Brown/Blue Spotty

25 July 2011

A Sheepish Surprise

There is an incredibly kind and generous Lady that I met through an online stitching group ~ she is always sending little parcels of kindness to many, many people and I have been very lucky to be one of the recipients of her generosity.  I wanted to do something in return, so now that I know that Barb has received my package I can show you what I sent.
Now you might get the impression that Barb is a fan of sheep ~ well I think you could be onto something there!  Sheep are not a big thing where I live so these things have been brought together from many places as I've travelled around ~ the coaster from Ullapool when LM and I were on our touring trip of Scotland with the TVR Club, the card from a day out in Richmond, the phone charm from my last stitching day in Penrith and Dolly.  Now Dolly came from the imagination of Sandra at The Crafts House, and we are all very lucky that Sandra is prepared to share all her ideas with us.  I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours one Sunday making Dolly under the tutelage of Sandra ~ thanks Sandra.
On the back of Dolly is a wee message for Baa'rb!  I'm delighted that you like the things I sent.
Well Monday has arrived again ~ how does it do that?  Arrive so quickly.

Here's to a great week.


24 July 2011

Last Weekend

It seemed like I was on the go much of the time.  Saturday was a really miserable day with rain that never ceased and Sunday was not much better.
It was Christmas in July over at Just Quilting on Saturday ~ the wreath was on the door (no picture as the rain was coming down like stair rods!) and the tree was up complete with lights.  All the Ladies were hard at work when the Lovely C and I called in ~ the projects they were working on were gorgeous as ever.
I managed to get the seven fabrics that are required for my secret project ~ I'll show them later when I have part I finished, eventually ~ part II is already on it's way from France.  Carol bought the cutest little pillow and some fabric.  Next we went to our monthly EG meeting ~ I wasn't sure about the subject of the talk as textile art is not something that I go for.  I was very pleasantly surprised though as our speaker Nicky Dillerstone gave a fabulous talk and brought everyone into her world - it was really interesting.

Sunday morning was spent at The Crafts House finishing the project I started last time I was there.  These wise old birds will be a gift for my Dad ~ the wise owl of our family who will be 90 in September.  After painting Doreen and I had a trip to Country Baskets for a look around and a good soaking on the way back to the car!
LM wanted us to visit the garage to try out some seats ~ he spends a huge amount of time in his car so it's vital that it's comfortable and he just doesn't fit in standard seats!  Not very exciting really but it has to be done ~ we also had a test drive on Monday of one of the cars he is thinking about buying.
Monday came around far too soon for my liking.
Yesterday we should have had a visit from my WP's however since her fall Mum is not doing so well and was taken back into hospital on Friday and is being kept in for a few more days ~ I'm off to visit this afternoon. 
GB2 finished school for the summer on Thursday so we now have two teenagers lounging about the place ~ time for a wee list of jobs me thinks!
Until next time.


21 July 2011

Exchanges and SAL Updates

Michelle hosted a BBD exchange a wee while ago ~ my piece travelled all the way from Perth, Australia and can be seen at the bottom of the post here.  I have heard that my partner Melanie has received the piece I stitched for her now so I can show a photograph.
This is a design from Honeysuckle Manor and was finished as a pin box in the book.  I finished this as a mattress pincushion and was very pleased with the result ~ my first finish of this type ~ I'm delighted that Melanie loves it.  The fabric is linen but was unmarked in my stash so that's all I can tell you about it.  The thread was a silk from a Silk Mill starter pack that I bought at the Harrowgate show some years ago ~ a little unruly to work with but does finish nicely.  A couple of vintage buttons were added to complete the pincushion.  Thanks again to Michelle for organising the exchange.
There are two more exchanges I am taking part in ~ a summer biscornu exchange over on The Friendly Stitchers Yahoo Group ~ I've heard from my partner that mine is already on it's way to me!  I better get a move on to stitch mine, although the deadline is not until 12 August.  Also, I received a lovely exchange parcel from my partner on the Needlecraft Haven Yuku Group - this is a secret exchange where we had to kit up and send out a freebie pattern with a summer theme ready for our partners to start stitching 22 July.  The SAL runs the course of the school holidays and we will be posting photographs on the group of our progress and also of us stitching ~ in the garden, while on holiday etc.  A little bit of summer fun ~ partners will be revealed in September when we should all have our projects finished.
I'm progressing with my top secret project too, I joined the SAL late so I am lagging behind however Nataliejo has assured me that I will be able to catch up as there is not so much stitching in part II which is already on it's way!
Thanks for visiting today ~ I appreciate you stopping by and love to read all the comments that are made.
Next time I will have some painting to show you ~ till then.


15 July 2011

Weekend Flashback

We had a very early start last Saturday ~ LM needed to catch his 8:46 train from Penrith to go and collect the LM car back from it's little holiday.  It was the monthly stitching day at Just Sew for me and I was really looking forward to it as had to miss the June day.  The traffic crossing the A69 was much heavier than I would have expected but it was still a good run with a quick stop at Southwaite Services for a coffee & granola bar to keep us going.
I was there so early I had a walk around Penrith before going to Just Sew ~ there are a couple of shops that I like to visit but I don't always get the opportunity, I was however too early for some of them so I wandered, took photographs and made notes of places to pop back to later in the day. 
I was first to arrive but wasn't alone for very long ~ there were nine of us stitching on various projects from bags to table runners some canvas work and a bit of knitting.  I was very pleased with what I managed ~ finishing one project and moving another well on.  A few of us have signed up to a class next month to make a bag which I am looking forward to.
Sunday was a lovely warm day ~ the sun was slow to show it's face but when it did it was wonderful.  The LM was off out to his monthly car club meeting followed by a run out to Melmerby for tea and cake.  GB1 was working and GB2 was avoiding the required tidying of his bedroom.  I managed to amuse myself pottering around ~ mostly backwards and forwards from my seat in the garden to empty and re-load the washing machine and "peg out".
This was the view from my seat in the garden - a picture of perfection for a warm Sunday.  iPod on the docking station for sunny tunes, sewing basket with a selection of projects, sewing glasses ~ an absolute essential, pincushion, a drink ~ well several really, container for threads, buttons, scissors etc.  Oh, and an empty bowl that had contained my current favourite treat ~ broken up meringue nest and yoghurt.
I hope I get to repeat this sedentary experience over and over across the summer months.
As I make this report I am more than ready for the coming weekend ~ I have EG on Saturday and myself and the Lovely C plan to call into Just Quilting before ~ I need fabric for my top secret project, also they are having their Christmas in July workshop and I am reliably informed that they will have a tree up!  Sunday I will be at The Crafts House working on my owl project in the morning and hope to get a trip to Country Baskets too.

Enjoy you plans ~ whatever they may be.


Top Secret!

I'm quite excited about this top secret project ~ I have joined a SAL through Nataliejo at L'Atelier Perdu.  I joined late so I have only until 21 July before part two is issued!
I love the thread colours and the 32ct fabric that have been recommended for this.  We have been set a mission for next time too - we need to find 7 co-ordinating printed fabrics for making up - guess that means a trip to Just Quilting at the weekend ~ what a chore that will be!!
I must resist starting until I have my Tuesday Stitching Group birthday gifts finished.  I am hoping that the current batch of 3 gifts will all be ready to be re-homed on Tuesday next week.  One is finished, one is waiting to be made up and there is the teeniest amount of stitching to complete on # 3 before it can be made up.
Wish me luck.


14 July 2011

Giveaway & Exchange Received

I've had a couple of gorgeous things arrive at Flossbox Central ~ they can speak for themselves:

This fab pincushion and lovely cupcake card arrived a wee while ago from Rachael at Stitchabilities as I won her draw that marked her 4th year blogaversary ~ Thank you so much Rachael. 
I tried and tried to get a decent picture that would show the beads that are stitched on but no matter what I tried I couldn't manage to get it right.
I signed up to a Blackbird Designs Exchange that Michelle was organising through her blog ~ there were seven of us participating.  I had an unsuccessful attempt to mail to my partner yesterday ~ I didn't realise that Post Offices still did half day closing on Wednesdays, shows what I know.  I have been more successful today and it's now winging it's way to my partner.  I will show a picture once I know it is safely received.
This was waiting for me when I returned home from work yesterday ~ it's been on an epic journey ~ it came all the way from Perth, Australia!  This is from Lisa who was my partner in the Blackbird Design Exchange.  This is Summer Iris and Lisa has stitched it on 32ct antique cream linen.  How fab is that ribbon on the top?
The back is on the picture below - thank you so much Lisa.  And thank you Michelle for organising the exchange.

Tomorrow is the last day of my working week and it has taken an absolute age to arrive ~ I'm planning to start early so I can finish early as I have an appointment to attend.  Hopefully I can squeeze in a visit to see the WP's too.
We have been invited to a friend's barbecue in the evening to celebrate his wife's qualification as a doctor ~ attendance depends on the LM being home early enough and still in possession of some energy.  He has been away this week training people so he'll no doubt be all talked out and fatigued from driving 280 miles in Friday traffic ~ yuk!


6 July 2011

Mid Week Report

Isn't time passing by quickly at the moment?  Wednesday already!
The Tuesday Stitching group Ladies were at my house last night ~ eight of us in total.  Our two hours were over in what seemed like about 10 mins.  As most of my current projects are secret ones I was not able to stitch ~ should have been a bit more organised really.  I enjoyed the chatter and had one or two things to seek out for people so I wasn't totally lazy! 
I'm off to quilting group tonight and I'm planning on being more productive ~ not sure what I'll be working on yet.

Roll on the weekend ~ I have a Saturday of stitching planned.


5 July 2011

Sunny Weekend Report

Last weekend (June) LM and I headed off to Scotland to stay with my Sis2 and her family ~ the main purpose was to spend some time with them as we haven't been since New Year.  It was also their annual village BBQ on Saturday which we had planned to attend ~ however we spent most of Saturday chatting, snoozing, stitching, watching tennis and eating the most fabulous cream scones.  It was really quite lovely in our little family bubble that we did not want to add others to the mix ~ quite unsociable really.  So instead of the BBQ we had dinner here which was fantastic ~ huge but very tasty.  The guys were disappointed as we arrived too late for them to visit the Real Ale Shop ~ they settled for sampling some of it in the bar as consolation. The live music wafted through to the conservatory from the bar as we finished our meal ~ I love live music ~ a great evening.  Sunday after breakfast we set again for home stopping off briefly at Houghton Hall Garden Centre  for lunch and a poke around the craft department before the final part of our journey.  A wonderful weekend.

This weekend I spent mostly indoors completing some long overdue housey chores ~ serves me right for bunking off at other times!

I did manage to sneak off to The Crafts House for a few hours on Sunday morning for a spot of painting ~ can't show you any progress at the moment as I didn't finish what I started ~ my project has been "bagged-up" for when I return again.  It's a trio of owls for the wise old bird in our family ~ my wonderful Dad who will be 90 later this year. 
As always it was a lovely relaxing time and I finally got to meet a fellow blogger Michelle who has recently been persuaded to keep her blog online ~ not too sure what Sandra threatened her with!  No matter, it did the trick and online she stays to inspire us with her wonderful projects.  Also had the pleasure of company from Doreen and Lucie and Lucie's very talented daughter.  A coffee stop with Doreen rounded off my "free" time - thanks Doreen!
Now ~ a warning ~ I love my vacuum cleaner it's very efficient and does a super job, however on Saturday afternoon it bit!  You see that hose ~ well it got very tight hold of the "bingo wing" area on my left arm and would not let go and boy did that smart!  I usually have to have a pretty hard knock to get a bruise but this one came up instantly.
Shall be making every effort to avoid that in the future.


