Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

I just wanted to wish you a very 

***** HAPPY NEW YEAR *****
If 2012 was a good year for you then I hope it continues.  If 2012 was not so good then I hope all your problems, issues etc disappear and things improve for you.  I wish everyone a year of good health, good friends, great family and as much money as you need to keep the wolf from the door. 

I hope you never have to frog, that all your stitches lie flat, that your floss never runs out and the fabric doesn't crease so badly that you can't iron it out. And if we can throw a prayer for world peace into the mix, it can't be a bad thing, can it?

***** HAPPY NEW YEAR *****

Not quite new year...

I just need to show these 2 finishes before the end of the year.

This is a chart I picked up years ago and it really appeals to my sense of humour. I will do it again for myself one day and hang near the front door for visitors to read.  This time I stitched it for Julie's RR as she wanted humourous sayings.  I hope she will like it.

This one was a Christmas present.  I started it Christmas Day and completed it this morning as I realised I hadn't sewn on the little key charm.  It is stitched on Steph's Fabbys Chocolate Milk which was lovely to stitch on.  So nice, I ordered a large piece of it to do Santa's Village on!

For the rest of the day I am going to work on Henry VIII and his 6 wives.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Friendly Stitchers Christmas/Winter Exchange

Mylene is home from her travels and let me know that the ornie I sent her has arrived.  This is what I made her...



  They are absolutely amazing.  It is the first time I have stitched a Victoria Sampler design but then I stitched another one for Nicola for the giveaway.  Nicola will take a photo of it for me when she has time, I forgot...doh!

Friday, 28 December 2012

First of all I thought I would do a quick Christmas round up.  These are the yummy mince pies that  I made with Luke.  I explained the steps to him, he did the work.  Definitely the best way to do the cooking!!  The photo must be a little dark as they definitely weren't as dark as the look.  There is a close up of one of them too.

Something you don't often see is a picture of me.  This is us at the Christmas table.  Excuse the big plastic jug  at the front of the shot.  We don't have a gravy boat.

This is all the presents under the tree ready for opening.

This is the lovely stash I received for Christmas.  There is CCN - Needlework Shop, LHN - Chocolate Shoppe, Sue Hillis - The Key to my Heart and CCN - Santa's Village which is on autoship from The Patchwork Rabbit with the buttons and speciality threads.

We had a very quiet day but it was really nice and chilled.  The children were pleased with their presents which is the main thing.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

**** Merry Christmas ****

Christmas blessings to everyone and if you don't celebrate Christmas just enjoy a day off work and have a rest.  I hope you are all having a peaceful day and that you and yours are safe and happy.  Thinking of all the people not at home or with their loved ones this year and especially the people struggling with flooding in the UK at the moment.

photo from

Saturday, 8 December 2012

ornie exchange, advent calendar and our tree

This is the gorgeous ornie I received from Mylene for The Stitch Specialists exchange.  I am hoping mine has reached her but I know she has gone to visit family for a couple of weeks so I won't find out for a while.  This is so cute and has pride of place on the front of our tree now.  The finishing is beautiful.

PS Snowman
from Mylene
This is a close up of the advent calendar, well 2 sides of it!

Here are the next 3 days of the advent calendar - days 5, 6 and 7.  All photos are copyright of Amanda Loverseed
Day 6 door
Day 5 opened
day 6 window
Day 6 opened
Day 7 window
Day 7 opened
This is our Christmas tree this year.  There are a few cross stitch bits on there.  As you can see it is nowhere near as wonky as the one I posted on Jo's calendar!!  However our poor angel took a tumble yesterday after one of the cats climbed half way up, shaking the tree quite violently. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Jo's Advent Calendar - 5th December

Woohoo - it's my day today!!!

I spent ages looking at all my Christmas designs before settling on this one.  It is only a small Mouseloft kit which I made into an ornie.  There is something about this though that always makes me smile. I don't know if it's the precariously leaning tree or just the funky look about it but it is probably one of my favourite ever finishes.

