Friday, 17 February 2012

One day at a time...

Good morning All,

It's strange, I thought I would be on here any typing all about my experience a lot sooner than this! I must say that I'd forgotten how much you can't do after Carpal Tunnel Surgery. Whether it was easier last time, or my mind has just blocked out the memory, I'm not sure, but it's certainly knocked me for six!
For example, we decided to go for dinner to a pub after the hospital, after all I wasn't really feeling like cooking. As I got out of the car, I tried to hold my handbag with my gammy hand, but it was so painful and the fingers just gave way. I think you just forget and it's so surprising how you take your hands for granted. I thought it wouldn't be much of a hindrance as my right hand is my non dominant hand, but how wrong can I be! I can't even wash my hair, so of course had to go to the hairdressers for a new 'do', but now I can't straighten it (not properly anyway!)

I'm not entirely sure whether it's best to rest it, or try and do things in the hope that it will get used to it. I have been crafting, all be it cutting out shapes on my Silhouette machine, but it's nice to keep my hand in (pardon the pun!). 

In any case, it just has to get better for Sunday, for I will be demonstrating for Sizzix on their stand, and I'm giddy with excitement!And on that note, I'd better have a go at doing some prep! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Carpal Tunnel Anyone?

I'm so sorry I haven't been on here for ages, eons, light years! Now I'm looking after the Fiskars blog, and trying to craft, run a household and being up a small boy at the same time, there really isn't enough hours in the day!

So, today I thought I would change that by letting the house get in an unholy mess and blog to my heart's content. Only Joking. No, I'm having a carpal Tunnel decompression surgery today on my right hand, and seeing as I know a lot of crafters suffer this blight, I thought I'd blog about the experience.

I had my left hand (my dominant hand - yes I'm cack handed as my dad likes to call me) done 7 years ago, and quite honestly I never looked back. I went through a good few years of pain and discomfort, not knowing what it was, then tests, including the very painful nerve conduction tests; basically  they apply an electric shock to your fingers and see what happens. I remember the rude consultant telling my 'oh stop jumping - it doesn't hurt!' and I felt like saying 'well, let's apply them to your nether regions and see how painless it is then!'  Once we found out it was Carpal Tunnel syndrome, I had about a year of physio, hand splints, and cortisone injections before I declared enough was enough and went for the op. It was simply the best thing I did.

So, here I sit, 20 minutes before I have to go to the hospital, and I'm a little nervous but excited at the same time. Knowing all the pain will be over very soon, and that I know expect to be numb for about a week afterwards and that it will be hard doing all those things that you take for granted when you have two hands. Like pulling up your trousers, making a cup of coffee, and CRAFTING! That's what I'll miss the most. I will be back to it before my fingers can feel pain though - as least I won't feel it when I prick myself with my craft knife - something I seem to do on a daily basis!

Anyhoo, wish me luck, I'll update Facebook regularly, and I'll be back on here tonight with photos!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

There's a new lamp on the block!

I don't know what you think, but daylight is essential for all crafters in my opinion. I simply couldn't craft without daylight, and at this time of year that can sometimes be like gold dust! Even in the summer, when I craft in the evening I need to be able to see true colours!

 Now I must say I have been the proud owner of a couple of lamps pumping out daylight ever since I started crafting, right back in the days when I mainly did cross stitch and then when I moved onto papercrafting, and I currently have this one,

(wow, look how tidy and uncluttered my craft room looked in 2009) so I was delighted when the Daylight Lamp Company asked me to independently review one of their new lamps.

I was sent the Foldi LED lamp, and I was very impressed with it's looks. Now I know that kind of thing isn't that important when judging the lamp on its lighting powers, but it's important to me. I like something that will look good on my desk, and as you can see, this certainly does the job! Now, can you see what else is cool about this lamp...Well along with it's sleek lines, it's completely fold-able, hence it's name! Now I think this is super handy, as it means that you can take along with you to craft crops and clubs, or use downstairs even if you normally craft upstairs for instance, with minimum fuss. That can't be said for my current lamp, which although is fantastic for lighting my desk, isn't at all portable and I wouldn't even consider moving it just for the evening, or even a couple of days.

The other main difference with this lamp and my desk lamp is the way it is powered. Not only can you use batteries (which will give 8 hours of power), but you can also power when connected to a laptop or PC with the USB cable supplied with the lamp. You can also buy a standard power cable from the Daylight lamp company if you want to use in the normal way. My desk lamp can only be powered my that amazing stuff that comes out of sockets in the wall, so can't always be used wherever you want.

Now I see great advantages with this. Sometimes I turn up to do a demonstration, and there is no electricity supply available at the desk. And sometimes the area I'm demonstrating in (particularly at exhibitions) can be quite dark, and this makes it harder for me to see what I'm doing, and harder for the customers to see what I'm up to. With this lamp I can power with batteries (preferably rechargeable) for a full day, with no danger that someone will trip up over the wires from the lamp, and I can see what I'm doing. Bonus!

Another advantage is that I need good light to take photographs of my cards...after all a picture speaks a thousand words, does it not? More often than not, achieving good light is not as simple as it sounds, even in the summer. Shadows are cast in all the wrong places, leading to unprofessional results. And I can't be doing with that ;). SO I use the Foldi and I can place exactly where I need it, connecting it to either my computer or powering with batteries.

Now for the Sciency Bit...So, what's all the fuss about a lamp that provides daylight? Well for starters it provides much more realistic light - simulated daylight! Tungsten light (normal household bulbs) have a yellow base compared to daylight lamps, and therefore give off a yellow tinge to their light. And therefore on anything they land on! Whereas daylight lamps have a colour temperature more in line with daylight and therefore give off a bluer, more realistic light. So what does this mean? The most important thing is it means that when a daylight lamp is used colours are more true, and therefore colour matching is so much easier.

As you can see from the photograph below, the foldi provides loads of the correct type of light to make the colours in my project pop! You can see how dark it is around the outside of the light, and this was taken at 10am in the morning!

Now for some disadvantages of the lamp...well a review needs to be balanced! The lamp is made up of 30 LED's which cannot be replaced. The thing with LED's is that they last so long that the lamp will last you years and years and years before they give in. Nevertheless, in 30 years time you might want to replace, but can't. ho hum. The other disadvantage is that you can't actually angle the lamp head, you can only flip it up or down. Finally, I think it would be nice to include the power adaptor with the lamp, so you have full choice - but then again, I'm greedy!

So all in all, I love this lamp, I will use it all the time to take photographs of my projects, and when I'm going to my demos.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Hi there,

I'm so excited to announce that we are looking for a brand new design team on the Fiskarettes blog! If you want to be a part of something BIG, all the details can be found on the Fiskarettes blog, Click here for more details! 

Good luck and we can't wait to see your entries!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A step by Step by Product for you on the Fiskarettes blog!

Hi there,

I just wanted to let you know that I have posted a step by step project on the Fiskarettes blog. Here's a sneaky peek, but to see more you'll need to visit the blog. I'd LOVE your comments over there!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Exciting News!

Hi there, and a Happy New year!

I hope 2012 brings, peace, love and prosperity into your life. And of course lots of crafting!

I have some exciting news...

I am the new Fiskars UK Ambassador for the Fiskarettes blog! I'm so thrilled to have been chosen for this role, so why not click here to visit the blog and become a FISKARETTE. A 'what' I hear you scream - all will be revealed on the blog!