Living Life, Within the Limits of Chronic Illness

Category: Hobbies

Festive Placemats

It’s approaching the season to be jolly…or at least that’s how the saying goes! So I thought I’d share one of the things I often end up doing every year in preparation for the big family meals.

I don’t know about anyone else, but we don’t have a set of matching placemats large enough for the number of people, and dishes we have at the table during the festive period. We just use the ones from throughout the year, including some odd ones we’ve collected over time. But it can look messy and disorganised, we just don’t see the point in spending money on placemats which can only be used a couple of times a year, and have to be stored in the meantime.

And so one year we came up with a solution…each year the placemats and also the coasters get covered in festive wrapping paper to match the theme of the table. That way we have enough of them and they all match each other!

I start off with the plain, boring placemats like the one in the photo below

A picture of a brown coloured placemat with a gold-like border around the edge

And with a little bit of wrapping paper and sticky tape, transform them into pretty festive placemats, as shown in the photo below.

A picture of six placemats, after they have been wrapped in gold coloured paper


It’s quite a simple task that I’ve managed on the sofa rather than at the table at times. And no doubt will probably do again this year.

After the festive season they either stay like this for a few months, depending on how festive the paper is and how many stains they receive over the Christmas period, or we just take the wrapping paper off and put it in the recycling.

Share this:

Iris Folded Cards

A number of years ago one of my Aunt’s bought me a book on iris folding. This is a way of making cards through layering folded paper in a certain way within a certain shape, creating a beautiful layered effect.

I’ve recently gone back to doing this and I absolutely love it. It is something I can do in stages, and pick up and put down according to how I feel. Well certain stages it’s better to try and do in one go but I can usually do those in a half hour period where concentration is present and my hands don’t hurt too much!

I find it such an easy way to create lovely cards. The hardest part in terms of design, is choosing which colours/patterns of paper to use. But otherwise it is just so simple, and yet creates something beautiful to send to other people.

The only difficulty I have is cutting the shapes out; using a craft knife to cut round is really quite fiddly and my hands often start hurting half way through cutting it out. Once they start hurting it can be necessary to stop, as otherwise I make mistakes when cutting, or worse still come close to cutting myself rather than the card or paper! I’m not sure what the solution to that is yet, going to have to look into seeing if I can find some gadget to do it for me I think.

But anyway here’s some of the resulting cards from my recent hobby sessions.


An Iris-Folded Elephant Card

An Iris-Folded Daffodil Card A Selection of Iris-Folded Cards


Share this:

RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Well another thing has been ticked off my summer bucket list. A visit to RHS Garden Hyde Hall. It’s the first time I’ve been to anywhere like that but I wouldn’t hesitate to go again especially if I had a bit more mobility and independence!

It was lovely to spend the day with my family in such beautiful surroundings and get to indulge in a bit of photography too. Getting there was a bit of an adventure, since it isn’t signposted that well from the main road. However after getting lost once, with a bit of help from the magic smartphone of mine we found the entrance.

Despite the overcast slightly damp start, our optimism for brighter weather paid off and the sun started to break through the clouds. So our raincoats were unnecessary in the end.

The gardens at Hyde Hall are magnificent. I could have spent much longer there taking photos if I had the energy and was a bit more mobile. It was a bitter sweet experience for me in one sense; I loved being out and really enjoyed myself don’t get me wrong, but it also reminded me of my limits. I was in my wheelchair, which meant taking photos required me to ask Dad to stop pushing me or move me to a certain position so I could get the shot I wanted. If I’d been more able I wouldn’t have felt such an awkward ol’ so and so!

We went up to the gardens in the mobility bus (not it’s actual name but that escapes me) because the route up to it is rather steep. My wheelchair managed the gravel topped pavements quite well, although our route round was a bit hit and miss as to whether we would encounter steps or not; these weren’t marked on the map and even if they were I doubt we’d have worked out which route of the map we were on; our map reading skills were not much use in working out where we were in the gardens!

We got back to the shop area on foot (wheels for me) down the steep hill and had a picnic in a picnic area not far from there before setting off on the journey home. All in all we had an enjoyable time there, and like I say I’d like to go back when I’m more mobile and possibly in a different season too. Simply because I love taking photos.

I took over 200 photos on the day so I’m not uploading them all but here’s a select few photos of our time at Hyde Hall for you all to enjoy:












That’s all from me for now, I’m off to continue resting after that mammoth trip out. It never fails to amaze me how tiring just going out for the day in a wheelchair can be!!

Share this:

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén