Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Generous Friends...... and More

Our festive season was very quiet this year, partly due to my recuperation but also because DH caught some kind of lergy and wasn't feeling too great. I knew he was ill when I cooked him a lovely meal, gave it to him and he just sat there, with his head in his hands, looking at it....... not the usual approach at all. He eventually ate it but it took him about an hour to get through it, Bless him. He's now feeling (and eating) much better but has been to the GP, due to still coughing and having a sinus infection, and has some antibiotics to take. So far, thank goodness, I've managed to avoid it....... probably due to the no kissing ban I put in place as soon as his sniffles started. LOL

Santa, in the guise of a postman, came to visit several times on the run up to the 25th and brought several packages from kind and generous friends, so I had a lovely time opening them all on the day. I have to share, as they are all lovely. :0)

Remember the Santa in the previous post that Julie sent? Well she had also been very busy with her knitting needles because inside Santa was this fab stocking and inside that were some extra surprises:

I do love handmade gifts, appreciating the time and skill used to make them, and this one was a very festive gift indeed. The stocking was hung from the wrought ironwork piece that stands on the hearth in our living room (the piece you get a glimpse of when I take pics of hanging ornies) and it will be coming out every year from now on. Thank you again Julie. :0)

The surprise package that came from Sew & So was courtesy of Barb and she knows my tastes so well:

I have had my eye on the blackwork Angel chart for a while and Barb very generously included not only the threads to stitch her but also the lovely and seriously cute Cherubs hanger to display the piece on, once completed. I didn't know you could get that hanger so it was a double surprise. Oddly enough, I've been fancying starting another larger blackwork piece for a while but just couldn't settle on which one to do......... now I have. LOL Thank you again Barb. :0)

To continue in the Angel theme, here is the fab gift I received from Karen:

Sorry about the poor pic - the light here has been bad and my digicam just can't do close ups. This was another goodie I'd had my beady eye on for some time.... and kept on resisting temptation, because the money was needed elsewhere, so you can guess how delighted I was on opening the wrapping. *big beaming smile* And guess which project I will "christen" it on? Yep, on Barb's blackwork Angel piece, of course. LOL Thank you again Karen. :0)

The delights just kept on coming too. Remember the Mary Queen of Scots sampler chart I received in a trade a few months back? Well guess what I got from Helen that go with it perfectly?

I really like a lot of Mary Hickmott's work, especially the Tudor age range of cross stitch and blackwork pieces she's produced, and this one is no exception. I have plans to eventually stitch this and the sampler and display both together, so that'll keep me nicely occupied for some time. LOL Thank you again Helen. :0)

Last, but not least, of the gifts from Forum/Blogger friends was received from Clare and it had a selection of goodies inside:

The lavender and lilac pot pourri smells gorgeous and I plan on sharing it between my Craft Room and bedroom. The fabric is perfect for my favourite type of designs (a fairy, snowman or Angel) and the thread is an absolutely gorgeous colour. I shall enjoy choosing just the right projects for these. Thank you again Clare. :0)

I felt very spoiled after opening them. Thank you to each of you for your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity - I consider myself truly Blessed to call you all my friends. :0)

Another parcel was from my long term PenPal Maggie (no blog):

Aren't those rose petal soaps just so pretty? Far too pretty to use, so I've decided to have them on a shelf in my Craft Room (when it's completed) to look at, until I can bear to use them. Look at the trendy jewellery too. I don't know how Maggie did it, as she didn't know about it, but they go perfectly with a blouse I bought at the last M,B&S event I went to, which is another floaty sleeved top in a rich brown, with black hints - not a Jordash one but in a similar style.... but no shisha mirrors in sight this time. LOL

DH will be giving me money, as I asked for, as I'm still saving towards the Shamballah Healing Course, based at the local Alternative Healing Clinic I go to, that I want to do in the Spring. DS gave me the latest Tudor series DVD, to go with the full series of Rome DVD's that were shared between my birthday and Christmas. Christmas will be extended for us this year too, as we have yet to exchange gifts with my DSis, the in-laws and my aunt, uncle and cousin. Due to my recuperation, the lergy and the weather we had to postpone the planned trips to see them all - gutted, as I was looking forward to see them. Hopefully the weather will let-up before too much longer and we can go visit soon. :0)

As we were indoors for much of the holidays it meant a reasonable amount of stitching got done. The focus piece was Mother Earth, as I wanted to have a reasonable amount done, ready for the first posting date (January 3rd) over at the 2010 Weekly SAL Blog. It worked well...... though I doubt there'll be quite so much progress to show in successive weeks, as 1 over 1 stitching just doesn't grow very fast. I shall post a pic of ME another time though, as the updates haven't yet been posted on the SAL Blog.

Oh, and remember how I said that I wasn't going to sign up for too much in the new year because I didn't want to pressure myself too much? Eeeeerrrrmmmmm........ weeeelllllll......... that resolution kinda didn't last too long. Honestly I just couldn't help it. I mosied on over to Stitcher's Showcase yesterday and spotted that Elisa was organising a SAL for the lovely piece A Bouquet for Cheryl. Just one look at that design and an image of some gorgeous silk threads I had from eBay's thredfairy - just absolutely perfect for it - popped into my mind. That was it........ I found I'd posted a request to join the SAL and Blog before I'd had chance to draw breath again, let alone think it through. So it looks like I may just have to work out some kind of rota to make sure everything gets fitted in, doesn't it? LOL

The plan to catch up with the Christmas ornie SAL almost worked: I got up to November, as far as stitching went, but only managed to finish a couple of them. Hopefully the finishing mood will take hold soon and then I shall share pics of them.

As for other things....... DH, once he felt a tad better, got on with the flooring in my Craft Room and has half of it laid so far. Today he cut the board that fits up to the door jamb and did the edge sealing on that (all edges are having watered down PVA glue daubed on them, in case I spill anything in there - he's a belt and braces type of man). The final half should go pretty quickly now.

We have had a couple of trips out. One of them was to a DIY store where we bought a light fitting for the CR and discovered they'd sold out of the computer table I wanted, so we had an unexpected drive over to the Doncaster branch to pick up the last one in the whole of this area. No time to call in at my DSis's though, as DS had to be back for a Panto rehearsal. I was really glad to get the table though, as I haven't seen another one that I like half as much....... needless to say, both DH and I were shattered afterwards. I fell asleep in my armchair for two solid hours after that and slept solid when I went to bed that night! I may be nicely healed now but the stamina is slow to improve, so I very easily get tired at the moment - very frustrating. I go to see Jan, my Herbalist, tomorrow (Monday) so I shall discuss that, and the "tropical moments" I am now having, with her and see what delightful concoction she comes up with to sort me out this time around. :0)

DH is off back to work tomorrow (Monday) so I shall be able to go back to my regular routine and start having a catch up with all your blogs then - though with all the snow we've had it does get bitterly cold in here, so it may well end up taking a while as I'm limiting the amount of time I spend here. Thankfully that will greatly improve once the Craft Room has been commissioned - there's a BIG radiator in there, so it stays nice and warm. :0)

Thank you for all the festive greetings and I hope that you also had an enjoyable festive season and that this New Year brings much Peace, happiness and prosperity to one and all. :0)

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Santa and Sea Stars

As promised, another post to show the early Santa deliveries I received during the week, along with that Sea Stars update. I wouldn't want you to think that I'd just been pulling your leg about it. ;0) Well, it's been that long since I have worked on it you would be quite within your rights to think I was kidding. LOL

First up is the adorable surprise I received from Julie:

Isn't he a cutie? He is now hanging on the door handle of the living room, making the place look festive. There's also another surprise inside but I am being good and have left it in there, to be opened on the 25th. Thank you Julie, I love him and am looking forward to finding out what secret he's hiding. :0)

There were a few other surprises arrived too, from Helen, Clare, Karen and my PenPal Maggie:

There was also an intriguing delivery from Barb which didn't make it onto the pic and I daren't get it out of the wardrobe to take one now as I'll be able to see what's in there and I want to keep it as a surprise until tomorrow. Roll on tomorrow, when I can open them all! Yes, I know - I'm a big kid really. LOL Thank you again ladies. :0)

As for the festivities: all the preparations that needed to be done are now done. DH popped down the street for a couple of last minute bits and pieces, then drove out to one of the local farm shops to pick up our New Year turkey and other bits and pieces, the Veg Box lady brought our veggies earlier and the duck is defrosting nicely, so all the foodstuffs are organised.
The tree hasn't made it out of the loft this year but DH and DS did get on with cutting to size all of the new flooring for my Craft Room instead, so I'm not complaining. Unfortunately a case of man flu has stalled the actual laying of the floor for now but it won't take long to do, once DH feels better..... and hopefully we shall hit the sales and get the new computer desk between Christmas and New Year, ready for starting the mammoth task of moving things in there in January. Yay!

My stitching has been going much more smoothly. Yes, the mojo has definitely had enough of its wanderings and has decided to stick around. Double Yay! LOL The first thing to benefit was Sea Stars which has now had the rest of the left hand frogged motif re-stitched in the right place and here's the proof:

In the post-frog lull I'd forgotten just how much fun this piece is to stitch. I've been a member of the Ink Circles SAL Blog, run by Rachael, for a while and have enjoyed watching everyone's progress on their various IC pieces (would you believe, I'd forgotten all about this SAL when I did my previous post - another brain fart moment!). This year Rachael has altered the blog to make it a monthly SAL update, so this will make doubly sure that I make progress on Sea Stars now. As an added bonus and incentive for all those participating: those members that post an update pic on the blog at least 10 months out of the twelve will go into an end of year draw for a little prize. How nice is that? :0)
So if you are an Ink Circles fan and have a piece you'd like to see progress well in 2010, why not come on over and join in the fun?

Whilst I was taking the above pic I got curious and wanted to remind myself of how much I'd actually stitched on it already, so had a bit of an unroll of the scroll frame. I can't unroll the whole lot as the fabric is stitched onto the frame but this should give you a general idea:

Way more than I remembered! LOL There's still quite a bit to go yet though, so those UFO Night and SAL girls will have plenty of chances to kick my butt into action, should it start flagging again. ;0)

In the meantime I've been cracking on with those Christmas ornies, in an effort to catch up. Would you believe that there is just one more, for December, left to stitch? Mind, there's still a whole lot of finishing off left to do..... so there aren't any pics to show just yet, as I prefer to leave those until they are all proper ornies. Guess what I'll be doing over the holidays? Guess I'd best go make a start then, hadn't I?! LOL

Thank you to all those who visit and to those that leave comments. May you all have a happy festive season full of Blessings, however you choose to celebrate it. :0)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Happy Yule

Yuletide Blessings to one and all.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Stitching Plans - 2010 SAL's

Now I'm feeling more like my usual self I thought I'd share a few stitching plans with you in this post, so you'll have an idea of what will be in store for the coming months, especially in 2010.......... which, I guess, will let you decide whether it's worth sticking around. LOL

As I mentioned in my last post I've joined the 2010 Weekly Stitch Along Blog, thanks to Gaynor, and I nominated my HAED Mother Earth piece. When I checked back for a pic I got a real shock when I realised that the last time I worked on this was way back in October..... 2008. Ooooopps! Now when I started this project I knew it would be a long term one but hadn't reckoned on it being quite this long term.... and heading towards official UFO status. So it's a good job I nominated it, isn't it? Here's where the stitching stopped back then:

There's an awful lot left to go but am sure the Blog Ladies will keep my nose to the grindstone with it. LOL Plus, the fact that I've now got the magnifier lamp will help things along too. It does help if you can actually see what you're stitching! The first official update for this is Sunday 3rd January, so guess how I'll be seeing in the New Year. ;0) If you haven't yet checked out the SAL Blog please have a look, as there are lots of beautiful projects that the members will be stitching on - very nice eye candy. :0)

As Mother Earth will be going into the Weekly Blog SAL slot that leaves Tuesday UFO Night, over at JA/S&S Forum vacant. Now some weeks I may just carry on with ME for this but there are a number of other projects I'd like to see progress now, and one in particular....... so for this I'm going to bring Sea Stars out again. (About time, I can hear Barb say. LOL) This fell by the wayside after a particularly sickening frogging episode that really spoilt the fun of the piece (anyone else feel like that?). This is where it was left off, post frogging session:

This is another piece that really needs to progress - it is now embarrassingly overdue, as Barb and Rosanne, the other SAL members, have long since finished theirs. Could this be my first large finish of 2010? That would be so good! :0)

New for 2010 is the JA/S&S Forum's Just Nan SAL. Now this particular SAL was inspired by seeing Julie's progress on her beautiful JN WIP piece Lady Scarlet. The SAL is an open one - in other words, you can stitch any JN design you want to - and the choices are varied. This is going to be another lovely one to watch, as well as participate in, whilst all those beautiful pieces develop. So what was my choice for it? This:

Flora, one of the Angels, which I chose because she will look lovely in my new Craft Room (whenever it gets finished! LOL). I'm using all the recommended DMC threads and Mill Hill beads - the only change I've made is to the fabric, which is Polstitches Sky High 28ct hand dye instead of the Antique White evenweave. Quite appropriate, I thought. :0)

I am going to be really careful of how many Challenges and other things I sign up for in 2010 as I don't want to overload myself and end up with the disappearing mojo problem again. If there's a Christmas ornie one going I will probably succumb to it, as my eventual aim is to have enough handmade ornies to fill our big tree, leaving the little metal tree for just blackwork ornies. The LHN ornie SAL tempted me but I decided to pass on it because the mojo was still awol and my cash is currently wanted elsewhere. Hopefully the one on JA/S&S Forum will continue..... and hopefully I'll actually keep up with it too. LOL

Health wise, as I said, I am doing better. Going upstairs no longer feels like a trek up the face of Everest and it doesn't hurt any more when I do it - good job because I've not been taking any painkillers for about 4/5 days now (started to get a paracetamol induced headache). The only thing that does hurt is sneezing, so I try not to do that too often. ;0)
Lifting and carrying is still banned, so I leave the heavy stuff to the menfolk - that includes asking the parcel delivery folks to bring boxes in for me, which they are happy to do when I explain that I've had an op and still have stitches in that I really don't want to pull. You can almost see some folks faces go green, so it's quite amusing really. Eheheh.
I go to the GP tomorrow for my post-op check up, seeing the nurse I know, as I'm comfortable with her....... and she'll take the time to answer any questions I have. She's also had the same op, so I know, from her own experiences, that she can give me a good idea of what to expect next. Although I have been having a few of those "power surges" already, though thankfully they are fairly mild at the moment. Maybe I won't need those Damart thermals after all. ROFL Fingers crossed for a clean bill of health. :0)

The blog reading catch up is almost complete - if I haven't visited yet I will be doing soon. Then there's an ornie finished, some cards made, a Sea Stars update pic and some nice post to share but I'll show those another time.

Thank you for visiting and for your lovely comments. Hope you've all got the bulk of your festive preparations completed and are now able to enjoy some "me" time. :0)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Slowly, Slowly.....

