#WeekendCoffeeShare (September 25, 2021)

Hi everyone on this cloudy but warm Saturday afternoon. We’re supposed to get temperatures to rise to as high as 25°C tomorrow. I remember once, I think it was in 1999, writing in my diary in late September that I wished for this high a temperature for once that year still. Three or four years ago, it even got to 27°C one day in mid-October.

Anyway, I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare. It’s 2:30PM, so I just had my afternoon coffee, but the other clients are still having theirs. Yesterday, the late shift actually came to my room with another cup of coffee at 3:15PM, because apparently the other clients had been late having theirs and she erroneously thought this meant I still needed to have coffee too. I didn’t mind, of course. Anyway, let’s have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I managed to get my corona pass ready in time for this requirement in restaurants and indoor events today. Not that I’m likely to go eat out at a restaurant or go to the theater anytime soon. In fact, I’m feeling a bit off about this requirement, even though, as a fully vaccinated person, I’m good to go. Getting the CoronaCheck app, on which you need to create your pass, to work, was a bit of a hassle, because for some stupid reason the “Next” button to get beyond the introductory screen wasn’t easy to locate with VoiceOver. I eventually asked one of my staff to click that button for me and from there could do everything myself.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I celebrated two years in the care facility earlier this week. I made a cheesecake with my favorite large cookies, ie. stroopwafels.

Stroopwafel Cheesecake

I did worry at first whether the other clients could eat it, as most are at higher risk of choking. However, apparently the staff were able to sufficiently blend the cake so that it was edible by everyone.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week was quite a good one in the walking department. I got in over 10K steps almost everyday. That one day that I didn’t reach my goal, I really should have looked at my Fitbit, since I needed only like 100 more steps to reach it.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, at the recommendation of one of the community psychiatric nurses at the mental health team, I’ve been taking my phone with me whenever I go on walks. We were discussing my grief about my vision loss and the wonders of technology and she suggested I take more pictures on my walks. Last Tuesday, I took a picture of the cows in a nearby field.

Cows in a Field

If we were having coffee, lastly I would share that I sadly haven’t been too creative lately. I tried to create a necklace this morning, but found out midway through it that I didn’t have enough of a certain kind of beads that I needed for it. I didn’t want to start redesigning it all over again, so will do that at some later point.

Overall, this week wasn’t too intense, other than Wednesday. It was a pretty good week.

How have you been?

Five Activities to Do on Rainy Days #5Things

Hi everyone on this cloudy and chilly but dry Tuesday evening. Today’s prompt for the #5Things challenge is to share our favorite activities for rainy days. It hasn’t been raining much here at all lately – I guess we’re making up for a rather wet summer. However, the fall and winter usually are our rainy seasons here. I thought I’d participate and share some activities I love to do when it’s raining outside.

1. Listen to music. Contrary to some of the other participants in the challenge, I don’t like watching or listening to the rain. In fact, the sound of heavy rainstorms scares me. To drown out this noise, I like to listen to music, particularly upbeat songs.

Interestingly, I do occasionally love to listen to water sounds on my iPhone, but not specifically rain.

2. Read. When I can’t go outside because of the rain, it’s the perfect time to pick up a book and read. I read a wide variety of books, but, as regular readers of my blog will know, I mostly enjoy memoirs and realistic young adult fiction.

3. Craft. Rainy days are also the perfect time for crafting. Now that it’s not raining as much anymore, I can totally see my creative juices drying up a bit.

4. Chill out. I look forward to relaxing in my recliner, which my husband cleared of most of the stuffed animals and other things that were cluttering it last Sunday. I also love to take extra naps or just chill out under my weighted blanket. Since the day center reopened, lastly, the snoezelen® room is also now available to me at times. All of these activities are especially great for rainy days.

5. Enjoy a hot drink. Particularly hot cocoa, but coffee or green tea will do as well.

What do you like to do when it’s raining?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (September 11, 2021)

Hi everyone. It’s long past my last coffee break of the day, but I’m still joining #WeekendCoffeeShare. Fancy a soft drink or a glass of water? I’m off to bed after I finish this post, but I think we can still have a catch-up.

If we were having coffee (or water or a soft drink, but you get the idea), I’d share that the weather was good for most of the week. On Wednesday and Thursday, the temperature rose to around 27°C. That’s pretty awesome for September, isn’t it? It was also sunny most of the time. We got some slight thundering Thursday and Friday, but thankfully nothing too bad.

If we were having coffee, I’d proudly announce that, thanks to the good weather and my feet cooperating, I was able to get in a lot of steps over the week. I so far got in nearly 75K steps and that’s not including Sunday yet.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Shoe Guy finally took my orthopedic shoes to his work station with him. He saw pretty quickly that, not only is the combo with the ankle foot orthosis (AFO) giving me problems, but the shoes are also both far too wide. Let’s pray he’s going to get both issues fixed soon and that’s the end of the footwear saga.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that the day center reopened on Monday after eighteen months of being more or less closed due to COVID. I, thankfully, get day activities in the home. In fact, during the time of COVID, my one-on-one was combined with another client’s care, but I now have my very own day activities shift from 10:15AM till 3PM. I was kind of scared that this’d mean I had taken a staffer away from my old group, but apparently not.

I am allowed and more or less expected to visit my old group for a little while each morning, thankfully with my one-on-one accompanying me. However, last Thursday, I was busy preparing my niece’s birthday present, so I asked if I could switch my visit to the afternoon. That was totally okay. My fellow clients at the day center do definitely appreciate me visiting. That makes me feel so grateful.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I’ve been busy with my husband’s wedding anniversary present today. That’s the secret project I mentioned yesterday, but I won’t disclose what it is exactly until my husband has received it himself next week. He did jokingly nag me a little, but I won’t spoil it to him either.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would tell you that, no, I haven’t lived under a rock all day, ignoring the fact that it’s the anniversary of 9/11. Okay, I did mention it in my other post today, only to blather on about myself. However, it could be me, but the news seems incredibly quiet about it too here. I don’t watch television or read newspapers, only scrolling through so-called “important” news on my iPhone’s home screen. I’ve seen announcements of the deaths of Peruvian terrorist leader Abimael Guzmán and Dutch former train hijacker Junus Ririmasse. There’s also another protest against Dutch pandemic management measures today. The only news article mentioning 9/11 I’ve seen today, is about some cartoon on politician Sigrid Kaag. I cannot see the actual cartoon, of course.

I do feel a little off having seemed to ignore the world’s major crisis of my teens. Then again, I’d rather live under a rock than get depressed by the world’s events.

How have you been?

Crafting Lately: Polymer Clay and a Bracelet

Hi all! It’s Friday evening and it’s been thundering a bit outside. I’m scared of thunderstorms. Thankfully, they’re not too bad. To get my mind off the weather, I’m sharing some of my recent crafting endeavors with you all.

I bought a whole lot of new polymer clay supplies earlier in the week. Among them are a bead roller, which I have yet to try out, bead piercing pins to put holes in the beads I create with the bead roller, and brooch pins.

I also bought both transparent and gold Fimo Liquid. I haven’t yet decided what to do with the transparent one other than to use it to soften crumbly clay.

The gold-colored kind though, I intend to use to color in my letters that I’ve been stamping into my polymer clay pieces lately. I think I didn’t even share those pieces with you yet. I got the stamping kit a few weeks ago and love it! Below is a not-yet-colored piece.

I tried to color it with the gold Fimo Liquid this evening. First, I was unsuccessful trying it on my own, but when my staff guided my hand, it worked. Here’s the finished piece.

I also got a new pasta machine. Probably needn’t have bought it after all. I mean, I thought the old one was shredding my clay but with these particular clays, the new one was doing the same. However, I’m still grateful I got it.

A few weeks ago, I downloaded a few color recipes from Polymer Clay Loves. I didn’t have any of the four colors of Fimo Soft needed for mixing those colors, but I bought those too. Thing is, I just bought the small, two-ounce packets for three of the four colors and will likely need at least one of those for another project (which is still a secret) due to my other clay being too crumbly. You can totally see I’m still learning, eh? However, I definitely enjoy my craft!

In other crafts, I’ve also been enjoying basic beading again. The day center reopened this week and so I met some people from other homes for the first time in a long while. The staff told me one of them wore a lot of bracelets, so I immediately decided I’d make her a bracelet to add to her collection. Here it is!

As you can see, it is a simple threaded bracelet made with wooden beads on elastic wire. I personally don’t like wooden beads, as they connote child’s play beads to me, but these look pretty grown-up or so I’m told.

Have you been doing any crafting lately?

PoCoLo

#WeekendCoffeeShare (August 29, 2021)

Hi everyone, how are you? I’m a bit late joining #WeekendCoffeeShare, as it’s already Sunday. I just had my afternoon coffee and, like I said last week, my Senseo is with my husband now. Now I’m assuming he won’t use it much, as not only is he more of a freshly-brewed coffee person, but he’s trying to cut back on his caffeine intake. That’s his decision though. Let’s have a cup of coffee (or pretend to) and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I had a good week overall. The weather’s been okay. Not as warm as I’d like it and a little windy for my liking too, but at least it’s been mostly dry.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I decided not to join Steptember, the annual cerebral palsy fundraiser, this year. I participated last year, but the pressure of having to get in 10K steps each day (or as many as I could) and raise money, was a bit too much for me.

If we were having coffee, I’d also moan about my AFO. Yes, it’s been a while, but if you’d thought that no news is good news, you would be wrong. My AFO had been with the orthopedic instrument maker, whom I’ll call AFO guy, for a few weeks, but upon return, we found out that it’s still not working well in combination with my orthopedic shoes. Now AFO guy and shoe guy were both contacted by the physical therapist and it’s up to them to figure out how to solve the issue.

If we were having coffee, I’d also whine a little about my foot pain. The physical therapist hasn’t gotten back to me about that, so I’m not sure what’s causing it. Could be my shoes, since they’re really old (the non-adaptive ones I now wear). Please pray AFO guy and shoe guy will figure out the issue with my adaptive footwear soon.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you to pray for my niece. I didn’t ask my sister permission to share her hip dysplasia diagnosis last time, which I think now is wrong, so I won’t be sharing any more details. However, she is definitely in need of continued prayers.

If we were having coffee, lastly I’d share that I’ve been really crafty over the past week again. I created some lovely polymer clay ornaments, as well as a hand cream and keychain for one of my fellow clients, who had his birthday on Wednesday. Yesterday, I encountered a lot of frustration with one of my Fimo Professional clays being very crumbly and hard. I eventually managed to restore it to health though.

How have you been?

Gratitude List (August 27, 2021) #TToT

Hi all! Can you believe August is almost over with already? I certainly can’t. Today I thought I’d do a gratitude list. I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT), as well as Thankful Thursday (a day late) again.

1. I am grateful for French fries. On Sunday, the staff decided to get those delivered to the care home. Of course, I had a very spicy snack called mexicano with it.

2. I am grateful the volunteer handymen came over to my room on Monday to put together the new desk I bought at Ikea two weeks ago. At first, it was a little too high (the legs are adjustable in length), but the handymen had been struggling to get the legs to cooperate. For this reason, I was hesitant to ask them to adjust them. However, once they’d figured out how to work the mechanism, it was pretty easy. I am so grateful to have my new desk now.

3. I am grateful both my assigned day activities staff and home staff are back from vacation as of this week.

4. I am grateful my CPN is back from vacation. I am glad I had a good discussion with her on Wednesday.

5. I am grateful to be making progress in my creative endeavors. I am quite perfectionistic, so have thrown a few of my polymer clay pieces in the bin, but without failing, one doesn’t learn, right? I am also grateful for all the constructive feedback I receiv in Facebook groups.

6. I am grateful my polymer clay alphabet stamping set arrived. I had had it on my wishlist for a while, ordered it on Monday and it arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, a part of it was missing. One of my staff went after it and the store just replied that they’ll send the part that is missing.

7. I am grateful for summer fruit. My day activities staff, who lives near the supermarket my care facility normally buys from, was asked to get some stuff (buttermilk, I think, yikes!) on Thursday and she asked me what else I wanted her to buy now that she was going to go get groceries for us anyway. She bought peaches and strawberries and they were delicious!

8. I am grateful to be able to put a smile onto people’s face with my handmade gifts. Like I may have mentioned, my day activities staff got a present from me. So did a fellow client, who had his birthday on Wednesday. He had the hugest smile on his face when I gave him his hand cream.

9. I am grateful to live in a free, developed country. All the news about the Taliban having taken over Afghanistan makes me so grateful that I’m not and have never been in a war zone.

10. I am grateful the government are so far not putting the country into lockdown or tightening any measures despite COVID case numbers being on the rise again.

What are you grateful for?

