Monday, August 4, 2008

Project Runway addict admission!

Project Runway addict!

The local cable company in Saint Joseph, Missouri finally finally added Bravo to its channel line up. Now I can watch.. .Project Runway.

That – and Big Brother – entertain me a couple of evenings a month.

I'm finishing up my first MBA course – it lasted 6 weeks. I'm loving it!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Etsy ShoutOut - LisasLovlies

A recent Etsy purchase of mine are some beautifully handcrafted silver post earrings. Simple. Beautiful. Buds. From LisasLovelies Etsy shop.

This artisian is fabulous with informative convos and beautiful packaging. Her creations are stunning. I will be returning for a more significant purchase in the near future.

Monday, April 28, 2008

B/W Beauty

I so love the ability of Photoshop Elements 6.0 to quickly change the color & saturation of a photo. I'm self-taught so far on PSE - and I have ways to go with it. This pic is of a house that my parents (mainly Mom) is renovating. The B/W make it look. . .old (with the exception of the satellite dish on the porch! I'm going to make Mom a shadow box with this photo - for Mother's day. Maybe I can put some do-hicky over the satellite dish. . .*thinking*

On the health front, I lost 30 lbs in 30 days! I have to get my weight down to get the hysterectomy that I truly need, to get rid of the endometrial cancer. Until then, I'll be having another surgical D&C in early June.

Friday, April 11, 2008

She's almost one. . .

She's almost one. . .. one of my precious nieces. Happy birthday, precious one.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday in Lincoln

It's Sunday, 4/5/08. . . My family (Louis, Jasper and Jasmine) are in Lincoln, NE today and tomorrow. We (Louis and I) have eye appointments in the morning, and the kitties (Jasper and Jasmine) have their annual vet visit tomorrow. Yes, I still doctor in Lincoln for some things!

I want to give a hug to my friends Amber and Lesley. Both of these women are so important to me. Their friendship is priceless. I saw another one of my friends today, Michelle. I miss her so.

I got a mani/pedi today! I feel like a new woman, almost. I've been so focused on my health issues lately - I forgot to spoil ME! I used to do that alot. . . .

How do you spoil yourself?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I’m Still Alive. . .

Bad blogger – I've not been feeling 100% lately. Plus – been crazy busy with work work, both our moving business and my day job. . . . I'm still alive, just not kicking much!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Can’t sleep. .. how do you shut your mind off?

Ugh. . .what a day. I can't sleep. It's almost 1 am. . .and my mind won't shut off. I went to the oncologist today - I'm healing well. . .but - the pathology report - tells us that my cancer was a nuclear grade 2, rather than grade 1, as the biopsy had indicated. Why is that scaring me so?

She (oncologist) - put me on Aromasin, to help with the systemic elimination of estrogen (one of the side effects is mood swings! - joy joy). I'll have another MRI, CT and surgery in late May. . . .


Monday, March 17, 2008

Pass it on - Always

My fabulously talented sister in law (and mamma to 2 of my precious nieces) - is a great designer. She sells on Ebay - and is a member of a design group that is participating in a charity auction, that includes two of her pieces. All the proceeds go to the National Down Syndrome Congress. I will be posting the link tomorrow!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is what ONE is all about

My niece, Jane Christine, turned one on March 7. We celebrated her birthday on Sunday, March 9. My brother, her dad, says she eats cake like Cookie Monster (from Sesame Street) eats cookies. It's so fun and filled with joy. I had a great time with my family.

I went to Des Moines this week, for work with my new teams. I even gave a short presentation! I was nervous, as I hadn't met my co-workers before (I work remotely, from home). I worry to much if they judge because of my "fat chick"ness. I hope not.

Anyway - I present one of my lovely nieces, Jane. . .my heart.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lazy Blog-Babe Is Moi

I've been a lazy blog-babe this week. I had the realization that I titled my blog "mixed media explorations" -- and have focused more on ME and my health than my art. One of my resolutions this year was to blog more. So – I started up with it. 10 days later – is when I found out I had cancer. It has consumed my thinking for a while. I've been doing some scrapbooking, which is a good way to relax after working all day on the computer (for my *real* job). I have that canvas I started – but haven't finished – I did buy some beeswax for it though – if you can count that as progress.

Louis and I had a move today, with our moving business. I had to leave 3 times to go pee!!!! I've been taking my supplements the CTCA naturopath prescribed, with lots of water and green tea – and one of the side effects – is pee'ing all the time. Aren't you glad I shared!?!?!?!

I'm headed to Des Moines for the *real* job this next week, just staying over Tuesday evening, due to travel budget constraints. Let's hope the weather is decent.

