Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Smalls SAL and a birthday card....

Squeaking in at the last minute.... I didn't exactly "stitch" on this in a forwards direction in order to finish it this year. More reversed stitch to take out the over one initial which I had done but disliked!  Hope this will still count...... well, it's my story etc!  I really didn't like this chart when I began it and it sat with only the A and B completed for a very long time then suddenly enthusiasm blossomed and I love it.  Not sure yet how I'll finish it.  I've decided that smalls for me means anything under 100 x 100 stitch count.

Quaker Blackbird
Little by Little
 The other thing I have to show you is a birthday card from Pittsburgh Girl who knows me well.  She sent me a lovely parcel with several nice packages inside but it was the card that really made me laugh!

Be back soon with the Themalicious update....... coo, it's all go, ain't it?

love and hugs x

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stitch from Stash 2014... Grow Your Blog....And Other Sundries!

My first Stitch from Stash 2014 post! 

Like so many of us, I NEED this challenge, either that or to live past the next millennium! I did okay but surprising how it mounts up!  I bought a couple of DMC threads thinking I had to send them in an RR but turns out we all use our own as each piece arrives.  However, I had a momentary qualm about dye lots and went ahead and sent the colour used to "frame" the piece since I had two skeins of one dye lot and one of another!  The fabric came from stash AND the pattern.  I'll post a picture in another post as forgot to take one before it went winging its merry way to Lynn in Lancashire!

I also bought some Congress cloth and stretcher bars, some ecru perle and a skein of Caron Impressions to use in an EGA piece that we will be stitching at our March meeting.  The cloth will be paid for out of chapter funds which is nice!

So, time for some accounts.....

For RR - DMC x 6 @ 40 cents each (sorry UK!) minus 15% coupon plus tax = $2.04
? - Weeks and GAST threads (ashamed to say can't remember what for) @ 2.00 each minus 10%  discount for EGA plus tax $9.54
For EGA March meeting - Caron Impressions and perle cotton minus 10% for guild  discount plus tax $5.36

Grand Total: $16.94

As they used to say on my school reports in maths.......could do better!  I could take off the DMC as the RR was arranged last year and being on the programme committee for EGA I need to make a sample of the project, but I will be strong....!  It will be interesting to see just how much I do spend/take from stash over the year.  To that end, I have also decided to keep a running total for fabric, yarn and craft magazines too.....

Stop Press - just saw an email from Mel so have removed the stretcher bars from the list, hooray!

Cotton yarn for dishcloths as I am working my way through a crochet book

5 @ $2.19 and 1 @ $1.29 cotton yarn $12.24

Stitch magazine (UK Embroiderers Guild) - was completely swayed by cover (fabric cupcakes) and then nothing appealed inside.  I used a gift card from Christmas and my B and N discount but still came to a whopping $10.79

Fabric $0

Moving swiftly on.....

Today was reveal day on Needlecraft Haven for our monthly Christmas Challenge and the design came from here, the fabric and threads were from stash....

A freebie from The Little Stitcher
The Sheep Day
December 1, 2013 post

It pays to hold onto small pieces
of fabric - wasn't this perfect?
Don't hold your breath but maybe I'll have twelve finished ornaments next December!  Well, a stitcher can but dream!  We have another sweet (and small!) one for February so I am reasonably hopeful for another month, at least!

This has been a fun weekend in the world of blogging because of the lovely Vicki.  A lot of blogs to check out and say something nice!  I am hoping to visit them all and leave a comment, wish me luck!  There is still time to visit them all and perhaps enter a giveaway (including mine!) and leave a comment on the January 25th post.  Names will be drawn (with a few exceptions) on February 15th.

This stitching from stash seems to have had a trickle down effect in food shopping, eating out and book buying for the Kindle......  I've been keeping my receipts this month from the supermarket (apologies to those who know exactly how much they spend!) and for each meal have tried to use an item from the pantry and/or the freezer.  It's working well and we've had some good meals, a couple from here, the Chicken Paprika, Black Beans and Rice and the Honey Lime Fruit Salad will all be made again.  No eating out until February, even though it's my birthday today, sniff, and only free books have been allowed on the Kindle...... pretty impressive, don't you think?

I'll leave you with a weather update...... looking at the inches on the left of the ruler........

There are actually steps below the steps you can see...
and one of us has to risk life and limb on them
Why?  I'll tell you, it's all to do with a
cup of coffee and a door opener.....
just sayin'
See, DJ, no feet!

Right leg covered with snow to the knee...and the left was the same!

Sunday Selections will pick up next week with something completely unrelated to winter weather!

Wherever you are, enjoy your week and keep warm/cool!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog!!!

Hello and welcome to my blog!  I saw this lovely idea of Vicki's pop up on lots of blogs around the world last year and was a little irritated that I was disorganised enough to miss the closing date.  However.... as you will see from the post before last, changes are afoot, Mrs WT isn't going to procrastinate/miss deadlines/will finish her WISPs (WISPS?  Works in SLOW Progress), blog frequently, keep to a stash spending budget (Ha!) and generally be a (more than ever) delightful person!

So... for those that don't know me, who am I?   I am British but have lived in the US for 25 years, in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and Michigan twice, yikes. Well, actually not strictly correct as we sneaked back to the UK for two delightful years in 2010 then we were made to come back as t'boss decided the World Traveller was needed more back in the US, sadly.

Right now we live in Michigan on a lake, a frozen one,

The view new every morning!

and a snowy, windy, frigid and chilly place it is right now as we have an Alberta Clipper bearing down on us, having just waved a thankful good bye to the polar vortex that kept us frozen in place last week!
The view from V Avenue
In the summer, sweet corn grows here!

Saturday morning - edited to include these pictures!

$7.97's worth of dorky hat from Gander Mountain!

What the stylish snow blower is wearing this season
in south western Michigan!

The banquet is ready!

I have been married to the World Traveller for more years than either of us can remember and he still makes me laugh!  I am an Army brat so moving is in my blood, born in Scotland and left at six weeks old and have kept moving ever since.  We have three children all living somewhere else, sadly, though they all assure us that they do quite like us..... the Wyoming Cowboy who lives in the Equality state with his lovely wife and three little Wyoming cow persons, DC Girl and Big Cousin (our #1 grandson) and Pittsburgh Girl who lives with her partner and his son in the 'burgh.

This is mainly a stitching blog though knitting makes frequent appearances and crochet is creeping in too.  I rarely leave home without my camera and have a sadly neglected photo blog here that I have great intentions (see first paragraph) of bringing up to date. 

Of all the social media platforms (such a pompous phrase) blogging is the one that appeals to me the most.  I have a Twitter account that I rarely use, I go on Facebook to leave smart/sassy comments but the blogging community is the one in which I feel most at home.  I have made friends around the world that sadly I will never meet face to face but with whom I feel a kinship and have also made friends that I HAVE been fortunate enough to meet in person and can quite honestly say I have never returned home wishing the meeting had never take place.  Bloggers are nice!

Thank you to Vicki for putting this whole event together and thank you for reading this far.

Please leave me a comment and tell me if you would like to enter for a small drawing, a Moda charm pack 'Cornucopia'.....

whoops forgot to tell you that I quilt too, but only if the points don't have to meet, as Shirley Conran might say, life's too short!

Another Saturday morning edit..... going to be brave and make a small something for the giveaway too, might be crazy quilting, won't promise but it will be something and small!  Got to be brave and not just talk about CQ!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yarn Along Wednesday

I saw a reference to this on Karoline's blog and thought I'd give it a go as part of the new, improved and organized Mrs WT, grin!  However since both Karoline and Ginny from Small Things seem like really nice ladies and I didn't want to frighten them off I thought I would SHOW ALL in the way of knitting WiPs just in case I have too much.  They include but are not necessarily limited to...

Prayer shawls (four), one off the needles but needs blocking (bleuch) and ends sewn in and the rest just  on the needles, hardly started

Shawlettes (seven)  in gathering everything together I realized I had knitted/am in the process of knitting FIVE of the same pattern, Trillian! I've also knitted two of the Hitchhiker one which I first saw in Wyoming and loved it.  Pattern details here

On the left is a project bag to keep the current knitting work safe.  I found the pattern over here at Jenny's blog.  She intended it to keep linens together for each bed but I thought it would be a great way to hold stitching or knitting and use up some fat quarters!

I have a feeling I cropped rather too enthusiastically and my socks have disappeared!

The book on Kindle was one I just finished late last night Hushabye featuring a young detective in the UK.  It was/is right now free but will have to wait to download the second one as am on a no-buying streak for Kindle for at least January and it costs $3.99!

I'll be back next Wednesday hopefully having narrowed down my choices and who knows, maybe a finish?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IHSW and a finish.......... and how I am going to turn into a perfect stitcher in 2014!

International Hermit and Stitch weekend or to the cognoscenti, IHSW, and I did, well not so much of the hermitting but I stitched and I finished one piece.......  please don't look too closely cos I am off by a couple of threads.  I bought this one who knows when to stitch for our Ruby Wedding anniversary in 2011 and somehow it didn't happen.  But now it's done, and bless the WT's socks he will say it's lovely but if I ask him about it in a week's time he will deny that I ever showed it to him!

Song of Songs
Country Cottage Needleworks
So that's one of the fourteen in '14 done, only thirteen to go........

I spent a mostly happy morning tweaking the blog and adding a gazillion buttons all designed to make me a perfect, on time and frugal stitcher, lol, and I've got another one to add if the organisers are kind enough to let me join.  The mostly happy not happy bit was trying to take off the background picture of Cannon Beach, it just wouldn't leave!  Finally made the background white, which is a bit boring but will do for the moment. 

Did I say on time?  Well, no, I missed posting on the 10th for the Turtle Trot, drat it.  There is a reason why my turtle is laboriously hauling herself up the rock........  going to ignore it for now, hope I don't get thrown out and be there on the 10th of February all bright-eyed and bushy tailed!

And guess what... just got a nice email from Peg over in Australia and I am now an official OPAMer2014 - it stands for One Project A Month and can be anything in the "soft" craft range, projects made from fabric, thread or wool.  They are taking sign ups until February 1st so go on, skedaddle over there if you are interested!  I first saw it mentioned on sweet Dzintra's blog last year or maybe even the year before but was always too late to join.  I was wondering in blog land this morning, as you do, and came across this blog and decided it was A Sign since she lives in Cheshire!  Pop over and say hello, she's nearly a granny again. lol!  And by the way, if you going to visit Dzintra, do NOT go hungry!

Finally, a lovely parcel arrived from Mouse this morning.....

A little sewing tray and a Keep Calm needle minder and the most beautiful scarf/shawl which is for my LAST birthday, lol!  The bag is full of Stef Francis goodies that I asked Mouse to buy for me at Harrogate in November.  Thank you, sweet pea!

Thank you for reading, do leave me a comment and keep stitching!

Lots of love,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Selections #155 or I need green, m'lord..........

The Sunday Selections meme is hosted by River at Drifting through Life. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River. A chance to show off some of the photographs you have gathering dust in murky corners.

....... slightly plagiarizing  Lord Percy's famous comment.........

There's an awful lot of white in Michigan right now and no sign of it retreating so thought we would hop over to Westward Ho! for some nice English gardens, well, one in particular, maintained by the peeps who are really good at it, the RHS.  We were lucky enough to visit Rosemoor for a most enjoyable morning and one of my favourite lunches in the café, homemade soup and good bread!

