totally spoiled

It feels like Christmas before Christmas here and I have been totally spoiled – not that I’m going to complain of course!  Be warned, this post is going to be laden with photos, that will have you turning green with envy lol.

First up . . . a big thank you to Kate of by the babbling brooke who sent me a card and a lovely hand-made decoration for the tree.  We won’t be putting up a tree because of the 4 cats, but I do put up long lengths of ribbon at ceiling level in the hallway to hang cards, so decorations will be hung up alternating with cards this year.

from Kate

Then another big thank you to Lucyann who sent me an unbirthday surprise.   Lucyann crochets . . . and I feel so honoured, because she sent me the most gorgeous shawl.

from Lucyann

from Lucyann1

The yarn is one that Lucyann hand-dyed and colours are simply beautiful, not to mention the crocheting . . . I am in admiration.  Here it is, modelled on Doris (who is sporting a stretch Tshirt for the occasion).  And that wasn’t all . . . Lucyann also sent

from Lucyann3

a lovely card, some handmade honey & poppy seed soap, and a little Father Christmas charm.  Wow!  What a great unbirthday surprise that all was.

And (because there’s more)  . . . we invited neighbours round for dinner last night . . . and they brought me

from Band C

I’m getting quite a hen collection these days.

hen collection

Henna Hearts

Second son’s girlfriend, N,  has been bitten by the cross stitch bug.  She started stitching about a year ago, and quickly moved from small card designs to bigger projects.  Very recently she finished a design called “Henna Hearts” by Bothy Threads and asked if I could finish it off as a cushion cover for her.

N cushion

As you can see, I’ve tried to respect the feel of the heart design which is full of lovely bright colours, including lots of pink.  So a joint effort here.  Applause to N for the careful cross stitching, and a pat on the back to me for the patchwork finish.


best layer of the month # November


Goodness me, another month has flown by!  Hard to believe that tomorrow it’ll be December 1st.  Weather is starting to turn cold in our part of France, with below zero temperatures in the morning and frost on the ground. 

Hens don’t seem too bothered though, and have been laying well.  Total egg count this month was 73.  With gals laying (in reverse order): Miranda  – 21, Miss Marple – 25 and, best layer for the month of November . . . Miss Moneypenny (far right in photo) – 27.

SAL update – Unicorn #10

I am pleased to say there’s been a substantial amount of progress for this update of Unicorn & Maiden by Joan Elliott.

Last time I had just begun stitching the mane

SAL 06 11 zoom

For this time, I have finished that side of the design.

SAL zoom 27 11

So things look like this

SAL 27 11

Unicorn still isn’t finished as there’s backstitch, beads and he needs a tail . . . but I’m getting there.  Stay tuned for the next update when the maiden will start to appear, rather than being a headless body.

And don’t forget to pop over to visit blogs of the other ladies stitching in this SAL. Avis, Gun, CaroleLucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy and another new member, Helen.

Next update on 18th December.

a bit of this, that, and a few thank yous

Some surprise post these past few days for me, so I’ll start off with saying thank you . . . to Flo, who always remembers me on her travels, and sent a selection of bookmarks. Some from as far away as Bali.

from Flo

I particularly like these two lol.

from Flo2

A gorgeous stitched card also arrived from Annie, who was one of the recent giveaway winners.

from Annie

Annie doesn’t have a blog, but belongs to a cross stitch group in her local area.  This design is by Renato Parolin.

I managed some stitching too, working on another freebie kit (from the March 2010 issue of CrossStitcher magazine).


It’s a design by Lucie Heaton.  And I’m already playing around with fabric, wondering how I’m going to finish this little kokeshi doll off.

News on Blackjack, who had a check-up at the vets this week, following diagnosis of heart problems.


He’s actually perked up really well.  We have to continue with medication for another 2 months, and hopefully, we’ll then be able to reduce dosage.  Anyway, he’s eating again and is back to his usually happy self,

Other animals are all fine, and cats are preferring to stay indoors because of the cold weather.  Here’s Ducky, chilling out.


And last bit of news, in a nutshell, for those wondering about my sciatica . . . I had a MRI recently and we’ve learned that my sciatica is caused by discal herniation in L4-L5 and L5-S1.  I’ll be having physio sessions and will have to be patient . . . it should sort itself out.

message for Kathy N

A very quick message (which will be deleted in a few days) for Kathy Noble who was one of the winners of my giveaway the other day. 

Kathy, I sent you an email but it came back as undelivered.  Could you please contact me by email at : claire(dot)hupin(at)free(dot)fr

with your postal address, so I can send your prize.  Thanks.