Saturday, 13 March 2010

Spring Forward (aka lose 1 hr sleep)

I think there must be Spring Fever around, and I don't mean of the allergic kind. I've read that some of you have not been keeping up with your blogging or your blog reading. *gasp* Well, I'm just as guilty and I chalk it up to Spring Fever. Not that, mind you, we've had sunny gardening days. We've actually had a lot of rain, even a bit of storm to make it dramatic, even a bit of snow in places, and then just to shut us up, some sunshine every now and then! But nonetheless, I think we're feeling restless. 

I've been stitching a bit more on A Very Fine Sampler. First, 2 more houses of the teeny variety. 

Then the big basket, in progress...

I like that little village! 

Next, I can now show you the other exchange I stitched last month. which was a pinkeep for Goldie

The design is Stacy Nash's Monogram Pinkeep. I've stitched this before and I'll stitch it again. It's one of my favourite things to do and I like to personalize it for each person. I used various HDF silks that I had kicking around. When I found out that I was stitching for Goldie, well, I could instantly visualizing stitching this for her, with the 'G' in a gold colour!

Then, I found a nice surprise waiting for me - Beautiful Blogger Award from Kellie. Thank you, Kellie!

I will start off by passing on this award to 7 bloggers though I could name many more!
  1. Jane
  2. Leena
  3. Eva
  4. Margaret
  5. Cari
  6. Lois
  7. Laurie 
Now, here's the hardest part - list 7 little known facts about myself:

1. My favourite magazine is Country Living (British edition). I love the gardening, the cooking stuff, the home decor, the crafts, the far away idea of life in a small English village.  Please don't spoil my fun and tell me how awful it is to live in an English village. I once talked to someone who was British then emigrated to Canada who told me how horribly crowded it was back in England, etc.  and kept on turning the little sunny English garden in my mind into a grey, soggy mess. *sheesh*

2. Some of my favourite books seem to come from authors from England/Scotland/Ireland. Examples: Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Ian Rankin, Minette Walters, Monty Don, Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater, Sarah Raven, etc.  These books range from fiction to gardening and cooking.

3. My favourite narrators of audio books appear to be mostly with British accents! Examples: Simon Vance, Josephine Bailey, Neil Gamian, Hugh Fraser, etc.

4. My favourite show on HGTV is "Location, Location, Location" and/or "Relocation, Relocation" hosted by Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp.  A few years ago R/R was on and now it's been replaced by LLL. It gives me a chance to see various areas of the country and see inside the houses of course!

5. By now, you're probably getting a hint of where this is going...I appear to be an Anglophile! Not sure how that happened. I suspect it's more induced by books and some good ole BBC programs!

6. I did not read Jane Austen until well into adulthood, and probably after I saw the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. I think seeing the story, the visuals helped me understand the storyline and therefore navigate the language of Jane Austen's times. Before that it was tough for me to dive into her books. However, once in, I'd felt like Alice in Wonderland!

 7. After all that, one English thing I don't like is a trifle. It's kind of a mess, isn't it? A whole pile of flavours drowned out by booze. However, a bakewell tart is a different matter! 

That's it, seven things! Not terribly exciting I know. For some good read of their own  7 things, check out Terri's and Deb's blogs as well. 

By the way, I'd forgotten this but the 2010 Paralympics just started!  We watched the opening ceremonies last night and it was really good. There was a lot less pomp & circumstance, less razzle dazzle but it was one big party atmosphere with some amazing performances.  Tonight we'll be catching up on all the events I'm sure! 

Thank you for visiting with me. I really enjoy reading your comments and telling me what's happening in your world. Have a happy weekend! (And remember the dreaded time change tomorrow - my body just doesn't like losing the hour!)


Danielle said...

I've had the same problem of not keeping up with reading and posting and even stitching lately. Despite losing that hour (!!) I am hoping to catch up a little bit! I would Love to live in an English village, too! I'm smack dab in the middle of the US and it's flat and either hot or cold! I could use some lush green views! I saw a news story about the Paralympics and I wish it was televised here (it might be on one of the cable channels, but no doubt I don't have it), so I will see what I can find online. Lovely pinkeep by the way. Have a lovely weekend, too!

