Friday, 30 November 2012

Views from Rodborough Common and Up the Garden Path Rotation Week 1 End

I was up early this morning and after putting the recycling and bins out I sat down and finished off Eloise by Judy Finnigan. This is her first book and is basically a ghost story inspired by the early death of her friend and fellow TV presenter Caron Keating and their mutual love of Cornwall. I so wanted to love this book, having discovered lots of new authors and styles of novels through the various book clubs Judy Finnigan has been associated with. The book is not poorly written and her love of Cornwall is evident. That said I found the main character just had too much Judy in it and the fact that she kept putting book titles in as if to say I read a variety of books, was both distracting and slightly annoying. I also found the husband character a bit of a jerk. That said it was worth the read and hope her next book is a better more fulfilling read. I did so want to love it.

As it was a beautiful frosty morning here in Stroud today and as Hubby was working at home today we decided to take Lily our dog for a walk on Rodborough Common.

The above view is looking toward the River Severn, not a particularly clear view today, some days you can see quite far into Wales.

This second photo is looking toward Woodchester. I do think I am lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the UK.

Finally below is the photo of my progress on Up the Garden Path for this first week on this in my new rotations.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Bonus Finish :-)

As I managed to complete Lizzie Kate - Dance in the Rain earlier today, I had no stitching for tonight. So I decided I would do a bit of blackwork. I decided on this cute bird which is from a set of four charts originally published in Cross Stitch Collection magazine. To my own surprise I actually completed it this evening whilst sat watching TV.

Dance in the Rain - Completed

Yay Happy Dance, just finished Lizzie Kate Dance in the Rain.

Sampler Wednesday - Martha Jones 1792 - Update 3

As it was Wednesday I worked on Martha Jones 1792 Sampler from European Reproduction Samplers. I worked on the top border tulips and managed to complete 5 of them.

Below is a photo of the whole sampler as of now

And this is a close up of the 5 Tulips I did during my stitching session.

I apologise for the poor light quality of the photos couldn't get enough daylight to take good ones.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Bit of Progress on Up The Garden Path

This weeks rotation piece is the Michael Powell kit Up the Garden Path. Below is the starting point for this rotation and what the completed kit looks like

So far this week I have managed to do about 3.5 hours stitching in the evenings on it and this photo below is where I have got to, I will return to this on Friday for my final efforts in this rotation and will give another update on this one then.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Weight Issue

As I have decided to make this blog to deal with all aspects of my life then it does have to be warts and all.

I have been well aware that I am overweight for sometime and have made various half-hearted attempts to shift some of the excess.

The problem I have is that I have both a sweet tooth and love cheese which means that although my main meals are relatively healthy the bits in between are not and I do not really have a shut off valve, generally I just end up eating until I feel uncomfortable.

Anyway today I took myself off into town and went to Boots which has one of those weighing machines that also can measure your body fat.

I had already weighed myself undressed this morning at home and was 12 stone 11.5 lbs and on a weekly basis it is this weight that I will calculate weight loss from. However dressed with shoes on the Boots scales I was 13st 1lb and when I return in 9 weeks time during the week beginning 28th January 2013, it is this weight I will use for comparison. I have added an extra week because of Christmas and New Year (it will be on an 8 week or 4 week basis normally).

At 5ft 3in my BMI is currently 32.5 and needs to be between 20 and 25 to be healthy. Being realistic if I can get anywhere close to 25 I will be more than happy. More shockingly it is my bodyfat percentage that is really worrying. To be good or better it needs to be no more than 28.8 % , mine is a staggering 41.8%. My aim is to get the body fat back to 28.8% or less regardless of what my weight is.

I have also taken some measurements today:-

Bust 42.5 inch
Waist 35 inch
Widest Part which on me is just below my hips is 45.5 inches
Upper thigh 25 inch
Upper arm 14.5 inch

I will take these again at four weekly intervals the next being on Christmas Eve, so we shall hopefully see some improvement by then.

Here are some images of me in leggings and a top showing my hideous back view,front and side -

I will take photos wearing these same clothes in 9 weeks time - I do hope there will be a difference come then.

So starting today I am eating a healthy diet following the WW Pro Points plan (as I have all the bumph for this one) I can have 26 points per day plus the weekly 49 points to do what you want with. You can also include exercise points earned, but I am not going to, so hopefully this will help the weight loss efforts.

