Friday, 26 August 2016

They Call Me The Wanderer ....

I've had a long hiatus from blogging during which I have had a lot of ups and downs in my life.  However, with encouragement from my boss and my lovely friend Rachel I have decided to pick it up again - so we'll see how it goes.

In March 2014 I upped sticks and moved to West Yorkshire after getting a transfer with my job.  Now after several moves I am finally in a place of my own and I love it.  I have a lovely wee three bedroom terraced house - well maybe that should be two bedrooms and a craft room - and its close to work so my travelling is down to a minimum and I'm not spending endless hours on buses or trains.  I've got settled in very quickly and its the first time in almost 2 and a half years that I feel like I have a home.  I miss Glasgow and it will always be home but for now I'm here and I am finally starting to make a life for myself down here.

Unfortunately my constant companion and bestest friend in the world, my gorgeous wee Minnie May died just 7 months after we moved to Yorkshire.  I miss her terribly and it has taken me a long time to even think about having another puss in my life, but thanks to my landlord's two moggies who seem to think that this is still home, especially Lola, I am coming around to the idea of giving a special cat a forever home.  Since I am going to be away rather a lot over the next couple of months I am going to wait until I get back from my holiday in October before I start my search.

Back in April I managed to get a wee allotment in the local park.  I fell lucky as not only was in laid out into beds it also has a shed.  I've done more experimenting than anything this growing season and currently have parsnips, sugar snap peas, beetroot, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkins and courgettes as well as rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurants, gooseberries and blackberries (or brambles where I come from). I've also created a wee memorial garden and planted three rose bushes for my parents and my gran - a yellow rose for mum, a lovely scarlet red for my dad and a pretty apricot for my gran.  I'm planning on a fruit tree for next year together with a proper greenhouse and I might even paint the shed!  My friends Jo and Richard regularly bring their two little lads Craig and Thomas up to visit while I'm up there and Craig loves to help with the digging.  I have regular orders for my rhubarb from Jo and her mum and also my neighbour Nicola.

This month marked 40 years since my dad passed away.  Hard to believe he's been gone so long.  I still miss him so much especially when I am visiting new places that I know he would love.  Unfortunately on the day of his anniversary I found out that my uncle Archie and my wee cousin Craig had passed away last year.  I am travelling up to Scotland for the Davis Cup next month and spending a week catching up with friends and I also have some bridges that need mending as far as family go.  I haven't seen my aunts and uncles since mum's funeral over 10 years ago so I will be visiting them and hopefully start a new chapter there.

I've not done much stitching at all in the last couple of years and in fact I think I have only finished one project since I have been down here.  I lost my enthusiasm for stitching in a big way but putting my craft room together has helped a little ad I have started a new project for my kitchen Lizzie*Kate's Little Cups of Friendship.  I have done more knitting than anything whilst here and only have one sleeve left to do on my bolero cardi and I'm also knitting a cushion cover with the wool I got for my birthday last year from my team at work (and you should have seen the looks on their faces when I told them what I wanted with my birthday money!!)  Its lovely wool and the shade I am using at the moment, magenta, is so vibrant.  My friend Rachel and I have joined a lovely group of knitters in a wee village called Silsden and we go there twice a month on a Saturday for knitting, crotchet, stitching, loads of chat as well as tea and home baked goodies.  We also take our knitting to our wee local, the Fox in Shipley, just up the road from my office.  Its a small pub but they have live music on a Tuesday night and a little group of knitters too.  I don't think I've ever been a regular at my local in my life but I am now!

All in all I have a fairly hectic social life these days what with the knitting group, the Fox, my once a month book group, the once a month pub quiz and the random days out - this week alone we've been on a Scarecrow Trail and a Treasure Trail up at Burley in Wharedale where I found not one but two "des res's".  Just need that lottery win ...

This weekend is a Bank Holiday and I am planning on a day at the allotment tomorrow before spending Sunday with friends in Saltaire before we head to the Hop to hear (and see) the fabulous Turnarounds and then off out to the Brew Haus on Monday for the Sausage and Cider Festival.  Can't wait - will need to go back to work on Tuesday for a rest!

I plan over the next couple of months to add lots of photos of where I've been recently but for now I will just add a couple of shots of the allotment and a finished project I finally got around to framing.

