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Thursday, 21 May 2015

An Afternoon In Galway

Lately I have been getting quite a lot of pain when trying to knit or crochet.  I would need to put my work down after only five minutes of work.  My hands cramping. My wrists aching.
So I decided it was time I went to see my rheumatologist in Galway.  About twice a year I need to get steroid injections in my hips and in my feet.  Seriously painful in the feet, people!!  The doc gave me the worst news that any crafter could hear, tennis elbow in both arms requiring at least two weeks of rest. What???  I got the mandatory jabs and left feeling very sorry for little ol' me altogether.


My hubbie had taken the day off work to come down with me as I'm often unwell and in pain after the injections.  I was really glad of the company when I left and it was great to get to spend a little time together on our own. We don't often get the opportunity to just be a couple.


The weather was really bad and there was some very heavy showers. But in between Galway was beautiful as always.


We walked along the the river, amazed at how high it was for this time of the year. It flowed so fast it made us dizzy just walking alongside.





Grey skies threatened us constantly and the rain pounded us when it fell in heavy downpours, leaving us soaked to the core.


This city is so full of surprises and you never know what you'll find around the next corner.  This cafe for example. I think that it is called the Jungle Cafe. An covered outdoor restaurant that looks like it belongs in Brazil more than the West coast of Ireland.


There is some beautiful artworks here and even the shop fronts get painted with colourful and intricate murals.  I felt they won't get to experience the real beauty of Ireland.  My hubby said that he read a report that most tourists don't come here expecting good weather, but still my heart went out to them.


The llittle back streets are a delight to wander down with their small shops and seating outside coffee shops.  It's just a shame that it was for only a brief moment that the sun decided to shine while I took this picture.


These have to be my two favourite shops in Galway.  Twice As Nice sells amazing lace and the most delicate linens and crochet garments.
And Wooden Heart is a place we always stop when the kids are with us. It is a toy shop where are the toys are wooden and vintage.  The type of toys that I would have played with as a child, like dominoes, wooden snakes, spinning tops or wind up mice.  I'm just a big kid and I just have to test out every toy that I can find.



From there we drove out to the little village of Spiddle and one of my most favourite places in the county, the crafter's village.  Here you can meet weavers, basket makers, glass workers, jewellery designers, potters and so much more.  Sadly I was there on a Monday, the day most are closed.

But I did find this little beauty.  They are little glass beads, which is something that I would normally stay well clear of in case I would break or drop them, but they are so bright and colourful, I just couldn't resist.  A little treat for myself since I'm not going to be allowed to stitch for a while now.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Little Glimpse At Benny


I never thought that the day would come that I would actually be getting out into Benny.
It was only two weeks ago we organised the last of the boxes.


My Attic 24 Blanket keeps us warm on the cooler days on the little comfy second hand couch. (it's still waiting for the ends to be woven in, too busy lately to get around to that)


Hateful as plastic is, living in the bog means moths and lots of them so to keep my yarn safe I have to sort them in plastic boxes. A box for each yarn weight.  There is probably about 12 boxes out there and I won't tell you a lie, there is still a lot more stored in the attic!


The threads and scissors are waiting for a display stand to be put up on the wall.


Pardon the blurry picture!


I love these door knobs. My hubby bought them for me last year as a little pressie.



This just had to come out here with me. I bought it in Munich a few years ago and I love it. 
The picture is painted on the reverse side of the glass itself.


I bought these wooden mushrooms at the Lamb festival. 
One Is worked from Ash and the other Hazel.


This also came from the Lamb Festival and we nicknamed him Ouch as he is to become my new pincushion!


The first job that I had to do when I moved in was to sew a new ironing board cover.
It's probably the worst sewing job that I've ever done. 
I really need practice more with my sewing, the machine was stored away for far too long.


Here is one little visitor to the studio that does not want us doing any work, except of course if that entails giving her tickles under the chin!!

It's hard to believe that Benny was once a sad mobile home with a leaking roof and holes in the floor.
Now he is bright and cheery and a home from home for me.
My little escape and just what I've always dreamed of.

Rosie


 

Little bits are slowly popping up around the mobile.  Decorative pieces that just seem to grow and appear naturally.  Not planned in any way.  Just the way that I like it.



I'm not even in it two months and already my work table is a total mess.  At least the trees outside the window are growing rapidly and offering no distractions.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Lamb Festival

Well what kind of a weekend was that?? I dont know about where you live but here it rained and rained and when the skies were done with that, it rained some more. And to top it all off it was freezing cold too. After three glorious weeks of warm sunny days it feels like being thrust back into the depths of winter once more. Pure yuk!!

Over the last few months I have gotten into the habit of resting most of the weekend. And although I much needed it to prepare myself for the coming week of hospital runs, doctor appointments and an endless list of other things, my poor little kids have missed out on quite a lot of family time.


So try and put this right and despite the miserable weather, we donned our raincoats and headed off to the Roscommon Lamb Festival. It is a wonderful festival and we try to go every year if we can. We have found that the Sunday is always the best with family day in the town park and makers tents in the town centre.  There were quilters there along with knitters, spinners, weavers. I am just so lucky that I have two kids that are so interested in crafts of every description because there was no way that Mammy was leaving until she got to speak to every body.

We met Nancy Devlin there, the most fantastic lady sitting at a spinning wheel. Lucy stood there mesmerised watching her do her work, that is until Patrick decided that he wanted to ask some questions. I truly felt sorry for this poor lady. You could nearly say that he was interrogating her as question followed question for at least twenty minutes. Fair play to Nancy she never wavered once and answered each and every query, even if she had to think hard about the answer.



Sadly I didn't get the name of the lady who made these little beauties but I just had to show you a picture of them. Aren't they just fabulous?  My favourite has to be the snail on the left hand side of the top picture.


After I managed to free Patrick from the makers tents we headed into the park to see what else was going on.  There were some animals gentle enough for the kids to pet.  They totally fell in love with the llamas and were amazed at how thick there coats were.  Lucy could hide her hand completely in this soft fluffy fleece.


This boy was not nearly as friendly and would only let people touch his horns.  I never knew that sheep could grow two sets of horns!!  This stubborn fella just refused to pose for the camera, so this was the best photo that I could get of him.


The whole time we were there, I got the strange feeling that somebody was watching us!!


There was a tent there that gave demonstrations of traditional Irish crafts like willow weaving and copper jewellery making. Here Patrick got to try his hand at a pole wood lathe. They both had to have their turn before we could move on and they loved it.  The man showing them was so lovely and cheery, they were reluctant to go.  Especially that the rain was bucketing down outside.


But move on we did and after a quick coffee for me and hot chocolate for them, it was off to the climbing wall with us. These two are always very competitive and it was so obvious here as they raced to the top and raced down again.  Patrick is a natural born climber and could be found climbing trees from about the age of three, so needless to say I was really surprised that even though this time he actually had a harness on, he wasn't as free as Lucy was.


Not a great pic here but by now it was pouring out of the heavens once more.  Patrick was looking forward to trying his hand at archery while here, so we braved it for just a little while longer. 


So cold and wet, we decided to call it a day and head off for some hot food a nice restaurant  we noticed on the way around town. The three of us were tired but very happy and jolly. A great day full of new memories.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

I'm Happy Little Bunny


Before I begin I just want to say, thank you so much to all the lovely ladies who left a comment or sent emails on my last post.  The things that you said really touched me and I greatly appreciated it.


Now, aren't I quite the naughty one! 
 I have just returned to blogging after months of a break and what do I do? 
Only go and disappear again for a few weeks. 
Initially it was because I was getting warning signs that the stress from the previous months was coming back to bite me on the bum.  
First my sleeping pattern was disturbed and then my pain levels rose.
But I didn't push things.
I took things easy and rested when I could.
I understood that my body was struggling to deal with all the pressure that I had put it under.
I'm not saying that I'm pain free or anything now but I definitely more relaxed and sleeping better.
I also was having problems remembering words, which happens sometimes when I'm overtired, making very hard to put a sentence to together.
If I had written a blog post it probably be total gobble-dee-gook.


