Sunday, 31 May 2009

It's a Miss-Tree

Isn't that a song by Toyah Wilcox? Whoever sings it I've had it whizzing round my head ever since typing that flippin' title! LOL

Now Clare has received her parcel I can show you the three little ornies I stitched for her Miss-Tree and prove that some stitching has been done in this house. First up is Sale:

Design: Shopping Motif - 50 Great Gift Ideas
Designer: Cross Stitch Crazy magazine
Fabric: Polstitches 28ct evenweave, Pearl
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep Style Ornie

Love the colour of those boots but those high heels would kill me...... much prefer comfort to style these days. :0)

Design: Shopping Motif - 50 Great Gift Ideas
Designer: Cross Stitch Crazy magazine
Fabric: Zweigart 28ct Cashel, Fairy Dust
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep style ornie, with added beads

The third and final one is one that made me smile big time when I saw it, so had to stitch it:

Design: Shopping Motif - 50 Great Gift Ideas
Designer: Cross Stitch Crazy magazine
Fabric: Zweigart 28ct Cashel, Fairy Dust
Thread: DMC
Finish: Pinkeep style ornie

That pose instantly makes me think she's asking: Does my bum look big in this? LOL Love these colours and really enjoyed stitching and finishing this one, especially as I had that perfect ribbon in my stash. :0)

It was good to fulfil a promise that was made earlier in the year....... there's one more that needs to be fulfilled now: to stitch ornies for the Stitching for a Cure fundraiser and that will make me one very happy bunny.

I managed to complete the stitching for the Challenge for a Finish needleroll but not the finishing, unfortunately, so have missed another deadline - have been out all day so had no chance to do it today at all. I shall carry on with it and complete it though, as this will be yet another first that will have been achieved. :0)

As for the weekend: I've had a fantastic time! There was the Introduction to Angels workshop at the Clinic on Saturday and a Mind, Body and Spirit event at Lincolnshire Showground to go to today - the former had me sitting for much of the day and the latter had me walking my little legs off, in an effort to make up for it, so I should sleep well tonight! LOL I plan on writing more about both days on my other blog at some point next week...... and bore the pants off you over there rather than on here. ;0) ROFL

Whilst I was at the workshop on Saturday DH and DS were busy doing jobs: DH took back and got a refund for the too small oil filter the car shop had sold him and managed to get the correct sized one from elsewhere- and had fitted that. He can now start using The Tank again for his work journeys. BTW, I forgot to say thank you for all the well wishes for DH: he should be going to the GP's some time this week to get the results of the x-rays he had done (they x-rayed both hands for comparison) and receiving the letter with the eye test results too. They both then set-to with the wardrobe in DS's room - the doors were too wide for the gap and they decided not to saw the doors (they could have fallen apart!) but take one edge off the fitted woodwork to widen the gap. They were still at that when I got home.......... and judging by the amount of sweat dripped and the rather choice words used then, it proved to be a bit of a problem job. LOL Whilst DH and I were out today DS painted the area that got cut, popped out to the animal sanctuary to drop off the five bags of shredded paper, did a little shopping at Morrison's then returned home. That had given the paint time to dry so he got a friend to come round to help him hang the doors......... and very nice they look too. The next job is to sort the two small doors for the top section of the wardrobe and fit them then he can take the flat-packed computer table up to his room (currently sat in the hall - good job it's a wide one!) and set that up, organise it with all his computer stuff then take the CD tower up and transfer his CD's onto that....... then the jobs a good 'un, all done and dusted. That'll be the first room to be fully completed - next job on the list is the little bedroom, my future craft room. Yay - things are starting to come together at last!

Well I'm definitely ready for my bed now, after all that walking around and excitement - plus it's my jobs day tomorrow and I need to be up to get a good start on everything so I'm away.

