Friday, 31 July 2009

Experimenting with colouring - take 2!

I still need plenty of practise but I think my preferred medium is coming to the fore ... and watercolouring it's not!

The stamp is Whimsy Animal Collection Owl. Just check out all the cute stamps available in the Whimsy Rubber Stamp Collection .... and the blog if you're into challenges! I may just have to do one myself now I've got some images done ... and I have the frog one I can have a practise with as well - LOL!


I finally ...

... feel relaxed. Well, more than I've done for a long while now. I've had a couple of quite good night's sleep and I'm putting it down to feeling more settled about what's happening with Dad. I now know that everything is in place. His meds are being delivered as they should be. He's on the books for all the medical care he needs or to be looked at (including the doc phoning me about his Vitamin B12 jabs he should be having). His care plan is in place and is going to be tweaked slightly to help him get up earlier - at his wish.

I've told him that I shall not be calling as frequently as I have been now that he's more settled (although he tells me he's not always comfortable living there but can't tell me why). I think he's still getting used to it but he's certainly more settled than he was. He still isn't the man that I knew but I have a feeling that what I'm seeing now is the man that he is - and always has been, just not to me before. He looks different as well and when I call now he looks at me as though he doesn't know me. I don't get an 'hello' or any greeting but he'll launch into everything he's worried about, from emptying rubbish bins to washing up - none of which he needs to worry about but does! Care Manager spoke to me today and said that she'd seen a lot of problems over the past weeks as people had moved in with the attitude, bad temper, shouting and cursing so I'm guessing that Dad has been included in that, especially as I've seen glimpses of it myself. In fact I've been on the receiving end a couple of times when talking to him. I feel that he no longer enjoys me visiting so it won't hurt now to cut the visits back and to make more of them when I do visit - as was intended when the idea of this move was first mooted. Perhaps, if we can get some interest back in his life it might just finish the cycle! Mind you, he's not helping himself much by not going to the coffee mornings (there was one this morning he didn't attend) or taking up with his reading again but he can't be forced, just encouraged and he needs to let people know what he wants for stuff to happen and .... he doesn't!

I'm not worrying about my hip. There's no point until I know exactly what's wrong and then there's still no point worrying - just deal with it. I think, all in all my life is starting to change from today and I'm comfortable with it at the moment (although I wish my health were better to make the most of it). Could change - life, that is, not health - but, for now ..... I'll look forward to my balloon flight next week (as long as weather allows) and finally get the benefit of my 2007 Christmas pressie - LOL!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Oh, do I tempt ...

... providence? OK, yep, I will! I've just spoken to the balloon company and .... I've booked a flight for next Thursday evening. They're happy for me to go and I can take a little shooting stick thingy to perch on when I feel the need so that I don't have to stand for the whole flight.
weather, play ball!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Looks as though ...

... everything is on track with Dad's 'missing links'. Spoke to surgery this morning and they did prescribe all his eyedrops so spoke to pharmacy. They'd had to order the missing one in and they tried to deliver it last night. They now know to deliver during the day when there are office staff around who can let them in 'cos Dad still has no idea how to use the entry system and don't think he ever will - LOL! I also now know exactly how the new way with his drugs works and I don't ever have to do anything for them again. He will have his monthly ones delivered on the same day each month and his daily ones will be delivered every week on the same day - direct from the pharmacy who are now taking responsibility for ordering the new script from the doc every month. Didn't know such a service existed. It's called Medicines on Time and it does exactly what it says on the tin!

District Nurse must have taken the folder because she's not calling in relation to his sore any more. She was happy that the carers could deal with it on the proviso that if they thought it showed any adverse changes they rang to report it. The continence assessment is likely to be done next week but he is on the list to be seen so it's not been ignored.

