A labour of love

As you may or may not remember, I went to England at the beginning of January. The reason for the trip was my sister’s 30th birthday! It’s not every day your younger sister turns 30, so I decided to give her a special gift. I had a photo of her dog as a puppy converted to a cross stitch pattern and then stitched it for her. I started it last June and finished it literally on her birthday, 7th January 2016! Stupidly, I forgot to take a photo of the finished article, so I only have one of my sister and her boyfriend holding it after I gave it to her. I’ve cropped the photo so you can’t see the people in it (which is a shame because the smiles of joy say it all!). So, I present to you, Loki:

puppy

This is the biggest project I’ve ever done (over 1000 stitches, mostly in shades of gray!) and I’m extremely proud of it. My sister’s reaction was exactly what I had hoped for – I actually have a video of her literally jumping up and down with joy!

By the way, the extra fifth hand holding the bottom corner is my brother’s… neither of them has an extra arm! (Pity… I’m sure we all wish we did at times!)

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A photo an hour: 16 August 2014

On Saturday, I took part in the August edition of A Photo an Hour with Jane at Is That You Darling? I am being cheeky and also including this in Amanda’s Day in the Life linkup for August.

9 a.m. I was actually awake at 8:30 (thanks construction workers!), but somehow I find it easier to take my photos on the hour(ish), so I waited til 9 to take my first one. A nice cup of tea to start the day!

1-tea

10 a.m. Doing a bit of cross stitch! I’m working on something for my kitchen as part of my 35 before 35. Can you guess what it is yet?

2-cross stitch

11 a.m. I noticed it had stopped raining, so I decided to head into town while I had the chance! (I promise I didn’t go out smelly – I showered and brushed my teeth between the last photo and this one!)

3-sky

12 noon. Still in town. My dad paypalled me some money for my birthday, so I decided to pop in to Douglas and see if I could find a perfume I liked. (Is to paypal actually a verb? Never mind, it is now!) Am I the only one that would rather browse in peace than constantly be asked if I need help? After two shop assistants approached me, I decide to leave the shop and head elsewhere for my perfume… which turned out to be lucky because I found a special offer with a 30ml bottle of perfume and some shower gel for just €29.95. The perfume on its own would have been something like €45!

4-Karlsruhe

1 p.m. Time to head home for lunch. Pictured is the Natural History Museum, which I passed on my way home. (Also, note the grey clouds returning… definitely time to head home!)

5-KA natural history museum

2 p.m. Wrapping gifts for a few children whose birthdays are coming up. This one is for a friends son and I also wrapped stuff for my little brother and for my godson (although his won’t be posted til I return from Taiwan).

6-wrapping

3 p.m.  Another tea? Don’t mind if I do! And back to my cross stitch while I drink it.

7-tea and cross stitch

4 p.m. I finally managed to post the last of my Vienna posts. Hurrah! Next up is all the travelling I did with my brother (I’m sooo behind!).

8-blog post

5 p.m. Enough lounging around… time to make a start on tidying the kitchen! Here’s a photo of my hoover, plugged in and ready to go.

9-hoovering

6 p.m. Dinner time! Ready-to-roast duck and boil-in-the bag potato dumplings. Also consumed but not pictured: peas and, of course, good old Bisto gravy!

10-food

7 p.m. Having made the (possibly insane?) decision to cross stitch all my Christmas cards this year, I got out all my cross stitch magazines and started going through them looking for ideas.

11-cross stitch mag

8 p.m. What Saturday evening alone could be complete without a classic film? 😉

12- Blues Brothers

10 p.m. (I missed 9 p.m.!). Still watching the film… nearly finished now!

13-Blues Brothers

11 p.m. Off to bed with the final book I need to finish for the summer reading challenge! I’m progressing through it… but verrrry slowly!

14-book

And that’s it. I turned the light out at 11:30 p.m. so I never made it as far as a midnight photo.

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

 

The Snail Mail Collective: Being Thankful

November was actually the second time that I took part in the Snail Mail Collective with the The Nectar Collective and Lost in Travels Blog. Sadly, I never actually received my package from the October collective… but I had so much fun chatting to my partner and collecting things to send her that I decided to do it again anywhere. My partner was for November Judith, an American currently living in Japan, where she works teaching English. You  really and check out her blog, Like Some Cat from Japan, where she posts about life in Japan, teaching English and her travels in Asia, among other things. Judith is lovely so get on over there and say hi!

Yesterday, I got a little card to say I had something waiting for me at the post office, so I stopped by there after work today and found my Snail Mail Collective gift waiting for me. Hooray! November’s theme was “What are you (the sender) thankful for”, and this is what Judith sent me:

Snail Mail

That is a face mask, some Pcky (Japan’s most popular snack, writes Judith), a pretty, hand-decorated envelope, hot yuzu drink (a kind of citrus fruit), decorative masking tape and bath soak. Inside the envelope, there was a sweet letter explaining all my gifts (in Japan’s long, cold winters, Judith is thankful for anything that will heklp stay warm!) plus this postcard:

postcard

Sign up for December’s Snail Mail Collective closes TOMORROW and it’s the last ever one, so if you fancy joining in get yourself over there now and put your name down. The theme for December is travel. Here’s the link: http://thenectarcollective.com/2013/12/december-snail-mail-collective-last-one/

A good day after all

After not sleeping very well last night then having to get up while it was still dark this morning – a fact that I had somehow managed to bloc from my memory during my two weeks off – I was really not in the mood for going to work this morning. Monday has never been my favourite day and first Mondays back after two weeks spent relaxing are never going to get a reputation for being particularly fun. But then my colleague arrived bringing with her an unexpected gift for me and suddenly things looked a lot brighter.

I got a mini Henry desktop hoover! He’s just like the ordinary Henry hoovers (you know, the red vacuum cleaners with the face), but battery operated and much smaller. So very cute! Every time my very boring translation made me start to wish I was anywhere but at my desk, a quick glance at Henry soon put the smile back on my face.

I then arrived home to find that two things had arrived. First something I found last week while looking for a gift for a friend’s birthday. I immediately fell in love and after showing it to Jan he agreed that I could buy it:

Owl tea cosy
Owl tea cosy

Isn’t she beautiful? (Yes, I’ve decided it’s a she). More fuel for my current obsession with owls. And it goes very well with the owl cushion my Grandma sent me before Christmas.

The second thing I found in my mail box made me squee very loudly to myself in excitement:

Eddie Izzard tickets!!
Eddie Izzard tickets!!

You probably can’t tell from this photo, but these are in fact my tickets for Eddie Izzard in Berlin this April!! I wanted to take a close up photo but my camera battery died immediately after taking this one.

The excitement of receiving my tickets was even enough to give me the rush of energy I needed to do some of my exercise DVD. Admittedly only one circuit (well, 3 if you inlude the warm up and cool down) but I did the thighs and triceps one which always kills me! I’ve no idea how I’m going to cope when I eventually get round to trying out the entire 40 minute workout!

So a potentially bad day that actually turned out well. Isn’t amazing what a difference a visit from the postman can make? 😉 (Not to mention lovely colleagues who know exactly what gifts will make you smile).

Search terms

I have neither the time nor the energy for a proper blog (although I still have to tell you about my trip to Freiburg Christmas market on Saturday). I was up til midnight wrapping gifts on Monday evening so two of my packages could go in the mail, then last night Jan’s choir had practice at our place and one of them didn’t leave til after midnight. Bear in mind that I have to be up at 6 every morning, and you may have some idea of how I’m feeling. My eyes actually hurt and I could quite easily have fallen asleep at my desk this afternoon (the incedibly boring text I was proofreading didn’t help either!). And now, instead of going to sleep, I have to run into town to buy a box for the sending of yet more Christmas gifts before heading to Durlach to watch my boyfriend’s choir sing at the Christmas market. So instead of a report on what I’ve been doing, here are some random search terms that have amused me recently. Somehow, people have managed to end up on my blog by searching for the following:

Housework without pretence

Clean House
Clean House (Photo credit: libertygrace0)

Well you certainly won’t find any of that around here! It’s bad enough having to do housework, if you make me give up the pretence as well I shall go on strike!

The last Friday
What, ever? And I thought we had until the 21st before the world ends? – Although that is a Friday, so maybe you meant that all along?

Fluffy foot
I’d suggest you get that checked out. You may be turning into Big Foot… or possibly a hobbit, although they tend to be more hairy than fluffy.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas cards
You mean made of cardboard and covered in glitter? Maybe the apocalypse really is almost upon us… we’re all going to become characters in a scene from a Christmas card…

White porcelain heroes
I have no comment to make on this one, other than 😀 😀 😀

Mostly not all that funny, I know, but those are the best of a bad bunch.