Sunday, August 24, 2014

happiness is having a scratch for every itch

Hello everyone! How have you been? I trust all of you are keeping well and happy! While not actively aiming to, it does seem that I am posting about once a month now, and am finding that frequency the most comfortable at present.

Sourced from T.E.R.R.A.I.N

So -- I debated which picture should grace the top of this post, and decided that the dolly was significantly more pleasant to look at than this. For those of you who don't know, this thing -- this ****ing execrable, accursed thing -- is a sandfly. The reason I am giving it any attention at all -- which, trust me, it does not deserve -- is because my legs are covered in ****ing bites which itch like the ****ing.. Sylvanians.

Yesterday, in a fit of exuberance, the kids and I decided to go to the beach, where we displayed our joie de vivre in watching the ships, hunting for seashells, building sandcastles, and yes, feeding sandflies. It was idiotic of me to go despite not having repellent on, but the kids were so keen, and we hadn't had any trouble with the bugs for quite some time; I thought it would be alright.

Well, the upshot of it is that Ro and I pretty much fed the entire sandfly population there; the one comfort is that Jake came away completely unscatched, while Becky only got a bite or two. As anyone who's ever been bitten by sandflies knows, it's not till later than you really start clawing at yourself, which was where I was at about 4am, and where I still am now. Needless to say, I've tried everything I know how to quell this insane itching -- which far surpasses anything a mosquito can come up with -- and am now just trying to relieve myself by blogging.

For what it's worth, I thought I'd share with you what I did try, so you might know what works and what doesn't (honestly though, this is pretty much going to be a list of a whole bunch of things that don't work at all). Here we go anyway:

1. Apple cider vinegar. Despite the cure-all this stuff is purported to be, it didn't do **** for the bites. We only ended up smelling funky.
2. Zyrtec Allergy. I can only say it tasted quite nice.
3. Mopiko. This is a Japanese menthol-based ointment used by generations of people here for bites; while it does work pretty decently on mosquito bites, it couldn't conquer the sandfly.
4. Savlon. This is an antiseptic cream often used in first aid for wounds, nappy rash, and "bites". While that might even have included rattlesnake and rabid dog bites, it had no effect on the 15 ****ing *@#!&s dotting my legs.
5. Steroid cream. Not sure what that did, despite the ominous-sounding literature that accompanied the tube.
5. Hand sanitizer. This I just did out of desperation. Pointless of course, except for that two seconds of hope.
6. Hot metal. Useful only for burning yourself in a fit of misdirected anger and loathing.
7. Ice. Possibly the only slightly effective thing. It may well work for more than five seconds if you encase your legs in an entire tub of cubes. For a whole day.

So there. That's everything I've tried so far. Any other suggestions? I had wanted to try tea tree oil applied neat, but someone had left my completely empty bottle in the bathroom without saying a word... If you have any ideas, even half-baked ones, please feel free to share. There is of course a plethora online, including toothpaste, garlic, lemon juice and urine -- I will probably try them all; well, except perhaps that last.

But on to something more pleasant. Dollyland is always fun (though, admittedly, even working on a new doll today did not help distract me). I'll just quickly share some dollies who went up for adoption. That little one up there is Oisín, my little deer girl. She's quite different from my other dollies obviously! She wears needle-felted deer ears, and I like the idea that she might be both a therianthrope -- half animal, half person -- as well as a little girl playing a game of make-believe. She was a big step out in faith for me, and I'm happy with her colouring, and sweet, gentle expression.

This little minx is Juliette. I was thinking of Miles Davis and beatniks and smoky little dens where groovy hepcats wore stripey sweaters and spouted poetry. I gave her plenty of eyeliner, and eyebrows too! Juliette's mommy writes atmospheric stories about her dollies, in segments avidly followed by her readers, so I'm thrilled that Juliette has joined her cast of Jazz Age characters.

This curious thing is a Blythe doll faceplate; well, specifically, it's Persis' faceplate. I took a picture of it because I wanted to remember my first attempt at carving an actual open mouth -- not one that appeared open, but one that actually is. The opening in her mouth was made all the way through, and I fit little teeth in inside. This too was another big step out in faith -- thank you Lord!

Persis made me think of peacocks and fruit punch and tropical islands; I gave her a very bright, vibrant faceup. I really love her, so I'm glad she's been adopted by a wonderful lady in the States.

So little Nova here is still waiting for her mommy or daddy. She is a sort of sister to Electra, with her galactic eyelids and star cluster tattoo. Her blue-lilac hair is really lush -- the thickest I've ever come across. She's hoping she'll find her home really soon! Bloggy friends, feel free to make an offer if you like :)

I'm off now to meditate/scream silently/pee on the *@#%ing bites -- I'll catch up with all of you really soon! Keep well, dear friends, and use repellent!!


My Garden Diaries said...

