Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A little finish

It will be a Baby's First Christmas ornament for my niece's new baby, expected in July. I won't be able to make it up until I get the birth details - baby's first name goes on the front, and on the back I'll stitch baby's full name and date of birth. The little bear is a DMC freebie. I stitched it with DMC floss and Mill Hill petite beads on 22 count hardanger. I did change the colours from those charted, and I added the borders. I'll make it up as a lightly padded flat ornament with beaded seams and a beaded hanger.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

WIP Progress Pic

I really haven't stitched as much as I would have liked on Angel of Grace this week. I have just a little more of the skirt finished. What stitching time I did have during the week was mostly spent on stitching a mug rug (my first ever) for a challenge/exchange on the Life's a Stitch board. The challenge was to stitch a mug rug featuring a 'funky' (read colourful) butterfly as the principal design element, and heart/s in at least 3 shades of the recipient's favourite colour as the secondary design element. The recipient's initials also had to be stitched, in pink, in one corner. It took me the best art of the week to design, stitch, and finish my mug rug, and it is now waiting patintly for the mailing date at the end of February.

My Dad is finally a little more settled in the hostel. I wouldn't say he is happy to be there, but he is at least eating, and being civil to us when we visit - a major improvement! He's still spending most of his time in his room, except for meal times when he is going to the dining room. I was pleased to see he has had the radio on each time I've been there in the last few days, as this is more like his usual behaviour. My sister is going to take him out for a couple of hours tomorrow aternoon to visit his 3 yr old great-grandson who lives about an hour's drive away. I hope he will enjoy the outing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another sad day for me

We had a very difficult decision to make at 4am today. My 16 year old Bichon who has always had clicky hips and subluxating patellas, and suffers badly from arthritis, dislocated her hips for the second time in 8 hrs, and was in severe pain that we couldn't relieve. We couldn't bear to see her in such pain, and know that even if we were able to get her through this episode she would have more bouts of such severe pain. So, we asked the vet to euthenase her. It was so very hard for us to do that, but we felt as if there was no other choice for Ellie. I held her as the vet gave her the injection, and for quite some time after. I miss her so much, and my Maltese Maddie is missing her too. Maddie has never been separated from Ellie except for brief periods of hospitalisation, and has been quiet and out of sorts all day.

I am also sad about my father. He is still most unhappy about being in the hostel, and feeling rejected and abandoned by his children. He has stopped eating, but is still drinking all fluids given to him, so I am not really worried about the not eating yet. He generally loves his food, so I'm thinking he won't maintain the hunger strike long. My sister said he showed an interest in a new hot drink vending machine that appeared in the hostel today, so that's a postitve sign. I'm still majorly out of favour, so I have stayed away today, and will also probably stay away tomorrow. One postitive thing is that he's behaving better for the staff than he is for his family.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February TUSAL

I don't feel as if I have done much stitching this month, so I was surprised when I lifted my TUSAL jar out of its hiding place (on the floor between my stitching chair and the ottoman on which I keep my stitching supplies and necessities) and found a lot more threads than I was expecting. There are threads from three projects I've worked on in the past month. From the bottom of the jar up they were: my Angel of Grace; 6 tiny Christmas trees yet to be decorated with beads; and the butterfly mug rug I have just finished for an exchange.
Playing with the TUSAL jar cheered me up a little. I've had a very sad day today. My Dad realised today that we intend for him to remain in the hostel indefinitely, and he reacted very negatively, spat the dummy big-time, and had a major temper tantrum. He is most unhappy with me in particular, the hostel and its staff, and the world in general. It was so hard to see him so distressed, and recognise that there was just nothing I could do to relieve his pain. He is not capable of living independently, and our attempts to manage him within the family came to a very painful sticky end in the last week of January. He has been in the hostel for a just over a week now, and already I have noticed that the structured environment has helped to return his waking/sleeping pattern to a more normal one, and also has reduced his self-damaging behaviour. I made a huge error in not telling him about the financial arrangements for the hostel. I knew he would not be happy about paying the bond and weekly charge, and thought I could just organise it without involving him, but unfortunately he heard other residents discussing bond and charges details, and is (understandably) extremely angry that he wasn't consulted about it. Luckily I have 5 brothers and sisters - I'd hate to be going through this alone.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Angel is growing slowly

I've been stitching a little more in the last few days, and really enjoying watching the skirt unfold. The thing I particularly like about the L&L Angel and Santa designs is the way MLI charts the folds of fabric to give a 3-D effect on the stitched piece, without backstitching. She is so talented. I am really enjoying stitching this Angel.
I am also feeling happier about my Dad. His physical condition is improving, and I can see signs that he is starting to adapt to life in his new home. He has started leaving his room to join the other residents in the dining room for lunch and dinner, and though he's eating very little, he is trying a little of what's on his plate, and drinking everything put in front of him including the chocolate-flavoured protein drinks my sister arranged for him to have. Twice I've seen him sitting in the courtyard in the sun reading his newspaper, and he has even had a couple of conversations with another resident. Each day I feel a little easier about him.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Time out

No stitching progress pic today. I've not had much stitching time at all in the past week or so. I've mostly been involved with my Dad and my family. Dad is now much improved and has been discharged from hospital. He's moved into a local aged care hostel (that sounds so simple when I write it - believe me, the actual process was not so easy!). We (his children) are hoping that he will adjust to the change and come to enjoy his new home. So far, progress has been slow, but he is at least making an attempt to eat something at each meal now, and he does like the bed, so I guess that's something. The staff seem really caring, and the hostel is lovely - its new and still in the process of accepting residents. There are only 12 residents so far, though the capacity of the hostel is 66. The communal areas are well set up, and include an enclosed courtyard, so he can sit out in the sun when he has the urge to do so. Dad has a lovely large room with a huge ensuite. So far he's hardly left his room, but we're hopeful that he will join in the hostel activities as time progresses.

I'm hopeful to have some stitching progress to show soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another progress pic

Grace is starting to look like an angel now. The wings are finished, and I really do like the effect of the beads, though the first person to see the wings finished commented that gold beads would have been a better choice. I'm still happy with the result - it is in keeping with the charted floss colours, and the wings have a lovely subtle glittery appearance.
My Dad is not well, and I have been spending quite a lot of time with him in hospital. He suffered a cardiac arrest and then developed aspiration pneumonia following a gastroscopy, and had a couple of days in Intensive Care Unit, but he is now back in the medical ward. He is very up and down - appears to be improving one day, then slips back the next. We (his children)have made the difficult decision to find him a bed in a nursing home when he is well enough to leave hospital. He has reluctantly agreed to this move, though he is certainly not enthusiastic about the prospect. It will be a difficult transition for him, and for us as well. I had no idea that finding and organising admission to a nursing home was such a complicated business - My sisters and I are on a steep learning curve here, but luckily there is a lot of guidance and support from the hospital team.