Sunday 11 April 2010

Hello, I'm back

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!


  1. I wish I could be that productive when I feel good! The Princess is lovely and I must have a pair of those slippers! I saw Fathoms on the Magic Bean blog when she was introduced and I agree that she is pretty neat. And pretty much the polar opposite of Believe, I think! You should have fun with those two!

  2. Oh, duh, I forgot to say how happy I am that you feel better! After my bout with the rash last year for 3 months, I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

  3. Glad you are feeling better now, Jules - nice to see you back

  4. Glad to hear the mystery is solved.=) It was very likely stress related - you've had a LOT on of late and much of it would make anyone feel under par. Once you're back on top and can chill out, it shouldn't bother you anymore.=)

    Hope you can draw again soon too (that's one reason I know you're still a bit pressed - you're not drawing!)

  5. Sorry to hear you have been unwell. Lets hope the next treatment works wonders. At least you kno what it is now.

    Your doll is gorgeous. i love the little pink mouse.

    The links look great too. Cant wait to see the products of your courses xxJ

  6. hives...hohohoho.....thats funny, such a common aliment and no one figured it out. [not funny for you, of course] Never knowing when one of the kids will pop out in hives, I keep antihistamine around all the time. We have had it in many forms.

  7. Hiya Jules! So glad you're back on board and rearing to go! Your Princess is the sweetest.... love her hottie bottle! You do a lovely job of painted faces. Look forward to seeing results of your course... xo Sandi :)

  8. Hi Jules,
    Isn't it great when someone says "I know what's wrong.." and then you get help. And you have been busy. Your Princess is lovely, from her cute crown to her bunny slippers. Princess and the Pea is my favourite fairy tale, I always wanted to make a representation - I just didn't want to make all those mattresses!
    Sandy :-)

  9. So glad you are feeling better. Hives can really get you down. I love the new armature doll and especially those cute little slippers! Thanks also for the recommendations on some excellent blogs. I chose to follow them. Great doll artists.

  10. I'm so happy to hear from you:) Life has me running in circles these days. I hope your rash is better, I seem to always break out with poison ivy and it is awful. Usually I have to get a shot to make it better. I hope this finds you doing good and not itching. What a beautiful doll, love her! I hope I can create a doll like yours one day. They are just stunning. You are a very talented artist and I'm thankful to have you as a blogging friend. Take care, try not to itch and create to make your heart sing with happiness. Your friend, Jenna Lousie

  11. I have enjoyed looking at all your creations. They are WONDERFUL!!

    Glad you are feeling better. Hives are NOT FUN!! I have had them several times. I had them from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. AWFUL!! I sure don't want to have them like that again. I still have them every now and then but not unless I get really upset, then some will pop out to say hello. :-)

    Can't wait to see more of your Art Creations.

  12. Yippeeee! So glad you stopped itching! Hives can be so wicked. Thank goodness the doctor figured it out. you know I'm totally loving your doll....How FABULOUS!! Yes and the bunny accessories are just beyond fun!

    So glad your couch came too! I think this week has started out much better for you girlfriend.

    Big hugs!

  13. I'm glad you have some answers about what's going on with your body. Crazy bodies doing weird unexplainable things that cause problems. ;)

    Oooooo, I love your Princess doll. Beautiful!! Those slippers are adorable too.

    Thanks for the heads up about the doll class. I'm joining!


  14. Oh how absolutely gorgeous! Love those slippers too. They make me laugh. Glad that you are feeling much better.

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