Sunday, December 6, 2009

Busy weekends...

As if the weekdays weren't busy enough DH and I have resolved to tackle all the remaining tasks around the house in hopes that we'll finally get the place into "visitor" shape. We moved into this house in early 2004 and, up until recently, it looked like we had just moved in last week! In my last post you got to see some pics of the master bathroom. We're a little further ahead now with the toilet installed. We were all ready to install the new sink and cabinet until we realized that we accidentally got the wrong sized leg/brackets for the base unit and so we can't finish the install until the replacement parts arrive. Not bad. 90% complete. It's looking really nice :) Will post final pics when that's all finished.

This weekend we were committed to clearing out the front living room. This space had become a repository for all the crap that had migrated from all the other rooms as we worked on them. The time had finally come to turn it into a real living room. So, we put in a couple of hours of dedicated sorting, throwing, and cleaning and miraculously it looks absolutely fabulous!! Just a little more decorating/organizing and we'll have liveable space.

The other big thing we wanted to get accomplished this weekend was to put down new flooring in our little kitchen. When we first moved in we laid down linoleum tile - which looked great initially. However, after a few years of living it started to look less than nice and I convinced DH that it was time to do something about it. Gotta love sales at the local big box home improvement joints. We found some Pergo on blowout and so that's what we're finishing up as I type. It looks like tile but won't be as fragile or require as much maintenance. Certainly the installation was 10x easier than tile! Overall cost for our little kitchen? $100 in materials and some sweat equity. Pics to come on this too :)

I managed to get some serious beadmaking done late last night. I had some items that needed to go out for an order so I definitely had to get that done. I cranked out a ton of staple items - no off the wall creating going on - but it was nice to light the torch and get the feel of a mandrel spinning in my hands again. Hopefully I'll have more time over the holidays to work on stuff just for fun.

As for's still going well. I'm enjoying the change of pace and just starting to find the groove. Unfortunately I kinda overextended myself for the next 2 weeks so I may be nowhere near the computer for updates until after the dust has settled.

Life is good. I hope you're enjoying your day as much as we are ours!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where does the time go?

Checking in quickly and realizing that the last time I wrote anything was the beginning of September. Geeze. Time really does get away from us. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Good in the sense that things progress quickly without incident, bad in that I feel I haven't accomplished anything in the time that has passed.

So...let's see what's new since the last time I posted. Well...big thing is I started a new job - two actually. I finally got rid of the cancer that was my old job and moved on and I have to say that, so far, I'm a much happier person. I work when I want. No nights, weekends, or holidays. I get to work in a bunch of different units so there's no getting into any of the silly politics and whatnot of being in one place. And...I get paid more than I did at my last job. All in all I think things are looking good :)

DH is just cruising along after his surgery in September. Aside from the humongo scar that's left he's back to his old, spunky, self. I am very thankful for his superb surgeon and gastroenterologist. Keeping my fingers crossed that DH stays in remission for...well...the rest of his life.

We started gutting the bathroom just before the last hospitalization and when the time was right afterwards we picked the project back up. I'm hoping for it to be complete by next weekend. We tore up the old tile floor, wallpapered over the old stuff and repainted the walls, laid a new floor and now all that's left is to install some trim, the toilet, and the new bathroom sink/cabinet. I'm really excited. This one is going to look fab! Here are some before and work-in-progress pics.

This is just after we finished busting up the old floor. Don't you just love the wallpaper? Nothing like cabbage roses and navy blue wallpaper to welcome you into a bathroom. It had to go!

Unfortunately, the builders applied the wallpaper directly to the sheetrock (which we knew from another project earlier on) and so it was not an option to remove the paper. Since we didn't want to hang all new sheetrock we took the easy route and just gave the wall a new covering which we painted to match the bedroom.

You can't really tell the color in the next picture
but it's a soft greyish green. Very bathroom appropriate and kinda spa-like. We found some textured wallpaper that they were discontinuing at the local home improvement store and used that to cover the old flowery stuff. The nice thing about textured paper is that it hides all the underlying imperfections. Painting over it then gave us brand-spankin' new walls and I'm super thrilled with the results.

It was my very first time hanging wallpaper and I did it all by myself so I'm giving myself a big pat on the back :)

Here you can see the whole room top to bottom. We need to put new window trim up. You might get a better idea of the room color. We laid new concrete backer board on the floor in preparation for new tile.

Because the subfloor was warped just enough we had to use levelling compound underneath the backer board to make sure there weren't any major dips or bumps. I was not about to lay tile floor to have it crack on me!

So far things are looking good an level and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we evened things out enough that everything will stay intact :)

So here is the almost finished result. We got the walls done and the tile floor is down. We used a prefab patterned tile. It's alternating hexagons with 1" squares in between.

When the bathroom is fully completed I'll take bigger closeups so you can see more of the details. I'm super duper happy at how this is turning out. Mainly because I don't think anything could have been worse than what was there before!

More to come on the bathroom reno in the next little while.

Hope you're having a fabulous day wherever you are. The sun is shining here today and I'm going to leave DH to the trim work in the bathroom while I fire up the torch and kiln to see if I've forgotten how to melt glass!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Playing catch-up...

Well, doesn't time fly? Since the last time I wrote there are been tons of new happenings. The one that comes to mind first is that DH wound up back in the hospital. Long story moderately short....he had an abscess that was not fully treated and it wound up doubling in size. Fortunately for him it didn't rupture and they were able to drain it. Unfortunately the consensus was that the time had finally come for him to have surgery to fix the "broken" innards.

