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Karen Thomas Conscious Crafties EDS POTS

Karen Thomas
Conscious Crafties Founder

In 2011 I was perfectly healthy going about my workaholic lifestyle when BOOM! - I started fainting up to 10 times a day and my bed became my best friend. A year later I was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) a rare condition affecting the blood vessels and heart rate. There's no cure, but reaching out to others with the same condition has been a huge help in learning to live with it.  3 years later I was told my POTS was caused by EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) a connective tissue disorder affecting the skin, cartilage, ligaments & blood vessels - everything that holds us together! I also have some bonus conditions: fibromyalgia, raynaud’s disease, chronic pain syndrome, migraines and asthma. Life has been tough, but I've met some wonderfully strong friends who also live with chronic illnesses. Many have turned to craft to bring joy into their lives.  This incredible group of people are the worlds untapped talent. Buying beautiful handmade items (& mine!) will help rebuild their lives. Thank you 🙂 Visit My Shop

Madeline Dyer Novelist, chronic illness

Madeline Dyer
Novelist

Aged nineteen, I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. But I won’t let my chronic illnesses stop me from being who I am, or achieving my dream of being a full-time writer. Writing gives me an identity, and becoming chronically ill made me realise just how important writing is to me. Writing is part of me. I have a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal. I can frequently be found exploring wild places, and at least one notebook is known to follow me wherever I go. My debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Ruth Moss, Pottery For Pleasure

Ruth Moss
Pottery For Pleasure

Struggling with Sleep Apnea and Depression has meant I had my driving licence revoked and had to stop working. I had been a creative therapist in palliative care. I now run creative therapy and pottery workshops from my home studio and make pottery/ceramic items to sell. Keeping busy stops me feeling so tired, helping other people find their creative mojo is rewarding for me and it's lovely watching people develop new skills and lose themselves in their creativity. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Chloe Morante, Chloës Crafts and Creations

Chloe Morante
Chloës Crafts & Creations

At 16, I started with agonising pain in my ear which completely stopped me in my tracks. I visited doctors constantly but they had no answers. They referred me to Maxioral Facial who did X-rays and scans but once again, no problem showed. After this, I was pushed away by the doctors, they had tried all they could. Years later the pain was back with a vengeance but was 100 times worse. In September 2015 I handed my sick note in at work as the pain stopped me being able to go. After more maxioral facical visits, my family decided to pay for me to see a Neurologist who diagnosed me with Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia, wow, there was finally an answer! Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia is a rare condition where I have damaged nerves in my brain stem. There can be numerous reasons for this but one of them is that blood vessels in your brain press on the nerves and eventually cause damage. I have since been put on numerous medications, carbomazapine and gabapentin but the side effects have been awful. I'm waiting for an appointment to see the Neurosurgeon for the second time as if the medication doesn't help the pain.. the last resort is major brain surgery. The pain I feel has since stopped me from going to work as it comes and goes and is so unpredictable. It can be set off by daily things such as eating, brushing my teeth, talking and even cold air on my face. The pain in my ear is electrifying and burning to the point where I can't move or talk cause little movement knocks me to the ground. Throat and tongue pain feels like I am swallowing razor blades and sometimes it's impossible to even swallow my own saliva and I beg for a feeding tube. I'm nearly 19 now and learning my own ways to cope with the pain like crafting. I make handmade personalised gifts! I am definitely a perfectionist so if a piece of work goes wrong.. I will start from scratch as I cannot sell work I am not happy with! I make things like box frames, plaques, signs and other things for you and your loved ones. Read My Full Story. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sarah Kirkby, Boxes For U

Sarah Kirkby
Boxes For U

I suffer with Fibromyalgia and I also Care for my husband who was diagnosed last year with Heart Failure. I fundraise for my local neonatal unit for every sale I make I donate 10% in memory of my daughter Jennifer who was born premature but sadly passed away. I make wooden items, mainly things made with a scroll saw so clocks plaques and much more. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Michelle Tiler, Sacred Hearts Clothing

Michelle Tiler
Sacred Hearts Clothing

I am crafting through Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Depression, I rarely leave the house on my own and find it difficult in social situations. I have however, an amazing husband sister & best friend who all help me feel sort off normal (what ever that means)!!! I make hand designed adult baby and children's clothing I also customise vintage clothing. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Rose Hartshorn, Tatt2edRoZe

Rose Hartshorn
Tatt2edRoZe

I have Aspergers and was not diagnosed till i was 35, I have always love art and craft and use it as a relaxation therapy. My first love is my art & my favourite styles are tattoo & fantasy. The second love is jewellery making ever since I got given a kit at about 9 years old, I love to combine my love of art with my jewellery to create unique items. My 3rd main craft is hat & fascinator making, I have had a fascination with hat's since I was little and got to play dress up in my great granny's hats from the hat factory she owned in the Victorian era. I love to try new crafts & make items for myself and family. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Marylins Creations, Mary-Louise Duckworth

Mary-Louise Duckworth
Marylins Creations

I think it all started when I was at school aged around 15 and preparing for my GCSEs, the stress was so overwhelming I could barely get out of bed. Once I had left school everything seemed to go back to 'normal' until I was about 19 in 2014, then I realised I needed some help with my mental health, but wasn't really to sure due to obviously my teenage hormones. I had a very good doctor who diagnosed me straight away with Anxiety and Depression. Due to this I found socialising and work really hard. I did go on benefits for a small period of time but it seemed to make things a lot more stressful and the job centre was unsupportive so it really was getting me down. I then started to do charity car boot stalls, craft days etc at local events and really enjoyed myself, realising that I could actually maybe make a living for myself doing this. Glittered wine glasses didn't seem to be such a popular item in my area at the time so I started making those first. I have now expanded to greetings cards, hair accessories, jewellery, wedding and home decor - to be honest I'm always looking out for new items to produce and will pretty give anything a go! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Terri Hoy, Rosie Kernow Gift Craft Cottage

Terri Hoy
Rosie Kernow Gift Craft Cottage

I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome III, Fibromyalgia and a myriad of other things. The body seems to be falling apart rapidly since being involved in a car accident nearly 3yrs ago. My 2 children also have EDS, Cerebral Palsy, POTS, epilepsy, etc, etc .... the list goes on but so does life. I've knitted and crocheted from a very young age but never really put my mind to it, it was just a craft I could do. Following a recent operation I've decided to stop dabbling in it and use it to try and support my income so I can work part time. I've also taken up working with papers and producing cut out pictures. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Amber Pickering, Crochet Knows

Amber Pickering
Crochet Knows

I am a busy mum of seven. One of my boys has a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta which is more commonly known as brittle bones. He can fracture from very little or no trauma, and I am his full time carer. He is ten years old now and does go to school, but because of his condition, I have to be available for him in case of a medical emergency or fracture at school - ambulance staff are unable to safely handle him. Because of this I began to work from home after a friend gave me the idea - I had made her baby a hat as a gift. And so my Crochet Knows business started. At first I was a bit lost, but I have found the most wonderful and supportive people who have helped me. Working from home means I am free if my son ever needs me, and I can also go to his endless hospital and therapy appointments without worrying about time off work! He also has Autism which has its own challenges, but I am ever so grateful that I am able to do a craft I love that helps support him. I also donate part of my profits to the hospital unit and children's ward where he was born, and is cared for. I make blankets, hats, gloves, shawls, mermaid tails..... Anything that can be crocheted! I make made to order as well as ready made items, so people often message me with a custom request and it ends up becoming popular with other people too! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Delana Cornett, Mary Hazels Creations

