Tuesday 31 December 2013

Wishing all my blogging friends a Happy & Healthy New Year
May you have all you wish for

Thursday 26 December 2013

Seasons Greetings

Thank you all for the lovely warm welcome back, I'm glad that so many of you had not given up on me  :-)

Christmas day was very hectic and noisy,  Jenny got a bit emotional but James managed to 
make a call from base so things calmed down a bit after that. 

It's Boxing Day here in the UK so celebrations are still going on, Boxing Day is traditionally a day when the Sales start, so some people have been queuing outside 'Next' since the early hours waiting for the doors to open at 5am , not me though, I really don't like rummaging, lol  I plan on going for a walk later then chilling out in front of the tv all afternoon.

Tomorrow is  another celebration as it is my birthday :-)  
My middle daughter told me yesterday what she had got me for my present because we have to be up and out early - It's a spa day at a local hotel!  I'm having a full body massage and we can use the spa facilities for day too, my other daughters are coming so it will be a lovely girly day :-)  What a great present!, I'm really looking forward to it.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and I will be back soon hopefully with photos!

PS. Heidi asked who the chart was by in my header photo, it's a free design from here if anyone is interested.

Until next time xxx

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Is There Anyone Still Out There?

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've been here.

Occasionally I have scrolled through the pages and glanced at other blogs, but the urge to blog just wasn't there, so i would just go away and forget about it all over again.  But with Christmas just around the corner and another new year about to begin it seemed like a good time to catch up, if there is still anyone out there...

My last post was around June time I think, I was not in a happy place at that time and it seemed that my life might be about to take a different turn, I did write something about it at the time because I had no one I could really talk to, (I later deleted that post).   
I didn't want to involve family members because they take sides and become judgemental, (one in particular would have been on the phone frequently offering words of wisdom and advice on what I should do and how I should do it!) and I just couldn't handle that, I just wanted to talk, get some things out in the open and not be judged for whatever decision I finally made.

Thankfully two fellow bloggers (who shall remain nameless, but they know who they are) gave me support when I needed it, they let me ramble on but didn't judge or criticise me, both of them helped me through those very difficult and confusing months and I shall be forever grateful for their help.

So here I am six months later and that whole business seems a long time ago and it feels sometimes like it didn't happen...other times it seems like it was yesterday and there I am full of questions again, I need to be able to believe in my own judgement, you know, take that leap of faith.  I will in time but I'm not quite there yet. 

But, on the whole things are good, better than I (we) could have hoped for, the weekends are now something we both look forward to.  I suppose it's still all a bit new but I know that we are better, kinder, calmer and more considerate people for it, we have learned a very hard lesson, one that I don't think either of us will forget.

So, Christmas is just around the corner and we are looking forward to it.  All 3 girls will be staying at home this year, Stevie is home from uni at the weekend, Joanne and her boyfriend, Gavin, and Jenny and Oliver will be staying over for a couple of days too, so we will have a house full, it will be noisy and hectic and no doubt very messy, but so good :-)  There will be one person missing out on all the family fun though,, Jenny's boyfriend, Oliver's daddy, James won't be here for Christmas or new year, he will be serving in Afghanistan until April, we will of course be taking loads of photos and videos of Oliver to send to daddy so that he can a least see that his little boy had a great Christmas.

Obviously other things have taken priority over recent months and I haven't been doing much stitching at all.   There were a couple of things that I had started and wanted finished before Christmas, so when the mood took me I worked on those.  
One was Oliver's Christmas Stocking and the other was Baby It's Cold Outside.  I'm so happy to have been able to at least those two  this year.

Shepherds Bush Thomas Stocking re-named for Oliver

I managed to stitch the stocking in secret and surprise Jenny when it was completed at the beginning of December. 
I think It's fair to say that she was over the moon with It.
It will be a while before Oliver appreciates all the love that his Nanna put into making this for him, but hopefully it will one day become a talking piece when It gets its annual outing. 

This is Baby It's Cold, I really enjoyed stitching this one.

Apologies for the blurry photo on this one, it's the only one I could find and it was from my phone.

