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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Round Robin ready to fly home

Good morning blog readers, today the sun is shining and everything seems well with my world, i hope it is for you too.

Here in the UK we have an extended weekend as it's the late summer bank holiday so a lot of people will be having Monday off work. DH and i hadn't anything planned so have just been pottering about catching up on things that needed doing and taking it easy.

He was in the garden yesterday inbetween the heavy rain showers and i spent a nice morning in my conservatory with needle and thread and finished my part on the RR from NH.

How it arrived with me -

and how it will leave me.... I finished the yellow angel and very lovely she was to stitch.

Clare's notes that accompanied the design say it is Angel Blessings by Gail Bussi and was in the copy of Cross Stitch Gold magazine that she received as a gift at Christmastime.

This is the final posting of the RR's and this will now return to Clare for her to complete. Mine will come home and i will be able to stitch the final page of My Little Book of Stitches by Debbie Draper and then make it up. I'm really excited to see what it looks like after being away since the beginning of the year.

I still have my nose in a book and this weekend i started this one.

A couple of the Book Borrowers have read this and highly recommended it. It won “Newcomer of the Year” Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards in 2007 and has been talked about in the media.

Keen to preserve the integrity of the book and to give something back to the Mediterranean island on which it is based, Hislop spurning Hollywood, the author settled for “far less” from Mega, the Greek broadcaster, which adapted The Island as the 26-part drama To Nisi which was broadcast in 2010-2011, becoming the most successful television series ever broadcast in Greece. The series has since been sold for syndication to Turkey and Croatia.

The Island has been translated into more than twenty languages, and has been a bestseller in many countries around the world.

The synopsis reads :-

On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother’s past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.

Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone’s throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion.

She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip…

I've read a few chapters and it made me want to look up this island off the coast of Crete in Greece. so, i've just found Spinalonga on the computer just to see exactly where it is and find out more about it - dont you just love technology when you can press a button and it works. Very interesting reading, in 1903 the Greek State decided all lepers in the country would be placed in quarantine on the island and i didn't know it was an still that way right up until 1957. 760 people lived there and 36 children were born on the island. After watching this video i'll be able to see in my minds eye where this novel which is a cross between fact and fiction is set.

I think this is going to be one of those books that leaves an impression on you. Has anyone else read it?

Take care my friends, give those you love a {big hug} to remind them how important they are to you.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

It's my age!

What is it about an apron? I've had them before and only used them occasionally. I've had wipe clean ones made from oilcloth and i've had nice frilly vintage ones. I even have an old butchers type navy striped one that belonged to my maternal grandfather, but this new one that DH bought me for Christmas seems to have bedazzled me.

I find i am putting it on at every opportunity and i must say i seem to be more focused on the task being done when wearing it. It goes on when i wash up, it goes on when i am cooking and serving up our evening meal. Even DH has commented on 'value for money' in it.

It's made me feel like a domestic goody goody and i have to say i enjoy wearing it, i even caught myself hanging out with washing with it still on this morning. Have i turned into some kind of barking mad woman? Do you wear an apron when doing household chores?

The sewing front has been more productive too lately. I've finished off all 8 book cover front designs for the winners of the different categories in our horticultural show that will take place on Sept 8th. The lady that normally stitches these is no longer a member of the committee so i've done them this year.

Clare's RR arrived at the weekend with me so that is now on the frame for this weeks stitching. This is the last round so when the next posting comes along we should all get our own design back again. I really need to get motivated to stitch more as this and the Autumn exchange piece have deadlines and i haven't even thought about the speciality stitches RR that i signed up for. Maybe i should wear the apron when stitching to get my concentration levels up???

My nose has been in a book or two or even three in the past couple of weeks too. I've read the new Barbara Erskine book - River of Destiny - that i had for my birthday, which i enjoyed very much. But, i confess, Agatha Raisin has also had another 2 adventures in two further books and i started on book 7 last night. With meeting the ladies at the Book Borrowers each week and they are all talking about her, it's hard to put the books down as you know others are waiting to borrow them. At least i can say i am making time to have quite a bit of relaxation time to myself each day, sshhh don't tell hubby lol.

We've been having some weird weather here recently, i snapped this the other evening at teatime, the sky went quite dark and looked quite stormy for a while, all of a sudden the sun shone through and made a kind of rainbow effect in the clouds, very effective and pretty over the rooftops.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment, and welcome to the new visitors who have been dropping in for a read.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Birthday goodies

My birthday was a very emotional time this year. My whole family organised a surprise picnic at a local beauty spot and they were all there to help me celebrate last Sunday. I had no idea they had been planning this wonderful surprise just for me, i thought DH and i were going out to lunch together and it's left me feeling very emotional all week that they would be so kind and lovely and spoil me so.

I was very lucky on my actual birthday, Monday 30th and received the loveliest of gifts.

Angi (no blog) made me one of her lovely cards, it received a lot of lovely comments from friends and family.

An envelope from Christine contained some lovely Anchor threads and buttons.

Kathy (no blog) stitched a beautiful card and enclosed a fabulous 'I love X Stitch' pin and some fabric.

Karan made me one of her handmade cards and knowing my love of Peter Rabbit sent some wonderful teas in the cutest tins for me to brew whilst stitching. A lovely magnet that sits on my fridge and ribbons for my finishing.

Sally made me the most beautiful heart shaped pillow, i had admired this on Sally's blog when she made one for Karan's birthday earlier in July, now i have my very own.

Clare and i meet regularly and sometimes she comes to visit me at home. She stitched me a wonderful towel for my kitchen. I have the willow design crockery so this was the most perfect choice of design.

Barb's reputation for making such beautiful things is well known in the stitching community, especially with those ladies who have been lucky to receive one of her beautiful creations in exchanges and RAK's.

She made me a stunning gift. A needlebook that was stitched and filled with a small needlebook, scissors, notebook and pen, a Blackbird Designs little chart, Werthers Originals for me slurp away when i am stitching. I keep opening and closing this just to look inside to make sure everything is still there and look at it. Fabulous!

For those who have been reading my blog a while you will no doubt remember Seymour and the bunny family that i made and sent to Barb. They are naughty little rascals sometimes and each year when my birthday comes along they send 'Julie mum' a little gift. This year they sent me the latest Barbara Erskine book to read.

For my new readers who are not familiar with Seymour - he arrived for Barbs birthday in February 2009 complete with spectacles. He got his name, as he likes to 'see more' stitching happening at Barb's home.

His internet bride Rose came along September 2009 and they duly celebrated their marriage with a bottle of wine at Barb's home.

Their girls were born December and completed their family December 2009.

Barb sometimes has pics of them on her blog showing the antics they get up to.

She even took them on holiday one year lol.

Thank you so much to all of you who made my birthday so very special this year, for the cards, gifts and emails i received.

A big thank you to my blog readers for their birthday wishes too and to those who come to visit and just browse, thank you for taking time to visit. A big friendly welcome to my new followers.

I read quite a few blogs and i would like to thank you for the continued inspiration that i get from seeing your wonderful work and the enthusiasm you put into your craftwork, it sure does make me happy to be part of this blogging community.... told you i was all emotional this week.

Much love


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Goodbye July & Hello August

There goes another month and the stitching plans for July just did not happen. Not a stitch went into Shores and there was no monthly Christmas ornament either, oh dear.

Needle has been put to fabric this past week. Must admit though it was just a little. So, at last, some stitching photos to share.

It's time for the RR to fly again and this time i stitched on Dusty's. She chose to have Christmas ornments for her tree. The holly wreath with the golden bells was my choice from the designs she marked a preference for.

It really is very colourful and beautiful and her tree will be so lovely with the 6 ornaments from this Round Robin on it at Christmastime. It was a clever choice and something i hadn't thought of doing before in a RR.

With time marching on the Sampler for the winner of the Best in Show at our horticultural show in September had it's final stitch added too, it just needs to be fitted into it's frame ready for the big day.

I am telling you if this was my school report, the teacher would have written .... 'must try harder, could do better, easily distracted recently' LOL

What's the big distraction? It's the Book Borrowers group. I am loving having my nose in a book and discussing it each week at the group. The english teacher comment for this would be so different though. I might just be the teachers pet ... 'Julie has improved her reading skills and is making good progress on her reading list this year' and i might just get an A grade as i have read 4 books since my last post just over 2 weeks ago. That is an all time record for me as i always said i was a very slow reader.

Ok, you all want to know what i have read don't you.

Last post i showed you A Tangled Summer by Caroline Kington, a family story that was very enjoyable and some turns in the story that i didn't see coming. Angels in My Hair by Lorna Byrne was the next one, that was an unexpected choice as i had another book lined up but it kind of jumped off the bookshelf at me asking to be read and i read it in just a couple days. A true story about an irish mystic and her life, another very good read.

The saga of dear Agatha Raisin continues and one of the ladies managed to locate the next 2 books in the series. Book 3 The Potted Gardener and Book 4 The Walkers of Dembley were picked up at a car boot sale. I am so loving Agatha and her ways and she is a great topic of conversation at the group each week. We are all becomming Agatha stalkers and i have even treated myself to the Agatha Raisin companion book that i saw when out last week.

We are desperately trying to decide who out the actresses we know would play the part of Agatha. In the BBC radio 4 plays (which are not the same as the book and have been adapted for radio and changed a little and in my opinion no where near as funny and good) she is played by Penelope Keith but she just doesn't seem right some how. For those who know Agatha, who would you choose to play the part?

oh yes, and what teacher comment would be on your stitching report for July??

I celebrated my birthday on Monday this week and was totaly spoilt by stitching friends i have come to know over the past few years, i've taken pics but this post seems to have gotten quite long so i'll show you those over the weekend. I'm a little behind with blog reading too, sorry.

Hope all is well with you all and thank you for taking time to drop in here, i do appreciate each and every visit and comment.

Much love