Wednesday 31 December 2008

A visit from my son and his partner... and the dog!

A lovely day again when my son Simon and Tracy visited and with them came Asia..
she is a Japanese akita dog and huge! When she went in the lounge and plonked herself down, we couldn't get past her and the coffee table!

Monday 29 December 2008

Christmas at home...

This was our table Boxing day strangely dh didn't take one christmas day I think it may have been as he did the bulk of the cooking!

This is just some of our christmas pics, we had a wonderful time and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit! As you can see my cracker had a little fan in it! This is me and my SIL the other pics show my step daughters one of my grand sons and my daughters back!

We ate well! Diet here I come!

Monday 22 December 2008

My Birthday December 20th

These are all the beautiful cards and presents I had from my stitching friends over 40 threads, 4 kits, a thread organiser, some aida, and a lovely Lizzie Kate chart and as well as this a beautiful needle book from Sue which I have photographed separately. Isn't it beautiful and so is the card which she made as well.

I did have a lovely day, Mike bought me some beautiful earings with diamonds in their centres, an allotment book from my son Simon and a book voucher from my in laws... it seems my daughter who now is working couldn't organise herself t0 post me something and is bringing it with her when they come after christmas day!!! I have the cards from my family as well so in total I have had 56 cards! Several are beautiful stitched ones. So a lovely day!

Friday 19 December 2008

My eldest and youngest sons and me!

Omgosh I look as though I had drunk the wine but I only had water... 'onest!
This is Simon, me and Michael..the weekend before last when we spent the day with them. Here we are at the pub. I had such a lovely afternoon with them all, Tracy Simon's partner and Helen Michael's partner. Simon is such a lovely young man and so patient and he paid for the meal as my birthday treat. And I have some lovely parcels to open tomorrow when it is my birthday!! Exciting I have about 40 cards and 12 parcels to open!

Something easy!

I bought this in August 2006 at the Quilting Show at the NEC and because I am all up to date with other xstitch and needed something easy to do I have dug it out of my UFOs or could have been called abandoned projects! I had gone wrong and couldn't see how to progress without major frogging, but a time away gave me the answers. It called ' Cats, Cats, Cats.' What a surprise! Being on 14 aida it has given my eyes a treat and I am so enjying doing it, I have photographed it and posted it here so it will move me to do lots more over the Christmas time before I start new projects in the new year.
And I have met and completed all my November projects, 3 pifs, 3 christmas ornies and the Monthly Challenge!

Friday 12 December 2008

Every thing is happening together!

My threads have arrived from my regular supplier she now has her own web site so if you want some bargains then look her up. This little lot here 20 threads only cost £6 and that included p&p!
I wanted them for a Lizzie Kate design for the HoE for January, and a little something for a friend!

I also now have the 32c Belfast Linen in Antique Ivory and the Vicky Clayton hand dyed variegated threads for the Beatrice Potter sal starting in January.

The threads look a bit dark here but they are perfect and I love the crushed berry colours. The Antique Ivory looks a bit yellow to me but it was the one recommended, I am in two minds whether to get a different colour, perhaps just ivory... what ever as it is 32c I shall have to block it out and shall do this before the start date of January the first.

I have also now finished the three Christmas ornies which I shall clip to cards for friends. I am really pleased with the finishes as I have finished them all differently. I can show them here as they don't cross stitch nor blog! They are the friends I have through the Reading and Writing Group...

As well as finishing these I have also completed my three PIFs, so as soon as they are received by Sue, Kath and Gaynor I shall post pictures here...and I have finished the Lizzie Kate for the HoE so I am doing 'happy dances!!

Wednesday 3 December 2008

TOF Exchange

I have had a lovely parcel from Sally all the way from Nova Scotia, Canada.
The picture doesn't do it justice.

The exchange was a biscornu and I asked for it in Christmassy colours and with it she sent some threads and sweeties! The sweeties were pumpkin poops and pepperminty golf balls! And also some bath salts all were packed in little christmassy bags!

Mine was to be sent to Sue in this country...I sent a biscornu, a Lizzie kate seasons chart, little bow buttons, and a Cath Kidson pin tin.

I loved sewing the biscornu and wish now I had taken pics of it by itself as I did a pattern on the back too!
The TOF is a group where each member is given a DMC colour thread to send on members birthdays. My birthday is this month and I have already had 14 cards and little parcels.... ooooooh exciting I have to wait till 20th to open them!

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Weekend in London

We had a wonderful weekend, the show The Jersey Boys was wow, and of course being our era we just loved and knew all the songs! Why don't they write them like that today!

