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Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas 2011

The week between Christmas and New Year always has me flumoxed as to what day it is. Lazy starts to the day with a cuppa and a book in bed before the day begins. Late breakfasts of bacon and eggs and other such lovelies to compliment the leftover festive fayre that we are trying to use up at mealtimes at other times of the day.

Plenty of time planted firmly on the sofa in the sitting room with the tree lights twinkling and the garland above the fireplace in full sparkle.

We've been watching all sorts of things on the TV which is very rare in the daytime here during the weekdays for both DH and myself. The choccie tin is looking very depleted too, but there are plenty more of them to last us into the new year.

Christmas for us was wonderful. A busy day on the actual day, spending a lot of time with my beautiful granddaughter on her first Christmas. A delight to watch her ripping at the brightly coloured wrapping paper and spending an extraordinary amount of time chatting to the little chap that was on the box of one of her gifts, that did make us giggle. She was more impressed with him than the actual gift! Her daddy named him Derek (he thought he looked like a Derek - not sure why? do Dereks have distinct characteristics?) Unfortunately Derek has taken a turn for the worst, he was literally drooled on too much and has been squished into the recycling box now forever to be known as Isabelle's first pin-up pic and stored in our minds to wickedly torment her with later in life at the most embarrassing times.










Boxing Day was quiet, a time for grandpa and i to recover from the excitement of the previous day. In the evening we ventured into the town to have a wander round the Christmas lights again just the two of us. They get taken down before the New Year revellers damage them. It was a lovely evening and the breath of evening air was very welcome.

I was spoiled by my family and friends and received lots of stunning gifts. DS gets the gold star this year for the present i never expected. L@@kie at this beautiful polymer clay purple crochet hook he found on the internet together with a full set of colourful hooks in a plastic case, what a good boy he is to his mum.










Clare gifted me with a tin pencil case and also stitched a beautiful ornament for me and made exactly the same one for Isabelle. That was very special Clare and we will treasure them and remember you each year when they are put onto our trees.

Christine was kind enough to gift me with some beautiful fabric from Crafty Kitten, i have never used Dawn's fabric before so will enjoy trying this together with the lovely Carries thread that accompanied it. Thank you Christine.










Barb's parcel contained a little boofle keyring with my name on it. I love this little knitted character and the 'hugs' hanger is now at the side of my stitching chair. Thank you Barb {hugs} to you too.

Angi (no blog) made me some notelets and a beautiful notebook for my bag using her crafting skills, these will be so useful and you are very clever Angi, a big thank you to you too.










A stitched top covered tin was inside Karan's parcel. So beautiful and i love the colour purple. Inside was the most fabulous stitch markers for my knitting together with a post-it pad that matched Clare's tin perfectly. You know me so well Karan.

A little parcel from Kathy (no blog) contained a kit for a needlebook together with the smallest little frame ever, so cute and useful for my little scrap pieces that i can never fit onto a frame. A piece of backing fabric to add to my growing collection too.










Thank you from the bottom of my heart ladies for your friendship and kindness.

The week before Christmas i was crocheting like a mad woman. I had started a blanket for a very dear friend of mine and it was not progressing speedily enough, always your mind tells you things wont take as long as they actually do. I thought i would have to send an IOU in a card as her gift as it wasn't going to be finished in time, but luckily i had it all wrapped and ready to give her on the Friday evening when i saw her.










The lovely Stylecraft special DK wool in the colours, khaki, camel, plum and grape are the chosen ones for this blanket. I am lucky to have a shop locally that now sells this. I love the colour combo of this one. Looks like my new crochet hook might have to be tested on something similar for DH, he's been real patient waiting for me to get gifts finished so now might be the time to start on a blanket for him.

My final post before we bid farewell to 2011 and the new year begins. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the gift of your friendship and support during the past year. I hope that you are all blessed with a very happy, healthy and enjoyably craft filled 2012.



Love and best wishes to you all from our home to yours.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve

My dear friends

Thank you so much for your supportive words on my post about our loss of Mr Moe, hubby and i are most grateful to you, it really meant a lot to us.

The month of December is not a good one for us, too many sad anniversary memories, the passing of my dad on 19th and maternal grandmother who actually passed away on Christmas Day morning a few years back. It is also my eldest sons anniversary on 27th December, so i always tend to be a bit quiet in the run up to Christmastime. With the added loss of Moe this month too, it has been somewhat harder this year.

