Friday, 2 October 2009

Jacqueline Wilson and SVT among other things

(Not my photo)

Yesterday Ruth and I were fortunate enough to go to a talk given by the wonderful Jacqueline Wilson. I have to say she is one of the nicest people I have ever heard speak. And we share a birthday! Unfortunately we didn't get there in time for the personal dedication queue (stuck in traffic!), but we were able to buy pre-signed copies of her new book Hetty Feather. It was a wonderful evening, and Ruth was chosen to ask a question, in front of all the hundreds of people :)

Another positive outcome from yesterday was my long awaited Cardiologist appointment. (The initial referral letter went astray!). I saw Dr. Routledge, and she was excellent. Totally not what I had anticipated - I was expecting an older man - not sure why! We had a good chat, as well as having a few tests, and she thinks I have SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia). This has similar symptoms to AF, which is what the GP thought it might be, but is not potentially dangerous. So over-all very good news. As I don't get it often enough at the moment to significantly effect my every day life, we decided to just monitor it for the time being. There are a couple of treatment options - Betablockers and an invasive procedure, but we decided that these are a bit drastic for the time being. I know I'm not going to drop dead, and what it is (having a name for it helps), and if it gets more regular in the future, I can go back and we can look at those options then. What she does want me to do is try and get to the GP or A&E when I'm having an episode, so they can get an ECG to see where exactly in my heart the short-circuit is.

I have been blogging since the last entry here, but on my Blythe blog SakuraBlythe. I have been hvaing fun making clothes for the girls :D

Friday, 11 September 2009

Class of 2009 - We Did It

Today we graduated at Worcester Cathedral. Perfect weather, great friends, proud family. The perfect day :)

And the prize I was awarded will pay for my Flickr Pro Account!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


So, to fund my newest addiction (Blythe), I have started knitting again. I've set up a little Artfire store - SakuraBlythe to sell the things I make. So far there are 2 hats and a scarf in there, but I'll be adding more things as they're finished.

I got the Event Monitor on Monday evening, and so waiting to see if I have an 'event' while I have it on - Sod's Law says I won't of course, but really hope it gets sorted. Trouble is, I'm allergic to the glue on the sticky pads with the contacts in - the itching is driving me mad! Taken some anti-histamine, which makes me fall asleep, but about to go to bed, so not really a problem today for a change :)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Long time no see

_WARNING - majorly long post_
It has been a busy few months. A mad rush to get all my college assignments in on time - which paid off when I got the letter this week telling me I'd passed with Distinction :) Yep, that made the past 2 years of hard work, stress, wondering if it was all worth it totally worthwhile. I'm signed up for the degree at the same college, and get to do it part-time over 3 years instead of 4 because of my results from the HND. Its such a nice feeling being able to be proud of myself. At school I was bullied. Not badly, but enough that I deliberately tried to hide it when I did well, or try to do badly so I didn't stand out. Ha! No chance of that now. I've worked damn hard, and I deserve good grades, so I'm going to be proud of myself for a change. John was here when I opened the letter, and having him hug me and tell me how proud he was really made it a perfect moment. I was shaking and my heart was pounding - it was quite funny!

I got another couple of letters yesterday - one had the information about the graduation ceremony in September, and one saying I'm getting the prize for my course :) I had known there was one, and it had been my aim to try my best for it, but with all the stress of moving etc, I'd totally forgotten til the letter came. I was feeling scared of the future, and wondering if Law was the right career for me, but this has totally persuaded me.

