Monday, 30 March 2009

Monthly Christmas Ornie SAL - March

I finally got around to completing the finishing on my Christmas ornie for the March SAL, over at JA/S&S Forum so I can finally show you what I stitched:

Design: Reindeer, internet freebie
Designer: Sharon Bennett, Daffycat Designs
Fabric: Polstitches 28ct evenweave, Mummies Curse
Thread: Carrie's Creation Sneezy, Ltd Ed from Jayne's Attic Christmas Panto Pack 2008.
Finish: Oval pinkeep style ornie.

A very quick and easy design to stitch - one I fell in love with when I spotted someone else's finish over at the Freebie Gallery blog, so it went straight to the top of my Must Stitch pile. A big thank you to Sharon for this lovely freebie. :0)

Here's another pic, this time with the backing fabric used:

The metal tree I put up at Yule and decorate with only hand made ornies is going to be much fuller this year. :0)

The finishing on the scissor case for Challenge for a Finish didn't happen yesterday as I couldn't find any instructions for the style of finish I wanted to do - I prefer the reassurance of looking at step-by-step pics before trying out something new. I've slightly altered my plan now, have chosen the fabric to go with and hope to get it done today, so please wish me Luck with it! ;0)

The Challenges for April are out. On JA/S&S Forum the choice is any design by A Mon Ami Pierre: my choice has been made, with chart printed out ready to go - just need to choose fabric and threads. On Challenge for a Finish: a flower design to be finished as any needlework small (needlecase, scissor keep, fob... whatever) - no ideas yet, so an internet trawl for inspiration and a chart is imminent. Not a bad way of spending an hour..... or two. LOL

On Sunday DS disappeared off swimming first thing and we didn't see him again until tea time. DH and I opted to stay home as DH needed to spend some time checking the brakes on DS's Mini and doing a few maintenance jobs......... and wanted to watch the first Grand Prix of the season. Great excuse for me to potter around, blogging and ornie finishing and generally chillin' so I didn't object. :0)

Today has been my usual jobs day but Alex isn't coming round later as she's off ill. DS is also home on a sickie, so I have company of a sort - it's not the dreaded man flu, I'm glad to say, but he's definitely not feeling great. So wish his viewing taste was more in line with mine though - there are way too many sitcoms on for me to take in one day, especially when they are repeats of repeats! Didn't help my tuna salad go down well at all! LOL

Right, I'm off to do that internet trawling, the finishing and hopefully some blog reading later on to find out what you've all been up to this weekend.

Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. Hope you've all had a good start to the week. :0)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Reveal Day - March

It's Monthly Challenge Reveal Day for March over at JA/S&S Forum today and the album is full of lovely pieces again. This month's choice was any one of the freebies from The Work Basket and it seems to have been really popular, with 17 members taking part (so far?) - it really is a feast for the eyes with all the different choices in designs, colours and finishes. :0)

So I can now show you what I chose, stitched and finished this time around:

Design: Quaker Hedgehog
Designer: The Work Basket, internet freebie
Fabric: Polstitches 28ct, Mummies Curse
Thread: Carrie's Creation Sneezy, Ltd Ed from Jayne's Attic Panto Pack
Finish: Pillow Pincushion

This is my first Quaker piece though it certainly won't be my last - they are quite addictive! It also tickled my sense of humour to turn this spikey little fella into a pincushion. LOL Here's a pic showing the backing fabric I used:

Not quite sure where I got the fabric from - possibly an eBay buy, but really can't remember - and was so glad when I realised how perfect it was for this piece. Makes a change from never having quite what's needed! This was a thoroughly enjoyable piece to do and now I'm looking forward to seeing what Karen has in store for us for April's Challenge. :0)

That was my last decent sized piece of the Pol's Mummies Curse I'd got, though there's enough small pieces left to make a couple of floss tags at some point. Such a shame that this isn't being produced any more, as it was one of my favourite colours. Anyone know of a good alternative for this, please?

Right, time for me to go do the finishing on the Challenge for a Finish piece - fingers crossed, I may just scrape in by the skin of my teeth with this one! Am definitely in a finishing mood today as the Monthly Christmas Ornie piece was completed earlier....... will show you that another time. I also want to go have a nosey at blogs to see everyone else's Challenge finishes again. :0)

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for the kind comments - you make my day. :0)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Something Old, Something New

The something old is the latest update on the ongoing UFO Night project, the handsome fella. This week I really got into this piece and actually did three nights stitching on it and here's where he's at now:

Still a reasonable amount left to do but that HD is getting so much closer! I want that new start finishing this will enable me to have! LOL There are plenty of candidates waiting in the wings for their turn, too........ what shall the new project be? Don't you just love that anticipation? :0)

