Monday, 31 March 2014

March freebie stitch

I was looking through my magazines this morning and came across this perforated notebook kit that came free with Cross Stitcher – just perfect for a quick freebie stitch.    So three finishes this month for me.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

There’s no place like home

Especially on Mother’s Day and also when you have all your children visit you during the day and you have all your grandchildren with you too.  It’s been a beautiful sunny day.  We visited both mums with their cards and presents this morning and then enjoyed time with our own children.  While David was here he helped Bryan and Ian in the garden and the right hand side of the garden has been dug over and a large planter installed.  The gooseberry bush has been put in the planter along with the rhubarb – hopefully we won’t have killed them by moving them.  I am going to get a blackcurrant bush to go in there as well so we should have lots of fruit for the summer months.  All we need now is another two tonne of gravel and a few more smaller planters.

While the men were hard at work us mums enjoyed seeing the grandchildren play together in the garden.  They had a lot of fun and so did Max chasing them to try and get the ball.  It’s not often I get a chance to have them altogether for a photo so this was very precious.  Logan unfortunately has tonsillitis so wasn’t able to join in quite as much as he would have liked.
I’ve also been able to spend some time baking two lemon cakes, one for work and one for home.  While they were cooking this evening I have been able to finish off The Wizard of Oz.  I have thoroughly enjoyed stitching this one and very much enjoy the look of stitching over one – it is so delicate and neat.  The only minor downside to this stitch is that the pink and white on Dorothy doesn’t show up as much as I would like with my fabric choice, but I still love this piece.  I was checking when I started this and didn't realise I only started it at the beginning of the month so am really pleased to have had two finishes this month.
So what will now take it’s stitching place?  I’m not sure yet. I haven't stitched a freebie chart yet this month so might challenge myself to stitch up something quick tomorrow or I might spend the next week working hard on the landscape and see if I can finally finish the top half of this before the end of April.

I hope you have enjoyed your Mother’s Day as much as I have.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Spring has sprung

I’ve finally finished March’s Daffodil.  Remember I mentioned I had an annoying frog with the white daffodil – well it would appear that he didn’t go away completely.  I found him lurking today as I was working my way down the left hand border.  Just as I was getting to the bottom I realised it wasn’t going to match up.  The mistake I’d made wasn’t in that border but in one of the first sections I had worked on.  I couldn’t face unpicking the stems of the daffodils so I made some minor adjustments to the placement of the wording instead.  While I think this is a pretty stitch I am sure glad that it is now finished.
The boys have been busy in the garden today.  We had a tonne of gravel delivered yesterday to the front of the house which then had to be shifted to the back today.  A lot of shovelling and pushing of a wheelbarrow took place this morning.  After lunch they made two more planters to go with the ones they have so far made and then the gravel could be put in place.  So far we have had two tonnes of gravel delivered and we think we are going to need at least four more to cover the ground required in the garden.  This is just a small section of the garden – still it will keep them busy for a few months LOL.  Tomorrow I will be adding some more plants to the planters and deciding how many more I will need and what sizes for the rest of the area to be worked on.  While it still looks quite bare at the moment it’s a darn sight better than a load of black ground cover with weeds growing through it.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Live, Love, Laugh

I was lucky enough to receive these two lovely charts through the post today.  I received these from Lynda of Purple Pixie Dust blog who had already stitch the Live, Love, Laugh and offered it as a giveaway.  The snowman chart was an unexpected bonus and is so cute and funny.  Thank you so much Lynda – I will enjoy stitching these, hopefully before the end of the year.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A host of golden daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. William Wordsworth

Most mornings I take Max for a walk along by the creek which is just a short distance from our house and at this time of year between the undergrowth there is always a huge variety of beautiful daffodils growing.  This is a sure sign that Spring is on it’s way.

March’s Daffodils is coming along nicely.  I was able to do some more this afternoon and have almost completed half of this months picture.  It looks like I should get it completed by the end of the month.  I must make a start on turning them into blocks to make into a quilted book so that I don’t have to do that all in one go.  I’ve picked out the fabric for January’s Snowdrop and I have in mind the fabric for this month but I am still undecided for February’s Primrose.
Lots to look forward to at the weekend as I have the Exeter crop to go to on Saturday – hoping to finish a few projects that I started earlier in the year.  Friday we have some more gravel and timber arriving so I am hoping the DH and DS2 will be making me some more raised beds on Saturday while I am at the crop.  Fingers crossed the weather will be dry on Sunday and I can get out and fill up some of the planters with the honeysuckle, jasmine and sweet pea plants that have been bought ready for them.  I also picked up some sweet heather which had a yellow tinge to it today while out with mum to go in the front garden alongside the pink one we already have there.  I also have some poached egg plant seeds to go in the front garden which should give us some nice ground cover and hopefully cut down on the weeding in future years.  Lots of work to be done still in the garden before I can consider it to be looking respectable but we are slowly but surely getting there.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Happy Mail

Last year I did a stocking SAL with Julie and a couple of other stitchers and Julie used this Janlyn kit to make her grand daughters stocking.  I thought it was absolutely beautiful watching it grow and to see the end product was even better.  Julie has been kind enough to send me the pattern so that I can also stitch it (once I have completed the three I need to do for my grandchildren so that they each have one).  Julie also included all the threads that were left over and as they are standard DMC colours any additional ones I need will be easily obtainable.  Perhaps knowing I have got this one to look forward to stitching will give me the added incentive to get the three remaining stockings completed asap.  Thank you so much Julie.
March’s Daffodil is making steady progress – I have been slightly distracted by the tennis tournament in Miami the past few evenings so not as much done as I had hoped.  I also had trouble with the large white daffodil and had to unpick it three times on Sunday evening.  I then left it until Monday morning before trying to get it right which thankfully I did.  I’m putting it down to being tired after having to go into work on Sunday.  A little more has been added to it this morning before I went into work and hopefully once the Murray match has finished I will add some more.
Yesterday after work I called in to see my friend Moya and added a few stitches to the Wizard of Oz – I will post an update of this later in the week.  I’m over halfway with this one so hope to get it finished by mid April.  I have so many more projects lined up ready to take it’s place LOL.  The landscape hasn’t had any stitches added to it in the past week but once the March project above is completed I will spend some more time working on that one.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

March’s Daffodil

We were lucky enough to look after our two youngest grandchildren yesterday and as the sun was shining we took them for a walk along the creek.  While we were down by the creek we played pooh sticks with Logan and a man had brought a remote control speedboat onto the water which also kept Logan and Savannah fascinated for a while.  We took them in to see my parents for a while before walking back home where unfortunately it decided to start hailing – luckily it’s only a short distance from their house to ours.
In the evening I made a start on the next Garden Journal series – March’s Daffodils.  I made steady progress but didn’t get as much as I would have hoped done during the evening.  I’ve been in work today but hope to put in quite a few more stitches now I’m home – not sure this one will get completed in a weekend but will give it a good go.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Canvass in progress

I’ve finally made a start on altering one of the canvasses I picked up at Dunelm Mill a couple of weeks ago.  It’s still very much a work in progress as time this week has been limited.  Initially I tore up some tissue paper to edge the frame (the paper came wrapped around a cross stitch kit that I received months ago so a bit of recycling there).  The background paper is from a retired SU paper pack which was torn and distress inks added to the edges.  The only other thing I have done to the canvass is added some Snow – Tex paste using stencils. I think I prefer the smooth paste but had to go with what I had to hand but hoping to pick some of the smooth paste up at my next visit to Scrapbook Magic.
I was going through my crafting stash on Sunday and came across my Twinkling H2O’s which I think I will use to paint over the stencilled areas to bring a bit of shimmer to the picture. It's been a long time since I've used them and I'm sure they have been feeling very neglected.  I also came across some lovely lace which my mum gave me so I think that will also be added somewhere for more texture.  I am awaiting the arrival of some die cuts which I was very naughty and ordered on Tuesday – they are of fairies so I’m hoping to give this picture an enchanted feel.
I’ve not managed to get any stitching done this week but hoping to get some time over the weekend to get a few stitches in.  March’s Daffodils chart has arrived so I might make a start on that one as I have all but two of the threads required – so much I want to do and not enough time.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Happy Anniversary St Patrick style

