Monday, 29 February 2016

Happy Leap Year Birthday to .....

meeeeeeeee!!!! :) Its very late here now, but I couldn't miss posting on my birthday ... I'd have to wait another 4 years for the 29th to show up again!...hehehe  I'm in bed now next to a softly snoring hubby ;)  I'm pooped out after having been treated to a lovely birthday by my wonderful family ... we had cards and gifts with my Angels before school ...they even let me open them on my own! hahaha Then a day out with hubby on our annual pilgrimage to Harrogate and Betty's tea rooms....with cake ...lots of cake!:) We even found time to pop into an American themed  1950's ice-cream diner for a root beer float ...definitely need to take the family back for a visit! :) Then it was home to meet up with Abi and Nathan, for dinner out at the Trafford Center, a very Japanese meal which was different but fun followed by a visit to Selfridges for ...more cake! We all know I LOVE cake!! :)) And best of all once home, stuffed fit to bursting, to find lots of silly photos from my Spanish boy ...even though he seems to have forgotten to email his usual letter his photos more than make up for it! hahhahahaha

Some quick photos before that soft snoring turns into grumpy rumblings to 'go to sleep' ..hehehe
The long awaited parcel from the Spanish one ... :)
Quite a clever cute little gift from Jake ...its a soft 'Kirby' Nintendo Game-boy toy, with  Jake's "Elder Kirby" missionary name tag pinned on (the one I made him for his Missionary stocking at Christmas! haha) ....so that I have my very own Elder Kirby to hug at home ...I'm quite impressed with Jake's cleverness ...even if it did take Abi and Nathan to explain to me the significance of what/who the little fat pink toy was ...hahahaha (I did have to google it! hehe)

A birthday wouldn't be a birthday without our devout pilgrimage to Betty's in Harrogate 
And I reeeaally needed a Betty's bag to carry all the cake home! :) 
This one didn't quite fit in the bag sooooooo.... I had to eat it in the car! ;)  Yummmy!! 

Lots and lots of presents and gifts  ....
I'm a very lucky Momma to receive soooo much....diamonds and jewels, a beautiful vintage sewing basket, chocolates, candles, a birthday basket (Yaaaayyy!!) and even my favourite Skechers :)  I need to take some proper photos to show just how pretty everything is ... :))

A little look in a Haberdashery shop and out we come with a few bits of ribbon and pretty lace, needles and a hoop and some beautiful hand-dyed velvet 'scraps' (thats what the lady in the shop called them) ...I nearly weeeee'd with excitement when she gave me them for ....freeeeeeeeeeeee!!
I even found these small cute vintage silver topped perfume bottles, in a small little shop next door, that had a seriously smelly cabbage thing going on. It was full of lots of Antique, Vintagey  goodies, but mostly everything was well out of my price range apart from these little bottles ....sadly they weren't free but they are lovely ....and didn't break the bank toooo much ! :)

More cake after our Japanese meal out ....
As you can see Abi and I made short shift of the Macaroons :)  There should be another box of marzipan piggies and chocolate ganache mice too ...wonder where they've disappeared to ??? I suspect it was the daughter going home with bulging pockets! :)

Ooooops the rumbly grumbling is starting! Time to switch off my little net book and go to sleep Thank you to my wonderful family for a fabulous day ...I Love being Loved by you all!! :)  ...Cake for Breakfast!!!! hahahaha

 Leap Year Hugs     Wendy  x x x

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Its Birthday Weekend!!

Well it should be ...hubby is holding out for celebrating properly tomorrow when it really is my birthday, he's giving me  all that..." its the 29th", "have it tomorrow or wait another 4 years" silliness ... I've obviously been lax in his training and my torture methods just recently ...he's thinking he can hold out ...but we all know better ...hehehe ... the fear will be back in his eyes shortly ;)  mwahahaha... Soooooo, I'm still counting on a 3 day event ...the chocolate brownie cake is in the oven, the raspberries are plump and the cream whipped ...we are all set to go!
Its probably time to share my guilt-less shopping from the last few weeks for  my 'just-in-case gifties :)
 Some pretty cross stitch patterns from  Blackbird Designs, and also a lucky find from my local Hobbycraft shop ,   3 packets of even-weave linen ...not as nice to stitch with as the linen by Weeks Dye Works, Lakeside  or R & R  but you have to take what you can get ...I suspect these were old stock as the packets were a bit grubby (just needed a wipe down with a damp cloth so nothing too yucky!) The two white packs I will practise my  ageing /dying process on, just to make them less bright! :) I was even sensible and bought sewing thread for my machine...hahaha

A little bit of online shopping as well ...
 