I could go on and on about how I think his gastro doc did a shabby job of addressing the initial problem but that would just make me mad and what's done is done. So, instead I'll tell you that DH had surgery today. Right hemicolectomy. Basically they took out part of his large colon and small intestines and stitched the two ends up. My DH, being the unique individual that he is, of course has to have insides that aren't quite the norm and, therefore, the surgeon had a bit of harder time of things than expected. Overall though the end result hopefully should be the same but with a bit more of a scar. Let me just say that I can fully understand how people go broke trying to pay for medical care down here. If we didn't have premium health insurance we'd be crying over the bills right now. Last hospital stay: 4 days = $20,000. I don't even want to guess that this stay will amount to.

Most of my/our time has been spent in the hospital - getting treatment....getting ready for the surgery. I don't think I've worked much in the last few weeks but I've also come to accept that there is more to life than work and family is my top priority right now. However, in between dealing with all the health issues I did find time to consider other options work-wise and will be making some changes in the next few months. Thankfully the healthcare profession is one in which there are always job openings allowing for all sorts of flexibility and mobility.

Not much else to tell about. I did have my 2month post-op eye follow-up. That went well. At one month I was seeing 20/60 in my right eye, 20/30 in my left. Last time I was seeing 20/30 in my right and 20/25 in my left. I'm hoping for more improvement although I can't really complain as, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I can actually see without any visual aids. I think before the surgery I was 20/800 so any improvement is amazing to me!

Haven't found time to do much creatively. Lots of projects got started and then put on the backburner when we found out that DH was going to have surgery. We started gutting the master bath and got halfway done so that's got to be finished at some point. The stairs still need to be done (ongoing project!). Once those things are done it's small finishing touches around the house and then we'll actually be able to have people over. Yay!!!

No beads or otherwise to talk about/show. Maybe in the next week or so.

Hope you're having a good one wherever you are!! Stay healthy and safe :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just blah....

I'm at a bit of a crossroads. I find myself having to make a whole bunch of decisions about a whole bunch of different things and I kinda just want to crawl into a hole - or at least under the covers - and not think about anything at all.

I think I'm feeling blah because I haven't been able to do anything creative lately. I haven't been able to torch - not because I've been put on restrictions - because I've placed myself on restrictions. Somehow I think after something as life changing as eye surgery you probably should stay away from lighting up the torch and exposing yourself to flare etc too soon. Of course, without the torch I don't have any beads to play with so can't translate that into anything else.

Does re-doing the bathroom count as something creative? We finally got around to leveling the floor so when that's all dry we'll be able to lay the concrete backer board and get to tiling. I think, if all goes well, we should have the bathroom completed by next weekend (fingers crossed!). Before and after pics to come when project is completed.

Meanwhile, I've been shopping around for a new pair of shoes for work. So far I've found that Crocs (even though they're hideous) seem to work best for me. I'm wanting a pair of the Custom Cloud shoes that I'll be able to throw my orthotics into. Anyone else wear these and have any feedback? I'm waiting to hear back from Crocs as to how to size the shoe appropriately to accommodate my inserts. I hate shipping things back and forth (especially if shipping is on me!) so I'd like to get it right on the first try.

Other than all of that my eyes are doing well. I don't really notice anything odd most of the time. There is still occasional blurriness which I'm convinced is due to dry eyes. I'm terrible when it comes to adequate water consumption on a daily basis! Scheduled for 2 month post op follow-up in a couple of weeks and am hoping for improvement in the right eye from the last visit. Otherwise I'm thrilled with the results and don't regret opting for the procedure at all :)

Lots of things going on behind the scenes. Hopefully I'll be able to tell you all about them when all the loose ends have been tied up.

Hope you're having a great day where ever you are!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More of the same.....

I had my one month post-op followup earlier in the week. Everything looks like it's healing just as it should however my eyesight is not as I expected it would be. I still have days of blurred vision. Overall my vision is great i.e. I can see and do all the things I used to need glasses or contacts to do. My left eye is great had is showing "no prescription" meaning (I'm guessing) that I'm seeing 20/20. My right eye - which started as the worse eye - is still lagging behind and at my follow-up I was seeing 20/60 and I'm concerned that this will not resolve.

From what I've heard and read it can take months for vision after PRK to stabilize. As the corneal cells grow back vision may change. I'm hoping that things will continue to improve and that at my 2 month follow-up I'll be doing better in the right eye. Not that it would require glasses or anything but after going through all of that I seriously am not relishing the idea of having to wear glasses whether they're temporary or not. Another option that is available if the vision in my right eye doesn't improve over the next few months is that I could get a touch up on my eye. Something to think about I guess.

So, for now things are definitely going well. I have occasional blurriness but I think this is due to eye overuse and fatigue as well as dryness. I still haven't gotten used to my new eyes and still find myself thinking that I need to take my contacts out before bed because I can still see clearly. It's a hoot :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

PRK - Week 3 quick update....

Reponding to a comment left re. last post.

It took me years, literally, to even wrap my head around the whole idea of laser eye surgery. The whole fear of being in that miniscule number of people who had adverse outcomes..something I could overcome for a very long time. I don't really know what it was that finally changed my mind. I guess I figured that it wouldn't hurt to just get a consultation to see if I was even a candidate and then I could go from there.

