Wednesday 31 December 2008

Patchwork Finished, 2008 Finished.

New Years Eve. The last day of 2008. My Dads birthday.

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you. x

We're all cosied up here, on this exceptionally icy new years eve. Today we woke to a beautiful hoar frost. No pics though as it has been too foggy all day, I'll try tomorrow if it still looks as pretty.

Well I've finally finished child #2 patchwork quilt and I am rather chuffed with it, as you can see!

It took me three evenings to hand stitch the binding down, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. My little finger tips were sore when I'd finished but I do love stitching by hand.

I've got to be honest here, I didn't embroider these. These embroidered squares were cut from an old tablecloth bought from a car boot sale. I did embroider the little 'with love' message and my name and date on the reverse though. (hopefully one day it might be a family heirloom)

It's set me off. I want to do some applique and hand embroidery. Only I'm not quite sure what to do.

Maybe a small wall hanging or even a quilted wall hanging. I've brought my sketch book out to have a doodle, to see what I can come up with.

Right. That's all from me for this year. I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year, and thank you for all the comments you leave and the support you give. It's been very much appreciated.
You give my days a little sparkle.

Tuesday 30 December 2008

Stitch in the Ditch.

Can't stop! Just wanted to pop by and get my blogging fix.
Too much stitching to be done!
Can there ever be TOO much stitching?
No time to think about it now, must keep my foot to the floor and my fingers out of the way.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and I'm sooo looking forward to catching up with you all.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

It's Almost Upon Us!

I'd like to wish all my lovely bloggy friends a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Crafty New Year.
You make my days sparkle and enrich my life.
Thank you for sharing your precious time.
Sending you all, where ever you are, love and wishes for much chocolate. Fi x

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Christmas Wrapping.

Thank you. Thank you, for all your kind comments regarding the late Manky Cat. It was sad to lose him, but there is an up side. I can now leave the cushions on the rocking chair in the kitchen, safe in the knowledge that they won't be covered in cat hair! And I won't be discovering that someone has had a sneaky wee on the clean laundry folded in the laundry basket in the utility room! Or come down in a morning to someone laying on my kitchen tablecloth expectantly wanting breakfast! Yes there a lot of things I'll miss about Manky Cat and quite a lot that I won't. The joys of pet ownership, eh!

Talking of pets, I thought you might like to see Sneaky Dogs latest 'favourite' spot.

This is up in my attic, underneath my sewing table, squeezed in the few inches between my legs and my new electric HEATER. You can just see her collar under the edge of the table. (she looks like she's in a tanning booth!)

Now Sneaky Dog is not small by any stretch of the imagination, in fact she is on a strict diet now that Manky Cat has died and there is no cat food for her to steal. (hence the sneaky dog title!) But somehow she still managed to squish herself down into a more comfortable lolling position, while my position had to become, more of a, knees under my chin, kind of position!
Aww. That face says it all, doesn't it?
"Yeah, but you love me mum."

This is another favourite spot.

In front of the fire. The head end is a bit blurry as there was the important business of bone chewing to be done.

On the subject of important business, I've been wrapping Christmas presents.

And I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I love brown paper and try to recycle as much of my gift wrapping as possible.

For example, my mum always wraps my gifts with beautiful ribbon, which I squirrel away to reuse another year.These silky ready cut strands use to be a tassel on a cushion. They fell out in clumps and now have a second life as the little strings for my gift tags.I like to make my own gift tags if possible, and one of my best craft investments is my tag shaped punch. Another little recycling tip is to cut those little folding gift tags (like the gold one above) in half, so you have twice as many. This can also be done with pretty gift tags received from other people (like the holly wreath one), cut off the used part and just write on the back of what used to be the front.

Adding peel off stickers and ribbon to plain tags makes them more personal and can help to co-ordinate the look.

Here are three little boxes I made from scrap booking papers, stacked and tied together with gingham ribbon and a little tinkly bell. To finish off, a homemade gift tag.

Or maybe... I just like faffing!

Sunday 14 December 2008

Manky Cat.

This is Dylan aka Manky Cat. We got him just after wonderful man and I got married. That's 20 years, half of my lifetime. Our children have grown up with him, he's always been there. In fact when we first started our married life, we had two cats. Skunky and Dylan. Skunky died 7 years ago at the age of 13 and Dylan died on Friday. As you can imagine at 20 years old he was rather ...well ... manky!
But we loved him.

Monday 8 December 2008

Well, I'm sure there are a hundred and one things I really ought to be doing right now, but I've made an executive decision and decided that I'd rather be blogging with you.
I do miss you all if I'm away too long. I feel slightly unhinged, the same way that I do if I don't do something creative for a few days. A bit out of the loop and unsettled.

We had a very quiet, homey weekend, which I admit is my favourite kind. We still had far too much icy snow left over from Thursday, which wasn't surprising as there must have been a good 5 inches. Saturday was spent finishing the Christmas decorations and pottering.
The children had already decorated the tree, but the swag across the fireplace, and the banister decorations are my job.
This was swiftly followed by a bacon sandwich and then more pottering.

This is my corner of the room, underneath the lamp so I can sew, crochet, read etc., and not too far away from the fire. There's a nice gap between the sofa and the dresser where I can stash my current project away, out of sight.

Next I hung lights around the mirror in the kitchen. I've been meaning to do this ever since we bought it weeks ago from our local auction. These lights will stay here all year long because...
I like them.

These two lovely pictures , also from the auction, have been sat on the floor in the lounge that long, that I'm embarrassed to tell you.

They now reside on either side of the big mirror.

Talking of pictures, here is my Christmas present from my husband. Yes I know it's a little early, but we've gone halves and bought it for each other. We've been together over 20 years and this is the first piece of proper art we've bought together. It's by a local artist and it's the view of the bridge over the waterfall in our little town. I love the quirky houses, all leaning and wonky!
Believe it or not, hanging pictures can be quite stressful. All that measuring and leveling! So late afternoon we popped out to enjoy our towns Christmas Festival.

Look Santa Clause is coming to town! Sorry couldn't resist it.
Sundays activities were just as gentle. A roast dinner, a spot of baking (mince pies) and little sewing. THEN we drove child #2's friend home. Talk about isolated! They live in a converted barn in a remote valley not far from us. Now, hubby always drives this little friend home, but today I decided I would go along for the ride. Never again! Talk about hair raising! We left the main road through the dale and took a little track off to the left. A track that I was expecting to finish a couple of hundred yards up the road, where said child's mother would meet us in her 4x4 (apparently the drive down to their house can only be accessed with one of these. I can see why now!) but NO; the track went on and on, up and down, turning this way and then that. All of it thick ice, with an exciting sheer drop at one side and a few rogue sheep thrown in for good measure. It was now starting to get dark, although the whites of my eyes must have lit most of the road! We passed nothing but rough snowy hillside, trees and sheep. Eventually we slithered to a halt outside their gate, where we could see what looked like a dolls house far away, down an even more precarious track. Sure enough the 4x4 was waiting, as was I, to get out of there! Then we couldn't turn the car around, it just slid and spun on the ice. Luckily the gate and a dry stone wall stopped us sliding any farther. After a lot of wheel spinning and white knuckles hubby managed to get us turned around. By this time it was getting really quite dark. I'm not sure that breathing in and leaning to one side helps with steering a car, but it wasn't for lack of trying on my part I can assure you. The track seemed twice as long and icy, and twice as narrow going back, and I've never been so relieved to see the twinkling lights of our little town in the darkness.
Once back home I prised my fingernails out of my palms and sought safety up in my little attic. I calmed myself down and finished sewing together child #2's patchwork for her quilt.
along with its special message.

Well that was my weekend, I'm looking forward to catching up with all of yours.
till next time.
Fi x

Thursday 4 December 2008

Christmas preparations and a little of the white stuff.

Brrrr! Here in North Yorkshire we've had some very wintry weather today.
It's quite refreshing actually to have snowy wintry weather in December. Maybe there is really a chance that we might have snow on Christmas Day this year! I took my camera with me on my walk to work this morning. Watch out for snow flakes, it was snowing all the way! Are you ready? Get your wellies on and your hat and gloves. Mind you don't slip!

The snow plough had just cleared the road.
Behind the houses you can usually see hills, too much snow today though.

The Swaledale sheep are well equiped for the snow.

Nearly there. Our destination is through the trees.

When I got home from work the children had brought the Christmas decorations down from the attic. (No school today, the school bus couldn't get through the snow) And it appears to be my job every year to undo all the branched on the tree, (yawn!) and wrap the lights around,(yawn!) then the children decorate it (much excitement!).

Do you remember Pippa dolls from the 70's?
She makes a perfect homemade fairy for the top of our tree.

The Christmas tree skirt. I made this from a Bucilla felt kit back in 2003, it took me about two and a half years!

There are hudreds of tiny felt pieces decorated with sequins and beads.

Rudolph, was also a Bucilla kit, I just couldn't resist him. He looks so cheerful on the kitchen door. I've got a couple more kits stashed away somewhere... unfinished. One day.
A quick update on child #1. His arm is healing well now, no more surgery needed. Just the plaster cast for a few weeks. They've even chopped a bit off. (the cast, not his arm) So it's back to school, well it will be when the bus can get through!
till next time, take care. Fi x