Thursday, 26 February 2009

An Award and an Ornie

Clare has very kindly given my blog an award. Thank You so much Clare. :0) I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that folks enjoy visiting my blog. It's nice to be awarded for doing something that is such fun to do............ and it's especially nice to know that my wafflings don't bore the pants off everyone! LOL

The award details are: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with."

I always find choosing a limited number of blogs so difficult as it feels awful leaving so many out when I enjoy every one that I read..... and that list is an ever-growing one as more wonderful blogs are discovered. Please don't feel upset (or insulted!) if you're not on this list. :0)

1] Clare (by return);
2] Julie;
3] Helen;
4] Karen (LOL I know your feelings on awards but I reckon you deserve this one anyway, for all the kindnesses you do);
5] Lynn;
6] Mylene;
7] Angela;
8] Christine.

There are so many I would also love to have included on this list but can't due to being limited to 8. :0(

Now for the ornie. I finally extracted my digit on Wednesday and did the finishing on my February ornie for the JA/S&S Forum Christmas Ornie SAL and here it is:

  • Design: Winter Wonderland
  • Designer: Andree Langhorn
  • Freebie kit with UK Cross Stitcher magazine
  • Fabric: 14ct white aida, as supplied
  • Threads: Anchor, as supplied

That's one less kit in my stash. LOL The ornie, although it may not look like it in the pic, is actually slightly padded - it's backed with red felt. Quite a cute design but I didn't really enjoy stitching it. Still, it's finished now and that's another ornie to add to my tree this year! :0)

The next lot of Challenges are now up. For the JA/S&S Forum the March Challenge is any one of the Quaker freebies from The Work Basket - design is chosen and chart printed out ready to go....... though I may yet change my mind before making a start, as I've since had an idea for a finish I'd like to do and the design chosen isn't quite right for it. I'll make a final decision some time over the weekend - I need to concentrate on Sea Stars first.

The Challenge for a Finish March Challenge is a scissor case finish in green/s, as it's Spring. I haven't yet got a clue for this one and that finish will be a first for me, so am a bit nervous about it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained though. :0) Anyone know of a suitable freebie design, in blackwork or cross stitch, that would fit the bill, please?

Next there's a decision to be made on which design to stitch as March's Christmas ornie. Got my eye on two designs - both are quick and easy and both are already printed out already. I deliberately decided to opt for quick and easy this month to leave me more time for the two Challenges and their finishing. Yes, I know it's not March yet but I want to get a flying start as I want to fit in a couple of extra stitchy smalls, if possible - something that I didn't manage this month despite all best intentions.

I have stitched on NW this week and even put in a second night as it didn't seem to grow much on Tuesday. Will take a pic later and post it another time though. Stitched on SS last night but, again, didn't feel like much was achieved so am going to spend some time on it again today. I'm working on the huge motif in the middle so it's going to take a while to get that done....... and it's probably why it looks and feels like I haven't done much. It's not quite the same instant gratification you get with the tiny fishes and the small motifs. LOL

DH went out to someones retirement "do" out at Brigg last night - he had to be good though as he was driving. He's out again tonight as it's one of the foreign contractors final day today and they want to give him a good send off, as he's been there a while, was really good to work with and he's well liked. Tonight they are going round town, so there's no driving involved, and DH has had yet another brain-hurting/stress inducing week at work to get out of his system so he may well indulge a little more than he usually does. I was invited along to both events but declined - as I said to DH: I'll stay home with my stitching and DVD's thanks, as listening to them all yakking about work all night like a bunch of boring old farts just doesn't appeal somehow. LOL

DS is out at a Carpe Jugulum rehearsal tonight though he's still taking it steady. He went to the Doctor's the other morning to get himself checked out. Diagnosis: badly bruised, though a possibility of a cracked rib - not broken as his lungs are OK and he's not in enough pain for that. Treatment: deep breathing exercises to expand his ribcage and keep things moving, pain killers as and when required...... let time do the rest. He's bought a Deep Heat spray and has been using that and getting a reasonable amount of relief with it. Guess he won't be quite so gung-ho next time he goes Karting then. ;0)

Julie: yes, I used the Crop-A-Dile to set the eyelet in the floss tag. You just have to make a small hole through the fabric and wadding first, to insert the eyelet, then use the C-A-D to fix it. Extremely easy to use, no noise at all and no damage to the eyelet. I haven't always got a great grip with my hands but I can use this with no problems at all. :0)

Many thanks for the kind comments, they're greatly appreciated. Have a great weekend. :0)

Monday, 23 February 2009

Another Reveal

It was Reveal Day for the JA/S&S February Monthly Challenge at the weekend. This time the choice was any of the freebie designs available on the Elisa's Passions site. This is what I stitched:

Design: Coeur Petites Roses de Mai
Designer: Elisa's Passions
Fabric: Polstitches 32ct Stormy Skies
Thread: Carrie's Creations Twinkle
Stitched 1 over 1
Finish: Floss Ring Tag

Once again there are lots of lovely pieces to see in the album - it's a real inspiration to see the different choices and finishes that all the ladies have made. I love Reveal Day. :0)

Here's a close up view of the front of the tag:

That silver floss ring, along with it's buddies, was the finishing item I was searching high and low for, couldn't find and thought they'd permanently disappeared into The Safe Place. Thankfully the Angel of Lost Property finally took pity on me and they were found: hiding in the bottom of the carrier bag I brought them home in! I think I'm losing the plot!!

Here's a view of the back of the tag:

That rose was stitched 2 over 2. Here's a closer view:

You may get a feeling of deja vu with the fabric and thread: I used them for the January JA/S&S Challenge, the Celtic blackwork design. Just love that combination of colours and may have to stitch a larger monochrome piece in them at some point. :0)

On Sunday we didn't get to Wickes as there wasn't time - DH was still a little fragile after the karting session on Saturday so wasn't rushing to go out shopping. LOL He was pleased he made the effort in the end though as we not only got the food we wanted in Aldi, he also found a large hobby knife box set for his workshop at a very good price. We also popped to Wilkinson's afterwards to stock up on tubs of fat seed balls for the garden birds - they are now the cheapest place to buy them from. We also came away with a few other bits and some sample pots of paint to try in the living room - it desperately needs redecorating......... actually, so does most of the house!

Sunday night I concentrated on trying to finish the ornie for the Christmas Ornie Challenge at JA/S&S Forum. It's a cute design but I'm not enjoying stitching it at all - it's on aida, real horrible stiff stuff that came in the kit. So wish I'd swapped it for a hand dyed evenweave but it's too late now as all the cross stitching is done - just the backstitching to do, then the finishing. Fingers crossed, I should get it all completed before the end of the month...... though cutting it fine again.

Today has been my usual jobs day, though I've had to take everything a bit slower due to having a flare-up of the bursitis in my right knee. Thankfully, so far, it's nowhere near as severe as the first bout I had on holiday last year - enough to slow me down though. Just call me Hop-along Karan! LOL Alex came for a natter after she'd finished work and it was good to have a catch-up with her. Tonight DS is out at the Guild Room but he's not taking part in the rehearsal due to still being in pain from the knock he had on Saturday - he's organising another social event and wanted to finalise the details. This event won't be as lively as the karting: it's back to a gentler pace with a meal out at a local Italian restaurant. LOL

Right I'd best be off and get on with that backstitching if that ornie is ever to be finished in time....

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

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A Card and a Reveal

Thursday I remembered MIL's birthday was fast approaching and if there was going to be any chance of a card reaching her in time I'd best extract my digit and get on with it. She loves her flowers, having once run her own flower arranging business as well as being a keen gardener, so the theme was a no-brainer. Here's what I made:

I can't take credit for the decoupage: it was one I bought ready-made from a seller on that well-known auction site - the one where you can happily lose a couple of hours or a whole evening due to browsing through the crafts section. LOL I think she'll be happy with it.

I did stitch on Sea Stars but it was so little (a fish and a tiny section of the huge motif) it's just not worth doing an update pic of it. I was so twitchy about the visit to the Herbalist the following day, wondering about the weigh-in, it was a struggle to concentrate - added to that were numerous interruptions, so I never really got into a good flow with things. Once I've finally completed the Christmas ornie for February (tonight?) and done the finishing (tomorrow daytime?) I'm hoping to give a bit more attention to SS and have an update of it early next week.

