Wednesday, 30 October 2013

33dc day 17 favourite brand

I hummed and ha-ed for a while... until I realised I own at least three times more tarastalons polishes as I do anything else so in the end it was a no brainer!
Since it's Halloween tomorrow I figured I'd use this Halloween design :). X

Monday, 28 October 2013

33dc day 16 South American

Um ok so it's an animal again sorry! But they live in South America apparently. Yea I struggled with this one a lot tbh. I Google South America.... Then patterns, designs, culture, food, flora, fauna. And looked at images for all. In the end you got flamingos lol.
Anyway this is my first scheduled post so you may not even see it anyway :p. X

Friday, 25 October 2013

33dc day 15 animals

Quick quick today cos I haven't had time to breathe today lol. What work sorting out for holiday (think I'm already to leave at 2 am now :)) and work and friend's 21st birthday present. Anyway 3 week holiday woo!
Today is animals. And it just had to be elephants cos I'm obsessed Haha. I have shelves and shelves of them! Ok so I only did two actual elephants cos I was lazy, the others are meant to be the tips of trunks spraying. That's about it. See you in three weeks time! :D. X

Thursday, 24 October 2013

We're all going on... an autumn holiday?

Sorry it's all been a bit tumbleweed-y round here this week and I fell like I've done everything in a huge rush. Largely cos I have!
I've just be crazy busy organising all the things for my holiday that I should have done weeks ago lol. I think I'm nearly there, just the challenge of trying to cram enduring into a suitcase now Haha.
Soooo yes, 3 whole weeks away, I don't know if I've ever been on that long a holiday! Mexico first a week at our cabana, a guiding world center and a week of sightseeing and then five days in new York. I know that didn't quite add up properly lol there's travelling and such to be factored in.
Excited :). Teensy bit terrified I must admit. But it'll be good. Yes.
So I'm trying to schedule some posts goodness knows if they'll work. Either way they're mainly 33dc posts. I dunno if I'll have time to finish them all before I go (2 am saturday morning! Yawn) so some may have to wait till I get back. If I get a chance I schedule a few other things in as well but I wouldn't hold your breath! Lol. Have a sneak peek at some tarastalons polishes to help you sleep. X

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

33dc day 14 abstract

Quick quick post cos I'm shattered and I want to change my nails before bed. I have this look on both atm and I'm not looking it. It's rushed and scruffy and imprecise.... and self deprecation isn't attractive so I'll shut up but yea I ran out of time, both to do the look properly and to take it off and add something else before ringing. So abstract. I was thinking of those things you did as a kid where you just scribble and then shade in half the resulting spaces? Like I say, lacking time. Ho hum. Nighty night. X

Talking proper

So I was thinking about some of the negative terms we use with respect to mental illness. Not the obvious ones, psycho head case basket job nutter, the ones intended to cause offence. The more subtle, insidious ones, used by people who mean no harm and may even be trying to help. The ones that are so much a part of our vocabulary we don't even notice.
A cry for help. It's just a cry for help. No need to worry, no need to do anything. In what other situation in life would you apply that rule? In what scenario would it be ok to simply dismiss someone who's crying out for you to help them? A swimmer starts screaming do you sit and do nothing, think you don't need to do anything because their head is still above water? It's just a cry for help.  Someone hanging off a cliff, it would be ok to ignore them until they let go and hit the bottom right? Afterall it's just a cry for help. Someone dials 999 because their house is on fire, no need to bother til it's actually burnt down is there? Cos it's just a cry for help. What's the point in helping after the event? If someone is screaming that loud then they need help. If someone feels desperate enough to take an overdose, self harm, whatever that IS a problem and it DOES need addressing... it's not 'just' anything.

Oh yea just. One of the most infuriating words in the English language and not just in the context of mental health. I try not to use it...I don't always succeed tbh. I often use it in regards to myself, as I'm sure many do: in just having a bad day, it's just anxiety, don't worry it's just a depression thing. Downplaying.
But then you have people saying 'it's just a panic attack'. Im sure anyone who's ever had one would agree there's no just about it. Or how about 'it's just in your head'? As if that makes it less painful, less of an issue. 'Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'. Gotta love a bit of Harry Potter.
Just also rears it's head when people are trying to give you advice. Telling an anorexic to just eat may be the most infamous but you also have just relax, just try, you just need to break the habit, just challenge the negative thoughts. It's dismissive of the problem and ignores just how difficult any of those things can be to achieve.

