I have been busy with many things, orders which seem to be taking forever, Christmas bears and then there are the little dramas in the Chamberlain household which occur with some frequency.
But first the good things ....
A new little panda called Tiffany who is now winging her way to a new home in America. I was asked to repeat one of my bears made some time ago from Sassy smokey long pile. As I no longer have any of the very pretty purple I ordered a couple of pieces both of which are way too dark for the bear but I did manage to make up this little panda. When stuffing the head it split which meant cutting out and making up a entire new head. Stitching bears is a good lesson in patience. However, I must admit that I find some fabrics are a lot kinder to work with than others and the old Malden Mills long pile is still my favourite. It does not split no matter how hard you stuff the bear and also has a little stretch which makes for a nice shaped head. It is now very hard to source and when it it does appear on e-bay, usually in rather strange colours. The fable that this fabric was used to line coffins in Mexico is apparently untrue so there is no point in visiting Mexico to dig up graves!
What else have I been doing. I have managed to include some embroidery to break the monotony of orders. A pincushion all ready for its beaded edge and the scissor keep with the embroidery almost complete.
Close up of the embroidery
and finally a picture of my work in progress, Christmas bears, partially complete orders, a couple of reject elephants and my embarrassing attempt at making a miniature crochet bear. Less said about that the better!
The weather has been quite awful and I am sure you all aware of the heavy rains and flooding in the UK. We are surrounded by fields which look like lakes, the river in St Ives and Huntingdon has burst its banks and the wind has been blowing gales which means lots of raking up of leaves hence this picture, just to show that I have been working in the garden on a daily basis. As our garden refuse is collected bi-weekly trying to fit all the debris into one bin is proving somewhat of a problem.
We live in a rented house with a tiny downstairs toilet which has no heating and in winter has earned itself the title of the 'little chamber of horrors'. I have complained continually to the agents that the toilet has obviously been leaking for years and needs attention. It has been finally repaired but it meant a full week of only one functioning 'loo' in a house with four adults.
Sadly our little Henry hedgehog did not survive his many ailments and he is now buried in the garden. We do however have another little prickly patient as yet unnamed because it curls up in a tight ball and we have no idea what sex it is. Most probably he hates being injected with ongoing medication but so far he appears to be gaining weight and making progress.
And then there are the rodents in the garden. I am a nature lover and seeing a family of rats in the garden did not bother me too much initially. Mom, Dad and several babies which are now fully grown and causing problems as they chase the birds away and of course there is the ever present problem that rats do carry some rather unpleasant diseases. I spent a small fortune on the kinder alternative to the usual poisons as I am worried about birds or visiting hedgehogs. It does not appear to be working and after spending weeks removing an enormous hedge under which they have made numerous tunnels, they are still around and thriving. We have had to cut back on feeding the birds which with the severe weather is rather a pity. Think I will have to resort to the poison pellets after all.
Finally I have been battling for some months with extremely sore joints. My doctor pointed out that as I have psoriasis this can cause arthritis (of which I am well aware) but I am to have a blood test tomorrow prior to a consultation with a rheumatologist. Psoriasis is symptomatic of an over active immune system and one of the accepted treatments is to take medication to suppress the immune system, something on which I am not too keen. My ideas of holistic remedies are not viewed favourably in the UK but I will definitely be thinking very carefully about my choices.
And now back to work ...............
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson