Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ticking along

The way life is at the moment, just ticking along nicely. Kids back at school and settled, a successful weekend craft fair done, a little down time for me from felting while I brainstorm some new ideas for Christmas.
Then something happens that bring things, albeit temporarily, to a grinding halt.
 Meri was one of the first 'D mums' I discovered, via her wonderful blog. She is one of the most witty and eloquent writers I have come across. She has four sons, three who have type 1 Diabetes. She was a huge help when we were making the decision whether to start using the insulin pump with Aleksi and her support was invaluable.
Early this year her husband, Ryan, was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer. They both fought hard and long but sadly Ryan passed away the beginning of this month.
It hit me hard, as all I could think about, somewhat selfishly, was that this could be me.
Meri has written some amazing posts over the past few weeks but I have found it so hard to write any meaningful comments. It all feels a bit close to home.

However spurred on by Meri, who is dusting herself off and heading back into the fray, I too am trying to do the same.
I have started some physiotherapy in an attempt to tone up my somewhat flabby if not non-existent bottom muscles. I have been tinkering in my felting room, creating a few projects, including one for Diabetes Art day as well as a felted seat pad which has already been tested on Aleksi's scout trip in the pouring rain!
I have also been cooking up a storm with apples - very therapeutic. You name it I have cooked it with apples! Fortunately we haven't got many left, only another 2 bucket loads to go. Ideas anyone?
So back to ticking along and back to felting in earnest - Christmas is coming......

RIP Ryan

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Once in my lifetime

I have always loved sport as long as long as I can remember. School sports days, balancing bean bags on my head and of course the egg and spoon race.
School sports teams, lacrosse, rounders, athletics and later hockey. I loved it all come rain or shine. So no surprise when my chosen career was Physiotherapy and yes I spent many years treating sports injuries.
 Sport after school takes more effort but by joining a hockey club and jumping on  my bike I continued playing and taking part. I have even had a go at some less common sports including archery, triathlon and  I ran a marathon( a rarity for me!)
 Some sports however I do not enjoy, tennis being my number one 'hate'- legacy of tennis lessons at school!
Finally I have to mention orienteering, thanks to a friend who encouraged me to go one weekend. I loved it and found a new sport to pursue. I am where I am now thanks to orienteering having met my husband at the club Christmas party!
So when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics seven years ago I knew I had to be there.
I was.
We were there and loved it.
In the Olympic park, with the stadium behind.

Waiting for the off!

We saw the man of the moment run!

We saw javelin throwing, triple jumping, hurdles. with lots of crashes and falls and the highlight was Usain Bolt who strolled round his 200m heat. The noise was unbelievable! Everyone was in a great mood and hats of to all the volunteers who were just brilliant.
Once in my life time!


Home of Football!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hungry? Which type of hungry?

I'm hungry! A phrase I here regularly in our household. What 8 going on 9 year old boy is not perpetually hungry.
 But then we have a twist. Type 1 Diabetes.
 Lex doesn't often feel when he is low, but after 4+ years of watching him grow up with this disease, I have got pretty good at spotting when his blood sugar is lower than we would like!
Usually one's blood sugar hovers gently in the range of 4-6 mmol/l -in people who do not have Diabetes. Lex has been running around playing football with a blood sugar of 2.2 and quote ' feels fine!!'  Getting him to recognise this is slow progress. When asked how he feels when low he will say he is hungry - not much help really. So now we have developed a system of him categorising his hunger in an attempt to teach him to recognise low blood sugars.
So we have 'hungry hungry' - usually around meal times - what I would call your normal hunger.
Next - 'bored hungry' usually announced whilst sitting in the car on a long journey, waiting for the bus and the like - in other words I have nothing to do so eating seems like a good idea.
Finally we have ' low hungry' - that hunger feeling he gets when his blood sugar is on its way down or is already in his boots - time for food NOW .
Not the most scientific system but it slowly seems to be working.
Having worked on lows, we have of course been battling the highs from hell for the last 3 days - no rhyme or reason of course, maybe growing, a bug, the weather or just because Diabetes does just that. Thank god for the pump, correction bolusing with little fuss, insulin on board and my new best friend temp basals!
But summer is here and that means swimming in the lake, ice cream, bikes rides, playing out late with your mates( remember here it is only vaguely dark at the moment between 2am and 4am so day light abounds!) watching football and athletics and planning a trip to the Olympics.
 Life is good!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Presents all round

That time of year has come for presents - no, not Christmas come early but end of the school year! Needle felting skills to the fore to save me the stress of what to buy for gifts for teachers, helpers, scout leaders and so on! Throw in a birthday or too and the production line was in full swing. here are a couple of projects I remembered to photograph before they went to their new homes.

Elli is a member of the Scouts and her scout troop is the 'Karhunpennut' or Bear cubs.  So I grabbed my Birgit Krag Hansen book, Animal felt, and some raw brown locks and away I went. Getting the head shape right and in proportion  was really hard. I could see it wasn't quite right but correcting it was hard. More practise I think! Fun to do with the uncarded locks and I plan a polar bear when I get a moment in the holidays.

This next project, like many of mine, had been brewing in my head for ages and just before the children finished school I managed to get him done. I have a couple of similar projects as works in progress so promise to post more photos as they progress.

I always envisaged mounting the perch on a 'plaque' and so , to give away a secret, I only felted the detail on one side! I sewed a couple of wool loops on the back and hung it from a couple of small nails in the wood. This was a present for my Husband's uncle's 75th birthday - he is a keen fisherman and we catch Perch regularly in the lake at our summer cottage, nice eating too!
So now the needles are resting but I hope to manage the odd session or two when the kids are out playing(she says hopefully!!) - aliens await!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Time flies when you're having fun!

 Summer has finally arrived, school's out and the fun continues.
Orienteering is now in full swing but last month we went orienteering in the park, not any old park but       Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere!
Elli at the start by the log flume ride

Aleksi ready to go next to the Dodgems!

Under the rollercoaster to the finish!
Why is the finish always at the top of a hill?
Time for some rides!
Welcome to Angry Birds land!
I just had to put some rubbish in here!!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

One of my favourite places in the world!

Yes I love my creature comforts and I love my technology but I also love escaping back to a life that is pretty basic. For the last 10 years now, at Easter,  we have left the 'city' and headed for the country, specifically our 'summer' cottage. Now as Easter time varies we can be confronted with varying amounts of snow and a lake that may or may not be frozen. There will be no running water, frequent trips to refill the log basket, the annual Easter egg hunt and a lovely cold beer after sauna. Bliss!
Hopefully these photos will give you a little taste of our Easter!
Easter Sunday breakfast
Easter egg hunt!
Playing on the lake on the kick sledge!
Contemplating life whilst fishing!

Roll on Spring!
A view of the cottage from the frozen lake, next time we will see it from the boat!

Monday, 2 April 2012


We all have shelves.
We all have shelves full of stuff, books, toys, clothes, foodstuffs,photos, mementos of wonderful holidays as well as empty plastic boxes, old papers we might need some day and stuff you cannot readily identify.
We also have a really important shelf.
This shelf keeps my son alive and I am so grateful that is is well stocked, ready for any emergency, day or night.
But it would be nice if one day this shelf was empty or housing other 'stuff' - one day I hope we won't need this shelf as it is. One day we may have a cure.....

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Meet the Hoots!

I have been collecting wool locks from different breeds of sheep for the past couple of years. I was never  quite sure what to do with them, but knew they were too nice to card into a batt, to be swallowed up inside another project. I have long been an admirer of Birgitte Krag Hansen and inspired by an owl I made on one of her courses 2 years ago I finally found the perfect home for my locks!
Gotland, Merino/Targhee cross, Lleyn, Finn and Zwartbles
Olli Hoot

Oona Hoot

Ophelia Hoot

Oscar Hoot

Oswald Hoot
Finally the sun has come out and the snow is melting rapidly, despite the freezing nights still. It was great to get out side to take some decent photos in real sunlight. Roll on Spring!!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Results

What a fun 3 hours! I have just returned home (in an horrendous snowstorm!) from a morning felting with 18 second graders(8 years old). They were so good and had real fun especially with the soapy water part!! I bet their hands have never been so clean!!!

Thank you 2B!

So here is what we did
First we covered the ball with white roving
and then added the colour..

Yarn was then wrapped around to help keep the roving in place
The balls were put into tights legs, wetted and gently rolled.

Now the wool had started to felt, more gentle rolling

Now comes the hot soapy water and away they go!
Final rinse

Final roll on towels to remove some of the water
All ready to play!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Still here

Ticking along through a grey winter which finally has cheered up with the arrival of snow and colder temperatures.
I have been back in the workshop and finally getting round to completing a few projects that have been gathering dust, one for almost 2 years - another post on that one!
I have also been planning a project to do at my son's school....
Take 20 or so excited 8 year olds

each with one of these...... 
add some of this ...
and some extra bits from a goodie bag from World of Wool...
Next comes the fun bit with soap and water... 
and we will need plenty of these........
Watch this space for the end results......................................................!!