Thursday, 30 December 2010

Tough times

Life throws some stuff at you and as always we take it in the chin, do what we have to do and move on. Aleksi's type 1 Diabetes was a big smack in the face but we picked ourselves up and carried on with our good life. Now I have been hit straight between the eyes by a bloody great big wrecking ball and now I am in the process of getting back up onto my feet, slowly dusting off the chaos and trying to continue with our good life.
 5 days before Christmas( typical bad timing!) I was told I have a tumour in my Right Hip - top of my thigh bone to be precise. Oh shit I said  - Yes exactly said the doctor on the phone, as I hovered over the frozen peas. Yes I was in the middle of the supermarket - damn mobile phones, never ring at a convenient place or time!
So now I sit here waiting to find out if it is simply a pain in the backside(groin actually) tumour or one that is out to get me. I am gently glowing from all the x rays and CT scans and the hole in my hip is healing from where they took a bone sample.
Life however continues pretty much as normal - kids to feed, washing to be done,  bags to pack for our trip to Lapland - no skiing for me, I will content myself with photographing and videoing the Kids and Olli on the slopes. Work will have to take a back seat for the moment, but I could do with a break after a busy December.
I will know more in a couple of weeks and I will of course keep you updated as things unfold, my dear blogger friends.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Sugar bolus winner

Thank you for all your comments for my first sugar bolus - I will be back! (to quote Arnie!)

I must also thank Odile at Wooly Fabulous for her lovely contribution too!

So the winner is...........

Number 24 - sorry couldn't work out how to get the random number box on here, but dear husband checked the result.
  So well done to Hallie from The princess and the pump!

So Hallie please e mail me  - - within the next 48 hours and your goodies will be on their way!  If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.

Now I will hand you over to Racheal for Christmas Sugar bolus - the next one!!

Finally Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

My turn for the Sugar bolus!

        I have been following these wonderful 'giveaways' for a couple of months now and felt it was my turn to be the 'giver awayer'! (Great English I know, but making up words is fun!)
This weeks winner will be receiving 2 packages in the mail, most certainly after Christmas now, but won't it be great to open a parcel in dull boring January!
        Firstly I have to thank Odile also known as Wooly Fabulous for donating the first gift. Please check out her amazing work on Flickr. She will be sending the winner a wonderful handmade heart brooch similar to the one pictured. Just lovely isn't it? Odile  is also a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes. Huge thanks again to you Odile!

                          Secondly the winner will receive a parcel of all things Finnish! I won't give away too much but see what you can spot in the photo!
 I have also included some of my handmade needle felted Christmas decorations ,made in my workshop housing my  small business known as FeltFinland.  They  will be a little late for this year but think of them as your first Christmas gift of next year!! 

 So onto the rules and regulations as so beautifully put by Wendy
● Leave me a comment before midnight on Thursday 23rd December. Please include your first name. Comments left without a name will be eliminated.
● To earn extra entries (post a separate comment for each):
       ● Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Then, leave me an additional comment. 
       ● Share a link to this contest on Facebook. Then, leave me an additional
          comment to let me know.
       ● Blog about this contest. Then, leave me an additional comment containing
          a link to your blog.

● No duplicate comments are allowed. Duplicate comments will be eliminated.
● Winners will be selected via random draw at
● Winners' names will be posted here on this blog on Friday 24th December
● After winners' names are posted, the winner will have 48 hours to send a message to me at If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
Finally sending you all warm Christmas wishes and here's to a fun, busy and hopefully 'uncomplicated' 2011!!
Amanda x

Monday, 13 December 2010

Alternate Christmas Greetings!

To all those little d people, D Mums and Dads, fellow bloggers - Ho Ho Ho!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Pre Christmas rush

The Christmas fair is behind me and now I am doing some last minute orders, play food - done and posted, 20 christmas decorations - done and awaiting collection, A hamburger(don't ask!) - starting Monday, A collection of woodland animals - after the burger. So no feet up with coffee and a good book just yet!
Also next week I have the privilege to be hosting the weekly Sugar Bolus - this week is being hosted by Nicole at The We Cara Lot blog. Don't forget to come back here next Friday 17th - my turn!!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Half a century, not out!

I sit here contemplating my last day of being 40 'something'. Tomorrow shuffles in the age of the big F ( said with a big F too!!)  How will you be celebrating I hear you ask - working is the answer - smiling at the public and willing them to buy my creations ( think of the money!) Such is life!!
Time for a little reflection of the past 50 years  I think - watch this blog!
Happy Birthday me!
Might need one of these!

Monday, 29 November 2010

A little chilly!

Well actually it is b#**¤y freezing! I know we live in Finland but it doesn't usually get this cold until at least January - currently minus 15 degrees C and falling. I wouldn't mind so much but on Thursday I start Day 1 of a 5 day craft fair in Helsinki - Naisten Messut at Wanha Satama, Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th December, if you are in town! So lots of standing at bus and tram stops to get to the venue, leave in the dark, get home in the dark. Also to boot I will be working on my Birthday!
Actually I am looking forward to it very much - I have a good stash to sell, usually good company from other vendors and lots of enthusiastic people looking for Christmas gifts. Minus 5 degress would be OK!!!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

In case of emergency

Break Glass! Not guaranteed for low blood sugar though!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

3 years ago

Something changed. Not something I would wish on anyone but it happened. It does. Type 1 Diabetes entered our lives and is here to stay. Have we changed? Yes , but in a positive way  I think. I have always been a great believer in living each day to the full - even more so now. We will not hold back  because of Diabetes.
I cannot spend each day waiting for the worst to happen as I know it can. Perhaps 20 years of working in hospitals with sick people has hardened me a little.
 I have 2 amazing children, a wonderful husband, the best Mum and Dad plus 2 brothers and their great families. Would I change anything? Probably not - This is who we are now. Having said that a cure would be the best thing ever, not for me but for my son.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

World Diabetes Day 14.11.2010

This is for my son and ALL those affected by Type 1 Diabetes - we need a cure.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

D Blog day - my 6 things I would like you to know

 In honor of D Blog are 6 things I want the world to know about Diabetes :-
  • We did nothing 'wrong' to cause A's Diabetes. A mix of genetics, enviromental factors and just sod's law caused this autoimmune disease.
  • For type 1 Diabetes the only treatment is Insulin. Insulin in too larger doses can kill. There is a fine line between too much and not enough sometimes and we often don't get it right. Not through lack of trying though!
  • Yes he can eats sweets, ice cream, biscuits - I just need to know the carbohydrate content of everything he eats and calculate the right dose of insulin ( see point 2)
  • Diabetes affects everyone in the family -A, Mum, Dad, Big sister, Grandma's and Grandad.....
  • .....Yes Diabetes is in our life but it is not our life - we will do anything and everything as before, but with an extra suitcase for all his supplies.
  • We would like a cure please.

Don't forget World Diabetes Day on 14th November - we will be doing the Big Blue test. Will you?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


I don't make hats but when my daughter smiled and asked nicely for a hat, for her Halloween party at school , how could I say no! As my children share my obsession with little green men the subject matter was obvious. It was Halloween after all!
Here it is as it was drying in the sauna. As it is now November, long grey days, dark by 4.30pm , my chances of a good photograph are nil!
 So in the sauna it is!

Here's hoping your Halloween celebrations went smoothly ( and without scary blood sugar numbers!) Boo!

Sunday, 31 October 2010


It doesn't take much nowadays to make me happy - seeing that lovely 5.5 blood glucose reading at 11 o'clock at night, watching my children confidently heading off for a day at school, that first sip of my mid morning coffee and that satisfaction at finishing another felt creation.
Today I felt as though I had hit the jackpot! There is no doubt that winter is fast approaching here in Finland. The winter tyres are on and the car heaters plugged in. It also means winter jackets and trousers and the dreaded winter boots. Growing children mean rapidly growing feet so with fera and trepidation I made the children try on last years winter boots - 2 sets, one set for cold, wet snow and one set for very cold dry snow. They all fit! That is 200 euros we have saved - now that makes me so happy!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Head down,must felt!

My first Christmas order is done and now in Japan - how exciting is that! I work well when I have a deadline, can't beat a bit of pressure. Now I am counting down to early December when I will be at a 5 day Craft fair. First I need to take stock, literally and then a bit of planning and making a good old list of things to do.

Roll on Christmas! We have had our first snow already - didn't stay long but those first few inches of snow always look stunnung!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Have pump will travel!