We have been spending family time together. We took Isabelle into the town centre to see the decorations for her first Christmas. This year they are as beautiful as ever. One side of the town hall square is Peter Rabbit and the other is Alice in Wonderland.

The fountain is lit up too and looks very majestic. The tree at the Clock Tower is amazing, so many twinkling lights. I love my trip each year to see what our council has done for us, but this year it was extra special pushing Isabelle around and watching the wonderment in her eyes as we stopped to look.


















Earlier in the month i sent out some birthday gifts to stitching friends.

Tina (no blog) celebrated a special birthday and i decided to send her a little bourse, it's a long time since i made one of these. The design i chose to put inside is Elizabeth Designs, Dear Friend. I'm happy to say Tina loved it.










Sally celebrated her birthday too.

We have known each other since i joined my first forum for online stitchers, i think it's about 8 years now since that happened.

We always exchange a stitched small for birthdays and this year I chose to stitch this lovely freebie from Windy Willows called Petite Lapin and made it into a pinkeep.



Angi (no blog) is another online friend i have known since my first forum visit.

She has a love of lighthouses and this little chart is from an old Gallery magazine, i saw this way back earlier in the year when searching for something else and kept it inside my workbox ready for her December birthday.

I loved the hand dyed polstitches fabric from one of their grab bags, it just seemed to shout out for this design to be stitched on it.

Christmas Eve evening as i write this, are you all ready for the big day tomorrow? Everything here is done, gifts all delivered to friends and family, fridge bursting with goodies and table all set for dinner tomorrow. We have a roaring fire, watching Christmas movies on the TV and the choccie tin has had the wrapping taken off, so it's officially time to sit and relax after a busy day.

Sending lots of festive love your way for a peaceful and happy time with those you love and hold dear in your lives. Special thoughts to those with angel parents and children at this special family time.

It's been fun here already this year, as you can see little 'baby Belle' as Grandpa fondly refers to her is on the move and is getting quicker by the day. The tree has survived so far but Midge is rapidly learning to find a hiding place when she is here.

Have fun and enjoy, don't work too hard ladies, husbands can wash up and help out no matter what they tell you ....

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Goodnight Mr Moe



Sadness has fallen upon us here.

Mr Moe has been unwell for a couple of weeks and was being treated for a front left paw infection. Last night he was admitted to the emergency pet hospital. Due to his failing condition u
ltrasound investigations were done and it was found that he also had advanced liver and spleen cancer. This morning at 11.15am hubby and i were present with him when he slipped quietly away with the help of the vet.

God Bless you Mr Moe, we have had eleven and a half wonderful years with you, and have lots of wonderful and happy memories that will come to for forefront of our minds when our grieving subsides.

Love Mum x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ornament Exchange revealed

Christine organises the ornament exchange at Needlecraft Haven and its one of the exchanges that i really look forward to each year.

I opened a real beauty from Kate.

It was so nicely wrapped in Christmas tissue paper with a lovely card added. Thank you so much Kate it will be perfect for my tree (when i get it out the attic and put up!)

Kate has blogged that the design comes from the November Gift of Stitching online magazine.

Lindsay was the stitcher i made mine for.

She has a love of snowmen and when i came across this little guy carrying his Christmas tree in the Dec 1999 issue of World of Cross Stitch (issue 26) i just knew i had to stitch him. His little smile is so infectious.

I had the perfect card to accompany it too. Two little children carrying their own tree.

A little more gift making last week.

I came across these shop made stockings when i was out wandering around the town and thought how nice it would be to add the names of two little children i buy a small gift for.

I used waste canvas and stitched their names and little holly leaves and then removed the waste canvas after. I'd already bought a couple of small items for them and was relieved to find that they will actually fit into the stocking - thought for a moment there was going to be a panic and one of the pressies would be too big.... phew.

Hooky has been happening too. Stuck for an idea for a friend, DH suggested that i make her a cushion similar to the one i made mum.

When you make gifts for friends and family it's always hard to remember what you have sent them in the past, thank goodness usually for online albums LOL.

This time i knew i hadn't crocheted anything for her as i have only been doing it for a year so well done DH, a good idea.

Time to get off the computer and go and wrap up some of the gifts, mum is coming over this weekend to exchange gifts and i have not wrapped a thing this year yet!!

Happy crafting, whatever you are making...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hooky happenings

It's that time of the year when we are all making secret projects for friends and family. I've too have been busy but i do have a couple of things i can share share with you.









This crochet cushion is for a family member. A plain granny for the back and 9 mini ones for the front, embellished with 9 brightly coloured flowers (flower pattern by Lucy @ Attic 24)

I loved making this one, the buttons i found in my box, a perfect match i thought. I think i am a loose crocheter as you can see the cushion insert through the holes but it still looks fantastic.









One major problem when this one was finished, DH is most upset that it's not for us and that i am giving it away! Here we go again, same old thing, he always wants what is not for us just lately. As i pointed out it's far too late now to be saying these things and i will have to go and hide when crafting in future if he doesn't stop putting the guilt trip on me for giving stuff away he likes.

A little stitching too, my neighbours daughter is getting married on Friday this week. Just a small wedding, but i thought it would be nice to make a little card to celebrate the occasion.

A simple design with just the names and date added. I had the card in my stash already. I seem to be saying that a lot recently, amazing what you find when you have a sort out and put stuff away.

Are you all organised for Christmas?

To be honest, my brain is still not thinking in terms of the festive season, how can it be when i step into the garden and see a rose in bloom and my fuschia is still flowering lovely, very strange indeed.










Venturing down the garden you get accosted by a new addition that has come to live next door, meet Jasper, he is such a little sweetie and desperate for someone to play with outside in the windy conditions we have been experiencing.

I'm sure he thinks we are his second home as he is always trying to sneak inside with my boys. He is adorable though and so cuddlesome and cute.

Thursday is December 1st and that means i'll be able to open my secret Christmas ornament that has arrived here, how exciting! I'll also be able to reveal what i stitched and who i sent mine to. Christmastime does bring exciting and happy things to a stitcher doesn't it.

Wishing you happiness in your life ...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Yiotas Review

I recently received an email asking my if i would be willing to review one of the kits at www.yiotas-xstitch.com

I explained that this time of the year is very busy with gift making and i would not be able to start anything new till next year and thanked Yiota for asking me but would have to decline. I received a lovely reply saying that next year would be fine and would i like to have a look round the site and choose any kit i liked the look of.

There are so many lovely designs to choose from and i spent a long time browsing. Lots of fabulous charts that i have not seen anywhere else. I have a love of William Morris and settled on a kit called 'Hare'

Speedy delivery service and it arrived soon after i requested it.

It was packaged into a sturdy cardboard backed A4 envelope marked 'Do Not Bend' and my address was clearly printed on the front.

I was not disappointed with the contents.

The kit comes in a clear see through envelope and is complete with 14ct white aida and a needle.

The picture design is printed on beautiful quality A3 paper. It also comes with clear instructions where to begin your stitching on the fabric and how many threads to use.

The printing is very clear and the symbols are easy to read and follow. Where the printed sheets run over there is a 2 line overlap that is clearly marked.









The threads are madeira threads, i've never used these before so will be intrested to see how they stitch up. All of the threads are pre-wound onto bobbins which was fantastic as the one thing i hate about kits is when you have to sort out each thread and try to make sense of which one is for which symbol especially if there are some that are very similar. There is also a conversion to DMC should you wish to use these instead if you buy any of the charts only instead of the kits.

I am not a lover of aida so will probably change that to something more to my liking but i am really looking forward to stitching this one up.

Please pop along to www.yiotas-xstitch.com and have a look at the things she has on offer. There are subcategories for beginners, intermediate and advanced stitchers and everything is sorted by theme, it's a nice easy site to follow and use. There are also free charts to download and print.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

More Christmas ornies

I've finished off the the last 3 ornaments for the bazaar and handed them over to one of the organisers. She was very pleased with my efforts and thinks they will all be snapped up - let's hope so.

I tried to make each of the six different, these charts are also from a very old magazine. Some of the older designs are so lovely. This time we have a felted stocking, a flat pinkeep design and a small cushion, the wording on the fabric along the bottom of the shepherds and sheep reads 'Noel' it was hard to get a good pic with the recent dull days we've been having.