In our house Father Christmas stuffs the stockings that hang at the end of each child's bed.  The latest he has ever stuffed them is 3.30am but usually he can stuff them around 1am!!!  He also visits the lounge where he can get his mince pie and glass of milk and put the carrot we leave for Rudolph in his pocket for later.  He then leaves Rachael and Luke's main present near the tree for them.  Both children know that Father Christmas only leaves the stockings and the one big present. As we don't have a chimney, we have a special key that we hang on the outside of the front door.  He lets himself in and on the way out, locks up and put the key back through the letter box for us!!!

The stockings can be opened when the children wake up.  This usually wakes us too so they bring them onto our bed to open.  When everyone is dressed they can go down and open their Father Christmas present.  This is all they get then until breakfast is eaten and teeth are done.  We then take it in turns to select a present from under the tree for each person and watch each other unwrap these before moving on to the next person.

Colin always puts a couple of little presents away which he brings out after Christmas dinner.  We don't go to church on Christmas Day we go Christmas Eve - to Midnight Mass at 7pm!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

My Advent Calendar

This year I discovered Phoenix Trading, well I say I discovered but actually Jo at Serendipitous Stitching send me a gorgeous card of theirs and I was hooked!  When I got a copy of their Christmas catalogue I admired the 3D advent calendars.  Colin 'treated' me to the Townhouse one which we are sharing between us.  It is so gorgeous that I thought I would bore you  share each day with you.  As today is the 4th I am going to share the first 4 days all at once.  After that I hope to share one day at a time.

Day 1 - before opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 1 - after opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 2 - before opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 2 - after opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 3 - before opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 3 - after opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 4 - before opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed
Day 4 - after opening
copyright Amanda Loverseed

it is...

...The Turtle Trot SAL over at Bap Attack.  That's what I signed up for!!!!   Doh!!!!  A big thank you to Linda at Stitching with my Furbabies who is now my nominated replacement brain as she knows exactly what I should be doing!!  Thank you Linda!!

The Turtle Trot is for people like me who don't finish anything!  So all you have to do is pick 13 projects as it is 2013 and work on them as and when you want to through the month.  On the 13th of each month post your progress to your blog and of course post a link to it.  If you want to sign up, get yourself over there!!

Tomorrow (5th), is my day to post a piccie for Jo's Advent Calendar so feel free to jump over and have a look at it so far!

I had some good luck the other day.  I was lucky enough to win a prize in Nancy's 25 days of Christmas giveaway.  The chart I chose was Jolly Reindeer which is really cute, I think!

photo from Nancy's blog

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I've got a problem...

Don't worry it's nothing personal!

I signed up for a SAL 'somewhere' and I cannot remember who it was, where it was or what it was all about!  I know it's not the LK Snow Belles/6 Fat Men as I have that in my sidebar.  So what was it?

It definitely wasn't Nicola's Scarlet Letters or Santa's Village (but I wish I had done that one now but it's full!)  It's nothing to do with HAED.  So I have absolutely no idea as to what it was.

Honestly I swear I have got to be going senile!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

MIA - back again!

Gosh, what a long time since I have blogged!  Well I managed 15 days of NaBloPoMo which is much better than my paltry 3 last year!

Hard to see in this pic but Luke's nose is very swollen
and bruised.  He has been a real star about it though!
The last couple of weeks have not been good health wise in our house which is why I haven't blogged or stitched much.  A quick run down is 2 bouts of tonsilitis for me with 2 different courses of antibiotics of which I am still taking the second lot.  A quick question - when you have a throat that feels like someone has shoved a couple of golf balls down it, why do doctor's insist on giving you the biggest tablets they know how to prescribe?  Colin has had some mystery bug that actually caused him to have a day off work and to admit that he shouldn't have gone in the next day either.  Rachael has had a bad cold and injured her back - not together!  Poor Luke found out today that football boot + header = broken nose.  The poor lad currently looks like he went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson!  The hospital said it is too swollen to tell if it is broken and to come back in 10 days when the swelling goes down if it looks mis-shapen.  We are keeping him dosed up with Calpol and Calprofen so it doesn't hurt too much at the moment. So all in all it's not been great although thankfully everything is minor in the grand scheme of things :)

On to stitching news...

I signed up for the Santa's Village autoship from The Patchwork Rabbit.  Karla was really pleasant to deal with and I got the first installment this morning.  It looks even cuter in real life and I will be sorting out some fabric for it later.  Once I finish Nicola's 'thing' (not giving anything away!!), I will stitch the first part.

The first installment of Santa's Village!!!
In terms of actual stitching I have worked on an exchange piece which is winging its way 'somewhere' in the world, so I can't show that.  I am working on Nicola's 'thing' so can't show that either.  I have worked a few stitches on a RR which is shown below and a little of Confetti of Hardanger which hasn't seen enough progress to make it worth a photo - 3 more eyelets, that's all.  There is a little progress on ATW but again not a lot. Cinderella got a little progress too.

RR stitching
ATW - part 5 completed
ATW - so far
The other night Biskey and Smudge were curled up on the sofa.  So cute...

Biskey and Smudge....awww
Smudge is black and white

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sew and so

Just to let you know that is having a competition where you can win your order if it's over £20.  In other words it would be free.  Here's the link Sew and So facebook page.

Thank you for the positive comments on yesterdays post and for sharing your experiences.  It is a hard time of year for us as Rachael was diagnosed on the 22nd November so it is coming up to her 7th anniversary.  Jo was quite right yesterday. Asking if there is a family history is not necessarily a silly/stupid question.  There is a genetic link.  If you have a parent with type 1 there is between 1 in 100 to 1 in 10 chance of getting it.  This depends on who has it and apparently how old they were when it developed.  There is a higher risk if it is the father who has it than the mother.  Siblings are about 1 in 10 too.  There is also thought to be an environmental factor at work to though and 26 research studies currently point to the possibility of  it being an enterovirus as it has been found that children with diabetes are up to 10 times more likely to have had this than children without diabetes.

My comment about assuming there is a family history in our family is due to the fact that I am overweight, a lot overweight and prejudice seems to be that people assume that Rachael has diabetes because of this and that Colin and I therefore must also have diabetes.

Please accept my apologies for any offence caused by that comment.  None was intended but it is an amazingly common perception.

Stitching has been good this week.  Part 5 of ATW has been done.  I have chosen something for Nicola's giveaway win which I really hope she will love.  I'm NOT going to share it here yet though!!!!  I am working on a RR too and a Christmas ornie for an exchange.

I am having horrible problems with the camera and can't get any photos to upload to the computer.  I think it may be a dodgy connection with the USB lead.  I know there is another one in Rachael's room but I don't want to disturb her by going looking for it.

Luke had his parents evening tonight and it was wonderful.  Almost every teacher used the word fantastic about him and the 'negative' comments if you could call them that were that he needs to speak up a bit more in class and needs to believe in himself more.  We have always told him that he is bright and brainy but he doesn't believe us.  Hopefully he will believe it now lots of other people have told him. to's time for Question Time!!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day.  It is also the birthday of Banting who discovered insulin could keep people with diabetes alive.  Insulin is not a cure, it is as necessary to Rachael as breathing.  One day, hopefully, there will be a cure - a real cure that means people with diabetes don't have to put up with finger pricks, injections, feeling rubbish because blood sugars are too high or too low, discrimination and the stupid questions.
  • Type 1 diabetes is NOT caused by too much sugar.
  • Type 1 diabetes is NOT caused by being overweight.
  • Type 1 diabetes is NOT caused by lack of exercise.
  • Type 1 diabetes IS an auto immune condition.  The pancreas stops working - or at least the bit that regulates insulin.
Over the years we have had some right daft comments/questions.  Answers (or thoughts!) have included:
  • No, she will not grow out of it.
  • No, it's not the bad/serious kind - all diabetes is serious/bad.
  • Yes, she will need injections every day for the rest of her life - unless we find a cure.
  • Of course you could could give injections if you had to, the alternative is to let your child die.
  • No there is no family history. Why? Does yours have a history of stupidity?
So I would ask in these days of recession/double dip/austerity or whatever we are in today that if you can spend £$5.00 on a sandwich and a coffee on your way to work, can you please spare £$5.00 for JDRF to find a cure.  One day they will and it may be your child, grandchild or great grandchild that benefits from it.

OK rant over...normal service will be resumed tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

And the winner is...

The names were put into a hat...well actually a bowl and the husband decreed that

is the winner of the giveaway.  Congratulations Nicola, could you send me your address please?

Thank you to everyone who entered and for the support you ALL give me!!

(Edited to put the link in that I thought I had to start with...sorry!)

Monday, 12 November 2012


Luke was really pleased to the response to his post yesterday.  He was most particular about his spelling but forgot to make sure it all made sense!!  Never mind, I am sure you can get what he meant.  We were very lucky in that Luke sorted tea out tonight too.  He was making pizza in food tech at school today.  Well when I say making, what I mean is he was decorating a pizza base.  Honestly standards have really fallen since I was at school, we would have had to make the base from scratch.  Anyway it was delicious.

No stitching tonight and no photos yet either.  I had the children and parents meeting for the Sacramental Programme tonight and by the time I got back was too tired to start stitching or taking photos.  All I have managed to do is flop on the sofa....sorry!

Poor Rachael is absolutely full of a cold, really quite poorly.  She is such a trooper though and refuses to stay off school.  This time next week there probably won't be anyone in school as she will have given it to everyone else!!I keep telling her to stay off but she loves school.  Doesn't she realise that I would like a day off?  Selfish

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Recipe for leek and potato soup

Hi I am Luke and I am doing a guest post to tell you the recipe for leek and potato soup,

1 leek, 2 small onions, 2 small potatoes, 2 vegetable stock cubes, 3 table spoons of corn flower and salt and pepper.

1. First cut your leek up to the leaf at the top, this way you will get more flavour out of the leek and put it into a large source pan,
2. Next peel your 2 onions and cut it into a comfortable size to eat and put it into the pan with the leeks,
3. Now peel the 2 potatoes, then chop them into almost cube shapes, then put it into the pan with the leeks and onions,
4. Now put cold water into the same pan just so it fills the top of the vegetables, then mix it all together,
5. Next put the pan onto a hob then put the temperature of a medium heat so that it simmers,
6. After 5 minutes add your 2 veg stock cubes and mix it together, this is to make the mixture more thick,
7. Next put the corn flower into the large pan then followed by a pinch of salt and a small sprinkling of pepper to add more flavour,
8. After mixing it again let the soup simmer for another 15 minutes,
9. If you're fussy ( like my mum) then you can always blend it to give it a creamy texture,
10. Finally serve it to the family with some crusty bread.
P.S. This above serves 4 people.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Guess the season?

These are photos of plants in my garden taken a couple of days ago.  Now guess what season it is...

So first up we have an autumn flowering crocus - flowering period late October/November.

Then we have a fuchsia - flowering period late June/July/August/early September so long as you keep on top of the dead heading.

A different fuchsia - flowering period July/August/September

Hollyhock - flowering period July/August

Hydrangea - flowering period late June through to mid September if nice weather.

My favourite bi-colour rose - flowering period June with a second period in September if nice weather for a few weeks.

And finally...a spring crocus - flowering period late January/February if the weather is right.

Seriously what on earth is going on?  It's November for crying out loud!!  These poor plants don't know if they are coming or going.

Today I chose to stitch on Cinderella but haven't made a lot of progress.   I will take some photos of this week's stitching tomorrow to show you.

Shirlee asked if I would post the recipe for Luke's soup.  I have asked Luke if he will do a blog post for me with the recipe so standby for that.  He isn't the world's best speller but as it's his post I won't correct his spelling for him so bear with it!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

The kids have been cooking

I now know that my 2 children will never starve to death from not being able to cook.  Luke has been making leek and potato soup at school and as we all liked it so much, he wanted to do it again.  So I gave him the ingredients and off he went.  He did everything himself apart from light the hob.  This is the finished result.  Luke, Rachael and Colin all like it chunky, whereas I'm a fussy mare and ran mine through the blender. I will have to post the photos tomorrow as they are on the other laptop which Colin is on at the moment.  (edited to add photos)

I haven't had a chance to stitch tonight as it was swimming club for the kids.  They had a really good time but as it's the first week of term, I'm shattered and could feel my eyes getting droopy at one point. Another early night needed I think!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Just a quickie

It's getting late and I need my bed!  Tonight I have stitched.  I checked my rotation and today's the day for LK 6 Fat Men so that is what I did.  I started on stitching the 3rd border which is the one for Snowed In.  I love the colours in these designs.

OK...that's it..I'm shattered and off to bed!  Goodnight all...sleep tight x x

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Brilliant day at work today

Every year cbeebies do a panto to be shown at Christmas.  This year our school bid for tickets and luckily got some. I got to go!!!!!  It was filmed and had some of the stars for cbeebies.  Sadly I only knew 2 of them - Justin who plays Mr Tumble and BERNARD CRIBBINS.  Think I was more excited than the kids!!!

Jo announced the Christmas Blog Hop today and a logistical nightmare of a giveaway so get yourself over to serendipitous stitching to sign up for either of them!

No stitchy news tonight.  I haven't stitched for 3 nights on the trot now...shock horror!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cats, Tryllacraft and Canada post

First off I want to say a bit thank you to everyone who comments.  I don't always get round to replying, which I am sorry for but sometimes I write a reply and then realise the address is noreply.  So if you are a no reply blogger, I am sorry that I can't respond to you.

I haven't done any stitching the last couple of days...that's a great start to my rotation isn't it?  Still never mind, the WIP's will still be there tomorrow :)

Below is a a photo of our 2 cats (Biskey is on the left, Smudge is on the right).  I think Colin was cooking something that they were desperately hoping was going to fall on the floor!  Sadly it didn't - well sadly for them anyway!!

Adrienne over at Tryllacraft was offering some of her WIP's that she was no longer in love with to a new home and I was fortunate that she let me provide a new home for 2 of them.  Both of them are Mill Hill kits and are lovely.  Adrienne also included all the threads etc and even a few skeins of DMC variegated for me. I absolutely love the red in particular.  Thank you Adrienne for your generosity.

What's really amazing though is that Adrienne posted them on 29th October and I received them on 2nd November...from UK.  That's amazing!  Royal Mail are lucky if they can deliver a second class letter inland in that time.

Don't forget there is a giveaway a couple of posts previously.  Please leave a comment and be entered for it. On the subject of the giveaway, the votes on the poll have all mysteriously turned up again.  Very strange!!!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Very belated WIPocalypse post

Well I have been stitching away through WIPocalypse even though I keep forgetting to update for it.  First up is Confetti of Hardanger by Abi Gurden.  I had so many problems with part 3 that I left that and did part 4 instead.  I went back to Part 3 a few days ago and managed to work out where I was going wrong and correct it.  I am also trying a new technique for the eyelets where instead of a controlled pull I just give a sharp tug.  This has really helped to open up the hole in the centre and I really like the look of them.  There is a close up of the eyelets and then a view of the piece as a whole. 

I know I only posted this a few days ago and strictly speaking it wasn't a WIP but it's cute so you can see it

And then is a giraffe that I started about 3 1/2 years ago.  I am going to try to stitch one or two lengths of thread on this each day.  I really hate the fabric.  It's a very stiff aida and splitting the fabric for quarter stitches requires a pneumatic drill not a needle.

I did a little bit more on the Flip It's series but have run out some of the threads or didn't buy them to start with so it will have to wait.  I might move onto February whilst I wait for them.

The final project to get some love was Sunflower Fairy.  I have no idea why but I just had an urge to work on her one night and in that time stitched everything except the green.

At the moment I am working on a RR and I have a Christmas Exchange to decide on too.  I am thinking of doing a rotation to try and stop my butterfly tendencies which show no sign of abating at the moment.  I have roughed out a plan and posted it on a separate page.  Have a look if you like.

And finally....don't forget to enter the giveaway on the previous post if you would like to.