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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Page 27 is finished - HD for me!

I've put in the final stitches in page 27.  I  am so pleased to have made such good progress with this page, since the last one took me over two months to finish!  I'm over 85% of the way through this project now - a very motivating thought!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lifestyle is catching up ... a sad tale

Yesterday was not a pleasant day, on several levels.  I was booked in for a gastroscopy at my local hospital, to investigate the heartburn and swallowing problems I have been suffering for much longer than I care to admit.  I've never had a gastroscopy before, but I know lots of people who have, and they all assured me that I wouldn't remember what happened after I got the pre-procedure sedation.  So I wasn't particularly worried about the procedure.  Everything was going well, until the nurse tried to insert a cannula to use for the sedation.  Every time I have blood drawn (which is at least every 2 months), the technician always comments about how close to the surface my veins are, and how freely the blood comes out.  I've had cannulas inserted in my hands before for procedures, with no problem.  So I was totally unconcerned about having a cannula inserted in my hand.  The nurse looked at my veins and commented that they looked like good veins.  Then she inserted a cannula and some blood came out just as it should.  But when she connected it up and tried to flush the cannula, it was blocked.  She tried again with another vein - same story.  As they're each only allowed two attempts at cannulation, she called in a more experienced blood-taker.  Same story with different veins.  In all I now have 11 sore spots on my hands and arms from attempted cannulation - and all unsuccessful. All cannulae entered veins, all were blocked when it came to the flushing stage. I have no idea why it would happen - it was certainly not something I would have predicted.  So the outcome was that I had the gastroscopy with no sedation.  It wasn't the worst thing that can happen, but it was certainly uncomfortable, particularly as I had uncontrollable gastric reflux (yes - TMI, I'll stop there!).  The outcome was that the Doctor was unable to take the biopsies he intended to take, and couldn't get the camera down past the entrance to the stomach.  But he found Grade 4 ulceration of the entire oesophagus (not a good thing to have, in case you're wondering) - which brings me to the lifestyle issue.

I know I often don't make the best decisions when it comes to lifestyle - I eat too much of the things I should eat sparingly (chocolate, for example), my appetite has no automatic 'off' switch, I don't exercise as much as I should, I sit most of the day, I avoid stepping on the scales if it's at all possible, I do have to shop at the Big Ladies store ... I could go on but I'm sure you get the picture.  When I got home and googled 'oesophageal ulceration' and learned a bit about what it is and what can make it worse, I really had to take a second look at my lifestyle choices.  It seems that I will now have to really do a turn around in my life.  No more large meals - I need to eat small meals 5 times a day, not 3 large meals.  I need to avoid alcohol (not a probelm for me) and fatty foods especially chocolate (a big problem for me!).  And the list goes on.  Just about everything I love (eg tomatos, citrus fruit) makes my problem worse, and those things I'm not fussed on (eg soft cooked vegetables, fibre-filled breads) help to reduce the problem.

So - I'm in for big changes - one step at a time.  Chocolate is the first thing to go.  Right now.  Wish me luck!

And I will have to have another gastroscopy - hopefully with sedation this time!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Yay! - Page 26 is finished at last

I am so happy to have finally finished page 26 of Jolly Old Fellow.  I've been working on it on and off (mostly off) for the past 2 months, and at times I despaired of ever finishing it.  For me, this has been the most difficult of all the pages of JOF stitched so far.  I'm keen to get started on page 27 now - and hope to finish it by the end of May.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Two little finishes

These are Christmas gifts for my great-niece and great-nephew (brother and sister).  Santa and Mrs Claus are designs by Barbara Mock, from Dimensions leaflet #217 Christmas Quickies II (1992).  I stitched them on a very pale blue linen, and added a beaded border, and the children's names.  I did change some of the floss colours.

These are the final ornaments I will stitch this month.  I'm packing away the beads and and my ornament basket of goodies, and for the rest of this month (and all of next month) I will be stitching on Jolly Old Fellow.  I really want to get those final pesky stitches into page 26 and get stitching on page 27.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finished ornaments

I've finished five of the six ornaments I stitched in the last couple of weeks.  I'm having trouble deciding on the bead for the lacing on number 6, so it will have to wait till tomorrow. It's time I stopped for the night anyway - it's almost 2.30am, so I should be heading for bed. Here are the first three ornaments finished up.  These are for siblings Megan, David and Matthew.

Here are the other two ornaments I finished up tonight.  These are for Grace and Emma, two young sisters who like to have things the same.  This first pic is the front of the ornaments for the girls:
And this pic is the back of the ornaments (I spelled out their names in beads):

I'm having trouble scanning pics since my computer was upgraded.  Looks like my scanner doesn't work with Windows 7.  I'm sure there's an easy way of making it happen by downloading something and installing it - but really, I just don't have the necessary computer smarts to know where to start.  I'll have to call my nephew and see if he can help.  In the meantime I've resorted to the camera - I'm not really happy with the quality of the pics, but it's better than nothing. 

Goodnight ...

Tuesday morning.
I've popped back in to add the pic of the sixth ornament, now finished up.  This is for 12 yr old Miss Kate, who is a lover of cross stitch and comes to my house each Tuesday afternoon to stitch with me.  Her favourite colour is blue.  She's the older sister of Matthew, Megan and David.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WIPocalypse Report, May

I can hardly believe that another month has passed, and we are already into May.  This year is disappearing at an amazing rate.  It pains me to admit that I have made no progress on Jolly Old Fellow at all in the past month.  In fact, I was in a stitching slump, and found I didn't stitch at all for a couple of weeks. I did get some cupboards cleaned, a few books read, though, and lots of sudoku completed -  I wasn't totally unproductive!  I think this was the longest I've ever gone without stitching - usually I stitch most days. So I gave myself permission to put JOF away for a few weeks, and do some fun stitching in April.  I got out my beads, and stitched up six Christmas ornaments in the past week.  They're all ready to make up - which I plan to do in the next few days, and then I'll try to get back to stitching on JOF (wish me luck!)  I would like to have page 27 stitched by the end of May.

Here are my stitched and beaded ornaments:
Click on the pic to get a clearer (larger) view.  The four larger trees are for a family of four siblings (Kate, Matthew, David and Megan), and the two smaller ones are for two young sisters (Grace and Emma).

My other finish this month was my stocking for Kellie (pic in the post below).

I've just found out that I have to have a gastroscopy in a few weeks - I'm not looking forward to that, though my surgeon assures me it's not an unpleasant procedure, and there's a good chance I won't remember having the procedure at all.  I hope he's right! 

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