Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

How quickly time has passed!  It was a good Christmas all round.  I had some lovely presents ... Gemma made me a lovely scrapbook full of lots of treasures and photos which Dan had painstakingly   scanned - a very special present .

We've been out and about antiquing.  Apart from the lovely pocket watch bought for Dan's Christmas

I found a couple of my favourite children's books

Found a lovely selection of kitchen memorabillia

... and a girl can never have too many pinnies for the washing up liquid bottles ...

Christmas lunch spent with our good friends who live just round the corner ....

It's also been my birthday 57 already!!

More lovely presents ... a jug I absolutely lovely from my friend Katie.

Another present is a macro lens for my camera which I need to practice with but which means hopefully I can photograph things more closely


We had afternoon tea at the Brewery ...

... and then as is traditional on my birthday evening went to the cinema - this time to see the Hobbit - which was quite good though it feels a bit of a cheat making 3 films from quite a small book.

I've just managed to sneak in a late ta da .... finally finished my jacket - which I will photograph on - I'm sort of happy with it, the trouble with knitting is that you just can't do anything with the fit (unless you are prepared to pull loads  back and I'm not) so this is a bit short and rather big around the waist.  I like the collar and the colours so will hopefully feel OK wearing it.

 I'm writing this on New Year's Eve, which is the first one I can ever remember spending on my own. Dan and Gemma are out at a party, but its OK - I've got the various pets to keep me company ... I've been catching up on Downton Abbey (I've only just watched last year's Christmas special) and I will have the odd glass of wine!

I hope 2013 is a great year for you all - its been lovely to read so many lovely Christmas blogs and I'm looking forward to many more next year!

Monday, 24 December 2012

... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's the holidays and I'm so glad.  Some time to relax and do some of the jobs which have been building up.  I've been up to a bit of final christmas crafting.  I was inspired by Sandra's lovely Xmas pudding hat and luckily enough a friends new grandson arrived on Friday, so I got to work.  Sandra didn't give a pattern so I looked on ravelry and there was one there, but it wasn't quite right.  So I found an striped baby hat pattern in a Debbie Bliss book and then changed to the colours.  Then I knitted a couple of berries and finally used Lucy's tutorial for crochet holly leaves (Lucy has great crochet tutorials so detailed and clear).

I'm very pleased with the final result, hope mum and baby like it too!


I've been enjoying visiting antique shops looking for presents  ... and bought Dan and Gemma these Victorian picture backrounds which were only £3.50 each ....

Some final Christmas preparations .... putting up a couple of my cross-stitch pictures ... I love this one which was a Helen Philipps design
I found a place for my cross-stitch hearts
And with some Xmas fabric ....
I made my first bunting.  Can't tell you how silly I felt having cut out my triangles with crimping shears and I was trying to match up the notches ... I now realise I should have cut out a rough triangle sewn it together and then neatly trimmed with pinking shears .... oh well next time!
Gemma has been making lots of Xmas foodie presents and we made  a chocolate marble cake
There was a Christmas Eve pamper session
.... and all of this has left us rather tired ....
Jess found a particularly cosy spot with a Christmas teddy as a pillow

So it only remains to wish you a Very Happy Christmas and hope that you are safe and warm at home when so many have had such difficult times recently.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Busy ... busy

I can't wait till tomorrow and I can start an almost 2 week break.  The run up to Christmas has been frantic.  The good news is that Dan came home on Saturday and its been really lovely to have him home!   I  had a great weekend ... I have mentioned my love of a good crafty read and I had given myself an early Christmas treat

I particularly enjoyed Love Embroidery which I think is the same series as Love Patchwork

I want to do a lot more embroidery next year as I have only done  little bits.   I particularly love the freestyle embroidery.   Anyway this magazine has loads of advice, all the main stitches and is a good resource for when I get round to it .... so many projects and so little time.

We also enjoyed a woodland walk 

I think you can guess what came next .... a bath!

I've been dashing to the shops in dribs and drabs as I am not one of these lovely organised people who have everything ready!  Even my crafty pleasures have had a rather intense feel.  Last Christmas I made a little cross stitch picture for a friend

 A rather cross-looking kitty and I thought that it would be good to make a matching one for her this year, as I had a pattern.   It might have been a good idea to start a bit earlier as I actually got it to the framing shop yesterday .... just in time.   I thought I would show you the picutre before the back stitching first, as initially I used to be quite reticient to do the backstitching and even left a few pictures without.  So here we are without any embroidery

As you can see quite bland and definitely unfinished.  Although, I do worry that having spent hours on the cross-stich bit I will spoil it with the rather more challenging and free-style backstitching I think it is clearly much better like this ....

Well all for now.  I'll have a bit more Christmassy news before the actual day!  So until then .... happy preparations.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Normal service has been resumed!

Well hopefully I am back and on track.  After almost 12 months of weekly blogging, as you know, I have had a few disrupted weeks.  My old laptop is hopefully working again (won't go into detail but it invovles rejecting the new windows software, then having to use encrypted software for a while - which never worked and then the google rejection of photos.  Thanks for your advice and I have just gone ahead a paid for some more memory - more profit for Google not to give any tax on!.  I've also had a really tiring couple of weeks which included 4 days away from home working - I really don't envy jobs where you have to do this a lot.  Anyway things are getting back to normal.

I still haven't finished my jacket (next week maybe) but I am in the middle of blocking it.  Tess thought it might help if she added her weight.

I have done a little Xmas crafting.  First a photo of the advent calendar for Dan and Gemma, which they still haven't got ..... and here's a confession ... I've eaten most of the chocolates and I'll have to buy some more.

We have also dressed a tree at Kendal Parish Church for work so I thought I should make a few ornaments.  I used waste canvas  for the first time to cross-stitch some snowflakes onto felt hearts. 

Then you have to pull out the strands with tweezers ...

Then just stitched round the edges, added some gingham ribbon and a button.

They turned out quite nice and I have held on to a couple for my own tree.  I'll definitely use waste canvas again.

As I can now add photos again - a couple of belated ones from a great trip to the antiques centre in Lancaster.    Its a massive antique market with lots of wonderful things.

We were rather taken with this jacket on Dan ..... can't believe we couldn't buy it though because it didn't have a price on it.

Meg has taken her transformation into a dog a little further ... you may remember she goes on the dog walks when she can ...   (this was in May in case you're thinking our weather is great .... it's not!)

now she had pinched one of the dog beds for herself ...

though speaking of dog beds Tess has found a new hobby - eating them -  this is the second one!

Its been a lovely sunny weekend - so much nicer than the rain even if it is cold.  So lets hope its a good week and that your Christmas preparations are going well.  Dan and Gemma are home next weekend, so can't wait!