Tuesday, 31 May 2016

In My Crafty Life :: May 2016


Hi Everyone!! :)

I hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend and got some of the sunshine that's been bouncing around the UK!! 

I'm very late with my post for May (as part of my goal to post at least once each month through 2016) and I don't really have the time or energy for editing pics of any finished projects today... so instead I thought I'd share how the month of May has looked in My Crafty Life via some pics I have shared on Instagram, both on my personal account and on my MCL blog account...

Early in the month I rediscovered a lovely little pre-printed embroidery kit of cute woodland creatures (a free gift from Mollie Makes a few months back) and, since I fancied trying something new as well as using up some of the stash of crafty goodies that are overtaking our house, I decided to have a go...



I learnt a few stitches (Satin Stitch and French Knots) and had some furry company... and I enjoyed it all so much that I decided to have another go at Cross Stitch and ordered an adorable LOTV kit...



I used to do loads of Cross Stitch as a child but gave up when it started to give me headaches (and probably when I grew to old for the childish kits but to young for the boring adult ones that were around back then! ;) ) so haven't done any for twenty-odd years... I wasn't sure if my muscles would handle it with my M.E. now but happily I've found, so long as I'm careful about how I sit, make sure to stretch my hands regularly and generally don't get carried away(!!), that I can do it and I'm very much enjoying it... so much so I ordered another couple of kits and have now started on my third of the Odd Dog set... they will be gifts for a special little girl in the end!! :)

I managed to make it out in to the garden several times during that lovely warm week a week or two ago and I love to take photos when I can...


At the end of this blissful sunny Sunday I even managed to help make tea in our new Rachel/M.E.-friendly kitchen (lowered workspace so I can sit down, pull out shelves for easier access to ingredients, etc.) :) Brainfog did leave me a little confused as to what I had planned to make with the ingredients we had, however, and a salad with warm balsamic and herb veg turned into a kind of Mediterranean Stir-Fry of all things... lovely though and we've already had it again since!! ;)


The next day was another great one for me as I took advantage of both my Mum and Carer being here to try something huge... I led on our grass!!! :) This may sound like a very silly thing to be so excited about but I have not been able to sit or lie on the grass for about fifteen years...


I'll copy and paste what I wrote about it on Instagram and Facebook for M.E. Awareness Week to save me the energy of writing it again (I don't normally share much about my illness here and if you're not interested in reading it then do just skip past it, but this is my attempt to contribute to #MEAwareness Week/Month and I'd love if you took the time to read it- thank you!): 

As it's M.E. Awareness Week/Month I thought I'd share this pic from yesterday again with an amended caption to explain a little more of the reality behind the happy picture:
'This is me actually lying on our grass!!!! 😀😃😀😃😀😃😀 I've wanted to do this for almost 15 years and today my carer is here as well as my mum to help me get back up (unfortunately always the most important factor in stuff like this!!!!!!!) so I decided to go for it... bit lumpy! Lol ... but I just keep looking around at the sky and the upside down trees and cannot stop smiling from the middle of my own blossomshower!!! 🌱🌷🌿🌻🍃🌸'
It did take both my mum and carer, along with a stool, to get me back up off the grass and today I am very sore and very tired from both the lumpiness of the grass and getting down to it and back up again, even with all that help... as with so many things I am managing to do again for the 'first' time lately this is something I am incredibly happy about and want to celebrate and share with the people who care about me, however it comes with a price and means the next few days will be harder even than usual as I try to let my body recover- so not something I will be able to do every day, or even every week or month, as every thing I do means I must go without doing something else, even very basic, everyday things.
I don't normally post things like this (and the more I write, the more anxious I feel about people's reactions if I find the courage to hit publish on this) and I am definitely not writing this to complain, just to do my bit, along with many of my much braver friends, to shine a little more light on the 'behind-the-scenes' aspects of M.E. (even when things seem to be getting better) that most people never see because we naturally don't normally share the painful, exhausted, mostly bedbound days of recovery after the photos of beautiful, happy moments and M.E. Awareness Week/Month struck me as an apt time to show a little more of my truth.
Thank you to everyone who has liked or commented on my original pic and shared in my joy!! I hope, even with all the hard days of recovery it will inevitably bring, that there will be many more happy 'firsts' to share this year 💙



I also made the most of my unusual, low vantage point to take a couple of pics of my gorgeous girl, Cassie... what is it about dogs' paws (and noses) that make them so irresistable?!! :)

Cooking is yet another way to be creative as far as I'm concerned and I'm loving that our new kitchen adaptations mean I can enjoy it again (albeit, it still makes me much more ill and I still need a huge amount of help... but it makes me so happy!) :) I have also been baking and trying to learn cake decorating this year and put those skills to use making a cake for Jen's upcoming birthday (which we celebrated early as she will likely be away at the time!)...



