Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The End Of A Year & Start Of Another

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got thoroughly spoilt, and were able to get some time to yourself to stitch, we had a lovely time.
This will be my last post before 2009 ends, and what a year it's been! I thought I'd take the time to write about what 2009 has meant for me, both in my personal life and with my stitching. It's going to be a LONG post so please feel free to skip to the stitchy bits if you wish lol.
This year I've adjusted to life as a stay at home mum and after what was a very anxious first few months it's turned out really well. We've had to change a lot of things and make sacrifices, but I can honestly say our little family is so much happier and healthier for me being at home. We have decided that as long as we can manage on DH's salary and as long as Erin still needs and wants me around all the time I'm going to stay home. It's so good not to have to worry about childcare in the school holidays, getting time off work when she's sick or attending school events with her, to name but a few.
As I didn't want my brain to go to mush however I've done two courses during the year, one which has lead to me doing what's called Reading Friends in Erin's school a couple of hours a week. I go into school and read one to one with a child for 10 weeks, and it's been shown in most cases to greatly improve a child's reading age and social skills. I really love doing this, it's great seeing each child improve with their reading and come out of their shell over the 10 weeks. This then lead me to helping out at various activities within school and then doing a course called Helping In Schools in the early summer which is the equivalent of an NVQ Teaching Assistant's course. I have to say the first few weeks were a nightmare. I really doubted that I could do the work as it was extremely hard going and required a lot of hours put into it, and spent many a tearful moment, but I promised myself I wouldn't quit and once I got over halfway it became easier just knowing the finish line was in sight. I'm really pleased to say that the result I got was the top level, Level 3, which is the same as an NVQ3! Since then I've also been volunteering in a Year 1 class at school one morning a week as a Teaching Assistant, which has been a real eye opener lol! I am now SO much more aware of things like equal opportunities and inclusion within school and how children of the same age differ so much in their academic abilities and social skills! My respect for teachers who have to deal with this has gone up massively. I don't know that I'd want to be a Teaching Assistant as a permanent job, but I feel I've really widened my horizons and gained so much experience this year.
On a health front, on 27th July DH and I took Erin swimming and while we were there I saw an offer for a gym membership trial. As some of you know I'm a big girl, have been for years and have lost and gained a few pounds here and there through all that time, but never really made any real progress and was actually at almost my highest weight. Anyway, I don't know what made me do it but that day I decided to give the trial a go and just see what happened. I planned on trying to go to the gym approx 3 times a week for the 6 week trial and to try to eat healthier during that time and see what happened. In that 6 weeks I lost almost a stone in weight! So while I was riding high on my success I took out a 12 month membership and since then I average 5/6 workouts a week including step classes, cardio, weight training and swimming, and I'm ecstatic to report that as of today I've lost 50lbs (3st 8lbs) in 5 months!!! As well as the gym I'm eating healthier than I have in years and enjoying it, not feeling permanently deprived like I used to on various diets, and my fitness and energy levels are sooo much better. I actually get restless and edgy when I can't go for my daily workout lol! I still have a long way to go, but this is the first year in many many years that I can get to New Year's Eve and not have to make a desparate resolution to lose weight in the new year, only to give up a couple of weeks later. I'm now confident that no matter how long it takes I'll reach my goal and more importantly, enjoy the journey as well. 2010 is looking very bright!
And finally onto stitching! Although 2009 hasn't been a great year for that, looking back I can sort of understand that, with everything else changing so much in my life, my stitching mojo was bound to get a bit of a hammering. I had a few months when I barely picked up a needle, but I'm really happy to say that this past month or so I've been stitching far more regularly and enjoying every minute which is the main thing. I ended up having 14 finishes, 2 of those large, and made a little progress on several wips. Most recently I stitching an xmas ornament for my friend Amy (no blog), a scissor fob for Sally for her birthday and an ornament for our tree on DH's orders lol.

The ornament is a freebie I found on the web somewhere, I'm sorry I can't give credit where it's due as I can't find it again now, but it was seeing several finishes of it on other blogs which made me want to stitch it in the first place. The scissor fob is from the Prairie Schooler Christmas Alphabet and the strawberry emery is an Anita's Little Stitches design called Joy.
This past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about what I'd like to stitch in 2010 and so began my rotation thoughts yet again lol. After much smoke coming out of my ears I think I have finally come up with something I'm really happy with.
1. Mon/Tue - Small/Medium - Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas. Began this on 10th Dec and really enjoying it. It's my first time stitching 1x2 on 40ct and I love it!

2. Wed/Thur - HAED SAL with Sally - SK Moon Fantasy/Cabin In The Woods. Planning on stitching on MF 3 weeks each month and CITW the 4th. Have a vague hope I might actually finish MF in 2010!

3. Fri/Sat - BAP - Nouveau Encore Designs Personalised Sampler. When I realised that 2010 is the start of a new decade I decided I had to have a new start on 1st Jan and it had to be a special one, so this is it. I had it designed at the end of 2008, so I figure it's time I made a start on it. My fabric is prepared and on the qsnaps (25ct bone lugana) and I will be stitching it 1x1 with HDF Garnet which is mine and Erin's birthstone as well so I thought apt.
4. Sun - UFO Night with Sally - Celtic Autumn alternative colours. I'm afraid I have several ufo's yet can't part with them. I love them all, just don't want to stitch on them lol. So I decided to grit my teeth and stitch on them just one night a week and see if I can make any progress. Sally is very good and only has one ufo so I bullied (cajoled lol) her into joining me for a while.
I'm hoping to put a few more stitches into Moon Fantasy before the year ends, but I took pics of them all today so I could show you all where I'm at with them, and it will be good for me to look back with a starting point. There is of course no pic of the personalised sampler yet as it's just a blank piece of fabbie lol!
I think I'd better finish here for now as this has turned into a VERY long post, didn't realise I had so much to say and show lol. All that's left to say now is I hope that you have a very happy New Year and that 2010 is your best yet.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not Very Good At This

Stitching, blogging or blog reading and commenting, lately it seems...
For the past few months my stitching has been few and far between. When I have stitched I've enjoyed it, but although I have the urge to pick up a needle, most nights I'm just too tired or restless to actually do it. I've even considered deleting my blog altogether as I think all of my readers have probably given up on me now and decided I'm a lost cause, but I couldn't quite do it, so here I am again.
Added to that I've had gifts to stitch which I'm never very good at doing. As soon as something becomes an obligation it seems I run the other way lol. I love being able to give hand-stitched gifts to friends and family, it's just the actual sitting down and stitching that seems to be the problem! I also thought that this year I'd got away with not doing an ornament for our tree, but DH had other plans so I'm now in the middle of stitching that. We're putting our xmas decorations up a week today so I need to get my finger out and get it finished!
Anyway, here are pics of what I have done this last couple of months that I can show you. I have two gifts to show once they are received and opened, plus our xmas ornament, so will save those for next time. The two wips are both HAED's, Cabin In The Woods which is my nemesis and no doubt I'll still be stitching when I'm 90, and the freebie SK SAL Moon Fantasy. Slow progress on both of them, but progress all the same.

I've been looking back at what I have actually stitched over the year. So far I've got 13 finishes, with another finish to come when this ornament is done, so that will be 14 in 12 months, and only 2 of them are large. That has got to be the lowest number I've had in a LONG time, which makes me sad and annoyed with myself when I think of the amount of stash I have that goes untouched. I started off the year so well with 2 large finishes, but it's been downhill all the way since then. I really have to get myself back into a routine of stitching because I know that I love it when I do.
I'm considering at the moment trying a rotation again lol. I'm also considering what I'd like to stitch in 2010. Part of me is thinking of starting loads of new stuff and ignoring my already started projects lol, but the other part is actually thinking of making 2010 the year of the UFO like I've seen mentioned on a couple of blogs. I have 8 projects (5 of them HAED's) on the go which because they get so little attention really should all be classed as UFO's. However I think if I restricted myself to no new starts at all I'd be miserable, so I have to think of another way of making progress on my UFO's and still being able have some new starts. Any ideas? I'm considering picking one UFO to focus on mostly til it's finished and allowing myself one new start, with me using most of my stitching time on the UFO with a small amount on the new start. When the UFO is finished I'll choose another to focus on, and I can have another new start when the first is finished. Do you think that would work?
Well, I keep putting off stitching on this ornament but I really need to try to get it finished, so will finish waffling for now. If you are still reading my blog, thanks for sticking around!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I'm Still Alive!

I know, it's been a LONG time since my last post, I'm sorry I disappeared without permission lol.
Unfortunately I hit a huge stitching slump which just does not seem to want to go away. I tried to not stitch at all for a few weeks to see if the need would come back but that didn't help, so instead I've been putting the odd few stitches into mainly small projects in the hope that eventually it will all click back into place. So far there isn't a great improvement but I do think that I'm starting to enjoy the little bit of stitching I am doing more so that's good.
Anyway, I thought I'd come on and liven up the blog a bit ready for halloween as we've put our decorations up at home today, and let you see what stitching I have done.
First up is a project I started for DD back in June, which I've only just finished (blush). She has been SO patient waiting for it, but I just couldn't get into it at all and had to force myself to stitch on it. Now I need to make it up so she can display it in her bedroom. Lets just hope she doesn't have to wait another 4 months for that lol.Next is a Pine Mountain pillow kit I bought when I visited The Nimble Thimble at Easter. Even though I'm in this slump I was determined to stitch this for halloween this year and luckily it was a quick stitch, only took me about 2 weeks rotfpml, can you tell I'm not stitching much?And finally is a very small update on my HAED Freebie SAL Moon Fantasy Storykeep. I really like this design, but at the moment HAED's are so much of a struggle for me, so the only way I can cope with them is to do say 100 stitches then put them away again. It's really frustrating because I love my HAED's and actually want to start more, but I know that right now it's just not practical. I've also put a few stitches into Cabin In The Woods, but not enough to warrant a new pic as yet.I've now started a xmas ornament that's to be a gift for a friend. I thought I'd better start early bearing in mind how long it's possible it's going to take me lol.
I'm in the process of sorting out some of the charts I've stitched and will be adding them to my For Sale/Trade page soon. They include the Princess Parade and Be Scarey charts, plus The Cat's Whiskers For My Friend Scissor Pocket I stitched a few months back, can't remember what else. If you're interested in any of these before I put them up just let me know.
Til next time, which hopefully will be very soon, happy stitching!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

