Wednesday, July 9, 2014

EMERGENCY ROOM, SURGERY, CHEMO, AND A FREEBIE!




Hi to my family and friends,

Just a note to let you all know why I haven't posted anything for a while.  Well, back in March I had a very serious health issue.  I suddenly started cramping and bleeding (hemorrhaging actually) and had to call an ambulance.  The initial exam that I had showed pre-cancer in the uterus.  On May 6th I had what was supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour surgery that turned into a 6 1/2 hour surgery for a complete hysterectomy.  My main concern going into the surgery was waking up in AWFUL pain like I did after my children were born.  My surgeon assured me that that would not happen.  I woke up and the whole time from the surgery through recovery my pain level was never above a 4.  The surgery went very well and I had an awesome OB GYN surgeon ...a sweet, sweet doctor that I really like, Dr. Sadighi from Kaiser in Antioch.  The reason it took so long was a result of having two caesareans in the early 1970's and there was a LOT of scar tissue.  The surgery was done laparoscopically so the doctor didn't have to cut me completely open.  I am so glad she took her time and was able to do the surgery this way.  Well, the lab tests came back and the result was uterine cancer and one microscopic cancer cell in the first of 10 lymph nodes that they took out.  As a result, I am now on chemotherapy.  I had my first chemo yesterday.  After my treatment I felt a little tired and weak, but not too bad really.  I woke up today feeling like normal and very pleased with that.  


I have had a LOT of support from my family and friends.  My oldest son, Todd and his fiancee, Megan, came down from Oregon as soon as they heard that I would need surgery and stayed with me for nine days and totally took EXCELLENT care of me.  When I came out of surgery my head was hurting sooooo bad from the hard pillow in the hospital and Todd and Megan went all the way back to my house and got me my really soft pillow for my head.  (They actually brought three pillows because he wasn't sure which one I meant!)  I was in Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek and I live in Brentwood, about a 45 minute drive each way.  Wow!  It meant sooooo much that he would do that for me!  Todd's two youngest children were here with me too and were a big help for me too...they're AWESOME grandchildren!!!


My youngest son, Corey and his wife Amanda and their children, were all sick right before my surgery, so they were not able to be with me physically before, during, or after my surgery.  Also, they had a cruise planned about 2-3 days after my surgery, and I told them not to cancel it.  The money wasn't refundable anyway and besides it was a vacation that they really needed to go on.  They hadn't been away on a nice vacation since before their 9 year old son was born.  After they got home they came over and spent the day with me and brought me a wonderful dinner.  They called me whenever they could while on their cruise to check up on me and make sure I was doing well.  Also, Corey has his work schedule planned so he can be with me for every chemo treatment.  Am I blessed, or what?  I have some pretty awesome sons and I thank God every day for them.  Knowing my children are always there for me during hard times is such a wonderful feeling and a huge blessing.  I am overwhelmed!!!


My awesome brother, Ron, has been here for me also.  He too is going to all my chemotherapy treatments and took me to one of my doctor appointments.  He brought Linda and I lunch one day, took us out to lunch another day, and brought me soup, fruit, and some awesome dark chocolate peanut butter cups!!!   I had an awesome nurse, Cathy, who took care of me during chemo.  We were all being goofy and had her in stitches laughing.  I asked if I could put my order in to have her for my nurse from now on, but she said no.  All the nurses there take turns so they can all take turns with the good patients.  But she did say she had a really fun time with us!!!


I also have some awesome friends.  When my neighbor/friend, Shirley, found out I was in the emergency room, she came right over to the hospital and stayed with me until about four in the morning and then drove me home.  She also brought me flowers and dropped off fruit to me a couple of times.  My friend Phyllis took me the 2nd time and stayed with me for a long time also.  And then Shirley took me the third time and stayed with me again.  My doctor said that she didn't want me to be alone at all from the time I had my surgery until after my post-op appointment which was a month later.  I wasn't allowed to cook, clean, do dishes, no bending, or anything else except take care of myself and take it easy.   After Todd went back to Oregon my friend Sue came over for a day and a night to stay until my best friend Linda got here.  Sue had actually planned on being here for a few days/nights, but after my surgery Todd decided to stay longer.  Also, Sue's daughter whom I don't even know that well volunteered to take me to my first oncology appointment after my surgery.  WOW!!!  She is a really sweet lady and, like her Mom, is always willing to help wherever she can.  Linda came down on the train from Redding, Ca which is a four hour drive by car.  Linda stayed with me for three weeks and five days!!!  I was sooooo blessed to have her here.  She helped me out sooooo much with cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving me around, etc. My neighbor/friend Caroleene brought breakfast and dinner, flowers, etc.  My friend Phyllis was here on the weekends when she could be and also helped me out sooooo much bringing dinner and doing cleaning and laundry.  And all of them prayed for me!!!  My church was also very supportive: Pastor Chantelle came to the hospital to pray with me and my family.  She also made a trip to the train station to pick up Linda.  Pastor Chantelle and our secretary, Janet, made many phone calls to make sure I was alright, and many, many prayers were said by the Pastor and the board.  Another friend, Beth, came over this past Wednesday and took me out to lunch as she has an elderly mother she is taking care of and couldn't get over here sooner.  Another friend, Pat and her husband Ken, told me to call them before EVERY cancer treatment so they can be praying for me night and day.  And I also have the prayers and support of many, many other people across the nation.  My sister Ginny whom I love very much...and her friends in New York , my friends Mila and Mike (Mike is a Southern Baptist Minister).  I met Mila online almost 15 years ago, visited her once in Wyoming.  They are AWESOME friends and I wish we didn't live so dang far apart!!!   My son posted my situation on Facebook and tons of his friends from all over the U.S.A. are praying for me.  WOW!!! I am completely overwhelmed at all the support I've had.  Even today a friend is with me for three days.  I went to a chemotherapy class and they suggested that someone be here for three days after each of the chemo treatments as that was the time I would most likely not feel well and would have a hard time cooking, etc.  So, my friends have all set up a schedule to be here for the three days following each chemo treatment.  My son Corey also said that he would be here anytime I need him, even if it's in the middle of the night!!!

My family prayed, my friends prayed, my church prayed, and I prayed...that this would not be cancer and that it would not be in my lymph nodes, and that I wouldn't have to go through all this.  Well, sometimes we don't understand exactly why God allows things like this to happen to us.  But, I do believe that there is a reason behind it and that it's all in His plan, and that one day I will understand the reason why.  When I first learned I would have to have chemotherapy I was pretty upset, but as time when on I've learned to accept it, and now I am actually thanking God for it.  One of the oncologists I saw said that my chances were very good of the cancer not returning after the chemotherapy treatments.  

Through all this I've often thought of Job in the Bible and all that he went through.  God was with him just as I know He is with me.  If you are going through a hard time in YOUR life, I would suggest reading the book of Job.  You will really see How God was always with Job and how He will always be with you too!  I don't blame God for this.  I blame the world we live in...disease is in the world and it has no favorites!  Without my faith in God and all the support I've had this would be an almost insurmountable task.

Right around the time all this started God gave me this beautiful Christian song called "Oceans" by Hillsong.  If you haven't heard it, look it up on You Tube.  You will LOVE it!!!  It has helped to sustain me.  I love to sing (although I can't very well...but God only requires us to "make a joyful noise...and I HOPE mine is joyful...I'm sure it is to Him...) and God has often given me just the perfect song at times when I have gone through different phases of my life...whether good or bad.


A SPECIAL THANK YOU to all my family, friends, and church, who have been with me through this whole ordeal.  I KNOW I could not have done it without you.  You are all AWESOME and I know God has placed each one of you in my life for such a time as this!!!  God is good...all the time!!!