It's my baby's birthday today. My baby who is now making me feel decidedly old - as if my poor lung function and inability to walk properly wasn't already doing so! - has reached the grand old age of 34! Next year he joins his brother and becomes, officially, middle-aged ....*hehe* (Well, I have to get my own back somewhere along the line - lol) This baby is the Dad of my 3 youngest grandchildren, a fully qualified accountant and a permanent kid! If anyone makes a lie of accountants being a boring bunch it is this one 'cos he's never actually grown up - hehe! How has he celebrated his birthday? A trip to the rides on the Palace Pier (oops, sorry, Brighton Pier), a fish & chip lunch followed by a visit to the SeaLife Centre. Boring, grown-up evening meal? Not on your life.

I've very recently bought a different colouring medium for my crafts (bargain on eBay!). I've had a very quick play today and have to say, I think I've found the one that suits me! Can't wait to get more time to play with them now.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Yep, it's the ...

... middle of the night again and I've been up 1½ hours and awake for over 2½. I'll give it another ½ an hour or so and go back and try again and hope for at least another couple of hours sleep!
Superb service from Dad's new GP. Didn't get to speak to her until after 6pm on Monday regarding his meds but she got straight on the case and they were delivered from the pharmacy just before mid-day yesterday. Only problem - one of his eye drops wasn't there so I need to speak to her about that one. Seems to have been missed off of his prescription on the transfer from his previous GP. I'm sure it will get sorted out but it's a real nuisance at the moment. Just need to make sure it's put on his regular list so it goes on the repeat.

There are a couple of things I'm not happy with regarding the referrals made from rehab - they don't appear to have happened, or be happening and his District Nurse notes have disappeared so I can't see what's going on there. I have a phone number so reckon I need to use it to find out the current state of play so I can tell his carers as well. Don't know how me or his carers can do the best for Dad when we haven't a clue what's happening 'cos nobody is talking to us.

When I got to Dad's today there were feedback forms needing to be completed in respect of his stay in rehab ..... Hope they weren't expecting positive feedback 'cos if they were they're going to be hugely disappointed. There was a form for me to complete and one for Dad to do. I was quite surprised at his answers when I read the questions out to him. Seems he wasn't that impressed with what went on there either ... and I thought he was after his initial upset with it.

On a positive note ... Dad looked so much more comfortable today when I saw him. He looked more relaxed and I think he may be finally settling to his new home. He's definitely settling to his new carers - Mike in the morning and John in the afternoon. Both really nice guys so I'm happy that they're doing their best for him and .... they talk to me! They're telling me what they're finding and what they've learnt about him and asking questions. They're even suggesting what changes they think should be made to suit him better and I've not disagreed with one of them yet. What they're suggesting will bring him back more to the routine he used to have for himself, rather than the routine that has been implemented because it was what rehab had suggested (and never was to Dad's liking!). Just need to talk to the care manager to get the changes done.

Just get these 'teething' problems out of the way and we may, just may, have cracked it! Time will tell .....

Saw my consultant about my leg/hip problem and, as suspected the 'result' from the MRI wasn't available. By 'result' it means that the radiographer's report wasn't yet available however, the pictures from the MRI were and the problem is definitely my hip joint (also confirmed by bone scan) and not soft tissue at all so, in this instance I've been totally wrong. Even to my untrained eye I could see that there is a problem. Left hip ball joint .... lovely and smooth, just as it should be. Right hip ball joint - well, craters on the moon came to mind! Consultant has given me 2 possible diagnoses. Neither is good but one is preferable to the other as it stands a small chance of righting itself in time - the other ... really no chance at all and will only get worse. Guess which one I'm hoping it is (and leaning towards after he told me how it happens) - lol! Definite diagnosis won't be made until the report is through but in the meantime it's 'business as usual' however, I'm now being referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon, not necessarily for surgery at this stage (that's a completely last resort) but because they will investigate further and this consultant feels that I 'need to be on their radar'! He's also advised me to 'work closely with my GP' ....

Now I need to talk to the balloon company 'cos I really, really want to do my flight but I shall need to sit for some of the flight and I don't think the landing would be too much of a problem as long as I brace properly. If they're happy to accommodate me then I'll give it a go. I'll take the risk if they will!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 27 July 2009

Grrrrr! ...

