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Monday, 8 February 2016

Some finishes & my February mantle

Hello again, I hope you survived storm Imogen without to much trouble.
Saturday was an awful day here weather wise, the rain and the wind were horrendous.  
I only popped out for a few bits late Saturday afternoon, it wasn't a day to be walking about town.

The rest of Saturday I spent stitching and catching up on some missed TV programmes, mainly Endeavour and Midsomer Murders, (Midsomer for all it's prettiness must be the most dangerous place to live in England, good job it's fictional)

I see lots of people joining in with the Joyful World SAL and who can blame them, the first two patterns are so cute!
I started with February because we were already at the end of January.


My little duck looks like he's got a deformed beak doesn't he?  Unfortunately the stitching ended just by a 'snowflake' and with the yellow thread its making it look a bit strange, I'm hoping it won't be so noticeable when it's all done.

Not sure yet if I will finish it as a flat ornament or look about for a frame and change the months around.
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I've also finished my first Christmas ornament of 2016.
The fabric is a little darker than this photo is showing, (night-time is not a good time for taking photos).


Just a simple gingham backing

This is  a free design from 2013 offered from The Nebby Needle, which you can find here 

I changed the thread colours to some that I already had.
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I was browsing Pinterest last week, (as you do) and came across some various ways that stitching hoops had been used, there was one in particular that featured red buttons and a heart that I particularly liked, well, I didn't have many red buttons but I did have some left over red/pink fabric from my February ornament and lots of white and opaque buttons :-)


It actually came out much better than I expected, to be honest I was just going to sew on one layer of buttons but didn't arrange them too good and there was quite a bit of fabric showing between them so I just kept adding layers until I thought it looked ok.  I think it's made a nice addition to my February mantle.


I wanted to get some pink candles but couldn't find any, so these cream ones had to do this time.  I happened to meet with this little jug in Home Sense just at the right time, don't you think it's cute, and just the right colour!



Monday, 1 February 2016

An ornament finish

A very quick post today for this first day of February.

My February ornament


For the first time I've used Crafters companion, stick & stay when making it up.  
Usually I get glue in places you would never imagine when trying to make these ornaments, (which other people make look so easy to do and which I find a right pain in the butt!).  But this time everything seemed to be working in my favour, for once.

I was hoping to have my first Christmas ornament of the year finished too but I'm still working away on that.


I've had a day off work today, so I'm off to sit and watch Columbo, which I recorded yesterday, and stitch on 'Christmas'.

Have a good day all
-X-

Monday, 25 January 2016

A little stitching, a little knitting and meeting a favourite author

One of my aims this year was to keep up with blogging once a week, I was aiming for the same day each week, I'm afraid I'm failing at that already, but I have been stitching, crocheting and knitting more so I suppose that's ok.

I found this little Christmas freebie on FB and liked the simplicity of it,


Just a little bit more stitching to do so i'm hoping to get this made up before the end of the month.
I've also been working on a February design for my mantle but as we are so close to February i will save that for another post.

My little pink blanket just needs the other side boarder knitted up.
Actually, i'm not too keen on this moss stitch boarder, I wish I had done something other than moss stitch, it looks a bit loose compared to the rest of the blanket to me, perhaps it will be better when it's washed?


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Reading...

This weekend was our first reading group meeting of the year.  I was really looking forward to it because we had an author visit.  The author was Angela Marsons, she lives locally and writes crime novels set in the Black Country.  Rachel the librarian who runs our reading group recommended her some time ago and it was a month or so before i remembered and went in search of her books and, of course her name kept cropping up at each meeting, soon between us we had got everyone else in the group interested!
It has taken over 20 years for Angela to get her work noticed, time after time her work was rejected as being 'ok,' but not quite good enough.  She had more or less given up when Bookouture contacted her and said they wanted to publish her books, she was then signed up for a 4 book deal, (that is now turned into an 8 book deal).

  She has also recently secured a print deal for the first 3 books, so they will be hitting the shops latter in the year, but she is still staying with Bookouture as well.



Her books are here on Amazon, if you are interested, and where you can read a bit more about her too.
She also has two other books which are stand alone books, nothing to do with the Kim Stone novels, these are also on Amazon, I haven't read them, but they are on my reading list for this year. 
She is such a lovely person, unassuming and totally blown away with the success and attention she is getting now and from hearing her speak on Saturday she will remain loyal to Bookouture and her feet will stay firmly on the ground, her words were, her family will always come first, in particular her partner, for whom she is also the main carerer.   But now she is living her dream of being able to write full time.

Her sales for Silent Scream have already hit over one million and it has been released in Italy and due to be released in Germany too!

Don't you just love it when something like this happens to a nice person?

And....It's one in the eye for all those who rejected her writing for all these years...Like Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman...Big mistake.  Big.  Huge.

Have a great week all!

-X-

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Sorting it out and using it up

Over Christmas I had a clear-out of my craft collection, at one time I could contain all that I had in a few boxes, now it seems that I need a whole room!  
But, the room I use for all my crafty bit's and bobs now also has to double up as a (sometimes) bedroom for when Oliver sleeps over.  Since he has gone into a 'big boy bed' and to save me lugging backwards and forwards between his house and ours more luggage than I take on a weeks holiday, it was decided that when Jenny is on a late shift, i.e. 2pm until 10pm Oliver would sleep over at ours and she would collect him or meet me at work to collect him the next morning, We have done a couple of sleep-overs now and it's worked out quite well, hence the wanting to clear out a few things so that it feels more like his room.

I have listed (and sold) quite a bit on ebay, either things that I don't think I would ever have got round to using or things that I have bought and have just been sitting there collecting dust.  

