Some Good News!

Saturday, 18 December 2010
Afternoon all! Well the snow has finally caught up with us down in the South! We've got about 5 inches here, but it appears to have stopped now which is good because the original forecast was that it would be in for the day.

After the doom and gloom of my last post, it's nice to be able to share some good news for a change.  I have been chosen to be part of the Teddy Stampers Design Team for the first term of 2011!  This opportunity came at the right time with the sad news that the Just Cute Bears & Friends Challenge is to close.

I'm really looking forward to working with this amazing team and the fact that I can continue to use my lovely teddy stamps!

Thank you for all the lovely comments you posted after my last post, they really did mean a lot to me.

Please take care everyone and thank you for stopping by.  I really do appreciate all the support you continue to give me.

xx :0)

An Explanation and apology

Wednesday, 8 December 2010
I think I need to explain the reasons for my lack of crafting & blogging just recently.  There have been a few things going on that I have been struggling with and instead of crafting to relax & forget, I have been letting it all get me down.

I work for Natural England which is part of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).  As the majority of you will know, the Government have announced a number of cuts to reduce the country's debt, one of which is the cut of around 500,000 public sector jobs.  Natural England, as part of this review, announced that they would be reducing the number of offices around the country and, unfortunately, Reading appears to be one of those offices that are due to close.  The work of the team that my husband and I are part of means that unlike a number of our other colleagues, we cannot work from home.  At the moment, the latest we will be in work could be until 2014.  This may sound a long time but it is dependent on a number of factors including how many people decided to take voluntary redundancy now.  This is also being affected by the Government who are trying to change our accrued rights.  For me this isn't such a major issue as I have worked there 14 years so do not reach the maximum of 21 months (1 month for each year worked), but for my husband, these changes will mean that he will lose out on another 8 months money as he will have worked 29 years next month.  We do not want to take the redundancy, we want to work it out in the hope that things may change as 3 years is a long time in politics. However if things go against us, we could find ourselves out of work sooner and also potentially only on 12 months redundancy.

That is just of the things that has been troubling me.  The other is problems with my back/spine.  As a child I was diagnosed with Scoliosis (curvature of the spine).  I have a double curve.  I had spinal fusion at the age of 13 to help reduce this.  At the age of 25 I  had to have the rods removed from my spine as they had started to move.  Last Christmas, I had a fall in the snow and have been in pain ever since.  After 4 months, I went to the doctors as I was having pain down my leg. After an MRI scan I was told that the 2 remaining discs at the base of my spine had started to degenerate and one was bulging and pinching the nerves.  I had a nerve block into the spine 6 weeks ago where they also said that it looked like I have arthritis around some of the joints.  Yesterday I went back to the hospital.  The nerve block didn't really work as I am only getting maybe 2 days at the most without pain.  After telling me I had a choice over what was to happen next, I found myself being pushed down the route of a different type of injection (apparently I'm in no hurry according to the doc - let him say that after a year of pain!), so I am now back on a waiting list!

This has all been getting be down and I hate to say it but I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself including my crafting ability.  I entered the Cardmaker of the Year competition this year and didn't win anything, but one of my cards did get chosen for a High Commendation. You can find it here if you scroll right down to the bottom, I'm the 4th row down and the final one in the row.

I will show everything at a later date if that is okay.  I'm doing a Christmas fayre at the local primary school on Friday so have been a bit panicky about everything as I'm trying to make gifts more than cards!

If you're still here, sorry about the rant but thank you for staying with me, it is much appreciated.  I know I've said it the last 2 years, but I do aim to be a better crafter next year, I think I need to be for my sanity!!