Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all who read this blog, you are like family to me. Thank you for putting up with my bad days, and laughing with me on my good days. I hope you will come with me here into the new year and beyond. I wish you all happiness, peace and prosperity in the coming year. May your hearts and homes be full of love and laughter. May your pain (and mine!) be minimal.
I hope to blog here more often and I do hope you will check out my other blogs:
Little Studio Photography and Jewellery (Currently having a SUPER 50% off sale!)
Little Low Allergy Kitchen
Capital Crafters Etsy Street Team
Thank you and good night :-D

Monday, December 8, 2008

Today's the Day!

~She Can't Wait for Her Grand-Monna!~

So today is the day: my mom is coming over for a few days while Brennan is out of town! We are going to sew things and start our Christmas baking and watch old movies! I am so excited and so is the dog, as she knows when 'grand-monna' is around she always gets treats!
I'm so excited, it almost erases the soreness this morning - not only is it really cold outside, but I spent ALL day yesterday cleaning the house - the kitchen (including scrubbing the outside of the cupboards), dusting every nook and cranny, tidying the whole house, cleaning my office/guest room (the cleaning never seems to be done), vacuuming the floors and stairs, SCRUBBING the floors and stairs, scrubbing all the windows, cleaning my bathroom....whew I'm tired just typing it! I also decorated the house for Christmas on Saturday night, which reminds me, I need to get photos up here to show you!
I'm also expanding my sale on my Etsy store: buy 2 get one free! 1 week only!
Ok, I have to go catch my breath...and do some laundry, see you later!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Prep

I love the photo above - Arwen loves her stuffed toys, even if they don't stay that way for long! She brings this pepper everywhere with her, even if it no longer has its stuffing since this was taken. I love this photo because it looks like she brought the pepper to look out the window with her while she does - too cute!
Today, though I am pretty sore and tired, I will tidy the house some more (yesterday was a house clean-athon), and hopefully start to put up some decorations for Christmas.
I'm also going to try and get at least one of the new jewel bags I have been planning on making for a while...I am learning to sew and I made some cushion covers last week to try my hand at using a machine...I'll get some pics of those today, maybe with the dog because she makes everything look good :)
I also have to plan my Christmas baking and get the house ready for my mom who is coming for a week long visit next week. I am so excited - we plan visits together a few times per year where we can catch up and have some fun - she really is my best friend :)
I'll post pics of the jewel bags when they are done also, as well as a new necklace for my friend that I made.
Busy busy! Have a safe weekend everyone, don't get mad at holiday traffic! And remember, it truly is the THOUGHT that counts with Christmas (or any) gifts - something small and handmade that requires a lot of thought is better than any gift, no matter how expensive (ok, maybe a really nice engagement ring, or a pair of killer Jimmy Choo's, but those are dream items, lol).
Take care!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sometimes It Works...


Sometimes inspiration comes from the weirdest places. Sometimes the photograph just seems to take itself. This was one of those times when I was waiting most impatiently for the coffee to finish and the sun was coming through the window, right into my eyes. I was sore, half asleep and didn't want to have the sun in my eyes, so I happened to look to my left, away from the sun, and saw the most remarkable sight: my spice jars, only they weren't just spice jars, they looked like bottles of colourful spices in one of those middle-eastern markets where the spices are all laid out for you, begging you to touch them. There they were - warm, inviting, and the lighting made them look almost surreal. The camera obliged by thankfully believing me that the flash would ruin it (I can turn it off, but only if the camera agrees, and we fight about it sometimes, lol), and I got a really cool shot.
I also got a neat one of the pepper grinder, but the cabinets left a shadow behind it, so I'll have to try and get it again, but you can see it here:


Pretty cool for being half asleep :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's (My) Dog's Life

~Arwen the Contortionist~

Now, normally I HATE to show my couches because of their ugliness, but of course, the day I wash them every week happens to be the day that Arwen decides to do funny, cute things on them, like the photo above, and let me photograph them. I'm not exactly sure how she gets wedged into this position, only that it takes A LOT of work! Usually napping for her involves many changes of position, a leg pointed strait up in the air for a while (see the next photo), and twisting her body until it looks like her spine is about to snap.
~Arwen Gets a Leg Up!~

What is more amazing than the fact that, apparently, this is comfortable to the point of doing it several times per day, is the fact that if someone, or something, alerts her, she will flip off the couch at lightning speed, without dislocating her spine!
She is definitely a character :)
Don't forget to check out my other blog for a monthly contest, and check out my Etsy photography and jewellery store for a SUPER SALE!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It Gets Better!

WOO! I have decided to increase my gifts to you, my friends, by upping the ante on this phenomenal sale in my Little Studio Photography and Jewellery Etsy Store!
Starting right now, buy one item, get a second item of equal or lesser value for 50%off!!!

This cannot be combined with another offer (previous specials, sale items or custom items). If you have any questions, please let me know!
Enjoy ;-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dogon Good!

