Wednesday, 31 December 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Our Christmas decorations are down and packed away for another year,
 and as we say goodbye to 2014 I just wanted to wish you a Happy & Healthy New Year.  

We are spending a quiet night in, just me and Mark and a Chinese take away, and possible a bottle of wine too ;-)

See you in 2015 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas and Birthday 2015

I didn't get chance to pop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas, things got a bit hectic.  I hope you all had a great day :-)
There were 6 of us for Christmas dinner, and even if I do say so myself it was lovely, lol.  Jenny, James and Oliver came up later in the afternoon, It was wonderful seeing Oliver getting all excited opening his presents, although I have to say that I think he enjoyed ripping open the paper just as much as what was inside!


We did finally manage to put up the Christmas tree, but to be honest I didn't put a lot of effort into decorating this year.  I transferred all my stitched ornaments to my skinny tree and dotted a few of my stuffed Santa's about the place and strung up the cards, that's all.  I did enjoy looking at all my ornaments again though and thought you might like a closer look at some of my favourites, (even though you have probably seen them all before).












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Yesterday was my birthday, my (cough), my 53rd :-0
Thank you to Julie and Clare for your gifts.  If it wasn't for the internet and blogging I would never have me these two lovely ladies, I'm glad for both inventions so that I got to know you, thank you for thinking of me xx


Family also spoilt me with lovely presents, I've had a PandoraCath Kidstonjewelleryperfume birthday, and I loved everything :-)

We are both enjoying our extended holiday, neither of us go back to work until January 5th, it's nice to not worry about getting up early and to be able to spend some time together.  This afternoon we are going to the cinema, we haven't done that in a while, and I always think going to the cinema in the afternoon feels more like a treat :-)

Tomorrow I have a doctors appointment because since Christmas day I've had terrible back pain, the sort of pain that has made me shout out, hardly be able to walk and in a couple of instance actually reduced me to tears.  I can only think that the last batch of painting, (a ceiling), that I pulled something.  I thought It was a bit better this morning but I only did a couple of jobs and now am in pain again.
I plan on taking my wheat pack with me to the cinema, assuming that I will be able to get in the car, lol

I have enjoyed getting back into blogging over the last couple of months, I am going to try and keep up with regular posts next year, I have noticed that blogs in general are quieter these days with people switching over to Instagram, but I still prefer to read and visit blogs, I noticed that I have a couple of new followers, which is great, welcome :-) please stop and say 'hello' sometime so that I can visit your blog too :-)

Wishing you all a Happy and Health 2015

-X-

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Ornament Swap, a Scarf and a Blanket

I've been catching up on blog reading this morning and drooling over all the Christmas trees, decorations and the beautiful stitched ornament finishes you all have.  I'm afraid the only decorating that has been going on in this house is the wallpaper hanging kind.  
Stevie will be home on Christmas eve and we are frantically trying to get everything done so she can wake up on Christmas morning in a proper bedroom rather than the store room it has been for weeks. The furniture was ordered yesterday and will be delivered next Tuesday, Mark has put up the paintable paper, so my task this week while he is away will be to paint that so that he can hang the "pretty" paper next weekend.  I went on another shopping spree yesterday for new bedding, pillows and a quilt, so hopefully it will all come together by the time she comes home.

There are some lovely ornament finishes out there and i'm disappointed with myself that i really didn't manage to stitch much this year, the only ornament i managed to stitch and finish was one for the Christmas ornament exchange on the Needlecraft Haven forum.  Christine organizes this exchange every year and I was to send to Casey, (no blog).   I knew what i wanted to stitch because I've been wanting to stitch this for ages, it has all the elements I love, alphabet, snowman and red :-) I was hoping that Casey would love it too, thankfully she too likes snowmen so I think she was happy with what I chose.


Winter Sampler "Snowman" free design by Marika Belfiori.


I was the lucky recipient of Christine's ornament, this is what she made for me.

The design is by Olde Colonial Designs and from this year's JCS Ornament Edition.


Isn't it lovely?  Thank you so much Christine.

Whenever I've had time to sit down I've been knitting away on a scarf for Stevie.  When we were in Worcester a few weeks ago she saw this scarf in White Stuff, it had a ridiculous price tag so I said I would knit her one and took a photo to remind me of the stitch.