Speaking of difficult to achieve how about don't do anything silly/stupid? There's that obvious fact that it really isn't that easy... you're desperate enough to contemplate suicide but everything is changed just by being told not to? It may help to know someone gives a damn but really?
Asides from that, there's really nothing silly about suicide. Silly is those comedy glasses with a nose and moustache attached. Silly is accidently putting your cup of tea in the fridge and trying to drink the bottle of milk (definitely didn't do that yesterday!). Silly is definitely not feeling so desperate, so hopeless that you thinking taking your life is the best or only option. As for stupid, lacking in intelligence? What has that got to do with anything? Suicide has nothing to do with iq or education. I don't even know what else to say about that. It's an innocent phrase but the implications behind it aren't.
You'll notice I keep saying 'suicide' which may make some people uncomfortable. That's why we have all these euphemisms. We don't want to talk about it because it's awkward, difficult, scary. We seem to have some notion that mentioning suicide will somehow give a person in distress ideas. There are a lot of triggers out there, mentioning the word isn't one of them. There is a whole chain of thoughts and feelings and events that leads someone to that place, talking about it isn't one of them. In fact taking about it is more likely to help.

Those chains of thoughts... they're not illogical. They may be maladaptive or unhealthy but to the person experiencing them they make total sense. Dismissing them as merely illogical is not really productive, better to work out the particular logic involved and try to start looking at things from different perspectives.

My final one is breakdown. What does that even mean? It has no real medical definition and covers such a broad spectrum it's meaningless. It seems to be used as a catchall term for any number of mental health issues and ignores the diversity and subtleties of symptoms. Different disorders are all very different and need to be approached in different ways and lumping them all in together is not very helpful.

Ok I'm sure there are more but that's what I've got off the top of my head and I've rambled enough already. X

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Lucky 13 lacquer butterfly project

So I posted a link to this a while ago... and today my bottle arrived in the post. I'm a little in love.. With the polish and with everything it stands for...and maybe a little in love with jess who is a sweetheart lol. I've included a pic of the packaging, compete with pumpkin tape cos I thought it was adorable (little things and little minds hey? Haha). Notice the addition of a glass file also...serendipitous as I lent mine to mum and she's grown a little attached lol.

Oh what can I say? It's purple and it's supporting sh awareness what more do you need really? I'll even forgive it for being a jelly :p... tbh I would love this polish even if it was ugly and hideous to apply. Fortunately it is neither of those things. The purple, miraculously, is a shade I don't actually own...I guess you'd call it grape maybe? Though slightly more muted. Shop that's a win for a start. Then you have holo butterflies... and plenty of them! I think I ended up with at least one on each nail with no fishing whatsoever and they're a nice size so they sit on the nail well. Finally the icing on the cake is a rainbow of glitter in allsorts of colours and sizes... such fun! And so cheerful and vibrant and optimistic which I think is lovely in the context of polishes meaning.
Sadly my swatch is a little scruffy as I was in a hurry but yes meaningful AND beautiful, win :).

As for self harm... it's been a part of my life for a very long time. I think I was 12 when I did it for the first time, in nearly 25 now. I stopped for around 18 months at the start of college and man I wish I'd never started again. Then again govern the same circumstances again id probably do the same... Unfortunately it served a purpose. Still does I guess but I'm trying hard to learn ways to live without it. Atm I'm up to about 6 weeks free... and that's more than I've managed in years tbh so that's good. Of all the 'issues' I think sh is the one I've experienced most stigma over. Whether through fear or ignorance or just plain disgust. It makes people uneasy. And it confuses people I think unless you've been there it's very hard to understand why you'd actually wilfully hurt yourself... The human brain is programmed for self preservation and the avoidance of harm afterall. I've been told it's just a bad habit and I need more willpower. That it's a waste of resources. That I use it to manipulate people. It's ridiculous crazy silly selfish unfair unnatural disgusting. You get the picture. But then there are the people who get it... Or if they don't get it are willing to listen and try to get it. And they make up for it :). At the end of the day my self harm isn't about anyone else it's between me and the noise in my head. Unfortunately I don't live in a vacuum (I don't think it's possible to love in a vacuum lol) and other people get dragged along for the ride and often get hurt along the way. I feel bad for that I really do but it's not deliberate and it's certainly not personal. Still in trying to change so maybe one day none of that will be an issue :-). X

