31 December 2010

Happy New Year..............

I spent yesterday and most of today in hospital again getting treatment for anemia, so on top of losing my dear Mum in October .... this has been an awful year for me.  I don't know about anyone else but I can't wait to see the back of 2010.

Hopefully 2011 will be a new beginning. 

24 December 2010

Happy Christmas ....

and best wishes for a creative and peaceful New Year to everyone.

22 December 2010


I managed to get to my local supermarket to get some shopping in.  It isn't far but I wasn't taking any chance on slipping again so I got a taxi there and back.  I'm hibernating until after Christmas now and hopefully there will be some sign of a thaw soon.  I don't know about anyone else but snow is nice when it first falls but once it gets trodden underfoot and turns to ice it looses its allure.

21 December 2010


The snow here in my part of Liverpool has turned to ice what fun, NOT! 

First the water wouldn't go down the sink in the bathroom.  The pipe outside the bathroom was frozen solid.  I poured boiling water over the pipe and managed to unblock it but it is so cold here it probably wouldn't take long to freeze up again.  I know they say you should lag your inside pipes so I've wrapped the bathroom pipe with some foam wrapping paper, you know the sort that sometimes comes wrapped around electrical goods.  Hopefully that will help.

I tried to get out to do some shopping this afternoon.  I got about fifty feet from my front door trying to cross the road and the next thing my feet slipped from under me.  I tried to save myself but I ended up flat on my back on the road and banged the back of my head.  Luckily a taxi driver and van driver where passing and they stopped and helped me up but it did shake me up.  I had to turn back it wasn't worth trying to walk any further.  I'll see what it is like tomorrow.

20 December 2010

Day 20 Advent Blog.......Brrrr!!

Well blogging every day for advent hasn't really worked for me has it.  Not had much to write about really. 

It is so cold here in Liverpool today -6 degrees at the moment.  We had about 4 inches of snow last Friday night but it has turned to ice now.  Luckily I stocked up at the supermarket on Friday afternoon.  Hopefully it will thaw a bit later this week so I can venture out.

15 December 2010

Day 15 Advent Blog

I got a letter on Monday to say I've got the funding for 2010/2011 for 2 modules with OCA where I'm working towards a Textiles degree.  I've been given a Tuition fee grant plus a course grant for books etc.  I just have to pay £205 as a contribution towards the 2 modules I need to complete Level 1 of the degree which are Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas that I started in October and Understanding Art 1: Western Art that I hope to start sometime in 2011.

11 December 2010

Happy Birthday

It is my nephews 15th birthday today.  Where have the years gone to?  It only seems like yesterday I was holding him in my arms when he was a few weeks old and here is is taller than me.

Happy Joey hope you have a great day and see you at New Year.

10 December 2010

Arts Cuts

Well the government cuts are starting to bite in the Arts.  The Conservation Centre here in Liverpool will close next Friday.  They had a 15% cut in funding on top of 3.5% earlier this year so it isn't viable to keep it open to the public. 

08 December 2010

It was 30 years ago today.........

that the world was robbed of one of Liverpools' best known sons John Lennon in a senseless act of violence.  There will be a vigil down at Chervasse Park in Liverpool tonight hope everyone wraps up because the weather forcast says it will be bitterely cold.

I was looking for a video to include and found this.  I've never seen it before.

and of course one of his best known songs post Beatles.

07 December 2010

Day 7 Advent Blog

I can't believe that it is 6 weeks since my dear Mum passed away.  Life does go on and each day it is getting a bit easier for me.

I found this on Pebbledash's blog and I hope she doesn't mind me using it here.  I found the last 2 lines particularly moving.

A Pueblo Indian Prayer

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if I've gone away from you.

06 December 2010

Day 6 Advent Blog

Blimey the weather in the UK is throwing everything at us over the past few weeks isn't it.  Luckily we didn't have a lot of snow but last night we got fog.  Flights from John Lennon airport have been disrupted as the airport had to close, flights have been cancelled and diverted to other airports.

05 December 2010

Day 5 Advent Blog

Some of the lights in Liverpool City centre leading up to the Bluecoat Gallery.

04 December 2010

Day 4 Advent Blog

I took this photo down at Chervasse Park in Liverpool.

