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Cyberclass fun.

June 10, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  13 Comments

Well the sun is shining here in Scotland, at last. We’ve had a lovely spell of weather for over a week now and today is no exception. I’m glad as I’ve got a day of annual leave today.

At last I have a little stitching to show. I’ve made a few starts this last week and this is one of them. I thought I’d try a design that had varied stitches to see if it helps the whole repetitive problem with my neck and shoulder.
It’s far removed from my normal choice but when I saw it on another stitcher’s blog I really liked it. It’s only a little start but I think I’ll enjoy the change.
I’ve ordered a stitcher’s seat frame to see if it might make a difference if I stitch two handed.

I took part in this lovely Victoria Sampler Victorian Pincushion cyberclass and really enjoyed being part of it. I’ve not accomplished much of the stitching yet but it was fun to be part of a live class all the way from Canada.
I’ve done a little knitting too – I’ve almost finished the boy bunny from the Little Cotton Rabbits pattern – all I need to do is sew the whole thing up.

Have you ever eaten Edinburgh Rock – this next photo reminded my husband of it – he said the colours were reminiscent of a box of Edinburgh Rock.

This is a photo of Matthew taken on Saturday evening before he headed out to his prom. He has now officially left school and is heading to college in August.

Thanks for stopping by today and for the helpful suggestions regarding my neck issues.

I’ll leave you with a photo of the girls sleeping, that’s when I get peace and quiet to craft:-)

Is it Spring yet?

May 29, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

One minute it feels like Spring is here and then we take a step back into colder weather. Here in Scotland it’s been so cold for May and a week or so ago we had quite a bit of snow up north with roads closed.

I’m still not managing to stitch much at all even though I’ve given canvas work a try to see if it helps.

I made a new start on a cats banner for my kitchen wall but I’ve not managed to make much progress as my shoulder is still flaring up. I’m trying to do a little at a time to see if it helps. The canvas work was okay but I couldn’t get enthusiastic about it so it’s been consigned to the workbasket for the time being.

I’m still managing to knit a bit and I’m enjoying it which is all that matters. I finished this rabbit last night and I’m not sure where she will end up. I used a mix of patterns which in hindsight I think is a mistake.

I’m working on another rabbit by Little Cotton Rabbits – Julie has just released her rabbit girl and boy patterns and I’ve admired them for a while so I had to buy both to give them a try.
The patterns are very well written and easy to follow – I’ve got most of the boy knitted and I’m currently sewing him together – it’s the sewing up that takes most of the time and the skill. Getting the face right can be very tricky and needs patience.

Although the weather is still cool the garden has been showing a lot of new blossom. We have three magnolias and two of them are currently flowering.

The flowers in the top photo are really big whereas the one in the second photo are much smaller and more delicate.

The two “girls” are still causing mayhem on a daily basis. Rosa decided to strip some of the new wallpaper that has just gone up in the kitchen. Fortunately it’s only a small area which Alan will be able to fix easily.

I’ve updated by the image I use when I comment on other blogs and it now shows Poppy and Rosa together. It’s the first one below.

Back to back and no nonsense!

I’m thinking of trying to do a little over one piece to see if working much smaller would help – I’m not convinced that I’ll get anywhere with it as it’s not my favourite thing to do. I was going to try either 28 count Permin or 25 count Dublin linen. I thought that one of the round people from a Shepherd’s Bush stocking might be fun so I’m going to have a look and choose which one appeals the most. I have them all except the most recent one.

I’ve also spent some time re-teaching myself the basic crochet skills that I had learned almost two years ago. I’ve enjoyed it and want to keep going with it to see if I can reach a level of skill that I feel happy with.

I hope all is well in your part of the world, thanks for visiting and take care.

Birthday Girl.

April 30, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

It’s hard to believe that this little one has her first birthday today. I feel that it’s just yesterday that we drove all the way to England to collect her. She is such a delight to have and she and her sister provide us with endless pleasure.

They are both such endearing cats and I’m so glad we took the decision to have more pets when we lost our little Duski at almost seventeen years old.

I’ve still not been stitching much at all – my neck and shoulder play up the minute I try to hold my work. I think the answer is going to be to work on very small projects, it’s probably the best compromise as I still want to keep stitching.

