Thursday, 27 September 2007

Card making

I finally got round to having a mega card making session as the stand at work was looking very bare. I am very pleased that they are selling so well.

I try to make a variety of cards, including birthdays, new home, birth, weddings anniversaries and sympathy as standard and then put in the specials such as Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day etc.

I also try to use a variety of styles to appeal to a larger audience, also so that I don't get bored making them as this is for the long haul, I need to be able to keep making them.
The techniques I use include decoupage, stamping and cross stitch. The cards shown above include decoupage, which is one of my favorite techniques. A lot of the cards I make include flowers of some description as I love flowers. They could be Mulberry paper, silk or paper, made with a punch.
I am now plotting & scheming Christmas cards, I have already got some made but the magazines coming out just now have some different ideas that I will want to try. Watch this space!!!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Saturday Fantasy

I had my fantasy Saturday morning this morning.

Son of mine works as a kitchen assistant at my work on a Saturday. He is currently learning to drive so as the Oh! Bearded One is down in Bristol for work I sacrificed my lie in and sat with Son of Mine whilst he drove to work. As I was going to work anyway I spend an hour and a half doing some paperwork that needs doing for next week. Then I started my fantasy Saturday morning.

My work is about 5 miles away from the centre of Knutsford which is a pretty town in the heart of Cheshire. I had spotted a advert in a knitting mag for a yarn shop in Knutsford so I took the opportunity to look for it. It was worth the search. It is called Fibre & Clay and it is on King Street although apparently it moves to Minshull Street in about 3 weeks time. As well as being a yarn shop there is a gallery for artists working in many mediums, not only in fibre. I spent a lovely hour looking at patterns & yarn and plotting & scheming projects. Of course I couldn't possibly NOT buy yarn. I bought some Noro Kureyon to knit a Booga bag, I also bought Debbie Bliss's Donegal Tweed book to knit 'Killybegs'.

Once I finished in the yarn shop I had coffee & a cake and then a good browse around Waterstones, which in Knutsford is a very new shop, it wasn't there last time I went into Knutsford. I bought a book for the Oh! Bearded One for Chridtmas. I'm not saying want just in case he sees this blog.

Oh!!! I did enjoy my Saturday morning, I must do it again soon but not too soon as I can't afford to spend any more money on stash.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Naughty, naughty

I found myself in the yarn shop in Northwich, completely by accident!!! honest!!!

What had happened was that I had a hair appointment at 3.15pm or so I thought but when I got to the hairdressers I found that the girl who had booked the appointment over the phone yesterday wrote down Friday at 3.15 but told me Thursday instead. They were very good and fitted me in but I had to go away and go back half an hour later. I used the time up by going into town, so that is how I found myself in the yarn shop. Thet is my excuse and I am sticking to it!!

I went in for an extra ball of yarn for my 'little crochet cardi' as I am sure I will run out of yarn. I also wanted some yarn to crochet a prayer shawl. I am going to use the same pattern as the crochet cardi (see photo in previous post) as I really like and I think it lends its' self to a prayer shawl, it is also very easy to do.

The yarn shop always has lovely window displays of tempting things to knit and today was no exception. There was a Sirdar pattern for a cardigan in their new 'Peru' yarn, it was knitted in one of my favorite colours so I couldn't resist pricing up the yarn and looking at the colours the yarn comes in. I was going to just buy the pattern but it was the last one in the shop and I could only have it if I bought the yarn, well! I couldn't not buy it, could I?

I am now half way up the back, on the second ball of yarn (pics to follow). It is very simple, in stocking stitch with long sleeves and cut away on the fronts. The yarn makes it special. I should get it finished quickly as long as I don't get distracted by something else.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

History weekend

We had a weekend full of history this weekend.

This is where we stayed at the weekend for our murder, mystery dinner on
Saturday night. It is Bosworth Hall Hotel in Warwickshire (not Northampton as the Oh! Bearded One told orginally), the oldest part of which dates back to William lll & Mary ll. It's a big hotel with 192 bedrooms, it's the biggest hotel I've ever stayed in. It is set on the edge of the village of Market Bosworth which is a very pretty village is most famous for the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

We drove down late Saturday morning, stopping off at Sudbury Hall on the A50 for lunch. I got some knitting done on the way as the Oh! Bearded One drove. We got to the hotel late afternoon and then had a wander around Market Bosworth. The dinner started at 7.30pm and it was pretty good. On Sunday, on the way back, we stopped at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire. We've been to Sudbury Hall before but but we've never been to Kedleston Hall, it is very grand.

Both of these properties belong to the National Trust and we are members of the Trust so we get into the properties free. As we went to Powis Castle the other week and these two this weekend, we have had our money's worth.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Quick post

I have no knitting pics at present so I hope you enjoy this photo of this Dahlia that I took at Powis castle the other week. I think it is just beautiful, I love the colour.

Just a quick post to say the Oh! Bearded One and I are off to Northamptonshire for a Murder mystery weekend at a hotel. It has been organised through his work. I am looking forward to it and will tell more next week.
I am glad the working week is over, it was another really busy week. Next week I go back to my own job (I have been covering for the Home manager) which means I get days off in the week and work on Sunday. I like my days off in the week, it is quieter if I go out and there is no one at home if I stay in. I am planning a serious card making session as there are hardly any left at work where I sell them. I have to the dentist for a filling and Daughter Dear & I have a shopping trip to the Trafford centre arranged.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Why I nurse older people

I have done a search in Blog land and haven't found anything very positive about nursing homes so I am redressing the balance about the people I work with and look after.

I qualified as a registered nurse in 1984. I was unusual in my set of 90+ student nurses, I was one of the very few that wanted to work in older peoples' care or 'Geriatrics' as it was then. My first job was at Nether Edge hospital in Sheffield on an acute medical ward for older people and I have mainly worked in this area ever since. I have worked in my current home for 8 years and prior to that I was Matron of a small home in South Manchester for 4.5 years, I also did agency nursing in different nursing homes both in Sheffield and here in Cheshire.

I love my work despite the stress it can bring at times - deaths, staffing problems and too much to do and not enough time to do it in. I am passionate about giving the best care I can possibly give. Older people deserve good care. The generation we currently look after have lived through a world war, some of them have lived through 2 world wars with all the hardships that entailed and now, having working hard and saving, they have to pay for the care they receive so they deserve the best. This can be in conflict with the company who are after profit margins. Profit shouldn't be made out of older peoples' care but unfortunately that is the system we have got at present, here in England.

The company say they want the best care too but the system within the company is cumbersome, it takes so long to get new equipment, get things repaired or replaced which can be very frustrating.

Having said that I feel that the atmosphere in our home is very positive and the staff work very hard and are very caring. Every single member of staff is valued for the contribution that they make. Every single resident is loved as individuals and for the contribution they make to the life of the home. We try very hard to employ the right type of staff that have empathy for older people.

We have sad times when residents are ill and die. Staff can be very affected by residents dying, they can attached to the resident and the family. We also have happy times when staff and residents come together and have a good time such as at Christmas.

The staff team can become very despondent when nursing homes come in for yet more criticism, sometimes we feel as if we are very isolated and that we are not valued for our contribution.

I ask that people look beyond the news headlines and don't tar us all with the same brush. Lots of us do care about the older people we look after but we are human and don't always get it quite right but we keep trying, we go to prison if we don't.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Wedding aniversary party

I had a lovely 25th wedding anniversary party on Saturday. It was a party of 2 halves, my work colleagues & neighbours came around 4.30pm and went about 7.30pm, our Scouting cronies came at 8pm and stayed until 12.30am. It was great as we were able to spend time with everyone. My best friend of 33 years came from Sheffield, bringing along my God daughters. It was so lovely to see them. My oldest God daughter is 15 and is growing into a lovely young woman.

