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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Very restrained

I was very restrained at the craft show yesterday and bought some items that I thought were essential and just a couple of items that I didn’t need but WANTED.

Essential - I had in mind to get a couple of long storage boxes, one for the wrapping paper rolls that are normally tucked away in our wardrobe but get damaged at the ends – this way they will be kept in perfect condition.  The other box I am going to store my fat quarters and other fabric that I have in.

Essential – red tape – I go through loads of this with my crafting projects.

Essential – Die storage holder and extra folders – for all the Tonic dies I have acquired over the past year or so – will stop them from getting damaged or lost. 
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Non-essential – but loved the idea of this Redwork stitch sampler which when stitched could be finished in numerous ways.

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Non – essential but loved the many card designs that had been created with this range of stamps.  There were so many beautiful samples I just couldn’t resist buying some – especially the tiny pine cones.  Once again I failed to come away from a craft show without buying stamps.  Overall though I think I was very good and exercised a good deal of self restraint as there were lots of tempting goodies at the show.

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Yesterday evening we enjoyed a lovely meal at The Mill on the Exe.  There were lots of tasty dishes on the menu but I decided to go for the Not Quite Fish & Chips, which was Beer Battered Halloumi Cheese, Chips, a variation on Mushy Peas and side salad.  Very, very tasty.

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Today I have spent an enjoyable day at the Exeter Scrapaholix crop – a super bunch of ladies which was added to today with some new ladies attending.  There is always such a warm welcome and I am hoping the new ladies enjoyed themselves and will come back again next month.  I worked on filling the pages of the Tim Holtz portfolio that I decorated at the retreat in October.  I’d printed out various photos from my January takes and put them on tags to slide into the pockets with a main image on the front page of the pocket.  Hopefully I can take some decent photos of it tomorrow to show you.  It will obviously be a work in progress as it will be my 2015 year book.

Yesterdays post today

I thought I'd set up a scheduled blog post for yesterday but it obviously didn't work!  So here it is a day late.

Short and sweet from me today - I'm off the the craft show at Westpoint, Exeter with my crafting pal Moya to see what we both don't NEED.  In the evening we are meeting up with her daughter and some friends for something to eat at The Mill on the Exe.  We're staying overnight in Exeter as it's the Exeter Scrapaholix crop on the Saturday. Lots of fun and temptation I am sure.

Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend too.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Petals a plenty

All I’ve managed today is to stamp out lots of petals to be torn around to go on the mannequin.  This was mainly down to watching the tennis this morning before I went into work.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch the conclusion of the match I was watching – having to work is so inconvenient at times LOL.  I set the box to record to watch this evening.  It meant an anxious afternoon of wondering what the result was.  I couldn’t wait to find out so text hubby during my break but he didn’t get back to me until I actually left work.  Needless to say I was happy to find that Andy Murray had won and has made it to the Australian Open final.  I wonder who his opponent will be on Sunday.  Just catching up on the match now.
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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Mannequin update

As you can see I didn’t quite get the mannequin completed using fragile papers for the 1st Paper Artsy Topic.  I’ve still got to stamp and tear out quite a few more of the petals before it has it’s skirt finished.  I’ve decided to continue decorating this mannequin using the Paper Artsy Topics for inspiration.  The 2nd Topic is Shiny Stuff and I have an idea where I might go with this but it could all change once the petals have been added.
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More progress on the Halloween SAL which seems to be coming on really well now and I am hopeful that I might get this finished within the next week.  It will mean I will be able to take it to be framed when I go down to Framin’ Crafty for the workshop on the 7th February.  I’ll then need to decide which of my other WIP’s that I should concentrate on next.
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Max had his stitches out today which I am sure will make him more comfortable.  He has another week of antibiotics and a visit to the vets next Wednesday and hopefully he will get the all clear.  We did have good news from the vet that what they had removed wasn’t cancerous which was a huge relief.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Just the name

to be added now on Pickety Witch.  I would have completed it but I was distracted again by the tennis.  There have certainly been some good matches played over this tournament with hopefully more to follow..
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Sad news to share – our daughter in law suffered a miscarriage yesterday.  I guess it’s natures way of saying it wasn’t meant to be just yet.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Cornwall Cottage Week 2

I’m really pleased with the amount I was able to stitch on this sampler, especially as I had been distracted by the tennis.  A small amount of unpicking is required as I’d misaligned one element of it – something I am prone to doing on such a small fabric count.  It won’t take long to re-do when I pick it up again next Sunday though.
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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Tennis is most distracting

Today is the Cornwall Cottage Sampler SAL day.  After I had done my ironing the plan was to sit and do some stitching while watching the Australian Open.  However I found I became so engrossed in the tennis that I knew I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate so left it until this evening to work on.  A progress photo will be posted tomorrow, although I have just discovered a pesky frog has decided to make an appearance.  Thankfully it isn’t much to unpick but annoying all the same!

