Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Full of cold

Glad that cold germs can't come through the laptop! I know they have PC viruses, but hopefully cold germs don't count!

I know why I'm suffering though - this time last week we were sat in temps of 36C - today it's 19C in Colchester, but it's been raining and horrid!

Where were we last week? Egypt! I got an email of last minute deals from Red Sea Holidays, and we decided to opt for a week of sun before the cold winter blues sets in!

This is the Makadi Palace - on the Red Sea coast. Most days we spent the morning on our balcony when the sun was not too hot. After a stroll down to the Sunset Bar for lunch, we spent the afternoon in the bar near one of the pools, before returning to our room to shower and change for dinner! 

While we were away, DH celebrated his birthday. As usual I had left it late to make a card for him. This year I was stumped for ideas. A week before we left I spotted an entry on Avis's blog Sewing Beside the Sea where she'd sewn a card with a ukulele on it for her daughter. I asked her for a copy of her pattern, and I set about making it look a bit like the one my DH bought in Hawaii. Here's his 2 ukes, and here's the card I finished.

What else have I been doing? Well I finished the Hansel to go with my Gretel angel I mentioned last time and also a Mill Hill Santa which we bought in Hawaii last time we were there.

And I promised last time that I'd also let you see the birth sampler I made for my best friends' daughter. Myles was born on August 15th and I had the image stitched, ready and waiting for the details to be added. As his bedroom was to be decorated in cool beige/browns I decided to opt for a soft image, rather than the bright colours of many birth samplers. I decided to stretch it over a canvas rather than putting it into a frame. I edged the picture with a pale blue ric rac binding to give it a finishing touch (which doesn't show up very well in the photo!). I was delighted that both parents seemed to be delighted and it's already hanging in Myles's bedroom.

And finally I started to stitch the Advent animals free designs from Brooke Nolan Although so far she's posted animals 1 - 7, the intention is for the series to be completed by Christmas 2015, so even I should be able to complete that deadline! Once I have a few done I'll post in the next blog post perhaps.

In the meantime my daughter and her husband have moved house and our granddaughter's bedroom will probably have an owl theme when it's decorated. Needless to say, some of those owl patterns which have been dominant in magazines etc recently might find their way into my sewing pile! Stay tuned for the next instalment to see which make their way to the top of the pile.

'Til then take care - (and stay free of colds!)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Remember me?

Hi everyone!
Yes, I'm still here, struggling on with daily life. Those health issues I mentioned way back in March caught up with me, and I've spent the last few months basically doing just enough to get by with life - cooking, washing, dusting etc. Stitching and craft took a back seat for most of that time, but over the last few weeks I've felt more like my old self again, so maybe I can get back to this blogging thing again (I promise I'll try!)

There are probably all sorts of things I could catch you up with, but maybe I'll just start now, and rather than overwhelm you with photos and a long post, I'll introduce things gradually eh?

Last month we went on holiday - back to AUSTRIA - our most favourite place in Europe - staying at the Sonnenschein in Mayrhofen. We took a friend with us who lost her husband a couple of years ago, and he had always wanted to revisit Austria, so his widow really enjoyed being there. The apartment house was able to let us have 2 small separate apartments, so we were not living on top of each other 24/7. We all came back fully refreshed and ready for life - and none of us had put on weight in spite of indulging in beers, hot chocolate with cream topping and cream cakes! (And that's always a bonus!)

While we were there I stitched my first item on perforated paper. It's designed by Brooke Nolan and is her Gretel the Gingerbread angel.
 Sorry about the quality of the photo! 

I also stitched this piece - the design actually had the Swiss flag on it, but I changed it for the Austrian one!

Now I'm working on a Hummel piece, but as it's a gift I won't add it here as who knows - the recipient might be reading this!!

My best friend's daughter is expecting her second baby in about 2 weeks, and I have a small sampler ready to add the baby's details on as soon as I hear. So next time I can probably include that one.

Next time I'll drop in a few photos of cards I've made with my new ScanNCut machine - so far I haven't tried it out with fabric, but I'll post some of the cards I've done.
Until then
take care

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Always look on the bright side......

Hi friends! It's been a while I know - but I'm finally back!

Excuses aside, I just haven't been in a good place to post recently - my mind has been elsewhere, but hopefully I'm back now and will try to post more regularly. I've had a few health issues lately, and have discovered that the older you get, the more pills you seem to have to take! Luckily as an OAP I can claim free prescriptions!

What's been going on stitchy wise? I decided that I needed a break from large pieces at the moment. My stitching mojo took a walk somewhere and didn't reappear for a while, so I took some time for other crafts. I finished off those hearts I had completed in December. Here they are with my new candle bridge which we bought this year. (Along with that new tree!)

I finished knitting the pieces for my cardigan - it's all sewn up and awaiting the buttonband to be knitted so I may get it done in time for the final arrival of Spring. I altered a few bits from my wardrobe which had been lamenting in my sewing pile for months. Nothing really worth photographing here though.

In Britain, we have had some severe weather over the first few months of the year. Luckily in the East of England, we did not have the terrific downpours of the West of England and Wales, or even just west of London, where some communities were up to their waists in water, and even entire villages had to be evacuated. However we did have some strong winds and on two separate occasions we had to have fence panels replaced in our garden. On the second occasion we even replaced those which had not been damaged, so now we have completely new fencing on both sides. I would take photos but at the moment it's a bit of a mess out there as I didn't get round to finishing my autumn tidy-up, so when I finally manage to get out there again I'll post some new photos.

As we celebrated our 39th anniversary this year, we took ourselves off on another Hawaiian cruise - the same one that we have done before, although this year it was on a different ship - the Star Princess from Princess Cruises. Nothing like a spot of sunshine to refresh the soul - and the body eh? While away I finished 2 cross stitch pieces - a free Shamrock design from Brooke's Books - scroll down past the alphabet to get the pattern for this. It's actually stitched in a dark purple rayon thread, so it shimmers a bit when you see it.

And the other piece I stitched from a colouring book page. I hope to make this the centre panel of a wall hanging for my GD Jessica. Last year while we were away I bought her an alphabet wall hanging from Hawaii. So I'm thinking that I should try to make a number one to complement it. I was thinking 1 airplane; 2 suitcases; 3 swimsuits etc to tie in with the holiday theme of this piece. Jessica loves anything with Hello Kitty on it, so I should be on to a winner here!

Just before we left on holiday, I noticed that Brother had released a new cutting machine which also operated as a scanner. In the UK the only distributor is Create and Craft, so after we came home I treated myself to a complete set-up. Here is the page to see what I'm talking about if you have missed the hype about it all. The machine arrived last Friday afternoon, and I've been spending a bit of time getting to grips with it. Like all new technology, it has a learning curve, but I can see it being so useful in all areas of my craft. It will be very useful for cutting all those appliqué pieces for Jessica's number quilt! I foresee more on this little beauty in the months to come! 

Well, if you have stuck with me so far, I'll wish you all a good afternoon. I need to get the dinner on, and then I can settle down to try and sort out that buttonband on my new cardigan while I watch Hawaii Five-0 tonight on Sky One. (We did drive past their studio in Honolulu but didn't have time to stop and see if they were filming!)

Until next time
Take care