Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last finishes of the year

I have managed to scrape in two final finishes for the year. Firstly yesterday I finished these socks:


I was introduced to this wool-Regia Moasaic in Istanbul by a friend who when seeing how keen I was on it got me a couple of balls for my birthday. I am really pleased with how this came out and wore them today when I went shopping. My feet really thanked me for it as it is very cold out there at the moment.

Then tonight I belatedly finished this:


In the end I didn't get it finished for Christmas as there was so much backstitching and in honesty I wasn't sure about all the fur tufts around the edge, but now I really like the effect. I also know it's the wrong way around but have absolutely no idea how to fix this as it is fine in the save and then twists itself round. I even tried saving it twisted and then it saved that fine-it seems to be happening with some of my square pictures-anyone know why?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I got my Christmas double flip it's home today:

I am so pleased with how this came out and the framer did a wonderful job at getting the charms pretty much in line, which was one of my main worries.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Change of plan

Today has been different to expected as origionally we were going to a Medieval Christmas event a fair way from home, but for several reasons we decided to give it a miss. What it has enabled though is for me to finish my Christmas shopping and do some study today which is much needed, because the next few weeks are getting busier with alot to cram in.
Whilst in town I took the Christmas flip its in to be framed because I decided making a bell pull to an amateur like me would be too much hassle. Also as I am getting virtually no interest on my savings due to the financial conditions I decided to splash out and get it done. It turned out to be cheaper than I imagined it would be but I did go for something simple as it seems to fit the design better. I chose a very simple wood frame which picked up the brown thread and just hope now the charms don't get all twisted round. The framer said he would do his best to keep them straight but if anyone has any tips for sewing them on where they stay put feel free to pass those on.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas double flip its

Is finished:

I was thinking of framing this but as it will be expensive for a festive piece I am hunting for some suitable bell pull ends.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Just a quick update to say clinic last week went suprisingly well and my consultant was extremely pleased with me. He couldn't tell me why I felt yucky as there was no obvious reason for it, so I think it may have been a phase or a leftover from the cold I had. All seems to be picking up a bit now and my appetite is returning a bit-it is never good as anyone reading this who has fed me will know, but it is better than it was.
I have had a lovely weekend as I attended my nephew Benjamin's second birthday party on Saturday. The party was for his immediate family and it was really nice and chilled out-well as chilled as you can get with two young boys on the go. Then on Sunday my friend was up for the weekend from Cornwall and it was lovely to catch up with her and her family.
All this has made me feel much more positive although I have a way to go yet as there are a few health niggles which are ongoing and although not serious they may need some attention in the future. I also don't particularly like writing down all the particulars of my life and that last post was rare for me but I just needed to get it off my chest. What does amaze me is the array of health blogs out there where people will literally write every detail on them and not really consider what they are putting. I know some are private for them and that is ok-but then is it private if anyone can read it? Some are raising awareness about certain illnesses which although the motive is good I have reservations about putting everything that happens to them down on a blog. I guess it isn't exploitative if they readily agree to it, but I am generally a very private person where my health is concerned and share aspects of it only if it feels right. I suppose I have wondered lately if the way I approach the issue is wrong as I don't want it all out there on the web, which is my choice I know. However it seems almost the norm now to lay it all open, but maybe it is because I belong to a few web forums where it started and it's become a fad and it isn't the norm as such.
But to end this post I am going to talk about the worse thing that happened to me this last week. There was a big sale on at Silkweavers for classic linens and I love their hand dyed stuff but I obviously haven't quite got to grips with their new ordering system as I managed to order four pieces in 18ct Cork Linen which I can't see myself using. I am only glad the big piece I ordered I did manage to get right but if anyone thinks they can use the linen leave me a message and we can talk. They are all fairly neutral colours and are the smallest size they have on the site.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I wasn't sure how to title this post so a simple word will have to do for now. I know it takes me a while to catch on but just lately I have started to become a bit confused about the direction my life is taking. I think it is because I am at an age where many of my friends are moving on with their lives by settling down and having children and I am starting to realise how restricted certain areas of my life are. It is weird as I don't feel I have lived enough to settle yet so in that sense I am happy, but I am not sure I am ever going to get the chance to really live whilst I depend on dialysis to keep me alive. And that is the rub-it keeps you alive but it is also a terrible tie in and of itself, not to mention some of the side effects I seem to now have. I am much more nauseous and tired than I have previously been and yet my results are very good so we are not sure why that is the case. But it puts me off my food-which I eat because I have to rather than because its enjoyable otherwise it would lead to more problems for me. Anyway the answer is a transplant and although it is now no longer out of the question and I am on the waiting list, the years not on it have left a lasting legacy. My chances of a match have decreased since the surgeon wrongly said no and I have a remote chance of getting a new kidney and even if I do the worst dialysis complication of low BP I have got gives it a lower chance of success. To stand a chance I would need extra care in ICU and all that goes with it, so the thought of a transplant is at the same time a blessing and a curse. And yet it is the only thing that can help my quality of life so it is a double edged sword and in many ways not to be taken lightly.
In the past I always got on with things but for some reason time seems to be slipping away and I all I can do is carry on and try and get the most out of life as I can. So although the OU keeps me busy and I am loving the new course I am going to actively try and do stuff that might improve my mood and feelings of frustration at what I can't do and embrace those I can. I want to try and think about going on holiday but I have been told it may not be that easy as my BP is scarily low for those who don't know it is normal for me and even if another unit agree to take me it may not be a good idea if they get freaked out by it. I also have clinic this week after my last appointment was cancelled and there is alot to get through as apart from the above I have been picking up infections and need a jolly good sort out I think.
I feel a bit selfish for thinking all this as I know I am so much better than many other patients but I am also alot younger so I think that makes a small difference. We have also lost 8 patients at the unit in as many weeks and 2 of them I had known for awhile and in particular one of them was especially upsetting. But one of the things I am finding hard is not having many contemporaries to speak too as most patients my age have had transplants and it changes the dynamics of the relationship and it is also very suprising how quickly they forget what dialysis is like and can't relate to the situation in the same way. When I think of things like this I wonder if things would have changed in my friendship with Sara if she had lived and got her transplant. But somehow I am not sure it would as we clicked on so many levels and many away from our shared illness, but I could be wrong and living with rose tinted spectacels which is all to easy to do. So I leave you with some lyrics that remind me of her:

