Wednesday, 30 April 2008


my new Tuesday UFO Night piece, Carol Tinson's Heirloom Embroideries Limited Edition Valentine design Love Is You. I last picked this up in February, so it's not my longest term UFO, but it was the one that shouted the loudest last night! LOL
Where I left off in February:
This is how it looks after a bit of attention last night:
It's stitched 1 over 1 (main reason it fell by the wayside - hard on my eyes before I got the clip-on magnifier) and is stitched on Permin 28ct Lambswool linen, using Victoria Clayton silk: Heart Wood (border, heart and diamond shape in capital L) and Kaalund silk: Poinsettia (everything else). Just another three or four UFO Night sessions should see this one finished........ another reason for choosing it, as it would be nice to get another piece finished and out of the way. :0)

Sunday was Reveal Day for the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge pieces. I haven't posted pics of my piece yet because: 1) I'm still finishing it and 2) when it is finished it's going to a new home and I don't want to spoil the surprise. No 2 has resulted in No 1, namely: because it's going to a new home I want it to be a really nice finish and that's been making me dither over choosing what to do. I am my own worst enemy sometimes! LOL
I have had a look at the album of all the girls' finishes and they are gorgeous! The variety of threads, fabrics, colours and finishes is always amazing and there are also plenty of "Now why didn't I think of that?" and "I'm definitely pinching that idea!" moments. I must say that, though I really liked all of the finishes, this month Terri's little banner really stole my heart, as it was both an unusual finish and just so pretty.

Many thanks for all the kind comments on my last post, they've really been appreciated. Monday was the first anniversary of my Dad's passing, so DH booked the day off and we went over to Doncaster for the day. After picking up my DSis we visited Rosehill to lay some flowers - of course it rained while we were there but stopped later in the afternoon. We spent some time in the garden then, doing a little weeding and planting up some pots with a couple of flowering bushes, setting some marigold seeds in a trough type planter and also planting two hanging baskets with strawberry plants - her first try at growing fruit, so fingers crossed they do OK. Dad would have approved - he did love his garden. :0)

I've wanted to spend some time out in my own garden since then but it seems to have done nothing but rain so far this week. OK, slight exaggeration - there have been some breaks in it - but everything is so wet and soggy out there it's making it impossible to do anything without getting wet through and/or muddy, so it's no fun. Guess I'll just have to stay in and stitch instead then! ;0)

A few bright spots today though: a pinkie from Jayne, containing the next batch of L*K Double Flips, arrived this morning. Yay! Then Kate from Thread Bear rang: the order I made back on the 17th has been awaiting delivery of two of the charts I'd ordered - unfortunately there's going to be a delay on them, due to waiting for them to be shipped from overseas, so in the meantime the rest of my order is being sent on. That means I'll be able to finish the middle heart motif on the For Amanda SAL when it gets here, as well as being able to get some birthday pressies organised. Double Yay!
Oh, and CRAM rang yesterday to say that my new PC tower was ready and DH popped there in his dinner hour today and picked it up. He's going to gradually transfer everything over for me from tonight so, hopefully, it'll all be done and ready to rock and roll by the weekend. Triple Yay! LOL

Right, if I'm ever going to finish the Challenge piece and send it off to it's new home I'd better go and get on with it!

Thanks again for all your kind wishes. I hope you are all having a good week. :0)

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Birthday Memories

Hope you're having a Happy 75th Birthday in the Other World Dad.This is how I know you want to be remembered: enjoying fun times with your youngest grandson Finlay at yours and Mum's favourite holiday place at Pelham Farm, Lincolnshire. Boy, did little Fin's eyes pop when he saw that blue tractor! LOL

I had decided to post a pic of my Dad in his RE uniform, taken when he was serving out in Egypt but couldn't find it. Instead, an envelope full of photos "appeared" where I don't remember seeing it before but when I looked inside and saw this one among them I knew it was more than a co-incidence.

Remembering all the happy times and great memories Dad. :0)

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Saturday Surprise

During my solo evening last night I carried on with the Ozark SAL and got it finished:

Another lovely thread colour - really happy with how this is turning out so far. Wonder what next month's pack will contain? :0)

Oh, just in case you were wondering: I bottled it and didn't watch the Resident Evil DVD - decided I wasn't that brave after all........ although I did watch a Most Haunted repeat instead and an X Files afterwards so I'm not a total wuss. ;0) LOL

DS went off bright and early this morning, with Alex, to Brigg farmers Market, so there's a nice big corn-fed chicken to roast for tomorrow's dinner, organic veggies to go with and the fridge is re-stocked from our favourite fish and cheese stalls. He also brought back a few one-person portions of meat for the freezer, ready for when DH and I go on our weeks holiday in May - he can be quite self-sufficient when he wants and enjoys cooking.

The surprise bit for today is that, although he didn't get in until gone 2.30am this morning, DH hadn't indulged excessively. He was in that nicely relaxed state: swaying gently backwards and forwards as he attempted to get undressed, thinking he's being quiet when he's actually making more noise than usual. LOL He had a bit of a lay-in and after a meal he was more or less back to normal by the afternoon........ and felt even better after watching the Grand Prix qualifying session on TV, mug of tea in hand. No headache Julie, so no point in playing the radio loud - will save that one for when it is needed though. LMAO

We popped into the town centre to CRAM late this afternoon and the result is that they are building me a new PC in a posh black tower and it should be ready for picking up early next week. Yay!

