Monday 25 May 2020

An interesting month

Well it hasn't been the May I expected, it hasn't been the year I expected .... and I know it hasn't been the year the world expected.

I try to stay positive, it is good to talk but for me my dark times are best kept at home, and there have been quite a few this year when last December my world did a somersault and seems to be still rolling .....

Blog world, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my wine forum CuvΓ©e Reserve keep me busy. My super friends at Needlecraft Haven keep me smiling, they are such a lovely group who all help keep the bumps down.

One thing I enjoy is seeing my daily memories reminder on Facebook. Over the last four years we've been in very different places on 13th May : first visit to our bowling club after breaking my ankle, Turkey holiday, Scotland holiday and enjoying a sunny afternoon in lockdown!

During this stay at home time we've enjoyed many video calls with Philippa and her Michael, it certainly isn't the same as being together but great fun, especially our quizzes. We've also been having quiz nights on a Saturday with our friends with virtual wine and nibble sharing.

My arm is easing, it is very difficult keeping it still and it is painful letting it hang, it would be so nice to rest it on a cushion. The latest xrays showed that, although not healing yet, the fracture had not widened which according to my Consultant was the result he wanted. The xrays next visit involve taking my arm out of the sling and some specific positions, I'm practicing them a little each day, very painful but it's moving more each time.

Left handed life has been quite good, I have never thought of left handed people being any different to right handed people ... I certainly don't think of it being 'caggy' handed .... and never thought that of my students. 

What I have found is some things are made for right handed people, Hubby bought me a pair of scissors as the cut edge on ordinary scissors has the wrong pressure angle to be used with your left hand. 

The difficulty is having one hand, opening lids and jars is tricky, doing up buttons (I'm not good at this anyway with my MS), cutting up my dinner, getting dressed and, funny but annoying, tearing toilet paper!

Hubby has been doing most of the cooking, I did cook a full English breakfast yesterday and earlier in the week together we made cheese straws and eccles cakes (pastry filled with sugar and currants). I have been baking cakes, weighing and mixing is ok but Hubby has to put the mixture into the tin .... we make a good team.

I have also been doing a few jobs, very slowly as everything seems to have twice as many steps .... move the ornament, dust, put the ornament back .... but all doable. We cleaned the conservatory windows in and out, my role was to use the squidgy wiper blade .... very satisfying, we're very proud of our gleaming windows.

Our Thursday night clapping to support all our carers in these difficult times has become very noisy. I can't clap but have been ringing my 'wine' bell very loud. It's a lovely time each week when we all stand outside clapping, waving and thumbs up to show we're all ok.... memories to tell the next generations.

Days and weeks are blending together with most days the same as the last but this week we had three super highlights. You can read about them over in my wine, food and travel blog - Aimetu's - on my Welsh cheese, English rugby and French wine post.

Apologies that this isn't a stitching post, I am managing a few stitches each day, but I wanted to add a May update if only to look back in years to come. Finally here's a bit of fun from Facebook .... my own avatar. You design it yourself using a Facebook app .... not a bad match although it doesn't have a sling !

Thank you for reading my non-stitchy ramblings, see you next post with my Smalls for May!

Saturday 23 May 2020

Smalls SAL - May

My second month taking part in Mary's great blog sharing idea - it's all about small stitching, any little project you have stitched, it doesn't have to be fully finished.

Here's the full details about Small SAL 2020 - thank you Mary.

Thankfully I had already finished a few smalls at the end of April and in early May as just now stitching is a challenge. Keeping my broken arm/shoulder joint still is quite difficult even with a wrist sling. I have, over the last week, managed to hold fabric between my right fingers and very slowly stitch using my left hand. It does make my right arm ache so a few minutes is enough, hopefully I can do a little more each day.

So to my Smalls ... the first is Block 4 in Stitching the Night Away SAL 2019. It's great fun doing this with some of the stitchers at Needlecraft Haven.

My other Smalls are three flowers I have done for my church tree at Christmas. I have received some beautiful flowers from around the world.... I post about those in my GG post each month. I received two beautiful flowers from Spain today and early this week some from USA.

Just a quick note - if you are sending from overseas please just put your flower inside a card and send it letter post. I know each flower is special but I do not want anyone spending lots of money on special postage, it also ensures I will not have a customs charge this end - thank you.

