Later January

My blood pressure is averaging 170/100 with the tablets so still needs a bit of tweaking. I guess it’s something I will now have to live with and monitor. Not sure when I can add proper exercise in again but hopefully soon! Thank you for the kind comments and messages, you’re a lovely supporting group!

Many years ago I made this little pincushion for my desk but it had one problem, the needles would disappear as it was so deep. Even the long Sashiko ones were tiddly. You wouldn’t know from the left photo that there were all those pins and needles in the middle photo in it. I took them all out carefully, unstuck the velvet from the cup, and found a few more needles in the stuffing, then put in a stiff piece of card about an inch down from the top with hot glue. After I’d replaced the velvet my needles don’t lose themselves in the depths of the stuffing now. Sorted!

Over the years I’ve done a few of the usual New Year challenges, Art for a month, 100 day, daily, weekly etc, well I’ve decided to be a bit more relaxed about it all and just do something with an aim once a month. So, I took all these rolls of felt out of the cupboard.

Sorted 12 I liked and trimmed them to 15cm. I have one for each month which I will put back to back for 6 pages and make into a little book of the year. The idea is just to do something that was prompted within the month whether it an image, something found or felt, just sample stitches, applique, whatever speaks to me of needing to be in this little book.

Last weekend Gwyn started her new scent work class and as we were driving home we passed the River Stour at Sturminster Newton. As we waited at the traffic lights I saw a head pop up, look around and dive heading up stream, a lovely otter. So that is what I did for my first page of January.

I put him in the swirling waters which were very high and totally brown as there’s been so much rain. If you would like to join in just using the hashtag #monthlymeaningfulmake on Instagram (I’m Amo107) and/or FB please do. It doesn’t matter if it’s knit a block, stitch a page or sculpt a figurine, it’s just a little something for each month this year. No pressure for 100 days etc.

If you like the challenge of a bit more though Karen of Stitching Life is making another year of stitch which was such a success last year. She has a lively group on FB for it too.

In December 2021 I started doing virtual walking challenges. I had already done a few real walks for charity like the Test Valley Way, Stars Appeal for Salisbury Hospital and the New Forest Challenge. The virtual ones were to keep me going with a focus. I actually started with the 33.8 km of the English Channel which I did in miles on my rowing machine as well as real walking. I then followed that with finishing 148.8 km of Hadrian’s Wall in the January. I also started the year long challenge of walking 2022 km for 2022. In February I completed the 200 km Ring of Kerry. This one was followed by The North Coast 500 (miles) which is actually 805.46 km finished in June. I then added the Lands end to John O’Groats which I have done 1357 km of the 1744 km up until now. I feels wrong going up country doing LEJOG when most walk down it for JOGLE but there wasn’t that option.

I completed the year challenge of 2022 km on 4th October, the day Chris went missing. A bittersweet challenge as the medal itself arrived in the post on the day of his funeral too. He was the only person other than John who knew I was doing these challenges etc. He would be excited for me when I was nearing the end or had just received a medal and would call up and want to know what I’d been doing for them. Well you lot know as well now.

These were all kilometres I clocked up myself when out walking, including golf but we had brought home Gwyn in the February and had to wait a while before she could come out on proper walks with me. As soon as she could I decided she could do her own medal as she obviously doesn’t come golfing with me! Each walk I specifically take her on was added to her total so she managed to walk the Camino de Santiago (773km) by 26th December. What She actually does on her zooms is probably more like 5 or 6 times that in reality though!

Whilst I’m finishing off LEJOG when I can she’s slowly making her way around Ring Road of Iceland now. I’m not sure when I can add any significant miles in the near future as I’m under instructions to rest still but I’m hoping it won’t be long!

In the meantime I have put together some of my rust prints, eco and ice dyed bits to make headway on something that’s been on the backburner for a while! Shouldn’t be too long in the making but I’m enjoying the soothing therapy of the hand stitch.

Some days the cleaning of pots for recycling doesn’t go quite to plan!

Have a lovely week ahead.

21 thoughts on “Later January

  1. Your idea for the pin cushion is good. I have a couple of pincushion I have been given and I do find that the pins push right down without me wanting them to. Of course you can’t actually lose pins.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was completely unaware of how one might get medals for distance walking … what an intriguing idea

    and I confess to using the arm of my overstuffed rocker as my pin and needle holder … which is why I warn newcomers to our home to avoid sitting there! …

    the Facebook group around Karen’s Stitching Life daily practice is wonderfully active … though I’m not doing the challenge myself, it’s been fascinating to see what she has inspired

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are many of them in the States like Yellowstone, Niagara, Florida Keys. Many have street views too so you sort of travel vicariously.
      Karen’s second reincarnation has worked fabulously for her and I’m so pleased she’s enjoying where she’s going now.


  3. Lovely idea for a monthly project and it gives you a bit more space to be productive around it if you want to. I adore the otter – you have captured that sneaky peek expression perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a treat to see an otter in the wild. The book is a great way to capture the year, what a lovely start. I’m intrigued by the rust and dyed pieces and where they are heading. The challenges look interesting, would love to do some of the walks for real. Annoying the way needles disappear in pin cushions, but the card will work well to stop it. Keep resting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve done most of the North Coast 500 but over several visits and in a car. I’d love to do some too, especially Hadrians Wall. There is Street View on lots of them so you do get to see the sites a bit.


  5. Lovely pincushion and so jealous you saw an otter. One of my favourite animals but never seen one in the wild. You have captured the curiosity and mischief 🥰
    Hope the BP is moving in the right direction ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh that otter is SO cute! What a lovely idea and I would not have thought to use felt squares. But I can see how great they would be to work on, showing off the stitches and not prone to puckering. And I love that rust dyes project – looking forward to seeing the stitches you add. Also, I too have had that disappearing needles thing happen – how clever your solution.

    And of course Gwyn deserves a medal – maybe more because as you say, just like dog years exceed human years, her dog walks include many more steps than humans do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am in awe of your otter – wish I could capture an image like that. I ahd never heard of virtual walking either – well done for getting so far. The way your blood pressure is dropping I gues you will be able to be more active soon if your toe heals too. Evie and your pup are obviously of the same mind!


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