I had my early start on Friday but I didn't get to the Clinic (so much for getting twitchy about it - that'll teach me LOL): Ann, the receptionist, rang me up to say Jan had woken up with a bad headache, apologise and ask if the appointment could be rescheduled. As I said: folks can't help being ill so I didn't mind and another appointment was made for the following morning (Saturday) at 9.15am. So, there was I with a whole day ahead to fill and no real yearning to go out, with knowing I'd be going out the next day on my lonesome (after all the travel this week, I knew DH wouldn't feel like getting up to get out of the door and down the street in plenty of time). Well it was pretty easy to find plenty to do to fill it. :0) After doing the pots and some laundry and a few other jobs it was over to some fun stuff: blog reading, to see what everyone has been up to, a little reading (the new book is definitely a good one) and assembling my February piece for the Challenge For A Finish blog:

Challenge: Redwork Heart-shaped finish
Design: Celebration Blackwork Heart - internet freebie
Designer: Christine-Ann Martin - Aion Designs
Fabric: Zweigart 28ct Brittney - Bone
Thread: DMC 816

It's the first time I've attempted a heart-shaped pinkeep style finish....... and can't you tell? A very steep learning curve, so maybe next time I'll manage to get things aligned a tad better. It's for me and DH, not a gift for someone else, so it'll be OK. LOL

Saturday was an even earlier start than Friday but well worth it all round. I had more good news from the Herbalist (see my other blog for more about this), met DH afterwards to do some shopping, popped home to put it away and have a drink and a snack before going back to the Clinic for an 11.30am Reiki treatment with Aureen. After that I popped into Tesco's Express on my way home to pick up some bits we didn't have the time to get earlier (or the extra arms needed to carry more bags!). By the time I got home and put things put away DH and DS were off on their travels, over to Mexborough for a go-karting session with other LTC members. One quiet afternoon to catch up with the Forum and emails and finally catch my breath. They were both home in time for take-out curry. DH was walking a little stiffly - he'd had fun but his bones aren't as young as they were, plus he fell asleep for a couple of hours in his armchair! DS may be younger but he'd lost the back end of the kart and slammed into the wall, banging and jerking his side and back, so was in a worse state - the area he banged is slightly swollen and bruising has started to develop today. Thank goodness for No Pain gel....... though it'll be a while before he'll be able to move freely again! Boys will be boys! LOL

Clare: I bought the Crop-A-Dile online from Crafty Devils - the link is in my side bar under Where I Like To Shop. They have a choice of buying with or without the case - I thought with the case was a better deal. It's free P&P over a certain amount too. Am happy to recommend them. :0)

Right I'd best be off as we're supposed to be having a trip out to Aldi and Wickes today.

Thank you all for visiting (Hi to newbies!) - hope you're all enjoying a good weekend. :0)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

I Don't Believe It!

No, I'm not doing the Victor Meldrew, grumpy old fart bit today.......... I'm just left absolutely gobsmacked by the generosity and kindness of Barb (no blog). I've received another surprise gift from her of these lovely goodies:

I've just realised the Special Friend ribbon was upside down. Doh! Aren't they brilliant? I love everything and can't thank you enough for gifting these to me Barb (((((hugs))))). The generosity of online stitchy friends never ceases to amaze me - what a fantastic group of people you all are! :0)

Tuesday UFO Night was time for Night Watchman to come out to play again, with a little more being done on Wednesday night too - though the sleep deprivation was kicking in by then so it was a struggle to concentrate. Here's where I left off:

Thought it was about time that branch was worked on, so he won't look like he's spookily floating in mid-air any more....... or super-glued to the side of the tree trunk. LOL

I've completed the finishing on the piece for the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge.... well, all bar one item needed. I bought some finishing bits whilst on holiday last year and they're now wanted for this. I remember having my hands on them a while ago and thinking that they were in danger of getting knocked off from where they were and moving them....... but can't remember where to. I've hunted high and low for them, in all the usual - and now all the unusual - places I could think of and found all kinds of stuff but can I find what I actually want? Can I heck! Yup, you've guessed it - they've disappeared into that blackhole called The Safe Place. An appeal to the Angel of Lost Property hasn't helped so far either. :0( I guess I'm going to have to take a pic of my piece as-is and hope the other bits eventually turn up so I can then send this off to its new home.

