Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Church Kneeler

I have been having some treatment and physio for my hands and I am getting some feeling back into them thankfully. It has meant many trips to the Hospital but I will do anything to get better.

I had to find something to do with my time as daytime TV is appalling and I remembered I had bought a Church Kneeler kit when a local needlework shop closed a few years ago. It is worked over a large size canvas with 3 strands of  Tapestry Wool so I thought I should be able to do it even without being able to feel the needle properly. Here is what I have done so far.

The instructions called for this to be worked in Half Cross Stitch but I have used Tent stitch which looks the same but is much harder wearing. The difference is that in Tent stitch the wool on the wrong side of the work is taken on the long diagonal to the next hole. The oblong center is the top of the kneeler and the 'wings' are the sides. The bottom will be hessian and it will be formed around a pad of dense foam rubber.

Although I love needlework, I hope that I will soon be able to get back to making cards etc. Christmas is getting closer and I don't want to send out shop bought cards if I can help it.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Why I Have Not Been Crafting

I wanted to put this into words because I thought it might help me get it straight in my head as much as anything else. I have not been able to do much crafting lately, especially not anything that involves fine work, and I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

I woke up one morning in early May to find my hands and feet swollen and numb. I have chronic arthritis in most of my joints and have experienced swelling before but never numbness to this extent. The same day I received news that my Brother had been admitted to Hospital and was in a bad way so I ignored my problem hoping it would resolve on its own.

The swelling and numbness resolved a bit over the next few days only to be replaced by constant pins and needles, tinnitus in one ear and a persistent headache. Because of having my Brother convalescing with us, my friends Communion Dress to rescue and a 100th Birthday card to make it was not until mid July that I finally went to see my Doctor.

He sent me for blood tests and an X-Ray which led to me having a CT Scan and then 2 MRI scans. It transpired that apart from Arthritis having eaten away at more of my spine, I also have a Chiari Malformation. This is a condition where the brain is being compressed in the skull and is being pushed into the cavity where the spinal cord meets the brain. So now I have to see a Neurologist and a Neurosurgeon to see what happens next. One of the treatments for this condition is surgery where bone is removed at the base of the skull and the top of the spine to relieve the pressure. I think this sounds worse than it is, at least that is what I hope.

So, at the moment, I am relearning how to use my hands without being able to feel properly and believe me it is not easy. Life is so frustrating when your hands don't work properly and when nothing feels the way it should. I hope this does not go on too much longer, I have Christmas cards to make!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

New Promarker Nibs

Letraset have just launched the Promarker Ultra-fine Nib attachment and all I can say is 'At Last!'. I love my Promarkers and my only problem with them has been that at times I have needed a fine nib. I have some Tria markers which have a choice of 3 nibs including an Ultra-fine and so I knew what to expect as to the size of the line which is ideal for detail work. The Nib attachment comes complete with its own cap and is sold in a pack of 3. Once you clip it into place over the existing fine nib it takes just a few seconds for the ink to flow through. All single Promarkers bought through Letraset will automatically come with a free Ultra-fine Nib and if you buy 5 single Promarkers you get the 6th one free!

Information I had gathered from other users was that the Nibs can be changed from one pen to another so that it is not necessary to buy one Nib for every pen in your collection. I was anxious to try out putting the nibs on and taking them off of the pen again as I had heard that this could be difficult. Well I am very happy to report that I had no problems and I have Arthritis in my hands and wrists. The Nibs also cleaned well after use but I don't think I would recommend changing Nibs between colour groups or from the darkest to the lightest within a colour group so maybe 2 per colour group would be ideal. I don't like the idea of having to clean the Nibs all the time so I would rather get one for each pen, but that is just me. So if like me you are a Promarker person, give these Nibs a try, they are well worth it in my humble opinion.