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Monday, 31 May 2010

Much calmer ...

Thank you all so much for your kind words of comfort and support on my last post. Life here is settling down a bit better now. The removal men have finally been and stored all of DD's belongings and she is now living out of a suitcase in a hotel - it's nice but not like being in your own home. The work at her place will commence 7.30am tomorrow after our UK bank holiday weekend and hopefully she should be all back home after 2 weeks. It should all look like brand new and wonderful and there should be no more problems - lets hope they got that right!

DH and i have also made a trip to spend the day with my brother to see how he was coping after his operation. Struggling to get around on the crutches, he was in good spirits and taking the attitude that the accident could have been a lot worse and the loss of part of the 2nd and 3rd toe on the right foot will not have too much effect on him once he's fully recovered and the wounds have healed. He's in a lot of pain but hopefully as each day passes that will fade. It certainly made me feel a lot better to actually go and give him a big sister hug and see for myself how he was.

As promised, here's the freebie design - Tulip Time by Primitive Betty - that we stitched for the monthly challenge at Stitch & Stash in May. It was reveal day yesterday so i can now share what i stitched and made. As i said before, mine was sent to Rachael for her birthday as she had previously said she loved tulips and i thought it would make a nice little gift. The little red ribbon from the lindt bunny came in useful and matched the anchor number 47 thread perfectly that i chose to stitch it with. My fabric choice was 36ct edinburgh linen - i certainly needed my magnifier to stitch over 1 on that!

Finally, i made my decision for the year long Just Nan SAL that Tina is running at Stitch & Stash. I have quite a few of Nan's designs and they are all so lovely. This one was a birthday gift from Karen last year and it screams summer months and flowers in the garden so thats what it's going to be and is so aptly named Floral Fifteen. I decided not to use white fabric with the green but chose a subtle yellow, maybe the colour will show better the next time i take an update picture. Very pretty colours in this one, block one finished, only 14 more to stitch before the fiddly making up of a 15 sided biscornu.

DH and i have also been to visit my mum, she has a birthday early in June. We took a present we had bought for her but unfortunately her stitched gift wasn't quite finished. I'm hoping to get it finished later today and in the post for her tomorrow so it arrives in time for her birthday on Thursday. It's looking really nice and the colours are very pretty, i'll share that with you next time.

We've had some really sad news this weekend too. Remember DH's customer and the clothes i knitted for his daughters dolly. We came back from our trip over the weekend to a message that he is in intensive care in hospital suffering kidney failure. Lots of well wishes going out to him and his young family.

I hope you are all fit and well and life is being kind to you

Love and {hugs}

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

3 little finishes

Two of the birthday gifts i stitched, i can now share. Kathy (no blog) has recently tried quilting and i decided that a larger pincushion finish would be nice, lots of pins needed in quilting and a safe place for them to live.

Julianne, also celebrated her birthday at the weekend, and i made the smaller pillow for her. Design is by Elizabeth Designs and perfect for two stitchers whose work i love to see and admire.

Rachael also celebrated her birthday, but i will reveal my stitched gift for her next time i post, as i chose the challenge piece for this month as her gift knowing her love of that particular flower. Happy Birthday ladies i hope you all had a lovely day.

Another Christmas ornament to add to my collection. This months design is from Just Cross Stitch ornament edition for 2002. Shepherds Bush ornaments are something i have been wanting to stitch for a while, but somehow something else always gets done. This month i decided to put that right and make a start on them. I didn't have a sheep charm so stitched a second sheep instead.

Lots of stressful stuff going on here right now, what with DD and her ongoing building problems (which have still not started and so much trouble from the landlords that needn't be happening). She is living in such a mess and having to come here every day as she has no bathroom facilities apart from a small cloakroom toilet downstairs. My brother was rushed into hospital and has had 2 of his toes partially amputated after a gardening accident at the weekend - frightening stuff! An ongoing problem with DD's back has escalated and a lump has been found, so she's off for a scan beginning of next month to check that out. There are other issues too, but i think i've moaned enough and you didn't come here to read about the hiccups life is dealing us right now!!

I'm trying to get at least an hour of relaxation and stitching time, therapy time DH calls it each day and finally decided on the Just Nan design i want to do to continue the SAL that Tina is running at Stitch & Stash. Fabric and threads sorted out and i've put a few stitches into it, i'll take a pic and show you what i've chosen next time i'm here when there's more than just a couple of little x's

Thanks for stopping by, your visits are so much appreciated. It's nice to come and see a comment, it does brighten your day when life is making you feel somewhat grumpy and stressed out.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Not a stitch ...

