Brown/Blue Spotty

5 December 2012

The Dog Ate My Homework

We don't have a dog.
It's just my way of explaining my prolonged absence from this place.
An alternative phrase is - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good
The LM's business has been tremendously busy since launching a software update at a trade show back in September.  There was much work to do leading up to the exhibition, however since then he has been working silly hours to keep on top of the additional business that has been generated.  Leading to

The Bad
10 - 12 hour days in the office, starting again at home after dinner, working weekends and many trips away from home.  Not much time to spend keeping up with household stuff, with the GB's or each other.  Yes it is frustrating, bordering on annoying at times, however it's business, it's paying off and it brings additional stability - in these dark economic times.....  Unfortunately anxiety and stress lead to

The Ugly
My usual LM - the one with the sunny disposition, heaps of patience and lots of time for everybody has temporarily disappeared - I understand why and I'll just wait for his return.  A couple of weeks ago his lower back went into spasm ~ now that was very ugly ~ it's slowly returning to normal however it added to the frustration.  There have been other health issues in the house too, the usual coughs, sniffles and sneezes as well as a trip to A&E for GB1 ~ it wasn't good, he is recovering but may have future issues.  Don't you just hate your babies having pain?

So although the dog didn't eat my homework we have had a few things on our plate that have eroded the time I had for doing lovely things ~ like stitching & posting & blog reading, & painting etc
I have managed some stitching as I joined a couple of ornament exchanges ~ one has been received (pictures next time as camera battery has expired) and the other is on it's way over the pond.  There has been a disaster with an Autumn exchange ~ which disappeared into some kind of black hole ~ a second piece has now been sent and I'm waiting for news of it's arrival.  The Winter exchange is due to be mailed this week and I'm on track for that, then I just have a secret Santa piece to finish for next Tuesday.  So, there should be lots of pictures to show you, and hopefully soon.
I'm of to hide my homework from the imaginary dog........


24 October 2012


I've been missing for a wee while now for which I apologise - things are slowly getting back on track and I will be back posting more regularly soon.
Coming up:

Wedding Plans Update
Exchange News
Stash Donations

See you soon


13 September 2012

Stitch Me, Stitch Me

I did try to ignore it ~ but resistance was futile as I surrendered in the end.  Stitch Me Club 2012 ~ Patches of Life Sampler from Nataliejo at L'Atelier Perdu (parts I, II & III) is on it's way and will be dropping onto my doormat soon.  Part IV is released next month.
You can see the details on Nataliejo's blog ~ sorry I can't add a link at the moment.
I've been reading the blogs of those who are participating in this SAL ~ lots of variety in colour and count of fabric ~ even a couple completing the project in petit point over one on 40ct!  I haven't decided what I will stitch on ~ not even sure when I will be able to start ~ I'm just content in the knowledge that I have the charts ready when the time comes.


PS ~ I have pictures to share, just waiting for the LM to return home with the camera.

12 September 2012

NDS Weekend

Yes, it's back ~ Numb Derriere Syndrome Weekend otherwise known as

I'm hoping that I will have plenty of stitching time over the weekend ~ will you be hermitting?  So far I have no fixed plan on what I will be working on, I do have one or two (boxes of) projects to choose from!  How do you decide what to work on when you have the opportunity of a mammoth stitching session?
I think I'll draw up a shortlist of contenders to help the decision process along tonight ~ saves wasting actual stitching time once the weekend arrives.
Happy Hermitting


31 August 2012

August's End

Hasn't that just been the fastest month ever?  I think I blinked and missed it - or perhaps I have chosen to block it out as the weather has been so dire.

This time last year we (me, the LM and the GB's) were in France, sipping Kir Royale and celebrating our engagement ~ yes a whole year ago!  Quite a different holiday this year ~ the LM and I went to France solo in the LM car leaving the GB's home alone.  I wasn't nervous at all.......... Much!  However, we returned to find both of them alive and well and the house completely unscathed.
I do have some photographs of our trip to share but they will have to wait until I can muster some enthusiasm to a) find the camera, b) fire up the PC & c) fight with blogger to upload said photographs ~ definitely not a task for a Friday evening.

