Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Welcome Back

Newquay mum, Nina Peters, has created a community interest company and brand, Shield Us, to help those who have been shielding be able to leave their houses with less anxiety.

There are lot of people who have hidden conditions which make them vulerable to this pandemic. As social distancing relaxes, some people seem to ignore it completely, which for those at highest risk means they either are foced to stay indoors or they need YOU to be aware of the need to respect the ditancing rules.

That’s where Nina’s campagn began. You can read more about it here;

If you know anyone who could find these shirts and pins useful please visit her shop, as shown above.

If you know any societies or businesses who could help her raise awareness of this, help her get this logo recognised. Please let them or her know, contact information shown later in this post.

Please note:

I am in no way connected to this brand, I just saw the piece on BBC Breakfast this morning and its such a good idea and could help so many people that I’m using this blog post to hep raise awareness about it.

There are so many conditions that are hidden, and as a #spoonie a #zebra I so relate to this. This applies to so many conditions that are hidden, if someone can’t see your illness or condition, too often it means its ignored, and you just don’t have the energy to be a poster person for your condition.

If you can think of more, please contact them yourselves or pass on the links to Nina’s pages, as shown below

NinaPeters #ShieldUs contact info

There are so many hidden conditions, people on medications that lower their immunity levels, those who’s illness/conditions makes them more vulnerable to illness. Please respect that.

What would my logo have been…’Step back, to save a life!’

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

Welcome Back

Message in a bottle scheme is genius idea from the Lions Club, it is a plastic bottle with a form u fill in,  that contains ur medical information and other key information, which you then put in the fridge. If there is an accident or you get ill, someone from emergency services will check the fridge to see if there is one there. It saves time and it saves lives. Make one NOW before you need it, while u have time to find all the information for it in a calm way.

Why do I want a Message in a bottle?

Sometimes there isn’t time to think, sometimes stuff changes in a heart beat, and you are in the worst day of your life. Be kind to yourself, fill in those forms on the good days, and if that terrible day does ever happen. Know you DO know what to do, and will be able to make a difference, however scary things get.

If the first paragraph didn’t appeal to you, here are some other ways to think about this. You have home insurance so if stuff goes wrong at home, you phone someone and they sort it, right?

If u have a car u have insurance so it gets fixed n you maybe have breakdown cover so its one call n they know all about you?

If there is an accident or emergency, at home, you can just open the fridge grab the bottle and know u can save lots of time and stress, knowing all the emergency services may need to know, is right there. If you brain melts, you’re still covered.

If you have close relatives or friends who have you as their chosen person to contact in times of accident, having a copy of this information about them could really help. If emergency services ask you about their stuff, you can go to a folder and look at that info and know. (you probably only need household ppls info in your fridge tho)

The Message in a bottle scheme is FREE, if u have a printer and the link below u can make it now without leaving home. Its simple to do and no ongoing fees? Its a no brainer right? Don’t just clap the NHS, take some steps to make your life and theirs easier in case of sudden accident or illness.

Examples

Your other half gets really sick, what do you do?

Your child gets hurt, what do you do?

You phone 999, later they ask u questions like what is his/her,their GP information, is he/she/they allergic to anything? Can u answer that? In that moment of panic?

Can u answer that right now, while you are sitting safe at home with everyone well? How well does your brain help you in a crisis, are you calm and know all the info or does your brain melt, and you flap? (which is also a normal valid response to any of that too)

Saving time saves lives. The more information you can give the emergency servies, the quicker and better they can take care of you or your loved one.

NO judgement but if the answer is no 😦 then please have a look at the form and consider filling it in. Would it feel better to know that if anything bad happened, you could open the fridge door and know all the info you might be asked for is in there? You could just read it out, or hand it to the emergency services?

Where can I get a message in a bottle? Can I make one myself at home?

