Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Green Shoots of Recovery

Since getting back from the Lakes I have hardly had any stitching time at all. I have a long list of jobs that I'm slowly getting through, but as fast as I do one another two or three seem to get added to the list.

Whilst out flyering for Husband last week I got the opportunity to do some delivery work for someone else and as they were going to pay me and let me drop off flyers for Husband at the same time I took the job. Getting paid for doing something I was going to do anyway was too good an offer to turn down! Over the last two days I have therefore delivered booklets and flyers to over 750 houses and I have just been too tired to do any stitching in the evening. Today is Son's 20th birthday which means there are no longer any teenagers in our house, where did the time go! To celebrate I am having the day off from flyering, but tomorrow I will be back at it as I still have another 390 booklets to drop off. It has turned out to be a good move for Husband. If I hadn't agreed to drop off the booklets I wouldn't have been flyering the area of town I did for another couple of weeks and he has already taken two phone calls from people wanting websites.

The quiz league season is also about to start and so last Saturday was spent setting the first quiz of the season. We have known we had a contract for one league for some time but this week we picked up another league contract and a local pub also wants us to start supplying them with a weekly quiz. All of a sudden I have not one but three quizzes to set a week.

All I can say is if this household is anything to go by it would appear that the recession is coming to an end and the green shoots of recovery are definitely in evidence.

Friday, 25 September 2009


Before I went away on holiday I was lucky enough to be picked to receive a PIF from Chris.

In the spirit of PIF's I am therefore passing the PIF on

If you would like to be entered into the draw to receive a piece of my hand stitched work within the next 12 months then please leave a comment on this post. I will then draw the winners and reveal who they are on Tuesday 6th October. A special date for me as it's the anniversary of my first date with Husband. As is traditional we will be going out for a meal to celebrate.

If you are chosen as one of the winners then you must offer the same on your blog to keep the kindness going.

Good luck.
If you haven't seen it Patricia at Tapestry of Dreams is having a mega giveaway for her third Blogversary. It ends on the 29th September.

Monday, 21 September 2009

TUSAL & Framed

A couple of days late, due to post holiday sorting out and a visit yesterday by my parents, but here is my update on my TUSAL.

As you can see there hasn't been much added as I haven't had much sewing time in the last month. The only threads added are those from my Blogversary stitching and the ones left over from the cord I made for Jennifer's pin cushion.

I also picked up my Mum's birthday present in time for her visit for dinner yesterday.

I was really pleased with the way it looked and will certainly be going back there with any future framing I have. Mind yet again it proved expensive as the frame is resting on a piece of linen that I purchased to add to my stash collection. I have also found out that they have framed St Petersburg twice before and that it will cost me over £100.00 to frame it. It's just as well it's going to be a long time before I finish it. I'll need to save up, mind I already know where in the house it is going.

Whilst I was away on holiday I read The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. A fascinating read for me as it was set in Chatsworth House, a place I know well and Wingfield Manor, which is just down the road from me. In addition it made several references to embroidery,what more could you want from a book.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

RAK for Jennifer

We are just back from the Lakes after 5 great days away. We went away a day late when we were confident Daughter was OK, knowing that Son was on hand in case she did get ill again. I rang her on Monday and got no reply so I knew then she was definitely OK. Having walked in the door and just seen her I can indeed confirm she looks the picture of health again.

Not too long ago I was looking at the Gazettte 94 blog and spotted a delightful free design for a lighthouse. Straight away I thought about Sweet Pea and knew I had to stitch it for her. Jennifer has now let me know that it has arrived so I can show you what I stitched for her.

Designer: Gazette 94

Design: Grille Gratuite 87

Fabric: 28ct Brittney linen Shade - Iced Blue

Backing Fabric: Coast - Seagulls

Threads: DMC

I decided to finish it as a pincushion. I found the finish I used quite fiddly as I had to hand stitch rather than machine sew it. I also had a go at making some cord to edge the piece with, another first for me. I have to say Husband Son and Daughter came in very useful here as it took several goes and each of them ended up holding the threads at one end whilst I twisted at the other. I hope Jennifer will forgive me for the imperfections in the finishing.

I backed the pin cushion with the seagull fabric you can see under the pin cushion.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

I Shouldn't Be Here

Well the sun is shining outside, the weather is set fair and I should currently be pitching my tent in the shadows of Blencathra and heading out for a short afternoon stroll. Needless to say I'm not. Daughter had other ideas. Last night I got a blue light trip in an ambulance and a visit to the new A&E Department in Derby and no sleep. Not an experience I'm in a hurry to repeat. Daughter who was in a great deal of pain and vomiting doesn't recall much of it as she was completely out of it and that was before she had any morphine.

