Our festive season was a little on the quiet side but that's how we prefer it... although it did get exciting one night, when the electric power cut out all over the house. We soon sussed that it wasn't a powercut but was actually caused by the breaker reacting to my switching on the washing machine.... because DS did it again, just to prove it, and all the lights went out again. The washer's element was shot and caused a problem with the earthing, which meant one dead washing machine and a trip to the January sales.... the new one has now been delivered and I've been on laundry catch-up ever since. That washing basket had been full to overflowing, so - as I flatly refused to hand wash their undies and socks because I value my health and sanity and don't love them that much - DH and DS had to pop to the main Tesco just after Christmas to get some emergency supplies. So far I haven't killed off the new machine, or the tumble drier, whilst doing the multitude of washes to catch up with the backlog! LOL
Santa was kind to me again, thanks to my forum friends and family. Here's a slideshow of the lovely handmade Christmas cards received this year:
And, as I like adding these little slideshow doohickys now I've worked out how to do them, here are the lovely goodies received:
Thank you again ladies for your kindness and generosity - hope you all had a lovely festive season and Santa was kind to you too, and that the thank you cards have arrived OK. :0)
We didn't get out and about much over the holidays, thanks to the cold weather and residual problems from all the snow we had, but did manage to get enough of a break in it to go and see MIL on New Years Day. The fluff ball kitten is now a fluff ball adolescent and looks like she'll always be petite. MIL is doing OK and spent her first solo Christmas with various friends, with lots of other invitations she didn't take up... though she did say that having Ally (the fluff ball) has been a real Blessing and says she's helped a great deal. Thank goodness for BIL and his family having the idea to do this. :0) So here's a pic of the little fluff ball:
It was taken with my phone, so not a great pic, but it captures her cuteness. She was so curious about what I was doing, which is why she was there long enough for me to take it.... because she's normally flitting around like a mad thing. LOL BTW, those are MIL's feet in the shot.
So what else have I been doing since my last blog post, apart from killing a washing machine, opening fab gifts and cards plus visiting MIL and admiring the fluff balls cuteness? Well.... I kept myself out of mischief by having a few cardmaking sessions at various times, with these results:
Sorry about some of those scans - my scanner doesn't like the 3-D bits on some of the cards, so makes them look all out of focus. Some of you may just recognise some of the cards too. LOL Yes, three slideshows in one post might seem a bit excessive... but not as excessive as posting every single pic would have been. ;0)
I also found time for a bit of stitching too. Bet you were thinking I'd never get round to that bit, weren't you? LOL Well I delved into my stash and started a kit of a polar bear, or rather its head, another one from the same range as the tiger I finished a little while ago. This is another piece stitched specifically for one of the girls in my Development Circle, as the polar bear is her Power Animal. I'd hoped to get it finished before the New Year started but there was just too much left to do...... so it became my first finish for 2011 instead.
Design: Polar Bear, kit
Designer: Roger W Reinardy, for the Janlynn Wildlife Series
Fabric: swapped the aida for 28ct white evenweave, unknown make
Threads: as supplied in the kit, unknown make
He was lovely to stitch and I'm sure he will be well received - just got to find a suitable frame..... or pluck up courage to make it into a wallhanging, as I have a fabric that would go really well with this.
As soon as that was finished I'd planned to do a fox design for another of the Circle girls... but the Seba Designs SAL blackwork piece that I started a while ago suddenly started to shout really loudly and wouldn't be ignored, so I picked that up instead - I'd almost forgotten just how lovely this was to stitch. Add in the fact that the new Seba 2011 SAL piece has been released.... well, I thought it best to get last years finished first. I put the last stitch in it last night (Sunday 16th January) and here's a bad pic taken in poor light, as the bright days are few and far between at the moment:
That's two finishes in a month! Wow! Keep going at this rate and the bellydancing CD will be worn out LOL. It sure does make a change though, after all those months of missing mojo that made 2010 a poor year for finishes - my album has a grand total of...... three pics in it. *blush*
I will now admit to hitting the January Sales for a little more than a washing machine. Yes, I got a few small stash additions:
I couldn't resist - they were real bargains. LOL Actually, I was quite restrained, considering the price the HAED charts were going for... though, admittedly, I already have plenty of those in my stash. Yes, I know, I should have thought of that before buying another one.... but it's an Angel! :0)
The New Year brought a few other new things too. Firstly, Clare took the plunge and started her very own Forum: Needlecraft Haven. It's a lovely, friendly place to hang out and chat and there are a few activities to join in too, in case you haven't already got lots of stitching planned: the RR's are already off to a flying start (sorry, couldn't resist. Eheheh); the Just Nan SAL is ongoing; there's a HAED SAL (any HAED piece you are stitching and would like encouragement with - Mother Earth is demanding attention); the Carriage House Samplings SAL starts in February and some of the girls are stitching Shores, whilst others are stitching smaller designs (I'm joining in with Enchanted); there's a Quaker SAL, again you can join in with any Quaker piece you like. There's going to be an Advent Exchange later in the year and then there are the regular features: UFO Night, watched over by Julie and Mr Stick, is there to help us all get those UFO's finished; a Monthly Christmas ornie section (stitch any ornie you like) and the Monthly Challenge SAL... this months stitch is a cute cat freebie by Tralala. I'm stitching this for MIL... but I can't tell you any details until Reveal Day, sorry.
Soooo, at some point I shall be getting back to my JN piece, Flora, as the plan is to give it to Aureen, who runs the Development Circle, once it's finished. As I haven't stitched a larger Quaker style piece and have a couple of suitable designs in my stash, I'll be joining in the Quaker SAL. This piece shouted the loudest:
This was the initial floss toss, with a Thai silk thread, but am not sure about it, so will be trying DMC 820 instead. I'll be stitching it 1 over 1. Once I've completed the Challenge piece will probably be the ideal time to start this little beauty. So that's covered quite a few of my stitching plans for this year, though they're not set in stone and could be changed at some point.... it's allowed, as I'm a woman and it's part of the job description. ;0)
As for the Development Circle - it restarted last Tuesday (11th) and it was so good to be back and see the girls again. There was only one member missing and we've got our fingers crossed that she'll be back soon too. We were all a little rusty but it was a good session anyway and we're looking forward to the next one.
Then my monthly Reiki session was on Saturday (15th) and that was lovely - such a calming session. As DH and DS were out all day I did some shopping then had my dinner afterwards, in the local Fish and Chip restaurant (though I opted for chicken, chips and salad). It's so good to be so much better that I can do this kind of thing now. :0) Though this year has seen me have my first ever Hypnotherapy session - there are a few residual issues from the old agoraphobic/panic attack days that need to be dealt with, along with my wanting help to get back on track with my weight/diet (gone off the rails since my op last year), and I felt this was the best way to go. Eventually I plan on having a Past Life regression done too, something I've been interested in for a while now. It's going to be an interesting journey in the coming months. :0)
Last week was a time of being in charge of the TV remote every single evening too, from Sunday 9th to Saturday 15th - the Panto was on at the Theatre, with Get In and Get Out at either end. DH was Stage Manager and DS was in it. I tell you, the power almost went to my head! LOL It also meant quite a bit of stitchy time too, hence that Seba blackwork piece getting finished fairly speedily. Of course, the fact that they've been doing the Panto means that the pipework job hasn't progressed, despite the slight improvement in the weather, so there's still that open trench down the side of the house. Fingers crossed that something gets done next Sunday... although that depends on how DH is, as he managed to pull a muscle or trap a nerve or something in his back yesterday (Saturday) morning and has had to rest up today. Yesterday I suggested he went to the GP but wasn't holding my breath as far as him actually doing it.... but he surprised me and went this morning. I won't know what the outcome of that was until he comes home tonight - yes, he's gone into work for what he hopes will be an office based day. Fingers crossed it's just something that a little rest and Ibuprofen will sort out... soon, as I've been having to do all the lifting and bending and it's starting to tell on me too.
I am still waaaay behind with blog reading and commenting, thanks to it being so cold in here during the bad weather - even wearing the fingerless mitts didn't help. I will gradually do a catch up in the coming week or so.... but I've now got so far behind with some blogs I may just have to give in and admit defeat and just catch up with the most recent posts. So sorry, but even my nosiness can't cope with over 150+ blog posts from one single blog on top of all the others... especially as I still want time to do other things. LOL
Thank you for all your visits and kind comments. May 2011 bring you all much happiness, good health and plenty of time to stitch. :0)