Sunday, 28 September 2008

Are you sick of bags yet?

The reason I ask is.....Do you remember the lil' denim number I made? I said it was fiddly and I wouldn't be making another one. Well I had a think about that, because a colleague asked me to make one for her. I changed the handles and made life a whole lot easier for myself. This little cutie is just waiting for an applique, it's getting a bought one because that's what my colleague would like.
There is just enough fabric left to make me a little denim bag and that's it I'll have to go find another skirt to chop up! LOL
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Meet Skating Santa, I mentioned him the other day, but he was just a blob. Well, now he is a streak!
Like the winter village he comes complete with a hanger, I'll try to remember to take a pic of that for next time.
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I'm off to clean the kitchen floor, then the day is my own. Some of that elusive Me Time.
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Gratitude's
1) A Helpful Hunney
2) Time to play
3) A small kitchen!

Friday, 26 September 2008

This little piggy....

Has lots of names and none of them are very complimentary! It's actually Moyas and I don't think she is enjoying the experience. This is the first time she has done needle turn applique. Yesterday she sat here with baby piggy and there was lots of swearing and some un picking....

Before we settled down to sew, we went shopping and I found some bits for the village.

The model on the packet showed some froufrou at the tip and bottom, but I didn't want to reproduce that, I wanted something light, that looked like snow, and snow I found. I put a curl in the lower ribbon hoping it would end up looking like a snow drift and sort of echo the shape of the snow in the scene. I also found my snow sequins, I've attached them with tiny clear beads.
For those who complimented the hangar, I had absolutely nothing to do with it's choosing, that's what came in the packet. It's perfect isn't it.

Although neither of us achieved 3-4 hours worth of anything we had a good day and take away for lunch.

I'm off to work, I have five risk assessments to produce!

Gratitude's

1) Another project finished.
2) It's friday and it's my weekend off.
3)Time with my sister.


Thursday, 25 September 2008

A Finish,

Well almost!  I finished the winter village cross stitch last night, except for the snow flakes. On the pattern there are some back stitched snow flakes, but I want to see if I can find some charms or pretty sequin snow flakes to stitch on.

The model also shows some pretty ribbon and some froufrou at the top and bottom of the fabric, so I'll have a hunt about for something to use there too. Aside from that I'm rather pleased with this little piece. 
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I also had time to work for a half hour on the Endangered babies project, but got fed up with it. The panda now has an eye rather than a blank space! But that's about all I achieved there. I had a tidy up of my work space and put a few things away and pulled out another small Christmas project which I started, it's just a small red blob at the moment, when there is something to see I'll take a picture. I'd like to think that I can do a little more to the babies each time I sit up in the study with Hunney, but don't hold your breath.
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Thank you for all your comments and suggestions for Me Time
Me time does seem to be a very personal thing, meaning something different to each person, but it does revolve around being able to decide what to do and when to do it rather that the mad scramble we sometimes have to just keep up with the world.
Although the message I got from Maria was that I should spend time doing something for ME, meaning that the end result would be for ME rather than another gift, I do feel that I have had me time this week, quite a bit of it in fact. I finished the strawberry bag and enjoyed doing it. Although it was fiddly I enjoyed the couple of hours spent making the denim bag, both gifts, but both gave me pleasure. I have sat with Hunney up in the study, he puttering away on his puter and me at my stitching, I finished the winter village scene, that is for me, then spent some time just playing about really, having a tidy up and a sort out, I enjoyed that too. I think I'm very lucky in that Hunney is a great help around the house, so are the kids, we all encourage and indulge each others hobbies and I believe we all get some quality me time.
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Speaking of quality time, Moya is on her way, we'll be taking a wander around the shops here in Ramsey and I'm sure she'll have a project for me to photograph.
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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Still working on Christmas.

I don't think this is quite what Maria had in mind when she asked me to have some Me Time. Some sewing was one of the suggestions, but I'm fairly sure she didn't mean getting on with making Christmas presents!
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For some time I've had an old denim dress lying here waiting to be turned into a skirt and prettied up in some way, a couple of weeks ago it changed it's mind and told me it wanted to be hand bags instead. Great idea, so yesterdays spare time was used up making a Christmas present for DD.
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First I had to dismantle the dress........