So until next time thanks for reading and see you soon.

Love and hugs,

Ally xx

My shed

One view of the allotment


Butternut squash

My daddy's rose

Official Crazy Cat Lady

Friday, 26 July 2013

It's Been a While .....

Well more than a while really - just shy of a year since my last post.  I always set out with good intentions which swiftly fall by the wayside ... but since my fellow Mods on Friendly Stitchers are always reminding me that I haven't done an update lately (at all!) then hopefully this will appease them a little.

I won't make it too long of a post.  Lets just say the past year has been an extremely long and arduous one - got a job and promptly lost it again (but it is less of a loss and more of a blessing) but I have a call back for an "informal chat" for a job I went up for a couple of weeks ago so fingers crossed that all will be well.

I have been stitching and have even have some finishes!  I took part in our annual pilgrimage to Harrogate last November - great fun as always - and also had a day trip to Woolfest at Cockermouth in Cumbria last month.  I've also joined a local book club and a Meetup group - Glasgow Knit n Stitch so I have come into contact with a whole new set of likeminded friends.  I think in the main I have been trying - and succeeding - to keep myself busy.  

At the beginning of the year I decided that since I have failed to finish one single project last year that I would make a concerted effort to finish as many WIPs and UFOs as I possibly could this year.  So far I have finished three of my 2012 Crazies - CCN The Bookstore, Diane Graebner's Flying High and a Traditional Sampler designed by a very good friend and member of Friendly Stitchers (and very talented designer) Nancy Taplin.  I also finished one of my 2011 Crazies - the Crocus Cushion by Sue Page.   That took me up until the end of March - and then I started that job (hiss hiss spit spit) and I went from being prolific to being non-existent.  Lets just say when I wasn't working (just shy of 50 hours a week) then I was sleeping.  If it hadn't been for the Knit and Stitch peeps I doubt I would have been doing any stitching at all!

And speaking of which - I went along to Woolfest in Cockermouth with the ladies from the group - there were 16 of us in the wee hired minibus and some others had driven down.  We had a wonderful day - I met lots of lovely dogs and fell in love with some gorgeous alpacas.  I also bought some wool!  So after 20 years of not knitting at all (my gran taught me when I was 5 or 6 years old) I am knitting again!  You never know you might even see a couple of knitted finishes on here too at some point.

Around March/April I bought one of those walk-in greenhouse thingies - the ones with the plastic covers - and we now have got a whole load of tomatoes and a very prolific pepper plant growing profusely in there.  It is south facing so they are thriving and I can't wait to get my teeth into the first crop of tomatoes which shouldn't be too long now.  i just hope they taste as good as they look!  We've also had a lovely display of flowers out in our back yard overlooking the river.   I've had some close encounters with the wildlife too - three otters, the kingfishers and a family of baby gosanders - needless to say I didn't have a camera to hand when I had those encounters :(

I am off down to Yorkshire at the end of September to the Mouse House for a weekend of celebrations and hopefully some stitching too and then we are off to Harrogate again in November.  This year we have taken a cottage and it looks absolutely gorgeous!  Niina and I are already fighting over who gets in the bath first!  Look out for loads of photos from that when the time comes.

And talking of photos i will end with some photos of finishes and veggies - and one of Minnie May who is celebrating her 14th birthday today.  It would have been my mum's 83rd birthday today so she has been in my thoughts too today.  The piece of stitching Minnie is modelling says it all I think!

Sweet pepper plant


More tomatoes :)

Alpacas mwaaaaaah I want one!!!!

Happy Birthday Minnie May xx

Close up of motif on crocus cushion

Crocus cushion finished at last!

Traditional Sampler

Flying High by Diane Graebner

The Book Store by Country Cottage Needleworks

I am currently working on the latest Friendly Stitchers Round Robin - I've done Mouse's and I am working on Frances's at the moment so will post updates of those next time.

Thanks for stopping by as always and I promise not to leave it so long next time!

Love and hugs,

Ally xx

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lazy Sunday Afternoon ..........

There's a song in there somewhere lol!  Well here I am again; not as quick as I had hoped but having had visitors and lots to be getting on with I didn't have a chance to get to sit down and blog until now.  Kettle's been on so grab a cup of whatever you fancy and settle down.