As for other projects: I've got the final bit of finishing to do on this month's Christmas Ornie, then I can add it to the album and post a pic here. Talk about scraping in at the last minute! I'm still stitching the piece to turn into a scissor case for Challenge for a Finish but that looks like it might come in overdue - I keep prevaricating and it's because that scissor case is a first and I keep bottling it. Yes, I joined because I wanted a push to try new types of finishing but it still comes hard when I know my other sewing skills aren't up to a decent standard - it's just awful when you've taken time to stitch a really nice piece then go ahead and ruin it with naff finishing! If the Adult Education folk hadn't pared down the craft courses available to an absolute minimum I'd go join a sewing class to learn some useful basics and boost my confidence that way.......... it would be nice to get out my sewing machine and not be afraid of the darned thing! LOL

DH booked a couple of days off work and had Thursday and Friday off. No, not from some romantic notion of spending some extra time with his missus - he was going to a full dress dinner over in Grimsby on Thursday night and wanted the extra time so he didn't have to rush to get ready and over there on Thursday and so he wouldn't have to go into work on Friday. You know.... should he need some recuperation time. ;0) Actually he was quite well behaved: though he wasn't exactly sober he didn't come home rat-faced either, so there were no after effects at all other than him being tired. Lesson learned, shall we say? Eheheh.

The something new was the arrival on Friday of the final few bits from my last Thread Bear order:

A couple more finishing braids, some gorgeous buttons that will be ideal for ornies or biscornus and a blackwork kit I just couldn't resist - I love blackwork and it'll be ideal for one of the monthly Christmas ornies. Looks like I'll be getting more practice at a heart-shaped finish then, doesn't it? LOL

Today (Saturday) has seen more windy weather, bitter cold and alternate hail and rain showers - not nice at all. Despite wanting to do the hedgehog thing and hibernate we had to venture out. DS was up and out first thing to Brigg Farmers Market with Alex whilst DH and I had our own plans. First we went to Jackson and Shipley, though not to the DIY bit: we went to the next door showroom to have a look at the kitchens they do in there - more bits are dropping off our old one, so it's going to have to be done soon . A certain well-known DIY place hadn't impressed us much when they were doing the bathroom quote for my DSis... or should I say quotes, as each time she spoke to them the price went up. Not by a few quid either - by around a £100 each time....... which is why she told them thanks but no thanks and why we won't now use them. We saw a really nice set of units in there that we both liked and a chat to one of the staff had us both reasonably impressed with the service they offer. We came away with a brochure to look through and get a better idea of what we'd like - once that's firmed up and some measurements taken we should be off back again to have another natter and see about having the designer round. If redundancy is on the cards for DH it would be nice to get this big job done, paid for and out of the way before it happens.

Next we went to Uncle Henry's Farm Shop where we had dinner. Only I left DH to order didn't I, so the ham salad and small jacket I wanted came with both potato salad and coleslaw on it - neither of which I'm allowed to eat. It also had a huge jacket potato when I wanted a small one. Guess who had not only his own jacket potato with beans and coleslaw but also my potato salad, coleslaw and half a jacket potato? Yep, he did - makes you kinda wonder if the gannet did it on purpose, doesn't it? ;0) I'll be ordering my own food from now on though - that way I'll end up with more things I am allowed to eat on my plate. Once we'd eaten I popped one of my Book Crossing books (Astraea) into the separate comfy sitting area (I'd gone prepared) - this time I tried a slightly different tack and stuck a yellow Post-It on the front explaining why the book was there, so I hope this one gets picked up quicker than the previous wild releases I've made. We then did our shopping and when we paid we got a £5.00 off voucher for our next visit, thanks to the loyalty scheme they do - plus two stamps on our next card, to start saving towards another voucher. Don't you just love those loyalty schemes? :0)

After that we called in at the Pink Pig to pick up a few things we couldn't get at Uncle Henry's. It wasn't until we saw some signs up that we realised it was their WWII re-enactment weekend, so it was rather busy despite the lousy weather. When we'd done the shopping I grabbed another of my Book Crossing books (Ingo) and headed for the Cafe. In there they have a shelf of books that are available for folks to read but with a couple of provisos: if you want one of the books on the shelf you have to take in a book to replace it and pop 50p in the Hospice charity box. I spotted it last time we were in there and thought what a great idea for raising funds for the Hospice and a nice way of sharing books......... and what a great place to leave a BC book! LOL Here's what I found on the shelf and brought home with me:

Julie: if you haven't got this one let me know and I'll send it on to you when I've read it. Giving you first refusal with letting you down over Lady of Hay. :0)

No idea what the plans are for tomorrow yet - guess it's dependant on the weather and how brave (or not) we're feeling - but I do know we're having roast chicken for dinner, as DH got it out of the freezer earlier. LOL Am sure I shall find time to fit some stitching in along the way though, whatever we do.

