Friday, 25 September 2009

Pull your Christmas Stockings up and dance your way to Christmas!

Yippeee! It's Friday! I am really looking forward to the weekend, but I have no particular reason, I just do do! Today, despite the fact that I am fast becoming  an old leg of mutton, I feel like a spring lamb chop! Isn't life wonderful, yes full of wonder! Despite feeling somewhat like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz, in need of an oil can to fix my creaking, I have a definite spring in my step.

sourced from the internet

My followers seem to have come back from their trip into cyber space, and everything seems back to normal on the old blog, so, good, good!

sourced from the internet

This week I have been so busy again, thank goodness though, hey? I have been busy with another commission. This time a christmas stocking, requested to be mainly stitchery, in deep pinks, purples and gold.

First I made a pattern

Next I roughly sketched out a drawing.

Then It was very carefully traced onto the fabric (calico) using a high tech method.....taping it to a window!

This is where I am up to so far, sewing away busily! Those gold threads are slippery little blighters!

I was thinking of putting these buttons I have covered with fabric into the design somewhere.

While I was sewing I was thinking of Miz Mollye over at Shezadoosey
I was happily reading her blog (it is great, go and have a look, she is witty, funny and warm and her writing is addictive!) which was about dancing, and how her Mom and Pappy used to dance. I left a comment about my Grandparents, to which she replied...write about them! So......

My Grandparents died quite a few years ago now, but I remember them both with such warmth and love.
Pop was a chemist, a strong, tall and dignified man, who always had something to amuse us children. One of the many wonderful sayings and rhymes he would say was..."It wasn't the cough that carried him off, it was the coffin they carried him off in!" There was another one that I loved him to say, but I won't bore you! It could actually go on for ever, as it is about Antonio who asked to be told a tale, and the tale was about Antonio who asked to be told a tale.....You get the idea! Again, again we would cry! We never tired of his tales and funny remarks!

Nanny and Pop, at somebody's wedding. Hmmm, let me see....Yup it was mine, sadly that one didn't last!

Nanny (sometimes also called No No!) was a truly talented woman, she just seemed good at everything she turned her hand to.... sewing, painting, drawing, baking.... She made the most gorgeous meringues and coffee cake, and her home made bread was to die for! When she sewed clothes, they looked professional, and she even made hats!

Me wearing a dress Nanny made. Yes, I really did have to dress up like this every Sunday. Strangely enough I wasn't too keen on Sundays, can't imagine why!!!

Her house was always interesting, with many curios and bits and bobs. I used to love playing with her buttons which resided  in a very pretty tin! Talking of tins, there was a big one in their kitchen cupboard, and it was crammed full of licorice sticks and chocolate! Now and then their dog Boo Boo, or sometimes Boozie, would sit by the cupboard...hoping!  Outgoing and always busy, she lived a full and happy life!

 This is Nanny's sewing machine,which I am lucky enough to have now in my workroom.

Going to America! Nanny made the little stripey dress that I am wearing at the station with Mum and my brother. Dad was obviously taking the photo!

They were both keen gardeners and grew vegetables, and even had a small orchard. You know the kind of memory that actually comes with one of the senses? Well I have one, it is about their huge long shed, which had a sliding door. I used to pretend I was running along a train track and would slide open the door and jump onto the moving train (very exciting , you know!) and each time you slid the door open you were hit witha gloriously strong smell of stored apples! I can actually smell that every time I remember it!  They used to make home made wine too, they called and labelled it 'Jungle Juice', and my goodness they weren't joking, that stuff could knock your socks off and your wig too, if you were wearing one!

sourced from the internet

Anyway, I better get on to the part I was writing about! I could just go on and on for pages about them both, they were so wonderful! I think I could just go on and on full stop!

They married in the 1920's, and my Aunt has a beautiful photo of their fantastic 1920's wedding. Sadly I haven't!
Not long after they married, Pop opened his chemists shops in Cleveleys, anyone local may remember, Croppers Chemists. It was in those days, a traditional chemists, cabinets with tiny drawers, shelves with medicine bottles in blue and green glass. It stayed like that for a long long time and one of my early memories is of the smell, quite unique!

        sourced from the internet

Of course, later, with that wonderful invention, progress, it was all ripped out and modernised. What a shame! All that character and history, replaced with metal and plastic! The front of the shop which is now plastic upvc and flat, used to have beautiful curved glass windows and intricate woodwork.

