Friday, 31 October 2008

Samhain Blessings

Remembering and honouring all my loved ones and the ancestors who have crossed to the Otherworld.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Double Fanfare, Please....

Quite a bit has happened lately, so where do I start? LOL

First up, thank you for all the reassurances about the waffle on my blog, it helped me to get things straight in my head and decide that I would continue in my usual way on here (I wouldn't want anyone to feel deprived LOL) but that I would also go ahead and start the second blog anyway. That will be a purely no stitching, in-depth waffle blog....... so it's up to individuals as to whether or not they want to go visit that. For those that would like to have a nosey you can find it here.

The weekend was a mix of busy and quiet spells. Saturday saw us finally getting rid of some of the bigger pieces of our clutter via the local amenities site (more about that on the other blog), some pruning going on in the garden and some stitching going on in the house. As DS had been shopping at Brigg Farmers Market when he came home there was also that little lot to inspect and put away. I do like a fridge and cupboards full of tasty foods from there. :0) Sunday's bit of excitement consisted of a Tesco delivery. LOL DH and I weren't feeling 100% all weekend (he's still adapting to the new tablet regime and it's taking a while for his system to get used to them - I was still recuperating from the cellulitis & flu bug) so it was about all we felt up to coping with. It made a nice change and gave us time to recharge our flagging energies.

I'm still watching the Most Haunted Live week long marathon - I'll probably be all ghosted out by the end of it but those four hours each night have done my stitching production a power of good. :0) The Heartwarmers Bellpull is now finished and I completed making up the actual bellpull yesterday. So...... Fanfare number 1 please:

Design: Heartwarmers Bellpull

Designer: Lorri Birmingham Designs

Monday I managed to do most of my usual jobs, although Alex didn't come for her visit as she's still recuperating from her op and it's half term break so her children are home. I do miss those visits though - for the general chat and for our shared love of needlework.

Today I had to go to see the Nurse at 9.10am for the second blood pressure test. It's still over on the high side so she wants me to go back again in a fortnight's time, this time for fasting blood tests and another BP check. Oh, joy! Yes, weight was mentioned and so was medication. I am not happy going down that route at all, if I can avoid it, as I saw what those meds did to my Dad..... and I said so. Guess it's a case of seeing what the outcome of the blood tests are and see what she (or the Doc) has to say next time around.

Afterwards DH drove us to a nearby Post Office so I could send a couple of packages then, as it was a sunny day and I felt pretty good, I asked if he'd drive back to work via our local High Street and drop me off part way down. Yes, folks, second Fanfare, please......... I have been out on my own again! WhooooHoooo! And I enjoyed myself big time. LOL First off I called at one of the flower shops and bought a small bunch of beautiful bright yellow carnations, so we'd have a little sunshine indoors. Next I called in at the RSPCA shop and spotted these two books:

They'll do nicely, thought I, especially when told they were 20p each! Next off was the Hospice Bookshop. It's never been open recently when DH and I have been in the vicinity on a Saturday, so I decided to take the opportunity for a good browse. It also ended up as a good spend too and here's what I found:

Yes, Karen and Julie, that is a Barbara Erskine book on the left, unfortunately the only one they had in there. That'll be going on the Swap site when I've read it. The Jean M Auel book is the most recent one in a series set in the Stone Age and that's going in my permanent collection, along with the others I've already got. The one on the end is a Non-Fiction book about Elizabeth I and Leicester, the Royal favourite - anything to do with the Tudors being another one of my interests, so another to join my collection. Think we could do with another room adding on the back of the house at this rate! :0)

I also couldn't resist these:

Both new authors to me, so it'll be interesting to add them to my reading list and see what I make of their styles. The two by Paul Doherty sound like they might be leaning towards the Gothic horror genre, though set in the medieval period - normally I don't read horror books but as Julie and Karen recently read a scarey book I decided I wasn't going to wimp out but would give them a go. LOL The Ann Cleeves book is another murder mystery. Yes, I do seem to be reading quite a few of those lately so I'd just like to take the time to reassure everyone that no, I'm not developing any homicidal tendencies......... well, not until the next time either DH or DS ticks me off big time, anyway. LMAO Once read all three of these books will probably be going on the Swap List too.

After browsing the fiction books I wandered over to the Non-Fiction section. That's where I got the Elizabeth I book. As my eyes wandered along the shelves I did a sudden double-take at what I spotted next. Eyes opening wider I went for yet another look....... yes, I did see what I thought I saw and I quickly grabbed and added it to my haul:

This book is one of the crystal bibles, written by a crystal worker, and usually costs a small fortune to buy new - if you can get hold of it. Not only is it the updated version but I paid a grand total of........... £2.00 for it (bear in mind it's big doorstop size too). I almost danced out of the shop, despite the weight of the bag I was carrying. Funnily enough, just a couple of days ago Jane had mentioned wanting to know more about crystals and I had thought about that and this book, one I've wanted for a loooong time. It had only come into the shop recently - this was the first time I'd been in there for quite some time. Don't you just love those moments when you know Fate has stepped in and given things a little helping hand! :0)

The morning wasn't over yet. After dithering a little I decided to call in at Il Sorriso for a cappuccino and a toasted tea cake, as breakfast had only been one quick slice of toast and half a cup of coffee. I sat on a table for two, at the back of the cafe, with my back to the main body of the place - anti-social I know but it's one of the coping strategies I've developed and it helps not to see how busy a place is and how many strangers there are in there. Good job I did as it quickly filled up after I'd ordered. I dug out my crystal book and started reading and continued to do so all the time I was in there - it was enjoyable and I'd like to do it again some time. That's another first. :0)

As the Alternative Therapies Clinic was just next door I though "what the heck" and popped in there to ask about alternative treatments for high blood pressure. I got to talk to the herbalist herself, a very nice lady, and she gave me a quick run through of what a proper consultation would involve, the types of things she would check for (including allergies and candida), treatments and what the cost would be. It was interesting and, though it will be a little costly initially, I think the long term benefits will far outweigh that. I will wait until after the blood test etc and the chat with the GP before making a final decision but have to say I feel much happier at the thought of taking a holistic view: treating the whole body and mind and putting natural remedies, rather then more chemicals, into my body.

I made my way home after that but after dropping off the books I popped back out to Simpson's (just on the corner a few yards away from our house) to buy some feed mix for robins/songbirds, as well as sunflower kernels, for the feeders. Back home I sorted out containers for the new bird foods then filled up all the feeders - those ram-raiding sparrows are gobbling up everything that's put out, fattening up big time, so it looks like they're expecting a bad winter.

All in all it's been a very good day and several barriers were broken through. Yes, when I make up my mind to go and do something I don't do it by halves! LMAO

I did stitch for UFO Night last night but I won't post a pic until tomorrow as I want to stitch some more on the piece tonight.......... and this post is already a large mug of coffee and doorstop slice of cake long. ROFL

Many thanks for taking the time to visit, for the lovely comments you leave and for getting this far - please award yourselves a well earnt medal! :0)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

October Challenge Reveal

As it's Breast Cancer Awareness month this month the October Challenge over at JA/S&S Forum consisted of a wide variety of breast cancer freebies from which we could make our choice/s. They were all lovely designs but, as I love blackwork, the piece from Kristine Herber of Dragonfly Stitches was a must stitch for me. This is how I finished it:

I split the design and used the design for the front and the wording for the back and finished it as an ornie:

Design: Cancer Awareness Blackwork
by Kristine Herber - Dragonfly Stitches
Fabric: 22ct white hardanger
Thread: Carrie's Creations Hot Pink
Stitched 1 over 1

I chose two different fibers in pink and attached the trim to the sides by oversewing it in the Carrie's thread, to give it the "bobbled" look, whilst plaiting the hanging loop and adding a bead to the base dangles.

Originally I was going to finish this piece as a scissor fob but it seemed to have it's own ideas about that, especially after I was browsing the latest posts on the Stitch Pink blog and spotted a link to the Stitching For a Cure blog. What a fantastic idea thought I...... and the intended scissor fob turned into an ornie instead, in the hopes that the blog owner will accept my offering for her fundraising Christmas tree. :0)

Well last night's Most Haunted Live wasn't half bad. I'm still not that enthused about the resident medium but the guest medium, Billy Roberts, seemed to be pretty good - like David Wells he was able to name names that were direct hits that could be verified, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he shapes up over the next six nights. As predicted, my DH did enjoy the extra computer time he got so I'm not expecting too many complaints from that direction at all..... but if he starts feeling deprived of the TV there's always the big widescreen set in DS's bedroom to watch, along with a vast collection of DVD's. :0) It was also a good night for stitching as I completed snowman number three! Tonight I shall add the bottom and final band of algerian eye stitches, hearts and trees and hopefully make good inroads into the beading and adding the charms. :0)

Sometimes, I know, I waffle and some of that waffling isn't stitching related and, therefore, might not be of interest to some visitors to this blog. Nevertheless, there are times I'd really like to write about all kinds of other things which are important to me, though totally unrelated to my needlework.......... but I know not everyone will want to be bothered with reading all of that. After all, this is supposed to be a stitching blog, isn't it? LOL So..... I am playing around with the idea of starting a second blog that will allow me to waffle away to my hearts content about whatever I feel the need to waffle about: such as some of the every day things that affect me and mine, my beliefs, the state of the world and anything and everything that has caught my interest on any given day. If I decide to go ahead with this it will be under the alter ego of Moonglow Magick........ it just seems the most suitable for this particular venture. When the time feels right I'll post a link. :0)

Many thanks for all the kind comments and for your continued visits. Hope you're all staying warm and dry and having a good weekend. :0)

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Good Post Days and More Stitching

The last few days have seen me beavering away with my needle and receiving some rather good post so I am in a very good mood right now and I'll share so you can see why. :0)

First up is this weeks update on Sea Stars (taken in artificial light):

I'm still on the same motif as last time but reckon I managed to stitch a fair bit more this week than last, so am pleased with the progress made. Hopefully that motif will be completed next time. :0)

The first good post item that arrived Friday was the lovely Just Nan Boo! chart from Lisa:

Love that card too. LOL Thank you again Lisa - this gave me a boost when I needed it and I shall really enjoy stitching this piece. :0)

Friday also saw the arrival of a couple of pinkies from Jayne. Yay! One contained the final part of the Ozark Mystery piece (not shown, as you'll get to see what the colours were when I've completed stitching the piece) and the other had these little beauties inside:

The latest new threads from Carrie's Creations and the first of the Bi-Monthly chart packs of smalls designed by Christine of Alchemy Stitchcraft. I couldn't resist the cute Santa when I saw him, or the unusual way of finishing him, which is totally new to me. Am so looking forward to making this and seeing what else is in store in the coming months. Any hints Christine? LOL

Friday night I made a start on the Be loved Snowman:

He's the final one of the the three to stitch and is yet another cutie. Whilst the design is lovely to stitch the hassle over the chart has been a nuisance - thankfully my DH has been very helpful with this and has worked the maths out for me (not my strong point) so each section has been positioned properly on the banding. Though I reckon that when the stitching is done, the beads and charms added and the bellpull made up it's going to be worth every bit of that hassle as I just love the whole look of this piece. :0)

The Yule/Christmas theme continued today with this morning's doorstep arrival:

WhoooooHooooo! What a fantastic selection of ornies there are in this years issue....... well worth the extra wait we have here in the UK and I definitely consider it fantastic value for money for what is in there. I had my initial browse whilst sat snuggling under the duvet first thing this morning (hints about breakfast in bed being nice went right over DH's head though LOL) and went back for another look with my afternoon bacon butty and coffee and I'm going back for yet another browse later this afternoon. There are just so many lovelies in there it's taking a while to absorb them all before working out which one I want to stitch first! How on earth am I going to choose? I love the biscornus, the VS house, most of the snowmen ornies, a couple of the angels are gorgeous too and........ LOL What does everyone else think of it? What are your absolute must-stitch ornies?

