I’m Still Standing

Yes, I’m still here. Or at least a part of me is.

I still do not know what is wrong with me. The doctors have given up. They’re calling it fibromyalgia for lack of any other diagnosis.

The good news is that I have nothing “serious” like ALS, RA, MS or cancer.

The bad news is that I still have limited use of my hands and arms, need help dressing and am in constant pain — although it varies from extremely light to near crippling depending on how much I am using my hands.

Fortunately I have found a wonderful pain management and rehabilitation doctor who is turning to some alternative forms of medicine for treatment. He assures me that once the pain is gone and toxins are removed, function will return. I don’t believe him. I think something is wrong and the doctors are looking in the wrong places, but I am told any further testing would be futile — by two different specialists.

In fact, I’ve been told to ride it out and see if the pain management doctor can help me and then we’ll look into it again in another six months …

So, my disbelieving self is going along with the plan, because there are no other options. My intellect has given up hope, but I believe my deep inner emotions still have some sort of faith because without some hope, what is the point of continuing?

We begin acupuncture and cupping today and aqua therapy tomorrow. We shall see how it goes.

For now, I am enjoying summer without my two favorite outdoor hobbies — biking and kayaking.

Matt put a few tomato plants in pots for me to watch grow. He also planted a couple of cucumber plants, some swiss chard, two mini sweet pepper plants and a couple of green onions, along with a few herbs. Everything is in either a pot or a small raised garden right outside the back door, so there is no weeding. Obviously it will only generate enough food for a dinner here or there, but it is something.

On a good day, I am able to water the pots and fill my bird feeders. On a bad day, my husband does it for me.

Speaking of birds, I spend a lot of time outside just sitting and watching them.

Last week, I happened to have my camera with me and was privileged to witness this red-wing blackbird putting on a marvelous display. All of the photos were taken from my back porch, where I was sitting. He was prancing and showing about 20 feet in front of me on my swing and around one of the bird feeders. He went on for about 10 minutes, with lots of breaks in between to call, dine and rest.

It was so incredible to see. I so thankful I had my camera so I could record the moment!

Take care.

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Take A Closer Look

Today is the Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Designer Challenge … we had to use some of the new Peel-Off designs. Here’s what I did …ECD Fox Layout Candy Spiegel

I love photographing flowers, trees, animals and other things in nature. Lately, I’ve been getting up close and getting photos that show off details not typically seen by just looking at the flowers from a distance.

Of course, once I take the flowers, I need to find something to do with them … on this page I wanted to showcase some of the up close photos I recently took, but I also wanted the entire page to give the feeling that you need to look behind and up close to see these natural beauties.

ECD Fox Layout Candy Spiegel2

I used the Leafy Branch die from Elizabeth Craft Designs to give the feeling that the foxes were hiding in the grass or bushes. The way the die is made, it is easy to find places to cut the die cut to fit any size.

ECD Fox Layout Candy Spiegel3The foxes are outline Peel-Offs from ECD as well. I put them on X-Press It cardstock and colored them with Copic markers, then cut them out and adhered them with dimensional foam adhesive.

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For the title, I used the Alphabet Caps die from ECD. I cut out the letters twice — once in black and once in the patterned paper (from Bo Bunny) I used for the journaling block and photo mat. Then I layered them together to give a shadow look.

ECD Fox Layout Candy Spiegel

Need more inspiration? Click here and see what the other designers created.

Nature’s Window

LMT_Nature_Candy_Spiegel3This project was inspired by one of my closest friends, Linda Neff. Linda is an amazing artist and this piece of art was published in a national magazine a few years ago. (Click on her name to read about it on her blog).

 

linda_neff_beauty_globecraft_memoriesThe project now hangs in her studio and the last time I was there, I asked her if I could do my own spin on it …

To see how I did it, click here

 

News from the Crop

I spent last weekend at the Oakland County Fairgrounds fund-raiser crop. It is tiring, but so much fun. I love the people there.

This time, I had a brand-new product in my store … button flowers made by my friend Kendra. One of the croppers was so excited, she showed me how she used them.

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Aren’t they adorable?!

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I also had a customer who learned how to make Mosaic Moments pages last year, make this one this year … isn’t it gorgeous!

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And, of course, I taught some new people how to create with Mosaic Moments … this one isn’t finished (she has to add her title and journaling), but isn’t it fabulous! She learned some advanced cutting techniques in order to do it. I love it!

This weekend, I’m in Grand Blanc at Holy Family Church’s Parish Center. Stop by and say hi!