"If you can count the number of projects you have going , you need to begin another, so you have a varied range of complexity from the very simple 'mind-less' ones to those that demand undivided attention." (Laura Early).

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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

My own kind of Maynia !

I am intrigued by the idea of Maynia and kind of wanted to take part , but I don't really do smalls as such and the idea of having that many starts would terrify me .
 So , as I have been on sick leave for the last few weeks following surgery , I decided to start a new HAED , with the aim of working on it every day of May and seeing how much I could get done.
  Coincidentally , On the HAED fb page , a challenge popped up starting 26th April to do a new start and try and complete a page by 26th June , my kind of thing.

  So , I decided to do this one as it was already kitted up , apart from fabric , and most of it from stash. .
 The first page was completed on 20th May

 I was cursing the confetti at the end , but the eye looks fabulous.
 And this is where I'm at with the second page.

 There are two partial pages underneath , so I am hopeful of a finish in the next couple of months as I am totally loving stitching on this.

   A couple of quick finishes for a friend , an Easter card and bookmark that I made.
 Still waiting on an appointment with a liver specialist , but my blood tests are showing improvements so , got to look on the bright side.

  Thanks for dropping by ,
 Cath

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Pet update

Sad to say that we lost another little fur baby recently.

 One of my daughters' gerbils died about a month ago and is very much missed by us all . He had a large growth under his chin and we were just thankful that he passed at home without having to have any intervention .
RIP Fizzy , we loved you
Fizzy is the grey one on the left of the pic , his brother Toffee , the brown one is the last of the bunch and still going .

 And , a Flash update .
 He has grown , a lot .



He is still crazy and stubborn but we all adore him.
 I am missing being able to take him out at the moment and it is hard , but hubby and son are picking up the slack . We are just training him off lead at the moment which is scary , he loves other dogs and will just dart off, but so far so good.
 thanks for dropping by ,
 Cath

Friday, 17 May 2019

Black Swan

  Read on a local FB page that there was a black swan at our local reservoir, so had to go.

  Hubby took me on Saturday 11th as it was our wedding anniversary , and wow , definitely one ticked off the bucket list.






It was quite a bit smaller than its white contemporaries but it is absolutely stunning.

 Back soon with more stitching stuff.

Cath x

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Stitching

With everything going on , I needed some stress reliving stitching but I found it hard to concentrate so went for some easy block colour charts.

   I loved doing this as a sign up for Love Quilts , adding my own twist by using variegated floss.
 Was so excited to finish this
 Then when I finished this I realised that I hadn't done the back stitch on the previous one ,
 So ....
 Nice and easy





 Not sure what I will do with these at the moment. If my daughter wants any of them turning into something , that will happen but they are more likely going to be any child squares for Love Quilts .

   I got some stash !  Love these charts by Cottage Garden Samplings and will definitely be getting more. Quite sad that they call for Weeks Dye Works threads though as it would work out quite expensive . Still debating whether to save up or just bite the the bullet and stitch using DMC
 I ordered these just before Mothers Day , so they became part of my gift as as usual , hubby left it far to late to organise things for the kids.
The "new" threads are for this chart. I have started it but not gotten very far , will try and get pics next time.
   I am also doing my own thing for Stitch Maynia , but I will post about that at another time. Let's just say that enforced sick leave is doing wonders for my cross stitch ,lol.

  Thanks for dropping by ,
 Cath

Monday, 13 May 2019

The two week pathway

** This is a personal post , I will do a stitchy post later in the week**

First of all , thank you to those who left good wishes messages on my last post and apologies that I didn't reply , I have been on the roller-coaster of life for the last couple of months .

  For those who do not know , the two week pathway is a protocol acted on by the NHS , where if a diagnosis of cancer is suspected , you are guaranteed to be given an appointment within two weeks of your referral.

  I was ill the end of last year , but you know how it is , you can always find reasons and excuses . I put a lot of it down to having Flash , the demands of having a new puppy. I was exhausted all of the time , had little or no appetite , lots of various aches and pains , dizzy spells , nausea and weight loss. Now I had started trying to lose weight around August 2017 , but by last year I was happy and had stopped trying , but it still kept coming off.

  The final straw for me was when I passed out in the local shop and face-planted a crisps display. The staff were amazing and called an ambulance despite my protests. At the time , I was checked out and given a clean bill of health , but it was highly embarrassing and also a wake up call that something really was not right.

   I saw my GP who was concerned , changed some of my medication for an existing condition and ordered blood tests for a couple of weeks later.

 The red flag was raised! My bloods were so out of order it was unreal , I was severely anaemic , infection and inflammation markers were all sky high and my liver function was totally off the score.

 All the factors and my symptoms were pointing to a high likelihood of bowel cancer.

So a week or so later I saw a specialist nurse who ordered lots of tests.
   I had a  colonoscopy and a gastroscopy with biopsies and a ct scan.

The camera tests were given the all clear at the time but I had to wait for the biopsy and ct results.

