Sunday, 23 October 2016

Brave the Shave

As the title says - I am braving the shave.

That means that my beautiful, shoulder length hair is going to be shaved.  Have I gone mad I hear you ask?  No!  It's all in aid of raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support.  As many of you know, Gaynor (StitchersAnon) was diagnosed with breast cancer (for the second time); it's terminal. She has already beaten the 6 months she was given which is fabulous. So I am begging for donations as I would like to raise as much as I can for this brilliant charity.  I know there are loads of charities, clamouring for your attention so all I am asking for is £1, $1 or 1 of whatever currency you have!

The link below will take you directly to my donations page.  Please, please, please donate!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Jo's Big Birthday Bloghop

2005 - Jo was 39.  As her son grew up Jo decided to look for some part-time work and asked a friend of her's if he needed any bar staff at his new music venue.  The friend said "yes, he did" and Jo started working one evening a week while her parents looked after her son.  Within a couple of months, the working relationship became much more and Jo found herself "dating the boss".  Fortunately all worked out well for them and Jo kept her man and her job!
As her social life improved Jo's stitching life was slow and steady with only a few finishes happening.  Jo was a strict OAAT stitcher in those days.

Oh Dear!
2005 was not a memorable year for me in any way, shape or form.
Nothing much happened.Hobb Nobb's Winter Welcome - completed November 2005

It was the year that I started volunteering in school which eventually led me to where I am now careerwise!  It all started when Rachael was in Reception and came home one day saying that she had been told off by the Head Teacher for counting up to 100.  Well obviously I was furious and went stomping into school the following day, ready to rip someone's head off for daring to suggest that my daughter couldn't count up as far as she wanted to.  After explaining my 'concerns' to the class teacher - Mrs Smiley (by name and nature), she laughed and explained that the Reception curiculum target was that they should be able to count up to 20.  Obviously, I felt a bit of an idiot!!!  She suggested I come into school and helped in the classroom, playing some games with the children.  They loved it, I loved it and the rest is history.  I can't imagine not working in a school now!

I wasn't stitching much as I was working 3 different evening jobs so that one of us was always at home with the kids.  That was enough to keep me out of

Jo, I hope you have had a fabulous birthday and I am so sorry that this is late.  I spent a lot of time at A&E yesterday with Rachael and a dodgy arm!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Poppy Dance - Marianne Broome (HaED)

Good evening...good to see you again!

Ok, sit yourself down.  Don't pick up that brew and make sure you have someone with you to monitor you for shock symptoms.

At the start of May, it dawned on me that my mum has only ever had one piece of cross stitching from me.  By that, I mean a decent sized piece not just cards etc.  She loves poppies and has a poppy theme in the lounge - well at least she did the last time I was there!  So...after trawling through ALL my magazines (not something for the faint hearted) and wandering through the internet, I kept coming back to the same design - Poppy Dance by Marianne Broome (HaED).

This seemed like a bit of a stupid thing for me to love so much as I have about 8 HaED's - three started but not even done half a page on them yet.  Anyway, never one to let something like not finishing a design to put me off, I decided to buy it.  I already had a piece of 28ct jobelan and the threads, so off I went!

I worked it out that there are 153,300 stitches in it and if I wanted to finish it by my mum's birthday in 2018 (not 2017) I would have to stitch 260 stitches a day EVERY DAY!  Well, I started and counted and counted and counted.  Then I decided that I was fed up of counting and so worked out that I needed to do roughly a page every month.

Well here we are at the end of page 2 and actually 12 days ahead of schedule at the moment. I cannot put it down.  I am finding that I am getting up earlier in the morning just so I can stitch before I go to work and stitching pretty much every night too.  At the weekend I am spending loads of time stitching.

I have also discovered that I LOVE stitching one over one! In fact I think I will restart Shakespeare's Fantasy as I was doing that 2 over ? tent.  I have already stitched about 20% of page 3 and am now halfway across the top row.

I suppose I had better show you some pics.

Poppy Dance

This is the design from HaED's website.

And...this is my progress so far.

Poppy Dance  (p2)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Snowboarding (Luke), DIY (Luke), new stash (NOT Luke!)

For Christmas, we bought Luke a taster snowboard session at Chill Factore.  Well we actually gave him a home made voucher for one so that we could book it at any time.  About a month ago, I saw a Groupon for a 2 hour Beginner lesson which was only £10 more than what we were going to pay originally. This was booked for Tuesday and when Luke's instructor came over, it turned out that he was the only person booked on it and so had a private lesson.  I was amazed as I thought they would have just cancelled it in that case.  The photos aren't great as it was through glass and a fair way away from where we were sat.

