Fundraising Auction for One More Cuddle

Well here I am, not very good at keeping up with this blog :)

I’ve been busy arranging an Fundraising Auction for One More Cuddle.  This was started by a friend who is fundraising for a Cuddle Cot for her local hospital.  A cuddle cot is a cooling device placed in a cot or basinette to give parents the gift of time with their baby who has sadly passed.  Her goal is to raise funds for this first cuddle cot, then continue to raise funds to cots around the country.

As you all know this is a cause very dear to my heart.  I donated a few items for her to sell, then another friend offered something and suggested we do an auction … and so we have an auction … coming up on 22 Feb!  One more sleep.

Here are some pic’s of the items available.  Please click on them to visit my Facebook page where you can see – and share – and bid on anything you might like!

Whimzee Rochelle quilt Bunny bubkins kim reid Birds Nest Bunting Angela Baker Cot store monique Dream of angels pendant Hive Bee Doll Mano Rato 2

Mayhen Creations 2

MelodyArt and Designs 3 The Lilybug project tammy bunt

with love from owl and monkey 1

Any comments, likes, share etc are most appreciated – and as a heads up – there will be a ‘prize’ for the person who does the most ‘promoting’ (via like, comment, share, tagging friends) on the Auction album, or any of the items!

Thanks all for reading <3

Suz x

Random thoughts about my Angel and Rainbow

So we are approaching my Rainbow babies first birthday.  I can’t believe how fast his first year has gone!  I can’t believe my baby is about to be 1!  Who would have thought?  Certainly not me – if you had told me this 2 years ago – even a year ago – I would have doubted you.

But – just over a week until he is 1.  He is cheeky.  He is walking.  Almost running.  He is smiley and happy.  He gives great cuddles and kisses.  He loves his Sleepytot toy.  He laughs alot.  He loves blueberries and cheese.  Seperately – or together – he’s not too fussy.  He is friendly and sociable, and loves meeting new people.  He is turning into a big chatterbox.  He is one of the loves of my life.

Another, of the loves of my life – turned 3 at the end of last year.  Well, is that the right phrase – I think it is what we baby – loss Mum’s might say.  Those without angels probably wouldn’t say it that way.  It was 3 years since he died.  3 years since we said hello and goodbye.  Its hard to imagine a 3 year old.  Its hard to imagine what he might have been like.  In fact its so hard to imagine – I don’t.  I’m not sure why I don’t.  I know lots of others who do – who wonder what they would be doing now – now he is 3.  Or when he was 2.  What he might have looked like.  I often wonder if there is something wrong with me, that I don’t wonder that.  To me, he is still my baby.  He’ll always be my baby.  My forever baby.  Forever a baby.

I know others with Rainbow babies – wonder if their Angel baby would have looked like their Rainbow – or acted like them ..  I haven’t really – and I was wondering why.  I think they were quite different.  I don’t have an image of Koby as a 1 year old, though of course I know what Devon will look like as a 1 year old.  Would they have been similar?  Probably as they are brothers, but it’s not something I picture.  Do people continue to age in heaven?  I don’t know if they do, but then I think of him playing – and as a newborn, a very premmie one, that isn’t something he could do.

I don’t know if I believe in heaven.  I do  – believe in something .. because I choose to think of my baby, playing there, with other babies who couldn’t make it here for a life on Earth.  So sometimes I call it heaven – just to give it a name.

There was a boy once – where my 10 year old goes swimming.  A little boy – also called Koby.  I looked at him, and knew instantly that is what my Koby would have been like.  He was older than Koby would have been – maybe 5 – but when I saw him – even before I heard his name – I thought he looked like what Koby might have.  He was cute, quite slim, brown haired, cheeky.  But I’d never pictured Koby as a 5 year old – so that was surprising to me …. but I just knew.  I’ve not seen another child, of any age, and had that feeling before, or since.

I was visiting Koby this weekend gone.  I lay out there in the grass for an hour or so.  His gravestone is under a beautiful tree, and it was a very hot day, so I lay in the shade and talked to Koby.  I tend to repeat myself a bit, trying to get my thoughts in order.  Sometimes they don’t manage to get in order, and then I look at the clouds, and we look at the shapes.  A yellow leaf fell out of the tree at some stage.  The summer tree full of bright green leaves, and a single yellow leaf fell on me.

I went for a walk while I was there.  Koby has some new neighbours.  My Grandparents are also there, and another wee angel baby I’m sure Koby is playing with.  Its a beautiful place.

