Thursday, 27 December 2007

Christmas gifts

I had a lovely Christmas and i hope you all did too. It's been fun reading about how you all celebrated the holiday. It was especially exciting reading Barbara's news! Congratulations again Barbara!

We went to a hotel for our Christmas lunch and it was soooooo nice. To start i had Duck Parfait, then i had soup, then a rack of lamb (with all the trimmings), lots of different puddings and then cheese and biscuits (which i was too full for). I decided not to have the traditional Turkey this year and im glad, the lamb was just amazing!

I got so many great presents this year too. DH did good, he bought me an MP3 player, Felicity season 2 boxset and some CDs. My sister and her DH bought me some perfume that i love and have wanted for ages; Stella McCartney Peony and they gave me a gorgeous hand-made necklace. My mum and dad got me loads of great things, in particular lots of quilting stash - a big cutting board, a new rotary cutter, these books...... and that was just some of their gifts!
My in-laws in Canada had asked me what i wanted and i had given them a big list of floss i don't have. I didn't expect them to get me so many!! It's great because floss is so much cheaper over the Atlantic. I can pay 70p if i was to buy it at a local shop. Online i can get it for about 45p but in Canada it's about 50cents i think, so a much better deal!On to stitchy gifts.....on Christmas eve i was so excited to receive my first exchange gift from the SBEBB. This was for the Specific Designer Exchange. Myrna stitched me this beautiful pinkeepand included so many lovely gifts too. LHN's Necessities Sampler which was on my wishlist, some silkweaver fabric, scissors and lovely fabric. I was spoilt! I can't wait to start the Necessities Sampler :) Myrna, thank-you so much for all these lovely gifts! I was thrilled and it was a great package to receive and open on Christmas eve!I also received this lovely package from my friend Lesley just before Christmas. Lesley stitched me this quaker strawberry from the JCS 2006 ornament issue. So pretty and such lovely finishing!
Lesley was also so kind as to include these charts as well, which i love! Thank-you so much Lesley. I really appreciate you sending me all this. That was lovely of you. Can you tell i love LHN?! I have so many charts in my collection now!Im hoping to get in lots of stitching this holiday! Ive finished the stitching on the piece for the Birthday exchange and also for the SBEBB Winter House exchange. Next, i need to work on the SBEBB Winter quaker and then Lizzy's RR. Then im going to limit myself regarding exchanges so that i can work on some wips/ufos. Im also thinking about a big new start for Vonna, i have also been inspired by Lizzy's RR that i am currently working on (see here) and im thinking of stitching all of LHN's Dear Diary series onto one big piece of linen. Lizzy's RR looks great already and there's only 2 on at the moment. More on that next time.....

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Happy Christmas!

I bought this shirt for my nephew for Christmas! Cute eh? So is everyone ready for Christmas? I finished work yesterday and am not back until the 4th January! WOooo Hooooo!!! Cant believe i have to go back in on a Friday (my boss wouldn't let me have the Friday off) but i wont think about that now, i have 2 weeks holiday! Ive got lots of stitching planned!!! We also got Sky Plus installed last week so now instead of 4 TV channels we have hundreds, im loving it! I especially love being able to pause/rewind TV, it's such a novelty at the moment :-)

We're going out for Christmas dinner this year to a lovely hotel near here. Will be a nice change. I can only remember one other time in which we ate out for Christmas. There will be 9 of us going. Its the same hotel where my sister was married and the food was so good at her wedding so i have high hopes for Christmas dinner too!

I have only one other gift to buy and then im done my shopping. I left it pretty late this year, Christmas seems to have snuck up so quickly. Havent wrapped anything yet, will do that on Christmas eve. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas!!!

Now for a Christmas meme i stole from Cindy's blog

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial one this year

3. When do you put up the tree? 12 days before Christmas

4. When do you take the tree down? 12 days after Christmas

5. Do you like eggnog? Never had it

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Bike

7. Do you have a nativity scene? No but i'd quite like one

8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad

9. Easiest person to buy for? My sister

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A Canada towel

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf - it's so funny!!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December, im never very organised

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably but i cant think of any specific examples

15. Favorite thing to eat and drink at Christmas? Christmas dinner / mulled wine

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights

17. Favorite Christmas song? Merry Christmas by Shakin Stevens

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Nope

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Busy shops!

23. Favorite thing about the Christmas holidays? Relaxing, being off work

24. Most memorable gift? Love any gifts!

25. What’s the one thing you seem to never get done at Christmas time? Make my own gifts/ornaments
Happy Christmas!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Finishing weekend

I had a good "finishing" weekend. I stitched this Debbie Draper Designs freebie when we were in Canada in June and finished it as a wee pincushion on Saturday for the Cross Stitcher's Lottery. I wonder who'll win?!
I also made the squares that Donna stitched for me into a pillow and it is on display in my lounge. A perfect Christmas decoration! I don't know if you can see from the photo but the fabric is green with gold sparkles and matches Donna's sparkly linen perfectly.
Speaking of Christmas decorations here is a picture of my Christmas tree this year. Next year i definitely want to have more ornaments stitched for my tree and for around my home. I must start keeping things for myself!! A couple of my friends and I meet up on Sunday evenings and we're going to try and make at least one Sunday a month Christmas stitching time! I wanted to stitch The Prairie Schoolers 12 days of Christmas as 12 separate ornaments but only managed to complete 1 (which you can see here)!! How pathetic ;-)
This isn't a great picture bu these are my favourite decorations - the lights in my front window. DH hates putting them up but they look so great (which you probably cant tell from this picture LOL)Have a good week!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Gifts glorious gifts!

You can tell it's Christmas season when you start to have something on every night of the week and weekend too. Im exhausted! Monday night was our Christmas ladies night at church, Tuesday was my sisters birthday and we had a family meal at Tony Romas (i had the tastiest baby back ribs ive ever had in my life hmmmmm), last night another meal with friends for my sisters birthday, tonight we're at our friends house, tomorrow night a night out on the town and Saturday a Christmas work party. So do you think i've done anything even remotely stitchy? No chance!!

However, i did receive the most wonderful PIF gift from Michele today. Michele stitched me this Triology designs piece and finished it as a lovely ornament which ive just hung up. I love the heart charm especially

She was also so generous and sent me all of these goodies too! A snowman tin (very handy!), a snowman ornie, some peppermint bark and an Elizabeth's design chart. Michele thank-you so much! What a lovely kind thing to do! I love everything. Thank-you!

And speaking of lovely, kind stitching blogger friends, look what i received from Edgar this week! A gorgeous big mug which my DH will try and steal for his coffee but i won't let him!! I'll be able to have nice big mugs of tea with this. Also included were truffles, chocolates and loads of other edible goodies as well as a Californian cookbook which looks great!Edgar, i couldn't resist opening it early, i hope you don't mind? I couldn't believe it when i received this package. It was such a nice surprise and just so kind of you! Thank-you. Ive got to know so many great people through this blog!

So that's about all my news. I received the name of my partner for the Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club that Edgar has now taken over (thanks for all your hard work Edgar) and was gutted to get a January birthday!! Typical! Just as well i have Christmas holidays, i have a lot to get stitched. Here's me thinking i would do more stitching for me in 2008, judging by January this may not be the case ;-)

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Rainy saturday

Its 1pm and it's such a dull day we've had to have the lights on all morning. How depressing! This morning we went to play badminton as we feel that we never get any exercise in the winter. By the time you get home from work, it's dark and i just can't be bothered doing anything. But i must!! Its so easy just to come in and veg out in the evening especially when work has been busy and stressful. Unfortunately Scottish winters come with a lot of rain so outside is not particularly appealing!

Anyway, on to nicer this gorgeous Christmas ornie i received from Karen this week! I love it Karen and can't wait to hang it on my tree. Thank-you. No decorations here yet mind you! I normally put my decorations up 12 days before Christmas and take them down 12 days after. Here's my lovely gift from Karen anyway, it looks like a JBW designs one to me but im not sure
I also received the next RR to work on for the Heartfelt Friends RR. This one is Lizzy's and my, is it a beauty or what?! Lizzy is using LHN's Dear Diary series for her piece. It looks really great. Ive never seen these Dear Diary ones before but im definitely going to buy some after seeing this piece. I have already started my square and am going to stitch the Mary Heaton, Fort Wayne one.You'll probably be bored of CdC by now but as im working on it once a week for the SAL and i only normally get to post to my blog once or twice a week, it's going to be a regular update here. It's great motivation for me to see my (small) progress week by week. I've started working on the big circle, bottom right. Still on page 1 though!This afternoon im going to stitch and either finish watching season 6 of Gilmore Girls or watch Hairspray on DVD. Perfect rainy day afternoon in my eyes :)

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Gifts from friends

Ive got Friday and Monday off work which is great! Not much planned....was at my Gran's birthday dinner last night and am going out with friends for dinner tonight. It is rainy outside and starting to get dark as i write this at 3.30pm. Im not a fan of winter.

