Saturday, 30 November 2013

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I've had a fun week off work this week!

My husband and I went to Dublin on Monday for a couple of days.  Our journey there involved a train ride to the airport, a flight over to Ireland, and then a bus ride into the centre of Dublin...

We stayed in the heart of the entertainment area, Temple Bar, and had a fantastic time!  We met one of my husband's Irish relatives (second cousin) whilst there, and visited several of Dublin's main attractions:

Kilmainham Jail was very thought-provoking.  The guide was excellent, and provided lots of information about the uprising in 1916 and the Civil War in the 1920s.

Christ Church Cathedral was a lovely piece of architecture, with lots of classical stoneware and tiling inside.

The Ha'penny Bridge is an unusual bridge going over the River Liffey... and people have left padlocks on the bridge - many of which had names and dates on them.

We had a look in the Jervis Shopping Centre, and their Christmas decorations were fabulous!

We couldn't go to Dublin without going in The Temple Bar pub...even though the price of beer was quite ridiculous - nearly 7 Euros for a pint!  The pub was nice, though, with traditional Irish music being played.

We stayed at the Temple Bar Hotel, right in the middle of the Temple Bar area.  It was an excellent hotel, although I needed earplugs during the night due to the noise from the club nearby (I am a light sleeper...).

Our final place to visit in Dublin was the National Leprechaun Museum...It was a bit of fun, and we learned a lot about Irish folklore from the guide!  There was a Giant's living room, where (if you could jump high enough...) you could 'climb' onto the furniture and pretend you're a leprechaun:

We also visited Trinity College, where the Book of Kells is on display, and Dublin Castle.

The rest of the week has been spent shopping for Christmas presents, stitching and relaxing...but the week seems to have passed so quickly, and we're back at work on Monday...

I'll post my usual weekly stitching update tomorrow when I change my rotation piece.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Me First and Mermaids

This is DMC Country Companions' "Me First" as of today - Sunday 24th November.  I haven't managed to spend much time on this, due to different things going on this week.

I'm starting a new design this week, as I have got the fabric I wanted for it, and I am keen to get started.  The design is Mirabilia's "Mermaids of the Deep Blue":

I'm stitching it using a purple conversion on Polstitches 'Aphrodite' fabric...

I'm going to Dublin tomorrow for a couple of days with my DH, and I'm off work for the whole week.  We are flying from Manchester, so I won't be able to take any stitching with me...but I'm sure I'll have lots of other things to keep me occupied!  I'll have lots of photos to show in my post next week :-)

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 18 November 2013


It's been one of those one of those years...

I was ill for a few days at the beginning of the week with a kidney infection again.  The doctor gave me two weeks' worth of antibiotics, and told me that if I get it again, he's going to send me for a scan to check for a kidney stone.

The infection prevented me from doing the tutoring I was supposed to do last week, and also prevented any stitching from happening for a couple of days, so I didn't do as much as I'd hoped on Heirloom Christmas Sampler:

...and here is the actual section I completed this week:

I do enjoy stitching on this piece, but the hardanger parts can be quite scary!

This week's piece is 'Me First' - a DMC Country Companions design that has been a UFO for a very long time - in fact, I think I actually started it when my children were very young, and they are all now in their 20s!

This is how it looked before I started stitching on it yesterday:

I have cut down my rotation list to 18 items - mainly to make sure something gets finished at some point, but also for a Facebook group that encourages members to complete some WIPs in 2014...  I intend adding others to the list as the original 18 start getting finished - especially Mirabilia's 'Mermaids of the Deep Blue', which I am keen to start as soon as I get the fabric I've I think I'll have to have one day a week which is specifically for working on that!

My youngest child turned 20 this week...a milestone she didn't want to reach ("I'm 19 again"), and one that has made me feel quite old...although I suppose I'm quite young at 45 to have 3 children in their 20s!  I think the thing that will make me really feel old is when I become a grandmother - and I hope I have a few years before that happens!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

My Stitching Week

I'm quite happy with the stitching I've managed to do on HAED's "QS Scarlet Witch" this week:

This is being stitched on 25ct evenweave, 1 over 1, using full crosses.  I actually enjoyed stitching on it as the week went on, but was getting fed up by the end of the week - this is why I change the design I stitch on every week!

Next week's stitching will be on Victoria Sampler's "Heirloom Christmas Sampler".  This is how it looks before I stitch on it this week:

As far as other parts of my life go, my mum is having to have radiotherapy following her surgery to remove a tumour out of her mouth.  She was diagnosed with mouth cancer, and had to have the tumour and some glands in her neck removed.  She now needs to get a PEG put in her stomach to allow a feeding tube to be inserted while she has the radiotherapy treatment.  This will all probably happen before and over Christmas...

I'm having problems with my kidney...  I had an infection in one kidney back in September, and I now seem to be getting another infection in the same kidney.  I'm really hoping it's not another stone - I had one back in the late 90's, and was doubled up in pain by the time I actually got it sorted out.  I ended up going to A&E, and staying in hospital for a week, as they needed to operate to blast the large stone with a laser... I'll be phoning the GP in the morning, and hopefully going to see him tomorrow evening.

I'm going to do some tutoring this week - some extra work that I'm doing for one of the teams at the company that I work for.  It means driving a 200-mile round trip to get to one of the venues, and then going back to work at the end of the session, so I'm going to be tired by the end of the week!  The extra cash will come in handy at the end of December, though...

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 4 November 2013

What a Year!

I have totally lapsed on my Blogging!  Yet again, it is several months since I posted on here, but I do have lots of reasons why...Most of which can't be aired in public...

I finally got back to work at the beginning of May, after 9 long weeks off with my broken ankle.  It was such a relief, although I had to ask colleagues to give me a lift there and back for a couple of weeks until I could drive again!  It was a nightmare time...and I wouldn't wish a broken ankle on anyone!  I am still suffering with it - it swells up when the temperature is warm, and it aches when it is cold.  It also can get quite stiff and sore if I'm sat down for too long, or if I walk too much...and I've been told that this will be the case for years to come!!!

Since breaking my ankle, I've had a few issues to deal with, and some serious illness in the family, so I will be so happy when we say goodbye to 2013 - it has been another "annus horribilis"...

As far as stitching is concerned, I have continued to do some, although not as much as I would normally have done in the time.  I have finished "Tree of Stitches" by Abi Gurden, made a crocheted Owl door stop (and have 2 more to make after receiving requests), and knit a wrap.  I have also made good progress on "A Good Marriage" by Lizzie*Kate, which was my rotation piece for last week:

WIP: A Good Marriage by Lizzie*Kate
Finish: Tree of Stitches by Abi Gurden

Crochet finish: Door Stop Owl

Knitted finish: Wrap
 I have only just resumed my rotation over the last couple of weeks, after all the 'fun' of the last few months...My rotation piece for this week is HAED's "QS Scarlet Witch".  This is how she looked before I started stitching on her this week:

WIP: QS Scarlet Witch by HAED

I have also started going to 2 different Craft Clubs.  One is in Burnley, which is about 15 miles from here, and that is on a Thursday evening for 2 hours.  I am the youngest member at that club!  The ladies take different crafts - knitting, crochet, cross stitch and patchwork - and we sit crafting and chatting for the session.  The other club is at my LNS in Darwen on a Saturday morning.  This is a new club, and I haven't been able to go for a couple of weeks, due to going to Warwick for the weekend, and then meeting up with the ladies from the Needlecraft Haven forum in Nuneaton last Saturday.

Since my youngest daughter went off to Uni in Cardiff, my husband and I have decided to go away for the weekend at least once a month.  We went to York to start with, as it was somewhere that we had never been, even though it is only a couple of hours away!  We then went to Warwick, and we are going to Dublin, Ireland, at the end of this month...  We are hoping to go to different places in Europe in the new year...

Happy Stitching!