Hope you all had as good a weekend as we did.... or better....... and enjoyed the nice weather. Thank you for taking the time to visit. :0)

Friday, 29 May 2009

Junk and a SAL Sign Up

Thought I'd better check into my blog and post something to prove I'm still around. :0)

Hope all those in the UK had a good Bank Holiday weekend and that you all had as good a bout of weather as we did - yes, a BH weekend and the big yellow thing in the sky actually shone! Whooo Hooo! LOL

Ours was a busy but very liberating one. Nope, no sky clad dancing in the garden (with these wobbly bits? Purlease!) but a major clearing out of junk session. I know I've had these sessions before but they always seem to have fizzled out, as I felt I was fighting a losing battle.... against the two fellas in the house, who seemed to fish stuff out of the bins as fast as I put it all in there, and because it's such a monumental task. Well, feeling refreshed after my holiday and a lovely Reiki session last Saturday (see my other blog for more about that) I was well ready to start tackling the mountainous junk heaps once again. This time DS was onside, having already had a big sorting session and throw out in his bedroom....... funny how once you start these things they just seem to build up their own momentum. :0)

Firstly there was a ferret round in the loft and all the empty boxes that were up there got ousted to the skip at the amenities site, along with a few more dead electrical items (although after DH chopped off the flippin' plugs to keep!), a few more boxes from the back room (for more recently bought items) went up into the loft. Next: off came the doors from the fitted wardrobe in DS's room and DS disappeared into the workshop to varnish the new doors, had a trip to B&Q for new hinges and actually got ready to fit them...... only to find that they are a bit too wide and will need trimming slightly to fit - nope, no job in this house is ever straightforward and that put the kybosh on getting that job finished. Still, no doors meant that all the stuff piled in there was on view...... and it showed how desperate it was for a sort out. One of my jobs has been going through what's in there: charts have been filed away (though there's more to do); old magazines (non-stitching) and various leaflets and the like went in the recycling box; old paperwork shredded and a few really old bits were binned. As this is getting done now I won't have to do it when the little bedroom is turned into my craft room - everything will be in a state to be moved in there as soon as it's ready. Yay!

I've also shredded some stuff that was cluttering up the back room (which will be a proper dining room one day soon!) and a bag of books went to the Hospice Bookshop and a bag full of unwanted items to the other Hospice shop on the Saturday. Then a crate full of DS's old books from the little bedroom got sorted: a few bits I have in a bag to go to my DBro for my niece and nephew, the bulk of the rest Alex took for her school's library and a couple more, along with some videos, went to the Hospice Bookshop today. A charity bag full of clothes went outside with the recycling boxes this morning and has now been collected. A bag of toiletries (some bits we tried and didn't like or I've reacted to) and an old child's desk (that was taking up room in the workshop) were collected by fellow Freecyclers this week. Five black bin bags full of shredded paper will be going to the local animal sanctuary next time we're out that way, for them to use as insulating layers under animal bedding. I've finally sorted through an old jewellery box and my new one and have ousted all the stuff I no longer want into the old one and it and its contents will be going down to the Hospice shop in the morning. In the meantime my Dad's old bedroom TV has been put up for re-homing on Freecycle (am finally ready to let it go) and I've unearthed my old sewing machine and that'll be advertised once it's had a dust off and DH has checked the wiring. Every time an area was sorted and the attendant junk ousted I felt lighter - more links in my Marley's chain dropping away...... it's made such a difference Jan, my Herbalist, noticed and commented on it today (will post about that good news on my other blog another time). :0)

There's still a long way to go before things are properly straight but it finally feels like we're getting somewhere. Yay! *big cheesy grin*

It hasn't all been sorting and chucking out though, as DH and I did get time for some other fun stuff. DH went off for a relaxing days fishing with some work colleagues on Tuesday (always gets 2 days off for this BH) and I had some quiet time, as well as doing a few more jobs and having a visit from Alex. I finished my last book, The Warrior's Princess by Barbara Erskine, and started the next: The Last Templar by Michael Jecks. The Challenge For A Finish needleroll got to the half way point, though that seems to have ground to a halt at the moment. The last of the small ornies I was stitching got the last bit of finishing done...... and they were finally packaged up and sent off in the post today - Clare, watch out for a package arriving shortly. :0) I'll post pics once they've been received.

