Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy Christmas! Hope you all have a lovely day.

Monday, 16 December 2013


For the last few months, in an effort to gear up my brain for going back to work, I've been working as a volunteer at a local Community Interest Company called Significant Seams - yes, you've guessed it, it's textile and crafty related.

I have to admit, it's a completely different experience to working in an office job, but I am very much enjoying it.  I'm volunteering as their Librarian, and you can read an interview that we did here on their blog (and yes, the knitting book I'm holding is extremely retro!):

Pop by and have a look at the website and if you're ever in East London, we are on Wood Street - please do drop in for a natter and come and browse the shop and Library :)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Paine Free SAL

Hello all!

Well, not content with the madness that is the 10 pieces for the Turtle Trot SAL, I also decided at the last minute on the 30th Nov to join the Paine Free SAL running on this facebook group:

Basically, people are stitching one of the designs from Paine Free Crafts.  I've had my eye on them for a while, but I just felt like I had too much to do already.  However, everyone's photos made me want to join in too, so with a couple of hours to go, I bought this lovely smallish chart (although I love all of the oriental designs):

Here are all the colours laid out before I started:

So watch out for further updates over the next few months :)

Friday, 29 November 2013

Turtle Trot SAL for 2014

Okie dokey.  I've seen some of you posting your Turtle Trot SAL posts this year and I've decided I want to play too.

If any of you want to join in too, the signup page and rules are here.

So I've picked my 10 for next year (I thought I'd definitely got at least 10 started, but a lot of them are only teeny ones and I wanted to go for the larger pieces).  They are in various states, but I thought I'd get them organised now as it's probably going to be a bit of a busy month in December, there is all sorts already in my diary.

So here are my 10 at their starting points - more than anything I wanted a variety of colours so that when I get bored of one, I can hop right to the next one:


A santa ornament from JCS 2012 Christmas magazine

Bluebell Lane

Moonlit Waters

Froggy piece

Dolphins - this has been in my stash
for YEARS!


Cat to go with the other cat

Cat Coasters (this is the first piece)

Orchid with printed fabric

I really wanted to get a start on more HAEDs but I think that's a bit unrealistic to get it all kitted up and ready to go in time for this SAL starting, so I'm planning to get through some of my backlog to leave some room to start another HAED when time allows.  Even if I finish all these, I've still got a few kits and heaps of other stash.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope that you have a wonderful day, whatever you will be doing.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Moonlit Waters Page 4 finished

Hooray! Finally!

It feels like such a huge achievement when I finish a single page of this project.  I see other people whizzing through their HAEDs but I like to have a few things on the go, especially since I stitch away from home quite a bit, so it's nice to have multiple projects.

But anyway, here's a picture of pages 1-4.  It's definitely coming on nicely.

Have a great week everyone :)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Runaround Jo

No stitchy updates from me this time.  I feel like all I've done for the last few weeks is sleep and run around!  For someone who isn't working at the moment, I've spent barely any time at home.

This is down to lots of things really - I'm finally back in the gym into a proper routine a couple of days a week and I'm now volunteering at a lovely little place where they use crafts to bring together members of the community who might be going through or have been through difficult times.

My friends who live closeby have also moved to the other side of London, so I had a few weeks taken up with either packing, cleaning or babysitting, which was great fun for me since I wasn't the one moving!  I'm hoping to still see plenty of them, but of course in the winter with the dark nights it feels like a terribly long trek. The good side of the journey is of course a solid hour of cross stitching on the tube :)

So finally, this evening I've got a couple of hours to catch up on everyone's blogs again... hooray!  And hopefully I'll get some stitching done tomorrow.

Hope you are all doing ok :)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Seashell Treasures started

Hello there!

Firstly, can I just say... 'Brrrrrrrrrrrr!'

I know, it's November - and usually by Bonfire Night it's freezing.  But I most definitely have pulled out the wooly scarves and gloves this week.  And the heating is finally on.  But as well as that I have to put on extra jumpers because my hands always seem cold and it's very hard to stitch with cold hands.

Anyway, I've been working on a bit more of Moonlit Waters, but I'm almost at the end of Page 4, so I'm going to wait until it's done before I post the photo of that.  I still can't believe I'm only on Page 4, how long is it going to take me to get that finished, I wonder.

