Monday, 29 June 2009

Garden Fences and a Bonfire

So what did you all get up to over the weekend? Ours was spent out in the garden again.... bet you could have guessed that though. LOL

So what else did we find to do out there? Well, there was slapping some Cuprinol on the new fence for starters so, while DS shot off to Brigg Farmers Market first thing Saturday morning, DH and I were out the back with paint brushes in hand and a pot of Chestnut Cuprinol between us. It took us all flippin' morning to do just the first two sections of fence.... and one of those was a slightly shorter length! It was going to take us a month of Sunday's to complete at that rate, so we headed in for some dinner, a rethink and a nosey at the Screwfix website..... where we spotted a spray painter at a reasonable price.

Next DH headed to Alex's house, as she and our DS were back at hers after their shopping trip to the Farmers Market, and we'd arranged to pick up an old mattress to take to the amenities site for her. DH headed home, closely followed by DS: unloaded all the goodies from the Mini and put them away, then DH and DS loaded all the old conifer stumps and a tatty old suitcase into the back of The Tank (on top of the mattress) and headed off to the amenities site. On their way back they detoured via Screwfix to buy the spray painter and came home.

One drink and a read of the instructions later and DH got everything set up. He'd pulled his back a bit whilst hefting the conifer roots into the skip, so he had a rest up while I set to with the spray painter, just getting him to come out when the pot needed a refill (too tight for me to unfasten/fasten). Boy, does that little gizmo make short work of the job...... so wish we'd had that to start with, then it wouldn't have taken until 7pm to finish the job! LOL Here's what it looked like when we'd done:

Without the digicam flash it looks much darker than shown and, to be honest, I hated how it looked - nothing like the colour it seemed to be on the tin or on the website. It was too late to change our minds though, so it was fingers crossed that it would fade some as it dried out. DH came out and helped a bit later, as he felt better, so he did the top bits that I couldn't reach. When it was done we went in for a belated and well-earned take-out curry from The Gourmet.

The next day we got up a bit later than usual - yes, we had been shattered after such a long day and weren't in a hurry for a repeat! LOL I did pop out to check the colour of the fence and this is how it looks in full daylight:

Much lighter and more like the grey/brown colour on the tin. We need to give it a second coat, to make sure it's fully covered and protected, before we can start digging and planting, but as the fence weathers the colour will mellow off a bit and be more as we thought it would be. The sprayer will get more use too: the big wooden side gates need re-doing this year, as does all the woodwork on the workshop..... yes, we'll definitely be getting our moneys worth out of that new toy. :0)

During Sunday afternoon we sorted through some old kitchen cupboard pieces my Dad gave us for the workshop. These had just been stored down the side of the house with plastic sheeting over them so, being mostly chipboard middles, had soaked up the water..... I'd finally managed to persuade DH that, as they were now water damaged, they were no longer of any practical use, especially as there were plenty of other bits to choose from - and there's going be the old cupboards from our kitchen to choose from when the kitchen is re-done. So we started loading them into the back of The Tank, for another amenities site trip. It was flippin' hot work too, as it was a scorcher, but DS came back, thankfully, so he grabbed a pair of gloves and helped. We also dug out an old printer I'd found in the back room (I swear those dead electrical bits bred - or maybe DH just got better at hiding them! LOL) and there was a bag of old metal bits down the side of the house, so those went in too.... and off went the two menfolk to the amenities site. More clutter gone... YAY! Not much else got done Sunday as we were all tired and struggling with the weather.... the hay fever was being a pain, for DS especially.

More de-cluttering was thrown in too. Yes, more stuff has been re-homed courtesy of Freecycle: a glass chopping board/pan stand went Sunday morning(we really didn't need two!); a child's breakfast set and a trifle dish with matching serving bowls went Monday morning (again - we didn't need two sets!). Monday was my regular jobs day with a bit more de-cluttering thrown in to make the day more interesting (LOL) and Alex came for a visit later in the afternoon. I gave her first dibs on the Pyrex, as she does a lot of cooking and baking, and she's taken some (how on earth did I end up with three identical pudding bowls?! Oh, yes, that was it - wedding pressies) and she also fell in love with the Japanese-made photograph album (my Uncle gave me it many moons ago but I had a boy and it's a girls album, with a cute kimono clad girl on the front). It's all hand-made paper covers and picture..... she has plans to take out the sticky photo leaves and add scrapbooking pages instead. Better it be used and loved than sat here gathering dust!

Monday evening and we were back out in the garden again, this time to tackle all the dead conifer clippings.... yes, DH felt the need to indulge in a little arson... erm, I mean have a bonfire. ;0) Here's one of the heaps we'd collected:

The birdies were none too happy about having that little lot sat around their open air buffet stand, so it had to go. There was also the small matter of a rotten fence needing to be taken down, before it fell down, from the bottom of the privet hedge on the other side of the garden:

The only thing actually holding some of it up was the privet growing through it! So DS set-to on dismantling that, making sure DH had plenty of fuel to keep his bonfire going, and here's how it looks now:

He managed to take down just over half the length, which was pretty good going. The bottom of the privet hedge currently looks a bit scabby in places but we'd noticed that it was actually growing really well in some of the areas where some of the uprights had fallen off. We've got our fingers crossed that, now the sunlight can get at all of it properly, it will start to regrow properly all along its base. :0)

Here's DH and the start of his bonfire:

He's striking a real elegant pose there! LOL You can see the old shed behind him - that's going at some point, to make way for a little summer house retreat with decking around it, so we can sit out up there. Not sure when that will happen, but hopefully one day soon.... :0)

Today a Freecycler came round first thing for what was left of the Pyrex, which has gone to help her DD set up a new home after a marriage break up. That's one of the things I like about Freecycle - it's a good feeling when you have helped folks out like that. :0) It's also another scorcher today, so I'm taking full advantage of it and now have three lots of washing out on the whirlygig and took a couple of pics of the garden while I was out there, so you can see how it now looks:

The birdies are much happier and have been happily feeding away and scrabbling round on the floor for the dropped seeds. Here's the bonfire remnants:

That area will eventually be a pond and the hump behind it a rockery come waterfall area, close to the eventual summer house and decking. The slabs and rubble you can see make the place look unsightly but they will be used to extend the patio area outside the back of the house, when we get back to that job. And the triffids are still trying to take over the world. LOL

Inside the house I finally got around to tackling the rest of the bookcase in the living room, before it got too hot. Those feral dust bunnies were feisty little buggers but I carried on regardless and have now ousted the lot of them.... and there's another stack of books to go to the Hospice Bookshop at the weekend. The space generated won't be empty for long though, as it will soon be filled with some of DH's books that are currently in the little bedroom.... but at least the little bedroom is getting closer to being emptied and that craft room getting a step nearer to being a reality. Yay! I shall be putting my feet up this afternoon, cool drink nearby and good book in hand - my current read, Memoirs of a Geisha (heard a lot about it - now nosey enough to want to find out why).

And if you hadn't realised it by now, I shall just confirm it: still NO stitching whatsoever has been done here. It's now official: the mojo has been a bit previous, packed it's bags and is now away on holiday somewhere............. I hope it's having a good time without me. ROFL.

Thank you for the lovely comments and for putting up with all my waffle. Hope you're all enjoying the fine weather.... and getting a lot more stitching done than me. :0)

An Aromatic Gift

As it was the JA/S&S Forum's Monthly Challenge Reveal Day at the weekend I can now share with you pics of the beautiful surprise gift Julie sent to me this month:

Apologies for the poor pics - the digicam just isn't up for the job..... and neither are my photography skills! LOL Here's a close up of the design, which (on my computer screen) looks to show the colours much truer to life:

It isn't just beautifully stitched and finished though...... Julie made it into a lavender sachet and filled it with dried lavender from her garden, so it smells wonderful too. :0)

The beaded edging is one of my favourite styles of finishing - though I don't use it that often as I know just how labour intensive it is. The back is finished with a lovely charm:

I love it and it now sits on my bedside cabinet, as the lavender scent is a natural aid to help bring me restful sleep. The lavender soap I previously kept there is nowhere near as lovely to see as the sachet! :0)

Thank you again Julie for my beautiful gift and for the kind words you wrote in the card - your timing was perfect and you helped being a lift to what was peoving to be a difficult day. Thank you my friend (((((((((hugs))))))))). :0)

