Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Long post- you might just need a cuppa and try not to fall asleep!

Well here I am again on a very wet and miserable day here in the west of Scotland. Thank you so much to everyone for the Birthday wishes and gifts. Being away from home it didn;t really feel like my Birthday on Friday even though I had my cards and presents to open and a cute little tatty teddy cake. Hubby bought me a gorgeous purple bag, scarf and gave me some stash cash. Family and friends gave me a lovely silver necklace, ear-rings, a watch, chocolates and cash. I've been thinking about buying a kindle. If anyone has one I would love to hear how they like it.

Pirjo sent me this wonderful package of Birthday goodies. The little pillow and fob are beautiful and the hand-dyed fabric is gorgeous. Thanks Pirjo you have really spoiled me.

I also got a lovely surprise when I came home and discovered this Birthday gift from Maggie (Blackcountrywench). I was so touched as I haven;t known Maggie very long and she was so kind to send me such wonderful gifts. All my favourite things fabric, buttons and off course purply threads and a purple birthday card. Thanks Maggie, you are a dear friend.

As well as it being my Birthday on Friday DH and I had a wonderful long week-end break. We travelled up to Dundee on the east coast and spent Thursday night in a lovely hotel. Friday morning we drove further up the coast to our holiday apartment in a little fishing village about an hour from the city of Aberdeen. This is only about the third time in 23years we have stayed in a hotel so it was a real treat. After settling in to our holiday apartment on Friday afternoon we went for a drive to the coastal town of Stonehaven. It was cold, dry and windy and we really enjoyed just relaxing in the car on the shore front watching the waves crashing on the shore. The waves were amazing and we decided to walk along the harbour wall so Ian could get some good photographs. Now this was Ians highlight of the whole week-end and he is still laughing about it yet. I;m not great with heights but we climbed up the very high harbour wall and walked along to the end. I was walking a bit behind Ian and I saw these huge waves coming in, concerned wife that I am I shouted to him to be careful that he was going to get soaked. He saw the wave coming turned around and put his hood up on his jacket. Off course I didn;t have a hood on mine and I am so busy making sure he is okay this wave came up and completely drowned me. I got soaked all the way down one side of my body right through to my under-wear. DH was in hysterics and has laughed about it for days. He says he just still keeps seeing the look on my face when the water hit me. Our afternoon was then cut short as I had to get straight back to the apartment to dry out. I expected my Birthday to be showered with presents not water...LOL!

Tay Bridges - Dundee

Characters from the Beano comic (famous childrens comic)

Caird Hall - Dundee

The waves at Stonehaven and on the harbour wall before my drowning!

This is our lovely apartment with the views from our living-room window. It was really cosy at night with the coal fire.

On Saturday we visited a few National Trust castles. This one is called Castle Fraser and dates back to the 15th Century. Sadly I didn;t get any photos of the front of the castle as there was a Wedding on and we were restricted where we could go in the castle. It;s very difficult to see but the lone figure is a piper in full national dress. We were able to see a number of guests and most of the men were wearing kilts. As we were going around the castle we were watching for the Brides arrival but because we were so high up it was hard to see. We came across a room with a peep hole it was so funny an English lady was on the floor looking through to the Great Hall to try and see the Wedding party. She was so excited. We gave up waiting on the bride and as we exited the Castle I walked out in front of Ian turned round to see where he was and a minute later he appeared laughing. He said if I hadn;t been in such a hurry I would have seen the bride as he had to stand aside on the stairway to allow the bride and bridesmaids go past. I couldn;'t believe it after all that time I missed

Our next visit was too Drum Castle the home of the Irvine family for more than 600 years. The Castle has major architectural features from the medieval, Jacobean and Victorian periods. The earliest part is the Tower built in the 13th century and the small chapel dates from the 16th century. I was quite disappointed as neither of these castles had many tapestries on display.

On Sunday DH went off for a few hours with his camera and I put my feet up to read my book and do a little stitching. I had planned to do lots of stitching over the week-end but I got so engrossed in my book I didn;t do much at all. In the afternoon we went to Montrose and walked out too the Scurdie Ness Lighthouse. The views were amazing. I had such a great relaxing week-end I didn;t want to come home on Monday. We left mid-morning and just took our time driving down the east coast. We stopped in St Andrews, did some shopping, had lunch and then we spent a few hours in Anstruther, another lovely fishing village. We arrived home in time for dinner and were delighted to find the house still in one piece. This is only the second time we have left the kids themselves and thankfully they managed not to kill each

Before I go away anywhere I always get onto google and check for any needlecraft stores that I can visit. As you know they are a dieing art here in Scotland but I did manage to find one near to Aberdeen. It was a wonderful Aladdins cave of patchwork/cross-stitch. My Birthday cash was burning a hole in my pocket so I just had to buy something.