Now it is Devons birthday coming up, the first birthday of the baby I didn’t think I’d ever have, I wish his big brother Koby was here, getting excited about a birthday party!

I’ve decide to put Devon’s name on Kobys headstone … His other siblings are named, so I’m wanting to add ‘big brother of Devon’.  Something for Koby, for Devon’s birthday.

My babies – 1, 3 and 10.  Love them all.  Sunshine, Angel & Rainbow x

Behind The Scenes

So I thought I’d share a few behind the scenes kind of photos.  It was a spur of the moment idea, I asked my husband to take some pictures of me as I was working, hadn’t put too much thought into it.  Then I realised I was wearing clothes that had baby spew on them, I hadn’t done my hair, and didn’t have any makeup on.  Ah well, this is reality of me working most days, so I decided to share with you guys anyway.

I could say that I made them black and white to make it look more ‘documentary’ style, but really I did it disguise the baby spew, lack of makeup and wrinkles etc…. so anyway, black and white.  Looks more ‘behind the scenes’ I’m sure of it.

So this is where I work.  I used to have my studio room, a room all for me.  However our family expanded, and now I have a corner of the dining room.  The upside is, I have windows to the side of me, and in front of me, and a view out to Kobys garden.  Note my little helper sitting under my set.  Being a work at home Mum, generally means I do most of my stamping when he is asleep, but in the weekends I can get some done when hubby is home to entertain the little man.

I have expanded onto the dining table, though I do have to clear that regularly so we can eat!

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Handstamping means every letter, number, design stamp, is individually imprinted onto the metal using a hammer.  This is a noisy job, and sometimes a painful job, I’ve hit my thumb more times than I like to remember.

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My trusty hammer, with a glint in the handle (like a glint in his eye).

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My hammer & I (again).

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Deep in concentration … as much as one can be with a baby under your feet, and a camera pointing at you.  I note my bad posture, and plan to make an effort to sit better, next time :)

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My trustee printer repair man, having a look, he’s sure there is an issue there somewhere… or just something shiny, that needs investigating.

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And … me … no more photos please – I actually do need to do some work!

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So, you will also note, that my desk is a MESS.  This is a result of limited time, lots of orders, lots of work, and not enough time to actually clear my desk.  It is marginally organised, but yes, still mess.  I know where everything is though, and that is the main thing.

So thats me really … in amoungst the mess, there is order.  All in black and white, so it looks more factual, and less ‘Mummy’.  Hope you found it a little interesting.

Suz x

Baby Loss Awareness Month

October is Baby Loss Awareness Month.

This year I am again doing CarlyMarie’s Capture Your Grief Challenge … 31 photos in 31 days, capturing where I am right now in this journey of grief.  If you’d like to follow you can visit my facebook page especially set up for this by clicking on this image:

Day 2 Heart

Or my website page by clicking here:

1 Sunrise

I was wondering if it would be more difficult doing it a second time, but its like doing it for the first time, and I just write what I’m feeling on the day.  Its very therapudic if anyone is thinking of doing it, I’d recommend it … its not too late to start now!

Another thing I am doing, is giving away a Baby Loss Pendant every week for the month.  I have made 3 new designs today, and am working on the 4th one at the moment.

So you’ll need to check in to my Facebook page, to enter to win one of these.

As long as Im living pendant

My Baby youll be pendant Still Loved Pendant

I love these, and hope others do too.   These will be given away starting on each Sunday of the month.

Like every day, every month, October especially, in public, is for raising awareness, and remembering and celebrating our babies lost.

Wishing everyone on this journey with me – peace, comfort and love,

Much Love,

Suz

Losing yourself

This is a different topic of post for me.  I’ve not posted about this before. 

I’ve posted about my babies, and about my jewellery.  Well, now I’m going to do a post about my Mum.  She is only young, in her 60’s.  She’s had a few memory problems over the years.  Writes everything down.  Several times sometimes.  Crosses things off as they happen.  Forgets what day it is.  Forgets how to tune the TV.  Late last year she forgot where she parked her car.  Gosh I’ve done that before!  She lost her wallet/handbag.  Twice in a few months.  Put it on the car and drove off.  She’s had ‘tests’ and they’ve said it was just age related stuff. 

Late last year there was the dentist.  Lots of stress over a procedure.  Financial stress also.  Confusion about what was happening.  Doing the same thing twice.  Three times.  Going in to pay, when she had already paid.  Losing credit cards.  Cutting up the new credit card cos she thought it was the lost one turned up.  Blamed it all on stress, once the dentist drama was over, it would all be fine again.

