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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Monthly challenge revealed

Coming to the end of the month, the last Sunday of the month has gone so it's was time to reveal my effort for this months challenge project over at Needlecraft Haven.

Christine chooses us a free online design each month and we can stitch and make it up any way we choose.  This month the chart came from Balades et Broderies.  A lovely little snowman.

I made a flat ornament this time - used up some 18ct grey aida from my stash and anchor threads.  4 little star buttons added to the corners to finish it off and a hanger made with the same fabric.  I changed the little red cardinal and added some brown to make him into a little robin.

Parlour stitching this week wasn't much,  just couldn't settle Wednesday evening so only the wording and a little flower/leaf border added.  Just the outer border to add now.  Must remember to give them some eyes too (even though they are closed as they are sleeping)
No UFO stitching on Irish Garden this week.  Concentration levels severely lacking at the weekend!
I've been really good though ..... the cardigan got sewed up. The stitches along the neck picked up and the neckband knitted.   Just the front bands to do.

I've also been knitting with 4 ply wool and made 9 little triangles for the charity knitting.  The neo natal unit used over 3000 of these last year. Each mother is given 3 when her baby arrives in the unit.  One she wears, one goes into the incubator and a third one in the wash.  She then rotates them so that hers go to the baby so it gets her scent and improves the bonding.  The babies one comes out of the incubator and then is put inside the mothers clothing close to the breast to try and improve milk flow by the smell of the baby. Afterwards that one is then washed and the process starts again.

I'm all caught up on blog reading, what wonderful things you have all been doing.  Some ladies starting new things, others re-finding old projects they thought they would never pick up again.  It's been lovely to visit you and see what you have been doing.
Wishing you all a wonderful week spent doing things with those you hold dear.
Love and blessings to you all and {{hugs}} to those in need

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Thank you June

It's midweek and another week that is whizzing along at superspeed.   A lot of blogs I've been reading have been saying the same recently. How can we be 3 weeks into April already? This year is going faster than the last did, is that possible?  

Springtime is always exciting for gardeners.  Buds developing and seeds to plant, seedlings to grow on.  Our greenhouse is bursting with activity of the plant variety and DH is spending a lot of his spare time in there with the lighter evenings and of course the sunshine we have been having recently has been nice too.  We've even sat outside and enjoyed our evening meal and then read for a while whilst watching the sun setting earlier this week.

My weeks are kept busy with lots of activities with friends and as each group meeting comes round it seems to arrive quickly and of course there are family times with children and my granddaughter that keep me busy.

With belonging to local crafting groups and having designated hours each week to sit and enjoy sewing and knitting I seem to be getting a lot more achieved.  Last weeks crafting consisted of the following :-

Stitching - Irish Garden had half the top right border filled in .....

Sugar Plums now has 2 little people snoozing in their beds.

Perhaps a finish of this tonight as its SAL night in the parlour with Barb and the ladies at Needlecraft Haven where we stitch on any LHN, CCN or Sampler Girl design of our choice.  This year I'm stitching the designs from previous JCS ornament magazines that I always promise myself I will and never get round to.

A birthday in the family this week and the free design from The Snowflower Diaries was the perfect choice for a special card for an elderly lady who loves to receive a handmade card each year.

