Friday, 26 February 2010

Stashing and Stitching

I realised after my last post was uploaded that I hadn't shared a pic of the charts I acquired last week, thanks to a trade with Maggie. I just couldn't resist these:

More goodies to keep me busy. LOL If I'm going to have a hope of getting through a reasonable proportion of my stash before I turn up my toes I'm going to have to keep stitching every single day from now on and never mind the risk of getting calluses on my behind from all the sitting that will involve. I reckon it'll be worth it, don't you? ;0)

I've posted my February progress on Sea Stars over on the Ink Circles blog but I'll post it here too, in case you don't follow it:

More added to that huge central motif...... and Nessie has finally made an appearance. I wanted to get Nessie done so I would know where the bottom of this large design is - I reckoned that knowing just how far I had yet to go might just act as an incentive. Not sure that theory worked though, as I haven't managed to pick it up again since. Oh well....... I'll get there eventually. :0)

I'm a bit late showing last week's progress on Mother Earth too (although I did post progress on the Weekly Sal Blog), so here She is:

Yep, most of the confetti is now done and She's fully dressed. I reckon you'll all be seriously sick of seeing this before I get that major league Happy Dance. LOL I do love this piece though and seeing each progress pic is an incentive for me to keep on going. :0)

So, what else have I been up to? Well I've finally picked up my Angel Flora for the JA/S&S Forum's Just Nan SAL and have taken a picture to prove it. So, just in case you are getting fed up of seeing the same old same old, here it is:

The colours in this are just so pretty. Am finding that the Kreinik braid can be a bit of a pig to stitch with but it's worth the effort, as it does add a lovely bit of sparkle to this piece. I do like this, so am going to try and make more time for stitching it.

I also remembered to take a pic of the card I made for my MIL's birthday before posting it:

A waterfall card, which is something new to me. They are OK to make, and I think she'll like it, but they're not something I would rush to do again, as I much prefer other cardmaking techniques. I did succumb to buying some KanBan goodies the other day though... really useful for making some male oriented cards. I'll post pics when I've made them up.

This week I've also managed to finally catch up with writing all the posts on my alternative blog - quite a feat as I was well behind with it. All the news about my acupuncture treatments and Development Circle are on there, plus I do occasional write ups on the esoteric books I've been reading...... basically, it's about all the stuff that isn't related to my stitching and other crafts. Of course, writing all of those posts kept me from blogging here..... and I'm also behind with reading and commenting over on all your lovely blogs. I'm hoping to get caught up with all your news in the next few days.... I need to, as I'm off on my travels again shortly: my DSis has another week's holiday and I'll be going over to spend some time with her again. There were a few things we wanted to do on my last visit but didn't have the time for.... so we're hoping to do some of them this time. I'm probably going over next Wednesday (DH's work permitting, so he can be chauffeur) and will be back some time over the following weekend, so I'll be behind with blog posting and reading once again. LOL :0)

The Craft Room has ground to a sudden halt, thanks to DH's job. There was a fire on the steelworks that damaged quite a few essential cables etc and it's been chaos as they try to get the necessary repairs done to get things working again..... lost steel production costs the company huge amounts of money, so the pressure is on to fix things in the minimum amount of time. He's been pulling 13 hour days since last Friday, including over last weekend - no fun for him at all and results in no time or energy for doing jobs here. He did take a day off on Thursday, to comply with the EU directives on working hours, so we managed to do a little shopping in the local High Street and then went looking at cars. I haven't found anything I like yet.... though it has helped me work out which styles of cars I don't like at all and firm up some better ideas of what I would like. There are still quite a few local car dealers we haven't looked round yet.... it's just having DH around long enough for us to go looking. Hopefully, weather permitting, we may get chance to look again tomorrow but not for long, as he is going to have to work his first night shift in years on Saturday night. Now that is going to be weird and I guess I'll be getting a lot of stitching and/or reading done if I end up not being able to sleep. LOL

As for the Craft Room.... I have taken a few pics but I'll leave them for another post, as this one is already getting long enough. Insert evil laugh here, as I keep the suspense going a little longer. ;0)

Thank you for all your lovely comments - I really appreciate every one of them. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whatever your plans are. :0)

