Saturday, 14 November 2015

Fantastic Day

It was Needlecraft Haven Autumn Meet Up here in Nuneaton today but before I share my photos I must add three pictures for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL hosted by Jo.

Each year I take part in The Christmas Tree Festival at my family church, my tree theme this year is 'Joy to the World' and I have received these beautiful ornaments from fellow stitchers - thanks you so much they will look amazing on my tree.

From Julie 
From Sally G
From Sally W
And so to today's great meet up - five of us from Needlecraft Haven meet at our Scout Headquarters. Angi and Gill came from Peterborough by train, Lindsay drove down from Cheshire and Julie's hubby brought her over from Leicester. It was so nice to sit and chat all day with a little stitching and so much laughter.

We always have a book exchange - it's a random choice and this time we played a little dice game. We each had a book (they are all wrapped so we don't know what is in them or who's book is who's) and took it in turn to roll the dice. We passed the books to our left the number o times on the dice - it worked ish, we were too busy laughing as we seemed to keep ending up with the same book - eventually we had a book that wasn't ours and eagerly unwrapped our new reads.

Book Exchange
My new books
 My exchange book was Tangled Lives by Hilary Boyd and was from Julie. I have read her first book Thursdays in the Park and as I just finished a book I'll be starting this tonight. My other book was one from Lindsay - last meet up I picked Lindsay's book and this is the enxt one in the series, she kindly brought it along for me.

We also have a goody bag exchange - this time the theme was numbers. I always make cakes and put a raffle ticket under a cake and the other ticket half under a bag. We chose a cake and have the bag that corresponds to the ticket underneath. I decorated the cakes with numbers - they were chocolate beetroot cakes, yummy.
Number cakes
Goody Bags
The beautiful items in my Goody Bag from
Lindsay - her theme was number 3 
I picked Lindsay's bag and she had themed it on the number 3. In it was a set of 3 cutters, three hand creams, 3 notebooks, three pens, 3 metres of ribbon, DMC using number 3, 93g of Roses and three beautiful stamps.

I chose number 4 for my theme and wrapped my gifts with little messages on each - Julie won my bag and had great fun opening the parcels - this time we took it in turn to open or Goody Bags so we could all see who had what and how the gifts related to the chosen number. We had bags for number 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 - no repeats :) 

My wrapped gifts on the theme of Number 4
The goodies inside the parcels 
Every meet up we hold a raffle to raise funds to keep Needlecraft Haven ad free - some lovely prizes donated and we will have enough to get rid of those pesky ads for a while.

Great raffle prizes
There was some great stitching on show - amazing work from just four stitchers. I do enjoy seeing what everyone has been doing, although we chat about our craft online it's is so so nice to see the work in person.
Lindsay's show table
Angi and Gill's show table
Julie's show table
I've had a fantastic day - thank you Angi, Gill, Julie and Lindsay for making it such fun, see you all next spring :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Stitch from Stash October Report

I really enjoy doing SFS15 with Mel - if you have not heard of it before it's a great way to use up fabric, threads and charts and of course save a few pennies. You can find details on Mel's blog, hopefully it will be running in 2016 too.

My budget start for October is :£95.33
Month: October
Spent: £2.10
Earned: £8.00

My budget at the end of August is: £126.23
My spend was on two little bluebird buttons to finish my latest gift. I have not included framing in any of my SFS15 budget.

My final large gift project for this year was completed yesterday morning - which was quite fortuitous as you'll see ... it's a Lizzie Kate design and I used DMC thread to stitch it, although I did change the fence colour to a lighter grey (318) than suggested. I earned £8 on this finish.

Wedding Gift for Kat & Steven
I do hope our friends like it - we certainly enjoyed their evening reception in an amazing location. Kat looked lovely and everyone was having an amazing time both inside dancing and outside with sparklers.

So now I can concentrate on my Joy ornaments for my church tree. Thank you so much to Sally and Sally for sending me some beautiful ornaments - I'll be sharing them in my November Gifted Gorgeousness post.

So now to raid my stash for bits of fabric, threads, finishing items and to look online and in my chart folders for some freebie designs.

