Monday, 30 June 2008

Something Fishy?

DH enjoyed his fishing trip on Saturday. He reckons he caught nine fish and one of those was unintentional: he left the line dangling in the river, without bait on the hook, while he went for a wander round - when he came back there was a tiddler on the end of it! Someone took a pic of the larger fish he caught (unfortunately it didn't turn out) but luckily the pic with the second biggest fish did, so yes he has got some proof. ;0)

It's a carp, in case you needed to know. I wouldn't have known if DH hadn't of told me and, to be honest, neither would he if one of the regular anglers in the group hadn't of told him. LOL BTW, it and all the catches went back into the fishing pond unharmed at the end of the day. When DH first came home I had to do a double-take: his face looked like someone had been slapping him all day (no, not me - I stayed home, remember).......... he'd caught the sun big time. Luckily there was a bottle of after-sun in the house, so he applied that and it seems to have done the trick. Thanks to the weather looking so overcast and dingy before they went, plus the weather forecast predicting rain showers, no one had thought to take any sun block with them. The female engineer (nicknamed Bert, apparently) won the prize for the worst sun burn, poor lass.

While the two fellas were out I took the opportunity to give Cleo some attention and got her face and neck completed. As DH and I were both feeling a bit off yesterday (he was tired after his long day/all that fresh air and I was really headachey) and the weather was unpredictable we stayed home (good call: it severely persisted it down in the afternoon). So, whilst DH had the printer to pieces, gave everything a good clean and put it all back together again (no spare parts left over - it's useful having an engineer around who knows what he's doing! LOL) I carried on with Cleo when the headache had gone and I got the chance to sit down, in between jobs. She's shown the benefit of it all:

Not just a face and neck but an upper arm as well. :0)

Something I forgot to mention last week: the Monthly Challenge for July is the Debbie Draper Designs freebie Love. I've got the chart printed out, ready to go, and an idea for finishing but I need to check some dimensions first - if they're OK I can then go ahead and choose my fabric, threads and finishing bits and pieces and make a start. It wasn't the design I voted for (that was the Hornbook Stitcher piece) but it was my second choice, so am happy to be stitching it, especially as it will be yet another one I'll be able cross off my very long "To Do" List. :0)

Today it's my usual Monday routine of boring stuff (yes, the dreaded "H" word) in preparation for Alex coming round later. I'm hoping she remembers to bring her Japanese kimono silk fabric box - am so wanting to see it as it sounds gorgeous, from how she's described it. If she does I'll see if she'll let me take some pics so I can post them and let you see just how lovely her pieces are.

Many thanks to all who have taken the time to visit - hope you all had a good weekend and a gentle start to the week. :0)

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Brass Stencils and Chat

Well I didn't quite get the afternoon of crafts I'd planned the other day because that virtuous housewife mood seemed to carry over somehow. Instead of making some cards or doing a little stitching.......... I went through my boxes of DMC threads and swapped the numbered sleeves that were slotted onto the bobbins for the little sticky number labels I bought a while ago. The sleeves had a nasty habit of dropping off the bobbins and I'm no good at guessing which colour thread is which! Maybe not overly thrilling but it was very satisfying to do and my thread boxes look so much tidier for it. :0)

At least I managed to stay awake until after I'd had my tea. LOL BTW Christine: the rabbit and venison stew tasted just as good as it smelt, even if I do say so myself. Extra pleased with it as I didn't use a recipe but went by instinct as to what to put in there. It must have been good - my two thanked me afterwards!

Yesterday I spent a fair amount of the day getting used to the new look JA/S&S forum, which has moved to Yuku, and catching up with everything on there. After initially feeling like a fish out of water at having my comfort zone changed I seemed to get my head round the technical bits reasonably quickly: I have a new siggie and avatar pic and (after a little help from Diana) links to all my albums and blog set up. Although the site profile map has me in a totally different location to where I actually live - have no idea how they've done that or if it can be altered. All told I reckon I like the new forum but I'm gutted at losing my Supreme Chatterbox status. ;0)

Cleo got a little attention last night and now has a mouth, as well as eyes - not enough to warrant a picture yet though, will save that for another time. Yes, Helen, that eyeshadow is definitely dated but they did invent the look long before the 60's and 70's models took it up. LOL

Today got off to a good start with the arrival of the kit I ordered from QVC.

