Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So it Begins and Woolly Balls

I am writing this yesterday,
as you read this,
Jenny's stem cell transplant has begun.
Here's what I know will happen:
Jenny will have a port installed today,
she will be given a high dose of chemotherapy.
What else will happen,
I don't know
but Wednesday will be a day of rest for her.
On Thursday,
her own stem cells will be reinjected into her body.
After that,
we wait.
More later.
Now, on to the real topic of this blog:

Now, get your minds out of the gutter.
Here's what I mean when I say
(I'm giggling like when I was in high school.)
I'm sure you've seen them.
They are balls of wool that you felt and throw in the drier to speed up drying and the softening of your clothes.
I found several free tutorials online describing how to make them.
All of them are great, and best of all, they are free!
Here's how they look before you felt them the first time.
At this point, they are just wound balls of wool yarn.
After you wind them, you put them in old panty hose, tie a knot between each one,
then toss them in the washer with a HOT wash and a COLD rinse.
That's the first step in the felting process.
Then, still in the panty hose,
you toss the 
woolly balls
in the drier until they are dried.
You carefully cut the woolly balls out of the panty hose, and toss them back in the drier.
Sellers claim that these 
woolly balls
cut drying time anywhere from 20 -50%.
I don't know because I haven't tried them yet,
but once I do, I'll let you know.
That's what the woolly balls look like when they are finished and felted.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Not Just an Ordinary Holiday

We thank all those who have died serving our country.
We thank their families for their sacrifices.
We honor you all!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Six Word Story Sunday - Easy Peasy Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Rhubarb Sauce

Dice Rhubarb
Cook Rhubarb
Add Sugar

Just to expand a bit...
I cut up about 3 big stalks of rhubarb.
(About 2 Cups)
Be sure to remove the leaves because they can make you sick.
I don't add water, but I cook the rhubarb in the microwave until it is soft and mushy.  
You should still see chunks.
I add Splenda to taste.
You can add sugar to taste, but I add Splenda.
Easy Peasy!

What's your favorite rhubarb recipe?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Off Again and On Again!

It's time.
The date and time for Jenny's stem cell transplant has been set.
The process will begin on 
May 31st.
Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) After a week of tests and meetings with the transplant doctor, we found out that Jenny is in great health.  Her bones are strong.  If it weren't for the cancer, her health would be perfect!  The transplant is a go.  The doctor felt that this is the best time for it because of her excellent health.

2) Pixie was happy to come home.  AS soon as she walked in the door, she raced to her love seat and went to sleep.  Kitties boss her around so much, she's happy to have a little break.

3)  Today,  I painted the base of the mailbox.  It was rusting, and now, the white paint makes it look great!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - Tiny

The goslings in this family are tiny.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday: Yes, There Are Beads this week!

She started it!
 Heather Powers, of course!

So, since you are reading this tomorrow,
I am writing this yesterday,
I'll show you what my bead table looked like yesterday.
 In spite of the fact that I am not home, 
there really were beads on the table.
I wrote about my attempts at needle felting,
then I joined another charm exchange on Lampworketc.
Since I am not able to torch at DD's,
these little felted robins are going to be some of my charms for the exchange. 
I lined them up and showed them off as a sneak preview to the group in the exchange.
Inspired by Lorelei Eurto's work with tin,
and knowing that I could work with tin as I stay with Jenny,
I hit the thrift store and began to play with some tin.
Believe me, this is nothing like Lorelei does,
for me,
it's just play.
I cut some discs,
then I made some
bead caps 
lightweight tin earrings for summer.
I made these from an old tin of Hershey's Chocolate.
I wish the scent were still there!

When I was searching for tins, I happened to see this necklace at the thrift store.
I love it!  It's light weight and fun for the summer!
Last, but not least,
here's what else was on my table!
Yes, it's Walter.  He's so curious about everything!!!!
He just had to check out my bead table today!
So, what was on your bead table?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How Do You Do? Meet Chester.

Jenny and I met Chester as a part of the education process for port maintenance.
When Jenny has her stem cell transplant,
she will have a port installed in her chest so that her veins will not be destroyed in the process.
Chester is a teaching tool used by the transplant team to educate.
Using Chester as a model,
Jenny learned to maintain and clean the  port she will have installed.
With such a nice physique,
I am truly disappointed that Chester was only a mannequin.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Did I Get so Lucky? Why Was I So Blessed?

