Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cardvaarks Sketch #5

Hello all. Here's the card for Sketch 5:



Stamps used: Man's Ruin

I feel rotten. Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter. Doc said to expect 3-5 miserable days.

Thanks For The Prayers

Yesterday was my big appointment with the anesthesiologist for the selective root nerve block. Out of respect for the squeamish, I'll spare you details of the five inch needle shoved into my spine for 25 minutes. Ugh. It was both worse and not near as bad as I imagined. It hurt a lot when they hit the bone and they needed to reposition it twice. Otherwise it was more weird than painful.

The important bits:

* My doc is an angel. He's this gentle, peaceful, guy who seems to genuinely love people. The OB/GYN who did my hysterectomy back in '99 was the best doc on the planet. When I was going under he held my hand, looked in my eyes and said, "I'll take care of you and won't let anything bad happen." It was the best way to go into surgery ever. The guy yesterday was just like that. Thank you Lord.

* I weathered the procedure well but instead of bobbing over to the post-op room with the other patients, my blood pressure crashed to 71/43 (that's the last one I heard before everything went completely black and my hearing disappeared) and I spent a little extra time on the hospital bed. Then I was on monitors for about an hour as my BP kept recovering and then crashing again. I blacked out several times getting dressed... it was some doozy of a day. Fortunately, salt always helps me so I ate salty foods until my hands swelled and quit passing out. Then I came home and slept hard for about four hours.

* I am having a flare-up from the procedure as they told me to expect. Ouch. But the meds they have me on are strong and very helpful. It's hard to swing homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, budgeting etc. I think If I just try really, really hard I'll do just fine.

Do you ever get it in your head you are doing something and just won't let it go even though it's not important at all? I really wanted to do all seven days of the Cardvaarks sketch challenge. I even got up early yesterday to stamp and color my images before my procedure so I'd just need to assemble the card when I got home. Then I had the whole going in shock thing to sort out and I slept a lot instead. So I got up early again this morning to finish the card before the 7:00 AM deadline and someone in my house had put the images somewhere. They are still MIA. I was so disappointed. But it's not a big deal at all. It's pretty much the opposite of important.

I think in life it is easy to put too much focus on a little thing and let it bog you down. It's especially easy when big things in your life (like health in mine) are beyond your control. But holding on too tightly to silly diversions is a quick way to add stress and none of us need that.

Perhaps I'll blog again later with day five of the sketch challenge. Or maybe instead, after finishing our school day, I'll curl up with a good book.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sketch-fest Day Three

Here's today's Cardvaarks sketch:

And here is my card featuring a Retro Cowgirl:

Anyone notice the lack of product on my cards the last few days? I'm laid up right now so I've been coloring away with my Copics but haven't asked the kiddos to fetch me much more than my bag of scraps. Then I just need to move around for sewing and picture taking. Not having access to all my stash has really helped me keep things simple and has been a fun experiment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Caardvarks Sketchfest #2

I liked the Caardvarks Sketch so much I made two cards. The movie card was all images off a single sheet of patterned paper (K and Co) and the Hawaiian card used the new Hawaiian Girl stamps from Bombshell Stamps and the paper and canvas tag was from my July TSR kit.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Yesterday was talk like a pirate day but I ran out of time before I could finish my pirate card. Fortunately I was able to steal a few minutes this afternoon. This is for Kathi's Pirate Challenge at Bombshell Stamps and for Cardvaarks Sketchfest Sunday Sketch

Stamps Used: A Pirate's Life
Paper: Fiskars and C'oredinations.

Sorry the color is a little off. It's a lot cuter in real life.

Thanks Shawnna for the awesome, piratey ribbon. I love it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Healthy (Ha!), Wealthy and Wise

Thought it was about time to do another update. So... I'd love to cry in my beer but I signed a contract with the pain folks that excludes beer for the foreseeable future. I'd cry into a bowl of pudding but I'm vegan. I guess I need to put on my happy face and keep going.

Had my pain clinic appointment and was terrified as I was under the impression that I'd be getting my spinal injection. Nope I got two hours of talking instead. And a whole new treatment plan.

Turns out my back is trashed - to put in mildly. MRIs are wonderful things. If I ever need to take a friendly witness into court I'm bringing an MRI machine. No kidding. Tell someone you have pain and they give you that, 20 pounds overweight housewife... bored? Needs attention? look. Show them a seriously icky MRI and you're as legit as Snoop Dogg's claim of being OG.

According to my doc I must have had a very full childhood replete with sledding accidents, falls from horses, bike wrecks, car wrecks, tubing mishaps. To that I said, " Heck, Ya!" And he replied, " And now you're paying for it." I guess it doesn't take a CSI expert to piece together a misspent youth :-)

The skinny - L5S1: desiccated disc (hard and flat, not wet and puffy), retrolisthesis (posterior facing herniated disc), broad based posterior disc bulge, left paracentral annular tear, degenerative disc disease, compression on the left S1 root

All that explains the type of pain and numbness I'm feeling so we are postponing any fiddling with the tailbone and SI joint for the next six months and are focusing on the new list of issues. Apparently my degenerative bone disease is the least of my problems. Ditto for the broken, unattached, goofy tailbone.

I am getting a root nerve block on Wednesday and am officially being prescribed buckets of narcotics. I've been taking - for the most part - Advil and the occasional Vicodan and the doc says that is why my world is getting pretty small. He thinks taking an appropriate mix of pain meds and being able to hike, volunteer, attend church etc. is a lot better than stoically not being able to leave the house but being "drug-free" I have mixed feelings about this.

I'm also in a registry and have agreed to all sorts of crazy things which are part of a "pain program" for example, they can call me at anytime and I have 24 hours to come to the clinic and have my pills counted. If it's 15 days since refill I better have half left. Also, (and I thought this was only in the Stepford Wives movie) to "better help their patients" all the toilets in the clinic are rigged with a drug testing apparatus so whenever you pee you are providing a sample. Weird. I don't know how people abuse prescriptions - this process has been very intense. Did you know whenever I get a refill it takes 24 hours because they run a police search on all state pharmacies to make sure I haven't filled any other prescriptions? Crazy!

So that's healthy in a nutshell. I'm a little freaked out, but I'm managing. I have a lot of years left (36 isn't very old) and my back needs to carry me through them. I hate to ponder how it's going to be when I'm 70.

Wealthy: We're about 50 days into our budget and it's going smashingly. I ran a little over in groceries so I borrowed from hair care and clothes - all "legal" moves in our plan. We've become a magnet for money. I wonder if we always were and just never knew it. There is a pretty constant flow of rebates, overcharges, sales, refunds etc. and they are adding up big time. We hope to have our car paid off by mid-October and then we'll get to work on the Visa bill. We are still living on 38% of our income which is super-awesome. Next month we'll have to pay our mortgage again which should bring down our debt payment a bit. Still, our drafted budget for next month shows us paying 40% to debts and living on the other 60% which is still impressive (to me at least) and is a far cry from the 110% we were living on three months ago.

Wise: Nope. Not wise at all. Although, with my new position at Gauche Alchemy I have been writing a lot more consistently and I love to be using my skills again. So it's not a total wash.

I bet all my crafting readers are bored stiff right now. Sorry, but you guys are the target for most of my post and this one is for my near and dear. Just so it's not a total waste *grin* Here are some Halloween tags I've been working on featuring my beloved Retro Cowgirls set from Bombshell Stamps:

And this is a LO I did for SassyGirlScraps last week:

And last but not least, Welcome Willows, thanks for popping by :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hot For Teacher

Oh wow, man !
Wait a second man. whaddaya think the teachers gonna look like this year ?
My butt, man !
I think of all the education that I missed.
But then my homework was never quite like this.
Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,
I'm hot for teacher.
I got it bad, so bad,
I'm hot for teacher.


Gauche Alchemy just released a new kit called Hot For Teacher. Check it out:

Book pages, retro pictures, teachers logs, lined paper, yearbook pages - love it!

You can get one HERE


Bombshell Stamps Hump Day Hop

Wednesday already! How did this happen?

Today is the Bombshell Stamps Hump Day Hop and I thought I'd make something really girlie for a change.

I'm sporting a big sloppy crush for paint strips. Did you see the one on the card? I love the shades of pink on the strip. Did you know that a little vigorous rubbing with a white eraser removes the writing? I hear Magic Erasers work too.

This is my first attempt at a skin color other than pale caucasian. It's still way too pink but that might be partly due to the background and veil color. I'm going to try a nice Hawaiian Islands tone next and see if I can come up with something realistic. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Here's the rest of the gals in the hop, leave a comment and you'll be entered in a drawing for some Bombshell Stamps:


Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun With Your Toilet Seat

I'm blogging over at Gauche Alchemy today and my topic is toilet seats -

Curious? Having a hard time picturing what could possibly be said?

Click Here

You're still visiting my blog...

How about this tempting bit by Staphanie Z:

Cool 'eh? Now go see the rest :-)

P.S. On a personal note, we can finally talk about the Top Secret stuff my sweetie has been consumed with. You can read the press release HERE

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bombshell Stamps and a LO


Sorry, was I shouting?

I have good reason to, last night Shannon released the new set of Bombshell Stamps for pre-order and they pretty much made my head explode with how hard they rock. Oh my goodness!

You can pre-order them HERE.

I'm this week's guest designer over at Sassy Girl Scraps. Thanks, Pam for the chance to work with such an awesome sketch.

Here's a peek:

I've been wanting to sew guidelines for journalling for ages and finally did it - and will be doing it again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Friday and That Means...

I'm blogging at Gauche Alchemy!

Did you know I blog there twice a week? Yeparoo, I do. Monday's and Fridays you can find me hanging with the cool girls.

I was getting crafty with ATCs - wanna peek?