QS Alisha Page 1 HD

Just a quick post to prove that I am still stitching, if slowly lol.
I finished the first page of my HAED Alisha QS on Sunday after having a full day of stitching which was heaven.
I'm now going make a start on the next page of Cabin In The Woods, as well as doing more on CCN's Princess Parade for DD.

Monday, June 29, 2009

HAED Wip Pics

I've been stitching on my Alisha QS for the last few weeks, only managing a few stitches here and there, but she's slowly growing and I hope to finish page 1 before too long. I absolutely love the colours.

I also started the free Storykeep SAL on the HAED BB earlier in the month. I started Moon Fantasy and as you can see I've only done a tiny bit, but it's a start.

I've got 3 more weeks of the course to go and I can't wait til the lessons and placement are finished so I can relax a bit. I will still have my portfolio to put together before September when it needs to be handed in for moderation, but the pressure will be off to a big extent. Then I might be able to get more stitching time!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PIF's Sent & Received!

Following on from my last post, I sent our my three PIF's early last week and then waited with baited breath for them to arrive at their new homes. One of them knew where it was going, but the other two were going on a magical mystery tour with their new home being a surprise.
Those of you who read my blog regularly may remember my sneaky post a while back asking for favourite colours etc, and it's that info that was used for my pif's lol.
Sally received the dark purple/red one, Karan received the autumn colours one and Claire received the dark pinky one. The multicoloured one in the pic I actually made for myself as I didn't want to part with any of them lol. They are all stitched with Vikki Clayton's silk, on 28ct 1 strand over 1 thread and I loved stitching them.

I included with each some floss tags and a skein of Carries Creations thread in their favourite colours, and I think from the responses that they were all pleased with their gifts.
I'm still doing my course, six weeks lessons down now, four more lessons to go, then putting together my portfolio over the summer holidays before it all has to be handed in for moderation in September. Been at my lesson today and been doing about how numeracy is taught, and my head hurts now lol. Got all my homework to do which I may start on tonight once Erin is in bed, but depends on whether my brain can handle anymore thinking by then lol.
Thanks to everyone who visits and takes the time to leave a comment, it is very much appreciated.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finishing Frenzy

I know it's been a long time again since my last post, I keep meaning to post but life is just so crazy right now I always seem to think about it when I'm too tired to even type lol.
I've been doing a course about helping in schools one day a week for the last 5 weeks, as well as volunteering at DD's school at least half a day each week, and added to that there is loads of homework from the course. To say the course isn't what I expected is an understatement, it is far more involved that I could ever imagine and I've been feeling really stressed about the homework and worrying I couldn't do it. But I've hit the halfway mark this week and the feedback from my homework has been great which has given me a boost to keep going. At the moment I'm just lurching from one week to the next as it's Mon - free day, Tue - course, Wed - school, Thur & Fri homework, Sat & Sun relief once homework is done and sent, then it starts all over again! lol The course itself finishes mid July although we have til the beginning of September to put our portfolio of work together and send it all in for moderation, but I'm trying really hard to keep up so that hopefully I'll be able to finish all my work sooner rather than later and I can give a huge sigh of relief.
Anyway, onto stitching, after all it's what this blog is supposed to be about lol. I've been stitching my PIF's for a while now on and off and finished the stitching on the last one a couple of weeks back (I stitched one for me as well as I wanted to keep all the ones I stitched lol). I've also stitched a gift for DD's teacher for the end of the year as she's been wonderful with her. So today when DD asked to have a craft afternoon I thought it the perfect time to get all the finishing done. Little did I know how long it was going to take me, 4 hours! I've only just finished tidying up, taking pics of them and then came on here to post and I'm exhausted lol. I know some people love kitting projects up and some love finishing things off, but me I just love the stitching lol.
So here is a pic of the teacher gift I did, LK's 2 Teach Is 2 Touch. DD asked her teacher what her favourite colours were without giving anything away, so it's done in pink, purple and blue. The star is metallic glissen gloss but you can't tell in the pic. I made it into a hanging pinkeep as I thought she might like to hang it in her classroom.
I can't show pics of the PIF's yet as I need to package them up and send them off this week, but as soon as I know they've arrived at their new homes I'll be sure to let you see them. One is going to Sally but the other two will be surprises to the recipients as Sally was the only person to sign up when I did my PIF. I've struggled to decide what to do about the other two and so have chosen two people who have read my blog for a long time, even when I haven't posted regularly, and often taken the time to leave me a quick comment. I hope they like their gift.
I have some other pics to show of my HAED stitching lately, and a little something else up my sleeve, so will be back soon hopefully. Hope you've all had a great weekend. Happy Stitching! x

Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick Update

Thought I'd better post a couple of quick pics before you all assume I've closed my blog and stop visiting completely.
I've been dealing with a few things in my life recently which have got me really down, and when that happens I tend to retreat into myself and avoid people, which I know isn't good for me, but I can't help it.
Unfortunately my stitching is also suffering and I've lost my mojo. I have been doing some but have not stitched more days than I have and some days I've just stared at it for a while before putting it down again in disgust.
Anyway here is a pic of a gift I stitched a while back for a non-blogging friend in the US, who plays floss fairy for me regularly and sends me any US stitching mags I decide I have to have. It is The Cat's Whiskers/Dinky Dyes Collaboration "Friends" scissor pocket released earlier this year, stitched with the silk that came with the chart on 32ct antique white linen.
As well as working a little on my PIF's I've also put a few stitches into my HAED QS Alisha and thought I'd take a pic with the latest column finished.
I have no idea what I'll stitch on next, I seem to be stitching for the sake of it rather than things calling to me, so just taking it as it comes.
If I don't update again for a while, I am still around, I just don't have anything interesting to say or show. I'm sorry as well for not commenting on blogs for a while either, but please know that I do try to read them when I can.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Finished The Page!

I was trying really hard to finish the page before the end of April, but with the way I've been feeling I just couldn't quite manage it. I did however finish it a little while ago so it's off the qsnaps, ironed and shown here in it's full glory. 22.2% done, loads more to go lol.
Now I need to decide what to do next, carry on with Cabin and start another page, or pull out one of my other wips and, if so, which. I think til I get some inspiration I'm going to spend a couple of days on my pif's...
Hope you all have a great weekend, and a long one for those of us in the UK.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not Disappeared Totally

I'm still here, just not feeling much like blogging or anything else for that matter recently. Going through a very down period and although I'm still stitching I don't seem to be able to get the joy out of it that I usually do.
But I thought I'd better add a couple of pics before you all think I've disappeared totally.
First of all is my update of Cabin In The Woods. I've done a tiny bit more since this pic and now have about 1200 stitches left to do to finish the page. I'm not sure whether I will start the next page once this is finished or move onto something else for a change. I'm struggling to decide as nothing is really calling at the moment so will see.

Next is an old finish that I finally made up into a cube type finish last weekend, only 2 years late. I finished this in Spring 2007 so it was about time it got to be displayed. It is Waxing Moon's Simply Spring and I have Summer, Autumn and Christmas in my stash still to stitch at some point.

I am way behind on my blog reading and commenting. I'm also aware I never interviewed Karan some time back for a position in the craft shop I'll be running in Helen's neighbourhood when construction is finished. I'm really sorry Karan, I haven't forgotten, but I will get around to it soon I promise.
Over the Easter weekend we went away in our caravan to North Wales and DH agreed to take me to The Nimble Thimble for a visit. I had a great time drooling over all her models and came back with some lovely additions to my stash. Once I'm feeling a bit brighter I'll take some pics and let you see what I got.
I was also lucky enough to win a giveaway on Bev's blog before Easter for The Trilogy's Easter Line Up and I said to celebrate my win I would in turn have a giveaway on here, so watch out soon for mine.
Thanks to everyone who stops by to read about my stitching even though I'm very lax at updating lately.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Please Humour Me

I'm planning my next small project and have been trying to decide on floss colours etc, and it's making my head hurt lol.
This then lead to me avoiding trying to decide and wondering about all my blogging friends likes/dislikes etc. I know some of my friends favourites and we are very similar, and that made me wonder if we are friends because we like similar things, if it's just coincidence or if the things we like are generally popular.
So can you all please humour me and take a few seconds to leave me a comment with the following:-
1. Your favourite colour/s and why.
2. Your favourite season and why.
3. Your favourite floss brand and why.
4. Your favourite fabric/count and why.
5. Do you prefer bright or subtle colours.
If enough people respond and anyone's interested in the answers besides me I'll compile them and let you know the results.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Garden Is In Full Bloom!

I've been stitching like a mad woman the past few days in a desparate effort to finish last year's Papillon mystery SAL How Does Your Garden Grow before the end of the month, and last night I finished it!!!! Stitching on that last bead was SO satisfying. I love the effect as a whole, am very happy with the colours I chose and am pleased with myself for trying such a big piece with so many speciality stitches, but I won't be in a hurry to do another lol. I love my cross stitch and this has definitely been out of my comfort zone. The frog visited several times and I had issues with beads working themselves loose when I was using nylon beading thread. Only halfway through did I find Nymo which I now LOVE. Now comes the hard part and trying to turn it into a bellpull once I get some ends lol. I pestered Sally on msn earlier for hints and tips on how she finishes hers, and think I have a bit more of an idea what to do now, it's just plucking up the courage to actually do it. So watch this space...

