Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Happiest of Birthdays :)

I have had a very lovely Birthday today :)  We had an enforced day at home. Sadly there was no birthday  pilgrimage to Harrogate :(  I did miss my ritual cake treats from Betty's Tea Rooms, but the risk of travelling across the Moors in such bad and unpredictable weather, with our added baby companion, didn't warrant the risk or desire for cake! :) How sensible have I become as I have aged another year ??...hehehe ;)   I was awoken early this morning by Jacob and my Angels, for the receiving of cards and gift unwrapping before we even got washed and dressed for School and Day Services :) 
I was gifted some beautiful tall stemmed Roses and Belgium Chocolates and fancy sparkling grape juice, lots of birthday cards too...
 

Also I was lucky enough to receive some lovely smelly perfume, boutique chocolates (apparently that means they are all individually handmade by a professional chocolatier ...hope they're not too posh to nosh ..hehehe), There was also a very dainty and delicate silver bracelet, a picture frame pincushion,  a warm, snuggly cardigan with a  pretty and soft blue spotty scarf... someone obviously remembered my penchant for lady scarfs..hahaha :) All such lovely gifts, I felt very spoilt :)
 

I may have also treated myself to a 'just for me gift' ...
A new cross stitch series by Brenda Gervais ..."Summer Schoolhouse - Lessons in Abecedarian", parts 1-4 ... with the recommended linen and threads, naturally! :) I'm looking forward to attempting these designs...they are stitched 1 over 1,  which is usually something I would avoid, but I'm up for a challenge ...and the linen is 28 count so I'm hoping the 1 over 1 won't be quite as difficult to stitch as it would be over my most often chosen 30-32-35 linen counts :) We shall see whether or not  I am up to the challenge ..hehe

You can't have a birthday without cake! :)
 
My favourite yummy chocolate truffle mice  ...Heavenly, but oh soooo bad for the hips! hahaha   Abi and Jacob spoilt me with a whole box of mice ...which I will most definitely share with my lovely brood :)
And they chose a special cake with two significant numbered candles on it  ;)
 
I did whip those candles of as quickly as possible once I'd blown them out ...with a little help from my Angels ...a lady doesn't like to be reminded of her true age! ;) hahaha

I've had a lovely and relaxing day with my family and loved ones. It was quite fun being snow-restricted ... it allowed me to rest and relax and enjoy some quiet time at home watching the snow fall outside in the garden :)  Hubby saved his big birthday surprise until this evening when we were enjoying that yummy birthday cake...he's whisking me away to Edinburgh for two nights this weekend !!! I'm sooo very excited! I very specifically didn't want a big party to celebrate reaching the big '5-0'. I'm quite a shy person and I really  struggle with being the centre of attention, just the thought of it can turn me into a quivering, weeping wreck ...it is not a good look! So instead of a big party, Hubby and the children decided that a little break away would be something that I would enjoy more, how well they know me :)   And once again my fabulous family have made all the arrangements to care for my Angels between them and put into place all the necessary requirements to ensure we are all taken care of, they've catered for all my fussy worries ;)  I am sooo lucky and so blessed with my wonderful little family ...they truly are my greatest gift ...Aaaawww that might sound a little bit sappy or cheesy and soppy... but it is true! hahaha :) They really are so wonderful, I've had a lovely day.  I have felt sooo loved and special. It was a day I wasn't overly excited to reach but has been full of love and happiness. A perfect day to remember  :)

Birthday Hugs and Kisses,
Wendy x x

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Surprise cake dates and snow ...

My lovely Abigael called me early on Monday morning and told me to grab my coat and be ready to be collected at 11am as she had  a surprise for me! I'm not tooo good with surprises! ..hahaha ...I was a little nervous when we set off driving and she wouldn't tell me where we were going. I didn't think to take many photos as we were travelling but here is a picture of one of the views we had on our way...
 I truly had no idea where we were going and as we climbed higher and higher up hill after hill and the roads became narrower I worried that Abi didn't know where she was going either! haha  Fortunately she had everything in hand and knew exactly what she was doing. Abi had decided to give me my special birthday treat a day or so early because of the bad weather we had predicted to arrive this week ...just in case we couldn't get out :)  She took me to Haslingden, a small town in Rossendale Valley, Lancashire. It's only about 30 minutes drive from home and in the small market town there is a very pretty little tea room ... 
 My surprise was a visit to 'The Dearden' Tea Room... it is very exclusive ...hahaha...you have to book in advance, no walking in off the street for cake at this posh establishment :) It is a lovely old building and inside there are quaint little rooms with lace draped tablecloths on small tables, all set up for tea around cosy, glowing, real coal fires
Abi had booked their specialty for us; Afternoon Tea with a pot of herbal English Hedgerow tea, its a sweet herbal, fruit tea of rosehips, apples and oranges, lovely and sweet and warming on a cold wintry day. 
 Our little tower of treats had finger sized sandwiches, warm homemade scones with homemade jam and clotted cream  with decadent chocolate cake, lemon cake, macaroons  and a melt in your mouth chocolate mousse ....Yummy!!!! Such a wonderful treat, I felt very spoilt ... and I was very relieved that I'd worn one of my lady scarfs and so felt a little bit more grown-up ...hehehe :)

