Time on my hands

So I'd forgotten, or tried to blank out, how useless you can feel post operation. Such a lack of energy, both physical and mental, can really get you down but I had the advantage of being prepared (ie it wasn't emergency surgery) so I could have a few projects ready to keep me occupied.
The first few weeks I basically sat on the sofa feeling a little bit sorry for myself and really not being able to focus on anything but wanted to do something with my hands. I can't just sit and watch TV, it's just not what I do, I get too restless. Don't get me wrong I LOVE watching TV but I always need to be doing something. And so I got some balls of wool and started to crochet.

I started with a cover for part of my sofa. That took me the first week.....
I then decided to make something for someone for Christmas and managed to make this during the second week:

Yep you read that right, I did this in a week. As mentioned before I was basically sitting on the sofa for most of the day except for going for my walk every day (part of the recovery programme) and crocheting is so therapeutic. And I felt as if I wasn't wasting time. I was able to do something despite being so feeble...

Week three and Christmas was starting to rear it's ugly head and I hadn't actually finished making my Christmas cards. If you don't know me I make my cards every year, have done for nearly 20 years now and I tend to send over 100. Luckily I had prepared a lot of the elements so it was just a case of putting them together so here is a selection of this year's cards:


Toward the end of week three my mental 'fuzziness' was improving so I ventured into cross stitch. Yet another of my favourites which I find so calming but you really need to be able to focus on the pattern so I started with something small which was a lavender bag for an old family friend:
I then also had to finish something that I was doing for my cousin to give to a friend. I had done everything before the op except about 3 hours worth of work but couldn't focus until quite late on in order to finish it:
and also finish something I plan to give to OH for Christmas. Was originally for his birthday but I ran out of time. Can you guess who he supports.... Yes I'm a football widow.

I also wanted to design a card which didn't involve stamps as the main focus and came up with this:
And I have also been wanting to design something in felt for the Christmas tree. It's basic but I really enjoyed making it and was quite chuffed that it was an original design of my own rather than copied from a book:

So that it was I've been up to for the past week. My op was on 19th November and here we are on 19th December so am very pleased to have created so much despite sleeping alot!

Finally while taking photos for this post I was inspired by my embroidery threads ready for the next project. Hope you like!


Crafty Fox Christmas Market

Ah it was that time of year again when the Crafty Fox Market was in town. I just love this market which is so local  to me and is full of crafty goodness and inspiration. I'm also lucky enough to be involved in a very small way by taking photos for the organisers which I love doing! However as I was still recovering from my op my energy levels were quite low so was only able to take photos on the Saturday but managed to get down on the Sunday as well even though I was utterly exhausted! The thought of getting down to the fair was one of the things which kept me going after the op, something to really look forward to!

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the Saturday:

 Butterscotch and Beesting - still kicking myself for not buying some of their circus tape but they had too many people around their stall and I then forgot to go back (I'm claiming op brain....)
 Stuffed Nonsense - this year I treated myself to a Weirdy Beardy cushion (below). Above is a Grizzly Geoff - was a tough choice as to whether get Geoff or the cushion - they have too many great things!
This is the cushion pride of place on the sofa next to my fabulous Nikki McWilliams cushion
Tomoko Hori Jewellery - I think this is my favourite picture from the day
Lil3birdy - one of my favourite Christmas cards of the day
Hope and Eden which always make me smile
One of this year's sponsors was Mollie Makes which is my favourite crafty mag for a long, long time and I was delighted to see that they've used a few of my images on their blog which was the icing on the cake.
If you haven't heard of the Crafty Fox before I would highly recommend that you join their mailing list so you can keep posted when the next fair will be. Did I mention that there was also tea and lots of workshops to keep you entertained. Roll on the next fair.

Post op

Well it's been a while since I last posted as I've been recovering from the op which was in late November. I was lucky, it was keyhole which involves much less pain which is a relief. But I've only had the concentration to write this week. So while I've been sat on the sofa watching DVDs and making things (will post soon) my energy levels, both physical and mental, took a while to come back on board.

People ask me if I feel anything, presumably empty or some such thing but I can honestly say no. Getting used to the HRT patches which make me feel old before my time is a little odd but apart from that everything is fine.  I'm just looking forward to full energy returning and not having to have a nap in the afternoon.

Below are the pics I took whilst in hospital which had a great view over the river. The portrait is me on morphine which makes me smile.