I've also been working on my HAED Cabin In The Woods on a Wed and Thur evening as part of the SAL with Sally and Claire and also the Our Friends HAED SAL . Last Wed and Thur I spent a little more time on it than usual and I didn't want to put it away after Thur, so I'm hoping I'm getting into it a bit more again and can give it some more attention and see some good progress soon.

I've also made a start on one of my PIF's and think I might do more on that tonight. They aren't due til November, but I had an idea for them and want to see if it works out. As it's hopefully going to be for a gift I can't show a pic unfortunately.
So the first three months of 2009 have been very productive for me. Two BAP finishes and one small, and I'm feeling really motivated to finish as many more wips this year as possible and reduce that list a bit. I'm not sure what I'm going to focus on next though so I think for a little while until I do decide I'm going to spend more time on Cabin, and work on my pif's or other small gifts I need to do when I need a break from it.
Thanks to all who visit and especially those who take the time to leave me a comment, it makes my day to know my stitching interests others.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting There!

Time has run away with me again and I realised it's over 2 weeks since my last post.
We've been decorating our hall and stairs in that time, well I should say DH has and I've been trying to stay out of his way so we don't end up coming to blows lol. I must say he's done a brilliant job and we are just waiting for the carpet to be fitted now, which is being done tomorrow. I love the smell of new carpet, am I strange? No, don't answer that lol.
On the stitching front I pulled out the Papillon mystery sal from last year, How Does Your Garden Grow. When I last stitched on this I'd just finished part 5, and I'm now stitching part 10! I took this pic after finishing part 9 at the weekend. Parts 6-9 seem to have stitched up very quickly, but these last few ones seem quite a bit more involved with lots of new stitches, so I'm thinking it's going to go slower now to the end.

I also picked up Cabin for a couple of days and did a tiny bit on it. The last time I worked on it it didn't go well and I ended up frustrated and with a headache which put me off, so I decided I needed to try again and see if it needed to go away for a while. I'm pleased to say it went okay this time and although I didn't manage much I enjoyed what I did, so I think it will be coming out again tomorrow for the sal with Sally and Claire and I might carry on with it for the HAED blog sal on Thursday. I'll post an update pic of it next time.
And talking of SAL's, I'm starting another at Easter hopefully, and another HAED one at that lol. Last week Claire rak'd me with the gorgeous QS Rae by Hannah Disney. I just love her colours, so bright and cheerful, so made a deal with myself that if I can finish HDYGG by Easter I'm going to start her. So then I decided I needed company and had to corrupt some other stitching friends lol. I think I've convinced Claire and Sally to join with Jasmine Beckett-Griffiths' TT Purple Dragon and Dawn with Molly Harrison's Pink. We're not doing anything structured, just using it as an excuse for a new start really lol. I know I need another HAED wip like a hole in the head, but hey, who cares!
Til next time, hope the stitching bug keeps spreading! x

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Finish, An Award & My Interview

First of all I want to thank everyone who left lovely comments on my Cirque finish last week. I had a record number of comments which really made me feel glad that I keep blogging, even though I don't do it as often as I'd like to ideally. It's been wonderful recently to see more readers and commentors and makes it all worthwhile so thanks again, I hope to see many more of you pop by and say hello in the future.
The Cirque chart and remaining HDF silks have both been sold now, thanks for the interest.
So it seems that you all like to see finishes, and I aim to please! Over the weekend I finished my Country Cottage Needleworks/Crescent Colours Thread Pack "Cottage Garden" which has been my travel project since January. I tried working on Cabin for a couple of days after finishing Cirque but ended up with an awful headache and feeling frustrated, so decided to try Cottage Garden and loved every minute.
The fabric is Jayne's Attic "August" from 2007 I think and just made the colours pop when I did the floss toss. I don't yet know how I'm going to finish it, am considering trying my first mattress pincushion, but am a bit scared to try it, so we'll see. I'll be putting the gently used chart up for sale/trade on my Wish List & For Sale Items Blog which you can see in my sidebar after I've finished this post if you're interested.
Next, a couple of weeks ago Sally gave me an award on her blog.
These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with.

