Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Imaginative Creating

I'be been working on this for a few day's, have no clue from moment to moment what I am going to do. I'm just having some fun. I have an idea for a few embellishements and a good idea how to elongate the bottom. Unfortuneatly I am stuck until I can get a piece of ultrasuede for the back to continue turning it into a necklace. I will finish what I can and then put it aside until I get some ultrasuede. I love playtime.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

No pictures today just a wish for a wonderful day to everyone, make sure and take a minute or two to say thank you to the soldiers who gave their lives for this country. I am very lucky. I have many service people in my family still with us. I want to say thank you to each of them:
My dad, retired Navy
My brother Scott, retired Marines
My brother in law James, retired Army
My nephew Corey, currently Army, Afghanistan
My cousins, Amy and Todd, Army , currently Iraq.
My prayers for their safety and hoping they are all home again soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Something weird is going on here at Blogspot. Yesterday I came on and tried to post this and it cut me off. I tried reading other people's updates and a few I wanted to leave a comment on, kept bringing me back to the sign in page, over and over, never was able to leave comments. When I tried to sign out, I couldn't. I would sign out and come back and I was still signed in, over and over and still happening.

Any way, you know I love to push the envelope and I love to play with things that are kind of out of the box. I love polymer clay and I love big necklaces. The color's on my newest batch of clay cabs I just had to try a big piece and this is where I am at right now. Once I'm done with the seedbead embroidery I want to add a few more embellishing beads. Not quite sure yet. But once it is done to my satisfaction I will be at a standstill for a while until I can purchase some ultrasuede for the back. I found 2 shops on Etsy that sell bags of scrap which would be perfect for me since anything I need ultrasuede for is usually fairly small but finances demand I wait on it.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Love Story

Please meet Amy and Todd. Actually I have told you about them before. Amy is my cousin. She is also in the Army. A number of years ago, Amy was sent to Iraq. While she was there she met Todd. After their tour was done and they were given leave, we had a wedding. A wonderful fun wedding. Shortly after, Amy was sent back to Iraq for her 2nd tour and Todd was sent elsewhere. Amy was back in the states a bit under a year. Her tour was done but since it ended early she was told there may be a possible chance she would be sent back again. In fact that is exactly what happened, Amy who I am in awe of is now serving her third Tour of duty in Iraq, this time though, Todd was assigned to go again too and they are working together and able to see each other on a regular basis. I think if you have the gut's and self-less loyalty to your country to do this job than being able to do it with your spouse is a very small but wonderful blessing. This picture they are reading a newspaper from home while taking a bit of a break together.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tori Update

Taking a few moments because I know the whole family want's to know WTF is going on. Well I am asking myself the exact thing. My nervous breakdown aside here is how our last few day's have gone. Obviously we have spent the last 3 weeks stressing. We have an MD, a neurosurgeon, and a Dr. of Internal Medicine and Oncology that tell us without a doubt, Tori has Papillary Thyroid Cancer. We end up choosing to have surgery now at Albany Med just because we need to get the ball rolling on all these different illnesses. Tuesday and Wednesday she is scheduled for pre op testing. The Oncologist wants one more scan to see if there are changes re: any growth, since the last one. Thursday we get a call from the Oncologist, the scan they does not show anything ??????? Why??? She does not know. We call her MD because he gets copies of everything...He does not know what is happening. So after a few hours of debate it is decided not to have surgery Friday morning. Before the surgery was scheduled she already had an appointment Saturday at Albany Med for a visit with the Neurosurgeon and it is decided that she should have all new testing done at Albany med. Friday afternoon, Tori spikes a fever, her ears and throat start hurting and by bedtime she is really sick. So Albany Med say's no testing until we find out what's wrong. We end up instead going to Saratoga ER to find out she has an ear infection, an upper respiratory infection and a sinus infection. The sinus infection alone will hold things up due to the Sinus disease she has had for so many years makes it really tough to clear up. Bottom line is no testing till she has had another course of antibiotics.
So we go back to hanging in limbo again and waiting some more. Heather told me last night she really thinks we need to go back to our original decision and take her to Boston because we just don't know which way to turn and don't feel like any progress is being made. In the mean time Tori gets sicker and sicker. Her weight loss is now up to about 42 pounds and I hate what I am thinking but I am so horribly exhausted from this whole past 9 months of all this that I am having a real problem being the positive person I try to be and can't stop from wondering if she is going to get through this or not at the rate we are going.
I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so negative but truly enough is enough.
I will post when she is better enough to start over and let you know what we are going to do. I think I am inclined to agree with Heather, let's revert back to the original plan, get her to Boston and pray we get better help because I am feeling truly negative about what is going on here .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting through the week