Not much in the way of stitching to show for my absence is it eh?
Hopefully I will have more in the way of finishes to show for 2014.

I'll try not to leave it too long between visits in future.

Have a great Christmas all!

Wednesday 8 May 2013

A Bit Of R&R

 I've been MIA again, but at least I've got an excuse this time, we took a week's holiday to Tunisia.  I've had a lovely relaxing seven days sunning myself, sleeping, reading, eating and generally doing nothing much at all:-)  We came home late on Sunday night and as it was Bank Holiday on Monday at least I had one more day to recover before going back to work on Tuesday.

We stayed at an all inclusive hotel which was very nice, all the staff were very friendly and polite, although i think we went just as the season was getting started so it didn't really liven up until the last few days, but that was ok.

The pool was still a little cold to go in when we got there, but there was an indoor pool too.
I took this photo on our last day, either the water had warmed up or they are very brave!

Seating and beach bar area

The hotel gardens were very nice, these flowers caught my eye

I just love how this one looks as though the red has been painted on the petals, so pretty.

This is a weird and wonderful specimen, it looks like some exotic bird, shame I didn't see it open fully. 

I did have one mishap while we were there, (there is always one, and it's usually me!!).
  I wear ear plugs at night (the joys of having a husband who snores like a hog!!) and managed to get part of one ear plug lodged in my right ear.  They are the silicon type, similar to wax therefore they get quite soft, more-so when the weather is warmer.  I didn't want to go to a hospital over there, i did see the medic at the hotel but wasn't too impressed so decided to wait until we came home. They doctor at our local A&E couldn't get it out so made an appointment at ENT for me today.  
After just over half an hour of two different doctors picking away at it it was getting very uncomfortable so they have said it would be better for me to be admitted as a day case and have aesthetic so they can remove it.  
I should get a phone call in the next few days and hopefully they will be able to fit me in early next week.  What is left of the ear plug has stuck fast (which is why it was sore when they were trying to get it out) but is not where it will cause any damage, I just can't hear anyone unless they are to my left side, lol.

I will have some stitching to show next time, my Christmas ornament for May is all made up ready and I made good progress on Baby It's Cold at the Needlecraft Haven meet up before I went away.  I don't know how much more stitching I will fit in though as the next month is going to be a busy one, I'm away on holiday again in just over a week's time and Jenny has booked Oliver's Christening for the beginning of June and has nominated me to make the cake...eek!!! 

until next time x

Sunday 14 April 2013

A Tree!

I finished my April ornament for the SAL

A free Glory Bee  Design Merry Yule
Stitched with the recommended DMC threads on a piece of grey 28ct evenweave.

I've only just noticed my huge mistake.....I really should pay more attention! Oh well, good job it's only for my tree, lol

Love the string of lights :-)

 Saturday night TV is pretty bad unless you like talent programmes, which we don't!  The amount of people that audition who obviously have no talent whatsoever is part of the fun of the programme, I know, but I'm embarrassed for them, I mean, someone has actually told them they can sing (or whatever they are preforming) and to go on TV in front of millions of people and make a fool of themselves! Madness!!  
But then last night we caught a couple of the acts on Britain's Got Talent this woman came on, understated and so apparently nervous you were just waiting for something to happen.

have a listen.

Until Next time x

Sunday 7 April 2013

Of Pink Houses and Christmas Stockings

It looks as though the end of Winter may be in sight at last, this past week we have seen more of the sun with some lovely sunny days, still cold but at least it's brighter.
It's back to work for me tomorrow morning, I've had a lovely week off, I went out one day with Jenny and Oliver, we did lunch (and cake) in Bridgenorth, apart from that I've just been catching up on jobs and pottering around the house and just enjoying some home time.
A new start made it onto the Q snaps this week.  I've had this chart since Christmas, I loved it from the first time I saw it and have been itching to start, I could resist no longer :-) 

Baby It's Cold Outside - Heartstring Samplery
Recomended threads

I know, I know, another Christmas / Winter theme, what can I say, I'm just loving working on Christmasy themes :-)
By the way, that's not a stain on the fabric, I coffee dyed it before I started, in fact I stitched the words and decided that the colour still wasn't right, so twice more it went into more coffee and then the oven until I was satisfied - I took a risk that the brown thread wouldn't run (and that I would burn it)...thankfully I was lucky on both counts and I'm happy with how it looks now.

Don't you just love that house?
Mmmm, the colour of the fabric looks different on this photo, the first photo is the more true colour.
Friday night is stocking SAL night, this is my progress on Oliver's stocking.

 I worked on this an extra day this week too as I missed the previous Friday because of our weekend away.  It was hard to put away this time, I was really enjoying all that red!

In-between the stocking and the pink house building I've finished my April AND my May ornament for the Christmas Ornament SAL, how organised am I lol. Just have to finishes them into ornaments this week ready to show you next week, well, the April one anyway, the May finish will have to stay hidden for a few more weeks :-)

Until next time, have a great week x

Sunday 31 March 2013

A Lovely Weekend

The weather continues to be cold here but at least we are having some sunshine which makes the days seems better in spite of the low temperatures, and of course the clocks went *back yesterday so we will have longer evenings :-)

No stitching to show this week, although I have been stitching I haven't taken any photos yet.  DH and I have been on a little trip to Derbyshire, we stayed in a nice hotel in the centre of Derby, did some shopping, had a couple of lovely meals out and of course our  visit to the beautiful Chatsworth House, so I thought I share some of the photos of the house and grounds with you today.

This was the view of the house as you drove through the estate to get there.  There is some renovation going on which is why you can see tarpaulin on the left of the photo.

And from the gardens

There was still lots of snow around which made for a very pretty setting

The waterfall

(Please excuse my DH, he always seems to get into photos without trying, lol)

This is the top of the waterfall, can you see the one behind?

This lady must have been freezing!

One of the ponds, the majority of it still frozen

Another view of the house from the Canal

 This is the Serpent, the leaves are still quite dead but I think that makes for a better colour.

Some of the beautiful tapestries in the house

This one is huge, covering the whole of the back wall

The house from the gardens again

The Hall

And it's wonderfully elegant staircase

And beautifully painted ceiling

Loved the library with it's shelves and shelves books
(I tried for an arty farty photo, lol)

The many bedrooms with their canopied beds

The very grand dining room

I'm of work for a week now, Yayyyyy.  I have some jobs to catch up on but mostly I plan on lying  in and taking it easy with some afternoons  settling my derrière on the sofa for some serious stitching sessions :-)

A few people wanted to see the bags I bought last week, I will show them next time, glad to know that I not alone in my bag obsession, lol.

Thank you for visiting me and leaving a comment, It's always lovely to hear from you, if you are a new follower (and i noticed there were a couple) please stop and say hello so I can visit you in return.

Have a fantastic week whatever you are up to!

*Edited to add: 
Ops, as Linda has pointed out the clocks should have been put forward, not back, lol.  We did change them to the correct time, it was a typo...sorry if I confused anyone :-)

Sunday 24 March 2013

Snow Anyone?

We are back in the midst of winter again here in the Midlands, will we ever see the sunshine??
This is what it was like on Saturday morning as i set of for the Hobby Crafts show at the NEC

This farmland is about a 10 minute walk from where i live, the 'green space' in an otherwise industrial area.  It looks very pretty clothed in white.

The roads for once were fairly clear so I thought the drive would be OK to Birmingham, and It was, apart from the spray on the motorway it wasn't too bad, traffic wise.  I don't do much motorway driving  and was amazed considering the conditions of the many drivers who are tanking along and without any lights on! the spray was horrendous and the visibility not that great, yet they don't think to put lights on?, crazy, stupid crazy!

I arrived safely and had a lovely few hours browsing the stands.  There is always a display of some sorts, and this year it was the turn of Pride & Prejudice.

I bet you will all recognise this little number from the lake scene?

It wasn't a huge display, but it was nice to see the costumes.

I was a little disappointed with the show this year, not so many cross stitch stands this time, Jane Greenoff wasn't there and neither was another big suppler who is usually there.  I did come back with a few things, mostly trims though, I only bought one chart,  LHN My House.

