Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my blog readers - I wish you and your family a very happy 2014.
We've just had a lovely few days in France but I don't have any photos to share. Instead I'd like to share again a few of my favourite moments from 2013.
My first Drawn Thread for the mantle
With Philly in Gloucester on her birthday
My Goody Bag from Maggie at
the Nuneaton Meet Up
Ruby in our lovely garden
The gifts I stitched for my colleagues
when I retired from school
My two favourite chaps outside my favourite bar
Le Vieux Port - Etaples

With Hubby cycling in Spain in December
Looking back there are so many lovely moments with my family and friends and many stitching happy dances. 2014 looks like being another busy year and  already have a list of projects to do or to finish.
My favourite photo from last year is of me and Philly just before she left for
her summer in Mallorca
My favourite stitching piece is a simple piece now hung over the staffroom door at school - it's important to remember why we're working so hard and enjoy life.
2013 has been and gone
with treasured memories still living on
2014 - what will it hold
joy and love for young and old.
Happy New Year

Thursday 26 December 2013

Christmas Thank You to my family and friends

I hope you have had a fabulous Christmas with your friends and family - it's a time to visit relatives, have drinks with friends, spend time with family and remember loved ones. I've done all of these this Christmas which has made it a lovely festive time.

A huge thank you to my friends and family for some amazing gifts - all very much appreciated and 'just me'
'Kisses' necklace and earrings from DH
Heart bracelet from DD
Wine Opus book (it's massive) from DS
Wine tea towel from a school friend

Owl bag from a close friend
Wine making equipment from Mum

Charts from NH friends

A variety of gifts from my NH friends
Tomorrow DH and I are off to Calais in France for 3 nights. Our friends who we went to Spain with are coming too - it should be a great time as we're on a wine mission. I'm sure we'll find a bottle or two.

I have cut my Christmas Cake to take with us - it will be coffee (from the flask) and cake whilst in the car on the train going through the Channel Tunnel. I use the same snowmen candles every year - I love snowmen at Christmas, our house is full of them.

Snowman Cake
I hope you've all had a great Christmas, enjoy the last few days of the year - 2014 is just around the corner.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Seasons greetings to all my blog friends http://www.e-cards.com/pickup/?code=ca6417-pp-aimet1

I hope you all have a wonderful time with your friends and families.

I have no new stitching to share but this is on our wall for Christmas - as if we need any encouragement haha
Christmas Calories - Sue Hillis 
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful 2014

Sunday 15 December 2013

Back home

We're home and oh is it chilly - Spain was lovely and warm, well once the sun came up. It was dark until nearly nine and was quite chilly, however it stayed light until nearly six and was very warm in the sun.

Here's a few photos to give you a taste of our time in San Pedro del Pinatar.

fresh prawns and mussels on the terrace
cycling along the causeway at Mar Menor

Murcia Cathedral
Roman Theatre at Cartagena
I have not flown very many times and was quite worried but it was ok - I was also worried about what to take as we only took a cabin bag so had many restrictions including weight, size, toiletries and most importantly scissors/stitching. I took two pieces, one to finish and one to start - but I can't share as the finish will be a Christmas gift and the start is an exchange piece.

However I did spot these beautiful quilted items in one of the Spanish shops.

This year I have not done a tree for the ST Laurence's Church Festival as we were away the setting up day and will be away for the taking down. I have really missed being involved but we managed a quick visit yesterday. The church smelt lovely with over 60 real trees - you can see my photos here - this is the main altar, so beautiful.

It was lovely going away - Hubby certainly needed the break but I am now rushing around like a ad person getting Christmas sorted, so if I don't blog again until the New Year ( we're off to France on the 27th) I would like to wish you and your family ...


Wednesday 4 December 2013

Off to Spain

We're off to Spain tomorrow to stay with our friends who have a holiday home there. It's the first time I've been to Spain and only the fourth time I've flown so I am a little nervous to say the least. I have been very busy sorting out parcels and overseas Christmas cards to post because they will be too late when we're back.

It's all getting very exciting with Christmas coming and today our daughter is coming home from Uni for the night - a chance to go shopping together and the four of us go out for a meal. She is off to Prague for a short break before Christmas with her boyfriend so is also busy - she will be home for Christmas though.

