Thursday, 30 January 2014

January is almost over ...

..which means  February is just around the corner, which most importantly means.... Birthday month!! :) I've already warned the household that it is going to be a month long celebration ...no excuses ... Mum feels in need of a full month of pampering and spoiling ...hehehe   Mr Postman is on standby ... the fingers are flexed and ready to hit the 'add to basket' button  and hubby has been prepped not to question any deliveries ..hahaha  February is also the month of Luuurrrve so I'm getting ready to tweak the Snowmen and add some Love to my decorations ... once I'm brave enough to delve into the boxes in the cupboard under the stairs ..lol!

I've been adding some stitches to a few last minute Snowman / Winter projects ...
Snowy Days is progressing:) I decided to sew the blocks together before I'd finished all the applique as a couple of the background fabrics were starting to fray and I was worried about loosing my seam allowance ..hehe I think I just really need to sew carrot noses and berries and the odd tweaky bits here and there and it will be ready to back quilt and bind ... Technically ;) I've got until Spring to finish so I'm still hopeful that I'll 'get er dun' :) This has been such an enjoyable sewing project "Heart to Hand" certainly know what they are doing, their designs are always Absolutely Fabulous Darling! :)

I've also finished  couple of cross stitches too ....
 This is the 'Winter Band Sampler ' by "Little House Needleworks". The final season is sewn :)   I'm not quite sure what to do with the 4 'bands' as they are called, I was thinking of making them into a small wall quilt but I'm not sure if I used the same evenweave 'colour' fabric with them all, it might look a bit odd if they are different shades. I used the correct count, but in any odd pieces of evenweave I had in my stash. Framing is an option, four seperate frames is a bit much I think, I'd like to be able to switch out each season, in and out, of the same frame ... does that make sense? ..haha  Knowing me I'll take my time thinking on it :) Again not sure why the photograph has uploaded all swirly and fuzzy looking, it looks fine on the camera and saved in my picture files on the computer ...maybe it will look OK when I hit the publish button ... maybe not .. hey ho :)

This next little piece was a freebie or rather a complimentary design also by 'Little House Needleworks' ...

"Seven Pines" ... A very quick, fun stitch. I love the trees and the snowflake swirls :) This will probably be just turned into a wee padded door knob hanger (There's probably a more dignified way of describing it, but I can't for the life of me think what it is ...hehehe)  Now this photo looks fine....whys that?? I could ask Hubby for his help, but its likely to involve a lot of advice and be rather tooo complicated for my tired old head ...hahaha

Well time is running away with me this evening ... it's not looking like I'm going to get much time to browse for goodies that Mr Postman can deliver .... fear not, I can happily say I won't struggle to find something ...hehehe ;) I shall also try and be brave, face the spiders and delve into the under the stairs cupboard and bring out the LOVE decor and hopefully share some pictures next time ... off to try and nab a few minutes Birthday shopping time!

Hugs Wendy x x

Friday, 24 January 2014

It's been an emotional Brown Letter day !

... in a good way, kind of bittersweet, but mostly one of those times where you just go 'Phew' and cry with relief :) Today ... after 16 years ... we finally received written confirmation that the DWP (a Government Department) recognise and confirm that Esther has a Lifetime Disability, basically that she's 'not going to get better' and that she will require 'care' for the rest of her life ...Indefinitely is the word they used.  For the last 16 years we've had to fill out forms, appeal and fight Esther's case ... until today ... I now have an official letter! It might not seem like a big thing but for us it is HUGE. No more 'prooving' her disabilities, no more filling out forms, no more appeal panels., no more embarrassing and at times distressing situations where we have to practically 'show and tell' Esther to make people understand.  It also means that in the future when we may not be around, Esther's has security and provision will be readily available to take care of her. Its been a loooooong time coming, and when I saw that brown envelope on the door mat this lunchtime, my tummy started doing somersault's before I'd even opened it! I looked at it with trepidation for a full 5 minutes before I could summon up the courage to open it. I can't begin to explain the relief I felt and I'm sure you can imagine that as I started reading it the tears started to flow and flow and flood :) I'm not relieved about the financial side of things, its not about the money, although I'll be honest and say it does help. Its the security it gives  Esther for the rest of her life (Oddly enough Miriam was 'accepted' straight away and has had her lifetime disability recognition since the very beginning!... Not sure why there was such disparity between two sisters with the same Genetic condition and disability ... guess its just down to who's on the assessment panel at the time!) I would give every penny we've ever received back if my Angels could be happy healthy and able to live 'normal' lives ... I would give all my fabric and buttons and threads ... even my treasured wool stash... yes, I LOVE them that much ...hehehe ;)  Without a moments hesitation I would give arms and legs, anything and everything for them to be 'normal'. But I know that's not going to happen, they'll both always require 24 hour care to keep them safe and well. But I will and can make sure that they have the happiest bestest lives they can have ... even if I have to give up my woollie stash :))  Tonight we are celebrating with ice-cream and marshmallows, celebrating our two Angels whom we love and adore, celebrating that after all the years of stress and anguish, today we can shed  tears of relief and gratitude to have finally 'got there'.  I can go to sleep tonight knowing that if I die in my sleep, (overly dramatic I know!)  both my girls are accepted and recognised by the DWP and will be provided for. Its been a big  'Phew' day :)  Sorry if that was a bit heavy and emotionally charged ... it's what living with Angels does to you ...hehehe :)

