Monday, August 8, 2016

When all you need is a needle.....

When all you need is a needle to spend an evening relaxing and then you realise that even when you find said size 26 needle for the amazing kit which has been gifted you, your fingers don't work.

Ah well, you have to laugh don't you?

My fb friend Lynn kindly gifted me this Dimensions Kit. It's the first time since my diagnosis that I've done any crafting at all. It's  called A Kiss for Snowman.  It isn't the easiest chart in the world but the picture looks so much like my granddaughter that I'm determined to finish it!

The chemo brain and nerve damage to my fingers isn't helping but hey, just a stitch at a time right?

What also helped me was receiving this lovely package.  I actually received it around the same time as my diagnosis so it was put in a safe place and forgotten about. I know, it sounds terrible but please bear in mind it is quite some journey being told that old age is no longer an option.  I was also trying to help all my family who had to hear this news plus worse,  for a second time.

Anyway, it was found and Kim (Kim McCool Designs) was thanked and it got me to thinking that it's no good waiting around to die: I have to be getting on with things or it's just time wasted right?  It's the strangest thing: you go into 'mourning' mode before you've even popped your clogs!

Kim sent me the most amazing things.

I have to admit I don't know what the little wooden things are but the sentiment is universal. Live, Laugh, Love, Blessings.  Every day has 'perfect moments'. They just have to be looked for sometimes.  And life is indeed a blessing.  I've seen lots of USA stitchers use the little paddles.  It's a shame we can't get them in Ireland.  This one has pride of place on my bedside cabinet.

And then I had even more crafty blessings.  I'd had a  huge sort out and found a quilt top I made er, three/four years ago. Yes, I know...I should have finished it but I didn't.  I also found the quilt top I was going to make for my granddaughter after daughter said 'no pink!' (and ironically the baby is always in pink now!).

Well, I decided to clear everything out waiting for my impending death (which hopefully seems to be going to be late but shhhhhhhh, I won't tell if you don't) and so I gave these away to my most amazing friend Mona who has loads of grandchildren.  I thought she would put them to good use.

Well, she didn't.  She popped round last week and she'd finished them all for me.  Quilted, bound and oh so perfect.  They must have taken her ages!

I was so amazed I cried.  It's just wonderful having something from my 'nearly' quilting days to leave behind for my husband and granddaughter.  Thank you Mona. You are a star!

So with all this craftiness going on I also managed to finish one of Holmsey's Hymms ornaments which has now been released.  Little Town of Bethlehem is, I think, the last one.  I'll have to have a sort through. There are still some waiting to be finished but the days just seem to fly by and what with having my daughter and granddaughter here and my oldest son coming on Friday, it's quite a full house.  I'm determined to be organised and stitch etc more regularly though as mentally it really helps. Swearing at frogs is so much healthier than shouting at the world regarding my situation.

Oh my gosh, I nearly forgot another piece of quite big news.  The second Holmsey Hare book has just been accepted by the publishers.  The illustrator will be working on 'Can I Be A Hare?' next week.  It's for a slightly older age group and is longer.  I was so nervous sending it in as I knew this would depend on actual skill at writing rather than the sympathy ' can I have one for my granddaughter?'   Fergus features strongly in it so he's very pleased with himself.

I decided soon after my diagnosis that I didn't need a bucket list.  I've actually achieved everything in life that I wanted to achieve.  I've no regrets and lots of blessings. I've made mistakes but I've always tried to put them right and do right by the people who have been affected by them. I'm human. No human lives perfectly but I like to think I've learned from these mistakes.

Instead, I shared with my family that I would do things that popped up regardless of what they are.  Opportunities are there to be grabbed and tried right?

My dh and I had a chat and we decided we would have our honeymoon now.  It may be 17 years late but it means you really appreciate it.  Abroad wasn't possible, not while on weekly chemo, so we decided on Mount Falcon in County Mayo which is where we had the stitching retreats.

It was amazing. We had a suite and I'm not kidding, it was bigger than my house.  I felt like we were in Downton Abbey!

There was a huge bathroom and a dressing room, and guess where I finished Holmsey's second book!

Yup, I really did!

We spent a day driving around Mayo and exploring our beautiful countryside.  We even made it to Achill Island which is so beautiful..and bizarrely has sheep absolutely everywhere.  On the roads, the pavements, in gardens and even occasionally in a field!

The ruin is Grace O'Malley's castle.  I won't bore you with endless photos of my 'honeymoon' and will just say it was amazing.  We had a day of quiet in the hotel which is where I finished the book and all I can say is thank you to the staff of Mount Falcon who treated us like royalty!

And with that I will leave you xxx Happy stitching!


  1. What a wonderful post! You are so brave and inspiring. Love the quilting from your friend and your newest design.
    You look so elegant in that Downton Abbey honeymoon suite!

    And if no one else has told you, those paddles are called 'hornbooks'. "In childhood education from the mid 16th century to the late 19th century, a hornbook was a primer for children consisting of a sheet containing the letters of the alphabet, mounted on wood, bone, leather, or stone and protected by a thin sheet of transparent horn or mica."

  2. You are an amazing lady. What a lovely honeymoon....

  3. What an inspiring post! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the countryside from your honeymoon. What lovely quiltings your friend returned to you. Your new ornament is darling. Thinking of you!

  4. Dear Gaynor, what a lovely post. Your quilting is fabulous! What a precious gift to have received back. Your honeymoon sounds like it was so wonderful. I love the sheepy picture.

  5. You are a very creative lady. I love the stitching and your quilting. Lovely pictures of the late honeymoon. Well deserved. Happy Stitching Alice Margaux

  6. Gorgeous post G <3 The pics are are you the honeymoon man :-)
    Good for your friend...I love her and think she's marvelous' for finishing off the quilts and returning them back to you...enjoy them and use them and make them all loved...
    Your new ornament is so sweet...Congratulations on the next book! I am so proud of you and sweet have come a long way baby!
    Love you G
    Thanks for sharing

  7. You are amazing and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Looks like your honeymoon was beautiful! Bethan

  8. You have got a lot to post about. Congratulations on finally getting a honeymoon and on the second Holmsley book too. That's really great news.
    I am pleased that Annie talked about the hornbooks, having a paddle on your bedside table might give rather the wrong idea to any visitors! Not that I'm sure why a visitor would be in your bedroom to see it...
    Anyway, smut aside, Kim's gift is gorgeous and the Holmsley ornie looks lovely.

  9. I'm so happy that you got to go on a honeymoon at long last, Gaynor! I'm sure it is more meaningful now than it would have been 17 years ago... Lovely gifts that you've received and congratulations on your second book--that is so special!

    Love your ornament finish as well as your inspirational attitude. Take care now...

  10. You ARE amazing, you know that right? Great things in this post... love it all! My son makes thread keeps like those, out of exotic woods... tho it has been a while. I've been dropping hints for more, as I am in a finishing mood, and like a variety of styles. So good to hear from you. You are an inspiration to us all! Big Hugs!

  11. What gorgeous photos of your honeymoon Gaynor. That suite looks fabulous! You live in such a beautiful part of the world.
    Congratulations on your second book too.
    You received some lovely gifts. Your quilting looks so pretty, it's nice to think it's out of the cupboard and no doubt being enjoyed.


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