Tuesday, 2 April 2019

A mixed bag of catch-up

I'll have to start April off with a round up of March as time just got away with me, so grab yourself a cuppa it's a long one with lots of photos :-)

Christmas ornament stitching
I got two stitched ornaments done for March.  The Santa one you saw on my previous post and this one from Country Cottage Needleworks

Frosty Forest "Snowy Deer" 

I must confess that I really didn't enjoy stitching this one at all, I don't know why, I just didn't.
I left out the detail in the snow at the bottom and also left out the little confetti snow flakes.

I like it now it's done, although if you look close at the snow at the bottom you will notice that I must have picked up the wrong white at some point because it's a different shade in some places!

Birmingham NEC Craft Fair
A couple of weeks ago I went with my daughter, Joanne to the NEC in Birmingham for the Creative Craft Show.  This happens every March and I haven't missed one for years.  However, over the years it has become less about stitching and more about card making, scrap-booking and sewing.
  There are very few stalls catering for cross stitchers now, which is a shame, but I did manage to pick up a few charts that I liked.

Another purchase from the show was related to this book I'd bought for the bargain price of a fiver from The Works a couple of days before.

I was really happy to find out that Cool Crafting, (where you will find all things related to Luna and friends), would be there.  Their stand was very popular but I did manage to wrestle my way in to purchase a pack which included everything to make lovely Luna :-)

I can't wait to start making this, I've already copied and cut out the templates from the book but I want to get a few things out of the way first so that I can give it my full attention.

There were some yarny purchases in March too.
The third Literary and hand dyed yarn society package from Dandelion & Dogwood arrived.

I'm not a fan of sparkle so when I opened the parcel I was a tiny bit disappointed, (sorry to sparkle lovers) I'm sure it will knit up lovely though.  I suppose that's a risk you take when you sign up for these things, you can't guarantee that you will love every package.  I won't sign up for the next three months as this was rather expensive I thought, these past three months were a Christmas present to myself :-)

My April mini's club yarn arrived from Lay Family Yarn and oh my goodness I love it!
The guest dyer this month was Nora George.
Look at how lovely they are, I'm really happy with this parcel :-)

Sunday was Mother's Day here in the UK and the girls treated me to afternoon tea at the Laura Ashley Tea Rooms in Birmingham as one of my gifts.

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while you will know that we do love to have afternoon tea and have tried many places over the years including some 'posher' places like The Savoy and The  Dorchester in London, (which were both lovely by the way).  The Laura Ashley Tea Rooms looked lovely, decorated nice and bright and all the tables had beautiful white tablecloths, but, the afternoon tea was not the best.  
We were told that we could have a re-fill of finger sandwiches but no waitress came back to ask if we would like more, likewise with the tea and coffee, we had to get up and go to ask someone for more drinks, so service was not up to much.  Me and Joanne had Earl Grey tea and I had to ask the waitress to check if that was what we had because it really didn't taste like any Earl Grey that I've ever had, (and I think I've tried just about every make out there!).  Although the cakes do look nice on the photo they were not brilliant and the scones were cold and very dry.  

Perhaps others were more wise to the service and food than we were because there were only 3 tables in use all afternoon, not really what you would expect on Mother's Day.   So I'm afraid it's a thumbs down from us for this tea room :-(

We had some really sunny weather again last week so I spent quite a bit of time in the garden and gave the grass it's first cut on Thursday, I must say that our garden is probably at it's best in Spring, we have loads of Daffs thanks to the previous owners and last year I planted both early and late Tulips, so although one lot has finished we still have some to come.

The Forsythia is on either side of the garden and really brightens everything up

The Pieris has grown really big, I compared it to some photos I took a few years ago and it really has had a growth spurt!  This variety is a Forest Flame.

I've still got some leaves to get rid of, I've filled the compost bin and our green bin but still have a leave pile the back corner of the garden, (out of sight), our first green waste collection of the year is late this time, not until the second week in April so the leaves will have to stay where they are until then.
The weather was beautiful on Saturday and as Mark was at work I spent all afternoon sitting in my little blue house stitching and listening to my book, bliss.

