Friday, December 23, 2011

A little catch up

Hello dears. What an emotional week it has been and very overwhelming in more ways than one. I can hardly think straight and I know that as I attempt to write this post, there will probably be loads of things I miss out and forget so please forgive me if I sound a bit scatty.

First of all, let me say a huge Thank you to everyone who left me and my family condolences on the loss of my dear brother. I, and my parents, were deeply moved by them and the heartwarming prayers and thoughts that have been going out to us this past week. The funeral was on Wednesday and, as well as being very moving and upsetting in itself, it was also very overwhelming as relatives whom I had not seen in about 25 years were there as well. I had really missed them and it was good to see them again and make contact.

Unfortunately, issues at home raised their ugly heads again I found myself between a rock and a hard place. All way too distressing and I found myself back on panic attack pills. An enforced visit to the doc ensued for the other half and now, I hope, we have turned the last corner and things will be on the mend. Time will tell.

So, understandably, my stitching mojo hid in a corner and refused to come out and play this week. I did manage to make some knitted dishcloths to add to my sisters' Christmas packages but I didn't take any pics. Suffice to say, they are a lot like Staci's - here - all in bright cotton colours. I used the remains of the Rico cotton from my bag. I also used a ball of Peaches and creme and I did get a shot of those:

The pattern is super easy and can be found here.

Knitting definitely was on the agenda and I finished up two pairs of wristwarmers - one for my neice and one for Lily's teacher who loved them - phew.

My other neice wanted a Slytherin scarf made for her as well so I got looking on the internet - not being a Potter fan - for a pattern and found one in crochet. This is the result. It is very long so hope she likes it. Pattern found here.

I recently wrote to Karen asking her to do a wee bit of finishing for me as I had this Mirabilia Angel waiting to be finished since ages ago but I had a real problem with knowing what to do with it. Karen thought a flatfold would be a good idea and she did a beautiful job. Here it is now:

Absolutely stunning. I love it Karen. Thank you so very much for doing this finishing job for me.

I also got my exchange ornie from Tina (no blog) through the post this week too. Look at this:

I love it and the tinkling bells are a fantastic touch. See - hung on my tree already. Tina also spoilt me by getting me a PS chart from off my wishlist too. Love love love.

Now, I can't remember if I showed a pic of my HOE exchange ornie or not so I'll show you that too. I stitched this for Marie and it is from one of the Just cross ornie mags. Marie has got nicer pics of it.

Well, that's me spent. I am exhausted. I have one last present to wrap and that is it. So I will leave you of some pics of my decorated home.

Wishing you all a very peaceful and stress free Christmas.


PS Next post i will be doing a kit review so look out for that. x

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Goodbye my dear brother..

It is with much grief and sadness that I announce the sad passing of my brother. After being in hospital for six weeks and battling pneumonia amongst other things, Kenneth finally passed away and left his world and body of suffering to run straight into green meadows of freedom. I love you Kenneth and will never forget you.

Kenneth Clark
Forever loved.
Forever in our hearts.
Born 21st August 1959
Died 12th December 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Next year... or... I am a realist...

I had such high stitching expectations for this year. At the start of the year, I had made a resolution to finish several wips by stitching on them one page a month. These included,

A Most Noble Pursuit
Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
Mary Wigham
HAEDs (3 of them actually with a 4th to start)
Marie Rose

Did I? Not a jot! I didn't even start Shores - shame on me! I got a bit panicked at the thought of working on that 40 count fabric - gorgeous as it is. I have worked on 40 count before but in small doses. And the HAEDS have gone belly up since my new skein of thread didn't quite match tone wise on the face of one of them!! Eeeek!

So, next year, I have plans yet again. Well, if you don't make any plans then nothing will get done at all, will it? So best to make lots of plans and even if only one of them gets accomplished then that is success!! I have signed up for the WIPocalypse 2012 next year which will totally help to inspire me to make some progress on my wips so here are my wips for next year:

Patchwork - Jan Houtman


Polar Santa - Dimensions


Tranquility - Loopy Lou


A Most Noble Pursuit


Ann Taylor Heartstring Samplery


Mary Wigham


Marie Rose sampler


Sampler au Bouquets

I really want to put the HAEDs away next year and really want to work on samplers. I really do want a "sampler wall" and I am partly there to getting my "The Sampler Girl" wall. So Next Year is going to be the year of SAMPLERS. I have several kitted up ready to go and plenty of charts needing a few threads adding to them so here is my list so far:

A Quaker Christmas - Bygone stitches - kitted up ready


Shores of Hawk Run Hollow - CHS - kitted up ready


Helen Bell's Multiplication Sampler - CHS - kitted up ready


Christmas Window - Brightneedle - kitted up ready


Nan's Garden - Just Nan - kitted up ready


My Home is Built in Glory - Heartstring Samplery - kitted up ready


The Elisabeth Lillie sampler - McIntosh Samplers - kitted up ready


Quackworth - Ink Circles - kitted up ready


All Things Counted pocket book - Kirsten Edwards - kitted up ready


Now as you can see, a lot of these are new starts so I got to thinking about that Crazy January challenge that is going on. But wait a minute... 15 is far too many for me to get my head around - let alone expect me to finish them all in that year. So what if I just did 7 new starts? 7 new starts in the first week of January - get this... - with no pressure to finish any of them within the year??? I like it. I like it a LOT!! So that way, I can combine the new 7 starts into the WIPocalypse (allowed). What do you think? Well I have 9 so far that are kitted up ready to choose from so I might just go ahead and do this.

The Sampler Girl charts I have and would like to kit up and do next year are:

Sense and Sensibility - The Sampler Girl
Return to the Sea - Sampler Girl
In the Meadow - Sampler Girl
In the Garden - Sampler Girl
Elizabeth B sampler - Sampler Girl

I also want to get a Scarlet Letter reproduction sampler. I have been drooling after one of these for years and got very close to hitting the buy button but it just never seemed to materialise. I reckon this year is the year. I WILL get one and stitch it.

Basically, if I want to stitch something then I will stitch it. I have seen a number of LHN designs that I adore as well. CCN and Lizzie*Kate are also calling to me. I think I might have to start a new Webshots album for Sampler Progress 2012 so I can keep track of them all.

Apart from samplers, I will be stitching an ornie a month with Tina again. That will be the only "pressure" stitching I am having next year. No pressure. Just fun. And a bit of crochet too!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Happy stitching day

Today I had a special visit from two lovely stitching friends who travelled far - all the way from Birmingham - to spend the day with ME!!! Lovely! Tina (NO BLOG!!) and Lesley came up from the sunshine into the rain with their gorgeous projects and we had a great time chatting and stitching and eating too.

Here's Lesley with her gorgeous HAED!

and lovely Tina (Happy Eyes!) with her By the Bay wip!

I had put up my ornie tree early especially for them! I haven't got any of the other decs up yet but this little tree does warm my heart. Oooooeeeeeeee Christmas!!!!! This little tree really is overloaded this year and I am expecting another three to go on it as well!!! I promise more pics in another post sooooooooon.

Speaking of ornies, I gave my exchange ornie to Tina so I can show you it now! It is a La D Da one from one of the ornie mags. I loved stitching this one. Sooo pretty.

Designer - La D Da
Fabric - Belfast vintage mocha linen
Threads - DMC and a hand dyed - just raided my stash

We listened to Vintage oldy Christmas music and had Baileys and home made coffee and walnut cake - recipe from here. Yumm yumm. Oh it was such a lovely day!!! Please let's do it again sometime. Pretty please!!!

We had a lovely lunch of fresh bread, salami, cheese, olives, sundried toms and other bits and bobs I had spread out. Nom nom nom. Diet is on hold for now!

I even got out an old wip - in preparation for the forthcoming WIPocalypse. Go and sign up - what are you waiting for??? I am dedicating another post especially to this with a loooong list of wips and up and coming new starts. Now, why did I ever put this pretty down? I love working on this!

Design - Ann Taylor
Designer - Heartstring Samplery
Fabric - my own hand dyed 28 count something - possibly Brittney
Threads - DMC

So now, I am dreamily milking the last cosiness of the day whilst the children are sat watching the semi finals of X factor - grrrrr.. I wouldn't mind but they haven't even watched it this season at all. But I am staying in my cosy world with my stitching and another glass of Baileys while the rain continues to drip down. Hope you enjoyed a peek into my day! We will have to do this more often girlies.

Cheers everyone.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Lily

My darling daughter is 9 today! Wowza! How did that happen? Where did the last 9 years go. I don't feel I have very much to show for them except the sweet addition of a darling son! She celebrated it at the weekend and had her bff come stay over which turned out to be a lot of fun and no bother at all. She is growing up so fast. Lily had said she wanted a dolphin notebook for her birthday and seeing as dolphins are her new obsession, I decided to make her birthday dolphin themed. Dolphin earrings, a book on dolphins, a personalised dolphin pencil case and a dolphin cake! I hunted around everywhere for a dolphin notebook but could only find a small one and she had specifically asked for a large one to write all her stories in. So... you remember the secret "aida" stitching I was doing a few weeks ago?? Well this was it! Did anyone guess??

Stitching on aida is not my cup of tea but I needed a quick result and fast! I found an old dolphin design in one of my old Cross Stitcher magazines and changed all the background to half stitches and Voila! A quick fray of the edges and some glue to stick it down and there you have it - a large, dolphin notebook! Not my colours, or my kind of design but is just perfect for my dolphin loving girl. It just goes to show, you never know when those old magazines will come in handy. I don't think I am quite ready to throw them out just yet.

A dolphin cake was in order so I asked my good friend if she would make one for me and she did a grand job!

Nine candles to blow out....

...and got them all in one blow!

Happy birthday sweetie. I love you lots and lots.