Sunday, 31 May 2009

May Roundup

Sunday, 31 May 2009
Stitching Goals
1. Work on Scream House - finished!
2. Complete Alphabet Baubles E - worked on
3. Complete Lizzie*Kate Brew / Monster - yep
4. Complete two Snapperbet Letters - nope, I didn't pick this one up this month at all!
5. Work on Wild Ones Alphabet - nope
6. Finish Finish as many of the following as possible - Grandma's Thread Minder, Sue Hawkins Pin Cushion, Scream House, Boo! Needlekeep, Hop Scissor Fob, Jingle Biscornu - started the finishing on Scream House and that's it.

Stitching New Starts:
E is for Elephant

Stitching Finishes:
Scream House

Books Read
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Summer Sisters - Judy Blume (fantastic book, who knew she writes adult novels too?)
The Island of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Castle of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Valley of Adventure - Enid Blyton
Twilight - Stephanie Meyer

Sewing Goals
1. Complete some Dear Jane blocks - 2 done
2. Work on Lia's quilt - hopefully complete the quilt top - yep
3. Finish my Sewing pouch - yep
4. Finish Lia's curtains - yep
4. Start some cushion covers - made one

Other Sewing
Halloween Quilt
Bento Box Quilt top
Table Topper
Finish up my last class piece into a stitching storage roll thingy

New Stash Arrivals
SamSarah - Alphabet Baubles G
Picture This Plus - FOTM
One or two bits of fabric...
Baby Jane month 2

Thursday, 28 May 2009


Thursday, 28 May 2009
I love Musicals. I fell in love with them aged 10 when my parents took us to see Michael Crawford in Barnum and have been hooked ever since on both stage and screen. I should probably thank my Mum as she loves them too and ever since I can remember I was encouraged to watch old films and musicals.

My earliest crushes were Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracey and more, I dreamed of dancing with Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly in Singin in the Rain more than I ever dreamed of dancing with Kevin Bacon in Footloose or Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing (which were both released when I was a teenager).

I have friends who have never seen a black and white film (and refuse to do so). Imagine living your life never having seen Some Like it Hot or The Philadelphia Story, Casablanca or Yankee Doodle Dandy. Or Harvey, one of the best films ever made. What a waste! And yes, if you're reading this and you haven't seen any of the above GO AND WATCH THEM NOW.

The point of this rhapsodising? Lia's essential musical education is underway. She loves singing and dancing and is captivated the minute she sees any on TV so I have today (which is payday!) scoured Amazon and Play for cheap DVDs and have bought:

High Society
My Fair Lady
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Calamity Jane
Bugsy Malone
South Pacific
The King and I
The Sound of Music

All of which are so completely unfashionable they retail around £2-£3 pounds.

I've also downloaded some soundtracks that I'm going to put on a CD for in the car - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver, Sound of Music, Joseph. We've never listened to kids songs in the car (one of the reasons she's already word perfect on 'Take Me Back to the Black Hills' by Doris Day and a huge Abba fan LOL) but now she's up to singing along I intend to give her plenty of opportunity to do so!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Baby Jane block 1

Saturday, 23 May 2009
So here's my first Baby Jane block put together last night. I'm currently contemplating re-sewing the top right corner so it's more accurate but I'm having an internal argument re being too fussy!

Apologies it's a bit dark, I took the pic about 10.30 last night. I've got half of Block 2 done as well - I'm hoping now I've got my head around foundation piecing (I was a bit rusty given it was a year ago I did the course on it) that I'll get a bit faster.

The BOM kits are fabulous and very generous - I've got lots of the colour fabrics left over - probably enough to make two or three more blocks with each one.

Be prepared for more pics this weekend as I hope to take advantage of the sunshine and get pictures of all my quilting and stitching WIPs.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

My name is Joy and I am an addict...

Thursday, 21 May 2009
No, not stitching stash or quilting, that's a given. I am officially addicted to books. In a bid to make myself go cold turkey I just counted all the books I have that I haven't yet read and I have 136. including two more I bought this morning whilst grocery shopping.

In my defence sunny weather always makes me buy books because I love lying outside in the sunshine with a book. Still, 136 is a little excessive.

So, I am now resolved that I will allow myself to buy one book every time I finish five from my stash. In reality this probably means 15 books read before I go to a bookshop as I generally make use of the three for two offers.

I am allowed to buy Lia as many books as I see fit though.

Life has been quite busy here over the last couple of weeks - work has picked up and I've been stitching and quilting like a mad thing to get some long term outstanding projects done and out of the way so I can start some new things.

I finally persuaded DH to clear off the full memory card from his camera a couple of days ago so I shall be taking some pictures this weekend.

Monday, 11 May 2009

A Lovely Weekend

Monday, 11 May 2009
Well the weather has been really kind to us recently, glorious sunny days and, according to the forecasters, we're going to have a sunny summer (although given their track record that probably means howling gales and snow!)

We had new external doors fitted on Friday and we replaced the horrible old sliding patio door with french doors and they look fab. Yesterday I was able to open them and let the sun shine into the kitchen where I was quilting for a lot of the day. It's amazing what a huge difference something so relatively small can make - it was hard for me not to just sit there and gaze out into the garden. DH cut the lawn and then was running around taking pictures of Lia and the guinea pigs who were all making the most of the garden too.

Saturday morning was spent out and about doing various jobs - buying the mattress and sheets for Lia's new bed, trips to DIY stores, etc and then DH got on with some of the work needed to complete her room (I can't believe I'm still saying it needs to be completed, the little things are just taking an age to finish!). We finally got her wardrobe and bookshelves back in the room which is a good start and her bed is being delivered today so we can put that together this weekend and I can finish putting all the stuff back into her room then.

This means that this weekend will be the huge house tidy up that has been required for several weeks now. Ever since we started doing Lia's room the house has slowly gotten worse and worse as we've had to just put stuff wherever there was a space and consequently it's just a total mess! Now Lia's stuff can all go back into her room I can start clearing up properly and we also have a spare chest of drawers now that I can use as storage so I can organise things a bit better. Add to that I want to have a bit of a sort out of stash asap and I can see I'll be very busy indeed next weekend.

I'm also going all out to get some quilting projects finished. I decided that I should try and finish as many things as possible that are outstanding before focussing on my Baby Jane. This means that I am currently trying to get the following done this month:

1. A Jelly Roll Bento Box quilt top
2. Layering and quilting a halloween quilt
3. Finishing Lia's birthday quilt top
4. Finishing a table centre piece
5. Finishing off the last jungle quilt top
6. Finishing off Lia's flannel quilt top

Yesterday I finished off a cushion cover kit I bought at the beginning of the month and spent most of the rest of the day stitching up the blocks for the Bento Box quilt. Oh and cutting out the hearts for Lia's birthday quilt.

And of course I also have to get plenty of stitching in too. I'm doing well with Scream House - three sides, the bottom and one roof panel of the outside are done leaving me with just one side and three roof panels to do by the end of this week. I should easily achieve that and hopefully the backstitching around all the panels too. It's the Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday and DH and I always watch it as well as the semi finals which are, I think, tomorrow and Wednesday. We love the cheesiness of it all but I have to say I'm a bit worried that it just won't be the same now Terry Wogan isn't doing the commentary. This jury's out on how good Graham Norton is going to be...

Anyway, all that cheesy singing means lots of stitching time in front of the TV!

If I get as much crafting in as I plan to over the next couple of weeks I'm hoping to start my Baby Jane blocks on the next UK Bank Holiday Weekend (23rd May for international readers) - we have no big plans so it'll just be lazing around the house I think, so plenty of time to focus on the teeny tiny blocks!

I also have a wall hanging quilt project to put together at the end of the month so that should be added to the list too. As I said, I'm having a quilting frenzy right now!

No pics of anything though as DH filled up the memory card on the camera filming Lia on her slide yesterday. I'll try and get some soon though - I haven't posted my rotation progress pics for April yet either...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

What a Week!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Or strictly speaking, what a week and a half...

I woke up last Sunday with a lump in my throat, sore ears and a bit of a headache and that turned out to be the best I felt for almost a week! I was so ill by Monday morning that I had to ask DH to stay home to look after Lia (she is in nursery near my work so if I don't go to work DH can't get her to nursery as it's 19 miles away). I managed to get to the doctors to discover it was a throat and ear infection and so got some antibiotics and then spent the next 24 hours in bed.

DH was able to go to work on Tuesday but I spent most of the next three days lying pathetically on the sofa with Lia looking after me. By Friday I was finally feeling better but I'm still not 100% - I am back at work though as I'm just a bit snuffly.

Thankfully I was well enough to drive to a GTG with a couple of quilting friends on Saturday. The group of us who go away together for a long weekend every year have been commissioned to make a wall hanging for the place we stay at. Several people have stitched designs for it and four of us are doing the quilting part. We're a month away from the trip and I'm in charge of putting everything together so we can present it when we arrive.