Oh, about the freebie:  this is the first drawing I've done on the computer!  I hope you all enjoy it!


P. S. If you're a Christian believer, please say some prayers for me.

God Bless you all!!!  

Cindy  :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FREEBIE

Here's a little Thanks freebie for you.

I hope you enjoy it!  :)

Also SCROLL DOWN for an AWESOME flower technique and an acetate butterfly technique.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WONDERFUL FLOWER TECHNIQUE!!!

I found a new technique for making flowers and buttons and I absolutely ~L~O~V~E~ them!!! 
This is my FIRST flower and my FIRST button. 
I cut the flowers out of an old Precious Moments magazine that I had.   If you want to mail your flower on a card then I'd use heavier paper, but this worked pretty well and I will save the card for someone that I don't have to mail it to.  If I'm giving a gift to someone then I usually just stick my card in the bag and omit an envelope.  I figure they're going to throw the envelope away anyway, so why waste one.  
I just happened to have some background paper that matched the flower (I didn't plan it this way.) and I colored the button to match.  I also outlined the flowers on the background paper in black so as to match the flower a little better.  The background paper was in a 12 x 12 pack from Michaels.  I'm sorry, but I don't keep the names of all my papers...I'd have to have another file just for that!

HAND MADE BUTTON TECHNIQUE:
After making the flower, I thought I'd attempt to make a home-made button.  I was very pleasantly pleased with how it turned out and now I am VERY EXCITED because now I can always have a button that matches anything I want to put one on.  (P. S. These are made out of cardboard, so you cannot put them on your clothes.  LOL!)
I hand cut the leaves, inked the edges with black ink and then ran them through my crimper, and then added them to the flower.  (Once I hand cut a leaf I am pleased with I save it and use it as a template for the next time.  You can make many leaf templates and have them on hand for future use.)
This was sooooo much fun and I hope you all give it a try!
I found the idea on a web site called Jennibellie Studio and here is the address where you'll find how to make the flowers and the buttons:
http://jennibelliestudio.blogspot.com/2012/10/recycled-flower-tutorial.html

Monday, March 17, 2014

ACETATE BUTTERFLIES (Scroll down further to this same card for instructions.)

This card was pretty easy and I made an acrylic butterfly for it. 

You can find instructions as to how to make these butterflies if you scroll further down in my blog.


The little "Happy" embellishment came with the paper pack that I used for the background.  I added a little bling to give it some pizzazz.


All the acetate packaging that you get from your Spellbinder's dies, etc., can now be put to wonderful use!
I sent this card to my sister Ginny who is in a rest home in upstate New York.  I got the folded heart idea from a site called mondocherry.  You can find them at:
mondocherry.blogspot.com/  They have an awesome site with lots and lots of things to look at and think about.

The background is done with a Martha Stewart corner punch and I embossed the background with an embossing folder.

The way I got the heart shape was to lay a heart die onto my background and then I placed the hearts inside where I wanted them to go, glued them down, and then removed the die.  It was pretty easy to do and made a very pretty Valentines Day card.

















Sunday, January 26, 2014

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE ACETATE BUTTERFLIES

Here are a couple of freebies for you with four samples below of what I did with them.  

I hope you enjoy them!  :)

















In this sample I embossed over the sayings with the Happy Birthday Embossing Folder and added some cute sequins.
Here's the girl's sample...I pretty much did the same as I did on the card above except I added some little crystal bling.
This is another sample for a girl...I stamped a saying, some little flowers, and added a butterfly.
And, here's another boy sample.  Here I added a butterfly and a caterpillar.  A little glitter and some bug eyes dressed up this card quite nicely.  It is hard to see here, but there is glitter on the butterflies wings and on the caterpillar as well.














ACETATE BUTTERFLIES

ACETATE BUTTERFLIES:
The butterfly on this card is actually done on acetate.

