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Well this is it for a few weeks as I will be off tomorrow and will possibly not be able to post for a while as I may not have much internet access in China – am planning to create a ‘My time in China’ page when I get back to upload all my pics to – to add to ‘My Time In Nepal’ page, slowly I will be adding more exotic destinations to this little old blog!

I have been working on Spring Ornie exchange stitching for the last couple of weeks but thought I would share the finish from a while ago. I have been working on some Spring Ornies for me, inspired by the nicer weather we have had recently.

This is another one of the Quaker ones from The Workbasket site, once again stitched on sparkly evenweave and with my favourite Silk Mill thread and some little beads.The backing fabric I have had in my stash for a while.

Spring ornie 2

This is a close up of the stitching, my new camera is so good at these sort of things!

Spring ornie 1

And this is the backing.

Spring ornie 3

Well I hope that you all have a lovely time while I am gone – take care and thanks for visiting.

photo-scavenger-hunt

I am posting this early as I will be away in a few days so Jake has strict instructions to upload this post to the link on Kathy’s blog so you can all see it. Most of these pics were taken in Spain again. This completes a year of taking pics for the Scavenger Hunt and I am still really enjoying it, I love taking pics and get very excited when I get something good for one of the words!

5

Lots of the Spanish houses have beautiful ceramic house number tiles so here is a number 5 from my street.

5

Music

This is on one of the roads I cycle along in Spain, the local council have recently fenced the road and painted the fence in multicoloured blocks with lots of musical notes along it, no-one seems to know why this feature has been chosen but it looks very pretty.

Music

Train

Not strictly a train but a train track and station. I took a couple of quite boring train pics which I was planning to use then came across this model railway on one of my cycle trips in Spain which was in someone’s front garden! It was a large layout about 10 feet in total with a little model village as well as this train station. I can only imagine the owner has a very understanding wife!

Train

Love

This was really hard as there are so many things that I love, my kids, my family, Spain, camping, travel, embroidery but I decided that I would post about something I have not posted before. The first thing I fell in love with would have to be reading and I still think books are the most marvellous thing. One of the great things about being on holiday is the amount of reading I do and this was the pile of literary love that I treated myself to at the airport – they were wonderful and I read the whole pile in 3 days!

Love

Cupid

This was the only Cupid I saw in the whole month, not a very good pic but from a local shop window.

Cupid

Food

Sandwiches Spanish style – the lunch that Mum and I shared on our trip to Elche.

Food

 

Empty

The road down to the beach on one of my cycle rides.

Empty

In the sky

Nothing but blue! Taken from my terrace on Feb 13th.

In the sky

Crowded

A picture of a crowded lemon tree taken on one of my bike rides.

 

Heritage

How spectacular is this – the front door of the cathedral in Elche.

Heritage

Black and White

The Spanish love ironwork on gates and balconies and this is from one of the neighbouring houses.

Black and White

Leap Year

This is quite a boring pic but a very exciting event – on the 29th Feb Leap Year Day I will be flying to China for nearly 3 weeks with work. I am very, very excited as you can imagine and will of course take lots and lots of more exciting pics than this one!

Leap Year

Warning this is a very picture heavy post – look away if you are not into random exploration into photography or go and make a cup of tea if you have a slow internet collection while it all loads!

First of all I would like to say a very, very big thanks to you and you and you, in fact all 5, 476 of you that visited me last month! I was really impressed to find that when I checked my stats yesterday I have leapt from my average visits of around 4,500 per month which I have had for the past year to the stunning figure of nearly 5,500 last month.

I am thrilled (Jake is grudgingly impressed though cannot imagine why people would want to visit a blog about stitching, photos and Spain!) Now I know that lots of people arrive here by accident through a search for something else and maybe don’t  stay for long but I am very humbled by the fact that anyone comes here at all and love the fact that so many of you come back and comment and have become my bloggy friends.

I have had another very lovely week in Spain and have been indulging in some photography as well as an accidental fiesta.

It has become commonplace for me to just come across things happening when I go , we will just be visiting somewhere and something fab will be happening and this has become a bit of standing joke that not only do I get great weather for all my visits, ( I always say that God feels sorry for me because I live in Yorkshire whereas my Southern cousins sometimes get rain!), I also get events happening that we knew nothing about.

My last trip to Elche  in October coincided with a wonderful medieval market and we visited the town last week only to find that they were preparing for a carnival at the weekend which we went back for on Saturday.

The reason for the carnival was  not entirely clear, it was not a religious festival as far as we could work out and the people we spoke to said it was like Halloween, which we realised was more like the US version of Halloween than our UK one in that the point was to wear fancy dress of any sort (unlike our UK Halloween which is mainly witches etc) and have one great big street party involving brass bands and discos and general merriment.

