Full of good intentions.

July 31, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

I had intended to do a holiday update a few days after I returned from our recent trip but here we are several weeks on and I’m just getting to it.
We had a lovely break and the weather was amazingly hot – I can’t remember ever having such hot weather whilst on holiday in the UK.
We started in North Wales near Llandudno………..


………it’s a traditional seaside town with a very long promenade which stretches from the Big Orme at one end and the Little Orme at the other…………….

It’s one of our favourite destinations and we’re heading back there next month.

Whilst in Wales we visited Bodnant Gardens – they are in a beautiful setting overlooking the mountains…………


with this lovely house set in the gardens……….

……….a gorgeous Lily Terrace………..

………there were dozens of dragonflies flying over the lily pond..

….and just on the level below there was a model shoot in progress….I felt sorry for the young model as it was unbearably hot and he was having to stand there endlessly….there was a young man to the left making smoke and trying to get it to blow towards the photo set………

When we left Wales we headed to the Peak District and stayed near Bakewell on a site alongside Chatsworth House. When you stay at this club site you are given access to the Estate and can walk in the grounds. It’s very beautiful…………

……we saw young ladies playing cricket………..

…………..this lovely pair out for their evening stroll……

…….and spent a day in Bakewell which is very quaint (it even has a lovely needlework shop called Wye Needlecraft)…..

When we left the Peak District to head back north we stopped for a couple of days at the Lake District, another of our favourite stops that we’re going back to next month.

I took lots of knitting and needlework with me but did very little because of the heat.
I’ve set aside my recent projects to stitch this design by Little House Needleworks and I’m really enjoying it………

…….it’s a bit crushed looking as a certain cat ran off with it and a certain dog took it from her and had to be bribed to give it up!
I’m determined to work on it till it’s finished so I’ve not been doing much knitting at all and I’ve only crocheted a little of the baby blanket – not enough to share.

I’ll leave you today with a few flower photos from Bodnant – the range of flowers was amazing and so pretty……

I hope all is well in your part of the world, thanks for dropping in today…………….Rosa says a sleepy goodbye………

Is it really summer?

July 3, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments


Can it really be Summer already – we had no Spring to speak of so it feels as though part of the year is missing. I know that parts of the States are in the midst of a heatwave with devastating consequences so I shouldn’t complain about our poor summer weather.

We’re due to head off this weekend in our caravan. North Wales is our first stop and then on to Chatsworth followed by the Lake District on the way back up. I’m really looking forward to the break and hopefully will manage a little stitching and knitting while I’m away.


I’ve worked a little on the CEC Love design, it’s a very relaxing piece to work on.

Unlike Butterfly Garden which needs more concentration with the counting of stitches. It’s a lovely piece but you have to be in the right frame of mind to work on it.


I bought this Lowery Workstand to see if I could stitch with a frame holding my work. I can’t say that I found it helpful and have ended up using the stand in a completely different way. When I try to work “in hand” I find it hard to keep checking my chart as I have nowhere to balance it.

I found that by using the clamp part of the workstand it makes an excellent chart holder which is so easy to see and use. I know it’s not the reason I bought it but at least I’m using it and it’s not lying in a cupboard.

I’ve been doing a little crochet too……………


There’s a new baby due in the family in November and I wanted to knit or crochet a blanket. As it’s going to be a boy I didn’t want to do Granny Squares so thought I’d teach myself how to do a very simple half treble crochet stitch instead. It’s crocheted from around ten different colours which should keep me interested as I go along.

I’ve treated myself to a couple of new Offhand Designs products – they arrived today so I’ve had fun opening the box from Purlescence. I chose both the bag and the clutch as they have the strongest of closures. I thought they might be good for keeping out naughty little paws and claws. Having checked them out I think they would be nigh on impossible to get into without fingers and thumbs – I hope!

Finally I’ll leave you with a photo of a lovely surprise that arrived in the post a few weeks ago. It’s a beautifully stitched and finished piece by Margaret over at Sampler of Stitches – if you drop into her blog you will see beautiful needlework. Margaret sent it to me as a thank you, for something, along with two skeins of overdyed silks which was so kind of her.

I hope you’re finding time to relax and enjoy the summer wherever you are in the world.

The Drawn Thread

June 18, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  16 Comments



I love seeing these huge poppies in June every year. They are there for such a brief time but I do so enjoy them.

As you’ll note from my next two photos, I’ve managed a little stitching. I’ve been trying lots of options since my last post regarding stitching frames etc. I can honestly say that I’m not really any further forward. I wish I could say otherwise but I’m still having issues.


This Drawn Thread piece has been in a frame, out of a frame, in a larger frame and back to a smaller frame. I tried the seat frame and couldn’t get to grips with it at all. I’ve gone back to working in hand but don’t know what to do with the excess fabric.

CEC Love


I would love to know how stitchers hold the fabric when working “in hand”. The excess fabric seems to get in my way and I’ve tried several ways of holding it but nothing seems right. At the moment I’m back to using Siesta bars but I’m still getting pain as a result. Any advice at all would be welcome.

I’ve not done much actual knitting but I spent yesterday afternoon putting this little fellow together.


I had sewn a lot of the pieces up as I went along but I still had the actual putting together to do.


I always put off this part of the process as it can go wrong so easily. I managed to get this one to come together reasonably well which I think is, in part, due to the great way that the designer has written her pattern.


I can honestly say that the pattern was a treat to follow and I’m now ready to start the girl bunny.

MEET WILBUR


I will most likely sell him for charity – unless I’ve knitted a toy as a gift I usually do this and add the money to our charity donations at work.


Thanks for popping by today and for the lovely comments you leave.

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 on their fur throw pillows amazon, 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.

February………………………

February 11, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  10 Comments

………………………brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

Or perhaps not – we’ve had such a mix of weather recently. Today is sunny, cold and dry but we’ve had quite a few flurries of snow lately.


I love a splash of colour at this time of year so I bought this little rose for the reception desk where I work.

Since my last post I’ve not been doing much in the way of stitching as I’ve been suffering from a “popping” right shoulder which is painful as is my neck.
I’ve tried to do a major adjustment on the way I stitch and how I sit to see if it will help ease the problem. I’m trying to stitch “in hand” to see if it helps and so far so good. Holding the fabric in hand has it’s drawbacks though and it will take me a while to adjust.

I’ve also changed the type of fabric I work with as the stiff Permin linen isn’t so easy to handle without a frame. This rabbit is one of a pair that I want to stitch for my kitchen wall. We’re currently painting the walls and I think they would look good on the new colour we’ve chosen.

Continuing with the rabbit theme in my knitting – I’ve been working on several trial bunnies – I wouldn’t like to tell you how many I’ve started and discarded. I’m happy now with what I’m working on and hope to knit three over the next few weeks.

The one above will be dressed but the ones below won’t. They are a trial mix of bunny and bear patterns that I haven’t reached a decision on yet.

They are worked from mohair/silk knitted double. I enjoy working with this yarn and love the depth of colour the mohair gives.

Unless this pair are sleeping, craft of any kind is a trial. No matter whether it’s knitting, stitching or sewing they run off with everything that isn’t tied down.
Not that I mind really, I love having them running round causing chaos and wouldn’t change them as they are so entertaining.

Today I’m on holiday which has been lovely. I’ve spent the morning working on a little three dimensional bird – if it works out okay then I’ll hopefully be able to share some photos next time. Till then…….take care and thanks for stopping by.