Saturday, 28 April 2012

Happy Anniversay

Today it is our 28th wedding anniversary and thankfully I have the weekend off so we are hoping to get out and celebrate later today.
I made this card for DH yesterday morning before I went into work and used the Monday Mojo sketch for inspiration.  The papers are from a couple of Crate paper collections, the background is random collection textile and the hearts from the paper heart collection.  I’ve used my Martha Stewart punch and edged all the papers with SU’s Early Espresso ink and the sentiment is also from SU in the bottom right corner.  The sticker embellishments are from my stash and I’ve added some scraps of SU ribbon. 

Our wedding day was bathed in brilliant sunshine, in fact April 1984 was one of the hottest Aprils a complete contrast to this years April.  I think we are set to have a few light showers today but more heavy rain tomorrow.  I loved our wedding day and can still remember everything about it thankfully with a very happy heart – hopefully DH feels the same!

I had a lovely time on Thursday at the Shepton Mallett craft show.  I went with my friend Jacqueline and we shared lots of laughter and silly moments.  There were lots of different exhibitors ranging from stamping to cross stitch, quilting to knitting and lots inbetween too.  I was frustratingly good according to Jacqueline until 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then I started to buy my stash.  I invested in a magnifying light which will sit on the arm of my chair in the evenings so I will now be able to stitch all my projects.  I also bought myself a very large quilters mat and a 12.5 square cutting grid so I can finally make a start on the BOM on Craftsy.  Those that know me well will be amazed to know that I only came home with a small Ippity Christmas stamp set and no other stamps - I was determined not to add to my stamp collection unnecessarily.  They had a lovely cheese stall there so I bought three different types and further around there was a cake
and bread stall and I brought a huge danish pastry home for Ian..  Some bondaweb and a fine liner fabric pen were the only other items that came home with me.

We left the show 10 minutes before it was due to close at 5 but we didn't get back home until gone 8.30 as we got caught up in a huge traffic jam on the A303 - there had been a spillage so it took us an hour and a half to get through the traffic off the A303 and back then onto the A303 a little further on.  It didn't spoil our fun though and we rounded the day off with a chinese takeaway for supper.  Thank you Jacqueline for a fun day.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Picnic in the Park Floss/thread giveaway

During one of my blog hopping sessions I came across a blog called Flopsykitten stitchin' and Kat helped create one of the squares in a new quilt designed by Melissa Stramel .  It's an original designe and combines cross stitching with quilting and certainly makes me think of hot summer days in the country.  Now Kat is offering you the chance to win the floss/threads needed to stitch the designs and also if Kat obtains 100 followers then she will also add the aida to stitch onto.  Why not check out both their blogs and give yourself the chance to win too.

April Showers bring May flowers

The weather yesterday was much improved on Monday and apart from a couple of showers the sun was shining for most of the day which meant I was able to take Max for a lovely walk around Saltram before picking DH up from work. I always try to take the camera with me when I go round Saltram as it's lovely to see how it changes throughout the months. We came across these lovely rhododendrons.
Among the many blooms was this very busy bee if only I had as much energy as this bee just imagine how much more I could get done in a day.
The wonderful thing about walking around Saltram is that there are many routes that you can take to get round, today I decided to climb the wooden steps through part of the wooded area and which brings you out to the fields where the cattle are quite often grazing. On my way up those steps I decided to take a picture of the blubells, partly because they looked so pretty but mainly to get my breath back!
Not sure if they are Spanish or English bluebells but they looked pretty to me. Further along on our walk we came across lots of lovely lilac trees coming out in bloom.
After picking DH up I decided to put in a few stitches on the bear sampler and it now almost has a complete head. I was going to finish the March month as the threads I had ordered from The Patchwork Rabbit on Monday arrived  - top class service. As the Weeks Dye threads are overdyed then there is obviously a variation in the shading. I had decided to go with the roll of two strand which was 45yards as opposed to the 5yds of six strand thinking it would be better value, unfortunately the threads are more ecru in colour than the off white I have previously used. It was too much of a contrast so I won't be able to use it for these projects. I will see if I can find any at the craft show I'm going to on Thursday if not I will ring the Patchwork Rabbit and see if the 6 strands are whiter. Below is a photo of the chart that crept into the thread order Monday.
Watched the football Tuesday evening and although I'm not a Chelsea fan I was glad to see them get through to the final against all the odds, players being substituted, being sent off and conceding two goals in the first half and having a penalty against them which was missed - lucky or what! As I was watching the football I also did some stitching on some Christmas ornaments I'm trying to get done for the home this year so all in all a fairly productive day.

Stocktaking at work today so better put my counting brain on.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ran out of whitewash

It's Monday which means it was time to tackle the Fat Man SAL again. Once the household chores were out of the way I had several hours to work on this and was getting along very well when unfortunately I ran out of Weeks Whitewash thread :( Having said that all that is left of the first chart is the snowman and a few snowflakes. I could have got on with the next chart but it didn't feel right to do that. I can have lots of different projects on the go but I can't move onto the next chart as it just wouldn't have felt right.
As I still had some stitching time left I thought I'd work on my LK months of the year. As I'd had to work all weekend I hadn't had chance to put any stitches in for that one. Alas I was unable to complete that one either as I needed whitewash again for the right hand border - at least that's all that's left to do on that one apart from stitching on the tiny buttons, which again I can't do until the stitching is complete (another one of my just not feeling right moments).
I have ordered some more thread along with the extra threads I need for the next FM chart from The Patchwork Rabbit another online needleshop which I discovered while blog hopping a while ago. Their service is equally as efficient as Sewandso's but I have found that their threads are quite a few pence cheaper - they also have some very tempting charts!
Here is the overall picture of the months of the year - I have decided to go three months across and four months down so April will go under January - just thought it would look better that way than 4 across and 3 down. Personal preference I guess. On the charts they have done them all in a vertical line.
I've also managed to put some stitches in the four horses over the past week and have been working on a Christmas ornament from LHN 2012 series. I haven't managed to do any on the bear sampler or the mystery project but with any luck they will get some work on them this week. I'll give a complete update at the end of March.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Happy Birthday DS1

Today it is our eldest son's 26th birthday - writing that down is making me feel that I'm getting old! David is a bus driver so the Papermania stamp set I bought a while ago has come in perfectly for his birthday - he also happens to generally drive on the No 26 bus route so everything tied in neatly with my minds thinking.
Papers came from my scraps box, red gingham ribbon and brads are from SU but both retired items. The sentiment was a hostess set from SU also.
I have just got back from an enjoyable meet up with my friend Jill - we met for coffee and then Jill helped me pick out some clothes for David's present - as you can tell I am super organised when it comes to special events - NOT. Thank you Jill x
Not much crafting has been going on this week other than knitting dishcloths - three of them to be exact and I've still got a small amount of yarn left but don't think it would stretch to another one. All of the patterns I obtained through Ravelry and I managed to do each one done in an evening without having to concentrate too hard. I've enjoyed making these and think I might do some as stocking fillers for the grandchildren this year as there are so many free patterns out there.
The first one I made was the lacy one on the right, followed by the heart design on the left and last night I made the Thirds design. I used 4mm needle for all three and as you can see they are all ended up different sizes, but they were fun to make.
I'm hoping now to spend a couple of hours catching up on some stitching before DH gets home from work as there won't be much spare time over the weekend as I will be working.
Have a wonderful weekend - I'm hoping the weather will be nice for the next week as both our sons are going away on holiday in the UK - not too far away from home, one in Cornwall and the other one in Exmouth, Devon but it would be nice for them to be able to enjoy some decent weather.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jingle Belles Sketch challenge

I've finally got round to making some cards for the latest Jingle Belles challenge. This time they had gone with a simple sketch and I also kept my cards simple using some stickers from a kit I got from QVC years ago and a sentiment from a set of stamps that came free with one of the crafting magazines.
I did make six of the cards as I always try to do although two of them are the same design as the others so are tucked in behind on the photo. I liked the Christmas tree one the best out of this batch.
I managed to complete my first dishcloth last night - will take a photo of that later and probably post that tomorrow. I also made a start on another one but in a different design this time, probably got about a third of it done before I decided I really should go to bed and catch up on some sleep!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fat Man Monday SAL update

Another busy day yesterday, I started work at 5am and then in the afternoon my friend Lisa came round for lunch and a chat. Once Lisa had left I settled down to do some of the Fat Man SAL and had just managed to put in the rest of the wording and one of the trees when we were visited by our daughter and grandson. We were also just deciding that we would treat ourselves to a chinese takeaway and so Colette and Logan joined us for that (perfect timing as far as Colette was concerned). Logan really enjoyed munching on the prawn crackers and dipping them in our different sauces.

Once tea was over my brother who is down staying at our parents for the week called in and stayed with us for the evening. I did manage to put in another tree and some of the snow. I may have got more completed if I didn't keep losing concentration and making silly mistakes - it may have been due to a little tiredness too. Anyway below is an updated picture of my progress. I will now go and see how the other girls in this SAL are getting on with theirs.
It was another early start for me this morning, but this afternoon I joined Jacqueline for a Knit and Natter session at the Saltash library - my first time of going there and I must say I really enjoyed it. The ladies are very friendly and there was a variety of projects being knitted. I took along some yarn that I had bought a few weeks ago and made a start on my first dishcloth. I found this pattern through Ravelry - there are loads to be found on this sight so this could be one of many that I will be knitting. I am using a nice pink cotton yarn and it will be interesting to see how many I can get out of this one ball. This may be my first but I can see it becoming yet another addiction to add to all the others I have! I think I managed to get almost half of it knitted while at the group but with any luck I may get the rest of it completed this evening while DH is at football.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Remember this?

Do you remember the Friends cross stitch I finished stitching?
Well it has finally been made up to look like this. I spent Wednesday and Thursday evening stitching it by hand and gave it to my friend Jacqueline for her birthday yesterday.
It's by no means perfect but as it's the first time I've ever made anything into a cushion before I'm pleased with my attempt and the most important thing is I think Jacqueline was too.
It's been a funny week in the sense that I haven't had to work quite so many hours and yet I seem to have had less spare time to spend on my crafting. I have managed to put in a few stitches on the mystery cross stitch project and a few hours on the four horses but apart from that I've not managed any other crafting.
I missed doing the LIM challenge last week but I will catch up with that hopefully this week and I must do the Jingle Belles challenge too. I am hoping to be able to indulge myself today as DH has gone out to play train drivers again today and so I should with any luck have the house to myself to do as I please.
It's our eldest grandson's birthday today so later when DH gets back we will be calling round to see him with his present and card and get to join in with his birthday celebrations. Connor will be 5 today and the years seem to be flying by.
I also finished knitting with the scraps of wool from the hooded cardy over a week ago but hadn't got round to posting a photo of it before it is made up into the idea in my head. With any luck I may just get that completed this week.
My hours at work have been changed this week so I haven't got as much time off as I thought I was going to have - will just have to try and cram in as much as possible with the time I do have.
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far - off to catch up on some blog hopping now, especially to check out my new followers - thank you for joining me on my crafting journey.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Lizzie Kate Fat Man SAL and other projects

I did manage to start the LK SAL on time yesterday but as I was working all day I obviously didn't get as many stitches done as I would have liked - but it's a start. I think I'm really going to enjoy doing this one and it will be so hard to resist not picking it up on any other day!
I've also got photos of all the other stitching projects I'm working on - I have decided to do them on a simple rotation basis so that they all get something done on them each week. First up is Four Horses, everything that has been highlighted in orange has been completed since my last photo. I underestimated how much time it would take to do just one page even if I wasn't working on other projects I think it would be a challenge. Some areas just have one stitch of different colours so very time consuming, other areas are nice patches of just one colour and far quicker.
Then it's onto the bear sampler - the teddy almost has a head now which I am hoping will be complete for the next update along with an arm or even two. I kept making a mistake with the left collar of her dress - it's still not perfect but I can live with it and the pattern will line up again now - it's only one stitch that is wrong.
I'm really enjoying the Lizzie Kate months of the year and have ordered the threads so that I can do March and the missing thread for February. I think this will look great when all the months are stitched up and it is framed. As I had to re-do January it means I've really stitched two of them this month so pleased with this progress. They are weekend stitches if I'm lucky enough to get uninterupted stitching time.
Finally my mystery stitch - well a mystery to you although I will give you a clue as to what it might be. I found a lovely cross stitching sight called Yiotas where they have lots of kits and charts for sale. They also have lots of free charts that you can download and this is what I did for this one. I was amazed at how clearly the chart printed out and even more amazed that such a large chart could be obtained for free! Can you guess which of the free charts I'm working on? I have ordered a couple of charts from Yiotas which I will hopefully get to work on sometime in the future and later in the year I might even treat myself to one of their kits (as if I need anymore).
I am at last feeling much better - not sure what it was but thankfully the queasiness has now gone. Yesterday was incredibly busy at work and we didn't stop the whole day so the 10 1/2 hours just flew by. I've now got another two days off, today will be spent taking Mother food shopping and I'm not sure what tomorrow holds. I do have to make some birthday cards this week as it's Connor's 5th birthday at the weekend and DS1's later in the month.
Enjoy your day whatever you may be doing.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter

I hope you have all been enjoying the Easter break. I made this little Easter basket for DH and filled it with some lovely Lindt mini eggs. He's not seen it yet as he has been out all day playing train drivers - which has meant I've had the day to myself and have enjoyed several hours of stitching.
I made the treat holder using a 9 x 9 piece of green cardstock and then decorated the outside of the box with some scraps of retired SU papers. I've used some Papermania Easter stamps to decorate the treat holder stamping out the egg with SU's Early Espresso ink pad on different coloured cardstock and used a couple of the sentiments that came with the set for the greetings. I think he'll like it.
We babysat for Logan on Friday evening and looked after him for a few hours yesterday afternoon. Initially we were going to have him overnight and take him out for the day on Saturday but as he still wasn't 100% we didn't want to take the chance of him being ill while we were out. We enjoyed some time in the park, playing with the train track and a lovely walk along the creek and then Logan and myself enjoyed a late afternoon nap before Colette came and collected him from us.
In many ways it was just as well Logan wasn't 100% as I also woke up Saturday morning feeling a bit queasy and that feeling stayed with me throughout the day and also for most of today. Thankfully I'm beginning to feel better now which is just as well as I have to go into work all day tomorrow.
I have taken photos of all my stitching projects which I will share either tomorrow or Tuesday - today I was working on the Lizzie Kate February chart. I thought I would get it finished today but unfortunately I didn't have one of the threads so it will have to be finished off later in the week once I've got the missing thread.
Hope you all have a lovely Easter Monday.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Less is More - Picture Inspiration

The challenge on the Less is More blog is to use their photo as inspiration for your creation. I have decided to use the colours in the photo and made a very simple Easter card.
I've used a Sissix die to cut out the central banner and run it through the spotty embossing folder available from SU. A piece of Old Olive taffeta ribbon across the centre of the banner. Finally I've stamped the sentiment in SU's Basic Grey onto a scrap of white card and punched it out using SU's oval punch and then matted this onto a scrap of pink paper which was also cut out using SU's scallop punch.
Logan seems to be much better this evening I just hope his recovery continues. We will be looking after him for a couple of hours tomorrow evening so that Colette and Tim can go to an engagement pary - they thought they might not be able to go with him not being so well but I think it will do them both good to have a couple of hours break and get out and enjoy themselves.
I also managed to finish another book this year - it was called Endal and is a true story - absolutely amazing to read and just proves how wonderful dogs are - if you get a chance to read it I highly recommend it. Not sure what my next book will be but I can decide over the weekend and take it into work with me on Monday as that is really the only time I get to read when I have my break.
I now have three days off work to look forward to so I am just hoping that the weather at least stays dry so that we can get out walking with Max. Lots to catch up with as usual, but I suppose I'll only get a small amount of that done as I get easily distracted!

In search of Route 27 Cycle path

I've finally got round to finishing the LO I started on Saturday of the trip DH and myself took back in February. It was during my two weeks leave, the first of which I was not very well with a very bad cold but on the Saturday we decided to wrap up warm and take a walk in the bright winter sunshine. We'd gone looking for the Route 27 Cycle path but somehow missed the section which would have led us to Bedford Bridge our intended destination, despite that and the extreme cold it was a lovely day and great to get out and blow those cobwebs away.
I've used paper and cards which came with one of the Scrapaholix kits, just simple matting and layering really. I've also punched out some TH glazzine paper, run it through my ribbler and then inked with some Brilliance white ink. The sentiment came from and old Back Porch memory set of stamps which has been cut out using a nesting and then I've used some more of the glazzine to decorate it. Added some snowflakes that had come in an Artful Delight kit and some mini alphabets. My white gel pen decided to run out on me so I had to use alphabet stickers for dating the LO.
Poor little Logan has been quite poorly over the past couple of days, he and Colette spent Tuesday night in hospital as he had become dehydrated due to the sickness bug he has picked up. Thankfully he was back home yesterday, still poorly but hopefully he will now start to pick up again.
I've been busy stitching the past couple of evenings and will try and take some photos and post them on here so that you can see the progress I've been making - quite happy with how all the projects are going but I think I might have been a little optimistic with the four horses and how much I would get done each month.
Off to work now but will hopefully get chance to do some blog hopping this evening to catch up with you all.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Stash, cakes and crafting fun

This morning started with a trip to the local sorting office to pick up a package which they had tried to deliver on Saturday. It was the fabric and threads for the Lizzie Kate SAL. I decided to go for the recommended fabric but in a different colourway to the picture on my side bar - I've opted for a lavender colour - here's hoping it will look ok. I also went with the specialist threads rather than the DMC equivalents. So far I've only got the threads required for one chart - as they are not the cheapest I thought I would get them as I complete each chart.
On the way back home I called in and saw Colette and Logan and enjoyed a nice cup of tea and a great deal of toddler chatting - Logan is saying a few words now that you can make out, but a lot of it is still the cute baby mutterings.
Back home it was time to make a couple of quiches for our meal today and I also made some lemon curd tarts out of the leftover pastry. As I seemed to be in the mood for baking I also made some small cakes and topped them with some butter icing and fresh strawberries. Wynneth and Jacqueline came round for some crafting time and enjoyed both the quiche and the cakes. I was pleased with how they turned out, it's not often I get time to 'play' in the kitchen theses days.
More crafting fun this evening as I went round to Moya's house and managed to get some more of my knitting project done. There's not much left to do so I am hoping to get it finished by the end of the week and perhaps stitched up over the weekend. Earlier in the day I had managed to put just a few stitches in the four horses but probably won't get chance until Wednesday to work on that project.
Back to work tomorrow, thankfully it's not an early morning start but I must tidy up the craft area in the back bedroom before I go to work as I literally just dumped my crafting bags in there on Saturday and shut the door. Once everything is back in it's place I can hopefully finish the 12 x 12 LO I started.
Off to make my bedtime drink and hopefully get plenty of z's in!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sunny Sunday

It was my intention today to give our bedroom a major blitz and I managed to get halfway through the task when DS No.1 arrived and poked his head round the door and asked if I was busy? I did say yes and why to which he said he had hoped I would be able to look after Connor and Elisha for a couple of hours. A perfect excuse to have a break from the sorting out.

I then spent a far more enjoyable couple of hours entertaining them. We went to the childrens play park which is literally just across the road from where we live - ideal way to keep them entertained on a sunny day. Elisha took 'the baby' with her and they both enjoyed their time on the swings, Connor didn't want to go on the swings but was quite happy pushing the empty one and pretending that he had a baby in there. Then they had a go on the climbing frame and the roundabout before we went back across the road.
The other way of keeping them entertained is getting the Thomas train track out and Uncle Bryan was very keen to help make the track up with Connor which kept them entertained until mum and dad returned - if only it had been that easy bringing up my own children - well they do say it's more fun being a grandparent.
Sadly once they had gone home it was time to return to sorting out the bedroom which thankfully didn't take that much longer. Have sorted a few things out for the charity shop, some for the bin and some paperwork for the shredder - very satisfying.
It was then time to sit back and enjoy some time stitching and I managed to get quite a few hours in on the four horses - have managed to complete nearly all of the black down to the bottom of the page - just hope I haven't missed out any rows which I will find out when I start filling in the rest of the page. Fingers crossed I will be able to get a few more sessions in this week as I've only got Tuesday and Thursday to work this week.
Watched the tennis this evening, disappointed that Andy Murray didn't win but there's always the next tournament.