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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Farewell to February

My sidebar memory jogger for February so i could try and keep on track of everything i wanted to achieve this month seems to have had an much better effect, its most definately worked to make me more productive.

What did i plan to achieve when i filled in the memory jogger at the end of January?

Make progress on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
YES - i finished Block and 9 and have made this progress on Block 10

Wednesday SAL in the Parlour - CCN Santa Village
YES - finished Santas House and have started Poinsettia Place

Friday Stocking-A-Long with online stitchers
YES - This started 1st February and i stitched every Friday - Friday again tomorrow, so a progress pic next update.

Monthly Challenge @ NH
YES - This month it was Threadwork Primitives - showed my finish in the last post as reveal day is the last Sunday of the month.

Monthly Christmas Ornament SAL @ NH
YES - I chose the freebie Xmas Time from The Primitive Hare - this was actually the Nov/Dec challenge but didn't get done.  It was stitched earlier this month but only made up just in time to still be in Feb .... talk about leaving things till the last minute!

Speciality Stitches RR
YES - post out was beginning of  Feb and it went on time, it was stitched late January.
The next one belongs to Angie (no blog) and will be heading home all finished.  It's stitched and send out is beginning of March - will post pic when it's been posted on.

I've also manged some things that were not on the list. Miss Valentine bunny went to Kate in the valentine draw and a cardigan for Isabelle that had been a WIP was finished and of course the Whitman Tin finish that was for Barbs birthday.

Reading comprised of just one Agatha Raisin adventure - There Goes the Bride and also Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult, both of which i thoroughly enjoyed.

The Book Borrowers continues to thrive and this year we've joined the local library as a group. We can then have enough copies of the same book to all read at the same time.  I've delegated some jobs to group members and the lady responsible for our library services made the first choice herself for our bi-monthly selection. 

February's choice was Kind of Cruel by Sophie Hannah.

None of the group had read this author before.  Unfortunately i dont think we will be reading her again either. One lady read the whole book, i persevered and only managed to get half way through and all the others didn't want to continue after the first few chapters.  Has anyone else read her books? What did you think to them?  Lets hope when the next member chooses the book for April we have more success.

The months inbetween the library choice we'll be having the mystery book in a bag again.  Books have been found by myself this time.  As the ladies are using their book bags for their ongoing reads every week, i have wrapped up the books in newspaper and they will get to choose one at next Tuesdays meeting.  This was very successful last year and means you get to read authors you might not usually take off the shelves.  I'll let you know which one of them i came home with.

At the moment i'm reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.  I've also seen this recommended on a few blogs in recent months.  It's an enjoyable read so far and a vintage classic book being first published way back in 1949 and selling over a million copies then.  That is some book sales for that era.

I've also been lucky to receive a lovely RAK in the post this week. Gaynor over at Stitcheranon sent me a large squishy envelope containing all this lovely wool.  Thank you so much Gaynor for your kindness.  If you haven't been over to her blog, please do, she does the most amazing craftwork and is an inspiration to us all with her positivity and enthusiasm for everything.

Just goes to show if i am organised and not pondering and dithering about what to do, i can get lots of quality time in with my crafting and reading.

Let's hope March is just as good, i'm about to update the 'memory jogger' again for next month lol.

Wishing you many happy hours enjoying your hobbies during March.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Monthly Challenge reveal time

Firstly, i'd  like to thank you all for your anniversary wishes for myself and DH.

He arrived home from work on the day with these beauties. The freesia is my all time favourite flower, i love the delicate flowers and the aroma is just devine, you can smell it as soon as you walk into the room.

Today was the reveal for the monthly challenge at NH. This month Christine chose the lovely design from Threadwork Primitives called Valentine.  I changed the date to the year DH and i met and gave my little finish to him for our wedding anniversary. He loves it and it is now hanging his side of the bed... bless him.  You can see the other finishes in the album here.

Santas Village was out for Parlour night on Wednesday and as i put it away after my evenings stitching there was such a little bit to finish it off. It came out again last night and i added the final stitch and i'm all ready to start Poinsetta House next time.

Friday evening is stocking-a-long with Linda and Catherine. We have a new stitcher joining us Riona, welcome to the group Riona.  I'm looking forward to seeing which project you are stitching. 

If you have a Christmas stocking in your stash that needs starting, maybe its a WIP or a UFO that you would like to have finished for this holiday season, you are most welcome to join us Friday evenings.

This week a cow arrived to see if she could join the nativity.  She looks just like she is asking the sheep and the wise men if she can be part of their little group. It did make me smile to look at it when i took it off the frame.  What do you think she might be saying to them? So many possibilities (good and naughty) lol.

Shores has had the most attention this week and its paid off.  Block 9 is now complete... yippee!!

It's really looking great now and with only 3 blocks left the end is in sight, maybe i'll get it completed in time to enter into this years Horticultural show in September? That would be good.

Did you have a productive week of crafting?  I'm off for a blog reading catch up to see what lovelies you have all been working on since i visited you last.  There's bound to be lots of lovely finishes and works in progress for me to ooooh and aaaah at.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend spent with those you love.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Happy Birthday Barb

Lots of celebrations during February.  My 65th birthday bunny has now been delivered to my friend for her birthday yesterday, she loved her so that pleased me greatly.

Miss Valentine left the post office on Friday and should have arrived safely with Kate on Saturday. Strangely i have since learnt that it was Kate's birthday on Saturday, how weird that she was drawn as the winner by Tina and it was posted out to arrive perfectly on her birthday.  I couldn't have planned that better if i had tried. I hope you had a lovely birthday Kate.

Barb celebrated her birthday too, that was the end of last week.   I can now show you what i made for her.

