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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Halfway through August already...

It's been a busy time here recently. 

We've had 3 family birthdays since my last post.  Lots of family time, fun, laughter and happy memories in abundance with plenty of homemade birthday cake.  Can you ever be too full up of cake?

Quite a bit of time has been spent enjoying some outdoorsy countrysidey things....

A flask of coffee and cake late afternoon at a local beauty spot, just because the weather was nice and it seemed like a good idea to have a wander round and see some natural beauty.

A visit to Staunton Harold Reservoir, free to enter and only a small car parking charge for the whole day. Lots to see and enjoy, more lovely walks and a really nice play area for children too.  There is also a small garden nursery at the Staunton Harold estate to browse and purchase some reasonably priced plants.
it's home to the sailing club, great fun to watch them out on the water enjoying themselves.

DH celebrated his birthday and we had a nice wander around Barnsdale Gardens.  Do you remember the late Geoff Hamilton, he used to be on Gardeners World, this is his garden that has been kept going by his brother and family and is open to the public.  There is also a small nursery here where you can buy plants too.  Due to the hot weather a lot of the flowering plants had already been at their best.

It's so close to Rutland Water Reservoir and Nature Reserve that we just had to have our picnic by the waters edge there again like I did for my birthday but at a different area this time.
This sculpture is by Alexander and is called the The Great Tower, and sited here in 1980.
The plaque adjacent to it reads :-

Mankind is capable of an awareness that is outside the range of everyday life, my monumental sculptures are created  to communicate with that awareness in a way similar to classical music.  Just as most symphonies are not intended to be descriptive so these works do not represent figures or objects.
What does it make you think of when you look at it?
I have had some time with needle and thread and the Best in Show sampler is completed.  This will be given to the winner of our local Horticultural show in September for them to keep.  It's turned out ok, just need to find a suitable frame for it now.  (Thanks Jo for the lovely chart, the committee members love the look of this one and are hoping they win it!) 

With the sampler finished, I was back to the stocking-a-long stitching on Friday with Linda. This time I added the red flower on the bottom left.  I had a bit of a panic when I put it on the frame and looked at what I have left to stitch down the left hand side, there is going to be hardly any fabric left on that side, good job its only got to be sewn into the stocking shape with a minimal border.

This month is passing me by at the same rate as last month did but I can say that I have packed quite a bit into it so far with family times and outings and some relaxing reading and stitching time.  I hope you too have had some lovely moments so far this month.

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the new visitors that have come along since my postcard was sent to Penny at Larkspur Lane in Jo at Serenditious Stitching's summer blog hop, it's nice to see you.  Pop on over to Jo's to see who else has been in the blog hop if you haven't already, wonderful stitching blogs to drool over.

See you soon ....


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Blog Hop and a Big Birthday

Are you joining in with Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and the Summer Postcard Blog Hop?  

It's a great way to meet new friends and find new blogs.  The theme this time is 'Home' and I've received a lovely postcard today from Vickie at A Stitchers Story

Vickie writes -

"This is a Brenda Keyes sampler, simply called Black Miniature Sampler. I stitched this 3 years ago from the book called Exquisite Miniatures. I personalized the sampler not only with my initials and date,I also replaced the birds with poodles. =) So I call this piece "The Poodle House Sampler". Rather appropriate, since we now have two toy poodles in residence. ;) This hangs in my kitchen."

Why not hop over and visit Jo and Vicky if you haven't visited their blog before.  Blog hopping is such fun, thanks Jo for organising this, I look forward to seeing where my postcard will be sent.

Happy Birthday to me ..... a big birthday as this time, I turned 50

I had a wonderful day, to be honest is was a wonderful 10 days.  It started the week before with a meal out at a posh French restaurant with a friend.  The Sunday before my whole extended family had organised a surprise family picnic for me at a well known local beauty spot, they are so lovely and know just how to spoil an 'old girl.'

My daughter made this great cake

On the actual day, Tuesday July 30th, friends and close family were here in the morning and I then had cake and 'Happy Birthday' singing from the Book Borrowers group, such fun they are. 

In the evening hubby and I travelled a short drive to Rutland Water, very picturesque and beautiful.  It's famous for the ospreys that come each year to breed.

We enjoyed a lovely picnic
Walked around the water, noticing how low it is after the recent hot weather and no rain
Plenty of fishermen taking advantage of the weather and taking a boat out onto the water
We read for a while ....
and as the evening closed in we were thrown off the car park as the wardens come round to lock the gate at 8pm

A 45 minute drive home and we decided that after our long walk we were feeling a little peckish so stopped off in the village for a bag of chips.  We enjoyed those at a local beauty spot watching the sun set in the distance.  It was a truly lovely day and so very me, I do like the simple things in life.

I have been very spoiled by ladies I have got to know through the internet and received some wonderful parcels in the post and lots of cards. Would you like to see?

From Barb - a garden voucher to spend and some beautiful notelets
 From Christine, such a great knitting bag and bamboo pins too
From Karan, a mug for my tea with the loveable bagpuss on, he's my favourite and a notebook.  Hubby and I are using this to write places in that we would like to visit, we often see things and say 'oh that would nice' and then promptly forget all about it, no excuse now.
From Sally, a handstitched pillow, a beautiful verse

From Tina (no blog) she had been teasing me about catching up with her and joining the 'over 50' club' so she sent a fun keyring and some lovely threads I haven't tried before and such a pretty fob for my scissors bearing a little book charm
From Kathy (no blog), a Lizzie Kate chart
On Thursday Clare came over to visit and brought me this beautifully stitched gift.  Her home is only a very short drive from mine and we meet quite often. Such a wonderful special gift she had stitched for me and the saying was so apt.
Thank you so very much ladies for making my 50th birthday so very special.  It's been a really emotional time and I am honoured that you call me a friend.  My family marvelled at the cards I had received and by coincidence there were actually 50.  What a lot, 50 cards on my 50th birthday, very strange!
The loveliness didn't stop there.  Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to win a giveaway that Cath was having on her blog, The Stitchin Chicken.  An envelope full of wonderful things and a handmade scarf knitted by Cath has also been received this week.  Thank you Cath for such a fabulous parcel, i'm looking forward to the cooler autumn weather so I can wear the super soft scarf.

I think that's all my news here.  If you have managed to get to the end, well done and thank you.

Not a lot of stitching happening here at all this week as you can imagine, a couple of letters on the Best in Show sampler and that's all, its been far too hot and too busy to get needle and thread out.  Hopefully i'll do better this week and be back with some stitching updates next time.

I hope all is well for you and your family, ((big hugs)) for some of the ladies as I know they could do with them right now.