I also bought a new magnifier with a light as the light on my old one was playing up, and I treated myself to two new handbags, a girl cant have too many hand bags :-)

No stitching to show this week instead there is a knitting finish, a little jacket for my favourite little man.

He came to visit this afternoon so we had a fitting, I've just got to get some buttons for it when I go out tomorrow.

If you follow THIS link you should get a little video of the man himself.  I've never tried to link a video before so I hope it works.
Just enough of the evening left now to get a little stitching in, Mark has gone back off to work, the job was handed over on Friday so next week is snagging and we have a couple of Bank Holiday's coming up, so the next two weeks are only 4 day weeks.  We are going away for the Easter weekend, just a little break for a couple of nights in Derbyshire with a visit planned to Chatsworth house, then I have the whole of the next week off work, can't wait!


Until next time, thank you for your visits and comments, they are as always very much appreciated :-)
Have a great week

Monday 18 March 2013

Still Christmas Here!

I've been away longer than I intended, again, but I'm here at last, with finishes and starts to share :-)

My ornament for the Christmas ornament SAL was this little freebie by Whispered by the Wind, stitched on a scrap of light blue linen with white DMC.
The weather obliged me with a sprinkling of snow the day I took the photo.

My new start is a Shepherds Bush Christmas Stocking 'Thomas's Stocking'  re-named Oliver's Stocking for the little man in my life :-)
I'll be working on this every Friday night along with Julie, Catherine, Linda, and Riona.
I'm still waiting for some of the threads to come that's the reason for the skipping about with the stitches at the moment. 
This is 3 Friday nights worth of stitching, yeah, I know, not a lot!

I'm going to try and keep this a secret and give it to Jenny on December 1st when she puts up her Christmas decorations.

The cake baking continues, and I'm beginning to think pledging 200 cakes was a little ambitious, I'm just over half way there though, hopefully over the next two weeks I will reach  my target.

Last week was Chocolate Brownies and m&m cookies, they were mostly gone by lunch time :-)

And earlier in the week I made some muffins, but they were a bit disappointing, they tasted OK but didn't have muffin tops :-(  
If anyone can share a tried and tested muffin recipe please tell me.

That's all for now, I want to thank you for all the lovely comments on my ornament finishes in my last post, as someone who finds finishing a bit of a challenge your encouragement really made my day :-)
This weekend is the Hobby Crafts Show at the NEC in Birmingham,     so that's what I'll be doing this coming Saturday, I've got my wish list ready and money saved so I can treat myself, can't wait!

Until next time x

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Catching up for February

I seem to have dropped out there for a while, but at least while I've been MIA I've been productive stitching and finishing ornaments.
Here are all my finishes for February.

Ribbon Reindeer
free design from Daffycat

I used the stitching fabric for the backing on this one (my preferred method for finishing) and repeated the boarder on the reverse.
I love these little reindeer's, Sharon kindly sent me the charts for her little creations and I will definitely be stitching them all before Christmas.

Yuletide Greetings
free design from Oakhaven Designs
My own colour choice - DMC 782 and White

Christmas Eve Flight
free design from The Sampler Girl
Again, my own colour choice but I forgot to make a note of them!

And the last one is a Lizzie Kate

This Lizzie Kate one has been waiting to be finish finished for well over 12 months, I came across it when I was having a sort out, I'd forgotten all about it!
I've also been doing lots of baking.
I have pledged 200 cakes to this years Heart Radio appeal, they are supporting 3 children's charities this year with their Bake a Wish, you can read all about what they are doing here.  So I've been inflicting my baking on work colleagues for the last two weeks and demanding asking them to donate 50p per cake .
here is what they have had to endure so far:

Chocolate fudge cake & carrot cake cupcakes

Raspberry and coconut slices & a Lemon drizzle cake

Sultana cake (very similar to Manor House Cake)

I'm happy to say that I haven't poisoned anyone....yet (grin) and they are going down a storm so far.

I'm heading off to our stitching group tonight and I've made a Victoria sponge to take for when we have our cuppa :-)

I appreciate you stopping by today and leaving a comment, 
see you soon x