Many thanks to all who take time to vist and especial thanks to those who leave a comment - I always read and appreciate every one. Hope you all had a good weekend and an easy start to the week. :0)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Thanks, a Re-Homing Plea and a Catch Up

Many thanks for all the kind words of support after my rant - am glad to say that I'm feeling better about this now. The guy obviously has some serious personality issues but as he doesn't seem able to recognise that, and will probably never change, it's his problem - not mine. He obviously thrives on stirring up negative reactions so I don't intend wasting any more of my time or energy in giving him the response he craves....... I will totally blank him whenever I visit my DSis again and he can like it or lump it. I'm sure that the Universe will take care of him in the fullness of time. :0)

In the interests of my decluttering and general sort out I'm looking to re-home this book:

Most of the charts look as if they'd easily convert to cross stitch but as it's already been sat on my bookshelf for yonks without ever being touched I don't think I'm ever going to get round to stitching them now....... so the book has to go. (Anyway I need the room - I've been visiting the Hospice Bookshop and didn't come away empty handed.... again. Oops! LOL).

Leave a comment if you're interested in giving this a new home and if more than one person wants it I shall do another draw, seeing as the last one was so much fun. It's not too heavy so it's open to everyone. :0)

So what have I been up to so far? Well I heard from Elisa that the Giveaway chart safely arrived so I can now show you the card I made for her:

This was a simple card to make and was another of those where I knew exactly what I wanted to use and it all just fell into place. Love it when that happens. It also goes to show that there isn't a total lack of crafting going on here. :0)

I've been stitching the JA/S&S Challenge piece for June but it's slow going as the mojo is a bit hit and miss - too much nice weather and a garden that hasn't just called but has positively shouted for us to be out there. But even if the piece was finished (which it definitely isn't) there'd be no pic to show until after Reveal Day - sorry.

Saturday saw construction of the back fence being started first thing:

By the end of the day it was totally completed and now looks like this:

They did a fantastic job. It's a bit overpowering in it's raw state but we have the creosote and brushes ready to go - probably this coming weekend, weather permitting. The next big job out there is to flatten the area in front of the workshop (where the fence ends) to make a base for a greenhouse - when we have that in place we can then put the composting bins in place, then we can run some guide wires across the fence, make a proper flower bed and start digging some manure into it. So it won't be too long before we'll be deciding which fruit trees and flowers we want to plant, and finding out the best time to put them in, and also choosing a spot for my silver birch tree. :0)

The sort out has continued and a couple of small kitchen items have gone to new homes, courtesy of Freecycle, and I took another bagful of bits down to the Hospice Charity Shop today, when I went to the Clinic for my Herbalist appointment (will do a write up on my other blog about that). The shelving in the little bedroom (previously DS's room) is now virtually empty and has had a dusting and they'll get a wash down tomorrow before I dismantle them. DH found the clamp bit to my old wooden cross stitch stand this evening so, as I just didn't get on with the darned thing, an ad for that will be going on Freecycle shortly. Alex took the last of the children's books on Monday (I unearthed them when I was sorting my piles of books into storage crates) so her schools' library will be looking even fuller now. Am still finding this whole decluttering thing extremely liberating. :0)

I finished reading The Time Traveller's Wife (more in side bar) and have now started another book (another Hospice Bookshop find): An Angel Saved My Life by Jacky Newcomb - true life accounts of ordinary people's encounters with Angels, which is very uplifting. It's lovely to know that miracles do happen for ordinary folks all around the world, courtesy of the Angelic Realms. :0)

I had a surprise gift from Julie in the post this morning but have had to promise not to show pics until after Reveal Day - hope that's soon because it is so lovely I so want to show it off. Thank you again Julie, your timing was perfect and you have definitely made my week. :0)

Thank you again for all your lovely, supportive comments - hope you are all having the happiest of weeks. :0)

Monday, 22 June 2009

A Rant

Yesterday was Father's Day so DH and I went over to Doncaster, meeting up with my DSis at the Crem, so we could go lay flowers and cards for our Dad. It was busy, it was warm and the traffic had been awful on the way there, so we were ready for a drink and something to eat by the time we got back to my DSis's.

