Saturday, 8 October 2016

Fingerpicking and felting... ?

Evening,  yep been a while since the last blog,  I'm blaming this little beastie, which has occupied most of my time.  That, plus an art class,  oh and numerous hospital appointments. 

I am glad to say that I am improving on the uke,  I can now play around 6 chords,  and even manage to switched between them.  I'm now learning a few songs,  and some finger picking, which isn't as hard as I thought (yeah, famous last words!).   The fingertips are now starting to harden up, and the fingers are getting stronger, so far less dud chords.    The main thing is this, I am really enjoying myself,  and that is what counts.      I'm even rekindling the idea of getting a guitar,  which I really wanted when I was younger.  I'm saving up,  and we'll see what happens. 

An odd pic, it is of The Railway Inn.  I stripped off the old pavement,  for which I'd used the paper clay, and replaced it with card from a cereal box.   Then I had to start to paint it, then age it, which has taken 'ages'.    But it is now almost there, meant to take a new pic, but will do so tomorrow.

In fact the last few weeks have been taken up with stuff on all the houses, a bit of tweaking,  altering etc. 

Well if I thought that the pantiles were hard, what proved almost impossible was the thatch.  I went from clay, to actual thatch, and then to felt. I had almost got the real thatch, but kind of lost the plot when it came to the ridge.  So I studied the book by Bea Broadwood, and decided to go with the felt.   So off to get some felt,  then I made a lumpy bit at the edge of the roof, and then on went the felt,  all well stuck down, left the glue to dry...  

And it is taking shape!   It's had some paint,  I also used some clay to cover up the tatty gable end.   It all now just needs to be painted and finished off,  oh and the chimneys need to be fixed into place.    I also stripped back the pavement on this,  just sanded the old colour off, now I'm trying to get it to look like the colour of York stone. 

See it looks okay from the front.  The pavement will also be 'dressed', with some bits of grass, and a few leaves.   I do like these two cottages, they are playing a part in a story I'm writing. Yes, I'm writing!   I've even begun to watch the odd series, which I'd not managed for years.  I can't say my concentration is back,  you should see how tired I am after the two hour art class,  but good things are happening. 

The art class is fun,  it is just a taster course, we've covered pencil,  charcoal, plus pen and ink, along with shading, shape etc.   It has all been very useful.  The tutor is lovely,  so helpful and encouraging.  I wasn't a fan of charcoal, it is so immediate,  and also messy!  But I did enjoy the class, still got a charcoal piece of homework to complete.  This week it was pen and ink, again a new medium I'd never tried, but once it was explained, that it is mark making, not pattern making, then I began to 'get it'.    It is the last week this coming week,  us students are going to enjoy a last lunch in the cafe,  each week we keep getting tempted by the delicious smells.   We all contributed to their Macmillan coffee morning the other week, lots of lovely cakes to choose from.  They raised a few hundred pounds as well!

So while some stuff is going well, the health took a down turn.  I got my MRI results,  not good,  I didn't expect my spine to be that bad.  I knew I had one prolasped disc in my lower back, in fact I have two, one in my neck, along with a lot of bulging discs in both neck and lower back, hence all the pain.  There is a lot of wear and tear as well,  fortunately none of the dodgy discs are pressing on the spinal cord,  just on the nerves.   It was a depressing outcome, made worse by the hour and a half it took me to get there!   That was to travel around 16 miles!   It was all fine on the motorway, then I came off and ground to a halt.  I've no idea why they've not made the road wider to accommodate the heavy traffic, caused by the university, but they haven't, so you don't travel much faster than a snail. I wasn't the only patient caught up in the traffic, quite a few were,  I was lucky that I made it just in time.   So I've now been referred to a pain specialist,  I have to see what they recommend, but surgery doesn't seem to be an option, there's just too much damage.    Painwise it hasn't been too bad this week, just one or two bad days.   But that is only because I'm learning to pace myself a bit better.

Now I must finish watching Strictly and do my diary entry.  Have a great week.

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