Tonight is the start of a 7 night Most Haunted Live Halloween Special and I can't wait as the place they are investigating has a lot of history attached to it and looks a right grotty old hole into the bargain! It'll be interesting to see how they (and I) cope with a full 7 nights of investigations on the lead up to Samhain (Halloween). LOL Well, I have plenty of stitching to keep me company and DH will appreciate the extra computer time he'll get. ;0)

Julie: definitely vests but forget the thermal knickers...... it's those sexy longjohns every time for me! LMAO

As we have a few jobs planned for today I'd best go and get on with them.

Whatever your plans are I hope you have a good weekend........ and that you stay warm and cosy throughout. :0)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Winter Already?

It certainly feels like it, judging by the weather outside today and the snowmen that keep appearing in my blog posts. LOL

I had to go outside and retrieve my recycling bins from the front earlier, the first time I've been dressed and gone outside since Sunday, and I didn't hang around for long out there, I can tell you - it's cold, drizzly and blustery. Definitely the kind of day that makes me glad we've got the central heating on....... and if this is a taste of things to come I hope Damart send me a catalogue this year! LOL

As for those snowmen, here's an update of where I got to after last night's stitching:

Not only have a pair of arms and mittens plus a snowflake appeared, but also the next wording block. Yes, it's official - my mojo is back. Yay! :0)

As it's been a while since you saw the first little fella I thought I'd do a pic of the whole bellpull, so you can see the overall look of the piece so far:

Next up is the Be loved snowman but that will have to wait for another time, as it's Sea Stars SAL night tonight.

Thank goodness for stitching, computing and reading at the minute: I'm feeling recovered enough to want to do things again but if I'm on my feet for more than five minutes at a time I start going as wobbly as a new born lamb. It's a blessing my three favourite activities can be done sat down, and that they keep my mind nicely occupied, because otherwise I'd be going stir crazy with boredom right now. LOL

Whilst starting some of my blog reading yesterday I discovered I had won Lisa's draw for her Just Nan Boo! chart. Wow! I am so chuffed to bits that if I had the energy I'd be HD'ing to my bellydancing CD's right now. :0) I'll admit now that I was so tempted by this design on the Sew and So website that it has been in and out of my basket so often it must have got dizzy. I kept on putting it back because, much as I admired this made up (and Lisa has done hers beautifully) I didn't know what I would do with the tin, cute as it is......... but I did so want to stitch the piece as an ornie instead. Thank you so much for giving me the chance to fulfil this wish Lisa. :0)

Many thanks for all the well wishes, they are very much appreciated. Hope all those who have also had their own dose of the lergy are also starting to feel much better too (((((hugs))))). :0)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Dreaded Lergy

I'm finally up and about a bit more after having succumbed to the dreaded lergy at the weekend which DH Oh, so kindly shared with me. :0(

I was OK early Saturday and we went out to Kirton Garden Centre for dinner and we also bought a sunflower seed feeder for the birds while we were there (they are a bit picky and didn't seem to like the net bag they were in), went on to Uncle Henry's to do a little shopping, then finished up at the airport, so DH could plane spot again. I sat and did a little stitching but it was around then that I realised I was getting a sore throat and feeling a little "off". Home for tea and an early night.

Sunday we went to my DSis's for the day. My throat felt like the bottom of a parrot's cage and my nose was a tad sinusey but I didn't feel too bad otherwise, so we took her to Tickhill Nurseries for dinner and a browse round afterwards, as they have a good shop with lots of varied items. We didn't buy any plants but we did get a few other bits between us. One of the items I spotted was a frame for a £1.00 and when I saw it said how well it would look with an Egyptian style picture in it - the light bulb moment!

My pic isn't very good but it really does suit Helen's postcard perfectly. I just have to find somewhere to hang it now. :0)

When we got back to my DSis's I started to gradually feel worse, despite a doze on her sofa, so we came home earlier than usual. Good job: 15 minutes after getting in I was sick. I went to bed with a rising temperature, hardly slept and was sick again around 3am. My temperature started to come down a bit after that but my body didn't care: full on aches in every muscle, lousy sore throat, streaming nose and I didn't dare take any pills or potions due to being on the anti-biotics. Today most of the aches have disappeared, thank goodness, and it's the first time I've felt able to stay out of bed for longer than an hour at a time. Thankfully the leg seems to have responded to the anti-biotics OK but there's a cold sore, sweats and residual sinusitis left to deal with. A sign I must have been ill: the pots got washed without me having to ask! LOL

The stitching mojo went right out of the window after Saturday's session, so there's no UFO Update this week. Here's a pic of where I'd got up to on the bellpull with the next little fella:

I must be feeling better and the mojo returning because if I can stay awake long enough tonight I want to give him his arms and mittens.

In the moments I felt half way reasonable (not sleepy but no energy and bored) I started reading another book: The Guilt of Innocents by Candace Robb and actually finished it today. There's more info on the book in the side bar and on The Reading Corner blog, if you're interested. I've registered it with Book Crossing and it's up for grabs, if anyone would like it. Karen has very kindly sent me her last book, The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick (see TRC blog), so that is going to be my next read.

