About Me

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Isle of Bute, West Coast of Scotland, United Kingdom
Too old to be a rock chick, so I'm the hippy hen! Womb cancer survivor and founder of Womb Cancer Support UK, a national cancer support and awareness organisation.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Off to meet Santa on Saturday.

Well, I've been busy over the past few weeks sorting out my stash of goodies and have parcelled up and sent items to various good causes that I support.

I sent a parcels of items to AMMF as there will probably be some of their supporters holding Xmas fundraising events and they will pass them on to them and I also sent a box of goodies to Rainbow Valley as there is a fundraising event being held this Saturday 26th Nov in Glasgow to help raise funds for them.


If you are in Glasgow then why not pop along and support this great cause.

I held my final online sale a couple of weeks ago and raised over £300 which will be added to my total raised throughout the year for AMMF and WCSUK. The total raised will be split between these 2 good causes as the end of the year. Total currently stands at £554.50.


Also this Saturday I am at a local event  here on Bute. I shall be selling my items to help raise funds for our local dialysis unit group who are trying to raise £300,000 to get a dialysis unit here on the island. At present, any patients requiring dialysis have to travel to the mainland 3 times a week which is a tough thing to have to do when you are seriously ill.

So fingers crossed that there is a good turnout and everyone has a good time. I hear that Father Christmas will be there so I must remember to be a good girl!!!


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Did someone mention Christmas?

If you know me, then you know that we don't "do" Christmas! Apart from the fact that we're not religious, neither myself or my husband are into all the commercialism and materialistic crap that goes with it. Far too much money and natural resources wasted on just one day so for the past 20+ years we haven't bothered.

25th December is just like any other day in our house. On Christmas days here on the island, before I was diagnosed,  we used to go out for a long walk on the day. For the past 7 years we've just spent the day doing the same as we usually do - which isn't much very exciting!!

Having one of my regular sort outs recently I cam across a few packs of card blanks that I've had for ages and never got round to using and before you know it, I was making Christmas cards!!!!

Now, don't get too excited - I've not converted and come over all festive!!! I'm going to be donating them to one of my good causes  - sending out Christmas cards is another thing we don't do either.

So, if you see me covered in glitter and sequins then you'll know what's been happening. Hopefully I won't enjoy this creative process too much otherwise it might become an annual event!!!

Bah, humbug!! xxx

Monday, 3 October 2016

The end is nigh - well not quite!!!

If you read my last post then will remember that I had been reported to the DWP for allegedly benefiting from my fundraising activities! The allegation was made anonymously via the DWP fraud-line and my husband was called into our local job centre for an interview.

Thankfully they accepted that it was a malicious allegation and no further action is being taken but it made me so angry that I decided to stop fundraising for the charities and good causes I support.

However, after having time to think about it, if I do that then that means that the nasty person who reported me has won (and the charities and good causes are the loosers) so I have come up with an alternative solution.

I am still making my jewellery and other items but am now sending them directly to the organisations I support for them to sell or pass on to other people who are fundraising for them. That way I am still supporting the good causes close to my heart but can no have the finger pointed at me for benefiting from what I do.

I sent off a box full of handmade goodies to AMMF earlier this year and will be sending them another one in the run up to Xmas and have recently sent a box of items to Dr Hadwens Trust who are the UK's leading non animal research charity. They have a charity shop in Hitchen and I sent the items there for them to resell.




As well as some of my handmade jewellery and accessories there was also some of Terry's artwork which he very kindly donated.

Hopefully it will help raise some pennies for the great work that Dr Hadwens do.

Still got lots of handmade goodies left so will be parcelling up some more in the coming weeks. I'm not about to let some nasty, spiteful person stop me raising funds for the organisations that are close to my heart.

Kaz xx

Saturday, 6 August 2016

The end is nigh......sadly.

Well, thanks to some nasty vindictive lowlife my fundraising efforts will shortly cease.
I have apparently been reported to the DWP for benefiting from what I do and my husband was called into the local job centre on Thursday for what he believed was a routine interview.
The woman immediately started talking about me and what I do with Womb Cancer Support UK (WCSUK) and my other fundraising activities and said that an anonymous call had been made to the DWP fraudline saying that I was profiting from the money I raised.
Thankfully hubby knows enough about what I do to be able to explain to her and she accepted his explanation and said no further action would be taken.

