Saturday, 17 September 2011

Halloween Fayre and Open Day!!!

Hello!!! Sorry for the huge gap - we are so busy over at Loving Hands website and forum ( www, - forum link is at top right hand corner of the web page) the forum us incredibly busy now with new members joining every day - over 1200 on the forum now and we have over 2600 members in total - it is wonderful!!!

This year has seen LH HQ redecorated and sorted out with shelving etc and we have built a new storage shed out back (now officially known as 'Gaffers Den' ) so we have more room for all the items coming and going through here now ;0)

Soooooo - To service this ever growing community we are having a fundraiser at the end of October ;0)

Loving Hands arfe having their first ever - HALLOWEEN FAYRE - it is perfect timing for Halloween and will beat all the other Christmas Fayres to the punch ;0) We will have lots of stalls and invite some other people in to do stalls to sell things people will maybe want for Christmas presents as well.

There will be the usual Raffle, Tombola, Cake and Candy, Handicrafts, Teas etc and we will have fun things for the kids too - a fancy dress contest, a best carved pumpkin contest, bran tub (with scary things in it so they have to feel past the spiders, skeletons, bats etc to find the parcels ;0) etc, etc.

Hopefully it will be a really fiun day and we will raise lots of money for Loving Hands - I want to get in loads of inks, stationery, stamps etc to keep us going for the next wee while ;0)

so that is;-



BUT - it doesnt end there!!! Oh no - we are then having a High Tea at the Halfway House in Kingseat at 7pm so that members can have a lovely evening and a relaxing chat after the Fayre.

BUT - it doesnt end there!!!!!!!! Oh no - we are then having an open day here at HQ on the Sunday from 10am to 4pm so that any members still around can come and see the new HQ and Gaffers Den and help themselves to lots of goodies from the stash in the Den ;0)

So it is all very exciting! Lots happening and lots to keep us all busy. If anyone wants to donate to the fund who cant make it we do accept donations to our Paypal account (I pay Parcel2go through it!) the account is we also accept cheques or postal orders made out to L. Jaap (Loving Hands) and sent in here to HQ (Loving Hands, 18 Clentry Crescent , Kelty, Fife. KY4 0LG. (This is the address to send in your donations of knitting, crocheted or stitched items - school uniform items for kiddies from 3 to 8 for our schools, items for shoeboxes etc, any spare blankets, sheets, towels, duvets, wool, fabric, threads etc, etc as well ).

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Happy New Year

Here we go again - another year and we are now over 1600 members here at Loving Hands! Brilliant! There is going to be an article about my own experiences and Loving Hands in Yours magazine on the 25th January so hopefully that will trigger even more members to join us!

We now have groups in Kelty, Carrickfergus, Stonehaven, Portsmouth, Glasgow West, Cardiff, Peebles and Warwickshire! Who knows - this might be the year we get a group near you!

Sadly my last surgery failed as well. I went in and had the balloons fitted in october, they waited 3 weeks before they began filling them and did it ever so slowly but my stupid body wouldnt play ball and I got anothe rinfection and two of the balloons decided to burst through the skin again. Result was I ended up back in hospital having the balloons taken out again anSd IV antibiotics to clear up the infection. Never mind - once all these new wounds have healed we will hopefully try again - maybe third time lucky!

We are all looking forward to the new challenges being posted on Loving Hands forum on 30th January. Wonder what I will have in mind for everyone this time ;0)

Scotland's Knitting Only Show will be on May 14th from 10am to 4pm at Perth Racecourse again. This year we are trying to make it very much a Loving Hands get together. A lot of the ladies are planning to book into the Travel Lodge at Perth or the Huntingtower Lodges just along from there. We Iill arrange a block booking for dinner at the Glover Arms on Friday and Saturday nights so everyone can have some fun together as well. Looking forward to it already - I am planning to have nice new Loving Hands badges made before hand so we can all wear them to identify one another much easier ;0)

If you want to join us go to the Loving Hands website at and then click on the forum link at top of the page - if you register on the forum dont forget to send me an email to giving me all of your details, full name, postal address and the name you have chosen to register on the forum with. Sadly I am having to pre approve members before they can fully join the forum now as we have been hit by really nasty spammers - not the sort of thing we need to see on a hand crafting forum I can tell you! I have to protect my lovely members from that sort of thing ;0)

Looking forward to welcoming you on board soon xxx

Friday, 3 September 2010

Oops I did it again!