... day started well - not! Had a couple of nights of reasonable sleep - not good but better than it has been then, last night, back to what is becoming the norm! Tossed and turned until fed up with that and got up for a couple of hours. Today was my MRI scan which, fortunately, didn't take long (in hospital for just over half an hour) but it's just as well as things have turned out.

Phone call received around 10:30am from Dad's morning carer. Had I got any more meds for him? Nope, not one, except for his next lot of night eye drops 'cos, when he was discharged I was told that I wouldn't need to deal with them anymore. They're now blister packed and would be delivered on a standing order basis ...... was what I was told. Pity it didn't happen as he's now run out of meds! Rang surgery but they've no record of anything relating to his meds since 9th June. Rang Rehab - well, we faxed surgery with his requirements for meds, District Nurse and continence assessment ..... even got confirmation that fax went. Do they have confirmation fax received at other end? Eeeeerrrmmm - nope! Now Dad's in limbo while I try to sort out this fiasco! The only meds he's got are his pain-killers and his eye drops. Everything else has hit zero, zilch, nadda - and they wonder why I show concern sometimes. At least, when I was dealing with all this we never had a problem. His meds were always ordered in good time, his eye drops were changed monthly as they should be. Get the 'caring' professions/authorities involved and it all goes to pot! I'm finding it harder and harder to stay civil with them as I feel that they have let him down so badly and, in them letting him down, it means I have as well because I'm the one that got them involved in the first place. They've certainly done him no favours.

I now soooooooooo wish we'd kept things as they were as it's all more of a worry than it ever was before he moved. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but Dad's move has probably been the worst decision that could ever have been made for him, for me and for any of us. I spend more time worrying about him now (which causes others to worry about me) - although there's less running around - than I ever did before and I'm far more emotional. Dad has changed beyond recognition and, although he says he's fine, he doesn't look, or act it. His mind, not good for years, seems to have taken a dive to another level and doesn't look like coming back. He looks lost, lonely, unhappy and on a completely different planet.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Think my ...

... body has produced some good endorphins today *LOL*. I've actually felt like doing things and felt good about it as well, although I couldn't do as much as I would have liked because leg let me know about it. I did have a better night last night so that has probably helped. Not a complete undisturbed night but I didn't spend so long awake and managed to sleep in 'spurts'. Better than what's been happening of late.

I've also been doing a bit of crafting, of sorts, over the past few days. Cutting loadsa squares of card excess of 150 but don't ask! All will be revealed in the fullness of time. I've also been experimenting with different colouring techniques trying to find the one that I'm most comfortable with.

Our squirrel has become a vandal! This is the peanut holder I've left out specifically for him. I filled it up and put the lid on. The lid is no longer attached to the holder (it was but it's now on ground - bottom left of photo) and the whole holder looks decidedly battered to me -*LOL*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Today it's - Watercolouring!

I've decided to 'do my own thing' with watercolouring and stop trying to copy other people 'cos it just don't work - well, for me, at least! I'm never happy with my finished result in comparison to what I'm trying to achieve so I've gone back to square one and I'm gonna 'do it myyyyyy wayyyyyyy!!' I'm bearing in mind the many useful tips I've collected 'cos they're still relevant I think. I'm just no longer aiming at a result that looks the same as all the others - no matter how much I like it, which I do. It just doesn't work out for me.

Gorjuss - Just a Girl ... this is my middle grand-daughter :0)) ...and my first result doing it my way and I don't dislike it .... well, I didn't dislike it until I added the gel pen. Should have left well alone as I think I badly need to find a white gel pen (not one that's supposed to be white but comes out cream) and one that shows me it's working on top of whatever colour medium I decide to use 'cos the one(s) I'm using at the mo just don't! They work fine on my skin, on plain paper or card but add something else that they need to work on and they don't like it. I can't see it working then find I've overdone it. It also shows nib marks .... Anyways, as with the other experiments in the post under, there are bits I really like (legs again) and bits I don't but overall reckon I can use it .... and yes, I know I should have let bits dry before I started painting other bits - LOL!

