Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh no, it's an EXPLODING BOX!

Once again I've done a project based on one of my watched sites. This was featured on Christmas with the Cricut today - although i didn't use my Cricut for it... just my Stampin' Up punches. Dear friends of mine both celebrate their 50th birthday this year, so I made this combined gift for the two of them. We go back a dozen years, so I had a few old shots with recent ones. What a fun way to display memories!

Paper is Rockstar, compliments of Winners - great place to for good-and-cheap paper and cardstock. I check every time I'm there because, well, it's Winners - it's always changing. Here is the box once exploded - what a cool surprise!

Tri-shutter card

A friend posted a card on facebook today using this tri-shutter style, which I hadn't seen before. I fell in love instantly and had to make one. Here's a 50th birthday card for my dear dear friend Jo...

I made the standard tri-shutter. There is also a full-front style - that will be tomorrow's project! There are great tutorials at the following:
Tri-shutter card
Full-front tri-shutter card

Monday, September 28, 2009

Christmas with the Cricut introduces the WORKBOX!

I love my Cricut and I'm always looking for new sites full of ideas. I found one called Christmas with the Cricut. Not only is it full of great ideas, but it's also full of CONTESTS!

Their current contest is for this great product called the Workbox by a company called The Original Scrapbox.

Just look at this baby - all those places to hold my paper and punches and pencils, oh my! I can picture this in my Creative Zone - I can almost smell it! It would replace the hodgepodge mix of storage shelves I currently have and would actually make me truly organized. Productivity improvements would be mine!
Here's the link for the contest.

Workbox, a beautiful beautiful thing... I shall dream about it tonight :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beautiful Bobbles on a Bracelet

One of my new passions with my jewelery-making is the charm bracelet. I love that they are so easy to tailor to a personality.

This first one is Sunset - made for a friend who lives by the ocean. Combine the colours of a sunset with a few beachy charms and this is what I came up with.

And another with the ocean theme - my niece got married in June and had a seaside theme wedding. Her colours were purple and black. I used the purple here, and of course more seaside charms.

My BFF loves all things astrological... spirals, stars and moons. She also loves bright colours, especially purple and fuschia. I didn't do the purple/fuschia here so I guess I owe her another bracelet!

And yes, I made sure I made one just for me. So often we give away everything we make, don't we? These are a few of my favourite things - dragonflies and blues. The two elongated beads are very special to me - they used to be earrings of my mom's that I played dress-up with as a girl. Cool, huh?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BBTB Challenge - Heather loves vintage #2

Time for my second vintage card for the BBTB challenge. I just love this little angel on the moon. WISH was made with Cricut Jubilee, and the star is from Home Decor. I love layering, so layering I did, with some height added - and of course my new passion, STICKLES! Brown Stickles on WISH and on the star,white sparkle stickles for the angel wings and the angel's starbeams. Inside the card I will print "reach for the moon, the very least you'll do is to land among the stars!"

Win a Gypsy

I've been spending the morning surfing for ideas and came across a site offering a free Cricut Gypsy. check this out:

Win A Gypsy By Cricut

Cartridge Helper is a website explaining more about each cartridge, machine, maintenance, all kinds of info. I can see it being a great resource for a newbie to Cricut-land.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BBTB Peggy Loves Vintage

Here is my entry to the BBTB contest. I had fun working with a vintage look. I used Cricut Jubilee Cartridge for the NOEL. I used the MS Christmas Branch punch and stickles (gotta love the stickles). I love the way this punch adds dimension by the way the cuts are shaped. It's hard to see in the pic, darn, but there is a clear gold glitter ribbon down the center of the blue band behind the vintage image.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Card Exchange

I'm enjoying a new group of women in a monthly scrapbooking group hosted by my lovely Stampin' Up rep Sharon. It's alot of fun, sharing ideas, laughing, and being both creative and productive! I spent last Saturday working on getting some pages done for Derek's Europe Book Extrodinaire. I also worked on cards for a card exchange:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hurry up and wait!

Today I'm feeling like I'm spinning a bit. I am waiting for doctor's appointments in October. I know where we're headed with those appointments, have a rough idea of when my next surgery is, so really don't have a good reason to feel this way. Maybe it's because it's a dreary day instead of the heat and sun we've had for days. Maybe it's because I'm feeling truly exhausted and I'm wondering if it's because I'm doing too much or too little - it's hard to know. At any rate - today I'm allowing to unfold, but tomorrow I will get my act together and work in the Creative Zone.