I got an appointment with one of the laser eye centers locally. This was a couple of years ago. Basically they told me that I was not a candidate for LASIK because my corneas were too thin. Instead, they suggested that perhaps I consider lens implants. OK....if I wasn't quite on board with laser eye surgery I certainly wasn't on board with lens implants!! Funny....I remember being totally disappointed that the consultation turned out that way. I guess since I'd finally bitten the bullet and committed to the whole idea I was ready to go!!

So...put that idea on the backburner for a couple of years. Fast forward to this year. After thinking about it I realized that lens implants were probably not that bad....I mean, people get cataract surgery every day and it's an outpatient procedure, right?? Made an appointment with one of the top names in our area and was all set to get a consult for lens implants.

Long story short....even through I wasn't a candidate for LASIK, I was a candidate for PRK. I took about 3 weeks to think about it then just decided that it was now or never. Fortunately so far I fall to the "successful procedure" category. Of course, who knows what will happen down the road. Will there be regression? How long will it take for my vision to stabilize? All I know is that I can see - see better than I can remember - even when I'm having my blurry eye days.

I'm at the start of week post-op week 3 and most days are clear eye days. There are occasional blurry moments - washed away with my endless supply of lubricating eye drops! I fully recognize that it will probably be months before my eyesight fully stabilizes but I have to say that I'm pretty happy with the results so far. My prednisone taper starts today. I'm down to 3 drops per eye per day. At this rate I'm looking at completing my taper sometime in September. Aside from that I'm not on anything else and I figure putting in eyedrops 3 times a day is hardly a chore if the end result is perfectly clear vision.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My PRK surgery - Weeks 1-3

Image by Nicole Johnson (Bivoir)
I wanted to blog about this as a way to keep track of my progress and to share my experiences with laser eye surgery with others out there. I'm about 3 weeks out now and if I could have blogged in actual time I would have but unfortunately that was not the case :)

After an extensive consultation my doc advised that I would not be a good candidate for LASIK but rather PRK. The reason for this is that my corneas were too thin to make the corneal flap required for LASIK. In my case, the corneal epithelium would be removed, the laser part would remain the same, and after that the epithelial cells would have to grow back. I was told that recovery would take longer and that I would most likely experience more discomfort than if I got LASIK. OK....after thinking it over....I was still committed to having it done. I got both eyes done at the same time.

I had my surgery on July 7th. I was premedicated for the procedure with some Valium. Eye prep was done and then I rested in a darkened room for a while before they took me to the OR. In the OR I lay on the table where they positioned the equipment over my face. I remember lots of very bright lights. The first part of the procedure involved removing the corneal surface cells. I don't know what the exact steps involved were but I do know that at one point they applied pressure to my eye and everything went dark for about 40 seconds. I could hear the nurse counting down. Then, vision reappeared and the doc did a lot os sweeping and flushing of my eye. After that prep was complete I was told to focus on the green lights flashing overhead. The laser fired up. I could smell it. I think that freaked me out more than anything else. It took about 30 seconds and it was over. My eye was flushed out with cold solution and all of a sudden I could see with perfect clarity. Same procedure to second eye. Bandage contacts were applied and I was good to go. I think I was in the OR for a total of maybe 20mins. Actual operating time maybe 10 mins.

Kev drove me home (no driving after taking Valium) and I basically kept my eyes closed the whole time even though I was wearing the ever so stylish huge wraparound sunglasses :) Didn't do much for the rest of the day but rest. Had moments of clear vision that was encouraging. I'm convinced I made the right decision.

Went back the next day for a quick followup. Was reading 20/30 or so. I'm thinking this is totally the reason why I finally decided to do this. For the rest of the week I'm diligent with my eyedrops just waiting for the bandage contacts to be removed. I remember I felt like i had to use tons and tons of hydrating drops. Towards the end of the week I was able to finally focus on things closeup. With my pupils being hugely dilated I really couldn't do that earlier in the week.

Monday the 13th I had my second followup. This time my vision sucked and I could barely read the eyechart. I remember feeling totally disheartened although the folks assured me this was normal and that I could expect my vision to get worse after removal of the bandage lenses before they would get better. I went home after the visit and I felt like I was back to day 1 all over again.

Went back to work on the 16th. Although my global vision was fine I was definitely experiencing blurred vision and had a terrible time working on the computer. Don't know how I made it through that day. Same thing the next day.

I'm now at the end of week 3. I'm still using Prednisone eye drops 4 times a day. Will be starting to taper next week but it only drops 1 drop every 2 weeks so I'll be on for another month or so. I have my 1 month followup on August 3rd. My vision, when it is clear, is amazing and gives me hope for when it finally stabilizes. I've been told that this could take several months. I'm getting to the point where I have more moments of clarity than blurriness. My eyes get fatigued pretty easily. I'm just trying to take things easy and not doing eye-intensive stuff (like staring at the computer screen too much!!!). I don't have to use the lubricating drops as much these days.

Best moments?? Waking up on the day after the surgery and being able to see the numbers on the clock on my bedside table! Watching TV the other day and realizing that I could clearly read the ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen!!

All in all it was totally worth it to me. I sometimes get frustrated with the fluctuating vision but I was told to expect this. I guess I just didn't realize how much it was going to fluctuated. Still, I know the end result will be worth it. Would I recommend it? Definitely!! Just make sure to pick a reputable facility and get recommendations on the doctor. I wouldn't shop around for a bargain with this particular procedure :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's been a while....

Goodness....I didn't even realize it had been close to a month since I last updated. There's been a ton of stuff that's taken place since I last wrote I don't really even know where to start.

Let's see....well, the situation at work never really got fully resolved but I've managed to wrap my brain around things and have come up with a game plan that will work for me. I'm still waiting to find out whether or not I got an interview for the grad program I applied to. I hope to find something out in the next couple of weeks!! Once that's done I'll have a better idea of what the next step of my plan will be.

Other than that I've spent quite a bit of time getting to know my torch again. I've made a ton of beads and been working on getting my website updated. I'd love it if you'd take a gander over there and let me know what you think of the small updates (a little shopping wouldn't be bad either!) :)

The biggest news is that I finally bit the bullet and got laser eye surgery done. I was all psyched to get it done in early June but couldn't get a date that would work with my work schedule so I worked my July schedule around my surgery date and now that's come and gone. I underwent the laser this past Tuesday and am happy to report that recovery is going well. I think I was prepared for the recovery to be much more than what it turned out to be so overall I'm very happy with the way things are going. I had a follow-up on the day after the surgery and I think I was reading around 20/20 which is AMAZING considering that I could barely even make out the numbers on my bedside clock prior to the surgery!! Vision is still blurry due to the fact that my pupils are still grossly dilated. I expect for this to wear off in the next few days. I don't have as much light sensitivity as I did earlier on in the week so that's good. I can't wait for everything to stabilize and for the fuzziness to dissipate. I have to say that this is such a fantastic be able to see without contacts or glasses. I was scared spitless at the moment of the actual laser firing but am loving the results!!

Bad news is that DH is not feeling well so we're working on getting him better this weekend. Some IV antibiotics and a short stay at the hospital are going a long way to convincing him that it's not a good idea to just go on and off his maintenance meds as he feels fit. Yeah....I've spent more time trying to convince him of that but it takes something like this to really hammer it home. So....hopefully we'll be home by the start of the week and no surgical intervention will be required. We're the walking wounded....he was supposed to be taking care of me after my surgery but as it turns out I have to take care of him in my not fully recovered state. In sickness and in health......

Well that's all I've got for now. Hope to keep updating more often!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Deep cleansing breaths.....

The hoopla seems to have died down for a bit. I think that's more me burying my head in the sand and choosing to try to ignore the situation while trying to come up with an alternate plan. At least I don't feel the urge to cry every time I think about "it". I've also overcome the urge to commit some kind of bodily harm around certain people :)

In the meantime I got the GRE over with. Took it last Thursday. Did OK. Could have been better but was decent. Now there's nothing left to do but wait. My application for the program is completed and submitted. I only need the GRE scores to be reported directly to the school and then it's all wrapped up. Now we play the waiting game. Have to admit...was never really good at that.

Also got busy and finally committed to getting laser eye surgery done. I have a date scheduled and it's coming up fast! Have to make a note to remind myself to stay out of my contacts at least 2 weeks prior to day of surgery. So excited but also scared spitless!

In the meantime with no more studying to do (yay!!!) I have all of this extra time on my hands and I've committed to getting back to the torch. In the spirit of trying to find my glass mojo I prevailed on hubby to help by making more space in my miniscule studio. This is what we came up with:

We built an "arm" onto the left side of the workspace. Underneath you'll see some plastic storage bins which hold all the stuff that used to be in the dental tools cabinet that inhabited that space. I'm planning to get more plastic bins for the PMC stuff I have stashed underneath the table on the right where you can't see it.

Here's a pic of the old dentist's tool cabinet in that space. I think getting rid of it opens up the space up a lot and also makes for additional table space which is super useful! We also added the pegboard to the wall where many of my tools have now taken up residence. I think this is great and makes everything really easy to find. I'm particularly fond of the blue rod holder thingy on the leftmost side. I think it was intended as a paper towel holder but I've decided that it will hold all my reels of silver. I'm sure that over time the pegboard will fill up with more stuff. For now I'm super thrilled with my added workspace and storage! Have I mentioned how much my hubby kicks butt???

Today I sat down for a few hours and made big hole beads. Some just for fun. Some for a bead exchange. Some may be for sale. It was really nice to have a day with nothing hanging over my head to just sit and mess around. The beads are cooking in the kiln right now but I'll be sure to take a pic when they're done . This is the first step in regaining my glass mojo :)

Hope you're having a great one wherever you are!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Primal Scream......part 2.... could call this a continuation of my previous post. Let's just say that these days I have a ton of venting to do and, unfortunately, all of you reading are going to wind up being my audience.

This week was a very bad week. It's all tied in to what happened last week (last time I blogged). Related to the same incident. I can't give out details just in case I get outed but let me say that I discovered things about people I kind of suspected but never wanted to believe to be completely true and that those things turned out to be even worse than I could have ever imagined.

In one fell swoop I had the carpet pulled out from underneath me and I'm still reeling from the shock. Whereas before I was contemplating a possible change in my work situation I am now 100% convinced that a change is needed. QUICKLY!!!

I'm proud that I didn't do what I wanted to do which is quit on the spot. At least I've grown up enough to know that probably wasn't the best thing to do. However, I am taking this time to come up with an alternative and if that doesn't get figured out next week I'm quitting regardless. It's truly for my own sanity. You wouldn't believe me even if I told you. I'm emotionally drained. It's been a struggle to get through this week and I'm mentally worn out. For the first time in forever I keep wanting to lay down and sleep....and not get up. Like yesterday...I got out of work early because of a low census...came home and fell asleep at 6pm. Today we went out for a short while in the afternoon and when we got home I lay down on the sofa and fell asleep for a couple of hours. I'm lethargic and have no motivation. I feel hollow. This is so unlike me. I'm afraid I won't snap out of this funk in time. I take the GRE next week and at this point I just don't care which is really, REALLY bad!!

Think happy thoughts for me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Primal scream therapy.....

I think I could have used some yesterday. I really wonder if it works. My guess is probably not because even after you managed to shatter the eardrums of those in close proximity whatever it is that caused you to want to scream in the first place will still be there.

I'm conflicted. I'm sad. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I know there must be tons of people out there who share how I feel. You bust your butt to do a good job everyday. You do your best because it's who you are. You try not to let all the other stuff around you get you down. And then one day it all comes crashing down. All that suppressed anger and frustration finally manages to reach the surface and all you want to do is hit something...really, REALLY hard. Either that or you want to tell the person who is responsible for letting the demon loose to just shove it or kiss your ass. But you can't. Because that would be burning bridges...bridges that are necessary right now. And so you try to find a way to get back to your happy place. My happy place just happens to be closed for renovations right now. So what am I to do?

I'm trying really hard not to make any snap decisions but all I want to do is say F*CK IT! Is it worth it to be this unhappy?

I have today off. I'm going for a massage. I think I'll exercise the option to take the rest of the week off to try to find some perspective.

Maybe I'll even try some primal scream therapy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Almost roadkill

or maybe that should be lawnmower kill. Yup...Kev was out mowing the lawn on Saturday when he almost ran over this little guy...

I shouldn't be surprised I guess. Our cul-de-sac does back onto a local park and we constantly find wildlife that's wandered over to our neck of the woods (so to speak). One time we opened the front door and found 4 deer on our lawn literally less than 6 feet from the front door. It was seriously cool!

Another time we found that a mama bunny had decided to make her nest in the hollow of a tree stump in our front lawn. Those were the cutest bunnies ever. I so wanted to keep them but Kev said we had to leave them to nature. I do believe that nature came in the form of the next door neighbour's cat. But let's not think about that. We have one bunny that loves this one particular spot in our backyard. I named him Winston-Bunny. I love seeing Winston-Bunny in our backyard :)

Anyhow, I'm glad that this little turtle was in our backyard and not trying to cross the road (like the other unfortunate bugger we saw a couple of weeks ago). We took the little guy over to show the kids next door. Of course they wanted to keep him but mom said no. They turtle-sat until the mowing was done and then he was freed to roam at will.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Adrenaline rush...

It only lasts so long. I feel like I've been on an adrenaline high for the last week or so. I guess I really needed it to get stoked over finals. Well, our final exam for the class was yesterday and I have to say I'm really feeling the effects of the rush wearing off.

I leapt at the chance to be put on call today. If all goes well I won't get called in. In the meantime I'm just puttering. Surfing the 'net. Trying to get started on my personal statement for my application. Looking at the half finished hat I'm knitting thinking I should probably finish it. Debating whether I want to turn everything on in the studio for some beadmaking and risk being called in. I'm just all over the place.

Now that the class is done I have to shift my focus to the next task at hand - the GRE. Can I tell you how much I'm NOT looking forward to this? I know it's a necessary evil but darn it! Tests suck!! Thankfully I think I've got it under control and besides focusing on one more test and finishing my app all I've got is work (have to admit it's difficult getting back into the swing) and just life stuff to deal with. Not so bad, right?

It's kind of overcast today. Feels appropriate. Hope you're having a sunny day wherever you are!

Monday, April 20, 2009

There is no original thought...

This subject - copying, that is - comes up every now and then on the lampworking forums that I frequent.  I try to stay out of those threads because there's nothing guaranteed to turn people in raving loons faster than the mention of one person "stealing" another person's idea.

I've long believed that we are fast approaching the point where there is no more original thought. Let's face it...just about everything we do, write, create, say, is inspired by something or someone else.  I remember one time...the sheer lunacy of it...when a pal from college was almost expelled from her program for using the phrase "The house is red".  

Having said all of that...maybe we are inspired by things we see, hear, etc but even the blindest of the blind can tell when you've blatently ripped someone off.  Where am I going with this?  Well, recently it was pointed out to me that a reputable vendor is now manufacturing a tool for lampworkers.  Not that the manufacturing of tools is a bad's that this vendor took a tool being made by another person and pretty much copied it down to the last nut and bolt.

You judge for yourself.

I'm mad.  Mad on behalf of the toolmaker who spent all of his time, energy, and effort to create quality products for our lampworking community who then gets totally ripped off by this larger manufacturing company.  I'm curious to know what the ripoff is going to cost.  Are they going to try to undercut the little guy on top of ripping off his design?

I urge you to get mad.  Money talks and you should speak loudly by refusing to do business with such a shady, underhanded, un-principled business.  I also urge you to pass this information along to anyone you know who may be considering buying such a tool.  They deserve to know!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Slow-moving Saturday...