Click HERE to see the rest of them :-)

It's hard to believe it's been eight years since September 11th. My very best friend was living in Maryland and she called and said, " We're under attack." We watched the news on the phone together all morning and waited for her husband to make it home from downtown DC and to hear the news of our mutual friends who worked at the Pentagon. Fortunately, all the men and women we were close to were safe; but so many were not. It is with a heavy heart that I will remember those who were lost.

Welcome, Willows :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hump Day Hotties Blog Hop

Welcome to the Bombshell Hump Day Hop!

The Bombshell Stamps design team members are bringing you a fabulous hop each and every Wednesday! View rockin' projects at each stop along the way and leave comments to win a fab prize.

Here's how it works:

Start at any of the Design Team Member Blogs and take a peek at their Hump Day project. Leave them a comment and tell them what you think about it! Then follow the links to the other DT member blogs and leave them comments. The more comments you make, the more entries you will have to win a great prize from Bombshell Stamps at the end of the month!

This week all of our projects are based on a challenge by Sarah, Ms September. The challenge is to make a project inspired by a movie. Sadly I've got the stomach flu so I couldn't make a new project. But my new readers probably haven't seen this card and it's one of my favorites so I thought I'd post it again. Sorry for the repeat:

Stamps Used: Mermaid Anchor

In case you missed the reference, it's from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Here's the blogs to hop:

Miss Magoo
Mary G

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Altered Photo Tutorial

Happy Labor Day everyone.

I blogged today over at Gauche Alchemy so if you are interested in seeing my latest tutorial then scoot over there :-)

Want a preview?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Some Very Exciting News

Anyone seen the movie Rockstar? In it, Mark Wahlberg plays the lead character in a story loosely based on the goings on in the band Judas Priest. Wahlberg's character, Chris, is Steel Dragon's biggest fan, in fact he spends his time as the singer in a cover band playing Steel Dragon songs night after night. One morning he gets a call from the band's lead guitarist who had seen a tape of one of Chris's concerts and asks him to fly to LA and try out for the job of their new lead singer. Marky Mark gets the gig and famously opens each of his shows with the line,

"You know, I'm just a regular guy who grew up with the posters of these guys on my wall... and now I'm one of them! That's right, I'm standing here, living proof that if you work hard enough, and you want it bad enough... dreams do come true. So follow your dreams..."

I'm kind of feeling a bit like Chris the main character. You know how I LOVE Gauche Alchemy?

Well, check this out: CLICK ME


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last Day of the Budget & Glitter Paint

Whew. We've been on our budget six weeks and are at the last day of our first month of going whole hog with envelopes, coin rolling - THE WORKS.

First, let me explain something probably more for the sake of my pride than your assumptions. We are getting our financial house in order because we have an 8th grader and university suddenly seems a lot closer. Three kids in college at the same time is going to be spendy. Back surgery might be in my future and it'll cost big bucks too. We looked at expenses like car payments and said to ourselves, Yes, by American standards we're fine. But do we want to be paying off the car and the visa bills when we're also putting kids through school? The answer was obviously "no". We also want to travel before the kids leave home. If it's going to be more than a pipe dream, we need to start socking money away under the mattress. I've noticed most people don't fuss with their finances until they are in trouble. We are choosing to see a bump a ways down the road and get the shocks fixed before we hit it.

So, about that budget. We ended up putting 66% of our money on debt this month and when I rifled through the envelopes there was $71.50 in unspent cash and an additional $125.00 in categories we'd left untouched in the bank. Tonight I'm going to be grinning like a pig in poop when we deposit that $196.50. We did good.

Has it been easy? Yes and No. Of course spending next to nothing, eating all our meals at home and those meals being heavy on beans and rice has been a lot of additional work during a season in my life where if anything I need less work. But, having our finances in order is a big relief.

Once we have to pay our mortgage again we'll not be able to live on so little. Still, we're aiming for 40% on debt each month. I'll keep you posted.


My head is clearing up as I'm adjusting to more pain and a lot more meds. I hope to be scrapping and crafting again in the next few days too.


I'm a Bombshell Girl for another term. Yippee! Thanks, Shannon for having faith in me and keeping me around. You can see all the designers here. Congrats, ladies.


We've been doing different things for our dates lately and I've been begging Chris to do an art project with me. He's a little art-phobic even though he has mad drawing skills and rocks at pretty much everything. We needed more shelf space and decided to see what we could build. Scrounging in the basement yielded these:

So we did this:

We used glitter paint (yeah, we're madcap like that) so if you shine a light on it it looks like this:

But in reality, since it's facing a hallway and no windows, it really looks like this:

I'm mostly happy with it. The only boo-hooing I'm doing is that I used up all my best scrapbook trims on the shelves. But think of how much I'll get to enjoy them. We'll replace the black suede fringe at the top with red suede fringe if I ever get to leave the house again *grumble, stupid back, grumble*. Funky, no?

There is a small chance I'm going to bling it out Gauche Alchemy style like this:

But I wanted to see how the trim holds up to boy use before adding more. If you noticed though, there's a bottle cap on there already; it's seducing me with sweet whispers of possibility.

Thanks for bearing with me this month. Love to you all.