DIRECTIONS:
You take a piece of regular printer paper and either print out or stamp an image.  I chose a butterfly.  Place a piece of acetate over the printed/stamped image and trace over it with a Sharpie pen.  You decide which size tip you want on the Sharpie.  I chose a wider tip for the outside of the butterfly and used a finer tip for the detail on the inside of the butterfly.  After you trace the image then turn the acetate over and color with alcohol based markers.  It is really important that you color on the opposite side from which you traced with your Sharpie.  On this particular butterfly I used a glue pen in the pink areas and added glitter instead of coloring.  You can use all pens, all glitter, and/or a combination of the two.  (The glittered areas look really cool...I think on my next acetate butterfly I will try only glitter in different colors).  After you are satisfied with the look of your image, then cut it out and mount it up on a card.  The Sharpie side will be face up when you are finished.  Depending on which brand of alcohol marker you use the image will be translucent.  It turned out really cute and was a fun and different technique to try.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

ACETATE BUTTERFLY

Here's another sample of an acetate butterfly.  I didn't use any glitter on this one.

If you enlarge this card you will be able to see the translucency better.

ACETATE BUTTERFLY

This card also has an acetate butterfly on it, but it's a little hard to see in this photo.  Perhaps if you enlarge the photo you'll see it better.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I started out with a piece of paper 8 1/2" x 11" and scored it at 1 1/2" and 5 1/2" and then folded it.  I covered the front panels with background paper that I found online and then I added a couple of hearts which were cut out with the Spellbinder's dies...the largest heart is raised up with foam tape.  I added a Martha Stewart butterfly, a bow, and punched out some greenery and added that also.
This shows the same card as above, but with the front panels closed for mailing.  The right panel slips under the heart for closure.








Saturday, January 11, 2014

ICE MOON OF JUPITER: The Fairy Tale

HEY GUESS WHAT?
My brother, Ron, and his friend Artie wrote a book!!!  I am sooooo excited for them.  They've been working on this for quite some time now and it's finally come to fruition.  Ron has done all the art work in the book himself.  They are actually in the process of writing a trilogy and this little book is an excerpt from the first novel.  It is a science fiction fantasy fairy tale.
He just told me tonight that he is meeting next week with Barnes and Noble as they are considering putting it in their stores in the Bay Area (California) and maybe online as well.  They are also talking about doing a book signing in the Dublin, CA store soon.
This was only published right before Christmas and wow all this attention already!  
YOU GO RON AND ARTIE!!!
If you'd like more information you can go to their web site at
http://icemoonproductions.com/

This is an AWESOME little book and would make a GREAT gift for an adult and/or a child.

Merry Christmas 2013!

This is the Christmas card I made for this past Christmas.  

I started out with a snowflake embossing folder and embossed the background.  Then I added a sentiment and some punched snowflakes that I added glitter and a bling to.  

I only hand-make a few Christmas cards as they are sooooo time consuming...although this one was really pretty simple, but pretty.  The majority of my Christmas cards are done in my card program and only a very few 'special' people receive my hand-made Christmas cards.
Here's a little card I made some time ago and just recently sent out.  The image on this card actually came from a greeting card that I received from someone a long time ago and decided to recycle.  The background is called my "Scrap Layering Technique" which is made from small scraps of background paper.  I added a handmade paper bow and a little embellishment on the bow to finish it off.

Friday, December 13, 2013

FREEBIE #1: Black and White Version

Here's the first freebie for you - the black and white version.

If you scroll down you will see a few samples of what I did to dress up these little sayings.

I hope you enjoy making cards with these and will be willing to share with me what YOU do with them.

I would love to post your creations on my blog.  :)

FREEBIE #2: Colored Version

Here's the 2nd freebie for you...the colored version.  I did it for you in rainbow colors!
This is the colored version on which I hand drew some little doodle flowers.
This is the same colored version on which I hand drew the doodle flowers.  Then I colored in the flowers, layered the card, and added some sequins to dress it up.
Again, the black and white version on which I stamped some little flowers and then colored them in.