I'm contemplating getting some colouring medium that nobody seems to use at the moment but it used to be the only thing I could use, where colour was involved, and not mess up what I added it to. I'm thinking chalk pastels but in pencil form. I know chalk pastels have a tendency to rub off but I have a picture of crab apples, done in pastels, that I did for my Art exams at school and it's still good ... and that's over 40 years now since it was done (frightening!!) .... I'll keep thinking!


Friday, 24 July 2009

Experimenting with colouring.

I've decided that I really do need to practise my colouring techniques and I really have no excuse not to, having bought a variety of stamped images back with me from the Crafter's House Party weekend. I've watched experts, picked up tips, asked questions and even been to a workshop so you'd think I'd be pretty confident with what I do but you'd be wrong. I've not really found a medium I'm totally comfortable with so this week I've played and here are a couple of my results. There are good and bad points about both of them and there are some parts in both that I'm more than pleased with. If I can get that going over a whole image I'll have cracked it. I've used 2 medium here. The first is using Prisma colours and sansodor to blend and the second is just cheapie pencil crayons - a pack of 12 colours (so have a very limited selection) that cost me about 50p *LOL* Reckon I need to buy some better quality ones with a greater range of colours and the results could be even better.

Gorjuss - Little Miss Attitude ... so like my youngest grand-daughter - :0)) ... was coloured with Prisma colours using Sansodor to blend them. The tip I was given for using these was to colour the whole image using different shades of the colour and blend them together. I was advised not to expect to be able to drag colour, only blend, so no white should be left uncoloured before starting to blend. Still a way to go with this but I actually like what I've done with the arms and face by way of shading/shaping. The legs aren't bad but the rest needs more practise *LOL* Do you think she's got her shoes on the wrong feet - or, at least a right shoe on her left foot?

Gorjuss - Little Goth Girl ... was coloured with bog-standard cheapie pencil crayons - and it shows however, I like the way the legs have taken shape. There's not much else I like about this one at all but I can see potential if I treated myself to some good quality pencil crayons with a greater range of colour.

Now I need to try the dreaded watercolouring again. I don't want to give up on it so perhaps I need to lower my expectations for now ....
In meantime, I think I should look at getting these finished images onto cards and see how that improves the overall look of them - *LOL*


Thursday, 23 July 2009

Out and about ...

... well, sort of *LOL* Had another bad night last night. I'm fed up of waking after an hours sleep and then not being able to get off again for another 3 or 4 hours. Felt really tired this morning but I had to go to Dad's today as he was having a 'financial assessment' towards his care costs. Trouble is Dad doesn't do finance in any way, shape or form. Never has and never will. That was always Mum's domain so I took it over when she died. He's never had a bank account and wouldn't know how to write a cheque, let alone sign one. Anyway, assessment done so now we wait until we hear what he's to pay. While there I managed to have a good chat to one of his regular carers. He thinks Dad is starting to settle down a bit - at least better than he did before. He also says that he doesn't think that he is incontinent. He feels the problem is that he just can't get to the toilet as quickly as he needs to. Anyway, he's going to be checked out for needs on that score so we'll have to see. This carer may feel he's settling in now but to me Dad has changed so much. I can't really have a conversation with him any more and he pays no heed to whether anyone's there or not - he just interrupts if he wants to say anything as if there wasn't anyone else there. I spent a lot of time apologising to the finance guy because Dad kept interrupting for all different random reasons - none of which made sense.

We've cancelled Meals on Wheels. Dad was hardly eating any of the main course although he was managing the dessert - *LOL* When I read the carer's notes he's not having his breakfast until around 10am and his dinner is being delivered around mid-day or just before. Far too soon after breakfast and he's not hungry enough to want to eat it. The meals were just being thrown away so they've been cancelled and he's going back to what he was having before - his main meal at teatime. Anyway, I left him today, a little happier about his situation than I've been of late, but still not convinced he'll stay there and not convinced the man I knew will ever come back.

