Because I used Creative Paperclay® on my canvas to build up a bit of the heart in the center of the piece, I am sharing this for the Creative Paperclay® Link Up Party! Usually, I build layers on TOP of my dictionary pages, but for this piece, I used it UNDER them, and I really like the way it came out!!
FINALLY!! I can show you the cover of my art journal that I created for A Year in the Life of an Art Journal, and my Monday Mugshots project!!
GO HERE to see how I made this cover using a Vintage book, and Amazing Clear Cast Resin!
I tortured you with stories of how I used ephemera from Gauche Alchemy to create pages to fill the inside of my journal, along with punchinella and other ephemera bits from their kits to decorate the outside… Then I shared a picture of the inside when I posted my journal for the prompts at A Year in the Life of an Art Journal HERE… Now it’s finally time for the big reveal!! Thanks for being so patient with my teasing and sneak peeks!
Disclosure: As a member of Amazing Mold Putty and Gauche Alchemy’s design teams, I receive product at no cost to myself.
Connie, of Dirty Footprints Studio is celebrating the 5th year anniversary of her teaching collaboration, 21Secrets, with a WORKSHOP!! As a former teacher, and one of the artists taking part in her new workshop, I get to give away a spot!! A place in 21Secrets LIVE! is worth $125.00, and I get to GIVE one to you!! All you NEED to do to enter, is to comment here on my blog! (be sure to do that through the rafflecopter widget below, not on facebook or any other place) Your name can be entered more times, by tweeting about the giveaway, (as much as once a day until the giveaway is closed!) and also by liking my artist page on facebook!! 21Secrets LIVE! Is going to be so much fun!
21Secrets LIVE! Will be your chance to have a face to face, one on one conversation with past 21Secrets instructors!
You will have access to 23 WEEKLY live Spreecasts! If you cannot make it to a live cast, the links will be available to you throughout the workshop time, and once we are finished, you’ll be provided with a PDF linking you to the Spreecasts so you can access them even after the fun is done!! Want to learn more? Click the image above, or the link in my sidebar to be taken to Connie’s post about the class (this is an affiliate link, and I would LOVE to get credit for you being at the workshop!)
Want to take a chance at winning your spot? You have until the 12th of Jan to enter my giveaway! Good luck!!
Some friends of mine were having a conversation about creativity, and how difficult it can be to find balance between looking outside yourself on line for inspiration, and ending up spending ALL of your time doing that, instead of creating.
That conversation made me feel the need to share A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. You may not know this, but I own and run an art journal prompt blog. Every year, I come up with a theme for the year, and share prompts twice a month. I also run a Facebook page called Monday Mugshots.
The thing is, it’s not always EASY to be creative.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as creatives, to do GRAND things with our time. So often, the idea that what we do NEEDS to be big can actually keep us from creating ANYTHING at all.
At the end of 2012, I was burnt out on creating art journal pages for A Year in the Life of an Art Journal, but I wanted to keep being creative. That was when I started the photo project, Monday Mugshots. I was really liking Monday Mugshots, because I was keeping up with the weekly prompts so easily. I decided to create a collaboration between AYLAJ and MM for the 2013 prompts. The collaboration was a ton of fun, taking pics outside of my weekly Monday shots, with a creative theme.
I am going to continue to keep MM and AYLAJ in collaboration with each other, only I am taking the “cop” theme of Monday Mugshots a little bit further.
No matter WHERE you are creatively, there is a place for you in these prompts!!
They are three part. The theme of the prompt (kind of a jumping off point) A photo prompt for the MM participants (take a pic with the theme, and you’re DONE if you want to be, or you can print it out for binding later) and a prompt for the art journal keepers. This year, we’re going to be playing with some fun portrait work. Trying out new techniques and ideas.
You don’t have to be a great sketcher, or painter to be part of this!!
We tend to forget that part of what an art journal IS, should be TRYING NEW THINGS!! All of the prompts will be geared toward that. Testing and trying things out together.
I hope that you join!
You can read more about what will be happening this year “At the Precinct” by clicking HERE.
Every year, I also choose a word to keep in mind as the year goes by… a word to help with the direction I hope the year will take. This year, I chose FOCUS. I want to sharpen my focus, and keep my mind on things that matter to me…
I also created a window charm/light catcher to hang in the window to remind me. Have I mentioned lately how much adore Creative Paperclay®? I find new things to do with it all the time. This particular project would be great for a Kid Friendly art day!
What things are you thinking about, struggling over, and working on at the start of this new year?
|Ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, that I decorated for the kids!|
|My mom’s mantle, decorated for the wedding re purposing a wedding banner she made for my sister’s wedding!|
|My three kiddos. I can’t believe how fast time flies…|
|The paparazzi were out in full force…|
How was your CHRISTMAS!? I got a little TEENY bit crafty this holiday, and made a few gifts!! Pinterest held a few bits of inspiration for the present above…
DIY Faux Mercury Glass
Framed, hanging flower vases
And I created a piece all my own!!
I used greenery right off of the property, and the arrangements can be changed out!
And then I created a piece for my soon to be daughter in law!!
You can see how I created it on the Amazing Mold Putty BLOG!! I was pretty excited to give it to her, and it came out really cute!! Made even more perfect by our mutual Potterheadedness.
What about you? Did you get crafty this Christmas? I wanna see!
Disclosure: As a member of Amazing Mold Putty’s design team, I receive product at no cost to myself.
And to think. All this time, it’s been the MUSHROOM that has kept me from getting ready to make a Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar. Now, I’ve got his mushroom made!! Learn how I created it from the pieces in the top image! Hop on over to Creative Paperclay® modeling material’s BLOG, (CLICK RIGHT HERE), to see just how simple this was to make!
Disclosure: As a member of Creative Paperclay® modeling material’s design team, I receive product at no cost to myself.
Recently, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Disease. I am still learning about it, and how to go about treating myself, but I wanted to document my journey to where I am today, because I realize how much of my medical history has been pointing to this diagnosis for a very long time.
My story starts nearly 20 years ago. I was 18, and I had just given birth to my first son. After my first child, I quickly lost the 55 pounds I had gained while carrying him. So quickly, in fact, that I started to worry, and so did my doctor. In fact, he suspected I had developed an eating disorder, and to prove I did not, I kept a journal of all the foods I was eating. It took my doctor a while to figure out what was wrong with me, and I was scared. I was eating as much as I could, and drinking instant breakfast milkshakes for the extra 250 calories with each meal. Even with all I was eating, I was losing an average of a POUND a day, and I looked like I had come out of a concentration camp. Thankfully, my doctor realized that my thyroid might be to blame, and I was put on medication for HypERthyroid. (meaning my thyroid was over active)
I don’t remember exactly where along the lines my thyroid flopped, but soon, it did just that, and I was diagnosed at one of my blood testings, with HyPOthyroid. (now my thyroid was UNDER active)
Over time, I admit, I was less than good about taking my medications, and eventually, I was pregnant again. I miscarried that child when I was 12 weeks along. (I now know miscarriage is common in women with Hashimoto’s.) Since I wasn’t being religious about taking my meds, I feel like that probably contributed to that loss.
Eventually, I became pregnant again, with our second son. I bounced around with my medications, and didn’t take them as I should have, which I’m sure didn’t help my situation. I had our third son ten years ago, and had postpartum depression for a while. Years went by. I was bad about taking my medications. Eventually, I visited my current doctor to ask to be put on anti depressants. She was wise, and knew that I needed to get my thyroid levels monitored, so she put me on some temporary meds for depression, but helped me get to the root of what was REALLY going on: My bad habits with my thyroid medications. That was nearly 3 years ago. Over time, my thyroid medication levels have needed to be increased, because my thyroid function was continuing to slow down.
All of this time, I suffered from Migraines associated with my menstrual cycle, and heavy flow, clotting, and severe cramping. I also had episodes of sever back pain, especially at night, where I was unable to find any comfortable positions, and often had an upset stomach (I thought) due to the pain in my back. Once in a while, I wondered if I was lactose intolerant, but I didn’t seem to consistently have stomach upset each time I drank milk or ate cheese, etc.
Recently, after the most recent increase in my medication levels, my doctor told me (as she always does) to be watchful for racing heart, and other issues, because those are signs your doses are too high. I did start having some heart issues, so I stopped taking the higher dose of medications, but the racing continued. My episodes of back pain and stomach upset were happening more often, and I thought they might be related to my ovulation, when I also had pain and discomfort. I was also starting to show signs that I needed to increase my thyroid doses. My hair was falling out, I was tired all the time, I was having night sweats, I had sever brain fog (worse than usual) and a whole plethora of other symptoms, but I was being VERY good about taking my meds, and had been now, for these last three years. I also have a family history of Thyroid disorders. My grandma on my dad’s side had thyroid issues, my dad has hypothyroid, and my mom had Grave’s Disease.
THE PERFECT STORM
At that visit to talk with my doctor, she ordered blood tests for my thyroid, but had the presence of mind to also look into the possibility I had Hashimoto’s. I knew she was ordering a more extensive blood panel than usual, but I didn’t realize at the time, what it was for. She also ordered an overnight hear monitor to see what the situation with my heart was. She also referred me to an OBGYN and scheduled an ultrasound of my uterus to see if my fibroids were such that I might need a hysterectomy. She mentioned to me, that she wondered if I might have an ulcer that was close to my diaphram, causing internal irritation and in turn, causing my heart to race. I had my blood drawn, and set up my appointment for my heart monitor, and the OBGYN.
Then a few nights later, I started to have the same back pain that caused (or so I had always thought) my stomach to be upset. This time, though… my stomach upset got worse, and worse. The pain was pretty bad, and having my doctor’s thoughts that I might have an ulcer, I thought that might be what was going on. I ended up in the emergency room, with a gallbladder attack. I didn’t have to have emergency surgery, but I had 12 stones, and they were becoming impacted, so I would need to see a surgeon and consider having it removed. In the mean time, I had to cut out fatty foods. Turns out, it was FATS fighting with my gallbladder that made me think I was lactose intolerant. My gallbladder was also causing my night time back pain that I thought was starting with my back and hurting my stomach too! I would also later discover that people with Hashimoto’s tend to have gallstones and often have gallbladder removal.
While I was in between my gallbladder attack and surgery, I spent a night on a heart monitor. The doctor felt that my heart issues were due to inflammation from my gallbladder AND she told me that I had Hashimoto’s. She added ultra sound on my thyroid to the list with my lady bits.
Hashimoto’s Disease is an immune attack on your thyroid from your own body. The results of my ultra sound confirmed that my body had been attacking my thyroid, and because I have most likely had it for so many years, my body had successfully killed my thyroid. Thankfully, I do NOT show any goiters on my dead gland, which would indicate possible thyroid cancer. Because I have been on synthetic thyroid medications for my thyroid, my TSH and other thyroid levels are in the normal range, my Hashimoto’s is now causing the same symptoms that before would have meant I need my medication adjusted. From what I understand, a lot of that is because of the inflammation that the autoimmune attack causes.
Here are a few things I have learned, that for me, weave a lot of pieces together to make my medical issues make a lot more sense:
- Hashimoto’s is often triggered by pregnancy. (check)
- It is common for Hyperthyroidism to trigger the attack on your thyroid, which causes a flip to Hypothyroidism, caused by Hashimoto’s. (check)
- Hypothyroidism is caused by iodine deficiency, which is nearly impossible to have in the US. The only other cause for Hypothyroidism is HASHIMOTO’S.
- Your thyroid levels can be normal, and you can have Hashimoto’s. The blood test that is done to see if you have Hashimoto’s measure’s to see if your body has thyroid specific antibodies.
