Tuesday, 6 December 2011

As promised...

What did I promise, you ask?  Well, you're going to have to wait (im)patiently for the end of the post!  (Or you could scroll down to the end, I suppose, but where's the fun in that?!!)


A couple of weeks ago I went with a couple of friends to the regional day for the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles and listened to Jon MacPherson from Barnyarns talk about thread (he gave us a great handout and said we could distribute it so if anyone is interested please let me know and I'll scan and email it!).  After we'd helped set up the hall for the afternoon (mini) workshops, a spot of lunch and a spot of shopping.  I didn't buy much but I did get a great book for a bargain price.

£4!!
It gives you a diagram and name(s) of the blocks and is divided into four patch, nine patch, curves, etc.

(Sorry about the odd angle - it was the only way to not get a shadow and I keep forgetting to get a photo in daylight!)  I think it's going to live on my coffee table for quite a while and, as you can see, I've already bookmarked one block that I want to try!

The mini workshop went really well (no photos, sorry!) and it was lovely to see the thing we quilters pride ourselves on - being friendly and helping each other.  There were people sharing threads, pins and needles as well as helping each other with the next step and everyone was quite content to chat to people they had never met.  In the workshop where I was acting as a teaching assistant there was a complete beginner and it was so lovely to see the ladies either side mark a stitching line for her and keep an eye on her.  It's not often I've had the privilege to teach an adult the absolute basics of hand sewing (tying a knot, threading a needle, how to do a running stitch/back stitch, etc.) and it was lovely to see that by the end of the session she was confident enough to take another kit with her to make at home!


On Sunday I went with the same friends (plus another!) to Castle Howard to see it decorated for Christmas.  Some of you may know it as the Marchmain home, Brideshead, in the film (and series) Brideshead Revisited.  It truly is a beautiful home (and it is a family home, albeit a grand one!) and the decorations were lovely.  If you're in the area I'd recommend a visit!  After a tour of the house we went to Helmsley for lunch and a wander round the bookshop.  A lovely way to spend a Sunday!

I've been busy in my sewing room this afternoon but I'm afraid I can only share one thing with you at the moment.  Now, I'll be honest, it's not the best thing I've ever made (one of those occasions when the image in your head isn't matched by reality!) but I admire honest bloggers who admit to their not so good moments as well as their successes so in the the spirit of sharing...

Hmmm...also not the best photo in the world!

It's supposed to be a tickling stick.  As soon as I read the theme in the email (happiness) I started singing 'Happiness' in my head.  Now, for those of you not familiar with the 'song' (and I use the term with some caution!) this is not a good thing...those of you also lucky enough to be unfamiliar with Ken Dodd won't know that he is famous for his tickling stick.  If you're wondering what the song sounds like have a listen but be warned, it sticks in your head!  Fortunately the rest of the things I've made this afternoon have been more successful - it wouldn't be hard!


And now for the promise...in this post (over a month ago, oops!) I promised I would do something to celebrate having 100 followers (112 now, wow!).  Well, after rather a lot of work (started 22nd November, finished 3rd December and it's the only thing I've been working on in that time!) I've finally finished a little something which I would like to give to one of you (and is considerably better than the postcard!)...want to see?!


When I started stitching I was worried that no one would like it and you would all be thinking 'please don't let my name be the one that Archie chooses' but now I wouldn't mind if no one likes it as I'm going to find it hard to part with!  I must admit that I'm rather proud of this and so I'm going to show you a few more photos...


 


In case anyone is interested (and for future reference!) I used two strands of DMC for all but the turkey knots in the centre where I used three strands and the colours I used are 666 (red), 608 (orange), 444 (yellow), 907 (green), 3843 (blue) and 550 (purple).  The fabric is Kona Medium Grey (pinched from my DP project!) and the hoop is 6" in diameter.

And (again for future reference) the back

Laced to ensure the fabric stays taut...

Oh, and there will be some fabric included as part of the prize - 0.5m of Ironwood Aneta from Echo by Lotta Jansdotta.




So, if you fancy having the hoop and fabric drop through your letter box sometime before Christmas (if you're in the UK, I may have to wait until after Christmas if you're elsewhere as I'm going to miss the last posting date and I don't want to risk it getting lost) then here's how you enter:

For one chance leave me a (preferably nice!) comment.**

For a second chance think of a (amusing) caption for this photo (and leave it in a separate comment)

Think of something I could put here!

I'm not advertising this as I want to give you regular readers the best chance of winning to say thank you for the lovely welcome to the blogging world you've all given me and all the lovely comments you've left in the past three (ish) months...

International entries are more than welcome and you have until 7pm (GMT) on Tuesday 13th December to enter.  Archie will be picking a winner sometime after that (method to be decided!) - good luck!
 

**If you're not sure how to leave a comment click on 'xx comments, click here to add yours' which is at the bottom of this post and a pop up window will appear.  Write your comment in the empty box at the bottom of  the window and choose 'anonymous' as your identity (if you don't have an account that you can sign in with) but please leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win!  (If I know you in real life you don't need to leave an email address, just leave your first name!) If you would like to become a follower you will need a Blogger account, which is free, and then you can come back and click on either 'follow' at the top of the screen or 'join this site' on the top left  right (honestly, how old will I be before I can tell my left from my right?!) of this page.


P.S. Kelli - look what was on our local news this evening!!  Does Buster fancy a job next year?!!


THE GIVE AWAY IS NOW CLOSED AND ARCHIE AND I ARE IN NEGOTIATIONS ABOUT THE BEST WAY TO PICK THE WINNER - THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR ENTRIES AND GOOD LUCK!

89 comments:

  1. It looks like you have been a busy girl and no wonder you have been quiet - truly lovely - but we wouldn't expect anything less! Congrats on 112 followers Miss Popular!

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  2. Archie must be thinking "if she wants me to choose someone again there had better be biscuits in it for me!"

    Or it could be " I'm going to choose Nicky as she'll give me a bag of biscuits if she wins! Hehe!"

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  3. The embroidery is beautiful and I cannot believe you had even a moment thinking people wouldn't covet it!! I certainly do and here is my comment trying to win it to prove that I do.

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  4. Archie is thinking, 'I don't get out of this bed for less than £5,000.' (Fame has gone straight to his head, bless him!)

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  5. LOL dammit, I was going to say that Arches is saying "not shifting for less than £5000" but Susans beat me to it! Your hoop looks fabulous, send it my way ;-)

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  6. Archie if you don't pick me I will send Sam round to sort you out!!! Love it! I always wonder how to do the back...you may have to tell me in more detail, I love the way embroidery looks in hoops. x

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  7. beautiful work! I have never done a back like that and I can tell it held nice and secure.
    Karen

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  8. Archie "I'm the most gorgeous dog in the world and I know it"
    Karen

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  9. I think Archie is saying "I am doing nothing else for you until I get a sleeping bag like Sam has" x

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  10. You're stitched flower is just beautiful!! I love the rainbow colors, and the handiwork that went into creating it. Very nice work! I can see how it would be hard for you to part with it-- but what goes around, comes around. It certainly is a very generous giveaway for your 100 follower mar, (congrats, by the way!) I'll have to start thinking of a caption for Archie's photo and get back to ya.

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  11. How could you think for a second that nobody would like this Helen - it is beautiful.
    We are spookily tied on 112 followers each so hope it's a good omen for me.

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  12. And Archie is thinking "How many days till Christmas? There must be a special biscuit coming in my stocking"

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  13. I would be proud to hang your hoop!

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  14. Archie is thinking 'why does she keep making me pick, that wasn't the deal!!' xxx

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  15. I would feel honoured to win your hoop. It is adorable!!

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  16. Ohhhhhhhh Archie is thinking; " I really want to pick Marjorie; how will I manage that?"

    Hahaha

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  17. Wow! What a fabulous hoop! You have been super busy! I'd definitely love to give it a home :)

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  18. Your embroidery is beautiful and I have just the place for it - lol ! I have been to my quilting group tonight and one of the ladies was getting rid of a TON of iron-on embroidery transfers. After I have supper I'm going to have a good look through them -so excited. I can't believe you're going to part with your flower - you must make one for yourself xxx

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  19. Archie is thinking " happiness , happiness - the greatest thing - that I possess " - sorry that's terrible but the only thing I can come up with - lol xx

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  20. Wow flippin Wow H! I love your hoop and the detail of the stitching is stunning - I could stare at it for ages and see something different each time! No wonder you don't want to part with it! Jxo

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  21. Archie's comment could be.. 'I'm just not paid enough!' Jxo

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  22. Awesome hoop, Helen! Your stitching looks fabulous and I love how you did the back. Making note of that! Sorry, but I'm crap at funny captions, so only one comment from me! Congratulations on your milestone!

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  23. Oh wow - the stitching in that hoop - especially the centre! OMG well done you!

    Didn't make it to Castle Howard when I made a trip to Yorkshire although I think Chief has a cousin or something that's head gardener there! Did go to Helmsley and Chief and I were talking about it at the weekend!

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  24. I think Archie is thinking: It's no good you giving me sad human eyes I am not telling you where I've hidden your Christmas present. (but It's definitely not under here...)