I also found a few Scottish bits and pieces and chocolates in some of the local shops, perfect for exchange and gift packages.

Are you still with me, have you fallen I've also been lucky enough to have the Stitching fairy wave her magic wand over me recently. I did a wonderful trade with Pirjo and she very kindly exchanged a gift certificate for 21 of my charts. Wasatch Needlecraft were having another wonderful sale so I was able too spoil myself.

A friend also mentioned to me about checking out Etsy and I was delighted to find these three charts. I think I might just have got a bargain here as I only paid $17 which included the p&p here to the UK.

I also won one of Angleas beautiful finishes (Hooked on Stitches) on a give-away she was having. I;ve admired all the gorgeous stitching on her blog for many, many months now so I was over the moon to win. Being a fully paid member of the Big pantie girl band it was just perfect for me.

Finally I have a finish to show. I made this little piece for Cath at The Stitchin Chicken to celebrate her Birthday on Sunday. As usual I was challenged with how to finish it and I did intend attempting to make one of those lovely tall pillows that I have seen recently on many blogs. But off course I didn;t have a big piece of fabric to work with and I realised in the process I had cut it wrong. Thankfully I managed to rescue it into this little wall hanging and Cath emailed me to say she loves it , so thats what matters.

Well for anyone who is still with me I hope you enjoyed my chatter today. I promise I won;t go on as much the next time. I probably won't have anything to post about for weeks Oh no I forgot about my give-away. I will announce the winner in my next post. Thanks to anyone who took part. I;m looking forward to catching up on everyones blog and stitching pieces. Until the next time. Happy Stitching. Hugs!


Anonymous said...

Wow, your pictures are amazing, i want to visit
Happy belated Birthday

Rachel S said...

What a lovely post! It almost feels like we went along on your vacation! Thank you!

Christina said...

What a fab post, that would've taken me hours to write out and add all the images! I'm definitely still on a learning curve with blogger!
Your new stash is great - the Primrose Needleworks design caught my eye, I've never heard of that designer before.
The owl fabric you bought is so cute, it would be great just framed in a child's room (getting ideas for a nursery you see!).
Finally, the finish you did for Cath's birthday is adorable, I just love the cupcake fabric. I've got a 'thing' for anything to do with cupcakes at the moment!

Annie said...

Except for that drowning incident, it seems you had a wonderful time. Fun to look at all those photos. Enjoy all your new goodies!

Barb said...

Looks like it was a nice vacation you got a lot of good pictures. Great stitching on all your projects.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. Sorry to hear you missed the bride. :-(

Belated happy birthday. It certainly sounds like it was a great one.

Lesleyanne said...

Happy Belated Birthday. Sounds like you had a lovely holiday apart from the near drowning. Shame you missed the bride. Lovely post and photos.

Berit said...

What a great post! I so enjoyed the castle pics (especially the one with the ivy(?) climbing the arch. :)

Love your stash, too! I keep eyeing that Homespun Elegance Home of a Needleworker. :)

Carin said...

thanks for the photo's, they are amazing !! Your new stash is just beautiful !!

An itch to cross stitch.. said...

Glad you had a wonderful birthday Elaine, thanks for sharing the great photos. I had a giggle to myself when you mentioned you were drowned by the wave. :-)
I love all your stash, and the cupcake wall hanger is fantastic.

Jules said...

Wow, you truly had a stash-filled birthday!

I also love your pictures from your weekend getaway! Those crashing waves are fantastic!!!

Thanks for sharing.

Patty C. said...

I stayed with you the whole time :)
I am sorry you got soooooo wet -
You did acquire some lovely stash so that made it worth it !!!!!

Melanie said...

Wow, such wonderful pictures and wonderful gifts and wonderful stash - you've been a busy, busy girl! :)

I've had a Kindle almost since they first came out and I love it. It's a little old now (in electronics age) - the newer ones make me drool with envy at their sleeker look and better e-ink. But I still use it all the time. It's so handy to just pop in your purse when you know you are going to be waiting at an appointment, etc. I don't think I will ever give up 'real' books completely - it is handier to page through them when looking for something in particular vs. the Kindle. I've kind of divided things into 'Kindle worthy' and 'paper worthy'. Things like Harry Potter.....paper for sure. Serial books like the Sookie Stackhouse series.....Kindle worthy. :) If you like classic books like Jane Eyre and the like, be sure to browse the free Kindle download pages - there are many many classic books free for downloading. Happy reading! :)

Erna said...