  • Next time you are in the pharmacy in the UK, look for or ask for Lions Club Message in a Bottle scheme. They may be able to give you one. But if you have a printer and can read this page, then why not make your own, right here, right now? Its simple to do.
  • Print this; PDF of the form for Message in a bottle https://www.scas.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/message-in-a-bottle-form.pdf
  • Print it double sided and its only one sheet of paper. If your printer doesn’t do that, ask it to print just page one, then put paper back in and ask it to print just side 2.
  • Make a form for every person in the house.
  • Fill it in
  • Put it in a bottle or envelope in the fridge. (wash out and a plasic milk bottle or similar, just be sure to lable the bottle and leave it in the fridge somewhere promonant)

****IMPORTANT****

Keep the information on the forms up to date, if your meds change, your gp changes etc, please print a new form. Print on high quality NOT draft, draft uses less ink, but means print will fade faster too.

**************************************************************************************

If you have no idea what your NHS number is, do you have a prescription? Have a look at the top of the prescription and it will state your NHS number. If you don’t have that, fill in as much as you can, and add other info as you are able to find it.

Its a great form you can specify who looks after you if u have a carer, who you want someone to contact for you, if you have someone who relies on you, if you have pets at home who would need to be taken care of. As well as all the usual allergy questions, gp, next of kind stuff. So its really good.

Links

Mine was from pharmacy and I wanted to share it with you here but here is more about the scheme

Though this is a UK based project, I’m sure the Pdf of the form will be of use to those in other countries too, you can add any extra information you need to to it.

We are all living in challenging times at the moment. Lots of us feel anxious, worried, want to help but don’t know how too. Lots of us are running the ‘what if…’ story in our heads.

I don’t want my post to create fear, this is something you CAN do, for yourself, for your family for those you care for, and for those who will be taking care of you. Its an empowering thing, and brings peace of mind, knowing all the key info is there for when you might need it most. Its an act of kindness to your future self who is having the worst day and needs all the help they can get in that moment.

/messageinabottle #messageinabottle

This is a timeless post, its not just for right now, its for everyone, everywhere, you can do this, you can make a difference.

Stay safe and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

 

Welcome Back

Just a heads up that I plan to put some calming ideas on this blog starting in July. Think art books, artists, card decks for inspiration, meditation links that kinda thing. If my hands allows some books that have projects that calm the mind n soul too.

The world sure is loud, shouty, spiky at the moment, so I’ll try to share some gentle things with you to help you through.

I fully respect that what one person finds calming, may well drive another nuts, so as with all things, take what resonates, step away from the rest. I don’t want to use the mindfulness word, as for me I find that devisive. Its a very marmite thing. Personal soap box moment on this topic; like any great idea that is shared, each person tweaks it a bit, adds their own spin and for me there are some parts of what is touted as mindfulness which (to me) feel judgemental. As if, you are failing if you don’t do this or that.

THAT’S not me and not for me. There is far too much of that in the world. Eek did I fall on my own sword there ??? Did I judge others, SORRY. Its simply that Mindfullness stems from Buddhist ideals, ways of life, things to live by, and that’s totally fine. My issue is as its been shared and rebranded as mindfulness it seems to have been modified past the original concept. I have found it being used as a mental health as a tool but in that situation as it was presented badly [to me] it was being used in ways that felt judgemental.  I own my part, I have tried to use it in situations that it turn out not to feel right for me, not at the right time and not in the right situation.

However, personally and for myself I feel surrendering to this current world situation is the way through for me. I have learnt Reiki from You Tube and will share where. Meditated lots, which has helped my anxiety grately.

I have learnt not to try to fix my mental health issues, been TRYING to fix for years and that’s not helped or worked. I have learnt to walk WITH stuff. Allowing it to be what it is, and witnessing it, giving it space to be, doing my best to take care of myself during the worst of times, and then waiting for the gaps in the clouds, the storms to break. When I  realised others can’t, won’t help then it was time to use a different approach. The phrase ‘no one is coming to save you.’ is one that has been repeatedly shown to me in this journey.There are more options that NHS offer, they simply have to stick to budgets and what NICE guidlines allow. It is what it is, not bashing anyone but waiting lists were long and its a circle of pillar to post for precious little of help, things aren’t going to be better with more people in need of help after the c19 situation. We gotta build our own boat here folkes. Work out what works for us, gather that, stick close to those who love and support us, who love us for who and what we are and beilive in. I have learnt that as someone wise also once said; ‘Its better to be alone, than be someone you are not’

So next month I’ll start to share what I’m using right now, see if it helps you too.

Holding safe space for all those struggling right now.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back to another Dolly Wednesday

I never intended to get quite so into dolls on this blog, but they have gradually arrived, and then I found My Doll Best Friend website, n lockdown happened, I was feeling low and they are a welcome escape from the real world for a while, so here we all are. Today I’d like to introduce you to my Lottie Brown, who is a Vestida de Azul doll.

Lottie Brown

Vestida de Azul Carlotta

Vestida de Azul; Carlotta or as I call her Lottie Brown

  • My name for her; Lottie Brown
  • Brand: Vestida de Azul (translates from Spanish as Dressed in Blue).
  • Sculpt name: Carlotta
  • Height 11″/28cm (there are other dolls in this brand in other sizes)
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Articulation: arms and hips move on circle joints not balls. So arms and legs can go up and down but not out to the side. The hip joint means she sits with her legs wide apart, so if you wanted her to sit across a toy horse for example, these aren’t the joint that let you do that.
  • Head side to side.
  • Colour: she has a warm skin tone without being too sun tan orange! There are other ethnicity options of dolls available in the brand too. (I hope that’s thr right way to put that. really sorry if its not)
  • Features: soft gentle looking face, blue grey fixed eyes (they don’t close) and attatched eyelashes.
  • Hair: rooted hair, this doll is blonde with a fringe, but there are a lot of options on the website, different styles and hair colours.
  • Value for money ***** Excellent
  • Price: At time of writing this Carlotta dressed 11″ doll on My Doll Best Friend is £36.98 plus p&p.
  • If you are into sewing you can also buy some of the dolls in this range wearing only pants and the 28cm ones are under £20, today they are on the site at £15.
  • Stability: she stands really well, though its wise to put her hands slightly forward to allow this. Persoanlly I wouldn’t leave her for a long time standing, without support, though this could be the hairstyle unbalencing her a little. She sits perfectly too, so great for posing for photos.
  • Measurements: Doll measurements are on MDBF Blog, shown further down in this post. Here is a side by side picture of her next to a made to move Barbie.
Vestida de Azul Carlotta next to Made to Move Barbie

side by side size comparrison Vestida de Azul Carlotta 28cm/11″ next to Made to Move Barbie

This is a fab little doll, and could easily be a handbag doll if you wanted to take her out and about with you. I love my bjds but with my minimal dexterity they are hard for me to sew for with the machine, and they are heavy to hold. This little lady dressed weighs 247g out of the box.

My reasons for getting her

  • She’s so pretty
  • She was instock (sorry, but as a bjd collector used to waiting many MONTHS for dolls to arrive, this is a big thing). There are a few outfit options to purchase.
  • I want to make her some clothes myself. (hands currently wrecked, don’t hold your breath)
  • I wanted a smallish, light doll
  • Price, she is fantastic quality for a high quality of build and material used.
  • Her size means making clothes for her won’t take that much fabric
  • I want to practice making doll clothes (when hands allow me to)

Links

Please bear in mind that I’m writing this as an adult collector, and make no personal recomendations for child use, as I don’t have kids.

Please do visit My Doll Best Friend site as they have far more information on the various dolls they sell and if you are choosing for a youngster, they also have recommendations on there too.

