Friday, 30 July 2010

Trees and viaducts

This week we have had a few days away in the North of England, Berwick-Upon-Tweed and Durham to be exact. When The Other Half mentioned our plans to a friend from 'The Railway' last weekend he went home and got us a suitable book entitled 'Borders Railway Rambles' and a map showing disused railway stations of interest, many of which have now been turned into homes. Well, that was it. We spent the first two days finding old stations and, more interestingly, disused viaducts! This is a picture of Twizel Viaduct followed by one of the view from it.

The most spectacular was this one. The Leaderfoot Viaduct with nineteen piers, the tallest being 120' high.

We did do other stuff. The Ford and Etal Estate is well worth a visit with it's working flour mill and fantastic buildings. Oh,did I forget to mention, it also has a narrow gauge railway!

I did get to do some non railway related things, like re-visit the Angel of the North.

We also had a fantastic day out at the Beamish Open Air Museum. This is a photo of the biggest digger I have ever seen. The cab was the size of a small house!

I knew that we would be spending a lot of time driving around and I thought I'd packed suitable 'in car stitching'. This was not the case. I had intended to stitch Witches Riding By but the 36ct linen was too small a count to stitch on whilst moving. I did manage to complete the Cardinal Tree form the Mill Hill Festival of Trees range and I've made a start on the Victorian Tree.

I said at the start of this post that we were staying in 'The Borders'. This was an easy walk away from our hotel.

Hopefully, I will have more stitching to show next time!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

School's out for Summer!

Today I got back from the field trip and it was the last day of term. No more school until September 1st, with the exception of going in for results days in August. Unfortunately, it rained constantly for the first two days of the trip. There was a let up in the rain yesterday when the Sun came out for a bit but the rain returned this morning. Despite this I think everyone had a good time and more importantly learned something about ecology.

Here is a picture of where we stayed, on a sunny day!

What with a two hour coach journey to the centre, all the rain, and not being actively involved in the delivery of the sessions, the centre staff do that. I was able to do a fair bit of sewing. As the trip was an ecology one I took Forest Tree from the Mill Hill Festival of Trees series.

I did make a small start on the next ornament bu t not enough to show. This weekend it's back to Wales. Let's hope the weather improves!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Festival of Trees

This weekend I ditched the weekend rotation, Timeless Elegance ornaments (Saturday) and Tuscan Gardens (Sunday) in favour one of the charmed ornaments from the Mill Hill Festival of Trees range, part of the stash enhancement from last week. This one is called the Snowflake Tree. Measuring 2.57"w x 3.57"h this took most of the weekend to stitch. I say 'most' as I also completed house number 7 of White Nights as well as doing the usual house cleaning etc.

Here is White Nights, only one more house to go! Thank goodness for the rotation as without it I would have been doing these for the last seven weeks! In fact, before starting this project, I did a bit of research and looked at a number of blogs where stitchers were doing White Nights and quite a few gave up at this stage.

This next week I'm on a biology field trip in Betws-y-coed, North Wales. I have decided to take another of the Festival of Trees ornaments with me to stitch as they are small, and being stitched on perforated paper, do not require hoops or frames. Maybe I should have taken this one, considering the amout of time I've spent thinking about what to take. Who would have thought that having stash would be stressful!.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Houses and history!

The houses are back! In the end I decided to stitch White Nights this week. This is progress after one evening.

Unfortunately I had to frog the first fifteen minutes or so of stitching, the wall to right of the door and the side wall up to the roof, as I stitched it in the wrong colour! When I realised what I'd done I was sorely tempted to put this project away for another week or so and start something new, especially as I have been enhancing my stash recently.

Enhancements featured are, Summer Wings Humbug, Pretty Winder Pocket and Twilight Pearls Leaf Ball from Just Nan, all six Festival of Trees ornaments from Mill Hill, ABC Halloween from Lizzie*Kate. The Silver Needle Night Crabbiest Castle on the Beach was a gift from my Mum. No decisions have been made yet as to which will be the first to be stitched.

And now for the history.

At school, the timetable for next year has been done on a computer. For the last few years it has been done using a combination of computer and peg board, and prior to computers, manually using the peg board alone. The peg board measures about 8' wide by 4' high.

Every member of staff has pegs with their initials on, enough pegs for all the lessons they teach, so at the moment I have 31 pegs. Each room has a peg with it's number on it. We have over 64 rooms and there are enough room pegs for each lesson, of which we have 49 in a fortnight, so that's over 3136 room pegs alone! Then there are pegs for each subject, year group and so on. Thousands of pegs!

What if the board fell off the wall and all the pegs got scattered? Nightmare! A previous timetabler used to take photographs of the timetable whilst it was under construction just in case. Anyway the peg board has stopped being used and is, in the next few days, going in the skip. The member of staff who does the timetable asked me if I would like my pegs. I took one peg with my initials on it, one with my teaching room number on it and a B and an S peg for the subjects I teach, biology and science. Here they are with a DMC floss band so you can get an idea of their size.

It was strange taking my pegs out of the board, I felt like I was deleting myself!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Five more finished and a WIP

This week it was back to Just Nan's Floral Fifteen. After three evenings stitching I've managed to complete five more squares and am part way through the sixth.

On both Monday and Tuesday evenings I managed to complete two squares but last night only one and a bit. With luck I should be able to finish square six and seven this evening, then next time there will be three more to do and then the finishing off. So this could be the next finish.

As to what I should stitch next week on the rotation I'm still deciding. I only have four clear evenings next week so White Nights is probably out. Really, I should be stitching Witches Riding By but the following week I'm on a residential field trip with my sixth from biologists in North Wales so I might take that project with me. Then again, that week it would be a good excuse to take something else with me, something smaller or with less floss colours. Of course I don't have any WIPs that would fit this description so I may need to start something new!

Hope everyone has a great stitching weekend and that you too have some nice stitchy decisions to make!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Green Santa is finished...

... well almost. There's just a small amount of back stitching to do, then it's on to the Cream Santa, but that's next time.

Yesterday morning I stitched the July picture for Sylvia's My Little Heart SAL.

I managed to stitch my Christmas ornament but very little progress was made on that.

This weekend has been a 'Railway Weekend' without actually visiting a railway. Yesterday we went to a 'do' where the majority of people there had some interest in railways and today we have spent a lot of time cataloguing and photographing bits of The Other Half's railway collection. This contains one or two railway posters, my favourite being this one.

On Friday night it was the Sixth Form Leaver's 'Prom'. I put prom in inverted comas because, unlike the Year 11 Prom this one does not involve ball gowns, stretch limos and a disco in the school hall. Instead it is a sit down meal with disco at a local hotel, the students do dress up but the whole thing is o lot more informal yet more sophisticated. I would say that as I'm the organiser. I got my outfit on Friday afternoon, talk about last minute.

Hope everyone has a great stitching week!