Archive for Hippiness

5 weeks on today

Tuesday lunchtime

Oooh cryptic. Time to come clean and confess that I had my left hip replaced 5 weeks ago, so technically I am on sick leave  at the moment. I guess if you’ve seen my facebook page you’ll know that already. So at 11am 5 weeks to the day I entered the room next to theatre where they stuck tubes in me, stuck monitoring pads on me and I could hear the equipment and tools clinking as they prepared for my surgery. So glad that is over and fading to a memory.

I’ve been home just under 4 weeks and have another 5 weeks hip precautions unfortunately (you normally only have 6 weeks of not being allowed to move your operated leg in certain ways) but it’s all good and I’m making steady progress and getting stronger every day. The annoying thing is I sort of want to do stuff but really can’t be bothered hence the lateness of this blog post. I have managed to finish a knitted hat that I started 5 years ago and didn’t get time to finish. I think it looks dreadful as the tension is all over the place, so not up to my usual standard, but to be expected as I find my hand craft skills and lots of other stuff takes a dive for a while after surgery, just like it does when I’m unwell. So if you see any typos please excuse me, I’ve corrected loads as I type but you know what?   cba…..

I should be back firing on all cylinders by the time Big Bead Show comes along in October, and I have the exciting privilege of judging the Bead Awards again soon too.

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Zumba Zoom

Friday afternoon

Phew, feeling a bit jaded but very happy. Anyone heard of Zumba? (links to You Tube)  Cos that’s where I’ve been this morning. All my life I’ve hated exercise classes, especially aerobics, but I think I may have actually found some exercise that I like. I adore dancing and have been given the all go by my hip specialist to do Latin American dancing so I thought Zumba might be right up my street. I was so excited yesterday when I booked it, and fortunately I was not disappointed. I’m definitely going again, and need to buy some new jogging pants as my existing ones are 3 sizes too big, yay!

More sets on Etsy, some are new designs, others are repeats and variations on a theme.

I’m off to do more washing (boo hiss boo) and make some cup cakes for tomorrow (yay).

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Open Studios have begun

Monday morning lunchtime

Well hello there! At last I’ve managed to get outside and take up my new position to write something. Once again it’s been all go with exhibition preparation, web site stuff and general hecticalilty (good new word that, whatcha fink?). I managed to get my work priced up early, but only by 4 days, as doing the New Surrey Guild of Craftsmen website took over that week. I’m not going to post a link to that just yet as we have to finish tweaking the front page before we put it up, and we’re doing that this week.

We’ve also been working hard on trying to get our garden looking respectable after a year of barrenness, well, several actually. I couldn’t understand why the garden was in such a bad state, and have to keep reminding myself that neglect of anything not top priority is what happens when you are unwell/disabled or having whatever problem you have. You really don’t realise what an impact bad stuff has on your life until you look back from your better place and see the effects of whatever it was around you. Life has to be prioritised into what you need to do to keep you happy (which in my case was making beads and building up my business), and to live from day to day, like food! Oh and a wee bit of the dreaded washing and cleaning.

So today I’m very pleased to be sitting in my new blogging seat, which is actually a problem area in the garden where we can’t plant anything because of the manhole cover that the daft builders positioned next to our fence and over the drain that runs exactly along our sunniest border, nutters. Now this is extremely annoying as we only have one sunny edge in our garden and this is it. So I devised a cunning plan to make a Mediterranean style gravel seating are over the cover. This can be lifted if access is needed as the gravel sits on a membrane. I love it.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to sit outside with a steaming hot mug of tea and enjoy the lovely weather and relax a bit after my hectic week last week and a weekend of welcoming visitors to our Open Studio in Horsham. We fling our doors open again this coming weekend, and it would be lovely to welcome some of you too. For more details please follow this link.

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2 years on

Thursday morning

I have to post and run today. It’s been another manic couple of weeks, with a couple more of the same to come.  I was madly getting ready for an exhibition that started last week at the Bank Gallery in Chobham, and would you believe it finishes this Saturday?  So I  have to go back at the start of next week to collect my cabinet and work. I don’t know how I’m going to fit this 3 hour round trip in, but it will have to happen. And I must remember to take some Blue Tack or Sellotape to stick my parking ticket to the windscreen or I may end up with another parking ticket……oh yes, last Tuesday when I was stewarding and putting my work in my cabinet I somehow managed to displace my parking ticket that I’d faithfully bought, so that the warden couldn’t see it and I ended up with a parking fine, which I contested but they’re being jobs worths about. Here’s a few shots of our exhibition at the Bank Gallery.