But my travelling/evening project at the moment is a Dimensions chart called Seashell Treasures.  This is where I've got to after about a week of working on it on and off:

Hope you are all lovely and cosy wherever you are... enjoy the rest of the week and have fun if you're heading to a bonfire tonight :)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Finished Pumpkin

Well, Halloween is almost upon us and during my weekly trips to my knit and stitch group, I'd made good progress on this piece from JCS Halloween magazine from 2011.  It's stitched on 28 count Sparklies fabric called 'Fire', 1 over 1, which as you know if you read this blog I found a bit tricky to work with after 14 count!

But I did get it finished this week and ordered the memory thread for the worm, and some mountboard so that I could stick to the finishing instructions in the magazine.  It's the first time I've done something other than get a piece framed professionally or stuff it in my completed projects folder, so I'm quite pleased that it didn't turn out too shabby.  I decided I wasn't keen on ribbon etc round the edge, but I'm happy with it just like this :)

The house is looking pretty orange and black and we have our spooky tablecloth on and a tub of sweets for the trick or treaters and if we don't get any, they will all go in my tummy.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Thanks Minnie!!

To Minnie,

I'm so pleased to have won the Christmas Ornaments 2012 Just Cross Stitch magazine from you, and it has now arrived safely here with me in the UK.


So many thanks, I can't wait to choose my first one to work on!

What a lovely stitching community we have, I'm so pleased to be a part of it!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Knitting and Stitching Show 2013

Well, Sunday couldn't have been any more miserable weatherwise, but I dragged myself out of bed, made bacon sarnies, got ready and went to stand at the bus stop to go to the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally.

I went with a list in mind and actually managed not to stray too far from that, which I'm pleased with.

As for the show, I arrived just before 10 and got to look at the Nicola Jarvis and May Morris exhibition pieces that I'd missed at the William Morris Gallery.  Some stunning work, really beautiful.  Since the queues started moving into the main hall at 10 though, I thought I'd better get on with the browsing before it got too busy.  I was right to do so, because by about 11, it was starting to get a bit pushy and by 12, I was in danger of viciously digging my elbows into people who were starting to be rude and impatient and you could barely get close enough to look at some of the stands.  I'm normally quite patient but for the few times I've visited this show, I've been pretty disgusted with the behaviour of some of the people there once it starts getting busy.

Thankfully, I had bought everything I wanted to by 12, so I made a swift exit and looked at the other exhibition pieces in the entry hall on the way out, including a large number of interesting works by Margaret G Nicholson - it seemed like it must have been a good chunk of her life's work, and I found her long career with embroidery fascinating.

So then, onto the new stash!  Here are the things that I bought at the show!  I'm particularly excited by the crewel work kit, it's something I've wanted to try for a while as I love the effect.  So I'm starting gently but I have my eye on a firescreen piece from the same company which is quite expensive.

Magnetic board for my needle needs stand
Introductory Goldwork kit
Introductory Crewel work kit
Boo Club Lizzie Kate charts
Autumn Alphabet Chart
Small Pumpkin sampler chart

And fabrics:
Backing fabrics in autumn colours
Neutral fabrics for cross stitching on!
There we go - not too much, so I'm not too poor, but enough to keep me going for another year!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Thank you :)

Thanks to everyone that replied to my stitchy question.  It seems that you each have your own way of working on these fabrics and that I must find my way too.

I'm actually finding that if I stitch in daylight by the window, I find it much easier to see where the holes are than by daylight lamp and magnifier, so I think I'm going to stick to this for now - typical isn't it that I figure this out when it's starting to go dark too early for my liking!  Oh well, there's always whole days of weekends :)

I'm hoping to post a stitchy update after the knitting and stitching show to show you all what lovely stash I get hold of, or before then if I manage to get the piece I'm working on finished.  Not too much to go now, just a birdy.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week :)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A stitchy question

A bit of a question today for those of you who stitch on Linen or high count evenweave.  How on earth do you see what you are doing?

I've started a piece on 28 count which is the highest I've used so far.  Sadly the fabric was just too small to stitch over 2, so I'm doing it over 1, and I'm doing ok, but it's very slow going.  The magnifier helps a little bit but it also irritates me.

Those of you who stitch on the high count fabric, do you use a frame with a magnifier or do you have magnifying glasses or do you just have exceptionally good eyesight?  Do you stitch only in daylight or in the evenings with a lamp?


Thursday, 3 October 2013

That time of year

Hello everyone,

It is indeed that time of year again... the air has gone a bit chilly, I'm stitching a pumpkin and it's the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally next week.  I wasn't going to go this year because last time I went I got a bit overexcited and bought waaaaaaay too much stuff.

