Saturday, 31 March 2012

Two simple LO's to share

I was able to get to the Exeter Scrapaholics crop today - the first one I've been able to make this year. I managed to complete a couple of 8 x 8 LO's to go in Logan's album and I almost completed a 12 x 12 LO of Ian and myself which I hope to finish off over the weekend. There was also the opportunity of having a good old chatter with the rest of the ladies - well I haven't seen them since December so there was a lot to catch up with and share.

The first LO was taken in January when Colette and Logan had come down for a visit - as you can see he is quite happy to 'ride' on his push bike - not so sure Colette was as happy pushing him up the hill to get back home! I've used just a few scraps of paper for this one and used a stamp that I've used more than once on LO's which I got when I was a member of Club Scrap stamps.
The second LO are some photos I took quite recently and shows Logan with the trains we have at our house. Whenever he comes in the first thing he does is to look for the trains either in the front room or the conservatory - we have them in both places. They were originally bought for Connor but we have always kept them at our house so he had something to play with when he came here - which he still does. I actually got a photo of all three grandchildren playing with the Thomas train set so it's nice to know they are all happy to share - at the moment.
No patterned paper used for this one but I have used my SU Train Track roller stamp and the Choo Choo stamp set - this is a great stamp set for childrens LO's and cards.
Just sitting down now to watch The Voice - have to admit I don't normally watch these sort of programmes - well apart from Strictly but to me that is completely different. Other than them not being able to see the individual I'm not really sure how it will be different from the X-Factor once the judges/mentors have got their team members.
I might just be able to get a few crosses in one of my stitching projects while I'm watching the TV - it probably won't be the Four Horses as the count is too fine and I haven't yet got myself a magnifier so think it could be on the mystery project I've been working on all week - I may just reveal what I have done on that later in the week!

Friday, 30 March 2012

I know I'm so naughty!

Here is what was inside that beautiful wrapping yesterday - I know it's another cross stitch project but it also includes some sewing to make a needlework pocket for storing scissors and other needlework accessories. I've joined the Prim Sisters club which will mean there will be a few more of these delightful projects arriving every couple of months - as if I didn't have enough to do already I hear you all say. What can I say it's an addiction that is very hard to cure.
No crafting has taken place today, the morning was spent doing some much needed housework and then more shopping, although that was a bit of nightmare as I had to queue to get into the supermarket as people were panic buying petrol. Then this afternoon I took Colette for another scan as the baby wasn't lying in the right position last time for them to check the baby's heart was as it should be - thankfully everything looks absolutely fine - Colette, bless her asked again if they were sure it was a girl to which they said yes.
I then picked my friend Moya up on the way back who was having a meal with us before heading over to our friend Jacqueline's house for a Jamie Oliver party. It was a fun evening - they had the sweetest storage jars but I resisited them and went for something more practical andsomething that we actually needed. Somehow I managed to trap my finger in the car door as I was closing it this evening so finger a bit tender but I am sure it will be okay - just got a bruised fingernail now.
I've just gone to print some photos out to take with me to the Exeter Scrapaholics crop tomorrow and it hasn't been as straight forward as I had hoped. Unfortunately the printer is set up to work with the old laptop, but the photos I want are on the new laptop. Now although I can print from this laptop it won't let me adust the photo sizes or at least I can't see how to get it to work. So as it's too late now to start messing about now I will fire up the old laptop tomorrow and insert the camera card into the printer and hopefully get what I want that way before leaving tomorrow. If not I will have to hunt around and see what photos I have already got printed that I could use instead. Or I guess another alternative could be to create the LO and then add the photos - that might prove interesting and challenging at the same time.
Anyway I think it's time for my hot chocolate and to try and get some sleep. I still have three more days off work to look forward to and then it's another short week next week for me so I am hoping to catch up on a few more things on the homefront.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Less is More - Recipe - Take 3 Challenges

The challenge this week on Less is More is to pick any 3 of their past challenges and incorporate them onto one card. I have decided to use Week 4 - Use 3 squares, Week 15 - Embossing and Week 16 - Butterflies.
I've used my CM square punch and some retired SU patterned paper and lined them across the card inking the edges first with some distress ink. Then I've used the SU Sizzix Beautiful Wings Embossilit die for the other two elements of the challenge. The sentiment came from one of my favourite SU stamp sets called Flight of the butterfly. More scraps used to create the card but I don't think I'm ever going to get to the bottom of the scraps box.
This arrived yesterday and was something I had been waiting for - I will reveal what is in the package tomorrow but it came from a lovely company called Country Sampler and once again I discovered them through one of my blog hopping trips and couldn't resist! Another little something to add to my never ending list of projects. While blog hopping I came across this acronym SABLE and it certainly applies to me - it stands for Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy - something I am sure many of you are just as guilty of but it gives us pleasure and that is what is important in life.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Four horses of Apocolypse

