Thursday, 30 December 2010


Just a quickie to let you know that Daffycat is taking over running the TUSAL which starts in the New Year. If you are interested in joining it or want to know what it is all about then follow this link
I've already got the dates for posting the pictures in my 2011 diary and I'm planning on not missing on one post as she is also running a competition for those people who don't miss posting a picture, with what sounds like a fabulous prize. To enter the competition you must have joined by the first new moon which is Tuesday 4th January 2011.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I was so pleased with how these two designs came out once they were framed and ready to be given as Christmas presents to my sisters.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A Flying Post

A whole month has been and gone and I've not managed one post and I'm sorry to say things are unlikely to change in the next few months. I'm not complaining as the lack of blogging is because my little quiz setting business has seen some rather rapid growth in demand over the last few months and I am now very busy.

I have managed to place one or two stitches onto some linen and have a piece that is waiting to be finished up and shipped out to its rightful owner. When I'll find time to do it I don't know but it will get done eventually.

In September we made a quick trip to the Lakes and managed to fit in two completely dry walks during 5 very wet days. They haven't made it onto my walking website yet.

Whilst I'm rarely leaving comments your blogs are usually the way I psych myself up to start work each day, which is actually what I'm doing now, so I guess I'd better get back to it.

I can at least promise you that I will be back posting properly by May 2011, as that's when the league quiz season ends, but hopefully I will get some time to post before then. In the mean time a lot of quiz leagues and pubs need me to get back to it.

Sorry for going missing on you all, I will try to get back before May but I'm not promising anything.

Monday, 23 August 2010


I heard from Becky last week that she had received the gift I stitched for her as a thank you for the wonderful trimmings she sent me earlier this year.

Knowing how much Becky likes bees as soon as I saw this design
by Gazette 94 I knew I had to stitch it for her.

I adapted it slightly and turned it into a pin cushion and used
some of the details from the pattern for the edges of it.

Even though Becky isn't blogging right now she was kind enough to email me to say she had received it and loved it. As with many of the people I 'know' through blogging I often think about her and hope she is OK, so it was really nice to hear from her.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Sneak Preview

I was taking some shots of something that I will be putting in the post later today. Hopefully I will be showing you that soon but whilst I had the camera out I also took a couple of close-ups of my first design.

Hopefully you will get to see the finished piece and pattern over the weekend. In the meantime here are the close-ups.

As you might have guessed the first design has a wildlife theme.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Silver Lining

One or two people have been kind enough to ask how I'm getting on, so a quickish update.

After finishing the week's course of tablets and taking a week off from doing any housework I thought I was fine. However 24 hours later the pain was back and so a return trip to the doctors resulted in more tablets and an appointment with the physio, which is later this week, i.e nearly a fortnight after my second doctor's appointment.

After weeks of virtual inactivity, as my husband despite being busy with his own business, wouldn't let me do any housework or much else until the doctor said I could I have:

a. Put on loads of weight
b Seem to be fine.

Following the doctor's instructions I have come off the tablets a few days before the appointment with the physio and appear to be totally pain free. I'm still keeping the appointment in the hope they may be able to point me in the right direction to getting rid of my recurring back problems but other than that, after nearly a month and a half, I'm pain free. Yippee and fingers crossed it stays that way.

Needless to say there has been no progress in the garden, banned from doing it and so hopefully my seeds will (time permitting) finally get planted this week. A bit late for some of them but I'll cross my fingers and hope. Banned from washing up meant I couldn't clean the greenhouse and the required pots.

I have to admit, as great as my husband was, I was by the end of the first week desperate to be able to wash up, so I could bake, and hoover, as the house was definitely missing a woman's touch.

I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to get back out walking in the Peak District, as I hate the enforced inactivity but I haven't exactly been wasting my time. As the proverb goes, every cloud has a silver lining.

