Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Mother, The New Baby and Awards

I reckon you've all spotted I'm a little late posting my last update. I wanted to be able to post it along with pics of my new baby (the car) but the planned pick up didn't happen....... a certain chap, who shall remain nameless, forgot to sort out the insurance for it, didn't he? I was not a happy bunny. As I told him: he shouldn't rely on me to remind him to do things at the moment.......... remembering things and a menopausal brain just do not go together. LOL Anyways, the delay hasn't made a great deal of difference to the way things have fallen here, so I stopped giving him earache about it by the weekend. ;0)
Of course in the excitement I forgot to get around to posting at all last week, so it's going to be quite a catch up. LOL

So, first up is the Mother, as She stood last Sunday:

Not as much as I would have liked to have achieved but a reasonable amount of progress nonetheless, as those trees are gradually being filled in. I didn't stitch on anything else during that week.... for some reason the mojo has been a little intermittent and when it is here this is the only piece I feel like stitching on, so I'll keep going with it for now. The fact that there has been a four-night run of Most Haunted Live programmes on during the latter part of this week has meant that my behind has been firmly lodged in my armchair each night, so Mother Earth has grown some more since then:

Much better progress. The final MHL programme is on tonight, so guess where I'll be from 8pm onwards? ;0)

So now onto the new baby. LOL We finally picked her up on Wednesday (24th). She's been valeted and is all clean and sparkly and smells gorgeous inside. I have to say it was a collywobbly moment when I'd paid and received the documents. I turned to DH and said, with a hint of trepidation in my voice: Oooo, I own a car now, love. The salesman laughed and asked if I'd be going out in her soon - yes, because now I've got her I am not going to leave her on the front to rot..... especially as DH has threatened to take her onto the steelworks if I don't start driving her. No way, I ain't having that! So here she is:

And if you look in the bottom left pic you can just see a bit of DS's new baby sneaking into the shot. I reckon the neighbours are wondering if we've won the Lottery. ROFL Nope - DS is in hock for the next few years.... I used the money my Dad left me (plus a contribution from DH). I reckon my Dad would be well pleased with how I've spent my inheritance. :0) So this weekend DH took me and my new baby out to an empty car park on one of the trading estates, and let me loose. I wanted to get the feel of driving again before having some refresher lessons. Some of the basics came back to me straightaway but, due to the size of the car park, I didn't manage to get out of first gear... though I did get to use reverse.... and there were no other cars about....... so I need to have those refresher lessons and want the added confidence of having them in a dual control car - just until I feel like I'm in total charge of the car around traffic, rather than feeling that it's in charge of me. LOL Though DH did say that by the end of our session he could tell my confidence was growing....... I got faster. Eheheh.

DS has had a couple of offers for his old Mini but hasn't taken any of them up: one wanted to pay peanuts and the other wants to buy it to scrap... and DS isn't happy about that at all. He's now got an ad in the AutoTrader, so fingers crossed an enthusiast spots it and comes along with the cash very soon. Meantime DH is sorting out a price for The Tank (the Isuzu Trooper 4x4) and will be putting a For Sale sign in that this weekend.... again, fingers crossed for a quick sale there too. Then we'll be able to get at the caravan to give it a good clean and put that up for sale too..... all so we can get the front cleared so the Honda, Kia and BMW Mini can all park there. Currently DH is having to park his Honda around the corner and that isn't ideal.

DH should have gone to the local office furniture place on Friday dinnertime to order the items for the Craft Room that we spotted last weekend: a wood effect bookcase with adjustable shelving, plus two extra shelves for it, and a 4-drawer silver coloured filing cabinet..... but didn't manage it. We went Saturday morning instead and, as DH has decided he wants the chair I currently use, I got to order a new one, with rubber rollers rather than castors, for my room..... it goes perfectly with the colour scheme. LOL They should be delivered some time on either Monday or Tuesday and the chaps there will not only deliver but also take everything up to the room, set them all up and place them where I want them too. I'll post some pics next time. :0)

Apart from ordering the furniture and having a tootle in my car we also went to the Pink Pig for dinner on Saturday, followed by a little shopping. Once home DS arrived back with his haul from the local Farmer's Market - the fridge and freezer are now very well stocked. DH and DS went out to a Social Reading at the LTC Guild Room that night - a gathering where the members take it in turns to read parts from a script (last nights was The Life of Brian). It helps them get some practice and they can improvise in whatever way they want.... and it usually ends up with lots of laughs. Today (Sunday) DH is currently watching the Australian Grand Prix Highlights but once it's finished we'll be out in the garden: DS brought back some strawberry plants for us yesterday and we need to plant them out. The plan is to have them growing in a large pot this year.... next year we should have sorted more of the garden so we can grow more in a spot under where the fruit trees will be planted.