The weather here today has been lovely - so much so that we sat out in the garden when we got back from town, enjoying the warmth, a cup of coffee and the birds singing. DH must have been feeling nicely revitalised because he then set-to and mowed the lawn........ and I enjoyed watching him. Eheheh!

Karen: sorry but my challenge piece pic is going to be late again - I've really struggled with a finishing idea this time but will send it as soon as it's done.

Anyway if I'm going to get that challenge piece progressing I'd best go and get on with it.

Hope you've all been sharing in the lovely weather and enjoyed a good day. :0)

Friday, 25 April 2008

Thank You - Gracias - Merci

So says the card I made a little earlier in the week : and that's what I'd like to say to all you lovely ladies for all the kind comments about ET. :0)
I still feel like pinching myself to make sure it wasn't a dream and she is actually finished. LOL

Thanks also to Sally and Karen for setting my mind at rest by letting me know that Helen and Dawn are OK. :0) BTW, Karen - best duck real low 'cos it'll be a very big brick! ;0) LMAO

A BIG WAVE to Helen - thanks for taking the time to comment (LOL about the belly!) and I hope you are recuperating well and not in too much pain (((((gentle hugs))))).

I started Part 4 (? - three SAL's on the go, I'm struggling to remember!) of the Ozark SAL on Wednesday, as planned, continued yesterday and still have four and a half letters to go - won't post a pic until it's finished though. Must say I love the way this thread colour stitches up and the alphabet is looking very effective. Can't wait to see what the next bit will be.

I've made a few more cards today. Two I can't show yet but this one I can:

which is for our friend Alex's little girl. As I hadn't written her birthday down on my calendar and DS only told me it was her birthday late this afternoon it was a bit of a last minute "Oh, bum - what shall I do?" panic make. Quite pleased with it though, as it turned out better than expected. The main embellishment is pretty neat: it opens up into a little 3-D display that says "on your special day" inside. Not sure how long that will last if Grace gets her hands on it though! LOL

I'm in charge of the TV remote tonight. Yay! DS has gone to Alex's for their regular D&D session and DH is out at the LISI Dinner............ please don't ask me what LISI stands for! All I know is that it's some kind of engineering Institute and this is their yearly posh dinner with speakers afterwards - basically a free meal and chance for a chat with some of the higher echelons in Corus on a social basis. DH was warned before he went out NOT to imbibe too much of the free booze that goes with the free dinner........ or else! Nope, I won't be taking bets on him having taken that warning to heart and I've got the "I Told You So" t-shirt all ready for the morning.

I am now trying to decide if I've got the bottle to go and watch DS's DVD Resident Evil: Extinction whilst in the house all on my lonesome. So far I've stayed quite happily in front of my PC, putting off that decision........... I've got a BA Honours Degree with Distinction in Prevarication, don't you know. ;0) LOL

Plans for the weekend include a trip to CRAM for a new computer and a continuation of the car hunt and new kitchen inspiration, hungover DH and weather permitting.

Whatever your plans are, hope you all have a good weekend. :0)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I had a trawl back through my records and it looks like I started this particular piece some time back in 2005 and I finally put the final stitch in her last night, during Tuesday UFO Night over at JA/S&S forum.

Here she is, in all her unwashed/unpressed glory....... finally completed!

YAY!!! A BIG thank you to Julie and Mr Stick and the girls for all the encouragement and for keeping me motivated with this one. Believe me, with those hair/wig bands and the DMC metallic thread it needed a lot of help, so I didn't lose the will to live while stitching them!

I shall be back Tuesday next week with another UFO - undecided as yet as to which one, so will wait and see what screams the loudest! LOL

In the meantime I'm keeping my eyes open for a sandstone looking fabric to complete ET as a wallhanging, which I think will suit it better than it being framed. If anyone spots anything they think will be suitable whilst trawling the web or eBay then please give me a shout and point me in the right direction, thanks. :0)

I've now got a scroll frame freed up and plenty of new starts waiting to occupy it and am now trying to decide which one of them I fancy starting next: Long Dogs Rosemarkie? Ink Circles Tanglewood? Chatelaine's Autumn Dusk? This year's L*K Flip-Its? Or one of the many kits in my stash - such as Teresa Wentzler's Egyptian Sampler? Or a Dragon? If I knew how to set up one of those poll things down the side of my blog I'd throw it open for a vote 'cos I'm struggling to decide.

I also completed the stitching on the Monthly Challenge piece yesterday (definitely a good day! LOL) but am now stalled on the finishing. I know what I'd like to do with it but I can't find any instructions for anything like it and I'm not sure my skills are up to doing it off the top of my head - I don't want to risk ruining the stitched piece as I'm really happy with how it's turned out. Guess I shall just have to bite the bullet and have a go...... or bottle it and make something simpler - either way I've got to get it done and the pics sent to Karen before Sunday's Reveal Day.

My library and audio books are due back tomorrow, so I am revving myself up to have what will be only my second solo wander down to the library and back. Unfortunately I didn't rapidly follow up the success of the first trip, due to getting that lousy cough and cold and a few other problems, so it feels like I'm back at the beginning and starting out from scratch again. Oh, well - I'll get there eventually! :0)

BTW, has anyone heard how Helen (Stitchingranny) and Dawn (Mystic Stitching Witch) are and if they've both had their ops yet? Got everything crossed they are both OK but would love to know for certain.

Lynn: am still unable to comment on your blog but have been thinking of you. Sending lots of (((((((((hugs))))))))) to you too.