Our first flight with the pump!(off to the UK for my Dad's 80th birthday!) I have packed spares, extra spares and just in case of disaster spares. I have you never know you might need it stuff, carbs, extra carbs and help I need carbs. I don't think I have forgotten anything but just in case I am checking my list for the twenty sixth time. I now have to explain to my dear daughter why her hand luggage looks like a mobile pharmaceutical supplies unit( just the perfect size bag!)
Just need to do one last check...............

Monday, 4 October 2010


Well a slightly better name than roadkill, which as my dear husband pointed out this little lot look like! Since doing my course with Brigitte Krag Hansen in May I have been scouring the internet for raw fleece. You never quite know what you are going to get but I have had a few good buys from Etsy and E bay. Thankfully the glorious summer we had made washing wool a breeze and from those great piles of wooly fluff these little dears appeared. Meet the Splat Family.

From top right, Sauli, Simo, Saila, Sid, Suvi and Seppo - most who have gone to new homes.
I have been lucky enough to find some new raw fleeces which are drying in the sauna at the moment so some new Splats will be appearing soon. They are really fun to make and each seems to have their own dazed expression - wouldn't you if you had been squashed! Well and truly splatted!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Little Sami

This project has been on my To Do list for a year or so at least. Now I had a reason and a subject - my dear neighbours 40th birthday.  It was an interesting process, once I had got the hang of constructing the head and face it went very well. The body and in particular the arms seemed harder work! I am not sure I would repeat the project - of course if the money was right!!!!
 So here is little Sami

Monday, 20 September 2010

Low on the go.

Rush out the house, need to buy birthday present. A looks peaky, check blood sugar, 2.8(50) - not ideal! Into supermarket - it's tasting day. Saved!! 4 bread chunks, 2 pieces of pineapple and 2 mini cups of coke - low sorted.  Hurray for free food!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Hey NASA/MI5, need help?

As I staggered, lurched, crawled out of bed at 1.00am this morning, the chimes of Big Ben ringing in my head ( courtesy of my I pod alarm), I managed to avoid kicking the cat, standing on the small toy car parked conveniently in the bedroom door way and destroying the carefully laid out tea party for the Littlest Pet shop hamster.
It got better. Torch in mouth, glasses on, I quietly opened and shut the very loud top on the test strip bottle, inserted said strip the correct way into the blood sugar meter, muffling the very loud beep it makes when you do that.
  I then managed to wrestle a hand out that was well and truly buried in the duvet, select a finger that looked the cleanest, click and clunk the blood letter and dip the small end of the test strip into the smallest dot of blood.
Time for more deft pump programming, bolus for the high and then a quick bit of button pressing to set a temp basal to run through til morning.
Job done in 3 minutes, back to bed and no one even stirred, not even the cat!
Impressive or what!!!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Back to work!

Kids back to school, me back to work - Hurray! Aliens have been flying off the production line, ready to go to the Astronomy shop in Helsinki, Alnilam. We have had fun naming them all, names beginning with J - easy in Finland! So may I introduce Johannes, Julia, Jaakko, Joonas and Jussi to name a few!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Lowest of lows!

We saw this the other day - I picked my jaw back of the floor to see A bouncing happily on the sofa - not so low then!
Another test revealed the more pleasing number of 5.1 - breathe again.
Another big hurdle came and went today,uneventfully I am happy to say - his first day in First grade - that great milestone we all pass. His blood sugars were perfect dare I say and now he is crashed out watching TV on the sofa(having done his homework!) Bring on day 2!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Things we do for love

Like standing in the supermarket with my all important piece of paper,
studying barcodes on small packets of Lego!
Oh yes, mad as it may sound but it has saved us time, money and the frustration of getting 5 the same. I am talking about Lego minifigures - we love them!  Great pocket money buys and good(dare I say it) bribes!

Here is one of our many mutants - a zombie headed, ninja hatted wrestler on one ski, singing karaoke!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Calm before the storm

Sunday afternoon. 30 degrees C, kids running around the garden, adults chatting and enjoying the sunshine. We had a small party to celebrate my 49 3/4 birthday! December is not a good time to have a birthday in Finland - grey, dark. cold and I am usually working at one of the Christmas fairs.
We had a great afternoon and a big thank you to all my dear friends and famiy for their gifts and good wishes.

