Sunday, 31 July 2011

July Roundup

Sunday, 31 July 2011
1. Blog more - Not a good month.  But I will be back in August!
2. No stash purchases - only two Weeks flosses I needed
3. Reduce my stitching WIP list - yes!  One finish
4. No new stitching starts in the first half of the year - still holding out 
5. Find the quilting bug again and reduce my quilting WIPs - not much sewing happened this month
6. Read at least 50 books - 5 read this month taking my total to 20 so far this year.
7. Reduce the clutter in the house - yes, lots of junk from Lia's room sorted to be given away
8. Lose weight - 3lb!
9. Stick to the household budget and find ways to reduce expenditure - a month within budget, now I just need to work out how to save some every month too.
10. Work on the garden -just kept it tidy

Friday, 29 July 2011

Stitching WIP List

Friday, 29 July 2011
As it's around half way through the year I thought I'd revisit this list and see how I'm doing. I split the list into groups of 'hope to finish this year', 'want to make progress on' and 'probably won't be touched in 2011'.

I've crossed out finishes and italicised those I have worked on so far this year.

1. Bent Creek - Snapperbets
2. Bothy Threads - Row of Christmas Fairies
3. Dimenions - Noah's Ark Quilt
4. Prairie Moon - Thine is the Trick and the Treat
5. Tournicoton - Coeur de Brodeuse
6. The Cat's Whiskers - Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag
7. Stitching Kitty - Snowman Trio
8. Polstitches - Beaded Heart Biscornu
9. Anchor - Baby Sampler
10. DebBee's Designs - Hot Stuff
11. Just Nan - Counting Bats
12. Wool Tapestry Butterfly Cushion
13. Lizzie*Kate - Halloween Sampler
14. Shepherd's Bush - Halloween Night

15. Margaret Sherry - Santa's Journey Afghan
16. Glendon Place - Murky Manor
17. Just Nan - Four Wishes
18. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series
19. Ink Circles - Cirque des Cercles
20. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4
21. Lizzie*Kate - ABC Lessons
22. Lizzie*Kate - Christmas by the Letter
23. Dimensions - Sleigh Ride

24. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
25. Stoney Creek - Noah's Sub
26. Shepherd's Bush - Be Attitudes Afghan
27. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan
28. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill
29. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet
30. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven Above
31. The Primitive Needle - Witches Hollow
32. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds

On paper I've not done that much but 4 Wishes and Cottage Garden have had a lot of attention and will probably be finishes this year.  The Noah's Ark quilt and Baby Sampler may well be finishes this month too and, if not, they'll definitely be finished next month.  Along with 4 Wishes as I want to get that one out of the way.

So fingers crossed I'll have 7 finishes for the year by the end of August which I'll be very happy about.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Snowman Trio Finish

Thursday, 28 July 2011
Yay, finally a finish.  These are Snowman Trio from Stitching Kitty done on a piece of 'Cosmos' from Polstitches.

They've been a WIP for quite some time and I'm happy they're finally done.  They've been added to the pile of 'Karen's Finishing Service' wants LOL

As usual picture is clickable for a bigger version.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Some Beautiful Finishes

Monday, 25 July 2011
And I can tell you that they're beautiful because I didn't do them LOL.  For a long time now (years!) I've been in awe of the finishing skills of Karen so I was thrilled when she launched her finishing service a while back.  Admittedly it's taken a while for me to get round to using the service but I sent three pieces off to her last week and have been bowled over with what I received back today.

Without further ado, here they are (all are clickable for bigger pics):

Spooky Spots by Shepherd's Bush finished as a wall hanging

Fa La La by Shepherd's Bush finished as an ornament

A design that I embarassingly cannot remember the name of finished as a cushion

I sent Karen some lavender which she included in the cushion stuffing so I'm typing this as the scent is wafting around me.

I'm now trying to decide which pieces I can send after the next pay day!

So, in case you missed it, it's Karen V's Finishing Service and it comes highly recommended (not just by me).  The service is extremely thorough and professional - I think we exchanged over 20 emails discussing finishing options - and certainly great value for money.

No affiliation at all, just a very happy customer...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Things I don't want to forget...

Thursday, 14 July 2011
Connor's speech has come on really well in the last couple of weeks.  We now have:

Eeeea (we think this is Lia LOL)
Pappou (Grandad in Greek)
Yia Yia (Grandma in Greek)
Bubble (thanks to the 'I had a little turtle' song)

Any phone or item that looks like a phone is clamped to his head and he walks around shouting 'Hiya' in it and every morning we are greeted with Hiya, Mummy, Daddy, Hiya. So cute!