As I could only sit in front of the computer for short times during the last few days I only managed to keep up with emails and the happenings at JA/S&S Forum, so am way behind with blog reading. I hope to catch up in the next few days or so, so please bear with me while I do. :0)

Many thanks for taking the time to visit. Hope you are all feeling waaay healthier then me right now. :0)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Stashing, Stitching and Something Exotic!

Stashing time came earlier this week with the arrival of part of my order from Thread Bear:

I've been stocking up on some of the stitching and finishing essentials, as well as a couple of treats. Who could resist CCN's Gingerbread Cottage? Definitely not me! LOL Aren't those embroidery scissors pretty too? They have them in a couple of other colourways too and at just £3.65 I thought they were rather good value for money. Just waiting for a couple of charts to arrive from America and that'll be my stash blow out for this month complete. :0)

The stitching was on my Sea Stars piece and, as I suspected, it was a bit slower going this time. Here's where I got to:

The motif is in Carrie's Tropical Waters and here's a bit closer look:

As well as regularly knotting threads (why are some sessions so much worse than others for this?) there were a couple of distractions through the evening, plus it's a bigger and more involved pattern than some of the other motifs, so it meant I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked. Still, I can always make up for that next time around. Rosanne is doing well with her piece but unfortunately Barb (no blog) is having some problems with hers and is considering putting it on hold. I feel gutted for her and am keeping my fingers crossed we can come up with a solution so she can work round it to save her from having to frog again, Bless her.

Last, but not least, the something exotic:

What? You weren't seriously expecting a pic of a male lapdancer or the guy from the Aero adverts were you? LMAO It's a gorgeous postcard sent by Helen from Egypt. Thank you so much Helen, I love it and have it on the mantelpiece in the living room, so everyone can see it. BTW, have sent you an email - hope you got it. :0)

Still hoping to go to the theatre tonight but my current pill and food regime are making the timings a bit awkward, so we'll have to see - I hate rushing, as it can get me in a panic. I finished the first blister pack of pills today. Yay! My leg is still swollen and you can see the redness where the infection was but it's now back to normal temperature and the bites, though still a naff shade of purple, are definitely not as vivid or as painful as they were. The leg does still have the nasty habit of occasionally giving way on me if I don't think and put my full weight on it, so I reckon you're right about it taking a while to get back to normal Helen.

Christine: I did half and told them they were doing the rest while I sat with my leg up. They got done and DH has since cleaned the kitchen window - without being asked - so I think the point has been taken. ;0)

No idea what we'll be doing tomorrow but if it involves the garden I shall be putting on a thick, woolly pair of hiking socks and tucking my trouser bottoms inside before going out there! LOL Sunday we should be going over to Doncaster to visit my DSis for the day - it'll be good to have a catch-up and I shall gross her out by showing her the bites. ;0)

Hope you all have a great time with your families this weekend. Thank you for visiting. :0)

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Doesn't Look Much....

Not for two night's stitching it doesn't and if I didn't love this piece so much, thinking of Her as a work of Heart, I think I'd have thrown in the towel by now. Take a peek and see what I mean:

Thank goodness for Julie, Mr Stick and the girls - it's like having your very own cheerleading team to keep you motivated and focused each week and the amount of finishes the group has had as a whole are really mounting up now. :0)

Tuesday's plan to sit watching Dawn Bibby whilst stitching didn't quite happen because five minutes after sitting down I was fast asleep and didn't wake up again until shortly before my DS got in from work, around 4.30pm. DH was happy - I can't spend when I'm asleep, so it saved him a few quid LOL. I had a similar experience last night too: about fifteen minutes after having my tea I dropped off for an hour or so. It must be something about having my feet up that's doing it. ;0) The upshot of that is that ME is the only piece I've managed any stitching on in the last couple of days. I guess it's my body's way of telling me what's needed but so much for having lots more stitching time! LOL

Many thanks for all the good wishes concerning my leg, they were greatly appreciated...... especially as my two haven't seemed to grasp the possiblity of serious problems resulting from this (it was really nice of them to leave a huge pile of pots in the sink and expect me to stand there and wash them all, wasn't it?!). I'm glad to say that the antibiotics seem to be doing their thing as the redness isn't as obvious, much of the heat has gone out of it and it doesn't seem to have spread any further (touch wood!) - I've still got some discomfort and my foot and lower leg are still swollen but I guess that will take a bit longer to subside. I'll still be taking it easy though, as I don't want to end up over-doing things and triggering it into flaring up again. Karen: the redness didn't go up my leg but travelled around my ankle area and down my foot and I kept getting prickling sensations in the sole (boy, did that feel weird!).

It's Sea Stars SAL day again. Yay! Hopefully I won't fall asleep after my tea tonight, so I can make a good start on the bigger motif in the top right corner. Tomorrow night I'm hoping to feel fit enough to go for that night out to the theatre to see Tomb With A View, the show that our DS is stage managing for Group 62 - could do with a laugh. Fingers crossed

Right now though I'm off to get my feet up again...... maybe do the final bit of finishing on the Challenge piece

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit and especially for commenting, it's very much appreciated. Hope you're all having a lovely day. :0)

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Snowmen and Doctors

I carried on stitching the Heartwarmers Bellpull last night. When it came to it I just didn't want the hassle of digging out fabric and threads for another Halloween ornie, mostly due to the leg giving me quite a bit of discomfort whenever I walked. There's now one complete snowman (barring the charms and beads), another wording section and the top of the head of the second one:

I must say this is amongst the cutest pieces I've stitched but it is the nastiest chart I've come across in a while. Each section (snowmen and wording blocks) is charted seperately, so there's a lot of counting and working out to be done before starting each section to make sure the positioning is OK - there's so little or no room for manoeuvre it has to be right. It still means plenty of chances for mistakes, especially as the chart and the pic of the stitched piece show differences in layout, so it really is making it harder work than it needed to be. I so hope the other LB pieces I've got in my stash have better charts than this or I won't be a happy bunny!

As it's the JA/S&S UFO Night tonight I shall be having a break from this and grabbing something out of the UFO bag to do. No idea what yet........ will have to see what mood takes me when I sit down to stitch. :0)

In the meantime I had to break the habit of a lifetime - avoiding going to see a Doctor at any/every opportunity - today. Those bites on my leg were giving me real bother last night, as the red area had spread further round my ankle, my foot and lower leg were decidedly swollen and I began to feel generally unwell. I abandoned the TCP for good, old-fashioned Germolene cream on a plaster overnight but there was no sign of it having drawn any of the infection or of it subsiding when checked this morning. I then stepped out of bed, got a serious shooting pain up my leg and just saved myself from falling in a heap on the floor. Hobbling to the bathroom and back was no fun - it brought back less than fond memories of the bursitis I had on holiday and I knew then that professional help was needed with this.

One trip to the GP later: the bites are infected (yes, I already knew that!) and cellulitis was mentioned, so I have a course of anti-biotics to take. I also came away with some cream for a dermatitis patch behind my right ear and an appointment to see the nurse in a fortnight's time to have my blood pressure checked again - it was on the high side. Well it would be: I don't like going there and the screaming brat in the waiting room hadn't helped any...... plus the dentist had already warned me it should be checked out. He wants some other readings for comparison before deciding what to do about it. Yes, when I finally go to the Doctor's I go with a job lot and make sure I get my money's worth! LOL Bet you anything you'd like to wager that among the first sentence the nurse utters will be the word weight. I gave up adding salt to my food years ago (except a light sprinkle on chips) but I won't be giving up my McVitie's Chocolate biscuits without a fight!

So, after not going anywhere near for years at a time that will make three visits to a Doctor's surgery this year - that's definitely three too many for my liking! LOL

Googling ailments is also a bad idea: I stopped reading when the words "flesh-eating bacteria" cropped up. It's already given me enough of a scare...... I really don't need the thoughts of that hanging around, thank you very much.

Dawn Bibby should be on QVC around now so I am off for some distraction and possible retail therapy........ and a little early stitching won't do any harm either......... all with my leg elevated, of course. LOL

Thank you for visiting and for the kind comments - all greatly appreciated. Take care. :0)

Monday, 13 October 2008

Weekend Stitching

Well that theatre Get In was a long one and I didn't see DH again until around 6pm and DS didn't show his face until around 10pm - so it was a long, quiet day with the TV and my stitching to keep me company. The TV was pretty dire at times but it was nice to have the voices in the background......... guess it makes a change from the ones in my head and talking to myself LOL. By the end of the night Heartwarmers looked like this:

Pretty pleased with that progress. Still got the arms and a little birdhouse to stitch but the eyes and mouth and holly berries are all beads and I'm going to leave all those until the end and add them when I add the charms.

DH liked what he saw of the rehearsal after the Get In yesterday and reckons it will be a good production to go and watch, so it looks like we'll be having a night out some time this week. That'll make a nice change as they normally only let me out at the weekends. ;0)

Many thanks for all the kind comments on my stitching and for the well wishes. I'm feeling way better than I did, although Sod's Law struck at the weekend: while I was out in the garden helping DH some nasty little critter bit the back of my right leg (ankle height) twice and the bites have gone a bit iffy, so I've got a limp - again! There's a patch of inflammation that's slowly spreading around my leg, despite not scratching and copiously daubing the bites with TCP. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing that whatever it was that bit me has more than likely died of food poisoning since........ and serve the little bugger right! LOL

Today I've been hobbling round, getting my usual jobs done ready for Alex dropping by. I popped out and filled up all the bird feeders earlier but I didn't hang around long - the midges are rife and I didn't fancy adding any more bites to what I've already got. Can't believe just how nice the weather is at the moment though, can you? Now why didn't we have some of this during the summer holidays?! As for tonight, I shall probably carry on with the bellpull for now...... unless I decide to break off and do another Halloween ornie instead. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. Thank you for taking the time to visit. :0)

Friday, 10 October 2008

Something Fishy!

No, it isn't down to the wind from Grimsby Docks blowing in this direction. The something fishy is my Sea Stars SAL piece. As promised, here's a pic of where I left off after this weeks progress:

The right hand square motif is the one added this time around and it's in Carrie's Baja Blue plus I also managed to add a little to the ships' wheel and another little fish. I love that Baja Blue and would love to do a monochromatic design in just that thread at some point - will have to get thinking and looking through my stash to see what would suit. :0)

DH got back from his trip to Italy OK Friday night, tired but none the worse for wear. My nights sleep was only marginally better though, as I kept being woken up by the dulcet tones of his snoring, so am still feeling somewhat sleep deprived. We were supposed to be going to my DSis's today (Saturday) but I got an upset stomach so we stayed home instead. I won't complain though, as it meant the lawn got what will hopefully be the last cut of the season and some of the conifers got trimmed and topped as well. I helped out when I could and it was good to spend some time out there - despite feeling shattered when we'd done I also felt refreshed, clearer headed and my stomach had settled down nicely. Mother Nature working Her wonders once again. :0)

Tonight I decided to go for a new stitching start. No, not the Lorri Birmingham Seasons piece I mentioned previously (still looking for that elusive 28ct white banding for that) but it is another Lorri B design. Here's where I've got to with it:

Can you tell what it is yet? LOL Sorry about the blurry pic but I took three and they all turned out like that and it's just too much hassle to go do some more just now. I don't think it's down to my accidentally dunking the memory card in a hot cup of coffee on Friday (Oops!) because I've taken other pics since and they all came out OK. Will hopefully get a better one next time round, whenever I do an update. Meantime, in case you can't guess which design it is you can see what it looks like here. Cute, aren't they? :0)

DS is out at an LTC social evening tonight (Saturday), a meal at a local Chinese Restaurant - there are supposed to be about 45 of them going, so it should be a good night. Reckon they'll have filled the place! Tomorrow is Get In at the theatre for a Show he's stage manager for and DH will be helping with that. Not sure how long it will take but I reckon it'll be long enough for me to get some quiet stitching time in, carrying on with my new WIP. Just hope there's something decent on the TV..... if not I guess the relaxation CD's will be going on instead.

Well, between the sleep deprivation, feeling iffy with the stomach upset earlier, and the time spent outside gardening I am definitely well ready for my bed tonight, so I'm off.

Whatever you are all doing this weekend I hope you're having a great time. Thank you for visiting. :0)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Remember, Remember......

No, not the 5th of November - a bit too early for that just yet. Remember this little chap and his buddy?

Well, would you believe I finally got in the mood for finishing this week? Yay! I spent some of Tuesday afternoon with the cold melt glue gun putting things together, then some of Wednesday evening sewing the edges and adding the trim. Here's the result:

Still not too sure about that ribbon but it needed to be sturdy enough to hang from a door handle and obvious enough so that DH and DS will spot it and be careful (that's the theory, anyway. Reckon it'll work? Nah, me neither!). That bold orange does look good against the dark wood of the door though, so it's growing on me. :0)

This is what I used for the back:

That was from a remnant I picked up at a bargain price from the Creative Fabrics sale some time ago. I haven't been able to complete the Fall ornie yet as it needs a charm adding first and I'm waiting on some charms arriving, along with a few other goodies, from Thread Bear. Well, you can't just go buying a few charms from such a great stash place, can you? ;0) LOL

When the finishing on the ornie was done I picked up the Good Friends Count SAL piece and finished the stitching on it. The next job is to find some suitable beads and add them. I've been putting that job off as it means going delving in a cupboard in DS's room and to get to it I shall have to move a mountain of his stuff first. Nope, not one member of this family knows what minimalistic living is all about. Yep, I really meant it when I said send out the search parties if you didn't hear from me again - I could literally end up buried under that mountain of cr*p he's got in there. ;0)

I made a start on the finishing on the JA/S&S Challenge piece early Thursday evening - a bit fiddly, thanks to my hands being a bit iffy at the moment, but I got there in the end. Need to do a little more to it, then it's done and I can take a pic to send to Karen for the album. No pics on here until Reveal Day at the end of the month though, sorry. It's nice to be this organised......... it doesn't happen that often, so I like to take full advantage when it does. LOL

Last night was the turn of the Sea Stars SAL but I shall leave that until next time - I want to finish off the motif I was working on, as there's not much left to do, before taking a pic.

I didn't go to bed until about 1.30am again. This time I dropped off quicker but I still kept waking up through the night. :0( Helen: I'm even crankier than the pedlar's dog now. LOL It's one of those half remembered sayings from childhood (like: more bent than a fiddlers elbow) and I guess they were cranky 'cos they were flea-bitten, mange ridden mutts who got to traipse up and down the country and had to try sleeping in hedge bottoms when there was no other shelter. Glad to say I ain't got the fleas or mange..... well, not that I've noticed..... and my beds lovely and comfy but the good night's sleep just ain't happening. LOL

Lisa: I may have the meditation CD's...... it doesn't necessarily mean I get the meditating bit right. LOL More often than not I get too relaxed and keep falling asleep. Still, at least I usually feel a bit better afterwards....... so long as I don't get a crick in my neck! There are quite a few good books and CD's out there that may help. I get some of my CD's from here. If you want to do the whole setting the mood bit: I get my incense sticks from here - they are the only ones I've used that don't set me off sneezing. I shall probably try nodding off..... oops, I mean meditating again this afternoon.

Many thanks for visiting and especially for the kind comments you leave. Hope you're all having a good day. :0)

Mother Earth

Tuesday UFO Night has come and gone again and this time around it was Mother Earth who wanted some attention and suited my mood. Here's what She looks like now:

If you can't tell where the needle has been: Her throat area has been infilled, odd stitches in Her eye and mouth done and some more stitches added to Her strands of hair. I did have all intentions of stitching more on Wednesday but I got diverted onto something else instead (more of that in my next post). Still, any progress is good. :0)

DH went off to Italy first thing on Wednesday morning and a minibus full went with him this time round, so he'll have plenty of company throughout. He only had his flu jab (diabetics are encouraged to have them) the day before, so I hope he will be OK. He's due home again some time Friday night....... in the meantime DS will be out every night, so I am in sole charge of the TV remote! Yay!

DS went to the casting for the Panto last night and got the part of Jack, as in Jack and Jill. He didn't seem overly excited about it but a combination of post-Henry V blues and a cold are sapping much of his energy and enthusiasm at the moment. He'll feel happier about it once he gets rid of the cold and starts getting into rehearsals again. I did offer to treat us both to a meal at the Malt Shovel tonight but he has something else on. Looks like it's just me and a microwave lasagne tonight then. LOL

I decided against having a 3am bedtime last night, going up around 1.30am instead, in the hopes of not getting as badly sleep deprived as usual. Big mistake - it was ages before I went off to sleep and then what I did get was intermittent, as I kept waking up regularly through the night. Consequently, today I feel as rough as a butchers block and as cranky as the pedlar's dog! The meditation and chill out CD's are going on the player shortly (as in: as soon as I've finished here) and I think I'd better go for the full works today, lighting candles and incense too. LOL

Thank you to one and all for visiting, regulars and newbies - hope you're all having a great day. :0)

Friday, 3 October 2008

A Card, Trims and Chat

Well I didn't get any stitching done Friday night but I did make a card instead. One of my cousins' offspring produced an offspring of their own the middle of last week so I made this card to send:

The light was fading when I took it and the flash has flared a little, unfortunately. The teddy is made from Fimo so this is a very dimensional card. LOL I had to wrap it in bubblewrap and put it in a Jiffy bag to send it.