No JA/S&S Monthly Challenge biscornu as I ran out of time (hope to maybe do that this month though). The next Challenge is to stitch the Flowers of Olde freebie from With My Needle, using whatever colours we want and finishing however we want. There was no stitching on Night Watchman this week (Shhhh, don't tell Mr Stick!) mainly because all that sorting out had me falling asleep in my chair when I should have been stitching! Hopefully I'll make up for it soon.

Despite the fact that I didn't get all the Challenges completed this month (well, I was away on holiday for a week as well), and as if I haven't got enough to do already, I still signed up for a SAL. There's a LoopyLou Designs Christmas SAL over at JA/S&S Forum and the two pieces are Christmas Tidings and Christmas Wishes. I tried to resist but it was no good...... Christmas Wishes was shouting too loud. Here are the goodies for it:

Isn't it a lovely mix of colours? I ordered the chart from Polstitches as there were a couple of other bits I wanted from Jo's site..... having discovered that Mummies Curse fabric isn't discontinued, as I'd been led to believe, getting hold of more was a must - it's one of my favourite colours and I've only got a couple of scraps left in my stash. The SAL starts on 1st June and as Jo has emailed to say that the goodies were posted yesterday I should be all set to go........ let's just hope I can keep up! LOL

After my monthly trip to the Herbalist today I had a wander down the street afterwards, to post some packages, including the one to Clare. Whilst in the newsagents (the PO is in the back of the same shop) I had a look at the stitchy magazines - as I'd had some good news I felt a treat was in order and chose this one:

I think the embellishments pack is supposed to be used for stitching but it will do as well for cardmaking too. :0) I chose this specifically for the peacock design, the first one that has ever appealed to me - after Aureen's comments last Saturday I thought stitching and hanging this in my home would act as a lovely reminder. :0)

Of course a trip down the High Street wouldn't be complete without a book or two, would it? Help the Aged had the custom this time and here's what came home with me:

The MH one is hardback and I got it for a grand total of........ £1.00. That was a little something for DH - the other one is from the fantasy genre and will appeal to DS, as well as me. Now need to keep an eye open for the other books from the same series and the ones from the prior series. Yes, I know adding more books to the pile isn't sorting out........ but books are different. ;0)

Speaking of books: Rachael, The Warrior's Princess is on the way. Hope you like. :0)

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'm off to the clinic for the Introduction to Angels workshop. It's from 10am to 3pm and I have to take a packed lunch and drinks along...... will probably take my Archangel cards and rose quartz angel with me too. Have so been looking forward to this! On Sunday it's the Mind, Body and Spirit event at the Lincolnshire Showground, so guess what we'll be doing that day. LOL

Whatever you are all doing this weekend hope you have a lovely time. Thank you for visiting. :0)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Pottering Around

That's what I've been doing since getting back: pottering around doing this, that and the other. That pottering involved catching up with all the laundry and other such boring but necessary household jobs - virtuous housewife I'm definitely not but I do like to try and keep it reasonable. No, we didn't come back to a pig sty - DS does wash pots, do the occasional bit of laundry and some tidying whilst we're away - but the Dyson never makes it out of the cupboard and neither do such things like Cillit Bang and bleach or Harpic and loo brush. Thrill a minute, ain't it? ;0)

It hasn't all been the boring stuff though, as I've also been making up for lost time in the crafts and blog reading departments since getting home. The first thing I did was make this card:

The pics are wombled from another of the lovely note cards that Barb (no blog) sent to me, as they are just too pretty not to use them again. I'll add wording to the front (maybe) once I've decided who it's going to and for what occasion.

I've also been making up three small ornies that I finished stitching before my holiday. Two are fully done and there's just the edging to do on the third, then I can post them off. I shall show pics of them when they are all completed. :0)

The blog reading catch-up took a few days but I got there in the end. Boy, were you all busy while I was away! It was lovely to see all the gorgeous pieces every one has been stitching, congratulate some HD's and read all the news.

Then I've been trying to make up for the lack of holiday stitching by giving Night Watchman a two-night outing this week...... it was good to get back to him again. So, without further ado, here is the handsome fella:

Is it just me, or does it seem to be taking ages for this last section to fill up? I sat and stitched for at least a couple of hours both evenings but it just doesn't seem to have grown that much...... or is it that a HD is getting so close a hint of impatience is creeping in? ;0)

I'd planned on making a start on the biscornu for the JA/S&S Forum's May Challenge earlier in the week but it didn't happen - in typical airhead fashion I keep changing my mind about which one to stitch! It's not helped that I still have a needleroll (a first) to do for Challenge for a Finish as well and am in a slight "Oh, cr*p, I'm running out of time" panic. I really need to get my Hi-Fi fixed so I can listen to those chill out CD's again because chamomile tea alone just isn't quite cutting it! LOL I had a root through my stash earlier today and found several needleroll charts I'd forgotten were there and one little beauty that is not only fully kitted up but is also a fairly simple stitch, so shouldn't take long to do. Yay - one thing just got easier! I may just toss a coin to decide on the biscornu. LOL

I think some of the problem is that the current read, another Barbara Erskine book, is really starting to build up now....... and I want to know what happens next........ and I've started picking it up at times when stitching would normally get done. Or the bedtime reading session ends up going on until the early hours which means a lie-in is needed, to make up for the lost sleep........ which means continually chasing after myself through the rest of the day as I play catch up. Good job I space these books out or I'd never get anything else done. LOL

There's also been a few nice weather breaks........ yes, that bright yellow thing in the sky has been putting in an appearance between the rain showers and it's been warm enough to tempt me out into the garden. I've decided discretion is the better part of valour as far as the triffids at the bottom of the garden are concerned and am leaving them to their own devices - if they want to take over the world then who am I to stand in their way? Especially as they have nasty sharp bits all over them. LOL The less aggressive areas have been getting a bit of attention instead, though you'd be hard pressed to tell exactly which bits they are as I don't seem to have made much of an impression on them. Still, the sun and fresh air worked their usual magic on me so it was worth it just for that. :0)

Friday sees DH off to the GP for his diabetic eye test, then to work, then back to the GP in the afternoon for his foot check, then to the hospital for an x-ray on his hand (to check out what's going on as he keeps getting some pain from it)....... he really knows how to pack things into a day! Fingers crossed all goes well and everything is OK.

DS will be out tomorrow night: he sets up, runs, then packs away the equipment at a monthly film night that's held in one of the local villages. He quite enjoys doing it..... except for last month when the film was The Duchess. LMAO Not sure what the film is this month but he hasn't been grumbling, so guess it's one he won't mind watching. LOL

Well that's about all that's been happening here and that biscornu and needleroll aren't going to stitch themselves, so I'd best be off.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and for all the lovely comments you leave - I really appreciate every single one. Hope newbies to my blog will say Hi too. :0)

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Done Chillin'

Yup, that's me - back from my holiday and back to the usual routine, so all done chillin' out. :0)

Quick warning: NO stitching pics, so skip this post if general holiday chat isn't your thing.

DH and I set off for Rural Roosts on Friday afternoon, once the organic veg box had been delivered, and had a good run all the way there - just a bit of traffic on the A15 to contend with initially, everywhere else was pretty quiet. My DSis had already arrived, unpacked and settled in when we got there and had even had time for a snooze! LOL We had a quiet night just chillin' in the lodge, reading, chatting and watching a little TV - and watching some of the birdlife that is always around. The peace and quiet was brilliant! :0)

On Saturday we had a trip into Market Rasen where we grabbed a bite to eat at Joplins (very helpful with making something up to suit my diet) and have a look around the shops. Of course we made a beeline to our favourite place The Rainbow Room to see what we could be tempted with. Unfortunately there wasn't as much amber jewellery in there as usual but you can see what I succumbed to instead:

The book was half price, so a bargain, and is about a form of Chinese divination I've never come across before - decided I was interested enough to buy the book, anyway. Of course I couldn't come away from there without some crystal, could I? LOL Not sure you can see it clearly enough in my pic but the piece on the left is a reasonable sized amethyst point and it has some pretty rainbows inside, as well as the loveliest feel to it. It wasn't the piece that I first asked to look at - that one didn't call to me at all when I held it but this piece felt right. I didn't go into the shop with the intention of buying a bracelet but that was another piece that called to me. My DSis came out disappointed though, as nothing appealed to her at all and she'd wanted to buy a small crystal sphere to go in what was originally a tealight holder I bought her: a pretty blue piece with a sleepy dragon curled around its base - it will look great with the right sphere in it. Think we'll have to take her to a M,B&S event soon to give her a better chance of finding the right piece for her. :0)

When we'd done there we called in at the local Tesco to do some food shopping, as we'd only taken the basics with us, then drove back to Wragby for a look round the newsagents and Hospice shop there. This was my haul there:

There's a bit of a tradition developed over the years, in that I always buy a cross stitch magazine to browse through whilst away - when I saw Tinkerbell on the front of this I knew I had to have that to stitch for my niece Erin. I don't usually "do" Disney but for her I make an exception. :0) Those books were the first proper haul of the holiday. LOL Back to the Lodge for our evening meal and a couple of games of Trivial Pursuits afterwards.

Sunday we had booked a carvery dinner at the Turnor Arms in Wragby. They were very helpful with catering for my dietary needs and the food was excellent - well worth a visit, if you are ever in the area. Back to the Lodge after and we had a bit of a walk round and a snooze after..... that's what a good meal and fresh air does for you! ;0) It set us up nicely for the TP tournament that night though.

Monday we chilled out in the morning then had a trip into Wragby for some shopping in the afternoon, with a drive round afterwards so we could see a little more of the area. There's quite a bit of woodland round there and a Fen area with hides for birdwatchers, as well as lots of farmland. We'd hoped to visit the Fen for a wander round but didn't get the chance, due to either being busy doing other things or the weather not behaving itself.

Tuesday we all had a trip to Mablethorpe for the day. Now I have fond memories of the place from many a childhood seaside holiday there but seeing it now was a bit of a shock: it has changed a lot and the Thorpe Sands Holiday Park we used to stay on is no more, replaced by lots of bungalows and a Lidl supermarket. Tacky souvenir shops are in abundance, as are amusement arcades, but the eating was not only very cheap but very tasty in the cafe we had our dinner in. We also found a couple of shops of interest that tempted me into spending a few pounds and this was my haul that day:

Some craft goodies, including a storage box that was cheaper there than what I paid in The Range. There was also a crystal shop - they didn't have any crystals that called to me but I did get a great book on crystal healing (it also had that dinky little dowsing pendulum with it) and a shell that will be ideal for using with smudge sticks. There were also some nice clothing shops too and I came away with two short-sleeved knitted jacket tops - quite dressy and the medium fit me (great boost - used to be L or XXL!). Despite being on the coast I never actually got to see the sea that day, as being with Uncle, Aunty and cousins we felt obliged to go with what they preferred to do.

Wednesday the three of us had a morning's chillin' then went off on our own after dinner. We headed off to Brigg Garden Centre for a look round, as they have a big gifts area and an Edinburgh Woollen Mill clothes section - unfortunately their trousers didn't fit me (14's were too tight and the 16's too big) so I came away empty-handed from there. Gutted, as I desperately need replacements as all the trousers I have are now way too big for me - guess I'll just have to lose a couple more lbs so those 14's will fit! LOL Next we headed back to our house to make ourselves a meal, then get changed as we were booked in to the Theatre that night, to go see the LTC production:

I thought DS was playing a vampyr in it but his role was the Reverend "Mightily" Oats and our friend Alex played the Countess and her DS had a couple of small roles too. It was a really good performance and we enjoyed our night out. We went up to the Theatre Bar afterwards and spoke to DS, Alex and her DS and a couple of other folks, then headed back to RR..... finally rolling into bed around 12.30am.

