Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Bargains and an update.

My bank balance is feeling really pleased right now!
Well, I got some great bargains today for schooling Joe.  I was in the local charity shop and there were some unused workbooks at 50p each. Considering these are usually around £4-£5 to buy, I was VERY happy with them. I also got this fab fold out history of Rome book, which I know he'll love!

He got his first watch today as well. He's had a little 'learn to tell the time' one that belonged to his brother when he was small, but today we took Joe to get his own.
The one he chose was the cheapest out of the ones he was shown but he is SO pleased with it, he even wanted to wear it to bed!
I'm so pleased for him.

Stitching wise, I haven't had alot of time to get on with the Mario sampler, but I thought I'd put up an update to show the progress so far:
Sorry for the bad quality, it was taken in the evening with my phone, so not the best way to see it.

It's a fun design to work on though and I think if I could sit at it for awhile, I'd actually get some good progress going on it, but anyhow, at least I'm enjoying it.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Finished it!

Now I'm wondering if it will be taken in good part.  Hope so!

I tried a gold frame to pick out the gold metallic and then this red wood frame, to compliment the reds in the threads.
I've gone with the wood. Am thinking though, it would probably look more at home in a home, than in an office in that frame.
Oh well....

                                       To try and show the thread colours better.

In the frame.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Yep, I've got a bit sidetracked these past two days. I do intend to get back to the mario sampler and the three other WIP's I have.

Things are quite difficult for my husband at work right now. It looks like the job will be ending in March 2012  and then ... who knows?
So there is alot of stress in his office right now and sadly people are taking it out on each other and talking about each other and , well, it's just not a nice atmosphere.

So I decided to make a little gift for the office. It made me laugh, and I hope it has the same affect on them and lightens the mood a little.
It isn't finished yet, but I thought a sneek peek of this little WIP would be good for my blog followers ... all 2 of you! haha.
Comments would be appreciated.

So far I have only done the text and made a start on the border. The colour, with the picture being taken at night isn't showing up but I'll try and get a better picture once it's finished.
The text is done in DMC Jewel effects E130, the burgandy is a silk rayon thread and the gold is Rainbow gallery petite treasure braids.


Friday, 21 January 2011

WIP's or UFO's? Plan of action required!

So I've pulled my 3 WIP's off the shelf from where they were fast becoming UFO's, for a reappraisal of the situation.
Each one has an issue on it that I need to sort out, so as to be able to continue.

First up, my beloved dogs.

This is the original photo of them.

I noticed with the staffy, she was coming up brighter than in real life, but not enough to bother me. However when I started the tan markings on the cavalier, it really was too bright! It was VERY red!

The colour was just totally wrong. After alot of fiddling about I managed to match up the colours to her by 'eye', just looking at her and seeing if it looked the same. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Now though, that I'm as far as her muzzle, the problems are more difficult because I can't immediately tell if the 'grape' shade for instance, is part of her black fur or a 'too red' colour of the muzzle. It is hard, because this pattern has alot of confetti to make up the colours, The black isn't just black, it has lots of shades in it. I'm really getting stuck. So that's why this got shelved.  Can't stand to just not do it though.

Plan of action: So to get myself going on this again, my plan is to continue as much as I can with the black area's of her face where I CAN tell what I'm doing and then go back and with the aid of the original photo, try to decide which of the colours left are part of her face and which goes in with the black.

Next project, the Big Cats one.

I swapped my needle holder with a girl on the forum for this kit, which turns out to be chinese. I didn't mind though, I loved the picture and just thought as long as I can follow the chart, that's fine.
What I  hadn't realised is that it's obviously a copy of an original design! I stupidly had thought it was just that it was sold cheaper in other countries, such as being able to get DMC cheaper in the U.S than the U.K

Anyhow, as I was going along with it, I came to realise it just didn't have the detail it should and would never look right to me.

This was supposed to be the lions face, and although you can see the shape appearing, I don't think the colours were ever going to look right!

Plan of action:  Another lady on the forum had done this chart previously and she sent me her orignal for this design. So I need to cut my losses and restart the whole thing and work again from that. The Chinese version has about 32 colours (I can't remember exactly now) and the real version about 75, so I expect to see quite a bit of difference in the details.

Snow Leopard.

