A Christmas Gift Guide

Hey pals,

I never thought I would do a gift guide honestly, but I’ve stumbled upon some cool small businesses and artists online, and some of them are also my friends! What better way to celebrate Christmas than sharing the love of art and creations for others to buy! So here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Cassie Maes’ Bijoux a la Main Jewellery

Cute and quirky jewellery. She also produces custom orders.

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Lena of Art by Lena

She provides a website/social media header design service, all beautifully hand painted and custom to you. Cute wooden Christmas-ish ornaments, stickers, prints, bookmarks, postcards, all kinds of hand painted wonderful-ness! Lena is always expanding the kinds of things she creates, so I recommend having a browse! Many cute stationary pieces.

Check out her other links here. The main shop can be found here.

Dylan / Dylanoliv.art

A real mixture of creative works from photography to drawing to sculptures. He makes cool illustrated sticker versions of sculptures he has made and draws cool faceless people. To buy, send him a message on his art insta. Dylan also has a Redbubble!

Abbi Guse of Abbigail Guse Art

Art prints of ethereal women and landscapes. Also cute stickers and clothes! (I’m particularly partial to those) Also check out her Redbubble.

Alex of Baby Limbs Art (Now on Etsy)

Funky wallpaper, line character work, gremlins, cute animals and more!  You can order directly through her on her instagram/etsy for postcards and prints. Occasionally, they will make bizarre jewellery bits like funky earrings, so if you’re looking for unique, one of a kind pieces, Alex is the one for you! I have personally bought a print in the past and can say they’re great quality and everything is super reasonably priced!

Fox Fisher

Another nonbinary seller on my list. Screen printing and teaching short courses, limited edition prints, LGBT+ art works and stickers.

Check out their store here.

Shadeaux by Annie 

Owned by a LGBT+ woman of colour, Shadeaux creates fetish inspired jewellery for the kink community. Annie’s shop started as a line of acrylic accessories, an easy way to add some kink to everyday looks or streetwear. Shadeaux will be adding a line of ball gags an paddles by the end of September 2020. Check out and follow their instagram here.

Lorna Henson

Handmade elasticated harnesses, custom orders, size inclusive. Either wear as sexy addition to lingerie or a cool accessory addition to an outfit.

Devovere Lingerie and Jewellery 

Similar pieces to above that are custom made but also some jewellery pieces. A disabled queer person, I’m always here to support! They are a UK based store too. Everything can be found at Devovere.com

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RT Designs by Ruth

Black woman owned business, I found her through #BlackPoundDay on Twitter and fell in love with her beautiful gold flake bookmarks I mean what that hell?? She makes coasters and jewellery with similar designs and I am definitely planning on picking up a bookmark. UK based. Check out her Instagram.

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Tiffany: 30 year old emo from Essex (& very proud). Bi & chronically ill & disabled – Crohn’s & a stoma. I love records and prints and being unapologetically me.

Shimmer and Sew was born – like a lot – out of lockdown, after being made redundant due to covid, and getting a sewing machine for personal use, I decided to try my hand at sewing properly! I don’t normally stick with hobbies because if I’m not good, I give up, so this is a big thing for me! I have a Christmas scrunchie drop (or two) planned, and take on custom orders (I’m currently working on a duvet set for a friends rabbit).
Orders are mostly taken via DM on any social media and can be PayPal or bank transfer. I have an Etsy shop now open for pre-made items, for custom orders send a message 🧡
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Positively Peculiar  Quirky handmade jewellery and badges, second hand clothes with a 90’s vibe. The badges often have a good political statement which is always a plus for me!

CultureSmart’s Travel Guides! Kuperard Publishers very kindly gifted me a copy of their ‘essential guide to customs & culture’ Japan edition! This is a whole new level of travel guide that really talks about the culture of the place you’re interested in travelling to with some helpful do’s and don’ts when it comes to conversation. This would be a great present for anyone looking to travel in the New Year and they have a HUGE list of locations they have covered!

If you know anyone who loves books, I recommend searching and buying from Hive as they support indie bookshops and you can decide which ones your money supports.

