24 December 2006

Happy Holidays!

Hey everybody. It's been a while but I'm finally here. Thank you for your patience - I've been so busy my feet haven't touched the ground!

I just wanted to say that I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. I wasn't going to celebrate it myself, but then I thought, darn it, why should I let what's happened get in the way of my festive spirit?! I'm going to my Sis and Bro-in-Laws tomorrow to join in the fun and games (there'll be about 8 of us, including my middle Sis and BIL) and no doubt we'll be playing the card game 'UNO' until the early hours. We did that last year (when Xmas Day was at my house), but it increasingly becomes a game of skill once you've had a few 'festive fizzy pops' shall we say. Then for Boxing Day, I've decided to host the dinner and drink marathon. I'm going to be busy - and a bit sad - but I'm looking at the next couple of days with the view that they are just what a are - a couple of days. I've got through the worst of it so far, tomorrow and Tuesday shouldn't make any difference. It's been really nice actually, as I've received so many pats on the back - and people heartily saying 'good for you hun!' - It's made me all the more determined to enjoy myself.

It's also been a bit awkward, as I haven't received as many cards as I did last year, but hey, if people want to be like that, then fine - I can do without them. I sent all my cards as usual without ever thinking whether I should be doing or not. It just goes to show how surprising it can be when you think you've known someone for years, then when you mention 'separation', it all changes. Yes I'm separated, I've not got the flu virus!!! Ah who cares about them anyway? I instantly look at the following to cheer me up.......

Yes this is my bedside cabinet/table - with my lovely little buzzy bee picture and card from Ann, and my other lovely handmade cards from Lynn. I look at that little lot and always forget my troubles.

Well, I've even managed to fit in some stitching along the way......

Yes, even though I do say so myself, I'm rather chuffed with how 'Phoenix' is turning out at the moment - Lugana is always a joy to stitch - and this is no different, especially with the sparkles going through it. I'm looking forward to doing some more this week as I've got the whole week off - oooh bliss - non stop stitching, hurrah!!!

Well I shall sign off here. A very Merry Christmas to you and your families and I hope Santa brings you lots of lovely pressies, especially loads and loads of stitching goodies (I've got everything crossed to make sure that I do!). Oh, almost forgot - message for Stitcherw - thanks for 'tagging' me and I will definitely see to doing it after the next couple of days - PROMISE! x


16 November 2006

Licence to KERPOWW! and 'The Phoenix is Rising!'

My goodness - two posts in one week - it's a miracle LOL :)

Another thing I'm really rather chuffed about is that I got my Aikido licence and grading book at training the other night *cue a Spongebob Squarepants HOO-RAY!*

The grading book is a bit like a passport in the Aikido world. Every time you grade and gain a different coloured belt, they stamp and sign it with details of where and when you got it, with a rather awesome looking stamp. You can also record details of any training seminars that you attend as well. This year the club has been to seminars in Poland and also Japan (the home of Aikido). Unfortunately this was before I joined. Going to Japan would have been awesome as it has been a dream of mine for quite a number of years. I can't wait to find out where we'll be going next year - hopefully they'll go to Japan again. The next lot of grading will be in December - and with any luck I'll be swapping my white belt for a yellow one!

......and....yes, the Phoenix is finally rising from the ashes! I started mixing all the thread colours and putting them on me thread cards the weekend just gone. I've cut my lovely sparkly fabric to size and have put it on a frame, but I've not done any stitching as yet. I'm starting it at the weekend...so watch this space!! xx

14 November 2006

Really Rather Chuffed!

A couple of days ago I went to see Opeth (one of my favourite bands of all time) at Rock City, here in Nottingham a couple of days ago - they're not to everyone's taste I grant you (they're a Death Metal band, but I see them more as a prog-rock sort of thingy). I took a photo with my new phone - I now have a very swanky looking Sony Ericsson W850i - and I must say I'm rather chuffed with the results after taking a few piccies. I won't bore you with all of them as they all look the same, bar a few colour changes with the lighting, but it's not bad considering it's a mobile phone camera.

I've also downloaded huge amounts of loverly moosic. The bus trip to work isn't quite so paint dryingly, mind numbling boring as it has been recently.

I just had to post this - I'm a gadget geek - I'll go away and shut up now :) - TTFN x

08 November 2006


Hoover dam but it's cold here! We had the warmest October on record here in the UK and now all of a sudden, Jack Frost has been trampling round here with his great big size 9 boots! It was so cold, I had to wear my gloves while on the way to work this morning, which is the first time ever this year. Fudge is also feeling it too, and is spending most of his time curled up on my new winter duvet!

'Ah...this is the life!'

That's just where I wanted to be this morning I can tell you! I love the winter during the day, but I'm not so keen on the dark nights, even more so because of my current situation. There always has to be a spanner in the works - but that's life, hey ho.

'Rose Trio' Update: Well, it's a very poor update. As you can see, I've only managed to make the drops slightly longer and putting the little heart shapes at their ends.

I've got Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening to myself, so I'm planning to get it all done by the end of the week. I really do need to start my 'Phoenix' asap, as I'm beginning to dream about it! Mind you, I suppose dreaming about a Phoenix isn't too bad - maybe it's my subconscious telling me that good changes are ahead, being as the Phoenix is a sign of rebirth and new starts - how cool would that be?! Have a good week xx

29 October 2006

Note to Self......

......I must post more! Sorry, yet again, for the long absence. I've been battling things like sore throats and colds. I think my body is trying to tell me to slow down, which I am now beginning to take notice of. For the first time in a long time, I'm starting to feel comfortable being by myself, so being in the house doesn't feel so awful anymore. To this end I've decided to take things easy and I'm beginning to feel much better, both mentally and physically

Well a lovely thing happened at the weekend - look what I got from the 'Sweetie Across The Sea', otherwise known as Ann

Isn't it great?! It is currently residing on my bedside table, so I can look at cheery smiley Bumble Bee when I'm feeling down, which is usually first thing in the morning. The card is sooo cuuuute! I think you can make it out in the picture, but there's a sweetie little dog curled up and underneath the words 'Ruff Day?' Bless you Ann, you're a gem! xx The card sits with the cards that Lynn sent me, when she sent over that luvvverly body wash and moisture creme.

I've started to watch DVDs again, which for some reason I couldn't for quite a while (I think it was maybe because I used to watch them with Husband). I went out and bought 'Pride & Prejudice' - it was only a fiver in HMV! I had to get it. Talking of Bronte novels being brought to the silver screen, I was absolutely riveted to the new adaptation of 'Jane Eyre' that the BBC produced. It was in four parts and finished a couple of weeks ago. Now Sundays are totally bereft of something to look forward to. An English actor by the name of Toby Stephens played the wonderfully moody Mr Rochester. Toby played the baddie Gustav Graves in the 007 movie 'Die Another Day' and is Dame Maggie Smith's younger son. He just totally floats my boat and blows Matthew MacFadyen out of the water! Check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/janeeyre/- it's well worth a look!

Update on 'Rose Trio' - I've done some more, but I've seriously neglected my poor stitching. I'll be making up for it by doing some over the weekend and posting some more photos of it so you can see. It's nearly finished, then on to 'The Phoenix' which I can't wait to stitch!

That's all for now - and I promise I won't leave my next posting too long! Thanks for dropping by - and thanks for your patience. Big Hugs! xx

02 October 2006

I'm Still Here!

Hey everybody - sorry for not posting for so long...but I've been so busy! To stop moping around at home I've taken up a few new pastimes. I've always done Tai Chi on a Monday evening and Badminton on a Sunday morning, but now I have Badminton on a Tuesday evening and I've started training in Aikido on a Thursday evening (phew - just makes me tired looking at all this lol!) This now means I only have 3 nights a week to myself - and when I'm not sleeping I'm doing things like ironing and keeping the house straight.

Generally I've not been too bad - I still have my down days but they seem to be easing somewhat, although I had a terrible time last Tuesday. Every time I sat down at work to tackle something or other, I'd start to cry. I'm just so thankful my Boss is so understanding - he's a real sweetie, in fact all of my work colleagues have been absolutely brilliant to me. I'm very lucky. I had a little cry before going online tonight, but I think that's because I'm suffering with a head cold and I can never think straight at the best of times when I have one of those. I just wish I could wake up tomorrow and find that this was all a bad dream. But, that doesn't mean to say I'd go back to how things were between me and DH because that obviously (I can see it now) wasn't working, but I'd love for once not to wake up, go through the day and go to bed thinking about how crap this all is. Maybe one day soon...

Anyway, here is an update on my 'Rose Trio' WIP - as you can see, I have managed to fit in some time to stitch - it won't be long before I've finished it........