Thanks for calling by - I hope you've all had a successful stash using month too.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness October

The lovely Jo hosts this SAL, it's nice to stitch for others and to receive gifts. This SAL is a great way each month to remember those little things that were gifted and gave pleasure both ways - I love being part of Gifted Gorgeousness which in itself is Jo's gift to us ��

I have one big stitching gift to show this month and lots of non-stitching gifts (some quite tenuous but made me feel good) Firstly, as you know last month was my birthday and one of Hubby's gifts was a trip to Prague - a beautiful city. You can read about it in my travel blog Aimetu's but here's a photo just to give you an idea of how lovely it was.

View from our breakfast table
Just after we returned my very good friend retired, the four of us go out together quite often and now my lovely Hubby is the only one working still. My Herb Garden was for her retirement gift as she loves cooking and grows many of her own herbs. I was very pleased with it's mount and frame - Frame Express do a great job (I do the mounting)

The Herb Garden - Drawn Thread 
That's all my stitching news, with birthday and holiday there hasn't been much time, my other gift news is just nice things that have happened. Driving back from MIL's we were so lucky to have the Vulcan fly over on one of it's last flights. We managed to pull over in time to take a photo.

Vulan's flight
I have been overwhelmed by the donation gifts already made for Clare's Challenge 50 - I have now completed the first three miles. We were amazed at how much there was to see in relatively a short distance, there's lots of photos in my blog.

And finally I am actually in Turkey writing this - we enjoyed our end of year break so much last year we are here again, and will be booking for next year too - so how is it a gift? Our room maid everyday leaves the towels on the bed but not just folded ....

Towel swans 
 And just so you can see where I am as I write this here's the view from our bed, top (5th) floor room with a fantastic view, nature's own gift.

View from our room 
Thanks for calling by, sorry Jo for being a little late ��

Monday, 28 September 2015

Stitch from Stash September

I can start this month's report with a finish - whoo hoo - but before that here's my monthly budget update. I really enjoy doing SFS15 with Mel - it's a great way to use up fabric, threads and charts and of course save a few pennies.
My budget start for September is :£65.00

Month: September
Spent: £10.67
Earned: £16.00 

My budget at the end of August is: £95.33

My spend was on restocking a few DMC threads and a few items for my Goody Bag ready for the Needlecraft Haven Meet Up in November.

I have finished The Herb Garden by Drawn Thread - I claimed for purchasing the chart in SFS15-Part A but have used fabric and threads from my stash. It is for a gift for a friend's retirement so I have not claimed the frame costs. I pick the frame up today so I will have to share the completed photo later. I earned £16.00 on this finish.

Herb Garden 
I have started a new project but as it's also a gift I can't share just yet, but it is all using my stash. Talking of gifts I have a new chart to add to my stash thanks to Barb who gave me this lovely LHN chart for my birthday a few weeks ago. I had so many lovely gifts - have a look in my previous post.

Birthday Gift from Barb 
I hope everyone has had another successful month with a zero or limited spend - happy stitching and stash using for October.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Gifts Galore

Last Thursday was my 50th birthday and I have been overwhelmed with the cards and gifts I have received. Over 50 cards altogether, some on the day and others last night when we had a small party for friends and family.

But before I chat more about my lovely family and friends I must just share my Gifted Gorgeousness news for this month. I have been working hard on my friend's retirement gift, Herb Garden by The Drawn Thread. She is retiring at the start of October and we're out for a meal on October 1st so I need it finished and framed by then.

The Herb Garden 
Although birthday gifts these are also eligible for GG as they are examples beautiful crafting. First a beautiful knitted chef made for me by Julie, she is so clever with her knitting needles.

Christine is equally as clever with her sewing machine and made this gorgeous basket. It's been used already :-)

Dusty loves to do hardanger and has made this great needlecase, it fits perfectly in my travel sewing box.

Two of my friends have stitched me birthday cards, I was so touched as cross stitch is a hobby time permitting as they both have busy jobs.

Julie also stitched me a picture for my birthday - so cute and means a little more as she stitched it whilst on holiday in our caravan in Wales.

Talking of Wales my darling daughter completely surprised me (and made me cry) with a Welsh rugby shirt - signed by all the team !! She had also contacted friends and family asking for happy 50th selfies and put them all in an album.

My lovely son took me out for breakfast at Carluccio's followed by a visit to the Pandora shop where he bought me a new charm.