I've very kindly been awarded the Sunshine Award by Clare and Vinniey and Vinniey also very kindly gave my blog a second award too. Thank you so much to both of you. :0)

For the second award I have to tell you 10 things about myself, so here goes:

1) When I was a toddler I tripped and fell, hands first, into an open coal fire - I still have some minor scars on my hands from this.
2) As a result of said fall: I have no memory of it but up until I was about 9 years old I was terrified of big bonfires and sparklers. It wasn't until my Mum told me what had happened when I was a tot that I lost the fear.
3) I have a couple of basic awards for trampolining that I took at High School.
4) I not only sense and hear Spirit - I've seen a ghost. Now you know why I'm a Most Haunted fan. LOL
5) I believe in Angels.
6) My Grandad took me to see the Blue Peter steam train naming ceremony when I was a child. Didn't get to see the presenters very well though - we were right the way at the back of the crowd.
7) I absolutely hate travelling down a hill fast so, as a result, I avoid all kinds of scarey them park/fairground rides, as well as skiing and sledding, and prefer to be in a car driven by someone who knows this and adapts their driving to suit. (Won't be a problem once I'm driving again! LOL).
8) As a child I was bullied, at some point, in every school I went to.... it's made me highly intolerant of bullying, whether it's directed at me or someone else.
9) Whilst I love my garden and all kinds of plants.... I'm not much of a gardener. I work on the theory that if it looks pretty and I like it it gets in.
10) I'm a Trekkie and am ambidexterous when it comes to doing a Vulcan salute. Unfortunatly there aren't a lot of opportunities to show off this skill. ROFL

I am supposed to pass these awards on to a set amount of people but, as always, I can't just limit it to that set amount because I enjoy reading every single blog on my blogroll and this makes it difficult to choose just a few. I also don't like to disappoint or upset anyone by missing them out, so...... these awards are given to all of those bloggers whose blogs I read and comment on. Thank you for allowing me the privelege to share in all your news and see all your lovely handworks. :0)

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Thank you for taking the time to visit and for leaving such lovely comments. :0)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Stash, Storage and Stitching

I was reading a post over on Sharon's blog - It's Daffycat - last week, about her fabric sorting and storage and decided, as I set about sorting my own fabrics and moving the storage containers into my Craft Room, to take a few pics to share while I was about it.

First up, from the first set of storage drawers, are all the backing fabrics.The top drawer contains the "every day" fabrics (mostly fat quarters) with some fat eighths (in bags) that also go in there:

Quite a wide variety, though the fat eighths selection is my favourite. The second drawer contains fabrics for my two favourite subjects to stitch for.... Halloween and Christmas:

The third drawer (not shown) contains the iron on Vilene, felts in various colours, wadding and stuffing. The fourth drawer (also not shown) has the bigger pieces of fabric for household projects and calico in it.

The second drawer unit contains all my cross stitch fabrics. The first drawer is full of 9 x 12/13 28count and the second holds the larger cuts:

Drawer three holds 32 and the higher count fabrics.... and I guess you get the idea as to which count of fabric I prefer to stitch on. LOL Drawer four holds aida and a little linen banding:

The third, and final, drawer unit has cardmaking things in the top three drawers but I haven't finished organising these so haven't bothered to take any pics. The bottom drawer of this unit holds items I can stitch on (such as tea towels and tiny Christmas stockings) and finishing items (eg a tuck pillow and floss tag rings and thread holders):

Finally, here's a pic of the cleaned and newly organised storage units in their new home:

They stand out like a sore thumb at the moment (wish the silver coloured ones were available when I first went for these!) but they won't be quite so obvious when the work table is put in over the top of them. Not sure how long that will take though.... we need to have the kitchen refitted first (that's on hold for now) as the new work table is the old breakfast bar. Now, Sharon, does that answer your question about fabric storage? ;0) LOL

It's also the time of the week for yet another update pic of Mother Earth. Nope, it's no use groaning.... there's no other stitching to show at the moment, so it's this or nothing. ROFL For some reason I just don't want to stitch on anything else, so I've just been going with the flow and keeping Her as my focus piece.

