Thursday, April 30, 2015

Some Odd Girl Fairy Tag

It has been SO LONG since I have crafted! I miss my craft room so much!

 The other day while I was organizing some photos, I realized that I made this project before I had my surgery but never posted the photos.

I did this back when I was still suffering from extreme back pain, and I wanted to craft but needed to do a project where I could sit with the heating pad on my back for a while . . . so coloring these cute little fairies from Some Odd Girl seemed like the perfect project.

These are from the Fairy in Flight set.  I saw this set at CHA.  I love to stop by the Some Odd Girl booth.  My daughter had so much fun there when she came to CHA in 2014, and she was even featured on their blog . . . and the girls in the booth remembered her when I stopped by the following year!  

I did some playing around with colors, and I ended up really liking the fairy in the green dress with the orange flower.  I colored the orange flower with a glitter Sharpie, so it has some extra shimmer and sparkle.

I have this little tradition going with one of my co-workers, where I make her little tags to hang in her cube for each month of the year.  This was for the March tag.  I thought this little fairy had an Irish feel to her, with the green dress, orange flower and reddish brown hair.

I cut a large circle from a Jinger Adams cardstock pack that I have, and offset the circle and trimmed the edges to match up with the tag.  In a gold ink, I stamped the word believe.  The finishing touches . . . a glitter vinyl shamrock I cut out and a yellow mini dimensional butterfly from Little B.

I think she turned out pretty cute.  My co-worker really liked her too.  It is fun to make quick little projects like this . . . especially when they brighten up someone's day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cricut for Mother's Day

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 

Looking for the perfect gift for a crafty mom for Mother's Day? Well look no further than Cricut! Their incredible Explore Air™ machine takes cutting, writing, and scoring to a whole new level. It'll be the Mother's Day gift that keeps on giving!

For starters, it has built-in Bluetooth technology, which makes it wireless. That means that mom can take her projects wherever she goes and save her projects to the cloud. It's also compatible with Cricut's Design Space iPad app, so mom can lay all of her cuts in the Design Space and see everything she's cutting all at once on her iPad. Adios paper-based handbooks! 

Here are a few other neat notables of the Explore Air™ machine:
  • It can cut over 60 different materials, including leather, balsa wood, fabric, vinyl, tissue paper, craft foam, and even silk! Mom just sets the dial to the material that she needs to cut and the machine keeps track of the settings.
  • For cutting layers, mom can just print them on her printer and have the Explore Air™ cut it out.
  • Fonts and images can be uploaded for free so projects can have writing on them that looks just like handwriting.

The Cricut Explore Air™ machine has an unbelievable amount of helpful, time-saving features. And if that weren't impressive enough, Cricut is taking $50 off their Explore Air™, officially making this one of the best gifts to give crafty Mom's this Mother's Day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bling Blog Hop

Welcome to the Bling Blog Hop featuring the Marisa Pawelko line of rhinestone sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique!

If you love projects that sparkle, then you are in for a treat!  Today we have a line up of some amazing crafters who will be showing you a variety of project ideas that you can create with The Modern Surrealist Line of Rhinestone Sticker Sheets!

Just like the Classic Color line, these rhinestone sticker sheets can be cut with scissors, a craft knife and a variety of die cutting machines!  This means you can cut these beautiful colors and patterns into any shape you want to create custom embellishments for your projects!

We launched this new line at CHA 2015, and we had so much fun and were so happy to hear the positive feedback from everyone!

I had so much fun making this banner to show off the new bright neon colors.

We had a make and take with Marisa, and there is a video of that at The Buckle Boutique's blog today.  If you have not seen it, use the link below to go back to the beginning of this hop so that you can see ALL of the projects!

Some of the people who were at the make and take got creative, and instead of creating a cuff bracelet they embellished their cell phones.  This one uses one of the images from the Sugar Skulls pattern. 

I had to get into the act too by adding some bling to my sandals.  This was so easy to do.  I just cut 4 strips of rhinestones the same width as the strap of my sandal from the Graffiti print sheet and peeled off the backing.  Then I lined it up with the strap and pressed it in place.   I had these sandals embellished in a matter of minutes!

A lot of people did not believe me that this was from the Graffiti print sheet, since once it was cut down into strips it reads more like a fun, colorful pattern rather than Graffiti.  Here is a close up.

The other great thing . . . because of ALL of the colors in this pattern, these shoes matched every shirt I had brought with to wear on the trip!  

Another project I created used the colorful animal print from the Tween Quad sheet.  This sheet has 4 fabulous patterns in one sheet . . . more bling for your buck!

This was SO EASY to make, and it was a great way to use an empty wine bottle for a crafting project.  The full project tutorial can be found HERE.  And since this only used one pattern from the Tween Quad sheet, I could make 3 more with the other patterns to give as gifts.

What about card making?  Yep, these rhinestone sticker sheets are great for that too!  In a matter of minutes, I was able to create this shaped card with a rhinestone number 5 on it, for my nephew's 5th birthday.  This is made from the paint splatter pattern, which is another pattern on the Tween Quad sheet.  For the full project tutorial, just click HERE.

Besides the beautiful colors, I think the thing I like the most about these rhinestone sticker sheets is the fact that I can quickly and easily create shaped embellishments.  With traditional rhinestones I would need to line up all of those loose stones, glue them down one by one . . . that would take forever!  Since these come in one full sheet that you can cut with scissors, a craft knife or a die cutting machine, you can create these amazing shapes in a no time!

Hop along to all of the other blogs to see even more projects with these amazing rhinestone sticker sheets.  And make sure to stop by The Buckle Boutique to purchase your own rhinestone sticker sheets so you can add some sparkle and bling to your next project!

Blog Hop Line Up:

The Buckle Boutique Blog










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Tips and videos for cutting our rhinestone sticker sheets can be found HERE

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

not going to lie . . . I am sore

So, I have started going back into the office this week.  I am going in for half days.  That way if I am sore or tired I can come home and rest and then finish up my hours for the remainder of the day at home.  I am not going to lie . . . I am sore.

I have been doing a LOT more walking this week, and when I am sitting at my desk I am sitting upright instead of the reclined position I am in on the couch.  While this might not sound like that big of a deal, it puts more pressure on two of the incisions . . . the one in the belly button and the one below that in more of the pelvic area.

Think about if you have a cut on your thumb, and then you do a lot of stuff with your hand, and that cut starts to "throb" a little . . . well, that is what standing and sitting do to my belly button.

I have learned to know when enough is enough.  I left work at Noon today.  Now I am on the couch, reclined, with an ice pack on my tummy.  This feels so much better.  After I finish this post, I am going to take a little nap.  Then while Jeff is making dinner I can get a little more work in for the day.  Yes, it makes for a LONG day since I start work around 7:30am, and I have to jump on the computer and do more work after dinner . . . but it is so much better to do things in just little chunks of time until my body is stronger.

I saw something online today that I wanted to share with all of you.  There is a doctor that has created a commercial telling the problems of Essure!  Here it is . . .

It can be found on the Essure Problems YouTube page, which is HERE.

#EssureProblems #Essure

Sunday, April 12, 2015

One Day At a Time

I saw this image on Facebook the other day, and it was just what I needed to hear.

This journey discovering that Essure was the true source of all of my pain and problems has been filled with highs and lows.  While it was great to FINALLY KNOW why I have been feeling the way I have, it was quite upsetting to learn that the way to fix the problem was to have a hysterectomy.  (yes, I could have chosen to just have my tubes removed, but since one of the issues I had was that for a while I was having my period for 2 weeks at a time, the doctor was okay with taking my uterus also so I would never have to deal with heavy periods again)

Once surgery was scheduled there was the high of knowing that all of the symptoms I have been having would soon be gone, but there was the low of knowing that the recovery from the surgery would be a long one.

I am not going to lie . . . there was also the low of knowing that if back in 2009 we had made a different choice (like having my husband have a vasectomy) then I would not be going through this right now.  Yes, I know that hindsight is 20/20.  It was really nice when my husband and I had a long conversation where he said that if he could go back in time he would have had the vasectomy.  I could also see it in his eyes when he entered the recovery room after surgery . . . he felt terrible.  

Then there was the high of finding the online support group Essure Problems . . . it was so wonderful to know I was not alone.  Over 16,000 women who can also relate to what I am going through.  But then it is also hard to hear the stories of these other women suffering who cannot do anything about it because they cannot afford the surgery.  To tell you the truth, I have NO IDEA how much this whole thing is going to cost us . . . but whatever the dollar amount, it will be worth it to not be in pain every day.