33dc day 13-Chinese

Oops sorry I've not been around over the weekend I've been busy scheduling a few posts for the three weeks in away and I totally forgot to do an actual post lol. Plus the weekend was just mad boat with holiday shopping and a friend's birthday and overtime and stuff.
Aaanyway: Chinese. Hmm, I ended up going with 'the year of the snake'...which actually is the same as the year I was born :p. The good thing about snakes is they're essentially just a straight line always a plus for nail art lol. I tried to spell out 2013, not really sure if that shows up or not lol. And red, black and gold feel like Chinese-y colours, I'm not sure if that's a genuine connection or just in my brain lol. Oh well here it is :).

Friday, 18 October 2013

33dc day 12- pattern from your home

Aka.... How many layers?!
Yea we don't really have many patterns in our house tbh...I didn't really notice this until I tried to find one lol. The few we do have are way too complicated for me!
So I plumped for bathroom tiles. Random.
I was already wearing smardy Bleu and glowing smardy because I received them in the post this week :). i was happy with the base colour but the glitter was a bit much for the look (amazing though btw!). I could of course have taken it off but I was feeling lazy and cba removing glitter... so I bunged on another coat of smardy Bleu to tone it down. I've added a pic of that cos I liked it lol. Then I sponged on bd snow, then a green colour club and a barielle I forget the name of. Then I painted the 'grout' on with a white models own pen. Then I mattified it with Essie matte about you. Then taped over the white lines and added hk girl top coat to put the gloss back everywhere else. I'm aware I could have just painted matte top coat onto the bits I wanted matte bit then the grouty bits would have been higher than the tile bits and that would be wrong.... Not that I'm obsessive at all lol.
So yes that's my millions of layers. It was meant to be the smaller files but it ended up more like the bigger ones oops nvm. X

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Things I didn't know about nails but probably should have

Seriously I'm spectacularly uneducated when it comes to beauty and style and personal grooming and such.  Before I became totally and utterly obsessed with it pretty much the only thing I knew about nail polish was I liked the smell! So anyway I thought maybe my ignorance could help others feel a little less foolish so here goes:
- layers... ok so this is probably the most idiotic on the list. I kinda never realised it was acceptable, and in fact mostly necessary, to paint more than one layer of polish. Hence I got frustrated with streaks and unevenness and sheerness.... Or, conversely, with lumpy looking nails that took about the hours to dry the polish was slapped on so thick!
And don't get me started on the idea of layering two colours on top of each other...
- top and base coats... leads on from layers I guess. I mean tbf id heard of them, I don't know what I thought they were for really? Fancy French manicures that had nothing to do with me I guess. I certainly had no idea there were so many different options. And I had no idea that to coats were magic. I didn't realise the effect they had not simply on prolonging length but on adding shine and finish to a mani as well as somehow making little imperfections disappear... How does that work?
- clean up...speaking of imperfections the idea of going ruins afterwards and removing any stray bits of polish on the cuticles never occurred to me.
- not all nail polish remover is the same... see I figured acetone is acetone and that's that. Turns out the the cheapest cheap one from boots isn't actually that effective and a bottle lasts about five minutes.
- the value of nail care.... self care is not something im good at I confess, and I was shocked how much difference it made when I actually looked after my nails and cuticles. Especially the cuticles as it made it so much easier to paint the nails cleanly.
- not everyone has perfect long nails and straight tips...I always felt kinda inelegant/unladylike for wearing my nails short and curved. Short because of work curved because straight looks weird on me. Turns out people wear lots of different shape for lots of different reasons.... apparently other people have lives too, who knew?!
-It's fun to give it a's not s choice doing it perfectly and not bothering at all. Admittedly this is something I need to work on in life in general lol.
-The online nail community is lovely...and full of sweet approachable ladies who are willing to help and encourage.
- indies!!!!... Need I say more?

And finally
- nail polish is seriously addictive!

So yes gel free to point and laugh :p or share for own 'doh!' Moments... either way, night night. X

Ps. That's a very old pic the are probably more than twice as many now :s lol.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Around the Web

Hmm one day I'll learn to sleep instead of playing on the Internet.... until that day I'll just collect random interesting articles and blogs and share them. Like:
-lucky 13 lacquer's post about her new polish in support of the butterfly project. It's a very brave post and a very special thing she's doing. The butterfly project is about helping people to stop selfharm... But she explains it better than me so clicky click.
- the agoraphobic fashionista's post about her personal signs that depression is creeping in. It's a lot more... real than clinical lists of symptoms (though they have their place of course!) And probably more meaningful to many people.
- this bbc article about how it feels to be airbrushed... We did a bit about body confidence, including an activity about airbrushing, with the guides last meeting so it stuck out to me.
- mara's post about the realities of ocd on which I came across in my quest to try to understand the disorder better for ocd week.

And memes :p...I will do a post sharing a whole load at some point (be warned that may not be *that* appropriate tbh). Night. X

33dc day 11-3d

Yea Yea I admit every day I say 'this really isn't my thing' but that's largely cos I'm me to this! So 'this really isn't my thing'. I don't own many nail embellishments and larger ones really don't suit my lifestyle tbh. What with ringing and guiding and caring, large things sticking up from my fingers don't stand a chance!
Anyway a few weeks ago I was introduced to she sells seashells... which is a fairly new site selling nail embellishments.... But wrote unusual ones. And, luckily for me, smaller/delicate ones. So I took the plunge and bought some itty bitty bows, some coppery studs and some neon stars.
It's the stars I used for this, one of each colour on each nail over color club silver. What can I say, I was feeling lazy!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ocd: a mani and an intro

Nails. Let's start there.... basically lots of variations on the ocd uk logo. Plus some slightly scruffy writing... I'm not sure why but the white nail art pen comes out thicker than any of the oflthers. Also used opi my boyfriend scales walls and the orange sinful colours (I want to say big daddy? But I may be wrong lol).

Anyway the reason I'm talking about the nails first is that I'm struggling to know what to say. I have little to no personal experience of ocd.... and weirdly I'm finding it harder to write about that than bare my soul etc etc and write about my own 'stuff'. I think it's cos I know how bad a job it is possible to do when writing about mental health... and how damaging that can be. When I talk about myself I can't be wrong, it's my thoughts, my experiences and they are what they are. I'm just wary of writing about other people's experiences as if I have a clue. I've been labelled as having 'ocd traits' and told there is an 'obsessive compulsive element to my sh'. But that's about as close to genuine full blown ocd as having a down day is to major depression.
I guess I'm just anxious because ocd is very misunderstood and misreported. It's so often trivialised and seen as a character quirk, when at it's worst it can be utterly debilitating. And I'm scared of adding to that perception.
But Ho-hum onwards and upwards, however tentatively. During the week I will try and get up an ocd factbox to go with the anxiety and depression ones. Hopefully track down some links to people who can talk about it in a more erudite fashion than me. And probably share some of the things other people are doing a part of ocd awareness week. X

Monday, 14 October 2013

33dc day 10-flowers

Hey. I haven't got much to say today (sigh of relief from all concerned! Lol). Flowers. I don't do flowers much though I've done splodgey Roses, dotted daisies etc in the past when I was practicing with new dotting tools. Not the point. For the most part when I go to the effort of doing nail art I like it to mean something. Like the awareness things or the  neurotransmitters I did way back on day one... Or silly things like roald dahl day. I care more about what significance it has to me than how it looks.  Yea im weird.
Anyway. That's why my flowers are a bit naff. In search of meaning I did a bit of googling on the symbolism of flowers. What I came up with was crocus (I'll pause for a moment while everyone goes 'those are meant to be crocuses?!') symbolising gladness, cheerfulness and childlike delight. As well as this it is associated with optimism, rebirth and such like due to it being one of the first bulbs to grow after winter. I hate winter... like seriously loathe it, with it's long nights and grey days. So I like that aspect too.
Clumps of younger crocuses on thumb and middle and a fully open one on ring. Liss of purple... base is tarastalons the dark one is Essie and the light is Avon. Sorry I forget the names and don't have the bottles to hand.... Or top coat oops! Oh silver is models own nail art pen.
Never Trust anyone who sys they don't have much to say!
Finally, this week is ocd awareness week so expect a few posts on that theme during the rest of the week interspersed with the other two challenge days 3D (eep!) And pattern from your home. Night night.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

White noise

... is all I'm getting from my brain right now so sorry about that. It's not been the best of weeks and the only thoughts my mind seems comfortable with are self deprecating ones.... and this is a blog not a personal pity party :p. I blame meds, as I'm about halfway through titrating up to the proper dose of lamotrigine and feeling nauseous and moronic lol. There are posts I want to write but am having issues articulating.
But I know myself and how easily I let things slide so figured I'd chuck something up. I was chatting the other day with a ringer, who recently got an Android phone, about useful apps. So here's a list of apps I couldn't live without (well Yea I imagine I could but they're handy lol).
1. Unit converter.... self explanatory really lol.
2. Bbc iplayer...cos I'm never around when the things I want to watch are on! I have 4od too but rarely use it.
3. Google maps... because without it I'm lost before I even leave the village.
4. Methodology and Tower guide... both bellringing apps one for methods the other (not surprisingly) for towers.
5. WhatsApp! Such a cheap way to send pictures or chat overseas... Or just chat generally, I use it more than texting tbh. Snapchat is fun too.
6. A variety of mindfulness and meditation apps... To encourage me to actually bother and as a rescue technique when I'm freaking out. I could recommend but I think it's a very personal thing.
7. Whatever random distracting game I'm obsessed with atm (I had candycrush but it did my head in so am looking for something new atm)... because sometimes you need to escape your head an do something mindless but absorbing
8. Things like oyster on the go and and such like which make keeping track of orders and accounts simpler... There are some that I just download when they're relevant and then delete.
9. Likewise motivational apps...I used a stop smoking one for quote a while for example. Now I feel pretty secure in having quit it's a little irrelevant lol.
10. Tapatalk...I use a few forums and Tapatalk makes it a lot easier than trying to view the Web version on my phone.

So there we have it. Tbh that pretty much covers all my apps lol I don't have many... cos I'm lazy.... and fickle. I clear out my apps pretty regularly and get rid of ones I'm bored of or just downloaded for a specific reason (like the five different origami apps I used for a guide craft lol).
And even if it's of no use to anybody else, this post has settled my brain down a lot lol I'm not trying to think hundreds of different thoughts simultaneously so much. Nothing like a good list :p.
So what are everybody else's favourite apps? What do you do to calm incoherent thoughts? Are you an app hoarder or an obsessive deleter? Should I go to sleep? X

Ps. Maybelline winner takes it all plus a couple of she sells seashells bows.... feeling lazy.

Friday, 11 October 2013

33dc Day...9? Indian

Yea um I struggled with this one. India fascinates me but I've never been and I know little about the culture and...imagery. I have a slight elephant obsession so I considered that but animal day is looming later in the month.
Anyway, to cut a crazy ridiculous ramble a little shorter, the psychologist I'm seeing recently encouraged me to visit the Buddhist Centre near where I live. And being me, I did some research into Buddhism before I went... and this mani is made up of some of the symbolism I stumbled across. Now, a brief session on Google doesn't mean I actually know anything about Buddhism so forgive me if I'm wrong! My thumb is a hamsa...a hand symbol which features in, um most religions actually. A brief wander through the symbolism of hand gestures in Buddhism tells me that they're known as mudras and that it's far too complex for my little blog! Anyway the two common open palm gestures appear to be varada mudra- hand down for giving, charity, fulfilment of desire- and abhaya mudra- hand up for peace, protection, banishment of fear.
On my middle finger is a lotus flower (or that's what it's meant to be!) Which again is common to several faiths and religions. It's an early Buddhist symbol representing purity, of mind, body and speech.
Finally on my pinkie is a deceptively simple looking little wheel called a dharmacakra or wheel of dharma. It represents the foundations of Buddhism, the Buddha's teaching of the path to enlightenment. The circle shape represents the perfection of this teaching whilst the hub represents the discipline at the core of meditation and the rim represents mindfulness holding everything together. The eight spokes reflect the Nobel eightfold path: right beliefs, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right meditation attainment.
Yea I get caught up in Google and this is turning into an re lecture sorry! There's obviously a lot lot more that in leaving out and if you're interested is suggest looking into it... But maybe by asking someone who's done more than just link hop through Wikipedia!
Aaaanyway here's my Indian nails. Oh base is black cat celestial. Black is, as always, models own nail art pen.  X

