Hello there everybody. I hope that you are having a good day.
I decided to make a Clean and Simple card today with a video on how to make a honeycomb heart. There's some really good advice in the first 6 minutes about how to die-cut out extremely thick Inky Antics Honeycomb Paper without killing the motor on your Vagabond or any other electronic die-cutting machine. I'm happy to report my Vagabond recovered.
I think this Valentine's Day card is just cute. I used a lot of different products to make this card, but my stamp set is from the Stampin' Up! Sale-A-Bration Brochure. There are some really cool products in there this year. The vellum designer series paper is so fun. I can't get enough of it.
Below is my video with some still shots of my card. Thank you so very much for stopping by today to visit me. God bless and I will see you again soon!
PS: The video is only 20 minutes long but it says 26 on You Tube. I think the problem is when I edit out parts of the video, it keeps the length of the video the same. I've tried everything to get rid of this dead space with no luck at all. It's frustrating and I'm the most technically challenged person on the face of this Earth.
Stamps: What I Love (Stampin' Up!)
Card Stock: Red Note Card (Avery Elle), Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Patterned Paper: The Sorbet Collection 6 x 6 Paper Pad (Avery Elle)
Ink: Versafine Black Onx (Tsukineko_
Marker: Wink of Stella Red Glimmer Pen
Embellishments: Date Stamp (Becky Higgins); Doily (Stampin' Up!)
Specialty Paper: Pink Honeycomb Paper Pad (Inky Antics)
Hello there my friends and a very happy Monday to you. Kind of an oxymoron, huh?
I need to start back up my blog series that I've received so many emails about that you've all really enjoyed. For you, here's a Faith on Friday on Monday card this week. I will have another card for you on Friday.
Today I busted out some of my Our Daily Bread Designs stamps and played with them. I can only hope and pray that their upcoming challenge fits in with my card.
For some reason, these two stamp sets really drew my eye – probably because I wanted to color, even though it was a lot of work and I used a technique that I have not used in ions of colored pencils with Gamsol. It would have been much easier to grab a Dove Blender Pen or a Stampin' Up! Blender Pen rather than use paper stumps that you have to sand and toxic liquid. I just had a vision in my head. Then I received Mary Fish's newsletter this morning and she's on the design team for Mojo Monday, which I haven't played along with in YEARS, so I got my sketch, and this masculine card was born. THEN, I found this great new online group that Darlene DeVries started about a year or so ago of Live. Love. Cards. and their February challenge was masculine cards and my card is definitely masculine, so I'm going to enter my card into a few different challenges and any others I can find along the way. Darlene's site is paid membership, but for only $2.50 a month, that's less than half of the price of a Starbucks generic black coffee or a Happy Meal.
I haven't participated in challenges since early 2010, seriously. That's like 6 years. I've been busy. Let's see – 5 years next month with the cross country move, I've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (November 17, 2010) , buried both of my parents within 15 months of each other, pulled off a cross country move from Kentucky to California, survived a few bouts of cancer and chemotherapy, had a left-brain stress-induced stroke in August 2014 to the point where I could not move my right arm for 6 months, and of course, I'm right-handed, sold 3 houses, and then moved another 3 times while in California, bought my perfectly beautiful home that I have lived in for the past almost 7 months, been on the OR table 78 times now, dropped 50 pounds on the death, divorce and stress diet (went from a size 12, which was awful for me and am now back into a size 6), the extra weight I was carrying around did not help my autoimmune diseases either, and oh yeah, I left my "husband" of 25 years and we are still trying to settle the divorce and I'm going into my 4th year of this. It's getting VERY old.
However, I'm coming out of all of this. I have a wonderful church family, my son lives about 5 miles from me, I'm hoping my Little Princess Bailey will be here for the fall semester of college, I've made a ton of new friends and have reconnected with old friends, and I got Bella, my Diva Dachshund.
It's all about perspective. I grew up listening to the Eagles rock band in the 80s, only the best decade ever, and saw them in concert several times, which was so cool. Glenn Frey, one of the founding members of the band died a few weeks ago. I never read the article about how he died. I was pretty bummed out when I heard the news. Glenn Frey also wrote and sang one of my favorite songs ever, "Take It Easy." He died from complications of rheumatoid arthritis that he had for at least 15 years. Autoimmune diseases are rare in men. He died from the side effects of the medication that he was taking for the RA, one of which was Celebrex. I read the full article this morning and I will admit that I'm spooked.
With lupus, you don't know when you're going to wake up and a body part needs its own zip code and eventually removed, reconstructed or repaired. With RA and lupus, it's a crap shoot. Of course, I have the worst forms of both. Combine my autoimmune diseases and it's a death sentence. Reading the article about Glenn's death hit me hard.
I've refused the Humira and Enbrel that my immunologist and rheumatologist have been trying to push on me for years. Instead, I've opted to go to a pain management specialist and he's the one who's performed the 78 back procedures, that consist of everything from epidural blocks to barbaric procedures, such as radio-frequency ablation, which is controlled electrocution of the nerve endings of your spine where they are literally burned off so no pain signals are sent to your brain; since both diseases have decided to settle in my back. It's awful. I have 20 levels of my spine blown and a chronic left spine fracture. I should be in a wheelchair. I'm not only by the grace of God. I have stopped taking Lyrica as there is controversy over whether or not it is a narcotic and this is the only FDA approved drug that prevents nerve ending pain. I have 2 torn rotator cuffs and also need my hips and right knee replaced. I've already had one major knee reconstruction almost 2 years ago. That was the only reason I was looking forward to turning 50 was so body parts could be replaced. With your knees, they don't like to replace until you are 62 due to the short shelf life. It's always fun hearing from your orthopod that, "You will have problems with your knee for the next decade until we can replace it." There's some things that you do not need to be told in life where ignorance is bliss, and that was definitely one of them.