Scroll down a bit, most of the dolls they sell are shown on this page but its a handy reference if you want to sew for them or see if clothing you may already have will fit them. Please note carlotta is 28cm/11″ doll, as there are different sizes of doll in the brand.

Final thoughts

This is a wonderful doll, great price, doesn’t take up much space to store, her box is little more than shoe box size, so not much space needed if you want to put her away.

I love the colour tone and feel of her vinyl, its also slightly soft on the hands. she’s not at all shiny like some dolls can be. Her hair feels nice and is long enough to offer different styling options. I’ve enjoyed having her on the desk, on the table next to me and so far have created a block pattern to start designing some clothes for her, when my hands allow. I never thought I’d be a dolly collector, I’m still trying to resit but there are so many lovey dolls around and when you are feeling sorry for yourself, if funds allow you to treat yourself to a little pal to raise a smile for yourself or someone in your life, why not. Id love to be doing so many crafts but my health and dexterity make that impossible, these dolls are something I can turn too, imange stories about and take me away from chronic pain, anxiety and depression. They help.

If you think she’s nice, go on, pop over to the site and choose one for yourself, there are many to choose from, and if you like sewing at under £20 for a undressed doll to be your next model, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it.

As the site says ‘Its good to have something to look forward to’.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

 

Welcome Back

With the help of my pal Hope (Wichtel doll Mona Muller), I would like to share with you  some wonderful self help cards made by Blurt. The Blurt Foundation is fantastic, they have the most supportive email newsletters and sell Buddy Boxes which are great for self care when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Blurt also sell lots of items individually. The self help card pack I’m showing today is ’54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind’.

Blurt 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind

Hope shows you one of the cards from Blurt’s self help card deck; 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind

As the title suggests, the deck has 54 cards, each with an idea to try, to help ease anxious feelings. You can use them anyway that feels right for you. Shuffle and see which card falls out of the pack. Perhaps you want to use one card a week or one a day, as a thought for the day kind of thing. For me, when anxiety is getting bad, I also find them useful to just sit with and flip through the pack reading each one slowly. Just doing that, even when you don’t feel you can do more, is also calming.

The cards are printed on sturdy cardstock with a linen feel, they are pastel colours which is soothing. As someone who has dyslexia, I find the font style is one I can read as the letters are quite thick, which makes them easier to read. The cards were designed by Fern Choonet and measure 63.5mm x 88.8 mm, which is great, if like me you have small hands. Making them small enough to pop in a pocket or in your bag to take around with you.

***In case you are wondering the doll is MINE and NOT included with the cards 😉 ***

If you are creating a Self Care box, to have a collection of calming things to look at, listen to or read, then these cards would be the perfect addition to that.

Links

If you would like to get hold of a pack of your own, please visit Blurt. There are also other card decks available and during the lockdown, those wonderful people at Blurt have reduced the card packs to half price, less than £5!

Come on, you deserve a treat. A little drop of happy post is good for us all. You can also choose have them shipped to a friend.

  • The Blurt Foundation This is their home page, do pop by they have so many helpful resources there.
  • Self Care Card Packs Here is just one page from their shop, showing the range of card packs. If links change over time, go to Blurt site above, look for button ‘shop with purpose’ then ‘self helpful’ and under that ‘card packs’.
  • 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind This is the card pack featured in todays post.

I can also highly recommend signing up for their newsletter, they are such encouraging supportive things to read.

As a child I enjoyed playing with dolls and I’m finding them great companions now too. What was it you loved as a child and might want to do again right now?

Hope and I are sending you the biggest and gentlest of blanket hugs.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, stay safe and I’ll see you again soon

Billie x

PS Sorry our picture today was a bit flashed out, its gone dark n wet here, there just isn’t good photography light anywhere in the house today and its set wet all week, so I didn’t want to miss posting and went with what I had.

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to introduce you to another of my dolls, I call this one Hope. Hope is a Schildkrot Wichtel doll, her sculpt name is Mona Muller from 2018.

