Monday, 18 April 2016

Reflective Day

I didn't have a Gifted Gorgeousness post this month as my stitching has all been catch up - but I may have something next month ;)

Just a short post from me - reflecting on my Dad who passed away 4 years ago today. It seems like yesterday and feels like eternity. Barb stitched a lovely ornament for me which I display every year on our mantle along with the ceramic candle holder shed and a gardener figurine, which although actually my grandfathers reminds me of both men. The candle will stay lit all day.

For Dad
Beautiful ornament from Barb
Today and on Dad's birthday we usually go out and have scampi & chips with a glass of rose wine, his favourite meal when out. He also enjoyed going to the wine tastings with us, his favourite being at Birmingham museum where we were greeted with a  glass of champagne - he thought the whole evening 'very posh'.

By coincidence we are gong to a wine tasting tonight at The Ballroom, City Halls, Leicester - although there will be no scampi & chips I'm sure Dad would approve as it will be a 'posh' event :)

Ron Mellor 1926 - 2012  super Dad, Grandpop, Scouter and friend - loved and missed by us all 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

April's progress

Just a little update as I have a couple of finishes to share - firstly March's Round in Circles. Unfortunately Ilke's mum passed away and so understandingly March and early April so a slight pause in Mabel Figworthy's Round in Circles Hardanger Stitch-along - however I finished my March piece and am looking forward to starting April's when Ilke is ready - there are times when life, love and family are more important than stitching.

March - Round in Circles SAL
I have also finished Jardin Prive's Autumn Tree which means my Four Season's SAL 2015 with Needlecraft Haven is now complete - a little late but it's done. It means now I can change the design in my frame for each season. I do need to iron and back my autumn tree with interfacing to stiffen it so it looks a little bumpy in the photo but I wanted to show it in the frame.

You can find the charts on Jardin Prive's free charts page.

Autumn Tree
My trees for all seasons 
My stitching plans for April are to catch up on the Monthly Christmas Challenge on Needlecraft Haven - I need to stitch last months and this month's free chart has been revealed.

I love running Needlecraft Haven - it is a members only forum so if you'd like to apply for membership this is the link Needlecraft Haven link.

If you've applied for membership please check your Yuku inbox as I have recently authorised quite a few accounts but not yet seen those members on the forum.

Thank you for calling by and good luck with all your April crafting.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Needlecraft Haven Spring Meet Up

Today was the Spring meet up for members of Needlecraft Haven - the meet ups happen twice a year and are always great days filled with chat, laughter, a little stitching and cake !!

This time we met here at our house; scouts were using the headquarters and there was only a few of us so it made sense to meet here. Hubby was at a rugby game so it suited everyone.

It was lovely sitting at the dining table in our conservatory stitching away - even nicer once the rain stopped and the sun came out. As we were at home I did lunch to save everyone bringing their own. It was a light buffet of ham and cheese batches, quiche, scotch eggs, pringles, tomatoes and popcorn - yummy
Our yummy buffet
 I love cooking, especially cakes and desserts. I made a Schwartzwalder Kirschentorte (Black Forest Gateau) a while ago which was viewed with envy on the forum so for dessert I made another one.

Schwartzwalder Kirschentorte
Before lunch we had stitched away for quite a while, everyone working on different designs. I was busily stitching on the autumn tree from Jardin Prive free designs. Everyone brings their latest finishes to the meet ups as although we share photos online it is always better to see in person.

Our sofa in the conservatory made the idea place to display everyone's work, especially as it already had my quilt on (handmade by my Mum)

All our beautiful work
As well as stitching and chatting we have a few exchanges and a raffle. The raffle helps pay to keep Needlecraft Haven advert free and this time raised enough for two more months without the pesky adverts. Everyone brings a raffle prize - lovely items again today.

Great raffle prizes
My raffle prize - perfect for me 
We always have a book exchange - everyone wraps a book up like a parcel so it cannot be identified. The book can be from anywhere; new, charity shop, previous exchange and before wrapping a card saying who it's from and why it was chosen is put inside.

Raffle tickets are allocated to each wrapped book and the corresponding tickets folded. Everyone picks a tickets and has the matching book (ensuring we don't get our own). My book was from Julie, thank you, it looks a good read which I might take away to London when we go in a few weeks.

Our books hidden in their wrappers waiting to be picked 
My book from the exchange
Our other exchange is a Goody Bag exchange and for the last few meet ups I have given everyone a theme to base their bag on which adds to the fun when putting the bag together. The theme this time was songs from our childhood such as I'm a Pink Toothbrush or Puff the Magic Dragon.

We again use raffle tickets to pick the goody bags but with cakes too! Each bag has a ticket and a cake has the matching number - everyone chooses a cake and gets the bag of that number (ensuring we don't get our own).

Carrot cake muffins with their tickets ready to be picked
Goody bags ready to be chosen
We had great fun trying to guess the song from the items in the bags before opening the card which gave details for each song. I managed to find the songs online so we could listen to each one too. Here's what was in each bag:

Grandad - put together by Jan (my Mum) and won by Julie
How much is that doggy in the window
Put together by Angi and won by Gill
Sing a song of sixpence
Put together by Gill and won by Jan 
The Ugly Duckling - put together by Julie and won by me
My favourite childhood song is The Unicorn Song so was the obvious choice for my bag - I included it in the playlist at my 50th birthday and often sing it around the house much to the annoyance of our grown up children. I love the story, lyrics and catchy music. If you don't know it here's an audio link  and here's a link to the lyrics.

My items were:
Earth - Rajmahal Art thread
Camel - Rajmahal Art thread
Green - glitter green card
Chimpanzee - PG Tips tea bags as a chimp is the brand logo
Alligators - sweets with alligators on the package
Elephants - sweets with elephants on the package
Cat - mug and button
Floated - floating candles
Long necked geese - a planter !!

The goose planter was the best bit - it didn't fit in the goody bag and soon took on the name of Gertrude, getting up to mischief too.

The Unicorn Song - put together by me and won by Angi
Gobble gobble gobble - those cakes are mine !!
Ready for the journey home on the train !!
Thank you ladies for another absolutely lovely day - and we have more fun to come as we've planned our 'meet up exchange' which will be stitched and sent ready for opening day on 1st August.

Needlecraft Haven is a members only forum for crafters, mainly cross stitch but members do many many crafts. Membership is free and open to all - you need a Yuku account (again it's free) and then apply for membership - to join follow this link (remember to include an email in your application)

All recent memberships have been authorised so if you've applied recently pop by and join in the chat - see you there soon :)