I have a few things I need to get done - cards for a card exchange, due next week. Papers for Derek's scrapbook, to be created at a Scrapping Day outing on Saturday. And, after those, Christmas gifts. I have made one so far, but have a pile of ideas for others I need to get started on.

Hmmm... perhaps part of my plan has to be to create a plan. If I feel like I'm spinning, maybe I can fix that by having a daily schedule. Work gave me that - I've lost that - so I can put that back in place for myself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Airdrie Centennial

Thursday is Airdrie's Centennial - Happy Birthday to the city I've called home for the past 16 years! I have lived through alot in the years I've been here - my kids grew up here; Derek from Grade 3 and Jamie from Kindergarten! I have seen growth from 15,000 people to 38,000 people in that short amount of time. It will be interesting to see just how quickly we go from here to 60,000 - within five years I imagine. I've seen so many friends and family come and go, it's a changed place for me, that's for sure. but it's still stable, and comforting, and ... home. Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Getting on track...

Life is like riding a wave. Sometimes you're on the crest, and sometimes you're underneath gasping for breath and reaching for the surface. Some of those waves take you by surprise as they pull you under. And others, you can see it happening before it happens but you know there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. I think we learn more from the time we spend reaching for the surface after being battered by the wave. Certainly we learn more about ourselves, and our resilience. And - we also learn how to handle being overcome by the wave better. We willingly go out surfing. We know we're not always going to be riding the wave smoothly. But we still go willingly. And we learn how to ride it out better each time. We also learn how to recover from the tumble each time.

All that from me, who has never surfed and is afraid of big waves! But as it relates to life, that I get. I've learned a very good lesson about myself this week. I've been playing the victim for awhile and apparently enjoying it enough to continue it for too damn long. Along with that, you inadvertently hurt people along the way, and no doubt alienate a few as well. It is time to realize my full potential as the positive, resilient, upbeat person I portray when I'm not wallowing. Not to diminish the ups and downs of life, that is part of the whole program. But the difference I'm seeing now is this - I can choose to use everything that I go through in life as part of the learning process, a way to make me the person I have yet to become.

I read this yesterday, and I like it:
Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And next on the menu we have...

... fistula repair. Yes, it looks like it will finally happen! The surgeon will see me October 26th. At that time he will test my muscle strength. I know i can do bicep curls and tricep presses, but what can i do for "down there"? I guess i step up the kegels and hope for the best. Apparently we need to ensure i have enough muscle remaining after absess repair to ensure doing fistula flap procedure will go well. So - see him in October and then surgery by the end of the year or early in the new year. Next on the agenda, Doc is still confident about doing a j-pouch which would mean a reconnect and no more bag. Very exciting and extremely frightening. I feel better since the colectomy. I can eat things i haven't eaten in YEARS in moderation. I have had one partial blockage which wasn't really a whole lot of fun, but at least I know what to expect and what to do to prevent it. So i'm doing a bit of the "if it ain't broke..." along with the excitement of being able to "go" just like anyone else again. dare to dream, huh? Dare to dream...

Some old posts - post-surgery

July 24, 2009
Always look for the bright side of life...

Always try and be looking for the positives. That's what I try to do.

1. I have been able to keep my weight down - I used to be consistently overweight before getting so sick 3 yrs ago. Nothing sh*tting yourself blind and living on steroids and hospital food can't cure!

2. I don't have to worry about the hassles of dating - I am still getting used to this body full of weirdness (ileostomy, seton band) and don't want to want to share it with anyone. It's MINE ALL MINE...

3. I get to enjoy the summer because I'm on disability. Still. For a year now.

4. I get to revisit the hospital again in the fall for more surgery - and hopefully by then they will have a Frequent Flyer plan!

5. I have learned patience. I am learning patience. I'm still working on patience.

Okay, that's it for now. Enough frustration to last awhile, but on the other hand, being sick sure teaches you some real important things - about the people in your life, and about what we are capable of. I am not quite like Michael J Fox able to say my disease is a gift, "the gift that keeps on taking" as he refers to his Parkinson's, but I am able to - most days - be pretty content, and not wallow in self-pity which is really, self-destruction.

Love life, and life with love you back. To a point. Kinda.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009.
searching for seton doesn't bring up much...

