Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas, Thank yous and The year ahead

Well as today is my first day off since Christmas and I have the house to myself as the family have all gone for a last look at the Pre-January sales I thought I’d better spend some time writing on my blog!
Christmas was a small intimate affair spend at home with my parents & my brother, his girlfriend joined us mid-morning to swap presents before heading to her parent’s house for Christmas lunch. I was given so many lovely things this year, rather than list them all I’ll just share the pictures.

 From my friends Dave & Toni : monsters uni socks, mug & Nintendo e-shop voucher

From my aunt & uncle:

From Kath

From my next door neighbor Margaret & her friend Joan (friends of the family)

From Michelle

From Elaine, Jacqui & Barbara from my Needles knitting group

From the parents :)

From my brother & his Girlfriend

From Karen, Tracy, Donna, Clare, Laura & Conor at work

One present I have to talk about is my new yarn tote-bag from my parents;

within minutes of being opened it was put to use storing the yarn for my rainbow granny stripe blanket. Progress on this is slow going as you can see from the picture below but I hope to get this finished next year!

Thank you so much to Michelle and Kath for your Christmas presents!  Your continued friendship means so much to me and I hope we can meet up sometime in 2014 J Thank you also to my followers both old & new this year, I know I haven’t posted as much in recent months and I certainly haven’t stitched/crafted anywhere near as much as I would have liked this year-console gaming seems to have taken over my free time this year so I’m hoping 2014 will be a little more balanced, I would really like to get some long term projects finished off and get back to reading books again!

I started this year with several projects incomplete and I’m sad to say that although I finished several in January, the rest remain. Super Mario remains a WIP to my dismay as I was so hoping to have it completed by today but I am determined to complete it in 2014 as my shift patterns at work are finally back to normal.

I am setting no resolutions for 2014 as I rarely stick to them for more than a week.  I am setting no targets either, it’s always so disheartening if I miss a target one month that it often ripples into the following month, I am simply going to try and finish my current WIP’s and then try to stitch some of the other designs I have in my stash.

For this reason I have decided to  join the stitchfrom stash 2014 (SFS) SAL. I have bought/downloaded so many lovely & wonderful charts & series over the last few years that I see no need to buy more as I've yet to stitch any of them! I will also be following along with WIPocolyse, TUSAL & IHSW as these are all easy to keep up with along with SFS.

I think that’s it from me this time round, May you’re New Year ’s Eve be spent however you will most enjoy it, I will be spending it in the cinema with my family watching the subtitled screening of The Hobbit: the desolation of Smaug.

Wishing you all a prosperous 2014 & Happy Stitching!!
xX Fiona Xx

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Harrogate 2013 :)

well I finally get a chance to post photos of my Harrogate stash & talk about the trip :) (scroll down if you just want to see stash pics!)

We travelled up on the Friday night after work, dad drove this time as I'm still not massively confident about travelling on the motorway and at night-I'll be working on this next year- We stayed at the Ashley House hotel on Franklin Street, less than a 5 minute walk from the show. The hotel was lovely although the heating didn't work in either mine or my parents rooms and all bar one of the lights in my room were dead-thank god I thought to bring my stitching lamp!

Saturday saw a cold start to the day but we were soon in the queue and through the doors to the show. Mum's back went almost immediately so we (reluctantly) went to the grand hall to sit down and have a cup of tea (I was itching to get shopping but needs must) On display in the grand hall was a 'Knit-ivity' scene (I have photos but they are on my iphone not my camera so I haven't uploaded them yet, I'll try and get them posted over weekend)

Shortly we set off to hall M and the shopping commenced. One day I will learn to pace myself but sadly that day was not Saturday. First stall I visited was West End Embroidery, a reading based stockist of Weeks & GAST threads, and I spent £20 on some Weeks holiday series threads that have been discontinued.

Second stall of the day was Trudy Anne Designs and I spent more money on charts, also bumped into Michelle, Kath & Bev here and made lunch arrangements.

Next stop for me was The Nimble Thimble where I picked up the last few LK jingle charts I was missing and 7 of the CCN Santa's Village charts complete with buttons

Then I was out of cash....so I mooched around with Mum for a bit and then we bumped into the girls for the third time and decided to go for lunch. Lunch consisted of another cup of tea and some flapjacks as we had also arranged to meet Dad back at the hotel and go for something to eat in town. Lunch with Dad was eaten at 'The Den' and was cheesy chips & cider- yum!