Hope with her new clothes April 2020

This is my girl Hope. Hope is a Wichtel doll, a Mona Muller 2018.

Here is Hope with a bundle of new clothes I bought from My Doll Best Friend website. My Doll Best Friend is a wonderful site to purchase from, everything is so well laid out on there and as most is instock it doesn’t take long to arrive. I ordered these clothes on Sunday and here they are on Wednesday before 4pm!

I am finding comfort in my dolls at this challenging time. I’m so happy to have found this website and adore the Wichtel dolls, on MDBF site they explain the name, Wichtel means Balm for the soul. Thats just how Hope makes me feel, I see her happy smiling face and it makes me smile too. Imagining stories about her and her adventures takes my head to softer, kinder, gentler places.

Hope's new clothes, April 2020

Here is my Wichtel doll I call Hope, she has chosen the blue dress with white love hearts on it and the pink spotted cardigan, to try on first.

It would be nice to still be crafting, and I truely hope one day I can again, in however small a way, however, right now, my hands are not strong enough to let me do that so I was looking for a new direction, a new hobby and the dolls of various kinds are doing that for me. In the future it would be very nice if I could draft patterns for Hope and the others, but for the moment, I am very grateful to My Doll Best Friend site for instock options and also Etsy for some more clothing options too.

These little dolls realy are Balm for the Soul as their maker Rosemarie Muller says. I also agree with MDBF that ‘Its good to have things to look forward too.’

Links

My Doll Best Friend

Muller Wichtel http://www.rose-puppenkunst.de/RoseWebsite/Willkommen.html

Keep that page open to keep the links live but open a second tab and use this next link to  to read the translation of it into English

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=www.rose-puppenkunst.de/RoseWebsite/Willkommen.html

Hope that translation thing, didn’t confuse you too much. I am going to write a whole post on how to translate sites very soon. These dolls are popular around the world so its nice to make friends with other collectors and with a little help from Google Translate we can chat on various social media and read each others blogs and websites too.

best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

 

Welcome Back

Our present circumstances are turning a lot of us into ‘have a go heros’ on the home hairdressing front. I was a little ahead of the curve here, and before lockdown was even on the cards, had decided to let my hair grow out from very short to jaw length. I figured I could ignore it and hair clip annoying bits out of the way or bandana my way through the worst bits.  I also decided that I might give a fringe a go, just for a while. Now I’ve not had a fringe in over 40 years but as my hair grows really fast, I figured it would grow back fairly quickly, even if I mashed it.

So being a research girl, the first thing I did was hit You Tube for tutorials. This went well and I’ve shared my playlist further down this post. I later found there were also ‘hairdresser reaction videos’ and I watched a good few of them. Don’t like to see anyone being critisised without love n helpful suggestions but…at least by watching them, I found which ones I had been considering to take OFF the ‘to try’ list. If you are going to give this a go, I quickly realised searching for video’s BY actual hairdressers, was a good plan and also looking for ppl showing videos on hair that is similar to you own and had AFTER pictures too. Though watch out for that, as some only show after they have had help sorting out what they had done to themselves.

I got the tools needed on Amazon, and today was the day! Though my hair is still fairly short, being wavy n thick, any hint of length and it turns Marg Simpson! I’m currently looking a lot like Einstein! My hair’s superpower is the ability to stand out with NO product at 90 degrees from my head! sigh, I have to own the mad professor image don’t I.

Here is what I learned from cutting my own fringe

Be REALLY honest about your spacial awarness abilities before you try to cut your own hair!

If you are someone who drives, ask yourself how easy you find reversing round a corner, reverse parking, or reversing with mirrors generally. Is it easy peeezy or are you a curb kisser! I kiss plenty of curbs perfecting my reversing. Its why I go REALLY slowly and avoid reverse parking whenever possible. I’m talking old school reversing, using just all your mirrors, not fancy cars with camera’s every few inches, tho I’m sure thats a whole new skill set, I’ve not tried that so I can’t comment on what that is like. But if the whole steer in the opposite direction to the way you want to travel fries your brain…then diy haircuts are gonna be harder too.