I've been working on the section between the second tree trunk and what is the start of a third tree trunk. My method of working for this has never been stitching each block of 10 stitches, as I find that awkward to do, though I know other folks work well with that approach. What I ususally do is pick a particular symbol and its relevant colour and keep on stitching it until all the ones I'm working on in a particular area are filled in... or until I get fed up and fancy a change, then choose another symbol and colour and do the same. It can look a bit bitty (as it does in this pic) but it does start to fill in a larger area quite nicely. I had hoped to get all of that area infilled this week but I've had a couple of nights where I haven't stitched at all (shock - horror! LOL), mostly due to being tired.... and stitching whilst tired usually ends up with a visit from the green one, so I avoid that happening whenever I can. :0)

I haven't started the Seba Blackwork SAL piece yet, as I've decided to wait until all the sections have been released and then start it - got a feeling it'll be one that will stitch up pretty quickly, so I won't lose much by doing that, and it lets me keep Mother Earth as my focus piece for a while longer. Yep, I am too easily distracted when I have lot's of WIP's on the go..... I'm blaming it on the menopausal brain fog. LMAO. I have still got to choose my fabric and threads for the JA/S&S Forum's Monthly Challenge piece, a lovely freebie from Plum Street Samplers called Be True. Now anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am a real sucker for anything that has lovely, inspirational sayings on it.... and that I also love our feathered friends. As this is a combination of both it is a must stitch, so I shall be kitting this up to start soon. Of course, I won't be able to share a pic until Reveal Day. :0)

As for other things: DH enjoyed his run doing the sound for the Group 62 performance last week, though found it a little tiring.... and a little nervewracking when he went solo for the final two performances - reckon it won't stop him from getting involved in something similar again soon though. :0) I enjoyed the power of being in sole charge of the TV remote for so long.... it almost went to my head. LOL It got even more tiring over the weekend as it was a busy one, though exciting and also very enjoyable.

First up is the exciting news: DH and I took the car I liked for a test run on Saturday. Believe it or not, I've been and gone and done it.... I paid a deposit and signed the papers! It's being fully serviced and valeted this week and we go get her on Friday evening. *Huge cheesy grin* My new baby is a 2008 Kia Picanto Ice Ltd Ed in Diamond Blue. A nice little runaround with a small engine, very economical and perfect for my needs. So now all I've got to do is go get me some of those refresher lessons... fast. LOL I'll post a pic at some point. :0)

Sunday DH and I headed over to Elsecar Heritage Centre near Barnsley for the Mind, Body and Spirit event
being held there. It was a lovely day out, as these events always are, with some retail therapy involved and I had a card reading done (using different cards, not Tarot cards) with my usual reader - I go to her once a year for an in-depth reading that is always interesting and full of insights. I'll be doing a write up on my alternative blog about the day, as I know these things aren't to everyones tastes. We rounded the day off with our favourite meal: a take out curry from the local Indian restaurant.

Today it's been back down to Earth with a bump, as it's my regular jobs day. No rush to get them done today though, as my friend couldn't come for her regular herbal tea and natter session. Good job as I don't think I could have rushed, even if I'd tried - all that walking around over the weekend has left me feeling a little achey and tired. Yes, I still keep forgetting that it's only been four months since my op and end up overdoing things a little. That patience thing still keeps giving me trouble! ROFL So that's all the news for this time.

Many thanks to every single one of you who takes the time to read all my wafflings and for the lovely comments. Hope you all enjoyed your weekend and had a gentle start to the week. :0)

Sunday, 7 March 2010

It's That Time of the Week

Yes, it's that time of the week... blogging update time. It seems to have come round real quick this week..... and already a whole week into the new month of March. That certainly flew past.