We pulled up outside my DSis's house behind her neighbour's horsebox (yes, he keeps a horsebox in a narrow residential street - go figure!). As soon as we pulled up the neighbour came out from the front of the box with a stroppy look on his face and making ushering away gestures with his arm, like a bolshy little bantam cock. Fine - maybe he was warning us he was going to be using the spray paint in his hand? I jumped out to go open the door.

Meanwhile my DSis arrived so DH had to move the car out of the way so she could get into her drive...... the bolshy neighbour immediately got his DD's boyfriend to help him push the horsebox back into the place (outside my DSis house) that DH had just moved from. Thinking he was just manoeuvring it DH stayed in the middle of the road, fully expecting the neighbour to roll it back out of the way. The DD's boyfriend went round the back of the box with the intention of doing this but the neighbour's reply was: No, bl**dy leave it there.

DH realised there was a problem and another car was now behind him so he drove our car further up the street and parked it. Meanwhile I just stood, totally gobsmacked by what had just happened..... then the chap appeared from behind the box, spotted me, froze, then said: All right? in an extremely aggressive tone of voice. If he hadn't have done that I wouldn't have said anything but his attitude just seriously rankled after seeing him do such a deliberately spiteful act.

My reply: I was alright when I thought we were going to be able to park there. Bolshy little bantam cock got his feathers ruffled by that and got all defensive: My wife needs to be able to get her car out of the drive to go to work. I didn't ask why the car wasn't on the front then or point out that he'd parked the horsebox in such a way his wife could have driven a doubledecker bus through the gap. Instead I said that was OK but I would have thought it perfectly reasonable to expect to be able to park outside of my DSis's home when we were visiting. He still kept mouthing off at me. So I said: actually, he didn't own the road. So the bantam cock kept telling me that I didn't live there. SO? My DSis does: why shouldn't visitors to her home be able to park outside? Perfectly logical and reasonable I thought but he was having none of it.

I could tell that I wasn't going to get anywhere with him, so just said: Unbelievable! and walked off shaking my head. The young chap didn't look none too happy and I think he tried to reason with him after I walked up the road to help get our things out of the car. I told DH what had happened - DH said nothing and we walked into my DSis's house with the guy grumbling and muttering away all the time in the same aggressive manner.

I was shaking and very upset by the whole thing and it's still getting to me today...... and my blood pressure is back up again. I know I shouldn't get wound up like this but: I have always liked to treat people the same way I'd like to be treated in turn (Harm None) and, in my naivety, expect that from others; I always try to avoid confrontation when possible, as standing up to a bully has always been difficult for me; such scenes are NOT good for my health. So meeting up with such outright aggressive and unreasonable behaviour and having such a small-minded, petty thing done to us when we were just going about our business is seriously upsetting. I just cannot understand people like that and feel like I've just been pushed back ten steps in my recuperation.

Though what really upset me about the whole thing was that not once did the neighbour even consider what day it was or why we were there and as a result his selfish actions helped to make what was already a difficult day even harder. Thank you so much for that Mr bolshy bantam cock!

OK, rant over - am hoping getting that off my chest will make me feel a whole lot better soon. :0)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Lack of Stitching

There's been a distinct lack of stitchy progress this last couple of weeks and it's all down to the nice weather and the garden, so you can blame that for the total lack of stitching updates.

So what have we been up to? Well, we did the severe pruning bit on the conifer hedge last week, with a couple of trips to the amenities site thrown in to add a little variety to the proceedings. It soon became obvious that as the week wore on we wore out, getting slower and slower - it was a BIG relief to get those final bits lopped. This was the result by the Friday night:

We were surprised by the amount of dead wood there was, so it looks like we made the right choice...... quite a few of those conifers wouldn't have lasted too much longer anyway! It's also amazing just how much bigger the garden suddenly looks without them looming over us.

Saturday morning we were over in Doncaster, combining a visit with my DSis with some serious shopping. We got some bits and pieces we needed for the house and I have some clothes for my holiday that actually fit! LOL The nice surprise: I'm down from size 22-24 clothing to size 16. WhaaHooo! DH was happy too: he got some new goodies from the Black & Decker shop for his workshop (am hoping that's a sign that more DIY jobs around the house will be done! LOL), shorts, a shirt and some smart trainer shoes for our holiday. Back to DSis's after the marathon shop and DH managed to put up a new vent for her a little later in the afternoon. When we got home that night we unloaded everything from the car into the house then abandoned it and went to bed - we were shattered!

