Saturday, 30 August 2008

Trick or Treat?

Well I have made a good start to this one I think and so far I am enjoying her. I made a hash of her face and had to unpick and restitch it. The fabric is lovely to stitch on. Unfortunately it's back to work on Monday after 5 weeks off for the summer holiday so stitching time will be severely limited. All the childrens activities resume too so back to running around left, right and centre.

It's not a very good photo and the fabirc looks darker than it actually is. Interestingly the fabric looks more like I wanted it to look. More like a twilight sky. I am still missing 3 Kreiniks and DMC451 so I will have a trip to Hobbycraft tomorrow and try to pick them up.

Friday, 29 August 2008

First ever biscornu finished

The threads came in my new stash and so yesterday I finished off the biscornu. I had ordered some stuffing as I can never find any when I need it. Sew and So had it in 250g bags. "Oh that won't go far" I thought so I bought 2!! Well I could use the bags as pillows you are ever short of stuffing, you know where to come!

The biscornu design is a Polstitches design and the fabric is Countrystitch's Christmas Eve. I was quite surprised at how big it was. For some reason I expected it to be smaller once it was made up. I am planning on using it as a pin cushion to TRY and stop me putting my needles in the sofa cushion. I don't want to use it though really.
Oh yes.............ummm..........guess what I started? Trick or Treat just accidentally fell onto the scroll bars. I have no idea how it happened.......tee hee.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Great stash day!

You wait weeks for your stash orders and then 2 turn up at once! Today I got my fabric for trick or treat fairy from Picturethisplus. It's called Monet which is a purply colour. It is not as dark as I was hoping for but is still an absolutely GORGEOUS colour. It is the first time I have ordered from them and the service and communication was great.

The second stash package was from which had most of the metallics and beads for trick or treat. Unfortunately I forgot to order a few so I will have to get those another time. I cannot praise Julie highly enough for the service I have received from her with this order. She has bent over backwards to help me get what I wanted that was out of stock and suggested a good substitute when she was unable to get it (discontinued). Julie kept me really well informed all the way through and even refunded some of the postage because the order was so light. If companies in the UK matched this kind of customer service and had the prices to match, I would be more likely to use them. Thank you Julie!!

Rachael arranged all the stash in the picture so you can see what was there. I'm not sure if this is how she wants her pumpkin carving this year or not but it looks scary!

Rachael had her op ok yesterday and is absolutely fine. She was really alert after the op and I was very surprised. The teeth went under the pillow last night and the tooth fairy duly left £5. We have kept up the ibuprofen and paracetamol today just to make sure she doesn't start with any pain. It's probably easier than trying to get rid of it if it does start.

Lots of you have left some lovely comments on my work etc and I just wanted to say how much I truly appreciate them. I know I don't always reply but every one is treasured. Thank you all very much!

Monday, 25 August 2008

August's update/September's goals

This is being posted a bit early as Rachael goes into hospital tomorrow to have her teeth out and I don't know if I will be blogging for a few days. Rachael has something called enamel hypoplasia which basically means that some of her teeth have no enamel on at all. These are the 4 back molars that come through as adult teeth at around the age of 5 or 6. She is also due to have 2 of her front baby teeth out because of overcrowding but one of these has fallen out and the other is loose so I will ask if they can leave that to fall out naturally. The poor girl is going to have nowhere to eat in her mouth for a few days until it heals a bit. Unfortunately as she has diabetes to throw into the mix with a general anaesthetic, I am worrying more than I should be about it. Her diabetes nurse is unfortunately on her holidays too so she won't be there to hold my hand!
September's goals are to.........
  • complete and make up the biscornu if the threads turn up.
  • work on Madonna of the Garden as much as possible until the end of September.
  • Stitch part 9 of How does your Garden Grow? when it is released middle of September.
  • Complete another Snapper month.
August's goals were to......
  • finish stitching on the biscornu. (waiting for thread to arrive.)
  • make up the biscornu. (as above.)
  • stitch part 7 and 8 of "How does your garden grow?" (done)
  • complete another month of the Snappers. (completed May and stitched a bit of Jan, Feb and Sept)
  • stitch 1000 stitches in the crossstitchcrzy SAT. (completely and utterly smashed this one! 4220 stitches in total! Obviously the school holidays have helped!!
I had another little finish, 4 in one week - must be a record!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Luke's very nearly finished bedroom

Well after a huge saga over the new carpet, Luke's room is finished bar the uplighter. When I originally started I didn't envisage having to put 4 coats of solo paint over an orange ceiling. Who on earth paints a ceiling orange??? Now I know why it had paper over it!