As some of you may recall I have hopes of doing some designing, of the cross-stitch variety, and so with all my spare time I started playing around with pencils and graph paper and came up with the outlines of a design. I then spent an evening trialing PCStitch Pro and eventually purchased it. I amazed myself by not only designing but also purchasing the required materials and stitching the design in 5 days time. Naturally I haven't actually got it into a finished piece yet but as soon as I have I will post it on the blog along with the pattern.

Since then I've got two more designs that I'm working on and I'm having so much fun. I'm so desperate to find time to carry on with this that I'm trying to get up earlier. By moving the alarm clock back in 15 minute stages I'm hoping I can add an extra hour or so to my day.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

My Sort of Doctor

Just returned from a visit to the Doctor as I have been suffering from a bad attack of arthritis for the past three weeks. It seems to clear up but then returns.

Anyway, besides the pills she has given me she has also instructed me that I'm to do:

No Ironing
No Washing Up
No Hoovering

Shame I did them all before I went to the doctors, which probably explains why I've had another flare-up.

As you can imagine there are howls of disbelief from my Husband, Daughter and Son, knew I should have got it in writing.

As for me that's my sort of diagnosis, I'll be visiting her again!!

Friday, 4 June 2010


I have heard from Rachael over at Stitchabilities that she has received the PIF that I stitched for her.

It is a freebie design by Nic at Linden Bee Designs on the A Girl As Mad As Birds blog and my first attempt at a biscornu. These always looked so difficult to do but I really enjoyed stitching it up and the finishing was nowhere as near as complicated as I thought it would be. I can see more of them in my future.

I opted not to use a button in the middle as even the tiniest button cut bits of the lambs on the front, which seemed wrong.

I used 28 count 'Angel Blush' cashel linen.

The threads are Belle Soire Silks ‘Icing’ and ‘Blue Heaven’ along with the recommended DMC for the lambs face and legs. I substituted the blue for the green as it reminded me of the colour of bluebells.

I hope Rachael likes it.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Thank You Seems Inadequate

A short while ago Becky emailed me and said she'd like to send me a collection of finishing materials in response to a comment I made on her blog. Last week the postman handed my husband a rather large package with my name on it, which promptly brought about the comment 'What have you been spending my money on now?' He was, of course, joking but didn't believe me when I said I haven't spent any money.

To say I was somewhat amazed and delighted with what Becky has sent me is a massive understatement. The words 'Thank You' seem so inadequate. Becky you truly are an amazingly generous and kind person.

What Becky has sent me is the most amazing collection of finishing materials I could have ever imagined and they will certainly give me plenty of scope for finishing off my stitching with some wonderful materials.

In my next post I should be able to share some stitching with you as I actually have something in the post. Once I have heard that it has arrived I will be able to show you it.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

A Question

Does anyone know where 'The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pattern' has got to? I've lost track of her.

I have been stitching this month but sadly nowhere as near as much as I hoped. No pictures as it's all secret stitching.

The fact that I've not done much stitching is actually a good think as I've been busy with work as people keep asking me for samples of my quizzes for next season. Hopefully they will come back and ask me to set for them as well so I'm not complaining. I'm also busy organising the redesign of my Quizwise website, which naturally is being overseen by my husband at Foxxweb Design.

I have also been walking and reading, although my reading list is out of date and needs updating.

Below are some pictures from my latest walks, there are more pictures from them on my Peak Walker website.

This is from my walk yesterday over the dramatic ridges of Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill which is known locally as the Dragon's Back. This view is looking across to the moors of Axe Edge from the top of the Dragon's Back.

This is my lunchtime view form a walk around the Manifold Valley. I'm sat on Ossoms Hill looking across the Manifold Valley at Sugarloaf and Wetton Hill.

Finally is a walk I did in mid April to my favourite place in the whole world, Bleaklow. Not many people like it but I love its desolate and wild nature. This is Bleaklow Head, the highest point on Bleaklow.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

School's Out

At long last the quiz league season has come to an end which means that intensity of constant and numerous weekly deadlines, that have to be met no matter what, has also come to an end. On Thursday I definitely had the it's the start of the summer holidays feeling that I used to get as both a pupil and teacher. Don't get me wrong the work hasn't ended, in many ways it is just starting but the pressure is off, until next October.

