Friday, May 14, 2010

Exchanges and Friends

Well, I got thoroughly spoiled on my last day in the UK - Karen and her lovely husband Pete picked me up and took me back to their house a bit north of where I was staying outside Manchester.  Just had time to enjoy a cup of tea and then Mouse arrived from Yorkshire - what a treat to meet two people that I've been chatting to online over the past two years!  We had a lovely pub lunch and got our photograph taken under a sign that said "Nutter's Corner"!  Another friend inquired as to whether they had put up the sign especially for us!   There was another sign that was even more perfect for that day but I completely forgot to take a picture, not exactly sure of the words but something like this " Strangers are friends that you haven't met yet".

We spent the afternoon reviewing the contents of Mouse's bag, she'd brought lots of stitched treats to show us and having a nosy around the walls in Karen's house to see all her gorgeous items.

I was delivered back by car just in time to get my packing done before bed.  I'm home again, long boring flight, and a two hour delay in Chicago as they didn't have a pilot available for the little puddle jumper.  Thank you girls, here's to the next time!

Two exchanges were waiting for me, one from Joyce in Texas, this was a May Day exchange on Friendly Stitchers and had to have ribbon somewhere on it. Joyce very appropriately stitched lots of flowers with a maypole in the middle!  She also spoiled me with some more Valdani threads in lovely fall colours.  Thank you, Joyce!

The other exchange was from Marjorie on the monthly biscornu exchange, this is a Floss Box one and  I also received some lovely threads and a LK pattern.  Thank you, Marjorie!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meeting (sort of) New Friends!

So long since I last posted, big sigh, I have been stitching, honestly, mostly on exchanges but right now not in Michigan!  I flew over to England on the first visit since 2004 a couple of weeks ago!  We were a little on tenterhooks when we booked the flight because of the dreaded ash but all was well and the WT and I both arrived safely a few days apart.  We spent a couple of days in Northamptonshire with my sister and family, they live in a former pub dating back to the sixteenth century, not a straight wall in sight! 

The sign on the house giving a little history and a view from the garden across the fields full of rape - the smell is quite strong when you go outside.

Then on to Runcorn in Cheshire where the WT was working for the week.  Not such good weather here so didn't leave the hotel much (this is when the stitching was done) but did manage a rather drizzly trip to Chester and had a little wander up and down The Rows

I had a little giggle at the restaurant sign above, apparently it's a chain, but one would have have to be absolutely sure the first item would never appear on the menu! Excellent cup of coffee in a little cafe bistro, just about managed not to succumb to the delicious dessert menu.  I don't think I've had a bad meal yet, hotel, pub, or Indian!
The last few days we've been staying in Sale, just outside Manchester, famed for being the last place yours truly and family lived before heading west over the ocean on New Year's Day, 1989!  Lovely visits with old friends and attended church where we used to worship, eldest treasure was confirmed there and my mother's funeral so quite a lot of memories.........

I must say I went a bit weak at the knees when my host consulted a website and informed me of what the house we sold would now be worth - it's quadrupled in price!  The problem is, I left with the value of the pound sterling fixed in my mind at 1989 rates and have had a hard time dragging that mindset into the 21st century!  That being said, things are not as expensive as I remember and meals out especially don't cause heart failure when the bill comes now.

On to the meeting of friends, in a little while Karen, an online friend from one of my Yahoo groups, is coming to pick me up to spend the afternoon together and yet another friend, Mouse, will be there too!  I was so hoping I could meet someone from the group and since Karen lives fairly close to Sale and Mouse was willing to travel it's going to happen!  Maybe I can persuade them to pose for a photograph!

Just to show you that with all this gadding about my fingers have not been entirely idle here's a couple of photos of things stitched by me and others! The first went to a friend in Texas, Joyce, it was a May Day piece and had to have ribbon on it so I stitched a beautiful Dinky Dyes pink silk ribbon around it along with some little pink beads - this is one that I will definitely stitch again!

Blackbird Designs
from Joyeux Noel
I've forgotten the title of the piece!

In the Garden Exchange
from Karen in South Africa
and the first stitched tin that I have owned!

I'll save the biscornu pictures for my return as I think I have at least one waiting for me!

It's been a very exciting week here in Britain as Nick Clegg kept us all on tenterhooks after the election and then Gordon Brown went and preempted everybody by handing in his resignation to the Queen before the Tories and Lib Dems had a chance to lay out the Big Plan!  We shall see if all the election promises are kept!