Thank you for visiting and all the lovely comment, which are very much appreciated. Hope you're all staying warm and cosy! :0)

Friday, 27 March 2009

A Surprise

I was going to show another progress update of Night Watchman today but something rather nice arrived in the post and I just have to show you that instead. It's rather special and just has to have a post all of its own. :0)

I wasn't expecting anything so when a bubble wrap bag popped through the door it was a case of thinking that DS had been ordering something from Amazon again......... until I spotted my name on the front and another one I know well on the back. Yes, the wonderful Barb (no blog) has been spoiling me again!

When I opened the package this is what I found inside:

So beautifully presented it was a pleasure just to look at them for a while before investigating further. When I opened the envelope and those lovely little bags here's what I found inside:

A very pretty Spring card, a gorgeous skein of Oliver Twists One Offs: a mix of wonderful hand dyed threads and ribbon in sea blues and greens, with a little purple thrown in - my favourite colours - and the most exquisite hand made beaded scissor fob in golds and turquoise. I tried to get a close up pic, to try and show you the detail:

Not sure if it is showing it that well though. It sparkles so much IRL, so why do pics always make things look so flat?! I sat with my jaw dropped (not a pretty sight! LOL) with the fob in my hand, turning it round and round, just thinking "Wow! Oh, Wow!". Even my DH was quite taken with it and he's not usually one for the needlework pretties.

Thank you so much again Barb for your kindness and generosity - I'm in awe of your beading skills (and envious!) and will treasure my beautiful fob always. :0)

As I said, this deserves a post all of its own so I shall leave the NW update and other things until next time.

Thank you for taking the time to visit - hope you all have a great weekend, whatever your plans. :0)

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Handsome Fella

Yes, the little fella came out again for two more nights of stitching last week and they saw me slowly working away at all the background below him. Here's where I left off:

He's getting there, slowly but surely - fingers crossed for a HD some time next month. :0)

As it was Mother's Day (in the UK) on Sunday I also got my cardmaking goodies out last week to make the tag that I like to put by Mum's plaque at Rosehill, when we visit to take flowers. With all the new growth in the garden and the reasonable weather we've been having lately I was definitely in a Spring mood this time round. Here's what I made:

The visit was a rather blustery one but, once again, the whole Cemetery was looking beautiful with all the new Spring growth and floral tributes. The only niggle was having to go searching for a pot to put Mum's flowers in - the one we used last time had disappeared and there were very few about, as it looks like the local metal thieves had been to call. Reckon they've built up some bad Karma with that rather spiteful theft!

There isn't a Sea Stars update this time round. Unfortunately everything I stitched on it last Thursday night (quite a bit) will have to be frogged - one stitch out again! It's the second time it's happened on the big motif but the umpteenth time it's happened with the whole piece so I'm rather fed-up with it at the minute. I've decided to put it to one side for a couple of weeks in the hopes that a short break will help. I still love the design and do want to finish it, so am not abandoning it altogether - just having a break that will allow me to get on with a couple of other projects I want to do then, hopefully, come back to it with renewed enthusiasm. :0)

Friday was my delayed appointment with Jan, the Herbalist. We had a good natter after we'd covered all the health stuff and discovered we have more in common than we'd previously realised. All I can say is that I am so looking forward to the up and coming move to her new home: it has an annexe that will be used as a Clinic, plus the move will see the development of the Spiritual aspect she's wanted. There'll be lots of interesting workshops coming up, which can't currently run in the Ashby place, as it's too small. I'll post more about this visit, and what else happened, on my other blog some time this week.

Saturday and DH rang the holiday place and booked the cottage we wanted in Chapel Stile, so that's all sorted now. Yay! Mid-morning it was time for my monthly Reiki treatment with Aureen. It went very well once again, though I came away feeling tired this time, rather than buzzing with energy. Will post more about this on my other blog too. Afterwards DH met me in Il Sorriso, where we had dinner (they do a rather nice ham salad), then we called in at one of the flower shops where I bought some freesias to take to Rosehill on Sunday - they were Mum's favourite flowers. As I was feeling tired we didn't have the planned trip to Uncle Henry's to shop - instead, DH used the time to do an oil change on DS's Mini and I sat and did the finishing on the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge piece (will show a pic after Reveal Day) whilst desperately trying hard not to fall asleep. I slept rather well that night! LOL

Sunday we were up early to have our trip over to Doncaster. I got a card from DS before we left and my gift of The Duchess DVD is on its way from Amazon. We picked up my DSis first, visited Rosehill then went back to hers for dinner. In the afternoon DH did some work on the shed for her, to make it a little more secure. We had quite a good natter too. We came home a little earlier as all three of us were tired. The journey home got a little interesting at one point though, when we speed-bumped some roadkill - DH was on dipped headlights at the time, due to oncoming traffic, so didn't see it early enough to avoid it and swerving wasn't an option due to said traffic. Result: two rather nasty sounding thumps and two lurches as the front then back wheels went over it. Not nice! The only thing that made us feel slightly better about it was the fact that the poor thing, whatever it was, was already dead. It was a while before our heart rates returned to normal after that! Thankfully there's no sign of damage to the car.

