Saturday, 29 December 2018

So That Was Christmas

And it's all gone for another year.  We had a lovely time with the family.  The Grands are really getting into the spirit of it all now and it's good to see them enjoying it all. 

On Christmas Eve we walked to the church for the Children's Service. All the readings were done by local children and at the crib scene they asked for all the children to come up to sing Away in a Manger.  I was so proud that little Olivia went straight up there and joined in, even in wellies and a unicorn hat! 

The gifts I have been making have now all been given.  There were crochet fingerless gloves. 

And matching cowl. 
I've made quiet a few of these in lots of different colour ways but they were snaffled as last minute pressies before I could take photos!

I also made 70, yes seven zero, in fleece in the couple of weeks before Christmas!! It was a last minute thought, like you do, and they were sold for the GSP Rescue UK charity.  

I only have 12 left so not bad going!  My little Elves, John and Joe, did amazing jobs getting them out there. Mind you I don't want to seal another envelope again for a while. I will have to stock up a few ready for Crufts in March.

There was also glass gifts from the Linda Rowe days. I must use up some of my own glass and fire up the kiln! 

A wave for surfer son Chris

And mountains for ultra runners Elsa and Mike

And some Robins, trees and baubles for each of us.

I think my favorite thing was the driftwood harbour I made at a Michelle Clements-Davies workshop. 
I adored making it and have gathered a fair bit more suitable wood and materials so will probably put a few more together. 

After all the makes for others I finished off the Helen Shrimpton Mandala Madness.  

I stopped a little short of the complete pattern but it was an unfussy row with no frills etc. and as it's 58 inches across more than enough for a lap throw. 

Having eaten too much and exercised too little we are now on a damage limitation diet! I'm going to try my best to not be ill in 2019, though who knows what can be thrown at you after this past year! John currently is suffering with chesty cough, having managed to overcome his sciatica and phlebitis, so he's also hoping to leave that in this year too! 

My word(s) for the coming year is Use It Up as I have already been incorporating that into as much as possible as I can even with a # in Instagram now and then. 

From this House household to yours, have a wonderful, peaceful, healthy and creative 2019 and thank you for reading. X

Monday, 10 December 2018

Seasons Greetings!

Yes, it's that time of year already!  I have been busy, honest. Just not inclined to blog much.  Had a fair bit of illness with John having problems with phlebitis and then really nasty sciatica and I've just had my second cough in 2 months and a bit of a nasty fall slipping on the wet tiles. 

In between all the coughing and spluttering I have done a course with Karen Stamper which was lovely and freeing.  I did a few sketchbooks and totally managed to go loose!  Head out of it must be perfect mode!  Great fun.

This was my local town of Wimborne all imaginary perspective and mishmashed together.  Hardly a straight line to be seen.  
I had bought one of the Brooklyn Library Sketchbook Project books and had been wondering what to do so this was a great way of rearranging the pages and filling them.  This is one of my favorite local dog walks at the back of the house. 

Well I sent it off registered, recorded, tracked and everything and it's been in the Brooklyn post office since 28th November.  I've filed a where's my parcel thingy with USPS but no reply.  I'm hoping it will turn up with all the Christmas brouhaha.  Eventually.

I've been super brave and sorting this. 

and this 

and you wouldn't believe the stuff I've thrown out.  Well if you're a creative perhaps you would.  I'm about half way round but other things have been in the way.  I had the most ridiculous amount of acrylic paints for a non painter. 

I've sorted them into no good, nearly no good and must be used and then colour families and it's nice to know I am fairly consistent in the same colours I keep buying! 

I also unearthed this full 100 box of Oakshott fabrics.  
 Totally embarrassed about that one.  

We've had Grandpup Remi to stay a few times.  They're only allowed on the bed for a bit in the mornings once their blanket is pulled up.  
Good job we have a super king bed. 

Also had the Grands over to stay for the first time on thier own which was great if very tiring! You forget how much energy they take. But I hope they had fun.  

John has just about started moving again and this is the most common view I have of him at the moment.  We now have 3 bikes in various stages in the garage. 

He loving it so much.  He is a superb engineer and all the details have to be just right!  

This week Ive been mostly making Cosy Collars as beautifully modelled here by Elsa. 

They are selling rather well!  First day's postage. 

There are some left and more fabric on the way! All proceeds to GSP Rescue UK of course. All 8 varieties available HERE with a couple of new colours and camouflage coming soon. 

Other than that we've been doing lots and lots of lovey walks with friends 

and generally living life as best we can in between the storms, coughing and fleece orders.  Some days are just.....

Hope you're all keeping warm between the Christmas shopping and everything else this time of year brings. 

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Last of the Quickies

Well the past couple of weeks have slipped by and I haven't blogged!  The last of the Instagram pictures are below.

I've been on another couple of workshops, mainly just to take me out of my usual rut, and I've enjoyed them.  No pics, sorry.  I've written another article for WoWbook due out next month.