Below is the Moss stitch scarf from White Stuff

And this is my re-creation of it.

Worked in double moss stitch with a request for the band to be in purple.
I'm using Woolcraft double crepe yarn held double.
Double crepe should withstand even student washing! and it is lovely and soft and won't be scratchy to wear. 

There has been a little bit more progress on the Granny Stripe blanket, it's growing, all be it slowly. 

I'm still loving the colours :-)

We are still lacking a Christmas tree, that will not happen until the weekend now, it's the first year in many that my decorations haven't gone up on December 1st, so just to add a little bit of Christmas cheer around the place I've hung some of my stitched ornaments on the metal tree, (which didn't make it into the loft and was still in the garage after the move).

Once we have the tree down from the loft they will be hanging on there, for now this will have to do.

Hopefully I will get another blog post in over Christmas when the madness has settled down.

Have a good week whatever you are doing :-)
-X-

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Bonny Scotland

Wow, December already! Where has this year gone?  The months have whizzed by so fast this year, Is it only me that finds it hard to keep up with everything? or do you feel the same?  I need more hours in the day, more day's in the week and more weeks in the year, lol.

At least I had a break from work this past week, well, all told, including weekends I had 8 days, it was lovely, no early mornings, no alarm calling me to get up, bliss.  I'm really not a morning person, I prefer to come around slowly, a couple cups of tea and then I might be sociable, until then I prefer to be quiet.  So when my co-worker asked if i would swap and work her afternoon today of course I said Yes! Yayyy, one more lie-in, lol.

I really needed this past week to re-charge my batteries but we still have 2 more bedrooms to get ready before Christmas, so it didn't look as though there would be much rest!

First though a little bit of R&R was called for, so our soon-to-be son in law was left in charge of hanging wallpaper in the spare room while I swanned off to Ayr in Scotland to spend a long weekend with DH.  I caught the train on the Friday morning, it was 2 trains and about 5 1/2 hours, so plenty of time to work on my blanket both getting to and travelling back home.


  I can't remember the last time I sat for so long, it made a pleasant change to just crochet and not to have interruptions.

On the Saturday we had a leisurely  browse around the town and I managed to get another couple of Christmas presents then we had some lunch in a pub that was in an old church, the alter was even still there, it felt very strange!, I should have remembered to take photos.  On the Sunday we decided to go to Robert Burns house and museum as it wasn't too far.brig

The house where Robbie Burns was born

Entrance to the Robbie Burns Monument 

Robbie Burns Monument



Brig O'Doon was just over the road from the monument

Such a lovely bridge, now just a foot bridge still with the original cobbles


Monday came around all too quickly, but it was nice to get away for a few days, can you believe this was my first ever visit to Scotland?  I would love to go again sometime, the people were extremely friendly everywhere we went and the scenery was amazing.
I took these from the train window on the way back so they are not the best, but you can get the idea.





Except for one shopping outing to Worcester, (where DD#3 did a bit of damage to my bank card), most of the rest of my week off was either spent painting, or collecting pretty things from Ikea and Dunelm, at least the end is in sight for the finish of another bedroom, we're getting there, slowly. How I wish we could wave a magic wand and it would be all done, either that or win the lottery and go away somewhere while someone else did all the work, lol.

Apologies if this post is a bit disjointed, I've been trying to publish it since yesterday but my internet connection was playing up, hopefully it will publish now.
Until next time
-X-

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Granny's China Cabinet

I only ever knew one of my Grandparents, my Granny Cox, dad's mum.  I have a very vague recollection of my Granddad Cox, sitting on his chair in the corner of the kitchen, but can't remember any more of him than that. 

My Granny's name was Cissie and when I was young I spent lots of time with her, I always spent the weekend with her, not because I had to but because I wanted to.   She let me help her around the house and do little jobs for her and she was always patient and very appreciative, telling me I'd done a wonderful job.  If ever I didn't turn up at home after school mum knew that I'd be at Grans. 

