Adding Gold to Our Rainbow

Archive for the category “health”

We need help getting to a health conference so we are having a sale.

Photos are of things we have made. They are not all for sale in our Etsy shop but something similar can be commissioned from us. Scroll down for a coupon code to get 5% of everything in our Etsy Shop

(me out with the dogs on one of my better days)

My health has always been bad but these days I really am struggling to keep functioning.
Many years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I deal with pain every day. Sometimes it is much worse than others. Changing air pressure causes a really bad day. Some days I have enough energy to make food and work on art and craft stuff and catch up with friends and family online, some days I can barely make it out of bed and moving to the toilet and back is really difficult. These conditions are managed as much as I can. It became obvious though that they were not my only problems.

(Handspun merino/silk blend yarn in blues)

This last year I was diagnosed with Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome. It is a connective tissue disorder, it affects collagen proteins in the body. Collagen is a building block that strengthens and supports various body tissues. It is found in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, bone, blood vessels, the gut and the spine.
EDS is caused by alterations in certain genes, which make collagen weaker. Sometimes the amount of collagen in the body is reduced. The faulty genes can be passed from parents to their children.
Wiki’s page on EDSIn depth article on hypermobility type EDS

(needle felted pod baby)

I have frequent dislocations and sublaxes, usually fingers and toes and my jaw but also small bones in my feet, my left shoulder and my ankles. This causes a great amount of pain and instability. My muscles and tendons are over worked trying to stabilize joints and reduce movement. I have a herniated disc in both my neck and my lower spine, trapping nerves because my spine also moves too far and I have carpel tunnel in my wrists.
I have chronic migraines (many times a week) because the blood vessels in my brain expand to easily because of the collagen problem.
My skin is fairly fragile and my scalp will tear if I just rub at my head. My other biggest problem at the moment, with all the stupid heat, is Orthostatic Intolerance. My blood pressure drops causing me to faint when I stand for more than a minute and in hot weather it drops even when I’m sitting up. I also have huge troubles controlling my body temperature. If it is hot I get hotter and hotter until I throw up if I can’t cool myself down with an ice pack or cold shower. It makes these nearly 40c days unbearable.

(Teeny sheep earrings)

My doctor and physiotherapist are trying to help but neither of them knows much about EDS. I go to hydrotherapy once a week and am getting splints made for my wrists to help with the carpel tunnel. For the rest, right now, I just deal with best I can.

(Hand knit purple cable hoodie for a child)

This July there is a conference on in Parramatta focusing on EDS and Connective Tissue Disorders.
This is a massive chance for me to find out other ways I can cope with the symptoms and find medical practitioners who can help. This is one of the only chances I will have to access all this information in one place.

(hand knit toy elephant)

I live about 7 hours drive from Sydney but have family I can stay with about an hour away. I can save up for the dog boarding we’ll need to get there but registration for the conference is open now and is limited to 300 places. For Ruth and I to go to the conference on Saturday and Sunday it will cost $316. We just don’t have this right now at all but I do not want to miss this chance.

(Hobbit hole from the tiny house embroidery series)

I know money is tight right now for everyone but if you can have a look at our Etsy Store and see if there is anything you need or want.
From now until the 1st March you can use the code EDSSALE receive 5% off everything in our shop.

We also take commissions for art, knitting, crochet, hand spun yarn, needle felted creations or anything else that we’ve done before. You can find more information about commissioning us at our Commission Page or Email me at wallflowerarts@gmail.com.
If you can’t afford to buy anything then if you could share this post with others who might like our stuff that would be fantastic.

(embroidered hoodie)

You can also find us at FacebookTwitter and Instagram follow us there to keep up to date with stuff we make.

(all 7 of the Creature Art Cards but number 7 is not finished here)
(Crochet Prince Arthur from BBC’s Merlin)

(hand knit Dalek)

(hand knit large ball)

(needle felted art dolls Steampunk)

(embroidered Ron Weasley)

(hand spun 2ply yarn in magenta and blues)

(hand knit child’s cabled jumper)

(hand knit hat)

(hand knit fingerless mitts)

(needle felted polar bear)

(Embroidered winter tree)


Getting back in to things

Well that didn’t go so well.
I meant to keep writing but I got rather sick again over Christmas. I have a few different chronic health conditions that all flare up if I do too much and we had two trips away in December to visit family. Loads of driving, looking after our nephew and just catching up with people and I spent most of January unable to do much of anything.