See Liverpool from a whole new angle this Christmas, 60 metres above the famous Liverpool skyline aboard a swinging chair ride.

Located on Chavasse Park, the ride opens on Wednesday, 10th November and is the only one of its kind in the UK.

Take a ride into the sky and experience the amazing views of the city whilst spinning at an exhilarating speed.

I felt sick just looking at it going up and spinning round, no wonder you could hear screams from those on it.

03 December 2010

Day 3 Advent Blog

I'm on my last assignment for OCA The Art of Photography.  I hope to put it in the post next week so that my tutor can get it back to me in the New Year so I will be spending the weekend working on printing the photos I've taken.  I've applied to have it assessed in March so all my work and log book has to be delivered to OCA in Barnsley by 15th February otherwise I'd have to wait until next August to get it assessed.

02 December 2010

Day 2......Brrh!!!!

I must be living in one of the few places in the UK that hasn't had a lot of snow.  We had a dusting of snow earlier in the week which is still a bit icy in places.

BUT it is so cold I feel like hibernating until spring.  I envy those with central heating.  I've got the gas fire on full blast, thick socks on, a jumper with a cardigan on top to keep warm.  I even resorted to putting the gas stove on so it warmed the kitchen up and through to the bathroom so I could get washed.  Takes me back to when I was a teenager when we huddled around a coal fire.  Thanks goodness I don't have to go down the backyard to the toilet like we did before the house had a bathroom put in.

Icy leaves taken earlier this year.

01 December 2010

Day 1 Advent Blog

I've been very lax at blogging over the past 6-9 months so Gina over at Fan My Flame has come up with the idea of blogging each day as a sort of Advent Calendar.  I'll give it a go, though I may not having anything very interesting to blog about I'll perhaps post some photos.

Well to start with I got my C & G certificate in the post from Sian today.  So I have officially passed Level 3 Certificate in Design and Craft - Stitched Textiles (Embroidery).

So this post isn't photo free here's a piece I did ages ago from a freebie by Carol McFee.

14 November 2010

We Will Remember....

I always make sure I get my poppy for each Remembrance Day but this year there is a bit more significance to my wearing of it.  I've been doing some research into my Family History.  Earlier this year I found a 2nd cousin on Genes Reunited who filled in a lot that I didn't know about my Dad's side of the family.  It turns out my great Grandfather was married twice.  He remarried in 1915 and they had a son John Henry born in 1920.  He was on board HMS Courageous one of the first U-boat offensives against the Royal Navy in WWII.

So this year I wear my poppy with pride in memory of my Great Uncle

John Henry Devonport
1920 - 17 September 1939

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

06 November 2010

Thank You

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my last post the kind thoughts where very much appreciated at what has been a very difficult time for me.

My brother and I laid my Mum to rest with my Dad on Thursday.  I know in my head that she is out of pain and at rest but there is such a large hole left in my life.

I don't have the enthusiasm to get back to my studies just yet but I know Mum wouldn't want me to give up on them.

26 October 2010

Sad news.......

My beloved Mum passed away early this morning.


The Dr's managed to treat the pneumonia but she had COPD and her lungs just gave up.    I know it  was a final journey she had to make but it was so hard for me.  I didn't want her to be alone so I stayed with her and she went peacefully.  God Bless Mum my best friend.

24 October 2010

I want one.............

.........but they are so expensive.  You may well ask what I want ......... my brother came to LFC home game this afternoon and brought my nephew with him and he stays with us for a few hours.  Anyway he is nearly 15 and just started on GCSE's, his school provide a MacBook for the next 2 years.  He promised to bring it with him last time he was here.  I can see why anyone that has an Apple recommends them. 

But at £849 they are out of my price range at the moment........I can but dream.

22 October 2010

Old Age

Getting old can be a bugger can't it.  My poor Mum has been in hospital since Monday with pneumonia again.  This is the 3rd time she's had it in less than a year.  I thought she wasn't too bad but I got a call at midnight monday/tuesday to say she had taken a turn for the worse so I was there all night.    The Dr wanted to speak to me when I got there today.  I could see she wasn't any better if anything worse.  The first lot of antibiotics weren't working so they've put her on a different mix.  She was very tired so wasn't breathing properly so her blood was getting full of carbon dioxide so they've moved her to Ventilation Inpatient Care and put her on the kind of mask and ventilator she was on last time.  I'm not a particularly religious person but I'm praying that it works as well as it did last time.

