Monday, September 27, 2010


I love Sundays, especially when they're nice like yesterday. Hubby and I had a simple breakfast of eggs and toast, trimmed our pine tree on the front lawn, and then packed a lunch for a walk at Daley Point. The colors are not at their most spectacular yet, but they are getting there. It certainly felt like a fall day with a cool breeze off the water, although if one sat sheltered in the sun it was very warm. I love this weather!
While walking through the wooded areas we fed the chickadees from our hands. They have to be my favorite bird--so light and delicate on the  hand. Our camera was too slow and every time the shutter clicked the chickadee had flown away. Just to prove it though, I got one slightly blurry picture.
 We walked the trail out towards the water, and then I stopped and stood on a narrow wooden walkway to quickly sketch this picture using my watercolor pencils.
  Today, after doing a little housework and meeting friends for coffee, I finished putting together the pillow pieces, and then I quilted it. I either have to find some wide rick rack or make some bias binding to put in the seam when I put it together with the backing.
I managed to catch this fellow (or lady) at the bath while in my kitchen a short time ago. I'd love to be able to get a better camera for better pictures.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pi pillow and some serious stuff

For some time I've been wanting to make  a pillow that appeared in Stitch magazine, in August 2009. It was called the Pi pillow and was designed by Malka Dubrawsky. On Friday night, I cut out all 16 pieces and started to put it together. As you can see it's pretty bright. There is a mix of Kaffe Fassett, Denise Schmidt, some batiks and a few other assorted fabrics.

I've noticed that there are many varieties of blogs out there, well, as many as there are varieties of people. Some keep their blog mainly about the topic of interst. Most write the blog as not only a creative outlet, but as a connection to others. For some it is  partly a sales outlet and sometimes a form of advertising.
I started my blog as a way to journal about my creative journey. It is mostly for myself, but I  really want to make the connection to other artists and like minded people out there. Also, I've found that, while I don't want to continually write about my health issues (it's too depressing), I would like to occasionally talk about them for a few reasons. One is that it gives me a chance to express myself and get my frustrations out, and another is that I may find others(and I have) who are going through similar things.
This is my way of explaining why I would like to document my journey with Secondary Addison's from time to time on this blog. I am just not up to maintaining 2 blogs. So for those interested in the creative endeavors only, you can skip this next part.
I am finally starting to get some answers as to what is going on with my body. I've been off sick since last March and trying to do everything I can to get better. I have felt betrayed by my own body. With Addison's when you get sick, you must double the dose of cortisone until you get better. A lengthy illness in March (bronchitis) caused a lengthy time of higher doses of cortisone. This caused a spiral affect in my body. My thyroid is low; although this must have been happening for some time, it made it worse and then my blood sugars went too high. At the same time I started to suffer a constant gnawing pain in my abdomen. It has been with me everyday for several months, and the continual pain can really wear you down. Finally, after an endoscopy and a CT scan I have some answers. I have something called gastroparesis. It basically means that my stomach muscles are not working, and therefore food sits too long in my stomach. This may be caused by medications such as cortisone, but also it can be caused by a slow metabolism or low thyroid. I was prescribed a medication to stimulate the stomach muscles, but after several weeks, I was still having unbearable pain. My family doctor has helped me to find a non narcotic pain medication that seems to be helping finally. Yesterday, I had the first almost pain free day in many months. It does make me a little sleepy, but I'm hoping that will get better.
One thing that is recommended for the stomach motility problem is eating 5-6 smaller meals which I've been doing. If I eat too much at once, it causes me pain as well as a spike in my blood sugars. Even by making these changes and cutting out fat and sugar (a good side effect is that I'm losing weight), I was still suffering. I'm hopeful that the painkillers will help. I don't want to take them forever, so I'm also going to try acupuncture. I'm not currently taking anything for the low thyroid because the endocrinologist wanted to wait for another blood test. Maybe, if he decides to put me back on the Synthroid it will also help.
In the last few months, I've felt like I was partly living in another world because I have not been able to do the things I would normally do. For one thing, I always had some level of pain going that I had to try to ignore. I had the time to go for visits to my family cottage or to visit friends at theirs, but I mostly didn't because I was afraid to get hit with the numbing fatigue from the low thyroid or the horrible fogginess from a blood sugar spike. It really is like driving under the influence when you're like that.
So that about sums up where I'm at health wise at the moment. I've gotten it off my chest, and put it out there for anyone else to read who may be going through  similar trails. I've also put a list of Addison's blogs on my sidebar which I'll be adding to as I find more.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My colorful afternoon

I spent a fun afternoon at a friend"s doing some soy wax resist with paint and ink.. We just had time to do a few each, but we are smitten. There will be more. And, the next time I go to my friend Nicole's house, I really must take more pictures because her house is extraordinary.
They have to dry and then have the soy wax removed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

my front step

It was a lovely day here today although still windy. I felt better too, and I made myself happy by putting my plants and a couple of pumpkins on my front step. I had cleaned it last weekend and painted it on Monday. It's a small thing, but it feels good!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

playing with my truck

I played around with my foam and my paints for a bit today and these are the results. I always approach everything backwards. I'm one of those people who jumps right in with an idea, and then I figure out what I should have done. I do sketch out ideas in a journal first, but for the details I have to see something in real life.
I wanted to get an idea of how the foam stamps would work together, on which papers, and using which paints/inks; so, now I know. I want to add more details to each colored section, and I'm trying to decide if I should do the tires separately or not. I may cut them all again to make them fit better.

I'm actually having a bit of a struggle to do anything today because I went back to my regular cortisone dose after the cold I had, and now I'm experiencing a real letdown. As it often happens, I'm fatigued and really sleepy. I had a catnap after lunch, and I've been fighting it ever since. I can't just sleep all day, and reading or knitting would make it worse. I try to do some small physical activities to keep myself awake or I'd be up all night. To-night might just be an eat out night--something cheap and simple--then we're going to take a drive to the beach to visit the in laws and perhaps go for a walk. It's very warm and sunny here today, though windy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog changes

Yesterday, I visited a friend's cottage for the afternoon. We sat outside on the deck by the river for a while and then inside where we quietly hand stitched. Well, OK, there was some talking going on too, but the background noise, or lack there of, was very peaceful in between the gab.
Today, I've been stuck in the house with a cold that I caught from my husband and with not a lot of energy. So, I've been playing with my blog design. I was quite happy the way it was, but like moving furniture around  in the house, sometimes you just need a change. I'm not quite sure yet if I've got it the way I want it. I think I'll live with it for a bit.
All summer the chickadees have been quite shy to use my little feeder that hangs in my studio window. Every time I would stealthily move towards the window to take a picture, they would fly off. Lately, though they are not as timid, and I've managed a few good pictures.

This afternoon I worked quietly at putting the finishing touches on a couple of projects. This is of an appliqued 1950's truck free motion outlined sketchily in black and finished with a sprinkle of hand embroidered flowers. The background is a very warm mossy green linen that doesn't show very well in the photo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

where did the week go?

This week is almost gone and I'm only vaguely aware of what happened to it. I had to have a stay at home and rest up day after the weekend, and for the rest of the week, I've had 2 appointments and then tried to get in some of my exercise in between the rain. A couple of nights ago, I combined my exercise some creative experimenting when I went for a walk on our trail and gathered 3 different kinds of lichens and mosses. I had just picked up a requested library book on the subject. Well, actually the book is about dying with them and does not give good pictures or names of the various kinds. So, I gathered the following 3 - 1 is a moss and 2 are lichens, I think. Next on my list will be to buy a good book for identifying. them.

The colors and texture on this one are fascinating. Yesterday I used this one to die 3 pieces of fabric. In the picture you can see the dyed muslin next to what it looked like beforehand. Not that exciting, but it's fun to experiment.

Today I've got some soaking in the green moss. I was hoping for something sort of greenish, but I'm not sure it will be.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a challenge project and showed some fabrics, but I didn't show the completed piece because I needed to wait until they were revealed at the meeting. Also, I  gave it to a friend for her birthday. I thought you might like to see it. It's a sewing machine cover.

Monday, September 13, 2010

weekend away

Well, we didn't get to see any balloons, both due to the weather and our lack of research. wW couldn't get a room in Sussex where the balloons actually  take off from at 6 AM  and 6 PM, so since we weren't there near those times, we missed them. Also, I'm not sure if they did get up on Sat because of the winds.
We did get some bits of shopping done though in Moncton. I had a list for Michaels, and my husband went to Princess Auto. We ate supper out, went back to the hotel for a swim, watched a movie, and fell asleep. Yesterday, (Sunday) we drove to Cornhill Nursery which I've always wanted to see. It was quiet there, obviously, at this time of year, but we strolled around and purchased a few plants before eating lunch in the cafe.

I bought myself a little gift. It is a stone with a drilled center where the flowers go. There were many there--some quite large and very beautiful. I did not get the name of the man who made them. I just know that he is from Nova Scotia.

I completely forgot to tell you just what those little fruits pictured on the giveaway post (and above) were! They are called ground tomatoes. I just learned about them last year. When the little husks fall off the plant to the ground they are ready to eat.( You have to open them.) As I always do, I forgot something--to take a picture of the tiny tomato inside. It's no bigger than my fingertip, but delicious. The first time I put them in my husbands lunch, he ate the whole thing without peeling the outer cover off. He said they tasted good but were a little tough. Lol! I've never used that expression before, but it sure seems to fit here!
Today, as always, after a long drive, I was tired, but I still managed a batch of salsa and perhaps an hour in my sewing room. I finished the free motion quilting on this pillow top that a friend made. I have a second one to do. as you can see, it is quite large.

While the machine was still set for free motion , I did the stitching around this appliqued truck. I saw a photograph about a month ago of an old truck and its lines really intrigued me. I researched pictures of different trucks on the Net and did some sketches. In the picture, you can see a stamp that I am making as well. I'm not sure where I'm going with the applique yet. I think I will keep it simple--perhaps a sunshine and some outlines of grass or trees. It is cotton on a linen background.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Giveaway winner!

I just did the draw for my first ever blog giveaway. I am so excited! Congratulations to Wanda of , and my regrets to those who didn't win. Since there weren't a lot of entrants, the odds were good, but also I know everyone either personally or form blog correspondence, so it wasn't easy.
I still have to sew the borders on it as per Wanda's choice. I will get to it next week as I'm going to Sussex, NB tomorrow to the Hot Air Balloon Festival. I believe there is also a craft fair and an antique car show so my husband and I shall both be happy. We are meeting my youngest son and his girlfriend for lunch on Sunday.
Before I head off,  I'll show you the small watercolor sketches I worked on today. I'm still experimenting with color, style and technique. One of them is a little too bright ( it's obvious)  for my liking. I'm open to any comments. I'd like to get one printed on fabric eventually.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

work space wednesday on thursday--giveaway reminder

I completely forgot about doing a photo for a workplace Wednesday post yesterday, so I'm putting one up today.

The colorful item on the right is a piece done by my friend Nicole (she recycles fabric) that I am going to free motion quilt. Doesn't it just exude cheerfullness? I am showing just a small piece of it.
This piece of colorful fabric (small cushion) caught my eye the other day on a pair of PJ's at Superstore, so I bought the largest pair for $5.74 and made the pillow. It matches my bedroom perfectly.
Also, if you check last week's posts--I still haven't figured out how to link to old posts, and I've tried-- I have a giveaway that will end tomorrow (Friday) night at my time PM.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

comfort--cooler weather

My husband and I enjoyed our usual leisurely Sunday breakfast. This is accompanied by much newspaper reading by my husband and crossword solving by me. Then we went on a bike ride around what we here in Bathurst call 'the Basin'. It was a little windy but luckily from a direction that was best for this trip. Also, a good part of the ride is through wooded trails so it was quite protected. Here's the view from the halfway point.

To-night, while my husband went to hit balls at the golf course (I was too tired), I got out my paints. I've been wanting to try painting the cosmos from my garden, and I'd like to have it printed on fabric by Spoonflower. The first one is not really what  I want but  it's a start. I used Inktense pencils because I don't have the right pink in my watercolor pack. I wasn't really happy with it, so I used black ink and the pencils again. It's better but still not yet what I had in mind. I think I will use watercolors first on the next one. I want it to be more gestural and slightly more graffiti like. I'm obviously not there yet. I will be going out of town in a couple weeks and will look for the bright pink that I need.

As far as my giveaway, I will make the draw next Friday night as I'm going out of town on Saturday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

before earl and don't forget the giveaway

The temperature has finally cooled some here tonight, and I decided to go for a short bike ride as  I had not done my '30 minutes' of exercise yet today. It was a: tea with friends, lunch with another friend, errands, and new sneaker kind of day. I even managed to sneak in about a half hour of thread painting on 4 new little pieces that I want to incorporate into a small wall hanging. I'll have to show those later--no pictures yet.
Also, before I left this morning, I cut out a piece of craft foam and made this little stamp. I have some stamping and painting planned for next week! It is quite a different theme for me.

Along the trail on my way back form my ride, I stopped to pick these wild flowers.I believe according to my reference book that they are called Pearly Everlasting. While I was cleaning out for my yard sale, I came across a twig wreath that I almost got rid of, and then I decided that I might like to use it as a support for a
wildflower wreath.

With the storm Earl on the way in tomorrow I thought to-night was a good time to pick a few things. Here's another view of that mystery plant's fruit:
 Don't forget to leave a comment for the giveaway if you have an idea what they are.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unbelievably hot!

It's 8:30 at night and the car thermometer said 28 degrees Celsius! I'm not good for much when it's this hot. . I thought I'd post a picture of my workspace as it was today following Tracy Lynn Huskamp of the Red Door Studio. I actually put my picture on her Face Book page too. She puts a picture of her current project(s) up every Wednesday morning.
Here's mine for today:

Don't forget about leaving a comment for my giveaway. I believe I will extend it another week and I will add some of my note cards which I will picture in my next post.