Charity knitting - 2 little matinee jackets were finished and will be handed over at Fridays group meeting.   Brighter colours are being knitted as well as baby pastel colours in the hopes that the more vibrant colours in the cribs does not accentuate the pallor of the skin in the sick babies as the paler colours do.
Granddaughters birthday cardigan - the sleeves are completed ....
Now to the sewing up and picking up the stitches part around the neck and then down the fronts, the bit I am not fond of.  The knitting I love, but this bit, I seem to procrastinate for ages over and put it off.    
Perhaps if a write here that I will have done some on it by my next post to show you then I might just get on with it.  What do you think, sounds like a good plan? We'll see next time I post, maybe you wont see me for a few weeks here as I daren't say i've not done it lol.   Although as its her birthday towards the end of next month I do really have to crack on with it!
Sewing - The Craftshare group was busy as usual this week and all making different things.  I made a quilted mat for standing my sewing machine on when its in use.  A few of the ladies had them at the quilting day and I liked the idea.  This pink flamingo fabric caught my eye and made me smile so now I have a jazzy little quilted mat.
The Book Borrowers reading group that I run at the local self service library is doing the Popsugar 2015 reading challenge. Perhaps I should have said, 'trying' to do the challenge.  There are 50 categories to try and fit your book into.  We have one lady who is a stickler for making sure your book fits the category.  We had a fun meeting recently. 
We talk about the books we have read each week and discuss various authors and other reading related things.  We also have storytime each week (but we don't have to sit cross legged on the floor I hasten to add lol)  At present one lady is reading to us a chapter each week from Shakespeare's The Tempest. 
The book I had just finished was a lovely read.  It was a Debbie Macomber, I had been given it in the book exchange at the stitchers meet up last November.  Thank you Gill (no blog).
I thought about which category it would fit into and found the perfect one.  A book with a colour in the title and ticked that off my list.  "You can't have that said the stickler and non rule breaker lady, rose is not a colour."  We all had a long discussion about this and with great hilarity it was decided that a vote should be taken by all members - one young member looked in up in an online dictionary.  What would you have voted?  Is rose a colour? 
Would you have stuck up your hand as everyone else did apart from the one lady.  She's a really lovely lady and such fun, but boy what a tyrant she can be sometimes.  Perhaps being a stitcher with all my boxes of threads to look at I have a wider vocabulary of colours, or perhaps its just the little imp in me that likes to sometimes be naughty - there are plenty of books with colours in the title that would not have given us such fun that afternoon. 
June over at Butterfly Wings - a lovely blog, if you have not visited I highly recommend it, its always full of lovely crafting and she has the most wonderful garden to admire - was kind enough to give me an award for my blog, thank you very much June.  Quite sometime ago I had a bad experience when I took part in one of these and decided that i would make my own blog "award free" and i put up a widget at the top left to let bloggers know.  It was this one till I changed it to the current one.
I have stuck to it and its sad when I have to email ladies who enjoy passing these things on to explain that I will not be taking part.   So, if you have read June's blog and you have come along here to see why she likes reading my waffles and ramblings then I wish you a warm WELCOME.  It's always nice to have new people stop by for a visit, I hope you found something interesting to read and enjoy.  If you leave me a comment i'll pop along and visit you.
Wishing you all a happy, fun and craft filled week.
Blessings to you all

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

In the classroom....

I had a bumper crafting week last week with Saturday being really exciting.

I was invited to a quilting day.  Eleven  ladies and myself together with Linda (a very knowledgeable and experienced quilting teacher) spent 6 hours playing with fabric and sewing machines.

All set up for the day....

Linda had put together a kit for each of us to save time with the cutting of fabrics etc

and after some very careful sewing and concentration and lots of cups of tea, we ended up with this beautiful 'snappy bag' at lunch time. The closures are made using an old metal tape measure - ingenious and such a useful bag.

A lovely selection of bags was made by the ladies in the class ....

After lunch we used some scraps and all made a quilt square that will be made into a charity quilt in the future. There are 11 of the squares here so we need 1 more before the quilt can be put together.

It's very tiring concentrating for 6 hours on something new, but also very enjoyable. Roll on the next class.

A little knitting -

2 fronts added to Isabelle's birthday cardigan

A different type of matinee jacket for the hospital charity knitting group

A little stitching -

Irish Garden for the UFO weekend stitching. Top left border now complete.

Wednesday parlour stitching with Barb and the ladies at Needlecraft Haven and oh dear...the frog came visiting. How can you stitch one row to low and not see it till you are putting it away? Well, that had to come out and be restitched.

Finishing -

Snow Bunnies is finally stuffed and finished off

Papercrafting -

A little origami box was made at the Thursday Craftshare evening complete with lid. Jim, our one and only senior guy who comes along to the group is a keen papercrafter and makes some wonderful things - thanks Jim for your patience with us girls - we do tease the poor guy but he takes it all in good fun and he's a valued member of the group each week.  He showed us all how to make this lovely box complete with lid last week.

A really good week full of fun and laughter with friends. I am very lucky to be able to have a community that offers all these great things I can enjoy and take part in and of course to be part of the online community and share with you all is a bonus for me. Thank you for dropping in and the encouragement you give.
Today, the sun has got his hat on and its been that way for the last few days, I hope you are enjoying it too. It also makes the flowers come out in the garden. It's camelia time in my garden at last.

This beauty with her big blousy blooms is what I see from my kitchen window, it does make doing the washing up so much nicer!