Anyway, in those days it WAS beautiful and Nanny and Pop lived over the shop at first, until they could afford a house.
Nanny told me that they used to roll back the carpet upstairs and dance! They loved to dance!  Everytime I go past the shop now, I look up at the upstairs windows and imagine them dancing in the 1920's early 30's, imagining those times, the clothes they would be wearing, the furniture. Oooh, I just love those times, just like all those old movies! Well thats how I imagine it anyway!  Miz mollye says that perhaps her Mom and Pappy and my Nanny and Pop are all up in heaven dancing together! Thats a lovely thought mollye!

 I love the 1920's! The dancing is fantastic!

My only sadness, is that I didn't get as much of them as I would have liked, as a lot of my childhood was spent in Canada, but then I think it made me appreciate them so much more when we came back here. Although they did come over to Canada once to visit.

This is my brother Grahame and I in Canada, My Mum is sat in the car. Best place... Look at that snow!

Pop was more the sensible one, and although Nanny was outwardly dignified and respectable (she was always dressed immaculately), she was a corker, a real character! One of those rare people who stays young in thought and deed, childlike and way before her time in her outlook. Do you know someone like that, no matter how old they get, no matter how wrinkled, they just never ever seem old.  I really admired her!

Nanny died in 1989, aged 81, and Pop in 1995, aged 89. The world could do with more like them! Sadly I never knew my Father's parents, as they had both died before I was born, so I don't really know that much about them, as my Dad didn't really speak of them that much.

I think it is so important to remember our loved ones, it keeps them alive in our hearts. It is funny but I seem to remember them more the longer it is since last seeing them! Memories really are so precious aren't they. Even unpleasant ones are, as those are the oneswhich offer an opportunity to learn. After all life is a series of lessons (Miz mollye's post this week!). You can't have light without dark, joy without sorrow....I just feel  that I want to embrace all of life, good and bad, happy and sad, just as it is,  life.   All of it is equally interesting!

Does anyone remember Rowan and Martin's Laughin? Very, Interesting......!

sourced from the internet

Well...Enough! I can't seem to post without examining everything in great detail. My Dad always used to tell me that I analize everything too much! He said, not only do I look at each side of every coin, but I have to examine the sides as well! Maybe he was right.

Sometimes examining something very closely offers a new perspective!

                                                                                sourced from the internet

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend and following week everybody!

Lots of love to you all, Suzie. xxx :)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Has your blogger gone insane?

Hello, I don't usually post other than on a Friday, but I just wanted to see if any of you are having problems with your Have your followers disappeared, or anything else? Have you had twitter updates appearing on your blog that don't belong to you?

I think this may be happening to quite a few people, as I think blogger are having some problems! My followers are missing and I looked at my blog before and there were quite a few twitter updates (not mine!) that had some bad language, so I have removed my twitter update gadget.

Just wondered if any of you have had any problems? Let me know please!

See you on Friday folks! Suzie. xxx

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Having a busy bee week!

Gosh! Yet another week has flown by, don't they go so quick? Where do they go? Look, there goes another! Do you feel like you are on full speed too? Somebody slow down the time!!!

Iv'e been getting more of my share of this lately! But it is good to be so busy!

I have been so busy this week, and for the last couple of days I haven't had the time to enjoy and comment on everybodys posts, so sorry about that. I know How much I enjoy reading the comments that people write on my posts, so everyday I try to read others posts and leave a comment. So I am sorry if I have missed anyone out! It gets quite time consuming when you are following quite a few blogs! Talking about other people's blogs pop over to visit Floss at Troc, bloc and recup, she is having a wonderful giveaway, and her blog is always lovely to visit. So get your selves over there! Another blog that I love to visit is bad penny at The Hen House, I love reading her posts, love her sense of humour and slant on life. She is a star. I think I will tell you each week about a few of my favourite blogs. There are so many kind and thoughtful people out there, It warms the heart! Latest News Flash! Go to Lissy lou and the two little boys and have a look, On the Thursday 22nd October there is going to be a Cath Kidston Party. I am definitely taking part in this, so that week my blog will be on the thursday instead! Go to Lissy Lou to see details!

This week I have been sewing with a passion! My needle has had sparks flying off it! I was commissioned by a lovely lady in Ireland to sew her one of my stitcheries. She has just recently commissioned 23 beech Hill to sew one of her beautiful fabric Princess and the pea designs, and she wanted one of my stitcheries to go with it. Now, I don't usually sew for people, as I sell my designs as kits, charts and patterns. But I'm just a girl who can't say no! ( Who sang that? Was it Doris Day in Calamity Jane? I can't remember at all!) I have just sent her off on her journey to Ireland, and I know it is silly, but I get quite attached to my sewing, every stitch has a thought attached to it, and anyone who sews will know that it is a very thought provoking pastime! I felt like I was waving a friend off at the station! Goodbye, and don't forget to write! Oh, maybe its just me, maybe I am just bonkers!

Here is my little Princess, sat in her boudoir!

I added little beads to her slippers and used two threads of gold metallic thread with one strand of yellow gold to make her gold slippers. It is finished with 3 little sequin flowers on the bed.

Her gold crown has beads at the end of each point. These photos don't really do justice to her.

I could have quite happily have kept her Royal Highness. Hey, who says I can't have a children's stitchery hanging on my bedroom wall!? I adore anything to do with childhood, as you may have guessed! Anything that evokes cosy memories of the days of innocence, trust and belief, where happiness came straight out of an Enid Blyton book, and I was willing and ready to believe, believe , believe!

Maybe that is why I love dogs! They are such full of fun, playful creatures. They trust and love with no conditions attached. Straightforward and true, and they really do have a sense of humour! Bertie, my other Jack Russell (who doesn't actually look like one really!) smiles! No, really, he does! No...... he isn't snarling at me! He really does grin at me, and sometimes he has an uncanny look of Humprey Bogart about him! Heres looking at you kid!

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine"

Ralph (Old English sheepie) and Bertie (Bertram Butterbean Barker!)

There is often a deep and beautiful understanding between a child and a dog. I grew up with dogs, and as a child, I remember thinking of our family dogs as friends and companions, and they were always, always a part of the family, my doggie siblings! Mind you I love all animals! My Mum (sadly not with us now) would have told you about me and a (imaginary) monkey, but I will leave that tale for another post, perhaps next week!

Align Centre
One of my drawings. Memories of a chilhood pal.

Coming back to the here and now, and then leaving it again pretty quickly! Look at this beautiful photo I took the other night, it must be a fluke, as I am not that great at photography, but I thought this was lovely! Although having said that, it doesn't actually show how gorgeous it was, it was better!

A beautiful evening in my garden, stunning red sky that night, and look at the moon!

After I took this photograph, I sat looking up at the miracle, the glorious magnificent miracle that is there all around. How vast I thought, what a unimaginable world/worlds/space there is out there! Then I got to thinking how tiny we all are, in this vast universe, that goes on and on into infinity. Tiny grains of sand, and yet without each grain, there would be nothing. How we are all linked in some way. To the universe we are like little ants underfoot.

A scribble of mine! Ant farm.

But yet each ant has a purpose, doesn't it, without each one the colony does not work at all. Each has a purpose and a reason for being there.

It never ceases to amaze me how every teeny atom, each tiny living being, ant, bee, butterfly, all have a huge part to play in this world we live in. Isn't Mother Nature just wonderful. Such an intricate plan, like cogs in a huge system, each needing the other. She gives us dock leaves for nettle stings, Provides us with every vitamin, protein, etc. for our bodies and so many other gifts. Like more apples!

Yet more cooking apples and pears from our garden

Now, I wonder what I will do with these? I am not kidding, there are loads still in the garden. shall I make more pies, apple sauce, crumbles? Or should I just slice and freeze them? Or should I get crafty, and make myself a rather fetching Carmen Miranda hat? Any suggestions?

