Sunday 30 December 2018

Finally, a day to relax...

After I managed to get caught up on some domestics.
Now I can relax and do some me stuff.
First a Christmassy blog post.
The most important gift wasn't wrapped.
Belle had left me a whisker on the arm of the couch.
I don't really know why, but rather than vacuuming them up or throwing them away I collect them.
I treat each one I find as a gift and thank her for them.
 As far as humans go I was lucky and received some lovely gifts again this year.
Tony found this chap. I didn't name him yet, but he is on patrol on our patio.
What a handsome fellow he is.
Joe brought this wee treasure along, it was hand made by his girlfriend Lee.
 My very own hand built Fairy house. Isn't it cute.
 In the image below, you get a better idea of how small it is.
 It reminds me very much of the old Celtic stone buildings seen around the Isle of Man.
(If you're interested,  look at this blog.)
Another hand made gift I received is this lovely machine mat made for me by my friend Janice.
Each of the pockets was filled with goodies too. (There was chocolate, but it didn't survive until the photo shoot!)
As you can see, I already have a machine mat but that is ok, this beauty will still be used and loved, it fits perfectly over the arm of my sewing chair and the pockets will keep scissors and things very handy.
 My mother in law gifted me this cute wee tin.
 Even though it's currently sat in my sewing room, it's actually full of recipe cards.
I fell in love with this character on the front of the tin.
Of course I didn't just receive hand made goodies, I sent some too.
I was lucky enough to be invited to send something to dear Chookyblue. Sadly she decided not to do the SSCS this year as she just has so many other things going on and it does take a lot of her time to organise and encourage us all.
 One of the secret swappers sent out an email inviting us to repay all that Chooky does for us, by sending her a wee ornament for her tree.
What a great idea!  
I made not only a wee ornament but also a set of coasters using kiwiana fabrics.
 Here they are all bundled up with a button tree ornament.
Blue of course.
 I hope they arrived on time.
Another gift I made was for Janice. A cute little project case all made with more Kiwiana fabrics.
 I had fun trying to decide which fabrics to use, with such small pieces it ended up looking very busy.
I couldn't resist this fun fabric for the back.
I also sent along some of my recently made bunting as I seemed to make far too much.....:-)
Janice assures me it is just the right size for one of her windows.
Here you go, a work in progress shot of some of the button tree ornaments I made.
Well, that's it for now.
I'm off to spend what is left of my me day sat with my cross stitch.
It's far to warm to do anything else.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

With only a week left until the big day, I finally managed to get the decorations sorted.
As promised last time, here's a pic of the red and gold tree, tucked into a spot in the sitting room.
There are lots of hand made ornaments on there. Some made by me, and some made by you!
Our second tree was delayed for a few days as Mr H wanted to do some deconstruction first.
An old night store heater had to come off the wall!
Here's a progress shot, with not one but two Christmas quilts in the background.
Eventually the job was done and the power point on the wall sorted out and turned into a normal plug socket. Then I got busy decorating a second tree.
There was a slight hiatus as a certain furry member of the household decided to chew on the cable for the lights!!
Thank goodness they were not plugged in at the time.
New lights were purchased and eventually we have a tree in our hallway, to greet visitors as they arrive.
There are one or two new additions this year.
 I made some new ornaments.
 Some speak for themselves.
 While others may need a little explanation.
These blue bows are made from Manx tartan ribbon, from my home The Isle of Man.
 These little white bows are the rescued scraps from some of last years pulling crackers and fit beautifully with my blue and white theme on this tree.
 This ornament isn't new, I've had it for a lot of years, and love the spun sugar effect.
 The fairy that sits atop this tree was given to me by DS Jiffy Jonathan. She got new wings this year. 
Her originals, are rather tiny and inconsequential, so when I saw a pair of angel wings for sale amid some other Christmas ornaments, I knew just where they needed to go.
 And finally the big 
We have agreed that if we're going to continue to put a tree out in the hallway, we need to get a bigger tree!
And get the wall repaired and painted sometime early in the new year!!
On the subject of Jiffy Jonathan, I was delighted to hear that he and his beautiful girlfriend Josie got engaged the other day.
A wonderful Christmas gift.
Though I did tell him he must give me a few years to save up for a trip home for the wedding! LOL
And finally, some crafty content.
A progress pic of the Jewelled Elephant.
I got to sit for a while yesterday and stitch, and hopefully I'll find some time for more stitches today too. I really am enjoying this one.
Strangely, even though I am now beyond the half way point, I didn't yet start plotting what I'll stitch next......
That is unusual for me.
I probably won't find time to post again before Christmas..
So in the Manx dialect....

Friday 14 December 2018

A break in the weather.

A break in our miserable weather allowed me to have a quick look around the garden while I was home for lunch the other day. These beautiful lillies are the only ones flowering, all the others are still tight green buds.
 Most of my peonies are finished, battered by the wind and rain, but these beauties tucked in behind a maple were protected and still look wonderful.
 There is mixed progress in the green house and veg gardens.
On my days off work this week I put up the Christmas tree.
Belle helped.
 I'll show a picture of the tree another time, for now here is the hand sewn fairy that was made by a friend of mums.
 Aaaaand just to show progress, a picture of my own stitching.
The elephant has legs and I've added more beads. 
That's it from me today.
Lots to do, before I head off to work.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Slow Progress

My credit card worries are all sorted. :-)
All monies fraudulently taken from us have been repaid and my card has been replaced.
Phew! Thank goodness that is over.
Onwards then...
My cross stitch is progressing slowly.
I'm breaking all the 'rules' by not only cross stitching, but also back stitching, adding the metallic stitches and the beads as I go. 
Isn't he looking grand? 
I'm enjoying this piece and it's fun to add all the extras and see the finished results right away.
I plan to spend more time working on it this afternoon.
My project this morning was to put up a little tree in my sewing room window.
It looks out of the front of the house, so it seemed right to do it.
I used a big chunk of bluetack to hold it in place, as Belle likes to patrol the window sill and I was worried she would knock it off.
 I may add some solar powered lights too. Not that there is much to power them at the moment, as you can see, it is another wet day here. :-(
 Speaking of Belle, she had a visitor yesterday. This gorgeous kitty has moved in next door and often visits on our deck. I love his markings.
Belle was not happy! She stalked up and down the window growling and fluffing up her tail.
She is an indoor cat and has not socialised with another cat since she was a kitten and really doesn't know how to behave when boys come calling. LOL
 My vacuum lives in the bottom of my walk in linen closet and I made the mistake of leaving the door open earlier today, so Belle made her self at home.
She managed to get her head through the strap of one of my bags before curling up for a snooze on some spare black curtains!
All those lovely blankets and quilts, and she picks the black curtains!
The washing machine just finished, perfect timing, I'm off to sort that lot out, then it''s time to play.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

A Finish and a GRRRRR!

The wee hoodie for Floki is finished. Yay!

The hoodie was knitted using a fiddlesticks yarn cake which changes colour every so often. 
I used up some odd blue buttons to finish it off.
I hope it fits, the pattern says 12 months, but the boy is growing like a weed!
His mum says he is already in 9-12 month clothing!!
I'd like to say it's in the mail and on it's way, but I can't.
(More about that shortly.)
Looking about for something to do yesterday, I settled on some cross stitch.
This Jewelled Elephant was supposed to be a Christmas gift.
And it still will be, just not this year! LOL
There a four colours of seed beads and a few sparkling threads used, which will eventually make it jewelled.
As today is yet another wet day off.
I'll be sitting and stitching.
So about my inability to post items....
Some bad people have gotten hold of my credit card details.
They dipped their toe in the water by taking $2.20, Which I noticed and contacted the bank about right away.  The bank agreed to stop my card and send out a new one.
Then yesterday, I noticed that the bank had allowed the same bad people to take $90!!  
How does that work?
I contacted the bank again and asked what was going on? 
My card is cancelled, how can it be used to take more money?
The lovely lady I was talking to said, how do they have your new card details?
These naughty people have my NEW card details!!
I don't even have those yet!!!
So a second new card is on its way and the fraud department will be in touch in the next 20 days!!
And I have to check my account daily and alert the bank to any further payments.
That's all I need.
I'm off to grumble, while I sit and stitch.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

A few goings on....

