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Belated Hello from Middleton Manchester :)

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Laura Mackenzie-Hawkins13/09/2016 13:03:13
7 forum posts

Just realised I haven't posted a hello post. I'd posted on the sketchbook quilt thread but hadn't actually said hello.


HELLO!!! I'm Laura I'm 39 and I live in Middleton, Manchester with my Husband Stephen 39 and 2 Children. Alex, our daughter, who is 15 in November and Beren, our son, who has just turned 13 in August. Both are on the Autistic Spectrum.
We share our home with 8 dogs (6 Northern Inuit, 1 Choc Labrador and 1 working Springer Spaniel) 1 Welsh section C Pony, 6 Lavender Splash/Bronze Turkeys, approx 25 chickens, 7 Ducks, 1 house Cat & 4 Feral Cats 1 Lovebird and 1 Green Cheek Conure. So we have a very busy and packed house.

We like collecting Vintage things. Anything that catches our eye really. Alex loves Hornsea and has been collecting Heirloom storage Jars and table wear. She has collected a fair amount with my help. She also has a passion for vintage bedding like the wool blankets or Candlewicks. Again, she has a fair amount of these that she has found at an amazing Jumble sale we go to, mainly for 25p each!
Beren is more in to his gaming, but he also has a keen interest in Maths and Science. He does like vintage things but is very picky about what he likes and tends not to collect set themes.

Me, I collect Fabric. For the past 20 years plus I have been amassing a hoard of a stash. Anything that takes my fancy really. Vintage textiles, Bargains that you just can't live without and they will never be seen at that price I'll buy the roll if I can. I don't have nights out or Holidays (last one was 3 years ago and that was St I'd been on in Ayers). I'm spinally challenged so I have had to give up a lot over the years so sewing has become something that I have thrown myself into. I've done Custom Fleece Hats and Scarves, Curtains, Cushions, Adobes, Bed sheets, Costumes, Copley, Children's clothes, Shirts and shorts for Hubby. Bags, Purses, Pencil cases, Dog collars, Horse blankets and Field rugs.......the list goes on hehe. I use to do a lot of hand sewing but because of Arthritis in my fingers I have had to almost give it up. I share a 1950s Janome New Home Sewing Machine with my daughter, it's very basic but it's such a lovely machine to work on. Have to get hubby to lift it for me as it is very heavy.
Alex has just started her own Enterprise making Bags, Purses, Dice/Rune Bags etc which she started in order to pay for her own school trip to CERN as she didn't want us stressing about finding the money. She'd decided this before she'd even told us about the trip. She knows that she has complete access to the stash, we've always allowed them to have freedom to chose the fabrics they want to use as we don't want to prevent them from expressing themselves creatively. With them both being Autistic they can be very creative and we've tried to enable this in every way we can. So she really has thrown herself into this. She gets in from school, makes sure she's done any homework and then gets straight into her making. To help save her some time I'm doing ironing and cutting for her. She just makes me a list I can follow and tick off as I go. I really am proud of her for making her own choice in paying for her trip. She's paid it in full now with the help of her gofundme page which she offered 'rewards' of purses and dicebags. So now she has decided to keep her enterprise 'Lady Luthien' going in order to buy things she may need for school but she'd also like to buy her brother a Telescope that he can connect to the camera as he loves Space and because he is at Special school, he doesn't get the kind of school trips offer to him as she does and she can see that it does upset him, especially the CERN trip as he has read everything he can find about the LHC. So she wants to do something special for him.

As well as having Spinal issues (Degenerative Disc Disease), Arthritis and Nerve Issues I am also on the Autistic Spectrum as I have Asperger's. I struggle with crowds, tend to chat on (even typing lol) but I am very giving and if I can help someone in any way, sometimes I have been hurt because of this but I try not to let it stop me from helping the next person.

Well, that's me. I know it's rather a lot and I am sorry for that but hope I have given an insight into me.

Irene B13/09/2016 14:52:58
4433 forum posts
405 photos

Hi Laura, Lovely to meet you and a very warm welcome to the Forum. It's great to have you on board and look forward to seeing your creations. You sound a very happy and active household with lots of animals to look after! Well done Alex for doing so well with her enterprise to fund her trip to CERN - is that in Switzerland?

Quilty hugs,

Irene rose

Marian T13/09/2016 15:19:25
4504 forum posts
466 photos
7 articles

Hi Laura

Welcome to the group. I really enjoyed reading about your family and the close connection you all have including all your animals.

Alex has it all sussed out and her fund raising for Cern is fantastic and her plans to buy her brother a telescope is so kind and caring.

I hope you enjoy getting involved with the group and I look forward to seeing your creations in the future.

Marian face 23

rosemary Rosenfeld13/09/2016 16:56:32
5818 forum posts
1705 photos
13 articles

Hi Laura...what a busy lot you all are! Welcome to the forum and please share some photos with us!We love seeing what everyone else is doing! Best Rosemary

Margaret S14/09/2016 14:23:17
3978 forum posts
740 photos

Hi Laura, it makes me tired just reading about all the things that you do! Welcome to the Forum.

Well done to your daughter on her fund raising. We don't see one of our group members too often because she is often at Cern working on ATLAS, and another of our member's husband is a Physics Professor who also works on ATLAS. I am sure that your daughter will have/will enjoy the experiences offered by the trip.


Winnie the B.O.L.B14/09/2016 22:05:02
3340 forum posts
190 photos
1 articles

Hi Laura - like Margaret S said, I feel exhausted just thinking about your hectic life. I couldn't do it, that's for sure. Please remember to join in on the Chat thread of the Forum - that's where we all keep up with each other's everyday doings.

Winnie xx

pamela jeffrey15/09/2016 09:59:41
3192 forum posts
114 photos

Hello Laura

You keep busy

Bye Pam

Carol B18/09/2016 19:50:29
3003 forum posts
776 photos
2 articles

Hello Laura,

Lovely to hear all about you and your family. I saw your postings in the sketchbook quilt thread and thought how wonderful it was that you made the competition a family affair with yourself, DH and DD having a go.

Congratulations to your DD on her fund raising, she sounds such a determined young lady, I am sure she will have a great time at CERN.

Look forward to seeing more postings from you,

Carol Bface 23

Laura Mackenzie-Hawkins22/09/2016 10:16:21
7 forum posts

Thank you for the welcomes. I've been told by hubby that I have to have a semi feet up day. I say semi because the dogs still need to go out and I still had to sort poultry feeds. He's fussing as I had a bad medication night when I woke up at 4am which is an hour and half off my pain patch being changed having started going into withdrawal So hubby got my top up Oxycontin to stop me contorting. So I'm a wee bit achy today. But the dogs have been huge fusspots and even my son's cat came and sat with me on the sofa. She normally just meows AT me till I get her treats. But because the dogs don't get treats without at least giving paw, the cat does also cause it wouldn't be fair otherwise. Had a SKY fitter's eyes almost fall out when Posh ran in the room and Sat when I asked and then gave Paw, left and right for treats. He asked if he had just seen what he had thought he'd seen. Yes, a cat who sits and gives paw. She also does Lie down and bedtime Soon as I said she's my son's Autistic Support Cat it suddenly seemed completely logical that she would. She's a Blue Tabby Point Birman who came int our lives 6 years ago. She'd actually been dumped on an industrial estate. She is like Nanny to the kids and fusses over them endlessly. She just gets bored if they are at school so follows me around

Hubby is on pins waiting for his sketchbook quit to come back in the post as with being his first ever thing he's made all on his own, he's rather proud. I am chuffed he loved doing it, tho I do really wish he'd learn to plaster (I wanted to but now can't) so we can get some rooms sorted properly but he can Tile (walls and floors) and is quite handy really as I have taught him most things in the 21 years we've been together. His dad was a landscape gardener and all he'd do was mow huge lawns when he worked with him. I ended up taking over while at Uni and holidays as I'd been brought up around farming and enjoyed proper gardening. I'm trying to get back to having a nice garden or at least section of it. We have 160ft x 40ft split into 3 sections. Currently the animals have 2 sections and we have the first section and patio tho the poultry don't hold to this and do tend to find ways to come and sit at the back door wanting to come in lol The Turkeys are just as bad as all were hatched in house and spent first few weeks being carried around on shoulders or sleeping perched on one of the dogs backs. They are just a lot larger now and having a bird 15kgs plus in weight with 5 to 6ft wingspan trying to fly to your shoulder or arm can be a bit disturbing of you didn't know that they then snuggle up to your face wanting kisses and hugs. We've kept turkeys now for the last 10/11 years. We can't eat Turkey now.

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