Delana Cornett
Mary Hazels Creations

Three years ago I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus but when I got diagnosed with EBV it showed that it was at the end of the stage so my doctor felt that I wouldn't continue to have flare-ups forever. However I've started having muscle spasms and all of my symptoms have become more severe with a few new symptoms added to the mix. So I've been having lots of doctor visits and tests to try to figure out the cause of my illness. So far besides seeing my family doctor and a Neurologist whom couldn't give me any answers from the tests he had done on me, I saw a Rheumatologist who said that I have Fibromyalgia but it is secondary to whatever could be the main cause of my illness. To give you an idea of my symptoms since no two fibro-fighters are exactly alike here are a few of the main ones (I have around 40 symptoms altogether): fatigue, spasticity in my right foot/ankle (I just got fitted for an afo!), arthritis like issues in my joints but mainly my right side of my body, weather affects me and another biggie is my cognitive skills are not quite like they should be. I've been sick for 3 years and undiagnosed with the exception of finding out for sure that I do have Fibromyalgia - which in a weird way the doctor saying I have Fibromyalgia made me feel validated. I feel very strongly that there needs to be more research, awareness and support for people like me (Spoonies)! I've always enjoyed crafts since I was young but I really got into crafting several years ago and now I'm hoping I can make it a source of income or even just extra money for myself with my Fibromyalgia and undiagnosed illness progressing like it is and the Medica bills starting to pile up. My craft items include cross stitching, duct tape items - wallets, keychains and bookmarks, gift tags, cards and magnets. I'm working on learning to make more and new items! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Robyn Fraser, Knitted By A Tee

Robyn Fraser
Knitted By A Tee

I have Fibromyalgia, early Degenerative Syndrome in all the joints in my left leg and Osteoarthritis. I also suffer from Depression and Anxiety. I'm also a mother to one son and a wife to one husband! I knit, I sew and I am learning how to crochet. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Katie Carone, Mommy Can't Dance

Katie Carone
Mommy Can't Dance

I am a business owner and a wife and mother of four. I have dealt with medical issues all of my life-- from incredibly painful Endometriosis to autoimmune disease. In 2015 I was bedridden with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Despite my disabilities, I have always pushed through when possible and am used to being on the go, go go. To be confined to my bed most of the day everyday has been devastating-- not just for me, but for my children also. I have used writing and crocheting as a way to still feel productive and as a way to give back to others. I wrote a book for my kids, "Mommy Can't Dance" to help them cope with my disability, understand how they can help me, and re-enforce how much they are still loved, even if we can't do everything they used to. Realizing I am not the only parent with disabilities, I was fortunate to publish this book so it is available to other parents/kids. All proceeds from this book are going to Dysautonomia International to further support research and advocacy of POTS. 🙂 Visit My Shop

James Parson, Coyote Rose Jewelry and Gifts

James Parson
Coyote Rose Jewelry and Gifts

I have Fibromyalgia which means I have pain throughout my body everyday and get confused easily. When I go out I use a wheelchair and have an emotional support cat. I used to have severe Depression and Anxiety and it was suggested I should try a hobby to take my mind off the depression and to find self worth. I was watching tv and saw jewellery making so I ordered a tool kit and started to learn to make a few earrings and it developed from there. I spent a year learning and making and I had a lot of jewellery. I am male and don't wear jewellery so I started my jewellery business and my daughter did the same in Arizona, Usa. As a business we run charity fundraising campaigns. I make handmade jewellery from genuine gemstones. I also make to order fine silver pendants from silver clay. I am continually learning new techniques and crafts related to jewellery making so that I can develop and push myself. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Amy Oestreicher, Allspice and Acrylics

Amy Oestreicher
Allspice and Acrylics

I was an audacious, ambitious teenager when a week before my senior prom, I abruptly developed a Blood Clot. I was rushed to the ER and after both Lungs Collapsed I almost died. My Stomach Literally Burst to the top of the OR and I was in a Coma for months. When I awoke, I was told that I had no stomach anymore and could not eat or drink – it was not known if or when this would ever be possible again. To survive, I never let myself feel like a “patient” or “victim.” Rather than mourn my hunger, I started a chocolate business, a food blog, learned karate, starred in musicals, put up three art shows, and taught nursery school. One day I innocently picked up a cheap paintbrush and suddenly my world expanded. After three years of not even being allowed an ice cube, and 27 surgeries, my digestive system was miraculously reconstructed and I was able to eat and drink. It has been a long road, but I wouldn’t be here if it was not for my art to provide me with hope, faith, courage, and an inner knowing that in the end, everything would be okay. Since I used my art primarily for healing through my medical traumas, my art is full of inspiration, joy, sadness and discovery. I am displaying my work in galleries, as well as giving artist talks, selling prints, inspirational books, and have plans to expand on that with motivational posters, cards, and more. My ultimate goal is to create an organization, center or foundation that promotes creativity and healing, as a means to share what I’ve learned with the world. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Flynn and Isabel Squirrell, Hooked.With.Crochet

Flynn and Isabel Squirrell
Hooked.With.Crochet

I was diagnosed with ME in 2012 after being ill ten years. I used to work as a support work for the elderly suffering from dementia. Due to my health I could not continue. Sadly last year my teenage son Flynn was diagnosed with ME and POTS. His condition is quite severe and is practically housebound. He used to help me so much with everyday tasks but now we muddle on together
🙂 Visit My Shop

Maxine Bainbridge, keltika keepsakes

Maxine Bainbridge
Keltika Keepsakes

I live with Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, 3 teenagers and a large bouncy Staffie! I have always been creative and it has always been therapy for me, but I've now taken things to the next level by putting my creations out in the world to try and earn a living. I work in all sorts of mediums, such as acrylics, collage and watercolours but am currently obsessed with Paper cutting. Most of my work has a Celtic theme as I have been interested in their Art and Culture since my teenage years and love history and archaeology. I have shops on folksy and etsy but I really wanted to be part of this wonderful community. I hope you love my work as much as I enjoyed making it!
🙂 Visit My Shop

Bob Ashford, PetsPortraits4u

Bob Ashford
PetsPortraits4u

I am a carer for my friend who has MS. I also live with Fibromyalgia. I started art in May 2015 through taking my friend to her art groups each week, having tried watercolour which I could not get on with, I found I enjoyed working in pastels doing animals and Pets in particular, as well as other animal and  wildlife pictures. Every animal has that very special look which only he or she has, my aim is to reproduce that very special look for you so that you get a painting of YOUR PET not just an animal of the same type or breed.

🙂 Visit My Shop

Leah Kelly, Leah's Love Of Lights. Handmade Candles

Leah Kelly
Leah's Love Of Lights

I started in October 2015 part time, before this was just a hobby. I currently suffer with severe Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks. And I took up my love of crafts part time to help me through my struggles. I started up Leah's Love Of Lights in remembrance of my stillborn son who I gave birth to in July 2015. And my craft work is keeping me busy. I want to make a difference and help raise funds and awareness of stillbirth and infant loss. Of which I donate 10% of sales to my local women's hospital bereavement care unit.  They rely solely on donations.
🙂 Visit My Shop

Sally-Ann Livingston, Zebra's Bazaar

Sally-Ann Livingston
Zebra's Bazaar

In 2012 I received my first major diagnosis that set me on the path to discovering the lifelong, mostly invisible disabilities that I was born with. They are becoming more visible as time goes by. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type, Functional Neurological Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Social Anxiety Syndrome mostly in childhood, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Fibromyalgia, Migraine and yet-to-be properly assessed Asperger's Syndrome. I found all this out in my late 30's, early 40's. I'm married with one child, whose birth I was very lucky to survive, thanks to the then-undiagnosed EDS.The diagnosis process itself was a struggle and I had to put much of the effort in myself. Crafting allows me to express myself...at my own pace. I can work comfortably from home yet reach out across the globe, thanks to the internet. Isn't that wonderful?! I'm so grateful that my life experience has led me here, helping me to cope with what is, at times, an overwhelming health challenge with FND, EDS and AS, all of which are in need of far more awareness. I hold a Degree in Design Representation (Modelmaking) and spent my first few working years as a professional modelmaker. I then re-trained as a Montessori Directress teaching preschoolers. I've been a Live Roleplayer for 20 years but recently have settled into the Steampunk genre (hence the alias 'The Navigatrix'). I love upcycling charity shop finds, occasionally mixing with new materials. I make jewellery, accessories, cards and who knows what I might turn my hand to next (though, probably not knitting!). I'm from a crafty, musical family.
🙂 Visit My Shop

Diane Jones, Diane's Designs

Diane Jones
Diane's Designs

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 7 years ago and also have Degenerative Disc Disease. For the first few years I managed it fairly well and continued to work four days a week as a teaching assistant in a special school. However my flares occurred more regularly and more debilitating and after a couple of periods of long term sick and trying to return to work, I made the decision to leave as I just could not do it anymore. So I suddenly had many hours to fill and needed something to keep me sane so I started crafting. I'd soon made so many items I began to do an occasional craft stall. I like to sew by hand and machine, from gingerbread men to buntings etc. I love all things decopatch, decomache and decoupage and hand cover, decorate and embellish numerous items from wooden birdhouses to vintage Jugs. I also like to make my own cards.
🙂 Visit My Shop

Kayla Sheppard, The Crafty Dogue

Kayla Sheppard
The Crafty Dogue

I was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease, Scleroderma, in 2008. I originally went to get my Raynauds checked out and the doc said she'd check for this rare disease but not to worry as i wouldn't have it. I went back for the results and she said "Guess what? You do have it!"
I was told not to look on the internet about it so i looked on the internet and thought i'd be dead within 3 years. It's such a variable disease and at the moment my biggest struggles are Raynauds and extreme tiredness. It probably will get worse but i'll face that whens it happens.
🙂 Visit My Shop

Rosalind Batty, North Mayo Art and Photography

Rosalind Batty
North Mayo Art and Photography

I’ve always had a love of arts and crafts. From a young age I would doodle and draw, paint, make things and generally make a mess. But that all changed when I became pregnant.  was having trouble walking and had unbelievable pain in my pelvis and hips. I mentioned it to my consultant, who told me that it was normal stretching pain and I was making a big deal out of nothing. I was refused physio and told to get on with it, so I went to see a physio privately, who diagnosed me with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or PGP as its now called). It continued to get worse throughout the rest of the pregnancy, and it caused complications for the birth (which I don’t need to get into) I also dislocated my coccyx (which is still dislocated 12 years later). My second pregnancy  was worse, this time my physio gave me the news that I had had a Spontaneous Symphisiotomy (where the pelvis basically splits in two). I was also referred to an orthopedic consultant who I am still under today. I have been diagnosed with Diastasis of the Symphysis Pubis, ScaroiliitisDislocated Coccyx, a Prolapsed Disc in my lower spine, my hips are 2″ out of line and I have severe and constant Sciatica. I am under a gastroenterologist who has diagnosed me with IBS too, and have Intolerances to wheat, lactose, soya and caffeine. I also have Fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s Disease which I've been told have been caused by all the trauma. I’ve started my love of drawing again. I decided that seeing as there are so many things that I can’t do, I need to find something I can do. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Callie Carling, Meraki Me

Callie Carling
Meraki Me

I have always loved sewing and dabbling with mixed media art yet, like so many of us artisans, comments as a child left me feeling 'not good enough' . For years. I used to sew my own clothes and home furnishings, until work and commuting took over in the early 1990s. When I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in May 2011, I was drawn to working with fabric once again. The 'not good enough' no longer mattered; I wanted to make something that would live beyond my lifespan if treatment didn't work. With plummeting energy levels courtesy of chemotherapy, I began to sew yo-yo's by hand. They took forever to make but it was so therapeutic. I thought they'd make fabulous brooches to jazz up my boring chemo-hats; admiring comments at my local hospital led me to continue making yo-yo's, a great pastime while commuting back and forth on public transport to radiotherapy. My energy levels still fluctuate, I no longer make so many yo-yo's ... but when time and energies allow, I create mixed media art and handcrafted pendants using white clay and fimo clay. I yearn to complete a quilt; I yearn to be able to master the art of tatting, crochet and knitting! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Kate Cox, Stardustfromthesoul

Kate Cox
Stardustfromthesoul

My name is Kate. I have been doing art ever since I was 4 and just never quit. I work with a myriad of mediums, anywhere from digital art to watercolor, to acrylics, to mixed media. My Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was triggered by a traumatic event, so I also have Anxiety, Depression, and CPTSD. I have been struggling with this since 2008, but was only diagnosed this year. I've been unemployed since mid-November 2015. I craft to keep my sanity until it pays the bills, then I'll craft to pay bills. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Karen Hunter, Knits by Karen

Karen Hunter
Knits by Karen

When I was 25 I became ill, but they didn’t know what was wrong as all my tests came back clear.  Eventually they took me to theatre to open me up to see what was going on.  My colon ruptured on the table and I woke up with an Ileostomy, it was later discovered that I had Crohn’s Disease.  It was hard to come to terms with having to wear a bag for the rest of my life.  Over the next 13 years I was in and out of hospital for various procedures and operations. In 2008 I was taken in so they could remove adhesions as they were pulling the stoma back inside me. The operation went well and I was recovering, until 10 days later, when I was in an awful lot of pain, it turned out my bowel had strangulated itself, so back to theatre where they removed even more of my bowel. I then contracted MRSA, Septicaemia and internal bleeding. I’ve been diagnosed with Abdominal Cutaneous Nerve Entrapment Syndrome and I'm in constant pain. I have knitted since I was about 5 years old, mostly for my sisters children or for charity. A neighbour asked me to knit a hat for her son and she was so pleased with it she told me I should be selling them. It took a lot of persuasion but Knits by Karen was born. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Trish Jenkins, Abby's Trinket Box

Trish Jenkins
Abby's Trinket Box

I'm crafting through severe Osteoarthritis and I do find that crafting takes my mind off the pain sometimes……
🙂 Visit My Shop

Kerryanne Lamont, Elegance and Memories

Kerryanne Lamont
Elegance and Memories

I've been living with PTSD and Dysthymia since I was 17. It made it difficult to work in a normal environment.  I enjoyed studying so I spent a lot of my time with my nose in my books and constantly learning new trades and techniques. After college I tried working with people in all sort of roles however due to my mental state and  Dysthymia it made it very difficult for me to even get out of bed, I had good days and bad days. On good days I may be able to work a full week without failing at something. On bad days I can't seem to function at all and can last weeks or months. One of my bad days lasted 6 months only 2 years ago, which meant having counselling once again. Today I am feeling a lot happier, however I still get my triggers which can come from anywhere. I now Hand Stamp which I feel is very therapeutic and helps relief any stress I've been feeling. Hand stamping involves striking metal with steel stamps by hand to create letters, words and designs. Each letter will probably not be straight or even or the same depth as the other letters. This is much deeper than engraving and therefore, there will probably be a slight impression on the other side. None of this is a defect and lends itself to the unique, one of a kind piece that will arrive in your mailbox as no two pieces are ever exactly the same! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Beryl Weir, Crafts from the dungeon

Beryl Weir
Crafts from the dungeon

My second child Rose was in hospital for nearly a year after birth, battling through no swallow reflex, heart failure, meningitis, a stroke etc etc . During this time, I would then wake about midnight. What to do? So I started crafting-in-bulk! I'd always crafted, but during this time, as the sun rose, I would be found standing still in pjs, surrounded by cards, embroideries, paintings. As the years went on, many, many more hospital stays led to more manic crafting, both at home and often on the hospital wards too. It kept me sane (debatable). When Rose was about 10, we were involved in a freak road accident where the car ended up under water. My husband was under the longest and he had started to drown. He was left with brain damage. Over the next 10 years he battled back, and can now walk and talk, and recently has actually begun driving again. It was an extremely difficult time, but again pj moonlight crafting, waiting room crafting and my now precious dungeon/cellar helped me through. I had a kiln fitted and when life gets really hard, I go down, smash up glass, and then melt it back together. About 3 years ago, I announced out loud on a walk with the dogs, "This is going to be MY year". Yeah... I found the lump 3 weeks later. So 2 ops and waiting rooms and radiation and severe reactions to radiation. By gum, I smashed up a lot of glass during that time! I also started to take another passion, weaving, to a higher level, treating myself to bigger and better looms. Even took one into isolation for during my glowing therapy! So now....Shhhhh....don't tell the gods, but I'm having a ball! When my and their health permits, I work with glass in the morning, and fibre in the afternoon. I spend my evenings combining the 2 into kits. I'm teaching from home and do talks to guilds and crafty groups. Ain't life grand! 🙂 Visit My Shop
READ MY FULL STORY - When your glass doesn’t seem “half full”…..smash it up!

