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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Imran's birthday

My boy is was 15 years old yesterday. Rare pictures, as it is almost impossible taking a picture of him.

Monday, 27 December 2010

I'm still around and still stitching

though not a lot I have to say... getting about 1 to 2 hours of stitching time in during one week, which is not a lot... so there isn't a lot of progress, but I don't mind too much, as I simply enjoy the process of stitching as much as the finished product.

All the cross stitch on Lilliput Lane is done, and only the backstitching now- quite a lot of it. half the roof is done, and you can really see the difference.

Christmas was quite, Nafees, me and the children, nice and relaxing. Imran's christmas present still hasn't been delivered (by Next), but at least they offered me 25% off and Imran was quite understanding. The weather appears to be much milder now, and the snow we did have for the last few weeks is now melting. I'm still off today and tomorrow, but back to work on Wednesday.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Fungi Walk at Shorne Wood

I have always be fascinated by Fungi (mushrooms/toadstoals whatever you want to call them, it's really the same thing!). It probably stems a lot from childhood memory. My grandfather Herman was a local mushroom expert, and I have a lot of memories of going on forays with him. Once I was a teenager, of course it became less cool.. and unfortunately he died when I was 15. Now I sooo wish I would have asked him more on his knowledge of fungi, or if I could have a few more chats with him! The other side is that I like being outdoors in the woods (again, probably coming from my childhood memories), and I love autumn. For the past few years, I have resurrected my interests in fungi. My mum still goes collecting every autumn for eating (just for her personal use). I do take some for eating (only the very limited ones I know for sure of course), but mainly I am interested in identifying and just enjoying them the way they are.

So, yesterday I had booked into a 'Fungi Walk at Shorne Wood with a local Fungi expert. It was very interesting, but I've realised that I will need a lot more guidance before I feel myself able to identify fungi - it's such a vast world! I will definitely go again on those walks, maybe at other locations. Shame it can only really be done in autumn, but maybe that's also the pleasure of it.

My birthday and Ally Pally

Ruby and me

Nafees and me

Just me, outside the restaurant

Dan and Imran
Where are the days / weeks / months going? Is it really already October? It was my birthday yesterday, and we went to a lovely Indian restaurant (Green Spice) just outside Dartford. It is always very croweded, and tables need to be booked, and I always struggle to find parking there despite the fact that it is in the countryside. I looooved the meal, and no, there was no counting of WW points on that evening.

The next day Jo and me went to the Knitting and Stitching Exibition at Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace, London). This exibition is not mainly cross stitch, but all kind of fibre arts really. It is a very big place and exibitions, so many stalls. Unfort. there were only about 20 or so stalls with cross stitch, and while I still look around at the other stalls, of course they don't hold that much interest for me. We found one stall which was selling HEAD kits and charts, and Jo bought herself a HEAD chart (Marta Dahling 'Lust'). They didn't really had any charts I wanted, and I wouldn't buy the kits. But a few days earlier I got myself for my birthday one of the soooo cute Lesley Anne Ivory charts from HEAD (Libra Clea and Lily). They are from a series of 'Astrology cats' and I absolutely adore them. I intend to get all the cat charts and will eventually do them by the time I've reached 150 LOL. Seriously, they are so cute, I just love realistic cat designs. I'm not quite sure on what size fabric I should stitch the cats, and I bought samples of 20 ct, 22 ct and 25 ct evenweave. HEAD recommends stitching on 25 ct, but some some with 2 threads it appears to bulky, and with 1 thread it is not fully covered, so I will try it out and see what suits me best.

Cross stitch update

Here an update on the projects I've worked on in the last 2 weeks. Firstly, there is the Clematis picture (a DMC kit). The cross stitch is almost done (apart from a little bit in the right lower corner), and than it is on to a massive lot of backstitching. And I really mean a lot - literally every flower/flowerstem is outlined by backstitch. I think in this case, the backstitch is going to add to the appeal of the picture. I've got 3 pictures in the same series lined up...

And here is Tuthankamun (is this spelled correctly?) - Sorry for the quality of the picture, it was taken on the Iphone.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Coming out of the 'Summer Hole' ;-))

Right, here I am again. Back from summer holidays (2 weeks in August spend with my parents in Germany), and got my stitching mojo back! I didn't really do a lot of stitching over the summer, apart from a small card (which I will have to take a photo off). But now, as the nights are drawing in, more rain etc, I def. feel like stitching again. So, here is my work from the last 2 weeks:

NH Afghan.

Wedding Picture - confetti, confetti, confetti!
Apart from this, I have been soo busy as usual with work... it's not just the work itself, but with the commuting etc, it just takes too much time out of my day ;-((( but I suppose I should be glad to have a job of course, otherwise it would be so much worse for us. During the week, once I get home, cook, clean, homework with children, dog walking etc - there isn't a lot of time left and I feel to tired for stitching. But I savour every 15 mins I can squeeze in, and I enjoy the actual stitching process as much as the finished result.
I have also made the decision to get fit and try to lose weight (again!). So, I'm back to Weight Watchers. I had very good results with them before as their way of counting points, weekly weigh-ins etc suits me. I've started on 01. September weighing 12 Stone 1 Pound (approx. 77kg). So far I've lost 8 lbs and I am now 11.7 which is great, I can feel the difference already. My ultimate goal is around 9 stone which would give me a healty BMI, but I want to take it really slowly, so if I could reach this by next year this time I'm happy. I also started to go to the gym again which I quite enjoy actually. I now go 3 times a week, and work only on the cardio-vascular machines, at the moment only about 30 mins, but hoping to 'up' to 45 mins next months.
Another 'thing' I'm doing at the moment (and which seems to take quite a lot of stitching time out of me) is learning Russian! My workplace offered us a training package with Rosetta Stone in a selection of languages and I chose Russian as I've learned Russian in primary school and I thought it might be coming back to me easily. I do find it quite a challenge at the moment, and there is a lot to do, I literally need to spend about 1 hour a day on it to keep up with the time schedule...
Right, so far in a nutshell, back to work now!
-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 2 August 2010

Weekly cross stitch update

Ok, the picture is not very nice... I've just taken the fabric out of the frame and don't want to iron it, as it will only go in the bag for the next 4 weeks for the next rotation.
This week, I've done almost all of the left side - the white flower and the smaller buds. The real impact of this picture though will come with the backstitch - and there is a lot of it which will take almost as long as the cross stitch I recogn - every stem, leave, bud etc has backstitch around it!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

East London Mela in Barking

Family Day out to the East London Mela today in Barking Park.

We set off about 1pm, and it really wasn't difficult to find thanks to Sat Nav, and the journey only took us about 20 mins from home. I was a bit worried about fnding a parking space, but the organisers had set a huge field away for parking, and it was easy peasy. £5 entry had to be paid, and our bags were searched for glass bottles and alcohol. There was a big fun fair, with all the usual rides, and than stalls selling mainly food, a few with clothes and jewellery, and a few stalls from charities etc. At the end of the field was a big stage and quite a few people had already gathered in front of the stage. There were 2 more stages were Asian music was being played by a DJ. I dont' know that much about Asian music, so the stars weren't familiar to me, but the atmosphere was wonderful, everyone seemed to be happy, dancing, singing, eating.

For food, we first had chana (chick peas), than later a chicken tikka wrap and chicken curry for me. Well, it wasn't the best I've ever eaten, bbut hey... Ruby also fell in love with the Asian icecream 'Kulfi', I like that stuff as well. I wanted to take another icecream 'Faluda' when we left, but by then they had sold out which was pretty disappointing. Ruby and me also got Mendi (Henna tattoo) done on our hands which I like, and will be able to show off at work tomorrow.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

A lovely surprise from Ulrike


A lovely surprise arrived this week in the post from Ulrike. A beautiful needlebook, stitched in Assissi with my initial on the front, and a beautiful decaupage card. Thank you so much Ulrike, it really was a big surprise and I love it!

And I will come to Langenzenn next year - this is a promise ;-))

Julie Gregory 'Sickened'

A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor's examination table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she's tall, skinny and weak. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open heart surgery on her child to 'get to the bottom of this'. She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans.

From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rated, medicated and operated on in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother's mind: Munchausen by Proxy, the world's most hidden and dangerous form of childhood abuse. Sickened is her story,

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Foraging blackberries

We went foraging for blackberries today which was not really a planned thing but just spontanous  -we  (Imran, Ruby and me) went for a walk with the dog, just across the road from us, and the berries were  tempting. It's not a 'done' thing really here in the UK, but foraging for berries, fungi etc is quite common were I grew up in East Germany - so this reminded me of my childhood. Yep, it's easier to buy them in the supermarket, and not that expensive either, but foraging is so much more fun LOL. Even my 14 year old teenage son had fun! Imran is now trying to make the berries into a smoothie, and I might freeze some for later use.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 26 July 2010

NH update

Well, for some reason (there isn't really one!) I can't show a big update from last week... With Dan now finally in the US, and no more OU, I shouldn't really be dreadfully busy, but somehow I was - some days I did not get a single stitch in last week. Weekend was busy as well, we went to West Ham for some shopping which was quite nice, especially the food. We went to an Indian Restaurant and had a kebab roll and an absolutely delicious mango lassi (Yoghurt drink).

Jenny Colgan 'West End Girls'

A good summer Read!

They may be twin sisters, but Lizzie and Penny Berry are complete opposites - Penny is blonde, thin and outrageous; Lizzie is quiet, thoughtful and definitely not thin. The one trait they do share is a desire to do something with thier lives, and as far as they are concerned the place to get noticed is London. Out of the blue, they discover they have a grandmother living in Chelsea - and when she has to go into hospital, they find themselves flat-sitting on the King's Road. But, as they discover, it's not as easy to become IT girl as they'd imagined, and West End boys aren't at all like Hugh Grant.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Confetti Stitching

So, here is an update on my wedding picture (Stitch-a-photo). I have never really worked confetti stitching like this before - literally 2/3 stitches in one colour and than change thread again. Despite working on it the whole weekend, there is hardly any progress to see. But I finally managed to get into it a bit more, and a bit further down the picture there are actually large areas of black.

Anyone any tips on confetti stitching? What I did so far is go with one colour as much as I can do, jumping a bit more than just my ususal 3-4 threads, and securing the thread in the back under other stitches already in place. But of course, there is only so much I can go with one colour, so it's on and off with the thread/needle.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Twist & Pulse at Dartford Festival

This weekend was our town's festival, which takes place every year for 1 weekend in the summer. It is usually a mix of funfair, displays by local groups (artists, needlecraft, gardening, dog show etc), stalls from charities and other local authorities and firms. There is also a stage showing a variety of acts such as singing, dancing, magicians.

This year, quite a few TV stars from the TV series 'Britain's got Talent' and 'X Factor' were appearing. And I was so happy to see that my absolute favourite act from this years 'Britain's got Talent' were appearing - a young dance/comedy duo called 'Twist & Pulse'. The two boys adapt a fresh style to street dance, and combine street dance with comedy. They usually have me in stitches within minutes of watching them and IMHO, they are so talented. My boys love them as well, and Dan is thinking of taking up dance - he is actually looking to see if he can find a local troupe to join once he is back from the U.S.

Here are some pictures from the Twist & Pulse here in Dartford yesterday. Sorry, the pictures are not great - I was way down in the crowd, and because I had our labrador Bonnie with me, couldn't go any nearer (bad decision). The boys appeared here in Dartford, even though they were due for a live TV appearance later on in the evening - good on you!

Stephen King 'Desperation'

Welcome to Desperation. Once a thriving copper mining town in the middle of the Nevada desert, Desperation is now eerily abandoned. Except for the local cop - the unique regulator who patrols the wilderness highway where travellers like the Carver family bound for vacation and writer Johnny Marinville astride his Harley don't expect to get stopped and charged. Very soon, a mix of people, unlucky enough to drive through Desperation, find themselves in the town's jail, locked up by a Cop who is more than strange, and they realise that sure not all seems 'normal' in this abandoned town.

A true Stephen King story, with different characters thrown together to fight an unseen and unknown evil which seem to plant itself into peoples heads and take over - physically and mentally. This kept me entertained on every single page, and is in King's tradition of such books as 'The Stand'. It has also been made into a movie (or TV series? not sure) which I haven't watched, as I'm usually a bit disappointed by the TV adaptations. It's just that I prefer to be sucked into the book as King usually manages with me.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Dan on his way to Boston

Phew! I've just come back from Heathrow Airport, dropping Dan off. We had a mad mad dash this morning to the embassy to pick his passport/visa up - only after some kind courier workers took pity on me and I was crying down the phone for several days LOL - they kept a lookout for our passport and called me straight away when it was handed to them from the embassy. The number of phone calls I had to make ... I still can't believe that he is finally on his way to Boston after a 2 months struggle. I feel like I'm going and not him LOL. His teacher is flying with him, dropping him off and coming straight back tomorrow... and than going on to Australia next Sunday - she is Australian and going for her annual holiday, wow that woman has stamina.

Now I feel like a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders. Yes, I know, there are sure worse problems in the world...Now I can actually look forward to our Germany holiday in August.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Lilliput Lane update - cross stitch

Finally, I picked up some cross stitch again over the weekend. In the last few weeks with all the tension I just didn't feel like anything quite often, even though cross stitch should calm me down. But I am one of those people who have to have a clear mind to enjoy their hobby. Anyway,  - felt like cross stitching finally, and couldn't stop LOL. I decided to separate the bottom pages of the house and finished the left side first all the way to the bottom, and now on to finish the right side. There is going to be quite a lot of back stitching which is going to make a huge difference to the picture.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Thorpe Park

And here are, as promised, some impressions from our trip to Thorpe Park (an amusement park here in the UK) last Sunday. The weather was just perfect - around 25 d C, not a cloud in sight.
DD Ruby (with sunglasses) and her best friend Natasha in the queue

And off we go

DH Nafees came along as well, though he wouldn't get on any rides!

Ruby and Natasha waiting for Detonator

Oh, not sure if this was a good idea.

No, not a good idea at all!

Ruby, Nafees and Natasha

Looked like a lot of fun, but I really didn't want to get myself soaking wet

We loved the Fiftees style make up of this part of the park. And the great Fiftees music - it just really made the place instead of the usual load blast of chart

Natasha and Ruby didn't mind getting wet.

DS Dan (in white T-shirt) and DS Imran

And that's me!

The Park was really busy, so long waiting times at the rides- here are my 3 'boys' taking a rest.

Nafees was in charge of the video camera.

Natasha on the 'Merry go round' which was really more suitable for younger children as it was a very gentle ride.

Ruby on the same ride, being a bit embarrased to be sitting in the teacup with a bunch of 3 year olds.

Again I have to say we really liked the diffenrent styles of decorations around the park, all themed. Really creative. Here we are in front of the ride 'SAW' (like the movie), and the put up this old and battered American Police car.

A pigeon caught flying away from the 'dinner table'. Though it looks pretty dirty here, I have to say that all the catering facilities were clean and there was something for every taste e.g. grill, chicken, pizza, Burger King. Even this dirty table here was cleaned up very quickly by the staff while we sat on the next table.

Nothing better for the boys than to round up the day at the amusement centre.


©2009 The Pegster | by TNB