After lunch Dad kindly lent me some money and it was back to the show!

I can't actually remember where I bought everything else from, I know I went back to Trudy Anne's to pick up a few charts I had missed the first time round, wool from black sheep yarns and several other bits and pieces from various other stalls.

Soon though it was time to head back to the hotel to collect Dad for a second time as we were travelling to nearby town just outside of Harrogate to visit one of his cousins for tea. Pat was such a lovely character and she collects teddy bears! I was really sad to say goodbye but hopefully we'll travel up again to visit her soon :)

On Sunday we decided to go back into the show as we still had one and a half halls to look round and we'd already bought the two day tickets so it seemed a shame to waste them. I bought more wool and some lovely little gingerbread charms I wanted to turn into earrings to wear over the Christmas period. Soon though we'd finished and decided to get an early start coming home.

So there we go, that's the summary of my time Harrogate for 2013 and to be honest it was all over far to soon, I'd have liked to have had a look around the town itself and spent some more time with Dad's cousin. Now that the words are out of the way I guess all that's left is to show you all what I bought!!

Such cute charms! Gingerbread men will become earrings and the lolly will hopefully be a necklace!

This is a hardback version of two of the 20 to make books 'Christmas Knits' & 'Christmas Crochet' I bought this on Saturday and so didn't have it with me on Sunday when I met Sue Stratford one of the authors :( would have been nice to get it signed but oh well, I guess there's always next year! 

My threads & the fabric I bought from Sparklies, I also bought a back issue of cross stitcher mag for £2 as I wanted another of the wooden stitchable keychains

Measuring tape fabric FQ's, planning on making a knitting needle roll with this as the lining :)

various CCN & LHN charts, I think these were all from Trudy Anne's

various other charts all from Trudy Anne's bar the bent creek 'Snow' & brittercup designs 'britty kitties 2' they were from Sparklies :)

random Lizzie Kate's 

My Santa's Village charts, only need to order the final chart now!

LK's Jingle flip-its, I'm planning on finishing these as individual charts rather than all together 

The wool! Mostly merino wool and mostly DK, the darker blue yarn in the lower left corner is 4ply sock yarn though.

A girl can never have enough scissors!

So there we go, all my stash from Harrogate for this year, not a bad haul but I think next year I'm really going to have to save throughout the year as I had to turn down several charts/yarns I would have loved to have bought! Despite having had a really busy start to the week I've even managed to make something, my gingerbread earrings are complete and ready for me to wear on Friday when the Christmas lights get switched on!
Aren't they cute?

Till next time 
xX Fiona Xx

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sunday Stitches & Weekly round-up

Hi everyone! Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend :) I am getting uber excited because now I can start counting down the days to the Harrogate show!

My goals last week seemed simple enough right? So how did I get on?? Well...

1. Work on Super Mario & complete section 2 Yes! Section 2 was completed on Wednesday so tonight I am starting work on Section 3!
2. Work on Green Flip-its & finish 'Keep Our Air Clean' Nope, I did work on it a little though, this week I'm aiming to get this chart finished and make a start on the next one
3. Work on Autumn-ation Nope, not a stitch went in
4. Work on Granny Stripe blanket Yes, I've added several more rows and I plan on working on this in the car tomorrow as we are off to Coventry to watch my little brother graduate from University. 

So goals this week are really much the same as last weeks:

1.Work on Super Mario and complete section 3
2. Work on Green Flipits, complete section 2 and start section 3
3. Work on Granny Stripe Blanket

I've left off Autumn-ation this week as I have several late nights at work this week and I'd rather see Super Mario & Green Series get further along than work on something small.

Hope you all have a brilliant week, see you on Tuesday for an ORT Report :)

xX Fiona Xx

Monday, 11 November 2013

Goals for this week

My goals for this week are simple enough:

1. Work on Super Mario & complete section 2
2. Work on Green Flip-its & finish 'Keep Our Air Clean'
3. Work on Autumn-ation
4. Work on Granny Stripe blanket

I started working on Section 2 of Super Mario tonight, I'd say its about half done, much larger blocks of solid colour in this section which seems to slow me down tonight for some reason but I should get this finished in the next couple of days.

Keep Our Air Clean was already about half done last time I work on the Green series so I should be able to finish this chart this week.

Autumn-ation isn't really a necessity this week but it'd be nice to get it finished if possible.

My granny stripe blanket was a new start last week, I got the pattern from Attic24 via Ravelry and the colour scheme was taken from Annie's Place. I already had most of the colours listed so picked up the few I was missing from my LNS and got started, so far it's hooked up really easily and surprisingly quickly given the length of the rows. I'm taking it into work this week and hooking it up during my lunch hour so I don't cut into my evening stitching time.

Happy Stitching
xX Fiona Xx

Thursday, 7 November 2013

WIP Wednesday

After much deliberation, the idea of having two large projects finished by New Year's won out over staying head on Super Mario.

Today I worked on the green flip its series by Lizzie Kate. I already had 2 and a half charts finished out of the 6 chart set, so again I've divided what's left into weekly sections; mostly it works out at a chart a week. This weeks section was the border and I stitched the entire thing today, I would have done more I think but it was hand dyed thread which requires stitch by stitch rather than row by row and that always slows me down.

I also changed the wording slightly as the original line was live 'peaceably' and that just didn't sound right to me, it took about an hours worth of re-charting and jigging the letters around to get the spacing to change it to live 'peacefully', but I'm much happier with the result and I don't think it looks too out of place. There are two small yellow buttons to go on the left hand end of the border but I'll wait to attach those until I've finished the chart above it.

And just because, here is an updated picture of Super Mario, the single black line is my start on section 2.

Tomorrow is Needles & Natter Thursday at Rosie's Tearooms and due to the size of these two projects I'll be taking Autumn-ation with me and hopefully putting more than a few stitches into that. I'll probably continue with Super Mario in the afternoon but right now it's time for bed I think!

Happy Stitching!
xX Fiona Xx

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Super Mario Musings

Have realized that although I explained that I'd split my remaining pages into smaller areas to finish each week I hadn't given any real indication of how those areas worked out, so I edited an old (out of date) photo to show the divided  sections. This photo was taken shortly after I started section 1.
section 1 was completed today and I started section 2. I am still deciding whether to continue with section 2 or whether to switch to a different WIP for the rest of the week..... I am torn between staying with Super Mario or attempting to make some headway on the green series flip its, another larger scale project I'd like to see finished sooner rather than later.

I have two days off work to sit and stitch now as I am working the weekend again so I think I will sleep on it and wait and see how I feel in the morning.

Happy Stitching
xX Fiona Xx

Monday, 4 November 2013

Super Mario Sunday

Last week I made the decision that even if its the only thing I stitch on for the rest of the year, I will finish Super Mario through the ages in 2013. After completing the top half of page 3 I decided to divide the remaining pages into smaller sections to work on each week and I've decided to reserve my Sunday posts for reporting on my progress, yesterday saw the start of this challenge and I'm really pleased with my progress already!
 Big Picture
 Section 1 close up

Section 1 is almost finished! I just have the rest of that Mario left to stitch and then I can either get a head start on section 2 or stitch on another WIP for the rest of the week, seeing as I'm excited and enjoying working on SM for the moment I will probably continue and get a head start on section 2!

Today was also Daffycat's TUSAL posting day, usually I don't follow the regular TUSAL posting dates, I prefer to do a weekly post, however it has been so long since I've done a weekly ORT report & I already had the camera out I figured I might as well post a TUSAL picture too :)
Mug orts are all from Super Mario, tall jar are my year to date orts :)
The Beanie Baby is one I bought from a boot sale over the summer, I used to collect them avidly in my early teens but now I just have my favorite bears and ones that were given to me as gifts. I do have most of the Christmas bears & several Halloween/Easter themed bears though :)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Needles & Natter Thursday

Woop finally up to date and on today's progress!

Took Autumn-ation to Rosie's Tea Rooms today for my Needles & Natter group and managed a bit more stitching while 'nattering'

Will do a bit more this afternoon and then I'm off to the cinema in Didcot tonight as they are showing a theatre performance of Frankenstein staring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature :)

Happy Haunting!
xX Fiona Xx

WIP Wednesday

As I mentioned in my last post I have a new start to show you all, it's only small so it should stitch up quite quickly.

Autumn-ation by Lizzie Kate:

Stitched on an offcut of 16ct Aida leftover from Halloween Rules using the recommended hand dyed thread

I have also made some more progress on Super Mario, page 3 is now past the halfway mark and I've marked off the remaining pages in pencil on the fabric(far more visible in person than in the photo), It's finally starting to feel like I might finish this one!

Happy Haunting!!
xX Fiona Xx

Belated Photos

I have had problems with Google Chrome this week so haven't been able to update as quickly as I promised, thankfully it seems to be working properly again now so without any further delay here are my finishes from last week!
Halloween Rules By Lizzie Kate, stitched on 16ct Aida using the recommended threads
 Dandy Dreams by Silver Creek Samplers, stitched on 16ct green marble Aida using the recommended DMC threads

Progress on Super Mario, almost halfway through page 3!!

So there we go, that is what I got up to my week off work :) I have further updates & a new start to share but that can wait until later :)

Happy Haunting!
xX Fiona Xx

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Friday Finishes!

hello....anybody out there? Apparently it has been two months since my last post, for that I can only apologise, life kind of got in the way.

Since my last post my contracted hours at work have increased and I find myself with less and less time to do anything involving any kind of needle, I've even had to give up my Thursday morning knitting group :(

Still I can't complain, I really need the extra money especially this time of year (Harrogate!!)

As I've been off work this last week I finally got to sit down and get some proper stitching in, as a result I have two stitching happy dances! I finished Dandy Dreams & Halloween Rules this week, I've also made some serious progress on Super Mario, which will be my main focus for the rest of the year.

Hopefully I'll get some photos up of progress & happy dances before I have to go back to work on Sunday, this week has flown by way to quickly but I have enjoyed my R&R time!

Fiona x

Monday, 26 August 2013

im here

sort of, just checking in to let people know I'm still around and reading blogs but I'm not really commenting or doing anything that's worth blogging as it's mostly just work, work,work.

It's the same every summer as I end up covering everyone who's on holiday!

Fiona x

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

TUSAL Tuesday~the (should be) weekly ORT report!

I have been stitching!! Albeit only today so orts for this week are small and not really photoworthy.

I have been stitching on Super Mario with that dreaded green background colour, DMC 3364 and I have about 6 orts in my jar so far...

Progress will be revealed tomorrow :)

Weather-wise the UK has been sunshiny and wonderful, yesterday's rain shower & thunderstorm being the exception, but then aren't there always exceptions to every rule?

That's pretty much all my news for today so I'll sign off now.

xX Fiona Xx

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

TUSAL Tuesday

Well it's TUSAL Tuesday, so I guess it's time for a weekly ORT report...

sadly last week's stitching/hooking progress was slow to almost non-existent, so without further ado...here are my ort's from last week.

Pitiful I know, still all that means is that is definite room for improvement this week!! I'm on holiday from work for the next 12 days so I really have no excuse!!

See you tomorrow for another WIP Wednesday update!! I'm off to put some stitches into something, anything!!

xX Fiona Xx

Monday, 1 July 2013

Monday Musings~ July Goals

Wow it's the first of July already (and for once the sun has been shining this weekend!)

Theme-a-licious 2013 theme is 'Jubilee July' this month, that's holiday/celebration related stitching so I shall be stitching on my summery kits that I kitted up last month and possibly some 4th July freebies I know I have somewhere....

WIPocalypse 2013 goals for July:
  •  hit the water on page 3 of Super Mario
  • finish keep our air clean in LK Green Series
  • finish the border of Dandy Dreams
  • finish June Stamp
Other Goals
  • July Stamp
  • finish a strip of small squares on anything goes throw
See you tomorrow for TUSAL Tuesday, I warn you know they aren't amazing, I've been playing Animal Crossing New Leaf a lot this week!!

xX Fiona Xx

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WIP Wednesday

Hard to believe we're halfway through the year already, but to 'celebrate' I thought I'd do this WIP Wednesday a little differently. Instead of showing what I've been working on this week *ahem...* I thought I'd show you what all of my stitching WIP's look like as of today :) I'll do the same at New Year's and we'll see how many are still here :)

So My WIP's are:

Super Mario:
 Halloween Rules:

Dandy Dreams:

Green Series:

June Stamp:

So there we go, that's my stitching WIP's for the year so far, how are your WIP Pile's looking??

Till next time, happy stitching!!

xX Fiona Xx

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sunday Stitchings IHSW edition

not much to show off for this month's IHSW I'm afraid.

Saturday was spend running car loads of clothes to the charity shop and clearing out the garage, left me too shattered to pick up a needle and then Sunday I worked. Boo :(

I did manage to finish the border on June Stamp and made a start on the actual image itself. I'll have to get a shift-on if I want to finish it before July!!

See you tomorrow for TUSAL Tuesday :) I'm off to try and add some stitches to my pitiful project!!

xX Fiona Xx

Friday, 21 June 2013

*sigh* and I was doing so well...

nothing really to report this week, the weather has been overcast but humid the last few days and as such any sort of needlework/hookyness has just been too sticky to even contemplate.

My Summer fob kit arrived though *yay!* All I need to do is find a similar coloured aida to the linen that came with the kit and for the weather to cool off a little and I can start.

(just one good rain shower is all it needs to kill off some of this humidity!)

I have been stirring those creative juices though...I was reading hooked on needles talking about her Sudoku inspired quilt and the crochet bug in me went 'we can do that'. So that is yet another throw waiting to happen, should be fairly straight forward. 9 colours of stylecraft DK, crocheted into 5round granny squares and joined to form 9 large 3x3 square blocks and then joined together so that each vertical & horizontal row in the 9x9 throw has one small 5round square of each colour. Like a Sudoku puzzle :)

Gah if it wasn't so humid I'd start it now.

June stamp has an almost completed border but really there's not much else to add...

See you after IHSW if I manage to get anything done!!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Needles Thursday & Friday Finishes!

Ok, so I'm a day late with my Needles Thursday post, reason being that I ended up having to work late and then I forgot when I got home.

Got to my knitting group yesterday and was told that I needed to find a basic sock pattern to work from, how did I expect to knit socks with out a pattern after all?! Was also told that my 'leg' wasn't long enough really and would ended up being a very short sock. So I added a couple of rounds while I was there and hopefully I'll be able to work on adding a heel next week after I find a 'basic' sock pattern, Ravelry here I come!!

So Friday Finishes then, been a while since we've had one of these sorts of posts but as I mentioned back on Wednesday I have a finish to share this week!!

Life's A Beach by Lizzie Kate, stitched on my favourite 16ct Aida (seriously I use it for everything!) using the  recommended GAST, Weeks & alternative DMC threads.

It's Father's Day here in the UK this Sunday, sadly I shall be working instead of spending the day with my family but we might go out for a meal or something in the evening :)

xX Fiona Xx

P.S see you all on Sunday for Sunday Stitchings!!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

WIP Wednesday

Told you I'd be back :) First time for everything hey?!

This week's WIP has mostly been Life's A Beach (so much so that it's finished so I can't really show it to you all until Friday) and today I started June Stamp.

This is my progress so far
Stitched on an offcut of 16ct aida using a mixture of the recommend GAST, DMC & Anchor threads :) nothing like working with what you've got to hand eh?

So that's it for WIP Wednesday this week, sorry there isn't more to show you but I'll be back tomorrow with Needles Thursday where I'll hopefully be turning the heel on my first ever sock and possibly working on June Stamp some more.

Till next time, happy stitching!!
xX Fiona Xx

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

TUSAL Tuesday

Ort Report time, long overdue but never mind :)

Threads from 'Life's A Beach' by LK, snippets from mini granny squares and I think there might be orts from LK's Green Flip-it series somewhere at the bottom.
See you tomorrow for WIP Wednesday :)
xX Fiona Xx

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Sunny Saturday Summer Stitches

god I love alliteration!!

Yes today the sun was shining and so I spent some time kitting up some of the summery charts in my stash, I know I said last time that I need to spend some time finishing some long standing WIP's but honestly new starts were calling out tome :)

So my summer stitching for this month includes:

June Stamp by Lizzie Kate

Summer-licious by Lizzie Kate
Signs Of Summer by Bent Creek
Life's A Beach by Lizzie Kate

I've also ordered the Summer Fab Fob partial kit by Lizzie Kate from Ebay and am waiting for it to arrive from the states so this might be a next month stitch but still, I am looking forward to my summer stitching's. Luckily by using a combination of the recommended hand dye, dmc & anchor threads I've managed to kit up all 4 charts using just my stash and that's probably a first for me :)

My wish list on 123stitch however continues to grow, luckily I should be able to treat myself to playing catch up with the Santa's Village charts from Country Cottage Needleworks next month, I'm currently 4 charts behind with purchases but I'm a full 7 charts out of the loop when it comes to the stitching!!

I've hooked up a few more mini granny squares this week and I've put a couple of stitches into eat healthy from the Green Flip-it series by Lizzie Kate, hoping to do more tomorrow so I'll post an update about it then.

Think that's everything from my day so now I'm off to bed, gotta get up early to get some stitching in before work tomorrow :)

xX Fiona Xx