~Help Me Get a Shelter Friend!~

Hello, my name is Arwen. I am a 5 and 1/4 year old mix of lab, border collie, husky and whatever else God decided to throw in the mix. I love to look cute (see above), play fetch (or keep away, whatever I decide at the time), and nap with my mom. My mom loves me very much, and I love to cuddle, play and chase her (or have her chase me) around the house. I also love to play with other dogs and cats, and I'm finding the house a little quiet since my cat-brother Gandalf went to heaven.
Mom tells everyone she is having a sale on her jewellery and photography to clear space for new items, which is true, but secretly she is doing it so she can get me a friend. You see, since mom got sick with Fibromyalgia, she hasn't been able to work, and she can't afford to get me a new friend and fence in the yard. This means that since we live far away from other people and puppies, I don't have another dog to run and play with. I really need a friend, so please go visit my mom's jewellery site for some great deals (which also benefit charities), and to help me get a new friend from a local shelter!
Little Studio Photography and Jewellery
Also, don't forget to enter the November blog contest to try and win a ring at:
Your Furry Friend Arwen

Monday, November 24, 2008


Just in time for the gift-giving season (and perfect for those trying to save a bit of money in these tighter financial times), I am trying to make room for my new creations, which means......

A HUGE SALE!!! Buy anything from my Little Studio Photography and Jewellery Etsy store and get a second item for 25% off!

Hurry - once these beautiful pieces are gone, that is it!

The nitty-gritty:
Second item must be of equal or lesser value. This is not available on custom orders at this time, and cannot be combined with another offer. The discount does not apply to shipping or taxes (if applicable). I will refund the difference after payment has been received. Shipping times may be slightly delayed due to higher sales volumes.

Don't forget to enter the contest of the month here on the jewellery blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Long Time No Post!

~Everything's More Fun When It's Upside Down!~

My dog has a habit of taking her favorite toys and playing with them upside down, which I think is hilarious. Makes me think that everything is more fun when it's upside down and topsy turvy - which is how everything is going at the moment. The last few weeks have been pretty hectic: my pain has been pretty bad, I've been trying a new medication (which I have to stop taking because it is making me VERY sick), I was making all sorts of pieces for Louise Ingram of Fireseed for her bead show (TOO much fun!!), and now I am putting the finishing touches on my displays for an upcoming jewellery party this Saturday...WHEW! Not to mention all the regular stuff of trying to have the energy to clean the house, do the laundry (and fold it and put it away - the bane of my existence!), and everything else that just seems to exhaust me. I have managed, however, to move my bird feeders to the deck so that they will be easier to reach when the snow finally does begin to pile up, and the birds are loving it! I'll have to try and get some good pics of them and post them too!
Well, I have 3 other blogs that need posting to so I'd better scoot - I promise I'll be posting more regularly!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

In Loving Memory of a Wonderful, Furry Friend

~Gandalf March 30, 1995 - November 3, 2008~

Well after taking Gandalf to the vet for an exam on Saturday for a problem I had noticed with his hips, they asked us to bring him in today for x-rays of his pelvis and legs - they thought there might be something wrong with his knee as it crunches a bit when he walks. We brought him in this morning and the vet called a few hours later with their prognosis: his knees were OK, but his hips were the worst they had ever seen. He had arthritis and possibly a genetic disorder in both his hips, causing the hips joints to basically disintegrate. He hasn't really shown any sign of it as cats are quite adept at hiding pain and illness until it is too late and they are in absolute agony. Although we could put him on medication, with the possibility of having surgery to remove his hip joints, there would always be problems, even to the extent of destroying his kidneys. In the end, there was really only decision to make.
At 3:40PM today, Gandalf went to Kitty Heaven. He was a wonderful cat, full of love and purrs. Always happy to sit on a lap, sleep on my tummy, and eat any bit of fluff or bug he could find on the floor, he is survived by his canine friend, Arwen, his mom, dad, and Grand-monna and Grand-papa.
He was 13.
He will be greatly missed.
Many tears have been shed, and many more are still to come, but ultimately he is free of pain, free to chase any bird, bug and squirrel and free to visit his first canine companion, Willy. He will always get his girl, and will always be able to sleep in, on and around any and every shoe he wants. He will always have as much food as he can eat, without having to worry about someone saying he is a little on the heavy side.
Goodbye my fuzzy little buddy, my handsome little man. May you give head-butts to other friendly faces, may you impress everyone with your giant thumbs. We love you, miss you, and wish you well on this, your final journey to the litter box.
Thank you for being my bestest furry little guy. Mom will always love and remember you.
My heart is broken, but I know it was for your best happiness.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Squishy Kitty

~My Squished Cat in a Red Box Needs Prayers~

In the midst of the worst flare up I have ever had, complete with the worst pain I have ever endured, I noticed that on my cat's sore hip there is a little spot on his leg that he has chewed his fur off. A few days later I noticed that he had chewed a small sore in the same spot, so he is off to the vet on Saturday. He needs all your prayers, as I think he is getting displaysia in his hips. He already needs dental surgery (we are trying to come up with the money somehow), but the displaysia is sort of a deal-breaker. I had a dog with displaysia as a kid, and it doesn't matter what you do - drugs, surgery, anything - it doesn't fix the problem, only prolongs their pain and suffering. Even though he is pretty healthy now (he is 13, so no one is perfect at that age), I don't want to fill him full of drugs that are going to have side effects and make him dopey, or the other extreme - hide the pain so that he damages his joints without realizing it. We need lots of prayers that whatever is going on is fixable (and that we can afford to fix it!!) or I am afraid I will have to make the most difficult decision of his (and my) life. I love my little fuzzy buddy, and he is my best furry friend. I want him to be happy, healthy and safe, and I can't in good conscience keep him doped up on meds when I know that he shouldn't be. If need be, I will make the decision to let him go to 'kitty heaven'. We need prayers - for him and me!
Until then, I am taking lots of pictures and giving him lots of chin scratches :)
God bless,

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Secret Addiction....

