Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year....2016

I cant believe where the year has gone...but in another way its been the longest year of my life...we started the year with my son Jim being very ,very ill with Hodgkins Lymphona and Haemophagocytic syndrome--a very rare condition, that saw his ferretin levels reach over 21,000 instead of the normal 196. He has had a gruelling regime of chemotherapy through the year , ending up with a stem cell transplant just 3 weeks ago in  the QE hopsital , Birmingham. I'm pleased to say he came out yesterday-- very tired, after being in isolation for 3 weeks and having the heaviest chemo thrown at him..he needs too stay infection free now and fingers crossed he has turned the corner..

My lovely daughter and her little family Wayne and Tommy have bought Jim's house off him as it was far too big for him--it was our family home when the kids were growing up-- so it has gone full circle now with a young family once again growing up in there.. It was a manic few weeks though-- they managed to move in in about 4 days  after the mortgage was approved after a cock up with the building society! In ,but not straight yet... looking forward to helping them decorate it as they want!
Little Tommy has kept us all sane through the year-- always smiling, happy and cheerful- he adores his grandad Bill..

Bless him...

Of course we had Becki and Wayne's wedding in March... it gave us something else to focus on and take our minds on what poor Jim was coping with...and he managed to come and have some photos taken with us was a wonderful day from start to finish and   I couldn't have picked a better husband for my daughter...


And before we know it ,its time to put up the tree again..

It does make you feel festive once the decorations come out..

and of course the fireplace Santa's... I have another week off work- and will be updating the website with more dates asap..places for the workshops are going very quickly , with one or two having very few spaces left in them..I will be introducng a couple of new subjects too at some point!  It just remains for me to wish all our family ,friends and students, past, present and future a very Happy, Healthy New Year 2016

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Big Poppy Workshop

Well that's the last workshop of the year done and dusted! Great fun doing the Big Poppy with 7 students last Saturday..there are a lot of technique's to learn in the class using different mediums-and great scope to be imaginative ! Any colours work with this subject too--and Pat bought along a cushion cover she wanted to match up so she could hang her masterpiece in the bedroom when its finished! First time for Pat and Jasmine who were bought along by Dave who has been several times before!

adding the black centre...

wonderful colours Jasmine...

Joyce managed to make loads of different colours from a quite limited palette..

Lyn adding several layers of black paint to her centre,,

The crackle effect is showing up lovely in Carolyn's painting

Sarah chose the turquoise colours as it is a present for her sister and will match her colour scheme!

This is the part everyone loves--adding the melted wax detail...we had some lovely new ideas going on with coloured wax being used as well as the usual golds and silvers..really stunning results!  Just realised that I have no photos of Dave with his painting..sorry Dave,,,

Sarah with her finished painting-- the middle will darken up as it dries over the next few days!

lovely results everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Reeds In The Breeze and more....

Its all go at the moment--my son is at last in the Q.E hospital in Birmingham to have a Stem Cell Transplant and will be in about 3 daughter is buying his house and has just over a week to get sorted and move in-   I am seeing a specialist tomorrow at Hereford hospital ,   then I have my last workshop of the year on Saturday and the market in Ludlow on Sunday--phew--I'm knackered just reading it all....   anyway back to the main thing--  last Saturdays Reeds In The Breeze workshop..we had a mix of newbies and folk that have been to me before. The newbies were nervous as they always are--with good reason I suppose--trying something new is always a bit intimidating, but they soon found there was no need to worry at all! As you can see we had wonderful results form everyone!

Sarah on the left was painting her 3rd picture with me and had a strong idea of what she wanted her finished painting to look like...Its quite amazing just how quickly people find their self confidence about what they want and how to achieve it during the workshops..She wanted a solid blue sky with no clouds,a path down to the beach and daisies instead of poppies--and we will see her again this Saturday when she will be painting the Big Poppy in shades of turquoise! Ana was painting for the 2nd time-she chose the brown foliage instead of the green--both work equally well! Anna was a first timer and really enjoyed it-said she will def be back..

William and Suzie were first timers with me-- William was tired out by the end bless him-- daughter in law Suzie chose to paint some other flowers rather than poppies too--and had some photos on her phone that she could use as a reference!

First time for Heather-who was convinced she wouldn't be able to paint anything decent enough to hang on her wall...however how wrong was she--another one who loved every minute and wants to come again! Cathy has been before--they both chose the yellow ochre shades-lovely warm colours..

2nd time for both Terry and Judith--both handled the brushes and knife with ease and created some lovely paintings!

Caroline was painting for the 2nd time and Chris was on her 3rd one-- well done ladies! I'm so glad you all enjoyed your day and will look forward to seeing you all again soon..

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Medieval Fair Ludlow and more.......

Well the weather was vile last weekend but it didn't stop the people attending the Medieval Fair in Ludlow..Wind and rain--we had it all! But we had plenty of waterproof sheets around the outside of the stall and it was quite cosy inside..

Don't think Bill wanted his photo took LOL...we were non-stop all weekend with customers--lots of folk down from The Wirrel,, lovely chatting with them-one of my favourite accents! The wind was gusting really bad on the Sunday so we packed up earlier than we would have normally-stuff was blowing around and it could have been dangerous...we had all the sheets to get dry ready for Wednesdays market...

It was quieter on the Wednesday market after the weekend, the Christmas shopping rush just didn't happen!!! However Bill did spot these beautiful lilies (My Favourite) on Farmers stall next door--I had to cut them right down as they were 4 ft tall!

I have been raising money for the past few months for the O'Connor ward at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where my son Jim has been treated for Hodgkin's Lymphoma for nearly 12 months now..I was able to buy these 2 Dyson Fans to donate to the ward this week, after getting them at a better price for Black Friday! £50 off so £180 each--I was well chuffed. The patients will be pleased with them, as the chemo makes you very hot and sweaty sometimes, and there isn't enough fans to go round--these are ideal because there isn't any noise or a blade to hurt anyone..I will be dropping them off at the hospital next Tuesday..

Jim will be going into the QE hospital ,Birmingham next Thursday to have his stem cell treatment which hopefully will put him into remission....they have harvested his own cells to use, but they have also found a perfect match donor if they need one..The treatment will be really harsh-he will have 5 days very intensive chemo to wipe out every cell before giving him back his own stem cells which hopefully will grow into healthy cells and make him better..he will have to stay in until his white cells are high enough to help him fight any infections ...fingers crossed he will be out for Christmas but if not Christmas will go to him in hospital!