Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Good news!

It is so hard to write good news in light of what has happened in Manchester.

I was raised in Manchester. My dad and half my family were born in Manchester. I went to school in Manchester. I have friends in Manchester, friends I went to school with, friends who had family attending the concert.  And what has happened is just heart breaking. Something is very wrong in society when events like this happen.  I send thoughts and prayers to those involved and raise a glass for seeing the Manchester I knew and loved 30 years ago, reappear.  The Mancunians who all came together offering beds, transport, blood donations and help in finding lost family members. Well done Manchester.  That community spirit is what I remember with fondness and I'm so very proud of you all. 

Now, while this seems to pale into insignificance with the horrific events that have taken place, I do have some good news.  It's been a rocky two months with treatments being given and then taken away: losing friends who have the same condition as me, and a perceived decrease in my health.

But, I had my three month check yesterday...and everything is still stable. I've been given another three months!!! Yay!!!  I guess this doesn't sound much to those of you who are fit and healthy but to me it is literally a lifetime!  12 weeks!!!  I'm so pleased.  And I'm especially pleased for my family.  It's my son's 17th birthday soon and who would have thought this time last year that I would live to see it?

The doctors certainly didn't. 

I was given 6 months.  I'm now on month 12 and a bit.  And I appreciate every second of it.  I've had the chance to be around to help my children learn lots of important life lessons and I've learned a few things myself. 
  • To speak kindly: we often don't realise how cutting our words can be, even if said with good intentions. 
  • To ask for help.  I struggled on, trying to be superwoman and now I've learned to ask for help with simple things like asking someone to help with the hovering upstairs or to make a cup of tea made for me. I know it sounds daft, but how often do you ask for help?  See! We all think we are superwomen and then the people around us are amazed when we reach that critical moment in time where we explode and lose our tempers and can't put into words why we feel so angry and let down!
Simple things.  Yet so life changing for all involved.

Because it's so important that I don't waste life, I've decided to set weekly goals.  My week runs from Wednesday to Wednesday to work around treatments.  This week my goals are:

1.   To complete two new designs.  Yes, I am designing again, for fun.  I was encouraged to start again with the release of M'Lady's Sweet Greenhouse part two (From Lakeside Needlecraft)
From this 
To this;

Yes, M' Lady's Greenhouse incorporates the Language of Flowers and of course, each comes with a story about M'Lady and the relevance of the flowers used.

2. Finish Alyssia's cardigan.  I started so I must finish right?

Here is where I am with it. 

3.  Make one item for the Help the Hospice fundraiser

4. Stitch on Jacques Rest by Paine Free Crafts.  It's a biggee.  My first huge project stitched over one on 25 count.  This is what it will look like when it's finished. 

Isn't it beautiful? This is where I am.

Quite a way to go!

5.  To sort out my threads (yuk)...I hate that job. I have to make sure I have them all for designing purposes and then I arranged them like a palette so I can compare tones etc for designs.  Horrible job!

And finally:

6.  Finish the witch story for Anita Neptune from the Year of the Coven. I know, late right? 

And already I think I'm going to get behind because I lost today going to two different hospitals, two hours apart, one for my injections and the second, to give bloods because my hospital appointment yesterday should have been at 3 pm but I didn't get in until 6.15 and the blood pepes had gone home.  Never mind. I'm not going to complain. They are taking such good care of me. I will try my best though to reach my goals and I'll let you know next week how I get on!

Because I've had such a busy week and the rest of the week is almost filled up with this and that, my wonderful husband and sons took me out for an early birthday treat.

They took me for afternoon tea at Mount Falcon, which is where I used to run my stitching retreats and where 'Can I Be a Hare' was written.  It was all lovely.  A real treat!

I will leave you with a card and gift which arrived today.  I've met some amazing people through my crafting and designing and Jo from Norwich is one such friend.  Thank you so much Jo xxxx

 Now, wish me luck and onwards and upwards with the crafting!
TTFN xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stitching! Yay!!!!

I can finally share some stitching!

This is part one of M'Lady's Sweet Greenhouse SAL, Part 1, available from

It's been a really stressful time with a lot of things going on, and the stress was even affecting M'Lady's staff!

M'Lady's cook was out in the garden, picking some early fruit for pies. She was keen to keep out of the way of the other staff and of course out of the way of M'lady.

M'Lady was feeling anxious and when she felt anxious, everybody knew about it!

While not an unpleasant employer, when she was upset, she would pace up and down and would call out "When were the chimneys last cleaned?" and "When did Daisy polish the silverware?" putting all the staff on edge!

All of these tasks were completed according to a schedule developed long before M'Lady's father had passed away, leaving her in charge, but as I said, she was feeling anxious! And when her mind felt ill at ease, she tended to try to distract herself by finding work for others!

And why was she so fraught?

Well, because her special cross stitch sal 'M'Lady's Sweet Greenhouse' was released!

She was incredibly worried that no one will like it. Her greenhouse is very special to her, and it means a lot to have people's approval!

I have to admit; new releases do tend to cause a little apprehension where all are concerned.

Cook sighed as she heard Daisy, M'Lady's maid sobbing in the kitchen. Daisy was a sweet young thing. She didn't have a lot of common sense and was far too sensitive for her own good but she would, in time, make a wonderful housekeeper. That's if Cook could stop her making eyes at the garden boy!

Poor old cook picked up her basket of fruit and made her way back. She would have to sort it all out just as she used to when M'lady was a very little girl. 

M'Lady would often sneak downstairs to the kitchen if she'd been in trouble for skimming her knees or had been caught by her mama, sliding down the bannisters. Only now, instead of giving her jam tarts, cook would be making chamomile tea. Lots and lots of chamomile tea!

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