Thursday, 23 September 2010

WOYWW - 22 September 2010 (but on Thursday)!!!

Hi there, i didn't want to miss out by not doing it for two weeks on the trot.  Last week I'd been concentrating on an interview scheduled for the following day on my second session back at work. 

This is a long post, so unless you have a spare 20 mins… hop away right now!!!

I thought I would start with the desk, of course.  It’s not tidy.  Remnants of baby card making.  The paper with the coloured hearts on is a colour chart from Pink Petticoat which is extremely useful when you have some of Liz’s colour collections – very nice and makes it easier to put matching colours and DP’s together.  The box of dew drop inks has my latest purchase if Momento Brilliance inks in- from QVC.  I bought a set of 24 for something like £27 on 2 easy payments – and they were really worth the money.  You would not believe the metallic colours OMG – they are de-lish.  I already had a couple of collections of momento dew drop inks, including chalk pigment inks and have just put them all in one place in this plastic box.

You may spy that I have an ATG gun on my desk too.  I’ve wanted one for ages and succumbed the other day when 3M had theirs on sale at a mega price of £11.59 and free delivery.  

I received it Monday and set it up following a video they have on the same web page.  Good to go… well, no actually.  The used bit of tape should wrap round a second spool, but mine hasn’t been doing it.  I looked at the video again – and it was set up absolutely correctly – but, the middle of the second spool in mine was loose and a spring came out.  It wasn’t broken – just looked like it hadn’t caught under two tabs properly when assembled so I called them yesterday and explained that the tape was coming back out the front of the gun and I kept having to manually rewind it every 10 inches of use or so.  He said that he’d send me a new one out in the post because it was clearly faulty.  I asked how I was to send the other one back, but he said to just throw it away as it would cost more to do the paperwork and collect it than not.  So I might get Darren to have a look at it to see if he can take it to pieces and mend it.  If not, I’ve not lost anything have I?
Now, there’s not much else going on, on the desk – but if you spy anything you want explaining – just get in touch – I’m always happy to tell!!!

Now… back to me telling you about going back to work and my second afternoon session last Thursday.  When I got there, I had an assessment to see if my chair current would be suitable for my needs and comfortable to sit in, and it was clear to the H&S guy that it wasn't.  Getting in and out of the chair really did not help my pain and as a result of that, the interview couldn't take place as I was deemed as not fit enough to attend and be interviewed.  

Also, I was advised to go back to the doctors as I clearly wasn't well enough to be back at work.  So another visit to the Doctors on Friday, and he signed me off work again.  He also changed one of my meds again (he’d only increased them last Friday but they’d made no difference) as I said that I couldn't cope with that level of pain any more.  He stopped Gabapentin (big orange ones) and prescribed Pregabalin on the advice of the pain specialist in his letter to the doc following my visit there in August.  Anyway, when I went to the doctor, I asked him if he would write to the pain clinic and bring my next appointment forward for the trial of the TENS machine.  He said he wanted to try out the other things that the pain specialist had suggested first, starting with the meds, which I have to allow 2 weeks to make a difference, then he'd got a patch that I could try after that.  He did say that if I wanted to call the pain clinic myself and see if I could add myself to the cancellation list - I may get in quicker.

When I came back from the doctors, I called the pain clinic, explained my situation and that with work and they added me to the list.  Then I had a mixed weekend not doing much.

Monday morning, I received a call from the hospital saying they’d just had a cancellation for a TENS machine trial – could I make the appointment for 2pm.  Of course I said yes, as I’m getting pretty desperate.

I got to the clinic; DS came with me as he drove.  Went in to the room and discussed my pain to the clinic nurse (no consultant this time) who was to do the trial.  She explained that they have to put the pads on the nerve path to block the pain message getting to the brain and allow the TENS machine vibration feeling override it.  I explained how sensitive the skin is around that area, the only way I can explain it is that it feels like bad sunburn or as if the cat has scratched me.  I can’t bear it to be touched.  Because of this, she said it was highly unlikely that I’d be able to stand the vibrations from the machine and the pads stuck to me.  She tested it on my opposite arm to show me how the vibrations were.  She set it on the lowest setting – which was really strong.  She said for it to have any effect on me, it would have to be turned on to the highest setting.  I just knew I’d not be able to tolerate it.  She said that it was likely to cause more pain than it would stop, so wasn’t a suitable option for me.  She went to double check with the Consultant who was with someone else.  He agreed that it wasn’t suitable for me. 

