Friday, 21 December 2012

Do you believe.....?

Last Sunday Sophie asked if she could go to Lanhydrock (National Trust House) and see Father Christmas.  Having just turned 10 we were not sure if she still believed or had the bubble burst by another child at school so we were surprised and to be honest a little pleased.
The Christmas Tree is always gorgeous and this year was no exception.  They manage to achieve a certain colour and light quality to it.
Sophie was fine until it was her turn and seemed to hesitate and go all shy, so still my little girl despite her growing up so fast and seeming to take everything in her stride.  She said afterwards that she could not remember the books that she would like but said she wanted to do more reading.  Last year they had a fabulous Father Christmas, he looked just like the vintage cards, his own beard and was excellent, I could not get over how authentic he looked.  So it was a shame that he was not there this year, had clearly lost several pounds and Sophie said she could see the stitching on his false beard.  Opps!  So I think that I shall go back to my original thought.....this may be the last year that she truely believes but maybe just a teeny tiny bit of her will.
This past week has been crazy trying to finish things off before the holidays.  One piece of news, I have my referal appointment as the New Year starts so I did not have to wait quite as long as I thought I would have to.  I shall let you know how I get on there and at least it has avoided Christmas.
The appointment has also avoided clashing with our Christmas Cruise with Oceana and we leave tomorrow after school has finished.  We have been frantically wrapping, packing, washing, ironing, looking for things, re-charging everything in sight and trying not to forget that Toffy needs to go to the cattery, where he will be treated to hie own heated cat mat!!
I will see if I can post while I am away but if not I shall bore you all with a ton of photos when I get back. 
Have a super Christmas everyone and many thanks to those of you who have sent a pressie or swap.  I shall open them on my return so please do not worry if I do not email back to you straight away.
Take care everyone and
Merry Christmas!

Friday, 14 December 2012

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas......

We are going away for Christmas, but caved in and got our tree and decorated it this week. We hope to have friends round when we get back so it seemed odd to find one.  We buy ours from a local farm who I presume has a Christmas tree field.  I am sure it is not quite like that but Sophie loves the ideas of a field filled with Christmas trees?
We have been getting all Christmasy at work too and my tutor group had great fun making these during a tutor session.
We used white card templates which most students then painted either red or green.
From then on it was like some kind of glitter fest............tinsel, glitter, star stickers.........
Pompoms, more glitter, felt tip pen, drawings,  even more glitter
Silver and gold paint, tissue paper.......
and finally...yes, you guessed it..........yet more glitter.
In less than an hour my classroom looked like a million fairies had flown through.  Even the cleaner had to laugh at the end of the day!  They look really impressive hanging along the windows.  Will have to think what we could do next year.
Many thanks for all of your kind words concerning my hip situation.  No more to say on that until after my referral appointment in the New Year. 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Hip Results...... is not some new trendy way of working out your blog stats but my xray results.
It is nothing life threatening but I have been told that there is a "significant" change in both hip joints.  The left being more severe.  Eventually I will need one, maybe two hip replacements but due to being too young for that I have been referred to a specialist to see how I will be "kept going" until such time as a replacement will be done.
I was just relieved that it was nothing more serious....the Big C for example and I am happier now I know that I am not imagining it or it is down to poorly chosen shoes!!
So I have a degenerative problem and due to my age (I am only 42) and medical history it is likely to have been caused when I was born and not detected  (did they look for this type of thing in 1969?) or due to an injury (I was thrown out of the car during an accident before seat belts were installed in the back of cars) but I do not remember there being an issue then and nor does my Mum.
Any way I have another stock of painkillers to see me through to the New Year and I am not going to worry that some days they are not enough and sometime in 2013 I will move on to the next stage.
I have been assured that it can be looked into and treatment carried out and I am not going to let it ruin our Christmas trip.  Rest will need to feature so that I can walk round Bruge, Copenhagen, Gothenberg and Amsterdam.  I have been looking forward to it for 16+months and mentally I have had my bags packed for months!!!
I have my appraisal on Monday then after that I can sail towards Christmas.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I shall be back after I have finished my paperwork.  Hubby and Sophie are putting up the tree and I shall pop in and out when I need a thinking break.
Back soon

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Posting pictures problem and a Christmas decoration moment.