Anyway here's some WIPS from this week. The first, my JBW French Country Stocking
The second is this weeks progress on Cirque for the Snowbirds SAL. If it wasn't for this SAL i don't think i would be working on this one so thanks to those that started it! Not much progress, just the top right circle.
I have also been gifted by the secret santa from Belgium! I got this gorgeous floss this morning called Yuletide Green. I love greens. Has secret santa made known her identity yet?! I think i know who it's from as ive had a gift from someone before with very similar writing but im not totally sure. Anyway, a BIG thanks to whoever you are! It was so kind of you to think of me and it made my morning!Today really was a GREAT mail day because as well as this floss, look what i got in the post from Mercy - 3 LHN charts!! They are A Stitchers Prayer, Willow Tree Inn and A Rose in the Morning. Mercy was clearing out some stash and asked me if i would like them. Isn't that just so generous?! Thank-you so much Mercy. I can't get over the kindness and generosity of all these folks ive never met but definitely consider them to be friends!! Thanks so much :)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Edgar's RR

I finished my square on Edgar's RR at the weekend. I used about 4 LHN charts to put this square together. I hope you like it Edgar! Here's what Edgar's piece looks like overall. Half way now! I'll be sending it on to Lesley this week.I have to show a picture of this adorable hat and glove set i picked up today for my nephew! So cute eh?

Saturday, 24 November 2007

First SBEBB exchange

I received word from Edgar that he had received my SBEBB Specific Designer Exchange piece. I stitched a LHN freebie called Miniature Garden Gameboard and finished it as a pinkeep/hanging ornament.I sent him some other goodies too and i was pleased to hear he liked them! This was my first exchange on the SBEBB and im glad i got Edgar's name!
I worked on CdC this week again for the Snowbirds SAL. We work on this one day a week but obviously as i work full-time, i normally only get a couple of hours in but im pleased with my progress. For those that have asked, im using Vikki Clayton silks called "marque des cercles."
I also have a new start to show. I started my JBW French Country Stocking. Im not sure if it'll be done in time for this Christmas though. Im using DMC115.

Ive enjoyed reading your blogs this week and finding out how you all celebrated Thanksgiving. Obviously we dont have thanksgiving over here. How on earth you all cope with all the preparation for Thanksgiving and then Christmas i dont know....the 2 holidays are so close to each other. The Christmas build up seems crazy over here, months and months of build up. I love Christmas but dont enjoy the 4 month build up in the shops and on TV!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Ive been busy

Ive haven't blogged in a while! I was really busy at work all last week, working late 3 nights as well as my usual days. Then on Friday morning i flew down to Birmingham for a weekend away with 6 of my friends. I just got back tonight. We had a great time...ate a lot of rubbish, drank too much wine, got little was fun! Here's a picture of a cool 1950's style Diner we ate at on Sunday, all the waiters were dressed in costume. It felt like something from Grease.
I was worried about getting home today as it actually snowed down south last night and it was settling on the ground. Very unusual for this time of year. All flights last night were cancelled apparently (we don't cope with snow very well in this country) but today was fine.

So what do i have to update.....well, my tablerunner is coming along well. Im way behind everyone else in the class who are now putting their binding on. I still have to tack it and then do the quilting. As i said, i'm very behind, but work has been all consuming recently and all the other women in the class have a lot more free time than me. Here's how it looks so far. Im pleased with how my fabrics look together
I only managed to stitch a wee bit last week and so i worked on CdC for the Snowbirds SAL. Here's the progress
This week i really have to get working on Edgar's RR which is due soon. Im way behind on blog reading (250 in my google reader aaah) and replying to emails....hopefully i'll get caught up soon. Have a good week!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Cirque is aired again!

