Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jo's Birthday Blog Hop - 1971

I know, I know, I'm late for the UK.......I can explain, migraine, camera problems.......but I'm here.

1971 - did you give me that year on purpose, dear Jo?  A wonderful year, I married the World Traveller on the 19th of June, having left my job in the Embassy in Bonn and come back to work (but not for long) in the Foreign Office in London.  Also the year decimalization came to the UK, I remember getting a 50 pence piece in my change on the train going home to my parents in Norwich, and thinking what an odd shape!

The photograph shows the happy couple leaving the church, I must say a bit of a satisfied smirk on the bride's face, my lovely mum next to her new son-in-law (whom she loved dearly), and you can just see my sister at the back along with my grandfather (mum's dad).

The telegram was from some friends I had met while in Munich, Rosie is Canadian and they had married in Montréal two weeks before.....hence the telegram reads "best wishes from the voices of experience"!

It was a fairly small but posh do as you can see, morning suits and top hats and the invitation in the third person!

I remember my lovely stepfather writing my luggage label with my new name.......Mrs P.J.N. Kilner....and we went to Benidorm in Spain for the princely sum of GBP 39.95 each, seems ridiculously inexpensive now!

Nip over to Jo's blog at Serendipitous Stitching where she will explain all - as you will deduce......she is a bit younger than me!

Well, now I've finally posted again after a VERY long time......I might get a Gifted Gorgeousness post up soon!

PS - Can't work out how to link to Jo's blog but she won't be surprised, it's me we are talking about.....  I noticed 1989 was not a particularly interesting year for Jo, apparently......well, that was the year that the World Traveller moved his family and two cats across the Atlantic to Pittsburgh.....two members of the family were a bit hung over when we left the UK....on January 1st!

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Smalls WiPocalypse?


Thank heavens for an extra day!  Here's my small, finished about ten minutes ago and of course, would really like to have had four buttons for it.......only three could be found!
2002 JCS Ornament Issue
Cabin Pinkeep
The Prairie Schooler


Though obviously my version is NOT a pinkeep and I made another change, dislike stitching with black so used a brown DMC, thought it was more log cabinish too.  A lovely peaceful, lots of straight lines design, loved it!
And onto the next SAL!

I picked up BBD's Friends with You which I have moaned about commented on before.  It's been a long time in the stitching, too long to be honest but fingers crossed and the creek don't rise, one more burst and I'll be dancing!  Here's where I was

and one of the complaints I have about the piece is that what you see in the photograph as regards thread colour is not what you get, and what I'm getting so far is a LOT of pink but.......

slowly, it's coming together and I'm liking it more, apologies for the fuzzy picture.  Another small complaint is the layout (at least for this one) in the book My Heart is True, is that symbols and supplies are on one page, six pages later comes the chart and then the colour picture is on the back of the book!  I had to resort to a well placed paper clip in desperation!

For information on both the Smalls SAL and the WIPocalypse SAL, click on the logos on the right of this post.  Whew, I did it!  Another winter storm is expected tomorrow so more indoor play for me!

Whoops, nearly forgot to answer the February question, which stitched piece displayed gets the most plaudits.......well, it used to be the Eileen Bennett Band Sampler that I finished a few years ago, but living in an A-frame house, straight walls are now in short supply, lol, so most of my stitching is on one of the guest room walls so not seen by too many.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness...still BAGS of time!

Okay, well, maybe again a bit of Tail End going on, but not a WORD, Miss Jo, as it's still February and I get to wear the Gorgeous crown for about the next 30 hours or so.........if you are taking part in the GG SAL and haven't entered the drawing there is still time.  All details on Jo's blog along with how the SAL runs.
I did actually finish the first piece I'm going to show you, on the actual 15th........yes, I did, Jo, so there!  Then, of course, could I find that blessed wee charm?  I've been tripping over it for months now and just when it comes time to actually use it.......gone!
It's a GG piece because the chart belongs to Lynda who was kind enough to let me borrow it after our Round Robin was finished.  I made a couple of changes, one being the bird, since I had the charm, thought it was perfect for the roof instead of the stitched one.  The other change came through misreading the symbol for the big leaf on the right and using the blue thread.  I rather liked it, so decided not to stitch as charted and just picked up whichever of the threads I thought looked good in that particular spot..... I think I'll probably frame this, would be an excellent display piece for the autumn.

