Monday, July 16, 2012

Sad news ...

I'm afraid that these past few weeks have not been very good....

Firstly, my lamp has decided that it no longer wants to play with me, so I have not been able to stitch in the evenings as I normally do :( And with the kids having been on school holidays (this morning was the first day back after a 3 week break!), and the in-laws having been here for a visit(they left on Saturday)....there has been so little time to sit and do *anything*

I also received the sad news this morning that my 39 year old cousin passed away from the cancer that has been ravishing her body for the past 15 years. We knew that the day was close, but it is still a shock .... RIP my cousin......may you find peace.

Take care x x

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Part 4 and other Stuff!

Whoop!!! Whoop!!! Part 4 is in the bag! Well it's been for a while now, but I just haven't been able to get around to posting.

Stitching this has been such a dream! I've done x-stitch instead of the satin stitch for the hearty flowers...
Dawn of Spring - Part 4

And this is my Dawn of Spring in all it's glory :)

Dawn of Spring - designed by Ms Mouse
To all who encouraged me not to rip out at the beginning and keep my original colour choices a big THANK YOU! I am really loving how these colours are working together now :)

I've also done some more knitting, finishing a twill scarf for my little bug and her baby doll, Princess Lulu
Little Bug and Princess Lulu in their matching scarves
I've been trying to finish off a round robin piece too, and have also gone and signed myself up for two additioanl clever am I!

I couldn't resist signing up for the Passione Ricamo Mystery Fairy SAL when I read about it on Monique's blog, and Abi Gurden over at The Stitch Specialist Yahoo Group has just opened up sign ups for her lovely hardanger sampler "A confetti of Hardanger". Do I really need more comment!

And another piece of fantabulous news is that I won one of Nancy's (over at the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe) Alphabet Ornament Collection Chart Packs! Can't wait for it to get here :)

And while on the topic of the wonderfully generous Nancy, she's hosting another super super giveaway - she will be selecting 30 stitchers to win in her Birthday giveaway so head on over and enter!

Have a super day!

Take care x x

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Battle of the Bullion Knots!

Sooo.....after about a million was like a million gazillion finish a bullion knot without sticking the needle into my fingers (or my tongue ....don't ask!) and ending up with what can only be best described as a rather limp noodle shaped worm that looked like a mutated hairy worm after it had been chewed up and spat out by a chicken, I have admitted defeat! I have been beaten by the bullion! Just the memory of this stitch has me trembling and mentally scrambling into a corner....thumb in mouth! And I had such grand plans of finishing the little spider roses as bullion roses.....perish the thought!!!!!

Spider Roses - and not a bullion in sight!
In the days of ignorant innocence, before being exposed to the horror that is a bullion, I had thought that the Drawn Thread work that was called for in this part would have me stumped. Not so! I actually quite enjoyed doing this and would have no problem wielding a scissor to fabric to indulge in a bit of drawn-ness again :)
Not as evil as I'd thought it would be!

I am very very very very pleased (see how very pleased I am!) with the overall effect of my Part 3 of DoS!

Dawn of Spring
minus the evil Bullions

Part 4 has been absolute dream to stitch....almost completed it and will update you all in my next post :)

Have a stunning, bullion free day ya'all!

Take care x x

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TUSAL Update

Another month of little threads *sigh*


Finishing off Dawn of Spring Part 3 this evening....will hopefully be able to show it all to you by this weekend....and remove from my memory bank the evil that is a bullion knot!

Take care x x

Monday, June 18, 2012

An eventful time...

Yes's been an eventful week!

Hubby has left for Korea ... it's been over a week now and we're surviving :) He should be back on Wednesday, just in time for my eldest bug's transformation to the dreaded T-years......and for those who are wondering what that is, it's when your normally pleasant child is transformed into one of those monsters called a TEENAGER!

On the stitchy front there has been some progress....I've done a bit on "A Sticher's Prayer", as the pic will tell

From this....
To this!

I've also been fervantly stitching at DoS part pic yet as I have found a new nemesis....and it's name is BULLION KNOT! But more about my bullion woes in a later post!

I've also done some knitting, finishing off a scarf for the soon-to-be-monster bug :) I love how this yarn transforms from this....

Gorgeous lacey yarn!

to this....
Ruffle Scarf

Saturday we were supposed to be at a rugby tournament with my middle bug, but as I was given the wrong time, we arrived at the venue all excited for our first rugby tournament, only to find that the Under 7's had already played! Imagine the tears! To make up for it I let him bake - his still young enough to be bribed with a bit of mucking about in the kitchen :)

Mucking about in the kitchen
And the result of all this pouring and stirring??

