Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The .25 cent project--Hydrangeas Blog Hop

Howdy folks and welcome to the Club Scrap monthly blog hop!
I know you stopped by from Debby's Page and that you have come to my post in order to be enlightened with amazing artistic talent and a knock out project.  Ha ha, just kidding I know you came by to see if I would say anything to make you spit your morning coffee on your computer monitor.  Or maybe for a cat picture.

As usual I wanted to come up with a way to participate in the hop without actually using up any of my precious scrapping and crafting supplies.  What you don't actually use your paper do you???

I saw THIS IDEA on Pinterest and thought maybe I could recreate it with my Hydrangeas stamps and some cheap thrift store candle holders.

Step one-Hit up your local thrift store for some candle holders or any little glass containers (if you come home with a set of luggage and a new bookcase too this is not my fault but I will worn you it is known to happen-not that I would know anything about that.)  The three little holders below were less than .25 cents each.
Step Two-Gather some very basic supplies.  You will need some tissue paper, scissors, India Ink and Mod Podge and a little paint brush.  Thin the Mod Podge with some water, I used about 1/2 and 1/2 in a little bowl.

Step Three-Stamp the image of your choice on the tissue paper.  I found after a couple tries that a second generation of the stamping might work better for delicate images like these flowers.  See how the top image is just a little too dark and the ink kind of bleeds a bit.

Step Four-Cut out image.  Brush part of the glass you want to stick the tissue paper on with a bit of the water/modpodge mix.  (It will look cloudy but don't worry it will dry clear.)  Stick on image and then brush another thin layer of the glue mix on top of it.
I did the flowers and the stems separately here.

You can continue adding as many images as you would like.
It looks a bit like a pretty shot glass.  But beware these things and liquid really don't mix.

I tired it with a couple different stamps and colors.  They didn't turn out perfectly but I do think the stamping on tissue paper is kind of a "if at first you don't succeed thing".  I was in more of a hurry up and finish this so you can make supper mode.

Now those of you you know me well know that I'm really not a pink and purple flowery kind of person.  I'm more of a red and black NASCAR kind of person?  So my final test of this new little craft was this (also from the Hydrangeas UM stamp.)
While it still isn't perfect it is a bit more my style.  So there you have it, a handy quick craft that is cheap and doesn't use any of your precious Club Scrap paper.  It might also be fun with kids.  If you like spending time with kids and stuff.

I hope you enjoyed this stop on the Hop today.  Next up is Tiare's Blog!

And just in case you thought I forgot...
Here's a quick shot of AJ helping me with some Greetings to Go last week.  Cats are so helpful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Year of Thanks

I'm getting this up a few days earlier than I originally planned but I wanted to re-cap some of my health updates and thank some folks for helping with my amazing year of recovery.  So here's a start...
Yeah I know...crazy thing is that wasn't even at my worst.  But there came a time when I just quit allowing people to take my picture.  The above shot is from 2010 (September) on the left and today on the right.

Here is what I looked like before everything just went so wrong...(2006)

Here is one a little closer to my diagnosis and surgery date.  This was May 2012.
It's not a pretty thing.  It's not something people want to show or talk about (thus the "missing years" of photos.)

It also didn't fix itself overnight, here is a picture from August when I felt so much better but was still a long way from where I am now.
Here is one from December...

And again, here is today.
80 pounds later with perfect blood pressure and a new lease on life.  My Cushing's syndrome diagnosis came around mid-April last year and I had my tumor and left adrenal gland removed on May 1st (a long day for friends and family.)  It's amazing how something so small can make you so sick.

But really the point of this post is two-fold.  First I would like to thank the countless people who have helped me this year. 

Thank you to Leslie, my rock, my work-mate, my helper with everything, my best friend.  Who kept his patience when I looked like the first pictures and couldn't do anything and felt like junk ALL the time.  I think if he had heard "I'm SOOO HOTTT!!" one more time he might have freaked out.  I can't wait to LIVE life with you again!

Thank you to my family, who was here to help, who sent cards and notes all the time and were so encouraging even when I felt horrible.

Thank you to my work friends who understood when I was dragging at a meeting or was late responding to an e-mail.

Thank you to all of my friends and neighbors and extended family who sent cards and notes and posted encouraging things on Facebook, they really did help!  My Club Scrap family has been super supportive as well!

Finally thank you to Melissa Johnson, my trainer who helped me when I was sick and for 2 years worked with me even though I was struggling and didn't know why I couldn't lose weight or get stronger.  I think she kept me out of a wheelchair.  She has also been a huge factor in getting my strength back.  I can do things now that I never could have before.  She has been an inspiration and a friend.

The second thing I want to stress here is that I knew something was wrong.  Countless doctors telling me I needed to lose weight or be more active.  People assuming I was a lazy fat person, it can really bring you down.  The last 6 months before my diagnosis I can honestly say I wanted to become a recluse.  I didn't want to see anyone or go anywhere (or have anyone see me.)  I knew I was sick but no one seemed to be able to help me.  A year or so before everything finally went down a neighbor said to me, "You know Janet, I think you have a tumor or something."  I'd like to say thank you to Kim King because she was right.  Leslie's brother Phil said towards the end to him, "You know, Janet just looks bad, I think something is wrong with her."

Maybe if more people had told me they thought I was sick I would have been able to find better help sooner?  I'm not sure.  I know it's hard to confront people about a problem you think they have.  You assume they know something is wrong.  A co-worker even told me this summer, "Well we knew something was wrong with you be we assumed you knew what it was."  I'm forever grateful to a suspicious cardiologist who finally said,"You seem like a healthy person, I think something is really wrong with you."  Also to a surgeon that didn't brush me off and had me scheduled for surgery about a week after my CAT scan.

It hasn't been a super easy year, there have been some set-backs and some other issues associated with my rapid weight loss (what do I do with all this extra skin?)  And I'm trying to hold onto my gallbladder (he's pretty upset with me lately.)  Also I'm still hoping my "red face" will keep improving.  But without this diagnosis and surgery I would have had a stroke in probably a year or so.  Most Cushings patient live 5 years and from the 2010 picture you can see I wasn't that far off.  It is a tricky illness to get help for and I'm just for the rest of my life lucky that some people helped me.  I read stories everyday on support websites where people literally die waiting to be properly diagnosed.

Well I've gone on long enough but there were just so many things I wanted to say...Thank you again everyone. We are headed to Alaska in May to celebrate my new lease on life!!  When we get home I hope to take my medic-alert bracelet off for good!