I've had quite a busy week ~ between work, shopping, a trip to Aberdeen university open day, stitching etc I'm pretty pooped now.  I'm off to visit a friend and her baby daughter tomorrow which I am really looking forward to.

Whatever your weekend holds I hope you enjoy it.


24 August 2012

IHSW Update & Exam Results

I can't actually show you any of the stitching I did over last weekend, in truth it wasn't much, I did work a little on an Autumn piece for an exchange on Needlecraft Haven.  It's good to be stitching again - I have continued on with it during the week too.

We've had weeks of waiting to be able to collect the GBs' exam results - it's been torture!  Last week GB1 received his AS results and yesterday GB2 picked up his GCSE results.  Although they have both expressed a little disappointment with some aspects they have both done extremely well and we are so proud of both of them.  GB2 will be enrolling tomorrow to follow his brother into A Level studies - here's to another good year of academic acheivement.

The Bank Holiday weekend is shaping up to being a bit of a wet one - let's all stay in and stitch!


19 August 2012

TUSAL & A Birthday Gift

Firstly my ORTs for the year so far ~ looking a wee bit boring at the top of the heap due to piecing a small quilt/play mat for a friend's little girl.  There really hasn't been too much stitching going on at all for me for several reasons ~ lack of time/holiday/illness etc.  I'm hoping that is going to change as I have many things to get on with ~ some with deadlines.

 Next is the birthday present ~ for Heather from Tuesday Stitching Group.  This was stitched last year however events took over the finishing and it got left for quite some time.  It's from Chez Elisa and was a really quick stitch ~ the hardest part was the finishing.  I finished it as a small wall hanging by making a cord and adding a fabric yo-yo to the back.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I'm way behind with just about everything but I'm hoping to be back soon with more news & stitching updates.


12 July 2012

Tense Morning

Waiting to hear from GB1 ~ today was the day he had his UK Clinical Aptitude Test. Good news is that he passed and was relieved to gain a better score than he imagined he would. Now he just needs to get sorted with UCAS applications, personal statement, AS level results and another year of study before hopefully gaining a place at medical school ~ not much to stress about! Kate

11 July 2012

Stash Pictures ~ That's All

From Nimble Thimble
LHN - Thread Gatherer
Drawn Thread ~ Morning Glory
Drawn Thread ~ Sisters + Friends

Drawn Thread ~ Love Scissor Tag

There was another design but as it has no picture other than the chart I'm not uploading it for obvious reasons.

From Castle Court Quilters

Yummy Christmas fabric ~ I already had the piece on the right

Finca Perle, stitch ripper and fabric with sewing accessories

7 July 2012

A Trip With The LM

It's amazing how the change of one word ~ or place name ~ can suddenly make a LM business trip sound very appealing.  It's a trip that the LM has made many times while we've been together and never before have I had the urge to make the journey with him ...... until now.
Welshpool ~ never fancied it really ~ until the LM declared that he would be staying in Oswestry, and as soon as he mentioned this my ears pricked up.  Why? well because I know that The Nimble Thimble is not far from Oswestry ~ and never before have I heard of it's proximity to Welshpool ~ perhaps I should take up geography again!
So, we drove down late afternoon on Thursday a couple of weeks ago, stayed over and the following morning I deposited the LM off at his appointment and set off back to Oswestry.
Well, 8am was too early to go directly to The Nimble Thimble, so I parked up and went in search of coffee (and granola bar).  It was a warm but raining off and on.  I visited all the charity shops in search of brooches for my bouquet ~ found a couple but they had missing stones, but I did buy a vintage enamelled hair grip that I might be able to include.
I found the most incredible bead shop ~ Beadazzeled ~ what an absolute treasure trove and the owner was so lovely.  Unfortunately my parking was due to expire so I had to leave sooner than I cared.  If you're ever in the area it's most definitely worth a visit.
Then I set off for the main event.

The Nimble Thimble at Llangedwyn Mill ~ Gorgeous setting even in the wet miserable weather of the day.  And when you step inside it's difficult to know where to start looking ~ there are just so many fabulous things to take in.  Chris explained where everything was and gave details of some special offers/sales that were currently on.  I had a wonderful time leafing through all the different designers ~ I'll show you what I bought another time as I have no photographs yet ~ sorry.  Instead, here are some pictures of inside. 