I love all the blogs I read so this is difficult for me, but I will try. If your blog is not listed please do not think I do not love your blog, I wish I could nominate you all.
Next up Helen was interviewed recently and asked if anyone would like to be interviewed by her in turn. I have to reply to her 5 questions and then ask if anyone would like to be interviewed by me. Please leave me a comment if you would like to be interviewed. Here are Helen's questions.
1. How long have you been stitching and what got you started?
I've been stitching 13 years now. I started stitching after getting together with DH and going to visit his mum for the first time. She was a cross stitcher at the time and it intrigued me. So off I went and bought a magazine with one of the freebie kits on the front and I was hooked lol.
2. Have you got a favourite designer and if so what is it that appeals about his or her designs?
I don't have one favourite designer, but I do tend to lean towards a few like LHN, CCN, Just Nan, Drawn Thread and HAED.
3. Do you do any other crafts apart from cross stitch?
I did try card making and scrapbooking and for a while, but they've now fallen by the wayside and I'm left with drawers full of tools that are unused as my stitching addiction has decided it won't share me lol.
4. If you could choose to own a whole set of any kind of thread what would it be and why?
It would have to be HDF or Crescent Colours. I love stitching in HDF silks and I adore the colours of CC threads with their subtle variagations.
5. Is there any stitching skill that you do not have and would love to learn?
I've tried hardanger and loved it and would like to do more in future. At the moment I'm wanting to try needlepoint and have a small Sue Hawkins kit in my stash ready. I really would love to learn to use my sewing machine with confidence though so I could expand my choice of finishes.
Helen also let me know recently that my offer to run the Craft Shop in her Village had been accepted! I'm so excited as I've always wanted my own craft shop. I understand that Karan would like to work in the shop so if you're reading this and would like an interview please let me know.
And finally here is a pic of something I bought on a trip to Liverpool last month. I've been looking for something for ages to display my tucks and hanging ornaments etc, and when I saw this I just had to have it. I need to stitch lots of for it as you can see, and eventually would like to make it a seasonal tree, but think it will be a while.
Hope you all have a wonderful week and you don't have any visits from the pesky frogs. I'm back stitching on the Papillon mystery from last year, How Does Your Garden Grow, so will have an update on that next time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Did It, I Did It, I Did It!!!

I finally finished Cirque Des Cercles about half an hour ago! Please excuse the creases, I'll try to get a better pic another day once it's ironed.
I started this on the 20th June 2007, took over 18 months to stitch the first 3 pages, and then stitched the last 3 in just 2 months lol. I am so proud of myself for having a BAP finish after so long, my last one was HAED Tomboy QS about this time last year I think.
It is stitched 1x2 on 32ct antique white I think, using HDF's discontinued Caribbean Splash in premium. I love the colour of this floss, but I don't think I'll be stitching anything else with it after this lol.
I will be putting the chart up for trade/sale shortly, along with the 4 full skeins of silk. If anyone is interested in either please holler.
I've still to do my interview for Helen and post pics of Cottage Garden and my recent purchase, but my eyes are tired after all this stitching today, so calling it a day for now.
Thanks so much to all those who read my blog and take the time to leave me wonderful comments. I've noticed some new readers/commentors recently, so welcome to all my new stitching friends.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I See The Moon!

As the title suggests, I've finally seen the moon! On my HAED Cabin In The Woods that is lol. I've been stitching on this every Wednesday with Sally in our SAL but sort of got the bug last week and decided I wanted to get to the bottom of the page with the columns I was stitching. So I kept going and the result is I can finally see the moon which is another landmark for me. I don't think I could stitch on a HAED all the time because I have to really concentrate and they just don't grow quick enough for me lol, but I do love them and am thinking of adding another day to work on it as well as Wed so I can get a bit more progress.

Not sure this will happen just yet though as I have other fish to fry for the next couple of weeks at least, my last page on Cirque!!! I finished page 5 last weekend I think it was and I am SO excited to be on the final lap with this. It's going back on the qsnaps later today and I'm going to try really hard to finish it this month. Not sure if that's going to be possible, but just knowing I'm on the last page feels so good, to be so close to a BAP HD!

I've stitched a bit more on Cottage Garden as well but forgot to take a pic of that so you'll have to wait til next time. I've been thinking that when I finish Cirque, as well as adding an extra day in for Cabin, I'm going to give my small/travel project a day as well rather than just when I'm out and about and waiting around. I have so many smalls I want to do and if I leave them just as travel projects they'll never get done, whereas if I spend a full day a week it should speed things up a little. Again this may need tinkering with but will see how it goes first.Helen emailed me before she went on holiday to let me know I'd been selected for an interview and sending me my questions. I will answer those in my next update as I have too many pics to show this time but she also asked to see Erin's first real attempt at cross stitch, using the kits we got her for her birthday. The first part of the set the outline is printed onto the aida and she definitely seemed to get the hang of it that way. She made me laugh as it's wool you use for the first two parts of the set and she wasn't too happy as she said she wanted to use floss like mummy, but she was pleased that she got to use a "proper" needle and not just a plastic one lol. So here is her elephant so far.

