Tuesday, 31 December 2013

End to 2013!

Here we are, at the end of another year! Not the best year in my life! I am glad to see the back of it!

Here's to 2014! The only trouble is that I have a feeling 2014 won't go down in history as the one of the best either but we'll see!

The lows of 2013 were the issues I have had around work. As you may remember this time last year I was having a very bad time in the job I was doing, I went off sick on Jan 4th and left in Feb. I started a new job at the end of Feb and all was looking very good but unfortunately it wasn't to be and I left there in September. I haven't worked since and I am not going to be able to for the indefinite future due to my Dad's precarious health.

At the same time my job was going down the pan my Dad was really poorly again and was hospitalized again for nearly a month ( as he was in Oct 2012). He has recovered to a certain extent but is frail. He has made the decision to give up driving which now means I need to take Mum & Dad shopping and to any sort of appointment they may have as neither of them are able to use taxis or public transport due to their lack of mobility. Dad still has to face 2 operations - fitting of a pacemaker and removal of a kidney stone.

I am not missing work at all but the loss of income is a bit of a worry, although over the years I have found when it comes to money something usually comes along. I still have no desire to return to nursing which is amazing considering how important it was to me for so many years.

Anyway, on to other things! 

I took into my head that I must have a white Christmas tree with gaudy decorations for my sewing room. I was lucky enough to get this one half price in Paperchase.

On the quilty side I have managed more finishes this year.

My 9 patch quilt made from Moda Etchings. Don't you just love the Oh! Bearded One's feet?

Early in the year I jumped on the 'Scrappy Trips around the world' bandwaggon. I love this pattern and have started another one for me. When I started this quilt I didn't have anyone in mind for it but it became apparent it would suit my Dad very well so I finished it in time to give it him for Christmas. He was very pleased with it. The fabric used was 1 & a half jelly rolls - Moda Blessings & Moda Peace on Earth. 

This year's highlight was DD announcing she is to have a baby (which is due on Jan 21st). As she was awaiting an appointment to see about IVF, this was fantastic news.

 Meg & Molly have been faithful quilty companions and I hope they continue to be in 2014.

Have a safe, peaceful and Happy New Year!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

I know I've been missing for ages again! After Christmas I will post about all my recent doings!


Have a very

Happy Christmas!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Here I am!

I've been in funny place this week. I haven't quite left my old life behind and I haven't fully embraced my new life. I have felt out of sorts & a bit in limbo, not really fully depressed, just not quite right. Hopefully I'll settle down over the next few weeks, especially as Christmas is coming up.

I've finished the decorating I wanted to do upstairs this side of Christmas. I want do a little bit downstairs before Christmas.

My sewing room is fully operational now. The photo above shows what it was like.

It now looks like this! 
The little picture that is on the window wall is a watercolour painting that my Dad did in 1994 when he dabbled a bit in watercolour painting. I rescued it when Mum had me go through their spare room and get rid of stuff last month. It won't win prizes or sell for a lot of money but it is special to me.

Getting rid of the blue paint has made a big difference to the quality of the light, especially at night which I love. The room is a temple to Ikea! All the furniture came from there at one time or another, most of it recycled from our kids bedrooms as they grew up, only the wall unit is new as I needed some substantial storage for all my 'stuff''. A lot of this stuff is papercrafting equipment and papers for card making &  scrapbooking. The drawer unit is holding my started quilty projects and sewing equipment.

The wall is a blank canvas waiting for things to be made to hang on it.

I've got the curtains up across the wardrobe space in the spare bedroom, behind here is a large part of my fabric collection.

When I was buying the fabric I've collected over the last few years there were times when I felt guilty about buying it but now I've no income of my own as such I still have a good choice of fabric to make some great quilts over the coming years so I am really pleased about that, it is the same with my knitting yarn stash. 

This photo shows the other side of the spare bedroom. I've moved the bed over and we prefer it. There is still plenty of room for a travel cot when it is required!

Tonight I've christened my sewing room by finishing the quilting on my Moda 'Etchings' quilt that I started back in February. Actually to start and finish a quilt within the same year is really good going for me!

The table setup is working for me which I'm really pleased about. I did spend some time thinking about how I would use the space.

As you are aware I love my kids a lot and I am very proud of them but I have to say I don't miss them living under the same roof. I have halved my food bills and I only do 2 loads of washing a week! I can't get over that! 

DD is enjoying her new home!

Dad is improving slowly I am very pleased to report, it has been a worrying time with him & we aren't finished yet as he has to have the kidney stone removed at the end of the month.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

An update!

This week I've been decorating my sewing room. I completed the painting today, I've worked on the room all day. It has been hard work but very worth it. I can now start moving my stuff back into the room. That is going to take a while as I want to sort through everything and try to part with some fabric and papercraft stuff as I've got more than I'll use in my lifetime, also I need some space for fabric that I can't do without in the future - lol! I want to order a storage unit from Ikea which will help keep the room tidy, other than that I've got everything I need for this room.

I am enjoying getting to grips with some of the things I have wanted to do for the last 5-6 years but have been too busy with work to do. I don't intend to work for a while and I'm not sure what I'll do if I do go back to work. I am certainly not missing nursing which is quite amazing as it has been an integral part of who I am for more than 30 years.

In other news, my Dad has been in hospital for over 3 weeks with pneumonia, a kidney infection and kidney stones. He is now in a community support unit as, although he is medically fit, he is as weak as a kitten and needs to get stronger before he goes back home. He was in hospital this time last year as well. 

It was my birthday in the middle of the week and it is the 2nd birthday he has missed because he has been ill and in hospital, lets hope he doesn't miss a 3rd next year!

It also turns out he has a slow heart rate and is going to need a pacemaker, he also needs the kidney stones sorting out and he has a tube coming from his right kidney at present, something is going to have to be done about this too! It's a good job I'm not working as I need to be available to take him to all his hospital appointments. This illness has made him decide to give up driving.

Friday, 18 October 2013


As you are aware DD & Gromit moved out into their own house nearly 2 weeks ago.

This was their bedroom. It is a double room at the front of the house overlooking the cul de sac we live on.

The decorating is now complete. It is to become the bedroom SofM will sleep in when he is home and a place to put a travel cot when I have my Grand son once he is born (I probably will look after him a day or two a week once DD goes back to work.

This is SofM's old bedroom, it is a single room at the back of the house overlooking the back garden which is great for watching the birds and squirrels whilst supposed to be sewing! It has been my sewing room for a year or two now but I've had to share the space with the bed (& my ironing pile, don't look!).

Today that has changed!

The bed has moved into the front bedroom! I've moved all my sewing stuff into there as well until I've decorated my sewing room. This photo shows my desk where I will sew until the other room is finished. This is the space the travel cot will go in. 

The wardrobe to be curtained off

This room has 2 wardrobe spaces. We took the doors off one wardrobe to give space to put a chest of drawers in the room. The other wardrobe is used as a wardrobe but the original doors were a nuisance so we took them off too and we have had curtains up to hide the space (this is until we can afford to have new doors on). DD's curtains were hot pink, not my choice so I have bought material to make new ones.

This photo shows the other wardrobe which really should open into our bedroom. It has got my fabric storage in it at present but ultimately I will buy another chest of drawers for it.

The curtains & bedding are new and the room is painted in Dulux's Natural Wicker & B&Q's Olive Green.

The only sewing I've managed to do is to make a little mat to go on the conservatory settee to stop Molly's fur going all over the cushions. There is so much fur which means you can't sit down without getting a furry 'bum' which is very irritating. The idea is the mat can be moved when a human wants to sit down.

It is working!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


It's all change in my house!

DD & Gromit have moved out into their own little love nest about 1.5 miles away from us. Although we got on really well, I am loving the freedom this has brought the Oh! Bearded One & myself. After living with other adults for about 6-7 years it is lovely not to have to think about anyone but ourselves. They have got a really comfortable little house which will serve them well once their baby is born. I've been helping DD with moving 'stuff' and cleaning.

As a result of them moving out I've got a spare bedroom that needed decorating so I am about 3/4 quarters of the way through that, then I've got the bedroom that is going to be my sewing room to decorate, I can't wait, I've been dreaming of having my own sewing room for about 5 years!

The other big thing that is happening is that I am going to leave nursing. In a way it is being forced on me but now I've got my head round it I feel complete relief and I am looking forward to the future. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to earn any money but hopefully something will come along. In the meantime I don't have to worry about my patients, CQC, nursing home management, relatives or the hundred other things that come with nursing and nursing management in the UK at present.

One thing I will be doing is looking after my parents. My Dad is in hospital again (kidney infection & stones this time). When he comes out he is going to need support to get back on his feet & realistically he won't quite get back to where he was before this illness.

Right, back to the paint brush tomorrow! 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Summer - Part 2

Northwich isn't a big town, it has a population of about 20,000-21,000. It is easy to walk from one side of town to the other in less than an hour (I have done it but not not recently).

In the 21 years I have lived here I've seen a lot of changes, very few for the better unfortunately. We have lost the cinema, the one & only central hotel and lots of shops in the town centre as a result of the recession. The 1960's magistrate court and the Memorial Hall have also gone (no great loss as they were the most ugly buildings out). The Memorial Hall is being replaced by some sort of cultural centre! 

We do have a museum! I have never visited until this summer. It used to be called the Salt museum but it is now called Weaver Hall museum. It is housed in the old workhouse and the facade is rather attractive (there aren't many old buildings left in Northwich as they had a tendency to disappear into holes in the ground due to salt mining!)

I decided it was high time I went and had a look. It is only a small museum but it is interesting and worth a visit.

 This rusty looking bit of metal is a salt pan (I can't remember anything else about it)

 This painting hangs in the museum and depicts the area where I live. It used to be farmland before they built the housing estate that I live on.

The day I decided to walk to the museum was very hot and sunny.

This photo shows the view across the river Weaver where the only central hotel & the cinema used to stand. They has been knocked down and a Waitrose is being build. A new marina is also being build which is good, hopefully more river traffic will stop on its way to & from the Anderton Boat Lift.

On other news it looks like the job situation has sorted itself out - I'm job hunting again but this time I am definitely only going to do agency work, I can't take the stress!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Summer - part 1

As you are aware I've been missing over the summer from Blogland so here is my summer in many parts.
I have made a determined effort this summer to get out and about to see things that I've not seen before so I am showing some of the places I've been.

 I had to go to a meeting for work which was held in a medical centre in Stoke-on-Trent (I have been working in this area). If you like pottery you will be aware Stoke-on-Trent is famous for making every type pot & plate imaginable.

This wall art shows a scene from Stoke's history, it's a shame that it is so worn.

Every industrial town in Britain had Public Houses or pubs like this one. Unfortunately they are shutting at a rate of knots, especially in town centres. Most of the pubs we go in do food so we go to eat rather than just drink.

DD & I visited the Gladstone Pottery Museum, also in Stoke. It was a very interesting visit and I learnt quite a bit about the pottery industry. The whole of the area of Stoke-on-Trent were covered in this type of brick 'bottle' chimneys, very few survive now. 

DD had a go at making a flower. These flowers were made by ladies on piece work, they got so much per dozen

There are a lot of You Tube videos showing how these flowers are made and painted

A lot of famous names of the pottery world such as Wedgewood and Moorcroft have shops and museums. It is my intention to visit them sometime. Stoke-on-Trent is only about 40 minutes from where we live so there really isn't any excuse!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I'm going......................

.........................to be a Granny! My DD is 22 weeks gone and she found out today she is going to have a boy! 

It has taken a long time to sink in that I am going to be a Grandparent, I don't feel old enough and it doesn't seem two minutes since I had both my children.

This news is very welcome as I am having a very bad time with work, it looks like I am going to lose my job. The situation is complicated and I can't go into detail but sufficient to say I have had enough of nursing management and I may well come out of nursing all together. Nursing in Britain is getting more and more impossible and it is so easy to put a foot wrong.

I'll be back will my holiday photos, be warned!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

I've not dropped off the face of the earth, just not felt like blogging. I'm going to Europe for 2 weeks on Saturday, once I get back I'll start blogging regularly again and show you what I've been up to over the summer.

See you soon!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

My idea!


I haven't been around for a bit but I haven't forgotten about my idea. 

The idea was this - that we put together some items from our stash, send them on to someone else who  makes something out of the items and then sends it back to us. Any materials left over the maker keeps.

I have already got some folks signed up but does anyone else want to join us?

We need to have gathered up our materials and send them by the 30th of June.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


You know that idea I had yesterday? Well, at least 4 ladies liked the idea so lets go for it.

I'm thinking if we post out our materials to each other by the end of June and return the made items to each other by mid October, I want to leave enough time as we are coming up to the holiday season, I also don't want to put us under too much pressure as this should be fun. Would that work for you?

It would be great if a few more ladies feel up to having a go. Please have a think about it and let me know.

I'll will post the final rules over the weekend.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I've had....


Yes, I know this is a very dangerous thing!

Do you fancy a swap?

This is my idea - you put together some items from your stash, you are not to buy anything. Then you send your selected items to someone else. The person you have sent the items to will make something from said items and then send the finished item back to you. Any materials left over are kept by the person making the item.

I don't know about you but I buy certain materials with an idea in mind but I don't follow the idea through so the materials sit there. My idea is to stretch ourselves, using things, perhaps, we wouldn't use.

Anybody in?

Friday, 17 May 2013

Poor Meg!

Don't look if you are squeamish! 

Poor Meg! She is having a bad time at present. She has mega problems with her ears, they build up wax, she has had them cleaned out under sedation before and we have to keep putting drops in them.

The day we went on holiday She developed a huge haematoma (blood blister) on the underside of her ear flap so off to the vet she went. Fortunately my DD was at home and was able to take her for us.

These are the pictures she sent me. She looks very sorry for herself!

She had lots of stitches in the ear flap. Earlier in the week DD & I tried to take the stitches out (being nurses is rather useful). We got 2 thirds of them out but then she got too agitated and I was worried she would try to bit us so she went back to the vet for sedation to get the rest out and the ear was given a good clean out. That was yesterday.

Today she is still wearing her lampshade as she is still shaking her head a lot and if we took it off she would give it such a good scratch she would do serious damage and undo all the good work.

What with her leg and her ears and her allergies she has cost a fortune, fortunately she is insured but the premiums will go up again! Never mind she is worth it and none of our other animals haven't cost much so it all balances out. I'm glad we have got her. I dread to think what would have happened to her if we hadn't rescued her.   

Thursday, 16 May 2013

I'm back!

We are back from our holiday in Scotland

This is the cottage we stayed, a 2 bedroomed bungalow with a kitchen/diner/sitting room

 This was the view from the front of the cottage.

Scotland! the view!

Mum & Dad!

This is the village we stayed in - Plockton!