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  25. Helen, I have that book too! I love it...so much fun looking at all the blocks. I kind of wish there were templates though. Your hoop art is lovely! I was a teen in the 70's {gasp} and this reminds me of all the flowers in my bedroom :)

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  26. Oh, that workshop sounds great fun, and Castle Howard looks really interesting, I think it may be somewhere my dad and I will have to visit with our cameras at some point.

    Thankfully, my parents hid me from Ken Dodd (in a whole other country at the height of his fame lol) but I'm sure that'll pass as a tickling stick.

    Your hoop looks fab, love all the different stitches you used, an thank you for the chance to win, having only started following you a week ago!

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  27. For your caption, 'Nope, it's no use, this place is just not as luxurious as Castle Howard, I demand to move there immediately'

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  28. Archie is thinking.... I want that Australian Bitch, Lulu to visit my pillow.
    He's also thinking..."I wonder if Helen will tease me and put out 112 bickies on 112 pieces of paper and make me sniff them all before I choose ONE"
    He's also thinking..."if 112 people 'Follow' me... will I get 112 presents from the postie?"

    Archie does a LOT of thinking!

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  29. Helen....Beautiful awe - inspiring embroidery. So cheerful and even/neat... You are very generous to give away a hooped gifty that is so gorgeous.
    May your lovely Karma come back in buckets this Christmas. x

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  30. The tickling stick is cute, but now I've got THAT song going round my head and it's bedtime!
    You always produce such beautiful work and your embroidery is no exception - stunning! It would certainly brighten every day for the lucky winner :)
    I'd be sorely tempted to keep the hoop and 'just' give away the lovely fabric!

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  31. Archie says:

    "If you think I'm going to be your friend after you've spent all that time with the hoop...... you'd better have plenty of biscuits!"

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  32. I think I remember Mr Dodd getting tickled by the tax man ... right now I'm probably just as popular with the tax folk... I have 6 years of forms to send them (5 are filled in and have been for the last 5 months, but I do dilly dally when it comes to communicating with Inland Revenue!)

    I can't actualy see your artistic creation, but I gather it's a very pretty flower :) maybe you can describe what type it is for me?

    I'm very impressed that you've hit 100 followersand I'm to have met the biscuit king!

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  33. Archie is thinking: that box that y'all (Archie does a very good southern drawl) write in ... that box used to be full of biscuits but I emptied it so you could put your comments in it. Now I'm full so bugger off and let me sleep!

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  34. That flower is just wonderful!

    I love all the colors.

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  35. "When is she going to make me a biscuit hoop?"

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  36. Oh it is gorgeous. How could anyone not love it. The colours are so happy and the stitching - wow! I really need to work on my embroidery skills to learn all those fancy pants stitches.

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  37. Archie is thinking - "Another picture? Are you serious woman?" ;)

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  38. Wow. How could you think no one would want something as lovely as that?! I wouldn't even know where to begin.

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  39. Archie is thinking: 'Never mind a turkey knot, what about some nice turkey bone to gnaw on"

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  40. Your hoop is totally gorgeous and would be very happy at my house! I cant decide if I like the green petal the best or the blue petal or ...?!

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  41. Archie is thinking "Look Lady, if it's not yet Christmas and you haven't got a biscuit for me, just let me sleep!

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  42. Your flower is beautiful. This really is the loveliest giveaway :)

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  43. Caption: Did she say "Archie will be picking a dinner"?

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  44. What a lovely object to give away!I think it is a lovely giveaway, and if it came my way I would be very pleased. Also such a nice gesture to celebrate 100 followers. I am impressed. Looks like you really enjoyed making it.

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  45. I think Archie is saying 'and I thought you were going to be a good mummy today. There must be more biscuits somewhere.'

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  46. I am ever so impressed with your stitching. Absolutely wonderful. I sure hope I win!!!

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  47. Caption for the photo..."As good lookin' as I am one would think I would have a companion in this bed by now...what is the hold up?" or maybe "I am so much better to pet than all that fabric"

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  48. It is lovely Helen, is Archie susceptible to bribery?

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  49. The stitching is AMAZING, that would have taken me years!! I love it :) The tickling stick on the other hand... hahahahaha, thanks for sharing!! ;)

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  50. Archie is clearly thinking 'don't you dare come near me with that tickling stick!' x

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  51. Sounds like you have had a lovely couple of weeks!

    Didn't have a clue what a tickling stick was but I recognised the song!

    Your hoop is fantastic! I love it! Lovely to see all the different stitches and the bright colours! Not surprised you'd be happy to keep it!:)

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  52. Caption....
    Just put the biscuits down and be quiet so I can have my nap!

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  53. fantastic embroidery helen - it looks gorgeous and i will happily take it off your hands!

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  54. caption for Archie - "What happens in Knotty Ash, stays in Knotty Ash - capiche?"

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  55. I would also like to have your hoop hanging in my sewing room - whay does that sound like a euphemism?

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  56. Oh and I would also like to win the maggot Echo fabric and I can't think of an Archie caption - well I can think of a few but they're not funny so do I have to leave an Archie comment? OK, so he's saying "that giveaway fabric looks like it has maggots on".

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  57. I'd love to win your rainbow stitch sampler daisy! I've never been patient enough for needlework, but I love the way it looks. Congratulations on your milestone!

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  58. Archies comment - "I wish she'd stop singing that bloody ken dodd song!"

    I'm only saying that because its totally stuck in my head too now and has been since I sneakily checked google reader from work on my phone about 4 hours ago!

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  59. LOL@Lynne it totally read like a euphemism, but I agree it's the prettiest hoop I've seen on a computer screen in a while and I would love to have it on my wall too! :D
    Well done to you and Archie your blog is a blast to read!

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  60. Yor hoop is so beautiful! Well done! And well done on all those followers too!

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  61. your embroidery is fantastic! i can't believe that you thought people wouldn't like it! that used book with block designs is an awesome find!

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  62. Archie is thinking "she stitches and she types and she takes photos ...... I'm sure she used to spend more time focused on me!"
    Oh no, sorry that was what Ava was thinking about me :)

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  63. Hi, first time I have commented on a blog, your work looks great as always
    Enjoyed our day out, never laughed so much in a long time
    Pam

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  64. your embroidery is amazing and it must have taken ages, I have a sampler that I am doing and seem to have been doing forever.

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  65. Archie is thinking "pleeease - you woke me up just for another photo....?"

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  66. Love your hoop! That stitching is amazing - I am in awe. I also love me a slice of Echo - gimmee gimmee.

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  67. Archie is thinking, `If she says `Work it Babee` one more time, I`m going to stand on her hoop.

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  68. I can't believe you thought no one would like what you might make, it's lovely

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  69. Archie says"if I have to pick a winner, I get to write the next post"

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  70. Archie is thinking....Thats not a hoop...its a frisbee... lets go and play NOW.

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  71. The embroidery is wonderful and would look so lovely on my wall near my sewing machine! Congratulations on reaching 100 followers!

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  72. Your hoop is beautiful, congrats on so many followers, I might celebrate if I get to 20 lol

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  73. Archie is probably thinking when is she taking me out ?

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  74. Oh that is soooo beautiful! I would love to watch your sunny flower everyday! Congratulations and thank your for a lovely giveaway! You have been in my bloglist and now I'm your follower, too!
    Teje & Nero

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  75. Archie: Didn't you say we go out to play! You have been sitting too long time at the computer!

    Hugs to Archie from Teje & Nero

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  76. That book looks fabulous!
    And I'd love a scan of the handout on the thread!

    I think Archie is saying, 'Yeah, okay. I know I look really fabulous here, but isn't it time for a nice long walk?"

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  77. Your stitching is wonderful, and I'd love to win this!

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  78. Archie is obviously pondering what to do for his next shadow puppet!!

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  79. Gorgeous! The stitches are very pretty and so beautifully done! Now, for Archie: he is saying - "don't bother entering, I wouldn't pick a Vet" (he can smell me form here!) very clever dog! and you are a very clever crafter!

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  80. Woops! Put both comments on 1! Never mind, I'll rectify that. I love reading your blog. Congratulations on the 100! came aroung very fast! I do love the stitchery.

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  81. Hi Kylie,
    Thanks for your comments - I would love to reply but I'm afraid you're a no reply blogger and I have no way of contacting you. Thanks for your lovely comments about the hoop and my blog. Archie doesn't mind vets as long as they're not in their consulting room so you never know, he might pick you - good luck!

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  82. Hi
    I think your hoop is beautiful. It must have taken a lot of time. Congrats on 112 followers - personally I love reading your blog.

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  83. Archie is thinking.... 'put that needle down and give me some attention. You know I'm worth it! '

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  84. I love your flower sampler! That's a lot of work.

    Archie does not look too impressed at having his photo taken -

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  85. Your hoop is super lovely, rainbows, grey, beautiful stitchese, fab combination! if that were on my sewing room wall, I would just ogle at it all day :)

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  86. Archie is thinking "I can't believe you're going to make me do the random number generator thing again...I'm worth so much more...I should be on the big screen" :)

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  87. Wow - busy busy. That quilt book looks amazing!!!!

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  88. Oh...and Archie is most definitelt saying "whatevaaaa"!

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