Friday, 19 February 2010

This and That

I've just realised that I haven't updated this blog yet.... that's what comes of only having 24 hours in a day and wanting to fit all kinds of things into it. LOL And on the same line of thought: who can believe that February is almost over already and where did it go to? I think I must have blinked and missed it! LOL
So what have I been up to? This and that, as the title says. The Craft Room now has a complete floor. Yay! DH and DS partially dismantled the computer table, so they could get it up the stairs and through the door, and put it back together again in there. It doesn't take up as much room as I feared, which is good, but it can't go into its final resting place as DH needs to go buy a special tool at the weekend, so he can then go round the flooring edging strip and whack the panel pins in further - when I asked why, he muttered something about them not catching anything and it looking better.... or something. Translation: Mr Perfectionist isn't happy with it just yet, he still needs to tinker. Talk about prolonging the agony! LOL Still, I got the nets up in there. I would have had the curtains up too but there weren't enough curtain hooks/gliders to do the job and it had to wait until I was down the street on Thursday, when I also found a floor rug in the perfect colour. We also had a trip out to The Range last weekend where I managed to buy some more storage bits and pieces for organising things. No luck finding a suitable storage cupboard yet but the search is still ongoing. No pics yet.... I want DH to finish his bit and have the table in the right place and the curtains up before I take some, than I'll share. :0) 

I'll fess up to having the occasional eBay trawl.... and it's amazing how time just disappears when you're doing that. ;0) One of the bargains I got my hot little hands on was this:

I know it won't be to everyone's taste but there's just something about the pattern and colours that really appeals to me. Plus I thought it was time I tried something new in the finishing skills department.... and, who knows, I might even be able to make another one up from scratch and adapt it. Yeah, right! LMAO
I also bought a book that I reckoned would be quite useful to me:

LOL I decided to make up for the lack of information from the hospital. It's one of three books I've bought about the menopause. The hospital may have been happy to leave me to it and ignore the fact that I'm dairy intolerant, and therefore at more risk of developing osteoporosis in menopause than most women, but I'm not. Knowledge is power, after all. :0)

Then I've been having a mental aberration Domestic Goddess moment by having a Spring Cleaning session in the pantry (cupboard under the stairs). This has involved taking it a section at a time so it wouldn't get too overwhelming. I started with the slab (the biggest shelfed area) and brought all of the plastic storage containers and other accumulated stuff out, binned the worst stuff and washed the rest and wiped the whole area down. Then DS and I went through it all (keep it/get rid of it) and our friend Alex had some useful bits that were no good to us, two bags full went to one of his work colleagues (she's a cake decorator and always needs storage) and the well whittled down selection that was left went back in there. The window sill area got the same treatment.... there's still a whole wall of shelves to go at but my mental aberration Domestic Goddess moment has worn off a little just now as I've gone really tired again. I keep forgetting that I'm still recuperating from my operation and keep doing too much. 

I've been going to my Development Circle every Tuesday night and that is going OK (some weeks are better than others). After the session on the 9th February DH and I decided to do some food shopping at the main Tesco. It was a useful trip as we didn't just come away with food.... I discovered they also have quite a nice little craft selection too and enjoyed a browse. OK, not just a browse...... I got these: 

I don't have a huge lot of stash for making kiddies cards so indulged in those two packs, as well as a cardmaking magazine. I also got an A4 storage box (not shown) made by The Really Useful Box Company (there's also a USA website too). I wish Tesco stocked the whole range - I'd soon have my stash totally organised! LOL

Then I've been going to the Earth Energies Clinic once a week to have acupuncture treatment. This week was my third session and it seems to be going OK (details of that are over at my other blog). It does mean that I get a regular trip out each week and now I've moved the appointment from Tuesday's to Thursday's it means I have more time to wander round the shops and visit the local market - which I did this week and scored the rug for my Craft Room. :0) 

As for my other blog... it got sadly negelected for a while there and I got really behind with it, so I've been concentrating on trying to get it up to date. It's going OK but it is time consuming... and another reason why this blog has been waiting for its update.

I did a little cardmaking too. Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of the one that I sent to Barb for her birthday but you can see it over at her blog. I have still to finish the one I started for my MIL, so will post a pic when it's done.

