Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Here we go a Haunting

Wednesday, 31 August 2011
My fourth finish for this month! It was also my first new start of the year. It's a kit from Shepherds Bush and I was lucky enough to get on of the limited edition versions that came in a small wooden box with the design on the top. I'm not sure what I will do with the box but I know this will be heading to Karen V after payday...

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

More finish finishes

Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Again, these have been done by Karen V's Finishing Service so I can take no credit for the finishing other than saying yes, your choices of how to finish my stuff are fab LOL.

TW's Tempest in a Teacup pinkeep

The Trilogy's Secret Snowdrift ornament

CCN's Joyful Summer wall hanging

I had the hanger in my stash - I'm not sure if it's a bit small but it'll do for now for sure.  To be honest I'd totally forgotten about it otherwise I'd have asked Karen to put the hanging loops a bit further apart.  Still I can always do that myself at some point.

Yet again I'm really pleased with the results and two of them are already hanging on the walls. I'm now trying to decide what will get sent next. I'm hoping to get a few more batches done between now and Christmas as I think after that money will be a bit tighter. Plus I don't have that many smalls left to have made up so it'll be more a case of stitch something and then send it to Karen.

I also received my invoice from Drema at Needlecraft Corner in the post today.  No we won't discuss the amount, but it does mean the package should arrive in the next few days.  Not only that I caved, emptied out my dragon money box, and ordered a Layer Cake and Jelly Roll of Moda's Trick or Treat.  Naughty I know but I also know I'll regret it if I don't and then can't get them.

Finally on the stitching front, I should have a fourth happy dance this month as I'm very close to finishing my Shepherds Bush Here we go a Haunting.  One more evening of stitching on it and it should be done.  I'm also pretty sure this will be in the next batch I send to Karen.

It's been really busy here the last week and a half.  Since getting back from visiting my family we've been all over the place visiting friends and tomorrow our Goddaughters are coming for a couple of days and I'm bravely taking them and my two to London for the day on Thursday!  My Aussie cousin is due to spend the day with us on Saturday (she's on a whistlestop tour) and then Sunday DH is running another half marathon.  Connor's back at nursery on Monday and Lia at school on Tuesday when I'll be back at work.

I think I'll be going back to work for a rest LOL.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

We're home

Thursday, 25 August 2011
We had a lovely few days away with my family - Lia just adores being around her cousins.  The weather wasn't too bad for us and we had plenty of fun.

Reality bites big time today though as three weeks of Daddy in charge followed by five days of him alone in the house means it's a total tip here!  Today it's chucking it down with rain so at least I don't feel guilty about keeping the kids indoors while I clear up.

I will be catching up on blogs today too - seems like pretty much every blog I read has been updated in the last five days LOL. 

I'll be back with a stitching update soon.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Blooming Photobucket

Saturday, 20 August 2011
I've just redone my header with new pics of the kids and photobucket keeps resizing the image when I upload it.  It's a pain.  It's also very late at night and I can't be bothered to sort it so please forgive the slightly narrow pic.

I'm taking the kids to visit my family for five days tomorrow (or I guess that's today now) and won't be on the net much (my sis lives in the dark ages) so the pic will remain small until I return and figure out how to fix it.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The 100 top sci fi / fantasy novels

Friday, 19 August 2011
I've seen this on a few blogs and, for the want of anything else useful to post, I thought I'd give it a go.  I should say I'm not really a sci fi fan so that will definitely have an effect on my total.  Ones I've read are in bold, ones I have in my 'to read' pile are italics.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

19 out of 100 read.  Having said that, it's a lot more than 19 books - IIRC the Xanth series was at least a dozen (I read them as a teenager).  I'd also take issue with the two Terry Pratchett novels listed as I don't think they are anywhere near his best ones.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

4 Wishes Finish!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Wow, three finishes this month, that's some kind of record for me LOL.

So here it is, a bit wonky but I'm sure you'll forgive...

Not bad for a WIP that started out like this in January:

I did make a couple of alterations - I left of the final snowflake band as I think it's better without it plus I started it and felt it just didn't show up very well.  I also didn't stitch the over 1 acorns in the Autumn band, basically because I couldn't be bothered and I don't think the piece loses anything without them.

There's an error in one of the verses (an extra thread between letters) and an error in the border on the left corrected by an extra thread at the bottom.  Unfortunately for me I'm a bit picky about things like this and I know that I'll always notice the errors.  I'm not correcting them now though, I'm hoping that I can convince myself I don't need to LOL.

Monday, 15 August 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 15 August 2011
- had a lovely day out in Oxford with the family
- visited the Ashmolean Museum
- specifically for the Heracles to Alexander the Great exhibition
- realised we'd have to go back another time as we'd been there two and a half hours and not seen half of what they have
- had a lovely meal out
- stitched up a storm on 4 Wishes and will have a finish tonight for sure
- started to tidy up my stash
- found lots of things I want to start
- also found things to sell
- listed some books on Amazon
- celebrated DH finally getting up in the loft to get on with boarding it up
- felt bad that all the dust irritated his cough
- cooked a roast dinner
- had a nice lie in
- played in the garden with the kids
- made buns

Sunday, 14 August 2011

I hate tidying up my stash

Sunday, 14 August 2011
Because it just highlights all the projects I want to start LOL

I'm going to allow myself two new small starts once 4 Wishes is finished (should be this week sometime) as both should be quite quick and I can finish them up so they don't stay around as WIPs.

I'm also going to focus on Cottage Garden 2, Coeur do Brodeuse and Halloween Sampler as my next WIP finishes.  Couer and the Halloween Sampler should be pretty quick finishes.

However this week the thing I absolutely have to do is finish up is the bag I'm making for my Mum which will be two birthdays late in 10 days time...

Friday, 12 August 2011

Birth Sampler Finish

Friday, 12 August 2011
Yay, it's done!  It's finally done!!!

I finished it up last night and I am unlikely to ever do another one.  The stitching is boring (all those greys) and the backstitching is awful but they are cute when they're done.

Apologies for the crap dark pic, I might try for a better one over the weekend.

This is for my 2nd Great Niece - I did one for her older sister back in 2007 and so couldn't refuse doing another even though I really wanted to LOL.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Boredom is a bad thing

Thursday, 11 August 2011
My clicky finger has been naughty again.

It started as an inocent surf to look for free quilt patterns for charm packs because that was more fun than any of the jobs I have to do at work.  This is the point where I can blame Sheila because it was she who sent me a charm pack and therefore her fault that I was surfing for ways to use it.  Anyway, whilst surfing I came across the Moda Trick or Treat collection and I was scuppered.

I've decided that 8 months of not looking at stash has left me with absolutely no immunity towards pretty things LOL.  Anyway, I've just bought two charm packs from eBay but was able to resist a Layer Cake and a Jelly Roll too.  I was so close to getting them but I really really don't have the money this month so I must resist.  But I do need some yardage for backing whatever I decide to make with the charm packs so I'm sure some of this one and this one will head my way in the next few weeks.

That scrabbling sound you can hear is me getting firmly back on the Wagon before I bankrupt my family LOL

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Oh My!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011
I'll never complain about the size of some of my WIPs again...

Battle of Grunwald

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Did you hear that thump?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011
That was me falling off the wagon.

It was bound to happen but I've impressed myself I've managed to hold on till August.  To be fair, my no stash clause did let me get anyhing that were limited editions so I'm able to justify ordering a Just Nan WhimZi Box (I got the Lock Out one) as they are 'extremely' limited according to Needlecraft Corner.  But having reserved one of those I then had to order the Bat Halloween Token to put in it.

The tokens aren't limited editions but I used my good friend Sheila's rule of stash ordering - you can't order just one thing, it gets lonely in the envelope.

And in the same vein, if I'm going to make an order from the US ordering what amounts to two tiny items is not really justifying the postage costs which is why I ended up putting myself on the auto ship programme for Lizzie*Kate's 6 Fat Men.  No official pics have been released yet but there are some teasers on her blog.

And if I'm ordering those I should get the special cut of fabric for them and the floss that I'll need too right?  Makes economic sense.

But that's it.  I stopped there.  I totally wanted to order Just Nan's Halloween Party and WhimZi Pockets as I love them but they're not limited editions and I really cannot justify any more spending (I've got the JCS Halloween Special on order too). 

So the last two will go on my wish list and maybe Santa will be kind to me. Everything is on order with Drema at Needlecraft Corner (no affiliation just a happy customer of many years) and she says it should be due to ship around 26th August.

Now I just have to find some patience from somewhere...

Monday, 8 August 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 8 August 2011
- drove a 300 mile round trip
- spent the weekend with my best mate and her family
- met her five week old son
- got lots of baby cuddles
- got a little jealous of her for having one more kid than me
- realised I really am not broody for another child though (DH is very happy about this LOL)
- gifted the Noah's Ark afghan (nothing like a last min finish)
- stayed in a hotel
- remembered that a sharing a hotel room with small kids is not that much fun
- took the hotel at it's word when it advertised an 'all you can eat' breakfast
- bought a couple of gorgeous baby scrapbooks for the kids
- didn't cook once!
- crashed into bed at 9pm Sunday night
- got my official 'you're at risk of redundancy' letter through the post
- gifted my friend with her birthday present three weeks early
- loved that she loved it enough that it caused tears
- played with my godson and his sister
- wished we all lived a bit closer...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Well I'll be...