My amazing hubby really surprised me with a beautiful ring and a trip to Prague - we leave tomorrow, returning Friday. I was so surprised, life has been a bit of a whirlwind the last few days.

Last night was an amazing party - thank you to everyone for such beautiful cards and gifts. Thanks too for all getting up and joining in with The Birdie Song - so funny!!

All of us together before the party started.
I had a little surprise of my own for everyone - only my hubby knew before. I have always wanted to do the London Marathon but because of my MS it's impossible, I have tried so many times to train and build up but after a few days my fatigue sets in and I'm unwell for a few weeks and back to the beginning.

I decided that at 50 I should be able to do it - but my way - so we're going to London one Saturday when I feel good and following the route from the start we'll do about 3 miles. This will be with pub stops along the way for refreshments.

When I've had enough we'll come home and then a few weeks later when I'm OK we'll return to where we left and walk the next 3 miles. Like this we will keep visiting London until we have completed the whole route, I have no idea how many trips we'll make or how long it will take us. Amazingly Virgin Trains have offered to give both of us free travel to and from London for each trip - I still can't believe it.

I have set up a separate blog about my Challenge and not being one to miss an opportunity I have also set up a fundraising page to help four charities:

and my fundraising page is: 

My final photos are another craft - my best friend makes cakes and for my actual birthday made this beautiful little cake. For my party my Hubby had asked Niki to make a cake themed on my favourite champagne - it was just stunning !!

Thank you for reading all my news - see you when we return from Prague

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Stitch from Stash August

It's the second report for Stitch from Stash - Part B of Mel's great SAL. I love it as it does make me look at all the threads and fabric (and charts) I have before just buying more, especially good as I no longer work so our income is solely from Hubby's toils.

My budget start for August is :£40.00

Month: August
Spent: £0.00
Earned: £0.00 

My budget at the end of August is: £65.00

I don't actually have much to share as I have not been stitching so much - or blogging - I have been pre-occupied with another task which I will be able to share soon but is linked to my big birthday next month.

I have stitched our Meet Up Exchange for Needlecraft Haven. This is an exchange we set up at each meet up - we all fill in various details on a postcard including our address and then randomly pick a card. The meet up was on 30th May here in Nuneaton and Opening Day for our exchange is Monday. This time we had to stitch an ornament for our partner based on something we found out about them at the meet up - these days are always great fun and extended with stitching the exchange. We meet again on 14th November.

But I have been working on The Herb Garden by The Drawn Thread - this is a retirement git for a very good friend. It's growing nicely but will be taking up most of my stitching time so I get it finished - I don't think my rotation will be happening for quite a few weeks.

Herb Garden 
So that's all my stitching news but I have been busy in the kitchen. Last night we went to another wine tasting with our scout leader friends. It was a 'bring your own' night this time including food so I made a Bailey's Cheesecake but unfortunately the side slipped - it still tasted really good.

Bailey's Cheesecake
Some friends are here for dinner tonight and I will be making a tarte tatin for pudding, I also made a Lemon and Pistachio Cake. This was a recipe Simon Rimmer baked on Sunday Brunch last week. I'm quite pleased with my bake !
Lemon and Pistachio Cake
I have also had a go at making Skittles Vodka - it's quite simple. Just separate the Skittles into colours - add to vodka and shake every day until dissolved. There's quite a lot of white goo left so you need to strain the vodka well. We'll be trying it tonight after dinner.

Skittles Vodka
Thanks for calling by and reading my stitchy and non-stitchy news :)

Monday, 17 August 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness August

Oh I'm late - and I only have one piece to share. I've been very busy in the garden and with stitching the Needlecraft Haven Spring Meet Up Exchange gift which I will be able to share soon.

August seems to be very un-summer like and with us having a few nice days I have been busy gardening - a little revamping which I need to get on with again today :) I don't know where the time goes, both the hours each day and the days each week - I am very behind with blog reading and posting, book reading, stitching and life in general - must be my age !!

Gifted Gorgeousness is a great SAL hosted by the lovely Jo (who seems to fit so much into her time) - thanks Jo for your hard work in blog land, it is really appreciated. This month I have a little update on my Herb Garden which is a gift for a friend who is retiring soon. It's a Drawn Thread design and I've converted the threads to DMC.

work in progress on my Herb Garden
I hope everyone is having a great summer (even on the wet days) thanks for calling by :)