Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Eat, sleep, work, repeat...

Not a lot of time for the finer things in life, and when there is, then not a lot of time for blogging!  Gah!

Behind the scenes I am slowly stitching my #handpiecedminiswap2 Mrs Bannister's Stars, and today I decided what to make for my #bigstitchswap2 partner, so that's all good...

I have a Brit Bee block to contemplate, that may be on the agenda for tomorrow, or I may just settle for hand-stitching on the sofa, recharging the batteries in front of a dodgy film or two, that does sound rather appealing.

What I definitely have to get on with, in a consultant capacity, is making a couple of cushions with the girls. Their half-termly project is Space, so to accompany futuristic trips through the galaxy, what better than a bit of old-fashioned Earth comfort, complete with informative label to meet that side of the homework deal...

Oh and I also made a cyclops eye for dear son's drama class...

Fun fun fun xxx

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Catching up...

I don't know how it happened; the dog ate my blogposts, there were lights in the sky, I remember nothing… or something like that.

Firstly I am fine, the family are all fine, despite a multitude of hospital trips and doctor visits.

We have just been busy, half-term came and went in a post-sickness bug blur for some and I've been and returned from another awesome weekend away with my Brit Bee ladies.

There has been a little making, signing up for a couple of swaps and lots of dressing up.

I have probably baked my own body-weight in banana muffins, and the kids have also got the cooking bug; rice krispie-formed 'natural disaster' cakes included.

Applications have been submitted for jobs, (and been rejected), holidays booked and electricity supplier swapped.

We have had the pleasure of the company of plumbers, electricians and boiler men, and been to numerous school meetings, workshops and debates.

I even watched the whole series of Death In Paradise and fell asleep and missed who the murderer was in. every. single. episode!

Life is exhausting; but it goes on, and I am managing to cram in just about enough of the stitchy stuff to keep me sane!

I really will try to be less of a stranger here; thank you as always for stopping by, it makes me happy xxx

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Cheap Thrills!

Apart from the 3 long, cold hours spent on Mum-taxi duty, my day off was rather productive.

As mentioned yesterday, I have started on a scarf-looming mission.  A charity shop find of a mega-loom on Saturday morning and some very cheap but pretty acrylic to experiment with, meant by the time I went to bed on Saturday I had finished my first…

Sunday I finished another for one of the girls, started on a smaller loom at Christmas, lessons learnt, wool slackened and job done, albeit a technicolour eyesore, I will spare you!

Monday I went shopping for more wool, (some actual wool!), following requests, and I made a super chunky one for my lovely husband - I will get a snap of him in it at some point.  Last night I started another for t'other girlie, finished this morning, and then this afternoon, I cast on one for dear son which I duly finished whilst he was a Scouts.

I am loving the instant gratification, the comfy sofa-dwelling and cozy outcome!  I have another to make for original twinny in the prettier pink and then another for myself in some proper alpaca mix which I am pretty excited about.

Who knew I could knit!?  So the weather is set to be milder by the weekend, dammit, but I am sure they will still get lots of wear, and yes, we will be that scarf family!

I also pieced the backing for my Brit Bee Medallion today, and made a change to my centre block to try and balance out the colour of the middle section which has been bugging me, causing me those anxious palpitations of not wanting to face it or get it finished.

Crazy business, but I am happier now with my Liberty star, and am looking forward to getting this quilt basted and ready for hand quilting along with My Small World, (well, once the knitting phase has passed!).

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

World in Union...

This weekend, despite the germs flying round the house, I finished my 'My Small World' quilt top!!

I finished off all the appliqué and embroidery, swapping the landmarks for AHOPE, FAMILY and LOVE subtly stitched in the sky…

… and got the final panels joined together into one super, lovely, bonkers creation.

It is now all basted and ready for some serious hand-quilting action and not a moment too soon.  The cold weather has finally hit; no snow here but -5 when I left for work this morning, so my plans of sofa-time and something cosy to stitch under, can be fulfilled, tomorrow, if I have my way.

That's not all.  I've also made a couple of infinity scarves/cowls, whatever you want to call them, since I was last here!  Can't knit with sticks to save my life, according to my girls, sad but true, but on a loom I am already a whizz!  Pictures and future requests tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Q1 FAL 2016 - The list

2016 FAL

I'm going to keep the listing short and sweet, and try really hard to improve on the last quarter's disastrous big fat zero!

1.  Oldie but goodie MATO, needs to be progressed in order to at least get me off my butt to take more up to date photos…

2.  Amitié BOM, it makes me sad to just have so many unfinished blocks...

3.  Stitch Tease Bee Feathers, I am awaiting the last few, and I can always carry it over!

4.  My Brit Bee Medallion, really really want to get this all basted to have a lovely quilt to snuggle up under and quilt now the cold weather has arrived at last...

