Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Wishes

May 2012 be a good year for you and your loved ones. May your blessings be full up and your troubles few and far between :)

I'm planning on spending a quiet evening with the family as tomorrow I fly back to Jozi with the little bugs. No doubt they'll be kicking and screaming as they love it here! Have a wonderful, safe time ringing in the New Year!

Take care x x

Monday, December 26, 2011

2012 TUSAL

Daffycat is hosting the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long for 2012. This is a fun, no stress activity. If you haven't yet signed up. or  you're interested in knowing a bit more or want to sign up, then head on over by clicking here

Take care x x

Wishing you all ...

a very Merry Christmas :)
Keep safe and if it's cold out there, keep warm!
I'll hopefully be able to post some lovely holiday and wedding pics soon!

Take care x x

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holidays are Here!!!

At last! The holidays are finally here! I'm afraid that the baking of cupcakes will have to be on hold for a little while longer until I get back home in January!

Arrived in Cape Town last night after what can only be described as an eventful flight! Firstly my original flight was cancelled and moved 2 hours earlier - which I was informed of a month ago so it was no real surprise. However, arriving at the airport with the 2 little bugs in tow at 15h30 to check in and discovering that my flight was delayed by an hour was not a pleasant omen. Then after picking up our boarding passes, we were made to wait a further 15 minutes outside in the access tunnel leading to the plane. Got on the plane and made our way to our seats (which as luck would have it was wayyyyy at the back of the plane) and noticed that the blue goo that normally belongs in the loos had somehow made it's way onto the floor ......
Then there was the passenger who could not be found who's luggage was on the plane and which they now obviously needed to remove from the plane. And after take off, about an hour into the flight, the young couple who sat next to me with their 2 little boys had a bit of a problem as the air-host (is that what you call the men who are now in the planes??) had managed to close the bathroom door on the little boy's finger when his mom had taken him to the bathroom to change his nappy! Needless to say the little boy was not a happy chappy and spent the next hour (I kid you not!) screaming - not that you could blame the poor tyke!

But we're here now - and have been busier than bees getting the last of the wedding things sorted.

Yesterday, before our flight, I went to pick up mail and was surprised to find a little envelope from RuthB. I had totally forgotten that she had generously decided to send everyone who had entered her blogiversary giveaway over at The Musing Badger, a little something. I received these lovely skeins of The Gentle Sampler threads in delicious Tutti Frutti and Butternut Squash! Even the names sound delicious :) Thanks RuthB!

Lovely threads and card from RuthB
I'm afraid the kitchen pics doesn't really do the kitchen justice, but I am really quite happy with it! Can't wait to get back home and start baking!
New stove, oven and cooker hood - tiling still to be completed!
The drawers and pot drawers
I couldn't take much pics as the camera on my mobile doesn't allow much zooming out to get a wide angle view.

I've also updated my 2012 CJC list to include some hardanger and a biscornu with a few speciality stitches, so if you have a moment do take a peak at the page :)

Have a lovely day / evening all!

Take care x x

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wild Happy Dance!

It's done! It's done! It's done!

After much anxiety I've completed the wedding sampler! Wild happy dance for me is what I think :-)
It's at the framer at the moment so should be all done next week - hopefully I'll have it back on Tuesday as I fly out on Wednesday!

Stitched on 28 Count White Jobelan
DMC Threads & Mill Hill Beads
Yes it's not huge ..... no it wasn't difficult .... I'm just a slow stitcher :-)

I also wanted to show you all pics of the bugs with their teacher's gifts. School officially closed for the year today - now it's looking forward to some holiday time!
The bugs with their teacher gifts
I figured out how to get the pics off my mobile so here's the pics of my bare kitchen - they've finished most of it up this week except for the scullery, which they'll only be able to complete next year as the company closes today. I can't really blame them as the reason for the delay was really beyond their or my control. I've atleast got my stove and oven in working order (or it should be by this evening!) and I can bake again!
The naked scullery - this will only be fixed up in the new year
This spot is where my new oven will be housed
There'll be cupboards all along here!

I'll be taking pics of the new kitchen over the weekend. It's not 100% done yet as the tiling still needs to be re-done as well the scullery!

Wishing all happy dances over the weekend :-)

From a wet and warm Johannesburg!

Take care x x

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December ..... already?!!?

Can you believe December's here already???
I've been a very busy little bunny :) On the non-stitchy front, my life has been turned upside down with the major renovations that we're doing to the kitchen.I now have no kitchen and it's been take-outs this whole week (not that the bugs are complaining!). (Unfortunately my camera is not behaving and I have yet to figure out how to send the pics from the phone to my laptop)

I'm certain that at some stage I've mentioned that eldest bug starts High School next year (she goes to grade 8) and my middle bug goes to Primary School (grade 1). Because we are in Cape Town (my home town) for SIL's wedding from the 14th, we have had to get the bugs's school uniforms for the new year sorted out now as when we get back, the shops will no doubt be overrun with angry parents trailing moody offspring through the crowds and fighting for the last age 6 white school shirt that the shop has to offer! I just have to get their school shoes and shirts this weekend then can relax!

My brother (who turned 43 this year) has returned to studying full time this year - very brave of him if you ask me! He's studying some micro-biology thing - just can't remember exactly what! - and as he is doing it through a distance learning university, he has to come up this side to complete his lab work. So he has been spending the past 2 weekends here with me (the campus he's at is in Pretoria which is about an hour and a half drive from me, so he stays there during the week and heads my way the weekend).  It's been such fun having him close - the bugs absolutely adore having their uncle around - he's the one who runs around the house having water gun fights, and jumps on the trampoline, and just generally does crazy things with them :-) I guess not having any kids of his own, he enjoys spending the time with them too.

I suppose I should mention the stitching too :) I've set everything else aside to get the wedding sampler done and am pleased to report that I am *almost* there! Just the back stitching and wording to do, then on to the beading! I decided to replace the french knots with beads - I finished the knots on the one half of the sampler but they just didn't look french knotty enough so I've unknotted the lot and decided to re-do them as beads! Should have it done this by Monday for the latest! Happy dance for me then!

As always - thanks for the visit :)

Take care x x

Monday, November 21, 2011

From me to you

Monday's here.....again! And the wedding sampler is still not complete! Had my brother visit me from Cape Town this weekend so haven't done much in the line of stitching! Thankfully the weather has turned cooler so it makes for a more productive me :-)

I've been going through my stash and came across these odds that could use a new home. This is not a giveaway in the conventional sense, and no you don't have to be a follower. I just want them to go somewhere where they'll be used :-) So if you're interested drop me an email or a comment with the thing you're interested in. If more than one person for the same, I'll have to go "Eeny Meeny My-ny (is that how you even spell it??) Moh!".

New Stoney Creek Chart - "Mother"

A new "Value Pack" of Madeira Metallic threads
I've stitched this one - the chart is unmarked

There's a few more things I have but haven't had a chance to take pics yet as the battery of the old camera decided that it needs charging.

As I said - it's free to anyone who wants it and will be able to use it :-)

Have a lovely day all!

Take care x x

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Pics ...

I realised that I had said I was going to post pics of the gift for eldest bug's teacher and haven't done it yet, so here it is......

"Seeds of Knowledge" by Lizzie Kate
Stitched on linen
It still needs a light iron and then to be framed - I'll be doing that over the next week or so as schools are closing soon! Eldest bug is busy with her exams and that's a definite sign that the year is almost over :-)

I always like to personalise their gifts, but in eldest's case it's so little you can hardly see it ...... (under the you see it now?)
Name added in tiny tiny stitches
I also got this little bookmark done. I thought he was rather cute!
Stitched on 16 count cream aida
I'm still rather frenetically stitching at the wedding sampler - while the wedding is on the 18th December, I leave to Cape Town on the 14th, so will need to have it done and framed before then. And as it's the first wedding sampler that I've stitched for someone I really want it to be nicely framed so will have to get it to and from the Framers before I leave!

Oh .... have I ever said thank you for stopping by and reading my oft times deranged / hysterical /  strange ramblings ? I really enjoy your visits and avidly read your comments :-)

Have a gorgeous day all!

Take care x x

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy "Holly" Day

She's here! She's here! She's here!
Nora Corbet's "Holly" - as stiched by The Manbroider
Stitched on 18count white aida
After much anticipation Holly has finally managed to cross the ocean all the way from the tip of the world! And she is even more gorgeous-er than her pics do her justice! Thank you to  The Manbroider for gifting her as his blogaversary prize! And thank you to the star that shone on my name and made me win  her! I absolutely love her. She has been popped on the wall in my hall way - that way she is appreciated every day :-) The pics really do not do her any justice - the lovely stitching, the beading, the colours - oh my!


Gorgeous colours!

She is truely a beautiful work of art that shall be appreciated and treasured!

Hope you all had lovely weekends!

Take care x x 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Has it been a week already??

Woke up this morning and realised that it's been about a week that's gone by since I last visited! And it's been a busy week - kids, cats and stitching has been keeping me on my tippy toes this past week!
Last night we went to our eldest bug's "talent concert" . Nothing says "I love you my baby" quite like sitting through one of these just to hear your kid warble off a tune(?) that the police should consider using as a weapon to suppress rioters (how can you riot when you're trying to cover your ears?) :-)
Sounds terrible I know! :-P  My bug's talent is unfortunately not singing - don't get me wrong - she has numerous other brilliant talents - singing is just not one of them. We had a grand time though. It was hilarious, in places painful and even scarey, but thoroughly entertaining (think the first few weeks of an IDOLS show when they're still weeding through all the hopefuls). What was brilliant was watching the rest of the school kids celebrate in their friend's attempts. They didn't care if their friends were off key or couldn't dance - they spurred them on and cheered and clapped and danced in the aisles, singing the chorus along with their buddies on stage. It was an amazing and marvelous evening! No pics though as it was way too dark in the school hall to get anything good.
Tomorrow is little bug's concert - should be fun too! This will be her first concert as the school didn't do one last year. She is so excited ! It's only about 30 minutes long as you can only get 4 year olds to do what you want them to do for so long!
On the stitchy front (no pics in this post!) there has been good progress - eldest bug's pressie is done, the heart is about there, and the wedding sampler is about halfway there! I'll post pics next time!
Hope you all have a wonderfully busy weekend! I've got another kiddy party to go to on Sunday morning so hopefully I can relax the afternoon and get some stitching done!

Take care x x

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Home at last!

After 2 weeks of hospitalization Scruffy is finally home! His liver had started shutting down last week (apparently pretty common in kitties who undergo highly stressful situations)- hence his extended stay - but he has now been pronounced fit, or rather as fit as can be :-) I think that Scruffy gives credibility to the saying "a cat has 9 lives"!  I think he's used up about 5 of them this year so he's going to have to be careful!

Other than being rather thin and shaved on one side of his body, he's looking very dapper indeed.

I was *forced* to do some stash buying - not much! - for one of my "crazies" - I've asked the very talented designer of the SAL called Tree of Stitches, if I could use her design as one of my projects and she has very kindly said yes. I therefore bought some lovely silk threads from a local supplier - Chameleon Threads. And since it didn't make sense to only buy a few skeins, I threw in 2 fat quarters of gorgeous fabric and a few other bits and bobs.  I'm going to have to get more thread though - the 4 won't be enough :-)
A little bit of stash

All in all the week has been a good one. I've been stitching every evening and getting work done on each of my going pieces - I've been alternating - Monday was the wedding sampler, Tuesday was the lions, Wednesday was the wedding sampler, and tonight will be the heart. Tomorrow evening is the wedding sampler again, and then the next evening will be teacher's gift. And then the cycle starts again - until the wedding is done. Then the Lions will be the priority stitch and I will alternate with it. I've got to get these done!

Have a super day!

Take care xx

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rain Rain Hooray!!!

After a hot and dry week and a bit, the heavens decided to pity us poor souls and opened up! We had a gorgeously wet, albeit hot, weekend. That's the advantages of summer rainfall - the rains come to cool things down so you don't turn into a dried out crisp, but it's not unpleasant at all. I love the rain!