I decided to go home along the seafront and via Ovingdean - as I regularly do. I'd planned to stop at a car park that overlooks the Marina and the 2 piers in one direction and towards Rottingdean in the other. I've not stopped there before so don't really know what the camera will see but thought it worth a try except .... blooming roadworks have blocked the access off! Continued on homewards and stopped in Ovingdean instead of driving through as usual ..... and here's why!

Ovingdean village green leading to ...

... 11c Norman church - St Wulfran's
mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086

Bulstrode Farm ...
...from the churchyard across the field that used to be the settlement, with the northern part of my home village in far distance.

One of the beautiful properties fronting the village green.

The northern part of my home village from the top of Ovingdean.
The dirt track is called Old Parish Lane. The son of a popular Brighton band leader was murdered on this lane as he walked from his home in Ovingdean to the shops in my home village back in 1967. His murderer has never been found and the case remains open.

Ovingdean is a beautiful, ancient village just a mile from my front door and I love driving home this way. Many's a time that I've thought I should stop and take photos and today I did, after all the years of driving through it. There are quite often horses in the field next to the church (the field that used to be the ancient settlement) but today there were none! St Wulfran's is such a pretty church and it is also the church where my youngest son was christened. Unfortunately, as with a lot of churches nowadays, I couldn't actually go into it as the doors were firmly locked so the interior will have to remain a mystery .....

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Quiet couple of ...

...days. Lazy day yesterday and spent a fair bit of time playing on PSP9 (I know it's an old version now but it's good enough to play with). I actually got my Prisma's out as well and coloured a stamped image - a Gorjuss Girl one - and then decided to do another using bog-standard pencil crayons. Didn't dislike the end result of either but I have such limited colours in pencil crayons. Think I need to buy a decent set instead of the set of a dozen, 50p cheapies I was using - *LOL*

Had another bad night last night. Woke around 1:30am and gave in and got up at 2:30am. I actually got my Cuttlebug out and started some prep for a crafty meet that there's gonna be next month in Guildford - organised by Greta. I'm going to be doing a quickie 'show and tell' and am supplying the base of what I'm showing so everyone can make it .... if they want to. Went back to bed around 4:30am and must have nodded off because the next I knew was hubby asking if I wanted a cuppa before he went out. Must have been around 8:30am. Just wish I'd do this sleeping at the right time!

Spent the morning doing more prep but need to go mountaineering again to get more card 'cos I've used what I'd bought down from my work-in-progress craft room and I'm still a fair way short of supplying everyone.

This afternoon I took eldest, nearly 18 year old, grandson to the movies/flicks/pictures whatever you want to call it. We went to see the new Harry Potter movie. We've seen the whole series together since the first film and grandson was a little squid (a bit like Daniel Radcliffe and co)! Had a feeling that he wouldn't want to be seen out with his Nana Pam at his age but he jumped at the chance and this time we went for a meal afterwards. The film was enjoyable but ..... neither of us thought it was as good as previous ones and was really lacking in action in comparison - or perhaps we have come to expect too much from them? Have to say that I hope the last ones will be a bit more dramatic with a lot more action otherwise they will be going out with fizz and not a bang - *LOL* At one point I nearly nodded off - not a good sign, sleepless night or not! Anyway, a lovely afternoon in all.

My eyes are now getting heavy so think I need to finish the cuppa that's sitting on my sidetable, put lappy away (Cuttlebug has been put away having been used again this evening) and wend my way to bed and hope I sleep. Tomorrow is another day and involves a financial assessment with Dad ... oh joy!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 20 July 2009

Oh Well, I'm ...

