Sunday, 27 April 2014

Easter over and the Grand Affair.

Well hello all , something of a flat feeling here, all has gone and now back to normality. Thanks to those who left me a little comment last time ,they are much appreciated. So now what has been happening since last I wrote, well not much stitching as I have been having problems with the back and not felt like much. However today it feels betterish so I am going to try and do a little later. Martin has got me hooked on a game on my tablet called Hay Day,so I have been forever feeding chickens, milking cows harvesting and sowing crops. I have 5 sheep and 10 pigs too. So life has been busy for a virtual farmer. If you fancy having ago it should come with a warning -highly addictive.
Hope you all had a good Easter, I coped with cooking for the multitude , but had to go lay down and rest the back after. I had a lovely surprise and some really sweet cards thanks to those who sent.My friend Jane who has been really having a tough time lately with family and her own health, so pleased you are on the mend now Jane. If you do not know who I am talking about , Jane is Buttons and Stitches who owns Tilly and Oscar the bunnies and Monty the dog. This is what she sent.
I LOVE IT. That was not all.
I know this is really a peg bag ,but I have it hanging over the radiator by my chair so I can pop stitchy things in it. They were all wrapped up in the pink tissue paper with the bunny stickers on each one, reminding me of Tilly and Oscar. The little sheep bookmark you can just see against the spots of the bag came in its own little box. I just felt so special when this arrived. Thankyou so much Jane.

As I said not much done in the way of stitching by me to show you this time. Sally must have been despairing of me this last week and the ladies in the parlour. NEXT TIME promise.
I have been mentioning my Dress to Impress grand affair, my much loved Son and Daughter in laws Silver Wedding celebration. Well here as promised are some pics .
This was taken outside Kate much loved daughters home before setting off.
Disaster as Jack notices a hole in the back of Caitlins dress. Nanny to the rescue with needle and thread .
A now smiling Caitlin and a very proud grandad.She looked absolutely stunning.
Dad and our daughter Kate.


Ok I do not like having my photo taken as you all know. So left to right me, Martin, Iain sil, Kate ,Caitlin ,Katy and Jack.

Jack eldest grandson and Caitlin posing by their dads car. Of course Jacks girlfriend Katy had to get in on the act.
So we set off Kate drove us and the others went with Iain. The next one was taken as we arrived but I was in the car and Kate was driving. Hence it is a little blurry.

A red carpet welcomed us. Along with Ella Graeme and Sues daughter.
Then onto the entrance hall.
The arrangement you can see in the lopsided table ! Is white orchids , white lilies and it was beautiful.
Of course the main people of the evening were these 2 very special people. Sorry the photo is of them seperate as I could not get them together at the time , so Graeme our son, Kates brother. 
His bow tie even had silver speckles in it. And the girl who looked a million dollars. Sue our daughter in law of 25 years.
This is them on their wedding day. A voucher we all had to play on the gaming tables. Yes it was a casino night-why Sue said think James bond. 

We were given champagne when we arrived and Graeme did a lovely speech ,even had Sue in tears. He mentioned how they had first met at bakery college ,well on the train there and had done a film to go with it. Lump in the throat job. Then back to the tables .
The lady on the right was bridesmaid with Kate on the couples big day.
Sues mum and dad, the orchids were on the tables and were presented to  family and close friends at the end Mine is here on the window sill , hope I do not kill it. They really celebrated their 25 years in style. I did say to my son in law I hope he was taking notes as it is theirs in September. 
The dresses were a mix of short and long and some more there than others but everyone looked fantastic and I am sure had a good time. We all felt rather flat and rather lethargic the next day ,we did not get to bed until 1a.m ,not used to that. 

Sam and Alfie did not come as it was not a children friendly thing really. Sam though is on crutches as he has broken the growth plate in his foot. Slipped on the stairs, he cannot see the consultant until Wednesday but that is what the hospital said when Kate took him. 
So my dears ,sorry it is not much about stitching this time mainly family .I shall leave you with a pic of the 2 grandaughters together.
Will catch up again soon,meanwhile stay safe and just think it will soon be MAY!!!!
love Barb. x
  

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Happy Easter one and all

Easter greeting from me to you. Thanks come to all of you who read this little blog of mine and to those who comment. As you can see from the header April is hanging on the chimney breast and thanks to Miss Julie and Mr Stick I have a new finish ,I told you last time that I was attempting to chart a British version of November ,and whoo hoo I have done it. What do you think?

Right hand side.

Left hand side.