This first one is Luke going up the belt. He is the one in black, more or less central in the photo.

Here he is at the top of the slope.  (Bent over, fixing his snowboard on)

In the last one, he is just moving for the first time.  He was held by the instructor as he practised sliding forward a bit and then stopping. I have to admit that he looked pretty good at it, but then he has great balance and is quite flexible.

Poor Luke has to make do with the box room in our house whic is tiny. However, despite this, he wanted to get a desk in so that he could study properly rather than either laying on his bed or getting kicked off the kitchen table at dinner time.  A quick visit to Ikea, saw this happen...

Luke built the shelving unit all by himself (and he used the instructions!) With the doors, I helped him with the first one and he did the rest by himself.  (Don't tell him, but I think he did a better job on the other three than I did!)

He also built the desk, which has a pull out drawer at the front, completely independently with absolutely no help from me at all.  It is a lovely compact desk for the space too.  I honestly didn't think that we would find one that would fit in the gap, but we did!

Now onto the best bit! (Sorry Luke!) New stash!!!

I decided to treat myself to the Holmsey's Hymms that have been released so far.  I am definitely not disappointed.  The charts are lovely and clear. Gaynor was very generous and sent me an extra chart as she was busy having fun with her gorgeous grand-daughter.  Thank you Gaynor.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Belated March update

JCS ornie SAL on Facebook - needed to stitch February and March's ornies. NOPE, but I did stitch April's!  This is actually stitched on a really nice green fabric but it hasn't caught it properly in the photo.

iStitch 2015 Advent SAL - stitch band 5 and 6. YES, done!

Stitch Round 3 of Mabel Figworthy's 2016 SAL Started but not finished as the woven laszy daisies are currently defeating me.

Weekly Random number - not great as I haven't had much stitching time with one thing and another.

One week was BRD Behind the Gate.  I stitched a bit more on the cat to finish all of it bar the right hand side column of orange and the square below it.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The last couple of weeks

Sorry not to have has hardly seemed worth it for the amount of stitching time I've had.
Firstly, was Everyone brings joy. I managed to stitch the S O M T and half an H.

Then it was on to Confetti of Hardanger, which in all honesty, I had forgotten how pretty it is.  Sadly, I didn't get much time this week either! All I  managed was a section of edging as in the photo.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Goal review - February

Stitch JCS facebook group ornie - No...but I will do it in March!

Stitch 2 days of istitch 2015 Advent SAL - DONE!

I love the holly band for this month's 2 days. I wsn't sure that the red beads were red enough but I think they look perfect.

Stitch Mabel Figworthy 'Round in Circles' February design - DONE!

Random generator each Sunday
31st January - #38: Lizzie Kate Flip-It's

6th February - #37: Just Good Friends

13th - #42: Oh Christmas Tree

20th - Sunflower Fairy

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunflower Fairy - Nora Corbett

This week has been SO disappointing stitchingwise. I was sure I took a photo before I started stitching but I can't find it. It's probably just as well really!

Edited to add: This week's lucky project is number 3 which is The Angel of Cross Stitch.  As this is stitched on black evenweave, I have decided to keep that for the Easter holiday week so that I'm off work and the kids are away with their dad so that I can make a decent amount of progress on it.  The project I will actually work on this week is 'Everyone brings Joy...' 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Oh Christmas Tree

I have SO enjoyed working on this all week.  In fact I am very tempted to keep it out and work on it next week too...but that would be cheating!!  However, I now have 2 designs, possibly 3, that could be completed so I have decided that at the end of every quarter, I will have a week of working on PHD's and see if I can get them finished.  Anyway, here is the before and after...

It looks much better in real life.  The fabric is Crafty Kitten 'Oatmeal' and is ever so pretty.  The thread is DMC 4045 and is lovely to work with.

The random generator has chosen #62 this week which is Sunflower Fairy. Another one that I probably wouldn't have chosen to work on but find myself looking forward to. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Just Good Friends

I thought that I could possibly get this one finished if I got plenty of stitching time this week.  Ha!  As if! I forgot to take a before photo but here it is after a little stitching this week...

The random generator came up with 42 this week and as I made life easier for myself by numbering all my WIP/UFO's in the sidebar, it was very easy to find 'Oh Christmas Tree'.

So here is the design and the bottom photo shows the 'before' I stitch on it this week. As it is half term this week, I am really hoping for LOADS of stitching time...fingers crossed :)