A few hours later just as we were sitting down at the end of the day all hell broke loose. My Mum took this photo of the storm front.

Within minutes the sky went black, the wind roared, lightening flashed and the heavens opened. My Dad and Olli just managed to rescue the tent whilst I ran and grabbed umbrellas, chairs and anything else that threatened to fly away.  It was spectacular to say the least!
Here is a link to a video on You tube that someone took on a beach near Helsinki and yes it did happen that quickly -

Saturday, 31 July 2010


Someone stole MY bike! My lovely comfy bike that I have pedalled hundreds if not thousands of miles on. Together we have pedalled from John O'Groats to Lands End, Bordeaux to Barcelona, London to Brighton twice, London to Suffolk in the dark and through endless back streets and parks in London as I went to work. OK she was old, 19 to be exact(I even have the original receipt!) but she was MY bike and I will miss her. No it wasn't locked and yes I know it should have been but the fact that someone walked up to the front of our house last night and took her has made me quite angry and a bit sad. Lesson learned.
 August 1994, me and my bike at John O'Groats(no grey hair then!!)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Mad dogs and Englishlady

Go out orienteering for a whole week in temperatures hovering around 35 degrees C! Yes even in Finland it can get that hot. Also said englishlady was the only one in the family to get soaked in the massive storm whilst walking to the start of the last day of orienteering, which by the way went very well! We also learnt this week that insulin and 35degree C heat is not a great combination - hence a string of numbers in the 20's, not seen for an age! Finally I have to say a huge thank you to the wonderful child care facility provided at the Fin5 orienteering event near Imatra. As good fortune would have it one of the carers had a young son with Type 1 Diabetes. A was in good hands. We were able to go orienteer knowing he would be fine - Thank you Nora.
Home again and load number 248 done in the washing machine( well 7 at least!). Not content with smelly clothes washing I also washed a load of wool, the weather was perfect, sunny with a breeeze. So now I have some lovely clean wool to look forward to creating with.Can't wait!

Friday, 9 July 2010

From the hard stuff to the soft stuff.

Lego, lego everywhere and what fun we had! We had a really very pleasant drive through Sweden and Denmark and then spent 2 busy hot days at Legoland. The hotel was perfect, right next to the park, lego everywhere to build and excellent food. Yay, no cooking! Needless to say we came home with a car load of lego, squeezed in along side the duty free!! Now it's home to do the washing and I had hoped a bit of felting, perhaps planning for Christmas. Weird I know in the middle of a summer heatwave but time zooms along. However we are off to do a bit of orienteering first at the Finnish 5 day event near Imatra, Eastern Finland. Thankfully it is near our summer cottage, so swims in the lake and wood fueled saunas after a hot days running in the woods.
So with luck I may get to dive into the soft stuff and get creating again in a weeks time. The hard stuff is here to stay - we almost have enough lego to build the garden shed we so desperately need!
Of course Diabetes gets a quick mention, hurray for the pump, hurray for easy bolusing those enormous ice creams, hurray for getting most of our carb calculations right. OK we had the odd - oops where did that number come from but generally Diabetes behaved itself.
Mmmm - I wonder if  I could make a pancreas from Lego.................

Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Glorious weather, warm water in the lake, long evenings and 3 generations of the Mononen family all make for a wonderful midsummer. Of course diabetes came along too but generally behaved. I did discover however that sand and quick sets don't mix and it is a good idea to take off the (rather expensive) pump when A goes off fishing with his Dad on the lake!
 We found a safe spot for the pump on a birch tree next to the lake, whilst the kids messed about in the warm water.

We fished and we celebrated Midsummer with the traditional bonfire, despite the hundreds of mosquitoes!!!

Now I am tackling the usual humungous pile of washing and doing all the chores that need to be done.......
On a side note, for some reason this made me smile and I am sure to some of you reading this you will smile too. I doubt too many people have their alarm clocks set up like this!
Sleep well!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Think big!

2 metres by 1.5 metres to be exact, shrinking to a mere 1.88m by 1.44, after 5 hours of almost non stop rolling. Drain pipe, bubble wrap , bamboo blind, old sheet, 3 kilos of wet wool , all held together with old tights. I made a mat, not a dinky door mat, a whopping big mat and boy do my back and arm muscles know it.
I have posted a series of photos on flickr ! I collect it tomorrow,then I have the task of getting it dry and then finding a new home for it. It was a local course and it was brilliant. I'll be back again next year!

