Monday, 29 April 2013

Pretty in Pink card

DSCF2064  A beautifully sunny day today which I didn't see a great deal of sadly as I was stuck in work all day.  But since getting home I have enjoyed a little time in the garden watering the plants in the tub and watching DH mow the lawn.

I've also found time to take part in some challenges too.  The theme for Just us girls is a photo inspiration challenge, ABC challenges is asking for Mother's Day cards/or feminine card, Pink Elephant challenge to use Washi tape and finally the sketch from Sketch Saturday challenge.

I created the background card using a packet of black rub-ons that I have had in my stash for absolutely ages, the main image is also a rub on.  Two diffferent Washi tapea were used along the top edge of the scalloped Martha Stewart border and I've used CM and SU heart punches for a bit of embellishment with a scrap of bright pink organza ribbon.  I'm making the effort to decorate the insides of my cards now so another rub-on and a few hearts for the inside.

DSCF2062Yesterday evening I needed to make a card for my friends husband's 60th birthday which is next week.  It had to be done last night so that I could drop it off on my way home from work today as they are going away to Scotland for a weeks holiday.  I've used some Dark Room Door stamps and sentiments for his card.  I made the background for the car image to go on and tried to create the illusion of hills and clouds to go with the sentiment.  The other paper and cardstock used are scraps left over from the March Scrapaholix kit.

DSCF2063Again I used some scraps and another sentiment to finish off the inside of the card.  Hopefully he'll like it and I also hope they have a wonderful time in Scotland.

Football is now on the TV being watched by DH so I think I'll see if I can get a few more stitches into one of my WIP's - just not sure which one to do this evening.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Happy Anniversary

DSCF2028 It's our 29th wedding anniversary today - I can remember our wedding day so clearly even now.  I made this card for DH out of the scraps from the February Scrapaholix kit.  The stamps I've used are from Unity - just love their stamps!  I've paper pieced the megaphone and hearts on the outside of the card and used my CM circle dies to mat the images on.  There's also some lovely silver glitter paper that SU were giving away free during Sale-a-bration on one of the layers to give a bit of sparkle to the occasion.

Inside the card more Unity stamps were used and stamped onto another scrap of cardstock and a paper strip.  The Happy Anniversary sentiment is from SU.  Relatively clean and simple and not too over fussy for a man - DH liked it anyway.

We have been out for a nice meal at Shaugh Prior and then took Max for a walk from there to Cadover Lakes.  We all had an ice cream when we got to Cadover Bridge including Max who had a toddler cone!  Max won't drink while we are out which obviously isn't a good thing so we hoped the ice cream would refresh him a little - he thoroughly enjoyed it anyway and made short work of it.  It's been a wonderful day - I wonder if the next 29 years will pass by as quickly.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Off the top

DSCF2030 I've finally finished the top of the Christmas stocking.  I do have to confess that I added the name to it this evening as I really want to work on the bottom half of the stocking next week.  I also changed out the colour for the name - they had used yellow but it just wasn't showing up when I was back stitching so I've gone with grey instead and it can now be seen clearly.   I had a slight panic moment when I looked at the bottom of the stocking and wondered if I had cut the fabric wide enough.  I counted over to where the the last column on the far right would go and thankfully there will be enough to include a decent seam allowance - phew!

I have had a wonderful day at the Exeter Scrapaholix group - I even managed to put together three LO's which only need a little finishing off at home.  I was really pleased as some of the photos I've had printed since last year, if not even the year before so it was good to finally get them on pages.  I've decided to have a good look around the house and round up all the photos I've already printed out to work on each month along with some new ones.  I used up last months kit for two of the LO's and some of the lovely papers and cardstock from this months with some photos that DIL had passed onto me of Elisha.  A good days progress which I will share with you during the week.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Phew–made it in time!

DSCF2026 The ink to print out the templates arrived Wednesday but I wasn't able to print them out until Thursday.  I managed to get the template element of the block stitched before I went into work and then when I got home from work I was able to put the whole thing together.  Finished it just before 10 o'clock - not perfect by any means but I'm fairly happy with the end product.  It was an easier piece of paper piecing than February's block and while I won't be in a rush to make a complete quilt out of the pattern I do think it would make a great all over design.  Wynneth and Karen will also be sharing their blocks and it's great to see how different the block can look just by using different fabrics

It's stocking SAL day today and I'm really hoping that I can get all the red completed at the top of the stocking and Connor's name added.  If I'm really lucky I might even get to work on the bottom of Santa's sleigh.  I've also got to get ready for the Exeter Scrapaholics crop on Saturday when I get home from work.  I've already got some photos packed and I'm hoping that they will work with the monthly kit I've ordered.  I just need to decide which embellishments and tools to take with me.