Alicia Joubert, Made4Hypersensitives

Alicia Joubert
Made4Hypersensitives

I woke up with a Chronic Daily Migraine on Feb 23rd, 2011 and it has yet to get better. Since then I have had to quit school, undergo experimental treatments, quit my job (several times), and learned to function somewhat being housebound. I suffer from Chronic Daily Migraine, Blackout Seizures, Longterm Memory Loss, Fibromyalgia, Plaque Psoriasis, Hyperosmia and general Hypersensitivities to Sound and Light. My whole life, I spent a lot of time and money looking for a soap that didn't burn my hypersensitive skin or a laundry detergent that didn't cause pain or rash. I finally invested in making my own products. Since then, that hobby has increased to that of a business and I recently registered my brand as a company! So many of us with chronic illnesses also suffer from hypersensitivities. I hope my products help improve daily life for my fellow Spoonies. I make skincare and household items such as soap, body butter, laundry supplies, etc. My mom (longtime spoonie as well) crochets washcloths to go along with my products! All of my products are Organic and ALL Natural! I make organic goats milk soaps as well, but the majority of my soaps are Vegan. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Jane Ashton, Spoon full of Hope

Jane Ashton
Spoon full of Hope

Hi, I'm Jane, I've had ME since February 2012. I tried to carry on working as a full time customer adviser after I became ill, but it all became too much for me in October 2013. I've been off sick since then. I also suffer with Chronic Migraines, which are mainly under control with medication, IBS, TMJ, Anxiety and Depression. I make spoonie necklaces and just started to make angel bag charm and key rings 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sarah James, Mum's A Bit Crafty

Sarah James
Mum's A Bit Crafty

Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm married and mum to two little girls. My eldest daughter has Aspergers/ASD and the youngest is currently going through the diagnosis process. I suffer with Depression and Anxiety. I also care for other family members who have OCD, Fibromyalgia, Epilepsy, Heamachromotosis, Breast Cancer and are Hearing Impaired. I've always been a crafty person but have fairly recently found that crafting is a great mood lifter for those 'down times' and allows me that little bit of 'me time' to get my mojo back! I love all sorts of different crafts and trying new ones! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Brittney Walker, Britt's Spoons

Brittney Walker
Britt's Spoons

I'm Brittney, though I prefer Britt. At 17, I've been diagnosed with POTS, EDS, Anxiety & Depression, the latter two I have been struggling with my whole life. I've found an interest in making things with my own hands, an interest which started with repairing electronics and computers. I have started crocheting and hope to expand my crafting. I also enjoy, painting, jewelry making, and I hope to grow my knowledge soon. I have not been doing as much crafting as I would like due to fatigue, but hey, if you ever need a computer repaired, I'm your girl. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Stephanie Lewis-Cooper, SLCDesigns

Stephanie Lewis-Cooper
SLCDesigns

Long ago I had a proper job, I used to get up in the morning and fight through traffic slogging through the day and I loved my job and colleagues. Then I started to feel unwell and eventually I collapsed. I was told I had Stage 4 Endometriosis. I can't have children because of it which is sad but many people deal with worse. I had several surgeries and I got an ear infection which never seemed to go and eventually it worsened and I became so unwell that I couldn't move. And then I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. That was almost 15 years ago and naturally enough it changed my life for ever. Like any chronic debilitating illness it's a pain (literally) and it affects everything but I'm very much a glass half full sort of person and my RA has also given me life chances and choices I wouldn't have had if I'd stayed in my job. I can now work in my pyjamas at midnight and I love that I can do what I always wanted to do - make stuff that I hope people will love to wear. I make jewellery using Murano Venetian glass, sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, delicate gemstones, delicious little freshwater pearls, silk ribbon and taking apart vintage jewellery to make into something new and interesting. I also love to make tiaras and my speciality is delicate wirework. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Katie Wyatt, KTJewelleryCreations

Katie Wyatt
KTJewelleryCreations

Hi I have been struggling with health issues for over 20 years , finally after so many specialits and tests, I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2011. Also that year I got diagnosed with Corneal Dystrophy which leaves me with a lot of Migraines, Severe Depression and Anxiety. Over the years I have lost 3 promotions and 2 jobs because of all of this and the pain makes it very difficult to do set hours. So after getting making jewellery to try and take my mind off things, I thought I would try and work for myself as then I can set my own hours. I use wire and gemstones in my jewellery and really love it. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Jennifer Quinn, Montys Makes

Jennifer Quinn
Montys Makes

Hi everyone I am a 42 year old lady with Spina Bifida. I am in a wheelchair full time. I have many problems but my main is dealing with pain from Spina Bifida and Depression which I have had for a lot of years. I look forward to sharing my crafts with you. I mainly make cards and a few bits of jewellery. Every penny I make will go to a charity in Memory of my Westie Monty which I lost on August the 3rd 2015. He was 17 years and 4 months old. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Florence Mitchell, Copperpaws

Florence Mitchell
Copperpaws

I have had Fibromyalgia since 1989 after my son was born. I managed to work almost full time in administration until about ten years ago when I caught the flu twice in two months. I never recovered enough to get back to being a reliable employee. I've been a single parent for a long time now so to not support my family really upset me. I went to university in 2010 studying art and with a lot of help from disability services managed to scrape a 2:2 degree! I began craft work to fill my days after my son, who is also my Carer (and also has health problems) began making small items out of copper and wood. He inspired me to make things again and we now sell together. I love making parchment pictures, encaustic art and experimenting with combining the two! I make bespoke cards and notebooks too. So now I have lots to do on my good days! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Elizabeth Hardman, LizHardmanDesigns

Elizabeth Hardman
LizHardmanDesigns

I am a Hearing Impaired Artist who also suffers from Depression, Anxiety and PCOS. I make cards of every description, Papercut, paint, draw, make stained glass items and Windows. Also I'm currently studying for my BA in fine art. Also make lots of Xmas stocking fillers. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Ceri York, 24 Steps

Ceri York
24 Steps

I have been in and out of work, due to Depression and Anxiety. Despite difficulties socially and with my concentration I am determined to make a worthwhile contribution. I started art journalling 2 years ago, having found it online after my son convinced me to give You Tube a go. I have always enjoyed art but journalling was a safe place to explore feelings and ideas through different mediums with a variety of textures. I started making art inspired by the wildlife on the Wales coastal path, particularly in Flintshire, which I see when walking there regularly. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Julie Seager, Little Princess Designs

Julie Seager
Little Princess Designs

My name is Julie and I am married to a wonderful supportive hubby. I was in the care profession for over 30 years (makes me feel old saying that!), then cared for my grandmother for 6 years, and my mother for 2 years after she had a brain haemorrhage (she is now being cared for by my younger sister as she is bedridden, but thankfully she still has her sense of humour, and is able to some cross stitch) - before my body decided it needed a rest! Bring on ME, Fibromyalgia and all the wonderful extras that go with them (sure most of you will relate to this!) I had to give up work as a GP receptionist 3 years ago and found myself more or less housebound and using a wheelchair or mobility scooter to go out - with amazing support from family and friends. After a bout of 'why me?' I decided that as I was unable to go out to work, I would do work at home. After spending many years knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, etc I decided I would go back to dressmaking which I had learnt from my very patient grandmother many moons ago. I opened a Facebook page selling tutu style dresses after making some for friends children just to see what would happen. Not much interest until I showed one on a wedding page - suddenly I was inundated with requests for tutu and more traditional flower girl/bridesmaid dresses! Initially I took on too many orders forgetting I could not work at my 'usual' pace and ended up worse physically for a while! Now I have got used to my limitations, I make sure I only accept what I can physically take on and have enough regular orders coming in. I also started making cravats and bow ties, and have had many orders for them too so have added them to my makes. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Louise Loops Howell, Little Harriet

Louise Loops Howell
Little Harriet

I have Cystic Fibrosis and Type 2 Diabetes. I spend a lot of time in hospital which, as you can imagine, gets very boring, crafting has really saved me from climbing up the walls! I got into making jewellery in 2008, I was having a very bad time with my health and had been stuck in hospital a few weeks when I saw an article about a lady who made her own jewellery, I happened to mention that I would love to do something like that to my friend.. a few days later a supply of beads and a "How to Make Jewellery" book was delivered to the ward...I was hooked from then on. I have so much to thank my friend for. Since then I have made and sold a few pieces, mainly to family and friends. I have also branched out and have started to make fused glass pendants. I am definitely in love with glass making! Having C.F. makes things really difficult, it can be unpredictable, some days I am fine and up and about having adventures but other days see me stuck in a hospital bed, finding it hard to breathe and hooked up to oxygen. Still, I try not to let it get me down and crafting has helped keep me going. I make jewellery, necklaces and bracelets and also fused glass objects. I'm concentrating on pendants for now but I have also made coasters and dishes. I also love to crochet but I am terrible at finishing a project, I'll start one and then some other wooly goodness will come along to tempt me away! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Cherry Copeland, Misty's Tiny Treasure's

