Sunday, 11 March 2018

A quick Sunday catch up

It was Mother's Day here in the UK today.  

The girls treated me and Mark to breakfast this morning at a local restaurant, it made a lovely change to our usual Sunday morning.

They all came back to ours afterwards for a cuppa and to give me cards 

Yes there are 5 cards, no, I don't have 5 children only 3, lol, but I always get a card and a little something from Oliver, and this year Bonnie too, just to say thank you Nanny.

 Oliver gave me the little plant and a lovely new mug, and Bonnie gave me the duck, 
(whose name is Wendy), aren't they cute!

I opened my cards and the two presents and went into the kitchen to put the kettle on,
and look what I saw in the garden

Oh - my - goodness!! the girls had bought me a bird table, eeek!!

I have wanted one of these for ages, and now I have one, lol

Once me and Mark had set off for the restaurant for breakfast this morning they whizzed round to our house and left it in the garden before coming to join us so that it would be a surprise when we got back :-)  

I tell you, I was close to tears when I saw it, only last evening I had said to Mark that I wanted a covered bird table not knowing that my lovely girls had already bought me one :-) :-)

I am so very lucky.

Tomorrow I'm going on a little holiday to Great Yarmouth with Joanne and Bonnie.

Joanne is having her sitting room and dining room decorated and new flooring laid next week and didn't want to be at home with Bonnie in all the mess so we booked this little holiday.

Neither of us have ever been to Great Yarmouth so we are looking forward to seeing a new part of the country, we can't expect the weather to be brilliant but as long as the rain holds off we won't mind, it will be a lovely change of scenery.

Next Saturday we are going to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham and then on the Sunday we are throwing a little Sprinkle Shower for Jenny, (apparently when it's your second baby you don't throw a Baby Shower you have a Sprinkle), because you don't need to be showered with baby gifts as you already have most of what you need.

I didn't know this, did you?  I'd never heard of having a Baby Shower until a few years ago, no such things in my day, lol.

I hope you have had a fantastic Mother's day and have been as thoroughly spoilt as I have :-)

Have a great week, see you soon


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Bonnie's Day

Last Sunday was Bonnie's Christening day.

It was a wonderful day, the ceremony was at the same Chapel that all our family have been Christened at and where I used to go to Sunday School as a child.

Bonnie certainly lives up to her name :-)

Proud Mum and Dad

Oh dear, I think someone was getting tried 

Joanne's friend made a brilliant job of the cake

Oliver's Daddy came home the week before after nearly 3 months working in Cyprus,
as you can imagine this was one happy little boy and he was very reluctant to leave his daddy's side.

We were very lucky with the weather last weekend, although it was a little chilly the sun shone lovely for us all day, such a change from the weather we have had this past week.  I couldn't get out of the front door on Friday morning the snow had drifted about 2 feet high!  We had more snow last night and as Mark is away this weekend my Son In Law came round this morning and cleared the snow from around the door and garage and dug my car out!  

I now have a huge mound of snow in the middle of the drive, lol. but at least I can get to the house without having to go through snow up to my knees!

It's supposed to change next week, I have to say though that I much prefer this cold and snow to the rain that is predicted next week.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, I'm going to make the most of a quiet house tomorrow with a sofa day :-)

See you soon


Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February in books

 I decided at the beginning of the year I would post each month about the books I've been reading.
I know like me, lots of you enjoy reading, and I think it's good to get new recommendations of titles or authors we might not have come across.  I'm always on the look out for something new to read and I love to read about the books people have enjoyed, or perhaps not enjoyed as much. 

Perhaps there will be a title from my reading this month that takes your fancy?

February's  genre was Domestic Fiction

600 hours of Edward is about a 39 year old man with aspergers  
There are some funny moments, like when he tries on line dating and his straight talking but it's the very sad relationship he has with his father that really stands out in the book.
It'a a very similar book to The Rosie Project with a more serious story line but with a character that was just as likeable. 

The Food of Love is about a family dealing with anorexia, told from the mothers viewpoint.
Some parts of this book were good and I enjoyed (if that's the right word) but I had problems with other parts.  I really wanted to like this book but for me the writing was just to sugary in parts, (how many teenagers call their mum mummy even when they are upset or unwell) and I especially disliked the the mother, Freya. The choices she made concerning her daughter were just so unbelievable I wanted to shake her!

 Mockingbird was a brilliant read.  Caitlin is a young girl with aspergers trying to come to terms with her brothers death in a school shooting while dealing with her own problems.  When she hears people talking about needing closure she goes in search of it not really knowing what it is.

