Monday, 11 September 2017

Walking the Long Path

Hello all, I'm back again with all kinds of updates to share. There's been so much going on lately, it's hard to judge where to start!

I finished with the District Nurses on Friday, where I was gifted with an enormous bunch of flowers and a lovely card. I was sad to leave the team, but they're actually all being disbanded in a huge company reshuffle, so it wouldn't have been the same anyways. I started with the Community Discharge team today, and I think my first day went well. They seem like a very nice group of people and the work is slightly more challenging (which is a good thing!) and it's close to Lawrence's work, so some days, we can walk to and from work together :) I think I'm going to be perfectly happy with my new team.

I had my consultant appointment at the hospital last week and I will be having surgery for my endometriosis. I thought this was likely, and I'm glad in a way, because although operations are scary (and this will be my first), it should reduce my overall pain. I'm still waiting on a phone call to confirm dates, but fingers crossed it will be in the next couple of months. I know I'm at the start of a very long path, but I'm not walking it alone. The surgery I'm penciled in for has a two week recovery time, so if my upper body is up to it, that's plenty of uninterrupted stitching time! 

Talking of stitching, I've made progress on one of my projects, and not put a stitch in the other since my last post. I think I'll have to change that soon. Anyways, here's where I'm up to on Sewing Machine:


I absolutely love the colours in this design and I'm really enjoying every stitch. I love Cook's Measurements too, so I really should be showing it some love! Here's a picture just for the sake of it :)


My 123stitch order arrived last week, so I've got all of the threads now to finish both of these pieces. There's no stopping my needle now! 
I hope you're all well and keeping safe from the horrendous hurricanes. My thoughts are with you all, I can't imagine how scary it must be. 
Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx



Monday, 4 September 2017

One Finish, Two Starts

I've been having a bit of a tough time of late with endo, but the silver lining is it means more stitching time! I had a mammoth session last week and managed to finish Cocktails:


I'm going to tuck this away with the companion piece, Teacups, and keep an eye out for suitable frames in the charity shops. Then when we move, I can get them both framed up and on display in my kitchen. 

I couldn't wait to start another project, so much so that I ended up starting two! These pieces are both from the same magazine, CrossStitcher Issue 321. The first one is this gorgeous Sewing Machine project, but I'm just stitching the main top half. Here's where I'm up to so far:


And the other piece further along in the mag is called Cook's Notes. I'm going to have a kitchen covered in cross stitch by the time I'm finished! Here's my progress on that one:


I'm quite enjoying having a couple of projects on the go, I haven't done that in so long. I'm thinking I would like to start another large design again, maybe something like Farmhouse, but I haven't seen one yet that I'd be willing to spend months and months stitching on! 
I haven't got all the thread colours for my two latest starts, but my 123stitch order should be arriving this week. I'm so excited! I've got heaps of stickers coming my way for my latest scrap book idea, as well as plenty of threads and maybe a sneaky chart or two that jumped in the basket as well. 

It's my last full week with the District Nurses this week, then I start my new job on Monday. September is a busy month for me, I hope you've all got wonderful plans for the start of Autumn too.

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx






Friday, 25 August 2017

At last, some stitching!

Thank you for bearing with me as I caught up with my own time line in the last couple of posts. It looks like I'll be writing a bit more about my travelling adventures, thank you so much for your kind comments about it.

But now I've finally got the post you (and I!) have been waiting for - a stitching update! I haven't got much I'm afraid, because I've only recently got back into stitching. But I do have a finish and a WIP to share.

First up is "A Nice Cup of Tea" which was featured in Issue 275 of CrossStitcher. I had just started it on this previous blog post, but I was finding the fabric frustrating, so when I picked it up again, I restarted the design on aida and sailed through it. I really loved completing each section, I think that's a trait of many of the designs I choose to stitch. I'm hoping to get this one framed soon.


When I was browsing through my collection of magazines, I found a companion piece to "A Nice Cup of Tea" and couldn't wait to stitch it. This is "Cocktail Hour", my current WIP, which is so close to being finished. 
Only two more drinks to stitch, and the second header piece and it will be done. I think it would be great to get matching frames for these two and then have them hanging side by side in my kitchen. 

I've so enjoyed catching up with my blog reading. I must admit, I haven't read every single post since I've been away, but I have read a couple of months back. I've found a couple of new blogs to follow, but I'm always on the look out for more, so feel free to leave your blog link in the comments and I'll be sure to check it out :)

I hope the next time I post, I'll be able to share a finish of "Cocktail Hour" and maybe a preview of what I'm hoping to stitch up next. 

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Endometriosis and Me

I've shared a lot on this blog. I've done posts on holidays, family losses, weddings, graduation and everything in between. So it would be remiss of me not to mention a key part of my life at the moment and one of the reasons that's led me back to cross stitching.


One of my bunches of beautiful Get Well Soon Flowers - I love lilies!

I started getting pains in my hips and tummy in June 2017. In the following few weeks, I went to the nurse and then I went to the doctor and then I had one evening where I was in too much pain to walk. The next day, I had an urgent visit to the GP and left in an ambulance to go to the hospital. I have never been more frightened, I didn't know what they were going to find. After hours in the hospital, many tests and a scan, a consultant came to speak to me. She thought I had endometriosis. She told me to keep a pain diary, keep up with my medication and she'll see me in a couple of months time. 