 A phone call with another nurse and everything was clear apart from the ct scan had shown a mass which looked as if it was on my right ovary , so I was transferred to the gynae team.

  Ultrasound scans followed and then an appointment with a consultant who said it looked like a cyst , but as it was so big (7cm at that time) he recommended removal along with the ovary. To avoid further complications he said it might be worth removing both ovaries at the time just in case , but I could think about it and let them know when I went in.
  Meanwhile , my liver tests were still not right so he referred me back to the GP for them to arrange more investigations.

  Now , mid April and more blood tests for pretty much anything and everything , including HIV as they really didn't know what to make of me by then .

  It turns out that I have auto-immune hepatitis , which basically means that my own immune system is attacking my liver. I have been referred back to the hospital to see a specialist , but as of right now , there are no appointments available ! So goodness knows how long it will be before I get to see someone or how much damage will be done meanwhile.

 On 24th April , I had both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed . I received the histology report last week , and the "cyst" had grown by 2cm in the month between the scans and surgery and it turned out to be a rare kind of tumour. Thankfully it was benign so no further action is required.

  So this is where I'm at now . Slowly recovering form surgery , it is killing me to not be able to walk Flash, hubby has taken on a lot more than he is used to and the kids are helping around the house . And I'm waiting to see someone about my liver ,

  I have done lots of stitching though , so will do another post in the next few days.

Thank you for bearing with me .
Cath

Friday, 8 February 2019

I stitched !

Not a lot , but some , and it's better than nothing , right ?
  First off , I did this little kit from one of the magazines .
 Not totally happy with it , I'm not sure that white back stitch works for me , but it's pretty in its' own way.
 Then , I have just today finished this , sorry for the poor picture , it is grey , wet and windy at the moment.
 Sadly , my sons other gerbil died a couple of weeks ago .
 Brave Shadow has gone to join his brother Popcorn over the rainbow bridge . They are both very much missed , but the boy now has two new little friends to ease his loss. I will try and get some pics of them to show , they are so cute.
One of my daughters' gerbils has a lump , which we are treating with anti-biotics and it does seem to be helping , but they were all the same age , so time is not on our side. However ,we continue to do out best by them and he his still living a very active happy life at the moment.

  Other news , I am dealing with some significant health issues at the moment and the next few weeks are going to be tough , so hopefully my stitching will help see me through them .

 Thank for dropping by ,

 Cath






Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Happy New Year !

Better late than never , lol .

Apologies for not posting a Christmas greeting , I was ill for most of December so Christmas happened in a bit of a rush here , I was still ordering gifts the week before Christmas , the tree went up a couple of days before , but we got there in the end.

 So , last year was a bit of a mess really , lots of life getting in the way moments . I have not really stitched since September . I am really missing it , and hope to do some soon , but now have another reason for being distracted.
  My orts for last year are rather disappointing ,

My daughter took some out and screwed them up into a little ball , I was most unimpressed !

  Stitching wise , a let down , I had 15 finishes and most of them for Love Quilts .

  This year , I just want to stitch . I would love to finish at least one of my HAEDs and start a few more ,lol and there are lots of other projects I want to do , but I'll have to see how it goes.

 Reading was more successful , I read 102 books last year , but have a feeling the number will be reduced this year .

  The main reason for lots of the changes is this


This cute , crazy little creature came to live with us in November. His name is Flash and he's an English Springer Spaniel. I love him to bits , but wow , it's like having a baby again , including getting up in the night to do potty duty. We can start taking him out for walks on Thursday and I can't wait. He's getting bored and frustrated and so are we ,lol.

 Sad news is that we lost one of my sons' lovely gerbils yesterday . They are all getting old now , but still very sad . Popcorn will be very much missed by us all .
Hopefully this year will be a better year all round , but particularly for stitching .
Best wishes to everyone .
 Thanks for dropping by ,
 Cath

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

GAYNOR

So , this is going to be a very hard post to write , which is one of the reasons I've been putting it off .

 Many of you knew our fellow stitcher and blogger Gaynor of Stitchers Anon and if you did , you will have also known of her brave dealings with breast cancer .

 Sadly , Gaynor passed away on 16th September , with her family by her side . She had been in hospital for a while , which is not the way she wanted things to go , but I know she appreciated the care given to her and her family during that time .

  I have "known" Gaynor since before I started this blog, when I used to read her previous blog, where she amused ,entertained and made you think with her clever and articulate posts. Later , I joined a stitch along blog with her and some others to encourage us all to finish our UFOs . Gaynors' cursing at her E-type Jaguar was legendary.

 I started this blog , and we chatted via comments and other bits and bobs , later becoming facebook friends as well and bloggy friends and I got to know her quite well. We lost another friend to breast cancer some years ago , Cathey of the Pumpkin Patch and used to share reminiscences and memories of how lovely she was .
  I was around when Gaynor started designing , have lots of her charts and am very lucky that during one of our exchanges I was given a lovely piece that she designed and stitched . It is something that I will treasure.
 I tried to be a support to Gaynor as she was dealing with her diagnosis . sometimes just letting her know I was there if she needed to talk .

  Gaynor was such a wonderful person ,and an inspiration to me in so many ways. She made me want to be the best person I can be . Even through her tough times , and she had them , despite appearances , Gaynor continued to be there for the people she cared about , often putting her own feelings and needs aside so she could offer support to others .

  Gaynor was a loyal , loving and giving friend. She was clever , funny and quite caustic at some times , but in the nicest possible way. She cared , about people , about animals and about the world , but most of all for her family ,especially her beautiful Granddaughter .
 She was a creative and talented designer , a crafter , a writer (I have both of her Holmsey Hare books), a teacher , a friend a Mum and Grandma and of course a wife . She was a fundraiser ,a campaigner , a warrior when needed and she was so many more things to so many people
and she was an amazing person to know.

 I want to pay tribute to my lovely friend , who I miss every day ,  Gaynor you brightened the world for so many people , you will be missed forever by all who knew you and I am sorry you didn't get the time you wanted , but glad that you are no longer in pain .

  Love you



Cath






Thursday, 1 November 2018

Is it 2019 yet ?

Have to say , I've pretty much had it with this year.

 Earlier in the year , my MIL was poorly and so was Grandma in law , who then passed away . At around the same time , my Grandma had a pretty bad fall which left her shaken and scared to be at home on her own , so she moved into a local nursing home.

  Things were going well ,she settled in and was happy with the situation .

Sadly my Grandma died on the 21st October , very quietly and peacefully with my mum at her side . My Aunt and Uncle and some of their family however , are still on holiday around Australia and New Zealand so it has been a very fraught time trying to make arrangements for when they get back .

Added in to the mix , last year my Daughter pulled her shoulder whilst throwing a javelin at school. The GP practise diagnosed a strain , advised rest and ibuprofen and it improved after a short while. She had problems intermittently over the year until July when she struggled to pull the plug out of the bath and we ended up at A&E.

  Many appointments, x-rays , wrong diagnoses , physio based on the wrong diagnosis and further appointments later , she ended up with an MRI scan with dye injected into her shoulder. Two appointments later ,we still haven't been told what the problem is , but we have an appointment next Thursday afternoon to see an upper limb surgeon , so I'm thinking it's not good. Meanwhile ,she is in constant pain and is unable to use her arm . We have been threatened with fines from school due to low attendance , even though it has been for appointments or because she has been in so much pain she's had little or no sleep and cannot even get dressed.

 So , next Thursday also happens to be the day of my Grandmas funeral , thought it is earlier in the day , so I will be glad when it is over.

  Also , like many others in the blogging community , I have been mourning the loss of a wonderful person , blogger , designer and friend Gaynor French who died of breast cancer. I have struggled to put into words how I have felt , but at some point I will write a post to honour that very special lady who I still miss every single day .

  And , one of my sons' gerbils had a tumour on his tummy , so lots of vets appointments , and surgery followed . Thankfully , I am very please to say that he has made a full and complete recovery and is happily doing everything he has always done.

So , not a lot of anything has been done other than stressing and worrying.

  I did a label for Love Quilts , but it seemed to take forever. I am now taking a break for a while as I just don't have to time ,energy or inclination to do it at the moment.

I want to stitch , but wanting and doing are two very different things . I have finished a free cover kit from a magazine , but haven't got a picture and that is all .

 I am still reading quite a lot , just not updated Goodreads since like forever ,

So until next time , thanks for dropping by ,
Cath

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A slight delay in posting

Sorry I have been AWOL for a while , last time I posted my MIL had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia. She was in for nearly two weeks and on being discharged went straight to the bedside of her Mum (hubby's Grandma) who also had pneumonia .
  Due to her age (nearly 101) the doctors thought sending Grandma to hospital would be too stressful , so she has been bed bound at home for the last couple of months with my MIL and her sister looking after her and more recently with help from carers.
 My lovely Grandma in law passed away on Saturday morning , just three weeks shy of her 101st birthday. She remained stubborn to the end , and will be very much missed , but for her sake it was a blessing as she wasn't comfortable and had no quality of life. Whilst it was not unexpected , it still hits hard .

  So , I have done a little stitching and lots of reading since last time .

This one is an a/c square for Love Quilts. I sent it in along with the previous squares and this one and the batman and robin from last time have already found their place on a quilt .
  This one is for me , and a good job too as I made so many mistakes it was unreal . Still , I like it and that's all that matters . It's an original !

I have started another one in this series , but not much progress as yet , I tend to be too tired to stitch when I've been at work and then have lots of stuff to catch up on the other days , so at the moment stitching time is limited.
  I am hoping to get more done on my HAEDs and hopefully start a new one soon , as I've bought the threads I needed for it , so watch this space.
 Thanks for dropping by ,
 Cath