Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For!!!

Hello Readers, 
Things have not been going to well around here for the last 4 weeks, during a couple of weeks in early to mid January I had a very busy and somewhat stressful time, with lots of jobs and appointments for Mum, until at one point I stated emphatically to anyone who would listen, "That I would give anything to have 48 hours to just sit and do nothing" which brings me to the title of this post.

On January 21st it was Clock Tower Quilters meeting, I attended as usual but did not achieve much as there was a lot of admin to take care of being the start of our new year. Throughout the day I had not felt quite right but put it down to tiredness. Later that evening I decided it was because I was going down with a cold kindly brought into the house by DH about a week before.

When I got up on Sunday morning I felt really ill, but no cold! Despite this I managed to fetch Mum, plus cook and clear up Lunch. Taking Mum home a bit early I came back and fell into bed. Over the next 2 weeks I started to feel worse and worse (do I hear violins?) and by the following weekend I was at my worst, hardly able to do anything except the most urgent tasks for Mum, then the cough started. On 27th I managed to attend a family meal to celebrate DH and DS's birthdays. However the cough continued to worsen and my muscles were beginning to 'complain'. In pure desperation I agreed with DH that I should visit the Doctor. Well my friends if I had had the energy I would have fallen off the surgery chair when after an examination the doctor announced that my oxygen levels were 'a bit low' and he would listen to my chest (my back actually!) and announced that I had Pneumonia in my left lung! Prescribing 7 days of antibiotics and with instructions to ' rest, stay in the warm, drink plenty' etc, home I came and I didn't leave the house again until last Friday.

Almost 2 weeks after finishing the pills! I didn't feel any better, the coughing was even worse and came with an excruciating pain under my ribs, moving from room to room made me very breathless and going upstairs was 'an art form.' Calling the Dr again I was given a message from the duty Dr that there was not really any more they could do, and that the cough would take up to 6 weeks to clear, but if I started to feel breathless (HELLO!!) they would see me! So off I went again, after another examination it was announced that my left lung was now 'full of infection and that I also have Pluerasy' (Sp), so it seems a good job I had insisted on going. I am now on some very aggressive antibiotics which come with some nasty common side effects (so far so good, but my fingers are crossed I don't get any!) So the moral of this story is I WILL be very careful what I wish for in future! 
Anyways that's got that off my chest figuratively speaking, so what else has been going on, before all the above and since Christmas I have been knitting and produced these...
A preemy cardi and 2 hats to match in pale green flecked DK. (note to self, I still need to buy buttons!)
 A cot/pram blanket and preemi hat in pale lemon 4ply (blanket from a commercial pattern Hat is own design)
 A peach coloured incubator blanket (own design) and a  Lavendar bunny made from a square both in DK.

You may remember my yarn bomb escapade last December, well I washed and dried everything, then spent a couple of evenings un-ravelling the 6' of garter stitch from my yarn bomb tree wrap and ended up with an ENORMOUS ball of yarn that was all different weights and colours knotted together, I didn't know what I would use it for but was sure something would occur. Then I had a brain wave, my old brown furry 1970's Pouffe was well past it's sell by date so using the post box 'hat' I unpicked it to a point it would fit the top of the pouffe then crocheted sides till it covered the whole thing.
The pouffe now looks like this a crochet 'amigurumi style' cover, the top is worked in double crochet and for the sides I changed to trebles, its a bit on the colourfull side but it's got a new lease of life.
Yesterday my 2 grand-pets arrived to stay for a week while DD and family go off to Disneyland Paris, this has been a BIG HUGE SECRET from little H since last October, since then they have managed to secretly get DSIL a passport, and then one for H explaining that everyone has to have one when they are five. Due to some mix ups at the passport office H's only arrived last Tuesday (phew!!) So on Wednesday evening she was asked where she would like to go for a 1/2 term treat, first she chose Jumptastic (a local Trampolining centre), when encouraged to choose something better, she said a safari park then, when asked to choose again she very tentatively said... Disneyland??? On hearing that was in fact where they were going she ran and jumped all round the kitchen shouting YES! YES! and Grandma got a very excited phone call to tell me all about it. They are on a train to London as I speak and will travel to Paris via Eurostar tomorrow.
As you can see the pets are all settled in, here they are this morning sharing the sofa. After 2 days on the new antibiotics they must have had some effect, as while I have been doing 3 weeks of sitting and doing nothing, this morning, finally, I started to feel a bit better in myself (though still coughing fit to burst) and get a bit bored (YAY!) After a text and a link from DD a few days ago to say her Veterinary practice are asking for knitted or crochet wildlife 'nests' I decided to see if I could make some. The practice supports a Gloucestershire Wildlife Rescue Centre and they use these to hold abandoned/orphaned baby birds, hedgehogs and the like. (everyone say AWWW!) 
I downloaded the patterns which are from America, so have a slightly different terminology i.e. for single crochet read double crochet. I found 2 - 3 strands of DK was simply too thick to work with but this is what I have achieved so far, the one on the right will have a 3" base, and the completed one has a 6" base, they accept any size between these 2 measurements, but they must be closely worked, have flat bases and sides that 'stand up' and are 2"- 3" deep. After several 'prototypes' I have found I needed to adjust the instructions slightly to get the base to stay flat, I'm using 1 strand of  DK and 1 strand of 4 ply with a 4mm crochet hook to achieve that.  Again I'm using the un-ravelled yarn from the yarn bomb, so lots of colours (and knots). 
Once again that brings you all up to date from here, next Saturday will be Clock Tower again and I am just hoping I'm well enough to go as we have Mark Pickles from Husqvarna Studio Bath coming along to service all our Machines, and all 3 of mine need doing plus I'm opening up as Sheila is out of action following a knee op yesterday.
Will try to keep you posted.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

I Can't Believe how long its been!!!