DH enjoyed seeing Henry V - he not only managed to follow most of the flowery language but also didn't fall asleep! I'll be honest: I had visions of him nodding off, his head falling back and loud snoring issuing forth. LOL The run finished after the performance on Saturday night and DH helped them with the Get Out. No rest for the wicked: DS is off to tonight's reading for the Pantomime, in the hopes of getting one of the two parts he's interested in, then he's stage managing for a Group 62 production which I think starts next week (the actual details slipped past me somewhere in the telling, I'm afraid). I know he's asked DH if he'll help with the Get In.......... looks like I'm set for a few more quiet nights, being in charge of the TV remote. :0)

Saturday we went to Brigg Garden Centre for dinner then had a look round. We had a look round the upstairs Christmas display, which was almost fully complete. Only one mardy brat, who was soon dragged off, so it was quite enjoyable. We didn't come away with any decorations (though there was much temptation!) but I did manage to come away with some pretty trims for finishing off ornies:

At just 99p for 4 metres of piping and 5 of ribbon I thought they were very reasonable. :0) We also came away with some feeders filled with seeds for the robins, tits and finches, a couple of net bags of sunflower seeds and some bags of fruit suet, as planned. A bag of sunflower seeds and one of the feeders went out onto the new feeding station as soon as we got back and a scoop of suet went into the mesh trays. Now to see if more than the starlings, ring-necked doves and sparrows are tempted into visiting. :0)

Sunday we opted to go to the Stephen H Smith garden centre cafe for dinner - my tuna melt panini was very tasty. :0) Afterwards we had a wander round their Christmas display and, again, it was quite pleasant as the few kids that there were very well behaved. This time I did succumb to a decoration:

Can you blame me though? I love and burn candles of all kinds but these Yankee Candles and their decorative burners are in a class of their own. That Christmas Cookie candle is gorgeous - it smells good enough to eat! There was also a good selection of both hardback and paperback books in the gift section, with some being 3 for £10 and others at 3 for £5. I didn't give in to temptation this time, although I could have done, quite easily. DH wasn't going to either, despite immediately spotting a couple he was interested in, but I talked him into them - as part of the anniversary present I still owed him.

He can be awkward to buy for sometimes, as he doesn't give many clues as to what he wants, so I grab such opportunities when they present themselves. It's his birthday next month and, despite reminding him that I'd like to know what he would like....... nothing, nada, zilch, zero - not a clue. I'm debating making up a large tag as an "I.O.U. one birthday gift" and giving him that. LOL

After that we had a look round B&Q for a new bath tap and shower combination but couldn't find one that would meet all the requirements we wanted. Due to my having some arthritic joints in my fingers we are changing all the taps in the house to ones with flip up handles, rather than twist on ones, to make it less painful for me to use them. Unfortunately it's proving difficult to find a flip on bath tap/shower combi that is both thermostatically controlled and has a flip bit to turn it from tap to shower mode - they either don't have the thermostat bit or still insist on having the little twisty knobs that I really struggle to use. We've only just started looking, so have other places still to try, but if that's an example of what's on offer then it may just prove to be a frustrating search.

Next was a trip out to Uncle Henry's. First we had a cold drink (no sticky as we were being good) then did some shopping: some meat for tea, bottles of the Orchard Pig apple juice (one of the best I've ever tasted) and a few other bits and pieces and we signed up for the Loyalty Card scheme. We drove back via the airport so DH could plane spot - although I'd taken my stitching and book with me I didn't need either as it got quite warm, thanks to the sun shining through the windows, and I couldn't keep my eyes open....... I ended up curled up on the backseat having a snooze. Sheesh, I've got the habits of a little old granny already! LOL I told DH he'd better not be turning into an anorak! LMAO

After tea I carried on stitching the JA/S&S Challenge piece, which I started Saturday night, and completed it. Sorry, no pic until Reveal Day. Have you ever started out with the intention of making your stitched piece up as one thing then have it morph into something else entirely different as you go along? Well that's what happened with this: I had all intentions of trying my first needleroll with it and had cut the fabric to suit but the design had other ideas and is now going to end up as something totally different. If I have enough time, among the other things I want to stitch and complete this month, I may just stitch a second pink design to go with it. As the stitching on that didn't take too long I started the fifth and final part of the Good Friends Count SAL as well. It stitches up so well I shall miss this when it's completed.

It's been my usual routine today with one exception: Alex wasn't able to come round for our regular coffee and natter due to pressures of work, thanks to the parent/teacher evenings fast approaching. I miss the natter. I got the jobs done and out of the way anyway - it frees up so much time for other, fun stuff, later in the week when I do that. :0)

Tonight I hope to carry on with GFC, so fingers crossed for a finish and a HD very soon. :0)

Thank you for visiting and for all the kind comments on my stitching, they are greatly appreciated. Hope you enjoy your visits. :0)

Three S's

That's Stash and Sea Stars, before anyone's mind goes a thinking of anything else.......... sorry, but with a lad like mine I just felt the need to clarify that! ;0) LOL

The stash is my Monthly Clubs of 32ct fabric and gorgeous rainbow of Carrie's threads from Jayne:

I love that monthly pinkie dropping through the letter box. This time around the fabric was a piece of Polstitches Fields of Green and what a lovely reminder of Spring it is. I'll have to find something suitably Spring-like to stitch on it. :0)

