Sunday 31 August 2008

Spot the difference.

First and foremost, I promised pictures of stash. First up a boring box, but it has bag handles in it, this means I can get on with those pretty flowers and Sunbonnet Sues.

There are some little wooden curtain rings in there too, those are to make pincushions with and a Christmas decoration. Lots of things planned there.
And onto the next package, cross stitch stash, which I really don't need, but it was too good to resist. I love this ice skating Santa.

Moya likes this one, I may give him to her for Christmas. There are beads in this kit, little star shapes to make the garland he is holding.

I really like these kits, they have coloured charts which can be a bit of a pain, but the fabric is pre finished and the bell pull top is supplied, all I have to do is stitch and hunt down a little frufru if I want to add the fussy bits.
On to my own little Christmas kit and the title of this post. Here is how the Winter Village looked when I picked it up yesterday.

And where it had gotten to when I put it away. I'm almost done with the lower part of the scene.

I didn't work exclusively on the cross stitch, I also did a little work on the mystery quilt, but I did something wrong so put it away in a huff. Hopefully I'll get back to it and rescue it, rather that going off it and abandoning it completely.

I'll have to make the most of the stash I have for a while. Some evil bod has been taking funds from our bank account and sending it to Switzerland!! We spotted it yesterday at the online banking site. Hunney was on the case. Our cards have been cancelled. Hunney and I have agreed to open a separate account to use solely for online purchases, it will have nothing in it until we need it to have, then we'll transfer in. I don't know how it can have happened, we're very careful about where we shop, although I did have one suspicious event at the very start of the month and abandoned the transaction, although I deleted my details, maybe someone got something.... The bank is going to investigate and the lovely lady Hunney spoke to says we should get all of our money back. We were very lucky, they took less than £150, it was just payday here, they could have had the lot!! Please, please be careful when shopping online, especially at a new to you place, remember to look for the golden padlock and if possible take precautions such as another account.

Things to be grateful for.

1) Cooler weather, but not more rain!
2) Helpful bank staff.
3) Time to stitch.

Saturday 30 August 2008

A finish and some owls.

As I said last time, Moya and Lauren paid us a visit on Thursday. I had everything ready for Lauren to make cookies. Her big cousin was charged with helping her and for taking photos. Note the distinct lack of cookie pictures? LOL They were all blurred, never mind, the cookies tasted yummy and Lauren believes that she will once again be the star of Aunty Loulees blog.
I got my sewing machine out and put together a little bag. For the front I used the Butterfly Mandala I cross stitched.
The back is some beautiful buterfly fabric and it's lined with a plain blue. I stitched a piece of ribbon just inside the top edge and threaded a piece of very fine ribbon through that in order to make a drawstring.
Once I had finished with that I got on with some more cross stitch which I have once again fogotten to take a picture of.
While I was doing that Moya was busy finishing the applique work she was busy with last time she was here. The owls finally have their eyes and I think they look just fine.

She has cut out and started a second one of these. I know the first is for a friends baby, it's to hang in his room, but I'm not so sure what the second one is for.

I'm off to play, yesterday I cut the final pieces for the mystery quilt in Popular Patchwork Magazine.

3 Things to be grateful for.....

1) A night out with the girls.

2) A sweet sweet niece.

3) Stash in the post. (Pictures next time.)

Thursday 28 August 2008

Up and down days.

Today was a not bad day. I worked with a wonderful colleague who is always upbeat and cheerful. She knows I'm going through some sh!t at the moment and is very attentive to my mood.
I have the morning off tomorrow and my sister Moya will be here with the lovely Lauren, I think we'll make cookies. That will be a good day.

Staying with the good stuff, I spent some time with Hunney in the study the other night, I found it difficult to settle again, (I think I need a different seat) but I did get the polar bear finished and put in most of his back stitch. I did it as instructed, but may go back and rip it out to replace it with something paler, we'll see.

Maybe once I get the rest of the people done and they are all back stitched it won't look so odd. Next up some leaves and the rest of the Panda.

I read about this book on one of the cross stitch blogs I visit and had to have a peep. So here's my copy, it arrived today. There are some beautiful patterns and ideas, not at all cross stitchy, even the quilters can have fun with this book. There are pears, bears, cats and strawberries, some very pretty and dainty stitchery ideas and a wonderful little pincushion which I'll HAVE to make.
The first thing I'm going to make is some of those pretty bags as Christmas gifts. I just ordered a whole bunch of handles and I plan to use these fabrics.