It's very Christmassy on Needlecraft Haven too - lots of new activities and two exchanges happening - Advent Exchange and Ornament Exchange. I took part in the ornament one - opening day was 1st December and it's a secret exchange so we don't know who sent until reveal day - I had this beautiful beaded ornament

and this is the ornament I sent to my partner. I know it was received so can share it but I'm not saying who has it

Finally this is the ornament I have stitched for our friends when we get to Spain. We are all wine and beer lovers - doing many wine fairs together. I thought this appropriate - the saying is suggesting that the bar is always open as 'it's 5 o'clock somewhere' and in Spain it'll be an hour before here at home hee hee

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well - it's a very exciting time of year with so many events happening. Thank you for calling by, see you when we get back from the sun.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Beatiful gift

What a surprise this morning when Postie came - Dusty very kindly promised me a copy of Just Cross Stitch 2013 Christmas Ornament magazine and seeing the parcel was from her I thought that was what it was.
I love this magazine so eagerly opened it ... BUT ... this was inside:
A stunning crochet table topper
Beautiful hardanger ornaments
JCS Christmas magazine, Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine
and Nordic Needle Hardanger chart
Such beautiful gifts and such a surprise - thank you Dusty. The ornaments were for my Miss Tree at church (the annual tree decorating) but I am not taking part this year as we are away when they set up and take down, so I'll e hanging them on our tree and using them next year on Miss Tree.
I haven't opened the magazines as I am off to Dad's in a minute to do some more decorating so I have them to enjoy later with a coffee. No doubt I will see things to do and want to start straight away.
My rotation stitching is going really well and I do think I am doing much more stitching. Here's my plan:

Saturday - Strictly UFO with Julie and Mr Stick on Needlecraft Haven
Sunday - Strictly UFO with Julie and Mr Stick on Needlecraft Haven
Monday - exchange piece (whichever I am working on)
Tuesday - The Drawn Thread monthly (I am very behind with this)
Wednesday - Santa's Village with Miss Barb in The Parlour on Needlecraft Haven
Thursday - exchange or gift (again whichever I need to do)
Friday - finishing, kitting up, general sorting, anything I fancy or am behind on 
I'm on week 5 and have completed my exchange piece for Needlecraft Haven, a gift for our friends we're going to Spain with, half of my Drawn Thread July and started my Santa's Village tablecloth.
Santa's Village
Drawn Thread July
I have to pop up the attic today to get some craft bits I want so I can finish off a few things and kit up my Welcome RR ready to start plotting that for the New Year.

Thanks for calling by and again thank you Dusty :)  

Sunday 3 November 2013

Fabulous Day - as always

Yesterday was meet up day for Needlecraft Haven members - I cannot believe it's been 10 years since I organised my first meet up (not for NH back then) - they are days that I thoroughly enjoy and yesterday was superb.

We had a goody bag exchange on the theme of Sparkle and Fizz as it's nearly Bonfire Night. I made appropriately named cup cakes which Julie helped me hide raffle tickets underneath. The good y bags were given corresponding tickets - everyone chose a cake and then had the bag that matched their ticket.

Here's all the bags and my cakes - ready for picking :)

Ready to go - Sparkle and Fizz Goody Bag Exchange
My lovely bag was from Lindsay - it has a beautiful sparkly bauble, some great ribbon which I am saving for a special project as it's jut gorgeous, a beaded pen and a bottle of bubbly - drinkable bubbly !! Thanks Lindsay :)

Sparkle & Fizz Goody Bag from Lindsay
We also had a Mystery Book Exchange where we all wrapped a book we have read, loved, found in a charity shop or had had recommended. There were many different wrappings and sizes of books.
Mystery Book Exchange
My book from Tina
I picked the white wrapped book on the right of the table which was Pandora's Box by Griselle Green - Tina's book. I'm sure I've heard about this from somewhere but I can't remember where. It certainly looks another great one to read, thanks Tina.
The members of Needlecraft Haven often complain about the adverts being there - unfortunately ;-/ I can't see them, maybe that's because I am the forum owner. Anyway it's $6 a month to have the forum ad-free which members have very kindly been contributing. I decided this time that the raffle money would go towards paying some of the ad-free charges - here's all the raffle prizes everyone donated.
Donated raffle prizes
Thanks to everyone who bought tickets we have enough money for 5 months ad-free membership.
I had a really lovely day - thanks to Julie, Lynn, Lindsay, Rachael, Tina, Maggie, Jane, Lisa and my Mum for making it another great Meet Up - it will soon be spring and another chance to meet and stitch.
I did do some stitching but not lots - I mended the edges of my hardanger tablecloth which has unravelled a little in the wash and because it was Saturday I did some of my UFO Angels.
I have stuck to my rotation really well this week - I have done quite a bit on my next exchange - started my July Drawn Thread piece - plotted my Santa's Village tablecloth and worked on my UFO. Finishing Friday was very successful this week as I finished the cup cakes for the meet up hee hee
As well as cakes for us I made the pub staff some Little Ghosts as it always seems unfair to bring cakes in for us and not them - especially as my son was on shift yesterday. Here's their ghosts and a close up of my sparkly ones.  
Little Ghosts
Sparkle and Fizz
 We had a great day yesterday - I hope you've enjoyed reading about it - and if you're a Needlecraft Haven member why not join us in the spring :)

Friday 1 November 2013

And we're off .....

I started my rotation this week and it's going really really well. I can't share my Monday and Thursday night's stitching as it's from an exchange but I can share my other night's work.

Tuesday night is The Drawn Thread and I started my July piece - I am very behind with these. I will be altering this chart slightly as it focuses on USA Independence Day. Here's my start:

The Drawn Thread - July
Wednesday Night is usually spent in The Parlour on Needlecraft Haven with Miss Barb and friends. In the past I've stitched 'A Place We Call Home' as this room is for Little House Needleworks, Country Cottage Needleworks and The Sampler Girl designs.

I have finally started my Santa's Village by Country Cottage Needleworks. I am very late because I haven't had time to plot it out - I can hear you asking why? well my plotting is finally done - any ideas

Santa's Village - plotted out
I'm making a table cloth but it certainly will not be ready for this year so Miss Barb I will be in The Parlour every week next year :) I have now finished in all the ends and am ready to start stitching next Wednesday. It took nearly a whole day to measure and plot, then finish in ends. One problem was my first choice of tape measure - can you see what's wrong??? It now lives with Stig (of the Dump) !!
So confusing
It's been exchange time too on Needlecraft Haven - Autumn Exchange and Spooky Exchange. My partner hasn't posted up about the Autumn parcel I sent yet so I won't share the photo this time. However I can share the gorgeous exchange Jane sent to me - the exchange was a stitched coaster, some speciality threads, something to pamper and a little treat. I love the teapot card Jane send too.

Autumn Exchange from Jane
I haven't received my Spooky Exchange parcel yet but I know it's on it's way. I sent to Barb and had great fun stitching this for her; I know she has opened her parcel so I can share the photo. Have you seen the Freddo chocolates with popping candy in? They were a great idea for Halloween so I popped a few in the parcel for Barb's grandchildren.

Spooky Exchange with Freddo's
Spooky Exchange for Barb
I finally arranged for my old bike and some of Dad's old tools to be taken by a charity - http://www. krizevac.org  They take bikes and tools and refurbish them for use in Malawi, The tools were very old and needed a lot of attention but this gives work for some of the villagers and then the refurbished tools are of course very useful. Again repairing bikes gives someone work and the bikes make a huge difference to peoples lives - being able to go to school because you have a bike and it was too far to walk is a huge step forward.
The charity rang to arrange a collection time and a lovely chap arrived as agreed and was so pleased with the items which I thought were beyond use. I'm very pleased I contacted them and I think Dad would be happy knowing his tools had gone to good use.

Here's my Orts Jar for this month - you can see some orange from stitching the exchange pieces - I wonder is red and green will dominate now as I move into Christmas stitching.
31st October Orts jar
Finally here is my Autumn/Halloween Mantle - it's looking quite full this year. I'm going to leave it up a while as I'm not sure what November items I have.
Autumn Mantle
That's all my news for now but I will be blogging again quite soon as tomorrow is Needlecraft Haven's Autumn Meet-up - I love these days.

Thanks for calling by today and reading my news :)