Monday 28 December 2009

A Wonderful Christmas time

We have had a lovely christmas. Our dinner was yummy, I cooked the turkey and ducks and of course made the gravy! Mike did the rest!! I had made the christmas puds ages ago and very nice they were too. My youngest son came and stayed and my eldest son and fiance came on Boxing day with Asia her akita dog, which is so big there was no room in the lounge for all seven adults and that big dog!
Here is my dh ready to cook, sorry about dyson behind him we had moved it out of the cupboard to get out the wines and I took the photo without noticing it hadn't been put back!

So now its a new year ahead and I am looking forward to new ventures. My son Simon's wedding is planned for April 30th and I will be back on my food plan this week. I only put on 2 pounds over Christmas, but we have had an awful lot of biscuits and chocolates given us, although I can resist chocs and I only have one biscuit when I have a coffee so they will last for quite a while.

I am concentrating on my WIPs this coming year with one or two other pieces each month eg. there is the Travelling Stitcher SAL and also the Stitch and Stash Monthly challenge and the SS RR. So still quite a bit to do each month.
So my saying for this coming new year is..........

The hope of a new day peeks through my window!

Thursday 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas to everyone!

My birthday was last sunday and I had a lovely day, We went to Essex to meet up with my three sons, and we had a truely scrumptious meal together. Mike bought me some beautiful earings, three coloured gold hoops with diamonds. They are lovely and if I was buying myself earings I would have bought those. I love them. Simon's Tracy and I had a giggle together in the pub toilets as you do about my sons and the fact once together they all revert to car talking bores!! Such a laugh, they haven't changed that over the years, but I can cope with them as its lovely to see them all getting along and having a laugh together.
And so I am a year older and in fact I am old, but gosh I don't feel that old but not 21 any more. My friends the same age as myself are all admitting to aches and pains so I am happy to join them and say I too have the odd ache, but only the odd one!
And what have I been doing as the day draws nearer?
This is my little freebie from Blue Ribbon which was the SS December challenge, don't look too closely as I made mistakes.. The red birds were half stitches and I just couldn't do it on the loose linen 28C I used, so I just did them as well as I could and tried to make them the shape they were.

And here are the socks finished for my DH, I increased the stitches on the pattern I had as directed but it didn't then say how many stitches in the heel turn etc, so just as well I am a veteran sock knitter, but it pushed my maths ratio knowledge to its limits and I have got bits of paper with lots of scribbly figures on them! LOL

And some of our christmas efforts.Our side board with the cake and chocs and of course Crofts Original sherry, which I like to have christmas morning with the smell of the turkey cooking. The little silver tray I bought one year from an antique shop on one of our Nurses Reunions. Our next is planned for 2011 when it will be 50 years from one we started, whew, we are all getting old!!

Our mantle piece in our lounge

And our tree, the cost of which was much too much and if we hadn't had vouchers from the garden centre where we bought it, we wouldn't have bought it. But it is one that keeps its pine needles so thats good, it means it will last till 12th Night. And Emily, Mike and myself dressed it together, we have lots of very pretty little ornaments that Mike and I bought together from the christmas shop in Stratford

So here we are Christmas Eve.. we have everything done, we think! I made Rocky Road choc slab and mince pies yesterday, the cake is iced, Mike has made ice cream and is making the merigne base for the pavlova today and I shall make the Boxing day trifle. We have the turkey and ducks, lots of veg and all the trimmings. My son Michael is joining us and my eldest son Simon and Tracy are arriving Boxing day and they are all staying for a day or two so that will be great. We are looking forward to the day now and the cooking doesn't faze me one bit as Mike does most of it I just hover and supervise!
So HAPPY CHRISTMAS ALL and I hope 2010 will be your best year ever, with good health and every blessing and happiness through out the year.

