Monday, February 15, 2016

PTI 9th Anniversary Thank You Card Challenge




Hello, Friends,

This is my third and final card I was able to make for Papertrey Ink's 9th Anniversary Challenge.  I made this card for an awesome card challenge- to make a Thank You card and send it to the PTI Warehouse Staff.  This wasn't my original idea but I left the other stamp set I was going to use upstairs.  Once I go down, there's no way I can come back up unless I'm going to stay.  Since all my supplies were downstairs I had to come up with a new idea.

Since the "Morning by Morning" stamp set is one of my favorites, I decided to use it instead.  My Dad has always liked Morning Glories so I knew I wanted this stamp set when I saw cards being made with it on Pinterest.  This stamp set was one of my very first PTI sets which led to other stamp sets and dies.  I have their assorted cardstock pack which seems like great paper.  I don't have any of their ink pads but I have been told by other customers that they are great.  

For my card, I used Memento Inks which have matching markers.  I added a little bit of extra color using the markers that matched the inks I used.  I'll add all of those products later this week.

It was crazy hard to make these cards tonight.  It will be a while before I get to make more because these were so hard.  However, I was determined to not miss out on another thing due to my health problems.  That being said, my back is absolutely killing me and my arm muscles feel like they are on fire.  Those muscles got quite a workout stamping compared to my regular routine.

By the way, don't you love that sentiment?  It's from the "Beautiful Blessings" stamp set.  If I remember right, I got it at the same time I got the "Morning by Morning" set.  Papertrey Ink has some awesome sentiment stamps.  I encourage you to check them out.  

I'll be back again as soon as I can.  Be sure to check out my other posts from late Sunday night and early Monday morning!

Happy Stamping!


PTI 9th Anniversary Paper Crafting Alphabet Challenge



Hello, Friends!

It's now Monday morning because it's 12:10 AM.  I made this card for Papertrey Ink's 9th Anniversary Paper Crafting Alphabet Challenge.  Each letter of the alphabet had a specific task.  Using the first three letters of your first or last name, you were to make a card with those 3 specifics.  I have included the list below so you can see how fun it is.

Paper-Crafting-Alphabet-web
I used my first name which gave me the following directions:

A  add a border
N  try a new product that you purchased but haven't used yet
G  add a touch of gold.

The first two were no problem.  The gold touch is not something I usually use on my cards so it was a stretch for me!

For my border, I used the Papertrey Ink stamp set "Tin Types."  It was so easy to use!  I stamped it once in brown ink and then moved the design to stamp it again in gold ink.  I love the little pattern it made for a border at the bottom of my card.

For my new product, I had never used my Papertrey Ink stamp set "Background Basics: Tin Types" or the 2015 Anniversary stamp set "Petite Pots."  You're going to see a lot more cards with these stamp sets, I promise!  The tag was a PTI die I hadn't gotten to use yet called "Tag Sale: Quilted Die."  As you know, the reason I have all of these new goodies is because I haven't been able to stamp since August 2015 because of all of my health problems.  

For my touch of gold, I achieved it by stamping my border in gold ink and including gold ink in my ribbon on the tag.  

I'll add all the details of the other products I used later this week.  Because I did sooooo much more than usual stamping 3 cards in 1 night, my arms and back are killing me!  The only way I was able to do it was with God giving me the strength and my parents getting the products I needed for me!

Happy Stamping!

PTI 9th Anniversary Color Challenge


Hello, Friends!

It is Sunday night at 11:53 pm and I am putting the three cards I made for Papertrey Ink's 9th Anniversary.  I hope you like them because just sitting at the table for the 3 hours or so it took to make them was quite an accomplishment.  I am fairly certain I won't be able to walk tomorrow and I can barely lift my arms right now to type.  However, it was worth it to just finally get to do something I wanted to do.  

I made this card with this color challenge in mind.

Heather's-colors

I don't have any PTI inks, although I have heard how wonderful they are and wish I did!  I did try to match the colors as closely as I could with the inks I did have.  I also used several "never before used" products to make my card.  I used PTI Twig Wreath Stamp Set and Dies for my wreath, flowers and leaves.  Then I used a super fun stamp set called "Sentiment Splits" for my words in between the "Sentiment Splits Curve Vertical Die" which cut my Kraft and Chocolate Cardstock into those fantastic shapes.

In a few days, when I can feel my arms again, I will list all of the products I made to make this card.  Until then...

Happy Stamping!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hello and a Health Update


Hello, My Sweet Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, a great New Year, and soon will have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you to all of you who have not forgotten me!  Thank you for your prayers while I've been tackling these medical issues for so long.  With such a long break because of my health, it means a lot to see that you've been coming to my blog, even if I haven't been here to greet you.  

First, let's get the medical stuff out of the way.  I'm going to keep this part as short as possible, because it's all boring stuff, anyway.  I had my third and final surgery on my right knee on December 22nd.  This was with a different doctor because the doctor who did my left knee had been sick and in the hospital himself.  Let's just say, I would have preferred the first doctor because he actually learned my history and took care of me accordingly.  He also put ice on my knee before I had even woke up and I think that helped a lot.  The surgery went well.  Recovery was a bear.  Just like with the left knee, I had to wait until my right knee really healed from the surgery because I couldn't walk that "wrong" without my back freaking out.  I had muscle spasms in my calf muscle and my back this time.  If you've never had a muscle spasm, stop reading this and thank God right now.  They are horribly painful.  I was able to do exercises in bed for my knee and leg but they didn't stop the muscle spasms.  It took a good 5 weeks for me to be able to start walking.   I started trying 3 days after surgery and lots of other times in between, but my body just wouldn't cooperate.  During that time, the rest of my body continued to get weaker.  I've spent the majority of the time from the middle of September 2015 until January 2016 in bed, plus the years of getting weaker because of my back before that, so as you can imagine, I'm pretty pathetic right now.

Starting last week, every other day, I go down the stairs, walk with my walker, sit up for a couple of hours. and then come back upstairs.  It sounds like nothing but for me, it's major work.  I thought my muscles were getting stronger, but then tonight it was super hard again.  On the off days, I still walk around but it's not nearly as strenuous as the "downstairs" days.  I have to make a lot of progress to get to the point of going to physical therapy.  I'm scared to go while I am this weak since I told the last therapist how weak I was with every question I answered, she didn't take that into consideration and I spent five weeks in bed trying to recover from the damage she had done.

As for stamping, I've tried to make some cards but they did not look good.  My gift was a set of Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.  They were a thoughtful gift because you can use them in bed, however I just can't get the hang of them.  I even tried to make a wiener dog card but it didn't work.  You know it's got to be bad when I can't make a wiener dog card work!

I was going to do Kathy Racoosin's 30 Day Coloring Challenge this month, but on Feb. 1, I was in too much pain, even to color a little bit.  Then, I wanted to participate in PaperTrey Ink's 9th Year Celebration, but I haven't been able to pull of a card for it, either.  (I knew about them but have become a big fan over the last 5 months or so.  Christmas money and ebay finds have given me some awesome new stamps!)  However, I do have something really sad to admit.  I can't remember how to use my Copic Markers.  That's what happens when you don't get to color since this past August and you're on pain meds that are reserved for end stage cancer patients and people like me.  I've given up trying to color a card for PTI, so if one magically appears on my blog, it will have to be made from solid image stamps.  I told you it was sad!!

One other really sad thing happened during this time away.  I gave Frank pink eye.
Yes.  You read that right.  I gave Frank pink eye.

I had such a bad sinus infection that I gave myself pink eye.  You can develop it on your own.  You don't have to be exposed.  Each night, Frank (pre-pink eye) gave me kisses on the cheek to say good night.  While I was coming down with pink eye, apparently he licked too close to my eye.  One day I came down with it.  The next day, Frank had to go to the vet because he had it, too.  You don't really know what it's like to be a total looser until you give your poor, sweet wiener dog pink eye!  Thankfully, he got very good at letting my parents put medicine in both of his eyes since technically we both had pink eyes.  Now we both have dry eyes and need drops for those.  Thankfully, other than what I gave him, Frank is still doing well.  I, on the other hand, truly embody the phrase "If it's not one thing, it's something else."  Although, technically my phrase would be
"There's ten things wrong.  Nope.  Wait.  Now there's eleven things wrong."

Please say a prayer for me that I can keep building up strength.  Please pray that I can get my hands to produce the cards my brain sees.  I need that hobby to focus on again as it takes my mind off of everything else going on right now.  

Happy Stamping to Each and Every One of You!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Update and Merry Christmas!


Hello, Friends!

Long time no hear from, huh?

I wish I could tell you it was because I was so healthy, I've been out living it up, going out on the town, partying until the wiener dogs come home.  

Unfortunately, I only wish I could tell you that because it isn't true.  When I last left you, I was getting ready to start physical therapy for my left knee and general strengthening all over.  I got to go to the evaluation and one therapy session.  During the evaluation, I explained that I hadn't been able to do much of anything for the last 2 1/2 years.  I told the physical therapist over and over that I was very, very weak.  I said it when I answered every single question.  The only way I could have made that clearer would have been to tattoo "I have no strength!!!" on my forehead.  Thankfully, I didn't get that tattoo, because I don't think it would have done any good.  During the first session, I told the physical therapist over and over, again, how hard each exercise was.  I even started crying because I was upset at how weak I had truly become.  However, I can't tell the difference between "this is helping to make you stronger pain" and "this is way too much pain."  Silly me- I trusted the therapist to know what was appropriate.  I left exhausted and in pain, which I had expected because I knew it was going to be hard.  I had no idea what was coming thanks to her expertise...or lack there of, unfortunately.    

Two days later, when I was in the shower getting ready to go back to physical therapy, my back went out.  I could barely lift my legs to get out of the shower and to my bed.  The therapist had me do way too much and I had injured all of those muscles that I had told here were so weak in my back.  It took 5 straight weeks of bed rest for the muscles to recover.  Ironically, during that time, I lost even more strength.  It's only been in the last couple of weeks that I've been able to move around the house more and be a little more active at home.  Dealing with someone elses' mistake which left me trapped back in bed was frustrating to say the least!

So, since I'm finally getting stronger, I should be stamping in no time, right?

Wrong.

While I was waiting to have surgery on the meniscus in my left knee, I tore the meniscus in my right knee.  I was going up two stairs in our house and I felt it tear.  I also heard it tear.  It brought me right back to the first time I tore it more than 10 years ago.  It was the exact same sound and feeling that my left knee made when I tore my right meniscus the first time.  
The exact same.

I called the doctor's office and told them what had happened and that I would need an MRI.  The nurse treated me like I didn't have a brain in my head.  So, I told the doctor the next time I saw him.  He told me it was probably fine.  It probably had just started hurting because of my left knee.  I said, "Ok." but inside I was thinking, "You're wrong.  It hurts because I tore the meniscus."  Then every time after telling me it was fine, he would say, "and besides, I'm going to do surgery until the very end of December- probably December 30th so there'll be no problem getting it in before the end of the year."  (I've met my deductible and out of pocket expenses for this year for myself and probably quite a few other people which is why I kept pushing to get it looked into now.)  After being told repeatedly that my knee was probably fine, by the doctor, the nurse, and the physical therapist who tried to kill me, I finally got them to do that MRI at the end of November that I had said I needed in September.  Guess what it showed?

I had torn the meniscus in my right knee.  

Wouldn't you think by now they'd know that I have enough experience with this stuff to listen when I try to tell them something?

I would, but I'd be wrong.  We scheduled surgery for December 14th.  He wanted to wait longer.  I did not.  On Thursday the 10th, I got a call to tell me that the doctor was in the hospital and we would need to change my surgery.  Then I was told it probably wouldn't get done that year.  I got tough and reminded them that I had told them in September that this was a problem and they ignored me.  I had been assured every time I had been put off that if there was a problem it would get taken care of this year.  I reminded her that I needed surgery and somehow I had better have this surgery this year.  Suddenly, the doctor's associate who wouldn't possibly see me because "I didn't have cancer" could fit me in for an appointment.  I saw him last week and I'm having my 3rd surgery of 2015 tomorrow.  Unless you read your email early, I'll hopefully be done by the time most of you read this.  No matter what time, please keep me in your prayers.  I'm not worried about the surgery as much as I just don't want to be having it, again.  

I had kept waiting to write until I had good news.  I realized I might never be able to post again if I kept waiting for that to happen.  :)

Hopefully, 2016 will be The Year of The Recovery since 2015 has been the Year of the Surgeries.

I will be back in bed for a while since I never have been able to build up any strength in my arms to be able to use the walker to get around after surgery.  I'll be dreaming of sugarplums, wiener dogs, and being able to be mobile.  That would be one Merry Christmas for me.

Frank and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Frank, at age 14 1/2 is in much better shape than I am!  He continues to enjoy being spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa while I'm laid up most of the time.  

Stamp some cards in my honor, please!

Happy Stamping to all of you!

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