Friday, August 31, 2012

Status Migrainous, DHE, Lyme

Again I have to apologize for not being around on the blog.  Not that I'm very good at posting regularly but I've been really scarce lately.

I've been learning about Lyme disease and Status Migrainous.  Having a very sick daughter who's being treated for both of these things at the same time.

The doc (a neurologist) is treating her for the Status Migrainous with DHE and antibiotics for the Lyme.  The Lyme is a possibility as she has a positive titer and one band showing but she apparently needs 2 bands showing (this might be Greek to you but that's's a PITA to be diagnosed without the 2 bands).

Most everyone has heard of Lyme so there is a sort of passing knowledge about it - it's not a good thing to have. Her neuro is treating her for it so that is at least being managed with antibiotics.

More worrisome to me is the protracted migraine. She's had it for 31 days now.  Yes, 31 days.  She's been in pain and has had severe nausea for all of this time.  She's getting IV DHE as well as steroids and a anti-nausea medicine 3 times  day. Her arms and hands look like pincushions.  The nausea, the vomiting and the heat is making her dehydrated and she's had to get IV fluids to keep her hydrated. Next week she gets a IV and a home nurse to administer the drugs and keep the IV cleaned a few times a day. Hopefully that will help so she's not getting 3 different IV sticks a day. More if they can't find a vein that will take the IV.

This is managing her pain to a certain extent but not curing her so far.  Her head hurts at a level 3 once she gets the meds. If the meds wear off she goes up to a level 8 (btw, I'm using a 1–10 scale).  She feels a 3 is manageable.  I've had migraines, I don't know how she can function at a level 3. Maybe because she's had migraines her entire life and has withstood a lot of pain over her lifetime. She's only 20 but that's a whole lotta life with migraines.

If you know someone who is a migraineur please be sympathetic and please do not minimize it as a "headache".  People have often given her a casual: "Oh  come on, it's just a headache" to either make her feel guilty that she can't just shake it off and do whatever they think she should be doing or think she is just trying to shirk off work/play/whatever. People like teachers, friends, strangers, etc. The number of people who are ignorant of migraines is a pretty large percentage of the population.

I know most of them don't mean it as a mean thing but because she forces herself to continue on with a migraine they don't always understand when it becomes too much for her.

I do want to thank every single person who understands or even if they don't understand are sympathetic to anyone who suffers from migraines.  Your graciousness and generosity is a beacon of light.

Hardest of all is watching her go thru this pain right now.  I can't fix it, I can't control it and I am totally frustrated and yes, I am worried. She's my baby.  Today I sat with her for 10 hours while she got IV fluids and meds.  She was actually there for a few hours longer as I was at work until she got admitted and then I left work to be with her.  Tomorrow we go back, rinse and repeat. I am hoping the headache breaks either from the DHE or if it's Lyme that's causing it, the antibiotics will break it.

If you read this I'd rather not hear horror stories of how long it COULD last.  I've already heard them or read them and I'd rather not focus on that...I already worry enough about it.

Maybe later I'll add links to all the things I've posted about is always a good thing but tonight I'm just too tired to go looking for all those links.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

After the interlude..or where I have been...just call me Mama Bear

I've been incommunicado since my last post because life got very complicated all of a sudden.

My daughter got ill.  2,500 miles away from me. Luckily she was with my wonderful family and that was immeasurably helpful.  Still I turned into a mama bear on the phone constantly trying to understand what was going on and what we all needed to do to get her stable.  She finally got on a plane to come home, had a medical emergency on the plane (was met by emergency personnel at the airport which totally embarrassed her) but got home safely.  We're in the midst of figuring out what the problem is; she's got great doctors so that's been a godsend and has kept me calm.

Because of that situation I have totally neglected my blog.  I still have exciting things happening around my fabric and now that I'm not in mama bear fighting hard for my daughter quite so much at the moment I thought I'd sit down and show you what's been going on.

The Connecting Threads and Spoonflower contest is coming to a close tomorrow, winners should be announced at some point tomorrow. If you want to read about it go here to my last post.

Connecting Threads put up an interview with me here in their blog Notions.  How freaky weird to see myself staring back at me when I open the page.  I would love to see your comments on the post so go comment.  I'm tickled pink that quilters at CT are commenting and best of all the design strikes a chord with them.  Best thing ever. I hope the fabrics sell like hotcakes!  One day I hope to be somewhere and see someone who is walking around wearing something they made out of one my fabrics!  I wonder if I would dare to say hello?

Speaking of walking around with one of my fabrics...CT also did a post yesterday that was written by guest poster  Barbara Talbert.  She did a fabulous post on making your own quilted bag.

Photo taken from the Connecting Threads blog.  All rights reserved.  
Aren't they just darling?  She used Sunkissed Flowers and Windblown Dots. You can buy the patterns at Connecting Threads if you're dying to make something fun over a weekend.  I love the post, it's got great info and I must say...great fabric choices!

I was also highlighted in a blog that is written by Patty Sloniger aka Beck and Lundy.  She's a fellow fabric designer and she designs for Michael Miller, take a look at her oh-so-cute-and usable fabrics here. Not only did she write a post but she bought a boatload of my fabrics too and is going to make something out of them!  Wooot!  I can't wait to see what she makes..she sews quite well ya know.

I have a lot to be thankful family in PA who took care of my daughter while she was there, my daughter making it home when she was so ill (all the parametics, firement, police, doctors, nurses and airline personnel get many thanks from me), my designs highlighted in blogs all over the web, my friends spreading the word about my designs, my my work for being understanding about my excitement over my collection being released and letting me off of work to attend to my daughter. And really many thanks to my friends who've been such good listening ears during all of this.  You know who you are.

I have great bounty in my life.  On many fronts.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What a week!

It's been quite the week! First my collection of fabric designs - Hello Sunshine - was released by Connecting Threads.

Woot!  There I am with all 19 fabrics on the first page and projects on the second page

Gorgeous projects to purchase! 

The back cover of the catalog! 

Are these not the most fantastic items?

Oh look!  The name of the collection by me on the selvage! 

Now that's not all...Connecting Threads and Spoonflower  have paired up to do a fantastic giveaway for 5 winners.  You'd get fat quarters of all 19 of my Connecting Threads designs and 5 of my Spoonflower designs.  And here they are here:

That's a total of 24 fat quarters.  That's a lot of fabric!  

So do you want to win them? You'll have to go here to the Spoonflower blog and make a comment for a chance.  Oh come on, go on, you can't win unless you do it! And you know you want free stuff right?  If you're a Facebook user you can go to the Spoonflower fan page and comment there as well. You can also go to the Connecting Threads Facebook page...there is a link to the contest there too.  While you're there you should LIKE them...because they're both worthy of likes!  Oh and go cruise around both sites; tons of fabulous buys! 

If you win I'd reallly like to see what you end up making. Pretty please? Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see finished projects.  Ok, maybe there are other things that give me that much pleasure: dark chocolate, really good cheese with fruit, latte, my husband (ahem), my kidlets...but seeing those projects is right up there on my list!

I hope you you like what I created because I'm always busy creating more!  I'm mad for fabric design! Mad for fabric! If you want to follow me at Spoonflower go to my profile there, rather here, sign in at Spoonflower and click the Follow This Designer link. And don't forget to comment! I love comments!

Ok, I'd better get going before I go way off the deep end!  


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dreams do come true

Last Aug I won a fabric design contest.  At Connecting Threads, a really fabulous Internet (and catalog) fabric company.  I was so excited to win!  I had some worthy competition and that made it nerve-wracking and thrilling at the same time. Like watching your kids on a roller coaster. You know they'll be ok (right?) but you're just not sure that they can handle the fear of the loop to loop and up and down so you sort of close your eyes but you peek out between your fingers.

That's how it was for me.  After I won it took me a concious effort to breathe again! I started working with the staff at Connecting Threads, they were so easy to work with and I totally enjoyed every tweak I did (which they made so easy–it was minimal).

Well, all that roller coaster fear and thrill came back to me today. One year later. Served up in a tall glass of OMG, Look at that~my designs online with my name on it.  It was totally worth the wait.

Shut the front door as the youngsters say.  Errr, maybe that's what the oldsters say!

Hello Sunshine by me for Connecting Threads
Aren't they beautiful?  I think they are.  The colors are juicy and summery and I'm dying to sew more stuff with them.  The fabric has a gorgeous hand; I sewed my first quilt (see it here) with it last week. I must learn how to really quilt.  That said, I almost always think of quilters when I am designing fabric.  

Oh, so do you want to see the entire collection?  Well, don't wait any longer click here! There are kits to make, 19 different fabrics in the collections with a number of colorways. They've also made it easy to see other coordinates that you might be interested in. And thread! Don't forget to buy thread to match!

When I first started designing surface design I hoped I'd get good enough for someone to actually buy some of my fabrics.  Other than my family that is.  Today I get to pinch myself and say, "Yes, I guess others will buy my fabrics!"

I have so many people to thank.  My family of course. My friends who didn't laugh and point but said, "Oh, those are pretty good/cute/funny/beautiful."  My designer friends who always have encouraged me and gave advice when I asked.  I even have to thank those who were indifferent to my designs because I fought to win them over.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Spoonflower where I experimented; even the crash and burned designs taught me something.  My customers at Spoonflower! Every sale is thrilling and I always want to see what they've made!  And finally Connecting've made a dream come true for me.  Truly and wonderfully I hope not to wake from this fabulous dream.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Meatloaf anyone?

My fellow Spoonflower designer, friend, designer for Robert Kaufman and all-around fabulous quilter Cynthia created the best meatloaf pillow ever. She included my bacon design in her pillow and I couldn't be happier to be part of her household that way.

Go take a look at her blog entry about her pillow here Cynthia Frenette's blog

And then check out her art quilts here  She creates the artwork and quilts them as well as embellishes them with amazing textures using beads and crystals and all kinds of fun stuff.

Her stuff makes me want to hand sew.  Speaking of which last week I made a quilt. Yep, I did.  I've never made a quilt before...I've made things that are like a quilt but never really pieced anything together.  Mostly I've done cheater quilt type things.

It's a really, really simple quilt and I didn't use a pattern.  I tore strips of fabric into varying widths and then sewed them into a quilt.  I used a lot of white because I wanted it to be somewhat minimalist.  As I sewed it all together I found the balance of color was off some so I tore it in pieces over and over until I got something that looked balanced.  I stitched in the ditch for the quilt.  Here it is below.  See? Simple.  I did hand sew the binding which took longer than I thought it would but by golly you can't see any stitches so I'm pretty danged happy!

I made the quilt for some friends who expecting their first baby.  I can't wait to see him all wrapped up in it...although it might be some months since he's not expected until Sept and it'll still be hot here.  But he can lay on it!  LOL.  

I hope seeing Cynthia's stuff makes you want to do some quilting.  I hope you do because colder weather is just around the corner and you'll be glad you made it now. Happy sewing!