Sunday we were up early to make a start on the next stages in the garden. First up was taking down the old chain link fence and here's DH taking off the clips, ready to do this:

Garden Pete and Corus Pete (our neighbours) soon joined in and the fence removal and conifer winching started in earnest. There was also some old bricks to come out of that bit of garden (put in to try and stop the previous neighbour's dogs from digging under the fence to get into our garden) and some of those horrible asbestos looking sheets that the old owners of our house had put in everywhere as edging strips - I moved most of those out of the way, leaving the heavier stuff to the three fellas. It was a hot and sunny day and all of it was hard work but by the end of the day that fence was down and the conifers out:

As it was still in a reasonable/useable state I popped an ad for it on Freecycle: I'd had a response within 15 minutes and within the hour a chap had come and taken it away. One happy chap got a free fence to keep his kids safe - we were saved another trip to the amenities site. That's what I call a result! :0) One result I wasn't so keen on: I got a "lovely" sunburn.... thankfully copious amounts of After Sun cream helped greatly and now I'm going a lovely shade of brown and no peeling in sight. :0)

We stacked the conifer trunks across the other side of the garden:

They had to wait until Garden Pete got his chainsaw back from the repairers - he'd kindly offered to chop them up for us, to make them easier to dispose of.

During the day time last week and this I've been continuing with the house clear out and have re-homed: a deep fat fryer (my DSis's); a small Orek vacuum cleaner (not needed now I got me a Dyson LOL); a backgammon set; A Tupperware beater jug and microwave dishes set (to the same Senior who took the Popcorn Maker for his neighbour); a wooden box and small metal filing cabinet drawer (same person took both - a local nurse); a mincer (to the chap who took the dog tether for his deaf dog) and my old sewing machine (to a very nice Canadian Physics teacher who has just bought a house around the corner). Not only is it clearing space here but I've met some really nice people and had some interesting chats with them. :0)

There's also another bag of bits and pieces to take down to the Hospice charity shop this weekend and the final lot of children's books (they were hidden under a pile of other stuff, so got missed first time around) for Alex to check on Monday, to see if they are any use for her school's library - if not they'll be going down to the Hospice Bookshop next Wednesday, when I go to the Clinic for my next visit with Jan (weigh-in day!).

Tuesday turned out to be a lovely day, weather wise, so DH and I were back out in the garden after tea.... this time it was to make a start on painting the metal fence posts with dark green Hammerite paint, in preparation for the new fence going up. We managed to get six of the posts done....... four more left to do but the weather hasn't been fit enough since.

Wednesday I was back at the Clinic for another Food Sensitivity Test and had a good day - will write more about that in my other blog though.

Today (Friday) the wood for the new fencing was delivered next door and Garden Pete and his repaired chainsaw paid a visit to the conifer trunks:

Yup, that's all that's left - Pete had had a chat to a chap who lives just across the road who happily took the logs away for his log burning stove. Brilliant! That means we only have one trip to the amenities site to do tomorrow, instead of two. Plus the weather is OK tonight, so DH has made a start on painting those last four posts...... so I'd better shift my butt, get changed and go help before I hear something like "slacker" and "it's alright for some" being muttered. ;0)

Thank you for visiting and I hope you all have a lovely weekend. :0) As it's Father's Day on Sunday, I'll be thinking of those of you who also have angel Dad's (((((((((hugs))))))))).

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Winner Is.....