When you take any medication, you need to look at the first 5 side effects. It's a guarantee that you will get 2 of them. The first side effect for both drugs listed above is "new or worsening heart disease," and "lymphoma," which is cancer of the blood. I have enough problems! After all of those procedures, I'm now getting OR table anxiety and a lot of scar tissue in my back and I'm running out of options. The Humira and Enbrel actually slow down the progression of the diseases. Since I don't take them, I'm "advanced and severe." One of my doctors told me my body was 80. Glenn Frey was only 15 years older than me. On his timeline, I'm dead in 10 years. What caused his death was the side effects of the meds he was taking for the RA. Even though I do not take the suggested meds, I do take Celebrex, which is like Motrin on steroids. It keeps the inflammation down and I do notice a distinct difference when I've stopped Celebrex for financial reasons. The #1 side effect of Celebrex is ulcerative colitis and GI bleeding, and he had several surgeries due to this. When I talk to friends after being on Celebrex for 5 years, I jokingly state that, "I'm just waiting for the GI bleed." Well, it's not such a joke anymore and I'm scared. Today I stopped taking the Celebrex and in a week, I will notice the difference in how I feel and it's giving me anxiety. I don't have any good choices here. This is also very hard to write. I've been in kidney failure several times due to the stress and abuse of my "marriage." It's been on paper enough that when I don't have to deal with it, my labs are manageable to a point. Anything you take has to be processed through your liver and kidneys. I was also born with a congenital UPJ (ureteropelvic junction obstruction) which did not get diagnosed until I was 28 and was surgically repaired. As usual, I blew the surgery off until I went into full-blown kidney failure. That was awful. I had just moved to New York, married less than a year and no support at all. I only knew a few people and during that entire month of August 1992 at Rochester General Hospital, I received one phone call from my "husband" screaming at me, waking me up, that I was having an affair, when I was literally fighting for my life. My 6-year-old son stayed with my next door neighbors that I hardly knew and they turned out to be Godsends. It was better than foster care. Throughout the years, I've laid in way too many hospital beds alone. I received dialysis without the benefits of vein grafts. With lupus, the second I'm in irreversible organ failure, I am dead in 2 years. In August 2011, I was one precious point away from being prepped for dialysis. I left my "husband" and then my GFR shot up to 59 within 4 months. That is the highest number of stage 3 kidney failure. I will take it. I was at 31. They prep you at 31 and at 15, you go on dialysis. I was so frustrated when I would lose 4 precious points in literally one month when I was doing everything right! When I had blood drawn for the knee reconstruction 2 years ago, my GFR had shot up to an amazing 72! Stress really is a killer and anybody who intentionally tries to harm you needs to be eradicated from your life, NOW, who matter who they are. Is that easy? Absolutely not. But, do you want to live? Now my GFR is back in the 40s. Since I have lupus, I am not eligible for a transplant since my body is already trying to kill itself, so imagine a "foreign object" in my body taking no less than 20 anti-rejection drugs a day. No thanks.
I have noticed that when my stress levels go up, my GFR tanks out and my rheumatoid factor and ESR skyrocket. This is a well-known fact with a few people that I know, yet they continue to behave in the manner that they do and it's intentional. It's also dehumanizing and deadly to me.
I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but this year, God gave me a word and it's one that I never would have thought of and that word is CLEANSE. It's a word that covers so many aspects of my life from 2 storage units that are costly to removing people from my life that are toxic to me and cleansing my heart. I know the heart is #1. After all, that is what the blood of Jesus did on the cross for us and that's to cleanse our souls from eternal death.
With my Home Series and my Bible Study, I am going to open this to those who wish to sign up. I am unable to just put myself out there to help others as I would like to because of this divorce. When you have a blog post about going to the beach show up in court (seriously?) you have to have closed sessions. That is so unfortunate because so many women who are or was in an abusive relationship are being cheated out of the support, resources and help that they need. That is just not right. My blog followers attract crafters from all aspects and walks of life, but the majority of them are battered women who have taken to crafting to escape. That is how I first started. It's also why you do not see any published comments on my blog. I moderate the comments on my blog and read each one personally and respond privately.
I will be making separate private pages on my blog, as well as removing the Christmas Class graphic, to update my blog to where it belongs.
I would like to thank all of you for your kindness and encouraging words when I need them the most. I would also like to thank you for your support. I have a fun video planned for you later this week that I need to film and edit. Please join me for the video and don't forget to stop back by tomorrow for my Clean and Simple Tuesday Series.
Don't forget to follow and Like" me on the usual social media avenues. Thank you so much for stopping by to visit me today and I can promise you more giveaways this year due to the gracious manufacturers in the industry that are so kind to send me their products and releases.
I hope that you have a wonderful evening and God bless!
Stamps: Anchor, Anchor the Soul (Our Daily Bread Designs)
Card Stock: Black Onyx (Gina K Designs), Stamper's Select White (Papertrey Ink); Very Vanilla (Stampin' Up!)
Patterned Paper: Going Places (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Jet Black Archival Ink (Ranger), Lost Lagoon (Stampin' Up!)
Markers: Tip Top Taupe (Stampin' Up!); Rusty Hinge (Tim Holtz)
Colored Pencils: Derwent
Twine: May Arts
Enamel Dots: Beetle Black Assortment (Doodlebug Designs)
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