~Excerpt from a Beethoven Love Poem on My Photo~

I have a dirty little secret....when I am in the throes of a major flare-up I need distractions. This latest flare has been horrific - I can't move my arms without stabbing pain, and my fingers feel like they are breaking. Normally I would make jewellery or knit to distract myself, but with these latest pains I can't use my hands as well as I have previously, so I did something I don't normally do: I watched television. Now, normally that isn't a bad thing as I usually watch science shows, but this time I couldn't stand anything heavy - I needed something light and fluffy.
Enter Sex and the City the Movie.
Oh my goodness. The storyline is pretty light, but the real stars (aside from the ladies, of course) are the clothing and accessories, the houses and the lifestyles of the rich and successful woman.
Okay, I really liked it for the clothes, shoes and handbags. I don't think I've seen so many guilty little pleasures all at once. Manolo! Vuitton! Westwood! Oh my. Although I want a very simple wedding, I have to say that the scene with the couture wedding gowns was incredible. If I had the lifestyle, I think I would have actually fainted at the sight of those dresses and not rested until I had one of my own.
One scene really got to me - Sarah Jessica Parker was reading love poems from historical figures and one was from Beethoven. Here it is:
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us -
I can live only wholly with you or not at all -
Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits -
Yes, unhappily it must be so -
You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never -
Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves.
And yet my life in V is now a wretched life -
Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men -
At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection?
My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once -
Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together -
Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell.
Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

After hearing that I almost cried (okay I did actually cry) and I put the end of the poem on my photo of bleeding heart flowers.
The movie really emphasized the value of great friendships. Really good friends, really supportive, special people in your life. It really made me think - am I a good friend? Can I be a good friend when I am sick on the couch so much? Maybe I should get some Chanel - maybe that would really help me ;-)
So now you know my addiction. I am now addicted to Sex and the City. I'll be purchasing the movie and the entire television series the second I get the money. Fluff never looked so good (I think it's the Jimmy Choo's).


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh the Horror!

~Soft, Cuddly and Always Purring, He's the Only One Allowed
on my Lap - Even (or Especially) When I'm in Agony~

Horror is right - my in-laws had snow all day yesterday and it's not even November yet! I am so not ready. We still need to replace our snow shovel after last year's 'Battle with the Ice', and I haven't even winterized my yard - eek!
I am in the major throws of a flare-up, and for the first time ever, my hands and fingers are hurting like I broke them. I have to admit I'm pretty scared about that. Having use of my hands even when I'm in agony is the one solace I have - even if I'm hurting something awful I can usually still manage to knit/crochet/make jewellery/play video games to take my mind off of the pain. I definitely need to get back to the rheumatologist and fast.
On a much more positive note, I have a super-duper announcement! I have started an online store to go with my Low Allergy Kitchen Blog! I started it on Etsy, called Little Low Allergy Kitchen, because of the number of people who, like me, have a ton of food allergies. Unfortunately for a lot of you, however, people just don't have the time (or inclination - that's okay, I understand!) to spend hours in the kitchen baking up a storm. This is the store for you! You'll be able to get freshly baked goods (I bake your order when you order and ship next day with priority mail to get it to you the day after it's shipped) at reasonable prices, delivered right to your door, and know that they were made with your allergies in mind. I'll be adding more items to stock my store, so keep checking back!
Have a great day,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Falling for Fall All Over Again

~An Abandoned Tractor Waits for the Icy Grip of Winter~

I love fall colors! The past Thanksgiving weekend Brennan and I went to his parents beautiful house in Huntsville, and wow what an amazing symphony of colors awaited us! The drive was long, and by the time we got there I was in full spasm-twitching pain, but I love going up there to see his family - they always make me feel so welcome and part of the family. We sat on their back deck and enjoyed the colors of the leaves and gorgeous sunshine for hours on end. It was an amazing lesson in how to relax - and for once I passed that test easily! There was always something more to see, more colors, more shadow play on the leaves and ground. It was awe inspiring to say the least. It really makes you feel small (in a good way!), knowing that you are part of something so much bigger than you.
We had a great visit and wonderful meals and conversations. I was sore, but I got through it, with a little help from the leaves, and a lot of help from family :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Fun Time for All!

On Saturday, October 4, I was one of many people privileged to be a part of the 15 year anniversary of Nature's Way Select Foods and Brewing Supplies. I was doing gluten free food sampling for El Peto and Judy's Magic Mixes, and I had an absolute blast, meeting lots of new people, and happily seeing familiar faces. I was in the tent outside with the other product vendors, and though it was cold, I wouldn't have missed it for the world! I even got my picture taken for the EMC, our local free paper!
October is Celiac disease awareness month, and it was great to see the sheer number of items and companies devoted to helping us with our dietary needs.
If you ever need health food advice, check out Nature's Way - they love what they do!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Life Is Like That...

~One of the Photos From My New Photo Card Collections~

"It never rains, but it pours". Yeah. I know. We are still trying our darnedest to save enough money to get the cat's teeth fixed (it's $1100), but with the way things are going, we will probably just put it on the line of credit and be done with it. We sure don't have any extra funds right now that's for sure:
We got our furnace oil last Thursday, and although we have a teeny tank, and had 1/4 of the tank still full, it was $430. Then I woke up Friday morning and went to take my after-workout shower - only to find that the hot water heater had quit. We got it fixed on Tuesday for $150. Yesterday we finally got the massive living room window replaced - at $535, and we got our hydro bill for $106 (okay, the hydro isn't so bad, as I am constantly turning off and unplugging things, driving Brennan bonkers, lol). Honestly, where does it end?? I need to get wire and other jewellery making supplies to make more stock, but I have no money. It's insanity!
That being said, I know we are not alone. I know I am not the only one in a relationship who is unable to work, living on a single income with debts and bills and financial stress. It is a really great motivator to get selling my jewellery and photography!!
With that in mind, I want to let you know that my other blog, Little Studio Photography and Jewellery, is having a contest! All you have to do is go to that blog and sign up as a follower during the month of October. On November 1, I will randomly select one follower to win a beautiful pair of earrings handmade by me! See the blog for details and get following!
That's all for now, blog at you later :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Chance to Save 20%!!

~Don't Miss Out On The Savings!~

Well, I can't believe we are on the last day of September, but there it is- and along with it is the last day of the sale for Etsy for Animals Birthday Bash! This is the LAST DAY to get 20% off everything in my Etsy store. All you have to do is use the coupon code "LITT" in the 'Notes to Seller' when you check out.
It's that simple so don't miss out!
I've got lots of goodies for you at all price ranges - how about getting your holiday shopping done early??
Go to my store here:
PLUS - Check back soon for a contest to win free goodies!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Window!...No Wait, Not Yet

~My Laughing Dog - A Sense of Humour in Our House is a Must~

Here's the back story for you: Last fall, Brennan was cutting the grass when he accidentally went over part of our gravel driveway with the lawn mower. It was over in a whiz-ping-tinkle kind of sound and the huge window in our living room had a crack in it. Not a huge crack, not terribly noticeable, but a crack nonetheless. In a low-E argon window, that spells certain doom and needs to be replaced. Well, we didn't because we couldn't afford it, and paid for it with more heating costs and a colder living room in the winter.
Enter this fall and we decided that we couldn't afford not to have the window replaced so we called the local window people (who shall remain nameless). They came out and measured the window and said that it would be about 10 days to have it manufactured and installed, with a cost of about $500 plus tax. We said okay (like we had a choice, lol). They called us at the beginning of the week and made an appointment to come out yesterday to replace it and we were happy.
Until the poor guy came to install the darn thing.
Turns out that it was just one guy to take out this giant window himself (though he seemed quite capable) and the giant window in question, being only 7 years old, gave him one heck of a hard time to come out. After much cutting and scraping, pulling and heaving (from the inside of the house and a precariously perched ladder in my front garden) it came out. Then the very nice man brought the new window in and started to install it. (Now, I should mention at this point that it was under ten degrees with a slight breeze that just happened to be coming directly in my windowless living room, so in addition to being exhausted from not having my morning nap, I was now very sore from being in a cold, draughty living room). I was sitting in my dining room, trying to stay out of the way and maybe even get my months-ignored accounting up to date, and the next thing I know, I hear very quiet muttering from the guy. Something like, "Come on, let's go, get in there!", "Why aren't you going in?", "No.", "You've got to be kidding me!" and finally, a comment that I won't write down, because if kids read it, their parents won't like it. I was trying not to smile at this point, because I should also mention that very early that morning, before the innocent installer came, I thought, "You know, I have a bad feeling that the window is going to be the wrong size," and sure enough, the window ordered was THE WRONG SIZE. The guy that came to measure (who was the BOSS) had taken 4 sets of measurements, 4 different times, and had done them WRONG. The poor installer, who seems like a really nice guy, had fought with the old window to take it out, bring it all the way down the slippery hardwood stairs of our high ranch house, take it outside the front door, and do the opposite maneuver with the new window, and all to find out it was 1/2 inch too wide. You really have to feel for this guy.
Now you are asking the point of this narrative, right? Well, other than saying that you have to stay positive, because any given situation could always be worse, I thought that one thing he did was hilarious. After all this fighting with the window, he goes outside to make a rather frustrated phone call to the office. What is hilarious is that he goes all the way outside, presumably so I don't have to hear him ream out the person at the other end of the phone, when there is no living room window and I can hear every single word he says! I had to laugh. After about 5 minutes of his furious tirade, he comes in and apologizes most profusely and says that he has to put the old window back in while they put a rush on the new one. What is sad is that he goes on to tell me that of the last 20 jobs he has had to install, the guy measuring has gotten all of them wrong, so he has had to un-install the original glass, try to install the new glass, and only to put the old one back in, or worse, in a house needing all new windows, it has to go another week or so with the elements coming in. You really have to feel for this guy.
On the positive, at least the window isn't smashed, so it is back in place (though I'm not sure how securely, as it isn't caulked in there). We have had it like this for a year, so obviously the sky won't fall if we have to wait another week. Plus, we have an extra week to try to come with the money for it so we don't have to put it on credit (not that we will necessarily, but we can try lol - buy my jewellery!!).
That's my story. I've been in a really bad flare the last week, so maybe it isn't as funny to you, but I did really think it was hilarious.
And I got my accounting up to date!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Too Good to Last, But the Ride Was Fun

~A New Bracelet For Sale on My Etsy Store~

Well, I woke up this morning and what did I notice? The last few days of insomnia surely were a sign that I was beginning a new flare up in my Fibromyalgia. It tends to start the same way: I can't sleep, I'm even more tired than usual, I am dizzy, weak, and I get spasms in my hips, more pain in my shoulders and lower back, then it's all downhill from there.
I knew it wouldn't last. I tend to have a few really good weeks in the last hurrah of summer. Usually the end of August to mid September the weather is not too hot, not too cold, and I'm less sore, have more energy (which inevitably causes me to push myself more than I probably should), and am better able to concentrate on just about everything. Then, the weather cools, usually quickly, and I'm right back to square one.
But, I'm staying positive: at least I had a few weeks where my good days almost equalled my bad; I got out into my garden a couple of times and started pulling the long-overdue weeds and finished veggie husks from my gardens; I took my dog for some truly wonderful and inspirational walks, where we both really enjoyed the fresh air, lessened bugs, and forest is all its glory. I even got housework done on a pretty regular basis, not to mention all of the jewellery and marketing on Etsy I've been able to do.
Not bad, really. I'm focusing on the positive now, and praying a lot. I have my 20% off sale in my Etsy store until the end of the month, promoting the Etsy for Animals Charitable team, I'm still really inspired to create more jewellery (even if I'm running out of supplies and can't afford to get new ones :-s), Brennan is really, really happy in his new job, I'm still alive - hey, things can always be worse right?
I'm glad they aren't. It was too good to last, I knew that, but at least I enjoyed it!
Take care,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September is Good for My Fibromyalgia

~My Mom's Beautiful New Bookmark~

For some reason, the end of August until the end of September (cold weather permitting) seems to be the best time for my fibromyalgia. It's not too hot, not too cold, and my good days just about equal my bad ones. I'm able to concentrate, and although I'm still chronically tired, I actually get about 3 hours straight sleep per night!
I think it is also the change of seasons. I love spring because it means summer's almost here, and I love summer, because, well, who doesn't love summer?? But fall is always such a noticeable transition. Even though I dread it leaving because it means the beginning of cold and pain, I love the breezes and colours. I love watching the birds fly in formation as they prepare to venture back south (though I really miss them in the winter). I love my animals getting their thick, fuzzy, winter coats (though I hate having to brush them each twice per day and clean the floors just as often when they shed!). I also LOVE to bake!! Apple pies and pumpkin pies and muffins and roasted squash (oh my!) I love the homey feel of warm houses closed up against the cold, smelling the wood fires.
Maybe that's why my fibromyalgia isn't as bad now. Whatever it is, I'll take it! I will enjoy every last day of lessened pain. I know winter brings pain and horrible days, but for now, I'm doing OK. My Etsy store is also having a sale and keeping me quite busy, so that helps too! Check it out here at: I'm also updating my web page so please be patient if it is acting up :)
That's all for now...jewellery artist out!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sort of Happy Birthday...

~Insert Candle Here~

Though my birthday isn't until Wednesday, my mom's was on Saturday, and my sister's was on the 29th of August, so we all went to my parents' house for our birthday celebrations on Sunday. It was a great afternoon, despite my being in a lot of pain - the sudden cold weather seems to have really hit me hard. Brennan has some viral thing going on with his sinuses, so he was not feeling his best, but he put on a happy face and enjoyed the day too (my strawberry-chocolate cupcakes helped - see my food blog for the post soon!). We all had a great afternoon and everyone got some really nice gifts. My sister got me a magazine subscription I've wanted for a long time, but never got myself, my parents gave me a WillowTree angel for my collection, and a book on learning how to sew (I know, I never have enough on my plate!), and my brother gave me a gift card so I can treat myself to things I never seem to buy for me (which was really generous considering he is in University still). There were great nibblies provided by my parents, and I, as I mentioned earlier, brought the cupcakes. I purchased a book, called, "Crazy About Cupcakes" a while back because I want to make them for my wedding dessert, and ever since, I have been absolutely crazy for cupcakes. I'd never even had them until I got this book, but WOWEE, I love them now! I do, of course, have to modify all the recipes for my allergies, but that just adds to the fun and challenge of it all. I had intended to make strawberry shortcake cupcakes for my birthday, but there weren't enough strawberries, and no chocolate at all, so I made my own version and they are AMAZING! Totally forgot I was in so much pain ;-)
That's all for now, I've had some pretty painful days and my Etsy store has been doing so well I haven't been napping (which I am not complaining about - I love my Etsy store!), so I'm pretty tired and sore.
I'll catch up with you all later, hugs for you!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Holy Cow I Need to Breathe!

~One of the New Flower Bobby Pins~

Ok, so when I said that I need to distract myself to avoid pain from Fibromyalgia, I don't think I quite meant THIS distracted, but I am having the TIME OF MY LIFE!! I have made more sales on my Etsy store, and one of my Etsy Street Teams is having a 1 year anniversary birthday bash 20% off sale (see my jewellery blog for details and a coupon!), I am making more jewellery, trying to exercise as per the doctor's instructions, clean my house, spend time with my fiance, dog and cat, run the rest of my business, and sleep! I LOVE IT!! I am still able to nap (usually) when I need to so that is great. Oh yeah, I also have a new store on iCraft at: it has different items not listed on my Etsy store so check it out!
I have to say that even though I am still in flare ups almost constantly, tired, sore and stiff, it is a real Godsend to have a supportive family and friends, and to have found Etsy. I am able to meet with other artists, and socialize from my home. I am getting more and more inspired to create more great jewellery (I'm even drawing again!) and photography. I am slowly building my reputation online so that people know they can purchase from me with confidence. I am building my own confidence! I have been so worried for so long that Fibromyalgia would take my income, social life, sense of pride, everything, that this is the greatest blessing I could have received right now. Thank you God! Thank you family! Thank you friends! I love you all and appreciate all your support.
Ok, enough with the cheeeese, I am going to make more jewellery, and hopefully go get some sleeeeeeep.....
Much love,

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Made Beads!

~A Few of the Beads~

Today being Sunday, I normally take time to rest and do something fun, like gardening or reading. Today, I was sore and thought that the best way to deal with it was to learn something that I'd wanted to try for a while: making polymer clay beads. I ended up making a bunch of cool beads with blue and white polymer clay in a few designs. I made some spiraled corkscrew beads, some round beads and 2 that are going to remain a (birthday) surprise in case certain people are reading my blog. I have glazed them and I'm waiting for them to dry so i can make cool stuff with them tomorrow - I can't wait! I'm sore and exhausted, but I don't care, because I made beads! How cool is that?
That's all for now,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Busy, Busy!

~One of My New Rings on the Etsy Store!

Well I must say that the new Etsy store is keeping me busy! I've been really tired and cruddy-feeling lately but I've been doing my best to ignore it and make myself busy on the Etsy front. Not being on any mdications means I have to get really creative in managing my disease (that or I sleep!). I've made a few new items that are for sale on the Etsy store and I have even joined a team of Etsy sellers from the Ottawa area called Capital Crafters - you can find us by going to the blog site at: (check out a mini-interview of yours truly!) or by going onto the Etsy site at and searching for "ottawa team". I'm off to update my other blogs and make more jewellery (and maybe tidy my house - it's looking a little worse for wear, lol).
Take care,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great Store on Etsy!

~Two of the Many Varieties of Earrings Available on My Etsy Store~

I have a confession to make: I have fallen in love - with Etsy! My store is doing very well, and I have just joined a team of other Ottawa artists and crafters called "Capital Crafters" so that I can help and be helped by other businesses in the Ottawa area that are selling on Etsy also. If you want to see their items, use the keywords "Ottawa Team" in your searches so that you to can buy handmade and locally!
I have to say that even though I've been feeling really sore lately, this has given me hope. I'm getting really positive feedback from the community and have even made a few sales in the last week! Things are looking really, really positive, in spite of the daily struggle with my disease. I've had more inspiration to create new pieces, and I've pushed myself to make some of them to put on my store. I do hope you'll check it out. Etsy is part of a huge movement to promote individuals and the buying of handmade items. You know when you buy that you are able to talk to the creator and you know where it was made. You know what it is made of, and most importantly, you are helping to support an individual, local business, not just some huge, faceless corporation. Many people are like myself: individuals who are not able, for one reason or another, to work outside the home. Your purchase of an artist's work helps them in a real way. So Thank You Very Much!
Check out my store at:
Check out my store for daily additions, including a few sales!
Take care,

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Cool Happenings

~One of the cool shots of "Black Cadillacs"

I thought I'd give a shout-out to a friend of mine who was at GenCon Indy over the last few days showing off his new game called "Black Cadillacs". It's an RPG based on war stories and I was privileged enough to be able to take the promo shots for it about a month ago. You can see more at their website at: . There, you can find out more about the game, purchase the text and more! Good luck Darcy, I hope this works out really well for you, the game sounds awesome!

~ A picture of the Bride and Groom's beautiful wedding rings~

In other news, I got to take photographs with my friend Stephanie at the best wedding we've ever had the pleasure of witnessing on August 9. We had a great time with everyone; the bride was beautiful (and incredibly easy to work with), the groom was well composed and happy, and their friends and family were so happy and friendly it was like something out of a feel good movie (minus the cheese). I wish them all the best in their future lives together! Hopefully they will allow me to put a few of their pictures on my website and you can see what I mean about a great couple!

And there's more - Brennan and I are trying to spend about half an hour per day clearing out the destruction in our forest left by loggers five years ago. It is hard work, but it's amazing how big a difference just half an hour can make! In just 2 sessions we've managed to make a small trail on one side of the property leading to a massive dead brush pile (I guess we know whose house people are going to for bonfires!) and another trail is starting on the other side of the property. We are aiming to have the forest looking good by the time we get married next year in September. I really think we'll do it - as the saying goes, "Many hands make light work", and I really believe it!

Gandalf is still well, we are still praying hard that we get the money for his surgery soon. I'm still working on my Etsy store at to sell my jewellery and art there. More is going up tomorrow so check it out!

That's all for now, I'm off to bed for some much deserved rest!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Super Dad to the Rescue!

~My Cat Gandalf, One Step Closer to Getting His Teeth Fixed~

Well, we are now $250 closer to getting Gandalf's teeth fixed! My wonderful dad went drag racing last weekend (his favourite hobby!) and said that anything he won he would selflessly put towards Gandalf's dental surgery. Lo and behold, he got 4th place on a huge race weekend, and won $250 for Gandalf! Thank you so much Dadoo! Hallelujah! I've also made a few jewellery sales this week, so we are getting there, thank God. Gandalf is still his super-friendly self, still chomping away at his food, so the surgery isn't critical right now, but I still want to get it done asap.
In other good news, Brennan and I got to spend a nice day at his parents' rented cottage this week. Although I was sore as all get out, it was great to see them again, and I even got some sun! Yes, it actually stopped raining for most of the afternoon and I got some wonderful, bone warming sun with a great view of Lake Dore and the distant shoreline. We had a nice visit with his parents, and although I was about as sore as I've ever been, it was great to get out and about!
I have also started a new online store, in addition to my website. I have a store on now, and it is at Here you'll see more jewellery that isn't for sale on the website, and some other cool stuff too! I hope you'll check it out, and give me some feedback. I'll be adding more items continuously to the Etsy store in hopes of getting more people to see my works.
That's all for now, my friend and partner-in-crime Stephanie and I are doing photographs at a wedding tomorrow and I need to be as rested as possible.
Take care, prayers to all of you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stress Rains Down - and More Rain Rains Down