So anyway this GTG was to discuss what needed to be done and decide on some fabrics. That part took approx 10 mins and we spent the rest of the day gossiping and shopping - there were two quilting shops close by so we visited both and I splashed out a little at the second one. I've definitely got my quilting mojo back now - it was flagging a bit - so this month the sewing machine will be working flat out to get lots of things done.

I got home about 8pm on Sat evening and called DH to see if he wanted me to bring some fast food as I was passing a couple of drive through places. He was eating his when he suddenly let out a yelp, when white and I thought he was going to pass out - his tooth had broken in half! We'll, try finding some kind of emergency dental service at 9pm on a Saturday night. We phoned loads of places with no luck and eventually called a friend who had previously recommended his dentist.

He got his dentist to give us a call (we had met him previously at a party) and DH arranged for us to go and see him at 10am on Sunday morning. Only issue was that his surgery is an hour and a halfs drive away so we were up at 7am to make sure we weren't late and I was still quite knackered from the long drive the day before.

DH had his tooth looked at - it turns out it was likely caused by bad treatment a couple of years ago (a filling that never set correctly) and he'll be lucky if the tooth can be saved. Ian (dentist) did what he could for the first visit and DH will have to go back two or three more times for it to be finished off. I thought, given we were there, I'd ask Ian to have a look at my tooth which I though had been chipped and it turns out that it was infected so I had to have serious drilling and filling too. I'm not sure how I can go to the dentist without toothache and come out with it! Anyway, this exciting story of our teeth can be concluded with the information that we're both back there next Friday for more work (which means more money!)

Also, in the middle of all of this drama we had our garage broken into and some powertools stolen. I went downstairs on Sunday morning to give Lia her breakfast to eat while we were getting dressed and saw that the garage door was open. They'd forced the lock and nicked what was close at hand (the garage is a right state, if DH hadn't been working on stuff the day before they probably wouldn't have found anything). So I called the police and now have to call the home insurance to make a claim.

Finally, the third thing to go wrong was that I was paid incorrectly, I get £216 a month in childcare vouchers taken out of my wages before it comes to me and it's paid into an electronic account that I then use to pay Lia's nursery. This has worked correctly for four years but for some reason this month they took the money from my account but didn't pay it into the electronic account so I'm down £216 which is quite a significant sum.

On the upside we spent part of yesterday at a local craft fair and bought some nice garden furniture. Pictures to follow as it's not going to be delivered for another three or four weeks.

I also got a decent amount of stitching done last night for what seems the first time in weeks. I'm back working on Scream House and am determined to get the stitching finished this month. However, given all the other things I have to stitch on and all the quilting I want to get done I think I'm going to have to work on a way to invent more time!

Anyway, it's a short week at work, I'm feeling much better and my stitching and quilting mojos are kicking into overdrive so who know what I shall accomplish this month!

Friday, 1 May 2009

May Goals

Friday, 1 May 2009
Okay, I'm modifying the rules ever so slightly this month in light of my not getting much done last month. Because I retired the WIP I was going to stitch on this month I've decided not to replace it with anything but to use the WIP's week as a finishing week. I hope to get two or three pieces finish finished by doing this and also to catch back up a bit with my Snapperbets pace.

Next month will be back to normal though

Stitching Goals

1. Work on Scream House - (finish?)
2. Complete Alphabet Baubles E
3. Complete Lizzie*Kate Brew / Monster
4. Complete two Snapperbet Letters
5. Work on Wild Ones Alphabet
6. Finish Finish as many of the following as possible - Grandma's Thread Minder, Sue Hawkins Pin Cushion, Scream House, Boo! Needlekeep, Hop Scissor Fob, Jingle Biscornu

Sewing Goals
1. Complete some Dear Jane blocks
2. Work on Lia's quilt - hopefully complete the quilt top
3. Finish my Sewing pouch
4. Finish Lia's curtains
4. Start some cushion covers

Current Stitching WIP List
1. Lizzie*Kate - Boo! Flip Its
2. Bent Creek - Snapperbets

3. Dimensions - Sleigh Ride
4. Bothy Threads - Row of Christmas Fairies
5. Margaret Sherry - Santa's Journey Afghan
6. Stitchy Kitty - Snowman Trio

7. Shepherd's Bush - Happy Haunting
8. Glendon Place - Murky Manor
9. Just Nan - Scream House
10. Tournicoton - Coeur de Brodeuse
11. The Cat's Whiskers - Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag

12. Just Nan - Four Wishes
13. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
14. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series
15. Ink Circles - Cirque de Cercles
16. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4

17. Stoney Creek - Noah's Sub
18. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet
19. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds
20. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening

21. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven's Above
22. Shepherd's Bush - Be Attitudes Afghan
23. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan
24. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill

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