So today my job is to prepare for the Bead Fair at Dorking Halls this Sunday. I have beads to clean, dry and inspect…boo, beads to sort into sets and string together, and beads to sort for the bargain pots…yay. I also have all the other small jobs to prepare for the event, the ones that need doing but don’t actually look like they’ve happened, you know, like sorting my float, leaflets and sales sheets etc., boring but very important. I will have more luscious beads, including my Etsy shop stock ( I must work out how to put this on holiday for Sunday), more bargain beads and my usual supply of chains.

Today is also a very special day for me, as it’s now 2 years to the day that I had my hip replaced. I think my last post about hippiness was probably a year ago, no, make that the end of last June when I did the Race for Life. What a difference it has made to my life and that of my family. Two years down the line I feel like me again, it’s taken a while, but the thought of limping and using a stick are starting to fade into the past. I am still concious of walking when I do go out, but it is with a huge grin on my face and a heart full of joy and gratitude for the wonderful technology we have here. Life is sweet. I should celebrate. I’d better plan something in my hectic schedule.

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I did it!

Saturday evening

Oh yes, I walked with my mother in law Mel and our friend Anna, around the lovley Tilgate park in Crawley. We did it in 56 minutes, 10 minutes less than I thought it would take, going by previous walks. I’m so pleased, and on my return home, my lovely hubster Rick presented me with a little magenta pink sparkly bead for my Pandora bracelet to mark the achievement. I will treasure it always, and be reminded of the important event, doing a sponsored walk, doing over 3 miles and all without a walking stick. I think I can class myself as normal now, well, would I ever be normal? hee hee.

To date I have raised over £300 for Cancer Research UK, so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored me online and on paper, and everyone who has sent such encouraging messages, thank you, it means a lot to me. If you feel moved to sponsor me and haven’t already, you still have time to make a donation for this worthy cause, as my Just Giving page will be availbale for  afew more weeks. Here’s a link

Enjoy the rest of the gorgeous weather!

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Today I race for life

Wednesday morning

Yep, today most certainly is the day, for many reasons. I’m very pleased to be able to go and raise money for such a worthy cause, Cancer Research UK, which also happens to be my favourite charity. But for me it is a very special day, as I get to realise one of my dreams, to actually do a sponsored walk, and more than that, to be able to do it without a stick. I used to get really miserable and sad when walks were announced, how annoying that I couldn’t even walk a mile for charity, it used to really anger and upset me. So when I made the decision to have my hip replaced, I also promised that I would do a sponsored walk to celebrate and give something back as soon as I could. I was hoping to do one of the night time half marathons, but decided this could probably be a bit ambitious as I haven’t walked that far for over 20 years, so I’m starting small and walking 3 miles with my mother in law Mel and our friend Anna…..excuse me while I pop out to hang my pink tea shirt up to dry ready to wear tonight……done…….so yes, today is a very important day for me, as it brings home to me how fortunate I am to be able to walk, especially without a stick, something I never thought would happen again, and it also marks for me, the end of an era, and the start of something new and exciting, a life when I can do what I want, I can go for walks again, I can explore and live the life I should have been able to if I hadn’t been so stupid and been in denial, struggling on with my disability.

So please, if you haven’t already, pop on over to Race for Life and sponsor me. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for a pound, if everyone who knew me, and all you my lovely blog readers sponsor me, we can raise loads of dosh to help fund research and cures for this awful disease that affects us all in some way. It only takes a couple of moments, so do it now rather than later……you know I’ll be popping over there to have a peek and see what my total is….;>)

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One year on….hip hip hooray

Thursday evening

Yesterday was an important day for me, the 1st anniversary of my hip replacement. Can you believe it’s already a year on? I find it difficult to grasp, however so much has changed, and all definately for the better. It was with so much fear and trepidation that I travelled to Oxford to have my surgery last year, I knew I had one of the best surgeons in the UK (well, the world actually) but you still can’t help feeling like a lamb to the slaughter, and for me my main aprehension was knowing that once my femoral head was cut off and replaced that there was no going back, it would be replacements for the rest of my life, which was one of the reasons I held out for so long. I had also hoped that they would come up with something else to help my hips, but nothing new was really happening.

So this time and one day ago last year, I would have been lying so relaxed and chilled out, with my legs completely numb from the anaesthetic, complete with lines, drains, oxygen and morphine clicker, which I definately didn’t use enough and they took it away in the afternoon of the second day….rats! Actually, that was good, I hardly needed it, and survived just taking paracetamol from a couple of days after the op.

So, what has changed…..everything! I had no idea how good it would be. I can walk again, I now haven’t used my sticks since the middle of September, I can do my shoelaces up and almost reach my feet to cut my toenails properly. I can put my own socks on without an aid, and can walk almost as fast as I used to before all this started. I no longer have pain (in my right hip) or need to go to hydrotherapy every week. I’ve lost weight and am returning to my true self that I lost 15 years ago. I’m so happy again, and I laugh and smile lots now, and have fun and make jokes. Life is truely good and I’m so glad to be mobile. My legs are also the same length for the first time ever in my life (I’m actually about an inch taller – which I love!… passport is wrong though, lol), and I don’t wear my right shoe out faster than the left one anyone. My left hip is becoming a cause for concern as it’s struggling to keep up and aches quite a lot now, but it’s not holding me up or preventing me from doing what I want to anymore. We have to watch this space, but hey……life is good. Also on June 24th I’m planning to do the Race for Life 5Km walk in Crawley for Cancer Research UK, and have started training. If you’d like to sponsor me, please follow this link to my sponsorship page. Thank you.

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Another first

Thursday morning

What a gorgeous morning, again. I can’t wait to get out there and into my studio to enjoy making my handmade glass beads in the spring fresh air (7 deg C today). I seem to be waking up a bit better in the mornings now, this may be due to the earlier sunrise but Rick thinks it’s the start of my regular brisk walk, either way I’m feeling happier about not sleeping so much and having a bit more energy. Of course the other option could be the effect of Paul McKenna’s CD that I’ve started to listen to more regularly, after all he does say I will start to have more energy and that my ‘metabolic rate will increase now’. I always go tingly all over after that phrase. The other night I thought it would be relaxing to listen in bed before I went to sleep as he gets you completely relaxed, but it wasn’t a good idea as when it finished I felt really (and I mean REALLY) fidgety and awake even though I was mentally tired.

In my quest to walk regularly we went to the local shops and back yesterday for the first time ever since we moved here 9 years ago. I Googled it first to see how far it was and found that it was a weeny bit less than twice around the block, so that was it, we donned our rucksacks and headed for our local Co-op to buy 6 pints of milk,  some fruit and carrots (yep, all the heavy stuff) and walked home with it all. Now this may not sound very major to you, but for me it’s a breakthrough. I was very surprised at how close the shops were, only 10 minutes brisk walk, and will definately be doing this regularly, if not all the time, especially when I need to post out your bead orders. We’d always gone in the car as I though it was further than it really is. I must admit to being a bit niggled that I hadn’t realised just how close it was as I would have walked there during my recouperation instead of going around the block and exploring all the little side roads, although that was interesting, lol.

So now I have to make sure I do this regularly, and that I gradually increase the number and length of my walks until I can do 3 miles comfortably. I don’t believe this will be a problem now I know how far the shop is, as we often go there for milk, and I can stop by on my way home if I plan my routes well. I don’t want you to think I never walked at all since my op, but it has been only when I’m out for the day (which is not very often), for example we’ll walk from the top of the North Lanes in Brighton to the seafront and back when we go there, but it’s normally done over the course of several hours, wandering slowly from shop to shop.

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Walk walk walk

Tuesday morning

It’s time for me to start getting fit at last. After 15 years of virtual inactivity I’ve decided the time is right to get into shape, and what better way (and cheap)to do that than walking. Last year many of my friends did the Midnight walk for our local St Catherine’s Hospice, and my dream last year was to be able to join in this year if my new hip was up to it, but I haven’t done any training and feel that 13 miles may be too far at this stage, especially at night. So I’ve decided to try walking the Race for Life which is 5 kilometres and will give me a real reason to make sure I start walking seriously and regularly, and to steadily increase my distance.

