Friday 31 January 2014

A difficult day

We handed over the keys today for Dad's house - we're really pleased on how the house turned out but I have very mixed emotions today. I feel very proud that we did all the work but I feel like we've lost Dad all over again.

Here's a few photos to show the work we did:

Hubby plastering the kitchen
New Kitchen
Dad's Lounge
New Lounge with card &
flowers for new tenants
Although it's the end of January Stitch from Stash is in a new month and so far so good. I made a card for Dad's neighbours - I used a chart from a book Mu gave me, an off cut of 28 count blue fabric, ribbon from my stash and card & envelope from my stash - so again I spent £0
Thank You card
These are the two books Mum gave me - hopefully I can use these charts for some projects this year. The card book has some great little designs and I've already used one of the alphabets from the 2001 design book.

My Canadian friend gave me a gift voucher for 123 stitch - the postage to UK is very high so I had the chat sent to my friend Dusty and she sent it on to me. In return I sent Dusty some speciality threads (from my stash) so I have another chart to add to my stash that cost me £0
My LHN chart and gorgeous scarf that
Dusty sent me
I have been busy stitching the thank you card but I did do all the white walls on my July Drawn Thread and I've started the fireworks.
July - The Drawn Thread
Thanks for reading my latest news - I can't believe it's February tomorrow !!

Sunday 26 January 2014

January - Stitch from Stash

It's not quite the end of January but it is nearly the end of this month's Stitch from Stash organised by Mel; its closed to additional participants now but you can still keep up with how everyone is doing. One of my blog pages is a list of all participants - 130 wow - so browse around and see how everyone is doing.

The idea is not to spent any money on stitching or stash buying. This month I have spent .... NOTHING .... £0 whoo hoo.

Here is the list of stash I've used, all the exchanges, the RR, SAL and UFO stitching are from Needlecraft Haven forum.

  • Creative Moments winter and summer welcome banner charts (for RR)
  • Joy to the World - Lizzie Kate

Charts for Welcome RR
  • 28 count fern green (Meet Up Exchange and Monthly Ornament)
  • 28 count country blush (Valentine Exchange)
  • 28 count ivory (Joy to the World)

  • DMC white or B5200 (Birthday Exchange)
  • Kate's Kloth perle, DMC variegated & Maderia Glissen Gloss (in lue of postage for overseas friend)
  • DMC colours as required for charts

  • Brown organza ribbon (Meet Up Exchange)
  • Green 4mm ribbon (Monthly Ornament)
  • Green Christmas fabric (Monthly Ornament)
  • Floral fabric (Meet Up Exchange)
  • Christmas fabric (Joy to the World)
  • Pink ribbon (Valentine's Exchange)
  • Embellishments (Valentine's Exchange)
  • Metallic cording (Joy to the World)
  • Stuffing for Joy to the World - orts from 2013 
Stash used for Meet Up Exchange
and Monthly Ornament

Stash used for Joy to the World
I cannot show my Valentine's Exchange piece as it's a secret until Valentine's Day but all the items to stitch it were in my stash as were the gifts we have to send.

I can however show my other finishes.
Monthly Ornament Exchange
 Sheep Day : The Little Stitcher
online free chart
Meet Up Exchange for Tina
The chart was a Christmas gift from Mary
I've stitched this for me and it's
stuffed with my orts from 2013 !
I have also used my stash to set up my RR, stitch on my Santa's Village, my Drawn Thread and my Angel Blessings UFO - here's my progress.

Mrs Claus' Cookie House is now finished
I'm doing the white at the end
of stitching all the designs 

Next house started
any ideas which one?
Welcome RR - summer

Welcome RR winter
Border and trellis completed
Angel Blessings UFO
I quite surprised at how much I have stitched this month as we have had a busy time and the first week I was unwell and did hardly any stitching. I am also surprised finding enough things in my stash to complete my projects and exchanges - just shows what's in those boxes !!

Good luck to everyone else taking part - and huge thanks to Mel for organising such a fun idea.

Thank you for catching up with me and my first month of Stitch From Stash - and for your thoughts and comments.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Mrs Claus Cookie Shop

I've finished my first Santa Village chart - well sort of !!

I am stitching the village on a tablecloth - 18 designs altogether so some will be stitched twice. I am stitching it as a SAL in The Parlour with Miss Barb on Needlecraft Haven every Wednesday.

It's over one and I'm not stitching any white until I have done all the designs as I think this will be a very long project - I'm also not stitching the bottom border until I've done a few more as I might change it's placement.

Anyway here is Mrs Claus' Cookie Shop - my first finish

Mrs Claus' Cookie Shop
I have been busy stitching the Valentine Exchange for Needlecraft Haven which needs to be posted late next week. This time we're making a scissor fob and have to include a few goodies. I have used my stash for the fob but I may have to buy a few items for the goodies.

This year I am hoping to read a little more - I've already read a couple of books one on my Kindle and the other a book I had in the Meet Up Book Exchange from Tina.
A Family Affair - Mary Campisi
Pandora's Box - Giselle Green

I am currently reading two books - Longbourn by Jo Baker (this is the Needlecraft Haven January recommended book by Ursh) and The Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne (on my Kindle).
I can't read books in the car but if we're on the motorway I can read my Kindle. We went to London on Saturday so I managed quite a bit of reading until the light faded (I have an original Kindle which isn't back lit)
London was as good as ever - we love the city. It was The France Show at Earl's Court - we missed this last year as we were snowed in !! Ruby stayed at the kennels for the week end as Friday night we went to The Abbey to see Jordan Williams perform - Buble Tribute.
We went down early and had dinner before he sang - he was ok and the atmosphere was great. The Abbey are putting on more live acts with the new owner - some are not our style but maybe a few more like Mr Buble will be there.

We left quite early and arrived in London with plenty of time to enjoy a full English breakfast in a lovely café.

We didn't need any lunch !!
The France Show was great we've lots of holiday ideas - we have a special summer this year as it's our 25th Wedding Anniversary so we're planning a few trips and special moments. There was so much to see; ferry companies, tourist offices from many regions. food, wine, clothes, bags, investments and shows. We didn't stay for Jean Christophe Novelli but we did watch the Can Can girls.
Oh la la
After the show we went for a walk to the River Thames - hubby says we walked 4 miles but it was at a lovely strolling pace. There were lots of house boats on the river, all shapes and sizes - some very luxurious, some in need of a bit of love.
Hubby at Albert Bridge
Our route back to Earl's Court took us along Chelsea High Street and all the 'posh' shops including Christies. We popped into Heals for a look and found a new brand of coffee pods for our Nespresso machine and Hubby treated me to these ...
Ruby and Ed slippers
for high days and holidays
They are gorgeous and quite expensive (original price £40 although they were in the sale) They will be for high days at home and when we go away, so their first trip will be to Cardiff next month. I just love them !!
That's about it from me - I have a few more bits of decorating to do at Dad's but not much - the new tenants move in soon. I'll blog all about the house sometime in February.
Thanks for calling by, I love reading your thoughts and comments, thank you x x

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Busy needles and busy fingers

January is half way through already and I missed the first week or so having an unwanted visitor - flu. It's a good job our sofa is cosy and I had my stitching and Kindle to keep me occupied.

The Needlecraft Haven Meet Up exchange was a huge success. The forum was buzzing with posts about who was stitching, who had forgotten !! and finally who had posted and received a parcel. Opening Day was 10th January.

As I organise most of the exchanges on NH I usually know who is sending to me but this time we had chosen our partners on the day - everyone wrote their name, address and a few details in a card and we randomly chose a card each - so no-one knew who had who.

The exchange was to stitch an ornament with a saying on that suited your partner, either from knowing them or from the details they ad written in the card.

I was very excited about opening my parcel .... this was my superb gift .... from Rachael.

It's perfect - just me !!
This is the ornament I stitched for Tina - I stitched it over one to keep the writing scrolly and I know Tina loves her stitching shops and stash enhancing.

Ornament for Tina
I have stitched the start to my Welcome RR and will be posting it to Dusty today or tomorrow. It always takes a little longer to travel overseas. I'm really pleased with how it's started, the design is one I have had in my stash for many years - it's quite simple and easy to stitch. My RR is in two pieces as once finished I can hang either summer or winter up depending on which 'time' we're in - so as the clocks change so will my welcome banner.

W on my winter banner
W on my summer banner

So far this I have stuck to the Stitch from Stash challenge - I haven't bought anything and have used my fabric and ribbons from my stash in the attic. I have started two new pages at the top of my blog - one listing all the other stitchers taking part (thanks to Mel for the full list) and a page showing the items from my stash I have used. It's only early January but I have already used quite a few things.

I have been, and will be, very busy with Scouts as this year is our group's100th birthday. Over the year we will be doing 100 different challenges - you can read all about my challenge on my Aimetu's blog. I have had two promises so far and hopefully will have a few more.

I have also been looking through Dad's papers for old scouting photos - if you are on face book the group page is Past and Present Scouts 1st Ansley Hall - Nuneaton North. Here are a couple of my favourite photos.

1st Ansley Hall scout band - my Dad is the big bass drummer
My first camp - St Asaph, Wales 1966
Mum and Dad are far left and I have centre stage - can you see me?

Taken at Bovington Tank Museum whilst on camp at South Down Farm
Ringstead Bay, Weymouth - Dad is the tallest leader and I'm a bit obvious!!
Dad's house is virtually finished - just a few finishing bits which is a good thing as we have a tenant !! I am amazed how quickly someone saw the house and said yes at the rental price and are moving in 1st Feb. We do have a few things in the back garden to finish but we have agreed to do that in the warmer weather. It's been hard work and at times quite emotional. Next month I'm going to sort out an online and printed photo album to show the progress of the house, and the printed one will have a few more photos of Dad in - I'm looking forward to having time to visit relatives and chat over some of them.

It was a bit of a mixed blog this time - I hope you enjoyed my varied news. This Friday we're going to a Michael Buble tribute night and Saturday we are in London for the France Show - I'm so excited as last year we missed it due to the snow.

Thank you for calling by and sharing your thoughts  - happy stitching x x  

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Welcome RR, Exchange and a SAL

My 2014 is off to a great stitching start - Needlecraft Haven is very busy with some activities nearing posting time, many are in stitching time and sign ups are open for other activities. I do enjoy hosting NH - it's members are so lovely.

Firstly I have two Happy Dances and it's only 7th January :-) At the Nuneaton Meet Up in the autumn the Meet Up exchange was launched. Everyone who wanted to join in wrote a few details about themselves in a card - we all picked a card and had to stitch a ornament with a saying on for them. My ornament is finished and has been posted. Mine is for ....... and the saying is ....... (revealed next blog)

My second Happy Dance is for the Monthly Christmas Challenge on Needlecraft Haven. This is not run by me but a great forum member Christine. This year the monthly SAL and monthly Christmas ornament SAL have been combined. Christine shares a freebie chart each month which we stitch, finish and send her a photo. At the end of the month the gallery is opened showing all our various finishes using the same design. Mine is done but again you'll need to wait a while for the photo.

I do have a photo to share - I have decided to join in Mel's Stitch from Stash this year. It means all my projects (unless for an RR or particular gift) have to be stitched and finished from my stash. There is an allowance of $25 a month but I am hoping not to use this.

For me this challenge is perfect as now I have retired I don't like asking Hubby for stitching money (although he'd happily pay hee hee) and I have so much stash in the attic. This will make me use up many of my bits, especially for finishing. This is the stash I selected for my first two finishes of the year.

All from my stash
This year I am also taking part in the Needlecraft Haven Welcome RR - there are 5 of us in the group; Ursh, Lynn, Dusty and Gillie. My design is quite simple and relatively small but it's something I have wanted stitched for ages. It's actually two designs that I will be making into a hanging - one for summer and one for winter (as the clocks change)

Creative Moments Winter and Summer Welcome Banner
The chart was given to me over 5 years ago and I have kitted it up from my stash so still on track for the Stitch from Stash challenge.

Two other things I am hoping to do in 2014 is read more books, a mixture of physical books and ebooks, and do more cooking/baking. This is also off to a great start as yesterday I finished reading my first 2014 book and Sunday I baked a fabulous pudding to use up some Christmas left overs.

This is one of the free books on Amazon
Panetone and marmalade pudding with orange
coulis and sweetened yogurt
A New Year can feel very strange, lots of new plans made and promises made - it's easy to put pressure on ourselves to keep these promises up or think that if the year starts badly then the whole year will be this way. In reality it is just another sunrise/sunset day - it is only humans that have put a number and significance to it - new starts, good and bad days can happen anytime ....

.... so my wish to you all is to love everyday with friends and family doing whatever you enjoy, whatever the date.