 Note to self ~ must find out how to do "clever" stuff with photographs.


I hope to return soon ~ perhaps the Lovely C & I could have a road trip?  Might need to save up a bit first.
Chris was very welcoming and helpful ~ she enquired if I liked fabric as there was a quilting shop not far from Oswestry that was worth a visit.  Well, I was in the area, it seemed rude not to go.

Castle Court Quilter is spread over three rooms ~ two filled with masses of gorgeous fabrics & patterns etc and a large teaching room for classes.  Diana, the owner was busy getting ready for a local show but was really lovely and helpful.  I bought some fabric ~ what a surprise ~ however I can't show it as I have no pictures ~ Oops!  Will resolve that soon.

I can show you these gorgeous Finca perle colours ~ it's enough to make your mouth water ~ and, yes I did bring some of it home with me.  I had a very late lunch in the castle coffee shop over the road before heading back to collect the LM from where I had deposited him.  Our journey home was awful ~ it was the Friday when the Olympic festivities were cancelled in Blackpool.  I've never seen so much rain on the motorway, let alone driven in it.  I was pleased to relinquish the driving seat at Charnock Richard services, it didn't stop raining but the worst was definitely over by then.
Conclusion ~ beads, cross stitch & fabric all within a reasonable distance ~ definitely worth visiting the area.


6 July 2012

What a Difference a Week Makes

And I'm so pleased it does ~ this is what we experienced last Thursday on our journey home from work.
5.3 miles ~ journey time 2 hours 36 minutes

We didn't risk it ~ turned around to find
 an alternative route

Then we got stuck here for over an hour

Alternative route ~ wrong side of the river
Cemetary wall collapse

Taking the car for a plodge before crossing
the river again

Dude where's our road?
Taken by GB2 from bedroom

Coming up the drive
Taken by GB2

We were very lucky, we know of others who were stranded far longer, were without power and worse again for those who suffered damage to their property.  Never underestimate the power of nature.

I'll leave you with the lightening over the Tyne Bridge


4 July 2012

Summer Exchange

As reveal day has now passed I can show you the summer exchange pieces from Needlecraft Haven.
This is the lovely bag, recipe book and card that I received from Dusty.  It's already had a couple of outings - yesterday it carried a little quilt top to Just Quilting to get wadding, backing and binding fabric, and last night it carried my sewing to Tuesday Stitching Group.  It's a great size and I love it - thanks so much Dusty.
I think it will be coming to France to carry my holiday stitching.

 I stitched this design for Barb ~ I know that The Sampler Girl's design are favourites of hers.  That and the subject matter made it perfect.  It was a dream to stitch and I finished it as a pillow with pockets added on the reverse side.  I am so pleased that Barb likes it.
I've signed up to do the Autumn exchange too so I'm currently looking out designs that would be appropriate.

Today my main task is stash organising, I have stuff spread out all over the place trying to get it into some semblance of order ~ it's a job that has needed doing for quite some time.  I'm hoping to get it all finished today and also get my database updated.

Wish me luck!


25 June 2012

Stitchery Project Roll

I mentioned in my last post the project roll I finished ~ we were to complete the stitchery prior to the class and I was on track to do so until 2 days before the class I left my sewing bag in the office!  So I was up very late the following night and actually finished at the beginning of the class.
There were six of us making the project roll at Just Quilting and it was a lovely class and I actutally managed to finish ~ I'm not sure but this may be a first!
I don't know about you but choosing fabric for a project takes me forever and as I wanted to use threads in the stitchery that co-ordinated I called in the week before to do this and also to trace the design using the light box.
I really enjoyed the stitchery once I got started, I always worry that my stitches are too big/too small/not straight but............. I'm very pleased with how this turned out.

 Here's mine both inside and out ~ the quilted lines are a little wonky!  Those are the LM's legs in the background ~ oops.
It's a large size as it's meant to be used for quilt blocks ~ it currently holds about 6 of my stitching projects that are waiting to be finished.

