I’m Jane Elizabeth Higgins. I was Jane Elizabeth Chandler until last year when I Married the gorgeous Mr Higgins, who loves and supports me through sickness and health.
I am so happy to have found this beautiful community of Crafties. I can’t actually express in words the emotions I felt when I read the welcome message from Karen and realised how perfect this community is for me.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2002. This is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease which causes diarrhoea, bloody stools, weight loss, pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety and incontinence. After a few years and lots of medications, including immunosuppressant’s I became steroid dependant and in need of surgery in 2009. More than half a dozen surgeries later, a stoma, ongoing complications, losing my job, more weight loss and countless hospital stays, I had my final operation in 2012. I now have an ileoanal pouch. Since then I have developed extreme Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Damage and Joint Pain.
While off sick recovering from Pouchitis (inflammation of my pouch) and Anxiety in 2014, I joined a local craft workshop. It was here that I started making jewellery. I loved it straight away. I have always loved practical activities and as a primary school teacher I enjoy teaching the practical subjects such as science and design technology. The jewellery making fulfilled a need in me to create; its very therapeutic. I began making more and more things and trying different techniques. My favourite is beading. It soon became clear that I would have to give up teaching altogether. Soon after that I started my own business. It allows me to work when I’m able and rest when I need to.
I make IBD awareness jewellery to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK), a national charity which has helped me a great deal on my journey. I also make awareness bracelets in aide of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF), GoGold for childhood cancer (money raised goes to Clic Sargent) and Sickle Cell disease (Sicklekan), as I have people who are close to me who are affected by these conditions.
I also run jewellery making parties and workshops for children and adults. These are a great opportunity for me to practice my two loves of teaching and jewellery making.
I have opened my shop with three of my awareness bracelets. They are each only £15 and £5 from each purchase goes to the health charity associated with it. I make awareness jewellery for health causes close to my heart. I have a personal story to tell about each association and I will share these with you over the coming weeks.
Until then, have a look at and enjoy the beautiful bracelets. I will chat with you again soon.