Cat Lessons for People - Lizzie*Kate
I have been stitching - on one of my Crazies and here's a pic to show how I have got on.  I am putting this back into my rotation tomorrow but I am so happy with what I have achieved so far especially as Maureen pretty much gave me a challenge to at least get the cat finished when she was here two weeks ago.  Didn't I do well?

Should have put a bet on it ........

The weekend that Maureen was here I had another Maureen visiting; this one an old work colleague.  Its always nice to have her come to visit and she kindly took us both out to dinner to Battlefield Rest to celebrate her recent 60th birthday and my belated (very) 50th birthday!  Battlefield Rest is a very popular eaterie here on the south side of Glasgow.  in fact it used to be a tram stop and I can remember sitting in the waiting room (what is now the main body of the restaurant) with my mum when I was little.  I hasten to add that it was a bus we were waiting for as the trams stopped in Glasgow in the very early 60s!

We had a busy Saturday as we not only took a trip up to Queens Park to the Farmer's Market (and discovered a late clutch of chicks on one of the ponds) but we also went up to Pollok Country Park where they were holding a Highland Cattle Show.  Plenty of lovely highland cows and their wee ones and I got a chance to renew an old acquaintance with one of the Clydesdales, Spencer, who is a complete darling.  

 Oh and I received the most gorgeous ornament from Frances (no blog) in our Christmas/Winter in July exchange on Friendly Stitchers.  It is really quite stunning and I am thrilled to bits with it and can't wait to place it on the tree this year.  She also sent up a piece of Campbell tartan ribbon which I am thinking of using as part of a cushion at some point.  I have never had a piece of Campbell tartan ribbon before - not even for my hair when I was little.  I am proud of my clan roots so will use it sparingly and wisely!  Thank you Frances so much!

Work continues slowly on the bathroom.  Scottish Power are insisting on installing an insolator switch before they will give permission for the new console board to be fitted.  They are coming tomorrow afternoon and hopefully the electrician will be able to come before the end of the week to do the rest of the work.  If I can also get the plumber to come on Friday - I could spend most of next weekend just standing under my new shower.  Prunes anyone?  I promise a photo when it is all done (and I promise NOT to be in the shower when the photo is taken lol!)

Okay I am going to toddle off for a refill and pick up my needle again as Downton Abbey will be on shortly and I want to be nice and comfy before it starts.  Hope you've all been stitching away merrily and as always thanks for stopping by.


Ally xx

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Read all about it!!!!!

Well that got your attention didn't it?  Apologies for not posting sooner but I wanted to have some proper stitching finishes to show off and I finally have something.  Was that a thud I heard???  

Berry Christmas by Lizzie*Kate
Mistle-toad by Lizzie*Kate
Noel Squared by Lizzie*Kate
Kettle's been on and tea has brewed so first up are the three ornaments I signed up for in our Christmas/Winter in July Challenge & Exchange over at Friendly Stitchers.  I finally got my three ornies finished and although they are not made up yet at least they are stitched and ready to go.  My partner was Frances and we agreed that we'd stitch our three and then we'd have our choice of the three from our partner.  I have chosen a lovely pendible which will look lovely on my tree and I can't wait until it arrives!  I'll post a photo once it gets here.  All of my ornaments were from Lizzie*Kate; two of them "Berry Christmas" and "Mistle-Toad" are from the Tiny Tidings series and the other "Noel Squared" is one of their Snippets series.  I am waiting for the berry buttons to arrive so that I can finish this off and then get it off to Frances so I will do an update photo of that to when its done.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum (summer school
Spanish students in foreground)
there is a heron in there somewhere!
Glasgow University from the grounds of
Kelvingrove Art Gallery

I've been busy with the teaching lately; working mornings at the school and then afternoons at Strathclyde University where we had a contract to tutor 70+ Chinese engineering students up to a passable IELTS level.  That finished on Friday and it was sad to say goodbye to the students - they were all so nice.  They all looked so much more relaxed on Friday after receiving their results in the morning so we had a fun activities afternoon for them.  They've worked hard these last 2 months and deserve a wee break now before their course starts proper at the end of the month.

and he decided to be friendly after all :)
One of the locals!
At the end of August I took myself off down to Yorkshire and Cheshire with a little detour into Welsh Wales to go visit with Mouse and Gillie.  It was a very last minute decision - i.e. I decided pretty late on Thursday night and booked my coach ticket and spent all day (and I mean ALL day) Friday on a coach down to Sheffield where Mouse picked me up.  I had completely overlooked the fact that it was the English Bank Holiday weekend and the coach company appear to have overlooked the fact too because they had vastly overbooked the coach and had to put on an extra coach at Edinburgh to cope with the amount of passengers.  The extra coach was supposed to just go to Newcastle but it was the same story there and so it went on - until we got to Leeds where we were stuck for 40 minutes waiting for the other coach to catch us up which is failed to do - and I had to call Mouse every 10 minutes to say yessss we're STILL in Leeds!!!!

Me and Mouse halfway up the stairs ...
The Three Amigos!!
However, that aside it was a lovely weekend but way too short.  Friday night was spent at Mouse's although we didn't manage to get any stitching done we spent the evening looking through her WIPs so there was lots to see.  I also got to meet Master Bentley at long last and he is twice as cute as his photos!  The following morning after breakfast we headed off to Cheshire for an overnight visit with Gillie and the WT.  Its been a while since I had last been to the barn but it was just as lovely as I remembered it and of course I had to go off down to say hello to the horses too ...  We played musical tables in and out of the courtyard as the sun alternately was blazing hot then cold and rainy.  Needless to say much tea was quaffed but no stitching done :( although Mouse overlocked a whole load of fabric for Gillie and Gillie got on with a very pretty scarf she was knitting.  We had our mods meeting there as Gillie won't make it to Harrogate this year :( (well not at the moment anyway!!)

One or two wee things from Nimble Thimble ...
After lunch on Sunday, Mouse and I headed off to the Nimble Thimble which is in a very pretty rural location.  It was my first visit there but it certainly won't be my last!  Chris was so very accommodating, opening especially for us and we were only just in the door when the kettle went on.  In between browsing around for stash I rescued a little fieldmouse from a little grey cat.  The wee thing was in shock and I just hope it survived ...

and a close-up of that fabric!!
I got one or two wee things but I was suitably restrained as I am saving myself for Harrogate in November.  It was a lovely day out though and on the way back to Sheffield we stopped off for a lovely Sunday roast lunch at a local hostelry before mouse dropped me back off at the coach station in Sheffield to wend my weary way home again.  Got in at 3am so I may rethink the overnight option next time lol!

I've been busy lately with work being done in the flat so that I can get it on the market.  The bathroom flooring is down at the shower is up although the trouble and money that has cost has been no laughing matter.  The console board is obsolete and even if we could get a replacement fuse to allow the shower to be hooked up it would be too powerful for the board so I need to have a new console board fitted.  However Scottish Power will not let the work go ahead without them installing an isolator switch at the cost of £152!  Only then can the electrician go ahead.  So, what was a simple job has cost nearly £400 and has dragged on and on and on and on .... all I wanted was to have a shower in the evenings when I got home :(

The flooring is also down in the kitchen but the electrics are holding everything else up and until that is done then the rest of the work will have to wait.

I've also had visitors aplenty - with one of my Spanish students joining me for dinner last Saturday and another ex-student and now a good friend, Kasia from Poland coming for lunch yesterday.  Next weekend is another busy with with an old work colleague coming for the weekend on Friday and staying till Sunday and then Maureen coming for lunch on Sunday.  I love having friends to visit whether it is just for an evening or afternoon, or for a weekend.

Okay, I think I shall call it a day here and go do some stitching once I decide what I am working on!  Thanks for stopping by and if you pop over next weekend there may even be some lemon drizzle cake.  Just sayin .......


Ally xx

Friday, 8 June 2012

Return of the Wanderer

Well here I am, finally, blogging again after an enforced break due to my laptop being sick.  Turned out it had a faulty hard-drive which has now been sorted out and I got it back yesterday all set and raring to go.  Just as well I had backed everything up onto a couple of memory sticks or I would have lost everything ....

I suppose my BIG news is I am working!  Well, at the moment still on trial but I am hoping that at the end of the month that status will change to permanent.  I have gone back to teaching English (ESOL) and I am with a small language school in the centre of Glasgow.  Its a fairly new school (they started up about a year ago).  The main thing is I am really enjoying it and I had really forgotten just how much I love teaching.

Winter Wonderland - LHN
Since starting back at work my stitching has very much taken a backseat.  I do the evening classes and the occasional private student also in the evenings so I am rarely home before 7.30 in the evenings.  By the time I've fed Minnie, and me, I am too tired to do much more than vegetate on the sofa for an hour or so before heading off to bed.  However, with the laptop being in the shop for the whole weekend and most of this week coupled with a 5 day weekend thanks to the Diamond Jubilee, I finally found some time to do some stitching and picked up one of my Crazies - Winter Wonderland by LHN.  

Strawberry Language of Flowers Sampler - Sue Hawkins
Prior to starting work I had managed to do a fair bit of stitching and here is one of my progress pics of a Crazy.  I really love working on this one and can't wait to make more progress on it.  I love the four sided stitch which the boxes are created from - so easy to do and so effective!  

I also did a lot of work on Flying High by Diane Graebner and The Book Store by CCN but I need to scan those in so will post of progress shots next time.

Dawn of Spring by Mouse - top part
One thing I have been working on is Dawn of Spring which is the latest SAL on Friendly Stitchers and has been designed by my lovely and very talented friend Mouse.  It took me three attempts to decide on fabric and two attempts to get the thread colours right but I am happy with what I decided on and all I have to do now is catch up with everyone else.  I got a bit held up at the start as I injured my thumb in a silly accident in the kitchen and for the best part of a week I couldn't even hold a pen never mind a needle so there was no stitching for me.  It's not one of my Crazies so I work on it when I can, and it is such a lovely stitch with a few specialty stitches thrown in here and there to spice things up.  There's nothing like too many specialty stitches to put you off a design is there?

Oh - and I made another biscornu using Mouse's Harrogate design again.  This one was for my friend Yvonne for her birthday in February.  She loves it and has got it hanging up in her kitchen apparently where it has been much admired!  Yvonne and I met on a course to tutor in Adult Literacy about 12 or 13 years ago and have been friends ever since.

So there you go - I HAVE been stitching - despite what some people might think!

A couple of years ago I set up a round robin for members of my Friendly Stitchers group to stitch the Weather Poems series by Sue Cook which was in Cross Stitcher magazine in 1997 (yes I still have all the magazines!)  Not all of the girls carried on with it but one of the ones that did (Penny) sent me a little gift when she sent some of the magazines back to me.  Not only did she capture my love of plants but of cats too.  Thank you Penny - it was a completely unexpected gift and I absolutely love the charts and threads!

The coleus is one of the two remaining ones that I planted from seed last year

Ivy in an old teapot
I have been spending lots of time at the gardens and my allotment is full of veggies and potential veggies (ie seeds lol).  Currently in the ground are potatoes, leeks, carrots, parsnips and beetroot together with some oregano.  In the greenhouse I have got tomato plants, plum tomatoes, sweet peppers and aubergines and I also 

have 3 tomato plants here at home on the kitchen windowsill.  I've also got lots of flowers growing too and have brought home Livingston daisies and sweetpeas to go into the baskets and tubs and I've already planted up one of the baskets with pretty little violas.  I've also got petunias and impatiens (bizzie lizzies) in seed trays here at home.  I've got some lovely ivy leaf geraniums to go into planters too so hopefully there will be a blaze of colour in our little backyard beside the river when we get into summer proper ... if we get one of course!  I'll post up photos of those once they are planted up but for now here are some shots of a few of my plants and a few other things in and around Glasgow for your delictation!

Baby heron in the duck pond at Queens Park

One of the frogs in the ponds in the walled garden next to our  allotments in Kings Park
Glasgow Green - Cleopatra's Needle in the distance
Arched entrance to Glasgow Green
Thanks as always for dropping by to read and leave a comment (thanks to those of you who always do!)  I promise I will be back soon with more news.  


Ally xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Missing in Action

So so sorry guys for being missing for such a long time.   My laptop for some reason will not update my browser due to a missing Service Pack and so I need to get someone to fix it which will hopefully happen soon.  In the meantime, I am keeping busy with my jobsearch and also my stitching (of course).  I've started om the Crazy 15 Challenge but having checked my memory stick I only actually have a photo of one of those which of course you will get to see.

I've also been going to sewing machine classes (gasp horror!) and I can now actually use one of those mechanical beasts.  My little antique hand crank Frister & Rossman is feeling decidedly put out but I've also put in a couple of pics of what I have actually made!  The classes are over for now but we're all looking forward to getting back to it when our lovely teacher Dianne comes back from her holiday.

I'm really enjoying the Crazy 15 Challenge.  Some projects are coming along at a great rate, some not so great lol.  I guess it just depends on whether I get completely hooked on what I am doing at the time.  Once I have got the browser sorted I will upload pics of all my projects for you to see.

Anyways, I shall get myself off now and leave you with some nice photos of what I have been up to over the last few months.

Cushion in progress using an old stitched project from many years ago

Milkweeds and Monarchs by Diane Graebner

My first sewing machine finish - dontcha just love that fabric??

Traditional Sampler by Nancy Taplin of Friendly Stitchers - Part 5

Traditional Sampler by Nancy Taplin of Friendly Stitchers - Part 6

Thanks all for stopping by - I'll try not to leave it so long next time!


Ally xx

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Slowly but surely ....

I am getting there ... I promise!  I've had no internet access at home since the beginning of September; long story but I will get it sorted at some point.  I bought a dongle thinking that would help, and yes it did up to a point.  It worked on the laptop I used for work (which unfortunately went back to my ex boss last weekend) but for some reason I couldn't get it to work on my own laptop (i.e. this one).  Tried everything I could think of and nothing, nada, zilch.  I took it up to the local coffee shop today as I was meeting a new pupil (more of that later) and thought I'd try using their free wifi access and - you guessed it - nothing!  Came back and contacted a techy friend on Facebook through my Blackberry and she was sending me ideas to try out and whilst all that was going on I thought I'd do a system restore which I did, back to the end of September, and it worked!!!!  Maybe I am more of a techy than I give myself credit for.

Anyway I thought, since Mouse is out living it up in Barnsley tonight and not on Facebook to give me grief about my lack of stitching progress, that I would do a blog update.  I'll do the cuppas tonight since she is out on the ran dan (*tuts*) So, I went to the bag I had taken up to the coffee shop this afternoon to get out the Crocus Cushion to do an update - and it wasn't there!  Panic set it!  Oh no - months of work and it's almost finished and now it's gone!  I even phoned the coffee shop to see if it had been handed in.  Then I went through everything I had taken out of the bag again just in case - and there it was - in amongst a load of finished projects I had taken up with me to show Hannah.  Phewwwwwww!

Crocus Cushion by Sue Page

And without further ado, here it is:  I thought that the gold metallic swirlies would take me no time at all; get them done in a weekend I thought.  Yeah right - that was back at the beginning of September and you can see how far I have got!  It is taking me about an hour just to do one.  Talk about soul destroying :(  Anyway it is almost done and I have high hopes of getting it finished and sent off to Mouse for getting it made up into a cushion.  I have got the most gorgeous fabric to back it with so fingers crossed and who knows maybe on my next blog post I will have a proper finish to show you all.

I have been stitching honest just haven't got a lot to show for it at the moment.  I am currently working on a Christmas ornament for an exchange on my Friendly Stitchers group and also doing some other ornaments for a craft fair taking place at one of the coffee shops where I meet up with fellow stitchers - and more on that later as well.

Well on the non-stitching front; I had a week-long visit from Mrs Mouse at the end of August/beginning of September and oh it was lovely to have her here!  She hadn't been here before and it was the first time she had met the Minster too but they took to each other straight away and to be honest I was beginning to feel a bit left out of it ROFL!  I showed Mouse around my wee home town - took her up to the gardens to show her around and she met some of our members up there; also took her up to the PDSA shop where I volunteer and she came along to the quiz night that Nyree and I go to every couple of weeks.  I think she enjoyed herself (well I hope she did lol) and Minnie and I really enjoyed having her here and I was so sad to see her go.  She did crack the whip a bit while she was here and brought her sewing machine and overlocker with her and made me practice on them.  She had a go on my antique Frister & Rosmann too and really liked it.  We had a wee trip down to the coast too to Largs to meet up with Maureen and Dee from my Scottish Stitchers group (and Dee's friend Lorna too) - and a lovely time was had.  We took Mouse to Nardini's for icecream - I think she was impressed lol!

