Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kings and Queens - Henry I

Henry I is all finished on my project. Must admit that I groaned when I noticed this monarch had gold as I'm not a fan of metallic threads but the thread in this project stitched up beautifully...hurray!
Bothy Threads - Kings and Queens

Henry was born in England in 1068 or 1069, the fourth son of William the Conqueror. When Henry's elder brother became king another elder brother had died and left only Robert and Henry as the heirs. When William was killed in a hunting accident in August 1100 Henry had himself crowned a few days later, taking advantage of Robert's absence on crusade.

Robert invaded England in 1101 but relinquished his claim in return for Henry's territories in Normandy.  This peace didn't last long and Henry invaded Normandy and in 1106 he captured Robert and held him prisoner for life.

Henry's only legitimate son, William, died in a shipwreck in November 1120. This left Henry without another legitimate male heir despite remarrying in order to have another son. He eventually named his legitimate daughter Matilda his heir after summoning her back to England. He married her to Geoffrey Plantagenet, another member of the Angevin family.  Henry died in December 1135, there was a succession crisis which led to civil war as English barons did not want to be ruled by a woman and an Angevin.  Eventually his nephew Stephen succeeded to the throne.

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Left Hand of God - review

I've seen this book on and off for months now and when I saw it again in our local library decided to give it a go....I'm so glad I did!  It's not quite in the same league as Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks or Robert Jordan as this feels like its aimed more for late teens or early 20's but it's still a wonderful read.

This is what the blub says on the back - The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a place where children endure brutal cruelty and violence in the name of the One True Faith. Lost in the Sanctuary's huge maze of corridors is a boy. He is strange witty and charming, and violent. But when he opens the wrong door at the wrong time he witnesses an act so horrible he must flee, or die.

What it doesn't say is that the book is a joy to read with adventures on nearly every page. I felt for the boy Cale from the first, who wouldn't reading about a young boy who goes through so much abuse. We follow Cale growing not only in body but in experiences and I found this was written well. I loved how his relationships with those around him stayed the same on one hand but changed as he matured.  I cheered and groaned throughout, really getting into the story.

Hated the ending of the book, not because it was bad but because I hadn't got book 2 (The Last Four Things) all ready beside me to continue!!  Now I've book 2 and book 3 (The Beating of His Wings) all set to go :-)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Joyful June

Why is June so joyful?  Because not only has the rain stopped but the sun has finally arrived in the UK..yippee LOL!

Here in Sheffield we've has a pretty packed month with the kids going from strength to strength not only in their activities but at school as well, obviously we have lots of photos ;-)

Peter (aka Boo) went on his school residential trip to Robin Hoods Bay from Monday to Friday, came home for 2 hours on Friday then went straight out again for his Scouts District Camp at Walesby.  Also in June Boo competed in a BTA (British Taekwondo Association) competition at Twin Tigers in Scunthorpe as part of the Dragons Academy Team. He entered into the patterns and sparring categories. Got Bronze in patterns and 1st in Sparring...I didn't watch as I don't like seeing my baby fighting LOL! More photos HERE! He's also moved onto his last level in swimming..yay! He seems to be doing well academically as well, came home last night with a certificate for his maths. Apparently he took a Y6 Maths SATs test a while ago and did well so hopefully that bodes well for when he's in Y6 next year.

Then in June the boys had their school sports day, bit nervous about this as it was Lukie's first sports day in Junior school and he was pretty nervous up to the day as there would be lots of people there. The weather was glorious and the event went off wonderfully, Lukie really enjoyed himself and both boys had lots of fun doing the different activities.

Luke is in Yellow for his house which is Clumber (his favourite place to visit)

Peter is in Green for his house Welbeck.

Luke is doing wonderfully at his piano lessons and from September will be having them 1 to 1 rather than shared as he is at the minute. I can actually tell what tune he's playing when he practises at home now!!  Academically Lukie seems to be doing amazing considering what he started off at in September last year. We can't praise and thank his school (Brook House Junior School) enough as his confidence in sitting to do his reading/writing and maths at home has grown so much.

While Boo was enjoying himself at Walesby we took Lukie and Darcy to Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. They adored it and loved watching the horses (no photos of the horses as the show is in a small building and the horses are very sensitive to noise) It's a fantastic place to visit, very child friendly, Lukie loved the castle itself.

Darcy has her sports day in July but during June has been practising really hard for her ballet exam which is on 11th July. She's also been doing 2 swimming lessons for the past couple of weeks, her own level and the one above . Her teacher Claire says she's ready to move up and in the next week that will happen, she's over the moon as she loves swimming and wants to do synchronised swimming when she's passed all her levels.

Stitching Time...inbetween kids activities I have had time to put in the odd stitch here and there. Here's where I'm at with my projects including a new one I started...

page 8 is finished on my HAED :-)
Cruising The Information Highway
25ct 1 over 1
I've started a new project based on the Game of Thrones books, just click the book title to go to where I bought it from. I'm stitching it on 32ct Ink from Sparklies.

Anyone who follows regularly will have seen the 2 monarchs I've stitched so far on my Kings and Queens project. I've started Henry I so fingers crossed it won't be too long before he's up. I'm enjoying learning the history of each monarch as much as stitching them.

I've also started knitting myself an aran jumper for next winter. Not done much on it yet but here's the back so far...

