Friday, 30 July 2010

A Holiday and a Birthday

Bet you thought I'd been and gone and emigrated and not told you. LOL No such luck... we've been on our annual holiday (vacation), spending two weeks in the fabulous Lake District, followed by a mammoth laundry and cleaning catch up. All the usual boring things that keep you from getting back to the fun stuff.

Am glad to say that the weather, though it had its moments, was waaay better than last year... thought we were going to grow webbed feet then. LOL Here's a pic of the back view of the cottage we stayed in:

It's a truly lovely home-from-home... but I'll not go boring you rigid by posting too many holiday pics, especially as I haven't gotten round to uploading them all to the computer yet. If I ever do get them sorted I'll post a slideshow into another post.... that way you can have a nosey or leave well alone, your choice. I can hear the collective sigh of relief as you thank your stars for that lucky escape. ROFL

It was my birthday whilst we were on holiday. That hasn't happened before and it felt a bid odd... though it was lovely to have the cards on display whilst in the cottage and then come home to find more goodies waiting for me to open. I felt like Queen Lizzy, having two birthdays! LOL As there were some lovely goodies and this post was going to be picture heavy I decided to share these via a slideshow:

As you can see, I received lots of lovely gifts and cards and felt truly spoilt. Thank you again my friends for your kindness and generosity - I loved all of my gifts and cards. :0)

So what else did we get up to whilst we were away? Well we did some walking and had quite a few trips out and about, ate some tasty meals at some lovely pubs, had a friend of DS join us for the middle weekend and they both walked the Langdale Pikes, DH and DS had a trip to Rookin House for a quad biking session, then the three of us went back the following day for archery and air rifle shooting sessions (great fun), trips to Keswick, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Coniston and Kirkby Stephen, a couple of visits to the Rhegged centre, a walk on the shore of the much depleted Thirlmere (some of the old building foundations were uncovered) and, as a birthday treat........ a trip to Fobbles.

Yes, after reading all about Fobbles on Su's blog and not getting the chance to visit last year, it was definitely on the cards for a visit this time round.... especially with some birthday cash burning a hole in my pocket LOL. It was a bit of a trek from the Langdale Valley but well worth the travelling: the lady who owns it was lovely and the place, though small, was jam-packed full of tempting goodies - so if you're ever up that way it is definitely worth a visit. If only I'd won the lottery and been able to buy all of the fabulous charts I picked out! Unfortunately I hadn't, so had to whittle down the haul from all of the ones I would like to the absolute must-haves. It was really tough going, was that, but I got there in the end. Here's the haul that made it home with me:

As you can probably guess, that wasn't all that came home... they had a nice selection of fabrics too.

Oh yes, and some lovely scissors. The stitching fabrics are a couple of 32ct and a 36ct and you can never have too much backing fabric, now can you?! ;0)

I got a few non-stitchy goodies too. As you have all probably realised by now I do have a bit of a thing about books (as well as stash LOL) and there were a few opportunities to indulge this passion too, at Rhegged, Grasmere, in a discount bookshop in Hawkshead and in the 2 Ravens in Kirkby Stephen. Here's that haul:

The bookshop in Hawkshead also had some other interesting goodies I couldn't resist, especially at the prices:

I don't really need any more Oracle cards but those Grail Code ones screamed "Buy Me". I absolutely love Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the cards are based on them. They are visually stunning, give accurate readings and also have lovely meditations to do in the enclosed guide book. It was also the only set they had... reckon it was waiting for me. :0)

One of the trips to Rhegged had DS buying me a belated Mother's Day gift and DH an anniversary gift (it was a holiday of celebrations: it was also our 26th wedding anniversary whilst we were there). These were the lovelies they gave me:

The one on the left is from DS and connects nicely with the garden and the one on the right is from DH and has a dove with the word Peace on it and also a tiny little elephant with a little flower on its flank.... a nice way of linking in with my Power Animal. :0)

The trip to 2 Ravens had DS and I indulging in our passion for crystals and gems. DS got a lovely haul of all kinds but I was restrained and just bought the one.....

A gorgeous Sheen Obsidian crystal ball.... which was an absolute bugger to photograph because of its reflective qualities (as you can see). It isn't as plain as it looks, as it has areas that have a beautiful golden sheen to them. I didn't go with the intention of buying a crystal ball but DH had a particular drawer out, I saw this and as soon as I picked it up it called to me. I tried putting it back but it wouldn't have it, so it came home. The wonderful chaoroite crystal ball was still there and the owner kindly let me hold it again. It gutted me to leave it last time and it did again... but this time I have left her my details and asked that if they sell up (the shop is on the market) before our next visit to please phone me so I can have first refusal. I am now saving my pennies. :0)

In all the time we were away I seemed to be in reading mode, as I read two books and started a third, and only once managed to pick up a needle and stitch. The mojo obviously decided it deserved a longer holiday! LOL Here's the small progress I made on the tiger:

In case you were wondering: more of his throat area has appeared and a start made on the fancy border. Unfortunately the mojo is still intermittent and I've only picked up a needle once since, putting in some stitches on Mother Earth for the JA/S&S UFO Night, infilling more of the tree background:

So now I'm all caught up with the laundry etc and another weeding session had to be done on the border... those weeds decided it was a free-for-all party while we were away and tried to reclaim the bed. I was having none of that and gave them short shrift. Since then Garden Pete has kindly brought the sacks of well rotted horse manure for me and I spent a morning this week spreading two and a quarter sack fulls of it on that bed this week:

