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.