Sorry for the delay with the drawing. DH fell asleep and I got busy doing bits and pieces last night and it totally slipped my mind. So I got organised today, wrote names down on pieces of paper and popped them into a dish:

When DS got in from work I got him to stir them all up, then pick one of the pieces of paper:

When he opened it up (and apologies for his tatty old t-shirt, it's his jobs-around-the-house favourite) the name drawn was............ taaa daaa:

Elisa. Congratulations! If you could let me have your snail mail details, please, I'll get the chart into the post for you at the weekend. :0)

I'll be offering up a couple of books soon (yes, I've even been sorting through some of my craft books!) that may be of interest, so keep your eyes peeled. LOL

Thank you to all who took part in my first giveaway - it was fun! :0)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A Surprise PIF

I received a surprise envelope from Lisa in the post today and just had to show you all the lovely goodies that were inside, so here's what I found when I opened everything:

A gorgeous stitched pinkeep floss tag with floss ring and tags and a skein of rather lovely Carrie's Creation Autumn thread. Here's a closer look:

This is such a pretty design, beautifully stitched and finished, and the colours are so me! :0)
Unfortunately, as usual, my pics just don't do it any justice at all.

The back is finished with a lovely autumn leaf fabric that perfectly matches the thread colours:

Isn't it gorgeous? Thank you again Lisa for such lovely surprise goodies: I love them and you have certainly made my week! :0)

I was going to do a catch up post today but will leave that for next time, as this has to have a post all of its own.

Thank you for visiting and for all the kind comments. Oh, and there's still time to sign up for the Giveaway: drawing will be on Wednesday night. :0)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A Giveaway

OK.... because I've just been very lucky and I'm in a very good mood and I want to spread some of that luck and happiness around I've decided to have a little giveaway. As my needleroll seemed to draw a few lovely comments I thought the chart for it would make a nice giveaway:

It's gently used and will include the left over threads and ribbon. There should be enough of the black and purple thread for the design, and more than enough ribbon, though there's no green thread left and not enough of the orange, unfortunately.

So if you'd like your name to be added to the draw just make a comment on this post. All names will go in a bowl and I'll get DH or DS to draw one out this time next week. :0)

Good Luck, Bonne Chance, Goed Geluk, Viel Glueck, Buona Fortuna, Buena suerte etc etc (No I'm not good at languages........ Babel Fish comes in very useful sometimes. ROFL) :0)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Christmas Ornie SAL - April

The catch up session continues! LOL

So what was the delay with this? Well.... I initially planned on making this ornie as a bolster pillow finish, got my hands on some basic finishing instructions (thanks Jacqui!) and set to. Firstly I sewed the stitching onto the fabric then added the red, gold and green trim, then turned it inside out and sewed the edge together at the back - pretty straightforward and all went well with that. Next came turning it the right way round and this is where things started to go wrong...... I'd made the pillow too small/thin and I couldn't turn it, so handed it over to DH for a little more strategy and some elbow grease. He got it turned but unfortunately the stitching had pulled away from the edging trim and it looked messy, so I shoved it to one side while I tried to think of a way of rescuing it.

Two months down the line........ and one light bulb moment later: tuck the gold ribbon under the trim and over the pulled edge, sew in place and Voila! damage hidden and it doesn't look too bad at all. Then came sewing one end to turn it into a bolster pillow but when it was done it looked like a long, thin sausage and rather daft. OK, not happy with it so it got unpicked and I'd just started to wonder if this darned thing was ever going to get finished when another light bulb flashed on: turn it into a cracker instead and use the same gold ribbon I hid the damage with. Result!

  • Design: Believe - internet freebie
  • Designer: Tanya Marie Anderson - The Sampler Girl
  • Fabric: 28ct Permin (Wichelt) linen, Lambswool
  • Thread: Carrie's Creation, Holly Days
  • Finish: Christmas Cracker ornie

It'll be one of the slightly more unusual ornies on our tree this year, that's for sure. LOL

So how did the weekend go for you all? Ours was another good one, though it was a stay-at-home one this time. The items I mentioned before, that were on Freecycle, all went so I sorted some more and gradually added those: I've rehomed a bathroom cabinet and a mahogany framed mirror that were my DSis's throw outs, also a huge beer glass (one of DS's clear outs) that someone will use as a vase (no handles, so it looks like one) and a chap is calling tonight for a Popcorn Making machine - that was OK while DS was small but it hasn't made it out of the cupboard in years. That is going to a Senior so she can make popcorn for her grandchildren which I thought was rather nice. :0) A wall light and ceiling light haven't gone yet but I have hopes that a carbooter will take those off my hands before long. DS took the books I'd sorted out down to the Hospice Bookshop for me, so I need to carry on doing the rest now the box is empty again.

