Brown/Blue Spotty

22 June 2011

I am still here!

Sorry for the lack of posting, unfortunately my lovely Mum had a fall last week so I've been a wee bit pre-occupied.
I have lots to share so will try to get back soon.

Hope all is well with you.


11 June 2011

Artistic Friday Mark II

Friday lunchtime I finished work and set off for The Crafts House, collecting the Lovely C on the way ~ after an unscheduled stop to pick up my glasses that I forgot!  We were booked in for a spot of summer painting ~ some had already arrived and Sandra was being the hostess with the mostest and dishing up teas & coffees while we waited for the others to arrive.
This was our first project ~ it's made from layers of torn text from a dictionary, diluted paint, sequin waste printing (didn't like that bit!) card shapes, stamping and beads.  The workshop is designed so that we make three things in 3 hours, we were almost finished this after hour 1 and it was set aside with just the beads to be added later.

Project number two was this ---------->
We painted the sides and back of the blocks then applied papers, inked the edges of the blocks and the letters, embellished and then they were wired together with added beads.

And finally this cute little birdhouse.  Painted & with papers applied.  Some inked text added before stamping and finishing with little pen dots & lines.  It's not the best photograph ~ it's just so dark here today.
It was a lovely afternoon ~ as it always is ~ Sandra had make carrot cake and strudel, there were fresh strawberries and cream too, and surprisingly we (and I'm only talking about the Lovely C & I) had time to eat some. I added the beads to the top project after dinner last night ~ I mixed some that came in the kit with some from my stash together with some sequins and used invisible thread to do it.

It was the perfect way to end the week, very relaxing ~ Thanks Sandra.  Hopefully I will be on The Hill again very soon.


I'd like to update you ......

...... but I am currently unable to upload photographs ~ I'm not delighted about this.  I shall just have to wait patiently ~ I hope you can too.

10 June 2011

Mystery Purchase

Cast your mind back to March and The Pins & Needles Exhibition at the Newcastle Arena ~ if you can remember what I was rambling on about back then you will be my hero!
I made a mystery purchase at the exhibition which I promised to show once I had found the finishing touch for it ~

This is an old mill bobbin converted to a lamp ~ it came without a shade. The original one I bought was the same colour & shape but far too small, so it was returned and this larger one bought in it's place.

 When it was converted felt was added to the bottom so it's fit to sit on any surface.
The picture to the right shows the label on top ~ I'm not too sure why I didn't turn the lamp before I photographed this!
I love the light my mystery purchase casts ~ I really like the reflection too.

I just love this lamp.

Tomorrow, or it might be today by the time this post is published, I am off to The Crafts House for a spot of painting/crafting.  The lovely C and I have signed up for the four seasonal crafting sessions.  The Spring session was back in March and you can see what we did here and here.  We have no idea what we will be making ~ only that it will be summer themed.  We do know however, that we will enjoy ourselves ~ Sandra always makes sure of it.

I managed another 30 minutes cycling after work ~ I didn't feel like it but it had to be done.  I'll try to get out again over the weekend, GB2 may come with me ~ but I will probably have to cycle 5 metres behind him so as not to damage his street cred!  It's likely that I will be much further behind him ~ he has teenage legs!
It's just me and the GB's this weekend ~ LM is away in France camping with a group from the TVR Club, they've gone to watch 24 Heures du Mans.  He'll return home creaking from sleeping on a camp bed, possibly pink from too much sun exposure, unshaven, full of silly boy tales and probably malnourished from a diet of pot noodle and haribo star mix.  I'm sure it will all be great.
I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to the weekend ~ enjoy whatever you may be doing.


8 June 2011

Cycling Update

There wasn't any this morning!  The weather was perfect, bright and warm.  I had decided that start time would be 06:45 ~ leaving plenty of time for breakfast and shower before work.  LM woke me at 07:30 ~ he said I looked too peaceful and he didn't want to disturb me!
There is always tomorrow ~ it will no doubt be raining cats & dogs then.  To compensate (slightly) I have been running up and down the stairs in the office ~ would have preferred the bike ride.
Moan over!


Christmas Catch Up ~ Birthdays Too

At the beginning of the year I joined the 2011 Christmas Challenge to stitch an ornament a month throughout the year.  It started off well ~ January & February on time, then I got a wee bit behind!  Well now I am back on track ~ March was completed a little late and I have just finished my April & May ornaments at the end of last week. 
This is my ornament for April ~ a freebie offered by Threadwork Primitives.  I have stitched this on 18ct natural aida with WDW # 2264 Garnet & # 1279 Holly.  It is finished with a hanger of plaited # 8 perle cotton.
Started 31/05/11 & finished 01/06/11 ~ a very quick stitch.

Above right is a picture showing the reverse of both my April & May ornaments.