Had my yearly blood pressure check with the nurse at my GP's practice this week. No problems with that, she didn't even bother weighing me as she thought I looked exactly the same as last year (phew!). I thought it was worth asking her about my weird heart 'thing.' Okay, a brief explanation. Since I was about 12 I started getting a weird heartbeat at times for no apparent reason. Sometimes it would be irregular - kinda like an improvised Jazz drum beat (this happened when I was about to have my wisdom teeth out, and I didn't even realise the noise I could hear on the monitor was my heart beat - it was that bizarre). It lasts from just a few seconds, to half an hour. Its feels horrible and scary and makes me dizzy, but it goes away as suddenly as it starts. More recently, it has tended to be a different kind of strange beat - it suddenly starts beating at about 200 times a minute (usually I'm a bout 60). It feels like I need to cough, like I have a wheezy chest, if that makes sense. It can start suddenly when I'm just sitting doing nothing. Usually it feels like its beating so fast its not beating hard enough, but a couple of months ago it started beating that fast, and so hard it was making my shoulder jerk. Lasted about 10 minutes, and just as I was about to think I needed to see a doctor, it stopped. I have seen the doctor about it a few times in the past, and even had a 24 hour trace. Of course it didn't happen in that time (Sod's Law of course), so the doctors decided that it was just stress and I should try to avoid caffeine, and other stimulants. Basically they thought it was either a panic attack or all in my head. I'm quite a sensitive person, so I felt really awful. I knew it was real, but everyone told me it couldn't be too bad or it would have been picked up.

I gave blood last year for the first time last year. On the form you have to fill in, I explained about the weird heart beat. They didn't want to let me donate in case it put too much stress on me, but I told them what the Drs had said - that it was just stress related. So the nurse that was in charge said they'd let me that time, but I had to be really careful, and if I go the weird heartbeat thing afterwards to go straight to A&E. So I gave blood, and was fine. Til about half an hour after I got home. I washed up, then sat down for a rest. Then my heart started to beat at 200 beats a minute. John and the kids were in bed, and I didn't want to wake them up. Thought everyone would think it was an over-reaction to something that was normal after giving blood. The increased heart rate lasted for 2 hours. The next day I spoke to my friends and relatives who have given blood, and did lots of research on the Internet. Seems its was not a normal reaction, and no one I know has had anything like that - just a bit of tiredness which goes away after they've slept.

So I spoke to the nurse. Told her all of this. And she nodded and smiled, and UNDERSTOOD! Even my family were thinking it was all in my head. She said it may have become normal for me, but it was NOT normal. In fact you shouldn't usually be aware of your heart beat! I am usually aware of it. She's booked me in for a 2 week trace. I have to wear the monitor for up to 2 weeks and if I have an 'episode' during that time, I press a button and it records it. Then I see the GP who refers me to the Cardiologist if they think its necessary. I just want a name for it. I just want to finally be able to say 'I'm not just a hypochondriac - this is real!'

I've been doing some reading on the Internet. OK, never a good idea, but there are some Arrhythmia sites which are helpful. And scary, but mostly helpful. I figure that I haven't dropped down dead yet, so whatever it is that I get probably isn't dangerous. And possibly treatable. But its such a relief to talk about it have have someone understand and know they believe me. To coin a phrase, its a weight off my chest knowing its finally being understood.

One of the things I've been to the doctor repeatedly for over the past few years is extreme tiredness. I've been tested for anaemia, diabetes, under/over active thyroid, and various illnesses, with all the results being nagative, and being told thats its just normal tiredness for a mother. But none of my friends have the same tiredness levels when they're well. And I've found out its another symtom of arrhythmia. So much is falling into place.

Sorry for the long post - really needed to unburden :)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


They're here! I have started a new blog for my Blythe ramblings, although I'm sure they'll make their way over here from time to time.

SakuraBlythe - this is my Blythe blog. Come and take a look :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Studio Calico - I think I love you!

This is the very peculiar bag that my kit box arrived in - was very worried to start with - thought it might have been damaged or something. But it was ok! As this is probably my last kit for a while I documented the process - have photos of the box being opened etc. Yes I am obsessed!

This was the beauty within. I got up at 4.45am last month to get the 2 add-ons I wanted. No, needed! This was possibly my favourite kit ever. Really looking forward to scrapping with it. I'm hoping that my stopping buying kits for a while will not only help my bank balance, but also get me using the kits I already have.

Yesterday I discovered a new obsession - Kokeshi dolls from Japan. Not the new ones, but the beautiful weathered vintage ones. Ruth collects Momiji dolls, which are a kind of modern version, but these have so much history. If you do a search on Ebay you'll find some from sellers in Japan.

I'm tired now - its been John's day off so we've spent the day not really doing much, so not sure why I'm so tired. We did walk to school and back twice I suppose, but its not that far. And I do need the exercise if I'm going to fit in these jeans by next week.

I don't know what Ruth's been eating, but she must have grown another couple of inches. She now comes higher than my shoulder. Will have to get John to take some photos. Alex has swimming and tennis tomorrow, so he'll be tired when he gets home = grumpy. He loves tennis though - we've spent most of the evening today playing with plastic rackets and a foam ball in the hall. Que great hilarity as the ball bounced off doors, walls, our heads and basically anything but the rackets.

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Seems like my new crafty space has been an inspiration. I made this card for my Grandma's 80th birthday. The photo isn't fantastic but I was quite pleased with it - I'm not much of a card maker these days. The flower was based on a tutorial over at the Studio Calico blog.
I also made her this necklace using a glass square kit from Etsy. It was the first one I made, and it came out rather well too.
And these are two little (tiny!) cushions I made for the kids. The stitching's not perfect, but the kids love them. Alex had been asking me to make them for weeks. They're only about 4"x6" and the pictures are Adirondack Paint Dabbers through Stencil1 stencils. I'm not sure why he wanted them to be so small but they're certainly cute. And got me using my sewing machine :) I have lots of gorgeous fabric, patterns and craft books which I'd been too scared to do anything with, but now I might actually get on and make something more ambitious.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


Yes, so I know its a tip, but we have recently moved (like weeks ago), and my scrap space was not exactly a prioity. But now the rest of the house is mostly done, finally I was ablt to put my desk together and start unpacking!!!!!

So this is what my scrapping stash looked lik 24 hours ago......

....... and this is what it looks like now. Not 100% finished, but mostly there. I'm so happy to have my scrappy space back. Really makes me smile everytime I walk in the living room.
This si my desk - love the cake stands :) I have punches on the small one, and stamps, adhesives, buttons and other bits and bobs on the tall pink ones.This is a close up of the ceramic cake stand. I found the ceramic rose when I was buying curtains. Can't remember the name of the shop, but it only cost £1 (the curtains were a LOT more!).

So all in all, (inter)national scrapbooking day well spent I think. May even get to scrap tonight. Whoo hoo! Have to make my Grabdma's 80th birthday card and present too. Hoping my new space will be inspirational.

And all of this was inspired by Scarlet over at Studio Calico, with her NSD challenge - maybe not finished in time, but thanks for the kick up the backside to get it done :)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

This is where I'll be all day tomorrow. It's a college trip to the House of Commons and House of Lords. Should be interesting. We have to get to college for 7.15am though which is sooo early! Will have to leave home at 6.50am!!!!!!!!!!! It'll take about 3 hours on the coach, so Laura and I are taking our Ipods and a book and being anti-social.

Got a new lawn mower today after the old one blew up (black smoke started billowing out last time it was used. Garden looks so much better now. And the sun has been out most of the day so I.m feeling all happy.

Ikea stuff will be coming on Friday. Can't wait to get everything unpacked and put away. Most stuff is out of boxes, but there are still enough around to make it feel a bit of a mess. The new carpets are still looking great. The house will look lovely once its finished. Will just have decorating left to do then.

Just about to make our favourite dinner - mozzarella and tomato with garlic doughballs. Then have to get kids bathed and too bed so I can attack the massive pile of ironing. Then 2 episodes of Desperate Housewives - yay! Loving this season.

Still not done those assignments for college though. Really have to finish then ASAP. Have to take car back to garage on Wednesday though for latch to be fixed and Ikea delivery will take most of Friday (we're getting a LOT of furniture).

Have been looking at Laptop bags for the new laptop I got yesterday to replace the old one that I have to give back to college in June. So far my favourite is this one from Cath Kidston.
Its so different to the normal boring black ones you see all the time. I love her retro fabric patterns. Have ordered some fabric from Etsy which is similar to some of hers. Will have a go at making a bag soon.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Rain rain go away

Its so miserable here - hasn't stopped raining for 2 days. We have damp appearing on the bathroom ceiling, so have to wait in all day for a building inspector to come and have a look. To cheer myself up, I've dug out some sunny photos from the last few weeks.

