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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Belated Father's Day present

 This past week and a half, I have been off the internet, and guiltily hiding away at home away from my dad each time he has come up to the house to walk our dog, Evie.  I do extend a big apology to those who sent me comments on my blog which I only now got around to publishing.  The reason????    Father’s Day last Sunday!!!

A couple of years ago my dad was diagnosed with diabetes, so each Christmas and Birthday have given us a dilemma...what to get him.    At Christmas Steve and I arranged with the kids to buy an empty basket and fill it up with diabetes foods, shower gels, dvd and a small bottle of whiskey slipped in.  So, why do I get the ideas late into the day, leaving me with little time of the perfect present for him, that is sugar free, not tasteless and not the usual presents we seem to purchase because we cannot think of anything else.

My brainwave was to complete one of my work in progress, which had been tucked away for 4 years,  3 labrador puppies chewing an old boot.....on the Thursday before Father’s Day. 

What the end result was going to be
On Friday, I sat hidden away in my bedroom from 9.30 am until 10 pm with a few breaks in between.   I heard my dad come into the house to take Evie out for a walk and when he telephoned me on my mobile phone I had to switch the television off and guiltily pretend that I was out.
and how much had been stitched so far
Saturday, Steve and I usually take the kids out for dinner, its our one day a week we don't cook and I sat in the pub with my cross stitch, stitching like crazy.  I did get on well, but as we had one young person sleeping out with friends, one at his family home for contact, I had a vodka or two.  Trouble was, I then had a telephone call from my brother to say he was celebrating his divorce at our local pub that night, so the stitching went out of the window and I joined him with a few of us getting through 4 bottles of champagne to celebrate his new found freedom.
Sunday, I did eventually get on with the cross stitch, albeit towards the end of the day when I felt I would be able to concentrate.  I felt guilty when I just gave my dad a card, saying that his present would be with him later and regretted going out the previous night.
After stitching from Monday, today, I finally managed to complete all the stitching and backstitch at 4 pm, and whilst Steve cooked dinner, I cut my template out and started stitching on the machine.  9 pm tonight I was able to take the finished article down to him as my parents are going away tomorrow for the weekend and he loves it.

The end result

I am so glad with the final piece!!!

So, now I have 5 months to plan for his birthday and 6 months for Christmas.....although, what’s the betting that I yet again leave it until the last minute!!!!!!

As for my other work in progress, that has taken a back seat, although we are going away again in the motorhome on Saturday, for a week’s holiday (free holiday I won) it will be coming with me and whilst the kids are at school during the day I will be relaxing and stitching.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Back from a week away....but still managed to do some stitching!

Our neighbours on one side of the field
The past week we took the kids and the dog away due to the half-term school holidays in the motorhome and had a great time.  The campsite we stayed on were holding Jubilee celebrations for the Queen’s 60 year anniversary at being on the throne, however most of the time the boys were out playing football in the football court, so we didn't see much of them. 

and on the other side of the field
It was also really full of tents, caravans, motorhomes and the weather was not too bad until the last day when the winds got up really high and our motorhome was rocking in the wind.  Due to the high winds we ended up having to take down our awning as we were concerned that it was going to uproot and blow into the side of the motorhome. 

Our home for the week

Whilst we were there, we met up with another couple we know, and also had Steve's step-daughter come to visit for the day.  She had the best of both worlds as she had us to see and also George and Molly, with their dog Fly.   She did find the over head cab at the front a bit rock when she went to have a nap, although her and Victoria enjoyed sitting up there to get a bit of peace and quiet from the boys.

However, we had to admit we were fortunate compared to flooding and high winds in Wales over the weekend especially in this camp site where the pitched caravans and cars will be completely ruined as shown on this photo. 

Evie waiting for one of her many walks
Evie had a great time with all the walks, however this backfired on us at night as she did nothing but snore loudly. The kids enjoyed walking around the ruins of the old castle in the next field and there were a couple of good pubs in the vicinity.

At the roman ruins

The kids wanted a photo of how the wall had moved

I did manage to complete some more of my cross stitch and have been battling on with the confetti stitches. I am beginning to get to the end of the current page I am on.  My aim is to get the rest of Ben and Natalie into the picture as soon as possible....and then its the dreaded wallpaper to do in the background. 

