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Monday, 30 December 2013

It was Christmas and now it's nearly the new year

Our Christmas started off just as we planned.

Firstly, helping Santa to deliver some goodies to a little lady and then off to the city centre for a Christmas Eve wander looking at the wonderful decorations.

The Town Hall standing to the West was resplendant wishing us Season's Greetings

and this years theme around the fountain, to the north was Thomas the Tank Engine

to the South the Wombles were having a fun time

and in the East the lovely nativity scene

The surrounding streets were all bedecked with festive lights too and we had a lovely stroll wrapped up all nice and cosy.  There were quite a lot of people around, many children too.  I guess their parents thought perhaps they could tire them out so they would sleep soundly instead of listening out for Santa's sleigh bells.

We came home and sat nice and cosy in front of a roaring fire....

Christmas morning was fun, Isabelle certainly had a good time.  If present opening was an Olympic event, she would certainly be in the running for the gold medal.  Rip, rip, 'ahaaa just what I wanted' we kept hearing and 'wow...more for me.'

Being a grandparent is certainly more fun at Christmastime than being the parent of youngsters, and you are not so worn out and ready for a nap even at 11am in the morning -  yes, my daughter did say she could do with a sleep about that time as she was exhausted lol.

We headed off home and left the family to have a quiet day to themselves as their work schedules meant they didn't have much time off.

Boxing Day I had a houseful for another Christmas dinner, I loved it.  There is something very satisfying about being mum and feeding your family and them all clearing their plates and saying how lovely it was. 

Everyone had to wear their paper crown out of the crackers, we were ordered to by the Queen....

I was thoroughly spoiled.  DH bought me a Radley purse (gotta love that little dog) and I also had some wonderful gifts from stitching friends.   Here's a snap of my goodies from them.
Thank you all for your kindness, it was very much appreciated.

In my Christmas stocking I found a little Bucilla stitching kit from my brother. He must have picked that up when he was over the pond earlier this year.

He has a birthday early next month so i've stitched it up and will give it him back all finished for his birthday.  That should surprise him.

So for us, a normal family Christmastime, lots of fun, laughter and enjoyment with a little rest and relaxation mixed in with it.  No arguments or crossed words, just deep satisfaction that all went well and everyone was happy with the gifts they received.

Over the weekend the sunshine came out and even though it was chilly we wrapped up warm and headed out for a nice walk.

Draycote Water is a lovely spot. The ground was quite muddy, but there is a lovely pathway around the reservoir spanning 5 miles. 


Lots of children cycling or on their scooters, some on roller skates.  Parents had the same idea to be out in the sunshine too.  One family of about 14 people had met up for a family picnic in the childrens play area, they were having such fun all together. 

There was one little guy who obviously had received a new camera and tripod as his gift and spent an age setting all his equipment up to take pictures of the birdlife that was out on the water.  DH and I just wandered along enjoying our time outside and soaking up the fresh air after being indoors and DH was trying out his new camera that santa brought him too. 

Another walk at Pitsford Water Park and we were inundated with ducks, and seagulls.

They were trying to gobble up our mince pies as we sat and enjoyed them with a hot chocolate at the waters edge.... no chance Mr Seagull, too good for birds... he sat there for ages hoping for a nibble!

As for other stitching - I'm still hoping to have a finish of Vintage Christmas before the end of the year, just a few more hours stitching and it will be finished ...... I just need a few more hours to be able to sit and stitch though, hubbys at home this week so it might not happen.  Part 4 of the Jardin Prive SAL will have to wait and i'll do that as well as Part 5 as that comes out this week too.  I've also got an exchange gift to have stitched and sent out ready for opening day 10th January so I better get sorted with that.  Look like the new year will be off to a stitching good start. I had a new start all planned, might just have to do that too.

We'll soon be entering the New Year so before I close, I'd just like to thank you all for coming along here and reading my waffling all year, being very supportive and encouraging me in my crafting.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and wonderful 2014


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Season's Greetings

The last couple of weeks have been really busy, parties to go to, meals out with friends, coffee at home with friendly stitchers and lots more.  It's been a lovely time and I have enjoyed it all.

Pressies are wrapped, cards written and sent and I have found it not very stressful at all this year, just busy.  Everything seems to have come together so beautifully and peacefully.

Are you organised and sorted for the big day?

Just one more thing to do here, we've got to drop off some goodies round to my daughters later this evening when a certain little person is not about and then hubby and I are off to wander the streets in the city and look at the festive decorations in their magnificence. They get taken down again before New Years Eve and it will be a nice end to a busy few days to have a lovely quiet evening stroll.

