Tuesday, August 07, 2012

On being a grown up (nearly)

One month from today, I turn 40.  In fact, today is my little sister's 38th birthday as we have birthdays exactly one month apart.  40 seems like a grown up's birthday to me, when I should have figured out how this all works and what I want out of life.

This past year has been challenging for me. I returned to studying whilst still working full time and successfully completed the first module of my MSc. I've had to deal with some painful family issues which have ultimately shown me how my mother is the strongest and bravest woman that I know.  The past month has been particularly painful as my Uncle died a sudden and very suspicious death which is currently being investigated as murder and has devasted my family.

But in a weird way, it's shown me how many good things I have in my life - a family who love and care for me, friends who have been a rock to me and really understand what makes me tick, a job that I'm good at and is worthwhile and interests outside of work that make me happy and keep me sane. And it's shown me how strong I can be, inspite of all that life can throw at you and finally at 39, I'm the most comfortable I've ever been about who I am.

Earlier this year, I started to compile a list of 40 things that I wanted to do before I turned 40 with the intension of tracking my progress through the year.  Time has meant that most of year has slipped away before I could do it but I have been trying a few different things.  Updates on that to follow soon.

Now if I could just figure out how to cure the insomnia that's keeping me awake tonight then that would tick off one item on my list,

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Race for life

Tomorrow I will be taking part in my 3rd race for life. For anyone who is not familiar with the event, it's a women only 5 km run/walk event to support Cancer Research, one of the leading UK cancer charities. They support people with cancer and are one of the leading researchers into Cancer treatment. I use their resources a lot at work so it's a cause close to my heart. I spend my work day talking to patients with cancer and their families about their treatment and there is still so much need for support out there plus far too many people still lose their fight against cancer.

If you would like to donate, I have an online fund raising page at Race for life

I find it an emotional day to take part in. The runners/walkers all wear signs on their backs with who they are running for. I find myself thinking about family that I've lost to cancer - my Grandpa, Uncle Chris, my sister's FIL Bill, those who are still fighting - My uncle Donald and aunt Joyce and all patients I've nursed over the past 19 years. Certain patients are in my thoughts more than others and several patients that I was supporting through their treatment have lost their fight recently will be amongst them.

As the Cancer research slogan says - it's all of us vs cancer.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Of secret projects and life in general

The past few months have really whooshed by for me. My job has kept me very busy and I've also started my MSc. Since my last post, I've actually started and finished the first module and I'm anxiously waiting for my results.

Various other things have kept me busy and there has been more secret craft projects going on. I'm very lucky to part of a lovely local knitting group in Glasgow and one of my closest friends in the group is getting married in 5 weeks. We decided a few months ago that we couldn't let this occasion past with out creating something special for the happy couple. After some quick discussions, it was agreed we would knit a blanket and recruiting the knitters started. there was a lot of secret conversions and much passing of parcels of yarn and finished squares everytime Elaine left the table at knitting group. There were even secret yarn drop offs at a local joke shop that one of members works in. 2 weeks ago, a lot of the participants got together at my flat to sew up and finish it off.

There was crocheting to be done


And sewing of squares


And then it was done



The pattern is from the Leisure Arts booklet Sampler afghans, 60 squares to knit and yarn is undyed Blue faced Leicester from Old Maiden Aunt yarns, probably the loviest Aran weight yarn I've ever knitted with. The dyed yarn goes on sale tomorrow and would really recommend it

Another secret project which I finished earlier in the year is this pin keep. The design is Amite by Jardin Prive and is stitched using silk thread from the Yarn yard. It was given to a friend for their birthday

Amite by Jardin Prive

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jardin January round up and Fan girl February

January is almost over, thank goodness. Finally the days are getting longer and it's starting to get light just as I get to work now.

I had hoped to have a little more progress this month but just after my last post, I got completely flattened by a sinus infection which even after I got better, stopped me from looking down as it brought the pain back.

I have managed a little more progress on Winter in my garden.

Winter in my garden January progress

And I managed to stitch up a little Shepherd's Bush kit from my stash - A Rosey Garden

A rosey garden

On another slightly garden type note, I finished another Bunny tail hat for another soon to be born family baby

Bunny tail hat

One of my other goals this year to frame or finish off a lot of the cross stitch finishes that I have unframed. This month, I framed 2 pieces using some shop bought frames and mounts.

Firstly Mirabilia Halloween fairy.

Mirabilia Halloween fairy

And Miss New Year also by Mirabilia

Mirabilia New Year's eve fairy

Next month's theme is Fan girl February. Stitching wise, I'm going to concentrate on Mirabilia designs again, continuing with Winter in my Garden. I've also promised myself a new start - Mirabilia Tiger Lily. On the knitting side of things, I'm going to go a little more literal. I have quite a few Doctor Who based things in my Ravelry queue so I will work on at least one of them.

Monday, January 09, 2012

WIPocalypse so far

This month, I'm trying to concentrate on 2 stitching projects - Winter in my Garden and Autumn in my garden. Both are Mirabilia deisgns.

At the start of the month, Winter in my garden looked like this

Winter in my garden WIP pic 1

And Autumn in my garden looked like this

Autumn in my garden WIP pic 1

Winter in my garden now looks like this

Winter in my garden WIP pic 2

Autumn in my garden looks exactly the same as it does at the start of the month however as I haven't stitched on it yet.

My other big achievement is that I've finished a secret project that I can't share pictures of right now but will be able to in a week or so once the recipients have received them.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New year, new post, new plans

Happy 2012 to everyone. I'm very glad to see the back of 2011 as whilst there have been lots of good things to the past year, my family and myself have had lots of problems and dramas to deal with, particularly in the last couple of months.

Still new year, new start and it's going to be an exciting one. 3 of my cousins are having babies, a very good friend is getting married, I have a big birthday (my 40th) and in a few weeks I begin studying again. I'm starting a Masters degree in Oncology via an online course in addition to working full time so I'm going to be busy.

I want to get back to Cross stitching more this year too. I have a lot of cross stitch projects which are in progress and I really want to get back to them. As a bit of motivation, I'm going to join in with 2 stitchalongs with the stitching community.

The first is 2012 WIPocalypse organised by Measi, where you work on your existing projects and report back at each full moon. It's a no pressure SAL which really appeals.

I'm going to combine it with Theme-a-licious 2012 organised by Heather, firstly because I have projects that fit in all the themes and secondly it has the best SAL graphic with the lovely Nathan Fillion.

I'm hoping to get some knitting done this year too plus there's quite few sewing projects to get to also. 2012 is definitely going to be a busy, busy year.