I joined The Snowbirds SAL to get me stitching on Cirque des Cercles again and it worked! I will be working on this one night a week. If it hadn't been for the SAL i dont know when this would've come out the wip box again. It is such an enjoyable stitch, i didnt want to put it away for another week!Stash alert!! Woo hoo! Ive been admiring this JBW designs French Country Stocking piece on Wendy's blog and after her last update picture, i decided to buy it. I love it. I don't know if it will be stitched in time for this Christmas though. I am going to stitch it in red, probably DMC115. I also got some dark blue linen and some quilting stash too...rulers etc. I had a hard week at work and worked lots of hours so was able to take today off with all the hours i was due back. It was great. I needed it. Work is really stressful at the moment. My boss is really useless and things are coming to head with the board of directors finally stepping in. Unfortunately it's going to be a really awkward time for me having to tell the board what's been going on. I have a feeling the worst is yet to come. However, im generally quite good at leaving work at work so i intend to have a nice relaxing weekend. Hope you all do too!

*edit" how could i forget to mention this:

Monday, 5 November 2007

Bonfire Night

Remember remember the 5th November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot
It's bonfire night. I love fireworks. For those of you that don't know, i did a History degree at here's a history lesson.....

On the 5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder and was then, along with this co-conspirators, was tried as a traitor for trying to blow up (quite literally) the government. He was sentenced to death by execution by the awful practice of being hung ,drawn and quartered. The following year in 1606 it became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event. The words " Remember , remember the 5th of November" serves as a warning to each new generation that treason will never be forgotten. The 5th of November is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires culminating with the burning of The Guy. Tradition allows British children to display their 'guys' to passers-by and asking for " A penny for the guy.

I must admit, whilst i love bonfires and fireworks, i find the whole "Guy" burning thing a bit sick.

We had a lovely time at the wedding on Saturday at Stirling Castle. It was the posh-est most Scottish wedding ive ever been too. When we arrived we had to knock on a wooden door to get in, say the names of the bride and groom and then climb through a small trap door. The place was exclusively reserved for the wedding only! Here's some pictures of the castle and the bride and groom.Speaking of wedddings, it was my sisters wedding anniversary yesterday. They've been married for a year already. Here is a picture from their wedding day (i am standing next to the bride).
So it was a busy weekend. We didn't get home until about 3am then we were up early on Sunday coz DH runs the family church at our church and i had kids club to help at. Then i was at work on Sunday afternoon. However, amongst all the busy-ness i did manage to work more on Edgar's RR. Ive got a lot more done than when i last showed a picture on the 21st Oct. I decided just to use lots of LHN charts for this square. Im not going to do it again. It takes me forever to decide what to use and where. For quickness im going to stick to one chart when the next RR comes my way. Here's my progress so far anyway

Friday, 2 November 2007

Thank goodness for Friday!

Another busy week at work is over and i'm glad! Unfortunately i have to work on Sunday but im not thinking about that at the moment. Im going to relax tonight, stitch and watch ugly betty!

Here's my latest progress on my tablerunner after last night's quilting class. I finished the logcabin last night. This is my favourite one so far. Here are my 3 squares lined up on my ironing board. I havent completey finished the fan one yet. The light is bad again (stupid winter weather) but the dark colour is actually green.I now have to start working on joining these ones together. I am enjoying learning to quilt and am hoping for lots of quilting books for Christmas as well as a bigger cutting board, my one is just too small.

No stitching this week but i did receive my names for the SBEBB Winter Quaker and the SBEBB Winter House. Im looking forward to working on those. I did receive these lovely squares today from Donna for the Fair and Square Exchange. She also included a JBW designs chart - thank-you so much Donna!! I love this santa and i plan on making it into an ornament for my Christmas tree.

Tomorrow we are going to our friend's wedding at Stirling Castle! Look at it:Isn't this just the most gorgeous place for a wedding?! Im so glad the weather forecast is good for it.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Just checking in

It's been over a week since my last post. Im so busy at work at the moment. A lot of projects ive been developing are all coming together at last and im busy, busy as a result. I was also away at the weekend. Remember the camp i went to in the summer? Well, we had a reunion weekend for the kids. Friday night was the coldest night of my life. The weather was so bad. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves though!

There has been little stitching done recently. I did finish this ornament from the 2006 JCS ornament magazine. It's a design by Cherished Stitches.
The rest of any free time i have is going into sewing my tablerunner for the quilting class i attend. I had to miss last Thursday night because i was working, so i am behind. My mum has been showing me what i missed though. Im trying to get this block done before Thursday. I believe this is the logcabin pattern.The lighting is bad in both these pictures. The clocks went back at the weekend. It was dark by 5pm tonight!! I don't like it.

Hope you are all having a good week!