Thank you all so much for your good wishes and kind comments whilst I've been suffering with this mystery rash. I won't go into the gory details, but I had to go back to the doctor 4 times because whichever cream they gave me seemed to make it worse, and it just spread further, which was getting rather worrying. They admitted they were completely baffled, so I got a referral to see a dermatologist (on Saturday, I was so lucky to get in that quickly!) . I'm so thankful as I don't think I could have stood much more.
She took one look and said "don't worry, I know what's wrong, and it's very common." I immediately felt better! So, I have chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives!) It's one of those mysteries, they don't know why but your body begins to make too much histamine, and bingo, you're all red, swollen and itchy! All those creams were no use at all. I am on a really strong anti-histamine (which I'll probably have to take for a while and always have some by just in case.) Luckily I'm fine with it, no drowsiness, and it has made such a difference. I practically feel normal again, and I've been able to put on proper clothes at last. After 3 weeks it's fantastic. I just need to take a couple of days to get back to normal and I hope to get back to work. I was supposed to be on holiday last week, taking all the additional time I'd worked, so at least I can get that back.
I haven't done much at all, until the last couple of days, as I haven't really felt able to. We did have a treat on Friday, when we went to see my friend Ruth playing Carmen Bernstein in her amateur company's production of "Curtains". It was excellent, and very funny. I have been to professional theatre which wasn't anywhere near as good. Andy (who hates musical theatre normally!) was really impressed and thoroughly enjoyed it too. Ruthie is a great singer and actress and has wonderful comic timing. It was also a lovely opportunity to see my oldest and dearest friend Sarah, Ruth's sister, her partner Stuart and my youngest godson Andrew, who had all flown down from Edinburgh to support Ruth. It really cheered me up ( and I managed not to be too itchy!)
Apart from that, I have been doing lots of blog reading and commenting in dribs and drabs, and had a blog make-over - as you see. Now I can sit down comfortably at last, I've been in a bit of a dollfest/doll making frenzy this weekend.
I bought a pattern - first time ever! I thought it was time I began to learn a few techniques from the experts and I loved the idea of this doll, Fathoms from Colleen Babcock. Colleen is a fantastic doll artist based in the UK and she has a great blog, The Magic Bean, which I highly recommend, (even if you are not into dolls) as she has a round-up of free patterns, tutorials and information every Friday which includes hand made items like aprons etc. All those of you who are real seamstresses and quilters will find some great ideas there.
I have also signed up to Linda Misa's on-line class "Believe" here. Another great doll artist, she provides classes completely free on her Yahoo group. What a generous lady! I'm looking forward to doing this class, it should be great fun. I also joined the Textile Figure Forum UK Ning group.
What a friendly bunch - mind you - we UK doll makers need to stick together 'cos we're in such a minority!
And, I have finished another doll! My first attempt at an armature doll - Princess Petronilla, of the Princess and the Pea). Poor Petronilla, all she wanted was a good night's sleep after getting drenched in that terrible storm, and what did she get - big trouble! Personally, I think she's having major doubts about a prince who's put a genuine princess to such discomfort. I mean it's bad enough having to sleep with your crown on! There she was, all cosy, with her bunny hot water bottle case, ready to snuggle down, and she's just tossed and turned all night!
I'm happy with how she turned out, considering she was my trial run, made of garden wire and yes, yet another old sheet! and she's all my own design. I've learnt what not to do next time. I wanted to make a doll which was more whimsical and sort of "Suzi Blu" esque, and I think I achieved that - and she stands up too. Yippee! Now I just need to find a proper stand to fix her to.......
I've started the next doll, and I'm making good headway so far, so I have lots to keep me busy. Oh, and I almost forgot - Joyful news. The sofa arrived! It's so wonderful. I haven't been able to enjoy it until now, but I will finally be able to sit and stitch in comfort in the evenings, and I can get on with my embroidery too, at long last!