This week I am stitching December started last year and hopefully finished this, I know it is here somewhere I saw it the other day ,since when my old head has forgotten where, it happens quite a lot these days. What a lovely few days we have had, it is such a delight to see the sunshine and everything growing rapidly. We are having Dale come back soon ,he is having a think of what he can do. We have a border out back which I wanted as a cottage come flowering garden ,but it never seems to look anything ,the rest of the garden is manageable but this patch isnt. So I will  be showing pics at a later stage. He is also going to remove a couple of trees damaged by the storms and finding something to replace them . You may remember our garden eighteen months ago when Dale revamped it.
The almost same spot, it is growing well .No flowers though just green .


Just love seeing the shadows of the restio on the grass. We have been out there tidying this last weekend. The weekend before I think I told you , I did a workshop on Silk Ribbon embroidery,very intensive although enjoyable. The tutor certainly kept us all in order , no lunch until we had got to a certain point , no talking unless you could work and talk. Several times I heard "Barbara , take that needle out of your mouth".I think Martin had had words with her to not let me come home with something else not finished. Saying that I did not finish it quite but I did on the Monday morning. Here is my rose sampler ,not perfect by any means but for a first attempt not a bad effort.

I also had to buy a couple of her books ,one which is out of print but she had one there. 


I also got the one behind . Oh such beautiful work she does, she had a basket of flowers that she had done in a frame , all spring flowers ,just lovely and I did not get a pic. The next day Sunday , my friend Jan and I went off to the Quilt show at Exeter. Lots of lovely quilts to look at and stalls too. Well I had to take a pic of  one that I loved  didn't I.I cannot  show it to you until I fathom out, or ask a man that can, how to get it  is off my camera. A clue though is a little gift that came from Miss Julies hols.

Yes it was a sheep quilt featuring 30 sheep and a sheep dog fast asleep counting them . Thanks for the stickers Julie , you really are a sweetie. 
Whilst I was at the quilt show, of course there were things to buy, I did not go with the intention of buying anything but you know how it is at these things. Some of my purchaseds for you to see.
Just loved this pattern and I will be stitching that one soon I hope. I also bought some fabric, ribbon and buttons but won't bore you with those. I did see this on a stall and just had to have it. Malbrigo wool and patterns that just take 1 hank. I won't tell you how much a hank is though!!!!!

The lady selling it was lovely , I said my husband will bless me having to hold a hank of wool for me, to which she said come back in a little while and I will have it wound into a ball for you. How is that for service. One of the patterns in the book was this ,so I may have to get some this colour too.

So I came home with a few goodies. My friend June has said there is another show in Somerset the weekend after this ,but not sure about that one as it is the weekend of the Grand Affair and I am not sure if we will be up to a longish drive. 
I usually have the tribe for Dinner on Tuesday but I have this week off, SIL is having the children for 3 days while Kate is at work. 
That is why this is getting written on a Tuesday. Yesterday I had a lovely suprise from Clare at Needlecraft Haven where I open the Parlour every Wednesday for those who want to stitch along on LHN, CCN,or the Sampler Girl designs. I sent her a few patterns I had no need for and she sent me this . Here it is hanging in situ.
I love it Clare , thankyou once again. She also sent some Easter crackers for the grandchildren. Also this week came my April Calendar girl one of the Sals I am doing with Sally.
I am afraid March had frogs visiting last evening, so her arm had to come off. Will try and catch up a bit in the week. I do have another finish again a SAL with Sally this time on Fridays and the 6th day was put together this morning.
I think her skirt maybe the wrong colour as I am sure Sallys is red, I have had to order more pins as I cannot find the other wheel I thought I had. Told you my memory is shot.
Well all I am off now with the man of the house to walk the dog of the house ,I expect said dog will be on the beach and in the sea before we get there.
Some bluebells in the garden for you, Love the colour.

 Take care and I will speak to you again soon.Hair cut tomorrow -scary ,new hairdresser too. 
Love Barb.x




Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Oh to be in England ,now that Aprils here.