And these appliques which Moya found for me on Etsy. (Sorry the pictures are a bit dark, I was at my sewing table in the window, you'd think they would be fine.) I think they will be divine popped onto the fronts of the bags as little pockets or simply as pretty pictures.

I may even have to make one for me. A girl can never have too many bags.
The butterfly mandala is almost a bag, I just need to find some ribbon to finish it.
I've got another little cross stitch on the way, it's the winter village scene I showed a couple of posts back. I forgot to take a picture of that, maybe next time.
Speaking off cross stitch, thats what I'm off to do for an hour.
Things to be grateful for.
1) Sunshine.
2) Spotty Bananas
3) An exciting new project book.

Saturday 23 August 2008

A short note

Yesterday was a mixed day. On a good note, I finished the Butterfly Mandala. It's all ready to be made into a bag.

I also started a new small piece, a Christmas decoration. I can work on that down stairs. I don't like working alone in the study at the moment or I would have gotten on with the endangered babies.

Yesterday was Moyas birthday, I spoke with her on the phone for a while. I gave her a book and a little quilt kit, which she collected when she was here the other day.

Things to be grateful for.....

1) A sunny day.

2) Friendly colleagues

3) A whole nights sleep, no disturbances.

Have a happy day.

Friday 22 August 2008

Today will be a good day.

Yesterday was a good day too. Moya and Lauren came to see me. They stayed nearly all day. Moya brought her collection of Kokeshi and Japanese Doll fabrics. You remember how single minded she gets when collecting fabrics right?

I didn't count them, so I have no idea how many there are. She is wanting to make something for her older daughters room, which she has recently redecorated. There is already a Kokeshi doll quilt and pillow cases and a Kokeshi rug which she bought ready made. Moya was hoping something in her collection would go in there too. I think she needs to shift focus away from the dolls and collect a few of the co ordinating fabrics. They are so beautiful though, I tried to swipe a few but she noticed! LOL

I didn't get loads of stitching done, but I did do some, my butterflies are nearly finished, in fact if Hunney hadn't taken me out for dinner I think it would be ready for the next step today.

I plan to make it into a little bag, nothing flash, just a little draw string bag, it will become a part of a Christmas gift, and that's all I'll say cause I'm not sure if the intended recipient reads my blog, she has been invited to do so.

These pretty butterflies will be used as the back of the bag and I have some plain black to line it with.

Knowing that she was coming I bought Lauren a cake making kit from the supermarket. We got busy and made tiny little muffins. Lauren enjoyed the whole experience. At home she cannot see into the oven and loved sitting here on my kitchen floor looking in and seeing them rise. She thought they might escape from their little cases. Once they had cooled we made icing using the powder provided in the packet.

Then Lauren very carefully added sprinkles and stars also provided.

One plate full of of very pretty very PINK cakes.

While Lauren was busy with those, her mother was also busy, putting this little applique project together. She saw this in a magazine and just had to do it. There are supposed to be bushes under the tree, well, first there were and then there weren't, then there were, then.........

The next thing which caused big sighs was the eyes, they were very bright, I have to agree that white eyes were not going to work. We went diving through my drawers and came up with a few alternatives.
Then found the perfect replacement. The pattern even provided perfect pairs of eyes! LOL

Between them they kept me so busy I didn't have time to mope.

As I said before, Hunney took me out for dinner, we went to the take away shop on the corner and had the great British favorite, Fish and Chips. We ate them out of the paper just there on the town square as we watched the practices for the Manx Grand Prix. Yep, more motorcycle racing. One of my colleagues has a particular interest in this event, her husband races in it each year. We saw him in fact, very difficult to miss a Kawasaki green bike.

Today I'm on a late shift, I don't start work until 3pm. Today is going to be a good day. I'll finish the butterflies, then maybe I'll make them into a bag.

I notice on some blogs the owner writes every day about something she has to be happy about, I think that's a good idea for me too. Does three a day sound achievable?

1) A dear sister and a sweet niece.

2) A good man in my life.

3) Warm words from people who care.

I wish you all a good day.

Thursday 21 August 2008

Time off work.

Too much time alone is not a good thing. I used to look forward to my days off mid week and loved the fact that a late shift doesn't start until 3pm, I can get soooooo much done when I'm here alone. Lately thats not such a good thing though, my mind starts to wander and I get to brooding on things, a sensible part of me knows I should leave well alone, but thats easier said than done. I loose concentration, housework gets done on auto pilot but my crafts suffer and very little is acheived. Hunney when he is here is very supportive, but he can't be here all the time, friends and family visit too, but they like hunney can't be here all the time. I start out each new day with great intentions and positive thoughts and all too often I see my ideas vanish into the same black pit that swallows me. Yesterday was a washout! Today will be different.

Today I will sew, and I will enjoy my sewing.

Sorry about that, normal ramblings will now resume.

I had to take a pic of the chart for the endangered babies. You can see how close I am to getting it finished. Soon I keep telling myself, soon it will be finished, but then I have a crappy day ....not going there.

While shopping for some thread the other day I happend to come across this little kit and it's friends, they were instantly added to my loooooooong wish list and this little fellow fell into my shopping basket. LOL oh yes and the people who purchased this also purchased one of these....LOL No I didn't I was well behaved for another few minutes.
Got my pics in the wrong order! Grrr Here is the thread I went shopping for. And a lesson in making sure you purchase enough hand dyed thread because when you go back it will probably be a different dye lot!
Never mind, I can make it work.
After dropping the thread and the village scene in to my virtual basket I remembered that I had thought about making some cross stitched cards for Christmas and my clicky finger found these.
A kit containing everything I need to make six pretty little cards.

I particularly like the candle on the second image.
Retail therapy is good and so is playing with new stash.
I'm off, I'm outta here, I'm going to get on with my good day.

I hope you enjoy yours. Happy stitching.

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Progress Report

For those who are exclusively looking for quilty content stop reading now! This post has a zero quilt rating. Sorry.

I mentioned in my previous post that I had done very little to the Endangered Babies, well I did a little more to it last night. The Polar bear finally has a nose! I was finding it hard to concentrate last night though and ended up doing some back stitching, I've done a little more of that around the tiger, it's not so obvious though.

It's at about this stage in every cross stitch project, you know, when the end is in sight, but never seems to be getting any closer? That I start to get a bit down with it, a bit bored and fed up. I so want it to be over so that I can move on to the next one. LOL You know I've planned the next one, I've also said I want to finish my clients picture, and I'm sure I'll change my mind again before I get there. LOL We'll see.

As a quick little project that I can pick up here and there, I've started to make some Christmas gifts. This little one will take me back to my sewing machine, as when it's finished I plan to turn it into a bag, which will be filled with goodies.

It's one of the free cross stitch charts I mentioned last time and I found it here. The fabric I'm working on is a piece of 14 count aida from Polstitches Dragon Shades collection it's called 'Fallen Leaves' (For the uninitiated, thats a hand dyed colour.) and the threads are Dinky Dyes 'Bush Baby' (Another special dye).

I'm hoping that the relatively quick finishes of these freebie charts will give me enough of that sense of satisfaction to keep me going on the larger projects, like the babies and the tree skirt.

It's my morning off so I'm off to play.

Monday 18 August 2008

Been a busy few days.

I've not had much time to stitch, so it really isn't worth taking a picture of my endangered babies.

After leaving Karol Anns lovely fabrics lying with my stitching for a few days I'm settled and have started thinking about what to do with them. I'll keep you posted.

Staying with a cross stitch theme I've printed out a few freebie patterns gleaned from various sites on the WWW, all revolving around Christmas, some are for gifts, some are for ornaments or decorations and one will become Hunneys Christmas card. He always gets a hand made card, usually some thing I've stitched. I always try to come up with a little verse for inside too. I think he would wonder what was wrong if I didn't do it.

Last night as the awful weather blocked the satellite TV signal I let the boys play on the PS2, while I did this!

Not such a great feat really, it only has 300 pieces. This pretty little puzzle came in a tin and was a birthday gift. I'll pass it onto one of my nieces I think, they all love fairy's, though I may have to warn them about kissing frogs.

Time for work.

Thursday 14 August 2008

What do you think?

Will Karol Anns beautiful african fabrics make this cross stitch into a nice wall hanging?
I won these fabrics in a give away on her blog and have been wondering how to use them. I'm a little concerned that the orange may be a bit pale.
What do you folks think? Click on the pic for a larger image.

Moya will be calling round next week, I'll ask her opinion too.
And just a quick close up on the bears, I did start working with some other colours, but some of them are so pale, they may as well be white! LOL

In the end rather than stop working with white entirely I figured I'd be better off working turn about, 2 lengths of coloured thread and two lengths of white. So as well as filling in some of the polar bears features the panda has grown a bit too.

I'm on late shifts for the next two days, so hope to get plenty more done to this.

I'm off to pick up my needle.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Bearly there.

This is my last day off work, back to the grind tomorrow. Never mind, I have enjoyed my break, hunney and I managed to get a few days out and I've done quite a bit of my stitching.

I just had to take this pic! The ghost of a Polar Bear.

The Pandas nose and mouth is just appearing there too. I'm heartily sick of stitching with white though, so the effect is about to be spoiled, as Mr Polar Bear will get his nose today as I want to work with some stronger colours.
The end of this piece is close, and I'm itching to get it finished, I have plans for these babies and I want to start something new.

Because I forgot last week, here's a pic of my week old birthday flowers, Hunney bought them for me, aren't they beautiful? I love lillies, especially these scented ones. I think they look odd without their stamens, but that orange pollen makes such a mess, I removed them this time, looks like I need to go round again as a few more buds have opened.

I had to wedge the vase in there! The flowers are so top heavy they were toppling it over, I think I need to get a new heavier/taller vase for lillies.

I have the perfect excuse to stay home and stitch all day long, as it's raining cats and dogs again! I do feel so sorry for all those people trying to enjoy a summer holiday, rain is no fun.

Saturday 9 August 2008

This weather really suits my mood.

Well, it's raining cats and dogs here in Ramsey, it's downright miserable!

On a lighter and brighter note! An update on the cross stitch. It's moving along slowly. There are only three critters left to stitch, you can see the beginnings of another kitty cat, a cheetah I think.

The black stripe above the mystery critters head is the beginnings of a Panda and finally there will be a polar bear up there too. Here's a closer peep at the mystery critter. Some one suggested that he may be an otter, are they endangered?
He doesn't appear to have any ears, a kind of canine face and some good sharp claws, so he could be an otter.

I'm looking forward to getting this one finished, so much so that I am planning it's replacement.

You can see that here. Yes I know, it's very reminiscent of a HAED which I started some years ago, but I've finally admitted to myself that I will never finish that one, but still love the design, so I'll settle for the next best thing. Any hoo, I have all of the threads and beads gathered together now and also splashed out on a piece of hand dyed aida. I also have my clients unfinished piece to get done, though it isn't calling to me.

All this cross stitch has had me lurking at a couple of cross stitch Yuku BBs in particular the Mirabilia and L&L sites. I used to be active on both boards, until I was stolen away by quilting! LOL I did remain semi active on this board, in order to meet the girls for live chat now and again. As you may have guessed I've been poking about in my cross stitch stash and have one or three plans up my sleeve. The fan quilt caught my eye when I was putting some things away yesterday, so it may get a look in soon too.

Thank you for the birthday wishes and all the kind and happy thoughts, I really do appreciate them.

Thursday 7 August 2008

Still Hangin'

Thanks again for all of your warm words and good thoughts. I really do appreciate them.
Hunney has kept me busy these last few days. I have done some cross stitching, but to be honest don't have the heart to do much at the moment. I feel so low and so very tired it's difficult to focus on things.

There have been several treats, Hunney bought me 2 jelly rolls and a book about jelly roll quilts for my birthday. I've also been buying a couple of new cross stitch charts and planning what to stitch next! I have to finish this one first though, or at least finish something! I always used to be a one at a timer, but I have 2 cross stitch half done, plus two inherited cross stitch half done, not to mention the tree skirt and the quilts!

Hunney and I have been out and about, visiting shops and places we don't often get too. It's been fun and something different. We have eaten out a lot too, thats been nice, last night we were joined by friends who cannot make it to my party on Saturday, tonight I'm off out with a couple of colleagues who can't make saturday either.

By the end of all this I'll feel like I've had a birth week, not a birthday!

I know I made noises about a birthday give away, I haven't forgotten, but I still didn't figure out what to give! LOL I'm working on it.

Take care.

Sunday 3 August 2008

Hangin' in there.

I'm still here, still more bad days than good but very much appreciating all the kind words and good wishes from you dear people. They really do help. Thank you.

My blog may have been idle, but I have not. I'm not as prolific as usual but I have been sewing away.

Remember the tree skirt kit I inherited here? Well, I made a start, just a few more snow flakes, then it's onto the snow men.

I've done a jigsaw and have another on the go.

I've also been spending time with Hunney in his study, so my cross stitch has progressed from this....

To this. I still have no idea what that critter on the left is meant to be. Any ideas? Hunney fired off an email to the manufacturers, but they didn't even bother to answer!

I have been reading your blogs and they spark bits of inspiration here and there. It's nice to keep up with the real world.

Thanks for stopping by