When we arrived home there was a blue bag sat waiting on my chair and inside were these two potted plants from DS:

Aren't they lovely? Unfortunately my naff picture doesn't really do them justice. The blue flowers are a couple of shades darker than shown. They are currently sitting in the back porch, waiting for some decent weather so they can go outside - I plan on planting them out, when they've done flowering, and hope they'll keep on flowering every year. :0)

Today has been my jobs day and Alex has been for her usual drink and a natter. The rehearsal's for Carpe are gathering momentum now so she and DS are back and forth to those. They're both having to learn to speak their lines whilst wearing a set of vampire teeth - apparently it's quite a knack to speak without spitting all over the person they're facing! So looking forward to watching the performance in May. :0)

Tonight I plan on carrying on with stitching the piece for Challenge for a Finish. Am very happy with the colours chosen (without input from anyone else!) - let's just hope I can actually turn it into a half decent scissor case once it's stitched! LOL Am hoping that tomorrow I will get the finishing done on this month's Christmas ornie, then there'll be something new to show you. :0)

Thank you again for taking the time to visit and for all those lovely comments. Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend and a quiet start to the week. :0)

Ostara Blessings

Ostara Blessings to all.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Key of the Door...... and More

There's a distinct lack of stitching to show you at the moment, due to stitching pieces for Challenges that can't be shown until their relevant reveal days. What I can show you are a couple of recent card makes instead though.

This first one was one that DS asked me to make last week for an LTC friend's 21st birthday:

That silver mirri card looks good but it's an absolute horror to try and take a decent pic of. The main part of the card is actually meant to be a small scrapbooking page for a book of quotes but I thought it was very apt for a coming of age card. It didn't look particularly feminine though, so I glammed it up a little with the steel blue shiney ribbon. I think it was well received..... although, in typical man-style, DS hasn't said much!

I gave up on the 25th birthday card, as inspiration was sadly lacking for it, so DS had to go out and buy that one. I usually only make cards for friends and family, people I tend to know a reasonable amount about, and knowing their likes and dislikes helps me choose a theme and colours that are specific to that person - I don't know either of DS's friends so it was very difficult to come up with any ideas. Oh well, at least he may give me more info to work with next time he wants a card making!

Speaking of the weekend: on Saturday DS popped DH to the garage, so he could pick up The Tank - it's battery hadn't been charging properly and needed looking it, the result being that it had to have a new alternator fitted. DS carried on into town for his shopping trip. After dinner DH and I had a walk down the local High Street to do a little shopping and it ended up being quite a useful trip: not only did I stock up on herbal teas and a few bits from Wilko's but we also managed to find one of those plug-in cool boxes for the car....... and the price had been reduced too. I love a bargain! DS was out at the birthday party on Saturday night whilst DH popped to Broughton to meet up with his friend for a natter over a pint whilst I stayed home and stitched.

On Sunday we were up bright and early and the new cool box proved how useful it was going to be, as I used it to carry my packed lunch when we went to visit the Mind, Body and Spirit event over at Elsecar, near Barnsley. We had a lovely time there and if you're interested to know more about that please have a wander over to my other blog to read more about it. :0)

Monday was my usual jobs day, ready for Alex's regular visit, which was interspersed with blog reading and commenting - am glad to say I've now finally fully caught up with all the blogs I read. Giving myself a medal for achieving that! LOL

The next card is one I made today (Tuesday) and it's for one of DH's nieces:

The card looks a little pink in the pic but it's a lovely soft peach irl. This one came together quite easily plus it also gave me the chance to try out the tag die I bought from Crafty Devils, when I got the Crop-A-Dile. I like how pretty this tag is and will be using it for a few cards, methinks. :0)

As there aren't any more crafty pics to show I thought I'd put up a couple of pics of my DS in fancy dress get-up. WARNING: don't look any further if you're of a slightly nervous disposition! ;0)

This is him all made up for last Saturday night's party:

Unfortunately the camera has given him red eye, so he looks possessed! LOL The wig drove him batty as it kept flopping forward and getting in his eyes. He did the face painting himself - reckon he got the look of the Joker spot on too.

