Mother’s Day gifts.

April 4, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the UK and one of my gifts from Matthew was the Camellia above.  As you have probably guessed, if you pop in often, I love the colour red.

I also chose one of the new Pin Cushion kits by JABCO which I loved the minute I saw it.  I need a pin cushion for my knitting and couldn’t resist Pin Feathers.

The last little gift was a beaded spider made by UK artist Lorna Storey  – I’ve placed Esmerelda on one of my resident orchids.

I’ve made a little more progress on my banner (I’m stitching a new blog banner Margaret) and I’ve also made some knitting progress but I’ll post those photos later in the week, hopefully.

Finally for today, I don’t know if I’m stating the obvious to all you technology minded folks but in case I’m not then if you want to get regular updates on my postings then please click the little link at the top right hand of my home page and it will allow you to subscribe to a feed for my blog.
Thanks for visiting today, I hope all is well in your part of the world.

A bit of everything.

March 31, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments


As you can see, a new orchid has appeared at our house. I know you can keep orchids and bring them on again but I’m not green fingered at all so it’s not an option for me.

Today’s post is a random mix of everything. I’ve made a very little progress on my banner – last week I couldn’t stitch because of a streaming cold and then to top it all I ended up with a very sore thumb on my right hand.

Brandy (our poodle) bit me last Thursday evening. I was picking up the stuffing he had ripped out of his latest toy and he took exception. He’s a very possessive little dog but it’s the first time he’s bitten me – he’s always been a bit of a boy, ever since we got him.

Recently I’ve found a few new blogs which I’ve really enjoyed. I think it’s great when a comment pops up from someone new and through it you find a new blog to visit.
It’s even nicer when you find your own blog listed there in the sidebar – I always take it as a compliment.

I’d like to share a poem with you that was inspired by visiting Beth’s blog Garden Grumbles and Cross Stitch Fumbles. (I found her blog recently for the first time).


Woodpecker is rubber-necked
But has a nose of steel
He bangs his head against the wall
And cannot even feel.

When Woodpecker’s jack-hammer head
Starts up it’s dreadful din
Knocking the dead bough double dead
How do his eyes stay in?

Pity the poor dead oak that cries
In terror and in pain
But pity more the Woodpecker’s eyes
And bouncing rubber brain. by Ted Hughes

The necklace below is a gift for my mum – she wanted a necklace similar to one I made her last year as she finds it easy to wear. I’ve still to put the catch on it. I’ve made it from Aquamarine and Lapis Lazuli beads along with sterling silver.

When my thumb was really sore I managed to do a little knitting instead of stitching. I am knitting a little gift pouch which I want to embellish with beads of some sort. In fact, I’d like to knit several in different colours as I want to send a couple away for fun little gifts.

I should manage to get this one finished in a day or so but I’m a terrible ditherer when it comes to adding the little extras. I tend to change my mind several times over.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by today and take care wherever you are.

All about colour.

March 23, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  3 Comments

I love colour in all it’s forms but especially the colours found in nature.

I took these photos in our garden this week and what amazes me is that we are seeing flowers so soon after the bad weather.  Some plants were badly hit by the prolonged snow we had but others seem to have bounced back very quickly.

I think the windflower above is a very pretty colour.

I was drawn to the flowering cactus as  it was the only one of that colour in the shop and it reminded me of one that Edgar posted on his blog before Christmas.

I like the fritillary below but the colour isn’t so stunning – it’s really the overall appearance of the plant that appeals to me.

Not one single stitch have I done since my last post as I have had a dreadful cold.  The kind where you constantly blow your nose, have a sore throat and generally feel miserable all over as well as not sleeping properly.

I’m hoping that I will feel more like stitching in a day or so – instead I did a little chore for a beaded piece of knitting that I’m ready to tackle.  I need to thread 1300 beads onto the wool and so far I’ve done 700.  I’ve not decided whether to knit a jewellery pouch or a needlecase.

Thanks for the recent comments and for popping in for a visit.  Till next time.

Scotland on a Saturday.

