About Moi

I was born in June 1981, I'm a hearing impaired paper-crafter who loves all things crafty. I sew, although I'm still very much a novice at sewing. I bake and cook hopefully all kinds of delicious treats. I have a huge passion for photography and the camera {yes I'm old school I still use an actual camera} is never far from me. I also love creative writing from making up sentiments/verses for my cards and other paper-craft projects to penning some fiction. I am an avid reader and I may even throw in some book reviews on here too!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A final thanks

Yes this is it all my Thank you cards are done!  This one uses the pheasant image from Hobby Art


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Not square or rectangle

It is anything but a square or rectangle over at International Art & Soul this fortnight.  I love these hexagon dies and am really enjoying making cards with them.  I've used an old Art Deco image as the focal point on the card.


Saturday, 26 May 2018

A little reading time treat

Elderflower and Pressed Pear Sponge

I won't bore you with the exact recipe but this sponge mix doesn't use butter of any kind and get's it's lightness from beating egg yolk and sugar then the egg whites and folding them in.  I really like the summery freshness of the elderflower and in this case the pressed pear tones that down a little.  I've added some of the cordial to the buttercream too.

This recipe would also be really nice in Autumn using Autumn cordials e.g. Bottle Green's Sloe and Juniper Cordial, Apple and Plum, Rhubarb and Ginger or in Winter using spiced cordials e.g. Belvoir Ginger Cordial, Spiced Winter Berries and Apple Plum and Cinnamon Cordial.  Or at any time of year using Rhubarb or Elderflower or Blueberry and Blackcurrant Cordials.  Belvoir and Bottle Green are not the only makers of cordial, I've used a Robinsons Elderflower and Pressed Pear and I know most supermarkets make their own cordials too.

I have also made a strawberry and blueberry tart {a favourite food treat of mine is fruit so this one is not going to hang around long}.  I've made my version of it. I kept to the sweet pastry although a lot of the time I make savoury pastry for sweet treats and forgone the creme patissiere.  I'm not a fan of the texture of custard and quite frankly I don't have enough milk in anyway.  I've used a quick gel for the topping of the fruit.

It's almost impossible for me not to make something savoury and as it's "Saturday Treats" today I'm not cooking a proper meal and have made sausage rolls to go with some chicken wings, homemade beet and apple chutney, cheese chunks and possibly even some pear and apple chutney.  I'm likely to add cucumber sticks and small tomatoes {not cherry tomatoes} to the plate too or maybe some coleslaw I can't not have something comforting if it's a treat.

Now I said this was a reading time treat...only that never happens well perhaps in my dreams it does?  Anyway I dream of having an afternoon where I can curl up with a slice of cake, glass of cordial and read a book.  Not that it stops me reading without an afternoon and cake so here's a review of a book I've just finished.

Title The Christmas Cake Cafe

Author  Sue Watson

Image credited to Goodreads:



Review

The style of this book in the beginning surprised me.  It wasn't what I had come to expect from Sue Watson yet somehow I couldn't get enough of it. I'm normally nervous of books that give too many visual imagery but I loved how well she described the area in Switzerland that the girls were staying and it met very well with what my imagination created.  It also had me in tears from when the girls arrived in Switzerland to the very last sentence.  I can honestly say a book has not touched me so emotionally or made me question my life, my actions and my attitude since I was in college and read "A Child Called IT".  I do believe this could also be the first work of fiction to have touched and impacted me so much, which only enhances the talents of author Sue Watson.

I found it hard to not throw the book in frustration at Jody, her language required me to have google open on my phone to translate what she was saying...maybe I'm "too old" for this kind of book or maybe being deaf and having been deaf my whole life I tend to use the words that mean exactly what I want to say and expect others to do the same.  Either way the language made the storyline difficult to grasp but at the same time made me more in awe of Sue Watson for writing something that to me seems very complicated.  I also found Jody's attitude harsh and although she did have some wisdom she seemed to care little for anything but acting inappropriately.