Today is my mum and dads 58th wedding anniversary.  I was blog hopping last week and came across some digital images and papers from Heather Hudson’s blog My Artistic Adventures which I thought would be great to use this year.  Heather has some lovely vintage inspired images and papers and while I don’t use digital images very often I thought these were so sweet.  I also used them last week to make a birthday card for my friends daughter whose birthday is also today.  The doilies were acquired at last years Scrapaholix retreat – every meal time there would be doilies on some of the plates so we would all gather them up as we knew we could use them either on scrapbook layouts or cards in the future.
I was able to spend a little this morning working on one of the canvasses I bought at Dunelm Mill last weekend.  It’s still a work in progress as I used texture paste this morning so had to leave it to dry – I may be able to add something to it tomorrow evening if I’m lucky.   As soon as I have completed it I will post it up on my blog.  Yesterday I was sorting out my craft stash and came across various items which I will put aside for the canvasses as I found out on Friday anything can be used.  It was also quite scary seeing just how much stash I have acquired over the years.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Shoe box paint holder

A couple of weeks ago I saw a video on You Tube and thought I’d have a go at recycling some of the shoeboxes which DS2 had lying empty in his bedroom after buying himself some new footwear.  After I had used masking tape to join it together I painted the masking taped areas with black acrylic paint.  I’ve used black cardstock and Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells papers to decorate all of the box and this has made it even sturdier.
I am going to use this one to put my newly acquired Paper Artsy Fresco paints in (which will increase with each visit to Scrapbook Magic no doubt LOL)  along with the few others that I currently own.  It could be used for allsorts crafting items so another one could me made at a later date.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Oh to bottle time

I have just got back from another terrific workshop at Scrapbook Magic.  Today we did a mixed media canvas and it was fun, fun, fun.  At first I was filled with fear and apprehension when after Margaret had shown us how to apply the texture pastes through stencils she said to look through the embellishments and create your picture.  I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do – there was so much to choose from and I wasn’t sure how to put the embellishments together to make something anywhere near a cohesive state.
I decided to pick a word and try and work my way round that – I chose time, something we all wish we had more of and then thankfully some inspiration came.  While we were waiting for the texture paste to dry we were able to plan out our picture on a scrap of paper.  Once we were happy with our embellishments we then decided on what colour scheme to go with.  The paints we used were the Paper Artsy Fresco paints and were applied using baby wipes – loved the paints and loved the softness of colour you got from using the wipes to apply them.
The phrase on the canvas says Imagine if I could bottle time how amazing it would be.  I used TH words for most of it but there wasn’t the word bottle so I used a embellishment to represent the word instead.  The playing cards, dice and domino represent that I would be able to have so much more playtime if I could bottle time.  This workshop has given me so much inspiration for the three canvasses I bought last weekend and made me realise that it’s so much fun to just let the creativity take shape bit by bit and just let my imagination go.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Stitching updates

I managed to stitch on the landscape a few evenings last week – there's a lot of colour changes in this section so progress wasn’t as much as I had hoped for.  Here is how it looked on the 3rd March.
And here it is now with a weeks worth of stitching.
The Wizard of Oz is a really enjoyable little stitch and working over 1 is so dainty and I’m really liking the look of it.  Who knows it might inspire me to have a go at one of the many lovely Heaven &Earth designs out there.
Good progress has been made on The Wizard of Oz and I’ve probably completed just over a quarter of it.  I’m hoping I might be able to add this to my list of finishes by the end of the month.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Out and about

I have spent an enjoyable day just out and about at a few of my favourite shopping places.  A sign that I am getting older I think is the fact that I now enjoy going round garden centres.  I’ve been to two today and picked up a small selection of plants to go into the raised beds DH made for me in January and some to go out in our front garden.  Lunch was enjoyed at Otter Nurseries while afternoon tea was at Endsleigh Garden Centre.
I’ve also popped into Dunelm Mill and picked up these three canvas pictures for £4.99 – I didn’t get them because I particularly like the designs but with the intention of altering them with designs of my own.  It worked out cheaper buying them like this than it did to buy blank canvasses.  Not sure when I will alter them but I have a few ideas muddling around in my brain and might make a start on just putting a coat of gesso on them tomorrow.
I also popped into Hobbycraft which is just next door to Dunelm Mill and picked up some of Sheena Douglas’s embossing folders as they had an offer of 3 for 2 and some other embossing folders that came in packs of two for £5.  I also called into The Range and picked up the Pac O Mac for Max our dog but it’s too big for him so I shall have to go back in the week and exchange if for a smaller size.  He had outgrown the coat we first bought him and I hadn’t seen anything I liked up until now.  This will be great to take away on our holidays and put in our walking rucksack with our own waterproofs.
Talking of holidays I have booked us a few days away in a nice little cottage in April to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  We have a weekend dining train experience to go on the weekend before our anniversary and then three nights in this cottage.  Come rain or shine it will be a wonderful way to celebrate.  It’s so nice when you can find somewhere that readily accepts our fur baby.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