~My Wonderful Cat, Now in Need of Dental Surgery~

I've had a bad week. A really, really bad week. I'm sore, exhausted at nothing, and broke. Broke, broke, broke. I haven't been able to work since last November. I can't afford my medications for my fibromyalgia (not that they were doing anything anyway, but I always had hope), I can't afford my physical therapy for my fibromyalgia, and now, on top of hydro bills, phone bills, and other everyday expenses, my cat went to the vet for his annual check up and apparently needs dental surgery. $1100 of dental surgery to be exact. He is 12 years old, and has been my bud since I was 13, so I will not let him suffer. The vet says I need to do it before Christmas, but the sooner the better. I want to. I really, really want to do it now so he doesn't have to go another day with bad teeth (I can't even imagine). The obvious problem is, of course, that I don't have the money to pay the hydro bills, or get my hair cut, or replace my socks with holes in them.
I need help! Please pray for me and the cat. I don't know how we'll get the money for this - my fiance anf I haven't even been able to save anything for our wedding next year.
......And it is raining AGAIN. Jeez, will someone please turn it off for more than a day?
The good news: the dog is in perfect health, and so is the cat, apart from the dental stuff. The cat isn't in obvious pain, and still eats, though now I'm moistening his food slightly so it's easier to chew. It could be worse, I suppose.
I try to stay positive, and make more jewellery in the hopes that it will sell. I have more coming, so keep checking the jewellery blog and my website for more details (the links are on the bar at right).
Take care, I'm off to overturn my patio chairs full of rainwater.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bad Week, But Hope Still Reigns

~Front of My House in Blooms~

It's been a hard week. I thought that Sunday was going to be a good day so I did two and a half hours of gardening, and boy did I pay for it. Sure, the weeds are gone (mostly), and I love that the flowers are finally reaching their mature sizes and bloom states - the smell is heavenly - but this has been one of the worst weeks all summer. I've been so sore, dizzy, tired and crappy-feeling that even exercise is getting to be a painful chore. I normally love to exercise, and try to get about an hour everyday, but it is getting harder and harder to do even 1/2 hour of light exercise.
That being said, I know that it will pass. I'm trying to continue to plan my wedding and stay positive. This too shall pass!
I'm off to bake my 'Make You Melt Ginger Cookies' - as predicted, they are a HUGE hit with everyone!
Stay healthy,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Procrastination - The Way to Creativity?

~Some of the projects I have started, or have yet to start~

I hate to admit, but I procrastinate when it comes to my art. I don't know if it is because I am scared of messing up a piece, or the fact that once I start something, I can't stop it until it's finished (and then I miss being in the process of creating my art), or maybe I am scared that I'll be interrupted and put it down, only to forget about it for months (sometimes years), and come back to it and regret not finishing it when I started. This is because I then can't figure out where I was (creatively speaking) when I started it (Fibro-fog strikes again!). Maybe it's a combination of all of the above. I certainly know that any distractions are usually bad distractions and for me to create really good art: I need to be practically insomniac and avoid the phone, email, T.V. - civilization in general to hear that teeny voice telling me what, where, when, how to create (I don't need the why - it just IS).
So I procrastinate. I read book after book after book (not always bad as it's usually something I'm learning), or I clean, or I'm sore so I watch T.V. or sleep. All things that keep me away from my beading, camera, pencils, etc. It's frustrating.
I get so frustrated I finally start my project, whatever it may be....and then I LOVE it. I can't get away from it. I dream it. I see it dancing in front of my eyes. I wonder why it took me so LONG to start it.
Then I'm sore and sick and need to rest, but I've DONE it. I love it. I am it. It is wonderful :-D
Today's quote sort of makes me realize that maybe my procrastination isn't a bad thing - or at least that I am not alone in it. It all adds up to a period of time where I almost forget that I am sick, and that is heaven in itself.
Today's quote is by Brenda Ueland: "So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."
HA! I'm not alone :)
Happy creating,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Love is the Best Medicine

~My 'Lil Love Bug, Gandalf~
When my fiance is at work and I'm alone and sore during the day, there is nothing I love more than to sleep. I should say, that I love to sleep and have my animals keep me company. My cat Gandalf sits on my tummy and purrs, making him my personal massaging heating pad. My dog Arwen takes my fiance's pillow and most of his side of the bed, puts her head on his pillows and stares out the window into the backyard. Sometimes she'll sleep on her back, spread eagle with her paws straight in the air and SNORE! It's amazing how a 50 pound dog can snore louder than an adult more than 3 times her size! That being said, I'd rather have her snore than not have her at all.
Knowing my animals are always there, loving me no matter how sore and cranky I am, makes the day better and go by faster. Love truly is the best medicine! That, and my animals are hilarious! Laughter helps too. They play together, and when that gets boring, they sleep side by side, sometimes touching paws, tails, even noses! I am blessed to have companionship - even when my fiance is at work, my animals are always by my side. On my most painful days, they hardly go more than a few feet away, and I am grateful for that!
That's all for now, I'm off to play with my dog,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away! (And in Other News)

~An Iris From My Garden~

It's been a while since I last posted as I've been really sick and sore, but I have finally linked my web site's FibroPage to this blog so that everyone gets the same posts.
It's been raining cats and dogs the last few weeks (well we had a few really sunny, hot and humid days over the weekend where I tried to recover and get some weeding done, but now it's back to raining) and that really seems to put me under the weather. At least I sleep well during the rain, I'm just really sore before each storm rolls in. And although I'm happy not to be lugging watering cans around my yard, I would really like a break from all the storms and downpours!
It also got me thinking. As a sufferer of Fibromyalgia and as an artist, it is about darn time for me to make some Fibromyalgia Awareness jewellery and have the profits go to the Canadian Arthritis Society and other Fibromyalgia charities. I'm working on some designs and I'll get back to you all on my progress - and soon!
That's all for now, I'm really sore - and nauseous!
Take care, gentle hugs to all my fibro-people!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Storm Sensor?

I know this sounds weird, but ever since I got sick with Fibromyalgia, I get headaches whenever a storm approaches. On the drive back home from dinner with my dad for Father's Day last night, we had a wallop of a storm. Lightning was hitting on either side of the car (scary-cool), and every time a strike was about to occur, the front of my face would pins-and-needles tingle and my headache would get waaaay worse. It felt like my head was being squeezed in a vise - really, really painful. It was as though I could predict the lightning! Once we were past the brunt of the storm, though, the headache lessened and finally went away entirely. I thought that was really odd. I've noticed too that I get grumpy right before a severe weather system occurs. I wonder if other people get this? People with Fibromyalgia? Let me know, I'm fascinated!
Take care,

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Really Bad, Hurtful Day

I work really hard to do even the simplest chores. Doing the dishes, cooking, heck, even blogging is hard work. I am sick, I am tired, and I am very shy with very little self-confidence. To have started 3 blogs, not to mention my own business making jewellery and doing photography was a miraculous event for my self-confidence and an increase to my workload, when I was trying to decrease it to help my health. I work harder than anyone can possibly know to make jewellery by hand, even when my muscles are in spasms, my stomach is nauseous, my head is foggy and dizzy and I just want to crawl into a hole and sleep for about 10 years. I also designed and created my own website, so, if I want to show it off, as well as the things I make, you'll have to excuse me, but I'm a teensy bit proud of that. Most completely healthy people wouldn't have been able to start doing what I do, and continue it day after day without money, sales, support, etc, but to have a serious illness, so bad that I am housebound for weeks at a time, makes my accomplishments all the more spectacular (if I do say so myself).

Back in October when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I joined an online support group based in Ottawa for people struggling (like me) with this disease. It took a lot of courage to start posting on that forum, probably people wouldn't even believe how long I spent writing my first post of only 2 or 3 sentences, but there you go. It took months to tell people on the forum about my website. When people asked, "What do you do to take your mind off the pain?" day after day, I said nothing. Finally, I spoke, and said that I craft, and try to make income from my art. I showed them my website (at their request) and said to have a look, because everyone knows it doesn't cost a thing to look, and I know how tight money can be when you can't work and are sick. I repeatedly tell people that they are free to look around, and that I understand that people can't always buy things because money is tight. I always tell people that and I mean it.

When I started these blogs, I started them to help people. I want to discuss my battles and triumphs with Fibromyalgia and share it with others who are going through the same thing and don't even know they aren't alone. I want to give free recipes for people with food allergies needing recipes. Heck, I wrote a whole darn cookbook that I could have self-published and sold on my blog and website, but I didn't. I chose to give the recipes away as a small act of kindness because I know how hard it can be to cook when you have an allergy to gluten or dairy, eggs, corn, soy, etc., or are a vegetarian/vegan. My jewellery blog is just that. I talk about how I made a piece, and if it is for sale, I tell people to see the website
IF they want to buy it.

Inviting people to go to a website is just that -
an invitation. They don't have to go, they don't have to buy. I mean really, if I bought stuff from all the websites I've visited, I'd have mansions full of cars, boats, Louis Vuitton, you name it. I like to look. Looking at designer clothes or someone's handcrafted art is a fun way to window shop and escape reality. I don't have to leave my house (like I could most days anyway, the pain is horrible), and I don't have to spend. I expect the same of anyone who reads my blogs or goes to my website. I don't want people going into massive debt to buy my art (it's not that expensive, but that's not the point). I want them to look at all of the delicious-looking stuff and dream and escape their pain for a little bit.

Imagine my dismay when this morning I get an email from the moderator of the Fibro support forum saying they don't want me to post because they don't want people selling things. I was hurt and insulted - I've had at least 4 people from the support forum telling me how much they enjoyed going to my site! I never told them to stop visiting unless they bought something, I was just tickled that they had even gone to look at my work. I am angry, hurt and insulted that they think I would take advantage of others. I am one of them!I tried to compose a professional retaliatory email, but I don't know how clear it was that I am not trying to sell anything to people who don't want to buy. I don't care about making money, or I wouldn't be doing art for a living! With that single email, I feel like I've been betrayed by a best friend.

Honestly, I hate this disease. It's slowly taking everything away from me that I loved. I don't even want to look at my jewellery table - it feels dirty now.

Take care,



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