Then we went to Sydney again to visit a friend who was over from the US and went to the zoo. It was great to see our friends and the animals but it was pouring with rain (it was actually flooded in lots of places, like up over my ankles, thankfully I had my new shoes. The old ones would have fallen apart) and the zoo is massive. So much walking caused all sorts of problems and I’m only just getting back to functioning.

This weekend is the Hill End market so we’ve been making stuff for that. We have a stall there Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm.
I’ll write another post about that though.

We had a big day in Orange yesterday. We picked up a fruit box from The Farm Gate. Fantastic fruit straight from the orchard. We also managed to get the other stuff we needed done but something made me sick. I only had a juice and a coffee but I got a severe gluten reaction just after drinking the coffee so I’m guessing there was some cross contamination somewhere. After all that we didn’t get home until gone 11:30pm.

This morning we set up the stall at the hall. Just need to finish pricing the adult hats and take them with us tomorrow morning when the market opens.

I’ve managed to lose my card reader so I can’t get photos off my dSLR camera right now. I’m trying to make do with the phone camera but it’s really not the same.

Brain Fog and knitting

One of the worst symptoms of my collection of health problems, other than pain, is the brain fog.
It often makes it hard to carry on a conversation, I have massive gaps in my memory of times when I was in a flare, I get lost in my 4 room house (can’t remember which door takes me where) and things like that. It’s incredibly frustrating and sometimes a little frightening.

Yesterday we had appointments at the doctor’s and a bunch of other things to do. I had a big day. There’s the three hours driving and I did some walking around shops and had to try on some clothes. We ended up having to go and sit in McDonald’s for a while while I took pain killers, ate some food and drink and rested. I was to exhausted and in pain to even attempt the drive home. It’s not an easy road. I haven’t been that bad in a long time.

Anyway I recovered enough to drive home and, after shutting off for a while and watching QI, I downloaded the first installment of Woollywormhead’s Mystery Hat Knit-A-Long. I read the instructions, found the needles, Ruth showed me how to do a provisional cast on and off I went with knitting.
It wasn’t until this evening, after knitting a few inches, that I checked the Ravelry board for it and realised that I’d been knitting it flat when it had said to knit it in the round. I had been slightly confused by some of the later instructions but I’d just decided to look at that further when I’d got up to it.

Thankfully I had only done a few inches rather than the whole 21. It’s one of the more harmless confusions so it doesn’t bother me too much and I guess it’s something that’s easy to do even if you’re not ill. Wish I’d checked it this morning before carrying on with the knitting though.

I’ve now started again and hopefully things will go smoother from this point. I will be double and triple checking instructions anyway. Maybe I should get Ruth to check them for me too.

The pattern calls for 5ply, which I didn’t have and 3.5mm needles, which I also didn’t have as Ruth was using them but I knitted a swatch and found that my 4ply yarn (Bendigo Woolen Mill’s 4ply Luxury 100% wool in the Brick colourway) and 3.25 needles were getting me gauge so I shall see how I go. Wish me luck.

Here are some general knitting photos. None of the actual project as it’s a mystery.
Chemical Love in progress

Paw Tracks sock in Jitterbug

Cotton bear

Almost finished

Tonight (well, this morning actually, given that it’s 2:30am) I finally managed to get the text done on the two present embroideries. I’ve spent most of a week fighting with them or pissed off and ignoring them. I can’t get the spacing right and I don’t have a decent way to transfer stuff that small on to the fabric. I don’t have a printer and although I can trace onto the fabric using the computer screen as a lightbox it only works for the general shape of the thing, not details. This was fine when I was drawing the pictures but apparently my brain wasn’t so happy with the text. It’s all a learning experience I guess.

Usually, when I’m dealing with text on pictures, it is digital. I can use Photoshop to do it and I can nudge and use free-transform and basically get it in the right place and spaced properly. By hand I don’t have a lot of experience with that. I don’t think my dyslexia is really playing a part. It didn’t help that I was trying to fit two very different length words into a curved arc around the bottom of the frame but far enough away from the edge that I could still stitch it.

