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Monday, 22 February 2016

A new toy to play with

Todays "Happy Thought" calendar has the most appropriate saying for a crafter on it ..... 
 


Full moon time again, this month the full moon is called a Snow moon or hunger moon.  It's given this name as February is the month when many areas still have the ground covered with winter snow and if you live off the land its a time that you might be feeling a little hungry as crops are scarce.

The moon this evening looks fabulous, so full and bright - no pics as they didn't turn out - must try harder and learn better photography skills!

I can show you a picture of my new toy .... a wooden spinning wool holder.

 
It holds your ball of wool as you are knitting and stops it rolling around.  The top twizzles (that's a nice word) as you pull the wool off.   Very simple, but so lovely.

 
I've been enjoying trying it out and knitted up a cardigan for my granddaughter.
 
 
I've also attended a days quilting class.   This time we were making a table runner.  Here's how mine looks after the class -
 


Still quite a bit to do on it to finish it.   The tutors finished runner looked like this ....


 
I've done a little stitching, the February challenge at needlecraft Haven is stitched and i'll get it made up before Sunday which is reveal day.  I'll show you that next time. 
 
 
Hospital appointments have been attended, just awaiting the results of some not nice tests now, hopefully not too long to wait for those.  I've also been nursing a cold for the past few days too, I wonder where I caught that?   Sending this little note germ free to you ......
 
I'm a little behind on blog reading but hope to catch up over the next few days.
 
Love and blessings to you all
 
Julie

Monday, 15 February 2016

The gift of giving

The 15th of each month is time for a Gifted Gorgeousness post. 

Created by the lovely Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching, a way to show what kind and wonderful people crafting folks are with their lovely gifts they send out to others.
 
The rules are quite simple and can be found on Jo's sign up page at the top of her blog  February's link up page can be found HERE if you want to see what Gifted Gorgeousness posts everyone else has made.

It's been a busy February so far.

A finish for the February Joyful World SAL.  I chose to stitch mine on a piece of hand dyed pink from a birthday gift grab bag at Polstitches Designs.


We've had a Chinese lunar new year on 8th February with this year being the year of the monkey.  Not my year as I am the year of the rabbit (who would have guessed that!)

It was Shrove Tuesday on the 9th when pancakes were enjoyed


Valentines Day, a day of love - such a beautiful card, inside the little envelope is a little golden key to the padlock...

 
Sunday, Valentine's Day was also opening day of the biscornu exchange for the meet up ladies at Needlecraft Haven.  
 
You may remember at our last meet up in the autumn one of our ladies had the most awful accident on her way home and broke her wrist and shoulder  She's been healing well and stitching a little.  I was the partner she got in the exchange and she was kind enough to make me this little beauty and include some chocs and a handmade valentine card too. 
 
 
Thank you Angi (no blog), I know you have had such difficulty stitching since your accident and love the wonderful biscornu and card you made for me. 
 
I stitched and sent to Lindsay.  I chose to send a dozen stitched roses on my biscornu, there were 8 on the front ...
 

and four on the corners of the back...

 
I also added a couple of felt heart shaped coasters and a card, but forgot to take a pic of those. 
 
Friends have birthdays this month and two gifts were made and sent out.
 
My LHN Kitty Sampler was turned into a cushion for one friend.  I love the cat fabric that made up the border.   The chart has now gone off in the post as a gift to another stitcher after she admired mine.

 
Barb has a birthday today.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU ......  I chose the Sheila Sheep free design from Brookes Books for her birthday gift and made a little pillow with a peg to hold her knitting 'to do' list.
 

Just for fun I added a little note clipped on the peg .....

 
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Barb, I hope you have a wonderful day.
 
At the knitting group we sit on hard chairs and have been given a feather cushion to cover.  I'd got some cotton yarn in my stash and used that to cover mine like this ....

 
and the other side, a different colourway.  It's very comfy to sit on lol

 
I think this post covers GG.  The Joyful World free chart gifted to all stitchers, 2 stitched birthday gifts sent out to friends with one of the charts I gifted to another stitcher, an exchange and a cushion gifted to me. 
 
I'm looking forward to seeing the other posts for this months GG
 
I hope your February is blossoming into a good month.  For me, I've had/have hospital visits and we have suffered the loss of a family member so a time to meet with wider family this week and think of memories of happier times.
 
Blessings to you all
 
Julie
 
 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Meandering into February

My American calendar says today is Groundhog Day, I've enjoyed reading about it and learnt also today is celebrated by a quite a few differing religions.

Pagans call it Imbolc, it is exactly midway between the winter solstice and the Spring equinox.

In the Christian calendar it was known as Candlemas and celebrates Mary's return to the church after her 40 day confinement after giving birth.   A day when candles are taken into the churches and blessed for the coming year. 

Weather watchers would remind themselves of this proverb to see what mother nature had in store for them:-

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain
Winter won't come again


It was also known as the 'festival of light' and homes would light candles and place them in their windows to remind their neighbours they were still there after the winter weather when many times they had not seen each other due to the conditions.  Women would come together and time for creating/making was once more as there would be more light to see by after their chores had been done.

There is so much to read about today and learn of times gone by and how things have changed over the years. 

Our cathedral was preparing for Candlemas yesterday, I was there attending the lunchtime organ recital and I lit a candle to offer blessings to my friends and loved ones.

One old superstition states that it is said to be unlucky to bring snowdrops (or candlemas bells as they were known) into the house before Candlemas and if you didn't take down your Christmas decorations on twelfth night then today is the day to do it.

Twelfth night has long passed but I have finished my stitching on twelfth day from the Plum Street Samplers 12 Days SAL  -


It now completes the set, and they will definitely be made up ready to hang next Christmastime
 
 
The last Sunday of the month is reveal day for the stitching challenge at Needlecraft Haven .  An online free Christmas chart chosen by Christine for us to stitch and make up anyway we choose.   This month the design was from Aliolka (chart here).
 
Here's my finish, the others can be found in the gallery, everyone did a super job in January
 
.
 
WIP worked on last week too, letters all added.  Mr Kitty should be in residence next time.
 
 
A little knitting and my socks are now keeping my feet nice and warm
 
 
January went by quickly, so it seemed, but I did have a good few finishes, 12 in fact - 5 being the 12 Days SAL and 2 pairs of socks knitted - that's what happens when we still have dark nights and hunker down early and sit and enjoy our hobbies.  I also read 5 books during the month.
 
I've updated my 'to do' list for February and added in a new chart.  I was lucky enough to win this in a drawing on Jacqui's blog.   Her finish was superb and with it having a little bunny on it, I just had to put my name in her bucket.   It arrived with me on Saturday, want to see which Tra La La design it is .....
 
 
Jacqui has put a page inside the chart so it can be a travelling chart and names and blog details can be added so stitchers who receive it can track where it has been before (and maybe visit new blogs to them).  Once i've stitched it during February it will be offered here on the blog to someone else for them to stitch and pass on.  
 
February is the month of love they say, what with valentines day and also a wedding anniversary in our home it certainly will be here.
 
I hope your February is filled with love, friendship and many happy times
 
 
Love and blessings to you all