Sunday, August 24, 2008

Drama weekend (or This has GOT to be the end of a bad week!)

Hey all,
I was bemoaning my state of affairs in my last blog--thanks to the many of you who emailed me privately with words of wisom, advice, commisuration and just plain old help. I ***really*** appreciated it all.

Apparently though, I irritated Those Who Controll Such Things, as my week went from bad to worse.

Friday my husband made hamburgers for dinner. I dont usually care for hamburgers in general, but I LOVE his hamburgers. Well I got about 20 minutes or so into the meal and started feeling sick. Went upstairs and proceeded to toss cookies, chunks, kitchen sinks and the very foundation of the house. All to indescribable levels of abdominal pain.

After about 3 rounds of this and an abundance of tears on my end, my husband took me off to the ER where they VERY swiftly triaged me, and set me up with some Zofran and blessed Dilauded.

I did have to drink and keep down some nasty contrast, but then had a CT scan that showed my secondary biliary limb was entrapped in an internal hernia resulting in a blockage.

I have two different intestinal tracts as a result of a weight loss surgery almost 7 years ago, so I look kinda like this inside:

So, The called in Dr Smith, my surgeon, wisked me off to the OR at 3:30 am and there I stayed until roughly 6:30am.
I stayed a day in the hospital and have come home. (I do miss the dilaudid PCA pain pump) but I did get to sleep here at home MUCH better.
So.....I am off for two weeks recupreating and I hope to get some stitching in as well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blog Re-do, Rough Week, Could use some Advice

Ever have "one of those weeks"? I have. This past week/month/quarter. I am really hoping it gets better from here out.


I did manage to get out on the internet and create a palette of colors and then a pattern to re-do the blog. I liked the three column format; the colors however, needed to go. The colors came from a swatch of fabric:






Then I went to http://www.colourlovers.com/ to create my palette:






and then the pattern you see on the sides of the blog from there. The contents of the blog--type color, headers ect, all came from those colors. I just went inti the code and pulled out the default hex numbers and put in the ones I wanted.

In addition, I have been pretty severely limited in my daily life in regards to the pain levels for about three months now. I have had chronic pain issues for a couple years, but usually nothing worse than the baseline pain and then the occasional flare ups.

In the last three months, I have been reduced to walking with a cane (when walking is a possibility), parking in the handicapped spots with my shiny new red handicapped tags, and generally living in a drug induced haze the rest of the time.


Work has been neglected, as has my stitching. The pain doc is moving up the pain drugs, I am out of epidurals for the year. The neurosurgeon wasn't too keen on the idea of a fusion. Seems there might be a problem with the osteoporosis and the hardware causing more trouble down the long run.

He did suggest a spinal cord stimulator implant, so at the next pain doc appt that will be the topic of discussion. I really detest feeling 80 when I am half that age.

I would like to hear from any of you that live with chronic pain, and what do you do to get through these flare ups? This has been the worst by far. I have never been unable to work, let alone walk.

I could use some advice.

In case you need it, here is the latest score:

malapsorption issues
migraines (controlled now)
GERD (from a prior surgery, not too much of an issue)
osteoporosis
arthritis: hands, wrists, knees, hips, neck, and back (from age 15)
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Joint Disease
Radiculopathy, both lumbar and cervical
parasethia--right lower quadrant
Chronic Pain
and brain fog from the upped meds.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Spiral Needle Profile & Review

Hey all,

I recently ordered a "Spiral Needle" to see if it would truely make threading my needle any easier. I have arthritis and wear bifocals so this seems like it would be a pretty cool thing if it works. The needle can be seen and purchased at the Spiral Eye Needle website: http://www.spiraleyeneedles.com/

They are a little pricey: one needle cost me 5.00, but shipping was free and if it works out, well then it was money well spent. The needle arrived to today and I set about testing if it was as easy to thread as promised, and more importantly, how did it feel while stitching. The needle size is a 22.




The brochure that accompanied the needle gave a bit of info on the old type calyx needles, the ones with the opening at the top that always came un-threaded, a bit about nickle (these needles are stainless steel) and a bit about the Spiral Needle itself along with a quick " how to thread pictoral":


As promised, it was pretty easy to thread. I am using two strands of DMC regular floss here.

Step one, loop the thread around the needle. Make sure the opening is on the side of the looped thread.
Step two: Pull up until the thread slips into the opening and "clicks" into place.



And you are Done!


Now for the real test: stitching!

On aida: (16 count) the needle sort of hung up occasionally going into the holes. Not enough to casue anything but irritation if I was stitcing a big piece. This was somewhat alleviated when I made a conscious effort to keep the opening of the needle face down to the fabric.


The other issue was when I got more than one row in, the needle occaisonally hung up on the threads of the previous row.

On a piece of fabric with a tight weave, using the needle for surface embroidery (a pillowcase) the catching was MUCH more noticeable, and since it is not terribly sharp , it was a bit of a pain in the &^%&% to get through the fabric. . The good news it the needle can be sharpened according to the brochure.

On 28 count Lugana, and 18 count needlepoint mono canvas the catching was much less noticable, although the same problem of the opening catching the previous row's threads.

On all the test pieces is was nearly impossible to bury the threads on the back by weaving. A single pass under was accomplished, accompanied by much cussing on my end.

Perle cotton 8 would not thread at all; too thick.

So, my over all impressions is: ehhh

I will use this on my needlepointing, since that was where I encounted the least amount of issues and will have to finish off my threads a different way.

Paisley Cat Paw Prints: 2 for ease of threading.


Jessica Blue

My oldest daughter is in the process of cutting the apron strings. She is 20 this month, engaged and in college,and holding down a part time job at Lane Bryant.




She was feeling a little left out because I feature Kaats Etsy shop on my sidebar and my son is in one of my anniversay pictures. So............I am devoting an entire post to :


Jessica Blue, also known as Juicy Blue


Here is a pic of her right before Prom--2006 (ignore the dates in the photos--I never have set them








A picture of her in all her grace and showing exeplary ettiquette




Jessica and her grandmother last month (july 2008) working on a quilt in the game room
There you have it. =)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Paisley Cat Profile--The Needled Canvas LNS

I am going to start profiling the sites, both web and brick and morter that I visit. Good or not so hot, and why I feel that way will be detailed.

The rating system is pretty easy--Pawprints (what else, LOL) on a scale of 1-5, 1 being pretty bad, 5 being outstanding,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first one to get the spotlight is The Needled Canvas, a brick and morter LNS in Marietta Ga, and, as I rated on Kudzu.com, "The Best Needlework Shop in Atlanta"

Gail (the owner) and Colleen (instructer) are wonderful ladies who have both gone out of thier way to teach me needlepoint basics (at no charge no less!) make me feel welcome despite my "newbie-ness" to needlpointing and are consistantly helpful and welcoming.

Gail recently purchased the store and while it looks pretty much the same on the inside, she has absolutely re-invented the feel of the store to a warm, welcoming neighbor-next -door feel, complete with complimentary hot and cold drinks and the ever present bowl of sweets. There are tables at the entrance, open to all who come in to sit, talk, and of course, stitch. Advice, tips, hints, teaching, as well as a pretty impressive store library helps even new stitches feel comfortable and welcome.

Gail has a good assortment of threads, canvases, accessories, stitching frames, and the inventory is growing. Gail and Coleen are also hosting classes.

I am a cross stitcher and had never ventured past a little surface embriodery and some crewelwork. Colleen Harris took an entire Saturday of her own time to meet with me to not only ground me in the basics of the art, but also some of it's history, some of her own early works, and showed me a ton of her own tools and accessories, all of which she was willing to let me play with and familiarize myself with. She even let me take home a few to try out. Colleen also helped me pick out the threads and stitches for each area of a canvas I had chosen, explaining to me why one stitch would be better than another (compensation?, we don' need no stinken' compensation!) and why one type and color of thread was a better choice than another based on weight, color, and lightplay.

When I had trouble with the basketweave when I was home, on my own--the staple of needlepoint, I went back in and Gail not only sat with me, but also gave me a practice canvas, needle, wool and printed directions. Most importantly, to me at least, she patiently stayed with me until I got it down.

I can honestly say, that without these two women, I would not be doing needlepoint now.


Therefore, The Needled Canvas earns the spotlight this week and 5 out of 5 PaisleyCat Pawprints

Shop Info:
The Needled Canvas and Finest Threads
2520 Shallowford Road
Centre Stage Plaza, Suite J
Marietta, Ga 30066

(770) 591-2466

needled@bellsouth.net

website coming!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Update

Here it is Sunday, the hours waning way until the alarm clock summons me to work; my stress. I am not going work tomorrow morning I actually have yet another procedure tomorrow morning--a radio frequecy ablation from L1 to S1 in my back. Please pray, chant or dance to whomever answers your prayers for me. This pain has gone on for a couple of years now, getting worse each year. This year too, I also ruptured one of the discs; just to add salt to the wounds, so to speak.

UGG.

Anyway, on to Far more pleasant topics. I have been stitching a bit. I have to do it in segments since I cannot sit too long at a time, so my pace is somewhat slower.

Here is page two of the Carol Lake Diagonal Stitch Class. These are mostly gobelins and its variations:



These stitches are (from left to right):

  • Slanted Gobelin -over 1
  • Encroaching Gobelin
  • Slanted Gobelin-over 2
  • Plaited Gobelin (this one was a real PIA!)
  • Oblique Slav
  • Encroaching Oblique
  • Tied Gobelin (I liked this one a lot)
  • Slanted Beaty

I also put up the dragon for a week or so and pulled out Barfy, I am three blocks behind in the SAL!!! So here is as far as I am today:





And here is the cutest little cross stitch beaded Witch Hat for Halloween. It is called Wanda's Hat--I am going to go back to my LNS (the Needled Canvas--EXCELLENT store with UBER helpful owners--come in if you are anywhere in the Atlanta area) to get Wanda's Boot.

Yes, I know it is close to the edge--it is actually done on perforated paper and will be cut out and made into a pin.




Well that is about it for this week.

 
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