We called round to see our eldest son and his family this afternoon.  Unfortunately for my daughter in law morning sickness has decided to make an appearance but not as bad as normal for her (at the moment).  I played Frozen pairs with Elisha although I think there was a little cheating going on from time to time LOL.

Nothing much else to blog about today but I thought I’d share a photo of the plant I received for Mother’s day a few years back which I had split.  It’s starting to flower now and getting quite large.  It’s sister is in a pot beside it but about half the size.  Once it has finished flowering which hopefully won’t be for a while yet I will have to split them up again and find space for them all on other window sills.
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I hope you have all enjoyed your weekends as much as I have.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Celebrating Burn’s Night

We have just spent a very enjoyable evening at my brother in law Keith’s house celebrating Burn’s Night.  His partner Emma had decorated the table with tartan, Keith had bottles of Burns ale in place and before the start of the meal we said the Selkirk grace.
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Emma and Keith piping in the haggis and playing the address to the haggis before we all raised a toast to the haggis.
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During the main course and dessert we took it in turns to read out the verses of To a Mouse, one of Burn’s poems in very bad Scottish accents which caused a great deal of laughter.  I love the Scottish accent but our attempts varied from sounding anything from Cornish to Irish with a slight Scottish twang thrown in every now and then.

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Emma’s sister had brought along a stereotypical hat with wig attached which we all took turns in wearing which was then followed by a general knowledge quiz on Scotland.   The evening was rounded off with Auld Lang Syne.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, lots of fun but we also learnt a lot about Robert Burns which we hadn’t known before so a very cultural evening too.

Earlier in the day (which has been a nice sunny day) we cleaned the cars inside and out, something which needed doing badly but with the rainy days we have had of late not had chance to do before.

Once that chore was out of the way I was able to sit down and put some more stitches into the halloween SAL  Pickety Witch is now about two thirds complete.  I probably won’t get to do anymore of this until Monday as tomorrow is the Cornwall Cottage SAL.
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Friday, 23 January 2015

Pickety Witch

Pickety is the third witch on this SAL.  I’ve managed to get a few hours of stitching in today in between jobs and hope to get some more in tomorrow.  Apologies if you are getting bored with the updates but I'm hoping that it will help keep me motivated to finish it as soon as possible.  Would be nice to get an outstanding WIP finished this month.
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Max had a check up at the vets today and they are happy with his progress so far.  Short walks on the lead while he has his stitches in place is all he is allowed at the moment.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

3 down 2 to go

I was able to finish part 3 of the SAL yesterday evening (well apart from a tiny amount of backstitch detail on the two witches).  I will hopefully make a start on the third witch over the weekend.  I have no idea who the next witch is as I have deliberately not looked ahead as I wanted it to remain a mystery to me.
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Many thanks for your well wishes for Max – he is feeling a bit happier today, although still a bit tender.  We have to go back to the vets tomorrow for them to have a look and see how he is healing and again next Wednesday to have his stitches removed.  Hopefully he will be back to normal again very soon.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Go on–treat yourself

Some days you just have to!  Today was one of those days.  I had to drop Max off to the vets this morning to have an operation for an on going problem that he has been having with his scent glands.  It’s always a worrying time so to try and take my mind off it for a while at least I took Mum into town and Mum treated me to this very tasty Turkish Delight muffin and a spiced maple latte.
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I bought the threads I needed to be able to complete the second witch this evening and mum bought herself a couple of paperback books.  It was then time to take Mum to do her food shopping before heading home.

I still needed to keep myself busy so I’d bought another bookcase while we were out and assembled that and then sorted out the books to go in them.  Next up was some general housework before going through more of my crafting stash.

