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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Challenge reveal and an ornament too

Another Christmas ornament finished and added to my collection. This year i've managed to keep up with the SAL and stitch one per month. Whilst i was looking for something else in my Christmas chart folder i came across this old freebie that was printed out from Cosmic Handmade. I'd printed this one in 2008, never mind that it's only taken 2 years for it to come to the top of the stitching pile, and if i hadn't been searching for something else it would still be hiding inside the folder. There are lots of lovely free charts by Caroline Hofstede on her blog, you can find Winter Sampler that i have stitched under the 2008 heading in the 'pages' on the right hand side of the blog. I wanted it to be an ornament so stitched mine on 40ct linen, my first time using this small count of fabric, it stitched up lovely but i certainly needed the magnifier for it otherwise there would have been no chance of me seeing the teeny tiny holes in the fabric!

Today is reveal day for this months challenge at Stitch & Stash. This month a Martina Weber free design called Manuela's Sunflowers was chosen. A lovely chart for the autumnal month of September and so bright and colourful to stitch.

I've finished mine off by covering a 20cm plastic mixing bowl with gathered fabric and adding the design to the top of it. I saw one of these finishes at our local outdoor market made by a patchworkmaker and it looked so effective, i thought this design would be perfect so decided to give it a go this month. What sort of thing would you use this storage item for? the one i saw had assorted ribbons in it.

Wednesday is stitch club night and also the community association night every 6 weeks. Some good news for me regarding that as another lady from stitch club is having a term being on the committee instead of me so i wont miss any stitch club nights for the next 12 months as least.

I'll still be involved with the fruit and veg show and talking of that, here's the trophy's DH and i won this year. They were given back to him at the meeting. Maybe i better not put anything into the show for next year, our little sideboard has no more room on it with the 3 other stitched winners samplers we have that were won in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The computer hasn't even been switched on in this house since Wednesday last week, not sure where the time went too, i seem to be on a go-slow with everything recently and there always seems to be something else i am doing instead of keeping in touch with my friends on here. I'll catch up with blog reading this week to see what beautiful work you have all been doing.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Last day of Summer

Officially today is the last day of Summer, although i am well aware that the cooler evenings are upon us, this weekend we had our first coal fire, and very lovely it was too.

DH spent some of the weekend watching the TV programmes on the Battle of Britain that have been running to celebrate it's 70th anniversary, i didn't mind as i was busy finishing off this sock for him. The colour changes in this ball of wool are lovely, i just need to whip up a second one now.

This little bunny will be helping one of my neighbours to celebrate her 60th Birthday next week. We've been friends since she moved close to me some 16 years ago after we met at the local school when we were both updating our skills taking GCSE's when the children were at school.

We've supported each other through the good times and the bad, and especially when she lost her DH to cancer a few years ago, he would be so proud of his family and how she has coped without him by her side.

Has anyone read Barbara Erskine's latest book Time's Legacy? Mum bought it for my birthday and i finished it late last week. A very lovely read which i thoroughly enjoyed. It did bring up some questions that i found myself thinking about in my quiet moments. I guess it depends on your beliefs as to what you think when you read one of her books doesn't it.

Now to begin the second one in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I had tried all of the local libraries without sucess, so when DH and i were in town Friday afternoon, he bought it for me from a well known bookshop. The lady behind the counter was all excited, she was hopping about really desperate to tell me what happened in it as she is a huge fan of this series, as i left she shouted to me that she would see me next week when i went in to buy the next one as i will be hooked once i start on it LOL

A little stitching activity last week, 2 more squares added to Grand Marquoir.

Hope you are all well and {{hugs}} for those that are in need of them

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Ideas pop into my head at any time. A nice relaxing bath and 'pop' an idea comes along, sleeping in bed and you wake in the middle of the night wondering where a thought came from. Does this happen to you too? or is just me thats a crazy mad middle aged crafting woman who has these lighbulb moments at the most strangest times!

One of the latest flash moments was regarding the Lucy bag i crocheted using the instructions from the lovely lady at Attic 24. Would it work if i used the directions for the bottom of the bag to make a nice doilly then use the same instructions for the shell shaped edging to give it a nice finish. A trip to the wool shop fiddling and fondling along the shelves to find something nice and soft that might just work in a colour that wasn't too bland yet not too bright either.
Patons Eco Cotton (100% certified organic cotton) was gorgeous, not too expensive and yet really soft, i decided on Shade 00110, a cream with a twist of organgeybrownyness in it - they call it brown spray (pic is clickable for a better look). Focused and on a mission - i'm sure you know how it is when you just have to start something immediately - here's the finished one that i sent off to Clare for her birthday last week. A happy smile on my face when she let me know she had received it and liked it. I think i might make more of these as little Christmas pressies for Aunts who are always difficult to buy for.

A lovely handmade goody arrived safely with me at the weekend. Opening the envelope it was so beautifully packaged in red tissue with a handtied ribbon. Melanie at Moonraker Lampwerks had a giveaway on her blog and i was the lucky winner, a great surprise as i only found her blog after she commented here on mine a short while ago. Isn't this the cutest little glass flip flop dangly. Thank you so much Melanie, its lovely. There are lots of pretties for sale on Melanie's site too.

Just to show that i have actually had needle in hand and stitched a little, Floral Fifteen by Just Nan has a third side stitched, just 12 more to go till i get to the fiddly making up bit. I've also made a start on the challenge piece for Stitch & Stash this month, a lovely autumnal piece which is a joy to stitch but more about that when its reveal at the end of the month.

The workbox also has a couple of new starts added to it. A winter sock for DH, he reminded me at the weekend that now i can knit on 4 pins i did say i would get him a pair done for the cold winter nights and seeing as the nights are drawing in could i please make a start on them, how can i refuse the man who grows me such beautiful fruit, veg and flowers. There's also a bunny in the making for a neighbour who will turn 60 later this month, i'll take some pics and show you those next time.

Time for lunch i think and then a nice afternoon with needle and thread, hook or wool before the committee members arrive this evening for the after show meeting.

love and best wishes to you all

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sunny Sunday

Waking up on an autumnal Sunday morning to the sunshine beaming in through your bedroom window and a nice cup of tea sitting on the bedside table lovingly brought to you by DH, what better way to put a smile on your face and start the day.

The smileyness continued all day for me today, the simple little things that sometimes make you laugh and giggle the day away .....

A silly shaped tomato found in the greenhouse and trying to think what it looked like


Switching on the computer and there's an email from a friend you have not spoken to for a couple of weeks, remembering the lovely conversations you used to have all the time and the fun and laughter you've shared


Opening the back door and being presented with a lovely bunch of chrysanthemums grown by DH when he came home from the allotment this morning


We have concerts in some parks in our city over the summer on a Sunday afternoon. This week it was the local brass band and one of the players is a member of the community association. DH and i spent a lovely sunny afternoon hand in hand through the park before settling on a bench and tapping our feet along to the lovely sound. Lots of people took advantage of the sunshine, children were having fun taking dolls for walks in prams and even the ice-cream van made an appearance to cool us all off.


Returning home to a homemade sponge cake filled with homemade lemon curd and enjoying a piece with a cup of tea sitting in the conservatory with a little furry kitty for company


I think i'll finish off this smiley happy day with a bit of hookey time this evening on this blanket i've started for Amy. Her sitting room has a red/black theme and this will be a nice throw blankie for her sofa. It's going to be part of her Christmas pressie. It's a huge granny square and lovely and cosy.

I hope you too have had some lovely happy moments this weekend with the ones you love

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Fruit & Veg Show

Late night Friday setting up the hall ready for a really early start Saturday morning, a long queue of exhibitors waiting to come inside to show their lovely goodies. We had a total of 221 entries in all.

Take a look around the hall at some of the lovely entries .....

The cookery section starts us off with Classes 1 - 9. This one is always well supported and the ladies enter some lovely things, there is always stiff competition in this category.

Although i didn't win a first in this section i did have a number of 2nd places with victoria sandwich, fruit cake, raspberry jam, marmalade and lemon curd.

As we go round the hall, Classes 10 - 22 are the flowers/plants and 23 - 27 the floral decoration. Fruit and vegetables are Classes 28 - 47 and the Childrens section is 48 - 52. This one was very poor this year, we only had 3 children enter, not sure if it was the return to school earlier this week or why there were not more so the table there was vary bare this year.