These are the owl cakes I made using one of the recipe books I was given for Mothering Sunday. Love owls, and these were almost to cute too eat. Almost, but didn't stop me finishing them all off (with a bit of help form the family of course!). Pilchard enjoying the sunshine a few weeks ago just before we moved. Love this cat so much. Even though he's moulting all over the new carpets and puking up hair balls (yum!). No amount of brushing seems to help much although my hands are showing it when I don't move the brush out of the way fast enough when he gets fed up and attacks the brush. Helps that he's so photogenic :)
This was my lovely family on Easter Monday.. We went and found a geocahe that had been evading us for a year, and then climbed British Camp. Ached for days afterwards!

These little lambs were guarding the cache. I love lambs. Makes me feel all happy and summery. We hand-reared a lamb in New Zealand when I was 3, so they're very dear to my heart.

My Studio Calico kit came yesterday! Love it as always. Haven't had much time for crafty stuff recently, but did make a few fabric yo-yos from Heather Bailey's tutorial while watching TV the other night. Really happy with how they came out :) Going to try my hand at sewing a few things. I love fabic and have quite a bit so might as well stop being scared of messing up and have a go! If you know any good ewing inspiration sights I'd love it if you could link me up :)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

A Little Sad...........

Found out last night that people have moved into our old house. I know the move was final the moment we gave the keys back, but still, it feels different. Don't get me wrong - I love this house. It's just that there were so many memories at the old place. At least the house won't feel lonely now :) Hope the new people are happy there.

About to take Alex for a much needed hair cut (see photo in last post). His hair is in his eyes now! He looks so much more grown up with it short. They're both growing up so fast.

Hoping a few deliveries I'm expecting come today - especially my Studio Calico kit. Just hope it doesn't arrive while we're out.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Attempt 2

Its decided to work again now, so here goes - The new sofa - we can just about all fit on it at the same time ATM - that won't last long though seeing how quickly the kids are growing.

And the wardrobe I tried to put in the last post. With the Komplement fittings so we can organise everything nicely.

Finally a recent photo I'm really proud of (see here.) Really captures this cheeky little monkey perfectly.

Just can't seem to get going

With anything at the moment. I think moving just took everything out of me - emotionally and physically. Or I'm just plain lazy. Or maybe a mixture of the 2??? Really need to crack on with my college assignments, but have managed nothing so far bar buying textbooks. Oh yes, that is the one thing I can do - spend!!

We've ordered the Ikea furniture which arrives 2 weeks today - can't wait!
This is my chair which is going to be at my crafting table and double up as an arm chair. Its so comfy - I love it!
My Expedit desk which attaches onto the front of my Expedit shelf (I have the biggest one). Can't wait to have a desk again :)

The wardrobe we'll have in our room. We've got all the inside organised with the Komplement things. * Blogger has now gone a bit mental, deleted the photos of our wardrobe and sofa and won't let me upload any more. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr *

Friday, 20 March 2009

we moved!

that house that fell through that I was so bummed about?? we got it on the waiting list. Got told on the Wednesday that if we wanted it we'd have to move that weekend - less than 3 days to pack an entire house. and we have a lot of stuff! it was manic, a nightmare at times, but we're pretty settled, new carpets everywhere except our room which is being done tomorrow. a hell of a lot of stuff to unpack, but my expedit shelf is up, and the scrapping stuff is getting lovingly arranged :) loads of new furniture to arrive, so will be a few weeks yet til everything is unpacked, and then we need to decorate, but it feels like home. the cat has even started to venture outside!

have so much to catch up on for college, and so much to do here, so have to run xx

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Too busy twittering

Yep, thats a scary way to start a post! Not good with photos of me (except the ones Kirsty took of the wedding which I am totally in love with) so doing a self-portrait was somewhat of a challenge. Completely out of my comfort zone you could say. So I took an hour and 74 shots to get something which I can live with. OK so its a bit of a cheat - you can't really see me, but I felt like being a bit alternative and different :P

Half term has been interesting - Ruth turned 10 on Valentine's Day. She's had a massive growth spurt over the past 6 months (about 2 inches) and we got her feet measured and they'd grown more than a whole size. She'll have caught up with me soon - not hard though cos I'm a bit of a short-arse! We've been to the cinema twice - Secret of Moonacre (not as good as the book - never understand why they have to change the story), and Bolt which made Alex and me cry. Bolt is fantastic - trouble is now we want one!

Still addicted to Twitter, and now John is on it too (because of the new Call of Duty game which is in development, not because of me - he knows his priorities) its pretty much replaced any other method of communication.

Managed to finally upload photos to Moo and LOVE the mini cards. Took so long to upload the photos though :( About 3 hours for the 40 odd ones I managed. Damn wifi! Ordered some more and some stickers too though.

Its back to college, school and work on Monday. We're NOT looking forward to that I can tell you. Alex is already trying to come up with reasons why he can't go.

On a sad note, the move fell through. So we've been having to unpack which would have been bad enough in the new house, but having to do it still here was pretty heartbreaking. My lovely friend Laura said its because something better will come along, which I'm trying to hold on to. Normally I'm a very positive glass half full type person, but have to admit this really threw me for 6. As we can't afford a mortgage for even half what we'd need, its back to the waiting list.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Somebody was happy to be out playing in the snow instead of at school! Can't believe she'll be 10 in just over a week - my baby!
The County Council shut all the schools in the county - snow day! John had to walk to work though which was a shame.

Gnorman the Gnome again (inspired by Amelie). Bit of a change from the last photo of him on the beach in the summer!
Gratuitous shoe shot.

I'd never seen ice crystals like the ones today - Alex said the snow was furry! Click on the photo for a better image.

Alex's ice alien - he was devastated when teenage boys used it as snowballs :( Cried his heart out.
Nearly Headless Jim - the snowman Ruth and i made. His head fell off but not before John got home and saw him.
We love snow! Hopefully another snow day tomorrow.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My new favourite things

Trollbeads! I had been admiring the bracelets of people on UKS for about 18 months and discovered the other week that a jewellers in Worcester had started shopping them. So as I was working over the road from them last week, I decided to reward myself for finishing it by buying myself a bracelet, lock and 1 bead. Except I couldn't choose, so I got 2 (the 2 on the right). Then I searched on Etsy, and found this store which has the most amazing original beads, so I bought another 3. I LOVE my bracelet :)

Managed to get my essay in on time although I have no illusions as to its quality, at least it got finished on time. I have exams next week in Family Law, Criminal Procedure and Civil Litigation, so trying to revise, but its hard to get motivated.

My Studio Calico kit finally arrived yesterday, and is beautiful as always. Can't wait to have time to scrap again

Friday, 16 January 2009

Work Experience and exciting news!

Yep this is where I have been working for the past week. In the Debt Recovery department no less. It wasn't like high school WE where all you do is file, make the tea and photocopy (although I did a little filing and photocopying, but no more than the regular staff). I got to go to a court hearing which was really interesting, a client meeting with the head of the department, lots of research for various solicitors, listing documents for disclosure, reading files, and filling in some documents - Statutory Demands, Application for Probate Search. It was VERY tiring, and there were days when I wasn't sure I could do it, but Simon (my boss for the week) said I had made a real impression, and was welcome back any time, so I think I did well :)
This has been a stressful week! As well as work experience, I have had an essay to write (still not finished it!), 3 exams to prepare for, my grandad had a fall on Sunday and has been in hospital (but is ok), Alex is ill, one of my best friends is having a really bad time, and I have been having trouble sleeping (got 2 hrs the night before I started work!). And stressful, but good news- it looks like we're moving! Got a phone call last week from a lady who has a 3 bed house thats too big now for her and her husband, so we went and had a look, and although the area isn't great, its lovely inside and has a nice garden. Had to have a massive tidy and clean here but they liked ours! So just have to get a few things fixed, and we should be able to sign the forms next week, and as long as the HA agree, will be moving in a month or so!!!! So much to do. Gonna use it as an opportunity for a massive clear out (at least a third of my books, all the craft stuff I don't use, toys the kids don't play with etc). After loving the house when they looked round, the kids cried when they found out - they've always lived here. It'll be good though. And they'll get their own rooms at long last.