No rest for the wicked though, as we had to be up and out to join everyone for a trip into Horncastle. Uncle etc like to look round the charity shops and antiques places and we like the market and charity shops. Why do I like the charity shops? For the books, of course! LOL Here's the nice little haul I got this year:

Quite meagre, compared to last year, but I'm extremely happy with it - especially having found a copy of The Golden Bough (one I've wanted to get my hands on for some time) and an Egyptian book to add to my esoteric collection. I really should stop buying books, as there's a huge heap in the little bedroom waiting to be read now, but it's something I just don't seem to be able to control...... I love books and reading and if one catches my interest it has to come home with me. The market was a good one as it had several local food producers there: we came away with some smoked trout (something we hadn't tried before and it tastes heavenly!) from Belleau Smokery and DH indulged his passion for cheese from the Lymn Bank Farm stall, getting Tomato and Basil, Brewers Choice and Traditional Apple Smoked cheeses (so wished I could try some but had to resist!) and some bacon and other meat from the Redhill Farm stall, one DS knows well from Brigg Farmers Market. One other purchase was a lovely skirt in browns, all flowing lightweight cotton and long - I used to avoid this type of skirt as they made me look like a sack of spuds tied around the middle but the weight loss has given me the courage to try them again..... and it was so pretty I couldn't resist it. :0) We spent the rest of the day back at the Lodge packing up, so we'd be ready for the 10 am departure time on Friday.

I have to fess up that not one single stitch was made at any time during the holiday, despite taking Night Watchman and Sea Stars with me.... though we all seemed to do quite a bit of reading. I finished my latest book - see side bar and The Reading Corner for more on that - and started the Barbara Erskine book The Warrior's Princess that Julie very kindly sent to me. My DSis did really well as she managed to read two books!

Despite having a good time having to go Friday to Friday is a weird way of taking a holiday, throwing all of us out so we had to keep reminding ourselves what day of the week it was. As they won't do Saturday to Saturday anymore we've decided this was our first and last Friday to Friday holiday at Rural Roosts and we'll be going somewhere else next year - a real shame because it's such a lovely place, so peaceful and relaxing and with so much bird and wildlife around it's like a mini Garden of Eden. This is one of the scenes I captured with the digicam:

These Canada and Greylag Geese pairs seemed to be really good buddies and we often spotted them close together like this, usually also accompanied by the Mute Swan pair too. The evenings were fun, as the Canadian Geese would suddenly start a kerfuffle, honking away and flapping their wings, then suddenly taking off to fly over the Lodge and off into the distance...... very soon followed by a similar performance from the Greylag's - guess they all probably roosted together somewhere else for the night. They always came back early the next morning, honking their arrival, then spending the day swimming around the pond or cosied on the banks. I shall really miss this but the new place we'll be going to next year seems to be equally as nice surroundings.... fingers crossed it's just as peaceful too. :0)

Hope you've all had a good time whilst I was away - will be stopping by to catch up with all your news soon. :0)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Reading, Stitching and TTFN

Well that strimming didn't get done on BH Monday: by the time we'd had dinner at Uncle Henry's, did some shopping there, at the Pink Pig and Tesco Express, and went home and put it all away the rain had started. I don't reckon DH was all that upset by the change of plans though. LOL We did a few things around the house instead, then chilled.

Tuesday was a catch up on jobs day, doing a lot of the things I usually do on the Monday but didn't get done because we were out and about instead. There was also a little stitching on the cards for me, which meant the third of three small pieces was completed in the afternoon and more stitching done on NW in the evening. Afternoon stitching is a bit of a rarity for me these days but I really wanted to get the small pieces done before the holiday packing started in earnest...... though the finishing will have to wait until I get back now, as I haven't been able to fit it in. Too much laundry and other such boring things to sort out! Will show pics when they are completed and been received. Again, I didn't feel like I achieved a great lot on the handsome fella, so stitched on him again Wednesday evening. This is what he looks like now:

He's now all packed, ready to come on his holidays with us, so fingers crossed I manage to pick him up at some point during the week....... that HD is so close now I'm keen to get him done. :0)

On Wednesday morning I had a trip down the local High Street for a consult with Jan, my Herbalist. It turned into a longer than usual session as I was finally able to talk to her fully about what happened to my Mum and Dad, an emotional and cathartic experience for me, and useful for Jan, as it gives her a fuller insight into what is going on in my head/emotionally and will help her to further develop the ideal treatment for me. There's more over at my other blog.

