Wednesday, 31 August 2016

It's No Wonder I'm Tired...

My daughter's room used to look like this - you can't see it but to the right was an old spare bed piled high with her toys and all her clothes.  It was an awful mess.  Behind was another heap of crates full of toys, a built in wardrobe with stuff spilling out and a large wooden box full of her brother's possessions, left behind when he moved out.  The bed was old and creaky, and underneath were yet more boxes of crap stuff.  I'm not proud of it, it's needed renovating for years and to be honest, I just couldn't face it.

So when a new branch of Ikea opened near us, we went along to have a look and I saw an ideal bed for her - low, with storage and the ability to pull out into a double bed if necessary.  I went home and thought about it for a couple of days, then bit the bullet and ordered the bed...and shelves...and a chair.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago (together with two chest of drawers for our room which also needed replacing) and for the past ten days I have been mucking out Stacie's room - an apt phrase indeed.
So now she has a room like this, with lots more room with all the junk gone.  It's not quite finished, the walls need painting and the pictures re-hanging, but that can wait for a couple of weeks while my body recovers. Carrying large chunks of wood up and down the stairs singlehandedly and dragging huge bin sacks full of old and broken toys takes it out of you!
I was very worried that she would create a scene with me 'touching her stuff', let alone throwing a great deal of it away - people with Down's Syndrome dislike change, and she in particular can get very funny about her possessions being moved.  However, the bed has been a roaring success, she loves having the space to sit and play her cd's, and having all her books and bits and pieces in accessible shelves has meant that she has found all sorts of things she had forgotten about, so is very happy.  Thank God for that!

Consequently, time for painting and crafting has been minimum.  I've been working on these little peeps:
Discovered if you crochet a lace snowflake in raffia it makes a great coaster:
And the garden has not been producing much (another disastrous glitch in the weather earlier this summer, combined with slug invasion) but the cucamelons are delicious!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Snow, Sun & Soreness...

I've not had an awful lot of time for crafting this week, but have been crocheting these pretty little snowflakes.  I'm glad they are small and don't cover my lap in heavy hot wool as it has been a little warm this week.

The reason I've not had much time for craft is that I have been completely refurbishing my daughter's room - it hasn't been done for years and as she is a chronic hoarder (can't think where she gets it from) it was quite a mammoth task.  I've chucked out all the ancient furniture, bought some lovely new stuff from Ikea which I have been building and arranging so that she has a proper grown-up room with plenty of space and her possessions where she can see them, but also tidy.  Having Down's Syndrome means that if something is out of sight, it generally gets forgotten, so we have had years of her clothes being in piles on the spare bed, which looked awful but meant she could choose her outfits easily.  Her new bed has three large drawers underneath in which I have been able to put her clothes in a way she can see & choose with ease.  Also because of her DS, her room is full of beloved toys and books that I have not been able to cull, despite her being 28 years old.  Hopefully with her new bookshelves I will be able to keep the ones she wants, quietly throw away the really babyish stuff, and restore order!  It's been a lot of hard work, not helped by a mini heatwave - so much sweat - and I am aching all over.  Hopefully it should all be done by the weekend and I can get back to my easel.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Snow In Summer...

Just for a change, I have been crocheting some snowflakes.  Got a great pattern book and some sparkly thread and off we go.  These are fun to make, relatively quick (when you are not engrossed in watching the Olympics!) and so pretty.
Also been working on this - the end is in sight, just got to add some chicks and finish off the ground and we're done.  Sounds easy, but it will take a few more sessions.

I've also been building furniture - after a visit to the new Ikea branch just down the road from us, I was inspired to finally replace the nasty old bedroom furniture we have had for about 20 years, a lot of which was second hand even then.  So far I have build two chests of drawers and a bedside table for our bedroom, and over the weekend will be building a new bed & some bookshelves for Stacie's room and generally sorting through all her stuff and clearing out the trash...I may be some time!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Little Fishy...

 I've had this necklace in mind for a long time, but wasn't quite sure how to execute it.  I finbally got my hands on some tiny glass 'bowls' and set about knitting a very small fish - the bowl is 2 cm wide, so the fish had to be similar.
 This is a prototype - either the fish has to be smaller or the bowl slightly bigger.  I'm quite pleased with it but it needs tweaking.
However, if you fall in love with it as it is, do get in touch as it is for sale.
I've also made a few of these - one is listed on my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Over The Worst...

I'm still putting the hours in on this - can you spot the progress?  That chicken on the left nearly finished me off, those feathers, that pattern!  However, she is more or less done now and I feel I'm on the home straight.  There is still a lot to be done, but nothing that scares me any more.

Sunday, 7 August 2016


 Whilst I am not being very creative - summer turns my brain to mush it would appear - let's see what is growing in the garden.  The exotic plants are doing pretty well this year.
 Just don't ask me the names of some of the plants - I know this as the pineapple flower.
 My prized echium, pinched from a driveway in Alderney and brought home squished in an ice cream carton, seems to be doing fine.
 The cucamelon plant has lots of fruit slowly growing - can't wait to eat these as the last time I grew them we had to share the only two fruit between us!
First time I have attempted to grow physalis - frustrating not to be able to see the fruit inside it's little lantern and I have to refrain from squeezing it to feel how big it's grown in there!

At the same time inside the house, I have a feeling the bird of paradise plant may be putting out a flower - not getting excited just yet, but it's looking hopeful.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Fox & Chickens...

 I seem to have been rather quiet of late - not sure what has been going on, but there has been work, just nothing I can show for now.  The chicken painting is progressing laboriously - when using acrylics for detail, it just takes so long.  I was having a bit of trouble with one of the reference photos too as it was rather fuzzy, but after much searching, I found a clearer version so it's all systems go once again.  There is still so much to include in this - you'll have to just wait and see what's next!
Last week when walking the dog, we came across a young fox heading towards us down the path.  I stopped, thinking once he noticed us with the dog he'd turn and disappear into the undergrowth.  But no, he had a look and decided to keep on walking, passing us about 6 feet away with hardly a glance.  Needless to say, the dog was going absolutely crazy trying to get him but he didn't care.  Cheeky thing!