The LHN chart that I had won in the 123stitch September competition arrived along with the fabric that I had ordered for the wedding sampler that I want to stitch for my sis-in-law. So part of the weekend (Saturday to be exact!) was definitely spent putting in a bit of time on this. This is how far I've come - basically one corner.
Wedding Sampler - stitched on 28 count White Jobelan

Sunday saw a start being made to elder bug's teacher gift ..... at last!
Lizzie Kate - Seeds of Knowledge
Stitched on linen - colour uncertain as it was in my stash :-)
Ever wonder what happens to your missing stitched bits?? You know, the one's that you mail and it never arrives at it's destination even though the address is clearly printed and the envelope sealed?? I'm of the opinion that they run off to marry those socks that go missing out of your washer / dryer. Just my view...
The reason I ask is because somewhere out there is a heart that I had stitched that was to be part of a quilt, that never arrived *sigh* So I've re-started it and this is what I've done
Quilt Block stitched on 14 count white Aida
I really am not a fan of white on white! I mean I've seen white work and it is stunning - I just hate doing it myself! My eyes have complained bitterly about this abuse, but I will soldier forth and get this done ..... again!

My eldest bug also had her Masquerade "Prom" this weekend. I forced her to stand and let me take pics or she was not going to be dropped at her friend. :-P
Eldest bug on her way to the Masquerade Prom

So this week will see me trying to make headway on these projects - 15 sided biscornu .........uuurrrggghhhh
I'll have to pick it up again some time in the future!

Have yourselves a lovely day! Be safe and if it's snowing out there - be warm!

Take care x x

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Scruffy update!

What a hot hot hot weekend!With temperatures over 30 degrees celcius there was very little stitching taking place! I also spent most of Saturday and Sunday driving! My eldest bug had a camp and had to be dropped off - the place they were camping at is about 75km away from home. So on Saturday it was driving to and back home. And Sunday it was driving to and then back home again! So all in all it was 300 km over 2 days, with 2 young bugs complaining about how long it was taking and why did their sister *have* to go on the camp! Absolute pleasure .... right ???

But I digress.... this was to be a short post to let you all know that Scruffy is doing well - he is still a 4 legged creature, but a 4 legged creature with a metal pin in his leg. I told the vet that if anyone was to take x-rays of this poor baby they'd think he was from an abused home - what with his broken jaw, bunged up leg, and smashed teeth on the side of his mouth where the last car had hit him! I'm really really hoping that he'll stay in the house now! He's still at the vet, but should hopefully be discharged today or tomorrow.

Oh I did manage some stitching, just not as much as I'd hoped to do. No start on the last gift and I've only done 3 of the biscornu blocks. I'm using the pattern in WOX Issue 168, but have totally changed the colours, fabric and threads :-) I'm doing it on a 30 count evenweave from Polstitches that I received in a grab bag that I'd ordered a while back, so no idea what the colour is called. I'll be doing each set of 5 on a slightly different shade of fabric so will be curios to see what the final result will look like!

3 blocks done - 12 to go!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Take care x x

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh my!

I'm starting to feel a bit like "Calamity Jane"- reeling from one incident to the next!

So my eldest bug is well - or rather as well as any smart mouthed 12 year old *can* be, and now my furry baby - my cat Scruffy, has been knocked by a car! This would be the 2nd time this year! And like the last time, the $%#@!* person that knocked him didn't bother to stop! My neighbour saw the incident and came to let me know. Scruffy is now at the vet. He's hip bone is badly fractured and he'll need metal plates inserted. The vet has however said that if they open him and find the nerve damage to be too much, then they'll have to amputate - so I may have a 3 legged cat - which may not be too bad as maybe then he'll stay at home!

Anyway.....on to the stitchy stuff

I've mentioned before that I participated in a Needle Book exchange that was organised by the Yahoo! group, Friendly_Stitchers. I received a lovely little book from Sandra, with the most gorgeous thread - I have no idea what type it is but it is an amazing silk - will have to find something special to use this with!
My lovely needle book & threads from Sandra
And as she's received mine, I can show you what I had stitched :)
My Autumn themed Needle book - stitched for Sandra
Freebie design by Erica Michaels - Fall into Autumn
Stitched on 32 count linen using DMC variations & local House of embroidery threads
I've also managed to finish middle bug's gift for his teacher - will have to get it framed before the end of the school year in December. Only eldest bug's gift to still complete!
Stitched on 25 count evenweave using DMC threads
Original design from Cross Stitcher Issue 202 - with a personal message added

I also finished the scissor keep! About time I know!

"Sunny Colours" by Marie-Anne Rethoret-Melin
Stitched on 14 count white aida using DMC satin  and cotton threads

I had to show you the beautiful flowers that I received from my soccer boys - such a lovely gesture!

Beautiful flowers received from my soccer boys

I've made a start on my 15 sided biscornu - only one block done though! Will be concentrating on getting more of this done, and starting my eldest bug's gift to her teacher.

See what happens if I don't post for a while - you get a long long long story ;-)

I do hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Take care x x

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Topsy Turvy Days!

That's what the past 2 days have been like! I'm totally exhausted!

Let's see.... yesterday morning started on an absolute high as I learned that I had won the blogaversary giveaway on Manbroiderer's blog, Diary of a Manbroider ! This gentleman most positively has the fastest needles in the west! He chews through HAEDs  and large projects at a phenomenal rate and I openly admit to being in awe of his prowess :-)  So to have won a piece of his work is a real pleasure! I admired "Holly" when he completed her, and never imagined that she'd ever be gracing my home with her presence!

Nora Corbett's "Holly" Stitched by The Manbroiderer
I had meant to post this yesterday after I'd received the news, but alas life got in the way and things went a bit "turvy" this side....

I received a call from eldest bug's school to say that she'd collapsed - again. The second incident in as many months! So ... it was a mad rush from work to get to school to pick her up .... then off to the doctor again to see if there was anything wrong .... who then referred us to the pediatrician .... who then had her admitted to hospital so they could run a battery of tests to make sure that there was no real cause for alarm. Now normally I'd just have written the incident off to the heat  we had yesterday, but since it was the second time it's happened and the blood tests we had done the first time it happened had not revealed anything, I decided to rather take the safe route - so my eldest bug spent her first night in hospital. Luckily the ECG tests and CAT scans came back as all clear and blood work is fine - so we're writing it off as hormonal and just monitoring her. She's back at home and I'm back at work and all's good in the world :-)

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Take care xx

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Dance!!!

The roof's been fixed, the paintings just about all done, and I won a lovely chart in the 1-2-3 Stitch! September month competition! I'm just a happy bunny today :-)

The chart I won is called "Pumpkin Hollow Farms" by LHN

Can't wait for it to get here!

I've spent most of the weekend polishing, cleaning and hanging curtains in little and middle bug's rooms - the painting was finished there on Friday hence my mad scramble at trying to return the house to some semblance f normality!

I was also bitterly disappointed by our boys in green yesterday when they lost to Australia..... I know that that's how the game goes and in the end the better team won ....even though I'd have like our boys to bring back the cup :-)

I've finished middle bug's tooth fairy pillow and made some progress with the second teacher's gift, but alas no pics yet.... will have to take them  later and post some other time :-)

Hope you all had a smashingly good weekend!

Take care xx

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CJC2012 Updated

I'm still trying to finalise my list for the Crazy January Challenge 2012 that Miina has arranged (check out the rules here) and with only 3 months left to the year I guess I need to finalise this soon!

I've selected the following 10 already:

  • The Library by LHN

  • A Stitcher's Prayer by LHN

  • Home of a Needleworker (too) by LHN

  • Sunflowers in Summer by Country Cottage Needleworks

  • A Very Faint Line by My Big Toe Designs

  • I will Always be a Wildflower by Sam Sarah Design Studio

  • Bride's Tree Ornament - Love by Brooke's Books Publishing

  • Night Fairy kit by Lanarte (design by Maria van Scharrenburg)

  • The Other White Meat by Calico Crossroads

  • Rose Mosaic Needleroll by M. Designs

  • And I've decided to add the following 2 to my list as well

  • Crafty Cat by Margaret Sherry - as featured in Issue 135 of Cross Stitcher

  • The Pirate Queen by Dark Side of the Moon - as featured in Issue 172&173 of World of Cross Stitch

  • Margaret Sherry's Craft Cat

    Pirate Queen

    Now to decide on the last 3 projects!

    Take care x x