And the weather predictions were correct....
 We woke up to snow this morning, not tooo much :)  We only had about 3-4 inches of snow but it was  enough to make everything look sparkly and white but not enough to close down the schools or roads and such ...As we would say here... "Weather Warning : Southerners are urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary;  Northerners you will need your big coat." hehehe

Once I'd dropped my Angel off at Day Services (Angel Mim had being picked up by the school bus as usual) I stayed home, warm and snuggly with my little chappie and whilst he snoozed I put the final stitches into this trio of Snow Angels ...
They are from Stacy Nash's 'Animal Crackers' series, 'Whittaker' is the boy snowman and 'Paisley' is the girl ... The 'Whittaker' design came out first and I was smitten immediately :) I had originally intended to stitch 3 boy snowmen and had outlined my second when the 'Paisley' design was announced on Stacy's website ...I almost broke a finger nail on the computer keyboard in my rush to order the pattern! ;) hehehe Waiting a whole week for her to arrive from the US felt like forever but I had boy number 2 to keep me occupied and had almost finished him by the time Mr Postman slipped that lovely envelope through my letterbox. As much as I hate white thread stitching, I actually LOVED stitching these three little snow people :) I'm keen to get them finished and have them enjoying the snowy weather conditions.

I'm quite happy for another snow day to stay home and stitch ...that might actually happen tomorrow. Despite it being my birthday tomorrow  and hubby having taken the day off  work so that he can take me out for our annual birthday pilgrimage to Harrogate, we might not actually be wise to go too far if the snow continues...just a few flakes can sometimes cause havoc on our roads especially the country roads over the moors to Yorkshire :( We will have to see what delights the morning brings us.
Well as I'm almost another year older I probably should get as much beauty sleep as possible now... I can't have those crows feet crawling down my face ...hehehe  I will go lay my head down, snuggle under my duvet and blankets  and hopefully snooze away the wrinkles ;)
Hugs Wendy x x x

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Early Birthday cake treats :)

Ever since I can remember Birthdays have always been a special time. When I was a little girl I can remember that even though we didn't have a lot of money,  Mum and Dad made  our Birthdays fun and exciting and we would always have some special little treats to enjoy ...which usually meant cake! Hahaha   To make sure  that birthday memories are made and family traditions are kept alive we've always felt it very important to  sometimes practice  the 'Treat enjoyment'  ;) .... to make sure we are enjoying the most yummilucious cake treats ... mainly to ensure that the birthdays go as well as possible ...naturally ...hehehe ;) 
So Mother and I decided to sample some pre-birthday treats and off we trotted to visit  a very sweet little vintage tearoom to partake of a slice of cake ..or two!  ;)
 
It is hard work suffering soooo much deliciousness ...but we managed ..hehehe ... Our afternoon tea was very scrummdiddlumptious. We loved that everything was served on old odd mismatched vintage crockery...and that caramel drip cake was to die for  ;)

So as not to miss out on the treat samplings...and to make sure that she understands the importance of maintaining this most important of birthday rituals ...I had to go out with Abi too! :)  We chose a small chic cafe and decided to opt for a lovely warm bowl of tomato and basil soup ..
we followed it with a rich creamy hot chocolate and gorgeous slice of strawberry cake... 
 You'll be glad to know that the  strawberry slice passed the deliciousness taste test too :)

I haven't quite spent all my time since my Angels went back to school and Day Services eating cake ...Grandma's baby Daycare services has opened for business and three days a week I have my cheeky little chappy at home with me whilst Abi has returned back to school until the end of the school year ...what have I learnt this week ??? Not a lot  ;) ...Babies are just as demanding as Angels!! ..hehe
 And I'm much  tooo tired to have learnt much of anything ..hahaha
During the odd nap that Master Daniel has had, I have managed to finish backing and stuffing my pretty little 'Snow Birds' and it is happy to be nestled in my wooden tray of smalls :)

 I've also started this very quick little woolly project by Buttermilk Basin Designs...
 It will hopefully be a little heart pillow when its finished ...if Master Daniel takes a nap tomorrow! :)

Mr Postman popped by this morning with a little delicate package..
 A pretty selection of glass sugar shakers that were sneakily 'won' on EBay ...I'm particularly pleased with the rose coloured glass one  ...I need to find something pretty to fill them with :)
My tired eyes can barely see the keyboard now so I'm going to close and head to bed and hopefully sleep. sleep and sleep until morning arrives and so does my little bundle of Grand-Joy! :) Who knew babies could be harder work than Angels ...I'm having to polish up on my baby nurturing skills on the move ... well crawl ...he's into everything!!!! hehehe

Tired Hugs, Wendy x x x

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Happy Valentines Day :)

Just a quick little post tonight, we've had a fun little Valentines day here in Angel-Land :)
Lots of snuggles as my two little Angels are still a teensy bit off-colour and under the weather :( 
But we have still managed to enjoy some  lovely Angel Valentines crafts...
A pretty card and paper mache heart that  Angel Mim brought home from school is now hanging in our Valentines corner in the family room :)
Another pretty card I found in Angel Esthers Day Services bag....
and our attempt at making some heart cookies ...We  just about  managed to save three for a photograph before they were gobbled up!  As you can see we used copious amounts of little 'hundreds and thousands' cake decorations!   And we also attempted to make some clay hearts ... sadly I only managed to rescue one before it was squidged to death, it only just survived the handling of little Angel fingers!... hahaha ... It is  a little bit of a sad looking heart as all our glitter fell off! ...I will have to take it in hand and add some colour and more glitter and a lick of modge-podge varnish when the Angels are otherwise  occupied  :)  The other clay hearts kind of ended up in a big splodge on my kitchen floor mixed in with all the spilt hundreds and thousands from our cookies! ..hehehe ...I'm not convinced that dry-air modelling clay is quite our forte! ;)

Hubby spoilt me with some beautiful flowers and chocolates...
 The flowers are gorgeous and smell heavenly :)

Whilst our clay heart was drying and our cookies were been nibbled the Angels watched a film on Netflix and I did a little hand stitching ... I finished this needle-keep-drum...
I stitched it last year, all it needed was stuffing and sewing closed, then I added some decorative free-hand cross stitches around the seams. I've topped it with some mini woolly hearts ...I'm pleased with how it looks ...it's quite sweet :)
I was very productive whilst my Angels snuggled and I also finished stuffing my little Bent Creek  Heart pillow and a small velvet heart and another Valentines  'Love' bowl filler..
I have fond memories of stitching the 'Love' design when Hubby and I travelled to Madrid last year with Jacob not long after he got home from his Mission to Spain .... I still can't believe he's been home over a year now (well a year and a week!)
It has been a lovely happy Valentines day here. My Angels are looking tired and droopy now so I'm going to get them all ready for bed and then  I might see if I can sneak a chocolate of two under my pillow to nibble on whilst I read my book as they fall asleep! :)

Valentines Hugs
 Wendy x x x

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Half Term Madness and Pancakes...

It is only Tuesday (school and Day Services did finish on Thursday so technically we are 1/2 way through the 'holiday' break ...hope that makes me sound less soft! hehehe)  My Angels are home and I already feel like I'm being swallowed whole by deep dark depths of a wintry February half term ...this week has surely got to be the hardest holiday week of the whole school year!  It is soooo cold outside, with freezing winds and heavy looking snow filled clouds in the sky  that are just begging to be popped like over inflated balloons ...we actually had sideways falling snow flurries on Sunday! So far we have been lucky and not had any snow that has laid for more than a few hours, mostly we are just getting hail storms that melt as soon as they hit the ground. It looks pretty from the inside of the warmth of our home but its not nice to go out in...( I know that we have family in Montana USA who have like 12 foot of snow and are probably laughing at my plaintive moans about our snow flurries! hehehe) So naturally, we are in full Pyjama's and snuggle blanket mode....We have a freshly baked chocolate cherry cake in the cake tin, TV remotes at my side and a plentiful supply of chocolate raisins and mini marshmallows...unless hubby has found the chocolate raisins that is! We are desperately trying to fight of the 1/2 term madness that descends when we are home going stir crazy ..hehehehe  I am also having to keep a close eye on those TV remotes too. We had a little manic-panic moment yesterday because a certain young Angel got hold of one remote and almost bought a 'Boxing Match' on the Sports Channel :(  The 'TV' would have charged me £16 but  fortunately I managed to cancel it ...simply because my Mim had 'accidentally' clicked the wrong number in the password/code thingy ..hehe  It is my fault, I can never remember all the different passcodes for the remotes so I use the same 1-1-1-1 configuration, silly I know and it is a good job that  Mim had randomly clicked 1-1-1-2  and so had luckily 'blocked' herself ...phew! :)  I do need to change the code to something else, but yet still have it remember-able for me ...maybe 1-2-3-4 or 4-3-2-1...I'll still get it confused and mixed up ..which is why up until now 1-1-1-1 worked so well for me! ...hahaha