My Very First Polymer Clay Earrings

Oh my, I’m really losing my blogging mojo or so it seems. Thankfully, I’m finding other creative outlets, like polymer clay.

Yesterday, I was watching a YouTube video in which the creator made some polymer clay earrings with the image of daisies on them. I wanted to recreate those, but really was pretty much clueless.

Like her, I started out with blue (well, Fimo Soft #39, “peppermint”, the closest to blue polymer clay I have). I then added little yellow dots. I still don’t have white, so used porcelain for the petals. The YouTuber hadn’t created individual petals, so neither did I. Rather, I extruded a strand of clay to go around the little dots. That was hard enough. I didn’t flatten my slab, because I feared I’d distort the design if I did. I also really liked the texture in my design.

Unfortunately, when I baked these, they stuck to the tile and got a hole in them when I pulled them off. I threw them straight into the bin, so no pics of these.

Yesterday evening though, I did create some earring pieces that were more or less a success. I used purple as the background color this time and again, yellow dots and white strands to go around them for the daisies. This time, I tried to flatten my slab using my acrylic roller, but that didn’t create an even surface. Then, I ran my slab through the pasta machine, which of course distorted the design a little. Or a lot.

I decided to bake my earring pieces anyway. I had four of them and this morning, had my staff pick the best two to be glued to the earring posts. That worked surprisingly well considering I didn’t use super glue. I had to let them dry for about three to four hours and they look and feel pretty sturdy now.

Polymer Clay “Daisy” Earstuds

VoiceOver Recognition does say they look like boiled eggs rather than daisies. I guess it has a point.

For the photo, I attached them to a piece of blue cardstock. That will do okay as an earring card for keeping my earstuds safe while waiting for me to actually get my ears pierced.

What do you think of these?

Linking up with Party in Your PJ’s.

Crafty Endeavors #WotW

This week was a mixed bag emotionally. I haven’t been as motivated as I was before, but, like I said yesterday, haven’t been depressed either. I have also been quite crafty over the past week. In fact, I have been exploring more creative outlets in a single week than I’ve done in a long while. For this reason, I’m choosing “crafty endeavors” as my word of the week.

Early in the week, I created the polymer clay tricolor “rainbow” pendant I showed you on Wednesday. Like I said, at first it wouldn’t cure in the oven, but eventually it did.

I also created the multicolor, layered heart I posted yesterday. Since my mother-in-law brought me a packet of sanding papers, I have been trying to sand this one a little. I only used grits 120 and 400 to get rid of the worst unevenness, since with it being multilayered, I don’t know how to sand the top two layers.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I have been busy with soap and skincare product making. I made a lavender and clary sage massage oil. Unfortunately, I used up all my lavender essential oil, so I’ve put that on my wishlist to buy when I feel I am allowed to spend money again.

I also created a lavender and rose hand cream and melt and pour soap. In the soap, I used real dried lavender and rose petals.

Lavender and Rose Melt and Pour Soap

I found the recipe here and, though I felt the use of crushed almonds was a bit strange, I just skipped that step. I really liked the soap.

Then yesterday, I showed it in a melt and pour soap making group on Facebook and was told by all of the commenters that most dried herbs and flowers will mold in melt and pour soap. I seriously had no idea! In fact, just a few days earlier, I’d seen another blogger post a recipe for calendula soap. That one is the one herb that won’t mold, but this blogger also included lemongrass. I’ve also seen tons of recipes for melt and pour soap that do include all kinds of dried herbs and flowers, so my next question obviously is how to sift through all the information out there online. In any case, some of the commenters on Facebook said I’m now officially a soaper for having made the same mistake 99% of melt and pour soapers make.

Then on to polymer clay again. On Friday evening, I made a flower. Then I saw an interesting video on YouTube on making polymer clay earrings and wanted to try it. Unfortunately, one of the colors of Fimo I used was way too brittle for in my extruder, so I decided to mix up the two colors. I’d used blossom rose and porcelain. The shade I got was a very light pink which was lovely. Unfortunately, I only had a tiny bit of it.

This evening, I may try more polymer clay, as I haven’t baked the flower yet and want it baked by tomorrow, but I don’t want to run the oven for just one piece.

Overall, despite this week not feeling as good as the past few weeks, I’ve done really well.

How would you sum up your week?

Word of the Week linky

#WeekendCoffeeShare (August 20, 2021)

Hi everyone! Today is a mixed bag weather-wise. We’ve had some rain and some sunshine and the temperature rose to 20°C. It’s okay given that I’ve resigned to the idea that summer is over already.

