Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grief and Healing

As some of you know, I lost my son, Andrew, 3 years ago... just 10 days after he turned 18. It's never easy to lose a child but there's something about losing a teenager- just when their life is supposed to be starting, like a flower bud that's just starting to open...to become that thing of beauty and potential. In the blink of an eye, he was gone and I'll never know what he was truly meant to be in this life.

It's been a tough couple of years but at the beginning of 2011, I started to see a glimmer of hope. A little slice of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. It has been a crazy year yet one filled with new friendships, stronger old friendships and well, just HOPE. Hope that things really do get better, hope that one day we'll find a cure for that life robbing thing we call cancer.

I feel that God really speaks to me through music. One song that spoke to me enough that I felt it was a turning point in my healing is this one... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZhQOvvV45w

I don't really even know what the song is about but it's catchy. Then I really started to listen to the chorus. When the chorus finally sunk in, I was mad! What's so good about this life? How can life be good anymore? It was then that God spoke to me. He let me know that I needed to MAKE it good. I needed to find ways to honor my son's memory by living...really living. For 2 1/2 years, I did what I had to do, what was expected of me, enough so that people wouldn't worry about me but there was little happiness in it.

Now, I'm crafting and sewing and blogging (irregularly). haha

It's only through God's strength that I'm here today. I can look back and see, like the Footprints poem, how He carried me through those tough times and walks beside me now. In His strength, I can focus on helping others and bringing love and care into their lives using the gifts that He gave me.

It's not that I'm "over" the loss of Andrew. Of course, I still miss him but instead of focusing on the fact that he's not here, I can focus on the day when I'll see him again. I still cry, I still ache but I'm also REALLY living! All glory be to God! Amen...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I've been up to...

I can't believe it's been a whole month since I last posted. I guess I've been busy. Doing what, you might ask? Sometimes, it feels like a whole lot of nothing. Other times, I've got so much going on that I can't think straight.

Here's a little glimpse into my life this past month...

I was cutting out a pattern at church on a Sunday (a way to pass some time at work-lucky me) and a friend sees me and asks if maybe I could make him some wings. Hmmm..."Show me a picture", I say. He shows me this Disney character from the 90's...some cartoon called Gargoyles. I tell him that I'll try.

I only have 5 days to get them done. I think it's going to be fairly easy. I find great fabric at an outlet store for only $3.00 a yard! Woo Hoo! I'm in business. I find what seems to be an easy tutorial. My son has the exact wire I need. Everything seems to be falling into place. And then, it all goes wrong. I'm pretty busy Monday through Wednesday every week, so instead of 5 days, I really only have 2 days. On Thursday, I went to my sisters house for our last craft day of her vacation from work. I figure I'll get the wings done while I'm there. Hah! First of all, her house doesn't have a lot of room to be stretching out wire. So, I pack it in and decide to wait til I get home and ask for help from my son or husband.

Instead, I make a felt bracelet. Then head for home.

Ok, so it's not the most flattering picture of my arm It looks like I have no fingers and my arm looks like a tube of raw, ground chicken. :/

Thursday night, my husband helps me shape the wings and I figure it'll take me half hour at the most, to sew the casings into the wings and feed the wire through. Yeah right! I get up Friday morning with every intent of getting these wings done and then preparing for fun times with friends that evening. We were going to make pumpkin rice krispy treats for another group at church.

I shouldn't have been surprised when everything went downhill. The casings were easy to sew but they made the wings sit too far back. I couldn't get them to stretch out to the side. I ripped out a casing on each side and sewed them a little differently. No luck. I ripped out two casings on each side and tried another approach...still no luck. What the heck was I going to do? This had already taken me hours not the half hour I thought. I had to make a run to Joann's and buy different fabric and start all over again. Worked a little better but I still wasn't thrilled. Nor was I finished but I had to go meet my friends at church by 6pm. I took my sewing machine and everything I thought I would need to finish those darn wings.

My friends and husband start making the rice krispy treats and I continue sewing. I needed to be done by 7:30 pm and that time was coming fast! Well, don't ask me how, but I finished and here is Jimmy trying on his wings. He's a TALL guy and, while the wings looked ok on me, on him they just looked too small. He's holding the picture I was working off of.

Here he is at his Halloween/birthday party all dressed up. Wings=way too small! But, he was happy and I guess, that's what counts. :)
Also, during my non-posting month, I made a few scarves. This is one I made for a friend who likes cats. It's made with different pieces of fleece.