Then I forgot all about taking photos until it was finished, I was well and truly 'in the zone' as Dear Son calls it. Apparently I had do not disturb written on my face. Maybe I should check with Maria and see if that counts as me time after all. Anyway, here it is, one little denim bag complete with appliqued leaf.

The pattern is a freebie from McCalls/Butterick, I've had it for quite a while so can't remember exactly where I found it. It was fiddly! I wouldn't make it again, well maybe in a larger size as a grocery tote, but not as a little purse. 
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Later on I sat upstairs in the study with Hunney and worked on the Winter Village cross stitch, only some back stitching left to do there and it will be complete. Now that  had to be quality me time, I was doing what I enjoy most, peace in the study with Hunney while I stitch.
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What would you do with some quality me time? Leave a comment on this post to be in the draw for a little bag full of secret goodies. 
LOL I keep wanting to put you all in a drawer!
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Gratitude's
1) Time with Hunney
2) Another Christmas Gift sorted.
3) Office day today.



Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Free to a loving home.

My therapist would roll her eyes if she could see this! I went to see her last night, but because I have a bit of a head cold the session just didn't get started. So Maria sent me home, she suggested that I get in some quality me time, do some sewing, soak in the bath or read a book, but it had to be something for me! I walked home slowly, enjoying the sunshine, looking out over the park and the sea, it was lovely, when I got closer to town I remembered that I needed to get some milk, so ended up in the supermarket with a full basket. When I got home I saw the state of the floor and got the vacuum out, when I finally made it upstairs to change I decided to do some laundry cause the darks basket was looking full. While I waited for the washing machine to finish, I did a little sewing, I finished off a gift I can't show here, then eventually sat down with a book, for my me time, and promptly fell asleep! I promised myself that I would have that me time today, I got in from work, via the shop, again, went through the laundry routine again (Lights this time!) put the dinner in the oven, looked at my sewing table and saw yesterdays results, which are now tucked into this pretty little bag.

Not a great picture, I'm sorry about that. This little bag and it's contents are going free to a loving home, if you would like a chance to win a selection of bought and handmade goodies simply comment on this post and tell me what you would do to relax and use up some truly ME TIME. I'll have a draw on Wednesday 1st October, because it's Wednesday and this is my blog and that's when I feel like doing it.
And in the mean time....I'll hang the washing up, stir the dinner do some ironing and probably fall asleep before I figure out what to do with a few minutes of me time.
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When does a busy working Mum ever have ME TIME!!?
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I get a change of pace tomorrow, it's my office day, not sure whats in store for me, I have only limited plans, I'm sure something will come up.
Today I was working with a new lady. (Hello Chris! Did you find me?) She was very nice and I hope my battering her with information didn't put her off, I know the first few days in a new job can be daunting as there is so much information to take in. I tried to be gentle, I know I didn't rabbit as much as I have with others, I don't think my voice could have lasted! LOL
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The washing machine has finished! And my sewing table is shouting louder than the ironing board.....maybe I'll get that quality me time after all.
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Gratitude's
1) Another sunny day.
2) Beechams Cold and Flu capsules
3) All those veggies I diced on Sunday.


Sunday, 21 September 2008

A Big girl bag.

Yes I know, two posts in one day!  But I just had to share.

I did some applique! Not my usual whizz along on the sewing machine either, I hand appliqued a strawberry onto the front panel of my bag.

And here's a closer look!  I'm rather pleased with myself, blanket stitch is something I've always struggled with and given up on. I usually make a mess of it because although I use my right hand, I stitch left handed, if that makes sense. So it was a huge leap for me to get it right.

So buoyed on by that success I kept on going and produced another bag.  Hunney proclaimed that the handles looked far too small to fit such a large bag. Same size as I used for the little girl bags. (Ye of little faith.) I'm very pleased with it.

The back is made up from off cuts and left overs, of which there are still plenty. The seeds on the strawberry are each made up from two tiny green seed beads.
I had intended to get some more sewing done today but Mother appeared with four grocery bags full of fresh veggies! She had been to a fruit and root show and purchased all sorts, so I now have a freezer full of veggies and a cauldron of onion soup bubbling on the stove.