Her Sampler
Carriage House Samplings

My other GG piece is very small 30 x 30 stitches and comes via Jo, read what she says.......lifted from her blog with permission.
Finally, I was emailed about a craftivist project recently - Stitching for Syria,  Here's what the charity Concern says about their work
"At Concern we run a host of activities helping Syrians caught up in years of war. These include teaching Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese women embroidery. Selling what they make gives these women a vital income, and the sessions themselves bring warmth, hope and friendship."

And here's their website to find out more - Concern.  Basically, you sign up and they send you a free chart which you stitch and mail to them to make a hanging for their centre in Lebanon to bring hope to the women that go there.  A donation would be nice too!  It's a small pattern, only 30x30 so shouldn't take long to stitch.  The project has literally only just been launched this week so needs all the publicity it can get!

As Jo says, it's a small piece and took maybe an hour and a half?  It's a GG piece because
Frances (no blog) sent me the fabric AND the thread
Jo told me about it
Concern sent a free chart
and a stitched piece is going back to Concern
The thread has rather a good name for this project too, it's Dragon Floss Treasured Friendships!  I'm going to do a couple more and would encourage you all to join in.  I would be happy to post any US pieces to the Concern office in London.
It's been a gorgeous day here in Michigan, we had a winter storm go through on Wednesday and Thursday, all schools closed and a committee I'm on gave up trying to meet in February and we'll aim for our usual day in March.  All the snow has pretty much gone which is good as it was the wet heavy stuff that came up from the south (not that we're blaming you, Ohio, lol) and the snow blower in chief was gone again too.  The quickest turn around ever, got in on the last plane on Friday, arrived home around 1 am and eleven hours later was driving to O'Hare to catch a flight to the UK!  Not surprisingly, he has Gold status already with American!
Well, that's it for me, but of course will be back tomorrow with the Smalls and WIPocalypse SALs.  I know, need to get organized!
Will leave you with this, which was installed in the Lake House a fortnight good and kinder than you need to be!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cookery Calendar Challenge for January or what shall we have for dinner?

Good afternoon, dears,

Squeaking in at the last minute to link up with Penny, blogging at The Homemade Heart who issued a challenge to all of us who dread the words......

"What's for dinner?"

"What on earth shall I cook tonight?"

I, um, "bent" the rules slightly, partly because I didn't follow the instructions and partly because the WT got a bit of a telling off from his doctor a couple of weeks ago.......

My first choice was from a new Weight Watchers book, Fresh and Easy, that came out to coincide with the Smart Points changeover.  Slightly irritated that I had to buy the complete set of chopping board, lidded bowl and possibly something else in order to get the book but I'm glad I did, most of the recipes are for one or two people, which is helpful.

I chose the Butternut and Bulgur chili since I have a LOT of different grains idling in the cupboard.  I'm not sure whether it was because I doubled the recipe (originally for one), but we both decided the smoked paprika called for, overpowered the whole thing.  I'm not giving up on the recipe though, I thought I might try it with garam masala instead, which goes well with winter squashes. No picture as I forgot!

The second book is where I strayed off the straight and's actually a library book but I am fully intending to buy it and the companion piece so hope it still counts!  Mark Bittman is (was) the cookery writer for the New York Times and wrote the ubiquitous How to Cook Everything.  About seven years ago he got a stern warning from his doctor, overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, very close to succumbing diabetes etc and as a result the Vegan Before 6 diet was born.  Since the WT had received a much less stern warning from his physician, I thought we'd give it a go and I must say, the dear man has entered into the spirit of the thing with more enthusiasm than I would have thought.  Mark you, he WAS leaving the next day for a week in the UK.......but he's back and still seems keen!

So, what did I make? 

This, an utterly delicious salad, again using grains from the cupboard, this time quinoa.  MB suggests what he call building blocks, foods you cook ahead and store in the fridge to use at different meals.  I have to say, an excellent suggestion, the quinoa appeared throughout the week in the meals I made and I'm going to find something else this week from the cupboard.  The recipe is called Sweetgreen Quinoa Salad and is from the delectable and sadly not in the Midwest (only around the DC and NY areas) Sweetgreen chain of restaurants.  Mark points out that this salad is best in the summer with fresh tomatoes and corn, but it was pretty good with snow on the ground in February too!  The recipe serves four, so gave the WT a second helping then I had lunch on the Monday.  Definitely a keeper!
A slight moan about the cookery book as opposed to his first VB6 nutritional information to calculate the Smart Points.

This was fun and next month I promise to follow the rules of choosing only ONE cookery book and making it one I own!  Thanks, Penny!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

WIPocalypse 2016 or what's first out of the Cupboard of Hopeful Projects?

It's all go, innit?  I'm back with what I hope will be a monthly post to here, the WIPocalypse SAL.  I was one that fell by the wayside on that one too, to here's to better things in 2016!

Quaker Diamonds has been on the go for a long time, not sure exactly how long but it's a lovely stitch.  I chose a smaller count than Karen suggested and only use one strand of the Valdani threads.  I've (almost) completed section 1 so it's been retired to the Cupboard of Hopeful Projects for a while and Anniversaries of the Heart is getting some attention.

So, slightly backward, I'm Gillie, living in Michigan for the past three years, married to the World Traveller who does, lol, and this year I am using the Marie Kondo method on my stitching along with other areas of my home.  If it doesn't spark joy, then thank it kindly and send it on to where it will give pleasure.  I have some charts and some kitted up projects that come under that category, my tastes have changed, the project is too big etc.

So, to help with my Kondo-ing........and stitching.......

I've continued on with Jo's lovely GG SAL for the second year and you may well find some giveaways of the above mentioned charts offered there......

and this one, Measi's SAL, Heather's Smalls SAL and a varied collection of SALs offered by the lovely Kaye at Kitten Stitching, not to mention a monthly smalls challenge and WiPs progress album over on Friendly Stitchers so I reckon I shall be soaring to new heights, don't you?

I am purposely not recounting my WiPs as the total might send me into a rapid decline and/or panic attack.  I'm just seeing what drops out of the Cupboard of HP each time!

Thank you, Measi, see you again later this month!

PS when I was typing in the labels, the Cupboard of Lost Causes came up, think Hopeful Projects more positive, don't you?

A quote ...from the much loved and missed Sir Terry Wogan.......

"Could it be that behind every great man there's a woman working him with her foot?"

Goodnight xxx!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Smalls SAL and the story of a morning, well, evening too, to be honest!

This is the third year that Heather of Stitching Lotus has kindly hosted the Smalls SAL and as she mentioned in her first post, numbers definitely went down as the year progressed and sadly, I was an early offender.......but.......we pick ourselves up and keep going!  I was really hoping to impress Jo by being on time again for a SAL but alas, forgot and went to bed.  Well, it's close (ish) to the full moon so I give you........again, lol.......Sing Noel!

You were all very kind about it in my last post, so thank you!  Click on the link in my sidebar for more information about the SAL. story.......are you sitting comfortably?  Good.......then I'll begin :)

Our church congregation has an informal partnership with a local elementary school and every month a couple of people volunteer to take in baked goods for the staff.  I usually choose January, and cutting it very fine, Friday 29th was the day that Trudy and I chose.  I planned on muffins and cookies/biscuits.  New recipe for the muffins (mistake) but I made them, stuck them in the oven, cr*p, left out the butter.  The pinger went, tried one and, dears, there is a reason you use butter in baking.......that's all I'm going to say!

Meanwhile, I'd mixed up a batch of molasses cookies which were to be put in fridge for a couple of hours before baking.  Went off to evening of stitching with friends, having decided to bite the bullet and whispering here, buy a couple of packets of Mrs. Crocker's finest products on my way home......don't tell, okay?
Got home, nice evening, bit tired, chatted to Baltimore Girl, who mentioned that parents were always bringing treats into THEIR staff room and they were always devoured with something of regret next morning on the went to bed vowing to bake in the morning, how difficult could it be?  Well apart from the fact that all three items were baked at different temperatures......not at all.

Got everything into containers, the lemon bars were too hot to sprinkle icing sugar on so took along a spoon, sieve and packet of sugar.  Picked up Trudy's cookies and drove to the school to be greeted by this sign.......

Back to the church, deposited all the cookies in the freezer, a second attempt will be made tomorrow. I'd also made a slight detour on the way to pick these absolute beauties up, aren't they gorgeous? 

From my lovely sister and family for my birthday to remind me of England.......oh dear, had a bit of a teary moment there.  The tea cosy was part of my present from Pittsburgh Girl, very posh, look at the label. 

Sadly, I am pretty sure she didn't get a trip to Harrods, she has an unerring instinct for finding British things over here, I keep my cutting mats for quilting in a big bag from Libertys that she found.

So the flowers were put on the floor of the (warm) car and taken to our local Bernina quilt shop where we were doing a EGA outreach project making angel gowns for out local neo natal unit and nicely graced the classroom for the day.

The WT kindly popped back for a couple of days, lol, he's off to Eastbourne in the morning!

Time I went and sorted the laundry to send with the WT on his merry way.  Have a lovely week, smile often, work hard and kinder than you need to be.

Remembering another good man......Sir Terry, RIP.

and not a quote this time but something to make you smile.........

Friday, January 15, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness or how one small ornament stretched across three SALs!

Well.........!  Tail end Charlie am I?  I'll show 'er!  I'll have you know I was up at 5am this morning, Miss J. finishing off my wee ornament, so there!  And it's very wee!

Sing Noel
Primrose Needleworks
The Gift of Stitching
Issue 35 December 2008

I used a much more traditional colour than the ones called for in the pattern because I wanted to use a skein of Threadworx Christmas Time given to me by my dear friend in Yorkshire, Frances (no blog) as part of an exchange last year.  I added a little snowflake charm from my stash and gold beads.
I stitched the pattern a few years ago but sent it off in an exchange so this one I'm keeping, my third finish of the year.......quite overcome!

Progress (quite a lot!) on Her Sampler
Carriage House Samplings
kindly lent by Lynda
Her Sampler is really a joy to stitch, I love the colours, the fabric and above all the pattern!  Thank you, Lynda!

I'll leave you with a picture from the deck earlier in the week after the winter storm passed through, sadly looks nothing like this now, the temperature has risen and it's dripping with the odd icy patch to catch you unawares!

Took me ages to make those scallops!
To get the most mileage from this post, besides Gifted Gorgeousness, I am also linking up with Kitten Stitching at her Christmas Ornie SAL.  the January theme is music so pretty darn perfect, don't you think?  Click on the links in the sidebar to find out about both SALs.

Our Badge
And since today is Friday......there's a bit of a frolic going on, as I busily continue on Her Sampler.  Every Friday, Kaye invites you to show what you are stitching that evening.  I think this is the first time I've linked up,  See?  The new improved me!

And Noel will probably appear down the road in the Smalls SAL too!

Well, it's been a long week, the WT has already retired, still jet lagged, poor chap so think I will join him.  I'll leave you with this quote.....

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Fifteen of those days we will never get back........

love, Gillie x

Sunday, January 10, 2016

C'est Fini!

It seemed appropriate to write the title in French.......the first of many finishes for 2016, God willing and the creek don't's a French chart and the WT was last heard of in Montpellier, France, drinking something red in a glass........where it was 60 F or 15 C.........

Here, on the other hand, in south west Michigan, the wind is gusting to 31 mph, the wind chill is 4F or -16C and the temperature is 19F or -7C......

......but are we downhearted?  Nope, because I really do have a finish........this is where I started......

when it was returned to me after crossing the UK and the States a few times in an RR.  And this is where I finished.....

Jardin Prive
Lettre S comme Soie
Threadworx overdyed thread
I wrote down 11011 but not sure that's right - Hydrangea
Chart bought at the Inspired Needle, Lemont IL 

....and yes, I cheated, added two buttons as had had enough of the motifs, lol and the S of Sourire will be getting two tiny buttons when I find what I want.....but the stitching is finished.

I'm really proud of myself because I am a stitching (and everything else) butterfly usually, flitting from project to project but not this week....because I listed four goals at the beginning of the week.......comme  ci...... and I stuck to them.......

RR stitched on and mailed - did it arrive?
JP piece finished
and quite a bit done on Her Sampler, look, here's the start on Monday

and this was where I arrived today.....

so we might have something to show on Gifted Gorgeousness on Friday!  Don't hold your breath though, this is me we are talking about.

Sadly, #4 got not one bit of attention but I have meetings on Wednesday and Thursday so might be able to rectify matters.

Well, I'm not going to list the goals for next week right now, I'm just going to sit in a glow of satisfaction!

I hope, wherever you are, cool or warm, you are well and happy.

Gillie x

PS I'm quite giddy, 10:30 pm......another finish!  Nature's Alphabet by Elizabeth's Designs, so silly, all I had to do was sew on the charm (which I had) and stitch the year.  I'm not sure when I bought the chart but in February 2014 (almost two years ago) Julie and I began a SAL on a Tuesday, I fell by the wayside fairly soon, but Julie, being of a more determined nature, finished hers in record time AND brought it to show me when we met in the autumn of that year.  Dear Julie, I hope it's not too much of a shock!

Instead of the black work trellis between the squares I chose to stitch Rhodes stitches at the intersections.

NOW I'm off to bed, three finishes would just be too much!

Sleep well!