Monday 1 April 2024


Another month beginning and like most of last month it has started with April showers, we've had a few sunny days but not enough to get out in the garden and tackle the big things that need doing but there's always something indoors to keep me busy and it's meant more time for stitching.

I've had this chart for ages and each time April comes round I think that I will stitch it, well finally I made the effort and it was such a quick stitch I wish that I'd have done it sooner, I've just got to decide what I'm going to do with it next.

April Showers by Shepherd's Bush.

This is another chart that I've had for years but never got around to doing, I've never made a needle roll so I shall see how it turns out once I've got a cardboard tube to wrap it round. 

Gentle Stitches by Shakespeare's Peddler.

I nearly have a finish with Sunflower Susan, just a bit of backstitching to do but I'll save that until next time and hopefully a nice new start.

As I said the weather hasn't been to good and the tubs of polyanthus, pansies and forget me nots are suffering from so much rain even though they are quite sheltered from most of it but they still add a splash of colour when you walk out of the back door.

The Amelanchier tree never fails to put a smile on my face with its lovely blossoms, always there at the beginning of Spring making a lovely show.

The lupins are growing......

the pear and the blackberries are making growth, and the raised beds are getting dug over

and we have seeds germinating in the greenhouse. There are still more to sow as we usually do extra for the girls to take home.

The only problem we have now is that the garden is still too wet in the borders to actually do any digging and the weeds are taking over but there's still time and I can't get stressed about the garden as that is my happy place where I spend most of my time in the Summer.

We've had a lovely Easter weekend with the girls and grandchildren popping round. I've only had one Easter egg and that's hardly been touched as I'm trying to be good. The weight has been creeping back on over winter so it's time I did something about it before it gets too bad so it's back to counting calories and saturated fat until I lose a few pounds and my cholesterol levels go down too.

I hope April is a good month to you all, Take care,

Sue xx

Tuesday 12 March 2024


Oh how I wish the weather would cheer up, we seem to have constant rain though I have managed to get out in the garden over the weekend even though it was so damp, but it was an enjoyable couple of hours and hopefully the weather will improve soon. There's not a lot of stitching been going on though I have sorted through some patterns and have decided what I want to stitch next as well as finding something to stitch for my next exchange so that should keep me busy for a few weeks.

I finished this stitching, Spring by carolxstitch, into a little pillow. I really enjoyed putting it all together. It's a really dull day here so the photos are terrible.

It was Mother's Day on Sunday here in the UK  and I'd asked for Spring flowers and Jelly babies from my daughters. It's hard to think of anything these days, I have everything I need and I don't like them spending their money . I did also get vouchers for M&S, a book, a mug and some chocolates which have already been started. I love daffodils and as I've hardly any growing this year they've made a welcome presence in the house. I don't know why they haven't grown unless they've been eaten but we shall plant more this Autumn and hope that they will grow.

I decided that I'd try and make this cushion cover, I'd seen someone making squares on Instagram and it looked so simple which it turned out to be. I only used some odd scraps of fabric to see what it would turn out like but I think I may have another go one day.

I have some knitting on the go, my daughter bought me some wool for Christmas and so far all I've knitted is the rib and now I'm not sure if I want to knit the cardigan or the jumper that I originally thought of. Luckily the rib is the same for both of them so I could knit either once I've made up my mind. 

The socks I showed in my last post are finished and ready to be given away so that's another job ticked off the to do list.

I've also done a lot of reading this year, I seem to be getting through quite a few. I only read in bed so perhaps the books I've been reading are not as long as usual.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with more stitching updates and some photos of the garden if we ever get some sunshine.

Love Sue xx

Friday 16 February 2024

A little knitting, a little stitching and a bit more.

I've been meaning to make a blog post for the past couple of weeks but to be honest there's not been a lot going on around here lately, we've both not been feeling to good, me with a bad back and Tony with a swollen eye and then he lost his hearing in his left ear. He's partially deaf in his right one so conversation has been a little comical at times. He was sent to the hospital within a week of seeing the doctor and he's got to go again to see the consultant in six to eight weeks or whenever he gets an appointment through. He's actually a lot better now but it will put his mind at rest if he can speak to someone again.
I'm still plodding along with this pair of socks that I started before Christmas, just the heel to turn on the second sock and then the foot to do so it shouldn't take me long if I get my finger out. The wool is Christmas wrapping paper by Rosie's moments and it's been lovely to knit with.