My new painting is done, this one is tiny, only 6" by 6". I wanted to see if I enjoyed doing a small one and of course I chose to do a butterfly. Next I would like to do a really, really large one but that could be a problem. Once I start, I don't want to put it down until it's done and to do a really large one would make me very, very impatient to see it finished. I listed this in my Etsy shop tonight. I think I'm just reaching for things to keep myself busy both physically and mentally. Tori started pre op testing today, tomorrow she has to have bloodwork and a chest xray then we just get through to Friday morning. I know I will feel better once this first surgery is done! I will post Friday afternoon when I have news of how the surgery went.

Mean time, I don't seem to be getting much of a response to my give away so please share my link with any one who might like a chance to win the Amulet bag.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My First Giveaway

Well my first give away on my own blog that is. But it is time and of course I have an ulterior motive. It's time to get real, reorganize, freshen up and start getting consistent sales in my Etsy Shop. I like most people struggle paycheck to paycheck for the bare minimum. I have even been able to keep up with that. I would work all day, pay the rent and then choose , do I have lights or do we eat? Do I pay the cable bill or do we eat? Who needs shampoo?

Of course since I got sick it has been harder than ever. Now with all the health issues we need to deal with for my grand daughter I need to know I can make sure the basic bills are paid. We need a roof over our head, we need electricity. I can not have a sick kid in the house and not know if it is going to be to hot/cold for her to be here. I have to pay cable. Wish I could say otherwise but not only do I need internet access for the Etsy shop, I can't have a kid being down for weeks at a time without tv and where I live if you don't have cable, you don't have tv. Tried those boxes when they came out but the wiring in my neighborhood is so bad the boxes don't work at all. I need to make sure she eats well and I do not qualify for any help since I returned to work part time. All that being said, my parents taught me early on to never look for a handout. If you want or need something work for it. I have alway's been ready, willing, sometimes if not alway's..able.

This is where you come in ;o)

I am giving away this black amulet bag necklace. The bag measures 1 1/2" by 1 3/4". It is open topped and on the front is a blue marbled polymer clay cab. The fringing is branched. Each part of the branch in a clear and blue glass teardrop. The fringe falls just under 4" at the middle point. The neckchain is just over 20" with seedbeads and the same glass teardrops used in the fringe and closes with a silver colored basemetal toggle clasp.

Here is what I need. Visit my Etsy Shop : http://www.debsparkles.etsy.com/

Take a look around and then come back and in the comments section give me a "mini" critique.

What do you like in the shop? What do you not like in the shop? What should I be concentrating more on that I can actually get sales on. Don't just be nice. Be honest. I can't grow and get better at this without true feedback. (Except for pictures. I suck at pictures no matter how I try)

Make sure to leave your email address in your comment. I will be putting everyone's address in a jar and on June 1, 2011 I will have Tori draw a winner.

Late night fun

I can't sleep so I have been reading blogs, my favorite pastime besides beading, and found a few more to follow. Wouldn't it be great if I could create a career out of reading blogs?
Any way, I have been doing alot of thinking today, yes again, with everything coming up with Tori, I need to really start promoting my shop better and if you know me, well, you know it's a really weak spot. I am not good with self promotion. That being said, all my thinking gave me an idea. I am going to do my very first give-away. Tomorrow night, I will post a picture of what I will be giving away and how I want to do it so watch for a post tomorrow evening.
I'm excited about doing this, have wanted to for a while but just needed the right time and motivation. Meanwhile, I'm going to go think some more and just maybe fall asleep. Good night my friends.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tori Update

Some good news in a weird way. Tori will be having surgery for Thyroid removal on Friday , May 20. I know that's the weird part, how is this good news? It is because it is really hard for all of us to sit here doing nothing but waiting while this cancer is growing no matter how slowly inside her.
Our plans have changed though. While we really wanted to take her to Shriners, that's not working out really well, too long of a wait time for us. Too far away from home for family, no transportation for taking turns between who is with Tori and who is home with Josh. We have no car and we just can't see leaving the hospital after surgery to make her ride home on a bus or train.
So, she will be having surgery at Albany Medical Center which is okay. The oncologist, Dr. Valentine has privileges there and will be doing her surgery. Her neurosurgeon, Dr. Amato is at Albany Medical so he will be there, funny part is the day she was to have her next appointment with him was Saturday, the 21st so that makes things really conveniant for everything right now. Barring any unforeseen problems she will have surgery Friday morning and be released on Sunday morning. So this week is preop testing and the waiting will be over before we know it. I know we have alot ahead of us but I will be so relieved when this is out of her. Maybe that doesn't make a lot of sense considering she will stay have the radioactive iodine treatment ahead of her then the surgery on her back and head but at least some action is finally being started. That helps me breath a bit easier.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Out of Fear

