Blog Archives

Caught in the act.

November 12, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

It wasn't me.

Do I look guilty?

I suppose that would be YES.

This is one of Rosa’s many favourite things to do – each one being naughtier than the last.

Progress on the stitching front has been slow as I ended up being unwell for the second half of last week.  I took a cold type virus that was particularly nasty and was off work for two days with it.  I suppose it’s one of the drawbacks of working on a busy reception in a health centre.   There are three large doctor’s practice receptions and we are all in the same area so it’s hard to avoid the germs that come through the door.

I managed to make a start on a small sewing case and I made some progress on my new banner.   It’s a fun piece to work on.

I’ve been changing around my needlework storage etc and constantly wonder about how other stitchers store their bits and pieces.   Every time I organise my fabric I promise myself that it will stay tidy but it never does.  As soon as I go looking for a new piece to start a project, I seem to upset the order of things.  I suppose it stems from the fact that I am never happy with my first fabric choice.

I’ve ordered a traveling stitcher’s project keeper to try using this for one of my current projects.  My main problem at the moment is a kitten and a young cat who think everything is fair game.  If I leave anything for just a moment it disappears across the floor with Poppy, Rosa and Brandy close behind.

Although I’ve got two designs ongoing just now, I’m tempted to begin another bargello piece.   I have a pattern for an etui which I haven’t stitched and I think it’s because I don’t like the thread colours used.  I saw a lovely mix of colours on another pattern so I think I’ll try to change them to suit.  I know I shouldn’t start yet another project but I find the bargello work so relaxing to do that I can pick it up when I don’t feel like stitching anything else.

Thanks for popping in today and also for your recent comments, I do appreciate each and every one.  Have a lovely week wherever you are.

PS  If you want to follow my blog then all you have to do is click the icon at the top right of the screen.

Mother Nature

October 30, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

I often go on about Mother Nature and the beautiful world we live in but I think that today many thousands of people will not share that view.  I just hope that this dreadful storm passes over quickly – I can’t imagine how frightening it must be to sit and wait for this to happen knowing that your home may be destroyed.

My craft progress has been very slow of late.  It’s not that I’ve been sitting idle, it’s just that I keep chopping and changing.

I was going to stitch a sewing case which was a mix of techniques but once I got started it didn’t inspire me at all.  I then changed to another design which I couldn’t get enthusiastic about either.  I’ve now decided to adapt a Shepherd’s Bush design.  I’m hoping for third time lucky.

I then started my new blog header based on a Mary Engelbreit alphabet.  I loved the crispness of the design and the colours but I decided that the letters were all too similar.

The next photo shows the blog header design that I finally decided upon.  It’s from a mix of charts by Acufactum and I’m happy with my choice.  The little lady you can see was a bit fiddly to stitch as the designer goes in for a lot of partial stitches but fun all the same.  The letters look less fiddly and I will adapt them to suit what I’m happier with.

The apple pincushion came all the way from Australia and will travel all the way to the States as a gift.  It’s for a lady who I write to who is in her nineties and she loves to stitch and quilt so I know she will make good use of the pincushion.

I’ve been knitting a little but not as much – I just wish I hadn’t wasted so much time to-ing and fro-ing.  My time has also been taken up with caring for little Rosa who had surgery last week as it was time to have her spayed.  I was also busy planning things for Matthew’s 18th birthday which was on Saturday.  He had a lovely weekend of celebrations with family and friends. (Please ignore the walls in the photo, we’re currently stripping wallpaper in the kitchen).

Thanks for stopping by to visit and for your lovely comments – I love the connection that blogging brings.  Stay safe wherever you are.

PS.  All the photos in my blog are “clickable”.

Sweet nothings.

October 8, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

It’s been another eventful week with our pets yet again.  Poor Rosa was very unwell mid-week and had to be hospitalised overnight at the vet.  She took an acute urinary infection which laid her very low.  The general feeling is that the flu virus has reduced her immunity and an infection was the result.  She and Poppy are both fine at the moment but I’m not counting any chickens yet.

SWEET NOTHINGS

When the two of them settle like this then I can get on with a little knitting or stitching.