When he came back home and told me what had happened I think you can guess my reaction. I have always been totally open about what I do; I keep records of everything and have always donated 100% of proceeds to the charity or good causes concerned.
To suggest that I have been somehow profiting out of what I do with WCSUK made me so angry. I have spent the last 5+ years working so hard to raise awareness of womb cancer and support women who have been diagnosed whilst dealing with the long term side effects of my own womb cancer diagnosis and treatment. I raise funds not only to support the awareness campaign that we run but also for various other good causes and have raised a few thousand pounds over the past 6 years for Macmillan; CRUK and many other charities etc.

I have taken the decision therefore to stop selling my handmade items which ultimately means that all the various charities and good causes I support will no longer benefit. The woman from the DWP said that if I was reported again, which is highly likely if the person concerned is as nasty and vindictive as they would appear, then they would have to investigate again and the assessor may not be so willing to accept the explanation next time.

WCSUK has and always will be my priority and I will not let anything harm what I do there. I have had some wonderful messages of support from the women in the chat group and other friends and I will continue to do what I believe to be the right thing.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Midsummer madness

Well, July us almost at an end - where has this year gone?

Already seeing posts on FB for "whispers" - Christmas!!!!!

Not been doing much crafting lately - mostly due to ill health but I do have the occasional burst of creativity and manage to make a few things.

Been using up some of my stash of beads so have been making lots of beaded bracelets. These will be packed up later on and sent off to AMMF for them to pass onto others who are doing fundraising events.



Made quite a few bracelets but you can't see where I've been in the stash of beads!!!! Guess I need to make some more!!

The total of sales made so far this year is £187.50 which of course will be split at the end of the year between AMMF and WCSUK.

The womb cancer auction will be at the end of September - already have some items in the album which you can see here

See you soon.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Where is summer?

Well, July has arrived but sadly summer seems to have got lost somewhere.
The weather up here on west coast of Scotland has been more like November than June and July.
The sun is trying to shine today - in between the heavy showers!!!

Sadly, there isn't much to talk about really as sales have been very slow - mainly due to FB not showing posts. Post reach is down to single figures on most posts despite me having nearly 800 likers. Getting a but depressed to be honest so I can understand how some of the small businesses are feeling.
Not made a sale since the end of May now so the amount of money that I'm raising for AMMF and WCSUK is looking a bit disappointing. Hopefully things will pick up towards the end of the year.

Found a stash of lovely handmade focal beads that I hadn't found a use for so have turned them into some funky pendants with some suede effect tassels that I bought for something else. Quite pleased with the results.




You can find these and the others on the FB page

I am also sorting things out for the next auction which will be for womb cancer and will be at the end of September. Already have some lovely items listed - you can check the album out here 
Hopefully we have a few more donated items to come so am looking forward to adding them soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Waste not, want not!!

I hate waste, especially if it can be avoided.

Sometimes crafting can be a bit of a tricky ground as the craft supply industry seems intent on getting us to buy more and more stuff.

However, I like to try and re-use as much as possible or at least find new uses for things whenever I can.

Since making the fabric flower brooches, I'd collected a bag of fabric scraps that were not big enough to use for the flowers but I didn't want to throw them out.

Trying to find something to do with them was taxing my brain slightly - I'm not particularly interested in sewing. Making the flowers was really the extent of my sewing capabilities so I needed to find something else.

Eventually I found something suitable - so am happy now to announce that I am making fabric covered buttons!!!!
OK, maybe not worth a fanfare but I'm quite pleased with them and at least its a bit less fabric ending up in the bin.

You can find them for sale here

At the moment they come in two sizes but I will add some other sizes if they prove popular.

As always proceeds will be going to my 2 good causes AMMF and WCSUK


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Fancy a bargain bit of bling??

Been busy making lots of stuff again over the past couple of weeks and then suddenly realised just how much stuff I have just waiting for new homes!!!

Guess my mojo has been working overtime recently so I have decided to have a 24 hour flash sale again this weekend so raise some more money for AMMF and Womb Cancer Support UK.

The sale runs from 6pm Saturday to 6pm Sunday and everything is £5 or under so there will be lots of bargains to be had. Great way to stock up on gifts or even just treat yourself to something nice for all those lovely summer outfits you'll be wearing in this heatwave we are going to have this summer!!

The sale will be run on Facebook here and items will be listed during the 24 hours so keep popping back for a look.