However, I've decided that although I have a complete set of DMC to be going on with, and I have more than enough charts, what I need is more fabric to stitch on.  Specifically, some black, some neutral (I want to start a sampler next year), a piece of pale blue to do Rocky Mountain Christmas (which doesn't even seem slightly daunting anymore now that I'm doing a HAED) on and whatever else strikes me on the day.

Of course, I'm also looking forward to seeing all the exhibition pieces - they were absolutely incredible last year.

I'm sure my husband won't mind a day of peace and quiet and the house to himself, but I'm sure he'll be bracing himself for my return and the stash I bring back with me!

Is anyone else popping along?  If so, I hope you have as much fun as I do!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Tigger's Log Finish!!

Hello everyone!

Apologies for the lack of posts, we have been away on a family holiday to Northumberland, but more about that another time.  I'm very behind on everyone's blogs, so I dread to even look at how many posts I have to read, but I will get to them this week :)

Before I got back home, I managed to get a finish on Tigger's Log, hooray!

And here it is, the design is about A4 size:

Tigger's Log
Stitched on 14 Count Cream Aida
Very glad to have it finished, and thankfully my new frame has arrived from Needleneeds, as the old one had well and truly had it, so I'm straight back onto the Moonlit Waters (yes, still on page 4... )

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tropical Wings Zoo

This week, a friend had decided she wanted to go back to Tropical Wings Zoo with her 2 year old and 4 month old.  I had never visited before, so I decided to tag along.

Tropical Wings is a zoo in Essex, where the main attraction is probably the indoor butterfly house, hence the name.  But I'll get to that later.  We decided to start with the 'furry friends' session.  Here they had a guinea pig and a rabbit in a long run that the children (or adults) could pet.  Next to this was the enclosure for the goats, and the visitors were given food to feed them - they were very friendly indeed.  Up in this farmyard section there were also a number of chickens and other rabbits and we spent a little time looking at these.



We started a slow walk back.  The next thing we came across were the Meerkats.  They were having a lot of fun digging holes and looking around with their inquisitive faces.  Always fun to watch.  Just around the corner and the next thing on the schedule was the Lemur feeding.  The 2 year old was a bit apprehensive at first, but you are able to go right inside their enclosure.  They had bags of energy and there were quite a few youngsters jumping around.  When the zookeeper came out to feed them they walked along a rope right in front of us!  There were also some giant tortoises in the enclosure.


The next thing we knew, it was absolutely throwing it down, so sadly we had to give Tractorland (there is also a Diggerland) a miss as they were all locked up.  Instead, we decided to eat our picnic.  We found that there were quite a few areas outdoors for a picnic, both out and undercover. We stopped in the area next to the huge playground - a real shame that it was too wet to go on as it looked like a lot of fun.  There was also a sandpit with many plastic toys.  There are also toilets nearby so this was indeed a good place to stop.

Outdoor Playground


Following lunch, we had a look at the many birds.  There were a wide variety of colourful birds chirping away and we probably spent about 10 minutes looking round them.  Then the rain was starting to get heavy again, so we headed back to the main building.  There is another seated area next to a lovely kids softplay with areas for both the younger and older children and a coffee machine to revive the adults.  According to the website, there is a largish looking cafe, but we didn't stumble across it as we were going round and we didn't need it since we brought lunch with us.  There is also a fairly large shop in this main building selling stuffed animals, toy bugs, books, and snacks.

The 2 year old currently has a fascination with bugs, so next to the indoor play area we stopped in Discovery Kingdom to look at the cockroaches, millipede and other creepy crawlies.

Finally, we definitely saved the best until last - the Tropical House, with its fish pond and butterflies. Absolutely beautiful with lovely flowers and heaps of butterflies fluttering by and a couple of caterpillars walking around.

Overall, we had a lovely day, despite the weather.  There is still quite a lot to do which is inside, although I think we could have made a much longer day of it had it been sunny as there were a few animals we didn't see and the outdoor playground would have been fun - however because of the weather I think it was fairly quiet which was great!  There are loads of signs giving info on the animals which is really useful and the whole place looks really well looked after and neat.  Everything is accessible for buggies and wheelchairs, which makes life easier. If I lived closer and had children, I think it would definitely be worth buying the annual pass that they offer.  I'm definitely looking forward to visiting again!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sledmere House

A month ago, on the way back from a visit to the Yorkshire coast, we stopped off at a place called Sledmere House.  Since my sister has a dog, we try to look for places that we can stop where the dog can have a nice walk and we can sit down in a cafe.  Sledmere House was a good choice as it was a lovely hot day and we could sit in their terrace cafe.  The food was really delicious and they also had a sweet little shop on site.

