Thursday, 26 May 2016

Read or Stitch? A dilemma

Have you ever felt that some weeks just shoot by and before you know it you're back on Sunday and think "what happened?"  That's happened to me quite a few times in the last couple of months. We've had quite an eventful few months that has included me getting some stitching done and lots of books read. Stitching first I think....

A Heaven and Earth design that I did choose to stitch for me but unfortunately didn't specify this to Darcy who has now put her name on it!! It's a fun stitch and I've really enjoyed working on it, haven't done much in the last 6 weeks though as I've been working on another HAED design called Strength, this is a storykeep though and I've used it for the challenge on the HAED facebook group.

The sister design Courage has also been worked on, this time it was for challenge 1. I had hoped to use it for challenge 2 but I needed a full page, fingers crossed on challenge 3 I'll be able to pick it back up.

Here's Darcy's ballerina project all backstitched. 

A couple of smalls, one was for Lukie and one that I'd had in my stash for ages.


So what else have we been up to?  Here are a few photos...
Easter Egg Hunt in Clumber Park
The boys got these for Easter...sports swords!

Lukie was awarded the Eco Award by his school..
Darcy won the Sparkle and Shine award in school. She went back to full time school after Easter. She's not officially in remission yet but gets stronger week by week. She's returned to swimming lessons and it was as if she had never been away. Her teacher says she may pass her level 4 by the end of June.
Darcy went to see the elephants that are appearing around Sheffield from June after one of her hospital appointments. They're to raise money for Sheffield Childrens Hospital, she wants us to buy one for her bedroom!!

Luke passed the grading for his green belt in taekwondo at Dragons Academy
The youngest member of Dragons Academy, Sophie, had her first birthday party on the beach, here are my 3 playing with Adam and Lily (also from Academy)  It was so lovely to have the last bank holiday on the beach and Darcy being well. You wouldn't have realised that Peter broke his collarbone 6 weeks previous to this and it was the first day with no sling. It's driven him crazy not being able to train or do PE in school lol! He's now back up and running although I've refused to let him into fight class until June just to make sure.



Tony has the week off with the kids next week so fingers crossed we'll get out and about.  Then he's off to a car show at Silverstone, followed by hovercraft the following week.  Me?  When I get chance to stitch I do but otherwise I've got lots and lots of reading done thanks to sitting in the car or at clubs for hours on end....the joys of having active kids :-)  








Monday, 11 January 2016

Back to Normal

Well last year definitely finished with a fizzle rather than a bang. As our daughter Darcy was taken in to Sheffield Childrens Hospital on 30th September and spent weeks there only to be allowed out as long as she visited between 3-5 days a week until December I didn't get time to do much of anything.

I did however finally finish DH's Cruising the Information Highway by Randal Spangler...yes you read that right, he's finally finished after nearly 2 years.
Cruising the Information Highway by Randal Spangler
25ct 1 x 1
I did try and put some stitches into my HAED Storykeep called Courage which is for Peter, didn't end up doing a lot though but here it is so far.

My next big HAED project is called Smiles in my Cup and was all kitted up by the middle of December ready for starting at the beginning of January.  I just couldn't resist it when I saw it on the HAED site!

I did put a few stitches in on my Kings and Queens but not as many as I'd hoped but here's a photo of it so far with my lovely matching mug that DH bought me in the summer. 

In between finishing Cruising and before starting Smiles I promised Darcy that I would stitch her ballerina project. As at the time she looked so ill hooked up to drips in hospital I quickly agreed to cheer her up.  It's a DMC kit I've had in my stash for quite a long time, after finally opening it I decided that I didn't like the fabric it came with and ordered some wonderful 28ct opalescent. It hasn't took that long to stitch up, the hardest part was working on 28ct over 2 after so long on 25ct 1x1...the stitches looked HUGE lol!

Thanks to lots of time waiting around Sheffield Children's Hospital I managed to hit my Goodreads reading target of 150 books. Let's admit it there's not a lot to do when you're a parent and your child is resting in hospital, especially after the first 3 weeks and the wonderful parents of children who were there as long as we were finally left, I was glad for them but it left me at a loose end for conversation. When Darcy did feel well enough she joined in the craft activities and stitched a few things for display in the ward.

