Monday, November 26, 2012

Might Not See Me Until Summertime!

This might not be a shock to anyone, but I am in a hiatus...and for good reason... 

I got married!!!! 

We found out from our doctor that my treatment for endometriosis, for whatever reason, isn't working...and I also have some endo growing in my incision (which was our big clue that the meds weren't working, since of course we could actually SEE the endo! Weird and totally scary!)

The good/surprising/exciting/nerve wracking news and silver lining out of all of this is that we need to start trying to have a baby (right away!) as part of my treatment (pregnancy = no period = no endo growth!). Then, if I need to have my reproductive organs removed, I'll be free to do so. I'm trying to see the beautiful rainbow at the end of this storm, and a baby would definitely be a BIG rainbow for me! :) So, with that in mind, we had a small wedding earlier this month, and are in the throws of planning a larger reception in the New Year. 

I'm also finishing my graduate degree (graduating in May!) while all this is going on, and it's so sad, but my beautiful sewing room hasn't seen a stitch since...I can't even remember! So it's time to throw in the towel and admit that the site truly is in hiatus until further notice. I'm sure I will be back eventually, and I hope you will all still be around! You know I'll be checking out your blogs and sending you well wishes from time to time. Keep up the crafting/sewing/blogging, and I hope to reunite with all my online friends in the near future! 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012

In Loving Memory

My Grampa passed away a couple weeks ago. He developed an infection while he was at the hospital getting a transfusion. He was able to go home and be with family in his final days. I wasn't able to be there because I was in my two week intensive courses, but last weekend I went home for the funeral. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do, emotionally, especially the viewing. He was so thin, he just didn't look like Grampa. I made an album for him with pictures of his family, and put it in the casket with him. I didn't want him to feel alone. He was like a father to me.
I'll miss you, Grampa.

Grampa with a chain he whittled from a single piece of wood

Grampa and Me making a snowman...he was an expert!

Love you, Grampa!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bananarama Said It Best...

It has indeed been a Cruel Summer. Hello all! I've been having a rough day, but before I go on about that, please enjoy these lovely pictures!

All of the flowers have bloomed now, and three of them are still blooming! It's made the occasional evening on the porch that much nicer (that is, when the heat has died down enough!) 

We found some really inexpensive throw pillows at Kohls (just $8 a piece!) that matched the decor. Makes the bench much more comfortable. 

I've been waiting for my lovely larkspurs all summer and they finally bloomed this week. They are just so delicate and lovely. :)

The palm is still hanging in there too, and even sprouting some new shoots. 

As promised, here's Slinky checking out the plants. I'm glad she didn't poop in there!

She was surprisingly cautious climbing on the table. 

Cars on the highway and wind...totally new sights and sounds!

Finally calming down enough to enjoy it. :) She's so chubby and cute!

And here's Little Kitty...inside. Because SOMEBODY tries to jump off the balcony. 

A peaceful place to relax. Which is good. It's been a very stressful month. 

Here's Little Kitty snuggling with me after my surgery. They found pretty extensive endometriosis. I've been diagnosed with Stage 3 Endometriosis, due in large part to a lot of adhesions on my left side. I had endo on my left ovary, in my cul de sac, on my pelvic lining, and my bladder. I had several small, normal cysts on each ovary, and the endometrioma on the left. The biggest news was that my colon was attached to my pelvic wall, left ovary, and the back of my uterus. I have pictures, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to see them! My colon was pulled off to the left in an almost S shape, when it should have connected straight down to my rectum. Explains a LOT of the stomach problems I had for years. The surgeon cleaned everything up and now my colon and my ovary each have their space and I should be feeling a lot better. Now that we have an official diagnosis, I have started treatment again!

I went in for my 3 month dose of Lupron today. Man, IT HURT! The needle is massive and it burns like no tomorrow! I had to sit for a few minutes because I thought I would pass out, and the nurse gave me an ice pack for the soreness. Not as bad as the lower back injection though. I'm also on add-back therapy, which should help with any side effects, like bone loss. I'm just hoping it won't be a difficult round. Some people have a lot of problems with it, but I need it, so I guess it's a moot point. My recovery is still a work in progress. I took two weeks off from work and stayed in bed for a week. The second week I worked on being able to get up and move around. I had to splint my tummy with a pillow to get around. Now I am in my fourth week of recovery. I'm back at work and able to do most things, except lift anything, and I can't take a bath or go swimming for another week. The three smaller incisions are healed, but my belly button (the major incision) just healed completely two days ago. The weird part is that I have a new belly button! It's much more shallow (I couldn't see the end of it before...the surgeon said it was the deepest belly button she'd ever seen, and she fixed it), and is very, very strange for me. Maybe that's TMI...sorry!  

The bad news is that my Grampa is not doing well. He's in the hospital and is in what they believe are his final days. They said if he went home, he would likely only have about three days left. He's requiring lots of blood transfusions, and the chemotherapy is not working. So we are all trying to spend time with him. I unfortunately have class for a week solid starting Saturday, then a weekend off and another week of solid class. I was able to talk to him today on the phone, but it is really hard to not be able to be there in person. I am just glad that I was able to visit in May. I'm sure he would appreciate any prayers or thoughts of comfort and peace. 

That's all for now. Thank you for reading! I know it's been a bit of a disjointed blog, but I find that it does help to do a little writing from time to time. I still read all the blogs I follow, even if I don't always comment!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm Still Alive!

Me in my hometown

Hi everybody out in blog world! It's been quite a while since my last post, and unfortunately I don't have any sewing to post about. :( It has been a crazy couple of months. Last time I posted, I was in Washington visiting my family and helping care for my Grandfather. He had a very rough patch where his platelets were very fact, the day I left he started spontaneously bleeding and scared the crap out of us. But after quite a few blood transfusions and platelet transfusions, he seems to be at least handling the chemo treatments. Still praying for some good news!

In my own personal news, I started working for a new family part time while I take 3 summer courses. Full time to begin in the fall when they have their second child. They're very laid back and flexible which is good right now. I've had some health issues crop up that are more serious than usual. I found out just before I left to visit my family that I had a large cyst on my left ovary. It has since shrunk a little, but still larger than is normal. I've had several and none of them have been serious. My doctor recommended I get a second opinion on this one, and after going for a third ultrasound, I was told that it wasn't cancer (although they couldn't completely rule it out until they took it out), but it did have some abnormal spots. My OBGYN thinks that it is an endometrioma and referred me to a surgeon. I met with her yesterday and we scheduled a laparoscopic cystectomy and exploratory surgery. She will remove the cyst, and (hopefully) leave the ovary and tube, but if there is any severe damage or possible cancerous cells, those have to come out too. Then she will look for any endometriosis and excise it (cut it out and have it analysed). She's going to take pictures of everything for me, which I am excited for. I want to know once and for all what is going on in there and why I am always in pain! I'm pretty nervous, and it sounds like the recovery is going to be a little rough, but it has to be done. *sigh* 

I haven't been sewing, but I have been working on getting myself organized at home, on a cleaning/cooking routine, trying to make myself swim regularly, and study for my upcoming courses (first one starts this weekend). It's going to be a busy summer! I hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July celebrations! We're BBQing at home...very low key. We'll likely be enjoying our meal on our balcony which has become quite beautiful! I leave with some photos of how it's growing. :)

 Getting green!

These have already come and gone, but boy did they bloom!

View from the table.

My first rose bloom!

She lasted a few days before she started to wilt, so I cut her and brought her inside to enjoy the fragrance. 

I don't have any pictures of it, but I've been letting the kitties explore the balcony. Don't they look thrilled to be back inside? lol

Friday, May 4, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons..or Pineapple...Make a Marinade!

Last week, we heard from the doctors that my grandfather has AML, a fast progressing form of leukemia, complicated by a low platelet count. I was lucky enough to get a few weeks off from work, so I flew out for his first round of chemotherapy and some time afterward. That's where the lilacs are from. I couldn't help sharing. Anyhow, I'm doing what makes me feel helpful and and cleaning and running errands. So far, he's had few side effects from the chemo, other than being tired. I'm really worried, but I'm glad I can be here with him for a while. In the meantime, until we find out how things go, I'm looking for recipes. Today I'm making a recipe of my own creation. Chicken marinated in pineapple, ginger, onion and orange juice, with baby peppers and couscous. Anyone have any other recipe ideas? Especially for immune boosting.

Gee, doesn't that look appetizing? lol...I hate raw meat. But it sure is fantastic cooked!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

They're Sprouting!

It's hard to believe this little sprout will be a 5 foot tall stalk someday, but there it is, my first larkspur!

 My orange cosmos are also sprouting, and my Rose bush is flourishing on the front deck.

I can't wait for summer!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shirred Strapless Top

Well, here's the latest project. I love how light and airy it feels, so much so that I had to keep checking to make sure it was still there! Haha. I think this will be a great one for summer. Although, I don't much like wearing strapless bras, so I'm thinking of adding straps. What do you think? I kind of like it how it is. Hmm...

This is how I wore it yesterday, while looking for new glasses. Somehow I felt better yesterday, but today I'm feeling sick again. Hmph. I picked out a pair of frames that are a lot less noticeable. I can't wait to wear them! Anyhow, I wore the shirt with a pair of khakis and a yellow cropped cardigan. I found the necklace in my jewelry box, a necklace from Target, I think, that my grandma gave to me in high school. I actually got several compliments on it! See, things don't have to be pricey to look great! 

