Crafting for crafting's sake

Our eldest dog has not been doing so well these last few weeks.  We've had yet another trip to the vets - a specialist, this time - and a new set of meds to try.  One of the main things is that he's supposed to be kept in a cool and calm environment.  Well, at least the cool part is fairly easy to achieve (I love having air conditioning...).  As for the calm, well, the kids need a fair few reminders to not play with him, but they're being good.  As for me, I'm exhausted.  Getting up with the dog at night time has me absolutely cream crackered - I don't remember dealing with newborns being this tiring.  Maybe I'm just getting old?
I've been wanting something to keep my hands busy and my mind distracted, for the odd moment that I've had a few spare minutes to myself, so it seemed the perfect time to drag out the bead weaving loom I found for a couple of bucks a month or so back.  I think that I've mentioned my husband's Native American grandma before.  She used to make a lot of jewellery (that's jewelry to the Americans among you - it's no wonder that my kids are becoming more and more convinced that I can't spell) and such.  So, I thought that I would have a go at recreating this bead necklace of hers, and then my daughter can leave her version alone...
So far it's going ok.  I'm convinced that modern seed beads are a lot less uniform in size and shape than the ones from her day, but I've found that if you keep the ones along the edge to be more of less the same size, the rest don't matter as much. We'll see how it turns out.
One thing that I was excited about - and my kids far less so - was yesterday's solar eclipse: my first one.  My kids feigned interest in the pinhole camera that I made, but to be honest, I think my daughter was just busy planning how she could reuse it as a habitat for one of her teddy bears...  
Translation of the day:
UK English: cream crackered = knackered = extremely tired or exhausted in US English
A bit of rhyming slang there.  nb. a cream cracker is a type of cracker found back home - but I have found them sometimes in the international section of some supermarkets here.  Water crackers aren't too dissimilar.

Feeling homesick

 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
Cotswolds
Stanage Edge, Peak District
Porth, Cornwall
Dovedale, Peak District
Painswick, Gloucestershire


Levant, Cornwall
Nr. Post Isaac, Cornwall
Goodrich Castle 
Port Isaac, Cornwall
Dovedale, Peak District
Painswick, Gloucestershire
Porth, Cornwall
Higger Tor, Peak District
Cotswolds
Derbyshire
Dovedale, Peak District
Port Isaac, Cornwall
Dovedale, Peak District

 Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
 Cotswolds

Can't wait for my visit home...

We love our teachers

Lately most of my crafting has been done sitting about in waiting rooms, working on a never-ending crochet project.  I think that typing the words "please, please don't make me have to throw any money at the house / rust bucket that I drive / my elderly dogs any time soon" was a mistake.  My husband has since had a few trips to the ER (that's the Casualty dept.) and the docs (we're waiting on an ultrasound appointment, but I think that all looks like it will be ok) and one of the elderly dogs had to go to the vets.  $500 for the vet to say that he does not know.  I'll be calling back next week and I'm really hoping to see some improvement by then.  He (the dog, not the vet) seems to be doing ok, but is wheezing whenever he gets excited.  Maybe it isn't that serious, but I'm getting upset anyway - I don't want a reminder that he's getting on in years and might not be with us much longer (still talking about the dog, not the vet).   
It's Teacher Appreciation Week over here, so I've been putting my kids to work on making something for their teachers.  I like the way that our school celebrates this: they pick something small for the kids to do each day.  Monday it's hug / high five your teacher; Tuesday write your teacher a note; Wednesday bring a single flower; Thursday bring candy or something sweet (hopefully they like British chocolate); and Friday is your choice.
Bookmarks always seem like a good choice, in that they are useful, do not take up much space and... while the kids have spent time on them, they're fairly simple, so there shouldn't be too much guilt about getting rid of them, if they want to...
My seven year old weaved a bookmark for her teacher
and the 9 year old did some chicken scratch embroidery for his two teachers...


Ok, time to hide some doggy tablets in food...