Tag Archives: afghan

Being busy

This has been a busy week, with the return to school and all the extra-curricular activies (although I did discover that the middle chick’s pottery class doesn’t start until next week when I rushed to drop her off on time on Thursday! For once I was too organised!)

The biggest event of the week was the eldest chick having a gastroscopy and biopsies under a general anaesthetic on Friday. She has had this procedure before, as part of the diagnosis for coeliac disease. Last time was in the public hospital under the only surgeon in town who performs this procedure on children. She had to fast overnight for a 6.30am admission, but did not go into theatre until 2.30pm so was quite distressed. She also didn’t recover well from the anaesthetic and was very ill for some hours afterwards. This time round we had the same surgeon but as he now takes private patients, we booked into the private hospital in order to have her seen this year. Once again she fasted for a lunchtime admission….. only to arrive at the hospital and be told by the nurses that they run a book on this surgeon because he always runs a minimum of 2 hours late in arriving for his surgical lists. So instead of going into theatre at 1pm as planned she went in at 4.30. Another long day for a hungry child. To keep busy I took my crocheted afghan to work on. The upside of the delay? Quite a few more rows on it! Having busy hands really helped to keep my mind busy. I understand why knitting and crochet are so often seen in waiting rooms!

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Luckily the procedure went well, the surgeon sees no signs of the condition that was being investigated, and she recovered really well from the anaesthetic with no vomiting and lots of icy poles, ice-cream and lemonade. Her mother did need to retire to the lounge with a glass or two of wine once all the chicks were in bed after such a long day! The afghan started with only the request of the middle chick to make a colourful wool blanket. I think, after 6 months of crochet at martial arts classes and in waiting rooms, that I might be ready to finish it now! Which is great as it is still freezing here, so the blanket should get lots of use on the couch keeping chicks warm for a few months!

It was good that I had those hours to crochet, as, apart from repairs to the school production costumes, little sewing happened this week! I did, however, have time to play with pictures and colours suggested by the middle chick (and originally drawn by her) which have resulted in the new banner for this page, and the facebook page and Etsy shop. I am thinking of using the little birds to make some fabric, so stand by for a splash of little bird colour in the near future!

The week of watching the boy on his new medication has been interesting. His teacher reports that she can see a difference in him at school. I have still seen no difference at home, including over the weekend when he has been as full of energy and life as usual. The up side of this is that all my fears about him losing his spirit on medication have proven to be baseless. He is still full of affection, energy, talk, and enthusiasm. He scored two tries in his Rugby game yesterday, and encouraged his team on to score quite a few more. So the world has not ended and he is behaving well at school.

This week holds the excitement of the school production at the big theatre. The eldest chick and I have purchase the required makeup (!!!) and the middle chick and I have our tickets to attend and watch. (The boy is having a ‘date’ with his favourite babysitter!) I also need to find my balance, or rhythm, again to get the crafting groove back on after all the disruption of the last few weeks. Some of the disruption is self inflicted, as I have (gulp) started dating over the last few weeks.  It feels so strange to say that at my age, with three children, some grey hairs, and a few decades under my belt,  but there you have it.  It is early days in a new relationship so anything could happen, but when there are children involved you have to confront a whole lot of issues much earlier in a relationship than would normally occur!  Taking that step out into the unknown is so much more daunting when there are three little lives connected to yours, so at the moment I am flying blind and just keeping my fingers crossed that I am doing the right thing as I take each new step.  Talk about new adventures in life!!  A new relationship also brings up issues from the past that I hadn’t realised were not neatly labelled, sorted, and packed away.  And reminders about not repeating previous mistakes.  Not getting so caught up in the excitement that important parts of life get lost, bits of self are neglected and pieces of passion are misdirected.    As a result one of the aims of this week is to spend some time on the business plan, and taking some important steps to put the plan into action.  Because when all is said and done, if I am not exercising my creative self, the rest of my self is so much lesser.

Right –  now that the pep talk has been delivered to my self it is time to start the prep for the week ahead, to consider some order in the household chaos, and to contemplate time for dreaming.   Have a great week, wherever you are, and enjoy your creative groove, however it plays out!

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Getting organised

With winter weather comes winter health, so this week I have had two of my chicks sick for a day each (so far) with throat infections.  I have also been dealing with some behaviour issues with the remaining chick.  All of this means unexpected time at home.  While the downside is knowing that my work is piling up in the office, the silver lining is that I have been using the time to be productive and get a bit more organised about how I want to manage the business side of my crafting.

The first thing I have done is added to my Tutorials page on this blog.  From now on it will have links to any tutorials I produce (quite aspirational as I have only managed one so far), any posts where I list links to other people’s tutorials (also aspirational with only one so far), plus links to any tutorials that I have used myself.

The second thing I have decided is to have a plan for when I blog – a blog timetable if you like.  Sunday nights seem to be when I am able to sit and write about the crafting and family activity of the week.  Friday nights seem to be a good spot to add posts with links to the many tutorials that I have collected from other generous crafters.  So that leaves mid-week.  I have lots of ideas for a regular mid-week post, so might leave that as slightly random initially until I work out what is working best.  (Some ideas include reviews of tutorials I have used, tutorials I produce myself, links to other great blogs etc.)

Then I downloaded an Etsy app so that my Etsy shop now appears on my Facebook page.  I had previously been loading photos into a separate album on Facebook and marking them when they were sold.  This is much more efficient!

I also worked out how to put my photos into collages, so that I can post multiple images within one image.  (Feeling a bit proud of myself at achieving all of these technological things and ignoring the fact that I could have done all of this ages ago as it really wasn’t that hard!)

Being home is also a bit dangerous…… too much access to online shopping.  Even though the Australian dollar has dropped a bit, the exchange rate with the US, and the amazing fabric range available there means that online orders are still worthwhile.  I have to praise the postage system used by Fabric. com – I ordered some fabric from them a couple of weeks ago (they are based in the USA) and it arrived at my house (in Australia) within 48 hours!   Given that it can take up to two weeks for a parcel to cross the country domestically I was blown away!!  So I have placed another order….. wonder how long it will take to arrive?

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A couple of dandelion pouches, with pockets inside – playing with fabric and playing with ideas!

Finally, having some extra time at home has provided a bit of extra sewing time (of course) and crochet time.  I had a chance to play at making some pouches as gifts for friends, and also made my first zipped pouch – just a bit bigger than credit card size, as a little gift for a friend who is about to travel.  It matches a bag I made her last year.  I forgot to take photos but can assure you that I found it so straightforward I will be making more!

I also made another bag for the shop – and added two pockets to the outside of it.  I like the extra storage they provide and am thinking of making one with a number of different fabrics to give it a different feel.

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Dealing with the behaviour issues of one of my chicks, and the impact on the school, my work, and the other chicks that flows from the issues can wear me down and take its toll.  I have written before about how crafting helps me to clear my head and maintain some sanity.  This week crochet has been my escape.  The results are a few more rows on the afghan (that should be finished while the weather is still cold!)

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Now that I am feeling a bit more organised it might be time to plan the next thing to make!

I hope that your week is going well, wherever you are.

 

A slow return

Perhaps I wrote too soon last week with my grand announcement that I was back – as I have been remarkably absent ever since!  Nothing drastic – just life getting in the way of my aspirations to create and write.  However I seem to have achieved enough in my non-crafting life to allow me to return to some creativity again, so do have some achievements to report!

The life that got in the way?  My mum went home (after an amazing effort and gift of her time to both me and my children) and the reality of parenting meant birthday parties to deliver children to, groceries to buy, a house to clean and tidy and the ever present Mount Washmore to climb and attempt to defeat (if you can defeat a mountain.) Luckily I also had time to catch up with friends and had several drop in for a cup of tea or glass of wine on Sunday afternoon in rolling succession – a lovely reason to not be crafting!

Then the school week began and with it the new arrangements for childcare.  On the whole they seem to be working well, although I am finding that I don’t have enough time at work to feel that I am on top of my job…..  so some tinkering with the plan might be in order when school resumes in two weeks.  I spent a lot of time at school at the beginning of the week to address issues with the boy, but then he got in the groove and had a good week.  In the meantime discussions with therapists, reports from teachers and a low level feeling of despair about the whole situation meant that crafting wasn’t happening.

But then last night I remembered the therapeutic benefits of crafting and hey presto – I got out some fabric, the ruler and a plan and away we went!  I am feeling much better and I am back to planning my next project!  The timing to get my sewing groove back on is brilliant – the children are going away to visit their father tomorrow, for almost two weeks, and while I will miss them, it means that I have lots of time to do things for me without interruption!  I may even make dinner plans with some friends.  Just the thought of uninterrupted sleep is enough to make me giddy with excitement!

So what did I make? The first part of a set that I am making for a lovely friend and colleague who is a pug breeder and general dog lover. She asked me to make her an ipad over and a bag for her keys and phone for when she is at dog shows. I pointed her to the Spoonflower website and she found some fabric made by a friend’s daughter that depicts two pugs – one that my friend bred and one that she used to own! So that made her choice easy! Last night I made the ipad cover and am happy with it. I padded it with bamboo batting and fusible fleece and lined it with flannel so it is super soft for the screen.

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Next on the list is the pouch for her keys and phone for dog shows – she wants to be able to hang it of her shade shelter so I am working on a wrist strap with Velcro concept….. to be completed on the weekend!

I thought I would also share a photo of the progress on the afghan I am crocheting.  I tend to work on it while at the children’s martial arts class or when watching TV – but as I rarely watch TV it is mainly at classes.  I haven’t been weaving in the ends yet, but am happy with the random colour scheme!

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So, without any big announcements about being back, I am quietly hopeful that I will have more creative endeavours to share with you over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime I hope that you have all been well!