In regard to exercise I am attempting to do at least 10,000 steps a day. I am a quick walker and therefore work up a sweat quite easily with walking and should burn some calories and fat this way. In the New Year I am hoping to return to the gym when I will hopefully feel a little more able.

Passione Ricamo Fairy Mystery SAL

This weekend was the first of my SAL rotations starting with this Passione Ricamo Fairy Mystery. As stated in my earlier post I am only on part one and this is my starting point.

I managed a couple of hours on Saturday and then sat down and worked on it for about three hours on Sunday whilst watching the first series of Downton Abbey to pass the time.

This is my progress - still on part one but growing.

In the evening I should have done some more but got sidetracked by attempting to make friendship bracelets. It is many years since I have attempted them. My first attempt I did not measure the lengths of thread correctly so it is too short for a bracelet but I could use it as a bookmark. It is a simple chevron pattern using 8 strands in pairs of two using forward knots.

Clearly I need to work on my tension but I did not find it too difficult. I have started on a bracelet length one, using the same colour scheme but in a different order from dark to light.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Gloucester Quays - Victorian Christmas Market

Today Simon (hubby), Tom (son) and me went to Gloucester Quays to look at the Victorian Christmas Market, which has been held there since Thursday and ends tomorrow.

There were lots of stalls selling everything from meat to jewellery and Christmassy items.

For a free event it was worth visiting. Tom and I went on the Victorian Carousel, I sat on Black Beauty and Tom was on Caroline. I have never been on a traditional carousel before and did not realise how fast they go but it was fun.

This is the Carousel

This is me on Black Beauty :-)

This is Tom on Caroline

I also bought a Christmas ornament from one of the stalls and got Tom some lunch at one of the food stalls. Hubby didn't want any as he objected to the cost of it!!

Christmas ornament

After spending time outside looking at all the stalls we then went into the retail outlet area that is there. Walking inside there were people dressed in Victorian costumes and there was also a brass band playing Christmas music.

Set up inside the retail area was a stand for our local Birds of Prey centre and they had an African Eagle Owl, Barn Owl and a Female Harris Hawk. They were all stunningly beautiful. The African Eagle Owl was a rescue case. I must go to the centre in the near future as they have over 70 birds there.

Whilst there we also had a look in a couple of the shops. I went to the Pavers store to see if I could find a new pair of winter boots, they did have some but I can get them cheaper online. Simon and Tom went to the Cadbury store to get some chocolate. After leaving the Quays we spent some time in Toys r Us (I have not been there in a lot of years ) and Hobbycraft as I wanted to see if they stocked Kumihimo disks/starter kits - they didnt so I will get it off ebay

Before we returned home we stopped at PC World to get some new headphones for the PC and then to Sainsburys for a bit of shopping.

I am now going to stitch :-) !!!

Pink Cinderella Rotation Week 1 end

I only managed to get a little more done on Cinders hair, I find these sections where the 3 colours used are broken up quite time consuming to do. So in four weeks time the aim will be to get at least the hair section completed.

This weekend I will be working on my Passione Ricamo Fairy Mystery SAL, I hope to make some progress on part 1.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I have been doing Postcrossing for about 2 and a half years. Just to see if I could use the picmonkey photo editing - adding text to my photos I picked this stunning card I got from Russia the other day. I think the husky is stunning beyond belief - Gorgeous.

It is definitely easier than using the Paint programme.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Dance in the Rain - Update 2

I have spent today working on this lovely Lizzie Kate design and I am pleased that I have only a very small section to do to complete it. So next Thursday this will be another finish for me this year - Yay. The one downside of working the design today was I managed to put a tapestry needle into my thigh - OUCH!! - I clearly need to take more care when leaning forward to get my scissors and leaving needle laying on my leg.

I have managed to use the Paint programme to add details to my photos not sure if this is correct, but its a start.

Sampler Wednesday Martha Jones - Update 2

Well I only managed to get a couple of hours in on European Reproduction Samplers - Martha Jones 1792

Here is the update

I managed to complete this motif at the top left. I have now virtually finished page 1 of 12.

If anyone who regularly blogs can tell me how I can add the detail of designs to my photos I would be grateful - I think it is called watermarking. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Some Progress on Cinderella

Just a quick update to show how far I have got in the last two days working on Joan Elliott's Pink Cinderella (Chart originally published in Cross Stitch Gold in the Blue Version). Fabric is Polstitches Colourful Clouds.

She now has a face and the hair is growing. When I return to stitching on her on Friday I will continue with the hair section.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Unfinished Objects (UFO's), Works in Progress (WIP's) etc

Anyone that knows me will be aware that I have a lot of UFO needlework projects somewhere around the 100 mark. I am not proud of this and need to address this and various other things that I am involved with. Starting tomorrow I am going to schedule my week to various projects and hopefully within the next six months I should see some progress.

Monday, Tuesday and Friday

This will be the days when I work on my major projects and there will be 4 in rotation here.

1. Joan Elliott Cinderella

This is the original version as featured in Cross Stitch Gold magazine with the blue dress and blonde hair.

My version is the pink conversion that Joan posted on FB and I have also given her brown hair as I see no reason why Cinders cannot be a brunette. The picture below shows how far I have got with her to date. I am using 28ct Polstitches Colourful Clouds Opalescent Linen.

2. Michael Powell Up the Garden Path

This is what the finished kit should look like.

and this is how far I have got with it so to date.

3. Mirabilia January Garnet Fairy

This is what the design should look like on completion.

This is where I am up till now. I am working the design on Polstitches 32ct Rustic Rhubarb Jobelan.

4. PR Queen of the Fairies

This is how she should look on completion.

This is where I have got to with her. I am using the recommended 32ct Polstitches Chestnut Jobelan.


Is my sampler day and this is currently Martha Jones 1792 by European Reproduction Samplers, the sampler is being worked on 28ct Antique Ivory Cashel Linen. I do have a lot of other samplers in various stages, but wont show them on this blog until I have completed this one.

This is what the completed sampler should look like


This day I will work on any small projects or any of my projects that are not currently listed eg cards, etc. For the next few weeks this will be working on Lizzie Kate Dance in the Rain

Saturday and Sunday

This is when I will work on the various SAL's I have joined in the last year and then not progressed. Again I will work these in rotation.

1. PR Fairy Mystery

As this is a mystery sampler I do not have a completed picture to show you. November saw the release of part 5 of this 12 month project. I am still only on part one. I am working my fairy on Polstitches 28ct Soft Clouds jobelan. Below is a photo of how far I have got.

2. HAED Ariadne

I am working this on 25ct Magic Guide fabric. The photo below is how the completed design should look.

I am still on page one of this design and the photo below shows my progress to date.

3. Chatelaine Sleeping Beauty Castle

This is a year long project from Chatelaine Design and started on the 1st April this year, it is also known as Online 95. I am stitching it on Polstitches Regency Jobelan.

Below is a photo of what the completed design should look like

and here is how far I have got on part 1 of the project.

This project uses lots of speciality threads and beads and I am acquiring the threads as I go.

4. Papillon Creations Around the World in 80 Stitches

This is a 24 month around the world in stitches project which I am working on bone jobelan. I do not have a completed picture but I am currently still on part one. This project uses lots of different stitches and is great fun.

I think by doing this I have given myself enough variety to stay focused.

If I complete any of the big projects first listed in the next 6 months then I will allow myself to start a new project.

I will review my progress in May 2013 after six months of working on the various projects listed.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Sampler Wednesdays - Martha Jones update 1

I have for sometime worked on one of my WIP samplers on a Wednesday to break up the week. My current sampler that I am trying to progress is Martha Jones 1792 by European Reproduction Samplers

I am working this on 28ct Antique Ivory Cashel Linen.

The following photo is how far I have got to date with this project before today - so as far as this blog is concerned it is my starting point. The fabric is quite creased as I am stitching this project without hoop or frame. I will give it a good iron when it is completed.

I managed to get the left side of the left vase completed and the Algerian eyelet row underneath this section completed. It was a couple of hours work.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Return To Keeping A Journal

Day Two of the book I am reading "Have the Best Year of Your Life" by Jane Matthews, suggests getting a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings throughout the year. I used to keep a regular diary as a teenager and young adult and then just stopped, perhaps life got in the way. So anyway I have been out and about to find a nice pretty journal to house these thoughts and feelings.

I had hoped that the shop in town that stocks PaperBlanks journals would have one in the A5 size, sadly they didnt and so I ended up getting this one below instead.

So following the instructions I am to write todays date in the journal and then write down my hopes and dreams for the coming year. This is going to take some thought.

19th March 2018 Update

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