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Sorry blog and bloggers for neglecting you all. I do have a huge long list of excuses..........
May flew by far to fast. It seem to be consumed by health issues, all good though. A's pump is ticking along nicely, yes we have had disconnections at night, ripped tubing at the summer cottage, air bubbles when you shouldn't have air bubbles, highs and lows, frantic phone calls from school - but all in all it is great!
  I have even managed some felting and I will do a post about the fabulous course I did a month ago(already!). I have been making gifts for school teachers and day care staff, end of term this week(already!).That's another post!
Not one to sit still too long I am also taking another felting course locally. I am making a floor mat, just a mere 2 metres by 1.5 metres. I have been weight training! I have just made some prefelt which I now have to cut into 5x10 cms rectangles, about 150 I reckon. Next week I have 2 evenings to put it all together and will then spend the weekend, rocking and rolling with gallons of hot soapy water and a heavy pile of wet wool! Exciting!!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

3 demons

I have 3 demons sitting on my shoulders at the moment all telling me different things , all pulling me in different directions. Firstly is wool, begging me to create something from it, pleading to be made into one of the many ideas floating around my head. Secondly we have insulin, teasing me and getting me to guess what will happen next. Finally we have sleep, beckoning at the times when I should be doing a multitude of useful chores and even some work(see wool).
I'm not quite sure who is top dog at the moment, certainly not me!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

B, Act, Esc

Not some new weird language, just the buttons we now have to press many times a day on A's new insulin pump. It is now day 3 and so far so good!
A, amazingly, has taken it all in his stride as 6 year olds do. My husband and I have a new friend in the 'telephone book sized' pump user manual! We have new words in our vocabulary now too - basal, sensor,bolus, quick set and shunker(the thing that 'shunks' in the new quick set). Actually it is almost like a new weird language!

Life goes on!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Adventure time!

We have a busy week ahead, well more busy than usual! I am off to Copenhagen to do a weekend felting course with Birgitte Krag Hansen. I am so looking forward to it! On the flip side today we go get A's new insulin pump along with a shed load of information prior to us checking into the hospital 9am Monday morning. We then spend 3 days being taught the ways of the pump! Our next step or it feels more like a giant leap in this 'adventure' called Type 1 Diabetes.....

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Aliens in Helsinki!

Not the latest news headlines but just a little announcement to say that my Aliens have taken up residence in a wondeful little astronomy shop in Helsinki. Anu from Alnilam is now selling my aliens in her shop on Lönnrotinkatu 15. Please pop in to say hi and give an alien a new home!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Our other life.

A place where wellies are essential and at this time of year, long johns and lots of layers are required. A place where we have to drill a hole in the lake for water to wash with. A place where important chores take priority - shovelling a path through the snow,filling the log baskets, lighting the fires, heating the water, warming the sauna. A place where fun is fishing through little holes drilled in to the frozen lake, racing across the ice on Grandma's old kick sledge, Easter egg hunts in the snow and rain!

I love our other life - it makes me grateful for things we take so much for granted - running water, flushing toilets, central heating. But there is something special about having to work quite hard to achieve basic things like hot water and heating. I love the lake - we caught lots of tiddlers but nothing worth eating! We are already planning our first fishing trip once the ice has melted. I think it may be a little while before it is warm enough for a post sauna dip - depends on how brave we are feeling!

Here is our water supply - only for washing us and the dishes!

So back home to all mod cons, school, work. I need to get busy on the Alien front - but more about them in my next post......

Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Guess who has just got back from a trip to the UK?

Mmm can't imagine why!!!!!(Maybe it was the chocolate, Marmite, cheese, Easter eggs............)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A break?

My Spring craft fair is done and now maybe the felting pressure is off for a few weeks. It will be nice to do some wet felting and other projects/experiments. I really like making my little creatures especially the Aliens as I know they sell and sell well, important if you are running a business. However it is nice to be able to do some creating for my pleasure not just for profit!!

Some of the latest inmates, most of whom have new homes now!

Seat pads for the garden chairs(when summer eventually arrives!)

Finally my latest felting in a jar creations! Aleksi made the little mushroom in the pot(with a little Mummy help!)