Thursday, 27 December 2012

Season's Thank Yous

We had a quiet Christmas with MIL and her partner. I actually did quite a lot of stitching on a new piece that is just for me. It's growing fast so hopefully soon I'll be able to be HDing.

I had some wonderful gifts - huge thanks to all my friends, you all know me so well.

Santa left Philly's stocking on the hearth with her two final pressies - Vanilla Smirnoff and Armanti perfume

Philly's Stocking
I took part in Stitched with Love Exchanges Christmas Exchange and June was my partner. I had some lovely items in my parcel; Christmas serviettes which we used at dinner; Christmas tissues; Christmas plaque; thread;  fabric; chocolates; 'A very merry winter' chart and a gorgeous stitched cushion - thank you June.

My snowman loves my new cushion from June

 These are the gifts I sent to June; I stitched a bookmark for her. The exchange details said she likes snowmen and gingerbread men so I stitched both on it :) and tried to match all the gifts to those themes too.

Christmas Gifts for June
It's a busy time now at Needlecraft Haven - it's opening day for the Winter Exchange on 31st December and the birthday thread starts 1st January. There's also the Christmas Competition to draw and lots of activities starting in the New Year.

Wishing all my friends a very Happy New Year - hopefully 2013 will be good for everyone x x x x

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Tree Festival and Ornaments

It's the annual Christmas Tree Festival at St Laurence's Church and this year my tree is called Family Tree. My regular readers will know I have made 22 ornaments this year - all family names. My mum made some photo ornaments on fabric and all together the tree looks like this.
Family Tree
Dad is right in the middle :)
The church looked amazing - Julie and her hubby came with us yesterday to see. My friend Maureen has been knitting again - she did two trees; Royal Tree (complete with the Auriana Bell Barge, and While Shepherd's Watched. She is a very talented lady.
Royal Tree

While Shepherd's Watched
The church looked and smelt so Christmasy - I added two stars to the Remembrance Tree - Nick's Dad as we do every year and this year my dad as well. 

Ron and Ron x x
On the stitching from I am busy doing Christmas gifts which I cannot for obvious reasons share. However I can share the ornaments from the Needlecraft Haven Ornament Exchange hosted by Christine.

From Me to Gillie
From Angie to Me
That's all for now - I hope your festive plans and preparations are going well. Thank you for calling by to share my news, please call by my other blog for some non-stitchy stuff.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

1st December - Christmas is coming. I am not sure how I feel about it really. Next week is Dad's birthday and Christmas itself is presenting a variety of feelings. I think it will be 'as it happens' 'one day at a time' for me. Huge hugs for friends who are also finding this time of year a bag of mixed feelings.

There is not a lot of stitching news as I have been stitching exchanges and gifts. I have posted the Ornament Exchange and Winter Exchange for Needlecraft Haven. The Ornament Opening Day is today I think but I am not opening my parcel until this evening. The Winter Opening Day is 31st December so when my parcel arrives I will have to keep it safe for a while.

I have also taken part in Stitched With Love Exchanges Christmas Exchange. It's the first time I have taken part and I did have a little panic moment but I have been reassured all is ok :) I will share the photos as soon as I can. It was fun to do as as well as stitching we included 6 gifts on 4 themes chosen by our partner. I loved shopping for specific things to match. I have my gifts here but again I am opening them later today.

Here is my progress on A Place We Call Home in the NH SAL in the Parlour with the lovely Barb. I didn't stitch this week as I am busy working on a secret Christmas project.

A Place We Call Home

And finally as it's another month end here is my orts jar - it is really full this year and this time I have kept the lid on for the photo, as you can see the orts nearly reach the top.

Orts - 30th November
Thank you for reading all my stitching news - it's tree decorating time at church on Wednesday so next time I will be able to show you my Family Tree. Take care and God bless xx xx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Parlour update

I did manage a few more stitches in The Parlour this week but Barb keeps it so cosy with the fire on and always has such yummy nibbles I did drop off again :(

Here's my progress:

LHN - A Place We Call Home
I have done lots of other stitching this week but I can't share as it is all pressie or exchange work. Sorry !!