So yesterday my daughter and I started our new regime of taking a brisk walk after school once the parents and toddlers were all out of the way. Not having a pedometer yet I endeavoured to count all my steps around the block and was pleased to find it is 1300, so twice around the block which we did yesterday was 2600, more than achieving my first goal of increasing my daily step count by 2000 steps. I think I must have had a serious look on my face as I walked as fast as I could counting all the time, while my daughter scooted on ahead.

I love walking so much, and have really missed not being able to go on rambles, brisk walks, or even short walks on holiday. I’m not really one for exercise, and the thought of going to the gym makes me shudder, but this I can do, and I’m so happy to be able to once again. I think this is what makes me want to walk for charity all the more, because I can now and am so grateful and still amazed that I’m so much better than I ever thought I would be. I seriously had no idea that having my hip replaced would get me back to my former self. I was just resigned to the thought that I’d always need my stick, I really wish someone had told me I wouldn’t need it and that I’d get my life back, as I would have had this done ages ago. Anyway, I’m digressing. Now all I need to do is try to go out for a walk at least 3 times a week, preferably everyday.

I’ve been having a quick look on t’internet for pedometers, and have browsed some interesting websites, but it’s so offputting! I found this chart that shows how much excercise you need to do to burn off certain foods and calories, and I have to say it’s really demoralising. I think it’s supposed to encourage, but frankly it all looks like such hard work. I’d much rather spend time listening to Paul McKennas CD again, I think I’ll stick to his thoughts of ‘moving my body more to supecharge my metabolism so I burn calories faster even while I sleep’, yep, that sounds like a plan to me! Sleeping and weightloss!

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What credit crunch?

Monday lunchtime

I’m so tired! I’m supposed to be out today, but didn’t wake up until late and I’m dragging myself around the house like a draggy thing. I really should be taking it easy having worked every evening last week in addition to everyday, and all day and evening Saturday and then at the beadfair yesterday. I also had my accountant round last night (that’s my MIL!) and we went through my tax accounts ready to do the online bit, woo hoo. I was hoping to come home from the fair and put my feet up with a glass of wine but at least the bulk of the tax thang is done now. I’ve been in a haze of tax and beadfair stuff this month, but now I can look forward to planning my new year of work and projects ahead of me, and I may even cook an evening meal or two! The last 2 years have been a bit wierd with health issues happening early in the spring that have knocked us all sideways for the rest of the year, last year was my hip replacement, which took much researching, organisation, and recuperation and the previous year our daughter had serious pneumonia in February with a long stay in hospital and about 4 months off school as she didn’t go back full time until June. Both of these issues put a huge emotional stain on us all, and have seriously reduced my worktime for several months of the last 2 years, so I’m hoping that something else doesn’t happen this year! Although another hip replacement is on the cards, this time for my left hip, but I have no idea when I’ll need that done. I suppose I should be grateful really that I’m not employed full time by someone else, as it would be very hard to cope with all these upheavals if I was having to ask for time off.

Yesterday at Ardingly was another very pleasant day, meeting with other bead enthusiasts and lampworking friends. Even though the fair was relativley quiet compared to the summer one, I saw no evidence of the credit crunch. It was a compact affair on one floor this year, probably because the other half of the traders were at the Hop Farm in Kent for a Gem and Bead fair. Thank you to everyone who came by to say hello and buy my beadies, and thank you for all the lovely compliments, they make the day so special and encourage me to continue making my gems. I hope you all liked my improved packaging and the little extra goody in with your shopping 😉

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Brass monkeys…….

Tuesday evening

96 beads today! woo hoo, but boy it was freezing in my studio today, it’s such a good job that I’ve finished my teaching for this year, as it’s reet proper cold now. I was dressed snuggly in thermals from neck to toe and my feet were still cold, even with the heater on. I’m going to have to resort to thicker hiking socks and hiking boots next time I think, at least I can get the laces done up now I hope…..which reminds me, I put my socks on every day without thinking about it. What’s that about? Well, before and after my op I couldn’t reach my right foot to put socks on, and I definately couldn’t do up my shoelaces. Picture this if you will, I have to sit on the bottom steps of the stairs (even now) so I can reach my feet to put socks and boots on, and for the last couple of days I’ve been sitting down and popping my right sock on without even noticing I’m doing it, you know, one minute I sit down to do it, the next I’m wandering around the house and realise the job’s done, well, woo hoo. I must try shoelaces next. lol.

All this cold weather is making me want to stay indoors and not make beads, which is sort of good because I should be making and polishing headpins, making up jewellery and generally getting ready for this weekend, although I do need to make some icicles to send to the Surrey Guild Gallery, and some simple beads for my ‘credit crunch lampwork range’. This year I have given up making any silver plated jewellery, and I’m working excusively with sterling silver, my beads, bought lampwork beads and gem stones and pearls. I will be reducing some of my silver plated jewellery and doing a few special offers for the remaining pieces to clear the decks for my silver work.

If you’re wondering about my title, follow this link to Wipipedia for a fun explanation.

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Countdown to Christmas fairs, 1 week and counting

Friday morning

230 beads…………that’s how many I had to clean after my mamoth session on Tuesday added to the results of all my play work last week. Yikes, I really should try not to let them pile up like that. Today I’m having my final bead making session for the magazine comp, at least I hope it will be, I may have to sneak out tomorrow and finish off if the beads don’t sit properly together. My work on this on Wednesday was, I feel, successful, but it’s adding to what I’ve already done that could potentially be a problem as I’m reet proper fussy when it comes to making up my really posh sets.

I had another fab teaching day with 2 lovely ladies yesterday, and that was my last bit of teaching until the new year, and of the course the last this month, which has been chocka full of teaching dates. Now all I need to do is get ready for the 2 fairs I have next weekend, and the 2 exhibitions I think I’m doing, that also start next Saturday, so have to have the pieces to deliver on Friday at the latest. I’ve been trying not to get stressed about my work during the run up to Christmas and this has been working well, but to be honest, it’s working too well, so well, that I’m so laid back I’m horizontal and have done almost nothing to prepare. I have a stash of beads I made last month waiting to be turned into jewellery, but all my time has been spent doing masses of teaching, making my weekly order and getting to grips with Double Helix glass as well as my efforts to enter the magazine comp. I would normally have been making up jewelley in every spare moment, and all evening, but I’ve been so tired or busy cleaning beads and preparing my studio and tidying up from teaching that by the time all that’s done I need to rest……..I think I’ll put it down to still being a bit under par from the huge doses of anaesthetic earlier this year and my continual healing, after all it does get a bit zingy around my scar from time to time, so stuff is obviously still happening on some level.  Right, I’m off to run the kiln and start making beadies again. TTFN.

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Harrow again (revisited)

Wednesday teatime

Here we are again, a week later. Harrow was good, even though I was tired by the time I got there. I had been pushing it working everyday for the 2 weeks in the run up to the fair, and now I’m extremely pooped, but hey, I did it! Thank you to everyone who came to say hello and also those who bought my beads, especially to Elizabeth, my first customer of the day. So this week I’ve been trying to relax a bit which I’m finding difficult to do as there are so many jobs that I have at the moment, although that’s nothing new, there’s always something to do when you run your own business, and I thought October would be quiet. I have 2 days tuition this week and another hectic weekend ahead of me.

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It’s the end of the World as we know it

Tuesday night

Yoo hoo I’m back….well, I’m home but working in the Surrey Guild gallery in Millford this week. It’s been such a busy summer, with one event after another, like the Stourbridge bead fair one weekend, 3 days home to unpack then repack to go away again for a family wedding then a short holiday. It’s been all go but fun and exhausting, and I have had no hip pain in my new bionic hip, although some pain in my origianlly bad hip, rats. I’m hoping this will reduce as dependance on overusing it reduces. So what’s new? Not a lot really yet, as I am still unable to enjoy my torch because of the days out this week, although I’m hoping to get some torch time on Thursday as I’ve managed to swap one of my days. I’m getting reved up for the Bead Fair at Hatfield House on 21st September, less than 2 weeks (well, I should be but I’m unable to do anything for this yet) and I have also booked the Big Bead Show at Esher on 1st November (6 weeks away).