Oh your little sweeties are so beautiful!!! I love the last one with the scarf and blue hair!!! And I so hear you on the bites...I was attacked by another version of those pesky flies and my legs were itchy for a week! You take care and such stunning creations here! Nicole xoxo

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

You and Ro must just be extra sweet. Sp sorry to hear you got feasted on by the bugs. I find a cold compress of milk really helps to relieve the itch. Benadryl also works for me and this salve called Egyptian Magic which I pretty much use for everything is the best for making the bites going away. here's hoping you find some more relief soon.

Rowena @ rolala loves

Kay G. said...

I don't know anything about sandflies! I would say just try not to think about them that's the best advice!
Your dolls are just so lovely, I expect you will be very famous with them one day, and I can say that I have TWO pins made by you! xx

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said... awful. I've never heard of sandflies, but they sound nasty! I'm sorry to hear that they disturbed what should have been a perfect day. Reminds me of the gazillion bugs that ate me alive when we biked through a wooded trail. I thought they were mosquitoes but my husband insists they were horseflies. Either way, I fed them all! LOL... Well, my fault, anyway. I forgot to bring repellent. Live and learn (the hard way).

Your dolls, as always, are gorgeous. It is astonishing how cute they are. I'm guessing it's the eyes that really do it.

Well, it is really nice to hear from you no matter how often! And I hope you are all well (hopefully the bug bites will go away quickly!). Hugs all around xo

Jane Chérie said...

I have never heard of sandflies before but they sound dreadful! I am so sorry for you and Ro!!! Usually when I get bitten by mosquitoes or ants, I use an anti-itch bug stick. It calms the itch for a while, then I soak my hand or foot or wherever is affected in water mixed with baking soda. After that I apply Benadryl and for the night, a cortisone cream (1%). It does not always work though and some bites will remain itchy even days after. Your dolls are so beautiful. I like the open mouth you have carved! This is art!!! Never seen such a pretty mouth!

Magic Love Crow said...

I am so sorry about your bites! I have never heard of sandflies before! I hope the scratching has calmed down? To be honest, I would try the urine ;o) A very old remedy for many things!
Your dolls are truly amazing! Breath taking!
Nova stole my heart away! They are all so beautiful!
Big Hugs and it is so good to hear from you!

Unknown said...

Ouch on those sandflies bites :( I've never heard of them either but I do hate mosquito bites hope the itching is gone by now.

Almost Precious said...

Sorry to hear about the sandfly bites. Whenever I'm at the beach or on the sandy beach of a lake I usually end up with a ton of bites, only we call them sandfleas and yes they itch like the devil. For some reason biting, blood sucking insects love me and if I'm in a group of people I'll be the only one bitten.
I'm sure that by now your bites probably feel a lot better. Short of taking a antihistamine such as Benadryl, the only real relief is time and trying not to scratch, as that only makes the bite worse.

Your dolls are gorgeous, I bet working with them helped keep your mind off those aggravating, itchy bites.

Unknown said...

You open mouth looks amazing. You are super talented.

Rosemary said...

Oh, I have missed so much since I last visited your blog! Your dolls are gorgeous :) Sorry you're being pestered by itchy fly bites, hope they heal soon.

AntiquityTravelers said...

oh that sounds just miserable! blood sucking insects seem to be attracted to me and tend to bit the tops of my feet for some reason ... in clusters. ugh! Hope you're feeling better by now! The dolls are really something Janice ... such personalities and so beautiful!

Linda said...

My husband seems to attract insect bites much more than I do. Not fun!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Jan! I've been missing you. I'm still not settled back into a regular blogging place myself. I hope your sandfly bites have eased by now. I came back from Nova Scotia covered with mosquito bites that were making me nuts. In desperation one evening in NS, I did slather toothpaste on my bites. It worked for a while. It's been some time since I've been bitten by sandflies. Those are miserable things! I've enjoyed reading and rereading your recent posts. Your dollies are so sweet. The post you did about dealing with chronic symptoms was really good. Sometimes I resort to loud music and dancing to tamp down pain. It's really important to distract yourself with other things. Sometimes you can nip pain in the bud before it blossoms. Jakey is adorable! I hope you are well!

Fundy Blue said...

I'm having an itch that I can't scratch? Missing you! I know that you are very busy being an amazing Mom and creative artist. Just wanted you to know that you are missed! Take care!

Fundy Blue said...

Sending you and yours hugs! Hoping you are all happy and well!

Jo said...

You certainly chose the better picture, dear. Oh I hate those sandflies. The last I got bitten by them, it itched like mad and they bit in patches. It was so itchy and the scars seem to take forever to go away. I hope you have been well, so sorry I haven't been visiting your blog for a while. I recently wrote a blog post about getting to know my readers and blog friends. We have known each other on blogosphere for years and I'm very curious to know more about you. Hence, I'm inviting you to the post to share with me more about yourself. It would be really interesting to hear from you and I hope to see you there. =)

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Janice! Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and hope you and your family are doing well!

Introverted Art said...

omg that mosquito bite...I just can't get the itch off of my head hehehe

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Hey, girl! It's been a long time since I've seen you around the blog world and I just wanted to stop by and say hello. You've truly been missed. I hope you and your lovely family are all doing well.


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