Yummy chocolate cupcakes

Sunday was spent on the socer field...or the morning was...and I am happy to report that we won :)

And then to put the cherry on my activities - so to speak - some idiot dunce imbecile moron jerk person decided that it's really clever to take a corner too wide and too fast and ended up swiping my car.....and poor me innocently approaching a stop street *sigh*

I've reported the incident to the police, and tomorrow morning first thing, will be contacting the insurance inconvenient!

I do hope your days have been uneventful ones :)

Take care x x

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Memories Give-Away

I know I've mentioned before that the folks over at  "MyMemories" have asked me to do a small review of their digital scrapbooking software. They've also given a copy of this software (worth almost $40!) to be used as a give-away prize :)

Now firstly, let me say that I am not much of a scrap-booker. I *do*, however, have lots of kits that I've bought in the past, always promising that I'd give it a go....someday! Obviously, that "someday" hasn't quite arrived yet :) Also, I've found that with the advent of digital photography, I have loads (and I mean LOADS) of pics that have been taken and are just sitting on a memory stick or a laptop. So the idea of turning these pics into something pretty without printing out all the pics, and then spending hours and hours and hours assembling scrap layouts and pages, held a definite appeal!

So what's so cool about this digital software package? Well....let's see.....quite a bit actually!

Besides the fact that "MyMemories" is rated #1 by Amazon, it's super user friendly...promise!
You can choose to either use a template that's ready made, or play around with the loads and loads of background papers and embellishments and create your own these

Little Bug's 5th Birthday Party
Scrap sheet created using "My Memories Digital Software"

Playing Soccer is what they LOVE!
Scrap sheet created using "My Memories Digital Software"

Or if you're in a rush and don't want to mess about, you can use one of the built in templates, like this one
Big sis and Little Sis
Scrap sheet created using "My Memories Digital Software"

Another plus is how easy everything is laid out. There's no guessing where to go to if you want to add an embellishment - you click on the button that says "Embellishments"  - there's no 10 step click to find the button! You're then presented with a list of categories to choose from and off you go! The exact same with your background papers :)

You can always add papers and other bits and bobs as and when you need it or even if you're just bored with the variety that's already on offer in the package! Oh, and another HUGE bonus (well I consider it a biggy bonus!), is that you can get these extras for free! Yes there are the bits that you can buy, but they offer some lovely extras for free! And I love free :)

Other than scrapbook sheets, you can also use this software to create your own personalised calendars or printable photobooks.

There are also some great tutorial videos available on YouTube if you somehow manage to get into a muddle!

Before I forget to mention it - this is a DIGITAL version of the software. The winner of the giveaway will be mailed the voucher code to enable them to download the software for free.

To enter is as easy as this software :)
1. Just leave me a comment on this post letting me know that you'd like this software
2. Linking back to this post will get you a second entry :)

That's it! You do not have to be a follower, but would appreciate a mention of the give-away if you do have a blog :)

Take care x x

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A quick hello and a giveaway :)

Oh what a busy weekend it was! Little bug had her party on Saturday morning - so no soccer! She was not feeling all that chipper, as was evident when at 12 o'clock she asked if she could please go home now  - and this from the party she had been so looking forward to! At 12.30 we packed up as my mom and dad needed to get to the airport as they were flying home to Cape Town. So instead of all of us traipsing to the airport, hubby took the folks along with the other 2 bugs and  I packed little bug into my car, and the short drive saw her fast asleep in the back seat by the time I got home. I'm still playing with the pics and the MyMemoriesSuite  scrapbook software, so no pics of the party yet! I promise to show them soon!

The giveaway I mentioned in the title is being held by Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe . She has just completed her Alphabet Ornament Series and is offering 10 lucky followers their choice of a letter :) Pop over and have a look see - she really is talented! She will be drawing her 10 winners on June 15th so there is still time to enter - click here to go to the give-away post.

That's it for this post! I've a busy week-end planned as hubby leaves for Korea on Saturday. I will however finally take the plunge and finish off DoS Part 3 ......before the 10th of June deadline :)

Have a gorgeous weekend!

Take care x x

Friday, June 1, 2012

Oh dear...

This has not been a very good month...I've just not been able to get into anything and I'm not even sure why! So without any further ado, a quick review of my monthly goals and my lack of progress on them!

May Goals
Finish DoS Part 2 and start Part 3 (or re-start the whole sampler, parts 1-3) - not quite done - Part 2 completed but no progress as yet on Part 3
Complete 3 more letters in the "Alphabet Learner"- not done 
Do 3 stitch types on Abi Gurden's "Tree of Stitches" - not done
10 hours on "Pirate Queen" - not done
Complete piece for my Round Robin and post  - DONE 
Finish 3 lines of "A New Day"
  - DONE 
Finish the back of Little Bug's jersey and cast on the front 
  - DONE
Knit eldest her face cloth- not done
Complete the first band of the "Spanish Geometrical Sampler"- not quite done - I've one more repeat left 

So what am I planning this month?

