Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gifts & Exchanges & Candle Winners

I should have posted these gifts & exchanges long ago so, without further ado, let the posting begin   : )

Is this not one of the most delightful things you've ever seen?!?!?  I discovered Thomas Joseph's artwork a couple months ago & wanted to buy everything shown on his website ... lol!  Let's just say that he is a very creative when it comes to sheep   : )   I mentioned him to Sally & when she visited Whitby a while back she saw a Thomas Joseph coaster in a shop & decided she had to get it for me   : )
Baaad Girls!  I love it!  Their hair reminds me of my own back in the days when I had more than a few whisps of it on my head.  Their facial expressions are priceless   : )

Sally also sent me a lovely postcard from Whitby.  Doesn't it look like a lovely place?
Here's a bit of an interesting story about Whitby.  I'll begin by telling you that in the evenings while I'm stitching, John reads me a chapter out of whatever biography we are reading at the moment.  We both enjoy biographies.  He reads, I listen.  I wish he would read more than one chapter.  I also wish that he would read books I have been wanting to read but can never find the time to do so.  Perhaps I should start investing in audio books.  Tonight he will read the epilogue from our current choice, Michael Caine's biography, The Elephant to Hollywood, & tomorrow night we will move on to something new. 

Back to Whitby.  I had never heard of Whitby until Sally mentioned it on her blog. The next thing I knew, John was reading a chapter from Michael Caine's biography & what do you think he made mention of?  Yes ... Whitby   : )   This is what Mr. Caine had to say ...

"On a rare day off, my team ... Jim, my assistant; Colin, my driver; & Dave, my motor home driver ... decided to drive to Whitby, where we had been told we could buy the best fish & chips anywhere.  We found the shop, bought the fish & chips & ate them in the traditional way from their newspaper wrapping while walking around Whitby harbor.  We had just rounded a corner ... when we stopped, astonished.  There, standing on the quayside & staring out into the harbor, was a crowd of about 300 men dressed as Dracula.  They were all shouting in unison, 'It's good to talk!' at a small boat bobbing about with 2 people in it who seemed to be being filmed from a second boat off to one side.  We couldn't make head nor tail of it, nor could we see who was in the boat, so we went back to the fish & chips shops owner.  He explained everything. Whitby was where Bram Stoker, the Victorian novelist & theater manager, had written his famous story about Dracula.  Unbeknownst to us we had come to the town on Stoker's birthday & encountered a whole bunch of Dracula fans who were there to celebrate. Well, that seemed reasonable enough .. but what were they shouting & why?  That turned out to be simple, too.  The boat had contained my old friend Bob Hoskins who was most recently celebrated for his famous TV commercials for British Telecom in which the punch line was, 'It's good to talk.'  You couldn't make it up, could you?"

I just thought I'd include that excerpt.  I thought it was interesting that I had never heard of Whitby before & now, out of the blue, I've heard of it twice.  Perhaps fate is telling me I should go there?

Mr. Caine never bothered to elaborate on the fish & chips which was the main reason for his visit to Whitby.  Were they indeed "...the best fish & chips anywhere?"  When John & I visited London a few years back, we had fish & chips at a pub called The Globe. We sat at a table & ate them out of little baskets.  They were to die for!  I can't imagine better fish & chips being offered anywhere else in the whole British Isles!

A while back I mentioned in a post that I wanted to re-collect past JCS Ornaments issues & mentioned I had been successful with the exception of 3, one of which was the 2003 issue.  Chris, God bless her, had an extra one & sent it to me!
Thank you again, Sally & Chris, for your thoughtfulness   : )

Back in August I signed up for the Stitched With Love Animal Antics exchange.  The exchange photos have been posted on the site so I can now share with you what I sent & what I received   : )   

I was given Renee's name.  Her blog is Fit to Stitch & her top 3 favorite animal choices were dogs, birds, & bunnies.  I decided to choose dogs for her theme since they were her first choice.  The stitched piece is Le Chien, JBW Designs.  The little pouch was a special order from Faye who makes the best pouches ever!  Didn't she do a great job creating one with a dog theme?  

Cath Willey received my name in the exchange.  I do not know if Cath has a blog. My 3 favorite animal choices were birds, reindeer, & sheep, & as I did with Renee, Cath chose my first choice as my theme   : )
I'm using the photo Cath took for Lainey to post on the SWL site.  So many goodies ... trims & accessories & beads & charms, flosses, lavender soap, nail files, a Christmas fat quarter, & even a pair of Union Jack socks   : )   The little stitched pillow she made me is beautiful ... Cath's stitching is exquisite!  Thank you, Cath, for a most thoughtful package!

And now for the winners of the candles!  I did my usual "names in a hat" thing.  I pulled Krista's name first.  Krista indicated she would like to have the Christmas Cheer candle.  The second name I pulled was Terri & the third name I pulled was Pamela.  Both Terri & Pamela said they would be happy with any scent so I will choose them in the order they are lined up on my dry sink.  Terri will receive Mistletoe Kiss & Pamela will receive Gingerbread.  Thanks to everyone who entered ... I wish I had candles for all of you   : )

It's a bit nippy this morning!  I think our temp is going to top out in the 50s today although we will be seeing temps in the 40s in another day or two!  Woo-hoo!  If only it would go lower & stay there, but alas ... temps will be going into the 60s again before too long.  Ah well, I'll enjoy it while it lasts.  Hot chocolate is on the menu today for sure   : )

I did a bit more stitching on my Snow in Love gate crashing SAL ornament last night.  I tried 3 times to make Mrs. Snowman's eyes with those blasted colonial knots & then gave up & went to bed.  I'll try again today. All that will be left after those blasted eyes are the back stitches representing the pine needles on the tree.  This design is kind of a freak of nature because the tree trunk & branches resemble those of a maple or oak but then there are pine needles hanging here & there.  A dendrologist (a person who studies trees & other woody plants ... I had to look that up) would probably take issue with this design but I'll make do   : )

Have a happy day everyone!  I'm off to make that cup of hot chocolate I mentioned   : )


Sally said...

I'm so glad that you love the coaster. I love the expressions on their faces too. I think you'd love it at Whitby. It really is a lovely place as is the surrounding area.

Lovely exchanges both sent and received.

Dawn said...

Nice exchanges Shirlee!

Janet P said...

The fish and chips are pretty good in Whitby, and the best way to eat them is out if newspaper as you are walking along.

Vickie said...

The exchanges went very well Shirlee. I love that dog you stitched up. High in the 40's today for us.

Kaisievic said...

Lovely exchange pieces, Shirlee and I bet you hate colonial knots as much as you hate french knots!

Have you and John read "Franklin and Eleanor: an extraordinary marriage" by Hazel Rowley. It is a great biography of an amazing couple - just like you and John really!

hugs, Kaye

P.S. Love your progress on Snow in Love

butterfly said...

Lovely exchanges Shirlee love the little doggy.
Lovely gift from Sally and loved the story, hugs.

cucki said...

beautiful exchange gifts xx

Chris said...

What a nice tradition, the biography reading. I love listening to biography audio books. Rich and I alway take an audio book on long trips.I recently have become addicted to podcasts.
What a lovely exchange. Both packages and stitched pieces are wonderful.
How was that hot chocolate?

Mouse said...

heres a link for some more whitby photos ... scroll till the end as usual

lovely gift from Sally too :) and love the exchanges you did :)
love mouse xxxx

Catherine said...

Those sheep make me giggle! Love them!
Lovely exchanges, given and received!