We had some lovely presents but I think people were giving us hints about timekeeping as we were given 3 clocks. We had nearly 40 cards which was just wonderful. The Oh! Bearded One' bought me a lovely diamond ring and a lovely bunch of unsual flowers (unfortunately no photo).
I know it is very corny but I do love the 'Oh! Bearded One'. Like most partners he can be infurating but he has many good qualities, he is kind, he picks up the houshold chores if I am too tired or in too much pain (as in the last few weeks) to cope with them, he cooks and he makes me laugh which keeps me going when things are feeling tough. He is easy going and easy to live with which probably more than can be said for me. I can be a really crabby old crow.
We are still eating the left overs and probably will do all week which is handy, I don't have to shop!!!
Still really busy at work and it could possibly be a sad week as we have 3 really poorly residents and at least one of them will die this week. Please pray for them and their families as they go through this reallly tough time.
I am on the last row of the back of my little crochet cardi but not much further on with any knitting.

Friday, 7 September 2007

A few words

I have had a busy week at work which is unsurprising as my home manager is away on holiday. I have done a little knitting and crochet. I have done the back and half a front of a baby jacket and have nearly finished the back of my little crocheted cardi.

We have only doen small amounts towards the preparations for our 'bit of a do' tomorrow but I'm not worried as it will happen.

Will report with words and pictures (hopefully) in a few days.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Strange things with paragraphs

Please excuse the peculiar paragraphs on the previous post. When I was writing it, it looked fine but when it was posted it came out as it is?????

I have read other bloggs whose writers have had the same problems. If anyone has advice I would be grateful.


Well!!! It's now September. Where does the time go? It doesn't seem two minutes since we had the last Beaver meeting in July, we'll be back at Beavers next week. I always feel that once the schools have gone back we are on a very fast count down to the end of the year and another New Year.

I've been busy over the weekend. My Daughter Dear, her future Mother-in-law, Cellostitcher, and I went to the Stitch & Creative Craft show at Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex). We really enjoyed it even though Daughter Dear had a bad cold. I felt there was a good mix of stands there, representing a large group of crafts. I felt it was bigger than in previous years although I heard other ladies say they felt it was smaller.

I've found enough a quicker to post photos. At work we have the updated version of my camera and the software is downloaded on the computer so I am able to upload photos from my camera onto that computer and then onto my memory stick. Hey presto, photos to post!

This is the pattern I am using to knit for the 2 nurses that are having babies later on in the year, I am also going to knit it for another nurse's little boy who will be 1 just before Christmas as I didn't knit for her when she was expecting him.

The yarn is Sirdar Denim, the colourway shown is Almond, I am also going to use Walnut and Adriatic.

It is a nice easy pattern that knits quickly. Last night I finished the back and cast on for the front.

I bought new crochet hooks from the show as I was having a lot of problems with pressure on my thumb from the one I was using previously (shown on the left). I have bought these Clover ones and they are much better because they are so much broader and softer.

It is so much more comfortable now, crocheting my little cardi.

I bought this hat pattern as the Oh! Bearded One loves daft hats for walking up mountains in and I thought he might enjoy this one.

I fell in love with this yarn, these Autumn colours really suit me


I bought this pattern!!

I also feel in love with this yarn.

I am now going to spend some time looking at sock patterns, to choose one for a pair of socks for myself to slouch around in the house in the winter.

Saving the best for last - look what I knitted!!!

A bag - to be felted of course!

I knitted this Saturday evening (what I haven't said, is that I was still knitting at 1am and had to rip it back twice as the shaping wasn't right) I attched the handles yesterday. The yarn is Twilleys of Stamford 'Freedom' and Sunbeam 'Paris' knitted together, bought from Designer knitting yarns who were at the show on Saturday. The bag should have been knitted on 12mm needles but I used 10mm as that is what I had got. I 'felted' it yesterday. I meant to photograph it this morning before I went to work but forgot so photo of finished item to follow once I have put the embellishments on it.

Tomorrow is my 25th Wedding aniversary and we have started getting cards which is really lovely. We are now on the count down to our 'bit of a do' on Saturday, I am really looking forward to it. More on that later in the week.