Thursday, 6 October 2016

October catch up

A busy few weeks since my birthday as we had a few days away in Dieppe before taking Hubby's mum and partner to Portsmouth for the weekend.
Dieppe Castle
View from the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth
You can read more about it  with more photos on my Aimetu blog.

Last weekend we had a buffet dinner both Saturday and Sunday. Our friends at scouts celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 1st October and had a lovely party for friends and family on Saturday. I decided to stitch a gift for them and found a lovely chart from a magazine in my stash folder. I can't say which magazine as I'd cut just the chart out. 

I already had the frame and decided on brown fabric to make the gold stand out. Using metallic thread is not my favourite stitching but it is certainly worth the effort as it makes such a difference. 

50th Wedding Gift 
Sunday was another buffet day but this was at our house. As I have now completed my Challenge to walk the route of the London Marathon we had a little celebration party - you can read about this on my Clare's Challenge 50 blog - I'm overwhelmed with the donation total, thank you 

I baked a cake for our buffet - as well as a potato pie - and iced it with the River Thames and the route. All I'll say is it's a good job roads are not straight as my free hand icing was a little wobbly !!

London Marathon Celebration Cake 
We are off to Turkey on Monday to our favourite hotel - a final week in the sun. I have my (very far behind) Joyful World to take with me and I'm hoping to get many of the month frames completed so I can start on the designs when I get home, although I will take the colours for March in case I get bored of brown!

I'm hoping whilst away to catch up on my blog reading and now that my Challenge is complete I will have more time for Aimetu's Stitching - thank you for calling by :) 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Birthday Thank You

Thank you so much for all the lovely cards and gifts I received - they were all very much appreciated.

I did take all my cards and gifts to London. Our son, his girlfriend and our daughter were also with us for the weekend so my birthday had the traditional 'all on Mum's bed' opening session, something that hasn't happened for quite a few years so an added treat.

My lovely cards 

My lovely gifts

Thank you to: 

Julie - for a beautiful set of cake forks, just perfect especially as our son's girlfriend gave me Delia's Cake Book, it's just a case of which one to bake first. 

Christine - for the wonderfully smelling bath soaks; Gin and Tonic !!

Angi - for the lovely handmade bookmark, perfect as I have a few books on the go.

Barb - for the online voucher, it's always good to have a bit of retail therapy.

Mary - for the pack of needles, you can never have enough needles. 

Niki & Sue - for the very clever wine bottle umbrella and very useful spoon plate.

I've also had an M&S gift card, a bottle of white wine (sauvignon blanc my favourite grape), and a book about the Staffordshire Tapestries. 

Hubby spoilt me with tickets to see Leicester Tigers play Harlequins in November; Michael gave me chocolates (now his tradition) and a very nice bottle of Picpoul de Pinet; and Philippa gave me some perfume. They also bought me a London Big Ben charm for my Pandora bracelet. 

The biggest surprise of the day was something Philippa had done on behalf of them all - it was a video she'd put together with personal messages from some of my favourite Welsh rugby players and amazingly Leicester Tigers too. I was in floods of tears - I still cannot believe the players did that for me, I keep replaying it haha (still brings a tear) 

I also had some birthday money and in Greenwich Market yesterday we saw these beautiful coasters, such a clever idea. 

Saturday night Nick and I had tickets for Proms in the Park - in the day we'd all walked my final 3 miles in my Challenge. I have a separate blog about it HERE.

My legs were already very tired but I wasn't going to miss going so we made our way very slowly to Hyde Park. We did sit at the back, one reason because it was already packed with people and the other because I just couldn't walk any more.

Proms in the Park was amazing, we arrived just in time to hear ABC and Frankie Valli was amazing. Alfie Boe (swoon) sang with Michael Ball (swoon again) who was comparing with the final part being the live link up with the Royal Albert Hall just across the road - a really amazing night.

Such fun 
My final photo this time is one I didn't share before - our exchange at the April Needlecraft Haven Meet Up was to stitch a coaster for our partner on the theme of their birthday month. Julie picked my card in our secret selection and stitched a beautiful coaster celebrating my challenge - thank you Julie it really is perfect.
My beautiful coaster from Julie 
It's been such a birthday in so many ways - thank you to everyone x x 

Sunday, 4 September 2016


I have no stitching to share but as always some on the go so maybe soon :) I do however have a photo full blog from last Monday.

Hubby and I went to Brinklow Scarecrow Festival - a gorgeous little village we drive through quite often. Last Bank Holiday weekend the villagers craft work was out with an amazing display of scarecrows.

So many - I hope you enjoy the photos - we loved the new residents :)

On the march 
All together now 
Very hungry caterpillar 
Starting school
Cop and Robber
Railway Children
Anyone need a lift?

Bill and Ben with Weed
Hi Ho Hi Ho - it's off to work we go 
Mary Poppins
Dorothy & Toto
Nick Skelton - our Warwickshire Rio hero
Anyone for bowls
Grubs up !
Mr & Mrs 
It's certainly an event we'll be looking out for next year :) 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Behind and in front

I have finally finished my Joyful World .... no not September but February!!

I am so behind with this piece but hopefully it will catch up as the year goes on - it will probably be my holiday stitching for our trips away starting with this coming weekend in Wales.

My fabric is 27 count Linda light taupe stitched over one with DMC thread.

Joyful World - February

So that's my behind - my in front has left me quite overwhelmed. It's not a stitching piece but my regular blog readers, both here and Aimetu's, will know I set myself a Challenge last year on my 50th birthday.

I set up a blog just for this challenge - Clare's Challenge 50. You'll need a cuppa if you pop over as there's quite a lot of photos.

I have nearly finished so that's not my 'in front' - it's my fundraising target !!

Initially I didn't set a target as any money raised was a bonus, the Challenge is a personal one. As donations came in I decided to set £1000 as a goal ..... and last weekend my target was not only reached but has now raised even more !!!

Thank to everyone who has helped me reach this amazing amount

Thank you to everyone who has donated - my final 'leg' is on my 51st birthday - 10th September !!

Thanks for popping by 😘

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

An exchange and a SAL

Monday was Opening Day for one of Needlecraft Haven's exchanges. Twice a year members meet up in Nuneaton and at these get togethers we randomly choice our partner and decide on the item to stitch.

At our April event we chose to stitch a coaster on the theme of our partner's birthday month; flower, gemstone, weather, wording; anything really. Everyone wrote their name and address on a postcard along with their birthday month and favourite chocolate, the cards are shuffled and held so no detail can be seen and we each pick one to find out who our partner is.

I picked Gill's card and her birthday is in January. I know Gill likes flowers and as carnations are the flower for January I stitched this lovely design by Ellen Maurer-Stroh. It was a free design from her Flower of the Month series.

As Gill had put buttons for her chocolate choice I included two little bags of treats.

Carnation coaster for Gill
Exchange goodies (Gill's photo)
Julie picked my postcard and has stitched me a beautiful coaster, my parcel also contained a bag of my favourite chocolates; Revels. I'm not showing my coaster from Julie just yet as I'm saving it for a special and very appropriate post.

My other stitching is also for a Needlecraft Haven activity - Four Season's SAL. Throughout the year we have three months to stitch any design for a season with the Gallery opening in the final month.

Spring - 1st January to 30th March - Gallery 1st March.

Summer - 1st April to 29th JuneGallery 1st June.

Autumn - 1st July to 29th SeptemberGallery 1st September.

Winter - 1st October to 30th DecemberGallery 1st December.

It is now time to stitch autumn but I had not quite finished summer. It was all stitched but not made up so the other evening before even looking at threads for my autumn piece I sat and made up my summer mini pillow.
Four Season SAL - summer 
I'm making all my seasons into mini pillows so I can display each one at the appropriate time of year. Now I have finished summer I can put spring away.

Four Season's SAL - spring
Thanks for calling by - I hope you've enjoyed reading my bit of stitching news. I have added a little more to my travel blog about the two cities we visited in France this summer - pop along to Aimetu's if you'd like to see the photos.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Catching up

It's been over a month since my last blog post, nearly two actually. My stitching had definitely slowed down and most of June we were away in France.

We had an amazing time, you can catch up on all my travel news at Aimetu's. This is Hubby and I in the car waiting to board the ferry on our first day.

Since returning I have been stitching :-) I have completed the exchange gift for Needlecraft Haven but I cannot share that just yet.

But I can share my finishes for Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles SAL - the SAL gallery is here.

I really enjoyed stitching these three, a few new stitches and techniques; I'm still not sure how I'll be finishing them though.

Round 4 - April 
Round 5 - May
Round 6 - June
Round 7's chart is up but I want to finish my summer piece for Needlecraft Haven't Four Season's SAL first. Hopefully by the end of July I will have caught up with most of my stitching and reading everyone's blog - so sorry for missing your news.

Happy stitching everyone x x

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Cake and birthday gift

May 20th was this year's Cake Bake for the MS Society. I always host a coffee and cake day at home and bake large cakes to order. I bake up to three cakes a day as that's manageable with lots of sitting down whilst each one bakes.

This year my cakes to order were:

  • Victoria Sponge with jam and buttercream
  • Coffee and Walnut with buttercream topping
  • Chocolate Guinness Cake
  • Carrot Cake with cream cheese topping
  • Ginger Cake

I'm not sure which was my favourite to eat, maybe the ginger as it was a new recipe and turned out so moist and very moreish.

Thanks to my lovely friends and family who ordered cake and came on the day for a coffee, piece of cake and a chat. The total raised this year was £250 - thank you :) 

Coffee and Cake Day table 
I managed to blow up and tie the balloons - haha
Schokogugelhopf - the prize on the black out game 
It was a lovely day - it's always nice when friends pop round for a cuppa so it was even nicer when many friends all came at the same time.

My stitching has been quite slow lately, my hands are not holding things so well and they are at times beginning to be quite painful in my bones. I see my specialist in August and there are a few things I need to ask about as over the last year I have noticed certain symptoms becoming worse. I do push myself - Clare's Challenge 50 is certainly becoming quite difficult - but I'm not one to stop doing things .... I'm sure he is going to tell me I should :( 

Anyway I have very few finishes lately and am way way behind with SALs and Challenges. I have however managed to stitch and make up a gift for my Mum who's birthday it is today. Mum is an avid crafter, her current main hobbies are quilting and machine embroidery but she has done lacemaking, applique, tatting, knitting, crochet, beading, and many many more. 

I saw this project is the February issue of Cross Stitch Collection. I don't buy magazines usually but as I was featured in this issue I did buy a copy hee hee. It was good to see a chart to use too. 

I was very slow stitching it and I found it quite tricky to finish but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and Mum loved it. 

Mum's birthday gift 
A friend at the club asked me to stitch a coaster for her, it was quite simple and didn't take too long. It's a chart I've used many times for various gifts. 

Coaster for a friend
We had some very exciting news yesterday, our oldest neice and her boyfriend got engaged. They are actually in the air flying to the UK from their home in USA as I type this, with Hubby's sister, her husband and their other daughter. The five of them are spending a few days in London before all Hubby's family meet up on Sunday for a meal to celebrate his Mum's 80th and now our neice's engagement too - quite a celebration. 

We are off on holiday most of June so I doubt I'll be posting much, although you won't miss me as I have been a very slow poster of late hee hee. I have my stitching to take and I really really hope I can get quite a lot done - thanks for calling by to red my news :)