Well I was going to post about my Chooky Blue swap but I am unable to upload any pictures.  I am being told that I have reached my maximum on Picasa unless I pay a monthly fee despite having deleted lots of unwanted pictures.  Also the pictures that I want to use are not even on Picasa, they are on my computer in My Pictures, which I deliberately save separately from Picasa.
Any suggestions?
Otherwise I am going to have to pay up.  Most of the pictures that i have can not be found in my Picasa area anyway unless they are hidden due to being full up, a bit like Flickr where only the most recent 200 pictures can be seen unless you have an upgrade.  The above picture is one of a few that I  have found in my Picasa online album but more recent pictures are missing(?).  This was the decoration that I made for a swap last Christmas.
Oh well,,,pass me my bank card someone...................
Have a good week and many thanks for the kind words about my Xray, I shall ring up at the end of the is coming week to see what the result is.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

X-rayed and waiting......

On Wednesday I went to the local hospital to have both hips x-rayed.
(picture from google images)
On Wednesday I went to the local hospital to have of my hips x-rayed and hopefully in a weeks time I will have the results.
So now it is a case of waiting.  The painkilllers have been great but I can not stay on them forever.  However, today, it was quite painful.  It could just be the end of a tiring week.
Many thanks for all of your best wishes concerning my hip and it is surprising how wide spread this sort of problem is.  Your concern has been great.
Off Christmas shopping after my daughter's ballet lesson and I have no idea what do look for.
I am also looking to spend a bit of time on my blog too as I have been very absent recently and I have really missed reading all of your posts.
Not quite sure what has happened to my spare time at the moment, the day job seems to have taken over.   I am lucky to have a job but too much work is not healthy either. 
My swap parcel for the Chooky Blue Christmas swap arrived last week and is sitting on a shelf ready for Christmas, very tempting but I have not touched it since taking the brown envelope off!!  I was asked to open the card and decorations which I will post tomorrow seeing as it is the first of December.  I have just seen the is be off to my bed then.
Bye and take care all.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chooky Blue Christmas Swap

A sneaky peek at the handmade label that I made for my swap partners parcel.  It is now winging its way off.
I hope it arrives safely and that they like it when they open it on Christmas Day! 
I am suppose to be taking part in a Craft Fayre this weekend but I have not had much time to make very many items.  Hopefully what I have in stick will generate some interest.
It has been a very poorly household this past week and Hubby has been told by the GP that he has a chest infection.  The first time in the 20 or more years that I have known him.  Sophie went back to school for the first time this week to discover that her homework book has disappeared and she is rather upset about it.  Hopefully it will turn up.  As for me........ well I too have been to the GP and an xray is in the pipeline to find out what is wrong with my hip or to at least rule out a bone problem, I have also developed the chesty cough but luckily my inhaler has helped there.  I am struggling with the drawings for my next project and I still have not been able to take pictures of my sketchbook due to poor weather and very bad light to show you on this blog despite promising for nearly 2 weeks.
So as you can see all is well in the House of Indigo Blue!  How long it is until the weekend?
Take care all.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Happy Tenth Birthday Sophie