But....... good ole' Blogger, in fine tradition, isn't playing nicely so I will try to upload it later on in the week (typical). I've just tried again to load some more holiday pics and Blogger is still sulking in the corner. AHAAA!........

Oh well, at least you can see RT, but the holiday photos no go....I thought it was too good to be true. Ah well, can't have it all peachy can we?? Anyway, I'll sign off here now. Love to you all my fellow stitchers - I hope you have a cracking week!

TTFN xxxxxx

04 September 2006

'I'm so Lucky '& Stitching Stuff

Hello again :)

I am soooo lucky to have such lovely stitching friends.......look what arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago.

I was going to post this a few weeks ago, but I've been so busy (and worn out!) that I never got round to it until now. What you see before you is a lovely suprise I received in the mail from the lovely talented lass that is Singular Stitches

I visited her blog one evening and commented on some cloths that she had knitted. I remarked on how lovely they were (and they are I can tell you - check it out) and low and behold - a couple of weeks later I got this fantastic washcloth (which in my opinion works better than a loofah) and some lovely Mary Kay products (some lovely body wash and some moisture lotion). They are aptly called 'Embrace Happiness', which is just what I did when I used them - they smell fab the fragrance lasts for ages! Isn't she just the greatest? :)

I thought it also about time I actually put some stitching on here, so here is the L*K piece that I completed a few weeks ago - 'In All Things Give Thanks'. I stuck to the original threads used (which were an absolute pain to use - they kept knotting up on me every two seconds - and with Thread Heaven on them as well!) but I got there in the end.

And here's the project I'm currently working on. It's an Art-Stitch design called 'Rose Trio'. It's an absolute dream to stitch because the colours are so simple - just what I need being as my brain has decided to take up residence in my bum with everything that's going on at the moment!

And...YAY! My fabric arrived from Silkweaver for the Dracolair 'Phoenix' project that I'm going to be doing when I have completed 'Rose Trio'. It's a 28-count opalescent lugana in 'Sparkling Sundown' from their 'Reflections' range...here's a piccie - a not very good quality one I know but you can see the way it sparkles - I'm glad it lives up to its name!

It's things like the above that make me realise life is worth living and it makes me humble. I really am a lucky gal!

I shall be posting more of my holiday photies later on in the week, so watch this space - thanks for dropping by and have a great week :) xxx

03 September 2006

Time for a Change

I've decided to change my blog to something different, as now I am posting to you from my brand new computer. I was getting fed up with looking at pink all the time!

Well, my trip to Loch Lomond was amazing - I think I need another holiday to get over it! The weather was fantastic and the places we saw were fantastic as well. We stayed in Tarbet, which is the main of 3 other villages around Loch Lomond. The gaelic word for Tarbet is 'Tairbeart' meaning isthmus or, literally, "draw-boat". Loch Lomond at Tarbet is a mile and a half from a sea loch, Loch Long, at Arrochar (Arrochar is the next village, approximately 2 miles away). There is a valley that connects them, which is low lying and was long used as a portage route for boats. Also in 1263, Viking raiders sailed their longships between the two to allow them to do their plundering and pillaging along the shores of Loch Lomond.

A lovely pic of Loch Lomond. This was taken the next day after we arrived. The mountain you see behind the Loch is Ben Lomond, which in Gaelic means 'Beacon Mountain'

...and this is Loch Lomond to the right of the previous picture. This is where all the little boat tours leave from.

This is the Tarbet Hotel. It was a lovely little place to stay, but it's not exactly modern in decor. It didn't matter to me - it would have looked a bit strange to see modern furniture in a place as old as this.

That's about it for the moment. I have more piccies to show you in relation to our trip to Stirling Castle, Inverary, Fort William and Oban, but I shall post them later on this week, as good old Blogger is deciding to sulk. Back to work tomorrow (groan) - oh deep joy!

Until next time :)

27 August 2006

I'm off to Bonnie Scotland!

Hey everybody :)

Yes, I'm off to Loch Lomond very early tomorrow morning, so I thought I would type a quick post now, as I won't have time in the morning. I'm in need of a break again - also yesterday (August 26th) was my wedding anniversary, so I decided to take the week off, as I would have been on holiday(in normal circumstances) anyway.

Yesterday was suprisingly OK. Mind you, I had booked a full body aromatherapy massage for the morning, so I pretty much floated along yesterday after that! But I didn't cry, or mope, so yet another hurdle successfully over with. My Ma, Sisters, Brother's in Law and all my friends were really proud of me....and I was proud of me too. I'd been dreading the 26th for so long, but when it finally reared it's scary head, I showed it a karate chop or two and sent it flying :)))

I will be back sometime on Friday September 1st, so at least I'll have Saturday and Sunday to recover, as it's going to be a long journey (roughly about 5ish hours I estimate there and back). I shall be bringing my trusty digital camera with me, so when I come back I'll post some photies. I plan to have a few trip days. I'm hoping to catch the ferry to Oban, a beautiful place, and then visit Stirling Castle - I'm sure I'll be bring back some awesome pics!

I also just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind words, your support, your friendship and your love and understanding. I think, in fact I KNOW, that if I didn't have such wonderful friends out there in the stitching/blogging world, I don't think I mentally would have made it. Your advice and your friendship has kept me strong, and it continues to do so, and a special thanks goes out to a certain few (they know who they are). Every single one of you are my Guardian Angels...bless you and lots of ((((((((((HUGS)))))))))) to all of you.

Take care, have a lovely week and I'll post when I get back.
Lots of Love xxxxxxx

17 August 2006

World of the Strange

Hi all

It's been a while, but I'm back. Thanks for your patience. A lot of things have happened since I last posted.

DH has finally moved out, which was, to say the least, very traumatic. But it's done now and for the moment I can begin to heal. Although I never wanted him to move out, I wanted him to (sounds contradictory I know) because it was getting to the point where I would physically hurt every time I clapped eyes on him. I was stuck in limbo - I could neither move on or get some sort of closure. Him still being here also sent out huge mixed messages - "Sorry dear, I don't love you anymore, but despite making a few attempts to find a place of my own, I'm going to stay here and act like nothing's happened." It was very draining and it also started affecting my health and sanity, so something had to give. A fortnight ago on Wednesday, he moved in temporarily with his best friend.

It's been tough trying to adjust. It's almost like learning to walk again - it's a new routine, a new way of doing things. To say it was strange is an understatement, but, I'm slowly beginnning to come to terms with it. It doesn't stop me missing him like crazy - I still love him - and it's weird to find him not there in the morning, but right now there's nothing I can do about it, other than just get on with life and enjoy it the best I can. Fudge is being really clingy at the moment - I think he can sense that I'm still sad and upset, but also I know that he misses DH too. Fudge has started sleeping at the foot of the bed - this morning he was doing his impression of a furry six-pointed star, on his back purring and snorring at the same time!

I've started going to counselling and that has been a huge help. It's liberating to be able to sound off at someone who's totally neutral, who doesn't know your family and the baggage they carry around. My counsellor (Lizzie) is really great. Still, I'm worried about Husband, as I don't think he's properly talked to anybody about how he's doing or feeling. It's hard to guage, as nearly all my friends are mutual friends of his as well, so I don't know whether they're not telling me if he's talked to them because they think it might hurt my feelings or whether he's just not said anything. Hopefully I'll find out soon. If he doesn't face up to what's happened and try to mask how he's feeling by staying out every night or going to friends houses every night, not having total space and time on his own to reflect, it'll catch up with him sooner all later - and he'll crash and burn.

Meanwhile, to change the subject, I've started a new project, which I'm loving at the moment because it's so easy to stitch - I will take some photos over the weekend and post them so you can see. I'll leave you with piccies of Misty and Fudge.....

Here's Fudge hogging the bed.....

...and one of him ignorning me completely!.........

...and Misty being totally cute...awwww

Thanks for listening and thanks to you, my wonderful stitching friends, for making my blog worthwhile and for being brilliant. Take care xxxxxxx

01 August 2006

I Knew I was 'Feline' a bit Weird

You Are: 40% Dog, 60% Cat

You and cats have a lot in common.
You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.
However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!

Yes, I know, it's a terrible pun but it had to be done - I'm also a poet but didn't know it. Oh dear Carto, step away from the cringe-worthy gags before its tractor beam sucks you in!

I couldn't resist this, yet another personality quiz and thank goodness, I am more cat than dog. Not that I don't like dogs - if I could have one I would, but Fudge wouldn't be a happy catty. But it confirms the suspicion I've had for a long time...and I was wondering why I couldn't stop playing with Fudge's toys!

31 July 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Hey everybody, sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been a busy bee, which is great at the moment as it gives me something else to focus on. AT LAST, I bring you photies of my WIP's and some of my Ireland photos.

Here are my WIP's:

Mermaid of the Pearls

She's coming along nicely, although it's been about a week since I've done any work on her.

Knotwork Garden

I was really looking forward to getting this finished - now it's packed away with other stuff that is too emotional right now for me to deal with. You can see where I stopped stitching...maybe one day I'll finish it.

Holiday Photos!

This is a place called 'Doonass' which is about 3 miles down the road from CastleConnell, Co. Limerick. At the end of the road, there is a Restaurant/bar and the dead end, which faces out on to the River Shannon - this lovely little island with the 3 stones is what you gaze out at, after buying the obligatory pint of Guiness at the end of a thirsty walk!

And the little spec in the middle of this picture is the Heron I saw when out for yet another walk down by the River Shannon. This was taken about a mile down the road from my Aunt's house in CastleConnell.

This is my Aunt's cat - the lovely Misty along with my tower of strength, alias Ma. Misty's such a cutie and a friendly puss. She started life as a feral cat. My Auntie took her in and Misty took a shine to my Auntie. She tried to get Misty to come live inside, but Misty wasn't having any of that as she was so used to being outside. So my Aunt got a local carpenter to make her a little wooden hut outside - and there she lives quite happily! It has all the mod cons, like a heated pad for the winter and blankets - there's no fear of this little madam. As you can see, she's eyeing up my Mum's breakfast cereal - "any chance of a spot of milk please?"

Finally, this is my Auntie's Sister's dog called Molly. As my Aunt is at home for most of the time, and because Carmel is normally out at work, Molly spends most of her time here. About two hours before this picture was taken, Molly decided to go for a dip in the river, hence the 'Dragged through a bush backwards' look that she decided to adopt. Luckily Molly loves water and adores being washed - it's a good job really, she's always in the river up to mischief!

So there you have it - Ireland really is a place to restore your sanity and soul and I shall be returning next year. I'll post a few more Ireland photies later on in the week - if I don't stop now I'll be pushing it to get all the photos on here! I hope that everyone is well and happy and as always, thanks for dropping by.

Have a good week my friends! x x :)

17 July 2006

What Kind of Flower Are You?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first name is Friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh"

I've just read Ali B's blog and she's a Daffodil (a 'sweetie' Daffodil in my view, if there is such a species!), so I decided to take the challenge. Ironically, I love Snapdragons and I do love making people laugh, but I wouldn't say I'm a prankster. Mind you I can be when it comes to my Mum - we're always trying to out-do each other when it comes to pranks, but I wouldn't pull a prank on anyone unless I knew that they would be ok with it. I know some people in my life who have hurt and upset people with pranks - that doesn't go down well with me.

Take the Challenge and see what kind of flower you are!

Have a good day fellow Stitching friends! xxx

15 July 2006

Sorry for the Delay!

Hey everyone - I'm so sorry it's taken a while for me to post. I thought that by now I would have been able to post some pictures but there's a problem. It's not with the camera thank goodness, but there's something on the computer that's preventing it from recognizing it when I connect it via USB. There is nothing wrong with the camera, the docking station or the software, as a friend of mine kindly plugged it into their PC and got it working no problem, so until I find out why my computer isn't recognizing it when it is plugged in, there's going to be no pictures I'm afraid, which is a real pain. I will be getting a new computer at the end of the month, as DH is taking this one when he goes, so I think that will be the end of the camera problem anyway. In the meantime, I'm going to get a USB card reader, as very kindly suggested by Natty - thank you Natty!x It will be handy to have if ever there are future problems - I should get it next week.

Last weekend I went on a 'Stitching Get Together', which was fantastic! There was about 17 of us, chatting, LOTS of laughing and showing each other what we had completed - it was good to get away from it all and this time, it didn't feel so difficult coming back home as it did when I came back home from Ireland.

I took along an L*K design, from the 'Thanksgiving' series, called 'In all Things, Give Thanks' - I finished the lettering on the bottom of the design last night. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it at the moment, but I'm toying with the idea of making it a middle panel for a cushion cover.

Well that's about it for now. I promise I will post my Ireland and WIP photos as soon as I am able. Thanks for dropping by! xx

27 June 2006

Today's Word on Sesame Street is 'Jinxed' !!!

Houston, we have a problem :( Yesterday evening I tried to upload my holiday photos onto the PC and unfortunately, it looks as though the USB connection on the docking station that came with the camera is faulty - AAARRRGH!! In normal circumstances I wouldn't think much of it, but because of what's happened, I really think that somebody somewhere doesn't like me! I don't know how long this temporary setback will last, so I'm really sorry if you were looking forward to my pics.

It will be no doubt a series of emails to amazon.co.uk, as I bought the camera from their site - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be for too long. I've been an amazon UK customer for years and they've always been 'on the ball' in the past if ever I've had to return something faulty or damaged.

I've not made much progress on my 'Knotwork Garden'. I was in the middle of doing more work on it the night Husband decided to tell me his dreaded news. Since then, every time I try and pick it up it brings back the awful memory and as a consequence, I become a wet, soggy mass of paper tissues, so I'm focusing my attention on my 'Mermaid' for the time being. It's a good job I decided to buy some additional presents for my Sister's Birthday, or she would have ended up with nothing on 22 July.

I will keep you posted on progress - hopefully the situation will be resolved quickly so I can then show you my lovely photos.

I'm trying to keep everything in perspective. Every time I feel like holding a Pity Party for myself, I think of what I have and how lucky I am:

1. I have a wonderful family supporting me
2. I have solid friends
3. I have a roof over my head and food to eat
4. I have a great job, with supportive and understanding work colleagues
5. I have my health
6. I have my wonderful puss cat :)
7. I have the love and support of my fellow Bloggers (thank you x)
8. I have an ample supply of Chocolate!

My Mum really put things into perspective the other day when she found me in tears - and she said (imagine a strong Irish accent): "If you think you have problems, think of all the other people in the world who haven't got what you have" She absolutely right, bless her heart. I shouldn't be so selfish!

Until next time, love and light to you all.

Carto x x x :)

22 June 2006

Bouncing Back

Hey everybody! Well, I got back from Ireland yesterday evening - and it has done me the world of good (including my Ma who came with me!). We were visiting my Aunt, who lives in Castleconnell, County Limerick, which is right on the banks of the River Shannon. We had about 5 days of blistering sunshine, which was fantastic, and there was plenty of fresh air and the sound of beautiful summer days. I spent most of my time walking by the river, watching the Herons and Kingfishers diving into the water for food. It was pure heaven listening to the Bullfinches, Wrens, Song Thrushes, Robins and watching cute little Wagtails strutting their stuff.

I took my new digital camera with me and I've taken a few photographs of what I saw along with some gorgeous piccies of my Auntie's cat, called Misty. I will post them over the weekend and also, will FINALLY give you an update on my 'Knotwork Garden' and 'Mermaid' - Hoo-ray!

Just before I sign off, I would just like to say 'thank you' dropping by and a huge great big thanks to those who have sent me their kind words. The Stitcher blogging community is certainly a community filled with love and kindness. I still feel like I've been run over by a freight train, but with friends like you all out there, I'll know I'll make it somehow.

TTFN and bless you all!
Carto xxx

11 June 2006

This is a Month of Heartaches

Hi all

I just wanted you to know that I won't be posting for a little while. I am busy falling apart. On Tuesday 30th May, my Husband told me that he doesn't love me anymore, therefore we are in the middle of a separation. I'm numb and I'm scared...and really still in shock at the moment. The one and only man that I will ever love is leaving me - and I feel like my heart's been ripped out. I'm going to Ireland with my Ma from 14th June to 21st June to get away for a while to try and get my head together. At the moment it is scrambled and I can't think, feel...or do anything at the moment.

I've just read Ali's blog and read her terrible news - my pain pales into insignificance compared to what she must be going through right now, poor sweetheart. It seems to be 'Bad News Month' all round - the world's gone mad.

Anyway, I'll sign off here now. I'll try and post once I get back from Ireland - maybe I'll feel a bit better once I've had a week away. Please keep dropping by though - I've only known you all for such a short space of time, but I feel already that I have made lovely and wonderful friends with you all. Don't forget me.

All my love and hugs
Carto x x x x

29 May 2006

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly

Hey everybody, I hope you're all well and happy.

Sorry for the severe lack of postings at the moment. I just wanted to let you know that I haven't fallen off the planet. I've been itching to post about (and let you see) how my 'Knotwork Garden' is coming along, but I've come to realise that my phone camera is not good enough to do it justice regarding how much work I've put into it. You'll be pleased to know that I will be receiving a new digital camera in the next few days (I can't wait - hoo-ray!). Finally, I will be able to show you just how lovely the colours are and how it sparkles.

Until then, please keep dropping by. I really do appreciate your comments - they have made me smile and have kept me going on really bad days - thank you, you lovely people! x x x

11 May 2006

Stitching 'To Do' List

It's funny. Even though I have two stitching projects on the go at the moment, I'm already planning what to stitch next. In fact, I've already ordered the threads and beads. Check out The Phoenix, from Dracolair Designs.

The design consists of lovely deep reds, rusty browns, greys and golden yellows, with some Kreinik cord/braids and some Mill Hill beads thrown in for good measure. It will also be my first time using 'High Lights' thread from Rainbow Gallery
. Apparently it is just like combining a strand of thread with a strand of metallic, but with 'High Lights', the combining has already been done for you. All you do is just wind off as much as you want, thread your needle and start stitching. Has anyone else used it before? If so, what did you think of it? I'm still awaiting the fabric. I decided in the end to go for the fabric that the model was stitched on. It's from the 'Reflections' range of hand-dyed fabrics from Silkweaver Fabrics, in this case, it's the 28 count Lugana in 'Sparkling Sundown'.

Here's another update regarding my 'Knotwork Garden':

I've nearly finished trimming the green knot with the gold/Kreinik thread. As usual, I couldn't wait to see what it would look with the flowers in the background so I have started to stitch them. I really should stop being so impatient!

Thanks for dropping by! :) x

28 April 2006

'Need a Hand?'

Awww - isn't he cute?! Even if I do say so myself, my gorgeous bundle of fur sure knows how to pose for the camera!

My elder sister came round to visit last weekend (the same sis that rescued Fudge puss, along with my Bro-in-Law), as B-I-L was working till all hours, so F came round to have a natter. She is also a cross stitcher, in fact she is the reason why I'm stitching today! Anyway she is working on a design by Amathusia Needle craft Designs - (this one is particular is called 'February Amethyst') and decided to bring it along last weekend. We were chatting happily (i.e., putting the world to rights!) whilst working on our respective stitching projects.

Then out of the blue, up popped Fudge on the table, which had F's chart and assorted threads spread all over it, and got comfy on said chart whilst purring like a Harley Davidson. Then he started to stare intently at the threads and everything else that was going on. F then got her mobile phone out and said 'I have got to take a photo of this!'. Then later when she got home she sent it over to me. And the end result is this rather adorable looking photie!

Fudge keeps me company whenever I'm stitching and purrs his approval whenever I take a break and show him what I'm doing (it's silly I know, but I talk to my puddy cat!).

Thanks for dropping by - have a good weekend :)))

Knotowork Garden - Further Progress

As you can see, I have progressed rather well with my Knotwork Garden. I've been having crafty stitching moments as and when I can. I've even been going to bed early so that I can sit up for a while and do a bit before visiting the land of Nod. I'm concentrating on getting the main green outlines of the knot itself completed, before filling in the colour - I can't wait. I tried taking photo of the photo that came with the kit, but the end result wasn't very good, in fact it was rubbish - I haven't got a scanner, so taking photos with the mobile phone camera will have to do for a while. Anyway it will keep you guessing about the end result - all the more to surprise you with!

Have a good weekend :) x

20 April 2006

WIP's In The Pipeline

Hello again. I hope you had a good Easter break, mind you I'm not glad to be back at work. So far I've had a rubbish week, and I wasn't going to post because I was so fed up today, but then I thought "why should those 'barstools' at work affect my home/personal time?" Anyway, I decided to give them the old 'Two Finger Salute' then I blew a few raspberries into the air (well it was the back garden actually - I hope the neighbours weren't watching - you can just imagine them looking at some mad old twonk of a woman, flailing two fingers wildly into space and making bottom burp noises!!) and logged on to my trusty PC!

So, as promised in my last post here are some shots (and I apologise for the bad quality as before - I've got to get a new camera!) of some WIPs. The first photo is the WIP that I mentioned a couple of posts ago, yes, this was the reason for my goldfish-induced daydreamings. It's by Mirabilia and it's called 'Mermaid of the Pearls'

I'm stitching it on 14 Count green/grey Aida using DMC threads. The chart also requires Mill Hill beads and Mill Hill Treasures. I've committed the cardinal sin of stitching on the beads before finishing the bulk of the stitching, but I was so excited to see what the fin part of the design would look like with the beads on, I couldn't wait! I'll probably regret it when stitching the other half of the design, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm using Madeira Glissengloss Rainbow metallic thread instead of the recommended Kreinik threads, as I've found Madeira is softer and easier to use, but I don't think it matters which brand you use, you still get the age old problem of getting the tension even and the slippy texture.

