Sunday, 29 November 2015

This Week -Five on a Friday

Hello......... It's been a busy old week here at the summerhouse, it always seems to get this way on the approach to Christmas.

I had a wonderful time in Brighton last weekend, seeing friends who played there first big theatre gig.  The music was amazing and a night out in Brighton with the wheelchair went much more smoothly than anticipated, the staff at the theatre were wonderful. It completely wiped me out but it was fun, so strange to see how much energy healthy people my age have.

The band play a mix of British folk and Americana and are called Hatful of Rain I've added a clip of there latest single if you fancy a listen

All the itunes download profits for this one are going to RISE a local domestic abuse charity.

This recent relapse has really hit hard and although I'm slowly starting to feel back to my normal baseline level again, it seems to have left me physically much weaker, this week alone I've had about four stumbles, which is not great, so I'm trying to get back to the yoga, but it a battle at the moment with no energy and joint and muscle pain.  Just need to try and improve my balance and stamina again, somehow.......

For the last few months I've been working on a Christmas project for the blog and as its only a few days until December eek, I thought I share it with you.  The plan, if I get all the posts finished in time is to do a yarny advent calender.  I've been trawling youtube for tutorials, of quick fun, festive makes, which I'm going to share each day on the blog.  I'd just love it if you'd all join in too, I know it's a busy time of year, but I think it so important to have some quiet time with yarn and hook each day and most of the makes I've chosen hook up in flash. 

The light on Thursday was just perfect so I couldn't resist taking some pics, I do love living by the seas although, I don't often get down there, it was the perfect pick me up after a trying physio appointment.  Yes the ankle is still not right, after not really getting any phsyio from the local nhs hospital, as I was not well enough to attend the group sessions they run.

The private physio, (nhs is funding) which has been good so far, proved stressful this week, when the physio asked me ' why can't you walk? I don't understand why you would need to use a wheelchair if you have ME !!! arggh my heckles were up. I hate the ignorant attitude patients with ME seems to face wherever they go.

Really not helpful, I tried to explain, but I don't think it got me far. I explained about  ME and having POTS and how overdoing things (even just walking can put me into relapse for weeks) and that a specialist ME physio has set my exercise limit at no more than 20 seconds a day, and that my current pacing set by the hospital is only 1hour 20 for all my activity for the day, and lately even that has not been happening.  In order to go to the physio appointment I'd been in bed all day, to which the response was 'I hope someone monitoring this.'

I just wonder would the same question have been asked of a MS, Lupus, Heart failure or Cancer patient, anyway rant over, so coming out to this view  was just amazing, it just so exhausting facing the ignorance, I just don't need it.

Onto so something more fun yesterday I went to the cinema with my nephew to keep him company and see the final part of the Hunger games, while my Sister and Mum did some Christmas shopping. So all in all it's been a busy old week, for me as I tend to only leave the house maybe once a week if I'm well enough, so a few days in bed for me now, which will hopefully give me some time to finish off some more advent posts.

Joining in with Amy's five on a Friday

Clare xx

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

More Hearts for UNICEF

Hello....... I've been making a few more hearts for UNICEF
(you can read more about this fund raising project 'here'  )

This one turned out to be my favourite so far, with felt flowers, sparkles and a cute button

To the back I added some flower gems.

Next up I raided my Christmas card stash for this pretty wooden Christmas tree with silver sparkles, it was tricky but I manage to stitch the tree in place, before sewing on some sequins and beads

For the back I stitched on some purple flower sequins and added ice blue gem centres.

Here's they all are hanging on my winter tree lights

I then attempted to make a crochet heart, using Bunny Mummy's 
sunburst heart pattern, which turned out a little on the large side for the UNICEF project, so I think it's going to be a one off, I added a pretty ribbon and painted the back with PVA.

Last week a friend and I made it to one of the heart workshops running in the town, just for a hour, but it was lovely to go along

Where I made this little button heart

Some wonderful hearts were created by everyone that day,

and I was thrilled to bits when a friends spotted some of my hearts for sale on Saturday in Tamarisk, which is a lovely clothes boutique in the town. So wonderful to see everyone's hard work, spreading some love and raising some money.

Why don't you get town on the case too and do some crafty fund raising for UNICEF.

Happy Crafting
Clare xx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Five on a Friday

Hello...............  Today I'm joining in with Amy's Five on a Friday, it's been a quiet week here at the Summerhouse.  I've been making a few more hearts for UNICEF and I even managed to make it to a heart making workshop for a hour yesterday, I might do another post with my new hearts in a few days, but I don't want to bore you all too much with it.

 I've not been feeling very well at all over the last few months, so over the weekend I decided I was going to do as little as possible, just rest, no crafting, just quiet and rest in the hope it might pull me out of this relapse.  Very boring but I thought it was worth a try, I've been reading lots about CFS/ME and Mitochondrial failure lately where they now think patients suffer two type of fatigue within the mitochondrial cells off the body and the medical research suggested that when you are bad,really bad, it's helpful to have complete rest for a couple of days to help the cells recover and I have to say my energy levels did pick up a little.

Enough that by Saturday night, I was able to cheat a little on the resting and spend ten minutes working on one of the songs, I've selected to record on my EP. In fact this week with the help of some friends I had managed to narrow down the options a little more and nearly have the final line up of songs.

Out in the garden nature never fails to amaze me, mid November and just look at this rose.

So we've covered resting, creativity, music and nature, what's left ah lovely healthy food to nurture, this was breakfast the other morning, organic yogurt, nuts, seed mix, chia seeds and lovely strawberries. Sometimes eating clean is not so very hard.