These bookings are all very well, but will they happen, will I be able to torch on Thursday or will we have been sucked into a black hole by then?  If you haven’t heard what’s happening tomorrow then look up Large hadron Collider. It amazes me how people are allowed to do this if it’s really so risky. Of course they say it’s not, then laugh manically, but who’s to know? I guess we’ll all know, or not by Thursday. lol.

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Rick you rock

Wednesday lunchtime

It is truely a momentous day for me today, especially as I start typing it’s 12:25, about the time I was brought out of theatre exactly 3 months ago. I have to take stock and look at my journey through the last 13 weeks, I remember the fear and apprehension as I padded down to surgery in my oh so sexy foam slippers and backless gown. I remember lazily waking up all numb and spaced out only moments after I initially closed my eyes. I’m grateful that I didn’t live during the butchery years when they were exploring surgery, and anaesthetics hadn’t been invented. I look back over my few days in hospital, my tentative first steps and the numerous days of exercising, my progression from totally helpless patient to feeling really great, as I do today. Obviously my right leg is still weak, and will probably need another 9 months to get completely over it, as I have 15 years worth of weakness to overcome, but for the moment I think it’s about as good as it was before the op in terms of weakness, and pain free so that has to be good. And of course it’s so much better than before as I now have more movement in my hip than I’ve had for years, I can almost touch my right foot now, and can actually wiggle when I walk as a gal is supposed to. I don’t think I’ll ever have as much bootie as Shakira but maybe I could try?

Yesterday the man from Direct Mobility came and took away my recouperation appliances, so the house is also now looking less like an OAPs house and is back to normal, so hurrah for that. I really feel that from now on life should go back to normal and I’m going to try my hardest to get my leg strong so that I can ditch the walking stick completely. Rick has been an absolute rock, he’s cooked all the evening meals for the last 3 months, and last night gave me such a funny card to mark the 3 month milestone. Thank you Rick, you rock!

So tonight we’ll be cracking open the Champagne, well, sparkling Pinot Noir as I prefer this, and toast good health and medical science.

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Home again

Wednesday afternoon

Wow I’ve been away from here a long time. So what’s been happening? Well it’s school holidays for a start, so life is upside down at the moment, but since we last spoke we’ve had Ardingly bead fair, a lovely day with lots of friendly faces coming to say hi and lots of bead shopping, yes me too! I couldn’t resist some amazing and simple boro beads from Purple Beech Designs, I bought some of the teardrops in various colours. Of course I had to rest for a few days after the exertion of preparing for this, then we went away to France for a week with Ricks family. There will be more about ‘The Great Downton Getaway’ in later posts. Now I’m trying to recover from the journey home and the last few days of our holiday which were very busy physically for me.

The good news is that I was 12 weeks post op yesterday, this being another milestone for me being allowed to do a few more things, but the last milestone is my 3 month date on 20th August, when I will be able to stop all my hip precautions and start to lead a completely normal life again (I hope). This is the date I’m really looking forward to. Also this week I have 2 days teaching, my first course until I resume working full time in September, obviously I can’t really teach many days in August due to my daughter being on holiday and family commitments on general.

My next event is the Stourbridge Bead Fair, formerly the GBUK Bead Fair. This is a 3 day bead fair at the Bonded Warehouse in Stourbridge running over the Bank Holiday weekend and is again part of the International festival of Glass (IFG), an amazing and exciting celebration of all things glassy. Actually I’m only going for the Gaffers’ Ale and another hand blown and cut 1 pint beer glass (hee hee) to add to the other 3 in the cupboard.

I am also very pleased to be taking part in ‘The Tempest’ glass bead exhibition on the theme of Shakesperes’ play. This exhibition of handmade glass beads and small sculptures is in the Coffee shop at the Ruskin Glass Centre, details are on my events page together with details of the bead fair. There is a fab website to accompany the exhibition, follow this link for a sneaky peak at my bead (which looks even better in the flesh)! I may also have a couple of my prototype beads for sale in the coffee shop, if I decide to sell them there, if not then they’ll be available on my stall at the beadfair.

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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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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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