No, not catchee monkey....... slowly, slowly getting back to my usual self as things heal, the pain recedes and the painkillers are dropped, thus helping my befuddled brain gain some semblance of normality. Well....... what passes for normality for me, anyways. LMAO I am getting really fed up of seeing the same four walls now, so I guess that's another good sign of improvement too. :0)

I have to show you the fab decoupaged card that Julie kindly sent to me last week:

Unfortunately the scan makes it look all flat and lifeless and it's not like that at all IRL: the nurse and teddy are 3-D and the whole is very beautifully made. Thank you again Julie, I love it. :0)

I have also been slowly, slowly trying to catch up with some of those things that went on the back burner whilst my mojo took quite a long holiday without me. When I checked I got a bit of a shock....... I haven't actually completed any ornies for the JA/S&S Forum's Monthly Christmas SAL since May! Ooooooppps! As it so happens I had a bit of a stitchfest after my first hospital stay and completed two small designs suitable for ornies....... it just took me a little longer to get round to the finishing..... as you do. ;0)

So, for your delectation, here is June's Ornie:

Design: Blackwork Partridge, kit
Designer: Carol Leather, for X-Calibre Designs
Fabric: 14ct white aida, as provided
Thread: black and gold metallic, as provided
Finish: pillow style ornie with ruched ribbon edging.

Here's a pic of the back view, so you can see the gorgeous gold on black fabric that I got from Thread Bear:

The chiffon ribbon was a 5m reel of Anita's Ribbon that I got from The Range for 99p - bargain! There's plenty left of both the fabric and ribbon for finishing more blackwork ornies, which I plan on doing at some point as I really like the combination. :0)

For July's ornie it was a reasonably quick little DMC design - I bought the kit from a shop in my local High Street that sells some cross stitch goodies, back when I had my first venture down that way earlier in the year. It was designed to be finished as a card but I had other ideas as soon as I saw it:

Design: Snowflake, from the Mini Kit Christmas Range
Designer: DMC
Fabric: good old white 14ct aida, as supplied
Thread: DMC 825; 932; 3752; 3756
Finish: Prairie Schooler style ornie

I added some glass bicone beads (another eBay bargain) and Mill Hill seed beads to the corners to give it a little festive sparkle. And yes, that is some actual, genuine sunshine you can see in that pic........ but, despite it being sunny out, it is also decidedly chilly, as the deep frost we had last night is still on the ground in the sheltered places, like my garden. Ise a stopping in today, where it's nice and warm! LOL

I've also picked up a needle again and have been making headways into the JA/S&S Challenge piece that was supposed to be done in October (I think), then there's November and December's pieces to do...... they are all lovely festive designs, so they will double up as pieces for the Christmas ornie SAL............ and that will take me up to October for ornie's. So that leaves two more to complete to make it a full year of ornies. Reckon I'll manage it? Nah, not too sure either but will give it my best shot. :0)

In the meantime I had a think (yes, it did hurt - my poor brain wondered what was happening! LOL) and decided that my HAED Mother Earth piece has been very sadly neglected of late and is in real danger of becoming a UFO....... to rectify that I asked to join Gaynor's Weekly SAL Blog for 2010 and she very kindly let me sign up and nominate Mother Earth as my SAL piece. Now I have to make progress on it. Yay! That leaves the JA/S&S Tuesday UFO Night and I reckon Sea Stars should put in an appearance for that......... plus there are a couple of other pieces that have been waiting to have beads added for some time, so they would be good candidates for then too. Slowly, slowly the stitchy bug is returning. :0)

As for other news: DH is in the middle of the big Outage thing at work so he's been working late all week, though has been compensating by going in a little later in the morning's so he can make sure I am up and safely downstairs and has chance to do any bits of shopping or jobs for me. Thankfully he still has a job: he has essential knowledge on the Instrumentation side (please don't ask what that means - I don't know!) that the steelworks can't afford to lose, as he's one of only a few remaining chaps that have it, so they aren't letting him go..... yet. DH prefers it that way - it should be a better package when he's 55 years old..... he's got another 2 years to go. Hopefully there'll still be a steelworks here for that long.

DS is busy with rehearsals for the Pantomime, as well as seeing his DGF and friends. I am getting lots of quiet evenings and you know what that means folks.......... yes, I am in charge of the TV remote! Mmmmmwwwwwaaaaahhhhhaaaaaahhhhhaaa! (evil laugh, in case you were wondering). Unfortunately there hasn't been an awful lot on in the evenings worth watching lately and the plans to watch all those DVD's just hasn't happened...... it's either been reading (finished a couple more books - see side bar), a minor trawl of eBay or sleep that has won out. Hopefully, now the stitchy bug seems to be returning, I shall be sitting and stitching a bit more instead, so I may well get to see those DVD's after all. LOL

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit and for all the lovely comments. I will be stopping by to visit blogs in the coming days, as I have a catch up with all your news. :0)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Just a Quickie....

to say a big thank you for all the well wishes. Not only are they greatly appreciated but they seemed to have worked well, as I was allowed home on Sunday night. :0)

The operation went well, with no complications, and the wound looks to be healing OK - very neat and tidy. Just a tad sore and when I walk I do a very good impression of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is playing havoc with my back, otherwise I don't feel too bad at all.

Unfortunately I haven't yet managed to keep my eyes open long enough to tackle anything stitchy related..... but that will come. Whilst in hospital I actually found myself wishing I'd packed a small piece to do in there! The lack of stitching to hand did mean I got another book read from cover to cover though: another Angel book by Jacky Newcomb (see side bar)....... which I left with the young lass in the next bed, as - after she told me her story - I felt she could do with a little Angelic intervention, Bless her.

Right, I'm away to the sofa and my fleecy blanket as I am now feeling shattered. I haven't done much but am getting tired very easily. Time to catch some z's again. LOL

Thank you again for all your kind thoughts and prayers, they really have made a difference. Hope to have a gradual catch up with you all in the coming days. :0)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Halloween Revisited

Well I finally got around to finishing off another of those Halloween ornies I stitched way back........... as in, way back in September 2008. It's another one of those jobs I've been doing "Just In Case". Yes, as you might be able to tell, those pre-op nerves are beginning to kick in a tad. Still I'm not as bad as I was when I was in my 30's and had to go have my tonsils out, which was my first ever operation.............. I actually wrote out a Will that time. LMAO

So what ornie finishing did I do? Well...... it was this one:

Design: Fall
Designer: Homespun Elegance, internet freebie
Fabric: Polstitches 28ct evenweave - Hot Potatoes
Threads: Carrie's Creations Pumpkin Spice, Raven, Pina Colada; Ozark Emerald; DMC for cat's eye
Finish: hanging pillow ornie.

I went with a bit of a Scarey Spice look with the black fibers........ kinda reminds me of one of my really bad hair days. LOL The charm was one I had in my stash - thought it was really appropriate for the piece. :0)

For the backing I used this fabric:

Don't you just love those crazy looking bats? I just wish I'd extracted my digit and got this piece finished much sooner - it didn't deserve to be left languishing in the drawer for so long. Though rather than thinking that this piece is a tad late for this Halloween I prefer to think that I am being incredibly organised and it is just very early for next Halloween. ROFL ;0)

As for other things: DH and I did a little shopping on Sunday, resulting in a few more Christmas pressies crossed off the list, plus I ordered some gifts from Amazon and eBay and they have arrived this week. Hopefully I'll get all the wrapping done tonight. We also did an online Tesco food shop and that was delivered and put away last night, so the cupboards, fridge and freezer are now nicely stocked, as that's one job I definitely won't be up to doing after tomorrow! LOL My other blog is now fully up-to-date with the latest happenings, so there'll be a hiatus on that now, until I'm up and about again. I've also done enough laundry to keep my two going for a while...... though they do at least know how to use the washing machine, should the need arise. Tomorrow morning I just need to add the last couple of bits to my toiletry bag and pop that into my case and I'll be all set to go.

It'll be an early start tomorrow as I've to be on the ward for 8am, though don't yet have a clue on what time I'll be going into theatre....... and so long as they dope me with a pre-med pretty smartish I won't be caring much when it is, either. Bless those lovely drugs! LOL

I have no idea when I'll be back online again, as I've been warned it'll take a while before I can sit up comfortably for long, so......... just in case......... I hope you all have a lovely festive season, however you celebrate, and that it is filled with lots of fun and laughter and that you all have a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. :0)

Thank you for all your lovely kind thoughts and well wishes, they are very much appreciated. Take care all. :0)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

No Stitching But.....

that hasn't stopped me acquiring stash, although those acquisitions have been over a couple of months - I've just been really slack at blogging enough to share them before now.

First up is an eBay bargain 99p chart:

I love the version with the wording. The logo of the Alternative Therapy Clinic I go to is a sunflower and I plan on stitching the version with the wording for Jan, my Herbalist, as a thank you for all the help she has given me.... and all the help she will continue to give once I've had my op. She has helped me in more ways than she knows and helped to open up a whole new world for me (I write about that on my other blog), so it is such an appropriate piece. :0)

On the same day I also spotted this gorgeous fabric bargain too:

A large piece of opalescent fabric for under £4.00 and free P&P. Who could resist that? Certainly not me. ROFL I don't have any specific plans for it at the moment but just the right design is bound to turn up at some point.

Another day I was bored and browsing on the same good old auction site, following links to see where they'd take me, when I came across someone selling craft goodies for children...... only when I investigated there weren't just the pipe cleaner type stems but also some sparkly trims that were sold by the metre, ideal for Christmas ornies thought I.

As you can see I succumbed to a few of them. Those yellow stems were a freebie - I couldn't think what I could use them for (so did not fancy making that many Easter Chick legs! LOL) so gave them to my friend Alex, for her children.

Then another nosey around revealed these rather useful pieces of fabric at a bargain price and I was lucky enough to win the bids:

A 32ct fabric in Mocha and a 28ct in French Latte. Another couple of neutral colours that are especially useful as my stash seems to have a large bias towards hand dyes in pretty colours. Much as I like those pretty colours they aren't always suitable for some designs.

When I got fed-up of bargain hunting on eBay I had a wander over to Thread Bear for a nosey as I needed some different coloured backing fabrics. Whilst I was there I couldn't resist the sparkly felts they'd just got in stock...... and the chart was in the Sale section and goes with one from the same range that's already in my stash.

The 28ct is a piece of Lakeside Linens fabric and was bought specifically to stitch the Plum Pudding Salem Sisters piece on. Yes, I had all good intentions of starting this piece for Halloween........... but it just didn't happen. Yup, that mojo packed its bag and disappeared into the wild blue yonder....... again! The current happenings haven't exactly helped either.

Just so you're not left thinking that the Craft Bug had totally disappeared:

Yes, last week my cardmaking goodies came out of their boxes long enough for me to make a card for my DH's birthday. Though they did go straight back in again and haven't been touched since, as I've been busy with other things.

So, what has been happening to keep me busy? Well, I went for my pre-op checks on Tuesday morning and that took way more time than either of us expected. So the questions were asked and the forms were filled in by a very nice Staff Nurse called Gail; blood pressure and blood oxygen levels checked and noted; height and weight checked and noted (and I don't like their scales 'cos they have me 4lbs heavier than Jan's!); then various questions asked and answered - though not too many details wanted or needed about the op itself because I'm a firm believer that ignorance is bliss with that kind of thing as I really don't want nightmares beforehand, thanks; all the consents signed and a parting gift of a cup of pee, for testing. Finally there was a trip down to see the hospital vampires again so they could take four lots of my best red for various tests. Staff Nurse Gail reckoned I looked and sounded fit enough and the checks she did were fine, so - unless the test on the blood or pee turn anything up - it's all systems go, in the best Thunderbirds tradition. LOL

Meantime, I've been keeping up with the laundry and other dreaded H word jobs, trying to keep on top of things before the enforced break happens...... you know men, they aren't going to class things like that as a priority, are they? And I am not going to burst my stitches trying to keep things straight when I come home, so I'm getting it sorted now in the hopes that it won't begin to look like a mess for a while. Yeah, right - not with these two! LOL

Then there's making sure that the clothes I want to take in with me are clean, ironed and packed and the other bits I need are to hand (things have a nasty habit of disappearing into that Safe Place just when you want them). Shopping for enough soya milk and cornflakes to take in with me because the hospital don't have anything I am allowed to eat at breakfast time - plus enough for after I get out, as DH won't have the time to go into town for more. And that the cupboards, fridge and freezer are well stocked beforehand too........... because there isn't a snowball's chance in h*ll of me being able to help do that after the op. Plus I've been making sure my other blog is fully up-to-date (got more posts saved to draft) and doing my best to catch up with all the blogs on my blogger list because who knows how long it'll be before I'll be able to sit up to the computer - I've already been warned that I'll be left wondering if I'll ever be able to walk up straight ever again, due to it being an ordinary incision op with stitches. Thanks for that! LOL

I guess it's probably a good thing the mojo has gone on holiday again because, at this point, I'd probably end up having to frog it all anyways. LOL :0)

Thank you taking the time to stop by and for all the lovely comments you leave. Hope you all have a good weekend...... and all those in the UK stay safe and flood-free. :0)

Friday, 13 November 2009

A Gorgeous Giveaway Received

While I was busy burrowing into my shell I did manage to keep up with some blog reading and was delighted to find that I was one of the lucky winners for Andrea's Christmas Ornie's Giveaway. Andrea's work is always beautiful and the basketful of ornies looked amazing, so I was going to be a very happy person whichever ornie I received. But I did have a favourite that I loved on sight because it was such fun....... so imagine how doubly thrilled I was when I opened up the package and discovered the ornie she sent me was my favourite. :0)

So which one was it? This little beauty:

Isn't it a cutie? Those gold beads around the edges really sparkle IRL. Sorry but my pic really doesn't do it justice and the digicam just will not do a decent close up of anything - there's a much better pic over at Andrea's blog. :0)

The back of the ornie has a pretty border and Andrea's initials and the year stitched on it.

Thank you again for the most wonderful pick-me-up Andrea. Your stitching and finishing is awesome. I am delighted with my ornie and it will be going on my rotating metal Christmas tree that I have bought just to display hand stitched ornies.

Thank you for all the kind and supportive comments on my last post, they are greatly appreciated. I hope that all those in the UK stay safe during the current bad weather. Have a good weekend. :0)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

An Update

Thought I'd just let you all know that I haven't gone and emigrated and not told anybody. Nope, I've just been behaving like a typical Cancerian and hiding in my shell for a bit while I waited for my hospital appointments to come... and go. Don't ask me what I've done with the time because I couldn't really tell you - it just sort of slipped past....... and I don't seem to have a great lot to show for it either. Well, apart from a few more posts on my other blog.

I had the second ultra-sound scan done last week: the cyst was still there, though looking like it was on the right side rather than the left, as it had appeared in the hospital. Bugger, and there was I hoping it would evaporate into thin air, never to appear again.

Today (11th) I saw Mr Roberts, the Gynae Consultant, to hear the verdict. The blood tests were OK and the cyst is definitely benign (thank you to all the powers that be!) but it's definitely not going to go away by itself. The confusion over which ovary it is is normal, as ovaries have a tendency to move around of their own accord. Apparently mine are real lively little beggars (at least part of me is still a bit of a party animal! LOL) and due to the large cyst making one ovary heavier than the other they have a tendency towards twisting..... and it was probably down to them twisting that I had the pain last month. He said they often don't know for certain which ovary the cyst is in until they go in there.

As I am 48 years old and not wanting any more kids (sheesh, make a baby at 48 and have a teenager when I'm into my 60's?!!! Hell, No!!!!) and they're having to go in for one ovary it's as well they take the other one out too, to save any further problems further down the line. It means a greatly reduced risk of ovarian cancer (it is still possible to develop one form of it but it's extremely rare) and also............ wait for it.............. no more monthlies.... Yay! Bring it on, said I.

Have you any idea how much cash I'm about to save, not having to buy the neccessaries every month? How much that adds up to in a whole year? No, neither do I - but I do know it's a small fortune. And it doesn't take a genius to guess what plans I have for said cash, too.

Yup....... a girl can never have too much stash. ;0)

Obviously, when I wave bye bye to the girls it will mean I go into full on menopause. I can't say that bothers me over much at this stage - I've been quite looking forward to embracing my Crone/Wise Woman Years - but I don't think DH (the poor, unsuspecting innocent) has yet gathered, let alone fully appreciates, what that means......................... that his reasonably laid back wife of 25 years is quite likely going to turn into an unbalanced, fire-breathing, ball-busting dragon lady............. at least, until Jan the Herbalist gets the right meds mix sorted for me. ROFL

Mr Roberts reckoned the waiting list was currently around 18 weeks. I tried to do the calculation as to what month that would be in my head but didn't quite make it. OK, far enough away not to get into a sweat about. I opted for normal surgery rather than keyhole: if I wanted keyhole surgery there would have been a delay while I was referred to the chap that does that, then another because he would have to see me before putting me on his list; having keyhole surgery means I'd be under the general anaesthetic for longer, compared to the 30 minutes for the ordinary surgery - far better for me, as my blood pressure tends to drop dramatically after a general; I'll only have one short incision scar, below my belly where it won't be seen, compared to four or so scars across it where they would be.
The main positive for keyhole is that you get to go home much quicker - doing it this way I won't, as I will have to spend around 3 days in hospital but I reckon I will find that a bit more reassuring initially...... because if there are any problems that crop up there are trained folks immediately on hand to deal with it. Oh, and not forgetting those marvellous morphine jabs they have for pain! :0)

So Mr Roberts filled in the relevant forms, handed them to us and told us to take them to the Booking Office and the lady there would sort out the details. With that we thanked him and left. When we found the Booking Office (clearly signed when coming in - not obvious when going out, as we found) the lady there had us in and added the operation details to my online notes. While she was doing that I said to DH that I wondered how much it would cost to have it done privately, not only to hurry things along but to get a time that suited us best and would guarantee Mr Roberts would do the op. The lady then told us that the private suite was closing shortly because there was a lack of patients for it, as the hospital was really quick on the waiting lists there was no real need to go private now - then told us that she had an available slot for me on 4th December. Sheesh, that certainly wasn't the 18 weeks Mr Roberts quoted!

After catching my breath I asked DH how that went with his work commitments, as the steelworks have a big Outage coming up - that means some 12 hour day shifts and some weekend working. The 4th wasn't looking too good, so the lady said: actually I have a cancellation slot available on the 27th of this month, with an appointment for the pre-op checks on the 17th, if that's any better. Gulp! Oh, boy - did that suddenly make it all so much more real! So, thinking that going for the earlier date will mean a whole lot less time for me to work myself up into a right old panic about it (yeah, right!), we booked it. I'll be on Ward 28 again........ hope I didn't make too lasting an impression the first time around. LOL After being given the necessary printouts and adding the dates to our diaries we thanked the lady and left...... feeling a little stunned by just how quick it's all going to be.

On the really bright side: though I shall have to seriously extract my digit to try and get all the present shopping done now, the earlier date does mean that I should have recovered enough to be able to enjoy the festivities. Oddly enough, just the night before, I'd been chatting to my DSis on the phone and said to her it would be great to get everything all done and dusted before Christmas.

I think someone up there was listening.

Eeeeerrrmmm................. is it too late to say I was only joking? LMAO

Thank you for all the lovely comments you left on my last post... and also for stopping by, despite the recent long gaps between posts. :0)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to one and all......... Samhain Blessings to all fellow Pagans. :0)

On this special celebration in the Pagan calendar I thought I would share a pic of the Sampler Girl ornie that I finally finished off a few days after getting out of hospital. It had a long wait for those buttons and taught me a valuable lesson about not putting things off until tomorrow because you just don't know what unexpected things tomorrow will bring! LOL

So here it is, complete with the fab little Halloween buttons I found on eBay:

The pumpkin tealight holder has now been joined by a Trick or Treat bucket of goodies - unfortunately I forgot to take a pic before the kids started calling, so it's looking sadly depleted at the moment:

The sweeties have spooky images on them and yes, that's a pair of eyeballs there too........ though they are made of chocolate with a fondant filling rather than squishy eyes. LOL There were also some gold coin choccies in there but most of those went into the candy buckets of the cutest pair of toddlers ever - it made my night when they came knocking with their Daddy. :0)

So now I am off to place my offering outside for the wandering Spirits, then light a candle in memory of my Ancestors and departed loved ones. As DH and DS are out at the LTC's Quiz Night I shall be rounding off the evening by watching tonights Most Haunted Live Halloween special: The Eight Faces of Evil (all that screaming seems appropriate somehow LMAO) whilst listening to someone's celebration fireworks. :0)

Thank you for visiting and may you all have a happy, fruitful and Blessed new year. :0)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Get Well Wishes

A big thank you to everyone for the lovely Get Well messages you've left, I can't tell you how much they've been appreciated....... especially as I seem to have gone into a minor low at the moment, mostly brought on by the frustration of not being able to do everything I want to. You know, those ordinary things you take for granted, like being able to stand long enough to prepare a meal or whatever (card making is a definite no-no at the minute) or walking down the street to the Clinic and back without feeling like I've just run a flippin' marathon! As for meditating...... it just turns into an instant snooze fest, with my head falling towards my knees every time. LOL To try and counteract some of this I've been eating baby spinach leaves with my dinner every day (instead of salad leaves), on top of my usual healthy eating regime, to try and boost my blood iron levels after all those blood thinning jabs and am now off all the drugs and back on all my herbal meds, so feeling a bit better for that too....... am also desperately trying to cultivate some of that much needed patience. I bet you can guess how that bit is going. ;0)

Especial thanks go to several online friends who have very kindly sent some lovely cards and gifts - I just had to share, as they really did give me a boost. Julie sent me this fun Get Well card and a fab little Healing Angel card that I love:

In case the pic isn't clear enough, it reads: Your guardian angel walks with you ~ they've been sent from above ~ their loving wings are open ~ to enfold you with love. And if you see a snow white feather ~ resting on the ground ~ it's from your angel's wing to show ~ health lost, will soon be found. Thank you again for your kind thoughts Julie: I certainly called on the Angels whilst I was in hospital and actually felt them around me on one particular night - and have had a white feather appear since coming home. The card is propped against one of my Angel ornaments in the living room, where I can see it every day. :0)

Before going into hospital Karen had agreed to make a couple of crystal bracelets for me. Imagine my surprise when, just a few days after getting home, a box was delivered to my house. First thoughts: flippin' heck - that's a big box for three small bracelets! Here's what I saw when I opened it:

Inside the green tissue paper were the lovely bracelets:

The one on the left is howlite, top right is lapis lazuli and clear quartz and bottom right is malachite and clear quartz. They all have a wonderful feel to them and I shall enjoy wearing them. But the voyage of discovery wasn't over........ there were all the other wonderful goodies to look at too:

The two magazines helped to pass an hour or so. That wasn't all though, as there was all of this:

Plus all of these goodies as well:

Boy, did I feel spoilt rotten! Thank you again Karen for your kindness and generosity - everything will come in very useful and I shall have lots of fun using them........ once I've got my standing stamina back. :0)

I was already thinking that I was extremely lucky to be the recipient of so much kindness when another package arrived. This one was from Clare and had these lovelies inside:

There were originally two Lush bath fizzers but one got used before I took the pic. LOL That was my first ever Lush bath and it was wonderful..... am looking forward to another such treat shortly. :0) Thank you again Clare for your kindness.

