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Sunday, 31 March 2013

On a larger scale

DSCF1979 My MIL and my mother don't really like chocolate and my dad is diabetic so rather than giving them chocolate for Easter I decided to get them some flowers to plant in their gardens.  Now rather than just giving them in the box they came in from the shops I thought I'd see how big a basket I could make by doubling the measurements for the Easter baskets I made earlier in the week.  They turned out to be the perfect size.  The flowers are Peacock Orchids and should flower from June to July and hopefully brighten up a small part of their gardens each year.

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Yesterday Colette and Tim held an Easter party for the grandchildren and their young friends.  It was a fun day as they put on their bunny masks and went on an Easter egg hunt - even the adults joined in!  They also had a large egg which we all took turns at trying break to release even more Easter sweet treats and for the adults they did a quiz.  I won and came away with my own Easter egg!  The weather although cold was sunny and so it proved to be a very successful party.

Today the sun has decided not to come out but it has at least been dry so we have managed to cut the lawn and do some weeding.  There is still some more to do which hopefully we can do when I get home from work tomorrow.  Our garden needs a lot of work doing to it really but neither of us are really keen gardeners so at the moment our objective is just to keep it tidy looking throughout the year - not an easy task as we are both easily distracted with other interests.


Friday, 29 March 2013

Sugar Block for March

DSCF1968 If you have come to my blog looking for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog hop then please see the post below this one.  Today was also the reveal day for the March Sugar Block of the Month which I am taking part in along with my friends Wynneth and Karen.  We all agreed that this months block was much more fun and far easier to do than last months block that involved paper piecing.  I'm already looking forward to see what April's block will be - not long to wait as it will be April on Easter Monday!

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is hold an Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  All you have to do is visit each of the blogs listed on her blog in order, note down the letter above the Easter / Spring themed pic and remember the short phrase they make up. Go back to Jo's blog after the last letter and leave a comment saying what the phrase is. Jo will select one person at random to win a small stitched prize. 

A
 
 

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My stitched piece came from the World of Cross Stitching magazine and was such a joy to stitch - I'm not sure how this will be used - part of me wants to use it as a mini wall hanging and part of me is thinking of using it as a bookmark - what do you think?  I bought the mini Easter tree at work yesterday and think next year I will make some mini stiched ornaments to decorate it.
 
Your next stop on the blog is the wonderful Rachel to see what she has created for the Easter Hunt and collect your next letter to be entered into the prize draw.
 
Have a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Easter baskets

DSCF1965 Here are the sweet little Easter baskets that I made with my friend Moya yesterday evening.  The tutorial can be found on Vicky Hayes blog and they are super quick and easy to make up.  I made them for my work colleagues in the pharmacy and they loved them.  I think it's a cute little basket that could be adapted for many occasions.

I am about two thirds of the way up the left hand border of Red Riding Hood.  I- had hoped to get to the top of the border before I left for work today but I was pleasantly distracted with Logan and Savannah's company.  They all came on a walk with me and Max this morning and then we went in the park to play on the swings before coming home and playing with the train track.  Savannah is getting up on all her hands and knees so I don't think it will be much longer before she is crawling and getting into mischief and frustrating her brother LOL!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Clean and simple

DSCF1957 This is the simple 8 x 8 LO I completed on Saturday - this time the photos are of our other grandaughter Savannah.  These were taken when she had just started smiling and chuckling at everyone.  A few months have passed since these were taken and she is now sitting up on her own and still smiling at everyone.  Her favourite activity at the moment is bouncing and DD and SIL have bought her one of the bouncers that hang from the door frame and she absolutely loves it.  Logan pushes her from time to time so it's a bit like a swing at times too.

Off out this evening to enjoy some crafting fun with friends - the object of tonight is for me to make 16 mini Easter baskets for the people I work with every day - have made one already and they are very simple so I should get them all done in time!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Red Riding Hood update

DSCF1959 The Red Riding Hood figure is now stitched so it's just a matter of working on the border, writing and snowflakes now.   I'll do some more of it this evening and hope to get at least halfway up the left hand side.  I have to order some more Gentle Arts Pecan Pie thread to complete some of the writing - no doubt something else will jump into the shopping cart while I'm doing this - tut, tut!  Just six more days of March left so not sure if I'll get it finished before then.

