Tag Archive | Craft

Guilt-free quilting

Going through difficult times and wanting to stay at home rather than venture further afield makes it very easy for me to feel guilty that I’m not doing anything. Of course that is nonsensical as it is impossible for me to do nothing except when at my lowest nadir confined to bed and sleeping all day.

So when I look back at the last week or so, although I haven’t been out and about as much as the previous week, I have still achieved a lot and should take pride in that instead of beating myself up. We could all learn that lesson and be kinder to oneself more often.

I finished my mini-quilt swap for my swap partner in the US. I will now be able to put it in the post and wait for her reaction. I just hope she likes it. Likewise, I will be waiting for mine to drop through the letterbox and I am sure I will love mine! Just the thought that someone has spent their precious time and energy on a project for me is warming and I love this idea of quilt swapping.

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Mini-quilt swap Spring 2017[/caption

My quilt-swap partner lives in Texas and I therefore settled on a pattern which has one star at the centre as I understand that Texas is known as the “Lone Star State.” I also hand-quilted it with stars. I love how you can personalise even the smallest quilt either by pattern or colour, or both and all quilts are made with love. They are almost living things and each one gifted goes with a piece of me.

I have also started to hand-quilt one for me. It is divided into 4 large squares which I will sash together when quilted. I find it very relaxing to sit and stitch in the evenings whilst watching TV. Good chill-out time and, as I am being creative and making something tangible, it’s all guilt-free.

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I am also learning a lot about the history of quilting both in the UK and the US. I have to say that the US wins the “most interesting” award and I am now fascinated with the quilting stories, history and myths which abound. All this in addition to the Civil War quilts and fabrics mentioned previously.

[caption id="attachment_14798" width="2560"]IMG_5075 Easy 4-square mini-quilt

I may not be racing around like an ant, but I am still being productive and creative. This should not be underestimated!

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114 Days of freedom-day 7

Already one week down on my 16-week break from work! How quickly time flies when you are enjoying yourself so the saying goes.

I certainly enjoy having the time to indulge my favourite activities; walking Jasper, making quilts and, at the moment, sleeping.

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Jasper heping with mummy’s quilt!

One thing I have learned about chronic fatigue and how it affects me is that my body is not very good at dealing with adrenalin. It doesn’t matter whether the adrenalin -rush is the result of stress or excitement, (a) I seem to produce a lot of it and (b) it hangs around and upsets my equilibrium for some weeks afterwards.

I finished the high-intensity cycle of my seasonal work at the end of January, and am still winding down 3 weeks later. In previous years when I was much less self-aware, I would have fed off this adrenalin and continued the high-energy activities it promotes. This in turn would lead to a crash weeks if not months down the line. These days, being aware of this potential reaction I make a concerted effort to relax and not do  more than necessary so conserving my energy and protecting my equilibrium.

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The beginnings of a disappearing 16 square quilt

Since finishing work, I have been able to control what I do during the day, but my sleep pattern has been disturbed. Short periods of deep sleep for 2-3 hours are followed by hours of agitated waking, my mind racing with ideas and plans for the next day.

Going forward if my sleep doesn’t settle down soon, I will take my prescription medication to help me stay asleep for a good 6-7 hours instead of waking every few. In the meantime, I just keep trying to rest and relax in the hope that sleep returns to normal. My GP tells me that sleep patterns are the last thing to sette down after a relapse so hopefully it won’t take long.

Still mind

Gesso grunge Saturday

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My latest crafty must-do is using Gesso and modelling paste on blank canvas to create backgrounds with tons of texture and interest. The effect is quite subtle and therefore you may not distinguish the relief work straightaway but it is distinctive if you look closely. What the additional texture does however is add depth to any 3-dimensional artwork and it’s also fun to use.

I do get a bit messy, but lots of newspaper to protect the work surface soon looks after that. The best thing about using the paste is that you can apply it through/over stencils and if you don’t like the effect, it wipes off very easily to leave a blank space for you to start over.

This picture started life as a 99p blank canvas, 8″ x 8″ and I transformed it by using lots of items I had lying around. Anything goes with this sort of craftiness and I am about to dismantle an old watch which no longer works so I can use the different-shaped clock works inside. I’m always on the look out for old keys, clocks and watches, and chains to include in pictures and I am so glad that the car boot sale season is almost upon us. I love rummaging around other people’s junk to find my treasures and it’s usually a very economical way of increasing my stash.

I have just prepared a larger canvas with Gesso and modelling paste and it is outside drying in the gorgeous sunshine. I am hoping it dries enough to start the artwork soon, but if not it will have to wait until next weekend.

In the meantime, I need to finish off my baby quilt that I made last Saturday whilst I wait for the sun to do it’s work.

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Tags

Two days of tag-making.

A Spring wedding

My niece Pippa is marrying her fiance Dan next April and the invitation landed on my doormat yesterday firing up my excitement again.

Pippa's Invitation

Pippa’s Invitation

I designed the invites for them and during the summer holidays cut out the shapes and toppers, stamped and hand-painted the birdcage images (100) and then transported everything down to my sisters house so we could all sit together around the kitchen table and put them together.

It was a lovely sunny day in August and one of Pippa’s bridesmaids, Nicola also came across for the day to help out-it was girly heaven! Pippa provided the jelly beans and Nicola the raspberry lemonade. Big Sis provided the lunch and her husband the entertainment as always!

Birdcage stamped images

Birdcage stamped images

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Nicola & Pippa

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All done!

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Pippa & Nicola-JD! (Job Done)

Pippa’s twin brother Paul designed the inserts so it turned out to be a real family joint-effort. It was good fun and made it all the more special because we had done it ourselves.

I am now back to thinking about more pages for their wedding scrapbook which I have already started and have spent an hour or two (and some pennies) on some gorgeous Kaisercraft papers. I can’t post any pictures of the pages yet, you will have to wait until well into 2014 when I get the photos of the day but there is nothing to stop me preparing the pages ready to slip in the pictures when available.

I am also extremely honoured and proud to say that Pippa has also asked me to read a passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin at the ceremony. It is a beautiful reading taken from one of our favourite books of all time. I just hope that I do it justice.

Exciting times and something to look forward to over the winter months.

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