We've been trying to remember Lia's 'special' words.  I remember that Hiya was her first word too (we must say it a lot LOL) but we had:

Finnens (fingers)
Bossies (strawberries)
Moom (moon)
Basgetti (spaghetti - she still says this and I think we always will in our house)
Trouders (trousers)
Hodshed (cottage - we now routinely have Hodshed Pie for dinner)
Sukermarket (supermarket)
Andriels (angels)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Tuesday, 12 July 2011
I guess I've been a bit quiet here lately.  I am around, I am reading blogs and I am crafting, I'm just a little distracted.

Unfortunately for me the distraction is work and not really in a good way.  I posted a month or so ago about how much I'm not liking my job and how there are changes coming my way that may result in redundancy.  Well it's now likely that I will end up redundant in around 4 months time as I have been told that my working from home request has been refused and this means I will be officially classed as 'at risk'. 

The way it works is that when I'm put at risk I spend three months looking for alternative employment within the organisation - I get preferential access to jobs (I still have to interview) but I don't have to apply for anything unless it matches my skill set and requirements (part time, location, etc).  If no alternative is found after three months I am officially made redundant after my notice period of a month.

None of the above is a bad thing.  I'd welcome alternative employment and I'd also welcome redundancy.  The unpleasant part of all of this is the way that I'm currently being treated by my Manager.  Now for reasons that I'm sure you understand I am not prepared to post my problems on a public blog but let's just say I have made both verbal and written complaints about her treatment of me and I have requested that she is not involved in my redeployment process in any way.

Hence my slight distraction.  It's not a particularly fun situation and my anger at her treatment of me is what is causing me stress, not the issues with my job. 

But hey ho, whatever will be will be.  I am at least stitching - I'm working on Stitching Kitty's Snowman Trio and have finished Snowman 2 and made good progress on Snowman 3 so that's making me happy.  I'm also part way into the Autumn (final) band on 4 Wishes so am hopeful of having at least one finish this month (it's been a while).  I haven't done any sewing but I'm determined to get back to that soon.

I've also finished up two books and am half way through a third this month.  Being at risk means I'm making sure I take my full 30 mins lunch break and being a fast reader I can get through quite a lot in that time.

I'll do some proper project updates soon.

Monday, 4 July 2011


Monday, 4 July 2011
So I was thinking about my plan to make at least one project from every craft book I have over the next 12 months and I thought it might be fun to get down the books and choose the projects.

As mentioned before, I don't have many books - somewhere between 20 and 25 I guess - so I piled them up and started checking them out and  I was more than a little surprised to find that, quite a lot of the time, it was difficult for me to find even one project I wanted to do in a book.  To the extent that I now have six books set aside to sell because I can't imagine ever making anything from them.  Not only that, there are a further four or five that when I've made my one project I can't see me bothering making anything else.

I can't believe it.  I wouldn't have said my tastes have changed much over the last few years but they must have I guess.  Three of the books are quilt designs and I have made one quilt from one of them, probably three years ago now, but the rest just don't inspire me at all.  Maybe it's because I got the books when I was a novice and now I know a bit more I'm up for more of a challenge.  I know I have lots of patterns and projects I'd like to do outside of the books so I'm not worried I'm going to run out of projects, I'm just surprised that it was so many of them I wasn't inspired by.

On the plus side, if I sell the books I'll have some cash to buy some backing fabric and wadding for the tops I have to finish up.  And I'm more likely to manage to complete my challenge if there are less books included LOL.

I have moved on to my next project and it is a quilt top.  I should confess that this is also a long standing WIP so I'm killing two goals with one stone. The only problem is that the fabrics are horrible to work with.  Really thin and flimsy despite the stupid amount of starch I've been using.  I have to say I'm not enjoying it so much but I'm not ready to give up just yet.

Friday, 1 July 2011

June Roundup

Friday, 1 July 2011
1. Blog more - Another month with the equivalent of a post every other day
2. No stash purchases - Erm, well maybe just a couple.  In my defence it was the first time I've been in an LNS for two years so it was rude not to.
3. Reduce my stitching WIP list - I made good progress on 4 Wishes but no finishes in June
4. No new stitching starts in the first half of the year - absolutely.  I intend to try and keep this going for the rest of the year now.
5. Find the quilting bug again and reduce my quilting WIPs - yes the bug is back.  I need to focus on finishing up some quilts though
6. Read at least 50 books - 6 read this month taking my total to 24 so far this year.
7. Reduce the clutter in the house - some baby clothes headed out and I've done some stash tidying too
8. Lose weight - pass
9. Stick to the household budget and find ways to reduce expenditure - didn't do too well - I blame leaving DH alone with his parents and him feeling like he had to take them out.  And my mini stash purchase...
10. Work on the garden -seedlings all planted out.

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