Saturday, 6 August 2011
My son never ceases to amaze me!

Yesterday, two days shy of being 16 months old he went to the cinema for the first time with his Dad and Sister and sat through perfectly for two hours.

And I'd predicted a disaster LOL

Friday, 5 August 2011

Noah's Ark Afghan Finish

Friday, 5 August 2011
Finally!  The child this was bought for is now 4, I started stitching it for Connor before he was born and now I'm going to gift it to my Godson's baby brother who is five weeks old LOL.

I can safely say I won't be doing another printed afghan ever...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

I'm wondering if I should take this as an insult?

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Well it's official, I am, as of yesterday, considered 'at risk' which means I will either be redeployed or redundant by early December and either of those options is a considerable step up from where I am now.

Redeployment is, of course, the preferred option for Management as then they won't have to pay me. The way things work is that I am required to only apply and interview for jobs within the NHS that match my current job skills and my additional requirements (so part time working hours plus it needs to be within 30 mins travel time of home) so, unfortunately for them redeployment is unlikely as my job (web developer) isn't a common one in the NHS and if you add to that my part time and location requirements, the chances of a job coming up are extremely slim.

Of course that's not to say I won't take a job if that happens as location requirements mean I would be working in the town I live in rather than 30 mins drive away and, when all is said and done, a job is better than no job.

But if redeployment doesn't happen my redundancy package should be enough for me to stay home for a bit and I can see if I can pick up some contract work to bring in some extra cash as well.

Staying at home for a year or so would be great.  I've always said I'm not designed to be a stay at home Mum but I'd be home with Connor between the ages of 18 months and around 3 years which is much better than the 0 - 18 months stage LOL.  My house, garden and hobbies might get some attention too!

Plus with my intention to move into teaching I can use the time to get some qualifications.  I can't look to start teaching until Connor turns 3 and childcare becomes cheaper but I can at least work towards that goal.

So all in all I'm currently considering myself one of the lucky ones.  It's so bad here that one of the senior managers handed in his notice yesterday without having any job to go to...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

To Journal?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011
So I've been thinking about creating a craft journal to document all my finishes and I'm just not sure whether to take the plunge or not.

On the plus side I'd have a record of all my finishes, who they were for and what became of them, together with thoughts on the process of making them, maybe scraps of the fabric choices, etc.  On the minus side it's almost a new hobby getting all the bits and pieces together and journalling about them and do I have time?  I have plans to make scrapbooks for the kids and haven't done them yet so surely they should come first?

Also, if I start now do I go back and try and include all my previous work?  I'm not sure I can even remember all my previous work LOL.  But then if I don't start now I'll have more projects to add if I do decide to do this in the future.

I'm wondering if it's one of those times where the idea of something sounds great but the reality is just a step too far.  Like most of you readers, I don't have enough hours in the day to fit in all I want to do along with all I have to do and one more thing on the list could tip the balance into madness LOL.

However, I just keep coming back to the fact that I'd like to do it.  I'd like to create a reference for my work that my kids can look back on, hey one day grandkids and beyond, you never know.  I do have a lot of the information I need purely because I've blogged about my finishes over the last six years, so it wouldn't be too hard to find most of the stuff I've done.

Another tick for the 'yes' side is that I have a large amount of papercrafting stuff.  If I start this journal some of that will get used and it will probably kick start me to get the kids scrapbooks going.

So do any of you keep a journal of WIPs and/or finishes?  And if you do what information do you include?  I'm going to have a smurf (yes I know it's surf but in our house it's always smurf) around the web to see what others might be doing and get some ideas. 

Only ideas for now you understand, I haven't made my mind up yet...

Monday, 1 August 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 1 August 2011
- had a great lie in
- cleaned the house
- sorted out some kids stuff to go to charity
- made lemon meringue icecream
- stitched on Tatty Teddy birth sampler
- spent too much on food
- because we had a BBQ today
- had a lot of Greeks around
- enjoyed making new friends
- spent a lovely afternoon/evening in the garden
- was proud of my son for being so well behaved
- was proud of my daughter for playing so well with the other kids
- was the tooth fairy as Lia lost her second top tooth
- baked buns
- enjoyed the sun
- didn't enjoy Lia getting a bit of sunburn
- anxiously kept checking Connor for signs of Chicken pox - the 'incubation period' means we have another couple of days before we know he's free this time.  Normally I wouldn't mind but if he gets it now we'll have to cancel our trip to see my Godson's new baby brother next weekend.

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