Isn't it lovely seeing all the trees showing there spring greenery, especially when the sun is shining. Today ,Wednesday it certainly isn't and the grey clouds and rain have returned. I am hoping it will not be the state of affairs for the whole week as yesterday was gorgeous. DD Kate came over with the boys and they were able to play out in the garden and we and they thoroughly enjoyed it. So what have I been up to since I last wrote, well a couple of finishes to show you some wips and purchases.
So without more ado. On Monday we went to see a tutor at her studio she is going to come along to RMW and teach Viking knitting. A picture of her studio from outside,
a quaint little old school room in a little hamlet ,a very small village of about 10houses. I love the bell and the moss on the roof. An example of the viking knitting she will be teaching.
She informed us that they have examples of this "knitting" in a museum in Oslo ,but knitted in gold. Will be interesting to see how it works. This weekend I am doing a silk ribbon embroidery class with Ann Cox who is an international tutor, Scary stuff this doing things out of my comfort zone.On Sunday I am off to a quilt show at Westpoint , a friend has a quilt exhibited and has to go and collect it so we are going for a look see first, before she has to collect hers. I hear fabric is for sale -oh dear -an expensive weekend. Talking of expense I have not one but 2 posh frocks for the grand affair - the dress to impress Silver Wedding Celebration of our son and daughter in law. I will show you a pic maybe of us dressed up. Martin has a dress suit so I have my own James Bond. Although he says he has silver hair and no Aston Martin.
Shoes with heels have been purchased ,just hope I can walk in them !!
So we are all set now. As most know it was Mothering Sunday last weekend and I had a voucher for M&S from Graeme who told me to buy something nice with it, and a Rose bush to admire in the garden from Kate ,who chose me a double damask for the smell. She also got me a little notebook which I liked,
I was not forgotten by Ollie dog, he is just so clever, he begged pocket money off Martin and bought me an extra 4 paws to remind me of him and 2 bunches of daffodils.
Hes just so cute. On Monday we had to go to the County town of Dorchester to pick up a repaired ring I had lost a stone out of. We were browsing a market stall near by and I picked up these 2 for £3 . I read one of her books recently and enjoyed it so I succumbed to temptation and got them.
This week stitching wise , I had this arrive . I am hoping the proceeds of this purchase will go to help rescued golden retrievers in the U.S.
I just had to have it as we meet so many friends of Ollies while walking in the fields along the Coastal path. So I shall be stitching this in the parlour with my Needlecraft Haven friends at some point. I got a little package of threads to stitch this and my new start this evening ,which is a country cottage one.
Oh and before I forget, the bane of my life my memory, thankyou for your suggestions regarding fabric for Carols in the square. I bit the bullet and ordered the Nocturne suggested in the pattern from Picture this Plus,.They sent me an email on the 20th March saying it had been shipped but not arrived yet. Has anyone else ordered from them?
I almost had a fit when I saw what the Gast and Weeks threads would cost me if I stitched it as chart says, over £100 , I DONT THINK SO.Good old dmc may have to do.What say you?
As I said earlier I have a few stitchy things to show you so I shall start with the finishes.
This is my latest Parlour finish, In the Meadow by CCN on Week dye works fabric Scuppermong.
Martin framed it for me and I added the snowflakes to finish it off. The other one is the Needlecraft Haven March ornie challenge. This is the design Christine chose for us all to print off and stitch . I did mine over one on 28count and instead of stitching the berries on the trees i used little beads.

I loved stitching this one. Christine I know reads this so thanks to you Christine for choosing this one . I thought the trees looked like Rowan trees with the berries.
Now onto wips , still with NH ,some of you will know last year I started the Wordplay series, for some reason well I know the November reason ,but November and December were not done. November because I knew I would have to change it to a more British design , sorry to my friends in the US but I being of contrary mind wanted it to be British .So last Saturday the first day of Miss Julies weekend UFO nights I charted the design how I wanted it. This is how it should be.
This is my version,up to Sunday last, it is now put down until next Saturday.
As you know Sally and I stitch together twice a week and last Friday was the Little Stitchers 12 days. I still have trees to do, but Sally has not finished her 6th day either so I don't feel too bad.

Sorry pic isnt very clear and hoop and crease marks arent helping ,but you get the  idea. On Mondays Sally is stitching her Frosty Forest and I am doing the Calendar girls, I am still on March as I started the Month that it was ,so I shall be behind all year!!
Yet another girl this is how far I am with Lilli Violette with you.
This is a pick up as and when no set night to stitch on it. I have not got very far on my ww1 memorial pieces but Martin has been playing with glass and has made this.
I can see him making more of this type of thing, maybe he will do one for Graeme and Sue for their wedding anniversary a wedding photo and a 25 years on photo with bells on!
He has put the name of my grandfathers brother ,,where he was killed and the date.on the memorial piece.
Well folks I think that is all for now, thankyou for all your comments last time on the sheep and Rosie finish, answering questions and making suggestions, I do appreciate every one. Also I may be doing a give away soon as I have hit 201 followers ,thanks to the newbies and I am waving to you. Will have to put some thought to that.
Meanwhile take care and happy stitching ,shopping and whatever else pleases you.
Much love and hugs
Barb.x


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Virtuous sheep and a Rosie cushion

Hiya everyone,
I have been busy and feel like the sheep very virtuous.Hands to work and all that. Well by the title you will have guessed I have finishes to show you. An anniversary and an outing also and purchases too. So where do I start?
As it is a sunny day lets start with yesterday the 18th ,for Martin and I a special day our 47th wedding anniversary. We had phone calls from family in the morning and then set off with Ollie for a wander round Abbotsbury sub tropical gardens.

I know I have taken you here before but not at this time of year. As you enter you see the formal bed.
More or less the only "formal"bit in these gardens. The weather did drizzle on us a little but it soon cleared. We wandered up and down and round and round, Ollie had to stay on his lead ,which is only fair. He met a little border terrier who was so cute named Sorrel and was only 7 months old. She so desperately wanted him to play,but he is a staid old man now and does not "do"playing.
No hanging about for a dog in a hurry. The sunlight coming through the trees was lovely. There were flowers in bloom though and camellias were just finishing.
Hellebores in all shades , dark almost red pink , pale pink , maroon, So much to see.
This is called the Magnolia walk and lots still to come into flower. But the daffodils, I was going to sit amongst them for a photo shot but thought they looked better on their own!!

Underneath them all the way to the top, was this.
A host of golden daffodils. At the top of the walk , the view was somewhat hazy but still seeable. Is that a word?It is now.
The fleet looking toward Portland which has vanished in the mist, it does not run downhill either,blame the person who took it. Looking the other way toward Bridport and Lyme Regis.
 Not a great shot. I do like this wall that curved around the top of the hill we walked up.
On the way down Ollie was no longer pulling on his lead ,in fact he decided to sit amongst the daffodils.
He chose a patch were there were only a few . Walking on we came upon this fallen tree, the gales we had recently must have caused it to fall.



Wonder if they will do what they have done to this one.
Front and back view.



Then just around the corner ,and there are a lot of corners, we came on these having a dip.




Speaking of wildlife ,something we did not expect to see but we certainly heard them. 

Kookaburras ,yes a little of Australia here in Britain. Ollie was quite intrigued by the noise they were making.
If you are ever this way it is a lovely place to visit, as well as the spring flowers there are also the bamboos etc. One of which I loved the Culms , the stems of the bamboo, Think I may have to ask Dale ,if we could have one for our garden.

So after the visit we went to our local hostelry and had a pub lunch. Martin and I before we were married lived 300 miles apart. In those days ,way back when, we had no phones, no e mail , phones were in a box at the bottom of the street, so letters were sent every day ,sometimes twice! What did we find to write about,heavens knows, but letters it was and a meeting every 3 months. So my dear man saw this and thought it would bring back memories, 



A boofle with a letter and an envelope with SWALK on it. Oh so many memories. The tulips were also bought for me. He is a sweetie.
More wildlife the Sheep Virtue series from LHN that I have been stitching along with Sally. I was going to put these on an afghan and back it with fleece. However, I changed my mind and did this. Sally has been wondering why I sent Martin out to buy rope!
What do you think.


Here it is in situ. 
Also sitting on the bed is Rosie. Here she is finished and I must thank Julie and Mr Stick over at Needlecraft Haven and the girls of course ,for encouragement in finishing this on the UFO nights.

Then another little finish Day 5 of the Little Stitchers 12 days of Christmas. 

The birds should be all red but I cannot get my head round red birds.I have had stash arrive too from the releases at Nashville that I ordered from the U.S. 
These were a birthday present and today came fabric I thought I could do it on but is it too light ,and grey. Opinions please.
This was the other one I had.
I have to save up for the Valdani threads.I did look for a conversion to Dmc , but a few are not on the list so I shall bite the bullet at some point and get the proper ones. So my dears I think I have given you chapter and verse , I see I need one more person to follow me and I shall hit the 200 ,who would have thought. If you would like to mention me on your blog and ask the person to say who sent them I would love to get to the magic number. 
One more thing came today , I have been loving the trailer music for Shetland . I found out who was singing it and it arrived this morning.
I thank each and everyone of you for the comments and for reading this. I keep meaning how to find out how to answer your comments but so far not had any luck.
So for this time its goodbye from me and take care of yourselves.
See you next time.