Archive for July, 2008

Panda monium

Tuesday morning

9 weeks today, and what can I say, things have been going extremely well, and I’m feeling more like I’m getting back to where I was before the op in terms of my range of movement (well, it’s better actually), apart from getting incredibly tired very easily. I had a few busy days last week and at the weekend and today it’s all caught up with me, I’m so tired, which is a real nuisance as I was planning to make beads today and tomorrow before the school holidays start on Thursday and for the bead fair at Ardingly this Sunday.

Instead I will be trawling through my many bead boxes putting sets together from my oversize stash to bring you as yet unseen beads, some which I made with the purpose of using in my jewellery designs but haven’t and also more of my older beads that I never put into sets. I’m also sorting out some more bargain beads for my bargain pots and reducing some focals and bead sets. I suppose you could say I’m having a summer clearance but it’s not really that fancy or grand. I’m determined that I’ll be ready in good time the day before and I’m doing my best to get megga organised, famous last words. It’s always those little bits that take the time, they’re unseen but make a difference to presentation.

So what else will be new? My daughter told me to make my favourite animal, so I’ve designed a panda bead and have made a few for Sunday, also I will have a few more fish beads in new designs, maybe more if I have enough energy to make some tomorrow, but I’m not going to moan about it.

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Beadmaking, the slimming workout for the naughties

Monday morning

A new day, a new week and I decided to have a little bit of a tidy up (don’t get too excited, I did say little). I’ve come across my old Filofax with a very interesting calorie counter insert that I used many moons ago and on the back pages are a list of all sorts of exercise and how many calories they burn a minute. Hmm, this could be worth a look, a quick scan down the page reveals…archery, 3 cals, hmm, not really very keen on that, what about athletics? During training count 7 cals, not bad, badminton, now here’s one I like, it says ‘with average effort you would run about a lot’, 5 cals. Basketball, did that once and ended up in casualty with 2  sprained fingers, don’t think I’ll be trying that again in a hurry, ‘Lots of very fast running, jumping and stretching….7 cals’. What’s this below? Beadmaking!????? no it can’t be! beadmaking, on a list from 1987, oh, oh, how exciting, what does it say? quick! Real bends and stretches ….huh? with sheets and blankets ….what? ooh look, it’s bedmaking. humph. Oh and it’s 3 cals by the way. I guess the nearest thing would be knitting, which uses 2 per minute, no matter how fast you ‘click’ those needles.

I don’t like housework, but I always thought its redeeming feature was that it used up calories, unfortunately the numbers used really don’t seem to corulate with the amount of energy and boredom expended alas. Try this, ‘cooking, does not involve much strenuous effort & consists mostly of arm movement…….2 cals’  well it does when you are not very able bodied and every step around the kitchen is a huge effort. Cleaning cupboards and drawers together with dusting, ironing, polishing small things, washing up, veg preparation, hoovering without moving furniture gets a low 2 cals, and you may just burn 3 per minute if you mop the floor, clean windows, decorate the house, polish furniture vigourously, scrub floors (with a will – does this mean I need to make one or find someone called Will?), hoovering when you move the furniture, washing clothes by hand (like that’s going to happen) and shopping with a light load (5kg or under). I think with this low level of housework calorie expenditure I may just make sure I sit around relaxing for twice as long as I do already as I can burn 1 cal per minute watching telly or surfing the net. I know what I’m doing today. Tee hee.

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In the driving seat

Saturday evening

The last day of Open Houses and studios is tomorrow, Sunday. Several venues will be open during the afternoon so do have a trek around and see some individual pieces of art. Today I woke up feeling so chirpy that I decided last minute to pack up my studio and take it down to Ediths to demonstrate making handmade glass beads. I was in the same place as last year, in a cosy little outbuilding facing out to the garden, although it was rather chilly in the shade there today. This was only my second attempt at making beads since my surgery, and I started getting back into the groove after a dodgy start last Thursday. It’s so good to be getting back to normality, and even though I had a rainbow of colours available to use today I decided to concentrate on making black and white beads with clear, to make a necklace for my mums birthday. It’s amazing how many different styles you can come up with even with such a limited palette, oh I had great fun, and even Rick joined in with a bumpy black and white creation just before we packed up.

Talking about new things, my recovery has progressed enough to allow me to drive again, amazing how fast all this is, so on Tuesday (seven weeks after) I attempted to get in the driving seat and had an enjoyable little tootle around the block, yay! This is really good news for me as it now means I have some independence and can actually leave the house on short errands or just to treat myself to a coffee in town, because I can. I can also start walking up and down a few of the stairs at home normally (instead of one step at a time with the same foot leading each step). I tend to walk around the house without a stick now, much better for carrying trays and mugs of tea, and even managed to wash my own hair this week. Now I’m guessing that for most of this you’ll be thinking ‘So what?’ but for a 45 year old it’s really annoying having to depend on someone else to do all this, and every new achievement is another step back to normality and independence. I’m hoping to conquer the shower this week, as up until now I’ve needed help to get in and out of the bath.

I hope that this little log of my progress will encourage anyone who’se reading and needing some sort of replacement, to feel encouraged by my experience and take the plunge to get help.

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Monday lunchtime (but posted Tuesday teatime, we had techie problems!)

Thank goodness that’s all over, all the preparation for Open Houses is done, and the first weekend has passed. I managed to get my displays done, somewhat later than I would have liked, and when asked by my friend why I was so unprepared I wasn’t sure, but then it hit me, oh yes, my hip replacement was scheduled very unexpectedly with short notice and messed my planned schedule for the year, I had set aside May and June for preparation but of course my priorities changed. Still, I managed it with half an hour to go, lol and even managed to make some new pieces, different variations on my current range.

Now that’s done I’ve masses of other jobs to do, but today I’m taking it easy. I got up at 11 this morning, lovely, having been lounging around drinking tea and reading a book by Alan Bennett, not my usual read but entertaining. All the effort last week has caught-up with me and I plan to continue having a leisurely day, as I’m supposed to anyway still being on stick leave and all. It’s been fun watching a bit of daytime TV, yes I know, very naff, but I’m really getting into House at the moment. Up to recently we couldn’t get Five but now they’re cranking up the signal we’ve had more viewing choice. This brings me to walking sticks and disabilities in dramas.

What is it about stick users on TV? why do they always get it wrong? Lots of people who meet me think my left leg is the problem because that’s the side I use my stick. Unfortunately many people who buy themselves a stick don’t use them in the best way, as they haven’t been shown and then they copy what they’ve seen on TV. Even Rick thought I was doing it wrong, tchhh. However I almost always see people using sticks in the wrong hand on telly dramas and in films, very amusing especially when Doctors do it in Hospital dramas! I’m guessing that if a stick was used properly it would have less of a dramatic impact, and I’m also thinking that Hugh Laurie aches like mad after filming! Serves him right. Ha.

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Open Houses countdown 3 days to go

Wednesday morning

I have a zillion and one things to do today, OK not really, but I do have lots to do and I shouldn’t really be here talking to you but I am so there. Yesterday was my 6 week from hip hop day, and it was a good one. No more blood thinning jabs in my belly and I got rid of my sexy white compression pop socks just in time for the hotest day so far this year and spent the day sporting a cool pair of shorts. I even managed to get a steaming hot mug of tea down the steps into our garden so I could sit and slurp on my favourite bench. I also haven’t had any painkillers since Sunday night, how cool is that? I have to admit having a moment at 12 noon yesterday, as that was when they woke me up in recovery and I felt so chilled. This whole experience so far has been completely different from my last surgery, where I was still on crutches and using a wheelchair after 6 months, but here we are, 6 weeks on and I practice walking in the house without sticks when I feel up to it, although I do still need my crutches. Chalk and cheese.

Half way through my recommended recovery period and I think it’s going really well, now all I have to do is pluck up the courage to try making beads again. My brain has been and is still so ditzy and slow that I haven’t dared approach the flame for fear of doing something stupid and burning myself, also my mobility and flexibility constraints have made me wary of trying to sit for any length of time in my studio or reaching to get things and forgetting my hip precautions. Add to this my tiredness after short times of activity and you don’t really have the best of situations. So I’ve decided to leave well alone until I feel I can enjoy making glass beads in safety.

I do have lots to do to get ready for Open Houses this weekend. I’m setting up my first display at the 2×4 Studios in Horsham today and have several jobs that I must do for that, including fitting out my flat display cabinets, deciding exactly what I want in them and how I’m going to arrange and display them. I also have to get all the ‘stuff’ together to make my sales, for example packaging, a sign to explain what I do, a mirror etc…..phew. See you later.

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