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Check up

Well I have been and returned from my hospital check up and I had a blood test and I was in and out in less than 30 minutes!! The longest I was, was getting there as the 10 min journey at that time of the morning is queuing for half an hour as all the staff are trying to get in the one road entrance!
So don’t have to go again till June 2009, which I was surprised about as I thought this was to be my last appointment but he said they like to keep track of their knee patients!
He showed me my x-rays again which I hate looking at as you can see the joint they have inserted into my bones!
A mild day here and our new coffee table and set of three tables in light oak arrived when I was out and they are gorgeous! Our lounge looks really nice we are so pleased and have sat in there for a moment to admire it all and then Mike reminded me that it should look nice as we have spent an awful lot of money in that one room alone! I feel like saying...'eat your heart out Laura Ashley!' as we wanted a coffee table from there and it was a three months wait for delivery so I found this on the net and it is more or less the same!
We are thinking of going to the allotment this afternoon!

Monday 17 November 2008

ummm........ Smell that cake!

I have been feeding my Christmas cake and the smell is delicious! The little Santa will be set on the top in the middle once its iced! Today I used Crofts Original Sherry and I was very tempted to have a sip, but I am back on my strict food plan so I resisted, but omgosh it smelt wonderful.
I am into the Christmas mood now!!

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Christmas is coming!

I have been busy getting my christmas stitching done, this is a card for Bec in the TOF group as evidently she is mad on Scotty dogs and when I saw this on ebay months ago I thought of her.
The two little ornies were lovely to stitch as they were small and each done in an evening; the blue star and red christmas tree are for my Reading Group friends, I am making those up into cards. Only three more to go!! So a busy stitching evening ahead of me!

A gift

When Su stood up in church a couple of sundays ago and through tears said she had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, I knew I had to make her something, and here it is made up into a hanging.
The mauve ribbon is for any type of cancer.
I hope she'll like it and won't mind me stitching this as she doesn't know me personally but I have said a prayer with every stitch.

I am including a hand made little notelet with it and posting it off today. Progress reports say she is tired from the chemo after her op, so God's Blessings for her and strength to face the rest of her treatments.

Sunday 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday

We watchedThe British Legion Service of Remembrance last evening and it had some so sad bits in it as they interviewed a mother of a 20 year soldier killed this year, I had tears in my eyes and I suspect so did Mike as he was very quiet. His nephew Matthew was killed in Iraq three years ago, he used to visit and play with Mike’s son George, so he knew him growing up.
I was struck by the beauty of the whole service and how it was so moving, say what you like about Britain one thing we know is how to produce such a programme.
Today the Baptist church I attend is joining with a C of E church at 11 to stand outside at the Cenotaph. I shall have to take my walking stick to walk the short distance

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.

Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep,though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Monday 3 November 2008


I entered a PIF on Hazel's blog and I am one for the lucky people to be drawn as a member of her PIF.
*** This is how it works ***
If you would like to receive something handmade by me within the next 365 days, please comment on this post to say that you are interested. I will then ask my DH to draw 3 names out of a hat on Monday 10th November (GMT). It has to be then as we have weekend visitors. If you are one of the chosen three then in return, please post the same offer on your blog.
This is a simple and a lovely way of spreading joy in the stitching world. I hope that you will join in and possibly become one of my PIF members!
This PIF is open for everyone!

Friday 31 October 2008

Halloween design by Lavender Wings

I am delighted with this and loved stitching it, and I got it finished by October 31st for the Monthly Challenge! It is Lavender Wings design on 28count even weave with DMC threads. It's called 'Scary Carrie' I shall post it to Saskia and although she now won't get it till next week it, it will go with her newly decorated bedroom which has an orange wall.
A bit chilly here today but who cares we are in the warm and relaxing!!

Wednesday 29 October 2008

My Hubby

This is Mike cutting our stuffed marrow, grown by us. I say us, as I grew the seeds in a propagator and he planted the plants out in the garden. It was delicious! I add a bread sauce mix to the mince and onion and it gives it that extra bit of taste. Oh and yes I stuffed and cooked it!
Yesterday he ironed a pile of clothes at my daughters and I cleaned her kitchen and scrubbed her dreadfull dried as hard as cement porridge pot!
Her hubby calls it the devils pot as it is so hard to clean, why oh why doesn't she pop it into a bowl of water as soon as she has served the porridge I don't know! In spite of the fact we went there to Cambridge to help her to get straight and we did, we still had time for cups of tea and chats. Mike took the boys for a kick around in the park and they arrived back at the house just as a terrific hail stone storm arrived, it was so thick it lay on the ground like snow! Brrrrr I think our winter has arrived!

Monday 27 October 2008

Our Conservatory

Just a corner of our conservatory with some of my new plants. I have been quite a while clearing it up. I love this little room and when I have a minute I intend to put some of my cross stitch pictures in there. All the little baskets and shelves have all my craft stuff there. I did intend to set up Aunt Alice's table with the drop down sides in there to make my cards etc but now with our big table in the dining room there's no need.

So this is where we sit for coffee, the lights are like bull rushes and we bought it with vouchers we were given by friends when we got married.
I like to light candles in there in the evening too and the refection in the windows is so pretty..

The odd plant on the little chest is an aloa vera brought back from holiday by Michael and Helen.. I am always afraid to water it incase I kill it!

The throw on the little settee is the quilt Jenny made for us. Its a Victorian Wedding Quilt
Every square has detail sewn on, fancy stitching, embroidery, beads, flowers, rosebuds, rings and hearts, it is so beautiful and so wonderfully made she is so clever.
I always show it to everyone that comes and tell them that my epal friend Jenny made that for us and gave it to me in April 2006 when she came here to UK.. We must go and visit her in Australia in the spring 2009, and this time nothing will stop us!!

Sunday 26 October 2008

Yesterday .....

.......We bought these plants for the conservatory, I want to spread them out on the window sill and give in there a good clean tomorrow.
We also ordered the curtains for our lounge! We will actually have curtains in there for christmas, they are Laura Ashley and will look perfect with our carpet, we also bought new lamps which are gorgeous and would have got a coffee a table too but delivery was February so we cancelled and came home and bought a pale oak one with two drawers from Oakland Furniture on line and also a nest of matching tables, it is so exciting, once we have up the pictures it will look simply lovely! I can't wait to have it all finished! It is light and pretty in there and with the down lights lit in the shelves in the evening quite romantic!
A very satisfying day!

Saturday 25 October 2008

My latest efforts!

This is my name tag hanging on my basket that I bought when we went to Gloucester and I went to Sue Hawkins work shop.. the basket doesn't go with anything in the lounge but I so love it!

I found the queen stitching quite hard again but looked back at Sue's very detailed pictures of how to do it and I did!
Pictured also is the acorn biscornu which I designed myself although I did see the acorn on a cross stitch pattern in a book the rest is mine. I was really pleased when I had finished it as it was the first biscornu I had made. I use it as a pin cushion and am always delighted when I see it...

Friday 24 October 2008

The Thief

We think its this furry little rascal that has eaten all but one of our figs! you can see the little teeth marks on the solitary one that is left.. but he does give us loads of entertainment so we will forgive him this year and next year they will be covered with a fleece as soon as they start to form.

We have watched him this morning and honestly we felt exhausted for him, he was up and down off our bird table about 20 times and then digging up the plants in my flower beds to make room for his nuts... he scurried around all morning and we having done the shopping sat and watched him from our conservatory drinking endless coffee and eating jaffa cakes! A very pleasant morning!

Friday 17 October 2008

Finishing off!

I have a been getting the finishing touches on several pieces of work completed which has been my objective these last few days as I have finished my exchanges.. so its been back stitch and beads on work.. I can't decide whether to frame my little 'Mice and Blackberries' or not I shall have to think about it.

My 'name' piece of work has turned out rather nicely and I am pleased with my queen stitches although it took me a while to get the long legged cross stitches quite right and I had to do some frogging! but it is going to look very nice tied onto my pink basket, can't wait to show Elaine who is coming for a cross stitch session next tuesday.

Tomorrow I shall take pics of everything finished or not. I can't decide what to do next I have got that lovely peachy biscornu to do so I might do that or the freebie Sew Pink..

I shall look at both tomorrow morning and decide then! I won't be able to do much during the day as I have to get the back garden sorted!

These were my summer pots.... I should be photographing my winter ones but they are still being planted!

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Being Good!!

I desperately want to start that freebie name which is a needle keep or make it into a flat fold, but I have spent some time framing these two Helen Philip samplers. So I feel I have been good!

I love doing samplers like this as it is rows of different stitches and patterns... the winter one was the one I requested in the Cross stitcher magazine and I was inundated with pages and one women sent the whole magazine!! These have been finished for ages! I found the frames on some cheap pictures and they are just the right size and a fraction of the cost at Hobby Craft.
I have also finished my Christmas Exchanges and have little pressies to send with them, so I am going to sew the beads on my 'Mice and Blackberries' and look for a frame for that at the weekend too. I can then start that name!
Mike's new boss is delighted with the Program he has written and was wowed by the Report which he did too, into which he incorporated drawings and data pages so I have some clever husband!
And of course he cooks, what more could a woman want!
And I have a second reason for feeling I am being good as I have filled in my Tax Return at last!!!