After the consult I had a trip further down the street to do a little shopping and also checked out the books in Help the Aged and didn't come out empty-handed, of course. This was my haul this time:

Both were under a £1 each, so a real bargain. I did take out The Last Templar as an audio book some time ago but the cassettes were getting old and had an annoying echo, so I gave up on them before getting to the end of the story - now I can find out what happens! LOL Unfortunately I was quite loaded up by the time I got towards the top end of the High Street, so decided not to call in at the Hospice Bookshop....... probably a good job as we'll be having a trawl of the charity shops whilst on holiday, so am guaranteed of a good book haul then, judging by last years standards. ;0)

DH and I will be going off on our holiday tomorrow afternoon, to Rural Roosts again. Not far to travel at all but so far out in the countryside it's like a different world: all bird and wildlife and no traffic, apart from the cars of the folks staying in the lodges and the very occasional farm vehicle. Bliss! It also means no internet, which means I'll not be blogging again until after we get back, so will have a catch up with everyone's news then. We're leaving DS to house sit, as the Carpe Jugulum production he's got a role in starts either Monday or Tuesday, so he's unable to come with us...... we'll be coming back, with my DSis, on Wednesday night to see the performance though. Can't miss seeing him playing a vampire, can we? LOL

Rachael: the book is yours and you're not cheeky at all. If you don't ask you don't get, do you? :0) Just make sure you remind me though - brain = sieve overload going on here at the mo. I love holidays but so hate the hassle of trying to remember to pack everything we need!

For those folks who are running in a Race For Life event this weekend, as I won't be around/online after Friday: I wish you lots of Luck - hope the weather is kind, you have a great day and you make lots of money for Cancer Research. :0)

Thank you for taking the time to visit. Be good while I'm gone. LOL :0)

Great Gifts

I am feeling really spoiled this week, thanks to the generosity of two lovely ladies. :0)

On Wednesday a Jiffy bag arrived that had a well known address on the back, so I knew I was in for a rather nice surprise - yes, Barb (no blog) has sent me yet another wonderful gift. Here's what was inside:

Isn't the notecard pretty? I do love the watercolour effect on these. The box had me intrigued, so I had to open it quickly and here's what I found inside:

Another one of Barb's beautiful beaded creations, this time a bracelet...... and all in my favourite sea blues and greens. Here's what it looks like on my wrist:

The clearest pic from a bad batch - it was very hard taking a pic one-handed! Believe me, it is waaaay prettier and much sparklier in real life than my bad pic shows. Thank you again Barb for my wonderful bracelet - I'm in awe of your beading skills and all the kindness and generosity you have shown to me (((((((((hugs))))))))). BTW, it's already packed in my bag so I can take it with me on holiday and wear it when we go out. :0)

Today another Jiffy bag arrived, another with a familiar address label on it...... this time from Julie. This is the good bit of holiday reading material that was inside:

Thank you again Julie, it's greatly appreciated. :0) This book takes some of the characters that briefly appeared in Daughters of Fire (that story's main character was Cartimandua, Boudica's comtemporary), and weaves their story. As I enjoyed D of F so much it will be good to see how this one develops. It's also already packed in my bag....... there's no way I could delay reading this one when I love all things Celtic. :0)

Thank you to all for visiting and thank you again to two very kind and generous folk. :0)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Catch Up

Have realised that I didn't actually post a pic of the tag I made to take to Rosehill last Monday so thought I'd start with that:

I always pop the tags inside a plastic bag, to keep them dry, and take a large metal paper clip that I bend around so one end hooks and holds the tag firm whilst the pulled out end is pushed into the ground to keep it in place. This method works well, as the tags are usually still there when we next visit (unless the chaps have been tidying up!). The weather was rather horrible on our visit: cold, biting wind and raining. We called in at the Thornton's Cafe at The Outlet afterwards, to say Hi to my DSis and get a hot drink to warm us up. We had a lovely surprise when our Uncle T and Aunty S (Mum's brother, our last link with our Mum's side of the family, and his wife) came into the cafe while we were there - something they've never done before. I hadn't seen them both in quite a while, so I gave them both a big hug and kiss and had a natter, catching up with some of their news. I love it when the Universe brings about such happy chance encounters. :0)