I wouldn't want her to be suffering or in pain and I know it is selfish of me but I don't know what I would do without my Mum, she is my best friend.  Get well soon Mum.

03 October 2010

Textile Degree

If you've been following this blog over the past few years you will know I have been studying with the Open College of Arts

The OCA was recently confirmed as an approved degree provider by Student Finance England, SF Northern Ireland and hopefully SF Wales so now degree student on low incomes may qualify for Government funding.

As I got funding for my OU course I am pretty sure I qualify so early in September I applied.  I got an email to say I would be officially enrolled on my degree course on 1st October and I should receive my 1st Module in the next week or two.

I am now officially a part time undergraduate studying for a degree in Textiles (when it is validated by their accrediting University).
Alongside the Textiles 1: A Creative Approach for which I received an A 76% I am planning to study
I hope anyone that is interested in joining me on my journey will follow my blog at OCA Creative Arts Journey

26 August 2010


Phew, by the skin of my teeth I've finished C & G Embroidery 7922. 

My C & G registration runs out on Saturday so I've been hard at work on my wall hanging so I wouldn't have to pay another 3 years registration. 

I've enjoyed my 3 years C & G and learnt a lot although I'm still not as adventurous as I could be but perhaps that is just my 'style'.

I could go on to do the Diploma but I've decided to go back to studying Textiles with The Open College of the Arts as each Module will be assessed and count towards their BA Hons Textiles degree when it is validated by their accrediting University which is Bucks New University hopefully some time next year.

27 May 2010

What a difference a week makes

This time last week I honestly thought I would be organizing a funeral.  But thankfully I was so wrong.  My Mum is well on the way to recovering.  They moved her out of critical care on Monday afternoon.  She's in a side room for now because she has an MRSA infection in her nose, it seems lots of us have this without knowing it.  She's very unsteady on her feet but I suppose you can expect that after 5 days in bed but hopefully she will get her strength back  soon. 

We had a laugh though when she said the pysio was teaching her how to breath, as if she hasn't been for the past 84 years.  But that was part of the problem I think she doesn't breath deeply enough into her lungs, it seems she doesn't breath out the carbon dioxide so it builds up in her lungs.

I hope they will let her home soon because this travelling up to the hospital each day is killing me.  I keep forgetting to take my blood pressure medicine and I think I'm anaemic again because I have to keep stopping every few yards because I'm out of breath.  I forgot to take my iron tablets for the past week so that hasn't helped.

21 May 2010

Not again

My poor Mum is in hospital again with pneumonia.  The past few days have been fraught.  Her breathing had got so bad I had to call an ambulance on Wednesday night and to be honest I didn't think we would make it to the hospital she was so bad they had the lights and sirens going all the way.  They took her straight into A & E but it was over half an hour before they could tell me how she was and of course I panicked when they took me into the relatives room I expected the worst.  They said she was very ill and when they took me through to see her I knew she was in a bad way.  The Dr from ICU said she had single organ shutdown and that if it spread to other organs they would only be able to make her comfortable. I freaked out when they asked what she would want doing if they had to resuscitate her.   I had to phone my brother to come over from York because they didn't think she would last the night.    They let us see here for a few minutes in ICU but there wasn't much we could do but go home, now I'm not an overly religious person but I did pray a lot that night.  My brother is a born again Christian so he'd asked his friends from church to pray for her.

We phoned next morning and they said she was still critical but talking to the staff so we went up to the hospital and they let us see here again for a few minutes and I can't believe the difference she was so much better.  They must have pumped her full of antibiotics to get the pneumonia under control.  She's still in ICU because they are waiting for a bed in the chest ward for her.  They've taken out all the needles that where stuck in her and reduced the oxygen she needs.

As my brother said earlier today 'The Power of Prayer', it is indeed miraculous.

NB  I've just looked up Aintree University Hospital (although we know it by its old name of Fazakerly Hospital)  and the Critical Care Unit is state of the art and the Chest ward (one of 3) she'll be going to is one of the largest in the country and many of the consultants are national or international experts so she is getting the best treatment possible.

04 April 2010

Tambour Beading

I’ve always wanted to know how to do this so I was chuffed when I found this YouTube video showing how it is done.  It looks easy once you’ve got the hang of it.

I want one

Have you see the new i pad that has just come out in the US.  It’s due out here at the end of the month.   I don’t usually go in for all the latest gadgets like some people but this does look as if it will be useful.  As I’m an OU student I’m eligible for a discount so I think I’ll be having a look at this when it arrives in the Apple store in Liverpool One.

Testing Windows Live

Purple Missus mentioned that she had tried using Windows Live.  I’d heard of it a while ago so thought I would try it.  I got a bit fed up with blogging because it was such a hassle but this is so much easier.

Colour harmony similar green blue2

21 March 2010


I've just got my first OU TMA back.  I can't believe how nervous I was to look.  Not as bad as I thought it would be 57 out of 100.  My tutor gave some very good comments and advice so I know what to do to get a higher mark in future.  I realized at the time that I hadn't written as much as I could have done, we had 1,000 words for the 2 parts but I only used 544 for the first part and 700 for the second.

If I got marks like this for the rest of the TMA's and the exam at the end I'd get a Pass 3 (C) which I'd be very pleased with.

19 March 2010


The landlord helped to clear the front room of rubbish for us last November.  It was so cold in there that we never used it (Mum said you could lay someone out in there) and it became a dumping ground, you know the sort of thing like an attic or box room and you say I'll just put this in there until I get rid of it and the next thing umpteen years have passed and it is full.

Well now I can get to the window that looks out on to the road and as it gets a lot of sun so I've decided to have a go at growing my own tomatoes.  I've been so fed up of buying tasteless one's in the supermarket.

I've put in 2 different kinds, Gardener's delight and one called Minibel a dwarf variety that you can grow on a windowsill.

12 March 2010


I've not posted anything since New Years day but I've been so busy with other things.  I've finished Module 4 of City and Guilds and started Module 5.  I'm still waiting for Assignment 2 to come back from my OCA tutor.

I mentioned I was starting an Open University course well to my immense relief and with 5 minutes to spare I've just submitted my first TMA (tutor marked assignment).  It is the first time I've ever had to write an essay of this sort so I'm a bit apprehensive about how I will have done.  To be honest I won't be too upset if I don't get a high mark, it would be nice but I'm really only doing it to learn more about Art history.

01 January 2010

Shopping in the Sales

I gave up going to the Boxing day sales because they never had anything I wanted but this year I made an exception. I bought a new bag earlier last year on a market stall for £5. I should have guessed it was false economy in the long run because it's started to split and I was getting so fed up of it slipping off my shoulder when I was out shopping. I've seen a lot of women with across body bags so I thought I'd go look for one last Monday.

When first got up it was foggy but by lunchtime it had cleared so I nipped to town and got this in the John Lewis clearance sale for £20 instead of £40.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
to all my blogging friends may you all find
love, creativity and peace.

I've written before that I don't make New Year resolutions then I can't break them but in 2010 I hope to do the following:-

Finish Module 5 and 6 of City and Guilds Embroidery before June otherwise I will have to pay another 3 years registration.

Finish OCA The Art of Photography so I can put in for Augusts assessment. I should get Assignment 2 in by the end of this month and 3,4 and 5 don't seem to have as much work to do so I should make it.

Start OCA 'Printmaking 1: Introduction to Printmaking'. I'm looking forward to this course. I can see how I can use it in Textile work as well as Fine Art.

I must be a glutton for work because I've enrolled on another Open University course. I have always been a doer i.e. using my hands, being artistic as apposed to using my brain (not that I don't) but I've never really been good at maths etc so I thought I would attempt something more cerebral.

I've never really been very good at expressing myself especially in written work - probably why I failed my O'level English exam so I hope I will be able to do this with 'Art and its Histories'. It should be an interesting challenge for this year.

Update 8th January, because I get certain benefits I've got the funding of £630 for this course so I've just finished registering and now await the arrival of the course material if they can deliver it through all the snow that is currently gripping the UK.