Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


A bit more history this week-

The King, The Campaign, The Battle
by Juliet Barker

The plot was to capture the king and his brothers by disguising himself and a group of his fellow conspirators as mummers for the annual Twelfth Night celebrations at Eltham Palace in January 1414.

If you liked Henry V you need this book!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Snow Patrol- "Run"

Sort of suits my mood at the moment.

What a beautiful song.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

52/4 week 10

I completely forgot about this last week- I blame the anit-biotics, steroids, coughing and general bleagh!! Sorry for the confusion.

by Andrew Miller
A draught, finding its way up the stairs, ripples the candle flames in the drawing room and a few moments later Monsieur Monnard appears.

I had trouble putting this book down. It's so well written. The story revolves around a man who is tasked with the terrible job of removing the cemetary and church of Les Innocents, now overflowing and a health hazard, in central Paris. This timeline is a few years before the French Revolution begins. In the background, barely touched on, there are rumblings, nighttime meetings and anti-Royalist graffiti keeps appearing round the city. But these are background details. We, the readers, know what is up ahead, but the people in this book don't. I found myself wondering, would this person survive? would they be killed? The book stops before the revolution begins, so we're left wondering what will happen to the people we met in its pages. The sights and smells and atmosphere of a crowded city full of miscontents is brought alive.

Is that really a Kindle version????? A KINDLE????
Ah yes, I have a Kindle. My apologies to purests eveywhere! LOL
This was a gift from Luvbug at Christmas. I wasn't sure of them myself when they first came out, especially as I love book fairs so much. But after seeing someone use one on the bus, and seeing how clear (not backlit) the screen was, and how you can increase the font of any book, I began to be a fan.

Since Christmas I have literally lost count of how many books I have read, whereas before, I was struggling to get through one book over several months. I can't fully account for the difference, I just know it works. Lots of free classics available; I've just started Les Miserables which I downloaded for free...

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
As before, if you'd like to join in here's how-

* Pick any book,
* go to page 52
* give us the sentence that contains line 4. -Can be more than one sentence. (e.g. You may need to go   back a few lines to find the beginning of the sentence or continue a few lines to complete it.)

Leave your results in the comments. Or, if you want to put it as a post on your own blog, just leave us a link to find it there!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


A new stamp from Stampendous!
I may have to find a reason to treat myself.
What funds I have spare(ish) for craft at the moment need to go on boring stuff like glue, though, so puss will have to wait a wee while. But isn't he lovely?!

PS: thank you for all the nice comments on my last post. 
I've actually done answers! Don't faint ;)

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Heard of The Sketchbook Project?
I know some of you have, as I've seen links to it on your blogs ;)

Well I sent off for my blank sketchbook last June, so it will be of no great suprise to any of you that I started it 2 weeks before the 31/1/12 postal deadline. HAHAHAHA!

I actually completed it.

I abandon- through sudden and distinct lack of interest- so many things half way through (that scarf I was crocheting for Dad's Christmas present stopped half way through - keep it till I finish it, or send it and tell him to wear it lying down? What do you think?).... so I am amazed and pleased that I actually got this done.

The project, based in Boston, sent out nearly 20,000 sketchbooks, and from April all the ones returned to them will form a sketchbook tour round the USA and then Melbourne and London.

I opted to also have my sketchbook digitised so it will soon be available to see online. I'll put the link on here when it's done.

Till then, I took some photo's of it. See what you think.

You had to pick a theme, and my choice was "Along The Line".

My thoughts were that my life is lived along a line of peaks and troughs caused by bi-polar, and the sketchbook described what it this is like....

Here's the cover.
I painted it in white gesso, which I thought would accept any media on top, but it didn't like my pen or my watercolours. So I peeled some of it off and drew a picture in the gap left. I like it. Looks like a peep-through:

PAGE ONE & TWO- oops didn't copy these sorry ;) They said -

"Hello my name is Helena and I have Bi-Polar" and then,

"Notice I said I HAVE bi-polar, not I AM bi-polar. It is not what I am, it's like this......"