Last Friday Sophie had a landmark birthday.............10 years old.  Where has the ttime gone, and I have been repeating that ever since.
Unfortunately hubby and Sophie have really bad colds at the moment (we did fear flu to start with) so it is quite quiet here and porr Sophie has not been up to looking at her gifts or playing very much.
Her poor little face is so white and she can not breath at all but she has been in good spirits.  She really is a very good natured young lady.   As I am typing this at 10.30pm she has just joined me at the kitchen table with one of ther drawing presents.  Trying to get to sleep is out of the question at the moment.
For the past few years I have been asked to make individual cupcakes which go on a stand but not this year.  I was perhaps a little disappointed and the above shop bought cake was asked for and I decorated it.  Sophie pointed put that due to all of the reports etc that ihave to do she did not want me to worry about baking.   Ahhhhh!  She was very insistant so I caved in.  Very thoughtful of her but I really could have made those cupcakes!!
Ohh Blogger is playing around with my pictures, anyway...Hubby and I bought a few small items as her main present is a trip to the Pantomime next month with two friends which she asked for nearly a year ago.  The dark evenings meant that her three friends who popped round only went outside for a bit but them came indoors and played in the living room with nice games such a mouse trap, scrabble and other games.  Not once did they ask for a DVD or the television.  The cat got a lot of fuss made of him and I think he got a fed a several times so he thought it was his birthday as well!!
For tea we cleaned down the kitchen table and each child made their own homemade pizza, which went down very well especially covering the table with flour and not getting told off.
Good old jelly for afters and a small gift bag and a slice of cake to take home.  They were a lovely little group and I think Kieran was great to come on his own but then I was told by Mum that he has three sisters at home.
Sophie is getting too grown up for parties at home but this little after school tea party went well and all three guests did not want to go home.  Proof that a lot of money does not have to spent to have fun.
My reports are done, that is literally all I have been doing since 5th November and I have so much more to show you.  My next obstacle is a lesson observation on 10th December!  So I shall start the paperwork for that at the weekend.
I did reward myself with tonight off and I have been creating a sample for my evening class.  Just a few more bits to do them I will hand it in tomorrow. 
Sorry not to have given yo a peek inside my sketchbook, but now the reports are done I hope I will a bit more blogging time and hopefully a few more early nights.
Take care all

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Swamped Under

I am still here but as the picture above suggests (courtesy of Google images) I am swamped under student reports and related paperwork.  I have soooooo many more groups this year and it is taking ages as we are also working with a new format.
It is too dark now to take pictures of my sketchbook but I shall do my best to make it the first thing I do when i get home tomorrow.
Hubby is maki8ng our roast dinner then it is back to it until I can not see anymore.
Back soon

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Autumn Sun

The last day of the half term holiday turned out to be full of bright blue skies, sun and a little photo taking in the garden for my next evening class project.  This is not one of them but I liked the look of this plant none the less.
The day was full of busy back to school jobs, taking Sophie to a birthday party, doing the weekly shop which is usually on a Thursday, going to the tip and finally finishing the living room in time to see the last part of Downton Abbey.
What am I going to do every Sunday evening until Christmas Day when there will be special episode broadcast!!
Been a bit of an up and down week really.  I have had problems with my lower back and left hip area for about 18 months and tried physiotherapy which eased it and chemist painkillers, but now I am getting to the point where living with the pain and sleepless nights are not an option.  So, last Tuesday I had an appointment with a Osteopath not really knowing what to expect.  Went fine then had a couple of movements which were quite forceful and was warned that I might feel worse in a day or two.  Well that was true as on Thursday and Friday I could hardly walk!  On the Wednesday I went to pick up my new (second hand) car as getting in and out of my current one was getting too difficult and definitely not helping the situation.  Luckily I was ok to drive but I was not able to drive it again until today.
So my week has been a little slower than normal.  I have staggered up the stairs and had little sleep (no change there then).  However, today it has improved greatly and the lovely Autumn sun was like a sign to get out in that car and make sure that I know where the lights are (darker evenings now that the clocks have changed) , checked the manual and know where everything is plus a drive round.  So I am nearly back to normal...... Yippeee........just in time to go back to work tomorrow!!   Typical.
Then this coming Tuesday I get to do it all again with my second appointment......I can see a painful pattern developing here but I do have to say that my hip and lower back area does feel and work better now that the pain of being pulled and pushed around has gone.  So hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel.
What sort of week have you had?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Wool Blanket Cushion WIP is Finished!!

I had a very enjoyable evening on Monday and finished my cushion made from woollen blanket scraps.
Above shows one of the flowers that I showed last weekend half stitched.  I love french knots, have I said that before?
This little birdie is a design which I came up with a couple of years ago for the Quilt Around the World Swap and has featured on several felt notebook covers.  I sold one of those books last week on Esty.
Lots of shapes and textured stitches.
I was sad when I ran out of room to add anything else and I had to stop the fun of actually making this cushion.
I have kept the back of the cushion quite simple with a double flap opening which has been edged with two rows of running stitch using purple wool.  The backing is made out of a lovely lilac woollen blanket which I managed to find.
So......drum roll please..........
I am sooooooo pleased with how this has turned out.  I put the edging on because at the workshop I could not find a piece of fabric the right for a cushion and I did not fully know what I was going to be making anyway.  I think it frames it and shows up the colours.
I have some scraps left and the lilac blanket which I found so I think another blankety based item will be in the pipeline.  I thought another cushion might be a bit much........any ideas?
I think the main attraction of this project is the hand stitching, which is great for evenings in front of the fire!
Many thanks for all of the lovely comments on the WIP post for this cushion and the response on Pinterest too.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Pumpkin Fun

Last year we seemed to miss the whole pumpkin carving fun so this year we decided to make sure and we bought ours a week or so ago.
Last evening we were all sat around the kitchen table drawing the designs on to the pumpkin with pencil and then using an array of tools we set to work carving out our designs.
We shall start off with hubby's pumpkin which had a very unusual nose shape which was achieved first by drilling a large hole and then cutting a point on the top of it.  He also added "hair" to his pumpkin  along the top using a small penknife (carefully!) and this worked really well.  This year the pumpkins were really firm and well shaped for doing this and the insides scooped out easily.  I remember one year struggling so much that I was really glad when it was all over...took a bit of the fun out it.
Sophie drew on her design and I helped her to carve it out as I was scared that she may end up with a digit less on one hand.  The idea is completely hers and the eyes were again drilled using an attachment normally used on wood.  Cleaned up very carefully too and worked really well but I still think that was due to the firmness of the pumpkins in the first place.
You can see in this picture that I added some "Harry Potter" style lightening flashes to the lid of the pumpkin and they turned out pretty well when the candle was added.
The little tea lights that we use give of a surprisingly good amount of light and shone through the carved areas well.
We took these pictures outside in the garden once we had finished and Sophie is delighted with the outcome and it really is fun to go back to our own inner child as well. 
For the first time I was able to gather enough pumpkin seeds to dry and bake in the oven.  I found an idea on what to do on the Internet and then crossed my fingers.  They tasted good, they are golden brown and not much to look at but with a dash of salt we were quite surprised at their taste.  Last time I tried this it was  rather a disappointment as there was only have about 10 seeds...hunted for more in the pulp but only 10 seeds were found!!!
We have kept a few seeds unbaked as Sophie would like to try and grew some for next year.  Not so sure on the success of this but I am willing to give it a go.
We hope to go to Eden later as they have some Halloween activities going on but we shall see what the weather is doing and maybe take our lanterns with sone battery operated fairy lights inside instead of candles.  They will then sit in the window for a while and then off into the garden.
Have a Happy (and Safe) Halloween

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Wool Blanket - WIP

Well it is Saturday and Sophie has been dropped off at a Brownie holiday weekend and we do not pick her up until Monday.  So as promised here I am with my first half-term post.  The above shows a wool blanket cushion that I started at an Embroiderers Guild day workshop last yea,r just before my Dad died, and I never went back to it.  So last night I dug it out and did quite a bit to it.
I love hand stitching and especially french knots.  There is no particular design plan to this at all but just following the guidance and advice of Madeline Millington who ran the workshop and specialises in items made from recycled wool blankets.
I did have some scraps which I had bought from her when she exhibited at Westpoint in Exeter some years ago, so I have always liked her work.
The main cushion is made up of a crazy patchwork style base and then shapes are hand stitched on top using a variety of stitches.  Plenty of stitches too, this is also a good way of using up odds and ends of knitting wool too.
I do have a Bigshot and a few dies that will cut fabric so when I got home I cut a few shapes using the machine but on the day of the workshop I hand cut some random shapes as well.  
 This is still very much a work in progress and along with my Chookyblue Swap item I hope to complete both if these this coming week.  I like the thickness, colours and randomness of this cushion and the fact that you can simply make it up as you go along and use such a wide variety of wools and stitches.
Great fun!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Festive Shopping - Visit Indigo Blue Designs