These are all the finished rolls pictured at the end of the class ~ mine is 2nd from the front.
We also started to make a little needle book too which you can see just to the right of Jill's roll at the front.
I have another class booked at Just Quilting next month ~ Christmas in July ~ I'm really looking forward to seeing what's in store for us.  Hopefully I will finish something in that class too.


24 June 2012

Lots to Tell

It's been quite some time since I was here last ~ lots of things have been going on, some good some not so good however we're not going to get bogged down with that.
Since I was last here:
  • The LM and I took a trip to Scotland in the LM car with a group from the TVR Club ~ we extended our stay to spend a few days on the Isle of Skye which was absolutely beautiful.  I'll post some pictures another time.
  • We've booked our wedding, issued save the date letters, bought tartan and started a collection of brooches
  • I finished a stitchery and did a class to make it into a project roll ~ pictures soon
  • I had a trip to London with the LM while he was there on business ~ I walked forever ~ visiting some of the places I was taken to as a child by the WP's.  Too much walking stopped me doing anything at all the following day!
  • GB1 has finished his AS Level exams
  • GB2 has completed his GCSE exams
  • I had a trip to Penrith for a stitching day
  • LM has had his boy's week in Le Mans for the 24 hour race
  • I had a "finishing" weekend
  • GB1 has spent the last week on a medical shadowing work experience in a local hospital
  • LM & I were in Wales Thursday/Friday - unfortunately the LM was working however I was able to visit some fabulous places ~ report soon
  • I haven't stitched enough!
Last weekend was IHSW and I had decided to make it a finishing weekend ~ the cutting mat, sewing machine, ironing board and various other bits of paraphernalia were permanent features the whole weekend.  I had a lovely time ~ I managed 6 finishes (well 5 really as one was completed earlier in the week).  One is an exchange piece that I can't share until after reveal day which is 30 June and one a birthday present which is yet to be given to the recipient.  These are the others:

This is Lizzie Kate's Ho Ho Ho in a Row which I have made into a small pillow finish using some fabric I bought at the Harrogate show last November from a range called Ready Steady Snow.  It's  lovely & bright and suits the design well.  I was going to use the same fabric to finish Jolly Holiday also by Lizzie Kate but didn't get round to it.

Next is Wee Santa 2005 from Heart in Hand.
Another pillow finish with fabric bought from Just Quilting not with anything specific in mind but I like how it turned out.  Same fabric was used for back.

This is Herbert, also from Heart in Hand ~ you may notice that he isn't signed or dated, Herbert was started in 2007 on a flight to Germany for work.  Back then the only pieces I signed where those I did for other people.  Same fabric range as above but a slightly smaller pillow.

Smaller pillow again, same fabric range ~ this is Whee Willie another Heart in Hand design.

And here's the trio all together ~ I am delighted with how they have turned out.  I am also very pleased that they have become "something" rather than just finished stitched pieces sitting in a drawer, I look forward to displaying them in our home at Christmas.  I hope that those of you who participated in the IHSW enjoyed your creative time as much as I did.
I have tons of blog reading to catch up with ~ can't promise to leave comments but I will be reading all your updates. 
Until next time.


8 June 2012

Naughty Blogger

I am still here, had stuff going on but will be back shortly with a few updates. See you soon. Kate

5 May 2012

May Day Weekend

Or is it Spring Bank Geyser?

I had a call from Sis2 yesterday morning, from her home in Scotland some 180'ish miles away from us ~ to tell me about this which was happening a short walk from our house.  There was havoc for much of the day, traffic was re-routed, Fire crews were attempting to pump water away, both on the main road and in the next street down from us where it had apparently flooded into the gardens & garages.  We came home from work to find our only access route closed at both ends ~ mostly to prevent through traffic from casuing further issues ~ we had to drive through traffic cones to be able to get into our little estate.  At that time the water was still gushing ~ only the direction had changed ~ due to a digger bucket being placed over the break in the road the water was now spurting horizontally instead of vertically.

Water is definately a force to be reckoned with ~ here's hoping that they are able to make repairs quickly.


27 April 2012

Even later TUSAL Report

I have resorted to adding reminders for all the new moons into my phone for the remainder of the year ~ and yet still I manage to be almost a week late!

Hopefully the picture says it all.


A Wee Present

Late IHSW Report

Nothing new there then!

Last weekend was hermitting weekend ~ I had plenty of time to be stitching, around shopping for presents for the LM (Yes he's clocked up another year!) however I didn't acheive a tremendous amount really.

I did manage to complete the final part of the Spring mystery SAL ~ it looks a little wonky in the picture.                                                                                               This has been a lovely stitch and I think I will make a small pillow when I finally get into "finishing" mode.                                                                                             I replaced the called for white thread with DMC 543 so that the stonework on the house would show better on my fabric.  I also stitched over the bird with this ~ yes sheer laziness on my part ~ I should have unpicked it but decided against that.           There is a small autumn freebie also by Marie which I hope to stitch at some point ~ hopefully Summer & Winter will be available too.

Next was to find a snowflake design to complete my April ornament for the Christmas Ornaments All Year Round SAL.  This is an extract from LHN Fresh Fallen Snow which was in the Just Cross Stitch Christmas 2011 special - there are two snowflakes in the design so I need to add the second one, stitch up and stuff.  Next month is a gingerbread man theme.
And finally my progress to date on LHN's Simple Joys ~ it hasn't changed a great deal since you last saw it.                                                                                          So there you have it ~ the sum total of my hermitting weekend.  It really doesn't amount to much however as ever I did enjoy the time.  I was thinking about all the other hermitters around the world all stitching away in the different time zones ~ perhaps next month I should start on Australian time and finish in US time!  That would make for some mammoth stitching spree ~ worth considering.

PS  Blogger & I don't seem to be getting along right now ~ have no idea why the spacing goes all cooky when I publish!!

22 April 2012

Mother's Day

When I was young and growing up 22nd April was the only recognised Mother's Day at home. Today would have been my Lovely Mum's 88th Birthday. My Mother kept a garden. A garden of the heart; She planted all the good things, That gave my life a start. She turned me to the sunshine, And encouraged me to dream: Fostering and nurturing The seeds of self-esteem. And when the winds and rains came, She protected me enough; But not too much, she knew I'd need To stand up strong and tough. Her constant good example, Always taught me right from wrong; Markers for my pathway To last my whole life long. I am my Mother's garden, I am her legacy. And I hope today she feels the love, Reflected back from me. Anonymous

18 April 2012

April IHSW

Once again we are at that time of the month where we need to cement our derrieres to our stitching chairs and hermit the weekend away.
I'm not certain how much hermitting I will acheive ~ I'll give it my best shot though.


17 April 2012


It's been ten days since my last post.....................

And during that time I have done some stitching, some stash sorting, a bit of stash buying, a bit of painting and a fair amount of procrastination.

                                          Mystery SAL Part III

A quick stitch ~ there is a wee bird hiding on top of the lower case p, he's white and just a little bit hard to see ~ but he is there.
I gave up on finding my DMC 3752 and used 794 and as soon as I had it stitched ~ yes, you guessed it ~ I found 2 skeins of 3752.
No matter, I think the shade I used looks grand.  Part IV is due tomorrow, or today depending on how long it takes me to complete this post.

Dawn of Spring SAL from Friendly Stitchers Yahoo Group

Finished Part I eventually ~ tried eyelets in the third band, however they didn't sit right on my fabric so out they came and I reverted to Smyrna stitch.
Band four is charted for three of the large motifs and space to add initials and year ~ I have an idea for how I might finish this piece so I will be stitching the two outer motifs and leaving initials etc until the end. 
Band five is also started and hopefully I will be continuing with this at Tuesday Stitching Group ~ I'm hosting this week.

                                          Simple Joys by LHN

Has grown some since you last saw it ~ I've quite surprised myself with how quickly this is stitching up, especially as it's one over one.  I'm loving everything about this, the fabric, the colours and the sentiment of it.
I would have liked to be finished the stitching this week ~ as quick as it is I think this may be overly optimistic.