Jenny was someone I could not only identify with but liked...probably because she was in my view sensible, understanding, caring and appeared not to have an attitude.  I was pleased that Jenny got all she wanted from life and the magic of finding that happy ending not only happened but surpassed all expectation.

I found the message of guilt and longing for a perfect family after coming from divorced parents poignant yet I found Ella annoying, her brattish behaviour is not symbolic of all children from divorced parents, acting as though they are entitled to behave in a disrespectful manner with a negative attitude.  Some children accept new families are perfectly polite and well behaved throughout, however in hindsight and from experience I can see that disrespectful behaviour will garner far more attention than behaving as most children are taught...to be polite ever will.

Despite this I really did enjoy the book and Ella coming around to behaving appropriately and being happy and positive surrounding the ending of the book {no spoilers here} made me cry with happiness.

This book is exceptional and I can honestly say every time I read a Sue Watson her books amaze me and the standard just gets higher and higher no matter what my expectation level when I start the book.  Thinking about the star review section on Goodreads I cannot help but wonder if I can't give less than five stars without feeling a little guilty that I am holding back for the sake of it then I should give it five stars.  In the last twelve months I've discovered a lot of okay books, books I've quite happily read but hasn't gripped me or enthralled me and certainly very few that have left me with a book hanger, although I suspect that can only be good for my "real life".  So for no other reason than I cannot think of a single reason why I would not give this book five stars...I am giving it five stars.

Now onto the photos of the cake and fruit tart.  {Sorry no pics of sausage rolls I've made so many that I'm sure I've shared them here before or if not here then pop over and check out my twitter pics...username is always the same...straight up honesty from me it's my name...Sall_Baker}.

Although I dreamt of reading and enjoying a slice of this cake I am certain it will go down well watching last night's darts tonight.







Friday, 25 May 2018

Give Thanks

It's a peacock thank you card using a gorgeous stamp from Hobby Art today.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

I am too DEAF for this.

The saying is usually I'm too OLD for this but recently I've adopted I'm too DEAF for this.

Thursdays are supposed to be my "adventure" day.  Lipreading is no longer financially feasible and I don't want to lose the little "me" time I can get so I am pushing myself to do things I would never normally do and enjoying it for the most part.   Today's "adventure" was slightly different to say the least but before I get to that I want to give a quick history of the week.

Monday I was feeling out of sorts and a tad grumpy...nothing unusual if I'm tired but some yoga helped.  Tuesday started much the same and again the yoga helped but by lunch time I was crying in pain and struggling majorly...ear pressure was extremely high, swallowing water let alone food was tricky and it was all I could do to keep it together and not scream in pain.  I somehow found enough coherence to realise I ought to increase the antihistamine and by today I'm feeling better...what will happen now I have gone back to regular dose is anyone's guess.  The pressure is still high and it's very uncomfortable but tolerable.  This influenced where I was going for today's "adventure" and I had planned a series of apology photos for a friend who I've been less than friendly too.

What happened in reality was a phone call that led me to my grandparents on the way to an "adventure" that never happened.  I was called in to "programme" the incubator for a period of "cooling" however it can only be done on eggs that have been incubated for seven days and then it has to be stopped two days before hatching...as we are putting in trays at different times this would mean cooling eggs before the seven days, thus it cannot be done automatically.

There was one chick pipping when we were looking at the incubators and I'm longing to get a decent opportunity to get out with the hatchlings and the camera but as yet it's either been too cool or the gander hasn't given permission for me to take photos...he's feeling rather protective of them and although he hasn't actually attempted to come for me he's made his feelings very clear.

It took three hours with the incubators so as that was my time up there was no "adventure" and therefore no photos for the apology so I decided to pull up some old photos from throughout the year.  I'll add the apology photos at the end but for the moment let's return to the title... I'm too deaf for this

As I've just mentioned it took three hours to discuss the purchase of incubators, the availability of hatchers, how to programme incubators and see what was hatching, what needed candeling etc and whilst I ploughed on at the time it was difficult...I have to lipread much of the time and that in itself is exhausting but any conversation, even a short duration one at 10 minutes, can be exhausting.  Three hours is a very exhausting amount of time let alone on a week where I'm not one hundred percent.

So now I'm sat between making dinner feeling as though I want to cry.  My ears are popping, the pressure is still high, it hurts and most of all I'm now very tired.  Yes I admit a large part of it is tiredness but that's part and parcel of being deaf...everything is more exhausting and a huge part of me thinks that having been deaf since birth I should be more than used to it by now but the deafer I get the more exhausted I get and it's time I started to say "I'm too deaf for this" and stop putting myself in a position where I just cannot cope, physically, mentally and hearing wise.

 As much as I don't want there to be things I cannot do there will always be some things that my hearing loss prevents me from doing...the key is to find the positive, in this situation the positive would have been having the confidence to keep the visit brief, make sure everyone involved is aware that I am struggling with tiredness related to hearing loss and that I have hyperacusis. That those who didn't previously understand now understand that if they want a conversation with me flicking finger nails, tapping pens or nails, having noises in the background of daily items e.g. kettles, washing machines and taps will not only mean I can't hear them but they are causing high levels of pain making the situation not only intolerably but putting an extra drain on my energy thus making it more difficult than ever to hold a conversation.

I haven't reached that stage yet, not even with my dad's parents but having spent the last year having "adventures" where I have been open and honest about my hearing, when I can and cannot hear and what someone can do to help me participate in the conversation I feel the next step in continuing these adventures is to explain about my hyperacusis, how it affects me and how others can help me to communicate with them in a manner that benefits us both and what is a reasonable duration of conversation for me without it having a detrimental affect on my physical and mental health.  I may even find the courage to do more blog posts like this one sharing my progress and the realisations I have along the way.

Now to today's "photos" containing an apology.




This should read I've BEEN responding...opps




Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Thank you

Another thank you card from me I'm afraid.  This time it's using another image from Ikes Art.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Feeling Thankful

This time I have used an image from Ikes Art for a thank you card.  I love the idea of gifting cake to someone I am grateful to for what they have done for me and this cake looks like it could taste great.




Friday, 18 May 2018

Thankful to special people

I promise the Thank You cards are almost over!  I've used an elephant image from Hobby Art to create this card.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Deaf Girl flies solo at the Grand Western Canal on Deaf Awareness Week

It's Deaf Awareness week and this pic copyrighted to Action On Hearing Loss says everything I wish I had the nerve to tell people I come into contact with.

It's easy to think that deaf awareness week has nothing to do with my Thursday Adventures but being deaf is the sole reason I am doing them.  I used to attend lip reading classes on a Thursday morning but a change of location has made that complicated.  I've been doing things that I would normally let my deafness stop me from doing.  Well unless I took someone with me of course.  However armed with a National Trust membership and by making a credit card size piece of card with information telling people I'm deaf I have forced myself to go to different places that I have always enjoyed but always thought weren't suitable for me.

If you scroll back through this blog you will see various places I have visited and slowly I have gained confidence in speaking to others.  I have immersed myself in history, Nature and architecture and learnt a lot.  I have also found that I am enjoying being who I really am and not letting either being deaf or other peoples opinions influence my decisions or the things I attempt to do.

I have walked the Grand Western Canal many times, I know a fair bit about it's history but it's the nature element I really enjoy.  I love seeing the animals.  I had hopped to spot some signets but sadly time was against me and I didn't walk far enough to find them.  

Whilst at the Canal I was reminded of a trip to the canal many moons ago so I took a photo of myself giggling at the memory of when I took these photos.  At the time I was singing Nursery Rhymes down the phone to a friend!




Anyway on to the photos I took today!