7 October 2013

Debra-Dee Designs for M.E!

Introducing the latest member of the inspiring team of Make ME Crafters 
Debbie Bowers of Debra-Dee Designs

Debbie wrote:  I have had M.E since the winter of 2010, and it was only earlier this year that I decided (and felt able) to try and invest some of my, albeit, precious energy into doing something creative. I had watched a Kirsty Allsopp craft programme on TV a couple of years or so ago, and was completely in awe of the free motion embroidery technique she used to 'draw' with a sewing machine. At the time, I dismissed it as something I could try as a) I didn't own a sewing machine b) I simply didn't have the energy to try something new and c) I have carpal tunnel in both wrists and awful nerve pain in my feet and I felt that it would be far too painful to operate a sewing machine. However, in the spring of 2012, my doctor persuaded me to try Gabapentin for nerve pain. Thankfully, it was finally something which made a difference to the intensity of my nerve pain; while it hadn't disappeared completely, and I still had all the other ghastly M.E symptoms, it did mean that I could write and even draw ... both things that I used to love, but had been unable to do without intolerable pain, since having M.E.

As people who have M.E. know only too well, one's quality of life is affected so dramatically by this awful disease, that finding things that are both pleasurable and that we are able to do, without too many consequences, is often a hard task. So, for the Christmas of 2012, I decided to request a sewing machine from 'Santa'. I was a little concerned, to be honest, that my purchase would sit and just gather dust, but from the moment I first used it, I felt a huge buzz from being able to doing something creative and actually make something. It was really rather exciting .. and an emotion that I have felt little of since having M.E. Physical and mental fatigue were, and still are, a big issue; I have to be strict with myself, even when I am having loads of fun. I try to make sure I have regular breaks before my symptoms begin to exacerbate, or it can take me days to recover. And there are plenty of days and weeks when I know I simply cannot do it without severely worsening my symptoms. But ... I love it; and it has given me a sense of personal satisfaction that really is uplifting.

After reading a very inspiring piece this summer about the very talented 'Mirry Mirry' raising £1000 for Invest in ME, through selling her hand embroidered hoops, I was inspired to do something similar. I decided to set up a Facebook page and test the waters as to what people felt about my work and I made a number of gifts for family and friends. This has then has extended and I now have a small number of orders in the pipe line for bespoke orders. I then made a plan that the money that I recoup from the orders could be invested into materials to make hoops for IiME donations. I will therefore be doing two wonderful things ... Raising money for an incredible charity AND have fun being creative.

Please take a look at my Facebook page, Debra-Dee Designs: www.facebook.com/debradeedesigns.
I aim to have regular sales specifically for Invest in ME, and if you request a bespoke, personalised item, and are not in a rush for it, I will gladly accept payment through my Just giving page, as long as you mention this when placing the order.

For me, Invest in ME offers real hope for the future in that the only way we can truly fight this dreadful disease is via biomedical research into cause, treatment and ultimately a cure.

A big THANK YOU to Debbie for supporting Invest in ME charity's BIG cause - Let's do it for ME!