So, what have I been up to since my last post? Well, that looked forward to visit with my DSis had to be called off, as my stomach kicked off and I came down with a bit of a bug. :0( Aaaahhh, now I remember why this week seems to have flown past.... I spent the best part of two days doing nothing but sleeping, so I kinda lost them. LOL DSis and I have made up for it by having long chats on the phone, though it's not quite the same as spending actual time together. She has more holidays later in the year, so am sure another opportunity for a visit will present itself so we can make up for lost time then. Thankfully I feel much better now. :0)

As soon as I was up on my feet again I realised my DBro's birthday is fast approaching, so I made a card for him:

As inspiration was a little lacking I opted to cheat and used some of the KanBan goodies I'd bought last month. Some of this is decoupaged but the scan seems to have lost some of the 3-D look of it. My DBro is a very good DIY enthusiast, so it's very apt. :0)

It's also that time of the week for SAL updates too. Yes, folks, I'm going to bore you all with yet another pic of Mother Earth! Believe me, you are going to be sooooo sick of seeing Her by the time the whole piece is finished. LOL With not being too well Sea Stars didn't come out to play last week, so I made ME my focus piece instead and it's showing the benefit of that - even DH made a comment on how it's coming on. Here's where I left off last night:

Basically, I carried on with the next section of background between the edge of the last page and the next tree trunk and brought it down to the bottom of that page. I stitched in part of the tree trunk too, as it will give me a good marker to work from.... and make it easier for you to see what's been added next time around. (Yes, I could hear you all groaning at that! LOL).

It's also the time for the monthly update over at the Stitcher's Showcase SAL Blog, so I do have something a little different to show you (Wow, I swear I almost heard a full on version of the Hallelujah Chorus then. ROFL). Here's where February's progress got to:

Am glad to have finished that central section as it gives a much better view of how the variegations in the Thai silk are stitching up... and I'm pretty pleased with it. If you have a look in the bottom right corner you can see the thread I'll be using for the next section of this design. I almost made a start on that earlier in the week but decided on making ME my priority instead. Who knows, I may decide to put a length or two of the thread into this tonight....... will see what mood takes me when I park my behind in my armchair later. Yes, it's good TV night tonight (Larkrise to Candleford and Seven Ages of Britain) so I shall be getting a serious case of Stitch Ass whilst they're on. :0)

The Great Car Hunt continued yesterday, with a slight change in the search, as DH said not to concentrate on new cars just so we can take advantage of the scrappage scheme, but to think of it as a search on two levels: one that includes the scrappage and one that doesn't rule any car out. OK, why didn't he tell me that to start with? I'd ruled out several older cars that I liked the look of because we wouldn't be able to take advantage of the scrappage scheme with them. So we went back to view some of the Used cars again that had taken my eye. I didn't like some of them when I sat in them because I was sat so low it would have been dangerous. Why do they make cars in such a way that you don't get a good view of even the bonnet, let alone the road ahead, because you can only just see over the dashboard?
Anyhow, the upshot is that the search may be over..... I rather liked a 2008 Kia Picanto Ice Special Edition, in a lovely icy blue colour (a cross between light blue/grey/silver) that has all the basics I wanted (air bag, air con, CD Player, adjustable drivers seat and the like). What I really like about it though is that it's a small car without being cramped, the drivers seat adjusts up (I can see the bonnet and the road!) and, more importantly, it doesn't have a foot of wheel arches sticking out of the sides, or half a mile of extra bumper front and back. Why do manufacturers add these on when all they are are hazards that are crying out to get scraped?! You've got to remember folks: I haven't been behind the wheel of a car in ten years.... and my last car was an original Mini. I loved that car, as I knew exactly where every bit of it was and I could get into any parking space without a problem.... I just wasn't so keen on the sick-making, bone jarring, boob-bouncing ride that comes from not having a decent suspension and the Council's not maintaining the roads. Yes, I'll be having refresher lessons before I venture out on the roads again... but I want that added confidence of knowing exactly where every edge of the car is because I want to avoid getting those scrapes. And because I really don't want DS taking the wee-wee and claiming men are better drivers! ;0) We should be going back to the garage to give it a test drive soon.

