Sunday, 24 February 2013

A long week

Last weekend seems ages ago, and last Monday was beautifully mild. I even saw a Comma butterfly in the garden.  But it is freezing here again. The pond is solid ice and the birds are are squabbling over scraps in the garden. Here are a couple of pictures I took at Stockwood Discovery Centre last Monday.

The hens were in the "Dig for Victory" garden taking the opportunity to sun themselves.

I'm not sure what tree this was, but the buds were certainly striking.

Many hours this week have been taken up filling in my husband's "Limited Capability for Work" questionnaire.  As he has dysphasia as a result of a stroke 15 years ago, he has a very limited ability to read and write so I had to fill the form in for him. I had to explain the questions and phrase the answers for him. Not being able to fill the form in, of course does not mean you are unemployable. The assessment seems to be asking if the person is capable of doing some sort of work, and yes we could say that my husband could work, if there was a job that was specifically tailored to his special needs. He lost his benefit once before, and as a job seeker was seen by many people at the Job Centre. They finally concluded that there was not a job he could do and there was a not a course that suited his needs.  However this does not entitle you to benefit.  We went to appeal that time and won.  I do not think it will be the case now.  We can manage without his benefit until he is old enough for his state pension, so he won't have to go through all the rigmarole of attending the Job Centre and endless, pointless interviews and appointments. But there are many who could be in his situation who could not manage financially. No one wants to pay out to those who are fit for work, but the solution to this seems to be punishing.  He paid his way until his stroke, and we hoped that our National Insurance, was just that, insurance against loss of employment etc.  His case is more complex than I wish to share here, but you get the drift.  Just don't mention 'scroungers' to me, or you are likely to get your head bitten off.

Let's get back to more pleasant topics.  I have fulfilled my requirements for the appliqué Module of my City and Guilds so I will share my samples here.

Above - shadow appliqué 

Above - different top stitches.

Needle turned appliqué 

Different fabrics - the beetle is transfer dyed satin.

Bias strip appliqué  with contour stitching.

I'm not sure what to do with my appliqué samples yet.  Leave them as that, or use them in some way. But no pressure, a nice decision to have to make.

I have one more module to go, but I haven't looked at it yet.  I am taking a break this week as I have a two day workshop with Bobby Britnell at Art Van Go, called Drawing and Designing for Textiles. I am really looking forward to it and hopefully I will have something different to share with you next time.

Hope you have a good week.


Jane Housham said...

What a rotten torment for you and your husband. I hope you don't have to jump through too many awful, pointless hoops.

ju-north said...

Sorry you are both having a difficult time atm. Let's hope common sense kicks in. Your work is looking good - you'll excell at the workshop!

Maggi said...

Lovely samples and your workshop sounds as if it's going to be fun. I do hope that someone sees sense over your predicament, although it does sound as if there's not a lot of it about.

Heloise said...

Lovely hens and samples. Good luck with the application. All good wishes.

Clare Wassermann said...

I particularly like the mesh applique bottles - what a great idea - I was cutting up some nice purple mesh from a bag of red onions today not knowing why - - it must have been telepathy!!

Joanna said...

The situation you find yourself in makes my blood boil. This is not the way to sort out the woes of the country - but don't get me started on that one! What a stressful time for you both. Sending best wishes for a speedy and successful resolution.


Julie said...

I empathise completely with you over the situation with the questionnaire having faced the same situation before Christmas. I too could not face the trauma (and I use that word advisedly) of being interviewed and humiliated so chose not to proceed with the rigmarole either. I was fortunate that I can survive without the benefit and will soon be on retirement pension but it is a scandal that this system is penalising and injuring people with genuine health issues. I am sorry for your own difficulties and wish you and your husband well.

I hope you have a great time at your workshop, I have heard good things of Bobby Britnell. Enjoy.

MILLY said...

Really enjoyed seeing all your different projects. My sister did textiles at college, I remember as a teenager collecting plants with her , she made dyes, seeing all her work over her three years. I inherited many of her books when she retired from teaching, lovely old embroidery books.
I love looking at textiles and seeing all the details, you have lovely ideas and it shows in your work.
Enjoy your workshop.

Barb Cady said...

I am so sorry you are having to go through such hoops, it seems ridiculous when he has worked so hard until his stroke, crazy, crazy.
I do love your work, you have often inspired me and I'm left with a real desire to do my city and guilds too! Beautiful pieces.
My sincere best wishes to the pair of you.

MILLY said...

How do you get your iPad photographs onto your blog.
I had to email them to myself, down load them to laptop ...then upload to blogger.
Is there a simple way, love to know.
Thanks milly