Many thanks to all my visitors for taking the time to visit and thank you for all the kind comments on my recent stitching, they are much appreciated. :0)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Memorials and Memories

It's the first anniversary of my Dad's passing on the 28th of this month, with what would have been his birthday the day before, so these dates have been very much on my mind as this month has drawn on. On Saturday I made this card:My DSis will open the envelope on the 27th and put the card on the hearth, along with some flowers. I chose an Egyptian theme as it seemed most apt, as my Dad served in the Royal Engineers in Egypt during the Suez Crisis, of which he was very proud. The card shows Anubis, god of death, holding an ankh (symbol of eternal life) to the mouth of the young pharoah, thus ensuring he lived on in the afterlife. The gold figures on the paper ribbon at the top and bottom are the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt.

I also made a tag which will go next to our parents' name plaque at Rosehill.
This is the boy King Tutankhamun with an ankh and scarab beetle. Dad never got to see the sights of Egypt, as they were out of bounds while he was there, and he couldn't afford to go there for a holiday in later life, so I hope he and Mum are seeing all the sights now. :0)

Saturday evening I carried on stitching and finished Part 4 of the Memories SAL, after finally choosing a year:
We'd been through some pretty bad times in the previous couple of years, culminating in losing three family members to various forms of cancer last year: DH's DSis in March, my Dad in April and my cousin's wife in November. I chose 2008 because I want this piece to be a reminder that no matter how much crap life throws at us, no matter how bad things get, we can get through it - coming out the other side OK and going on to enjoy better times.

Sunday we had a trip over to see my DSis. We took the card, the new light fittings & bulbs DH got for her from Screwfix (for the hallway this time), had dinner out and a drive round afterwards and did lots of nattering. Though I took the Ozark SAL and a small piece with me I didn't get any stitching done whilst there and was too tired after we got back, especially as we called in at Tesco Express for a bit of shopping on the way home.
Today has been my usual Monday routine of jobs, with a Forum and emails catch-up thrown in as a little light relief, before Alex arrived, followed by evening meal preparation and cooking after she went. Tonight I hope to start the Challenge piece - that's right...... I still haven't stitched it! I also haven't got a clue on how to finish it. I sort of had something in mind earlier in the month but have absolutely no idea on how to achieve it and haven't yet spotted any online instructions to help me out either. Oh well, at this late stage I guess plain and simple will be the best option! LOL

Helen: thank you again. It means a great deal to me. :0)

Oh, Julie, that Thread Bear order: some of the goodies are meant as gifts........ errrmm....... well........ that's the intention............. depends if I can bear to part with them after I've got my sticky little mitts on them! Can't have an extension on the house though - we've already got one and it's almost full! ;0) LMAO

Karen: DH would probably love a day by the sea.......... doubt he'd do any work while he was there though - he'd be off to sunbathe in the same spot as the British Gas blokes! :0) LOL

Well, if I'm ever going to make a start on that Challenge piece I'd better go. I shall start my blog reading catch-up tomorrow - by the rising numbers of posts on Bloglines it looks like some of you have had busy weekends. :0)

Thanks again for taking the time to visit and leave comments, which I very much appreciate - it's always good to know I'm not waffling away to myself (it means the men in white coats with the green van and the funny waistcoat won't be round just yet! LOL).
Have a good week all. :0)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Two Updates

I started on the next part of the Memories SAL last night but as it is just two rows of long and short satin stitch I won't post an update on that yet - I'll leave it until I've completed the whole section and then share.

Thought I'd post a pic of where I'm up to on the For Amanda SAL piece instead:
Am stalled on this until the Perle thread arrives from Thread Bear. Yes, I went shopping today and no, I didn't buy just the thread: their stock is just as bouncy as Jayne's and all kinds of wonderful things kept jumping into my basket and I just didn't have the heart to turf them out. LMAO ;0) Have had to ask that they send the package Recorded Delivery because the last few packages I've had (sent from elsewhere) have turned up with the packaging damaged (one looked like they'd been surfing up and down the depot on it). I'm hoping that sending by RD means that Royal Mail will handle it a little more gently. Yes, I can hear disbelieving snorts from all over the place - I doubt it'll work either but you have to live in hope!

The second update is of Night Watchman. After several occasional stitching sessions it seems to have grown a reasonable amount:

I'm concentrating on the background whenever I stitch on this because I know if I do the most interesting bit (the owl) first I shan't have much of an incentive to carry on with it. There's an awful lot of that background and it can be quite "bitty" - although it does look effective. That's what I like about Heritage Stitchcraft designs: they stay as true to the original piece of artwork as possible. Plus I also like the fact that the threads in their kits are pre-organised so all I've got to do is mark the centre of the fabric, put it on a frame and start stitching - great for when I'm feeling lazy and want a quick new start. :0)

DS seems to have settled into the new job OK. He doesn't enjoy having to drive along one of the main routes in/out of town at peak times but the quieter alternative route adds extra mileage/time to the run, so he's reluctant to use it - the price petrol (gas) costs now it would make a heck of a difference to the running costs. He's a bit grumpy at the minute because the insurance is due and, like me, he'd rather that money went on good stuff - in his case, PC/X Box games, DVD's, CD's and nights out. Don't think you need three guesses to work out what I'd rather spend it on. ;0) LOL

My back isn't twinging so much now, so I've had the Dyson out and given the bedrooms a birthday today....... and promptly had a piece drop off it and a spring go ping. Another job for DH - as if he hadn't got enough on his list already! Karen: he's pretty good at basic plumbing, as he and a friend put our heating system in and replaced all the old lead piping when we first moved in. He's also a proper electrical engineer, so he can do all those jobs too. The only problem is actually getting him motivated into shifting his butt to do the jobs............. anyone got any spare dynamite laying around? ;0) LMAO

Well, there's not much else to share for now as things have been fairly quiet since our rather hectic weekend - thankfully! Tonight I plan on doing a little blog reading and then will carry on stitching Memories.