I have decided that the four horses of apocolypse will be my next UFO that I will try and get completed as soon as possible. The pattern is in a booklet form and contains 8 pages in total of which I had completed about 3 1/2 pages. My aim is to try and complete one page each month - quite a tall order for me but we'll see how it goes. Here is a photo of it as it stands today.
I will also be working on the bear birth sampler which I hope to get completed before the new baby arrives at the beginning of August - this one is much simpler and the colours are much brighter so fingers crossed that will be achieved. I've almost completed the bears dress, just a bit of the collar left to do.
To break things up a little I will also be doing the Lizzie Kate months of the year - I went to do February's yesterday and realised that the small mistake that I'd made in January would make a difference to the rest of them so have started from January again. I did about half of that yesterday so it shouldn't take me too long to get it completed and February's done too hopefully by the end of this month or by Easter at the latest.
Easter Monday sees the start of the Lizzie Kate Fat Man SAL, this will only be done on a Monday, but as I'm working all day on Easter Monday I don't think I will get much done in the first session. I've still got to get the fabric to stitch on and am still deciding which colour to use - all will be revealed on Easter Monday.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Jingle Belles - Hybrid challenge

The challenge for Jingle Belles this fortnight was to use a digital stamp or element on your card. I have used the Steampunk Reindeer which I purchased from Smeared Ink last year and coloured him in using Promarkers. I've then cut him out and matted him onto a SU Ruby Red circle (although in this photo it looks more oranged) which I have embossed and then matted this onto some brown cardstock. The papers are from a retired SU Christmas paper pack. The ribbon is also from SU which I think is gorgeous ribbon as not only does it have spots but it's got a pretty scalloped border too.
The past two days seem to have flown by. Sunday was spent entertaining Connor and Elisha for a few hours and then we were also joined by Logan - it was lovely to have all three grandchildren together and something that doesn't happen that often. I did manage to capture a few photos of them all playing with the Thomas train track which hopefully I will get round to creating a LO at the weekend when I go to the Exeter crop. Once the invasion of grandchildren had passed I was able to enjoy a blissful couple of hours stitching - I've made a start on the birth sampler and will work on that one along with my next UFO which I have decided will be the Four Horses of Apocolypse and small stitched pieces too. I'll take a photo of the WIP's and post later in the week.
I am about a third of the way through my knitting project and so far all is going to plan - just hope the finished article looks the same in real life as it does in my head!
An early start yesterday for work but I was able to spend a pleasant afternoon with my friend Jacqueline who made me the most delicious baguettes for lunch followed later in the afternoon with a lemon curd yum yum and it was - very! That's where I was able to colour in the reindeer images and in the evening I put the assembly process into action.
Today so far has been spent taking the dog for a lovely walk along the creek and enjoying seeing the tree and flowers showing more signs that Spring has arrived.
On the way back home I called in to see my in-laws, had a nice cup of coffee and a chat. It was then time to pick my mum up and we took a trip to the local garden centre where we enjoyed lunch and then bought a few plants to go in the garden - hopefully they will survive and won't become a meal for the slugs. This was then followed by the not so thrilling food shopping. With that done and out the way I am now back home and I'm going to enjoy an hours stitching before DH comes home. After tea I will put my plants in and with any luck get some more crafting time later in the evening.
My work schedule is set to become less frantic - that is providing the new staff stay on - fingers crossed they will pick up speed soon and become more integrated with the rest of the team as it really would be nice to get back to my part time hours. We will see.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Is it really only March?

The past few days have been really mild and the sun has been shining - it's hard to believe it's March and not May. Today we made the most of the weather and went out for a lovely walk with Max. I'll warn you now this post is quite photo heavy.

As soon as we parked up the car at Starcross the signs that Spring has finally arrived were clear to be seen. There were daffodils in abundance and some trees or shrubs (I'm not a gardener so please forgive me for not knowing the difference) were coming into bud.
We had to walk along the side of the road and the railway line for the first part of our walk but from there we could clearly see the Exe estuary and on one of the wrecked boats there was a Cormorant sat on the edge probably looking for his next meal or taking a break from breakfast.
A little further down the road Ian spotted this little fellow on a discarded wheel trim - we're not sure if he was making the most of the sunshine or......
stalking this pair who may well have been his next meal. Obviously they were engaged in other activities that made them oblivious to their possible fate!
Once we were able to cross the train line we could walk alongside the estuary and Max decided he would be able to see more if he walked along the wall instead of on the footpath.
It must have been warm as I've taken my cardigan off and I'm enjoying the warm sun on my arms - yes I did put on some sun tan cream as I didn't want to get burnt on my first exposure to the warm rays. Apologies for the scowly looking face but the sun was a bit bright.
Some boats moored along the estuary and in the background is Turf Lock which was our initial port of call. We planned on stopping at the Turf Hotel for lunch and it seemed we picked the same day as an event that had obviously been planned for the Greyhound Rescue South West owners/keepers - there were masses of them there - didn't take a photo as there were too many children around and didn't want to be accused of anything untoward.
A fabulous place to stop off at though and they do the most amazing sandwiches - I had a lovely Mozzarello and roasted vegetable sandwich and Ian had sausage, onion and mustard - yum, yum.
We then walked further along the estuary to Topsham where this lovely cottage could be found near Topsham Lock - I think in the summer months it opens as a cafe. Also near the lock is the ferry which takes you over to Topsham itself.
On the way back we were passed by this crew of rowers which Max decided to try and chase down the footpath - we did have visions of him jumping into the river after them but as he doesn't like to do much more than paddling he stopped short of leaping off the path.
We also saw deer out at Powderham Castle but the photos I took of them didn't come out very well - not easy to know what you are actually taking photos of with my little pocket camera as there is no view finder and we couldn't see the screen on the camera so these photos were all down to chance.
When we got back in the car we couldn't believe how warm it really was - long may this gorgeous weather continue.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Short and sweet on Friday

Yippee the weekend is here and I don't have to work it. Not much to report today but I have made a new start on a cross stitch project - wasn't able to get as many stitches in as I would have liked before going into work and I think this is another one that will have to be worked on in daylight hours.
The weather is supposed to be good over the weekend so tomorrow we are planning to go to Starcross and walk to Turf Lock with the dog. Should be a good few miles walking and no doubt we will find some suitable watering hole for lunch and refreshments. It will be so good to get out in the fresh air and really stretch our legs.
I'm now going to read a couple of magazines that arrived in the post today. Here's hoping you all enjoy your weekend as much as I hope to.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Scarf completed - two balls left still!

I finally finished the scarf I was knitting out of the odd wool left over from the cardigan - I actually finished knitting it on Tuesday but I only stitched the ends in today. I still have two full balls of wool left over and I have another project in mind for those which I am setting myself the deadline of end of April to complete as it will also involve what I call 'proper' stitching too so as to give the item some extra strength.
I've also spent the past couple of evenings on a small cross stitch Christmas project but I won't show you that until I have completely finished it by making it into something useful. I really seem to have been bitten by the cross stitching bug again I guess it's probably got something to do with all the wonderful stitching blogs I have been checking out and seeing other peoples handiwork.
Not much else apart from work has been happening this week but I'm looking forward to the weekend as I have the entire weekend off where I am hoping the weather will be nice and we can go out for a nice long walk on Saturday and chill out of Sunday and maybe get some gardening done.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wasn't happy - I am now

I wasn't really happy with my card entry for Less is More yesterday and although I liked the card I have to agree with Mandi and Chrissie that there wasn't enough white space. So while I should have been having an early night last night as I had to get up at 'silly' o'clock hour again today I managed to come up with a rough idea for another card. So when I got home this afternoon I put that idea onto a card and this time I am far happier with the end result.
I've used the balloon stamp from SU's Party This Way stamp set and inked it up first in Yoyo Yellow, masked this off and then used Real Red and Tempting Turquoise and then used another mask and stamped two more balloons in Pixie Pink and Orchid Opulence. The sentiment is stamped in Only Orange which is from a Hostess stamp set Happiest Birthday Wishes.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Less is More - Masking

I'm not sure about this card I've made for the challenge this week on the Less is More blog. I've used a square of paper to mask off the centre of the card and then used SU's Paisley background stamp which has been inked in Cameo Coral, So Saffron and Tempting Turquoise and placed over the masked area. The background stamp wasn't quite wide enough to fit the card so I have use one of the flower stamps from the SU Cottage Garden set to fill the area masking off the stamped background. The sentiment is from Unity and has also been randomly inked with the same colours. I've added some bakers twine which came with this months Artful Delight to frame the 'white' space and edge the side border.
An early start for me today and I was working with the new girl today along with my friend Debbie. As there were three of us in instead of just the two of us the morning seemed to go on for ever. Neither Debbie or myself are sure whether the new girl will stick it out - somehow I think all the different shifts might just prove too much - we will wait to see if we are wrong. The new girl is nice enough, quite young but sometimes a bit over confident in her attitude to the work involved.
Spent an enjoyable couple of hours with Colette and Logan after work. I didn't manage to pick up any fabric to finish off my stitching and I resisted the urge to buy wool for baby knitting until I have used up the scraps. I will look in my local craft shop tomorrow after I finish work for the fabric as I need to call in and pick up a couple of magazines and I want to make sure I have 'finished' the Friends project before the end of the month.
Managed to get the ironing done when I got home and also got the bread maker working so that I didn't have to go shopping for bread. I've now got the rest of the evening to myself as DH has gone to watch Argyle - hopefully they will win and those around them lose so as to avoid getting relegated this season. Will do a bit of blog hopping and then settle down to do some crafting of some sort - just not sure what yet. Fabric and thread arrived today for birth sampler - have to say I use Sewandso for most of my stitching needs as I'm always impressed with the quick and efficient service. Does anyone have any other recommendations?

Monday, 19 March 2012

French knots - love them or hate them?