This one is of him dressed up as Death for the previous fancy dress party he went to:

I did the face and hand-painting this time and also helped with the spray dye in his hair. Again he's got red eye. Cue the Damien/Omen music. LOL

I did have an appointment with the Herbalist today (Wednesday), which is why I was wide awake at 5.40am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep again, but Jan has just rung to postpone it until Friday morning, due to having a dental emergency. When I have been I will do a write up on my other blog about it at some point. I now have a day to fill but there's no shortage of things to do: there's the finishing on my Monthly Challenge piece and Christmas ornies to get done, then some fabric and thread to find for the Challenge for a Finish piece. Nothing like cutting it fine to get a person motivated, is there? ROFL Then there's also the boring stuff too, like the dreaded H word.

Thank you for the thread suggestions in my last post, they're much appreciated. Helen, you're a treasure: have tried the DD thread you sent against the fabric and it's a lovely combination, one I'd never have thought of. :0)

Well, none of the other things are getting done while I'm sat here so I'd best extract the proverbial digit.

Thank you for taking the time to visit - hope you're all enjoying a very pleasant week. :0)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

All At Sea

No, not me - which makes a nice change - but this post definitely is! LOL

Stitching on Sea Stars for Thursday SAL night went quite well and, for once, was left feeling reasonably pleased with the amount stitched.......... and the pesky little frog was nowhere in sight. Yay! This is where I left off:

I love the colour of this thread, Carrie's Creations Stormy Seas. It may be called that but it reminds me more of the colours in a Scottish tartan (Black Watch, perhaps?) which always makes me remember a fun four day holiday I had in Dunoon with my DSis and DBro back in the early 1990's. Strange but pleasant, this association of colours, or smells, that can make you recall specific people or memories and thoughts or feelings from the past. The smell of Old Spice and Sandalwood bring back memories of my Dad, Lily of the Valley and Old Lace perfume of my Mum, cornstarch gravy and damp of my grandparent's house, pipe smoke of my grandad D......... and the list could go on. :0)

In keeping with the sea theme today is the RAK chart Barb (no blog) very kindly gifted to me recently. I decided to start kitting up this design, ready to go, with the possibility of starting it after Night Watchman is completed, as there'll be an empty scroll frame then. Scroll frames always look so sad to me when they're left just hanging around empty, so I reckon it's much better to attach another project straightaway. ;0)

I remembered having a rather gorgeous sea coloured Silkweavers fabric in my stash called Tropical Breeze and dug it out:

You may not be able to tell, because of my poor photographic skills, but there's a lovely frond or fern-like pattern across it that reminds me of seaweed - perfect for this piece. Knew it would come in for something one day. LOL The design calls for 32ct but this is 28ct so it would normally end up a larger piece but have decided to seriously challenge myself and stitch it over 1........... mostly because the fabric isn't large enough to do it over 2 but also because there's only so much wall space in the house and there are many other projects that will need to share it. :0)

Now I'm hoping you can all help me with some thread suggestions for stitching this. Am wanting to use a hand dyed thread - either cotton or silk - and would like to go darker, rather than lighter, to get the silhouette effect and preferably one with only a slight variegation in it (trying for a sun on water ripple effect, iykwim). I've tried a few Carrie's against the fabric, looking for ideas, but nothing has really grabbed me so far and my colour confidence isn't the greatest either. So, anyone got any good ideas, please?

It's the S&S/JA Forum meet-up in Nuneaton this weekend. I had been thinking about going when Clare first mentioned it but decided against it for this year: with all the pills and potions I'm on, and especially with the food restrictions, it would've made it too awkward. We couldn't have avoided having to eat out and there aren't many places that are willing to alter their menus to suit - I've only found one place locally that is OK about it - and I find it embarrassing having to explain too. By this time next year I should be off most of the meds and have a more regular food regime, so am hoping I can make it then. :0)

As we're not going to Nuneaton we'll be going over to Doncaster to pick up my DSis before heading over to Elsecar for a Mind, Body and Spirit event being held in the Heritage Centre. Am hoping we'll get there early enough for me to be able to have a tarot reading with my favourite reader, as it's been over a year since she last read for me. It's also ages since my DSis came to one of these events with us so it'll be fun to have her there. I shall more than likely do a post on my other blog about the day some time next week. So I'm now away to my bed as it's an early start in the morning. :0)

Thank you again for taking the time to visit. Hope you're all having a good weekend, doing lots of fun stuff. :0)

Here We Are Again....