What are you all doing today? It's gorgeous out today - bright, sunny, and warm! I do believe that Spring has finally arrived!!! No big plans for the day 'cept catching up ton household stuff and some minor running around.

A big THANKS to Kristen (my biggest fan I think!) for being the first to try out the flower spacers and winning the surprise giveaway. Kristen, if you'll send me pics of what you do with them I'll be sure to get them up on the blog and website :) Kristen is a fabu jewelry designer so if you're looking for some neat pieces for personal adornment you should check out her blog and links.

Hate to say but the last test didn't go so well. It wasn't terrible but definitely not one of my finer moments. Will be cracking down for the last and final tests coming up in two weeks. If I go incommunicado you'll know why! I'll be so glad when this class is finally over and all I have to look forward to is the GRE. I'm not actually looking forward to that but am looking forward to getting it over with. It's been a nutty past couple of months.

Just for kicks I decided to see what all the excitement is about Twitter. I need one more thing to update. Like anyone cares what I'm doing in 140 characters or less :) If you're a Twitterer? Tweeter? can find me "yeepers".

That's it from me. Off to enjoy the day. Hope you have a great one wherever you are!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

On your marks, get set, GO!!

The new goodies have been listed on both Etsy and ArtFire. The first person to make a purchase of the flower shaped, big hole spacers gets some totally cool freebies!!

The flower spacers are guaranteed to fit any of the interchangeable bracelets like Biagi, Pandora, Chamillia, and Troll.

Textured on both surfaces, darkened then hand polished to produce highlights and lowlights. I do believe I'm the first to bring this shape to interchangeable bracelets :)

If you will, also check out the new Lg and Sm CHUBBIES. Just like the regular spacers but thicker and more substantial.

Here's a preview...
Leftmost are the regular thickness spacers. Middle are the small chubbies and right are the large chubbies. The chubbies are approx 5-6mm thick. Small chubbies are about 11mm in diameter. Large chubbies are about 14mm in diameter. Any of these make a bold statement on your wrist!!

I think you should throw a bunch of all of them on your bracelet for a truly one-of-a-kind creation. You know all of these have been handmade and finished. One of the perks of buying artisan make products!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Uh oh...

The new goodies took longer to prep than I thought so there will be no goodies tonight. Instead check back tomorrow :)

Have a good night all!

Promo time :)

Quick update.

Worked on some silver stuff today. Will be running a promo that starts as soon as I get pics of the newest stuff posted. Here's how it works:

I post pics of my newest creations.
You be the first to buy some.
I give you some very cool, very free, handmade by me, stuff.
(I may even give away some stuff even if you're not the first!)

That's it :)

I gotta get some economic stimulation going!

It's sunny out and we're having sushi for dinner. It's been a great weekend. Don't forget to check back later this evening for my next update. The website, this blog, and all my various online store areas will be updated.

Monday, April 6, 2009

So this is what it's like to have allergies....

A couple of years ago I went through a "spell" if you will. I felt under the weather...general malaise that just lingered forever it seemed. Later on that year I got tested for allergies and as it turns out I'm allergic to just about everything under the sun. I opted out of getting allergy shots (little bit of a money grab if you ask me!) and decided to take my chances with medication. I didn't really have any problems after that until now. My allergies are running amok. Congestion, itchy eyes, the whole shebang. Of course, all the trees are in full bloom and everything is covered in yellow pollen. Oh....when will this end?!? Medication isn't helping at all. What's a girl to do?

Hiding inside the house is the plan for the day. Not only will it limit my exposure to these allergens but it'll force me to hit the books. Big test on Wednesday and I feel grossly unprepared. This might be the one that breaks me. Who ever thought that putting the respiratory system together with the cardiovascular system would be a good idea for a test? To me...those are the two hardest systems to study :( In any case, I'm home, I can't breathe through my nose, and I'm going to be studying all day. What fun!

Hope you're all having a better day than I am :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Babies, babies, everywhere....

No....not me silly! Everyone around me. Seems like there must have been something in the air six months ago because there are a TON of people around me who are due to have babies come June. In the spirit of baby-ness I've started knitting. Not very original I know but these make good use of some fantastic yarn I've got and by the time the kids get to Winter of 2009 their teeny little heads will be just the right size for these noggin warmers :)

I'm just about 2/3 of the way through the green/purple one. I think I like this particular colorway alot! Good thing I have a bunch more skeins stashed away for another project. I think I have to crank out another one or two of these totally cute head toppers. I think these test the limits of my knitting abilities i.e. knitting in the round and decreasing stitches but I have to say I'm very proud of how these are turning out. Watch out world....I'll be knitting socks in no time!!

Say nothing about the fact that I've made no beads in the last 3 weeks and that I should be studying for upcoming tests and whatnot. A girl's gotta make time for some fun stuff, no?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Runny nose, sore throat....

I've got the cooties and I'm gonna kill the person who gave them to me. Well...ok maybe kill is too strong a word. I seriously hate getting sick. I've got that sore, scratchy throat. I feel that dry, feverish burning behind the eyes. I get chills every 2 seconds. I'm just miserable. And I have to go to work tomorrow. Sigh.

Studying gets difficult when all you want to do is turn on the bed warmer and climb under the covers. I'm such a wuss.

I'm going to dig me up some Thera Flu, climb into my jammies and call it a night.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


It was a busy week. I got certified as a critical care nurse (YAY!). In short, I think this means that critical care is now my area of specialty :) By no means does this mean that I know everything about everything but I definitely no more now than I did a couple of months ago! See....studying does pay off!

School started back up after a week off. 'Nuf said.

I'm totally feeling unmotivated right now. I feel like I busted my butt for the certification exam and even though I only have 2 weeks until my next major exam my brain is on strike. I think I'm going to take it easy this weekend and spend it hanging with Kev and then I'll get back in the studying groove on Monday.

Have I mentioned before how I've never studied this hard or this much in my life? Seriously, I think if you put all the time I spent studying in highschool and university it doesn't come close to how much I've studied since January.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I love winning!!

Well, not that I've actually won anything....yet. But I'm hoping that I do :) I entered this frit challenge contest that Lori Greenberg is holding and am hoping that I will be the lucky winner of Val's Frit Secrets book!

I've been using Val's frits...well...pretty much ever since I started lampworking. I'm more for letting the frit blends speak for themselves and love to use them mostly in crystal shaped beads where the colors really shine. Someday I'm going to take Val's class where I'll hopefully learn how to do more with frits than just put them on a bead and encase them :D

Here are some of my faves....the ones above were all made with Val's Glow frit on different bases, encased with different colors, with silver, without silver. Very neat!

These ones to the right I used Raku frit for the background which I thought gave these beads a lovely earthy feel.

Below is more yummy Raku-ness. Gosh is this particular glass every hard to work with though. Very tempermental.

I don't think I've used Raku for much in a long while. Maybe it's time to whip it out to see what it'll do for me now that I have a new torch setup. Maybe it'll play nice. It was like pulling teeth for a while. I'm really envious of anyone who can make Raku sing. Like Kim Neely...and a whole bunch of other beadmakers who are infinitely more Raku-blessed than I have ever been!

My faves though are the crystal beads with just the colors and a nice thick clear encasing to make them shine. Yup...those I love the ROX. All made with Val's frit blends except for the last set which I blended up myself as a special request for "Java Blue".

Monday, March 9, 2009

As promised...

Here's the pic of my silver haul from yesterday. Snapped really quickly and so not the best picture but you get the idea. Now to find the time to actually put them on the beads :)

Today I'm off to a quiet place to study, study, STUDY!!!! Have a great one :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nonsense and whatnot....

Hello world....(or at least those of you who happen to be reading this!),

I wish I had tons of interesting stuff to tell you but, alas, my life has been quite boring as of late. The good news is that I wound up doing quite well on that last test that I was stressing about. Now...the question will be whether I can repeat that on the next one.  The next one promises to be a ball-buster and I'm being realistic about what the possible outcome might be.

In the meantime I've been preparing for an upcoming certification exam.  Seems like all I ever do these days is take tests :(  I can't wait for this part of the year to be over with. 

Today I took a break from the books and decided to break into the stash of PMC3 that I had lurking around.  I finally got all the knick-knacks "needed" to work with the stuff and I decided that there's no time like the present. the end I churned out a ton of bead caps that I hope to use for my beads.  I also made about a dozen large hole spacer beads that look quite neat on my Pandora bracelet.  I'll try to post a pic as soon as I get one taken.  I have to say that I'm quite addicted and am already searching for affordable sources for more PMC3.

Other than that I haven't lit up the torch for a while.  I got a bunch of stuff done earlier that I listed on Etsy.  A couple of the bigger beads I finished I was hoping to core with silver - hence the decision to play with silver clay.  I'm also waiting on some additional supplies to come in so that I have the right size of tubing for the coring.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow because I'm treating myself to a 2-hour massage!!!  It's going to be the best day :)  I hope you had a good one and I'll catch up with you again soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Phew....dodged a bullet...

Recently I've been telling DH....keep your cool. Be the "yes" man. You don't have to like everything they're doing. You don't have to agree with all the decisions. Just fly below the radar and do what you have to do. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't make yourself a target.

Good thing he listens to me. They did the first round of layoffs at his workplace today and a couple of his close co-worker/friends got hit. Good guys. I can't imagine what they're going to do now. I Hope they had some sort of plan in place. I feel badly for them but at the same time am glad that DH dodged this bullet. There may come a time when that might not be the case but for now we're chugging along.

It's crazy days I say.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weren't you wondering?

I'm sure you've all been hanging around just waiting to find out how the test went. It sucked. You know how after the fact you could kick yourself for not paying attention to the small details? Like you were so busy thinking about the big picture - understanding the physiology - not really worrying about the minutiae. Yeah...well that came back to bite me in the butt.

Well, at least it's done. All I can do now is hope it went better than I think it did. I won't know the results until next week. Could they torture us any more? How long does it take to run a freakin' scantron through a machine?

I'm curious to know how many of the answers I changed wound up being right or wrong. They say you should never change your answer and to always go with your first instinct. I didn't really follow those rules today.

Keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I've been told that because I don't have kids I'll never understand about having/raising kids. OK. Well, if this is an example of how to have kids then I think I'll take my ignorance and live happily.

On the way to the library this morning. See a mom who is out running with her kid in one of those running strollers. Usually would not even blink an eye except that this woman is RUNNING ON THE ROAD into oncoming traffic WHEN THERE IS A PERFECTLY GOOD SIDEWALK right next to her to be used.

I say....ignorance is bliss!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Giving it my all....

