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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

WOYWW 300

A milestone is reached today in the wonderful world of WOYWW.  How could I not join in?  Go on over to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details and a long list of fellow-'deskers'.

Not much crafting going on in my craft room today, so I have some of my latest stash acquisitions (ie internet shopping) on display.

I have been saying for a while that I must dust down my sewing machine, and when the latest Cross Patch show came on Create & Craft (apologies for all the links, but I know people will be asking me for details on these!), I found myself ordering some of the goodies.  The larger bag will be for me, the smaller one will be a Xmas pressie (deadline then!) and the door hanger is for our granddaughter.



I have done a fair bit of digital crafting this week, including starting on the path of learning another software, Serif DrawPlus, so I can design logos etc.

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my WOYWW post last week.  I hope to visit as many as possible in the next few days.

Ali x

ps  Huge thanks for those who have offered to make something for my new Etsy shop, raising funds for Fibromyalgia research, especially as we approach International Awareness Day on 12th May.  I will be setting up the shop next week and there is plenty of room for more items - I just ask for purple and butterflies to be included somewhere; any crafting is welcome. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

WOYWW 299

So much of my week has been taken up with social media - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ - helping to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia.  It is the International Awareness Day on 12th May and I am starting an Etsy shop to sell items made by Fibro sufferers and their supporters.  If anyone would like to contribute, get in touch.  Anything is welcome - as long as there is purple and butterflies somewhere on it.

Now I put my crafty blogging hat on and join in (very late) with the wonderful weekly tour around so many wonderful crafty workspaces.  If you want to join in, take a trip over to Julia's Stamping Ground.  As you can see from this blog title, we have very nearly reached the milestone of 300 weeks.  I have not been involved from the beginning!

I am showing off my latest finished needle felting project - the rabbit which you saw last week.  He (yes, he likes purple and pink!) has clothes now - and arms.  I am going to add some fluffy eyebrows, as I think that he would suit them.



In my craft room I am finishing off getting 20 cards ready for a NSPCC event - just need to sort out envies and poly bags. 

I will take a late tour around now. 

Happy WOYWW to everyone.

Ali x

Friday, 20 February 2015

My new purple friend

I have a new friend who spends nearly 24 hours a day with me.  This new friend is my purple Garmin vivofit wristband, which Rich bought me for Xmas.  I had been interested to have one, so that I could see exactly how active I am during the day and also track my sleep patterns.



There are plenty of general reviews about how comfortable it is, how easy it is to set up etc - but I will concentrate on the specific values to those with a chronic health condition.

It is very interesting to see how much deep sleep I have had each night - or how little deep sleep often in my case!  I can edit it in the morning to show my waking mood - and so far I have had the blue face (OK) for 83.3% of the nights and 16.7% for the red face (bad).  There are no green faces (great)!

As is normally the case with Fibromyalgia (if there is a normal ?!), there is no clear correlation (I did Statistics at O Level - back in 1987!) between how I sleep at night and my activity the day before, or how the next day is affected.  I have noticed that in the past week I seem to have gone back to my old habit of less sleep at night and waking early with increased pain (28.6% bad waking mood in the past week), and checking on my activity (which is the number of steps I take) I see that I am moving more.  I wonder whether this is because the days are getting longer - so I am spending more time outside on the yard and also walking the dogs.  

Week commencing 26th January - 81,903 steps.
2nd February - 84,972 steps.
9th February - 95,137 steps.
Already this week I have done over 70,000 steps.

Yes, I have Fibromyalgia - and I still move a lot!  With the ponies/donkey, dogs, big house and a generally active mind (that means I do not want to sit and watch Jeremy Kyle!), even with regular rests I am still  covering many miles each week (around 6 miles per day).

I complain all the time about winter and how it increases my pain/stiffness, but perhaps it is actually the time when I spend more time indoors and rest my body, and therefore I sleep better at night?  It is still winter, but the lighter evenings mean that I am enjoying being outside sorting out the animals and I will generally potter about finding jobs to do.  I don't always experience more pain/fatigue because of this, but it may affect my sleep patterns.

Who knows??!!



I will continue to monitor and assess whether there are any patterns.  However, my main aim is to get more and better quality sleep, so I will be turning off this laptop soon and getting to bed at a reasonable time.

If any of my readers have a wristband tracker-thingy, let me know how you are getting on with it - and whether you have seen any patterns between your activity and sleep.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

WOYWW 298

Another mid-week is upon us, and I am actually sitting down with my laptop and getting some blogging done.  You would think that with not working or having any kids I would have plenty of spare time, but it doesn't seem to work out that way.

What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday is a special occasion when crafters from all over the world show off their workspaces.  You can join in at Julia's Stamping Ground.

I did manage to do some papercrafting yesterday (I am making cards for family and also for an NSPCC sale), but my old body is not up to dragging up the stairs to take a photo of my desk, so my other work area (the sofa) will have to do!  I am still very addicted to needle felting.  I finished my first project, Darren the Daxie - and now I am working on a cute rabbit.