My out and about news is here if you'd like to pop by for a read.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

November and The Parlour

November has certainly brought dark cold nights but it is nice to be cosy inside stitching. That's what I tried to do on Wednesday in The Parlour with Barb and the girls from Needlecraft Haven. Unfortunately it was so warm and cosy I fell asleep :( I have since made progress with my 'A Place We Call Home'

A Place We Call Home
I have definitely been stitching more this year, my orts jar is very full so it is a blessing we are in November and there is just two months to go - they will be busy too as I have quite a few gifts and exchanges to get stitched.

Orts Jar 31st October
I have changed the mantle now as Halloween has passed and a new month has started. This time I have no real theme but things associated with our life at the moment.

November Mantle
 Partylite Shed with the Old Gardener
Partylite Station
Exchange gifts from Moll
The shed was a gift I gave Dad when I started doing the candles. He never lit it but it was on his mantle by his chair; the old gardener was an ornament from my Grandmothers house and both these are relevant because we are working hard on Dad's garden. The turf is arriving Friday and once that is laid we can work on the inside of the house over the winter.

The station is one of my favourite pieces; it fits with our walk last weekend with our friends (all the details are on my other blog Aimetu's) and Philly is train travelling to and from Uni both to home and to get to her volleyball games in Treforest.

The stitching pieces are a gorgeous needlecase and small pocket made for me by Moll. This was for an exchange a few years ago and for a while I kept these at the caravan but now they live in my stitching bowl.

Thank you for passing by to read my stitching and family news - you can read about our latest trip out on Aimetu's.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Spooky Time

Happy Halloween
You've already seen my gift to Philly but just in case her it is again.

Philly's spooky gift.
I sent this to her at uni and included this that I found in the attic.
Philly's cushion.
She made this in 2006 when she was just 12 - not sure how her uni friends have reacted but her main worry was the photo when I put it on Twitter hee hee
I also stitched a little something for Michael - I think he has hung it in his room.
Michael's gift.
Now I have my Dad's table next to my sofa I have a free mantle as before I would use it for my coffee cup. This annoyed me as I like things symmetrical and it made the mantle odd. Now I can put my ornaments out and have decided to keep it themed with the season.... so here is my Halloween/Autumn Mantle.
Halloween Mantle
The ornament top left is an autumn exchange (2006 or 2007) from Chris who used to run Aion. The centre piece is a box finish gift but I can't remember who from or when, maybe overseas exchange, the same for the autumn one.
My two pumpkins are Partylite houses from when I used to be a consultant. We have many of their ceramic houses so you'll be seeing more over the year. The two scarecrows are two ornaments I found in France and the two coasters at the back are again exchange gifts but I've forgotten when (part of the trouble of exchanging for over 10 years LOL)
Here's a close up of the my stitching gifts - if you recognise any please let me know
Autumn/Halloween gifts.
Finally I have blogged our weekend away in my other blog - it's something I have wanted to do for
 a while and so far so good. It's called Aimetu's - hope you enjoy it too.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Tree ornaments

Another blog from me already - I must admit I seem to have a BIG stitching mojo at the moment which is a good thing as I have so many things I want to do.

It's great to see stitching friends pop by to read my news and see my photos - please leave a comment if you do call in - every :) is lovely to see.

So my news is ..... I have finished ALL the tree ornaments for the Christmas Tree Festival at St Lawrence's. Here they all are:

22 ornaments for 'Family Tree'
I have also finished stitched a mini pillow for a very good friend - it's on its way with Mr Postie so should arrive soon - they have no idea it's coming so I will share as it will be a surprise when they realise it's for them :)
Surprise mini pillow
Finally I have to say you are in the company of a film star - yes really - and yes really me !! When we went to the Tesco Wine Fair in Manchester they had a W Factor stand where you were filmed talking about wine. My friend Colin and I gave it a go and we're on their video - can you spot us !!!!

I'll be back soon with all my Halloween news and stitching - see you soon x x x

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Joining the Parlour

The lovely Barb hosts The Little House in the Country with the Sampler Girl SAL on Needlecraft Haven.

The Parlour is where we meet every Wednesday to show our progress on any Little House Needleworks, Country Cottage Needleworks or Sampler Girl designs.

I have wanted to join for ages but haven't had the time and then didn't have a chart :( My very good friend and fellow Parlour visitor Julie has very kindly lent me A Place We Call Home so tonight I am ready to stitch.

Here is my fabric (28ct blush rose I found in my stash), my threads (all DMC as near to matches as I think) and my chart.

and to keep my work safe and tidy I am using my new project bag which was my autumn exchange gift from Mary.

So off I goto stitch in 'The Parlour' I go :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fabulous Saturday

Yesterday was another Meet Up for Needlecraft Haven members and we had a great time. The members were Clare (me LOL) Julie, Jane, Lynn, Ursh, Mary, Jacqui and Vicki - as well as Kate(Jacqui's daughter) and Keeley (Jacqui's granddaughter) and India (Vicki's daughter) who was a star helping me with the goodie bag exchange.

Goodie bags
We had a lovely time stitching and chatting - I managed to get lots done on Michael's Halloween gift (but more of that in my next post).

There were times when we were silent but as we said it was a contented silence of like minded people happily 'doing their thing'.

After the meet up Lynn and Jane joined me and DH at The Abbey (where DS works) for a meal. It;s a nice place, good food and lovely puds which is the main thing LOL

Today we've had a lie in - I haven't had a good week health wise so it was lovely to rest in bed whilst the F1 was on. We gave Ruby her breakfast and I made coffee and grabbed my stitching before we all returned to bed for a couple of hours - Ruby at my feet, me stitching and DH watching tv, an excellent way to start the day.

We have fixed my 'dripdrip' system up today too - it's an irrigation system for my baskets outside. We have always had trouble keeping them watered as it gets direct sun, this system has a timer on the tap and tubes with drip points. We have set it at 2 minutes every 12 hours so we'll see how that goes.

Drip Drip
 We also popped to Dad's with the water butts from home that will now live there. We returned with a small table that Dad had in his lounge and I wanted by my chair. The table was bought for my Mum by my Dad's step-mum when they got married. I love it and it's perfect,especially as now I can have a bowl of 'sticthing'.

Dad's Table

My Cross Stitch bowl
Quite an exhausting weekend in someways but it is always so lovely to meet my NH friends. Thank you for calling by x x x x

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Trick or Treat

I have been busy all week stitching a Halloween ornament to send to Philly at Uni. I'm not sure she's doing anything but knowing students there will be something going on. I need to back it and add the ribbon for hanging - I loved stitching it.

I've already picked out something to do for Michael to hang at work - I'm not sure they are doing anything but it might spurt them into an idea ;)

We've had a busy but lovely weekend. Yesterday morning we went to Dad's to do some work in the garden. I need to get the last bit cleared before half term so I can have some turf delivered and lay the lawn. Dad didn't have grass 'you can't eat grass' was his saying, but if we are renting out it makes sense to have some lawn.

This is how the shed used to look
Shed today - sorry it's blurry but it was on my phone
DH today managed to get the tree root out and I cleared down the remaining honeysuckle. I will take some photos on my camera next time. Ruby enjoyed it yesterday running up and down the garden, but her favourite trick was to pinch sticks from us. She ran off with them like she'd won the best prize every LOL.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Birmingham and had a lovely meal at Cafe Rouge (Mailbox). It really is my favourite restaurant although I do think I could help at their next training day as they don't always know how to serve Ricard my favourite drink :) It's an aniseed based drink the french have as an aperitif - served on a tumbler with additional glass of ice and jug of water so you can dilute/chill to taste. Yesterday it came in a brandy glass - no ice or water - it did make me chuckle. The waitress was so lovely though, she changed it and my second glass came perfect :)

I did try a new starter - fromage bleu, walnut and pear salad on a bed of chicory - oh it was gorgeous,I might do this at home but with rocquefort cheese instead of stilton :)

Sorry another phonephoto but
 you get the idea
We then went to the New Alexander Theatre to see the Hairy Bikers Live. It was very funny - quite different to their tv show - lots of banter, some cooking, dancing, singing and escapology !!

Next Friday we're going back to the same theatre with my Mum and Keith to see Great Expectations - we're eating at Miller and Carter first too (my first time there - hope I can actually manage to walk past Cafe Rouge to get to them LOL)

AND THEN ..... Saturday is the Needlecraft Haven meet up - ooohh I can't wait :)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Autumn Exchange gifts

The main thing since my last blog is Philly has moved to University - she now lives in Pontypridd in south Wales and is having a wonderful time. The four of us went out for a meal at TGI Fridays the night before she left and Nick and I stayed at a lovely Best Western Hotel the weekend we took her - it made it a good weekend for everyone.

Me and Philly
Philly,Michael & Nick
'Moving In' cake for Philly's Uni

This is the view from her room - she's very lucky as many of the other rooms look onto other flats or a wood. It is very steep - she is on the first floor but is above the flat block in the photo.

Philly's View
This weekend was Needlecraft Haven's Autumn Exchange opening day and I received a beautiful project folder from Mary - it's a french design too which is just perfect. I am using it already :)

My project folder from Mary
The inside
and this is the biscornu I stitched for Barb, I was really pleased with how it stitched up and finished.

Autumn Biscornu
We've just had a weekend at the caravan but it was very windy this morning - quite nice to come home to the calmer weather. Next weekend Nick and are going to see the Hairy Bikers Live - I'm really looking forward to it, and we are going to Cafe Rouge before for dinner, my favourite restaurant.

Finally I have stitched the ornaments for the church tree this Christmas - my tree is called Family Tree and here's my ornaments so far.


Thank you for sharing in my latest news - hopefully next time the ornaments will be finished.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Birthday and Olympics

All I can say is 'phew' what a weekend.

Friday hubby and I travelled with our friends to Manchester for the weekend. We stayed at The Ramada Hotel in Salford Quays - they upgraded us to the seventh floor thanks to Twitter and being my birthday weekend :0 The hotel rooms and breakfast were really good. Friday night we went to our favourite restaurant Cafe Rouge - the waiter was really nice and the food was superb as always.

Saturday morning we went into Manchester on the tram and our friends showed us around as he used to live there. We also went to the Science and Industry Museum which was brilliant and brought back memories of a school visit when I was younger.

Saturday afternoon we went to the Tesco Wine Fair which was the main reason for us going away. It's a great afternoon of wine tasting - with notebook to add comments. Our friend and I even did a bit of tv work, being filmed promoting a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from Malborough New Zealand LOL

It was a lovely weekend - and Monday was even better. it was my birthday and we went to London to meet Philippa at the end of her 11 days as a Games Maker at the Paralympics in the Aquatic Centre. She had an amazing time with the team from North Warwickshire School Sports Partnership.

We went into Central London with them to watch the Victory parade. We stood by St Paul's but the team were lucky to have been chosen to be in The Mall with 7000 other Games Makers. Here are a few photos from her time at the Paralympics.

The Team at the Aquatic Centre

Making friends :)

Working time
On tv leading out the swimmers
Brownlee Brothers
Chris Hoy
Tom Daley
With the Paralympic Torch
Last photo - in The Mall for the Parade
Best times - she was 'living the dream'
I had some lovey gifts for my birthday - a lovely necklace and earring set from my hubby, my favourite wine from Michael, a Cath Kidston ipad case from Philippa, Cath Kidston scissors from Mum, a stitched oven mitt from Julie, a Les Miserables canvas picture from Adele, threads from Needlecraft Haven Birthday Thread Exchange, and so many other fabulous gifts. Thank you all so much, here's some photos:
All my pressies
Les Miserables canvas
Beautiful gift from Julie
I have had a lovely time but it was all tinged with sadness as I miss Dad terribly. It is easier but being my birthday made it much worse. he would have loved to have seen Philippa on tv and all her photos, but I guess there is always something you miss whenever time happens. I do miss him so very much.

Thanks for ready my news, thank you to all my friends for the wonderful cards and gifts - have a great autumn and happy stitching..