Obviously we couldn't go in the stately home with the dog, but we decided that after our lunch, it would be worth paying to go through into the gardens as they seemed quite substantial.  I'm so glad we did, they were absolutely beautiful, well cared for and I though I'd show some of the photos that I took whilst we were there.  Next time I hope to go inside the house, it looks just as wonderful as the outside.  Definitely worth a visit if you are closeby!

It felt a bit like we were going into The Secret Garden

Beautiful things inside

Stunning layouts

so many beautiful roses, the red was so vibrant!

The chapel in the grounds
Beautiful colours in the garden behind the house

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Tigger's Log update

Hello everyone...

Hope you are all doing ok... I'm feeling a bit under the weather at the moment so just a short post.

I've been working on Tigger's Log for a while now on and off between other things so I thought it might be time for a progress update.

Tigger's Log
Designer Stitches - D44

I'm not enjoying this one very much as there are absolutely heaps of fractional stitches in it which is driving me a bit crazy but I'm persevering as it's the second time I've started this one... the first must have been more than 10 years ago and it was such a mess when I pulled it out that I did this restart.  Hopefully it'll be over quickly, I'm expecting my Millennium frame to arrive any day now, so I'm looking forward to getting back to my HEAD, Moonlit Waters.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Heartz Completed!

Hello there!

Just a quick post today to show the Heartz designed by Eileen Hoare and stitched in her silk threads.  I've finally completed all of them, only a little bit off the SAL schedule but it's good to have them finished!

Yes, it does need a bit of an iron!

Colours are as follows:

Pansy, Deep Jungle, Antique Gold & Silver, LadyBug
Sea Green, Amazon Parrot, Heather, 'Life, The Universe & Everything'
Galaxy, Ocean, Autumn Equinox, Hazel
Candyfloss, Koi, Robin's Nest, Blackberry

The chart and threads can be found on Eileen's site here:

I'm really pleased with the way the designs turned out, and with it being a SAL it has been fun seeing other people stitching the same heart in a different colour.  I can also highly recommend Eileen's silk threads, they have been so lovely to stitch with and the photo really doesn't do the colours justice.  I still have plenty of thread left to play around with too!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Hardwick Hall

Hooray for 2 weeks spent in Yorkshire with the family.  And we were so lucky with the weather.

On one of the days, Mum, Dad and I chose to go somewhere that I've not been for a while, and since I had my National Trust card, I thought it might be nice to go in the house instead of just the gardens for a change.

It seems as though Hardwick Hall grounds have undergone a bit of redevelopment since I was last there.  The cafe has been perked up and serves a delicious range of food - try the Huntsman's Pie if you get chance - delicious!  There is heaps of seating inside and out, so you could also take a picnic if you wished.  Also some really beautiful gardens to walk through and relax in.

Much quieter than the front view of the house...
the side view from the gardens

I was so happily surprised that we decided to go inside the house as well.  From the moment you walk in, there are some incredible pieces of embroidery and tapestry, which I wasn't expecting at all.  Bess of Hardwick must have been one heck of a collector, because it is on almost every wall, and I imagine that was one way to make the stone walls feel a bit more welcoming and homely.  As an added bonus, there was an exhibition on 'Threads of Time' - showcasing 16th century items such as needlework and furniture.

Please find below some photos of some of the things on display - but if you are able to visit in person, I highly recommend doing so - it's wonderful to be able to get up close to such amazing pieces of needlework (and feel completely inadequate with all of my own pieces given the scale of some of theirs!)

Some of the tapestries are also being restored - a hugely costly undertaking but incredible to see the difference and clarity in those which already have been.

Needlework Cushion cover: Silk on fine linen
Centre in tent stitch, border in cross stitch
Embroidered whilst Bess was married to
George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury

The Muniment Room - pretty impressive!!
These contained legal documents showing
who owned which pieces of land.

The Tobit Table Carpet which shows via embroidery
the story of Tobit as told in the Old Testament.
(the bare pieces are either missing
or too fragile for conservation)

Detail in the Tobit Table Carpet

The High Great Chamber where guests
would have been greeted

Gujarati floor cloth, on display only for one week

One of the restored tapestries

At the end, if your mother pushes you into it,
you get to dress up like this.
Stop laughing.

