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Monday, 29 February 2016

Just one more week

Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love - Author Unknown

A beautiful day of sunshine, although a chilly breeze but it was the first day in a long, long time I was actually able to put some washing on the line to dry.  We also enjoyed a couple of short walks with Max, Harlee and Bryan.

This evening I have managed to work some more on the Cornwall Cottage Sampler but I'm afraid I need just one more Sunday on this before another page is complete.  I did managed to complete the large motif at the bottom of this page and the tiny motif below the internal border though.

There is now just one small motif on the left hand side to stitch and there is one just above the large motif but this stretches across both pages so once I am working on that I will be another page nearer to completion.

My aim for March is to try and get another page complete, it would be lovely if I could finish a page a month.  If I could do that then it would finally be completed by May but I think I will be more realistic and aim for the end of June.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Scrapbooking at Exeter

Yesterday Moya and I went to the Exeter Scraphaolix crop - a monthly meeting of like minded and addicted crafters.  I managed to get two layouts made out of this months kit - although a little tweaking might be added to the second layout.

The first one I made used the photos that Colette had taken of Logan and Savannah for their World Book Day - I think this must be the quickest I have ever used photos on a page.  I created the look of book pages for the photos to go on and added sentiments from the kit.  I also used some stamps which came with a magazine to stamp out the title page and add some decorative elements to the bottom of the page.

The second layout is using some photos I took of Logan a couple of weeks ago when he was playing with the Plasticine - he was making a pizza out of it.  I've created a circle for the central image to go behind and then cut it up to try and make it look like pieces of pizza.  I've added some eyelets to the pizza pieces which would have been the toppings on the pizza.  I'm probably going to tweak this layout a little before it goes in an album.  Apologies for the flash glare on this one.

A fun and productive day for me.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

World Book Day

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and - most importantly it’s a celebration of reading.

Logan and Savannah dressed up for their schools World book Day event yesterday.  Colette sent me these two sweet photos of them in their chosen costumes.

Logan went as Harry Potter, although with his hair colouring he could easily have be Ron Weasley

Savannah went as Goldilocks.

I managed to add some more motifs to the baby sampler yesterday and I now have only three small motifs to stitch.  I am hoping I can get them completed this evening.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Tin Collection Additions

something that is collecteda group of objects or an amount of material accumulated in one location, especially for some purpose or as a result 
of some process:

While shopping yesterday I came across some lovely tins - I have this thing about pretty tins and boxes.  First up was an elephant tea caddy which goes with the Green Tea elephant caddy that Chris bought me for Christmas.

Then I found a tin which I thought was perfect for storing my chocolate stash.

Finally a sweet trio of little tins with images from Alice in Wonderland.

Did I need any of these?  No, but did I want them?  A resounding yes.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Shopping and crafting fun.

Yesterday afternoon I met up with my friend Jenny in town where we enjoyed lunch together.  To work off the lunch we then went for some retail therapy and had fun checking out the stationary shops, TK Maxx, Paperchase (yes twice in one week for me but I resisted today), Waterstone's, M&S to name a few.  We even managed to fit in a last minute coffee and cake at The Americano Coffee House - they sell the most amazingly decorated muffins there.

We then went back to my house and spent the evening crafting.  Jenny worked on a scrapbook page while I started decorating some more tins.  Some of you may remember that I started decorating them around this time last year for a project I had in mind.  I managed to get quite a few more decorated with scraps of Graphic 45 papers although I still have quite a few more to decorate for the project I have in mind.  It's a step closer to completion though.

The project in my head makes sense and I am hoping as it progresses it looks as good in real life, although there is quite a way to go yet.

All too soon it was time for Jenny to leave but it was a wonderful day.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

WOYWW #351

Another week has flown by so it's time to see what other WOYWW folk have been up to.  You can join in by checking out Julia's blog The Stamping Ground for more info.

At the beginning of the year I started decorating index cards and taking part in 6 Year Journal Every Day prompts - January went well.  However, in February for the first part of the month health wise I felt terrible, cough, cold, water infection and general lethargy meant I spent minimal time in my craft room.  It meant I didn't have time to decorate any journal cards and I think I was also disheartened by the fact that if I did keep it going they would not all fit back into the original index box.

On Monday I went in and had my nails done and virtually right opposite the nail salon is Paperchase, a store I can't resist going in to have a look around.  While I was in there I saw a 2016 planner reduced by 50% and decided to purchase it and use this for my 5 Year Journal instead.  

I have decided to cover over the year at the top of the pages so that it can be used for the whole five years.  There is enough room for each day to answer the prompts and still probably be able to decorate the pages as and when.  I will start working on the 5 Year Journal afresh at the beginning of March and I think this will be far easier to keep up to date.  This can be updated either in or out of the craft room.  Bethany bunny approved of this new idea and that was good enough for me.

The index cards I had used will be re-purposed in some way as I don't want to waste them.