I was also the recipient of a fab JN chart, over at the JA/S&S blog. Anne (no blog) had been kindly gifted the chart by Julie and, when she'd completed the design for the JN SAL, offered it up again on the forum and I was lucky enough to be first to ask for it:  

It will be perfect for going in the sun lounge. And when I've stitched it I'll be offering it up on the forum again, to continue spreading the goodwill around. :0)

Oh, and I've even found some time for stitching too. Bet you were beginning to wonder, weren't you? LOL I made a start on my Just Nan Flora, prompted by the imminent finish of the Craft Room and move in, but I shall leave that pic for another time, as I'd like to get a bit more stitched on it first. Sea Stars has had a little more added to it but, again, I shall leave a pic for another time as I need to post a progress pic on the forum and the Ink Circles SAL blog first. The forum gets the update first as I don't want Julie sending Mr Stick round for a visit.... Wanda has already been on my case and she's a mean one when wielding that broom! LOL I also stitched and finished the JA/S&S Forum's February Challenge piece..... but that will have to wait until Reveal Day before I can show you all a pic. Sorry!

So that just leaves.... yes, you've guessed it.... Mother Earth progress to show you, so here she is:

This time around I infilled Her other arm, knocked off a few more of those random confetti stitches, added a little more to the background to the right of the tree trunk near her arm and almost got Her fully dressed..... and I love the colours in that dress. They looked a bit of a random mix when I first started stitching it but they really do work well together, creating the folds and look of a body underneath. I haven't managed to pick Her up yet this week so I'd best sit and stitch tonight, otherwise I'll be made to sit under the naughty chair.... and that'll be no fun at all when I'm dairy intolerant and can't have the choccies! LOL

Barb: I get the Thai silk threads from an eBay UK seller called thredfairy. You need to read the descriptions to check they are the ones suitable for cross stitch though, as she also sells threads that are just for embroidery and other forms of needlework. HTH. :0)

Many thanks for all your visits and for the kind comments - each one is very much appreciated. I hope you all have a good weekend - stay warm and safe all. :0)

Monday, 8 February 2010

Something Old, Something New and Something Blue

Unfortunately there isn't a single wedding in sight, despite the title of this post.... but keep on reading to find out what it does actually refer to. :0)

First up is the something old: it was update time on the Weekly SAL blog on Sunday so it's time to bore you with yet another pic of my progress on that. Persevere though, as there's more to see after this. LOL

This time around I filled in a little more of the background area to the right of her arm, knocked off a few more of those confetti stitches in various places and made a start on Her dress. I am so glad I joined the ladies over at the SAL blog with this piece as it's really helping to keep me focused. :0)

As promised in my last post I have something new to show you. Well, actually, a couple of new things, thanks to a new start, an enabling JA/S&S Forum member and a little stash acquisition. :0) First up is the new start of A Bouquet for Cheryl:

Unfortunately I had to take a pic of this on one of the many dull, grey days we've been having lately..... and the digicam objects to taking close ups too. I'm quite pleased with how this is taking shape. The Thai silk is lovely to use and the colours in the variegation work nicely. I worked on this exclusively last night (Sunday) whilst watching Larkrise to Candleford and the Seven Ages of Britain and an episode of the new series of CSI Vegas. Yep, I got a serious case of Stitch Ass! LOL I made quite a bit of progress but the next reveal isn't until the beginning of March so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until then to see it. Sorry!

The new stash acquisition, which arrived last week, was a rather gorgeous piece of fabric from Sparklies called Pumpkin Patch.... so apt, considering the design I'll be using it for:

I haven't yet got the required thread for this so it won't be a new start just yet. I think it calls for WDW but I've spotted another one of those Thai silk threads that might just do the job instead..... am saving a few pennies so I can have a splurge. Well I don't want to go buying just one skein of thread when I can get several for the same amount of postage, now do I? Being a typical Yorkshire lass I do like to make sure I get full value for my money. ROFL

DH and I went shopping on Sunday, once again descending on the Edinburgh Woollen Mills shop within Brigg Garden Centre. This time I came away with two zip-up cardigans (can be used as a lightweight jacket on warmer Spring/Autumn days or cooler Summer evenings), two one-button cardigans (dress up or down type), a dressing gown and for Summer: two denim-look cotton blouses with pretty flower embroideries on them and denim-look cotton trousers. I'm all set for woollies now, so I can now Charity bag the last of the too-big ones left in my wardrobe. Yay! DH treated himself to a DVD and a CD. Whilst we were walking back through the Garden Centre I spotted some Paper Mania BOGOF bargains in the craft section:

As you can see they were just too pretty to resist. LOL I thought they would make great finishing trims for ornies...... so now I just need to stitch ones in appropriate colourways. :0)

And the something blue of the title? Well it isn't any rude jokes or links to porn sites, in case you were beginning to wonder ROFL. It's the stash for yet another new SAL I've joined. Yes, you read that right: another SAL I've joined. I'm not taking full blame for this though...... if Julia hadn't posted a progress picture of her completed first three parts of this gorgeous blackwork piece on JA/S&S Forum and her blog then I would have remained blissfully ignorant and just carried on plugging away at the same old pieces. But she did, along with a link to the Seba site.... so I went along for a nosey (as you do) and ended up joining the site and downloading the parts.... and a couple of other freebies. Of course, once I printed out the charts it led me on to thinking about what colour scheme I'd like to do it in........ which led on to delving in my stash for fabric and threads........ which resulted in this combination:

Another gorgeous variegated Thai silk and a DMC threads and 32ct Zweigart Vintage Blue fabric. The only thing that has stopped me from making a start on this is the indecision on which way round to use the threads: plain for the cross stitch borders of the blocks and Thai silk for the blackwork infill or vice versa????? Maybe I'll just toss a coin. LOL

I had hoped to be able to post a pic of DS's new wheels.... but it didn't stay in the drive long enough in the daytime over the weekend for me to take one. Hopefully next time.

So what else did we get up to over the weekend? Not a great lot. We stayed in Saturday and DH did a little more to the flooring while I did a few jobs and did some catching up with blogs on my reader (still some ways to go with that - I will get round to you all soon!) and some stitching. Sunday was the shopping trip in the morning. In the afternoon DH had a theatre tech meeting to go to for a couple of hours so I chilled with some more blog reading after putting some scrag end lamb chops in the oven to slowly braise, ready for our evening meal. Our evening meal was followed by that serious Stitch Ass session whilst DH laid the first two lengths of edging strip on the flooring. He's not as keen on Larkrise as I am, can you tell? LOL

Today (Monday) has been my regular jobs day and I was pleasantly surprised to realise that my stamina/energy levels have improved some: I managed to do all my jobs and two lots of laundry, then also vaccumed upstairs and the stairs plus made a start on sorting out the pantry (cupboard under the stairs) by binning some tatty old containers and washing a shed load of decent ones. I'd forgotten I'd got some of those storage containers so it was a voyage of discovery..... and there are a few there that will come in real useful for cardmaking stash storage. Score! I'm putting them to one side, ready for when the Craft Room is (finally!) finished and I start organising things as they go in there. If I'm not too tired tomorrow I shall finish washing the rest of the stuff that's still on the slab, wipe it all down and put a few of the bits back - then the rest of the shelves will be tackled later in the week. Slowly but surely this house is being decluttered, cleaned and organised. Yay!

Thank you for taking the time to visit and especially for the lovely comments you leave. Hope you are all having a good and productive time whatever you are doing. :0)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Wanderer Returns

Yes folks, I'm back home again after having a lovely time over at my DSis's, though I've since been busy playing catch-up with house jobs. Amazing how my two know how the washing machine works but didn't manage to use it while I was gone!

So what did the pair of us get up to? Well Wednesday we had a catch up natter, then DH went back home in the evening; Thursday we had a trip to the huge Tesco and did a bit of shopping in the daytime, then went to visit with our Aunty S and Uncle T in the evening. Uncle T is our Mum's DBro and he and Aunty S have my DSis over to visit regularly but I don't get to see them very often, so it was lovely to have a catch up. Plus Aunty is a superb cook and the meal we had was very tasty! :0) On Friday we went to visit friends of the family in the morning and in the afternoon our SIL picked us up and took us back to her and our DBro's house: lots of chat and laughter, I got to see my niece and nephew and we all had a lovely meal as a celebration for our nephew's 8th birthday. I made a card for him to take with me:

Unfortunately I chose a Power Rangers theme and it's actually Transformers that are all the rage now. Now my DS is all growed up I'm afraid I just don't keep up with these things anymore. LOL My DH drove over to us and he drove the three of us back to DSis's house, where we stayed for another night. On Saturday the three of us went shopping to the Outlet, so DH actually helped me spend his money as well. LOL Among the haul were: undies, socks, shoelaces, a Jensen Button book and a replacement powertool blade for DH; thermal vests, a nightie, slippers, FlyFlot socks and a pair of dressy shoes for me; healthy foodstuffs from Julian Graves; some herbal teas from Whittards, as well as a fab Sugar Container (I never met a calorie I didn't like, on the side LOL) which I bought for my DSis as part of her birthday gift; Lock'n'Lock boxes for our kitchen; a pop-up tidy bag and a wheeled storage container with a seat for the garden (can store a trowel and hand fork, tie backs etc, so I'll have them all to hand and be able to sit whilst working, when I can get out there again); and I treated myself to a beautiful dragonfly brooch from Past Times (and paid less than that too!) and some books. Well, I couldn't go to the Outlet and not go in the bookshop, could I? ROFL  Here's what I succumbed to: 

Can you see a bit of a theme developing there? LOL And these as well:

Even better: all those plus DH's book for a little over £20 - not a bad bargain at all! LOL We had a break for dinner part way through the day and took my DSis to the pub for a belated birthday meal - another tasty one. DSis also took time to pop into work to see everyone and they were delighted to see her and told her they were looking forward to her going back the following Monday. Another positive that has come out of all this recent business: my DSis now knows how much she's thought of by everyone she works with. :0)

DH and I travelled home late Saturday night. Whilst at my DSis's we'd had a belated Christmas gift giving (I wasn't able to go over beforehand due to my op) so, as well as all the shopping and our overnight bags, there were our gifts to bring back too. Here is my gift from our Aunty D and Uncle W:

Both books just perfect for me. Now all I need is an extra couple of hours in the day to fit in all this extra reading I need to do. LOL This was part of my gift from my DSis and isn't she gorgeous?

She's the Healing Crystal Angel and is destined to go in my Craft Room until the sun lounge is decorated and I can set up a proper Angel Altar in there. :0) DH was very happy with his bottles of whisky, which will keep him going with tots for some time. LOL

On Sunday DH carried on with the Craft Room flooring (Guinness Book of Records here he comes - I reckon he's trying for the Longest Ever DIY job LOL) and I started sorting the first of three laundry loads. It was also time for posting a Mother Earth update on the 2010 Weekly SAL Blog. Here's where I left off this time round:

Tattoos fully infilled, the area to the right of Her arm partially filled and a little more done to the dress. Not huge progress but, bearing in mind I'd not been feeling well and also had a break over at my DSis's, better than what I thought I'd manage....... and a little progress is better than none. :0)

I also made another card, before I went off on the visit, which I sent to Julie. Thought I'd share:

I also need to make a couple of birthday cards this month, so the cardmaking stash will be coming out to play again soon. :0)

Unfortunately, despite taking two stitching projects away with me, I didn't manage to put a single stitch into either of them, so no pics of them to show. Still, it was fun getting out and about so I'm not complaining...... I'll just have to make up for the lack of stitching now I'm back! LOL   

This week I've had a trip to the Clinic for my first ever acupuncture session. She only used six needles but it did give me an inkling in to what pincushions must feel like..... and from now on I shall be much more gentle with the poor, abused things! LOL I shall do a write up about it on my other blog at some point.

In case you're getting bored with seeing the same old projects every time you come to visit: take heart, I will have something different to show you next time around. There's a new piece started that I can now post a pic for and, if it ever stays in the drive long enough in the daytime for me to take a pic of it, my DS's new pride and joy to show you all.

Thank you for all the lovely comments, especially the well wishes my DSis - they all mean a great deal. Hope you are all staying safe and warm and enjoying lots of stitchy time. :0)