A couple of things really helped with my recovery. 
The first is the unbelievable span of great weather we've been having here in Ireland.
Every day we've been getting out for walks straight after school.
Down to the canal we go so that the dogs, especially Molly, can go for a swim.
She gets in the water as soon as she sees it and swims along the bank as we walk. Only occasionally stopping and refusing to go on until my son throws a stick out to the water for her to retrieve.
Mad thing is she won't even play fetch on land!!


Another thing that has cheered me up greatly is that we have finally finished my studio, otherwise known as Benny in this family. 
Benny is a gutted and refurbished mobile home that we turned into a studio for me and a playroom for the kids.
The kids up one end and my work space down the other.  

Thing is that the kids toys seem to somehow hover very slowly over to my side of Benny 'all on their own', according to my kids!
My Hubby got the stove set up and the chimney built.
It looks so cute when it's lit.
No pictures yet though because I want to add some more homemade bits and pieces around the place and work there for a while before I can find everythings own 'right place'.
I'll post some little sneak peaks as I get things finished.


I have also managed to get a few little crafty bits and pieces done over the last few weeks but i'm going to wait until the next post to share them with you. 
Must go now and head off for our daily walk.
I hope to chat to you all soon in blogland.
Rosie xx

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Can I Tell You A Little Story?


In December of last year I had quite a strange experience.
While at my Hubby's  company Christmas party, a man who had been hired to read fortunes for the night, chose me out of a crowd and beckoned to me to sit with him on the sofa.
I was unsure at first as I really do not believe in all this pa lava but decided what harm could it do. 
It was all in fun anyway.


After he had a ten minute conversation with whom he said was my father (my father passed away nearly nine years ago),  I was beginning to question my opinion.
I sat stony faced and silent, not wanting to give anything away, as he relayed the messages from my Dad.  There were things that he said that were very particular and that could not have been guessed in a thousand years.

This completely freaked me.
Could this truly be genuine ?


Onto my cards then.  One by one he turned over my cards.  He said that he knew times had been hard for me and my family for quite a long time but that was all going to change.  By the beginning of the summer my life will have changed beyond recognition.  And it will be changes for the better.  I would get stronger and more confident.  This he repeated several times over because he said that it was important.

I walked away dazed. 
It had been a very strange experience.
Could this be real?
Only time would tell.


As the new year began, my life became a little bit more hectic as the hubby returned to college.
But just two weeks into January, my son Patrick fell sick very suddenly.  I had to rush him to hospital in the middle of the night and wait for hours outside an operating room while the doctors removed a seeping gangrenous appendix from my poor little boy.  He was so very sick and remained in hospital on three separate IV antibiotics for a week as I slept on a pull out chair by his bed holding his hand all night long. He had to remain home for a further fortnight while I tried to built him up again. My fun, chatty little son was too weak to stay awake for long and had lost so much weight in such a short time.

Just as I was getting Patrick back on his feet, I noticed that my mother's health was deteriorating rapidly.  She had not been well for quite a while but now it was beginning to get very scary.  

Eventually I just decided that we could not wait any more on doctor appointments and I brought her up to A&E in the Dublin hospital where her consultant was based.  Thankfully she was immediately admitted and her treatment began.
She was in hospital for two weeks and had some very intense surgery.
On her return home she needed constant help and was not allowed to do anything for herself. 
But this was like having an overgrown toddler in the house.
Every time I turned my back she was back doing something that was forbidden by the doctors.
It is very hard to keep a strong, independent person sitting down and taking the rest that she needs to recuperate, all day long.


Thankfully all is beginning to slowly quieten down and now I have time to reflect on the past three months.  
Has it changed?
Most definitely!