I'm off now to have a snoop round and see what other crafting folk have on their work desks this week.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Eight small motifs left

I'm counting down the small motifs left on the baby sampler and there are only eight left to do.  I managed to complete four more this evening while crafting with the girls.  I am going to try really hard to get these completed by the end of February.

If I can complete the small motifs this month I can use March to work on the larger motifs, maybe one a week giving me the final week in March to complete the wording and french knots.  Optimism is running high.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Cornwall Cottage Sampler

Today is Sweet Potato Day

Cook a Sweet Potato Day

It's also my day to show the progress I have made on the Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  I was able to work on this for quite a few hours today inbetween doing a little shopping and a little tidying up of the house.

Today I have finished the large motif on the left hand side and made a start on the large motif at the bottom of the page.  I've also made a start on the alphabet, the internal green border and one of the smaller motifs on this page.

Here is how it is looking overall.  I am hoping that next Sunday I can get plenty of time to work on it again and who knows I might even be able to get this page completed.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Peace is resumed

Logan and Savannah certainly brought a smile to our faces this weekend.  Peace obviously arrived once we had taken them back home LOL.

Logan practising his balancing skills.

Savannah practising her tea making and hostessing skills.

Once peace had been resumed I was able to pick up my needle and thread and managed to complete June's Chrysantheum for the Cottage Garden Samplings

Feeling really pleased with myself - three finishes this year, even if they are only small finishes.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

On the move

This little monkey is certainly following this quote.

Harlee-Jay is really getting to grips with his crawling now along with pulling himself up on furniture.  Somehow I think this little man will be walking before his first birthday in May.

No time for stitching today but I did manage to complete the book I have been reading- - The Moth Catcher by Anne Cleeves.  It's the first time I have read one of her books but it certainly won't be the last, I will definitely be looking out for more of her books to read.  A nice easy to read murder mystery which kept me guessing until the end - but then I've never been much good at working out the villain in books.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Three quarters there.

Stitch your stress away.  ~Author Unknown

Yesterday was a very busy day at work - with it being half term this week we have been short staffed, loads of work to try and get done every day.  While I don't find it stressful I did find it exhausting and was very glad to spend an hour or so doing some stitching in the evening to help unwind.

I decided to work on June from the Cottage Garden Samplings and I am now three quarters of the way to completion.  Also this week I have managed to add two more motifs to the baby sampler a few more required this evening if I manage to get the grandchildren settled down early enough but I'm not that optimistic there = LOL.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Tagging along

Just for a change it was raining when I woke up early this morning, but as I was travelling down to Scrapbook Magic despite the weather I was filled with happy thoughts.

Today I was taking part in a tag workshop.  This year Margaret has chosen to make generic tags rather than Christmas tags which is fabulous.  We played around with Paper Artsy Fresco paints and stamps, Tim Holtz Distress Inks and tissue tape.  Here are the two tags I made today - I think the floral one is my favourite.

I had a wonderful day, it was nice to be doing some paper crafting again and using the paints and inks from my stash.  I even christened one of my stamps sets on one of the tags - the first time the set had been inked since I purchased it several months ago.  I think I will use the floral tag as a card topper and the other tag will either go on a scrapbook or journal page.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

WOYWW #350

Wow another week has flown by and Wednesday has come whizzing round again.  Time to join in with WOYWW with Julia at the Stamping Ground

There's a bit of a mess on my desk this week as I just dumped some of the projects and some of the stash I was sorting onto my desk at the weekend when Logan came to stay.  The LO in the scraps box is the one I did at the Exeter crop at the end of last month and is still waiting to be put in an album.  The ink pad is out on my Christmas box as I quickly stamped out the sentiment to go into DH's Valentines card on Saturday.  The pretty notebook on the right with the bicycles on is my weekly weight loss report journal - which has been going week since I started eating more healthily again from the new year.

It won't change until after the weekend as we have both Logan and Savannah staying overnight on Friday so the bed sofa which is in my craft room will be in use again.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Baby Sampler update

Two more motifs added since the last time I posted my update last week with regard to back stitching.  This time there is the moon and a rattle.

If you work slowly but constantly you will succeed better than if you work fast for a short while and do not continue (Associated with Aesop's fable of "The tortoise and The Hare."  Slow and steady wins the race

I am certainly hoping that my steady progress will help me win the race with this baby sampler.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Turning a corner

Today is National Gumdrop Day

I don't think I will be celebrating it by consuming any of them although anything sweet is always a temptation.  Instead I am going to have a mini celebration on turning a corner on the internal green border of the Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  I also managed to complete another small motif and start working on a larger motif.

My target for next Sunday is to complete that large motif and hopefully the last small motif on the far left.  This would leave me just one large motif and a couple of letters of the alphabet - it would be great if I could get this page completed by the end of February.  Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day


We've had the pleasure of this little monkeys company - he stayed for a sleep over.  We enjoyed making some Valentine desserts for today's tea as little monkeys family are coming for Sunday roast this week.  We also had fun playing with Plasticine and watching Logan's mums favourite film as a child - The Labyrinth.
Logan is making a Plasticine pizza.