Friday 10 October 2008

FFFrriday, tomorrow its the weekend

I have such a lot to do I don't know where to start... I still haven't done my Tax Return!
I have nearly finished my cross stitch exchanges and want to do that name flat fold, I found on Victoria's Sampler Site. one for Yvonne and Rosalie and of course I have my christmas cards to make. And it would be nice to do one for Elaine and Debi in my reading group as they both sent me lovely cards and phoned and sent emails.
Elaine's was that lovely poodle painting which was Boysie when he was young before he started going grey!

Its been very quiet here today, we were up early and no dog to come up on the bed with us as we were drinking our tea at 5:30 again!! Mike wanted to finish this 'job' as he did none on Wednesday. As we were up so early we have put off going to the cinema it would have been a waste of money because I would have slept all the way through the film as I usually do!
Both of us have had a few tears as we sorted out his bed and food bowls. I have put his lead and pretty blue collar in the coat cupboard, the police gave it to us.

I keep seeing him trotting down the garden path after Mike, but only when it was dry he didn't like rain. Mike and I have laughed again at the fact that the poo bag disappeared that he had in his hand when the car hit him... I am just so grateful Mike has only got bruises.

These are my christmas goodies! I bought the fabric on line and have used some already for a flat fold . I will be using some on my ornie and a biscornu so exciting for me!
I am so pleased with my christmas biscornu which is for Sue in our TOF exchange I think I will make myself one! Its so red and green and pretty. When it's received I shall post a picture.
Sunny here but cold at the moment!
Best get myself off this butt magnet and do something!
I think we are off to see Mama Mia tonight which will be good for us as we need to get out more!

Thursday 9 October 2008


Yesterday was not a good day… we were up early in the morning as I was determined to get my Tax Return done . So by 8:30 I had everything done, I even showered at 7! And we had tidied round, I finished hanging up my winter clothes and swapping jumpers for tee shirts in my drawers and dusted and etc in the bed room as Mike said he would vacuum up there later. I even had washing on the line. Then before he settled to do his ‘work’ and I was going to log on and say good morning to my group he decided to take the dog around the block…
At 9:10 there was a knock at the front door and I thought it was him having forgotten his key, it was a paramedic. I looked at her saw the ambulance and thought opps I have forgotten a hospital appointment. It just didn’t register seeing her…..But no, she assured me right away Mike was alright but he had been knocked down by a car mounting the pavement and Boysie sorry to say had been killed outright.
We were at the hospital all morning, got home about 12... Mike has a badly bruised leg, he was saved by a hedge as the car pushed him off his feet and into it.. Our little dog didn’t have a chance..
So we are very sad and have had a few weeps, the house is very quiet although he didn’t make a lot of noise he had to sit where ever we were. Its going to be hard to tell the girls especially Emily as she adored that dog..
The blessing is that Mike wasn’t too badly injured, so we are grateful for that..thank God. That's all I was concerned about but I am going to miss my little dog.

I had him for nine years such a tiny little thing.He slept on my bed all those years before I met and married Mike 2 years ago, so I am missing him quite a bit. A tiny little toy poodle, he only weighed 7 pounds, so hit by a car he didn’t have a chance. Boysie had to sleep right up against my back and if I turned over he used to jump over me and settle down again in the small of my back. My daughter used to say ‘yuk’ when they stayed and she saw him there in the mornings, so I dared tell her that the cat was under the duvet by my legs, all three of us slept together for years!
Mike had some shaky moments off and on all yesterday with flash backs as he could see the car coming towards them on the pavement but couldn't get out of the way. He was saved by the hedge as the car pushed Mike into it and it stopped the car going further.

But we have had a laugh as well, as the paramedics cut the leg of his jeans, and fortunately it was an old pair that were baggy on him where he has lost weight, but we left the hospital with that leg of his jeans tucked in his waist band as it was flapping around, looked really funny! They cut the arm of his fleece too, but I shall sew that up as he can wear it in the allotment..
We looked a sorry sight both hobbling along together.. so a sad day.

We shall get another dog perhaps in the spring another little poodle.

Tuesday 7 October 2008


Wouldn't it be lovely to look out at this instead of the drizzly rain today.. this is how I remember Tuscany that year I went with Linda it was glorious.