These statues of the "Peanuts" Gang are found all over the Minneapolis, St. Paul area.
This statue of Lucy is situated outside of the hospital where Jenny will have her stem cell transplant.
When I saw her, 
I looked for 
"The Doctor is Open Sign."
There wasn't one,
so I decided I had nothing to loose and strange looks to gain by telling Lucy my troubles anyway.
Yes, strange looks I did get,
but it was well worth it!
I started to talk about my sorrows.
Lucy didn't blink an eye.
She simply stared straight ahead and listened.
Since she made no comment,
and a bubble burst in my mind.
Why was I complaining?
We live in an age where there are treatments for Jenny's cancer.
I have two wonderful adult children.
I have the perfect dog for this time in my life.
She's a little bit confused about why she isn't home and why the kitties are the pack leaders, but I think that will pass.
Even though I can't torch and make glass beads right now, 
I will be able to go back to it in a few months.
I am able to pursue other means of creative expressions.
Needle felting, wire, metal, and tin come to mind right now.
We have a roof over our heads that provides warmth when cold and cool when hot.
We have enough food to fill our stomachs.
We have wonderful friends who provide the much needed emotional support at a time like this.
The list could be longer, but I think I'll stop here.
How did I get so lucky?
Why was I so blessed?
Lucy's silence made me stop and think.
Thank you, Lucy.
No need for the Doctor to be in.
We're going to be all right.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Six Word Story Sunday - He's a Little Bit Hairy, but


So, do you like him?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Needle Felting - I'm going to like it, I think!

With Jenny's stem cell transplant coming up,
and knowing that I would not be making glass beads for a while,
I knew I'd have to find something to keep me busy.
Marcy Lamberson suggested that I try needle felting.
She told me it was easy to do and transportable.
She even shared with me where she buys her supplies on Etsy--
So, I ordered this,
I think I'm going to like it.
Everything I needed came in this box, from the roving to the needle.

It is easy to do, and I can easily carry the entire kit in my bag.

The only thing I need to remember is to be more careful

because when the ball slips, the needle can plunge into your finger.
I do think, however, I'm going to like this very much!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) We are finally coming to a point where Jenny's stem cell process is underway.  The people whom we have met so far, have been very kind and supportive.  It will be a challenging road to travel, but with the support of these trained professionals and our friends, we will reach the end of the journey with a great deal of success for Jenny.  I am always amazed by the kindnesses of the people who are sent on our path.  I often wonder how many of these kind strangers were really angels in disguise.
2) Nick has called everyday to see how everything is going.  One of the practitioners commented that Jenny was so lucky to have a brother who really wanted to be a part of this transplant process and cared enough to call.  She said that doesn't always happen.

3) Pixie is adjusting better to life in St. Paul with the kitties.  Truly, the kitties rule here.  When Pixie and I are together, she is my Velcro dog.  She has also claimed the love seat as hers.  The kitties have not challenged her on that issue, yet. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - Red

With this photo challenge, red, I thought it would be difficult to find red.
I thought maybe this is what I should post.
It's red.  It's pretty, but it's dull as far as photos go.
So, where did I look for red?
I didn't.
Red found me in the Bone Marrow Transplant Wing at the University of Minnesota Hospital.
Now, we here we have RED.
Yes, it's red for caution.  This paint is RED.
This sign directs the way and outlines the RED fire extinguisher.
This sign does catch your attention, and it's
I honestly don't know what they mean, but the sign is RED and it does catch your attention!
Spent a good chunk of my day here, and it's outlined in RED.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday: Where are the Beads this week?

She started it!
 Heather Powers, of course!

So, since you are reading this tomorrow,
I am writing this yesterday,
I'll show you what my bead table looked like yesterday.
All right,
I know that this is a photo of 
Pixie Marie.
She was very tired when this photo was taken.  
Notice how her mouth is hanging open.
 This photo makes me smile.

Well, you ask, where are the beads?
This week there are no beads on my beading table.  I'm with Jenny this week.  She is going to have her stem cell transplant, but, before that can happen, she has to go through a range of tests.
This is why I am with her right now.
She will be admitted to the hospital for her transplant between the 25th and the 30th.  We just don't know when yet.
We will have a much better idea by the 25th.  That's when she meets with the transplant doctor.
Now, it's just a matter of waiting.
Pixie is stressed.
Kitties are the bosses here, and she is learning the rules.
They do tolerate each other well.  I only wish I could be a fly on the wall to see them in action when we are gone!
Now, for our family, it's just a waiting game.
We are waiting for each test to be completed and waiting for the results.
Wait!  Wait! Wait!
That's the hardest part.  I only wish we were past this stage.
Yet, there's nothing we can do.
The doctors are good.  The hospital is good.
The time will come soon enough.
For now, it's important to smile and to enjoy each day as we draw closer and closer to the transplant.
I'll keep you updated.
I've put my Etsy store in the vacation mode for now.
I hope to feature other artists and stores, but if I loose a day or two, well, that's just the way it will be.
Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If Hope Were A Color, What Color Would it Be?

Last week, on Facebook, I asked,
"If Hope were a color, what color would it be?"
I received some wonderful answers to this question.
Rainbow colors, pink, baby blue, greens, but one of the most interesting ones was:
Golden yellow, like the color of the morning.
I really liked that answer, so I began to work on beads using this theme of colors.
Here's what I made as my first piece of Hope Jewelry.
I tried to use the suggested colors, mixing and matching them as I went.
I wore this necklace today, and I received many compliments on it.
I really do like it.
My first Hope necklace.
I had extra beads left over.  I made these Hope Earring with them.
These earrings, and I do think it's the color combinations,
made me smile.
I mean, I looked at them, and I really smiled.
What a gift.
I do like this jewelry.
If you were to see Hope as a color,
what colors would you see?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Charming Exchange is Over! Wow!

