Monday, February 25, 2013

Fountain pens, travels and stitching

It seems like a while since I last posted, its only been a week.

My DH collects fountain pens and enjoys writing with them. He had found a set of instructions on the internet on how to make display/storage boxes.  We got the necessary things from Spotlight (CD gift boxes and stiff felt) and I set about making 3 boxes.

DH is very happy with them and now his pens can be kept safe and sound.

On Saturday we went for a 4WD trip up in the Akatarawa Forest Park, behind Upper Hutt up to Orange Hut with a Wellington 4WD group.  We haven't been out driving for ages, and the weather was lovely, so made for a really nice day.

I have been doing stitching on all sorts of projects - The Flock and Black Cat, here is progress update on Black Cat.

I have also made a start on LHN Little Sheep Virtues - Hope, which I will photograph when I have done a bit more.

Tonight we are off to the movies.  Its a fundraiser organised by the Wellington Police Dog Handlers Section for a fellow dog handler from Hamilton who has to raise $90,000 for surgery overseas on a brain tumour he has.  We are watching the latest Die Hard movie at a small boutique picture theatre in Upper Hutt.  Should be good.

Monday, February 18, 2013

How I got on with the Hermit Weekend

I think I was fairly productive.  In between naps on the sofa and helping out in a simplified way in the garden, and a trip to the tip,  and browsing in my favourite on-line needlework supplies store, I managed to do quite a bit of stitching.

I continued on with The Flock all day on Saturday.  It was a lovely sunny day and almost too good to be sitting inside, but that is pretty much where I stayed on the sofa.

Here is the progress photo: (Doesn't seem all that much)

On Sunday, it was fairly overcast outside, but very warm.  I got up bright eyed and bushy tailed and made the executive decision to procrastinate as much as possible with stitching the flock, so I did everything but.

I helped DH tidy up around the garden.  THEN I started a new cross stitch design.

Its for Halloween...Black Cat by Brown House Studios.

Im not really a follower of Halloween, but I do love black cats, orange, witch and bat silhouettes and pumpkins.  I decided last year to stitch a heap of halloween inspired ornaments and brought a lovely Tawa ornament tree to hang them off.


See the wee bird on top -  that made it a must have.  Especially as the bird looks similar in shape to a kaka (one of our native parrots).
Now before I head off for another day of stitching, I will go and have a look at the blogs of some of the other peopl who signed up for IHSW weekend, and see how they got on.


Friday, February 15, 2013

February IHSW that I signed up for

Today I signed up to participate in the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW) I have never participated in this before, so thought it might be nice to have a stitching goal for the weekend.  Even though that is pretty much all I can do these days.

I will continue to stitch on 'The Flock' which is my main stitching project at the moment.

So after the Hermit weekend, I will have a big progress photo to share.
Here is a progress photo of the intended Valentines Day gift -  'I will Love you' by Annie Beez Folk Art.

See you after the weekend.  Have a good one.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

This is a special day to remember the unique bond we share with loved ones and friends.
I had a design in mind to make up for DH which I started on, and was going great guns, but I am having radiation to my brain this week and it is knocking me round a bit, so the stitching slowed down..  So I had to change tack.
I decided on a wee black cat valentine design by LynnB, which I then mounted on red and black felt into a heart shape.  We are black cat lovers here with our wee darling Tui, so I thought the design quite fitting.

I hope you all have a lovely day, and share something special with your loved ones.
I was lucky enough to win coffee and cake in a Valentines Day competition at the cafe at my favourite bird sanctuary Zealandia/Karori Sanctuary here in Wellington. 
I had to write a 70 words or less poem about why I think the place was so special to me.  That wasnt hard....this is what I wrote...
A light of the world sits in the heart of Wellington.
A place of solitude, dedication and love.
A place that can be as busy or as quiet as you want it.
To me, I am sure it is on par with Heaven above.
If there is a calming, beautiful retreat never to be outdone,
a place to spend ones last days on earth,
Zealandia Sanctuary surely is the one.
To me thats what sums up Zealandia quite nicely...obviously someone else agreed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The beauty of flowers

Thought I would just quickly share a photo of some beautiful flowers that greet me from my front door. Its lovely to see some colour in the garden.