Hobbies and handicrafts take up Classes 53 - 59. Remember those first pair of socks on four pins, well who would have thought the judge would have given them a first place! and she even put a little note onto them to say they were neat work inside and out - big beaming smile on my face when i read that LOL. The crochet bag didn't get placed and the bunny family came second, they lost out to the handknitted monkey from the PG Tips advert - i'm sure you all know him, i didn't mind he was beautifully knitted and very cute.


As Ken Dodd would say "exercise your chuckle muscles missus" well i can tell you, they certainly did get lots of exercise yesterday afternoon. At 11am, the doors are closed and locked when all exhibitors had put their things out. The judges from the Horticultural Judges Guild came in (you have to study for 4 years to get this qualification) other committee members stay in the room to help them with their duties, another lady and i set too preparing the lunch usually. As soon as they had finished and we were allowed back into the room, i got the biggest shock of all. Not only had my Beatrix Potter sampler got a 1st in the cross stitch category, it also won the best in the hobbies and handicraft section AND also BEST IN SHOW. The very nice lady judge, who is a crafter herself so knows the hard work that goes into the hobby's we do, came to speak to me and ask me how long it had taken to stitch and we had a lovely chat. I learnt some things from her about what the judges look for, they turn everything inside out and over to see how it is finished if they can, good job the framer hid the back of Beatrix!!!

Here's the bling on the trophy table. You can see the best in show i stitched, that of course is now sitting here at home with me! I also received the silver plate (back left) and the large cup. Both of these will be sent to be engraved so another committee member has taken them and i'll get them back soon to keep for the year. The winners of each section also receive a small hardback exercise book to keep and on the front cover is a little cross stitched design of the category they have won by one of our stitching group ladies. She has taken a pic of them all together and i have asked if i can have a copy so you can see the lovely work she does.

Better not end this post without telling you how DH did had i. He did really well too. He came away with 7 first places, 5 second and 3 third. He also won a small trophy (its the sheild with the wheelbarrow on if you can see it on the left side of the pic) and that was for Best in Vegetable Section with his tomatoes.

We were both really exhausted and it was a very long day, lots of fun with Ady Dayman a local celebrity handing out the prizes and also conducting the auction of priduce that has been on show. This raises quite a bit of money for next years show and also people get some real good bargains and locally produced items. He's a gardener on local radio and has such a fun personality, a lot of the secior ladies only come to meet him!

I must confess that i didn't take these pictures as i was too busy, but the person who did has been reprimanded for not getting a close up of all the hobby entries for you to see, you can only see the back of them on the pic with the empty tables. There was a photographer there taking pictures of everything that went on. He was there when i had to deliver the speech in front of everyone - it was my turn this year - i didn't do too bad at that once the nerves had settled so i'll see if i can get some better ones for you to see, you never know there might be one of me that is suitable to be put on here.

Better go and rest my 'chuckle muscles' as writing about it again i seem to have that beaming smile all over my face again, i'm sure i'll soon come down to earth with a bump very soon.

Thank you so much for your continued advice, help, support and encouragement, i'm not sure Beatrix would have even been finished and put into the show without you all keeping me going with it. This trophy is for you all too as you all do such fabulous work and i get so much inspiration from seeing your work.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Aug challenge - revealed

Here i am again and it's not even Sunday, although it feels like it this week, i've had a really busy week as its the fruit and veg show this Saturday. I had my week all planned out but then the painters called and they need to me to be at Amy's for the day tomorrow (Thursday) to do the final bits. Does this mean after tomorrow it will definately be all done?? dare i even hope this will happen this time??

Anyway, enough talking about that, i'm fed up with it after 4 months and i bet you are reading about it as well. I did say my next post would be revealing the challenge for August, so here is what i did with the link to the free design we were given. This time it was from Penelopis and was this lovely little crown.

Before i started to stitch this month i went on a search through this fantastic Focus on Finishing tutorial blog to get some inspiration as i didn't want a scissor fob or ornament finish this time. I soon spotted a tutorial for a covered tape measure and the size was perfect if i stitched it over 1 on 28ct. Then the decision what colour to use, plain and simple black seemed a good idea with a nice flowery backing fabric and to finish it off some jazzy green braid around the edge. It's a really simple finish and easy to do, why not give it go next time you have a tiny project stitched up.

Happy stitching and to all those whose mojo has done a runner recently, i hope it comes homes soon!

love and {hugs}