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Welcome to my blog.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Finished!! Goodbye, hello!

Mario is finished!!
I'm so happy to have done this for Joe. I got it finished yesterday. Now I need to get frames this week for it and a pokemon character I did for him (Blastoise) and they can both go on his wall.
It will look alot straighter once it's off the frame I hope, but I'm so happy to have finished it for him.
I used rainbow gallery petite treasure braids 'black' (metallic) and some glissen gloss metallics on the eyes of the star, so that they sparkle.
I'm pleased with it now it's finally finished.

I also got my new cooker yesterday, so I plan to cook a roast dinner for our tea tonight. I've never really used electric before, so this will be a challenge!

The old one was taken away. I would have been a little sad to see it go after 14 years together if it hadn't tried to poison me, LOL.
It was in quite good condition generally for it's age, except a scorch on the door from a faulty thermostat, which you couldn't get off. Notice the condemned label hanging from the grill.
Bye, bye cooker!

And this is what I have now. I only hope I get on well with it. Everything is SO different to what I'm used to.

Will I manage an eatable meal?  I'll let you know!


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bad blogger!

I've been a bad blogger! But I do have a reason.
Joe is unwell at the moment. This is always extra worrying until you know whether it's going to just be a simple illness or if it's going to go into something nasty.
At the moment I'm sat next to him on the bed, as he likes me near him when he feels so horrible. He's got a bad head, keeps getting high temps and today has started to cough. Am hoping it isn't going onto his chest. That's never a good thing for a child with his condition.

Last night though, while he was sleeping, I took the opportunity to do some more on Mario. I only have a coin and a mushroom box, the green at the base to finish along, plus three other colours at the base of the design left to do now!
Have taken a quick snap of it with my phone.

Actually, I could have got quite a bit more of this done while he was sleeping, but I was really bad and found myself on the sewandso website with quite a few items in my basket!
Thankfully I managed to leave them all in it and dragged myself away before heading to the checkout.

I am a bit tempted to get just a few things though ...


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Typical me.

I'm not going to order anything else off the internet right now.
I'm so useless!

First I did an order for my mum that I keep putting off sending for, because I was trying to get her to buy something for herself as well. Finally persuaded her, did the order and it was more than expected.
Turned out, when I looked, I'd ordered 1 extra and it was such a complicated process, she told me not to cancel, but keep it myself.
She now says I did it on purpose! LOL.

Then, back to the cooker saga.
What a nightmare it's been to find a replacement the correct size. It was getting to the point where we thought we were going to have to alter the kitchen cupboards to make room, as if we wanted to use the vouchers, we can only go to a particular shop.
We can't afford to not use it, so no choice really.
Today I looked again and they've added a cooker to the website that is our size!!
So I decided to order it.

The first time I did it, I got to the payment page and started to dither, am I doing the right thing, as this cooker is electric and I've never really had electric.
Finally decides to go for it and the payment page crashes on me.
Had to run out for a quick trim at the local hairdressers, came back to try again.
Again it crashes on the payment page.
So this time I phone the shop. We go all through it again and she puts the order through and it won't accept.
She says we need to phone the bank and see why they won't allow payment, then phone them back.

Steve goes upstairs to get the phone number and the phone rings and its the banks fraud department!
Seems with the dithering and crashing and multiple attempts, they decided to stop the payment and check it was genuine. (Am pretty impressed with them really).
Finally get it all sorted, go to phone the shop again and redo the order when Steve says to me, 'You haven't used the voucher!'
Had to redo and the girl said it was by now late, so she will sort it all out and phone me tomorrow with the confirmation.
Poor girl, she probably couldn't wait to get rid of me!

So typical of me!

Anyone want me to order anything for you?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Not much stitching, but...

Yeah, not much stitching but at least I'm getting a few things sorted out now.
We have some vouchers coming towards getting a new cooker from the cover we took out on it. It took a few phone calls to get it all organised, but it was worth it! It's not alot, but every little is going to help. :)

I also sold my fishtank, stand and accessories on ebay so that's money towards the cooker as well. I got £70 for it, but £10 of that goes to ebay in fee's! I guess they have to make their money somehow, but they must make loads when you think how much is sold on there each day!
They're picking it up tomorrow night. I'll feel better once it's gone and I know I actually have that £60 towards the cooker.

Small amount of progress on my stitching, Mario now has his plant next to him, so it's looking nearer to completion, but it feels slow progress at the moment. I love the design though, so cheerful!
Joe is going to love having it in his room. (If I EVER get finished, poor boy!).

Joe has a portion of scripture to read at our Bible meeting on Thursday night. Nehemiah 11: 1-14. The amount of names he has to try and pronounce are making this a real challenge for him (it's a challenge to me! haha) but he is doing well considering. So we've been working hard together on that.
I'm sure it'll be fine for him.

So now, I'm off to do a little more on my sampler ... sooner it's done, sooner I get back to my UFO's/WIP's!


Monday, 14 February 2011


Well the title says it all. The cooker is still condemned.

The safe level for a carbon monoxide reading from a cooker is 30 parts per million. Ours was reading 600 and over 300 when the kitchen was ventilated.
Today he said he can no way let us use that cooker, it's unsafe, so it's once more sat in disgrace with it's condemned label on it!
He says though that having got 14 years out of it, I shouldn't be too upset with it.
(But I am!!!!   hahaha).
Apparently all gas cookers give off carbon monoxide (I didn't know this) but usually within safe levels.
So looks like I'm going to be forced to go cooker shopping after all.




It ended up that I didn't have to go cooker shopping after all!
We phoned the gas company as we have insurance with them, to see whether we were able to get a small compensation from our policy. Yes we could, but only after another engineer came out and recondemned our cooker.
So yesterday husband spent all afternoon, cleaning the jets on this old one, in the hopes that it just might do the trick and it'll be decided we can keep our old one. We just really haven't got the money to get a new one right now, especially with his job being a bit 'iffy', so if we can prevent ourselves from having to pay out at the moment, it'll be wonderful!
He's coming today, so I'll be able to let you know whether we were successful or not. If not, well at least we tried.

I didn't get chance to touch my stitching this weekend. I really missed it, but I'll be getting on with some today again. I think I'm going to start the plant at the side of Mario, as then the design is nicely enclosed and will feel more finished to me.
Much as I'm enjoying it, I can't wait to finish it now as I want to get back to my other projects.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

It'sa me! MARIO!!

Yep, at last Mario himself graces my sampler.
Managed to get some work done on it this evening, so thought I'd get a quick snap of it to show you my progress.
It's not as wonky as it looks, just the way I drag it about on the frame. (BLUSH).
So I just have the plant on Mario's side to do, the mushroom box above him, the coin on his side, bullet bill, the stars eyes and some more to do on the base of the design, under the black line.

Actually, I'd been feeling like there wasn't that much left to do before I wrote it all down. Now I'm writing it, it seems like LOADS still! 

I'm supposed to be going out cooker shopping tomorrow.  Ours still sits in disgrace in the kitchen with it's condemned label attached.
I really don't want to spend the money though, so I'm not looking forward to going. I just want to wave a magic wand over this one and make it ok again. 
I don't know whether to keep with gas or take a chance and  try an electric this time.
I suppose alot will depend on price. Oh I wish I didn't have to go.
Anyone want to go for me?


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Starting to progress.

Lucy's mum sent us a picture of Lucy holding Saskia last night with the biggest smile on her little face.
I can't put it on my blog but it means alot to me to see that.

I got some stitching done on Mario again yesterday.  I think we're starting to see it coming together now.
I have the star to finish, another coin and bullet bill on the left, plus Mario on the pipe and a mushroom. The plant and the base of the design. So I think I must be around half way now.

I'm sorry it's such rubbish quality pictures, I'm using my phone.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011


So last night Saskia went home.
Lucy had the biggest beam on her little face, she looked like a cheshire cat! She is over the moon at being able to hold her at last.

I let her hold Jenkins first, to get used to holding a hamster of this type, as Jenkins is tamer than Saskia. Once I'd shown her a few things with Jenkins, we put her away and got Saskia out.
I don't think she or her mum could believe how different Saskia is now. It turns out they'd been given some really bad taming advice from the pet shop. ' Leave her a week before trying to touch her' and then when they tried and she was a bit wild by then, 'You've traumatised her, now you have to leave her two weeks!'.

Anyhow, they went home with a happy little girl who knows how to hold and pick up her hamster safely with lots of tips to carry the training on and a bag of little treats and things for both Saskia and her sister's hamster Bamboo.

Bye, bye Saskia, I hope you have a lovely life with Lucy now! :)

I've done a little more on my Mario sampler, not alot, but now Saskia has gone home, I should get more opportunity to work on it in the evenings.
It's not alot ... but better than none at all.

I'm desperate to get my Haed gridded and get started on all three of my UFO/WIP's, but I have been very strict with myself. Mario has to be finished first or I might end up leaving him and getting on with them.
SO ... don't let me cave in on this and desert him!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Last night.

Last night was spent standing outside with my kids in the rain!
Well we'd had tea, the boys were upstairs when all of a sudden an ear splitting shrieking alarm went off. Thought it was the smoke alarm and we're trying to dismantle it, realised no it wasn't ... it was the carbon monoxide one! It's in our bedroom near the boiler, and do you think we could get it turned off ... No.

So I called the emergency gas and they got me to turn the gas off at the mains and evacute and ventilate the house.  So there we were stood outside in the rain.
When the man came, he made things safe, which meant capping off all the gas, leaving us with no hot water, heating, or cooker.  By the time everything was sorted it was late.