I've also put a few more stitches into Sunflower Susan by Lesley Teare, I wanted to get this finished for last Autumn but it wasn't to be, maybe this year I can finish it.

I finally finished my little quilt that I started last year, it only needed quilting and the binding to put on. I tried doing free motion quilting but my machine wasn't up to it, I think I need a bigger one! I've had my machine for years and it's been such a good one, it's served me well over the years and I don't think it would be worth paying out for something bigger as I can't see me making many more quilts even though I loved making it. It's not perfect by any means but I had a go so I'm happy with it.

I don't know why but I can't get going so far this year, maybe it's with us both feeling below par, usually Tony's got some project or another going on in his workshop but he's hardly been doing anything lately. I can't wait for Spring to arrive, I know we shouldn't be wishing our lives away but I think we'll both feel better once we can get out in the garden. The hellebores are about the only thing that are flowering and always make a nice show but there are hardly any daffodils or tulips coming through in the garden though I did find a couple of pots behind the greenhouse with some sign of life so that was a nice surprise.

Granddaughter number one, Lily, had her 16th birthday last week, she's been taking her mock GCSEs which should have been at the beginning of the year but the school was closed down just before Christmas due to it being in need of some serious repairs so in the mean time the pupils have been to different schools until something was sorted. A temporary school is being built until a new one can be sorted but it shouldn't have been left to get so bad in the first place.

Granddaughter number 2, Becky has been in some dance competitions two so far this year. The first one the group came second and then last week they came first. They were doing a dance to Cabaret and if I could find a photo I'd show you but whenever I download photos from my camera or phone although I can see them in my albums I can't get to put them on here. That's a job for another day.

The three grandsons are doing well, two of them are football mad and the eldest just likes his computer although saying that he can do a lot on it that I'd never be able to do, maybe I should ask him to sort my photo problem out. 

Well I've waffled on enough now and I can't think of any more exciting news so I'll press publish and see if that works for me.

Take care all,

Sue xx

Monday 1 January 2024

Happy New Year and happy birthday to me

Happy new year everyone, I hope it's a good one for you all.

Another year older as it is my birthday today which will be spent doing anything that I want to do, but remembering those that I've lost this year and raising a glass to them all for all the love we shared and  wonderful memories we made along the way.

 So to all my friends and family here's hoping that 2024 will be a happy and kinder year,

take care all,

love Sue xx

Sunday 10 December 2023

A little finish and an exchange

For saying that I wanted to get things finished before Christmas things haven't gone to plan. I am so behind with Christmas shopping and posting cards that I'm beginning to worry if I'll ever catch up with myself. It hasn't helped that I've had this cough that's been going around and a sore chest and headache doesn't help matters. But I am so looking forward to Christmas, all three daughters, their partners and grandchildren arrived last weekend, nothing had been planned so it was lovely to see them all and only another two weeks before I see them all again. It was my youngest daughter Rachel's 40th birthday too so it was nice for her to have all the family there.

Onto the stitching, I finally made the stocking into the ornament and it looks lovely on the tree as do all the other ornaments that I've collected over the years from friends that I've made through blogging.

Some of the ornaments I've stitched or received over the years. The tree isn't finished yet, it still needs its skirt when I find it.

This was my exchange stitch that I sent to Cathie and I'm so glad that she liked it as well as the bits that I sent too

This is what I received from Marina, the fabric is a lovely blue colour which I couldn't get to photograph right as the light isn't good in our house at the best of times.

and here are the lovely gifts that she sent, it was so lovely to open all the goodies.

The grandchildren are getting excited about Christmas though they are all too old to believe in Santa Claus any more, the youngest one is 10 and the eldest 15 but of all five of them I think it is Lily the eldest who is more excited about it.

I'm hoping this week to finish the Christmas shopping and sort out what I've put away in the freezer and cupboards so I don't overbuy which I usually do. Everything is ordered for a delivery for 23rd December so hopefully I won't have to go out after then as long as everything is delivered, fingers crossed.

Hopefully I'll be back before the big day with another update.

Take care all,

Sue xx

Monday 6 November 2023

I've been trying to get a few things finished off before the end of the year, there's quite a few UFOs in my basket that have been there for way too long so as DH says I'd better get on with it! The first picture is of the exchange stitching that I've done for my partner for our twice a year exchange. I really enjoyed stitching this.