Snuggly Duckling Crafts is a one-woman melt and pour soap making business, based in Singapore! All of Marsy’s soaps are cruelty free, paraben free and handcrafted by herself – making sure no one soap is the exactly the same as another. She ships locally to Singapore and also to the UK, but is open to worldwide shipping. She has an etsy store (that’s currently on holidays because of bank issues) or you can place an order via DM with her at @snugglyducklingcrafts on instagram!

taxidermy animal skulls and antlers

If you are interested in taxidermy, I recommend reading my blog post on it! Lots of good places to buy recommended on there.

~

And of course, ME! Can’t make a gift guide without shameless self promotion!

As you know, I sell second hand items on my depop or my vinted, you can for sure find some presents on there (and it’s not always just clothes) all my postage wrapping is reused!

I also make all kinds of art stuff! I particularly like line drawn portraits and making fun wall signs out of scrap pieces of wood, and I sometimes make cute cards! I’m open to commissions 🙂 hit me up on my art insta. I do have a RedBubble of my own with some of my drawings or photography on. Link here.

And I do tarot card readings through email! So if you’re interested, give me an email at: artiecardenbusiness@gmail.com (paid through paypal)

I hope you enjoyed this little gift guide! It’s mostly art stuff but occasionally something else! I hope you found some good ideas here and thank you for supporting my friends and their small businesses!

~ Artie

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January 2019 Wrap Up: My Trip to L.A.

Hey pals!

I’m a little shocked January is already over, a lot has happened to me in this month it has been crazy but I’m still feeling positive and excited for 2019. I’ve submitted some pieces of work and I’m currently thinking through an idea I have for a competition that closes end of February, and I’ve been trying to apply for some creative jobs or scouting out opportunities even if they aren’t advertising.

I feel like I’m doing okay. I had a mental health blip recently, the reasons of which I will not discuss at this time. But that’s all over now; it was a sign from the universe that this is not the place for me and I have bigger and better things to get on with. It was taking all my energy and thoughts, now I’m back to full focus on my health, my work, and myself and I feel much better about that. I have some money saved and I still make a little from depop sales so I think I can still do the enjoyable experiences I want to do this year.

LA was a pretty crazy ride. I honestly can’t even remember the order things happened because we just did so much every day. The main thing for me was it felt familiar, even though I didn’t know where anything was etc. it felt like I’d been there before. I felt comfortable ordering drinks or food at places, I kept forgetting about the whole tax deal, but everyone in the service industry was super nice and accommodating where they could be.

Unfortunately, as a group we often went to food places that didn’t have much to offer me. Everyone was surprised, but I had said from the beginning LA has more specialised img_0315restaurants than the UK, but the usual places still barely accommodate. It just sucked we didn’t go somewhere I could choose from a menu, not from eating or starving. If I ever go back, I’ll definitely be doing more research on food places I can eat at.

I do have to say one thing, I hated the coach and felt sick most of the time, but American billboard advertisements are… hilarious? Very extra, very misleading, and it was weird seeing the bench adverts in person too. There was one billboard that said ‘are you big enough’ with a woman in a pantsuit with her arms crossed next to it. I think it was a legal firm…

img_0572So many chances to re-enact vines when you drive around LA. The two best moments were ‘road work ahead’ and ‘freshavacado’.

We saw really iconic places. We were staying in Studio City, we went to Santa Monica beach and the pier, Venice beach, the Griffith Observatory and saw the Hollywood sign from there. We went to Universal and did the studio tour and saw a bunch of new and old sets, EVEN THE GOOD PLACE! Saw the Harry Potter section of Universal. It’s so realistic and I want to be part of the Toad Choir that performed!

We went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and saw tonnes of stars names, also lots of rappers trying to sell their demos. We went to this Cemetery (I don’t remember the img_0285name) where lots of famous people are buried such as Johnny Ramone of the Ramones and Judy Garland. We went into this really cool mausoleum with these huge crazy Greek statues and marble floors and walls.

We went to the oldest McDonalds, which really didn’t bother me I couldn’t order anything to eat as per this trip so I wandered about.

img_0249.jpgAnd we went to Disney which is not accessible really at all unless you have an electronic wheelchair and even then the girl on our trip who had and used one, it died part way through the day and she needed to borrow a manual one and needed someone to then push he around. It’s also completely appalling in the food department. Single options, lots include cheese, and their fries (which come with Vegan meals btw) are fried with the meat. I paid over $22 dollars for a single burger that wasn’t even good.

I liked when we first got there and walked round for a little tour with all these cool historic facts about the place and a couple of rides but yanno, your disabled pal is really just not made for theme parks, also I just don’t think I like them? I think that I think I like them because everyone really aggressively likes them…952af469-a599-4c7e-aaff-286460918d8e

I kinda just wanted to have more of a chilled day… I would have liked to be somewhere on a warm day where I could slowly wander round, sit at a café, yanno things normal img_0276people do when they’re on holiday. It just felt a bit too packed for me. Plus, there was a promise of seeing the Charmed house but that fell through so I’ll have to go back for that.

I fell in love with it really. The supermarkets had more options, the weather wasn’t as cold, people seemed nicer?? We discussed this. The stereotype is British people are awkward and polite, which as an over all is not true at all. And the stereotype of Americans is loud, obnoxious, annoying, which isn’t true when you’re in America. However, I will say I think its true when Americans come to the UK. The American payment system is fucked up and shitty and I feel like that’s the only thing Britain has done right besides free health care. And right by the Santa Monica Pier there’s practically a village of homeless people; I saw so many homeless people whilst I was in LA and it was really shitty. We have tonnes over here too but Police often force them more out of site in a lot of places. LA they were out where you could see them, you could see how bad the problem is. I’m not saying what we do in the UK is good, not at all, we shouldn’t be scurrying homeless people out of site we should be giving them shelter yanno? Plus they have weed stores I could buy from to help my chronic pain!

Besides the negative points, I really liked it there and feel like there’s so much more to see and I’d really like to stay there long term sometime. I might wait until Trump’s reign is over… but being there felt normal.

I get vibes in different places I go, but this one felt similar to living at home or in London. Maybe one day you’ll see me there.

As you know from my last blog post, I’ve been struggling with a lot of health problems stemmed from this trip. I’m nearly all better, still some weird aches and pains but I’m seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist to try and alleviate the pain and get me back on track. I’m going back to my weekly exercise class and I tried doing some weight training again. I spent a lot of time sleeping through the day and watching Netflix constantly but I think I needed it for my body to heal. I’ve had a lot of crazy dreams too, maybe I’ll let you all in on them sometime.

~ Artie

A Big Health Update: Prediagnosis

Hey pals,

 

I’ve been laid up in bed since my trip to LA. 10k steps minimum for 7 days straight and two 10-12 hour flights kind of killed me. A lot has gone one and this post has been written on the fly. I just want to give a general health update because I can’t really focus on anything else right now?

 

My mental health has quite a dip with my physical health. My body has been so inflamed that even my mild asthma (still to be officially diagnosed) was rearing its head. My chest felt restricted and heavy until a couple of days ago and my peak flow meter readings have been lower than normal. The peak flow is back to my normal range and my chest feels better. When this post goes up, I’ll have seen the asthma nurse again. I saw her before my trip and put my dose up on my inhaler to see if that would help. It’s difficult to say if it has because my health is always fluctuating and one thing affects another thing, which affects another thing, and so on.

 

I felt like someone had taken a bat to my knees after all the walking, and I actually popped a rib whilst I was still away. At Disney Land no less, the happiest place on earth my arse. Most of my pain was in my lower body. I walked 66,721 steps over 7 days, which works out to 31.5 miles. Now you may see why it’s taken me over a week to recover. The bottoms of my feet still hurt from the pressure of standing, a different part of my foot will hurt every day and my ankles swell and throb on and off. I think I may have re-injured my left knee, the original injury is from 2012 or 2013 during college doing a movement class. It was so minor I didn’t actually notice it at the time but repeated use of it when it needed rest made it worse, so over-use of that knee makes it start popping again and not able to hold any weight or walk up and down stairs.