I have completed all the stitching on Friends are Gifts but French knots are a mystery to me. Why is it I can do one French knot and it looks great and then I do another one and it's not quite so good? I'm sure practice will make perfect but I do get frustrated that my French knots are not consistent. Tomorrow I will be meeting my daughter after work and I will pick up some fabric to finish this piece off - I've now got to decide which UFO to finish off next.
I have sent off for the fabric and threads for the baby sampler and also the February LK chart. I loved doing the January one and am already looking forward to completing the rest of the months. As promised here is a photo of January completed - sorry about the poor light for both these photos.
I went into work today expecting to work with one person but they failed to turn up and the boss was unable to get hold of them so I ended up working with the boss (who also happens to be my friend). Not sure what is going on with the lad I was supposed to be working with I just hope he's ok. The afternoon flew by which is always nice.
I'm hoping to finish my scarf tonight and make a start on the next project which will be a bit of an experiment and I'm hoping the idea I have in mind will work - no pattern as such to follow (apart from the same cable design) but I'm hoping it will turn out ok. I'm also hoping to get it finished pretty quick as I am eager to start some baby clothes. I am going to pick up some wool for the new baby and it will be so nice to knit some pretty cardigans, etc.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day and new project

It may be late in the day but Happy Mother's Day to all us Mothers - I hope you have all enjoyed your day whatever you may have been doing. I had cards and small gifts from all three of our children and saw them and all the grandchildren today which is always nice.

I've enjoyed a nice relaxing day off work mainly spent visiting our Mother's and then stitching. I have finished the Lizzie Kate January chart will show that tomorrow as I forgot to take the photo in daylight. I also went on the hunt for the cross stitch magazine that had the girl bear birth sampler in. The first look around the house wasn't very fruitful and I was beginning to think I wouldn't find it so even checked out e-bay to see if there was a copy on there to buy. I then remembered I had put some magazines at the top of one of our wardrobes and thankfully it was there.

I have checked my threads and I only need to buy five new colours to be able to complete it along with the fabric. I will probably order that later along with the February LK chart. I am looking forward to starting this one, but will still continue to work on my UFO's as well throughout the year. I will probably have to adjust the section where the name goes as the name and date of birth won't fit on the same line so I will have to put the DOB under the name (always assuming they stick with their name choice). The name won't go in until the baby is born just in case there is a change of mind.
I am also looking forward to knitting some baby items in pink too, tomorrow I will look out a few knitting patterns and see what I want to do after I have finished the scarf and used up the last scraps of that wool.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Failing eyesight or just plain tired?

Last night I prepared my linen fabric so that I could start the Lizzie Kate January chart but I couldn't see the holes to stitch it! The last two pieces I've stitched on have been worked on 14 count Aida so switching to 28 count linen was a big change. I was worried my eyesight had deteriorated as even with my daylight lamp switched on I couldn't see the holes. DH suggested that I was perhaps just tired - it's been a long week.

Today I was on an early shift so I was home just after midday so I gave the stitching another go - this time in the nice bright daylight which can be found in our conservatory. Relief - it's not my eyesight as I could see the holes clearly and I wasn't tired as I managed to get a lot of the chart completed as you can see.
I did actually get the whole of the word January completed and was just about to do the snowman when I realised I'd missed out a stitch on the letter n which meant that the snowman wasn't going to fit as shown on the chart. So I had to unpick it and couldn't quite get the whole word completed before the light started to dim. I'm hopeful that tomorrow I will finish it which means I will need to get the rest of the charts in the series as I've decided to make it into one large project.
It's the first time I've stitched with Weeks threads and I have to say I really like them - they have are slightly variegated. I wasn't sure if I should be doing each individual stitch or whether it was okay to stitch in rows. I've gone with rows on the whole but I think you would get more variation in the colours by doing them singularly. I'm sure more of these threads will be heading towards my workbox.
I did a good turn quite by chance this evening. DH and I decided we'd treat ourselves to a chinese takeaway and as we were driving up the road we saw an elderly lady fall over. DH quickly pulled over and I jumped out to check that she was ok. Thankfully there were no broken bones just a small cut to the lip and probably some injured pride. I asked her if she had far to go and she had just been heading for the bus stop which was just a few yards away and going to the shops about a five minute drive away. As I was walking her to the bus stop the bus was coming round the corner so I ran on ahead to stop it so that she wouldn't miss it and explained to the bus driver she'd had a fall so hopefully after I'd seen her on the bus he was able to see her safely off at the other end. She was most grateful for my help - I just kept thinking I hope someone would do the same if it had been my mother.
I'm now catching up on Master Chef which we recorded in the week - I have my preferred winner just have to see if I have picked the correct one.