I was well concerned by this point because I don’t want to face however long feeling how I feel – particularly on the bad days – which are unbearable to the point I feel physically sick with pain.  I asked what would happen now then, so the nurse read my notes and said apart from the other two options of different meds and the patch that was in the letter to my doctor following the previous visit; she said it looked likely that the nerve block option would be next.  I asked her if the previous consultant had written anything up about the prognosis he’d given me – when he’d told me that it could be 2-3 years before I started to feel any improvement – or even never.  The nurse said he’d not written anything and that he shouldn’t really have given me a prognosis because there is no cure for the nerve damage I have, the pain clinic would just help me manage it or help control the pain – they are not there to cure it.

So, I went away from the clinic disappointed, but grateful that I knew now and wasn’t holding out until my original appointment in November.   My next appointment isn’t until January 2011.

I’ve been for blood tests today just to keep an eye on my liver function.  Also, I’m being tested for arthritis as I’ve been having terrible problems with my joints and hands.  This has been going on for about 5 years or so now, but the Gabapentin I was on made it far worse than I’ve ever had it before.  Sometimes I can’t hold a pencil for long if writing, and find it difficult to hold a cloth when cleaning or wiping something so I asked the doctor if he thought it was hereditary because my mum suffers terribly with the same and has osteoarthritis, and so did my grandma.

On a lighter note to all that miserable stuff above, I’ve been reading the side effects of my latest meds and been having a bit of a giggle because some of them are sooo happening to me and obviously are way beyond my control… some of them I haven’t got either!!!:

Make me develop a funny walk, make me have trouble getting my words out or finding the right words(Check) , memory impairment (check), insomnia (check), vertigo, dry mouth (Check), flatulence, swelling of the extremities, disturbance in attention (Check), lethargy(zzzzz), flushing and hot flushes (had a couple today), muscle twitching (check), difficulties with erection (not yet LOL)!!!!

Anyway, there you have it; my week to date.  Hope yours was better.

If you want to show your desk (like I did at the start of this post), go over to Julia at the Stamping Ground, and she’ll explain the drill.  It’s fun and is spreading across the globe and a brill way to make some fantastic blogging friends.  I have.

If none of this post makes sense - read para above - and blame it on the meds... I do!!! LOL

Thanks for reading - please leave a comment to say you've been - then come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Monday, 20 September 2010

Forever Friends and Tiddly Inks Baby Boy cards

Well, since I last blogged, I have some wonderful news that I have become an Auntie to a nephew.  My very first.

Obviously, my siblings already have nephews in my own two sons, but this is a complete first for me. I've yet to meet the little chap, but I can't wait.  Its about the only good thing to have happened to me this year - I remember my Brother calling me up and saying he'd got some news to cheer me up just after i'd found out about my tumor, and announced their good news.  If you are a regular to my blog, here is the card I made for them to celebrate their news.

I have made a card from all of us and then a little one from the boys to their new cousin.
Here is the main card that I made with my Forever Friends CD and is an A4 card.  I'd bought some A3 cardstock especially for those special ocassion cards - and what more special than this?

Here it is:

Inside is a tag with all the baby details on which sits in a small pocket I made.

I love using the FF CD to design cards because, although you can buy FF decoupage kits and cards in the shops - the number of cards you can make from this CD is endless.

Apologies for the shocking state of this photograph.  I had to take it with the desk lamp on because obviously its in the middle of the night.  Its taken me all day to do this card - having said that - i started it yesterday by printing everything out, but my mum came by so I helped her design a card from her - she can get a bit carried away with the bling, so I'm trying to tame her and show her that less really can be more.  Just so we didn't end up sending something similar, she did hers in a yummy cream and mocha colour scheme.  Pity she doesn't have a blog as it was coming together quite nicely.  However, I think I cut most of it up for her - probably why mine has taken so long.