... radioactive now! Could set the airport alarms off if I were flying in that time but, as I'm not there's no problem - lol! Wonder if I'll set off store alarms? Not that I visit stores very often so probably won't be in one for the next 6 weeks to worry anyway - *LOL*

I had my Isotope Bone Scan this afternoon, having had the injection to make me radioactive this morning. Have to say that was the worst part of it. There's me expecting a quick jab - like an innoculation - and it was stick needle in and take 10 minutes for a machine to administer the radioactivity! I was a bit of a gibbering wreck by the end of it and even when they told me that the needle was out it didn't help. My mind had taken over by then. Stupid, stupid, stupid phobia but just can't seem to get over it. The scan was full body from top to toe and then my hands were done separately. Can't say it was not thorough - *hehe*

So, that's one down, one to go and I'm really not looking forward to that either! It's the MRI next week so I'm gonna hunt down a eye mask so that, if I do open my eyes whilst in the tunnel, I won't see how close it is around me. I'm thinking a gel mask so I give my eyes some treatment while I'm in there ......?

Spent some of yesterday crafting. It's not something I manage to do much at home, although I'd like to but just not set up right yet so it's pretty much impractical. It made a lovely change and, as I had the house to myself for the day I was able to spread myself around and make as much mess as I wanted without having to worry about how a wheelchair would get around - *lol* One day my craft room will be finished and usable.

Most of my 'creativity' at the moment seems to be happening on the lappy - playing with PSP9 and trying to learn how to use it properly!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Stampin' Up Projects & Challenge

You wouldn't believe it! These probably don't meet all the criteria of the first project and challenge set (definitely not the latter anyway) for my SU Ten group but, as I rarely make anything outside of a class, I think it's lucky I've done anything at all! First of all let me tell you a story ..... It's definitely not Jackie who's the only one can make a mess of things in my circle of friends.

The project involved a template of a gift bag ..... I decided to cheat with the template and photocopy it onto the back (or the side that was going to be the inside of my bag) so that I didn't have to cut it out twice. All very well in practise but it helps if you remember you have stuff queued in the lappy to be printed out and, to let that print when you connect to the printer before you put the good paper in .... I ended up with this ................ :0)

So what is my bag gonna be used for? NOTHING! - 'cos it's got a sales receipt for my Flippin' Christmas order from imag-e-nation on the inside of it now. I ploughed on though and here's my bag and card.

Obviously I used the SU materials provided by Toni (my SU demonstrator) but my embellie is made using the Spellbinders Shapeabilities - Flower Creations. I like that die but have only just started using it and I'm sure there's loads more possibilities with it. I did my usual and was a bit heavy handed on the first couple of score lines for the bag and nearly went through the paper. If you look closely enough you can see the tatty edges in places. Think I would make it again though ... at some point ... and I've still got the template intact - *LOL* Oh yes, I also tried Quicklets (I took some to the Crafter's House Party for peeps to try but don't think anybody did) anyhow, I've used them in the centres of the little flowers. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! If I make it again I'm gonna cut the top of the bag with a fancy blade so that it's not dead straight.

Here's my sketch challenge card. OK, so the only thing on it that's SU is the backing paper!

The topper I made at a class with Jane Gill ages ago (here) using Rubber Stamp Tapestry and lots of stickles glitter glue. I've inked the edges of the backing paper (which I thought was a brilliant match to the topper) layered it up adding ribbon with one of the Spellbinders Tag Trio (sentiment still to be added) and a bit of bling with some of the new Papermania Shimmer Dots.

Anyway, reckon I've just about (but only just) met the challenges this first month and I'll try to do better next month.


FREEBIE - Waterlily 3D decoupage & Toppers

I'm on a roll but think this will be it for a few weeks. Got to find some suitable photos or copyright free images now - not an easy task!

Here's some 3D decoupage, toppers, borders and backing sheets all made from one photo of our waterlily that blossomed a couple of weeks ago. I took loads of photo's of it and had the mickey taken out of me mercilessly because I had my camera out there in all lights and different times of day ....

Again, I've not used them myself - they've only just been finished - so I've no idea if they work or not. Let me know if they don't and send me piccies of finished projects if they do ..... pleeeeaaase!

Please note:
These sheets and the original photograph are copyright to me. You are free to use the sheets in any way you wish for personal use and you may sell anything you make using them but please, do not share them in any way whatsoever but link to my blog for others to download for themselves. Please do not claim them as your own or sell the sheets in any form.

Click on any image for full size version and either print or save to your PC for printing at a later date.