Saturday, 31 October 2009

How old ...

... do I feel? Yep, feeling a tad sorry for self right now - LOL! Oldest grandchild is 18 today. Officially an adult and that's scary! So glad he's not repeating history though, otherwise in 5 days time we would have been going to a wedding. Yep, his Mum and Dad married just 5 days after his 18th birthday and his Mum was just a month past hers. Kieran arrived nearly 11 months later. Happy birthday and congratulations Kieran ... here's to many more, with love. I'll get used to feeling old from here on in - LOLOL!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 30 October 2009

Decision made ...

... for now!

I had a good chat with the nurse who was going to do my pre-op assessment. Note - was going to do! I've 'deferred' it - or, as she put it ... paused it. She was as surprised as me at how quickly it's all happened. Bit like a steam train really and hasn't given me much time to think about it (as consultant suggested) or even come to terms with it and accept that I might need the op! She said that I could be OK in around 10 weeks after the op ... when I'm due to go on holiday ... as most people are, but there is no guarantee and I could also have a fair bit of post-op pain. She sort of advised, if I wasn't in any pain, that I paused it and had holiday first. It will give me a bit more 'thinking' time and also time to get my head round it all and I can put it in motion again by contacting GP just before I go away in February so I could have it in March, which is when I expected if I'm honest.

It seems that there isn't a 3-4 month waiting list, it's more weeks, although she says mine did come through extremely quickly. She did suggest that perhaps I could talk to GP with a view to having a 2nd opinion because of my doubts, as I've no pain (but she said that could change in a matter of days or weeks) and there's been no other alternative treatment suggested or tried. What she did say was that the problem with seeing a surgeon is that they want to cut straight away - lol! She said, even if pain starts to come in again, there are other treatments available like injections. After I'd made decision nice nurse said she thought I'd made the right one for now ...

I've been looking up what type of exercise is recommended and it's all the usual - swimming, cycling, walking, aquarobics and the one I'm leaning towards starting with, because of my breathing, pilates - to strengthen the core muscles and increase flexibility. I've got to consciously keep a straight back as well 'cos I've started leaning badly when I walk and that doesn't help the lower back or knee. I've decided I ain't having any operation just yet, not before I've had my holiday and I've tried other things to get me walking properly! It will also give me more time to get my head round it all.

As I said before, it's gone like a steam train and I've not really had time to really believe I need an op .... if I do! There's a lot of people a lot worse off than me who do and don't get it.

Next time I'm down the Leisure centre for a massage or facial I'm going to see if they do any pilates classes... ☺

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 26 October 2009

Oooops! ...

... poor Dad. Went to see him today and he seemed proper down. Couldn't get him talking much and he was very confused. I asked him if he was having a bad day and he said he 'supposed he was'. A little pressing and it seems he'd been told off by the care staff. I'm sure they haven't been nasty because, from what he tells me, one has been trying to explain to him but .... they've told him to stop pushing his emergency button when there's no emergency! Seems he's waking up and waiting. Gets fed up of waiting so pushes the button to ask where they are - lol! Never been known for his patience has Dad - he just doesn't do waiting - but, because he's got no sense of time 2 seconds can seem like 20 minutes or more to him when he's waiting for something. Anyway, he thinks waiting too long (or his idea of too long) constitutes an emergency so is pushing his button, more in the way he did while in rehab when he needed to go to the bathroom or similar ... because that's what they told him to do there so that somebody was with him. He had one of these buttons before he moved and didn't use it once (although I expected him to) but now it seems he thinks it's there for his beck and call ... exactly as it was in rehab so, once again, he's living on his memories from those few weeks. I tried explaining to him again as to what would constitute an emergency to warrant him pressing the button. One day it will go in.

Strange thing is, when he does have a genuine reason to push it, he doesn't! On my visit last week I had reason to ask him if he'd had a bad fall since I last called on him. He admitted to having a fall but 'not a bad one'. Then he asked me how I knew. Think the large hole in the kitchen wall gave me a clue! It was large enough I could put my hand through into the cavity and the wall was cracked over a 2 to 3 square foot area with the hole towards the top, as if his head had gone through it. He had no idea the hole was there ... he said! Now got to get builders in to replace the whole panel of wallboard, replaster and paint! Just as well it wasn't the bricks & mortar solid walls he had before he moved .... dread to think.

Had a lovely day at The Craft Barn yesterday, with friend Greta, at a watercolouring class in the morning and another for using Derwent Coloursoft - UK version of Prisma Colors - in the afternoon. Learnt I'm still rubbish at watercolouring (and beginning to think I shall remain so) and that I'm happy with my own interpretation of using my Prismas (Coloursoft). Didn't pick up any extra tips on the Coloursoft as it seems the tutor hadn't used them as much as me (and I haven't used them much) but enjoyed the class anyway. Finished projects are on the last post ...

