Monday, 11 November 2013

My Quilt has Grown a Bit

Good evening to each and everyone of you.

As the title suggests my quilt - or at least the Quiltmaker's quilt has grown somewhat this week, I think that now the blue is out of the way my enthusiasm for this one has grown too.

So here is how she is looking at this moment in time.

I do wish I was better at taking pictures of my work, they always look slightly blurry I'm afraid.  However as you can see there is not a great deal of quilt left to do.  I am hoping this will be completed before the year is out but I guess that will depend on how much stitching time I get between here and the end of the year.  Maybe I am being a little optimistic but I shall do my best.

I meant to share the pictures of my Grandsons advent I made, but forgot last time, so I am showing them to you now.

This little draws are all full of sweeties now ready for the 1st of December.  I wanted a little duck to put on the pond but unfortunately I couldn't find one, so alas it will remain duckless lol.
I know my mum doesn't get on a computer nowdays, though she used to love reading about my stitching progress here in blogland.  So although she will not see this I want to wish her a very happy 87th Birthday for tomorrow.

This picture was taken last month by the team from the Derby Evening Telegraph. A Jazz band had been playing at the home she resides in and when they were finished she wanted to have a go, apparently she only made a funny noise lol.

Well that's it from me for tonight.  Thanks for visiting you are always welcome.


Helen xx
May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Full of Virtue

Firstly I have my Garden of Virtues, which I finished last weekend.

I loved stitching this pretty little design, and it certainly did the trick in luring my mojo back home.

Having said that I still had to grit my teeth when I retrieved The Quiltmaker, but it paid off and I am now back (plus a few stitched) to where I was before those pesky frogs made an appearance.  With all the rain we have had this week I am hoping the frogs decide it is more fun to play out in the garden that come and visit me again for a while.

So here is where I am now with The Quiltmaker
There is just one more blue pleat on her dress so I am hoping that I will get that completed and out of the way this week. 
Things seem to be going smoothly (fingers crossed it remains that way) with the sale of Mums house.  I have also managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done.  Just cards to make for December birthdays and a couple more special Christmas cards.  So hopefully before we go on holiday everything will be done and I can come back feeling relaxed.
I have sorted a small sampler out for holiday stitching, but now I am having second thoughts.  I am not sure about it so might pop one of my small Heritage Silhouette designs in too - they wont take a lot of room in my case and its nice to have a choice anyway. (or a spare in case I get a lot of stitching time).
I am sorry I have not had much time for visiting blogs, well I have hardly had time to write my own in the last couple of months, but I am hoping that after Christmas things might start to get back to normal here and I will have fun catching up with all your beautiful stitching again.
Love and Hugs to all, and many thanks to those who have taken the time to read my ramblings and a special hug to those who leave a message, which mean so much to me.

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Garden of Virtues

I am enjoying stitching this little sampler and so far its been pretty easy going.  I changed the colour for the writing as the one suggested was almost invisible as it was almost the same colour as the fabric, which is an antique white.  Apart from that I have actually stuck with the recommended colours, most unusual for me when I am doing a sampler.  There is still a feeling of doom when I think about returning to the blue dress, but I will see how I feel once this one is finished.

Still rushing about all over the place, trying to finish cards and my grandsons new advent, which I will show you when its complete.  Since I last posted we have booked a holiday for the end of November, which means I have to have everything done for Christmas before then as there won't be time when we get back.  On top of selling a house, child minding duties, visiting mum everyday, and everything else that needs to be done in and around the home, I shall end up tying myself in a knot soon.  On which note I shall love you and leave you until I get a minute to do another post.

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

PS  ooohhh   my signature has suddenly returned - I do hope it stays.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Not so much missing -

I am talking about my mojo.  It is not so much missing but more walked out in disgust.  Now as you may have realised both the mojo and I struggle to find inspiration in stitching the Quiltmakers blue skirt.  Yes the effect is great - but the stitching much of which is done in a sort of checkerd design or alternate stitches in one shade and the one between in another, the trouble is when you are actually stitching it they all look exactly the same colour.  Well last weekend we decided it must be tackled, the mojo didn't like the idea but I still ploughed on, and I had done a fair chunk by Sunday night.  However I was tired and didn't put my stitching away on that night so imagine my horror when I came down the next morning to see in the cold light of day a big mistake - yes right at the beginning of my weekend stitching.  I spent most of Monday with the frogs giggling on my shoulder.  Since then the mojo deserted me and alas not a stitch this week.


In an attempt to temp it back I have sorted out a small chart by Lori Birmingham called Garden Virtues - I thought a new start and something that will not take too long to complete might do the trick.  Cross your fingers and hope my ruse works so that I will see you all again soon.