It's safe to carry on reading, i know the temperatures are soaring and it's mighty hot here in the UK this weekend, but rest assured there are no 'naughty' pics in this post, it's all about knitting, not stitching LOL

Here's the completed outfit for dolly. DH returned Tuesday to do some more work on their vehicle and was delighted to report they caused a lot of excitement. Having just become the big sister to a newborn brother was causing some jealousy recently so mum and dad had bought baby Mary (as we now know dolly is called) together with special nappies (it's ok Barb the nether regions are covered LOL) and clothes so 'big sis' could help and be just like her mum. Just as you would expect from a 3 year old, there was a cry of, but she's got no pyjamas when its bedtime.

DH was returning again Friday with the new part for their car, so i knitted a set of 'pyjamas' in record time using a ball of the variegated wool i had recently picked up in the sale bin. We thought it looked a bit like those floral flannelette pj's that children wear. It's from exactly the same pattern book as the first jacket but i've adapted it to have a collar and it does up with press studs so she can learn another new skill. The little trousers have elasticated waist for ease.

When DH returned home on Friday, he brought me this handmade thank you card from the little darling, isn't it lovely. Look at all the jumbled up wool that is on the front! Mummy has written inside to say that they are very grateful and to thank me for the lovely clothes.

Have a lovely weekend, hope the weather is as nice for you as it is here. It's back to some stitching for me this weekend, i might even get the monthly ornie finished.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

To teach or not to teach?

Lets start this post off with a bit of colour. This beauty started off as a small cutting from one of my grandfathers cactus plants. It reminds me of the colourful sight as you approached his front porch in Dunoon, Scotland when we visited in the springtime for his May birthday. It was full of flowering cactus and this one was my favourite and i could never understand how such small leaves could hold such huge blooms and so many of them too. Each one measures about 5" across and i was so pleased when i was offered a cutting to have in my own conservatory to watch it bloom in time for his birthday each year. It's a shame that each flower only lasts a few days and then you have to wait a whole year for it to bloom again, but what a magnificent specimen it is and always gets the 'wow' factor when visitors come.

DH visited one of his customers in their own home this week and was enjoying a chat and a cup of tea when their little 3 year old thrust a cup and saucer of her very own pretend tea at him. Being the kind man he is, he was chatting away with her and going along with the pretend when he noticed that poor dolly, who was stuffed under one arm, was in fact totally naked! A comment on where was dolly clothes and a shake of the head from mum that dolly in fact had worn out several of her outfits and those that you buy from reputable shops do not in fact take into account the dainty fingers of a three year old dressing and undressing dolly brought about a discussion....

DH's mum was a great knitter and when our own daughter was little, she often arrived with a brown paper bag for her, a little treat that she had been working on since the last visit. Often it was a hand knitted outfit for Barbie or one of the other dolls or sometimes a blanket to replace the grubby one that had been left outside. Also how all of the hand knitted clothes are packed away safely in the loft as DD wants to keep them for her children as they carry so many special memories of her time with Nanna. Talk flowed to how 'mum' also had handmade outfits for her dolls knitted by her granny, but alas there was no one in their family who knitted now and what a shame it was that these crafts are dying out and the younger generation dont seem to be taught these skills by family members.

DH is very supportive of my hobbies and told her about online sites that show you explicitly how to learn to knit and stitch and that if she really wanted to learn there were places that you could.

I know you can guess whats coming next can't you .... when he got home, we talked about who had taught me to knit (sleepover weekends at my maternal Grandmas was where i learnt to knit, crochet and sew, but also a paternal grandmother who ran a club for other ladies who liked to craft added to my knowledge) and why i enjoyed it so much and why did i think that the younger generation dont want to learn these skills like they used to. He asked if i could possibly whip up an outfit for dolly so she didn't catch her death of cold. Of course i could, i love to see little girls playing and learning to be a little mum but did i have anything that would fit this dolly?? Hunting through the patterns i found one for this little jacket, so a start to a new wardrobe of clothes for dolly has been made this weekend.

The pattern for the dolls clothes was amongst a pile that i gave a good home to when MIL passed away some 11 years ago. I also kept her old button tin - sorted into colours, just as it always was - oh to be organised! My own button tin that i have accumulated over the years is not sorted at all and i have to tip them all out to find what i need LOL. I bet most of you have one very similar that houses any old button that might just be useful someday. Inside MIL's were the perfect 3 little buttons for the jacket when i went hunting through it this morning. Memories of the kids playing with them on the carpet also came flooding back, and happy thoughts of MIL and her numerous craft projects, never without knitting needles or needle and thread, and a mind of information and advice. Funny how sometimes these things happen when you least expect it, today MIL (aka Betty or Nanna) DH reminded me would have celebrated her 83rd birthday.

I did stitch in the evenings last week. Much in need of relaxation, lots of phone calls with DD who is having imense stress with the builders at her place and now has to move out lock, stock and barrel as they say, whilst the work is completed, i added some blocks to Grand Marquoir which completed Part 2. Did i tell you i love stitching on this one LOL. The birthday gifts were also finished off ready for posting.