A lady on our forum did this design from HAED and I fell in love with it. I'm not really taken with the style of their designs generally, but I loved this.
It's designed to be done on 25ct but I had the 'good' idea of working it on 32ct, 1 over 1 and I hated it!
I wanted to try out gridding for the first time and the pens bled with the count being so small, and I found it hard to follow the grids.  Also the coverage wasn't right.

Plan of action: One action has already been taken, of binning it! So I can't show how it looked, but my plan now is to choose another count to work on and just restart again. So I'm looking at the options right now and trying to choose.

Hopefully these will be getting restarted soon and I will see some progress on them.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

First ever burger!!!

So tonights home cooked meal ... beefburgers in a bun.

It was a real achievement in more ways than one.  My youngest son was born with TOF/OA and has never eaten a burger in his life. I could never take him for a Macdonalds or even feel safe with packs of frozen burgers from the supermarket.  These 'meats' are too chewy and who knows what's in them anyhow?!

So tonight I made home made burgers and they came out a treat. I was so pleased with them. The meat was soft and tender to eat. So Joe tried one. He ate very carefully, small bites well chewed, but gradually gained confidence with how much to eat of it at a time. So then I gave him a nice soft roll and put the burger in it and at the grand age of 10 1/2 years old, he has had his first ever 'burger in a bun'. 
I can't explain how amazing it was to watch and see him enjoy eating that!

On the point of the burgers themselves, I think I would add a bit more of the herbs etc next time, to improve the flavour even more, but on the whole I think tonight was a real success!!!!!

:) :) :)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Mario and musings ...

Last night I started edging my hardanger tile. I don't think I'm ever going to get prizes for the finish, but as long as it looks reasonable, I'll live with it!
I'm looking at hardanger books now as I really would like to continue trying small designs. It was fun!

Thinking about my next project I'm almost settled on doing the Mario sampler one of the ladies on the forum designed. I've never had a go on waste canvas and so I'm toying with the idea of putting the sampler on one of Joe's t.shirts. Would it be scratchy to wear though, and a bit stiff and odd feeling when he had it on? I think maybe I'll ask advice on the forum, see what others have found if they've done work on clothing.

I'm getting guilty feelings about my UFO's. I can almost feel them giving me meaningful glances each time I pass the shelf they're on. I'll have to get back to them soon, but I just wanted to have a bit of fun time on smaller projects first.

I have a talk tonight. Only 5 minutes on a given subject. My subject was Jesus' mother Mary. I've never really thought deeply about the things she went through in her life until now, but after researching for my talk, I've got a whole new appreciation for her. I'm focusing on her courage.

Tomorrow we're going to Blackpool to collect Tom and my mum. They've been away at a 2 week Bible school. I think there were around 35 students this time. They've really enjoyed it alot.
I expected the time to fly by for them and drag for us, but it's gone so fast, I haven't got half what I wanted to done yet! Steve has taken the day off and apparently they lay on a little buffet for the students and the ones collecting them. I'm not sure if Joe is more excited about seeing Tom and his nanny or going to the buffet! It's definitely a close call. haha.

I'm getting along fairly well with my home cooked meals. I'm making more of an effort and I'm actually enjoying doing so. I don't have the time to do elaborate meals or spend all day in the kitchen, but we don't eat elaborate meals anyway! Simple but good for you.

I've got the wii fit out! Things are looking serious now, haha. Steve was watching me doing one of the exercises while munching on some chocolate a bit ago now and said I really haven't got the right approach to getting fit! Cheek! He just doesn't realise a girl has to build herself up into these things. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Hardanger and books!

So during 2010 I hardly got to pick up my needle. This year, not only am I hopefully back on track with being able to stitch, but I've got my first finish AND it's hardanger, something I've always wanted to try, but never felt I'd be able to do.

One of the ladies on the forum I belong to made this lovely design called 'Delft'. She's SO talented! So here is my attempt at it.

I've never done any embroidery before. Cross stitch is as far as I've ever delved into the world of stitching, but I have to say I have found a real love for hardanger.
I need to learn the basic stitches and also get more practice at it, but for my first attempt, I'm well happy with the results.
Onto the finishing next! It has to be edged with either blanket stitch or knotted blanket stitch, neither of which I've ever done.
Now I'm musing on whether to get back to my WIP's that have been neglected last year, or whether to allow myself another 'fun' project first.
I'll think about that today.