It's a combination of paper pricking and embossing that can be done on light card, paper or thick vellum, then embroidering some of the motifs with the metallic threads. There's lots of choice with this, as you can make up a central panel as the focus of your card or just add borders or occasional motifs to be combined with decoupage (3-D layering of pictures) or other images (rubber stamped, stickers or other 3-D embellishments). Basically, it'll add another dimension to my cards and I can make it as easy or as complicated as I feel like. :0)

This is the original kit I bought, that set this craze off:

Those are decoupage papers at the top and I reckon I can guess who will like those. :0)

DH was out bright and early this morning, off on a fishing day with some of his work colleagues. He isn't normally in to fishing but this is one of those male bonding things: they realised they only got to see each other at work, usually in quite stressful circumstances (Disaster 5 is the jinx job on the Works) and that it would actually be nice to get together for the occasional social session outside of work. When he phoned me at dinnertime he'd caught a fish - not a tiddler but a reasonable sized one........ or so he says. I know all about those fishermen's tales - my Uncle and cousin regularly go angling - so am hoping he brings back a pic of his catch to back up his claims. :0)

DS was also out early as it was Brigg Farmers Market today. He's come back with lots of our favourites: smoked salmon; smoked and peppered mackerel; three lots of fresh fish plus crayfish tails (go well in kedgeree); lots of organic fruit and veggies (looking forward to sweet strawberries and creme fraiche later); a rolled beef joint; butty bacon; various types of cheeses; venison and other assorted sausages; bottles of sweet chilli sauce from the Gringley Gringo and some chocolate earthquake and choccie flapjack. Are you feeling hungry yet? LMAO

DS is now getting ready to go out, as he's babysitting for Alex and her husband tonight, and DH won't be back until around 7.30pm. The TV remote will be mine for a little while at least and I'll continue to make the most of the peace and quiet while it lasts. After I've had my tea it'll be feet up with a good documentary on TV and some stitching in hand......... bliss!

Hope everyone has had a great start to the weekend - enjoy the rest of it. Many thanks for visiting. :0)

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Another Ozark SAL Instalment

Glad to say that last night's plans worked out well and I managed to complete the second corner motif on the Ozark SAL. Here's a pic of how it looks now:

I rather like those motifs and it's another lovely colour - can't wait to see what the next pack brings. :0)

I didn't get the chance to stitch on anything else though, as that one motif took me all evening to finish. I don't know what it is with me and Ozark thread but I'm finding that it regularly knots up as I'm stitching, delaying progress while I have to fiddle it undone. Never known anything quite like it and it is soooo annoying when it happens for the umpteenth time - if it wasn't for the fact that I love the colours and am enjoying watching this mystery develop it would have gone orbital last night, the first unmanned stitchy mission to Mars! LOL

I also finally caught up with all the blog reading and commenting, as of last night. Yay! It was a pleasure to see all the lovely WIP pics, finishes and some beautiful exchange pieces - a real feast for the eyes. There are some new starts and soon-to-be new starts that I'm going to really enjoy watching develop in the coming weeks too. :0)

I got a good start to the day today, due to being up with the proverbial early bird. No worm catching for me though - it was to get all the preparations done for a rabbit and venison casserole that has now been simmering away in the slow cooker since around 9.15 am this morning. The smell is Mmmmmmm! There's also a full load of laundry out blowing on the line under the car port - the weather kept going really overcast, so I wasn't going to risk putting it out on the rotary drier (good choice: it's just started persisting down) - there's another load sorted ready to go out when this lot is dry. The downstairs loo has been scrubbed and polished so it's as fresh as a daisy plus a multitude of items have been tidied up and/or put away............ men seem to be allergic to doing that, I've noticed. When I've finished blogging (multi-tasking here: I'm also having my dinner) I'll be off to wash the pots. After all this virtuous housewife stuff an afternoon of crafts seems well in order, don't you think? ;0) That's if I don't fall asleep first! LOL

Jane: that book is his first in this series - he's since written two more. Don't think he's had much publicity as I also hadn't heard of him before finding this book.

Helen: I remembered Dawn had said she wouldn't have internet access for a while - had just wondered if anyone was in touch with her by phone/text and knew how the move had gone. She had said she would be glad when it was all over as things had been a nightmare so far, bless her.

Well that sink full of pots aren't going to wash themselves (I wish!) so I'd better get moving. OK, OK - busted........ what I really mean is: that afternoon crafts session is calling loudly and I want to get the pots out of the way so I can get on with the fun stuff. No pulling the wool over anyone's eyes, is there? LMAO

Many thanks to all who take the time to pop by - hope you're having a great day and that life is treating you well. :0)

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Thank You's, A Queen and a Card

To all you kind folks out there: many thanks for the well wishes. Thankfully whatever I had was short-lived and I'm now back to normal (well..... as normal as it gets round here! LOL)

Also thank you for the nice comments about my Challenge piece - they made my day. :0)

After my nasty start to the week I decided to slide back gently into my regular routine. So, after doing a couple of house jobs, I took time out to watch Dawn Bibby's two hour slot on QVC yesterday afternoon whilst completing the first corner motif on the Ozark SAL piece. An enjoyable session as I usually only stitch in an evening. I'll fess up now: I did give in to temptation - only once though. ;0) I've ordered an embroidery on card kit that has brass stencils, metallic threads and a booklet on how to use the goodies - it'll go with the other kit I bought a while ago that I haven't used yet as it didn't have a book explaining the techniques. I'll enjoy experimenting with it all when it gets here.

