Friday, 31 October 2008

My stitchy corner.

When I'm doing my cross stitch or indeed any embroidery or stitchery I sit up in the study with Hunney. I have a great wee cabinet, which you can't see here! Cause I have it covered in clutter. When I got it, it was a wreck, filthy dirty and had asbestos on it! Hunney cleaned it all up, stripped off the old varnish and years of accumulated dirt and grime. It was then given a few coats of varnish and is beautiful, it's made of oak. It was on rather large wooden wheels, but we decided not to put those back on. I might like to put some feet of some sort on it, but I'm not sure what, so at the moment it remains footless.
It has little extra 'wings' which pull out at either side of the top, to create extra surfaces. There are three drawers and a small cupboard at the bottom.
That box down there on the floor is my foot stool. LOL My legs are too short to reach the floor when I sit in Grandads chair. That little Dresden quilt just stops any draft getting around my back.
As you can see I have a Lowrey work stand and a daylight lamp with a magnifier. I pop my chart onto a magnetic board on a book rest. I use a photo copy of the original chart and use a high lighter pen to mark my progress.
That little heater on the wall there is never switched on. We have a little portable heater which we use if I'm in there, but Hunney doesn't bother, he says he doesn't feel the cold.

As promised yesterday, I took a picture of my cross stitch progress.
Not as much as I would have liked, I ended up doing other things and getting a bit side tracked, but the Clematis has grown a little. Hopefully I'll get that flower finished today, we'll see.

Maybe I need to create myself a nice play list on the Big Puter again. I may add Yulia Townsend and perhaps some Hayley Westenra or Karen Matheson to my Enya play list, just for a bit of variety.
Gratitude's
1) Beautiful voices.
2) Another day off.
3) A morning kiss from Hunney.


Thursday, 30 October 2008

Snow!

Look what I woke up to yesterday morning! This is not my picture. This one was taken in the south of the island where the snow lay on the lower areas as well as the tops.
I live up north and although I had my camera with me all day never actually got a chance to take a photo.
The snow was not so low down up north, but the tops certainly had a good covering.
Sometimes it amazes people how different the two ends of this island can be. We're known as the sunny north up here in Ramsey and typically we will have better weather that the south. I remember going out one day to visit with one of my sisters who lives in the south, here in Ramsey it was Beautiful, beaming sunshine and not a vesper of a breeze. 30 miles away in Port Erin there was quite a strong cold wind blowing, I had to borrow a cardigan from Kirsty cause I was cold.
I've known Hunney come home from work in Douglas, which is only 16 miles away and complain of a dull wet day, awful weather, but we in Ramsey had lovely sunshine. See, sometimes it pays to be up North.

I sat with Hunney in the study last night and did a little cross stitch, I think I'll be doing more today so I'll take a picture tomorrow.

Gratitude's
1) The snow is gone.
2) Two days off.
3) My beautiful Island home.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

New Book!

As you may have realised my creative muse has been drawn to Cathedral Windows lately. So much so, that I went out and bought a book. It contains not only the usual delightful Cathedral Window quilts but also some very beautiful artistic interpretations. Lynne Edwards has played about with the basic shapes and come up with some wonderful variations. One of which you see here on the cover.
She has also show cased some wonderfully artistic wall hangings made by other contributors. There is lots to keep me inspired, though I think I'm better off just going with the basics for now. She did suggest starting with a simple pin cushion.
I have to say, I'm unimpressed with my first efforts! I will be practising a little more before I get stuck in to make a bed size quilt! Lynn like all good teachers does warn of this, and urges patience and practice.
I think I'll also have a bash at following this tutorial before I start on anything huge and decide which one works best for me.
I'm planning to use whites for my background folds and scraps of Batiks for the windows. I do have some fat quarters and two half yards of batiks and will include those, but really would prefer to use as many different batiks as possible. I may be scrounging and begging scraps from you kind folks if this goes according to plan.
Gratitude's
1) All your comments and advice on my butterflies.
2) I'm onto the final essay for my NVQ. Yippie!!
3) A book full of inspiration.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Mum I'm bored.

Can you tell?






I wanted to ask your opinion, with or without antennae? But DS got involved. If you click on the pictures you should get a larger image.
I finished the applique on these yesterday afternoon, but I'm really not sure about those antennae.
I'm hoping to get an hour or two upstairs this afternoon and get some cross stitch done. That's if Mr Bored finds something to occupy himself.
Gratitude's
1) My Hunney.
2) My Boys.
3) My girl.
ALL home for dinner last night.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Bye bye babies.

I've managed to upload these backwards! Well I wouldn't be Loulee ifI got things right all the time. I came across this WIP on Thursday while looking for another large cross stitch project to work on. It's almost two thirds done, there is another Clemitas flower to stitch then a Hydrangea to the left of the Poppy. I took outthe plain cream aida and replaced it with a lovely hand dye from Silk weaver, there are sparkly threads in the aida too. You can just about see them, but it looks much sparklier in real life.
I had forgotten how much of this I had done before putting it away. Which led to the question when does a WIP become a UFO? Was it a UFO while it was lying in the drawer? Or was it still a WIP as I hadn't really forgotten about it and did intend to revisit it?
Here's how the Endangered Babies looked when I packaged them up and put them away. Not the greatest photo but you can see how close I am to finishing. I'll get back to them one day.
I'm off to the post office soon, I have broth on the stove for tonights dinner, it should be really thick and tasty by 6pm! Once I get back from town Kay, Joe and I will be making Apple crumbles for the freezer. I picked up lots of windfalls at work yesterday. I left plenty for pies at work and because my back put in the hard work I got to bring some home.
Gratitude's
1) A glut of apples this year
2) A reformatted puter, thnk you Hunney.
3) Another big pat on the back at work.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Santa's here!

While I was up in the study yesterday I fired up Deep Thought, Hunneys big puter and set up a play list for while I was sorting out my cross stitch projects. Well it didn't finish playing by the time I was done, so I settled down to stitch while it played out.
Then I stitched some more, while it went around again, and again.
I got myself into a nice little mood and finished Santa just in time to go to work.

Like the Village he has his own iron work which was provided in the kit. He's a Christmas gift for someone.
I have another of these Santa's to stitch which will also be a gift.
I did take a photo of the endangered babies before putting them away and also prepared another larger project for work, I took a picture of that too, but I saved those for another day.

Before you ask..... Enya, it was two entire Enya albums playing along while I stitched away, she really is very good company. I often find I get into a stitchy groove when Enya is playing.

Gratitude's.
1) A finish!!
2) Good Music.
3) High praise at work. :-))

And because I can!!

4) My weekend off! (But on call)


Thursday, 23 October 2008

Don't let the kids see this.

As predicted I sat up in the study with Hunney last night. I didn't get loads of stitching done, we ended up surfing the net looking to book a short break. Very short, two nights mid week in Dublin! Week after next. Any lurkers out there who know of any good stitchy shops, now is the time to pipe in!
It's almost ten years since I was in Dublin, and that was only for an afternoon. For Hunney it's much longer and he too was passing through but he had been partaking in the local brew and remembers virtually nothing!
Now for the part the kids mustn't see! Poor Santa, he's headless!
He needs only his head, the gold metallic thread to finish off his robe and skates, and then his back stitching, a couple more nights in the study should see this fellow finished.
He's gotten so squished and crushed I had to bring him downstairs to press him before I could take his photo today.
I was thinking out loud as I was sewing away at Santa last night and I think Hunney agrees that it would be best if I put the Endangered Babies away for a while, I really have no urge to work on them. So this morning I'll have some time away from my needle and play about in my cross stitch stash, I'm sure there will be something that talks to me, and if there isn't.....I've got more quick little Christmas kits to stitch, and I must see about Hunneys Christmas card. I'll take a picture of the babies before they go away.

Gratitude's
1) Hot morning tea! Always!!
2) Choices
3) A late shift at work.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Flutterbyes

Well here you are, the four borders for the fan quilt. I've used the same template to do the petals. I've seen flowers done like this before, but can't remember where, so can't give credit. Sorry. I think that bright pink one is the best! :-)) These are 9.5 inches wide.

I've used a smaller blade template to make butterfly wings. What do you think? I started out with the one on the right, but wasn't sure about it, so waited for Hunney to get home and give an opinion.
He was trying very hard not to hurt my feelings, so I figure that's not good, so I played about and came up with the one on the left. Hunney says that one looks like a moth!! Well that will do me. Of course they will look different once I have appliqued them all down and added antenna.
Staying with the recurring theme of all the same but different, they are all blue, they all have a navy blue body, but have different wings, in blue!
I'm still stuck for a name for this quilt, I wanted to reflect that the original nine fans came from Karen, but I keep on coming back to 'All the Same but Different' . Any suggestions?

Time to go make dinner. I think I'll be cross stitching tonight.

Gratitude's
1) I'm feeling much better.
2) A warm office to work in.
3) A ride home, no bus.




Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Progress.

Not only mine, but also Moyas. She came round for her lunch yesterday but forgot to bring anything with her, so when she got home last night, out came her camera.
But first up, Loulees progress. All of my fan flower petals got sewn on yesterday and the first of the centres. I've come to the conclusion that I need a lot more practice at applique before I attempt needle turn circles! LOL I ended up doing something akin to a Suffolk puff and turned it over so the flat side was uppermost. I like it.
Only six more of these to go.
Next up is my Santa, I sat upstairs these last two evenings in the study with Hunney and did a little stitching, I'm nearly finished with the red on this fellow. I really am enjoying doing these little christmas designs, they are so quick.
And now Moya. Little Lala needed a new bag to keep her tutu and shoes in for ballet, so with the panels she had left over from the ballet quilt marathon Moya has put a bag together for her, here it is just needing some cord. I think she's planning to do it back pack style with the cord going to both sides and shoulders.
Moya has also been busy with Halloween charms making bags for her three to collect goodies in.
They also just need handles.
Well thats our progress, now our news. Moya doesn't like the job she has over the road from my home, so she has quit and will be working as a temp for a time while she looks for something else. It's only been a couple of weeks but already I miss the days we sat here together chatting and stitching and inspiring one another.
My head cold is clearing up, maybe I'll be back at work tomorrow. I just have a nasty tickly cough now. Last night after I'd had enough of cross stitching I sat and did a little research on Cathedral Window quilts, I've really enjoyed doing the applique and having work in hand and feel that I might like to have a go at a little Cathedral quilt. I found a nice method that is folded, and sewn part by machine and part by hand. Now I just have to find my way back to it, so I can give credit where it's due! Today though, I'm going to finish my fan flowers and get on with my butterfly corner stones.

Gratitude's
1) A clear head.
2) Time with loved ones.
3) The first cuppa of the day.




Monday, 20 October 2008

Feeling a little better.

Thank you for your get well wishes, I think they are working, as today I do feel a little better. I'm still off work though. When I first got up this morning I thought that maybe I could have gone to work today, but now my temperature is creeping up again, so the decision to stay home was the correct one. But....My fingers are itching, and I have the urge to stitch.
On Friday last week I cut the white background for the next round of the fan quilt, long thin panels this time, I also appliqued on some stems and leaves, LOL some of the leaves do look a bit like holly, please pretend you can't see that! I also made up some fan flowers and have them all pinned in place. I may see if I can get these stitched on today.
These are just two of them.
There are eight flowers in all, two per side.
I plan to add butterflies to the corner stones, I've been trying to figure out how to adapt the Dresden/fan design to make butterflies, I think I've got it sorted now, but I'll want to play about a bit before I go for real.

Gratitude's
1) Get well wishes.
2) Soft cotton handkerchiefs.
3) My Hunney.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Sniffle, sniffle, sneeze.

Thanks boss!! Of all the things he could give me, a pay rise, an extra day off or even a pat on the back and a 'Well done'. Nope, he gave me his cold! I feel awful, I just want to go to bed.
Here's a pic of Santa.
And here is pics of the fan quilt.
Look, it's waving to us!
A better look at the quilting.
Each fan is quilted slightly differently.

Thats me, I'm outta here.

Gratitude's
1) Kay is cooking dinner.
2) A snuggly cardigan.
3) £4 win on a lottery scratch card! Yippie!




Friday, 17 October 2008

Change of plan.

I thought I had taken pictures of the fan quilt after the latest bit of work, buuuuuut I was wrong. Either that or I put them someplace odd, cause I can't find them.
So instead, just so you still have some sewing pictures, here's DD Kay working away at a red dress.
She found a plain red dress in the Hospice shop next door, cost her the princessly sum of £2.50. But she decided it was too plain and needed a little jazzing up. We came up with the idea of applique. Here she is at her first ever attempt at needle turn applique. After a practice on some scraps she soon had blanket stitch sorted and set about getting some hearts sewn onto her dress.
Then she had a practice at back stitch and stem stitch before adding some trailing vines between the hearts, I think she settled on stem stitch for that, but it's hard to say. Then when she got to college on Monday she had to strike a pose.
She found that belt in the charity shop too, and I have no idea why she insists on wearing her jeans under such a pretty dress.

I'm off to find the camera, maybe pictures of my quilt are still on the card! And I want to get an up date photo of my cross stitch for you. I sat in the study with Hunney last night and got quite a bit done.
Gratitude's
1) A day off at last, with no commitments.
2) Lunch hour with Moya, I don't call that a commitment.
3) Hot tea in the morning.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The package has arrived.

You may, or may not have noticed, but I didn't post any images of what I had enclosed in the package I sent to Quiltmom when she won my little giveaway. I wanted it to be a surprise.
Well her box arrived yesterday and I'm happy to say she seemed delighted.

Here's a quick peep at what the box contained.
A teeny tiny hand made pin cushion.

Some purchased items, a magnetic Manx teddy bear souvenir, some pearl headed pins and some Leonard Cheshire post cards, (Well I do work for them). A hand made pear and of course the hand made bag that started it all.

I also included a roll of largish fabric scraps. I do hope she can use them in something, even if it takes a few years for inspiration to strike! LOL

Here's a closer look at the bag,
And the pear.
I've been working hard, not at anything to interest you good folks, all work stuff.

Yesterday I had a 5am start, a 06.20 check in at the airport and training all day across the water at our North West regional office in Warrington. I got home at about 7pm.

Today was supposed to be my day off, but I went to do my office work, cause I couldn't do it yesterday. Tomorrow I'll finally get one day off! Yippie. Moya is coming for lunch, she has gone back to working during daylight hours, now that Lauren has started school. So we just get to meet up occasionally in her lunch hour. Her office is right across the street from my apartment! Cool or what? I don't know if she will have anything to show or not.

I did manage to do some stitching over the weekend, but I'll save pics of that for another day. No sewing this weekend, I'll be working, what a surprise!

Time to go.

Gratitude's

1) Being able to give.

2) A safe trip yesterday

3) Another qualification.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A different kind of bag.

I've had to put my fans away for a few days. I did it on Monday, I just have too many commitments at the moment. It wouldn't be so bad if it were life commitments, but it's not, it's work stuff!

Yesterday was supposed to be my day off, but I spent over 4 hours at work, at both ends of the day! And the time in between was spent studying, for work! Today is a late shift, usually I'd get a few hours of something in before starting at 3pm, but not today, more study! Maybe once I get next weeks course out of the way I'll be able to get back to some me stuff and start enjoying my days off again.

Gratitude's.
1) The rain stopped
2) Supportive colleagues
3) Sweet Cranberry tea.