The weather at the moment has taken another wintry turn. With cold southerlies bringing rain, hail, snow and even a tornado!!  
Yesterday the view from my wee room looked like this!
Wet, wet, wet. 
 A good day to stay indoors and sew. 
Sew that is what I did.
 There was a fair amount of secret stuff going on, but I did get the binding onto this little kiwi table runner, which is not so secret.
Well, not secret from you anyway. LOL
I just used up some charm squares I had rejected from other projects and used a black on black for the sash and outline strips.
I closed the binding last night, but forgot to take a photo and it's already wrapped up and waiting to go to the post office. LOL
A recent start is a knitted hoodie for Floki.
The pattern calls for three different coloured yarns and a set number of rows in each colour. I opted to use a woolly layer cake and achieved a more random colour pattern.
Its knitting up quickly and he may even get it in time for Christmas
I forgot to show you this the other day when I chatted about organising gifts for my grand children.
Claire makes these keys for her crafty stall, I just had to have some and sent them away in the mail the other day.
What a lovely idea, especially in these times when many homes no longer have chimneys.
How else would Santa get in?
And speaking of the craft stall, the blanket I showed as a WIP last time is all done and waiting to go over to Claires place. (Hence the start on the wee hoodie)
During a break in the stormy weather this morning, I took a turn around the garden and found these beauties all blown over, so I cut them and brought them inside.

According to the weather man the stormy weather is set to continue, and I have another day off work, so back into my room it is.
Have fun with your day.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Todays Doings.

I'm still settling into my new routine. It's taking a bit of getting used to, but I'm sure I'll get there.
I worked an extra shift yesterday so today is my only day off until Sunday. I wasted spent most of it sat here at the computer, but in that time I did manage to get onto and arrange Christmas gifts for my beautiful grand children back in Blighty!
I love that I can do that.
Miss Faith (5) requested everything unicorns please!!
So one or two items bearing that creatures likeness are on their way to Birmingham England.
Master Floki (6.5 months) has requested some PJs and 'not plastic' toys please.
So his wish is also being granted.
DS Joe has settled into life with a young lady here in NZ, she already has a beautiful wee girl who is a bundle of energy. I can't leave her out, so this afternoon I settled into my room and put together this advent calendar for her.
Now I just need to find some goodies to fill up the pockets.
 None of the above is what I had planned to do today!!
I was going to put a lap quilt onto the frame and get it quilted. LOL
It would have been a lovely day to work in the back room today.
the sun is shining and the garden is looking lovely.
 The wedding cake tree, the one you all like so much is looking resplendent and heavy with flowers.
The birds are going to get a good feed of that later in the summer.
Just beneath it the peonies are beginning to flower. I've been cutting single stems and bringing them into the house.
They do look stunning.
I'm off to see what else I can achieve before Mr H gets home.

Friday 9 November 2018

The New Rhythm.

After the initial flurry of excitement I find I'm struggling to settle into the new work/life rhythm. I thought I would be able to spend time crafting in the mornings before my later starts, but very little of that has happened. Even my days off seem to have very little crafty time in them.  Sigh, maybe it will come in time.....
That doesn't mean my crafting has stopped altogether.
I finally got the binding closed on this wee cot quilt and took it over to Claire for her craft market stall.
I'm also working slowly on topping up the blanket pile on the stall.
The garden of course is taking up some of our free time. I would show some photos, but it is pouring with rain, it has been for nearly 24 hours now. 
Instead I'll show an image of my happy boy. His blanket has arrived safely on the Isle of Man taking only 7 days to get there.
I'm told it's on the bed, the very first layer after a cotton sheet. 
And as I can already attest, he says it's very cosy and warm.
Both he and his lovely lady are delighted with it.
Right, I'm off to do some secret Santa stuff I think, I hope..........
I'm not due at work until 11am. 

Monday 29 October 2018

A quick note.

Sorry, I didn't mean to leave it so long!
Life suddenly got very busy, between starting my new job, with it's longer and very different hours, working in the garden and a weekend away fishing, I just haven't had much time for crafting, let alone blogging.
I have done a few wee crafting things though.
I spent two afternoons on some secret stuff.
And made myself some bunting.
But try as I have, I just can't seem to get a decent photo of the bunting for you.
 It's hanging in the window of my sewing room.
 Which of course is not an ideal place for great photography.
 I'm sure you get the idea.
I also pulled out a very loud and busy piece of fabric that came to me in a bundle purchased from the WWW.
I chopped a little piece off and added a red border around that.
Then used a larger piece for backing.
 There was just enough in the off cuts for binding.
Which I didn't close up yet, but I did make a start over at Debbie's place last night.
Maybe I'll get it finished today.
This one will be going onto Claire's market stall.
She sold one of my crochet blankets and one of my quilts in recent weeks so it's time for a top up.
I don't start work until 10.30 today, I should get on and do some domestics, so that my days off can be all about me stuff!!