Thursday, 31 July 2014

Bought a new toy

Woke up on Sunday feeling a bit down, said my usual good morning to Keith and went downstairs for breakfast.  Put on the telly on and what was showing on QVC but the new Brother Cut N Scan machine.  I've wanted one of these for since Maggie Grey blogged about hers.  She has just brought out a new book which includes pieces made using this machine, naturally I've bought that to but it hasn't arrived yet.   It's called Cut, Shape, Stitch.  Keith kept telling me just to go and buy one but the price is a bit heavy so I never got round to it.  I went back upstairs and heard a bang, Keith's photo had jumped off the drawers and onto the floor, how that happened I don't know as all the windows were closed.  I think he was trying to tell me something so I went straight back downstairs and ordered one.  It arrived today.  Here's an overview of my new Brother Scan N Cut.   As it arrived just before dinner tonight I haven't had a lot of time to play.  I made some cupcake papers for Julie, which she has taken home and I didn't take a photo, but hopefully, if I have enough card left, I'm going to make a start on my Xmas cards.

It can also be used with fabric, in fact loads of materials but the main thing I want to do is draw my own designs and use these to make masks and templates to use with my Gelli plates.  This is going to be short blog as I'm now off to play.  Show you tomorrow what I've made, that's if the optician (eye check up) doesn't say I'm going blind with watching all those Brother Scan n Cut videos on YouTube.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Postcard catch up

I've been hanging on to these until I had a full set but then I tidied my sewing room and lost them amongst the tidiness.  So I've decided I'd better show them now unless I lose them again.

 Continuing the year long swap based on Sara Coleridge's poem "The Garden Year" we've reached July, which brings cooling showers, Apricots and Gillyflowers.  The two gillyflowers above are from (top) Inge in Berlin and bottom from Alice in Glasgow
 Helen's depicting the cooling showers (above) as is Pauline's goose below.

I put my cards in the post before I took a scan so you will just have to imagine them.  I created a background of rain using metallic thread and then sewed down flowers I'd burned from sheer fabrics (several layers together) using a different metallic thread.  In the corner I created a sun.  Background was a sky/cloud patterned fabric.

The next card set is "Travel" and again I forgot to take a scan but mine was space travel.

I liked the fact that all of the swappers had used maps as part of their backgrounds but none had duplicated the mode of travel.  From top to bottom, Miriam, Helen and Jan.  I love Jan's chair its the only form of travel I've been doing lately.

I'm finding the house very quiet, even though Keith and I were not a noisy couple.  It's the little things you miss, I often turn to say something to him and he's not there.  But I still talk to him and I'm sure he continues to listen to my pieces of useless information.  

At the moment my hands are full trying to help my sister cope.  She has been signed off work ill for almost a year, diagnosed initially with depression.  Now though the doctors think its a physical problem rather than a psychological one.  Her gait is very strange (she walks like a baby with a full nappy), she has some facial palsy, cognitive problems and her memory is very unreliable, plus she has lost a lot of weight.  The gut feeling of her consultants is that she has muscular sclerosis but they cannot be certain.  Although she has many of the symptoms of MS the numerous blood tests, xrays, MRI/CT scans show very mixed results.  She has now been referred to a neurologist to see whether she has some rare variant of MS but cannot be seen until September.  I just hope they hurry up and find out what is wrong with her.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Finished at last

I finally got my finger out and finished Flynn's Quiet Book, hurray...... So here it is:

Tractor shapes

 The photos have been embedded in a different order than that I selected them in but you still get the idea.

You've seen a few of these before but I've added the any way.  Washing/Dryer and sock matching game.  

Build your own sandcastle

Zipper pocket on back cover to hold loose pieces

What's behind the barn door?

We are....

Family tree, plus their new puppy Pixel and another airplane.

It's me with Mum and Dad (and Pixel)

I've made a small fishing rod (not shown) with a piece of stick and some cord with a magnet on the end. This is one of Flynn's favourite games.  All the fish have magnets in their heads.

Once the fish are caught you can put them in the fish tank.

Flynn likes the song Five Little Monkeys so I had to make him a page with finger puppets.  

Farm yard animals

Not particularly well placed photos but its another of Flynn's favourite rhymes.  Incy Wincy Spider climbs up the water spout.

Hmm you can make a sandcastle upside down if you want to...
Ah caught a fish
What's under here, hmm

Now I'm going to put them in the bucket

Friday, 27 June 2014

Black and White sensory toy

My god daughter's new baby was very premature and has a few health problems.  His eyes are giving concern at the moment and she asked me if I could make him something to hang on his cot.  High contrast designs had been recommended by his paediatrician.  I did a bit of googling and came up with these.

They aren't perfect but I think they will do for now.  I made ribbon tags so they could be hung separately and so that she can alter the sequence.  The other side of the blocks have high contrast black and white fabrics, all different.  