Besides missing bacon, sausages and everyday British humour, lol, I really miss a nice British garden!  Here in Michigan the growing season is pretty short (and can be a LOT shorter, I know, the further north you go) and some plants just don't make it.  I can remember the World Traveller bringing in a bunch of our homegrown sweet peas to the hospital in Dorset just after Pittsburgh Girl was August!  Here, you have to start the seeds indoors, which I always forget to do, and get the seedlings out as soon as you dare in May because the heat of the sun come June and July just scorches the poor things.  Rosemary is another that doesn't overwinter well.  On the other hand, slugs are pretty much unknown so that can only be a bonus!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Selections #153 or good books from back in the day!

 The Sunday Selections meme is hosted by River at Drifting through Life. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River. A chance to show off some of the photographs you have gathering dust in murky corners.

Well, I am back and just for Elephant's Child who is jealous and River, who is feeling chilly, according to the comments they left last time.... here's a picture of a piece of equipment they will NEVER have to buy.......  no, not the cars, the snow blower, silly!  Should have used the zoom, I think! Wonder what happened to the WT?  He was there a minute ago........


It's been snowing since early evening yesterday and has continued all day.  It's not very cold but the mercury is set to descend rapidly tonight and tomorrow we get wind too, oh, happy happy, joy joy!

So.... can't get to the main computer to find photographs as the WT is working from home so decided to do a book report!

Not from the past year but ones from way back .....  I am slightly ashamed to say that my first remembrance of reading to myself was, sorry, an Enid Blyton story about the blackbird who wished for elegant colorful feathers instead of the boring black he was given.  Not sure of how it was achieved but he ended up with beautiful shiny feathers and a bright yellow/gold beak with which he was apparently content!  I think it was in an Enid Blyton compendium.  Let's just gloss over the fact that I had the WHOLE set of Noddy, shall we?

The Pink Hyancinth by Mabel Lucie Atwell was another story I remember reading (along with many more of hers) but on googling Miss Atwell I found she was in fact a children's book illustrator so not sure if she wrote the stories too.  She actually has a page on Pinterest!

The Wool-Pack cover.jpgWe go up a notch with the next book, The Wool-pack by Cynthia Harnett as she was the 1951 Carnegie Medal winner!

From age five to eight I lived in Worcester in the west of England and attended the Alice Ottley School for Girls or possibly Gels as it was quite posh!  We had what I now realise for back then was a fairly progressive history teacher who really made the time we were studying come alive.  The book is about the Fetterlock family and set in 1493.  Along with having the book read to us we each wove a rush basket in which to keep our history exercise books and also wove a small piece of cloth each on a loom that she had set up in the classroom.  There were plans to visit Burford too, but by then we had moved..... to Egypt!  I think those lessons began my life long passion for history and in particular, the Middle Ages!  I still have my copy though minus the interesting dustcover!

Side note...... reading the Wikipedia entry for the school, former pupils included Vanessa Redgrave and Barbara Cartland......who knew?

The Good Master by Kate Seredy is another favourite, my copy (sadly long gone) had the most wonderful coloured illustrations.  I loved that book, I read and reread it.  I need to search for a copy but it must be a hardback, a paperback or on Kindle just won't do!

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge is next.  An American book so have no idea how it came to be a favourite of a young girl who knew little of America, lol!  My mother was a librarian at Dunfermline Public Library before joining up in 1939 so I am sure it was one of her suggestions.  I chose it in a book club I belonged to in Chicago, oddly the others in the group (all American) had never heard of Miss Coolidge. 

We were living in Nottingham, I was twelve perhaps, and my maternal grandparents came to visit from Dunfermline and Granny brought me a somewhat shabby and huge book bought in the library book sale, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  I can remember a line from the book.... Ellen O'Hara was 32 and by the standards of her day was a middle aged woman......  Loved that book and was one of the many who queued in Leicester Square in London to see the remake of the film at the end of the sixties. 