Thursday, 10 October 2013

World mental health day

So I'm sure nobody is surprised to see me posting about this lol.
A day for education, awareness, fighting stigma. About mental health in all it's varied forms. Each year the mental health foundation have a dedicated theme for the day and this year it's all about older adults...which is of course a theme close to my heart. The theme is two pronged. First it highlights the fact that people report a higher level of life satisfaction at ages fifty five and above than they do between twenty five and fifty four. Second it considers the many occasions where this isn't the case and how we can work to promote mental wellbeing and allow people to enjoy and make the most of later life. Isolation can become a major issue as we grow older, due to diminishing social circles and failing physical health, and the mhf wants to work to combat this through community and social projects.

Anyway, obviously, being me, I had to paint something over my nails to honour the day. I confess, due to lack of time last night for most of the day my nails were just the green (which looks blue in the pictures but really is Green I promise!) to represent mental health awareness. When I got home though I decided to play and ended up with this. We have taras talons toy train mixed with whatever that Barbara Daly white that is I always use on four nails, then straight toy train to draw the ribbon and the darker green areas. Outlines and writing in models own Black nail art pen.
The ring finger... Well what isn't on the ring finger? I wanted to demonstrate the wide scope of mental illness so I used different polishes and neon stars (which I received today from she sells seashells btw and love!) and polishes to represent the awareness ribbons for several conditions. I started with teal for anxiety issues, OCD and dissociative identity disorder, topped with grey for bpd. Then added yellow star for suicide prevention, Blue for addiction recovery (also can refer to support for victims of bullying or abuse), purple for alzheimers/periwinkle eating disorders, orange for self injury awareness day and also ADHD, and Green for general mental health, depression and bipolar.
Phew that's a long list, and by no means exhaustive but I only have so much room on my nails!
Anyway thanks for reading. X

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

knotty man...a tutorial

Yea okay so maybe the rubbish pun only works in norfolk where knotty and naughty sound the same lol. Anyway I love reading online tutorials and learning new things...and ive been wanting to make one for a while. Only problem is im not very hood at anything! Hmm im sure the shrink would dislike that comment intensely but anyway the things I *am* good at don't translate well to the internet...a tutorial on how to ring a bell might be tricky! Then I remembered these cute little fellas. When I go as staff to guide jamborees this is what I teach the kids all week long. It's kinda easier in person though so bear with me, and the hundreds of pics lol. And annoyingly i only had yellow cord which is nit ideal on a white background lol. Anyway you will need:
a key ring
1 large bead
2 small beads
2' piece of cord
1' piece of cord

Tecnically you can do whatever lengths you like keeping the proportions the same but these are nice manageable lengths to start with.

1. Thread the shorter cord through the keyrjng
2. Thread both ends of the cord throug the large bead in the same direction
3. Thread one small bead on each end
4. Tie a knot in each end to hold the beads on
5. Tape your man down (so he doesn't escape :p) with the small beads furthest from you
6. Thread the longer cord underneath the taped down cord and make it roughly even on each side
7. Lay the left hand end of the longer cord across the central cord
8. Take the right hand end of the longer cord and bring it straight down over what was the left hand end
9. Still with the right hand end pass under the centre cords diagonally
10. Take the end with your left hand and oull upwards

11. Keep pulling whilst also pulling the other end in your right hand. I don't have enough hands to photograph that! the above is what it looks like once pulled tight
12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Repeat exactly the same steps but this time laying the right cord over the centre and then working with the left
17. Keep repeating alternating sides each time
Option. If you want a spiral, stop alternating
18. When you reach the desired length for the body just knot each cord where you want the arms to end
18. Trim the ends and untape him

yay you made a friend :). Lol. Seriously I have no clue if this makes any if you do try it out let me know how you get on. Night night :). X

ps. Oh, once you know the knot it can be used for all kinds of things like lanyards or those shamballa style bracelets that were so popular a while back. X

33dc day 8- chevrons

Aka omg i actually made an effort for one! Or at least had an actual plan. I love rainbow nails a lot and did something very similar to this with stripes a while ago. I confess chevrons agent really my thing I can never get them *just right* and it distresses me to see them slightly wonky lol. The rainbow colours are there to distract me from that. Started with a color club red, sinful colors big daddy, the faithful sandcastles from taras talons, toy train from same and finally rimmel blue eyed girl on the pinky. Taped out my slightly wonky chevrons and covered in rimmel black out (I think?). Oh and smudged my middle finger, don't forget that! Ho hum can't have everything lol.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Who cares?

... Well, me as it happens. And most other carers I've worked with. Because that's what we're paid for, yes, but also because the people we're working with matter to us. I love my job and doing it well is important to me. I genuinely care about 'my ladies' (and gents :p) I want to give them the best possible care.
And, yes, sometimes that involves fifteen minute visits.
Now I recognise that the news is criticising the system and not me personally. BUT given I'm part of the system it's hard not to take stories like this to heart. Elderly welfare and rights is a cause that means a lot to me (of yes another one!), and I'd be the first to suggest the system is inadequate. But I really don't think fifteen minute calls are the issue here. They're at best a symptom of a wider problem.
And, actually...I seriously disagree with the idea of banning them. Please don't hate me til you've heard me out.
Firstly, not one of my ladies has ever had to choose between continence care and getting a drink... aside from anything else I wouldn't allow it. Most of the fifteen minute calls I attend are welfare checks, calls designed for people who *can* manage independently... and prefer to. The call is simply in place to ensure that's still the case. Some are medication calls, mainly to people with dementia who need support with that but not much else at the present time. As for building relationships there are people I've been visiting for fifteen minute a day for years, we've shared major life events, silly in jokes and everything in between... We know each other. Yes I still have meaningful relationships with people I only see for a short time. I've no doubt the are people being let down by the system but not everyone who gets fifteen minute visits is. Which brings me nearly on to the first point on my list of reasons not to ban them:
1. I'm a major advocate of holistic and person centred care, care plans designed around an individual and not some standardised rule book. A blanket ban would be a huge step away from that.
2. Not all care is government funded. Most people pay at least some of their care costs. Why should someone who's needs are comfortably met within fifteen minutes pay for a call twice as long so I can sit and do nothing?
3. Without major changes to the system at the same time, where is all this extra time coming from? With the same resources and workforce someone has to make up the difference. So does someone who would have had a forty five minute call get cut down to half an hour to compensate? Do carers have their already limited travel time cut so they have to rush and skimp on visits just to keep up? Do people receive morning calls at twelve and lunch at three because there's too much to fit in?
4. For some people fifteen minute calls provide a neat way into the system. It's a lot easier to change your care plan than start one from scratch. So for someone who's condition is deteriorating or unstable a fifteen minute call may help monitor that and allow for swifts action at such a time as more intensive care is needed.

So, no the system isn't perfect. Not everybody gets the support they need, and deserve. But judging and generalising from that isn't helpful and could in fact be damaging. If I feel one of my service users need a higher level of care I will fight and nag and make a nuisance of myself til they get it... But some of them are fine as they are.
I'm not a bad carer or a bad person (though often I fell like it) I just think it's better to consider every person individually (so no I don't think of my ladies as robots or jobs and problems or whatever the article said). I care.

Monday, 7 October 2013

33dc day 7- oldest untried

Erm so I don't really have untried polishes...I kinda can't resist new polishes when they just sit there going pick me pick me don't leave me sitting here in the bottle. Ahem. So I struggled with this.... until I remembered a loreal polish that's been in my car weeks cos I keep forgetting to bring it in. Step one, polish choice, check. step two, design choice, took even longer. I'm majorly lacking in inspiration atm. In the end I just played with cling film and one of October's polish club polishes and then fished two stars out of the second polish club polish (which is amazing btw can't wait to show you it) for accent nails. Boring but complete. And it's purple so it's not all bad :p.