Edinburgh on St Andrew’s Day.

November 30, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

We spent this morning in Edinburgh and I took some photos as it was a lovely sunny day here.

In the lead up to Christmas, Edinburgh hosts a German style Christmas market within Princes Street Gardens and this year they have added a fun fair in St Andrew’s Square.
I took some photos of a ride they have erected alongside the more run of the mill fun fair rides – it never ceases to amaze me what people do for fun. Have a look at the photos and you’ll see what I mean.
I’ve put them in sequence so that you can see how high the ride actually goes. Bear in mind, the buildings in the square are pretty tall to begin with.

Edinburgh was very busy as you would expect at this time of year. No matter how often I shop there (most weekends) I never tire of it.

I’ve still been busy knitting and finished this little one last night. I’m currently knitting a fox which is coming together quite nicely – better than I expected.

Little Red

I’ve also done a tiny amount of stitching – the desire to stitch is gradually returning and I’ve decided to only tackle small designs to see if my shoulder and neck can cope with it.

I have worked on this little sheep which has still be be finished along with the next two, one of which I stitched to include with a birthday card.

Only two days late!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed whilst reading this post but I now have a second gallery which I can add photos to. If you click on any photo in either Gallery you can sequence through the photos by clicking the arrow. I’m hoping to keep both galleries more seasonal and up to date.

I’ll leave you with a photo of a swan that I took later this morning when visiting my favourite baker’s shop in another part of the city.

Words of Wisdom!

Thanks for popping in for a visit, take care and enjoy your weekend wherever you are.

Long Absence

October 16, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

Staying away for such a long time was unintentional – I really don’t know why creating a new post has taken me so long.
I think one of the reasons is that I haven’t stitched at all for months.

Instead I’ve been doing this…………

I’m sorry the photo is not good quality but the light is awful. It’s getting dark so early today as it’s raining.

I’ve been doing a little knitting instead of stitching but even so I’ve not got much to show for the last couple of months. I think that taking care of my mum sometimes takes more of my time than I realise.
Added to that I’ve been settling my son into college life. He’s very fortunate to be able to study at a local Rural College where he is doing a course in Horticulture and Garden Design.
Here he is with his dad and Brandy……….

My Three Boys

We went to Wales and The Lakes in early August and although the weather wasn’t perfect it was okay and lovely to get away for a break.

I’m hoping that I feel inclined to stitch sometime soon – I’ve still been popping into stitcher’s blogs but not quite as often as usual. I’m keep thinking that all your lovely work might inspire me to pick up a needle again – this is the longest break I’ve ever had and I suppose I’m worried that I may never go back to it.

I’ll leave you today with the girls relaxing – they still continue to wreak havoc with anything remotely crafty and entertain us on a daily basis. Take care.

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.


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.