Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekend Snapshot

Have really been suffering the last week or so with a nasty bout of cold and flu - germs kindly shared with me by Dave - thanks babe!  Consequently didn't really feel like getting out and about much at the weekend, and the one time I did make a conscious effort to leave the house I got rained on!  :)

So here is a little snapshot of my at home weekend.
I actually got round to doing some good old fashioned baking.  I don't know what it is but I don't really do a whole lot of cooking in the summer, but now Autumn is approaching I'm in the mood for the kitchen again.  I've never made jam tarts before, and I admit they look a bit pasty and untidy but let me tell you they were delicious!
Snoozing with the cats
And plenty of stitching for my city and guilds course.

All in all a pretty nice weekend considering.  This coming week I have a couple of days off work and we are heading for Cornwall for a nice little mini break hopefully I'll have shaken off the last of these germs by then.  Can't wait!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Walking the Wye

So my gypsy birthday wasn't all about lazing around our fabulous little camp. We did 12 miles of walking round the Wye Valley before we arrived at the gypsy van. Here are a few pictures from the walk we took
The River Wye looking like black glass on the grey overcast day we had.

We got to walk across lovely old traditional suspension bridges
We went through beautiful English countryside
Explored some fabulous village churches
More river walking
Another shot of one of the bridges we used to cross the river.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out of The Box

Recently I've been making a few postcards again. I used to make them all the time, but for one reason and another fell out of the habit, I'm starting to remember why I enjoy them so much :) Here is one that I made for a recent private swap.
The theme was 'Out of the Box' I tried for ages to come up with something clever, but in the end went back to the obvious.  I found a jack in the box image on line and sketched it out in thread on some calico.
This then got coloured in using my Inktense pencils.  I haven't used them all that much since I got them a couple of years ago, but they do work really well on fabric.

Then it was time to think about the background for the card.  Have I shown you my new scrap storage system?  I found these fabulous tall preserve jars in a discount store.
My original plan was to piece the background from different blues but I found a piece of bubble print fabric in the scrap jar that I loved.  Making these small pieces for postcards really is a lot of fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My big fat gypsy birthday

This year I was a bit like the queen and had two birthday celebrations.  My actual birthday was spent with family as you saw in my post a couple of days ago.  But the weekend before Dave and I escaped to Herefordshire and had a little birthday celebration there.

Wanna see where we stayed?  You are really gonna love it.
We had this amazing gypsy van for the night.
Anyone in the UK looking at this and thinking they recognise it, well it was featured on the TV programme Three in a Bed earlier this year.  We made our booking before we knew it was going on TV, and didn't see the program before we went, I wanted the experience to be my own and not coloured by the thoughts and experience of others.  And I have to say I LOVED IT.
I mean how could you not adore spending the night in this.
Morris wasn't too keen though.  After taking ourselves on a 12 mile walk round the Wye Valley we were hungry enough to eat ... well ...a moose!
We did get the fire going, but we made sure that Morris was freed from the pot.
We had the most amazing evening in our little camp with celebratory drinks....
.... and plenty of birthday cake.
We stayed out in the candle light until well after dark

enjoying the last of the heat from the fire
and snuggling up on this hammock made just for two.  Loved every minute of our stay and will try and make sure we get back there next year.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Witches and Ghosts

I've started my next little cross stitch project - another one with a Halloween theme.  I had three on the list altogether.  Not sure if I will get to number three by the end of the month so that may end up waiting until next year.

Here is progress on number two so far.  It's a biscornu so this little design will now get repeated in each corner.

I wanted to keep roughly to the colour scheme of the original pattern which had purple background fabric.  As I didn't have any purple fabric lying around I took some cream linen I had and coloured it with my Inktense pencils.  I have no idea how colourfast the pencils are on fabric but since this is a project that won't get washed I figured it would be worth a go.  Seems to have worked just fine, only time will tell how much the colour will fade in the future.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to have a great birthday

Well it's getting on for a month since my actual birthday but I just realised that I didn't really share what a lovely day I had. My family were staying so we went to the beach for the day.
Paddling in the sea with my nephews

Messages in the sand

There was lots of ice cream eating of course

And fun playing the amusements on the pier
There was an air show on the day we went too.