As you can see, I managed to complete my banner which I’m reasonably happy with but not as much as I had hoped to be. There’s something missing and I’m not sure what it is.
I’ve been knitting as well but nothing significant to show I’m afraid.

Our weather has improved enough for us to buy this camellia and another magnolia – I love the flowers on both, they are so showy.
This weekend is holiday Monday here in Scotland so I’m hoping the slightly better weather continues. We’re not going to manage away in our caravan but I’m hoping to get out for a couple day trips instead.

I’ll leave you with another photo of Rosa – I caught her mid-yawn yesterday.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a book that I have called “Cat Wit” -it’s by Charles J Brady
“The real measure of a day’s heat is the length of a sleeping cat”. How true.

Thanks for popping in today, I hope the sun is shining in your part of the world too. Take care.

“Fowl” Play!

April 13, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

We’ve just returned from a trip to the Lake District with our caravan and on each day out we saw many water fowl.
I constantly marvel at the beauty of nature when it comes to bird’s feathers.

One evening we drove a short distance from the site we were staying at and visited Grange over Sands. It’s a lovely little place which overlooks an estuary and in the village is a large pond which you can walk round.

This is where I took most of the photos, it was early evening so the birds were fairly settled.

The next little fellow was sitting at the edge of one of the lakes.

Although it was dry and sunny when we were away, it was still extremely cold for this time of year. As you can see in the next photo there was still snow on the mountains and even at the side of the road in places.
Today is the first day we’ve reached double figures for temperature.

We took a drive to Stirling this morning where I visited my favourite wool shop McArees. I’ve not stitched at all since my last post but instead I’ve been knitting again. I find it so easy to take knitting with me in the caravan instead of stitching. It doesn’t require such good light which makes life a lot easier as I don’t want to carry a light with me when we head off.
I bought a mix of colours of double knitting to knit a few small items. I finished this little red ted a couple of nights ago.

We’ve at last finished the kitchen decorating and today took delivery of a new cooker. We didn’t intend changing over but my oven stopped working last Friday so we decided to choose something different.
Vickie commented on my last post that she would like to see some photos of our newly decorated kitchen but rather than show the whole thing I’ve chosen two of the new things we’ve added.

The first is the mini range I’ve just mentioned which is in jalapeno red. I’ve not cooked with it yet but I love the way it looks. We don’t have a big kitchen so it had to be fairly small to fit in.

The second photo is a new toaster we bought to replace our old one which also fell by the wayside. It toasts very differently to conventional toasters and the heating elements are armour plated! It’s an Emma Bridgewater design and is made by Dualit – it was really expensive but worth it.

I’ll finish with a photo that I took just outside Kendal when we stopped so that I could visit a wool shop. Nearby there was a tree which had been yarn bombed – it blended in really well with the surroundings.

I’m determined that tonight I will sit down and actually stitch something. Today is the first day that I have felt the inclination to do so.

Thanks for visiting today and also for your recent comments. Take care.

Spring…………or not?

March 29, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  13 Comments

March brings breezes loud and shrill,

Stirs the dancing daffodil.

Well not quite, our weather has not been spring like at all. I think it’s much the same no matter where you are in the world. Spring is nowehere to be seen even though it’s Easter weekend. We’ve had snow for weeks now and it’s been enough to cause disruption on occasion.

I took these photos recently and since then we’ve had even more snow falling.

A couple of weeks ago this bonnie little bullfinch visited us for a few days and I knew there was something wrong as it let me get very close to it but not close enough to help it.

It was very sad as it died in our neighbour’s garden the day after I took the photos of it. I don’t know what was wrong with it as there was no obvious sign of anything.

I’ve not been blogging lately and I’ve been in a bit of a slump with my stitching too. I think it’s partly because we’ve been decorating our kitchen and it’s taken a lot of our time. I’ve also been hand sewing the new voile curtains for the two windows and this has been time consuming too.

I have been plodding away on my new header and it’s almost finished. Part of me wishes that I hadn’t started it as I want to do so many other things instead. Hopefully it will look okay when it’s finished as I’ve sort of put it together myself and I’m not really comfortable doing this.

I’ve also been knitting a few bits and pieces. This little Ted is one of them.