Lost her drivers licence.  She thought someone had stolen it.  Some more tests.  Specialist.  Diagnosis.  Dementia/Alzheimers.  Shock.  Looking back, not so much.  But at the time.  Huge shock.  Looking back, lots of things that we hadn’t noticed at the time. 

Diagnosis …. of losing yourself.  Losing yourself within yourself.  She got that diagnosis on 14/01/14.  The very same day my rainbow baby was born.  In fact she came straight from the Specialist after receiving that news, to visiting me and meeting her new grandson.  She didn’t tell me.  I didn’t know.  For a few days.  Then shock.  Sadness.  Very scared.  Denial.  Anger.  Disbelief.  More Anger.  She was going to lose herself.  But still be here.  For a while.  She wouldn’t know who we were.  Wouldn’t know her grandchildren.  And SHE KNOWS ITS HAPPENING.  She knows its going to happen.  She knows she is going to slowly lose her awareness of who she is.  I cant get my head around that. 

After the diagnosis, and with my newborn, lack of sleep, lots of different emotions for me as well … life did seem to return to ‘normal’ for a while.  Then, very quickly it seemed, she would visit.  Then not remember how to get home.  The place where she had lived independently for 20 odd years.  She wasn’t eating.  Loss of appetite is common.  She couldnt remember how to cook.  How to make a cup of tea.  So she didnt.  She didnt remember she didnt.  She kept getting lost.  It was very stressful for her.  She was very scared at what was happening.  It seemed to be happening so fast … after creeping up on us … DEMENTIA was here.  She had to stop driving.  Very difficult when you live 17kms out in the country by yourself. 

She wasn’t eating.  Or drinking.  Lost alot of weight.  Horrible delusions.   Admitted to hospital.  Tests.  Drugs.  Decisions.  Acceptance.  Denial.

Time to make the hard decisions.  Alot of family discussions.  Disagreements.  Specialists recommended Rest Home care.  SHE IS IN HER 60’s!!!  Its SO NOT FAIR I wanted to scream.  I want my MUM!!!  Eventually Acceptance again.  She accepted it.  She was scared to go home. 

Choosing a resthome.  OMG how do you decide?  How do you know what they are really like?  Nice people.  Genuine people.  Caring people.  That is what matters.  Her new home has that.  Really nice people.  She has settled in there well.  She doesnt have to worry about cooking, or bills, or getting lost.  She misses her animals, and her freedom.  She misses driving.  Even going for a walk by herself.  She misses not knowing.  She doesnt miss being scared of what she might do.  Or being scared she might run out of food.  Being scared she might forget something really important. 

But.  She is losing herself.  We have the same conversation.  Quite alot.  Its new to her.  But not to me.  She is trying to ‘live in the moment’, but sometimes its all too much and too scarey.  I am trying to do that too.  Sometimes its too hard to think too far in the future.  We do alot of ‘baby therapy’.  She loves that boy.  I do too.  He is a delight.  He is what is making both our lives – have light in  … and my 10 year old of course.  But in particular, the little rainbow, continued delight.  Continued hope.  We will create memories, even if they are only there for a short time.  We will still create them.  We will have happiness and love in the moment.  And repeat as necessary.  We will be there.  Be present.  Even when she is lost.  Even though I cant bear to think of that.  We will be there.

So … I am trying to raise awareness (and hopefully a little bit of money)… it is Alzheimers (Dementia) Awareness Month.  I’ve designed a little necklace, and for every one I sell, I’ll be donating $10 to Alzheimers NZ.

Forget Me Not pendant

Sunshine, Angels and Rainbows

Today we have sunshine.  I’m not sure if there is relevance in that or not.

I however have a Sunshine Baby.  Do you know what that is?  My Sunshine baby is my firstborn.  Born when I had no idea really that babies could die.  It was 2004 – of course they couldn’t.  It wasn’t something I had ever heard of people talking about.  Perhaps it happened to people because they had done something wrong, or because they had been in an accident.  At any rate, it didn’t happen to people like me, and I never considered the possibility.  I got past the ‘safe’ 12 week mark, and never had another thought about it.  My baby was born happy and safely and he is now 10 years old.

Well I have learnt something in that 10 years.  Babies can die.  Babies do die.  And its not because people may have done something wrong.  And its not because they have been in an accident.  Its just cos.  Babies can die, just cos.  Just cos of bad luck.  Just cos of a million different reasons, alot of which we will never know.  A lot of which we cannot prevent.  It sucks.  Its awful.  Its life changing.  Its forever.  It will never be ok.  People will try and tell you it will be ok.  But you know what?  It will never be ok that my baby died.  Ever.  Its just not ok.  How could it be?    Time will pass.  It will get easier.  Then it will get harder again.  You will learn to live with the fact.  But you will never understand why it had to happen to you, and it will never be ok.