Here's hoping you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Colour combo challenge

DSCF2024 For some reason I have generally found colour combos the most challenging so I thought it was time to overcome this.  It was made slightly easier by Just Us Girls as they chose a really pretty colour combination which included Regal Rose, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink and Certainly Celery. I couldn't find Regal Rose so I've used a slightly darker pink in it's place. I've used strips of coloured cardstock which has been embossed with a variety of folders.  The card also fits the Scrap Creations challenge which was to include Insects or Animals and I've used this cute Unity Stamp for the focal point and finally I used the sketch from Seems a Little Sketchy.

Off into town in a minute to go and have my hair cut before I have to go into work this afternoon.  Then this evening I really must get my Sugar BOM completed ready to go on my blog tomorrow!  A fun evening at Moya's last night where I managed to get some more of the teddy sampler done.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

WOYWW ~203

DSCF2023 I'm joining in with the weekly fun of WOYWW with Julia of Stamping Ground and loads of other fellow crafters from around the world.  On my workdesk today I have some cardstock, inks, stamps and embossing folders which I hope to use later today to join in with some more challenge blogs.  Also on the workdesk are the fabrics I will be using for the Sugar BOM - once again leaving it until almost the last moment to get this done.  I have a slight excuse as I was going to do the block at the weekend but when I went to print out the paper piecing templates one of the coloured inks had run out in the printer - normally it will let me continue in black only but not this time.  I ordered the required ink and it has arrived today so I will print them out today but probably won't get the block put together until tomorrow evening when I get home from work.

I was unable to get the required threads today while out with mum so I have ordered them online from the Patchwork Rabbit along with some other threads to put by for a future project and another Halloween chart.    The Patchwork Rabbit is always very speedy with their orders so with any luck the threads, etc should be with me by the weekend.

A crafting evening with Moya and friends tonight to look forward to - I'll be taking the teddy sampler with me and continue working on the border.  I will also be able to see what they all got up to at the quilting workshop they all went to on Saturday and hopefully pick up some useful tips from them all.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The open sea

DSCF2020 I've managed to make another card this evening - I think the sun shining and the lighter evenings have given me a boost to the energy and creativity levels!  This card I have managed to make also fits three challenges, Little Tangles which is asking for embossing and I've used the SU chevron embossing folder on the card and a piece of contrasting Cherry Cobble cardstock.  Twisted Tuesdays which was to use chocolate in any form and I've used SU's Chocolate Chip cardstock and ink and finally the sketch from Sketch Saturday.  The stamp set I've used is SU's The Open Sea - I'm starting to leave off sentiments so that I can use them for any occasion when the need calls.

A progress photo of the teddy bear sample - unfortunately I have now run out of one of the brown threads which is why the bear has only got one and a bit legs so I have started to work my way round the borders now.  Hopefully I'll pick them up tomorrow while I'm out and about with mum.  Fingers crossed I can keep up the good progress on this one and meet my end of June target which will then give me two weeks to get it framed and ready for Savannah's 1st birthday.

Lots of things to do on my day off tomorrow but it will be spent mainly with mum which is always nice. Enjoy your evening!

Monday, 22 April 2013

One card three challenges

DSCF2017 It's been oh so long since I have made a card - the stitching bug took my cardmaking mojo away for a while.  I actually made the card to fit three challenges, firstly 4 Crafty Chicks whose theme is Trees, secondly  the SUO challenge which is to use only one colour and the sketch from Mojo Monday.  I've used tree stamps from Darkroom Door and SU cardstock and inks in Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla.  The ribbon border was made using an Anna Griffin ribbon punch and then the SU scallop border punch.  It felt good to be making a card again.
Friday  was stocking SAL day and I worked on the red border at the top of the stocking all evening and still didn't get it all completed - I was a little distracted as my friend Ali came round and we were chatting away so not as much got done as I would have hoped - but it was really nice to spend some quality time with a friend so a small sacrifice.

DSCF2012Saturday was a really lovely sunny day and we managed to spend a few hours out in the garden cutting the lawns, weeding the final border, re-potting some plants and cleaning the conservatory.  This rather straggly looking Christmas tree has now gone into a much bigger pot and will hopefully thrive a bit more.  Many would probably have thrown it away by now but it was sown from a seed by our eldest son David when he was just a young boy so it has great sentimental value to me.  I am hoping that one day it will have enough branches on so that we can actually decorate it for Christmas and have some festive decoration outside the conservatory.  I also put in some Violas for summer colour which I hope will survive should we have any further frosts.

Sunday was a mixed day - the morning started off brightly enough but drizzle arrived in the early afternoon.  We called round to see DS1 and family taking his birthday cards with us - I find it hard to believe I have a son who is now 27!

In the evenings I was able to spend quite a few hours working on the teddy sampler and it was great being able to make the most of the lighter evenings and natural daylight.  I am running out of a few of the threads but am hoping I can pick them up locally on Wednesday when I take mum out.  If not then I will order them online and try very hard not to put any other projects into the shopping basket.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Quilt top

DSCF2011 Just a quick post today to show the completed top of the quilt I'm working on. as promised.  It's made from a lovely soft layer cake and I can't help but run my hands across it each time I pass it.  I'm thinking I will back it with a fleecy material and it will be lovely to snuggle into next winter.

This evening as usual has been spent working on the Christmas stocking SAL along with spending some time with my friend Ali who called round.  I've also managed to catch up with two of the Masterchef programmes I had recorded - will watch this evenings episode tomorrow evening.

The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend so fingers crossed we can get some more gardening done and the plants in their pots.  I picked up some Begonias that were on offer after I finished work today so with any luck the garden will have some colour in it this year.  Who knows maybe one day we will become decent amateur gardeners - don't hold your breath though!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Meet Horatio

DSCF2009 the hedgehog who I bought yesterday at China Blue.  I decided to call him Horatio after the fictional Royal Navy character from the Napoleonic wars as he has come to live in the Naval city of Plymouth.  He has settled in well and been accepted by Max who came in and gave him a thorough sniffing.  They did have a grey coloured hedgehog at China Blue but he looked more like a mole than a hedgehog so I went with this brown version.

Before going into work today I was able to put half of the quilt together.  I tried very hard to be random and thought I'd managed it when I had it all laid out only to somehow sew a couple of the blocks together differently from how it was laid out which has meant I've put a couple of the same colours side by side - I can just about live with it - besides which I didn't have time to unpick it before going into work and redoing it.

DSCF2010Since I got home from work this evening I have put the rest of the blocks together so now the top of the quilt is ready.  Overall it doesn't look too bad and I'll post an updated photo of the complete top on my blog tomorrow.  All I have to do now is get the wadding and backing and put a strip around the edge of the blocks.  This will have to wait for a couple of weeks until I can get to one of localish needlework shops.

It's way past my bedtime but I just HAD to get the top completed otherwise I wouldn't have been able to settle.  Good job I don't have to go into work early anymore.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

WOYWW #202

DSCF2008 It's been a few weeks since I have taken part in WOYWW hosted by Julia at the Stamping Ground - the last time I did I had just started working on a layer cake quilt.  Unfortunately it has taken me that long to get back to doing some work on it again.  I had assembled half of the squares together and this morning the other half were on my table waiting to be completed.  Since I took this photo I have now completed all 42 squares and just need to trim them down so they are all equal ready to be assembled in hopefully (if my mind will let me) random pattern.

Lunch at Chine Blue with Jane was fun and it was great catching up with each others news.  After lunch we had a wander round to look at all that was on offer in the gift shop and I came away with a cute hedgehog door stopper - couldn't resist as he was also soft and cuddly too.  We also came away with a few gift ideas that we could easily replicate and saw this lovely fabric tulip and have set each other the challenge of making one of them before we meet up again in a few weeks time.

I had some nice post today, firstly my bi-monthly stitching kit from the Prim Sisters club which I have belonged to for over a year now - something a little different from what I would normally stitch.  I also received a quilters triangle ruler, DVD and some cotton from Creative Grids - there was a great demo on how to use the ruler and my will power was non-existent Monday evening when I got home from my 'cookery' class!

Off now to finish my cup of coffee and to try and trim the blocks - have a great evening.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Slowly, but surely….

DSCF2006 ...the teddy bear sampler is coming along.  I am almost down to the bottom right corner of  the design so nearly a quarter of the way complete.  Now I've started working on this design again it seems to be coming along nicely and quite quickly.

 Our DD and GC came for tea today and they were waiting for me when I got home from work.  I had already prepared Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine the night before when I had gone round to my friend Janice's to do some cooking - that was a fun evening and made a change cooking with someone else other than hubby!  It tasted delicious and will definitely be on our to cook again list.

I have a day off tomorrow and am meeting up with a friend who I haven't seen for quite some time and we are going to have lunch in China Blue at Totnes - a favourite gift shop of mine and a great cafe too.  She wants to sign up as an SU demo so I will have another member in my small team - it's a good time to join at the moment as you can get an extra £25 free to spend on the starter kit.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Halfway through the forest

DSCF2004 I have managed to complete half of the tree background for RRH and although it's all black that I'm working with at the moment I'm not finding it as tedious as all the blue of the stocking.  I guess it's because there is counting involved to get the pattern correct.  I have made a few mistakes as I've been doing the border so have had to unpick it a few times but thankfully I have generally noticed before I got too far along.  I am hoping to get the other half of the top border completed this week - all depends on how much time I get before I go into work each day.