Some lovely Weeks Dye Works wool, and linen and threads  (the linen and threads are for my next planned cross stitch project ..when I'm brave enough to start it..hehe) And a beautiful book "Wool Applique-folk art"  by Rebekah L Smith.   Its a little bit more Americana-y folk arty that I usually do but sooooo lovely, I've already earmarked a few projects to do :)

I also treated myself to a beautiful Primitive Heart Pillow that I found whilst browsing on Etsy...
 
This photo doesn't do it justice , its a beautiful "primitive folkart  sewing needlfuls valentine heart " beautifully made by Karen Shaw  of Olde Cottage Primitives.  The pillow is made from a lovely red patterned antique quilt with a soft linen pocket with a teensy pinkeep inside and some vintage embroidery scissors ...I've had to remove the scissors to a safer place ...didn't want to risk any 'snipping' accidents with my Angels!! :)  I was sold with the "To me, Love me" description which caused me to succumb to the  temptation to buy it :)   Karen has some beautiful handmade treasures in her Etsy 'shop' ...'OldCottagePrimitives'  ... I'll be treasuring this lovely heart for a long time :)

I was good and  actually managed to finish-finish a few more projects  ...I'm trying reeeaally hard to keep on top of my sewing stash and UFOs :) ...
 Two sweet bowl fillers ... "Wondrous Love " is by Homespun Elegance, and backed with a rich luxurious red velvet, and edged with a slim strip of aged lace (aged it myself with some coffee granule's ...oooh get me!! hahaha)  "Let it Snow" was a lovely kit from  Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives  ....Oh my goodness this was soooo lovely to stitch ...maybe because I was using all the original thread and linen and such that came in the kit,  but it was a joy to stitch ...it is backed with a beautifully soft velvet cotton, the colour is just sooo much nicer  in real life :)

I also managed to frame ...
 'Snowy Days' by Brenda Gervais of  'Country Stitches - with thy needle and thread'. there was a lot of picking up and putting down with this project ...but I enjoy that , sometimes stitching is over tooo quickly and I miss the piece I was sewing ...hahaha  does that make sense?? :) I was surprised at how easily I managed to frame this too ...usually a lot of grumbling and occasionally cursing is involved :)

My last finish was a woolly folk art one ...
 I have to confess now that I didn't have a pattern for this project ... I saw an 'image'on the dreaded Pinterest site ;) and even though I searched and searched I couldn't find the designer or a pattern to buy  .... I've a feeling its either a Timeless Traditions design or possibly by Maggie Bonanomi  or even Jan Patek ...all folk arty designers... my  original thought was that it was by Maggie Bonanomi,, because of the shape of the vines and leaves ...although it doesn't have any twirly tendrils that I love on her designs,  but if it is hers ,  I can't find this particular design anywhere and I have several of her books ...just my luck to be in the one book I don't have  :(  I apologise unreservedly to the designer for 'copying', my copy version is very similar but I know I haven't quite got the hearts the right shape or the positioning of the stems, it was all judged by eye from the image on Pinterest ...Whomever designed it, it really is lovely  and I promise I will continue to search and give proper ownership to the designer when I find out ... :)

My Angel Mim suffered a little mishap ....
the chunky chubba leant on one of my sewing baskets and snapped the handle! The look of shock and surprise on her face was priceless, sadly its not repairable ...well not be me anyway and so is now residing in the quiet room as a basket bucket ...away from not so little Angel bottoms that wanted to sit in it once they'd broken the handle off!!! :)) haha   ... Maaaaybe I need to find a birthday replacement ????  hahaha  

My brownie cake is out of the oven cooling and  ready to be sliced and  served with raspberries and cream ....Uummmm Yummy ! A big serving for me ...I am the birthday girl and this chubba didn't break no basket handle's... sadly I just grow them!! hehehehe :)

Hugs Wendy x x x

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Its been a chocolate comfort day!

