Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Running round in circles

I've sadly neglected my blog over the last few days and thought I'd better put something down or I was in danger for letting it lie dormant. Been one of those weeks where I seem to have done nothing but run backwards and forwards to the hospital, cook meals, wash and iron and generally be at everyone's beck and call. Mil is still in hospital but recovering from her stroke but it will be a slow process. Her other problems are beginning to take dominance healthwise, in particular the prolapse. She's in quite a lot of pain and for the last year I seem to have been doing battle with the medics over getting her some treatment. Trouble is it's not 'down' all the time and therefore surgery is not an option, wouldn't be an option anyway with her mental health and other problems. Now she's in hospital though the medics are beginning to take notice of the pain she experiences so I'm hopeful something can be done for her. Being senile is not a reason for non-treatment and I feel very strongly about that so I shout for her.

One bright spot last week was the Knitting and Stitching show - ho how I love to spend money at that show..... came back empty pocketed (is that a word?) but happy. I bought quite a lot of art materials with the intension of making an art quilt and several books including the last two Jan and Jean books in the Double Trouble series. Still haven't read any of them yet but I'm hopeful. I bought a Susa Glenn bag pattern that I'm making for my Mum - and that's another story. I also bought a Monkey Pockets bag pattern to make for my son's girlfriend. I'll post pictures later as I don't want her peeking at this blog and seeing what she's getting.

Mum's bag is a simple over the shoulder bag with a zipper pocket on the back. For the last couple of days I've not been too well so I thought I'd make a start on it last night to take my mind off things. Got the back and front cut out - no got two fronts. Not a problem I just cut the back out of the spare front. Got the zipper put in and the secret pocket put in - no I put it on the front piece not the back and to make matters worse I sewed upside down!!!!! Gave up and watched telly.

Also had a bad day with equipment, been breaking all sorts of things the final straw though was the spring loaded holder for lancets so I can take blood to check my blood levels for my diabetes broke. The little knob on the top you push to release the lancet into your finger came off. Actually it came off a few days back but I just kept putting it back on again. Yesterday however I lost it somewhere in the dust on the floor and I think I vaccumed it up. Ah well I thought I'll have to buy another but wondered whether my diabetic nurse could give me another - no harm in asking. She wasn't in and they said she'd ring me back, well she didn't so today I bought a new one. Guess what - I now have a message on the answer machine saying she's left one for me to pick up at the surgery so now I have two.

Off to see Beowulf tonight not sure whether it's the 3D version or not as my son is taking us all as a treat.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Dash to get jobs finished

I've been trying to catch up and overtake my swap commitments this week and it's a good job I did as last night my mil had a stroke so my time for the next few days will be all taken up. She's stable but we don't yet know the extent of any brain damage. It's keep our fingers crossed and pray it's not too bad and she'll get her speech back and be able to use her hands again.

I've done a few Journal Pages and am now caught up, just one left to do but that's not due until January. The two below I've called 'Not quite crazy JP's' and are based on contrasting colours but I got this bronze one wrong. Well not wrong really I just liked the colours and was compelled to do something with them.

The purple and green was is the one to go to Elizabeth as part of the Surface Design group swap. I had made the flowers ages ago and tonight when I was putting the embellishment on they fell out and landed on the page so I took it as an omen they needed to be there. I hope Elizabeth thinks the same.
I also received two Journal Pages this week, the green one is from Emmy in the Netherlands and represents monocolour. The landscape is from Ann in France and depicts peace, tranquility and the qualities of Mother Earth. I feel it does give you a sense of peacefulness.

I also received two wonderful needlefelt book covers as part of the four seasons swap on the UKEmbellisher group. Lynne's beautifully felted Autumn cover has leaves cut from the felt fabric and sewn onto the cover. Ann's book cover was a first attempt and I think the snowdrop is really well done. I shall really enjoy using these books.

I sent out four swaps today and I can't believe I didn't photograph or scan any of them!!! but I didn't. I made christmas trees out of inchies for the Integrated Inchie swap and made some more for a christmas swap but in different colours. They looked really good when I had finished and I think I might make some more for family and this time remember to record them. I also finished the 'Something beginning with L' by making white lace leaves and sewing them onto red velvet. I had to put a lace edging on the velvet as it kept popping through the thread when I tried using a satin stitch on it. The last swap I posted today was "Coffee, Tea what will it be" for the Fun Friendly Fabricpostcard group. This is my first swap with this group so I hope they like it.
Having said all that I won't be making any more cards this year as I really need to get some sewing done for Christmas. I bought a bag pattern that I want to make for my mum, a table runner for the coffee table and this year I really would like to make a small wall hanging for the door. I say that every year but never get it done.
My 730 keeps telling me it's time for a service and to contact my dealer so I've done that and it will go up to David Drummond's in Edinburgh for its annual (first one) service. I'm sending up the embroidery unit too as I get an error message whenever I use it. But it does mean that in three weeks time I will be sewing machineless, oh how am I going to cope..... Then on the 10th December I'm off to Valkenburg for a short break.
Finally good news on the padfolio front I've heard from Myfanwy and with a bit of luck she'll return it to me shortly. I've a good home in mind for it as a Christmas present - so keeping my fingers crossed I'll see it again soon.
Will let you know when (if) I get

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Felting Fest

It's surprising how much you can get done when you have a few hours undisturbed by male company. Actually got round to lifting out my embellisher and had a felting fest. I finished off most of my UKEmbellisher swaps in one go. Admit to having given them some thought before I started doing any work and had made backgrounds already for one or two pieces. My usual working practise is to plunge right in and see what developes. This is the notebook cover I made for Liz. I got the idea of using a colouring book as a design source then decided to try embroidering out a redwork design using my embroidery machine and colouring it in with the embellisher. I'm quite pleased with the result and will definitely try out this technique again. Should have said that only two flowers were on the actual design and when I'd finished it was too large for the front of the notebook and too small for the whole jacket. So I traced the larger flower onto paper and used it as a template. I sewed the outline of the third flower onto the background and coloured it in with the embellisher. This works just as well, if not better than using the embroidery unit.
This is the book front, I decided to add some ribbon tails to act as page guides. The cover is loose so it can be reused.

Next came the Four Season's swap using background fabric's I made earlier (sounds like Blue Peter) using wool tops and yarns. I tried to indicate the seasons by the colour combination but somehow they just looked wrong. I also wasn't sure what to do with them once I'd finished. I thought of atc but Amanda had already done that, then thought book cover but I'd already done that and so had Ati. Needle cases came to mind. I embellished the backgrounds onto felt and sewed in the needle/pin pages but they looked unfinished. I decided to embellish them further with beads. I was enjoying this so much that I was in great danger of overdoing it, sometimes I find it difficult to know when to stop.

The photos are actually in the wrong order but I doubt it matters, below then is Winter, Autumn, Spring and Summer needle cases.
By then I was in full swing and finished the 3 brooches for the Brooch Swap. Like the needle cases I'd made the background fabric some time before but had no clear idea of what I was going to do with them. After rummaging through some of my stock of bits and pieces for inspiration I found a face I'd printed onto fabric and a lace butterfly I'd made sometime last year. These odds and ends really do come in handy. Behold Butterfly Goddess was born. The others two just developed as I went along. Not sure who is going to get which pin as I will just close my eyes and pop them into the envelope. Hope you will like them ladies.
Keith's MRI scan has been brought forward to Monday, not his appointment to see the consultant but at least he'll get the test out of the way and perhaps he'll feel a bit better about things. He started back to work this week full-time but is finding it difficult. I just hope they can do something for him once they have the results of the scan available.

There is a big bonefire party in the local park tonight put on by the council. It's usually very good and well organised but I think this is one year we won't be attending as it's too far for Keith to walk. Guess we'll watch from the bedroom window. Hope everyone has a good, safe Guy Fawkes night.