Work in progress

It has been a very busy week as term has started again at work so very late nights (tea at 10pm) and lots of running around.

As I mentioned earlier I have been busy stitching snowflakes so here are some of the ones I have done already. They are not made up into ornaments yet but I am very pleased with them especially the very fine count ones on the white sparkly fabric. These are quite difficult to do especially as I  left my bifocals on the plane on the way to Spain (oops!). I do have spare pair that are not bifocal but they make the telly very fuzzy. The joys of old age!



Snowflake 2

This one is a work in progress rather than a finish – again on the very tiny count fabric and is a motif from one of my newer Quaker Samplers.
Snowflake 3

Partly due to the difficulties of working on tiny count fabric and partly due to one of my Xmas presents I have taken up knitting again. I knitted while a teenager and all through college (baggy legwarmers anyone!) and knitted various ill fitting hats, bootees and rompers for Ellen while I was pregnant. I was also very keen on knitting Barbie clothes for a while – they are very quick to knit! – but have not done any for about ten years,

However I asked for a book for Xmas which my lovely sister bought me called Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair. I found it on someone’s blog (forget who) but it is a fantastic tome – written by one of the funniest women I have ever read Crazy Aunt Purl. Buy her book – read her web and knit coz its fab.

In order to do this I of course had to get some equipment and luckily lots of places were selling very, very cheap yarn (3 balls for £1) so I bought lots! Below is my stash – I have added a few bits this week !


I now have enough to keep me busy for the rest of the year. While I will still stitch as well knitting is fab for when I am really tired after work and cannot see well enough for the little pieces and I have already finished my first scarf. Here it is as a WIP (I will post a completed pic when Ellen has modelled it for me).

First scarf

As you can see it is knitted from a fab eyelash yarn in just garter stitch which looks very good. I am already on with my second one and I am trying Aunt Purl’s special magic scarf checkerboard pattern for this one and a different yarn.

I have of course been looking at lots of knitting web sites and have bought a couple of knitting mags and have found some fab things out there – isn’t the Internet wonderful! This is one of my fave sites so far, this woman is so talented (as an artist, photographer and knitter) and what she makes is so cute. Go and have a look at Julie’s blog Little Cotton Rabbits and I guarantee you will fall in love with them!

I am not a very good knitter so I shall stick with scarves and maybe some hats and bags though I have downloaded the pattern and bought some wool to knit some jumpers for kids in Africa – see this Feed the Children link for details.

Have also posted a Project Nepal update so go and look at that.

Bye for now!

Internet quiz

I have done this quiz as it comes from a blog I read regularly and the blog owner has asked everyone to do it on their blogs – so here it is 

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1: I  ran for Student Union President when at college and lost by 17 votes – the narrowest margin ever in the history of elections up to that point.
2: I used to stand on a street corner selling the Socialist Worker Magazine in my home town on a Saturday morning.
3: I cannot drive – though I have recently got my provisional licence and am going to learn.
4:Up to this date I have lived in 27 different houses.
5:I once said ‘the Internet-can’t really see the point – don’t think I’ll bother with it!’
6:My daughter is called Ellen Scarlett Rose as the day she was born they were showing it on TV – Scarlett O’Hara is one of my heroines.
7:The reason Ellen is called Ellen is that she is named after the Sigourney Weaver character called Ellen Ripley in the Alien movies.

8:When pegging out my washing on the line I have to have pegs that match – you can’t put a blue with a red in my world!
9:Every morning when I empty the dishwasher I count the cutlery to see how many of each sort there are – most mornings the big spoons win!
10:From my 18th to my 25th birthdays I celebrated by having one drink for each year in the one evening at my birthday celebrations- after that I kind of thought it would be good not to continue the trend!

NINE places I’ve visited

1:Sweden – twice
4:New York – for a hen weekend – very crazy!
5:Florida- to go to Disneyland
6:Disneyland Paris – 3 times coz I love Disneylands
8:London – lots and lots when I was younger

9:Paris – the grown up bit not Disneyland!

EIGHT ways to win my heart

1:Give me red wine
2:Give me chocolate
3:Show me your tattoos
4:Buy me embroidery stuff
5:Take me to see someone else’s embroidery
6:Let me visit churches
7:Take me to places that have fabulous doors
8.Not be sarcastic to me

SEVEN things I want to do before I die

1:Visit every country that ends in’stan’ – currently I think there are 7 but that depends on the political situation
2:Visit every Disneyland at least once – three to go in California, Tokyo and Hong Kong
3:Follow the ‘In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great’ trek done by Michael Wood a few years ago on TV
4:Learn to drive – on the left for the UK and on the right for Spain
5:Embroider a really big Quaker sampler piece
6:Visit every place in the ‘World Landmarks’ book that I just bought

7:Visit the Himlayas – hopefully this will be done in Oct!

