Sunday, 26 October 2014

Handmade Monday 191

Hello - welcome to Handmade Monday!

It's been a bit of a Christmassy week here (at least as far as creativity goes).    The Christmas pud is probably one of my favourite Christmas images, and another one is the robin!  These are designed to be repeat patterns, but they'd possibly work well as stand-alone images too - on a card, maybe.

Dad came home from the care home this week - wearing someone else's glasses and someone else's jumper.  There is clearly a difficulty with managing belongings when you have a group of people who don't recognise their own things.  He's due an optician's appointment, so we'll try and get that done this week because we have no idea where his own glasses are.  If he goes back into the care home, we'll know to label his glasses!  Up to now he seems OK at home, although he had started wandering out of the front door before I'd even unpacked his bag.  Right now, we're just seeing how things go.

 Guide dog puppy Quentin enjoying a nap!

I managed to make time to go to a talk at the Guide Dogs Training School.  It was focused on what is expected by the end of puppy walking - at around 14 months, puppies are taken into the centre for their "proper" training.  I've worried that Quentin might not make it on grounds of his over-excitement (he imagines everyone he meets is his new best friend) but apparently that's not one of their major concerns.  He still needs to calm down, but it is happening, albeit slowly.  He does have quiet times too...

Apparently the main reasons puppies get withdrawn are for being too nervous, too destructive, an inability to travel in cars or on buses, and - bizarrely - being too obedient is no good either.

hopefully, chewing his own bed isn't considered too destructive!

They are the only dog training school in the country that teaches a dog to disobey commands (completely necessary, when you think about it: the owner says "straight on" and there's a car coming - the ability of that dog to make decisions could be a life saver).  So a dog that can think for itself is good.  A little pulling on the lead isn't a bad thing, either - they need to lead the way.  Quentin could definitely lead the way to the field where he free runs!

In case you are worried about what happens to withdrawn puppies, there's no need: they can be used as buddy dogs for blind or partially-sighted children who may need a guide dog when they are older, or sometimes they can be retrained as other service dogs.  They also get offered as pet dogs (the puppy walker gets first refusal, but there's always a waiting list for them).  They always have a future somewhere.  Likewise, retired guide dogs are rehomed as pet dogs and there's a waiting list of people wanting to give them a home.

How has your week been? If you leave your link, we can visit you and find out!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Handmade Monday 190

Hello and welcome to Handmade Monday.

I still feel short of time, and the weeks are flying by so fast, but I feel a bit better about it this week.

One of the biggest guzzlers of my time is hand painting personalised gifts to order.  I do enjoy all the making, but it does kind of get in the way of doing other things and it's incredibly tying making pretty much everything to order (not to mention the packing and posting being so time consuming and slightly boring!)...

... so I've made a decision that in January I'll explore other avenues.  There's no way of doing it before January, because we are of course coming up to the busiest period of the year for gifts.  But just having made that decision makes me feel better!  It's going to have to be a very careful balancing act, because the painted gifts are my main source of income.

It's quite a short post from me this week - I'm off to visit Dad in his care home now.  He's only there for another week, and once he comes home we'll have to see how everyone manages.  The thing is, he's much safer in a more secure environment because he's most definitely a wanderer.

this tandem clock image was initially created for Dad
but this one was for a wedding present

The sad thing is, he's always trying to get somewhere that doesn't exist any more - not far away physically, but the place he want to be only exists somewhere in the 1930's - which unless we can conjure up a Tardis from somewhere, is never going to happen.  But wouldn't it be lovely if we could?

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Handmade Monday 189

Welcome to another Handmade Monday.

Maybe my blog readers have known this all along, but it's kind of crept up on me... maybe I've been in denial.  I'm realising that I really do have too much to do.  At the moment everything feels a bit overwhelming, but hopefully that feeling will subside a little in the coming weeks.

Dad going into respite care hasn't really freed up any time for me (although it has done for Mum and that's really good) especially as he had a seizure last Wednesday and we spent about 7 hours in A&E with him.  I've read up a lot on Alzheimer's but I had no idea that it can lead to seizures.  I'm glad it happened in the care home and not with Mum, as I'm sure it would have been scary for her to witness his first seizure.

I've managed to carve out a little time for art licensing work, but not as much as I'd have liked.  I'm enjoying the textured backgrounds and looking at all sorts of things with a view to scanning it to create a background!  Fabrics are great, but of course many fabrics can't be used because of copyright issues.

Quentin has been doing the shops this week.  While we were shopping, we met a gorgeous yellow labrador helping with a Guide Dogs fundraising collection.  She was so calm compared to Quentin, but at five years old I guess she should be.  Apparently she qualified and became a working guide dog, but was withdrawn after regularly stealing her owner's underwear from where they were drying on the radiators!  It's the kind of thing I can imagine Quentin doing, unfortunately (especially if he thinks nobody is looking).

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Handmade Monday 188

Welcome to Handmade Monday.

I've been playing around with scanning fabric to incorporate into images again - this time with Christmas in mind...

Creativity has been a bit of an escape in an otherwise busy and quite stressful week - moving Dad into respite care so Mum gets a bit of time to herself was met with mixed feelings all round. Dad, however, is blissfully unaware of the situation, which is something to be thankful for.  Alzheimer's doesn't give you much to be thankful for so you need to take it when you can.

He's booked in for three weeks, which gives us all a little breathing space and hopefully gives Mum the opportunity to make friends and attend some social activities at her retirement complex.  The care team there will get a break too from constantly rounding him up and taking him home!

Quentin, meanwhile, is busy doing all the things that Guide Dog puppies do - and some things he shouldn't be doing, too.  He has layers of blankets and quilts in his bed and - yet again! - he's worked hard on de-stuffing the comfiest one (will he ever learn?).  Sadly, my sewing machine needs attention, so the re-stuffing and reinforcing that needs doing will have to wait - a less comfy bed for the next few days awaits him!

But maybe he doesn't mind at all - he looks surprisingly comfy on the hard floor at times!

Hope your week has been a good one.  Join in with Handmade Monday to share your news and makes with us.