Still not done the finishing on the Challenge for a Finish piece: it's a heart shape and the first time I did this type of finish it gave me a bit of hassle, so I keep putting off tackling this one. No good keep telling myself I'll do it later - later just doesn't seem to be happening in this neck of the woods. ;0) I should be a bit less sleep deprived tomorrow plus have an early start, which means there'll be plenty of time to do it, so I'll just have to bite the bullet, won't I? LOL

There was plenty of wakeful night hours over the last few days which meant quite a bit of it was spent with my nose buried in my latest book and I finished reading it yesterday. It was Camelot's Shadow by Sarah Zettel (one of the many charity shop buys) and I'll be posting about that on The Reading Corner blog later, plus adding it to my Swap List and registering it with Book Crossing. Started my next book last night: Atlantis by David Gibbins - that grabbed me from the first page, so have read a little more today as well. The way it's going it's probably going to end up a fairly quick finish.

Thankfully DH got back from Italy OK last night. He was shattered from a hectic schedule of meetings with brain-storming sessions and all the travel......... and it didn't help that his bag weighed an absolute ton, thanks to a humongous lever-arch file full of bumpf he'd brought back from the Italian Company........ and I guess the two large bottles of grappa didn't help much either. ;0) (One is for a colleague, I hasten to add - he's not a total boozer). He almost gave himself a hernia hefting that little lot through the door and up the stairs. He also brought back a vacuum pack of proper Italian decaff coffee, in the hopes that I will be OK to drink it. Bless! I'm back at the Clinic to see the Herbalist again tomorrow, which is the reason for the early start, so I shall ask about it while I'm there. Will be having my blood pressure checked and a weigh-in too: wish me luck for some more good news! :0)

Christine: the Crop-A-Dile bumpf says it can be used on fabric - as well as card, paper, tin, leather, chipboard, wood, plastic, acrylic and poly. I've used it on evenweave already and it is waaaay better than the "bash it with a hammer until it cries for mercy" method - it's silent for one thing and there's no over-doing it and ruining the eyelets! LOL Between all the crafts I do my new toy will be getting quite a bit of use. :0)

Hope you've enjoyed your visit and a big thank you for all the kind comments you leave, they are very much appreciated. :0)

Monday, 16 February 2009

A Catch-Up

Thought it was time to do a catch-up post with the latest pics of NW and SS, as promised.

First up is the progress on Night Watchman:

Not a great change this time around, as I wasn't able to stitch on him for a second night last week. There'll be a fair bit more done this week as I'll be on my own until Wednesday night: DH went off with two other colleagues on another business trip to Italy first thing this morning........ yet again the last one has proved not to be the final trip! DS works during the day and has rehearsals and other things to do in the evenings, so that means more hours on my own to fill. Good job I stocked up on DVD's, isn't it? LOL

Progress on Sea Stars was a bit better - not only did the larger motif get finished but two small motifs and another fish were added:

If you look closely you may be able to see a brighter patch across the pic. Yes, that was your actual real sunshine coming through the window. Yay!

The weekend was a good one. Cards were duly exchanged on Saturday and DH really liked the one I made for him. He gave me the Lost in Austen DVD I 'd been eyeing up - unfortunately the Pink Floyd CD I'd ordered for him from Amazon almost two weeks ago has only just been despatched. Disappointing: they don't seem to be as well organised as the books and DVD's section at all. Oh well: it should be here for when he returns from Italy, so I'll be able to give it to him then. We popped into Ashby so I could get some more Candaway capsules and herbal teas from the Clinic, with a call in at Tesco Express on the way home. Later we went to Poundstretcher so we could stock up on cleaning products and a few other things then on to the main Tesco. There I managed to get the clip'n'lock boxes needed for storing the new healthy foods in - can get my cupboards better organised with these, as they stack better than packets do and with the labels on the front it means I can always find exactly what I want straightaway. I also checked out their range of organic and specialist foods and was happy to find a couple more items that meet my dietary restrictions, so came home with a nice haul. A take-away curry from our favourite curry house for tea rounded off the day quite nicely. :0)

Sunday we went over to Doncaster to see my DSis. We took over the new light sockets and other electrical bits we'd got for her from our local Screwfix and DH spent some of the day fitting those in the front bedroom for her. I took one of my Book Crossing books over (Rosie by Alan Titchmarsh) for her to read then release afterwards in the cafe section of the Thornton's shop she works in - so far I haven't heard that any of the wild releases have been caught but the controlled releases have done OK (thank you, ladies, for journalling on these :0) ). I also took a couple of small stitching pieces with me and stitched on those whilst nattering and managed to finish the new piece for Challenge for a Finish, as well as stitching the backstitch border for whip stitching together my JA/S&S Challenge piece. We didn't get home until late.

