Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Is it Spring Yet?

 It is a beautiful sunny day here today in Ireland so I have spent the morning cleaning the polytunnel inside and out: moving and transplanting plants, and really doing anything I can to forget yesterday's hospital visit.

So it really does feel like spring.  I can't wait for the planting season: to see new shoots and new growth everywhere.  My garlic and onions are doing beautifully inside the tunnel as is the spinach and chard...and it has all been tidied and cleaned and looks lovely.  I love my polytunnel!

So it feels very spring like here.

And to help my happy, spring like mood I have to share with you something special.  An act so generous and kind it made me cry like a baby.  Really.  And I don't cry easily: growing up in Manchester, you tend to have a more pragmatic outlook on life.  But I really did weep.

You may remember I won a prize from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  The owner of the business is Nancy and she gave away so many prizes: no catches, just plain gave them away!  I won some threads which was wonderful in itself, but with them came rickrack, ribbons and lace.  I emailed to thank her for them and to let her know how I would use them.  I then placed a lovely big order with her for hand dyed buttons and all sorts of trims, to add the things I am making (and selling thank you very much xxxx) to raise sponsorship money for the Irish Cancer Society.

Look at what arrived WITH my order!

The light isn't brilliant but there are loads of ribbons and lace and buttons and chenille...and little breast cancer brass charms in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon: each one saying hope.  My hospital results aren't too good at the mo and it was these that made me cry: in a good way you understand!  Nancy sent them to put on my charity items which is wonderful. It means I can make fancier items for no extra cost and hopefully raise all I need to take part in the 112 km trek.  Phew!

And if that wasn't enough, with the sunshine and the finished goodies, my Spring Exchange arrived from Parsley!
What can I say?
Wow!  I didn't cry at this though: I was too busy eating chocolate (hence no picture of it lol) and chocolate covered gummy bears!  They are probably what gave me the energy to go and clean a polytunnel!

The cushion is perfect: a lovely reminder that we should look for the sun even when it is rainy: just what I wanted to see after my not so pleasant day in hospital yesterday.  I love the daisy fabric Deena used as well: daisies are my favourite flower. So cheerful and optimistic!
I was also sent a lovely altoid tin (my very first one!) and a robin pin cushion holder.  Isn't that a clever idea.  It used to be a candle holder: now it holds pins.  Beautiful.

Inside the altoid tin is some white thread and two variegated lime greens.  Very spring like!  Deena also sent me some of the daisy fabric and the little red bag holds chocolate covered gummy bears!

I received two charts from my wish list: YIPPEE, and a log cabin quilt pattern.  My friend loves log cabin and keeps on at me to try it: I may have to now!  I also want to try applique so this may provide me with the inspiration!
Parsley sent me some tea-dyed even weave fabric which will be perfect for the bird sampler: some flower motives and a beautiful spring-like card.

Wow...I have been lucky.  I haven't sent my exchange to her yet because I am waiting for some of her items to be delivered but I can't wait to get it on it's way!
Thank you Parsley.

I have some finishes to share with you.

Firstly my January page which will form part of my Needlework Masters Book.

The design is the Cardinal from the Button Up Bird series by The Victoria Sampler  The page utilizes cross stitch, embroidery, crochet and patch work.  Between the felt layers I am putting personal letters for my family to read when I am gone.  I am hopefully not going anywhere soon but I thought it would be a nice touch and would link with the month and what it means to me and my family.

Snowflakes are not the ideal thing to learn to do crochet with!  Here are some I made but then didn't like.

I have also made two more things to exchange in return for sponsorship.

12 " Embroidery Hoop Wall Tidy's

There is a lace band along the white panel: you hang them with a pin where the top screw is and can use two more pins to balance it inside the hoop.

The pockets go a little higher on this one.  If you look along the pink lace (Thank you Nancy) you can see one of the little 'Hope' motives.  You can't really see the colour properly in this one but it does all go together beautifully.

I will be making more of these but possibly of a smaller hoop size.  I want to make some for myself as well!  No idea what I will want as a minimum donation for these: open to offers I guess!

Well, that is me done: tea to cook.
Thank you for reading and for leaving comments.  I hope to catch up again soon.  Have a great week!


  1. I'm really happy you like your package!

    Isn't Nancy so sweet?! I can't wait to see all you create using her ribbons, flosses, and buttons.

    I adore your little bird stitch. Precious. And, of course your hoops...very clever!

  2. What a nice surprise you got! Nancy's the best :) I absolutely HAVE to have one of those wall tidy's. Will you be making them available for purchase? I've been looking for just that sort of thing with no luck. And I'd love to support your cause. Please let me know. Thanks!

  3. You have been spoilt but you absolutely deserve it. Lovely Spring items from Parsley and Nancy is oh so generous. Good luck with all your fund raising.

  4. Lovely goodies , and some great crafting finishes . Sorry your results aren't good at the moment , and hoping for better things to come .Take care xxx

  5. Nancy really is fantastic!
    I love your first page for your book, I keep thinking about that challenge but I can't sign up for everything, can I? or can I? LOL.

    The hoop tidies are a great idea too, I think they'll sell really well.

  6. I love your first page of your stitching book, and a great idea for the letters. The hoop tidy is a brilliant idea, and you have made some lovely ones.
    Thinking of you, and hope things get a bit easier. PS Don't tell Daniel about the polytunnel, he wants one

  7. The first page of your book is superb, such a lovely design and the crochet snowflakes are adorable. You certianly have an eye for something beautiful.

    No spring here, a real 'pea souper' we woke up to this morning, still got the light on, but i am dressed and its only 9.30, so thats got to be a good thing hasn't it? lol

    Both packages are wonderful, such lovely stitching from Parsely and great things for your sale items from the VMThreadShoppe.

    Much love and a {{{great big hug}}} xx

  8. What a post full of wonderful things.
    I love all your projects. I think the snowflakes look great.
    What wonderful things the mailman has brought you too.
    It is supposed to be 73 here Sunday, in the middle of January?!

  9. Nancy is so wonderful! I love all of your projects. I want to try to relearn crochet so that I can do some snowflakes--yours look great! Good for you for doing the gardening pits and pieces that you can. Thinking of you.

  10. Wow your book is wonderful. You are so talented. How did you learn to do the snowflakes?


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