Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Stars and Struggles

Hello my lovely loves,

I’ve been feeling really down at the moment. January and February are always tough because they’re cold, grey, and everyone is making plans and getting on with their lives while I’m... not.
But today I got some lovely things in the post. A belated Christmas present from my lovely friends Greg and Bee (Oliver Jeffers is my favourite illustrator), a card from my fellow Spoonie Warrior Amy W, and a ring I bought myself.

I’ve always wanted a star ring. I have a massive star fixation, and always hoped that one day I’d have one.
I also sold my beautiful guitar and amp in December. That guitar was my 18th birthday present, and while I was glad it’s gone to a good home (and now lives with someone who can actually play more than three chords on it), part of me was really sad that I didn’t have anything left of my 18th birthday gift from my parents. 

Live well, sweet Angus.

So I used some of the money from that to buy this beautiful ring from Carrie Elizabeth

So ring. Much sparkle.

I only really like small, thin rings, especially on me, so it’s perfect.
It’s slightly big, but they didn’t have any extra smalls left in stock, and to be honest on my ring finger it’s a bit... engagementy. And god knows the only bloke I see on a regular basis that I’m not related to is the postman. So middle finger it is.

It feels very strange to buy myself something that feels this frivolous, mainly because I feel like some stranger is going to jump out of the woodwork and berate me for spending my benefit money “incorrectly”. 

Usually if I buy something that has no practical use it’s in preparation for when I’m well enough to be back in the world again, and I find that easier to justify.
If something’s expensive then it’s inevitably related to managing my condition anyway.

But, a. it’s not benefit money - I sold something very dear to me, and b. why would it be anyone’s business but mine what I spend my money on anyway?

I’m trying really hard at this point not to go into a rant about internalised shame caused by society’s atrocious way of looking at the sick, poor and disabled as scroungers and liars rather than those who need help. It’ll only upset me and I need the spare energy.

When I spoke to Mum about it, she pointed out to me that I’ve been slogging this long slog for over five years now. Five long years. And frankly I just feel exhausted with it. Particularly at the moment. Everything is a fight. Everything has consequences. And nothing is ever spontaneous or easy. Ever.
But this?
I chose this. And I chose it (for me) quite spontaneously.
And I’m not going to let anyone take that away from me.

So shine on, little sparkle. I’m going to need you to light the way while I keep on fighting the good fight.


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Homemade Christmas presents 2017

Hello my lovely loves!

This post is a little look into this year's secret projects that I've made for friends and family as Christmas presents.
It's always so hard for me to keep them secret this long, but I've managed it!

In other news I've managed pretty well throughout Christmas and New Year this year, so hooray! I managed to (mostly) keep a lid on the excitement, but I'm putting some feelers out for further support ideas and resources on over-excitement that I can share with you guys in the future. Fingers crossed that'll all come through!

I've got a little bit of post-Christmas blues at the moment, although instead of being centred around having to go back to work, it's about not being able to! The thought of projects and ideas for the blog is keeping me going though, as well as some very thoughtful little advent presents from friends that I've saved just for this purpose.

But enough of me blabbing, on to the projects!

This is for my very clever poet friend, Leanne Moden. 
We've often joked that her correct title is Lexical Engineer. 
You should totally check out Leanne's blog.

This one was also for Leanne.
There is something incredibly satisfying about 
carefully cross stitching feminist slogans.

This one was for my friend Nick Askew, 
who is a brilliant artist and massive Eddie Izzard fan.
Again, cross stitching skulls and death is very pleasing.
Subversive cross stitch for the win.

Made extra pleasing by the fact that 
"cake or cat" is hidden in there...

For a variety of friends and family:
a variety of corn dollie christmas decorations...

Craft straws never looked so good.

And finally, my personal favourite... scented butterbeer candles.
They smell like butterscotch and come complete 
with handmade labels designed by me.
It was very difficult to give these away.

Some are in jars.

Some are in mini milk bottles.

All smell incredible.

And I had so much fun designing the label.