Today is my usual jobs day, though Alex won't be coming for a visit due to having a rehearsal to go to tonight. As if trying to make up for that disappointment my package from Crafty Devils arrived this afternoon:

It's the first time I've bought from them: found them extremely helpful and friendly, with the goodies arriving very quickly, so I would use them again and am happy to recommend their service. Now I'll be able to make my own papercraft tags with the die (DH bought me a BigShot machine a couple of Christmases ago) and also add eyelets to things without having to bang them with a hammer - not only noisy but can also damage the eyelets if you get it wrong. Making floss ring tags will be a whole lot easier with this too!

Here's a peek inside the Crop-A-Dile case, just in case you were wondering what on earth it was. LOL I shall be having a play with both of these later. :0)

Weatherwise it's been so nice today I've had the thermostat turned right down and the back door open, to allow the fresh air to blow through the house........ haven't been able to do that in such a long time. The birdies have noticed the change too: it's a riot of song out in the garden and the large male pigeon has been busily strutting his stuff - though the females seem totally unimpressed. I guess his report card would read: could do better! LOL In fact it's been such a nice day it tempted me out there a couple of times to potter around for 10 minutes or so each time, dead-heading my herbs and pulling weeds. There are lots of signs of new growth and the crocus and snowdrops are already blooming, though not quite in full swing yet. Welcome back Spring, lighter nights and warmer weather! :0)

Christine: thanks for the red cabbage recipe. Luckily I'm allowed an apple a day but can't have raisins or balsamic vinegar - will try it with lemon juice as an alternative to the vinegar (the only fruit juice allowed on this diet) and see how it goes. Thanks also for the fabric recommendation - hadn't thought of that range. :0)

Thank you Laura for leaving a comment and input on fabric for the ED piece. Always nice to "see" new faces and add new blogs to my Bloglines. :0)

Thank you to all for taking the time to visit - hope you have had a gentle start to the week. :0)

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

The card I made for my DH. The little WillowTree figurine is called Happiness (FREE to sing, laugh, dance...create!) and she has another little blue bird on her other arm. Such a joyful piece, I smile every time I look at her.

However you are spending the day hope you all have a day full of Happiness. :0)

Friday, 13 February 2009

A Gift, a Rethink and a Question

Despite the current bad weather - yet more snow yesterday and bitterly cold every day - there was a bright point this week when a surprise envelope from Helen arrived through the door. Inside was this rather lovely RAK:

I love the words of wisdom on this piece - a reminder of how life should be lived - as well as those gorgeous stylised birds and flowers. The colours this is shown in is so me too and it would be perfect for the sun room wall (if it ever gets finished enough to hang anything on the walls!), so will probably go for a very similar combination when I stitch it. Thank you again Helen for your generosity and kindness. BTW, hope you have a fabulous holiday. :0)

As the title says I've had to have a rethink: this one was about the piece I stitched for the February Challenge over on Challenge for a Finish. I really like the piece I did but it turned out smaller than anticipated so is far too fiddly for me to achieve the required heart-shaped finish...... well, it is if I want it to look neat and anything like! LOL So the piece I stitched will be turned into something else very soon. Meantime I trawled the net and found another freebie I like just as much....... more importantly, it will be easier to finish as required. Unfortunately I now haven't got a snowball's chance of having it finished for Valentine's Day tomorrow. Ah well, think it'll still be OK for posting on the site though - fingers crossed. So guess what I'll be busy with tonight. LOL

I stitched on Sea Stars last night and got the larger motif finished and a start made on a smaller one but I'd like to get that finished before I take a pic and post an update. I'll leave the latest pic of NW until another time as well - don't want you all to get bored of seeing him. BTW, there's still a bit to go before he's a HD - almost as much as is already stitched.

Now for the question. It's our Silver Wedding Anniversary this year and I've chosen to stitch this gorgeous piece by Elizabeth's Designs:

It not only brings to mind the Tree of Life but the Family Tree, of which we are a part, as well as sheltering boughs and longevity. As it's commemorating such a special event (let's face it, over the years there were times I thought I might have panned him prior to reaching this milestone! LMAO) I want it to look special too. So: I'll be using the recommended DMC threads but have you all any suggestions for a really nice fabric to use on this? I was wondering about a softly coloured hand dye, rather than a plain fabric, but am open to ideas. The chart itself suggests 32ct Burnished Gold Linen (or Toasted Almond Belfast Linen) by R&R Reproductions..... but I wouldn't have a clue where to get that. Is it sold anywhere in the UK? Very interested to see what you all think. :0)