Last week our quilt group had a visit to The Quilters Cupboard ~ I came away with some fabric to add to my stash.  I planned on using some of it at my monthly stitching day in Penrith on Saturday ~ unfortunately I had to cancel my trip due to lack of sleep Friday night.  I was very disappointed but it was a good idea not to get behind the wheel of a car with insufficient zeds.  After our shopping spree we headed back to a local Italian restaurant for a meal ~ the food was lovely.
Sunday was the latest meeting of The Diary Dames up at The Crafts House ~ the weather was deceiving, it looked beautiful but turned out to be extremely cold and while we were there we saw more of the white stuff, both hail & snow.  I have nothing to share with you from our visit as my project is not yet finished ~ should be complete at the next visit.
Today I spent a few hours with Sis2 ~ her DH had business in the area so she had travelled with him.  We had a nice meander around Durham and lunch in Vennels Cafe.  The cakes looked gorgeous ~ we were good and didn't have any ~ the corned beef pie, three pepper quiche and salad were however delicious.  If you're ever visiting Durham it's worth a visit, oh and the tables are all old treadle tables.

I'm off to attempt to sleep.


6 April 2012

Stitchy Update

I have been a little better at getting through some of my stitching this week so here are a few progress pictures.
First up is my (almost) finished part II of the SAL mystere du Printemps from Marie ~ it's missing the lake as I currently have no idea where my DMC 3752 has wandered off to!  Don't you just love it when that happens?  I'm sure it's in that most wonderful of "safe" places ~ shame that my memory will not unlock the key to where that is currently.  So far this has been a lovely quick stitch and Part III is due out on Saturday ~ hopefully I will be able to get on with it fairly quickly and also locate the rogue & elusive 3752 by then too.  I'm enjoying doing these few spring things of late as it makes a change from the Christmas things that I have committed to for the whole of this year.
Next is my New Year's Day start ~ Simple Joys from LHN ~ this was a gift from the very lovely Barb for my birthday last year.  This is growing faster than I expected it to as I am stitching over 1.  There was a blip at the end of last week due to an unwelcome visit from the dratted green croaking creatures ~ I managed to stitch 2 full and 1 partial flower using the wrong colour!  All is well again now though as I managed to undo the mistakes and have completed two of the flowers again in the correct colour.  I am working on adding some words of dedication to my Lovely Mum to this piece.
I have now finished my March ornament for the Christmas Ornaments All Year Round SAL ~ I just haven't remembered to take a photograph yet!  More thought should have been put into my March stitch, Jolly from Miss Crescent Crowne, as for March we chose our own theme, if I'd looked at April's theme ~ snowflake ~ I probably would have chosen something else to stitch.  Nevermind I think I have more designs with snowflakes I can use.  Hopefully I can share a picture of my March ornament with you soon.

Till next time.


5 April 2012

Goodies Exchanged & Received

There are a couple of things I have received over the course of this last week ~ some expected and some not ~ all brilliant though.
First up is this wee pile of goodness ~ on Needlecraft Haven Clare is running a Four Seasons Exchange.  Angie (no blog) sent me this beaded handbag mirror, some DMC and some Easter bunnies.  Thanks so much Angie ~ I used to have an handbag mirror but lost it some time ago so now I have a gorgeous replacement. 
I stitched The Spring Scissor Keeper from The Drawn Thread Company for my partner Clare.  This was a lovely stitch and has been in my to do pile forever, so I am pleased to have a tick in the box against it now and the best part is that Clare is so happy with it.  I'm looking forward to participating in the other rounds of this exchange ~ hope nothing will get in the way of me completing all four seasons. 
You remember that I visited the Pins & Needles Exhibitions last week?  Well, I was lucky enough to be a winner from my raffle ticket ~ these were given upon making a purchase from the Just Quilting stall.  Isn't that painted tag just gorgeous?  These are the goodies that were within the cutest little hessian bag.  Needles, thread, tin, fabric, trim and DMC together with a useful laminated card ~ I'm using that as a bookmark now.
I'm looking forward to four days at home with my family, we have nothing major planned, just some housey jobs ~ hopefully the weather will be kind for the holiday weekend.
Have a Happy Easter ~ and don't eat too much chocolate.