Sunday, 31 August 2008

August Roundup and September Goals

Sunday, 31 August 2008
August Roundup

August Stitching Goals
1. Finish Lavender Hearts - yes
2. Work on Cirque des Cercles - a teeny tiny bit
3. Work on Sleigh Ride - no
4. Work on Happy Haunting - yes
5. Work on one of my smaller WIPs and hopefully have a HD - yes, Red Santa

Stitching New Starts:
Sue Hawkins Bookmarker
Goldwork kits - Toledo
Big Zipper - Tyre Swing
Just Nan - In the Tin Sizzle

Stitching Finishes:
Sue Hawkins Bookmarker
Shepherd's Bush - Red Santa
Goldwork Kit - Toledo
Victoria Sampler - Lavender Hearts Sampler

Books Read
The Rain Before it Falls - Johnathan Coe
Diving into Light - Natasha Farrant
An Offer you can't Refuse - Jill Mansell
The Point of Rescue - Sophie Hannah

August Quilting Goals
1. Finish the jungle quilts so they can be gifted - yes
2. Work on Lia's flannel quilt - yes, all the cutting done and I've started making up the blocks
3. Make a bag - no
4. Make a Melly and Me Animal - no

September Goals

September Stitching Goals
1. Work on Happy Haunting
2. Work on Grandma's Thread Minder
3. Work on small WIPs in order to get some finishes - Garden Party, Charlie is Born, Coeur de Brodeuse, Spring Lineup, Sizzle
4. Work on Cirque des Cercles
5. Start Scream House
6. Finish the Tyre Swing part of the Big Zipper

September Quilting Goals
1. Finish the flannel quilt top
2. Attend the Mariner's Compass workshop
3. Work on a christmas quilt top
4. Work on the baby quilt top
5. Make a smaller project

Current Stitching WIP List
1. Stitchy Kitty - Snowman Trio
2. Stitchin'Spirations - Getting Lost in a Blackwork Maze
3. Bothy Threads - Row of Christmas Fairies
4. Dimensions - Sleigh Ride
5. Ink Circles - Cirque de Cercles
6. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
7. Shepherd's Bush - Be Attitudes Afghan
8. Margaret Sherry - Santa's Journey Afghan
9. The Cat's Whiskers - Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag
10. The Cat's Whiskers - Grandma's Thread Minder
11. Bent Creek - The Big Zipper
12. Shepherd's Bush - Happy Haunting
13. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven's Above
14. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds
15. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan
16. Brightneedle - Garden Party
17. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet
18. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4
19. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill
20. Millhouse Designs - Charlie is Born
21. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening
22. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series
23. Long Dog - St Germain
24. Stoney Creek - Noah's Sub
25. Just Nan - Four Wishes
26. Coeur de Brodeuse
27. The Trilogy - Spring Lineup
28. CCN - Joyful Summer
29. Just Nan - Sizzle

Friday, 29 August 2008

Finishes and WIPs

Friday, 29 August 2008
I'm so happy because I finished Lavender Hearts Sampler last night and it's now at the framers, it'll be ready to pick up next week - a whole week before it's scheduled to be gifted. Not cutting it fine at all!

I've remained faithful to the charted colours and just changed the words 'Lavender Hearts' for my Sis and BIL's names and then included the dates of the two years at the top (it's for their 40th Wedding Anniversary if you hadn't worked it out)

It's a bit washed out, the colours are much richer IRL, but the light here is just awful for getting a good picture (and I'm crap with the camera).

I've never done pulled thread or hardanger before (nothing like jumping in at the deep end) and I really enjoyed it although wrapping all those bars was a bit tedious and some of my Dove's Eyes are a bit wonky LOL.

As usual I had lots of other things to take pics of so here's a couple more finishes:

Red Santa from Shepherd's Bush (minus his nose as I've lost the button so will have to replace it)

And Ho Ho Santa from the Silver Needle's Secret Needle Night, finished as a box (my first one!)

And finally some WIPs

Happy Haunting by Shepherd's Bush

Sorry about the line across the middle, I was too lazy to take it off the frame

Cirque des Cercles - see I am working on it!

A new start - CCN's Joyful Summer

I'm going to spend the weekend working on things for me - I have the latest part of The Big Zipper to do and I'm also going to do one of the Just Nan 'Over the Top and In the Tin' designs, 'Sizzle'.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Two new family members

Thursday, 28 August 2008
I went shopping for a toaster at the weekend and came back with these guys...

In my defense, it's not my fault that the pet shop is right next door to the electrical goods shop. And I did remember to get the toaster as well.

They're two little girls and DH named them Toast (on the left) and Crumpet (on the right) as a reminder to me of my impulsive buy LOL.