Another week and another stitching session on the cute fella. It didn't feel like I'd achieved much on Tuesday night so carried on and had an extra session on him yesterday (Wednesday) too. So here's what he looks like now:

No longer looking like he's super-glued to the side of the tree but firmly sat on a branch...... and he's also got his tail feathers too. So it's all background filling from now on. Julie may have to send Mr Stick round to keep me motivated with that as there's still quite a bit of it to go. LOL

Yesterday I didn't get any more of the Monthly Challenge piece stitched after all, despite all good intentions. There was a distraction: I got busy looking round some web sites for a cottage to hire for our family holiday this year. Yes, DS has decided he wants to come with us again so, taking that and his commitments into account, it means the best weeks to suit are the last two in July. So much for going earlier or later to avoid the school holidays but at least it shouldn't be quite as frantic as August tends to be (she says, crossing her fingers!). It looks like the preferred option is the Langdale Valley again so I'm trying to find a place in or near to Chapel Stile so it's easier to walk to the facilities - pub, Co-Op shop, pub, cafe.... Oh, and did I mention the pub? ROFL The whole emphasis being on walking to them, rather than having to get in the car to do that, as we had to last year - that caravan site was just too far away from anything, especially so when you've got a gammy knee!

Inspiration still hasn't struck for the ornie finishing or for the cards DS has asked me to make, so there's nothing to show you there yet. Last night we enjoyed the beef and veg stew I cooked. I'd added a little finely chopped fresh ginger this time around, for a change - it was tasty but think I prefer it with paprika or a little cayenne pepper. Tonight DS is cooking and it's tuna steaks with rice and stir-fry veggies and, as it's Thursday, I'll be stitching on Sea Stars this evening. Hope that ruddy frog stays well clear this time!!!

Thank you for visiting and the lovely comments. Hope you're all enjoying lots of lovely frog-free stitchy time. :0)

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Just Realised.......

that I haven't posted an update pic of Sea Stars in a while. The original plan was to show you progress for Weeks 21 and 22 in the same post but Week 22 didn't go that great, meaning there was such a minimal amount of stitching done it just wasn't worth getting the digicam out to do an update pic of it. So here's the progress from Week 21, the week before last:

That was after the frog visit which had me taking out all of the right side of the motif and re-stitching it, thanks to being just one stitch out. Think I'm going to have to hire the Phantom Frog Strangler to sort out the pesky little blighter before I pick it up this week!

Other stitching: March's Christmas ornie is stitched but not yet finished - waiting for inspiration to strike but it's taking it's own sweet time about it. LOL I chose the fabric and thread for the JA/S&S Forum's Monthly Challenge and made a start on it on Monday and did a little more yesterday afternoon whilst watching Dawn Bibby's two-hour slot on QVC. No buying, as nothing took my fancy - I was mainly looking for inspiration for two cards DS has asked me to make for the 21st and 25th birthday's of two female friends of his from LTC. Night Watchman got another outing for UFO Night last night but no pic yet, as I want to do a little more on him today.

Yesterday got off to a good start when some of my order from Thread Bear arrived first thing. This time round it's mostly braids and other bits and pieces for finishing items:

That side of things in my stash always seems sadly lacking in variety, which is why I often struggle for inspiration - this little lot should go some way to helping sort that out. There are still a few other out-of-stock items to be forwarded on, so hopefully they'll arrive before too much longer. :0)

Of course whilst I was on the Thread Bear site I had to have a browse through the New Arrivals section, didn't I? That's where I found this gorgeous chart:

It reminds me a little of the robin that occasionally comes to visit my garden so, even though I'd originally had no intention of buying any charts, it had to jump into my basket. How could I resist? ;0)

Today is one of those lovely Spring-is-in-the-air days that calls to me to go outside and spend time in my garden so, once I'd chopped all the veggies and meat for the slow cooker casserole and put it on to cook and had my breakfast, off out I went. Some of the ivy has been trimmed again, dead ends cut off the honeysuckle and the fuschia bushes and lots of dried out moss and other bits trimmed out and put in the brown recycling bin. All that was done to the accompaniment of much birdsong - the ram-raiding sparrows are full of the joys and Poppa Blackbird is in fine fettle at the moment. The snowdrops are mostly past their best but the crocus are still blooming and the daffodils, bluebells and tulips are all shooting, so there's a mass of different greens dotted about. The triffids at the bottom of the garden are now trying to take over the world, not just our garden, so they will have to be cut well back soon.

Here are a few pics of my garden pots and the new Spring growth:

2009-03-11 10:11

So now I'm away for my dinner, then a sink full of pots has got my name on it and then, hopefully, I shall be able to settle to a little stitching on NW before DS and DH get in from work, as I want to leave this evening for getting on with the Monthly Challenge piece.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you're all enjoying the day, whatever you're doing. :0)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Heart Stitcher

Remember I mentioned finishing a small item but couldn't show it because it was on it's way to a new home? Well it's now arrived safely with Barb (no blog) so I can show you what it was.

Design: Heart Stitcher

Designer: A Mon Ami Pierre, internet freebie

Fabric: Zweigart 32ct Murano, Ivory

Thread: DMC 816

Finish: Floss ring tag

This piece was, initially, going to be the heart-shaped finish for February's Challenge for a Finish but soon realised it was too small and fiddly for me to be able to complete it as that. Once I'd chosen the new piece for the Challenge it was a case of knowing exactly what I was going to do with this and where it would be going off to live. :0)

Here's a view of the back, which has our initials and the year.

