Sunday, 29 December 2013

Stitch from Stash 2014

Just a quick post to say that I'm participating in the Stitch from Stash 2014 group next year... I'm very good at buying charts and kits that I really want to stitch, and then they end up in my stash cupboard for years, either unopened, or as UFOs!  I'm sure many of you can relate to this... Mel has started the Stitch from Stash group for the very purpose of only working on items that are currently in your stash, with only a small monthly 'allowance' for threads, charts, etc.  As Mel suggested an allowance of $25, I'm going to give myself £15 a month...

If you would like to join the group, click the link above (or in the sidebar) and let Mel know before the 2nd January.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and are now getting ready for the New Year celebrations!

I had a minor operation on Monday, to remove two suspected Basal Cell Carcinomas.  I have a syndrome that these are a 'symptom' of, and I've had several removed from my face.  The dermatologist has also removed other lumps and bumps - "just in case" - resulting in several scars all over my body.  The two lumps removed this week were on my neck and thigh...

Christmas Day was quiet here, as my eldest isn't coming home until next week, and the other two were quite happy to sit and watch TV or go to their rooms to play on their PCs... We had hoped to go and see my parents, but as most of us have a cold, we couldn't go - my mum mustn't come into contact with any type of virus due to her radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.  We are hoping to go sometime before the New Year, though, but will have to see if the colds go away.

I stitched on 'Mermaids of the Deep Blue' again last week:

I enjoy stitching on this - there's lots of Kreinik #4 braid, and there will be lots of beading to do at the end!  I've also managed to frame Lavender & Lace's "In the Arms of an Angel" this week:

My framing skills seem to be getting better - the mount cutting went much more smoothly than my last efforts, but I still need to practice putting my stitching on the board, as it isn't quite centred!

I'm now stitching an ornament for an exchange, and I also need to start my RR piece (both with the Needlecraft Haven Yuku group).  It takes me forever to choose designs for this sort of thing, and then I end up doing stitching marathons to get them done!  The ornament is for someone who was on the Nuneaton meet-up back in November, and the RR is a "Welcome" one... I've finally picked a Jeremiah Junction design for the RR - I did want to do an Irish 'Welcome Friends' design that I have as a kit in my stash (Design Works), but it is much too big to split into 5 sections for the RR participants!

I won't be able to post a picture of the ornament until after the opening date of 10th January, but I'll post a picture of my progress on my RR next week...

Happy New Year (and Happy Stitching!) to all my blogging friends!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

One Week to Go!

Is it really only a week and a half to Christmas..?  It seems to creep up on me every year!  One minute it's September (when the shops start putting Christmas goodies on the shelves...), and the next thing you know is it's only a week to go!  I'm usually very last minute as far as Christmas shopping goes, but I'm actually pretty much sorted this year.  The only thing I've not done is the Christmas cards...Oops!  Sammy will be putting the tree up later today - a bit early for my liking (would prefer to do it on Christmas Eve!), but she came home from Uni yesterday, so I've got to let her do it...

I've had a very busy week - even though it was only a 3-day work week!  I have delivered some more Functional Skills sessions, involving a lot of driving, and my normal day job has been quite chaotic, too!  The two days off at the beginning of the week seemed to fly by, as I was running around doing all sorts of chores...

Craft-wise, I have done very little.  I have stitched a little on Margaret Sherry's "Crafty Cat", and I have been crocheting Owl Doorstop number 2, which still isn't finished!

Margaret Sherry's "Crafty Cat"

My random number generator tells me that I'm stitching on "Mermaids of the Deep Blue" again next week...  This is where I was up to when I stitched on it the other week:

Mirabilia's "Mermaids of the Deep Blue"
This will be the last week on my rotation until after New Year, as I have to start a new RR piece, and also have an Exchange piece to stitch.  I have 2 weeks off work for the Christmas holidays, so thought that would be the perfect time to do these extra things, and then get back on the rotation on week beginning 6th January 2014.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


An early post - I'm on leave from work, and have been attempting my own framing:

Lancashire Map by Heritage Stitchcraft

Moments that take our Breath Away by Designs by Lisa
They are by no means perfect, but I will get better at it!  The mount was the toughest part - I didn't know how to cut it at a 45 degree angle, but trusty Google helped out, and a trip to Hobbycraft for a mount cutter followed!

I've put a countdown clock on the side bar here to count down the time until New Year.  This year has been horrendous for myself and my family, and I cannot wait for it to be over!  The only other year that can anywhere near match (and actually beat) this one is 1992, which was Queen Elizabeth's "Annus Horribilis" too!  I know it probably has nothing to do with the actual year, but (as the saying goes) New Year, new start...

It still feels strange to me having time off work.  Having worked in schools for several years, and therefore only taking time off at the same time as all my colleagues, my being at home when I know everyone else is still in the office makes me feel quite guilty... I'm sure it will pass as time goes on!

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Happy Dance!

I have finished one of my UFOs!

This is Moments that take our Breath Away by Designs by Lisa.  I finished it tonight :-) It is stitched on 28ct Jobelan using Gentle Arts threads.

The next piece to be worked on in my rotation is Margaret Sherry's Crafty Cat.  This is how it looks before I start the week's stitching on it:

The last week has been quite hectic.  I have taught two Functional Skills sessions - one in Carlisle (a 200-mile round trip) and one in my workplace.  I do enjoy doing the sessions, but it is quite tiring when I do a session and then go straight back to my admin job...I'm doing two more next week - another in Carlisle, and one in Blackpool.

My mum started the next stage of her treatment this week.  She had an operation to insert a PEG into her stomach, ready for the start of her radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.  The treatment will be on her neck, so it may become difficult for her to swallow.  The PEG allows liquid food to be passed into her stomach if swallowing becomes impossible.

I was supposed to be having a minor operation on Monday, to have two suspected BCCs removed, but the hospital decided to rearrange it to an earlier date and neglected to inform I got a telephone call the other day, telling me that I hadn't turned up for my surgery...Needless to say I wasn't happy!  It has now been rescheduled for the 23rd December, but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets rearranged again...At least I now have Monday and Tuesday off work (booked to give me chance to recuperate)!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Mermaids and Moments...

Not much stitching has been done this week, as expected, due to our trip to Dublin...

This is my progress on "Mermaids of the Deep Blue" by Mirabilia.  I am stitching it with a purple conversion, on Polstitches 'Aphrodite' 32ct fabric.  It is lovely to stitch, but it is time to move on to the next piece in my rotation.

This week's piece is "Moments that take our Breath Away" by Designs by Lisa.  I'm hoping to finish this, but I'm doing several Maths and ICT tutoring sessions this week, and my mum will be starting her next stage of treatment, so I'll see how it goes.

Whilst I've been off work this week, I've managed to almost finish my Christmas shopping!  This is a novelty for me - it's usually a mad dash on Christmas Eve to buy presents and food...and every year I say I'm going to be more organised next year...I finally managed to do it!  A nice refund from the taxman definitely helped... :-)  I also treated myself to a digital SLR camera, as I enjoy taking photos (not being in them, though!) and wanted a good camera to do it.  The difference in picture quality between this new camera and my old compact camera is amazing!  Here are some pictures of my cats taken with the new camera:





Happy Stitching!