Tuesday, September 06, 2016

New home

My blog has now moved to craftyjanes.co.uk a new look website for my blog and craft projects.

Many thanks to Lee Pirie of Lee's Photography online for setting up the new site and to my husband Rob for adding the first content.

Thank you for those who have followed my poohbear blogspot, hope you will join me in the new location.

Latest blog 13th September called Running Behind.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Makes

Here are some of my July makes, the others can be seen at http://poohbear71.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/cats-sheep-and-websites.html as I posted them earlier in the month.

I am too tired and dizzy to post details, but will try to update when I can

My crafty helper, or not so helper as the case maybe!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cats, Sheep and websites

Here are a couple of frames that I made yesterday.  Emily wanted me to put them on my blog now rather than wait for the end of the month, so here I am doing as I am told.

For a friend whose cat passed away earlier in the week.  Heart cut using Spellbinders Pawing Around die. Button Trimits mini heart buttons.  Text printed, mounted in Ikea box frame.

Made for my daughter whose favourite toy is a sheep with a purple face who she can't live without, he is rather scruffy and threadbare now, but she still loves him.  Emily says her sheep has purple ears too, so he needs a bit of work to perfect him!  Sheep cut using Create and Craft Metal Sheep Die.  Text printed, mounted in Ikea box frame.  I am tempted to do a Baa Baa black sheep one.  I also have similar dies for a cat, dog, hedgehog and squirrel.

I am hoping that I might be able to get my website back up and running and to sell some of my makes.  It will be slow progress especially with school holidays coming up, but an exciting prospect and makes me feel happier and able to make things for a reason, so watch this space!

I am hopeless with pricing, I am hopeless at pricing. I have to cover the costs which for the framed ones the frames cost £3.50, so would really need to charge at least £5, but then postage would be as much again, obviously not an issue for local people.  The dies used to cut the shapes are a one off cost, but are not cheap.

Cards also have costs, the stitched ones and Iris ones use a pattern which is a one off cost, but if people have particular requirements and want me to purchase a pattern then it is a greater cost, they are also time consuming and have the cost of the card, envelopes and bags to cover, all stuff to think about.

Being ill and not being able to produce large numbers of items means I will never cover all my costs, but it's nice to get some appreciation for what I make.  Also need to be careful not to get too excited and try to do too much.


The sheep now has purple ears and I have glue in my hair!!

Friday, July 08, 2016

June makes

Made by adapting a Christmas card pattern from Pinbroidey for a man who is 80 and sings in a choir. baking paper printed from Craftville

Graduation card made for a man getting his medical degree using pattern from Craftsuprint and printing papers using Craftville paper builder and a clip art stethoscope.

Recycled stitched card using pattern from Craftsuprint and background paper source forgotten.

Iris card from Dee Craft and paper printed with baking paper builder at Craftville and plain papers from stash.

Stitched card made with pattern from Stitching cards, buttons Trimits mini flowers.

Stitched card using pattern from Cardbroidery.  Baking paper made with Craftville baking paper maker.  Made for my husband for our 15th (Crystal) Anniversary

These 3 are just quick makes with baking paper and buttons.

This card opens in the middle, card from Dee Crafts opening edges embossed with flower embossing strip that came with a magazine.  Blue flowers cut using small x cut dies.

Centre taken from a used card and baking papers added.

I did also make a rugby themed birthday card for a 16 year old and a card themed birthday card, but in my haste I forgot to photograph them!

Emily has been busy at her Rivers Meet sewing class and this is her latest make, flowery skirt for her doll, she is going to be better than me at sewing.

Today the children have had their last day in this years class at school, they still have two half weeks of term but they will be in next years class, so today was party time and teacher present time.  These were what we made.  They were made in July, but have sneaked them in as I am behind with the blog

Emily's teacher is mad on football so we made her a football card using Sizzix dies for the person, clothes, football and grass.  We used the school colours of purple and yellow.  Gingham backing Kanban card from Create and Craft. The number 4 is for year 4.

Again using school colours, a button frame picture, using assorted buttons and mounted in an Ikea box frame

Finally Emily wrote this with the teachers name and we printed it and framed it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What a month!

June should be my happy month as it is my birthday and wedding anniversary, but it is rarely something to enjoy.

Being ill for so long each anniversary and passing year marks another with no improvement in my health and no improvement in the attitudes of those around or and real progress towards proper diagnosis or treatment for those with ME.

Deciding if and how to celebrate is always difficult as there will be payback for any effort, but at the same time I get fed up of sitting at home all day every day in the same old routine and long for something different just for one day.

This year my Dad was admitted to hospital the week before my birthday so that added to the stress and resulted in extra trips to see family and provide support.  I managed to get to my birthday, but in the two weeks that have followed I have spent most days in bed whilst my daughter is at school and have struggled a lot in the time I have been out of bed.

None of this was helped by me needing a fast track appointment for a Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy, due to being anaemic and the Dr thinking I had a GI bleed.  Appointments were only available at weekends which meant I also needed to sort out childcare.  This led to Emily being very distressed. Dealing with a distressed child is not easy when recovering from the procedure and having ME.

My gastroscopy and colonoscopy showed no bleeds which is what they were looking for. The Gastroscopy showed hiatus hernia and bile reflux which explains why I get so much indigestion. The Colonoscopy was "unremarkable", which is good news, but sounds a bit pathetic! But also good to know that there are no ill effects from 30 years of IBS. They took some biopsies to check for Coeliac. I can now start on iron tablets, but still no explanation for the Anaemia. I have not got the iron tablets yet as the Drs take so long to sort out prescriptions and I have to wait until July 7th to see the GP to see what happens next.  The Dr knows that the iron deficiency is not due to a poor intake and is being lost somehow hence the tests as the gut is the most likely place. It's probably an ME thing as our bodies don't function in the normal way.

Even though the procedures were supposed to be under sedation I was wide awake and watched it all, which is quite interesting, but might not have been if there was something wrong.  I was supposed to feel drowsy afterwards, but instead got an adrenaline reaction and couldn't settle because of  palpitations.  Things finally started to calm down over 24 hours later.  I had to be supervised for 24 hours so started to feel the worst once I was on my own, typical.

Can you believe that on Saturday when I couldn't have anything to eat I ended up playing cafes with Emily and then watching Masterchef with Rob, that should be classed as torture!

Now that I am able to eat normally again I am on the look out for recommended Gluten free recipes or food.  Has anyone got any gluten free meals they can recommend. Our repertoire is quite limited, usually by time rather than ideas. I have lots of recipes and ideas but so many turn out horrid. Want something tried, tested and yummy, but not spicy. I know I am hard to please!

It is less than two weeks since my birthday and it seems a distant memory.  I did manage to got to the cinema and out for a meal as I was determined, but it wasn't easy and the meal was disappointing. The film You Before ME was great, but made me cry, even though I knew the story and told myself  I wasn't going to cry.  

Reaching the age of 45 makes me feel so old and also makes me feel that I have done nothing with my life and that it's too late now.  I feel like I should have achieved things by now not just being ill for nearly 20 years.  My birthday is also my wedding anniversary, 15 years, my husband has never known me well, but I used to be better than I am now.  It was also 10 years since I found out I was pregnant with Emily.  She has never known a well Mum and is growing up fast and I am so sad about the way it affects her.  I feel that she carries a big burden for her age and she is getting more and more anxious.  I feel so bad that I can't make her happy and that she has to live with my limitations too.

I was upset by someone who posted on Facebook that people who don't work are so lucky.  People who don't work have no money and independence, no identity or sense of satisfaction, are shown no respect and feel completely worthless unless it is their choice not to work.

