Archive for October, 2010

Despite my best intentions I didn’t get a chance to take part in Weekword this week, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, and it has been a busy week.

No time at the studio this week due to other commitments, but I did get a chance to start another (!) crochet project.

I decided to take a break from my ripple blanket and use up the leftover yarn from my second granny stripe blanket.  There were odds and ends from that, and also from other things, which were kicking about and just annoying me!  So I decided to make squares with them, all mismatched but very colourful, and then edged them with some cream acrylic.  Any yarn that’s left over in future will be turned into more squares, and eventually I hope to get another blanket out of this.

My dad said that they look like signal flags, and I think he’s got a point!  Of course the temptation is to buy more yarn specifically to finish this blanket with, but that would defeat the original point (which was to use up spare yarn) so I’m trying to resist!  It is very satisfying to have a neat pile of squares now instead of a jumbled bag of odds ‘n’ ends.  Tidier, too.

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Shades of grey

I do enjoy doing commissions for weddings, particularly when I know the bride well.  Joan asked me to create a small guestbook for her wedding, to match her colour scheme of grey and white.  The front cover has been hand inked in silver with the design from her wedding invitations together with text in a soft, flowing script.  The pages alternate between grey and white, and the coptic stitching has been done using a silver embroidery thread.

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Treble word score?

A set of four medium sized Scrabble tile cushions, commissioned as a wedding present.  The smaller cushions pictured are the size I normally do, but this client wanted something a bit bigger (the small ones measure approximately 10cm x 10cm, the larger ones measure approximately 20cm x 20cm).

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It’s been three weeks since my last entry, and it’s been a very busy three weeks.

The bad news I mentioned is this: my father’s been diagnosed with lung cancer.  We were given the diagnosis on the 30th September, and on 5th October he started his first round of palliative chemotherapy.  We spent the majority of that week in the hospital – for chemo, for cardiac investigations after he experienced chest pains, and for more tests to determine whether the cancer had spread any further (we already know that it’s all over his liver, as well as in both lungs).

The two weeks following that?  Mostly exhausting.  Dad’s not been feeling very well since the chemo, and we’ve been busy sorting out the mundane yet essential things like applying for Power of Attorney, and transferring other things into my control so that we’re as well organised as possible.  I’ve been working reduced hours in my gardening business because of this, and also to spend more time with my father.

Things are as well as they can be.  I’ve been taking care of my parents, and I’m incredibly lucky to have a partner who is supportive, as well as having friends who can be relied on.  I’m dealing with everything as well as I can, and my way is a very practical one.  There will be time for grief in due course – for now it’s important to live.

So… have I had any time for crafting?  I have!  As I’ve been spending more time at home I’ve found myself looking for things that I can do here (as, obviously, pretty much all my crafting materials and tools are at my studio).

I’ve started making some sets of notecards, which I hope to sell at the annual Christmas market on Little Lost Lushies.   I have a stash of blank notecards, as well as old book pages, so I started sketching iconic things from London (my home city, which I love).  The sketches are all originals, no prints here, and they’re mounted on top of vintage book pages (from 80 Days Around the World).  I’ve got two sets (9 cards per set, 3 of each design) ready so far and hopefully I’ll get a few more made up by the time the market opens on the 31st October.

I managed to spend two whole days in my studio this week, which was sheer bliss.  It’s been a very long time since I had a decent session there, and I was able to completely immerse myself in my work for a while – a period of much needed respite from everything else.  I finished up my Notting Hill series of notebooks (all of which will be added to my Etsy shop later today), which was great fun.  Each book is named for a street in the Notting Hill area – which is just down the road from me.  I’ve spent my entire life in this area so the place names conjure up memories for me, and as such this series of books has a very personal appeal.  There are 12 sets in this series (each set includes 1 x A6 and 1 x A7 book), some of which are pictured below:

I also had a chance to use some new leather I bought recently.  It’s incredibly soft, and was an absolute dream to work with.  I’ve teamed it with some vintage-style postcards which I bought at the Wellcome Collection back in August:

The absinthe one has already been reserved by a customer, but the malaria one will be added to my Etsy shop today (I think it would make a good travel journal for someone).

I have some other things to write about (commissions and some more crochet), but I’ll post about those separately later.

In the meantime I’m glad to be back, and will endeavour to keep this blog going regularly from now on.  I’ve missed keeping it up to date, and I’m sorry to have missed out on two Weekwords!

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I’ve decided to have a break from Project 365.  Things are going to be quite manic here for the foreseeable future and I suspect that taking a photograph every day is going to be the last thing on my mind.  I’ll still share photos that I’ve taken, but it won’t be on a regular basis.

Today I went to Kew Gardens with my dad.  We both have season tickets, but it’s been quite a long time since we went there together.  We had a lovely day, and were particularly delighted to discover that there are now butterflies in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

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