Friday, 16 March 2012

New Beginnings

I have decided to make a start on one of the small charts that I recently purchased - as it's small it hopefully shouldn't take me too long to finish. I'm going to do the Lizzie Kate Flip It January design and yes you've guessed it eventually I would like to do the whole year. Not sure if I will do them as individual items or as one big picture. I'm using the recommended threads on the chart which are Sampler and Weeks so it will be interesting to see how they stitch up in comparison to the usual DMC and Anchor threads that I'm used to.
Other new beginnings that I have to report on include the results of Colette's baby scan today - we can finally reveal that she has been told it will be a little girl. Colette and Tim are really happy they will have one of each and it evens everything out for us too as we will then have two Grandsons and two Grandaughters. I'll be able to start knitting in pink now! It also means I will have to hunt out the World of Cross Stitching magazine that had the girl bear ballerina birth sampler in. I am so pleased that I can stitch the girl one to go with Logan's birth sampler and not have to find another birth sampler that would have been of a similar size.
Not much else to report on - the relaying of the paths in our street are now complete so no problems getting in and out of our drive or our road thank goodness. Right off now to make a start on January.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Artful Delights - March Sketch Challenge

I subscribe to the Artful Delights monthly card kits and since I joined I have never been disappointed in their kits. Those that know me know I love stamps and every month in the card kit there is a set of stamps which work so well with all the other components and this months was no exception. Everything for this card has come from the kit the only other items I have used to create it are some punches. I've used the SU Boho Blossoms punch to mount the buttons onto, a CM corner punch, TH Distress ink to ink the edges of the papers and a black Momentos ink pad for the sentiment. The stamps this month were a set of Hero Arts clear stamps called Live & Laugh.
I've used the monthly sketch which can be found on the Artful Delight blog and each month the winner has a chance of winning one of their monthly kits. The blog has daily inspiration too from all the DT helping you to get the most out of their kits.
We had a lovely time with Connor and Elisha yesterday but by the time I came home I was absolutely shattered and fell asleep on the sofa just after seven and spent the evening dozing - I think the early mornings had finally caught up with me. This evening I'm going to be doing some more knitting, but tomorrow I might be a little bit naughty and make a start on one of the new cross stitch projects!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Knitting with scraps report.

I did say it would be an easy project I would be doing to use up the scraps and you can't get much easier than a scarf. So far I am about two thirds of the way to the length I would like it to be and at the moment I've only used up the small odd balls of wool that were left over. I'm probably only going to need one of the full balls to finish it off. While I was knitting this scarf though I have thought of the next project to completely use up the wool so once the scarf is finished I will get straight onto that.
It's beautiful and sunny here today, although I haven't been able to enjoy it as I would have liked to as I had to go into work this morning and then I had the joys of food shopping with Mother. Now I don't mind being with my Mother but I just hate food shopping and having to think of what to eat for the next week - I find it difficult enough thinking what to eat each day let alone a week's worth of meals.
I'm going to sit down now and do a little bit of knitting before heading off to No1 son's house for tea, where I will be able to enjoy our two other grandchildren Connor and Elisha for a few hours. Hopefully Connor is feeling better today as he was suffering from a cold yesterday.
Earlier in the week they started digging up the paths along are road to cut back some of the treat roots that were damaging the pats and were blocking off the ends of the road apart from access to residents. When I came home from work Monday I had to drive over the corner pavement to be able to gain access to the road as someone had thought it a good idea to move the barriers right across the road. Yesterday when I got home from work they had parked across our driveway and blocked off even pedestrian access to our house - I just walked passed the barrier - the workman gave me a look and I just told him it was my house. Today I come home to find that they had relaid the path but had put cones and barriers partway across our drive - as you can imagine they have been moved onto their tarmac which should have set by then and parked my car. It wouldn't have been so bad if we'd had some sort of notification it was going to take place but we hadn't. I wonder what tomorrow will bring - I don't have to go into work until almost midday so it will be interesting to see if I can even get out of our drive.
Gosh I've ranted and raved about things this week - must be all the early mornings getting to me - ha!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Less is More challenge - Script

The challenge this week was to create a one layer card but using some script in addition to the sentiment. I managed to find a stamp from Funstamps and an SU sentiment from the Very Vintage stamp set which I thought matched perfectly.
I've just added a hint of colour using some of the new Spring coloured Promarkers to add emphasis to the script stamp.
After work today I met up with my friend Jill for a cup of coffee and a nice long chat - it's been a while since we were able to do that - hopefully it won't be quite so before we see each other again.
I then had a wasted journey to pick up a parcel from the sorting office at Plymstock only to be told that the parcel would have been at my own local sorting office and that our new postman had obviously run out of their address cards. While I appreciate the fact that sometimes they may run out of their own cards, it would have been nice for him to at least crossed out the Plymstock address and put our local branch. Bearing in mind the Plymstock branch is the other side of the city centre I wasted not only valuable fuel but my time too. It now means I have to collect my parcel on my way home tomorrow and I'm very intrigued now to know what the parcel is! Our 'old' postman would have changed the address but as we have a new postman and obviously hasn't got the same common sense - there will be a complaint going in for this one.
Will be catching up with another friend this evening who has been on a lovely six week holiday across the other side of the world so lots to catch up with there.

Monday, 12 March 2012

French Knots

I have managed to finish all the backstitching on the Friends are Gifts UFO so all that is left are the French Knots which I will do during daylight hours. I will then need to give the project a gentle wash due to it being neglected for so long. I can then make it up into a wall hanging as I have found the rest of the kit - well apart from the metal ring to hang it up with but I am sure I can find one of those somewhere in the house.
Before I went to work this morning I had a surprise visit from our daughter and grandson which was very nice as I haven't seen them for a few days. I'm lucky that they live quite nearby so we do get to see a lot of Logan.
Came home to find that our road has been blocked off as they are working on the pavements. There was supposed to be access only but they'd put the barriers right across the road so I moved them slightly so that I could get to our house. I'm just hoping nobody moves them again before I go into work tomorrow - I've got an early start and I don't want the inconvenience of having to move them once more.
I'm hoping the weather will be nice again tomorrow as I'm meeting up with Jill and we thought we'd take Max for a walk round Saltram and then have a drink sat outside the cafe - fingers crossed.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Lizzie Kate Fat Man SAL

With the daylight hours lengthening and my renewed interest in my cross stitch projects I have also found some wonderful cross stitching and quilting blogs. Many of those blogs mention SAL's which was something I knew nothing about but it stands for Stitch A Long's I believe. Me being naturally curious and loving new challenges have discovered the Lizzie Kate's Fat Man SAL and I've decided to join in. There are six charts to work on which when finished make up a much larger project. Anyone joining the SAL only works on their stitching on a Monday, at their own pace with no deadline - sounds perfect to me. More details can be found here. Below is how the finished project will look, although you can choose which colour you want to stitch the project on so there can be some variation.
I've already got five of the six charts, the other one is on order. I've yet to decide which colour fabric I'm going to stitch them on and I've also got to get the threads but as the SAL doesn't start until Easter Monday I've got plenty of time to decide. I'm really looking forward to adding this to my list of things to do.
I've been at work all day today - a 10 1/2 hour shift so no time to play or enjoy the beautiful sunny weather that Plymouth enjoyed today. My next day off isn't until next Sunday - I just hope it's nice and sunny then so I can really enjoy Mothering Sunday. Hoping to do some more knitting this evening as well as catch up on my blogging friends.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Jingle Belles - Neutral Noel

This fortnights challenge on the Jingle Belles blog is to use the above photo as inspiration and create a card. I have decided to use the colours for my inspiration and have used a white card as my base. The stamped images are a set from Rubadubadoo which come as a block of four but I have cut them out as separate elements. I've stamped the images onto SU's Crumb Cake cardstock using SU Craft White ink pad and white embossing powder. The sentiment came in the same set and I've used SU's Crumb Cake ink pad to stamp the greeting onto the card.
I managed to get most of the preparation for these cards done before I left for work this morning and have put them together this evening - so pleased as I now have another six put aside for Christmas so there will be no last minute card making later in the year. 36 in total so far and lots more challenges to come.

I actually had a lie in until 7am this morning - some might think that's not much of a lie in but it is for me. After having a leisurely breakfast we then took Max out for a lovely walk along the creek where we saw lots of daffodils coming out in bloom which means Spring must be on it's way - hooray! I then got to work on the cards for the challenge and also managed to put a few stitches in my cross stitch while waiting for my cup of tea to cool down before heading off to work.

Spending the rest of the evening knitting while catching up on some TV that we have recorded during the week. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend whatever you may be doing.

Friday, 9 March 2012

It's been a long day and stash confession.

It's been a long day - I had to get up early this morning and drive up to Swindon with my parents to go to my Uncle Jim's funeral. We set off at 7am this morning and I had allowed an extra hour into my journey time as I didn't know if there would be the need for elderly pit stops - there wasn't and so we got up there by 9.30. The funeral was due to take place at 11.30 so we had plenty of time to make ourselves comfortable and have a nice cup of tea - it also gave my dad the chance to see my cousin John beforehand.

It was a simple funeral and obviously they are sad occasions, but I think what makes it even sadder is that my poor cousin had lost his mum only last June and so has had to say goodbye to both parents quite suddenly. I've lived in Plymouth for nearly 28 years so haven't actually seen my Uncle Jim for a number of years and I honestly can't ever remember seeing John when we were children. There are 8 years between us and when I did go round there as a child I can never remember him being there - I joked with him and said I think his parents must have hid him in a cupboard. I couldn't get over how much he looked and sounded just like my Uncle Jim, even his mannerisms were Uncle Jim all over.

After the funeral we went somewhere to have a drink and a bite to eat, which gave us time to chat and for dad to tell him a few stories about his dad in his younger years. My Uncle Jim and Auntie Margaret had him quite late in life and was a very much wanted child - there had been several pregnancies before him which ended sadly so he was always a special child as far as they were concerned. With them being older parents, it meant that by the time John was a young man his parents were pensioners and so he knew very little of them in younger years. I think it was nice for both John and my dad to remember Uncle Jim in his younger days.

My brother doesn't live far from John so I am sure that they will keep in touch and I hope that now that I've finally met him we can keep in touch too.

On a more positive but naughty note I have some more stash to confess to buying this week. In my defence when I placed my first order with Sewandso I thought I had ordered two of the patterns, but all I'd done was looked at the materials required and added them to my basket and forgot to add the charts! So I placed another order for the two charts and somehow another couple of charts and a piece of fabric also fell into the basket. I also added the floss card holders which should have been in the first order too so that I could put the Anchor threads from the boxer picture onto and put them in my Anchor storage box.

The Christmas stocking and the season chart were the additional patterns that fell into the basket. I have been wanting to stitch some stockings for the grandchildren for a while but didn't want anything too complicated - when I saw this one I thought it should be easy enough to complete and there are other designs available too - I would want each one of them to have something different from their sibling. I'm not expecting to get them done for this Christmas but I would love to have them done for 2013. The season chart is also one of a series and I thought it would be good to do them all and put them up at the relevant time of the year - it is my intention to try and get them done this year - along with everything else I want to do. Oh so many projects if only there was more time in a day.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Pink and Girly challenge at Crafty Purple Frog

For our challenge this time we want you to make something pink and girly. There are lots of Crafty Purple Frog images to be won so why not give it a go?
For my card I've used the Red is my passion invertage images from Crafty Purple Frog - the colours on this image are pink and not red as you would imagine from the description. To create the background I've used the lovely SU Medallion stamp which has been stamped using the retired SU Pixie Pink ink pad. I've used one of the sentiments from SU's Heard from the heart and finished it off with some lovely organza ribbon and a little strawberry heart charm. Still think I'm managing to keep to the clean and simple look which I was pleased with.
Had a lovely evening with Wynneth and Jacqueline - the meal was lovely and the evening flew by. Roll on the next birthday celebration in April!
Off to work in a moment but going to try and quickly catch up on some blog hopping while I enjoy a cup of tea.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Less is More - Neutrals

I really enjoyed this weeks theme on Less is More - I think neutrals give a lovely soft feel to a card, but at the same time can make cards look quite classy. I have used SU's Soft Suede and Crumb Cake cardstock and I've used the lovely SU embossing folder called Vintage Wallpaper. The sentiment was from Inkylicious and stamped onto Crumb Cake cardstock with matching ink pad on a circular nestie and matted onto a fancy circle die from Nellies. The seam binding ribbon came with an Artful Delight kit, it looks like it has a purple tinge to it in this photo but it's actually a bit darker than the Soft Suede cardstock..
Now after I finished the hooded cardy last week I was left with three complete balls of wool and some odd bits - what to do with them. My mission is to try and use up my stash so I have in mind a project that I'm going to do with this - something simple but incorporating the pattern that was in the cardigan. If all goes to plan I should be able to show you what I've done with it early next week.
No more early mornings for me now until next Tuesday - trouble is my body clock is now used to getting up at 3.45am and so will probably still wake up at that time tomorrow. I don't think I'll get up at that time but I certainly won't stay in bed too long as I always feel worse for doing that.
Going out with friends this evening for a meal to continue the birthday celebrations started on Monday - should be another fun night - althought I won't be home late, it's just as well I don't have to get up early.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Baby's hat and next UFO

_This hat was so quick and simple to knit up I think I might make a few more of them for the new grandchild expected in August. Colette is having her scan next week and they are hoping to find out the sex of the baby so I will then know what colours I can use.
The hat is being modelled by one of my bears that usually sit on my bed during the daytime as I didn't have a real life baby to put it on and I thought a photo of it in situ would show off the hat better.
I have decided on my next UFO - have gone for something quite easy and that to be honest doesn't need much stitching to be done. It's called Friends are Gifts and I've actually done all the cross stitch part of it but I need to do the back stitch and french knots. It's meant to be a wall hanger with a bow attached to it, but I seem to have misplaced the ribbon so I think I might finish it off as a mini quilt wall hanging instead - there's where the real challenge comes in as I don't really do what I call 'real' sewing.
I will give myself until the end of March, which to some may seem a long time but the next week is very busy for me with work and also having to travel up to Swindon for a funeral on Friday - it also gives me time to hunt around for some nice fabric to turn it into a mini quilt.
After finishing work I called in to help a work collegue with some coursework that she is having problems with - we managed to do some of it, but have agreed that we need to try and finish the rest of it off when we have a few quiet moments at work! Also some of it I think needs some guidance from our manager too.
I've now set the breadmaker to work so that I don't have to go shopping until tomorrow - to be honest I prefer it and it always smells so lovely in the kitchen when it's cooking. I have a couple of cards I need to try and get made later - DH is at out this evening so I've no excuse not to get them done.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Boxer finished and some naughty stash.