If your hand eye co-ordination needs some work or spacial awarness isn’t your superpower…this haircutting lark is gonna be more challenging.

Do you wear glasses? I hadn’t factored in how tricky the process would be, with glasses on! Needing to have your glasses on to see what you are doing but then they are in the way for the bit you want to cut!!! Ahhh. (no I don’t wear make up so it hasn’t been an issue till now!)

Now Im NOT saying cut your hair with kids play scissors that are so blunt they barely cut paper but if any of the above applies to you, I’d highly recommend practicing the process you see on You Tube with the kids play scissors, just to learn the spacial awareness thing, before you start lopping bits off you didn’t mean to, especially from body parts you wern’t intending to trim! (not even kidding!)

Work out where your fringe sits with dry hair, wet your hair comb out n see where it lines up to on your head, this will give you some idea of how much higher it will bounce up to when dry. Maybe my hair being thick n wavy is making this even harder. No wonder I’ve had so many bad haircuts even from profesionals over my lifetime.

Here’s how it went with my fringe.

  • Wet hair
  • Sectioned hair
  • Combed to where I wanted
  • Turned away from the mirror, leaned over the sink
  • Got the scissors and ….
  • Tried to cut it, ahh glasses in the way,
  • Looked over the top of my glasses, blurry vission! I can do this cut anyway and OWWW. Spacial awareness fail, point cut into my finger!
  • Shifted position, still can’t see though glasses over the sink.
  • Sat on the floor, repeated the where I want to cut it part of the process,
  • This time kept looking in the mirror as I cut, this meant I could see through my glasses 🙂
  • Spacial awarness still a problem, it was a bit easier keeping one side of the scissors in contact with one of my fingers but was at risk of getting chomped again.

Result

Its not great, but its not that bad either, I’ve had worse that I’ve paid for.

I think I’m going to give my first finger a layer of micropore tape for protection, next time. Then I can try the keeping the back of the scissor in contact with the second finger AND not slice into the first finger!

I’m going to let go of anything attempting to be perfectionism on this project. Just keeping my hair out of my eyes, one way or another will do.

My hyperflexing is a big problem with this, my fingers bend too far, this not only makes it painful to do things but also means that my fingers when I hold them straight, bend up like bananas. This makes cutting a straight line a challenge for me.

If you have a go yourself, let me know how your first time went. most important thing I want to share from this is

BE CAREFUL those scissors don’t just cut through hair, they cut through SKIN too! So if you don’t want to cut your fingers be careful where you put them and where you put your scissors. I know its obvious but I’m not a wally, and I chopped into my finger! Have some plasters nearby for your first attemps, just in case.

Poor spacial awareness is a thing for some of us, its nothing to do with intellegence, its just a thing. I have dyslexia and aparently dyspraxia (problems with co-ordination and spacial awareness) often comes free with dyslexia. If you are someone who walks into door frames when you are not drunk. Gets hoods or sleeves hooked in door handles, then please be extra careful n practice with some blunter tools before you reach for the hairdresser grade stuff.

I wish you luck with your hairdressing adventures. Here is the You Tube Playlist I gathered on the subject Hairdressing tips Please don’t take the fact its here as an endorsement, like anything you try from the internet, its At your OWN risk.

Just know that in time however bad it looks, for most of us it WILL grow back. There are still hats n clips n bandanas and right now, unless they live with a hairdresser, or have been doing this themselves for years, no one is gonna have perfectly cut hair. And its unlikely anyone will come round so unless you are going live online anywhere, no one is gonna see you!

best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

PS If you are wondering if I’ll share pictures of my hairdressing attempts NO WAY. I’m a shy soul n don’t put pictures of myself online.