Saturday 27 February 2010

Some stitchy stuff!

Since I decided to let go doing exchanges (although I did do the LHN long cushion for Exchange Heaven ) and am not in a weekly SAL I feel less pressurised and can stitch to my hearts content without thinking I 've got to get this done by....... my Celtic Lady is some thing I decided I would do monthly so that's not making me feel stressed to get done either. I had forgotten how nice it is to stitch in my own time.
While I am taking part in the Stitch&Stash Round Robin, we have almost two months to stitch and pass on so no real pressure.

These might be my next project as the Rose Swalwel 'Winter' is a kit and I now have the threads for the Just Nan 'Catnip Tea' I am longing to start both.

And I am not rotating work I am stitching till they're done..
I am at present stitching  a Wedding Sampler for my son Simon and his partner Tracy, its from a last year's Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine. I am not using the colours suggested but pinks and creams and browns as these are the colours of Tracy's dress. It is looking rather nice already and I am loving stitching it.
It was shown with a frame and an offer by the frame firm.. so I checked it out and it is still available so I was able to order it..( Some nice other frames there too so I shall use them for some other completed LHN pieces.

And one finish... a New Home card for my friend who has moved from Essex down south to Hampshire I shall really miss her when I move back there.
So 2010 should show some larger finishes.
The sun is shining today wahoooo does that mean this long long winter is on its way out I do hope so I am not a winter person... so roll on spring!
Happy Stitching and Happy Days

Monday 22 February 2010

A New Week... and deep thinking

Can't you tell there is bad weather, the number of post in my ladies group topped a thousand again. I think we are all positively fed up of snow. Why did it hold such joy when we were little and now this hatred? Yes its beautiful when it is all new and clean but horrid to walk out in.  It didn’t snow again in the night although forecast, so it has almost gone yipeeee. I don’t think I I have known snow to stay around so long. This has to me been the longest winter I have ever remembered. Roll on spring. I think a few dry warm days and the daffodils will be in bloom and nothing looks as good as daffodils after the winter
This cyclamen has flowered non ceasing since before christmas, there in our conservatory it is cool (actually it gets very cold) and this seems to suit them

Yesterday evening I spent some time reading blogs and there are so many wonderful ones out there, what wonderful women to write such wise and thought provoking things.
And such amazing stitching.. beautifully framed and hung, and there's my latest effort thrown over the back of a chair and much to my shagrene with two stitches missing, which I didn't notice till it was photographed. These have now been stitched.
Thank you for not noticing everyone and if you did thank you for not saying! LOL
And also thank you for not mentioning my lack of weight update, this because I put on weight over Christmas and am battling to lose that extra bit (well quite a big bit truth be told) That's the other thing that puzzles me, before  I started to try to lose weight,  I could eat a couple of biscuits and my weight stayed the same, albeit I was over weight to start with and now two biscuits and I have put on a pound.
I am continuing to letter write today I did say to some friends I would hand write but I think a typed one to my Austalian relatives would be best, no point sending some thing they can't read! LOL 

For those more difficult letters I have decided to keep them short and brief and really just to say Hello, if they want to chuck them they can, I feel I will have done my bit to heal the rift as it were; although am I just writing to salve my conscience?
So something I intend to say to myself each day..

Just for today
Just for today I will I will live true to my faith.
ust for today I will read a shorter amount of my Readings and re-read it so that I understand it.
Just for today I will do one good deed and not tell anyone of it.
Just for today I will believe in goodness in people rather than evil.
Just for today I will not criticize anyone nor make a disparaging remark or think them either.
Just for today I will do one thing I don’t like doing
Just for today I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy
Just for today I will firmly believe that I am in Gods safe hands and that he cares for me as no one else in this world can.
Just for today I will make at least one person feel, I love them
Just for today I will thank the Lord ‘Just for Today’
Some thing I do say each day is.... thank you to you all out there for the kindest of comments and for being there..

Saturday 20 February 2010

A very Happy Dance!!

I have done it I have finished my Blue Ribbon 'Between the Lines' design. I have been stitching this with the Step by Step 2010 SAL although it was started in September 2009 while we were on holiday in Brixham, so it will have some very happy memories for me! At one point I did think of chucking it as the whole thing seemed a bit garish but now finished I am pleased with the result.
I didn't actually stitch the section with the mermaid as I didn't like it so I stitched the little hearts and blue bits which is on another BR design I had. I shall have this professionally framed and it is going to he hung with a whole lot more of my stitched efforts in my dining room in my house in Essex.
 And my Exchange Heaven  LHN design finished into a long pillow has arrived so I can post a pic of that too
I took this close up to show the little baby pink buttons I stitched onto the ribbon, but they don't really show.
I expect you've all noticed that buttons as decorations seem to be on everything lately. hence my button heart for Valentine.
As well as this stitching , I have completed my section of  Dusty's cross stitch for the S&S Round Robin so I have been a very busy little stitcher this last week.. The snow has helped as I am so afraid of slipping over I have hardly been out.. although there was beautiful sunshine this morning and afternoon and DH and I took out Nell for the longer round the block walk, She is getting a lot better on the lead although still pulls a bit and walks with her nose to the ground unless we pull her up on her slip lead.
Thank you to you all who have been so complimentary about my efforts for my PIFs I was quite over whelmed.  And also for all the kind words about my letter writing entry. I have already written some letters, the easier ones to close friends and relatives in Australia; the others I need to ponder about first!

