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

Saturday, 31 May 2014

I'm trying NOT to get EXCITED!

Many moons ago, way back before Christmas, while DH was bemoaning the state of the workroom I jokingly suggested building a new larger workroom on top of  the garage, I was dumbfounded when he said that was not a bad idea, but wouldn't do anything till after the festivities. I thought that would be the end of the matter, but hey! till about 6 weeks ago when he said we should get an architect to take a look (I wanted to run round the house whooping with joy) but agreed sedately & quietly that was a good idea. The architect said YES it's possible (whoop whoop!!) DH said he would think about it :-) Then joy of joys he (the architect) was invited back to take measurements, and has now gone off to 'do the drawings'. And sooo I wait (patiently of course!!) and we have been slowly preparing - i.e. emptying the garage & garage loft of all DH's 'stuff'. We now need a new shed to keep all the things he is not willing to let go of yet (boys and their toys eh!).
Other things that have happened are the cutting down and digging out 2 huge enormous conifer trees and getting rid of the greenhouse to make room for said shed, here are some pictures to give you an idea.
Previous view - the garden from the house, (conifers are centre right with the greenhouse behind them)

Trees gone!
Greenhouse gone
we are informed the plans will take 3 months and a Local Authority planning application takes 8 weeks and so I wait, and I sew, and I knit and I make copious plans of what will go where. Will keep you posted.
Today I went to a workshop with some of the girls from Severn Valley Quilters, our tutor for the day was Kate Percival who taught us how to make her 'Kimono' Cushion, first seen at Lady Sew and Sew at Henley on Thames, when I visited there with Westbury Park Quilters (see post 15th November 2013) What a fun day it was, she was a kind patient tutor who kept us busy sewing for most of the day, nothing was to much trouble for her and even when I 'threw my teddy out of the pram' because my piece would not go right, she was cool and calm. So this is what I came home with
the 'Kimono' - lots of folding and pressing!
the cushion front

I need to add a couple more borders and 2 strip sets to make the 'roof' of the panel then work the quilting  and add a back, before hand sewing the kimono in the centre, (see image 25 in Kate's Gallery on the link above).
On the knitting front I have made one of the Week 2 squares from the Rowan Mystery Knit along (see previous post) this time I'm using a soft grey and bright red yarns (from my stash this time!). The square is called Nordic Star and looks like this.
Also completed is all the red work stitching on the Love Hearts piece (also in previous post) which now looks like this,
I plan to add a narrow border (it's got to finish at A4 size) then decide if it needs any more quilting before binding it and sending it off with the previously made Needle-books.
G'bye for now

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

I'm wondering....

...if this should be a knitting blog! 'cos the last post was heavy on the knitting front and I have been thinking that's mostly what I seem to do these days, what with knitting being another passion in my life. So these are some items I finished recently and I thought I would show you before they go off to the preemie unit at the local hospital. Are you ready to say awww!!!
Beanie Hats
Incubator Vests small fits 10" chest, larger one 12"
Matinee Coat & Hat
Cardigan & Hat
But then today I had the sudden urge to do some hand sewing, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to do patchwork, embroidery or some hand quilting and started to look for inspiration. I decided I would make something else for the Love Hearts Tombola at the at the NEC in August as I've only made a couple of needle books so far
I looked on their website and found this design for an applique wall-hanging by Jane Spolar of Quilt Poetry but featured under patterns from Janome whom it would seem use her designs.
Not wanting to do intricate applique I decided not to enlarge it but to use it for a red-work pattern, then thought if I added some wadding and used red thread to quilt it, it may look quite effective. This is what came from that thought process, the fabric is a piece of good quality shirting
it's actually  a bit darker than this more like shade No 47 in the Anchor range.
the thread is a large reel of shiny thread bought somewhere in a bag of random bits so I have no idea what it is.
 Have to go for now be back  real soon...
 Back again!!
...Today after the usual chores of cooking lunch etc, I sat in the conservatory (despite the rain thundering on the roof!!) and did some more stitching to the Red work/quilting project, I found the above mentioned thread too heavy for the finer areas (flowers & ribbons) so I used Anchor No 47 which was a good match and this is as far as I've got today..

Bye for now

Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Fabulous Day was had by all!

Well what a lovely time we all had yesterday on the occasion of DD's Wedding, despite the weather (which was grey & wet.) We managed to get into the Registry Office, out after the ceremony and home without getting more than just damp and the only difference the weather made to the whole Glorious proceedings was that we had to spend the day inside! The room where the marriage ceremony was held was 'small but perfectly formed' with the Bride and Groom positioned throughout the whole ceremony in such a way that everyone could see all that was happening! The celebrant did ask that there be only one photographer during the proceedings and that 'duty' fell to I's Mum who has the better camera, she also took most of the pictures for the rest of the day so in due course when I get some copies I will be able to share them with you, in the meantime these are the ones I managed to get. I apologize for the quality of the 1st one, I am now certain that I either need a new camera or I have to learn to use the one I have properly (and wear my specs when operating it!) so here goes...
Bride, Groom & Little H tasting her first 'Champagne' (Elderflower cordial)
Cutting the Cake
The cakes. All heart shaped, graduating shades of lemon from top with lace ribbon and silk flowers
Bunting and floaty balloons all around the kitchen
and all along the hallway (Groom's Mum in foreground
It was altogether a really lovely day and went exactly as they had planned which was a very personal ceremony with just the close families followed by a family party at their home afterwards. They made their own wedding cakes and did all the catering... perfect :-)))
I've been to Clock Tower Quilters today and made 2 more more squares for Little H's Wall hanging, these are what I've made so far, there is of course still the embroidery to do to bring definition to the pictures.

Then when looking at my paper work 'plan' to start the next block I realized that I had managed to somehow get 2 squares with the same background colour next to each other, sooo after a huge discussion about how I could change things around to make it right, finally, (thank you to my wonderful quilty friends) we came up with this arrangement, the space in the centre will be filled with a panel of the sashing fabric onto which I will put her name I will use the same alphabet but make them slightly larger.

On the Knitting front I have joined the Mystery Afghan Knit-along which is proving to be great fun. I discovered it when I was looking in on Radka's Blog by which time the project was already at Week 3 but I decided to go for it. I am not using the specified yarn, instead I'm having great fun choosing colours from my stash, but also using it as an excuse to buy some more yarn.... soooo! while visiting my local bargain store earlier this week I just had to have some of this,WELL! it was only £3.29 a pack - trouble was I had to buy 4 balls to get the one I need for the project. Shhhhh!!!! please don't tell I'm supposed to be reducing my stash of yarn not increasing it,
These are the colours I bought - see what I mean who could resist??
Week One - 3 of each colour completed (the mid blue and pink is from the stash so I did start with good intentions!!)
Week Three (I got the sheets mixed up!) - 2 completed in this colour
I guess I will have to keep knitting in my sleep to catch up but hey! that's half the fun.
Lastly but by no means least DD had her appointment with the consultant on Thursday re her recent diagnosis and things are not quite as bad as we first feared, her brain is not too badly affected and they think the physical problems could be controlled by self administered drug therapy, she will need to learn to inject herself weekly, following which there may be a couple of days when the drug will make her feel a bit unwell, but apart from that she should be able to lead a 'normal life'. This good news came the day before the wedding and soo helped us enjoy their day more than we all thought.
Well that's all for this time folks so I'll see you all again soon.
Lorraine x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Well I'm finally back here!

And what a time we have had since I last talked to you all, since then our world has been turned upside down. Let me start at the beginning, in the last week of March DD complained that she'd had pins and needles in her right hand for a couple of weeks, she said DSIL thought she had a trapped nerve and I suspected Carpel Tunnel syndrome not serious I advised 'but if it worsens you can have a small operation to correct it'.
The numbness started to spread rapidly but after 4 visits to Doctors over the next 2 weeks all they came up with was she either had a trapped nerve or a viral infection of her nervous system and it 'could get worse before it gets better, but they would refer her for an MRI scan. Then on 7th April I get a call at 7am to ask if I can go and stay a day or two, on my arrival she explained that she had now lost ALL feeling on her right side (from her neck to her toes), was in a lot of pain and had to stop driving. After yet another Dr's appointment that day, he still said the same thing, 'that until she had a scan they would not know what was causing it, but as she could walk and her speech was not affected it was not considered urgent'.
When her partner came home he was rightly furious that nothing was being done, by now DD could no longer lift little H or carry out even simple tasks (she is right handed)  The following day she again rang the surgery, and got yet another appointment this time DSIL went along too! This time the (different) Dr made some enquiries at the hospital, it turned out DD had not been put on the list at the hospital for a scan as even tho the Health Centre had faxed a referral (and had proof that it was sent!) for an MRI, but the hospital had no record of receiving it!!!! 
So they were sent straight to A&E with a letter, she called me later to say they had admitted her in the hope they could get her into the scanner ASAP. The next day following an MRI scan and a Lumbar Puncture the results came back with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, it now seems that when she suffered a long bout of Labrynthitis last July (see post 7th July) and a serious eye problem earlier this year, that both of these were caused by the MS. As you can appreciate this has been a blow to us all, she was discharged from hospital on 10th after a large dose of steroids via a drip, and had 2 more over the next 2 days including 1 on her birthday! Since then we have been trying to come to terms with all of this news they will be ableto tell us more after the final test results on 19th this of month (just 3 days before their wedding)
On a much brighter note the plans for their wedding are going along nicely and it is good to have something to focus on other than her health. It is to be a very low key wedding in her words, she 'just wants to go and get married then come home for a small party/barbeque in the garden (weather permitting) tho there have been some requests so last weekend found me making 40 mts of bunting for their Garden!! Nothing fancy just lots (and LOTS) of scraps and some Ric Rac braid and a marathon on the machine.
3 mts for the pergola

some with Chickens (for Hannah)
some with Cows for DD
and some various plaids (DSIL has a Scottish heritage)

As you can see I did have great fun finding fabrics, some I'd had for years, some polycotton, and some for fun! I simply made a template and then cut it all out with pinking Shears.
We did have a lovely Easter the weather was glorious and we spent Monday afternoon at DD's for Tea and Cakes, little H does not have a lots of chocolate stuff so no eggs were to be bought, (tho I believe the other Grandparents didn't resist buying some!) we asked DD if there was anything H would like - turns out she would like to be a fairy so 'she can do magic!!', so a fairy outfit it was!! here she is 'doing magic' and holding her newest 'baby', a knitted Ballerina Doll (sent by our neighbour. 

I hope to take lots of pictures at the wedding so if I don't see you all before then have a good time whatever you are up to.