In addition to these I've finally finished my June swap card "June brings Tulips, Lilies, Roses"  My little angle (lily) is bringing tulips and roses.

I created this one in Paintshop Pro using some scrapbook papers and elements I had previously bought.  I did a bit of stitching on the card, this is the background so the sewing hasn't been done on this one.

I also finished Marian's birthday card, she wanted a green one but I stupidly sent it to the wrong address so now I have to remake the card.

I even put the wrong name on it, duh obviously I was having a bad day.  Still got a couple more cards to do for this month which I hope to get done over the weekend.  I think Buster is missing Keith as he doesn't like me out of his sight.  He cries and whines if I'm not in his view after 30 minutes.   He doesn't like being in my sewing room, not enough floor space for him to sprawl out without me falling over him.  We've been for a long walk this morning over the fields and he was a very happy boy chasing butterflies.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Out of communication

I seem to have spent the last couple of weeks passing time, waiting for one engineer or another.  Our broadband, tv etc were all in Keith's name (and we had two of them!!) I had to rethink our communications package, cancelling the old one and setting up a new one.  Not insurmountable but it meant for a short while I was without a land line or broadband connections.  Then when they finally got round to putting them back together, the signal kept going down.  To cut a long boring story short I was left with only my mobile.  I know most people live on their mobiles these days but I have friends who don't have them.  But I am at last able to talk to people again.  I always thought I was happy in my own company and to an extent I am but with Keith not there to talk to I found it very depressing.  Consequently I've done nothing.....

Flynn's book wasn't finished in time for his second birthday but he seemed to enjoy himself without it.

Flynn and his dad blowing out his candles.

His mum made the monster cake, which Flynn loved.  I think she's done a good job of it.

Flynn won't remove his bib, they have been trying for ages to get him to give it up.  I guess its a sort of security blanket.  But one of these days, maybe.   He's beginning to look more like a little boy now but he's still a sweet tempered child who normally laughs all day.  Caught him in a serious mood.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Strange Experience

A few weeks before Keith died we had the conversation "do you believe in life after death" and neither of us was sure.  Keith laughingly said that if there was life he'd let me know.  Well last night I'm not sure whether he did or whether I dreamt it.  We have a security light in the garden which is often activated by wild night life and the light shines in our bedroom if I forget to close the bathroom door.  Last night I was in that not-quite-asleep state when a light lit up the bedroom.  I turned towards it and distinctly felt a weight on the bed and saw Keith kneeling on his side of the bed.  He was insubstantial, I was aware that I could see the drawers through him but he felt solid when he put his head to my forehead and kissed me.  I woke fully and he'd gone, checked the bathroom door and it was closed but I felt such peace and knew he was fine and comfortable wherever he was. For the first time in ages I slept through the night.  Still think it was a dream but part of me hopes... maybe.

Yesterday I finished all the tasks left to do after the funeral.  The District Nurses picked up the last of the equipment and end-of-life drugs from the house and I took the donations to St Teresa's Hospice.  Now for the next chapter.

Buster and I managed a longer walk than usual we followed an ancient path that circles part of the outskirts of the town.  The wild flowers are in abundance and Buster and I really enjoyed the walk.  Even if Buster did insist on eating the grass.

This bit looks good

Okay I'll not eat any more

This part of the ancient byway runs between a local supermarket and the
town bypass

Looking the way we've just come

Flag irises are everywhere, the old beck is also a
water drainage ditch for the bypass and so there is slightly

more water in it than usual.

One of our 'landmarks' is the 'Brick Train' which is viewable from the A66 bypas.s Holes were deliberately left in the structure so that bats could make their homes in it and there is now a thriving colony.

Bypass side.  The designer is David Mach and its representative the towns link with railways. It depicts  a train leaving a tunnel.  There is a viewing platform on top of the tunnel bank from which you can get the full impact of the train leaving the tunnel and good views of the surrounding countryside.
This is one of Buster's favourite walks because he can chase the rabbits, particularly around the platform.   He never actually catches them as he's far too slow but he's quite proud of himself for chasing them. Yesterday was no exception he came back with a smile on his face.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

May Lamb swap

My May lambs, as I said in the last post have been rehoused with my family.  They watched me sew them as I sat with Keith and they have taken on a significance I never intended when starting to sew them.  So I will now restart the project this weekend and hopefully post them next week.  In the meantime here are the swaps I have received, my flock of woolly jumpers: -
From Alice, love the fleece embellished background, very typical of my local area too.  

Top card from Helen and the bottom one from Pauline.  I just love the humour in these cards, they made me smile - thank you ladies.

The last two are from (top) Jacquie and (bottom) Miriam.  Both have made good use of fabric.  Jacquie has created a background from prints, don't think I've every seen a print with sheep on before.  And Miriam's sheep are enhanced with stitch, another great fabric.