It wasn’t until gone 6 o’clock this evening that I was able to bring Max home – fingers crossed the problem has now been sorted and he will make a speedy recovery but as you can see from this photo he is feeling a little sorry for himself and still a little spaced out from the pain killers.  Lots of cuddles required I think to help him feel better.
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Part 3 almost complete

I’ve managed to spend quite a bit of time this evening on the Halloween SAL and part 3 is almost complete.  I’ve just got the bottom border bit of this section to do and a little bit to the hair of the second witch.  I need  to get the thread for this tomorrow while I am out and about with mother.  I am hoping I can complete this section tomorrow.  Just two more parts to go then.  I’ve been doing some research on these witches so I am also gaining a history lesson while working on this piece.
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Thank you for all your lovely comments on the new start and to all my posts in general – they are all very much appreciated.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Cornwall Cottage Sampler SAL 1st update

I am really pleased with the amount of stitching I was able to achieve yesterday evening, although it took some getting used to stitching on 32 count again.  The fabric is a limited edition from The Crafty Kitten which I purchased just over 12 months ago.  I had picked out a couple of hand dyed fabrics and placed the threads onto them and asked hubby which he thought went best with them – he chose this one.  At first I wasn’t too sure – the colours of this fabric are shades of blues and lilacs but I’m glad I trusted his judgement as so far I think it works perfectly – fingers crossed I will continue to think so.
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I almost completed the first flower block. I would have liked to have completed it before going to bed but it was getting close to midnight and I was beginning to feel tired and didn’t want to make any mistakes.  My next decision is deciding whether to move along the top or work my way down the side.  I’m already looking forward to stitching on this some more next Sunday.  I wonder how Barbi and Kati have got on with theirs.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Cornwall Cottage Sampler SAL

I couldn’t resist joining this SAL with Barbi of Blissfully Stitching and Kati of Threads, Thoughts and Notions.  Living next to Cornwall in the UK was one of the incentives, I also liked the colours of the sampler but most importantly it’s always nice to know you are stitching on the same project as fellow stitchers.  Each week on Sundays we will work on this piece and post our progress on Monday or Tuesday – it will be great to see how each of us progresses. 
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I had to go into work today so I wasn’t able to start work on this until early evening but I am making steady progress.  I’ve used a different colour of fabric to the suggested colour in the instructions as I wanted to use some of the fabric I already have in my stitching stash. 

We had some wonderful news today – our eldest son and daughter in law are expecting another child later in the year – so we are looking forward to grandchild No 5.  It’s very early days so fingers crossed all will go well.  DIL suffered quite badly with morning sickness with their other two children so I am keeping my fingers crossed that this time she can avoid this, especially with having to still cope with Elisha’s diabetes.  But it’s exciting.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

What happens when your friends husband…

...leaves the keys in the front door and exits the house via the garage using the garage remote control?  Other than the obvious that your friend can’t get into her house it also means that we get to play at crafting for even longer – never a bad thing in my mind.
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Today Moya, Lynne and myself went up to Exmouth to a workshop being run by Anja Thys (Ophelia Crafts) and we had a wonderful time creating two cards and decorating a sweet little journal notebook.  We were also shown two other card designs which we could make at home.  Details of how to make these cards can be found on Anja’s You Tube channel.  Anja also treated us to some lovely cherry upside down cakes and coffee – a very enjoyable morning and one we intend to repeat each month.  Anja runs workshops on various days and if you subscribe to her newsletter or e-mail her she will let you have the dates and times.
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After the workshop we went to Darts Farm for lunch.  I’d never been there before but Moya and Lynne had – it is definitely somewhere I would go again.  There are lots of locally produced goods for sale there as well as gifts, clothing and toys.  I picked up a couple of relishes and snacks while I was there which I am sure will taste delicious.  After dropping Lynne home I went to take Moya home and was all set to go in for a cup of coffee but we discovered that her husband had left the keys in the door and wasn’t due back until late this evening.  So it was back to my house for an evening meal while Moya tried to contact her husband to let her know what he had done and where she could be found and collected from when he finishes work later.