I hope I can do more stitching and will have at least one Small for next month.

Thursday 14 May 2020

May's Gifted Gorgeousness

It's Gifted Gorgeousness time, a time when we post about :-
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item received as a gift
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item won in a giveaway or competition 
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item purchased using a voucher received as a gift or won in a giveaway or competition 
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item you have gifted to someone else

This super blogging idea, which happens on the 15th of each month, is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching - thank you Jo 😘

Well until just a short while ago I thought I would be passing on taking part this month but my wonderful friends and Mr Postie had other ideas.

My first gift was completely unexpected from a stitcher I have known for many years. Chris and her daughter came to the 2007 Nuneaton Meet Up - I confess my memory is not that good but that particular year some stitchers stayed over in local hotels. Chris and her daughter decided to stay and as the Saturday evening was the Eurovision Song Contest we invited anyone staying to our house to enjoy the fun .... I remember the UK song was 'Flying the Flag' by Scooch - we came 22nd !

Chris sent me such a beautiful and very personal biscornu, along with a gorgeous scissor fob and pink scissors. Love, Cure, Pink, Hope and Faith are such important words when fighting breast cancer, Chris' gift moved me to tears, thank you so much Chris 😘

My lovely friend Julie also surprised me with this beautiful heart. It is one of the Winter Challenge designs on Needlecraft Haven, I was so touched that Julie stitched it for me, it's perfect - thank you Julie 😘

In the post this week I also received two beautiful flowers from Lynne in Australia aka Elfie at Elfin Stitches. Lynne stitched a beautiful Australian wattle flower and a gorgeous daisy ring, they will both look great on my tree - thank you Lynne 😘

But it didn't stop there, I also received a superb purple pansy from June aka Butterly at Butterfly Wings. I am so touched by these beautiful flowers - thank you June 😘

My Mum has been busy too, she does tatting and has made these hanging flowers, buttons and flower chain on ribbon which I can use around the tree bucket - thanks Mum 😘

I haven't gifted anything this month and as it is my right arm that is broken I'm not sure what I'll be doing just now. I do have a card stitched that I hope DH can help me finish. I had a special project to do too but that may have to wait.

Lynne also sent me this beautiful poinsettia ornament that will hang on our tree here at home, thanks Lynne.

I am so grateful for your kindness in stitching and sending flowers for my tree. There is no need to finish the flower into an ornament, or to send anything else. I'm hoping that just a card and the flower will keep the postage down as well as staying within the customs regulations.

I do have a parcel coming that I've had to pay a charge on, hopefully a mistake and I can claim it back ... I have no idea who or where it is from as they don't say until you pay !

Thank you for making what would have been a very empty post into a very busy one 😘

Sunday 10 May 2020

Fully Finished Gallery - May

Fully Finished Gallery is hosted by Rachel at Ten Hour Stitcher. As we can only share finished items it encourages us not to leave anything in a drawer and/or finish those pieces that have been 'resting' there a while.

But before I share my only finish this month I have some news to share. I don't know why but life certainly has not been on my side the last few years, especially the last six months. After a successful lumpectomy my preventative chemotherapy was due to start Monday 11th but it is now on hold as last Wednesday (6th) I tripped in the garden and fell onto our decking.

DH took me to Accident and Emergency; he wasn't allowed in due to the virus restrictions but everyone was so kind and reassuring. After x-rays and a CT scan they confirmed I have broken my upper right arm just below the shoulder joint. It is very painful, this injury mends best when the arm is hanging with a sling around the neck and wrist. It's tempting to put a pillow to support it but that can cause more damage, it really is painful not having it supported.

I am having to sleep sitting up too but have so far managed in bed. I have done nothing but sit in the chair or go the bathroom, due to MS my legs have suffered from the trauma, standing up is tricky and sends a shooting pain down my arm ...... but each day it is a little easier. Today I am just about lasting the time between medication (6 hours), the other days I have needed some morphine to help.

I see the fracture doctor on Monday, my Oncologist is also going to look at the x-rays and scan -  I'm just going with whatever they say .... it's like being in a dream, I feel quite numb with it all.

Anyway on to brighter things .... I may not have much to blog about for a while unless I can learn to stitch left handed.

