Friday 31 January 2014

First it rains and then it pours!

The island is bracing itself for more flooding. Another spring tide coupled with another storm front means we're going to get wet again.
If that's not enough bad news, we are also told that there has been a safety alert at Sellafield Nuclear plant!
I'm sure it really is just a precaution and they have everything under control, but you can't help but wonder.
A good day to stay home with my Chop Suey project. It's still growing.
Someone asked me why I call it chop suey. Simple, I was told that Chop suey means odds and ends or left overs!
I have to say, it's lovely and warm sitting under it while it grows. Tony and Joe are enjoying 'helping' me to decide what colour to add next. They have had fun lucky dipping into my basket of yarns, sometimes keeping their eyes tight shut, sometimes being more particular.
Thank you to everyone who commented on our great news in my last post. 
We're so excited.
Yesterday I packed away my play room. My sewing machines are all boxed and ready for their long journey. All my books magazines, project boxes are safely stashed in boxes. My fabric collection is to remain in the drawers it lives in, but I squeezed a few more bits in with it. The room is bare! Just a pile of boxes sat in the middle of the floor. 
I have kept out my current cross stitch project plus a couple of extra kits to keep me busy while everything else takes up to 16 weeks to follow us to NZ!
I plan to pop Chop suey and any remaining yarn into a box and post it to myself at my inlaws home.

Thursday 30 January 2014

Tickets are booked.

Have visa, will immigrate!
Our tickets are booked, we leave the island on Wednesday 19th February. And arrive in New Zealand on Friday 21st February.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Full Residential visa approved.

 Joe and I have full approval for our Visa and we have paid our migrant levy. Our passports are currently with the relevant authorities and will be returned to us next week.
We're starting to get more than a little excited. Things are moving along nicely. I've even made a start on some packing!!
We're not going anywhere until mid February at the soonest, so I've been trying to keep myself busy. Over the past few years I've been gathering together scraps of acrylic double knit (8 ply) yarn. Now I'm using them up, as fast as I can.
I did think I would make a couple of smaller blankets to give away. But Tony loves the scrappy look of it and has asked me to make a large blanket which we can keep. :-)
He has even helped
 As each little ball of yarn runs out I ask him to dip into my basket of bits and select the next one.
You really can't see it's true colours here.
All the yarn lengths are different, some colours are repeated and others are not. Where I have larger amounts left in one particular colour, I've broken it down into two or three smaller balls in order to spread the colours out. Though as the rounds get larger and larger I don't feel the need to do that.
Some people turn their work after each round and others prefer to work continually in one direction. I have used both methods on this piece, sometimes turning, sometimes not, just to add to the scrappy nature. 
It has become known as the 'chop suey' blanket.
It's quite cosy, sitting under it in the evenings hooking away.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

YIPPEE! and Chop Suey

My visa has been agreed, 'in principal.' Waiting now while it gets a second OK, my case worker says ours is a very straight forward case and she expects no issues at all. So soon I'll be getting a bill for my migrant levy.  All being well, Tony, Joe and I should be on a BIG plane this time next month.
So excited. Tony has now finished work and we have begun in earnest to clear the decks and start putting our lives into boxes. We have reps from two carriers coming to see us this week to give quotes for removing our possessions to NZ.
I'll keep you posted.
Still going with using up left overs of yarn. I didn't realise how many bits and pieces of colourful yarn I had, all in double knit. (8 ply). I had fun last night making a start on this bright and very colourful granny.
 Even the tiniest of scraps have been saved and are being included.
Time to do a couple of quick rounds before I go dig out another cupboard.

Monday 20 January 2014

Stitchy stash enhancement.

The postie called while I was out grocery shopping yesterday. He delivered the Christmas cross stitch items I had ordered. That was quick. :-)
My plan to complete one Christmas related item per month is progressing nicely.
I've decided the items can take the shape of ornaments or gifts.
Item number one, is this pretty little ornament.
 It took just a few hours to complete the stitching part, now I just need to find a scrap of batting and get in finished off. 
Not today though. I want to work on my geisha today.

Saturday 18 January 2014

Stitchy Update.

 After we got home from visiting Faith, I did a little more crochet, again using up more leftovers. It's not quite finished, I'll try to remember to get a picture once it is.
The last couple of days though, I've wanted to stitch, so out came my Geisha. 
It's dark and wet here this morning, so I put her under my daylight lamp for the photo shoot, and the camera still opted to use the flash. She is growing, slowly but surely.
Referring back to my Non resolution to try to make something Christmas related each month of the year, I went shopping the other day in an online store. There are a few items headed my way.
Right, I'm off to sort out the laundry and go grocery shopping.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Do you think she looks like me?

