Saturday, 31 December 2011

Looking Forward, Looking Back

(Sorry, rather a longer post than i anticipated, lol)

As we approach the end of 2011 and the beginning of a brand New Year I want to wish you all a Healthy and Happy 2012!!
I'm not one to set New Year resolutions, after all if you really want to make big changes why wait until New Year, changes can be made whatever the time of the year :-)  However, I am going to make an effort to do certain things.  This past year I've not read as many books, I've collected more than I've read, so there's one goal  and, it sort of goes hand in hand with something else I've promised myself, which is to have more 'me' time.  I spend a lot of time doing things for other people so I'm making a effort everyday to set aside some time just for me, no interruptions, no putting it off, just me and a book or whatever I want to do!
I wasn't very productive with stitching last year either, but, if I'm setting some 'me' time aside in 2012 that should change - in theory, lol.
In 2011 Something I've kept quiet about is the fact that a few months ago I joined Slimming World, and to date I have lost 1stone 3lb, it goes without saying really that the new year will see me trying to loose a few more pounds, not too much, I think another 6-7 pounds will be enough so that i can maintain it without denying myself a little of what I fancy ;-)  
I'm already enjoying feeling more comfortable in my clothes and this weekend I actually fit into a size 12 jeans! Wow, been a while since I've done that!  Stevie joined along with me and she also reached her one stone target Christmas week!  at 5' 9" she doesn't need to loose too much but it has been a great way to make her aware of the rubbish she was eating, getting her off McDonald meals, getting her to eat wholemeal bread and more fruit and yoghurt :-)

2011 was also the year in which my husband finally gave up smoking! like all smokers he has tried several times, but it never lasted long, this time it's been almost 6 months since he quit, what's made a big difference this time is the fact that he did it because HE wanted to, no nagging from me, and I've been very careful not to keep asking if he's had a cigarette, he has said this makes a difference because he is not reminded of it all the time.  Fingers crossed that he has kicked the habit for good this time - he and his clothes smell so much nicer, lol
It was fantastic to read all your birthday wishes on my milestone birthday, it meant a lot to me that you stopped by:-)
There was a really great surprise from Elaine.  With everything she has going on at the moment she still managed to remember my birthday and sent me a $25 gift certificate to spend at Wasatch Needlecraft, thank you so much Elaine your thoughtfulness really touched me.  I'm really looking forward to a new start when my charts arrive :-)
I can't go without showing you my Pandora bracelet that Jenny bought me
She also bought me the present charm to go with it, Joanne bought me my birthstone with the turquoise stone and Mark bought me the cross stitch charm, (with a gentle reminder from me, i knew i just had to have that one when i saw it, lol)
Thank you to everyone who follows my blog and take the time to leave me a comment, I really do appreciate each and every one :-) 
See you all next year!


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Wednesday December 27th 1961

A couple of post ago I said there was another special celebration today
The UK Prime Minister was Harold McMillan
The US President was John F Kennedy
The Christmas No. one was Danny Williams with Moon River
The big film was Breakfast at Tiffany's
The average house price in the UK was £2.7k (UK Stirling)
The Berlin Wall was constructed
The first man in space

It was also the date my mother gave birth to her 3rd child, a second daughter - me!

Yes, today I celebrate my 50th Birthday!!!

The girls are coming round later for a bit of a shin-dig and i will get my presents then, (I know Jenny has bought me a Pandora bracelet, can't wait to wear it!) I will show you all next time.

We are cooking a joint of pork to have pork & stuffing sandwiches when everyone comes.  
Mark is becoming an expert at making stuffing, he made it for Jo's Christmas dinner and it was very tasty, so I'm going to leave it to him :-)

Speak soon

Sunday, 25 December 2011

A Lovely Christmas Lunch (& Jo's Boys)

This was Joanne and Gavin's first time cooking Christmas lunch
 and it wonderful :-)
Neither Jen nor Jo were big on cooking when they lived at home, but since they have had homes of their own they have both turned into kitchen goddesses, lol
We had turkey & beef and everything tasted beautiful!

I thought today that I've never showed you pictures of Jo's 'boys', so i took a few photos of them while we were there today.