Monday, 8 July 2013


Yesterday was pretty exciting.

Firstly, the decision whether to watch the F1 or the tennis - thankfully, the German Grand Prix was well underway and finished before the end of the first set of tennis.  We did have the tennis on the laptop screen as well so we wouldn't miss any.

But back to the F1.  Poor Mark Webber with his wheel coming off right at the beginning.  I felt so bad for him.  Hubby said he'd have given up at that point, but then I reminded him that it only takes the safety car having to come out for him to catch right back up again and be in with a chance of points.  A good job he didn't give up too, as that's exactly what happened.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing when the burnt out race car of Jules Bianchi started rolling slowly backwards down the track and onto the grass at the other side.  Very lucky there were no race cars flying past at that exact moment.  So a very close fight to the end of the race for the top 10 cars for positions, which made it pretty exciting indeed!

Then the Tennis, and it was so so good.  I found myself shouting at the screen quite a lot which is unusual for me, but so pleased that Andy Murray won.  Each year it seemed like he was getting closer and closer to the title and it was so good to see him finally do it, especially given all the hard work that he has obviously been doing and the maturity he is showing in his games now.  I think everyone here had a good feeling that he was going to win yesterday.

It's been a lot of fun, I could get into watching more sport - it's a shame there are no Olympics to watch this year - I'm quite in the mood for watching a bit of swimming or hockey.

I rounded the day off with a lovely refreshing gin and soda and a nice Bond film and then a sit in the sunshine on the balcony, so it was a pretty wonderful day.

Who else caught some of the sport yesterday?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Happy 4th July!

Just wanted to pop in and wish my US friends a Happy 4th July! I hope that you all have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

TV Shows

Is it just me, or is TV drama getting more gruesome and rude?

I've happily watched series like Bones and NCIS for a few years now.  They mix drama and humour well. Recently though, I've been watching some of the new things that have appeared on Sky.

Da Vinci's Demon's I rather enjoyed.  Man, there was a lot of nudity in it though.  When the episode would start, hubby and I would have a bet as to how many minutes in it would take for someone to get their kit off.  As a drama though, it was pretty enjoyable and the story and setting were really interesting.

But now there are other series like Defiance and Revolution which I just could not get on with at all.  I didn't like any of the characters enough to stick with either series and I just found the stories boring.  I've persevered a bit longer with Hannibal, but I'm struggling with the graphicness of some of it, and Banshee has a big mix of nudity and violence, but has a storyline going on that is keeping me interested for the moment.  The overwhelming feeling I have though is that these series are all hard work to watch.  I need something that's dramatic but a bit lighter - something that I can actually watch when I'm eating my dinner without wanting to barf!

What are you guys all watching at the moment?

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Heartz 1-6

Progressing pretty nicely on Eileen's Heartz... Here are 1-6, stitched in:
Pansy, Deep Jungle, Antique Gold & Silver, Ladybug
Sea Green, Amazon Parrot

Having a blast stitching them (although I did make a bit of a mess of the Amazon Parrot one but think I've managed to sort it).

Monday, 13 May 2013

Heartz 1 & 2

I've been working on the Heartz stitch-a-long parts 1 and 2 during last week with the silk threads I ordered from Eileen.  I'm enjoying watching everyone's progress especially since people have chosen different colours.  And I'm very much enjoying working with the silk - it feels so nice and luxurious and it doesn't knot anywhere near as badly.

Here are my heartz from the first week - stitched in Pansy and Deep Jungle - the colours are much more vibrant in real life.  I'm looking forward to starting on 3 and 4 today.

stitched in 2 strands on 14 count white aida
If you want to see/buy the silk threads or look at the other stitched up hearts, the facebook group is here:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Big Reunion Live Tour @Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

I'd booked the tickets a couple of months ago when The Big Reunion was showing on TV and then put it to the back of my mind, but on 3rd May, my sister and I set off all excited to see 5ive, B*witched, Liberty X, Atomic Kitten, 911 and Honeyz.

And what a show it was.

One of the things I love about the Sheffield crowd is that although it is not the biggest of arenas, it always gives the warmest welcome.  People always arrive early, they are in their seats early because they don't want to miss a second and as soon as the house lights went down, the whole place was on their feet with the excitement and anticipation.