Today has been an enjoyable day. Whilst pottering about doing jobs and tinkering on the computer I've been chilling listening to some CD's. So what have I been listening to? Roxy Music. Sheer bliss, as I haven't been able to listen to my cassettes in a long time, thanks to the player packing up - now I have CD's to listen to instead and the cassettes can go to the Hospice shop for someone else to enjoy. Just finished listening to Roy Orbison and now Alison Moyet is on and next up will be Mediaeval Baebes. As you might guess from these my taste in music ranges widely - though my most consistent love is for Roxy Music (Brian Ferry - Phwoar!), a lot of 60's and 80's music..... with New Age stuff to relax to. Anyone else like such a wide range of sounds or am I of a butterfly mind/just plain weird? ;0)

One of the things I pottered with was making a Valentine's Day card for DH. Nothing like cutting it fine, is there? LOL Am quite pleased with it but will leave a pic until the official day of luuuurve tomorrow. LOL

The veg box was delivered today: as well as the usual goodies and my celery "extra" it had a red cabbage and pack choi in it. Now red cabbage I've only ever eaten pickled before but that's a definite no-no on the special diet, so that's one to check out the veg box recipes for. Pack choi is another veggie that's new to us all and I haven't a clue with this one so that'll be a veg box and veggie site recipes raid. So glad we signed up for the box though, as it's been a real learning curve and expanded our gastronomic horizons quite a bit. Now all I need is to clear some room in the kitchen for my juicer to sit.... aren't allowed fruit juices but can have as much veggies as I can eat and drink, so that'll make a nice alternative to the herbal teas and water. Tonight it's boiled beef and carrots with rice, broccoli and cauliflower and a little roasted beetroot, so I'm off to serve up now DH is home.

Many thanks for visitng and for the kind comments (Hi to newbies!). Hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day and a great weekend. :0)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Better Late Than Never

Thought that was the best approach for Night Watchman last week, seeing as how I forgot about Tuesday UFO Night after getting carried away stitching my piece for the Challenge For A Finish Blog. So he got pulled out of the bag Wednesday night for a belated stitching session and, as I tired quickly Thursday afternoon, also sat and did some more on him then as well - especially as there were some rather good documentaries on the TV. Here's what he looks like now:

It's good to see this growing nicely......... especially as there won't be another new large start until after he's finished.

Thursday night was Sea Stars SAL night and I didn't feel I got a huge amount done so sat and did more on Friday night as well. Here's where I got to with that:

Would have liked to have finished that larger motif but didn't quite manage it. Never mind, it should get finished this time round and hopefully a few more smaller motifs along with it too. :0)

Saturday DH and I went into the Town Centre determined to finally get me a new mobile phone. My old one has served me well but the battery has been slowly dying for some time, meaning it developed a nasty habit of switching itself off whenever it felt like it - not good when I'm on my own down the High Street and want the reassurance of knowing I can contact DH if I need to. A visit to Car Phone Warehouse later and one dinky little flip-lid silver Nokia with a basic camera, Bluetooth capability and MP3 wotsit was chosen and paid for. Not bad for just under £20.00, thanks to an offer they had on and a trade-in of my clapped out old phone (Bye bye little phone). Now all I've got to do is learn how to use the darned thing and its gizmos..... LOL. Next was a visit to the Health Food Shop to stock up on lots of healthy organic goodies, then home. When we'd put the shopping away and had some lunch we had a trip out to Uncle Henry's Farm Shop for more goodies from there, then home again.

That night I picked up the CFAF piece and completed it. Yay! Two Challenge pieces stitched - just the finishing and one more Challenge piece to go. After changing my mind several times on how to finish the Monthly Challenge piece I've now settled on one and hope to get that done some time tomorrow. The CFAF piece has to be a heart shape, so that's decided - just need to decide exactly how I want to achieve that/what look to go for. Will post pics as soon as it's OK to do so. :0)

Sunday it was really cold and didn't tempt me out of doors at all. DS and DH disappeared off to help with the Wilton Get-In at the theatre (another amateur group in the area). No stitching while they were out though: I've really got into my latest book, Hiding From The Light by Barbara Erskine, and have spent quite a bit of time with my nose well and truly stuck into that. LOL Not much choice about that though, as my computer suffered some kind of glitch whilst DH was out, tried to reboot then crashed and then wouldn't boot up again. Aaaaaaarrrrggghhh!!!! DH had it apart after he got home: hoovered out the dusty bits, checked all the electrical connections with a meter (all normal), waggled a few bits then put it all together again. This time it decided to play nice and booted up OK so he cleared out all the Temp Files etc then ran a scan on it - all is OK there and it seems to be running fine now so we have no idea what the problem was. Fingers and everything else crossed that it stays that way! I did a little stitching on my ornie for the Christmas Ornie Challenge in the evening.