Whilst sitting on the TV remotes ;)  I have been steadily stitching away as my Angels have snuggled and snoozed, both are a little bit snuffly today and not have wanted to get up to tooo much mischief ...thank goodness :)  I have finished stitching this sweet 'Bent Creek'  Heart design ...
 It was a nice easy-ish stitch...It was slightly tough on my hands, I ached a little after a few rows, the linen from the kit was very stiff and the perle thread was thick. I'm pleased with the finish but it certainly made me appreciate the lovely linens from 'Weeks Dye Works' and 'Lakeside' and 'R&R Reproductions' and also the delicate threads by 'Gentle Art' and 'Classic Colourworks' :) I'm hoping to finish into a small little pillow in time for Valentines day ...tomorrow...Eeeaakk! hehehe ...we shall see ;)

I put the final stitches into this snow beauty too last night ...
 'Snow Birds' by Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches-with thy needle & thread. I loved stitching the vine border and the leaves ...I even enjoyed those white snowmen ..hahaha (White thread is not my favourite colour to stitch!)

I found this woolly Half finished project in my basket and decided that it was high time I finished it off as a Valentine cushion...a piece of wool for the backing and a nice squishy feather pillow insert and taadaaahh....
One woolly Valentine Cushion finished and sat sweetly on the sofa! :) Its only been waiting for that quick 10 minute job since February 20l6! ...Oh dear ..I don't get any better or any quicker at finishing projects ..hahaha

Back to snuggling with my Angels...hubby has just surprised us and brought us some yummy Pancakes to nibble on ...I'd forgotten it was Pancake Tuesday today ...Oooh they do smell yummy ...Mmmm ...my tummy is rumbling! :) hahaha
Hugs Wendy x x x

Thursday, 1 February 2018

February 1st :)

We all know that I love February, not only because it is my birthday month...and not because it's the shortest month of the year so the pennies seem to last a little bit longer ..hehehe Mostly I love February because its the month of Luuurrrvve :) ...and... because it is my birthday month ...hahaha ;)
I've been eager and ready to set up my little Love corner in the 'Family Room', so the Snowmen were relocated and redistributed and the Love came out :) ...
 I even managed to squeeze a teensy bit of love into the 'Little Room' too...
 
I think I could possibly squeeze in a little more Love here and there ...I'll have to get busy sewing and stitching :)

In between all those January appointments for my Angels and Mum I have managed to squeeze in a little bit of stitching. I've finished a cute snow couple ... It's a Brenda Gervais design ...I've just forgotten to take a photo :(  I'll try to remember to take one tomorrow. 
I have prepped two 'Heart'  woolly kits by Buttermilk Basin and  I have a small  stuffed fabric  heart finished  and hung up in the Love corner already ... ;) hehe
 
It's just a very basic primitive Heart. It's a sweet, small, flowery fabric print, not my usual woolly or velvet  fabric but I thought it looked old and vintagey. It has  a couple of safety pins, an old key and an 1886 tag attached. I used lots of coffee stain spray to try and age and grubbify the heart ...I'm not sure if I over did the coffee staining ...hehehe ...I tried to add a concoction of cinnamon and vanilla drops out of my baking cupboard to lessen the coffee smell ...but it's pretty strong and the whole house smells like a coffee shop now ...hehehe ...It's a shame that I don't drink coffee because it actually smells  quite yummy ..hahaha

I must have bought these primitive hearts last year ..probably at the end of  February and stored them away in my Valentines box as they were still in their postal wrappings ..hehehe
 The sweet annie has turned a murky brown colour and is a bit crumbly and most of the tiny heads dropped off as I unwrapped them ...but they still smell yummy... I've added them to my little Valentines corner already.

Mr Postman very kindly visited me this week with an envelope filled with hearts :) ...
A  new cross stitch design/kit by Bent Creek - 'Heart of Hearts' ...I ordered the pattern from my lovely friend Tanya who has her own Etsy shop .. MyLilCraftRoom ...Tanya is a lovely lady, she has lots of yummilucious goodies in her little shop and is super quick at sending out your order. She 's a stitcher herself and knows that you want to start straight away on your new project ..hehehe  The pattern comes with the threads and linen needed and even a  teensy little heart button...no need to go hunting in your stash, everything is ready to hand so you can start stitching as soon as you open the packet! :) Which is what I intend to do! ;) hahaha
As always I may have a few tweaks to add here and there, but overall I'm pleased with my little Love corner ...it makes my heart smile when I see all my favourite woolly and velvet hearts gathered together.
Hope you can feel the Love too :)
Hugs Wendy x x