There were also Get Well cards from Barb (no blog) and family. When I put them all out in the living room they certainly brightened the place up:

I am very grateful for all the kindness and generosity that has been shown to me - all by wonderful people I have never met in person (yet!). I feel honoured and truly blessed to have their friendship. Thank you. :0)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A Fun Weekend - Not

Well things took a decidedly painful turn on Friday morning when I woke up to what started out as minor abdominal pain........ which got gradually worse and had me phoning DH at work and asking him to come home a.s.a.p. Thankfully he did.

A quick phone call to my Herbalist to tell her about the symptoms had her recommending that we get in touch with my GP immediately. I'd had fish and chips Thursday night, a quick meal before going to the theatre to see The Shellseekers (our DS was Stage Manager for it), which Jan suspected may have caused a gall bladder flare up.

Phone call to GP: it might be an emergency but a GP wouldn't be able to come out until the afternoon - could he take me into the surgery...... I couldn't wait so, clutching a bucket because I felt really nauseous by this time too, off we went to the surgery. Of course it was full....... of course everyone was curious about the woman who was bent double over a bucket whilst gasping with pain. Thankfully it wasn't too long a wait.......... though it seemed like ages at the time.

One painful abdomen examination later and the GP had phoned the hospital to tell them to expect me and written a letter for us to take with us. One drive to the hospital later and what seemed like the longest walk ever from the car park and up to the ward and I was quickly put into a side room and had people coming in and out to take all my details and check my abdomen again. By this time it was agony and I couldn't get any ease no matter what I did. Thankfully my bucket had been exchanged for the proper receptacle by then....... it duly got used. And so did another one. I'd been given some painkiller by now but it didn't seem to be working.

Next was a trip in a wheelchair to have an ultrasound scan done. I filled another receptacle for them whilst there but I was aware enough to know they'd found more than they'd expected to on the scan. Back to the ward, another receptacle used and a chat with a doctor and some real painkiller was given - a morphine jab. Finally, some relief!

So I spent several more days in various stages of pain that were occasionally relieved by a blessed blissed out session after a morphine jab. A BIG thank you and much Kudos to the genius who discovered this was a really good pain relieving drug. The scan had revealed that I had some gallstones - the surprise being that I also had a 5cm ovarian cyst. The surgical people were confused because my symptoms didn't quite fit a typical gall bladder/stones attack - the pain wasn't in the right place - so it took them a bit to catch on that, actually, whilst the gall bladder had had some part to play, it was probably more down to the cyst...... so they'd better get the Gynae people involved. Don't you just love how quick they catch on? LOL

By Monday the pain was finally easing right back and I actually managed to eat something at tea time - once everyone had caught on that being dairy intolerant and having other foodstuffs I had to avoid meant phoning the kitchen and getting the Special Diet Chef to send up some plain cooked food. NHS menus cover: Gluten free, diabetic, kosher, halal, another ethnic diet I can't remember, high fibre, low sodium and reducing diets - it seems they don't cover other food intolerances yet. They were very obliging though, I have to say that, but it involved some hassle - not just for me but for the already busy ward staff - so added stress that I could have done without. On the bright side: I have a feeling the scales will be very kind this month! LOL

Monday afternoon a very feisty female Consultant led the rounds and told her staff that my problems were obviously more to do with the ovarian cyst, therefore she wanted one of her team to contact the Gynae people and tell them (note: tell, not ask) that she expected someone to come to see me that evening and if not, she wanted to know why not. Much Kudos to her too: a chap came that evening to chat to me and take a few details.

Then Tuesday morning the hospital vampire came to take yet more blood for the Gynae lot to test (the third lot I'd had taken) and the Gynae Consultant, Mr Roberts, arrived a little later. The upshot of that: an explanation of what a cyst is/how it develops; that everything seems to have settled down now, so it may well be that the cyst will resolve itself and I may not have any further trouble; then again I may, so he wants me to go back as an outpatient in four weeks time to have another scan, so he can see what's going on; by then he'll also have the blood results, which will also give him a better idea of what's happening; that without the blood results he couldn't say 100% that it was benign but, from all the details he had, including the scan, and his experience he was fairly certain it was.

After hearing that I burst into tears: I hadn't realised until that moment just how worried I was. I apologised and explained that I'd lost my SIL and Dad to cancer in 2007 and that I hadn't been able to avoid having that on my mind.... and that it seemed that I'd just got my life back on track again after all that grief when Wham! this hits. He did the typical Consultant/man-thing - avoided meeting my eyes, looked uncomfortable and muttered a few unintelligible things. The two nurses who were there, on the other hand, nodded and knew exactly where I was coming from...... we are all sisters under the skin. :0) So Mr Roberts said that, as the pain was well and truly under control and I was eating OK, I could go home and the scan appointment would be sent to me shortly. Thank you, lovely man. :0)

Yay! off to pack my bag. Except no, I couldn't go yet....... the staff, as well as myself, had all assumed that the Surgical mob had signed me over to Gynae but they hadn't. I had to wait for them to come back and sign me off before I would be able to go. So I got another free meal and a long wait. DH arrived for afternoon visiting but we still didn't know when I'd be seeing the Surgical folk so we'd decided he'd go back to work then go home and have his tea then come back for evening visiting and hopefully be able to take me home then. Just in case I walked with him to the front desk, to check with the staff if there was any reason for him to stay. No, don't go was the reply - the doctors were on the ward and were currently in the Treatment Room with someone and they'd be with me soon. Not long then thought we. Wrong! They saved me right until last, really making me sweat for it! LOL They said they were happy with how the pain had decreased but that there was one gallstone that had potential to give me further problems and they'd be happy to take it out for me. Nope, that's OK says I - if I get any further problems we'd get the GP to refer me back and take it from there. (Be buggered to that was what I told DH later: I'd heard the story of one of my fellow ward companions, who'd come in for gall bladder removal keyhole day surgery and ended up in Intensive Care and almost died because they'd ruptured something they shouldn't). With that they said I could go home. Yay!

It took a bit longer to get all the paperwork and medications together but by that time I was dressed and fully packed and ready to go and DH had already ferried a couple of bags out to the car and moved the car a bit closer, so there wouldn't be such a long walk. Paperwork, meds and instructions handed over we were off and it was so good to be outside, even for that short time, and breathe some fresh air again...... well, as fresh as it gets round here. LOL

So now it's a case of gradually weaning myself off the last of the meds, getting them out of my system and settling down into a routine whilst I recuperate and regain my strength. It's amazing just how weak I feel at the moment. There are a couple of things I've discovered though: my ass does not enjoy feeling like a pincushion; my belly goes a pretty colour when it has blood thinning jabs zapped into it, and so does my right arm, where the bloods were taken from; the human body can cope with way more than you think it can and has an amazing capacity for healing; you meet some really nice people at unexpected times........... Oh, and eating fish and chips when you've been on a very healthy long-term diet is a really bloody stupid idea! LOL

So you've probably gathered by now that there's no stitching to show. I didn't get chance to add the buttons to the Halloween ornie, as that was planned as Friday's job. Hopefully there'll be something to show you once I feel a bit livelier and up to doing a bit more..... and I'll also start to have a gradual catch up with all your blogs. :0)

Hope you all had a waaaaay better weekend than mine and are all feeling fit and well. :0)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Another Lovely Surprise

I had a lovely surprise in the post at the weekend and, though it isn't craft related, it's such a lovely gift I had to show you all.