Siobhan said...

Melissa, great progress on your sampler! I love the pinkeep that you did for Goldie, too. Congrats on the award--I loved reading more about you!

Irene said...

Great progress and love the pinkeep for Goldie. I love the small english villages they show on Midsommer Murders. I'm sure going miss that hours sleep tonight :)

Margaret said...

Hey, what a coincidence!!! I'm an anglophile too! lol! Bigtime! Very similar to you in terms of authors etc. :D Thank you for nominating me!!! I'm going to start thinking about my post now......

LOOOOOOVE your sampler!!! I had no clue there were those houses under the basket, isn't that funny?

Lisa said...

Ooohh I'm an LLL addict aswell, absolutely love it and especially when the clients have high budgets, some of the houses are lovely to see. Another really good one from the UK I enjoy is "Escape to the Country", once again if they have high budgets you get to see some amazing places.

Catherine said...

Love your sampler! And that pinkeep is absolutely adorable!! I love how you chose the color for the initial - very personal touch!

Loved reading your 7 things.

Hopefully they'll show some of the Paralympics on the news! Those athletes are amazing to me.

WoolenSails said...

Wonderful pieces, love seeing your progress. I decided to buy a smaller count for smaller pieces, don't think I would want to make a large design on it.


Sandra said...

I live in an English Village in a 200+ year old cottage, and when I look out of my kitchen window all I can see for miles is green fields. There is still a lot of space in England, it isn't all crowded.

Anonymous said...

Mr V. picked up the latest CL mag for me yesterday :D Sandra is right, not all of the UK/England is crowded, there is a lot of open space, particularly the further north you go :) Even I, living in the middle of the city, am only 10-15 minutes drive away from beautiful countryside.

Love your sampler progress, those little houses are so cute! Pretty pinkeep for your exchange too!

I can't wait for next week's Spring Forward - I don't even mind losing the extra hour if it means it will be light into the evenings :)

Jane said...

Loving watching your sampler unfold, it's going to be another winner! You're getting an expert with your pinkeeps also.

I love daylight savings. We still have a few more weeks of it here.

Thanks for the award too!

Deb said...

Melissa - it's so good to read some things about you that I never new before! I'm certainly glad that I'm not the only one that didn't read Jane Austen until later into adulthood. I think I always felt out of the loop because people would talk about it and I never knew what it was all about! And I love Country Living too, although never seem to find the time to sit and really read them.

I love the sampler you're working and will love watching it unfold! Your pinkeep is wonderful too.

Brigitte said...

Your BOAF is a nice new project. How cute is this to place the little village next to the flower basket.
The pinkeep exchnage was a great one, wasn't it. I have already admired the Mary Garry pinkeep you received lately. And I do love the one you sent to Goldie.

Gillie said...

Homesick Brit here - absolutely, not all of Britain is crowded, my sister lives in a 200 year old former pub in Northants and looks onto fields.....
You might like Lady Susan by JA, very short, a series of letters and with SEVEN English voices! Just downloaded it to the Nook too and enjoyed it again.
We turned the clock on but forgot to press the alarm button - too late for church, oh dear!

Nicki said...

There's nothing wrong with an English village - I grew up in one! :) England can be grey, but it can also be gorgeous. I lived in New Zealand for 3 years and was terribly homesick. NZ might be brighter, warmer and emptier but give me proper seasons with a bit of history and culture any day!

Evik said...

Melissa, thank you so much for the award! I’m so honoured.
You are really kind :) I will post this week.

Your progress is great. And pikeep is amazing!!!

Have a very nice day

Lennu said...

Thank you dear Melissa for the award so much! What a lovely surprise :) It was great to read the 7 things about you, I love Great Britain too. It has been too many years since I last visited, but I love those small villages.

The pinkeep is beautiful, I agree, it's a lovely design :) The sampler looks great as well!

We still have couple of weeks until losing an hour, it's not until end of March here.

Amy said...

I will be out of sorts all week with the time change!!!

Love your sampler and pin keep.

I am still trying to get dishclothes crochetted, a baby blanket finished, and Feb,Mar, and Apr Bride SAL ornies done. Yuck, I started one too many things.

Have a great week.

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

What a fun post, Melissa! I love CL magazine too but never thought about the British version. I'll have to check that out. I have a grand idea of retiring someday and having a small british type cottage with the requisite flower gardens. Love it!!!

You are making great progress on your samplers - they're just so pretty!

I wish they gave the Paralympics even a portion of the coverage they do the Olympics. I don't know that I've seen any of it here. Sad.

Have a great week and congrats on the award - you are very deserving.

Glenna said...

Due to time, I've been reading but not commenting, and I miss it, so I'm back! I love the teeny village, just love it. Enjoyed your 7 things too. And I'm pissed about the missing hour--that was my STITCHING time!

Loraine said...

Love reading about you Melissa! I will never look at anything that has English appeal without thinking of you! How cute.
I love your beautiful sampler and pinkeep. So perfect! Thanks for the wonderful post. Hugs!

The Scarlett House said...

Well Melissa, we must be twins because I'm a total Anglofile, too. Always have been. Congrats on the award, you really do have a wonderful blog and I always love stopping by.

MyLifesAStitch said...

Great progress on the BoaF! Like I said before I've always loved that chart, and that was before I even noticed the teeny little village. Now I love it even more!

What a great pinkeep you made for Goldie... love the idea of the Gold "G".

That was a great list of 7 things! I also love most things British... I've in particular always loved the Tudor period and the Regency period (thanks to reading way too many romance novels, lol!!). I remember working at a bank as a young and oh so innocent 17yo, and this British customer came in w/ an obviously Brit accent. I was thrilled! I asked him how long ago he'd come to the States, and he replied something like 10 yrs ago. I told him I'd always dreamed of living in England and he launched into a lengthy (and I do mean lengthy) diatribe railing against everything from the monarchy to the rain to the roads. My dreams were dashed, lol!!

Have a great week!

Lois said...

Hey! Thanks for thinking of me for the award! I really enjoyed reading your seven things! I agree with everyone else who's said it, yes there are crowded areas but there are some lovely spots that will just be as they are shown in CL.

Love the pinkeep you did, that's a really nice design. A Very Fine Sampler is looking very fine indeed!

Kajsa said...

Your wip looks great! I have a major case of the blah's too!

Karoline said...

Your sampler is lovely as is Goldie's pinkeep.

Suzanne said...

Your sampler is looking great. Thanks for sharing some things about yourself. I love the pinkeep you stitched for Goldie.

samplerlover said...

Hi Melissa,
I think we are twins as well. I love the English CL Mag. Have been buying it for 23 years and I also love LLL or RR which ever one is on. I also love watching (when I can) Escape to the Country. I have been to England 5 times when I was single and rich (now I am married and poor lol) and all of these things bring back memories of wonderful times spent there. Actually the first time I ever went there it felt as if I had come home. I had an English Grandmother.
I also love reading a lot of the English writers that you have named along with Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens etc. and I really love watching BBC Classic Drama's.
Your samplers are looking lovely and the pinkeep that you made for Goldie is wonderful - Sandra.

Cari-in-VA said...


Thank you for sharing bits of your life with all of us, I loved learning more about you.

Thank you for sharing this award with me, I am quite honored!

I love our little blogging community, we have so many wonderfully talented women.

Enjoy your evening.

anna s. said...

Love the pinkeep the way you finished it, it's just adorable! Can you believe I never had an issue of the CL magazine in my hands? Recently I saw so many references to it that I see it might be exactly my style... I just must grab a copy of it if I see it somewhere abroad in the future! :)
We're only changing the hour tomorrow here.