May's ornament was an equally speedy stitch ~ this is Christmas Baubles a freebie from La Matassina Rossa.  Started & finished 01/06/11.  Stitched on 28ct evenweave ~ colour unknown with Carries Creations thread in Grumpy, Happy & Dopey and WDW # 2220 Curry.  The hanger for this is made from beaded trim.
I have enjoyed stitching these ~ nice to have some quick finishes ~ a good way to help motivation to get back in the swing of things.
June's design is already chosen, I already have fabric in mind so just need to settle on the threads.
I mentioned in my last post that I had the next two birthday gifts almost completed and ready for re-homing.  The first batch of gifts were re-homed in February and I posted that I had mis-placed the fabric for one that was stitched and just awaiting finishing.
This is 16th Century Celtic Christmas by Moss Creek Designs and was published in the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition 2009 (I think!).  I have not noted the fabric in my journal but I believe that it is 32ct linen ~ the thread is Dragon Floss # 65 Passionate Plum and the finishing fabric was from my stash.  I followed a tutorial from this Italian blog ~ making one slight error in that my pincushion is not square!
 The second gift was for the hostess of yesterdays Tuesday Stitching Group meeting ~ any ideas on her profession?  This scissor keep was stitched on 40ct Antique White linen with SSS Blue Raspberry, Kiwi Lime Pie, Watermelon and DMC 951 & 3045.  The ballerinas were an Internet freebie that I printed a couple of years ago unfortunately I do not know where from.  The cord is made from the three SSS threads used for the dresses.  Below you can see the reverse.  Both gifts were well received.

I must apologise for the poor photographs ~ I always have problems when photographing 40ct fabric, obviously I need more practise!
There are only 4 more gifts to complete, unfortunately 3 of the birthdays are this month.  It will probably be July before before I have them all finished and re-homed.  One is started, one is kitted and I still need to find a suitable design for the third.

LM serviced my bike at the weekend so yesterday after work I did a 30 minute ride on The Derwent Walk.  It was a lovely evening and there were plenty of walkers along the way.  It's a long time since I last cycled but it did feel good to be out and active.  I'm hoping to go out again before work ~ so I had better get off to bed!


2 June 2011

A Trifle From A Friend ~ and other news

A wee while ago I took part in a Spring Pincushion Exchange on the Friendly Stitchers Group ~ unfortunately I did not receive my pincushion from my partner.  So Mouse took it upon herself to stitch one up for me so that I did not miss out - how kind was that?
The design is A Trifle From A Friend by Plum Street Samplers.  Mouse has stitched it on hand dyed linen and used Crescent Colours Blooming Crocus for the stitching ~ topping it off with a lovely double ribbon bow.
The wording from the design is stitched on the back too.

Mouse also included a gorgeous Gloriana silk thread ~ Hydrangea.  This is my very first Gloriana thread and it is fabulous ~ so soft, can't wait to stitch with it.  Thanks so much Mouse.

I have managed some stitching over the last week ~ almost caught up with my 2011 Christmas Challenge stitching.  I now have April & May ornaments stitched and will be making them up this week ~ pictures to follow soon.  In addition to ornaments I have 2 Tuesday Stitching Group birthday gifts almost made up ~ hopefully they will be with their new owners next week, obviously no pictures until after re-homing.  I have two more gifts planned/started and 1 further where I am seeking a suitable design.

It was reveal day on Needlecraft Haven on Sunday for the May Stitching Challenge - mine was stitched and I had a trip to Just Quilting on Saturday with the Lovely C to get finishing fabric as my stash was lacking on that front ~ purely for this project I might add, not quantity!  I had planned to complete the finishing on Sunday morning however my head had other ideas!  The most horrid headache took up residence and I was only fit for sleep ~ so no stitching, or anything else for that matter.  I hope to complete it at some point this week.
If you are a regular reader you will know that I am usually late in posting my unofficial TUSAL update.  Yesterday was the prescribed day so I feel less guilty on this occasion!  I was pleasantly surprised when I decanted them for photographing as with the lack of stitching I hadn't expected to have much to show ~ I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing!
I hope that you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend ~ Saturday was spent fabric shopping and attending our monthly EG meeting.  This month's speaker was Katie Chaplin from Japan Crafts who talked us through Japanese dressing protocol with the aid of her trusty model Dolly.  It was a very informative and enjoyable afternoon.   Sunday I was wiped out with that nasty headache.  On Monday we had a lovely visit from my WP's ~ it had been planned for a little while and originally I was to collect them, however Sis2 was down to stay with my Dad for a few days so she brought them along.  It was lovely to spend time with them and a huge bonus that we also got to see Sis2.  The birds graced us with their prescence while we sat chatting in the conservatory ~ Dad was delighted by the goldfinch & bullfinch which he said were to be seen in great numbers when he was young.
I feel that time is passing by so quickly at the moment ~ how can it be June already?  Tuesday saw the regular meet of our stitching group, yesterday the Lovely C & I had our usual trip to Quilt Group ~ not that we did any quilting ~ I was back-stitching Christmas ornaments! It was a good evening though with a few giggles and some dubious translating of the words on C's french sampler.
The LM is planning his trip away with military preciseness, he's trying to be surreptitious about it but failing ~ I can "see" his thought processes!  I have many things I would like to get done during the time he is away, stitching, organising etc but the list will be fluid ~ if it happens great and if it doesn't there's no harm done.
I'm progressing with the weight loss ~ ½ stone down so far which I am really pleased about, plenty still to go!  Hopefully LM will have time to give my bike a mini service before he departs as I would like to take advantage of the light mornings and nice weather to get out there before work.
The weather has picked up here today and the day has started bright and warm ~ long may it continue.
Not long until the weekend arrives.