I also made a ton of tissue holders. Here are just a few...
I made my own buttons for this bracelet and used a fabric webbing to put them on.
I sewed a sheer ribbon on a satin ribbon for this look.
The same weekend that I had to make the wings, I also needed to make this frog cake. This was fun until it came time to cut pieces to make the legs and feet. The cake got all crumbly and I couldn't frost it. UGH! Had to make a late night run to the market for Ding Dongs and Twinkies to use for legs and feet.And here's my dear friend Jeremiah, who had no idea we knew when his birthday was. Such fun! There's an old song called "Jeremiah was a bullfrog", which is why I made the frog cake. :)

This is a laptop bag I just finished. This is only the second bag/purse I ever made. It got a little tricky but with Matt's help, I was able to get it done.

I lined it with zebra print fabric and used a red rose, black tattooish looking fabric for the pocket.
ALL that = reasons that I haven't blogged in a month. And that's just the stuff I have pictures of!

Happy crafting!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brimming with Ideas and Weight Update

No pics today. My mind is brimming with ideas from Pinterest and fellow bloggers. I'm working on some Christmas presents and trying to get a business going. I already have orders to fill. I need to get some business cards soon.

As for Weight Watching...it's going quite well. At this past Monday's weigh in, I lost 5.4 pounds which brings me to a grand total of 16.6 pounds! I'm hoping to lose 40 pounds by the end of the year. It won't be easy with the holidays, all the food and goodies plus my yearly cookie baking for gifts (of course, I have to taste everything to make sure I'm giving the best). :)

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Weight Game and Garage/Yard Cleaning Time

The Weight Game:

The week after I gained 2 ounces, I lost 4 ounces. This past week, I lost a whopping 8 ounces. This all leads up to a grand total of 11.2 pounds. I'm happy I'm losing but it's driving me crazy that it's going so slow. I thought losing a pound a week would be slow but ounces???? UGH!

I know that I'm eating less and that's a definite plus. I'm eating mostly the right things. I guess it's those little treats that are doing me in. That, and the fact that I'm not exercising. I walked for about 10 minutes on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday. I thought that would lead to a better weigh in on Monday...NOT!

Oh well, I'm proud of my 11.2 pound loss. I need to focus on the positive. :)

Garage/Yard Cleaning Time:

I was given these two great metal shelves. I have a small patio so there isn't room for them to be side by side but I have one butted up against the other.

Here's the treasure inside the big one. All of our spray paint! LOVE this. I guess you can tell we're loyal to Rustoleum brand. :) Looking at this picture and seeing two little nozzle things sitting there, I realize that I need to contact Rustoleum to see if they sell replacements. Sometimes they just get clogged and there's almost a whole can of paint left. I then play the switching game...taking off a good nozzle from one color to put it on the one I'm using. The only problem with this game, is opening a can and there's no nozzle. Not a big problem but a little irritating when you've taken the can to your spray area and then have to walk back to get a nozzle...(like 10 steps but STILL). lol Matt gave me the great idea to save nozzles when the can is empty so we have a reserve.

Ignore the wax paper on the top shelf. These used to be my storage shelves at church and I guess I forgot to take this out. :)

Side view. They are lined up by finish...gloss and satin. There is one lonely semi-gloss off to the left side. The next shelf down is all the oddballs...plastic paint, clear coat, primer, etc.

And now to the bane of my existence...garage bins. My husband and I have a system in the garage...we each get half. Somehow, he manages to ooze over past his half. I have most everything in bins. At one time, I took stock of everything in the bins, wrote it down and numbered the bins. I had a little notebook with the bin numbers and list of items. I intended to put this all on my computer since I knew I would inevitably misplace the notebook. I got about half way into logging this info on my computer and got bored. Oh well, I still had the notebook. Over time, I shifted things, got rid of some stuff and that whole number business went out the window. I finally just got a sharpie and wrote (on the bin) what was in there. If I change it, I just cross it out and start again. I can always wipe it off with bleach if I run out of space. :)

Every year, I remove all the bins from my side and go through them. I toss out stuff that I realized I don't need or want. I sweep out the garage and put everything back in. Ah, I love it when it's all neat. Little by little, things get shifted or added. I get tired of undoing the stacks to get to the bin I need that may be at the bottom of the heap and I'll just leave it on the side. Matt might buy a couple of bags of potting soil and place them in the garage. Hubbys stuff oozes over more and before you know it, there's not much of a walk space to get to the back shelf. Then things just get put anywhere. So, the next year comes and I start all over again.

That time is now. Here are just some of the bins. See that clear one right behind the bright blue one? I was excited to see this one. It has enough new containers in there for my Christmas baking that I give as gifts!! Woo Hoo! I don't have to buy any this year. Well...until they go on clearance and I buy them for next year.

This is the inside look at the madness. The empty space is where all the bins in the previous pic sat. As you can see, I still have more to take out before I can even get to my shelf. This picture is also proof of the ooze from hubby's side. See that orange nosed rocket hanging from the top? That's the middle of the garage. As you can clearly see, the homemade (awesome) telescope, the towel covered welding thing a majiger is past the middle and on MY side. What you can't see is a pile of boxes and packing peanuts that sit behind the telescope. I'm telling you, one of my home improvement dreams is to gut this garage and have people come in and put drywall and peg board to make it all nice and bright looking. :)
This picture shows the overflow. I have about 3 different sets of craft drawers blocked by this IKEA bead frame that my son is supposed to put on Craigslist. The red Christmas looking bins hold my Goodwill treasures that are waiting for their transformations. I've forgotten most of what's in there. :/

Needless to say, I have A LOT of work ahead of me and here I am blogging about it instead of doing it! Ah well, that's life. Please God, no rain. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Link Parties!

Linking up to these great parties. Check out all the cute stuff that everyone's making. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crafting and Sewing go Hand in Hand

I should be taking a daily walk to get some exercise. I should be cleaning and/or organizing my house. But instead, I am making almost daily trips to Michael's, Jo-Ann's, Target and the Dollar Tree. I don't even have a lot of extra money but Oh! The possibilities!!! :)

I made my fall wreath today. The wreath form, ribbon and goldish leafy thing, I got from the Dollar Tree. The little berries and apple sticks, I got from another little dollar store in Brea, the wooden leaves and "give thanks" pumpkin I got from Jo-Ann's. Funny story about the yarn...I bought an autumn looking one at Jo-Ann's and when I showed it to my son, Matt, he went to his room and brought out all his yarn...he had the exact same one! Saved me a few bucks. :)
My sister and I are still on our fabric buying extravaganza! We've been to different Jo-Ann's and Wal-Marts and just keep finding stuff we HAVE to have. :D

My sister bought this fabric with the intention of making me a purse. I went
to her house for our monthly craft day to make fabric bracelets and she decided she would show me how to make the bag for myself. Here it is...all nice and finished. You can't see the strap but it's a black strap like the kind on backpacks. I forget what it's called.

Here is the (cool) inside. Love the contrast of the zebra (outside) and leopard print (inside). :) It has a simple velcro closure.
So, our monthly craft day turned into two craft days and here's another bag I made. We found some beautiful fabric at Wal-Mart with these flowers and leaves. I cut around one flower and it's leaves and sewed it onto the bag. I love color, so I added the fuschia button and made a fuschia strap.
So, that's what I've been up to and now, I need to go get ready to meet my sis at Jo-Ann's. The fleece is half off!!!

Happy crafting!!!!! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Struggle Continues

So, I went to my Weight Watchers meeting last night. I didn't lose. In fact, I gained 2 ounces. Most of me says that it's ok...it's only 2 ounces. But a small part of me feels like a failure.

Normally, after weigh in, I say it's my cheat time. Time to eat what I want...just for that evening. After leaving the meeting with a weight loss, I don't really want to cheat. I feel so good, that nothing tempts me. This time, I ate! All it took was 2 lousy ounces and I reverted back to bad habits. I had two taquitos with guacamole, beans and some chile cheese fries. Granted, I didn't eat as much as I would have prior to Weight Watchers but I felt terrible afterwards. I went to bed feeling sick, like I had a ton of bricks in my gut. Plus, my blood sugar was high!

After praying that I would be able to sleep and not be sick during the night, I told myself to remember this feeling. If I stop and think how it makes my body feel to eat junk, maybe I can stay away from it. And I don't mean that I'm never going to have fries again, but everything in moderation is a good plan.

Today is a new day. Today I will make it my goal to exercise and make healthy food choices. I can do it! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Highs and Lows 9/5

Linking up here...

Here are my latest Highs and Lows...


1. Had breakfast with a friend on Tuesday.

2. Met with another friend on Wednesday.

3. Made a scarf and tote bag for a friends birthday. It's always fun to craft. Especially when making gifts. :)

4. Had lunch and visit with friends so my husband could look over their old coins and see if there were any special (valuable) coins in the mix. My husbands nerdy like that. :)

5. I've lost 10 pounds with Weight Watchers over the last couple of weeks! Woo Hoo!

6. Due to the fact that I'm eating better, I've been able to cut back on some of my diabetes medicine. Yay!

7. Went crazy at this fabric store my sis took me to. Plus, she treated!! Even better. :)


1. I've been sick! Bleh :/

2. Because of the sickness, I had to break down and use the inhaler my doctor prescribed to me in March. Hah! I never used it...asthma my ass! Well, I had to concede...and it helped. But it's still a low cuz I didn't want to take it (insert foot stomp here)!

