Sep 28, 2017

Life Update

I've gotten tons (ok, 2) questions about my health. Here are answers to some questions no one has asked.

1. What's going on?

If all goes as planned, in a few weeks, some guy (or maybe a bunch of folks in training -- please don't let me be your first patient!) is going to knock me out, cut open my chest, separate my rib cage, turn off my heart (no clue and have not googled), connect me to a heart lung machine, cut through my aorta (I think), remove a piece of my heart, and reverse each of those actions.  If it goes well, I will then wake up and be miserable. If it doesn't go well, see question #6.

It is also possible that, after a new round of tests, these geniuses will tell me that surgery is not needed. We shall see.

2. What is the point of the surgery?

The purpose of the surgery is to improve "quality of life."

A piece of my heart is too thick and is blocking some blood from going to my lungs. Not enough blood = not enough oxygen = getting short of breath and fatigue = impaired card making skills = even poorer photography skills. The latter two are unacceptable and I am willing to risk death to finally master where to put the sentiment on a card.

3. Will you live longer if you have this surgery?

The standard advice is that this surgery doesn't improve life expectancy. However, I get an email every time a medical journal posts an article on the topic. Really, I've gone that far down the rabbit hole.

Like most US voters, I tend to only read and remember stuff that I like, so yes, it improves life expectancy.

4. I thought you had this surgery in August. What happened?

I was supposed to have this surgery in August, but I cancelled the surgery. I wasn't confident that the medical team would take proper care of me after surgery (folks I spoke with who had this operation there recently were very unhappy with their post surgical care).

I also wasn't satisfied with the evaluation I got. It wasn't personal. For example, before I let anyone decide that I need an operation on my heart, I want someone, preferably Dr. Doug Ross, in a long white coat, to LISTEN to my heart and lungs with a stethoscope. And, if you do not listen to my heart and lungs, please do not describe the sound of them in my medical records. Also, the super smart specialist who wrote the book on my heart condition told Mike and me that "there isn't a single good cardiologist in the Washington DC area."

Big egos worry me. I mean, just the act of randomness would put a good cardiologist in DC on any given day.

So, as hard as it has been for both Mike and me to wait for the surgery, I am glad I did. Whether I'm right or wrong about cancelling, you shouldn't go into a major medical thing without confidence in your team.

5. Do you have confidence in your current team?



Not really. I trust no one.

I'm in the freak out stage. Mike just suggested I find something good on Netflix and spend all day binge watching it. Apparently he has no idea what I do all day.

6. Have you made a will?

No, you may not have my Distress Oxide inks. I told Mike to keep them for wife #2.

7. Your joking is a pathetic attention-seeking attempt to quell your nerves. How are you really doing?

I'm pretty much a pathetic, attention-seeking, nervous mess. Otherwise, terrific.

MOOD WHEN DONE = I'm excited and a bit nervous. It's an adventure I'd rather not be on, but I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to feel better and live longer. I've got an excellent medical team and good health insurance. I have Mike and my son and family and friends. If the surgery goes forward, I should feel better and live longer. If it doesn't go forward, I will spin around and celebrate and place a really big stamp order.

It's a win-win.

Sep 27, 2017

Inspired by Lisa Spangler

Last year, Lisa Spangler (whose work I adore) posted this Christmas card on her blog. LOVE. Decided to make my own version with supplies I already had, and this is what I came up with.

Painted the branches from Essentials by Ellen (designed by Julie Ebersole) Christmas Scribbles set (retiring and out of stock!! What?) with white gouache paint, and stamped on a Memory Box Licorice card.

White gouache or acrylic paints provide the only real solid white coverage against dark cardstock that I've ever been able to achieve without embossing. I did not add any water so the card did not warp. Squirted some gouache on a palette and used a small brush to paint onto the stamp. Make sure to wash the stamp and brush right away!

Added Nuvo Crystal Holly Red drops and a green foil Joy die cut (also designed by Julie but does not appear available anymore).

MOOD WHEN DONE = Of all the Christmas cards I've made this year I think I like this one the best (so far!).

Sep 25, 2017

Trio of Autumn Cards

Vintage Leaves dies from Stampin Up. Just fooling around trying to make something different.

MOOD WHEN DONE = No time for moods!! Running around crossing things off my pre-surgery list of things to do. EEEEK.

Sep 15, 2017

Holly Red Bear

Look familiar?  This is the same card as this one, except the card base is a Memory Box Holly Berry card, and I used a Technique Tuesday sentiment (from a really old set).  Cozy Cuddles Penguin set from Flora and Fauna. White gouache paint accents.

I made these red ones first but Mike was "meh," so I made the different version in white. Not sure which I prefer....but I think it is the white.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Made a whole bunch of these, so feeling accomplished.

Sep 13, 2017

Simple Warm Winter Wishes

So easy to make and, since I loved this so much, I had to make a few more.

Flora and Fauna Cozy Cuddles Penguin. One layer, just stamps, ink, and paper -- a style I like more and more. If you like this, check around your stash as you can easily substitute other stamps.


Sep 5, 2017

Copper Thanks

The weather has gone to hell in so many parts of the world, but in DC there is a hint of fall in the air -- very unusual this early. So I was inspired to make a card with autumn colored leaves, but snuck in the outline of a butterfly because it is still summer.

Leaf from Fauna & Flora, Butterfly die from The Stamp Market and the thanks die from Poppystamps (cut with copper cardstock). Adhered vellum and the thanks with Elmer's spray adhesive. Distress Oxide inks.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Just fine!

Sep 1, 2017

You're Fabulous

Really, you are!

Bows for You by the Stamp Market. Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry. Black Nuvo Drops.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Fabulous!