We managed to get to the garden centre yesterday to buy the compost but think we'll have to have another trip as some how I don't think three bags are going to be enough to fill the huge planters that mum gave to us.  We also bought a couple of trays of Viola's an a couple of Geraniums which we bought because we liked the variegated foliage.  We also enjoyed lunch at the garden centre but sadly due to the weather being far too wet we didn't actually get anything transplanted or potted.  Fingers crossed we will have some drier weather during the week and get them done then.

This morning I did the few household chores I needed to do before calling round to see DS1 and his family.  It is our eldest grandson's birthday tomorrow so I wanted to make sure that Connor had his birthday present to open in the morning.  I spent a nice couple of hours in their company and am glad to say that Elisha's rash has almost gone and she is feeling much better - back to her usual lively self.

The rest of this afternoon I have spent working on the teddy sampler as DH has been at the SDR Buckfastleigh on driver experience day - an opportunity for grown men and women to play at being train drivers for the day.  DH helps to supervise these events and obviously gets just as much fun out of it as the participants.  I hope to continue working on the teddy sampler this evening - not sure how much I'll get done as my brother is supposed to be popping over as he has been staying with our parents this week but every little stitch is a step further to completion.

Hope you've enjoyed your weekend whatever you may have been doing.  Hopefully the weather has been kinder to a lot of you.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Blue skies

DSCF1987 Oh I wish it were blue skies today - sadly it's overcast and showery.  However I have completed the blue sky on the stocking SAL which I have to confess I found very tedious. Next week I should be able to get the red and yellow border completed at the top which again will be quite a chore.  I shall be able to work on the bottom part of the stocking after that which will be much more fun as the reindeer start to emerge.

Also this week I have managed to work on both the teddy sampler and RRH but will leave progress photos of them until later.

Elisha still has her rash but by all accounts is feeling better in herself.  They have seen a total of 8 different doctors and the majority verdict is that it is only a viral rash so antihistamines have been given to help with the itching so that she doesn't get any infection where she has been scratching.  They did say it might take some time to disappear but at least in herself she is feeling better.

We are off to the garden centre this morning once we have taken Max out for a walk.  I need to buy some compost so that we can tidy up the large planters in the garden - might just have to get a little wet while we do them but it's a task I want to get completed today.  Will probably buy some seasonal plants to try and add some colour to the garden - no doubt we'll stop off in the coffee shop too for a drink and some cake!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Teddy progress

We had a phone call from DS1 yesterday morning to say Elisha was back in hospital due to her rash - the latest diagnosis was they thought it was a severe case of impetigo so I had to give DD a phone call to let her know so that she could keep an eye on Logan and Savannah.  As I was settling down to do some weeding in the garden in the early afternoon I had a phone call from DS1 to say the Dr's no longer thought it was impetigo and so Elisha was being discharged and could I pick DIL and GD up from hospital and take them home.  The latest is that no-one at the hospital seems to know what it is but they have now ruled out impetigo, chicken pox and thankfully meningitis.  They now have to wait to see a skin specialist who is supposed to be giving them a ring today to arrange an appointment - in the meantime we anxiously wait to find out what is causing this rash on the poor little girl.  Her immune system is so low and her blood sugars all over the place at the moment so it is quite a worrying time.

In the evening I finally got round to picking up the teddy bear sampler that I am trying to get completed for Savannah's 1st birthday.  This is what it looked like when I first started work on it late yesterday afternoon


I managed to get quite a few hours worth of stitching in while watching Country File and Foyle's War.  This is how much I got done and I am extremely pleased with the progress that I have made on it now - fingers crossed I can get quite a bit more of it done this week.  I am trying to do the back stitching as I go along as it is one of my pet hates although I know needed on a lot of stitching as it really brings the picture to life and gives definition - I just find it very tedious though!
Going back to the gardening link I had to leave the weeding to go and collect DIL and GD but to my upmost surprise DH had completed the border which we had been working - I was very pleased as it means we can work on another area next weekend if we don't get chance to do so during the week.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Nearly but not quite

DSCF1984 Friday was stocking SAL day and I had hoped to get to the top of the blue border by the end of the evening.  I nearly made it but not quite - I am pleased with the continued progress though and am sure that two more weeks and I should have completed the top half of the stocking.

Yesterday we looked after the two youngest granchildren while our daughter moved house.  We took them for a ride out to Bere Alston to see their cousins (our other grandchildren) and we had a lovely day with all of them.  Sadly Elisha had been in hospital earlier in the week with a tummy bug and still wasn't feeling 100%.  Her blood sugars are all over the place and the doctors think the rash that has appeared is viral.  Fingers crossed it wasn't anything contagious and Logan and Savannah don't come down with anything.  Logan and Connor thoroughly enjoyed their time together while Savannah and Elisha watched.  We enjoyed our lunch out in the sunshine and for the first time in ages it felt like a lovely Spring day.

On our way home from dropping the grandchildren home we saw a lady fall over while walking her dogs.  We went to assist and by the look of it she had broken two of her fingers and bumped her head.  We sat with her while she called her husband and we also got an ambulance for her.  We called upon one of our friends who lived not far from where she fell so that we could get a pillow and blanket to make her more comfortable while we were waiting.  Her husband came and took their dogs home and not long after the ambulance arrived so all was as well as could be hoped for her.  Turns out she knows my mum and only lives a short distance from my parents so I will pop round with a get well card this week and see how she is recovering. 

Yesterday evening I worked on RRH managed to get a fair bit done only to find I had counted incorrectly so had to unpick some of the work I'd put in.  Will try and count correctly this afternoon - that's the trouble when I get distracted with a programme on TV!

A partially sunny but very windy day today - hoping to get out and do some more tidying up in the garden later once we have called in to see MIL for a cup of coffee and a biscuit.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Freebies and blog giveaway

No photos to share today and just a quick post to let you know of a couple of things going on with some of the blogs I follow.  Firstly Erynne of Stitcheree! has two free sweet little patterns on her blog that you can download and Kevin of Cabbages and Kings is going to be hosting a blog giveaway when he reaches 100 followers.  Both of these blogs have lovely stitched items to look at so why not check them out and follow them (if you don't already do so that is).

I've enjoyed an evening at an ex work colleagues Pampered Chef party tonight - I actually had to work til 8 so missed the actual demonstration but not too late to miss the food that had been cooked - yummy. A fun night.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Layer cake progress

DSCF1981 Last night I made a start on a quilt using this layer cake.  I managed to cut all the squares up and then put about a dozen of them back together again with the rest of the pile ready to be stitched.  They will then be cut in half and stitched together once more.  I'm hoping to get some more of it done tomorrow on my day off.  I'm following a video from the Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Keeping it fairly simple for my first quilt will perhaps give me the confidence to tackle something a bit more adventurous next time.

I managed to get an hours worth of stitching done on RRH this morning before going in to work and hope to do the same each morning.  There will probably be no crafting done this evening as I'm going round to see my friend Ali who is looking after her young grandaughter and I haven't had the opportunity of seeing her yet.  Little Brooke is my godsons daughter so I am very much looking forward to meeting her.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Almost at the top

DSCF1980 I didn't complete Red Riding Hood in March as I had hoped but I am more than happy with how much I have stitched this month.  I have almost reached the top of the left hand border and have managed to keep count of the rows despite being very distracted by the Andy Murray match yesterday.  Might have made it to the top had it not taken him so long to win the Miami Masters and become No 2 in the world again.  I will try very hard to get this completed by the end of April.

I also intend to work on Yiota's landscape, teddy bear sampler and stocking SAL this month.   Would like to try and get the sampler completed for Savannah's first birthday but think I'm probably being over optomistic there as there is a still a lot to do on that one.

This evening I made a start on making something out of a layer cake which I have had in my fabric stash for some months now.  I've made lots of blocks for quilting practice but as of yet haven't made an entire quilt.  So my quilting objectives this month are to finally make a quilt from the layer cake using a very simple pattern, complete the April Sugar BOM (more foundation paper piecing - groan!) and get back to finishing the Craftsy BOM's from 2012!!!

The baby blanket still hasn't been finished - I made a mistakethe last time I worked on it and as of yet I haven't quite figured out how to rectify it but it is something I must do as the baby is due at the beginning of May.

Cardmaking and scrapbooking stash is still being sorted but hope to get the stash that is on the landing put on some shelves that have been put up in the small bedroom (known as DH's playroom).  This will mean the desk can be moved off the landing and help it look a bit (lot) tidier.

A lot planned for this month which also includes making the garden look tidier and trying to get back to making soups and cakes on a Friday again.  Too much procrastination on the computer hampers my productivity so I'm trying to make a determined effort to cut back on the time I spend on it without missing out on all the creative blogs I love to follow.  We'll see how much progress I make on everything when I do a review at the end of the month!