..It should be the start of birthday week, but the dreaded 'professionals' have put paid to that  ...and its only Tuesday :(  Sadly it appears that our little family is a bit of an anomaly to  Social Services ...because we are accessing  'Special Needs' Children and Adult Services at the same time for  one family for the same provision for two 'individuals' .. (I know I can't understand it either .. but apparently we are their first and only known case in our County!???  Naaaah, can't believe that!!)  What makes it all the more slightly ridiculous is that we have funding and approval for our packages...they just somehow can't get them to run simultaneously ...they can't match times and dates basically ...so they are offering us respite at different times for each Angel so that we always have one at home and don't actually get the respite for both Angels at the same time. If the offices for both Children and Adults were in separate towns or buildings I might be able to understand it, but we are talking about a flight of stairs ...one floor! Getting them to talk and work together is proving very challenging. Joint meetings are set up, then someone will cancel for sickness then the next time annual leave...6 months in and we still haven't had our 3 monthly annual review  ....and then they wonder why its not working!???  The  'Professionals' are doing my head in!!!  :)                          Soooo I have  decided I can either cry all week (I did that yesterday ...it was no fun and even with all that water loss I still didn't weigh any less this morning  ;)  hehe)  OR .... I can just drown myself in chocolate and avoid the scales for a week or so and shop .... I opted for the chocolate...I made good progress today on a packet of Cadbury's giant buttons  ...very yummy but gone waaay too quickly ..haha :) I tried some nice posh Belgian chocolates...but really they are too rich and have to be eaten sloooowly and savoured ...I need chocolate that can be scoffed in huge amounts without leaving me feeling toooo sickly ...hahaha  I'm sure I have more chocolate buttons somewhere....

As for the shopping ...I must have known last week that this week  I'd need extra loving ...as last week I 'won' these off Ebay, and they arrived today ...talk about  clever timing ..hehe ;) ..
 Okay ...so I had several 'winnings' ..hehehe and they all turned out to be mini sized too ...HOW I did that I've no idea , but I'm happy with them ...even if someone has possibly overdone it on the ageing of the prim doll ..she's reeeeaaally tatty ...hahaha   I'll have to hide the small shaker boxes from my Angels they are a bit fragile but the benches are lovely ...definitely my favourite :)

I did have to do some real food shopping today (stocking up on the chocolate too!) and as I was passing I thought I'd have a quick 1/2 hour moouch around the Olde Mill and see if I could find any treasures...
 Its been awhile since I went to the Olde Mill but they've extended it inside and have a lot more new boothes and areas to explore ...too many for 1/2 an hour ! :) So I just looked at a few of my favourites and found a whole stash of old buttons, some unused DMC cotton thread a sad looking little bear and another sugar shaker ...got to have something to store all those buttons in! ;)  I also spotted some old postcards ....and maybe because I was feeling a bit weepy and emotional with my 'Professionals',  this card seemed quite poignant to me and I just had to have it ...
 The front is a sepia image of three young girls (just like my girls ...) and the writing on the bottom reads  " with best & fondest love to all,  your affectionate Mother ...oooh that almost started me off  just reading the front...
Then on the back it reads...
 "  My very dear Daughter, got home all right. I hope you are better & that Joe has had a good night. Take care of yourselves, both of you. Best and fondest love to all. Your ever affectionate Mother" ... Well I just welled up and I did silently cry a little  ...right there in the Olde Mill ...I don't know, maybe its the Mother in me but I could just feel the love that that Mother had all the way back in 1904 for her daughter and whatever struggle she was having at that time...Mother had obviously been to visit and help  and was continuing to send her love and support once she was back home  ....kind of made me wish we still sent postcards and letters to one another ...now its emails and text's and phone calls ...all good  but what a wonderful written treasure of the  love for a Mother for her Daughter  ...Had to bring it home and treasure it!