This group of women have also inspired me to share my story to warn and educated other women.  I am also so happy to learn that the FDA is now (FINALLY) going to investigate this product.  I know that this road will also have highs and lows . . . the high of knowing they are looking into it, but since we don't know what will come of this there could be a high or a low with the outcome of this investigation.

Something that has been really hard for me are the days that I am feeling good.  I know that sounds weird, but let me explain.  It is hard because I feel better and I think "I got this.  I am feeling better!"  Then I start to do more, because I feel like I can . . . then comes the set back of a throbbing pain in my belly button . . . oops . . . looks like I did too much.

Some of the side effects of Essure are depression, lack of energy, no interest in things that you used to enjoy . . . and the biggest one for me was the back pain.  If you have enough back pain, it will CAUSE YOU to have be depressed, have no energy and not be interested in things you used to enjoy.
Okay, so the good news is that I can already see a change in some of these things.  Just a few days after surgery I noticed I did not have ANY BACK PAIN.  It has been years since I have said that!  I have to admit, the past few days I have had some pain, but it is more of a "stiffness" pain and I think it is due to the fact that I am sitting in this recliner for so many hours a day.  And I can feel my urge to do things come back.  I told my husband that I want to work out and do yoga.  It was one of those "who are you and what have you done with my wife?" kind of moments.  I know I can't do this kind of stuff yet, due to recovering from surgery, but just the fact that I want to is something that I have not experienced in years.

And my craft room . . . how I miss my craft room!  I want to spend time in there, but I know standing at my craft table will tire me out.  And there is no way I should be moving some of those stacks of paper or pulling out the bins of supplies to get to things.  My Cuttlebug and Big Shot . . . I probably should not be hand cranking those.  So while I want to, I sit and wait until I know I can handle the activity.  I wish I was more of a knitter . . . I could totally do that while sitting on the couch!

Here is a chart that was shared on the Essure Problems Facebook group

I have to keep reminding myself of the numbers shown on this chart.  I am only 2 weeks post-op on Monday 4/13/2015.  That only puts me "cleared" for walking and getting myself something to drink.  I am not even up to the "okay for light housework/cooking" for another 2 - 3 weeks!  (and if you know me, I don't cook anyway so that is not really an issue)  So why do I feel so bad about working from home a little longer?  Probably because while I am sitting her on the couch typing this all up I feel perfectly fine!  

I need to remember that I am not Super Woman.  I don't have a Fairy Godmother to wave a magic wand over me and make healed overnight.  But I also don't like feeling like I am letting someone else down, and that is how I feel about not being at work . . . I feel like I am letting the team down since some of the things I normally take care of are pushed off to others.  Why should other people have to do more work while I sit here on the couch and watch movies?

There are some people at work who have called me "The Mom" of the team.  Anyone who is a Mom knows that Mommy's don't get sick days.  We can have a temperature of 102 but people are still need us to take care of stuff . . . sometimes stuff the COULD do/figure out on their own.  I think that is my problem right now . . . I am trying to be "The Mom" and take care of and think of others first and what  I need to do is be the patient and focus on me and my recovery.  I need to step out of my own body and say "If this was my daughter, would I be telling her to suck it up and go into work/school or would I tell her to sit down on the couch and relax?"  The answer is I would tell her to sit down and relax, so that is what I need to tell myself also.  If I don't, I am only going to set back my recovery.

So, I am taking it one day at a time . . . enjoying the highs (and the pain meds) and working through the lows (thank goodness for chocolate)  I know I will get there . . . at some point.  It just may not be as quickly as I would want it to be.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cricut Explore Air

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Did you buy your Cricut Explore Air yet?

If not, don’t delay, NOW is the time to do it! Right now, you can buy a Cricut Explore Air and get 50% off any Starter Set! That’s right – and there are three starter sets to choose from – Deluxe Starter Set, Basic Starter Set and the Complete Starter Set. All designed to help you do even more with your Cricut Explore Air® machine!

