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Monday, 31 July 2017

Second helping of Gifted Gorgeousness

A birthday in the house yesterday.......

Birthday gifts =  a GG post and there's still time to get it in before we turn the calendar to bring us into August and it's far too long to wait till next months so for July a second GG posting (that's scored me some brownie points with Jo)

My daughter knows my love of Cath Kidston pretty things. We're going to make some nice buttons to add to my crafting and a girls got to have a manicure when working with her hands.

DS always knows he can't go wrong with something for me to make.  A scarf kit from our local wool shop.  The colours of this are called 'coastal' - I'm going to enjoy knitting this one up for the coming cooler seasons - perhaps i'll get to wear it later this year at the coast.

Postal gifts from online friends. Clare is not only an online friend, we often meet up for tea/coffee/cake.  She always has such good ideas for gifts.  This year she has chosen to send books to her friends with the author or title relating to their name.  I've not heard of Julie Klassen before, but this sounds just like my perfect read, its the first in a series.  Thank you Clare.
Peter Rabbit, a favourite of mine - a selection of teas are inside this pretty tin from Barb.  Many thanks Barb, the earl grey packet has been opened and sampled already.
Christine made the beautiful QAYG pouch, it is so pretty and was much admired by my visitors yesterday.  She showed a blue one on her blog in May for GG but I have to say my pink one is better!

A lovely handmade card from Gill.  The circular threadwork did remind me of the nail/thread pictures my dad used to make many years ago.  None of them survived the test of time, but I'm sure you all remember them from the 1970's.
Bunches of flowers and plants making the house smell beautiful

With recent events I was having a quiet birthday this year, DH took me out in the morning to the local garden centre and we chose a couple of nice plants for the garden.  Little did I know that there were shenanigans afoot at home and when I returned a small family party with balloons, banners and the table laid with a buffet for my close family had been organised by DD.   My granddaughter was very proud of herself as she had managed to keep it a secret from nanny..... good going for a 6 year old!  
She had glued some shells that we collected at the beach together last year onto a frame and chosen a favourite picture of hers with us and her dog Alfie paddling in the sea, that was her special handmade gift for me - teary eyes!  It now sits on my shelf with other shells, beach sand and sea glass that I have collected. 

DD baked a great homemade cake, she called it the 'Basket of Buttons' and thought it went well with her button gift, it tasted delicious.  The little sweetie buttons were a real hit with the children.
One friend dropped by with a card that made me smile.......  she doesn't have a book club but thought the ladies in this picture looked like they meant business and would give me a run for my money.
Many thanks for you kinds emails and words of comfort and support recently, they do mean a lot.  I'm a lot calmer and happier about things and just today I have kitted up a little stitching design that was also a gift, this one from Justine at the meet-up in the Spring.... gifts come along all the time into my life in many different ways and I have lots to be thankful for each and every day.
Love and blessings to you all
Julie x

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness - July

Coming to the end of the month, I had better get my GG post done.  

A bit of a finishing off spree this month of things that have been sitting in the workbox for way too long.

A gifted chart from an old stitching friend.  My Four Seasons Sampler by Giulia Punti Antichi.  I finally added the last few stitches this past weekend.

Completed my pair of socks for the Yarndale Sock Line organised by Christine at Winwick Mum blog.  After Yarndale these and all the others donated will be gifted to someone in need.
I belong to the local knitting group and this blanket for prem babies joined the collection to be handed over.
The gift of friendship on a forum and we have been stitching a SAL for the seasons of the year.  Everyone chooses their own design to stitch for each season, I did Prairie Schooler Spring and now i have the PS Summer made up to accompany it.
Thank you so much for your kinds words of support and comfort in my last post, it really meant a lot to me and for the emails, cards etc that have been sent.
I had a very special gift box parcel arrive in the post from Barb, thank you my friend for your thoughtfulness.   An M&S rose, tea bags and shortbread to enjoy.
I'm sure you all know what Gifted Gorgeousness is all about - but just in case you don't ....

It is a chance for us bloggers to show off gifts we have received.  It could be yarn, a thread, a piece of fabric or something that's not for crafting but was sent/given to brighten your day. 
You can read more about 'GG' here.  It's the brainchild of Jo at Serendipitous Stitching
Love and blessings
Julie x

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Relaxing holiday and a bombshell

DH received an email with an offer too good to miss. A few days at the coast with 70% off - of course we took advantage of it last week.

Hunstanton, one of our favourite places to enjoy some downtime in a lovely caravan.

The veranda overlooked two lovely ponds with mamma ducks and their babies where little rabbits also came out to play in the evenings. 


It was a relaxing holiday, no sight seeing this time of the area we know so well as I was not feeling the best yet again.
A teatime simple sandwich picnic at Brancaster beach, 7 miles along the Cromer Road (the main  coast road)

Sand as far as the eye can see both the left and right, popular with dog walkers

Local fishermen enjoy their sport and the residents are friendly too

Evening strolls along the long promenade that stretches all the way from Hunstanton famous cliffs at one end, right through to Heacham beach. 
The walkway stretches for about 3 miles, all concrete and the area has had a lottery grant for refurbishments that are at present being carried out. 
All the way along the sea washes in and out and the sun is setting over the sea. 
(taken on a different evening)
Old Hunstanton is another lovely sandy beach, the lifeboat station is here, open a lot of the time to the public to have a look round, a cafĂ© opposite and the disused lighthouse that it now open for holidaymakers to rent.  Miles and miles of beautiful sand - perfect for children and on Friday there were 7 coach parties of school children enjoying some bucket and spade time - noisy fun, but it was lovely hear them - 1 coachload were from a local school to us at home!
I did some reading.   Shock of the Fall is not a book I could say I would recommend, but it was the book group latest read and having studied psychology I found it interesting.  The Domenica De Rosa, One Summer in Tuscany (she writes under the name of Elly Griffiths too, you may have read her detective stories) was very enjoyable - a writers course on the island of Tuscany in an old castle and what happens to those on the course and the family who live there. 
Time to open the meet up exchange when I got home as I had missed opening day on July 4th being away.
Gill (no blog) has made me the loveliest sunflower scissor keeper and matching fob and included some pretty scissors too.  Thank you Gill

I stitched for Justine, I too chose a scissor keeper and included some pretty scissors.

Arriving back home I have had two hospital appointments to attend, two different consultants to see and some unexpected news.  As regular readers will know, I have not been in the best of health for quite some time.  Lots of dr visits and medications to try to help but to no avail. 
The latest visit brought a diagnosis for me that we were not expecting.  A disease that we had never heard of before.  It is so rare the consultant tells me that there are only about 1000 in the world who have it.  It's serious, no literature available at our hospital as it's so rare and most consultants don't see a case of it in their career, so we were sent home to look it up on the internet.  There are times when you wish that the internet was not so accessible as the words you are reading on the screen are very scarey.  You open another link and read more doom. 
I have relapsing polychondritis (RP) - an auto immune disorder that attacks and eats away at the cartilages of the body - the body is held together with that.  No rhyme or reason where it will strike in the body, it can be life threatening if it attacks the heart, lungs or the windpipe area.  It's likely to be progressive over time and incapacitate and disfigure me (He thinks the nose has started this process already).  He feels that a lot of what I have had over the past many years could be attributed to it and as I have gotten older it has taken more of a hold.
Right now, well, we are a bit numb.  I'm taking very high dose of steroids to try and get this attack under control a bit and will be for a few weeks.  We see the consultant in 6 weeks time when he has had the chance to look through the latest round of tests that he ordered and I had on Monday.  He wants to also check back on some extensive MRI ad CT scans and other stuff I have had over the past years to see if he can see evidence there too.
Being positive, at least we know what we are dealing with now and the medical profession are involved to help as much as the underfunded NHS can do! 
If, in my resting periods these next weeks I drop by your blog and leave a note, it might not make any sense as the steroids take effect, but please know that it did to me when I wrote it......
Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your friendship and support in the past.  I felt i needed to share this news with you as we are not sure where this latest pathway will take us and what the future will hold and of course we are taught as children it's good to share.  I did smile when I thought that the disfigurement that might happen wont be seen by most of you, I can hide behind this screen as when you are reading my rambles you will still imagine the picture of me that you have always had in your mind ........
Love and blessings
Julie x