I have finished another cover kit card for the Scout Craft Fair whenever that may be. This design had a card that came with it so that saved my edging pieces. The picture for this was very small and I was finding it quite difficult to work out. I had the bright idea of taking a photo and looking at it on my tablet screen, much bigger and much better.

It's turned out ok I think. It does make me think about copyright doing these cards but I did buy the magazine originally, quite a few years ago, and I will only be stitching them for the given cards, not using the design elsewhere.

I have some lovely things to share for GG in May so I'll be blogging on the 15th, with arm/cancer update by then too I hope. I hope everyone is well and staying safe x x

Friday 1 May 2020

May Day

The 1st of May marks the end of winter and the start of summer, although it is officially the last month of spring. Here in the United Kingdom May Day was traditionally a celebration day with everyone getting together. The celebrations included Morris Dancing, crowning a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole.

There are some towns and villages that still celebrate May Day but not many, most people don't recognise the actual day as we have the first Monday of the month as a Bank Holiday ... tradition is being lost and most people now see it as a long holiday weekend.

However things are very different in 2020; not only because people cannot get together but because our Government have changed the Bank Holiday. This year we have Friday 8th May as the national holiday to celebrate May Day and VE (Victory in Europe) Day and it was planned to have street parties everywhere. I'll be making a Victoria Sponge and maybe a few other bits from Mrs Beeton's recipes but we may have to enjoy them in the garden. I have a feeling with everyone using social media and although apart being more together it could be a big get together after all.

On the first of May in 1561, France’s King Charles IX was given a muguet flower, or lily of the valley in English, as a lucky charm and liked it so much that he decided to offer them each year to the ladies of the court.

These days, the flowers are sold in bouquets on the street around France and people offer them to friends or family members for good luck. My Lily of the Valley are out and I've cut a small bunch for the house as today is my late Grandmother's birthday, she was born in 1908.

My Lily of the Valley 

"Je porte Bonheur" bonne FΓͺte du Muguet a toutes mes amis 
"I give you happiness" happy May Day to all my friends

Just a little stitching news, firstly tomorrow is Jo's Let the People Choose but sadly I don't have anything for this month's theme of fire. However I will be reading everyone's blogs to see what stitching they have, I might find some ideas too.

With the members of Needlecraft Haven I've been doing Stitching the Night Away SAL from 2019. Block 4 for April was quite tricky, looking at the chart I just could not work out how to follow it. It is all back stitch and is a lovely design but I was going cross-eyed.

Looking closer I decided to stitch it using long stitch starting first with the vertical stitches and then doing all the horizontal. Here's how it looked as I worked through.

Vertical stitches completed 
Starting to add the horizontals
As I added the horizontal,stitches the pattern came to life, I love it. You'll be able to see my finished work at the end of May in my Smalls SAL post, a great blogging idea hosted by Mary.

Finally on stitching here's my orts for April. I collect them in a small jar in my workbox, they get very compacted as I don't want to put them in my big jar until the end of the month. This month I've shown them spread out before adding them to my bon bon jar.


After talking to my Oncologist on Monday my road is still long and has become a little bit bumpy, not quite as straight as I would like but the sun will be shining at the end 🌞

I do still need the four chemotherapy treatments that were halted when the virus broke out, although it will depend on how I tolerate them, after which I will need radiotherapy. A daunting time as me and chemotherapy side effects are not the best of friends.

When my treatment was stopped our world was in the midst of coping with this sudden dangerous virus. I am so very lucky that, in the difficult time of readjustment and assessment for the hospitals and doctors, my lumpectomy was carried out and my cancer removed, such a huge weight lifted from us all!

I cannot thank the doctors and their teams of nurses and other staff enough.

With most people staying home and following restrictions as asked the hospitals have been able to cope with this awful situation we are all in. I know it has been a difficult and certainly a worrying time for the nurses and doctors I see.

My treatment will start soon, going into hospital again for a few hours to have the drugs intravenously. The Oncologist explained how the chemotherapy room is self contained so unfortunately the restrictions mean Nick cannot be with me. He will be driving though as I am not allowed to just now and hopefully later at home the side effects will be manageable.

It really really helps to know this time the tumour is not there, no worries about whether the chemotherapy is working ... this time it's to increase future prevention and reduce the chance of any cancer returning.

So here we go again .........  another 12 weeks or more ...... plenty of reading time ....... 
plenty of stitching time ........  champagne is waiting πŸ₯‚