Saturday, November 22, 2008

Birthday Week!!!

Well, I am officially older and wiser!! My Birthday was on Monday and although I had to work (boo!) it wasn't all bad. Working in education kind of means that if your Birthday falls on a weekday, you have to still work; no time is allowed off during term-time. So my special day was spent in the art room, then M and I went out to dinner. The day started off wonderfully with this beautiful morning sunrise.

M gave me a flying lesson for my birthday!! I'm so excited! I get an hours lesson at a local airfield in a small single engine, light aircraft! I have the certificate, I just need to book a date. I think a spring flight might be good. I get to take the controls and everything! I wanted something for my birthday that I'd always remember and this is perfect. It was a complete surprise! I just said I wanted an experience, and M definitely did me proud! I get to fly one of these!

We had a family celebration the night before at Sis' house with new kitten Senka definitely the start of the show! She decided that Bruv had the most comfortable belly and made herself comfortable there!

I received some wonderful presents: Mum is buying me a passport! Hurray! Bruv gave me a a bracelet with the 'One Ring' inscription on from the Lord of the Rings and Sis gave me this!!!

Look! It's a mini microwave kiln!! Wow! Who knew such things existed?? I can fire PMC silver and glass in my microwave!!! I can't wait to have a go at this! I'm trying to source somewhere to get a bit of dichroic glass so that I can have a go at fusing some into pendants!!

I am a lucky girl! I haven't been able to get much crafting done this week; we've had a busy busy week. We have a new pc which we've been slowly getting up to scratch (M is super excited about it, it has amazing game playing capabilities), we also have one of these...

Yes, we succumbed to a Nintendo Wii and have been playing it with friends all week. Such good fun! Of course this means that I haven't been able to get much studying done this week for my TESOL course (ooops) 'must try harder!' It will soon be report time, and Christmas Ball time, and party time, and all manner of indulgent activities, so I really ought to get ahead of myself on the work front.

I've been wearing my Meret this week and have had a few compliments on it, but sadly haven't got any further with my BPT hoodie. I really wish there were more hours in the day!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Guy Fawkes Night!

I haven't blogged much this week, I know, I'm sorry, but if I had, it would have been full of *#@$^ and #@%*$ and many more expletives that would make a sailor proud! I'm so sick of insurance companies and solicitors, and now my car has been officially written off I have had the most ridiculous offer which wouldn't replace my car with a matchbox toy car, never mind the real thing! So much for being fully comp eh? I feel like I've been handing over money to them for years, for nothing! I would have been better off putting that money away in a bank account every month - at least I would have had the money to replace the car with something equivalent. Grrrrr! Ok, vent over, onto happier things!

So, it occurs to me that I never posted piccies from Guy Fawkes night. M and I went to a local display with my mate, her son and her baby granddaughter. The night started with a huge bonfire with a guy, then there was sparklers and then a big display of fireworks. 



I discovered that my camera has a fireworks setting, so I was experimenting with it. There were lots of oohs and ahhs and we were standing watching the display over a lake which was really cool as the fireworks were reflected in the water.




The rain managed to just about hold off until the display was nearly at an end, and then we ran for the car, dripping as we went. We did want to ride a few rides at the funfair, but not in the pouring rain! Ooh no! That's what you get for living in England though.


I frogged the Mystery Beret (or Meret, as it's become known on Ravelry) in the funky hand-dyed yarn and started again in a chunky red acrylic. It actually was the only chunky yarn I had in my stash, but I think it was a good choice. It shows the stitch detail up really well.

And I finished it today. Funny what you find to pass the time when you have an assignment to do! *lol* Look how lovely it looks from above. It's not as slouchy as I'd like, but I may knit another one in another colour and make it super slouchy.

I decided to have a ribbed rolled brim which combines the snugness of the ribbed fit and the casualness of the rolled brim. When you have very straight hair, things can slide a bit, so the ribbing helps to keep it in place.

Yes, I know there's a tail to weave in Wink

I finished it in time to wear on my Birthday (which is Monday, just in case anyone was interested, you know!) I have to work unfortunately, but M and I will probably go out for a meal in the evening. We're going to go round to Sis' for a family meal tomorrow night, so expect more cute kitten pictures. By the way, kitty's name is Senka, which means Shadow in Serbian, so named because she's been following Sis around like a shadow all week!

And look, my procrastinating has led me to finish my Aine Cardi. Well, I finished it months ago, but I pieced one of the front panels on wrong, so I had to undo the crocheted edging, and the seams to correct it. With this novelty yarn, that was a pain in the arse I can tell you! But it's all done now and looking great! It's a silly frippery that I may only wear a few times, but it was fun to make and looks cool on.

So what am I procrastinating about? I met with my 1:1 student yesterday (I'm training to be a TESOL teacher, to add another string to my teaching bow) and got three samples from her (one reading, one writing and one speaking), and I need to analyse them phonetically and grammatically, etc, etc. My student is very sweet, she's Iranian and loves art too, so luckily we have a lot in common and can talk naturally. I think some of my fellow trainees have been struggling with their 1:1's.

Oo yes, I had my first finger prick blood test the other day! It was a piece of cake! I have to have weekly blood tests and the old veins are suffering. They're small and quite deep and my blood doesn't flow very well from them. It's quite common for me to end up with both arms punctured in order to get just enough blood to do the INR test. Well, no more! Finger pricks are the way to go baby! No more multi-coloured inner arms for me! Hurray!! I never thought I'd be so happy about a needle (piercing's and tattoos not withstanding of course!!)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Running out of line.....

