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Welcome Back

I know this is a bit off topic for this blog, but I’m sure we’ve all done this; there is something on the floor that is a bit hard to get at. At the same time as you are thinking; ‘If that goes up the hoover they’ll be trouble!’ SO what do we do? We go careful! Hooving NEAR it and avoid it, whilst grumbling we can’t get at it. Until, we get tired n WOOF up the hoover pipe it goes and the hoover starts to make a weird noise or a weird smell and you just know if you ignore it now,  its new hoover time, or a call out fee and repair charges.

This was me a moment ago. There was a BIG wooded bead on the floor, I couldn’t reach it with the dustpan and brush, kept forgetting to just knock it to somewhere I could reach it, with the vacuum hose when its not turned on (oh the joys of hindsight) and being sleep deprived, up the pipe it went. Hoover still worked but now made a very high pitched squeel followed by the hot motor smell, that you know NOT to ignore!

How I found the blockage and fixed it

UNPLUG the machine from the mains before you do anything else!!!

I took different sections apart, that I knew how to do, looked in its viewable parts n couldn’t see it. Then I did the thing you do when you don’t want a big bill…I went to You Tube, YEY for You Tube this centuries answer to a dictionary for life.🥇

Here is the video I found for taking various sections of an upright corded dyson apart so you can remove blockages. How to clean a dyson vacuum 

For those not loving clicking links the channel name is ‘FIX IT Home Improvement Channel’ and the video name is ‘How to Clean a Dyson Vacuum – Dyson Blockage – dc 65’

Did work?

Well, it helped me learn more places to look, but I still couldn’t see the bead!! So I went back to basics and thought, what was the route in? The hose, so I took out the hose’s top section, the solid bit that you can extend out with the stretchy hose that connects it to the main body. I peered inside n thought, that’s too narrow a gap for the bead to have gone down. Hmmmm, ponder…wait a minute, where it goes narrower is PINK, the bead was pink! So the bit I was looking through was the end of the bead itself, the part with the hole! Feeling pleased now, I’d at least found it but how to get it out?!

Removing the stuck bead

I tried moving it with a pencil, but as I had previously reconnected the hose n turned it on, the powerful suction on the Dyson had wedged the bead in there tightly. Logical thinking here, also told me if it wasn’t going any further into the machine from that direction, it needed to go back out the way it came. 😉😎

I found a piece of dowel, like the stuff used for bird perches but NOT one the birds use!! This looked good as it was narrower than the gap in the pipe so it wouldn’t damage the dyson. After putting this onto the bead, where it was jammed. I hit the other end a few times and YEY the bead fell back out, the way it had gone in.

NO big bills, no call out fees and its fixed 🙏👍😉😎

Many thanks go to;

  • You Tube, there’s always someone on there who knows how to do stuff. 🥇
  • To the owner of the FIX IT Home Improvement Channel 🥇for this video help

So there we go, if you find youself in a similar pickle and I guess if you have Lego fans in the house, this would be a regular problem. Here’s just a few ways to get your vaccum cleaner working again. The video also shows how to take apart the brush bar at the bottom so if you need to untangle long hair from there, this will get you access to that section too.

Why did I blog this??? I have dyslexia, it also affects memory and I forget how to do stuff.  I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last time it happens and this way we all have a simple searchable way to find out how to fix it.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie x

 

 

 

Welcome Back

One of my favorite places to buy crytals from online, is Crazicarmas Crystals on Ebay. Donna photographs them all so well, from every angle and very close up, so you know exactly what you are getting. Donna also sends the actual crystal from the picture, rather than a random one of the same kind, which to me, is very important. Crystal spends are a luxury, a special treat, something often to cheer myself up or to help with a particular issuse I’m having at the time. When I recieve my purchases from CraziCarma’s Crystals they come in sturdy boxes, wrapped in purple tissue and with a scattering of purple angles in there too. It like a present and makes me feel so special. I also love how full a description she puts up about each one on the listings; where it comes from and the qualities its known for helping with.

A few new crystals

 Crystals I bought from Crazicarma’s Crystals on Ebay.

The crystals in the picture are

  • Stromatolite
  • Golden Danburite
  • Strontianite
  • Blue Scheelite
  • Garnierite
  • Diopase
  • Blue Lace Agate
  • Peach Stilbite
  • Infinite Stone
  • Red Adventurine
  • Golden Felspar

Treat yourself to some crystals

I know times are difficult for us all at the moment. The crystal world can offer us so much; comfort, companionship, easing our suffering by helping us let out stuck emotions, helping us feel held, helping us feel grounded and less scattered, helping us with anxiety, depression and so much more. I know its an individual thing as to how sensitive you are to reciving these energies, and I’m not suggesting holding a crystal instead of seeking other medical treatment for conditions but at the same time, many of the crystals can make a big difference to your environment and wellbeing.

Crazicarma’s Crystals is a safe place to buy from she is kind and helpful, and everything is so well packed its a joy. Skip that cup of coffee and treat yourself to something beautiful from Crazicarma’s Crystals instead.

How do I choose my crystals

Do I choose my crystals, or do my crystals choose me? For me its a bit of both. I’ll see a crystal coo over it, check all the pictures and just ‘know’ this is the one for me. It could be the colour, the shape that draws me, only after that, do I read the description. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said ‘OMG, thats so perfect’, to a description of a crystal, in how it relates to a situation I’m having at the time.

Sometimes I set an intention; ‘Please help me find crystals that will help with…’

Sometimes its just that I’m feeling a certain way and I like to look through the crystal images as they are so beautiful and then certain ones catch my eye with the ‘Pick me’ feelings. Sometimes I get tickles, tingles or nudges when I see certain ones. I’ve learnt to trust those ‘hints’ that the crystal I’m looking at will be an important one for me to pay attention too.

Personally I like polished crystals. Though raw crystals are very beautiful and show the natural formation shapes, I personally find them more difficult to care for. Its not as easy to dust raw crystals and many crystals don’t take kindly to being washed under the tap to remove dust. I spiritually cleanse my  crystals with sound, so less chance of one melting coz it can’t take water.

I also like polished crystals and stones because I like to get hands on with them. I like to hold them, to meditate with them, to be able to handle them without risking damaging them. Some crystals are really tough and sturdy others are soft n delicate.

If you haven’t already, I can highly recommend bringing crystals into your world. They can be such a great help, in times of need. Even if you are not into the energy side of things there are so many beautiful crystals that will bring colour into your world and look beautiful in your living or working space.

I highly recommend Crazicarma because I’ve been shopping with her for a few years now its its ALWAYS a total joy.

Links

 

Crazicarma’s Crystals Ebay shop in the UK

She is also on Facebook.

I do hope you visit her shop soon, please mention where you found out about her.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

PS If you want more information on crystals and their associations and meanings, I can highly recommend Adam Barralet on You Tube.

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

UPDATE: If you were sad not to see the promised posts. Tech fail, my computer fell over. My health is suffering so I’m not able to post as much as I used too. I will post when I can.

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.