Thursday, 19 August 2010

House Mouse Stamp from Joanna Sheen

I coloured one of my new stamps up bought from Joanna Sheen (which are gorgeous), and made it into a card for a very special lady across the pond in Mississippi.  Her name is Shirley and she has a blog HERE

I coloured up with my promarkers and love how the poppy turned out.  The fern leaves were made using a Leoni Em punch (ash branch), sentiment is from my Anna Griffin sentiment stamp collection, glittery flower from the mass amount I bought from QVC some time ago - they're Petalloo.  Martha Stewart punch to create border.  Image stamped on a nestie label (that I'd cut ages ago) then inlade into a black mat in which an aperture had been cut using the same size nestie label (also cut a while ago). Thats it.

I'd forgotten to take a pic before I sealed the envelope up so when Shirley let me know she'd received it, she kindly took a pic of it for me and emailed so that I could share on my blog.

Don't you find something very theraputic about colouring in?  I always used to enjoy colouring in when I was younger, and took inspiration from my Mum who also enjoyed colouring. I still have a picture of a cat with a great big bow round its neck that my Mum coloured for me when I was a little girl.  I stuck it to the inside lid of my desk - which I also still have in the garage.

Many times i've been camping and bought a cheap colouring book and pencils to colour in as a wind down or relaxer.  Obviously these days, more of us do it as part of our overall hobby and take these images we colour and make a card or project out of them. 

Since I have been off work, (and going stir crazy most of the time, becoming somewhat housebound), crafts and colouring have been a great therapy to me and i've found that many people find cardmaking as a hobby as some kind of rehabilitation due to an illness or accident, and think its great that so many people who have to live with illness, pain or a disability can enjoy crafting.  At the end of the day, while we may not be active and able to do the day to day norm, colouring etc is a great therapy.  Obviously there have been restrictions for me in terms of the lenght of time I can do any activity, let alone craft although mostly, crafting is (supposed to be) sedatery and relaxing and keeps the mind active. I'd like to say that it takes my mind off the chronic pain but its always there, niggling and reminding me that its there - especially when the stabbing pains alsi start (its like some one sticking many many blunt needles in, in one go - I can only describe it to you as if someone was typing on a keyboard - for every letter they touch, a stabing pain occurs.  Sometimes they're typing a sentence - sometimes a whole blog post (the size of mine :O(). 

Sadly, I've not been able to use my rotary trimmer or my cuttlebug as much as I could as the strength in having to hold it steady with my left hand/side has gone.  However, I have a very helpful Mum and Husband who have been able to do such things for me.  Although pre-scored and cut cards are a godsend!  I suppose thats why you will have found a lot of my crafting has been the 'click and print' type of late, unless I've used stuff that i'd say, decoupaged ages ago, or using die cut decoupage. Its sitting to the table that presents a problem, so I try to do things that i can do on my lap.  Also, its a good job that I have a little stash box of ready made cards done pre illness (and blogging).  Of course commissions have taken a back seat as i've all on doing cards for my own family, but I would NEVER resort to buying one!!!

Before I go, I thought you'd appreciate a little update following my hospital visit to see the Pain Consultant yesterday.  He confirmed considerable nerve damage all around the operation site and wasn't surprised at the amount of pain I am continuing to suffer.  All my symptoms about not being able to sit comfortably, lay on my back or left side, not being able to walk very far or for very long, (or very fast) excrutiating pain when coughing, sneezing or even clearing my throat (and even taking deep breaths - the type where you fill your lungs properly, not being able to reach down to pick things up, put pressure on or lean on my left side - or drive... - none of these were a surprise to him. 

He said that nerve damage is often caused to a degree during the thoracotomy - but I actually had part of my intercostal nerve removed (first time i've been told this as I just thought it had been cut as part of the op) as the tumor was growing on it - the tumor is  known as a schwanomma and quite rare (I don't like to be common LOL)!!!

When we discussed my pain medication, and also the medication I'd had to drop because of the abnormal liver function test results, he said I wasn't on a high enough dose of the Gabapentin i'm taking (a great big orange capsule tablet), which is a medication for neurological pain/nerve damage - he's asked me to double this for a few days, then up it to three per day. I have to go back in November to have a trial on a TENS machine (under clinical supervision), then progress if there is no progress (weird how they are the same words but you day them differently) to more invasive intervention such as freezing the nerves and then possible a nerve block (he said there were several options).  I have another follow-on appointment in January.  He said that it could take two to three years to see any improvement.

He has also given me some cream to put on around my scar area - this is other pain caused by nerve damage to my skin; I have surface skin pain and a mix of a lot of numbness, then some deeper down pain which feels like its nearer to the actual bones.  The cream is called capsaicin which is apparently made of chemicals from chillies.  Aparently, the chemicals in the chillies send messages to your brain and confuse it (and it doesn't take much lol)!!!!  I've been given gloves to apply this with and haven't got to get it anywhere else.... I don't think I can put it in a curry either LOL!!!  I'll have to get my OH to put it on cos I can't reach - but will have to make sure he doesn't scratch any delicate areas LOL or goes to the loo with the gloves still on!!!... just like the raw chillies - you have to avoid rubbing your eyes or touching anywhere else, particularly your face..  

I told the consultant (Mr Dale) that I was pretty miserable about the whole thing (which he wasn't surprised at either). 

Oh, how it has changed my life considerably beyond anything I would ever have imagined when I brought the New Year in wishing every one much health and happiness for 2010... little did I know :O(... still - you bloggers out there have kept me going - and just want to thank you for your ongoing support - humouring me when I keep going on about my aches and pains, keeping in touch, and always asking after me.  A big hug to each and every one of you.

Despite the news that I could be like this for 2-3 years (and possibly forever), seeing the consultant today has really verified everything I have been suffering - and I know that none of it is psychosomatic - and people will hopefully stop thinking that I'm making it up (as I'm sure some think I do)!!!

Hope you enjoy this lovely House Mouse image, I look forward to being able to colour many more.

Thanks for reading - please leave a comment to say you've been,

hugs, Paula x x x


  1. Now that is what I call a result the you know its not in the head or something horrid. I know there is not really a light at the end of the tunnel yet but knowing you are normal and there is hope that it will finally go one day, is a start and that you are on too low a dose means that your pain threshold is not as low as I bet you were beginning to think it was. Hold in there and take all the non chemical help you can too ...maybe later ????acupuncture.
    ...many swear by it.

    Enough of on to fun things ...can I say that is a beautiful card. How I wish I could colour like that ...I have to admit that I dont try because I really dont want to get into the pro v copic or the expense 'cos I know I would just want to buy and buy if I got hooked. Your poppy is so real ...I can almost feel the texture. Loads of love XX

  2. this is wonderful gale, the coloring is gorgeous and I love that stamp!

    You take care dear!!!

  3. Hi, Paula.
    So glad that you have at least got some sensible answers for once, which must be a reassurance. The thought of another 2 or 3 years pain doesn't sound at all encouraging, fingers crossed that won't be the case. I hope you will continue to let off steam to all of us when you need to!
    Oh, and I love that little mouse in his poppy!

  4. Beautiful card mate, I love colouring, I need some lessons from you though! I have promarkers but they never seem to look that good when I have finished although I keep it in the lines lol. Do you remember when you were at school that it was so important to keep it in the lines. My son coloured a picture of an orange at nursery a bit haphazard and when the teacher asked what all the colouring outside the lines was he said the juice had come out! Can't argue with that eh? Im glad you got to speak to the pain specialist and he could set your mind at rest that you aren't going mad or making it up, Im sure that must help. Now on to getting it sorted. Hope the increase in the meds will give you some relief from the pain and discomfort. Thinking of you and sending Big Hugs Tracey xx

  5. Oh Paula, you must be feeling so relieved that someone actually understands how much pain you have been in my lovely. It also musy make a huge difference having it explained how you are in the pain. I do hope that you can get some relief following his advice.

    Such a gorgeous card & you have coloured it beautifully...I love colouring in too,


  6. Hi Paula, So glad you got to speak to someone who listened and understood what you are going through and not making it up. Now you can start to get better with the increased medication, the support from your family and friends. That card is just beauiful. The colouring in is just perfect. Looking forward to seeing more of your creations. Gentle hugs from Kathleen x

  7. Stunning card Paula, the colouring on the poppy is fab. Great to have an update on how your doing, take care.

  8. Fab HM card Paula, that poppy is just so beautiful and I love the black on the card, it really makes the card stand out!

    Youve had quite a journey this year and look how well youve managed thus far. The main thing is knowing that what you are experiencing actually does exist and you're not going mad! (unlike yours truly!)

    One day at a time as we go forward, just enjoy your colouring and your family and friends oh, and of course handsome Dylan!

    Like you, I love the ability to mooch over page after page of papercrafting at any hour of the day and it does give my mind something else to be thinking of so just keep on doing what makes you happy Paula and bit by bit you will get there. (Now where 'there' may be is the fun part!?!)

    Keryn x

  9. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  10. Your card is lovely Paula!
    I love colouring...OH always laughs when I tell him I am off to my cubby to colour in!
    So glad to hear you are finally getting somewhere with the Docs!

  11. Hi Paula, stopped by to get the update from yesterday. So glad that you have someone who has finally acknowledged what you are going through.
    I love the card and as for colouring in I have a tale to tell you about that when we meet again.
    I will PM you.
    gentle hugs
    Lynn x

  12. Hello my little friend. Really sorry your news wasn't much better for you but at least someone does appreciate how much pain you are in and that they are hoping to improve things for you. Really love your card and hope your crafting really helps the difficult times.
    Big hugs,
    A x

  13. Thank goodness you have some positive answers to such a negative situation Paula. I know it sounds as if it will take for ever to feel better but at least its been acknowledged as real and something is being done about it. That alone must make you feel better!! I know we can't help much but we are thinking of you and willing you to get better. x x Jo

  14. Hello chick, lovely to see a nice long post from you. Mixed bag of news then - 2 to 3 years is a long time to wait, but at least you're on the way and hopefully the higher dose of medication will give you some relief.

    Your card is gorgeous - the colouring on that poppy is mega-beautiful. I can't quite make my mind up about House Mouse stamps - they are cute, but they are also very realistic!

    Sending you happy thoughts and gentle hugs, love from Nicki, xx

  15. I love the coloring on your card, Paula- the poppy is amazing! I'm really a nit-picker about how colored images look, and I think you did a fabulous job of it :) . I don't dare try anything like that myself, I know there's a learning curve to it. On the health note, I'm glad you got in to see the specialist finally about the pain. I know it wasn't the best thing that you wanted to hear, but having someone who knows exactly what they're talking about and can verify what you're feeling and why gives a little bit of relief. I'll keep praying for you that you can get relief a lot sooner than they anticipate. Hang in there, Kathryn

  16. Hi my sweet friend! I am happy for you having a doctor with understanding and I hope the therapy will help. I've seen many Discovery episodes on that chili use in nerve healing and it should do something good to you (I hope). So sorry you are suffering so much, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MY HERO!!! The way you keep posting on your blog with smiles in your heart while battling for your health makes me do the same. You are a true encouragement and I thank you so much for writing about the coloring as therapy. I totally agree, but didn't think of it. I will start right away... it will definitely ease my heart and I love coloring :) Love you dearly and just keep unloading your burdens whenever you can onto us all. Sending you kisses as much as your heart can take.

  17. you can't beat colouring in and sticking... a hobby that can take you places you never thought of - Blogland for example. Glad you are getting some answers and can at least look forward. Keep up the blog when you can, I still pop by every day even if you are resting. Big hug Anj x x x x

  18. bless, so pleased to hear your app went well, hope it all helps! The card is lovely welldone xxx

  19. Gorgeous card Paula! You have coloured the image so beautifully.

    Paula: I'm so sorry to read about your ongoing struggles with constant pain, and the frustration and sadness you are feeling. Sending you a {hug} from across the miles - wish I could make everything better for you.

  20. I agree with you about the colouring Paula, yours is fab and to do it IS theraputic!
    The medical bit sounds horrendous and I think you're very brave! Let's just hope that things will improve, albeit slowly!

  21. Hi Paula
    there is a little award waiting for you over on my blog!

  22. Paula, this is both good and bad news. Good in the sense that it confirms your pain, bad that it will take so long to correct.

    Not being an MD, I had to look up all those medical procedures you discussed in your post. I guess you knew that a thoracotomy was one of the hardest post-op surgeries to deal with. I sure a lot from blogland, and I hope all goes well soon.

    I'm making you my blog of the day tomorrow (Aug 25). Hope to see you for WOYWW, but if not, you'll still be in my thoughts.

  23. Hello you!

    I think you are beginning to hoard these things now but there's another something little for you over at mine! lol!

    You hoarder you!

    Keryn x

  24. Yes, you are born to craft! Everything looks lovely. Blessings to you. Hope all is looking up soon.

  25. Popping by at the suggestion of Bluebeard and Elizabeth.
    Love your card and love your positive attitude that shines through all your pain. Stay strong, keep crafting and never give up hope and belief that you will come through all this.
    glad I visited,
    JoZarty x

  26. OMG Paula, no wonder you're in so much pain :-( and 2 years to see any real improvement! Here's hoping the new regime helps and good luck with any future pain therapy.
    Gorgeous card hun, love all the elements, colour combo and your colouring :-)
    Anne xx

  27. Hope you will be pain free is not nice.
    xoxo Sioux

  28. my mum has chronic neuropathic pain. did the chilli cream help?


Thank you for your super scrummy spangly comment and for spending your valuable time letting me know what you think...

Crafty hugs, Paula x x x


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