Prairie Schooler

Next is a stitch that has been on my list to finish for ages, it only needed the backstitching done  and there was quite a bit of it and now it's waiting for DH to frame so it's given us both something to do. We are trying to fill in the days now that we can't get out in the garden at the moment as it is so wet, I'm just hoping that he doesn't decide to start decorating again, I think I've done enough painting for this year.

Fancy teapots from a Readers Digest cross stitch book

The next finish is a freebie from Instagram, a lovely little Christmas stocking that will be ready to hang by the fireplace when Santa comes.

J B W design freebie

I've only bought a couple of presents up to now as the grandchildren tend to change their mind so much so I usually wait until as close to Christmas as I can get before I buy them something.

Some kind soul had decided to spend all my Nectar points that I'd saved on my Sainsbury's shop, thankfully they have been refunded so the Christmas shopping will be a little bit cheaper but how can someone in London use my details when I live in Derbyshire.

Another funeral to attend this week, DHs brother in law this time, I hope this will be the last one that we have to go to this year, it's getting too sad saying goodbye to loved ones.

No recent photos of the garden to show as it's been too wet, but the colours are gorgeous out there so even though it's been too cold it's been nice viewing them through the window in the warm.

These were taken a few weeks ago before all the wet and windy weather blew a lot of the leaves off.

A shopping day today and then back to some stitching or knitting this afternoon, it's so nice to be retired.

Take care all,

Sue xx

Sunday 8 October 2023

A little more sadness

I can't seem to get my act together at the moment as far as crafting goes. We've still been decorating, painting everything that stands still as my Dad used to say.
After losing my brother in November last year and my sister in April, my last remaining sibling, my sister Pat passed away last weekend. Losing three members of my family in 10 months has really hit me hard and I'm going to miss them all, plus it makes you think about your own vulnerability which has really thrown me. There's nothing much can be done about that other than love the life you have and live it as well as you can.

The only stitching I've done is for the Christmas exchange, I don't think many of the ladies have a blog so I'll show what I've done so far.

Hoping to be finished by the beginning of next week so that I can send it off to my partner.

The sunflowers has made a lovely show, the ones I grew finished ages ago but this is one that self seeded and it's grown huge.

A couple of new pots for outside the window, a cheer up for the rainy days.

And finally a photo of the flowers that one of my daughters bought me to cheer me up, such pretty colours.

That's about it for now, I'm going to do some stitching and find something on the TV to listen to while I'm stitching.

I'm still having problems leaving comments, some go through some don't but I have been reading them all.

Hopefully my next post will be a bit brighter so I'll sign off for now.

Take care all,

love Sue xx

Monday 11 September 2023

September sunshine

Well the sun has certainly been shining for the past week which has been a little too hot for me but we've had a quick shower of rain this morning which has cooled things down and made it a bit more pleasant to get outside. The garden has again been taking up a lot of time mainly freezing the wonderful crop of vegetables that we've had this year. We've had so many that even the girls are getting fed up with them. I've made pickles and jam though one batch of jam refused to set even though I boiled it again and added extra pectin but thankfully we'd got so many blackberries that I made more and still had some for the freezer. At least we won't starve this winter.

As well as the garden Tony decided to decorate the kitchen and then when he'd finished that he moved on to the bathroom which he is still finishing so it's been a busy couple of months but it will be worth the effort when it's finished. I don't think he can settle since he's retired he never seems to stop. Sometimes I miss the days when I'd be on my own and read a book or do a bit of stitching or knitting whenever the mood took me but it is nice to have him around more so I'll just have to find him jobs that will keep him in his shed.

We also celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary in August and the girls bought us flowers, chocolates and garden vouchers which were very much appreciated and a lovely flower ornament with a sapphire coloured stone in the centre. I can't believe how quickly those 45 years have gone but we've had three wonderful daughters and five beautiful grandchildren to keep us busy along the way.

I also had to go for an eye test again, I changed opticians this time as I thought my regular one wasn't as good as usual last time I went, just seeming to have a quick look and not listen to what I wanted to ask. The new optician was really lovely, he took time to listen and explained things clearly. My new glasses should be here for the weekend and after my daughters telling me that I never change the style of my glasses I've gone for something a bit different so I hope I still like them when they arrive.

Not a lot of stitching has been happening here in Derbyshire but I have pulled a few projects out so I'm ready for when I feel the urge.

I managed to finish the socks I started last month but that's about all on the craft front but now things have calmed down a bit outside I shall be able to concentrate more on my stitching, I hope so as I have another exchange coming up.