I have another just outside the conservatory window that was a gift from a neighbour when he moved house about 20 years ago. It's a different type and stands at 7 feet tall.

and my final one belonged to my late grandmother and was a gift for her 80th birthday. When she passed away I was given it for my garden. I have no idea what its called, but the flowers are so delicate on this one. It's been in my garden for a long time now, almost 26 years.

I love spring and camelia time, even if the blooms only last for a few weeks each year. I think they are my favourite garden flower although its not practical to cut them and have them indoors.

Wishing you all lots of time to enjoy the hobbies that you love.

Blessings to you all

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Flowers, chocolate and crafting ..... joyful times

Did you have a nice Easter?

The weather was very mixed, some rain, some sunshine.  We had a lovely Easter, some time with friends, time with family, time spent in the garden and some quiet peaceful time reading and a little crafting for me.

I was given a lovely spring posy of beautiful tulips by my daughter

and a yummy Lindt chocolate bunny from DH.  Apparently, Mr Bunny was not bought for the chocolate (but he knows I am a fan of lindt chocolate), but for the recycling of the ribbon and bell that I might find useful in future craft projects - of course I will.  I have a few from last year (and from the Christmas reindeers) that I still need to use up - not that I eat lots of these little lindt animals you understand lol

A new knitting start hopped onto the needles over the weekend. A secret cardigan for Miss Isabelle's birthday next month is in the making.

The March challenge, chosen by Christine, was finally finished - just over a week late.  Having ran out of stuffing and waiting for an order to arrive in the post, its now completed.  March's chart was by Kissy Cross, there was a choice of two but I went with this one.   Following Carol's instructions on how she gets such a professional finish to her lovely ornaments I tried some of her tips.  Thank you Carol, I do think this one turned out much better this time and I will definitely be using your tips in the future.

UFO stitching and Irish Garden was out again.  The top left border has one side filled in with flowers.  Plenty of half and quarter stitches so no watching TV and stitching on these borders otherwise Mr Froggy might pay me a visit.  Instead, a nice quiet afternoon in the conservatory listening to the birds singing and neighbours enjoying their Easter family time (and DH's heavy breathing whilst having a little afternoon snooze on the sofa next to me!)

A new stitching start last Wednesday. Sugar Plums by CCN from another of the JCS Ornament edition magazines for my SAL with Barb and the ladies at NH.   I'll put some more little x's into this tonight as of course Wednesday has come round quickly again.

Finally, I can now share with you the Spring design I chose for the seasonal SAL over at NH.  We had 3 months in which to stitch any design of our choice.   Lots of different designs have been chosen and no two ladies stitched the same.  I have all 4 of the Heart in Hand 'Wee' series so will be doing these for each of the seasons this year.  "Wee Spring" in it's frame which now sits on my conservatory table.  I'll stitch the Summer one over the next couple of months and change the design in the frame when we move into Summer.

Another little hat for the charity will also be added to the growing pile when the knitting group meets on Friday.  We are nearly at our target before we hand them over to the hospital to be used in the neo-natal department.   A lovely group of ladies and children come along on Friday mornings, some new to knitting and crochet and keen to learn new skills.

It's nice to help and advise those just starting their journey into handmade and it makes you realise just how much you yourself have learnt over the years.   I never thought I would be able to knit the stitches I do now when I first tried to hold the knitting needles and yet now I can click away and not think twice about having a go at a challenging pattern.  Perhaps with the help and advice available on the computer it does make things a lot easier. 

Do you try things that you perhaps wouldn't have as you know there will be something or someone on the web that will help you instantly if you get stuck?  

Hardanger is still something that scares me when I do it, I think its about time I gave that another try.  You might hear me shout HELP if and when I do.

I've just finished a lovely book. Something I picked up in a charity shop whilst having my few days away.  Being a cat lover it was the cover that appealed to me.  It's the true story of Casper the Commuting Cat, a lovely rescue cat who took to riding the local number 3 bus unbeknown to his owner.  He became somewhat of a local legend in the Plymouth area and was famous around the world.

I'm behind on blog reading this week and really must schedule some time to have a catch up read, I bet you've all been creating some wonderful things over the extended Easter weekend.  See you soon on your blog......

Blessings to you all

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Hoppy Easter .....


Blessings to you all at Eastertime