This is Tinker

And this is Scruffy

Aren't  they just the cutest little boys!
The girls loved all their presents, and i had some lovely things too, one of which was a Kindle from Mark - total surprise as we had agreed not to buy each other this year :-)

I hope wherever you are you had a wonderful Christmas day too!
I'm just about done in for today, tomorrow i intend to do nothing except sit and stitch :-)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Just stopping by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, I hope that you get everything you wish for :-)
I am hoping to get some stitching time in over the holiday, we don't go back to work until 3rd January, so a nice long-ish break from the usual alarm clock going off and the ground hog day routine that is common place on work day mornings!

We are having lunch at daughter #2's tomorrow - looking forward to that and as usual seeing the girls faces when they open their presents!  
Even though they are all grown up and two of them with their own houses now i still keep up the pretence of Santa and they are never allowed to see any presents, wrapped or unwrapped until the day!  that's just the way it is in our house.

I will leave you with a few photos of our trip to Prague, there are more on flickr if you would like to take a look.  It was a wonderful trip and i think everyone thoroughly enjoyed  themselves :-)

Thank all so much for the Anniversary wishes, the flowers are still going strong and gracing the sitting room.

There is another special celebration this week - but i'll tell you about that on Tuesday, because that's the day :-)

Have a good one whatever you are doing this 25th!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Surprise Delivery

Today is our wedding anniversary!
I know, who gets married this close to Christmas, mad, eh?
But we did and here we are 25 years later!

My hubby is not one of those that buys flowers often, but these arrived for me today with a box of chocolates :-)
 To say i am surprised is an understatement, 
gobsmacked more like, lol

He had arranged to have them delivered to work for me this morning but the delivery got messed up and he had to have them re-directed to home this afternoon - bless him, i think he has earned his brownie points this week :-)
Wow, 25 years, where on earth does the time go?
Does this mean I'm getting old now? (don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question, lol)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Prague Tunic Finish!

Just a very quick post tonight as it's getting late, I finished my Prague Tunic from my last post about two weeks ago now, but you know how it is this time of year, busy busy busy!
Anyhow, here is the afore mentioned tunic

I was dreading the sewing together, but I found several great videos on You Tube that were a great help.

And best of all, it actually fits and I wore it shopping yesterday, I was surprised how warm it kept me!
And just to prove it, I've even dared to post a photos of me wearing it, all be it a very grainy one.

I enjoyed knitting this so much that I've got another jumper started, i'll show you the 'weekend jumper' next time.  
I haven't picked up any stitching for a few weeks except for the small amount i did at the stitching club two weeks ago.  By the time i sit down at night knitting is so much easier to pick up and do a few rows rather than getting threads, hoops and magnifier out.  But i have by no means given up the stitching, i have plans for over Christmas when we have a lovely break from work and i can at least get a decent amount of time at something :-)
Speak more next time, right now i have to get some shut-eye because tomorrow morning we fly to Prague...Whoohooo, can't wait to see this lovely city again!

Hope you all have a great week whatever you might be up to, and thank you so much for you comments and encouragement, it really means so much to me x

Monday, 21 November 2011

Christmas Ornies & The Prague Tunic Part 1

Seeing as we are hurtling towards Christmas i got a move on and finished off two of this years LHN ornaments.
Last year I managed to keep up with all of them, I don't know what happened this year, I just couldn't seem to get going despite buying them as the were issued in the UK.  I chose two that I liked the most for now and will carry on with the rest throughout next year.

Little House Needleworks Gingerbread Village
Stitched on a scrap of mystery 28 count
using DMC threads
And my personal favourite is this one -

Little House Needleworks Baked Goods
Stitched on a piece of Mystery 28 count fabric with DMC threads
When i made them up this time i used a piece of iron-on interfacing to back them, it made a real difference to how they look and made it easier to stitch the whole thing together.

I've put the stitching to one side this week in favour of knitting.  I used to knit years ago when the kids were small but nothing in a long time.  I'm an OK basic knitter, nothing fancy, but when i came across this pattern it quite appealed to me.

This is the back all stitched up.  I was quite impressed that I managed to get this done in 3 evenings.  It's chunky yarn so that helped.  On Friday I started the front and after a couple of false starts, (mainly due to me not being able to count and increase!), I made it up to the arm hole shaping last night.  It's pretty gratifying after not having many stitchy finishes this year to get something near completion in such a short time!
So why the Prague Tunic?  Well on December 12th we are all going to Prague for a week, daughters, boyfriends (or in Stevie's case, friend from College), me and Mark, and I want to get this finished to take with me.  I think it's just about achievable, as long as i don't have any mishaps with the putting it together bit, lol.
Until next time,
take care and thanks for your visits and comments, they really make my day :-)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

It's November..

