Wednesday 29 December 2010

Progress of one and start of a new cross stitch design.

How quickly the few days of Christmas passed. I hope you all enjoyed the time with family and friends.
The snow now gone, that  was lovely to look out on, has turned our garden to a sorry sight with growth all blackened and rather sad looking. Still I know there are snowdrops and daffodils all there waiting to burst through the sodden ground. Yesterday I planted some bulbs! Yes yesterday, I had bought some reduced at the garden centre we went to before Christmas, they were already sprouting so they are now in large pots on the patio.
A New Year stretches ahead with all those new cross stitchy things to do and some to finish!
This is my Summer Celtic Lady, I have been steadily stitching in the evenings. I really want to get this finished  by the end of January. I have stitched a lot of the gold, which I hate using as it is inclined to shred so I only use short lengths. It is begining to look good so I am pleased with how it is turning out.
And this will be a new start in January. It is my Quaker design by Rosewood Manor and I have bought the recommended Valdani hand dyed cotton floss. I have choosen a 28C Pale Grey cashel linen.
This is my piece for the quaker sal I have set up to start in January. Do leave me your email if you would like to join in with any quaker design, either new or one you have already started.
I can't wait to start this.. I also have quite a few charts ready kitted up and intend to start some thing new every other week, so no not quite the Crazy January Challenge where you start some thing new each day for fifteen days !!! I was tempted but I have pledged to  finish designs as I start new and that's enough for me. Just fancy having fifteen things on the go!

When I started blogging I had no idea how much my life would be made richer by all the blogging friends I have made from all over the world. Thank you for all the comments and nice things you have all said, it has been very encouraging and heart warming.
Things haven't been all yippidy do for me this year, living here in Coventry has its down side, but I try to remember to be happy as each day is a new day and made just for me!
So I wish all my blogging friends a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year, with lots of happy stitchy hours.

Friday 24 December 2010

Happy and Blessed Christmas to everyone!

I hope all my blogging friends will have a wonderful Christmas and you are all able to share it with family and friends.

We are all ready, and are looking forward to tomorrow when we can all sit round the table and share our Christmas meal.
I have iced the cake and we have decorated around the house. We have once again been blessed with beautiful cards and there are lots of presents under the tree.
The one I bought for DH is too bit to wrap, although it has the packing on it from the shop so he can't see what it is. (I am looking forward to seeing his face when he opens it tomorrow!) I hope he will like it, I do!
Here is our side board with the cake and lots of goodies.

So a Very Happy and Blessed Christmas to all and all good wishes for Health and Happiness in 2011.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Birthday .... mine!

It was my birthday on Monday 20th Dec.. I hate it this time of the year, it seems sometimes to get in the way of Christmas. We had travelled to my house in Essex as it is nearer for my family to come to and we had planned a family get together on Saturday, but because of the snow, nobody could come. So I was disappointed but I didn't want them stuck on motor ways in snow or have an accident. So it was just my lovely DH and me! These are the lovely earings and the bracelet that he bought for me. And I love them.
We went out for an Italian meal together on monday. which was very nice and the red wine too.
And I have had loads of cards from friends so thats nice too and some lovely presents.
My son and his wife did come on Monday afternoon in between snow showers, and so we had mince pies and cups of tea and it was lovely to see them. And we drove back via a very snowy Cambridge to see my daughter and grand children. When we went in the two boys were out in the snowy back garden and hyper already and my lovely 16 year old grand daugher was still in bed but arrived half an hour later fully made up!

We are now back in Coventry and it is snowing hard, so once again I am indoors! I am afraid to walk out in the snow incase I slip. Last February my friend Peta fell and broke her shoulder and was off work for three months and couldn't even dress herself the first few weeks. And just think not being able to stitch for weeks and weeks, I couldn't face that so I am happy to stay inside!
We brought all the extra food back so we had plenty of  tea, milk, bread, cake, chicken, ham, a cooked potato with bacon and thyme in cream cheese sauce dish, coleslaw, trifle, (half eaten as we have eaten some,) crisps,tasty Indian bits to dip in sweet chili sauce, prawns in pastry, sausage rolls and ice cream and lots more! So if you fancy a party .....don't phone, just pop in!!! We have enough to feed an army!
Happy days!

Sunday 19 December 2010

Summer Celtic Lady

I have stitched this regularly this last month and fitted it in around making Christmas pressies. I would really like to get it finished in the New year.
I have other stitching to do and need to finish some of my WIPs. I did pledge to finish one WIP each month and although I did finish my 'Golden Gate Houses' in November, I have since then knitted socks and made Christmas cards so this could be finished end of January? Not as many WIPs as some, I  only have three, but I started this last August 2009! The fabric I am using is Polstitches Silversage 28 Jobelan.
And as we are in Billericay in the snow!! I have knitted myself some short socks these last two days, from the pattered yarn left over from the socks I knitted for my grand daughter last year, and matched with some pink yarn  for the welt, heels and toes. It seems such a waste not to use the patterned yarn and I like to think I am getting my money's worth!

The Quaker SAL now has 9 members so if you have a quaker design all ready started, or want to stitch one come and join us in this stitch-a-long starting in January. If it takes your fancy send me your email addy and I'll send you an invite.
Happy stitching all

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Wanted some Stitch-a-long friends

I want to stitch this starting in the new year... so if there are any stitchers who have a quaker design as a wip or wants to start anew, I would love to Stitch-a-Long with you!
I see S&S are doing a SAL and although the design they have chosen is lovely, its not something I want to do.
So any one fancy a SAL?

To join in this SAL you need to leave me your email addy..
Thanks Chris x

Monday 13 December 2010

A very happy dance and lots of finishes!

 My Golden Gate Houses finished!
I have loved stitching this and now it is finished I think I am going to get it professionally framed.
I love the design and the rich colours and am very pleased as to how it has turned out.
We actually saw houses like these in Sans Francisco on our honeymoon!
And all my crocheting and knitting for christmas are finished too. This scarf and hat was for my friend's birthday and in spite of the snow, she received them only a day or two after the date. And they have been worn already!
And how could  I let Christmas pass with our knitting some socks.
Two pairs, one for each of my grand sons.
I added another colour for the welt, heel and toe to make the yarn do two pairs!
And some chocs for my daughter in a decorated jar! I used glass paints for the lid and then stuck on some pretty blue buttons.

And that I think is all my making done, although I quite fancy a little crochet hat for my grand daughter; black of course with sequins and beads.
And I have  a new ball of self patterning yarn so I think a restful time over Christmas knitting socks!
Happy stitching n' knitting to you all.
I am now stitching my Celtic Lady and will post pics of my progress next time.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Snowed in!

We arrived here in Billericay Monday afternoon and woke up tuesday to snow! And it has continued to snow! We managed to get out to get some shopping bits as we had planned to do our food shop here  instead of bringing it with us. However although our road has just a slight hill, only four wheel drive and some bigger vans have made it up the hill! This is my little shed  I painted forgot-me-not blue to look like a beach hut and the snow has drifted up the side.

And look at the christmas tree I planted in the garden after Christmas 2005, it is huge now. It would be lovely with my outside lights around it come Christmas time

And here is Nell, she has been like a small child dashing aound in the snow and burying her nose in it having a whale of a time.

And us???? We are toasty warm inside and eatling winter vegetable soup made by myself.  The soup bowls were my grand mothers and about 60 years old!! Just two left of this design.
 Our plan was to return to Coventry tomorrow but if the M25 has problems we will stay till it is safe to travel. I hope we can, as I have commitments at my church over the weekend and I don't like letting people down.
Best thing about this weather is, it is  inside knitting, crocheting and stitching weather.!
Hope where ever you are you are happily stitching or knitting!

PS A fabulous give away here..

Thursday 25 November 2010

Happy Thanks Giving Day

For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

Ralph Waldo Emerson
The First Thanksgiving

When the Pilgrims

first gathered together to share

with their Indian friends

in the mild autumn air,

they lifted the voices

in jubilant praise

for the bread on the table,

the berries and maize,

for field and for forest,

for turkey and deer,

for the bountiful crops

they were blessed with that year.

They were thankful for these

as they feasted away,

and as they were thankful

we're thankful today.


A lovely way to thank God for all our blessings.  Not celebrated in a big way outside US but I think we all have blessings that need a thank you. I know I certainly have.
So I say a big Thank You to all those of you that read my blog and also to those of you who leave such lovely comments.
Enjoy today!

Saturday 13 November 2010

From one house to the other!

We left my house in Billericay in Thursday's blustery winds and rain, a dreadful journey home with gusts of winds up to 60mph on the motorway, quite frightening.  At one point on the M1 a couple of apple trees on the embankment shed their apples in a whoosh of wind. They hit DH's car and spread across the carriageway. By the time I went past some were squashed but some were rolling all over the road. Quite amazing! We arrived home exhausted from the drive and I was really glad of an early night.

But before we left I had to go into my garden with my camera and here it is in the rain just before we left.
In the bottom left corner you can just see my water feature.'Gladys'. I bought her several years ago at the Garden's World show at the NEC, with money left me by my Aunty Gladys! The water comes out of a flower on her hat and runs round the brim to trickle off one side. I love her but quite a few people have been horrid and said they thought she was ugly, what a cheek!!  LOL  But to me she is beautiful. Verdigris bronze and cute!
And tucked away under an over grown bush was this.. a hellebore. This was given to me by Nicky a young teaching colleague for my 60th birthday, It has survived the four years of neglect! We did manage to plant some spring bulbs although the ground was very soggy and heavy. It is impossible to weed out the thick thatch of celandines and buttercup runners so come the spring I shall dig up any flowers that are there and pot them up and spray weed killer. It will be the only way to get rid of the worst of the weeds.
And... I needed some retail therapy and this beautiful jug was in one of the lovely nik-knack shops in  the High St.
And now its mine!

Hope you're all enjoying the milder weather we are having again. DH and  I have just planted some polyanthas in the front garden here to brighten it up.Can't let the garden go here and I do like things to look tidy.
Roll on spring!!! I can't wait to get my garden in Billericay full of flowers again.
Happy gardening and stitching!

Thursday 11 November 2010

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow.

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

Canadian Army

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

The original poem handwritten by John McCrae

Saturday 6 November 2010

TA-DA.... A happy dance!

I started this 8th August 2010 ... it is  a design called ABECEDAIRE by I have  used 28 C Linen and DMC threads 561 and 598 and I am very happy with it.
It was lovely to stitch and although I am 5 days over the October ending  I feel I have met my pledge to finish an UFO each month.. and here is it finished!
For November my pledge is to finish my Golden Bridge Houses which still has a lot of back stitching and french knots to do. I am now making  gifts for Christmas and have nearly finished my wavy crochet pattern scarf for my friend.. so lots to do!
After Christmas I am starting Rosewood Manor Quakers Spring and I have signed up for another RR with the Stitch and Stash group... my UFO to finish along side with these projects will be my Celtic Lady, 'Summer'

Happy stitching everyone and hope you too are enjoying this extra-ordinary warm weather.

Monday 1 November 2010

DH has reached the new 40!

I booked this show way back in June and we had fantastic seats, seven rows from the front.
It was fast and sizzling and sexy! Amazing dancing and singing.
However one thing I hadn't anticipated were the ghosts and ghouls and witches in London on Saturday night. When we were walking back down Shaftsbury Avenue at 10:30pm  for the tube station at Piccadilly Circus, they were all queuing to go into night clubs! But the noise and buzz of the youngsters all added to our evening. London is at its busiest at night. We were squashed on the tube but arrived at Liverpool Station just in time for the train home. We were back in Billericay at 12:30 and dropped into bed at about 1 o'clock... but as it was the night to put the clocks back we had that extra hour in bed, well sort of because Nell didn't know that the clocks had gone back! We had a great time I loved the show and was amazed at the high leg kicks, splits and fast dance routines, I kept thinking if I could do that I 'd be thin in no time!!  I had to have an afternoon nap on Sunday and after our sunday carvery meal out, I collapsed into bed and woke up two hours later still wearing my glasses! LOL
DH went walking in Mill Meadow in the rain with the dog!

Today Nov 1st, is his birthday  and we have had a lovely morning Southend on Sea

It could have been the French Rivera, the sun was blazing hot, and the new palm trees along the promenade give the town a continental feel. The whole area that over looks the prom is quite beautifully kept, with wide sweeping grass areas, flower beds, all winter planted with wallflowers and pansies and well kept paved areas. And the trees all now in their Autumn colours, quite beautiful.
It was lovely to sit outside  Rossi's cafe and eat ice-cream and drink coffee, real Italian ice-cream!! And look out across the bay, we saw seals and herons on the sand banks, how amazing is that to sit and watch!!
Mike was delighted!
And here are his birthday cards and pressies, the huge big basket of flowers and fruit with the balloon is from Mike's son and wife and grandson and to see Mike's face when he saw it, was delightful. He was so pleased and at the risk of sounding corny it made my heart sing to see him so happy, that they had thought of sending it. Although one thing is the balloon moves in the heat of the lounge and our wuss of a dog Nell, keeps skitting past it and barking! My pressie is the very nice watch which we bought together on saturday at Lakeside, although it might have be better if I had gone by myself as DH was like a child in a candy shop and we looked in several jewellers as he couldn't make up his mind! In the end I said I'll show you what I might have bought with out you and thats how we choose the one he has.... men??!!!
We had toasted tea buns and cups of tea when we got home in my best china tea service... and later tonight we are off to town for a meal at the ASK one of the many restaurants in Billericay.
Happy Birthday Mike xxxxxx (A kiss for each decade!)

Friday 29 October 2010


Billericay, the place I now call home....this is St Mary's church and it is right in the middle of the High St.
It is a small town but as it is only 25 mins train journey to London, it has a population of 40,000. And it is pretty town with small shops and lots of restaurants and pavement cafes. Just the place and sit and see friends passing by, who stop for a chat.
A bit of the history...........
Some of the earliest records of human occupation of Billericay are the burial mounds in Norsey Wood: evidence of occupation in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Evidence of Roman occupation has been found at a number of locations in the town and there may have been a small cavalry fort at Blunts Wall.