Am glad to say that Barb likes it and the Ozark threads I put on it, which she hasn't tried before........ well you can't send an empty floss ring tag, can you? It just doesn't seem right somehow. :0)

The Crop-A-Dile certainly makes short work of adding those eyelets and is the best piece of kit ever! LOL Though I've still not gotten around to using it in my cardmaking..... yet.

Thank you for all the well wishes and I'm pleased to say that the after effects of the migraine were short-lived - now my fingers are crossed it was just a one-off as I really don't want to go back to how things were when I was in my teens and twenties, when I used to have one or two a month. Not nice!

Good job I had recovered OK as the three of us went over to Doncaster on Friday night to celebrate my Auntie M and Uncle W's Golden Wedding Anniversary - there was a disco and karaoke, complete with flashing coloured lights. Auntie M didn't know Uncle and their sons had arranged the party and they just told her to get herself dressed up and they'd take her out for a meal, giving her an excuse for calling in at the Welfare Club on their way.... where we were all waiting to greet them. It was a good night (despite my restriction to plain water all night) and it was lovely to catch up with quite a few of the seldom-seen relatives, as well as meet some of the newer members of the family (my eldest cousin's grandchildren, the latest being little Curtis Jack who is around six months old and was blissfully unaware of the party going on around him, as he slept virtually all the way through it. Bless!). Thought I'd share a pic of the lovely cake that the cousins had had made for the occasion:

Unfortunately I couldn't have any but DH and DS made short work of theirs, so I guess it must have been good. :0)

Saturday we had a late start but I still got out of bed feeling like an old cronk - anyone would have thought I'd been up doing the cancan at the party! LOL The aches soon wore off as I got moving around so DH and I popped into town to the health food shop to stock up on my cereals and get some more camomile tea. Whilst in town we popped into TJ Hughes - we didn't stay in there long, as DH didn't find any trousers suitable for work and I didn't spot any jeans...... or a changing room to try anything on. Do they have them in there? I need smaller clothes now, especially trousers and jeans, but don't know what size I'm down to so I wasn't going to buy anything I hadn't tried on first. Yes - I can actually start to shop in regular clothes shops again. Yay! Never mind, there's always another day. We stayed in last night, so I started - and finished - the stitching on the March Ornie for the JA/S&S Monthly Christmas Ornie SAL....... told you it was a quickie. :0)

Today (Sunday) DS went off early, to go swimming, and DH and I had a trip out again, once it had stopped snowing. Yes, that's right: snow..... again! It settled initially but as soon as it stopped the temperature went up a little and the bulk of it melted, leaving everywhere waterlogged. I went from wanting to go out, to wanting to hibernate with my stitching and then back to being happy to go out again, all within the hour or so it snowed. First port of call on our delayed trip out was The Range: they didn't have the cereal bowls I wanted (am I the only one who doesn't like square bowls or ones that remind me of dog dishes??? LOL) but I did come away with some smaller circular templates I've wanted for ages (they're X-cut and the cutter and larger templates I have are Fiskars but reckon they should work together OK) - they'll make small circular ornies and pinkeeps much easier to do. I also came away with: foam dots (for 3-D cards); a pack of PaperMania flowers in yellow (for Spring/Easter cards); a pack of beads (for the Christmas ornie finish); cool melt glue sticks and a storage box (in the interests of organisation!). Into Poundstretcher next for some Lock'n'Lock boxes for the cereals (Spring really must be in the air, with me this interested in getting organised! LOL). One quick call into Tesco Express later and we then went home. It's amazing how fast the day goes when you're pottering around like that.

I'm not in a finishing mood tonight so won't be tackling the ornie........ I guess I'd best pick out some fabric and thread for one of the other Challenges...... or maybe do a little more on Sea Stars.

Thank you all for visiting and for the kind comments - hope you're all enjoying the end of a great weekend. :0)

Thursday, 5 March 2009

A Catch Up

Things have got away from me a little this week, due to one thing and another, so thought it was time for a bit of a catch up post.