I'll admit that, once again, until I saw the address on the back I did wonder if I'd had another one of those brain fart moments and forgotten about something I'd been buying on eBay..... as you do. ;0) But the address immediately revealed that it was from the very kind and generous Barb (no blog). Here's what I found on opening up the bubblewrap bag:

Two books that I will definitely enjoy, as they are just the kind of thing I like to read, a fabulous postcard - just look at that dragonfly brooch on it! - and an intriguing tissue wrapped box. On unwrapping and opening it I found this stunner inside:

A fabulous geode with the loveliest feel to it. That pic just doesn't do it justice - it's waaay nicer in real life, with lots of sparkle. Barb found it in a crystal shop while she was on holiday in Dartmoor and says it said "Send me to Karan" so she did - after first cleansing it in the River Tavy. Such a lovely thing to do. :0)

And the geode looked so totally at home in the spot where I took its pic that it's now living there, alongside my House Angel.

Thank you again Barb for such a fab surprise..... and I love my geode. :0)

Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments you leave. May you all be Blessed with good friends and kind deeds. :0)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Still Alive & Kicking!

Yep, I'm still in the land of the living (although some would argue the finer points of that on observing me emerging from my bed first thing of a morning! ROFL) - have just been busy doing updates on my other blog, going out and about, doing jobs and stitching. Yes, that's right: some stitching..... but more on that a little later, just to keep the suspense going a bit longer. ;0)

So what have I been up to? Let's see if I can remember (always a bit dodgy, is that). Well I had another wander down my local High Street last week, as I had another package to post, and because I just plain felt like it (anyone who reads my other blog will know this is a major improvement, as I'm recuperating from agoraphobia and panic attacks). It was an enjoyable outing and also productive, as I scored big time at the Hospice charity shop. No, no craft related goodies but some wonderful Ltd Ed Egyptian style plates that were sat in the window shouting "Buy Me!". LOL There were four plates and I decided I couldn't really afford them all at that time, so opted for these two:

The one on the left is entitled Isis, Mother of the Sun God and the one on the right is Hathor, Goddess of Joy and Love. I thought they would look good on the wall in my new craft room. :0)

Thursday night I wasn't a happy bunny: around 10pm there was a sudden problem with getting on the internet....... as in: I couldn't - at all. Aaaaarrrrggghh!!! The modem lights were on, so it was working, but a quick Microsoft diagnostic revealed that the server couldn't be found. OK, that sounds like it's their end not ours. Not according to Virgin Media it wasn't, when DH rang up to enquire - they'd send an engineer out on Monday to have a look at the modem, claiming they couldn't "find" it or the box at their end. It was very tempting to say: well they were sat on top of the TV last time we looked, missus. ;0) They knocked a tenner off the bill as a goodwill gesture - I'd way rather they send the engineer chap out asap, thank you very much.
Ever the optimist (hah! in denial, more like!) I hoped it would be OK when I got up on Friday. It wasn't. So what do you do with yourself when you don't have internet access? That's after you get over the bit where you run around the house screaming like a banshee and tearing your hair out, thinking OMG if it ain't back by tonight I might actually have to sit and talk to the OH.............. and after you've been round the house with the Dyson for the third time in a week, getting close to wearing out the carpets and taking a layer off the laminate......... well, you go and get a good case of Stitch Ass of course. LOL

Yup, I decided it was as good a time as any, especially for the state of my mental health, to whip up the flagging stitching mojo by starting a new piece which would give me the chance to try out the new magnifier lamp. Here's the piece I chose:

Design: Ghouls Night Out
Designer: The Sampler Girl, internet freebie
Fabric: 28ct evenweave Dusk Blue, unknown make
Threads: DMC 310 - 947: stitched 1 over 1
Finish: as an ornie - not decided yet

I haven't finished it yet as I can't decide whether to leave it as is, or add another orange zigzag line at the top........ because it will probably bug me left as it is. I can't help it, I just like symmetry and it isn't looking that way right now. BTW, that magnifier lamp is the best thing ever since sliced bread - it's the bees knees - it's the dogs dangly bits..... well you get the drift: it made the 1 over 1 stitching look like it was 14ct aida, not even the smallest hint of eye strain..... and I got to watch TV too because the specs didn't have to come off so I could see the stitching. Yay!!!!! There might just be some progress on my HAED Mother Earth this side of Christmas after all. :0)

To put the icing on the cake: internet access came back just as suddenly as it had disappeared around 10pm that night, so it was all systems go for emails, checking of Forums and Blogging. Thank goodness - that was the longest 24 hours ever! LOL BTW, we've since had a morning of being unable to access emails: Hhhhmmmm, could that mean they've actually been doing maintenance/updating on the system but failed to notify us about it and wouldn't admit it, then? I reckon so. Never mind, I'm just glad to have it back again. :0)

I've been pottering around doing jobs and things the rest of the time. This weekend we were out and about for much of it. Saturday DS went to Brigg Farmers Market whilst DH and I went out shopping, with ports of call at Dunhelm, The Range and Poundstretcher for various household bits and pieces we needed, followed by a pub lunch and then a trip to the Pink Pig and Uncle Henry's for some food shopping. That night DH and I went to the local Spiritualist Church - more about that on my other blog. Sunday we went to the Harrogate Health and Healing Festival for the day (more on my other blog about that, too) and followed that up with a pub meal - it was a good day. I now miss the JA/S&S UFO Night on Tuesday evenings as that's the night of the Development Circle meetings (see other blog) so no progress on any UFO's to show - though am hoping to get into a new routine of stitching some time during either Tuesday or Wednesday daytime to make up for it.

Today was my monthly visit to the Clinic to see Jan, my Herbalist (will do a write up on my other blog about this shortly). Whilst down the street I finally managed to venture further down to have a wander around the regular Thursday market - something I haven't done for years, thanks to the agoraphobia etc. It used to be a great, thriving little market - my Mum and Dad, and my DSis when she wasn't at work, used to enjoy coming over for a visit for the day, specifically to shop there - but I found it sadly depleted today. It was the oddest thing: as I was walking round I got a really strong sense of my Dad beside me and I found myself mentally saying "Yep, you're right Dad - it certainly isn't as good as it used to be". Reckon he came for a look-see for old times sake. :0) It's such a shame the market has been allowed to deteriorate like that though.

Heading back up the High Street, on my way home, it was a different story though. As I got to the Hospice charity shop and looked in the window what did I see? Yes, the other two plates were still there. I saw it as a sign so, as I'd now got enough money, I went in and bought them.

The one on the left is Ma'at, Goddess of Wisdom and Truth and the one on the right is Nepthys, Goddess of the edge of the desert. They will look fabulous displayed together, in a diamond shape, on the wall. I also plan on stitching an Angel - probably one of the Just Nan ones, for the JA/S&S JN SAL in January - for in there as well........ if I can decide on which one, as they are all equally as pretty. LOL

Thank you for all the lovely comments about the ornies in my last post. They have safely arrived with Donna, who had a great post week as several more packages full of ornies arrived for her tree. I am so looking forward to seeing pics of the tree - it is going to look fabulous with all the different ornies decorating it. :0)

And as it's in full bloom and such a sunny colour for this end of the year I thought I'd leave you with a pic of the rogue sunflower that sprouted in my garden earlier last month:

Pretty, isn't it? I plan on collecting the seeds and having a go - deliberately, this time - at growing a couple next year. :0)

Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave comments - they are all very much appreciated. Hope you all have a good Friday and an even better weekend, whatever your plans. :0)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Stitching For a Cure Ornies

OK here we have, as promised, the post that proves this is still a stitching-related blog. LOL

Way back in around October or November 2008 I came across the Stitching For a Cure blog that had been set up by Donna, who wanted to decorate a Christmas Tree with hand stitched ornies and raffle it all to raise money for cancer research in the USA. One amazing woman who is not only busy organising this but has also stitched a lot of beautiful ornies for the tree herself.

This really touched a nerve, as 2007 had been a very bad year for my family: we'd lost DH's DSis to bone cancer (breast cancer secondaries) shortly after her 40th birthday....... followed a short time later by my Dad, to Oesophageal cancer that had spread to his stomach. And they weren't the first: we've lost other family members and friends to this bloody awful disease over the years. So helping someone in their endeavours to raise money to fund vital research into finding a cure for cancers was a given, as it's a cause dear to my heart.

The call went out last week for all ornies to be sent in, so it was time to extract my digit and get those ornies finished so they could be wrapped, packaged, addressed and sent on their way. So here's the first one, prior to going in the wrapping:

Design: Snowflakes for Cancer - Cure
Designer: Virginia Knutson of Vee and Co
Fabric: Count On Me 28ct evenweave, Aster
Threads: Carrie's Creations Boysenberry; Coats Reflecta #3031 + Mill Hill beads
Finish: Pinkeep style Christmas ornie

That's in the general cancer colour, stitched in memory of my Dad. And the second one:

Design: Snowflakes for Cancer - Hope
Designer: Virginia Knutson of Vee and Co
Fabric: Count On Me 28ct evenweave, Aster
Threads: Carrie's Creations Sassy; Coats Reflecta #3031 + Mill Hill beads
Finish: Pinkeep style Christmas ornie

Pink for breast cancer and this is in memory of Helen. They sparkle way more IRL. I've also included another ornie I stitched way, way back for the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge during Breast Cancer Awareness Week. That had originally been with Helen in mind but it is now for Aunty Doreen, who was my Mum's friend and neighbour for many years, who was also lost to breast cancer.

All three ornies are now in the post and will soon be winging their way across the pond, so they should hopefully be in Donna's hands early next week (says she, with fingers and everything else crossed!).

So looking forward to seeing pics of the tree. I hope you raise your target and then some Donna - will certainly be sending out lots of best wishes and Good Luck vibes your way. :0)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Trades, a Card and the Garden

I'm getting on with the finishing on the charity ornies: got one fully completed over the weekend and the other just needs the rest of its trim attaching, then I can take pics to show you and send them off to Donna. Until then I thought I'd show you a few pics of some more acquisitions - though this time through trades - a recent card make and of a little more progress in the garden.

First up are the nice range of DMC threads I received in exchange for an Avid Lancaster Bomber chart:

They are now happily residing in my stash, until they're needed for a project. Next was the fabulous chart I received in exchange for some magazines:

Yes, it's Papillon Creations Mary Queen of Scots. This little stunner has been on my Wish List for some time - I never actually expected to receive it as a Wish and had only put it on there as a reminder that it was there..... and one day I'd get around to buying it. Was I Happy Dancing when it was offered in trade. :0)

A trade for some plastic canvas booklets saw this gorgeous Sugar Maple opalescent fabric added to my stash:

It shouts mermaid, fairy and Angel to me........ am so torn as to which would suit more. It's going to be a whole lot of fun deciding. Once again many thanks to the ladies I traded with - it was a pleasure. :0)

When DH and DS saw stash arriving in packages again they started chuntering away on that same old theme: supposed to be getting rid of things, not adding more. Well I soon pointed out that: the threads replace a chart and they probably won't be in my stash for long because I use DMC all the time; that one Papillon chart replaces six magazines, so it takes up a lot less space and, once stitched, I don't hang onto the chart and the fabric replaces four booklets - shelf space is freed up and less space is taken up by the fabric, which I fully intend stitching something pretty on it so it'll then hang on the wall. Therefore much more has gone than has come back in says I......... very carefully not reminding them about the e**Y stash bargains received the week before. ;0) LOL Just to make sure they were totally convinced my next words were: Oh, and it gave me an incentive to have another root round my stash and add a few more bits to my Trade Album too. Yup, not only did they stop chuntering but that gained me some serious Brownie points........ and was left wondering just when I became that crafty! LOL

I haven't been solely concentrating on stash acquisition though. The cardmaking goodies that Lynn very kindly sent were put to good use to make a card for Clare. Now her birthday has been and gone I can show you what I made:

It was good to finally do something creative, after what seemed like an age. I now have another two cards to make for FIL and an Uncle so I need to get my thinking cap on for those soon.

As for the garden. Well, remember how it looked at the end of the last tidying session:

The blue metal panels gone from against the privet hedge but still with those others leaning on the side of the shed and the one between us and the neighbours? We had another session out there after DH decided all the panels had to go and this is how it looks now:

No more blue metal panels. Yay! Doesn't it look bigger? By the way, those black plastic downpipes are there temporarily, to make a bit of an obstacle course should any scumbag from the local criminal fraternity fancy trying their chances - although now our neighbours have put up a good fence between them and the neighbour the other side there's much less chance of that happening. They seem happy enough with our plans for that end of the garden and may well not bother putting up a fence panel until after we've taken out the old shed and put the new summer house in its place.

The bonfire heap is still there - DH has been very restrained - so I may well suggest that we leave it until the impending Autumn Equinox and have it then. :0)

As for the garden bed along the side of the new fence.... well Mother Nature did her thing while we were on holiday and all kinds of things have sprouted....... and boy, have they flippin' well sprouted! We have no idea where most of it has come from either. This was one of the biggest surprises:

We think it must have been a stray sunflower seed from one of the bird feeders. There were a few more but DH got brutal and pulled a fair few out. That pink flowered thing in the background is so rife it's definitely at weed proportions. That'll teach DH: he's been threatening to do the weed killing session since the new fence went up and still hasn't gotten around to it, now it's twice the job it would have been. Men! On the other hand, the Pete's next door are really motoring on in their garden: in the last two weeks a new back fence has been put up, the old wooden workshop demolished and all the wood burnt, the area flattened and a new concrete base laid and the wood framework for the new one built and put up. The weekend has seen the roof area be boarded and insulated, the outer roof boards added and a start made on the waterproof covering. These guys really graft...... they have got to be on three Shredded Wheat! ROFL

Saturday we had a day at my DSis's....... we decided it was a bit to soon after her motorway detour to suggest that she came over here for the day. Sunday DH made a small start on replacing some of the damaged floorboards in the little bedroom before going to the Festival of the Plough. I didn't fancy it so had a quiet afternoon watching Stargate Atlantis re-runs and doing the ornie finishing instead. We both enjoyed ourselves in our own ways. :0)

Right I'd best be off to finish the last ornie so I'll finally have something stitchy related to show you in my next post, otherwise you'll be wondering if this really is a stitching blog! LOL

Hope you all had a good weekend. Thank you for taking the time to visit and for all your lovely comments. :0)