Cherry Copeland
Misty's Tiny Treasure's

I have had Arthritis since 16 and was diagnosed with Fibro 15 years ago, I also suffer with ME, CFS, CPS, IBS, and several other add ons plus I'm mum to two Autistic sons. Some weeks I am able to make things others I am unable to get out of bed. I either walk with stick or have my wheelchair, crafting is basically the only thing I can do by myself without help (mostly). My husband is my long suffering carer. I like to sew and make lots of felt items, I also like to paint and do plaques, fairy doors etc and recently tried book folding. My home was quickly filling up so I recently decided to try selling some things. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Debbie Dennick, TubieLove

Debbie Dennick
TubieLove

I am a mum of 4. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as do my children. I also have SLE Lupus and many other medical conditions between us thanks to the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I would love to be able to earn some money whilst making the things I love making. I make Surgical Gastrostomy Pads, Tube Feeding clothes, Taggie comfort blankets, Baby blankets, Bibs, Washable wipes, Washable Breast pads and other handmade goods. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sharon Shannon, Lavender Moon

Sharon Shannon
Lavender Moon

Hi, I'm Sharon. I live in a country cottage in the North of Ireland with my husband 4 dogs and a cat. Yes I love animals 🙂 I have lived with ME and Fibromyalia for 8 years, had to give up work and various social interests. I always loved to craft as a hobby which thankfully turned into a business I am able to run from home on my good days. I also care for my husband who has Secondary Progressive MS and is confined to a wheelchair. I love to draw and make cards and jewellery and even do some sewing. I find a certain amount of therapy in crafting, being able to sell what I make is a bonus. I make jewellery, collectable keychains, Christmas decorations, badges, card toppers, personalised items etc. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Tina Ann Cassidy, Handmade with Love Tina

Tina Ann Cassidy
Handmade with Love Tina

I have always worked but due to my long term illnesses I'm unable to. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Thyroid Disease and Celiacs. I'm disabled and have 3 daughters, 9 grandchildren and a wonderful hubby. I love making anything knitted or sewn. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Lisa Barnes, Handcrafted by Rainbow

Lisa Barnes
Handcrafted by Rainbow

I suffered severe Postnatal Depression in 1995 when I had my first child and again in 1996 with my second. In 2001 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and given a dual diagnosis of bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder a couple of years ago following another attempt on my life. I have crafted on and off throughout my life and now that I am no longer able to function in a full time job crafting helps to keep my mind from spiraling out of control at times. I very rarely leave the house so crafting and being part of an online community is a lifeline to me. I crochet and knit accessories and also create home decor using fabric and ribbon such as quilted ball ornaments and wreaths. I also create metallic foil prints, personalised word art and book art sculptures and have recently ventured into papercutting and zentangle! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Rachel Bradford, Abigail's Attic

Rachel Bradford
Abigail's Attic

Abigail's Attic was named after my daughter, she was the reason I started knitting and crocheting and this in turn gave me a way to help manage my PND (Postnatal Depression). After the birth of my son and a traumatic pregnancy I was left with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis in my hips and IBS. I have since also found I have a Prolapsed Disc which is pressing on my spinal cord and knee issues which are awaiting surgery. I have a wonderfully supportive husband and family. Crafting reminds me that I am always capable of being creative and bringing a smile to someone no matter how bad my pain levels are! I make anything knitted or crocheted. This can be a custom order based on something you have seen me make but would like adapting or can be something ready made. These range from blankets to hats and many things in between. Because I am constantly trying to keep various achy places warm most of my makes are wearable! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sam West, Samjglass

Sam West
Samjglass

Hi all, I'm a single mummy to 4 great kids. I have Fibromyalgia, Joint Hypermobility, Underactive Thyroid, and am also a Type 2 Diabetic. Each has its own downfalls and I feel like I'm living on pills. I often get to the point where I am unable to do anything through pain levels and rely very heavily on my 2 big boys and my mum for things like cooking meals, housework and when really bad, changing my littlest ones nappy!!! I have constant severe pain in my knees and struggle getting up and down the stairs, in and out of chairs, and even going for a wee!! I had a bad car accident 2 yrs ago and had to be cut out of the car whilst 37 weeks pregnant and have now been left with permanent back troubles....I can't stand for long periods of time and picking up my baby is near on impossible. I needed something to do and low and behold glass painting is/was my saviour, and what started out as something to keep my mind off things, has now become something a little more permanent. I make handpainted pictures on glass. I make some fun pieces, and also some pieces containing inspirational quotes. I use normal glass paint, metalic glass paint, and plenty of embellishments and gems to give that extra special finish. I take custom orders too, all of my pieces can be changed to suit you. I'm happy to personalise them with names, dates, ages, places, weights etc you just give me your ideas/specifications and I make them happen. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do making them x 🙂 Visit My Shop

Kerry Doyle, Handcrafted Hearts XXX

Kerry Doyle
Handcrafted Hearts XXX

Hi my name is Kerry and I have Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, Osteo-arthritis, TMJ, IBS, Asthma and Chronic Migraines. I hope to make new friends and hopefully sell some of the things I make. I had a hobby of crafting which took my mind off the pain a little and have only recently just started to sell my things. I make hearts made of different fabrics and love to sew using felt, I make Christmas decorations, love to decorate wooden hearts  and also enjoy making cards. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Jenny Miller, Crafty Miller

Jenny Miller
Crafty Miller

I am a mother to 2 beautiful girls and a little springer dog. I am a student with the Open University, studying for a Psychology Degree and a business owner, Crafty Miller. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, Costochondritis, Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction, Sciatica, Iritis, Myclonic Jerk, Tinnitus, Chronic Migraines, Trochanteric Bursitis (although this one is something that is being questioned), Depression and Anxiety.
I can't work in a "normal" job as my day-to-day wellness can not be planned so in order to pass the time I taught myself to crochet. It started with granny squares and now I make almost anything! I look forward to getting to know you. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Amanda Milne, Summer Creations

Amanda Milne
Summer Creations

Hi I suffer from Fibromyalgia. I used to be a waitress and love getting out but sadly due to my illness I am much more housebound now. I took back up my crafting and thought this group would be a good way to meet people and maybe sell a few of my things. I have a terrible memory and my spelling gets messed up on my bad days so sorry in advance about that. I also have my dog Buster, who I love to pieces and is spoiled rotten. I love to make jewelery with beads, chains and wire. I have started to learn to make ornamental gifts out of beads, mosaics and decoupage items. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Julia Atterby, Julias Crafts

Julia Atterby
Julias Crafts

Hi I'm Julia, I have Fibromyalgia and I'm possibly hypermobile. I loved working but had to stop and hated losing my independence so I went back to what I know which is crafting. I can turn my hand to a lot of things, knitting, crochet, sewing etc. I can't sit and do nothing so I craft. I am 50 and have 3 grown daughters including a set of twins. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Lisa Copen, Gutsy Goodness

Lisa Copen
Gutsy Goodness

I have always been drawn to creating something with my hands and writing. Ironically my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis set the stage for narrowing my focus. I was diagnosed at the age of 24 and out of that came my organization, Rest Ministries, a faith-based support 501(c)3 nonprofit. This gave me the chance to become an author, speaker, and I also began a national outreach through Invisible Illness Awareness Week in 2002. I have always created jewelry for fun, selling it at local boutiques throughout college. In 2015, as my husband was laid off of his job of 20 years, I returned to the idea of pendant necklaces with the message of hope I saw so many people seeking. Despite the pain in my hands and that I type with just a few fingers, I still must find an outlet for my creative side. The glass pendant necklaces give me the chance to use my graphic design skills on the computer screen. It is a stress reliever and a way to share where I find my hope in difficult circumstances. We can all use more hope in our day and everyone deserves to feel like someone remembers them, sees their struggle and fight to keep going despite it all. Everyone needs this gift of hope. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Lucie Graham-Cumming, LouLou's Handmade Homes