Here is the sofa before I sit on it -


(The fab Wool Buddies book - I highly recommend this.  Lots of projects and tips.   Tape measure, finger guard, felt pad ...)

Here is Darren -


(A bit fuzzy and wobbly - but so cute.)

Here is the start of my rabbit -

 
I hope that everyone is well.  I will be touring around a few blogs later.
 
Ali x

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

WOYWW 294

A very quick blog post, as I should be making/eating lunch/sorting out laundry/turning out ponies etc, etc!

We all join in on Wednesdays to share details of our workdesk/crafting projects.  Go to Stamping Ground for more details.

I am not spending so much time in my craft room at the moment, as it is not the warmest room in the house, so my photo today is of my latest addiction - needle felting.

I bought a kit to make a Xmas present for my mum (she loves dachshunds), but never got round to starting it until this week.  Now I see what all the fuss is about!  Really enjoying the process - and already planning my next projects, including doing some of my own designs.  It is very good for making me rest and distracting me from my pain.



I am making his tail now, and then it is the ears/feet/face to finish.

The only thing I have new on my craft desk is my washi tape storage solution - a wire basket I found in a local shop.

 
Hope that everyone is ok.  I will find some time later on to have a tour around other workdesks.  It is good that I am so busy, but there really aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.
 
Ali x

Monday, 8 December 2014

Fibromyalgia .................

I am not sure whether I have ever typed a specific blog post about my Fibromyalgia (I nearly missed out the 'my' part, but then remembered that Fibro is different for everyone).  Fibro Fog (one of my many symptoms, and which seems to be getting worse) is very 'foggy' this morning and I haven't got the energy either to do a few clicks and look at my list of blog posts.

Why now?

In my strange and ever-changing life I generally just find myself doing something.  They say that there is a reason for everything, but I have learnt to stop searching for reasons.

In fact trying to find a reason for pain is like trying to find a snowflake in a blizzard.  (I was going to do a lovely piece of digital artwork with these words - but it is definitely too early in the morning.  I may well include something one day not too far away, I hope!)

Am I having a flare because of travel, because of having visitors in the house, or because of a trip to the supermarket ..... ?  No one can answer those questions, except for the truth I now know - Pain has no reason.

Fibromyalgia is a nightmare I cannot wake up from.  I am sitting at my desk early on a cold and dark morning, attempting to read the very interesting blogs on my screen.  My sight varies a lot and early mornings do not help.  It is a struggle to focus, the words are blurred and fatigue makes my eyes water.  The answer right now should be to go back to bed and sleep more, but the pain in my lower back that forced me out of bed at around 5 am will certainly return as soon as I lie down.  I have given up on the reading (there are always a few websites open waiting for me to return soon) and this blog post popped into my head.

I should be wrapping Xmas presents or making the final card on my list (for my wonderful husband).  Both of those activities will have to wait.  They will wait until my pain lessens and my brain allows me to consider doing something that is not vital (I struggle to keep myself, hubby, animals and household cared for - so 'fun' stuff like crafting, wrapping gifts and clearing the leaves from the garden have to wait until the clouds of Fibromyalgia lift and let some sunshine through).

I cannot offer a blog post that includes links to research, useful coping skills or indeed anything of much use, except that I can offer support and understanding. 

YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO SITS IN FRONT OF THEIR COMPUTER FAR TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING.

Gentle hugs, Ali x

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

WOYWW 286 - Crafting again!

Happy What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone.  Pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to join in with the party.

I am late here today.  The day did not start well, waking up at 3.20 am with cramp in my legs - and the pain would not let me sleep after that.  I did catch up with lots of tv though, and the cat enjoyed my company on the sofa.  I am understandably a bit slow today, getting through my usual animal care/housework whilst waiting for more parcels to be delivered.  For the past few years I have done most of my present shopping on the internet - so much easier when we live 10 miles away from the nearest shopping and I struggle with driving now.  It does mean that we get a lot of courier vans making their way down our narrow lanes - apologies to the local horseriders and cyclists!

The good news is that my craft room is back up and running.  I made 2 simple Xmas cards this morning - just printed off a sheet of fab Pollyanna Pickering toppers (the Jack Russell and donkey look just like my Buzz & Doris!) and using various bits of card from my Xmas Stash Box.  My big intentions to make fancy cards for a lot of family and friends will, as usual, be put to one side for another year.  Not enough energy or inspiration, sorry!


This is my work area right in front of my pc screen.  Some crafty essentials - Collall glue, tape pen, scissors, ruler.  Many other miscellaneous items - pot of pens, calculator, Reiki verse, good luck charm from Lanzarote, business card box etc, etc.

I will be doing some blog-hopping for the rest of the day, inbetween taking the dogs out in the field again, feeding/medicating/mucking out ponies/donkey, attempting to cook some sort of meal this evening and I may even end up in my craft room for a while again.

Ali x