And It's a horrible damp and rainy night here, a perfect night to be sat indoors stitching:-)
DH has been here for the last 2 weeks since his last contract finished, getting under my feet and general doing..well, nothing really.  Don't get me wrong, he works really hard, but when he gets time off that's exactly what he has, time off...from everything - I swear if I have to sit through another cookery programme I'll cut the TV cable!  I really wouldn't mind but this is a man that never cooks, never, EVER!! So why the fascination with cookery programmes?beats me!  
So, not a lot of stitching, just been taking myself off to bed early with my book and my hot water bottle :-)

Right, now I've got that little moan out of the way i do have photos to show you, photos of a finish no less!

It's Molly
Carriage House Samplings

It's been a while since I started this, and then started again because I didn't like my stitches 
(yes I obsess that much!)

Don't you just love that crazy eyed fat cat!

And the not so little bird perched atop her head 
( i decided it's a she cat :-)

I love the frame
Mark at Betty's did yet another wonderful job.
Here's a close up of it

And finally the whole thing

Last Wednesday was our second stitch club meeting.  Unfortunately our numbers dwindled a bit and there was only six of us this time around, but it was actually quite a good night, being such a small number we got to know each other a bit better and it made for some good conversation.  
One of the ladies was interested in my snap frame last month and this time she had bought one of her own :-) she said she went straight up to Sharon's shop (Betty's)  the day after and treated herself to one, along with a magnifier.  I happened to mention while we were talking that i railroad all my stitches, she wasn't familiar with it, but when she tried it she was amazed what a difference it made.  I've got a feeling that the next time we meet she will be cursing me for slowing her up and causing extra work, lol.
Thanks for visiting me today and leaving me a comment, i really appreciate it :-)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

October 1st - Really???

My blog posts seem to be few and far between of late, a bit like my stitching.  I've picked up this and that but don't really have anything to show for my efforts.  I have almost finished stitching a couple of Christmas ornaments for dd's #1 & 2, maybe this week I will surprise both you and me by getting them finished finished :-).

The first stitch group meeting went well on Wednesday.  There were 20 people interested, 4 of which couldn't come this time because of other commitments, and a few changed their minds, but in the end there was 9 of us on the night, which wasn't bad because to be honest if all 20 had turned up we would have been pretty pushed for space in that room!  There was a good mix of people and I'm pretty sure all the ones that showed this time will show again - so that's good.

No stitching for me today the weather has been so glorious that it was really a crying shame to stay indoors, so took myself off for a drive to Bourton-on-the- Water, in the Cotswold's.  It's only just over an hours drive from us and such a pretty place.
I'll leave you with some photos of Bourton and people enjoying this very un-seasonal weather.
(It's been like this all week, with temps of 28 and 29 degrees!  I've never had the air-con on in the car in October before :-))


Finally, some lovely English contryside 

Thank you for visiting me today and leaving a comment, have a wonderful week. x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Hey Ladies long time no see! sometimes life in general gets in the way of blogging and stitching, hopefully there will be a finish of some sorts to show you soon, and we have our first meeting of the newly formed stitching group this Wednesday, fourteen people have put their names forward so it should be fun :-)

oh, and i've joined Goodreads, a few of you have been kind enough to accept my invitation to become a friend - thank you :-) 
if you would like to follow me I've put a widget thingy in the side bar.
I was browsing the wonderful thing that is the World Wide Webb this morning while at work,  (shush, don't tell, it was a quiet time ;-)) and i came across THIS it gives a whole new meaning to "A Sampler Wall" don't you  think?
See ya soon x

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Christmas Ornament & a Summer Flower

I bought some flowers last Friday, i thought they were never going to open but then this is what greeted me when i walked in after work at lunch time

Such a beautiful colour, so intense

I stitched this free design a while ago but only got round to putting it together at the weekend, and yes, I'm blatantly exploiting the beautiful flower to show my stitching!

Summer, and Winter in harmony ;-)

 Finished with a beaded edging

Last time i mentioned a new stitching group i was trying to get going.  I left flyer's in all the local libraries, Sharon at Betty's put one up in her shop and took names of anyone interested and finally we have around 11 people who have shown an interest.  I've been in touch with a local community centre and there is a room free on Wednesday evenings, so it's looks like it is going to happen at last!
So my question is, do you have a regular stitchy/craft group that you go to, or organise?  What sort of things do you do, (apart from the obvious stitching that is), do you have raffles, birthday lists?  I just need to pinch some ideas if i can. 