My good friend, Lesley – who has the most beautiful son in the world – sent me an email, sharing his 3rd birthday pictures. That made my morning. His eyes are so bright. So shining. So filled with love. Thanks, L. I MISS YOU!!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mom’s Digi Pic From Our Trip to Zion, IL – No Horse’ing

While we were up at the CTCA in Zion, IL – I posted about my Mom's digital picture taking lesson, as we were driving the 550 miles there. . . .I finally uploaded one of those pictures. It makes me smile. My Mom ROCKS!!! It took a bit to convince her that it was ok to click away - that it was digital, and you didn't have to worry about wasting film! We were in eastern Iowa for this picture.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I Didn’t Get You Flowers, I Got You Yogurt

My surgery was Wednesday evening. I rolled in to the OR at about 7:04 pm. The surgery lasted about an hour. We were back in the truck on the way home at 10:03 pm. The surgeon talked to Louis after my surgery – but he wanted me to talk to them, and of course by the time I was awake – the surgeon and her residents were long gone. The nurse practitioner called me yesterday – to schedule my follow up appointment. She told me that the doctor/surgeon will be calling me with the results of pathology. So I guess my questions will wait till then.

I spent most of yesterday asleep, in a Vicodin induced haze. I managed to get a fat lip during the surgery (in addition to the IUD and other good stuff). My guess is the anesthesia resident caught my lip while intubating me. All that C stuff – and I'm complaining about a fat lip!

I'm sore today. Like – got hit by a Mack truck sore. The nurse practitioner warned me that I probably would be sore, due to the "position" they put me in during the surgery. I don't think I want to know.

I received the most awesome teacup of flowers, beautiful pink roses and carnations, from the girls over at Paper Pixie. It so so so made my day!!! These are the girls that I spent the weekend with - at the scrapbooking retreat. When Louis brought them into me, I said "You didn't have to get me flowers". He goes "I didn't get you flowers, I got you yogurt". That's love, huh?

I started reading Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips. This should be mandatory reading for women diagnosed with cancer. I love it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The C Word update – and an artful weekend recap

I spent yesterday, Monday, February 25, 2008 – completing my pre-op evaluation clinic at KU Med. I'm having surgery tomorrow for my cancer. I'm confident and scared – all at once. I wish I were more relaxed, like Jasper is in this picture!

I spent the weekend at the Paper Pixie Midwinter's Fantasy Scrapbooking retreat. What fun!

For anyone wanting some simply superb scrapbooking kits - check out the Paper Pixie site - Sara has a great eye for color, pattern, and puts together some kick-a** kits!

The insanely fabulous Vicki Chrisman taught some classes. I met my first scrapbooking celeb!!! She's so real, down to earth. And- I saw her without makeup! J

I completed several pages, in addition to the make and takes, and Vicki's projects. The best part – I made some new friends, who are great artists and scrapbookers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The C word surgery - forthcoming

I finally have a date for my first surgery. My pre-op is February 25 and my surgery is on February 27. I'll be getting a D&C with a Mirena IUD, to deliver localized progesterone to the tumor.

I've started on my supplement regime that my naturopath at CTCA prescribed. Yes, it is a lot of pills, but they are all geared to help eliminate the extra estrogen (which feeds the tumor) and to destroy the cancer cells. I have faith.

Stay warm everyone! I haven't been creating lately, as I'm pretty tired for some reason. I am going to a weekend scrapbooking retreat, which looks to be a good time. Louis will be hitting the casino while I *art*!!!

Thanks to everyone for their fabulous support thus far.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm back home!

Wow - We are home. Mom and I got back from CTCA around 11:30 pm last night, after a morning appointment with a naturopath and a physical therapy appointment. On Thursday, we learned that my tumor is early stage, nuclear grade 1. So - it is treatable. The plan is to have a D & C surgery at KU Med Cancer Center. I will then follow-up in May at CTCA.

I learned a great deal about supplements, diet and exercise (something this fat chick doesn't do to much of currently). We went to Target today to pick up some of the supplements and a juicer. These were prescribed by the naturopath. I believe in it. I can help my body kill the cancer cells and release the estrogen which is feeding the tumor.

I can do it. With the help and prayers of my friends. . .thank you all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

First Two Days at the CTCA

I'm at the Cancer Treatment Center of America now. We arrived on Sunday, February 10. I drove up - it took about 8 hours, but we arrived safely.

My first day was filled with tests, physical, labs, consults. Today I've had a scan and am scheduled for two consultations, one with a nutritionist and one with a naturopath. I'm feeling very good about this place. They definately care about the whole person!

I'll have to post a pic my Mom took with my digital camera, on the way up here. . .her first pic using a digital. :) GO MOM!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jewels From Junk - ShoutOut

I was recently blessed to meet an Etsy seller named Amber, who runs the JewelsFromJunk shop. I found her via a forum posting, where she was asking opinions about upcycled artist canvases she was creating from upcycled fabric and picture frames.

This appealed to me on many levels, as it part of the reuse, repurpose, recycle mantra. Amber worked with me, via Etsy convos to create a custom listing of 5 of her artist canvas frames. I specified what dimensions I wanted as well as the weight of the fabric I needed. She also helped me think thru the orientation of the canvases, as she place the sawtooth picture frame hanger thingie on them for me. Me and a hammer and a little nail - not such a pretty thing.

I've started working on one of the canvases. It took acrylic paint very well, I probably should have gessoed it first - but I just started in with some manila colored acrylic paint. My next layer was some old dress patters, that I put down with gel medium. I'm still deciding on the next layer! I tend to work in layers, I'd never make it as a production artist.

I'm a HUGE fan of upcycling, whether it's felting old wool sweaters, to repurposing old frames and fabric. Jewels From Junk does a GREAT job to helping me be a *green* artist. Please visit her shop - she has lots of vintage finds, altered art supplies, and some beautiful jewelry.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nesta USA - ShoutOut

Another great Etsy seller who's goods are gracing my loft - is Nesta USA. This artist is newly jobless, and taking advantage of this opportunity to create! Please visit her blog to learn more about her.

Her work is fresh. Her photography is incredible. I have a couple of the cards, which I've framed and hung up. They are THAT yummy!!! She ships quickly, and everything is well packaged. The craftmanship of her work is very very very well done. She has metal work, candles, prints, notecards, tee shirts and even homemade coloring books, which I think are wonderful for any indie munchkins out there!

I am a major addict of anything star shaped. That's what initially drew me to Nesta USA's Etsy shop. Check out this pic, as a mere temptation of her work. I'm going to be a repeat customer.

Fabulishous Blog Giveaway from Nancy Malay

Make sure and check out the blog give away by Nancy Malay. Well worth the visit to her blog – the value of the basket is $125!!! She has some great stuff on her blog also.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

FlameWorks – ShoutOut

I had been hunting on Etsy (not with a gun) for some Vegan Deodorant. While there area few different sellers of the product – I chose to purchase it from FlameWorks. I also purchased some Tea Tree and Aloe toner, and a Blemish EO blend.

The products are professionally packaged. . well shipped – and they are all awesome. The deodorant is non-funk!!! I tested it a few times at home, before venturing out in public with it. It kept me fresh and non-funkalicious! Highly recommend this seller for her great products.

The Last Kiss

"Stop talking about love. It means nothing. What you feel only matters to you. It's what you do to the people you say you love, that's what matters. It's the only thing that counts." ~ The Last Kiss

Monday, February 4, 2008

Flutterby Popcorn – ShoutOut

I purchased some popcorn from Beki, over at the Flutterby Popocorn shop on Etsy. I ordered a variety of flavors, from Cheesy Cajun to Carnilla. Oh my gosh – the Carnilla is so stickaliciously wonderful – it is beyond words. It is Carmel with a hint of vanilla. You seriously can't go wrong with that. I find some caramel popcorn to be too sweet – not the case with Flutterby.

The White Cheddar is among the best I've had, pure cheeziness goodness. And I'm a fat chick who knows her popcorn! Beki ships quickly, with a yummalicious product. She tucked in an extra yummie, which only makes her even greater!

Valentine's Day - 2008 Card for my Sweetie

I completed Louis's 2008 Valentine's card/book - ahead of time!!! Don't faint. I kept it simple, with shades of red, metallics and some distressing. It's not to girly, which so isn't his style. The inside pages were inspired by a post on Ali Edward's blog. She used felt for her cover, I used cardstock, with some pointy edges on it. I can't remember who the manufacturer was. I tend to just pick something that appeals to me - and use it! I'd never make it as a designer, since I don't keep track of all those details. The inside pages are blips about why I love him so. I used some of the Word Fetti stickers to make it more fun!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Art from the Heart" - blog giveaway

The fabulously talented Catherine Matthews-Scanlon is giving away two copies of her Mixed Media book called "Art from the Heart" on her blog. Mixed media work - truly is art from the heart, and Catherine has captured that. I am a art/craft book collector, and this one looks like a winner.

Please - check it out, as well as her Etsy shop.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A new day

After waiting for over a week to hear from the KU Med Cancer Center and little to no communication, I've decided to pursue treatement at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

They offer a holistic approach, integrating mind/body, nutrition, naturopathy as well as chemo/radiation and other more traditional treatments.

