Friday, April 10, 2009

Truly Amazing Blog Candy!

In a world of blog candy, this one is the Godiva of 'em of all:

Run, don't walk over to their blog for a chance to win a SET of 72 Copic markers~

I'd love to see these babies in my Easter basket!

Update: This contest is now closed.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A new card - Finally!

This week has been a trying one, in terms of feeling bad, and taking my mother to dr's appointments. But I got the energy to do a little crafting, and here's the result - an anniversary card for my husband. It was our 5th last weekend (note the five hearts), but I was too sick to do any celebrating.
I was inspired by the color inspiration from
The layout of this card was inspired by Daniela Dobson's card, as published in Cards magazine, February 2007 issue, page 21. There's a photo of it here:
Daniela's blog is .

I had fun using my Fiskars scalloped heart-shaped punches and the coordinating stamps. Of course, I used my Fiskars Compact Stamp Press with my acrylic stamps. That tool makes stamping a breeze - Love it! I heat-embossed the ink, and popped 2 of the hearts with foam dots for dimension. It is a gloriously beautiful day here in Northern Virginia~ I hope you enjoy your day - and the card.

5th anniversary card for my husband:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to Square One- CSF is normal

In my ongoing quest to get a new diagnosis, last month I had a lumbar puncture. The good news: the procedure and the recovery were incredibly less painful than the one I had in Dec. The bad news: my Cerebral Spinal Fluid is normal. The opening pressure was ten, and all the tests they performed on the fluid were negative. Now lest you think I wanted an illness which can only be diagnosed via CSF, I was hoping they would find something for which I could receive an effective treatment. I have been sick for 6 years now, and my disease has not responded to any of the drugs nor treatments that I've tried.
This new neurologist, who specializes in headache disorders, has reached the same conclusion as all the other physicians: intractable migraine disease. He wants me to revisit some of the drugs I took years ago, thinking they might be more effective now. I am willing to try almost anything, but I disliked some of the side effects; they made me feel worse, actually. I'll discuss it with him at my next appointment.
Meanwhile, I appreciate all the support I have received from you all, my readers. Thank you for your kind thoughts and messages.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My New Infatuation with Coffee Stamps

It all began a few days ago when I spied this card: http://
This was a sneak peek of the new release from Elzybells, which debuted on Monday. The stamp on the above card is from the set 'Tea for Two.'
After emailing the creator, I began the quest to find these Elzybells stamps. After much searching, I discovered the ONLY place to purchase them was from the creator, in the UK. Their blog is here:
I figured I'd be able to find something similar in the US, either online or at a craft store, but no luck. The new JoAnns Super store had ZERO coffee themed stamps, and AC Moore had only 2 small wood mounted ones.
One unique feature of this set is the ability to 'build' an image, cups, handles, etc.
I'm in love. Perhaps you, too?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Pursuit of a New Diagnosis

For the last six years I have been taking a holiday from my regular life. I've been on 'sick leave.'
It almost seems comical that so much time has past me by. I've been absent from my career, my friends, and missed so many events. Even my wedding... That's right, my first marriage, and I was too sick to have a ceremony that in any way resembled the one I'd been dreaming of since I was a child. Instead, we went to a hastily arranged 'quickie' wedding at a marriage commissioner's house. No one was there with us, as nobody knew of our plans. There were no flowers, no champagne, and no celebration. My new husband took me to lunch afterward, but no one had any idea that this was our first meal as a married couple. I felt very alone at that moment.
My husband had to get back to work, so we went home, and at his request I removed my newly placed wedding ring before getting out of the car, so my mother would not know what we'd done. The one tangible symbol that I was married, and I had to lay that aside, as well. I cried until sunset.
I am so blessed to have my wonderful husband, but our wedding day left much to be desired. Just another non-event in my uneventful life. Celebrations, so it seems, are for others. That was almost five years ago, though, so I have moved on.
But I digress.
Five doctors have diagnosed me with a brain disease, for which no treatment has helped. No drugs have helped the 24 hour-a-day pain I experience. There are times where the pain is so hideous, I hardly believe I can survive the next five minutes of it, let alone a few days. Thus, I've been living with the diagnosis of Intractable Migraine disease.

In October of 2008, my neurologist referred me to another neurologist for a consult. The new doctor had a different idea about what might be wrong with me. He had a theory my problems stemmed from intracranial hypertension. If that diagnosis is correct, then I might benefit from some treatments I've never had. I went for yet another series of tests. The last one was in December, but it was unsuccessful, so I'm having that one repeated (a lumbar puncture, AKA a spinal tap) tomorrow at Alexandria hospital, so that they can use a method called fluoroscopy to see the spine. Hopefully, they can withdraw some fluid this time, and get some information from analyzing it. If my intracranial pressure is indeed too high, the doctor says I may experience some relief from the head pain within a few hours after the procedure. Many tests will be run on the tubes of CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) that they retrieve, and perhaps we'll get some good information from those.
At this point, I'm trying to live in the moment of getting a proper diagnosis. I can focus on treatment options later. It's been a long quest to get here, and I never could have made it without the love and care of my husband, Bob. He is my rock, and evidence to me that God is alive and well. Even on the longest, most awful days, I know I'm not alone or forgotten.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Studio


I enjoy paper crafting: scrapbooking, card making, etc. As this can be a product-intensive hobby, it's nice to have one's own space in which to create. One major benefit is not having to put everything away each time I'm finished, too.

Today I'm giving you a peek into my space. While not large, it works out pretty well. It's a little odd, because it's a loft space, above my bedroom, but only on two sides. So, it's an L-shaped loft with many windows and great views.

I'm slightly obsessed with organization; in fact, I spend more time with that than actual crafting! I'm hoping to change that, as I pretty much have permanent places for everything. If only I could be so organized in other rooms... I have hope.

Here's a couple of views of my space.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life ON the Grid

My brother and his girlfriend would never have this problem. They live pretty much off the grid. Yep solar & all, the real deal.

We, on the other hand, are dependent upon Amerigas & Dominion Power to keep us warm and basking in the luxury of our appliances & electronics.

Last night, my Mom mentioned she had to take a shower with cold water. What??? So, I figured the hot water heated had died. However, the other hot water heater was also cold. Neither the stove was working, nor the heat. (Our heating system - Apollo- runs off the hot water heaters. If there's no hot water, there's no heat.)
It seems the propane had run out.
We've been here five and a half years, and this is the first time it happened. We have the service with the gas company, such that they automatically deliver when it gets low, but somehow we fell through the cracks with that system. The after-hours line said someone would call me this morning, first thing, to set up a time for a delivery today. The catch is we had to be home, because the gas man would have to come inside to check all the propane-using appliances.

Great, gotta postpone Mom's dr.'s appointment.

It only got to 60 degrees (F) in my bedroom, so that wasn't too bad. Since I get too warm often, a little cool is fine by me. We have a space heater for Mom (she's very cold natured) so she was comfortable. One helpful feature of having propane is that when the electricity goes out, we're still able to use the stove, and take hot showers. But this was the gas.
As of 9:30 this moaning, I'd heard nada, so I rang them up. After 3o minutes of being put on hold and transferred, we got a delivery set up. Typically on a cool fall day (48 degrees midday today) by mid morning we'd get some warming in the house, thanks to the passive solar provided by the plethora of windows on the south and west sides of the house. But today, it's cloudy and raining, so no warmth from the sun.
The gas man cometh and now goeth, and we are 'cooking with gas' again. And I can run the dishwasher! Woo-hoo! And take a shower, praise God.
Oh yeah, and the gas company owes us a whopping $25 for this inconvenience. Wow, I can hardly wait to get that.