Then it was my turn to pay a visit!  While Mouse was here her DD1 contacted me and told me she was arranging for me to go down to Barnsley for Halloween and not to tell Mouse cos it was to be a surprise!  Have you ever tried to keep a surprise from a nosy Mouse?  You'll know what we went through over the next month or so then.  DD1 organised the train tickets and got them sent up to me and even booked me into the local Travel Inn for the first night too.  On the night of my arrival DD1 and DD2 and DH (Mouse's not mine of course) made some excuse of going out for a McDonalds and of course when they came back they had a MacAlly instead!  The Barnsley stitching girls were at Mouse's that night too - and of course they were in on it, so I got to meet them too.  I loved the look on Mouse's face when I walked in behind the girls!

We had a lovely weekend - but no stitching because we were getting organised for the big Halloween party that Mouse's DD1 organises every year.  Unfortunately I came down with a chest infection and was feeling distinctly rubbish the whole time I was there but it didn't stop me getting stuck in to help where I could - I was right chuffed with the end result of the cupcakes DD2 baked them and I iced them and then DD1 sprinkled them with glitter.  They look reet good on the cupcake stand in fact they looked so good we had to persuade people to eat them - they didn't want to spoil the display!  I have to admit that I ate so much buttercream during the icing of the cakes that I didn't even try one when they were done.  Still can't face the idea of buttercream lol!

Karen came over with her DH and wee Freddie her gorgeous wee Yorkie on the Saturday and they stayed over at the local hotel until the Sunday.  I shared with Freddie - he's such a wee gentleman lol.

Mouse's craft room was the bar for the night of the party and then she was decorating it so I think we only actually sat in there a couple of times and not a single stitch was put in.  I didn't stitch on the journey down either due to lack of space and on the journey back I was just too tired.  Ah well there's always the next journey ...

As usual I left my camera at home so I didn't take a single photo that weekend but Mouse took loads and you can see them on her blog.

I have been keeping myself busy and have started running some stitching classes up here in the south side of Glasgow.  I do Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons at the moment in the local coffee shops but we're hoping to be able to have the use of a fabric shop that has just opened up not far from here where I can have the classes and we can do some workshops too.  The ladies who have contacted me and come along are all so nice and I'm hoping that they'll be able to come along to the next get together of our Scottish Stitchers too which would be nice.  I am going to renew the ad on Gumtree over the next week or so and maybe get some more people interested pre-Christmas.  I need to do some more work to the website but once Christmas is over I can concentrate on that more.

I am hoping to have some more work done in the flat before Christmas with a view to hopefully getting it on the market some time in the New Year.  It seems to be a much better idea to sell up, move to Yorkshire and use the proceeds from the flat to set up the shop rather than try to get funding here and struggle along.  I can get on with the classes and the website for now and leave the big plans until I can move.  Wish me luck on that!

Oh before I forget - here is the lovely needlebook I received from Mouse in the Autumn Needlebook Exchange on Friendly Stitchers - and it was purely coincidental that we ended up being partners.  We drew the names while she was here and I had just said wouldn't it be funny if ... and the rest well you can figure it out lol! 

Here's the needlebook I sent to Mouse too.  I used a JBW Design and Fragant Cloves GAST hand dyed thread on Potato 28ct lugana.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out and it was a really nice stitch too.

Ok well I guess I ought to go now and finish off that Christmas ornie.  See what happens when Mouse goes out for a night lol!  Sorry it has taken me so long to do an update but I promise that I'll have another one for you very soon.  Oooh and thanks to the Canadian Oddball for yet another lovely letter. I need to get mine out to my secret penpal at the beginning of the week (should have gone already but life keeps getting in the way!)

Thanks for staying with me - hope you enjoyed the tea.  Might even do some scones for your next visit if you're lucky!

Bye for now!


Ally xxx