I need to be happy with where I'm getting this treatment, to save my life.

My friend Amber recently sent me an email - which I thought I'd share here, as it is helping me cope. "Just know that you are never alone. The Bible tells us that treasures are found in the darkness. Time will tell you what treasure is to be found for you through this. We grow in hard and difficult times and God wants us to lean on Him and come to Him and trust Him. Maybe He is trying to pull you closer? Only you will find what the treasure will be. Just imagine yourself in His hands, the safest place imagineable. Trust that He cares for you and wants you healthy! We are praying for you daily."

Thank you - my friend. I'd highly recommend checking out her blog also, her wonderful entry on January 29, 2008 - truly lightened my spirit. Her Etsy shop is also a great source of inspiration of vintage goodness.

I'm including one of my favorite pics from the holiday season. It's me, holding one of my beautiful nieces, Lillion Alice. She has chubby cheeks like me!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Callista311 ShoutOut

Note my fabulous new blog banner!

The wonderfully talented Callista311 from Etsy created it. I'd highly recommend her for any of your graphic design needs. She is talented, and very quick to respond to convos and emails.

She offers a variety of styles, and is able to incorporate your images into other images, depending on your style. I asked her for something funky and vintage, in purple, cream and sage. I love the result.

Please check out her store. It's worth the time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My camera batteries. . .and a new blog banner

So - I just now figured out that my camera batteries hadn't been charging in the little charger thing. Call me brilliant. .. Hopefully - I'll get that fixed today.

I haven't heard from my oncologist with the next step, after the MRI that I had last week. I'm anxious to get moving on this. I am trying to decide where to go for a second opinion. I'm not convinced that the treatment plan proposed, is the best for me, as it is very conservative.

I've been working with a couple of Etsy sellers to help me with managing my anxiety thru the use of essential oils and such. It is a mind/body thing.

I did a couple of scrapbook pages about my cats and Christmas lights the other night - that was fun.

Does anyone create blog banners? I need help with mine!!! Leave me a comment.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Serendipity

All in all - a good Saturday. Move-It With M&S (our moving helper business) - had two jobs today. So - we kept busy. We went to Love's between jobs, to refresh and grab some go go juice - I swear - Louis loves truck stops. He got me a cute, cheesey "i love you" monkey - I'll take a pic when my camera batteries are all charged up.

My MRI went good this week - the CT scan - didn't go. So - we are in wait and see mode with my health, I'm working on having a better attitude, and not crying when I think about it! Thanks to all my friends for their support - that means so much!

I WILL create tomorrow!

I have a Etsy review ready to post, from a recent purchase - I'll need to take some pics of it also!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My mantra for the day

We can not do great things. . .only small things with great love.

Mother Teresa

Monday, January 21, 2008

Update on the C thing

So - I went to the oncologist on Friday at KU Med Cancer Center. I am having an MRI on Wednesday and a CT scan on Friday. After we get the results from that, I will have a surgical D & C with a Mirena IUD placed. The IUD will provide a low-dose of progesterone to counteract the estrogen in the tumor.

It's good for me to write this down. Make it more real.

I will be attending the Midwinter's Fantasy Scrapbooking Retreat in February sponsored by PaperPixie kits, down in Overland Park, KS. I can't wait!!!

This picture is of my beloved kitty, Jasmine. She decided to explore the new file cabinet that Louis got me for Christmas. Note the mess on my crafting tables to the right!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cancer update and My Guy

First - thanks for everyone's support. It is helping. Second - I am so flippin' mad. I still don't have an appointment with the oncologist yet! No one is returning my calls. . they tell me to wait, be patient. I want to scream "I HAVE CANCER!!!" It's so weird - but I want it OUT. I want it GONE! My Dad has called me twice today. I feel guilty for worrying him and Mom. . . Ok - 'nough whining for a bit. . . I think I need to roll around naked in glitter before I go to the oncologist.
The pic with this post - this man makes me happy. Love that cheesy smile.
However, he didn't care for the GPS he received for Christmas - so I'm using it. I like it! He doesn't like it telling him where to go. . . . .hrmmmmmmmmmmm :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Valentine's Day Goodness, part 1

This picture is my first Valentine's Day artistic endeavors for this year. It is 2 chipboard shapes and paper from Work In Progress kit. I inked the edges with Ranger's Old Paper Distress Ink, then glued it all up! I used Scenic Route rub-ons for Louis and I's name. . .I think it's cute!

The WinterBella classes are so wonderful. I'm woefully behind, but making progress.

I found out yesterday that I have endometrial cancer. What a shock. . . .My emotions are all over the place. I am being referred to an gynocological oncologist at KU Med. . .More updates to follow.