Shake those maracas girls! (sourced from the internet)

Oh, and talking about the garden, Pumpkin is still doing ok, (see older posts for a photo!) he/she is well and happy! I don't expect any or much more growth though, not now. Either way, there will be home grown pumpkin soup on the table, and a grinning, glowing orange face hanging nearby on Halloween night! Finished off with some spooky stories. Oh how I love a good ghost story, must dig some out!

Well enough of my gibberings for another week, I think all of you who come onto my blog and read them all deserve a medal! I'm off to start a new project, a Christmas Stocking with stitchery (of course)!

Before I go, here is a really silly joke......

Burt) Bob, Did you hear on the news last night?
Bob) No, What?
Burt) An aged hippy got stranded out at sea, but the rescue services just could not get to him.
Bob) Why not, Burt?
Burt) Because he was too far out!

Bum bum!

Sorry! Couldn't help myself!

Love and blessings to you all! Suzie. xxx

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Nah, what's up Doc???

Hello again!

Before I go on to this weeks ramblings, I must again say a big thank you to all of you who take the time to leave comments. When I read others blog posts, which I try to do regularly, I can see how busy everyone is I have been overwhelmed by the amount of comments, and the kindness and thoughtfulness that they contain! You will be pleased to hear George had a lovely birthday, we had red snapper wrapped in bacon with herbs from the garden and freshly dug potatoes. i t was yummy! Thank you to all of you who wished him a happy birthday!

My post today touches on a very personal matter, and I spent some time pondering whether or not to write about such a very hard journey in my life! As my regular readers will know, I like to keep my posts on the light hearted side. I really don't want people leaving my blog with a heavy heart and a big frown! But it is part of my life, and one which I should not pretend has not happened.

However, as it all happened 5 years ago, and I can actually laugh about it now. When recently, I wrote that sometimes I can look in the mirror and laugh at what life and age have done to me, I really meant it! I can actually cry laughing! So believe it or not, this is not a sad post, it is more of a philosophical one, I hope!

The other day, I needed to go to the doctors.

Sourced from the Internet, Ladybird. If only it was all this jolly!

Nothing to worry about at all. I just needed to get myself back on list for mammograms and check ups. My husband has medical insurance from work, and if you use it like I did, you only get cover for five years. So, I rang up the surgery on Monday morning, and asked for an appointment. I decided to explain why I needed the appointment, as I thought (foolishly) that maybe I wouldn't have to go in at all, surely it could just be done over the phone? No, said the rather abrupt receptionist at the other end of the phone, you have to see the doctor. Oh, ok, I replied, could I make an appointment then? No, she added,you will have to ring on Wednesday between 8 and 8.30am to make an appointment for the same day. Ok! Wednesday arrived ( this is Friday, even though date will say something else, I put the photos on on that day), and I rang and got an appointment for 10.50. When I got to the Docs, I sat waiting, and waiting, in the reception, when I spotted a poster which told you, if you need a chaperone, ask at the desk. This amused me, I thought about the film Miss Potter, which I have on DVD. Beatrix potter has a chaperone stalking her in every scene almost!

The stalking chaperone dressed in black, quietly following behind!

So.......I had this image in my head, that the Docs must have a room full of chaperones, just like the one in the film!!! This nearly brought on a fit of giggles, which I am prone to get, quite often. I had to really control myself as I was sat on my own and when I get a giggle attack, I really find it hard to stop!

Luckily, I was so nervous I could block the giggling abdabs before they even started. I never liked going to the Doctors before the last 5 years of tests, operations and treatments, but now I seem to have developed a very strong aversion to it all! I was sat there questioning how I could be nervous, when nothing was going to happen. It was ridiculous! I told myself off, but it was no use, I just could not conquer my own fears. That is something I am still working on.... trying to live without fear. The trouble is that my illness (Breast cancer) set off a fear in me that seems to be well rooted in. When I was diagnosed, people remarked on how brave I was. Well I suppose, if you regard bravery as not caving in and taking it on the chin, well yes then, I was brave. But what people couldn't see, because I didn't show it, was that I was terrified!!! Inside my head, I had entered some kind of hellish place. I suppose it hadn't helped that my Mum had died of cancer 5 years before, and my Dad from cancer too, 5 years before that. And suddenly I felt like a small child who needed my Mum, but she wasn't there. I needed the cosy comforts that my Mum would have given, like a lovely pot of tea and cake! When ever I had to go to the Docs or the dentist when I was little, my Mum always used to treat me to this, or licorice ( I was going to take a picture of some yummy licorice, but I ate it! Oooops!)