King's Cross transformations

It was a gloriously sunny day today so OH and I headed for the not so obvious King's Cross Station. There has been building work here for what seems a life time. They certainly seemed to start on work when I was in my last job which was nearly 11 years ago. But King's Cross station has had a make over so it's starting to no longer look like the poorer next door neighbour to the sparkling St Pancras.
It was unrecognisable though we did come through a side entrance
Did remind me of the Great Court at the British Museum mind as you can see in this close up
But surely they're missing a trick - how on earth is Harry and co going to get Hogwarts without signage to platform 9 3/4, serious oversight!
Anyway we wandered above ground to where the new Central Saint Martin's College campus is located via a lovely avenue of trees holding on to the very last of their leaves

When we got there we were mesmerised by the fountains which were full of quite damp children (who will no doubt now have caught a chill) but the performance the fountains gave was amazing though difficult to capture

Though hopefully you get the idea.....
We then walked along the canal which was gorgeous in the golden hour (just as the sun was fading).
But is such a great mixture of ye olde worlde with the canal boats but still very urban with trains going by every few minutes including Eurostar which we took to Brussels.
At the end of the canal we stopped off at the St Pancras Church which I love. This is right next to the railway and dates back to the 14th Century. To make way for the railway they had to clear a large part of the graveyard but as a minder have piled the gravestones around a tree. I always find it strangely magical and / or moving.
Finally the greatest part of today was the weather and autumn. I can't tell you how much I love Autumn with the changing colours and light. The problem with Autumn are all the leaves that fall and what to do with them once they're on the ground. Camden Council were power jetting the leaves in to the road to be sucked up by the street cleaner. It certainly made for interesting pictures!

And so there we have it, final day out before going into hospital tomorrow for my operation. Starting to get a little nervous now but will be glad when it's over and done with! Hopefully it won't be too long until I blog again but apologies in advance if there is radio silence for a little while. I hope to be tweeting if you follow me @akamarthaloves otherwise will be in touch soon

Crafty update

Blimey I haven't blogged about craft projects for ages. Part of the reason is because I was so busy out and about over the Summer and also health problems (see previous blog post). But also I have been busy for months doing a commission for my cousin who's friend has had twins. Blimey twins - just my luck!! Anyway here is the first piece I did:

I've nearly finished the second, slightly longer piece which I will blog about soon (promise) but it has taken a very long time - I'd forgotten how slow cross stitch can be but it has been very therapeutic.
It was also Erin, my honorary niece's 18th. Not quite sure how she got so old so quickly (I first met her when she was 9 and time seems to have flown) but felt I needed to do something special. Can you guess it's my own design...
And here is OH's birthday card (not an original design as you can possibly tell)
And finally I realised that I haven't shown  you the card I did for my mum and dad's 50th wedding anniversary which was back in July. Again not original design but I enjoyed doing them both. More to follow soon I hope!

Forthcoming Operation

You may recall that back in March I had a sudden trip  to the hospital via ambulance and had to have emergency surgery to remove a cyst on my ovary. This was the third operation having had another cyst on the other ovary and a also rather large fibroid.

During  the last operation they spotted more fibroids and turns out that they are growing (though luckily not as big as the first set) and since the op I've been suffering from very bad PMT. So I finally plucked up the courage to go and see the wonderful Mr Bidmead who removed the first set of fibroids and decided that enough was enough. There are only so many operations a girl can take, especially in the same region and came to the decision to opt for the full hysterectomy. Now this may seem drastic, and indeed a few of my female friends seem to disapprove of my decision but my quality of life at the moment is being effected as at least 2 out 4 weeks when I am not feeling at my best to say the least, and many aspects of the PMT can be pretty bad, especially the angry and bloaty parts!

But then I feel guilty that I can be so flippant in some respects about the whole thing and that it is my choice. My attitude is that I have never wanted kids and so why hold onto equipment that is surplus to requirements for sentimental reasons. But there are other people for whom it's not a choice and they desperately want kids and this is when I feel guilty.

Then again I have to do what is right for me and my body. If I didn't have the op there is a very strong possibility that I will get another cyst and believe me they hurt like hell when they twist (though the bloke in A&E didn't seem to think it should have hurt that much - typical!). I'm going straight onto HRT after the operation and I'm still trying to work out if this will finally make me feel like a grown up. Nearly 40 and I still feel like I'm a teenager...

Anyway I have one more week to go before the big op. I know I normally write about things I've done with lots of pictures but thought I should blog my feelings about this before I go in. No doubt I will blog afterwards as well. I have at least six weeks to recuperate and OH is coming to look after me for the first week at least. I have a huge pile of DVD box sets and craft projects to tackle (or finish) to keep me going so in a way I'm looking forward to it. And to be honest it will be such a relief once I've had the operation and hopefully 2013 will be a healthy year for me (as well as a crafty one).

Anyway sorry to possibly be on a downer. To cheer you up here is a picture of lovely autumn leaves - you gotta love autumn!