Lia's totally in love with them and is very slowly learning how to behave around them, but she gets very excited when they let her stroke them and gets all loud and jumpy which scares them. Still, both Lia and the guinea pigs are settling down slowly so I'm sure it won't be long before they're happy for her to hold them.

Nothing much else is going on here. No news on the job front but I did have an official letter of job offer from the new place so that's all still happily on hold. DH is going home to Greece at the end of September for a week but I don't have enough holiday to join him so it'll be just me and the girls at home.

I'm not exactly being stretched at my current job right now (I'm practically invisible to some people) so that's giving me time to set up a stash inventory blog and organise my photos etc. It's something I've always meant to do but don't want to waste valuable crafting time doing so now I can do bits of it while at work it's great.

I've also got lots of stitching done this month - I've comleted a goldwork kit, finished the Shepherd's Bush Kit 'Red Santa', almost finished Lavender Hearts (I'm just finishing up the Hardanger Heart) and started on the latest part of The Big Zipper. I intend to take some pics this weekend once I've completed Lavender Hearts so I can post some pics with my monthly update.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Well they've only gone and offered me the job!

They've bumped up the salary to match what I'm on and they've told me they're happy to wait as long as it takes. I guess that's super-flattering as they are obviously really keen for me to go there but now I'm in a bit of a situation as I'd talked myself out of the job LOL.

DH and I need to have a chat but I think what I'm decided on is that I'll accept the job as I'd be daft not to, wait till work give me the heave-ho and find out the timescales of that all going through and put my CV out to some agencies then.

I'm keener on this new job now I know that they'll match my salary but it's still a longer commute than I'm doing now so if I can find something else nearer to home I'll take it but this is a good backup plan. I know that they didn't interview anyone else for the position so I know that I'm not stringing them along at someone else's expense and I will take the job if I don't find something geographically better for me.

The main reason behind checking out what else is out there is that I don't want to disrupt Lia twice in a quite short space of time - this job is only an 18 month contract so I'll have to find her a nursery for a year before she starts school full time next September. If I get a job nearer to home she can start school now for half days and get used to that with nursery in the afternoons as I'd be close enough to go pick her up in my lunch break and move her from one to the other.

Gosh life can get complicated can't it!

I'm off to do some stitching now as it's all a bit too much...

Monday, 18 August 2008

Another fun weekend

Monday, 18 August 2008
To get the subject of the interview out of the way, it went okay but I'm not that inspired by the job or the commute. I haven't heard back from them yet which I would say means they aren't going to offer it to me but given I told them I didn't know when I'd be released from my current job and I wasn't prepared to go before redundancy I'm not surprised.

As for what's happening with my current job, this weeks meeting that was supposed to decide my fate has been cancelled and is unlikely to re-scheduled so the next one is the end of September (it's a monthy management meeting). TBH, now I've got this interview out of the way and don't want the job I'm much happier waiting - it's another months salary for a start!

I will, of course, share any news as and when I hear anything but there'll be no more job hunting for me until I know what's going on. DH and I are also going to have a chat about my options - I'm not ruling out a career change with less working hours so I can be home more with Lia when she starts school.

As for the weekend, Liz, a fellow stitcher (who is, in Lia's eyes, the official fourth member of the family now, it's always 'one for Mummy, one for Daddy, one for Lia and one for Liz') stayed over Friday to Sunday and we attended the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, my first quilting show.

It was quite a drive (an hour and a half each way) but definitely worth it. The quilts in the show were amazing and I spent lots of money on lovely stash, mainly patterns and books but a couple of small kits too.

We also met up with Lorchen, Allie, Karoline, Betty and Rosie (Karolines MIL and DD) and had a lovely gossipy lunch together (I also got lots of cuddles with Rosie which was great).

Yesterday we all went to see Kung Fu Panda which was lots of fun. Lia was pretty well behaved (she was a bit more restless than when we saw Wall-E but not even close to being badly behaved) and she seemed to enjoy it. We then had lunch out and then chilled out watching some Olympics in the afternoon.

This coming weekend is a Bank Holiday in the UK and my Best Mate and her family will be staying at ours. All fingers are crossed for a nice weekend as we'll be heading to the Portsmouth Kite Festival to meet up with other friends too.

I also keep forgetting to say but Lia's now completely nappy free - we kept them going for nighttime only for a while but I figured she only needed them because she had them (if you see what I mean) and I was right, nappy on and she uses it, no nappy on and she uses the toilet. In fact we're now woken not by Lia coming into our room but by her using the bathroom.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A Job Interview

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


It's been seven years since I attended an interview so I'm a little nervous!

I still haven't been told for sure if my job is going, the meeting that is supposed to result in that decision is next week, and I haven't really done anything about looking for another job until I know all the facts about what's happening here.

However I was chatting with a good friend not long after I found out there could be a problem and she pointed me towards a job vacancy where she works that is perfect for me. I'm a great believer in fate - the lady in question didn't know exactly what my skills were and when I told her she sent me the link to the vacancy, plus I hadn't even planned on telling her about the job issues, we were discussing something else entirely. Add to that the fact that the interviews were scheduled for this week, neatly tying into the timescale for things happening at my current place of work and I felt I had no choice but to apply.

Of course, I'm not counting on getting this job, that would just be too easy, but it is a good opportunity to get some interview experience again and it gets me out of the office for the afternoon.

I've only spoken to a couple of people here at work about what's going on as I don't want to sit in an office full of people feeling sorry for me, especially when I don't feel sorry for myself! Once I have confirmation of what is happening then I'll tell people the facts rather than the supposition. There is, of course, a slim chance that they might decide I should stay but given the people responsible for making the decision are conspicuous by their lack of communication with me over the last few weeks I think I can safely assume I'm off.

However, I have been told by HR that the redundancy entitlement is a months pay for every year I've worked here, tax free, so I'm not leaving before getting my hands on the cold hard cash! There is an official redundancy process that has to take place including job matching, potential re-training etc but given I'm in the only role in the NHS in Hampshire that currently matches my skills I can't see they'll have anything else to offer me. I can also refuse another role without effecting my redundancy pay as long as I have reasonable issues with it.

All in all, I'm still okay with the situation, what's hard is not knowing what is going on, how long it is all going to take, and where I'll be at the end of it all. However, given we can survive okay no matter what the outcome and DH is totally calm about it all I'm not getting too stressed. Work may be slow but that's just more time for surfing, I'm getting lots of stitching done and I'm off to the Festival of Quilts on Saturday for a last splurge before getting firmly onto the Wagon until my job issues are sorted...

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Blog Awards

Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Whilst I was away I was nominated for the Brilliante Weblog Award by Sam and Jennifer so thank you both. I'm always a bit wary of this kind of thing (I'm not sure this blog is that brilliante LOL) but I do like the fact that it gives people a chance to highlight other blogs (I have to nominate other blogs, it's part of the rules) and so others will maybe follow links to blogs that may inspire them.

So my nominations are:

A Celtic Stitcher
Karoline's Corner
Black Belt Stitching Wizard
Obsessed Dragon Stitcher
Simply Stitching

All of the above ladies inspire me with their fantastic work and my wish list grows pretty much every time I visit their blogs. Go check them out but be warned, there's some gorgeous crafting going on out there!

Edited to add, I'm supposed to put the award logo on here and also the rules - see how useless I am at this stuff?

The rules for this award:
1. Put the logo on your blog;
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you;
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs;
4. Add links to those blogs on yours;
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Monday, 11 August 2008


Monday, 11 August 2008
I don't spend a lot of time around my family, or rather, I don't spend long blocks of time around my family, as I live about 100 miles away from them all. I go home about once a month but only for a day or two so it was nice to have the opportunity to spend a whole week with them all last week.

Not only that I stayed with my Sister for the first time (we used to stay with my parents but since they downsized there's not really room for all three of us) and it was great to have the chance to catch up with her and just chat and relax together.

There were two reasons why I was home, first my elder niece was getting married and second, some Australian cousins were over for a visit. I picked the Aussies up from the Airport at stupid-o'clock last monday morning and after showing off my house and providing lunch I drove them both down to Kent where they were to spend the rest of their week.

I haven't seen the pair of them since my wedding in Athens so it was lovely to be with them and also lovely to see them with Lia as they adored her and, as they were both teachers, were really good at entertaining her and reading with her, etc. She's now going round saying 'no worries mate' all the time.

As for my nieces wedding, it was a fantastic event. I'm sure I've explained before but my sister is 24 years older than me (same dad, different mums) so my niece is only three years younger than me and we've grown up more like sisters. She's mother to my Great-Niece and I was entrusted with babysitting duties for the young lady on the day of the wedding. It was fantastic to see Lia and Luisa getting on so well, now Luisa is a year old she's much more of a playmate to Lia and they seem to love being with each other.

Here's a pic of Lia in her bridesmaid dress, we haven't had a chance to go through our pics yet, this one was forwarded to me by my step-dad...

I'm back at work now and it's a real bummer LOL. I told DH that he needs to make enough money for me to retire and fill my days with fun things rather than boring ones.

I didn't get a lot of crafting done when I was away - some stitching on Happy Haunting and that was about it, but I'm now cracking on with Lavender Hearts to get it finished and framed by 14th September when it needs to be gifted.

I'm aware that a couple of people have nominated me for blog awards, I need to catch up with my blog reading and post responses so will do that asap.

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