Life isn’t all sunshine.  Sadly.  Once you realise this, you will never be the same.  If you are lucky enough to get pregnant again, pregnancy will never be the same.  It will be filled with questions, filled with terror, filled with the unknown.  You have lost your innocence because you know, that no matter how you try, and what you do, you cant always protect that little baby growing in your stomach.  You know, that babies die.  It fills your thoughts and consumes your mind.  Days can drag and weeks can drag.  You live moment by moment until you reach milestones.  There are many to reach.  12 weeks.  24 weeks.  28 weeks.  The gestation your baby died.  Every week over 30.  Full term.  Sometimes you have to take it minute by minute.  Sometimes if you are lucky you can live day to day.  Sometimes a week might even pass and suddenly you’ll be another week along.  Pregnancy after loss is a very difficult journey.  Birth after loss is a very difficult journey.  All you want is to hold that baby in your arms.

Then there is the Rainbows.  You love your rainbow like nothing on earth.  You feel guilty about this too.  You know you are experiencing things with your rainbow that you missed out on with your Angel.  That makes you sad.  But happy too because you do get to see your rainbow do these things.  Then guilty that you are happy.  Your rainbow makes you happy, and brings some light back into your life.  But its still not ok.  Sometimes it gets harder again.  Sometimes time passes and everything seems normal.  Then you realise time has passed and things have felt normal and you feel sad and guilty about that.  This is the new normal.  Where everything is confusing and mixed up and wrong, but there is also newfound happiness and joy.  But in that there is something missing.  Someone missing.  And there always will be.  Missing from Earth, but held tight in our hearts.

My Sunshine, Angel and Rainbow – all held in my heart.

I made this – for my babies.

Sunsine Angel Rainbow

Suz x

Fathers Day is coming up quickly – ideas and giveaways!

Well, Fathers Day will be upon us soon, here in New Zealand.

Less than a month to go.  It’s a busy time of year for me, along with Mothers Day of course. 

We don’t really do presents here, so probably breakfast cooked, and maybe a bag of licorice from the kids (his favourite).  And a sleep in, if he’s lucky!

I’ve got some great gift idea’s though, if you do do presents .. and if you love personalised presents then of course, they just might be for you.  I’d love to make them for my husband, but he has a keyring, and a necklace, 2 keyrings actually already, so not really any room for any more!

At any rate, if you’d like a wee look, here are some pic’s for you of some handstamped Fathers Day pressies.  Don’t forget to scroll right to the bottom – there’s a couple of links to GIVEAWAYS just for you guys!

Bottle Opener Keyrings – always popular with Dad!Print

If Dad’s a guitar player, how about a personalised guitar pick – comes in a pouch, and its a keyring too!

Ashleigh guitar pick

This one is also a keyring – its a golf ball marker – how cool is that !

Amanda P

Cufflinks are always a great idea if Dad wears suits … and personalised ones are even better!

Personalised cufflinks

Is your Dad a superhero ?  How bout checking out my Superhero range ?

Superheros

Stainless steel notes – a permanent note to tell Dad how much you love him (or anything else you’d like him to remember!)

Note Stainless STeel

Here’s another keyring – can be any quote – but I kinda like the Zombie one .. heartfelt, but funny!

Brass Spiral Keyring

This keyring has a more serious quote.

Aluminium Spiral Keyring

And always a favourite amongst the guys – dog tags.

Dog tag pendants1

Well, that was a selection of a few things I have on offer for Dad’s this Fathers Day … I hope you and your Dad, or your kiddies Daddy’s all have a wonderful day, and get to spend some quality time together, because, presents aside – that is really what Fathers Day is all about.  If you dont see your Dad often – dont forget to just let him know you love him!

Click my logo to visit my website!

KJdesigns

Oh and hey – I’ve got a Fathers Day giveaway going on at the moment: Click the image below to be magically transported to the page on my website to enter!  Closes 21 August 2014

Fathers Day Giveaway

AND – one more thing – here’s another AMAZING giveaway – only for NEW ZEALANDERS – but the prize pool is huge $1800 – some really cool prizes up for grabs – including a bow and arrow set – and $100 worth of KJdesigns goodies!

  ULTIMATE Fathers Day Giveaway

Good luck if you enter the giveaways !!!! And Thank You for reading.

Suz :)