Today though, the weather is the complete opposite, a crisp, cold bright and sunshiney day. I heard someone on the radio telling how many shopping days were left till Christmas, i'm sure they can't be right, i am not organised at all this year, not sure what's different but i just can't seem to get in the mood to get cracking. I've almost finished a crochet gift for a family member so i'll show you that next time.

A trip to the post office today and my Christmas Ornament is on it's way, this is a secret exchange so no show of what i made till 1st December when we will learn who stitched for who. I'm stalking my postie looking forward to mine arriving, he got such a shock today when i opened the front door before he even pressed the doorbell wondering if he had it in his little mitts, but alas not today, maybe tomorrow. He is such a nice man and knows i am a mad woman when it comes to stitchy post.... aren't we all?

Friday, 11 November 2011

LEST WE FORGET



I'd like to share with you this beautiful poem written by a local 10 year old schoolgirl called Georgia

Great memorials are set in stone now to commemorate the injured and the dead

World War Two was hard and painful, many tears were shed

This is how my poem goes, both pain and happiness it shows...

In 1939 the start of the war was declared, many people hopeful, many people scared

Most women were used to baking a cake and cleaning the home

now they were making a gun, World War Two had truly begun

Ferocious fights and beastly battles...

It wasn't a fairy tale, there weren't any castles

But it came to an end, the blood, sweat and tears were shed

Many husbands, brothers, fathers lay on the battlefield dead.

When for two minutes you stop and think, although to us it is just a blink

compared to the wars where our soldiers fought, let us think how much it has taught

How countries can unite

How friendships can be made

How wrongs can be put right and all fears be allayed

So on Remembrance Day wear your poppy with pride

For all the soliders alive

and for the ones that have died.


God Bless them all

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fundraising

Every Saturday morning i go along to the local church to meet up with friends. They are trying to raise money for improvements to the bell tower and one of the church wardens came up with the idea during the Spring of having a Saturday breakfast cafe to do this. He is the chef there and with his family provide the staff for the morning.

It's a fantastic morning, there are people from the local community there that i only see on a Saturday, friends from the stitch club and Amy comes along with Isabelle too. We enjoy a beautiful cooked breakfast and are waited on by two lovely ladies. It's my little treat of the week and there is no rush to get you to leave as soon as you have eaten, a truly friendly and happy place to spend some time.

This Saturday four of us went on to another local church after our breakfasts. It was having a Christmas Craft Fair with things for sale that the church ladies had made to raise funds for their Baptist church

I asked some of the stall holders if i could take some pics to share with you.





































You wont see these beauties on the pics as i snapped them up as soon as i arrived, so pretty and something that i would like to be able to do myself. Maybe one day, perhaps next years learning project, need to find a pattern for them first though. I was quite surprised at the price they were charging for them though, it was nothing considering the amount of time i knew that had gone into making them. Very talented ladies who can crochet these lovely things with such thin thread.










I've been asked to make something for the Christmas Bazaar that is being held at the Community Centre in early December. Everyone who uses the centre has been asked to donate something to raise funds for the coming years activities that are organised by the Events Group Committee.

One lady at the stitch club has made baby cardigans. Another has been busy making sets of mittens for children. I decided i would make 6 ornaments as my contribution. I've stitched all 6, traditional designs and here are the first 3 i have made up this weekend.

Seeing the price for the lovely crochet ornaments i bought yesterday got me thinking though, if the organisers ask me how much i think each one shoud be priced what would i say? I dont usually stitch to sell.

How much do you think is a reasonable price for a handstitched ornament? How much would you pay for one? I know it's different when you are a crafter, you expect to pay a little more as you know the time and effort that has gone into something handmade, but not everyone appreciates that do they and i do want them to be sold on the day. I would really appreciate your help in deciding what to charge, thank you.

This weekend here in the UK it was Bonfire night - November 5th throughout Britain, we commemorate the capture of Guy Fawkes with bonfires and fireworks, and by burning an effigy of Guy. There were lots of celebrations both on Friday and Saturday night this year. DH and i stayed home both nights as Mr Moe is petrified of the loud bangs and whizzes. We did have our own little bonfire in the sitting room though as we lit the open fire for the first time this year on Saturday night. Both my kittys were very grateful and settled down in front to get nice and toasty warm. I hope all those that went to celebration had fun and enjoyed themselves.