So I've finished the second clue in my Mystery Slouchy Beret KAL in the Woolly Wormhead group on Ravelry and all's good except that I'm running out of yarn. Damnit! I don't think I've got enough to finish the hat. I was going to just finish it off as a beanie type hat, but I haven't got enough to do that, and as this was a one-off hand-dyed Kool-Aid dyed yarn (thanks Ducky!) I'm never going to get the same colour again, so I guess I'm just going to have to rip it, and start again with another yarn! *Sigh* I was loving how this colourway was knitting up! 

And the cute fan stitch! I guess you'll be able to see the stitch pattern better in a solid colour though.

And meet the new member of Sis's family. She's still un-named as she arrived yesterday, but she's quickly settling in. She was found dumped in a supermarket car park by one of Sis' friends. Isn't she adorable? She looks really young, maybe four or five weeks old.

Sis is totally head over heels in love with her!


And she's spending lots of time eating and sleeping at the moment.

I'll let you know when she has a name!


Thursday, November 06, 2008


It's been a good and bad week. Let's start off with the bad. Are you ready??

I got hit by another car on Monday night. My trusty blue steed was well and truly written off! The other driver's denying responsibility, of course, damn him. Luckily I'm fine, but I'm suffering from lack of auto-mobility! I have two jobs which are a way apart and on at least one day of the week I'm travelling from one to the other, that's not counting the evening classes I got to in the course of my week! I miss my wheels!

On a better note, I did have a nice surprise from one of my students. She'd been home to Kazakhstan for half term and brought me back a couple of presents. The first was a bar of chocolate with the Kazakhstan flag on the wrapper - isn't it pretty?  A lovely turquoise colour with a shiny metallic gold sun and eagle motif. I'm looking forward to the taste test!

She also brought me a little yurt, a type of dwelling that nomads in that part of the world live in. They're usually made from wooden struts with a textile or hide covering; this one's made from embossed leather.

And look! The roof comes off and it's a little felt lined trinket pot. I was so touched! 

I've been working hard this week and I've had plenty of help *lol*

By the way, I know I've been talking alot about my Lupus recently where I never really have done before, but I have actually had Lupus for many, many years and I'm quite knowledgeable about my combination of conditions (probably more so than alot of the doctors). The stroke however is something recent and has introduced a new factor to my life and the way all my various disorders react with each other. I've been living with it quite well for a long time and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, so no need to worry about me. I'm just having the odd moan to my blog because I don't like to do it to my family and friends as they worry about me enough. Sorry if you're all sick of hearing about it, I will try to be more crafty and much less moan-y.

On a better note, the second clue for the mystery beret KAL has been released and I'm very much looking forward to getting my needles around the next exciting installment.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Something wicked this way comes...

How was your Halloween? I spent my morning at the hospital, yes more tests 'n' stuff; apparently I have the anticardiolypid antibodies and the Lupus Anticoagulant antibodies and they act against each other making it very difficult to stabilise my INR levels. Not much is known about how my different aspects of Lupus interact with each other, not many doctors understand it apparently which is probably why I seem to get different conflicting views of it all each time I see a so-called specialist. Anyway, the specialist I saw yesterday wants me to take aspirin as well as Warfarin and wants me to come to Haematology for my INR testing. She said that people with Lupus usually end up having to have more blood tests than other users of Warfarin because it was so hard to stabilise them, and I asked if that was why the nurses had such a problem getting my blood to flow, and to get enough to fill a vial, but she said no, that was because of another part of the Lupus. It gets very confusing!! The upshot of it all is that she's decided to try me with finger prick testing (like diabetics have) which will allow for quicker testing and instant results, and will allow my meds to be adjusted there and then, instead of having to wait. This will also relieve my poor ole veins which feel a little battered at times, especially when I have to have both arms drained to get enough blood for the test. She's also running another Lupus test to see if my Lupus has changed since the last test they did.

I spent my evening at a Halloween Belly Dancing and Burlesque night...wishing I could dance like this...

and this...I love this song and the sentiments of the words! 'Start wearing purple..'

Check out the YouTube video if you don't know the song!

Everyone left with a treat..this is what I pulled out from the Trick or Treat bag!

It's difficult to see my wonderfully Gothic outfit here, befitting a Halloween burlesque night, but rest assured, there was black crushed velvet, red stripey tights, big boots and red coloured hair falls. You can't really see my make-up too well in this photo, but it was there and alot more striking than it seems *lol* I just felt the photo needed a little sepia tone for that authentic Gothic look.

So what have I been up to today? Well, I've been contemplating these beads! Aren't they pretty? I shall have to dig through my bead stash to find the prefect compliment to these. I have a feeling that I have the perfect beads already in an assembled necklace, but I might just deconstruct it!

Is anyone else doing the Woolly Wormhead mystery KAL beret over on Ravelry? I started mine today, using my hand-dyed yarn. Look, I swatched 'n' everything! Aren't I a good girl? Maybe a variegated yarn wasn't the perfect choice to show off the pretty stitches that Ruth is promising in this KAL, but it's the only yarn I have in this weight (I kid you not!) and I can't justify buying any new yarn.

I had a helper....

I knitted the first clue this morning in bed whilst watching an early morning fix of Pirates of the Caribbean which just happened to be on Sky Movies! Hee hee, Johnny Depp first thing in the morning and tea on tap (courtesy of M), what more could a girl ask for? I did today's clues and felt a little frustrated that I couldn't continue, but maybe it's a good thing I couldn't, I would have wasted the whole day in bed *lol* See my pretty stitch markers? The little gold beaded ones are what Ceci sent me, and the dragon ones are some that Laural made for me a few years ago. See Laural, they're still going strong and prettying up my WIPS!

Have a wicked weekend everybody!

Vampire Bat



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