Speaking of books, I read five books in March, the best one I think was The Perfect Child although I also enjoyed listening to Getting Rid of  Matthew.  Jane Fallen's books are quite easy to read or listen to, not very deep or meaningful, but can be quite funny.

So, that's about it for the goings on in March, we have a busy April to come, a wedding, two birthdays and of course Easter. I have chosen my April Christmas ornament to stitch but there is some knitting I want to get done this week so I probably won't start that until next weekend.

If you made it to the end, thank you for indulging me :-) if you didn't and only skimmed through that's ok, I understand not everyone is interested in all that I do :-) Either way I wish you a happy April and I'll hopefully be back sooner with a shorter post rather than later with a mega long one :-)

Take care


Poppypatchwork said...

I loved The Perfect Child, not read the others, you had some brilliant additions to your stash. My tulips a way behind yours, the garden looks good.

Barb said...

I loved seeing your beautiful yard. It was well worth the effort that I am sure it took!! Our tulips are still quite away from blooming. The tea looked so delicious. Sorry it looked better than it tasted. Love the ornament. I think stitching is like that. Sometimes we love the end product but not the stitching so much!

MartinaM said...

I like Frosty Forest, I've set myself for the next year. You found such great templates, there would be something for me too.
Oh what a great garden, and with you the tulips are already so far, with me here it takes a while.
Have a good week, Martina

butterfly said...

I love your Frosty Forest .
The rabbit is beautiful.
The cream tea looked lovely, but sorry you did not enjoy it.
Some are better than others .
Love all your wonderful wool.
Your garden looks amazing , beautiful blooms .
Enjoy your week hugs,

Shortbread and Ginger said...

I love your little cross stitch - the colours are wonderful. Shame about the service at your afternoon tea. It really can be a spoiler, can't it!

Vickie said...

Frosty Forest is so sweet. Your garden is just so beautiful.

Julie said...

Nice wool additions.
The gardens looking lovely and colourful.

Kay said...

I always love getting extra stash, but isn't it a shame that some of the big shows have so little in the way of cross stitch now. x

Eloise said...

What a shame especially as th cakes look so good. I didn't even know that Laura Ashley had a tea room. My favourite is "Four Teas" , the 1940s tea room in Stratford on Avon

Carol said...

Oh, your garden is looking so delightful, Maggie! Here, we only have a very few daffodils blooming so you are way ahead of us in terms of spring weather. And your tea goodies look scrumptious--so sorry your service wasn't better. I'm sure you enjoyed being with your family, though...

Very cute little deer--even if you didn't enjoy stitching him! And I look forward to seeing Luna all finished up (I'm not into sparkles either ;-)

Tammy said...

Your yard is lovely! I too miss seeing all the stitching chart in person! Looks like you have some nice stash!

Tina said...

Lovely blog post, garden is looking lovely, the afternoon tea looked delicious sorry it wasn't. Great new stash and love your ornies.

Manuela said...

your Frosty Forest looks wonderful.
Nice pattern you have bought.
Lovely photos from your flowers.
Have a nice weekend, Manuela

Sandy said...

So envious of your nice weather ad time in the garden, your flowers are soooooooo pretty. We're just starting to get some color here with daffodils beginning to bloom. Your cross stitch is cute, perhaps you'll like it more when Christmas rolls around again. Sorry your tea wasn't as good as others you've had.

Chris said...

Wow those cakes and everything you bought I 'm green with envy

Miriam said...

Very beautiful garden and nice and big stash!

Lowcarb team member said...

I thought this was a lovely blog post.
So nice to see your garden it's looking very nice.
Shame about the afternoon tea not being quite what it looked!

Many good wishes for April and a slightly early Happy Easter.

All the best Jan

Gill - That British Woman said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your yarn, just gorgeous. Great to catch up with all you have been doing.