SIX things I’m afraid of

2:Forgetting things that are important3:People I love dying
4:Not getting everything done in time
5:Chocolate being made illegal
6:Running out of red wine

FIVE things I don’t like

1:The amount of paperwork at work
2:Not being able to be outside in the winter months
3:People who don’t do things because ‘something might happen’
4:People not putting things away
5:Moving house – though I love looking at estate agents details and viewing houses

FOUR ways to turn me off

1:Not like camping
2:Be sarcastic
3:Be prejudiced
4:Not appreciate the ultimate sanctity of my stitching time

THREE Things I do everyday

1:Clean – unfortunately!

2:Drink red wine
3:Embroider – unless there is a very serious reason not to – like I am knitting or some horrible surgeon has cut my hand open! It happened and I couldn’t stitch for months!

TWO things that make me happy

2:My family

ONE thing on my mind right now
1:Will I remember what I am supposed to be doing next week?

Other Xmas stuff

Below are a few more pics from our Xmas here – we had a little pretend Xmas day before we went to Spain including eating of one of my limted edition Project Nepal fundraising Xmas puds. And the kids got to have a proper Xmas dinner which of course they don’t get when we are in Spain (poor deprived little dears!).


Hall baubles

Xmas tree

Xmas table

Xmas pud

Xmas in Spain

Hello there and Happy New Year- a bit late I know but we have been very busy since we got back from Spain as we have had my sister and her kids to stay so I have only just got back into something of a normal routine. That of course means we are all back at work and school which is very sad – especially as the weather here is so foul and wet.

We had a brilliant holiday again – I have some pics for you but most of the family and activity pics are another camera so all you have here is a few of my architecture ones. The weather was good – it rained the first few days while we were in Valencia but since we were inside doing museums etc. that did not matter. The rest of the time it was lovely – even hotter on Xmas day on the beach. I was wearing jeans and was burning up and had to keep going in the sea for a paddle to cool down!

I had some lovely Xmas presents – mainly books and videos including ‘The Long Way Down’ with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman which I am watching now. This is a sequel to their ‘Long Way Round’ series and is just as fab. I will have finished watching it soon so can start reading the book. Also got Micheal Palin’s ‘New Europe’ book – I watched the TV series recently and it is another book that I wanted so that one day I can do the route myself. Not too sure that I will do the Long Way Down route but would like to visit Ethiopia as it looks fab.

Kids were very happy with their gifts too – Jake got a Wii and games for it – we took that to Spain so the whole family could play. Ellie also had a Wii game, ‘My Sims’ , and has made a very cute town. Ellie and I are big Sims fans – see the link for more info on this fab game and she got (well it was for me really) the latest expansion pack Bon Voyage where they can go on holiday (something I really like doing!).

After Xmas we went visiting – first up into the mountains but it was very wet that day and we nearly got flooded in Calpe – there are no drains so the road turned into a river in about 5 mins and we had to escape to higher ground! We did manage to go and do some castle visiting in Castalla near Alcoy Castle at Castalla
The castle was closed but we still walked up to it and then into the little town where there were some lovely old houses – some sadly in disrepair like this wonderful one near the town hall.
Castalla - old house

That is why I love Spain – even in the smallest place you can find these amazing buildings.

We then went back to Alcoy where we went at Easter to see the Moors and Christians festival and I got to indulge in my great passion – which is looking at doors. The children think that this is very funny but in Spain (and all of Europe) they have the most fantastic doors on the apartment blocks and churches and I have been taking pictures of favourite doors for years. One day I will publish a ‘Book of Fabulous Doors’ but I also want to use some of the Spanish doors as inspiration for developing blackwork patterns – they have the most wonderful ironwork grilles on them. My aim at some point this year is to create some blackwork based on one of these doors and get the pattern published.
Alcoy Door 1Alcoy Doors 2

We also went on some very long bike rides which were great. I am very sad to be back in the wind and the rain and am very much missing the mountains and the outdoor life – we will not be back at the house for a while so I will just have to look at the pics and dream!

I also got lots of stitching done and have completed a whole load of snowflakes for next year’s Xmas fundraising events. Will post some pics of those later.