This morning we had the gas people here and after extensive tests, it wasn't the suspected boiler at all, it was the cooker!! So that has now been condemned and capped off but the good news is, the heating and hot water is back on!!  YAY!

I got a bit of stitching done tonight on Mario. I'm really enjoying it, if only I could get some time to sit with it for a length of time. It's coming on though, that's the main thing.

I'll try and get an updated picture of it to post tomorrow.

Hamster news. I think Saskia will be going home in the next day or two.
I'm a little worried though, although I'm hoping I'm wrong.
She's a lovely little hamster, but I'm concerned her family won't be able to put in a good amount of time to continue with her taming and if that happens, she's going to get less tame.
Problem being, she's quite fast still and not really a good idea to be handled by a child without adult supervision. I know they have alot on right now, so whether they have the time to spend with her and the little girl I don't know.
I'd hate to see her left in her cage again though and for all this work to have been for nothing.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Coming together.

I was so excited yesterday when the postman delivered the fabric pens that I'd only ordered the day before.
Great service!
Also, when going through my stash for some test pieces, I came across some fabric I hadn't realised was 22ct and guess what? Yep, it's big enough for my Haed!
Looks like it's definately going to be 22ct now then. My bank balance insists! Ha,ha.

So just two things holding me back from restarting that now.
I think I'd be better with a larger frame.
I'm thinking of swapping from DMC to Anchor for the black threads.

Frames ... I am using the plastic snap frames and I really like them alot. I have 11 x 11 and 9 x 9.
The 11 x 11 is being used for my dog project and the 9 x 9 at the moment is looking after Mario for me.
So I was considering getting the 14 x 14.
I think the 17 x 17 would be too heavy to manoeuvre or even hold for too long at a time. The 14 x 14, probably still a bit heavy, but hopefully not too much.
Has anyone else got these and could advise?  I have to order online, so can't go look or try one in a shop.

DMC to Anchor ...  On the forum someone advised that anchor black has better coverage than DMC. I know by looking at my dogs that the coverage isn't always perfect, so I'm thinking of trying Anchor on the snow leopard to compare.
I have some I'm watching on ebay at the moment, so hopefully I'll be able to purchase these in a couple of days.
It's all coming together now, ready for my restarts! I'm feeling quite excited. :)

Small amount of progress on Mario again, but I've suddenly become aware of a glaring mistake! How I missed seeing this I just don't know.
So now, do I undo and completely restitch that part or do I try to alter with as little frogging as possible?
Altering rather than redoing will involve a little 'cheating' but if it looks ok, might be the easiest option.
I'm thinking on that at the moment.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Saskia is definitely improving!
Less nips, easier to pick up and although she still trys to run, she's easy enough to catch hold of.

Here's a short video to show her progress. Not best quality, but you can see her.
The good thing was I even got some stitching time in last night as she's improving so well.

The other good news is that I have ordered my pens for gridding. One for the Haed and a white one for the black fabric of the Big Cats design.
Having never really gridded, I'm really keen to try it out.
All that's left to do now, is to make a decision between 22ct and 25ct for my Snow Leopard. I really can't decide.  I want to do full crosses and will probably do 2 over 1.
I might see if I've got some scraps of those counts to test the coverage on each, then hopefully I can get my fabric ordered and once that arrives ... I'm good to go!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A new lodger and sharks!

It was looking really good for stitching in the evenings this week for me. Notice the word 'WAS'.

I don't think it's going to work out as well as I thought though. My stitching is going to be a bit on and off at the moment.
You see, I have a new lodger and she's taking up ALOT of my time right now.

One of the women where Steve works bought her two daughters a hamster each. One has a chinese hamster and the other a 'russian'. The chinese hamster is so docile and tame but the russian (actually a winter white type) is far from tame! Infact she's pretty wild.

She hisses and growls and they can't pick her up at all.
Well this made the poor daughter naturally upset and she wanted her mum to exchange her hamster for one like her little sister, but her mum says, no, pets are not disposable.
So they share the chinese and just care for the russian.

Well this really upset me and I wanted to help them. So on Monday night we went up and brought Saskia home with us to try and tame her for them.
She looks like butter wouldn't melt in that squeeky little mouth, but believe me, you wouldn't want your finger too near! Ha,ha.
So far we've played 'Hiss and growl', 'Nip when they're least expecting it' and 'Chase around the cage' but I think we're already making progress!
We can pick her up, although she hates it and trys to escape and nip us, but she is definitely calmer already.

So it's not going to be easy, but with alot of handling and work, I think she might be going home a different hamster!  I hope so anyhow.

I took Joe to the local Aquaria yesterday to meet up with his friend (both of them are home schooled) and his mum. The boys had a great time and being there when it was quiet, just the two of them, they got to feed the sharks, which they really enjoyed!
I tried to get a picture on my phone, but it is a dark area. Gives you an idea though.
They look like they're going spear fishing, but I promise they were feeding them, lol!