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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 ....



  1. Sounds as if you have been have a wonderful time out and about and making the most of the dry weather.

    The best in show looks beautiful and it's no wonder they all want to win it.

    I had that feeling of wondering if there would be enough fabric as I got near the toe of my stocking too. It's looking gorgeous - sadly I haven't had the time to work on mine the past couple of weeks - fingers crossed I will this Friday.

    Have a great week.

  2. I would say it looks like the eye of a needle.
    Your best in show piece is so very pretty, lucky person who wins it at the show.

  3. A lovely post...thank you for sharing the days out! Very pretty stitching too xxx

  4. Lovely post & great stitching xxx

  5. aww lovely post and great stitching.
    hugs x

  6. What a lovely day out. Gorgeous stitching progress and the stocking finish is beautiful.

  7. Lovely pictures and great stitching. The sculpture reminds me of staples , or rodent teeth. Yes , I am weird ,lol. X

  8. Julie looks like you are having a great month.
    Love all your photos and what beautiful stitching love it all.

  9. Lovely photos of your days out and the 'best in show' piece is beautiful, no wonder everyone wants to win it.

  10. Lovely photos of your days out and the 'best in show' piece is beautiful, no wonder everyone wants to win it.

  11. I used to love Gardener's World when Geoff presented it, I've got the book he did to go with the series about decorative kitchen gardens, but I never quite seem to be able to make mine look anything like his!
    I think that sculpture looks like a giant letter E
    Great stitching for the Best in Show prize

  12. Soooooo close to finishing the stocking!!! I really do love it. :)

    Great photos!!

  13. Some beautiful places near to you to visit, we love Southend and the other small villages beyond. The sea breeze and sights to see make it the perfect day for us.. lovely stitching, I love the stocking for Isabelle and I am not surprised that everybody wants to win the best in show piece, its gorgeous.
    Chris xx

  14. First of all, no I don't think it is ever possible to be too full up of cake (not for me anyway). :) Lovely pictures! I really like the one with all the little boats. And that's quite a plant your husband is standing under. :) Beautiful stitching - love Best In Show!

  15. Lovely pictures and your stitched 'best in show' looks gorgeous! The stocking is coming along beautifully!

  16. Oh some of my favourite places,
    I just love Rutland Waters, though not visited there this year. Staunton Harold is somewhere we often go along with Calke Abbey. We are so lucky to live near some beautiful scenery.
    Stitching is all beautiful

  17. Lovely photos of your days out Julie, we very often go to Staunton Harold garden centre for some of our plants.Love the Best in Show stitching, so pretty.

  18. Isabelle's stocking is just looking so great!

    Well done on this year's Best In Show award.

  19. beautiful pictures, love the sampler

  20. I have recently been to Staunton Harold myself, Love walking there!
    Love the stocking Julie!! Best in Show looks wonderful.

  21. An absolutely great month for you so far, dfilled with family time and outings, birthday cakes and stitching. And no, as far as I am concerned, there can never be too much home-made birthday cake, lol. Enjoy the second half of August just as much the the first half.

  22. I enjoyed the stroll with you via your photos. Your best in show caught my eye, as we are busy in my village getting ready for our show on 7th Sept, wish me luck. x

  23. Hello! I'm surprised I haven't joined your blog yet! Anywho, sounds like your August has been full of fun and frivolities!! Great photos. That statue is really cool. I think of an airplane tail when I see it. Pretty stitching, especially the sampler!

    Take care


  24. Your photos are lovely Julie. Such lovely scenery.

    Love the sampler and the stocking is so sweet.

    I don't know where this year is going. It seems to be going faster than ever!

  25. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. The Alexander 'The Great Tower' is a very unique and rather modern looking piece of sculptue for it's time.

    Love your "Best of Show" sampler, and your local Horticultural Show will most definitely love it! Isabelle's stocking is beautiful too. Hope that you have just the perfect amount of linen remaining to finish it as the lovely stocking for her. Your needlework is just beautiful!



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