Yippee I've finished the Boxer family with four days to spare on the deadline I gave myself. All I have to do now is get it framed. Sorry for the poor photo but I've only just taken the photo.
I now just have to decide which of my many other UFO's to work on next. I'll give that some thought this evening and post a picture of my next project tomorrow and work out a deadline for myself.
At the end of last week I was a bit naughty and ordered some new charts, fabric and threads which I picked up from the sorting office today. I really want to start stitching some Christmas decorations and after lots of blog hopping on some wonderful stitching blogs I kept seeing these Praire Schooler images and so ordered a few. I'm thinking I can work on them if I need a break from some of the large UFO's.
It was another early start for me today, but it was only a short day at work as I was finished by 9.30 - it's a lovely feeling knowing your working day is complete when most peoples is only just starting.
I had a dentist appointment at 10.05 which I went to on my way home from work - thankfully only a check up and nothing amiss which is always a relief. I was then able to get home and get some washing out on the line before heading off to have lunch with some crafting friends. It was a special day as it was Wynneth's birthday so lots of present giving, along with some lovely homemade soup made by Jacqueline, followed by cheese, biscuits and grapes. Later in the afternoon we had a lovely earl grey and mandarin hot cross bun - very tasty. Maltesers were also digested by Wynneth and myself, Jacqueline was very good and abstained as she has given chocolate up for Lent.
I managed to make a start on a baby's hat with more wool that came free with a knitting magazine. I only have ten rows left to do which I hope to get done this evening and then stitch it up and post it on my blog tomorrow.
Spring is definitely on it's way, our daffodils are almost out in our garden and the daylight hours are getting longer - let's hope we have a wonderful Spring which rolls into a glorious Summer.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Jingle Belles - Stick With Us

The challenge for Jingle Belles this time is to use your stickers or rub ons. I had in mind the stickers I wanted to use although no clear idea on what to do with them. Despite looking through a large majority of my craft stash I couldn't find the ones I wanted. As I was going through my stash I did find some Papermania stickers and an idea instantly sprang to mind - perhaps it was meant to be.
I've used the wreath from the SU Welcome Christmas set to create a garland effect across the top of the card using SU Garden Green ink. I've used an SU Real Red marker pen to add some holly berries. The sentiment came from the retired SU Old Fashioned Christmas set. I've then added three of the Papermania baubles to the card and use the SU Garden Green Marker pen to create the effect of them hanging from the garland. Result - easy and another six cards to put towards my Christmas card collection.
A change in the weather today - when I first got up it was raining slightly, temperature had dropped and it was very windy so Max and I got a little wet as we walked over to have breakfast at my parents a tradition that started when our children used to do a paper round and called in for breakfast with our dog at the time Casper. The children have all grown up now, but I've kept going round there.
After the mundane chores had been done in the morning I sat down and managed to get some more of the Boxer cross stitch completed - only a very small amount left to do. The light failed me so I'm hoping that I will get it finished within half an hour when I get home tomorrow.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Making the most of time.

I seem to have done this in abundance this week - not sure how much longer my good intentions will continue, but I'm making the most of it! Yesterday afternoon I managed to get quite a bit of cross stitching done and cut the lawn when DH came home from work and got the lawnmower out for me. With the sun having shone for the past few days I thought it would be a good idea to get it cut before we get a rainy patch of days and then it's so long it makes the first cut difficult.
Managed to get the other baby sock partially completed before going out for a meal and a couple of drinks with BIL - a really nice evening. When I got back home I finished off the knitting of the sock and then this morning I stitched them together.
Mid morning we decided to drive out to Bedford Bridge and walked from there to Yelverton following the cycle route 27 - this time it was the opposite direction from last months attempt. We discovered were we should have gone last time but from the road directions it wasn't particularly clear, but at least we know now.
When we got to Yelverton we found a sweet deli shop and outside there was a table for two set up and they served tea there. They also did some lovely cakes so we enjoyed a nice cup of tea and a Chelsea bun.
It was then time to walk back and again enjoy the beautiful scenary and the peace and tranquility of the countryside.
I'm now in the process of cooking a beef curry for our tea. We're taking it up to Colette's this evening as Tim is away for the weekend and Colette wanted some company - it will also give us a couple of enjoyable hours with Logan too. While the curry is cooking I'm going to get some more stitching done - getting really excited about this now as I've only got the grass to do and it will be ready to take to the framers and that will be another UFO complete - only another 12 to go!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Less is More - Use your scraps

As I've got plenty just like most of us crafters this was an easy one to do once I'd decided which of the many scraps I wanted to use.
I've used some scraps of paper with a tape measure theme for the strip across the middle. Using some Nit Wit stamps that came free with the Simply Homemade magazine this month I stamped the cotton reel out in two colours. Finally I used a sentiment which also came with the same set.
A very productive day yesterday - had a good tidy up and sort out of the craft area, always feels so much better when everything is back to being neat and organised. I also managed to sit and do some cross stitch and with any luck I will do some more this afternoon - I am now going to set myself the deadline of next Friday to get it completed. I even managed to get a banana cake made in the evening.
I also made a start on a pair of baby socks - the wool and pattern came free with a knitting magazine and I thought it was about time I started using some of these freebies. I managed to get one sock knitted although not stitched up before I decided it really was time to go to bed. With any luck I will get the other one done today and be able to post the end result up some time over the weekend.
We're meeting up with my BIL this evening for something to eat and a few drinks which will be a nice start to the weekend. Hope everyone else's start to the weekend goes as well.