I'll finish with a few pictures of the garden though everything is going over now but there's still plenty of colour to look at each day and now Autumn is on the way it won't be long before the trees will provide the wonderful jewelled colours to keep the garden going.

I've been having problems with blogger again not letting me comment on some blogs and I've had a couple of comments come through to my email but not on my blog. Perhaps I've pressed a wrong button again, I very often do so I'll have to ask my daughter when she next comes or one of the grandchildren who can magically press a key and everything comes right.

Hopefully I'll have more to show you next time but I'm terrible at remembering to take a photo of what I've been doing, Take care all, love Sue x

Wednesday 2 August 2023

August update

The days are flying by again and lots have been happening in the home but probably nothing that would interest anyone other than family. My middle daughter Kim had a birthday on Sunday, she was 42 so it makes me feel old. I can remember going into hospital when she decided to arrive early for my Caesarean in the early hours and everywhere was decorated with bunting and balloons as it was the day after Charles and Diana got married. Sharon my eldest was only two but we had to take her with us and she sat there eating ice cream that the nurses had kindly given her, such lovely memories.

Anyway, here is what I've been doing since I last wrote anything. This is the quilt top all ready to be sandwiched together and quilted. It was a Moda Frivol kit called Windermere, not the easiest to do when you're a novice . There are plenty of mistakes but I'm pleased with how it's turning out. I've just got to pluck up the courage to get it all together now.

I've been doing a little bit of finishing, Hedgehog Row is finally finished off.

I stitched a little Christmas ornament, a Prairie Schooler snowman and finished it off,

and another one that I found that I'd stitched last year.

After looking through my wool last time I decided to go with this one, another Rosie's moments sock yarn that youngest daughter Rachel bought me. It's called Lavender Blue and is such a pretty colour, I wish I could take better photos but I'm really no good at doing anything other than point and click.

We've been getting so much veg from the garden that I've been having to freeze what we haven't given away. The tomatoes are lovely and sweet which makes up for the cucumbers that are growing so fast they are getting too big and don't taste as nice as the small ones. The beetroot, cabbages, carrots and swede are all looking good, that's one thing o thank all the rain for and we've had plenty of it lately.

Tony asked for cake so I made a madeira and a fruit one, that should keep him going for a while. I'm not supposed to eat cake as my cholesterol is high and even after losing a lot of weight it's still not come down and I'm sure one little slice won't make that much difference, someone has to taste it to make sure it's ok.

Well I'd better get on and get something done while the rain has stopped, the lawn wants mowing and the deadheads need coming off and I need a drink. 

Take care all,

Sue xx

Sunday 16 July 2023

Halfway through July

This month is running away with me and I don't seem able to get half the things done that I wanted to partly because I've been feeling so tired and once again I keep getting migraines. I don't know why just one of those things.

I've managed to put a few more stitches in Sunshine Susan and I have stitched a small Christmas ornament that I forgot to take a photo of and I've started another too. I'd love to get some more ornaments done for the tree this Christmas but I'm always running out of time.

My eldest grand daughter Lily has been doing her mock GCSE exams for the past couple of weeks and in between studying she managed to sew this lovely beach hut cross stitch, it's her first attempt at sewing a biggish piece and I think she's made a lovely job of it. Nice to know that my love of cross stitch is being carried on.

I've been sorting through my wool as I fancied doing a bit of knitting in the evenings and narrowed it down to these two skeins. Rachel my youngest daughter buys me a yarn box from Rosie's Moments every year, either for Christmas or my birthday and I usually end up making socks or a shawl/scarf type of thing so I've been trying to think of something else to do with them but not come up with anything yet but I'll keep looking. The problem with that is that you see so many things that you'd like to do and then I still can't decide.

One other thing I've been doing is sorting through my fabric and I found my my lap quilt that I started ages ago so decided to try and do some more to it. The only thing I can say about it is that my appreciation of anyone doing flying geese has gone up in leaps and bounds. The number of times I've stitched a square and then undone it is so frustrating but I'll carry on, it's only for me and it's all good experience.

We've had heavy rain for the past couple of days with wind and hail thrown in for good measure but the garden is still doing well other than a few breakages. These are just a few photos I took last week when it was a bit calmer.

The greenhouse and the veg garden are doing well, an abundance of cucumbers and beans as well as raspberries and strawberries, the apples are getting bigger but the pears are a bit sparse this year

Well that's all to show for now, Tony has asked for cake so I'd better make a move and make one.

Take care all,  love Sue xx