I got around to ordering the fabric I needed for the silver wedding anniversary piece I want to stitch, from Sew & So, and decided to go with the recommendation from Christine:

The vintage peach on the left is for the anniversary piece - many thanks for suggesting this Christine, as you made me think outside of the box and go for a colour I wouldn't have thought of. :0) As you can see a couple of other fabrics fell into my basket at the same time. ;0) Thought it was about time to try some 36ct stitching and got the Sand fabric in the middle for that and I've been looking for a piece of blue fabric for a specific project for some time and the Vintage one is spot on. Service from Sew & So was, as usual, prompt and efficient - ordered it one day and it was here the next. :0)

Last weekend DH and I were out and about a fair bit: shopping first at Uncle Henry's for some meat and other items. Next we stopped off at Morrison's supermarket, did a small amount of food shopping, bought a saucepan (to replace one I killed last week when I forgot I'd put a pan of cooking apples on to stew - oops! The darned stuff won't come off no matter how much elbow grease is applied!). We also picked up what we'd specifically gone there for:

Looks a bit like something out of War of the Worlds, doesn't it? LOL I've wanted one of these lap desk arrangements for ages but had only seen them in craft catalogues before at between £30 to £40 a time and hadn't been willing to pay that amount of money. Morrison's has these in for just £10 each - couldn't believe it when I saw them in the leaflet and when I showed DH he made sure we called in to get one. Well, actually, we bought two - he was so impressed with them he decided it was a good idea to get one for himself too. Not only is it very useful........ it also keeps your lap nice and warm too! :0) After Morrison's we then went on to the Pink Pig for a drink (camomile tea for me and tea for him) and to get a few more food items we needed, then home to put everything away. DS had been to Brigg Farmers Market that morning so the fridge and freezer are now well stocked for the month.

Sunday DS was out for much of the day, part of it being spent at the LTC Guild Room at a reading: this is to narrow down which production/s they want to put on after Carpe Jugulum. DH went off to help out at a Get In at the theatre for a local amateur operatic group - they are doing Carousel and he was curious as to how they were staging it. I had a quiet day at home - much needed after Saturday's busyness - and did some reading, spent some time on the computer and did some stitching.

Monday was my usual busy jobs day with a visit from Alex later on. The evenings have had DS out, mostly at rehearsals for Carpe, and DH had a couple of Governor's meetings too....... so I've been in charge of the TV remote a little more than usual and have managed a reasonable amount of stitchy time. Some of that stitchy time was spent on Night Watchman so I'd best show you those promised updates, hadn't I? This first one is of the progress made for last weeks UFO Night and an extra few hours thrown in:

Just to show Julie and Mr Stick that, although I forgot to post a pic on the forum, I did actually take part. :0)

In between I also stitched on Sea Stars (will show updates after tonights stitching) and completed a small item..... but I can't show you that yet as it's got to go off to a new home first. I've got as far as printing out the charts for the pieces I'm stitching for the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge and Monthly Christmas Ornie SAL and for Challenge for a Finish scissor case, though haven't started any of them yet. Many thanks for the suggestions for the scissor case, girls - much appreciated. I won't be telling which design I chose though, as it'll spoil the surprise, so you'll have to be patient and wait for Reveal Day. LOL This week I also finished the book Atlantis by David Gibbins - more info about that in the side bar and over at The Reading Corner blog, if you're interested. I started reading another Barbara Erskine last night, Whispers in the Sand, and it's proving to be another good read.

Night Watchman also came out for more attention this week and, once again, I stitched on him Wednesday night as well as on UFO Night and this is where he's at now:

Although I'm really enjoying stitching on him he's going to have to go away now until next Tuesday, as I really need to get on with Sea Stars tonight, then make a start on the smalls stitching for the Challenges. That's providing my head can cope as I'm still getting over a migraine that began early this afternoon - one of those horrible full on visual disturbance jobs that made me feel like I was going blind. I haven't had one of those in years so am not a happy bunny, as I thought they'd gone for good - am now left wondering what on earth happened to cause it, so I can avoid it in future, but haven't really got a clue. Thankfully taking a couple of Ibuprofen and laying on my bed in a darkened bedroom relieved the visual disturbances within a couple of hours but have been left with a somewhat fragile brain - no loud noises allowed! LOL

Well if I'm going to make any kind of an attempt at stitching on Sea Stars I'd best go and get on with it.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and for all your kind comments. Hope you're all staying warm and cosy in the current cold snap. :0)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

It's Like the Oscars :0)

Yup, it's definitely like the Oscars for me this year and it's lovely. My blog has been awarded the Friends award again by Lynn and Lisa.

Then Clare and Elisa have both given my blog this award:

Thank you, girls, for giving my blog these awards, they mean a great deal and, as always, it's good to know that you find something of interest and want to come back again. :0)

So now I have to list my "Top 10". These are the blogs I make sure to visit most regularly and are in no particular order:

1) Clare;

2) Angela;

3) Julie;

4) Karen;

5) Helen;

6) Lynn;

7) Sally;

8) Mylene;

9) Rachael;

10) Elisa.

It was really hard just to choose 10 as there are lots of other blogs I read and enjoy, so please don't be offended if your blog isn't included in this list.

I shall do a catch-up post with stitchy pics next time. :0)

Thank you again to all who take the time out of their day to stop by for a visit - you all deserve an award for getting through all my wafflings each time. LOL :0)