I have another pic to show of something I got when we went to Liverpool to visit BIL last week, but I think I've waffled on for long enough so will save that to show when I have my interview. Please wish me luck, I haven't had an interview in over 7 years lol!
Hope you're all having a lovely Valentine's weekend, whether you celebrate it or not. DH, Erin and I exchanged cards and then had a nice meal at home last night with candles, pink sparkling wine (pink juice for Erin lol) and we all dressed as if we were going out for dinner with a film afterwards. Erin thought the whole thing was wonderful and was so excited, so I think we may have started a new family tradition.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stitching In The Snow

Well, yet again I let time run away with me and it's been 2 weeks since my last update. I seriously thought when I got made redundant that I'd have more time on my hands to be able to get all my daily chores done plus do the things I like, like stitching and blogging, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way lol, I seem busier than ever before!
Then this week most of the UK got hit by lots of snow and so DD's school has been closed 3 days out of 4 and my routine has been totally shot to pieces. School was open yesterday so luckily I managed to run around like a mad woman and get lots done, because it's closed again today and I'm just about to give DD a cross stitch lesson with a kit she got for her birthday last week. Below are a couple of pics of the snow on Monday taken in our conservatory, but we've had more since then and it's showing no signs of going for now.
Whilst all this has been going on I have at least been doing some stitching and I have pics of Cirque, Cabin and my travel project, the Cottage Garden thread pack. I am getting close to finishing my 5th page on Cirque and am getting so excited that I will have a BAP happy dance soon! I'm really really going to try hard to finish this in February but I don't know if it's going to be possible. Cabin is only being worked on on a Wednesday evening at the moment and I don't have a pic of it after last night but I really enjoyed stitching on it yesterday. I am tempted to stitch more on it today, but my Cirque goal is in my head so we'll see what ends up in my hands later lol. Cottage Garden only gets a few minutes here and there when I'm in the car either being driven somewhere by DH or waiting places for him or DD, but it's a pleasure to stitch. Once Cirque is done I'm considering spending one day a week on my small project so that it stitches up a bit quicker, but we'll see.
I do keep trying to catch up on all your blogs and comment, but I don't seem to be getting very far for some reason lol. I know how much I appreciate getting comments on here so I really am going to start trying to set aside some time each week to read and comment. You are all as always an inspiration to me with your beautiful stitching and finishing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cirque & Cabin Progress

First of all I'd like to thank all those who took the time to comment on my last post about Erin's school. I'm pleased to say that after speaking to her teacher for the third time last Monday Erin did come home with a new book on Wednesday. I am now keeping a record of when she brings things home and takes them back so if something does disappear from her bag I know when it was and have records etc to refer back to. I'm just hoping it won't happen again.
Anyway, finally I have some stitching updates and pics to show! Last year although I did stitch and had some finishes, it wasn't anything like as much as the year before and I have to say I was disappointed with myself. I tried rotating several times without much success and got very frustrated that I didn't seem to be making much progress on anything. So this year I decided to try to change things a little and see if there was a way to get the progress I craved. So since the New Year I have been more or less stitching solely on Cirque, with one day a week on HAED Cabin In The Woods, as Sally and I have started our own HAED SAL on a Wednesday, which I think Claire is also now going to join us on. I've also started one of the CCN/CC thread packs called Cottage Garden which is in my handbag as my travel project. And I have to say that so far it's working really well! Last week I finished my 4th page of Cirque which takes me to 2/3 done and I have started my 5th page and can really see that I will finish it pretty soon if I can keep going like this. And because Cabin is quite hard going on the eyes it's good to just do one day on it then be able to move on, but still know that I'm making regular progress on it. It's also surprising how much I'm managing on my travel project in a few minutes here and there while I'm waiting in the car or travelling etc. So anyway, without further ado here are the pics!
4 pages out of 6 done!
The start of the next page!
4 full pages done
Starting another page
And finally last Friday was my Birthday! I have decided to go backwards as of this year so I'm 34 now hehe. I received some great stash from DH and Erin, but I knew what it was as I ordered it myself as he failed miserably at christmas lol. Sally sent me a card and gorgeous stitched floss ring tag along with a skein of Crescent Colours, and Claire sent me a card and a lovely set of marking pins. I know I've thanked you both already but just wanted to say it again, thanks for thinking of me and your kindness (hugs). I also got other things which I won't bore you with and DH managed to get the afternoon off work so we had a lovely afternoon together and went out for a meal at my favourite mexican restaurant in the evening as Erin was at my mum's.