I’ve been wanting to finish a little rabbit for ages now but it’s the type of knitting that you have to be in the right frame of mind to do.

She is “Lily” bunny from the pattern by Susan of “Mary Jane’s Tearoom”.  Susan produces the loveliest of patterns for knitted toys.  They have so much detail in them and she has such an eye for choosing the perfect colours.

I finished this little piece of bargello last week and have since made it up into a small pincushion.  It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be but that’s okay as it’s only really for parking my needle whilst stitching.

I’m hoping to make a start on a stitcher’s sewing case tomorrow or the next day depending on if the chart arrives.  I’d also like to stitch a new blog header using Mary Engelbreit type colours.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Brandy who obviously decided that he didn’t want to be left out of the vet visits.  He swallowed a marble that the cats knocked on the floor and had to be rushed to the emergency vet to get an injection to make him sick.  If it had travelled out of his stomach then he would have needed surgery.

I’ll leave you on that note, till next time.  Have a great week and take care.

Baking buddies.

September 28, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

Am I the only person who thinks that time has speeded up – the weeks seem to flash past and the weekend is here and gone before we know it.

I’m trying hard to get into a better routine now that I have changed my working hours to mornings only.  I’m determined to make time each week for baking, beading, knitting and stitching alongside all the other mundane things that need done each day. When I baked yesterday I ended up with two little helpers – one with flour sieving and one in the sink.

They are both feeling better, I would say that Rosa has made a full recovery but Poppy is still on medication and isn’t quite there yet.  It hasn’t stopped her from getting into mischief though.

I have managed a little more stitching on the bargello pincushion.  I decided to keep it to two sets of colours instead of four.  I’m stitching it on 35 count lambswool with Soie D’Alger silks – they are my favourite silks to work with.  I keep meaning to post my Needlepoint Inc silks for sale as I never work with them.  I’ll try to get round to that sometime soon.

I have also got a knitting finish to show – it’s the first for ages.

It’s a “Scrappy Bunny” which was fun to knit but not so much fun to put together.  I’m gradually learning how to improve my sewing together of toys and also the embroidering of facial features.  Designers make it look so easy but it’s not and it takes practice if you want to end up with something that looks good and not something you would find at a “jumble sale”.

I took this little fellow to work this morning and a colleague bought him for her young nephew.  The money she paid will go to the charity box we keep at work – we choose a different charity to give to each time we reach a certain amount in the box.

I’ll finish today with another little poem that appealed to me.  I don’t know who wrote this one.

The wise words your mother said

And you pretended not to hear,

May linger somewhere in your head

And return in later years.

Her sound advice from long ago

Could well be what you need

To help you know, and they may show

The best way to proceed.

Thanks for stopping by today and thanks too for your kind comments regarding the kitties.  Take care.

PS I’ve managed to get my banner changed to being a bit more seasonal, I’m hoping to do the same with my little sidebar pics too.

Posted missing.

September 22, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

I’ve not been around these last few weeks as we’ve had the most awful time with Poppy and Rosa.

Feeling Sorry For Myself

Poppy took unwell two and a half weeks ago and Rosa took unwell a week ago.  They both have the strain of cat flu called Calicivirus and things haven’t been good.

They’ve both been vaccinated against cat flu and are indoor cats so no one knows how this happened.

Poppy still has a sore eye and ulcers in her mouth but is gradually getting there, we hope. We were desperately worried about Rosa this week as she developed a kitten form of this virus which gives the kitten an extremely high temperature and lameness.  She had to be hospitalised at the vet for two days – her temperature has now stablised and hopefully she’s over the worst.

As you can imagine, any form of craft has taken a back seat as my days have largely been filled with nursing sick kitties.  I did manage a bit of knitting as I found it easier to settle to and I finished this little lavender sachet.

I’ve started a little pincushion to match the needlebook that I finished a little while back.

Our weather has been very mixed, although today is nicer than it’s been and the sun is shining- it’s very autumnal though.  Yesterday morning the temperature was four degrees – that’s pretty cold for this time of year.

I noticed this little fellow in the garden through the week – it’s our first robin since last winter.

When I was taking his photo, this collared dove appeared.

Thanks for popping in for a visit and thanks too for your kind comments.    I’ll leave you today with a little quote from Walter C Hagen.

You are only here for a short visit.

Don’t hurry.  Don’t worry.

And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.

Can it be?

August 31, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

Can tomorrow really be the first of September?  It certainly doesn’t feel as though it is with summer being such a miserable season with us.

Rosa is still growing like a weed and she and Poppy are developing into firm friends.  I’m glad, as there is no guarantee that cats will take to each other, even sisters.  I think the little one is good company for Poppy which is the main reason we got her.

I’ve been doing a little stitching and a very little knitting.  Rosa loves to run off with wool the minute I bring it out.

I finished this bookmark to give as a gift, it turned out quite nicely and I was fairly happy with the end result.  As you know, I’m not comfortable when finishing is needed so it’s something I only do on the odd occasion.

I started a little Shepherd’s Bush gift bag as I’d like to make a few for Christmas extras using different designs, so this is sort of a trial.

I usually work my stitching on Siesta bar frames as I stitch mainly with Permin linen. However this design was more suited to Belfast linen and I find it’s not the best linen to stretch on a frame.  I’m trying to stitch “in hand” but it doesn’t come naturally to me.

Does anyone have any suggestions to the best way to work with Zweigart linen to stop it becoming floppy in a stitching frame?

The next two photos show a lovely gift sent to me by Margaret in New Zealand.  Margaret does the most beautiful stitching – I really do admire the variety of work she tackles and her finishing is perfection.

The pretty box contained a variety of chocolate cookies, Belgian chocolate and a very neat little mouse that Margaret stitched.  You can see in this photo the beautiful stitching I mentioned.  I think the mouse is called a Marken Mouse and I know from reading Margaret’s blog that it was featured in an Australian magazine called Inspirations.

I’ve got a fairly busy weekend planned but tomorrow I’m hoping to visit Stirling where there is a wool shop that I enjoy spending time in.  I’m looking for wool for a small scrappy toy that I would like to knit.  I often see finished designs on Ravelry and I feel that it’s the combination of colour and type of yarn used that makes design look so good.  I think that colour is one of the single most important factors in all craft work.

I hope you enjoy your weekend wherever you are and that you find time to relax and create.  Thanks for dropping by and take care.

Sisters.

August 15, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  12 Comments

As you can see the sisters are getting along just fine.  Poppy is gradually getting used to sharing us with Rosa and Brandy, of course.

Rosa is growing so quickly and is as wild as the heather.  She’s a very naughty kitten and I’ve had to have a major tidy in my craft room as she keeps stealing things and running off with them.  That in itself wouldn’t be a problem but then Brandy steals the stolen item from her and chews it till you are hard pressed to know what it was in the first instance.  I suppose what I’m saying is that currently my house is a little chaotic.

The little angel.

I couldn’t resist including this photo of Poppy that I took last week.

How to relax.

Last week when I was on annual leave the weather was gorgeous for most of the week so it was lovely to get out and about in the sunshine for a change.  It was also good being home when the Olympic Games were on as I could watch some of the highlights.

I’ve managed to do a little stitching.  I made a start on a new band sampler which I’m looking forward to stitching.  I’m adapting a couple of designs to make one that suits me.

I had also started this little bargello piece and was intending to stitch a pincushion but I think I’ll make it longer and finish it as a bookmark for a small gift. I adapted the design and the colour palette from a Rosewood Manor chart.

I’m hoping to finish it fairly quickly as I’ve got a few other bits and pieces that I want to work on.

I’ll leave you today with a photo that I took a couple of days ago.  The garden has been odd this year with the weather being so unsettled.  In fact our magnolia has a new bloom on it which is very peculiar at this time of year.

I hope you are enjoying sunny days wherever you are, take care and thanks for dropping by and also for your lovely comments.

Meet “Rosa”.

August 2, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

This little whirling dervish is the reason I’ve not had a chance to post as usual.  We collected her on Saturday and I’ve not had a minute since.

She is a full sister to Poppy – there’s roughly nine months between them.  We made a twelve hour round trip on to collect her and she has settled in really well.

She is a chocolate Burmese whereas Poppy is a lilac Burmese.  You can see the difference in shading in the photos.  Rosa will gradually darken down in colour but her underside will stay a lovely rich creamy shade.

Poppy looks huge alongside her and it’s hard to remember her being this small.  Initially Poppy was extremely unhappy at her presence but we’re making gradual progress.

As you can imagine, I’ve not been stitching or knitting.  I’ve abandoned the Bargello Etui as I went completely off it as it started to grow.  I’m hoping to start a band sampler which I will perhaps be able to show in my next post.

I’m on annual leave next week and I’m hoping to find time to craft despite two kitties running amok.

Thanks for dropping by and for taking time to comment. I do enjoy hearing from you all. Take care.

Shades of orange.

July 20, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  14 Comments

I love the colour orange, it’s so warm and welcoming.  Although the rain has ruined most of the plants this year, the roses are doing okay.

Several people asked what a caravan looked like so I thought I’d include a couple of photos.

I’m looking forward to our next trip but we haven’t made any firm plans yet.

On the topic of stitching I’ve been a little more industrious – just a little mind.  If I would spend less time online then I would achieve so much more.

I’ve finished the front of this little sachet and I think I know what I’m doing with the back so will get cracking with that hopefully.

This etui is so relaxing to stitch and it’s fun to see how it changes as each colour is introduced.  I started a small needlepoint design this week but haven’t done enough to take any photos yet.  It’s a Sue Hawkins design and I decided to work it on congress cloth instead of 18 mesh canvas.  I find the canvas hard on my hands and wrists so thought this might be a better option for me.  I tend to go back to needlepoint from time to time.

I’m hoping to get back to doing a little crochet again, it’s not that I don’t enjoy it but finding time for stitching, knitting and crochet isn’t always easy.

I’ll leave you with another orange rose, a softer shade of orange this time.

I hope you have a lovely weekend wherever you are and that the sun shines for you.  Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments too.

PS Has anyone heard of a “Friendship Cake”?   One of the midwives where I work gave me a portion of  friendship cake mixture which is sort of like a chain type thing.  You are given instructions on what to do with the mixture each day and then you divide the mixture and pass on four portions before you bake the remainder.  And so it perpetuates.

Seemingly it originated in Germany and when I was given the portion I did a web search and found lots of information about it.  I think it’s called a Herman Cake (if I remember correctly.)

Back home.

July 11, 2012  |  Featured Posts  |  14 Comments

Well, we’re back from holiday and although we really did enjoy our first trip in our new caravan the weather was awful.

We changed our plans at the last minute and started off in Bedfordshire where my sister lives.  I took this flower photo in her garden.

MY SISTER'S GARDEN

We then moved onto Oxfordshire and stayed in a lovely place called Burford.  We’ve been there many times and I always enjoy a visit to Burford Needlecraft where I bought my only needlework treat whilst away.

It’s a lovely book, I’ve really only just started to dip into it.

BURFORD

We then moved onto Wales where we stayed on the north coast – one of our favourite places.  Here’s a photo of  Alan and Matthew with Brandy.

OUT FOR A STROLL

The weather was probably at it’s wettest in Wales so we moved a day early up to the Lake District where we got our one beautiful day/evening. I took this photo in the evening when the clouds started to move in again.

Our two little friends enjoyed their trip and although it was the first time away for Poppy she took to it like a duck to water.

It was a lovely break that we all needed but as they say in Scotland “it’s back to old clothes and porridge”.

I took some stitching and knitting with me but didn’t do an awful lot.  Since we got back I’ve started on this etui to match the florentine needlebook that I made previously.  The pattern was different but when I made a start I didn’t enjoy it so basically I’ve doubled the needlebook design to achieve the etui size so hopefully it will come out okay.

I’ve also picked up this little design again and I’ve sort of fixed the mistake I had made. I am going to stitch a border on it and I think I’ll do the back separately with a verse on it.

I’ll leave you with a photo that I took in Wales.  It will give you an idea of how wet it was – this was water cascading down at the side of the road.

Thanks for stopping by today and for your recent comments too.  I love reading your comments whether you visit frequently or drop by on the odd occasion.

Take care wherever you are and hopefully the dreadful wet weather here will improve and also the extreme heat that I’ve been reading about in parts of America will abate as well.