Thursday 27 February 2014

Bone marrow donation

Ever since I can remember I've wanted to give blood.  I can't remember now exactly why, but I imagine it might have had something to do with one of my many trips to hospital due to being an accident prone kid.
As soon as I was old enough - aged 17, I made my first donation, and I've tried to be pretty regular with them since then.  I'm up to something like 42 donations now.
At some point I put my name down on the bone marrow donor register too and on 1 Jan I received a letter tell me that I might be a match with someone and would I consent to them checking my DNA out in detail.

How could I say no?
If I or any one of my loved ones ever need blood or bone marrow (or while we're on the subject, some other body part) I would expect it to be there for them.  But with that expectation comes the responsibility of offering my blood, bone marrow or any other organs (as long as I don't need them any more) in return.

I've just received the letter to say they have found a better match, but I would have stepped up if that was needed, and maybe one day it will be.

Do you expect blood to be there if you need it?  Then all I ask is you donate a pint every four months or so.  It is so simple, just an hour of your time, and yet so many of us don't.  Who knows who you might be helping.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Onion paper

Finally with everything collected together and a day off work I had my first go at making paper by myself at home.  The set up seemed to take forever but once I had everything in place the paper making its self went very well.  The smaller sheets worked really well while the bigger sheets were harder to control.  I think I need to add more cotton fibre next time.  This set were all using onion fibres  but I've a good collection of other plant material to play with in the future. 
Its really satisfying to do something like this and now that I know that I can make my own paper I can start thinking about projects to use it in.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

February writers group

Today's writers group seemed to feature a lot of stories with death in them, but that didn't make them bad.  There were some attempts at last months homework, some more successful than others and one that I thought was perfect.  That one perfect story has inspired me to finally put pen to paper on a story that I have been thinking about all month but never quite seemed to find the time to write.

This months homework:
Write a fictional confession.  Start by thinking about what has suddenly made you ‘need’ to confess and who you are confessing to and why. 

Sunday 16 February 2014

Mould and deckle

After completing the paper making course at Central St Martins last summer all I've wanted to do is make my own paper at home.  But a little preparation is needed along with the collection of some equipment and materials so I've had to wait.
Today we finished the homemade mould and deckles which are the main piece of equipment needed.  'i'm outdoors kindly made me a set, ranging from a tiny one to make samples and then A6 and A5 ones and one for making paper to cover A6 books and one to cover A5 books.  (I already have an A4 one)  Thanks love.
I can not wait to use them!

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Paw print stamp

My sister has a little dog and in passing happened to mention that she has been looking for a paw print stamp but couldn't find one.  
This was something I knew I could help with so after a bit of sketching (in the new sketch book) I came up with this design.  I carved it out of some pink rubber with a Speedball lino cutter and then used a tiny door handle ('I'm outdoors idea) as the grip.
The whole thing is tiny, just like her dog.  I'm really happy with how it came out, and was a bit sad to give it away, but she seemed just as delighted with it as me.