Wednesday, 22 August 2007

What I've been doing - or not!

Apologies to those who've been logging in for not having any updates for such a long time - I can't believe it's been two months since my last post!

Firstly, one of the things I did do was manage some more dyeing:

This is some stitched and gathered (nui) silk habotai - Django didn't get dyed but he wanted in on the act.

Silk chiffon knotted and dyed.

And a length of muslin (cheesecloth for US readers) which already had the white leaves printed on:

As far as quilting goes I've been working on my journal quilt and my offering for the Quiltart "Symbols of our Culture" challenge, neither of which I can post pictures of until the date when they're made public. The journal quilt in particular I found difficult to get started on - possibly a bit scared of what I'd done in committing to it - Houston seems like such a ginormous and important event, especially from this side of the pond, and I was convinced I wouldn't produce anything good enough, so I got myself in a right tangle. Eventually it got started and actually became enjoyable, but that's all I'm saying for the moment... Both are in the process of being finished, so I am at least confident of meeting the deadline.

The studio makeover continues: I've been determined to get it right and keep rejigging and adapting, not to mention some heavy and exhausting work like lugging furniture around (in some cases up two flights of stairs) not to mention reassembling the kitchen units I bought through e-bay which will give me loads of storage.

My work area is just as I want it but at present is covered in stuff:

Ok so it doesn't look very user-friendly at the moment - but there's plenty of sewing surface, places for threads, needles, etc, and the grid on the right is where I'm going to hang all my pairs of scissors: I have numerous pairs of scissors because I keep losing them, give up trying to find them and eventually end up buying more. There's a cutting surface at the right height (spent hours adjusting the legs on the kitchen units - the air turned blue and I probably shocked the builders working on the roof next door the other side of the open skylight); and a pressing surface (the actual pressing board still has to be constructed so for the moment I'm improvising) also of the right height, and a comfortable chair (which is very heavy so I'm waiting for a neighbour to lug it up the stairs for me).

I cannot believe how much stuff I've accumulated: I've unpacked some but still have (at the last count) 44 boxes to unpack:

I'm beginning to wonder if I have a problem here. Is there a cure? Do I need help? Some of it I can give away, but that still leaves an awful lot. Good job I've built in plenty of storage. And there's still stuff in the spare room I'm not looking at yet. Not to mention the books...

However the dyed fabric (loads more still to unpack) is beginning to look nice on its wraparound shelves:

The room is going to be a joy to work in but I shall have to sort it in stages I think: I intend to get as many boxes as possible unpacked by the weekend and clear the decks, then back to finishing off my two quilts before I do more. I think it might be a work in progress for a while yet. What I've really enjoyed is finding lots of nice bits of fabric I'd forgotten about.

Of course the gap in my blogging hasn't all been down to doing lots - some of it has been about sheer idleness, and some the result of feeling under the weather (what a strange expression - wonder where it came from?) much of the time, generally feeling down and extremely tired, falling asleep all the time and so on. This now, I'm pleased to say, seems to be on the wane.

Another reason is that one of my other cats has been ill:

Nibs arrived as a stray two years ago: attempts to find his owner were unsuccessful, and though there were difficulties for a while he eventually fitted in with the rest of the tribe. He's an older cat but of course I don't know how old he actually is - the vet thinks about twelve but he may be older. Soon after his arrival he was diagnosed as hyperthyroid and since then has been treated with a daily tablet. However his thryoid levels have gone up recently without him exhibiting any noticeable symptoms.

One evening he woke up and went to jump off the sofa and stopped - he wanted to jump off but couldn't bring himself to do so. To check whether he'd hurt a paw I pur him on the floor and he started walking around in a very disorientated way. Then I noticed his eyes were all pupil and rang the emergency vet (by this time it was midnight) who reassured me about what it might be, said there was nothing he could do tonight and to keep him quiet and get him to my vet the next morning.

Once I'd made up a comfy bed for him on the bedroom floor (he normally sleeps on the bed but I was scared he'd fall off) he settled down quite comfortably, which was more than I was able to do. Four hours later he jumped onto the bed for a cuddle; I dozed a bit and was woken at six by him jumping off the bed and demanding to go downstairs to use the litter tray: it was obvious a miracle had occurred and he could see again.

To cut a long story short, it was thought he had had a minor stroke. His thyroid levels have been retested and his medication adjusted, and he is now taking two other tablets including betablockers. He had another episode a fortnight later when a blood-vessel broke in his eye, but after his tablets were adjusted again he had no further problems - fingers crossed. His eyesight is now improving though he seems to have no peripheral vision (he gets taken for a prowl round the neighbourhood twice a day - three times if he's very persuasive - which keeps me up to date on all the neighbourhood gossip). He's now also beginning to regain his confidence but I don't want to let him out on his own as he still has impaired vision. I'm planning a fence so that he can go in my tiny garden on his own with no risk of him getting out. His blood-pressure is now beginning to get back to normal. Sighs of relief all round!


Anne Wigfull said...

Nice to see you back!

fiona d said...

your studio is going to be wonderful - fabric on the shelves looks so luscious. And I really like the effect you got dyeing the printed muslin.

marion said...

Poor's he doing?