Friday, 16 January 2015

A decent walk

We managed to get out for what I call more of a decent walk today.  The sun was shining when we set off from the car park in Yelverton and within a short distance we saw lots of Dartmoor ponies grazing.
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We love this walk as it’s one of the few places where you can walk knowing that your hiking shoes aren’t going to get totally covered in dirt.  It’s also nice to see the changes in the landscape throughout the seasons too.  The river was flowing quickly as we walked over Gem Bridge, not surprising with the amount of rain we have had recently.
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There were lots of buds coming on the many Rhododendrons that grow along this track.  We stopped off at our usual halfway point appropriately named the Halfway Inn initially for lunch but sadly they were not serving meals today due to a bereavement but we did stop for some liquid refreshment.  Just as well we did decide to stop as the skies opened and it hammered down with rain.  Thankfully by the time we had finished our drinks it had stopped and we were able to continue with our walk into Tavistock where we caught the bus back to Yelverton.  Again it was timed perfectly as it started raining again just as we stepped on the bus.
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While it might not have been the perfect day weather wise it was nice to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the countryside again.

I managed to make some good progress on the Halloween SAL, the second witch is about halfway to completion.  I hope to work on it some more tomorrow evening and try hard to get it completed as quickly as possible now.
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Tomorrow I am going to a card workshop with a couple of friends which we are all looking forward to very much – I just hope the drive up to Exmouth isn’t too bad – more rain forecast with the possibility of snow!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Must finish

For the next couple of weeks I’m going to concentrate on trying to finish the Primitive Hare’s mystery Halloween SAL.  This is how I left it back last year – hopefully now that I have got home from work I might be able to get an hours worth of stitching in and see some progress tomorrow.
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Time to Flourish

Another project which I am hoping will keep me organised with the birthdays/anniversaries is a yearly card book.  I’m using a stunning set of papers from Graphic 45 called Time to Flourish.  It’s still in the design process and I have no idea why I started with February and not January.  The papers are so beautiful it took me ages just to cut into one of them!
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Talking of flourish I have some lovely flowers in my garden braving the harsh winds and rain that we have been having this week.  First up is my ever faithful Christmas Rose (Helleborus).
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Second are the Snowdrops that came up at the weekend.  I also have a Camelia that has come out in flower too with lots more buds which I hope will survive if we have any harsh frosts.
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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Delicate papers and beautiful gift


Paper Artsy currently have a challenge on their blog to use fragile papers.  I’ve had this mannequin for a few months waiting patiently on the top of one of my cupboards, waiting to be altered in some way.  I also came across some lovely pale blue paper which has a handmade feel to it is also embossed while sorting out my papers last week, really pretty.  I’m going to use the petal stamp which I have stamped out quite a few images of this morning before going into work.  Instead of cutting them out I’m going to see if I can go round the edges with a wet paintbrush and see if I can tear round the edges, if that doesn’t work then I will cut them out and adhere them to the bottom half of the mannequin to create a skirt.  For the top half I have fished out some of the tissues papers that I randomly collect in the card sections of garden centres (knowing one day they will come in useful).  Where I will go from there I’m not sure and whether I will get it complete in time to submit to their challenge link remains to be seen, but I’ll give it a go.
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We have some of the most amazing friends and yesterday this fabulous embossed leather journal was waiting for me when I got home from work.  It’s absolutely beautiful.
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Inside there are lots of pages made out of handmade papers ready and just waiting for me to be creative with.  I will be a little apprehensive when I work on the first page as I don’t want to ruin it.  Thank you so much Karen and Phillip – I will treasure it and (as you are hoping) so will my children/grandchildren in years to come.
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Monday, 12 January 2015

Journal cover complete

I spent yesterday evening working on the Poster Art journal cover and had a great time adapting one of the ideas Jenniebellie had given.  The flowers are a Sizzix die cut and the petals were cut out individually by hand from my scraps and placed on top of the black die cuts.  I’ve added some black lines to the patterned paper to give them a different look as I also did with the leaves and the stem.  It was as Jenniebellie says in her tutorial very therapeutic.  I’ve added some Tim Holtz corner protectors so all that remains now is to bind the pages of the journal into the cover.  This has been a really fun workshop.
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Back to work today Sad smile

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Disappearing 9 patch

Today I have been cutting out more squares for the disappearing 9 patch quilt I started last year.  I bought the Moda fabrics when they were reduced at Cowslips in the summer of last year.  I only got round to completing three of the disappearing 9 patch blogs with another one ready to cut up and stitch back together again.  Fingers crossed I am hoping to get my head round the new sewing machine DH bought me for Christmas this week and put some more together.  Who knows I might even get it done in time for this Christmas, but please don’t hold your breath as I am dreadful for flitting from one project to another.  They will all get finished one day!
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Nine patches all sewn together.