- Symptoms of Hashimoto’s include, but are not limited to:
- Fatigue* / ** (check)
- Weight gain* / ** (check)
- Increased sensitivity to cold* (check)
- Difficulty concentrating* / ** (check)
- Dry skin, nails, and hair* (dry skin and hair loss, check)
- Constipation* / **(check, and also: diarrhea from my poorly functioning gallbladder)
- Drowsiness* / ** (check)
- Muscle soreness* / ** (check)
- Increased menstral flow* / ** (check)
- Headaches or Migraines* / ** (check)
- Hashimoto’s and your gut are very intricately connected. The balance of good bacteria in your gut is very delicate. I believe I have Candida overload. (there are some books that suggest gut imbalance can trigger Hashimoto’s, but I think for me, the yeast issue was secondary, and probably played a roll in my poor health/Hashimoto’s complications.)
- Here are some of the causes of Candida
- Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast) (yep)
- Consuming a lot of alcohol (I consume)
- Taking oral contraceptives (I don’t now, but I have, and this might have been one of my triggers)
- Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles
- Living a high-stress lifestyle (oh… you know.)
- Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria (thankfully, I haven’t been on a lot of antibiotics, but I did take them after I had Macs, for bronchitis)
- Gluten can trigger the same autoimmune reactions that cause Hashimoto’s. The cells of your thyroid are similar to the cells of gluten, so in theory, an attack on one is going to make your ripe for the attack on the other.
- Hashimoto’s AND gut imbalance can cause poor absorption of vitamin D, B-12, Magnesium along with other minerals and nutrients.
- The inflammation in my body from the antibodies can stick around for years, causing fun stuff like my heart, and my hair… (peachy)
In a way, it’s a blessing that my thyroid is totally dead. It means I should not swing back and forth between hyper and hypo thyroid, because my thyroid gland can’t produce for me anymore. So I am starting my plan of attack to help reduce my internal inflammation, and help my body heal:
- I will continue to take synthetic thyroid meds for the rest of my life.
- I will have my thyroid monitored for goiters and signs of cancer.
- I will work to reduce the inflamation in my body:
- By taking Caprylic Acid to kill the Candida in my gut
- By taking probiotics to encourage the healthy restoration of bacteria in my gut
- By taking vitamin D, B-12, Magnesium and fiber as daily supplements as prescribed by my doctor
- By eliminating gluten from my diet
- Reducing stress. This will be a tough one for me…
- Read, read, read all that I can about my disease, and how to live with it.
As I write this, I have had my gallbladder removed, so that is one inflammation source that has been removed. I still have some heart racing, but I hope that will go away as I find ways to heal myself. I still need to see the OBGYN, but I am hoping that the changes I have made so far will help with my girl issues. I’d like to “wait and see” before I do anything in that department. We’ll have to see.
Well, that’s my story!! In some ways, it’s been really helpful for me to be able to connect the dots and see how so many of my issues have been related in some way or another to this disease.
Here are some of the resources I have used to find out all that I can about Hashimoto’s and gut issues:
- Source for Caprylic Acid
- Root Cause a book about finding out what is causing YOUR Hashimoto’s, and how to start healing.
- Hashimoto’s Website This site has just about everything you could want to know about Hashi’s along with Hypo and Hyper thyroid, Gaves, and more.
- The connection between Gluten and Hashimoto’s
- If you or someone you know, with Hashimoto’s would like to join the Facebook Group I created for people with Hashimoto’s :https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivingWithHashimotos/
I’ve been quiet around the interwebs because I had a Gallbladder attack at the begining of November, and ended up having to have my Gallbladder removed a couple weeks later. This month, I’m heading into the month healing well from the surgery, but facing some other health issues that I will need to take control of. I’ll share more about those later, because today, I want to remind you to subscribe to the Gauche Alchemy blog to get your updates! I made something today that made me pretty happy! Here’s a little sneak:
Disclosure: As a member of Gauche Alchemy’s design team, I receive product at little or no cost to myself.