As it was Tuesday UFO Night yesterday the Queen came out for another outing in the evening:

Am happy with the progress made but I reckon I'll be seeing that dress pattern in my dreams before it's completed! Think I may have a break from the black next week and start on the blending filament infill in those gaps instead - it should brighten it up quite nicely.

Thought I'd also share a pic of a card I made and sent to Dawn last week:

Hope the house move went smoothly and she's nicely settling in by now. Has anyone heard anything?

DH had a brain hurting start to this week: he was on a two-day course, held at the Admin Centre on the Works. He didn't object as it meant an early finish each day, although that didn't mean him getting extra time to chill at home, as he also had Governor's meetings to attend both evenings: one at the Juniors and the other at the High School. It did mean I was in charge of the TV remote, as DS was also out both evenings, so I avoided the usual mix of Dad's Army/Pie In The Sky (DH) and Scrubs/Fresh Prince of Bel Aire (DS) repeats. Yay! I'd much rather be watching a good documentary. :0)

Did I tell you that DS decided, in the end, to go for a small part in the LTC's production of Shakespeare's Henry V? He got it. Not sure how happy he is about it but it'll keep him busy and out of mischief and, who knows, all that flowery Shakesperian language may just grow on him. LOL

My stitching plans for today are to get the second corner motif on the Ozark SAL stitched and, if that doesn't take too long, either do a bit more on the other Queen (Cleo) or put some stitches in to Night Watchman, who has been sadly neglected just lately.
Non-stitching plans are to have a catch up on blog reading/commenting and have a few minutes pottering in my garden, in between the rain showers, at some point today - I need the fresh air and to get close to nature to re-charge myself, so I can work up to having that library trip before too much longer. :0)

Thanks again for all the lovely comments and for taking the time to visit. Hope you are all having a good week and are stitching up a storm. :0)

Monday, 23 June 2008

June Monthly Challenge Reveal

Belated Solstice Blessings to one and all. :0)

I'm a little late with posting pics of my JA/S&S Monthly Challenge piece: things were a little busy over the weekend and by Sunday tea time I was feeling really off with a stomach upset - today it gave way to a bad headache which kept me in bed for most of the day. Thankfully I'm feeling much better now, so am having a catch-up.

Here's the front of the piece I stitched:

I chose to stitch the freebie by Blue Ribbon Designs: A Christmas Wish of Health and Happiness. I've used DMC threads throughout and a piece of 32ct linen from my stash - I don't know what it's called but it's a blue grey colour.
Here's what I did on the back:

I love the little pillow ornie finish - it's easy to do! I had the charm and some gold cording in my stash. I wrapped some of the burgundy thread (used for the holly berries) around the cord in a criss-cross pattern and added little rows of Mill Hill beads to the side in burgundy and gold to brighten it a little. Am quite pleased with how it turned out and that's one more ornie to add to my Yule decorations. :0)

It's been a pleasure looking at the album - the pieces stitched and the finishes are varied and a couple made me want to try them, like the scissor pockets that Helen and Terri finished their pieces as. Beautiful work ladies! The July choices are up (four of them) and choosing was difficult: they were all lovely designs but I particularly liked two of them. I eventually made my choice and voted and am now looking forward to finding out which one we'll be stitching.

I made a start on the next part of the Ozark SAL but that has ground to a halt as I didn't feel much like stitching this weekend, what with one thing and another, but am hoping to get back to it tomorrow as it shouldn't take very long to do. I have been doing a little more reading instead (when my head wasn't aching) and have finished a second book this month - that's good going for me, as I usually only read a little at bedtime. This book was a historical whodunnit - see first item on the list in the side bar if you want a nosey - and I hope to get my hands on the next two books in the series (time for a trip to the library again, methinks). :0)

Saturday DH and I had a walk down the local High Street where we sorted out a little business at the building society before going to the opticians. Result of my eye test: a slightly stronger distance bit needed, alteration to the close up area (hopefully I'll be able to focus on my stitching whilst leaving my specs on, so I can watch TV as well, like I used to be able to) and the addition of prisms as my eyes muscles or lenses or something have weakened. Sheesh, did I feel old when I came out of there! LOL DH neded stronger lenses and treated himself to a new pair of frames with transitional lenses - so we'll also be quite a few quid poorer when that bill needs paying!
We went to Il Sorriso for dinner afterwards, then home. In the afternoon we went to the Pink Pig to do some shopping, then on to Screwfix to get a new tap for the bathroom sink (yet another DIY job to do - doesn't everything seem to go wrong at the same time?) and then on to The Range. There I bought some storage items for some of my cardmaking goodies (still trying to organise stuff!), a large circle punch , a CD storage unit, a DoCrafts Goody Bag, three Celtic rubber stamps (a bargain at 99p each) but only came away with one lot of flowers - they had very little in that line which was disappointing but I can't complain as the other bits more than made up for that. LOL :0)

Sunday DH popped out to do a little shopping at Tesco, otherwise it was a stay-at-home day - there was a Grand Prix on. I'd also been feeling a little iffy all day, which is why I didn't fancy going out anywhere, and by tea time I found out why. :0(
Thankfully whatever it was has been short lived - although it did mean cancelling Alex's usual visit, just in case it was catching. The long sleep I had today really helped - just hope I can sleep tonight! LOL

With all that I've managed to fall behind with blog reading again (just for a change!) so hopefully I'll catch up with that in the next day or two and see what you all got up to over the weekend.