"There You'll Be"

When I think back
On these times
And the dreams
We left behind
I'll be glad 'cause
I was blessed to get
To have you in my life
When I look back
On these days
I'll look and see your face
You were right there for me

In my dreams
I'll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
And everywhere I am
There you'll be

Well you showed me
How it feels
To feel the sky
Within my reach
And I always
Will remember all
The strength you
Gave to me
Your love made me
Make it through
Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me

[Repeat chorus]

'Cause I always saw in you
My light, my strength
And I want to thank you
Now for all the ways
You were right there for me
You were right there for me
For always

In my dreams
I'll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
There you'll be

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mammoth finish

After a very long time in the stitching I have finished Chatelaine's MVI:

The only change I made was to the center as although I bought the embellishment pack, the leaf I received didn't look right and I also wasn't keen on the monogrammed center. By looking what others have done I got inspiration and managed to come up with something I liked using beads from the kit and embellishment pack.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gilded dragonfly

This is now finished and I am pretty pleased with how it has turned out. I had thought it was complete yesterday until on sorting out the kit remnants I found the little dragonfly charm used on the fob lol. Although it isn't completely perfect and I suspect it may need some running repairs on occasion it resembles what it is supposed to and works so that is all fine by me:

In other news it has been a bit of a stressful week as I have been trying to sort out acceptance on my OU course. The deadline has been drawing ever nearer and no progress was being made, but I think I am now on the course after phoning up yesterday for advice. I still have a few days if this isn't the case but I really don't like coming in late like this. However it seems I am not at much disadvantage as I am doing the pre-reading and the course books are delayed so I may well end up receiving them the same time as everyone else, but it's the principle I object too.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gilded Dragonfly progress

I have finished Just Nan's limited edition Gilded Dragonfly scissor purse today. I still have the fob to make up and, although I know it is far from perfect I am pretty pleased with how it is turning out. I am not an expert in making things up by any stretch of the imagination and me and sewing machines do not get on so it is all done by hand:

The back below has a change as I ommitted the wool rose from the pattern and instead used the Baroque butterfly bead by Just Nan in the space-something which fits almost perfectly:

Finally the inside:

Once this is finished I have the beading on MVI to finish off and then that will be complete too. At that point it is likely my rotation will have a bit of an overhaul as I want to cut down the number of pieces I am working on at one time. I also have a few committments so will be concentrting on those at least until the end of the year. Nothing has been decided as yet as I am waiting to start my OU course in just under 3 weeks when I can assess how much stitching time I am going to get. I can't believe the holidays are nearly over and not sure where the time has gone.

One of the highlights of my holiday was a mini get together here in Weston, when Scully came to visit and we also met up with a few others whilst she was here and we all had a fantastic time. That was last week which was swiftly followed by a visit from my family who were staying in a caravan slightly down the coast so we got to spend good quality time with them all. We had a lovely meal out and also babysat my nephews for a few hours so their parents could have a break out for lunch and a wander round the local town.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I passed

I found out on Monday I passed my OU course but as predicted I did drop a grade but on reflection I am not sure if I would have got the next grade up anyway. This is because all my answers ended up being in the same grade band, but as we are not told the actual grade achieved for each section I am not sure if I did better in the disastrous section or not as well as I thought in the others. For the first time this year we also got feedback on our work which I found singularly unhelpful and quite frankly a bit soul destroying. The comments were difficult to put into any real context as they were a choice of five definitions for certain elements we were required to achieve, but without knowing what actual marks we received they were a bit meaningless. What was interesting on the forums for the course were the number of people complaining about this and when two students comapred the comments they got they were wildly different and yet they received the same mark. One was like mine where the comments seemed to suggest a much lower mark, and the other was told he was predominantly good and even excellent and yet they were only 5% above me and in the same mid grade band. Go figure!!
So now I am not thinking too much about those comments and just being happy that I passed and safe in the knowledge that it's taught me loads for the next course and I had a great year of study too.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sweet treats finished