In the afternoon she always went for a lie down and sometimes I would sneak in and lay the table with tea and cake, (there was always fruit cake in a tin in the pantry), then go and wake her and tell her I'd laid the table for tea.  I never felt in the way or that I was doing something I shouldn't or doing it wrong, I hope I was never too much of a hindrance.

When you're young you just don't appreciate how hard it was back in the day, but  as I've got older I realise how awful it must have been for her.  She had 3 sons, my dad was the youngest, Uncle Jack, who's real name was Elijah John was the oldest and Uncle Ralph in the middle.  Both my uncles fought in WWII, Uncle Ralph was in the Middle East, Uncle Jack was in Singapore when it was taken, and was captured and was put on one of the so called Hell Ships as a prisoner. He was a Japanese Prisoner for the rest of the War, working in (we think the salt mines.  I have a few details of the camp he was in and his release papers).  There was a time during the war when my Granny and  Granddad didn't know if their two sons were dead or alive, like thousands of other parents.  

My dad was in a reserved occupation but wanted to enlist never the less, but, he had an overlapping toe and none of the forces would take him except for the Navy but he must have his overlapping toe amputated first.  The legal age for anything then was 21, and as he was under-age had to have his parents consent, which my Gran refused, saying that she didn't know where two of her sons were and she wasn't going to sign for my dad to go as well.

Both my Uncles came back from the War but it had already done it's damage.  Uncle Jack who was well over six feet tall came back weighing a mere 6 stone, he married and had a son but he died aged just 34.  Uncle Ralph also married but divorced, there were no children, sadly he to died in his early 50's .  This is not the way things should happen, my Gran must have carried that heartache around with her every day, yet she was never angry, not outwardly anyway.

I was around 13 when my Gran died, she had a stroke one Saturday night while we were watching TV.  I'm glad I was there and that she was not alone.

So, Granny's China Cabinet.  It always sat in the same spot in her living room with various bits and bobs in, including a china tea set of course, in those days people didn't swap and change furniture all the time, they looked after what they had, and the cabinet was polished and loved.  
After Gran died my eldest sister had a lot of her things, the cabinet being one of them, but for the past, oh, I don't know how many years the cabinet has been sitting in her garage and when she had a recent clear-out she was going to throw it away.

Considering how old it is it wasn't in bad condition really.

The back board was a different matter, this had definitely seen better days

 I couldn't let it be thrown away, so took it back home and gave it a new lease of life.





It's now in my bedroom with my treasures inside.



Sitting in the corner looking like it has always belonged there.

 And I've got something to remind me of my Gran, who just wasn't around long enough.

Thank you for letting me share a little of my Granny's story and, If you are watching Gran, I hope you like what I've done :-)

-X-
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ps. For those who are interested  the cabinet is painted by me using Annie Slone chalk paint, waxed and then distressed.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Park Life

I'm feeling much better after my little vent last weekend.  The decorating continues but after lots of ticking things off lists this week  I feel back in control and less overwhelmed.
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We have been having some very unseasonal weather, almost the beginning of November and still we are ok without the heating on, although according to the weathermen that will change very soon and we are in for the coldest winter for 100 years......again :-)

As I had Oliver today we made the most of the mild weather and went for a walk to the park, It's a lovely park, lovely open space, lots of trees and a lovely old building which is now used by the council but which Oliver calls a castle.  But I didn't take any photos of that today because I was so excited to find these....



This one was huge, and so perfect

I have absolutely no idea what they are called, I told Oliver it was a fairy glen :-)


Close up it looks like icing blobbed on a cake :-)




They were such an unexpected find, I wish I'd had my camera with me, as it was I had to make do with my phone.

As we made our way to the swings we saw a few squirrels feasting themselves on nuts, unfortunately they were to quick for me to photograph especially when Oliver saw them and kept shouting squirrel, squirrel, they made a hasty retreat up the nearest tree, lol 


Our garden is still looking ok at the moment but I don't suppose we are going get too many days like this now so we will have to make the most of them.


The Hydrangeas are looking very pretty still, they were blue but have turned a lovely muted colour.  Can these be dried? I don't know,but  It would be nice if they could be kept a little longer 

(All the pictures should be clickable to view better)

That's it for now,
thank you for visiting me today, your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.
-X-