Thankfully all the pointless rioting has stopped, but not before countless £'s of damage was done and well over a thousand arrests.  I saw on the news tonight that for those that are not given a prison sentence there may be community service, lets hope they follow through with that, it might do them good to put right some of the damage they caused.  DD is still on working 12 hours shifts and will have worked 15 days / nights without a rest day, but she has stayed safe, which is the main thing.  Thank you to those of you who left messages wishing her well.

Until next time..x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


At the risk of sounding like one of the grumpy old women, what on earth is going on with the young people today that they think that this is OK?  The same thing has been going on in London for 3 night!!  Last night Bristol and Liverpool were also targeted by rioters.  You would think to look at the pictures we lived in a 
war-torn country!
Tonight the local shopping centre is under treat and my daughter had to shut her shop early, daughter #3 works near there also and i won't  let her go to work tonight.  Daughter #1, well i have mentioned what she does before, i have asked her to text me when she is on her break (if she gets one) and when she gets home so i know she's ok.

As i type i hear more police cars on the main road
I won't say any more, once i get on my soap box i'ts hard to get me off!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The (not so) Quick Catch Up

 I know that you have heard it all before, but I really didn't intend to be MIA for so long.  I kept thinking about blogging but that's as far as it got, something else always got my attention.  I feel a bit bad because i had lots of wonderful comments about my sampler wall in my last post, and i want to thank you for that, they really made my day :-) 
I'll catch up quick about what's been keeping me away from you all (don't want to bore you all to death now i'm back ;-) 
At the beginning of July me and DH went to Skiathos for a week and spent a very relaxing time at this pool, drinking copious amounts of wine and gorging ourselves on delicious Greek food.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and we came home to rain and a mountain of washing the girls had kindly left.
On the following Monday the workmen arrived early to start the new patio, in fact, Monday was the only day they arrived early, late starts and early finishes seemed to be their way of working. 
After the digging out
 I suppose I'm just being picky, but starting at 9am and finishing before 3pm (most days) when they could clearly carry on with things is a bit much (or not much) IMO.  There were other issues with what they did which i wont go into, lets just say a one week job took them two weeks and would have taken longer if DH hadn't got on the phone and insisted they come the next day and finish off, otherwise he was going to get someone else in to finish and charge them... strangely enough they were knocking my door at 7.30am the next day!  
This was no fly by night company, they are quite well known in this area and always seem to have lots going on, perhaps we were just unlucky with the team sent to us.  Anyway, it's done and it looks OK.
DH has been busy re-coating the shed and the walls where the ivy is has to be painted which DD#2's boyfriend is coming to start tomorrow afternoon
Talking of Jo, she and her boyfriend have moved into a place together.  They are renting a lovely house that has recently had a make over so everything is new, kitchen, bathroom, decorated and new carpet throughout.  Although that wasn't without problems, they had a bit of a leak in the bathroom which came into the kitchen, no real damage but there may be some water marks left when it's dried which the landlord has said he will get re-painted if it does.  There was also no plug to connect the washer, but he got that fixed right away.  So now we are 3, and boy is it quiet, lol.  
Stevie now wants to move into the bigger bedroom so we have a decorator coming next week to strip the paper off and re-paper.
Stevie has a new part time job too, she is working at a hotel, the hours are very unsociable and because college is finished for the summer she is working lots of extra hours, the poor girl is shattered, although she did brighten up when she picked up her wages last week, she could very well be one of the richest students at college in September because the hours she works don't allow for much of a social life!!  It also means that mum and dad, (but mostly mum) have to be available at 4.30 to do the taxi run to work, dad will fetch back unless she is on after 12.30 then a lift if provided for staff.  I'm thinking of getting a taxi sign for the top of the car and charging by the mile!!
You can see why computer time is limited, when I did manage to get some stitching in last week I worked on Sampler aux Chat.  I didn't show an update last month because of our holiday, so this is two months progress.

Molly got in on the act when I took it into the garden to photograph
I'm using Threadworx 1089, but I'm not sure I like the stripey effect it gives on the cat, what do you think?  Should I change the thread to a non variegated just for the cats?
I was going to show the cakes I've been baking and a wonderful coffee set that my sister gave me, and tell you about the stitching group I'm trying to set up, but I'll save that until next time because way back at the beginning of this post I did promise a quick update and now I think I've just about outstayed my welcome ;-) so If you have made it this far, thank you for staying with me!
Until next time x