Remember I confessed last time to my  sneaky on line  Woolly Sale shopping  and was desperately hoping that Mr Postman would deliver my package on a day when Hubby wasn't home.... well, obviously I jinxed myself and I got caught red-handed!!! :( I just knew Mr Postman would come on a Saturday, and try as I might, even to the extent of embarrassing myself by practically throwing myself bodily down the stairs in my half dressed/undressed state to get to the door first ... all my lady bits were not securely in place! Hubby still beat me to it and I was left red faced trying to maintain my dignity (as in holding my pyjama bottoms up) in front of a rather narky young Postman who can barely have been out of nappies he was that baby-faced ... not my usual Mr Postman, who would not have laughed at my unfit state of dress and scary bed head hairstyle, my Mr Postman would have saved the package for delivery on Monday when Hubby was at work!!! It wasn't a little parcel either, hardly one I could deny the very existence of ...hehehe....
Lots of woolly yumminess from my favourite shop ...Primitive Gatherings... it was actually 3 woollie kits, in my eagerness I'd already started on one of the  kits before I remembered to take a picture ...woolly exuberance hahaha..
 
'Snowy Days' by Heart to Hand ... I'm soooooo loving stitching this woolly goodness, I've even finished more of the quilt blocks than I've shown here, here only the Snowman is stitched, the top block is just prepped when I took the photograph, I'm actually working on the final block right now, I'd forgotten how relaxing sewing with wool can be :) I can see an actual finish in the very near future ..lol!

I also managed to finish finish my cross stitched 'Oh Tannenbaum' piece ...
It's a lot bigger than the designed piece ...lol! But I Love it :)) It's my snowy snowman tree bobbin whatnot !  Makes me smile each time I look at it ... kind of weirdly kooky ... I think its because the original is supposed to be more triangular but mine has somehow turned into a Bell!!?? hahaha

I had a little wander over to the Olde Mill junky place the other day ... soooo enjoy searching for treasure, this is what I managed to find ...
I spotted the candle box/letter holder as soon as I walked in but I had to be patient and wait for an old lady with a zimmer frame to move forwards before I could get my itchy sticky little fingers on it ... nearly had an apoplexy/hissy fit when the zimmer lady stopped to look at a vase ...hehehe.  Soooo excited to find it, then the teensy little crystal salt shaker just sang to me ... it sang ..."make me into a pin/needle keep" ... need to take a picture to show you what I did with it :) And before I knew it the mini rolling pin, pegs and tin cup had jumped into my basket. Then ... just as I was leaving I noticed a lady adding the butter mold and the ladle to her little shopping bay and before I could do anything my itchy fingers had nabbed them and they were in my basket too :) The butter mold is really sweet, it has a tiny acorn and leaves imprinted on the presser mold thingy-ma-bob. The African basket was a sale find at TKMAXX ...it just begged me to bring it home ;)

As I'm in confession mode, I should probably own up to a little win on EBay ...
What could I do ...nooooooobody wanted her, and she is such a sweet little primitive doll with her very large over sized cast iron star candle holder..with candle!  An odd combination but a steal for £1:50!!! My first win on Ebay aaaaall year ... see I have been trying to be good ...hehehe

Time to celebrate, its ice-cream time, with swirly raspberry sauce and mini marshmallows ... Yuuuummmm! I might even push the boat out and add some chocolate flake too :)) There again...  I might just eat the chocolate flake all to myself too ...just to regain my emotional balance after such an important brown letter day ! :))

Hugs Wendy x x

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

It was on SALE ... Honest!!