Well, I'd better get off here now. Tonight is Cabin and I'm hoping to get stuck into it once Erin is in bed. Hope you're all having a good stitching week and managing to stay warm in this really wintry weather we're having. Thanks so much to those who still visit and take the time to comment even though my updates have been few and far between recently, I really appreciate it and I promise I will try harder.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Soooo Angry - Need Advice Please

DD goes to our local school and is doing very well there. The school itself isn’t high in the league tables and has struggled in the last few years although it is improving, and to be honest we didn’t want her to go there in the first place. But that’s how it turned out and we’ve made the best of it, and as long as she is happy and doing well we are fine with that.
School send home a spelling book with spellings to learn each week, a reading book and a diary that we as parents have to fill in after we’ve read the book with her, and a library book of her choice. The reading book and diary are in one clear bag with her name on and the library book another. She then has a school bag which we always keep both of those bags inside, along with her spelling book and any other bits and pieces.
Everyday after school I check her bag for letters etc, new books and homework. If we take anything out it always goes straight back in as soon as we’ve finished with it.
Before the Christmas break her reading book bag and library book bag disappeared from her main school bag and DD said they had all been collected in by school. Which leads me to this week and her return to school. I’ve been asking her each day what they’ve been doing as no new books have appeared in her bag. Fast forward to yesterday and she came out of school with a label stuck to her t-shirt saying “please send me back with my reading book”!!!!! I immediately went to her teacher and said that we had returned all her books etc before Christmas. She responded by saying “well it isn’t in the classroom so will you please check”. I know 100% that we returned that book, but I said I would check and came home and checked in her bedroom and where she keeps her bag just to make doubly sure.
When I took DD to school this morning I went to see her teacher again and said that I had checked and was certain the book had been returned to school before Christmas. Her teacher again said it wasn’t in the classroom so “there must be a gremlin taking things”. I didn’t expect to hear anymore, but this evening DD has told DH that everyone got their reading books and diaries back today but she didn’t get hers “because it’s not been returned to school”!!!
I am absolutely livid and even more so that it’s Friday night and there is nothing I can do til Monday morning. I know from the school newsletters etc that a lot of parents don’t return books when they should so I understand the school’s point of view, but DD has been there for 18 months now and I have never failed to return books etc on time. I KNOW those books were returned to school, but DD is being punished for something she hasn’t done and is missing out on learning as well.
Before Christmas she was off one Monday when we got back from Lapland and so on the Tuesday I sent her to school with lunch money for 4 days in her usual bright orange envelope. That evening on checking her bag I found a note from school chasing us for her lunch money, which was in her school bag when they put that note in...... See the organisation that is obviously in place there, not?
So what do we do? DH says I should speak to her teacher on Monday morning and say that we know we returned the book to school but appreciate they say it isn’t in school, and that our main concern is DD gets a book so doesn’t miss out on learning and we want to know what can be done to make sure that happens immediately.
I want heads to roll for DD being singled out when she has done nothing wrong, but I think I will try DH’s suggestion first but if I don’t get a satisfactory result quickly I’m going to take it further with the headmistress.
Any advice would be very appreciated as I feel like this is out of my control. I don’t want to make relations between us and her teacher difficult, but I’m not prepared for her education to suffer.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Belated New Year!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted, don't know where on earth that time has gone, and so much has happened.
First of all mid-December we went to Lapland and had an absolutely amazing time. I've added a few photos below but don't want to bore you all with loads. If anyone does want to see more please let me know and I'll point you in the direction of my photobucket album.
Family Fun In The Snow
Husky Sleigh Ride
Snow Angel
When we returned things were manic with christmas and me finishing work coming up so I didn't get much stitching done at all, but I did manage to finish the Prairie Schooler Snowy Cabin ornament from this years JCS Ornament Mag. Now silly Lisa didn't remember to take a close up pic of it before the christmas decs went away, so you're going to have to make do with a pic of our whole tree after santa's visit lol. If you look just to the right of the centre where there is a snowman ornament you can hopefully see it lol.
Then at Christmas I officially finished work and became a stay at home mum. Although financially things are now very different, so far this is the best thing that could have happened for our family. The number of people who have commented on how well I look and how relaxed I am is silly, DH constantly has a smile on his face because I'm not permanently in tears and dreading work and therefore taking it out on them, and Erin thinks it's better than all her christmases put together. I've signed up to volunteer at Erin's school a couple of hours a week, I start one part-time course next week and another the week after and I am so excited about doing something new. Of course I'm still looking for a job in the hope I can find something suitable during school hours, but in the meantime I'm just enjoying being home and having the opportunity to learn new things and get more involved with Erin's schooling.
Stitching wise I have nothing else to show as yet. I decided at the end of last year that I really want to just concentrate on my HAED Cabin In The Woods, Cirque and last year's Papillon mystery HDYGG for a while and see if I can actually finish Cirque or HDYGG before I start anything else (other than small projects). I pulled out Cirque at New Year and so far I've been stitching solely on it. I've finished half of my 4th page and for now am just keeping going with it until I get bored, at which point I'll move onto Cabin or HDYGG for a while. Saying that, I am planning on a small new start on my Birthday next week lol. I like to have a small project in my bag for if I'm out and about and have a spare 5 mins or so to stitch at anytime, and don't have one on the go at the moment, so I'm allowing myself a guilt free new start with Country Cottage/Crescent Colours Cottage Garden thread pack to look forward to spring!
Well, I think I've waffled enough for now. I promise to try to update again before another month goes by, but my next job is to start catching up on all your blogs!
Bye for now, Happy Stitching!