Gratitude's (Take Two)

1) Tasty fresh Veggies
2) A visit from Mother!
3) Dinner is ready.

Strawberries again.

Do you remember the Bento boxes I made with the Strawberry Lemonade Jelly Roll? I have a few left over as well as some off cuts and full length jellies! So last night I dug them out and made a start on a big girls bag. Here we have the front and back panels, I feel the need to apply some applique so they are not yet ready to be stitched together.


I'm happy enough to buy shopping totes too, this one was produced locally and is a gift for a friend.

I've had requests for my infamous bacon pancakes for breakfast so I'd better get to it before they try to eat me!

I've been preparing for that give away I promised back in July! Watch this space.

Gratitude's

1) Quiet Sunday Mornings.

2) A volunteer to chop the bacon.

3)Time to sew.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Bags!

My bargain of the day! The little shop around the corner was having a sort out and getting rid of some old stock. Moya and I happened to be there when she was bagging up some reels of Sylko thread, so we got a bag each for £1.00 into the Sooty tin! Moyas bag has a similar assortment. There is some cotton and some polyester.

I have all five little bags done, there will hopefully be five happy little girls on Christmas day. All that remains is to gather some lip glossies and some pretty hair slides or something similar to pop into each bag. I know they are all the same, so I have added a tiny bow to each handle, each bow being a different colour which will I hope put an end to arguments over whose is whose before they even start. If I had been using my brain I would have used five different fat quarters, but.....hindsight is 20/20 isn't it?


I love the way they look al hung up here on the door handles.


You've seen this image before, but it was so long ago I thought I'd remind you what the first ones looked like.



And modelled by my lovely DD is the second design.



Now to make some big girl bags! I want to have a play with some of the left overs from the starwberry lemonade fabrics. I've got one of those half baked plans formulating and brewing so we'll see what happens there.

Gratitude's

1) Another sunny day.

2) Hunney home for the day.

3) Bread baking in the oven. (Shame you can't scratch and sniff)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Can't stop, must dash.

I've had no time to sew or do nice things! Too busy working.

Had my second session at the office, it was great. The girls I work alongside are fun to be with and I accomplished everything I set out to do.

Thats twice now I've been to Onchan and not bothered to go up the hill to the sewing shop though. However, while we were out on Tuesday Moya and I did pop into the lovely shop in Port Erin. Lookee what I got.



I adore the batik, when I have more time I'll get the iron out and show it off properly. It's beautiful. I also managed to pick up a couple of Christmas presents, which I left in the car!! Good excuse to see moya again soon. 

Gotta go, got to get to work.

Gratitude's

1) Lovely fabrics.

2) Fun at the office

3) A late shift tomorrow!  YAY!!


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Moyas' turn again.

I may as well give my sister access to this blog, I have almost as much of her work as there is my own.

Meet Ed the baby hedgehog. Originally his poppy was a oink affair, but my clever sister changed it to blue, yes, it's for a baby boy. I'm not sure if she is going to frame this or what, but I'm sure she'll let us know.

I've not done much at all, I got three little bag fronts finished with their applique in place, but that's it. Although I have the morning off work today I'll not get anything done as Moya and I are off out, we're going to visit another sister Kirsty, then do lunch and a quilty shop in the south of the island. I'll be delivering the little gift bag and the cookie making kit.

I'm wishing as hard as I can for some late shifts at work, they seem to be thin on the ground at the moment. Aside from grumbles about work life for me goes on, I still see my therapist lady on a Monday as we trawl through the mire that is my past. This week was all about confidence and assertiveness. Hunney has the week off his work, but no free time, he is working hard at his final assignment for his Open University course, as the next course starts in just a weeks time! And there was me hoping to get him back for Christmas. HUH!

To all who offered advice about my boys hands, I've taken it all on board and will go through the options with him. I'm hoping that his hands will toughen up in time.

Well if I'm going out today I'd better get a move on!

Gratitude's

1) A late shift!

2) A hot cup of tea.

3) My sweet Hunney.







Thursday, 11 September 2008

Back to normal.

I've told you my big son works on a fishing boat right? Being a boy who likes to get in and dirty with stuff he never had the nicest hands, they were always dirty no matter how long he soaked in the bath, always had cuts and scrapes on them and he chews his nails too! Ew! All that dirt. Well even he has admitted that his hands are a mess now! We have tried all sorts to get them to settle but nothing so far seems to work. The skin is dried and flaking off and there is dirt ingrained in the cracks which are all over both hands, he says they are sore.

We have tried various hand creams including the Norwegian formulas, atrixo and other supposedly good creams for hard working hands. We even tried Lucas' Papaw ointment. It's fixed everything else I put it on, but can't seem to help here. I do feel for him. I tried to warn him that a fisherman's lot is not the glamor of 'Deadliest Catch'. He is enjoying his work though and even manages to get up at some truly awful hours of the morning.   
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On Tuesday night I sat with winter village for a while and managed to complete the back stitching on the lower portion of the design, it's almost complete now.
There are a few more snow drifts, one little cottage and a tree left to stitch, I could have it done in no time if I pull my socks up. Don't think I'm doing it today though.

Back to the normal grind for me today, back to my shift in the unit and I have to go in early to attend a meeting. But before that, Moya is coming here this morning, I plan to make a couple more bags for the girlies Christmas presents and we may even go out for lunch, if the rain stops that is.

Gratitude's.
1) An extra blanket on the bed.
2) A hot cuppa
3) A morning off work.


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

My First Day

Today is my first day in my new role, I get to go to a different town and work at the office instead of working my usual shift in the unit! WOO HOO! 

Oh and I remembered there is a stitchy shop just up the road from the office, not the greatest in the world, but she does stock quilty and cross stitchy stuff.

I was there last week sorting out a stationary order and ensuring that all of my files etc had arrived safely from the admin block in Ramsey so it's not entirely new to me.
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Just popping in to edit.

I had a good but loooong day. 
I got there to find that the owners of the building had ripped out the kitchen and bathroom! They are replacing it with a toilet which can be accessed and used by our wheel chair users. 
But no loo or water for us today. Thank goodness the library next door have friendly staff.

The last person to seriously do the job couldn't organise the proverbial party in a brewery so I inherited a heck of a mess. The lady who filled in did do a lot of sorting out but we found more today. I filled two bins! There is now room in my filling cabinet for all of my Health and Safety stuff as well as all of the Training and Development stuff.
There is still a lot of catching up to do. 
The poor girl at regional HQ will be pulling her hair out, she only just got my temporary predecessor up a toddling and now she has to start all over again with me. 
This new task is going to keep me out of mischief for a while.
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Gratitudes
1) A tidy filling cabinet
2) New challanges
3) A nice glass of wine. (At the end of a busy day)

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Gift Bags!

I've spent the last few days supposedly working hard at my NVQ, I say supposedly because as some of you know I've also been reading your blogs! LOL I have been good though and have churned out a 13 page document all about Health and Safety in my work place, it took a long time and so many pages because I am the Health and Safety Rep for the whole of Leonard Cheshire Isle of Man. (Sounds impressive doesn't it?) So everything has to be spot on! I'll hand it to my assessor tomorrow and see what she thinks of it.

I rewarded myself this afternoon with a few minutes of sewing time. It's been my habit for a few years to recycle gift wrap and gift bags, I must say I prefer the latter, they are easier to save. It's one of my nieces birthdays soon and I could find nothing really girly in my stash, seems I've used it all up, so that gave me the impetus to get this little bag finished. It's been sat on my table for over a week awaiting handles.

Katie can keep her girly goodies in it after she has taken her gift out of it.Seems it's just the perfect size for this little kit.


There is a second bag, just the same and I have a use in mind for that too.

Tuesdays for me are usually pretty awful, the day after I see my therapist, but today I've managed to keep my mind focused on other things, is this a sign that I may have turned a corner? I hope so, the last few months have been pretty bleak. I think today's lighter mood was also assisted by Moya, she had planned to spend the day with me, but because of an appointment had to leave before lunch. It was good to see her though, she has another mini quilt on the way, Rachel's Crazy pigs wall quilt

I start a newish part of my job role tomorrow! Instead of going to the unit in my home town of Ramsey, one day a week,  I get to go to our Onchan offices where I will learn and take on the role of Training and Development Officer, I'll carry out this role alongside my other roles, Senior Support Worker and Health and Safety Rep. More pay??  Ha! Don't be silly!