The Saxons did not settle in the centre of Billericay. They established themselves two miles south, at Great Burstead. In the late 10th century it was known as 'Burhstede'. Billericay was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, as it lay within Great Burstead. At this time the parish church for Billericay was at Great Burstead. In 1291 the name 'Byllyrica' is first recorded. This is believed to be from a medieval Latin word, bellerīca, meaning 'dyehouse or tanhouse'.

In the 13th and 14th centuries some pilgrims to Canterbury journeyed via Billericay. Some of them may have spent the night in Billericay before crossing the River Thames at Tilbury. This may account for the large number of inns in the town.

Billericay's most notable historical episode was on the 28th June 1381, when King Richard II's soldiers defeated Essex rebels at Norsey Wood. About 500 rebels were killed in the battle, which ended the Peasants' Revolt.

The Wycliffe preachers influenced the town. Four local people (Thomas Watts, Joan Hornes, Elizabeth Thackwell, and Margaret Ellis) were burnt at the stake. Two other residents (Joan Potter and James Harris) were tortured for their faith during the reign of Queen Mary
A meeting of the Pilgrim Fathers prior to their sailing in the Mayflower is said to have taken place in Billericay, and many local names and much historical imagery reflect this: Mayflower House, Morris Men, Taxis, School, Hall. Sunnymede School's houses were called Mayflower, Pilgrim, Chantry and Martin (after Christopher Martin, a Billericay merchant who travelled on the Mayflower as Ship's Governor).

Four people from Billericay were on board, including Christopher Martin. He and his wife Marie, along with Solomon Prowe and John Langemore, perished shortly after their arrival at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The unfortunate fate of the would-be pioneers did not deter other inhabitants of Billericay from setting sail for the New World. The town of Billerica, Massachusetts was established in 1655 to commemorate the origins of some of the first settlers

And this is where we're off to today... for ten whole days, Yeh!!!!

ps I am struggling to finish my ABC by Sunday to keep to my pledge of finishing one UFO each month...before I can start anything new.... trouble is I am crocheting a scarf for my friend's birthday!! Its all Hazel's fault for showing her crochet blanket!!

Thursday 21 October 2010

New chart and a pledge! And do you fancy a SAL?

Rosewood Manor Quakers Spring... my next project. I have fallen in love with this design and have ordered it with valdani floss. Although I have made a pledge to get one UFO finished each month until all are completed... but it will be in a rotation so I can stitch this as well! I only have a little more back stitching to do on my Golden Gate Houses and have nearly finished myABC... So watch this space. I might .....erum have a couple of more UFOs to finish as well.. I shall dig down deep in my stash basket!  LOL
If any one fancies a SAL with this design get in touch.

Thank you for all your lovely commiserations I feel loads better and will be blog hopping your way as soon I as can get myself sorted.

We have spent the week in Essex and left beautiful sunshine to arrive home to a very cold house! So with the heating turned up and the gas fire on we have camped out in out lounge.
Lots to do here in the garden so no stitching for me during the day as that's what I am inclined to do. We always leave both houses clean and tidy, as after years of tenants who leave without really cleaning, its our joke that the last people to leave (us!!) did clean well.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Proper poorly!

I’ve had difficulty putting on my hip hip happy Pollyanna head today because I can't tell you about the cross stitch Meet Up at Nuneaton yesterday because I did‘t go!

Thursday I did nothing and by the evening knew why. I felt washed out as I was starting a horrible cold! The only place I can think of where I have been in contact with people was my slimming group on Wednesday morning so that fits the time for it to develop. I had hoped it would just be a 48 hour thing as I was supposed to be going to the Stitch and Stash cross stitch get together in Nuneaton yesterday. But by Saturday morning I felt really rotten and a lot worse , as well as a sore throat and cough I was aching all over. So annoying not to feel well! Grrrrrr! I feel a lot better today, that awful itching ache at the back of my throat has gone and my nose has stopped running!! Still got a sore throat but at least I don't feel so ill in myself.

I didn’t even go to church today, the thought of getting cold there filled me with dread. I don’t know where I’ve got this cold from because I keep myself warm, eat two oranges a day plus two yoghurts. I think I am getting paranoid in my old age because I am coddling myself and avoid getting cold etc!! I hate being ill, although yesterday Mike waited on me hand and foot and we even joked about me taking a walking stick upstairs to bang on the floor if I needed anything, when I went to lie down in the afternoon, but I said I ‘d take my phone instead!! But didn’t need it. I dozed most of the afternoon and then stayed up watching TV with Mike until quite late but we were still awake at 5 this morning drinking tea! My chicken Sunday dinner has bucked me up so I think I will be fit and raring to go tomorrow, only two days too late for the cross stitch meet up. Boo hoo, still I have had some fun this afternoon doing this collage pic of Autumn..