On Friday evening I managed to complete February of the Joyful World SAL.  Thankfully the frogs stayed away this time - having said that there are a couple of misplaced or miscounted stitches in this month but I had gone too far to put them right when I realised my errors.  They're not major so I can live with them and it still looks good to me.  The ducks beaks don't really show up in this photo but they do in real life.

I have printed out March's chart but I won't start that until the month of March.

I've also managed to add another couple of motifs to the baby sampler.  With Logan monkey being with us and family coming down later in the day I will only get a short amount of time to spend on the Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  Spending time with family is far more precious than stitching - just about LOL.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

I'm so weak-willed

  1. lacking the ability to resist the influence of other people or to control one's own impulses.

Once again I have given in and bought some more rubber stamps.  While on one of my quick visits on Facebook I saw a post on the Rubber Dance Stamps group.  It combined a set of stamps from Bibi at Rubber Dance Stamps and a set of tutorials by Helen Allen.  I've been a follower of Helen's blog for quite a while now after having attended a workshop at Scrapbook Magic where we made a wonderful Pyramid Mini.  Her design and her tuition were top class.  I completed the pyramid at the workshop and have since purchased another kit ready to decorate.  

Well the outcome of this visit on Facebook was that I purchased the stamps and workshop tutorials - the stamps arrived yesterday from Bibi's company in Norway and Helen e-mailed me all the wonderful tutorials to create some amazing products with the stamps.  I am so looking forward to having a play with this unusual set of stamps.  Helen has used them in so many ways I wouldn't have thought of and certainly shown the versatility of the stamps.  I'm always amazed at what other people can see and create - every day we can learn something new.

I love the way the envelope came decorated with stamped images and included a lovely tag too, thanking me for my purchase along with some sweet little heart confetti.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Back stitching - what a difference.

a method of sewing with overlapping stitches      

Backstitch is not my favourite part of cross stitching but I appreciate just what a difference it can make to the images you stitch.  I have been merrily working on several motifs of the baby sampler this week.  Here is how they looked before the backstitch was added.

The top one you can make out is going to be an elephant but the other two without backstitch would look pretty meaningless.
But now they are defined as a bootee and a nappy pin.  So this week I have easily achieved five motifs, admittedly one of them is only a tiny heart but it's two more than the target I set.  I should get a couple more done before the end of the week too.  There are fifteen small motifs left and then three large one which go on the bottom of the border pattern.  Ideally I would like to get all the small motifs completed by the end of February which is achievable if I put the effort in.

  1. .

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Book Haul

Fortunately I don't need any doorstops so I am happy with my latest paperback haul.  I finished my Carole Matthews book The Chocolate Lovers Club and so was in need of some new reading material at home.  While out with mum I picked up a couple of books at one of the local garden centres and then picked up a few more while I was waiting for mum to do her food shopping today.  This little lot should keep me going for a while.

As far as I am aware I have never read anything written by these authors so I am going into unknown territory.  Fingers crossed I will like them.  Now the big decision is which one to start reading first?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

WOYWW #349

Well another week has flown by and it's time again to have a look at what has been going on around the world as crafters share their work space on Julia.s Stamping Ground blog

On my work desk this week is the final colour in the Tim Holtz range that came out during the course of 2015.  I picked my collection up last week from Margaret at Scrapbook Magic.  I also have a packet of Ripple chocolate bars and some cardstock which I will be making gift boxes for the chocolate to go in.  I found a great tutorial by Linda Parker on You Tube for these.  Other than these there has not been much paper crafting this week again as I have been concentrating on my cross stitch projects instead.
Now I'm going to make a cup of coffee and go and see what other crafters have been up to this week.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Baby sampler progress

  1. a piece of embroidery worked in various stitches as a specimen of skill, typically containing the alphabet and some mottoes.

 I have managed some progress on the baby sampler over the past week - the blue border is now complete on the right hand side.  I shall now start working on the smaller motifs on this side during this week.

I think I will set myself a mini target of trying to get three small motifs completed each week if I get more done then it will be considered a bonus.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Another page complete

Today is Cornwall Cottage Sampler day and it was a great way to beat the doldrums as once again for most of the day it has been raining.  I did manage to get out with Max for a walk this morning but from midday it has done nothing but rain and with gale force winds forecast tonight and tomorrow stitching is a great hobby to have.

I managed to complete the internal green border on left hand side and was able to turn a page and have now started work on the motifs of page nine.  So eight pages completed with four more to go  There are a couple of large motifs on this page along with a couple of smaller ones.  I managed to complete one of the small motifs and make a start on one of the larger ones.  I think this page will take a few weeks to complete but it will be nice to see me turning the corner on this one and it's so nice to know that I am a page nearer to completion.

Thank you to everyone who comments on my blog, I try to reply to those I can but for those that are no reply I do appreciate your visits and your comments.