Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let It Snow!!!

Well, it already has here! We had about an inch of snow overnight which looks SO pretty, and we've had clear blue skies all day so far, a lovely crisp and bright day to lift the spirits a little.
Well, I know it's only been a few days since my last post, a miracle I know, but I've had the sewing machine out again this morning and finished finished Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas! I don't know exactly what you'd call it, sort of a hanging pinkeep but not lol. I stitching the stitched piece and backing fabric together on three sides as if I was going to make a cushion, inserting ribbon for a hanger along the top side, then inserted a piece of mountboard covered in batting into the opening and stitched the final side up using ladder stitch. And for the perfect finishing touch I think I attached two little snowmen that I found in my stash to the ribbon. I am just so proud of myself with this. It isn't perfect, but I really do love the way it looks and I'm gaining confidence with the sewing machine all the time which I'm so happy about. I forgot to take a pic of the backing fabric I used, sorry, but it's red with snowmen in multicoloured outfits which I thought was a lovely match to the design.Finishing this up today has made me want to put our christmas decorations up, but we're waiting til next weekend so I'll have to settle for watching christmas films and admiring what's left of the snow while I stitch on my Personalised Sampler later and hopefully finish the page!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway by leaving a comment on my last post if you'd like to, I will be drawing a winner on the 1st!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Sweet Gift And Overcoming A Phobia

On Friday I received an email from Sally to let me know she'd put something in the post to me. So Saturday morning saw me accosting my postie as soon as I saw him coming down the drive (and he really isn't nice, so you can tell how excited I must have been lol). When I opened the package I was so touched to find this beautiful pincushion from Cherrywood Design Studios called Eat, Sleep, Stitch. Sally saw that I had this chart on my wish list so was so thoughtful to stitch one of the designs for me. I actually had a few tears I have to say as I'm struggling with feeling rather down at the moment and this was such a welcome surprise. Sally's stitching is so beautiful and this is my first ever beaded edge item, and it's perfect! I love the colours and have sat it by my side but can't bring myself to use it as a pincushion at the moment lol. So thank you again Sally, you are a wonderful friend/surrogate sis, and I will treasure this!After my early morning excitement I then went onto have THE best day in ages lol. Hubby and DD were both elsewhere so I had the house to myself, and I'd decided that Saturday would be the day I would finally get my sewing machine out and give it one last shot to get over my awful phobia of it. When I was at school I used to be great at sewing, even made some of my own clothes, but since then my phobia has grown and grown and I've been terrified of ruining my stitching by the machine running away with me or ripping the fabric or something, so it's just sat in the cupboard under the stairs. But on Saturday I got it out, had a good read of the instructions and figured out how to set it up. I found some old scraps of fabric and had a practice for a while (wanted to make sure I could actually sew a straight line lol) to check tension etc, then I was off! I was very nervous the whole time I have to say, but I did relax a little the more I got used to it, and in the end I had three finishes! Two are below and the other is for a gift so can't reveal it here for a little while yet. Sock Monkey is from this year's JCS magazine and I stitched it for DD who got a sock monkey from Santa last year and LOVES it. The M Designs Hope Tree I stitched a few years ago, but have just never got around to making up. I think the key for me now is to make sure that I get the machine out again regularly, if only to make up one item, so that the phobia can't grow again and hopefully I might get a bit more confident with it.I still have Lizzie Kate's ABC Christmas that I want to finish up before we put our decorations up on the 5th, so hopefully the machine will be out again in the next few days and I'll have another finish to show soon!
In and amongst all the excitement I have been stitching and even finished Waxing Moon's Spooky Greetings Bellpull, as well as making more progress on my Personalised Sampler and HAED QS Alisha, but I haven't got around to taking pics of those yet so they'll have to wait til my next post.
I've also now fully kitted up LHN Winter Whites for the LHN Winter SAL I'm starting with Sally, Chris, Lesleyanne, Claire and Hazel on 1st December. I cut and prepped the fabric yesterday and it took a lot of self control not to thread my shiny new needle and put in that first stitch! But I was a good girl and will wait til the 1st lol.
Finally, I know it's now well after the 14th which was my blogoversary and I now have 54 followers instead of the 50 I had when I last posted, but it's time for my giveaway! You were all very polite when I asked what you'd like to win in a giveaway and didn't make any silly demands of a whole set of DMC or anything, so it's going to be a surprise! If you'd like to be sent a surprise, which I hope you don't mind but will be in the New Year now as the Christmas chaos here is about to start, please leave me a comment on this post and I will draw a winner on the 1st December when it's time to start releasing those choccies from our advent calendars!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

It's SO cold here today, just got back from collecting DD from school and as soon as I started walking down the road I was frozen, it's going to take me a while to thaw out I think lol. Mind you, I'll take nice blue skies, sun and cold like we've had today over the high winds and heavy rain of the last several days, I've felt so miserable with it and have just wanted to hibernate.
We had a busy weekend last weekend with it being Bonfire Night in the UK which meant a visit to the local Round Table bonfire and firework display on Saturday. I used to love to go as a child and it only seems to get better each year, and now Erin loves it as well. The local fire station also open up and do pie and peas, hot dogs etc beforehand to raise funds for charity and we love to make the most of that as well. Then we were invited to a belated 40th birthday party later on the Saturday night which was great fun, although I haven't had so much to drink in a LOT of years, and spent most of Sunday in bed dying lol.
But apart from the busy weekend I have been managing to keep stitching and am really pleased with my progress mostly.HAED QS Alisha now has another block of rows finished and is ready for me to start the next section down next week.Waxing Moon's Spooky Greetings Bellpull now has a witch on her broomstick flying across the moon, and I've started the tree in the graveyard below. Although I didn't want to stitch on this last week as I knew it was going to be black, black and more black for the witch I actually really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to getting it back out tonight for some more stitches. I'm really wanting to try to finish this in November before I start LHN Winter Whites for the December Winter SAL I'm doing with Sally, Chris, Lesleyanne and Claire, but I realised last week that I was starting to rush my stitching again and making myself too many deadlines, which lead to me losing my mojo altogether earlier in the year, so I've relaxed again and fingers crossed it will get finished, but if not it doesn't really matter.The only one which didn't get much attention was my Personalised Sampler this week as I usually stitch on this on Fri and Sat while Sally stitches on Shores. What you can see, a little more progress on the top border is what I managed to get done on Friday. I didn't get any stitching in on Saturday as we were out and then although I had planned to stitch on it instead on Sunday, that didn't happen lol. Hopefully this weekend will see better progress.
I noticed the other day that my blog has now reached 50 followers plus it is my blogoversary on the 14th November I think! So, I've been trying to decide on a contest. What would you like the chance to win? A chart or some threads or fabbie maybe? A surprise? Right now I'm struggling to decide so thought I'd throw it open to you to help me choose lol. Let me know what sort of thing you'd like the chance to win and I'll decide and post the contest when I next blog.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wow, Has It Been That Long?

I thought I was doing well with approx weekly posts, then I don't know what happened, didn't realise it's been almost 3 weeks since my last post, sorry (blush)! lol
But I'm pleased to say I do have progress to show on three of my wips, and even a happy dance!!!My Personalised Sampler seems to be really starting to take shape now and last time I stitched on it I finished page 2! I'm really hoping that if I can stitch about a page a month on this then I might actually have a BAP finish in about 18 months hehe.
I'm still loving stitching on my HAED Alisha QS. The colours are so bright and cheerful and I'm really happy with the way I'm stitching her now. I'd love to be able to finish this page before the end of the year, and again, I'm dreaming of a finish on her in about 18 months like PS lol.
Spooky is finally getting somewhere as well and I'm aiming to try to get this finished this month if at all possible before I start LHN Winter Whites for the winter SAL I'm doing with Sally, Chris, Lesleyanne and Claire. I spend 2 nights a week on this and the first night I never enjoy but the second I do for some reason, strange I know.
And finally my happy dance. Sock Monkey is finished!!!! If Erin hadn't loved this ornament so much it would have been binned long ago lol. I've found it SO boring to stitch for some reason and then had to frog some on Sun that I'd stitched right at the beginning. I thought I'd finish it Sunday, but actually ended up having to do more during the day yesterday and then spent all night on it last night before it was finally done. I've changed it from the model by using different colours for the hat as I wanted it to be more christmassy, and because of that I bought different mitten buttons as well. I also realised last night I couldn't remember how to do french knots (hate them with a passion lol) so after working it out and doing the two that had to be done, I decided against the ones on the background lol. I'm actually really pleased with how it's turned out though and Erin was so excited when she saw it this morning so it was worth it in the end. Not sure how I'm going to finish it just yet, but will come up with something and finish it along with ABC Christmas one day this month.
We went away in our caravan for a few days over half-term, but unfortunately Erin had been ill before we went and then DH and I came down with the same thing while we were away. It started as a sore throat and then turned into a head cold, followed by aching and then finally it seems to move down to the chest and leave you with a hacking cough and struggling to breathe. Lovely! So been feeling really sorry for myself this past few days. Just hoping that the worst is over and I'll start to feel better soon. I think Erin is on the mend now and isn't coughing much at all, but DH and I still have a way to go.
And finally for some really bad news... Sally and I were talking on MSN last week about our stash and spending etc, and I stupidly suggested we both go on the wagon for 3 months til 1st Feb so we can stitch some of our stash and save some money over xmas etc. And what's even worse, Sally agreed with me!!! So we are now firmly superglued onto the stash wagon and already I've had to make my wish list longer lol. Seriously though, it won't do me any harm and I have so many things I'd like to start in the next few months so it will be good not to add to that list as well.
Thanks so much to everyone who visits and takes the time to leave me a comment, it really brightens my day. I'm off now to go try to catch up on some blog reading and commenting myself before I start cooking tea. I am way behind with us being away and being ill, bit I'll catch up eventually.