Thursday, September 29, 2011

Helsinki Part 2, Gifts and Stash!

Well, the weather pixies finally got it right, the most gorgeous weather this week!  Everyone was smiling as I walked to and from town today and I ended up having a lovely conversation in the lane with a nice lady called B- and an exchange of phone numbers!

Yesterday was the short walk (only six miles, lol) with the Kingsley Walkers, and unlike the 33 stile marathon of last time,there were none at all, just kissing gates along the river and the canal and a lovely lunch at the Leigh Arms afterwards.

Note the salad growing on the roof of the barge!

The pub floor
Now back to Helsinki, the furthest north I have ever travelled but with still a long way to go before you start going down the other side!  One of the attractions of visiting was to meet Niina whom I know from Friendly_Stitchers.  She was so generous with her time and hospitality, we met three times ending up with dinner in her apartment with her and her gorgeous daughters to whom I am known as Chille !

This is a combination of the lovely gifts that Niina presented me with, tea, candles, an LK chart and a tiny biscornu stitched by her and a whole metre of fabric, a book and some scissors that I was forced, able to buy when she made, went with me into a shop that was closing down and a bookshop!  And I am here to tell you that a metre is a LOT of fabric (25 count for inquiring minds!).  What do you mean, I forgot to show the chocolate, what chocolate, lol?

These gorgeous shawls were knitted in a linen yarn
and I wanted to buy them all!

Marimekko, the wonderful clothing and textile
company, where a second mortage would be helpful!
Ha! Foiled those bicycle thieves!

The Lutheran Cathedral in Senate Square
which dominates the Helsinki skyline.  On the
smaller domes the decorations looked
 remarkably liked Smyrna stitch or Algerian Eye!

The Sibelius Monument - when it was unveiled in 1967
 the reception  was somewhat negative.
 The pipes catch the wind and make their own music.

 A little rain should never stop one having coffee with a friend!

One of the many delicious looking stalls
at Hakaniemi Market Hall
Back home again (for a while, lol!), I nearly missed that I had won the giveaway on Melissa's blog but thankfully all was well and this arrived in the post in a very short time, the Earth Sampler from Primitive Needle.  Thank you so much, Melissa, the first giveaway I have ever won and it will be one of my Crazies for 2012!

Mouse kindly edged all the pieces of linen that I bought at the Nimble Needle a couple of weeks ago, I really should not have got started down this road...... it really doesn't feel "right"now to stitch on a piece that hasn't been overlocked/serged.  Thanks, Mouse ! 

There were quite a few pieces of fabric that came home with me as I made the mistake of picking up not one but two baskets of linen that Chris had invitingly placed on chairs and sitting down with them on my lap!  One contained larger pieces and the other offcuts, perfect for smalls and ornaments,in all  thirteen pieces came home with me and two patterns.  I did hold off on threads though, only two 'fell' into my shopping basket!

Linen and patterns, La D Da Polly Wolly Doodle
and the Drawn Thread Cloister Garden
So what have you actually stitched on, I hear you cry?  Well, a bit of this and a bit of that, a needlebook for an exchange which I need to hustle on and oh, flushed with success at keeping up with  Carol's SAL, I decided to join the six part one in TGOSM which began in August.  It called for Valdani threads and the most inexpensive I could find were from Anita's.  To be even more frugal I asked for them to be sent to a friend in Michigan and the WT agreed to bring them over earlier this month.  Anita was very efficient and the threads arrived with the speed of light.  But, as you can see,  by now we had got to the middle of September and I had yet to begin!  This is my progress so far and the third part will be issued the day after tomorrow!

My Lovely Sewing Tools by Maria Suarez
a SAL in 6 parts
Well, dears, I hope that wherever you are you are among friends and enjoying life and remember that there are ALWAYS two sides to every story!

 To all of us revelling in an Indian summer long may it continue and that we remember how good the sunshine felt when we reach the damp and drippy days of winter or the freezing and fridgid ones depending on where you are!

 I will leave you with this last photograph !  See you in October!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Line Dancing, an LNS and Helsinki part 1!

Excuse me while I get my breath back... goodness, that's better!  A friend, Debbie, made  um, persuaded me to go line dancing this afternoon in the next village.  Despite having lived in the States it is something that I've never done and since I have NO coordination whatsoever I had no great expectations for the afternoon.  We learnt three sets of steps, the Electric Slide, the California Freeze and something else that I was hopeless at so am obviously blocking, very Freudian!  Much to my surprise, it was fun and by the end of the session I was sort of, kind of, almost doing it properly.  We'll see how much I retain by next Monday.  There are quite a few videos on the ubiquitous YouTube and they were quite helpful, I had a look when I got home.

I sent off the giveaways and Elaine has already received hers.  Someone remind me NOT to put magazines on ever again, it is not cheap to send to the States!

Well, what's been happening?  Working backwards, a trip to an LNS just in Wales but with a Shropshire address. A lovely day was had by all,  visiting
The Nimble Thimble, The Mill, Llangedwyn, Oswestry.
Tel: 01691 780 088.

Owned by Chris, a most hospitable lady who had coffee, tea and biscuits waiting for us.  Despite not being on the Internet Chris has been in business for thirteen years, stocking cross stitch and needlepoint as well as framing your masterpiece.  If you are going to be at Harrogate this year stop at her stall and see what treats she has brought.

Isn't it lovely?  Such a good day and definitely worth the drive as I was in need of a cheer up as the WT had flown off to the States that morning for a week, sigh.  I was fairly restrained, only three charts, a couple of threads and, okay, I admit, a fair bit of linen which my chum, Mouse, is kindly serging for me.  I'll put up a picture when that arrives.

The week before was the Norley Garden show..... what do you mean, you've never heard of it?  It is famous in this part of the world.  Very sensibly, the organisers hold the event behind the pub, the Tiger's Head, which means that there is plenty of liquid refreshment available.  A beer or cider goes down very nicely when you are admiring the prize onions and dahlias, I can tell you.  They have a needlework section so might think seriously about entering next year. 

Not part of the show, just a rather wild but pretty garden
 that we walked past on the way to the pub

All shapes and sizes of onions!

A lovely old steam engine, beautifully maintained
And finally.......... to Helsinki, where the WT worked and I played, or rather walked and ate delicious food, well,in fact  we both enjoyed some lovely meals.  A very walkable city and only armed with the hotel map I found my way all over the city, and on  three of the days I clocked up 22,000 steps each time which I felt was fairly impressive!

Kauppatori Market is down by the harbour and is so colourful with its heaping amounts of fruit and vegetables, huge mounds of chanterelle mushrooms and peas.

Not sure why the flag was at half mast.  The picture above made me laugh, the knives are a sort of  ungrammatical afterthought!

Salmon soup is good!
Eating in the hotel one night and there was creme brulee on the menu, obvious choice as it is one of my favourite puddings, but wait, no, surely not, LIQUORICE?   All I can say is don't knock it until you've tried it, absolutely wonderful accompanied by lemon ice cream.

To finish, a small piece of stitching, my version of Carol's SAL with which I am keeping up!  So proud of myself, lol!  I'm using SNC Vintage Brown on an unknown piece of 40 count.

Enough of the tour and we haven't even left the harbour!  I'll be back with part 2 of Helsinki and some pictures of ongoing stitching, but, alas, no finishes yet.  Thank you to all my new followers and emails I have received.  I appreciate each and every one of the comments so if you stop by, let me know, don't steal away!

love, gillie x

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Giveaway last!

Well, who can I blame this time?  No-one but me, alas, so without more ado here are the winners of the magazines and the book

Mollie magazine - Babs in Alabama
JG Cross Stitch Bible - Elaine
Living - Deborah

Please send me your mailing addresses so I can get your prizes out to you!

Thank you to all who entered and for becoming followers!

I had a lovely time in Helsinki and today which was a trip to an LNS in Shropshire.  More to follow!