My plan is to get everything down to this one cupboard, charts and patterns will stay in the folder and box they are already in.



(The bottom half of the cupboard hold my threads and fabric)
I don't know how it happened, but I seem to have collected rather a lot of yarn, (see those draws at the side of the cupboard, they are full of yarn too!), so i'm on a mission to turn some of it into something useful.  This little blanket used up a few balls of my chunky yarn and I'm quite happy with the colours too :-)
I'm also quite impressed with myself how quickly I did this, less than a week!!
Good going for me, lol



Seeing as I'm on a roll I sorted some shades of pink out yesterday and cast on another blanket.
This one is using Sylecraft Special DK


That's all the craftiness I've had time for this week.

I'll leave you with a couple of photos of my Amaryllis.
I have 2 of them this year, this is a new one I planted up a while ago, it was already starting to flop over so I've had to use one of my orchid supports


And this one is last years bulb planted up in a vase with some moss, I saw something similar when I was out and about just after Christmas and thought it was a bit different, I collected the moss while i was on a walk a couple of weeks ago so this one has some catching up to do.



Until next time
-X-

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A New Year crochet finish from last year

It's still wet and windy here, not much sign of an actual Winter, you know, one with frosty mornings and a need for a winter coat and cosy scarf, and the need to scrape the car in the morning (ok, well i don't miss that bit, lol) 
But, I do wish we could have a change from this horrible dreary rain!!
We are thankfully far from any flooding areas, I do feel for the people affected, it must be terrible, because lets face it it's not just water, it's all the dirt, and debris it brings with it.....awful.

I do have a cosy finish to show though.  
I started this Autumn blanket back in March, (I think) last year, better late than never!


I didn't know it at the time but the colours complement our newly decorated sitting room perfectly.

Close up of the 'V stitch'
So easy but so effective 

I started the boarder a couple of times and pulled it out again, finally I did one round of (UK) trebles followed by one round of 3 (UK) doubles, 1 chain, 3 doubles in one space, skipped 2 spaces and repeated.
I love how it came out, even Mark commented that it looked good, (this from the man who even after all this time calls it knitting, whether I'm crocheting, stitching or knitting, lol


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I know it's supposed to be a children's book but.....
Just before Christmas I saw the new Illustrated Harry Potter book and thought how lovely it was, I debated then if I should buy it but at £30 I thought it was a bit expensive and sadly put it back, but when I saw it on Amazon the other day at £15 it jumped straight into my basket!


It is truly wonderful





I'm just blown away by it.


I had thought that Oliver would love this, the pictures will really make the story come alive, but it will have to be kept well away from jammy fingers until he is older I think, Nanna might read it to him but he will only be allowed to look at under supervision, lol

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It's back to work tomorrow for me, I've had a nice long (ish) break, and enjoyed it but bizarrely i'm quite looking forward to doing something other than cleaning and tidying ;-)

-X-

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Another year over (and older)

So, another year gone, just like that......

2015 seemed to fly by in no time at all, don't you find that the older you get
the faster time goes?  It's scary if you dwell on it too much.

This year wasn't really full of crafty finishes, they were few and far between, I'm not going to list them again now, (if I've stitched it or crocheted it this year it will be on my blog, somewhere).
We did have lots of other things going on, that at times, seemed to take over our whole life, weeks upon weeks of plastering, papering, painting, floor laying, you name it we did it.  Even right up until Christmas Eve.

There are still things to be added here and there, a coffee table, hall table, and some soft furnishings, but the big stuff is done, (well except for the kitchen but we have to feed the piggy bank again before we start this).

Mark has virtually lived in working clothes for the whole year, he's worked like a trooper. 

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The highlight of this year was of course our middle daughter getting married.

Joanne and Gavin are just right for each other.  She was never an easy teenager, and she would agree with me saying that, but I must have done something right along the way because she has grown into a very sensible and hard working woman.  I hope that they will always be as happy as there were that day.

Joanne & Gavin June 4th 2015

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I wonder what 2016 will bring?

I will be starting it a year older.  
My birthday was December 27th, when I turned 54, I don't go in for big celebrations, Mark booked a meal in a nice Italian restaurant that I have been wanting to try for a while, and he booked it all by himself, I was impressed, lol
 He also put some money on a John Lewis card for me because I couldn't make my mind up what I wanted.
There were also some lovely gifts from my 3 daughters, they always spoil their Mother Duckling.

 Thank you to Clare and Julie for thinking of me too, December birthdays are notoriously hard as everyone is already stressed about Christmas so I am always touched when someone remembers.

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One of the things I want to do in 2016 is a monthly mantle decoration.
I've seen this on other blogs and always think it how nice it looks, so now that my (very merger this year), Christmas decorations are down here is my January Mantle, (just a little bit early).


So that's it for 2015.
I hope that 2016 is good to you and wish you health and happiness.

XXX


Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

It gets harder each year to seek into Stevie's room and leave her presents without her hearing me.  Yes, I know she's 21 but she still never sees any presents until Christmas morning and I still sneak around the house in the early hours playing Santa. �� When she wakes up she will bring her presents into my room and sit in bed with me to open them.  Up until our other girls left home they did this too, my bed used to get very crowded!

So that explains why I'm writing a blog post at 4.30am��
At least I can have a lie-in later, unlike when they were little.

Just in the nick of time I finished 2 more ornaments, these are Lizzie Kate - Tiny Tidings XIX


I have a couple of smalls kitted up ready to start over Christmas, I have a nice long break,  (not back at work until January 6th), so looking forward to a rest.

That's it for now, except to say

������MERRY CHRISTMAS ������

XXX

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