Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Half way through November!



This year has gone by so fast, it doesn't seem that long since we were getting Vera Van ready for the summer but all to soon Sunday, just past, saw us saying goodbye to our bolt hole until March 13th next year. She's been our bolt hole, a recluse from all the hospital visits, treatments and a sanctuary from some of the heartache that's hit me this year. If we think of it in weeks it's only 17 weeks so not to long really before we go back.

We were hit by another curve ball earlier this month, Mr B hasn't felt well for a while, I thought it was probably everything catching up on him. He's been an absolute rock for me and I thought he was exhausted. He had a routine call to go to the cardiology clinic for his annual check up, one of his blood test and his urine sample caused some concern, His PSA level in his blood test was 5.3 which is very high and there was blood in his urine. An appointment with an oncologist who specialises in prostrate cancer was made for the next day.
They did a biopsy where they take 10 random biopsies and have booked him in to see another consultant regarding further tests for his bladder. Along with several other men that day we came home with him feeling rather unwell and uncomfortable. He had painkillers and strong antibiotics to take for 4 days to stave off any infections that sometimes occur after this type of biopsy. If he felt ill with flu like symptoms he was to go back immediately and they would treat him, thankfully it didn't come to that.
We had to wait just over a week for the results, we were relieved to hear his biopsies had come back clear but before we could rejoice she told him they can't rule cancer out because of his other symptoms and the biopsies aren't from every part of the prostrate. They are keeping an eye on him and he has to go back in February for a MRI which will tell them if it is cancer. Why he can't have one now and has to wait I don't for the life of me know, he's to have another blood test to see if his PSA is still high or higher.

The following week he had to go and have a blood pressure monitor fitted for 24hrs because his bp is very high, we get the results for that this Thursday. So Mr B is having a pretty rough time of it at the moment which upsets me because he's such a strong character usually, I can't do a lot physically but morally and loving wise I can give him the support he gave to me and keep praying all is well.

On the crochet front my progress on my Cottage Ripple blanket is coming on nicely. Once Heather at http://www.itssewthisnthat.co.uk/  (lovely friend) and I realised I had the wrong amount of chains we knew that was why it wasn't working out right! I started again, counted carefully and everything is coming out rosy. I'm a third of the way completed, I'm really enjoying myself with it. I thought at first that the colours weren't what I wanted but I stepped out of my pastel comfort zone and got on with it. The design makes the colours 'pop' and I'm glad I went with Lucy's colour scheme. I want to crochet her Cosy blanket too but will start that soon.

On the quilting front I've completed another 8 blocks for my quiltalong with Jera and others, I know they've caught up and passed me now. Jera is at the stage of binding I think, I haven't been able to work on more blocks until the other day with hospital, dr's and dental appointments. There is no pressure to finish at a particular date but I would have liked to be a little further on than I am. If you'd like to see what colours others have chosen please pop over to Jera's blog http://quiltingintherain.blogspot.co.uk 

Today I have been so grateful for modern technology, there was a lot of washing to do from Vera Van, bedding, pillows, duvets, cushion covers and cushions, curtains and clothes were keep down there that I wanted to refresh ready for next year. The weather hasn't been good it's been dark, wet, foggy days so far this week I am so appreciative for my washing machine and tumble dryer. I can remember having a twin tub when my children were small and washing took all day! It all needs ironing now and storing, where I'm going to put it I'm not sure but I think cases and large holdalls will come in very handy.

Take care and enjoy whatever crafts make you happy.

Hugs Peg xx

Monday, October 27, 2014

At last!


At last I have finally crocheted the rows correctly and my result is way much better. Here are the results, as you can see the top one, where I made my mistakes gives a gentler, less defined ripple. Thè bottom one has the points and I can see where I've increased and decreased, I was so relieved when it clicked into my brain and as Lucy said on her blog, once you 'get' it it's so relaxing and it is. I'm really enjoying working it now.

In fact I'm enjoying it so much I ordered the wool pack for the CAL, Cosy blanket, this isn't a ripple but if you pop on over to her blog you'll see why I gave in and ordered the pack, why not pop along and join in. Attic24.typepad.com it's a pleasure stopping by and reading her blog, she's having a weeks break from her blog and the internet. It's been a manic few weeks for her and it catches up with us all at times, also I imagine her children are on half term holiday so it will give her time with them.