Generally I hate shopping during the Sales ...  queueing outside in the cold waiting for shops to open, all that argy-bargy, grabbing at  clothes  hung on rails, trying to find your size because its not on the correct hanger ... more shuvving and pushing ... Honestly I'd rather shop in relative peace and quiet and pay normal prices ... Grumpy aren't I? :)    BUT..... last week I accidentally hit the Mother of all Sales and I unsurprisingly lost all hope of maintaining my dignity in my excitement ... fortunately I was also the only Sales shopper, so there was no argy-bargy going on either ...hahaha

Soooo what could possibly induce me to such manic frantic sales shopping ??? Why a Snowman Sale of course !....

I say it was an accidental encounter because I honestly only went to the Southport Quilt shop to buy that one lonesome ball of DMC perle thread...  BUT... I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the table full of sale items ... I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even look at the fabric on sale .. I did peak at the wool but it was conspicuously NOT on sale :(  My heart was beating soooo fast and I was sooo excited that I didn't care about the wool ... shameful I know!   I literally thought I was going to hyper ventilate and pass out with joyfulness ...hehehe  My goodies include a snowman head 'pick', two little ornaments, a plaque and lantern and the wire snowman tea light holder but most wondrously the gorgeous 'Honey and Me' stuffed Snowman holding a hat with a tiny tree inside (for some reason its upside down .. ?)  At original non-sale prices my Snowman haul would have cost me a small fortune ... like in excess of £50-60! I got all my goodies for £21.25...faaaaar less than half price ...and that included the ball of thread!! ...hahaha. I also have to be very honest and admit that I did go back 2 days later ...  because I'd been dreaming and we all know how much I'm ruled by my sleep-day-dreaming  ;)  and I bought a second large stuffed 'Honey and Me' Snowman and a bigger wire snowman tea light holder ... and guess what? They were  reduced even further ...less than £7 for both !!  All I've done is snip the threads that hold the hat to the snowman hands and change the scarf for another strip of homespun  and given him a star pick to hold and he looks like a different Snowman!  Hubby, I know, is in awe of my thriftiness ... hehehe ... I am going to be good for the rest of the month! Although... he doesn't know about the online Sale purchase's' ..yet .. Eeeaaak! ...They were made before the Snowman sale so they don't count ..do they!?  ;)

Moving quickly on to new topics :)  I finished my second Woolly 'Frosty Mugs' by Threads that Bind..
(Not sure why the photo has flipped?) This one is for me and is already hung up on the wall. The first one was a birthday gift for my Mum :) I was in a bit of a dilemma as to whether to use the wondrous large piece of red wool that came with the kit for the backing ...it seems such a waste ... but then I thought, its only going to sit in my stash unused for who knows how long, I may as well use it for its purpose ... and I've attached it using the big stitch quilting technique so if I do become desperate for it, its easy enough to unpick ...hehehe

I also finished a little cross stitch project...
'Peace Tree' by Little House Needleworks. This was quite a time consuming stitch ... I think because it was all white thread ..white thread seems to make my eyes blurry as I stitch ?? It was beautiful thread, I used the recommended Belle Soie 'Icing' thread by Crescent Colours and being 100 % silk floss, it was dream to stitch with, like sewing with butter ...lol!
And Lookie ...
It's already mounted and framed ... I'm pretty impressed with myself too ...hahaha  :)

Not a bad start to the New Year with two complete finishes and a dream Sales shop!! I now just have to hope that Mr Postman comes knocking on a work day and not on a Saturday when hubby is home!! ;)  Happy January!

Hugs Wendy x x

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I'm Doomed, I tell you, DoooOOooomed!!!

... I didn't get the Christmas decorations down by twelve night (yesterday) ...  I'm doooomed to a year of bad luck :(  Woe is me!  I did manage to get them all down and put away today once the Angels were back at school ... Do you think I might be granted a reprieve from the bad luck?  hehehe  
My Gran will be turning in her grave to know I'm late  she was very particular and suspicious about things like that ... Also this year/last year, I failed to have an empty wash/ironing basket before the New Year started ... DooOOooomed again! (Supposedly My washing and ironing basket will over flow all year long now  ... nothing new there then! .. haha) Anything else?  ... Oooops yes, I forgot the coal,  we're supposed to bring a piece of coal into the house in the first hour of the New Year for good luck ... definitely no good luck coming my way, I may as well spend the rest of the year hiding under the duvet ;) It's a good job I've given up making New Years Resolutions  too the disappointment of this New Year could be almost tooo much to bear!! ;)  My resolutions are usually broken within the day anyway .. hehehe I'm not even going to set any goals this year, apart from to enjoy life and try and stop worrying sooo much ... I could worry for Britain! :)