To celebrate on Friday I went on a long walk around Lathkill Dale and yesterday I had my usual, you can relax now, migraine.

My favourite spot in Lathkill Dale.
Where I always sit and enjoy the sound of the water.

The limestone cliffs at the head of Lathkill Dale.

Not sure why I have the school's out feeling as actually I have a mountain of stuff to catch up on but as I promised myself a weeks holiday once the league season was over I'm trying to ignore that as much as possible. Luckily for me the weather seems to be co-operating as we have a dry forecast for the next week so hopefully I'll get some more walking and possibly even some gardening done during my week off. No chance of actually going away, Husband's far too busy.

One idea that I've seen on other blogs is the idea of collecting via email snail mail addresses for RAK's an idea that I love as I'm the world's worst at meeting stitching deadlines, probably because of the constant deadlines with my job. However I love stitching RAK's but know from experience how difficult it can be to surprise someone. When I did Jennifer's RAK I had to let her in on the surprise in order to get her address. So if you think that sometime in the future you might like an RAK to drop through your door from me than please email me. You can find do this by sending your address via the contact me buttons on either my Peakwalker or Quizwise websites. Please put RAK in the title and let me know which is your blog so as that I can get some idea of your tastes if I decide to send you an RAK. There are no guarantees that you will get something or how soon it will be but please do join in.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

April Plans

Before I get to my plans for April here's my third finish for the year. I've stitched this for my other sister's birthday.

Lizzie Kate: Dogs Leave Paw Prints
Fabric: 28 ct Linen Shade: Biscuit
Threads: DMC

As you might have guessed she likes dogs. She is actually coming here for dinner on Sunday but as I want to get it framed before I give it to her she will have to wait for it. Mind as she's not expecting it that won't bother her too much.

Quite a while ago I stopped setting myself stitching targets as I rarely met them. However, this month I'm going to because if you scroll down my sidebar you will see that I am way behind on my stitching for others. I had planned on making February my finishing month but was far too busy with quizzing to even think about that. Now that the quiz season is over and the pressure is off, for a bit, I'm determined to catch up on all the stitching I owe others. So if your name appears on my list of WIPs keep your eye out for the postman in April, just don't give him or her filthy looks until the second half of the month.

Monday, 15 March 2010

A Finish

Yes, OK so it's a bit of a shocker. I know, not only am I doing a post that is stitching related but I also have one of those very rare things, on this blog, a post about a finish.

I have been working on a birthday gift for my sister Debra. I started it back in January and had nearly got it finished when the world went slightly crazy around here. Anyway with yesterday being Mother's Day I treated myself to an hour or so of stitching and finished it off.

Lizzie Kate - Cinderella is Proof
On enclosed fabric using DMC threads

As you might have guessed she likes shoes, a passion I simply don't share or understand. I'm hoping to give it her for her birthday but first I have to get round, very quickly, to stitching something for my other sister, Carol, whose birthday is the day after Debra's. As I want to get both pieces framed I'd better get a move on. Just as well things are seriously calming down around here and I'm actually ahead of the game, for once. It won't last but I'm enjoying it whilst I can.

I also have a late posting for the TUSAL

Not surprisingly there aren't many new threads in the jar but those of you with long memories might notice the new jar, it looks much prettier sat on my living room sideboard than the old jam jar did. Obviously I'm expecting the TUSAL to run for at least a decade as that's how long it will probably be before I fill the jar.

In fact just looked on the TUSAL blog to see I've missed a whole month out. I didn't realise I'd been out of circulation for that long. Note to self:

'Must pay more attention'

I must also show you the lovely PIF that Chris sent me. She sent it me so long ago that she must be thinking I'm the most ungrateful PIF recipient ever, especially after she clearly put so much time and effort into what she sent me.

She has made me a beautiful scissor case, with a beaded fob, my very first beaded fob.