Just use code STARTER at checkout to get your savings. And the April Mystery box is now available! $100 worth of goodies for only $29.99. The contents are a mystery, but this box includes cartridges and craft supplies for spring creating! You can get all these wonderful crafting supplies AND get free shipping this month too – just use code APRILSHIP. But supplies are limited, so get yours now before they run out!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

How can YOU help?

I have been posting a lot recently about the story of my struggle with Essure.  There are thousands of other women suffering also.  I have found support with a group of E-sisters in a Facebook group called Essure Problems.

Recently, the admins of this group traveled to DC to speak on behalf of all of the women struggling with the terrible side effects of Essure.  They traveled there on their own dime.  If you would like to help support the work that this group is doing, I would strongly encourage you to donate . . . even $5 . . . it will help to go towards the work they are doing to help so many.

Skip your fancy coffee tomorrow, and donate that money to a wonderful cause.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

5th Birthday

The rhinestone sticker sheets are perfect to use for ANY of your crafting projects.  I love to use them to add some glamour and sparkle to my cards and scrapbook layouts.  I made this card for my nephew's 5th birthday.  His mother has a pair of pants with some rhinestones on them, and she told me he always comments on how they sparkle . . . so I decided he needed a sparkly card for his birthday!  Since he was turning 5 years old, I decided to make a number shaped card.

I used the number 5 from the Animal Antics Cricut cartridge.  I liked how large and bold the number was, and that there were several different layers so that I could create the base of the shaped card with a shadow of the number font.

I cut the 5 from the paint splatter pattern from the Tween Quad rhinestone sticker sheet from Marisa Pawelko's line with The Buckle Boutique.  This product cuts the best if you cut through the backing side, with the rhinestones face down on your cutting mat.  There are more detailed cutting directions HERE.

After I had the card base and the rhinestone 5 cut, all I had to do is peel off the backing from the 5 to expose the adhesive . . . yes, these rhinestone sticker sheets already have adhesive on the back!

I love how the rhinestones sparkle on these sheets!

For a finishing touch, I added some dots with Viva Decor around the outside edge of the 5.
If you would like to add these rhinestone sticker sheets to your crafting supplies then hurry over to The Buckle Boutique!  They just lowered their prices on these sheets, so it is a great time to stock up!

The Buckle Boutique's Website // Blog // Facebook Page // Twitter // Pinterest

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Road to Recovery

So, I had my surgery this week . . . Monday.  By Wednesday I noticed that I had NO LOWER BACK PAIN!!!!  I cannot even REMEMBER the last time that I did not have lower back pain.  I have had some discomfort from the surgery . . . but so would you if you had 4 holes in your stomach.

Some days are really good, and I will say to my family "Wow . . . look how well I am moving around!"  Then the next day does not seem as good.  I also feel like a burden on my husband . . . not because he is complaining about taking care of me, but because I feel bad that he has to do SO MUCH for me . . . bringing me food, taking care of me, bringing me my medication . . . I want to do more, but also don't want to overdo anything and set back my recovery.

You would think that someone would love being told "sit on the couch, watch movies and take naps . . . don't worry about anything" but now that I am finally without back pain I want to DO SOMETHING . . . play in my craft room . . . go shopping . . . go watch my daughter at her lacrosse tryouts . . . socialize with friends and family.  I know that this is a good sign.  A sign that I am recovering and that the symptoms and side effects of Essure are already going away.

Thank you to everyone that has been thinking of me and sending me well wishes.  I truly appreciate this.  There has been some huge developments with the FDA and Essure in the past few days.  I have links to that information at the end of my post telling my full Essure story.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

FDA to investigate Essure!

If you have been following my struggles with pain due to Essure you will be happy to hear that as of today the FDA announced they are launching an official investigation into Essure!  Here is a video on the news

Please share this post, and the post I did about my Essure struggles in order to help raise awareness about this dangerous product!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Best Blogger Craft Ideas 2015

In January at the Craft and Hobby Association Trade show I was among a group of craft bloggers that was invited to attend an even sponsored by FaveCrafts.  I created two projects with products from some of the companies that attended this event . . . you can see those project posts HERE and HERE.

Now you can get a copy of the eBook with ALL of these great projects!  This eBook contains everything from jewelry, home decor, paper crafts and so much more!  Make sure to get your copy

Click here to get your copy of the eBook!