I've finally managed to book some leave for this year and have just been checking out some holiday cottages for us let for a week in June.  Fingers crossed the weather will have improved by then and we will be able to get out for lots of nice walks around the local area.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Another LO from the weekend

DSCF1956 This was the second LO I completed using the February Scrapaholix kit which I completed at the Exeter crop.  The photos are of our grandaughter Elisha and were taken by my DIL.  A simple LO using the lovely embossed cardstock in the kit and scraps of card and paper punched out using the large SU butterfly punch and a smaller Martha Stewart butterfly punch.

We saw Connor and Elisha yesterday as we were kindly invited out for Sunday roast cooked by our eldest son David which was delicious - always tastes so much better when someone else has done the cooking.  They all seemed settled in their new home and oddly enough now they live a little further from us we seem to be seeing more of them.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Stocking update

DSCF1952 I didn't get round to posting an updated photo of the stocking SAL last Friday but here is where I had got to by the end of Friday 15th March.  I know I've said it before but I really look forward to working on this every Friday with the 'company' of my fellow SAL participants.  There is a list of who is taking part in my side bar - do check them out and give them some moral support.

DSCF1958DH was out this Friday evening so I had an uninterrupted evening of stitching and managed to get quite a bit of Santa's face completed along with more of the sky background.  I have to confess I don't like it when I have to stitch white on white as I am always convinced that I will miss a stitch.  So this is where it was left this Friday.  With it being Good Friday next week and not having to go into work I am hoping I can make it all the way up to the blue line at the top.  There are a few more rows above that blue line to be completed and that is where the name will go so I am very optomistic that I will get the top half of the stocking completed by mid April.

The rain that we have had for the past couple of days in the west of the country has come to a stop for the time being but it has still been a very grey day with a bitterly cold wind.  I have just got back from taking Max for a walk along with my MIL and it has certainly blown away the cobwebs!

This morning was spent stash sorting yet again - I'm gradually managing to get the craft stash that overflowed upstairs back downstairs and into some sort of order - it's frightening to see just how much I have acquired over the years though.

A new series of Foyles War to look forward to tonight on the TV - will watch that and also work on Red Riding Hood I think while tucked up snug and warm in the living room.


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Something other than stitching

DSCF1953 Today I was able to spend the day with the lovely ladies at the Exeter Scrapaholix group and it was another fun day.  It's the first time in a couple of months that I have created any layouts.  I had no idea what I was going to come up with as my printer had run out of ink so just grabbed some photos that I've had printed out for some time and kept my fingers crossed that I could come up with something.  Luckily for me last months kit from Scrapaholics proved to work perfectly with the photos I have carried backwards and forwards with me for months.

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This photo is one of our favourites of our gorgeous daughter Colette and her husband Tim on their wedding day back in October 2011.  The kit comprised of two pieces of neutral cardstock along with a red and a pink piece of card.  There was also a piece of double sided cardstock and the side I chose to use for this photo also had some lovely sparkly glitter on it. A piece of beautiful embossed cardstock which I used on another LO was also in the kit.  Some flowers and some what I can only describe as bendy twine which for this layout I used three pieces and plaited them and then made my decorative embellishment with them 

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I've also used a Martha Stewart punch to create the top and bottom borders also SU's Build a Bird punch and mini heart punch.  I used the other side of the glittery paper for the wings and the heart.  I'm probably going to add some gem swirls for a little bit more sparkle but at the moment they are in a box somewhere on the landing with my overflow of craft stash that is still waiting to be re-homed in craft units downstairs!  I had a lot of fun putting this LO together and hope you like it too.



Thursday, 21 March 2013

March Madness too much….

DSCF1951 ....even for my fickle nature!  I started off well in the first week of March with working on something new every day, but come the second week I just wasn't able to keep up with it.  Now this was for two reasons the first being work and social life meant I wasn't able to work on something new every day.  Secondly I realised that even for someone who likes to have a variety of projects on the go working on something completely DIFFERENT EVERY day wasn't for me.  So I have decided to work on whatever takes my fancy that day and at the moment I am loving working on Red Riding Hood.  As you can see this is coming along nicely and quite quickly for me which is probably because there are only a few clours involved and I can see progress every time I work on it.  I did wonder when I started it whether I would get bored with just a few colours but thankfully this has not been the case.  I'm not completely sure that it will get completed by the end of March as I had hoped but I'm still going to give it as much attention as possible this month.

I've noticed I have a few new followers to my blog -  a warm welcome to you and thank you very much for joining me on my crafting ventures, which at the moment are mainly stitching projects.  I do have a scrapbooking crop to go to on Saturday so I may have a couple of LO's to share with you next week - it's been way too long since I did any.

The rain has come back to our corner of the world and is set to stay with us for a few more days if the weather people are to be believed.  The sunshine was nice while it lasted and I am ever optomistic that it will return again soon.  The first day of Spring was yesterday and I have a few pretty daffodils in my garden and a few other flowers starting to brighten it all up.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

WOYWW #198

DSCF1950 Short and sweet today as I'm working today.  WOYWW sees my months of the year back from the framers - not sure where this is going in the house but I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.  Also there are some lovely new 9 x 12 pieces of fabric from the Crafty Kitten waiting to be used on future projects.

Only a small amount of crafting has taken place over the past couple of weeks compared to the manic stitching start I had at the beginning of March - will post some updated photos of the two projects I did get to work on soon.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Weekly progress report

Since the 1st March and up until yesterday I have managed to work on something different every day. 
DSCF19441st and 8th March  – Stocking SAL – here is a photo of this weeks progress on the stocking SAL.  I have at last started work on Santa and I love every minute working on this one and hate it when I have to put it down at the end of Friday’s stitching.

2nd March -Saturday I spent quite a bit of time working on the Easter project which can't be shown until Good Friday.  I loved working on this and will share where the inspiration came from then.

3rd March - Sunday was spent working on just a small project - a button with a key design which was completed within less than half an hour.

DSCF19464th March - Monday - I made a new start and started working on Red Riding Hood and have made steady progress on this throughout the week.  I was able to grab an hours worth of stitching on several days before having to go into work.  This is another one I thoroughly enjoy working.


5th March - Tuesday I spent some time working on Yiota's landscape cross stitch - not enough progress on this one as I would have liked so I haven't taken an updated photo of this one.

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6th March - Wednesday saw me working on the Fisherman's Lodge and I was glad to get the roof completed and some of it outlined.  It means I can now start working on the trees behind the lodge and the flowers in front of it.







DSCF19437th March - Thursday - I needed something simple to work on as time was very limited due to a late night working and so I picked up on of the Prairie Schooler Red Santa's and had set myself the target of getting to his shoulders.  I exceeded that and got his head, crook and sack stitched.  Unfortunately my eyes could not stay open long enough to complete the tree that needed to go in the sack and the little bit of border.  May just get that finished during the week.








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8th March - as well as working on the stocking SAL I wanted to start that I thought would be quick and could be used as a gift.  Who'd have though that stitching such a small piece of honeycomb would prove so frustrating.  I had a visit from a family of frogs and kept miscounting - I think I'd have got it done if it hadn't been for those pesky frogs!



Yesterday I didn't get chance to stitch on anything as I was visited by DD and GC so got to play with them most of the afternoon and then in the evening we had to make a visit to the out of hours Dr's as Savannah wasn't very well.  It would seem the poor little girl has an ear infection as both of her ears were inflammed.  As usual they couldn't say whether it was bacterial or viral but because it was both ears they prescribed her some antibiotics.  Hopefully it won't take long for them to start working and she will be back to full health again.

Today is Mother's Day and we have been round and seen both of our Mother's and we have also been out to visit DS1 and collected my card from him.  It was lovely to see and play with our other two grandchildren although Elisha has an eye infection - bless her. 

DSCF1947As I didn't work on anything yesterday I thought I would try and make a little bit of progress on a couple of WIP's this evening.  They are both WIP's that I inherited and had very little done on them so in a way they are a bit like new starts for me.  First up is a picture of the Lion Family and I think all that was done was a tiny bit of one of the lions.  I have to say I am looking forward to working on this one as I think it is a fantastic picture.

