Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mothers Days - I have been spoilt!

I can not believe that it has been a week since I was last here!  Where has the time gone.  Anyway, this morning I was woken up to these from Sophie................
A lovely bouquet of flowers with gorgeous colours.
Sophie then made this cooked breakfast for us all under the watchful eye of Dad.  We have a little heart shaped frying pan which only gets used a couple of times a year and has nearly been thrown out on many occasions.
A Mummy snow globe.....a new one on me that.  Did not know they even exisited.
I can not remember the last time I was given a balloon, might have been my 40th but no one here is sure, very colourful though.  I have put it in the front room window.
A handmade card and some chocolates which Sophie and I will open later.  Hubby had to drive to Sussex after breakfast but we shall keep a few for him.  He is away all week so this may be a hard idea to follow through but we shall try.
Then my favourite thing, hand made gifts and Sophie made these at Guides on Tuesday.  A Suffolk puff and button brooch and a wool and pipe cleaner flower.  She also made some blue and green earrings at her Guide activity day last weekend but I was wearing them and forgot to include them in the picture.
I have been thoroughly spoilt and at the moment I am writing this and about to do some work on my A level sketchbook and Sophie has her T-shirt quilt spread out on the living room floor pinning on the wadding.  

We are then going over to my in-laws for dinner..........all in all a good day.
Happy Mothers Day to all those Mums out there .

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cut, Stitch and Blog - Bag

A couple of weeks ago I saw over at Ali Bee Creations that Hillarys the soft furnishing company who make curtains and blinds were running a competition called Hillarys Blinds Country Crafts Competition for bloggers to request up to two types of fabric and make something creative out of it.  Blog about it with links.
Due to my hand I was not sure so left it then a few days later I thought well why not give it a go, I am having to try and use a machine at work so I applied for two different fabrics but perhaps I did not click save right as I ended up with two batches of the same fabric.  Above is the fabric Wild Poppies and the piece is 100cm x 100cm which is pretty large really!

It was a stroke of luck as it arrived the day Oftsed had finished so it seemed an good omen to start something new.  I spent time thinking then I decided to make a bag as I have not made one for ages.  I finally settled on a bag which I made my own pattern for three years ago.
Friday evening was spent pinning and cutting.  The fabric is really nice to cut and took to the interfacing well.
One addition I added was an internal divider with two pockets so that items could be separated out a bit.  Big enough to get a small sketchbook in and paintbox. The divider goes the whole width of the bag.  I also cut out a very long strap and two pieces to go through two metal rings plus a double sided flap.  There is still a bit left over!  The only other fabric I used was some cream cotton for the lining.
 I had a set of magnetic fasteners for the flap.
These are really easy to apply, you just need to plan ahead if it needs to go through the lining before you stitch in that lining.
Fastening attached to the bag and flap.
Metal rings and fabric to start off the strap section.  These are added before the lining and main strap are attached.
The main strap itself is attached to one of the rings at one end but is left open at the other so that a large knot is added.  This is so that the knot can be undone and the strap extended or reduced by moving the knot.  The knot is never in the way and adds a nice practical feature without the need for the slide adjusters which can mark fabric and discolour.  This is my own little touch which I have been adding to my own bags for years and I like it a lot and works well for me.
Here is the final bag and I am pleased with how it has turned out as this is the most patterned fabric that I have ever used with my pattern.
Sophie wondered if it needed a flower or something on the flap as I had done this with a previous bag
that I had made.  It is just clipped on for easy removal.

 Here is the knot feature which is quite difficult to picture so I hope you can see how it works.
I also added a box bottom base to it as well to give a bit of width.
A glimpse of the inside dividers.
The final bag being won.
I know need to think of something else to make with the second batch of Wild Poppies fabric.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Le Challenge March - Order

After I posted last night I realised that it is the deadline this weekend for the March entry of Le Challenge.  Now, due to other things I have not entered anything for this in ages but last weekend I did start to sort out my entry and with one thing and another (see last post) I forgot.  So I quickly got it it all together and stitched on the backing so hopefully it is not too late. 
This month the theme is ORDER and I decided to use the above stitching which is on a linen and my idea of order was thinking back to the ordered flower beds and gardens of many stately homes in the UK many of which are now owned by the National Trust.  So think Topiary trees, the renowned garden designer Capability Brown and little box hedges.  This was a kit that I bought from a National Trust shop years ago  but has been sitting around ever since but I felt it fitted the bill.

I stitched  some lovely blue fabric on the back, stuffed it and it is now an over sized pincushion.
I need some new pincushions as my others have worn out and they gradually flatten with the constant pushing in of pins over time.
I even picked out my blue and white pins for the occasion!
Best go and upload it to the Le Challenge blog.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Phew! The Big Visit is over.......................

Google Images
I have been rather busy in the latter stages of this week because we suddenly had Ofsted visit.  I am rather tired as the anticipation of an observation is as bad if not worse than actually being watched.
I was observed with my Year 10 Art Textiles group and I was graded an Outstanding in all areas.

You have no idea what this means and I am treasuring that as I work so hard at this job that it is great that someone who does not know me can see what I do and that I am doing it right.
I was also seen with my tutor group but I do not know the outcome of that as yet.

Even though there is not much warning time before they turn up there is still paperwork they expect so bed times have been in the early hours and the picture above pretty much sums me up at the moment!

I do have some news to post but for now I am sat on the sofa watching Winnie the Pooh with Sophie and trying not to fall asleep!!

I shall sleep well tonight...................
Have a good evening.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

What a HOOT! -OPAM March

Nearly a week after I tried to re-shape my finger I decided to have a go at finishing a kit that came with a magazine using the sewing machine.  I have been going to work and having to help the students with some of their practical work after all.
I started this little chap months ago but he went on the back branch (burner) as other things took over.
I bought this magazine to see what it was like but not really bothered since.  I do feel that many of the magazines seem very similar at the moment.
He is meant to be a doorstop but I can not bear the idea of him being thrown on the floor by a door.  I have stuffed him with toy stuffing (the most painful part for my hand) and a small bag of rice in his tummy to weigh him down a bit and he now has pride of place in my car!
It took about an hour to finish him and it was painfully slow but not too bad.  My other fingers were glad for the exercise and it felt good to make something so it was a tonic for me.  Finger swelled up but you can not have everything and I was told to move it as pain allowed so I am not damaging anything.
I can certainly see the mis-shapening of my finger and where the cycst is and I suppose that I because I have annoyed it.
So the start of a new week and I wish everyone a good week ahead, the weather is supposed to be improving too.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ouch! Update - Are you squeamish?

Well, I have been to work every day and struggled with writing etc but to no avail.  I wrote on the white board on Friday morning and you could barely read it and it was agony, even with pain killers so I had to read it out loud and the students wrote it down.  Luckily only one sentence then moved on to another task.  I had not had a chance to come up with another way in time but since then I have.
I took the dressing off Friday night and it looked awful!  The colour and shape were not good.
Move on to today and here is the update.
The dressing above has been changed to a support tube bandage which holds two fingers together and acts as a splint.  Getting that on was still painful but at least my finger is more straight looking.
The consultant in Truro wiggled it around and asked me a few questions then we both looked at the xrays again.
Not entirely sure of a break as such but there is something there.  The Cyst is benign!  (It also has a very complicated name and on average they only see four of these a year!) Big sigh of relief for so many reasons.  However the cyst needs removing and it quite clear on the x-ray.  Appears to be on only one finger (odd) so if you are squeamish you may want to move to another blog.
They want to operate on my finger to remove the cyst by scrapping (those were his exact words) it out of my finger/bone.  Then........this was the surprising bit........take a bit of bone from my wrist and "stuff" the hole with it!!
Did not see that coming at all!!  

So lets step back for just a minute.

A small part of my anatomy needs operating on plus my wrist, on my writing hand.  I teach art and textiles with a massive timetable, a possible Ofsted is due at some point (date unknown) and my evening class practical exam is just after Easter!
So to speed things up he put me on the waiting list today with a 4 week timescale.  So I am in limbo with the above.  Not life threatening in any way, but honestly, the timing.

So Hubby is driving me everywhere......I did try driving today as I miss my independence but had to pull over when I whacked my hand on the gear stick.  Ouch again!
Hubby drove me to my evening class and at the moment I shall carry on until an operation date and take it from there as I hope to at least have a letter quite soon even if the date is a bit of a wait.
I handed in my coursework project which I finished the evening before I injured my finger/hand so it can be marked and if I have to pull out of the exam the marks can be stored and I could do the exam next year.
We shall see what happens over the next week but pulling out at this stage is not ideal but might be unavoidable if the operation is too close to recover from in time for the exam or I just give it my best shot and ask for consideration when marked.
So there you have it! 
Life is not dull, is it?
Many thanks for the comments left on my last post and I am replying now that I can type faster, but I am going to have to stop now as my hand is telling me it has had enough.
Take care all.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Future Crochet Plan/Hope

The above is a pattern that can be purchased from Sarah London. I bought it a while ago and I hoped to have a go at making it for this summer in a summery colour or in ivory.  I would need to perhaps change the sleeves somehow as they are quite flared and knowing me I would dip them in every dinner I wore it!
Last night I thought I could have at least had a go at a bit of crochet, I have three working (if a bit achy) fingers on my left hand so I thought I would crochet a leaf.  Well.............what a mess and oh the pain so I ended up at in my chair doing nothing!  Now I do have far too much work with the day job and perhaps I should be glad that has been curtailed a bit, however sitting there nothing is not ideal either.  I did struggle to finish it but not worthy of a blog picture.  So I looked for further ideas to progress my crochet skills online which is where I stumbled upon Sarah's jumper pattern and remembered that I had it saved on my laptop.  I shall look into finding some yarn and once this hand/finger issue is sorted out, then that will be my next project.    I realise it is Granny squares again but this time it would be a garment, so still a challenge as iI would like it to fit.
I love the colour combination that Sarah has used but I am not sure that I would be brave enough to wear it or indeed be able to carrying off.  What do you think?
Hope you have had a good weekend.
Many thanks for the lovely and supportive comments for my last post and I shall reply but typing is slow with one hand or an awkward combination of just 7 fingers!
Good telly tonight though "Call the Midwife" and "The three Musketeers".
Been watching the Sewing Bee on iPlayer.  The challenges have been much better this year, ones you could try yourself and the contestants have been good creatively.  Really liked the ideas that they came up with for the shirt recycling challenge.
Anyway, best go dinner is nearly ready (cooked by hubby).
Take care all.
Have a good week.
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