March 19, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  4 Comments

We were in Edinburgh this morning and I noticed these signs advertising the annual science festival.  It’s always a really popular event with both the public and schools.

It was a lovely sunny morning in town and there were a lot of Italian visitors there for the rugby international this afternoon at Murrayfield.

Bit o’ fun.

March 17, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  2 Comments

Although I don’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day, I made this little chick as a gift to give to someone today. It’s actually more green than it looks in the photos.

The books in the photo below are for both myself and Matthew who is studying History at school. I love reading about the First World War and both these books are really interesting. Some of the animal stories are very touching.

My banner is slowly coming along. I should really be managing a letter every couple of days but I’m not coming anywhere close to achieving this. Having said that, it’s fun to work on and I suppose that’s the whole point.

I hope your week is going well wherever you are. Enjoy each day and take care.

Did I mention Spring?

March 15, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  4 Comments

I got a bit carried away last week thinking Spring had arrived.  By Saturday we had several inches of snow and it’s been sleet and rain ever since.

Am I the only person who keeps trying new things that look wonderful on paper but not in reality.  Recently, I’ve tried quite a few new designs in knitting and needlework that don’t bear any resemblance to what is in the book/magazine.  I’m hoping this isn’t one of them.  It’s going to be a cute little chick for St Patrick’s Day.

At least I hope it is!

Having said that, I don’t give up and don’t let it put me off trying other new things.

This afternoon I’ve been baking rock buns – I’ve got back to enjoying a little baking once again.

My Spring banner is coming along very slowly, it would be further on if I didn’t keep jumping about from one thing to another.

I have so many things I want to stitch and try just now and not enough hours in the day to tackle them.  Mind you, if I didn’t fritter time away at this screen I would be a bit more productive.   I try to justify it by telling myself how inspiring it is to see what all the other stitchers out there are up to.

My final photo for today is of some catkins that I bought at the weekend – you can’t really get a true idea of the colour but if you were to see them close up they are actually pink.  I bought a whole bunch of them and put them together with some mixed pink carnations.

I don’t know about you but I’m finding the news very hard to watch this week.  The situation in Japan is very distressing – it’s hard to comprehend the scale of what’s happened and watching people left with nothing is just dreadful.

I hope wherever you are, your week is going well.  Thanks for popping in today and thanks too for your comments.  I’ll leave you with a little verse.

So many Gods, so many creeds

So many paths that wind and wind,

While just the art of being kind

Is all this sad world needs.     Ella Wheeler Wilcox


March 9, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments

Today’s poem is one I grew up with at school. I’ve only included verses one and four.

“Daffodils” by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils.
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude:
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

I made a start on my banner and couldn’t resist using daffodil yellow for the first letter B. I only made the tiniest of starts but hope to get more done today.

Having been feeling all spring like here in Scotland, we’ve suddenly taken a step backwards and got up to a covering of snow this morning.
It’s gone now but we’re left with a biting wind in it’s place.

On a happier note, I received a few lovely things in the post this week.

(Sorry about the glare on the photo.)
I find myself drawn to Mexican Samplers from time to time and this one was especially appealing to me. I love the colours although I am planning on stitching a totally different layout to the one shown. I am hoping to do a long band sampler instead. One of the Jeannette Douglas designs was an older piece that I’ve liked for a while – the other two are new releases from her.

I hope your week is going well so far. Thanks for stopping by today and thanks for your lovely comments.

Where to begin?

March 7, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  4 Comments

I know from reading many blogs, that other stitchers have the same problem as I do – which is choosing the next project to work on.
I have decided that the main problem we have is too much choice. Many, many years ago when I started to stitch, the choice was far more limited and I tended to choose a design and stitch it from start to finish.
I wonder how many of us do that these days.
I know that I have several projects on the go at any given time.

I made a little more progress with the SB sampler but I’ve changed my mind about what I’m going to stitch along with it.
I ordered some silks and when they arrived for the design I was going to work on next, they just didn’t inspire me.
I’ve got to like the balance of colour in a piece or I don’t enjoy the stitching process.