When you get ill suddenly, with a potentially fatal disease, it can make you just want to curl up in a ball. Everyone is different in the way they will handle it, but I personally, spent my time recuperating from my operations and chemotherapy, as a time to reflect on life and to make sense of at all. For me, it was as if I had been thrown out of my old life into somewhere strange and alien. All I wanted, was to go back to how it was before, and for some time I could simply not accept what had happened to me. My mind just wasn't having it at all. It was similar to that feeling you get when someone dies, everything has changed and it will never be the same, and you just can't grasp it all. I was in a dark place for a while, and then bit by bit, like a beautiful butterfly emerging into the sunlight, I started to realise that even in such a traumatic time, wrapped up in amongst the sorrow and pain, is a gift. A really wonderful gift, a blessing! I could taste it, it was real, I can't put my finger on it or explain it, but on some deep level , I knew I had received something precious, and for what I had lost (my left boob, my figure and most of my hair!!!) I had somehow gained so much more. Everything was so concentrated, the sun was brighter, the grass was greener, the sky was bluer. I took the time to really appreciate this wonderful earth that we are blessed to have and love. I thought I had always appreciated everything, but I couldn't believe how much more I could 'see', it was as if my eyes were wide open! You know that feeling when you have the flu, or you wake up from a nightmare, and it feels soooo good to be back. Everything feels new and wonderful, well I started to have that lovely feeling , but all the time!
Like a new sunrise.

I did this stitchery with applique when my new sunrise started to be born!
It reads: Stormy sea and darkened skies...yet here it comes, a new sunrise.

Now though back to the Docs! When I finally got into see the Doctor, I sat down and she asked me what she could do for me. I told her why I was there, thinking that obviously, as I had to make an appointment, there would perhaps be a check up, or maybe some questions. NO!!! She said , yes , we can do that for you, I will put you back on the screening program. Goodbye. Why did I need to go there to be told what I could have been told on the phone?!

Well I hope this post has been uplifting and not at all maudlin, I wouldn't want it to be sad, as I like to make people smile. So, I thought I would share this video with you all. Because I have had to face my mortality full on, I did spend some time preparing myself , just in case! The fear that I have to try to conquer is that my cancer may come back, and I will kick the proverbial tin bucket! Anyhow, when I was in between my dark days and my hey, I'm back and loving it days (now), in the I haven't got a clue what will happen but I may as well have a laugh about it and get on with it days. I decided that at my funeral I would have some deep and meaningful songs and words, but right at the end, as I departed and people were feeling sad (or not!) I would leave the way I like to live, and give everyone a good laugh. The song is about leaving, but mainly about being insane! People who know me would definitely see it as appropriate! Enjoy it! Its great.
Thank you all of you who are still reading, I hope I haven't bored you!

Until next week, I wish you all lots of love and happiness!

Suzie. xxx :)

Dr. Demento - They're coming to take me away, ha ha , hee hee, ha ha

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Counting blessings and bills!

Hello again!

Before I go into this weeks witterings, I would like to thank Deb at A Fine Feathered Nest for giving me a beautiful, gorgeous award, which I have put on my sidebar and will treasure dearly. Thank you so much Deb! You are lovely and kind!

Also I would like to thank all of you who have taken the time to come on here and read my ramblings again and again, and then leave me comments. You are all stars! Thank you so much!

The other day, despite George being off for work for two weeks, after longing for his time off for quite some time, things started to go wrong at work, the phone started ringing, ringing and then ringing again! Very quickly he was realising that he may have to sacrifice some of his holiday due to responsiblities to his job. Soon the phone was ringing again, but this time it was the garage, reeling out a long list of jobs that needed to be done on our car! I won't say how much the bill was, but it was enough to make a happy duck's bill drop to the floor! One of our dogs, not mentioning any names... ARCHIE...was having one of his drama queen days, (lying on the settee with his paw over his head!) and our nerves were being stretched with his ham actor histrionics!

Archie our nutty Jack Russell Terrier. Also known as Archibald Peabody Smythe!

We have only recently moved into our home, and it needs quite a few jobs doing on it, and what with Christmas, and a wedding coming up, well......!
I am sure you all know what I am talking about there! Sometimes, there are worries sat upon more worries and they pile up into a nice little worry hillock, leaving you feeling a tad stressed. But, despite the huge unexpected bill, I decided that I would just smile. You know that there is a tiny moment in any situation where just for that second you have a choice. You have the choice of how you are going to react to that particular situation. So, I decided not to let it spoil the day.It will work it's self out somehow, I thought to myself. They mostly do in the end! Don't let it spoil George' time off work, (if he gets it!) I always try to view life in this way, although I am not always too good at it, but I do try and mostly I can see the bright side! I decided that rather than dwelling on what was wrong with the day, that I would count some of my blessings instead. There are always many more things to be happy of than sad! :)

A welcoming door and a roof over our heads.

My veggie patch where I can pretend to be cultivated! (Ha!)

Lovely food on the table each evening. Delicious monk fish A la George! Accompanied by a cold splarkling glass of Cava. It was so yummy!!! We don't, I must hasten to add have this kind of a meal everyday. Well not the cava anyway! No, we usually have gruel. Only joking!!!

Candlelight and music, and faith! Yes the blessing of faith :)

Autumn leaves, nature's beauty is free!

Pretty countryside and wild horses running free. The blessing of having a free spirit!

A water colour I painted.

Wandering along meandering English country lanes, breathing in the fresh air...Is free!

We are lucky to have these lovely lanes a stones throw away from our home!

Our feathered friends, clucking happily in my friend's garden. Lucky me, I get free eggs!

Chick, chick, chick, chicken, lay a little egg for tea!

Flowers, a reminder to us of how miraculous our world is. Hollyhocks and a poppy I grew from tiny seeds!

I love poppies! Daft I know, but my car is called poppy!

The sound of children playing happily! Smiles and laughter are free!

Another water colour painting of mine.

Friends, thank goodness for true friends, My Mum always said it is better to have one good loyal friend, than to have many fly by night ones. As usual, she was absolutely right! I made this cushion for one such a friend, my soul sister, who I have known for years now! with each stitch I thought about her and all our memories together. I am blessed to have such a good friend. These kind of friends are as rare as hens teeth, and hee hee, and talking of hens, Susan is the one who lets me have free eggs! Still wondering if I should get some chickens. I have an empty coop! I am also blessed with many other very good friends also, some who have known me for years and yet they still stick around!!! Lately, I have found a long lost friend, Ro Jordan. She found me through using facebook! I am so glad she did! I have been blessed by the fact that the friends I do have are true and caring.

I love the freedom and effects of stitchery! This one has stitchery, applique and homespun fabric

And of course, there is always the blessing of Hope! Which is more than I can say for this poor blighter! There is something really sad about this abandoned boat which lays on the banks of Skippool Creek near to where I live. Everytime I walk past, I wonder who owns her, and what she was like in the flush of youth when she was freshly painted and proudly bobbing about on the waves. When she was Yar, as Katharine Hepburn said in The Philadelphia Story, with Cary Grant (YUM!).

If you look closely, or click on the photo, you will see she is called 'Good Hope' !

It is my husband's birthday this weekend, and we were going to go out for a meal, but due to the rather large repair bill, we will most likely be having a lovely meal at home instead. Oh, but, I love making a special meal at home, it is so cosy..... the table set with lovely glasses, napkins, an embroidered table cloth, the soft warm glow of candlelight, lovely music and a log fire too! What more could anyone want, it is perfect. Oh Maybe just one more thing.... a nice glass of fizzing bubbly cava!


So this weekend, I will lift a toast to you all during our birthday celebrations and wish you all many blessings! Bottoms up girls!

Suzie. XXX :)