Here's the back, all shirred and pretty! It's a little longer in the back. This is a much more comfortable version of the style I used on my dresses last year. Just as time consuming, but not as bulky, and adds a lot more stretch. I've seen a few people use shirring as waistband for skirts. Thinking about that one. I'm thinking of pairing this top with these shorts from Gap.

Image from

I'm loving all the pretty shorts they have out right now. I also like these shorts in yellow. I ordered them this evening (thank you, tax refund!) at 25% off. Woohoo! What fashion is inspiring you lately?

It is finally warm enough to put our palm on the deck. I love how it makes the deck feel more lush and tropical, especially with the blues and greens of the cushions. So far, it is the only plant taking up residence. But...

...this morning I found these guys! They're the nemophilas. I don't know if my impatiens are going to looks like they need to be sprouted indoors, and I skipped that step. I'm hoping the other flowers are just waiting for warm weather. *fingers crossed*

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I had the week off last week, and while I had a lot to do, I found a little time to do some spring cleaning and organizing. I don't have any pictures of my bedroom closet and sewing room closet, but those took up most of the time. I put a shoe organizer in my sewing room closet to put odds and ends, and I bought a small shelf from Ikea. Since I've been taking grad school classes, I've been collecting lots of books and papers. I needed somewhere to put them. 

I put this next to my sewing tables, and it has become a great place for my sewing and schooling things.

I put my teacher things on the bottom shelf. All my text books, along with a few folders full of teacher resources, like all those articles about teaching I've collected over the years, found their home here. I had a lot of great articles hiding in a box in my closet. Now they're right where I need them! And of course, who wouldn't want an iron for a book end? lol

Next, I've got all my children's books. I've collected quite a few of these this semester. It's exciting to start building a children's library. Slowly but surely. And my sewing machine manuals and patterns are in that pink box.

This is mostly decorative, but I found a place to store all those ribbon flowers I made. When I want to use one, it's right there! I found these cute little hedgehogs at Target in December. They were just a couple dollars on clearance. And so cute!

I got a new magnetic whiteboard at Wal-Mart. Just a nice place to put the list of things I need to sew. And on the top shelf of the book shelf, I have baskets of all the clothes I need to tailor, projects I'm working on, and scraps. 

I found the idea for this one on my organization board on Pinterest. I didn't use any dowels, though.

I put my thread on this standard holder on the wall. This is sort of my "hometown wall." I got the metal keys in Leavenworth, WA while I was visiting family. If you haven't heard of Leavenworth....go there. It's a really cool Bavarian village in Washington State, not far from my hometown. It's one of my favorite places. We stayed at a great bed and breakfast while we were there at Christmas. I miss it. The wooden key was made by my grandfather, all from one piece of wood. Isn't he talented? And the apple wall hanging was bought at Christmas Tree Shops. My town used to be the apple capital of the world. It isn't anymore, but they still milk it. :) And that's my spring cleaning/organizing of my sewing room. Do you have any plans this spring?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Learning New Techniques - Ruffles!!

I've been following See Kate Sew for a while, and right now she is hosting a whole month of ruffles! I haven't used a ton of ruffles in my sewing, mostly because they can be so time consuming to create. Well, I finally bit the bullet and bought a ruffler foot...*dramatic music, please*

If you hadn't noticed (perhaps because you don't memorize my sewing machines), this thing is not attached to my usual sewing machine, my Brother XL2600...oh no. Why, you might ask?

This is why. The scrap on the left was ruffled to death with totally disgusting, horribly executed "ruffles." They do not even qualify, really, because the tension was so horribly off...or something. And the foot didn't seem to fit quite right on the machine. It just seemed off, and despite a couple hours trolling around looking for answers, I decided to just put it on the Big Brother, my SE-400. Much better!

Sorry, Little Brother. You lose on this one. Your big brother is just too advanced, and fine tuned, or...something. The foot fits, and ruffled beautifully. Can't wait to use it on a real project! What I did work on today was a summer shirt, while I was home after catching a virus from one of the kiddos at work (I mean, how long can you avoid catching a bug when the kiddo has a 102* fever and is sneezing in your face? No amount of hand washing and Emergen-C can account for that).

Ta-da! This was initially going to be a nightgown, however I couldn't come up with a pattern I liked. But this beautiful garment emerged organically from my failed project and I just love it! It is made from an organic cotton voile that I bought a long time ago at Gather Here. I've never sewn with this fabric before, but it is true what they drapes nicely and feels like buttuh! (Little throw back, remember Mike Meyers on SNL? Those were good times.) 

I also tried a new technique...shirring! I don't know how I've never tried this before. I used elastic thread and just sewed lots of basting stitches along my fabric. And voila! A cute, stretchy strapless top for summer!

I added a little ruffle at the neckline to give it a little more coverage and a bit of a sweetheart look to it. It is so breezy and light and cozy!

I need to take some nicer pictures, but I'll do that another day. For now, I'm pooped. Time for bed, and hopefully my headache and chills will work themselves out of my system.