I did a mix of patterns and I’m not very happy with the finished result. I’m working on another couple of pieces and I think they are coming out much better.

The “girls” are still happy to help with knitting and stiching and sewing voile curtains was an entertainment in itself for them.

I took the above photo just minutes ago and you can see that the sun is shining today even though it’s very cold.

I’ll leave you with a photo of the sky we had last night at teatime, it was very pretty.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend wherever you are and perhaps when I next post the weather will be more springlike. As always, thanks for stopping by.

The theme is PINK.

February 20, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

For some reason my photos today seem to have a pink theme running through them.

Pink isn’t really my favourite colour but I do like pink flowers.

We visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, very briefly, on Saturday and I took the next photo whilst I was there. I don’t know what the tree is but I liked the way the buds are just opening.

I’ve been doing a bit more stitching since my last post but still not as much as usual. My shoulder and neck are still giving me problems so I’m trying to be very careful not to overdo things. I made the little bird that I mentioned and I think it turned out okay given how poor my sewing skills are.

I stitched it all by hand as I’m not good with a sewing machine. I can manage basic patchwork and curtain making on a sewing machine but as soon as the project requires any finesse then I’m beat. Things that seem simple and look so easy to do, suddenly become a sewing disaster in my hands.
I enjoyed working on it and would like to make quite a few others with different types of fabric and finish. The only problem is that I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to find time for all the reading and crafting that I would like to accomplish.

Just when I think that I’ve cat-proofed everything this pair seem to find more mischief to get up to. If only they were like this all the time!

I’ll leave you today with a couple of other pink flower photos and a quote that I read this week.

“A flower is an entire world and a leaf is a ray of enlightenment.” Inscription in the garden of the Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an, China.

Thanks for popping in today, take care and enjoy the rest of your week.


January 12, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

…………… brings the snow,

Makes our feet and fingers glow.

I have always loved the rhythmic flow of this poem written by Sara Coleridge.

Our weather is set to turn wintry over the next day or so and stay this way all week. I just hope it’s not too harsh.

Not that it matters to this little one who is an indoor cat alongside her big sister.

I’ve not got any stitching or knitting photos today, I’ve been in the doldrums this last week and have been doing lots of trial pieces for a teddy and for a new Scarlet Letter start. I should have some photos next post.

We were shopping in Edinburgh this morning and I noticed this cherry blossom starting to appear – you would normally expect to see it in March, at the earliest, but since January has been mild for us it’s showing early.

It was a lovely morning so the city was busy, I took this next photo as I liked the way the light was catching the tree.

This week I bought a new poetry book produced a few years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and this morning I happened to notice this sign on a building that we often pass when in the city.

It’s strange that I had never noticed it before now having passed it over and over again. I wonder if buying the book made me see it.

I decided to have a go at having an orchid again – I’ve been reluctant to bring any flowers or plants home since Rosa joined us as she chews everything in sight.

I’ve positioned it in our lounge window as the door to this room is closed overnight and then again when we are at work. So far so good.

Thanks for stopping by today and for your lovely comments. Take care and stay warm.

In with the new.

January 2, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  14 Comments

I hope everyone has had a good start to 2013 so far. I find this time of year for me is a time to look forward – I never look back over the last year as many people like to do.
I also don’t set goals for the year, I like to set goals for each week/month instead. I find it easier to achieve what I want to do if I do it this way.

Tomorrow is back to work for me so today is the last day of leave and I’m trying to make the most of it. I’ve been tidying a sorting again as two naughty little cats have found new ways to find craft materials. It’s hard keeping up with the two of them and … as you can see …….

……………………… being naughty is so exhausting.

I’ve managed a bit of stitching and knitting amidst the rush of this time of year. On the knitting front I’ve started so many things and abandoned them that I’ve lost count. Last night I made a start on a rabbit – the leg in the photo below is the only piece belonging to him – the others are being consigned to the bin.

I’m learning as I go with knitted toys, you wouldn’t believe how many pitfalls there are – at least for me anyway. The green ort catcher is a very neat idea and is made by Lantern Moon – it’s great for carrying around as it folds back into shape so readily.

I got some new stitching books for Christmas and this was one of them. I already have the two sampler books previously released by Needleprint so it made sense to have the third one as well (at least that’s my excuse).