DSCF1949The next one is one that DS1 started when he was about 10 - bearing in mind he is now in his mid twenties it shows how long this one has been sitting around in my cross stitch stash storage area!  Again very little was done to this one - he always had a very poor attention span.  It was also on quite a fine evenweave so probably not the best one for him to have been working, combined with the fact that it also has half and three quarter stitches it's no wonder he lost interest so very, very quickly.  This is one that once completed will be framed and given to him as a gift to see if he remembers it from his childhood.

Next week is set to be quite busy in the evenings so I think there could be a lot of very simple projects to be worked on so that I can still work on something new every day.  Well a very lengthy post and for those of you that read to the bottom I thank you very much and hope it has been of some interest to you.

I hope you've had a lovely weekend and those that are Mother's have had a wonderful Mother's Day.





Friday, 8 March 2013

Favourite

DSCF1930 Apologies for the blurry photo but it was done in a bit of a hurry!  The photo prompt for today is FAVOURITE and the conservatory is my favourite room in our house - especially in the Spring and Autumn months.  The light is just perfect for stitching and during Spring and Autumn the temperature is just wonderful for just lazing around and crafting.  I also like it during the Summer but it can get a bit too hot even with the doors and windows open - even for me at times.  Winter is not so good as at the moment we haven't got permanent heating in there but that is something we hope to remedy this year.  There is also no overhead lighting but that doesn't bother me as I'm happy to sit in there with the lamp and candles on watching TV or reading a book.

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I didn't quite get the Santa completed last night but I only have the small Christmas tree he is carrying in his sack to do - hopefully I will get that done over the weekend.  Today is is the stocking SAL but before I do that I need to work on my 8th piece for the month.  I only want to take an hours stitching time away from my SAL so have decided to have a go at this small piece of stitching which I will use at some stage to decorate a honey jar and give to someone as a gift.  I'm using up some of the linen that was leftover from the months of the year and threads from my stash.  We'll see how far I get on this one. 

Tomorrow I will do a weekly round up of all the stitching projects I have done this week so you can see how they progressed.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Fear

DSCF1927 FEAR is the photo prompt for today.  I have to confess that I have a FEAR of being in pitch black darkness.  I'm okay when it's dark and there are street lights on, in the movies, etc but when there is no light anywhere I get a little bit scared.  Many years ago DH and I were Cub Scout leaders and we used to take them camping out on the moors to a site the Scout group rented.  At the camp site itself we used to have a large marquee which was alway lit up during the night so the campsite was fine for me.  However we used to take the Cubs for a walk along the old railway line and through what was known affectionately as Basil's Tunnel - the story being that Basil's head got taken off when he had put his head outside of the train window.  A simple ghost story for the Cubs which they loved having told to them.  Now the tunnel is long enough that even when you enter the tunnel while it is still daylight by the time you approach the middle of the tunnel you are plunged into complete darkness.  Obvioulsy when we did this trip I had to pretend to the Cub's that I wasn't scared and as a leader I couldn't get out of it. So every year for about 5 years I had to put on a brave face and walk through this tunnel and enter this period of pitch black darkness twice - through the tunnel one way and then through it again to get back to the campsite.  Now many years on this tunnel has lighting as it is a well used cycle and walking route - typical!   I haven't been through that tunnel in over 15 years so maybe it would be okay to do so again.

DSCF1929Last night I managed to get the roof and some of the backstitch completed on the fishermans lodge - not as much as I had hoped, but any stitches completed is a good thing.  It's almost 9.30pm and I have only recently got in from work so there won't be a lot of stitching done tonight so I have tried to pick something simple to work on for an hour.  I'm going to carry on with one of the Prairie Schooler Redwork Santas - this is the third one I will have stitched.  One of them I did actually get made up into an ornament and put on my Christmas tree last year.  I am hoping that this year he will have a few more friends to join him.  I have one that needs to be finished off into an ornament and I am probably about halfway with this one - if I can get to his shoulders tonight I will be happy.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

WOYWW #196

DSCF1922 It's a bit late in the day but it's still Wednesday so I'm joining in with this weeks WOYWW over at Julia's blog - a great way of going round the world and seeing what everyone has been up to in the past week.  There's been no actual crafting going on at my workdesk this week and that's because the desk has been moved from the back bedroom onto the landing so that we could get one of the walls plastered.  We've also decided that it's not going back into that room so I have to find somewhere for the overflow of stash that is both on the desk and under it!  Some of it will fit into the space I have been making in the downstairs cupboards and some of it might just end up on E-Bay this weekend if they have a free listing offer.  I guess the real answer to the problem is to actually USE the stash instead of just looking at it all the time!!!

DSCF1923I have been busy crafting the past week though and have spent since Friday working on a different stitching project every day so that I can join in with the Theme-a-licious for March.  So far so good and I have managed to work on at least one different project every day.  Last night I managed to get a couple of the small floral confetti panels done on Yiota's landscape cross stitch.  This morning the big bad wolf was completed so I will now be working on Red Riding Hood - I will post a weekly progress photo of that one.  I am thoroughly enjoying it and I'm going to set myself a target and try and get it completed by the end of March.  This evenings piece of stitching will be a WIP called the Fishermans Lodge - I've almost completed the actual lodge it's just the surrounding garden areas and the border of fish that I need to work on and try to get done this year. 

DSCF1920Today's photo prompt is CHAIR and I've captured a photo of Max's favourite chair in the house.  This chair is in our conservatory and was bought for DH but he has to share it with Max (when allowed).  Max loves it for just general lazing around but more often than not you can usually find him perched and hanging over the back of the chair when he is on cat patrol.  He is ever vigilant and the mere sight of a cat will send him off in a frenzy to the back door to be let out.  Once let out he will just round down the bottom of the garden barking like mad and not having a clue where the cat has gone as he has made so much noise at the back door that the cat has long gone.  At least he does a fairly good job of keeping the cats out of the garden - not that I have anything against cats, but I just prefer them not to use my garden as one of their giant litter trays.

Max and I enjoyed a lovely walk through Plymbridge this morning and as you can see he needed to rest after the exertion.



Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Under the stitching spotlight tonight is….

DSCF1915 ....the Yiota's landscape cross stitch picture. The photo prompt for today is UNDER and so I used this to capture that word. This will be the 5th project I will have worked on this month for the Theme-a-licious and it just happened to be the one nearest to me at the time.  I'm at the point of filling all the floral confetti outside the window panes and once I've finished the section on the left hand side it will be at the halfway point.

 I'm not sure how much of this I will get done this evening as my stitching time has been delayed by a much welcome visit from DD and GC - always a pleasure as they are such great entertainment.  I introduced Logan to fresh pineapple this evening and after the initial screwing up of his face I think due to the different texture of the fruit he wolfed it down. 

DSCF1917Speaking of wolves I managed to get quite a bit of the big bad wolf done yesterday evening and a little bit this morning.  There's only a small section of him left to do and then I will move onto Little Red Riding Hood.

I've been dosing myself up with decongestants and am gradually starting to feel much better.  Tomorrow is my day off so I plan to have just a really easy day - I might even treat myself to a lie in for a change!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Red Riding Hood

DSCF1911 I finished stitching the Easter project yesterday afternoon and have made something out of it ready to post on Easter Sunday for the treasure hunt blog hop Jo is organising.  With that done I thought I would be a little bit naughty and start a new project.  This one is called Red Riding Hood and I bought this from Isobel from the Primitive Hare.  I came across this blog on one of my many blog hopping trips and I just loved the style of the chart which reminded me of something from Grimms Fairy tales.  I managed to get about an hours worth of stitching in this morning so this is my 4th piece worked on this month in line with Theme-a-licious and I hope to get a couple of hours to stitch on it this evening.  There are only four coloured threads involved so I am hoping that this will stitch up really quickly and will probably work on it most mornings before I go into work.  I can then use the evenings to work on something different each day.

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The photo prompt for today is LUCKY and the only thing I could think of for this one was to take a photo of a couple of my LUCKY 8 punches.  I have six of these in total and in 8 easy punches they give you a great 6 x 6 decorative background for your cards or scrapbook pages. 

My cold is still lingering but a big thank you to those who have sent get well wishes - hopefully it will start to shift soon.




Sunday, 3 March 2013

Key

DSCF1910 With one of the Cross Stitcher magazines the free gift was a set of self cover buttons and a little booklet containing small stitch designs.  The photo prompt for today is KEY and I found in the little book of small stitch designs a key pattern.  It took no time at all to stitch the key and complete my first ever stitched button.  I thought of adding it to a rosette and using it for an 18th or 21st birthday card design.  By stitching this I have also managed to complete my third day of March's Theme-a-licious of stitching on something different every day.

I didn't quite get the Easter project finished last night so now that the few household chores I had have been completed I'm going to sit down and carry on with that this afternoon.  It's grey, cold and miserable outside and my cold is showing no signs of disappearing so it's a good excuse to stay indoors and craft again!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

I made this

DSCF1905I made this much progress on the Christmas stocking SAL and am using this photo as a very tenuous link to the photo prompt.  It's coming along really nicely and I am now working my way up from the centre point to the top of the stocking.  A little bit of Santa is there although it is only the start of one of his mittens, hopefully next week he will make a full appearance.  I'm off now to check on my fellower stitchers progress - there is a list of the people who are now taking part in the side bar to the right of this post.  If anyone else would like to join in then please feel free to e-mail me for details - the more the merrier.

Unfortunately I haven't had much energy today as I've finally succumbed to a cold so other than enjoying the company of our grandchildren again I've done very little else.  SIL came down to plaster one of the bedroom walls which will mean DS2 can finish the decorating.  Once he's done that we can order the carpet and the bedroom will be complete.  All of the craft stash that was in the bedroom is now on the landing - where exactly I am going to fit it all I'm not sure as I am determined it's not going back in the bedroom.  I'm hoping to get a cupboard unit to go in the bedroom which I will put all my scrapbook albums, but apart from those nothing else is allowed.  By moving them it will free up some cupboard space in the living room which will mean I can put the glasses and few alcoholic beverages we do have back in there and so free up a couple of cupboards in the kitchen where some of the overflow of craft stash will be relocated.  Anything that I can't find a home for and really don't use I think will finally be put on E-Bay and maybe go to a good home.

I'm hoping to finish the Easter project this evening as there is only a small amount left to stitch which will then give me tomorrow to make it up into the finished project.

Theme-a-licious this month is

March Madness
Work on something different every day...it's madness...of the funnest possible kind.
 
Now I have lots of WIP's which I am going to try and get a few stitches in on which should take up about a third of the month, the rest of the month I will try and pick small projects in the hope that I can finish them in an evening.  I do also have a couple of projects that I might just start as well - I know very naughty but variety is the spice of life!

Friday, 1 March 2013

L is for....

DSCF1898 The first photo prompt for March was L is for and there was an abundance of L's for me to use today.  We picked Colette, Logan and Savannah and drove to Liskeard and met Grandad there.  We then walked from one platform to another to catch the train to Looe and enjoyed a lovely hour playing on the beach.

DSCF1901It would seem that we were the only ones mad enough to go on the beach today but we had wrapped up warm and went prepared with our bucket and spade so that we could make a sandcastle.  We managed to pick a spot which wasn't too wet and Logan and myself enjoyed digging in the sand and hunting for pebbles and shells to try and decorate the sandcastle that we made.

Grandad enjoyed a walk along the beach while Colette and Savannah snuggled in a corner to keep out of the wind.  Logan didn't want to leave the beach but we managed to persuade him to come off by looking for puddles of water to splash in as we both had our boots on.  We then went for something to eat and it had to be a traditional fish and chips meal which we ate indoors. It was far to cold to sit outside and eat, besides which there were far too many seagulls around which might have tried their luck and snatched a chip from our hands.  A thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours was had by all.

DSCF1904Yesterday while in WH Smiths I saw this magazine which had some 'free' stamps with it - as if I need anymore stamps.  I was attracted by the cute fox (which is bigger than the SU one I have) and the word block.  There were quite a few nice ideas in the magazine and who knows I might even get time over the weekend to play with them and make a card or two.