Tuesday, 29 March 2011

We're all going on a spring holiday??

Don't you just love it when the sun shines, the skies are blue and it actually feels warm?  We've had some lovely spring weather here in the UK; yes even up here in the frozen north in Scotland!  I've been busy with spring planting up at the gardening club and my seedlings are sprouting all over the place - it will be another month or so before I am able to plant them out but I am hoping to have a nice array of flowers for the summer, including sweet peas which are one of my favourites.  I've also seeded some cherry tomatoes this year and have got some more onions to put in but that will have to wait because ....

I am going on holiday!!!  Boss's orders, I need a break apparently so this coming Thursday I am jumping on the train down to sunny South Yorkshire to spend some time at the Mouse House and we are having an overnight visit to Gillie at her new pad too which we are all looking forward to.  Its going to be lovely to see all of the girls, and its just a shame that Val can't join us this time around .... but maybe next time?

I have been stitching, albeit slowly and absolutely not as much as I would have liked.  I got absolutely nothing done on my Crazy 15 project last week which is "Free Spirits" my horses project, so I decided to hang onto it for this week too and I actually managed to get needle meeting fabric.  There isn't an awful lot to show for my very poor endeavours but needless (gettit???) to say I will have loads to show for my time when I next blog because that dreaded wet noodle is going to be hanging right over my head and I won't get away with just a couple of stitches! 

I am taking my crocus cushion project with me and perhaps another project (although I have no idea which one yet) so I hope to have a good report for you next time.  I am going to squeeze in a few stitches on the Christmas Wreath tonight and tomorrow inbetween working, ironing and packing.

Short and sweet this time - got to take the laundry out of the machine and then settle down with a cuppa and my needle to watch Murdoch Mysteries.

Oh and I almost forgot to add ~ I won a PIF on Mouse's blog so I have to offer the same on mine.  The rule is that I have to stitch something for someone in the next year, so ... if you are interested in having someone stitched by little old moi please leave me a comment and I will pick out a name when I get back from my travels.

Hope you are having good weather wherever in the world you are. 

Until next time - thanks as always for reading and commenting.

Love and hugs,

Ally xxx

Monday, 14 March 2011

And as if by magic .....

Here I am again with more progress photos!   I am slowly but surely getting back into a regular stitching thing, and try hard to spend even half an hour in the evenings no matter how long the work day has been.  I spent this past weekend stitching instead of gardening - well what else is there to do when there is snow around (I know it didn't last that long but shhhhh no need to tell anyone!!!) and managed to get a fair bit done on this past week's Crazy Challenge project.

However, the previous week's Challenge was "The Lady of Shalott" by Teresa Wentzler.  This is really turning out to be a labour of love for me.  I started it on Midsummer's Day 2003 after several false starts including putting the fabric onto the scroll frame the wrong way lol!  Later that day when I called round to mum's for tea we heard that her closest friend's son had died in a house fire that day - so you see, this particular date has got bittersweet memories.   I started the project as a SAL with a now defunct Yahoo group and to be honest I think I am the only one still working on her (using the term "working" in the loosest possible sense lol).  Anyway here she is as of 7th March - I felt as I had done loads but somehow it doesn't look like that does it?  She is now firmly back in my rotation and I am determined that I will at least get off this page!!

On to last week's Crazy project which is "Christmas Carols" by Country Cottage Needleworks.  In contrast to "Lady of Shalott" this one is working up really quickly and since I managed to sneak a whole weekend of stitching thanks to the rather inclement weather I got more done that I had hoped.  Hopefully this will only take one more rotation to finish - well I need to catch up on all those people who have managed to finish one or more of their Crazy Challenges!

This week's Challenge is "Free Spirits" which is another of my longstanding projects and the one I was working on when I discovered that stitching and morphine aren't a good combination lol (I started it in hospital after major surgery).  Look out for an update next week.

