Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Last day 2014

Another year is at an end, it's been a mixed year

I am pleased we have been simplifying our lives, and hope to do more, we will never have a frugal lifestyle, but we are eliminating waste and unwanted purchases.  I do now enjoy our weekends, gone are the long Saturdays in town, shopping for what we do not need. We now cook most of our food using ingredients and not ready made sauces. Lots of little steps which are adding up to major changes.
I would love to live some of the lives I read on here, a plot of land, simple life, I grew up in rural Somerset, so it's not a rose tinted view, I understand the hard work which goes into these lifestyles. Instead we make our little plot as best we can, I have some room to grow things, and room for our grandsons to play.
My weight is still a problem, I lost a stone last spring and most of it is back, I will try again next year, at least I am not putting on more.

I send you all New Year wishes, enjoy your evening, with a loved one I hope, and here's to a great 2015.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

12 days of Christmas

I am having my own 12 days of Christmas, today I am taking 12 items from my wardrobe to our local charity shop, it is something I have been thinking about for a while.
2 tops
1 skirt
3 pairs of summer trousers
2 pairs of sandals
1 pair of boots
1 hand bag
1 cardigan
and loads of scarves (counted as one item)
Each item is in good condition, but I don't use them any more. 
 Hubby for Christmas got me an Xcut express machine, so my Xyron above with all the shapes and spare cutters I am giving to a friend who has just become a infant teacher, she will have loads of use for it.
 Some of you are doing sealed pots this year, above is our version, we have had this bottle for years, it came back with us after a holiday in Germany, each year we empty it and have a treat. when the girls were young we emptied it in August and used the money for their school shoes.  We expect about £70 from it, and will use some of it to go for a nice meal, which is our treat. What is left over goes back into the jar for next year. 
We never miss our loose change. 
 Two Orchids, the back one is still growing buds,
 more free flowers.
 Amaryllis is doing well, it was a l;ate start, and my Hyacinth is still growing, 
I have moved both into the sitting room.
My lemon and lime plants like their new pot and are happy in their sunny spot. The Avocado is much the same, I think leaves are all I am going to get from it.

Sunday night the lower lights on my Christmas tree failed, so yesterday I packed the tree away, I still have cards and a few festive items out, so it's not totally bare here, again this year I have sorted and loads of small items are being passed on, my daughter Su will have first choice at them, her much larger tree was sparse this year.
I have also left loads of white lights around the house, in the dark cold evenings it makes the place look warmer.
We had another hard frost last night, every were is white, but we are warm and snug inside. Later I want to go to The Range, to see if their Christmas lights are half price, I can get a new set for next year, also they sell Xpress cutters, I already have a few, but again I am hoping their Christmas ones will be int the sale.
I think I am feeling a bit happier, getting the house back to normal and giving it a good clean helped, just a couple more days at home. Back to work on Friday, we have our neighbours 100th birthday tea on Saturday, Win is amazing for her age. January 1st is Logans 4th birthday, 2nd is Wins birthday and my brother Martins birthday, we are not travelling back to Somerset, the roads are horrendous, our last journey home took 5 hours, which was 2 hours longer than normal.
Still no stitching, but I have joined a stitch along which starts on Jan 10th.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

In between

We are in the strange time between Christmas and New Year.
Our Christmas was very quiet, my fault, I could not muster up the full festive cheer. We had Josh and Sam on Christmas eve, we had a great Christmas day, and after a long drive had most of Boxing day with Logan and Finn.
Our Fireman Sam
 Josh had a huge Lego set

 Logan with his Batcave 
 Finn, a gift for Nanna and Grancha
We are back home, I am fighting the desire to take down all the decorations, they can stay for a few more days. Not interested in the sales or shopping, but I hope to spend an hour in the garden later.
It's a sunny day here after a hard frost, no snow this low in the country, might try and get for a walk later, we have soup made from all the leftover veg from our Christmas lunch, I make it every year, with fresh baked bread.
We have an invite for New Years eve to our daughters house, so in between we can rest, December was a trying month in so many ways, resting somewhere warm with the sun shine through the window sounds bliss.
Paula thanks for your card, it's near the cat's baskets, lovely card.
From reading blogs, we have had a mixed Christmas, so I hope you are all happy, warm and with someone you love.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Resting on a Sunday