So instead, I’ve decided to start work on a new banner for Spring. I think the colours will suit my mood better. I always think of yellow when it is Springtime – I wanted to post a photo of daffodils today but it will have to wait till tomorrow.
We have snow forecast this week but I’m hoping they have got it wrong as I don’t want to go back to dreary dull days again.

Thanks again for stopping in today and thanks also for the comments. It’s great when someone new comments and I can then visit their blog for the first time. It’s one of the many joys of blogging.

PS I have listed a few new items for sale and I have reduced the price on some of the others.

Spring has sprung!

March 1, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  5 Comments

Well almost.

I am so happy to see the month of March.  Yesterday we had a lovely day with beautiful sunshine – not like February at all.

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post, each one gives me pleasure.   I love your little poems Irene, they always make me smile.

I’ve made a little progress on the SB piece, I probably would have made more but we’ve been caught up with sorting things out with Matthew for school and also I’ve been in major tidy mode for several days now.

Last week was parent’s evening and he is at that stage where he has to make subject choices for going into fifth year.   We’re trying to help and guide him but it’s not easy as he’s not made a final choice on the career he would like to follow.

This week’s poem was written by John Masefield and the thing I like about it is the contrast in the images that it brings to mind.


Quinquirene of Nineveh from distant Ophir

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory

And apes and peacocks

Sandalwood, cedarwood and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,

Dipping through the Tropics by the palm tree shores,

With a cargo of diamonds

Emeralds, amethysts,

Topazes, and cinnamon and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack

Butting through the Channel in the mad March days

With a cargo of Tyne coal

Road-rail and pig-lead

Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Thanks for visiting today.  I’m off to collect a couple of packets from our local sorting office and I’m hoping they are some stitching kits and charts that I am waiting for.  I relented and ordered more than I should have – I was being so good and not giving into temptation and then it all got too much for me – so much for willpower.

Take care all.

PS  In relation to the major tidy mode that I mentioned, I should be able to list some items for sale in my de-stash section later this week.

Spring – not quite.

February 22, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

Oh, how I long for Spring.

The thing I miss most at this time of year is colour.  Everything is dull and there is no sign of spring about where we live.  Our winter has been so severe the spring bulbs will be later I think.

My sister lives down south in England and everything blooms so much earlier with her.

Today’s poem is how I see winter at the moment.

“Cold February”

Winter is boring now

His news is cold, His hoary anecdotes

Too often told.

For his bad manners we

Made youth the excuse once

Now in his latter days

He’s just a  nuisance.

Another season stands

Ready to relieve him

He’s only to be gone

And we’d forgive him.

Even think kindly of him

Finding he’s left

A snowdrop morning

As a parting gift.

By Hal Summers

My stitching progress has been mixed this week.  I made a mistake and had to unpick an area where I had miscounted.  I think it’s coming on okay though and the colours seem to be working so far.

I haven’t done “what I’m reading” for ages so I thought I’d give you an update.

The book on the left is my current read (number five of  the set) and the one on the right is the last in the series of six.  I’ve read one to five already but I’ve been reading them again before moving onto the final one.  The whole series is called the Wilderness Saga and I’ve really enjoyed them.

I like when I find a set of books that I can enjoy one after the other. One of my all time favourites is the Poldark set of twelve by Winston Graham.

I know you will all have been checking out the new market releases, some of them look very nice indeed.  I’ve been tempted by one or two but like some other bloggers, not as many as I used to buy.  The magazines in the photo were my most recent buys.  I can’t believe I bought a gardening magazine – it’s unheard of for me.    The reason I bought it was for a couple of articles it had on snowdrops and hellebores – both of which I love.

Although I don’t embroider very often, I always enjoy the Australian magazine Inspirations.

Thanks for popping by today and thanks too for the comments you leave, they are always enjoyed and appreciated.

Take care and if you live in New Zealand my thoughts are with you.  This last few months seems to bring one disaster after another to parts of the world.