It just seems like yesterday when Deb Batten started the thread for our Charming Exchange. 
It was January, and now, it's May.  Wow!
Where did the time go?
Now, I've made my bracelet.
Isn't it great?
Because of the generosity of many of the participants,
I will be able to make Jenny a "Charming Necklace."
Jenny is not one to wear bracelets,
she likes to wear necklaces.  
It was a fun exchange,
I'm still looking forward to seeing the other 
"charming" bracelets. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Six Word Sunday - Grow Where You Are Planted

Grow Where You Are Planted

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week - A Day Late

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Things are finally starting to blossom!  The crab apple tree and the plum tree are developing their most beautiful garments of the year.  I feel like I am at the royal wedding when I see these beautiful buds and blossoms!

2) Friends never seem to amaze me with the love and support they show for me and my family with help that is asked and with help that is given so freely without counting the cost!  We love you all, and you know who you are!  Thank you!

3) We had some 90 degree weather this week, and as hot and humid as that was, it was beautiful!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - Wild Life

 Here's a look at the spring wild life in our area.
 A Bird

 Crab Apple Buds
 A Squirrel

Wild Plum Blossoms
An ant

Bead Table Wednesday: The Exchange is over, Red, and Polymer Clay

She started it!
 Heather Powers, of course!

So, since you are reading this tomorrow,
I am writing this yesterday,
I'll show you what my bead table looked like yesterday.
 The Charming Exchange is over, or, at least, my job in the exchange.
All of the packages are on their way!
So far, everyone seems to like their trades.
So, now, I am going to start working with my charms.
This is going to be fun!

When I torched this morning, I had different ideas in mind for these beads.
We'll see what happens.
I might have already changed  my mind!
I do love the beads,
we'll see.

This afternoon brought challenges with polymer clay.
I'm not sure I'll ever catch on to this!
We'll see.
Here are the results of my afternoon--82 polymer clay beads.
They still need to be baked and holes poked in them,
but I think I can use them.
This should be fun!
Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sometimes It's Just the Way We Look At Things

From this angle,
the tower looks like it's leaning towards the church
pointed roof is leaning towards the tower.
Yet, if we stand at another angle and look, all is well.
How could a tower lean so far and not fall?
How could a roof lean inside and not collapse?
Sometimes, with life,
it's all in how we see things.
Yet, if we look at the tower, it's always straight.
Sometimes, our guiding lights may be hard to find,
we just have to look ahead to see.
Life is about how we see things.
Sometimes our vision is skewed.
Sometimes our vision is cloudy.
Yet, there is always some one or something who stands straight and tall.
We just have to look to find it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shopping Etsy: Search Word: Moss

With Spring finally here,
I decided to shop Etsy and use the search word:  Moss.
Birdie1's shop is beautiful!
Wouldn't this make a wonderful centerpiece at a spring wedding?
I love it!
Need some real moss for your terrarium?
This should do the trick for you!
I'm thinking about this for me.  I love terrariums, and I would like more for my work area at home.
I found this in Natural Woodland's Store on Etsy.

Think you like moss?  How about some moss jewelry?
Isn't this great?
It's a Terrarium Pendant and the moss inside is live!
How cool is that!
Isn't this great!
You can make your own with this kit.
Well, did you have a great time shopping?
I love moss, 
and I might soon be a customer for some of these products.
What do you like to shop for on Etsy?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Six Word Story Sunday - Spring Again and Happy Mother's Day!

Spring, Again

Spring is Finally
I think!

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers whether they have children or not.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Adding Details: For Me There's Nothing Like Sculptural Work for Practice and I'm Not Cupcake Imparied Anymore!

I've had a hard time torching lately aka making beads because I have developed neck and back spasms.
These really do hurt when I torch, so I've tried tor  rest, but there are times when I have to work on beads.
One of my mantras for this year is:
the other, as you know, is:
So, the other day, I did have HOPE that I could torch for a bit and I did.
I practiced
The best way for me to do this is to work on sculptural beads.
Presenting Toby the Tuscan.
Shape was my challenge with him.
However, without eyes, wings and a beak, Toby was just a blob.
The details came in the colors I used.
Black needs contrast.
Red, yellow and green provided that contrast.
May I introduce you to Oliver the Owl?
I made him using some cane I pulled myself.  It was a challenge to pull the cane, but it was a good learning experience.
The details were simple.
Cutting the feet to look like claws,
and adding eyes and a beak.
Please meet Fillip the Fish.
Details were really important with him.
I rolled the glass for his fins in frit for more color.
His lips were great to make!
More fins and a tail completed his body.
I like him!
And I discovered, I am no longer cupcake impaired.  Look at the details, too!