From A Gift of Stitching on 28ct with DMC threads.

The back of the case has my initial on it.

Isn't it it delightful and isn't she so clever to make both the fob and card that go with the scissor case.

Finally, an appeal, if you haven't read the post below, please, please do.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Please Forgive Me

Please read all of this blog entry.

My stitching plans went flying out of the window when my sister Debra spoke to me last week. She has signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September for charity. In order to do it she has to raise around £4000.00 and so I have written a quiz for her that she can sell on.

Sean and Louise at Love The Lakes have donated the prize which is one of their limited edition prints. It only costs £1.00, plus your stamp and envelope to enter the quiz so please can you help my sister by heading over to my Peak Walker website and downloading the quiz. You only have to part with your pound when you submit your answers.

Debra lives in Cumbria and is doing the climb to help the local radio CFM Radio raise money for their charity Cash For Kids. She trained and worked for many years as a sick children's nurse which probably explains why the charity appeals to her.

On a personal note I really want Debra to raise this money as she has had it quite tough herself over the last few years and it would mean so much to me to see her doing something she has always wanted to do. She has survived a very rare form of cancer, when she was in her early 30's, a very nasty divorce and last year as a result of her cancer treatment was back in hospital having lesions removed from her lungs. It's time she got to have some fun.

Can I also ask one other favour, if possible would you mind spreading the word as much as possible via your blogs or friends etc. In return I promise to get this blog back to where it should be i.e. stitching ASAP. I have to get stitching as one of the things I'm working on is Debra's birthday present which is next month.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Getting There

I remember when this blog used to be reasonably up-to-date and about sewing. Hopefully in another couple of weeks those days will return but in the mean time I am slowly starting to catch up on things.

Last week I managed to get out fora proper walk the first real walk for 4 months. I can't believe how long it has been between walks, in the last 9 years that's the longest period I have gone without hitting the hills. It was great day to be out walking as the pictures on my website show.

Monsal Viaduct over the River Wye

The quiz league season is just about at an end and I am counting down the days and quizzes that I need to set. It's so close to the end that I've got a real spring in my step and I'm actually ahead of schedule, for once. Now I just need to catch up on the housework, ironing, gardening, blog-reading and then I can enjoy some guilt-free stitching time. I feel a serious case of stitcher's bum in my future soon.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Daily Quiz Challenge

I've launched the Daily Quiz Challenge on my Quizwise website today.

The first week's questions have a mountain theme and the first question is a relatively topical one.

Pop over to my website and have a go and don't forget to send me your answer for a chance to get your name on the monthly league table.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Do You Enjoy Testing Your Knowledge?

Next week I will be launching a daily quiz question competition on my Quizwise website. It will run from Monday to Friday with new questions posted around midnight GMT and the answer posted after 20:00 GMT. Answers will be accepted, by email, any time between midnight and 19:30 GMT.

It's a bit of fun but there will be a league for you to compare yourself against anyone else who enters.

This week will see Husband and I doing a slight redesign on the Quizwise website ready for the launch of the daily challenge.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Can You Help?

My friend Bilbo over at Bag End has put a request out. Can anyone help her?

This is Bilbo's post from her blog.

A non-quilter might reasonably assume that given the size of my fabric stash, I already have all the material I might need for any quilt which I could want to create in future. Oh, how wrong could you be?

I so want (need?) another yard, preferably two, of this fabric. From Hoffman International, called "Fantasies" and at least 5 years old, probably older.

I've searched, eBay, Big Horn, Hancocks, Thousands of Bolts and Doughtys, plus a worldwide Google search and drawn a blank, which in truth, does not surprise me. So for the first time (but maybe not the last) I thought I'd use Bag End to ask all my quilting buddies if somewhere, somehow, lurking at the bottom of a pile, you might just have . . . pretty please . . . and I will happily pay full list for it plus postage. Perhaps if I had more of this fabric I might have the inclination to finish the blocks which need it?