Lovely post, lovely pictures and the best friend one can wish....
Er (another 6 weeks !!)

Annette said...

What a long post....hihi.
What a lovely gifts you all got for your birthday, you are going to have a lot of fun and pleasure. You made some lovely pictures of your days away, you have seen many beautifull things. And ow what many beautifull stash you bought, love the fabrics...
Enjoy your week... with al you goodies

Michelle said...

I loved reading this post - thank you for sharing all your wonderful photos with us. Happy belated birthday to you. Love Michelle x

Siobhan said...

Oh wow! What a great blog update. I am soooo envious of your get away with your husband. Like you, I think DH & I have been away maybe two times, and that was only to nearby cities when the kids were younger. I am fed up with visiting relatives; I just want to go away and explore a new place and have a nice meal out. I'm so glad you shared all those fabulous photos. It looks like you had a wonderful time--except for the unexpected dip into the water!! LOL

Great new stash haul! The CHS Girls work up so much prettier in real life.

I don't have a Kindle but have thought about getting one. My neighbor got one at Christmas and is in love with it.

Mary said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and seeing your great photos of your time away. Love that wild coastline - just amazing. What an amazing amount of stash you have there.
Glad you enjoyed your birthday and anniversary.

Mylene said...

A great post, Elaine. Amazing pictures of your outing as well as the gifts. Enjoy!!

Anonymous said...

dear lainey
happy belated bday greetings
looks like a wonderful time
and the drenching in hindsight is a fun tale

great photos
what fun

and now all the stitchy fun ahead of you


Anonymous said...

What a fun trip! Dundee looks cold but beautiful, and those castles are amazing.

We have a Kindle and two nooks, and we love them both. My husband prefers the Kindle's screen to the nook, and I would have to agree. It's well worth the purchase. We even get our newspapers on the Kindle now.

Vinniey said...

Happy belated birthday, Elaine. What a fabulous post! I enjoyed following your adventure, Elaine. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I am sorry you were drowned by the wave but it was one of the memorable moment of this trip. :) Lots of beautiful vacation's pictures and wonderful stash. Especially love those wooden sculpture. I love love the "Halloween" fabric and creative chocolate packaging!

Enjoy your new stash. :)

Carol said...

Belated birthday greeting to you. Thanks for sharing the photos of your week-end away. Brings back fond memories of the area for me. Hope you enjoy all your gifts and projects.

Bette said...

What a lovely time you had! Love the pictures. I have a Kindle and I LOVE it. I love to read and I've done so much since I got it.

Carol said...

Oh, Elaine--your photos are so lovely and your descriptions so nicely worded that I feel like I'm right there with you! Someday, perhaps I'll be lucky enough to see a castle in real life! Your birthday gifts, new stash, and win from Angela are all wonderful--enjoy!!

shutterbug said...

I'm still awake! j/k :) It sounds like you had a wonderful time on your weekend away! I would have loved to have been there. It looks beautiful and the cabin does look very cosy. The pictures are wonderful (love the castles!), except for one thing...what kind of photographer is Ian to NOT take a 'drowned rat' picture of you?? Lol That's the one I wanted to see! :) I'm not sure where the picture at the top of your blog was taken but it looks amazingly like Wisconsin Dells! I will send you a link sometime. Almost finished with my Sept SAL...have you picked one for Oct yet? I'm anxious to stitch something Halloweenish.:) {{{hugs}}} Elaine

Lisa S said...

I finally found your blog Elaine! I'm slow lol

Happy belated birthday!!
I really enjoyed reading about your adventure and I love your pictures! It's nice to see some waves in the ocean. I live by the Gulf of Mexico and the water is always calm.
Wonderful stitchy goodies you got there too!!

Helena said...

What a great post!!!Your photos are so lovely!!!!Happy belated birthday to you!!!!!

Sally said...

What a fantastic post Elaine! Your photos are lovely. It sounds as though you had a fantastic time apart from you getting a little wet! lol!

Love all your new stash and gifts. Your CHS charts sound like an absolute bargain!

Love what you stitched for Cath and your win from Angela is brilliant :)

Carol R said...

Great pictures and a belated Happy Birthday!

♥ Nia said...

Beautiful castle!! I love castles :D
It sounds like you had a great time! I'm happy for you :) Thank you for sharing it with us ;) I really enjoyed reading your post :)

too_busy_to_stitch said...

Trying to catch up with blogs!! Lovely photos - and yes, I have a Kindle - and I LOVE it - I wasn't too sure, as I also love books, but as long as it's a book that you're interested in, I don't think it matters if it's paper or Kindle, and Kindle is so much tidier!