The week after my birthday came the EU referendum, which seems to have brought out the worst in people and there is a lot of bad feeling and abuse on social media and being reported in the news.  It is so sad that people can't get on.  It is also sad that we now have to live with a lot of uncertainty whilst the political arguments go on and people make decisions that affect our lives and the future of our children.  The strength of feeling from both sides of the argument has been quite overwhelming and has upset a lot of people.  It is going to go on for a long time and we will feel the effects for many years whatever happens.  At the moment we have a Union Jack flying outside the house in support of the UK teams in the Euro 16 football, I keep thinking I should take it in as I don't want to be thought racist, but I want to show my support for the teams, only Wales left now.

I think we all need to adopt a Pooh Bear attitude 
But even this got sadly changed to reflect what is really going on
(Guardian UK)

I think we will all be glad to see the back of June and hoping that July will bring some sun and cheer, it's currently cold and wet.  In my experience June is never flaming except in the expletive use of the phrase.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


UFO's, no not flying objects, but unfinished objects, although my unfinished objects probably have more chance of flying.

Having made quite a few cards in May now that my craft stuff is more accessible and the mess can be shut away, I really want to do something else.

I have my never ending quilt still on the go, I haven't been to a class for ages and can't see me being able to go any time soon, I do wish there was an accessible week day one, but the demand is only for weekends as that's when most people are free.  My sewing machine now gets used more by Emily as she goes to a weekly sewing class.  For me to use the machine in between it means setting it up, changing the foot and thread and it just feels like to much effort to have to change it back again for Emily's class.  I also think I need a bit of a move around as the sewing table is not accessible and not near light, but not sure how I can do that, so it just stays packed up from one week to the next.

Blog posts don't get finished either started this one over a week ago, but have been feeling so worn out and dizzy I haven't managed to finish or work out what I want to say.

The sewing table is still waiting to be moved as I can't do it myself.

I got new dies for card making for my birthday, but don't have the energy to make anything with them.  I have a few ideas, but that's as far as it goes.  Will try and write another post about what I got.

I also have knitting projects on the go, some of them are several years old, but knitting is too difficult at the moment, one row wore me out.

I have lots of beads and bead kits and some techniques I haven't tried yet, but they all sit there awaiting my attention.

I thought about taking photos of everything for inspiration, but it's more likely to make me cry.

How do others get things done or get motivated when feeling ill?

Oh well one day at a time.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

May Makes

I have done quite a few easier makes this month as I have been worn out and just wanted something quick and easy to do, it also means I now have a bit of a selection of cards and don't need to madly make one when I need one.  I did also make some special cards, but have not shown them as they are for later dates, so will appear once they have been given.

Made with Dee Craft card and assorted papers, one of them is printed with the recipients name, but is not very clear.  Printed using Craftville backing paper maker.

Heart die cut with a large heart die (can't remember brand), backing paper printed with Craftville backing paper maker, letters and numbers stitched using Stitching card lettering font 370.  15th wedding anniversary is the Crystal anniversary.

Above and below, made with Spellbinders Pawing around die

Butterfly is X cut small butterfly die cut.  Cream circle cut with Nellies Multi die MFD075.  Background paper by Craft Sensations

Spotty card from Dee Crafts.  Shape made with unknown die cut.

Made with Dee Craft card and assorted papers, one of them is printed with the recipients name, but is not very clear.  Printed using Craftville backing paper maker.

Embossed with Darice Ducks embossing folder

Embossed with Cuttlebug owl flourish embossing folder

Shape cut from wrapping paper with with Nellies Multi die MFD075. Background embossed with Darice Butterfly corner embossing folder

Shape cut from wrapping paper with unknown heart die, background embossed with Darice Paws embossing folder.

Oval die cut from Dianne's Die Cuts strung using spirelli technique

X cut small butterfly on a background of Darice Butterfly corner embossing folder. Spotty card from Dee Craft

Owls cut using Tattered lace owl tree. Background paper by Craft Sensations

Shape cut from wrapping paper with unknown heart die.  Background paper by Craft Sensations

Tree cut with free die on Die Cutting Essentials magazine issue 9.  Buttons Trimits flowers.  Space left under design to add greeting of choice.

X cut small butterfly, circle die cut from Dianne's Die Cuts strung using spirelli technique. Backgroud is wrapping paper.  Space left under design to add greeting of choice.