Also my Sawdust Heart is now on display with all 1567 others. Here is my official one, Number 0002, in the catalogue top row centre, the other is in the village church.

It's the season of rain, rain and rain so I hope you are keeping dry and doing what you love. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

More October Quickies

Just an update of the little 15 minute paintings I have be doing for the month of October.  

Some days 15 mins is over in a flash and others I could do with longer but I'm trying to be good.  

Here are the rest of the Honey Boat squash and the gourds I grew along with them.  

I used to always grow gourds when the children were little and now and then we actually found an exciting one!  More often than not they were just the simple ones like these but it's a bit of fun.  Maybe next year!! 

Stitchy wise I put together the pooling cushion.  It's bright and cheerful and the dogs like sleeping on it.  

Last weekend on the Saturday I went up to the Knitting and Stitching Show and didn't buy much at all, which is, I think, good!  I'm still trying to work out if it's because I didn't find anything, I didn't need anything or I just wasn't inspired.  They'd had a change around and there seemed to be a lot less of the galleries. I came away feeling rather flat to be honest.  Usually I have a notebook and camera full let alone the shopping bags.  Not too sure if I'll do next year.  Perhaps I need a break from it.

On the Sunday SiL Mike had a 10k race around Shaftesbury.  It's very hilly and, he said, Gold Hill, (yes the one from the Hovis adverts!) was the least of his worries.  At the same time little Olivia had her very first official run too!  She ran in the children's races around the school field and came first in the Under 5's Girls! So proud of her! 

Every runner had a beautifully made ceramic medal and the winners each received an amazing bowl too.  The bottom part really sparkles like water. 

Well today I had the first part of new crown molar tooth fitting, the drilling out part.  This one particular tooth has an incredibly sensitive and stubborn nerve which refuses to go numb no matter how much anaesthetic he pumps me with.  My wonderful dentist tells me in 35 years he's only had 5 like this and I'm probably number 2! At least each pump of the stuff gave him 30 seconds to work at a time before he could see the gum pinking up again.  I was ok but he was shaking quite a lot at the end and he's a very big man!  It's really lovely to actually have found a conscientious dentist who worries about hurting.  

Big dog walk tomorrow, I hope it stops raining long enough! 

Saturday, 6 October 2018

I Was Brave!

I've been doing a few little painting sketches in a 5 inch sketchbook each day so far for October. 

Only about 15 minutes per painting and not to get too close or fussy with it. 

I've been posting them on my Instagram, Amo107,  rather than FB.

Will I a) get to the end of the month and/or b) actually enjoy using a sketchbook!?

And the reason I've been doing it???

On Monday I went and had my eyes lasered! My near sight started going about 12 years ago and I used reading glasses.  Then about 8 years ago my long sight decided it wanted to join in too!  At first it was just glasses for driving but it slowly become worse.  Eventually I became a permanent glasses wearer, which I hated.  I could see fine 4 to 6 feet but nearer or further was bleugh! 

I didn't like the thought that I wasn't seeing colour properly, I couldn't see the stars at night without a halo and I couldn't take the dogs out in mist or drizzle without windscreen wipers etc.  At my last eye test the optician said I would be a good candidate for surgery as long as I didn't mind possibly having one over the other.  I made an appointment with Optegra Solent and the process was amazing.  After a month of contact lenses to have an idea of what I would have, one near, one far or both far, I went back.  I decided I couldn't get a decent, close enough vision with the varifocal lens replacement for my stitch-work and I would go for distance vision with reading glasses instead.  I can pick and choose readers off the shelf to suit what I need them for, have a pair in every room and in any colour I like as both eyes are the same! 

The op was simple and totally painless and in less than 15 minutes I was having a cup of tea reading my drops instructions. The drops, 14 times a day for the first week then decreasing, are the only problem, and they're not that much of one really.

I'm loving seeing everything bright and clear not through smeared lenses. And the vision will settle more over the next month probably only improving!  Can't be bad.

I've started a little of the garden clearing, weather and eyes permitting, and loved finding the Honey Boat squash I though we'd lost in the heat.  They are a Butternut alternative that tastes like sweet potato.  I'll do them again next year.  Perhaps I should add them to my to paint list!

The last of the produce went into anther ratatouille for the freezer.  This is something I've done since the kids were small and a great way of clearing up the last tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and anything else needing using.  I don't season it other than salt and pepper and then it can be a base for anything from curry, pasta, Moroccan or just as something to put chicken breasts on in the oven, all seasoned to suit. 

We also went back to Pembrokeshire last week and had a lovely end of summer romp.  The girls certainly didn't seem to mind! 
This Saturday coming I will be with Maggie Grey as part of the Workshop on the Web team perusing the Knitting and Stitch show at Ally Pally.  If you see us please come and say hello! 

After all that painting I think I should go and find something stitchy to play with.  Not sure what though.  Perhaps I'll find inspiration at the show!

PS, I seem to be having the comment emails again at last!  Took them long enough.