Sometimes you know you need help. You know what your skill set is and, more importantly sometimes, what it isn’t. I have never been able to draw or paint – it’s one of the main reasons I took up photography.
The LimbBofoundation has come a long way in a short space of time and we have many projects ongoing. The book for children was an idea that we needed help to achieve. I’ve written the story and I have friends helping me to shape it. We put out an appeal for an artist to help us. Amie from Darton asked the question ‘why don’t you get pupils to illustrate it?’ Never one to miss out on an opportunity (and we love a good project!) I went into Darton College to ask for help.
I was encouraged that the pupils all said yes of course we will help but had no idea what I would get. I left them with lots of photographs and the story outline.
I walked into Darton College today and burst into tears! Look what greeted me.
Look how amazing and how thoughtful. A whole range of skills, ideas, understanding and a sea of smiling faces. These pupils are year 10! What can I say? Education is about educating the whole child – not a cliche in this case, these pupils have empathised and offered their skills.
I’m not sure yet how or where we will get this book edited – but I do know that we WILL.
(any offers of help gratefully received!)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, often people will help willingly but don’t know what you need. Thank You Year 10 x
Tommy can use a camera by himself. For a couple of years I’ve been campaigning -aka ‘banging on’ and moaning about the fact that there is no such thing as a left handed camera. (You will find several blog posts on here 🙂 ) None of the major camera companies could help – they suggested remote releases or apps …and whilst I know these work Tommy is 3 and wants to run around and snap what he sees not set up a studio type shot.
My son (obviously fed up of my moaning ) decided to sort it out for Tommy. With help and advice from friends, a 3D printer, lots of patience and a determination that #Tommycan take photos – the ‘LimbBo Cam buddy’ was created.
Tommy can hold it easily in his left hand and still press the shutter – he literally squealed when he used it in a cafe and saw what he’d taken. So much so that people came to talk to us and ask what he was using.
We can now have mama and Tommy camera sessions and he’s so proud of his shots. If you know any child who would benefit from this please contact https://www.limbbofoundation.co.uk/ and we can point you to the design which Adam has made ‘Open source’ . If you don’t have a 3D printer but have a child with a limb difference that would benefit then please get in touch.
Just goes to show there ‘is always another way’ (@ITLWorldwide) and we can celebrate what #Tommycan do
The lack of left handed cameras is frustrating, as is the lack of understanding on the part of major manufacturers. However, we are undeterred and yesterday saw a breakthrough for us.
We were in a cafe when Tommy put his camera onto the table and looked at the live view screen, he shook his head and said ‘can’t see you mama’ He was actually trying to line up his shot! I am so incredibly proud of him. He usually balances the camera on his little arm and presses the shutter with his left.
Later on I put my own camera away and realised I was thinking about tripods in the wrong way – he doesn’t need a proper size one just a miniature one. I had a very small gorrilla pod and attached it to his camera – we then laid on the floor – RESULT – look at this photo of LJ – Now look closely in the bottom right hand corner – total fluke but you can see myself and Tommy in the reflection in the cooker. Its not an ideal solution but it’s one we are going to continue to experiment with.
Tommy and LJ had a ‘sleepover’ yesterday ( the reason for the inverted commas will be obvious to any grandparents out there). I’ve watched Tommy develop and am struggling with being amazed at what he can do with his little arm and being cross with myself for being amazed, as to him this is just the norm.He was ‘decorating’ ( yes those inverted commas again) the Christmas tree and couldn’t get the bauble string to go over the branch. I never do things like that for him although the grandma in me often has to sit on her hands to stop herself! He held the bauble with his left hand and pushed his little arm Into the middle of the string to hold it open. Amazing he’s worked it out, but why wouldn’t he it’s normal for him?
We snuggled reading books and he had a bottle of juice with a stopper, he opened with his left arm whilst tucking the bottle under his little arm, he used his little arm to press it down, he opened it with his teeth. I watched in fascination. He is oblivious as this is his world. I have hundreds of examples of where he amazes me but then I make myself remember he’s an ordinary little boy learning to do things his way.
He climbed over his baby gate yesterday and found his advent bag – one book a day for December and a toy on Christmas Eve -really grandma?? – well at least he and LJ have lots of books to read and play with now – my poor son was distraught and was going to wrap them up again but it’s just Tommy being a 2 year old.