I used to always say that when one of my family needs me I could go into auto pilot and somehow be able to push my pain and tiredness to one side.  Then when all would be back to normal, my body would just stop and collapse.
This time the auto pilot didn't seem to switch off.

The weeks that my son were sick was very difficult, especially trying to sleep in the hospital and the pain was harsh but I got through it.

Before would I have never been brave enough to stay in the house alone with my kids for two months (when my hubby was in college before, we would go and stay with my Mum because I was too afraid to stay here on my own).

I have been driving up and down to the hospital to see Mum and bring her to appointments and I haven't even thought twice about the two hour drive. I've even surprised myself by being able to do it on my own.
It's been so long since I've had that freedom.

Every single day for the past ten years, I have slept for at least two hours during the day. I was always so tired that I needed this rest in order to be able to get through the rest of the day and be there for my kids when they got home from school and have the energy to do simple tasks like cooking an evening meal.  Now I can go most days without napping and I'm enjoying finding different ways to fill my day.  It was alien to me at first and scared me a little but I'm getting used to it now.

I don't want to jinx myself by saying this too early  but I think that finally after ten years I have a break in my fibromyalgia.
I have found a strength deep down that has helped me cope with the last few months.
I have found a confidence that I had forgotten ever existed.
I could spend time making memories with my family once more.



I have a lot of life to catch up on, a lot of time to make up for.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Stitchy Pickings

Hello everybody.  
I've been trying so hard to get around all of your lovely blogs in the past week but time just seamed to run away on me. But this week I hope to have a lot more me time to knuckle down and get some serious blogging done!  There is so much that I need to catch up on.  I feel like I've been living in a bubble for the last year while everybody else was getting on with some seriously beautiful crafting. 

 I'm so far behind that only last night did I get to watch The Bletchly Circle.  
I SO loved it.
I was having a girlie night in with my mother and catching up on some much needed relaxation and down time, I noticed that the two series were up on Netflix and we sat down and watched every episode. It was two in the morning before the last episode ended and I was glued to the screen the whole time, interrupted periodically by my Mum telling me to close my mouth and stop drooling over the clothes.  
The clothes. The clothes.  Oh the clothes!!
They made me want to take out Cissy, my trusty sewing machine, and get making right away.
If only I was that talented!


One thing that I could do last night in peace and quiet was to sit down with my knitting tucked neatly on my lap.  I much say that I love this little stitch pattern.  It is not as boring as stocking stitch but not too complicated that you have to concentrate it all the time and not be able to watch a bit of telly at the same time. 


 It is a Stylecraft Alpaca pattern and has a lovely vintage feel to it.  I think that it'll be the perfect little cardi for a summers evening or a walk on the beach.  Can't wait to see it finished.

This is the other little baby that I'm working on at the moment. It is from Rico Designs in Melange Glitz Chunky.  It is an absolutely fantastic yarn to work with, so soft and tactile.
I wanted a quick knit after Christmas, to get my knitting year off to a good start but this has taken forever to get finished.  I ran out of yarn just as I was getting to the top of the back piece and have been waiting for the right yarn to be delivered since.  It's such a joy to knit that I'm sure that it won't take too long to finish once it arrives.


Just before I go, I thought that I might introduce you to the newest member of our clan, Fred.
The poor little fella was abandoned in the middle of the countryside when he was just a small pup.  He was found by a relation of my husband's and taken in but he couldn't stay there forever but I begged and whined and cried and when that didn't work, I throw a temper tantrum until the Hubby gave in and agreed to let him come live with us. He's been cursing me every day since then.
The least i can say is that Fred is a whirlwind of destruction.  never to be left home alone lest he eat toys, furniture, yarn or his favourite of all, books.  He takes them out of the bookshelf and nibbles on the cover and even if he's stopped and the book put away, he will always go back to the same book until it's totally destroyed. 
 Go figure!
And the worst of all?? 
He always, always eats the end of the book first!!

Hope to chat you all on your blog's soon,
Rosie