Just a quick update so as to relieve your tension (?): as it turns out, Kellie Castle is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - something as a local resident for some 4 or 5 years I should have known... but obviously didn`t. Anyway, after a long debate with myself this morning re: whether I should go back to bed after the school run for another wee hour (I don`t know what`s wrong with me these days, I can hardly open my eyes in the morning, must be this long-awaited summer that finally arrived at Scotland just before Halloween), so anyhoo, I eventually made a compromise with myself: instead of going back to bed, I decided on a cup of nice, strong tea - just to discover that we ran out of milk. So I thought, if I have to go out anyway, I might as well get petrol, drop the coasters at Kellie and visit my friend Elmarie in Colinsburgh, so that`s what I did. And guess what awaited me on the doorstep when I got back: my latest issue of Cross Stitch Crazy! Hurray! Even more patterns for Christmas decorations! And the extra gift this month is a wee booklet of 8 more "snowglobe" designs that could be very nicely matched with the other 8 I already have - actually, I made these at the beginning of this year and gave them to my friend Orsi in Budapest when I went home to visit in April. She was so happy with them that basically she`s been waiting for Christmas since springtime just so that she can finally hang them on her tree. Bless her, she doesn`t even have to wait much longer - would you believe it`s only 3 measly months away?! Thank goodness, may I add, for Gregory`s been writing his Santa list since 26 December 2010 and I don`t think poor Santa has much more capacity...
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Wednesday, 28 September 2011
I`m a very happy bunny today - I have finished the remaining 8 coasters! Don`t get me wrong, it`s not that I didn`t like the design (it is mine, after all) but as I pointed it out last night at the Club - which, as I have since found out, DOES have a name: Stitches (a thousand apologies, Karen!) - so anyway, as I was saying last night, to me the most alluring aspect of cross stitching is the zillion different designs I see in my stitchy books and magazines, and if I`m honest, I don`t really like doing the same pattern twice. And then I find myself working on the same design for 3 days, producing coasters like a conveyor belt... Long story short, I`m glad they`re finally finished.
In fact, I was so glad that headache or no headache, I wrapped them in cellophane...
... and jumped straight in my car to go to the castle before it`s time to pick Gregory up from school. Of course, I`d have been even MORE glad if I have actually FOUND someone there! I just got home after a nice wee drive in the country and I still don`t know what`s going on because my friend, Lynda, who works in their tearoom, is not answering her mobile... I`m thinking, she`s either in a staff meeting and that`s why the doors were closed too - or something worthy of the attention of Agents Mulder and Scully has happened. I`ll try to find out later, plus I also need to know whether I`d find somebody there tomorrow - I don`t want these coasters to sit on my shelf for too long, after all: that`s not why I`ve been rushing to finish them for the past 3 days, neglecting my chessboard and all...
I have to go in a minute to pick up the Wee Man but first I`d like to share with you some very important information:
1. the new Listerine Zero is, indeed, more friendly to my mouth than the original one: it doesn`t seem to scrape the lining off my tongue and my eyes don`t want to pop out every time I rinse my mouth, so it`s a very pleasant experience.
2. I have also learnt this week that if you boil an egg for roughly 40 minutes (due to important stitching), it tends to explode and cover every available surface in your kitchen - a very unpleasant experience!
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Finally, something positive! I took the wee castle-coaster to Kellie yesterday and they liked it! Super! Of course, this doesn`t mean an instant order of 400 pieces but for me the main thing is that they didn`t turn me down without even looking at it - on the contrary, they were very supportive (as they are towards all kinds of local produce, be it cheese, honey, soap or embroidery) and I am to take some more coasters back next week to see if they`d sell in the Gift Shop. I kind of have to hurry since the Castle`s only open for about another month, then they`ll be closed until 1 April 2012.
Well, I started to write this yesterday but since then a whole weekend has happened, with rainstorm and sunshine, shed building and painting in the garden, fishing on the beach, cooking, cleaning... and stitching, of course. On Saturday I woke up at 4.30 (yeah, I know...) because I had a brainwave re: my mother-in-law`s birthday present. A couple of weeks ago I`ve very sneakily found out that she`d lost her shopping trolley coin (you know, the one you keep on your keyring so that when the chap in desperate need of a cart approaches you in the ASDA carpark, brandishing a £1 coin in his hand, you blushingly have to refuse him, saying that you`ve got one of these "thingies" in your trolley... By the way, what`s with the new system that now you have to "pay" for the smaller trolley? I can`t believe that fewer people used to bring these back, so I`d rather say it`s a quite blatant attempt to get you spend more in their shop since the bigger trolley you can still get for free), anyway, so Nana lost her shopping trolley coin. And would you believe it, I had one in my stash, and a girly one at that, with a wee silver butterfly on it. So I made this for her keyring:
I don`t know why I always lavish her with all this pink girly stuff - probably as the mother of my one and only son, whenever I see a really feminine design in one of my magazines, I subconsciously store it for an occasion for Nana. Anyway, so this is what she got for her 76th, along with some lilac (again, why?) bath salts and a card - cross stitched, of course. I made this wee cushion-thing for her keyring so that she would instantly find the coin in her bag when she got to the shop but she decided to rather put it in Purse #2 (I think she`s got three, I`m not sure, but there seems to be one for notes, one for coins, one for her bus pass and God knows what else...) and then we went to Lidl where she promptly wanted to try out her new coin - which doesn`t work! I don`t know why, it must be the wrong size or something but the main thing is: it`s useless! As you can imagine, first I was extremely upset because this is not how I imagined this... but then I tried to console myself with the thought that (again, thanks to cross stitch) at least she`s got a present that will last, long after she soaked in her lovely-smelling bath and chucked this useless butterfly-coin in the bin.
Oh, I almost forgot: I got so excited the other day when I saw that someone other than my closest family and friends is following this blog! So welcome, creativethinker, I`m glad you`ve found something among my ramblings that piqued your interest. And that also reminds me that the other day I never wrote any more extensively about my new friend, Linda, a very lovely lady who moved here roughly at the same time as us but we`d never met until last weekend when we sat next to each other for two days at the Arts Festival. As an experienced aromatherapist, she makes her own bath products, soaps and other smellies from essential oils - but these are just one third of her "stock" because for some strange combinatory reason she also sells pet food and Christmas stockings. I think she must know something so I decided to seriously consider branching out myself in the future. There are so many things I could do... just tonight, for example, I saw some designs for cross stitched bracelets... and why not? So jewellery making, here I come!
Oh, what an imbecile I am, I almost forgot to mention the biggest story of the weekend! On Friday I raided the charity shops in Cupar and found some lovely pieces of scrap fabric which I can turn into anything, from Christmas decorations to cushions to book binders... really, the list is endless! And now the best bit: in another charity shop I found 30 new (well, new to me...) cross stitch magazines! I`m happy as Larry (who`s this Larry, by the way?) and every spare minute I had this weekend, I spent flicking through my new stash - an amazing wealth of designs I`ve acquired, I can tell you! Just to name one, I have wee Christmas stocking designs, about 2" in height, and MATCHING PAIRS, i.e. mirror images so I can make little Xmas decorations that will look great from both sides, as opposed to "nice front, felt back" which, by the way, also has its merits but these`ll be extra-special.
OK, I can feel I`m getting a bit carried away, approaching a territory that only the really hardcore cross-stitcher among you would understand so I`d better go - but before I do, there`s just one more thing I`d like to share with you... Gregory`s got a wardrobe! Yippie! Finally we got round to buying him one so we don`t have to keep his clothes on these poles you see in department stores (I know, we`re terrible parents but may I just add: in our old house we had built-in wardrobes). Oh, and he`s also got a wobbly tooth which he simply can`t leave alone, which is fine until he starts shoving it back and forth with his finger while I suddenly feel light-headed. Plus he`s already preparing for battle because after the Tooth Fairy has already taken 4 of his teeth, he says that when this one comes out, he`ll definitely keep it - and the Tooth Fairy can keep her money, thank you very much. I think this fight will be a tough one but if and when the tooth falls out, I`ll faithfully report, I promise. And before you`d say, "Too much blah-blah, not enough pictures", here`s one of the Tooth Fairy "container" I made for Gregory:
Again, I apologise for the quality of the photo (I`m still not familiar with hubby`s camera but the good news is that yesterday I found one on Ebay that`s identical to my old one that was unfortunately "sat upon" so hopefully, within a few days I`ll be able to take better pictures again). So it`s a wee leather bag that was on an old keyring nobody ever used and I attached it to this square cardboard that fits in the frame I also had in my stash. And the poem reads, "In this pocket you will find/a teensy, tiny tooth of mine./So while I sleep,/where dreams are made,/let`s see if we/can make a trade." I wonder what we`ll find in the wee bag next time...
