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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

World Book Night and it's the end of the month.

Last Wednesday was World Book Day/Night.  Four members of our Book Borrowers were lucky enough to get tickets to a local library where there was an author talk in the evening to celebrate it.

Guess who came to chat to us ..... only M C Beaton, author of the wonderful Agatha Raisin and Hamish McBeth novels... I could hardly believe it.


She chatted for a while about how she started writing and then we had a book signing.  Apparently, there is to be a TV series filmed of Agatha and also Hamish McBeth but she couldn't say which actors would play the parts.  Who would you choose?

She signed my copy of The Agatha Raisin Companion and added 'To Julie and the Book Borrowers' after we talked about how I came to start and enjoy reading about Agatha and her antics after I began the Book Borrowers at the local community centre.

 
and here's one of our members getting the latest Hamish McBeth story, Death of a Policeman, signed for herself.

 
Down to earth again and back to normal ...... and here's some progress pics from last week.
 
The end of April is drawing close and that means the last Sunday of the month was reveal of the monthly challenge design at Needlecraft Haven.  Christine chose a lovely chart this time, something a little different.  Lots of great finishes in the album this month.  Well done ladies.
 
Here's what I did with the chart -
 
 
The usual SAL's were worked on.
 
Tuesday with Gillie, Q for Queen Anne Lace looks nice on Nature Alphabet
 
 
4 letters added during April, so good progress on this on.


With Barb and the parlour ladies at NH on Wednesday evening - although last week it was Friday as I was out at World Book Night on Wednesday - Santa's Sleigh arrived filled with gifts.  This one should have been completed this month, I better have 2 evenings this week to see if I can catch up a little and get a finish, not so good on this one for April then.

 
Irish Garden now has 6 planters to be filled in later with lots of special stitches. I'm pleased with how this one has grown during April.
 
 
Thursday at the Craftshare one of the tutors was away on holiday and some ladies still had Easter rag doll bunny's to complete so we had a 'catch up' week.  I'd finished off my bunny at home so decided to make a drawstring bag to keep my sock knitting in and then added a few more rows to the socks themselves at the meeting.
 

Those lethal double pointed needles will find it hard to push through this lovely cotton fabric so easily and stab me when I get something out the workbox!

 
Bunny knitting has been happening as well.  Here's the latest little bunny addition to the worldwide family of over 70 I've made.  She's gone over the Irish sea to Gaynor at Stitchersanon for a parcel she is putting together.  You can read about some of the other items that will be in the parcel on Gaynor's blog. 
 
Meet Miss Rosy Hope as Gaynor has named her. 
 
 
This weekend is another Bank holiday here in the UK, so a three day weekend.  I hope you enjoy whatever plans you have for it and spend time with those you love and care for.  Not sure what we are doing yet, that will depend on DH's health and the weather I guess.
 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A very quiet Easter weekend

I hope you all had a lovely Easter.  It was very quiet here for just the two of us.  A little time with the family and I did watch the live BBC televised service from our cathedral Easter Sunday morning.

I've been somewhat under the weather and instead of choccie, the easter bunny brought me a virus, sore throat and a mild cold that ended up with a day in bed with a migraine, I have spent better Easters.

Last week my 3 SAL's had a little time spent on them. 

Tuesday and Nature's Alphabet by Elizabeth Designs with Gillie - P for pumpkin was added.


 
Barb and the ladies in the parlour at Needlecraft Haven is my Wednesday SAL and I'm still working on Santa Village, this house is Santa's Sleighworks.  The roof tiles were added and Santa must be inside keeping warm as there is now smoke coming out the chimney...
 
 
Irish Garden was out again and the middle section is finally completed.  Just the 4 spider stitches to add in the middle corners but I'm leaving those till the end as they will 'fluff up' as I move it around the frame if I do them now.  Next week starts the 8 inner borders around the edge, still lots more to do on this.
 
 
Thursday at the Craftshare group one of the tutors showed us how to make an Easter bunny rag doll - practice using the sewing machine and sewing in curves etc.
 
She told us some handy tips when cutting out and sewing up.  Draw around the pattern, fold the fabric in half and don't cut out till you have sewn it, that way you are not working with fiddly little bits of fabric and getting your fingers stuck under the needle, but make sure you sew far enough inside the drawnline.   Oh dear .... my brain was obviously not listening too well and was overexcited at it being a bunny (you know how i love bunnies) as I didn't sew inside the seamline far enough and my poor bunny looked like she'd been tattooed down her arms and legs when I turned her the right way out.  
 
For a first attempt she's not bad, and after I had brought her home and added the final embellishments we'd cut out to finish her, she seems to look much better.    She needs a name, what do you think we should call her? 
 
 
 
A little knitting over the weekend but no stitching with having the rotten virus thing.  DH's sock number 1 is completed, sock number 2 is started.  The wool looks it's much truer autumnal colour this time, last time it looked quite pinky.
 
 
I hope you had a lovely Easter spent with your family and loved ones.
 
 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Magazines, WIP's, finishes and a little easter treat...

