Archive for Holly

Guitar Challenge

So a few months ago I said I was feeling inspired to learn to play the guitar.  I actually went and bought myself a lefty acoustic guitar and started playing around with the beginner’s lesson book.

Trying to make it work with the split hook

It got frustrating quite quickly.  The split hook isn’t all that useful for strumming – it was even making dents in the guitar body.  I kept at it for a little while, but thought that it could be better, somehow.

After seeing the videos of other limbless players, I had a hack at making other attachments.  Let’s just said they all failed miserably.

I really wanted to play the guitar.  My company has a band and there’s an event coming up that I wanted to at least play one song in. I contacted the local prosthetics company and , once we got to meet, the design came together for a prosthetic that allows me to strum and pick easily and with strength.  It also allows for a bit of rotation, which I wasn’t getting with the split hook.

Now I’m practicing my beginner lessons all over again. I still think I suck and am amazed at how easy all the guitarists make it look to play.  Practice makes perfect I guess!? Strumming is the easy bit, learning finger placement and chords is the hard part (the c chord still eludes me!).  I have to keeping working at it, but also be careful not to do so much that I injure my good hand and wrist.

The ‘guitar arm’ and the wrist cramping c chord!

The countdown is on now – can I learn at least one song in time to play with the company band in June?

Thanks to Barry Leech and his team at Barry Leech Prosthetics for my ‘guitar arm’.  I’ve promised to play them a real tune next time we meet – I’m hoping the next appointment is a little while away!


Ms. Hook

I’m still daydreaming of my awesome weekend diving with Manta Lodge at North Stradbroke Island. I finally got to see another creature off my wish list – a Manta Ray. The much anticipated Manta Fest held in February took a while to live up to its name. We decided it should be renamed Leopard Shark Fest, so many Leopard sharks and just one brief appearance by a Manta.

I’m now used to mother nature not working to the demands of us humans, so I enjoyed the brief minute encounter we had with the Manta on Sunday morning. As I kept peering towards the surface through the low visibility hoping to see more mantas, mother nature the tricky woman, slipped a bamboo shark behind me. It was captured on camera by my dive buddy, but I didn’t see it.

It’s amazing how brief some of our encounters with underwater life can be. A white tip reef shark on the same Sunday morning dive also didn’t stick around for very long. The Leopard sharks and a massive flight of eagle rays on the Saturday morning dive definitely made up for the brief encounters, staying around long enough for us to enjoy and get some photos.

Once again Straddie delivered. Now lets see if I can get a good dive in at Julian Rocks, Byron Bay!

Did it!

If there’s an opportunity to get in the sea, I’m there! Today I checked out the Disabled Surfers Association. I had a great time, met awesome people and definately had a smile on my dial!

The event even made it into the local press.

Click here to go to the DSA website and check out your local group.

I’ll definately be going to the last surf of the summer next month!

New Design

Toggle Free 1-UP’s

Brown Tigerstripe 1-UP hair tie

I’m trying something new – no toggles, just beads or buttons. They work the same way as the other 1-UP’s. The bead or button replaces the toggle.

However (and I don’t want to make it sound like they’re rubbish) some of you may find these a little bit of a fiddle to use.

As the bead only has one hole (compared to toggles that have two holes) Ive created a “loop type knot” to stop the cord coming through the bead. This “loop knot” could become a tangle for some – which is not going to give a handful of independence.

Contact me if you are considering purchasing one – I’ll set you straight.

Brisbane News

Thanks to the PromOTing better living expo’s PR team I’m in this weeks Brisbane News.

promOTing better living expo

If you’re in Brisbane this week, come by the promOTing better living expo. I’ll be at the expo and for all you 1-UP lovers you can come chat to me, get a custom hair tie or browse through the ready to wear range.

The promOTing better living expo is an opportunity to showcase the leaders of the Occupational Therapy profession as well as equipment manufacturers, service providers, allied health partners, government departments, professional development events, and more. While the expo will prove to be a valuable source of information for all OTs, the event will appeal to the general community who will learn the benefits of using occupational therapists and prescribed equipment to enable them to live their lives to the full.

Entry is free! Click here to register.

28-29 October 2011 (2 days)
9.30am – 4.00pm


Pigtails with the 1-UP

Last week a potential customer asked me if pigtails could be made with the 1-UP. As things have been a little be hectic around here of late, I only stopped to think about it today.

What seemed like something that might be a lot of faffing around to make possible, is actually quite simple.

As you can see from the photo, it can be done!

I took the photo after my second attempt to do the pigtails, so it’s a little bit messy. I feel like a little girl again, it’s been so long since I wore pigtails.

Instructions and how-to video will follow in the near future.

4 minutes of fame…

What an awesome opportunity!

Thanks to invigorate, the P.R. team for the PromOTing better living expo, I was invited to appear on the Kerri-anne show for a chat about adventure, challenges and the 1-UP hair tie.

Amputee Awareness Week 2011

Amputee Awareness Week (4-11 October 2011) is just around the corner. I’m going to be participating this year as a volunteer for the Amputees & Families Support Group Qld Inc.

AFSG is running Sausage Sizzles at 3 Bunnings stores on Saturday 8 October 2011. The sausage sizzles are a chance to raise funds for the purchase wheelchairs, providing limb loss information and give the public an opportunity to ask questions and witness that amputees can be quite productive with “less than 4”.

If you’re in the area, come by and say hi!

For more details on the AFSG and the sausage sizzle click here

Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ms. Hook

Yay! 19th September is Talk Like A Pirate Day again.

This year Ms. Hook will be spending it with the Amputee and Family Support Group – no costumes for us, we’re pirates already!

Avast, me hearties!