Lucie Graham-Cumming
LouLou's Handmade Homes

I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Chronic Pain (CP) and Depression/Anxiety. I was told I would be unable to work, so after a while I wanted to do something productive. My mum gave me some fabric and told me to make something. After a while of umming and ahhing, I made myself a hanging heart, I was really pleased with how it turned out as I had to use You Tube to find out how to thread a needle etc. I posted a pic on Facebook, my friends and family shared it, people asked to buy it and over night LouLou's was born. We hand sew all our products which include coin purses, cosmetic cases, pin cushions, hearts, stars, decorations etc. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Lisa Carswell, Cornish Maid

Lisa Carswell
Cornish Maid

I have suffered from Spinal Scoliosis all my life. I have a metal implant in my spine but I am also now suffering from Degenerative Disc Disease. I take daily morphine for my pain. My surgeon tells me I am inoperable and I should accept a wheelchair. I also suffer from Depression which I control with prescribed medication. I taught myself to crochet as I became less mobile. And I now crochet toys of all sorts and baby shoes. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Liz Cormell, Busy Buff's Crafts

Liz Cormell
Busy Buff's Crafts

I had to give up my full time job, which I loved, in April this year due to worsening Rheumatoid Arthritis. I decided I'd take the opportunity to become self-employed and sell items that I made. I find it therapeutic being able to make items, being "useful", and it picks me up every time someone comments on how much they like my items. I make crocheted children's clothes, crocheted adult hats and scarfs, crocheted blankets/throws, lavender bags, glass bead jewellery, greetings cards. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Cosy Corner Crafts

Gracey
Cosy Corner Crafts

Hi there! I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS3). I love to make all sorts of crafty things! I've enjoyed drawing, painting, sewing and card making for a while now and recently I took up knitting again and crochet (although I'm still learning.) I'm so excited at this great opportunity to be on Conscious Crafties. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Laura McKee, Paprika Jewellery

Laura McKee Paprika Jewellery

Hi, I'm Laura and I am diagnosed with Chronic Migraines and Intracranial Hypertension, Hypothyroidism, Anaemia, Depression and Anxiety. The symptoms I have are debilitating and I am mainly bedbound and housebound. The reason for this is that my brain is reacting as though I have a brain tumour; even though I don't. My symptoms are so severe that I use walking aids and have a wheelchair for rare trips out of the house.  I fall often, pass out, have severe brain fog and a constant headache at a level comparable to and often worse than the pain associated with childbirth, despite constant pain medication.
I am undergoing surgical procedures to make life more bearable and allow me to spend time with my supportive husband and young boys, but had to leave my teaching career that I loved. I use lots of distraction tactics to help me through the pain, especially making jewellery and writing blogs; both of which you can find on the CC site. I originally started silversmithing before becoming so ill and so one day decided to pick up my jewellery tools again. I was instantly hooked and I have a real passion for making semi-precious and repurposed vintage and recycled jewellery and accessories. I love nothing more than rummaging through a box of old buttons or beads. I really hope that you love my jewellery as much as I love making it. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Angela O'Reilly, Crafted at The Cottage

Angela O'Reilly
Crafted at The Cottage

Hi, I'm Angela. I had to give up my job in 2012 after being assaulted which left me with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which is an umbrella term for many difficulties such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, mood swings, fatigue, depression, anxiety and many more. I also now have post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the assault. This on top of chronic lower back pain and Borderline Personality Disorder, Chronic Eye Infections and the list goes on! Prior to my TBI I used to craft occasionally, making crochet blankets for friends babies and such like, but hadn't picked up my hook for years. In 2014, after some encouragement, I got into card making, then picked up my paint brush and started doing hand painted tote bags, then after being given a bag of wool, I picked up my hook again and fell in love all over again with crochet. Now, when I'm able, most of my crafting time is spent crocheting but I keep my hand in my other skills too. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Zoe White, One of a kind crafts

Zoe White
One of a kind crafts

I've always been passionate about crafting and have been making things for family and friends for years. In 2013 I became bed ridden by M.E. and Fibromyalgia. This prevented me from being the busy wife, mother and career woman I had been before. As time went on and the boredom of just sitting became unbearable I began crafting as 'art therapy'. When a friend suggested that I sell my growing pile of crafts I set up a facebook page. The support I have received has been amazing so I keep on crafting and selling to make money for the next project and so on. I found the positive in my illness, a change of 'career' that I always dreamt of but never dared to and loving every crafty step no mater how small 🙂 It would probably be quicker to say what I don't make (knitting) but here goes.. decoupaged item, jewellery, cards and gift bags / boxes, memory boxes, stationary, candles, wedding favours, invites, table plans, accessories and decorations. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Mookpixie, Charlotte Green

Charlotte Green
Mookpixie

I have been ill for around 4 years with M.E. I am mostly housebound as my energy is severely limited and I have to take regular rests throughout the day to help manage my symptoms and pain. Luckily I am making slow improvements and am now able to do a little bit of crafting again. I love making jewellery, hair accessories, framed artwork, spoon charms, crochet and handmade cards. A bit of whatever takes my fancy! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Nanny Browns Crafted With Care

Debbie Brown
Nanny Browns

I've been a Fibro warrior since 2012. I work part time and it's a struggle but it pays the bills, it's my dream to give up my care job and craft full time. I have five grandchildren (soon to be 6) hence my business name! I love to knit and sew, my first sewn item was bunting and now I make a wide range of machine and hand sewn items and I also knit, my own Nanny taught me to knit at 8 years old and my next aim is to learn to crochet too. Items you can find in my shop are bunting, bandana dribble bibs, dog bandanas, adults and childrens bandana, head scarves, cushions, aprons, tooth fairy pouches, tea cozies, baby booties, mitts and hats, raggy hearts, hair clip holders, carrier bag holders, taggie snuggle cloths and raggy wreaths 🙂 Visit My Shop

Victoria Wilkins, vickytoriaworld

Victoria Wilkins
Vickytoriaworld

Hi I'm vicky and have Paranoid Psychosis. I love arts and crafts and they have got me through some dark lonely times. After I was last in hospital I decided to go to college and do my diploma in art and design. I then did my degree in fine art, so i was really happy and felt i had made a massive achievement! I make knitted scarfs, applique cushions, greetings cards, art prints and ceramic pebbles. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sarah Powell, Kitties Den

Sarah Powell
Kitties Den

I am a retired children's critical care nurse, having suffered a serious and problematic Spinal Cord Injury, following 5 spinal surgeries plus many interventions, I am now learning to live my life with the pain and lack of mobility. I also live with Coeliacs, Hypothyroidism, Pernicious Anaemia and Pathway Disorder. I only manage to get out of the house once a week, so crafting is the perfect distraction for me from the constant pain. Its like alchemy when we turn something so negative into positivity and colour! I love to make mobiles for children and adults, quilts, rag wreaths, button pictures, wherever the mood takes me. Any cash I raise will be put towards a new super electric wheelchair that I need, and then, I can spend more time in material and craft shops!! Peace and love! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Catharine Ramage, collages from pages of old, tatty children's books

Catharine Ramage
Sevilloon Bookart

Hi everyone, I’m Catharine and I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I first realised I might have this illness when I kept fainting and having ‘funny turns’ in 2009. Then I started feeling exhausted all the time and had barely any energy to do anything. I ended up have to leave my teaching job due to the illness, because it took a long time to diagnose and treat it. After lots of trial and error, I am now on a combination of medication that allows me to function reasonably. I still have my ‘funny turns’, but am able to cope with them a lot better than I used to. I’ve always been massively into literature, particularly children’s, and enjoy creating artwork based on books. I find collaging very therapeutic. Ripping up bits of paper and arranging them in a haphazard way just does something good to the soul! Recently I’ve been working on developing a series of educational children’s books which are due to be published in Sept 2015. I will sell those on here too once we have them printed. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sharon Davies-Hunt, Kiznme Mosaics