I shall be popping off down to Yorkshire and Cheshire for a little rest (orders of my boss) at the end of the month but I shall keep you all posted with updates and I have even worked out which project(s) is(are) going with me. 

Thanks for stopping by and for all your lovely comments as always.  Its nice to know that there are people out there interested enough to leave an encouraging message. 

Take care all - see you  next week!

Love and hugs,

Ally xxxx

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A rather belated update ...

Hi all - apologies to everyone who has been hanging on with bated breath for an update from yours truly.  Life and work kind of got in the way again I'm afraid but I have been stitching ... not as often as I would like, but I have made some progress.  So, without further ado here's a quick roundup - hang onto your seats!!

"Bring on the Snow" was next for the Challenge treatment.  I have to admit I did rather well with this one  and it is a nice easy stitch with large blocks of colour.   I discovered when I picked him up again that I had miscounted and his eyes were too close together!  Well my mother told me never to trust a man who's eyes are too close together so they needed sorting.  Minor frogging only and he looks a lot better.  Of course now that he has his scarf on and a smile on his face he looks quite happy - what do you all think?  I think maybe only one or two more rotations on this one will get him finished.

I have promised myself that once this snowman is finished I will frame all three (yes three!!) of my unframed snowmen and this one and get them hanging up for the holiday at the end of the year (not going to name it cos it is only just past and it is a traumatic enough time without thinking of it when the year is still in short trousers!

Next on to Blackberry Jam.  It was around this time that things started to go a little bit pear-shaped.  Last year I was plagued by headaches which were finally put down to work related stress - I quit the job and the headaches went away.  Now unfortunately they have returned with a vengeance and nary a day goes by without a headache - or worse - a migraine!  What little stitching time I get in the evenings and weekends has been eaten into drastically by these nasty things and Blackberry Jam fared worst of all - and after several attempts and even more froggings, this is all I managed.  I think the lesson to be learned here is don't stitch when tired/have a headache/fuzzy eyes.  Luckily by the time this come round in rotation again we will (hopefully) have much better weather, longer nights and the chance of stitching in daylight. 

Moving swiftly along to Royal Blossoms.  This one fared marginally better than Blackberry Jam in that I managed to get more time for stitching on the weekends, but the headaches persisted and I think I spent more time looking wistfully at the design than actually stitching it.  I do love this one though and think I did not too badly to stitch a whole crown and half a bloom (or is that half a petal??)  I've had another Just Nan in my stash pile for way too long (Catnip Tea) and another promise to myself - I will kit it up and get it done when this one is finished.  Watch this space as they say - but please don't hold your breath!

Catch a Tail was next - and I actually made some progress on this that shows!  A whole cat - and half a quilt.  Not bad going!    I shall have to start thinking about what I am going to turn this RR into once it is finished.  Again only one or two more rotations should see it finished.  Maybe by then I will be thinking of starting the next RR - watch out girls and get your thinking caps on!  I do love Diane Graebner's designs and have rather a large collection of them.    Maybe for next year - if we do another 15 challenge, I will include one or two of them in there.  The trouble is - which ones?

And finally ... the Willow Fairy.  The sheer amount of shades of green on this design is actually quite daunting and I actually sat for a whole night trying to work out if I was supposed to be working with blue greens or yellow greens and then I got a headache and gave up and went to bed :)

So, I aimed higher and tackled her rather unruly hair instead and I surprisingly made some progress there too.  Not a lot, but some and I am more than happy with that.  This one has been around longer than I care to admit to and it would be a nice feeling of achievement to see her finished and framed.    I can only hope ...

This week's Challenge is Lady of Shalott - my aim is to finish the page I am on.  I may need a cheering squad on this one and that screaming you hear in the background is Karen running for the hills.

Well its time I got on with some real work lol.  Thanks for popping by and for all the lovely comments you leave - they really are appreciated.

Till next time.  Love and hugs,  Ally xxx