The next piece I'm working on is for my Big Sister's Birthday in July, entitled 'Knotwork Garden' designed by Mary Hickmott of New Stitches Magazine

It's on 18 count white Aida, using Anchor threads and Madeira Gold metallic thread. It is small enough for me to take in my bag to work, so I'm grabbing a few stitches in my dinner hour every day. Despite the poor picture, you can see that it's quite sparkly due to the gold edging around the green. I will keep you posted about how both of these are coming along.

I hope you're week is going better than mine - Roll on Friday at 5pm!

Take Care :)

13 April 2006

Off Topic!

Yes...it is terribly off topic (and I won't make a habit of it), but here's a cutie that wants to say "Hello"......

This is my pride and joy and my little ray of sunshine...my 7 year old cat, Fudge. He was rescued by my Brother-in-Law from a couple of street peddlers who were threatening to drown him because they couldn't sell him. He'd overheard them saying this and to put it politely, he asked them to hand him over, no he wasn't going to give them payment and if they didn't disappear he'd have something to say about it. I wouldn't want to bump into him down a dark alley at the best of times, but if you can imagine a 'Hell's Angel' biker holding a kitten, you can see why the two horrors decided to scarper!

Fudge fitted into the palm of my hand when B-I-L and Sis brought him over to me. The poor thing, he was riddled with fleas, malnourished and half deaf because of the ear mites that had infected both of his ears. The next day I registered him with the local Vet and got him checked over. He was diagnosed with a heart murmur as well, probably due to the lack of nutrition. We cured his fleas and ear mite problem, but the Vet prepared me for the worst....that he probably wouldn't live until after the age of 4...but as you can see, someone out there is surely smiling on him. His condition doesn't stop him climbing trees in the orchard directly opposite my house!

So there you have it. Normal transmissions will resume!

'Past Stitches' and 'Happy Easter!'

I thought I would show you some of my past stitching achievements. Unfortunately, there aren't many (errr...only 2!!) because I've given most of them away to various family members over the years, but it will give you an idea of the sort of designs that I like to stitch.


It was designed by Mervyn Rogers from a company called Treasure Island Products based in North Wales. It was stitched on 18 count white Aida, using Anchor thread as recommended. I am quite proud of this, as it was my first large-scale project. I remember buying it at the annual Stitching Show, at the Olympia, London, in 1998. My best friend and fellow stitcher K convinced me that I would have no problems with it, and she was right! Apologies for the poor picture quality (will explain further on).


This is another design from Treasure Island Products that I bought and stitched a year later. It is stiched on 14 count cream Aida, again using Anchor thread as the chart recommended. They also recommended to stitch with 3 threads instead of the usual 2, to bring out the colour. Unfortunately the picture doesn't do it justice, but I can assure you, it is very vivid in colour.

To explain the terrible pictures, my digital camera decided to go on strike. It's been on the blink for some time, but it decided it had had enough last night, so I had to borrow Hubby's phone camera. I waiting for pay day so I can go out and get a new one! In my next post, I'll show you my latest WIP (the reason for my 'empty-head' dreamings!), plus a few other WIP's that are 'in the pipeline'.

Thank you for dropping by, and have a great Easter :)

06 April 2006

Oh dear!

I started a new cross stitch piece a few weeks ago, which usually means that I can't think of anything else. Sure enough, I'm suffering from 'I'd rather stay at home stitching than go to work' Syndrome.

The other day, a work colleague was talking to me, whilst I reciprocated with my best goldfish impression. Yes, I've been reliably assured that I was (and I quote) 'as vacant as a toilet door' for a good 60 seconds or so. But why think of financial year end procedures, when you can spend your working hours thinking about which thread colour you are going to start using next?! I know it's really sad to get excited about seeing a brand new colour appear on your fabric, but I can't help it. Anyway, when I apologised and explained why my goldfish impression was so good, to say that my colleague looked bemused was an understatement. You could actually see that her face was saying 'she really should get out more'. But non-believers (or should I say non-stitchers) will never understand. Can anyone else relate to that feeling?

03 April 2006


Welcome to my blog! I have finally entered the 21st century (which is amazing as I can get lost going to my garden shed and back). I hope to entertain you and make you laugh while showing you pieces of my hobby, which surprise surprise, is stitching! I mainly do cross stitch but I have been known to do Needlepoint, embroidery and beading as well...so watch this space!