Thanks for dropping by .....

Colouring Workshop - again!

They say the Lord likes a trier so He must luurrve me and Greta 'cos we're very - sorry, that should be 'really' - trying ... LOLOL!! The number of times we've (oops!) I've had instruction in colouring you'd have thought we'd got it by now! I think I have got the pencil colouring, be it Prisma Colors or the UK equivilant, Coloursoft, but it didn't stop me doing another class at The Craft Barn yesterday, hoping to pick up a few more tips that I could work on. Unfortunately my watercolouring is still bad (that's probably an understatement), despite doing another class on that as well.

The morning class wasn't what we expected at all but it was thoroughly enjoyable because it was different! We learnt how to lay down a flat wash, a graduated wash and how to make a sunset background. Now, they could all be very useful but then they're more slap it on and watch it develop. We learnt how to deepen the colours with layers (not extra paint/ink added as I thought - lol!) and we had a go at colouring a traced, stamped image which was interesting although mine was a bit of a disaster however, not as much as the poppy which we won't talk about - LOL!

The afternoon was using Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor. I was hoping to pick up a few more tips on using these but the original tutor couldn't do the class so a substitute was bought in, in the shape of Stamping Caz - lol!! The first thing she did was admit that she had only used these pencils 3 times before but she gave a good demo for those that had never used them so needed to learn from scratch or have basic tips on how to proceed. I enjoyed the class, even if I didn't pick up anything extra on their use. We made a double slider card and a standard DL card using a couple of the Craft Barn's Kadoodle stamps (designed by Sandra Dry who should have been our tutor for this workshop) and a variety of DP. I finished the projects at home and went a bit overboard with my 'distressing'. It's very distressed - LOL! That's the fault of doing it under a side light instead of proper light. Mind you, I don't think it looks too bad ... ????

I did learn a couple of things from this class though. I don't like Coloursoft as much as Prisma Color. They are softer, both in the lead and in the colours and neither do I particularly like the effect of colouring round the edge and dragging the colour in - which can be done providing a very silky, smooth card is used. The slightest texture on the card and forget it! In that instance, colour the whole image lightly with a very pale colour (even if it's white) and build on top of that. I think I've got used to working on 'rough' card and colouring the whole image and now, what I was originally trying to achieve, no longer appeals. I've developed my own style and I've realised that I'm happy with it but I'm still open to trying and adapting anything else along the way. Just wish I could get a handle on watercolouring - lol!


Saturday, 24 October 2009

Advent calendar and Christmas card ... with difference!

Had a brilliant day with crafting friends yesterday. Hosted by Debs, we knew we had a couple of projects to do 'cos she'd given a clue - LOL! Instructions given were -
Cutting mat
Craft knife
Pokey tool (optional)
Strong DST (lots of it)
For the first project ... embellishments no taller than 3" or 2" in width, anything from 2-8 of them with matching coloured or patterned card, ribbon, brads (optional) or anything you can think of to decorate a large box.
The second project you will need a topper/decoupage no taller than 4" with coordinating backing papers, embellishments, ribbon, sentiments.

The first project turned out to be a labour of love and love it we did! It took nearly all day but nowhere near as long as it must have taken Debs to do all the prep! My finished Advent Box used Papermania Christmas papers for the top and bottom, silver mirri board for the drawer sides, Papermania snowflake brads for the drawer handles and a selection of snowman ready-made toppers to decorate.
As it turned out we didn't need anything for the 2nd project. Debs supplied packs with everything in (the images I was given are from Lily of the Valley - cute, eh?). We were given the measurements to make the card fold and left to decorate it with the goodies supplied and then cover with the acetate as instructed. I love this card but I couldn't get it to sit as it should with the acetate fixed where it should have been so I adapted and now it won't fit in an envelope as the acetate won't lay flat when rest of card flattened - LOL! I finished this card at home as I wanted to add stickles to the main images to give it a bit of sparkle and I think it worked!

I've made a ...

... decision! When I go to the pre-op appointment on Friday I'm gonna tell 'em about my now booked holiday and, if there's no guarantee of recovery well within 3 months then I'm gonna wait until after I come back. I'd rather go as I am than risk having to cancel 'cos cancelling the holiday isn't an option as far as I'm concerned - LOL! It's not an energetic holiday and reckon I can cope for another few months. I wasn't expecting anything to happen until after it anyway. Guess it all depends on what type of hip replacement it's going to be ...

I'm certainly having a few 'senior moments' just now. Think things have thrown me a bit over the last few weeks (well, that's my excuse - lol!) Went to post office this morning and as I left car and was walking along I looked down at my feet .... Guess what's wrong! Oooops! Couldn't get back to car, and the safety of home, quick enough - LOLOL! Teach me to check my feet before I go out of front door. I've done this once before when I was working. On that occasion I made a hasty retreat to the nearest shoe shop as soon as it was open.

Took hubby for the MRI on his hand today and .... the hospital was empty! Car parking was easy-peasy so a Saturday appointment was well worth it. Seems they do scans that don't need clothing removed on a Saturday as there were no staff other than the technicians and a receptionist. We were in and out within the hour so I've had plenty of time to finish my projects from the crafty day yesterday and photograph them. Check out post above ....

Looking forward to another crafty day tomorrow ... the Craft Barn for colouring techniques. Watercolour in morning, Coloursoft in afternoon and the company of another good friend ... Greta!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 23 October 2009

OMG! OMG! ...

... What a day today! Sooo much has happened! Firstly I've had a brilliant day with crafting buddies. Took a round trip of 180 miles to partake - 1.5 hours out, 3 hours back because of 4 car pile-up nearish home on way back. (Yep, some crafters are that mad!) Had a really different 'make' which is to have the finer detail added and also a card with a difference as well. That also needs the finer detail adding and finishing. They will be done tomorrow, hopefully and posted on Bits in due course. Thanks Debs, for a really, really brilliant day!

Countdown on sidebar has been changed for a 3rd time since it's been there but ... it won't be changed again 'cos flights are now booked! It's definite, it's a goer, it's a holiday of a lifetime and it got even better today! We're going a couple of days later and it's been extended by a couple of days because ..... we're gonna be doing the Zanzibar Spice Trail! A real, real adventure this is becoming and all because of a throwaway remark that I made seriously but didn't expect it to be taken so. I'm so glad she checked that I was being serious but not for one moment did I expect it to result in this holiday. There's me thinking a week or 2 ... Canaries or something as mundane - lol!! (Mind you, never been there and would like to ....)

Next shock today ... and not so nice I guess, depending how you look at it. Phone call from hospital. Date for hip op .... 16th November! Yep, all this info coming in while having crafty day with friends - lol! Anyway, what happened to the 3 to 4 month waiting list? It was only last week that I got the definitive diagnosis! I've now got appointment for pre-op check, appointment for bloods and the date (although no time yet) to go into hossy. Still, guess a new hip will have me walking properly by Christmas ... if they'd give me a lung transplant while I'm there I'd be made - LOLOL!

Update: Been reading up on op and .... questions need to be asked before I finally agree to said date! May need to delay to after holiday of a lifetime ..... !

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

What a week ...

... is following last week! Not quite so manic but busy, relaxing and exciting all at the same time!

Visit to eye hospital for Dad's regular check-up yesterday and a lovely hot crystal massage for me today. Eldest grandson passed his driving test today (well, youngest would have a job as he's only just turned one - lol! - and I'm feeling older by the minute) and I've spent time improving my nestie storage (needed to 'cos got sooo many now that I had to do something) albeit I think, temporary.

I've also taken more crafty parcels over to Dad's flats. The generosity has been astounding where they've been concerned and I can't thank the donors enough for it. Crafters generally are a pretty generous and caring lot and imag-e-nationers certainly are. Tomorrow I have to prepare for another crafty day on Friday with Debs. It'll be a long day - Friday, that is - but one I'm looking forward to. Have no idea what we're getting up to but have instructions as to what to take but with not much idea what for - lol!

Just when I thought the week couldn't get any better I've received the 'go' on something I've had fingers, toes and anything else crossable, crossed for and for a number of weeks, waiting to have it confirmed! Countdown is now on sidebar of blog - lol!!

I've been given the opportunity of a holiday of a lifetime. Little sad 'cos hubby can't come but then it's a holiday that wouldn't be suitable for him anyway due to the wheelchair. It's pure luxury, off the coast of Tanzania, in the Indian Ocean on the island of Pemba. The resort? Fundu Lagoon .....

I've had confirmation from medics that there's no reason why I shouldn't go. Jabs, anti-malarials etc shouldn't affect my prescription meds and was told 'go for it' so I am and joining Jackie on one of her jollies!! As she has said ... "My new travelling companion... .. hope this the first of many brill holidays... and nothing like starting big and working ya way down" ... LOLOL!!

When we first muted the idea of having the odd holiday together I had no idea that this one would happen for me! Roll on 31st January - the day after my birthday and the day we fly out. What a birthday pressie! Can yer tell - I'm excited!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Stamping Up Christmas Card.

Quick card made last night with elements supplied by my SU demonstrator. Can't tell you what they are without going on a hunt but everything is SU!


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Ooooooo, it's been ...

... a busy week and I'm feeling shattered! Following the hospital visit and the mix of news (definitive diagnosis and the solution!) I had a brilliant day with friends at the Craft Barn on Wednesday. As individuals we take our crafting seriously - but get us together as a group and .... well! Best not to say really. I just feel sorry for the poor tutor. Seems there's only one tutor that's prepared to take us lot on at the Barn. Not sure if she's very brave or as mad as us but hides it well - lol! Whatever, thank you Carole ... even when we change the class part way through - lol!!

... and look at the beautiful bouquet the ladies gave me! The flowers are opening out more now and the scent from them is filling the whole house. They, and it, are beautiful!

Thursday, hubby and I kept Dad company for a fish and chip supper and quiz night at his flats. Not really supper or a night 'cos it started at 4:30pm and we got home around 7 but it was fun. Fish and chips were delish (came from one of the best chippies in the country ... Bardsley's - lol!) and we won the quiz .... yessssssss (ooops, I'm not at all competitive - right, hehe!). We hoped Dad would start chatting to other residents but that hope came to nothing. Not even sure he was aware that there was a quiz going on. I've asked the staff to encourage him to attend some coffee mornings so he's on his own and has to socialise as it seems he's not going to when we're there. We will do it again with him but hopefully he will have met some more of his contemporaries and got to talk to some by then. He says he's missing his 'old friends' (his old neighbours) but he hadn't seen any of them for years before he moved. He only saw them when he walked the dog and he'd stopped doing that about 5 years ago. Not one of these 'friends' sent him a condolence card when Mum died and some of them had lived in the terrace of houses for the same length of time ... since 1954/55. He's missing the memory of years ago, not what he finally left behind and that's sad when he could be making new friends (although there are a couple that know him from his old area).

Friday was a 'rest day' - LOL! It was our anniversary. 24 years, 2nd time around. I spent it finishing projects from Wednesday and updating Bits blog with the results ... bar one, still to do! I'd been offered a meal out on Saturday but there was a catch .... LOL! To get meal I had to accompany hubby to Bisley (National Shooting Range) so he could collect some shooting specs. Fortunately he was not shooting else he'd have gone on his own! It was worth it though as we had a lovely meal on the way home. Ex Little Chef now a pukka, proper restaurant called The Orchard and the most delicious food ... especially the homemade banoffee pie - yum!

Today? Me and my mate Cally went to the Southern Papercraft Extravaganza. A small craft show held in a sports centre at Biggin Hill, Kent. Glad it was small 'cos I couldn't have done a big one but still managed to spend a bit! I took my own seat ... a shopping trolley with a seat attached ... so that I could sit down as and when needed without having to go hunting for one. Bonus was, it took the purchases as well. I have to say that this trolley has been filled at other shows. Today it didn't get a quarter filled but I still did have a good selection of goodies by the time we left - :0)).

Got another busy week ahead now, hospital with Dad, massage, another couple of crafty days ... well, you've got to, haven't you - LOL!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 16 October 2009

Inside out & Cuttlebug owl!

Had a lovely day at the Craft Barn on Wednesday with a group of crafty friends - all arranged to meet up with one who had travelled down to the south from Scotland. Brilliant day, lots of laughs and a bit of crafting done. Probably not as much crafting as originally intended but reckon we all enjoyed what we did. A couple of cards in the morning, decorating the inside as well as the out and tips on the Cuttlebug in the afternoon until we were shown an owl! "We want to make that" was the cry so tutor had to go find suitable materials and make the owl we did - and what a cutie!

Owl made from Bazill Bling and coordinating colour for tummy. White and black card for eyes and bib and different shades of orange for feet and beak. Tummy embossed with Cuttlebug folder Tiny Bubbles to give texture. Head cut with the small Go Kreate Square Pointy #3 die, body from Classic Scalloped circle nestibility and all other shapes from relevant sized punches/nesties. Beak was hand cut. Cream organza ribbon for bow and buttons are Craftwork Cards Card Candy.

Robin & postbox card was stamped twice with Kadoodle stamp Postbox Robin. One image was coloured with Derwent Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor and the internal image just had the robin coloured. It doesn't show in photo but the postbox was glazed. Both stamped images were cut out using a Go Kreate die (see owl description)and both shapes had pale blue ink sponged around the edge. The same die was also used to cut the shape out of the insert to match the plainer stamped image. This card is still to be completely finished but there will be a verse/greeting plaque printed and cut out using a nestibility and a plaque for signatures.

Castle card was made using PaperArtsy stamps. The main castle is PaperArtsy Crowns & Castles 4 and the internal village was stamped several times using PaperArtsy Crowns & Castles 7. "Once upon a time" is from PaperArtsy Crowns & Castles 8. The 'extension' was embossed using Cuttlebug folder Tiny Bubbles.