In the meantime: hope you all had an enjoyable weekend and a good start to the week. :0)

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

A Card and The Other Royal

I definitely left my brain in bed yesterday as I kept forgetting to do things. One of the things I forgot to add yesterday was a pic of the card I sent to Lynn (although I guess most of you have seen it already on her blog). I wanted to post a pic though as this is a particular favourite, one of those cards where I thought of the person it was to go to and everything just flowed together: I love those PaperMania (larger) and Prima (smaller) flowers, though I don't have very many in my stash (NB Must have a trip to The Range some time soon to rectify that. ;0) )

Here's the other Royal currently visiting my house - Cleo, as promised: She's looking a whole lot less freaky now, isn't she? LOL I had wanted to stitch the full size version of this design but there's only so much wall space in this house...... and it's already had one room extension built on the back. That's definitely one very messy and expensive way of generating extra display space, so we won't be doing that again any time soon. This smaller size was ideal, as it meant I could also go for the other kits in the same range - I can display four of these pieces in the same space that one large one would have taken up. :0) See, I can be practical when I have to. LMAO

Last night's plans went to pot: I didn't get off from behind the computer to go start the next part of the Ozark SAL after all. I decided to go check my emails, then remembered I'd half started an order for household bits we needed from Lakeland Ltd so went to complete that and check out their Sale items - there were some rather nice cardmaking goodies going very cheap and they proved to be as bouncy as Jayne's stock. Of course, once those goodies have decided they want to come and live at my house it would be rather harsh not to let them now, wouldn't it? ;0) Then I called in at JA/S&S Forum for a final check round and by then it was bedtime. Still, it made for a pleasant evening and there's a nice parcel on it's way - can't say I'm overly excited about the new mop and bucket, defrosting box etc but that cardmaking stash will be most welcome. LOL

I should get quite a bit of stitching done the next couple of evenings though and I'll be in charge of the TV remote as well. Yay! DS has asked DH if he'd help out with the technical/lighting side of a Stars In Their Eyes event (children's dance/performance group that have links with the LTC) and he's said yes. He used to be involved with the LTC back when he first moved here and he's always wanted to get involved again, so it's just the excuse he was looking for. As I haven't got a technical bone in my body I shall be happily staying home to stitch and generally chill. Anyone want to join me? LOL

Right, I am off to go fill up the bird feeders, to keep those ram-raiding sparrows happy, then have a catch up with blog reading and find out what you've all been up to - lots of lovely stitchy pics to look at, I hope.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and for the kind comments. Hope you're all having a good day. :0)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Queens' Visit

Yup, I'm still talking about Guenevere. Here she is once again, after a second Tuesday UFO Night visit:My brain seems to have "clicked" with the pattern this week, as it definitely flowed better than it did the first time out. Result: I got quite a fair bit more done this time around, so I'm a happy bunny. :0)

I had a second nice surprise in the post yesterday, this time from Helen: some red fluffy "feather boa" stuff (sorry, don't know its proper name). Remember the Heritage Stitchcraft Christmas Chickadee we both stitched? Helen finished hers with this and I so loved the look because it was such a fun finish - now I can dig mine out of the drawer and finish it. Thank you so much for your kindness Helen. :0)

Last weekend went well. On Saturday we went to the Motorhome place at Kirmington and had a look at a couple of models that interested us. They didn't have the Adriatik Izola I fell in love with at the Show but there was a nice 4 year old Burstner that, although it looked a tad dated inside, still had the same good use of space and had a good feel to it when we sat in it. It was really useful to go and have a look-see, as it firmed up our ideas about what we do and don't like/want: the small van conversions are out because, although they are great for weekends away, they just aren't big enough for longer holidays (unless you add on an awning - rather defeats the object of us changing from a caravan to a motorhome for more convenience/quicker set ups) and we definitely want a fixed rear bed, with a separate sitting area up front and no over-cab bed (too claustrophobic). We stopped off at Humberside airport on the way home so DH could do a little plane spotting....... luckily I'd remembered to take my reading book with me. ;0)

Sunday we visited my DSis and laid Father's Day flowers at the Crem. It was lovely to see all the flowers there and the wildlife was quite happy to carry on as normal, totally unbothered by all the extra visitors to their haven. We went back to DSis' for dinner and decided to stay in so DH could do a little supervising of the two chaps she'd got round to put up her new garden shed (they needed supervising!).