Ooops - I did it again folks - so sorry I keep forgetting about this Blog here because it takes all my time to keep the reprobates on the Loving Hands forum out of mischief. Please go have a look at the web page and if you click the link to the forum at the top right hand of the page you will be able to keep up with what we are doing from there.

The current challenges are;-

Pegasus Children's Trust - we are busy helping out author of Street Kid Judy Westwater's charity to helkp street kids in Africa - we are making clothing, toys, school uniforms etc for these lovely youngsters to help give them a better shot at a decent life.

We are also making hundreds of Teddies for Tragedy - some for Orphans in Cambodia and some for street kids in Uganda.

The last part of the current challenge is - once again - our shoeboxes for Blythswood. We made 200 last year so are hoping to achiee more than that this time round.

So you see we are very much here and very, very busy.

We have now raised enough money to have the new HQ built at the bottom of my garden (or glorified large garden shed as my DH says ;0) Just waiting for the planning permission to come through so we can build it and get the room in the house back - at last!

I am still waiting for the next stage in my reconstruction - the plastic surgeons are planning to put 4 tissue expanding balloons into my scalp, forehead and the side of my neck and spend 6 to 18 months slowly filling them with saline to gain enough new skin to rebuild my face. Once they come out the reconstruction ops can take place and after that they will insert clips into the bone around the eye socket so they can attach a new artificial eye/eyelid/eyebrow etc. So lots of fun and games to be had over the next 3 to 4 years in order to make me look good again! (Of course my lovely family tell me I look good anyway - I have booked them all into the opticians as a matter of extreme urgency ;0)

Right - best try to get some sleep - this is the worst side effect of my accident - I have been suffering from terrible nightmares since I woke from the drug induced coma they put me in. Sadly that is the one thing I just can't seem to shake off - everything else is just water under the bridge, que sera sera - the annoying thing about the bad dreams is that I know it was all just my mind running wild due to the cocktail of drugs they were pumping into me but somehow I can't find the peace of mind to get a good night's sleep! Never mind it gives me lots of time to work away on here or do some knitting and watch tv ;0)

Till the next time ...........

Thursday, 3 June 2010

2010 - Would you believe it!