 "I am the ship... life is the sea..."

"...Bi-Polar is my co-pilot..."

I hope you like the little co-pilot 'black dog' shape!

THIS LINK will take to info about the 2013 tour. Registration starts in April. There is also a little video link you can click on to get general info on how the project works.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentine's Day surprises and fun :)

After our first few years together, Luvbug and I decided to put a £5 limit on Valentine's Day gifts, so that it would be fun. Just something small and silly, we thought!

This year I bought him a chocolate Bear and a box of chocolate hearts. The hearts are individually wrapped in red foil and there were 18 in the box. I put one inside his card, and hid the rest round the house. So far he has found about 10, I think :) they're not well hidden, just in places he will come across eventually- it's fun to hear shouts now and then of 'FOUND ONE!!' :)

He went over the £5 limit as he took pity on me being curled up not well- he bought me some snug pyjamas with a hearts on, and a picture of the blue-nose 'Me-To-You' Bear on the front :)

*** *** *** *** *** ***

I also received a beautiful suprise from Stardust!
Look at this!

The photo doesn't really do this justice; the top half is filled with swarovski crystals and sparkles and glints as the light catches it. DId you spot the 'Miss Kitty' charm?

Also, she sent me this flash drive- she knows I love Miss Kitty. (It's because I grew up with Miffy, and this like Miffy but a cat!)

I had been searching for my little flash drive recently as I wanted to move some photo's onto it and get them printed in town. I couldn't find it, and then this new one arrived! Perfect!

Stardust's parcel took just two days to get from Japan to Ipswich, 15 miles from me, then twice as long again to do those last few miles! Ha! Isn't that typical?

It included a lovely handwriteen letter, too. It's a treat to get letters nowadays, isn't it?

THANK YOU STARDUST!!!!!!!!! You've been so busy and yet you thought of me! Thank you so much!

PS- thank you for the lovely, kind response I've received for my request for die-cut shapes :)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Off to the doc's

Off to the doc's at 9 this morning. He said my chest 'sounds horrible'! So now I am on steroids for 5 days and anti-biotics for 7.

Re the steroids- I have to take 40mg in one go in the morning, but they only come in pills of 5mg, so I have to down 8!
-Then 3 anti-b's a day, 4 x 2 cold capsules then my usual 2 pills. This makes 21 pills. Ha!

So I told mum- because she is always commenting on how she has 9 pills to take each day. Now I have 21. Told her. Ahhh silence is golden.

Now that he has remembered where our bed is, Scooter has decided that it is the best place to spend the day, at least till the snow has gone. How cheeky is that? He is quite snuffly again, so he has decongestants from the vet. He also has anti-b's as a back up, though I haven't given him these yet. He's sneezing this evening, so it might be time to start them again. I have to mush them up with a bit of salmon paste and then squirt it all into his mouth with a syringe. He hates me afterwards, so I hate doing it. I wish I could explain to him!

THANK YOU for your messages to my last post, which I have actually left answers for. Don't faint.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Colds and die cuts and two cards.

I was just saying recently how good it was that none of us here have had bad colds so far this winter. Oh, me and my big mouth! Naturally we now have some.

It's a side effect of being a primary school teacher of snotty little brats ahem! small children who don't cover their noses when they cough, or know how to use a tissue: soon you catch whatever they've got. And bring it home. Oh, how I love the parents who send their beloveds into school regardless of how full of germs they are!

Luvbug's cold seems to have passed in a few days and he's in the last of it now. Mine started Friday. I try to sleep upright when I get one, so that it doesn't get to my chest. My asthma means there is a weakness there, and if a cold gets there then it lingers for ages. Well, sleeping upright wasn't very successful! I spent yesterday morning and today in bed, worn out. And who should come and join me but Scooter?!