Saturday 19 December 2009

Wintery weather, just right for stitching

Don’t you just love how it all looks in the snow, trouble is when you have to go out in it! Fortunately ours was just a light dusting and as the sun is out now, it has melted.
However it is really cold and it was -6 here this morning and it felt that it way too, the dog came in from the garden with freezing paws, bless!
Still we are all geared up for Christmas day and if we go out again to shop we will have enough food till Easter!
Tomorrow we are driving south to Chelmsford to meet up with my three sons for my birthday so hope the roads will be clear. The forecast is for icy cold here again but not snow, we will be driving into it! My middle son is travelling from West Wales so hope his roads will be clear as down there the lanes can be blocked by drifts.
Just the weather to be in stitching!!

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Ta-da.... Beatrix Finished!!

Some very happy dancing going on here I have finished my Beatrix Potter Quaker design! It is stitched on 32C Linen, antique white with VC HDF colour Dried Roses.
I am very proud of it and amazed that I have finished

It needs a good press which I will do tomorrow and then sort out a framer. This is going to be my Family Heirloom!!
So what now??? Well I have already started Lavender and Lace, Celtic Lady and I have ' The Convent Herbal Garden,' by Chatelaine all kitted up, but I am scared to start it!!
In the new year there is my Sal for the LHN 'Travelling Stitcher' and I thought I might start off another blog called Only from my stash, where members take turns to chose 'a small' and the others have to stitch it up but only using stuff from their stash! And also to keep me busy I am in the SS (Jayne's Attic) RR organsided by Clare.

And I am also starting off a travelling chart?? I think. So busy time ahead!

Sunday 13 December 2009

Really poorly but a finish and moving on!

This last week has been a slow recovery from a horrible UTI, I have seen more Drs in the last three weeks than I have seen in three years. I hate taking anti-biotics but needs must and thank God for them as I was in considerable pain.
Once I started feeling better it was a very quick recovery and I stitched! Although last saturday I stayed in bed till lunch time, yes I was ill!
But here is my lastest progress on my Blue Ribbon design, called 'Between the Lines' I am loving this and could just stitch this all the time, but I want to finish my Beatrice Quaker sampler so have to stitch some of that too, when it is finished I'll post a pic, I had quite a few frogs call and it was so hard to get back to it after unpicking a whole motif!

And here is my Cat Sampler made up into a cushion!! I would never have finished this if I hadn't joined the 2009 Sal with Gaynor and Co, so thanks to them it was stitched and now a lovely cushion.

AS well as this stitching I have started knitting my DH's socks and have one completed. I had to adjust the number of stitches and altho the pattern said how many stitches to cast on according to measurement around the ball of the foot, all the rest was left to you to work out. So my ratio maths was pushed to its limits and I had to undo one part! I was worried that I may not have enough wool for the second sock, but I have weighed it and it weighs 50g so should be enough, otherwise Mike will have one sock short in the foot!! LOL

He loves the colour which is like a heathery shade and I have some other wool on the way for a pair for moi!
Happy stitching all

Thursday 3 December 2009

An amazing early birthday present!

Last evening I had my birthday present from my Mike, my DH. It was all his own idea and doing, he booked it all.

The beautiful Nutcracker Suite ballet and it was wonderful The dancing was superb, it was The Birmingham Ballet Company.
The scenery and costumes and effects were amazing. In fact so clever they made the little girl small by scenery changing to larger than life so she looked small.

The opening scene of the second act brought spontaneous clapping as Clara the little girl in the story arrived on a huge swan that flew slowly across the stage. I think I clapped the loudest!! (Sorry no pics of this, which is a shame as it truly was amazing!!)The music alone was mesmerizing but it was all so beautiful I can’t thank my husband enough for such a wonderful present.

We ate in the theatre restaurant first and need I say how melt in the mouth it was, so a perfect start to an unforgettable evening.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Progress and a happy dance inspite of feeling proper poorly!!

Getting things stitched in rotation isn’t so hard once you start. I decided that I would give each piece two evenings and lo and behold I have completed loads, much more than I thought I would.
Importantly as well, not doing any exchanges this month has allowed me to work on my WIPs and I am delighted with the results.
First I must show my sock bag!Isn't it dinky, the pattern for the bag came with the sock pattern, cute or what?

These have been posted off as it is my friend's birthday December 3rd. She wears socks around the house so hopefully these will keep her toes toasty warm.

My Blue Ribbon design is beginning to look really nice. I was worried that the colours were too garish but now that I have stitch more they look fine.

And this is my Summer Celtic Lady, great excitement I have stitched some of the gold and some beads. I was like a kid with a new toy with the gold braid as the effect is instant and it shines much more than the photo shows.

And a happy dance......
I have finished my LHN Prairie Sampler in the given four weeks; I found this quite hard to stitch to order, so I am going to suggest for our LHN Travelling Stitcher Sal which is to start January 2nd that we take six weeks and then any one who finishes sooner can stitch the little needle case if they wish.

So I consider I have had a very productive week inspite of having a nasty cold, something I haven't had for years. I had forgotten how horrible it is to have a runny, red raw nose, chesty cough, cough, sore throat and ear ache! I was proper poorly on thursday and it was a real effort to do anything, even stitching, I felt that ill!!

PS Just noticed its my birthday in 20 days time and I haven't lost 4 stone since last year only 1, criky I can't eat for the next 20 days!! LOL

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Wednesdays child is full of woe?....

That could be me today as my weigh in at my slimming group showed a three pound gain all that wonderful food at the weekend... but I am not woeful.. I have accepted that its happened and am back right away on track and in the zone!

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

With all the flooding that has happened in Cumbria I vowed that I will never again complain when it rained when I was expecting sunshine; that day planned to be with my grand children, a day out in the country with my husband, a big wash day and recently a morning in Brighton with my son and his partner and hubby. The rain was so heavy we left without the planned walk on the beach with the dogs. My son was so apologetic for what he said was all that driving there to no avail, but we had enjoyed the drive through to us new country side and listening to ‘The Archers’ omnibus on the radio, we were a happy little pair!
In fact we were grateful for the time spent in the car just driving along together.
Then today my Women’s on line Devotions said this:-

Researchers have found that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, more satisfaction with life, and more vitality and optimism.
All good qualities I want more of in my life. They also found grateful people show lower levels of depression and stress - two things I'd like not to experience in my life.
What's more, they found that people who write weekly in a journal about things they are thankful for, are healthier. They exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, and feel better in general than people who journal about neutral or negative life events.
Doesn’t that sound great for us optimistic bloggers, and I'll take all the help I can get in the exercise department, because I don’t like exercise at all and avoid it at all costs

Finally, the research showed that people who daily count their blessings report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy.
Wow, the benefits of being grateful are remarkable and many! I guess that shouldn't surprise me after considering today's key verse. The Bible urges us to give thanks … all the time … in every situation … because this practice is the will of God.
As Christians, we can always find reason to give thanks – thanks for the salvation of Christ, the nearness of God, and the counsel of His Spirit for starters. The psalmist declared, "I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High" (Psalm 7:17, NIV).

No wonder those researchers found that people regularly counting their blessings grow happier, healthier, and more optimistic. After all, that research wasn't discovering anything new, but rather confirming the will and wisdom of God. God already knows how great it is for us to be grateful. Now "science" does too.

When I lived alone, before I met Mike I had lots of times when lit a candle at the end of my day and said a thank you for my day, for the sunshine; for the washing drying; for my garden; for the friends who had contacted me either by phone or emails I had received wishing me well. Just for my day spent happily by myself. So many things give me pleasure, books being my greatest. I think perhaps this is because I was brought up by my Victorian grand mother and without a TV. I spent a lot of time by myself, so I lost myself in books. I still say thank you for the simplest of things not just my family and home but the small marigold still flowering in the garden in all this wintering weather, the pansies and violas in my pots and the autumn coloured chrysanthemum on the window sill.
And my ‘me’ afternoon now to be spent stitching

It's up. It's down. It's good. It's bad. People come. People go. It's Life. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Monday 23 November 2009

A Wonderful Weekend away

Oxted High St...

Our weekend away was so lovely, to be back here this morning everything seems dreary!
Tracy, my eldest son Simon's fiance had asked me to go to her wedding dress fitting, so great excitement... we set off early saturday morning for Surrey. We arrived in plenty of time and it is the most beautiful dress. Deep smoky pink with an over net of dark brown. The off the shoulder, tight fitting bodice was encrusted with various shades of pink and brown diamantes, and appliqu├ęd flowers in the same shades. It had a full skirt and a long train with the flowers and diamantes all down the back like a shower on it, and it looked amazing. It is going to be a wonderful wedding!

We had coffee in Oxted high street sitting outside in brilliant sun and had a cupcake each that Tracy is having instead of a cake, yummy isn’t the word! They are a bit like these but you can have all different colours and flavours, two for each guest!! I am really looking forward to the whole day!
cup cakes, cakes, personalised cup cakes, party cakes, finest ingredients, chocolate cup cakes, cup cakes for anytime, weekends, celebrations and tea-time ...

Don't they look absolutely delicious?

And then as Simon and Tracy were cooking for us all in the evening, they went off to their house and Mike and I went off by ourselves and found Thread Bear the needlework shop, wow what a treasure trove for stitchers and I loved it I could have stayed in there all afternoon but immerged after an hour! Wow what a place, really quite big, if I could I ‘d buy it and live there it would be my idea of heaven! I only bought a chart and some heart charms as I have not long had a really big order..

Back at Simon's and Tracy’s my youngest son, Michael and Helen his partner arrived and we all had champagne, which was very very nice and then we ate. Simon had made had very yummy lasagne and all the salad bits and olives, my weakness and then mince pies and cream, what diet???

Sunday morning was so sunny and warm that Tracy suggested we all drove to Brighton to give the dogs a run on the beach and have breakfast there. So off we all went. Dark clouds loomed over the motor way as we drove along and by the time we arrived there the heavens had opened and the wind was so strong we could see the lamp posts bending, brrrrrr, so we drove back to Oxted and had a wonderful pub meal and sat and chatted.. then Mike and I headed off to see his son George, and partner Zena and his grand son Carter and left their Christmas presents. I am so organised this year my halo is shining!!
Whew! Home at 9 after driving 417 miles all over the weekend.
We slept like logs!!!
Nell has been extremely good all over the weekend as she spent an awful lot of it in her cage in the car.

Friday 20 November 2009

Christmas is coming

I have been a busy bee and can show these christmas cards and pressies because the people they are for don't blog!! I loved knitting the socks as I have made quite a few in my time so I can knit and watch TV! The same with the crochet little purse bags.

Here are just some of my cards; the socks are for my best friend and the little purse bags, one for my grand daughter Saskia and one for Lily who is the younger daughter of my son's partner.
I have made 24 cards some in these designs and some smaller.. great fun to make, now all I have to do is write them all! And lots more that will have to be bought

The socks are knitted in patterned wool and I think I will knit a pair for me in a different colour, forgive the feet, but this the best I could do to show the socks, my feet are clean. I know my friend won't mind me trying them on, well I had to see if they would fit her, we have the same size feet!

I lined the bags in different coloured fabric, the blue one was in my goody bag from Hazel (thank you Hazel) when we had a cross stitch get together back in October

Having completed these I can now get back to my stitching as yesterday my beads and gold braid arrived for my Celtic Summer! Wahooo!! Can't wait to have a go with the gold braid... will post some pics when I have completed some showing the gold.
Happy stitching everyone ... I love christmas so its been exciting making these gifts

Tuesday 10 November 2009

WIPs and our beautiful Nell

Thank you to all of you that commented on my pressie for my DH, he has put it up although I still need to straighten it up in the frame, so thats a job for today.
It may not look as though I have stitched a lot this week but everything is moving along nicely and with all this I am working at my pieces for my PIFs, there are only so many hours I can fit in for stitching!! Shame?