Well another year has almost passed before I have got around to updating this Blog - sorry folks!!! Keeping up with the forum at is a daily job that needs to be done or everyone gets all worried about me - bless their cotton socks xxx We are now over 1000 members and have five groups on the go (Kelty, Carrickfergus, Portsmouth, Stonehaven and a new one starting in Glasgow West on the 17th June !). Hopefully we will get some more before too long as well.
We are almost ready to build our new HQ (or a large shed style workshop at the bottom of my garden to be less grand !) it is to be 12 ft by 18 ft and will give me back space in the house - thank goodness! Our donations are flooding in daily now so it is a labour of love to keep them sorted, photographed, . listed on the forum and repacked and then sent off to our charities (who are all extremely grateful for all we send them). We are now sending to Blythswood Care, Linda MacDonald Foundation, Scotia Aid, SANDS, Hope4Children, Hope & Aid Direct, Algerian Action, UK maternities, Boobs for Breastfeeding (Tommee Tippee), Animal Shelters, Funsani orphans project and more. (Our latest challenges include coats for chickens and knitted donkeys to help raise funds for the donkey sanctuary!!!).
We also had a wonderful day out at Scotland's Knitting Only show which was up at Perth Racecourse again - there were over 20 members there this year and we all grabbed loads of lovely bargains! This was the third time they had had this and we have been to them all - not to be missed if you want a chance to meet up with other Loving Hands members and buy lots of great knitting bargains!
As for me - my wounds are healing very slowly so they are soon to begin my reconstruction. They are going to take me to Livingstone and there put 4 'balloons' (tissue expanders) under my skin - two on top of my head, one in my forehead and one in the side of my neck. These will be gradually filled with saline solution over a period of 6 to 12 months to allow the surgeons to harvest enough new skin to use to rebuild my cheek and close the gap in my hairline. This is apparently a slow, painful and very uncomfortable process with lots of risks and worries along the way but it will be worth it in the end I am sure. My family and local members are standing by ready to make sure I do not try to do too much during this phase as I need to be pretty much sedentary and protect the balloon filled areas at all costs - Suzanne and Rab (DH) have decided I should be wrapped in cotton wool and then bubble wrap so that if I fall I will be well protected and the sound of the bubbles popping will alert them to come and pick me up again !!!!! You see what I have to put up with !
Sadly this will also mean that I will be unable to go out to my daughter's primary to give knitting lessons till this is all over - I do love those little treasures and they work away making blankets for the kennels amidst lots of very bad joke telling and song singing - we do have fun (and the first class informed me that it was a 'life changing experience' ! ;0)
Once the eye socket has completely healed they plan to drill in and place clips to hold in a new prosthetic eye complete with eyelid and eyebrow so it should be much nicer and more secure than the original plan of having one that I had to stick on with medical grade glue each day (didn't like this idea as I had a vision of a very hot day and the eye dropping off into the potatos in Asda and causing some unsuspecting old lady to drop dead with fright in front of me - I definitely do not want to be responsible for that !!!!).
OK enough of the gory stuff - just had to update those of you who have been anxious for news.
So here we are - gloriously sunny again and I am going off this afternoon to Jenna's sports day at school. We are also having a weekend away on the 18th to Wemyss Bay (one of the those Sun newspaper cheap breaks - great bargain!) and on the 2nd of July we are off for a 10 day holiday which will involve crossing the border again so I am not telling anyone where I am going till I get there (don't want to tempt fate as the last time when I booked a holiday cottage in Staffordshire to visit Alton Towers I had my accident and didn't get!).
Keep knitting and crocheting away and do remember if you want ti knit, crochet or sew for charity get yourself over to the loving hands website and join the forum there - we need all hands we can get to keep the aid (and the love) flowing to where it is needed most xxxxx
OH - by the way - the photo at the top is from my 50th birthday celebrations in July last year - I decided to go for a blonde wig that night to shock the family! My DH is at the other end of the photo and the motley crew include daughters, Kelly, Zandra, Roxanne and Jenna, Sons Andrew and Johnny and Grandaughter Cassidy xxx

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Well we are basking in a heatwave at the moment - we are not as bad as some of our colleagues south of the border but it is bad enough for me to have to hide from it :0( Shouldn't moan the kids are all outside in Jenna's huge paddling pool (all the kids in the street are there I think from the sound of all the hilarity!) the school holidays have just started so hopefully we will get nice weather for a week or so for them to have fun in the sun.

Spending today boxing up another load of wonderful donations to send out - having been doing it monthly for the last wee while we are going to have to cut down to doing it weekly as our numbers keep growing - can't believe how succesful it has all become - thanks to all of you wonderful members with your big hearts xxx We have a never ending stream of parcels and boxes coming in here all the time keeping Kelly and I ever so busy sorting, photographing, listing and then packing up for the outward journeys.

Todays boxes will be for - A breast feeding support group in Milton Keynes, Avril at Tommee Tippee, Nia at Friends of the Animals rtc in Wales, Algerian Action, Scotia Aid, Prem and burial items for Abi our group leader in Portsmouth, Wool for a new group of knitters, several maternity wards and Sands.

We will also be packing up blankets and pet beds to take to Fife Cat Shelter and Perthshire Abandoned Dogs Society. Such a hive of industry here :0)

Miss Jenna had her birthday on Saturday and got a lovely wee kitten - called Toffee - ever so cute ;0)

Right - had a breather so back to packing boxes - better be careful though - I keep bursting open my shoulder and it meandsmore rows from the wound nurses when I go in to the hospital to get the dressings changed :0)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Knit in Public Day 2009

Here we are again - been a long while since I posted on this Blog - so much work to do over at Loving Hands Forum that I never seem to remember to put any updates on here - sorry.
As you will see by the photos I have posted this time we are still making lots of knitted breasts for breastfeeding classes in UK and I have still a long way to go in my healing so I am under wraps with bandages and a selection of very cool wigs (all the way from China courtesy of ebay :0) to keep me looking good for the public.
Knit in public day this year is next Saturday 13th June and we are all going to be having a Knitpic in the park again. This year we will be in Pittencreiff Park in Dunfermline from 1 to 4 pm. The plan is to meet up between the Pavillion and the childrens play areas or if it is wet in the Pavillion itself. Bring your knitting or crochet, something to sit on and a picnic - the coffee bar should be open in the Pavillion so you can get teas, coffees and snacks from there too. There is also a bar in the pavillion that sells drinks and hot meals as well.
Hoping we get a really good turnout this year. We are now over 600 members from all over the world and I know that some of our outlying members are going to join us from places like Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen so it should be a lovely day.
Looking forward to seeing lots of you there xxx Good luck to our friends in Shetland and Harris - hope your knit in public events go well too xxx

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Where does the time go?

Where on erth does the time go - can't believe I haven't updated this Blog site for sucha long time. Still spending lots of time on Loving Hands website and keeping the forum running smoothly there - we now have over 500 members at Loving Hands and have been making hundreds of items for the variou scharities we support :0)

We have been making things for :- Blythswood Care, Linda McDonald Foundation, Teddies for Tragedy, BISS, Feed the Children, Save the Children, Trauma Toys for UK ambulance and fire crews, Blankets for Animal Shelters, Teddies for the Kenyan Orphans Project and Shelterboxm blankets for a Zambian Aids Hospice, Squares for the Soweto Comfort Club Knit a Square project, Baby clothing (both prem and newborn sizes, blankets and burila items for UK maternities and have recently added Algerian Action to our list of charities we support. We do get about a bit and are kept ever so busy.

Currently our stitchers are making bags to save baby Puffins :0) It makes us smile to think we are helping them too :0)

Hopefully there will be a contigent from Loving Hands at the Scottish Knitting Only show at Perth Racecourse on Saturday 9th May from 10am to 4pm - some of us were at the first one last year and it was a fabulous day - hopefully as long as I am not in surgery or recovering I will be there again!

My accident happened last July - I slipped in the bath, cut my cheek and had to go get it stitched. 30 stitches later I was home and packing for our holidays. The next day it was getting swollen so doc said to put ice on it which I did. Later the saem day it was swelling even more so we went back to A&E and were given antibiotics and sent home again. By lunchtime the next day my head looked like an elephants and I was struggling to breathe because of the swelling - back to hospital - this time in an ambulance. The upshot of it was I had contracted necrotising faciitis (the flesh eating bug) in the wound on my face. Over two days and three surgeries they removed my forehead, left side of my face and temple, the whole of my left eye and my left cheekbone. I was in a coma for three weeks during which time I suffered from terrible drug induced nightmares - don't understand how anyone could deliberately put themselves through that for fun -and finally woke up in August :0)

Since then they have rotated part of my scalp to make a new forehead for me and covered my face with part of the skin from my leg. I am goin in soon to get a pedicle flap done (they will raise part of my chest with skin and muscle, lay it back and leave it for about 6 weeks to develop it's own blood supply and then they will re-open my cheek and attach the flap to my face leaving me attached to my chest for a further 6 weeks to make sure it takes properly. The final step will be to seperate the chest and face. Hopefully this will give me a much more natural looking cheek.

Later on they will give me a prosthetic to wear with an artificial eye, eyelid and eyebrow and this will cover the fact that my cheekbone is missing and the gap at my temple.

Finally they will put a balloon under my scalp to stretch the skin so they can eventually give me a new hairline and I can stop wearing wigs.

It is going to be a long slow process but worth it in the end. I have never been down or felt sorry for myself - far too busy with my family and loving hands - I count my blessings every day as I was ever so lucky to survive the bug with it being so close to my brain - I can still do almost everything I could do before, work, drive, run my group, go shopping etc. :0)

Right - back to work now - we will be having our World Wide Knit in Public Day knitpic in the park this year in Dunfermline. Just waiting to get the date etc so we can get it properly organised. Hoping to get lots of our members together that day - praying for good weather :0)