Thankfully the well rotted manure is nowhere near as stinky as the fresh stuff, so it made the job less of a trial than it might have been. LOL The greenhouse was ordered last weekend and that has a four to five week delivery date, so we need to get the soil properly levelled and compacted and some slabs laid... we had a rethink on the base and have decided that laying a square of slabs will give more leeway for errors on squareness than bricks and we can then fill the middle with more soil (allowing water run off inside) and around the edges, to stop any tripping hazard. There's enough excess soil in other areas to do this. DH is busy at work, working late and over the coming weekend, so isn't able to do much towards getting it sorted at the moment so I am now making like a chjain gang member and breaking up the hoarded concrete and broken bricks whenever the mood takes me, to give a solid layer under the slabs. It's very good for those "wings".... and for letting off a little steam. LOL

DH and DS did have a bit of a sort through some more of the metal cabinets DH has down the side of the house last weekend, ready for more to go. DS and I spent last night sorting through all of the stuff in the cupboards, moving some of it up by the shed, binning some and bagging up other bits, ready for an amenities site trip this weekend. After all that we moved the scrap into the front garden:

One of the local registered scrap places has come and taken it away today (Friday), so that's even more of the heap gone. Yay! We need a new water pipe laying and that can't be done until the drive between the two houses is clear.... we've made a good start. :0)

I also had a small cardmaking session last weekend, ready for Julie's birthday. A cute card for a special lady:

Not too obvious from the scan but it's a decoupage card, so has several layers. Hope you're having a lovely day Julie. :0)

I had so much fun making Julie's card I followed it up by making a card for my niece:

Then made another, for my "just in case" stash, whilst still in the mood:

Unfortunately I have to end on some sad news: my FIL has been diagnosed with cancer and, because it's well established, he hasn't had any symptoms or pain, and due to his age (86, going on 87), they feel it wouldn't be in his best interests to put him through the hell of chemo. They haven't done any further investigations either, as they feel these could trigger the cancer into faster growth/spread. He's had another stay in hospital, due to the fluid building up again, but is now back home. We visited him in hospital last weekend and we'll be going over there as often as we can manage, to help out and spend time with him and MIL. We hope he will continue to be symptomless and pain free for as long as possible. Make sure you give all your loved ones lots of hugs and tell them how much you love them... because you never know what's around the corner.

Thank you for visiting - may you all be Blessed with good health and good fortune. Take care and have a good weekend. :0)


jane said...

Sad news about your FIL - I hope he continues to be pain free and his condition can be managed appropriately. Best wishes to all the family. (((hugs)))
Your pictures are great and I love the Bagpuss card you made for Julie.

Miss 376 said...

Sorry to hear about your FIL, I am sure your MIL will really appreciate all your support. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday

Karen said...

very nice haul you did well, love that crystal ball

Lesleyanne said...

Sorry to hear about your FIL. Lovely pictures of your birthday gifts and cards. Lovely stitching. LOVE the bagpuss card for Julie

Maggie said...

Really sorry to hear about your FIL, lets hope he dosent suffer too much.

Sounds like you had a fantastic time on your holiday,the Lake District is a beautiful place isn't it? I've only been once, last year but really enjoyed it, we visited a place called Kendal, have you been there? great place with the most lovely shops.

Love all the new charts and fabric, that should keep you going for a while:-) and a very happy belated birthday to you, you received some lovley cards and presents!

Have a great weekend x

Blu said...

Very sorry to hear about your FIL. Hugs to you and yours.

Sounds like you had an amazing vacation! Great stash. And that crystal ball is gorgeous! Looks like liquid metal.

Sally said...

So sorry to hear about your FIL. Lots of hugs for for your family.

Sounds as though you had a lovely holiday and lucky you visiting Fobbles! Maybe one day:)

Lovely cards and stitching. So glad you had a lovely birthday.

Brigitte said...

You seem to have spent a wonderful vacation in the Lake District. I love the picture in your header - I guess it's one of the sights from there.
Great new stash that you got at Fobbles. This shop is also on my list in case I'll visit the region again. Must be a dream of a craft shop.
Sorry to hear about your FIL. Hopefully he stays without pain.

Christine said...

Sorry it isn't better news about your FIL.
Your holiday sounds wonderful, you got some fabulous goodies.
That Bagpuss card is perfect for Julie

Vinniey said...

Sorry to hear about your FIL, I hope he can fight and continues to be pain free. Thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation with your family. Beautiful gifts from your DH and DS. Lovely cards you've made and I'm sure Julie will like it very much. :)

Julie said...

Lots of nice goodies you received for your birthday and a nice group of books

The crystal ball is gorgeous, no wonder that came home with you.

Stitchy mojos seem to be hit and miss everywhere recently.

Thinking of FIL and you

Andrea said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. Lots of new stash too.
Sorry to hear about your FIL.

TammyK said...

Sorry to hear about your FIL.

Happy belated birthday to you... cool birthday gifts & cards :)

Mylene said...

Beautiful cards and stitching Karan.
I am so sorry to hear about your FIL. Thinking of you all.((hugs))

Cheryl said...

Im sad to hear about your FIL. Hugs your way!
Sounds like a lovely holiday, hasnt really stopped raining up here all of July so that was good your weather was ok!