Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Four Friends, A Design and An Abbey

Four friends - me being the only blogger amongst them - and one design. The design being "Stitching Friends" by Elizabeth Designs. This is a beautiful design but really needs to be stitched for a friend not for yourselve so we all decided that it would be fun if we drew names for who sent to whom and then all stitched the design much as we do when stitching the monthly challenge at Jaynes Attic. We would use the chart but would each decide of our own fabric and threads, colour scheme etc. Terri was sending to AnnP, AnnP to AnnT, AnnT to me and me to Terri. So first here is what I did for Terri... Stitched on 36ct cream belfast linen, using Dinky-Dyes silk apart from the sheep which were stitched in Wisper thread in a sort of off white shade. I know Terri well and in 12 months time this would have still been lying in the draw waiting for a frame (which she will of course deny LOL) so I decided to make a pinkeep type finish. I rather like this finish and for small things its a very inexpensive finish.

And here is what Ann has done for me. I am sorry but cannot tell you what Ann used but its a really pretty hand dyed fabric. She also decided to colour in one of the sheep which is really quaint. I think I might finish this off in a similar fashion to the one I made for Terri. Though I am pretty certain I have a frame that will fit I like the idea of the pinkeep finish.
Edited - Ann has let me know the fabric is Polstitches - "Fairy Footprints" and the threads were good old DMC.
An Abbey - Well not as you think of an Abbey but Calke Abbey in Derbyshire.
you can click at the side of the main picture to move it on and see more.
This is where Oz and I spent the day. I had hoped I might be able to hold his interest in the house for about an hour but he was fascinated with everything and we ended up being in there for two and a half hours. He had a paper given him when we entered the house with a list of things to look for on the way round, so his interest was sparked immediately (he loves puzzles). It was really enjoyable and he made it more so for me too by his enthusiasm. When we finally came out we were both ready for a drink and a snack so off to the cafe - only complaint was the cobs excellent value at 4.00 if there were two of you to share one but there was no way I would have got through a whole one they were enormous, so I ended up with a cheese scone and an ok sort of coffee. Oscar had a childs box which at 2.95 was good value, a cheese cob (well filled), a drink, a home baked cookie and a nice apple. Then we paid £2 to take part in a treasure trail. £2.00 well spent as we spent the next two hours searching for clues (not too hard for him), taking part in activities (skipping and hulu hoops) visiting the craft tent where he enjoyed sorting out how to decorate his plain carrier back, which contained a list of things that had to go in it (somehting green, something prickly, something rough, something hard, something soft etc) he really enjoyed doing that on the remainder of our time on the trail. There were more clues to find and a treasure chest to have a lucky dip. We arrived home just after 5 both tired but having had a great great day.
No stitching today but what the heck lol.
Goodnight all.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Every Little Stitch....

......counts and as I still havent had a lot of time for stiching it has needed too.

Firstly I did manage to do The Monthly Challenge at Jaynes Attic. This is a little freebie called Love by Debbie Draper. It was stitched on an oddment of fabric (probably 28 count antique white) using Carries Creations "Shadow". I was really pleased with how this thread stitched up, though I was not so thrilled with my finishing - the little bow is supposed to hide the fact that I just could not seem to get the hook to hang from the corner. I did that corner about three times and each time it looked fine until I hung it when it suddenly seemed to have slid round the corner. This one is destined for a charity stall that is being held to raise funds for the home where my friend Terri's (no blog) MIL stays. I am not sure if I will get next months challenge done or not with so little stitching time at the moment, but if I do it will probably be heading the same way.

Over the weekend I managed to stitch a wee bit on EMS Rose Sampler though this is not the whole of the August section it has cut a good swath into it and I do not feel so behind now.

Last night I made a bit more progress on ISD, but though I now have my wonderful Ott-Lite which makes everything so clear and once again allows evening stitching, I am just so exhausted by nightfall I am only fit to crawl into bed lol.

I am loving having Oscar, we have walked to town along the canal, we have been to the park and today we are off out either to Calke Abbey or to Sudbury Museum of Childhood. He is good company, full of fun and so well behaved and well mannered he is a pleasure to have. My big worry is though that a little boy of six should not be walking sedately beside his Granny everyday but should be running wild with other little boys of six. Unfortunately we do not have other children in his age bracket living close to us. He also has very few children in the area he lives and as he travels out of area to school this seems to isolate him into the company of adults for most of the time. I have seen him in the school environment where he is popular and just as full of fun and life as he should be and I do feel he is missing such a lot. Oh well guess life doesnt give you everything and I so enjoy having him.

I have had several requests recently to become friends on Facebook. Please do not think I am ignoring you. A while back someone sent me an invite to join Facebook and I registered - thats as far as I got and I now cannot remember how to get in or what my password was and I have not had the time to go looking,

Thank you to all who visit, to all who comment and to all those I have received awards from in the last week. I listed the first two I got, but I cannot keep listing them or my blog will be quite boring, though I am very very flattered that so many of you think I am worth an award so many thanks.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Nothing to Show

I have nothing to show :o(. At the weekend I think every frog from every pond in the district was in my house and in the end I threw my stitching to one side in disgust. Since then I seem to be struggling to get back to it. The only thing I felt like stitching was my EMS Rose and the flower from this times chart is all I have stitched - no stem, no leaves just a small rose.

I have been asked about the Ott-lite. When I ordered from the USA I thought it would be relatively easy to get an adaptor that would plug in here and then allow me to plug the US fitting into that. How wrong I was. I can get ones for plugging into the US system - even Asda (Wallmart) sell them but they are for UK people who will be wanting to use them while they are on holiday in the US. What do US citizens do if they come here on holiday???? May be I would get them in the tourist areas like London, Stratford etc but Long Eaton has obviously never had a visiting American lol. So my US Ott-lite is still sitting in its little box waiting for an adaptor. However as I was really quite upset about not being able to find an adaptor my DH decided that I should have ordered from the UK in the first place and went ahead and ordered one. Actually the one he ordered is brilliant it has a flexible neck (same as on the magnifier) where as the one from the US is more ridgid. I am not sure what I will do yet, if I can find an adaptor I may well keep the other too as it is a lot lighter and would be ideal for taking with me when I travel. So my great saving didnt turn out as I hoped.

This week I have been awarded two . One was awarded by Tammie and one from Elisa.

I am supposed to award 5 people and here are the 5 I have chosen.

Erica - at Bits of My Own

Brigitte - At Brigittes Place

Chiloe - Chiloe's Corner

Cyn - at Cyn Stitches

Lisa - Lisa's Stitching Addiction

I do not think there will be much stitching done for the next few weeks as school broke up today and Oz will be staying with Granny & Grandpa on and off for most of the holidays. He will be arriving shortly so I am now off to get ready for his arrival.

may your frogs stay in their ponds (and may mine stay there too)

Saturday, 19 July 2008

A very busy week

I have hardly had time to stitch this week.

Monday I went to visit Colly and ended up staying for lunch. I did a little on ISD in the afternoon but certainly not enough to take a picture of. Monday night we were over at Mums helping to shift furniture out.

Tuesday I spend most of the day doing the dreaded house work - but after proving to my grandson that I could write "I love you" on the furniture I thought it was really time I had a good clean. It was all neat and tidy but all the furniture needed a good polish and a lot of my ornaments needed a good wash. Tuesday night I went out for a meal with some old and dear friends - lol I dont mean the friends are old but that they are friends of long standing.

Wednesday and Thursday Mum had the decorators in so I fetched her over to my house in the morning and had to run her all the way home again in the evenings. I managed a little stitching but not much.

Friday morning I did a little h/w and a little stitching and then went to meet another friend for lunch - I seem to have eaten rather well this week lol. My Mums decorator had finished on Thursday night and the carpet fitter came on Friday morning, so friday afternoon was spent replacing the furniture and then Keith had to reconnect and set up the TV and DVD again for her and also reconnect all the computer stuff. We didnt leave her house until 8pm and we hadnt eaten. As we were both in jeans and rather hot and sweaty we would not have felt comfy to pop in somewhere for a meal so it was back home to cook and a very late meal.

Cannot go to bed on a full tummy so nothing for it but to sit down and relax. Keith went of to play on his computer and I came up here to my den, got all snuggly comfy and stitched. It was the turn of hardanger house this week and though I havent had a lot of time I do feel as though I achieved quite a bit also and more importantly I have really, really enjoyed this weeks stitching. I did the chimney and the large diamond leave design down one side of the apex and I also managed to do almost all of the inner border edging. There is about and inch left to do of that but I will do that next time as I do the diamond leaf down the other side of the apex. I did try taking a bigger pic but it just doesn't show up.
I really must apologise that I am so far behind with reading everyones blogs. I do keep trying to read a few each day and I am trying to keep them in order so that I get round to everyone eventually. The main problem is once you get behind it takes twice as long as there are two or three posts to read and nearly always leave comments for on every blog I visit. I often think I will just read them and not take time leaving comments and then I like what I see and just have to say so LOL.
I hope you each and everyone have a wonderful and peaceful weekend with lots of stitching time.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Monday, 14 July 2008

From Sculpture to Stitching

We had a wonderful weekend in Yorkshire. Saturday the weather was cold and windy but at least dry, so we wrapped up warmly after lunch and went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We walked for miles and returned to base feeling very hungry. Luckily our hostess is one of the best cooks I know so it was not long before we were fed with an excellent meal. Sunday we awoke to the sunshine, it was a beautiful day and we spent the morning in the garden - with three boistrous dogs there was no chance of sitting back and relaxing lol, there was always a ball or a stick on your lap and an appealing face wanting you to play. After an excellent lunch we went of the The Victoria Tower where we had excellent views of the surrounding countryside.

We got home about half past six yesterday and I think the stitching break had done me the world of good. I was just bursting to stitch and out came UFO. I got the wee bee (he has lovely twinkley wings its such a shame you cant see them) and the bird done AND I stitched two Ivy leaves, so Julie and Karen should be pleased. As for Mr Stick well I think he can forgive a lot of sins for that.

Cyn asked a while back if she could see a bigger picture and not just the letter I was working on,

so here it is just for you Cyn.

On a completely different thread I went to meet Coll this morning of CollsCreations and we got on so well I ended up staying for lunch. She is coming to me next month and I am really looking forward to meeting her again. It was lovely to meet someone who was on the same wavelengh and we talked stitch, stitch and more stitch all the way which was lovely. We also did a lot of laughing and I always think that is a good thing and I am sure we are on our way to becoming firm friends in time.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Friday, 11 July 2008

Guess What?

I am not quite sure what this looks like LOL - but it is Jasmins head. Well the top of her hair and her hair band. I am quite pleased with the progress I mad on this though a little disappointed that the picture looks so dull. the red and silver of the stones is all in metallic thread and really twinkles.
A couple of months back I saw this chart in Asda. It was a special done by Cross Stitcher and I bought it for two reasons. Firstly I rather liked the picture of Tutankhamun but mainly I have two friends who are mad on anything Egyptian and there were several small designs and two lovely card mounts included. Earlier this week it was Karan's birthday and I did this card for her, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. Karan wrote to tell me she loved it so I was really happy with that.
We are going up to Yorkshire for the weekend so as the friends we are staying with are not "stitichy" people there will be no stitching done (sob sob).
Monday will be I Still Do of course but much more exciting than that I am actually going to meet a stitching friend who I have found out recently lives quite close to me. Even better the following Monday I will be going to meet another stitching friend who lives quite close by. As I have never met either of these ladies before I am quite excited.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, though it looks like its going to be a rather wet one in the UK. Bliss if you are reading this please will you send me some more sunshine - pretty please.
may your frogs stay in their ponds

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Monday Update

A very unimaginative title but my head is just not in gear this morning.

Here is the picture of yesterdays work on I Still Do. I was really pleased as I completed the initial and got the little motif done, also just a little bit more of the fuchsians (well thats what they look like to me lol). It may not be a lot of progress but I was happy with what I got done in the time I had. I am looking forward to getting my OTT light which will hopefully allow me to stitch more at night which is usually when I get the most time to sit down and stitch. I have so missed having a good stitching lamp.

I am now off to the dentist - ugh, but first I wanted to thank you all for the really lovely comments you left regarding Cottage Dreams.

may your frogs stay in their ponds

Friday, 4 July 2008


I wanted to start with a Great Big 4th of July Greeting to all my friends on the other side of the pond. I hope you are all having a great day doing whatever you do to celebrate.
Next I want to show you my progress on Cottage Dreams. I could have carried on until this evening but I thought with each of the side motifs complete it was a good time to stop. I really have enjoyed every stitch on this. The central blocks are filled with a four sided stitch. The outer squares with a sort of pulled tent stitch.

I had all the correct threads for this but did make one change. The pale rose called for was a Pearsall silk. I had this and did the first inner flower with it but frogged it as I neither liked the way it looked or handled when using it. I felt as though it both looked and felt like a rayon thread. Although it is called silk I am wondering if it is one of the "Art Silk", like rajmahal. Don't get me wrong I have no objection to rayon threads and have used them several times in cross stitch projects to highlights in hair etc but if I am doing a project that uses silk then that is what I look forward to using. Anyway I replaced it with a Caron Waterlily that was almost identical in colour, though the Caron has a little shading in it and the Pearsall was a solid colour.

I have several things I am hoping to get finished over the weekend plus doing some UFO on Sunday and if I get time I would like to make a start on part 7 of EMS as that was released on Tuesday. Well I can dream lol but Ozzie is with us for the weekend, so it depends on him as to how much time I get for stitching. Oh I can't wait for my new lamp to arrive and then I can stitch the night away Lol.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with lots of quality time.


may your frogs stay in their pond

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Mainly Stash

Firstly my little pink parcel arrived yesterday and unlucky for some (but not for me) 13 beautiful Dinky-Dyes silks. Why not the normal 10 - well last month there was a mix up and I got three that I already had so Jayne said to just send them back. Life has been so hectic I had almost forgotten about them but Jayne obviously hadn't and she had added the replacements to this parcel.

Secondly do you like the little basket that they are resting on. That was my 99p from a charity shop bargain I found last week. It will just be right for displaying my needlerolls - ok so I haven't stitched any yet but the basket is incentive LOL.

Thirdly I have ordered my OTT- Lite. How daft is this - I have ordered it from the USA. Now I know about global warming and buying things as locally as possible to save on fuel from long distance transportation. But I also know that the economy is getting tighter and my pennies need to be watched far more carefully in this day and age. Most places I looking in the UK wanted 49.99 plus p&p in fact the cheapest I found it for was 49.98 (wow a whole penny savings). So I went to look on ebay thinking I may get a second hand one. Much to my suprise I found an E-Shop in the USA selling it for $36.99 (about £18.50) so I wrote to them to ask what it would cost to ship to England - well almost as much as the light $31.95(with an apology and explanation about the weight of this lamp) so I thought well for that money just forget the global warning (sorry) and order it, and that is what I did. So I am a soon to be (fingers crossed) Ott-Lite owner for the total price of 34.53 which is over £15 saving on the lamp and that is without taking into consideration what I would have been charged for postage probably making it nearer to £60 than £50. I think you can safely say I am a happy bunny.

I have been stitching and have stitched the monthly challenge, though its not made up yet. I am also trying to stitch a couple of pressies so I cannot tell you about them yet either. Best of all on the stitching front I am enjoying Cottage Dreams. I have done all the kloister blocks and I am now on to the pretty bits.

Several people have asked about the floss I am using for I Still Do - it is Carries Creations Thread "Hearts on Fire" very passionate sounding for my anniversary sampler don't you think.

Julie - I promise at least one ivy leaf this weekend lol.

Karen - How many Ivy leaves indeed, I think I could die from the shock if I counted them so I have no intentions of doing so.

Cynthia - I will keep adding little drips to my ocean but as for the HAED being done for next year even at my most positive that is well beyong reality. I have worked out (notice what a brilliant mathematician I am LOL) that as I have 12 items in my rota if I spend a week on each of them then they will appear about once every three months. At the rate I am stitching I think it will take at least 10 years to do the HAED.

I hope I have replied to everyone who has asked a question. I know Karan I didn't reply to you but I cannot tell you how I get on with my light until it arrives.

I seem to have had quite a few new visitors recently (or at least new comment leavers) and I would like to say Welcome to my little nook. It is always fun to get new people visiting but the best bit is when they leave a comment for me I get to visit them too.

Thanks once again to everyone who visits and to all the lovely people who take the time to leave me a comment.

may your frogs stay in their ponds.