Anyway we had a great evening watching and admiring the many costumes , early on the evening it was mainly children who were dressed up , princess costumes were a very clear winner with Snow White as the most popular but Minnie Mouse was a close second (she was also very popular with the adults later on).

Ellie would have loved it, being as you know a Disney Princess and a huge fancy dress fan, so maybe one day we can all go dressed up.We of course had to drink red wine and eat tapas in the little bars around the central square (just to be sociable you understand) and did not leave till about 11 – the rest of the town were due to carry on partying till 3!

There was a lovely mix of home-made and bought costumes and these pics give a flavour of that – I love the plastic cup hat and the robot got loads of pics taken. The band shot was just a random coming together of a group of people at one point before we left, love that about Spain – totally mad place but totally wonderful!

Spain Feb 2012 Elche festival 1

Spain Feb 2012 Elche festival 2

Spain Feb 2012 Elche festival 3

Elche is a very beautiful place with so much to see and its Palmeral (Palm Park) is a Unesco World Heritage site.

I have also been trying to take lots of lovely arty pics with the new camera that I got for Christmas which is very good (thanks kids!) and has very good definition for close up shots as well as a zoom lens that works (yey!) so have really enjoyed exploring all the different places.

Whenever I read things about painting and photography people often talk about the light being really good in places and I have never really understood what that meant. However after spending a lot of time taking pics in Spain I have realised that the colours and the way that the light reflects off the stone and the sea really changes the way that my little snaps look.

These three pics were taken down at the beach and the salinas (salt lakes) that are a bird reserve where I often go for a bike ride.

Spain Feb 2012 beach clouds

Spain Feb 2012 beach

Spain Feb 2012 salinas

I come back with pics that have the most amazing blue sky in them and the contrast between that and the sea or the way the sun hits the stone is wonderful. The pics below are of the Basilica Santa Maria in Elche.

Spain Feb 2012 cathedral 1

Spain Feb 2012 cathedral 2

I have also taken a few close up shots of the great vegetation there is – this time not only a cactus from my terrace but beautiful ornamental cabbages surrounding a pool at the park in Elche.

Spain Feb 2012 Elche garden

Spain Feb 2012 cabbage 1

Spain Feb 2012 cabbage 2

Spain Feb 2012 cactus

I hope you have enjoyed the pics, I will be back at the weekend with my Scavenger Hunt pics for this month, I will be posting them early as I am off to China with work next week which will be very exciting!

Thanks for visiting and making a little blogger very happy!

Well we have a few more real ones this week but I am very pleased to say that the Winter Exchange  ornie that I stitched has made its way safely to the USA to Dawn.

Winter exchange ornie front

Winter exchange ornie back

This was a design that I have had for a few years and have stitched before, this time on my favourite sparkly evenweave with Silk Mill thread over one. This was a surprisingly quick one to stitch – must be getting better at the fine count work!

I have also finished a Spring ornie for me from one of my Quaker designs – no pics as yet as I have been not been in much when it has been light.

 I have had a very busy week not only catching up from after our visit from Ofsted but also preparing for my trip to China! I will be leaving for that in 18 days but meanwhile I am off to Spain for a week of sun, sea, sand and biking! Can’t wait.

So have a lovely week and I will see you on my return. Thanks for visiting.

Well how are you all and are you lovely people in the UK snowed in yet? We have had small flurries on the hills all week and today the promised snow arrived with us – very timely as this morning I had a lovely parcel all the way from Australia (where of course there will not be any snow!) containing this wonderful ornie from Lisa V.

winter exchange 1

winter exchange 2

Lisa must know my tastes very, very well as what she stitched is perfect for me and as you can see looks very good hanging next to the little stocking on the doors with the snowflake stickers.It is Heritage Stitches design and is stitched on hand dyed Silkweaver fabric.

winter exchange 3

The snow was just starting when I took the above pic put we are nice and white now – good job I am holed up indoors tomorrow!

My exchange piece was sent this week to the USA and as soon as I hear that it has been delivered I will post pics of it.

I decided that I would make a Spring ornie for me this week rather than a Winter one as it had got a bit milder outside (the bulbs are all coming through in the garden) so have finished all the stitching on one of the Quaker Tree ornies that I mentioned last post. Just got to add beads and turn it into a little pillow ornie.

I will leave you with the some recent pics of Ellie on her nights out with friends Hannah and Becky – she did mention that there have been no pics of her for a while so will have to rectify that! The theme for one of the fancy dress nights was ‘bugs’.

Ellie bugs night out

 

Ellie Worcs night out 1

Hope you are all keeping warm (or cool!) depending where you are.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

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