As I mentioned previously, I also made a card for the boys to welcome their new cousin - and was a great excuse to use one of my new Tiddly Ink images.  I'm also going to enter this card into Tiddly Challenge 21: Our Pets - just because its a cute image of a cat and I have 2 cuties myself.

I cut the image out on my latest set of nesties.  These are the recently released circle nesties and are perfect for threading ribbon through.  The checked DP is from the FF cd too and so is the blue and white polka dot dp which i've punched circles from the display the baby embellishments that i've had in my stash like forever!!!

Thanks for looking - hope to see you back here soon.
Paula x x x

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Back to School Tiddly Ink

Edited to add that I just (over a week since I originally blogged this post) noticed that somehow, I'd repeated my post... when some of the comments were made - I had no idea what my lovely followers and commenters meant... OMG - just read it and the penny dropped.  I truley balme the medication... you don't want to know what else its been causing me to do LOL.. :O)

Hello blogging buddies new and old.

My niece who recently turned three started nursery last week so I decided to mark the ocassion by doing her a card, that hopefully, when she's finished her GCSE's and looking towards the future - (either more education or go in to the big wide world), she'll still have this card somewhere from her Auntie Paula from when she embarked on her journey through 12+ years of school!!

The image is a digi, bought from Tiddly Inks called 'back to school'.  You can view Christy's shop and her wonderful images by clicking here There are lots of cute images in her store of all types and she's adding all the time.  She recently added some cute Christmas ones which I couldn't resist, and can't wait to colour those up.  Christy also designs for Stamping Bella, so some of you may already be familiar with her work if you're not into digi's.  

The image is decoupaged up one layer, then I decoupaged the books again.  I coloured with my Promarkers.  I don't know about you, but something just clicked with me last night when I was colouring this in.  I usually colour each level of my image in my 'best' colouring (lol) - even if i'm not using all of each layer - which you generally don't in decoupage.  Also, I could them all and do all the shading etc., then it dawned on me... if i'm not using all of the image, or showing all of the image i.e. its going to be hidden by the next layer, then whats the point in doing my best colouring, right?  It was hard to do basic colouring on the lower layer, but I figured why should I be bothering with the shading.  I tried to do the best bit of colouring for the bits that are going to be on show. 

Does anyone else work like I was working, or had you already figured it out that there was little point in doing that??? Is it just me then? LOL.

The chalkboard image was a freebie - also from Tiddly Inks and both the background pencil designs are both from my Funky Hand CD "V. Funky" - available from here on the Funky Hand website.  I own all the Funky Hand CD's and have quite a few of the downloads available from the site too, so I highly recommend them.  They're a great source for backing papers - and where else could I have got something so suitable from at that kind of notice...  you could call me a FH nut... Funky Hand rocks!!!

The sentiment is computer generated in 'cool dots' font - I've just gone round the edge with a red Promarker to make it stand out.  

Did you notice how i've not shaded around the image, rather, I've dotted round with different coloured Promarkers in colours used in the image or found in the backing papers.  I saw someone had done it on their cards on another blog and thought it was a fab and fun way of making the image pop instead of using a flat grey - and think it really works on this particular card... you probably wouldn't necessarily use it on an image of an ornate flower or something elegant... but here it seems to work.

The apples were digi colouring images I found by doing a Google search. After I took the picture - I decided to put glossy accents on them to make them look like nice shiney, polished apples - ready for teacher (did anyone you know actually take an apple for the teacher when you were at school - most of the kids I knew just gave our teachers grief LOL?)!!!

Hope you like my card.  Please leave me a message if you've taken the time to read my post - i'd like to say hi in return.

Paula x x x

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Back To Work - clarification (sort of)

No pics I'm afraid folks, just a very quick e-mail to clarify my 'back-to-work' status...
I'd like to thank all of you who showed concern - for being concerned... and so was my doctor!