It's always nice to browse the magazine section when doing the weekly supermarket run, even better when you come across something that catches your eye and you have just got to have it.

A lovely knitting/crochet magazine came home with me this week.  Woman's Weekly knitting and crochet magazine is fairly new, the first issue was printed December 2013. This is the May issue and priced at £4.95.

 
A nice cardigan pattern for Isabelle as she grows ...
 
 
Crochet workshop on how to make some lovely flowers ...

 
A handy bag and some scented drawer sachets ...

 
Patterns also available to download (these you have to pay extra for)....
but there are some free downloads if you click the Woman's Weekly link above.
 
 
My three weekly projects i stitch-a-long with friends, Gillie, Barb and the UFO ladies at NH have had their usual weekly nights stitching added to them this week.
 
Nature Alphabet with Gillie saw O for oak leaves added this week 
 
Thank you for your suggestions last week about the bare 'N' for nest, I like the idea of adding some beads to look like eggs Carol, that sounds perfect.  I'll wait to add those till all the stitching is completed. 
 
CCN Santa Sleighworks had a bit more building work done to the house...
 
Irish Garden saw the bottom right triangle border stocked and another little kitty emerge... only 1 more triangle and the 4 spider stitch centre squares to add and the middle of the design will be finished next week I think.

The weekend was very quiet here.  DH was pottering in the greenhouse and garden and I spent quite a bit of Saturday sitting in the conservatory having a finishing marathon session.

The Pooh Bear mattress pincushion is finally put together...
 
 
Blackbird Designs - Pins and Needles - a pincushion finish with a flowery braid added...
 
Easter is fast approaching and last week I managed to finish stitching my holiday new start.  Farm Fresh by Prairie Schooler was complete and that also was made up Saturday afternoon, a little egg to go with my Easter display.   Can you spot the mistake??
I've missed off his two little backstitch toes!  Didn't see it till I was glueing the braid around the edges, too late then to do anything about it lol.
 
Talking of Easter, Thursday evening at the craft share group we had lots of fun knitting up this little guy and filling him with a chocolate egg that went inside a plastic egg and then inside him!  
 

A couple of ladies had never knitted before, they were given lots of help and encouragement and by the end of the evening had made themselves a little chick too, happy faces and a new skill shared by those that can and learnt by those that can't, exactly what the group is all about.

Those of us who could knit finished ours off quite quickly and were then sent to sit with James (the only guy in a room full of ladies, he's such a fun older chap) and he showed us how to construct a cardboard basket for our little chickie to sit inside.
 
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter
 
 

 
 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Little Spring Break

Lighter nights, a little more sunshine and a few days at the seaside... I had a lovely week last week.

DH's health had suffered a blip the week before and it was doubtful whether we would be able to go away, but with dr giving the ok, we decided to head off, not a long journey, somewhere we go often and we knew we could have a restful and relaxing week.  We were also having someone for a sleepover too.

Arriving at the caravan the welcome party came to meet us ... 

We enjoyed some quality quiet time with sunshine and blue sky...
 
A visit to the cake shop for a treat to go with our coffee on the beach... 
 
A fabric/craft shop - I had to go in there didn't I...
 
Spring flower gardens in bloom, wonderful to see....
 
especially after you saw the damage to the cliffs that had been caused by the big storm of December 5th last year when a lot of areas in the UK had the bad flooding.

Walks along the promenade...

and more gentle walking exercise in the evening watching the sun set...
 
 
When DH had to rest I was ok, I took a new start to stitch ....

Knitted a few more rows on his socks ...

or read my book ....
 
Midweek we had visitors -
 
and the welcoming party visited again, this time they were given a nice treat.  Fred and Mabel they were named, they tapped on the caravan door with their beaks at regular intervals and Miss Isabelle thought it was great fun and got so excited to see them.
 
A different couple of days with lots of family times ....
 
Bucket and spade activities (coats were needed as it was quite windy midweek)...
 
Shell collecting and general beach playing, while DH sat resting and watching ....

Some kite flying....

A visit to the amusements - look at the size of her eyes.... like saucers as she watched the 2p machine drop money into the tray below lol

You just have to have a little ride ....

Be careful... the sea comes right in at high tide and you can get very wet ....
 
DH played with his new camera and took millions of pictures.....
 
All too soon it was time to head home.  But, no little holiday would be complete without a railway visit (according to DH), so we stopped off halfway home at Neene Valley Railway and had a little picnic.
 
There was a drivers experience day going on, a couple of chaps were having fun driving the train, so a steam train was in action....

 
and we had a lovely surprise when we got home, my 4 camelias had all flowered magnificently whilst I had been away.....



 
Not our usual visit to lots of different places when having time away, but we had a lovely restful break, with nice weather and lots of fun and happy times with family and plenty of memories to cherish.
 
Oh yes, for those who like to see Irish Garden, I was good and added 2 rhododendron bushes and 2 more trellis panels this weekend, here's an update pic -

and a little something i put together just before we went away, a little gift for a family member who has a birthday coming up.
 
Thanks to all who come along and visit, I do appreciate your visits and look forward to reading your little comments.