I nearly gave up a few times today as well but the wedding is on Saturday so it needs finishing for that and the other one needs to be posted off while we’re in town tomorrow.
Both are now done as well as I can do them in the time frame I have and have been washed to get rid of the pencil marks. The birthday present one is in front of the heater drying off for now. I still need to glue the fabric down and decide if I’m going to put some felt on the back of them.
I was going to embroider messages on the felt but I really don’t have time any more. I think I’ll just end up writing the message on a beautiful swing tag from Hill End Press.

I’m very glad to have most of it done now. I shall add pictures tomorrow once it is light. I don’t really have anywhere to take half decent photos at night. Some rubbish, phone photos are on instagram, twitter and my tumblr. I shall also add photos of the three Woollywormhead.com patterns Ruth has finished knitting this week.

Now I have to some how get some sleep before the trek into town tomorrow. We’ve been here just over two years now and the 3 hour drive in to town and back to get shopping still gets to me a bit. It just takes so much energy when I have so little to spare.
Especially right now when I’m going in to another health flare.

Back from the tip

A family visit

This last week was spent off visiting family and friends. We mostly had a great time but it was exhausting. The hours and hours spent driving, the sleeping on other people’s beds or on a mattress on the floor, just being around people takes it out of us. We both have health issues that cause fatigue and I had just started back on pain patches which make me tired (and make me even more likely to pass out on standing for the first few days, which I did.)

It was good to catch up with people. It’s hard to see family so few times a year. It gets so expensive with dog boarding and petrol for us to go more often. It’s also a 7 hour drive and I’m not always well enough for that.

Managed to find time to get some embroidery done though. I finished embroidering the picture of Hosie’s for Steve and Susanne’s wedding present and got most of the work done on the pony picture for a friend’s birthday. Just have the text to finish on both of them now. Hopefully I can get them both done by the end of the week.

I had trouble getting the text in the right place and making sure it was centred and all. I played around with it on Photoshop today and will trace it on tomorrow. Tried to do it by holding the fabric over the CRT monitor but I can’t see a thing through it. I’ve done it on the laptop before though so I’ll have to use that tomorrow. I know it puts a lot more light out of the LCD screen than the CRT does.

Ruth is knitting up some more Wooly Wormhead hats and I’m making up a couple of shepherds and an angel for this Christmas’s installment of Alan Dart’s Nativity set for the nephews. Thankfully we’ve not left it until the last minute this time.

Now we’re home again we’re getting out around the village for our evening walks and enjoying the quiet you just can’t get in the cities.
An Iris came up in the flowerbed under the bedroom window this year. We had a few tulips as well. We’ve been here two years and haven’t seen any sign of them before.

White Lilac
The White Lilac near our front gate is blooming again. About a week later than a lot of the others in the village. Our plants are often behind. We’re in a bit of a hollow and don’t get as much sun. It smells wonderful.

Over the fence
Our cottage in the background

Old Girl

One of our nearest neighbours, other than the geese and ducks.

Denison St
Denison St while we were out on our walk. We were a bit too early for all the kangaroos this day. We saw over 30 on Post Office flat the other day and more in an empty paddock.

Catholic church
The church is being done up by Hill End Arts Council for use as an art space.

I love this gateway and the wisteria is gorgeous.

Fallen tree
This tree fell over years ago but it’s still growing.  


 This quote really spoke to me. It is from the free issue of Entangled Magazine, Rachel Rayner’s article Hope Chest. It’s a great magazine. Do check it out.

“Fibre captures that feeling of hope better
than any other craft I’ve tried. the act
of creation is always kind of a talisman
against bad luck and broken hearts. I’m
here, it says. I’m a person with a voice and 
I can make things. Whatever else that’s
going on, whatever bad things happen in
this life, I can make things. this little piece
of my soul that I’m putting into what I’m
making will keep on keeping on whatever 
I do and can reach out to people when i
cannot.  “

Find us on Tumblr for now

Due to health issues this blog never really got going. I plan on coming back to it very soon but for now you can see stuff we make and instagram pics on our tumblr http://wallflowerarts.tumblr.com/ or Twitter https://twitter.com/wallflowerarts
There you can find:
*My Needle Felting,
*Our Knitting
*Our Handspun
*My Paintings
*My Photography
*My Embroidery
And coming soon gluten free recipes and a series of posts about eating gluten free in the central west

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