My necessities during a flare up

I'm sure many of you know about endometriosis and may even unfortunately suffer from it yourself. For those unsure, let me tell you, it's hideous. It's not just period pain, like some naive doctors would have you believe. The endometrial tissues grows outside of where it's supposed to which causes very intense pain around your pelvic area and stomach. You get cramps, headaches, tummy ache, dizziness, drowsiness and you want to cry all the time. This happens for a whole week out of every month. Endo can also effect fertility rates and can have an impact on other organs.

As much as I try to stay positive, having investigations for this lifelong condition really threw me and I'm still struggling with it now. One thing that's really helped me on my bad days is cross stitching. Although I have to keep the lower half of my body still, I'm free to use my hands and arms as I please, so I can at least cross stitch! I'm working more on aida than ever before, because my concentration suffers as a side effect from taking medication. Still, it means I can stitch for longer because I'm not squinting at linen!It's incredibly relaxing, as it always has been for me, but now it has an additional benefit. I'm normally so active and busy that I hate being made to stay still by the pain. It makes me feel a bit useless and a burden. But at least with my cross stitch, I feel like I'm doing something productive and I've got something to show for my days on the sofa. I can't just laze about, feeling sorry for myself, not when there are stitches to be crossed! It's really helping to calm me during this uncertain point in my life. 

I hope I haven't overshared in this post, but I thought it was important to be open and honest about what's going on in my life lately. I know cross stitching has been healing for so many people, so I'm hoping it will have the same magic effect on me :)

Best wishes,

Bekca
xxx



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Timeline

Just for the sake of continuation, I thought I would do a post about what's been happening since I last checked in. So, on my last blog post before my revival, I was living in Southampton with Lawrence in our studio apartment. We stayed there until December 2015, both working and saving our money. We spent the festive season with our families and on January 10th 2016, we left on an epic adventure!

Yours truly at Hobbiton in New Zealand

We spent six months travelling the world and it was honestly the best time of my life. We started in New Zealand, then Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, back into Thailand and finally Sri Lanka. I can do a more detailed post about travelling if you like? Let me know in the comments!

On safari in Sri Lanka


We were back in the UK at the start of July 2016. After a couple of joyous weeks visiting family and friends, we knuckled down and started job hunting. I really enjoyed the cities we visited whilst travelling, so I knew I wanted to move to a city, but one that I hadn't lived in before and not London (too busy, too expensive). We chose Bristol because we read good things and it is a good distance between both of our families. Picking a city was the easy part, finding a job was not easy. I found this time in my life quite challenging, because all we seemed to be getting was rejections or nothing back at all. Still, we perservered, and tried to make ourselves useful whilst we were living with Lawrence's family!

Eventually, Lawrence got a job in marketing and I got a position working as an admin for District Nurses. It was for a year for maternity cover, which is about to end, so I'm moving on to another NHS admin role, which I'm really looking forward to. When I was job hunting, I was looking for a job that would help people, not just about making money for my employer. I definitely feel like I have that satisfaction in my current job, and probably in my next one too. 

So, we've been loving life in Bristol since October 2016. I'm very pleased to say that I'm still in a wonderful relationship with Lawrence, we'll have been together seven years this October. We've just signed up for another year in our flat and we're currently saving up to buy our own place in the future. I've recently been having a few health issues that I would like to discuss in a future post, but I think I've rabbited on enough for now! 

I hope you've enjoyed my little catch up session - now it's your turn! Tell me all about the exciting things that been happening in your lives, weddings, new births, new pets, I want to hear about anything and everything :)

Best wishes,

Bekca

xxx




Monday, 21 August 2017

Reviving the Stitching Lion

I was stitching the other day, calmly passing needle through fabric and I remembered my dear little blog and how much time I invested in it. I had a long break from stitching and blogging for a long time, but recent developments have led me back to stitching and I'm loving it!

I'm hoping to do a few posts this week to fill in the gaps, seeing as I last posted in 2015. I'm even hoping to get a few pictures in too, including my latest WIPs and maybe a couple of recent finishes.

How are you all? I'm truly looking forward to immersing myself in my stitching and posting all about my progress. I'm going to spend some time clearing through my blog reading list to update it, so please recommend any new blogs that I need to be following.

I can't believe I was 17 when I started this blog, and I'm now 24. Goodness, how time flies.

Best wishes,

Bekca

xxx

Friday, 31 July 2015

Tea and Stitching

Hello friends, how are you all? This is my second day off in a row from work, so I got all the boring jobs and chores done yesterday. Now I have time to blog read to my heart's content, as well as settle down to some stitching time with a film later :)

I recently went charity shop shopping with a good friend from University. We browsed the book sections but weren't having much luck. Just as we were leaving our final stop, I spotted a box filled with crafting magazines. Lo and behold, there were cross stitching ones! They were from 2014 and 2015 - who could ever donate new magazines?! There was no price tag but the assistant told us she would sell them 3 for £1. Can't argue with that!


I came home with six practically brand new magazines for £2. They were minus the free gifts that normally accompanying them, but I still think it was extremely good value. I browsed them all for hours before finally choosing a new design to start.


My mornings don't really start until I've had a cup of tea, so this piece really spoke to me. I'm stitching over one, which is quite hard going. I rushed into getting started, and to be honest, should have spent more time considering my fabric choice, but oh hum, I've started so I'll finish. If I'm able to, I'm going to make a Sew and So order soon to buy the correct threads. I'm sure a few other things will sneak into my basket too! 
I've got several pieces that are so close to be finish, but just need tricky backstitching on them. I will get round to it, but it's not as appealing as a fresh start. I'm sure you know the feeling :)
Wishing you all a lovely weekend,
 

PS The next post will be my 250th! I think it's high time I did something special. I think I better start rustling up a giveaway prize . . .