Once again these are out
 Our tree is dressed
 The boys are there of course.
 Dave the bear is dressed up and has friends
 New Christmas slippers
I am enjoying a family weekend, yesterday hubby and I went into Fareham, just for the morning, hubby was hoping for hints from me, and managed to get me another gift. We stopped and watched a signalong, deaf people signing to Christmas songs, it was simple and beautiful, we sat for ages and enjoyed their entertainment, very festive.
Last night we had a family meal, both daughters and David, a perfect evening, just what we needed. I even watched X Factor, and is hoping Ben will win tonight.
Today we had friends in for morning coffee, and later another friend for afternoon tea, hubby just made us bacon rolls for lunch. This is a beautiful restful weekend.
Grandma is down, so we have not seen Josh or Sam, will catch up with them in the week.
Tomorrow Su and I have the day together shopping, I only have one present to purchase, so it will be more fun than rushing about.
Next weekend will be hectic, we are back to Somerset, not a trip we had planned, but we will say goodbye to my brother, meet with the whole family on Friday, and then back home on Saturday, we are hoping the roads won't be too bad.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Quickie

Our garden this morning, another frost, the starling at the tree feeder is having his breakfast.
 I have done no craft, not a stitch, no inspiration, 
but here is some work done by Fliss
 All stitched free hand on my machine, 
lovely to have my daughter teaching me things.
 Just needs to be made up, cushion cover?
Every thing is on hold here, my back has caused me more problems and with two trips to a chiropractor, it is now beginning to feel stronger. How easy is it to put your back out!
I have not finished making my cards and they need to be in the post, I'm home today I will see if I can get them done, everything is here, just me.
I also need to get my sewing machine out, the weather is so cold I need to wear my warm winter coat, but the woolen fabric near the lowest button has pulled apart and I need to make a quick repair, the coat is perfect for this time of year and other than this small area is in perfect condition, I am not getting rid of such a warm coat for one little thing.
As for Christmas most of it is done, I have a couple of presents to get, Su and I have a day together next Monday, so I should finish then, but every thing has stalled.
We spent a lovely weekend in Somerset, time with Logan and baby Finn, excited house for a little boy. I saw Martin and Leanna, we had time to sit and chat. Martin and I spent a lovely afternoon on Saturday with Mel, my older brother was looking very ill but still had his sense of humour. We even managed to avoid a huge accident on the A303 and have a good drive home.
But sadly Mel passed away on Sunday evening, so everything has now stalled.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ho Ho ouch!

I won't keep you waiting, feeling festive and then last Wednesday I did my back in, boy am I in pain, just a strain, stupid thing to do, oh well feeling a bit better today.
 Time to send out my Christmas cards
below how I make them, nice and easy with layers, it's my photo from the summer, I stitched the baubles and put together the stamp for inside, only thing I did not make was to Merry Christmas topper. I hope you all like your card
 Our Magnolia tree is in full drop, poor hubby has an extra task, these leaves are huge, and once cleared up, loads more drop, Oh well give it a week and they will be all gone.
At least we can see the birds feeding in the tree.
 In the greenhouse, still picking tomatoes, 
I thought this plant was over but loads of new growth.
One lonely pepper on this plant 
 In the garden flowers which should not have buds, another crazy winter 
  My best tree, I love the view from underneath
 I did start these guy's whilst waiting for my stash to arrive, but I am unable to get comfortable to stitch, so not much done. Only have a bit of white for their beards and two pairs of shoes, oh and all the back stitching. Still waiting for my stash to arrive did not notice one item out of stock.
I am hoping my back will sort it's self out, work are great, they ensure I am supporting it when sat down and not too much on my feet, but by the time I get home, all I can do is rest. Each day is a bit better, and I am really hoping this is just a one off.
I have not done much in the past week, Fliss helped me with the Christmas Tree, Sam was very excited to see it up. We did manage to get some present shopping done, nothing expensive this year, just nice useful things. Hubby finally found me a couple of gift's, both of which I helped with, one for my craft and a nice new red leather purse.
We hope to go and visit family in Somerset this weekend, I was not able to sit in the car for almost three hours last weekend, I don't want to have to make the trip too close to Christmas.
Paula you have a parcel on it's way to you......

Saturday, 22 November 2014

A finish and a new design

This bulb is doing very well, the second one I did is almost dead, 
I think maybe the bulb was a dud, 
but more importantly Sam's is growing well. 
 With Fliss back home, we don't have a spare bedroom, so I have little piles of things everywhere, this one in my office is mainly house (tree) decorations.
 Presents are behind the sofa, these for Sam and Josh from their grandad. All chocolates etc are in our bedroom, tucked away so no raids before the big day.
 I have done some stitching
 I was glad to find a fox running to add, this is now stitched, not sure what to do with it, I think it may stay in my making up box for a while. I have been busy this week, I have a parcel ready to post to USA, just one last thing to go inside.
 Last night I purchased this, the design came this morning as a PDF, the designers blog is here there are a few others I like very much. This year my taste are changing. I do like to have a project on the go, this is still small for me, I am thinking of stitching it on pale blue, just to add to the subject.

This week has passed quickly and it's been a mixed week, nothing bad, just plenty of normal life stuff.
Work is good, I am now having training on the switchboard, it's very easy and done on the computer.
In my first job the lady had a huge box with loads of wires.
I enjoy  the reception, it's nice to meet and greet clients.

We had a lovely evening on Thursday, Fliss, Su and I, we did some shopping for Christmas, we had a 20% off in M&S, followed by coffee and chat.
Hubby loves his lens, he has played with it to ensure it is the correct one he wants, it was expensive, so it has to be right, now it's waiting to be wrapped and put under the tree, I will get him a couple of small surprise presents.
As for my present, still not an idea, both daughters and I went through loads of suggestions, nothing!
We are hoping to make a start tomorrow, but neither of us is in the right mood, might wait a week and see how it goes.
Tonight Sam is on a sleep over, which will be fun, Josh wants to stay with daddy, but he may change his mind, tomorrow a friend is popping in, so another busy weekend.
Monday evening we are all going to Su and David's new house, they get their keys, not to work, justy to walk around and make plans, very exciting for them.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Warning, involves the C word

One more photo, Logan with baby brother Finn
he is a happy big brother and is being very good for mummy and daddy
 I received an email whilst in work, ref Christmas jumper day, 
I work in two offices, and on 12th December I am working in the other office, great no Christmas jumper, but it is over both offices, so last night I went shopping, Asda, £12, very this year with penguin on the front.
 I have done some more stitching, very little, I now have three foxes, I was stitching this for a heart, but the fox was too tiny, so I am not sure how many I am doing, each takes a couple of hours to finish. I have done a few more things, but I can't show you them.
 Happy dance, 2013 has arrived, this is my 5th book, sorry about the shadow, I love these books, I just import all the post for the year over to the Blurb templates, I then spend time sorting each page and balancing the pages, a few checks and then I send via internet, pay about £50, I always wait for them to send me discount vouchers, the books can be cheaper, but I like nice pages and hard covers.
I regular look at my books, it's nice to be able to look back and see what happen when in the garden, I can check each year on when and how many flowers appear on my Magnolia tree.
It's been a quiet week, spent Monday in court taking notes again, so yesterday and today I have been typing them out, we had a big meeting today, nothing sinister, it is a touchy feely sort of a company.
Su is hoping to get the keys to her new house on Monday, they have next week off, they are up-sizing, so loads of work for them both, soon I will have a second garden, once again I have to start with an overgrown plot and see what comes up, I have already a few plants in my greenhouse for next spring, Su does not yet know what she wants, could be fun.

