My friend Rachel, who I have been doing the Creative Joyful Things with, came to visit me last autumn and we decided to paint a portrait of each other. Well, it is autumn again and I have just finished mine. I cannot post a picture here though as I want to show her first, so it will have to wait. Shh.

I can say that I am really pleased to have managed a painting, even though it has taken me a year, and that I am pleased with the result! I don’t think I will be taking on another big project again for a while, as I am looking forward to having space to play and do small things as and when I feel able. Although there were a few difficult moments and many times when I was unable to work on it due to my health, I really loved those times where I could work on it and be absorbed in the task at hand. It is a kind of freedom to be able to be absorbed in a task, especially a creative one. For me that can only ever be quick short bursts, rather than hours on end that healthy people can do, but it is still really transcendent. That’s not the exact word, but you get the idea. It takes me to a state that I do not routinely experience and it feels very good. I perhaps forget that I am in an ill body for a while.

pencil case 3 pencil case1 pencil case2 pencil case4

I made a pencil case for a friend. I made one for her many years ago and was amazed to discover that she was still using it! It was looking a bit worse for wear, so I thought I would reward such appreciation with an updated version. I think this one is a lot better than the first one, so I hope it will last for many years to come.

image image image

I have been using my sewing machine lately and while it was out I took the opportunity to use it on this card. I also used some cyanotype paper that I had made feather prints from, and my Spirograph! It was fun!

A very good friend of mine is seriously and chronically ill, and was recently facing a long hospital admission. I had the idea to create a comforting blanket for her to take into hospital with her, covered in patches from friends. I wanted it to be bright and an antidote to the bland hospital surroundings and a reminder that her friends were thinking and caring about her, especially on days where she was unable to be in contact directly. I asked a few friends if they would join in with the project and people were very enthusiastic and willing to spend time making their patches really special. Some people needed help by others in the group to complete their patches and I also got help assembling the piece! It was a great thing to be part of, and I hope she will love it.

Here is the blanket:

Blanket Here are the patches individually:


this one is mine – signed with a little “Ash” leaf


Made by Alex

Amy E

Made by Amy


Made by Andie


Made by Cathy


Made by Cusp

D heart

Made by D

D Jackson

Made by D


Made by Jo

Rachel blackwork

Made by Rachel

Rachel Disc

Made by Rachel

Working on it:

sewing machine

And here it is ready to be set off to her:


lesbury picture

A local friend told me about a small exhibition that was planned in our village,  around the theme of what the village means to us. I found a photograph that I had taken recently on a walk to the river, and it was such a beautiful day and a peaceful time watching and listening to the water.  I realised that to me living here means being able to be immersed in nature and the peace and calm that it can provide. The other important aspect for me is feeling part of the community and  meeting such friendly people when I go out. It is the kind of place where everybody says hello, smiles and comments on the weather or something else. I have lived here for three years and it is such a different feeling to where I lived before, when people would rarely say hello and it was a more urban situation.  As my arms are very weak at the moment and I am doing a lot of other things, I kept my submission as simple as possible and was proud of myself that I managed to complete it in two short work sessions.

Well, I have been quiet on the creative front, but recently made some bunting for a friend who had a special birthday coming up. I really enjoyed making it, and was pleased with how it turned out. I have never made bunting before, and wanted it to be classy and only subtly about the birthday so it could stay up a while.

I used black card and paper twine, and added collage from magazines I had in the house. These were:

Crafts Magazine March/April 2014

Craft and Design Magazine May/June 2014

Frankie Magazine No. 58.

Here is the bunting-


image image image image imageimage


Since the jewellery workshop I went back and did two more glass workshops where I worked on a panel. Most people did theirs in one workshop, but I had to go to two as I cannot work for three straight hours, so I spent a lot of time taking breaks on the sofa and did not stay until the end.

This is what I made:


It is about A4 (letter) size and is based on a view of a favourite beach in the evening.

I am quite pleased with it, though I don’t think it is my best creation! I enjoyed going to the workshops and being part of a group activity. That said, I won’t be going to any more in the near future as I am not really well enough and I did suffer for this more than it was worth… such is life.


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