As you all know by now Thursday Night is Sea Stars night. Is it being really sad, knowing what day of the week it is by what you are stitching on? LOL If it is I don't care - not when the designs are as lovely as these. Here's this weeks progress:

Another motif, another tropical fish and a bit more of the ships' wheel and octopus. Not quite as much as I'd like to have done but there were several interruptions through the evening that stopped me from getting a proper flow going. Hopefully I shall make up for it next week. Looking forward to seeing the other girls' progress. :0)

If I can get organised (Hah! LOL) and pick the fabric and threads I shall make a start on the Challenge piece tonight........ if not it might just be a good time to give Night Watchman another outing out of the work bag. I won't be having that new Lorri Birmingham start just yet: the 4 1/2" wide, 30" long white 28ct evenweave banding that I need is proving to be a tad elusive. I've tried most of my usual online shopping places without luck - so if you know of anywhere that sells it or if you have some and are willing to let me buy or trade for it then please shout up........ I'd be really grateful as I really want to start this design soon. :0)

Meantime Part 5 of the Good Friends Count SAL appeared in my Inbox earlier this afternoon, so that has been printed out ready to go. Hopefully I'll get to that some time over the weekend. This is the final part and it has all the beading placement on it too........ so it looks like the Tacky Bob is going to get some use sooner than expected. I shall have to go rooting around in my bead stash beforehand for something suitable........ as that's currently being stored in two different places I may be gone for some time. ;0)

Last night's Henry V performance had an audience of just over 70 people - not a great turn out but still better than expected. There are obviously more cultured folk in this town than I gave it credit for. LOL DH has decided he wants to be among those cultured souls and is off to watch it tonight........ Jane Austen and the Bronte's are as much culture as I'm up for, so I won't be joining him. He can tell me all about it later...... if he manages to stay awake through it. Eheheh.

My DSis is working this weekend so we're staying home again but have no set plans, as yet. I do need to get some more peanuts for the birds and some suitable food for the robins, tits and finches so we may have yet another trip to one of the many garden centres in the area and as some of the Christmas displays are going up at the moment it's a good excuse to go see those as well. As I suspected, the ram-raiding sparrows didn't take long to pluck up courage and start eating the fat balls in the new feeder - I spotted them mobbing it yesterday afternoon and they've been regularly visiting it ever since. I popped out earlier and re-filled all the feeders with peanuts and seed but didn't hang around for long as there's a decidedly winter bite to the air, instead of the autumnal nip we had been having - a sign those Northerly winds have arrived. It's getting so brisk out I've taken down my windchimes to prevent them getting damaged so I'd guess there's a good chance we'll be doing inside jobs over this weekend. LOL

The son and heir is home once more so I'm off to feed him before he shoots off to the theatre again.

What ever you do this weekend, I hope it is full of fun and laughter for you all. :0)

Thursday, 2 October 2008

That's Better!

Just when I began to wonder if Motivation might have gone on holiday and taken her good friend Mojo with her up they popped again last night, so stitching commenced and not one but two SAL sections got finished! Yay!

First up for some attention was the Ozark Mystery SAL and I got the second motif finished:

Can you spot the mistake? Unfortunately it wasn't until the motif was complete that realisation hit: although I'd correctly altered the motif to be the same distance from the border edge as the other, and despite counting and recounting, I hadn't been totally accurate and it's finished up positioned one stitch lower than the other motif. After venting and bringing it's parentage into question it's been put to one side and left. I shall wait until Part 10 arrives and see what that entails before deciding if it should be frogged and redone....... or not. If it doesn't look too out of kilter I will probably decide I can live with it and leave well alone - the motif looks nice but I didn't enjoy stitching it and, to be honest, don't fancy doing it again.

Next up was the next part of the Good Friends Count SAL and this, thankfully, went a whole lot smoother:

I love that four-sided stitch as it's really simple to do but looks so effective. The next part should be in my InBox soon - am looking forward to seeing what's next.

Tonight is Sea Stars again, so tonight's stitching is taken care of. Tomorrow I shall probably kit up the JA/S&S Challenge piece ready to start that. I had chosen one particular design to do and printed it out but have now decided it's a bit too involved to do at the moment (maybe a future stitch?). I had another look at the links earlier today and chose a different freebie to stitch which I like just as much and it will be much more straightforward to do. I also printed out a second design while I was looking: the Gloria & Pat Cancer poem freebie. I found it quite inspirational and intend to stitch and frame it and donate the piece to the hospice that cared for my Dad, so they can either display it or raffle it to make funds. :0)

OK, I'll fess up now: after completing the two SAL sections I almost had a new start last night. Yes, another one. It's a lovely Lorri Birmingham piece called The Four Seasons that I bought from someone's stash clearance sale last month (yes, I kept quiet about that LOL). I adore LB designs, so how could I continue to resist starting it? I wasn't too sure about the best place to start the piece, so had a count up of all the sections on the chart then counted out on the banding and put pins in relevant places to give me a better idea of the placement of each section. Good job I did take the time to do this as the banding is just not long enough to stitch the design on it and do the fabric turning top and bottom for the bell pull ends to go through. I guess someone is trying to tell me to get real and get some current WIP's finished first! LOL Looking on the bright side: this piece of banding will come in for something else and now I do have a rather good excuse to go shopping. ;0)

DS tells me the first night of Henry V went OK, that he'd enjoyed it and there were around a 100 people in the audience - not full but a good first night turn out. He said the final applause was way better than the one pair of hands clapping and echoing round the auditorium that he had been expecting. LOL Fingers crossed that the audience numbers are either as good as, or better, for the rest of the run. :0)

Sally: which of the fabrics do you like?

Time for me to go cook some tea for DS. He may get nerves before a performance but they certainly don't put him off his food! LOL

Many thanks for taking the time out of your day to come and visit. Hope you're having a good day. :0)