We also had another amenities site trip and offloaded an old TV and microwave and a huge fan/light combi fitting that was really grotty - all of those will have bits reclaimed for reuse, so they won't go into landfill. I rescued the plate out of the microwave though and a Freecycler took that as a spare for a Senior neighbour who occasionally has mishaps with them. The wardrobe in DS's room was finished so we also set to building up his new computer desk between us - that was completed Sunday night, so DS had fun setting up all his computer stuff in and on it and is now organised. Monday evening he took his CD rack up and organised that...... so his bedroom is done. Yay! So it's on to the next job.....

Take a good look at the conifers in the pic because they are going: DH set to with the loppers and saw last night and cut half of them back to the main stems, ready for them to be pulled out with a winch prior to the fence being done. Brutal but effective..... and Momma and Poppa Blackbird's babies have now flown the nest, so it's the right time to do them. As a Pagan it goes against all I believe in to do this but I also have to be practical: neither of us is getting any younger and we both have arthritic bits and pieces already, so we have to make the gardening as easy as possible for ourselves. No conifers means waaaay less work so they have to go. The plus side of this is that the new fence means we'll be able to grow the fruit trees we've always wanted to have....... and we'll be leaving a share of the fruits for the wildlife and fairies, of course. :0)

Freecycle has proved useful again: I asked for some small Jewson sandbags today, so we could use them to pile the conifer cuttings in, to make it easier to take them to the amenities site - loading/unloading the smaller bags into the back of The Tank will be far easier than using the huge bag we currently have, which almost breaks our backs! I got an immediate response from the lady who took the pegs for her DD, so DH should be calling to pick those up on his way home from work tonight. If there's time we hope to be able to take some of the cuttings tonight. :0)

I also had some rather good bits of news too. I've won not one but two blog giveaways! Wow! Some serious HD going on here about that. The first was over at Lisa's blog for a cute chart and the second was over at Laura's blog where the giveaway was a rather lovely stitched item. I shall share pics when they arrive. Again, a BIG thank you to Lisa and Laura - can you tell I'm over the moon? :0)

Chris: the pattern is just short of joining at the back, though the instructions in the kit said to overlap them a little.... but both ways turn it into a long thin needleroll. It's probably one of the things I'd do differently next time around: allow more material and not have the pattern meet to make a bit fatter needleroll, as I think they look better that way. I need to get way more stuffing first though! LOL

Thank you all for the lovely comments about the needleroll, they are greatly appreciated. Hope you're having a lovely day and enjoyed your visit. :0)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Challenge for a Finish - May

I've been having a bit of a catch up session this weekend and it's now paying off....... which means I have something new to show you at last. :0)

This is most definitely a tad late for the May deadline over at Challenge for a Finish but I was determined to go ahead and finish it anyway as this was yet another first for me: to make a needleroll, any design. So here it is:

Design: A Different Halloween kit
Designer: Karin Kersten - Beardie Designs
Fabric: 32ct Belfast Linen - White
Threads: Gloriana Ltd Ed silks and ribbon
Finish: a needleroll

It has some speciality stitches in those bands but they were easy ones to do. Here's a slightly different view:

The bonus from stitching this piece is that it's one of the items from my Not Another Year basket, so it's one goal down from that too. :0)

This was another learning curve and I will adapt the way I finish future needlerolls..... yes, these are waaay simpler to finish than I thought and are quite addictive, so there will be more made at a future date. I can think of at least four more charts waiting in my stash. ROFL

I heard from Barb (no blog) that my card arrived so I can also show you that now too:

This was one of those cards that just came together - love it when that happens. Am glad to say that Barb liked it. :0)

I also dug out my Christmas ornie from April yesterday - the one that I had a bit of a mishap with and had to think of a way to hide the problem areas. Well I added some ribbon to the problem areas last night, which doesn't look bad (if I do say so myself), and today's job is to get the rest of the finishing done...... then there's just May and June's to go and I'll be caught up with that SAL. There'll be a bit of cheating going on there though: I've dug out a couple of pieces that were stitched a while back and will finish those off for those two month's. Yup, the finishing mood has kicked in so am taking full advantage of it while it lasts...... and not having to stitch ornies from scratch will save me some time, so I can go on and start the Christmas Wishes SAL.

Still haven't done the biscornu for last month's JA/S&S Challenge but if there's time I'll be stitching that too....... though I have pulled fabric and thread for this month's Challenge - and that piece will be a twobirds, one stone piece to save me more time. So, if there's going to be any more progress made, I'd best shift my butt from in front of this computer and go make a start on things. LOL

Thank you for all the kind comments and for taking the time to stop by. Hope you're all having a happy, fun-filled weekend. :0)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Plugging Away......

Yep, that's what it feels like at the minute....... plugging away at Night Watchman and not seeming to get very far. I'm sure something has affected the laws of physics because progress actually seems to be slowing down the nearer it gets to a HD. The physicists really need to factor in this new phenomenon to the laws of the Universe and call it The Stitcher's Law! LOL

Mind, I don't think it helped that I zipped about a little in butterfly mode, stitching a little in one area then going over to stitch in another........ then another. There are a lot of colour changes in this section of the tree so that slows things up a little too........ and I'm just plain ole impatient to see the end and achieve that HD. LOL So here's where things stand at the moment:

I can't afford to spend any more time on this each week though as the Christmas Wishes SAL started on 1st June and I need to make a start on that. Plus the needleroll still needs sewing up: got the stitches removed and the top and bottom edges hemmed, just sewing it together to make a roll and some stuffing now needed. Must get on with this as I'd love to show you all something new. :0)

The card making goodies put in a quick appearance yesterday but I can't show you the card I made as it's currently on it's way to it's new home and the recipient reads my blog. Will share a pic when it's arrived.

As for the mega clear out session: I'm still plugging away at that too. A big bag full of bubble wrap bags went to help out an eBayer earlier in the week; yesterday a big tub full of plastic pegs went to a Mum with two kids and a baby on the way (she knows a lot about laundry then! LOL); a bag of toiletries is being collected by someone tonight and a guitar shaped CD rack DS no longer wants is being picked up tomorrow some time...... and I've just put up an ad for some stiff card envelopes I found in a bag yesterday. Don't you just love Freecycle? All those things gone/going with the minimum of effort. Sweet!

I've also started going through the books that are in the living room, on a big shelf and a bookcase in one of the alcoves, and found some knitting books I thought had already been ousted...... I took a bag of those down to the Hospice Bookshop when I popped down the street earlier in the day. I'll be going through the rest of the books this afternoon..... and I plan on being pretty ruthless too - especially as there are feral dust bunnies up on that shelf that need some serious taming. ;0)

So what was I doing down the street, apart from ousting those books? Well Jan had asked me to pop into the Clinic some time on Wednesday or Thursday to have a quick chat about my tablets, to decide about possibly taking me off one lot and putting me back on some others, to start tackling the gut problem again. After I mentioned that we were going away at the end of July she decided to leave it until I come back, especially as I was feeling so balanced, health wise, at the moment. I told her how much I'd enjoyed the Angel Workshop and that I felt I'd got a lot out of it and went on to tell her about the Mind, Body and Spirit event and some of the happenings there (more on my other blog about that). I asked her how things had gone at the Messingham Show, where she'd had a stand on Sunday: they'd handed out 150 information packs on the day so were now waiting to see if it brought in any new clients. Since Il Sorriso closed Jan has been displaying placards and posters in the empty shop window and it's prompted a few new folks to walk in or take details and phone later to book appointments for various treatments, so the extra publicity does help.

When I'd stocked up on some items I needed I thanked her and left and carried on down the street to post a package and do a little shopping - the street was pretty busy, it being market day, but that didn't bother me particularly. As I'd just come out of Tesco Express I spotted my DS, in his Mini, just pulling into the car park - what's the odds on that happening? Unfortunately he wasn't heading home afterwards so I couldn't cadge a lift with my heavy bags. Oh well..... the exercise will have done me good. LOL Since getting home I've had a session in the front garden pulling up the seeding bluebells and doing a little weeding....... until my back started to complain and it felt like I was going to see my lunch again. Guess I should have waited a little longer after eating before tackling that job - you live and learn! LOL And now the book sorting calls so I'm away....

Thank you for the lovely comments on the ornies, they are greatly appreciated. Hope you are all having a lovely week and getting lots done. :0)