LHN Prairie Sampler SAL, this is being run by Mercedes and I hope I can stitch the next section this week although I am still waiting for one colour as Thread Bear didn't have it and had to order it. Its lovely to stitch 28c Jobelan colour Mushroom and the recommended silk threads. Lovely colours and smooth to stitch.

My Blue Ribbon WIP, I still love this and this has now become my piece for the Step by Step 2009 SAL run by Gaynor.

My Summer Celtic Lady... and I have started this and isn't is beautiful, I can't wait to stitch this each week

And here is our lovely Nell sitting on my best Laura Ashley chair, looking as though it is hers! She is now 8 months old and weighs 15 pounds which is the same weight as I have lost so its great to lift her up as she feels really heavy and think... thats what I have lost!

Travelling Stitcher SAL now has 17 members so roll on January when we can all start..

Happy stitching all..Cold wet day here so a stitching day!! YES!!

Sunday 1 November 2009

LHN Coffee for a birthday pressie

Its my DH's birthday today, so I have stitched this for him as he does love his coffee and we sit at least twice a day in the conservatory having a coffee break.
I stitched it each evening when we were sitting together in front of the TV and he never once noticed what it was!!

It wasn't his only pressie as we had practically emptied the men's clothing section in M&S when we went the other day!! Well he did need it as he has lost 3 1/2 stones in weight.
Its slightly on the squish in the frame but I did it very hurriedly when he was out, but I did it so I could so I could adjust it if necessary and it is !!
Very satisfying to see something I have stitched in a frame, most are just in boxes all over the place. I bought the frame when we were in Brixham, it was reduced in a trinket shop with a print of teddies in it. I am a great one for buying pictures where I can use the frame for my own work!!

Saturday 31 October 2009

WIPs and new starts

Just two of my WIPs not that I have a lot on the go but do have quite a few to start!!
Here is my Blue Ribbon piece which is lovely to stitch

And of course my Beatrice Potter sal, I have made good progress with this this month and can feel a finish is in my sights!

As well as these I have completed a LHN which is a pressie so will show that again and I have been busy with my PIF pressies so all in all a busy month!
Our Travelling Stitcher sal now has 8 stitchers to take part and 11 followers.
I have my fabric cut and edged ready for LHN Prairie Sampler sal starting tomorrow and some one has kindly lent me a frame for my Celtic Lady and as I have all the materials I can feel a new start coming on!

Happily stitching

Sunday 25 October 2009

Travelling Stitcher SAL

Sue and I are starting this as a SAL January 2nd 2010 if you'd like to join with us just email me.
Hope you do the more we have the more fun it will be.

Saturday 17 October 2009

Because I'm worth it!!

So when you're feeling down, what do you do??? Buy, buy, buy ofcourse!
This is only part of what I have bought this past week, I am waiting for the fabric to arrive for my other buy.
This is for the LHN sal 'Prairie Sampler' which is to start Nov 1st.
I couldn't get cappuccino so I have bought the mushroom colour and it looks very nice too and all the Belle Soir silks.

And on a good note I actually lost a pound last week so not good good but ok! And as DH pointed out I have lost 2 1/2 pounds in the last 4 weeks, which is good for me, so trying really hard this week.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Thank you friends, I am trying!!

A very big thank you to all you who have written encouragement on my struggle to lose weight. I am very hopeful that at tomorrow’s weigh in I will have lost weight and if it is only half a pound, it will be half a pound less than I am now! Like my friend Mary says.. ‘Just chip away at it and it will go!’

I have been busy planting up my winter pots and very nice they look too. I love pansies such pretty, little faces looking up at you! And I had to have an ornamental cabbage although when it is going over it pongs a bit!

And of course here is Nell looking as though she could do with a bath and a good brush... any offers??? LOL

This Autumn sun is glorious and lovely to have as it staves off the long winter months that are to come. Although as a fanatical stitcher it means sitting in the warm and doing what I love best, well after reading