So, even though I've been sick, the highs still outweighed the lows. Joy! :)

Weight Watching

My second weigh in was quite successful...I lost 4.8 pounds for a total of 10.2!! Yay!! I was even able to wear a pair of capri's today that didn't fit me at the beginning of summer. :)

For some reason, I felt like I didn't do as well as the first week...I felt I was eating too much of the wrong things. I was still within my points but maybe not making the best choices. That's the thing I'm loving about Weight Watchers... I can still eat and not feel deprived. I just have to choose...choose to eat less, choose brown rice instead of white, choose fruit instead of candy. And you know what?? I'm already cutting down on my diabetes medicine. That's one of the biggest pay offs for me. To take control of my health instead of letting bad decisions control me. :)


Monday, August 29, 2011

A "weighty" Issue Part 2

I just completed my first week doing the Weight Watchers Point Plus program. I lost 5.4 pounds!! Yay!

I have to say that I don't feel deprived at all. I didn't really exercise this week because it's been so stinkin' hot! I also ate out...a LOT! No real exercise plus eating out and I still lost weight?? I'm loving this program. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Linking up at these great parties!!


Ruffled Bag

I went on a fabric craze a couple of weeks ago with my sister. We hit the sale section at Jo-Ann's and bought a ton of fabric. I just bought 1/2 yard of each. I had no idea what I was going to do with them but the colors made me happy. :)

A couple of days later I went to Wal-Mart in Brea (one of the few that carry fabric) and bought even more fabric. The lady asked me if I was a quilter. "No, just a crazy lady that loves the possibilities of all these fabrics." Although, I would LOVE to learn how to quilt.

Browsing through the blogs I follow, I hit upon some inspiration. I've seen a couple of ruffled bags and wondered if I could make one.

Here is the combination I chose.

And here is the (almost) finished product. Please ignore my dirty cabinets. That's my soon to be next project...

I bought a 3 pack of canvas totes at Michael's. I figured it would save me the few steps of making my own purse. I decided on the placement of fabric and set about measuring. I didn't think it would be easy to sew anywhere on this bag but at the top so the bottom fabric actually reached up to the top. Each succeeding piece was just a little shorter.

Then, I hemmed each piece at the bottom and made my gathering stitches at the top. After each piece was gathered, I fit them to the bag. Once that was done, I sewed the bottom two pieces together, then the top two pieces. In the end, I sewed all four pieces together. I did this so that in pinning all the pieces together, my gathering stitches wouldn't let out. I'm no expert seamstress,

so this made sense in my head. lol

Before I stitched the ruffles to the canvas bag, I needed to add a border to hide all the gathered mess on top. I used a bandana that I bought at Wal-Mart for a dollar. Once that was done, I attached it all to the canvas bag. I still need to add something to the top...maybe a fabric flower or one of these leather flowers found at http://funkypolkadotgiraffe.blogspot.com/2011/08/funky-friday-feature-gunny-sack.html

All in all, it cost me less than $10.00! Woo Hoo!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A "weighty" Issue

I did it! I joined Weight Watchers today! God helped me to see that if I cancelled my membership to FaceLogic (monthly facials) I could afford Weight Watchers. I guess at this time, being healthy and losing weight is more important than glowing skin. lol

I exercised a little last week, some on purpose and some by accident. The accidental exercise came with a lovely little trip to Pasadena with Matt. We were looking for Blick Art Supply and Matt said we should park and walk. WHAT? Right in the heat of the day????

Well, we missed the parking structure right off the street that the art store was on and parked in the next one we saw. We walked about 4-5 blocks. Boy does Matt walk fast! Whew! When we got to the store, it wasn't exactly a meat locker so I was sweating bullets. One of the workers asked if we wanted a flyer and I took it...mostly so I could fan myself. LOL

After about an hour, gazing around the store, it was time to walk back to the parking structure. Boo! It was hot and I was thirsty but it WAS good exercise.

Now, I have some brain exercise coming up...trying to figure out the Points Plus Value system and tracking everything that I put in my mouth. Wish me luck!

Highs and Lows 8/22

Linking up to this great party...

Here are my Highs for this past week...