Sunday, 17 January 2010


Here's the first update for 2010 for the TUSAL

Not bad for me only two days late.

Most of the threads are from the LHN sampler I stitched last week but some are from earlier in the month when I added some more stitches to Celtic Autumn.

I plan on buying a much nicer container for my orts and ends to go in. Hopefully I will have it in time for February's picture.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

First Finish of the Year

I have somewhat amazed myself and already completed my first piece of stitching for the year. Even more surprising it was less than one week from start to finish, an absolute record for me. Don't get too excited as I doubt things will carry on like this.

LHN January Sampler
28 ct Cashel Linen 'Vintage' Country Mocha
Threads: Crescent Colour
Backing Fabric: Frosted Snowflakes

As one of my Christmas presents my parents have signed me up for the auto-shipment of the LHN and Crescent Colours Sampler Monthlies and this is the first one, January, which I have finished as a pinkeep. I have backed it with a fabric called Frosted Snowflakes, which you can see in the picture below. I also had my first go at making a bow as instructed by the Twisted Stitcher and I'm pleased with how it worked out.

I plan on keeping this one and all of the others for myself and hope to find a small easel to display them on, changing them as the month changes.

It was a lovely stitch and I know I must have stitched it quite fast as even Husband commented on how fast it was coming along. If the rest are this delightful to stitch I am really going to enjoy doing these. Now I shall try to be good and not start on February until it is February.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

I've Finally Started

Just a quick post to say I've finally set my new blog up to encourage myself to get fitter.

No idea what direction this blog will take. Maybe I could make it a group blog and we could encourage each other along or maybe it will be deadly boring. More likely it will prove to be highly amusing for me to read next year to see what excuses I came up with for not achieving my goals.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sick of the White Stuff

Some of you may notice that my blog background has suddenly got very bright. It's my fight back against the white stuff.

With the exception of three days we have now had snow and ice on the ground outside for over three weeks. There is no longer any grit in the the tub at the bottom of the road, the snow is still falling and our road resembles an ice-ring. Husband has just got back from rescuing Daughter from work as they shut early so as that the staff could get home as the buses have stopped running.

It no longer looks pretty just downright slippy and dangerous and I'm sick to death of the world being white. My friend Bilbo has some lovely shots of her garden being turned upside-down over the last few days and I have to say I never knew I would love looking at mud quite so much.

I have informed Husband that if we ever win the Lottery or he becomes a multi-millionaire we are going to spend our winters following the England cricket team when they are abroad.

Bring back the colour I miss it.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

I've Just Had Good Laugh

I have just looked back at the goals I set myself for 2009 and guess what, I achieved not a single one of them!!

Nothing there that wasn't achievable at the start of the year, although where on earth I thought I was going to get enough time to do all that stitching I don't know.

This year I'm not at all sure I should bother setting myself any goals at all accept maybe to try harder.

Lets be optimistic though, she says as she has already failed to start one of her goals for 2010!

Last year I wanted to lose about 3 stone in weight and get a lot fitter, neither of which I achieved. This year I have exactly the same goal and in an attempt to motivate myself I've set up another blog that I intend to update each Tuesday where I will keep a record of how much exercise I'm doing and set myself new goals each week. I had planned on starting it last Tuesday but I had an attack of arthritis in my shoulders so my original plans disappeared. I currently have a stinking cold so my plans for getting back in the pool will have to wait. We are also having yet more snow so getting out for a daily walk is not on either, as the pavements will once again be treacherous. Not a great start is it.

Sewing wise I have only two goals:

1. To finish Celtic Autumn
2. To finish the stitching I committed myself to for others.

My biggest goal for the year though is to still be happily married by the end of the year. The start of new decades are not good for me:

In 1990 my first husband was killed in a road accident.
In 2000 my second husband decided to trade me in a for a younger model.

Which is why getting to the end of this year with my marriage and family still in tact and with us all fit and healthy is really the only goal I have for this year. I truly don't want to make it a third decade in a row that starts on a low