Friday, May 20, 2016

Just a general crafting, gardening, health and whatnot catch up blog

No photos this time, I couldn't find something to add today.

But I have been getting by, moving forward, and living life. It's a month since I came down with shingles and I'm still sick. The blisters are gone but I still feel run down and my arm is still a bit tender and red where the blisters were. I've been making it to my various doctor appointments so hopefully by this time next month I'll know exactly where I stand health-wise and I can start making a solid plan on what I need to do to feel better and be as well as I can be.

I signed up for the classes I really wanted to take at the Creating Keepsakes convention. A day crop, a holiday/December themed album class, an altered art journal cover with some mixed media pages inside, a beach scrapbook layout class, a class on image insert jewelry, and then the evening crop. I may sign up for a class to make a small pocket page album too, but I may not have it in the budget this time. I want to still have a bit of spending money for the vendor hall. I'll be there Thursday and Friday at the end of August.

I also am going to sign up for a couple of elaborate mixed media altered art project classes for my birthday in the middle of July at a local scrapbook store, the classes are all day the day before my birthday, so that'll be my present this year. I've been wanting to take more classes, so I'm looking forward to it.

I'm working on finishing a shades of blue with some violet, gray, and green circle jacket (crochet). It's more or less a bolero. The front is higher than the back and the front is kind of full and flouncy. I have the back/sides/front about 7/8 done and the sleeves about halfway done. So I hope to finish it up by the time I go to the crochet meetup on Tuesday night so I can start my next project, a funky BoHo patchwork cardigan. Because I have more yarn coming for a third cardigan/jacket.

I have to do a set of pocket letters this week, with a butterfly theme, I will show a photo of them for sure when I finish.

The garden is doing so so. The tomato plants pretty much got wiped out from all the rain followed by the heat and humidity. I still have some fruit ripening so that's good. Peppers are happy as they can be. Cucumbers are starting to take off finally. Potatoes actually made potatoes, and the green beans were a bit of a flop from the weather conditions. I never planted melons but still can. The surviving eggplants are scraggling along, hoping the rain will hold off and they can dry out and grow some. Herbs are so so. Cilantro is cooked in the heat. But Italian parsley is thriving (I'll be making some tabouli this weekend with it and some of the tomatoes). Mint is so so. Something ate my sweet mint and the flowers near it. Basil is thriving, bay tree is thriving, oregano and thyme are thriving but I need to move the thyme into a semi sheltered area or it will cook in the sun. I still have some kohlrabi out front that I've been eating raw because I love to peel them and eat them that way.

That's pretty much it to be honest. I want to get out and put down the deposit/first payment for my altered art classes tomorrow, run by Michael's to get the last of the stuff for my pocket letters and the yarn to finish my blue bolero jacket. Then to the supermarket and probably straight on home. I don't have any energy to get out and do much more right now. Which is fine, the class fees pretty much blew my spending money until next month. I had a gift card for Michael's already, otherwise I'd be having to shop my stash and make the best of it and wait to finish the jacket.

I have a bunch of stuff to put on Ebay. Costume jewelry I don't want, clothes I don't want, craft supply destash (mostly yarn), and a few other odds and ends. Not having a car, I need to make sure my husband can make it to and from a post office on his lunch break at work before I list the items. I hope to get my car back or a new one by the end of the year. But for now it is what it is. Even if I cut out all crafting I couldn't pay for a car so I don't feel bad about it.

That's it for now, I know I'm rambling so time to go.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's May already? Here's what's going on in my life. Health, crafts, fun stuff, garden, etc...

Check these little guys out. I have a big Aloe Vera plant on my front porch and these cute little lizards really love hanging out on it to bask in the morning sun. There are two in the photo, one is being sneaky and peeking out from behind a leaf. These lizards are everywhere around my house, and I enjoy having them in the garden.

So recently we've had some heavy rain storms in the Houston area that caused devastating floods, several people even died and many many people had their homes flooded. We live south of the area that flooded so we just got an awful lot of rain. Some of my garden plants were stressed and a row of tomatoes developed some kind of wilt disease. But things do seem to be growing. I need to do serious garden maintainence soon, but I don't really feel up to it right now.

Why? Well, I came down with shingles about ten days ago. It's affecting my right arm from shoulder to fingertips. The rash is only from my armpit to wrist, but the pain and weakness is affecting my entire arm. So it's kind of hard to do much. I'm a rightie, and not having full use of my right arm and hand has really limited me. Thankfully I got on the antiviral medication early enough and I'm getting well fairly fast. But the pain is still pretty bad and there's only so much I can do with my hands before I have to rest.

Also, it looks like I possibly have lupus. Which scares me but answers a lot of questions I had about my health. When I was coming down with shingles my primary care doctor did a very thorough set of labwork including an autoimmune panel. I have multiple positive autoimmune results, specifically the one for lupus. I also have enough of the diagnostic symptoms to give a positive diagnosis. But my primary care doctor doesn't want to officially diagnose me and has referred me to a rheumatologist, who I go see towards the end of the month. There's definitely something going on with me in an autoimmune disease context though.

I've still been working on crafts and living my life as normally as I can. I've been working on crocheting a circle jacket and making pocket letters for a pocket letter swap.

Sorry about the crap quality of the photo, but I have a video up on YouTube about this project, my April pocket letters for the swap group I participate in. I really like making pocket letters and swapping them. It's kind of fun.

Speaking of crafts, in a couple of weeks registration opens for this years Creating Keepsakes Convention in Houston. I'm not staying at the hotel and doing the entire weekend this time. Too many copays and bills towards my insurance deductible because of the health issues blew my fun budget for the summer. But I do get to make a day of it and take a few classes and go to a crop and browse the vendor hall. Last year I crossed one of the things off of my bucket list by attending the entire weekend and staying at the event hotel. Maybe next year I can do it again, maybe even in another city?

That's about it for now, I've typed about as much as I can type right now, I need to rest my hand so I can crochet later on. I'll be SO happy when this has ran it's course. Shingles is absolutely no damn fun and especially on the arm of the hand you use most of the time.