Monday, 22 November 2010

Pumpkins, Blackwork, Digging, Chat and Another SAL

It's well past time I put in an appearance on this poor blog... it does seem to get put to the back of the queue on the list of things to do these days and I have no idea why. So, what have I been up to this time? Well, believe it or not, a second Happy Dance has followed hot on the heels of the Tiger - I guess that goes to prove that the sttichy mojo is definitely back from it's holidays and here to stay. Yay! It did help that the piece I picked out was an absolute joy to stitch..... and here it is, in all it's unpressed glory:

Design: A Spot of Halloween
Designer: Midnight Stitching
Fabric: Sparklies 28ct evenweave, Pumpkin Patch
Threads: DMC B5200 & 310

Apologies for the slightly blurry pic - the weather here has been dull and dismal much of the time and the digicam isn't that good.... and neither are my photography skills, to be honest. LOL This one was the best of the lot I took. It didn't get finished for Samhain (Halloween) this year...... but I am well organised for the next one..... providing I can decide how to finish this up before then. I'd like to finish it as a wall hanging but my sewing skills aren't up for it - the darned sewing machine will insist on galloping off and doing it's own thing, no matter what I do. I shall get to the other side of Yule (Christmas) and into January and go find out what sewing courses, if any, are available via the Adult Education classes or the local Colleges - it's way past time I tamed that darned machine and cured my terror of it, once and for all. School sewing classes have got an awful lot to answer for!

As soon as I got Spot of finished I picked a new WIP progress out of the To Stitch pile.... sorry Julie and Mr Stick, those UFO's are just not grabbing me at the moment and not even Wanda brandishing her broom at me has worked - though I have got rather good at ducking and diving! LOL I bet you're all wondering what the new WIP is, aren't you? I did wonder about leaving that until the next post - then remembered that poor Tina (no blog) has been itching to see what it is and I've been tormenting her for long enough now. So here's the first update pic:

Design: Blackwork Mystery SAL
Designer: Seba Designs
Fabric: 28ct evenweave, Vintage Blue
Threads: Thai Variegated Silk (so far)

It's another really naff pic too, due to the same reasons as above. :0( The fabric is actually a lovely pale blue, in a Vintage style, and the silk thread is graded from a lovely deep blue to a pale blue. Strictly speaking, the Mystery and SAL are no longer relevant, as the SAL finished long since and it's no longer a Mystery as I have all the parts... but I won't go splitting hairs. ;0) It has grown a bit more since this and would have grown even more if that darned frog hadn't come a visiting. What was so annoying about it was that I was just half a stitch too low. Yes - not even a whole one, just half a bloomin' stitch! So it got frogged, then restitched in the right place, with the satisfaction of adding a couple of extra stitches, just so it seemed like some progress had been made overall. Sheesh.... when I think that without that mistake I could have had two squares stitched, not just one, I could spit like a camel. Well, I did have the hump big time afterwards.... does that count?

Now let me cast my mind back and see if I can remember what else has been happening since my last post. Eeerrrrmmmm..... well, I've had a few sleeps since then, so it's a bit of a struggle. The poor wee brain cell is on overdrive, trying to keep up with the regular stuff, and this might be a step too far. LOL

DH and I attended the Mind, Body and Spirit event at the Lincolnshire Showground on Sunday 7th and had a great day. I attended three of the workshop/talks: Past Lives; Meditation with Instruments and Healing with Crystals - DH came to the second and third ones with me. They were all very interesting. We also had a little retail therapy, though not as much as previous times, and I also underwent a Crystal Healing session, from one of the stalls..... now that was a great experience and further proved (not that any was needed) that I have an affinity with crystals and need to develop this further. It also helped me to go straight to a crystal stall and pick out a new Pendulum, for use in Dowsing specifically for health related matters. This event was the last one in this area for this year.
Oh, I know what else: the chaps decided that, with the help of one of DS's mates, they would lay the new waterpipe. You know how these things go with the male of the species..... they get a professional in to give them a price; they then see a large amount of £££'s on a quote and go: "You what? How much? I can get it done cheaper than that"; then they start the job, all enthusiastic..... and very soon realise that, actually, it's a hell of a lot more work than they'd realised and it's going to take them longer than they thought and, then they go: aaahh crap - wish we'd paid somebody to come and do this.
Seem familiar? Yup, that's about what happened here.

Getting the slabs up was relatively easy.... it was the bloody horrible clay stuff they had to dig out that was the problem, especially as it all had to be done by hand because we weren't 100% sure where or how deep the existing water and gas pipes were. Here's the front all dug up (one days work) with the sand layer in and the new pipe loosely laid (the second day):

This and other pics had to be taken for the benefit of the Water Board, to prove that we'd done it correctly - as we need the drive for parking our cars on, it all had to be backfilled and the slabs put back down afterwards, all before they could come out to inspect it and connect it up. Waiting for them to do that can take around six weeks (or more) and we weren't prepared to leave the trench open that long.... someone was bound to "accidentally" fall in it and try for a nice bit of compensation just before Christmas, weren't they? (Yes, I am a tad cynical. LOL). Our neighbours, the Pete's, got their trenchwork and piping done on the Saturday - lucky so and so's had proper soil to dig through and a couple more helping hands than we did - but they very kindly came round and helped us finish up the front on the Sunday.

Now the side of the house, behind the wooden gates, is a whole different story. That had to be left in this state:

That bit is from the side gates and almost to the back door and the next pic is from the back door to the back end of the house (the wooden board is so I can come out to put stuff in the recycling boxes without falling into the hole):

Since then DS and another mate have dug it all down even further (has to be a certain depth, by law) , so the clay heaps are even higher. DS then went out and backfilled the stretch from the back of the side gates to just short of the first carport upright post:

Saturday (20th) I thought I'd show willing and I shovelled and ferried two half barrows of sand round from next door (can't lift a full barrow of wet sand) and then shovelled a layer into the bottom of the trench, from just after the carport upright up to the back door and tamped it all down - it's now ready for the chaps to lay the pipe, stick a sand layer on top and backfill, whenever the mood takes them. After that I was mildly cream crackered. ;0)

DH spent much of the first weekend taking apart a kitchen cupboard, to access the outside wall, and drilling through, for the new pipe to come in.

That bit I don't mind..... it means the kitchen refurb has just been bumped higher up the Must Do list. Yay! LOL I spent most of that weekend making cuppas and a combination of bacon/egg/sausage butties - the fuel that keeps the British Workman going. The only bit about that was that I couldn't eat any of it, due to the food intolerances/special diet - bum!

This weekend, as if there hadn't already been enough destruction, DH had to dismantle some of the downstairs toilet and uncover the wall, so he could drill through for the new pipe to come in there too (it has a separate pipe system to the rest of the house, as it's in an extension). This is what it looks like at the moment:

Yup, it's definitely out of commision for the foreseeable future - we're all getting a little extra exercise going up and down the stairs, to use the updstairs loo. LOL The little white "lump" in the right hand corner of the pic is a piece of kitchen roll blocking the hole to the outside. The outside bit now looks like this:

Thankfully we have a pile of bricks at the bottom of the garden, some of which can be used to repair the bashed out area there, plus the matching bashed in bit to the kitchen. We have no idea what that random bit of brickwork is to the right of the trench: the proper manhole and sewerage pipe is further over, running straight between the houses and out to the main sewer under the road - that bit is totally out of alignment with our house and the neighbours house. All we can think of is that the builders got that bit wrong and decided it was too much hassle to rave it all out again, so just left it in situ. You find some weird bits and pieces when you start dismantling or digging bits up in and around this house. LOL Fingers crossed (and everything else!) that this job gets finished before Christmas because the level of muddy footprints that are getting traipsed through my house is now starting to give me a decided twitch.

