Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Happy Halloween :)

My Halloween has been a bit like a dance today ...busy, slow, busy, busy, slow  :)  It all started yesterday when we had Pumpkin catastrophe's happening left, right and center!!! ;) Aaarrghh!!

Sooooo just over a week ago we all ventured out to a very muddy, very slippery,  very quaggy  field  to pick our very own Pumpkins instead of buying them from the supermarket. I knew we were in trouble as soon as I stepped out of the car and my feet simultaneously sank up to my ankles in mud and slithered in opposite directions ... not a good start ...and not a particularly easy job trying to persuade two ginger-footed Angels to clomp along beside us ..in the mud ..with a wheelbarrow... and a very excited Grandbaby to go pick Pumpkins!!!  Hahahhaa ...We know how to have fun! ;) hehehe We persevered partly because once in the field it was going to take us just as long to get back to the car with or without our wheelbarrow of pumpkins ...and also because I really, reeeaally wanted some chunky Pumpkin stalks!
Look at those big fat juicy Pumpkins ...with some pretty nice stalks attached too ! ;)
 
We made it back to the car, without falling face first or even on our bottoms into the mud...the inside of the car is caked in mud despite the precarious balancing job of taking shoes off before we got in! But we were happy little pumpkin pickers so all was well, it's only mud after all ..hahaha
Sooooo the Pumpkin catastrophe???
 Because the Pumpkins we picked  were soooo huge we decided to keep then outside, where it was colder and would hopefully keep them fresher before we carved them ....last night I thought to bring them indoors to clean up and ready for carving .... now I admit I was carrying the Pumpkins by their big fat chunky stalks..but I'm sure I can't possibly have been to blame ...I'd barely carried two of the Pumpkins into the kitchen when we had Whallop-Bang-Splatter and I was left with a stalk in each had and two splattered Pumpkins all over my kitchen floor ....boooohooooo :(  My misery didn't end there either, once I'd sloshed up the mess on my kitchen floor,  I went to carefully ..using two hands this time!.. to pick up another Pumpkin and bring it inside, only to have my fingers sink into the soft wet, mushy, flesh, underneath the pumpkin ...yuuucckk!!  Upon further investigation another Pumpkin had sunk in on itself and lost its fabulous stalk (which I rather  gruesomely scooped out!  hehehe) I think we have 4 'field' Pumpkins left, which have stayed outside ...nobody wants to pick them up ...hahaha   I'm hoping they add an air of joie de vivre to our garden  ..hahahaha ;0 ;)
But I have collected some good stalks !! hahaha
Hubby suspects the wetness of the muddy field greatly contributed to our exploding, imploding and generally squelchy Pumpkins ....My dilemma  was ...would the supermarket have any Pumpkins left in the morning??? Would we be eating Pumpkin Pie this year? How can we have Halloween with no Pumpkin lanterns? Holy-Moly ...I couldn't sleep last night for worrying ...hahahaha :) :) :)

Fortunately  Angel Esther and I had been out shopping to Hobbycraft  last week and stocked up on some Paper Maiche Pumpkins and paint and glitter ...
 And we'd already done some painting ahead of time in preparation ...
 

Don't they look cute ...
 The Angels liberally finished coating them in glitter when they got home from School and Day Services this afternoon :)

Anyways, after a mad dash to the supermarket this morning I managed to nab 5 small to medium sized Pumpkins so that our Halloween disaster was averted and we were able to carve away and cover everybody, everything and everywhere in glitter and pumpkin seeds :)
 
 I think they all look quite good together ...and being smaller Pumpkins it didn't take as long to scrape and scoop out the flesh ...and I should have enough pulp to make at least 3 or 4 pies so all is happy and peaceful again in our mad little Pumpkin life :) hehehe

It sounds like my day was pure mayhem but once I'd purchased the Pumpkins this morning I was able to relax and I sat down for an hour or so to watch a seriously scary, new spooky series on Netflix with  Jacob, when he came home from his morning lectures at University ... "The Haunting of Hill House" on Netflix is perfect Halloween TV watching ... I've only seen the first couple of episodes but I love it ...I love to be spooked...hehehe and it definitely spooks me ...I can only watch it during the daytime, I'm too much of a scaredy-cat to watch it at night in the dark ...hehehe
When I wasn't squeezing my eyes shut tight or hiding behind a pillow I managed to stitch a little whilst being spooked and I  finished a few more of my Autumn/Halloween projects  ...
 Brenda Gervais's "Bittersweet & Broomsticks", I made into a soft pillow, with a lovely rusty coloured velvet backing and trimmed with some cotton lace that I'd coffee-stained to give it a vintagey flair :) "Old Crow" by La D Da Designs was stuffed, as was Buttermilk Basins woolly "BOO!!", "lil Pumpkin Patch" and Stacy Nash's "Halloween Pinkeep"... I even had time to make a pincushion from some of the left-over velvet with a little crow to sit on top (I'm not sure if my crow doesn't actually look more like a black duck!! hahahaha) and I finished tying a few mini woolly pumpkins. It looks a lot but it didn't take a lot of time ....so I really don't have any excuses for continually putting off 'finishing' projects do I!?!? hehehhee

I even pretended to be super-mum and rustle up a couple of batches of my Chocolate-Pumpkin-Patch-Muffins ...
 for the 'trick or treaters' ...naturally ! ;) I wouldn't have sat and eaten one or two or three whilst I was being scared silly watching spooky TV shows!!  hahaha
So that was my very Happy Halloween dance today ...fun, fun, fun!! :) :) I'm absolutely pooped now, so I suspect I'll be fast asleep in the land of nod well before witching hour strikes tonight! I might be getting old! hahahaha :)

Halloween Hugs
Wendy x x x

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Hallows Eve Stitching...

I desperately wanted to do another Witchy cross-stitch before Halloween and so I chose a lovely design "Hallow's Eve At Ravens Hallow" by Brenda Gervais ...naturally ! ...I wonder if she knows I'm one of her No 1 fan's !? hahaha  :)  I had my pattern, and all the recommended threads and linen ready to go ...I just needed time to sit down and stitch ...

 As a general rule I always start my stitching in the middle and work my way out ...unless I'm doing a teensy project or I'm not sure about the size of my linen, then I'll generally work down from the top middle stitch. This was a middle starter so first to be stitched were four little pumpkins and a raven perched on a pumpkin stalk :)
 
Then came the very beautiful Witchy lady herself ...
I just love all Brenda Gervais's Witches...the hat, the hair, the dress and apron and the boots ...I would die to have a pair of witches boots (but I have chunky, Yorkshire ankles, so no slim Witching boots for me...hehehehe!)  I just Love, love, love them Witchy ladies ! :)

Some border vines, a big Raven and a teensy baby raven came next ...
But then I had a little pause here ...on the  original design, next to the lovely Witchy lady is a trio of Candy Corns...they kind of made me go Hhhhmmmm... we don't 'do' candy corn particularly here in the UK, and when I've added them before some peoples who we will defer from naming-and-shaming ... OK it was the hubby!!! ;)  ...have previously commented on 'what are the stripey triangles'??? Sometimes he really does make me sigh and roll my eyes ... but, probably not as much as I do for him! hehehehe ;)  :)   Soooo I had a pause and a little think and I was lucky enough to receive an inspired comment on Instagram and my Candy Corns became mini Pumpkins! Perfect! :)  

Next we add a broom, a big plant vase-thingy and a bit more border and fortunately,  everything is looking central and even ..

Fill it out with lots of teensy single stitches here and there...

Add a black Cat and some more swapping of Candy Corns for Pumpkins ...

 Taaadaahhh...Straight out of my hoop and stitched just in time for Halloween ...
'Hallow's Eve at Ravens Hallow' ...and I absolutely love it ...I'm sooo pleased with the mini Pumpkins  (I pinched the Pumpkin shapes from my previous Halloween stitching, "Bittersweet & Broomsticks") It may be Pumpkin overload ...but I have been lovingly referred to as the 'Mad Pumpkin Lady' so I guess it is only fitting ...hehehe ;)
As much as I've enjoyed stitching all the lovely Witchy Ladies I think I'm ready to move on with my adoration of all Brenda Gervais's Witching designs  ...hehehe   I have a couple of more Autumnal stitches to finish and then I'm ready for the 'Reds and Greens' of the festive season ...there are some wonderful Christmas patterns I really want to stitch ...one or two of them maybe by Brenda Gervais!!! ;) hahaha

Witchy Hugs
Wendy x x x

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Shopping weaknesses....

I know we've discussed my terminal shopping problems before ...and really that's kind of why I need lots and lots of love and help, with plenty of understanding  and support ... I definitely don't need condemnation ...or heaven forbid ...'rolling eyes' and heavy sighs ;)  hahaha That kind of reaction only sends me into a downwards spiral  ..hehehe :)   
I seem to be able to manage to be good for a week or two but then it all happens within a matter of days (minutes sometimes if it's adding to your basket on the Internet !) 
Shopping is really toooo easy for a person with a shopping weakness...I  really do  think it could be a health issue or something :) hehehe  I suspect it could be causing serious health issues for poor hubby's wallet!  :(  
My problem seems to be in the region of ... 'it was the last one', 'it's tooo cute not to buy it', '' it was soooo cheap', I loved it at first sight' or my particular favourite..'it just jumped into my basket' ...all very true and as much as I try to avoid using them ...it just seems to somehow happen! I think Hubby thinks I'm a lost cause ...good job he loves me! ;)
Naturally we are talking Pumpkin Shopping!  and I dare anyone to say that they could have walked away from any of these goodies! ;) hahaha
I can't even choose a favourite! BUT..... if I had to.... the Pumpkin Man is so grungy and ugly that he's adorable! The Pumpkin head on the spring is just a lovely colour ....I can never say no to a Pumpkin snow globe ...or any snow globe really! ;) hehehe   I loved the black spotted pumpkin lidded dish as soon as I saw it and the fabric pumpkins were just lovely...and one came in a decorated pan!  Definitely my very very favourite is the ceramic pumpkin head jar ...that stalk! The only one I was a little unsure of was the metal tin thingy, decorated with pumpkins ...it was a 'cheap as chips'  win on EBay  and it looked different in the photos ...but it is cute just not as cute as everything else ! hahahaha 
I'm hoping that as the  Pumpkin season wanes, so will my Pumpkin shopping !! Although having said that, technically I keep the Pumpkins out all through November too.... soooooo.... that's another whole month of possible Pumpkin shopping!!! 
Oh dear...I think I may have a very serious problem!! ;) :0   hahaha

Hugs Wendy x x x



Thursday, 18 October 2018

Stitching, stitching and more stitching....

I recently finished this lovely cross stitch design ....
again by my favourite designer ...Brenda Gervais - with thy needle & thread ..."Bittersweet and Broomsticks"   There was nothing bittersweet about this wonderful stitch ...every stitch was a little bit of pure honey'd sweetness  :)  But what's not to love about Pumpkins, crows and a very cute little witch ? hahaha

I love her dress soooooo much :)
...and those pumpkins! :)  I'm hoping I'll have some time tomorrow or over the weekend to finish it into a small pillow to add to my Witchy corner ....which is beginning to need a seriously bigger corner ...hehehe  I may have to make the little room into a Witchy room ..hahaha :)

I managed to finish a small little sampler stitch in the last week or so...
'Ye old Crow Sampler'  by Heart in Hand Needleheart.   It was a quick, fun, little stitch. Simple and easy to do because it is all stitched in one coloured thread ...Weeks Dye Works - Onyx.    I used just a random off cut of linen out of my stash. I'm not sure of the linen count but it turned out to be a good bowl-filler size! :)
I even managed to finish-finish it :)
I don't usually add my initials to stitched pieces ...not because I don't like to or want to,  but because my 'W' takes up sooooo much room ...hehehe... On the original pattern the designer had her two initials in capitals in that same space  ...I could only fit my Capital 'W' in with a teensy 'k' next to it ...I actually quite like it now I see it all finished ...maybe I'll start adding  my initials after all ;) hahaha

Another 'why did I never finish this?' little project out of my basket...
Buttermilk Basin's - 'Pumpkins in the Sunflowers' ... I know I've shared this woolly finish before ...years ago! ;) But I only pulled it out of my basket the other day and decided to pull my big girl panties up and get-it-dun ! Sometimes I have to give myself a stiff talking to! ;) ...hehehe   All this lovely woolly finish needed was a backing and some hanging tags and hey-Presto in two shakes of a donkey's tail and  it was backed, pressed and hanging on the wall instead of been folded in a crumbled heap in my basket  :) :) 

I'm trying to be firm with myself in finishing projects properly so that I can enjoy them ...it's not toooooo bad if they were stitched last year and finished to enjoy this year ...but when they've been sat waiting years and years to be finished ...well...I really need to address my procrastinating nature! hahaha   I  also need to address my shopping weaknesses too ...I've got myself into bother again!¬ Eeaaakk ... I'll try to remember to take some photos and share my evil doings ...is it just me or am I always confessing to something or other? hahaha
Hugs Wendy x x x

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Woolly Goodness...

October feels like it is flying past at super fast, lightening speed :) My time has been spent busily attending meetings and reviews and appointments for my Angels. Things are moving, albeit slowly, for resuming Angel Esther's respite and support plan...we think we have found somewhere for her Overnight respite, its now just the usual case of waiting for funding and getting some dates together to attend some teatime visits before a full overnight ...it is a slow process but over the years we've learnt that it pays to be patient and go at our Angels pace and not rush them :)  All the hustle and bustle leaves me feeling tired and emotionally exhausted but  I do love this time of year and want to enjoy each and every Autumnal moment...the colours , the smell ...the pumpkins! hahaha ;) My little  Pumpkins keep me sane! hehehehe :) 
Soooo in an attempt to maintain an emotional balance my  kitchen table has been busy whilst I've been making a few more Pumpkins ...
My pumpkins are just a very basic tube design, nothing fancy but I do love that variation you can get with different fabrics ...it makes them all a little bit more individual :) I used cinnamon sticks and small chunky wood cuttings for stalks ...I was sure I had a small box of saved real pumpkin stalks but I cant find them anywhere..they'll probably turn up once I've finished ..hehehe

I've also been on a mini mission to 'finish' some older projects that have been in my basket for waaaaay too long. Last year I started these wonderfully woolly small cushions...
 Jack & Jinx pattern design  by Maggie Bonanomi, woolly kit by Blackberry Primitives... all I had to do was stitch the stuffing opening closed and add on the woolly triangle edging. I think they look quite cute all properly finished up :)
 Jack .... 
 and Jinx ...

I've finished a new little cross stitch design that I'm totally in love with ...naturally there's pumpkins involved ...hahaha   and I'm hoping to maybe get one last Witchy Cross stitch design finished before I start on all the lovely Christmas patterns I have in my stash ;)  I suspect I'm excessive in my pumpkin making, my stitching, my woolly loving ...but it really does help me to stay calm and helps me control anxiety levels when everything around me feels like its overtaking me a little  ...we all have our de-stressing processes ...mine is my stitching ! :)

My bed is calling me early tonight, so I shall close and go snuggle an Angel, hopefully waking fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to enjoy more Autumnal gloriousness ! ;)
Snuggles Wendy x x x



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Witchy Stitches..

Remember my trauma of the lost Witchy Stitches that I spent a whole morning rummaging around in the Quiet Room looking for??? I was emptying cupboards and boxes and all my baskets and generally turning the place upside down only to find them hung on my cupboard door right in front of my eyes!??? Well I decided I really, really needed to try and finish at least a few of them for this coming Halloween :) Soooooooo...I pulled out four of them, which all happened to be designs by Brenda Gervais- with thy needle & thread and got to work! ....
Three little shelf /bowl pillow fillers, all backed with woolly goodness and an attempt at prettying them up a tad with some pom-pom trim and ribbon. And one little hanging bag ...simply because I'd run out of stuffing! ;) hahaha   I'm quite pleased with how they all turned out. Here are some close-ups ....

 'One for the Crow'
 A soft woolly black backing and brushed orange check fabric (same as the handle) for the inside and a mix of buttons to decorate the top edge ...I like to think of it as my Witchy herbs and roots gathering bag ..hehehe :)

'Hilda's Alphabet Brew'
 I'm really pleased with this little pillow, particularly because its been waiting to be finished for several years ...I made a big-big-boo-boo when I originally stitched it.  I didn't measure the linen fabric correctly and I ended up with barely 1/2 an inch of fabric from the edge of the stitching ...I was sooo worried that it would all unravel as I sewed/stuffed it, but it was fine ..I did a double row of stitches to secure it to the backing too ...Sadly my  problems with this piece  didn't end there either ...it should have orange pom-pom trim all around the edges (like Mrs Pumpkin below) but as I finished stitching and trimmed the pom-pom I nicked one of the pom-pom's with my sharp little scissors and it was like a domino effect all the pom-poms disintegrated and became a fuzzy mush of thread...Oooh Nooo! ...But, after I recovered from my initial dismay I realised that  I quite like the bobbly edging it left so I decided to leave it and not unpick it ...And now its probably one of my favourite finishes! :)

'Tricks & Treats'
 I love the green of Mrs Pumpkins dress and her stripey socks :) Fortunately her pom-pom trim stayed intact ...thanks to much carefuller scissor snipping! ;) hehehe

'Witches Night Out'
 Not a brilliant picture, sorry :(   I used a black lace edging for this spooky lady, which I quite like ...the recommended design was mini orange pom-pom trim ...I wasn't keen to risk the orange pom-pom's again...hahahha :) There is definitely something about the way Brenda Gervais designs her Witches...body shape, thread colours, the boots! hahaha.... but all her witches are a delight to stitch and pretty adorable. I'm still happily stitching on my current Witchy design but I am  yearning to start more ...I wonder if I'll manage any more Witchy ladies before Halloween ??:)

I was inspired by a new Instagram friend, Kathy @kindredquilts, for these next two finishes...
 Two old  charity-shop bread/chopping boards, some black paint and a little bit of ribbon and trims and I had  two more finishes :) They caused me slightly more consternation than my usual little pillow finishes and whilst I am overall pleased with how they turned out, I can definitely see several 'icky' places and lots of room for improving my 'gluing' and finishing techniques.

'Buttons Black' by Pauline Stewart - Plum Street Samplers 
 This is one of my first ever Witchy cross stitchings, that I stitched years ago ...again I stitched  a bit tooo close to the edge of the linen and was not sure how to finish it without ruining it, so it has hung on that cupboard door for a long time  :)  I did make a bit of a hash with this as I was attaching the black ribbon...I'd carefully glue one side at a time to try to be as neat as possible ...when I got to the third and top edge I realised that the black ribbon had been semi-snipped and it was tooo late to remove without possibly ruining everything. So after several days of feeling slightly  miffed and a tad sad I suddenly had the idea of attaching an old wooden bat ornament to the top and strategically placing it 'artily' over the torn ribbon! whoop-whoop-whoop ...I was pretty pleased with myself ...problem solved and I quite like the quirkiness of the funny little bat stuck at the top :) Lesson learnt- check the full length of my ribbon before I start attaching it!

'Something Wicked' by La-D-Da Designs...
This one only just fitted onto the painted chopping board and once again i attached my pom-pom trim, fortunately it stayed in place and didn't unravel on me again :)

It is quite satisfying to  actually finish off my projects ...much better than them hanging on the cupboard door! ;) hahaha   I'm still thinking about my other Witchy projects that need finishing ...Ideally I'd like to have them framed but that can get pricey ...it might be a matter of waiting for more inspiration to strike and fire-start me into action ;) ....hehehe

Back to my Witchy Stitching  and hopefully another properly finished piece soon :)
Hugs Wendy x x x

Monday, 1 October 2018

Happy October 1st...

Happy Witching Month ! :)  Angel Esther and I have been busy today  tweaking Witches and Ghosts and Pumpkins and we are happy to declare that  our little 'Witching' corner is all finally set up and ready to welcome the dark and spooky evenings of Witching Month  :) 

My October 'Wordplay' by Brenda Gervais is ready to hang, along with some soft fabric ghosties ...

Our Spooky Witches corner...
Angel Esther was very helpful ! ;) I suspect that the witch sat in the fabric 'Pumpkin-bucket' won't be sat there for long ...throughout the afternoon she's turned up in various places ...the staircase, the kitchen and even in the bathroom! :) She's obviously gone a-wandering with my Angel when I wasn't looking  :) I've got to love my Mondays-home-alone with my Angel Esther ...we cuddle and stitch whilst watching the odd film ...or our latest craze is Micheal Jackson Music videos on Youtube ..hehehe   We  potter and fiddle around the house and generally have a quiet day not doing much at all. I'm not sure how either of us will adjust when we eventually get our extra day on  Mondays at Day Services ..hehehe (Still no word on that from Social Services...we have funding in place,  but I think we've hit a 'staffing' issue...sigh!) We're okay for the time been, with the advancing chilly mornings, it's no hardship mooching around in our PJ's ... although we do try  to make sure we are dressed before lunchtime! :) hahaha

I love my Woolly 'BOO' cushion by Buttermilk Basin Designs :)
 

Some small Witchy Cross stitches...

This wall hanging is one of my very first applique projects, many, many moons ago...
 I believe the hanging it is possibly older than Angel Mim :) ...  I'm not sure that I can remember the name of the pattern  or designer  correctly but I think may be  a  Nancy Halvorsen design... I remember her designs and pattern were my first steps into sewing and applique back in my early stitching days :)  Being one of my first sewing projects, I can see soooo many faults with this hanging ...all the applique is just fused down no stitching whatsoever ...I think I even used glue! ...Shock-Horror!!! ;) But it is part of my sewing history and I love it :)

A couple of Pumpkin Hangings...
 ..that I really should have ironed and pressed before hanging on the wall ...hehehe

And my new Tingles-Halloween hanging...
With those teensy-weensy buttons all sewn on :) Its obviously my new favourite ..hahaha
I'm pretty pleased with how everything looks ...I suspect there will be more tweaking yet and the disappearance and reappearance of a certain little Witch before we make it to Halloween Eve....its all part of the fun :)

I have prepped a new cross stitch project to keep my fingers busy...
I have my threads and linen ready to start 'Bittersweet & Broomsticks' by Brenda Gervais ... I love stitching little Witches and Pumpkins so I'm keen to get started  :) ...in fact its calling me right now ...hahaha

Witchy Hugs 
Wendy x x