1. Went to Splash water park in La Mirada with my friend and her boys. Spent some time in the lazy river. FUN!

2. Went to Blick Art Supply in Pasadena with my son. Yay for time with Matt! :)

3. Surprised a friend with a birthday balloon bouquet left on her doorstep. Note to self: When on a secret mission...do NOT wear flip flops...they're too noisy! haha

4. Had a great breakfast with friends on Friday.

5. My in-laws came over to visit on Saturday.

6. Joined Weight Watchers today!!! Huge step

Here are my lows...

1. My husband wasn't feeling well on Friday and had to go to ER.

2. I had to miss my appointment to get my hair feathers because of said ER visit.

3. Kind of a high/low...I have to cancel my membership to FaceLogic (monthly facials) to afford Weight Watchers. I guess a healthier body is worth more right now than glowing skin. lol

All in all, the highs out numbered the lows. That's always a great week in my book. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weight Struggles

Hey there bloggy friends! I interrupt the craft ideas and recipes for a real struggle. I'm so tired of being FAT! I want to be healthy and really LIVE life but it's not easy. I figure if I share it with the blog world, I will feel more accountable. So, here's my story...

Obviously, I've been overweight since I was a baby. My mom, God bless her, thought she knew best...even when the doctors told her not to feed me so much.
As I got older, I was always heavier than most of my peers. I am the youngest of 5 and we always had sweets in the house. My mom would go to the Oroweat bakery and buy Ding Dongs and Twinkies. We would get donuts from the Helm's man. Everyone else got to eat their fill but I could only have one of whatever sweet it was. This created in me the desire for more. Sometimes I would get up in the middle of the night and sneak in an extra Ding Dong or Twinkie.
In high school, I was on the dance team and I was the heaviest girl.
When I got married, I weighed 190 lbs. That was about 50-60 lbs more than my "ideal" weight. I quickly gained about 10-20 lbs because NOW I could buy my own sweets and there was no one to watch how much I ate.
After I had kids, the weight just piled on. In the picture below, I was probably at my heaviest...295!
In 2006, I found out that I had diabetes. Something in me sparked and I changed my eating habits completely. I cut out all candies and sweets. My only desserts were various fruits. I quickly lost 65 lbs. The most I had ever lost! And believe me, I did every diet there was...Weight Watchers (multiple times), NutriSystem, Diet Center, Lindora, Jenny Craig...you name it, I tried it. And this time, I did it on my own...with God's help. :)

I kept the weight off for almost two years. Then, in 2008, I found out my youngest son had cancer. During the months of chemo, he lost weight and I gained. He was sick for 10 months and during that time, I gained about 20 lbs. Here is a pic of us a few days before he died.

After he died, I gave up caring. I ate whatever I felt like, as much as I felt like. If I went to the market when I was particularly sad, I bought junk...cookies, chips...whatever would drown my sorrows. I continued to eat crap and gained back another 35 lbs. I probably would have just gone to bed and covered my head and slept my life away if not for my other son. He gave me a reason to get up in the morning...even if I did stay in my pj's all day.

Within this time, my doctor wanted to put me on diabetes medicine and I kept fighting him on it. "I'll work at it and lose weight" I would tell him. Finally, one day I went in and told him, "Just give me the stupid medicines. I give up...I can't do this anymore." So, I've been taking them for about a year and a half but still eating junk. One day, I would be "good" and then eat whatever for the next two weeks. I've been on this cycle for quite some time.

In January of this year, I felt the fog of depression lifting a little. I still miss my son, but I can do things I once enjoyed. I feel like I can see daylight again. Still, I tried half-heartedly to lose weight. This past June, I got the word that if I didn't clean up my act and get my glucose level under control, I would be put on Insulin. Ugh! Shots. More finger sticks to check my blood sugar. I had until this month and guess what? I did it! I got my sugar under control and I don't have to go on Insulin. I still haven't lost any weight though. It's so much harder at 42 than it was at 37.

This is me now. I'm tired of looking like this and having to shop at "fat" stores. Lane Bryant and Avenue have lots of cute things but most of them don't flatter my body type.

So, I considered the gastric bypass for months and really thought I was going to do it. I went to two seminars for information and didn't have a peace about it. Two weeks ago, I decided that the surgery wasn't for me.

Now what do I do? I'm thinking about joining Weight Watchers again. I can't really afford it, but I can't afford all these health issues either. My body is paying the price for my stupidity.

So, there it is...the ugly truth. I'll post weekly (along with crafts and any new recipes) to update you on my progress...or lack of it. Hopefully, this will keep me on the right track. :)