Sunday, 28 February 2016

No catch up ...

... today - not from last year, as such, however, this 'story' started last year .... or nearly 31 years ago, depending on how you look at it.  Back in February, when I blogged a bit about my birthday, I mentioned that there was something on the horizon.  Well, it's arrived!  My 30th wedding anniversary present, 2015 Christmas present and my 65th birthday present, all wrapped into one beautiful, amazing gift from my hubby!

This started when I was asked what I'd like for my anniversary present.  I had no idea!  An idea suddenly began to form and I thought I'd like my wedding & engagement rings redesigned.  I'd never had what I'd really wanted all those years ago.  I didn't want an engagement ring but did want a fancy wedding ring (quite common now but not then).  OH being the traditionalist he is wanted to 'do it properly' and get engaged, with a ring so .... I chose the cheapest one I liked the look of and also a cheap wedding ring.  Anyway, we discussed and he agreed I could look into having them redesigned.  Along with the wedding ring and engagement ring I also had a couple of eternity rings he'd bought me and he also gave me a little solitaire ring that his Mum had given him.  On top of that I had a wedding band style ring that belonged to Mum (not her wedding band ... that's for a future 'story')  After a bit of research into where I could get a 'bespoke' ring done, appointment made - in early September off I went with a vague idea of what I'd like done.

Top L - my wedding ring:  Top R - Mum's band:
Bottom L to R - solitaire: engagement ring: pale ruby/diamond and dark ruby/diamond eternity rings
I presented a scrappy bit of paper to the jeweller, with the rings.  I couldn't quite have what I would have liked as it wouldn't have worked so, taking their advice as the jewellery experts I left everything in their - as it turned out - very capable hands.  They have been sooooo patient with me.  My fingers have lied all the way down the line and resizing has been done several times but ........ 

On Saturday I collected them for the final time and they're perfect!  I love them and I can't stop looking at them.  They're not what I wanted 30 years ago - I may have that in a few more weeks in a different way - but these are mine!  They've given me the closest they could to the design I took to them.  It may not be entirely original as I was inspired by 2 or 3 rings I found on websites but it's what I came up with to use what I had ... and their tweaks.  My 'cheap' wedding and engagement rings are no longer 'cheap' but more importantly they have a lot of sentimental value and they're unique.
Photos don't really do these rings justice.  They're so sparkly and beautiful *big grin*
.... and the magicians (and patient as saints) who performed the magic?  Studio Crafts Jewellers ... and their YouTube channel which was the clincher in choosing them *grin*
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Friday, 26 February 2016

I've done a ...

.... short list *LOL*  I've checked what's been done and what's not - mostly not!  Let's see if this works ....

January 2015 - The poppy I ordered in the first half of 2014 finally arrived.  It's a poppy from the Tower of London ... stories here and here.  I've yet to do anything with it.  Although I bought a glass display dome, I haven't been inspired as to what to actually do with it but it's a beautiful item and something to be cherished for what it stands for.
My crafty-ness leant mainly towards the knitting needles, which I'd picked up for the first time in years.  I gathered my collection of needles together, some of which are older than me.  I don't know why I've kept so many but I have my own, Mum's and Nan's knitting needles.  Nan died in 1967 and I've had her needles for what seems forever but Mum probably passed them over at some point.  I've had to band a lot of them to show the metric sizing as most are the old UK sizes before metric came here.
Aran tunic - made in the 2nd to smallest size and it's now too big - and barely worn *shock*
Difficult to photograph as it is a hankerchief hem so doesn't hang well on a hanger and doesn't really show to best effect laid flat, either!
Not just knitting needles - there were crochet hooks as well.  Some of them were made from bone.  I'm assuming bone and not ivory but they're very old (Nan's).  I'm keeping them - as I am most of what I had.  Several of the same size but different lengths - useful *grin
To round off January 2015 - little great-granddaughter was 3 and started her school life with nursery and  ... eldest granddaughter passed her driving test *grin*  Life changes for both.
3 years old with big opinions - *lol*
That's pretty much January 2015 ... and 2016 done although there's one project I've done this year that can't be shown yet as the recipient hasn't had it and can't risk they stumble upon it.  There is a story!
I forgot to post a pic of the January 2016 birthday girls .....
Growing fast and now 4 years old.  'Big' school looms.
Birthday girls, 10 and 14 (born on Dad's 80th birthday) and the non-birthday boy .... the youngest grandchildren
..... not January birthday children but taken on MY January birthday - the eldest grandchildren (Dad - 24 - and Auntie - 19 - to great-granddaughter)  My birthday flowers were from these 2.  I promised not to put on Facebook - this isn't Facebook *wink*
That's 2 years of January done and dusted .... on to February.
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Thursday, 25 February 2016

A couple of ...