Sharon Davies-Hunt
Kiznme Mosaics

Hi all, I'm Sharon, I have FND (Functional Neurological Disorder). This disorder can effect people in many different ways, for me I have muscle rigidly and spasms, also non epileptic seizures at least twice a day lasting up to 2 hours for each one. At the moment I'm receiving specialist treatment in hospital. I'll have been in 20 wks by the time I'm discharged in September. I've had the disorder 9 years, it came on quite suddenly. I was a post woman and loved my job, then this happened and I've been unable to work since. I love my art work though! This has kept me going. I do mosaics mainly, but I also draw and paint portraits, sea and landscapes, so plenty to keep me out of mischief! I'm a very happy go lucky person and I've done my best to not let my disorder stop me from doing things, within reason of course. I'm happy to have been invited to join this group and look forward to seeing other peoples work. My mosaics are anything from door numbers/house names, welcome signs, scenes, table tops, coasters, tiles etc. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Chrissie Lowery, Snugglebedz

Chrissie Lowery
Snugglebedz

I am a single parent of 5 children, 3 daughters, 2 sons including twins that were born 3 months early and 2 grandsons. Up until last year I was a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, treating very damaged children. In 2013 I became seriously unwell and placed on long term sick leave, however my health deteriorated and I sadly had to give up my job. I am still under the neurologist and awaiting further diagnostic tests for Lupus but at present I have an auto immune disease called Pernicious Anaemia also known as Fatal Anaemia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Gluten Intolerant and lots of other deficiencies. During my many days spent on the sofa I designed my first Snugglebed for my son who couldn't sleep and was up most of the night, he now sleeps well on his hero Snugglebed. I made some more for my Grandsons as sleeping over 6 children proved difficult and Snugglebedz was born! Last October I was invited to Birmingham to an event to showcase my products which helped with exposure for my little business. Snugglebedz have recently been in the newspaper twice and I was made a finalist for the local business awards! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Lisa Formby, Path to Positivity Designs, handmade jewellery

Lisa Formby
Path to Positivity Designs

Positive Designs has organically formed, firstly through my love of jewellery and secondly because of the shift in my life and my vision. I was diagnosed with M.E (Myalgic Encephalopathy) or C.F.S. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and my lifestyle completely changed. I gave up my job due to crashing all the time and set myself up as a coach with the sole aim of looking after my health and to help others move towards a more positive, happier and fulfilled life. I use a technique called Anchoring, helping people re create that feeling they wanted more of and then we connected that feeling to a movement or item. I was working with a client one day and we decided to anchor this state to her bracelet as she wore it all the time. Every time she looked at it she would vision the more confident and vibrant person that she knew she was deep down and from there the idea was born! I create beautiful pieces of jewellery, each with their own meaning to help support, celebrate or remember a specific event or feeling so you build on your wellbeing. Working self employed has vastly improved my health and my positive outlook on life, making me appreciate everything I have. I hope my jewellery can in some very small way help others feel that way too. Visit My Shop 🙂

Lilly Ladd, Jewellery by Lilly

Lilly Ladd
Jewellery by Lilly

I was a fine art oil painter and had my own studio as well as working part time as a Carer/PA for a lady who had MS. I kinda knew I was over doing things when 2 weeks after my first solo exhibition in 2008, my body crashed. I was diagnosed as having Post Viral Fatigue (PVF). This didn't improve at all, so after a few weeks (and my internet research) I was told I likely had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME). I was determined to stay interdependent but my life completely changed and all but a couple of good friends stuck by me. After four years things weren't much different until a friend told me about Mickel therapy and I saw a massive improvement in my health. I still experience symptoms and vary a lot as to how I am. I currently work as a mid day supervisor in a middle school one hour a day and do my jewellery making along side this. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Eudaimonia Crafting, pyrography, beading and knitting

Judith Thorne
Eudaimonia Crafting

I have always been 'flexible', but it didn't really cause a big problem until the birth of my second child. From this point onwards, my joints seemed to 'pop' out of place more frequently and the pain became a lot more difficult to manage. In the end, I had to give up my job of teaching at school, because I simply couldn't predict when I would wake up unable to move because of a joint dislocation or with my whole body feeling as though it had crippling toothache. After five years of working through the various processes of the NHS I was diagnosed with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) and, subsequently, with POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome). It was a huge relief to get these diagnoses, which may sound odd, but at least I knew now WHAT was wrong with me rather than being told that it was all in my head! I now work from home, which means that I can manage my symptoms far more effectively by being able to pace activities better within my day. My husband, who is my Carer, is also able to keep an eye on me and point out when I'm over-doing things! Crafting gives me the chance to create items that make me smile - hence the 'Eudaimonia' meaning 'Happiness'! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Morag Christie, Morag's Crafts Patchwork homewares, accessories and gifts made from recycled fabrics

Morag Christie
Morag's Crafts

Hi there. I make patchwork homewares, accessories and gifts made from recycled fabrics.I particularly like the scrappy look and am a great believer in recycling. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and sew as and when I'm able. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Tina McKennon, Tinas Cabin, Crochet

Tina McKennon
Tinas Cabin

Since childhood I have suffered from anxiety and mystery pains that come and go. I was misdiagnosed with a knee condition and had 3 knee surgeries in high school. I was properly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 2 years ago. About that time I had applied for disability and started working part time. I was denied disability. Then after this winter became too painful on all my joints I had to drop to working 15 hours a week. But I also run our home and raise 2 kids. I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and in 2004 I taught myself to crochet. It helped with the hand tremors and calming my racing thoughts. I soon perfected or at least got really good at making afghans and stuffed animals.I love making tut dresses, faerie wands, scarves, mug cozies, and various yarn items. I made all the bouquets for my wedding and my friend's wedding. I dabble in other crafts, too. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Leanne Yan Wright Byrne, Art and Sole, Customised Shoes

Leanne Yan Wright Byrne
Art and Sole

Hi my name is Leanne, I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) diagnosed in 2010, but untreated for 2 years. I have been customising shoes since 2012 and I absolutely love it, it's probably one of the things that has helped me through the pain & stresses of chronic illness, it keeps me positive and gives everyday meaning. I source fabrics and accessories from all over the world alongside lots of handmade embellishments to make fun quirky individual shoes. I also know how hard it is to find comfortable shoes that look amazing, so I'm always happy to give your older shoes a new lease of life. If you want to know anything else just give me a shout. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Little Rugged Creations, wood burned plaques

Kristina Peralez
Little Rugged Creations

I'm a mommy of 2 little ones and have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility (EDS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) that I know of so far. My two little ones have GERD, severe food allergies, and my oldest has Asthma and we suspect EDS-HT as well. I make wood burned plaques currently and plan to branch out to other wooden items. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sue Huitt, Super Sue Cards, cards and bookart

Sue Huitt
Super Sue Cards

My name is Sue, I've had Fibromyalgia since my early 20's but like many things then I was too young to be suffering as not a lot was known. I also have Angina and Diverticular disease and Osteoporosis. I had hysterectomy at 28, had 3 children, sadly lost my little boy to Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) 28 years ago. I have a son and a daughter, 6 grandchildren and a husband a woman would die for - he's caring loving and my full time Carer. I started making cards a few years ago for charity, I like to crochet but unfortunately my hands don't work very well, so I make cards, flowers and bookfolds as a past time as I cannot work due to health reasons. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Jodie Baker-Revell, Love Crafting

Jodie Baker-Revell
Love Crafting

I am a carer, to my bedbound mum who has CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) type 2. I help with meals, housework, laundry and of course the dreaded potty duty! (Yes thanks mother!) I am also the other half of S & J Crafting Creations. I like to make decoupage cards and I also knit scarves and blankets with pom pom wool (with mums permission from her huge hoard). I also have been experimenting with quilling, but I am not that confident with it yet to sell any makes. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Ceri Smith Cute Creations by Ceri

Ceri Smith
Cute Creations by Ceri

Hello. My name is Ceri and I make needle felt miniatures. I have various medical conditions that prevent a 'normal' job, so I started crafting as a way to stay sane. I've had Hemiplegic Migraines for over 20 years - a feat in itself as the NHS claim they only last from teens to late twenties (I started getting them age 11 and I'm 34 with no cure in sight) I also have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, which bring with them other associated illnesses (IBS being one). 🙂 Visit My Shop

Becky de Wet, Chloivia, Hairbands, Fabric Headbands, Hair clips, Brooches, lavender bags, purses, pencil cases, crayon rolls, button pictures, carrier bag holders

