Saturday, 31 December 2011

It's nearly 2012!!

Well, with nearly four hours to go to the start of another year - I thought I'd better put a few thoughts on "paper" about this year. So many sites and blogs have their review of the year, and in some ways it can be depressing reading about all the supposed highlights - natural disasters, deaths of famous figures, economies failing worldwide etc etc etc! But we have had some cheery stories worldwide too (I think)? Why do we tend to focus on the negative side when reminiscing at the end of the year? All the tv programmes are full of doom and gloom - if you are REALLY lucky the high spot will be William and Kate's wedding!

Personally I can give thanks that DH and I are safely though another year. Our family members all appear to be safe and well. Our home is paid for and we have a little money behind us in savings. Our many friends are (in the main) also in similar situations to us. We have worked hard for most of our lives are are now reaping the benefits of being retired - with enough money to be able to do what we want, when we want to.

So when people sit down and write their New Year Resolutions for 2012 - I have one simple word of advice - DON'T!! I decided that this year instead of Resolutions - which get either broken or forgotten about before January has ended - I will make some GOALS. That way, even if I slip for a day, week or month I can still get myself back on track by the end of the year - and thus achieve my goal.

Goal 1 - try to lose a bit of weight. I know I'm heavier than I should be, and I know it's bad for my health, but I've never been one for exercise (even if I am a Sagitarian and supposedly sporty!). My goal is to lose enough before we go on our China holiday, that I can actually walk along part of the Great Wall without sounding as if I need oxygen!

Goal 2 - limit the time I spend on my laptop - I spend far too much time just hopping from spot to spot - if I add up the hours I spent on a pc I'm sure I'd get a shock! Life is too precious to fritter away - I can spend more time sewing or reading - or - shock horror - maybe even doing a bit of walking if I achieve goal 1!

Goal 3 - record the days that pass in some form or another. I really enjoyed making that scrapbook for Jessica's birthday - I need to start working on the thousands of other photos we have so that when our family come to sort through our belongings (hopefully in a good few years time), they will bring forth happy memories for them.

Goal 4 - By the end of the year I would like to have achieved the aim of clearing my loft area! It's quite small, and fairly cramped up there - it's only along the centre of the roofspace that I can stand upright - but the amount of things that get pushed up there is amazing - a mini Tardis I think! Working from the entrance towards the back will be like a time capsule in reverse. Near the entrance are our suitcases and christmas decorations. As you work further back, we go through the stages of our daughter's life (in reverse) and who knows I might find some items which could be of use for Jessica. At the very back are things which we have had since we were married (37 years next February). I think it's about time I ventured up there before the physical challenge defeats me!

Goal 5 - Stitch, Stitch, Stitch whenever I can! I want to be able to finally put away Egypt and the Rose fairy. I want to finish off the Flower Fairy quilt for Jess's second birthday in August. And I am NOT going on holiday without at least one project tucked in my hand luggage!

Goal 6 - keep blogging. I started at the beginning of the year with no clear idea of how often I would be able to keep this up. I'm a little disappointed how often I managed it, but if you stick with me I promise to try and give you a peek into my life a little more often.

So how about you? What would your GOALS be for 2012? Do let me know?

love for 2012

Monday, 5 December 2011

Monday update

I've been stitching over the weekend (along with other things) and I've managed to finish the centre panel of Egypt apart from the backstitching. All I've got to do is the two panels on either side now!
Needs a bit of blocking to make it straight again before I do any more backstitch, otherwise some of the longer runs across several blocks might be a bit out! That will have to wait a bit though.

Why? I hear you asking? DH and I are going on a coach trip to the Christmas Market in Rudesheim (on the Rhine, Germany) this week. Apart from the wine - gluwein and ordinary, that's where they make Asbach brandy - so I'm not tempting fate by taking any stitching - I'll only end up miscounting and doing a bit of frogging when I get home! So I'm taking my e-reader and an MP3 player to keep me amused instead. Wonder how many books I'll get through?

Last weekend my best friend celebrated her 60th birthday. Her 2 daughters organised a surprise party in a local restaurant and it was a real fun evening. Her family, work colleagues and friends spent many happy hours reminiscing and laughing over "how things used to be"! The laughter was a great tonic for us all, and although I was a DD for the evening I really enjoyed it. The company of friends and family is more of a tonic than drinking a few glasses of wine.

That is something we should all be thinking about with the Christmas social scene approaching. The number of drink/driving offences over the Christmas period is horrifying every year. Those families who lose loved ones because of accidents caused by someone who thought they were safe to drive can never celebrate Christmas again in the same way - they are always carrying the memory forward every year. This year we lost one of our dear friends to cancer just last week (and he was the youngest out of us all). His wife is now on her own - they have no children. Christmas this year will be bleak, but future years will be no better as she constantly remembers the times they spent together. At least with an illness you can prepare for the end of a life. With a drunken driver at the wheel of a lethal weapon (their car) you are given no time to prepare.

So please be careful out there over this season. Keep in mind the Christmas saying - "Peace on earth and GOODWILL to ALL men". If I don't talk to you much before the day itself, please make sure you and your family are safe; and we will all get together on the other side of the day itself in 2012.

Seasons Greetings

Friday, 2 December 2011

My first time!

There's been a lot of chat recently amongst x stitch nuts stitchers on several blogs (Julie , Meari and Evalina for example) about people's first times.

Life has been fairly slow around here - I've been knitting mittens as an extra present and have put only a few stitches in Egypt. I have done 2 small penguin motifs to go on a christmas card but can't show them yet! So - as a teaser - I'll let you in on my first time! (And it will serve as a teaser for what might come soon in that new tab above when I begin to post my older finishes).

All of my life I had worked full-time. When we got married in 1975 and moved to Colchester from London, I continued to work in the school I had been librarian in. Even when I'd been spending an hour each way on the train commuting to and from work I'd never found enjoyment from doing anything other than reading. (Mind you that could have been due to the over-crowding on the trains!)

Suddenly there I was at home with a TINY person who was dependent on me for everything!! She was a baby who didn't sleep (guess that's where Jessica gets it from?); her father was driving for a job, so when she cried every night about 8 or 9 times I was the one who had to get up to her. Luckily for me, the neighbour opposite had her baby two weeks later, so we got to know and support each other. One day we sat down in a rare moment of quiet and decided that we'd both like to take up a craft. If we did the same thing, we could share our highs (and lows), so we opted to try cross stitch! I was 28, she was 27, and for a while it felt like we were the only "young" people who were interested in it. I found a magazine which had a few baby motifs in it, and decided to make a birth sampler. Nothing unusual there you might think?

But I had to get the threads and fabric myself as what I wanted to do wasn't in a kit. In fact I don't think I'd ever seen a cross stitch kit then! So I went out and bought a few colours of threads and a piece of fabric. I made up a design, added a few necessary words - like name, date etc and started to sew it. It didn't dawn on me what I'd done until I started investigating cross stitch further after I'd finished. I had stitched the entire thing in 2 strands - not a problem; but I'd used linen and stitched it over one thread! Not really a massive mistake - it still looks fine - but it kind of gave me a headache which I didn't need with a small baby. Anyway it didn't manage to put me off - now (at age 61) I have an enormous stash of kits, threads, fabric, patterns and magazines. If I live to be 200 I'll never stitch all of the things I love (and that's not including the ones I merely like). Still it keeps me off the streets and my fingers from the biscuit tin!

Oh - I'd better post a pic of Erika's birth sampler - sorry about the quality of it, but it was XX years ago!

Better go now - Egypt or Christmas cards call - lots to do and so little time to do it all!
Why don't you let us know how you started?
Until next time