On the sewing front ...a little bit of Woolly Love...
 This little woolly pillow is from a design by 'Timeless Traditions' -Love One Another ...I just shortened it to the Heart and word  Love because I only had a small feather pillow insert and I really wanted to finish it! I'm pleased with how its turned out ...I might make the full pillow at a later date :)
More velvet hearts...
 using Hubby's heart template this time :) ...he's still preening and crowing about it ;) I had a small piece of the velvet left and I didn't want to waste it so I added it to a stripey homespun heart as a pocket with some little blue crosses along the top for decoration  .... ooooh maybe I should keep my sweet postcard in the pocket! ?? :)

Some cross stitch finishes ...
Two last snowy /winter ones and a Valentines Love  cross stitch ...all to finish, which I'll try to do soon before they end up in the 'waiting to do' basket :)   I'm thinking yet more woolly-snippets-stuffed pillow tucks and maybe a frame for the snow man ....jobs for tomorrow, hopefully :) 
I do have some early 'just-in-case' Birthday shopping to share, but I need to upload the photos onto my net book from my camera ..there's not tooooo much, I was very restrained! hahaha     Now I'm really beginning to feel the withdrawal from my beloved chocolate so I  must say good night and go find those chocolate buttons! :)
Chocolate kisses,    Wendy x x x

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Happy Valentines Day ..

Are you feeling the Love this cold wintry Valentines Day?? haha  We have been snuggled up keeping warm, eating popcorn and watching zombie films (like you do on romantic days ..hehe) There's always lots of love here in Angel land ...we're happy to share if anyone feels they need some ...one teensy catch...besides been sticky, dribbly,  very happy and giggly ...our Angel lovin' is also very hands-on,  heavy and likes nothing better than to squeeze and wrestle whilst sat on your knee squashing you to within inches of your life!! hahaha My babies are definitely no longer baby sized ..in fact Angel Miriam is practically eye-balling me (I'm around 5ft 3) I lovingly refer to my baby Mim as my 'little' she-hulk (except she's not green ..haha)  She's certainly bigger and stronger than Angel Esther and is happy to not only protect her big-little sister but she's not adverse to giving her a wallop either ...sisterly love ...hahaha  Don't worry  Esther can hold her own, she takes it all in her stride, what she lacks in height and weight she more than makes up in craftiness and mischief ... there's never going to be a weaker Angel ...hahaha    I have managed to convince Esther to be  happy with  snuggling on the sofa at the side of me now .. It's just Mim I'm having to work on doing the same, she still likes to sit full on your knee for her snuggles ...not an easy feat when shes almost the same size as you  :) Still I wouldn't miss out on  my Angel cuddles for anything ...not even for replacement knees! ...hehehe

So I've been busy sewing some Love and Valentine woolly and velvetness...
I've had a lots of fun sewing and stitching and even re-vamping some old 'makings' that were looking a bit lost and forlorn ... I made some small woollie hearts to fill the fabric envelopes that I made several years ago but have been empty for awhile, I re-purposed a small heart quilt block made by a friend years and years ago, into a small pillow tuck ...and naturally I had to make some big squishy velvet hearts (from the left over fabric from our Santa sacks that I made at school before Christmas... very recycleable of me ...hehe)

 I'm really pleased with these, they are slightly different ...as I was drawing up my heart template , hubby decided he'd have a go too ...after several rather strange looking hearts he came up with a good shape and voila a lovely stuffed heart  ...mine is the longer more folk art heart,  hubby's is the shorter heart that is more country-whimsical in shape. Both are stuffed with snips of wool felt (the nasty acrylic type not my best wool!!!..haha) I really like the squidgey look and feel that stuffing with woolly scraps gives :)
I also made a button heart small cushion ...
 For a first attempt I think it turned out quite sweet ... it was very easy to do and I'll probably make another one of these ...when sticky Angel fingers aren't around to send my little red buttons flying everywhere :)

I went shopping earlier in the week with some very specific Valentine purchases in mind ... hehe
 The wire baskets were the specific purchases, the hearts made with bells were a lucky find and the ceramic heart and candle holder ...well they were there and I thought ...why not!? hehe   A little bit more shopping  than I had planned to buy ...but all very needed! ...hahaha

The baskets were just the right size for ...
 filling with heart goodies and becoming Love baskets... One for Abi ..and
one for me! :) I even let Abi choose her own Velvet heart, how kind am I ? haha   She chose hubby's heart shape ...which he naturally crowed about for the rest of the day! hehehe   I think the baskets look quite cute, and Abi was pleased with hers, so that's all that really counts :)  I'm even considering making another velvet heart a la hubby because I think I might prefer his shape too  but I'm not going to tell him ...he'll only crow even more! ;) ... and besides you can never have tooo many velvet or woolly hearts can you !?  :)  I have a few more bits and pieces almost finished  ... I seem to start several projects all at once , flit  between each of them, picking this one up then the next, a stitch here and there ...its a wonder I manage to get anything finished sometimes and then all of a sudden I seem to be  finishing them all at the same time :)
Time to go find hubby's heart template  ....shhhhhh don't tell him! ;)
Hugs Wendy x x x

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Oooh... Spanish Postmen are...

just as good as English Postman when they deliver packages like this ...
 
 
 ...maybe even better! :) I had a lovely surprise on Saturday morning when I opened the door to Mr Postman and he handed me this not-so-little-package  ...admittedly my first thoughts were ...oooh that's fast I only placed my order last night! ;) hahaha   Then as I saw the post mark  and the handwriting on the label ...well...I'm guessing my squeals of delight could be heard half way down the street (and we have a long street!)  As you can see I'd already started to 'gently' open the package ..It was addressed to 'Kirby Family' ...when I noticed the Spanish written on the side  ...being a good Mummy  and knowing Jacob ;) I thought it best to google translate first and then open!  If I've googled correctly (using only safe search engines ...we don't want to go there again ! ;) ....haha) I think it says its "not to be opened before your birthday" ...and as my birthday is soonest I'm guessing its for meeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Waiting patiently to open it is going to kill me but I have been soooooo good, and that parcel is sat in The Quiet Room unopened and waiting for the 29th when it will be set upon  before anything else ...hehee ... I will try and contain my excitement because I 
know my Jake ...it could be a box of tissues ...albeit Spanish tissues ..haha ...but more importantly it's from my Jake and it could be a box of smelly socks for all I care ..he remembered and that's all that counts :) x x  {OK, I will be honest and say that I probably would be a bit disappointed if it was a box of smelly socks ... he wouldn't do that ...would he ?? hehe}

I have fiiiiinnnaaaalllyy finished my Christmas Cross Stitch that I started during the holidays...
 
this is ...'In Santa Claus Land',   by Brenda Gervais of "Country Stitches-with thy needle and thread". I LOVED  stitching this piece ...even the snowy border! I do so enjoy all her designs ...they are sooo easy to follow and the instructions and charts are crystal clear ...and big enough to see!! haha the original design for this stitched piece is finished as a Christmas hanging bag and although I've put it to one side just for now,  I know that I will definitely be finishing it just as suggested for this next  Christmas ! :)

I've also completed another of her little designs ...
 
'Jolly Happy Soul'  ... or  Frosty ... was another fun stitch to do ...and more white snow! ;) ...and I've  even finish-finished this one as a little bowl filler with some pretty cotton rick-rack-lacey edging! Go me! haha    I have yet another snowman near completion and a few Valentiny bits and bobs all kind of finished ... I have a stay at home day tomorrow because the car is being collected and taken to the garage so I'm hoping to give myself a guilt-free sewing day and get some of those little projects finished ...well that's if I can stop staring at  my Spanish parcel for long enough ...I have given it a very thorough shaking ...and it is reasonably light-weight..which makes me worry about those smelly socks after all! haha

Hugs Wendy x x x

Monday, 1 February 2016

Getting ready for the month of Lurrrve :)

...Valentines day will be here before you know it so I've been busy the last week making a simple Valentines parcel for the Missionary son, I was going for subtle ....
 But whats a bit of Valentine Loving without a bit of sparkle?! :) hahaha
 I tried to temper all the sparkle with some boring socks and tie... don't want to embarrass the poor boy in front of his companions..haha
 But then ...
 I couldn't resist adding a little woolly love to the back of his tie ...just so he knows its from his Mummy! :) haha Now we just have to hope that Mr Spanish Postman gets it to him on time.

I've decorated my little  Valentines corner ...sharing the love...
It took a little bit of tweaking here and there throughout the day,  but I think I'm happy with it now ..haha   Hubby just rolled his eyes when he walked in from work and I told him how busy I'd been today ;)  ...haha 
A little bit of stitching is happening but not too much ...I've been too busy sharing the Love :)

hugs and kisses Wendy x x