Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year gone

Well that was one heck of a year. It started badly and ended rather badly too. I thought this year would be a better year for my and my dh than the previous two years. We have suffered vast amounts of rejection at our church last year so we ended up leaving there. Then this year at the start of the year, our "best man" turned against us and sent us hate mail for no other reason than he had issues in his heart toward us. Then there was all the problems with Rick's ex employer - I'll say no more about that. We tried another church but again just didn't seem to fit in. Then one of my closest friends, is having a midlife crisis and has cut us off! She is being completely selfish and hurtful to all the people that love her including her husband and daughter. I even took her away (cost me £150) to try and help her see things differently but it didn't help. I would have much preferred to spend that money on secret Santa gifts for all my online stitching blogger friends.

Crikey. I seem to have suffered so much rejection in the last three years. I am so fed up of so called friends thinking they can pick and choose when they want to be friends with you and dump you for another few months. I keep asking myself how I should protect myself from it and make steps to do just that next year. I do not want to get to the end of next year saying the same thing. So next year I will be throwing myself into stitching and exchanges and SALs and stitching forums and generally getting to know you guys better. I am going to stay away from hurtful people who I know will do me no good. I guess I am going to have to get a bit hard faced about it all really. I'll have to burn a few bridges in the process and that might include in the blogging world too but I just can't handle any more rejection. My husband has a saying. "I don't deal with nutcases". Maybe I should make that my motto. Obviously, trying to be nice all the time to people isn't working for me.

As well as all that I have really struggled with motherhood this year. Really not enjoyed it and as a result I am sure i have wasted precious moments with my kids. Lack of sleep and feeling tired all the time doesn't help. Not having my dh around when he is working away doesn't help either. Not getting any support from extended family, again - doesn't help. I feel completely insignificant and wonder why I am still around. Gosh I am moaning now aren't I? Do I sound depressed? You know what, I'm not depressed. I don't think I am anyway. I have a zillion blessings to thank God for and I do - daily. I am content with what I have in life at the moment. I have a nice house and I have plenty of stitching stash. My kids are healthy and happy (I hope) and although my relationship with my dh is far from perfect we have a good laugh at life and are happy to be together. We have food on the table and clothes on our backs and more besides. I have a really REALLY nice cat! I live in a nice area and am surrounded by lovely, supportive friends. Really, what more could I want? I am full to bursting. I lost my weight and got to target just before Christmas (ahem - not going to jump on the scales just yet to check where I am now) and I started running which is something I have never been able to do. However, all I seem to want to do is curl up in a ball and go to bed for a week. Not motivated to do anything at all right now. Feel like a bit of an island.

Anyway, enough of all that boring stuff. Let's stay focused.

So onto next year. Goals and challenges.

I'd like to lose a little more weight so at some point I will reset my target weight.

I'd like to get to the end of the couch to 5K plan (running). I am on about week 5 at the moment.

I would like to embrace my kids more and make better use of my time with them - maybe go outdoors a bit more with them. National trust visits and the like.

Wips - get some finished for goodness sake!! Okay, lets talk wips.

Here is where my wips are at. I am going to post up pics of all of my wips and at the end of next year they better have progress on them all!!!!

Mary Wigham

Mary Wigham Dec 31st 09

Not done a great deal on her and I feel terrible seeing as I am Head girl for the sal in the UK. I am stitching it on 25 count lugana over 1.

Just Nan Snowfire Christmas

Materials kitted up for Snowfire Christmas

Nothing done on this yet. It will be a new start for the Just Nan sal on Jane's Attic.

Haed "L" fairy QS

dec 09 update

Very pleased with progress on this and think I will finish it very soon. Then I want to start a new HAED "Breaking Dawn - CC Kuik".

La D Da alphabet sampler

La D Da ABC Dec 31st 09

I have made a small start on this. I am doing it on Sassy's Creamy Cocoa 32 count Jobelan with NPI silks.

A Most Noble Pursuit.

AMNP Dec 31st 09

Ack! I was so excited when I got this and there was a problem with the NPI silks so I had to wait what seemed like forever for them and I have hardly touched it!! Must make progress on this next year.

Ink Circles CdC

Dec 09 before i start the Ink Circles SAL blog

Working this on 32 count mulberry linen with Thread Gatherer silks in Spring Frocks. Really struggling with this one so have joined the Ink Circles SAL to help me get on with it.

Jan Houtman Patchwork

Patchwork Dec 31st 09

Woohoo! Look how much I have done on this and it's so pretty too. I really do need to work at getting this finished. I am using any threads for this - some cottons, some silks. Anything goes. Great fun.

Marie Rose Marquior

Marie Rose Dec 31st 09

Really like this one and I think it will come together quite quickly once I get into it.

Loopy Lou Tranquility

Tranquility Dec 31st 09

I'm thinking maybe hardanger is just not my thing. There's a mistake in this that I need to correct before I carry on with it.

Well I suppose the year has ended on a good note after all. Today I got the most gorgeous RAK from Ruth (Musing Badger). I had won it on her blog and had completely forgotten all about it until this arrived on my doorstep today. Thank you so much Ruth. I love it and it has made my day!

RAK from Ruth Dec 31st 09

Have a great New Year everyone and please don't mind my moaning. I am just using this blog as a way of release. Thanks for all the friendship and love and hope to spread it around some more in 2010!

Oh and just to add - a great giveaway over at Calico Prairie here

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas baking..

Coconut and Chocolate slices

coconut and chocolate slices


115g chopped butter
175g Digestive biscuits, crushed
50g caster sugar
pinch salt
75g dessicated coconut
250g plain choc chips (I only used 100g and it did the trick)
250ml condensed milk (I used carnation)
115g chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Melt butter on a low heat.

2. In a bowl combine crushed biscuits, sugar, salt and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of an ungreased baking dish.

3. Sprinkle coconut over the base then scatter over the choc chips. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the choc. Sprinkle the walnuts on top.

4. Bake for 30 mins. Transfrer to a wire rack and leave to cool pref overnight. When cool cut into slices.

(Taken from the book: "The Great Big Cookie Book - Hilaire Walden"
I cannot begin to tell you how good these are and are soooo easy to make.

And you may have heard we had a fair bit of snow the last two days. Here's a few family pics of us having fun in the snow. We are up to two snowmen and counting!



Snow fun Dec 09

and one rather fed up little boy!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

A few more finishes

Here are a few more ornie finishes just in time for Christmas. I wonder if I can fit in a couple more??

Prairie Schooler freebie:

Prairie schooler freebie - Nov 09

Freebie quaker stocking by Zinaida
Used Crescent Colours threads

quaker stocking freebie - dec09

Scandinavian Stitches
(Just Cross Stitch 09 ornie mag)
Crescent Colours Ribbon Red

Barbara Ana Freebie
Let it Snow
DMC threads

Barbara Ana freebie - dec 09

And... here are my materials at the ready for the Just Nan SAL starting January 2010. Can't wait to start. This is Snowfore Christmas kindly given to me by Barb. Thanks Barb!

Materials kitted up for Snowfire Christmas

Well, I am not sure whether I'll be able to fit in another post before Christmas but you never know. It's snowing really badly here and poor Tracy is driving home in it after coming to stop for the weekend. We didn't manage to get out to the pictures (snow) but we did have a good stitch a long together and exchanged presents. Can't wait till Christmas day to open them. It's so nice to have good friends around you and I so thank God for her. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New year and that next year brings you lots of stitching time. xx

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beautiful exchange and blog win

Here is the awesome exchange I received from Anna for the Prairie Schooler exchange. It is stitched over one and the finishing is superb. I love the littel bells on the top as well. I love it Anna thank you so much.

PS exchange from Anna Dec 09

And.... I won Kathy A's blog giveaway of two Christmas charts but Kathy also sent me some wonderful extras as well and they didn't take at all long to get here. Thank you Kathy. This is so generous of you and I have the perfect red to stitch one of those mittens with ;).

Blog win from Kathy A

My dd is hankering after a bite of that choccy penguin. Ha! She can try lol. I might let her have a little bit - it is Christmas after all.

That's all from me for now. Hope to get some blog time in soon to have a good catch up. xx

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas ornies....





PS Cranberry Christmas Santa 09

Designer - Prairie Schooler
Design - Cranberry Christmas
Fabric - 28 cy Brittney evenweave cream, felt backing
Threads - DMC 4210, white, 501

Aurelle freebie

Aurelle Freebie

Aurelle freebie

Designer - Aurelle
Design - Freebies found here Christmas SAL 2009
Fabric - Brittney cream evenweave 28ct
Threads - DMC 304, Coats reflecta gold, Mill hill gold beads
NOTE: I loved the way Carol finished hers and just had to do the same with mine - hope you don't mind Carol.

La d Da ornie from Just Cross ornie 09

Sorry for the blurryness - I took it with my old camera before I sent it to Tracy!
Stitched for Tracy in our personal ornie exchange.
Designer - La D Da from Just cross stitch ornie mag 2009
Fabric - can't remember.
Threads - Crescent Colours red ribbon, Caron Waterlilies

Ornie exchange from Tracy Dec 09
This is what Tracy sent me in return! Pretty hey?

That's all my ornies so far although I have one to stitch a back on then I'll get it up.

Check out another great giveaway here!!
And another one here!

Monday, November 30, 2009

GOS Challenge!

Wow I only spotted this challenge last night and thought I'd better get my skates on!!

So here is my effort!


Gift of Stitching challenge  Nov 09

I stitched it on Wichelt 28 ct linen in Twilight Blue and used Vicki Clayton silk in Glacier and also Mill Hill beads in 02026 and 02010. I like it!!

Check out this Rebecca's blog for a great giveaway!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Lady of Shallot....

Dad sent me a picture of the I am Half Sick of Shadows piece he is working on for me. I thought he wasn't working on it and was shocked at how much he has done! The detail is amazing!

update nov09

I don't know if you are aware that this piece of art has its origins in the poem "The Lady of Shallot" by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It is rather a long poem which you can view here but I thought you might like a few of the verses that represent this scene:

Part 2
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed:
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

And here's something else... another ornie I can finally show. This was for Nancy fromt he FTT exchange. I decided to stitch her the Blackbird Designs Peace ornie from the Just Cross Stitch ornie mag this year:

BB peace ornie for Nancy FTT ex 09

I believe she likes it! I enjoyed stitching it for her.

Whilst I'm about it, here's an L Fairy update.

Nov update

I am enjoying working on her. She is a dream to stitch using 18 count aida and dmc threads 2x2. Very blocky but with some confetti on her body and wings. Again I should apologise for the quality of the picture. I am going to have to wait till Christmas to get a new camera. I'd like to get this one finished for Christmas and Tracy and I are going to SAL together to get one of our wips finished. We did it in the past and it worked well. We just post each other pics of our wip of choice once a week until we get it finished.

Has anyone seen this gorgeous SAL that has just started:


Just click on Marquoir to the right hand side. The first two parts are up. I agonised for hours over a Threadworx conversion for the french threads but when I totted up the amount it was going to cost for the threads and fabric it came to about £40 which is a bit too much for me at the moment. So.... this one is going to have to wait a bit I think.

Enjoy your week everyone. I'm still trying to catch up on my last lot of comments and blogs. Will be visiting you soon. xxx

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FTT ornie exchange

prairieschoolersanta from Carol FTT ex 09

Look what beauty I got through the post yesterday. Isn't he adorable. I am thrilled to be the recipient of the Friends Through Threads ornament exchange of Carol. She has even personalised the back of it and has added a little hand made by silver charm. Just gorgeous. I have been doing Prairie Schooler ornies for my stitching tree this year and this will go perfectly. It is a PS design from the GOS mag Nov08. I had to pinch this picture from Carol as my camera has finally had it. One for the Christmas wish list I think.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stitch It and Pass It On

Recently, my dear friend Tracy set up a blog group called "Stitch it and Pass it on" whereby one person stitched a chart and finished it and sent the finished piece and the chart onto the next person. They did the same and sent the chart and finished piece onto the next person in the group and so on until the chart and a finished piece finall ends up back at the start. Well, it was Cindy Mae's turn to stitch this chart and send it to me and this is what I got!! Isn't it stunning. I love the finish and the colour of the fabric she used for the cushion backing. Now it is my turn to stitch it and decide how to finish it before I pass it onto Elisa. This particular design is by Brightneedle and is called "Four Friends", which is lovely as there are four of us in this round. If anyone is interested in participating in a future round you should contact Tracy for more details. You can find out more on the blog here.

Stitch it and Pass it on from Cindy Mae Nov 09




Here's a Christmas ornament I have made for Lily's teacher. Sorry the quality of the picture is so bad. It was hard to take a good close up of it as it is stitched over 1 on 32 count linen. It is such a tiny piece and I love it and don't really want to part with it as I know not many people these days appreciate hand made items. Here's hoping it will go to a good home. It is from this years Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine. There are plenty more ornie pics to come but some are for exchanges so will have to wait till they arrive at their destination.

Ornament for Lilys teacher

Speaking of my dd, here is a pic of her with her most recent finish. I helped much less on this piece. I think she is beginning to get the hang of it! She has also been showing interest in having a penpal. I think she is still a little young as she is only just coming up to 7 and is learning to practice her handwriting and spelling. However, if you know another girl the same age who would perhaps be interested in exchanging a card or drawing with Lily then please let me know. I am sure Lily would be delighted. Preferably from further afield than in the UK.

Thank you all for stopping by. I read and appreciate every single one of your comments and try to return the visit as soon as I can. I'm often in need of new inspiration. Have a good stitching week. xx