Another book written about a woman living in the Middle Ages was Katherine by Anya Seton.  My stepfather had a selection of book club novels of which this was one and regrettably I never returned it to him!  I have no idea what happened to that copy but others have been borrowed from various libraries over the years.  It needs to go on The List!

Hmm, I'd better stop..... I could go on and on..... the reason for not putting up a cover image is, quite frankly, apart from the Wool-Pack they are absolutely NOTHING like I remember or the book didn't have a dust cover when I received it so I really shouldn't be entitled to call this a Sunday Selection except it IS Sunday and it's a selection!  Forgive me, River?

I would love to hear what you loved to read when young.......

Thanks for stopping by, keep cool, warm, or dry but above all keep smiling and be nice!

love, gillie x

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A little bit of New Year's Day left....

...and a post!

Well, it's over for another year, the celebration of our Saviour's birth and into 2014!

Our Wyoming Christmas was wonderful, children, gifts, delicious food, cross country skiing (three times!) and some downhill skiing for the WT who completely wiped out at one stage, which gave the Wyoming Cowboy pause for thought - how was he going to tell his mother he'd killed his father?  All was well, however, the WT comes from a long line of stiff upper lipped British stock!

Sled Dogs anxious to get going on Casper Mountain

Attaching them to the sled

Look what was under OUR tree!

Off cross country skiing!
We were VERY grateful for the warmth!

Winter on Casper Mountain

We got back home at 2am on Sunday morning, relieved that the falling snow as we left Casper didn't delay us.  We had the quickest layover we've ever had - off one plane, walk to the neighbouring  gate and onto the next plane!  And our luggage came too - thank you, United Airlines!

We had a party today, the first here at the lake house and cause for slight nervousness as yet again, snow was falling!  Would anyone come?  Whew, this is Michigan, we *do* snow otherwise we'd never get out and see people!  We love to entertain, nothing too fancy, but have rather got out of the habit these last few years with all the moving but our church family here has been so warm and friendly we wanted to give something back.  We served mimosas which were a great hit!

Which brings me to the first resolution for the year - invite people over more frequently! 

Very tiring entertaining!

These signs amused our guests!

The second resolution, don't laugh, is never throw out a chicken carcass without making stock - soup tastes so much better!

I would love to have done a year in review for my stitching and knitting  but quite frankly, if you had blinked, you would have missed it!  Third resolution, finish more than you start!

Although Friendly Stitchers still my favourite group and always will be, I've joined a few other groups to learn some new stitching, I'll let you know how it goes!  One irritating thing about Yahoo's mucking about with the not broken wheel is that I had great problems joining one of the groups - the box where you put your little blurb saying why you want to join had a *faded* font as did the submit button (sorry, I am sure there is a more technical term but it escapes me!) finally did it by scrolling down and hitting the subscribe email and getting in that way!  Another problem is that I can't leave a particular group - a lovely one, just not for me - irritatingly it tells me *an error occurred* each time I try!

I was reading Kate's blog where she mentions a new, slightly scary proposition, grin,  - Stitching from Stash 2014 - the brainchild of Mel up in equally snowy Canada.  If you hurry, you might squeak in, it's open until tomorrow, the 2nd!  I am too tired to go through all my WiPs and charts right now but will get them organized this week.  It's not quite as bad as it sounds, lol, you are allowed $25.00 a month to play with, any projects to which you have already committed are allowed and gift certificates received throughout the year are in too!

So enough of the chatter, it's getting late, need to load the dishwasher one more time and make a cuppa, anyone want one?  Lots of sweet treats too, oh dear, come and help yourselves! Save me from myself!

Thank you to all of you, all the friendly emails, and lovely blogs that inspire me.  I hope 2014 is a good year for us all, lots of whatever makes you happy, don't forget to hug your children, call a friend and keep smiling!

And the fourth resolution?   blog more........ of course!  Some stitching next time, I promise!