Hope you've all had a wonderful week.

Happy Crafting
Clare xx

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Hearts for Unicef

Hello......... Today I'm going to tell you a tale about a sleepy seaside town who's people decided they wanted to do something to help, something small but something none the less.

That town, is the town where I live, so a week or so ago there was a article in the local paper asking people if they would like to join in and make a heart, that could be sold in the some of the shops and cafes of the town, to raise funds to help UNICEF, help the people and children of the Syria.

So I mentioned this to the members of our local craft club and also to the Chronic Illness support group I'm a member of and on Wednesday, the lovely lady who runs both groups, gave us all some die cut felt hearts, so we could all do a little bit to help.

I was very excited to discover that there were glitter felt hearts and brought my hearts home my mind abuzz with ideas.

So I raided the Christmas craft supplies in the Summerhouse for glitter snowflakes, beads and sequins and had me some heart felt fun!!!

After I'd come up with the design for my hearts

I just used some pva glue to stick them onto the felt. Snowflakes and flowers whats not to love, it was a little fiddly sticking on the smaller beads but a pair of craft tweezers made it much easier.

Then I  blanketed stitched my hearts together using some pretty floss, adding some stuffing and a ribbon for it to hang by.

Ta Dah

Here's the back of the first heart, I decided to leave it plain as the glitter felt was so pretty already.

Here's the purple one with pearls, silver glitter snowflake and lilac flower.

Here's the back with white glitter felt and snowflake sequins with added pink gem centres, hopefully these little hearts with spread some Christmas cheer and raise some money for a very good cause and most improtantly help some people along the way.

Now last night, after the terrible events in Paris, I looked at my little hearts and felt how futile it seemed to be making hearts and crocheting snowflakes for charities, such a small thing to be doing in what is becoming such a wicked world but then I thought again, as these small things are all I can do, stuck here in bed struggling with a Chronic illness, but they are something...........

So I really hope that the small gesture,of a small seaside town making it's hearts, is a sign that there is still hope and goodness in this world and we can all be the change we want to see.

If my energy levels allow I'm hoping to go to one of the local heart making workshops next week, so I'll keep you posted fingers crossed I make it.

Happy Crafting
Clare xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Patchwork October

It's patchwork time again....

October was a mixed month here at the Summerhouse my health has taken a quite a nosedive so I've been struggling lots over the last few weeks, we also lost out lovely Dylan, who used to make life so much better, with his funny antics and cuddles.  Not a awful lot of crafting really but I did finished off my ice cream cushion, plus make some cards, as well as some top secret Christmas crafting. 

There has been lots of thinking and planning to do though, about a exciting project.  As some of you know I'm a folk singer/song writer and the plan was that this November I was going into the studio to record a EP.  Very exciting, so over the past few weeks I've been trying to select which songs to record, which is quite a tricky business, decisions decisions.  Sadly with my health in a full on flare, the recording date has had to be postponed at the moment as I'm struggling to even lift the guitar, but at least that gives me more time to decide on the songs.   So I'll keep you posted just need to get my joint pain under control and find some energy.

Out in the Summerhouse garden there is still lots of colour to be seen, as the Autumn so far has been so mild, yippee!!

Over on Instagram the month of October looked something like this, you can find my instagram page 'here'

So a sad farewell to our lovely crafting assistant, I'm really missing Dylan, it's so strange to have a house without any fur people in, since I was eight year old there has always been a cat or two around so losing both Merlin and Dylan in the last six months has been very hard.  They both lived good lives to grand old ages but are surely missed around the Summerhouse.

Now as for the Blog award and paying it forward, I've not forgotten, but I've just not been well enough to do it, I think this time reluctantly  I have decided not to forward on the award.  I'm just feeling too ill to cope with anything much at the moment.  So a big thank you to Sharon for nominating me and a bigger sorry for not being able to pay it forward.

Pesky Chronic illness, I'm hoping things will start to improve again soon for me as the dosage of my Lyme disease medication has been put back up. It was reduced on a consultants say so a couple of months ago, as the NHS would have you believe that there is no such things as Chronic Lyme disease and that it certainly doesn't need treatment. However my health falling to pieces seems to suggest it does exist (or least that I'm fighting some sort of infection that is effecting every part of my body and that this is not purely ME/CFS)   the treatment I was receiving before was at least holding it at bay.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Home-Start Snowflake Appeal

Hello..........The other day over on Instagram sometime mentioned to me the Home-Start Snowflake Appeal, which I hadn't heard about, so I popped over to here to find out all about it.

Yes I was already hooking up a few Snowflakes for a yet to be announced Summerhouse Christmas project, so I figured why not make a few more for this wonderful charity, which gives help and support to struggling families in the UK because lets face it with all the cuts the government has been making, a lot more people will be struggling this Christmas.

So I've decided to dedicated this weekend to making some Snowflakes to post off  to the Charity, all the snowflakes are going to be displayed on a tree at the Christmas Handmade Fair at Manchester Central on the 22nd November and the organisers are hoping to get 30,000 snowflakes, so why don't you get to hooking up some too? As I have lots of yarn and hooks already, I've just made some snowflakes, from a pattern I already had but you can order a kit and download a pattern from, should you choose.

In no time at all I had quite a little flurry on my hands

using fine cottons and lace weight yarns, although I think maybe they still need a little blocking

I made big and small snowflakes, as we all know no two snowflakes are ever the same, you can also make a donation to help the charity, which we will also be doing here at the Summerhouse.

Thanks for helping, if you decide to join in.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx