Needleworking

First blog post

My Life.

When I told my daughter I was going to start a blog about things I remembered and things I had done she said “Oh good!!  You will be able to go back and read all about it when you go senile.”  KIDS!!!

So here is my life in short bursts of whatever comes to mind at the time.  Hope you enjoy.

Love Gill. xx

 

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Needleworking

APRIL SHOWERS

Hi everyone, I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter.

Here I have felt a bit isolated but had a wonderful hour face timing with my kids and granddaughters.

It has been a funny month since I last spoke to you. March ended up with some beautiful summery days – warm enough to go out in tee shirts – then April came with sub zero temperatures and the only showers we have had have been snow, sleet and hailstones.

Can you see the hail on the trampoline, it didn’t last long as the sun came out but this repeated itself all day for several days. There has been lots of sun too but far too cold to enjoy outside, best through the window!!!

My front garden is brightening up beautifully with heather, daffies and forsythia flowering and a lovely dark red hebe next to a peachy coloured maple.

I have only three weeks TAST stitches today as we had a week off to catch up if we were behind. It has been good as the stitches are one’s I haven’t done before so a bit of a learning curve!

My blue blanket is coming along slowly but I am pleased with the way it is looking.

I have made some progress with my knotty landscape and am very pleased with it. It should be finished by next month. I am always happy to have something finished, it gives me a great sense of achievement.

On Mother’s Day I received some beautiful flowers from my daughter and they lasted several weeks.

I was sad when they had to go but the plant next to them with the little white flowers was given to me at Christmas by my neighbour and there are still flowers on it. Isn’t that wonderful?

It has been a busy day today, the gardener has been to cut the grass and he has taken the brown flower heads off the heathers at the front. My food delivery has come and I need to find room to put things away – reminder to me – EAT SOME STUFF OUT OF THE FREEZER!!!!!! My blog is still ongoing and I am SO happy my new book has just arrived, book 12 of the Chronicles of St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. These books have saved my sanity over the last year, they are interesting, exciting and very funny. Long may Jodi keep writing them.

Hugs to you. Gill. xx

Needleworking

MARCH WINDS

Hi everyone, well spring is on its way and here in the UK March is really living up to its name and we have had some of this year’s worst winds. However the sun is also begining to show its face more often which makes me feel so much better.

Since last month I have been browsing through the internet for sewing inspiration and have picked up on a couple of ideas. Firstly I noticed quite a few ‘moss hoops’ where french knots have been used to create moss covered banks. These gave me the notion to use this method to make a small landscape, so here is my progress so far using french knots and a few other stitches as well.

I am really enjoying this.

Secondly I came across some beautiful quilts by a Canadian lady called Kirsten Chursinoff and they set me on the path of making some birthday cards.

As you will know I am into recycling as much as I can and these gave me the opportunity to use the smallest of leftover fabric from other projects, some only 1cm square.

I have been keeping up with my Beyond TAST sampler finding lots more stitches that are new to me.

I am using these stitches on my blue cushion cover which is coming along slowly.

I have to wait for the next week for each stitch before I can add it!

Mask making took up some time in between the other things and I now have another 6 to send to my daughter along with 2 for her husband and I kept 1 for myself.

There are a few projects currently on hold, I haven’t started my Christmas tree skirt yet and I am still trying to decide what to put on this year’s oval ornaments. My blue blanket is still as last month and I am no further on at crocheting the Storm Trooper – which means no I haven’t started it yet!!!

Have a Happy Easter one and all, here’s hoping for warm weather and lots of sunshine.

Love Gill. xxx

Needleworking

Winter Cold Snap

Well this is the coldest February the U.K. has had for quite a few years, the snow has caused havoc far and wide. Because we are not used to having snow except in the very north of England and in Scotland we are never prepared for it. What has been misery for some has become fun and games for others especially the children in lockdown. They have had a wonderful time snowballing and sledging and the adults have had their skis and snowboards out. The snow hasn’t lasted long – a couple of days at a time – but we have had three lots so far.

I am celebrating as I have had my first Covid jab on the 10th. Another 3 weeks and I may venture into town again, maybe!! I need my eyes and ears seeing to, getting old is not fun.

Another 4 Beyond TAST stitches under my belt and I have added them to the blue cushion cover.

Do you remember Daisy Dinosaur? Well she has now got her feet on. It has only taken me a year to work out how they were supposed to go on! This is a record even for me.

One of my projects from last month is a skirt for my Christmas tree. The fabric is cut and this last week I have made some felt shapes to add on. Once they are sewn on then I shall embroider, add buttons, sequins and trimmings. I am looking forward to this, I haven’t made anything like this since the kids were little.

I’ve crocheted another half dozen centres for the Linus blanket, this NOT going well. I just can’t work up any enthusiasm at the moment. I must make the effort to get some exercise, that might help. I haven’t even been for a walk with my friend for weeks as the weather has been so bad (we are both fair weather walkers only).

Here’s to a better transition into March, see you all then.

Love Gill. xxx

Needleworking

Light at the end of the Tunnel

Hi everyone, are you all safe and well in this wonderful new year?

January has been a very odd month so far, very wet with some snow. Yesterday it snowed all day and it must have got to about 6 inches thick which is good going for the UK urban areas.

We have had some glorious sunny days but they have been few and far between and never two together. It is slowly getting lighter in the evenings, we have gained about half an hour now.

My daughter has had to go back to school for keyworker’s children even though her two girls are still at home. She asked me to make her some masks so I have been busy doing that.

My Christmas decorations are all boxed up but I haven’t got round to putting them in the attic yet. I didn’t put many up this year as I was on my own but it really seems bare now.

I have been preparing some embroidery to work on over the next few months. The blue cushion cover for grandd no.2 has been pieced and is awaiting its embelishments.

I have begun 2021 Beyond TAST and kept the same format as last year. Weeks 1 & 2 are finished and posted.

I have cut some Aida fabric to make this year’s monogrammes and have finished my lockdown multi media project, what do you think?

The Linus UK blanket has benefited by a whole 7 centres

and I am now starting my penultimate name for my family history. So far I have researched Compigne, Carr, Salvini, and now Leaney, only Gillian to go. If you have access to Ancestry you are welcome to have a browse.

I am waiting for my anti Covid vaccine, Boris has promised all over 70s to have theirs by mid February (next blog day)!!! We shall see.

And last but definatley not least – I have MICE in my kitchen cupboard -what more could I ask for?????

Stay Covid free and happy, Bye for now,

Love Gill

Needleworking

Twinkling Lights

Well folks, here is December half way through. We have had snow for half a day and daylight for far less. Never mind, the solstice is nearly with us and things can only get better. My tree has been up for a week although I cheated this year and only did the little pull up one instead of the 6ft monster as my family won’t be coming to visit. I thought it would be too dangerous to me so close to getting the vaccine (I hope). Daughter and her two girls are still at school – no time to isolate. We here in West Yorkshire, UK are still in tier 3 lock down and it wouldn’t surprise me if dear old Boris says “Christmas is Cancelled”!!! The neighbours have been busy putting their festive lights up this week, it is so nice and cheerful to see them twinkling away.

Last week I had to go for my diabetic eye test and, wouldn’t you know, the sun shone all day. Light hurts your eyes after the drops are put in and I needed sun glasses to get home – sun glasses in December! However I took the opportunity to take some photos going through the little park on my way there and I got one of the sun shining on part of Leeds at the end of daylight on my way home. This was taken from my favourite view over my estate but usually at night when you can see miles of street lights, all different colours, it always makes my heart sing.

My TAST sampler is progressing and I am keeping up with each week reasonably well.

I have finished the yellow cushion cover and I am pleased with the end result. I used 14 different materials, 6 fancy knitting wools, 2 pieces of lace, 1 zigzag braid, 1 lemon silk circle, 3 ribbons, 3 metalic threads, 1 glow in the dark thread, various colours and thicknesses of cotton floss, 3 varigated perle threads, approximately 40 2020 TAST stitches (I kept loosing count) plus a few others we haven’t done yet. Can you find them all??

I also have a mixed media work-in-progress piece about lock down. I am not sure how it will turn out as I have never done this sort of thing before – we shall see!

My next Linus blanket is being very slow to make, I can’t seem to be bothered with crocheting. I think I will take a break until the New Year, maybe the lighter days ahead will rekindle my enthusiasm.

Next time I see you all will be another year, a much, much better one I hope. Enjoy Christmas and the New Year, I am looking forward to seeing the fireworks for 2021 on the TV.

Keep well and safe everyone, Happy New Year. Hugs, Gill xxxx

Needleworking

DARK NIGHTS

Remember, remember the 5th of November, so the rhyme goes. For those who don’t know, this is when we Brits burn an effigy of a man called Guy Fawkes who tried, unsuccessfully, to blow up parliament in 1605. Normally we have a big bonfire and lots of fireworks, soup – because it is usually very cold, hot dogs etc. and parkin – a strong, gooey ginger cake. This year has been very different but I’m glad to say I did see some fireworks from my lounge window (lockdown again). I made a crazy quilt collection of what I thought most depicted each month of the year to me and Bonfire Night was for November along with Poppy Day, the 11th, when we remember all the people who fought, died and survived in every war.

Again this was curtailed because of social distancing and the ceremony at the Cenotaph in London looked really strange. As we were unable to go out and buy a poppy this year I searched around and found a couple of paper poppies, a glittery poppy brooch and one that I had crocheted a few years back. I hung them on a red ribbon in my window.

This month has been extremely grey an wet so far, I think even the garden is fed up with it I know I am! The only good part of it is the rainbows I have seen, terrible photo but I can never seem to find my camera in time. You can just see it from lower right to top left.

I have been quite busy crafting and have finished my knee blanket.

I don’t know when I will get them to Linus UK, I have quite a few now.

My TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) sampler is growing.

I am quite excited about learning all these new embroidery stitches, I only wish I could keep them in my head. It is a good job I have saved each week on my laptop.

To try and accommodate my crazy quilt obsession I am making new cushion covers for the gd’s beds. First up is a yellow/mustard one to match the quilt cover of no.1 to be followed by blue for no.2. I have gone from this –

to this so far.

I decided to do them without using beads or sequins etc. as I didn’t want their faces to get scratched. I’m not doing too badly so far, I am using as many TAST stitches as I can.

This week I have made Christmas cards from materials I had at home, too scared to go out shopping. It is amazing what you can do when it is necessary. I am working at my dining table. I am always messy so it is a good thing that I don’t mind eating from a tray on my knee while watching TV, well who wouldn’t?

I still haven’t finished the monogrammes as I am waiting for some beads to come. Unfortunately the Post Office is having Covid problems and over half the staff and postmen are sick so our deliveries are few and far between. I hope they and everyone else who is working gets well, stays well and safe.

I wish the same for everybody.

Till December, bye for now, Hugs Gill. xx

Needleworking

SKY – Appalling!!!

Some pretty flowers to keep me calm and centered.

Here is the post I dared not write last month.

SKY admin – I AM SO ANGRY!!!!

Long story, so here goes.

In June my daughter, a teacher, had been at school looking after the children of key workers. By the end of term she was not feeling well so she and her two girls went to be tested for the Covid virus. Thank God the tests came back negative so they packed up their car and headed north. Normally we all get together at Easter but this year was a no go and we had not seen each other since Christmas. They wanted to make sure I was OK and getting out of London for the summer made good sense. I was so excited as I had been shielding since lockdown (March) and had seen very few people since then.

When they arrived the girls still had online lessons and no. 2, who is part of a diving club, also had diving lessons. Now comes the start of the saga. I have a basic Sky contract and we found out that my broadband was very slow and did not reach all of my house. It did not do well in the bedrooms and not at all in the conservatory or garden. We rang Sky and asked to be updated to superfast broadband. Ok, they said, it will take up to 2 weeks. Later an email gave us 7th August. This date came and went with no further contact from Sky. When we rang to ask for information they told us it was not their problem and that Outreach had trouble with the green box?? and this would not be fixed until 13th August. As above, this date came and went, no contact from Sky. Another phone call and they said the trouble with the green box would not be fixed until 17th August. Guess what!! Yes, 17th came and went and yet another call to Sky now gave us the date of August 24th. My girls were going home on the 23rd to get ready for school. We rang Sky and told them this and asked them to cancel the update that had not been updated and continue with my original package.

Thinking no more about this we continued with our holiday until 2 days later the girls came and said they couldn’t get the internet on their tablets or phones. My daughter checked her phone and the TV while I checked my laptop and there was nothing. Luckily she was able to check my emails and there was one from Sky charging me £50+ for cancelling my broadband within my contract time. I only check my emails a couple of times a week as I don’t have that many contacts. We rang Sky yet again and explained everything and were told that it would all be sorted out. A couple of days later, another call to Sky, we were told that they could not reinstate the broadband without cutting off the phone line as well and we needed to authorize something called an Escalation Form which would take about a week. By this time my daughter was so upset she asked to make a complaint and was given a reference number.

The 23rd came and the family had to return to London leaving me with no email and none of the Sky package I was paying for apart from basic TV – no box sets, no catch up, no films, no Netflix, and no Amazon. I was now checking my phone each day and 2 days later it was gone. My very kind neighbour, who is also shielding, rang my daughter for me and arranged to pass on messages for us. September 10th – I am back on line and my phone is working but they lost my number and now I have to contact my family, friends, bank, Amazon etc. etc. with a new number that I have learn as well.

Going through my emails I have 10 messages from Sky regarding my setup and re-connection. WHO, IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS, SENDS EMAILS THAT NEED ACTION TO SOMEONE THEY HAVE CUT OFF!!!!!!!! To add insult to injury there was an automatic message giving me £20 compensation for my trouble!!!!

