That’s me ! And that’s why I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks – I have been in hospital having a total knee replacement. I wasn’t expecting it to be a walk in the park (if only I could !), but boy, has it been painful ! Anyway, I am now walking with two sticks and managing to do most things apart from sleep. I haven’t had more than a couple of hours consecutive sleep for three weeks now – good job I was already used to getting very little sleep I suppose. I haven’t really been out, so I’m getting plenty of stitching and reading done, so that’s a plus – the only one ! Right, enough moaning, let’s have a look at what I was getting up to before the op. So, I had a day out in Nottingham at the Museum of Computer Games ( yes, it really does exist !). Mark, my friend who I help care for, wanted to go there, but thankfully Tom came along to help as Mark was shocked when I didn’t even know how to play Tetris ! The group who are making the piece of work for the New Library still meet once a week at my studio. The piece we have been working on for over 2 years now is almost complete – I won’t put any pictures on here until the launch, although here’s a little sneak preview of some of the people involved in making it …. ….. I’ve just finished making Beckie too, complete with a plate of chocolate roulade ! So, the group are now able to start other projects for the first time in a while ! Kev came for the day to teach us ‘Print and Stitch’ …. Over at the Fabbadashery I ran a day teaching my Goldwork Christmas Tree. This is a lovely course – it is ideal for beginners as you are able to learn lots of different techniques, and also for those with more experience as it allows for creativity in the design and execution. Lots of trees ! Almost a forest ! I have also received an email from Em who attended the Stumpwork Flower course, sending me a photo of her beautiful completed flower …. … gorgeous colour ! Joan came over from Holmfirth, and Karen all the way from Shropshire, to learn how to make applique pictures. We also worked using stitch on top of a photo printed onto fabric. Joan also completed a fabulous bag she had started at a previous session, rug hooking with strips of velvet …. I held another applique day for another regular group of girls, this time the theme was Christmas ….. Janet and Justine came to the studio for a day of hand-stitching/machine-stitching/rag-rugging ! Janet started working on a hooked design of an Indian elephant … This design allows lots of scope for using bright and glitzy fabrics, and possibly adding tassels and some shisha glass embroidery on top of the hooking. Justine made a lovely cushion out of my Yorkshire wool fabrics ….. She also started work on a Jacobean crewelwork design. She brought with her some of the pieces she has been working on at home, they are just stunning ! …. I had a lovely day with Lindsay and Mary at the studio. They wanted to learn how to do ‘Wool on Wool Applique’, and to use it to decorate a hessian bag. The finished results were fabulous – I think I’ll run a day course on this next year. Some lucky people will be getting these in their Christmas stockings ! So, to a course I have been looking forward to running all year – Rag Dolls !! The course booked up before we even advertised it, so there is another one planned for the new year (contact The Fabbadashery). I love dolls and have far too many of them for a grown-up. Some are made by me, some by my Mum, and others from a variety of sources. The doll we made for this course was completely hand-stitched, but as you will see from the pictures they were completed within the six hour session. … aren’t they just gorgeous ?! So, the final session I managed to squeeze in before my knee job was a felt Christmas decoration day with Mel and her crew from Hull. As usual, they managed to achieve a lot in the course of the day ! And finally, just to make you envious, here is a picture of one of Beckie’s plum frangipane tarts which she made for this course – she does all the cooking for the sessions at the studio, clever girl !