I am still here but I have been working hard at the day job and working equally hard on my Art textiles evening class.  Tonight I shall be handing my in first project for marking then I hope to get back to some blogging.
I also need to finish off my entry for the Chookyblue Christmas swap this coming half term break, which brings me on to online shopping.  I have been purchasing more from the Internet since taking on my evening class which generates homework.
So I thought I would be cheeky and put my webshop link here.  I will be honest that I have not promoted it in a very forceful way and I have had a sale on Etsy today, which I have all but given up with the site.  So I shall list a few now items ready for the festive season.
So here is the link:
See if there is anything that could make an ideal one-off present or even a treat for yourself.
If you live in the UK I will accept a private cheque but it will have to clear before I sent anything, the same as you would for Ebay.
Has anyone finished their festive shopping already?
I have my cards ready to write but I will simply not do that until at least November so those going abroad will get there in time....but not before!
As I said I hope to be around more this coming week and to do my belated 5th Blogaversary giveaway which I clean forgot due to being up to my elbows in paint, sketchbook, fabric and threads.........bliss!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Texture - In search of....

I have been so busy this past week  (or month even)  that I have been very neglectful of my poor blog.  Weekend before last we all went off in search of texture for my Art Textiles evening class in the form of photographs.  here are some of my favourites.....................
Peeling bark.  Love this one!
Lichen absolutely everywhere!!!
Even more tree bark with lovely texture just waiting to be stitched.  Can you tell that i enjoyed this little trip.  I took over 50 pictures and had to really slim down my choices.
The leaves are starting to turn colour and I love Autumn colours.
Felt and machine embroidery perhaps?
Plenty of rain equals plenty of fresh, bright green moss.  Lots of hand stitching for this one I think.
I have printed off what i consider to be the best and I shall be adding them to my sketchbook which at the moment is with the course tutor for a bit of assessing.  I had my written piece of work marked last week and I got an A+!!   Did not think that after these years something as simple as getting a good grade for a bit of writing could feel so good!
Tonight I have printed it out properly on some nice cream card and with then present it on my sketchbook this coming evening class.
So it is back to the work table as i now need to start another sample by painting and then stitching into it. I have one that I completed yesterday but I now need to take some pictures so that I can post it here.  That will have to wait until another time.
Take care all and I hope to post more this week.....hopefully.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Quilted and patchworked make up bag

I came home this afternoon determined to actually finish this make up bag which my friend at work ordered a week or two back. 
This is similar to the pencil case that I made her at the beginning of term so I added a Suffolk puff or Yo Yo to show the difference between them.
 A tab to either  pull on to open the zip or to hang it up.
Some free machine embroidery to quilt and add design.
 I added my tabs at either end of the zip which I am so glad that I now do. It makes adding the zip neater and much easier.
 I shall take this in tomorrow and pop it on her desk as a surprise.
I would really like to make some more of these as they are fun to work out what colours to use.
Any way,  must dash as i have some sketchbook work to do for my evening class on Wednesday.
Bye for now.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Refurbishing a Living Room

Well, it took a systems restore to sort out whatever the problem was and I am about a week behind with my posts so here goes.
Last weekend we spent the day re-doing the livingroom floor and here I have some pictures of where we are so far.  We are waiting to take a trip to IKEA but need to borrow my inlaws bigger car so we are looking at maybe going nest weekend.
So above shows part of the room with the kitchen door behind me.
This one I am standing in the corner by the window as shown in the pic above.  This is the arm chair I mainy sit in.
 I am still standing by the window but viewing the opposite side of the room.  On the sofa you can see the log cabin floor cushion that I helped Sophie to make a couple of years ago.  She now uses it alot now that we have our new floor.
Here I am standing by the sofa.  Not a huge room but we now feel that it is brighter, bigger looking and now easier to clean.  This is our main through route to get to the back of the house and after two carpets we have now decided to a different flooring to see how we get on.  We did go and look at some curtain fabric today but we are not too sure just yet.  I shall keep you posted as we hope to get this room finished asap.
Back tomorrow...I want to get some more posts in before my laptop plays up again!!
I do have some updates about my evening class.
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