Yesterday and today it was good to see the wind and rain subside and the sun come out.  On our arrival home, our rhododendron bush    my mother purchased for our first wedding anniversary has flowered.  The standing joke as been what was going to last longer, the bush or our marriage. Bearing in mind I am not green fingered and neither is Steve and whilst we have had our ups and downs, both bush and marriage are still going strong.  Next month we will be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary.
Steve also surprised me yesterday when we went into town, after we had arrived home with a huge bunch of flowers.  It certainly made up for the five loads of washing I had which had culminated from our stay away.
And finally, at home, its exam fever for the kids.  One has AS levels exams, one has GCSE exams and another has mock GCSE exams.   Trouble is for the boys it’s also coincided with the Euros 2012 and to them (and Steve) everything stops for football, even exam revision. 

However on the plus side,  I suppose this gives me a great opportunity to let everything stop for cross stitching.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Confetti stitches, Getting ready to go away, and Writing one handed

This past week I have returned to my current work in progress of stitching the photo after taking a break from it due to the confetti stitches.  I absolutely detest this and for the thousand time over I really regret deciding to go so big on this project.  Why did I decide to go 20" x16" instead of the 10" x 6" offered I really don't know. 

I know that it will be worth it in the end....but the end seems to be so far away.  I did decide though, to leave the bottom corner until after I have completed the rest of the picture so I can put my initials and the date of completion which I like to do on all my pieces of work. 

Stitching so far

Its getting to the stage of totally random stitches of various colours

This is what I still have to do to complete the 4th page.....then get on with the remainder of the other 3 pages

On the cushion front, I have 3 more orders, 2 forthcoming babies, and a leaving cushion, one of which I will start when I return from our week away.  It gives me a break from those dreaded confetti stitches!!!   

Due to the half-term holiday and Queens Celebrations, commemorating her 60 years on the throne over here in England the motorhome is sitting outside our home at the minute, partly loaded up with clothes.  Getting the boys to ensure they have all their gear is a job in itself.   It always seems the boys here in the home don't think about wash bags, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc and then look at Steve and myself as though we should remember everything for them.  All they think about is making sure a football is in the vehicle, ready to kick around when we arrive at the camp site.  Is this just a male thing????  We also notice it on when the boys do something for us, Ben our son asked if we wanted both mine and Steve's car's washed...only trouble was he put so much soap into the water on Steve's car it was smeary and Steve had to rewash it again.....and my car was washed but in patches with dirt still on it so I had to rewash it the next day.  Ben did tell us he was going to charge us £5 per car.....needless to say whilst he was paid wasn't the amount he was expecting.  Still at least he tried on both clean the car and make some money.

Ben working hard

Victoria has turned into Emelda Marcos ensuring that she is taking more shoes than everybody else put together, just incase they are needed.....which are never worn when we are staying at home.  The easiest person to pack for was the youngest child we have here with us, we took him out yesterday and kitted him out with a whole new wardrobe which he is looking forward to wearing when we collect him again tomorrow afternoon to come away with us.

Mine and Steve's priority, which is important, is ensuring his and Victoria's medication is packed, and then Steve ensures he only takes along the most basic of clothing needed.  As for me......I often take clothes to wear, and then end up not wearing them.  Although this time I have not gone too overboard.   Even Evie our dog has got all excited and has been trying to sneak into the motorhome at every opportunity I have gone into the motorhome to get the beds made up and take some items into there.  Her food is already in there but it will be remembering her lead, food and water bowls, etc.   She loves to lay in between the driver and passengers seats when we travel and that is where she sleeps at night.  The only downside to her being with us is that she snores loudly and often has to be told to be quiet.

However, before we go away, I still have so much to do, fix a buckle on a pair of shoes I purchased a couple of months ago, the leather covering over the metal buckle has come off and will need restitching.....and to get my nail vanish off after being treated by Steve a month ago to having my nails painted with Shellac.  If anybody else has had this done and whilst they do last well, even when being totally abused  abused with washing up, cleaning etc, getting the nail vanish off was not as easy as I thought.  So I am sitting here writing my blog one handed whilst the other hand is in a bowl of acetone polish remover as they have to soak for ten minutes before being scraped off with an orange stick.  Sometimes I think there needs to be more time in the day than the 24 hours we currently get.

Still looking not too bad after a month, except where my nails have grown

And finally after sitting with my hand in a bowl for 10 mins of remover and scraping the remains off with an orange stick

The remains of the polish

On that note, now my nails are done,  its time to get stitching on my shoes and tomorrow morning finish packing the motorhome so we can go away, and enjoy the extended bank holiday and enjoy the celebrations taking place over here for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.....and although I cannot guarantee much stitching to be will be coming with me for the odd relaxation opportunity.  To all those who will be taking advantage of celebrating and enjoying the bank holidays, have a great time too.