Saturday, 31 October 2009

Halloween Harvest

Today seemed an appropriate day to harvest our pumpkins:

Our pumpkins - scissors for scale!

We don't tend to eat pumpkins, but grew these as a copetition, between us, Diane and Nial, and Mandy and Carl. I think Diane and Nial won - our largest pumpkin weighed in at a measly 7 kilos. There biggest was 22 kilos... so unless Mandy and Carl have a pumpkin monster in their garden.... Tonight we are going to make a spiced pumpkin tart (recepie from BBC food webiste).

On the stitching front, I finished Birth Band last night, but it needs pressing, so no photo yet. I picked up Fantasy Triptych, which means I almost met my October goals:

1) Finish Birth Band yes
2) Get more beading done on Waiting for Ships yes
3) Pick up Fantasy Triptych again yes
4) Stitch an ornie yes, the Mill Hill kit (which also soved goal 5)
5) Snap out of whatever restlessness is bothering me today. Hmm, maybe that should be number 1. yup, see above
6) get the next wing started on my lace butterfly yes (after 1 false start!)

So goals for November:
1) Finish waiting for ships
2) stitch an ornie
3) work on Fantasy tripych
4) work on Gaelic banner
5) a new start, yet to be determined!

Happy Halloween and happy stitching!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

more beads...

I've spent a lot of my stitching time putting beads on to Waiting for Ships, as you can see, she's coming along nicely:

I've also been getting on with Birth Band, maybe I'll actually finish it this week. If I do I'll have one more goal outstanding for October, If I'm focussed I may actually meet them all this month!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A new necklace

I finished the necklace I was beading on Sunday:

I was really impressed with the kit, from Spellbound Beads. (I'm not responsible for any stash enhacement that occurs as a result of following the link!!)

I'm going to give this away as a present. I'm pretty certain the recipient doesn't read my blog, but she won't be named, just in case!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Crafty weekend

This weekend has had a very crafty feel to it - just what I needed!!!

Phyllis came to stay on Friday night, as Saturday was Pudsey Not Just Lace Fair, and she was manning the stall for the Lace Guild. Eddy and I (mostly Eddy) cooked a selection of Mediterranean food, and after we ate we sat around chatting, Phyllis did a little lace, and I showed her recent cross stitch finishes.

Phyllis left for the Civic Hall around 8.45am to set up, I meandered over just after 10, when the general public were aloud in, and met up with Sonia. We had good fun looking at the stalls, and of course buying stash. It was nice to chat with Stuart Johnson (who makes my favourite bobbins - always an expensive stall for me) and is teaching Sonia (and next time Eddy) to turn bobbins in May. I also stopped to have a chat with Christine Springett about Bedfordshire lace, and to warn her that Eddy is vegetarian well in advance of our May weekend. Sonia discovered that the lady who runs spangles is an old archaeology friend, both were a little perplexed to see each other 'out of context'!! I filled in for Phyllis so she could have a look around, happily selling lace bobbins and booklets, along with the occasional calendar.

So what did I buy?? More than I should have of course:

Bobbins by Stuart Johnson. I love the one with the Llama bead...

Bobbins by Lacewing designs. I love her dragons, opal will have a few friends in my bobbin box, and I spotted Sapphire on my pillow today!

I got these lovely semi-precious stone spangles from spangles. My taste in beads is too expensive... most of the ones I wanted were £2 a spangle... But I made sure I also picked a few less expensive ones!

I got these wool variety packs so I can make myself a lace scarf (don't hold your breath on this latest master plan!!)

This wonderful African fabric is the thing I really shouldn't have bought. But is was so lovely... I have NO IDEA what I'm going to use it for. Maybe quilting (although I never actually DO any quilting, just buy lovely fabrics for it...). But I couldn't resist. I could have spent A LOT more on this stall....

Sonia and I left around 1pm, and she popped by for a cuppa before going home - at which point Eddy and I enjoyed the leftovers form the night before! Eddy's had a nasty cold and now has an ear infection, so we opted for maximum laziness (a common pattern on the weekend for us), and I settled down with a beading kit I bought from Harrogate Knitting and Stitching last year, to make a pretty necklace. I've never beaded anything before, and I have to say the instructions by Spellbound beads were fantastic! I'm about 1/2 way done, and hope to do some more in front of the Grand Prix this evening:

I also did a little lace (having got the pillow out to show Phyllis). I re-started the wing tip that I'd kind-of started on Thursday night at Louise's - having worked out what I'd done wrong. My biggest problem is where to put the spare bobbins as I work this next wing - something that is only going to get worse as I get further on this piece:
Bedfordshire lace butterfly, by Christine Springett

Last night I was tired of beading, and didn't feel like lace making in front of the TV, or any of my current XS projects. So of course I started something new... here are the first few stitches on Dracolair's Gaelic Banner:

So after all this craftyness, where am I supposed to sit and eat????:

That'll be in front of the TV I guess!!!

Finally, thank you for your comments about coffin buzz - I was mostly curious to see how many people would have left it (I knew it was a tricky mistake to spot if I didn't say anything - especially in a photo), and how many would have frogged it :)

Happy stitching (right, off to work on that necklace...)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Happy Dance!!!

I finished Coffin Buzz (by Plum Street Samplers) on Sunday night, but haven't had chance to post all week:

The mistake is on the gaps between the writing - there should be 3 lines with no stitching between each line of writing, but somehow I mis-counted, and there are only 2 lines between 'sleeping body' and 'as lifeless'... but I'd done so much (and frogged so much) I decided to leave it.