My Valentine stitching has changed, so there will be an update on that soon. Just felt like I was running out of time with the original project.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The cloud has passed

Thank goodness for a breeze, because the cloud that hovered over me yesterday has passed and I am feeling so much better.
Funny how we encounter days like that.
Nadia came home yesterday, have done ok at the swimming sports, but was hot nd flustered after the hours trip on the train.  Today I gave her some money and she took herself off to Lower Hutt for a much needed hair trim.
DH went to Spotlight Craft Store, much like USA's  Joann stores in search of some gift boxes.  He collects fountain pens and found instructions to make some fountain pen storage boxes, which I will make for him - lined with felt etc.  I will show you the finished product, when I am done.  He brought home some boxes, so I will set to work on those when I am not stitching.
I have done lots of stitching today, and I have settled myself up on the front deck, where I can watch over the neighbourhood surroundings and enjoy the sights and sounds of the day.
This is where I am...

While I was at the front of the property taking these photos, I deadheaded the roses while I was there.  Now thats therapeutic.
Thanks to all my readers who have passed by today.  I hope your Sunday is going as well as mine.


Saturday, February 09, 2013

One of those days I guess

Today the sun is beautiful and warm, there is a slight breeze and I think I can admit that things have got on top of me.  It is allowed of course.

Started off with a phone call from a nurse last night who is relieving the community oncology nurse who checks on me to see if I am fine.  This one who rang me sounded dire and depressed, not the tone of a voice to inspire joy and happiness for the coming weekend.  I know that cancer is one of the hardest subjects to deal with, but if you're feeling a little shaky yourself, the last thing you want to hear is a depressed voice.  And even after my happy answer, she still asked if I was sure, it was a miserable 'are you sure'.  Right, that started me off.  I guess by the end of the conversation I had offended her, so on top of everything else, I felt bad.  If she'd had a bad and hectic week,  taking the time to compose oneself before contacting others is the optimum thing to do in my book.

Watched TV while stitching later on.  It was the Renovation Man.  They were showing a couple who were rebuilding a historic windmill to live in.  The wife found out she had terminal cancer and died before the windmill was completed.  Heart wrenching to say the least.  Actually forgot my own predicament.  No, thats not true, a slow and steady snowball was starting to gather pace.

Along with the incessant pain I had in my lower back and shoulder all day.  Stiffness starting in my broken hip.  Watching the footage of Sir Paul Holmes funeral.  Trying to get my head around how my DH is coping with his work as well as me.  Deciding, or coming to grips with the fact his work is way more supportive than my work, and I am just about ready to toss it in, because they are wanting answers and times, and I can't confirm to anything.  Oh but wait I have been given up to year to live...what do I do. They said they would hold my job, but for how long.  Will I ever want to go back. Do I want to cope with people who only ring to see when the latest medic cert will get to them, those sympathetic looks - you know the ones.  One woman who always popped in from the city to visit me (the cynic in me thinks the visits were to get off work!!!) , hasn't even sent me a text.  Response to that when I queried it...really busy with work.  Must have found someone else to visit during work time huh!

Then learning one of my dearest friends is in Wellington for the day at a conference, yesterday.  She wanted to see me.  It would have been great.  But I am not in hospital, so the turn around time to get out to Upper Hutt was too much with having to catch a plane.  My friend will read his, and she will be feeling exactly the same. Devastated no doubt  :-(

Well really feeling sorry for myself aren't I.

I do have some good news in the radiation begins on my brain and shoulder next week.  That should start clearing stuff up a bit.  The next phaze in the big clean up.  Oh and my stitching is going fine.  LOL.

Today it was swimming sports at Nadias school.  She will catch the train home later, but I feel bad I didn't attend.  Last year I went over to Masterton, watched the events and then brought her home for the weekend.  Can't be helped in the circumstances, but I didn't show the flag of support very well did I?  Probably would have been more sympathetic looks and a slight amount of embarrassment on Nadias part, even though I know she is proud of me, as I am of her.

I guess I am going through that feeling lonely syndrome, that people who have followed my blog know I go in and out of regularly.  But today I really do, I just want a good belly laugh with someone, and enjoy the day..  And ugly, I feel really ugly...I thought I could cope with no hair is cool on a day like today, but I feel ugly, really ugly.  Is that allowed???  Gosh I am now sounding like Miranda off TV :-)

I just read and posted on a blog of one of my dearest stitching buddies.  She gives me such inspiration.  With her stitching, the fantastic way she cares for her husband and 6 children.  We have always lived close to each other...but one step away.  We both lived in the Waikato,  she went to the
West Coast,  we went to South Canterbury, then she moved to South Canterbury, we went to West Coast and now we are in Wellington.  Her life is full of ups and downs, but she continues to inspire me.  Thanks for that Andie :-)

I hope my post has not been too depressing for you all.  I just felt like sharing with someone.  I know the internet isn't the most private or intimate of forums, but I know only a few people follow my blog.  Thats ok, they are the ones that matter most.  I have visited a few blogs today.  I love seeing what people have worked on.  It cheers me no end.
Keep up the good work everyone, your craft projects bring me joy, as no doubt they bring to you.
Thanks for visiting me today.  Next time I will be in a happier frame of mind.
Heres a sneak peak of what I am working on at the moment.  
Best better go and do some more.  My baby will be home on the train soon.  :-)

One thing I have noticed with my blog and comparing to such places as facebook.  Most people who know me, know I think Facebook is ridiculous.  Its a way of 'keeping up appearances' on a widespread scale.  You can see what your friends or aquaintances are up to.  You can have 500 friends, and not really have anything to do with them.  When I closed my Facebook account, I invited people to follow my blog instead.  I even had to explain to one friend that to comment on the blog, you 'comment' on the blog, not put the comment on Facebook.  She didn't like that.  I have noticed that with a lot of others too.  Why is it so hard to extend to commenting on someones blog rather than 'like' or give a 2 word answer on FB.  Is it that foreign?
I guess with a blog, you are getting onto more of a personal actually have to show true interest in what the person actually enjoys, (sometimes it can be a surprise) rather than - I burnt my batch of muffins today.  My clothesline broke.  My car ran out of oil etc etc....
In a way it sucks, but if thats someones choice on whether they comment or not, or even visit, so be it.  I have hardly heard from anyone since I am no more on FB.  It really does serve as food for thought.  I personally am happier doing the blog thing!!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

More Flock stitching and another start in the pipeline

Well as promised here is the latest update photo of my Flock stitching.  It really is a joy to stitch.  I love the colours the shape of the birds and leaves and just the whole  design.

Sorry about the hoop marks.
I am now about to stitch something for my DH for Valentines Day.  Its called 'I will Love you' by Annie Beez Folk Art.  A nice small simple design.
The thing is that I am so thankfully lucky with, is that my family and my friends all love my stitching, so I am so happy to spend my time, leaving this stitching legacy of mine.  I hope that when time has passed on that my stitching will allow people to reflect on what has been and what was.
It works well on all fronts, as I am in such a positive headspace at the moment.  Stitching is truly therapeutic.  I am losing a bit of speech/thinking coordination and the balance is still a bit wobbly, but I am getting there with the stitching.  Also still having to rest and get the hip mended.  Which can only be done with rest.
As well as stitching that has kept busy, I have also done painting and other craft work.  I painted and made this name plaque for my daughter, in her favourite colours.

photo copy by stitchcat1

As far as I am concerned, crafting and hobbies are good for the soul...and definately good therapy when life throws you a curve ball.  I am sure as you are all fantastic crafters you would have to agree.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Update on The Flock

For the past 11 days I have been in Wellington Hospital due to hard to treat nausea and dizzyness. I couldn't keep anything down or remained balanced on my feet. After tests and a CT scan, significant break through has been happening within my body. Firstly the nausea was thought to be adverse reaction to chemo. Partly thats the reason. The chemo has cleaned up the cancer in the bones, lungs and liver. But now some small tumours have appeared in the the area that controlls balance....hence nausea and dizzyness. And the best news of all is that these tumours are completely treatable.
Onto my stay in the hospital, I was pretty much tied to my bed, so a lazyboy reclining chair was brought in for me to sit in everyday.

Absolute bliss to have food and drink delivered and stitch all day. Got tonnes of stitching done.
Not without problems though. I had to take Morphine elixir which is really bitter tasting, unless mixed with blackcurrant juice. Unfortunately one lot of juice went all over my stitching. A panic driven text and emergency delivery of my Orvus and I was able to wash the fabric. Thank goodness that my red pear linen is about the same colour as the staining of blackcurrant juice. Basically any staining is undetectable. Here is an update photo, more to come..... of what I have done since that photo.

Here I have added the striped bird.