After some of the promo materials and clips from the show on the big screens, 5ive started everything off with their energetic routines and although there was no Jay, we didn't really miss him (except for maybe a little bit during Keep on Movin' later on), and the foursome absolutely smashed it.  Following them, B*Witched, 911, Honeyz, Atomic Kitten and Liberty X all took to the stage with 2-3 songs each.  

One of the things I felt was that although the routines were probably more of a struggle since everyone is older now, they pulled them off like they were still 20, it was pretty amazing to watch.  Everyone sang live and it sounded fantastic, but I didn't really feel as though I was re-living my youth so much - it felt like the songs had just been released right now and it was the first time - actually, I think the only one of these bands I'd ever seen live as a teenager was Atomic Kitten and honestly, they were 100 times better now than the experience I'd had of them back then.  

After a short break, the bands all came back out one at a time for 3 more songs each, probably some of the better known songs this time around, and the audience were all warmed up too and singing along.  One of the highlights for me was 911's Bodyshaking (although after watching the clips from Big Reunion everytime I see Spike doing the dance, all I can think of is a rabid little monkey... thanks 5ive for that image).  But I do love the song, it was so good to hear that intro and see it all come to life again.

I don't think I'd ever been into B*Witched or Honeyz particularly, although my sister was, but the beauty of having 6 acts in the show was that although I wouldn't have chosen to go and see just them, I saw that B*witched were a ton of fun and they actually looked like they were having a blast and that the Honeyz had wonderful voices and worked really well as this particular lineup.  Whilst my sister wasn't really a fan of Liberty X, I really enjoyed their set, and I was in awe at how hot they all looked in their skimpy little leotards and the rubber catsuits... meow!

Finishing off the show was of course the Kittens with 'Whole Again' - throughout the night, the loudest cheers had been whenever Kerry Katona sang, it's so good to see someone who has been through such a lot come out the other side and almost back to where she started and you could see the tears in her eyes as though she was finding it hard to believe and wonderful all at once.  It was nice that the whole audience sang the chorus back to the Kittens and at the end as all the bands came back on stage together, the noise and screaming was so loud that it was a pleasure just to watch everyone soaking it all up as this is what they had all been working so hard for for the last few months.

Overall, such a cracking show, 6 bands with 5-6 songs each worked really well. A little more maturity and support from the other bands has done wonders and hopefully they have learnt from their problems the first time around!  The production aspects with all the clips from the show was also really great on the big screens and it has been a stonkingly well made, well produced program from start to finish.  I hope that the bands pick back up and make new music, I know that some of them are already making songs/albums/booking tours and that makes me pretty happy because listening to the charts today, I'd very much like if some of the fun of the 90s came back.

If you haven't bought a ticket yet, and you have enjoyed the program - the tour is still on now, and there are some extra shows in December...get on it!

Now then... please Big Reunion, can we have a series 2?

Monday, 29 April 2013

A Hearty SAL

Hello everyone!

A stitchy post today, but just a quick one since I want to get on with my own stitching.

Eileen Hoare is having a SAL (stitch-a-long for all you non stitchy peeps) of some beautiful little heart designs.  I've also ordered some of her silk threads to try since I've never stitched with silk threads before and these look absolutely stunning, and the hearts are small enough to try the silks out on and see how I get on.  The SAL is free to join in and there will be 16 hearts in total to stitch.

You can join in on her Thread Pickerz facebook page here to get the heart charts as they are released:

You have until Sunday 5th May to sign up for the freebie charts, I hope to see some of you on there!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Flashback... Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

All photos Copyright Robert May

Written 23rd March 2011

After a late night at the penguins, we planned a leisurely Wednesday.  This involved a lie in, a bit of pampering for me in the morning with all my lotions and potions and then jumping on a tram through town towards Federation Square, where we could get off and grab a picnic lunch which we could eat in the Botanic Gardens.  We were lucky, it was a gorgeous day outside.

A perfect spot for lunch

Lunch spot from the outside

Strange spiky balls - we were fascinated!
The gardens themselves were really beautiful, so many colours and full of dragonflies and butterflies, but thankfully no wasps!! The pictures Rob took were probably better than any description I can give, so I’ll let those show you how wonderful they were.

Pretty flowers

Beautiful colours

In the evening, we decided to head into town and to the Gin Palace, where I sampled an Australian Gin, a bit more fruity than our English ones, and also an Icelandic Gin, which was 53% and almost blew my head off.  Rob stuck to the cocktails which arrived in suitably girly martini glasses.  We had some yummy cheese plate and chorizo to soak up the alcohol, which was tasty and fantastic.