Luke wanted a Manchester United bedroom, we go! The carpet was a nightmare. The first time the fitters came they fitted the carpet and then I discovered it had a huge stain on it. How on earth they missed it I don't know. The second time there was a fault in the carpet itself. Finally the third carpet was fitted and although not totally perfect we are going with it. That's the last time I buy cheapish carpet!
This is the view looking from the landing into Luke's room, which is an L shape.

This is round the L.

This is the flag that we put up on Luke's bed so that underneath is a little den for him.

This is his cupboard/wardrobe. I have been looking for a red voile to hang up as there isn't a door on the cupboard.

This is the litter bin that I "made" for Luke. I couldn't find him a nice Utd one. In B&M I spotted a red leatherette one for £4 so I snapped it up. I used some of the leftover border to decorate it and Luke was thrilled to bits with it.

Help me decide which one please

I have nearly finished the Bent Creek Snappers series - at long last - and today went shopping for fabric to use for making it into a wall hanging. I chose 2 that are autumnal colours, mainly because I felt that any other colour would be too bright for a seasonal piece. The colours of the designs are quite muted too. Anyway which would you use for this? I love the one with the leaves but thought it might be too busy and detract from the stitching. The marbly one isn't so bright in real life it is more browny orange. I am going to set up a poll for this and see what wins.

Piece A

Piece B

Friday, 22 August 2008

And........another Christmas ornament

This is the one that Colin chose which took a couple of days to stitch up. It looks much better in real life. For some reason I couldn't get the camera to really make the beads pop. Now to decide if I carry on with some more or go back to something else, like the Snappers!

These are quite addictive!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Another little Christmas finish!

Well after doing Luke's tree ornament, I had to do Rachael's too. Hers was a really quick stitch as it was all beading apart from the metallic threads. She was really pleased with it this morning when she came down.

Colin has chosen one for himself now so that means I am doing another one. Rachael went through the rest and decided that she wants another too. Well never mind perhaps I can get them all done and have them on our tree this year.

I love these Mill Hill designs. I think I will have to have a look and see which ones I don't have yet!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

A little Christmas finish

A while ago I bought a load of Tiny Treasure Diamonds by Mill Hill off a seller on ebay. Both the children chose one that they liked and I said I would stitch them for their Christmas trees this year. I had the one that Luke chose in my handbag but it wasn't a very good choice really as you can't bead on the move! When I cleared out my old bag last week when I bought a new one, I decided to get it finished at home. After 2 days stitching and beading, here it is..........

Luke was a little superstar and helped with beading the final piece of fringe, only dropping 2 beads! Not bad for a 7 year old who is clumsy at the best of times. Then he helped me to shred the filling and to stuff the ornament. Well done Luke!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Cross stitch crazy SAT

This was last week and I had a fabulous week. Colin was on holiday so I was able to stitch much more than I would usually for the SAT. I managed a grand total of 4220 stitches!!

I am posting a couple of pictures of what the Cut Thru Shed looked like before and after the SAT. My target was 1000 stitches and I hoped to finish another page of the chart. I actually completed 2 pages of the chart in the end although 1 page was pretty small.


There is a scary amount of backstitch to do on this design but it will really come alive with it. I have now done about a third of the actual cross stitch.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Brilliant day out today - mostly!

As it was the last day of Colin's holiday we decided to have a bit of a family trip out. One of the ideas we had from the ideas show a few weeks back was a maize maze. As it was forecast to be the first decent day's weather for a while we decided to make the most of it and try the maze. The place we went to was called Apple Jack's Farm (not really a farm)
We timed our arrival to coincide with the start of the pig racing, although not intentionally. The crowd were split into 3 sections and each section cheered on one pig. Our pig - Curly - won. They had to run round a very small course 3 times and at the end of it got their lunch.

After this we wandered over to "The Battle of Treasure Island" entrance. We all jumped on a trailer on the back of a tractor and when it was full we set of for Treasure Island. This was set in an idyllic land where there are no taxes and you don't pay interest on money borrowed. However Max Goldlegs owns all the gold in the world apart from a small amount that belongs to Captain Jack. The tractor took us to an area of the park and then 'broke down'. The driver went off to 'fix' the tractor. Max Goldlegs found us waiting and kidnapped half the trailerful of people promising that if they helped him to steal Captain Jack's treasure that he would share it with them. Captain Jack was laying by the side of the track, fast asleep. We who were left in the trailer woke him and he took us off to learn to be pirates. What are the most important things about being a pirate............agility and speed............did you hear that at the back? (the slow coaches who had just caught up!!

We had to walk the planks and mind the stepping stones to get to Captain Jack's treasure cage. All the children went into the cage to see if they could find some treasure. Luke found a pirate mask that he got to keep. We made our way back and played another game whereby Luke and Colin and another parent and child had a rope each and had to work as a team to lift a bucket to the side of the 'sea'. We walked back to a spot near the tractor, booing Max Goldlegs as he passed us, and waited. Max came back and challenged Captain Jack to a fight. Good triumphed over evil and Jack defeated Max. We rode back on the tractor victorious!

After this we had lunch. The food was great and the staff that served us were all friendly and efficient. The only thing that spoiled lunch a bit was the lack of tables, we ended up eating out lunch balanced on our knees.

Luke and Rachael were keen to split up into teams to complete the maze. We went for boys versus girls. We collected our flags and made our way to the start for Captain Amy to explain what we needed to do. The challenges in the maze, other than getting through the maze in the first place, included collecting and completing the 9 parts of the treasure map and collecting clues for a crossword. After going round the same bit 3 times, me and Rachael got the hang of things and when we ran into the boys found that we were beating them. We found the tower in the middle and climbed the VERY steep stairs. It was scary! I don't do heights at the best of times but with the little bit of wind we had it was swaying. I gave up on the second level but Rachael went all the way to the top. We spotted the boys on the ground and yelled to get their attention.

At that point we were beating them! Unfortunately, the boys were going to help us find our penultimate map piece and then we would all look for the last one together and Rachael and I stumbled on the final piece so the boys won the competition. Boo Hiss!

We went to get drinks and the children went to bounce on the Jumping pillow. When they had finished Luke came back for a quick swig of his drink. The poor lad got stung by a wasp that had crawled into the can. He was screaming with pain - not surprisingly -and it took a few seconds to work out what on earth he was screaming about. Colin whisked him over to the food kiosk which we had noticed earlier had first aid boxes. The first aider soon sorted Luke out with an onion which is apparently a natural antihistimine (didn't know that!) and a bag of ice. Poor Luke was stung inside his mouth on the inside of his lip. He was actually really brave after the initial shock had worn off. The first aider was really efficient and looked after him well.

That kind of finished things off for Luke and all he really wanted to do was go home so we didn't get to do any of the other activities in the end. Still at least there will be something we haven't done next time!!

Friday, 8 August 2008

You couldn't make this up!!

At the moment I am in the middle of decorating Luke's bedroom. I woke up this morning to the sound of one of our cats being sick. He was sat at the top of the stairs and after having a look round quickly I couldn't see anything so decided to go back to bed for half an hour. Another of the cats was miaowing and had somehow managed to get himself trapped in Luke's bedroom. He had obviously been there for some time as he had left a deposit in the corner of the room! As the carpet is coming up Sunday night ready for a new carpet, I couldn't see any point in cleaning it up so I got the Stanley knife and cut the corner of the carpet out.
Then I glanced in Rachael's room and saw that Smudge HAD been sick - all over her pillows, duvet, bed bars, Luke's mattress which was leaning against the bed and the carpet. It took ages to clean up!
When I FINALLY came downstairs, I found that someone had been in the litter tray and had a runny bum which they brought out on their feet all through the lounge. After that, I shooed them all out of the house and left them in the garden for a couple of hours.
As I couldn't make it up. So much for getting an early start on the decorating.

Monday, 4 August 2008

How does your garden grow parts 7&8

I have finished stitching parts 7 and 8 and done the beading for parts 6,7 and 8. I am loving stitching this design. It is looking fabulous. There are some great colours schemes on the Papillon Creations website that people have sent in. I would love to stitch this again in a different colour scheme......perhaps autumnal colours. Part 9 won't be out until the middle of September so I'm going to have a loooong wait for it!

The beads don't really show up very well in the photos. They are Mill Hill gold seed beads.
I have been having a look at some of my WIPs and trying to decide which one to work on next. I would like to finish another something before I start "Trick or Treat". I ordered all the beads and Kreiniks yesterday but I still can't settle on a fabric for it.
I am going to get one of the Snappers finished next which will have me well on target for my August goals!!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Build a bear workshop

The children have wanted to go to Build a Bear for ages. This week I finally took them. We had a good look at the website before we went so they had a good idea of what bears there were etc. Luke liked the look of a scruffy dog or the triceratops. Rachael liked just about all of them!

When we got there the children had a good look at all the different bears and animal. Luke settled on the scruffy dog as there weren't any triceratops in store. Rachael decided on a gorgeous white bear with little pink bits over it. After listening to all the voices, both of the children decided that they didn't want a voice and to be honest they all sounded a bit tinny. The both watched as their bears were stuffed for them and made a wish on the heart that went into the bear.
We went and fluffed up the bears and then started looking at outfits. We had told the children that we would buy one outfit for them each but if they wanted anything else they had to buy it out of their spends. Luke was happy to choose a Man Utd kit, boots and a baseball hat with Utd on so he paid for his hat. Rachael ended up with a pair of pyjamas, a pink dress and a skirt with a top and some sparkly high heels.

After we had all the clothes, we went to get the birth certificates made up. The kids enjoyed thinking of the new names for their stuffed toys. Scruffy (very original!) and Sprinkles. The children were very impressed with the box they came home in and both of them have been busily colouring in the bears etc on the box to make a really colourful box.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

July update/August goals

July's goals were as follows:
  • Complete parts 5 and 6 of How does your garden grow - done
  • participate in the crossstitchcrazy SAT and do at least 1000 stitches - didn't participate in the end.
  • stitch on the Bent Creek Snappers - completed December and made a start on February.
August's goals are to......
  • finish stitching on the biscornu.
  • make up the biscornu.
  • stitch part 7 and 8 of "How does your garden grow?"
  • complete another month of the Snappers.
  • stitch 1000 stitches in the crossstitchcrzy SAT.

Great stash week

Firstly I need to say a big THANK YOU to Kell for getting me and sending the Cross Stitch magazine I wanted for the Nora Corbett Trick or Treat design. It was a very kind thing to do and I will definitely be paying it forward to someone in the near future!! Now all I need to decide on is what fabric to stitch it on. I was thinking something like a night sky and have the following as a starting point. Country Stitch fabrics - Autumn Thyme, Cloud Burst, Cosmos, Southern Star or Twilight. If you have any ideas for something better.......let me know!

The second stash parcel was for the Crossstitchcrazy group "Rainbow Exchange". The idea is that you send a package of goodies in the colours of the rainbow to your exchange partner. I received the following gorgeous things........

  • 28 ct monaco in celadon from Enchanted fabrics
  • 28 ct monaco in sunshine from Enchanted fabrics
  • 28 ct opalescent lugana in banana splash fron Silkweaver with GAST pumpkin patch thread.
  • 28 ct cashel linen in cascade from Silkweaver with Stranded by the sea thread.
  • Kreinik Balger cord - just what I need to finish my biscornu!
  • GAST -purple iris
  • WDW - White lightening
  • DMC no5 perle (814)
I feel quite spoilt so a big, big THANK YOU to Chris for the lovely package!