Of course the great British summer threw some rain our way
And the day ended with chocolate cake and candles.  Could any day be better than that? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why I love blogging

There are a million and one reasons to love blogging, the blogging experience is probably different for each and every one of us.  I started five years and nine months ago.  My Mum had just passed away and I needed some distraction, something new to make me forget the pain of loss.  Little did I know at the time what a huge part of my life it would become and what a lifeline.  I can say without a hint of exaggeration that stitching and blogging have seen me through some of the toughest times of my life.

The number one reason that I love blogging is the connections I've made, the friendships that have been built with people all over the world.  Without blogging I wouldn't have had an amazing day in Bath on Monday.  I got to meet up with Vicki - if you don't know her blog you really must check it out here.

Here we are at the end of our day in Bath, looking rather windswept, but I think, happy!  We had a brilliant day exploring some of the sites of Bath, but I think my favourite bit of the day was sitting in the sunshine in the park at the end of the day just chatting and getting to know Vicki better, she really is an amazing person and I'm so happy that we got to meet for real.

Vicki also presented me with some lovely gifts a roll of some of her hand dyed fabrics - these really are beautiful, and such great quality too.  Vicki sells her fabric on etsy here if you'd like to get your hands on some for yourself.
The lovely card and the other bundle of fabric were handed to me by Vicki from another blogging friend Kim.  Kim sent them over with Vicki when she found out we were going to be able to meet.  Wow, well I'm sure you can imagine how blown away I was to receive such generous gifts.  But by far the greatest gift of all from these ladies is the wonderful gift of friendship. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halloween Birdie is done

I managed to get my little Halloween Bird finished while watching the rugby over the weekend. 

Now I just have to figure out whether to just frame him as he is or make him in to a little wall hanging which was the original plan.  I think it will depend on what fabric I have hidden away.  I don't really want to buy anything but I have a suspicion that I have something that will match, it's just whether I have enough.

I really love this cute design though, my favourite parts are the way the lettering is done, the ghost and the little pumpkins.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last Days of Summer

The days are getting shorter and the breeze is getting cooler, but it is my hope that we might have a last little flurry of good weather at some point before Autumn really sets in.  

Hugo certainly makes the most of every last warm ray of sunlight that we get in the garden.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mermaid Postcard

Despite feeling a bit out of sorts - I think I might have a cold coming - I did manage to get a bit of stitching done yesterday in between bouts of laying around on the sofa not doing a lot
I finished this postcard for an 'all out' themed swap, the idea of the swap was to put plenty of effort in.  To be fair I always try and do this for any swap that I go in anyway.  But this is what I came up with for this one.  The Mermaid is fussy cut from commercial fabric but she is hand stitched down with gold thread and I've also done some beading on her.  The back ground is machine stitched.  She'll be making her way to my swap partner in Germany soon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Black and White Abbey

I made it through a very long week at work ... just about. And am now looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend. I have plenty of housework to catch up on but you'll also find me watching the rugby world cup and of course stitching. I'm looking forward to picking up needle and thread again as I haven't had time to do anything creative this week.

Just so this post isn't just a whole load of waffle about not a lot here are a few pictures I took in Malmesbury Abbey a couple of weeks ago.  As you can see I was in a black and white mood, the beautiful lighting you often get in churches makes for such good contrast it seems rude not to shoot a few pictures like this.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.  X

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Bedruthan Beach

It's quite possible that things might go quiet on the blogging front for the next week or so. It's going to be one of those early start and late finish manic weeks at work, by the time I get home I just don't really have the energy to do anything much.

I'll be trying to survive the week and will keep my city and guilds ticking along by making myself spend at least half hour a day on the machine when I get home but I can't see much else happening stitch or blog wise round here.

In the meantime as these pictures were already uploaded let me just share with you the final catch up post from my weekend away in Cornwall earlier this year. Some pictures from the beach at Bedruthan Steps.

How much would I love to be stood somewhere squinting into the sun right now?  It's very grey and miserable here today.  A bit like my mood, though looking at these lovely pics has helped lift me a bit :)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Halloween Bird

Managed to get stitching on my first little Halloween project.  This a beautiful simple design that I admired on Kate's blog last year, and she gifted me the chart, treasure that she is :)

It's coming together so quickly and I love it so far.  I'm making a few changes to the original though.  First off I'm stitching it a lot larger as I have a plan to may be attempt to make this the centre piece of a mini patchwork wall hanging.  Also the original came in a kit with a little button, I don't have any Halloween buttons so I think I'm going to move around and maybe double up on some of the little motifs that surround the bird, haven't really though it through yet so we'll see where it goes.