 

Surprisingly my lower back wasn’t too bad on this trip. I think I was good enough with regularly stretching it out and I think the activity helped it.

 

We spent so much time on coaches my travel sickness was pretty bad. I used these acupressure wristbands trying to avoid more pills (plus I’d forgotten to pack any…) I actually found it somewhat difficult to eat and just wanted plain things most of the time, and that’s not really a thing in America. Everything has something on it. I couldn’t just order toast at the hotel diner for example. And everywhere we went for food only had one veggie or vegan option. Not and, not one of each, just one of them. So I struggled eating things that weren’t going to set my stomach off and definitely spent the week trying to manage my symptoms of bloating and, well, inconvenient toilet needs. It has taken a while to get to a better place with my stomach but I still feel a bit like I might have some travel sickness as I’ve not had much of an appetite compared to usual, but then that could also be linked to my stomach problems.

 

Speaking of, I finally saw a surgeon about my stomach issues. We drove half an hour for a 10 minute consultation a few days after I had returned from my trip. He referred me for two tests, which involve MRI’s, dye and needles, yay. Oh and prep for to days before the scans, so that’s going to be great. I’ve been told how awful this stuff tastes for pre-scan prep and I have a pretty sensitive gag reflex. Plus, I’m going to have a cannula in my hand during the scans, or before them, which completely cringes me out. I warned the surgeon so it isn’t my fault if I pass out before I even get started.

 

My rib has been playing up ever since it popped out on my trip. It had been alright for quite a while before that, I feel like I’d been managing my activity well that it hadn’t been a huge issue but now it gets really painful again. My three-hour nap today was mostly to get away from the pain.

 

My blood pressure remains low. So low that my mum’s blood pressure machine literally does not register me as a living human most tries. This isn’t exactly bad, but it comes with dizziness and whatever.

 

I got my letter back from the rheumatologist about some tests I did towards the end of last year (took him long enough to get back to me), good news, I don’t have a heart problem or a trapped nerve in my neck. Bad news, we still don’t know why I’m having these symptoms. Sick one! So I have to go back and see him but that wont be for months.

 

I went to my GP for sleeping pills because of the jet lag, I’ve had a few nights awake and numerous afternoons asleep for 3-6 hours. I’m still not quite there with it all but it’s getting better. I think mostly my body wants to sleep to do some of the healing it couldn’t do when I was away coz we barely slept.

 

I then went to the GP again asking for a referral to a podiatrist to possibly get some ankle supports or insoles or whatever they are. I’ve always been told pain in your body often starts with the feet and this is something I haven’t yet tried. I have quite a high arch and I’ve been told that can lead to some issues. I’ll keep you updated.

 

And I think the final point I have is that I am going to try some CBD oil for pain and sleep management. I’ve read it is supposed to have anti-inflammatory affects and, considering my whole body is inflamed, I think I could do with that. My GP said that he can’t really advise on using it because there’s so little evidence and not a lot of studies done over here, so he can’t tell me if it might affect other medication I’m on etc. but I’m going to give it a go anyway, maybe start with evening doses to be safe. I’ve seen so many people in America talk about CBD products and how great they have been for chronic pain of all kinds, I feel like I need to give it a shot. Apparently the oil is gross but that’s my only option in the UK. There is an organisation that provides CBD treatments but it’s for a very small amount of chronic pain illnesses/general illnesses and it would be impossible for me to even be seen by anyone.

 

Hyper-mobility Syndrome is so under researched that people want to keep changing my diagnosis and can’t offer me more than basic physio and a variety of painkillers. Even medical professionals don’t understand how I am in so much pain or why. And everyone you tell wants to put their two-cents in and tell you to exercise or go swimming or change my diet as if I haven’t heard that before. It gets really fucking tiring dealing with this all the time… The days I want to be normal I can’t and the days I want to be treated like I’m disabled are days when no one bats an eyelid about our activities that day or don’t notice me flagging.

 

I wish I was a normal 24 year old.

 

~ Artie