Helen x

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

My Late Progess Report

I have been so busy this last couple of weeks.  Up above my head with making Christmas cards, which I love doing, but they take up so much time.  I didn't think I had made much progress at all in the last couple of weeks but I rather impressed with myself now I have seen the pictures.

I took pictures last week but never got the chance to share, so this is how I was doing back then

the front door was finished
and the Quiltmaker had a little more gown and a bit more quilt
Things are getting there slowly
the door pillers are in place and the top of the door completed and also have started the window surround so very please with how this one is going
the quilt is growing though I couldn't face any more of the blues last week.  This week I have started with the blues but I think it will only be a few rows at a time.
Well that is it for tonight my dear friends - will try and be a little bit more chatty next time but so much to do and oh so little time.

Hugs to you all

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Hello fellow bloggers and readers.

We had a lovely holiday with our Grandson in Malta.  The first morning we had a thunder storm but for the rest of the holiday the weather was perfect, and we did lots of walking.  I got a little stitching done and finished my holiday stitch when I got home.  It was a Drawn Thread design called Generosity and here it is complete.

With the holiday stitching out of the way I returned to Fairies and ended up with a double Happy Dance week.  So drum roll please

A while back I promised this chart to someone and I cannot find their email to let them know that it is now ready to be despatched, so please get in touch with me again love. 
With two HD's under my belt I am now really and truly in a stitching mood.  Unfortunately I do not get much chance to stitch during the day and Hardanger House definitely is a daylight stitch.  I have made a little progress but not much, just working on the front door at the moment
So it was time to re-awaken another UFO.  I looked at the three main ones left and decided that the one I had done the most on was The Quilt maker, so I have rescued her from oblivion and she is enjoying the light of day once more.  Here is what she looked like back in April 2010 when I last worked on her.
and here is how she is before I start work again tonight
When I last put her away in 2010 I was so tired of stitching dark blue and it was driving me mad,  so I am pleased to see there is very little of the dark blue to do this time.
I hope everyone is keeping well and getting lots of stitching done, I am trying to keep up with blogs again now, which is good, though some of them do tempt me into thinking about new charts - no no no I must be good - I will be good, OK I will try to be good lol.
Well folks I think that is all I have to share with you this week, so I will say goodnight and return to the quiltmaker for an hour or so before bedtime.  Take care and hope to see you all again soon.
May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Joy of Computers..

Hello again my friends,

When computers work they are the most wonderful invention, but alas when they do not work they are the most frustrating and annoying thing you could ever find.  My wonderful computer I received for my birthday, very soon became a nightmare.  To start with I could do hardly anything for ads all across the screen, we turned on the pop up blocker, but it only eliminated a few of them.  A friend said they were more likely banners so we found the spot and blocked them.  Hurray I was free of the beastly ads, but I am afraid I was not free of the problems.  I could not load many of the web sites I normally visit.  I could not post on here and I could not access any of the blogs I follow.  After it going back twice they admitted they had been having a lot of problems with Windows 8 and gave us a refund.  The result of this was that my lovely hubby took my old computer to our local computer shop where it was fitted with windows 7, the memory was extended and it had a new wifi chip installed.  It is now working wonderful and the only problem I have had is that my signature has disappeared from here - hardly world shattering lol.

At last I can announce that the winner of the beautiful "Garden Bounty" chart is Christine, from the Alchymysts Study.  I was thrilled about this as Christine has been following my blog almost since it began. 

I am off on holiday in the morning but if you email your address to me Christine then I will get it in the post to you asap when I return.  We are taking our 11 year old grandson to Malta for a week before he begins his first term at "big" school. 

I am spending my coffee breaks browsing through all my favourite blogs and for once being able to leave comments, so if I haven't reached yours yet then be assured that I shall get there soon.

I thought I would do some catching up on my knitting after finishing Garden Bounty, but I am not really enjoying knitting like I used to so a couple of rows and I start to get bored.  So out came fairies again.  I haven't done and awful lot on it but am almost to the top of the foxglove, with each tiny flower using 4 colours and the tiny leaves using three there is a lot of starting and stopping but I think I have made fairly good progress. 
 I still have quite a way to go on this but it will be mainly backstitch and adding all the beads.  The only cross stitch to do is finishing the flowers and a few little creatures to add. Luckily the main backstitching has been done as each little section has been completed, but the trellis frame and the vine that goes round it will take quite a lot of work I think.

Thank you once again to one and all for reading my ramblings and the those who do find the time to leave a comment for me, I appreciate them so much so a big thank you.

Till next time, hugs to all


May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Thursday, 8 August 2013


Good Afternoon to my lovely friends,

Monday was my birthday and what better start could I have than to celebrate with a Happy Dance.
On Sunday night I was so close to a finish that I told my hubby I was not going to bed until it was done and I actually finished 11 minutes into Monday morning.  Its a wonder my cheer didn't wake the neighbours.

So here it is for all to share

My lovely hubby bought me a new computer for my birthday and although its very different to my old one I have been having fun.  I am hoping that I can now make my photographs look a little more interesting for you.  I am always so envious when I visit a blog where the photo's have make you want to see more.

I also had lots of lovely craft goodies so I have been rather spoilt this week - but its been fun.

I am also getting back slowly to reading blogs, though time as always does not allow me to read as many as I would like.

As a thank you to my blog readers, I would now like to give this chart to one of you.  As I always use a working copy the original chart is as new and the threads used are DMC.  If you leave a comment on this post then your name will go into the draw and I will also include the thread I have left over.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my ramblings

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

their ponds.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Hello folks,

At the moment my computer is driving my mad, I think it really is time I thought about getting a new one.  For the last week I have been trying to do a new post to my blog but although it seemed to load OK and I could come onto the page for New Posts it would not let me write anything.  I have now discovered theat if I delete my signature and keep typing then I am OK but if I stop typing to add a picture or anything the only way I can start again is by deleting something else lol.  O this is going to be fun.

I have done a little more on Water Pump but I can so temptingly see the end in sight so I am sticking with it.  This picture was taken on Monday and I have done a little more since then. 

Progress has been slow due to lots of time out with my grandson but as we speak my hubby is heading to collect them and take them to the airport as they start their two weeks holiday.  This means we are now doggie sitting for two weeks but apart from walks the dog doesnt need as much attention as my beloved grandson so I am holding out high hopes of happy dancing soon.

As we go away a few days after their return - taking my grandson with us - then the computer is not going to get a lot of attention until later in the year, so please bear with me on this.

I was going to share some of the pictures from our days out but as this is being so troublesome I won't bother.  Enough that I got a picture of my stitching up

Hope to see you all soon, thanks for the kind comments and for visiting

Helen xx
May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

At Last an English Summer

Hello everyone,  I have been noticable only by my abscence for the last few weeks.  I blame the beautiful English summer that we are experiencing in the UK at the moment.  For the last few years our summers have been very wet, but this year is wonderful and we have been out and about, lazing in the garden or doing day trips and enjoying what our lovely country has to offer, when it is not raining on it.  I have done very little stitching and hardly been near the computer.  When I have been near the computer it has been to make cards for the Summer Fete at the Nursing Home where Mum resides.  It was the fete today and I made £43,  with most stalls being almost a sell out I think quite a bit has been raised for the Residents Fund, which pays for things like trips out for them.  Luckily too today, although it was lovely and warm the sun was for once hiding behind the clouds so the residents were not overly hot sitting in the garden and watching all the fun and the entertainment. 

A few of you my have noticed that my when you clicked on my blog recently it said it had been closed down.  I am afraid that someone tried to "hack" the email address that this blog is linked to.  Luckily my server noticed that someone abroad was trying to get into the account and for safely closed it down.  It was not till my friend Ann asked why I had closed my blog that I realised anything was wrong.  I managed to find something that told me if they had closed the account due to a violation an email would be sent to me to explain why.  Of course I then went in search of the email only the find that account closed too.  It has all been sorted now thank goodness, but though it was very inconvenient I cannot fault Googlemail for acting as quickly as they did. 

I have also been doing a little knitting, something Ive not done for over 20 years.  I am making myself a summer sweater, though if this weather continues I do not think it will get much wear - hurray.  I have reached about half way up the back so far.

A little stitching has been done from time to time and I have been working on the Water Pump but as you will see from the picture below, its not grown a lot since you last saw it. 

I think I am going to stick with this for a bit longer, who knows I may even finish it soon as there is not really that much more to do.  We shall see.  

I am now heading back to the kitchen to collect a nice cold drink and then back into the garden for an hour before tea.

Hugs to all, and to anyone who is around to read my ramblings a big thank you.

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

I Made The Connection

Here I am again and it hardly seems two minutes since last week (ok im a couple of days late too).  My days seem to fly by and I am not always sure when I climb into bed at night just exactly what I have done to use up all the time.  That said, apart from the last couple of hours before bedtime, when I sit down to relax, watch tv and stitch, I am always busy doing something. 

I was disappointed with the Minecraft cake, so much so that I didnt even bother taking a picture.  Oscar however was thrilled with it and his friends thought it was cool.  Not one of my best but obviously not a complete failure lol.

Not a lot of stitching time last week, which is why I am late posting.  I was determined that I was going to stick with fairies until I connected the border round it.  This is now done, it still need backstitching and some other bits and bobs but I am pleased I managed to make the connection. 

So here is my latest offering for Fairies At The Bottom Of My Garden -

now that the border is round it I am beginning to feel like I am getting somewhere and the end is within the bounds of possibility.
I had a new visitor last week and went to check out her blog, she had some beautiful hardanger and sampler work and I am so tempted to start something new.  However as I only stitch on one piece each week I really mustn't start something else or it will just delay my finishing those pieces.  I have been scanning through blogs when I have had the time but I really must apologise for not leaving any comments this last week - so many things to do and just not enough time.

Thank you so much to those who visit and take the time to read my ramblings.  God bless you all.


May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Up In The Attic (hardanger house)

It was Carnival Day in Long Eaton on Saturday so my darling grandson came to stay for the weekend.  A lovely morning and we walked down to the park to watch the carnival parade arrive. Not only did the parade arrive but the rain did too and  the heavens opened.  We were drenched, so only a quick look round the park,before heading home again. 

I have been so tired this week and do not seem to have done much stitching in the evenings, however I am quite please with progress made on Hardanger House.  I really need to have a go at stitching the door posts on a scrap before I do them on the real thing, but as I couldnt be bothered I went up to the roof top and did the chimneys and the attic instead.

I love doing hardanger

There isnt much else to tell you today Im afraid.  Fairies, will hopefully, be coming out again tonight, but we are having a new carpet on the stairs and landing on Friday so we have decorating to do this week, and I also have a birthday cake to make for my grandsons 11th Birthday which is also Friday.  He wants a "Mine Craft" cake and I havent quite worked out how to tackle that yet lol.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and to all the lovely people who take the time to leave a comment.  

Hugs to all

May your frogs stay in their ponds.i

Friday, 14 June 2013

I Just Want To Share...

If you craft, no matter what kind of crafting you do, I am sure you know the feeling of always trying to think up new storage solutions.  I know I certainly seem to sink under the accumulation of stuff on my work table but if I clear the table and put it all away, then I waste half the day trying to find it all again.
So today I have been playing and now I have a lovely tidy work area and all my "use all the time" items are in easy reach.

So here is my nice clean work space

The little jars you can just about see on the window ledge are these

and they contain my assortment of card candy which i love and use a lot.  The little jars were from Ikea and were only £2 for a set of four - so not expensive.  The little blue spray bottle was a lucky find last summer.  I first saw it in the garden centre at Denby pottery but as I had spent up on plants I didnt have enough money left.  Imagine my joy when the following week I found the identical thing in the local £1 shop.

Next as we no longer need the veggie rack in the kitchen that has come into use as a craft rack

My craft bag on the top shelve used to stand on my table but it was so full I couldn't find anything in it, now its all need and tidy.

The other things that are now removed from my craft bag are in my new craft station

I made the craft station using the tubes from the centre of wrapping paper rolls, a sheet of A4 card and some pictures cut from old craft magazines.  The pretty boarders came free in a card mag, and the little pin cushion was a gift from a friend some years ago.  The only cost was for the decopatch glue (which I already had anyway).  I am really thrilled with the result, so now I can keep my craft table all neat and clutter free - well thats the theory so far lol.  Most of the card, paper, toppers and embellishments are on the Billy bookcase at the side anyway so they are not hard to pull out and put back.  I glued the tubes together but I havent fixed them to the A4 bottom piece - I left them so that I could decide if it needed any more bits adding first but as it stands quite secure I will probably never get round to a permenant solution.

The other bit of crafting I did this morning was on a cheap ornament I bought in Dunelm.  A few stamps and a bit of bling and here it is.

and here it is on my kitchen window sill.

Sorry there was no stitching to show today, that will be on Monday or Tuesday as usual. It's just been so long since my work table area looked tidy I was all excited and had to share lol (its maybe my age but it doesn't take a lot to excite me these days.

Take care and see you again in a few days

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Appleblossom and Fairies

Hello and welcome to all who are visiting my world.  First I would like the thank you for the lovely comments, especially the ones about my garden, its not very big but it is pretty and I love sitting in it - so peaceful and relaxing.

On that note I thought I would start my post with some flower pictures I took the other day in the garden.
The first three are of my begonias.

This one is called Appleblossom and is my favourite
I have no idea what the others are called but they are still pretty

and finally this lovely flower - I think its called a mimulus but I love the way this one looks
like it has been splashed with paint

This week is a double update as we were just so busy last week that I didn't get the time to blog.  I have been stitching though but as I usually stitch in the evening it rarely gets in the way of other things.

Now for the stitching bit and my first one is the progress from the previous week on fairies, which I was pleased with, though with so many leaves I was feeling rather green by the time the week was over lol.

 Last week it was the water pumps turn for an airing.  I was a little disappointed in the progress I made on this.  I did manage some stitching most evenings but somehow it does not seem to have grown very much.  The good news is I have now reached the bottom of the chart.

Last night Hardanger House came out again.  Time goes so quickly and it does not seem like two weeks have passed since I last put it away.

I would like to say thanks to Mylene for telling me how to remove the verification thing, I have done what you said so hopefully its not there anymore.  I know how you feel, sometimes I write a comment and then have to go through all that typing stupid words it drives me mad too lol.

Off now to make a coffee and sit in the garden for an hour before dinner.  Take care everyone and hope to see you again soon.

Sending hugs to all who need them,

May your frogs stay in their ponds.

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Lovely Weekend

Hello and welcome to everyone, I only hope your weekend has been as lovely as mine.  The sun has shone and its been lovely and warm for the bank holiday weekend.  Also my monthly stitching group met at my house on Saturday, so I had a lovely day with wonderful friends.  To finish off in the evening my hubby and I went for a meal with a couple of the other girls and their hubbys it was a good evening, lots of laughs and excellent company.  Sunday morning we all met for coffee before Jan and Mike had to return to Andover.
Warm sunshine, lots of naughty food and excellent company - now thats what I call a lovely weekend.

My garden has enjoyed the warmer weather too and is beginning to look nice with the Wisteria starting at last to make its way along the house and the Lilac Tree in full bloom and wafting its perfume round the garden.  I have taken a couple of pics for you to see - though as with my stitching pictures I am not a photographer of any skill but I think they turned out ok.

lol I have just realised that my refection was showing in the utility room window as I took that last picture.

Now to the important stuff - stitching.  I worked on my Hardanger house over the last week and though progress is not major, as there is a lot of speciality stitches in this piece which I am slow at, I am pleased with what I achieved.  I love doing speciality stitches and love the effects they create.  As I almost always do I am tweeking this to suit me lol.  Although you have the choice of doing an Everyday House or a Christmas House the only difference the designer makes between the two is on the inside.  On the outside of the house there is supposed to be garlands along the fence and a wreath on the front door and I am missing these out as I feel they look christmassy. I have also realised that I may have to make up my own design for the inside of the house as the inner layer is supposed to be stitched on 36 count and I am not at all sure that my eyes (even with the aid of my magnifiers) would be able to cope with anything that fine. I have a feeling I may have some 36 count in my stash and if so I will give it a go - but wont hold my breath as I cannot see the point in struggling and therefore not enjoying my stitching. Anyway in case you missed it here is a picture from an earlier post when I fished it out my wip box.  And (bad grammer to start a sentance with and but I cannot think of anything else to start with) here is how it looked this morning when it was light enough to take a picture of it.

I tried taking a close up but it just looked a blur.  The little knobs on the top of the fencing are in queen stitch, the steps are in a mixture of long arm crosses and four sided back stitch, and the entrance posts are in twill stitch, the effect is really pretty and I do wish I could show you more clearly.  My hubby is off doing the garden at Mums house as we want it to look nice when prospective buyers turn up, but when he gets home I will see if its possible for him to get a close up for you.

Cards are supposed to now be going on a seperate page and you will notice at the top of the post, there is a tag for home and a tag for cards.  There is only one problem with this, I managed to do the page and put in a couple of photos but I am at the moment completely at a loss as to how to make a new post on that page.  I used to be very good with technology but alas the older I get the worse I get at figuring things like this out lol, or it's maybe just that technology is getting more complicated.   Hubby will help in most cases but when I ask him about this he just replies that he knows nothing about blogs - or probably just doesnt want to know about them lol.

Replies to comments.

Mylene asked if I could take the verification thing off my comments page.  I am really sorry Mylene but I didnt even know there was one on it and I have no idea how to remove it.

Chris asked about the designer or the Fairies.  I have replied to your email regarding this Chris.

Thanks for all the lovely comments though unfortunately no-one knew what to do about the highlighting and I have no idea if it will happen again (as it didn't show until I actually post and though I went back to see what was wrong there is nothing on the original to show any highlighting).  All I can do is apologise if this post is also highlighted - its that technology thing again lol.

Back to fairies tonight so until I see you all again, please take care and if you need a hug then consider it sent.

Love to all

May your frogs stay in their ponds.