Sunday, 26 July 2009


The last few days have been rather busy as on Friday it was not only Daughter's Graduation Day but also Husband's birthday.

The day after her graduation was also Daughter's 21st birthday. She had a big family do for her 18th birthday so this time she celebrated with her friends. She had stopped in London following her graduation ceremony and went out for lunch with all her friends from university and then travelled home to spend the evening celebrating with her friends at home. We saw her for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


First of all the winner of my Blogversary Giveaway is Conny. I used a randomiser to create the list and then asked Son to pick a number between 1 and 20, he picked 19 (his age) thus making Conny the winner. Husband acted as an independent adjudicator.

1 Mainlely Stitching
2 Angela P
3 Jo
4 Broken Fairy
5 Patti
6 Always Smiling
7 Daffycat
8 Maggee
9 Lynda
10 Dera Dera
11 Nina
12 Karen
13 Stitching Kath
14 Deb
15 Jeanie
16 Hazel
17 Lula
18 Sally
19 Conny
20 Lisa

Thanks to everyone who took part, better luck next time.

I have also been lucky enough to be given a Friendship award by Patti . Thank you for thinking of me.

I have to nominate 8 other peoples blogs as part of the award so the 8 additional winners are:

Barbara at Mainley Stitching - I love your mix of family life and stitching. How you ever find time to stitch amazes me.

Anne-Marie at Orts & Ends - I suspect Pantoef is about to become the new star of your blog.

Angela at Hooked on Stitches - The flat fold queen.

Nina at Between Crosses with Nina - Your stitching is beautiful.

Paulette at Plum Street Samplers - Another great mix of family and stitching. This site should come with a bank account health warning, her samplers are beautiful.

Andrea at The Craft Room - More beautiful stitching, with stitches that look oh so perfect.

Elisa at Old Ragged Threads - More inspirational stitching.

Sally at Stitchyangels Treasures - Anyone who tackles as many Haeds as you do deserves an award, just looking at the chart of a small one is enough to send my head into a spin.

As ever it's hard to pick out just 8 as all the blogs I read are great, if they weren't why would I read them.

This reminds me that I really must update the blog list on my sidebar. I have to admit I use it as my way of speeding up looking at my favourite blogs as if your blog is on there I can tell instantly if it has been updated or not. Am I the only one who does this?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

One Year Old

Today my blog is one year old and so tomorrow I will be doing the draw for my Blogversary Giveaway, if you've not entered sign up for it today.

Sadly as of yet the chart hasn't arrived but as soon as it does I will get stitching.

I have just taken a quick look back over the first years entries and now realise the following:

Blogging has definitely resulted in me spending more money on stitching, all the blogs I read lead me to investigate new suppliers or designers. At the start of my blog I kept my stitching in one small drawer. All my stash now occupies a much bigger drawer and I seriously need to start looking at some sort of storage system for it all. Well it's that or evict one of my children and turn their bedroom into my sewing room!!

On the other hand it has meant I've tried out, or will be trying out, lots of different ways of finishing and displaying my work.

There is no point in me joining SAL's or exchanges that have tight time deadlines as I just can't stitch to order. As much as I love stitching Celtic Autumn I can't force myself to stitch on her every week or on a set day, sometimes other things just appeal more. I've also failed with the only other SAL I joined, the piece is sitting in my drawer waiting for me to return to it, 8 months after the SAL finished.

PIF's and RAK's are definitely the way for me to go. I then have time to feel inspired and pick a chart that I think will reflect the intended recipient's taste and the time to work on it as and when I feel inspired to do so.

There is no point in me collecting too many big projects. I have now been working on Celtic Autumn and Love Songs for nearly a year and for both it will probably be another year before they are finished. I reckon St Petersburg could be a ten year project.

I haven't done nearly enough walking this year. That is for a whole host of reasons but there is no doubt the desire to stitch in the afternoon has meant I've not suddenly had an irresistible urge to head for the local hills. This is going to have to change as Husband and I are currently discussing a possible way I can finally achieve one of my lifetime ambitions, which is to make a living out of walking.

My garden is not getting enough attention, again the temptation to continue the stitching I started in the afternoon means I haven't spent as many evenings in the garden as I normally would. The evening being my favourite time to garden, not too hot and no worries about stopping to get the dinner on etc.

It's time to do some baking, I have been craving chocolate gingerbread for a week or so now and having just realised that I haven't posted that recipe on the blog. Whilst I'm at it I'll also get the Potato Gratin ready for tonight's dinner, a ridiculously extravagant way to have potatoes mid-week but birthdays and anniversarys are always celebrated in this house so my blogversary sounds like the ideal excuse for chocolate and cream.

Last but not least, thank you for reading my ramblings for the last year, it's been great getting to know everyone via their comments and blogs. I just hope I haven't bored you all too much and that you've enjoyed sharing my world as much as I enjoy sharing what you are all getting up to.

Monday, 20 July 2009

I Have a Finishing Pile

Over the last few weeks most of my stitching has been the secret kind. Whilst two of the pieces are now stitched and awaiting finishing one of them was just started late last night. As it will be at least a week before I even have them ready to go to their new homes and even longer before I can show you them in full I thought I'd offer a few snapshots of the different pieces.

Some of you may recognise what I'm actually stitching but please don't let on.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

A Great Giveaway

Paulette is having a great giveaway for blogversary so head over to her blog now to have a chance of winning 5 of her gorgeous charts.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

SAL's and Stash

When I got back from my holiday I found out that Kathy is trying to get the Celtic Lady SAL going again and it was just the excuse I needed to do some more work on her. Previously I was finding that I liked to work on her on Sunday but the Wimbledon Final got in the way of that so I picked her up again on Monday. I set myself the target of finishing off one of the braid cards I had and getting the trim on the bottom of her dress done.

As you can see I actually ended up doing a little more than that, but that was because I didn't achieve everything I wanted on Monday so I worked on it yesterday as well. On Monday it was put aside so we could watch Torchwood and I wasn't sorry I did so. As I write Tuesday's episode is on the video to be watched later tonight along with tonight's episode, so no spoilers please. Thursday and Friday's episodes will also be watched together on Friday night so again don't tell me what happens, please.

Before I went to the Lakes I received my order form Thread Bear.

Just about everything in here will be used for one or other of the PIF's I am currently working on, although I couldn't resist the backing fabric which is 'just' a stash addition.

As of yet I haven't received the chart for my planned Blogversary Giveaway so whoever wins it may have to be patient. If you've not entered you've still got time as the closing date is the 21st July just add a comment to the relevant post.
I have also been working on some PIF's but no pictures yet. I must get one made-up, now that I have all the materials I need for it.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Rankin's Addictive

There is no doubt about it, Ian Rankins' Rebus novels are proving addictive. I finished a second one on Saturday evening having started it whilst away on holiday. When I went to the library last week I had hoped to get the first in the series, but was unable to, so I settled for Strip Jack, which was the earliest book in the series they had on the shelves.

As with the previous Ian Rankin book it was a real page-turner and yet again I didn't work the plot out, a rarity for me. Very funny reading the series out of order though because you know where some of the characters relationships or careers etc are heading. When I next return to the library I think I shall be getting a couple more in the series, it will cut down on the number of trips to the library.

In between the two Rebus novels, or should that be trips to the library, I started a light-weight novel Revenge of the Wedding Planner by Sharon Owens. Set in Northern Ireland it was a very good read, where the direction of the story wasn't always obvious, but amusing enough to ensure you stuck with it.

I've since found out this appears to be the second in a series of books on the same theme so if I see some of the others I may well pick them up.

Last night I started a rather big book, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I've only read the first chapter but I think this is about to become another page-turner so I may be returning to the library sooner than expected.

Friday, 3 July 2009

How Long Can A Birthday Last?

So it was my birthday on Tuesday and as planned we were away on holiday in the Lakes, just in time for the heatwave and midges!!

On Saturday evening, before we went away I was given my birthday presents and allowed to open them, as it would mean I could make good use of them whilst we were away.

Husband, Son and Daughter clubbed together to get me a rucksack. My father-in law gave me a new walking pole to replace the one I lost a few weeks ago. Earlier in the week my parents had given me some money towards my new walking boots.

On my actual birthday I was able to open my cards and Husband and I went for meal that evening at the Brook House Inn.

We came home the next day and there were a few more cards to open.

Then yesterday Son purchased a birthday cake and Husband, Son & Daughter all sang 'Happy Birthday' to me and I had to blow out some candles.

I think I've now finished celebrating my birthday!!