Sunday, 22 February 2015

Broadchurch and a Birthday

Hello everyone,  Well lots to show you again this time so be prepared!!
Not sure where to start, I think the trip to Broadchurch /West Bay , We decided to go see the Blue House which housed David Tennant in the series, I think it is up for sale for Mega bucks. Crazy money for what is just a river hut,I suppose it has connections that people will pay for ,but me no way would I pay the price they are saying it is worth. Here it is and some other pics of West Bay. If you haven't watched the series , sorry you will not have a clue what I am waffling on about.

We did not see David Tennant here today though. Then I took a pic of the solicitors house,but no way was I climbing that hill.
It is the one at the top. West Bay is not what I call a pretty place ,but it does have a certain character.
For a winters day it was relatively busy but  in the summer it is like most places on the coast ,busy. The townspeople were busy sprucing up boats and painting their cafes.

I think I was a bit too far away to take this man painting a table, He may have thought it a bit odd if I had asked to take a picture of him. However the men painting boats must have thought their jobs went on like the next picture.
I could not get the quote in of this one but this was one of the words . Bit like how my blog goes on really lol. Of course being here we just had to get one of "The Beach",
Just love the pattern of the cliff formation. When you see it a bit further on it looks as if it is just a stack of cliffs on their own.
Eventually if you follow the beach past the cliffs you come to Portland which is the end of the Chesil Beach. If you go to the right you come to Lyme Regis. Where I hope to do a Jane Austen tour in April. Of course I am hoping to kill 2 birds with one stone that day ,if we are lucky they may be doing a Mary Anning tour on the same day although I would be quite interested in that one I think Martin would like that better, I am not sure if he would want to do the Jane Austen one.Anyway I digress, A picture of West Bay harbour .
.It was a cold day and the light was not very good. I don't know if any of you remember a programme called Harbour Lights ,this too was filmed here and again it has been taken up by the locals as the Harbour masters office has Harbour lights above it.
So I will leave this bit of a day out with a pic of some boys (oops ,got you all excited there didn't I )mean bouys.These were bright orange not pink ,my camera is a bit off on colours. See a bad workman always blames his tools lol.
 I was trying to be creative but it did not work.So now onto probably things that will interest you more. Last Sunday I had a birthday and the three score years and ten are even nearer now . I am trying not to think about that ,it is just a number. I had a lovely day ,really spoilt and had lots of gifts. I am going to show you some of the things I received but before I go a massive thankyou to everyone who remembered me . An apology to Michelle who sent me a card about 2 weeks before the day and I have not emailed her , so I will show you hers first ,Thanks Michelle for the little bird and threads.

On the left is a little beaded hanging that will fit nicely on my scissors ,that was from Needlecraft Havens Clare.I should have written down who sent which threads as I cannot remember ,isnt that dreadful.  I cannot do these in any order as I loved everything .
From my friend Julie oh did she spoil me. We met through NH and I have to say she is someone whose friendship I would hate to lose.Her gifts to me were these.
The little JBW design is absolutely exquisite, so pretty and has put me to work too. A friend came to see me on the day and  fell in love  with it, so I thought I would stitch her one for her birthday . I thought it was a JBW design from the style and writing so I searched for it, it must be out of print as I could not find it. Thinking I may have been mistaken ,I wrote to Julie and asked her ,the next day I had it in the post as she said she did not need it anymore. So you see a friendship to treasure.The sheep is a hot water bottle to keep me warm in the parlour. The book is the story of Highcliffe Castle ,Downton Abbey to you and me. Thank You Julie. You  are all dear to me , some I am in touch more than others but a friend I am in touch with every week more than once is Sally, we stitch along together 3 times a week ,we have a virtual helicopter to take us to each others houses on Monday ,and Fridays and on Wednesdays we meet up with the others in the parlour. I have many of Sallys stitcheries dotted about and her bookmark she made me is in my book before I turn out the light at night. So you can imagine how this little beauty pleased me.
 A little sheep mounted into a fob watch frame. Even my grandson Jack was impressed. Loved it Sally thankyou so very much. I am afraid you are going to see a few more sheep yet. I will not show you it all this time as you  will be reaching for the OFF button. I did get this from June , a relatively new friend ,but oh how she spoilt me and I felt quite excited when I saw this.


So tweeny with pins and calendar inside,beautifully finished and that was not all.Along with this came fabric ,ribbon , the wool she had embroidered it (yes wool) and a dear little sheep peg.All on a sheep tray, Everything in a lovely spring green and so perfect.
June thankyou , what a nice friend to have . Your colour sense is amazing.
Now to Tina, who you remember I do a Hallowe'en exchange with. I puzzled over this one as it had someones name on I did not recognise ,it was sent from the states with a signed for label . As I was not in when the postie tried to deliver it ,I had to collect it from the P,O. I am afraid I cheated with this one as I was so curious, I opened it on the day before , When I saw my  name on the card I still had not got a clue, the writing was unrecognisable to me. I do know usually from postmarks ,names on back etc.So I opened the card and it say Have the happiest of Birthdays from your friend Tina. I dont know anyone in the states called Tina I thought. The only Tina I know lives in the midlands.I did not think she was on hols or anything so after I had opened it I thought it had to be her, so I mailed a thankyou and phew she replied to say Yes it was her. She had ordered one for herself and thought I would like one too. How sweet is that. It is so pretty a velveteen strawberry .
Sorry pic is a bit blurry. I think I have had a bit of a hiccup and pressed publish before I had finished. Having trouble with Blogger and pics and pressed the button I should not have done.,
I am going to have to leave you as the dog and Martin have just come back dripping ,I will have to dry dog as I cannot stand the smell of wet dog. Shall  catch up in the week with some more birthday and stitching progress to show you. Take great care of yourselves ,Be back soon.
Much love Barb. Please excuse the length of this and any grammatical mistakes , brain on go slow.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

February and a walk in Hardys footsteps

Hello all , I hope you are all keeping warm and snug here in the UK. For those of you outside of the UK ,whatever your weather hope you are all well. I know a lot of you are having it a lot colder than we are and with white stuff too, here in the South of England at 3 deg on the car temp we decided to don our wellies today and tootle off to Dorchester and walk along the river to Stinsford.
We used to walk this a lot when we lived in Dorchester our County town, and we indeed walked in Thomas Hardys footsteps. He worshipped in Stinsford Church as did his father and his grandfather before him , they are all buried here and the gravestones all tell the dates. Thomas Hardys heart is buried here and his body lies in Poets corner in Westminster Abbey. Anyway a few pics of our walk.
Setting off ,yes I did say there was a river and guess who decided he was going in ,despite being told NO many times.

!
He even got very naughty and poked his tongue out at me.The water was flowing very fast,and I was a bit concerned he would not be able to get out,and one of us , not me\!would have to rescue him.
I bet it was freezing in there , there were puddles on the bank that were iced over. After eventually getting him to come out he decided to play it safe and go the other side where he went paddling.


At 12 years old you would think he would know better wouldn't you . It is his birthday today though so we couldn't stay cross ,he was put on a lead from then though. Anyway we finally reached Stinsford Church . A very pretty Norman church built in the 13th Century.
This is the where lies the heart of Thomas Hardy.


As I said his family are all laid to rest near his heart.If you have not read any of his books ,they are classics and the one I enjoyed best is Tess of the Dubervilles. So that was our morning after a visit to the chiropractor for me. She has helped an awful lot.Although its rather an ooh ,ow, session from me.Well on the stitching front and that is what you are here for.  As we are in a graveyard I will start with the finish of Angels ,the first in a set of ornaments that I am stitching along with my friend Sally.
If you bob along to Sallys blog at stitchangel treasures you can see her finish too , I have used this fabric for the back as it seemed to go with the theme.

At the other end of the spectrum this is my Hallowe'en finish this week, and although not put together here is the stitching finished.
I stitched in the parlour last Wednesday and this will be due an outing again tomorrow, we are a cosy little band in there on a Wednesday ,if you fancy joining us then you are more than welcome to join us. We stitch a design of your own choice from either Little House Needleworks or Country Cottage Needleworks, we used to stitch a lot of the Sampler Girl designs too but Tanya does not chart so many designs these days. I do miss her Jane themed ones , although for fellow Janeites I believe you can still get Austen flavoured charts from The Jane Austen Centre . Anyway back to the parlour , you can find us on Needlecraft Haven and Clare is the host who will I am sure welcome you too. Miss Julie and Mr Stick do  UFO weekends which you can join in with, Christine does a challenge every month ,and although I did not do January I have done February already . Clare also has lots going on there and there are games to join in with if you want to. Just too much to mention hear but if you fancy it ,pop along.This was last Wednesdays progress on A stitchers Prayer. 
I hope to finish the lady stitching tomorrow and start the border. Last weekend I was with Miss Julie and Mr Stick stitching my Secret garden Here is where I am at.
Sorry it is a bit crumpled (bit like me really lol). I also have finished the stag we had to do for the February challenge but it will be a while before I can show you  that, I have sent a pic off to Christine though.So that is all the cross stitching I have done. I have made something else and in the process of making another design similar , it is by Hatched and Patched and is called Larry the Lamb \,well I had to feature a sheep somewhere didn't I. I love how it turned out .
I have had this pattern for quite a while ,I was just in the mood to make him and now I wonder why I waited so long. I filled the pincushion with crushed walnut sand , and I have enough to make a whole farmyard I think. It makes it a nice weight and I am told it does not blunt pins or needles. As I said I am hoping to finish another to show you next time. I am wondering if anyone would like one (not saying when ,but I am thinking of having one as a giveaway )Let me know if you would really like one. Martin so liked it (yes he approved) he asked to borrow the pattern so he could make me a glass one to hang in my window. 


I was so giddy when he gave it to me I absolutely love it , Thankyou my dear, I know of someone else who would maybe like one of these,mention no names begins with an S.. As I mentioned in my last post it is the Chinese year of the sheep this year and for me it has started early.The RMW group that Martin is chairman of  has chosen The Year of the Sheep as its Exhibition theme ,so I can see lots of sheepy things on the horizon. Talking of sheep , I have a far away pic from yesterday ,sorry had to leave you and I am trying to get this done today. Here is my far away pic , 
Just had to have a pic of some real sheep. I have also been told by my grandson Sam that Shaun the sheep movie is about to be released on the 5th Feb and he is taking me !!! How many 13 year old boys would do that . Still on the subject of sheep here is some stash I have recently acquired ,I know I do not need more but well you just have to sometimes hmmm.
  Also jumping into the basket were 2 more . 
Just so pretty but a bit blurred. The last one was this.
 I am still reading ,but for some reason my lists have gone to the bottom of posts , along with finished items etc. Will have  to sort it out when I get my head together . Soon I hope it will be spring and while we were on our cold walk yesterday we actually saw some daffodils in flower. I resisted those and took these instead ,not literally took , just a pic

Well my dears I am sure I have droned on long enough , Go make a cuppa you deserve it for staying here so long. I would make it myself but I have family over for dinner and I can smell a casserole cooking in the oven and young people will be arriving soon. Before I go though at the end of the walk yesterday we saw this bridge.
On it was this sign.
So on that note I shall get in my ponderous carriage and away to the kitchen. I will hopefully have more news next time.
Take care all , keep snug.
Barb.xx




Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Year of Sheep!!!!!!!!!

Yes ,this year 2015, is the Chinese year of the Sheep. So of course  this post had to feature the sheep. Today I was meant to do a workshop making a needlefelt sheep. It was booked for last weekend but the tutor couldn't make it so  it was re-scheduled for today. Yesterday the owner of the shop phoned to say it wouldn't be taking  place as there were only 2 of us and the other lady had phoned to say she had a virus and couldn't make it. So not to be outdone I got my basket of fleece and a book and wallah!!!Here is my strange looking sheep.
I don't think I have his face quite right, However I did it and also found his friend Humphrey.
He still has to have a tail and some ears,I  will  embroider him a blanket at some  point,So I suppose Camille is the first finish of the Year of the Sheep. I think I told you I had finished Tricitone that I stitched along with Sally ,so here it is on a new knitting bag.
The knitting that is in it is Ellas Owl cushion ,which has been on  the needles for a little too long.So I thought if it had a new bag it may give me the incentive to get it done ,


On the stitching front a new start with Sally was Spell of the Moon by Blackbird designs, We must be telepathic as we did not know what we had chosen until the day of starting it which was last Monday,. So spooky night tomorrow

I did most of the tree last week although it is  on its side for some reason. Another Sally day is Friday and we are stitching the ornaments from Country Cottage needlecrafts. This is the one I am doing at the moment, 

The angel in the middle is almost done. Saturdays are ufo nights over at Needlecraft Haven and I am stitching The Secret Garden here is progress thus far.I was listening to the c.d. below while
 making cards, but I won't show those as I never know who I am going to send them to lol.I had better explain Julie and Mr Stick were running an extra ufo whilst Strictly was on and so I thought I would have a recap of the music.Ollie bought me this for Christmas.

 Grandson 2 was thirteen last week and tomorrow Grandson 3 will be 8, he was overheard on the phone last night when we were speaking to Kate. Has Nanny and Grandad remembered it is my birthday on Monday. I don't think we would be allowed to forget somehow.
I was reading Miss Julies blog and she mentioned the book I sent to her in the summer of last year ,she put a pic of a  page out of it that inspired her to do things mentioned and it has inspired me to share the Calendar with you , Well imitation is a sincere form of flattery.


Love the quote at the bottom right.I do love Susan Branch . Her little quotes are so beautifully illustrated. So now my friends ,thanks for the comments last time and if you can spare a few moments I would love to hear from you .Until next time ,stay safe, and keep smiling , Crafting and stitching too. 
Much love
Barb,



Sunday, 28 December 2014

A time to reflect , as the header says, the last year and the last few weeks of it.Well folks, I hope you are and have had a good Christmas and you were spoilt with good wishes and all the things the season brings. I had something the season brings and it hasn't been good , the lurgy has struck and I was home alone feeling Bah humbug on Christmas Day. Other half did not want to leave me but I said family must come first and I did not want to breathe germs on any of them . Feeling slightly better now and I will try not to breathe anything on to you ,can you see I am wearing a mask lol.I did have lots of goodies from stitchy friends family and blogging friends so if I do not mention you specifically please take this as a big THANKYOU!!!

Well I managed to finish a couple of bits of stitching , firstly the private exchange with Sally ,this is the ornament she stitched for me ,

.
I stitched Sally ,Tis the season by Shepherds Bush and she was delighted with it ,but I cannot show you a pic as I forgot to take one If you want to see it you will have to skip along to Sallys blog  to have a look.I have been stitching along with Sally for a few years now and I hope to continue in the years to come . I have been playing catch  up with Tricitone and hope to get it finished very early in the new year , or even before this one ends if I am lucky.I stitched along also with Miss Julie on UFO Strictly nights and I was almost dancing along on the final night but not quite, I finished this the day after.
This is a Lily Violette design ,It will be a magical Christmas with you .I am really pleased with this and thankyou to Julie and girls at Needlecraft Haven for the encouragement ,and the Strictly come dancing team for the company too. If you watched it ,Wasn't it exciting this year.
Another finish this time my first Hallowe'en one with Sally the first of a years stitching, I have to make up my mind for my next month which one I shall do , be shared with you in due course.
Here is Wicked by Barbara Ana

I really loved stitching this one ,wonder what will be next ,but next time we will be stitching different designs, so that is  a mystery for the moment.
Just before Christmas I did a card making workshop day , which was a bit of a dismal failure I have to say, I have made some of my cards this year (first attempt at this craft) I have heard from a few people I sent to they loved them here are just a few .

And another.


Not very clear I am afraid. Going back to the class I did I was very disapointed with the tutor I thought we would be shown how to make masterpieces lol,but it was just sticking things onto card, if you get what I mean, and no way was I sending any of those out. In the afternoon though we did a couple of needlefelted pieces to mount onto card. This I really enjoyed, I did start out going to felt a sheep ,but of course!!!!! However then it was turned into a cat, and last of all I had a christmas mouse lol.
I thought I may stitch in onto a piece of stitching of the poem "A night before Christmas" but maybe I am being a bit ambitious ,that is a watch this space thing. The other felt piece I did was this, again for a Christmas card but have not decided that yet.

I really enjoyed the needle-felting ,so much so Martin signed me up for another day ,this time doing a needlefelt sheep (free standing I think) wonder what that will turn out to be. It is on January 3rd and I am wondering if it will go ahead as there were only 2 names on the list. We will see.Every year at Christmas we have a new "thing" for want of a better description for the mantle or somewhere ,this year we saw these at a garden centre display.
We came home with this one.
We have had lots of people admire it. Talking of admiration this too came in for a lot of admiration.


Scuse the tele etc. On the tree here are many ornaments sent and made through the years, my memory Christmas tree. Hope it will hold many more for years to come!Every year a stitchy friend and I exchange ornaments at Christmas and although they started off stitchy they have transgressed into whatever takes our fancy. This year she made me this little fellow and as I used to bead I simply loved him. Barbara if you are reading this Thankyou again.

Photo does not do him justice. He is so pretty and sparkly. Another little pressie I had from Christine I was delighted with, you may remember the little sheep brooch she made me for my birthday. Which is worn a lot! Well here is what was sent to me for Christmas (an idea I think I may be using myself\)

Thankyou Christine for a lovely little brooch. I have been very lucky and had sheepy things and a new laptop ,which is so quick compared to my old one! I am not swearing half as much, so thankyou to my other half,who has also been helping me with handmade pressies for special people you know who you are. For all of you who have thought of me through trials and tribulations this past year and for the kindness you have shown ,Bless you.
The header on this post is a place Martin and I went to back in the early summer, when things were a little black for me, I did say I would share with you some of the pics of the day well I will share a couple now as there is a special reason for showing you.This is Pallington Lakes just outside of the County town of Dorchester, A sculpture park set in acres of lakes ,no set way round just wander and find what you will. No children allowed (due to the nature of the place,water and children hmmm)
I felt really at peace here.
There are many sculptures dotted around here and nothing to disturb the tranquility as there are a limited number of visitors allowed in a day .
Also a wildflower walk.alongside a lake with swans ,these pictured are not real ,although there were real ones there.
So a few summery pics now the explanation why. Well on Christmas day Martin was sent home by Graeme and Sue with parcels and a present only to be opened when we were both together. This is the Riverkeepers hut. 
A shepherds hut by the river , we have been given use of it for the day as our Christmas present, they knew how much this placed seemed to heal me when the depression struck and thought it would be a nice way for us to spend a day and have somewhere to Reflect ,it has a woodburning stove and is all cosy inside. I cannot tell you how much this has touched me that they thought of this . We have not decided when to go yet either when it is cold so it will be cosy or when the wildlife are stirring in the spring. I cannot wait,unfortunately we cannot take Ollie,so Graeme said he will take the day off and come and look after the dog. Talking of which I cannot leave with out a pic of him with his Christmas sheep ,his friend Barklay bought it for him .


He had to have an operation the other week to remove a grass seed from his ear hence the bald patch on his leg,his feet are dreadful at the moment ,but he seems happy enough . As I said his friend came over to see him he is 12 weeks old and weighs 2 stone ,still has to be carried on roads but oh so cute!!!Here he is ,was not allowed to keep him.
Lastly on the animal theme here is Graeme and Sues cat Misty on the table awaiting Christmas dinner.

She is almost bigger than Barklay
.So I will leave you with a pic of  him and me looking over a bridge into a lake.I would like this made into a picture the words are in the water. Hope your reflections of the past year will bring you lovely memories: and now it is time to make new ones.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year ,with lots of stitching ,crafting or whatever you would like to do. Hope you will join me again on my ramblings next Year.
Hugs and much love
Barb.x