Have a nice Bank Holiday weekend (although technically its not a BH here in Scotland) and I hope the weather is nice for you.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Project Declutter

Over the past few weeks hubby and I have been having a major clear out.
A combination of too much stuff and a very small flat has meant that we have had to be pretty ruthless and get rid of a lot of stuff.
The fact that I do a lot of different craft stuff and hubby likes to paint and therefore has a lot of art related stuff means that our tiny flat is bursting at the seams so it was time to bite the bullet!
I set up a FB page specifically for all our junk - I mean precious stash of goodies!!
Quite a lot has sold but there is still some stuff left if you are interested. Why not pop over and have a look here
As is usually the case, you can't see where the stuff has gone from. The flat seems just as cluttered as it was beforehand!!
Never mind, at least its forced us to have a good sort out and I even came across some stuff that I had forgotten about!!
Happy Spring Cleaning!!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

It's a struggle!

Well, if you run a page on Facebook you have probably noticed by now that they have been tinkering about with things yet again!!

This is the latest in a long line of so called improvements but in reality it is nothing of the sort.

Facebook seem determined to do as much as they can to limit post reach and therefore are trying to force page owners to pay to get their posts seen by people who have liked the page.

I think its totally out of order and is hurting an awful lot of small businesses.

I have 747 likers on my page yet my post reach has been as low as 4 on 2 separate occasons over the past few days. Even accounting for posting at different times of the day, my post reach rarely reaches double figures.

This was evident during the recent online auction I ran last month when there were hardly any bids because people were not seeing any of the posts.

It has got to the point now where I am wondering if it's worth being on FB.

As some of you know, I make and sell my items to raise funds for charity and good causes. As a result of these FB changes I have hardly made any sales this year so far - quite simply because no one is seeing any of my posts. This is very frustrating, not lease because it means that the good causes are loosing out on funds.

I recently contacted AMMF, who are the charity I raise funds for, and asked if they knew of any fundraisers who would be interested in some handmade items to sell at events. They replied that they accepted items and then passed them onto people who were holding fundraising events for them so I sent them a big parcel of goodies which they were very grateful for.

I think this is what I will be doing from no on. I'll make the items; post details on the FB page so people can see what I'm making and then parcel them up and send them onto AMMF so they can pass them on. They will still be getting the money - which is all that matters really.

I shall still do my online auction for AMMF each March in Mom's memory but there doesn't seem much point in trying to sell stuff via FB if no one is seeing any of the posts.

So over the next few weeks I shall be taking stuff off my FB page and parcelling some more goodies up for AMMF.

Have the FB changes affected you in anyway. Let me know in the comments section below as I'd be interested to hear from others.

Kaz

Saturday, 2 April 2016

AMMF Auction Total

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I held an online auction to raise funds for AMMF, the UK's only cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) charity.

Well, almost all the money has come in now - just waiting for one last cheque to arrive, so I can reveal that the amount raised from the auction was £164.00. There was also £45.00 in cash donations in lieu of donations so that means that the final total is £209.00.

Am really pleased and will paying the money over to AMMF once the final cheque arrives and clears.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated items for the auction and who bid on the items and also to those who donated cash.

I know AMMF are very grateful for all funds that are raised for them and they do amazing work so I am very happy to support them.

I'm still selling handmade items via my FB page, however proceeds from these sales are being split 50/50 between AMMF and Womb Cancer Support UK, which is the womb cancer support and awareness organisation I set up in April 2011. The money raised will help pay for the printing and posting of womb cancer awareness leaflets.

Hope you all had a nice Easter.

Catch you soon.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Auction for Mom

Well, my 3rd auction for AMMF ended yesterday (Tue 22nd March) and I have to say that I am slightly disappointed at the amount raised, which was around £150.

Despite me posting frequently about it on FB it seems that many people did not see the posts (thanks FB!) and so were unaware that the auction was running. Of the 67 items in the auction, many of them handmade and donated by lovely, generous people, only 33 had any bids on.

I know that every penny will make a difference and that AMMF will be grateful for the amount raised but I wish it could have been so much more.

So I'm feeling very disheartened. Monday would have been Mom's 80th Birthday and I so wanted to raise a decent sum of money in her memory but it wasn't to be.

I think I'm going to have to have a good think about whether or not to do anymore auctions on FB - it just doesn't seem to be working anymore as they keep changing things and making it harder for people to see posts.

Even using the many networking pages that there are on FB doesn't seem to make any difference.

Thankfully, I've discovered that AMMF are happy to accept items that are sent to them that they then distribute to people who are holding raffles and tombola's etc to raise funds for them so I can send some items to them and they will still benefit that way. So I guess it's a win-win situation.

Anyway, hopefully those who did bid in the auction will like their items when they arrive in the post although I forgot it was Easter this weekend so some may not arrive until after the holiday. Guess we can blame the delay on the Easter bunny!!



Friday, 11 March 2016

A little bit about me.

Just in case you don’t know the background to why buteartism exists then I thought I’d fill you in on the details.