Anyway, this is sitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 32 count Lugana 'Summer's End' in Weeks 'Chestnut'. I'll get it framed and hang it at work - I'm a coffee fiend at work, but generally drink tea everywhere else. I blame the stress!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Weekend progress

I'm back from the weekend away, and stitched for much of Saturday. Paul's dementia is getting worse, so we decided to have a quiet weekend in, which was nice. Hopefully having Eddy and I around meant Margaret didn't get the full force of caring for Paul - although I always wish I could do more. Hopefully she's coming up in November, so we can go to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching fair. But there's a problem with the respite care, despite the fact she's been asking for that weekend off since March. So maybe we won't be able to take her after all...

Anyway, we had a nice relaxing time watching the snooker (edge of the seat semi's) and then Strictly. Except I think I was the only one really watching it!

I was annoyed with my stitching this weekend. For one, I forgot to pick up the extra skein of Chestnut (weeks) for Coffin Buzz, so I couldn't quite finish it:

Also, I noticed another counting error. One of the reasons I've used so much floss on this is that I can't count it. At all. I decided to leave the current one (on the basis that 'Allah isn't perfect'), and anyway it would drive me nuts to frog it again... Can you spot the mistake?

Coffin Buzz, by Plum Street Samplers

After I ran out of floss I pulled out Birth Band, and started the name... except the ability to count was still escaping me, and now 'Colwell' is off centre... urgh. That bit I will frog!

Birth Band, by The Drawn Thread

Hopefully I'll have better luck tonight, and maybe even a Happy Dance!

Friday, 9 October 2009

More beads...

Having mastered how to sit on the sofa and use seed beads comfortably, and without losing them all, I've made some great progress on Waiting for Ships:

I'm just about to head out the door for a weekend with Eddy's parents, and have packed a couple of easy-to-travel projects... we'll see how much stitching time I get.

Have a lovely, sttching filled weekend everyone!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

And that's why I love blogging...

Yesterday I was so frustrated, but you guys put me right back on track! After I posted I went and caught up on a few blogs, to see what everyone else was doing. I should have realised I was also looking for inspiration! I was reading Kathy (StitchinKat's) goals, and noticed she'd started a Mill Hill Halloween ornie. And I recalled I had a lovely Mill Hill ornie in my stash. And I wanted to stitch it RIGHT THERE AND THEN. So I did.

By the time I went to bed, I just needed to stitch the outer border of beads, make the loop and tassels, and sew it together. Which I made mincemeat out of in front of 'something for the weekend' this morning.... so here is my latest finish:

Snowflake, Mill Hill Tiny Treasured Diamonds

I can't believe my mojo went on such a short trip...

While I was working on the diamond, I realised that I really hate beading on a frame, it's much easier in hand. I absolutely hate stitching large projects in hand, (too much spare fabric getting in the way) but I thought hey, maybe the beading would be easier if I ditched the frame. And it was. Even if the excess fabbie was irritating. So I did quite a bit of beading on waiting for ships tonight.

Hmm, did anyone say they were worried about a lost stitching mojo????

Saturday, 3 October 2009

New start...

I did get started on Birth Band last weekend. I'd hoped to share a picture mid week, but work was against me... So here's a photo now:

Birth Band, The Drawn Thread

Sorry, it's not the best photo - it was so sunny this afternoon I couldn't get any good diffuse lighting - this was taken in the shade!! Anyway I've done the top half already, in exactly a week. The bottom half is a little slower if I remember correctly. Irritatingly I somehow didn't start in the middle. How I could have mis-counted I don't know... Fortunately I left a big enough margin that it won't be a problem, but that was a close call!

I'm in a stitchy mood, but just don't know what to stitch today. So all day I've drifted around in a state of unease, wasting quality stitching time. I don't feel like using the silk threads on birth band, or beading WFS - both too fiddly. I feel the same about Fantasy Triptych. I was really fed up with Peacock Firescreen last week, and the only other thing I have on the go is on aida. NOTHING is calling to me. This is VERY unusual for me. I'm contemplating a new start, but nothing in my stash is calling out either. I hope this isn't the start of a stitching slump. Although I really do want to be stitching. Maybe my brain is too occupied with the start of term??? Aaargh!!! I'm sure this is a one-day thing, I'll be right as rain tomorrow, but it's very annoying. I really have wasted today!

On a plus side, we were watching Monty Python on sky (it's 40 years since it first aired) and saw a sketch set in New Pudsey. It was really odd watching the pythons walk along our local train station platform - before the huge Asda was built. Despite recording the sketch and watching it in slow-mo, we can't work out where the street scene was filmed, but the houses are very 'local' in style!! It's the sketch where innocent people are turned into Scotsmen by Aliens...

Right, finally on to some goals. How did I do in September?:
1) finish you were hatched (I should manage it, there's not much to go other than BS and the dedication) - yes, all finished
2) work on waiting for ships. I'd like to finish the bs, but we'll see - yes, even did a little beading
3) start a birth sampler for Hugh, who was born on the 20th August - yes about 50% done now
4) stitch on something else - yes, I worked on Peacock Firescreen

I also did some more on the Bedfordshire Lace butterfly I'm doing

I don't want too many goals for October, but in the interests of making me stay (at least a little) focused:
1) Finish Birth Band
2) Get more beading done on Waiting for Ships
3) Pick up Fantasy Triptych again
4) Stitch an ornie
5) Snap out of whatever restlessness is bothering me today. Hmm, maybe that should be number 1.
6) get the next wing started on my lace butterfly