Development Circle is going OK, though there wasn't a session last week as Aureen was undergoing some hospital tests for a couple of ongoing health isues she has. Lots of healing vibes have been going her way. My acupuncturist is currently on holiday, so I booked myself in for a couple of Reflexology sessions - those have been very interesting, not just for the healing but also for the chat with the practitioner, B. She is undergoing training in Hypnotherapy... so I've requested that she lets me know when her training is complete, as I would like her help with a couple of things: to get me back on track with my diet, as that's gone to pieces since my op; help with learning some self-treating techniques, to help me tackle the last couple of post-agoraphobia/panic attack things that still give me a little anxiety and to aid meditation; wanting to remember a couple of childhood incidents that could have a bearing on issues I have now and, the main thing, to undergo a Past Life Regression. B should receive her certificates in January and will be able to give Hypnotherapy treatments from then, so 2011 looks set to be an even more interesting year than this one. :0)

Oooo, I nearly forgot: the lovely Tina (no blog) will be running a Shores of Hawk Run Hollow SAL over at the Stitch & Stash Forum but it's not just for stitching Shores - folks can join in with any Carriage House Samplings piece. So I went rummaging in my stash and found three CHS charts lurking in there and this one shouted the loudest:

Enchanted... and, as you can see, I've already got the fabric chosen and done a floss toss. I've been extra good, as everything is from stash. I think the SAL starts in January 2011 (best check, hadn't I? LOL), so it'll be a nice way to start off the New Year and, hopefully, I'll manage to keep up this time... unlike with the Just Nan SAL (sssshhh, don't let Mr Stick know! LOL).

Oh, and before I forget again: someone asked about the new header pic. It's a view of the Langdale Pikes, as taken from the path between Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater, in the Lake District. It's one of the pics I took when DH and I did the walk on our summer holiday this year. :0)

Thank you for taking the time to visit... and especially for the lovely comments you leave. Welcome to newbies to my blog too.. please say Hi. Have a good week folks. :0)


Miss 376 said...

That stitching must be a welcome haven with all that upheaval. Hope it doesn't take too long to be put back together

Christine said...

Great finish on your halloween piece.
That is certainly a LOT of digging, hope its all back to rights quickly

stitcheranon said...

Wow..a cool post.
I do crystal therapy and have just come back from a week at the Arthur Findlay college which is well worth a stay if you ever get the chance!
I have never stitched the designer Carriage House but love the one you have picked out...beautiful.
Hope all the work on the house is sorted out soon xxx

Daffycat said...

Oh, it sure was nice to have a bit of stash to look at after all that work...I am tuckered out just seeing the pictures!

jane said...

Love the Halloween piece Karan. Interesting pics of the work going on outside your house, I don't think I had quite realised the scale of what is going I hope that all is back to normal for you soon.
Your CHS piece looks nice, enjoy the SAL.

Tina said...

At Last!!!i'm tormented no longer lol
Love your HD,the fabbie is gorgeous and the design really stands out well,
poor you having to put up with all that upheaval


Julie said...

Great news the mojo is back, right on time for some winter comfyness on the sofa of an evening. Nice new start, i've seen this one completed, going to be a nice one to watch grow

Dont envy you the ongoing digging job, what a mess, hope the waterboard come quickly to reconnect you up

TammyK said...

Great Halloween finish :) Imagine how proud you're gonna be when all the work is done...

Barb said...

Hi Karan, Lovely newsy post and you do make me smile . Glad to hear the mojo has returned BUT I am still awaiting news of 'Sea stars'was that what it was called lol.You must be almost there with it too.
Mud mud glorious mud - are you singing yet?
Oh I remember those lessons at school when I was in the corridor with the frogs more than the classroom.

Mylene said...

Congrats on finishing that lovely Halloween piece.

Here's much worse with all the digging and others though they(workmen) are progressing well despite of the rain on and off. I hope all are working well with you out there.

Lisa said...

Congrats on a wonderful finish, I really love that design, will have to add it to the every expanding wish list lol.

Sally said...

Love your finish Karan! It looks gorgeous on that fabric.

Nice new start too and looking forward to seeing your CHS start next year :)

Siobhan said...

Nice to see some stitching progress in amidst all the destruction photos! ;) I hope things get cleared up quickly, but I'm sure it's good to have it done.

Anonymous said...

great finish on your halloween post

I do love, love the enchanted chart you have chosen to stitch for the chs sal, I thought I had that one in my stash but i don't :(