Brother Arrives to Stay!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Long Time, No Blog!

Hi everyone!

It has been far too long since I last did a blog entry. I am back on the studying game, I'm afraid. I have been studying for my Advanced Level Psychology and my exams are on 13th May (Paper 1) and 15th May (Paper 2), then I will be free for the summer hoorah! 15th May would be Mike's birthday so it is a special day and I will do my best for him.

I have quite a lot going on at the moment - my brother and SIL are coming across from USA to stay with me for a whole week and I am really looking forward to it. We are going over to see our 3 cousins and will have a big get-together with about 12 of us all together - it will be mad, but fun. One of the days my brother is over here, we will be going to London as there are quite a few people he wants to get together with, so we thought it would be nice to get everyone together in a restaurant. I'm glad I have taken the week off work, because I'm going to need a bit of a rest after all that ha ha!! Also I have a 3-day training course for work, over near Bristol so that should be good fun.

I hope you are enjoying some warm sunshine - I have been out in the garden all afternoon so I am getting a bit of a tan :-)

I am hoping to do some cross-stitch this weekend as I haven't done any stitching for weeks. In the small amount of free time I have had, I made a few birthday cards as I have a total of 7 birthdays in April/May - its a very busy time. I found a fantastic kit -- see above -- on the Internet (Michael Powell), which is a picture of Tenby in Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire has stunning coastlines (owned by the National Trust) and it has many wonderful places to walk and 'be'. The kit will bring back some very happy memories, as I was over there for the first time ever this Easter weekend, with a couple of friends. Coincidentally, we stayed at a lovely hotel called The Grange which was going to be used for some filming of the next Harry Potter film! When we were over there, we were lucky enough to have great weather and spent one day walking round Tenby with our cameras - it is a really picturesque seaside town, with cute pastel coloured buildings as you can see, from Michael Powell's beautiful representation above.

Well, I hope you enjoy the long weekend (for those in UK) as we have a Public Holiday next Monday yippee extra lie-in!

Happiness always
Alison xx

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Happy Weekend!

I hope you are well and had an enjoyable weekend - where did it disappear to? I spent quite a lot of time reading, which was quite enjoyable - I am currently half-way through Year 1 of a 2 year psychology course, which is amazingly interesting! I am probably reading far more than I need to for the exam (part 1 of the exam is actually on my birthday in May, how unlucky is that?? but maybe it will bring me good luck ....) I also stitched for a couple of hours yesterday and today - progressing well with my Sampler and also a couple of greetings cards which were nice and quick. I will try to work out how to download with my new camera - its all too complicated for this Squirrel :-(

There was an absolutely freezing arctic blast coming from the West (Siberia apparently), so my run today had me wearing a very thick pair of socks, polo neck cotton top plus another layer over that, then my reflective bib, plus gloves. I did manage to run!! Strangely, it was actually really sunny as I was running, but really really freezing cold, my face was frozen. I put about 2 layers of cream on my face to stop it from being sore, which worked well.

I have sent off for tickets for Stitch and Craft in March - have arranged to meet a number of craft people there (Olympia), so if anyone is going to it, then let me know and you can join us all for lunch :-)

Warmest wishes
Alison xx

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Congratulations USA, Welcome to Barack Obama!

Congratulations to Barack Obama on his Inauguration as
44th President of the United States of America !

It is difficult to put aside all the madness in today's world. Unfortunately, wars, poverty, oppression do not go away for the dear folk who are subjected to those hardships.

However, I believe today is a time to celebrate, a time of hope because I feel that the people of USA have chosen the right person to lead them. It is surely not realistic to expect one man, Barack Obama, to be the solution to all things. All the same, there is a sense of optimism in the air, that President Obama is in the right place, he is in a position of power to influence for good, to ensure that justice will prevail. He seems to me to be a person of intellect, clarity of thought, humility, respect and in touch with "real people", as he is a family man, so he is in a good position to identify with the issues of the people he will lead.

I am so glad that, today, the United States of America will be a place of celebration and I wish you all happiness and joy on this historic day!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Brrrrrrr - its very very cold!

It really is 'proper' January weather here in UK. Some years we have enjoyed reasonable temperatures in Jan/Feb but this year we are having a real winter, no question. Last night in my home village it registered at minus 12 deg which is as cold as I have known it since moving here 5 years ago. We have had a small amount of snow-fall which, due to the low temperatures, has frozen solid on my drive. The roads remain very clear though. Looking out of the window now, it looks like the temperatures may be starting to creep up because the snow is starting to look a bit more watery. When it gets above freezing, it will seem positively tropical LOL! My garden birds are really making the most of the nut hoppers I have hung on the hedges and in the trees as they are unlikely to find many grubs or other food, so hopefully it will help them survive during this cold snap.
I have been working at home today as I arranged to have my attic/loft insulated with 'lagging' to keep in the warmth. It took about 2 hours for them to complete the job and the difference is amazing - they even covered up my pipes with foam to seal in the warmth and covered the tank so it doesn't freeze. The upstairs rooms are much warmer already and I am hoping it may save money on heating oil if I don't have to have the heating up so high. We'll see, but its warm, that's the main thing.

I am planning to attend Stitch and Craft Show 2009 on Saturday 21st March at Olympia, London. If anyone is going up there, let me know and we can meet up! I will have a WIP photo of my sampler ready at the weekend, as I stitched on Sunday and this lunchtime so it is making good progress.
Take care and most importantly, STAY WARM!!!
Alison xx

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy New Year 2009

I hope everyone had a wonderful and magical Christmas and are looking forward to whatever the coming year brings! I hope it is a happy, healthy and of course crafty year for you all.

I have included a New Year card that I created yesterday - I received a few cards after the holiday that I had unfortunately been unable to reciprocate, so decided to make about 8 cards to send out, just so people didn't think I had forgotten. To be honest, I felt so ghastly after my 'flu which seemed to just completely drain me of any energy over the Christmas break, so I think I have a bit of an excuse!

Nela, para clarificar un poco, el foto en mi blog mensaje de Navidad no es un conejo, en efecto, sino una ardilla, pero al verificar otra vez, tienes razon sabes, por que parecer ser un conejo jajaja! Lo consigue en Google imagenes. Un abrazo para el ano que viene, que te pasa muy tranquila y con alegria y con mucho coser, desde luego Nela, just to let you know, my photo on the previous blog entry is actually a squirrel rather than a rabbit - I picked it up from Google images - I must admit, when I re-checked it, it did indeed look more like a rabbit :-)) Big hug for the new year, I hope you have a peaceful happy time, with plenty of stitching of course.

Bye for now
Warmest wishes, Alison xx

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Greetings to my Crafting Friends!

Wishing all my Blogging friends every happiness at Christmas time and into the New Year.

Happy, healthy Crafting year ahead 2009.

Warmest wishes
Alison xx

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Coughs and Sneezes

Oh dear! I am feeling sorry for myself. I have succumbed to the current round of germs circulating in my office. I am never normally someone who takes time off as I normally feel better as the day goes on, but I have to admit, this one has got to me! It is making me feel like all my joints and muscles are aching like mad. I have been in bed all morning and have got up for a few hours so that I don't completely ruin my body clock and sleep pattern. I felt very poorly at work yesterday but thought an early night might get rid of it, but no luck. So its just a question of letting this awful bug take its course :-(

Over the weekend I was able to do a bit of work on my sampler, here is the latest WIP photo - its starting to shape up nicely don't you think?

You may recall a few postings back, I mentioned that I applied to the Woodland Trust (following a promotion in the UK National newspaper The Daily Mail) and purchased a couple of trees as Christmas presents. These saplings have now been planted in a plantation in Wales which will grow into a forest in years to come. I received the gift certificates to give the recipients, so I decided I would mount them onto stiff card and embellish with some decoupage in the style of An Edwardian Country Lady's Diary, which I think is a perfect style as it depicts authentic botanical flora and fauna.