Thanks for stopping by - hope all is well in your parts of the world. :0)

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


ready for that Happy Dance, as I got a band of metallic backstitching completed on ET last night. It's the blue and red band above and below her ear, if you can't tell (I can't and I know it's there - not a very good scan): When I'd done it I double-checked the chart and there's one more lot of backstitch left to do, on the vultures back end and tail - it cheered me up no end when I realised that bit is in good old DMC cotton and not the lousy metallic thread! It'll have to wait until next UFO Night though, as the next part of Memories is waiting to be done and I received the next Ozark SAL pack this morning....... plus I've yet to start the Caron Keeper for the Monthly Challenge. That's certainly enough to keep me busy and out of mischief for a while. ;0)

The Ozark SAL pack was a lovely one to open again as the threads are gorgeous - definitely a lot of my colours in this piece. I won't say what they are or what the next bit of the design is because I don't want to spoil anything for those who may not have received their packs yet. For those who aren't taking part: sorry, you'll have to wait and see - I'll post an update pic when it's done. LOL

Here are the pics of the fabric, from Creative Fabrics, that I mentioned in a previous post: Neutrals, and not so neutrals, for finishing stitched items or lining tins or making needlecases or whatever. :0)
This is sort of an "events" mix: Halloween; St Patrick's Day shamrock; Valentine's hearts; Bonfire Night star burst; Christmas rag dollies; Easter and Autumn buttons, with a sewing notions fabbie because I liked it and it'll come in for something at some point. :0) I think most eventualities are covered with that little lot.

Not sure what to stitch tonight but there's plenty of choice to go at - maybe I should toss a coin! LOL

Many thanks for all the kind comments: it's good to be able share all my crafts with you, as no one here shares the same interests, apart from my DSis (for papercrafts) and she doesn't live in the same town. :0( I still haven't had that promised catch-up with blogs yet - had to take pain killers again today, so have been limiting time spent sat in the computer chair - but hope to in the next few days, to find out what you've all been getting up to. LOL

Mylene: you do extremely well with your English and it's always a pleasure to read your blog. I'm envious of your ability to speak more languages than I ever could - all I manage is English and a very little French I learnt at school (many moons ago!). :0)

Thank you again to all for visiting - hope you're all having a good week, despite the return to miserable weather. :0)

Monday, 14 April 2008

No Rest For The Wicked?

Things have got marginally quieter here but not by much!

Sunday we did have a little lay-in but still had a few things to accomplish: DS cleared off first thing for his swimming trip with Alex and her kids saying something about "dinner at Alex's, Guild Room, mumble, mumble" on the way out the door, so we knew we'd probably not see him until tea time. We headed off to the Silica Lodge garden centre for our dinner and a look round: saw lots of nice pots from new ranges (didn't buy - no room to put any more yet) and was disappointed to realise they didn't have any lavender plants at all, let alone the new cotton wotsit ones.

As the weather was looking uncertain we decided to head for Homebase to have a look at the kitchens. That was a bit of a disappointment too: hardly any ranges and what was there was pretty basic, so we didn't hang around and headed off for a kitchen and bathroom showroom attached to Jackson & Shipley (a builders merchant). They were shut! So we shot off to B&Q to see what they had. Better! Nice Shaker style fronts in different wood effects and a better range of cupboard sizes, sinks, taps, worktops & electrical goods to go with - and they had catalogues we could take away with us. DH took pics of the beech fronts, worktops I liked, sink, hob and ovens available so we could upload them to the computer and play around with layouts and the like. Not sure I'm so keen on the build quality but at least we've got a better idea of what we do/don't like and what we'd like to fit into our kitchen.

After that we were thirsty, so we popped across to Stephen H Smith's garden centre across the road for a sit down, a warm drink and a shared scone from DH's cream tea - he was being a bad lad but I selflessly volunteered to help save him from some of those sugars and calories. ;0) LMAO. There was a new camping shop within the garden centre so we went for a nosey after and ended up buying two lightweight fold-up chairs which are ideal for both the back garden, taking on holiday or day trips out and in the caravan. DH got a slightly laid-back one with a head rest, for getting comfy in, and mine is more of a director's style so I can sit up comfortably and stitch. Of course I couldn't leave there without visiting the craft shop and I came away with this little haul:

Those small coloured squares bottom left are envelopes for some of the recent cards I made. No stitching done - too shattered! We sat and watched the Stardust DVD - lots of laughs in that and it was especially fascinating seeing Robert De Nero play a gay, cross-dressing pirate! LOL Here are pics of a couple more cards I made during my recent cardmaking session instead:

Monday DH was back to work for a rest LOL. I got on with my regular jobs, ready for Alex coming round in the afternoon, getting quite a bit done. Didn't find time for blogging, though I did manage to use the digicam, upload some pics to the computer and learnt how to crop them and the like. One of the pics is of Ink Circles Blackstone Fantasy Garden that I completed last July - I'm not sure how good the pic is, as I'm learning as I go along here, but thought I'd try posting and see how it goes. So, Helen, just for you:

Must say this was an absolute joy to stitch - hope you're doing well with yours. I'd love to see a WIP pic at some stage, as I'm curious to see the CC threads you subbed instead. :0)

Last night I did a little stitching on Night Watchman, so may post a pic next time as it's looking more like it's grown now.