Thankfully she didn't need to stay in hospital and today is fine, moaning that she can't afford to miss work, on the phone and Internet whilst also watching TV. So, as I said everything seems normal. Husband and I simply didn't have the ability to pack the car, drive for 4 or 5 hours and then spend an hour or so setting up the tent and everything that goes in it. As long as Daughter remains OK we will instead head off early tomorrow morning and should the weather remain OK come home a day later than we originally planned.

I have no sewing to show you as I have been working on my Blogversry pieces for Conny whilst also finishing off an RAK which is now on its way to the USA. Hopefully when we get back from the Lakes I will be able to reveal the RAK to you all.

Thank you to everyone who made such nice comments about my Mum's birthday present and to all the people who commented on the LNS which was new to me. It's very reassuring to know they come highly recommended, especially when the first task I have given them is to frame something for my Mum. I was actually back there on Tuesday buying some threads to finish my RAK with. It really is too close to home for me. I can see a lot of trips to Alfreton in my future. Which reminds me I now have time to make enquiries about a photography course that is running there.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

A Finish & A Great Find

On Tuesday I finished stitching Gentle & Kind.

Designer: Little House Needleworks
Fabric: 28ct Cream Linen
Threads: Belle Soie Silks

It is now at the framers from where I will be collecting it from on my Mum's birthday. She will be getting it two days later when they come for Sunday dinner.

One of my design ideas is for something similar in size for my dad which he may well get for Christmas. I have the idea all mapped in my head, I just need to pluck up the courage to start putting it down on paper. I think I might be asking for a cross stitch designer package for Xmas. I've been playing with the sample version of PC Pro to see what I think of it but I'm undecided at the moment.

Anyway my great find is a new, to me, needlework shop. If anyone lives in or near Derby there is a really great shop in Alfreton that you really do need to explore. For anyone in my area I'd say it's probably better than Wye Needlecraft. If you park in Tesco's car park, which is free for 3 hours, it is a few minutes walk up the hill, on the left. The shop is called Sew-n-Sew Needlecraft and is open Mon-Sat 9:30-5:00. I have to admit that Husband found it for me and my first visit was yesterday when I took Gentle & Kind to be framed but they were really friendly and happy to talk to you. For anyone travelling out of Derby it is really easy to find. From the A38 just take the main road into Alfreton and you won't be bale to miss Tescos on your right at the second set of traffic lights.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Expensive Thread Arrived.

Last week saw three shopping sprees which added to my stash haul.

Firstly I had an order arrive from Sew & So which was less than 36 hours from being placed to arriving. I also managed to break my daylight bulb so as I was out walking in that area I headed to Bakewell and Wye Needlecraft. For the first time in about a year they actually had the bulb I needed in stock so I went mad and bought two. I also picked up a piece of hand dyed fabric which I just couldn't resist.

The rest of the picture is my Sew & So order. Elisa had recently bought some Floss-A-Way bags from there and with the Belle Soie thread being so expensive I thought they would be ideal for keeping it safe and clean. I especially wanted to keep the red thread separate from the rest of my threads as when I was using it I noticed it bleeding into the white. The rest of the order will be used for stitching family Christmas cards.

On Saturday the Belle Soie silks and the fabric I ordered to justify the postage arrived. I have to say the fabric is gorgeous.
]This afternoon will be spent finishing my Mums birthday present then I will take it to the framers and hope that it will be done in time for her birthday.

There hasn't been much sewing over the last week as I've been busy working on my walking website, along with planning and writing up walks. Last week I was asked to contribute walks to a second local magazine, which is great news, but meant I needed to sit down and work out what walks I was doing when. It might sound daft but I spent a good few hours planning which walks I would be doing for not only the 2010 editions but also some of the 2011 editions. For some of the walks I need to take the photos nearly a year in advance in order to meet printing deadlines e.g. I can't take pictures of snowdrops in December 2010 to meet the January 2011 deadline for the Feb/March 2011 edition.

I have also more or less decided to set up my own business, which is going to take some planning and preparation. As the business revolves around walking the first task is for me to get much fitter. The second is getting my website converted to php and some new sections developed. On top of that I also need to acquire some qualifications, more for insurance purposes than anything, but they will require time commitments as well.

As if that's not enough I have also got some ideas for designing my own cross stitch charts and want to get some of them down on paper and stitched up. Not sure if this will come to anything but I did come up with a name. What do you think of 'Titch Stitches'. No prizes for guessing how tall I am or what I was called at school.

I think I need the days to get much longer!!