Happy Birthday to my dear son Derek on your 24th birthday. How owould you like to spend it with your mom? At the hospital? While I get a huuuuuuuuuge slice in my bum to fix my abscess? To his credit, this amazing young man said there is nowhere else he would want to be. I am truly blessed. Off we go to the hospital. Sit and wait... prep... stew... repeat. Daughter Jamie called to check on me and wished her bro a happy birthday. She's a good girl :) Chat with Dr. Rosen, we're ready to roll, takes my hand, see you in there. I feel comfortable once again. Porter arrives, on the move, bye Derek, bye mom, love you lots. through the big double doors, down the hall, around the corner, another corner, through the next set of doors, and I'm a star - under the bright lights. Shuffle from gurney to operating table, so narrow and hard and cold. Oh, heated flannel sheet, thank you, feels lovely. Breathe in some oxygen, more deep breaths, meds into IV, more meds into IV, okay, this will sting but put you out, i'm out. Wake up to shock of tube in throat, hang tight, you're okay, out it comes, we're done, how are you feeling? non-stop babbling due to adrenalin rush from that little experience, doing fine, pain only a 3, are you sure, yes i hurt lots before coming in, it's all relative. How about now, morphine please, gravol please, feeling better, g'night. Back to the day surgery ward, welcome back, all went well, just rest. Derek's back, how are you mom, i'm okay, g'night. Awake again, more awake, more awake, wanna go home. Doctor coming, doctor not here yet, have a ginger ale, still not here, there he is, sorry for the delay. All went well, abscess drained, inserted seton band, what's that, a band that goes in and around to help drain and heal from within,. So strange to have abscess and fistula with UC, but still nothing that looks like Crohn's, so baffled but hopeful, come see me next month, stay off work for now, will check you out then, next surgery for fistula, when does seton come out, we'll see, they can stay in indefinitely. what? Yellow elastic hanging out of an open wound? And that is what I want to know more about. Today, pretty much back to myself, sitting tough, laying on my side better. Will be a bed princess for a day or two, but then hope the T3's are being consumed slower. Meantime, sitz bath, T3s, rest, repeat...

June 18, 2009
I don't want to play with you anymore...

Oh, IBD, you are no friend of mine... I don't want to play with you anymore... you are not playing fair!

Ok, well... illness doesn't play fair. Gotta suck up my frustration. After I wallow for a minute or week or month.

Went for my second post-op follow-up including "let's take a look at your bum" during which I chewed on a knuckle - owwwwwwww! "Oh, yes, I'm sure it hurts more now becasue you're not using those muscles anymore." Um, can you say hot poker up the behind? I think the feeling would be about the same. Oh, and air? Now you're gonna blow some air up there? Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

So - butt doesn't look good. Doc expected it to look better two months post-op. figures there may be some Crohn's in the remaining stump. This is my surgeon's partner I saw - he's never believed it's been UC and not UC+Crohn's. So - July 7th, gonna take a look. Also - the abscess by my fistula isn't going away so it'll be drained and a drainage tube inserted for a couple months. THEN once tube is removed they'll look at repairing the fistula. Doc said right now he wouldn't even consider j-pouch surgery next year. More wait and see.

Work? Nope, can't go back to work, Doc says we're not done yet. Okay - once again, living a day at a time. Uncertainty piled on uncertainty. And this too shall pass. And I will overcome. And be strong again. Because that's the way we roll!

June 14, 2009
We got it done!

I wanted to raise $1000 for the Heel n' Wheel-a-thon --- we finished with $1064.98! Raising funds is much easier when you are afflicted with the disease you're raising funds for. I originally didn't think we'd stand a chance of raising $1000, but I was thrilled when the donations started coming in. Funniest moment - my personal goal was originally $500. When I was close, a friend sponsored me $69.98. This brought my personal total to... wait for it... $499.98! What a smart-ass. I also smiled a big ol' smile when I surpassed $500 and then $600 and $700 and more.

Yep, it was such a good day... my kids and kid-in-law, Oscar the wonderdog, and wonderful friends in Jan, Jo and Diane by my side making it what it was. Sure love them and all their support, today and every day I know who I can count on. Nice warm day, sunshine when we needed it, haze when we needed it. I went into this wanting to walk 5K, and I did it.

I am thankful for the Ensure beverage booth that was there. I haven't had the shakes for ages, but this morning the shakes. Luckily I was able to get an Ensure shake to drink so I could shake away my shakes before the walk started. What the hell am I getting the shakes for, anyway? I got up, had breakfast, drank water. I haven't been that bad since finally weening off the Pred in April. ah well - guess it just comes with the territory now.

And now, it's the end of the day. A great day. After my March surgery, I never would have believed I would be able to do this. Come to think of it, prior to surgery I never would have been able to do this walk...

Life is good. It throws you curves, it tests you constantly, it pushes you to the end of your rope. Often it seems like there is nothing going right, everything is just too much to deal with - but then the people around you make you feel like a million bucks by standing by your side, being your life cheerleaders. And you remember... yes, life is good.