... weeks since the last missive and not much has changed.  OH is still in the hospice and he's still in pain. He's had a partial MRI.  Only partial because he couldn't keep still long enough to have the whole spine done.  I don't know, but I'm thinking that they never scanned the bit that would give any clue as to what's going on. I got called away from a workshop as the hospice had nobody free to go with him for the MRI so I went.  I was 'nurse' for the duration, having been given his drugs to dish out. He tells me they're looking at taking him to the pain clinic now.  We'll see.

He's quite funny at the moment.  I've never seen him drunk or really, even tipsy, in the 30+ years we've been together but whatever drugs they've got him on at the moment gives the impression he's permanently in a happy place *ROFL!*  Not only is he having oral drug therapy he also carries a syringe driver around with him (sitting on his lap in the pic) and then there's occasionally 'extra' intravenously.  It can be very difficult getting any sense out of him at times and trying to understand anything he's saying is pretty hard work.  He's speaking quite clearly - just doesn't make any sense - *lol*

He had his birthday a couple of days ago.  We never have a birthday cake but, as he wasn't home, I bought him one.  Apparently they made him one at the hospice as well, although I never got to see it as it had disappeared by the time I got there *lol*
This past weekend I went to see my nephew in his first lead role.  He's a student at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts doing a degree course.  It's his final year so it's all shows and showcases for agents and the like. He's been lucky enough to have already been signed to an agent so he can do open auditions for work.  If he gets work before the course ends, his finals will be assessed from wherever he is, whatever he's doing, otherwise it will be done in college.  Saturday matinee was virtually a full house and the show got an excellent response from the audience.  Apparently the best up to then.
I'm getting confused as to what I need to catch up on and what's been done.  I'm not organised enough to have made a list, checked it twice and then checked things off as done.  Perhaps I need to do that now before I go too far - but first ... 

The workshop I got called away from to escort OH to his MRI was for a shaker card.  I got as far as cutting the first matt and no further.  I asked Clair to stamp the image for me then I cut and ran, thinking I'd be able to finish it at home except ..... I had none of the things Clair used to make card.  I'd decided I wanted to make it for OH's birthday card so I improvised with what I had.  You can see the original card here - and a video on how it was put together here.  This is my version ....
I used Prismacolors, Zest-It (as my blending fluid) and blending stumps to colour LoTV's James with Heart.  The embossing folder was a new one from Crafter's Companion - Sunbeam and the white matt was edged with a Martha Stewart frame punch.  First time of using and I need to practise, or use it in a full light, not half light and then, perhaps, I can see how things are lining up - *lol!*  I used the punch outs in the shaker bit (coloured with Sharpies) and yes, that is a peel off Happy Birthday - stuck to the stripey paper under the acetate - so shoot me!

That's about it for this time.  Off to visit OH and think about making that list *lol*

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

It's looking ...

... as though the OH is going to be having a bit of an extended stay in the hospice.  The pain isn't yet under control but he's having such heavy duty drugs he's totally spaced out so doesn't care so much.  He's not at all comfortable though so it would be good to have the pain down to a bearable level for him.  They've requested a full spine MRI scan to see if they can pinpoint the cause.  I guess they can better target it if they know what's causing the pain.  They managed to help him last year with the fluid problem.  I'm hoping that they'll be able to help him this time.

The younger grandchildren have found this blog *LOL!*  Youngest granddaughter told me they'd found photos of themselves on t'internet.  I asked how and it seems they've been Googling themselves and some photos came up .... from here.  I had to come clean with youngest granddaughter and tell her it was my blog.  She was impressed *ROFL!*  Old Nana Pam has a website and knows her way around IT a bit *grin*  She was even more shocked when I told her that she was only 2 when I started the blog.  Funny how kids perceive us.  Mind you, it seems you now become an adult at 10 ... according to her!

OK, where shall I go from here .... before it gets to 'old' here's some pics of cards and flowers I received for my birthday in January.  Yep, I was 65 .... not 70 as the eldest's card would suggest.  Mind you, he did clarify it by putting "coz you're not" on the inside but I did refuse to wear the badge as he wanted.  Told him it lied and I'd save it *ROFL!*  Flowers came from the eldest grandchildren.  They're still going but getting fewer as they die off *sad*

Twiggy & Toots card was made by my friend Cally - on commission from the OH.
It's lovely 
... and a card from my American penpal of 52 years and Cally's personal one to me.
Lots of handcrafted cards from my crafty friends.

Here's a few more 'makes' from some of Clair's workshops last year.  Anyone local to Saltdean and surrounding areas .... the workshops are worthwhile going to *LOL*  Details can be found on Clair's blog.
OH was 75 last February and I used this card and just added a die cut age to it ... discreetly :D
8 x 8 card. An SU leaf stamp and die set.  Beautiful.
8 x 8 card.  SU again and one of my favourite cards from last year's workshops
SU petite petals used here and the leafy branch from the bird punch.  A 6x6 3 way fold card.

That's it for today.  Need to get some sleep *grin*

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

I'm tired ....

.... and weary.  I've not been getting much sleep of late but I really don't have much to complain about when I consider what OH is going through.  He's the reason I've not been getting much sleep.  His 'miracle' is turning into more of a curse, definitely a nightmare.  Initially it was exciting, thinking that life wouldn't be quite as restricted and we'd even talked about making a very long haul flight for him to meet family he's never met and only discovered existed about 3 years ago.  Think that may be back on the very unlikely to happen list ... sadly, very sadly.  The released nerves that gave him a bit of feeling back in his legs late summer 2015 so he had some, albeit very limited, use of them, started giving him major problems with pain around Christmas time.  Well, we think it's those nerves, the sciatic one particularly.  It may be the cancer.  Whatever, that pain has got progressively worse in time and intensity.  He's never free of it and can't bear the affected area being touched so pressure of any sort has him through the ceiling.    He's now residing in the local hospice while they try to get him some relief.  I hope it works but he's gone back 30 years or so with his symptoms.  It was pain such as he's having now which resulted in surgery and subseqently, the wheelchair.  I'm keeping everything crossed that they can help him as I dread to think what will happen if they can't.

Last year he had a problem with fluid build up and put on 5 stone of fluid in a matter of weeks.  He spent 3 months in the hospice then but they managed to sort it out and he lost all that fluid.   Since then he's lost another 2 stone in - as I call it - his 'fat' weight and it's still going down.  He's the healthiest and fittest he's been in a long while and now he's hit with this.  It doesn't seem fair.  Just when we think he's going to get some sort of normal life back he's dragged down again.  He doesn't deserve it.

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

That's it ...

... January done.  A 12th of the year gone already and well into the next 12th.  Scary!

I'm now officially 'old'!  If I wasn't before I am now.  65th birthday done and gone.  Had a lovely day.  Different for us, especially as we don't usually celebrate birthdays.  We're usually unwell come birthdays, especially special number birthdays.  This year we took a stroll from home to Rottingdean and had a late lunch/early dinner in the White Horse Hotel.  Came home via public transport .... bus!  First time OH has been on a bus since 1985 *ROFL*  Would have taken a very slow stroll back if he'd not been in so much pain.  Despite that we had a nice day and I've been 'celebrating' all week!  A couple of evenings out and collecting birthday cards as the week has moved on.   Chocolates, flowers and a DVD to mark the occasion.  I'm a happy lady .... doesn't take much *grin*  There's something else on the horizon as well but that can wait until it's all done.

There's been another of Clair's workshops and I absolutely love the card.  I've liked them all so far, even those that I didn't think I would.  So far this year we've done these .......
1st workshop of 2016 - SU blossom stamp and tab top punch.  Other stamps (background and sentiment) are MFT
2nd workshop - Apple Blossom Build a Cake die set from Craft Stash.  I added gems, an age and Happy Birthday (yes, they're peel offs so shoot me!) and used the card for middle granddaughter's birthday.  She loved it :)
3rd workshop - a centre diamond fold card base made by measuring, scoring and folding and dies were only used for the actual topper - everything else measured, hand cut and stamped.  Stamps & matching dies used were by JustRite.
Having another trawl through some of last years 'stuff' et voilá .... another first.   I took part in the Race for Life.  I asked the middle granddaughter if she'd like to join me.  She agreed and then her young sister wanted to in as well.  Ended up the 2 youngest granddaughters and their Mum joined me and it was fun.  Mind you, we didn't do too well on the 'race' bit as it was a hard task for us.  5k - which DiL's app showed as actually over 6k - and, 1 hour 50 minutes (give or take a few seconds) and we arrived back but ... we weren't last *rofl*  Nearly, but not quite!  We started near the front of the walkers but were soon being overtaken.  Mind, if the girls hadn't been with me I'd have given up before the first 500m when I saw the hill we had to climb *scary!*
Off we go!
Support crew *grin*
Start of that hill *scary!*
Where is everyone else?
The end and feeling accomplished ... even if knackered!

Would I do it again?  Possibly, but not at this venue.  It would have to be flat.  This one turned out to be mainly uphill.  Flat and going down wasn't too bad but the first 2k or more were killers for me and DiL.  The youngsters had to be reigned back to walk at our speed which was pretty much stop, start, rest over and over .... hence coming in near last.  We did, despite that, enjoy it and felt as though we'd accomplished something so yes, it was worth it and we can say we've done it once even if we never do it again *grin*

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