Let's now see how much I can get completed in July as the kids all finish school on the 18th for the summer. Peter Boo is in summer school at Westfield School for a week where he'll have fun doing science experiments, art & sports. We've still got a sports day, review, dance exam and (fingers crossed) taekwondo grading to get through before I can put my feet up and relax for a month...whew!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Kings and Queens - William II

Here's our second monarch all finished...
Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
William II commonly known as William the Red because of his ruddy appearance, he was the third son of William the Conqueror. William II was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was less successful in extending control into Wales.

He spent most of his reign attempting to capture Normandy from his brother Robert (II) Curthose , Duke of Normandy. His extortion of money led his barons to revolt. Malcolm II of Scotland twice invades England in 1091 and 1093 before Malcolm is defeated and killed at the Battle of Alnwick. William also had to deal with rebellions in Northumbria and along the Welsh border. He was killed in 1100 while hunting in the New Forest, Hampshire, and was succeeded by his brother Henry I.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Kings and Queens - William I

For my birthday this year my wonderful in-laws bought me a Bothy Threads kit that I've been wanting for ages. It's all the kings and queens of England. I'm doing each one as a rest from DH's HAED and last night finished the first.

Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
William I otherwise known as William the Conqueror was the first Norman King of England reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. The descendant of Viking raiders, he had been Duke of Normandy since 1035 under the style William II. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England in 1066.

The Battle of Hastings was on 14th October in 1066 and was between Duke William II of Normandy and an English army under the Anglo Saxon King Harold II during the Norman conquest of England.

In 1085/1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, which is a survey listing all the landholders in England along with their holdings. William died while leading a campaign in northern France, and was buried in Caen.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Finding Time

Have you ever had one of those months where you remember it starting but before you know it you're at the end? That's what happened to me in April, I did a lot of different things but the month itself flew by without me realising.  I did manage to get photos of some of the activities along the way so we're a photo heavy post this time.
The top photo is the kids at the top of Mam Tor in the Peak District. Darcy wasn't happy about climbing so high but she loved the view from the top. Below they're in the Longshaw Estate which is looked after by the National Trust. We had a wonderful day being out in the fresh air.

On bank holiday Monday we went to Woodhouse Wentworth where they were holding a classic car show. Luke adored seeing all the mini's as they're his favourite cars. Darcy couldn't resist having her hand decorated, it lasted longer than the week and I had to really scrub it off before she returned to school!
What holiday is complete without some baking with mummy. Peppa Pig buns this time.

Peter Boo has been working hard in his Taekwondo classes at Dragons Academy. He passed the grading for his green belt and at his presentation where this photo was taken did a little sparring demo with one of his classmates.
A week later he competed in a competition run by his old Little Dragons Sensei Natasha and her club State of Mind  He got a bronze medal in his pattern section and a gold medal in his fighting section. Peter is the one in the air! I don't know who was more shocked him or us, bless him it was his first time fighting in a competition. The next one is for the BTA (British Taekwondo Association) in June.
And finally here are some photos of my stitching progress. I finished January  by Cottage Garden Samplings. This is one of the Travelling Patterns that I'm working on along with other stitchers from my Yahoo Group Friendly Stitchers.
Stitched on 28ct blue evenweave with DMC threads
Tony finally got around to taking a photo of my HAED with another page finished.
Cruising the Information Highway by Randal Spangler
Stitched on 25ct 1 over 1
And here is where I'm at on my HAED Storykeep, must put a bit more effort into this one. I'm working my way down the black dragon at the minute until the end of this page then I'll go up and fill in the bits of confetti before continuing on the red. (Got fed up of seeing red LOL!)
Stitched on 25ct 1 over 1
Last month it was my birthday and I asked for a project that I've seen stitched a few times in the last year. My wonderful in-laws bought it for me and I'll be working on it when my eyes need a well earned rest from my HAED. I love history and recently have been reading about the times of Henry I.
Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads

Monday, 24 March 2014

Spring is Here at Last

After what feels like a very long wet winter spring is finally here in Yorkshire. We've had over a week of wonderful weather, it went from being really cold to 16c overnight.  Having lots of sun has meant that the stitching has been a bit hit and miss while we all run outside to enjoy it quick incase it disappears again.  I have done some stitching though.....

my Mr Darcy
John Clayton Elegance design named Charles
stitched on 28ct cream
I've also taken part in an exchange with my yahoo group Friendly Stitchers. We had to make something stitchy or friendship related for our partner, here's what my partner Elaine stitched for me, it hangs from my Lowery frame. I can't show what I stitched for her as I forgot to take a photo before I posted it..oops!

Not done much on my HAED as I only picked it up again in the middle of March but here's what it looks like by Sunday 23rd when I'd been working on it for a week...
Cruising The Information Highway by Randal Spangler
Stitched on 25ct 1 over 1 full cross
I've also stitched July from My Garden Journal by Cottage Garden Samplings. I loved stitching this, the colours were so bright and cheerful on a cold wet evening. I even managed to find the fabric and most of the threads from my stash. I'm itching like crazy to start on another month but I'm doing them with a group of other people and July is the only one I have so have to wait until it's my turn for January.
Stitched on pale pink 28ct using DMC

Here's a photo of the kids on the first sunny day we've had in ages, we took off for Clumber Park in Notts and had a long walk (according to my Runkeeper app it was 5.14miles) Kids really enjoyed it, climbing trees, playing in the meadow and generally being able to run free and happy.