Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lakeside Farm Update

It's the last day of the month so it must be time for a cross stitch update. Siberian Gold still hasn't found it's way in to a frame but it will in time I'm sure. The bonus of getting it finished so early in the month was that I've had plenty of time to work on Lakeside Farm. This is where I left it last.And this is the now.A fair bit of progress but to be honest with no machine this last week or so I thought that I might have gotten a bit further but I haven't really had the energy for much. Still I'm not really complaining I'm happy with what I did. I'm off for a week in the Lakes in June so I should probably keep going on this, but I'm eager to start on the next of Mum's UFOs too so we'll see.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Laughing in London

There is not much stitching going on here at the moment, Jemimah went in to the repairs shop on Friday so now it's a waiting game to see how long she'll take to be patched up.

It's a bank holiday weekend here, three whole days off work :) We started ours off with a trip to London on Saturday. We ate lunch on the ThamesAnd there was time to raise a pint to being Britishmessing around in front of the Houses of Parliament
And a trip to Tate Britain.Wandering back to the tube took us closer to the Houses and Big Ben with the London Eye in the background.
There were a whole lot of protesters who'd set up camp opposite the houses, in aid of President Obama's visit I guess.
Our day finished with a wonderful gig at The Bush Hall. A really small, beautiful and atmospheric place, full of big mirrors and chandeliers which I totally failed to capture through the camera.
We were there to spend An Intimate Evening with Melissa Auf der Maur. An awesome end to an awesome day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A post on postcards

With the end of the month coming up it seems about time that I start thinking about how far I've gotten with this months to do list. One of the things on the list was to make 10 recycled/reused postcards for a swap that I'm in due at the end of June.

Well I was ticking along on this one nicely until Jemimah started to blow up on me.
I've managed to get 8 done and the ninth is half way there - that was what I was working on when the machine gave up the ghost. It seems very unlikely that I'll have Jemimah back before the end of May so I'm going to fall just short of my target. But I'm not too worried as soon as she's back I'll get back on track.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A great mail day

Look at all these wonderful goodies that came sailing through my letterbox yesterday.
And inside that lovely kitty fabric was this beautiful book cover.
Actually the book is perfect. I have been having lots of ideas pop in to my head for projects that I'd like to tackle and with limited time at the moment some of the ideas pop straight back out to be forgotten. I've been meaning to get something to write them all down in, so this is just the thing.

And how did I come by these wonderful gifts you might be asking. Everyone who participates in the 3CS palette challenge went in to a draw and I was the lucky winner last month. Anyone can join in the challenge at anytime, so don't forget to pop over to the 3CS blog and find out about this month's colour palette, and how to participate in the challenge. There is lots of other great stuff over there too so go check it out :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to the drawing board

With my machine on the fritz I have to rely on my handwork projects for my stitching fix at the moment :) Unfortunatley these have all taken against me as well, sigh. I'm just going to ride this wave of 'everything I touch goes wrong' and hope that life goes on the upturn again soon :)

Stop waffling and get to the point you might be screaming at me by now, and I wouldn't blame you. I've been working up a couple of the crochet blocks that I gave a test drive too last week. The cream and the red yarns are slightly different weights but are almost the same thickness so I thought I'd get away with combining the two. Sadly not.I've hooked up the two blocks that I wanted to make my throw from and they've come out at different sizes. So it's back to the drawing board. These are the options I've come up with so far

1. Stick with the idea of a throw from these two blocks and go shopping again for some different yarns

2. I like both of the blocks so I could make a throw using just one of the block patterns, maybe adding some more colour variations in to make it a bit more interesting.

3. Scrap the whole idea of a throw and admitt that my crochet ambitions are way beyond my actual skill level!!

Any thoughts will be gratefully received.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't put off until tomorrow...

...what can be done today. I've been procrastinating the last few days. I've a pile of stitch projects waiting to be gotten on with that have been left languishing by the machine and I've been telling myself I'll get to them tomorrow. Well tomorrow came yesterday and what happens, well my sewing machine decides to give up on me.Power cut out in the middle of stitching. I've tried all the basics, changing the fuse etc but she just won't come back to life so off to the repairer she goes, she'll be out of action for at least a week :(

On a good note though I received this beautiful handmade card in the post today from my friend Beth. This bit of loveliness arrived at just the right time to bring me a smile when I was in need of one.Thanks Beth, you have great timing!! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Scraphappy Sunday

I had one of those days yesterday where everything that could go wrong did. I'm sure you've had those from time to time too. I broke a glass, spilled a drink, ruined dinner and had to frog a lot of the crochet I had started.

Anyway amongst all the drama I totally missed scrap happy Saturday, so I'm having scrap happy Sunday this week instead :)

My offering is this little pin cushion. Hand and machine stitched, made with cotton scraps, ribbon and felt for the backing. I think it turned out cute.

Friday, May 20, 2011

second test block done

A really quick post today as I'm hoping to go off to the Quilts, UK show for the day. A quick and not particularly good snap of the second crochet block that I finished up yesterday. So now that I'm happy I can follow the directions for both the blocks I will be able to get cracking with the yarn I bought the other day. This will be a long term project. The blocks do take a bit of time, though hopefully I will get faster as I get more practise on them, I'm hoping to start out at the rate of two blocks a week, but I still have a tonne of other things to work on too so we'll see.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Still hooking

Time flies when your having fun - so the saying goes. I had a lovely day yesterday wandering in the rain, visiting a local exhibition and then going to the movies for a good dose of Johnny Depp - swoon. Anyway all that means I still don't have anything much to show here. So I thought I'd share the progress on the test blocks for the crochet project I have in mind.

The other day I happened to find myself in the local craft shop - not quite sure how or why, I'm sure you've had those experiences before ;-) They had lying around a few sample crochet blocks they had using some of these lovely yarns (though not quite the same colours as the ones I came home with).I have in mind to make a throw, something that will just sling over the back of the sofa, to be dragged down and snuggled in to whenever the need arises. So I've been having a flick through this book. Even though I've only just learned to crochet I already had a few books in my collection just things that I've picked up and dreamed that I might be able to work from someday! The blocks in the book are graded for beginners, intermediate and experienced. I didn't want to make things too complicated so figured I'd pick two blocks and make a simple design from them, but of course the ones I like fall into the second and third category, so I figured that I should make a couple of test blocks to see if I could follow the pattern before attempting them for real.This first block is called Waterlily. I didn't quite get the flower right but I know where I went wrong and am happy that I'll be able to fix it when I start on the throw.

So far I've only managed the centre of the second block which is called Big RoundThe pattern isn't really showing too well in the photo yet but I'm hoping it will start to look better as I add the square outer borders. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blog Helper

I don't have anything stitchy to share today. I have lots of things in the works - pink projects for the rainbow challenge, the granny squares are being sewn up, Ruth has a little more embellishment needed then she'll be done and I'm also working up a couple of test block for a new crochet project. But just for today you get a gratuitous kitty picture.Pip has been helping me blog this week, here he is on the shelf above the computer, looking as alert and active as always! He reminded me that it's been a while since he had a post of his own, so of course I had to rectify that immediately. Thanks for keeping me on my toes Pippy!! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


I've been working on recycling some old postcards of mine that I've had hanging around - some of them for years. The swap I'm in isn't due until the end of June so I've been doing a few at a time. Some of the cards haven't needed anything more than a new backing adding to them others I've played with a bit more. Like this mermaidThis is how she looked, image stamped on to some of my hand dyed fabric. Pretty enough but she just didn't really do it for me anymore. I decided she wanted to be sat in her very own seaweed grotto. So some silk scraps, beads and sequins later she now looks like this.I like the card so much more now that it has some texture, it was all a bit too plain before.

Another card that has had an overhaul is this one that I made back in 2006 for a daisies swap. This was right back when I first started swapping postcards and I was first getting back in to stitching. (Sorry you'll have to tilt your head for these I can't get them uploaded the right way)Anyway this one got shoved under the machine and a bit of free stitching later it now looks like this.I'm so much happier to be sending out this reworked version, one hundred times better than the original!

Before I go just had to show you this picture of Desperate Dave yesterday. He bought this huge Bison pie to try from the farm on Sunday. It was enormous, reminded me of Desperate Dan and his Cow Pies :) Was tasty though, even I liked it and I don't normally like beef. It had a less fatty and more gamey taste.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Down on the Farm

It's been a while since I did an out and about post. It's not that I don't have anything to tell you about I still have photos from Amsterdam, walks on the beach in Cornwall, messing around by the river and strolls in woods that I haven't told you about I just haven't had the time.

I will get to all that stuff but first here are a few snaps from a trip to the farm yesterday.Curious piggiesFriendly goats (these were adorable they were trying to eat everything including shoelaces and our backpacks!)Chickens galore including this fancy fellowAnd this portly fellow. Honestly these chickens were huge I've never seen the like....To give you an idea here he is stood up next to a duck. Giant, he was :)A trip to the farm is not all about the animals though plenty of beautiful ramshackle buildings to see too, if you like that sort of thing, which I do :)
The main attraction though were the beautiful herds of Bison. What magnificent animals, and they had babies too.I mean how cute is this little sleepy fellow. Hard to imagine that one day he'll grow up to look like this.It struck me as quite funny to see this huge and powerful beasts among the buttercups!After the trip to the farm we went for a wonderful 6 mile ramble through the countryside. Due to a bit of bad planning on my part though I only have this one shot of the countryside to share as my camera battery went flat.
Never mind lesson learned for next time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

pink checks

What has been going on with blogger these past few days. Between this and my c and g blog I've lost about 4 posts. Hopefully things are back to normal now.Is it Saturday again already? Where did that week go? The only pink happenings in my neck of the woods this week has been the making of the chequerboard blocks. I'm happy that I've gotten them done though, it means that I have the rest of the month to let pink take me wherever it wants to go.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Work has been continuing on my 3CS doll. I just love working with this colour palette.

The collage is complete.Over the top I stitched some sheers using metallic thread. I made a loose wavy grid pattern
Next it was time to have fun with the heat gun.
The body has been made..... and I'm loving the stump doll pattern from Ray Slater's book
She is one tall lady. Now I'm stumped though I've run out of stuffing for her arms, so things have stalled a bit, and I'm not sure if I'm going to get time to get more before this month's challenge ends of Sunday. She will get finished, I've decided she is called Ruth by the way, but it may not be in time for the deadline.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I can't believe it's done

Siberian Gold is finally finished. Now it's done it doesn't seem possible, I think it might take me a while to settle in to the idea. I first picked this UFO out of Mum's project box back in August 2008. This is what it looked like.It's been a long time in the finishing hasn't it? Of course I haven't worked on it nonstop and in those years I've had a good few months of downtime where I didn't touch any stitching or creative stuff at all. But it's done.
I don't think I could even hazard a guess as to how many stitching hours have gone in to this one. Way too many to count or even think about. The finished size is 11.5 x 16 inches. The back stitching is quite subtle - some for the whiskers and also round the branches and grasses in the background so that took me a couple of sessions to get finished.
All that needs to be done now is to get these cats washed and damp stretched and they will be ready for a frame.

I already have the next of Mum's UFOs picked out. After 3 years the thought of going through that box again was weighing heavily on my mind, it always makes me sad to see how many projects Mum never got to finish. Anyway Dave bless him took that burden away from me and he went in and picked something out. It's another big one that's not had much of a start so it could be another few years before I have to visit the box again. I'm going to leave you in suspense though until next month to find out what it is. The rest of this month will be spent trying to make some progress on Lakeside Farm.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Must try harder

Well I think I told you I had a lazy weekend, I didn't realise quite how lazy until I went back in to the sewing room today. I've reconciled myself to the fact that being a domestic goddess is just not in my genes but I could have sworn I remembered spending some time on Sunday tidying my work space.............but I mean really what part of this room did I think was tidy? ...........this little lot is stretching the definition of tidy even for me!!! But I think I had a bit of a revelation, my weekend wasn't spent being lazy but being in denial.Yesterday I had occasion to be hanging round in the park for a while, waiting for some minor repairs to be done on my car. I was just hanging out enjoying the fresh spring breezewatching the clouds roll by and also doing a bit of readingAnd I realised this is exactly what I needed, some fresh air to blow the cobwebs out and wake me up a bit.

As many of you already know I have suffered a couple of periods of depression in recent years and I think that maybe over the weekend I was beginning to go down that slippery slope again. But I'm determined not to let myself get carried along on that ride again. I mean really there is so much to be grateful for in my life, just sometime I need reminding to concentrate on those good things and not dwell on the things that are out of my control. So concentrate I will. If any of you see me frowning here feel free to give me a shake :)