I finished this today:

I have really enjoyed stitching this as I love these designs and the combination of threads that are used in them. I used all the recommended fabric and threads and am thrilled with the outcome.
In other news I am on my holiday from my course and results are due in next week sometime. I am feeling a bit nervous as the exam didn't go quite as well as I hoped as I got a mental block which threw totally threw me. I think I will probably drop at least one grade now but these things can never be predicted so I hope that maybe, just maybe I could possibly have done enough on the rest of the paper. I am also being hopeful and changed my degree to pure literature, but I did waver for a bit as the section which threw me off in the exam involves the same area of my next course. But in the end I figured that it wasn't that I didn't understand it or hadn't done the work for the exam it was one of those unfortunate things. In the cold light of day I knew what I could have added and have learnt from it so onwards and upwards.
This week has been a bit of a sad one for the town I live in as our pier was gutted by a fire on Monday morning. We saw the smoke on the way to dialysis and at that point we weren't quite sure where it was coming from, but one of my fellow patients who lives nearby told us what was happening when he arrived. It didn't sound that good and then it hit the news and we all sat watching the updates as the situation got worse and worse. Here is a link to a you tube video which shows you all you need to know about this story. I would like to post the video here but for the moment don't know how so if anyone can tell me let me know. It also seems that the link won't work at the moment either but if you search for Weston pier it is the video that titled before and after.
This weekend I am off to Cornwall to visit a very good friend and I am really looking forward to the break away. I am not sure what the weather will be like but it usually doesn't matter when we get together. One of our great memories actually involved this pier as we went there a few years ago just to behave like big kids. I don't think either of us will forget the laughs we had when a group of old folks went on the dodgems and drove hell for leather. One mans flat cap came flying off and he just manouvered his dodgem round and rescued it as he neatly swept passed it with his car. Although we were laughing we were secretly impressed with that move and a bit later when we were by the shooting range he reared up behind us cap firmly on his head to see what was going on which started us off all over again.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Row of cats

I finished this a few minutes ago and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I think I will get the matching dog one at some point and then get them framed the same:

Sunday, May 04, 2008


I thought I would post a recent picture of her which shows her very unusual clouring:

So as Mack doesn't feel left out I have included this picture which is genuine of us together:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beekeepers cottage

I finished this Shepherd's Bush design today:

I really love this design but for some reason I kept making lots of mistakes. Some of them were down to me and I either left them or started over, but some came from either the instructions or my interpretation of them being wrong. But I am very pleased with the finish either way and despite the problems it was a very enjoyable stitch.
I think I am going to start the row of cats by Bothy Threads next as my focus piece but that is still subject to change. I am finding this rotation is working very well around my study so I am certainly sticking to it. The function of smaller pieces as a focus allows me some finishing gratification and a good way to get my stash down, but I am trying to plan them carefully. The only obligation I have is my nephews birth sampler which I am going to get soon and hopefully it shouldn't take too long to stitch then I can decide what to stitch from there.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Meaow block flippit

I am stitching small focus pieces in between my rotation pieces and finished this one today:

I am thinking of doing the dog version and making them into a biscornu, but thats for later as I think I am going to stitch a Shepherds Bush design next.
In other news I will have to add a birth sampler somewhere soon as I became an Auntie a week ago to a little boy called Oliver. We went to see him last Saturday just before they all went home and he is gorgeous and very like his older brother Benjamin.
Life is still busy but starting to calm down a little now and even the studying will be better now as I have less hospital appointments so won't have to cram it in so much at the moment. I have been chuffed to bits with the last couple of results I have had and if I keep it up including into the exam I will hit the next grade up. However I am not expecting anything as yet as there is still a way to go, but I am enjoying the course and getting alot out of it which is the main thing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winter Sampler

I finished this on Friday and it was a really fun stitch. The picture on the front does it no justice and I am seriously tempted to get the rest, but for now I need to get my stash down:

Life is very busy at the moment with OU deadlines and health related stuff on the horizon too. But the good news is I was discharged from the psychologist this month which is a massive step for me. When I think what I was like at the start of blogging and how it got worse for awhile, I never imagined feeling like this so I have so many good emotions at making it this far.
I also attended the gtg at Joys and had a fab time and compared with many I was quite restrained in the stash I bought. I got a few pieces of hand dyed linen and a couple of balls of wool but overall it was lovely to see everyone and catch up again.
Finally Mack and Mabel are doing well and growing fast and although they can still be mischievous they have calmed down an awful lot. What is particularly nice about them is they spent their early days around alot of people and are very social and people oriented and come to greet us if we have been out. Here is a picture that was taken just a couple of days ago, it is rare for them to be together like this, because even though they are close they don't often cuddle up like this:

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Merry Christmas

No I am not going mad and posting this two weeks late, as it is the title of my first finish of the year:

Obviously I should have finished it in time for Christmas last year but with busy schedules and hectic kittens it wasn't happening so as someone told me it is now just really early for this year.