Feller Collection

I’ve had several false starts with the sampler I’m stitching first for the challenge. Choosing fabric is the thing I find difficult – it’s got to be just right on so many fronts. The colour, the size and the feel are so important if I’m going to spend a lot of time working on it. Also taking into consideration where the finished piece is going to hang is important too. I have settled on 35 count Permin linen using one strand of AVAS. It’s stitching up better than I expected as I’m not usually a fan of stitching with one strand. I will be putting it on a frame later today.

If you know the sampler you’ll notice that I’m not starting at the top end. I’m missing out a huge section and I’m only stitching the bottom half. I’m not a fan of stitching alphabets and when I first started it I found I wasn’t enjoying it so decided to modify.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Brandy taken today. He turned twelve in December and still behaves like a pup.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013, thanks for popping in today and for your recent comments. Till next time, take care.

Rush, rush, rush.

December 22, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

It’s that time of year where everyone is in a rush – whether it’s shopping, cooking, baking or wrapping – people get in a frenzy.
In some ways I’m always glad when things return to normal but in others it can be a special time of year.

Stitching and knitting have taken a back seat this month but I did receive two lovely gifts in the mail.
The first one is a beautifully made ornament which Margaret from New Zealand sent to me along with a very neat diary. Margaret does an amazing array of needlework, she’s what I call a true needlewoman.

It’s hanging in a safe place that two little furry friends can’t get to.
The second gift was from Melissa over at Words and Blooms. I know already what I’m going to use the chenille trim for – I love the natural warm colours.

It’s been a busy month all round with work, shopping, preparing and several appointments that had to be attended. I tried to keep up with the stitching I wanted to make the most progress with but failed miserably.
I’m now on holiday till next Thursday so I’m hoping to make a little inroads – I’d like to at least begin my Scarlet Letter sampler for the Stitcher’s Challenge. I’ve got the threads ready and I’ve done a few test pieces but I’m not happy with the fabric yet. Hopefully today I’ll choose something I’m happy with. I find it difficult to do this as I don’t like stitching large pieces on soft handle fabric, I prefer starchy fabric like Permin linen.

Thanks for taking time to stop by for a visit, I hope that wherever you are you find peace and harmony and enjoy a wonderful holiday season. Take care.


December rush.

December 10, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

My husband drives around a lot with his work and he noticed this pair at the side of a country road. They are such stunning birds.

It’s that time of year again where each day goes by in a flash and I never seem to have enough time to achieve what I need to. The only cards I’ve written are the overseas ones and I’ve still got some presents to buy and to wrap. Stitching and knitting are sometimes a good way to de-stress, at least that’s my excuse.
I’ve been working steadily on the Scissors Stand – I mentioned that I’m changing the design on each side to do birds for each season. You can see from this photo that I’ve managed to complete summer and winter. I made a brief start on spring last night.

It’s fun to work on but a little fiddly too.
I’ve not made much headway with my banner as I unpicked a whole letter as it just didn’t look right at all.
I’ve also been busy with my choices for the Stitcher’s Challenge that I mentioned in my last post.

These are my three choices to begin with (says she ambitiously). I’m not sure which one I’ll start with but it’s fun choosing.
I also mentioned that I’ve had a recent splurge with stash acquisition – it’s such fun having lovely things arrive through the door.

This lovely box is a gift and was hand made by Barry Horton in France. It’s a limited edition as the box top is made of reclaimed wood and copper from HMS Victory.

This little kit and chart are from the Cheswick Company. I couldn’t resist the lovely velveteen rabbit sitting on the velvet pincushions. It looks easy enough for even me to tackle (I hope).

More kits by Acufactum, I won’t be stitching two of the kits as they come, I’ll be stitching elements from them instead.

Finally this gorgeous bear called out to be knitted post haste. I love the soft shabby look of the yarn so I am going to knit it exactly as it comes without substituting anything.

I should be writing cards instead of writing this post but I wanted to stop by and say hello to everyone. I hope the weather is being kind to you so far this winter (unless you live in Australia or New Zealand). We’ve had lots of frost and ice and some snow as well.
I’ll leave you with a photo of a constant visitor to our garden of late.

Winter visitor.

Thanks for dropping by and thanks too for your lovely comments. Take care.