I have lots of lovely holiday memories from different parts of the world...

I think I am dreaming of holidays gone because we have decided to maybe not have a break in November after all.. we shall see how this work of Mike's pan's out. He is working at home again today which is nice for me, although I am upstairs sorting out summer and winter clothes. I am throwing a lot out that are out of date and I haven't worn for a while.

I have several lovely blouses that are too tight so I am keeping to the diet for the rest of this week! It is such a shame that I have some super clothes that just don't fit me, some of them new and never worn! Gosh that reminds me of Sabrina when I told her I had clothes in my wardrobe I had never worn, quick as a flash she said...' everybody has, so don't worry!'

That's what friends are for to boost your morale !! I could do with a few around here!

Monday 6 October 2008

A real Autumn Sunday

We had another lovely day together yesterday. Dinner at Binley Carvery which was delicious, we both had beef and a pud! Then came home for coffee and relaxed!
It was all so Autumny! Lovely smells of trees and leaves and warm and cosy at home...

Mike then decided to start his 'work' writing a program and I spent hours looking at different cross stitch, craft and fabric sites all afternoon! So I must get some things done today. I have finished my Mice and Blackberries pic and only have the back stitching to do, so I am going to leave that and start my Christmas ornie for the Xstitch exchange group.. then I have my christmas biscornu for TOF group so I best get my butt off this butt magnet and move!

Sunday 5 October 2008


Absolutely tipping down here today!

Yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed our drive to Buckingham. The Head Stone on Great Aunt Alice's grave looked very nice, gold lettering although at the bottom of the grave was a small name tag with her second married name so we took it off as she gave strict intructions that she was not to have that. We put some chrysanths on the grave and thought it all looked very nice. Its two years since she has died age 95 years so a good age.
Then back in the shopping area; I had a lovely lunch of bacon and stilton cheese salad… and Waitrose has opened up there instead of Budgens, so we came home with a baked American cheese cake which is not SW but oh so yummy! And some other yummy stuff from the new deli shop.

Then we drove down to Biscester Village outlet, but as it is new there were lots of places not open yet. Loads of Chinese and Japanese people there and other foreigners, it was crowded! I bought a super Radley bag reduced to £48!! Red, it is gorgeous and I can’t wait to buy a new navy coat to go with it! The photo includes the fabric draw string bag to store your bag in and the carrier bag... isn't it gorgeous? I love it!!
Disappointingly the Cath Kidson shop only had a selection of her goods and when I asked why the girl said they only have the stuff that doesn't sell in her shops! So I have bought it all on line as the postage was only £4.95 for all of it!
We really enjoyed our day and when we got home Mike did steak and salad and of course we had some of the cheese cake, it just melted in your mouth.

But all that walking, albeit slowly I was in bed by 9 and sleeping, but at least I kept going, must admit though walking back to the car was very painful.

Saturday 4 October 2008

Letter from Jenny

Here she is 2 years ago!!She was 60 on September 25th and is coming here next year,I am going to try and do a quilt to show her that hers has inpsired me to try! I look at it on the little settee in the conservatory it is so beautiful and clever and it was so lovely of her to make its for us, I can't believe that she will be here next year!


Friday 3 October 2008

A day in the garden

I had my first real gardening session yesterday. It was a perfect Autunm day, sunshine and a bit of a breeze and someone had a bonfire going so the smell was in the air. Mike had cleaned out the green house so I potted up the pelagoniums and then I cleared some of the south border so I had had a lovely afternoon gardening at last!! I pulled out the summer bedding nicotiana and antirrhinums and just turned the soil at the border edge of one border so about 8ft of border! I felt so pleased that I could and it looked as though its been done too.

Mike ‘Autumn weeded and feeded’ our small bit of lawn and we were admiring it, because when I arrived here two years ago it was a foot high tumps of grass!

So I am getting better!

We had a lovely SW meal of SW chips, egg, beans and sausage and I feel as though I had eaten a feast and enjoyed it!

Lunch time we had corn on the cob grown by me! And very nice it was too!
I felt it was the sign of things to come with Mike not working full time, it is going to be so nice, we can do what we like when we want to!

Tuesday 30 September 2008


I have suddenly realised that this is the last day of September... Joanne was 44 on the 26th (Linda, my friend was 61!) so I feel old!

Well some days I do anyway, but there is a light because Saskia is coming to stay the last week of October as her school has two weeks at half term and she would be home alone.. Yvonne has asked if she can stay too at that time so two visitors!.