Sunday 28 April 2019

Coming to you from a different location today

Saturday was our stitching meet up at the Nimble Thimble.
A group of us meet up twice a year, April and October, for a day of stitching, stashing and eating.

For the last few years I've made a weekend of it and stayed over, I stayed at Everglades once before, It's run by a lovely couple who extended their bungalow to have separate accommodation for visitors, they also have a chalet in the garden, and this is where I stayed this time.

I'm going back home in the morning, it's been lovely to get away and enjoy some uninterrupted stitching and knitting time.

I made a new stitching start while we were there yesterday, Suzannah by Carriage House Samplings, this was the chart I mentioned in a previous post that I was waiting for fabric to start.

This is how much I got done yesterday, It doesn't really look a lot does it?  Funny how when you look at a chart you can underestimate how much actual time it will take to stitch, lol

I have done a little more this afternoon and made a start on her hair.

I didn't venture into the shop until after lunch and I was very careful about what I bought.
Having had a clear out recently I'm determined to get through some of the charts I've had for a while and not add to my stash buying charts that will sit there for years.

My bargain buy was this complete set of all 12 months of the Calendar Girls series.
I paid £28 for the set, which works out to just over £2.30 per chart!
They are something that I've been wanting to stitch so I was very happy with that :-)

Two other charts, Robin's Song is so pretty, Ursh was stitching this at the meet up and I think I managed to nab the last chart!

Two sleds.
There were only 4 sleds on sale and Tina bought the other 2
The Morning Star Santa (chart above) will go on one sled, Tina bought the Snowman chart and we are going to do a chart swap

I also bought 2 small pieces of fabric (which are not photographing very well so I gave up).

I was watching an episode of Crafternoon Treats podcast the other week and she was showing her April Sock Club yarn.  The club had already been posted and received by those who signed up so it was not a spoiler but when I saw the colourway and she said there was some left in her etsy shop I had to stop watching and go over and order some!

The inspiration behind the dying was those little Cadbury mini eggs.
(image from Google)

She did a great job I think :-)

I wanted to have another attempt at socks and thought that If I chose a yarn that I really really loved I would be more inclined to want to see it to the end, lol

 Is't the yarn pretty knit up? I love it! and it's so nice to knit with, not at all like the commercial sock yarns I've tried with in the past. 

Ok, that's it for now, i'm off to enjoy a bit more stitching time while the light is still on my side, later I will do a few more rounds on my sock.

I hope you have all had a good weekend and hope you have a great week :-)

See you next week 
(when I will again be in a different location!)


Sunday 21 April 2019

Happy Easter, Happy Birthday

 We just couldn't have had more perfect weather for this Bank Holiday weekend, It's been absolutely glorious.  
Easter Sunday also happened to be my youngest daughters birthday this year too, she turned 25 today.  In 1994 the weather was nowhere near as lovely, either for Easter,(which was earlier in the month that year), or the day she was born, in fact i'm sure we had some snow just before she was born.

We decided to make the most of the weather and have afternoon tea outside, I made a Simnal cake yesterday, first time I've made this particular cake, it looks the part, can't comment on the taste because I haven't tried it yet, but i'm sure it's fine, what's not to like, it has two layers of marzipan, lol

 The kids had fun hunting for their eggs and playing in the sunshine


I've been enjoying sitting in my little blue house while the weather is nice, although it does get rather hot in there late afternoon.

Someone else has also been enjoying time in there, and doesn't seem mind the heat, lol

We still have lots of colour in the garden, I will be sorry when the Tulips are finished.

We have one more day of relaxation tomorrow, I don't plan on going anywhere, Mark is still working on Stevie's bathroom so I'm just going to enjoy some quiet time at home.   

I hope you all had a lovely Easter too.

Until next time

Sunday 14 April 2019

The Birthday Boy

Today is Arthur's first birthday.

I can hardly believe that it's been 12 months since Jenny and James allowed me to share with them birth of this gorgeous little boy. 

How time does seem to fly by as you get older.

I made his cake, don't look too closely at the icing, the cake tasted great but icing is not as easy as you tube makes it look!  I think cake decorating needs a gently touch and I've got a heavy hand, lol
Never mind, it was made with love, and that's what counts.

Jenny had been asking me to knit a rabbit like the one I did for Bonnie, Arthur's is a chocolate bunny

 With a cute pom pom tail, (don't know how long the tail will last though!)

The pattern is a free one, you can find it on Ravelry, it's by Erica Knight

 I also made him a little embroidery
This is one of the DMC kits, I'm not happy with how it's sitting in the hoop so will have another go at fitting it in tighter.  The design is printed on the fabric but I have to say that they are very mean with the fabric, there is very little boarder when you put it in the hoop.
Still, it came out cute.

It's been a very busy week and weekend, we were at my Nephews wedding all day yesterday and I've been at my daughter's for most of the day today, no chance for sitting and resting at all this week!

I'll leave you with some photos of the birthday boy, my favourite is the last one, that sweet face!! :-)

Until next time

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