This book was in the young adult section of the library but don't let that put you off  it's very well written.

Another book for young people, in fact this one was in the children's section of the library but again it was a great book.
Rose is an 11 year old girl with autism, she loves numbers and homophones but has trouble understanding her classmates.  She lives with her dad who isn't the most patient person but does love her in his own way.  He comes back with a stray dog one day which she names Rain, the dog becomes her best friend and when Rain goes missing in a storm Rose won't give up looking for her.

This is only a short read but such a lovely one, well worth reading.

My favourite book this month was Mockingbird, myleast favourite was The Food of Love.

I'll be back soon with a crafty update


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Big house, little house, cardboard box

I'm still plugging away at this little village, all the houses are stitched, just Santa on his sleigh and the reindeer's plus a few snowflakes to stitch. 

I only realised today that it complements the pottery houses I bought on holiday last year :-)

I've really enjoyed working on this, and I just LOVE those roof tops!  I'm not usually very good about thinking of changing colours, (or very brave at swapping what the chart calls for), but this time I think I was right to swap out the charted DMC red for the variegated Threadworx.

I'm going for a finish by the weekend. 
I've been thinking about how I want it framed, still undecided whether to try something along the lines of how I finished Forest Snowfall, or have it professionally framed but I've got time to think about that.

I changed my mantle for February / Valentine at the beginning of the month, complete with lopsided Hyacinths, (isn't annoying when they do that!) 

The stitching is not new, I did this a couple of years ago

The pom pom wreath is new though, you know me and my love for a pom pom, lol
Mark rolls his eyes and says I'm mad (mmmmm in a good way, I think, he is usually smiling when he says it). 

This button heart you will have seen before too.

On Saturday we had new visitor to the garden.
I had just gone into the kitchen to get a glass of water, looked out the window and there he (she?) was!

A Great Spotted Woodpecker

I ran upstairs to get my camera and luckily it stayed around long enough for me to get some photos

It made my day, I'm easily pleased (see the bit about the pom poms above, lol) 
It don't take much to make me happy, lol

And the cardboard box?

If I fits, I sits.
Even if I have to wedge myself in there :-)

See you soon

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

So that was January

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?  Perhaps it is, but I hope you had a good January and the year ahead will continue to be kind to you.

The weather has been pretty miserable here, a little bit like my mood actually, which is probably why I've not been around much.
I've got away pretty light with the dreaded menopausal symptoms but lately I don't know, I can get so down about the silliest thing, and I have days when I'm so grumpy and crotchety that It's just not worth talking to me.  I'm best left alone when I'm like that, I come out of it in my own good time, but it does come across that I'm a right funny old cuss, (as my ex MIL would say).

Still, I suppose all will come good, eventually, It's the people that around me that are suffering really but at least they know that it's not them personally I'm having a go at,  it's my hormones ranting!

Anyway, with that little moan out of the way lets have a little look back to the end of December and my last couple of finishes

Another little corner to corner baby blanket, I love these garter stitch blankets, they are so lovely and squishy, and the bunting I made for Bonnie.

This was my first attempt at making bunting, it's not perfect but it came out ok, (better than the dreadful photo, sorry)

Over the Christmas period I joined in with the SAL that Priscilla and Chelsea were running for LHN Forest Snowfall. 
The SAL started on December 28th with the idea that it was a quick (ish) stitch, and somewhere in my fantasy mind I thought I would have it done in a week and it could be on display for the rest of January.

Yeah right, like that worked!

I managed to finish stitching and the framing on January 20th , so it took 24 days, I didn't stitch on it every one of those 24 days though, so I suppose that's not too bad, for me.

The fabric is a mystery piece of 32 count linen which Sharon at my LNS kindly gave me because I couldn't make my mind up over fabric, the threads are as recommended except for the writing which I changed from the listed Deep Fennel to  Blue Corn, as many other have done too, although, I seem to have got a skein that didn't have much variegation.

The frame is just a photo frame I picked up at the Range, I took the glass out and glued some fabric to the backing board and mounted the stitching onto another piece of board added some ric rac then attached it to the fabric covered board with some velcro, that way If I want to I can use the frame and  backing for another finish later.  The little snowflakes are some I saved from a garland that I no longer used and they are only attached with a dab of hot glue so would easily come off.

Tina (no blog) told me about the Priscilla and Chelsea podcast last October, i'm so glad she did, it's such fun to watch, they are mother and daughter, Priscilla blogs here  and she does the most amazing things to her finishes, even if you are not a stitcher I think you would enjoy looking at her blog.

This is the only stitching podcast I regularly watch, generally I find stitching podcast just a little bit boring, (sorry, just being honest!) but I do look forward to watching Priscilla and Chelsea on Saturdays, they are entertaining and funny and the viewing length is just right, typically less than 30 minutes.

This next piece of stitching I started at the Beginning of December and I just love it so much!

The chart was a birthday present in 2016, it's En retard by Madame Chantilly 
There are so many lovely chart in her etsy shop, I've got my eye on a few more that I'd like to stitch.

I'm using the recommended DMC threads except for the rooves, (roofs??) for which i'm using Threadworkx 1089

I really do like working on this one and hoping for a finish before too long.
On January 1st I set my Goodreads challenge for 2018, I just managed to complete my 40 book challenge last year and have set my goal as 50 books this year just because I think that now I've started listening to audio books in addition to actually reading I might get through more, we will see.

I've started the year off with some good books in January

You can find them all on Amazon or Goodreads if you would like to find out more.

My favourite book this month has to be Time and Time Again, this one has been sitting in the bookcase waiting for quite a while, I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner!

The book I enjoyed the least was The Perfect Summer.  It started off well enough but I sort of lost interest about half way thorough with all the high society goings on.

There seems to have been a theme running through January's books, all of them set in the past with three of them having wars as the main topic.  I didn't consciously do that, it just happened that way, but it got me thinking that I might quite like to have a monthly theme to my reading so I've been looking at ideas for February and have come up with a list of 4 books, more of which I will post about at the end of February.

This year I do want to make more of an effort to read the books that I have so I've cancelled my Kindle Unlimited membership for now, (you can cancel and rejoin whenever you please) as there are quite a few physical books on my to read list at the moment, although I am still keeping my Audible subscription because I quite like settling down with my stitching and an audio book.

I hope you don't mind indulging me in Just another quick look back at Christmas before I go
with a couple of photos of Oliver and Bonnie at Christmas.

Oliver looks so grown up!  He wasn't aware of half the presents he had, just ripped off the paper, passed what was inside to mum and was onto the next one, lol

Bonnie, bless her, she is such a pleasant little girl, and she absolutely loves her jumperoo, she has just started sitting up on her own this week, she's growing up so fast!

And I just have to show you want the girls bought me for Christmas. (Again please excuse the terrible photos)

I have wanted a record player for a long time, and they got me a perfect one :-)

I just love it!! and have been enjoying listening to some Beatles records that Mark got me for Christmas and also a Whitesnake album I got for my birthday.  I'm looking forward to adding to my record collection when we visit some vintage markets :-)

If you made it to the end of my mega post, thank you :-)  I've been trying to catch up on blog reading, but If I normally leave you a comment and I haven't for a while, I'm sorry, hopefully I can catch up and normal service will resume soon, I do love to see and read about what you have all been doing.

That's it, I'm done :-)

Take care, have a good February and I'll see you soon!


Friday, 29 December 2017

A round up of 2017 crafty makes

It's that time when we look back and see what crafty things we have made throughout the year.
I may not have done a lot of stitching this past year but I have certainly done a variety of things

Halloween exchange ornament my first attempt at making a nappy cake and the only Christmas ornament I managed to stitch for my own tree this year!
 V stitch blanket made for mum and two pieces made for a Valentine exchange

The largest stitched piece I managed this year
and I'm happy to say that Joanne was very pleased with it :-)

My attempts with the sewing machine

There are 3 a items missing which i didn't get to photograph before they were whisked away, the scarf for Oliver, another blanket for Bonnie and some bunting, also for Bonnie.

And here I was thinking that I hadn't really done a lot this year, put all together like this I'm pretty happy with my makings for 2017 :-)

Thank you to all that have taken the time to leave comments on my blog this year, I really do appreciate it.  
I know blogging has fallen out of favour with a lot of people at the moment and at times I have thought about stopping myself, it does take time and a certain amount of commitment to write regular posts so it's nice when people do take the time to say 'Hello'.  
I like to keep a record of what I've done throughout the year too, and I think blogging is a good way to do that so, I will be here again in January to start off a new year.  

I'm not going to make any New Year resolutions or set any goals for next year, I seem to sabotage myself if I do that, but i'm stealing Emma's idea, (from the Potter & Bloom podcast) and I've chosen a word for next year..I will let you know what my 'word' is when I post in January. :-)

So, I will See you in 2018

I wish you all a
Happy New Year