I kept looking at pictures of faith and thinking to myself, I've seen that hair somewhere before...
A quick dig through the family archives and here is the evidence!
 I cropped out big brother!
She definitely has my hair! It doesn't look very red here, but this one does show the wild curls.
That's my girl.

A little Faith!

As you know, Tony, Joe and I went off to Birmingham for the weekend to see my daughter and my beautiful grand daughter Faith.
I won't bore you with all of the billions of photos we took.
Here's a few of the best.
 Isn't she a cutie.
 I love all those wild red curls. Her mum tries to tame them, but it doesn't last! hehe.
 My two favourite girls.
 Getting ready to go out for lunch. Faith was fascinated by her uncle Joe.
 She couldn't take her eyes off him. And always had a smile for him.

She liked the look of my hot chocolate.
 So I obliged with a few scoops of the cream from the top.
 Later I introduced her to chips and cheese slices.
Faith and uncle Joe said their goodbyes.
I had a great time, it was lovely to spend two days with my favourite girls.
Faith is a great character. I love her to bits.

Thursday 9 January 2014

A couple of finishes.

Tomorrow, I'm getting onto a little plane and I'm off to see my beautiful Grand daughter Faith. YIPPIE!
Oh and her mum too. LOL
Also visiting over the weekend will be my baby sister, with her baby.
It will be great to catch up with them.
You may be bored with lots of Nanny photos when I get home.
 With this visit in mind I put my Cross stitch down for a day or two and got on with some crochet projects.
You've seen the pink, yellow and white one before. I started it while Tony and I were in Europe in September. I had thought to make it cot sized, but alas ran out of that pretty yellow and had to change plans. (I was using up left overs, plus a little extra and couldn't find more yellow) So, it's ended up as a good size for a bed runner, or folded in half a great wee pram cover.
I'm sure my DD will put it to good use.
Underneath the pretty girly colours you see the blanket I'm just done making for nephew Jacob.
Again I used up bits and pieces. 
I knew there was no way I could get anything larger then a pram blanket out of these leftovers. So that is what I made. It would be good over a car seat too.
I'm happy to report that the weather has calmed down. Yesterday was bright but very cold. Today we are back to overcast and a little breeze. 
To all those caught in that Arctic blast....Keep warm.
I'm off to crochet.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Postman has been!

Last week Tony was watching me as I pressed under a quarter inch on some appliqué pieces, with a household iron!  He mentioned that perhaps I could do with something smaller. So I told him all about the clover mini iron. The postie didn't just bring a mini iron, he brought the whole lot. Iron, stand, adapters and carry case. Apparently there is also a new mini ironing board to come too!
Have I mentioned how much I love my Hubby?
 So now I'm not sure what to do with myself today. Do I finish off my crochet project? It should only take an hour or two. Do a little more to Spring Geisha? I made great progress yesterday. :-)
Or do I go up to my play room and find a project which needs a mini iron? LOL
Stay comfortable wherever you are.
And make time to play.

Monday 6 January 2014

Crafty Content!!

I've done a little more sewing and playing with my machines, but it's more secret stuff, so sorry, no can show!
I can however show my cross stitch.
Here is Spring Geisha to date. She took a bit of a rest over Christmas and New Year and came out again over the weekend. I've finally made it to the top! Yippie! 
I'm actually working on her upside down at the moment as it's easier. It does feel odd doing that.
As the weather is once again awful, with another storm battering us, I plan to stay home today and stitch. If you want me I'll be under a blanket on the sofa.
Yes another storm, with more high tides and another surge. We are once again expecting flooding here in town, though the experts say it shouldn't be as bad this time. (About a foot lower than last weeks)
That said, I'm sure we are better off than our friends over the wet bit. I'm so glad we don't have the 'Arctic blasts' that the USA is getting at the moment. No thank you. Keep warm over there and that is one weather system you can keep! (Anything that rattles up the Eastern seaboard, usually hops over the Atlantic to use up the last of it's puff here on the British Isles!)
Back to crafty things.
 Many of the cross stitchers and embroiderers in blogland keep a record of their stitches by keeping an ort jar. I've always kept a little jar around when I'm sewing, just to catch the thread ends, and last year when my cross stitch came out again, I just naturally went in search of just the right jar.
And here it is. In this little jar you see evidence of all of the cross stitch projects shown a couple of posts back, though not necessarily in that order! LOL
 Here you see all of those pretty colours spread out, it's quite a lot when you see it like this. 
I know of one stitcher who pops all those threads into a clear bauble along with the date and hangs them on her Christmas tree. I have no such ambitions, but I have now emptied the jar and have started afresh. I may or may not remember to take monthly photos of the jar filling up and may or may not remember to share a photo of my TUSAL....
I'm off to organise the sofa for a day of stitching.