I have no affiliation with Stylecraft or The Wool Warehouse and can give a honest opinion regarding Stylecraft Special Dk. It's a pleasure to work with, I've used many different brands over the years and recently have got irritated when the wool starts to come loose after the band has been removed. Stylecraft keeps its shape, comes off the 'ball' nicely and it shows in the finished garment/blanket. 

Wool Warehouse stock packs of this wool for  Lucy's blankets, I also found another online stockist where this particular wool is on sale, Cottage crafts.org.uk postage is free on orders £25 and over. I am so impressed with the wool I ordered 1 x 100gms ball of each colour, well, I didn't it was my fingers, I think it happened when I nodded off mid afternoon lol.
I'm taking breaks throughout the afternoon, donning my marigolds and immersing my hands in hot water to ease the stiffness. When I get home I'll have a hot wax treatment, that is so soothing.

We have until Wednesday here then we need to go home, I don't think we'll come back after the drs on Friday through until Sunday. I'm shattered the day after driving home, it's only 2.1/2hrs drive but it whacks me out. We probably won't come back until the following Thursday, the season ends about the15th November then we shut down until March.

We both really love coming, it only takes an hr at most to tidy the van and make the beds etc then we can just chill out without feeling guilty.

We have some big jobs that need doing at home, a new bathroon and shower for starters, Mr B put the last one in but I don't think he's up to doing it this time. His own health hasn't been great and he's having some more tests done when we get back this week. I think there'll be some moths flying from his bank account for this job. There's decorating needs doing also. 

Well back to my crochet or shall I do some knitting for a change, I think I'll read a few blogs before I do anything:)

Enjoy your afternoon and whatever craft makes you happy.

Hugs

Peg xx

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aaaaaagh

I think my brain has not been working properly, I've been working on my ripple blanket on and off throughout today. I'd got this far, 5 colours, 10 rows. Then I realised my decreases and increases weren't lining up correctly, arrrrgghh.
Yes it waves but not as it should, I read through Lucy's pattern again and checked her step by step instructions on her blog. I realised I had neglected to do 2 trebles into the last chain of each row!!! Totally my fault I read quickly and started, pride comes before a fall the saying goes and it certainly did here lol. The daft thing is I started another ripple blanket months ago in different colours and that's fine so I must have had my brain in gear when working on that one.
I'm going to start it again, the piece above will become a scarf, I'm not wasting it. 

It's been a good day to stitch, crochet or knit, the weather has been appalling, the rain has been horrendous. Being in the van it sounded worse and talking to each other was a no go, this was after one heavy down pour!

These two had no intensions of going anywhere in this weather, they'd been out earlier, had been fed and were chilling oblivious to all around them. Don't they match the rug well lol. 
Well I'm now going to restart my blanket, oh by the way I didn't put the right colour on the first colour change either, I used light blue and it should have been lavender! I didn't read the last page where Lucy has written the sequence of colours, yes I know I can see you all shaking your heads sadly thinking what a complete wally I am. An early new year resolution could be to read instruction properly;) 

Tomorrow's another day, probably as well. Enjoy your weekend doing whatever craft you enjoy.

Hugs

Peg xx




Thursday, October 23, 2014

What a blustery day!

Gosh it's been so blustery here today, we came down this morning for a week, I've come armed with knitting needles, crochet hooks and wool. I'm hoping to get some more little people made and get a good bit of  the crochet done on my ripple blanket.
I'm following Lucy's pattern from Attic24, I fell in love with hers, ordered the wool which came very quickly which pleased me loads because I could bring it with me. I've started it this evening inbetween eating, walking Livvy and showering.
I was so pleased with my parcel, the wool and pattern came in a lovely gorse bag tied with a ribbon. The colours are gorgeous.
My progress so far, this is actually a very light blue.

It's been a very woolly week, I took all my wool home from here last week and have been sorting it all out into groups. I found a lot of large 500gm balls so I sent a lot of time turning this 
Into these
A lot more manageable.
At the beginning of the week I started working on my QAYG blocks I'm quilting along with several others, we're making a quilt by Jera Brandvig of quilting in the rain blog. We're following her pattern from her new book, 'Quilt as you go made modern'. These are 3 of my first 5 blocks, I'm using Tilda fabric, the process is very addictive and I'm really enjoying working on them as and when I can.
Well I'm going to get back to my ripple blanket, take care lovely people and enjoy your crafting.

Hugs

Peg x




Friday, October 10, 2014

Gosh I think winter is here never mind autumn

I love autumn, the colours of the trees as they prepare to shed their leaves are beautiful. We've come to the van for a few days and it's cold outside but snug and warm inside. We've had mixed weather at home in Derbyshire, gales, thunder storms, a small tornado, I don't know if any damage was done it wasn't in our part of the county.
My daughter is in Cuba until next Wednesday and the heat there was at 42 degrees today. They fly back sometime Wednesday but don't arrive back in Manchester until 6.30am on Thursday, I have her 2 little Lhasa girls staying with us, I can't wait to see their reaction when they see her again. They're no trouble, Cassie is an oldie like Livvy and also sleeps most of the time like Livvy. Tilly is only 31/2 so full of mischief but she's been fine, she, like Nemo will run off with my wool if she gets the chance.

When I was sorting some of my sewing goodies out I came across some Jean Greenhowe knitting booklets on my book shelves. They have some really cute little ones in there, I knit Little Bo Peep a couple of yrs ago, I got out my needles and picked out some wool from my small wool stash ( yeah it's very small LOL) it's stored in lovely boxes under my bed. It stops my dogs going under the bed and people don't really know how much there is :) I decided to make Grandma & Granddad first,

These are there parts pre stuffing, I have knit Granddads hat but I left it at home ! I love them they're so cute.


My hands are very stiff after knitting a while but I'm donning the marigolds and immersing my hands in hot water to ease the stiffness and pain.
I'm sticking to my resolve and have started listing stitching goodies on ebay, I've started with my Sampler & Antique Needlework magazines and scanned in 33 pieces of hand dyed fabric that I know I'm never going to use in my lifetime. I still have more, I've got to list them yet though, there's still more of it, I'm listing charts and kits when we get back home. I'm going to keep the linen I'm hoping my fingers will allow me to hold a small needle so I can cross stitch some more samplers again, I would love to hand quilt a quilt but know I won't be able to.

I buy books for my kindle fire from Amazon and recently found a new author, new to me, her name is De-Anne Black. Her books are based in Scotland and I'm thoroughly enjoying them, they aren't expensive, can be bought in paper back. She is a crafter too so includes delightful patterns in the back of her books. At present I'm reading The Vintage Tea Dress shop in summer, I love them.


Well it's 2.40am and I need to sleep so I'm off to bed, have a great weekend and have fun with whatever craft you enjoy.

Peg xx

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hello lovely ladies



Thank you for popping in, it's been almost a month since my last post although I have been reading others blogs. My gosh you've been really busy creating beautiful crochet, knitting, quilting and sewing. I've had good days and bad days which have enforced resting, but on the good days I managed to piece another quilt top. I have made a promise to myself not to piece another one until at least 2 of the 14 tops I have made have been sandwiched, FMQ'd and the binding put on.

I've crocheted more sq's for 3 blankets and whilst sorting out my books I found my Jean Greenhowe pattern books so am knitting a few 'little people' again, I can only do it in short bursts because of my hands hurting. Mr B has re sealed and insulated my ex grooming room and painted the inside and a large shelving unit. My eldest son made me 4 table risers for my cutting table, now it's at the perfect height for me. Fabric has been moved on to the shelves and into drawers, it isn't large but is fine for my purpose. I still have a lot of fabric in my cupboards upstairs and it will have to stay there but I have cleared up some space.
I also answered a request on our local freecycle for fabric required for a community project, the 4 bin liner bags created quite a bit of space lol. I'll post some pictures when it's up and running.

The other summer house which is to become a sewing room will be started probably next week, we're back here at the van the last week in October so hopefully it will be finished before then. Last year I bought a Little Gracie quilting frame from a lovely lady who had only used it twice. Unfortunately due to a death in the family she had to turn her sewing room back into a bedroom. It was collection only but as it was in Wales and I was undergoing treatment she kindly agreed to package it all up for me and a courier collected it for me. I was really looking forward to learning to use it, I could purchase extention bars for larger quilts. Also one of my machines would fit perfectly so I wouldn't need to buy another especially to use on it.
Now unfortunately I don't have the space to set it up and use it, the only option now would be in our garage, we don't use it for our car. However it would mean more work and money would need to be spent to line the walls and new flooring put in. We need a new bathroom and that's more important right now. So this is how the frame looks right now, still in all its packaging and with great reluctance I've made the decision to sell her, I was hoping one of the summerhouses would be big enough but it won't give me room to work.
I saw my oncologist on Tuesday, things have settled down a little so I am not due anymore treatment. I have to carry on with the Lymphoedema daily massages to divert the fluid to the lymphnodes on the other side of my body for drainage to stop the breast filling with fluid again, I can do this myself. I will be called for a mammogram probably in December, I need to keep a supply of antibiotics with me in case of any risk of infection from cuts, scratches etc. one good thing was a short time ago I had a tooth abscess but thankfully my body didn't react with a serious kick off, their words. Maintenance is common sense, wear gloves when washing pots, gardening etc and being careful around animals for bites and scratches, getting medical treatment asap if I am and keeping the area from sun exposure. Eating sensibly, getting proper rest, etc, etc. 
Unless there's a problem I don't have to see her again for 6 mths, like every other cancer patient I asked when I could be pronounced cancer free and what risk is there of it coming back again. It will take a few yrs yet for them to be able to say I'm clear and my chances of a reaccurance are above moderate which hit a bit hard.  I'm trying to not dwell on it and am keeping my mind occupied. I need to take the Letrazol for the foreseeable to help, one of the side effects is making life uncomfortable. It worsens the pain and stiffness I already have in my joints, some days it's hard to get going and it causes hot flushing! It could be a lot worse though.

Have a great weekend with whatever craft makes you happy.

Hugs

Peg xx


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Another month gone by.


Gosh the year is going by so quickly, I don't know if its the pace of the world today or if it's me getting older :). Now is my favourite time of year, Autumn, I love the colours of the trees, I love sitting crocheting with a crochet blanket or lap quilt across my knees. In fact I just love Autumn, the nights are drawing in so quickly.

It still seems very strange only having only two dogs, I miss each and every one of them, they brought a lot of love and happiness into our lives. It is easier with two and it's very quiet, Livvy bless her has very little sight now but is fine otherwise, it's amazing how they adjust. Just as with a blind person in the family we don't move furniture around so she knows where everything is. When we're out walking on causeways (sidewalks) we have to make sure she's on the inside because she will fall off the edge. 

She's still a happy, smiley Shiddie girl, she reminds me of a teddy bear, she sleeps like one too, she certainly loves her bed. Nemo is more active but is sending himself dotty trying to catch flies! He loves to be outside chasing them and he doesn't like the birds landing either lol. He has taken over Megan's mantle of telling me when it's time for their dinner!

I still have my little girls ashes, they're in a box with her lead, collar, discs and her Diva t shirts she wore in the winter. I'm not in any hurry to scatter them, I still miss her so much, I know time will heal eventually.

We went away for three weeks during August, I took a lot of fabric with me and my Accuquilt Go and over that period cut out 8 quilts, I managed to piece 2 of them the photos are below. They are both designed by Pam & Nikki Lintott, they're from one of their books, There wasn't a border on the hidden stars one so I add one. I love both designs and am looking forward to piecing the others together.


Now I only have my two fur babies I sold all my grooming equipment, I can keep them brushed but I have to take them to the groomer for cutting etc, I can't do it now. All my equipment went to a friend who has her own grooming salon so I know it will be used.
No grooming means there is a summerhouse with nothing in so I came up with the idea of redecorating and storing my fabric in there. Mr B has been brilliant, giving it a good clean, sealing all joints again on the outside and insulating the inside for me. He's covered the insulation with hardboard and spent today painting it and my large shelf unit. He's done a really good job, we're leaving it to dry completely and will move my fabric in this weekend. It isn't a massive place but I can also get my cutting table in there this will give us more room upstairs. The other summerhouse further down the garden is rarely used with us being away so much so he's going to refresh that one too and move my seeing desk in that Paul my eldest made for me, that SH isn't big either but will make a cosy little sewing room. We have to route an electric supply to them both, I'll post pics when they're finished. I have a fabric in my stash which will make the perfect curtains, the cost was very little, the hospice charity shop have really good, clean bargains in and if I remember right it cost me about £3 for almost 6mtrs of fabric. I called in two wks ago and came home with over 20mtrs of 3 different fabrics for less that £8.

It's going to be quite enlightening when we move my fabric, it isn't all in the cupboards, its in, lidded tubs, my wardrobe, boxes and storage drawers. It will give me a chance to sort out and perhaps pass on some I'll not be using.

Well its time for eating again, Mr B is hinting he's hungry so I'll say bye for now.

Take care and enjoy whatever craft you're working on.

Hugs

Peg xx
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