Hello Dear Readers
Are you still there or have you given up on me completely after all this time?
I guess there is no easy way to catch you all up on my news so I'll just give you a quick run through of the last 6 months.
If you can remember way back in June I had just returned from my little holiday in North Wales, since then I have not really achieved much in the way of large quilting projects but I have been sewing small projects such as the textile book idea and some other embroidery plus lots of knitting.
Little H came for a sleepover and together we attended Thornbury Carnival H had never been to a carnival before but having learned it was a parade of people all dressed up she brought her Queen Elsa outfit to wear including a Tiara. We went into town on the bus as parking is very limited on these days and arriving early we found a good vantage point to watch the Cavalcade/Parade. There were lots of entries in the parade and several bands to keep us all clapping and before you knew it H was up dancing at the side of the street much to the delight of the surrounding spectators, after the parade all that dancing gave her an appetite so off we went to find some lunch.
DD arrived to pick H up the next day and there was to be a big surprise for her, as they left early to collect a new Kitten, DD has wanted a cat since losing her previous one too old age and she had decided to have this little cutie, names by H as Juno she is a Maine Coon/ Rag Doll cross and is very 'Floofy' to quote H!

I went on another History walk with a group from the Museum during which I discovered that there is a slave woman buried in St Mary's church yard, I found this fact to be very interesting as we have a slave (Eliza Elizabeth Snipe) buried here in our village church. I know this to be true having seen the grave many years ago.
Eliza's Grave stone with a lovely dedication to her
After some research during which I visited the grave, I was able to establish that Eliza E Snipe was a devoted servant to a local family for over 47 years having come back with them from Jamaica.
You can just see Eliza here in the centre of the picture.
An important quilt project was begun as I had decided to make Mum a quilt for her Birthday in September, I had the fabric all ready including backing and wadding and as it was to be a strippy Jelly Roll quilt it did not take me long to put it all together.

Lisa and I took the chance of a day out to visit Barrington Court in Somerset. 

we had a wonderful day out in glorious sunshine and to round it all off there is a Patchwork shop there too!
Of course being August we also visited the Festival of Quilts at the N.E.C.
The 4th September was the day of my Mum's 90th birthday, this was preceded by lots of secretive planning on my part, sending out invites to friends and family, organizing a cake and the like. Early that morning I went round and decorated the railings outside her window,

on my return I also decorated our garden with more bunting and balloons, before going back to collect her in time for Sunday lunch. Her biggest surprise was the arrival of my cousin all the way from Norfolk, a family member Mum has always been very fond of. Later there were more surprises as her guests arrived and despite overcast skies it was warm enough to sit in the garden where Mum 'held court' all afternoon with much ceremony being carried out with the cutting of the cake.

Thankfully she was delighted with her quilt BUT is refusing to use it as she 'doesn't want to spoil it'. BLESS HER!
This month was the deadline for return of the Chairman's Challenge at Severn Valley Quilters, the theme set was Black, White and one other colour, after much deliberation and lots of ideas gleaned from Pinterest I decided on an Origami Candle mat from a Blog entitled Fiery Pheonix. I already had some fabrics in suitable colours and this was my finished mat.

I attended an Amigurumi crochet lesson with Lisa at the Wool Stop and I have a crochet Beef burger 'under construction' as I speak. I also started some very secret Knitting for a project I had in mind.
I attended a workshop with SVQ to make a cushion cover entitled 'Set in Stone'. Heather and Sheila had previously attended a workshop with Lynne Edwards and she had very generously given them permission to teach this for a small group of us from SVQ. 

this was completed with machine Buttonhole stitching around all the shapes and straight stitching between the squares,  There was also a lot more 'secret knitting'.
Finally it was time for 'the big reveal' of all this secret knitting, which was a yarn bombing event. Back in October I came up with a crazy idea to Yarn Bomb my local shops, I followed all the rules by asking permission from all the shop owners (none of whom took the trouble to reply I hasten to add!) Taking this silence to mean they had no objections, I set out a 5a.m. on 2nd Dec with my 'tool kit'. It was all planned to coincide with our village Christmas Fair on 3rd Dec and this was the result of all that knitting and crochet. 
I  designed and made 40 of these little Christmas trees, 2 of each colour 'pot'. 

with 2 x 18 feet lengths of i cord to hang them here, on the handrails at each side of the steps

a 6 foot length of garter stitch to wrap round here

and a large piece of crochet using my recently learned Amigurumi skills for this.

Apparently photos made their way onto Facebook but as I do not 'do' FB I have no idea wether its true or not but going by the comments I overheard at the Fair it was very well recieved . RESULT!!
Finally of course there was Christmas which was a much quieter affair this year, as DD and family went to visit DSIL's parents in Shrewsbury, coming to visit us on the day of DH's birthday on 28th.

Well my dear readers that just about brings my life up to date, I do sincerely hope you are all still around to read about it and I will do my best not to be absent for so long in future.