Understandably, this being the world wide web, and 'public domain', I can't (and daren't), go into any detail on here for fear of who else may read my blog, but if you wish to PM me, I will be able to tell you a bit more.

The decision was only made about my return on Monday and before I knew it, Wednesday afternoon - my first session of a phased return was here.

Just to clarify - I feel absoloutely NO BETTER than I have done of late, I felt like throwing up yesterday because of the pain, and really suffered for it last night - and in fact today too... i've not been up and about long, and just didn't know what to do with myself.

That's it, I've really said enough on here... hope you understand.

Thanks for coming back to read this.

Paula x x x x

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

WOYWW - 8th September

Hey Bloggers, howya doin' this week?

This is my offering this week - not as neat and tidy as last week huh?  Thats because I actually have a WIP which i'll come back to later.   There's a card in the background which I have entered into a couple of challenges - see my last post for further details.  I'm pretty happy with the card, even though its not my usual style... although I like to think I don't have a style and will tturn my hand to anything that is required at the time... a bit like most crafters can, but some have a distinctive style to their work.

Anyway - the chest on the desk is still working out very well for me so i've not changed that since last week...  On top of the chest though, I have a new pen holder which is circular and enables me to see all my pens, pencils and some of my tools easier.  This cost me £1 from 'The Works' bookshop which sells quite a lot of craft and painting stuff.  On the right of the desk you can just probably spy one of my 'My Craft Studio' CD ROMS.  Yesterday I decided to uninstall the ones I had on my laptop and reinstall them all.  I have 12 MCS CD's so far, so wanted to make sure the all the artwork was in the same place instead of here ther and everywhere!!

Right, the WIP... My little niece - who only turned 3 week before last started nursery in the mornings, so I thought I'd send her a little card of encouragement... she keeps telling her mum she's gone to big school because she attends a private day nursery on the odd days where, to her, they are all babies now. 

Anyway, I'd printed all the DP's out with the intention of putting the card together but when I came to do it, couldn't find the papers or digi images... later on, the cat (Tiggy) decided to move and revealed where she'd been cat napping... yep, on the papers i'd printed!!!  

Talking of firsts, my boys went back to school today.  DS1 has dropped two if his subjects and has picked another up.  DS2 said it was boring and complained about the big diary they've been handed today.  He'll just have to get over it.

And... another very important first is... I went back to work this afternoon on a phased return.  But that's it for this week.  Thats why my post for WOYWW is quite late.  

Below is a closer picture of the WIP.  I will post the end result card, but for now, I want to tell you that the pencils DP is from a Funky Hand CD, the chalkboard background is a digi from the Tiddly Inks store, and so is the 'Back to school' girl holding her books - even though I know my Niece isn't quite at this stage yet!!!

Do you want to know what all this 'showing your desk/workplace' is about??? Then hop over to Julia's blog which is called the Stamping Ground and she'll reveal all about the blog hop to see loads of desks in differing stages of disaray, mid project... having said that, it might not even be a desk - there have been floors, washing machines, bedroom dressing tables, dining table.  What ever takes your fancy.  If you want to join in - by either visiting or showing what you have - take a pic, tell us about it and link it to Julias and you'll have fellow bloggers leave you some love... not bad eh?

Thanks for reading - please leave a comment to say you've been - then come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A Fabby, Funky, Tiddly Card!!!

Evening Bloggers, 

Not sure where you are in the world, but right here, right now, the weather is atrocious.  Its been raining since about 5pm (Monday evening) with absolutely no let up.  I'm sat in the conservatory where the rain is beating down on the roof and I can hardly hear myself think!!!  I wouldn't be surprised if there is some local or regional flash flooding after tonight.I hope i'm wrong though.

Earlier in the day, it was very blustery and windy, and Dylan (our Bedlington Terrier) went outside when the wind caught his ears and they were flying about in the air.  It looked like someone had them on strings and was pulling them... It was such a funny sight!  If only I had the piece of mind to have taken a piccy - you would have found it hilarious.  I shall share some more pussy cat piccies over the coming days tho... they've been up to their funny little quirky ways recently!!!