Sunday 5 January 2014

Aftermath (Edited)

I'll get back to some crafty content soon I promise.
I had my cross stitch out for a few hours yesterday and today.
Meanwhile, here is a peep at some of the clean up work, following the storm on Friday.
(Pictures in my last post)
This is Queens prom in town. There is a road under that lot!.
 Good thing we had the spare Lifeboat in the harbour, as ours was trapped!
 We didn't sustain too much damage in Ramsey, a few broken windows and mopping up is all that needed to be attended too.
This damage is in Castletown, the old sea wall behind the historic grammar school was wiped out, there was also more damage along the harbour wall. I guess the sea eroded under the old quays and proms. 
Thank you to all who wished us well and told me to stay safe.
I survived the 50-60mph gusts to get good blog shots! LOL
Our house, although very close to the harbour and the river, is just a little bit elevated, so all safe and dry.
The rain has found two entrances though, one above the bath! And the front porch is a bit like a paddling pool!
It was very busy in town today, with people doing the shopping they couldn't do yesterday! LOL
It was also very quiet, not sure if that was the after storm calm, or the calm before the storm...
There is another storm sat out in the Atlantic, it will pounce Sunday/Monday.
Oh Shit!
I'm pleased to say we shouldn't have any more floods. That was caused by the exceptionally high tide. There will however be a lot more rain, some wild winds and a good surge, so some smaller: but still leaping waves.
Another day to stay home a stitch.
Edited to paste this in from the local authorities.
Red Weather Warning - FLOODING: A high tide tomorrow afternoon (14:56 Monday 6th January) along with a significant storm surge is estimated to give a total still water level of 8.1M above chart datum in Douglas, which is only around 0.3M (12inches) lower than observed last Friday. This is expected to give some flooding around the islands harbours and surrounding areas. The areas most vulnerable are Castletown (including Back Hope Street, Hope Street, Milner Terrace, Springfield Terrace, Brewery Wharf, Promenade), Ramsey (including Ramsey Quayside and Parliament Street), Douglas (including the Tongue, Leigh Terrace, and parts of North Quay, by the British Hotel) and Laxey Promenade. Peel (East Quay) and Port St Mary (including back of Lime Street and harbour area) may also be affected.
WINDS: South to Southwesterly winds will increase gale force during Monday morning with a risk of severe gale force in exposed locations. Gusts are likely to reach between 55 and 65mph bringing some damage and disruption. The winds are expected to remain gale force overnight into Tuesday before slowly moderating during Tuesday.
This is the same storm that was battering and snowing on the eastern united states!

Saturday 4 January 2014

Storm surge (Picture heavy again)

I did try to organise these images, but I give up!!
The storm that has been lashing Britain also tripped over our little island. Damage from the winds is so far very minimal, the water however is a different story.
With a record breaking spring tide, backed up with swollen rivers and a wind blown storm surge, our island is rather wet at the moment. The police and other services are asking people to stay home and stay warm and dry. Not on your life, the whole island was out with cameras. Some of these images are my own and some are taken from facebook and other public forums.
Hight tide in Ramsey. Almost hip deep.
 Can't believe someone left their car on the prom! Look out for this same car in later shots!
The bridge is closed for repairs at the moment. Good thing really.
See that car again? It's moving.

This is not my home town, this is Castletown harbour wall.
Castletown Quay/riverside.
 Peel, the causeway between Fenella beach and the harbour.
 Mooragh Prom Ramsey. (Harbour end)
 Laxey Prom and harbour!
 Mooragh Prom Ramsey again! 
 Transport options!
 Hope street in Castletown. It used to be called Water Street.......
 LOL Here's that car in the prom again.
 The shops are closed in Parliament Street Ramsey.
 Port Jack hill. That one got a Looooooogn way up!
 Ramsey Quayside.
 Queens prom Ramsey.
 The poor bridge.
 Ramsey Tram station.
 So glad it's not my car!
 Douglas prom, at the tram terminus.
 The 'Ben' is trying to come ashore.
 Wave after wave broke over the sea wall on both of Ramseys proms.
 Not much of a refuge today.
 Port Jack again.
Vollan Crescent, Mooragh prom Ramsey.
The Town is still boarded and bagged as we have another hight tide due at 01.00 ish. Things are predicted to be a little calmer and less damaging by then. I do hope so.
I hope all my family and friends around Britain are warm and dry.
PS, juat saw the weather forecast, there is another storm sitting out over the Atlantic, awaiting it's turn to batter us!