Friday, 23 September 2011
I know I haven`t written anything for ages - truth is, I feel a bit deflated these days. Not only because the creative frenzy of the past 3-4 weeks is over (and what a result I had at the festival! Details in a minute...) but also because I had a nasty surprise yesterday. You know, the backstabbing type, where somebody says something to you one day and three days later does the very opposite - I don`t have the time (I`m about to go to Kellie Castle AT LAST with my wee coaster!) or the inclination to go into details, suffice it to say that I feel slightly betrayed and I HATE this feeling! Plus the weather`s dismal - my friend Nessie (who, for some reason, started to sign her messages as Nessi so maybe I should follow her example as well), so Nessi from Australia is telling me that due to the coming spring, she spends more and more time in her garden... whereas I spend more and more of my time putting the heating on and preparing more Christmas decorations. Brrrr!
Well, actually, this last bit is not strictly true: I have so many great ideas for Christmas decorations and I can`t wait to get started but I can`t, unfortunately, for being disciplined as I am, I don`t want to start a new project until I finish what I already started. And here is the one in question:
As you can see, the Celtic knotwork is already done, and silly me, I thought that "filling in the blanks" with black will be the easy part! Well, it is in a way because at least I don`t have to follow a pattern but IT TAKES ABSOLUTELY AGES! I thought I`d be finished by now... oh, and when the frame is done, I still have to finish the black squares which at the moment look like an intricate trellis as opposed to the visibly divided black squares of a chessboard. So, all in all, there`s still a lot more to do and all the while I`m eager to start on my wee Christmas stockings!
Anyway, gotta go now, my new friend Linda is almost here - darn, I completely forgot to write about her, the Festival, the whole weekend, everything! Nevermind, I`ll make up for it next time...
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Yay!!! I`ve done it! The saga which started exactly 3 weeks and 17620 stitches ago, has finally ended this morning when I stitched the last whisker on my lion! Here he is:
It`s beautiful, isn`t it? And I had the perfect frame for it, too:
So that`s that, now I can concentrate on the Celtic chessboard I also started a few days ago - I won`t attach a picture here just yet, let it be a surprise. On the other hand, I`ve got some pics of the other wee stuff I`ve been making during the past week, in between lion stitching sessions:
5 Sets of Matching Greeting Card + Bookmark + Gift Tag
My Valentine-themed toiletry bags still need some finishing touches but the Christmas decorations are ready to go - I`m especially pleased with the 3 snow "globes" (=stars), I think they turned out rather cute. And now, back to work because I really, REALLY want to finish this chessboard before the Festival. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
I am happy to report that the car is finally here, and I didn`t even have to go for it myself! Eventually, Tam took the train on Friday at 5 o`clock in the morning, went down to Liverpool, had to wait for the seller a bit, then drove it all the way back and got home safe and sound just before midnight. The Thing, as it turns out, is not a Landy but a Range Rover, is so big that it fills our whole driveway, and I`m seriously considering parking my wee Corsa under it so as to protect it from the elements... On Sunday I drove it to the beach which was terrifying (the driving experience, not the beach!) because it floats like a cruise ship, not to mention it`s about the size of one, too... Oh, and it`s an automatic, which I`m still not so sure about: this was the first time I`ve driven one and I kind of liked the fact that I didn`t have to think about gears or even do anything for that matter; on the other hand, I always hate when a machine wants to "think" for me, you know what I mean... (By the way, could someone please advise me about commenting on somebody`s blog, or replying to someone else`s comment? These things still seem to be beyond me!).
"And how`s the lion coming along, Laura?", I hear you ask. Well, here`s the latest photo:
And just in case you think that "Well, that`s not much progress since the last photo", I haste to add that the Festival is less than 2 weeks away now, so I`m doing other wee stuff in between lion-stitching sessions, such as lavender scented sachets and Christmas decorations:
The sachets are ready to go but the wee Christmas motifs I still have to turn into bona fide decorations - plus I have snow globes, pencil cases, canvas bags, etc. to finish, and I also want to make something for Halloween, and bookmarks, coasters... How many more days have I got before the Fayre? The answer is: NOT ENOUGH!
So I guess I`d better go and get on with it - but before I do, here`s one more picture to show that my two boys have been busy too:
They made this aeroplane for Bigyi, Gregory`s special teddy, who was happily flying in it all around the garden until his rather unlucky landing last night, so the plane is in the "repair shop" now in 3 pieces but I`m sure Dada`ll be able to fix it. Oh, and just in case you thought your house was messy: this is our dining room which we haven`t used for almost two weeks now, due to my magazines covering every available square inch, from table to chairs to floor surface. Nevermind, at least everything`s nice and clean - not! Please note the hoover strategically placed behind all the Christmas magazines to make sure no human being can possibly remove it from there for cleaning purposes... Oh dear, oh dear, I`m turning into a living example of the classic stitchers` saying, "Cross stitch forever - housework whenever!"