However, I DID have the camera out to take a picture of this though:

I have done this card which I will be entering in two challenges.

It would have been rather nice to have said "Hello Summer" here in good old blighty - I suppose our summer was those few gorgeous days we had in May!!!
My take on the Tiddly Inks challenge was to use colours that represent the transition from summer to autumn where the greens start to mix with the oranges and browns of the season.  The image I used was a lovely Tiddly Inks image called "Watcha Doin?"  However, for this card, I've covered up the sentiment that comes with the image and put my own, so that I can send it to the lovely lady that its destined for... a friend of mines Mum, who lives just a few doors away from me.  I usually send her something very floraly or something plastered in butterflies, but I'm sure she'll love this which is a beautiful image and a refreshing change from the regular pinks and lilacs.  I've coloured the image with Promarkers and die cut it with an oval Spellbinders Nestability.  The girl is layered up with just another layer to make it pop from the background.  

I have a growing collection of Tiddly Ink images - which are just gorgeous and perfect for people who love digi crafting.  The talents of their creator, Christy Croll, can be found in her shop here.  Please check them out - I defy you to come away from the shop without resisting buying one or two!!!  Also, check out the cards from her design team - they are awesome, and if you do visit the blog, there are some great tutorials posted and links on how to colour hair.  Seriously, the DT have it nailed!!!  As you can see from my card, I have yet to come up to their magnificent standards.

The Funky Hand Challenge is to use flowers in your card or project - but just floral paper or flat flowers will NOT cut the mustard for Kathy, who's set this months challenge... oh no, Kathy wants to see dimensional flowers, be they home made or whatever... well my flower, which is quite a statement on my card, is made up of Petalloo, Prima and homemade flowers which I cut with my Silhouette cutter ages ago...  All have been glittered to within an inch of their life, using Ranger Stickles in Diamond.  All the flourishy things are die cut using Spellbinders Doodleparts - and again, generously 'stickled'!!!!

The design papers on the card are ALL Funky Hand papers, from the CD 'Dreams Come True'.  The two with browny/orangy colours are from the aptly names collection 'Autumn Style' and the green paper is from the collection 'Kidding Around'.  This has been punched both sides using a Martha Stewart border punch.

Check out here for all the fabulous Funky Hand CD's and downloads available from the very talented Anice.  I have all of her CD's and some of the downloads too, which is a true testamont to her talents... I'm always waiting for her next CD to arrive on the scene, but have the very latest release too - called Colour Me Happy, which is on the very clever Papercraft Factory programme - which is just like shopping for a design paper and makes selecting a suitable design in the appopriate colourway for your project very easy.  Both this collection of papers and the Dreams Come True collection are available with this programme (you do have to buy each CD separately) but when you load them up - you can jump between both collection as they somehow link up together... clever.

Thanks for looking at this card, the first challenge I've entered in quite some time... please leave some 'love' and hope to see you back again. 

hugs, Paula x x x

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

WOYWW -1st September

Eh? Whats that? I've just typed the word September - you gotta be kidding me!!!

Indeed bloggers - it is September... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK !

Right - I know I am 'late' with this post, BUT my BFF kindly offered to take me out of the house.  She knew i'd been stuck in the house going stir crazy, with the only visits recently to either the hospital or doctors so she asked me if I wanted to go anywhere.

So, that's where i've been.  With my BFF.  She took me into town.  All I wanted to do was to visit the pound shop - this has been the highlight of my week... how rock 'n' roll is that? (NOT).  We went to a couple of shops then had to have a pit stop ( a rather long one, I had diet coke while my BFF sat there with a lager - on a lovely day like this too.  It was like it was tormenting me, just sat there in the pint glass, but I know its not worth it, and to be really honest I'm, I'm not really that bothered!!!  Anyway, I came back totally knackered and in pain, so put my PJ's on - definately rock n roll LOL.

Right, in my previous post, I went on a bit and kinda reviewed my gorgeous Anna Griffin tote bag.  I also talked about what was inside and the suprise I got when I found that there was stationery and embellishments.  WOW.  I also said that I'd been playing with the design papers that came with the set.