4 July 2011

June Events

LM was away at Le Mans and returned 14 June ~ happy to be home but more tired than expected, he could barely keep his eyes open.
I walked to Tuesday Stitching Group that week ~ our host lives not too far from me so I decided to walk to boost my exercise for the week.  It was a hard walk as it was all uphill!  I did feel better for having done it though.  We were a small group that night and our host, who always treats us to lovely homemade goodies had made strawberry pavlova ~ it was wonderful.  There was also a show and tell as she had finished her quilt ~ had I known I would have taken the camera to get a picture as it is absolutely fabulous.
LM had planned that we would go out for the day on Wednesday, so we set off to Richmond in North Yorkshire.  I was driver for the day ~ well LM had just driven back from France, and I really enjoy driving which some people find strange.  We had a lovely time ambling around chatting & looking in gift and antique shops. 
We found the perfect baby gift that had been eluding us in Dot's Place on Castle Hill ~ a gorgeous shop that's well worth a visit.  LM found this in a n antique shop ~ a 100ft metal retractable tape measure bound in leather which looks barely used. We got Fathers' Day gifts while we were there too.  We lunched at The Crossview Tearoom ~ fish & chips for LM and Bacon, mushroom & stilton baguette for me.  If you're going to Richmond I can recommend this place ~ the staff were really friendly and the food is all freshly cooked and was gorgeous.
One of our favourite places in Richmond is York House Antiques, sorry I couldn't find a link for this ~ it's an Aladdin's Cave of a place arranged over several floors and you could spend hours looking around.  They have a mix of old and new, weird and wonderful.  I'm fascinated every time I go.  I got this flat iron.

I didn't fancy a run up the motorway so we detoured a little (especially as I missed a turn!) along the A66 via Barnard Castle, Staindrop, Tow Law & Lanchester ~ it was a lovely drive, much nicer than joining the stream of vehicles up the A1.  If only we could spend every day just ambling around ~ how nice would that be?
Have a happy Monday.


3 July 2011

TUSAL, New Starts & Shopping

Firstly TUSAL ~ left shows my ORT's for June and right shows the first six months of this year in a christmas bauble.  You can see there are many colour changes ~ for me there are just a few too many fuzzy bits!

I have a number of new starts ~ unfortunately I can't show any of them here yet.  There should be one that could be pictured if only I could establish where it is!  It's a freebie from The Primitive Hare called Merry Yule ~ my Christmas Ornament for June.  It's still a WIP at the moment ~ I will show it once I can find it and get a photograph.  The others are all birthday gifts for Tuesday Stitching Group which should be finished and re-homed soon.
I bought these fabrics from Michelle who was having a bit of a de-stash ~ I love the colours, especially the green.  I have plans for at least one of them but at the moment I'm not sure about the others ~ they will be found a use!

I also bought the new book by Mandy Shaw from Dandelion Designs ~ Stitch With Love

It's full of gorgeous stitcheries and things to make such as cushions, bags, blanket a Christmas wreath and gift tags, aprons and the fabulous sewing tidy pictured below. 

Hope you're enjoying the weekend.


2 July 2011

I have Lots To Tell You

As I've been missing for a wee while ~ I thought I'd split up my posting into several small ones to prevent boredom setting in with one long one!
Firstly, thanks to all who sent kind wishes for my Mum they have been very much appreciated.  She's recovering well but the fall has definitely knocked her confidence.  She's sporting a cast on her wrist for the next four weeks but thankfully the stitches are removed and the bruising is almost gone.  Bro4 is here for the weekend and planning on taking the WP's out and about so hopefully that will give her a good lift.
It's gorgeous here so far today ~ I have almost all the laundry done and hanging in the sunshine and I still have plenty of other chores to keep me busy but I am hoping for some time to relax in the garden too.  The house is quiet as LM has taken the LM car off for a bit of TLC, GB1 is off to work and hoping for a relatively calm shift and GB2 is away for the weekend.  It's sometimes nice to have the house to yourself don't you think?

I'll leave you with a picture of All You Need Is Love by The Drawn Thread.  The stitching has been finished for quite some time as it was intended as a Valentine gift for LM.  I had originally planned a tin finish but I haven't finished anything that way before and couldn't cope with the idea of glue going wrong on this piece.  So it sat waiting until recently when I found this frame ~ it's a bit battered but I thought it would be perfect.  I love it and I hope LM does too.  Valentine's gifts are OK in July ~ right?
Have a fabulous Saturday.