To my mind I think Sky acted almost criminally leaving a 74 year old woman with Asthma and Diabetes, shielding on her own, without broadband for 5 weeks and also no phone for 3 of those weeks. This is a company who boast about how helpful they are, especially to their VIP customers, of whom I am one, – THEY REALLY COULDN’T GIVE A DAMN.

Spleen vented. I hope everyone is safe and well as this virus continues to climb again. I will be back on the 15th with some nicer things to talk about.

My “holiday” blanket is now finished for this year but I am wondering when I will be able to pass it on to Project Linus – they may get quite a few before this ends.

Love and Hugs, Gill. xx

Crafting · Needlework · Needleworking

Summer – Been and Gone?

Summer came and so did my daughter and her two girls for five weeks. They had isolated so they could come ad stay without being a danger to me, I have asthma and diabetes so am at a higher risk of covid. We found out then that my broadband did not reach the back garden, gd2 is a diver and she was having on line lessons from her coach using the trampoline. We tried to get an upgrade from Sky which didn’t happen and they cut me off. A much bigger tale to be told when I am not so angry!

We made the best of the problem but it meant using daughter’s mobile phone which was not brilliant. The weather was quite up and down but we enjoyed the good days in the garden with the paddling pool. English Heritage had opened up some of their sites and we visited a lovely garden and a castle. My son and is daughter came to see me for a couple of days over my birthday which was great. Then, all too soon, it was time for everyone to go home and all was very quiet here.

For the last four years I have been making cross stitch monograms for my friends and family for special birthdays and I had done one for my youngest granddaughter and one for my new great granddaughter. I also have four friends who live in very different places – Lancashire, London, Scotland and Canada and I am now making some for their big birthdays – pictures when I am finished. My holiday blanket now only requires three more squares then the task begins of putting them together.

We have just enjoyed three glorious days of sunshine and the garden has been a godsend again. Today it was coat, scarf and gloves, I hope this isn’t the beginning of winter – Indian Summer where are you?

Everyone keep well and safe, see you next month, love and hugs, Gill.

Needleworking

Lockdown Lightens

Well, things are beginning to open again here in the UK and, although this is good news, it worries me as people seem to think that it is now OK to ignore all the rules as though the virus is now dead.  I would really love to go into town and look round the shops, have a drink and meet up with friends but it seems no one is keeping to the safe distance rules and the virus is STILL OUT THERE!!!!!  I am more afraid of going out now than I was at the height of the epidemic.

Rant over – I am getting quite excited because my daughter and her two girls are going to get tested and if all is well they are coming to see me for 3-4 weeks.  It is so long since I saw them at Christmas and London is so far away.

My weekly progress of TAST stitches continues

but I am sad to say my holiday blanket has come to a dead stop.  P1040182    I have run out of cream wool (see the bit I had left) and will not be able to get anymore until the craft shop in town opens again.  I am now at 24 and a bit squares out of 40.  Still I am sure I will finish it before the end of the year.  I am thinking of putting some squares together, I don’t normally do this till the end when I can see what colours I am putting together – we shall see.

Slow (very slow) progress is being made on my other blanket and I think I will need more wool to finish this too.    P1040183      Life gets complicated!!!

I am now on the last book of a series I have been reading about a Roman soldier and his friends by Harry Sidebottom.  I’m hoping to finish it before my girls come so I will be doing more reading and less crafting for the next week or so.

We have seen the sun come out now and then over the past week and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some nice summer weather.  Yes it is summer!!

Bye for now,

Love Gill.  xx

Needleworking

Blooming June

Yes, the roses are blooming, the clematis is blooming,

the fuchsia is blooming as are various other plants I don’t know the names of.

All this despite the the rain, and boy has it rained and hailed.  Even the house plants that I try to kill every year are blooming.

 

I am no gardener and I frequently forget to water indoor plants.

Lockdown for us oldies is still the norm and the days tend to merge into one another.  I have never used my calendar so much.  Each day I do a little crochet, a bit of knitting, machine sewing – I’m making some cards,

embroidery and/or cross stitch, read a little and watch TV.  I think when this is all over and I put everything I’ve made together I will surprise myself.

I am just about keeping up with my TAST stitches, some I like, some not so much.

I have finished 3 cross stitch hoops for my granddaughters for Christmas.

Also I have begun a couple of cross stitch initials, one for my youngest grandd – the other two have got theirs and the other for my youngest greatgrandd, yes the others have theirs.

My holiday blanket squares are now half done, at this rate I shall be doing them throughout the summer as well.

P1040148

Thank goodness for all the firms that sell on line, it means I can still get supplies when needed.  Thank you each and everyone.

I am sitting here now looking out at the grey skies and occasionally the sun comes trough and I get so excited!!!  What do they say – little things please little minds?

Till next month.

Love and hugs, keep safe,

Gill. xx