Today I’m joining #WeekendCoffeeShare. Of course, being that it’s past 8PM, I’ve already had all my coffee for the day. My Senseo coffee maker’s loose parts are also in the dishwasher and I won’t be able to make you a Senseo anymore from now on. More on that later. The staff will probably make you one if you ask though.

If we were having coffee (or any other drink), I’d share that indeed, like I shared earlier, my mood seems to have deflated a little, but I can’t quite say I’m depressed or sad. I just feel a little less inspired and motivated and a little more irritable and anxious than I was over the past couple of weeks. It’s okay though. I’m pretty sure that even this little low won’t mean all my elation over the past month or so was for nothing.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve still managed to be quite creative over the past week. Early in the week and today, I did some polymer clay. I created the “rainbow” pendant I showed you all on Wednesday, as well as a pretty useless layered heart.

Layered, Multicolor Polymer Clay Heart

I say it is useless because it has neither a hole for a jumpring or ribbon in it, nor an eyepin attached. It is also too large for an earring. I might be able to make a brooch out of it someday.

I have also been doing some soap and skincare product making over the past few days.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that yesterday when making some soap, the microwave I normally use for melting my soap and other skincare ingredients, malfunctioned. This microwave used to be used by the sleeping shift, who had their room next to the entrance to my care home. However, they no longer use this, so the microwave won’t be replaced.

I’ve had a microwave for my room on my wishlist for several months, but was going to delay actually buying one for a while still. Until this one failed, that is. My husband tried talking me out of buying a microwave and that’s where the Senseo comes in. He said I don’t have space for a microwave in my room, but I will if I do away with the coffee maker. So he proposed he give me the microwave from Lobith, since he hardly uses it, and I give him my Senseo. I’m fine with that, since I rarely if ever actually use the Senseo. In fact, I just discovered that the unopened packet of coffee pods I had in my kitchen drawer had an expiration date of July 2020. I hereby apologize for having virtually poisoned all my Coffee Share guests with moldy coffee. The Senseo, I’m hoping, is still in pretty good condition.

How have you been?

Polymer Clay Fantasy Tricolor “Rainbow” Pendant

I haven’t written a blog post or anything at all in the past few days. I haven’t been too inspired. It looks like my elated mood of the past few weeks is diminishing a little. That being said, I still find my creative juices haven’t dried up completely, far from it in fact. Over the past couple of days, I have finished several things. I don’t really call them “projects”, as they’re relatively simple, but that’s beside the point. One such crafty thing I finished is my polymer clay fantasy tricolor “rainbow” pendant.

Over the weekend, I had been looking at making polymer clay earrings. I am not yet good enough with plain slabs to make those, but one of the ideas I saw was a rainbow. I checked my colors and found that I have some clay at least remotely resembling each color except for indigo. I might be able to mix indigo myself, but then again making an actual, seven-color rainbow would use up so much clay and what if it was a massive fail? For this reason, I decided to make a tricolor “rainbow”.

Polymer Clay Fantasy Tricolor “Rainbow” Pendant

I also shied away from mixing my own colors, because I have none of the classic primaries. I mean, I do have a shade of red, yellow and blue, but I didn’t know what these shades would do together. So I asked my staff for feedback on colors that looked good together and that’s how I came up with the three colors of clay I used for the “rainbow”: Fimo Professional #6 (purple), Fimo Soft #42 (tangerine) and Fimo Soft #39 (peppermint).

I made the three layers of the “rainbow” using a half-round disc in my extruder. Oh, I haven’t even told you all yet that the same staff who brought me a pasta machine a few weeks back, brought me an extruder last Saturday. I’m so totally over the moon about it!

I also decided at the last minute to try to insert the eyepin. That way, I will be able to make a pendant out of this. With this particular piece, my staff did the actual inserting of the eye pin. However, I have been practising doing this myself and can now do this too.

I baked my piece on a tile yesterday. Unfortunately, since I’d used a glass oven dish lid to cover the piece, the first time it wouldn’t cure. The second time around, I decided not to cover my piece and it turned out pretty nice. It is slightly shiny at the back, but well, that’s okay. And best of all, the eye pin didn’t fall out!

What do you think of this piece?

Linking up with Party in Your PJ’s.