DS went over to Bradford on Saturday, with friends, to go and visit another friend who now lives and works there, and they all went out for curry and a few beers to celebrate the friends birthday. He's back now and has disappeared off to the theatre.... DH is already there, as it's the Get In for another amateur dramatics group and they're helping out. Yes, folks, the TV remote is all mine once again. You know, I could really get used to this! LOL

Right, time for me to go and catch up with blog reading and commenting, have something to eat (just me for an evening meal tonight) and then work on getting that Stitch Ass. :0)

Many thanks for visiting and for the kind comments you leave. Hope you have all been having a lovely weekend.... and that the week ahead is a good one. :0)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Update, Reveal and an Unveiling

Another Sunday has gone by, more stitching done and another update posted on the 2010 Weekly SAL Blog.... so yes, that means yet another pic of Mother Earth to show:

This time I finished the bottom corner, to the right of the tree trunk, which means a whole page has been completed. Yay! I also made a start on infilling the background above the area where the stray thread is attached. I'm afraid it's going to be nothing but background infill of those trees for a while yet, so brace yourselves. LOL DH worked a second night shift last night (Sunday) so I've since got even more of it stitched.... those after 2am bedtimes are starting to get to me though. Thank goodness he doesn't have to work nights regular.... I think it would probably finish me off. Probably DH too. LOL

It was Reveal Day for the February Monthly Challenge over at JA/S&S Forum on Sunday too, so I can now show you what I stitched and finished for that:

Designer: Primitive Betty's
Design: Valentine, internet freebie
Fabric: 28ct evenweave, unknown make
Threads: DMC 310; 326 - stitched 1 over 1
Finish: Valentine's Day card

I turned the finished piece into a card for my DH and he seemed to like it. I love to see the varied finishes for the same design and if you would also like to you can see everyone's pieces here. Some more finishing ideas to pinch for future reference. LOL ;0)

With DH working nights there hasn't been a great lot of anything been done here, apart from my usual jobs. We did go out on the Great Car Hunt again and more makes of car have been crossed off my list, leaving a very small list of ones that I do like and would feel happy to drive. Nothing has really taken my fancy yet.... but there are a few more weekends to go before the scrappage scheme ends, so there's time yet. :0)

Nothing more done to the Craft Room.......... but I thought, as I don't want anyone to start foaming at the mouth in frustration (yes, you Barb ROFL), I'd finally stop the suspense and show a few pics of where things are at at the moment. This is a view of the finished laminate flooring and the rug I scored at our local market:

Then this is the view of the corner where the computer table is. This is where it will be staying, as it will allow me to nosey out of the window at the world going by. ;0) You can also see the new nets and one of the curtains, complete with tie-back:

It was a bright day, so it made taking pics of the window a  real pain - that was the best one I got. Here's a better view of the computer table, in situ:

Ignore the bits in the bottom left corner... DH hadn't tidied his tools and things away at this point.... and I was too impatient to wait anymore to take the pics. LOL The two small shelves to the left and in the middle of the desk both slide out. I now have to find a comfortable seat to go in there, instead of the one I'm currently using - DH thinks the castors on a proper computer chair will damage the laminate, so we're on the look out for a rotating chair on legs, iykwim.

Here's a view of the pieces I currently have sat on the windowsill, with a better view of the pattern on the nets:

The little stand up picture was something I spotted at one of the local garden centres and thought it was perfect for my room and DH did too, as he bought it for me. In case you can't make it out, the saying is: Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. :0)  And the Healing Crystal Angel that my DSis gave me for Christmas is temporarily homed there - much nicer to be watching over things from there, than cooped up in a box. :0)

There's still quite a bit to get organised yet but hopefully things will start to get back on track with it by the weekend... providing DH is back to normal working hours now, which depends on how things are going on the steelworks. Fingers crossed for problem free normality! LOL

Tomorrow I have an acupuncture treatment booked and then have my Development Circle in the evening. On Wednesday the plan is to go over to spend a few days at my DSis's again, as she is off work on a week's holiday, then be back some time over the weekend.... depending on when the chauffeur (DH) is available. Hopefully there'll be some stitchy updates to share when I'm back again.

And finally... the weather, although cold, was at least a little sunny and dry so I managed to spend a little time out in my garden today, pottering around. I can't tell you how good that felt! I thought I'd leave you with a couple of signs of Spring that I spotted whilst out there:

The little square of garden by the front door where those bright crocii bloom every year. So far the birds are leaving them alone. Then the dainty little snowdrops that are blooming in the back garden, close to the sun lounge wall.

Many thanks for taking the time to visit and for your kind comments. Hope you all had a gentle start to the week and are enjoying your own pretty signs of Spring. :0)