June Goals
Finish DOS part 3 and part 4
Work on any project I want to :)

Simple , right?

Tomorrow is little bug's party....and she has been home the entire week with a chest infection. The antibiotics doc has given her seems to be working well and she's all excited about her big day - party packets were made earlier this evening so tomorrow morning bright and early I will finish - there's pies to bake, samoosas and spring rolls to fry, pizza's to bake etc etc. Thank goodness she wanted an ice cream cake this year so atleast I don't have to worry about that!

I've been asked to do a review by MyMemoriesSuite of their scrap booking software. I'll be playing with it some to make the party pics pretty :) and will then be doing the giveaway. I've already had a peak and a small play with it and it really is a fun and easy application, but more of that later :) Visit their site to have a look see, and keep a look-out later this week for the giveaway!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Take care x x

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What have I been up to ....

Yesterday was my littlest bug's birthday......she turned 5! I can hardly believe how quickly time has flown! My folks came up for a visit and to be here for her birthday so last night, after soccer, supper and homework, we put candles in a scrummy chocolate cake and sang "Happy Birthday". Just a small family affair :) The big party will only be next weekend - one of her little friends is having a party this weekend so we've planned her's for the 2nd of June. I forgot to get hubby to send me the pics that he took last night, so sorry no pics of my munchkin blowing out her candles.

On the stitchy front, there has been very little movement! I cannot even blame a frog for this sad lack of stitchy advancement! I've managed to do some few lines on my "New Day"

A New Day by MBTD
I also finished my round robin piece - which seemed to take forever!

AOY design courtesy of one of the WOXS magazines - forgot to write the issue down!
 I haven't even been knitting! What I have been doing though is keeping up with my gym visits! This is now my third week and I am no longer feeling as though I am about to pass out when I am on the treadmill for 5 minutes :) I've been going thrice a week - pretty good huh :) Unfortunately this has meant that the hour I would normally be spending in the evenings vegetating on the couch and stitching, is now taken up by sweating, grunting, heaving and heavy breathing at the gym:) Oh the price I have to pay to get my health back on track!

I'm thinking that I need to get cracking with Ms Mouse's DoS part 3 - this part's got some drawn thread work in it - something I have never ever tried before! So I know that I am procrastinating getting started with it ....

Hope you've all been busy - crafting, gardening, reading etc etc :)

Take care x x

Sunday, May 20, 2012

TUSAL Update!

This past week has blurred past in a bevy of inactivity :( No real stitchy bug has just decided to go on vacation! And this shows in my rather meagre selection of orts...

This month's meagre offering

And for the year so far....
It's not that I haven't been's just that I haven't been stitching much! But more of that in my next post :)

Take care x x

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dawn of Spring Part 2

After much ummming and aaahhh-ing....I finally knuckled down and got cracking with the second part of Mouse's lovely band sampler. I've never done any real stitching with ribbon, so I'm pretty chuffed with how my spider roses turned out. They're a bit lopsided here and there, but I think they add character :)

I had been thinking about ripping it all and starting afresh with a new colour choice, but decided to listen to Ruth and give part 2 a go and see .... 
I did rip out the band of smyrna and cushion as I realised why it was bothering me - I am doing the cross stitch with 1 strand silk over 2, but for some odd, unexplained and unfathomable reason ( I must have been half asleep!), I had done this band with 2 strands of silk, which made the band look rather bulky. Now that I've redone it with 1 strand of silk, I am liking the effect much better and don't think I will be ripping this out anytime soon :)

Dawn of  Spring Part 2

My "character" spider roses :)

This evening will see my return to ............THE GYM!
I finally caved in and decided that I'll give it one more try and hopefully I will be lucky this time round :) As they close at 9.30pm, it means I can go after homework and all the other family obligations. I'm hoping to get there just after 8 and maybe stay for about an hour. Hubby will be home with the sleeping kiddos so atleast I don't have to worry about them. Wish me luck! You'll no doubt get to hear all about my foray into the world of treadmills and sweat over the next while :)

Take care x x

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

*WARNING* - longggg post :)

Oh why is it that when you're away from work then time just seems to pass by in a flash, and yet when you're in the office it just ddddrrraaaaaggggssssssss???
I've had such a wonderful few days at home - we did so much!

We've taken the kids to see a wonderfully funny panto version of "The Princess and the Pea" - I don't think they'll ever want to have the original version read to them again!

We've been to the "Bird Park" and saw an amazing show with gorgeous and clever birds :)

My favourite was the owl :)

More birds at the park

We took the kids tree climbing in the park - really cool tree climbing actually :D
Tree climbing at Acrobranch

I did a bit of non stitchy stash buying
Wool for Middle Bug's Jersey
A scarf and cap for Little Bug

In fact, we were at the cinema earlier today, having been to watch "The Pirates - Band of Misfits" :) I suppose I shouldn't be all grumpy about having to go back to work tomorrow, now should I?

