Sunday, 29 August 2010

Handmade Quilts to Support Children with Cancer

As the curator of the McEtsy blog, I have had an event brought to my attention that I think deserves a mention. Michelle of Rubarb & Ginger, has made a commitment to help children with cancer by making quilts. Individual, customised quilts will be made for children at Ninewells hospital plus extra quilts will be sold to raise funds for CLIC Sargent.

Michelle has asked anyone who has spare fabric (or suitable craft materials) that they would be willing to donate or anyone who would like to help make squares for the quilts to please get in touch. You can check out the latest news about the event on the Rubarb & Ginger blog.

I think this is a really worthwhile endeavor and want encourage anyone who can offer their support to contact Michelle.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Not For the Fainthearted

I recently managed to get registered with an NHS dentist, after being without for 5 years. The dentist assured me that my teeth were fine, but I would need to visit the hygienist after such a long break. Today was the day and I'm sure you'll be quite relieved to discover there are no photos accompanying this blog post.

As I lay back in the chair, I was advised that the water syringe could be a little cold and if I wanted a break I could raise my hand. I can handle cold, I thought, I like the cold. What I got was an experimental form of water torture. It may be called a water syringe (although I wouldn't trust my memory on this) but it feels like a pneumatic drill. Firstly my face started to spasm, but I closed my eyes and concentrated on breathing calmly through my nose. As the pain increased I tried to calculate how much of my mouth there was left to do and if I could make it all the way through without biting the hygienist's hand off. I was afraid if I asked her to stop I wouldn't be able to let her begin again, so I lay there clenching my hands over my stomach and trying desperately to keep my mouth open wide enough for her to actually finish the job.

Finally she stopped and asked if I was fine. I gargled unintelligibly. The hygienist correctly interpreted this to mean I needed to rinse and spit before I could manage human speech. I was concerned at this point that I was on a compassionate break, due to all the face twitching, and I was going to have to lie back for more. Relieved to find this was not the case, I discovered that now it was time to have miniature bottle brushes forced between my teeth. In comparison to what had gone before, this was almost pleasant, even if not painless. After testing a couple of sizes, the hygienist informed me that the brushes should fit when the swelling had gone down and not to worry about bleeding for the next 7-10 days.

Thinking that my ordeal was over, I started to relax, only to be cheerfully informed that I'd had a general clean and that next week she'll be going under the gums. As I sit here, hours later, nursing an aching jaw, I wonder if it's feasible to give up eating and drinking altogether so I don't have to go back.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sew, Sew, Sew Your Tote

First up on the list of sewing jobs must be the tote bags I've had cut out ready to put together since the beginning of the year. And that brings me to a good tip if ever I had one (although I admit I don't remember if it was my idea or if I borrowed it from someone else): hang onto those heavy duty plastic covers that sheets and duvet sets come in and use them to store your sewing projects. I even included thread and buttons in a couple of the bags (how organised am I?).

I'm looking forward to finally seeing these completed, mostly as an excuse to start cutting fabric for new projects. Fortunately this should only take me a day or two (allowing for the spate of interruptions I can guarantee will occur as soon as I switch the machine on) as you can also see my pile of men's shirts awaiting transformation in the background.

This is what the finished article should look like, and this design is fairly simple to put together. If I'm very organised I'll have my camera ready when I'm putting these new ones together so I can post a tutorial sometime in the near future.