Saturday, 29 December 2007

New Year Challenges

I'm taking the easy way out this year and resolving to do things I enjoy doing, rather than something I need to do. I'm taking SharonB's "Take it further" challenge and "ChoosedayChallenge" groups and I am really looking forward to doing this. I hope to put some of the 'thinking and skills' I learned when I did my city & guilds work into these challenges. One other thing I wanted to do for a while is make a monthly journal page then create a book of these pages at the end of the year.

For the past few years I've made fabric postcards and other mixed media articles but have wanted to take art quilting just a bit further along with mixed media art. I really feel these challenges are jsut what I need to stimulate the old creative brain cells, at least I hope so.

The other resolution for 2008 is one I really have to make (and keep) that's to really control my blood sugar. Being diabetic on insulin with all it's complications is beginning to hit home, especially as I something I could do with my eyes closed (walk several miles without any problems) is now a real issue for me. For the past few years I've walked with a group of friends on Tuesday up to 10miles. Now I can do a couple of miles, slowly, by which time claudication sets in. I can no longer keep up with my friends, some of whom are in their 80's!! My consultant says it's a common problem with diabetics so I will control my BM better and continue to walk to make sure it doesn't get any worse.

Dh and I intended going out today but torrential rain set in and we both fell asleep in front of the telly. Good job it's not yet 2008!! Completely lost track of the days at the moment we seem to have had two weeks this week.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Journal Pages

We decided to go out for a walk this morning, first one for a long time. We went to Pinchinthorpe near Guisborough and walked along the dismantled railway line. It was warm 12deg C but damp. There were a lot of cyclists, walkers and joggers out and we all wished each other a Happy Christmas etc. I took this photo of the Winter Trees with the North York Moors behind them. Just out of shot is Roseberry Topping a peak of approx 1000 ft just off to the left.
I've had more time to play than I anticipated and have done two 6" journal pages this week. One is pinks, purples and blue based on the painting "The Pink Room" by Emma Williams. The JP is for a swap on Surface Design and is based on the colours of your favourite artist. To be honest I don't actually have a favourite artist I like lots of them but this painting speaks to me. I seem to be coming up with more pink things these days, usually its autumnal colours. Not sure whether it means anything!!
The second journal page is violet and gold although the photo looks more dark blue. It's for an "Opposites" challenge and I chose a colour wheel opposite. The colour scheme is a bit outside my comfort zone which is why I did it.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas Joy

Christmas is over and all the hussle and bussle that goes with it. Now I can show photos of what I've been doing. They were all presents and didn't put them up beforehand otherwise some would have peeped and known what they were going to get.

The photos aren't too good and have a colourcast to them that I've found difficult to get rid of. The little shopping bag was for Julie my younger son's girlfriend. It's actually pink and purple being her favourite colours and I thought it would be cute to put her lunch in to take to work.
This dolly bag one with handembroidery is for my mil who is now happily settled in her new nursing home. We left her old handbag at her last home as it was dirty and greasy. She seems to have forgotten about it so I'm hoping she likes this one. If she continues as she has done she'll fill it with birthday, Christmas cards, photos and odds and sods she picks up. This bag though will be able to go through the wash just hope she likes it.
Mum's bag has a lime green lining so she can see the contents easier than the usual black lining. I've made the handle longer so she can wear it across the chest thus leaving her hands free to hold onto her walking sticks. It's one of Susa Glenn's patterns.
Finally I've finished the lap quilt I made for the coffee table. It has a blue overcast the colours are black/white prints with cream on cream prints. My dh bought me a beautiful black/white Christmas table decoration that looks really good on it.

At the moment my machine is stored away in it's Horn cabinet awaiting the removal of the Christmas tree. It came back from being serviced a few days before Christmas and I must say it sews much better than when I first bought it. They found a few problems with it and it's had the Bernina firmware update so I'm hoping to love it at last.

Yesterday (Christmas Day) 14 of our family had dinner at our local tavern. It was lovely to see everyone again and we had a great meal and even greater time together. Today I'm wacked, going to see mil this afternoon and take her presents then come home and put my feet up and slob out in front of the tv with my knitting.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Still running in circles

Well yesterday I thought I'd got everything organised. Mil is ready to be kicked out of hospital but now requires EMI nursing care rather than just EMI residential care. There are only two homes that have nursing qualification for the elderly mentally ill (Alzheimers) and we took a thorough look at both. The first one was the fatherest away from our home but was lovely, clean, plenty of room, the patients looked happy and well cared for and we heard laughter from both staff and patients. True the floor needed hoovering but that was carried out when we were there. They were also able to take care of mil's nursing needs.

The second smelled of cabbage, the decor was grubby but the Manager explained he'd only been in post 6 weeks and had plans to redecorate in a more tactile manner (themed areas, kitchen, garden, sports etc with articles stuck on the wall that they could touch as they walked up and down the corridor). I liked the idea and continued on the inspection. There was only two bathrooms for 41 patients and a shower room. In one bathroom boxes with what looked like old clothes were stored there and in the second one more boxes and two wheelchairs. The shower room floor was muddy, looked like someone had had a shower with their boots on!!

Both homes had two places and we choose the first one even though the cost was astronomical!Today we heard from the hospital mil is in that they are unable to take her now due to reshuffling. So now we have no choice but to put mil into a home I really don't want her in. I've contacted social services to see if anything else is available somewhere much further away and am awaiting their response.

Good news though my padfolio arrived safe and sound and with some beautiful threads from Myfanwy - thank you Myfanwy. I've been busy making free standing lace bells for friends and relatives - these will be my Christmas cards this year. Haven't a photo of them yet as the need sewing together but will do that later tomorrow.

Going out for Christmas lunch tomorrow, really need the company at present. Monday we're off to Valkenburg for a few days also really looking forward to the break.