Today I'm having a quiet day: the past few days busyness have taken their toll somewhat and I've got a few aches and pains and a niggling headache. Gave me a good excuse to sit and watch Dawn Bibby's session on QVC this afternoon - not that I needed much of one! LOL.

Received Part 4 of the Memories SAL last night and I've printed that out today but I think the printer must need a new ink cartridge because it's got some weird and wonderful colours on it! Won't start that just yet though: it's UFO Tuesday today (is it just me, or has that come round flippin' quick?) so ET and that ruddy metallic thread are coming out to play tonight........ for as long as I can stand it. DH and DS will be out, so at least they won't have to listen to me muttering away to myself and there's a Most Haunted on to keep me company. Yay!

Hope you all had a good weekend - hopefully I'll catch up with all your news in the next few days. Lynn: sorry but my computer still isn't keen on your blog and I don't know why. I can read it via Bloglines but am unable to leave comments. :0( Just wanted you to know I've been thinking of you (((((((((hugs))))))))).

Thank you to all for visiting and for the kind comments - hope my wafflings don't bore you too much. ;0)

Saturday, 12 April 2008

A Day Off Too Many?

DH booked the day off yesterday. If he has another morning like yesterday morning it'll be a while before he books another one off! LOL

The central heating developed a bit of a problem last week, cutting off after a minute or so, so things had started to get a might chilly. He checked the downstairs thermostat and the new tank he'd fitted and they were OK, so he needed to investigate further. As The Tank (our Isuzu 4x4) developed a noisy brake disk last week, and needed looking at as well, he booked Friday off to get a flying start on these jobs.

Friday morning he started looking at the piping and a valve on the heating system: the newspaper delivery chap rolled up for paying before I made it downstairs, so DH broke off to go pay him, then carried on with the job. Then he decided to boot up my computer for me (not sure why) and it wouldn't play, so he took it apart for a look at it and spotted a problem on the motherboard. As it then chose to boot up he put it all back together again and went back to taking the boiler valve apart. Next a chap from Anglian Water arrived to re-do the finishing around the stop tap cover (no prior warning!) with concrete (it'd been temporarily botched with tarmac). As it's situated right in the gateway and we wanted to go out in the car before it would have set DH parked it round the corner, before they started. He now stated that if anything else happened to distract him he was off into work for the rest of the day because he was fed-up, had had enough and needed a rest! Bless!
Back to the boiler valve and he discovered the motor in it is overheating, causing it to keep tripping out which turned the boiler off......... and he's now getting pretty hungry. A diabetic gets very grumpy when hungry!

Just as we were about to set off for the car, to go to the Pink Pig for dinner, the heavens opened, so we grabbed our brollies and legged it. Only, when we got to the Pink Pig we realised it was half term and, as it was raining, all those who would've normally been out on the Farm Walk were now inside the cafe having a warm drink and getting dry - not a single empty table in the place. We turned round, grabbed our bit of shopping, paid and set off for a local garden centre instead. We ordered our food and drinks but they'd been busy, so it took a while and the grumpy diabetic was getting grumpier by the minute. We finally started eating some time after two - the grumpy diabetic was all sweetness and light again after that. ;0)

Next up was a trip to Screwfix for the new valve motor and some more light fittings for my DSis. It was busy, so he went in and I sat in the car watching the black clouds and listening to the hailstones drumming on the roof and occasionally Classic FM on the radio. Boy, was there a lot of weather about! Next we popped to Poundstretcher so I could stock up on cleaning stuff and get another four-drawer storage unit for my cardmaking stuff - the first one went for my fabric stash, the second for my quilting fabric stash, so it's about time the cardmaking things had their turn! We never did make it into town to the bank, as was originally planned, but as there was all that weather plus a bit of thunder and lightning about I can't say either of us was unhappy about that! LOL

He fitted the new motor in the valve (after he'd had a sit down and a cup of tea) and we're all warm again. Yay!

I'd planned on getting all the hearts stitched on For Amanda: I managed to complete the outer two but realised I hadn't got the perle thread needed to complete the central one, so have had to put it away for now. I hadn't yet decided what fabric and threads to use for the Monthly Challenge piece so I couldn't start that, and I didn't want to start another stitching project, so opted for a cardmaking session instead, grabbing one of my Let's Make Card! packs and set to making some of the cards shown in the magazine:
I added a PaperMania butterfly dome sticker to this but think it may have been a mistake - a peel-off one may have looked better. This one is exactly as shown in the magazine:
As is this one:
I like this magazine and its packs because they get me to use brighter colours and try more retro/contemporary designs and slightly trendier goodies than I would normally go for. I'll post pics of the others I made another time.

Today has been a little less hectic than yesterday (much to DH's relief). A steady morning, then we walked down the local High Street to the Il Sorriso cafe for dinner: leek and potato soup with a hunk of bread, all home made, and a cup of Fair Trade coffee - yum! Into the sewing shop next for some wadding (batting) and various trims, a box of glass headed pins, a pack of printed papers (for male cards) and a pack of racing car embellishments that will be ideal for DH's birthday card. Not a bad haul for a little craft shop. :0)

We called in at the computer shop on the way home to get a price list for the computer systems they do because my poor baby isn't going to last much longer. :0( We won't be opting for the bright pink tower they had in their front window....... now if they had a lavender one....... LMAO!

Luckily the weather held off later this afternoon, so DH was able to have the wheel off The Tank and sort out the brake disk. Another job crossed off the list and he's a much happier bunny now.

