Monday, 19 September 2016

Update 19th September 2016

Hi Blogger Friends,

Firstly, a big thank you for the lovely comments on  my last post.

I actually really enjoyed blogging this way and I am trying to be a better commentator on other blogs too. Now that I am on here daily that is much easier to maintain also.

12th September - Monday

So today after quite a slow start as my Husband was working from home and I always seem to be slower getting going when he is at home, I took the dog for her morning walk and it is definitely feeling more autumnal. Really quite a fresh wind today.

 On returning from walking the dog the postman came with my delivery of three Penguin English Library edition books. I have wanted to increase the number of classics that I own for some time. Of these three books I did read Tess back in the early 1980's I had a mass market edition with the film cover (Nastassja Kinski as Tess imdb have this as 1979 but checking release dates it was 1981 in the UK and I bought the book via school, which would have made me 12 years old), I have not read it since. Persuasion is one of two Austens I have not read but have loved both TV adaptations that I have watched and Wives and Daughters is another TV series that I really enjoyed I have read both Cranford and North and South by Gaskell.
I chose these editions as the covers are so pretty but also the print inside the books is not too small which I struggle with a little these days. I intend to read a classic a month once I have cleared my currently reading pile. I had intended to get back to Jane Eyre this month but I have 11 books in my currently reading on Goodreads and I want to reduce those before I start on the classics. In fact I think I will make it a part of my reading challenge for 2017 to read or re-read 12 classics (I have read some before).

So onto some stitching - in the morning I finally dragged out Prairie Schooler Alphabet Letter G and made some progress on this
This is where I left it and below is my progress
I listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince whilst stitching on this so the time whizzed by. I think I made some good progress.

In the afternoon I did a little more on Scheherazade and below is the progress I made
I decided to work down the design and out to the bottom right of the design. I am really enjoying how this is coming along.

After dinner my husband and I settled down to watch Victoria episode 4 on catch-up. I am really enjoying this series, this weeks episode was essentially her and Albert's courtship. There is something to be said for men in uniforms, they looked so smart and my favourite costume of tonight's episode was not a pretty frock but her riding outfit which I thought most striking navy blue with a red collar.

In the evening I didn't feel like stitching on a big project so I got my Medieval Queen bookmark out and I am nearly done with this now just a little more back stitching to do. I am always amazed at how long back stitching takes
I also watched episode 2 of the new series of Cold Feet. I did not think this weeks episode was quite as strong but will continue to watch. Also the news came through this evening that the BBC series The Great British Bake Off is moving to Channel 4 - a victim of its own success. The BBC being what it is can no longer afford it. I am sad as I feel it will become one big advert but I will watch at least the first series that airs on Channel 4 and will see if it can keep its charm. I do hope so.

At bedtime I read from both Dumb Witness - I have got to Poirot visiting the Tripps and Theresa Arundell trying to work out what really happened and before sleep I read more from The Secret Garden and Mary has just found the key. I am enjoying both these books.

13th September - Tuesday 

Well my day started early with the dog waking me up by barking at 4.45 am. I probably would not have minded too much had we not needed to get up at 5.30 am anyway and so I did not really go back to sleep. After dog walking and doing some grocery shopping, I set off to town with my adult children only to discover when we were at the back of our house that my son had left his bedroom wide open so I had to go back and rectify that.  It was a very  hot day even by 10am when I set off for town.  I was very lucky to get home before we had an horrendous thunderstorm and downpour. My door shook with one clap of thunder and my poor dog was beside herself terrified, she absolutely hates thunder.

So today I finally finished my Medieval Queen bookmark
I am really pleased with how this has turned out and the finishing instructions are very clear. Well done Textile Heritage, also a side note there is probably enough floss in the kit to stitch another one which I think is also a very positive thing about this kit.

So pleased was I with this that I started on another bookmark kit in the evening this one is called Flowers of Scotland as I did not feel like working on one of my larger projects. Bookmarks are great for this - when you want to stitch but only something small.
This is where I got too.

In the evening I watched the final episode of the crime story One of Us - I did not guess whodunnit but think it was quite a good conclusion to the story.

No reading was done before bed as I was quite tired.

14th September - Wednesday 

Another early start was had and boy was it a warm day. After dog walking I started on the process of getting my son packed up for Thursday's taking him back to Uni. We spent some time sorting through his clothes, he has put on some weight and so some of his things are no longer fitting, so anything that was good has been put in a bag to go to the charity shop and most of the rest has been binned if not fitting or tatty. Later in the morning I popped to the shop to try and find some soya mince for my daughter (she has gone off Quorn it makes her bloat) and luckily that freezer was probably the only one that was working. All their chillers and most of the freezers were broken and being emptied whilst I was there. I then spent a couple of hours ironing my sons clothes prior to putting them into the suitcase and holdall ready for tomorrow. Whilst doing this tedious task I listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

There was a mid week challenge with Cross Stitch Friends on Facebook so I continued working on Flowers of Scotland bookmark as I knew I would not get much done today. In the end I managed 2hrs 45 mins on this

In the evening I watched The Great British Bake Off - batter week, to be honest wasn't impressed with tonight's mainly as batter is boring. We then watched the latest DCI Banks story they run 6 episodes each series but it three stories so this is the part one of the second story and I thought it was quite good.

In bed I did read but a book about book recommendations  The Book Lovers' Companion - What to Read Next. It is a good reference book and I may use it for part of my TBR next year as I think I will probably work from a plan to tick a few off that I have wanted to read for sometime but not got around to it. I have it on Kindle.
15th September - Thursday

A very short update. We took our son back to University, which he is very happy about and it was another very warm day. The result of this I was very tired when we returned home late afternoon. In the evening I watched I think the final episode of Million Dollar Princesses this week featuring Barbara Hutton, Kick Kennedy and Clara Ward  - I think this episode was called Beautiful but Doomed. Again very interesting and in the case of Kick Kennedy very sad. I did a minimum amount of stitching on Scheherazade see below, I apologise for the poor photo
I just filled in the bottom right corner motif and started working back along towards the centre.
I went to bed early and did not read, just very tired.

16th September - Friday

We had a disturbed night, my husband is on call and got woken at 2.30 only to find it wasn't for him, I then needed the loo and the dog decided she needed to go out which is fine but then she did not want to come back in. Once back in bed and just returning to sleep my husband had a bout of cramp. So I started Friday already tired. In the morning we went to the garage with the dog so that my husbands car could get a service then walking  the dog back home along the canal so that the morning walk could be done at the same time.

After my husband and daughter left for work I spent the morning doing housework, cleaning and clearing up. I don't much enjoy doing it, but when its done am pleased with the result. I then sat down and finished reading How to Find Love in a Bookshop, I showed the cover in my previous post  - overall I enjoyed it but I could have done with less characters. I then started on a book called The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
I read the first chapter and it seems quite interesting.

I pottered about for the rest of the day, chatted to husband and daughter when they came home. Did no stitching just felt too tired to concentrate on it. At bedtime I started to read a new book that has come in at my e-book library called Among Others
Again I read the first chapter and I will continue with it. I know I have lots of books currently on the go and I do need to prioritise and get some of them finished my current Currently Reading is too big and I do need to focus a little and try and get this down to no more than 5 books it is currently at 10.

17th September - Saturday

I started my day by picking up Viennese Waltz by Heritage Crafts prior to the rest of the house getting up. You may remember I did not get to work on it last Saturday as I had a headache so here is the before photo
and below is where I got to at the end of the day
I am very pleased with the progress I made. As I am away next Saturday I will be working on this project on Friday which is the first Strictly Come Dancing show as they always do two shows the first weekend.

During the day I went to town with my daughter who had managed to break her phone screen so needed to get it fixed. Whilst we were waiting for that to be done we had a drink in the local coffee shop. I also purchased the latest issue of The World of Cross Stitching magazine - there is quite a lot in this issue that I would like to stitch. My first thing will be some of the Christmas ornaments bottom left and I think the designs in the calendar are very lovely.
 A better image of the ornaments
and the calendar
I think all the designs on this are super cute and will probably get to a couple next year.

Whilst stitching in the evening my daughter and I watched a movie on Sky called Every Secret Thing with Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks and Dakota Fanning - it was quite good if a little twisted but then that is the style of film that it was.

My daughter wanted to watch Casualty which is a long running BBC tv show and I have not watched it in a while so I went upstairs to my bedroom and listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and stitched on the geometric bookmark that was in the August issue of Cross Stitch Collection magazine. Below is the progress I made. Slowly getting there with this one.
Before sleep I read another chapter of Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie, I am really enjoying this. I was also going to read from The Secret Garden but I was just too tired.

18th September - Sunday 

On getting up I had received an email that had the attachment for a  PDF chart I purchased on Friday but there had been a technical glitch in it appearing on my account page and so they had to send it me via email. The chart is Luna by Shannon Christine Designs and it uses glow in the dark thread
I will probably stitch it on ths Twilight Shadows fabric from The  Crafty Kitten
and if you are curious here is the link to the designers site so you can see a rough idea of what the glow in the dark effect is like I think it will be a really fun stitch and I am going to try and kit it up with a view to starting it on Halloween this year and finishing it by next Halloween ( that's a plan !!)

Designer page showing the Glow in the Dark effect

It is the second picture on the link page that shows the effect.

After walking the dog I did an hours work on my Prairie Schooler Alphabet Letter G, still hoping to get this letter completed before the end of the month.
After lunch we did a bit of gardening, basically getting the lawns  mowed and picking up a sack of apples that have fallen. I then settled down to working on Flowers of Scotland bookmark and watched a couple of old Inspector Morse episodes that I found on catch-up tv. I now only have the back stitching, French knots and the making up to go on this one so hopefully during the next week I will have another finished bookmark.
After dinner I settled down and did a bit of work on Simon, officially Orangutans by Jayne Netley Mayhew,  below is my progress
I watched the episode 5 of Victoria and tonight's episode was Victoria and Albert's wedding and Albert's need for some kind of role - I think it must have been quite difficult for him given the time and the beliefs on how Men and Women should be. As you can see  I am really enjoying this series although the blue contact lenses that Jenna Coleman wears are still off putting.

I wasn't tired going to bed so listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince again and stitched on the geometric bookmark. Below is where I got to
This I am also hoping to finish definitely before the end of the  month.

So that's it for this week and Sunday was a super productive stitchy day.

My next blog post will appear on the 27th September (a day later than usual) as I am going to the Isle of Wight for a few days to see my Mum.

Bye for now
Take Care

Lisa x

Monday, 12 September 2016

Update 12th September 2016

Hi Blogger Friends,

Firstly, a big thank you for the lovely comments I received on my last post and as promised here is my update for the last 8 days. This is slightly different to how I normally blog but I am hoping it is better and more detailed.

4th September - Sunday

I worked on Death by Cross Stitch by Long Dog Samplers today. I only managed to get about 2 hrs stitching done in the evening whilst watching TV, the highlight of this being the new series Victoria with Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell, tonights was episode 3 of the series. It is much better than I had anticipated, but then I am a sucker for a period drama.

I did get a little more done than the photo shows but the little froggie came a visiting so I had to unpick the section - 1 stitch out the bane of my life. I worked the heart and the bottom left section, trying to complete this little bit before moving down and across.

Also on Sunday I went to Gloucester to collect my daughter from the train station and for a wander. I made Leek and Potato soup. I finished a book called A Laetitia Rodd Mystery - The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders this was a Victorian set mystery. Laetitia Rodd is a clergyman's widow who has a brother who is a lawyer and provides her with cases. I do hope it becomes a series of books as it was very enjoyable. In the authors afterword it is loosely based on characters from David Copperfield. At bedtime I read a couple of chapters of Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie ( this is one of my favourite David Suchet Poirot tv episodes and the book is so far living up to that) and a couple of chapters of All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Both were very enjoyable.

5th September - Monday 

I had the dentist today, just a check-up and everything ok for another six months even had a couple of x-rays done on my back teeth and all still good. Stitching wise I put about a dozen stitches in to Death by Cross Stitch so there is no photo update today. Did a couple of dog walks and in the evening I chatted to my daughter whilst watching Say Yes to the Dress UK before settling down to watch the new series of Cold Feet which has returned after a 13 year absence. I enjoyed it I think it has promise.

At bedtime I finished reading Peter Pan which I started at the beginning of August. I am glad I have finally read it but it really isn't what I thought it would be. And then I thought I would start another Childrens Classic from my TBR pile
I have seen adaptations of this but never read it. This is the Oxford Childrens Classic edition and it is so pretty. I read three chapters and so far I am really enjoying it.

6th September - Tuesday 

I had plans to do loads a thing on Tuesday but after walking the dog and going to the shop I really did the bare minimum to keep the house ticking over. My reason for this it was so humid, it is the one type of weather I really do  not cope well with. If it is baking hot I can get in the cool but humidity just makes me hot, sticky and fractious. So I spent the majority of the day working on Death by Cross Stitch and listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Book 6 in the series) and I really enjoyed it and made some good progress.
In the evening I watched an episode of a series called Million Dollar Princesses which I viewed via Sky's catch up - I thought it was a repeat but in fact it is series two and this one featured the Movie Stars that married royalty - Grace Kelly, Gloria Swanson and Rita Hayworth and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also watched episode 3 of One of Us a crime drama - that was good too, next week it is the final episode so we will finally find out what did really happen. My bedtime reading was I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, I read it on my Kindle and got through 11% of the book in one reading so I must have been enjoying it. This style of book I usually can read quite quickly as I like to know what happened.

 7th September - Wednesday

I was up early today as my Husband had to get off early, so I was able to potter about before my adult children got up. So after showering, getting dressed and loading the washer I sat down with a cup of tea and started to read one of the books from my library book pile How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry. I have read one book by this author before back in 2006 called Honeycote, I gave it 3 stars which I deem worth reading but no great shakes. This current book however, has started off really well I read a couple of chapters so far I think I am going to like it.

and by the end of the day I had read half the book. Still enjoying it, but possibly a few too many characters to follow.

So I took the dog out for her morning walk and like yesterday I bumped into a lady who was walking her spaniel ( a very lively 1 yr old) anyway she chose to walk with me. It turns out it really is a small world, about 20 years ago I did Guide guiding in a different town to where I now live and this lady had run the unit prior to the ladies I did it with  and informed me of what they were now doing.

Also on my walk I noticed this piece of stone or brickwork and it reminded me of the shape of the Isle of Wight which is where I was born and grew up.
So it was still very humid and today I spent most of my day starting on the decluttering process of my bedroom. I managed to get a little done but my ambitions outweighed what actually happened. Still it is an ongoing process but it will get done. After my second dog walk I did a short session in the garden cutting back more brambles, but the humidity meant I did less than I would have liked - apparently fresher air is coming in from tomorrow.

I continued working on Death by Cross Stitch and below is where I got to. I am really enjoying working on this at the moment and am trying to get this little section finished before moving back to working on Simon. Probably two more days of stitching.
I didn't stitch for as long as normal as I was watching The Great British Bake Off - it was bread week and the usual disasters occurred and there were some very good things too and then we watched the second half of the latest DCI Banks adaptation, you probably can tell that I do like my crime dramas possibly as much as period ones. I was quite tired come bedtime and only managed a few pages of The Secret Garden, but what I did read I enjoyed very much.

8th September - Thursday

Lily my dog had an upset stomach, which meant I was up a couple of times in the  night and  was therefore already running on empty. Tea was my saviour - at least it helped me keep functioning.
So other than walking the dog and going to the shop I did not do a great deal today. I had a short read from Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher, this is a chunker of a book and I am only on page 36, hopefully I might complete it during September but I wouldn't bank on it and in the afternoon I added a bit more to my Medieval Queen bookmark. I only have the back stitching and making up to do now
I also worked on Death by Cross Stitch again and this is my progress
It is beginning to grow I know it will take me some time to complete the whole design is over 16 pages. Most of what you see if from page one although going down we go into page 5 and to the right we are on page 2. I am sort of doing it how I feel on the day.  In the evening I chatted to my daughter for awhile before watching this weeks episode of Million Dollar Princesses - this weeks episode was about ladies who had supported the arts so we had  Winnaretta Singer, Sara Murphy and Peggy Guggenheim, it was again very interesting. At bedtime I read from The Secret Garden which is charming and very readable and All Creatures Great and Small which takes me back to Sunday night TV and the series that ran in the late 70's and early 80's and is so far very enjoyable.

9th September - Friday and 10th September  - Saturday

I was blighted with headaches and did no stitching or reading on Friday and on Saturday after going to town with my children and having a snooze in bed early evening I dragged out a freebie cover kit as I wanted to do something that wasn't taxing whilst I stayed in bed and watched an old episode of Downton Abbey on the Kindle (my iPad was charging). Below is what I got done.
The thread in more recent cover kits is not very nice. As my hands are quite rough even after moisturising they tend to hatch against the thread but I should get this finished in the next week or so, there is about an hour or so's stitching to be done. There are two other designs in this freebie and I may get them done as well and made up into the little cards.

Because of my headaches Viennese Waltz did not get worked on during Saturday and no more progress on Death by Cross Stitch which is now being put away for the time being.

11th September - Sunday

 I still wasn't feeling too good today, headache gone but feeling a bit woozy for want of a better word. Took dog out and thankfully today it was lovely and sunny if quite a bit cooler, I was grateful I decided to wear my fleece.  So what do you do when you are feeling less than good - you have a new start :-)

Having kitted this design up last month after deciding on the colour scheme I wanted to do I started working on Scheherazade by Papillon Creations in the Aladdin Colourway with one change, as I am not using the Hand dyed floss but the DMC conversion I swapped out 535 which to my eyes is a grey to 3860 which is a shade more like Chocco Latte which is the Hand dyed named thread. I am stitching it on 28ct Light Peach Jobelan fast becoming a favourite fabric.
This was my practise piece and what the whole design looks like

This is the progress I made the central panel done and marked the section going up and then worked in the section going down. I love this colour palette, although it is a shame that the camera does not pick up the two different shades of greens/blues too well, that is what happens when you pick a muted palette I suppose. But this palette contains my all time favourite DMC shade of 316 which is the pinky shade you can see here.
The TV was on but only as background noise really this evening as I was concentrating on this, so no commentary on what I watched today.

At bedtime after being on Social media for a time (need to stop this) I managed to read a chapter of Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine, this has been on my Currently reading for well over a month and I want to get this read (her first book, which I have not read before but read many others which I have loved) before being able to read her latest book which is on my ever growing TBR pile. The chapter was quite long and meant I had a 4% read of the book, so nearly halfway through now. I might continue with this one this week alternating with The Secret Garden so I can make progress.
Plans for the coming week 12th - 18th September

The main thing that is happening this week is my son is returning to Cardiff Metropolitan University for his second year of his Fine Arts degree on Thursday, so most of the week will be taken up with getting him ready to return, making sure he has everything he needs and then taking him back. Stitching wise I need to put some hours in on my Prairie Schooler Alphabet - Letter G as I would like this letter finished by the end of the September and I currently have about 1/3rd done. Other than that I am not sure what I will work on, need to see what calls me I think and also on Saturday I would like to do a little on Viennese Waltz.

So that's it for now. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post which I have updated everyday so as to include everything I can think of as opposed to my usual doing it in one go and not remembering what I did or didn't do.

Bye for now
take care

Lisa x

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A Catch- up post July - September

Hi Blogger Friends,

Yet again I have been remiss with my blogging. After today's post I am going to endeavour to do them weekly so that I don't find the time taken to get them done is excessive.

Today's post will be just the stitching I have worked on since I last posted.  Just so that I can start a fresh and I will then do my weekly posts on Monday's so the first one after today will be the 12th September 2016.

What have I been working on over the summer

After having such a good start to the year my Stitchy Bug really waned over the summer months. Thankfully it is beginning to pick up again and yesterday I had my longest time spent stitching in months. I did nearly 7 hours with three projects - so I am pleased with that. Sadly the left side of my neck is less pleased it is really stiff this morning and I think I will probably have to get my wheat bag out later just to ease it.

So over the nearly two months I have worked on 16 projects plus one project I was playing with options (this will be at the bottom of this post) and of those I completed 3. These I will show first


Seek Peace

A very old small project that I was finishing off at bedtime whilst listening to Harry Potter on audible. The design came from an old issue of The Gift of Stitching Magazine and is designed by Helga Mandl.
This was worked on a scrap of Polstitches fabric using a variegated floss called Tea Rose  I got from Ebay.

Letter F - Prairie Schooler Alphabet

This one took 23 hrs I am currently working on Letter G see below and still on track to complete the top row of this project before the end of 2016

and this is the project so far and what I have done on the letter G.

Cat Bookmark

I have been promising my daughter a bookmark for probably nearly 15 years and I finally got around to making her one. The design is one of four from an old issue of World of Cross Stitching magazine and the design is by Durene Jones.

Works in Progress

Scotland and Ireland Santa's by Mill Hill

Enchanted Aurora by Joan Elliott

Death by Cross Stitch by Long Dog Samplers
This is the design and my testing of which DMC Color Variations I wanted to do it in. In the end I settled on 4240 and my fabric choice is 40ct Verdal fabric worked one strand over two threads of the fabric.

This is my progress

Historical Countries Mystery Sampler by Papillon Creations (Originally in The Gift of Stitching Magazine)

I finished the Irish section on the left during my last stitching session and started on the Dutch section.
Paws and Claws by Long Dog Samplers

Lady of Shalott by Teresa Wentzler

Plum Cushion by Donna Vermillion Giampa ( Originally in Just Cross Stitch magazine)
and the progress I made this is stitched on 28ct Light Peach Jobelan

Geometric Bookmark from Cross Stitch Collection magazine
I have been stitching this whilst continuing to listen to the Harry Potter series at bedtime.

Rainbow Bookmark my own design

Playing with my Jane Greenoff design programme and below is my progress so far
I am quite pleased with how this is turning out.

Medieval Queen Bookmark by Textile Heritage

Viennese Waltz
This project has only come back out on the 3rd September and will be stitched on every Saturday until the Strictly Come Dancing Final in December, with a little luck I might get it completed.

This was my starting point on the 3rd and below is where I got to
I only manged to do just under two hours stitching, my shoulder/neck were still hurting come the evening but one stitch done is one less to do and you can see I completed the part on the mans jacket.

Actually Orangutans by Jayne Netley Mayhew and this is my focus piece for September.


Scheherazade by Papillon Creations

I played with two of the four colour options on some scrap aida

The Sinbad option
The Aladdin option.

I chose the Aladdin option and have now kitted up this project selecting Light Peach 28ct Jobelan again as  I really like the fabric colour and the DMC threads, ready for a future start. Although I thought the Sinbad colourway was really colourful, the Aladdin colours are much more me.

So that is what I have been doing over the last two months. Obviously where I have only put the one photo I have not stitched it all they are wips I have picked up and worked on and the photos are showing where I have left them.

I will be back on the 12th September with my next update.

Bye for now

Take care

Lisa x