Yesterday I was happy to get a cook book I'd ordered recently. It made me think that instead of going on a diet straight away, I'll get back to the basics with this 'home cooking' book and see if that helps with my weight ... along with some exercise on the Wii fit of course.

I was also really happy to recieve 2 books with CD's in the post, which I intend to use as lessons with Joe.
Awhile ago now I recieve quite a large order from a book club, a set of books all paid for but nothing to do with me! I had someone elses order.
I had to go to a bit of trouble to get them to come get the books as it got a bit complicated, with me not even being a customer of theirs since Tom was small. So anyhow, the manager decided I should be compensated for my trouble and I chose these books.
Wasn't that kind of them. I didn't expect anything back, but she said, you could have kept them, so this is to show appreciation for your honesty ... of course though, I wouldn't have done that. It would be wrong.
I'm really happy with these books though.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Diets and stitching.

So far I've done well keeping to the 'home cooked meals'. Hubby has commented and said how much he's enjoying what I'm making. I'm enjoying making it as well.
The next challenge food wise is going to be me starting on my 'diet'.
I really need to lose weight. It's going to be hard though to make healthy home cooked meals for me, making sure the rest of the family don't end up dieting by eating the same as me (as none of them need to lose weight) and keeping Joe's problem in mind as well.
I don't really fancy making one meal for me and one for them with changes for Joe as well.
I'll have to think it through and see how I can work it to suit all.

So I weighed myself and I got the wii fit plus out ready and am hoping to get started once I get my diet sorted out and know what I'm going to do for meals.

I started a new project! I love cross stitch but had a bad year with one thing and another in 2010 and it got pushed firmly into the background.
I had rekitted up one of my projects, a photo of my dogs, but I've also started something new.
I've always wanted to learn hardanger, and one of the girls on the cross stitch forum I belong to has kindly let me try out one of her designs.
I have to say I'm really loving loving it so far!
I'll try and put a post up with some pictures to show what I'm doing.


Friday, 7 January 2011

Home Cooking

So yesterday Steve and I were talking about how life has changed. We have so many modern conveniences now and they DO make life alot easier, but do they make it better?
There's no way I'd even consider giving up my automatic washer for a dolly tub of course, but the cooking side of things got me pondering ...

The microwave is wonderful when you're busy and rushing, but sticking a frozen meal in there, or using oven ready products rather than spending your time on cooking a good, nourishing meal from scratch for your family, is the easier option.
So I got to thinking how my life as a mum, differs so much to my Grandmothers etc. She lived in her kitchen, making lovely meals for her family and taking pride in keeping her home as she wanted it. It always felt good to go there.

I don't have the same amount of time as her though, because even though I don't work, I home school and that takes time and effort.
I also have the problem of making sure I make meals Joe can eat. He was born unable to swallow and getting food that won't choke him is a challenge.
Then there's the issue of having the right ingredients at home for these tasty meals. I never seem to have all the things these cooks like Jamie Oliver feel are 'basics'.
Half those things are too expensive for me to buy, except as a treat.

Still, I do feel I could improve.
So last night I made a turkey mince and vegetable lasagne with garlic, which took time to prepare, but it was sooo yummy!
I am going to try hard to spend more time cooking meals myself, I actually enjoyed it and it was great to see my family enjoy it so much.

Next thing is to try and find some affordable recipes to try out.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New hamster!

We recently got a baby hamster for my youngest son Joe. She's a dwarf hamster termed 'russian' by the pet shop, but looks like she's a winter white type, probably a hybrid.

She is the sweetest little thing, and we are in the process of taming her. Last night he got to hold her himself for the first time and is over the moon about it.
Steve has her on his hand in the picture here.

And I've tried to add the video of Joe's first time holding her. I was there to help incase she fell, but he was so happy to have her himself.

Well I'm not able to add more than one picture to this post and it insists on being at the top of the post instead of midway, also I'm not sure I've added the video correctly, but hopefully I'll get better with doing this as time goes on!

My blog.

I've really enjoyed reading other peoples blogs and getting idea's from them, so I thought I could create my own as well.
I don't suppose it'll be very interesting but it's something new for me to learn on the computer and I'll enjoy making it anyhow.
So if anyone does find me and wants to comment, it would be nice to hear from you.

The picture at the top of my blog is taken by my husband here where we live. We get the most amazing sunsets here across the sea and he has hundreds of photo's of them, so I thought I'd use one for my header.
I think it's pretty.