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Cut up and reassembled into the disappearing 9 patch.
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More squares cut and ready to go.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Into the woods


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I can’t remember the last time hubby and I went to the movies together.  I’ve been a few times with my friend and he went last year with our sons but today we actually got to see a movie together.  I’d seen snippets of the trailer for the movie Into the Woods and so when I saw it was to be released from Friday we decided to go along and check it out.  What I hadn’t realised was that it was a musical, which I don’t mind but was a bit unsure as to whether hubby would enjoy it once they started singing.  However we both really enjoyed it and found it interesting how they linked several fairy tales to make one cohesive story.

As is always the case there were trailers for other movies before ours started and we have already decided we need to do this on a more regular basis.

After the movie we walked to Plymouth Barbican to enjoy some lunch at Quay 33 before heading into the city centre to exchange a pair of slippers for DH and do some essential clothes shopping.

I’ve made a start on the cover for my Poster Art Journal.  I’ve used some Paper Artsy paints for the base coat but think I might go over some of the areas with Twinkling H2O’s to give it a bit of shimmer.  I’ve picked the fabric to go down the spine and will glue that on hopefully this evening.  I’m not sure how I’m going to decorate the front cover yet though.  In the workshop Jenniebellie’s has a few creative suggestions which I might adapt so that I’m not totally copying.
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Friday, 9 January 2015

Thank You cards

Most of the thank you cards I made last week have now been delivered.  I kept them simple by stamping out the decorative label and sentiment from SU and then punched out with coordinating punch.  The leaves are a Tattered Lace die and the flower punch Marianne I think – it’s a two step punch where you punch out the stamp and then put it in the matching embossing punch.  A little gem to add a bit of bling.
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After cutting out the leaves I was left with a scrap of paper which I am hoping to use as a background on another card in the future.

I spent yesterday evening working on the left front of the baby cardigan so just the right front and two sleeves to go.

I ordered some cardstock from SU this week which has just been delivered so I will be able to make a start on this years Christmas cards now LOL.  I was naughty and spent enough to qualify for one of their free items which are available during their Sale-a-bration period.  It’s a beautiful three step stamping set with a gorgeous flower design – naughty, naughty I know.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

One week on

The Muscari plant is growing really well – I wonder how much longer it will be before it shows us it's first flower.  The plant on the left was given to me as a Mother’s Day present about three years ago.  It’s one of the few indoor plants I haven’t sent to plant heaven.  It started off in a pot smaller than the one the Muscari plants are in and grew so well I split it into two last year – keeping my fingers crossed I wouldn’t kill it.  However both have flourished and will soon need splitting again.  It won’t be long before this one is in flower.
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Hospital appointment with Dad this afternoon.  It’s hard work as Dad can’t hear anything the consultants say so I have to shout to try and get him to hear – not always successfully.  While the outcome wasn’t as Dad had hoped he understands the path he has had to take.  One problem, although not solved understood.  Just waiting to see what will happen with regards to another issue he has now – oh the joys of getting old.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Birthday Girl

Today it was Margaret's birthday - a milestone birthday.  Moya and myself travelled down to Scrapbook Magic in Mullion to wish her a very Happy Birthday and join in the birthday fun with several other crafting friends.  I feel so very lucky that Margaret and I have become such good friends.

 There was lots of cake and some bubbly too to help celebrate.  Chris's husband had made the most delicious and incredibly light Victoria sponge cake - what a clever man.

This is the card I had made for Margaret, it's a very quirky design which I knew she would like.
And I'd made her this little cross stitched scissor fob and attached a pair of Tim Holtz scissors for her to use solely for fabric.  
Although we were only able to stay a few hours it was lovely to be able to spend time with Margaret on her special day.

This evening we have been crafting at Moya's and I have continued to make good progress on a baby's cardigan I was asked to knit for someone by a friend and work colleague.  I'm trying very hard to get it completed before I go back into work.