During this difficult time the boys were still going to school but had to cut back on their after school activities, no more swimming or scouts. Taekwondo wasn't cancelled but some weeks they only had 1 lesson, thankfully Dragons Academy were amazing with the boys and completely understood when they couldn't get there. Lukie even managed to grade for his yellow belt. They both kept up with their schoolwork and even if some days getting them home from school took a lot of logistics and help from my dad we managed.

Things looked up in December when Darcy was put back to only once or twice a week at the hospital and was even allowed to return to school for a couple of hours a week. We all went to the christmas party that Dragons Academy held, the boys loved having their sister with them and we all had a good time. Took Darcy 2 days to recover but she told the hospital she wasn't going to miss it LOL!

Thankfully after an appointment with Darcy's consultant and physiotherapist on the 22nd December they said she could stay at home for Christmas...hurray!!  Tony bought her a new Lindy Bop dress just for Christmas Day.

All the kids are back in school, Darcy is only allowed to go 3 mornings a week at the minute but as the hospital slowly reduce her medication she'll be able to go more hours. Fingers crossed by the end of this term she'll be back up and running as before.   Thank you for all the support you've shown during this very difficult time, it has made a difference both to ourselves and Darcy.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Summer Holidays are Here

The kids have finally broken up from school for the summer which means I get some much needed rest, never thought when we had our first how busy you can get as they get older!!  I have been stitching inbetween my taxi duties but not as much as I needed to but here's some of what I've been working on...

December's Holly
Cottage Garden Samplings - My Garden Journal
Stitched on Snowy Skies by Sparklies

Game of Thrones - Night Watch
Stitched on Winter Skies by Sparklies
I've also been working on my TAST 2015 project (in a different post) but most of my stitching time is being taken up by DH's HAED, trying hard to finish page 16 before September.

We went off down to Kent earlier in the year to see DH's family, Lukie decided to be his dads mini-me during the week....

at the end of term Lukie took part in a concert for the school musicians, here he is playing a duet with his piano tutor Francis.



Peter 'Boo' was thrilled to receive his 100% attendance medal in his last year at junior school. He's off to secondary in September....my baby is growing up :-(

Darcy decided that she wants to remain anonymous!!

We're off to Northumberland at some point so Lukie can visit Hogwarts (Alnwick Castle) so no doubt DH will be photographing some amazing scenery up there. Here's Bolsover Castle from last weekend when we took the kids out for the day


yes that is Lukie sat playing Lord of the Manor!!

TAST 2015 - Take A Stitch Tuesday

The Take a Stitch Tuesday (otherwise known as TAST) has started again (yay!) if you want to join in hop over to Sharon's site where you'll find all the details.

Week 1 was Fly Stitch and week 2 was Buttonhole Stitch. I've decided to do a bit of a band sampler with the stitches on some fabric from my stash so I can see how they work up and it'll be my version of a stitch dictionary.


Then I brought out one of my quilt blocks that I've made using some of my daughters old baby clothes, I'm eventually going to put these blocks together to make a memory quilt for our bed as it'll all be made of bits of the kids clothing.


After I'd stitched 2 of the button hole wheels I realised they looked like a dolls pram that my daughter had for her baby annabel, the frame is fly stitch and I appliqued a bit of her white fabric to make the hood.


Snowflake fly stitch as this dark fabric was from one of her winter outfits when she was 10mths old. Then I did buttonhole stitch along the edge of gingham fabric from one of her nursery dresses.





Friday, 24 July 2015

Kings and Queens - John

Following on from Richard the Lionheart is King John.  We have all seen John portrayed as the "bad guy" in numerous films/books about Robin Hood or King Richard's crusades.


John was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, he was the youngest of 5 sons and Henry's favourite. There are differing opinions as to when John was born; Christmas 1166 or 1167 in Oxford. When John's brother Richard the Lionheart (now King of England) was imprisoned in Germany John tried to seize control of the crown. Richard reclaimed his throne in 1194 and John was banished. The two brothers did reconcile when Richard's successor, his nephew Arthur, was captured by Phillip II in 1196.  When Richard died in 1199 John became King.

Another war with France was triggered by John's second marriage to Isabella who was the Angoulame heiress.  Isabella had been betrothed to Hugh de Lusignan. A rebellion broke out, John was ordered to appear before Phillip II of France and when he did not it meant war between France and England once again.  By 1206 John had managed to lose Normandy, Maine, Anjou and some of Poitou, he was determined to win back these lands but war costs money. To raise this money his government became ruthless and taxes soared, John exploited his feudal rights even more harshly than before.

Obviously the Barons were not happy and negotiations between John and his Barons broke down. In May 1215 a civil war started which resulted in the rebels seizing London. On 19th June at Runnymede on the River Thames John signed the Magna Carta. This document is one of England's most famous and important pieces of paper, it limits royal power, ensures feudal rights and restated English law. It states that the monarch falls as much under the law as his/her people and that their rights as individuals are to be upheld even against the wishes of the monarch.


Unfortunately John claimed the document was signed under duress, Pope Innocent took his side and a bloody civil war carried on. During this time John laid waste to the Scottish border and the northern counties. At the barons request Prince Louis of France invaded and the civil war continued until Johns death in October 1216. His death at age 49 brought the succession of his son Henry III to the throne and peace returned.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April Showers

I can't believe my last post was in January, where is this year going?  The weather seems to have finally taken a turn for the better, outside the sun is shining and yesterdays gale force winds with heavy rain seem to have disappeared. Mind you one good thing about bad weather is I get lots more stitching and reading time...yay!

Since the New Year I've plodded away at my HAED and last night finished page 14.  DD is getting quite excited now as she can't wait for me to start her ballerina project.
Cruising The Information Highway by Randal Spangler
25ct 1 over 1
I've also been working on the My Garden Journal series by Cottage Garden Samplings  here are May and November. Next one up is December which is going onto Snowy Skies by Sparklies
 May from Cottage Garden Samplings
Stitched on Stormy Skies by Polstitches

November from Cottage Garden Samplings
Stitched on Harvest Blush by Sparklies
The kids have been extremely busy in the last couple of months. Peter has gained his blue/red belt in Taekwondo
Boo collecting his belt from Master Terry on Presentation Night
Dragons Academy Eckington


Luke has also started Taekwondo at Dragons Academy and he gained his 1st star which is blue for his pattern.

Peter attended 2 seminars with his club Dragons Academy. The first was a fight seminar held at Twin Tigers in Scunthorpe and he had loads of fun, the second was held at his club and was a self defence seminar run by Grand Master Roy Kilner. He loved both events, here's a photo Tony captured at Twin Tigers 

Both boys also completed their Personal Survival Grade 1 level in swimming. The following week they were invited to an extra lesson to see if they could get their next distance badges. We signed both boys up for their 800metre badges. They both smashed that badge and carried on to get their 1000metre badges. Boo stopped at 1275metres but Lukie kept going and within the hour lesson had not only smashed the 1500m but the 1 mile badge. To say we are proud of them is an understatement.

Lukie and Darcy are both working hard getting ready for their dance exams which are quite soon. It will be Lukies first tap exam but Darcy is not only doing her tap but also her prep ballet exams...eek! Darcy has also been told that she's moving into Brownies from Rainbows at the beginning of June so she'll be working on her Pot of Gold badge until then.

Tony and I have been out and about when we can, spring is arriving and he's managed to get some photographs I particularly like when we've been out.
Spring flowers coming through in Clumber Park

The blossom is finally appearing in Rother Valley Country Park

Last Monday when the weather couldn't make it's mind up in Clumber park

Who says we have to wait until Christmas for a photo of a robin???
Well I'd better get back to the needles as Thursday night is Taekwondo for the boys so when we get back it's too late.  I'm determined to get Tony's dragon done sometime this year LOL!