Becky de Wet
Chloivia

I was diagnosed with PND (post natal depression) in 2014 after the birth of my second daughter. I was really struggling until I started crafting. It keeps my mind busy when I am feeling low or having a bad day. I first started crafting when I couldn't find a gift for my daughter, having searched extensively I finally resorted to making one instead. As a result of positive feedback from family and friends, I decided to experiment with gift ideas. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Samantha Compton, Sam's Cards

Samantha Compton
Sam's Cards

I've always had problems with my back, but not so that it effected my daily living and work. I used to be a Care Assistant, have been since I left school many moons ago. Everything was fine until I took the full weight of a resident when we lifted her into her bed.  That was the start of my back problems, several MRI scans over the years have revealed 3 Prolapsed Discs and Arthritis in neck and spine. I've got Lumbar Spine Stenosis which has caused numbness in my feet meaning I trip up a lot! I've been making cards since 2007, my stepmom got me into it - she kept giving me bits and bobs to make cards, but it wasn't until my daughter first baby died at 15 hours old that I started making cards, as I couldn't find any suitable for my daughter. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Helen Whaley, The Watcher's Realm

Helen Whaley
The Watcher's Realm

Hello! I first got into jewellery making after I was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) back in 2009. I had to reduce my working hours and within a space of 6 months I went from full-time down to only 12 hours a week. The jewellery making was a form of therapy for me… for a while you could immerse yourself in your creations and forget about all the worries in your life. During my last relapse in July 2014 I decided to take the plunge… so I left my job and set up a small business. Quite a challenge for someone who also suffers from anxiety! My business is called The Watcher’s Realm (Pagan, Gothic and Steampunk Jewellery & Gifts). I've always been inspired by pagan beliefs and symbolism and gothic imagery, and more recently, by the wonderful world of Steampunk! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Linzi Marie Sutton, Lace Of Hearts Jewellery

Linzi Marie Sutton
Lace Of Hearts Jewellery

Hi I'm Linzi, I was diagnosed with ME when I was 14! As a result I struggled with full time education and any further education, though I did try I never managed to stay any longer than a couple of months. I started a weekend job in retail then over the years, despite my high sickness level, I worked my way up to a management role and enjoyed being independent. I unexpectedly fell pregnant in 2012 and after the birth of my beautiful baby boy what I thought was my ME gradually got worse sometimes to the point my body hurt too much to pick my baby up. I was then diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in October 2014. Not currently being able to work I started making jewellery, though it can really hurt my hands I completely fell in love with it. it has really given me a sense of worth back! 🙂 Visit My Shop

DawnyDTDesigns

Dawn Irving DawnyDTDesigns

I was diagnosed with M.E in 2007 after having been ill since 2005. I struggled along the best I could but eventually lost my job because of it in 2008. My mental health also took a turn for the worse and I was diagnosed with severe depression. Crafting became my therapy and ultimately, because I am unable to work, became my sole source of income. The joy I feel when someone purchases a piece of my work is better than any medication! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Faithful Family Crafts

Rebecca Faithful
Faithful Family Crafts

Hi, I'm a mummy of 2 little munchkins and a medical zebra. I have a list of problems but my main little niggles are Fibromalygia , CRPS, CFS and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome/EDS3 (depending on DR). As my husband puts it 'I'm a very emotional, very tired, bendy robot who needs a lot of maintenance' 🙂 I have faulty collagen causing most of my problems. I have had these problems all my life and I'm slowly learning how to deal with them but as I get older things get worse. My big problem is my breathing, swallowing and low blood pressure. These three things make it extremely difficult to manage the rest of my conditions. My breathing is like inhaling soup, the air is just so thick I can barely breath which limits my moving (this is why I've always been more crafty then sporty). My blood pressure flickers between way too low and way too high within seconds which leads to fainting and dizzy spells more often then I care to admit to and then my near inability to swallow means I struggle to take any medication that could help my conditions. Crafting is my pain management system and when people buy what I make and I receive their messages it helps my depression and my anxiety. Crafting makes me happy and I love that it brings others happiness too. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Joanna Key, Catching Dreams Crafts

Joanna Key
Catching Dreams Crafts

In 2011 I started getting tired and having awful pains in my right shoulder, as well as widespread aches and pains. I put it down to being a single mum, and trying to hold down a job, as well as getting older. By January 2012, my shoulder pain was enough to put me on long-term sick. After numerous visits to the GP, in the June I finally got an MRI which showed arthritis in the shoulder. Physio/injections followed, but nothing helped, and the pain elsewhere continued to worsen. August 2012 I got the diagnosis for Fibromyalgia. In Dec 2012 I had an op on my shoulder, where they shaved 2 of my bones and removed part of my shoulder blade. The op was unsuccessful, and I still get excruciating pain. In the last few months my left shoulder has started to 'play up' in the same way it started in my right. I have also been diagnosed with IBS, and suffer with panic and anxiety attacks. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Kat Hunter Kattys Crafts Jewellery Fibromyalgia

Kat Hunter
Kattys Crafts

I have was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia along with some other issues in 2011. Since losing my part time job, I have thrown myself into my crafting, as I enjoy what I do and I love making peoples faces light up when they receive their orders 🙂 I take part in local markets and craft fayres as well as help people design personal, floating lockets and jewellery. This includes those celebrating a new baby in the family / circle of friends or those sadly bereaved following losing a family member, friend or pet. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Quirky pyro and hand engraved glass

Heidi Bowman
Rowan Tree Crafts

Hi I'm Heidi I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) in 2010 after catching swine flu and glandular fever back to back in six weeks after a seriously stressful time. I'm now doing better mainly thanks to a good doctor and some effective meds gotta love those beta blockers for migraine relief. I started crafting mainly to feel useful and it really helps when times are rough to walk into my workshop and look around and know that even when ME is biting me, I did that, all by myself xx 🙂 Visit My Shop

Haze Hicklin Lil h Crafts ME, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety

Haze Hicklin
Li'l h Crafts

Hi! When I was 16 I was diagnosed with ME/CFS following Glandular Fever. I managed to slowly build myself up to working full time as a domiciliary carer (which I believe was me being in remission). When I was 23 I had a relapse due to stress. Slowly my hours became less and less at work and I had to change my role to Care co-ordinator, as I could no longer do physical work. I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Headaches and Migraines, Irritable Bladder, IBS, Anxiety. I deteriorated until Dec 2014 when I was signed off work as I just couldn't manage anymore. In my time at home I started to play with some craft things I had. I love to make and decorate things. It also helps me to feel like I have a purpose. My fur-baby Nell keeps me company, I'd be lost without her. 🙂 Visit My Shop

Tracey Bolton Transform a Mug Conversion Disorder

Tracey Bolton
Transform A Mug

Hi in 2013 I went in to have a routine operation, now I have Conversion Disorder which is very like a Stroke but without the blood clot. I am week all down my left side and have to walk with 2 sticks to get around, also since having this I have acquired a stutter, I don't like being around lots of people and noise, I have a problem swallowing with some other issues. I am 43 married with 3 children aged 18, 17 and 13 who along with my husband have given me a lot of support. 🙂 Visit My Shop

neuralgia, chronic migraines, bulging discs

Kathy Doherty
Sew Very Beautiful

Christmas Eve 2012 was the day things changed for me. After a trip to the emergency doctors, I was diagnosed with neuralgia. 3 MRI scans later, they found 3 discs bulging and pressing on nerves. The only way to control the pain is through incredibly strong pain medication that limits the things I can do due to the side effects and has left me suffering from chronic migraines. Since then, I have had to give up my full time job as a teacher, a job I adored. It was during my first year off work that I stumbled on sewing. I found it very therapeutic and it suddenly dawned on my that maybe this could be a new door of opportunity for me. So here I am! 🙂 Visit My Shop

Sonia Green S & J Crafting Creations

Sonia Green
S & J Crafting Creations

I am a bed bound Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) type 2 warrior. I have had it since 2012 after an operation to remove a ganglion tumour in my left foot.
I now have this untreatable and incurable disease working its way through my body. This disease has caused all my hair loss. My hands and arms are unaffected as of yet and as long as I can, I will use them to craft items to make others happy. All jewellery items are made with my 15 year old daughter, this way we get to spend quality time together. I also love knitting and make outfits for premature babies. 🙂 Visit My Shop