Earlier this month Sally celebrated her 50th birthday and I had been asked if I would like to contribute to her special gift. There was to be a stitched quilt for her.

This is the square I stitched for it....

and here is the quilt all finished, thanks to Mouse who put it all together.
I've taken the pic from Sally's blog to show you.  You can see all the squares close up on Sally's blog.

The challenge at NH for December was revealed.  This months design was The Sampler Girl, its been on my 'to do' list for a while, so I was pleased to be able to stitch it.

And ...... big drum roll...... Isabelle's stocking was finally made up and is hanging on their fireplace.  I am so pleased with how it turned out in the end.  Why was I in such a panic to put it together, it went together really easily in the end.
I'm still stitching along on Vintage Christmas, hoping to have a finish over the holidays with that.  Also have the Jardin Prive part 4 to complete too.  There hasn't been much stitching going on here recently as I had an accident with a new vegetable peeler and took the top off my index stitching finger!  All healed now, so hopefully lots of little stitches will be taking place in my quiet moments during the festive celebrations.
My tree is decorated, not so many ornaments this year as I wanted all my stitched ones to be the focus and also we have some new candle lights and they are a lot bigger than my previous set of lights
The fireplace if all sparkly and we've been having some lovely open fires as the evenings have been quite chilly.  Can you see my Mary's Sampler hanging there in it's temporary frame, I'm not keen on the black frame but that's the only one I could find and wanted it to be up for this Christmas. 
My late MIL's knitted nativity takes pride of place and out of reach of little fingers.

Just had to show you this, I received this beautiful hand stitched card from Kathy (no blog), its so cute and stitched so beautifully.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmastime spent with those you love and hold dear to you.
My thoughts are with those of you who I know find this time of year very difficult and I hope that you find the strength in your hearts to enjoy whatever comes you way and have a lovely time.
See you after the man in red has been down my chimney .....
love and {hugs}

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A bit of calm during busy times

Hubby and I went out of town at the weekend to do a little Christmas shopping.  We took with us a flask and sat in the countryside drinking hot chocolate and eating a little cake we'd bought watching the birds and enjoying the silence after all the hustle and bustle we'd been in at the shops. 

We came across this ... doesn't it look sorry for itself all covered in brambles and neglected

and as the evening drew in we saw the most wonderful sunset on our way home.

Little things seem to be so pleasing to me at the moment and bringing a smile to my face.  This time of year is usually one of sadness for me with sad memories, but this year I feel quite calm and peaceful and I'm not sure I can actually describe it really.
It's been nice to spend time finding just the right gift even if it's only cost a few pennies or better still if I've handmade it and wrapping it in the loveliest of papers.... 
adding a bit of sparkle to the parcel ....

Getting all the parcels ready for the post office and sending them off with the Christmas cards and wondering if the recipients will enjoy what I've chosen and will the cards bring a smile to the face of those who are not so happy at the moment and have lots occupying their minds.
A visit to the park when we looked after Isabelle last week so mummy and daddy could do some secret shopping.  All wrapped up against the chill of the December winds .....
then coming home to warm up and do a little painting.
A visit to my daughters and watching Isabelle get so excited at being big enough to stand on the chair and help mummy bake mince pies - her daddy's favourite, a treat for him.  
I find it enthralling that at just over two and a half she is so bright and like a little sponge soaking up everything and wanting to be part of all that's happening this festive season.

Knowing that the ornament I lovingly stitched for the exchange has been received and was liked.
A design called Quilt Cube from a very old JCS Magazine stitched over 1 on 22ct aida to make it a little bigger than suggested in the magazine. I added 3 little bells so it jingles - that was a talking point at the Post Office when I tried to send it and the postmaster asked what was making all the noise inside the envelope.  How can you silence bells?

What's making you feel happy and contented at the moment? or are you stressed and going round in circles with all the preparations you have to make? I do hope its the former and not the later.
Love from

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New start and new ornament for my tree

With the start of advent I've had a new start for the month of December.

What is it?  

Ok you twisted my arm........ i'll show you ....

Vintage Christmas by LHN
Fabric 32ct linen in cocoa, but I've changed a couple of the threads
Three more little stockings for family members have flown off the knitting needles too. These will have a lovely treat of a little bar of Thorntons special chocolate inside.  A little treat for family who I usually just exchange a card with.  We've done some extra special things together this year and I feel I would like to show them how much I love them with a little handmade giftie.