It sometimes truly amazes me that even the worst things in life bring us something good. Obviously with everything going on in my life my beadwork has once again suffered. I was sitting in my studio the other night thinking about my Tori and was looking for a way to bring something good forward. I took a little square of paper and wrote down a little prayer and rolled the paper up in a tiny scroll. We are alway's told to write down our dreams , our wishes, our affirmations and keep them close by. Then I got to thinking, when I am making my amulet bags, I alway's determine the size by asking myself, What could I keep in this bag and it hit me. I should make myself a mini amulet bag just big enough to put my little scroll of paper in. And that's just what I did, I made a bag just about 1" by 1" and put my prayer in it and a new idea was born. I am going to make a bunch of these. I am naming them, " My wish bag for the love of Tori" I can do two or three a week and put them up in my shops, maybe get some new sales flowing. I recently got a large lot of seedbeads from someone I buy from on Ebay, every once in a while he does a close out on colors that are not so popular at the moment, so I have alot of beads to use at the moment.

Just thought it would be good to show a bit of the normal Debsparkles tonight.

Before I close this post though I wanted to say, a number of people have contacted me through here and twitter and my Etsy team who have some experiance with what Tori is going through and have given me some very positive feedback , you know who you are and I thank you so very much. The positive info makes things a bit easier for us right now and it is truly the stuff Tori needs to hear.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tori Update

I am not sure if this is so much as an update as a chance to define the information I have already given you. After a visit with Dr. Elizabeth Valentine , Dr. of Internal Medicine and Oncology, we have the following definates.
Tori has Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. This is the most common form of thyroid cancer, tends to hit woman more than men with no real reason or cause known. It is a slow growing cancer, and the most treatable. Next week Heather and Tori are taking a trip to Boston, Mass to the Shriners Hospital. At this time they will meet with case workers, the physician team that will be working on her and just get shown around the hospital in general. They will come home from this visit with a surgery date. She will have the thryoid removed and to be honest they can not tell until they are doing the surgery whether they must remove the entire thyroid or can just take the side infected by the cancer. Most surgeries end up with the entire thyroid being taken. After this surgery she should be home quickly, within a day or 2. Then for at least a week my house will basically be under quarentine. No friends, no people in and out, her mom and brother can not be here, this is due to risk of germs, as she will have a very, very , low immunity to the everyday germs we carry. I will be the only one she is exposed to at that time, better get my clorox bottles stocked up!
After a approx. 5 to 6 weeks healing time she will go back to the hospital. She will be administered radioactive iodine. Just a very small dose at first then a scan is done that will show any thryoid residue, active cancer cell, anything missed in the surgery. Then she gets the full dose and comes home again. This time my house will be under quarentine again even more so. Not because of germs, but because she herself will be radioactive and can share that with others. I cannot get any closer than 6 feet from her. She has to be in her room alone, the front bathroom must be for her use only. I will be stocking up on paper plates, cups and plastic forks , etc. I must wash her laundry seperate from anything else in the house. This should really get interesting. But the good news is doing it this way, she avoids things like coming home vomiting, or losing her hair and all that stuff we associate with chemo and radiation. She should heal pretty quickly, the real downfall is she will spend the rest of her life taking medicine to replace the hormones her thyroid provides naturally.
One week from Saturday she has an appointment with her neurosurgeon, this will be on hold until the thryoid cancer is taken care of but they will formulate the plan for the neurosurgery.
This is going to be a crazy time for all of us, Joshua will be with me while Heather is with Tori, when she is home I will have to take time off work here and there but we can only get through this one step at a time.

We did finally sit down this morning and tell Tori everything. She had a great birthday and to tell you the truth she took the news better than myself, Heather and TJ did. I guess because she in her own way knew. She has told more than one Dr., nurse, family member that she knew that something was really wrong with her. People need to learn to listen when a smart , self sufficient, tough kid cries for help.

I probably won't need to update again until next week at which time I should have surgery dates and more info from the Neurosurgeon. Until then I had better get busy beading like crazy and finding more way's to sell my jewelry because no matter how much help we get , this is going to be costly in many other way's So just keep those prayers coming. Love you all very much and we so appreciate all the support we have been getting from you right now.