As I said I spent a frantic day cleaning and storing and tidying away everything Christmas, which included placing the last few stitches in my final Christmas sewing project, not late for Christmas 2013, early for Christmas 2014 ...haha ..
 'Sharing Christmas' by Attic Heirlooms ... If my Santa is looking a teensy bit hunched to you ... he is! That's because as I was running to answer the telephone and had foolishly left my sewing on the arm of the sofa, the littlest Angel took it upon herself to chop the top of his shoulders off ...lol! and as I didn't have another piece of red wool for his coat I had to make do  and mend ... I just like to think his hunched-ness adds to his Ooooold Father Christmas persona ...hahaha. This will be finished into yet another Piano Pillow, once I buy the pillow form :)

I also managed to sew some bells and attach some ribbon to my 'Country Stitches' January Monthly Cross Stitch Pocket ..
I just need to find, something to pop inside the pocket to fill it out a bit, maybe I need to make a little snowman?  ;)
And a very quick little stitch was this piece, also by 'Country Stitches - with thy needle & thread'..
'Oh Tannenbaum'. It just took me one Angel watching film to sew :) Very quick and easy to do, nice and relaxing. It should be a Tree ornament but I thought it might look nice 'mounted' on an old spool :) I'll hopefully finish it in the next day or so. (Not sure why the photo is all squiggley like that??) Oooh and naturally I didn't do all that stitching in one day ...hehehe .. its from over the last week of the holidays ...didn't want you thinking I had some super-woman-stitching-power ...hehehe

I have a good system now, after years of decorating for each season, as I take down one I put up another, much to the consternation of hubby ... if he's ever hoping to live in a minimalist type of home...well, he really doesn't stand a chance ..hehe  So as Christmas came down ...the Snowmen came out .... Hoooray! :)) ...


I'm sure these pictures probably look the same as they have done for the last several years ..Lol! In fact I'm sure I'm missing some snowmen, I've searched but I can't find any wanderers, hope they haven't melted ..hehe  ;) Maybe I just remembered I have more than I have!?  It could be that I haven't bought any Honey & Me Snowmen in a long time :( although I do love them, I just can't seem to find them here in the UK. And shipping from the US now is sooooooo expensive. I know I should and could make more myself, but ...well... yes let's leave that thought there ..haha.. Maybe I'll have to plan a few more Snowman finishes out of my readily supplied stash basket  :)

As I was packing away everything I found a few 'left-over' treasures and gifts that I hadn't shared ...
The lovely little basket was a late delivery Christmas present from Abigael, late because she ordered it on-line when she was in Lancaster at University, and forgot that she'd used her Lancaster address for delivery, it had actually arrived on the 18 December several days after she came home!  :O  Fortunately she had an 'Aahh' moment  and realised what she had done before post office's date to 'return to sender' arrived and thoughtfully drove all the way up Lancaster to collect it and gift it to me ... It's a lovely lidded basket and I'm sure I can find some very special treasures to hide in it :)  The small Jim Shore Nativity couple was a lucky find on EBay ... a 99p win! And the gorgeous Santa is a lucky '2nd prize win' from a raffle ticket donation in a shop that I had poked around in when we went to York ... an absolutely wonderful surprise! Hubby was very suspicious when the package arrived just after New Year but I was thrilled! It was just a random 'donate a £1 and enter the raffle' type of thing, I never imagined anything would come of it ... but I'm Ooooh soooo pleased :) He is absolutely gorgeous, he's a Danish Santa Pixie, absolutely scrummy, I love him!  I should definitely encourage hubby on another trip to York ;) hehehe..
 
Well, whilst I've been tapping away on my little keyboard, precariously balanced on the arm of the sofa, little Esther has snoozed away with her head on my lap. Waking up early and the hustle and bustle of going back to school proved a bit hard for her today, she was barely in class this morning when I received a phone call to say she'd had a big seizure :( Our wonderful school nurse let her snuggle on her couch afterwards for a recuperative sleep, and once she woke up she apparently was happy to go back to class just in time for lunch! So there was no need for me to go and collect her... first days back can be taxing ...poor Angel :) Early to bed tonight for some extra and much needed Zzzzz's , that's if I manage to wake her up to take her to bed ...lol, otherwise we could be snoozing downstairs! :)
A belated Happy New Year!
Hugs Wendy x x