We arrived back home in plenty of time for the Virgin Media chap coming to check the set top box. The upshot of that is that the box wasn't just playing up but was obsolete and officially cream crackered, so he changed it for a brand new, latest version one - and gave us a new card for the front too. It's brilliant: everything that's supposed to work does, so we can get the guide all of the time, bookmark what we want and it work and can now use the On Demand service. Yay! Such a shame that most of what's been on the TV lately just hasn't been worth watching though! LOL

The rest of last week was a round of the usual house jobs, blogging, stitching, getting out in the garden when the weather allowed, reading and cooking etc etc etc. Thrilling, ain't it? LOL Actually I don't mind things being that slow - every time I've wished for some excitement something nasty has usually happened....... so slow is good. :0)

On the stitching front Night Watchman had three nights of attention last week. Now you may think I'm aiming to be teacher's pet or going for a Miss Goody Twoshoes award with that but no, it was all down to: 1) not seeming to get much done in one night, so wanting to do more to make up for it and 2) really wanting to get to the bottom corner, so it would give me an idea as to how much more was left to stitch before that much anticipated HD would happen. Have a look-see:

I think I may take him on holiday with me, just in case I get time to do any stitching while we're away (doubtful, with my hyperactive DSis around and evenings of playing Trivial Pursuit, but you never know). He'll certainly be the easiest piece to gather everything together to pack in the car.

I started the finishing for my April Christmas Ornie last week but let's just say that it didn't go to plan and I've kind of ground to a halt with it. >:0( I've now thought of a way to hide the bit of damage that happened but it's going to take a while to do, so I have to leave it until my patience is up for it. Oh well, you live and learn!

The next Challenges have been announced. The JA/S&S Forum's challenge for May is a biscornu from any of the links that were provided - there's lots of choice and some very lovely ones too. Have chosen one and printed it off....... am now hoping I can fit it in, with one week less to do things in. The Challenge for a Finish challenge for May is a needleroll, any pattern. This one will be a first for me but I have something all ready in my stash that I've been meaning to get around to some time...... so have definitely got to fit this in. Meanwhile I've been stitching a couple of small pieces that will be going off to a new home once the finishing has been done. Not in my normal line but they were fun to do. I won't show a pic until they've reached their new home though . Sorry. ;0)

I finished my last book, Dan Brown's Digital Fortress, too. Another good read - there are more details in the side bar and over at The Reading Corner blog, if you want to know more. BTW, it's been registered with the Book Crossing site and is available, if anyone would like it. Current read is from my non-fiction stash: Mistress Peachum's Pleasure: The Life of Lavinia, Duchess of Bolton by Lisa Hilton. It's about an 18th century actress who made good, with much about the history of the times she lived in. Not as exciting as Dan Brown but interesting, nonetheless - especially when you consider the similarities between the things that were happening back then to what is happening now....... today's binge drinking crowds are nothing new and they are complete amateurs, compared to the gin swillers back in the 18th century! This will probably end up coming on holiday with me, as I can't see me finishing it beforehand.

DH and I have been stay-at-home bodies so far this Bank Holiday weekend and the garden has been getting some attention whilst the weather has been nice. Some of my pots that had empty spaces have now got violas filling the gaps. The crocus, snowdrop and daffodil leaves have been trimmed back and dropped tulip leaves gathered; the bird feeders filled; the ivy growing over the door to the Secret Garden (namely: the old air raid shelter) has been trimmed back so DH can get in there; a bit of conifer trimming and a dandelion dig out has been done and a lot of old dead bits picked out of nooks and crannies. If the weather stays fine tomorrow the strimmer will make it out for a once around the areas that the mower can't get at, then it'll be looking a lot tidier....... apart from the triffids at the bottom of the garden - they seem to have plans to take over the world, the rate they are growing. LOL The fresh air has been good and benefited the both of us...... we'll sleep well tonight.

Hope you are all having a great weekend, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Thank you for visiting. :0)

Friday, 1 May 2009

Beltane Blessings

Beltane Blessings to one and all.......... or Happy May Day if you prefer. :0)
If you are interested you can discover more about Beltane customs and celebrations here.