Last night we did a huge shop at Asda,we have stocked up all the kitchen tined, bottled and dry items, and have enough to last into the new year. We did buy some Christmas treats, I prefer to get it done in mid November, before everywhere goes mental. Hubby works for the local Co-op group and all through December he has 20% staff discount, so we get most of the rest locally. Also shopping this early means I am not in full festive swing and I hold back on what we get.

We have now purchased hubby's Christmas present, a huge lens for his camera, he has been after one for years, so he is so very happy, I have taken it away from him, he will get it on 25th. He is also trying to get me to decide what I would like, my problem is there is nothing I want, and I will not suggest something to clutter. I'm not a jewelry person, I have what I like to wear, plus just a couple other items, I have a beautiful sewing machine, I have thought about getting one which can do embroidery,  Dawn your comments please. I still have everyone else's present to get, we have a spend limit for everyone.
But I am beginning to feel festive!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Grandson number 5

Finn Jackson Jones arrived on 14th November
Younger brother to Logan.
 So this weekend we all drove the 100+ miles to meet him, we had loads of fun, 
cousin's meeting and playing with other cousins.
Here Josh and Sam with Jacob and Su, youngest daughter.
 A rare family photo with no one missing, all 5 children and partners, all 5 grandsons. 
Also Grancha's younger brother and wife. 
We spent a lovely evening having a meal, and the children playing in this play area, perfect setting in Taunton, Somerset.
It was the first time we took Sam and Josh away with us, we all had rooms in the same hotel, which Sam really enjoyed, at 8.15 this morning we had a knock on our door and Sam still in his PJ's wanted a cuddle. It is so nice to have a family weekend.
Tonight we are both tired, the boys are back at home, they enjoyed meeting everyone, Sam and Logan spent most of the time together. Josh and Sam met Uncle Richard who flew in from Ireland, as a family we are spread about. We can't be sure when we will all be together again, so we ensured we all had loads of fun.
I have done no craft at all, real life was far more fun.
We did pop to a garden center for a nice potted plant for new mum, they last so much longer than cut flowers, a few Christmas items fell into my basket. Our house is going to look great this year, shame as yet we have not purchased one present, the plan is to Christmas present shop next weekend. 
Tomorrow is another busy day, I have to attend court, taking notes again for the family trial, I have one more date next week, I hope not to repeat these attendances, I have said to my boss they are not enjoyable. People can be so horrible to each other.
Su and Davis get their keys to their new house, so as a family we will all be helping to move them, but as they live in a one bedroom house and have purchased a four bedroom house, they don't have too much to move and loads of space to put stuff.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

How many finishes

This is finished, I did the star to complete the design
But look at her face, I think I forgot something.
Just noticed as I am doing my post.
 I am really pleased with this 
there is some glitter in the gold stars.
 Finally I got my sewing machine out
Made three cushions, one I can't show you here
 I have to hand stitch the cushion fabric, 
adding to all the gold and red, so it will show up better.
 I am still not sure regarding this fabric, I wanted loads of tree's, but it not to be the same as the one above. I am thinking of adding a few snowflakes. The panel feels big.
 Just for fun, he took about an hour to stitch, I did not realise he would be so small, but he is cute, I was going to make him into a heart, but I might change that, you know what I am like.
I am busy finishing a few things to send to Paula, she recently helped my daughter and myself to purchase a knitting book, which could only be shipped in USA, she took them in and then forwarded them to me, such a lovely lady, so a thank you is in order.
I have an idea for using some of my Christmas fabric's for another small cushion. I have a nice basket which I will put beside my Christmas Tree for all these pretty cushions, just a but of colour.
My trug is still full of sewing items, it's the perfect place to keep fabric, can I get away with asking for another one for Christmas.
Work is going very well, I had a busy day, getting loads done, learning loads of new skills.
Tomorrow we head home to Somerset, a family get together, with all 5 of our children and their partners, it's not so often we are all together, one lives in Ireland, another in Derby, we are all hoping for our 5th grandson to be born soon, he's a bit late.

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