5. My Small World, which is now almost there...

6.  The Gardenvale Farmer's Wives, if I decide to stay small, it may get finished...

Fingers crossed I get at least a few of these under my belt this quarter.  I only have one family birthday to make for, and a weekend away where sewing is the name of the game, so it has the making of being a productive quarter.

It's been all change in FAL Towers, a new expanded management team, fabulous sponsors and I'm hoping, new guilt tactics, or failing that, cattle prods to keep me focused!  

Have you linked up yet? 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


This weekend I fulfilled my January Bee commitments.  I like that feeling of being up to date.

Firstly I made the next instalment of this year's Brit Bee quilt.  In December/January we were/are all making the block designed by Jo, and I was making for the lovely Jude.

This was a challenge of a block as you can see!  It, as with all the Brit Bee blocks, measures up at 15(.5)" x 30(.5)", and thankfully mine worked out that way.

As an aside, I have one of those appliqué flowers sitting awaiting completion for my My Small World, which has been sat neglected next to the sofa all Christmas; however I got all 6 of these stitched on Saturday afternoon!  I will finally get mine sewn tomorrow, that's my plan!

The brain-ache block finished, I set to Susan's blocks for Stitch Tease.  More of a challenge in the fabric pulling department, jewel-toned, tone-on-tone, no white, wonky log cabins with a navy 'log' in each block.  I think I managed it…

So that's me up to date with everyone.

Tomorrow, (daytime), I am going to shut myself off from the stresses of school re-organisation, work relocation and all the stuff and nonsense that has begun to fill my days, and try to crack on with some of my WIP sewing.  I'll hopefully get everything into some order to write a FAL post to keep me on track, (ahem).

Tomorrow evening I will back on the campaign trail, a meeting at dear son's school with the Council which has the makings of being rather lively!  So don't wait up xxx

Monday, 11 January 2016

These are the days it never rains but it pours...

My kids' knowledge of David Bowie doesn't go much further than the introduction to The Snowman, so when I was 'making cakes' this afternoon for a sale at school tomorrow, these took on an added poignance…

The sale proceeds are helping fund this year's Young Voices O2 concert trip they are attending again in a couple of weeks; it seems only right that music and singing will be providing them with such joy, excitement and memories.

I'll be back tomorrow with some pretties to show you, today I am just taking a moment, which I am sure many of you are too xxx

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Promises, promises…

I promised you photos of some Christmas makes, and so I shall honour that at last.

3 pouches based on Svetlana's pattern, with an additional loop to attach a karabiner to, for all your Nerf-ing needs!

All 3 kiddos are Nerf gun fanatics, and those foam bullets get everywhere, so solution sought and found.  Everyone's a winner.

And talking of winners, I finished up Helen's additional prize yesterday, and mailed it to her today…

Another drawstring pouch; honestly, anyone who thinks you can have too many little pouches is mistaken!

Last night I was at a school meeting, battle plans to stop its closure, and tomorrow I am back to work, so my head is not as full of the light and fluffy stuff as I would like 6 days in, but I'm taking it in my stride thus far.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Gordon's Alive!!!

Yup, still here, you don't get rid of me that easily I'm afraid!

So 'Happy New Year' one and all.  I had planned on blogging a little over the holidays, but honestly, switching off, literally and metaphorically was really bloody lovely.

Christmas was a family, food and TV-fuelled affair; the kids had a wonderful time too, and that's what matters.

The only fly in the ointment was my car's power-steering pump failing, so an unexpected home-rescue and unplanned-for expenditure wasn't the best timed.  It must have broken as we arrived home on Christmas night, but within an hour of discovering a problem on Bank Holiday Monday, the car had been towed to the garage by a literally passing RAC man, (here before I got off the phone), and he'd dropped me off at my sister-in-law's in time for lunch!  The garage were stars as always and had it fixed by New Year's Eve.  It could have been so much worse!

Today dear husband and son were back to the daily slog, the girls had an Inset day, so we have packed up Christmas for another year.

I have also managed a little sewing already, but more on that soon.

I meant to get photos of all my Christmas makes, but easier said than done, I will try to remember tomorrow.

I didn't link up with the 2015 Q4 FAL, because of the 4 I listed, I finished nothing!  Although Helen has won my hexies which I am ashamed to say are still awaiting an additional prize before I mail them, so that's my other goal for tomorrow!

For rest of the year I am planning on getting stuff finished too.  My WiP list is actually at an all-time high/low, and they are all things I really want to finish.  So I am going to try not to start anything new until I have finished at least one WiP; old, new, old, new or maybe even old, old, old!  Well it's sort of a plan.

I am also going to try to get into a better blogging rhythm, although I have not quite decided what that means yet.  I don't want to feel obliged to blog when really I have nothing to say or show, life is too short for us all, but I don't want the tumbleweeds to take over!  Let me have a ponder.

