Monday, 30 May 2011

Grey Skies and Gloom

Here we are again updating on the happenings of the last couple of weeks.
The weather in our part of the U.K. has been pretty grey. You know the sort I mean grey skies, grey rainy days, just grey, grey, grey. Rather boring really. Makes you feel low as though the 'Joie de vivre' has gone on holiday and forgotten to take you with it. Any how there's no point in moping over it the sun will arrive soon. It's got to it's 'Blazing June' the day after tomorrow.
My stitching has been moving along rather on the slow side I'm afraid. It's not that my mojo has gone anywhere it's just that I do most of my sewing on an upright frame that my DH made (for Himself) and due to some considerable back pain have only been able to sit and stitch in short bursts so to speak.
The main stitching has been done on 'Agneatha', I have finished the lower right hand corner (except for the back-stitching) and have actually moved more than halfway across the bottom section.. I have continued to do part cat and part background as both can get a little eye straining at times. as some of the colours are very close. I must be honest and say I am dreading the back stitching on this as there is an humongous amount of it and although there is a separate chart the stitches are done 1/3 of the way over the cross-stitch block before veering off in a different direction and as even if you are on linen or evenweave how in the world you get a third of the way I don't know. I can only imagine that when then backstitching was charted it was just drawn on to the cross-stitch chart which is easy enough but getting that to the fabric is a whole different ball game.(Or am I just being critical?) Perhaps I'm reading the chart incorrectly so we'll see how it goes. Watch this space. Here's the pic of Agneatha
After watching for the download to appear from Papillon Designs for this month it has arrived.
This time the four designs have arrived that fit into the four corner circle. This is download no. 22 and apparently the next one is the last although at the beginning of this epic adventure there were to be 24 downloads, not that I'm complaining I am now getting to the end and then I can 'Happy Dance'. I am doing the top two corners and then slowly going over the whole of the work already done to make sure that I have finished all parts and also that all the beads are on. I have run out of beads several times so thought I'd better check it all over. I have only just finished the backstitching on the fountain and that was about download 8. I have put on the missing beads on the drops of water off the fountain and here once again I have altered it. It is supposed to have just one of the two colours of beads on the whole design but I didn't fancy the antique gold colour on the 'drips' of water at the waterfall so have rummaged through my stash of beads and decided to use crystal aqua.(I am quite happy with the results). As usual I have mixed the two types of stitching up and used both the 'Specialty chart and the straight forward cross-stitch chart,( This is mainly because of my dislike of daisy stitch). The result again pleases me. Unfortunately I have run out of the Antique gold beads so will have to get some more. At this point I have to decide whether or not to wait until the beads arrive before rolling up the fabric and trust that I won't forget that they are missing. Hope you like the following pics.

NEWS FLASH.........The sun has come out.

So here's some pics of the flowers that trying so hard to brighten up our garden. The roses have a hard job against some very strong winds and I am so glad that they have survived.

Hope you can see the apples growing on this tree. They are a very tasty apple called 'Greensleeves', behind it are plum and pear trees, both well laden with fruit. We lost several 'hardy 'plants this last winter and are still deciding what to replace then with, although conversely some non-hardy plants are doing well!!.. no accounting for nature.

This next pic of our garden is out 'foresty' area . To the front you can see an oak tree. This oak tree is now about 24 years old and was grown from an acorn collected by one of our sons. It's a very shady part and the lower part is ferns and shade lovling plants. It's also a part the the Blackbirds love to find grubs and bugs in.

I was watching a young blackbird being fed by it's father the other afternoon when a stack of starlings arrived. The young blackbird got so confused that it followed the starlings...Can a starling look surprised? Well one did as the young blackbird kept pecking at it's breast asking for food. The male blackbird gave a call and off it's youngster went without a backward glance.

Here now is my last progress pic/ It's on Kuihugura, (Looking Back) This is getting there slowly. This my evening stitching in an easy chair with my feet up. I should have done more but I have been falling asleep rather easily.
Just for those of you that like 'Bears' there's a 'give-away' at Bear Bits
The sun is still shining Yippee so it looks as though I may have to go on 'pond cleaning' duties.
Thanks for your friendly comment if you have time to leave one.
So until next time.
Hope the sun shines on you and yours and May your Needle be with you.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Three 'R's' and an S. Rest, Relaxation, Reading and Stitching

Well!!!! What's happened to the weather? From glorious sunshine it's now grey skies and rain. It tends to make me feel a little 'gloomy'. I know the field and gardens need the water so I'm not being mean honest, so that snipit of sunshine that manages to sneak through is a bonus. These last couple of weeks or so since I last 'blogged' I have been reading some books that my sister lent me. The author is Bernard Cornwell, the series, 'The Grail Quest'. It consists of three books, 'The Harlequin', 'The Vagabond' and 'The Heretic'. It is a super series and I couldn't put them down. After those I have read another couple of books by Fidelis Morgan ,' Unnatural Fire' and 'Rival Queens'. My DH and I have also been visiting my sister and her hubby again. While at my sister's I actually volunteer at a castle where I dress up in Tudor Costume and tell children about Tudor Times when they come on school trips. I also take my cross stitching with me and spend quite some time sewing. I always get home feeling relaxed. While there my DH plays golf, well at least that is the general idea except this last visit he forgot his golf shoes so no golf. Instead he helped my brother in law chop down a tree that had succumbed to the winter weather and then started reading a book by Elizabeth Chadwick called 'Lords of the White Castle', I am now reading it too.
As well as reading we have still been working on the garden and here are some pics of the fruits of our labours

I think we will have strawberries for quite a while this year, at least I hope so.

The picture above shows the mixed salad that my grand-daughters sowed when here at Easter, We are looking forward to being able just to pop outside and pick fresh salads.

So having been busy doing all sorts of different things my stitching time has been less. I have really tried to keep my 'Mojo' going so get ready here's my WIP progress,...
First here is Agneatha, I'm starting now to 'get into' this and although I'm still having thread problems it's growing

Next is 'Looking Back' my evening stitching, the feet are done (scout's honour) but I decided not to roll it back for the picture. There another two panels to complete her and then the back-stitching.

While at my sister's I did some of 'Looking Back' and then decided to do some of the small Christmas Tree decorations. Some of these need beads but as yet I haven't put any on at all. I'm trying to find some material to back them with that has just a small pattern as anything too big will look silly.

Some time ago I started Jim Shore's 'Western Snowman' and then put him away and more or less forgot about him.
Anyhow I found him out and started to do some more. I was going along quite nicely when I discovered I had miscounted part of the first bit I'd done ages ago, so, after the dreaded 'frogging' I re- sewed the part I had done wrong and then I found I'd managed to sew some in the wrong colour. Goodness knows what I was doing at the time. Evidently daydreaming.. Still never mind it's all sorted now, Here's how he's looking now.

Well that's the end of my stitching updates for this time. Here's a question for you all... Am I the only one having trouble 'Blogging'? It's taking an age.

AH well. I'm now going to put my feet up. We have taken two of our grandsons back home to day. They stayed with us while there Mum, Dad and Big Sister were on Scout Camp. So we've been out feeding ducks and geese at the park and they've been enjoying themselves on the new climbing frames and rope bridges that there are now. Along side watching a selection of DVDs and munching their way through our fridge.

Until next time....May the Mojo be with you . Thanks for popping in