There is a beef casserole in the oven, my Hunney and my fisherman son will both be home for dinner in a couple of hours but in the mean time, my time is my own, so I'm off to cross stitch.  

Gratitude's
1) My Boy home safe from sea.
2) Schools back!
3) Days off work.




Sunday, 7 September 2008

Moya saves the blog!

Well I have a productivity rating of zero! So it's a good thing my sister has been busy. I've had a pretty busy week so have managed to achieve nothing worth taking a photo of.
My dear sister however has finished one of her Owl Quilts. Isn't it sweet?

She even managed to find an owl batik for the back.

Of course being Moya she didn't just buy one, she has all three colours in the collection.
I think it looks adorable. She has a second one on the go, and is confident that as they are only small and as she has made a few changes to the second one she just may get it finished soon rather than being bored.
What have I achieved? About 30 mins work on the winter village, I bought ribbons to use as handles on some gift bags and yesterday I treated myself to a new cross stitch book.
Maybe after getting the groceries today I'll get my hands on a needle or the sewing machine.
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Gratitudes.
1) A break in the rain.
2) A new book.
3)Sunday morning peace and quiet.


Thursday, 4 September 2008

Not a Good Day.

I had a few ideas and half baked plans for today's post, but my whole day all turned to custard at about lunchtime. There is this one person who just has to chip, chip away.... Sigh, only one more day then I won't see her for a week. 

Anyway, I'll leave you instead with a picture of the local dairy herd watching the motorcycle races. Not my pic I hasten to add, I borrowed it from a local motorcycle racing forum.

The bike I'm informed is travelling in excess of 130 mph!!

Gratitude's...
1) An early finish.
2) Friendly colleagues
3) Incredibly sticky Danish pastry.


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

I have goodies.

There is a newish shop in town, it's been there for a couple of months, maybe more. To be honest I didn't take much notice because when it first appeared the window was full of War hammer stuff, not my thing at all. Then a few crafty items started to appear, lots of paper crafts and some other stuff. The odd piece of needlework turned up, but it was all what I consider to be kids stuff. I didn't look and just walked on by. Yesterday however was different, I was on my way back from the post office when out of the corner of my eye I spotted....
Sorry these pics aren't so great, the scanner is on the blink, so you'll have to make do with photos.
If you click on them they should enlarge, then you'll see them better.
They are adorable, I love them.
They remind me very much of the Tilda books and designs, though I can't see that name on them anywhere. They do say http://www.pandurohobby.com/
I went there and guess what? They have Tilda books!
There is also a range of inks to go with them, it's suggested that you colour them in. I'll have to get one stitched first then I'll make my mind up.
I have a plan for these, for some time now I have been collecting romantic little pictures and sayings, I plan to stitch them all and make a huge quilt for our bed with them.
What am I grateful for?
1) New stash.
2) Pretty flowers from Hunney.
3) A visit from my fisherman son.
I'll have to keep on reminding myself of these things, today is going to be difficult.


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Bits of progress.

After a weekend off I was back to work yesterday, then I had an appointment, so very little time to myself. On Sunday after I had blogged I did manage to get one or two things done. Remember those little bags I wanted to make? I appliqued the flower panels onto the fabric. Before constructing the bags and their linings. They really were very simple to make.
They're so cute, I want one for myself, but I have more to make for the nieces first!
I also went on to make some little gift bags from the off cuts of this fabric, but forgot to take a photo, they don't have handles yet, so when I put those on I'll get pictures.
My cross stitch has moved very little to be honest. I did sit up in the study with Hunney last night, but achieved very little, the panda bear has an ear and a sprig of Bamboo, while the polar bear got his nose back stitched. So this one really looks pretty much unchanged.

The winter village scene has changed I have finished cross stitching the lower part of the chart and have begun the back stitching. There is another little house and tree in the distance and a few snowflakes to add then this one will be complete.

Did I mention how much I've enjoyed working on this little chart. I really have and I'm already planning which one to stitch next.

What am I grateful for?

1) I'm on a late shift today.

2) A sunny day.

3) Time to stitch and sew.

Today will be a good day.