Monday, 31 March 2008

Two challenges for the price of one

I've been given the go-ahead by my doctor to do absolutely nothing!! He's told my dh that he has to do all the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning and shopping for at least the next few weeks. This is to give my poor lungs a rest. I can however sit and sew so there you are 'sewing on prescription' This came about because I attended a routine COPD clinic appointment this morning and my asthma was so bad I couldn't speak, most unusual for me Im such a chatterbox. The nurse was quite concerned and called the doctor in to check me out - hence my R&R instructions to my dh. Whose a lucky girl then......

I had two challenges to complete before midnight tonight and made a start on them yesterday. The glue gun dribble challenge from Textilechallenge group and TIF challenge for March. I started making dribbles and realised that the green glue (coloured with dye and heated in my HeatPot) was exactly the same green as in the TIF colour scheme. Two challenges with one stone (or glue gun) and the three cards here are the results. Think Egypt has rubbed off on me, especially the sandy background card as to me it looks like a crocodile and a snake.

This is my 'p0rtrait' for my private swap group, dh thinks it makes me look like Harry Potter and he may be right there. Its from the photo on my blog which was taken a couple of years ago. Insulin and steroids however have 'resculptured' me and I'm quite a bit heavier now although the hair is still short but mostly grey/blonde now.

Mum's doing okay at the moment but not too pleased that I'm out of action for 'duty calls'. I feel sorry for my brother as he'll take the brunt and he has enough on his plate with a disabled wife. I'v started coughing again which means I've stayed upright long enough so had better put the blog away for now, I'll dig out some more Egypt photos later.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Block lotto - March Shoo Fly

Been trying to catch up with the normal detrius of after holiday housework/washing etc and at last I think I'm beginning to win. Anyway I gave up and make my floral shoo fly blocks for the block lotto. Photo isn't too good though I appear to have something dark at the bottom and the flash as wiped out the colour in some blocks. Still they should show what I've done. I had hoped to see what was on offer in Egypt in the way of fabrics/embroidery etc but it was so unpleasant trying to run the gammut of traders I didn't manage to find any. Having said that I did buy a Galabeya with lots of embroidery on. We had a Galabeya party one night with everyone of us wearing Egyptian clothes. Keith bought a quite smart white linen Galabeya with red embroidery round the neck and cuffs with a matching overcoat. When I find the photos I'll post them.

Got several jobs outstanding to finish before the end of the month, not least is catching up with my monthly journal pages. So jobs for next week are:

1 Finish TIF for March
2 Finish Textilechallenge - glue gun challenge
3 February and March Journal Pages
4 Swaps - Portraite and April showers

That should keep me out of trouble for a bit.


Well Egypt was memoriable for several reasons, the camel that ran away with me, the hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings, the non-stop hassel from the traders, the beauty of the Nile in the early morning light and the heat. It was their Winter and we were expecting temperatures of around 24-27 degrees C but we were the lucky recipients of a heat wave. It never dropped below 37C and reached 46degrees at midday in the Valley of the Kings. The heat took its toll on me, my poor lungs couldn't cope with the dry, dusty atmosphere and I'm afraid the last few days were spent prone in my cabin with the air conditioning going full blast. Still I did actually enjoy the holiday, despite my lungs.
Our guide assured us all that the camels were slow and we would have plenty of time to admire the beauty of the Nubian desert before we arrived in the Nubian village. Wrong!! mine stood still for a photo and then took off at a fast trot with me clinging on for dear life. I have the bruises to show for it but you don't really want to know where the bruises are.

We were offered hospitality after the ride at this Nubian home, the best in the village so we were told. This is the daughter of the house, I must say they were all very beautiful people. The lady who owned the house told us of her daily life and answered any questions (via an intepreter) we wanted to put to her. Afterwards she told us to wander where we will and have a good look around. All the doors had hand prints above them, sign of good luck, so now I'm going to think twice about wiping the dirty finger prints from my doors.

We got up at 3:00am to travel 270miles to Abu Simbel (about 25 miles off the border with Sudan) This is the temple of Rameses II and there is a smaller one next door dedicated to his wife. This photo was taken at 7:30am and the temperature was up in the high thirties already.All the temple decorations have lost their colour and much of the stone bas reliefs are damaged. The temples were originally several hundred feet further east which is part of Lake Nasser. They moved the temples to their new position when they built the new High Dam at Aswan.

Whenever you travel by public transport in Egypt you go in a convoy with an armed guard. The convoys leave Luxor/Aswan etc at set times and travel in groups of 200 or 300 buses. We found this very odd but the locals take it for granted.

Even travelling along the Nile there will be lots of boats around, you are never truly alone.

This is a typical view of the river bank, this one is looking towards the Nubian Desert (in the distance). Lots of wildlife on the riverbanks if you look for it. The fertile strip on both sides of the Nile varies from a few feet to a mile or two after that there's nothing but desert. No wonder they think of the Nile as a god.

Spent a lot of time looking at temples but to be truthful after a while they began to merge. The boat was a bit shabby but very clean and we were very well looked after, too well sometimes. Spent one day on deck sunbathing and sitting in the pool after that it was too hot. Glad we went in Winter, not sure how we would have coped in their summer.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Last minute jobs

Off to Egypt in the morning but I wanted to get some last minute bits and pieces finished before I went. One of them was this Journal Page for the CQ 2008 challenge. Its called Blue Moon the song of Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra fame. It's one of my favourites and I often find myself singing it. I wanted to portray a sense of longing but wasn't too sure I'd achieved it or not but here it is judge for yourself. The next three photos are close ups of bits of the JP which is 12" x 12" , as yet I haven't put a label or sleeve on it. Think I'll do them all together.

I should do one of those "guess where the photo came from" no prizes for getting the answer right this time though.

The last photo was just for fun, I was playing around in Picassa with photos of grass and flowers and I quite liked the effect.

My mil is back in her nursing home though she is still far from well. She hasn't a clue who anyone is now and is yet again stressed as she doesn't remember her surroundings but she will soon settle down again. Her leg is quite swollen and red but her GP is reassessing the situation on Monday so I could come back to find her back in hospital. Left her in the capable hands of my son who knows just what to do if anything untoward should happen. As for my mum, well I got a call last night as she'd got another nose bleed. It turns out she'd got herself upset over something we would consider insignificant but Mum of course brooded on it and as a consequence her BP rose and her fragile nasal veins again caused problem. I managed to get her calmed down and the bleeding stopped and she was fine. My brother checked on her this morning took her out which she seems to have enjoyed. He tired her out, and now she's safely tucked up in bed not worrying about anything.

Well I've got my camera, notebook, pencils and a glue stick all packed. I was going to take some sewing with me but couldn't decided what to take so I've downloaded 4 books onto my ipod and will just sit back and relax, paint, draw or simply watch the world go by. I'll be off-line now until the end of the month, be good.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Whats in a Name

What Annette Means
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.
Go overboard interrpreting things, me, never....!!
Impulses get me into trouble, who me.......!!
Have a go it's fun.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Purple Haze

No problems with Blogger tonight my photos uploaded quickly and without any trouble, it must have been feeling a bit off last night.

I completely forgot that I'd signed up for a swap on ArtnstheMail Group until I got a card through the post from Kate North (photo below). Kate of course had done a great card on the song Purple Haze by Jimmy Hendrix so I couldn't do that. I was at a loss for ideas so googled 'Purple Haze' and got the inevitable Jimmy songtrack, purple trees, purple smoke and a species of canabis called Purple Haze. But there was a really beautiful little crocus type flower called Purple Have so that's the inspiration for the cards below. I monoprinted fabric for the background and burned out the flower shapes from Angelina. I liked the leftover bits so they went onto the background too. The piece was held together with fme. I made a couple of purple beads from acrylic ribbon, wrapped and burned these then attached the flowers with beads. I painted shade lines on the flowers with LuminArte paint. They are now ready to go into the post tomorrow. My Purple Haze cards ready to go out tomorrow.
Kate North's Jimmy Hendrix 'Purple Haze' card and Priscilla Handler's patchwork 'Purple Haze' card.

A card arrived this morning at our house addressed to my Mum so we went over to see her taking it with us. It was a birthday card and on the back of the envelope was the verse:

Postman Postman do your duty
Take this card to my fair haired beauty

She was so impressed with the sentiment that she's vowed to keep both the card and the envelope for ever. We left her with a smile on her face.

Monday, 10 March 2008


A couple of posts back I said I'd been tagged by Tracy (really must learn how to get the url hidden behind the name). Sorry Tracy I got waylaid and didn't respond to it so will do so now.

Seven things you might not know about me:

1 - I was a flower child but not into free love, my mum wouldn't let me!!
2 - I packed in work and did the hippy trip overland to Khatmandu in the 60's camping out under the stars, pity I wasn't interested in any type of fabric art then!!
3 - I married late, had my children late and studied for my degree late but glad I did all three.
4 - I've seen the Taj Mahal by moonlight and had tea with a Tibetan Monk in Nepal and slept under a table in a teahouse in the Himalayan foothills with several friends while rats ran over us - we slept through the lot.
5 - At the sight of slugs and worms my toes curl up, I hate them.
6 - I have an aversion to rubber buttons.
7 - I love Joe Cocker and R'nB' music.

Now my hubby has just walked in for supper so I'd better go and feed the brute. I'll post my 7 tagged blogs later.
At last I've got some more photos uploaded but as I put them one at a time they are, of course, out of sequence!! The first should be last so to speak.
Don't think I've blogged these photos before and have put them in for the private swap group as a response to their question "how do you store your fabric postcards?" I made a book to hold fabric postcards from a standard A4 ring binder. I made a cover for it from painted pelmet vilene, sheer fabric, burned back using a heat gun, scribbled fme all over it. I cut a second layer from the same fabric, more fme and finally added machine covered cords and fme flowers. The pages were made from clear freezer bags, cut down to size (two cards per page), sealed, sewn down the middle to make two pockets. Finally I made a slit in the back of each pocket so the cards could be put in and taken out. I used some left over base fabric to create reinforcing strips on each page, punching holes for the ring binder.
At last I finished the Bird Toras, these were the second ones I did as I didn't like the first set. They had more embroidery on them but they lacked a certain something. Not sure what I'll do with the first set but they'll probably find their way into some work later on.

I made seven of these birds in orange, dark red and pale blue.

Finished my March Challenge

I haven't done much sewing, or anything else, over the past week my family have kept me on my toes and running. I did however manage to finish the BQL March bag challenge, a stripey shopper. I changed it slightly as I wanted one to take on holiday that would serve as a carry-on bag. The striped piece along the bottom I turned into a series of pockets. I've also added longer handles and reforced these with an extra middle strip. I wanted something that I could wear either over the shoulder or across the chest. The handles are not sewn for the top 4" allowing me to turn the top down, making a smaller or larger bag as desired.
BQL March Challenge bag.

I've been having problems recently with emails not getting to where they are supposed to go and emails not being received by me so if anyone is expecting an email from me but haven't received one I apologise. I've also been experiencing problems getting Blogger to upload more than one photo not sure whether anyone else has had this problem. I'll have to upload photos in separate posts.

Family update, My Mum's 92nd birthday lunch had to be cancelled as she was too weak following yet another nose bleed and a bout of sickness and diarrhoea. Dh Keith also succumbed to the dreaded bug but was well enough to go back to work today. Mil is still in hospital but her fluid intake now is under control and she's comfortable.

I'm feeling virtuous tonight as I've done all my ironing leaving me free tomorrow afternoon to play, fingers crossed that there are no more emgencies looming.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The postman has been very good to me over the last couple of days and I received lots of goodies. This beautiful Laurel Burch Tile is from Hetty Bliek of Vlissingen in Germany is just one of them. I love the colours, so LB and the little embroidered bird in the middle really sets it off. Morning Dove (isn't that a wonderful name!!) sent me this colour perspective journal page, the first she's ever done. I think she's done extremely well.
I've received more tissue paper pendants, this set is from Michelle Bonds, Charmion Stephens and Aynsley McKay. Every one a winner and very different from each other.

Thse are some of my paper pendants, I forgot to scan them and had already put most of them in envelopes ready for posting. Luckily I still had a few left over to show. There are two layers of paper made from an embossed kitchen roll and an added bonus is that the embossing shows. I've used layers of the paper and strung beads on wire, wrapped it round the card. Because I didn't like the wire showing on the back I put another layer of paper over them. This unfortunately has made them slightly thicker than those I've received but they hang quite well. Finally painted them with acrylic paint, dipped the edges in UTEE and rubbed on Treasure Gold (although in this case it was silver). After a very hectic Mothers' Day with both mum's ending up in hospital things have calmed down to a steady trot. Mum is now home again but we are awaiting the hospital's call to let us know the results of the biopsies. Not said too much to mum about this as she would just worry herself. As for mil, well she's still in hospital, still quite poorly, dehydrated and not taking in much fluid. She cannot tolerate the drips and keeps pulling them out of her arm. Her consultant rang to asked if I would mind popping backwards and forward (ignore visiting hours he said) and try and get her to drink something, anything, so that's what I'm doing. As I have to cross the town to get to the hospital its very time consuming but I did manag to get her to drink almost all of a carton of Ribena.

Not got a lot of work done this week, finished my pendants and also my Bird Totas, pics later as I forgot about them when I was downloading the above pics. I've been checking out my holiday clothes, or at least what I have already that is good enought to take with me. I'm not too bad but Keith - well the least said about his wardrobe the better. If he can go in a checked flannel shirt and jeans he'll be happy.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

I've been Tagged

I've been tagged by Tracy and I must apologise for not responding sooner, I found your comment a couple of postings down, nearly missed it. Thank you Tracy and I shall pass on the tagging as soon as I've rounded up enough victums (lol).

It never rains but it pours does it, both Mum's ended up in hospital last night, boy what that hectic. Keith had decided we'd go out for dinner as we'd spent all day shopping for holiday clothes and had nothing in the house to eat!! Just got back and was about to relax when the phone went and it was my Mum saying the ambulance was coming to take her into hospital as she'd had another bad nose bleed and would I come with her. Quarter to midnight Mum was tucked up in a hospital bed and we landed back home. Put the kettle on and the phone rang again. I wondered what catastrophy had happened to mum now. But it was Keith's mum this time, the home rang to say her leg was badly swollen and she wasn't well so they'd shipped her off to hospital. It turned out she was in the same hospital as Mum, on the same floor as Mum but in a different Ward. The home had been trying to get hold of us since 7:00pm (the time we went with Mum to hospital). I was a bit cross with them as they said they were short staffed and had sent mum in with an agency nurse. They just got to hospital, the nurse knew absolutely nothing about Jan's past history and as her shift had finished she just left her in A&E on her own. I couldn't believe someone would just dump an Alzheimer patient like that!!!

So I'm back home again, both mums okay for the moment but me, well I'm ready for bed!!