Happy stitching all and every blessing..

Tuesday 16 February 2010

PIFs Stitched, posted and received... all 7!

All my PIFs have arrived so now I can reveal what I did. Big decisions first as to what I should stitch as there were seven to do, so quite a bit of stitching. Previously I have made needle cases for PIF pressies and for a blogoversary pressie I stitched a complete set of a needle case, scissor pocket and scissor fob which were all Blue Ribbon I had to think of something just as nice but perhaps a little simpler.

The design I chose came out of Gift of Stitching, the online cross stitch magazine. I knew I’d use it one day!! Actually I have used one other little cross stitch design out of the 18 magazines I now have, all in their own folder in my documents! I used some hand dyed 28C even weave fabbie out of my stash for five and two were a nice pink 28C even weave and DMC threads.

Although I am trying to rotate stitching, when its only smalls I like to complete an item totally. So I did all the cross stitching first on each little scissor pocket, then stitched them up and then lined each one in felt. I loved making the beaded scissor fobs, thanks to the tutorial

Focus on Finishing (Beaded scissor fob)
I found a firm on line that didn’t charge for postage for the scissors, (I expect it was included in the cost of the pairs of scissors but I thought I was getting a bargain! ) and they are rather nice and very sharp.

I stitched the initial of each recipient on the back of each pocket and the simple Quaker Tree design on the front. For Anne known as Strawberry Jam Anne I included a little strawberry as well as her initial! I got such a buzz each time each pocket was finished.

I do hope all my PIFs pressies were liked and that now the recipients will carry on the tradition of passing a gift forward to three other people.

It is such a lovely thought and one that is fostered in the blogging world, which is so nice to know we have such wonderful caring and thinking sisters and some brothers too I do believe. LOL

Sunday 14 February 2010

Just some silly romantic thing!

Valentine Day Pressies
Before we were married three years ago I gave my DH an ivy heart. I had shaped the heart out of a wire coat hanger and then placed it in a pot and grew ivy up over it.
Then the  next  year I gave him a hand made card with red velvet hearts.
Last year on Valentine's day we were in Melbourne I gave my DH a cross stitch heart which  I had stitched and packed before we left.
This year
I could have bought or made him a card  but would that be a real something from me?? 
I didn't think it would be, so here is it a button heart.
It will hang in the kitchen window with our other hearts which were bought from all over the place.
I had a wonderful card with sparkly hearts and best of all his love.

Thursday 11 February 2010


If you take two steps forward and one step back, you’re still getting someplace.

Don't give up the moment you slip up. Press on!

I needed this saying this morning as yesterday’s weigh in showed I had gained one whole pound! But it isn’t the end of the world.
Lately I am not sleeping well, too many things to do and to think about so like I always used to, yesterday when I was up at 4:30am I made a list of the decisions I have made.

Friends and family:- Write nine letters and post before the end of February

One is to my cousin who hasn’t spoken to me for about eight years, but she is related to me on my mother’s side .and as my mother died when I was two it is suddenly very important to me to be in contact with her, we are both getting older and time slips by without you noticing.

My Australian second cousin’s wife writes to me at Christmas time as I do to her and when we met last year in Australia, we said we would write more often, so that’s important to me too!
A cousin from Wales who became a Grand Mother again last Nov. A note in my christmas card told me, so I must answer her and say congrats.

My old school friend whose son age 39 died eighteen months ago and is still grieving, a note cheers her up and I try to write each month but have missed because of Christmas.

Then I have 5 friends from Billericay who all wrote to me at Christmas time and as I am moving back there I want to keep in good contact with them as they all have been very faithful to me these last three and a half years while I have lived here.

Social daily life:-I must sort out my membership of the U3A and attend the meetings near to where I live here in Coventry instead of paying and not going to the main body of the society because it is the other side of the city!

Give up the writing group as I no longer enjoy it.

Cross stitch:- These were quite hard to decide:-

I am not going to stitch the Grand Marquoir design not because I don’t like it, because I love it but what would I do with another big completed design , there isn’t enough wall space in my house in Billericay and I have loads of other completed designs to put up.
(I think this may apply for just now and later this year I may decided to stitch it!)

I have seen Rose Swalwel’s Seasons and love them so I am going to stitch those , as four little 6x6 designs framed nicely would look very nice in my hall. This is Spring
I have my Blue Ribbon ‘Between the Lines’ which is my piece for the SAL which Gaynor runs, I already have ‘Summer’ Celtic Lady on the go and I am in a Round Robin for the Stitch and Stash group, so I have a lot on my plate as it were. I have also decided to quit the exchange group I am in just got to post off the one I have just completed. I looked at what I had stitched last year and hardly any of it was for me! 
This is Summer

Time is precious and there's just not enough of it!


And Winter:-
Charts and Kits:-  I buy from ebay and I have decided to sell on ebay!!

My charts that I have completed as I will never stitch them again.

Also some kits that I bought two years ago and have never stitched and I know I won’t in the future I have moved on as it were! So must get that sorted and have given myself a cut off date of February 28th!

Writing all this here is committing myself to getting it done!

Sunday 7 February 2010

Reminiscencing, what else is there to do on a dull cold winter's sunday in UK???

A whole twelve months ago today we left for our holiday in Australia and for them it was the start of the dreadful fires.   We both want to go again and would love to see some of the places we visited again!
The Railway station in Melbourne... we past it most days on our walks around the city

I loved Melbourne and I can now understand one of my son’s longing to live there.

We loved the trams and used them to get around.. we are not great shoppers but the arcades offered the cool of air conditioning, so we often found our way to one of them for morning coffee.

This one had two known oddities, Gog and Magog..... I have driven over these hills named this on my way to Cambridge    This has imported Italian mosaic floors, glazed ceilings supported by elaborate iron-lace columns, and octagonal glass domes.  The Royal Arcade is Melbourne’s oldest, built in 1869, and features two folklore giants of the ancient Britons - Gog and Magog - who strike the time each hour

There was such a lot of old Australia just as I imagined it to be and some I just couldn’t have hoped to have seen. I was so emotional seeing this house
This is the original house that my Grand mother's sister Poll and her husband Idris lived in when they emigrated to Australia in 1912.. they never met again and letters were slow as my grandmother had left school when she was eleven to go into service which would have been 1898 and so writing was a very slow process for her. But she lived for letters from her sister Poll and as  small child in the fifties I read them to her and she dictated hers for me to write for her.. So I learnt a lot about my Aunty Poll and saw all the photos of them and this property with them sitting outside.
Isn't the most beautiful property.. It is still in the family but rented out these days.
Off we went with views to die for!

This little fella was in a tree of a house where we had B&B and the owner complained about the grunting noises he made all through the night! We just thought he was beautiful
... this was in Portland on our drive along The Great Ocean road... there was the most fabulous fabric shop here, it was lush and smelt like it too! And we visited a launderette there, a long time since I had done that. It  had internet connection there so we had an hour mailing home, were we home sick not one bit!!

And how could I reminisce with out my relatives being part of my memories...this is the me waving from the verandah of Linda and Idris's (Idris is ,my second cousin) Wouldn't it be wonderful to wake up to this each morning. We ate on it the evening we arrived and watched a cukaboro come down for an offered chicken bone! And the sounds of the birds were amazing and of course the flowers. This is in the Dandenongs, and was breath taking...
And just some of my Australian relatives meeting up for a picnic in Queenscliff, I am holding the red folder which Keen had given me showing that I have 389 relatives?? Well I only met a few!! There were approx 80 people at the picnic plus children, I loved meeting them all especially Linda and Idris and Coral and Lance. Coral and I have written for 8 years so it was wonderful to meet her and I loved her right away..

It was all wonderful and we would love to go back!!

Friday 5 February 2010


I have been so busy this week stitching, making up, packing and posting!!
And  here they all are, all seven little parcels for my PIFs.. they have all been posted except for one because I am waiting for her to get back to me with her address. I had until August 2010 but because I have been rotating all my stitching and my WIPs I decided to get these done.

I am really pleased with them all so I do hope they will be liked, I shall post pictures when they have arrived at their destinations.

Because I finished my Bea SAL I wanted to start another really big design, I missed it!!LOL
So I am going to stitch Grand Marquoir as a SAL with Julie. I am still not sure what colour and Julie sent links to show the design stitched in all different colours but I think I like red and am thinking of 'crushed berries' HDF by Vikki Clayton.

Although when you look at all the options they do look rather nice and like Julie said, less chance of getting fed up with just one colour
As well as finishing off my PIFs I have completed piece for an exchange and have some other stitching ready to show on reveal day, Sunday,  for 'Travelling Stitcher' and my Blue Ribbon 'Between the Lines.'
I never thought I could rotate my stitching but I have and it works, except some I could stitch all the time like my Celtic Lady,the hand dyed fabric is so soft and the gold thread makes it look so special.

I have also knitted a pair of socks.
And am now knitting the rest of some of my stripy yarn with a contrast welt, heel and toe to use up that lovely striped yarn

Its just as well I don't work any more or I'd  be up all night doing all the things I like best!
The sun is shining today or at least it was this morning and our snow drops are flowering, I think this long, long winter is on its way out!