LJ is now one and is the most independent child I’ve ever met. She meets life on her own terms, cuddles when she wants, climbs, feeds herself potters happily and has been walking for ages! Having Tommy so close in age she just copies everything he does – they come as a pair and he greets her like he’s not seen her for months when you pick them up from nursery where she is in a different room – here she is and a hug.
I’m so proud of the pair of them, I know they will cope with whatever life brings them – they will both have their own challenges and I need to be amazed by them as the brilliant children they are.
I really do think you can teach yourself most things with the help of you tube videos and a pinterest board. The last few weeks have seen my interest in free motion embroidery grow. I created more flower images based on my photos such as this one here.
I based the flowers and poppy seeds on photos and it seemed to work quite well. I decided to see if the same worked with photos of people. As I’m a beginner I’m working on images taken from behind to avoid having to sew faces! Obviously my first subject was Tommy. My first attempt didn’t work as I forgot to flip the image and his little arm was then on the wrong side.However, undeterred, I tried again!
I love this as this is often my view of him running ahead whilst I try to keep up. My daughter in law loved it and asked if we could do a family portrait. Trying to keep Tommy in the right position was hard but I loved playing with this.
It’s now finished a framed! A real sense of achievement from a non sewer.
This is my latest attempt – a picture for my friend of her two granddaughters which has real significance for her.
So if you want a portrait from behind, preferably wearing a hat! You know where to come x
The run up to Christmas is always busy but this year everything feels very strange. It’s sad that mum isn’t here and dad is struggling. Its wonderful that Layla-Jane grows a little every day and that Tommy is just so amazing.
Yesterday was nerve wracking. My daughter in law was in labour and we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Tommy’s sister Layla Jane We distracted ourselves at the farm, met reindeers, had coffee and checked my phone every few minutes.
Layla was born at 10.20 last night – Tommy was ready with his big brother t shirt and his present for Layla this morning. We have had messages of love and support all day. Some people are missing and it makes it bitter sweet but we know that we are blessed. These two are loved so much and are safe others aren’t so lucky. Today we are counting our blessings and crying happy tears.
I cannot tell you the joy that being a grandmother brings – what an amazing day x
Today was a Tommy day. It was also bright sunshine and a beautiful autumnal day. I had this clear shot in my head of Tommy wrapped in a big woolly jumper with his new wellies playing in the leaves.
The wellies that I bought for Tommy were three sizes too big and fell off when I carried him across to the leaves
The leaves were crunchy and made a noise which Tommy didn’t like so he refused to be put down and just clung to my leg.
My husband tried to coax him by throwing leaves in the air – Tommy’s look of disgust was comical
Plan B was a walk in his pushchair to see if he became more settled with his surroundings – he fell asleep!
Plan C was home, food and try again – well the food worked!
In the end it didn’t matter I just let him play – we read books for half an hour, snuggled and shared some burnt toast. He is so adorable he just puts everything into perspective just by being there. He is inquisitive, he is starting to copy sounds and is growing up so quickly. So today I learnt to not stress if things don’t go the way I want them to, to enjoy the little things and improvise!
I haven’t blogged or uploaded any images for a few days even though I have hundreds that need editing! I want to blog about the last few days but can’t yet. We have been through every emotion you can imagine from fear to frustration from tears to gratitude. Mum is still with us but is on ‘End of Life care plan’. She is very ill and veers from lucidity to bizarre ramblings and hallucinations. BUT and its a big but – friends and family are there for all of us. It means so much to know you have the protection and concern of others to cushion you. There are so many people who have helped. Our lives are on hold at the minute and we are coping a day at a time. This afternoon I received a beautiful arrangement of flowers from special friends and then went for a walk to the RSPB with my long suffering and wonderful husband. Who knows what the next few days will bring but I do know I’m lucky in so many ways and that I am fortunate to have such wonderful family and friends x
A random array of images – everything from Tommy to Northern Rocks x
Tommy went for a cast for his ‘new arm’ last week xx
Walking and taking photographs in the afternoon continues to help. This afternoon we saw a Great Crested Grebe with its young on its back. They look like little aliens.
Mum continues to be very up and down so this is still a struggle. In an attempt to look at what I have and be grateful for the positives in my life I have started the #100happydays challenge. It may seem wrong to do this now when mum is still in hospital but I’m struggling and this is my attempt to ‘cling on with my fingernails’ and be positive. I’m using twitter to upload these @janeh271 not all of them will be on here.
Adam brought Tommy to see me this afternoon – I am so lucky to have a wonderful son and gorgeous grandson (as well as a lovely daughter in law but she was working!)