Embroidery and bunting

I seem to be pretty lucky so far to have escaped the constant chemo nausea I was told to expect. I’m on two different chemo drugs now until Sunday when I switch to a third on its own, and so far one of them has had zero affect on the way I feel, and the other seems to be giving me wildly different comedy afflictions each day (first fever & headache, then the next day a weird bumpy rash like mosquito bites all over my body plus breathing problems, then tonight it just seems to be a 2 hour long sneezing fest. weird.). In any case, it’s so far much easier than I was expecting (knock on wood), so it’s given me some time to do some crafting in amoungst my tv and film watching.

Yesterday (Day -7) (in bone marrow transplant land, the day you get your stem cells is Day Zero, so right now I’m counting down to that, 8 July. After I receive them, I’ll go into the positive numbers!)

Yesterday I did a bit of ham-fisted embroidery, finishing up a bit for a baby present, which I’ll reveal when it’s totally finished, as well as finally finishing that Sublime Stitching apron kit I’ve been working on here and there over the last few months (remember this from the al fresco sewing day?).

(Fun fact: the nurses say it’ll take a few weeks for my hair to fall out! I was expecting it to be instantaneous, so now I’m kinda wishing I’d had a trim before I came in, and it also means you’ll have to wait a bit longer for my super-stylin’ chemo cap pattern.)

While not strictly sewing, I also took most of the day to meticulously assemble a cardboard & tape pinhole camera that our neighbours Felix and Kate got me. This thing required loads of concentration and patience to assemble, but I’m excited to get some 35mm film for it (oh how old fashioned!) and see what kind of artsy, blurry photos I can take of the pigeon and occasionally grumpy lady standing in the window of the ward five feet outside my window. I know, exciting!

Then today (Day -6) I got out my little red JL mini sewing machine and made some bunting to decorate my room. I spent all last week cleaning out, reorganising, and assembling new storage for my sewing room (more on that later), so I got rid of a lot of my old scraps in the process. But before handing over the big bags to a delighted Veda, I cut out a bunch of bunting triangles from the fabrics of my most loved garments. I’m calling it Memory Bunting. Where others would make a quilt, I thought it’d be nice to be reminded of all the things I’d made already to cheer me up if I end up feeling really bad some days, and I can see them all from my bed.

So as a test of my memory (ha!), here’s the origin of my finished Memory Bunting (some of these scraps are so old, they not only pre-date this site, but pre-date my posting creations on Craftster!)…

L-R: lavender zippered tee, red Chinese-inspired top, Gez’s 30th birthday dress, silky secretary blouse, a pair of lounging trousers for my Mom, a very early pattern attempt at a wrap skirt, a concealed button placket shirt

L-R: pink guitar pyjamas, my vintage German curtain dress (yes, really), yellow satin cocktail dress, faux-fur coat, green silk 30th birthday dress, seagulls yoga tee, Orla Kiely beach coverup, denim from Thames jeans & KnipMode jeans & faux-wrap jeanskirt, sheep pyjama set, grey summer wool from Roland Mouret Galaxy dress & BurdaStyle Alexis skirt

L-R: shortened RTW tunic sleep masks, a very early green twill A-line skirt, a very early purple A-line skirt & handbag, Shanghai market silk sleeveless blouse, Irish silk blouse, James’s Dogs Playing Poker shirt

(oh yeah, those are my plastic flowery friends there at the bottom! And apologies for the lo-res iPhone photos.)

And on top of that, my friend Shasha sent me instructions and special coloured paper to make origami turtles, which are apparently a symbol of good health. I am now assembling a tiny turtle army as fast as my hands can make them. It’s becoming something of a nervous hand compulsion (good thing I never took up smoking, eh?), though if I do too many in one stretch, I swear I’m going to give myself arthritis.

I’ve got a big blue IKEA bag full of boredom busters from lots of you, friends, and relatives, so don’t be hurt if I don’t mention yours right away – my mom’s picking one from the bag to bring me each day, though some days they actually carry through a bit longer (like today’s – an embroidered towel kit from my mom that needs floss shopping before I can start. 🙂 ).

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