Thursday, 31 March 2016

March list

So March is over, that's a quarter of this year.

I am very pleased with my stash list, 
Sewing was my expensive craft this month. 
March is another huge saving over last year
I have not spent much on our garden. 
I have spent £303.92 so far less than last year.
 I have added an item to this list, Number 35
I have also made a start on a few more items.
I am pleased with my progress. 
This month we had a 3rd list, it was for food spending, but we have recorded everything we spend it's interesting reading, we are doing it again next month.
It's good to highlight where we are spending, never huge amounts, but those little shops do all add up. We have had two visit's to local Co-op shops to stock up on wine, both shops were selling everything at 30% off, sounds as if we drink loads, which we don't but it is nice to share a bottle on the weekend. Our wine rack is full again. plus we got loads of bread mixes, rice and other store cupboard items, 30 % off is alot. I am finding to save money we have to spend when we see bargains, we got cat food because the brand Grace loves was just £3 a box, so we got six boxes, which will last 2 cats just over a month. So each week our spend is different, we are going to try and spend less in April on food. Most of the other things purchased were one off's, things for the wedding.

It is so nice to get home to light evenings, not spent any time in my garden, it's still too cool. My plants inside are doing well, and will stay in our warm office for at least another week. By the end of April I should have loads of flowers, tomatoes, cucumber and pepper plants to get into their growing spots. From last years coleus plant I now have five small plants, hubby is very pleased.
I have been busy stitching white on Sheffield, it's very tiring on my eyes, but I'm getting there, I have also made the template for the name to go below the logo. I have not done any sewing or patchwork, I want to get as much of the white stitching done, I do have to be finished by June and whilst it's 8+ weeks away, the time does creep up on you. 









Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Two finishes

Front
 Back
 Inside
 One piece made up
 Full on
 Up close
Yesterday day was busy, in a great way, I got my sewing machine out and played. First I did the house things, mending a couple of pillow cases, I also cut two old hand towels in half, hemmed them for hubby to use on the golf course.
Then I had fun, I made the small cushion first, I was also hoping to make skaters into a small cushion, but none of the fabrics I had went with the pale blue background, so I have packed it away to do another time.
I was going to make my patchwork into a cushion, but decided I could not have enough bags, I had the green lining material in my stash, and when I found I had the matching thread, it was decided, the size was easy I used the two patchwork pieces, which I had made last February, it is the first time I have made a bag, and I am very pleased with it, all the strength of the bag is in the lining, but I don't think I will be using this for shopping, for now I have all my Christmas material in it, I have for ages wanted to make a tree skirt, and I am thinking of doing some patchwork, I have loads of lovely cotton Christmas fabrics which I don't want to pack away.
I have cut out my skirt and lining, all I have to do is stitch them together, plus I have a man's shirt to take in. I also cut another two fat quarters into hexagons ready for stitching.
Today was good, had a long walk at lunch time in the sun shine, it poured down all afternoon, and is still raining now.  I am being good and stitching the white on Sheffield, it's a pain to do, but most of it will be done soon.
Paula, Katie was our latest storm to arrive in UK, we now name all our storms.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Family Easter

I have done a bit more on Sheffield
the red is stitched to the bottom of the work
This will be a square when stitched
Now I must stitch the white
 I made the pink and green flowers yesterday
I have two other fabrics cut ready to sew
I am speeding up by folding the material
and cutting out on double thickness of fabric
I wish I had thought to do it before
After having such fun with Josh and Sam on Friday, they have gone to Manchester for a couple of weeks to spend time with grandma and grand dad Pete.
Saturday youngest daughter Su popped in, just two weeks to her wedding, in the afternoon we got the card to be able to make the seating plan and table name places, that's my job next weekend.
Yesterday Sunday hubby made a lovely roast chicken dinner, I did an old fashioned rice pudding, nothing fancy added just rice, cream and milk, plus the nutmeg topping, oldest daughter Fliss and Jonathan came for lunch, Jonathan's son came as well, so a nice family affair, they played games after lunch giving me time to stitch hexagons whilst watching.
Katie arrived late last night and howled all night, we had no problems in our garden, except our Magonila tree which has lost loads of it's buds, our tree is not having the best of years, firstly the cold snap burnt the first showing of buds and  now loads are on the ground. This morning is breezy and sunny, but it feels cold, typical of March out like a lion. I feel Easter has been wasted this year, it's just too early to get out into the garden.
I am hoping to get my sewing machine out today, it should be just hubby and I all day, I'm not complaining about loss of sewing time, it has been a great family weekend.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Sunny Good Friday

Joyful world is done
with all the issues from next door
I just stitched the bunny white. 
Jo said my work looked smaller than her's
I am stitching on 28 count linen, which makes my stitching smaller. 
I have cut and stitched more hexagons
I love these stars, so pretty.
We had lunch with Josh, Sam and mummy at their favorite place, Deans Diner  
which is our main meal today, they make lovely burgers. 
 We went to a different location, Port Solent, 
so the boys could see all the huge boats in the marina.
We had a walk around and then Josh went with daddy 
to watch Batman v Superman at the large cinema. 
The police collected the letter yesterday, the officer told us we are also accused of growing plants to dry and smoke, so hubby asked them to check all over the house, garage shed and garden, which they did. Not quite a raid, but this is getting really silly and no longer funny, one thing they all agreed was there was no sweet smell in the house, or around our plot which would linger if we were smoking drugs of any kind. We have purchased more security camera's for the outside of our property, hubby will put them up next week. Thank you for your kind comments, as a plot for a TV program we would be laughing along.
We have popped to a local Co-op store which is closing down, and got loads of store cupboard items, bread mixes and bottles of red wine, most things are at least 30% off, so spending £63.64, we made savings of £30.33, another store is closing next month so we will visit that one as well in it's last week of trading.
Fliss is with us tonight, so we are planning to watch Lady in a Van, with Maggie Smith and loads of our wonderful English actors.
Tomorrow and Sunday I am going to get my sewing machine out, I hope to be able to wear my new skirt to work on Tuesday, plus make up a few of my stitching projects.
I have decided the first thing I will make with my hexagons will be a pretty cover for my sewing machine, but I want to prepare all the different hexagons first, so I can choose the designs I want. I will have loads left over, so I will think of another project to make.
I have pulled out my next cross stitch project, this lovely Christmas tree, on checking my stash, I already have every colour required, I just need to decide on the colour of the fabric I will stitch it on.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Almost a happy post

I just have the white rabbit to stitch
I'm thinking is white the best colour
 This is looking good. 
 Sheffield is back in the frame
just catching up on red. 
The past few days have been good, I have found a 30 minute walk for lunch time, away from the main road, with a nice path through a small wooded area, today I saw, robins, blackbirds, magpies and loads of little brown birds. With blossom appearing everywhere, it does feel like spring.
Plus last week whilst unwell I lost 5 pounds in weight, which means I feel on the right track again, a nice vegetable stir fry for tea will help me along.
I have not cut out any hexagons, with so many seedlings on my desk, I don't have much space.
I also finished After you, which perked up a bit in the end, I was glad I read the sequel, after finishing Me before You, there were so many things I needed to know to close the plot down. I will look for my next book for April.
The wedding is getting closer, just over 3 weeks, my outfit is sorted, as are the table gifts for the children, we managed to get Josh a nice surprise. We have booked a pedicure the week prior to the wedding, both hubby and I are going together. We have also booked a meal for the Thursday before, just parents, bride and groom, a chance to catch up with each other and have a nice meal, before the madness starts.
My blades came yesterday for my rotary cutter, I purchased a 10 pack, the most cost effective way to get them. Hubby had to go to the sorting office to sign for the package, at the sorting office hubby found he also had to sign for a letter. The letter is from the mad cat woman next door, it's been 8 weeks since she last had a pop at us, in the letter she is still accusing us of smoking cannabis around our house and garden, the fumes are coming at her through the roof, walls and her open bedroom window, making her really ill. She accuses us of smoking in front of our grandsons, neither of us smoke at all and no one ever smokes near the boys. Hubby called the police again, after their last visit and spoke to an inspector, who is livid with the slander and harassment coming from the woman. The police inspector has asked us to allow them to deal with the letter, they have a huge file on mad cat woman's anti sociable behaviour. I just want to scream, we are lucky the police understand our problem and will start to use legal methods to make her leave us alone. If not our solicitor will be sending a few letters threatening court action

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Potting

To plant a seed
is to believe in your future

Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers
 My fuchsias, geraniums, plus 4 gaillardias
I have pinched the tops out of the fuchsias.
 I have finished two more fat quarters.
 At this point I am rather proud of my self,
when cutting these out, I would normally center each bird
this time I decided to place the paper hexagons
 to get the most from the material and cut away
just a bit less ODC than normal.
April's Joyful World has been released, I was going to stitch last night, but I have run out of one of the main colours, so a trip out some time. Plus Sheffield is also calling. 
I have been reading After You, and it's not as great as Me before You, the style is the same, but as I know know the main character, whilst she has not changed the element of surprise is gone.  
It's a dull day here, so not sure what we will do later, but it's dry. I am itching to get out into the garden, but it's just too early, late March and early April can be so cruel to gardeners. I plan time outside next weekend, whilst we have our Easter break. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

A finish

I love the colours
I love the design
I love the fact it's finished.
I started this mid August 2015
but stitched other projects along the way. 
I stitched on 28 ct Toile a Broder, evenweave from DMC
 This will be a cushion cover for on our sofa,
once we have decorated our sitting room
I'm not going to show loads of photo's
if you want to see more click on the link 
Broken Sash, it tracks my progress
Both design's came from this book
both I have stitched before
I decided the colours, the outer section I stuck close to the colours in the book. To ensure the center fitted in and did not look messy, again I used the same colours as in outer section, I did have to add a couple more colours. I used the line of black stitches around the diamond, to ensure the two sections looked good, it was the only place I used black thread. My choice of fabric ensured I had no blemishes to stitch over and allowed the neatness of the work.
I love stitching these patchwork designs, it's part of the reason I called my blog Poppy Patchwork. It's not about counting or fancy stitches, it's about neat little stitches, all tidy and together they make a colourful fabric for me to use.
We popped to Kingston upon Thames today, a dear friend from Spain was over for the weekend, so a long lazy lunch together, loads of gossip and chatter. Afterwards we popped into John Lewis haberdashery, I love to check every thing out, I wanted two small items, one I got the other I will look online. I saw this fabric, beautiful skirt material, reduce to half price, so enough to make a skirt for work at £21.00. I wanted a navy skirt and this sorts that and allows me to get the sewing machine out.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Amazing Grace

Normally when I get my camera out Grace is not happy
she manages to turn each time I click
and I delete loads of shots of her rear end
Yesterday I got lucky
 Hubby had a parcel arrive yesterday, it was for me
after I told him about the book I just finished reading
he found the sequel at a good price on Amazon
 Not being able to do much
means I sit and stitch hope to finish this soon.
I have also cut out another two fat quarters, so loads of sewing to do. 
Did a swap for a couple hot peppers, 
I always have too many tomato and cucumber seedlings
My car has been picked up for it's service, so I am at home today, hubby has gone to play golf, I'm not sure if that is wise, but he made his mind up to go, on the plus side it is dry and sunny outside.
So few hours at home, I am going to have a cleaning morning, get it out of the way.
Over the weekend I will tidy my garden, last year I followed Monty's advice and left all the seed heads for the wildlife, and with such a mild winter, they lasted well, but now I have loads of dried material needing to be removed. This year should be rather easy, it's our 7th spring in the garden so most of the main work has been sorted, it's just a case of ensuring we have plenty of colour.
A helpful tip, I do not buy kits, I always find the fabrics supplied are too big for my love of fine stitching, so I have over the years saved DMC threads. DMC threads were used because the village wool shop sold this brand when I was a child. When I pop them on my plastic bobbins, I always take the long sleeve with the colour number on and tuck it next to the card and then wrap the thread over both, this saves you having to put the number on the bobbins. When I finish the colour, I pop the sleeve in my purse, nice and safe ready for when I next pop to a shop to ensure I replace the correct colour. These days when I find a design, often I have most of the colours in my stash, and if I don't have the correct colours I will have something very close.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Getting over bugs

This was a great book to read
I finished it this yesterday, 
Plot, storytelling and ending was brilliant
One of the best books I have read in ages. 
I am now looking for the sequel After You
 I have stitched all the hexagons I cut out at the weekend
 These are my next colours, 
might try and cut them later
 I had to move fabrics around so I could make another couple of small sections.
I can fit more hexagons in if they are stacked top to bottom
It does only look as if I have added 5 diamonds 
but I have infilled loads above, I'm pleased with the progress
I spent ages stitching yesterday
I have not been out of the house since Saturday, when I went to my hairdressers, I was not well enough really to go, but I would have had to wait ages for another appointment. I have been inside in the warm fighting germs. Today I feel a bit better, headache has finally decided to give me a rest, plus I slept reasonable well last night. If I can get this cough to take a hike, then normal living might come back. I'm not a sickly person, normally I would work through whatever, but this bug is not very nice. Hubby now has the same bug, plus youngest daughter is coming down with it, so as you can imagine I am not the most popular person in this family.
I have Thursday and Friday booked as holiday, so I don't have to worry about going back to work this week. I would like to pop out into the garden one day, which is a real good sign I am on the mend.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Stitching and sewing

I decided on Friday it was time to finish this
just a couple rows of diamonds and some infilling to do
doing such big projects I have not had a finish this year. 
 Yesterday I stitched all the green hexagons about 30 of them
so I cut out more this morning, about 50
I also cut out 70+ paper liners, I don't have any fancy system, 
just a copier and scissors 
These will make 4 fat quarters finished
Friday at work I was coughing alot, but with an open plan office loads of people are coughing. By bedtime, I was feeling really poorly, my throat feels like I have glass in it, so with coughing all night and hardly any sleep, yesterday was not a good day, in fact I fell asleep in my chair late afternoon, some thing I normally never do. I did manage to sleep last night, but I am feeling really awful. I have hurt my left side with the coughing, so I am in a bit of a state. So we have missed a lovely walk with Josh and Sam, daughter has been poorly so I don't want to pass on any new germs. I look outside at the beautiful weather, but I don't have the energy to pop outside into our garden, it can wait to the next opportunity.
So I am going to read my book, maybe do some hexagons, they are easy, avoid my cross stitch, other wise the frog will be out, and try and enjoy this sunny Sunday afternoon.

Friday, 11 March 2016

See how they grow

I stitched all the pink and white spots, 
tonight I will choose the next fabric
I found it much easier to use one fat quarter last time
 Out in the garden, our plot is so small
I am not missing the tree's from the bottom of next doors garden
every where looks brighter without them.
My Christmas tree looks happy in it's pot.
 Couple of pots, I have loads around the place
 Spring is coming, so much anticipation 
 Inside my plug plants are coming along well
hope to be able to get them into a greenhouse soon
Thank you for your kind comments on my last post, I am really please with my wedding outfit. As for my storage box for my hexagons, it is just perfect, every thing fits in and it is so sturdy. My sewing box is a huge plastic Stanley tool box, the section in the lid for screws are where I keep my buttons, it is handy to have every thing in one place and it to be sturdy  enough to take it with me if necessary. I found years ago those pretty padded sewing boxes were not big enough for me, I do like to keep my sewing things tidy and clean.
It's another Friday evening, just hubby and I tonight, we are going to pop out for a late walk, then settle down, which means sewing for me. I have not started my book, so I hope to find time over the next couple of days. I have a hair cut booked tomorrow mid morning, but no other plans. I hope to be able to get out in the garden and tidy, it's still to early to plant anything and my delicate plants are still in my green houses. So a restful couple of days with nice weather. My seedlings are doing well, so a bit of potting on, Plus Monty's back on TV with hints and idea's.
We have been keeping a trace of our spending for the past two weeks, we have added everything we have purchased to a list, it's interesting to see where we use our money. We will need to shop for food, so a trip to Waitrose will happen we still have £50 of vouchers.
My post is being delayed, I don't know why each time, so our walk was earlier in the evening.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

I have a badge

Josh and Sam saw this 
and purchased it for me
How true in our household.
 I am fed up with winter clothes
so today I wore a dress to work
I got this the other weekend, goes well with the green cardi. 
 Successful trip on Monday night with Su
I love this style of jacket, the 3/4 arm length really suit me
I have navy shoes and bag. 
 Last night I cut out more hexagons
I used a whole fat quarter, so loads of sewing to do
I was asked, this box I got from Hobbycraft £18
expensive but it does do the job so very well. 
 Still attacking this, not had so much time in the last few days
but it is all working out well.
Did anyone watch back in time for the weekend on BBC2, one family of had their house and lifestyles changed to reflect a year (per day) from 1950 to 1999, it was very interesting, showing how gadgets and phones have changed our lives, and how the wife of the house became liberated.  A really interesting series showing our changing social history, for me 70's on wards showed loads of things which were part of my life and fun to see again. Plus the last of Shetland, I did not see that ending coming, a great plot. We taped Happy Valley, and will watch it at weekend.

It's so nice to be able to dress up for work, not having to wear a pass means I can start wearing my necklaces, the office is comfortable warm, which is good considering I work for a company who produce heaters. The new role is shaping up well, it's all about the detail, it was also pleasing to hear our boss say it's not about how quick things have to be done, it's about doing it all right. My commute is working out well, I'm not too long in the car, and the petrol consumption whilst higher is not too bad, plus of course I did get a pay increase.
I'm feeling positive again this week, our never ending winter always gets to me in March, like everyone else I so want April to be here, much lighter nights warmer weather and out in the garden.
I'm off sewing machine is out, I have to take up hubby golf trousers tonight or he won't have anything to wear tomorrow (the other 4 pairs just won't do), then I hope to get some making up of stiched projects done.


Monday, 7 March 2016

Sorted

 In between hexagons I have stitched,
these stripes are boring, but quick to stitch
 Note the lovely sky, Sunday was a nice day
our Magnolia tree is fighting back, lovely new buds
can't wait to see these pale pink blooms
it's also nice to see sky rather than the huge conifers in the background.
 I was able to walk on our lawn
and pop this pot into it's corner place
will have to fill with soil and plant
34 fat quarters in here, 2 sections for hexagons
at £18, the box was not cheap, but everything in one place
should hold the whole project in one tidy place.
I also got needles and a thimble for my sore finger. 
I also got more red and white DMC silks for Sheffield cushion, I'm not keen to get them from Hobby craft at 90p each they are much more than the 60p I pay from my usual on line site. I also got anther 5 fat quarters, I am not happy with the green fabrics in top right corner, the designs are printed on, and instructions are for hand wash only, so I am thinking I might not use them and put the purchase down to poor judgement.
Both Hobby craft and Haskins Garden Centre was mobbed, everyone was out and about, but we were able to have a good look around, I did not stray too much from my list in Hobby craft.
Tonight after work Su and I popped to Whitley shopping center, a dash to Tiger and Claires to get a few more items for the youngster's gift bags, all we need now is a trip to The Works for a book for each of them. They were not as expensive as I imagined, I did not want to fill them with sweets.
I am also very pleased I got my jacket for Su's wedding, by waiting I have got the design I really wanted in navy, it finishes off the dress. I wanted 3/4 sleeves, I have short arms and normal jackets just look silly, the sleeves are always over my hands, so I am now outfit ready for the wedding. Su got me a necklace, she was not happy I told her not to get me anything for Mothering Sunday, now I don't have to wear a security pass I can again wear nice necklaces.
I'm off now to rest, I am so tired, why can I never sleep well when hubby is away, oh well he will be back home tomorrow tea time.

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