DH had Monday and today off, using some of his holidays. Monday was jobs day whilst DH pottered around getting a few things sorted: picking up his prescription and getting it filled at the Chemist, popping to Aldi and the like. Alex came for a natter in the afternoon and brought a few things to show: her finished patchwork/embroidered piece, which was gorgeous, and a knotwork garden piece that is stitched with french knots in variegated threads which was very pretty and really effective (both Embroiderers Guild projects). She also brought some bargain felt kits she'd bought from the Viking Loom in York. These were felted pics: four were of seasonal flowers and the fifth of a lily - all are designed to be embellished with embroidery to give them detailing. Can't wait to see them finished as they will look amazing. I will have to start remembering to take pics to show!

Today has been a bit of an off day for me so I spent it at home pottering and stitching whilst DH had trips out: down the High Street for a haircut and to do a little shopping, then to Wickes and Screwfix to get some DIY bits, for us and my DSis, followed by a Governor's meeting in the early evening. After the past couple of days stitching the Christmas ornie is really starting to take shape now, so that'll soon be another piece needing finishing. Yay! After all the Challenge pieces are completed I will be able to concentrate on some other smalls I want to do for Clare's Miss-Tree and for Stitching For A Cure...... plenty to keep me busy when DH goes off to Italy again next week. Yes, despite saying that the last few trips should be the last up pops another one. :0( At least it won't be for long (Monday to Wednesday) so I shouldn't complain....... especially as DS will be out in the evenings, which means that I'll be in charge of the TV remote and can finally watch some of those DVD's I bought in the Amazon sale. LOL You're welcome to join me for the veg out ladies - just bring your favourite nibbles and your stitching. :0)

Clare: it wasn't Ashby-de-la-Zouch - Ashby is our local High Street. This town was originally separate villages, of which Ashby was one, which all grew and merged into the one town due to the growth of the steelworks (there used to be several, all major employers, and they built housing for the steelworkers - now there's just the one). It used to be a boomtown, believe it or not, and was the country's youngest town until Milton Keynes was built. How's that for a potted local history lesson? LOL

Well it's Tuesday UFO Night again so I'd best be off to get some more done on NW - got to keep on the right side of Mr Stick. ;0)

Many thanks for taking the time to visit. Hope you're all having a productive stitchy time. :0)

Wow and Thank You!

Was catching up with some blog reading today and found that my blog has been given this award by Angela and Clare.

I have to say that I really appreciate it when folks keep returning to my blog to read my wafflings - and I know I can waffle for England much of the time LOL ;0) - and especially appreciate it when time is taken to leave a comment. Receiving awards from friends who visit for doing something that is such fun to do is the icing on the cake. Thank you so much to both of you. :0)

As part of this award I have to list 5 addictions and then pass the award on to 5 other people.

1: Stitching: obviously. :0)
2: Blogland: it definitely gets addictive.
3: Books: you might just have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for books LOL.
4: Stash: I think I may have an obssessive/compulsive disorder where that's concerned. ;0)
5: Last but by no means least: Family and Friends - because without them I wouldn't be who I am and life definitely wouldn't be as good without them.

Now choosing just five people was really difficult as I hate leaving out so many blogs, as I enjoy every one of those I visit, and hate the thought of disappointing anyone. In the end I took a leaf out of Angela's book as hers was a nice criteria to follow. :0)

I give this award to:

1: Christine;
2: Karen (all of your blogs);
4: Miss376;
5: Edda.

I have some update pics and a waffling session to share but will save those for another time.

Thank you again for the award. Thank you for visiting. Hope you've all enjoyed a good weekend. :0)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Still Around

Thank you for all the well wishes - you're all very kind and they're much appreciated. :0) I'm still a bit out of sorts with myself, having good days and bad, so I guess I've hit that bridge the Herbalist warned me I would need to cross with the treatment I'm on. Unfortunately I didn't realise at the time that she meant it would be a flippin' humpty backed bridge with a great hump in the middle to climb over! LOL I enjoy the good days and take it easy on the not so good ones - I've been here already, before the treatment started, so I know the drill. ;0) It'll all be so worth it in the long run! :0)

Saturday was one of my good days, so DH and I had a trip into Ashby to get some more herbal teas from the Clinic (unfortunately Jan wasn't available for a chat, so it'll have to keep until I see her for my next consult, at the end of the month) and also pick up a few bits and pieces we needed from a couple of other places. Here are some of the bits I got whilst in the LNS:

Lots of goodies for trimming finishes. Afterwards we popped home for the car and had a trip out to Brigg so I could stock up on a few things from the Health Food Shop there. We were both tired after this so we decided to have a quiet Sunday at home so DH could get a couple of small jobs done.

Monday and the two menfolk were back at work. I was having a really good day and whizzed round and got all the usual house jobs done. Unfortunately Alex couldn't call in for her usual natter as she'd been sent home from work - she's got one of the lergies that's going the rounds at the moment. If you're reading this: hope you feel much better soon Alex. :0)

Tuesday was an off day for me but it started off well, despite this, as the stash I ordered from Cotton Patch arrived first thing. Here's a pic:

The main fabrics are fat eighths (I think) and are from the same Leafy Glade collection I backed the Celtic blackwork Challenge piece with - though these are the Spring range of colours. The other three are fat quarters from another range of fabric that I rather liked, along with the pinking shears. More Prairie Schooler style finishes will be on the cards now I have those little beauties! LOL As I was taking it easy I sat and watched Dawn Bibby on QVC whilst stitching - none of the goodies appealed but saw lots of inspiration from the finished cards, got a reasonable amount of stitching done and recharged my batteries enough to make our evening meal (peppered mackerel, brown rice and roast veggies medley: butternut squash, celeriac, red onion, garlic cloves and beetroot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with dill seeds).

Although there's a dearth of stitching pics to show the stitching has been going OK - I just can't show you anything yet. The stitching on the JA/S&S Challenge piece is completed, there's just the finishing do do whenever the right mood takes me. The piece for the Challenge For A Finish Blog has been started and is about half done but I do like to set myself a real challenge at times: both Challenge pieces are 1 over 1 on 32ct. Eye strain here I come! LOL The problem was that, although I have lots more 28ct fabric than 32ct, I didn't have the colours I wanted in the 28ct and didn't want to go and buy more, as I really do need to start using more of what I already have in my stash. (That's the theory, anyway! LOL).

I got so busy on the CFAF stitching I totally forgot about it being Tuesday UFO Night last night until it was too late. Doh! Sorry Julie and Mr Stick! Will see how my eyes are later - may just give them a bit of a rest tonight by switching to Night Watchman and do that UFO stitching a day late. I did a little more on the ornie for the JA/S&S Christmas Ornie Challenge over the weekend too but won't do any more on that until the CFAF piece is completed. Then that finishing mood needs to kick in real fast, as that will be three items to do......... four, if the ornie I stitched before Christmas is included.

It will be nice to finish Night Watchman as that will mean I can have a new start. This year I've had to have a re-think on how many projects, especially BAP's, I have on the go at the same time. I'm taking part in three Challenges per month now - more than I normally take on - so I can achieve some regular smalls finishes (potential gifts, as well as having more ornies for my Yule tree to display by the end of this year). To keep up with the deadlines for these that means less time to spend on larger projects. I currently have Night Watchman, Sea Stars and Mother Earth on the go: NW is for Tuesday UFO Nights; Sea Stars for Thursday SAL Nights; Mother Earth is an as-and-when/occasional UFO Night project and there are a few more UFO's that need to become finishes too (two just need beads adding). There's also an urgent need to stitch a piece for our Silver Wedding, as that is in July (that design is chosen already!).

Stitching is something I want to continue to enjoy, so it's now become a case of not taking on or starting anything else or the pressure will start to build and spoil the enjoyment. SO: after making a start on the Anniversary piece I've decided that there will be no more larger starts for me until there's a finish. Hopefully that will not only mean that the enjoyment remains but that it gives me another little incentive to really get on with the ongoing projects, as now one finish = one new start, and those can be BAP's or small pieces from the NAY basket. Fingers crossed it works OK! :0)

Many thanks for visiting. Hope you are all well and keeping warm during the current bad weather. :0)