Not sure what tomorrow's plans are yet...... guess that all depends on the weather. If it's wet it might be a trip to Homebase to look at kitchens, if it's dry (and not too cold!) it might be back to the new car hunt. Hopefully there'll be a chance to do a little stitching somewhere along the line....... there's a Challenge piece to complete! LOL

Hope you're all having a good weekend. Thanks for stopping by. :0)

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Good Start - So-So Ending

Well yesterday got off to a good start with a pinkie from Jayne, containing my Lizzie*Kate pre-ordered chart Peace, Love and a Cure. I had my SIL Helen in mind when I spotted this and knew I had to stitch it and, when it's completed, if my MIL likes it I shall give it to her. I'm now looking for some pink fabric with the breast cancer ribbon on it, ready for finishing this into a little banner or wall hanging. Does anyone know where I can buy this online, please?

I'm not quite sure where most of the rest of the day went - between house jobs and the computer it just seemed to disappear on me, without having much to show for it. I had intended looking out some fabric and threads for the Monthly Challenge piece but even that didn't happen.

I stitched on Egyptian Tablet for two nights this week, thinking I was in line for a Happy Dance of mega proportions at the end of it, and here's the result of that:

Unfortunately this is where the so-so ending to the day came in. When I completed the collar I opened up the chart and spotted some backstitching markings on the body area of the vulture headdress, then unrolled ET to check. That's when the penny dropped with an almighty clang: I haven't yet stitched that bit........ there's at least another two Tuesday UFO Night's of work there......... and it's more backstitch in that damned DMC metallic thread.

I shan't repeat what I said because it would singe your ears and make your hair curl. >:0I

Those Egyptian belly dancing CD's will be staying put for a bit longer yet, so I guess there's a plus side to everything. ;0) LOL

After a good night's sleep I'm feeling more chilled now. ;0) It's still cold out but at least there's some sunshine and it's already tempted me outside: all the bird feeders are filled with seeds and peanuts and the sparrows are busy chirruping out the news and ram-raiding the sudden glut. Things got off to a good start when the fabric and fancy buttons I ordered from Creative Fabrics arrived first thing - they are lovely and the service was so quick. I think it was Diana who posted the link on JA/S&S, so thanks Diana! I shall have a play with the digi-cam in a bit and see if I can take some pics of them and the Ink Circles BFG (no, I haven't forgotten Helen! LOL), with a view to getting DH to show me how to do a transfer from there to the computer tonight, so I can share them tomorrow.

Julie: unfortunately I didn't take any pics of Alex's panels while they were here but I will certainly ask her if I can take pics and post them on here when she's completed the piece. Unfortunately I'm not sure how long that will be because she works full time as a teacher, as well as being Mum to three children and a writer - you should hear what she has to fit into most days! Oh, and the lavender plants my DSis bought are called cotton something or other (sorry, she did tell me but my memory is lousy at the minute) - they are only small, so I won't be taking any cuttings off them for a while yet.

Nicola: the fabric I'm using on the For Amanda piece is Pol's Georgian (as suggested by Jayne, as an alternative to the recommended one, which I wasn't so keen on) and the threads are Dinky Dyes silks: Eungella, Bush Christmas and Pearl (a thread pack, with beads and buttons, that I bought from Carol at Heirloom Embroideries). The SAL is currently running on a separate Yahoo forum to Carol's regular one. It's certainly a lovely piece to stitch.

Well I'd better head off and get a few things done - I'm determined not to let the day get away from me and to have a bit more to show for my efforts, than I did yesterday! LOL

A big Hello to the new folks who have visited )wave( and a big thank you to all who take time to visit and leave comments. You make my day. :0)

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

An Update - Stitching and General

Bit of a busy few days, so I'm glad to be able to take a breath and start a catch up in Blogland again.

Saturday we had a long afternoon out: dinner out at Brigg Garden Centre, where DH and I had a nice meal, two drinks and a long chat then went shopping. Bought some gorgeous lemon coloured pansies (six plugs for a pound!) which will look stunning in my Arthur and Guinevere terracotta pots and against the red brick of the house wall and a pot of narcissi (also a pound), then found a great book on handmade cards that will be a useful ideas book and also some wording peel-offs and a bride and groom brass stencil for dry embossing. DH treated himself to a book on the London Blitz (WWII) and a diabetic quick cook book which has some Italian style food recipes in it - the food was one of the things he enjoyed over there....... the other being the local Grappa! LOL We then picked up a part for DS's Mini from a fellow Freecycler in one of the villages and followed it up with a bit of a drive round some of the other villages, ending up at the turf maze at Alkborough. We didn't hang around: the wind was blowing straight off the rivers, up at us and it was flipping freezing. Home for a take-out curry and I finally made a start on Part 3 of For Amanda.

Sunday we went to my DSis's for the day. I took the Alphabet Tree Challenge piece to show my DSis and she loved it, so it is now in her china display cabinet in front of a lovely photo of our Mum and Dad. :0) I also took some surplus 8x8 and 12x12 scrapbooking papers for her to add to her collection, ready for when she starts her new hobby. DH did a couple of small DIY jobs for her and (hopefully) sorted out the burglar alarm problem. As it began to snow on and off in the afternoon we didn't go out, so I did a little stitching on Night Watchman - again there's not really enough progress made to make an update pic worthwhile. By the time we were travelling back much of the snow had disappeared - until we came to the Thorne turn-off, where there was quite a good layer on the verges and in the fields. When we got home it was pretty obvious there'd been more snow there than over at DSis's. Glad to say it's now long gone but it's still bitterly cold out and the rain has taken over where it left off. Yuk!

Monday I got on with my usual jobs and fully intended finding the time to update my Blog and visit everyone else's but my DBro popped in for a surprise visit then, just as he was preparing to leave, Alex arrived for her visit - when she left it was time for DH to come home so I never really got the chance to. It was a good afternoon though: I don't get to see my DBro as often as I see my DSis, so it's good to have a catch-up and then Alex had brought some of her stitching to show me. Wow! She is very much in to freestyle embroidery and has made up about sixteen small "patches" of roughly the same size but of differing shapes: each of these has a base fabric to which she attaches various oddments of material (silks, sari fragments, kimono scraps, whatever) with stitching (feather stitch, I think) then proceeds to decorate each scrap however she fancies. Each patch is different, although they often incorporate the same stitches: some have beads added; others have a roll of fancy yarn that has been attached with metallic thread; one has a sisha mirror attached under embroidery; some she's added tiny flower embellishments to; others the flowers were on the fabric and she's developed them as a theme; gardens of lazy daisy daisies etc etc etc. Each piece is a little work of art with memories stitched into them (she could tell me exactly where and when each piece was stitched) and she intends to make up a quilted wall hanging with them all, using black dupion silk bands to join the patches. It is going to be stunning when completed and I am so looking forward to seeing it - am hoping she will let me take some pics to post and share on here. :0)

After tea last night I carried on with For Amanda and here's a pic of progress so far:

I love the script on this, as it just flows so beautifully. It's UFO Night tonight, so ET will be getting my attention, but I shall be back to this as soon as I can.

Will I finish ET and get a HD tonight? Well, that all depends on how much of a pain the metallic thread decides to be and how long my patience holds out with it! There's a Most Haunted (new series) on later tonight, so that will keep me sat in front of the TV while it's on. Watch this space......... LOL

Christine: don't worry and no rush, I was only joking - I still need to do a floss toss for Papillon. I'd also like to put at least one project "to bed" before making a start on a new one - I need to free up a scroll frame! :0)

Many thanks for visiting - hope you've had a good weekend and are all coping OK with the rather iffy weather. :0)

Friday, 4 April 2008

Plans Gone Awry.

I still haven't managed to start Part 3 of the For Amanda SAL and it's starting to get on my wick now. I was all set for a chill out with my DVD and stitching but DH didn't go to the school governor meeting, so was in at his usual time and gravitated towards watching Fred Dibnah and Porridge repeats. I was so captivated by these programmes I fell asleep in my armchair after tea. When I eventually woke up I felt all out-of-sorts and in no mood for anything, let alone stitching - falling asleep straight after a meal whilst sitting scrunched up in an armchair is definitely not recommended! Bleugh! When the indigestion finally went I cleared off to bed.

DH isn't sure yet whether the night out is going ahead or not (the words: booze-up, brewery, organisation and lack of spring to mind!), so the chill out may not happen tonight either. :0( Mind you, I don't plan on being made comatose by repeats of any programmes tonight if he stays in - that remote control was promised to me and I'm having it. Mmmmwaaaahhhaaahaa! ;0)

As there are no stitching pics (again) here's what I made during yesterday's cardmaking session:

The tag toppers were bought ready-made, from a seller on that well-known auction site, I just added the base card and some lovely printed vellums.
This one I've made for DH's DBro. Another ready-made topper, I just added a card and the extra paper layers.

Sally: I've vaguely thought about selling my cards but I have no outlet for them and there's also a lot of competition out there. I've also had previous dealings with the craft fair circuit, years ago: it's difficult to get in to and takes up valuable weekends, so I don't fancy that again. I also usually tend to only make cards for people I know, as that way I know their likes/dislikes, so each card is quite personal and made specifically for them. It's only this last couple of weeks that the urge to pre-make cards has started - I thought it would be nice to be organised, for a change. :0)

Well DS got to the appointment OK yesterday......... his boss took him and brought him back. Good job he did, as the docks there are huge and a rabbit warren and he wouldn't have found the place on his own. DS duly peed in the cup (on time Karen LOL) and all is fine: nothing illegal, nothing nasty going on and blood pressure/heart rate is fine - the only thing that was a bit off was his exhaling into one of those breathing thingies, it's not as high as it should be but that is due to his asthma. I reckon that means he's still got a job. :0)

Not sure what the plans are for tomorrow but Sunday we are off to my DSis's again, so DH can have a look at her burglar alarm for her: it's gone off a couple of times in the wee small hours and given her a bad fright. Not the nicest ways of waking up, as we know from experience. I also want a nosey at the new pots, herbs and plants she's bought for her garden, especially as there's a new variety of lavender among them that I've not heard of before - might have to beg some cuttings from it if it's really nice. ;0)

Well I'd best go as I'm determined to finally make a start on Part 3 of For Amanda, even if it's just a few stitches.

Hope you all have a good weekend, whatever your plans are. :0)

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Not More Charts!