Here is a reminder of the papers:

Before I reveal what I did, i'll tell you the little story behind how my project came about (I know you're just dying to know)!!!

Last Friday, DS2 asked DH if they could clear out the garage.  Reluctantly, DH agreed and brought the odd thing or two out.  DS sold his set of childs golf clubs as he's now grown out of them.  I suggested he put them on the front garden and said i'd make him a 'for sale' sign.  I asked him how much he wanted for them and he said £15.  I asked him what the set included and he said there were so many golf clubs, the bag and a trolley (which were virtually brand new)... I made the sign saying they were £25 ono.... less than an hour later he'd sold them... to our neighbours across the road.  Their son is only about 9 or 10 and his dad is a keen golfer - and without question, he paid the full price.... so that was one good result of clearing the garage out.

Not long after, DS2 came in with a set of IKEA drawers that had long been forgotten about.  This had 6 drawers - all of which were full.  We had a right good laugh at what was in the drawers, and soon realised after reading some of the receipts that were in the drawer that these dated back to 2000 which was 2 years before we moved here - so thats how much i'd needed the drawers when we moved.... DH said there was another set which had yet to be constructed, so i've been rubbing my hands waiting for him to bring them in too.

This brings me on the the next part of the tale... (are you still with me?) LOL...

Some of you know that almost each time you visit my desk, something has changed on it.  Last week you would have seen my desk with (for want of a better word) a sandwhich box on, which contained all my glues that I use regularly: dry foam pads, pritt stick, double sided tape, tape rollers, quickie glue pens etc etc.  While it helped to have all these at hand, it wasn't the tidiest look, so I adopted said drawers to put all such things in.

This is a reminder of the desk last week:

This is the desk this week, which shows what I did with the scrummy papers:
They're not perfect by any means, but I like it and it takes the edge off the bare wood - also, the drawers themselves have really made the desk a whole load tidier (in my opinion).  I printed a washed colour onto the sheet of labels (using Pink Petticoats 'Washed Damask' collection) before I printed details of the contents of the drawer.  This way I felt that the colour blended with the colours in the DP's better than stark white labels.

Before I was able to get this shot, I just had to tidy the desk a bit and remove the offending article:

This is Tiggy, you've probably met her before if you've been by my blog.  She was probably in the cupboard with Dylan sniffing around her though...  Anyway, when I spoke to her to ask her what she thought she was doing,  - this is what she did...

Morning, noon or night, when you speak to this daft cat, all she does is turn herself upside down in a 'tickle my belly' kind of pose - and the more you speak to her, the more she wriggles and writhes on the floor - or in this case, the desk... rather than make her get off immediately, I wanted to share this with you... I have to put up with this on a regular basis.  Its usually on the floor or the top of the stairs though.

I have about 5 or 6 more photos from this morning with her in a slightly different position on her back cos each time I spoke to her, she rolled around some more!!! Bless her.  She's my shadow.

Taking a step back to take a picture of the whole desk, this is her again:

After a few minutes of (gentle) coaxing and persuading her to move, I finally got a shot of what you came to see - my desk "hooray, at last" I hear you cry!!!

I'm quite chuffed with my desk, each week (or so) it gets better and better... I just wish I had the energy to create wonders on it (or even just a quick card or two - instead of having to take 3 or 4 days to create cards in stages)...

I hope you enjoyed - sorry if you got bored along the way, but I like to talk to the computer screen as I think i'm really talking to you, my blogging friends.  If anyone comes along and doesn't like my style of writing - tough LOL!!!

If you would like to find out more about why half the blogging world show their desk/workspaces each Wednesday (or Tuesday night or even Thursday sometimes)... hop on over to Julia's blog, the lead and founding WOYWWer over at the Stampling Ground... she'll tell you all about the whys, wheres and whens.

Enjoy your day - whatever you are or are not doing, and thanks for reading - please leave a comment to say you've been - then hopefully come back again another time.

hugs, Paula x x x


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