I didn't even think he could still climb the stairs! It wasn't because he was alone, as Luvbug was downstairs. But he must have known I was missing and so, yow yow yow, all the way up the stairs, and then up and INTO the bed. He snuggled up and helped keep me warm for hours. Luvbug brought me tea and brought him his chickeny food. We were both thoroughly spoiled.

I haven't been up and about long, and Scooter is still up there under the covers, all warm, stretched out asleep. Awww.

Luvbug has gone off to get some shopping in, and then he's going to pick up mum as no amount of 'you'll catch the cold, better not come up today' will put her off. No. She wants to be here every day. And besides, she said that I sound 'much better today' on the phone. (Bites tongue and counts to ten.)

Stroof. I hope she doesn't catch it but I don't see how she'll avoid it. I think this one might knock her off her feet....

Meanwhile I am coughing away, having failed to keep this off my chest. My ribs hurt when I cough and you just don't want to know what's coming up. Yuck! I'll have to go to the doc's tomorrow to check to see if I need anti-B's.

One small mercy is that it is half term, so Luvbug doesn't need to go to work this week. I wish we didn't have colds over Valentine Day though ;)


*** *** *** *** ***

A REQUEST- On a crafty note, does anyone out there have a die cutting machine? I've never been able to justify splashing out on one :( -for fear that it would just be one of my phases and I wouldn't get my money's worth out of it! LOL!

I did buy some 'matting and layering' shapes from a craft shop in Kent but I've used these up now and we don't get down there any more. If any of you have a machine, would you consider cutting me some squares and ovals? - You know, one white oval for me to do a picture on, and a slightly larger coloured one for behind, to frame it?

I've looked through ebay but can't find a seller offering this. I'd be willing to pay for your time and materials- I have a PayPal a/c so no problems there! Please let me know!

*** *** *** *** ***
Here's the card I made for my Dad's birthday recently. It's all watercolour. I've done this sort of thing before but used watercolour pencil. This time I used 'proper' watercolour, heavily diluted, and moved the card round to get the colours to spread into each other as I wanted. It took a while. I used a water-colour postcard.

The tree silhouttes are a couple of stamps from Crafty Individuals.

He rang when he got it, he liked it :)


This next one was for a friend of mine, Donna, in Missouri. We met online and have been friends for 12 years now. I can't believe I forgot her birthday this year, especially as it's the same day as my mum's! So I had to send a belated one...
Oh look! If you look closely in these photo's you can see Scooter asleep on the windowsill in the background! (top right)

Right I'm off for a cup of ginger tea.....

Hope you are all ok and not full of snot like me.

Thursday, 9 February 2012


I'm a whole day late with this! What am I like?

Journey Beyond Selene:
Remarkable Expeditions To The Ends
Of The Solar System And Its 63 Moons
by Jeffrey Kluger

"If the missile machinery was performing as it should, it should not be long before Cape Canaveral would once again be dark and quiet."
 ******** ******** ******** ********

As before, if you'd like to join in here's how-

* Pick any book,
* go to page 52
* give us the sentence that contains line 4. -Can be more than one sentence. (e.g. You may need to go   back a few lines to find the beginning of the sentence or continue a few lines to complete it.)

Leave your results in the comments. Or, if you want to put it as a post on your own blog, just leave us a link to find it there!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Recipes For Cherubs
by Babs Horton

Another was of two very smart young men wearing army uniforms. A third photograph was facing the wall.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

As before, if you'd like to join in here's how-

* Pick any book,
* go to page 52
* give us the sentence that contains line 4. -Can be more than one sentence. (e.g. You may need to go   back a few lines to find the beginning of the sentence or continue a few lines to complete it.)

Leave your results in the comments. Or, if you want to put it as a post on your own blog, just leave us a link to find it there!

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Thanks for joining in the fun! I'm enjoying reading snapshots of your books!