I have always enjoyed crafting and have done it for many years. It was a hobby that used to run riot and times and I was always wanting to try something different. Which was ok when we used to live in a 2 bedroomed house but now we live in a small 2 room flat,  it’s not practical to do half the stuff I used to do.

I was diagnosed back at the end of Dec 2009 with womb cancer and once I’d had my hysterectomy I began to put my hobby to good use by starting to make and sell items to raise funds for Macmillan. I was lucky to have a wonderful Macmillan nurse and it was my way of being able to pay something back for the help and support she gave me. I must have been the only cancer patient in the country who took jewellery pliers and beads to treatment appointments!!

Since then I have raised money for various charities and good causes by either selling items myself and donating the proceeds or donating items directly for raffle prizes, auctions and tombola’s etc. Some of the good causes I have donated to include Cefni German Shepherd Rescue; Cystic Fibrosis;  CRUK; and a few local places here on the island.

Currently I am raising funds for AMMF, which is the UK’s only Cholangiocarcinoma charity. CC, or bile duct cancer, is the cancer that my Mom died from in Dec 2013 and they are the main beneficiary of the money I raise now.

I am holding an online auction on Facebook next week and hope to be able to donate another large sum of money to AMMF from that. Have raised almost £1000 so far and would be nice to break that  target and set another one.

I sell my items via my buteartism page on Facebook and have just set up a new twitter account as my personal twitter was getting a bit cluttered with craft stuff so I thought it best to have a separate account.

So please come on over and have a look at the various goodies on the Facebook page and join me on twitter.

All proceeds from sales go the good causes – throughout 2016 they are being split 50/50 between AMMF and Womb Cancer Support UK, which is the national womb cancer support and awareness organisation I run. The money raised will be used to fund the printing and distribution of womb cancer awareness leaflets.
Doing all this in-between struggling to cope with my health issues that I've been left with as a result of my cancer treatment is a struggle but at least it keeps my brain active!!

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Shiver me timbers!!!

Blimey, it's been bitterly cold up here on the west coast for a few days now. The artic winds are blowing but thankfully we haven't had any snow on the island.

Ferries have been off again today and probably will be again tomorrow judging by the weather forecast.

Our heating has been going on around lunchtime and its taking ages to get the flat warm. Roll on summer that's all I can say!.

February is cholangiocarcinoma month - what's that I hear you say! Well, cholangiocarcinoma (or CC as its often referred too) is bile duct cancer and its the cancer that my Mom died of back in Dec 2013.

I've spoken before about the charity AMMF who are the only CC charity in the UK. I fundraise for them and shall be holding another online auction for them in mid March when it would have been Mom's 80th Birthday.

I had an article in my local paper, The Buteman  this week to help raise awareness and have had a couple of monetary donations already to the cause which is nice.

The auction is being run through my buteartism FB page and hopefully by the time of the auction there will be lots of lovely items up for grabs.

My aim is to reach £1000 by the end of this auction - so far I've raised £835 for AMMF so I'm pretty sure we can do it this year.

If you can spare a little something handmade then it would be much appreciated. You can contact me via the FB page or leave a comment below.

Right, need to go find my hot water bottle. xx

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow - anywhere but here!!!

Well, it seems like winter has arrived across much of the UK with temperatures dropping and snow everywhere. Well, almost everywhere!!

Thankfully we don't have any here on the island as yet but we've had a couple of days of heavy frost and its been very cold, especially at night.

There is snow over on the Cowal Hills on the mainland but as long as it stays there, I'm happy.



Have been keeping busy sorting out my stash of goodies and listing them on the FB page. Have also put some on Ebay as a charity listing for AMMF (the UK;s only cholangiocarcinoma charity, and one of my good causes that I raise funds for)

You can find the items  here - there will be more listed over the weekend including, hopefully some of Terry's artwork.

That's all for now. Stay warm.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Here's to 2016!

Hello, hope you all had a nice Xmas and New Year.

I've been busy adding more handmade items to my FB page over the past couple of weeks and have a nice selection of items - bracelets, necklaces, fabric flower brooches and earrings plus other odd bits and bobs. No sales as yet but its still early days.

Hopefully this year we can raise more than the £730 raised last year which was split between AMMF and womb cancer research.

The Etsy shop has a few items left in it but will close once the listings expire.

Starting to make plans for the next auction which will be for AMMF and will run from 12noon Sunday 20th March until 6pm Tuesday 22nd March 2016.It would have been Mom's 80th Birthday on 21st March.

Please pop over to the FB page and say hello.

Until next time - take care. xx