The past week has seen me busy with a rather mixed lot of odds and bobs :)

I spent some time with my Lions - didn't quite make my 10 hour goal though!
The lions after about 5 hours work

My youngest bug decided that the crazy wool jersey I was knitting for her wouldn't do at all - so she's confiscated the back that I had completed and is now using it as a blanket for her dolly. I've had to cast on some new stitches in the wool of her choice - this is the back which is just short by about 2 inches of being done.
New jersey for Little Bug

I also completed her face cloth.... do you notice the purple trend for Little Bug? :). I used Elle Premier Natural Cotton in Double Knit to finish this. It took me about 2 hours to finish - a really super quick freebie knit that can be found at Designs by Emily. Now to do one for eldest bug - who had previously looked at me as if I was crazy when I had asked her if she wanted one, and has now decided that she wants one too :)
Heart Facecloth for Little Bug

I made a very small start on Dawn of Spring part 2 - I'm still not sure that I am happy with my colour choice, and have in fact been thinking of frogging the lot and starting it afresh ...hmmmmm not sure yet.

Dawn of Spring 2 - small start
Sooo.... how does all of this measure up to my April Goals?

April Goals
  • Spend a minimum of 10 hours on "Power and Grace"  -  not quite done - only did just over 5 hours
  • Start DoS part2   - DONE
  • Knit something small  - DONE
  • Watch my "Learning to Crochet" DVD and complete a practise block   -  not quite done - DVD watched but still need to complete a practise block 
  • Complete the letters D-G of Chris Davenport's "Alphabet Learner"  - DONE
  • Finish "The Other White Meat"   - DONE
  • Frog "Pirate Queen" and make a new start  - DONE
 So all in all I guess April was not too bad - even though I feel like I haven't done much :)

Now onwards to May... there are still 13 crazies and loads of other bits that need doing!

May Goals
  • Finish DoS Part 2 and start Part 3 (or re-start the whole sampler, parts 1-3)
  • Complete 3 more letters in the "Alphabet Learner"
  • Do 3 stitch types on Abi Gurden's "Tree of Stitches"
  • 10 hours on "Pirate Queen"
  • Complete piece for my Round Robin and post
  • Finish 3 lines of  "A New Day"
  • Finish the back of Little Bug's jersey and cast on the front
  • Knit eldest her face cloth
  • Complete the first band of the "Spanish Geometrical Sampler"
Seems like quite a bit for the month, yes indeedy! And so I'm off to get a head start :) If you've stuck it out this far...... Thanks!!

Oh... just a little reminder that Tricia's Give-away is still open (till Friday 4th May), so head on over and enter :)

Take care x x

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Bit of This and That

I've been naughty....oh so naughty! Why? Well... I've done very little stitching the last few days. Last week saw me do a bit and then...Saturday came and we were at the soccer field for middle bug's tournament - only got home after 3 and really did not feel like doing anything! And this feeling has persisted into the week. I've made a small start on DoS 2, so small that I can not, in fact, show you a pic of it! I can. however show you a few other pics of the stuff I did last week :)

I finished up a bit more on my "Alphabet Sampler"

Paul Davenport's Alphabet Sampler
I frogged "Pirate Queen" and made a new start. This time I decided to start right at the top - I figure that this way I can't go wrong...right?

Pirate Queen's new start
And I've been messing with wool

Messing with Wool
I love this wool - it hides all imperfections :) I'm hoping that when I'm eventually done with it that it will be a little coat (or a jersey - haven't decided yet) when I am done.

A few posts back Ruth had asked what I've been reading....well sadly I have to report that even my reading has hit a bit of a wall. I started Wuthering Heights quite a while back and just haven't been that into it - to such a degree that I am not reading at all! I did pick up a Johanna Lindsey novella though - historical romance at it's steamiest :) I needed something light and frothy after the darkness of Wuthering Heights, which I will persevere through and finish - sometime!

Hopefully this weekend will see more stitching done as I am off from work from tomorrow until next Wednesday :)

Have a wonderful day all, and thanks for stopping by!

Take care x x

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tusal Report and a Give-Away :)

Yikes! Another late Tusal Report! But I suppose better late than never....right?

This month's orts includes lots of fluff from the frogged Pirate Queen, but more about that in my next update!

This month's orts

All the orts thus far :)

Tricia, who blogs over at Tricia's Craft Box is having a wonderful give-away - if you're an avid knitter or keen to try your hand at it, then head on over and say hi and enter her give-away :)

As I've yet to put in a stitch on the second part of Dawn of Spring, I'm off to play with Ms Mouse's lovely band sampler :)

Have a wonderful evening all!

Take care x x