Monday was my usual busy day. Alex had been to an Embroiderers Guild workshop for making a fabric box the previous Saturday and was telling me all about that. She's used two types of Japanese kimono silk fabric for the box and is now trying to think of a way to finish the lid. It sounds gorgeous and I've asked her if she could bring it with her when it's completed, so I can see it and take some pics to post here - hopefully it won't be too long before she does that. :0)

Stitching wise: I still have the finishing to do on the Monthly Challenge piece (I will get around to it soon!). I've managed to get back to stitching on the other Queen, Cleopatra - will share a pic next time. The next Ozark SAL pack arrived today: another lovely colour and nice pattern, so I shall enjoy making a start on that tonight. As I haven't got any other stitchy pics to share today I thought I'd show you some of the goodies I received in my last Thread Bear order:

The Elizabeth Design piece I'm thinking of stitching for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, only two years away now. The Seasons of my Life I just couldn't resist when I saw it: it so brings to mind the Goddess as maid, mother and crone and the Pagan take on life that it's a must stitch piece. The fabric is R&R 30ct Goldfinch, to be used for the LHN needlebook and Always and Forever, a chart I got last time around. The Halloween piece is another one I love. BTW, if anyone knows where I can get some hand dyed orangey coloured fabric similar to that in the chart pic I'd be much obliged if you could point me in the right direction, thanks. :0)

The last couple of days I've been doing a little organising (don't all faint in shock! LOL). I unearthed a QVC TSV cardmaking box of goodies whilst looking for something else (as you do) and in it I found one of those plastic, expanding crocodile files. Result: a nicely organised 12x12 and 8x8 paper stash in that and the better paper and fancy card stock has been organised into the smaller file I bought from The Range some time ago. DH and DS have yet to notice..... but that's par for the course. ;0)

Lynn: so glad the card etc arrived safely and that you liked them. Glad the notepaper gave you a smile - whenever you look at it remember that there's another "red hot mama" out in cyberspace who is thinking about you. :0) Unfortunately I still can't comment on your blog - luckily I'm able to read it via Bloglines. I'm convinced it's a problem at my end, which I hope will be solved when DH sets up the new computer tower for me and I can get all the Windows updates (whenever that will be - we've only had it a couple of months so far! LOL).

Well, if I'm going to make a start on the next part of the Ozark piece I'd better get out from behind this computer.

Hope you all had a good weekend and that this week is treating you well. Many thanks for visiting. :0)

Friday, 13 June 2008

A Thank You and a Needle Nanny

What's the best way to start the day? Getting stash post.
What's an even better way to start the day? Getting surprise stash post from a stitchy friend!
This week Karen not only gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finally get around to making up a Wish List (something that I'd been promising myself I'd do for aaaages) but she also very kindly RAK'd me this LHN chart that was on it:

Thank you once again Karen for your kindness and generosity and for not just making my day but my whole week. I love this design and will thoroughly enjoy stitching it! :0)

Yesterday the finishing for the Needle Nanny went better than I expected it to: it was fiddly but not that bad that I wanted to throw it through the nearest window in frustration. LOL
Here's the finished item: The picture is a bit blurry but it gives you the general idea. It's not perfect but as it was another first for me I'm pretty pleased with it and the learning curve means that the next one should turn out better. :0)

I also had a good evening stitching the details on the back piece of the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge item and got the bulk of it finished - just a few little bits to add tonight, then it's on with the finishing. I don't think I'll get time to do that over this weekend though: not yet sure of tomorrow's plans (the optician's appointment I thought we'd got in the morning isn't until next Saturday. Doh!) but I'm hoping we can go off on the Motorhome Hunt. On Sunday we are going to pick up my DSis, visit Rosehill to leave some flowers for Father's Day and then take her out somewhere, so we won't be home until late evening. I like to do the finishing on items in the day time, while I'm feeling as fresh as a daisy, rather than in the evening's when I generally feel more like the fertiliser underneath the daisy! LOL

Julie: your comment about the superglue made me LMAO. I was lucky as DH decided to do the honours and be the first to try out his own repairs. Thankfully we didn't need the help of the emergency services to prise him off it....... and the repairs seem to be working well so far. (Touch Wood!)

Karen: so glad you stopped your comment when you did, as that mental image would probably not have been good. ROFL. DH has re-positioned one of the rubber thingies under the seat (he reckons it was in the wrong place, so it kept slipping off the rim) and it seems to be OK now. Yay!

Well that's it for today...... and I can't believe just how fast this week has gone, can you?

Whatever your plans are I hope you all have a great weekend. Many thanks for visiting. :0)

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Fanfare, Please!

No, not for me...... for the Queen........ and not Lizzy II either but Queen Guenevere. Although she hasn't been a particularly long term UFO (I think I started her some time last year) she is now my officially designated Tuesday UFO Night project. Here's a pic: I completed the sleeve cuff and made a good start on her dress pattern - the other bits were stitched previously. There's more work there than it seems: the rest of the dress has to be filled with the pattern; then the plain gaps have to be filled with some cross stitches in blending filament; then the collar of the dress is done in blending filament and finally the dress outline and all the folds are whip stitched. My first go at whip stitch didn't go very smoothly, although it was in blending filament around the sleeves, so am hoping when I come to it again with the cotton thread I do better this time round. I'd nearly forgotten just how much I love blackwork..... think I'll have to add in another design to my WIP round soon.

Well I started this post yesterday (Wednesday) but was interrupted by my two coming home and never got back to it. Men! They do insist on wanting to be fed. LMAO

I've been playing with my cardmaking goodies again. This time around I made a Father's Day tag for Dad, to go by the name plaque at Rosehill:

It was a simple but enjoyable one to make: I used VersaMark ink to stamp the image on the tag, then dabbed brown chalk over it to give that sepia effect. The two dome stickers I chose say free and spirit: Dad was something of a free spirit, especially whilst growing up, and now his spirit can soar freely, released from his body and the pain he suffered. :0)

Next up was an anniversary card for my DBro and his wife:

This one was another easy make, although it took a bit more time to get those paper roses wrapped in that flippin' piece of ribbon so it looked right. My fingers struggle with fiddly these days. *sigh*

I was in an odd mood last night and couldn't settle to any of my ongoing projects so decided on a new start. (I can almost hear the cries of: Oh, no, not another one! LMAO). I don't think I'm in danger of becoming a serial starter (well..... not yet, anyway), as this wasn't another BAP but a quickie: the Twisted Oaks/Dinky Dyes Breast Cancer Needle Nanny. It was quick too, as I started and finished the stitching last night - not bad going for a 1 over 1 piece with my eyes - and today I plan on doing the finishing............. if I ever actually manage to get my butt off this computer chair! LOL Will share a pic next time I blog.

The Monthly Challenge piece has stalled meantime: I've got to work out the positioning of the wording on the back, so it looks right, and keep putting it off. Don't ask me why, as it shouldn't take too long to figure out, but I keep getting a mental block with it. (Another reason for that new start last night). At least I more or less know what I'm doing with it, finishing wise, so that "should" be fairly straightforward.

As for other things: DS went to a reading last night at the LTC. The next production is Shakespeare's Henry V and DS went along to see if he could get along with it enough to try for a small part. He came home muttering, so I don't think he was so keen, but he's now bored and wants to get involved with another production. Sorry folks, you can call me a philistine if you like, but I can't abide Shakespeare: I've tried reading it and watching TV plays and films of all kinds, including modern "updated" versions of it......... and it just leaves me totally cold (a real Snooze Fest, the best insomnia cure ever!) Even if DS does get a part in Henry I will definitely not be going to watch it.

DH is having a silly season again: between work and School Governors he has more meetings than he can physically manage......... unless they clone him, but the busier it gets the happier he is. Oh, and remember the bum pinching, sliding loo seat in my downstairs facilities? Well he's now fixing that for about the sixth time because it keeps sliding and working the screws loose. This time it's serious stuff: he's had a trip to Screwfix, took the seat and lid down to the workshop last night and was re-drilling holes, moving one of the rubber fittings and glueing bits. The loo seat was clamped up and left out there overnight for the glue to set properly and he'll be re-fitting it tonight. Guess who gets to try it out first? Yup, muggins here. Guess who thinks it would have been a whole lot less hassle to have gone to Screwfix or B&Q for a new seat and fitted that instead? LOL

Right, I am off to have a go at some Needle Nanny finishing while I'm still in the mood. If I'm not back blogging to show it off tomorrow then you'll know it didn't go so well. ;0)

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy days to visit and for the kind comments - it's very much appreciated. :0)

Monday, 9 June 2008

Monday Morning Again

Boy, did that weekend fly past! Saturday we were supposed to be going on the Motorhome hunt but it didn't happen. DS had asked last weekend if DH could bring The Tank and help him and some of the Guild members to take more stuff to the amenities site - he couldn't last weekend but he could this. I thought it would only take an hour....... it didn't. There was an awful lot of stuff and it took two trips to clear it all. Several hours and a "Where the heck are you? " text later DH arrived home. One quick wash and change and we drove to Brigg Garden Centre for dinner with the intention of going on to Kirmington afterwards. Nope, by the time we'd been served (it was rush hour) and eaten the bulk of the day had gone. A quick phone call to the place confirmed what I thought: they closed at 4pm, plus they weren't open Sunday and anyway, there was a Leisure and RV Show on down South and half their stock was down there. Scrap that idea then and back into the garden centre to continue the great Weeping Willow Tree hunt instead....... and no luck there either, so we consoled ourselves with a coffee and a scone. :0)

Sunday was jobs day and what a scorcher of a day it was. I mowed the lawn while DH popped to Morrisons for some shopping - I decided I'd much rather be trudging around in my garden getting hot and bothered than around a supermarket. By the time I'd done I was cream crackered and feeling iffy with all that sun, so had a cool drink and helped DH put the shopping away but when that was done I went to bed for a snooze. I reckon the Spanish have got the right idea with Siesta time - I felt waaay better after that. LOL By late afternoon/early evening there was a light breeze which made sitting out a real pleasure.

Stitching wise I managed to complete the front of the Monthly Challenge piece and completed the border on the back...... just got to decide what's going in the middle section now, then get on with that and the finishing. As I can't yet show pics of that here's a pic of some lovely stash I bought from Claire last month:

She very kindly added the Rainbow thread and charms for my charity stitching. I've always fancied having a go at Spirelli cards, where you wrap thread around a serrated edged piece of card to make a pattern (a bit like Spirograph), so these will be really useful for that. Once again a very big thank you for your generosity Claire. :0)

On the charity stitching front: while I was looking through my stash for something on Friday I found a little Egyptian ankh piece I stitched some time last year but hadn't done anything with. Claire had sent me some blank keyrings some time ago, so I finally finished it off:
As the cost of posting items to Western Park Cancer Hospital's fundraising shop is now prohibitive I plan on giving the next batch of stitched pieces to my MIL: every so often her and FIL run a fundraising stall in the foyer of Derby Royal to raise funds for Treetops Hospice, as a thank you for all the help they gave Helen.

As I did more gardening than stitching over the weekend I thought I'd post a couple more pics taken in my garden. Here's the ivy growing over the old air raid shelter door:
If we don't cut it back soon it will look even more like the door into the Secret Garden! LOL

I think these are peonies (don't quote me!):

That bush was in the garden when we moved in here, over 20 odd years ago, and flowers like crazy around this time every year. The central one was the first one to flower this year.

Here's a pic of the triffids at the bottom of the garden, also now in flower:

My Green Man has all but disappeared now. The whitish flowers you can see among the red are from something the lady in the garden over the back has trailing along her side of the fence - again I have no idea what it is but the bees and hornets like it a lot. The fluted column you can see to the right was also in the garden when we moved in - it's just propped there temporarily while we decide where to put it. The lavender will be flowering very soon too. :0)

Today is another hot one, so I got up early to get a good start on my jobs while it was still quite cool. Good idea, as they're all done plus there's two lots of washing out on the rotary drier as well...... am now taking it easy until Alex arrives as my ankles and feet are threatening to balloon up due to the heat. Glad to say that there's been neither sight nor sound of the builders today, so it's been lovely being able to listen to the birdsong again.
Helen: my sympathies to your Mum - a weeks worth was enough for me, so I don't know how she's coped with the noise for that length of time. :0(

Lynn: having problems visiting your blog again and can only read it via Bloglines, so can't leave comments for you. Wish I could figure out what the flippin' problem is, as I'm sure it's my end. Been thinking about you - lots of (((((((((hugs))))))))).

Nicola: Many thanks. I'll be across to your blog to catch up and email you in the next day or two.

Well it's time I was off, as I'd like to get a little stitching done before Alex turns up for her visit.

Hope you've all had a great weekend and that you're all enjoying the same lovely weather that we've got in this neck of the woods. Thanks for visiting. :0)

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Back To Stitching

After all the chat about other things and pics of my cards I thought it was about time this blog got back to what really matters......... stitching. LOL

As it was Tuesday yesterday it was, of course, UFO Night over at JA/S&S forum and time to choose a "new" UFO piece to stitch on. First out of the bag was Mistletoe by Lynda Bodkin of Loopylou Designs. This started out as a SAL piece on JA/S&S forum last year but because my Dad's condition started deteriorating (terminal cancer) I had to drop out after only completing the first part - all the bits stitched in the lavender coloured thread.

Last night's stitching was the green bits and not a lot got done really. Trying to get those lazy daisies to look like the chart representation was trickier than I thought, so it was slow going. I also had around an hour's interruption when my DSis rang- have to say that by that time it was most welcome. I think that I'm still associating this piece with some sad memories, as I didn't enjoy stitching on it at all. Think it might be best to put it away again, choose something else to stitch on next UFO Night and come back to this at a later date because I would still like to finish it at some point, as it's a very pretty piece.

Next up is an update on Cleo, as promised. Here's where I got up to:
Her face definitely looks a tad freaky at the moment, sort of Alien meets Halloween. LOL It's 1 over 1 Petit Point and is best done in small doses, so it's slow going. I don't know what metallic thread is in this kit but it's lovely to work with and way nicer than the DMC stuff I had to use on ET - there hasn't been any waste at all. I'll be glad to pick her up again, especially as I've been listening to my Egyptian music CD's and am so in the right mood. :0)

I actually started listening to the CD's in an attempt to drown out the sound of building work going on next door: all that banging, hammering and drilling started Monday and has continued on and off since. I don't mind folks having work done but I can find it stressful (ie bad for my blood pressure) so the music came out in an effort to stop the wind up. Best idea I've had in a while: have been listening to music from around the world, from Japanese style to Native American to Peruvian panpipes to Celtic to Egyptian, with a little English folk music and a variety of New Age music thrown in for good measure - those builders will end up with the best all round world music education ever by the time they've finished this job. LMAO

I've learnt that when there's boring housework to be done the Egyptian music is the best to listen to: jobs get done in a fraction of the time, it's waaaay more fun and lots more calories get burnt when you wiggle while you work........... sooooo glad no one could actually see me though! LMAO
Check out the New World Music site and do a search for Phil Thornton to listen to samples of the music, if you're curious. There are even more samples of alternative and relaxation music to listen to here if you feel the need to chill. BTW, no affiliation to either: just bought from the NWM website and from AV at the M,B&S events I go to and been happy with the goods.

Karen: if you have any New Age style shops near you they will probably advertise M,B&S events - local Tourist Boards should also have info. Better still: Google Mind Body Spirit or Mind Body Spirit events and all kinds of interesting links come up. Hope this helps you find an event in your area. :0)

As yesterday's planned sessions of stitching whilst watching Dawn Bibby and then having a blog reading catch up didn't happen, due to getting side-tracked, I shall try again today.

Thank you to all for taking the time to visit and to those who leave comments - very much appreciated. It let's me know I'm not waffling away to myself LOL. :0)

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A Little Christmas In June.

Despite the rainy weather on Sunday we went out anyway. We started with dinner at a local garden centre and, luckily, by the time we went on to a local Motor Show the rain had stopped. No, I'm not having a mid-life crisis and turning into a petrol head..... DH and I wanted a look-see at the Motorhomes that were on display there. After being caravanners since DS was a youngster we're now thinking of swapping our 'van for a Motorhome, as they are much more stable than a towing outfit and there's a lot less hassle setting up when you've arrived on a site - essential now both DH and I have health problems that will gradually deteriorate. It would also mean much more holiday/weekend freedom for us plus, thinking ahead to DH's retirement, it would make it so much easier for us to take off whenever we felt like it, to wherever we fancied going and for as long as we wanted....... or at least until our pension money ran out. LOL

It was interesting to see different makes of Motorhome's and how they handle the internal layouts and seeing them gave us a better idea of what we do and don't like. We both like the end fixed bed option: no having to make up your bed every night and take it down every morning, which becomes very wearing when we're away for a fortnight in our caravan. The Adriatik range came out tops with us for best use of space but we are probably a little biased, as our caravan is an Adria - they are different branches of the same company. We liked one of the smaller Izola's - you can have a nosey here at some of the larger ones they produce. Unfortunately we don't have a spare £40grand available for the new models - we have got the details of a sales site (actually pretty close to where we live) to go and have a nosey at their used models....... so guess where we are probably going next weekend. :0)

Yesterday was my usual routine: got all the house jobs done before Alex came round for a coffee and a natter. She and my DS went to the M,B&S Event on the Sunday, so we compared our experiences of that - she enjoyed the folk music (as we had) and had a chat to the male half of the duo, the upshot being that he can get her a harp, an instrument she has always wanted, via a FairTrade route, and for half the cost she would be expected to pay from a musical supplier here. She's now saving the pennies - hope she saves them quickly, as I so want to hear her play that!
Between jobs I was having a Blog reading/commenting catch-up but I got quite a few error messages up and couldn't get onto some blogs, which got really frustrating, so I gave up after a while. Am hoping the problem has now been fixed, as I want to continue with the catch-up later.

No stitchy pics for you today: I've been busy stitching my JA/S&S Monthly Challenge piece and some of it is very fine, so it's taking a while. Plus it's a secret until Reveal Day. ;0) So here, as promised, are pics of the other three Christmas cards I made during last month's cardmaking session:

Yes, the snowman theme really did take a strong hold of me. :0)

I had a phone call from Kate from Thread Bear earlier: some charts I ordered last month are now in stock - I just have to nip over to the site and add a couple more bits to the order and it'll be all set to go. Yippee....... stash post is imminent! LOL

Julie: I will email you about your question. It may be too long-winded and heavy for a Blog. :0)

Right, as it's raining again and I can't do any gardening I am off to watch what's left of Dawn Bibby's session on QVC, whilst continuing with the Monthly Challenge piece, but I'll be back later to read those Blogs I couldn't access yesterday and catch up with all your news.

Hope you're all having a good day, whatever the weather is like where you are. :0)