2015 was not my favourite year by a long shot, so I am really pleased to shut that door and look forward to happier times.  It goes for my blog and online presence as well as my private life, I am going to focus my energies on doing things that make me happy, cutting the clutter, (3 bin-bags of clothes to charity already today!), numerous apps deleted, and procrastination and heel-dragging are things of the past.  My word of the year will be lighter.

Now I just need to burn off all that Christmas cake and even more scarily, venture into my Inbox!  I doubt there is anything important amongst the Sales and unbelievable and probably out of date season's offerings, but best be brave, I may be some time!  xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Winner, winner, turkey dinner...

Good evening folks, without further ado, the winner of my hexie giveaway is…

No1!!!  Love that.

Congratulations Helen!  Feel free to pass them on ;)

And thank you all for letting me know I am not alone on the long-standing WIP naughty step; I am feeling a little less sorry for myself now!

I hope I get to count this as a FAL finish, otherwise I will score a cool zero this quarter!

Well I can't promise that you will hear from me again this side of Christmas, although I am under the hopefully not too misguided illusion that I am on schedule, all sorted and prepared.

I finished up all my festive makes on the weekend, and stoopidly wrapped most of them up unphotographed, so I will try to get some snaps on the day without looking too weird.

So have a very merry, relaxed and happy Christmas everyone.  I hope Santa is good to you and that you and yours get at least one quality nap in front of the TV!

See you before the year is out my friends, joyeux noël xxx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Win my WIP!

Blog followers will be familiar with a certain set of hexie flowers that have been hanging around here for years; cropping up on my FAL list every quarter and never getting the attention they deserve!

Well in the spirit of sharing, and moving on and going forth into the New Year, I am basically passing the buck!

So it's a win-win.  I get to move something off my never-ending To Do list, something that I haven't fallen out of love with, just don't have the time to turn into something super, and you get a pretty half-made project to play with.

I am not one for hoops, so just leave me one comment, telling me which WIP you keep putting to the bottom of the pile.

This giveaway is for followers only, because it's my blog, my rules, so expect me to check that you really are, (you can tell me how you follow if you want to be helpful); and if you are a no-reply blogger, then for goodness sake leave an email address!

I will pick a winner next Tuesday evening, 22nd December, 8pm GMT, so if all goes to plan I will be able to pop into the Post Office before Christmas, (although that's a sincere hope, but not a promise!).

Open internationally; multiple comments will be deleted and Random.org will do the business.

Good luck my friends xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Secrets and pies...

Only one more morning at work, then I will be free to catch up with myself, my blog, a giveaway, oh and Christmas!

Today I mailed my Secret Santa gift for the Brit Bee ornament swap and despite having received mine on Saturday, I thought it only right and proper not to open it until I had been to the post office and fulfilled my side of the deal!

So I ripped into the wrapping the minute I got home today, and here's what was inside…

Thank you so much Secret Santa, you spoilt me, and I know who you are, (what's with all the questions!?).

I'm sorry my picture doesn't do sparkly justice to the tiny cross-stitched Santa; and I am not going to mention the treats in the foil!  I have realised that this Christmas-time I am not going to be able to show you any secret stitching or anything, what with the now highly-teched up small-folk in the house!

I am so lucky to be in this amazing Bee, I love all that we do, especially our newest member, mwah!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Going for it!

If you follow me on Instagram, @mrsflyingblind, that's me, you may have seen my weekend reveal…

Yep, I took the plunge, did the thing I had pondered for a long while and am so glad I did!  After a little planning, the amazingly skilled Adam at Occult Tattoo, Worthing did the deed.  It was a fun Saturday morning a couple of weeks back, and quite frankly didn't hurt at all.  I kept it quiet, kids sworn to secrecy until I had the chance to show my parents this weekend, who are now duly shocked/disappointed as well as wonderful and forgiving, I hope!

OK, so I know the 'cons', but it's not going to scupper any modelling/ballerina/joining the police dreams, ruin my wedding photos or get me in with the wrong crowd; I can live with the odd look and bit of attitude come the summer!

The 'ahope' is our initials, the swallow for love, family and home; my Mum's father was in the navy, and my Dad has done more than 5,000 nautical miles; the needle and thread need no explanation.

So why now, other than mid-life crisis?  Because quite frankly so many sad, bad, horrible things happened this year, that I wanted to take back a bit of control, do something for me before it's too late, live for the moment and not worry about how it might look in 30 years time.  I am sure there will be a lot worse things to worry about than a bit of saggy grey skin when I'm 75!  Heck, if that is all that's bothering me, I will be blessed!  I have also lost 3 stone since January, and this is just another part of the new, back to the old, me.

I don't need to justify anything, but I can.

I am already thinking that I may add to it; I need flowers, maybe a button or two, how about a circle of flying geese; moderation, what's that?!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Coming soon...

Well it's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day/Week; I was caught totally unawares this time around and I am feeling a smudge guilty.  That said, there don't at quick glance seem to be very many giveaways on the go, so I am in good company.

I have therefore decided to do my own pre-Christmas giveaway next week for the, albeit few, folks who actually visit my blog, not unfamiliar the hoppers!  Harsh, but fair!

Does that sound like a good deal?  Of course you don't know what I am thinking of off-loading, so you may change your mind!

I have to get these off my FAL list somehow!!
Today though I almost finished my Christmas shopping, so thrilled, and spent the evening at Brownies doing colouring and Christmas crafty stuff, so thrilled that's over too!  I almost have time to spend on making the few presents I want to this year!

Have a good weekend peeps xxx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ho Ho No!

It's all quiet now, but the pre-Crimbo 'ick has hit the house; let's hope it doesn't spread to the rest of us!

In the spirit of Christmas pretties, here's a peek at my Secret Santa gift…

Hoping for a silent night xxx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


I got so many things ticked off the Christmas list today, I am feeling rightly angelic!

The tree and house are decorated, the cards were written and mailed, I finished a Secret Santa gift, and also got all the boring but time-consuming stuff, like changing and washing all the bedding and towels ticked off for this week.

OK, so I still have presents to buy and make, food to order and another week of work to get through, not to mention a load of school, Brownies and Scouts stuff, but I am a heck load nearer being prepared than I was 24 hours ago!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

No denying it...

I bought a Christmas tree today, from the friendly man and his van once again…

It's spending the night in the garage, and the decorations will go up tomorrow, might even get some Christmas tunes on the go whilst I am at it, couple of Kirstie's Homemade Christmasses to catch up on as well as writing the cards and doing the Post Office encounter.  I have my list at the ready.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Pass the tissues...

I had one of those making weekends.

I found a tute, pulled my fabrics, worked round making Sunday lunch and getting dear son out the door for a day of laser-battling in the mud, an hour to myself and I got sewing.

Finished sewing. Gaaah!

OK, so American pocket-packs of tissues are, despite outside appearances, assumptions and trust, shorter and fatter than your UK variety it would seem.

8, yes 8 covers made, and they just looked bloody awful!  Not the fault of the tutorial - honestly I would have gone ahead and made the opening lengthways if it hadn't been pointed out that some, including the Kleenex I have, open at the short end!

I thought I could live with teacher/Brownie leader gifts looking a little bit gaping, but I couldn't, I resigned myself to that fact about 30 seconds later!

So today I made another set…


The kids have commandeered the originals for other uses, phones, headphones and the like, and I am a happier bunny.

Brief respite though, as today West Sussex Council's recommendations for changes to the schools in the area now mean, (shocking of me to assume it's a done-deal, not a real consultation!), the girls will spend an additional year at their current school and miss out on all the awesome opportunities dear son has had so far in Year 6.  Gutted.  The prospect of a further year of teacher gifts only adds to my disappointment.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Week One of Christmas - tick

Friday evening; a load of things on the Christmas calendar have been ticked off.  Today was the girls' School Christmas Bazaar, shortly followed by dear son going out to his school disco.

All home now, my feet are up and the gadzillion things I need to get done over the next 48 hours can wait until morning.

On the plus side, and no effort required (by me), Stitch Tease Bee blocks continue to roll in…

These beauties from Di, with added choccy-goodness arrived today.  Thanks lovely lady!

Have a good weekend peeps, have a productive one for me xxx

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Getting in the spirit...

… I wish!!

I got home from work and made Melted Snowman biscuits for the school Christmas Bazaar tomorrow, (well, decorated Double Choc Digestives, almost the same thing!)…

We listened to carols, saw the lights get switched on in the village and took advantage of all the free food, drinks and sweeties and met Father Christmas.  We watched the mad fools on the fairground rides and got home before the weather turned nasty...

But I am still not feeling Christmassy!

It will come, it always does xxx

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Yo b*tch!

My Dad's birthday is coming up, and having done the complete Breaking Bad 6 season box set recently, there is a bit of a Walter White theme going on with his presents.

The handmade gift is a simple patchwork cushion with fabric from Spoonflower, taking advantage of a BOGOF FQ deal a couple of weeks back…

Really hard getting decent photos this time of year eh!

I backed it with some thick/dense fleece, which my sewing machine took great exception too; I need to sew something else up sooner rather than later to make sure it was the fabric not the machine that is ailing; hoping it was just complaining due to lack of use!

So that's my birthday's out of the way for another year, just as the first Christmas card came through the mail today; no rest for the wicked, especially as at the time of scheduled posting I will be gritting my teeth and looking for a parking space to do a joint Brownies to Panto, Scout to, um, Scouts drop off.

2 posts in 2 days, just saying!