I thought I'd show pics of the page marker I made and sent to her just before going on holiday.

A rather bad/blurry close up:
It's Alphabet Tree by Blue Ribbon Designs, stitched 1 over 1 on Polstitches 28ct Pearl evenweave using Kaalund silk thread Silky Oak. I do like this design! The back was finished with a piece of cotton backing fabric and it involved using the sewing machine......... which has a nasty habit of galloping off to do it's own thing, so the finishing wasn't as neat as I'd have liked. So glad that it arrived safely and that Julie liked it. :0)

I've had a lot of enjoyment out of making and sending these little surprises, so think it just might have to happen again soon. :0)

The weather was kind to us while we were away, so we were out and about a fair bit: trips to Market Rasen on Monday and Friday, so we could look round the shops and buy goodies from The Rainbow Room (our favourite place); a trip to Louth on Tuesday; Wednesday was a quick trip into Wragby, with a chill out the rest of the day and Thursday was a trip to Horncastle (antique shops and a trawl round lots of charity shops - result: a nice stash of second-hand books to read), with a trip back to the Pink Pig in the evening for our Night with Ian Lawman (psychic). Each evening (apart from Thursday) we took it in turns to host the Trivial Pursuits sessions........ you'd be surprised at just how competitive that gets. There's me, DSis and our cousin in the Young 'Uns team and DH, Aunty and Uncle in the Wrinklies team and we won 5 games to 4.......... but the Wrinklies were promising to whup our asses this time next year. LMAO.

I seemed to lose my stitching mojo whilst away and only managed a very small amount on Night Watchman - definitely not worth showing an update pic, as it'll hardly look any different from the previous one. I made a start on Queen Cleopatra and only managed the right hand side of her hair but after I got home the mojo quickly returned and I did far more. This is where I left off last night:

It's stitching up a treat and has me well and truly hooked, so I'll be carrying on with it for now.......... despite the next Ozark pack dropping through the letterbox and the final part of Jayne's Memories SAL arriving in my Inbox while I was away. Guess I'll get round to them eventually. ;0)

Thankfully the worst of the technical problems over at JA/S&S Forum are now sorted. Yay! So glad my usual log-in name of milfurnace is now being recognised, so I haven't lost my Supreme Chatterbox status........... I worked real hard at gaining that, so I want to keep it! LOL It's good to see everyone gradually getting back in again.

Glad to say that all the laundry finally got finished today. Yay! The regular Monday jobs were also tackled and Alex popped round for her usual chat and coffee late this afternoon - our first nattering session for several weeks, due to holidays and things, so there was a lot to catch up on. Hopefully I shall start catching up on blog reading/commenting in the next few days and see what you've all been up to while I was away......... hope you've been good!

Christine: got a great mental image of you scarifying those poor slugs and snails with those blue pellets of doom! ROFLMAO

Thank you for stopping by and for all the kind comments - all much appreciated. :0)

Friday, 9 May 2008

An Owl and More Flowers

Well here is the Night Watchman update and, when I added the pic to my Webshots album and compared it to the previous one, there's actually been more progress than I thought: I set myself a goal of stitching all along the top edge to the opposite corner before going on holiday - goal achieved. Yay! I'll be taking this and the small Cleopatra kit with me. I'm not sure how much, if any, stitching will actually be done whilst we're away - we tend to have evenings playing Trivial Pursuits and nattering with Uncle, Aunty and cousin (with liberal quantities of wine and nibbles always available for those who want to partake) - but at least I'll have a choice of pieces if there is a chance to sit and stitch.

I've made a token start of the holiday packing but can't do any more until DH is here, so I know what he wants to take - normally he would have today off as well but he had to go into work this morning because the Italians are over here again and he had to be there for the morning meeting with them. The problem is the weather is nice at the moment but it isn't guaranteed to stay that way, so what shall we take - mostly summer or mostly winter clothes? Oh, the joys of holidays in England. ;0) LOL

Thought I'd follow up with a few more pics of my garden. As we step out of the back door and face down the garden this is the area we first see, which is to the right of the air raid shelter. DH put the pots on the board hoping it would deter the slugs and snails from eating them but, as you can see, it hasn't worked. Look closely and you will see an orange tub in the top right corner of the pic: that's the beer trap, which is highly successful. I don't like killing critters but we can't have the slugs and snails thinking we're planting all these flowers just to give them a hugely varied diet - at least with the beer trap they die sozzled and happy!

The rose tree, called Friendship, was given to me for my birthday at least ten years ago by a friend - I knew her through her DS and mine being friends at school but, unfortunately, I no longer saw her after she started working full time. You can also just about see one of the lavender plants my Dad gave me - looking forward to that blooming later in the season. :0)

To the right of the above area is a path that leads down the garden, to the old shed, and the privet hedge between our garden and the neighbours. These pots sit along the wider bit of the path:

The little garden ornaments were gifts to DS, when he was little, by his Nana and Grandad (my Mum and Dad) . There's an owl, a bunny, a hedgehog and a tortoise (who is hiding behind the bunny). The large green pot has a bay tree in it, along with a rocket plant (DH likes that - I don't, yuk!) and some spring onions. The little brown pot has a fern in it that I hope will recover after it was frost damaged earlier in the year. The two bushy plants to the left and right of the big pot, plus the Lupin in the blue pot, are waiting to go in the front garden. That tatty old fencing is at the base of the privet hedge and just about helps to keep the neighbours rabbits in their garden. :0)

This is my Lady pot: She is to the right of the front door and is planted with the trailing violas we bought last weekend. Aren't they pretty? They are also doing much better than the cyclamen that was in there previously - another casualty of the late frosts.

This is the corner of the front garden:
The bluebells are trying to take over the place at the moment....... as are those pesky little dandelions. We haven't done much with the front as we need to do some work here: firstly putting in a new water pipe to the house, then having the driveway block paved. We'll be keeping that garden area around the edges of the walls though. :0)

That's all the pics of the bits that are fit to be seen, so I won't be boring you with any more of those. :0)

Right, that's me off to have a pre-holiday catch-up with Blog reading while DH has a sit down and a cuppa, then it'll be on with the packing.

Thanks again for visiting. Hope you all have a great weekend and an enjoyable week - be good while I'm away! ;0)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Our Garden

No stitchy pics today I'm afraid, as I can't show one piece until after it's arrived in its new home and I'm leaving a Night Watchman update until tomorrow. Thought I would share some pics of parts of our garden instead.

I've often mentioned Arthur and Guinevere and here they are:
Usually he looks a little sterner than this, so I guess he didn't mind having his photo taken. Guinevere, on the other hand, is looking a little coy. LOL
They are either side of the back door (well, actually, it's on the side of the house but leads into the back garden) and the flowers are Lemon Pansies.

At the back of the house we have a sun lounge that has double patio doors that look straight onto the back garden. We have a tiny patio area (to be extended) and these are the pots that share it with a couple of plastic chairs:

As you may be able to tell, I have a fondness for pansies and violas. :0)

These two pots (the one on the left is the new one we bought a couple of weekends ago) sit to the right and in front of the patio area, by the side of the old air raid shelter, but the narcissi are now past their best and the other flowers aren't yet properly established: Yes, we have an actual old brick built air raid shelter in our back garden, a remnant of WWII, when the local steelworks was on the Nazi bombing list. The old door (at the back) was bricked up, a new one put in facing the house and the floor partially filled in so it could be used for storing things. I guess it was decided it was too much hassle to knock it down because of the solid concrete roof - we also use it for storage but most of it is hidden under a mass of ivy, honeysuckle and winter flowering jasmine. :0)

This is the little bit of planted area at the bottom of our garden which is between DH's workshop to the left and the old shed to the right:

If you look closely you may just see my Green Man peeping out from all that mass of greenery. There are also bluebells and even some white ones (harebells? though they didn't quite make it into the pic). My Dad gave me the shrubs a couple of years ago - don't ask me what they are though, I can never remember, but they'll be covered in small pinky/red flowers a little later in the season - and since we put the Green Man up they've just gone mad. Look again and you may even see those triffids I mentioned in my last post. LOL

There's much more garden but it needs a lot more work doing to it before it's fit to be shown here - we've had a long-term problem with ground elder and have been trying to sort that out before going ahead with any new planting - so now you know why we have so many pots to satisfy my flower cravings. ;0) I prefer gardening without chemicals but DH is a weedkiller fiend..... I've had to admit defeat and give in to the inevitable because continually digging it up hasn't worked so far and we're just not able to keep doing it. If anyone knows the best stuff to zap this weed with please let me know.

On the car front: we are now owners of one Honda CR-V........ or, at least, we will be when we get back from our holiday. They can't get it serviced, valeted and the paperwork sorted in such a short time span, so we decided it was best to let them hang on to it for the week we are away as it will also give them time to fit a towbar to it. There isn't a problem: DH decided to keep the Trooper anyway, for going to work in, until he can find a smaller, more economical car. Due to the state of the roads and the layer of corrosive muck that the cars get covered in on the works it's made him adamant he's not taking the new car anywhere near there - can't say I blame him really as I've seen what it's done to the Trooper's bodywork over the years. Boys and their toys though, eh? ;0) LOL

Guess that's about it for now........ if you've got this far you deserve a medal. :0)

Oh, nearly forgot! Kyri: if it's the Love Is You piece you were asking about it's by Carol Tinson of Heirloom Embroideries. It was a Limited Edition piece (only so many available) and, if I've remembered rightly, was only available through her Yahoo Forum for a short time.

Many thanks for taking the time to visit and for all the lovely comments girls, you really do make my day. :0)

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

A Tuesday UFO Night Update

Well, despite the JA/S&S Forum having technical glitches, the regular Tuesday UFO Night went ahead as normal......... I tell you, that Julie and Mr Stick are real hard task masters. ;0) LOL Here's where I left off:

Not as much progress as I'd have liked but my eyes were tired last night, so the 1 over 1 was a bit hard on them and took longer to do as a result. Still progress is progress. :0)

I actually had a late start with my stitching last night too. While we were out car hunting on Sunday we spotted one we liked but couldn't go back on Monday for another look because I wasn't feeling up to it. So, last night DH had a flyer from work, picked me up and we went to the garage to give the car a test run. We liked it even more after that and got them to take details of the Trooper so they could give us a trade-in price for it. When we'd done there we decided, as we were going to drive past it anyway, to stop and call in at the Malt Shovel for our tea - the steak pie, chips and veggies were very nice and made a change from my usual choice of salmon.
The garage phoned this morning with a trade-in price and DH is now deciding what to do next - fingers crossed we will have a new car very soon (as in: before we go on holiday on Saturday!). :0)

I realised after posting last night that I forgot to include a pic of the card I sent to Helen, although I guess most of you have already seen it on her blog already - but because I haven't got any other stitching pics to share yet I thought I'd post it anyway:
Here's one I also made and sent to Dawn, as she also had an operation recently:
I hope it arrived OK and that she's recuperating well.

I've got a new project prepared, ready to take with me on holiday in case I get bored with Night Watchman and want a change. No, not one of the ones mentioned in a previous post (I love your idea of how to choose which one Helen - may try that after I get back, if I still can't decide) but another kit from my stash. It's a small'ish piece by Lanarte called Cleopatra .Yes, I know.......... another Egyptian piece. All I can say is I'm a glutton for punishment, although this one is waaaaay smaller than ET, so won't give me as much hassle............ hopefully! LOL

Well, if I'm ever going to have that Blog catch-up I'd best get on with it - last count there were over 50 new posts to read! What have you all been up to? ;0)

Hope you're all having the same lovely weather I'm enjoying at the moment. Thank you for visiting. :0)

Monday, 5 May 2008

Bank Holiday Weekend

I forgot to share pics of the new goodies I received on Friday morning - Plum Street Samplers charts I'd pre-ordered from Jayne: A bit of a surprise, as I didn't expect them to arrive for a while yet. I so love the tongue-in-cheek type of humour in these designs. :0)

The BH weekend got off to a good start with the arrival of more new stash on Saturday morning, my May's Monthly Clubs from Jayne's Attic:

Another lovely rainbow of colours and the fabric is another lovely one. :0)

So what did we get up to over the weekend then? Well, the short version is: a wander down the local High Street to post a couple of packages, do a little shopping and have dinner at the Il Sorriso cafe, followed by a couple of house jobs on Saturday; dinner out at a local garden centre with some plant buying (flowers and veggies) after, then a look round a couple of local garages at cars, then potting up the plants in the evening on Sunday; a quieter day Monday, as I was feeling very arthritic and had to take pain killers, so I finished the making up on a stitched piece - DH mowed the lawn and did a few other jobs in the garden. After such lovely weather and so much time spent in the garden the brown recycling bin is well and truly full, so it's a good job it's emptied this week! Unfortunately, despite all the attention it received, the garden still looks like there's a triffid or two out there. :0)

The Monthly Challenge piece, the Caron Keeper, I stitched last month has safely arrived in it's new home with Helen, so I can now post some pics. Here's a view of the front: The fabric was an unlabelled piece from my stash (28ct, I think, and a sort of mix between milk chocolate and milky coffee - difficult to describe) and the thread is Carrie's Creations Polar Bear. The edges are decorated with cream Mill Hill beads and I made a little hanging loop from the same beads too.

The back view:
I added a little "Made with Love" charm close to the hanging loop but you can't quite see it in the pic - I'm still learning as I go along with this digicam/photography lark. Each time I picked this piece up I kept thinking of Helen, so knew I had to send it to her. I was very nervous about it though, I must say, and am so happy she likes it. :0)

The stitched piece I finished on Monday is all wrapped, packaged and addressed ready for a trip to the Post Office, to be sent to its new home. I'm very nervous about this one too as it's the first time I've used the sewing machine to finish a piece - me and sewing machines don't get on that well! I'll post a pic when I know it's arrived.

The JA/S&S Forum is still not recognising me as a member so it's full-on cold turkey here at the moment and it's not nice. :0( I miss reading the news and seeing all the pics of the beautiful pieces everyone has been stitching. Those Yahoo forums just aren't the same, so I hope the technical glitch is fixed soon because I'm really missing everybody. :0(

Stitching wise: I've been working on Night Watchman since finishing the gift piece but I'll leave an update pic for another time. It just doesn't seem to grow very fast.

I've managed to get behind with Blog reading and commenting again, with being out-and-about so much, so hope to have a catch up in the next couple of days.

Thanks again for taking the time to visit - hope you're all having a good week. :0)

Friday, 2 May 2008

Don't Panic! Don't Panic!

That's what I'm busy telling myself right now in true Corporal Jones/Dad's Army fashion. Why? Because, due to changing servers, the JA/S&S forum is currently down. Shrieeeeek! No stitching buddies chat since yesterday afternoon and I'm having withdrawal symptoms and going through separation anxieties here - so hope it's back up and running soon because I'm missing everybody. Sob!

So, what do you do when you can't have your daily forum fixes? Well...... there's Blogging catch ups and crafting and, if you're feeling really desperate......... eBay! Eheheh. ;0)

In the end I wasn't in the mood for the planned cardmaking session yesterday but the mood did take me today, so I made this:I don't actually know anyone who is retiring any time soon but there do seem to be a few ready for the off at the steelworks, from what DH tells me, so it will probably come in for one of the chaps there.

This one is all set for our Wedding Anniversary in July:

That's providing I haven't panned him in the meantime, that is. ;0) LOL Panned = heavy based frying pan/skillet to head, in case you were wondering. Unfortunately you can't swear blind to the police officer that it was an accident: "What, he hit his head on the floor a dozen times?" says the PO. "Oh, yes Officer, it was the weirdest thing - he just kept bouncing" says the wife. LMAO Only joking: if I haven't done it in the last 23 years it's unlikely I'll do it now. Anyway, knowing me, I'd be more likely to drop the darned pan and break my own toes before getting anywhere near DH! LOL

Another of yesterday's plans that didn't happen was stitching the central motif on the For Amanda SAL. When it came to it I just didn't feel like tackling it, so picked up a small 1 over 1 piece I started some time ago and stitched on that instead. That's another one I can't show you though because, if it turns out OK when I've completed it and done the finishing, it'll be another one going off to a new home. :0)

Well DS announced yesterday that he'd had a look at the holiday calendar at work and he can have the first two weeks in August off: where are we going? There was me and DH thinking he'd finally decide to trot off with his mates for a holiday, leaving us to have a quiet week or two somewhere by ourselves, taking things at our own pace, and at a time when the kids would all be safely back in school. Don't get me wrong, we love kids (had one of our own, enjoy seeing our nephew and nieces and I even used to be a playgroup supervisor) but we've got to the stage now that we would prefer to go places and not have to listen to someone else's badly behaved little monster/s having a tantrum when all we want is a quiet meal. DS didn't go off like that when he was little, so we don't see why we should have to put up with it from someone else's kid/s. We also don't want to have to avoid going to places at certain times just because we know it'll be heaving with families.
Help! I think we're turning into a pair of grumpy old f*rts! LOL

Weekend plans involve making sure everything we need for our week away at Rural Roosts is washed and ironed, ready for packing - so looking forward to the peace and quiet there. Must take the binoculars with us, as it's a birdwatching paradise. :0) Hopefully the weather will behave so we can get some gardening jobs done and I have a feeling DH may want to have a look at a couple of cars as well. Am pretty sure I shall also manage to fit in a bit of stitchy time here and there too. :0)

Thanks again for stopping by and for the comments - hope you all have a great weekend. :0)

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Beltane Blessings..... one and all - hope you are all having a happy May Day. :0) Here's a lovely pic I snagged from the internet of a pretty May Queen.It's been a lovely sunny day so far and the birds have been singing their hearts out - a wonderful day to be alive and certainly one to be out in the garden, enjoying Mother Nature at her best, which I've been doing throughout the morning. :0)
For the curious out there here is a link about Beltane and how some Pagans may choose to celebrate this happy occasion. Oh and just to set your minds at rest, so you aren't left with any traumatising mental images: the only times I do sky clad is in the shower or bath 'cos I don't consider getting arrested for flashing my booty at the neighbours a great way of celebrating any occasion. ;0) LMAO.

A great way of getting any day off to a good start is by receiving a stash parcel and here are some of the goodies I ordered from Thread Bear:

Can't show you the others as they're going to be pressies - the rest of my order will follow at a later date and I'll share pics of those when they arrive.

I completed the finishing on the Monthly Challenge piece last night - finally! Yay! I've taken a couple of pics but, as I said in my last post, I can't show them yet as the piece is off to a new home. This is the first time I've sent anything bigger than a stitched card to a fellow stitcher so I'm pretty nervous about it - all I can say is I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and just hope the recipient likes it.

The empty scroll frame (the one that had ET on it) is shouting louder and louder to me to fill it with a new project but the ditherer in me still can't decide which one it'll be. I've crossed this years L*K charts off the list because I haven't got all the threads needed and really don't want to go buying anything else now until after our holiday this month - it would be nice to take a little spending money with me. LOL There's the Papillon SAL, though that needs a floss toss on the COM Jonquil fabric before that can be started, but everything is kitted up and all set to go on LDS Rosemarkie, IC Tanglewood and Chatelaines Autumn Dusk......... those three are so different it's difficult to know which way to jump. Shout up ladies: which would you go for?

In the meantime, the perle thread for stitching the heart motif on the For Amanda SAL has arrived so I'm planning on tackling that some time today........ plus my card stash is calling, so a few cards will have to be made too.

Thanks for visiting and I hope your day is filled with Blessings and joy, whatever you are doing. :0)