Oval die cut from Dianne's Die Cuts strung using spirelli technique

Circle die cut from Dianne's Die Cuts strung using spirelli technique. Vellum background Heyda 78942. Space under design for greeting of choice.

Above and below shapes die cut from Dianne's Die Cuts strung using spirelli technique

Above and below shape cut with X cut nesting dies.  Background paper Docrafts Country Life, cover gift with Docrafts magazine

Shape cut from wrapping paper with with Nellies Multi die MFD075.

Made with Spellbinders Pawing around die.  Spotty card from Dee Craft

Last weekend we visited Pink Frog craft shop in Chesterfield.  They have some great dies and Rob's mum bought me some for my birthday.  They had a huge display of cards, but they were very intricate and fussy, I wouldn't have the time and energy to make ones like that.  I find it a bit depressing as it makes me think my cards are not good enough.

Emily helped me to photograph these cards and has joined in a bit with making them.  She thinks I should sell them.  I used to do that with my website Craftyjanes, but stopped when Emily was born.  people are not really interested in the basic ones, but I did get quite a few orders for personalised ones.  There is too much competition now and I don't think mine would sell, so at the moment they are just for personal use and my Mum had some of them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Millions Missing

Today marks #ME Action'sMillions Missing Campaign.  This is a worldwide day of protest for those with ME/CFS.

"On May 25th, 2016 #MEAction is global day of action for equality for ME. ME patients, advocates, caregivers, and allies will join together to protest of the lack of government funding for research, clinical trials and medical/public education, leaving ME patients without relief." (#ME Action).

"#MillionsMissing is dedicated to the millions of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients missing from their careers, schools, social lives and families due to the debilitating symptoms of the disease.  At the same time, millions of dollars are missing from research and clinical education funding that ME should be receiving. And millions of doctors are missing out on proper training to diagnose and help patients manage this illness." (#ME Action)

Events are taking place in Washington, DC, London, Belfast, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco, Seattle, Melbourne, Ottawa (virtual) and online.

The UK protest is taking place at Richmond House in London.  Richmond House is where the main Department of Health is located.  Empty shoes are going to be placed to represent the millions of people who are missing out on a life because of ME.

I have been too worn out to find and send a pair of shoes for the protest, so have taken this picture to mark the occasion 
These are my slippers the shoes I wear the most, missing out on real life and real shoes. ‪#‎MissingMillions

People are also being asked what they are missing because of the ME/CFS‬.

  • I am missing nearly 20 years of normal life.
  • I am missing out on being a normal Mum, wife, daughter etc (I have never been a well Mum or Wife)
  • I am missing out on being able to work and earn my own money
  • I am missing being independent and doing things for myself and my family.
  • I am missing being able to walk
  • I am missing being able to use public transport and travel
  • I am missing being able to look after my own house and have things the way I like.
  • I am missing being able to use my brain and use the qualifications I worked hard for.
  • I miss being having  a whole day to be able to do things (rest times are essential)
  • I miss not being able to drive when and where I want to.
  • I miss being able to cook and bake.
  • I miss nice normal food (due to food intolerances)
  • I miss being able to read a book and know what is happening.
  • I miss being able to watch TV and take in the programme.
  • I miss being able to care for people and help people.
  • I miss my energy, my stamina
  • I miss being able to have fun
  • I miss happiness, joy and laughter
  • I miss my concentration and understanding
  • I miss the outside world ( I can get out, but it's very limited and has to be for essentials like the school run and appointments)
  • I miss my health, I can't remember what a day without symptoms feels like
The list could go on much more, but it's long enough and I hope gives some idea of what people with ME miss out on.  Every ones list would be different as symptoms and abilities vary so much.  The one thing we are all missing out on is an understanding of the condition and effective treatments.  So much is understood about other conditions and treatments are amazing.  ME/CFS  feels like it is forgotten and ignored.  It's just not a high priority as it is not normally life threatening or widespread enough to warrant attention.