Well, i think i have written a book here today, if you have made it to the end, give yourself a round of applause, i hope it was worth it! Thank you for taking time to visit my stitchyknitter world, i do appreciate your visits. My parting question to you is... Who taught you to knit, stitch or crochet or whatever craft you enjoy, and would you teach a younger person in your lifetime so these much needed skills remain with us, what are your views, i'd love to know. My own daughter has done some stitching and tried to knit, but even though she is into art and design doesn't want to learn these crafts, maybe in the future when she has family of her own she'll want me to teach her, i do hope so otherwise i can see Granny Julie being very busy...

Monday, 10 May 2010

Thank you Karen

Last week we had an emergency, DD phoned to say that her kitchen ceiling had partially collapsed and water was dripping through the light fittings, emergency housing folks came out and decided that the leak in the shower that has been happening for the past 18 months had certainly not been fixed properly on the numerous occasions that she had complained and now it was classed as a major emergency! As she works full time, guess who got the pleasure of babysitting the builders...not the ideal place to take some stitching with all the debris and mess that was about so not a lot was done last week. We have a meeting with the builders etc this afteroon to see what plans they have for continuing with everything this week and if i need to be house sitting again. I did come home one of the days to a lovely surprise envelope. Karen has been playing with glass and made me this gorgeous book thong, it looks right at home in my latest book. Thanks Karen for the lovely surprise.

Seeing as i have nothing else i can show you today, i did get May's challenge piece stitched and made up yesterday but can't reveal that till end of the month, i remembered this morning to take a picture of Irish Garden (WIP's link in sidebar to finished pic).

Have a good week

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Oh no not more bunnies!

Not only am i seeing knitted bunnys, there are rabbits hopping around in my garden, strange rabbits too or so i thought. Am i going mad? do i need the men in white coats to take me away Ha Ha?? NO don't answer that LOL

My gardens quite secure apart from the hedge between us and next door, so after a quick phone call to the neighbour at her work to see if she knew anything about them, it seems they have 2 new additions and this morning they must have escaped somehow. I've spent the best part of the morning trying to tempt them into the carrier with DH's lettuce leaves and then the man of the house next door arrives home for lunch and snaffles them from under the hedge in 10 minutes, how did he do that? At least i can breathe a sigh of relief that they are safe as Mr Foxy has been leaving his footprints across our garden for the past couple of nights and i had visions of them becoming a night time snack for him ... perish the thought!

Yes, you guessed it, another birthday at the stitchy club later this month, another bookmark and the expected jar of marmalade the ladies like to receive. Our group is dwindling, we now only have a few members. Last week we had a lovely surprise, the lady who's receiving chemo treatment stopped by. She looks so well considering the treatment she is having, and we all agreed with her familys view that her wig really suits her and she has no need to be self conscious of it when out. We do miss her each week and i think it really did lift her spirits to be among friends laughing and talking even for a short time.

I think i have earned a nice cup of tea and maybe a choccie biscuit or two. All that exercise in the garden trying to catch those little fluffy critters must have worked off some calories this morning, anyone fancy a chat and a biscuit over a cuppa in my conservatory?

Saturday, 1 May 2010

May day ...

No i am not in trouble or shouting for help, that was Thursday when the washing machine decided to fizzle out and stop working. Good job DH is a Mr Fix-it, he whipped out the tool-kit and found the problem after some tinkering about. Off to the spares place yesterday, parting with a very small amount of money then out came the tool-kit in the evening and hey presto it's all mended and working fine again today. A big hug, a kiss and a slice of homemade lemon drizzle cake was all it cost me - cheap labour eh LOL

Hot off the frame at the end of April (sorry but it's not even pressed yet) Jardin Prive's My Ladys Quaker is now complete. The colours for my version are pink(DMC224), dark pink(DMC315) and green(DMC3347). It's been a real joy to stitch this one. I just need to decide now if i want to stitch Mr Gentleman Quaker to accompany her and if so what colours should i choose for him?

A friend of mine asked if i could stitch something for a dear work colleague of hers. We talked about what sort of thing and came up with this lovely design by Elizabeth Designs called 'Dear Friend' and decided just to frame it very simply. I changed all the colours as she wanted more vibrant colours. I've stitched it a few times, it's one of those you never tire of stitching.

I did complete all the stitching i wanted to in April and there will be lots of interesting things to stitch during May. 4 small birthday gifts as well as the Christmas ornie and monthly challenge at Stich & Stash. I still need to sort out a new JN for the SAL, but i cant make up my mind which one to do and i'd also like to try and make good progress on Irish Garden. I really must remember to take a pic of this as you haven't seen it since i first started it. Of course Grand Marquoir is still shouting loudly, i love this one and have 2 more squares added since my last pic was taken.

Thanks for stopping by, i hope you have a nice weekend, and for those in the UK, enjoy your extra day off on Monday

Love and {hugs}