Apologies for my long absence from blogging. Highs and lows is what I've called this post, but I'll start with the lows and then move on to more positive things.
I had a week of a mild flu (which would have been the full blown thing if not for the flu jab that I had) that left me worse than useless really...I spent most of my time in bed or asleep on the sofa, snuggling hot water bottles and sipping soup! I've been beset with horrible nightmares too, which have led to quite a few sleepless nights that have been catching up with me. The hardest thing has been that it's almost a year since David first had to go into hospital, so I've been re living everything over again, as well as finding it hard to believe that so much time has gone by.
I've had a few weeks of retreating into my shell and more or less cutting myself off from everything and everyone, but I've pulled myself up by my bootlaces, as the saying goes, and am beginning to get back into the swing of things again.
So, on the work front...lots of things that I can't show or share just yet (as usual!) but I will do so as soon as I can. I have designs in the "still in progress" stage, but they should all be finished in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, I was invited to go along to the local Women's Institute meeting in March and I agreed to host one of the make n take tables at the April meeting last week, which was a craft and chat type of evening. It took me a while to decide what to do, but I eventually plumped on alcohol inks (Heather's suggestion!) as I've not used mine for a while, so I thought it would make a change. It had to be something that wouldn't take too long, so I came up with bookmarks, using Darkroom Door stamps and cast coated card.....
.....mounted onto black card with alcohol inked ribbons to match of course! The ladies all got stuck in and seemed to really enjoy using the inks......
.....me too, and I've now made a whole box of the bookmarks that are for sale in St Chad's - my very small contribution to the ubiquitous church roof!
On Saturday I was at Samuel Taylors in Brighouse where I was teaching a morning workshop and giving a demonstration in the afternoon. Distress Stains were the main medium of the day and Picked Raspberry and Peacock Feathers were universally the most popular colours - they were being passed across the table continuously! The ladies each made a canvas featuring my Moochin' Doo Lally character. These are the two samples that I made.........and everyone got so engrossed in them that we didn't get to make the final (card) project that I had been planning to do, but they did all make a tag which featured Tim's wonderful Tissue Wrap along with another of my Doo Lally stamps.....
.....the tissue was used to cover the tags as well as to make the flowers - I think everyone was quite surprised that it punches out quite well (I used an EK Success scalloped circle punch). The Stains will "pill" on the surface but work very well over the slightly "waxy" tissue if they are gently stroked in with kitchen paper.
Whenever I go to Brighouse I have a very long day...one of the costs of now living in a small market town near the coast (as opposed to the big city) is that I have to tag extra train journeys onto my trips - a very fair exchange though. Still, I had to catch the first train at 6.30am (yikes!) and then had an hour to wait at Hebden Bridge for my second one. There is a waiting room there but the heating was not turned on and it was absolutely bitter....still plenty of snow over in Yorkshire.
Coming home I had a half hour wait at Hebden Bridge (still no heat on!) which then became an hour due to some signalling problems. It then turned into a real pain as they announced that the next train was the Blackpool one....I got on and settled down....it promptly went to.....Manchester! My train was the one following after the one that they had announced as the Blackpool one. So, I had to charge around manchester Victoria station to get the train to Salford, wait around again and then, finally, get the right train home. Instead of getting back before 7pm I got home at 8.30pm. Needless to say I was totally fed up and very irate so have filled in a complaint form and will see what they have to say for themselves!
I'm hoping that I have less eventful journeys this weekend as I'm travelling down to Thame for my day at A Maze of Memories on Saturday. It's one of my favourite bookings as everyone is so warm and friendly and makes me feel so welcome. I'll be demonstrating all day and there are three make n take sessions which I think may be fully booked but please do call the store if you would like to check - there is a link to A Maze of Memories two posts down.
Well, that was a round up of some of the lows and what I've been up to work wise. Now for a few highs to balance things out a little. Tomorrow is an exciting one as Heather is coming over in the morning and then, in the afternoon, we'll be heading into Blackpool for dinner and then to the Opera House to see Alfie Boe. Really looking forward to it...I know I'll end up blubbing away, but I will be enjoying it honestly! I'll let you know what the concert was like next week.
It was a beautiful day here today, so I ventured into the garden and spent a good few hours out there getting some fresh air and excercise. I've done lots of weeding and digging, planted out some Violas that have been hardening off for the last week and transplanted the first of my Sweet Peas into containers to grow at the side of the house. I've made twiggy pyramids for them to climb up and they are now clothed in big polythene bag covers to keep the cold out until it really warms up. The bulbs that I didn't get to plant before Christmas have all been put into the ground now (except for the ones that were scoffed by the local field mice!) and I'm happy to say that they are coming up! I'm really pleased by this as I was given differing advice on what to do with them....mostly that they would just rot if I planted them out in Spring! Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say, and I'm now being rewarded by tulips and daffodils springing up like little jack in the boxes all over the place.
One of the highlights of today was getting a call from my neighbour across the road this evening to say that the Barn Owl was out and about. She keeps seeing a Barn Owl flying around the field and perching on the fence at the back of my house but I had, until today, never seen it. Well, once alerted, I was through the house in a second and I sat for about ten minutes before I spotted him flying low above the field on a hunting mission. He dived down a few times, so I guess he got his supper. What a beautiful bird and such a privilege to see him at such close quarters. I will try to get some photos of him next time.
Well, I'd better sign off now. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep so don't want to be too late to bed. I'll try not to leave it so long next time.