A lovely whitmans tin ...

with the inside stitched like this ....

The design is specifically for this tin and comes from The Stitching Parlor.  I stitched the fob and added some angel scissors to it and also hubby made a small hole into a little childrens farmyard sheeps tail and a needlethreader was attached (unfortunately that seems to have jumped out of the photograph) - we all know Barbs love of anything sheepy lol. I hope you had a wonderful special age birthday Barb and you were thoroughly spoilt by friends and family.

Wednesday was parlour night at NH with the other parlour maids and as you know i'm stitching Santas Village. He now has a head, sorry Christine, i just could not bring myself to go with your suggestion on the last post to put his head on the snow beside him (although it did make me smile when i read it).

Friday night is Stocking-a-long evening with Linda and Catherine. I'm loving the bright colours in this one. The animals have started to arrive, 2 little sheep and the third king has made an appearance too.

A spot of knitting has also taken place.  A simple plain longline cardigan for Isabelle was completed Saturday and modelled by the little lady herself when she was here on Sunday as we had a family get together.

Today, i've spent a few hours in the company of Clare. She drove over to have some friendly stitching time.

She brought a lovely homemade guiness cake and we did partake of a slice each. DH is very happy, he does like cake and Clare was kind enough to bring a cake when she came once before.  That was for the summer exchange and she had stitched me a cake band and made the cake for it to go around.

DH and DS have each had a slice when they returned from work this afternoon and given it the thumbs up. Apparently, i need to have the recipe for this Clare. Maybe others would like it too and we can persuade you to put it on your blog? They both send you their thanks for thinking of them.

Tomorrow hubby and i celebrate our wedding anniversary and at the risk of sounding all gushing, i think we are even happier than when we first met. Age mellows you i think and different things are important to you as you get older. We value quality time together doing the simple things like a walk in the park or a little choccie and good DVD at the weekend.  February the month of love, and love certainly does make the world go round and a happier place. 

I hope all is well for you and yours. I do know a couple of ladies who are going through some very difficult times right now and send you lots of love and {{hugs}}.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day - We have a winner

Miss Valentine is off to a new home .....

Tina came over to spend the day with me today, we had a lovely day stitching and chatting. I printed off all the comments, folded the entries and put them into a large bowl and Tina was kind enough to draw a winner.

She pulled out your name KATE  .... Congratulations!!

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Valentine competition ...

Miss Valentine is my latest bunny and she's looking for someone to love and take care of her.

If you think you would like to have her come live with you, there are no hoops to jump through to be added into the draw for her. Just add a comment saying you would like to enter my 'Valentine Draw' for her and a winner will be drawn on Valentines Day. 

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you should you be the winner if your settings are set to a no reply blogger when you comment.

Santas Village had 2 evenings worth of stitching instead of just one. Poor santa, he'll have to remain headless till next Wednesday and I've decided that i'm going to change the colour of the chimney smoke from the charted white to more of a pale grey. I have an open fire and the smoke from my chimney is definitely not white!

Friday was the stocking-a-long of Nativity Stocking and I now have two and bit wise men. It's a nice project to stitch. I did have some problem with the fabric that came with the kit, there was the biggest fault right in the middle of it.  Thank goodness for technology,  I emailed a picture of the fault to the supplier and they arranged for an alternative piece to be sent out direct to me.  The fabric in the kit was a 14ct aida but i decided in the end to change it and went with a 28ct murano, its quite a stiff fabric and will be better for the stocking I think. The colour on this picture is as usual nothing like what it is in real life.

I've also been stitching on a secret project, all will be revealed with that next weekend after the birthday girl receives what i've made for her. I'm sure some of you will know where the parcel is heading. This lady is a very good friend of mine who will be celebrating a milestone birthday but I wont be telling you which milestone birthday it will be lol.

I hope all is well in your world and life is being kind to you.

Happy stitching, knitting and crafting.... and good luck to all who enter for the competition for Miss Valentine.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

February is here already...

Here we are already this year saying goodbye to the first month of the year. 

January was a good month, lots of fun times especially in the snow and plenty of crafting and reading time too.

I read 7 books during the month and managed a crochet cushion finish, a knitted bunny and small cardigan together with the Christmas ornament a month and also Tina's RR went out on time.

Shores had some attention during the month and Block 9 now looks like this

A new start also in January that will last all year long. Wednesday is SAL night at NH with the Parlour ladies and this week I started Santas Village.  I chose 32ct belfast linen in flax and changed the white to B5200 instead, it shows up much better on my fabric choice.  I'll be stitching them individually as I have a few ideas for the final finish whizzing about in my mind at the moment. 

Posting time has come round again for the speciality stitches RR and Dusty's is due to go off in the post on Monday.  It's been fun choosing speciality stitches for each one as it arrives.  Dusty included threads she wanted using for hers and the 3 rows I stitched were rhodes squares, four sided stitch with symrna middles and then a diagonal satin stitch.

It looks really nice and Angie (no blog) will be the last person to stitch on it before it heads home.

Februarys sees the start of another SAL for me. This time it's a Stocking-A-Long with Linda and Catherine. We started that 1st February and will be stitching that on Fridays.

Such a choice of stocking charts out there to choose from but finally I settled on this one from Janlynn called nativity stocking. I had intended to make Isabelle a stocking last year but time escaped me, with this SAL she has more chance of getting one for 2013!

Not a lot of progress for the first night, and it always looks like a blob the first picture, I decided to start just under the nativity scene.

Today we have beautiful sunshine, does this mean spring is on the way? Hubby and I have plans for a nice walk this afternoon to take advantage of the suns rays. I hope you have an enjoyable weekend with those you love and hold dear.