Goodness. I can honestly say that I've never felt so compelled to work this hard in my life. Since making this decision to pursue an advanced nursing degree I've really been working my butt off to put my best foot forward for the application process. In hindsight....if I would have known what exactly I was signing on for I might have decided to space things out a little. In any's too late. I'm 100% invested. I've never studied so hard in my life. Never felt so pressed to achieve a goal. Some days I'm not sure I'm cut out for this.

Not only do I have high expectations for myself but it seems that everyone else around me has the same high expectations. I guess I put on a good face :) If only all the people who think I'm the schiznicks could talk to the admissions committee on my behalf I'd be in like Flynn!

In the meantime I'm buried in the books. I've got physiology coming out of my ears and when this first test is over on Wednesday I'll be able to gauge whether or not all the effort was worth it. But no time to mull it over...I'll be busy preparing for my certification exam.

Whose idea was this again???

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mere mortals....

Just a quick note today. Been thinking a lot about life and death recently. Maybe because I've been witness to too many sad events this week involving people who should have lived much, much longer. Makes me think about how I want to live my life....right now....for the much as I possibly can. Because you just don't know.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So you think free healthcare is the answer....

The healthcare system in the US may not be the ideal system - let's face there such a thing as a perfect one? From an ex-emergency dept nurse I can tell you there are about a million things that need fixing! However, if you came to my ED and were complaining of chest pain and especially if you had just recently failed a stress test (leaving out a bunch of factors here) I do believe that you'd be triaged in appropriately and that we'd have you back, EKG done, on a cardiac monitor with O2 on and nitro at the bedside. You'd probably already even had your aspirin before the ED doc made it in to see you. Now, if all your tests were inconclusive i.e. no acute EKG changes, enzymes were negative etc you'd probably still get admitted for serial enzymes and maybe you'd even get a diagnostic cath and/or an echo ('cuz you failed that stress test).

Contrast that to showing up at an ED complaining of chest pain and then literally waiting 8 hours before the doc even sees you! Your hospital doesn't do caths so you have to be transported to another facility. But wait....there's a waiting list for caths and heaven forbid you're actually having a cardiac event. I guess they don't measure door to PCI times up in Canada. So you're stuck in the ED because the hospital is capped. Because there is only one hospital to serve a city of almost a quarter of a million people. You're stuck because the can't send you home (your blood pressure is swinging crazily back and forth - diastolic anywhere from 80-120) and they have to wait until there's availability in the cath lab in another city so they can get you there.

I have to shake my head. I think there are many things wrong with the healthcare system here in the US but in comparision to the scenario I described above I think we're doing pretty darn well!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tapping into my mind....

My biological clock is broken.

I couldn't believe it when I saw this's like this woman has the direct link to my brain.

This is me!!! (minus the dogs and the fact I'm already married)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Little piece of heaven...

I love my new studio. Have I said that enough? I swear it's just the best little space I could have dreamed of and I have my DH to thank for making it happen.

Here's a pic of me working in my beady space.

It's such a pleasure to have space where you can feel creative. The airy-ness and lightness of this space just makes you want to spend more time in there. Having said to light up the torch!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Art Fire - for artisan products

As artists (doesn't that sound mildly pretentious?) I think we're always looking for venues to offer our goods where people appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into producing a handmade, non mass-produced, piece of art. Recently I was introduced to another online venue for selling created to compete with Etsy. Don't get me wrong...I still think Etsy is great but have to admit that, like Ebay, it is becoming somewhat saturated more with supplies and mass-produced items rather than promoting the artisan made product the way it was initially intended to.

If you're looking for another place to sell and buy handmade items check out Art Fire

If you're interested in signing up for an account I'd love it if you use the link I've put up here (Register on - it's basically a referral link and you'd be helping me out :)

I'd like to know what you think about Art Fire so leave a note and let me know

Slightly overwhelmed...

I have this tendency - not necessarily to rush into things but more to sometimes bite off more than I can chew. In the last few weeks I've been thinking maybe I'm attempting to do something that might be more than I can handle.

So...let's step back. About mid-December I decided that I was actively going start the process of possibly going to anesthesia school. That started me down this path of craziness that's going to last about 6 months. I registered to take an advanced physiology course, registered and scheduled to write the CCRN (certification for critical care nuses) and GRE (graduate records exam), and have to get all of my application stuff done before July 1st (really am shooting for June 1st). The course and the certification I am doing to boost my chances of getting into school. The GRE I don't have a choice on for grad school. Oh...did I mention I'm also working full-time?

So....I know it's doable. I just have to focus on meeting each target and not over-thinking the whole thing and becoming overwhelmed.


Easier said than done. Will I have a life between now and then?

Monday, January 12, 2009

I've moved...

into my studio that is :) So I'm supposed to be making beads right now but I got caught up organizing and then I liked it so much I decided to take pictures. Long story short....I haven't turned anything on yet but I'm READY!!!

Here are some pics to get you started. I'm kinda 95% moved in and Kev thinks I'm nuts because it's not really final but who cares?

With the lights on.
With the lights off.
This is the top of the dental tools cabinet I got for a song. I totally rigged together something that resembles pegboard to hang my imprint tools.
The lovely powders that I'm going to work with (today hopefully!).
Pic of the studio from the doorway. Funny how all the posters I have are color sample posters. I need more arty stuff :) There was one more photo but for some reason I can't seem to upload it but you get the idea. Have I said again how much I love this space? It's small to be sure but it's fabulous!!!