Sunday, 31 August 2008

At last - a finish to shout about!

Finally I have a finish to shout about! This lovely little design is called "Snow Fence" and is by Raise the Roof Designs. I first started it on a train journey to Bolton last October and it wasn't untl I had almost finished the middle snowman/fencepost that I realised I was stitching it wrong. The designer had recommended that for the fence the rows be stitched vertically rather than horizontally - and of course I was stitching in the wrong direction! I moved onto the next snowman and stitched the scarf and then I put it away and didn't pick it up again ... until last week when I was looking for something simple to stitch while I was in hospital. Hospitals must be the most ideal places for stitching - it certainly helps the very long days pass very quickly! I was only "incarcerated" for 2 days but in that time I managed to stitch the two right hand snowmen and frog out and re-stitch most of the middle snowman. Once I got home I just kept going and I finally finished the cross stitched part last night. Of course by then I couldn't wait to get the whole thing finished so I did all the backstitching and french knots and then placed all the buttons - and just before midnight it was done! I'm really pleased with the result and will have to look around for a nice little frame so that it will be ready to hang when I am decorating the house for Christmas.
My stitching was helped considerably last night by Andy winning his match at the US Open - although he did take it to 5 sets and I had a bit of a numb bum by the end of it! Over on one of the other courts, brother Jamie won his 2nd round mixed doubles match so the Murrays are still flying the Saltire in New York!
I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow when I will have the clips removed (they've been holding me together after my operation) and then I can hopefully start to get back to normal properly. I heard on Friday that my departmental colleague, Margaret, had quit because she claimed there was too much work for her to do. Considering that I worked for 3 people before she started and was helping out in another department, I can't quite see what the problem was. All she had to do was ask for a bit of help - or at least ask Iain and Finlay to sort out between themselves what work got priority. I guess it means they will be hoping that I will be back at my desk sooner than anticipated - however, I will wait and see what the doctor says tomorrow. I am feeling physically ok but the clips are quite uncomfortable so I won't be sorry to see their removal!
So, having got a nice finish under my belt I have spent today stitching on the mermaid. She's got half an arm now and is coming along nicely. She's such a beautiful design and I am impatient to really get moving on her. Will do an update on her next time.
Thanks for popping in!
Love n' hugs,
Ally xxx

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Visit to Bakewell Stitching Show/Chatsworth

Last weekend I was in Bakewell for a stitching show run by Wye Needlecrafts (who are based in Bakewell). I flew down to Manchester on Friday night and stayed over with Karen a good friend of mine (we met through an online stitching group we were both members of many moons ago). We were up early on Saturday morning to drive the 43-odd miles to Bakewell most of it in very rainy conditions. We arrived in Bakewell just before 10.30 where Mouse was waiting for us (another good friend) and we "hit" the stitching show. It was a £2 entrance fee (as opposed to £12 for Birmingham) and although on a much smaller scale than Birmingham the show was very well put together and packed full of stitching goodies. Apart from Wye Needlecrafts other stalls were manned by Chameleon, Lynda Bodkin of Loopylou Designs, Sparklies (delicious hand dyed fabrics and threads), Heritage, DMC, The Sampler Guild and many others. I was remarkably restrained in my stash buying but everything I bought will be used or put to good use. After a few hours of wandering around the show we headed back into Bakewell proper for lunch which we had at the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop - Mouse and Karen's first visit - don't think it will be their last either! Of course we had to partake of the famous Bakewell Pudding which we shared between the three of us. We then headed off to Wye Needlcrafts itself - again a first time visit for both Mouse and Karen. I found the cutest snowman chart and also bought a Sweetheart Tree needleroll chart which I will hopefully get done at some point. After that it was back to the stitching show for a final look round, some more buying, and then we headed off to Ashford in the Water where Karen and I were booked into the Ashford Arms Hotel. Finding the hotel closed on our arrival (country hours!) we headed up to Monsal Head for a drink at the Stables bar and a look through the mist and rain at the famous Monsal Head Viaduct. After booking into the hotel we headed back into Bakewell for dinner - found a lovely pub and had a fabulous meal. After that Mouse bid us a fond farewell and headed back home to Barnsley.

After all the rain of Saturday, Sunday dawned bright and sunny and after breakfast Karen and I decided to take a chance, and as we were so close - we headed off to Chatsworth for the day. What a fabulous place! Its just as stunning inside as it is outside. the grounds are spectacular including the 40 foot high Emperor Fountain. I've included a couple of photos for everyone to see.

After Chatsworth it was home and Karen dropped me back at Manchester Airport for my flight back to Glasgow. I know I wasn't the only one sad to see the weekend come to an end, but hopefully we can do it all again next year.

On the tennis side of things - Andy won the Cincinnati Masters title; however he went out in the first round of the singles at the Olympics and he and Jamie went out at the second hurdle in the doubles. Better luck in London boys - and fingers crossed for the US Open which starts on 25th August.

Although I have been stitching like a mad thing, I haven't got anything to show for it or so it seems. I am about three quarters finished the wedding aniversary sampler I'm stitching for a work colleague and although I took my mermaid project with me to Bakewell - it saw daylight but I didn't put a single stitch in it. However, since I am going into hospital this week (20th August) for a small op I shall have wall to wall stitching time for the next couple of weeks so I hope to get something finished! Watch this space as they say! More updates soon.
Thanks for reading.
Ally xx