Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Few Finishes and other things

Hi Blogger Friends,

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted but I have been quite productive in that time. I have decided I will try and do at least weekly posts from 1st July so that when I do sit down to do them they are not quite so lengthy.

Cross Stitching

My first finish since my last post was a freebie cover kit from WOXS magazine. I am going to give this to a lady who I walk my dog with most mornings as she is going into hospital for a bladder repair and will not be out walking her dog for about 6 weeks.

The next thing I did after completing the above over 2 nights I started a 10 day challenge with one of my groups on Facebook. Below are my starting point and my finishing point. I worked on Michael Powell's Up the Garden Path kit for 7 out of the 10 days. I realised that I had done the sky in full cross stitch and not half but I am not going to frog it so the sky  will continue  in full crosses.
I did nearly 1700 stitches on this project.

On the 6th June I received these Lizzie Kate charts from Crafty Kitten
and below are my finishes for all these designs
This is stitched on a piece of Polstitches Grab Bag Opal Linen using DMC Floss
This is stitched on Polstitches 28ct Soft Clouds Jobelan and DMC Floss
This is stitched on Crafty Kitten 28ct Chocolate Orange Linen using DMC floss
This is stitched on 28ct Polstitches Rustic Rhubarb Jobelan using DMC floss
and finally this was stitched on Polstitches Dusky Rose 28ct Jobelan and again with DMC Floss

I have also been working on my FWC Round Robin and I completed this Assisi card for it using DMC thread and Rainbow Gallery metallic
and I received my own back this is Ink Circles Reloaded Mandala I chose to do the Sunflower colourway. I used 14ct lemon aida and DMC thread
I am so pleased with how it turned out it's gorgeous :-)

The ATC I stitched as part of the May exchange finally got to its recipient in Australia so here it is
I have not taken part in this months exchange as I could not find any suitable charts. Hopefully the themes for the coming month will be easier for me as I do enjoy doing these small stitches.

I have also joined a SAL on Facebook for the Joan Elliott Mystery SAL. Below is my progress so far on the border stitching. I am using Enchanted Fabrics 28ct Monaco in Spring Meadow and DMC  Floss
I need to try and get the border done by 1st July as it will be around then that the first chart for the boxes will be released.

And finally in stitching I started working on A New Day by My Big Toe Designs on 28ct Polstitches Regency Linen using DMC Floss. This chart was gifted to me about 3 years ago and it is only now that the words have really spoken to me. In fact I am very much in to word designs at the moment.

Here is what the finished design should look like and my progress after two days

Other News

I am delighted to say my daughter has passed her first year of her Geography with Natural Hazards degree and is now back home and working at Starbucks for the summer.

Hannah and I went to the first showing of the Disney film Maleficent. Sleeping Beauty is my favourite Disney animation so I went along with a bit of trepidation as I am not overly keen on Angelina Jolie as an actress. I needn't have worried we both loved it and was well worth seeing. It is rated a PG in the UK and I would say it isn't suitable for very young children as some of the scenes I thought would be a bit scary for little ones. I loved seeing the bad fairy's story and how she became the way she was. I also liked the fact that true loves kiss did not need to have a romantic connotation.

I finished reading 4 books

1. Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard. This was the second book by this author that I have read. It dealt with mental health issues and was set on a Scottish island. I really enjoyed it.
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I read this as it has been really hyped and my daughter wants me to go with her to see the film. I like to read a book first before seeing the adaptation if I can. I was expecting it to really break my heart as it deals with teenage cancer sufferers, but I actually found it quite humorous. Also because I could see what was going to happen quite early on I think that is the reason I was not in floods of tears by the end. The movie might be a different matter though.
3.Summer at the Lake by Erica James. It has been a few years since I have read any of her books but I really enjoyed this one. Floriana receives an invite to her friends wedding (she had feelings for him) and not paying attention gets knocked down by a car. Two strangers come to her aid and they befriend each other. We then get to know the other characters Adam and Esme (and Esme's back story) who accompany Floriana to Lake Como for the wedding.
4. The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs - this is the tale of a Mother and daughter road trip to drop daughter off at college and on the way the Mom stitches on a quilt. This is the first book by this author that I have read and I was a little disappointed with it. It could have been so much more.

I also finished listening to The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard which is the first book in the Cazalet series which I thoroughly enjoyed and was a re listen. This centres around the Cazalet Family there home in Sussex just before the outbreak of WWII.

Finally on books/movies - the other Saturday afternoon I sat down and watched Austenland having previously read the book. Like the book the film could have been so much better. I love anything Austen whether it is set in Austen time or modernised. The only plus point was it had JJ Feild in it, who I think should be a bigger name than he is.

It is nearly a year now since I gave up eating chocolate bars and since joining Slimming World last August I have lost nearly 2 stone in weight and I was very happy with this weeks 4lb loss. I don't always adhere to the SW diet I often use the nutrition calorie counter on Spark People, particularly when we are on a poor week and I have to utilise whatever I have in the freezer. I still have about 23lbs to go but I will get there.

This week I have cooked three new things. Firstly I bought a tin of chicken in white sauce from Sainsburys. I don't very often use convenience foods but my white sauce never seems to work out right. Anyway to this I added some blanched broccoli spears and put in a pyrex topped with mashed potatoes and a little grated cheese and baked in the oven until it was browned. I served it with green beans and carrots and it was delicious.

The following night I did this recipe that I found on Pinterest Beef Orzo Skillet recipe
this too was great and had the plus point that it is all cooked in the one pan. My husband even liked it and he can be a fussy so and so.

Finally yesterday I made Peach and Chickpea curry from A Girl Called Jack  which I have loaned from my local library and here is my version
I made this as my daughter is a vegetarian. She later informed me she isn't too keen on chick peas. Anyway my version differs from the recipe stated as I used chilli flakes and not a whole chilli pepper. I added a half used yellow pepper that would have otherwise gone to waste and I used dried coriander leaf as I do not have that herb fresh. I thought it was lovely. Later when I read the top of the recipe I discovered it was an adaptation from a Turkey curry recipe and I think that would be very nice too. I would definitely eat it again and it freezes well so if I do it just for myself no problems as I will freeze the other half. It is also a cheap meal which is a plus point.

Finally here is a photo of me with my dog Lily on Selsley Common

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