Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A Greener, Healthier Lifestyle

Since being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and believe me it has taken nearly two years to get a proper diagnosis from the hospital, I have finally started taking medication which will hopefully make me feel better. Throughout the constant pain and hospital visits once thing has always been on my mind and Andrew my husband's mind, that we need to live a healthier lifestyle. Last year we embarked on a journey and besides my commitment to the Hand Embroidery Network we created our family blog CraftyFrugals.

CraftyFrugals is about how we are trying to live a greener lifestyle, one of the things that spurred us on was mine and Andrew's love of the BBC programme The Good Life! The Good Life follows Tom Good and wife Barbara on their hilarious journey to become self-sufficient!

On his 40th birthday to be precise, Tom Good decides that he's had enough of the rat race and that he and wife Barbara will become self-sufficient. The pair convert their garden into a farm, get in the pigs and chickens, grow their own crops and on one memorable occasion, try to dye their own wool with nettles. Tom and Barbara would just be lone loons were it not for their neighbours, the henpecked Jerry Leadbetter and wife Margot, a social climber who cannot bear chickens wandering the back garden. It was such a brilliant series and me and Andrew still watch all the re-runs.

On a serious side though, we are both concerned about the future of our children and what is happening to the planet for future generations. We are not going to turn into massive eco-warriors or anything! But what we have decided to do is stop eating frozen meals, cook everything from scratch, Andrew grows his own beer, I knit, sew and of course embroider and I am going to even try the nettle dying! We're going to recycle more and consciously try to save energy and reduce our carbon foot print so at least we feel that we are doing our bit to save our planet.

Ok so now what we have done is setup a CraftyFrugals ning site where we hope everyone who creates, makes, bakes, grows their own veg, brews their own beer (can't forget Andrew would kill me!) and generally tries to live a greener healthier lifestyle. I must be mad hey taking on another community but to be honest it's all about sharing ideas and resources and having fun!

I have to say we are a bit like Tom and Barbara as we have plenty of laughs along the way! We don't have a huge garden rather a tiny yard and believe me what we pack into such a tiny space you wouldn't believe! Just got to decide where we are putting the chickens! We are hoping that we can get a piece of land in Bacup to start a CraftyFrugals Community Garden and share the space with local people in Bacup. Fingers crossed we can do this as it would be so good for the kids and I would love to get out more as sometimes I am confined to the house as I am in agony! Well now I have wrote War and Peace if you would like to join the adventure the CraftyFrugals Community is

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

New Etsy Shop - ArtyThreads

I opened a new Etsy shop a while ago and have only just had time to work on it so that is what I have been doing this morning as well as my usual morning blog post over on the HEN Blog. I have called my shop ArtyThreads which was going to be the name of my blog as well but I thought I would rather have my name, save confusing people! I am in the middle of taking photographs and stocking the shop at present so you will have to keep checking back to see what is available (if you are interested of course!).

Yesterday I was at the hospital for yet another test, nothing to do with my arm which is now a lovely shade of purple and green! I am also at the hospital today for a blood test! I have certainly been doing my rounds of hospitals lately! Think I will take my embroidery this time as I was waiting nearly an hour last week!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Big Blue Bruise

the big blue bruise!

Well the weekend went by so quickly and not much stitching got done as myself and Andrew have been working hard on the Winter Wonderland exhibition for the Hand Embroidery Network. We had a few website technical problems namely it needed to be re-styled as things were everywhere and then yesterday morning I fell, I tripped over some toys and landed on my stitching arm! I have developed a huge bruise on the top of my arm and it is throbbing like hell! Plus I am aching all over! So it has not been a good weekend for embroidery! I ended up lying on the sofa browsing the Internet on my laptop left handed! I did find this cool link to a designer called Frederique Morrell who uses vintage needlework in an unusual way, you can check the link out on the HEN Blog. I thought they were pretty darn cool!

I'm hoping I can get on with some stitching today despite the arm as I am keen to finish the Lumbutts and Mankinholes postcard. I am going to be starting on some other embroidery tinted postcards and even some larger pieces about my family. I have had my mum dig out all our old family photographs especially those of me when I was younger as I want to develop these into a body of work about childhood and family. The domestic pest series is on hold for the mo, but I want to get back onto this at some point! I am just in love with old photographs and embroidery tinting at the moment and I have wanted to develop this theme further since I started the postcards last year. I just need to focus on one area and have a specific idea which at the moment seems to be childhood and family! I need to get some ideas down in my sketchbook and take it from there!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Embroidered Tinting

I think I'm almost there with the blog, just need a header graphic. I want something more simple and less cluttered just like I am trying to make my life I think more mellow! I have started the embroidery tinting on the Lumbutts and Mankinholes postcard as I said in my last post so I thought I would show a bit of a detail shot of the work so far. I tend to work really small and the stitches are tiny, so it could take me three or four days to complete or more depending on how much time I get to embroider over the weekend!

Blog Re-Design

I am having a blog and website re-design. It's that time of year when I feel I could do with a new look! I am currently finishing work on my Lumbutts and Mankinholes embroidery and then I am back onto my domestic pest series.

I got contacted by Channel 4 this week as well so some of my embroidery work is winging it's way to a location in Surrey for a tv show next week.