December 1st was also the day for the opening of the ornaments in the exchange over at NH. Christine kindly organises this, I think it's probably been running for the past 5 years now in some way or another.  It's an exchange that I really look forward to each year. Just a stitched ornament, no extras, but I get to send something to a friend stitcher and also receive a new stitched one for my own tree.  I love this exchange, it's my favourite of the year.  It's a secret exchange so we wont know who sent to who till the list comes out when everyone has received.

My parcel arrived today.  I'd been admiring these little sleds on a blog recently and thought how nice it would be to get one and make it for my tree for next year.  Lo and behold that's what was in my exchange parcel.  Thank you so much 'Secret Stitcher' I love it.  Just need to get hubby to venture into the attic and get the Christmas decorations down so I can put it on the tree, for now it's sitting on my mantelpiece so I can admire it... it makes me smile every time I look at it.

I know the one I made has been received, i'll show you that when the list has been published. I don't want to spoil the surprise just in case the person reads here, it's a secret .... ssshhh.
I hope you are progressing well with your festive organising.  For me, it's slow going, motivation seems to be lacking at present, but I don't seem to be in a panic either, I keep telling myself we still have plenty of time ...... 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A day to be thankful....

We are fast approaching the end of November and today the folks in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones today and thank you to all who stop by and read my rambles.

It seems only a couple of days since I was writing my last post, but another month has passed me by.  I've been reading that a lot on crafters blogs this year.  I do have a little excuse though.  I've been nursing that lergy that's been doing the rounds.  The awful cough/cold germs have been residing here with me for almost 2 weeks now and I've spent a lot of that time asleep under the comfy blanket and single handedly keeping Mr Kleenex in business!  I hope you escape it, its not nice at all.  I'm feeling a lot brighter today and have just uploaded some pictures from the camera onto the computer so thought I had better stop by and share them and give you a quick 'wave' hello.

My hubby is a great supporter of my hobbies and I recently accompanied him to a model train exhibition in support of his.  I wasn't feeling to thrilled to be going, but got such a surprise, there was the most wonderful exhibition called Bramble Bottom.  This little railway is run by mice and other woodland creatures all with moving parts.  If you click the link you can see a youtube video of the little creatures in action.  I could have watched them all day.... got to have been a lady enthusiast involved in this I think.

A little more forward planning for the festive season has been happening.  A couple of outfits for Isabelle's Christmas doll complete her new wardrobe with some woolly undergarments to keep out the winter chills and a nice dress, also a pair of flowery pj's.

There has also been a Christmas Fayre at the local community centre and the Book Borrowers were asked to have a stall.  We all contributed to it and I knitted up 15 little stockings filled with chocolates.  We did well and made some money to buy us some new books in the new year.

A little stitching.... Reindeer Stables is finished, but I still have quite a few to do over the next few months, so a finish of these will be for next Christmas now. I'll continue with them in the parlour with the ladies over at NH in the coming months.
I've also enjoyed SAL'ing with a lot of you doing the Plum Street Samplers mystery over the past 9 weeks. A little finish on that this afternoon.
A big decision has been made about a certain project I had languishing in my workbox.  Yes, it was the HAED.  I started at the beginning of 2007.  I was gifted the chart and fabric by another stitcher who was at the time an avid HAED stitcher and thought I might enjoy trying it.  I think it was Cathey's passing that made me finally reach a decision about it.  After a lot of thought and pondering I decided that I was never going to enjoy this one and i have never thrown away any stitched project at all and thought perhaps someone else might like to finish it off.   It would go to it's new home with everything. 
I asked the ladies at the meet up earlier this month if anyone wanted to give it a home but no one was interested so I offered it on the forum and was very pleased when a lady asked if she could try it.  She had wanted to have a go with a HAED for a while and liked the design.  It went off in the hands of Royal Mail and I will admit to skipping out the post office when I knew it was on its way to a new home.  It arrived safely and she loves it, so i'm happy.  That just leaves me with one UFO project that I will endeavour to get done during 2014, I do actually like that one lol.
A nice new chart arrived with me this week too, a win on Riona's blog.  A very beautiful stocking design with some lovely speciality stitches from Calico Crossroads, thank you so much Riona.
Well, that's the latest pics from the camera and a round up for November I guess.  How are you all doing with your festive preparations and crafting of those little gifts that people so love?  This weekend sees the start of Advent and that means we are nearing the man in red coming down your chimney, I hope you have been good!
A good blog reading session is planned over the coming week, I need to catch up with all your news, I might not leave a comment on each and every post you've made but will certainly be stopping by to see what great things you have all been up to.
Take care
love and best wishes (germ free of course)