Said DH when he saw my latest acquisitions yesterday. Don't worry 'cos it's my money I'm spending, said I in reply. LOL So what were they? Charts from Carriage House Samplings I'd pre-ordered from Jayne earlier in the year and here they are:

I love mermaid pieces so this was a must-have when I saw it. Am not so keen on the beaded swags at the top - much prefer the cross stitch band that is given on the chart as an alternative and think I will complete my piece with that instead.
There was just something about this one that made me think of the Tree of Life, making a flower offering to the Lady and, strangely enough, taking flowers to the Crem for my Mum and Dad - but that's not a depressing thought, as I find doing that soothing, especially as the place where their ashes are is quite beautiful.
This one made me think of the Lord as a stag, running through a verdant landscape at the height of his power. I no longer find it strange that this type of imagery consistently pops up in the oddest of places - since realising that I am a Pagan, back in early 2004 (it took 40 or so years for me to finally realise and give a name to what I felt/believed), I see them as a sign that I am, at last, on what is the right path for me at this point in time. I shall enjoy stitching all of these but the last two will be that little bit more special. :0)

No stitching updates today I'm afraid because the planned start on Part 3 of For Amanda didn't happen last night but I did manage to finally catch up with all my blog reading and commenting instead. That was no mean feat, I can tell you - I thought I was pretty chatty but there are folks out there who could give me a run for the money (naming no names!) ;0) LOL
As I was up early this morning and got a flying start on my jobs I'm hoping to do a little stitching this afternoon, barring any more distractions. As I've already made a couple of cards today that's where the main distraction will come from! Will post some pics next time I blog.

DS seems to be enjoying the new job, although he's somewhat tired from the earlier starts - give him another week or so and he'll be in the swing of the new routine. He is definitely much happier with the earlier finishes that the early start gives him, as he now has time to chill and eat his meals, rather than gulp them down, before going to rehearsals and the like (it was always such a rush before). Today he has to travel over to a medical centre over in Immingham so he can go and "pee in a cup": as he is working in an environment where there are cranes and humongous fork lift trucks around it's a requirement that he's tested for illegal substances and alcohol (there's a regime of regular testing for all staff there, as in most industrial settings these days). He's hoping someone else from the firm is going so he can cadge a lift - he doesn't know Immimgham at all and doesn't want to risk getting lost and being late for the appointment. Fingers crossed he made it over there in time!

DH is at a School Governor's meeting tonight, then a night out with work colleagues tomorrow night (goodbye session with some of the Italians he's been working with), plus DS will be out at rehearsals and D&D those nights, so guess who will be in charge of the TV remote? Yay!! I may just finally get to watch the Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) and The Tudors series DVD's. Anyone want to join me for a historical DVD and stitching fest at mine tonight and tomorrow night? Just bring some nibbles and your latest project - there are enough bottles of wine to tackle, from DH's stash in the cupboard under the stairs. LOL

BTW, Christine: nag, nag! LOL ;0)

A big hello to new folks stopping by and a big thank you to everyone for taking the time to visit and comment. :0)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Here We Are Again....

another Tuesday UFO Night been and gone and another ET update to share. All of the backstitch on the right hand side of the collar in cotton thread is now completed: No HD yet but one is definitely looming on the horizon. :0) Next week it's back to using the horrible DMC metallic thread again. Mr Stick: your services may well be needed then. ;0) LOL

No further stitching was done on Night Watchman, despite best intentions, and there isn't likely to be any for a while now, as I've just downloaded Part 3 of the For Amanda SAL and want to tackle that next - so no update pic yet.

It's also Monthly Club time at Jayne's Attic and lookee at what the postie brought me yesterday morning:There's another glorious rainbow of Carries threads, with Sassy's French Vanilla fabric at the bottom and Jayne's Count On Me Sweet Peas fabric at the top. Oh, how I love the start of every month. :0) The COM so reminds me of my maternal Grandad's garden: when I was little he used to grow a beautiful swathe of sweet peas every year and would sometimes take the best of them to be exhibited at the local show. Such pretty, delicate blooms with a gentle scent - if I was really lucky he would sometimes let me pick a few to take home to put in a vase. I love those flowers and they always bring back lots of happy memories. I'll have to choose a special project for this fabric. :0)

I also received the special cut of Jonquil fabric that Jayne dyed, which is for the Papillon mixed stitch SAL. I'm hoping to have a play with thread colours soon but am not very confident, so I may shout for help with this. If I can stay focused and finish the For Amanda SAL promptly and get ET finished next week the Papillon piece is looking like the main candidate for my new start. Oh dear, Rosemarkie and Tanglewood get pushed down the To Do list once again! Please don't say start them all: I'm already in danger of becoming a serial starter and don't need any encouragement in that department at all, thank you. LOL

The Monthly Challenge piece for April has been revealed and the one with the most votes is the Caron Keeper freebie by Cynthia Zittel of The Drawn Thread. Not the piece I voted for, which was a blackwork design, but it was my second choice and is another one I haven't stitched before and will enjoy doing. Not sure what to do with this yet, as I don't have any 40ct or 36ct fabric - need to think about it and see if I get another Eureka! moment (maybe that's asking for a bit much - one a year seems plenty with the state of my brain at the minute. LOL).

So, stitching plans for this month are:

  1. Complete Part 3 of the Amanda SAL;
  2. Complete Part 4 of the Ozark Mystery SAL (not yet out);
  3. Complete Part 4 of the Memories SAL (not yet out);
  4. Choose fabric, threads and a finishing technique for the Monthly Challenge piece and complete it;
  5. Complete ET on UFO Tuesday Night (fingers crossed!);
  6. Do a floss toss for, then start, the Papillon SAL;
  7. Oh yes, nearly forgot - have a Happy Dance for finishing ET. LMAO

Finally, a big thank you for the recent lovely comments on my Challenge finish. They are much appreciated and help alot by giving me the confidence to keep trying these new finishing techniques. It's also been a pleasure to see everyone else's pieces and I'm looking forward to the next Reveal Day on the 27th.

Thanks again for stopping by - hope you are all enjoying the week. :0)