More Tags & Techniques

I went down to Scrapbook Magic yesterday for another Tags & Techniques workshop with the fun and lovely Margaret.  We worked with TH Distress Re-Inkers, Distress Stains, Crackle Paint and had a lot of fun getting inky.  I’ve not used re-inkers before so got to see how they could be used for more things than just re-inking your ink pads.  We even made our own custom ink pad which is how the rose tag was made – a technique I’d not done before but one I think will prove very useful for future projects.  The tags need to have their ribbons attached and I want to add some words to a couple of the tags to finish them off completely.  It was a great day and lots of my stamps that had never seen ink before finally got some love too.  I’m already looking forward to the next tag workshop in April, although I’ve got a mixed media canvas workshop to look forward to before then.
I have also joined Jennibellie’s  Journal Workshops and signed up to her free class Inspiration Station – more details can be found on my sidebar.  I’m hoping that more of my stash will get used during the course and looking forward to getting to know more crafters on the forum too. 

Well done to those of you that guessed my new stitch is The Wizard of Oz - I bought the pattern from The Little Stitcher and it is proving to be a fun little stitch.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

It’s a film, four words

I’ve managed to stitch the first character of my new stitch.  It’s from one of my all time favourite films – can you guess which one it is? The original was stitched on 32 count cream linen but I’m trying to use up my fabric stash so I am stitching it onto 20 count aida in Peach Sorbet from The Crafty Kitten.  It also means I am stitching with one thread over one so it is coming out much smaller than the original chart, but I think it’s adding to it’s whimsy look.  I’m really enjoying this and don’t think it will take me too long to complete it.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Sunday evenings progress

I spent a couple of hours Sunday evening working on Yiota’s landscape while watching Call the Midwife.  I missed the first series.   Now I’ve started watching the second series I am regretting not seeing them from the beginning.  Anyway here is where I had left the landscape back in January
And here is the progress I made on it last night.
Here are some more flowers that are in our garden at the moment.  I have lots of these Hellebores (Christmas Rose) growing at the moment.  Last year their leaves were looking worse for wear so I made the decision to cut them right down and I wasn’t sure they would survive my brutality but they have thrived.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

You spin me right round

David, Vicky, Connor and Elisha came round to visit us yesterday afternoon so we took advantage of the lovely sunny day again and spent some time playing in the local park.  Elisha had great fun spinning me round and round on the roundabout.  It was a great way of using up some of Elisha’s energy – I only wish I could bottle it and save it for when I’m running low on energy.

I’ve also been a little naughty and put a few stitches in a new start.  It was the piece of stitching I was going to do instead of 7 Virtues but at the time I didn’t have all the threads.  I’ll wait until I have put a few more stitches into it before I reveal what the actual finished picture will be.  This will be the piece I work on when I have a few spare moments before going into work and Wednesday evenings when I go round to Moya’s.  I really need to try and finish Yiota’s landscape picture – I will try and concentrate on that in the evenings this week.  I will be sending off for March’s Daffodil from The Patchwork Rabbit next weekend so once I receive that I know it will be the only thing I will want to work on.  I have a freebie in mind to stitch this month too – so lot’s of stitching variety planned.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Easter treats and enjoying a walk in the sunshine

We had to collect a parcel today but on the way back we went to Plymbridge Woods to take Max for a walk and make the most of the beautiful sunshine we woke up to today.

The Easter treats were made using SU cardstock and I found the idea on Paula Knall’s blog Knall Crafting.  I had to adapt it slightly with the score lines so that the once the eggs were placed in the window the treats didn’t fall over.  I’m taking part in a craft fayre later this month so I am hoping I might be able to sell a few of them there – if not then I will be ahead of the game with Easter treats for my work colleagues. 
With all the rain we have had over the past couple of months the river was very full and fast flowing but it was lovely and clear.
Most of the trees are still bare but some of them had lovely burnt orange leaves still left on them.
Max exploring with me hiding not very well behind the tree.
The Cann viaduct where the old railway line used to run out to Tavistock.
The view looking the other way from the viaduct.
A closer view of the view from the viaduct.


Lots of Catkins were seen along the route and just look at that lovely blue sky with only a few white clouds in sight.