... a giant cupcake with Mini Eggs as requested by the birthday girl!! :) Due to the M.E. this was at least four days of work (with twice as long of recovering in bed afterward) and it didn't quite go to plan but came out okay in the end... I had fun and, the main thing, Jen loved it so it was more than worth it!! :)

And now we are nearly there as I just have my Bank Holiday Weekend Project left to share with you... I'm am crochet obsessed but for some reason haven't done much lately... being bogged down in ends to sew in (not my favourite part!) and too tired to cope with manhandling my two ongoing double bed-sized blankets, along with just too much else going on, I think! But I decided a new and smaller project would help get my crojo back so I played with my Stylecraft DK shade cards and came up with this...



Originally, I planned a nice little baby blanket...



 ...then I thought a toddler blanket might be nice...


... but this bit of alfresco crochet in the sunshine was my undoing... I am now planning to make a lap/wheelchair blanket for myself!!! ;) So much for a quick, small project but I have just fallen so much in love with these colours and this oh-so-lovely Little Doolally Bertie pattern that I know I won't be able to part with it... crochet enthusiasm and confidence duly restored!! Hooray!!! :) 

Well, this post ended up longer than planned as I kept thinking of other photos I wanted to share with you, even if it did mean deviating from the strictest definition of 'craft' a tad, so thank you if you've read this far... I'd love to hear what crafty and creative things you've been up to during May!! :)

I've enjoyed writing this Month In My Crafty Life... I wonder if I can make it a regular thing as I do enjoy reading other people's posts like this... would anyone be interested if I did??

5 comments:

Aileen Ryan said...

Wonderful post Rachel and enjoyed reading every word. I look forward to reading more. I think it can be wonderful sharing with people from all walks of life all over the world. You end up getting to know so wonderful people and it also helps you to realise that others may be going through the same or similar situations so you dont feel so alone.
May her in Australia has finally cooled down and Winter is looming. It has been more like spring up till now so it was a bit of a shock when the weather cooled down. My son got engaged, he and Rachael have been together since they were 15/14 and now at 23 have taken the next step. We had a wonderful celebration for this announcement. I travel between Sydney and Canberra weekly as my parents live in Canberra and I live in Sydney. They have dementia/alzehimers so my sister and I share their care till we can get them into a nursing home together as we dont want to seperate them. I use o teach sign language and training on a voice output program (personalising for each person shortcuts etc) but this has been put on hold for now as I also have a daughter with DS and we are both hearing impaired so always something going on. Hows that for a share, maybe more than you wanted but will give you something to read. Take care hugs Aileen

Aileen Ryan said...

After all my waffle on I forgot to say how much I loved your embroidery, your wonderful blanket and that stunning looking giant cupcake. All that decorating looks brilliant.

Rachel x said...

Thank you so much, Aileen!! :) I totally agree about the wonders of getting to know people through blogging... the cake in this post was for my best friend and we would never have met but for our blogs!! :) :)
We should be heading in to summer but today it feels like we have gone back a few months... distinctly chilly!! Lol I would never like to live somewhere the weather stayed the same (even if that was warm and sunny!) as I think the changes make us appreciate each season all the more!! :)
Wow... you sound like you have a very busy life with engagements, new grandchildren and all your other commitments!! It is wonderful that you and your sister can work together to care for your parents... I hope you can find somewhere for them to be together and looked after and that you can find special moments amongst the difficult ones while you care for them in the meantime :)
Thanks again for taking good he time to read my post and reply... I don't normally share so much here on my blog so it is nice to know someone is reading (where did you find me from btw?!) and likes what I wrote!! :) I hope to make this sort of round-up post more of a regular thing as I very much enjoyed it... it's a little like a Crafty journal, I guess, and will be nice to look back on! :)
Hugs, Rachel x

Rachel x said...

Apologies for the typos here... the perils of using my phone rather than laptop to save energy! ;)

ike said...

What a fabulous and inspiring Post. I am glad you managed to do a few projects and it's great news to hear about your kitchen adaptation :-D The photos of your little dog are gorgeous and I adore the cross stitch piece with that sweet doggy. Your crochet pattern is amazing - I have never seen that design. !
The cake is really awesome and I hope she loved it as much as I do. :-)
You are definitely an inspiration to lots of people :-D
Hugz
IKE in Greece xxx

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